Deleted blueprint book

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Aru
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Deleted blueprint book

Post by Aru » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:11 pm

Hi. I deleted an extremely important book from my library, knowing that it would remain on the item bar below, as it always has. But, it disappeared from the bar, and even though I specifically avoided saving this and have auto saves turned off, I loaded the same save and it was, again, mysteriously missing from the bar. Where is my book? Why is it missing from my inventory now? Why was my save altered when I didn't alter it?
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Koub » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:20 pm

The blueprint library is not, if I remember correctly, part of the save. It's stored on a file of its own.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Aru » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:05 pm

I was expecting it to remain in the current game or at least in the game save, not in the library. That's how it always worked before.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Ranger_Aurelien » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:28 pm

It's in its own file; If you enabled the recently added blueprint sync to steam it could be backed up there:

(added 0.17.56) https://wiki.factorio.com/Version_history/0.17.0
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Aru » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:54 pm

I did not. Didn't know the feature existed and I don't need remote saves anyway, I only play from one location. Besides that, I don't have the steam version, because a non-steam version was available.

After experimenting, it seems that something was changed such that some of the books in inventory are not actual books, merely "shortcuts", while others are actual books, and there's no apparent way to tell the difference. AND, deleting a shortcut instantly deletes the actual book in the library as well, without confirmation. These seem like truly terrible, borderline malicious changes. And I guess, the save was somehow retroactively altered by an update, causing me to permanently lose designs.

This kind of thing could very easily put someone off of ever playing the game again, to suddenly and irrevocably lose all the optimized designs they had spent years making over the course of the entire game history, as a result of a few highly misleading and unfortunate design changes.

Never should it be the case where deleting a copy merely deletes the copy, and other times doing the same indistinguishable thing instantly, irrevocably removes the entirety of all of your design progress, both in that game, outside of it, and throughout all past saves, at the same time. That's disgusting.

Is it even possible to make copies any more? Now more than ever it seems, we have reason to make backup books, but that option seems to have also been removed. Making shortcuts now, just seems like a liability. How are you supposed to remove the shortcut after it's made? It seems to be impossible, as the delete button on the shortcut actually deletes the original. What if you have multiple shortcuts to the same book? I guess you just have to find some safe place to put them, and hope that nothing ever happens to those excess shortcuts, because they must be kept alive to protect the real book. It's very, very silly. We are now practically forced to manage blueprints outside of the game, which completely removes the entire original purpose of the library, and it means the library exists now only to be a misleading liability, there only to accidentally destroy designs more completely than was ever possible before.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Koub » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:31 pm

I also deleted my only blueprint book (with all my blueprints) by accidentally clicking on the rubbish bin icon. I was trying to remove a blueprint from the book, and I thought I should take the blueprint and throw it away. Alas , it was not the purpose of that rubbish bin, and there's no confirmation.
That's the reason why :
1) I now keep 4 copies of my blueprint book every time I make a change, so that I don't loose everything on a misunderstanding of the blueprint library GUI,
2) I can't wait for 0.17 to hit stable, because the devs have the gui rework in the pipeline after that (alog with the fluids rework, but I can do without that) :).
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Aru » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:01 pm

I guess I should have mentioned that I am playing 0.17. It's already a lot more stable than many mature games. I really hope the fluid mechanics truly get fixed, it's long, long overdue. I had proposed highly detailed fixes a long time ago. There's a lot of designs I was never able to finish because of the inconsistent fluid problems. Placement order should not have such huge effects on the flow.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Serenity » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:19 pm

Koub wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:20 pm
It's stored on a file of its own.
blueprint-storage.dat, which can be backed up manually now and then. Not a real solution, but at least it's not a total loss then

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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Rseding91 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:09 am

It amuses me reading all of the conversations here where people are slowly figuring out that the blueprint library is actually terrible and that having all your blueprints in a specific save file (of which you probably have multiple versions as you've played and made new saves) is a far better system.

Something something "storing all your eggs (blueprints) in one basket" - not a good idea.

Multiple saves don't automatically save on changing things
Multiple saves don't automatically commit your changes for all of time
Multiple saves don't have issues when you play with other mods
Multiple saves give version history

The blueprint library Is just flawed at its core and people keep wanting more complication (and subsequently bugs). The blueprint library is a glorified mini-save-file system where each blueprint/book is its own small save file - except all stored and loaded at once when ever you use it. That's never going to change because that's how blueprints work. Just actually using save files for the same purpose is so much smoother because that's how the entire game is designed.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Koub » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:41 am

But what else can we do Rseding ?
We can't stop using blueprints. We have to deal with how the blueprint library works, and find creative solutions to bypass its flaws, at least until a future update fixes some of the interface oddities.
There are ways to imagine a better design, but we are no developpers, so all we can do is discuss, share tips and tricks, and hope our discussions will be of some help for the devs.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by coppercoil » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:42 am

Would it possible to have a simple file deleted_bp.txt where all recently deleted blueprints are listed in text form? The player could open it with Notepad, find required BP by deletion time, copy and import as new blueprint or book in standard way. It requires no additional GUI or filesystem changes, just append on deletion. It's not very comfortable to find a file somewhere in the internal folders, but most important thing is it's possible.

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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Ranger_Aurelien » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:35 pm

Rseding91 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:09 am
The blueprint library is a glorified mini-save-file system where each blueprint/book is its own small save file
The Blueprint Library is a computer-centered single repository for blueprints independent of saves and worlds (I visited a Community world and copied a number of them to my personal BP repository). Players can copy/save versions of these blueprints TO/FROM each world/save if they wish as an independent backup, or to make world-specific versions.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Rseding91 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:47 pm

Koub wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:41 am
But what else can we do Rseding ?
We can't stop using blueprints. We have to deal with how the blueprint library works, and find creative solutions to bypass its flaws, at least until a future update fixes some of the interface oddities.
There are ways to imagine a better design, but we are no developpers, so all we can do is discuss, share tips and tricks, and hope our discussions will be of some help for the devs.
The better design is to ignore the library completely and just use in-game blueprints. Your "library" is then your inventory, or some chest in-game. Just like how it worked before the current library was added.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Serenity » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:05 pm

How is blueprints being linked to save files a good idea? It means that if you delete your save and start a new game your blueprints are gone. Or am I missing something here? :?

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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by Aru » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:37 pm

The library, and the way it interacts with tool belt and inventory, could be okay, but the way they work together needs to be clearer in-game and there needs to be some insurance against losing designs because some people put too much time into optimizing them individually for them to just disappear.

The blueprints are a very tiny so surely it wouldn't cost much storage to have some kind of auto save for the library. The difficulty here is the UI design, how to present a nice, consistent UI for the library auto-saves without being obtuse or overly complicated. Maybe a separate library could be opened that holds the auto saves.

A confirmation before deleting any design or book that isn't empty would be nice. Perhaps with an option to disable the confirmation.

Since it's not clear where the book or blueprint is that a tool belt shortcut opens, you could make it impossible to delete when it was opened via the tool belt, only when it is opened directly from the inventory or library. And possibly, when opening a blueprint or book from the tool belt, it is made apparent on the book / BP window whether it corresponds to something in inventory, or something in the library. Actually, that's a good idea no matter where it was opened from. Or, short cuts could be limited only to things in the inventory, and nothing in the library.

Maybe a roll-over tool-tip on the library to tell new and returning players that it exists as a single instance, separate from individual games, and how it works in general.

That "export to inventory" spot on the library never sat right with me as well, it stands out as an unnecessarily unique / inconsistent UI mechanism, thus is not intuitive. You should be able to open the library and inventory at the same time, so you can just drag a copy over, the same way that moving everything else works. Perhaps the intention of this rectangle was to imply the nature of the library, but if so, it fails in that regard.
Last edited by Aru on Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deleted blueprint book

Post by T-A-R » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:11 pm

Hmm I found it very handy that blueprints are a separate file, crossing all saves, even multiplayer. This is a feature I really enjoy(ed?).

I backup the blueprint-storage.dat on each experimental branch. (you could use the same disk, but I copy it to an docked external drive.)
Also when there is a change made in the blueprint file (on version rollback for example xD), you can find a blueprint-storage-backup.dat which can be renamed.

I found this all out with a little search after I lost blueprints once. After that I felt like Boris when I had to apply one of my backup to restore blueprints.

https://youtu.be/fXW02XmBGQw

But you need to be able to find the game files for that.

I think the blueprint storage should have clear backups/versions. And be prompted on permanent deletes. They are the toolbox for the engineer, I see my blueprints more valuable then my save games as I can bring them over to different maps. And I love to organise my personal set of them.

Steam cloud update seems cool, although I don't use it myself. It does not give me enough insight about what exactly is replaced by what. Manually I have the ultimate control.

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