Economies of scale are breaking my brain

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mrt144
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Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Okay, so this is a stray observation from my megabase desire:

I am not really grasping just how much and how little 200M Copper Ore is.

I have a nice chip factory spitting out about 8k a minute off a Copper patch that started around 240 Million. Initially I thought that that's a sizeable chunk of copper and will last me a while, no doubt.

Then I started crunching some numbers back of envelope style. I have 4 trains that can each hold 400k of Green Chips. Excessive, yes but...I came to realize that after all the smelting, fabricating, etc etc. That 240 Million Copper patch is not going to last more than a couple hundred hauls...TOTAL.

Is 400k chips per haul pretty beefy? Sure. Should that satisfy the demands of other parts of the megabase? Sure. But still, I came to the realization that I've spent maybe ~40 hours building this beast from the ground up knowing that its life, once completed, is just a time bomb waiting to explode into uselessness. I'll have plopped down some tens of thousands of belt, created some ungodly amount of construction bots, etc etc all to realize a...GHOST FACTORY?

What do you guys do with Ghost Factories? Connect a more remote source of ore just to drop off at the base? I really really don't like the idea of this factory in particular consuming so many damn resources to build only to be useless some 240 hours into the future.

Ultros
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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Ultros »

You're dealing with 8k gc/min, which is not really in the megabase range yet (should convert to roughly 250 or so SPM with 0.17 4 prod beaconed ratios).

It's unlikely that your 400k chips are all being consumed if your production is only at 8k gc/min. Using megabase ratios (max prod modules with speed beacons), 8k GC/min converts to roughly 6k copper plates/min or 5k copper ore/min, which is slightly above 2 blue belts of copper plates. This means your single train is way overprovisioned and it's unlikely the rest of your base can keep up.

The patch should take ~50K minutes, or over 800 hours to exhaust at your rate of production. Larger megabases usually mod the patches with creative mode to increase the ore density to >10G ore per patch, but it's not necessary at your current level.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Oh, that's one of the conditions I put on myself. No beacons, no modules except for some oil/solid fuel processing. This is to be one of MANY such factories. I'm just realizing that maybe...just maybe...I'm gonna need to find a lot more ore.

Edit: One of my favorite words is baroque. ;)
Last edited by mrt144 on Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ultros
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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Ultros »

mrt144 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:00 am
Oh, that's one of the conditions I put on myself. No beacons, no modules except for some oil/solid fuel processing. This is to be one of MANY such factories. I'm just realizing that maybe...just maybe...I'm gonna need to find a lot more ore.
No, you're gonna need to find a lot more computing power. Running without beacons means your base is likely going below 30 UPS (updates per second) without ever hitting 1k spm. You're more likely to end up with game slowdowns before you exhaust your ore patches.

Just as an example, my current 2k spm megabase is running on ~18ms frames for roughly 50-55 UPS, and it's fully moduled out with biters active. Loading the bootstrap non-beaconed ~60 spm base I built before that shows that it's running ~8-9ms frames, meaning that modules increase your production per clock cycle by roughly 15 times.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Noted.

Good thing I nicked a few supercomputers before they blasted me onto this barely hospitable rock. 8-)

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Xeorm »

Would also recommend module usage. It's a lot of fun with creating different factory designs from the ones you initially start with. Plus the production is super fun to watch. Seeing just a few assembly machines busting out blue belts of gears and chips is actually fun to watch.

As to building ghost factories, the strategy I used was to build a rail network. Deposits are mined and put on trains, trains always deliver to a set of depots that unload onto belts and then processed. That way the actual factory being built is static, what changes is adding more trains onto the train network to satisfy demand. As patches are mined out or as demand increases I add on more ore patches.

The rate of mining really does get insane though.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Yeah, I tried to kinda split the difference between rails and location for some of the factory placing. "Oh, there's 360M Iron and two 180M Coppers within spitting distance. Chip Factory goes here" but given my experience so far, I'm starting to imagine life after that initial factory. Man, I really wish there were dudes like me back in the 50s and 60s. Coulda stopped some modern problems.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Hannu »

Ultros wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:02 am
No, you're gonna need to find a lot more computing power. Running without beacons means your base is likely going below 30 UPS (updates per second) without ever hitting 1k spm. You're more likely to end up with game slowdowns before you exhaust your ore patches.
This is true. I have a railworld with no beacons and fully belted (except mall and defense lines). I use modules in assemblers (in most cases 3 productivity and 1 speed) My UPS begin to drop at about 300 smp. I have good old i7 3770k @4.2 GHz. I intend to build 500 spm so I expect about 30 UPS (which is fully acceptable for me).

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Hannu »

mrt144 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:49 am
I have 4 trains that can each hold 400k of Green Chips.
400 k is 50 wagons. Do you really have so long trains or some mod which increase wagon capacity? Or do you mean 40 k?
What do you guys do with Ghost Factories? Connect a more remote source of ore just to drop off at the base? I really really don't like the idea of this factory in particular consuming so many damn resources to build only to be useless some 240 hours into the future.
I like to build new outposts but not too often. 240 hours is OK. But as someone mentioned, if you want to build extreme megabase, you should use mods or commands to crate unnaturally rich ore deposits. Otherwise you run out of ore and computing power, if you need hundreds of square kilometers area and hundreds of trains to bring ore from distant sources.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

I am excessive in all ways. 400k on 50 wagons. Im just giddy with seeing how my excess plays out now. Seems i will run into a limit at some point but now Im curious just where that limit is on my system and with my goals.

Maybe I will beacon and module down the line when I hit those limits and work kinda backwards in making efficiency of my UPS paramount?

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Dry Hairy Tree »

Hi

I built a bunch of 'permanent' factories using the infinite ores mod. The real beauty of this mod is you can install it mid-game.

What this means is that I can clear out my starting area and surrounds of patches of ore in the way, and then I install the mod for making permanent outposts to feed the factories.

1. Mine out space for factories.

2. Install infinite ores.

3. Ignore everyone (including me) telling you how to go about 'free play'.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Qon »

mrt144 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:49 am
I am not really grasping just how much and how little 200M Copper Ore is.

But still, I came to the realization that I've spent maybe ~40 hours building this beast from the ground up knowing that its life, once completed, is just a time bomb waiting to explode into uselessness. I'll have plopped down some tens of thousands of belt, created some ungodly amount of construction bots, etc etc all to realize a...GHOST FACTORY?

What do you guys do with Ghost Factories? Connect a more remote source of ore just to drop off at the base? I really really don't like the idea of this factory in particular consuming so many damn resources to build only to be useless some 240 hours into the future.
Are you playing 0.12 or something? Because if so, your issues would be legitimate to some extent. Not you just research mining productivity or find or patches that are 100 times denser further out.

What is a ghost factory? Are you shipping chips by the low thousands in big trains but refuse to ship ores by train and build your factories only on top of ore deposits!? The primary purpose of the train network is shipping ore from new outposts because with trains you can just build a station at any new outpost to switch to that outpost for ore supply while everything else is mostly static.

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Qon wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:57 pm
mrt144 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:49 am
I am not really grasping just how much and how little 200M Copper Ore is.

But still, I came to the realization that I've spent maybe ~40 hours building this beast from the ground up knowing that its life, once completed, is just a time bomb waiting to explode into uselessness. I'll have plopped down some tens of thousands of belt, created some ungodly amount of construction bots, etc etc all to realize a...GHOST FACTORY?

What do you guys do with Ghost Factories? Connect a more remote source of ore just to drop off at the base? I really really don't like the idea of this factory in particular consuming so many damn resources to build only to be useless some 240 hours into the future.
Are you playing 0.12 or something? Because if so, your issues would be legitimate to some extent. Not you just research mining productivity or find or patches that are 100 times denser further out.

What is a ghost factory? Are you shipping chips by the low thousands in big trains but refuse to ship ores by train and build your factories only on top of ore deposits!? The primary purpose of the train network is shipping ore from new outposts because with trains you can just build a station at any new outpost to switch to that outpost for ore supply while everything else is mostly static.
I basically situated this factory between two very rich deposits of iron (500M) and copper (250M). The thought is that the copper will run out before the iron does and then I have a choice to make - repurpose to something like steel or iron products or ship new copper ore in or just pack up shop and deploy the blueprint in a similar strategic spot.


I suppose I am not taking the purposes of trains fully to heart. I feel way more daunted by creating one giant mega factory in one location than several single purpose gigantic factories that ship their products to the next leg. This wouldnt be the first time i factorioed differently.

I use the term ghost factory like ghost towns from the western us. Their purpose served or their resources exhausted.
Last edited by mrt144 on Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Qon
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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by Qon »

mrt144 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:12 pm
I basically situated this factory between two very rich deposits of iron (500M) and copper (250M). The thought is that the copper will run out before the iron does and then I have a choice to make - repurpose to something like steel or iron products or ship new copper ore in or just pack up shop and deploy the blueprint in a similar strategic spot.

I use the term ghost factory like ghost towns from the western us. Their purpose served or their resources exhausted.
Ghost factories are a non-concept in Factorio. Well, you can abandon factories, ok, but you don't have to. Shipping in new ore by train is how you are supposed to do it. Well, you have to abandon your factory if you refuse to use trains for ore. But why would you do that? That is what they are for.

Ghost-mines sounds more sensible though. If you prefer creative and esoteric names for mines that have been emptied. I kinda like creative naming so.. :)

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Re: Economies of scale are breaking my brain

Post by mrt144 »

Qon wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:17 pm
mrt144 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:12 pm
I basically situated this factory between two very rich deposits of iron (500M) and copper (250M). The thought is that the copper will run out before the iron does and then I have a choice to make - repurpose to something like steel or iron products or ship new copper ore in or just pack up shop and deploy the blueprint in a similar strategic spot.

I use the term ghost factory like ghost towns from the western us. Their purpose served or their resources exhausted.
Ghost factories are a non-concept in Factorio. Well, you can abandon factories, ok, but you don't have to. Shipping in new ore by train is how you are supposed to do it. Well, you have to abandon your factory if you refuse to use trains for ore. But why would you do that? That is what they are for.

Ghost-mines sounds more sensible though. If you prefer creative and esoteric names for mines that have been emptied. I kinda like creative naming so.. :)
And I am considering doing exactly just that. Part of what I like is not having to rebuild smelting infrastructure.

The idea of retrofitting this one into a basic iron products factory is also an option though though I kinda hate it.

When I played through my first few times i never even used trains. I was contented. Now I feel like Im almost wishing to play railroad tycoon 2 through the lens of factorio because of how I view trains outside of the game and in other games. Factories are proxies for cities.

"We are going cross continent with a fat stack of chips powered by rocket fuel and the throttle is set to righteous. " - me on a train.

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