Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

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AlternativeFFFF
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Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by AlternativeFFFF »

For today’s 22nd issue of Alt-F4, Conor_ wanted to share his rather strong opinions on blueprints with us, and why they might prevent you from having the most fun while playing Factorio. We’re sure he’d be happy to hear your take on this, so please feel free to share it in the comments!

Continue reading: https://alt-f4.blog/ALTF4-22/

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by khalismur »

Don't like it? Don't use it. That was a pointless read :?

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

Don't like it? Don't use it. That was a pointless read :?
^^^

The blueprint Library does not imply copying things from the internet, people do. It isn't the fault of the game that players have formed large public collections of blueprints.

I think that the blueprint library is one of the most fun things that there is in the game: most of the time I play factorio I spend in the editor making blueprints for whatever I need as it comes up. Removing it would severely limit the replayablility and meta of the game.

Removing the blueprint library would also not, in fact, prevent people from taking builds from the internet: it would just make it more difficult.
I believe that the majority of players do not copy blueprints: you only see those that do because they tend to be the ones on the forums/reddit/discord.

Your example of a "novel" build that might come about without blueprints is not a good example: the 3:2 direct insertion of wires to circuits, and the sideways orientation are both intuitive and natural. The reason that the "normal" design is so popular is because it is easy to discover and makes sense. To me it seems that you only used that design because you wanted to be different, and not because it was natural.

As for a person bringing a "base in a book" blueprint: there are already settings available to people hosting servers that prevent outside blueprints from being imported. You should realize that it isn't the blueprint library that is the problem, it is the person playing that is the problem.
Last edited by NotRexButCaesar on Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by Bilka »

AmericanPatriot wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:24 pm
You should realize that it isn't the blueprint library that is the problem, it is the person playing that is the problem.
"Given the opportunity, players will optimize the fun out of a game."

Classic example: https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... _from_bps/
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by Bauer »

Take a moment to remember how the world was before the Internet...

Today, everything anyone ever thought or made is just two or three clicks away.
This makes it increasingly difficult to make something genuine -- at least something you think is genuine.
Copying is so much easier than creating. The temptation of the internet discourages to go the hard way.
Unfortunately, achieving challenging goals is what brings fun into our world.

However, there is no turning back. You cannot undo a thought that is out.
It doesn't make sense to complain about this.
I appreciate the Alt-F4 #22 nevertheless.
Make people aware. They might run less into this pitfall then.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by bormand »

That's why overhaul mods are nice. There are almost no ready-made blueprints for them, even if you want to use them.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by starlinvf »

Bauer wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:34 pm
Take a moment to remember how the world was before the Internet...

Today, everything anyone ever thought or made is just two or three clicks away.
This makes it increasingly difficult to make something genuine -- at least something you think is genuine.
Copying is so much easier than creating. The temptation of the internet discourages to go the hard way.
Unfortunately, achieving challenging goals is what brings fun into our world.

However, there is no turning back. You cannot undo a thought that is out.
It doesn't make sense to complain about this.
I appreciate the Alt-F4 #22 nevertheless.
Make people aware. They might run less into this pitfall then.
It doesn't just discourage originality, it can outright punish you for it. See youtube's long standing, and ongoing, poor handling of DMCA, content ID, and dispute assistance. And that includes the weaponization of the system as a means of censorship. In fact.... youtube as an arena is a case study in both the best and worst aspects of content creation, and the Creatives that produce it.

But on the other side we also have the audience that doesn't value creation as much it values consumption. More then willing to exploit what they find for personal benefit; but proactively, and proudly give nothing in return. Then theres the cultural spaces which value winning and success over everything else. Others where its preferable to litigate the difficulty out of a game, rather then invest in self improvement to overcome even minor obstacles.

Bilka's quote about players optimizing fun out of a game is even more painfully relevant today then it was before. Since, overall, there is less understanding and comprehension of the subject matter to begin with, and how it seems to embolden opinions in what I can only describe as a glorious display of Dunning-Kruger in action.

And don't even get me started on the schism phenomena prevalent in pretty much any online community. Like how they all agree a game should be more niche, and focus on what its good at.... and embark on outright blood feuds to decide whose niche gets to be in charge.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by SuicideJunkie »

TLDR:
Not sabotaging your own fun is an important point to keep in mind.

However, the difference between throwing down assemblers vs sub-factory blueprints doesn't matter so much as the creativity and fun you have doing it. It is only a different scale. Just make sure that you're not automating away the part that makes it fun for you!


Early game to me is about the wild west spaghetti base. Unique each time if you let it be. I usually heap the spaghetti as thick and deep as possible before it breaks down and I switch over. (By the time I'm launching the rocket, the early game base is an arcane fossilized wonder, enclosed in the museum of the rail block around the origin, and the bigger the better IMO!)
After that, things get organized and truly industrial with grids and specialized zones, and copy/paste/blueprints appear in force. However, the design space has simply risen a level of abstraction: you're placing smelting/assembly complexes instead of single assemblers, you're finding room between lakes instead of between cliffs and forests, and you're arranging them relative to the other complexes instead of single assemblers.

I for one make a fair bit of use of the blueprint library for my own stuff and haven't pulled anything down from the internet for it.
It is very handy for bringing designs forward through different games. Everyone will have their own personal threshold for what is drudgery, and what is fun new design work. Working out the exact same problem repeatedly is a chore, so mine is mostly combinator logic, grids, intersections and power plants which only change overall location between games, plus a smattering of temporary stuff for my in-progress game.

Currently my blueprint library includes:
- The 7-segment digital display I made myself after getting the basic idea online. (The sad old Mk1 from many years ago, the chainable Mk2, and the EZ-read chonky-font mk3 in different books)
- Standard set of power bricks (substation surrounded by solar/accumulators/balanced mix)
- Railway books from various games with different gauges. (Classic, wide gauge, wide gauge 2020)
- Railway safety crossing designs (with walls & gates and blinky red lights!) I made to keep Dad from getting mashed on the tracks so much.
- A couple of extra loose oddball railway blueprints I should delete.
- In progress prototype of my combinator-based game -in- game. (I do some work on it during different runs when I'm idling around waiting for science or something)
- My Mk2 nuclear reactor (4-banger with safety logic)
- My Mk3 nuclear reactor (8-banger, with digital display for steam GJ and MW output, and logic to account for fresh steam being injected so it doesn't affect the MW value)
- Giant stackable light grid & data shifter (plots 5-bit data down an arbitrary length time history, minimal color support)
- Yet another railway book for Krastorio gauges
- Fancy railway book that uses the new feature of the snap-grid blueprints
- Book of all the module upgrade planner options.
- Even more railway designs for spaceEx from Dad.
- A posh landing pad with warning concrete and marquee lighting around it for spaceEx. (components are all stock, could be useful elsewhere maybe)
- "Operation Hot Pocket" - compact nuclear reactor and laser fortress with personnel rocket silo and resource receiver for quickly securing a base of operations on a hostile spaceEx planet. (Multiple variants, still working the bugs out. Somewhat obsolete thanks to the high tech Operation Disco Inferno where we simply drop in multiple players with power armor and an army of spidertrons with lasers all over)
- Couple of space ships, for verifying there will be room for the actual ship at new landing pads.

The only one of those I keep in my pocket / toolbelt is the current game's railway book; others I pull from the library on demand and put straight back.

If I did bigger bases, I'd probably have a smelting book and some intermediate fabber books too, but I mostly play a low throughput, high patience, max productivity style where one assembler is enough for most things other than circuits. Copy/paste gets use there rather than explicitly archiving it into the library.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by atomizer »

Ah yes, let's argue against blueprints while filling the article full of random setups that I can't avoid looking at. Didn't read the whole thing, had to just close the tab.

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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by ptx0 »

nice, let's write some polarising content to get more traction to the site. i guess it worked. good job guys.
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Re: Alt-F4 #22 - Blueprint Rant

Post by ochrid-fact »

An easy option to disable blueprints (but not copy+paste) in a multiplayer game would be nice. While the permission system has options for that, it's quite complicated.

Blueprints of course have their use. I can't deny that. I'd wish more games had that. Managing good blueprint libraries is a game and artform in itself.

Personally, I have no problem, when people can't be bothered to figure out yellow science for the millionth of time and just plot some blueprint down.

What I actually dislike is, when the progression of starter, middle and late game base is not honored. Those beaconed mk3 modules setups that keep blinking forever coz it's just a couple of hours multiplayer and nobody intends to make it yet another megabase and there is no way we ever manage to have that many mk3's. Even things like having a small starter base, and next thing is someone putting down a blueprint for some very evolved way to produce 4 belts of green circuits.

Slow down a little with those blueprints. It's not a megabase, yet.

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