0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post all other topics which do not belong to any other category.

What do you think about the removal of fluid wagon being able transport 3 separate fluids feature?

Removal was unnecessary and I think it should be brought back.
40
23%
Removal was justified and feature should stay removed.
72
42%
Feature should make a comeback in a different form (ideas like "permanently separated", "standalone 1-fluid and 3-fluid wagons" etc.)
59
35%
 
Total votes: 171

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0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Vykromod »

Right off the bat, I am aware that the subject has been already mentioned several times in various other threads. The purpose of this one however is specifically to make a poll. So please share your opinion above! In the rest of this post I'm just going to sum up my opinion on this matter. TLDR: Removal was bad, reasons for it don't make any sense.

For those unaware, update 0.16.7 has suddenly introduced one rather questionable change:
Removed the mechanics of 3 different fluid tanks in fluid wagon, and simplified it so the fluid wagon has just 1 fluid.
Thus began a, at the time of writing this point, 7-page discussion in the thread about this update in release section. A bunch of players were quite discontented with this change, in my opinion rightfully so. Initially it came with little to no explanation, and the one that finally came (mostly as part of Friday Facts 222) is unreasonable and doesn't justify the change. Exempt from FFF quoted below:
We made a decision to completely abolish the mechanics of fluid wagon tank separation. We knew that a lot of players would not like it, but this might just be because they got used to it, and because of the argument "if you don't like it, don't use it".
Somehow, the latter part of the post sounds disrespectful, in my opinion. The "you just got used to it" part sounds as if the dev team doesn't treat the opinion of players seriously and thinks we don't know what we really want.

The "if you don't like it, don't use it" is a way of describing an actual good reason for keeping the feature in the game in a way worse light than it really is. That reason being that the existence of the separation feature literally didn't hamper non-users in ANY way whatsoever, with it being off by default. Together with the fact that there were lots of people who used it, the change was beneficial to virtually nobody.
-Fluid wagon capacity is somewhat too big, which means that the fluid trains have to move around very sporadically compared to the trains with items. Making the wagon fluid capacity smaller (we didn't do it yet) and removing the separation, is similar to making the whole fluid wagon as big as one section.
Fluid wagon capacity issue is absolutely irrelevant and has nothing to do with separation. The latter does not prevent simply reducing the capacity of the individual tanks in the wagon.
-It was solving a problem that has quite a trivial solution (use two separate wagons). We try to add mechanics mainly for things that don't have a solution otherwise, or the solution is weird.
Correction: THREE wagons, not two. And considering how excruciatingly heavy fluid wagons are, you're also going to need an additional locomotive, in total forcing the player previously using this feature to now turn all of his 2-wagon trains to 5-wagon trains, complete with rebuilding all of the stations involved to accommodate for this change. And the latter is also the reason why it's not such a "trivial" solution. If the separation wasn't a problem solver, then at least it was a major convenience, thus giving a solid reason to not remove it.
-We won't have to keep the code alive, we won't have to update the UI of it (in the upcoming GUI update) and fix the bugs related to it. This argument is the smallest, but is also here, as everything has a cost and it is about priorities.
Like many other many arguments, this one is invalid down at the base, by the sheer virtue of being applicable to literally anything else in the game. While there are indeed benefits to it, the benefits of keeping the feature outweigh them.

The discussions on the forum spawned some other attempts at justifying the removal, but in my opinion none are good enough to excuse removing a cool feature which WAS used by people and was not damaging the game, nor other players in any way.

The GUI bug

As described in this topic, the GUI of the fluid wagon had a bug where it would not show the amount of fluid properly, with readouts overlapping. Mind you, this is in the GUI, not the tooltip on the right side of the screen - this was displaying the contents properly.

What happened is Kovarex immediately announcing:
kovarex wrote:Thanks for the report, I solved this bug for the next version by removing the feature of disconnecting wagon parts and so this gui won't exist anymore.
At the time, I honestly was convinced it's a joke. Sadly, it wasn't one. Now, I don't want to be seen as some sort of conspiracy theorist, but it looks bizarre how eagerly kovarex jumped at the report of a tiny glitch, promptly nuking the entire feature. It was as if the dev team was already looking for an excuse to remove it...

In any case, like anything else this does not make for a reason to remove the entire feature. If removal was more beneficial than fixing, all that was necessary to remove was the readout in the GUI. After all, like mentioned, the wagon shows its contents in the tooltip and honestly, even when using this feature frequently I've never noticed the wagon GUI was actually showing the amount of fluid.

"Just use mods"
Mods pop up frequently in any feature or suggestion discussions. There might as well be a law stating that when a such a discussion about a feature is going, someone eventually will suggest using a mod. In this case however, there are a lot of problems with using mods. I've mostly wrote about them in the post under the update, but I'll repeat here:
-Mods disable steam achievements
-Any environment including mods is detached from vanilla meta, losing relevance in many discussions and potentially causing problems with knowledge sharing, like guides and blueprints for example.
-Mods complicate multiplayer play, especially when there are multiple mods introducing similar feature (pre 0.15 barrel mods are a good example here).
-Since mods are not maintained by official developers, quality and balance of mods vary, and there's always a smaller or bigger delay in the update of mods after any major game update.

Additionally, I believe mods should not even be considered in any discussion about the in-game content, simply because such discussions are suppposed to be positively shaping the game development, and suggestions to use mods do not add anything to the topic, other than an attempt to shut it down. After all, if mods were the solution, Factorio development might as well stop right here and right now - after all, for any given thing, there's always going to be a mod, if given enough time.

Alpha is alpha
There are also opinions that handwave the entire thing by statements that the game is still in alpha phase, and due to that players are somehow not supposed to complain about the decisions developers make "because nothing is set in stone".

This way of thinking is wrong on many levels. The game is here, it's being sold and played, and thus can (and should) be discussed. The fact of it being alpha does not free it from judgement and discussion. If anything, development phase is the time things should be discussed the most, as frequent updates directly dictate the future of the game. I also find the "alpha" label as a bit arbitrary, as the game already has way more content than some of the finished games available around.

In conclusion, I'll be honest, this entire situation is a sour mess to me. Up until now I was recommending Factorio left and right, but now I have doubts. It is at the moment one of my favorite games, if not THE favorite game and I think Wube does wonderful job with creating such a gem. The last update is the first time I'm really disappointed with what devs did. If they can remove a feature completely out of the blue just like that, without any sort of consulting with the playerbase or valid explanation, I really lost my trust in their judgement. Who knows if a month from now there won't be a decision that kovarex enrichment process is too much of a codework and such has to be removed. And so as a christmas gift they left me, and others who used the feature, a save-breaking change and (at least in my case) a necessity to spend several hours on completely rebuilding few of my outposts to accommodate for a 5-wagon train instead of 2.
kovarex wrote:This is a great example, of making the mistake of allowing a feature without making sure we really wanted that in the first place. If it never existed people would have zero problems with that.
After seeing that post, now I really have my doubts if player satisfaction is what they are really aiming for.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by rcp27 »

I have used the fluid separation feature, and while it was useful I’d certain situations, I don’t see it’s loss as a huge problem. I think fluid wagons do need a more general rebalance, though. My feeling is that the fluid wagons as they are have both too much capacity and too high a weight. The reason I have used the separation feature is where the volume of one car is too much and I wanted a mixed train. If the volume and wieght of fluid wagons is reduced appropriately, then switching to a two or three car train would not really affect gameplay.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by PacifyerGrey »

As I already said.
I am absolutely fine if you have to build bigger for bigger needs.
And using wagon separation was intended to build ultracompact solutions. I just can't find any task that should be solved with it unless we are talking about Angel's mods.
In vanilla there are so few liquids and even less ones being end products so I do not see the need for this particular feature.

I totally disagree with the need to transport small amounts of refinery products (gas,light,heavy oil) as they are not requires anywhere as they are. You can export gas and lube but how small should refinery be for the need to use a single wagon for it? And why? Just make it 2 split wagons and live with it. There is no real functionality removed from the game. There is nothing you will not be able to do with the loss of this feature. Your solutions is a bit less compact? Thats fine. It is nowhere comparable with the loss of sideloading that we are experiencing now.

If removal will improve game code or object model or whatever I am totally fine with it.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by steinio »

So much #Mimimi about nothing.
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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Lemlin »

Vykromod wrote: -Since mods are not maintained by official developers, quality and balance of mods vary, and there's always a smaller or bigger delay in the update of mods after any major game update.
Not 100% true, some of them are.
Klonan and Rseding have a few very popular mods.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Caine »

I do not mind a decrease in capacity and I am fine with having it non-configurable (always 3 individual tanks). But I dislike making it one tank.
PacifyerGrey wrote:I totally disagree with the need to transport small amounts of refinery products (gas,light,heavy oil) as they are not requires anywhere as they are.
You can do many things that are not needed. Sometimes you want to do more crazy stuff. There are many ways to play the game and constraints are the foundation for creativity. For example, consider a factory where all logistics are handled by trains (no belts, no pipes and no robots). The fact that refinery outputs line up with the individual tanks of a fluid wagon is quite neat. I admit it is a rather esoteric application and uncommon solution, but who knows what else people are doing with it.

It adds diversity and creates room for unique solutions. That is cool and should be preserved. Factorio is not the type of game to adhere to a "There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it." philosophy.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Vykromod »

Slimey wrote:
Vykromod wrote: -Since mods are not maintained by official developers, quality and balance of mods vary, and there's always a smaller or bigger delay in the update of mods after any major game update.
Not 100% true, some of them are.
Klonan and Rseding have a few very popular mods.
Interesting. I wasn't aware of that too be honest. And it's actually hilarious, because I just found out one of the mods I've been using a while ago (Laser beam turrets) is actually made by Klonan.

Still, it's an exception from a rule. That's just two people in a vast community of modders.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by sicklag »

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Last edited by sicklag on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Vykromod »

sicklag wrote:You put so much energy in this here, do you do this thinks not only on a PC and try to do polls in the real world?. It's quite fun for me to watch things like this cuz things like this never happen in RL. Hmm... Sorry for being off topic, I just feel curios about polls for games. Good luck!
Thanks. Nope, I just like to type and I'm too introvert too make polls in RL.

That said, I believe it is important to properly discuss this subject and have exact numbers on opinions of people on the subject. Currently the votes are pretty much divided on the subject, with those supporting the feature having a noticeable advantage, albeit overwhelming majority of them is rooting for reworking the feature, rather than keeping it in the original form.

In my opinion, if these reflect the trends in the community, this goes to show that the decision to cut it outright wasn't a good solution. At least not properly thought over by the team.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Tricorius »

Vykromod wrote:In my opinion, if these reflect the trends in the community, this goes to show that the decision to cut it outright wasn't a good solution. At least not properly thought over by the team.
Since you are interested in polls, I feel compelled to point out that these forums are a *signifigant* minority of the actual number of people that play the game. So, using anything on these forums as a basis for how the community, in general, feels is inaccurate.

Any poll here suffers from at least three layers of selection bias:

1 - People who know (and care) about the forums
2 - (of those) people who cared enough to create an account to interact
3 - (of those) people who cared enough to vote on the topic

It’s like 1% of the 1% (to hijack a recent-ish American political term). In no way is it really representative of what the overall Factorio player community wants.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by sicklag »

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by steinio »

And thankfully at the end the developers don't care about polls and made so their own great game so far.
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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Cleany »

I don't use it but the option would be nice, from what they said, it sounds like the devs think that the feature isn't worth the effort to maintain through several updates.

I must say I find the people (2 in particular) rudely trying to shout down this discussion to be in very bad taste. What is the problem with discussing it? Obviously, like yourselves, people have put many hours into their factories and would like some closure, if nothing else, on why their factories are now unworkable. What is your motivation for trying to stifle discussion about it?

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Krazykrl »

Cleany wrote:I don't use it but the option would be nice, from what they said, it sounds like the devs think that the feature isn't worth the effort to maintain through several updates.
Fluid Wagons were too large and too heavy. And Factorio is in alpha, if you cannot stand sweeping changes due to being an open alpha tester; don't play an alpha game.

Let's take uranium mining as an example of the fluid wagon requiring a bit of change:

The fluid wagon currently holds 75000 fluid.
Mining Uranium is a 1:1 Acid:Ore Extracted ratio.
1 Full 75000 unit wagon of acid extracts at minimum(Dependant on productivity) 75000 uranium ore.
Uranium ore stacks to 50.
75000 Uranium ore is 1500 stacks.

Therefore...

1 wagon of Sulfuric acid can extract 37.5 full wagons of Uranium Ore at zero productivity.
1/3 wagon (25000 units) of Sulfuric Acid can extract 12.5 full wagons of Uranium ore, again at at zero productivity.

This 37.5:1 ratio of Ore wagons:Fluid Wagons just doesn't seem right. It feels broken. This is why fluid wagons sit in depots the vast majority of their life.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Cleany »

Krazykrl wrote:
Cleany wrote:I don't use it but the option would be nice, from what they said, it sounds like the devs think that the feature isn't worth the effort to maintain through several updates.
Fluid Wagons were too large and too heavy. And Factorio is in alpha, if you cannot stand sweeping changes due to being an open alpha tester; don't play an alpha game.
I agree that it may be better to get rid of them, as I clearly said I don't use the feature.

However what is your problem with discussing it. Why have a forum for a game in alpha if not to discuss the features of it.

What is your motivation for not wanting people to even discuss it?

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Tricorius »

Cleany wrote:I must say I find the people (2 in particular) rudely trying to shout down this discussion to be in very bad taste. What is the problem with discussing it? Obviously, like yourselves, people have put many hours into their factories and would like some closure, if nothing else, on why their factories are now unworkable. What is your motivation for trying to stifle discussion about it?
I assume you’re talking about me. I’m not trying to shut anything down. Nor was I intending on being rude. Just setting expectations. When I read this poll 48 people (including me) had voted. Feel free to look up the Factorio sales numbers. I think you will find the facts to support my claim.

For the record, I’m not opposed to this feature. I think vanilla should have a full set of features and I like having the option of barreling or transporting in fluid form. I really don’t care for mixed cargo, but that is simply because I choose not to deal with the headaches of mixed cargo. I know others feel differently and like the challenge of min/maxing complex networks.

Also, putting on my project manager hat it is important to keep “raving fans” of your product happy. It is often that those very fans help drive additional sales of your product. But you also have to balance that with the technical and practical aspects of managing software and maintaining a code base. If they say it’s bad for the codebase, I believe them.

Discuss away. But expecting it to change is probably unlikely. It would be rare to kill a feature to reduce technical debt, only to spend a crap-ton more time adding several new features to replace it.

I’d also like to point out (from the perspective of my developer hat) when reading through the original post, it was basically a gigantic series of “the reasons the developers gave for this change are stupid”. Which is no less rude than me pointing out the things I pointed out. Except that was targeted at the people who spend their time making a great game we all love. *Not* the best way to get them on your side of a debate.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Cleany »

Tricorius wrote:
Cleany wrote:I must say I find the people (2 in particular) rudely trying to shout down this discussion to be in very bad taste. What is the problem with discussing it? Obviously, like yourselves, people have put many hours into their factories and would like some closure, if nothing else, on why their factories are now unworkable. What is your motivation for trying to stifle discussion about it?
I assume you’re talking about me. I’m not trying to shut anything down. Nor was I intending on being rude. Just setting expectations. When I read this poll 48 people (including me) had voted. Feel free to look up the Factorio sales numbers. I think you will find the facts to support my claim.

For the record, I’m not opposed to this feature. I think vanilla should have a full set of features and I like having the option of barreling or transporting in fluid form. I really don’t care for mixed cargo, but that is simply because I choose not to deal with the headaches of mixed cargo. I know others feel differently and like the challenge of min/maxing complex networks.

Also, putting on my project manager hat it is important to keep “raving fans” of your product happy. It is often that those very fans help drive additional sales of your product. But you also have to balance that with the technical and practical aspects of managing software and maintaining a code base. If they say it’s bad for the codebase, I believe them.

Discuss away. But expecting it to change is probably unlikely. It would be rare to kill a feature to reduce technical debt, only to spend a crap-ton more time adding several new features to replace it.

I’d also like to point out (from the perspective of my developer hat) when reading through the original post, it was basically a gigantic series of “the reasons the developers gave for this change are stupid”. Which is no less rude than me pointing out the things I pointed out. Except that was targeted at the people who spend their time making a great game we all love. *Not* the best way to get them on your side of a debate.
Actually it wasn't you. And again, as I have said before, I didn't use this feature, but like you I think it would be nice for the vanilla game to include as much as reasonably possible.

On the subject of polls, most public polls question a very small percentage of people. And while I don't give those things much credit, because of certain factors, some of which also affect factorio forum polls, the fact the a small percentage of people are polled is usual among polling and in no way invalidates the poll. In fact, aside from looking at mod download figures (which also have their shortcomings accuracy wise) there isn't really any other way to gauge opinion. Moreover, the very fact the the devs have created a forum for an alpha game, that includes polls, tells you quite clearly that it is a tool that should, at least, be considered.

Further to this, what point is there, even if there is no hope at all of any change, in objecting to a discussion about it - if only to let a fellow player let off some steam given that many hours have been put into the game?

It seems to me that there is no positive reason whatsoever to object to any discussion concerning changes made in an alpha. We all know we are subject to the devs, but we need to talk and try to achieve change if we think there is reason, or get other people's opinions if only to help us galvanise our own.

If there is any positive motivation (perhaps apart from the setting expectations one that you proclaimed) for objecting to this discussion or ones like it then I fail to see it. If this forum isn't for people to discuss the features of a game in alpha, and the changes made to, or removal of, them, then what is the point of it being here?

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by ManaUser »

Honestly the only thing I can say in favor of removing it, is that it was a little bit confusing for a newbie, like if your rail stop actually faces left, it's unintuitive it's the right switch that actually controls the front connection. But meh, that's not a very big deal. If for some reason the devs really dislike that extra interface, then personally I'd prefer the tanks always be separate. If you're using them for the same fluid, you can simply use 3 pumps-linked together (and I bet most people do anyway just for greater through-put) but you'd still have the option of transporting 3 separate liquids on one car if you ever wanted.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Momus »

Tricorius wrote: Any poll here suffers from at least three layers of selection bias:

1 - People who know (and care) about the forums
2 - (of those) people who cared enough to create an account to interact
3 - (of those) people who cared enough to vote on the topic
4 - (of those) people who didn't find suitable option

"Not a big deal, really" - that's what I would vote for.

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Re: 0.16 Fluid wagon separation feature removal POLL

Post by Tricorius »

Cleany wrote:Moreover, the very fact the the devs have created a forum for an alpha game, that includes polls, tells you quite clearly that it is a tool that should, at least, be considered.

Further to this, what point is there, even if there is no hope at all of any change, in objecting to a discussion about it - if only to let a fellow player let off some steam given that many hours have been put into the game?
Yup. I’m not opposed to sharing thoughts and feelings. But I have heard a lot of comments like “the community clearly feels...” or other variations of this based on content in these forums. It’s simply not a good indicator of the overall player base. That is all I’m saying.

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