Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Redpossum »

I bought the game, I paid for it, I am entitled to play it any way I like.
And the devs not only gave us BPs, they gave us the ability to export and import them. So any suggestion that using BPs is somehow cheating, I reject emphatically.

What happened to me is this-
I did it all on my own until I reached a plateau. I had advanced oil, a tank, railroads than ran well, and a secure base that could hold off the biters, but I was spending 100% of my time running around "putting out fires". And that stopped being fun. I was no longer progressing.

So I spent a few days watching the videos of Nilaus and Katherine of Sky, and I learned what I was doing wrong. For starts, I was working on much too small a scale, in much too small an area. So I geared up and went out to wafflestomp all the nearby biter bases, then I expanded the walls of my base by about 50%, and built new defenses. Then I tore down most of my existing base and rebuilt with some use of BP's from KoS, partly because it's been much faster than rebuilding by hand, and partly because her designs are bully for efficient. I did not use any BP containing anything which I didn't understand.

I'm still in the middle of that process, but it's fun again, and that's the bottom line for me.
Last edited by Redpossum on Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by jodokus31 »

Why cheating in a sandbox game? You have to make sure, you don't cheat yourself. And if you get triggered by the question, you might be in danger ;)

In multiplayer, it's probably a bit boring, if everybody spams blueprints?

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by VinaLx »

It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Redpossum »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.
Very well said, thank you!

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by ptx0 »

blazespinnaker wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:31 pm
Bit of a necropost but I haven't seen this very well discussed before
then i guess you haven't searched.

i wish this topic would just die already.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by taylor1110 »

I think it is

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by blazespinnaker »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.
The problem is that there is a bunch of fun, low hanging fruit problems to solve if you don't re-use. If you plan to re-use, the amount of unsolved problems become much smaller.

I guess I'd warn folks - if you're going to re-use, than be prepared for very hard problems (if that's what you're looking for) as pretty much everything that is easy - has been solved.

Of course, for folks who want to play factorio as something other than a puzzle solving game, that is obviously a different story. I can't comment, as I don't understand those folks :)

I like to make the analogy to sodoku, crossword puzzles, chess puzzles, etc when describing factorio to someone. It's pretty trivial to get a computer to solve these for you, but then you lose out on a lot of the fun.

Hopefully in the expansion pack, Wube will think of a way to massively expand the puzzle solving space in creative and non-repetitive ways.

One way to do so, is to utilize a recipe randomizer, or something even more dramatically ingenious, but that will fracture the community somewhat. BP reuse problem is solved, though.

Ideally, wube can create a massive puzzle space right down to a fixed map, so nothing is random and allows everyone to work on it together. A far greater number of achievements can help here a lot, but that is a bit lazy. Better is one achievement, like "launch a rocket" that embraces the entire puzzle space.

Adopting a more welcoming approach to speedrunning as well, I think, would help, but you have to be careful there. You can alienate some of your more relaxed customers that balk at this sort of stress inducing gameplay being default.

Witness, for example, the complaint below about the 8 hour spoon achievement.

My favorite way to expand the puzzle space is a far more intelligent and strategic enemy for PvE. Like a 'big brain biter' or maybe some kind of highly intelligent invading robotic force that you have to defend the biters against after your make peace with them. The robot force will leave you alone to launch your single rocket as long as you don't get ambitious. But if you start to protect the biters or launch too many rockets, they will turn their attention to you.

Why launch so many rockets? Well, you're trying to help save the biters by getting them off the planet. The robots aren't on board with that.

But whatever the plot, the point is, you'll be faced with an enemy which will require you to think very hard and very creatively about defending against, but there will be a way to dial up/or down how much of that gameplay you'll have to endure.

Anyways to get back to the main point, some people will say - just make up your own puzzles, and re-use blueprints for that.

Sure, and that's what we all have to pretty much do at this point, but there's a lot to be said for being provided with a community wide set we can all take a look at together.
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Hannu »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
They say this is engineering game but they have cleaned engineering aspects very carefully away. Real engineering is adapting to compromises and varying conditions. Engineers prefer to reuse proven methods but they can almost never utilize them without changes and compromises. Even selecting the best for your purpose is very hard. If you copy best known factory which work at temperate area to hot area or cold area it may be very bad and expensive error. Or if you have oil refinery and change producer of crude oil you may have to do significant adjustments in your process due to different composition. Or if you use certain component in your produce and manufacturer stops production you have to select another one. Anyting like these never happens in Factorio.

Factorio have supersimple world and Factorio's puzzles are usually extreme optimization of single simple parameter shown clearly on screen. It is very rare situation in engineering work (maybe some race car engineer can encounter such challenges). You can rely that blueprint work exactly similar way in your factory than in any others. In my opinion planning of production systems is the spirit of Factorio and I can not understand why Factorio is best choice for significantly different gaming, for example combat oriented. But if course it is just one silly opinion and if someone is entertained by another way it is OK. I have said that versatility is great strength of Factorio. Everyone can set own objectives, own restrictions and find own ways to achieve them. If using others blueprints is a part of that process anyone else should not nag cheating. That's why devs have made ways to deliver blueprints easily between players.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

Hannu wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:55 am
[...]
This sounds to me like removing the work aspects and keeping the fun.
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Hannu »

NotRexButCaesar wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 2:25 am
This sounds to me like removing the work aspects and keeping the fun.
It seems to be very common attitude with players and secret of success of this kind of games. However, I would like to have gamemode in which I should plan and build active control systems to adapt all kind of variations in conditions. It is in my opinion the most interesting thing in engineering work. Nagging boss, tight deadlines, strict budget restrictions and stupid safety and other regulations could be omitted for increasing entertaining value.

I have thought to program such a game (not public but some simple game or simulation for my own use) and began many times, but it is far too large project. I have also tendency to use tens of hours with some interesting mathematical detail and then begin a new idea. (Maybe all those nasty restrictions in work have some meaning.)

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Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by FinalNeuron »

I know this has probably been posted a thousand times. Skip if you're sick of hearing it. This idea was repeated in the April Fools post, so it made me want to say something.

"Blueprints ruin the fun of figuring something out for yourself." No, here's why:

1. This assumes that figuring out a given setup is fun for everyone. It isn't. Factorio is a game that becomes progressively more complex as you proceed. A lot of people will hit a point where the complexity stops being fun. Also, everyone enjoys the mechanics of the game differently. You might love doing wiring and logic but not figuring out a balancer setup. And all of this is fine.

2. This assumes you haven't already figured something out. If you have a truly complex setup and need something to help remember it, you can either load into a game every time you want to view it and pray you don't delete that game, or you can make a blueprint. One is obviously better. Also once you've performed a build enough times, it just becomes labor to put it together. You can say the same about copy-paste and robots. They reduce labor.

3. This assumes that viewing a blueprint ruins the fun of figuring it out yourself. But looking at other people's blueprints can be a source of inspiration. Even after looking at a good bit of blueprints, I still tend to use my own as they fit my playstyle and sense of aesthetic.

4. This assumes a lack of blueprints would stop people from copying other people's setups. Nope. They just make it easier.

5. This ignores that a blueprint can inspire you to refine and improve a build. The fact that you expect to use it over and over makes the desire to improve it even stronger, at least for me. The same goes for variants of blueprints.

I understand the devs' desire to not short circuit the gameplay. But you can't be people's game daddy. You gotta let them play in the way they enjoy.

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by FuryoftheStars »

I think it’s a very small, and definitely not vocal, part of the community that feel as though blueprints (or sharing there of) ruin fun.

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by Tertius »

@FinalNeuron I agree to everything you posted. In addition, blueprints are a tool for recording and saving your own designs. I design every blueprint myself I will use somewhere. I tinker and try for a long time, and at the end I save my creation as blueprint and use it in my game maps. It would be extremely tedious and not fun, if I had to rebuild a design from some screenshot I made from another map.

I'm confident you don't need to fear that blueprint functionality will get nerved or removed.

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by JimBarracus »

Its one thing to save your own blueprints and use them later.
Or just download a factory and just use someone elses design without understanding it.

I personally dont reuse my blueprints in another savegame. Creating new layouts is part of the fun to me.
Doing everything the same way every time is boring to me. Changing the playstyle makes this game even more replayable.

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by aka13 »

What does ruin my fun is that I can not edit blueprints, and can not correct tiny mistakes and oversights.
If I have a border segment, which is highly automated, with some circuit logic, and I want to change something, I will have to construct it to correct it.

But it is way way better with the new "change blueprint contents" button, than it was before, it makes editing way better.
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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by mmmPI »

FinalNeuron wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 5:42 pm
I know this has probably been posted a thousand times. Skip if you're sick of hearing it. This idea was repeated in the April Fools post, so it made me want to say something.

[super arguments]

I understand the devs' desire to not short circuit the gameplay. But you can't be people's game daddy. You gotta let them play in the way they enjoy.
( Welcome to the forum )

I want to give a more nuanced counter argument. My point would be " Blueprint CAN ruin fun ".

I am myself using a lot of blueprint, especially for sharing not so much for re-using, train junctions, combinators builds, or geometric pattern for solar pannel,( not so much part of the base)

I do not contest any of the 5 points that are mentionned.

However i have had experience of playing the game before there was blueprint, and also at the beginning of their implementation and followed the different update they receive.

My main "CRITIC" is more a "negative observation" rather than a critic of the blueprint system
. On multiplayer game it had the effect of reducing the diversity of builds.

On certain multiplayer game developped something that was non-existant before, which is the host of the multiplayer game copy paste empty blueprint right at the start at then people join in and act like bot who fillin the blanks.
Whereas before that there would be discussion between random players such as "what is needed ?" "what can be improved ?" "what is improperly functionning ?" "what to build next ?" , "how ?" and so on. Whereas now there is this possibility that the discussion is reduced to : " i have a base in blueprint" " nice just copy paste it ", or even this i see a lot "Do you have a blueprint for blue science ?".

The blueprint people can find on the internet can be excellent ! That could be demoralizing to try and make your own, for train junctions for example, there are many test that were done to measure them and find the most optimal. Knowing this makes you uses suboptimal junctions everytime, or the same one, everytime and then all train system look similar ( making them is fun for me personnaly but using them is boring imo, my regular train network are generally hand-drawn for the particular map i'm playing, then copy pasted during that game)

Another angle : i would compare it to a "god mode" or a "unlimited money" cheat code. Where in some game like World of Warcraft the "god mode" would allow one player to visit the whole world super fast, to kill every boss without tons of farming and preparation, to allow you to test different character very fast, and learn much faster and much more about the game combat mechanic and geography, you would do everything "faster" and "more conveniently" but on those games the "tedious" / "boring" part are supposed to be rewarding when they are over, the feeling of achievement comes from overcoming small challenges, choosing those challenges, finishing those. If the material reward such as the experience or gear where accessible without the "tedious" then the game mechanic to make player FEEL something would be altered. ( try a private server of a MMORPG with x10 or x100 or x1000 or x10 000 rates.) They are fun if you already know the game, you could do a character in a week if you have short holidays, or in a month, or in a year. Of course the memory and feeling of accomplishment that one player would retain after the playing time would differ in magnitude.

( i hope that doesn't too masochist, i'm not advocating for game being purposedly made into grind fest so that people enjoy when it's over :D i have always found that anti-natural to artificially create rarity, but then there are subtle mix from expert people that are very enjoyable, and obviously starting at max level and max gear would ruin the fun in those unless you go to a x10 000 rate server and you just go there to pvp like you would do in a moba game )


When you have "unlimited money", i'm talking here about management/ city building / gestion game, then the purpose of the game changes, instead of struggling to survive, or being constantly challenged for more, instead you can focus on aesthetic, take your time, experiment, and be more creative. It changes the purpose of the game somehow and i personnaly use those without "ruining my own fun". ( making beautiful cities with trees and parks and river rather than making tons of money with industy and taxes ).

Even in factorio i often advise other player to try it out without biters or pollution because it helped me when starting the game for the reasons of previous paragraph, but i would never advise them to start looking for blueprint. I think it only applies to some people during certain task the "do not spoil yourself you'll regret it". Not everyone enjoy x100 rate server for MMO, not everyone wants to go full sandbox, but some players at certain time or for certain things definitly enjoy those, therefore i advise what i think is more general/in line with the game according to my personnal belief than what i think has a (slight) risk of backfiring.

This is where i feel like i disagree on the discussion-enticing title, it's too assertive for my taste to say "THEY DON'T RUIN FUN", because for some players the multiplayer experience has changed to their displeasure. Since their existence, they are widely used, which means for those that dislike them their arrival was overwhelming. The very fact that they are broadly-used i think is enough to consider them overall as a very net positive in a cost/benefit approach at least for majority of players. However, i think for some (vocal) minority of players it may not be without (significant) negative aspect. (there are several thread on this forum from players asking for a way to block them, or prevent players from importing them it's not just me :p ).
Tertius wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 10:37 pm
I design every blueprint myself I will use somewhere. I tinker and try for a long time, and at the end I save my creation as blueprint and use it in my game maps. It would be extremely tedious and not fun, if I had to rebuild a design from some screenshot I made from another map.
And i have used some combinator blueprint made by Tertius ! i have designed some too using /editor , but those where only non-factory things, more like puzzle on their own which i enjoy, i mostly play without biters or pollution and don't re-use blueprints, i have played many games with different mod-pack to change the receipe to even prevent me from being tempted to re-use blueprints because i'm the kind of person for whom it would be ruining the fun :D

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by vjbone »

On certain multiplayer game developped something that was non-existant before, which is the host of the multiplayer game copy paste empty blueprint right at the start at then people join in and act like bot who fillin the blanks. Whereas before that there would be discussion between random players such as "what is needed ?" "what can be improved ?" "what is improperly functionning ?" "what to build next ?" , "how ?" and so on. Whereas now there is this possibility that the discussion is reduced to : " i have a base in blueprint" " nice just copy paste it ", or even this i see a lot "Do you have a blueprint for blue science ?".
That's why I don't play on random servers anymore.
BP have + and - but imo there is more +

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by Khagan »

Making, using and tweaking your own blueprints is a core part of Factorio gameplay.

Being inspired by other people's blueprints, and learning from them new ways of solving problems or optimising production, is a core part of the Factorio online community experience.

Using other people's blueprints without understanding them or even trying to make your own rather misses the whole point of the game.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Sorry for the delay, I've been awfully busy lately, so it took me some time to merge these very similar threads
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Blueprints don't ruin fun

Post by Hannu »

FinalNeuron wrote:
Tue Apr 12, 2022 5:42 pm
I know this has probably been posted a thousand times. Skip if you're sick of hearing it. This idea was repeated in the April Fools post, so it made me want to say something.

"Blueprints ruin the fun of figuring something out for yourself." No, here's why:

1. This assumes that figuring out a given setup is fun for everyone. It isn't. Factorio is a game that becomes progressively more complex as you proceed. A lot of people will hit a point where the complexity stops being fun. Also, everyone enjoys the mechanics of the game differently. You might love doing wiring and logic but not figuring out a balancer setup. And all of this is fine.

You are right. Fun is just personal opinion and they may vary. But it is quite difficult to understand very different opinions. It clearly is fun for many to get as efficient blueprints as possible and stamp them down until UPS decreases too annoying and see what production they get. But I can not understand it. But of course anyone plays how they feel the best.

Demands that some things I do not like to use should be removed from game is much worse than strange ways to play games. That keeps there discussions on. If you do not like something just do not use it or mod it better.

One problem is multiplaying but isn't there servers with different rule sets? Is it possible to ban imported blueprints if server's owner wants to restrict it?
I understand the devs' desire to not short circuit the gameplay. But you can't be people's game daddy. You gotta let them play in the way they enjoy.
Factorio's devs have been very supportive for variable playstyles even someone has demanded some things they do not like removed to changed many times. It makes Factorio so good that you can play with so many ways and change game by settings or mods to fit your personal preferences in extremely wide scale. But of course nothing is good for all. There are people who think it somehow breaks community because all plays with different rules. Fortunately for them, most modern games are extremely straightforward movie like experiences which do not give any real choices for players.

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