Bootstrapping with wind power

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FrozenOne
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Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by FrozenOne »

Wind power has been discussed many times, but let me show my opinion on how it would fit well in current game.

Let Wind wheel be basic building available from start. It can cost 10 iron plates, 4 cogwheels and 6 copper wires, it would produce very variable power (wind changes) of 1 to 20 watts.

This would allow player to use the windmill to supply the single electric mining drill mining _slowly_ to get materials needed for steam engines (that would be made a bit more expensive), boilers, pumps, pipes, electric poles.

Player would have a choice of using burner drills to either get materials for windmills or for much faster mining of materials for steam power plants. Ballanced so that little bit of work on burners = much faster start, but not needed if player doesn't want to.

As many people want water pump require electricity, this windmill would be later used to start steam power by pumping water, mining coal and inserting it into boilers before steam engines take over.

Later in game, player can research modern air turbine, giving him building that can generate 5-100 watts day and night, but still very variable - another choice to solar plants.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by JackGruff »

I like this. It would help create more humble beginnings in the game instead of progressing to these big steam engines so quickly.

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ssilk
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by ssilk »

Yes. That's nice.

The windmill can either produce power or can pump. That's the pump, which can start up/restart the steam engines.
(That would also make it possible to create belts, that use power. Let's say 0.1 watt per tile.)


Next logical step: the windmill pumps water in a storage and a water turbine (an inverted pump) let the water flow back into the lake, making power. First "accumulators" :)
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by cube »

Nice idea!
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by SilverWarior »

I just suggested something similar in Pump power usage thread.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by BurnHard »

ssilk wrote:The windmill can either produce power or can pump. That's the pump, which can start up/restart the steam engines.
(That would also make it possible to create belts, that use power. Let's say 0.1 watt per tile.)
Well I am on your side, but I dont think we would need the dual-use of the windmill. Just creating a litte power with the windmill will be enough, to start the electric pumps and the electric inserters to feed the first steam boiler with coal.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by ssilk »

Was only the idea, because this kind of windmill was most used for pumping water. I want to count the possible usages.

Another point: a steam locomotive should need water. It's not always nice to bring water from far away to some storages. Much better to set up a pump, which pumps the water from ground.
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by Coolthulhu »

With the way it is formulated now, it would make sense to create huge fields of windmills next to each other with a handful of steam engines/accumulators to balance loads. That would make them solars lvl -1. Why not just make solars cheaper, weaker and available from the start?
Or allow the player to manually "mine" water to bootstrap things powered by it.

The only new thing I see them bringing to the game is the random power output. And it's not a good thing - needless randomness adds more complexity than depth to the game.

Water turbines would fit the game better.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by FrozenOne »

No that wouldn't make sense. With 10 watts output one would need 60 windwheels instead of one steam engine, which is totally unreal and would cost many times the resources and also taking big area that would need to be defended against biters, and also large numbers of accumulators for cases when wind dies for longer durations.

The point of ballance is, make it possible, but certainly not optimal to use just one energy source. Wind can go well with solar to provide some ecological energy during night and thus reduce the number of accumulators needed. With fossil power in reserve in case wind fails.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by Coolthulhu »

FrozenOne wrote:No that wouldn't make sense. With 10 watts output one would need 60 windwheels instead of one steam engine, which is totally unreal and would cost many times the resources and also taking big area that would need to be defended against biters
If this was true, no one would build solar farms.

Once again: as presented now, windmills are weaker solars. Except with the ugly randomness in the phase that already suffers the most from randomness forcing the player to manually do things. After you get accus, they become just weaker solars. With accus and solars, windmills can be approximated as constant per night (total energy per night would have distribution very similar to Gaussian).

So:
Solars during the day, accus and mills in the night. If windmills are significantly weaker than solars, why not just build accus and solars? If not, why not scrap solars? There's no real synergy here. Windmills fill the same niche as solars.
Also, this niche is not needed until mid game. If windmills were to be weaker than solars, this would make them completely useless except for the very early game when you don't yet want to make the first steam engine+boilers+belt track. If they were to be stronger, this would make solars useless. If they were to be equal, this would make having both a minuscule amount better than having just one or the other.

I'm not against the windmills being in, they just need something to make them unique. If they were to be "solars except random instead of day/night and with different cost and output", they'd be just feature bloat and wouldn't add depth to the game.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by n9103 »

To sum up cool's arguments: Work to put in/Develop as well as use in game > In-game need or usefulness.
Colonel Failure wrote:You can lose your Ecologist Badge quite quickly once you get to the point of just being able to murder them willy-nilly without a second care in the world.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by ssilk »

I would like this randomness in the campaign. The player has to deal with this. Need to switch on/off the not so important things, depending on power. And I think that this works also for the rest of the game.

Btw. This problem is also true for any ecological power production. I think this is a very good theme and I bet, that there are some, which write articles over factorio, just because of that.
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by FrozenOne »

Coolthulhu wrote: If windmills are significantly weaker than solars, why not just build accus and solars?
Because accus are expensive as hell on copper - 20 circuits. Some power from iron/steel windmills can slow depletion of accus during the night so one doesn't need that many.
Coolthulhu wrote:If not, why not scrap solars?
Because they give more energy per material used and they are stable source during day.
Coolthulhu wrote:this would make them completely useless except for the very early game
That was the plan, it's in the topic name. First small windmills, solar farms need to be researched. Better windmill researched long after solar.

The ballance is important, you name the extremes, but i aim between them. Extremes possible, but inefficient on resources, optimum is in the middle, devs should place it there, player should be searching for it to be better. I don't think using the same number of solars and windmills is bad, it certainly looks better than monocultural latifundia of solar panels.

If it'd make you feel better, large wind turbines could have some property to limit crowding them. Like "too close to other windmill" - cant build message. Or (because of slowing down the wind) adding another windmill close to others reduces output of all in radius by 10 %. This would encourage clumping solars together, while spreading windmills here and there on bigger areas, to add another trade-off difference - iron vs copper, day vs night, space vs performance.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by Coolthulhu »

FrozenOne wrote:Because accus are expensive as hell on copper - 20 circuits. Some power from iron/steel windmills can slow depletion of accus during the night so one doesn't need that many.
Makes sense, though the cost of windmills would need to be heavily skewed towards iron/steel for it to matter.
FrozenOne wrote: Because they give more energy per material used and they are stable source during day.
Stability is either not a concern or too much of a concern to rely on wind, depending on how much you rely on laser turrets.
If wind changed often, accus would balance it out well.
If wind changed slowly, having both solars and mills (instead of more accus) would put you at risk if weak wind and nighttime coincided.
If wind changed at moderate speed, you could achieve the same effect with more accus to balance things out.

Lower output/cost just makes them solars lvl -1 here.
FrozenOne wrote: That was the plan, it's in the topic name. First small windmills, solar farms need to be researched. Better windmill researched long after solar.
No, I mean very very early game.
Once you get your first electric drill on coal field, steam is the way to go until you can mass-produce solars. Even with solars available from the start, steam would be better early on. For the small windmills to be useful past the "burner inserter age" (5-15 minutes in game), they'd need to compete with solars.
FrozenOne wrote: The ballance is important, you name the extremes, but i aim between them. Extremes possible, but inefficient on resources, optimum is in the middle, devs should place it there, player should be searching for it to be better. I don't think using the same number of solars and windmills is bad, it certainly looks better than monocultural latifundia of solar panels.
I've explained why the extremes are better (more efficient on resources) than the middle. You didn't show why would that be wrong, you just stated it is.
Also, it doesn't look better. Have you ever seen a field of solar panels with wind turbines in between? Probably not, because in vast majority of cases you have one or the other. Even in Total Annihilation.
FrozenOne wrote: If it'd make you feel better, large wind turbines could have some property to limit crowding them. Like "too close to other windmill" - cant build message. Or (because of slowing down the wind) adding another windmill close to others reduces output of all in radius by 10 %. This would encourage clumping solars together, while spreading windmills here and there on bigger areas, to add another trade-off difference - iron vs copper, day vs night, space vs performance.
I thought about anti-crowding, but large wind turbines weren't mentioned back then, so I didn't consider them. It would make sense if large wind turbines were more effective than solars. Then there would be an actual choice to be made: cover and protect a large field of windmills vs use up lots of resources on solars. Though it would also result in ugly combos, like turbines with solars around them, so it would be a good idea to have mills also reduce output of at least some of the nearby solars (shade and all).
Also, if the most efficient energy production was solars with some turbines in between, it would remove the choice. Having more things that don't result in more choices increases the complexity of the game while not increasing the depth. For example, having to put a turbine between every 3 solars would be tedious for the player, but wouldn't add any "fun", because there's no decision to be made - there's an obvious optimum.

To sum up: good points are iron vs copper and area vs cost. There's no real synergy between solar and wind - they compete with, not support each other. Night doesn't make things different - you can't survive on just solars and mills, you always need accus and with accus you can scrap one of mills or solars.

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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by ssilk »

FrozenOne wrote: If it'd make you feel better, large wind turbines could have some property to limit crowding them. Like "too close to other windmill" - cant build message. Or (because of slowing down the wind) adding another windmill close to others reduces output of all in radius by 10 %. This would encourage clumping solars together, while spreading windmills here and there on bigger areas, to add another trade-off difference - iron vs copper, day vs night, space vs performance.
The windmills could introduce entities, which are smaller at the bottom, but bigger in the air, so that you cannot place windmills too near together.

I see the threads, which show layout examples for the optimal balance between windmills, solar and accu on the smallest possible space. :)

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Weather?!

Post by ssilk »

Sorry for double post.
Coolthulhu wrote:To sum up: good points are iron vs copper and area vs cost. There's no real synergy between solar and wind - they compete with, not support each other.
Hm. I see not competing them. It's a game with the weather! Including the weather into the game would give many opportunities!

Assuming, the weather plays really a role, then - logically - the tendency, that when we have optimal solar output will lower the chance for optimal wind-output. And vice versa: It's not very usual, that at very high wind, there are no clouds.

I throw in one more thing to the weather: The planet surrounds not only the sun. It surround a gas gigant. And depending on it's way around the sun, it could happen, that we have long solar eclipses. And what now?
Night doesn't make things different - you can't survive on just solars and mills, you always need accus and with accus you can scrap one of mills or solars.
Oh. Hm. No. You can live without accus. I made many tries with it. Making whole mining sites with solar only. That makes sense, if you want to have not so high pollution.

And there is another point: I think it's an important step to come to a game, where you need much more control about the flow of energy. Currently not needed, cause it's always there and always the same. But think for a longer solar eclipse and low wind: You need to switch off parts of the factory.

Not sure, where that ends, but I want back this thrilling elements, when the night comes and your energy suddenly drops. Not sure if anybody else like that, but I would.
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Re: Weather?!

Post by Coolthulhu »

ssilk wrote: Hm. I see not competing them. It's a game with the weather! Including the weather into the game would give many opportunities!

Assuming, the weather plays really a role, then - logically - the tendency, that when we have optimal solar output will lower the chance for optimal wind-output. And vice versa: It's not very usual, that at very high wind, there are no clouds.

I throw in one more thing to the weather: The planet surrounds not only the sun. It surround a gas gigant. And depending on it's way around the sun, it could happen, that we have long solar eclipses. And what now?
That would be a cool challenge map, but I would hate it to be the part of the core game.
Balancing things by making them randomly less reliable is among the hardest things to balance and for player it means pretty much only "build some extra energy source to counter the RNG fuckery".

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More weather...............

Post by ssilk »

I think it could be just a switch:

Weather-Control
O Planet is around a gas-gigant (solar eclipses happens depending on it's way around it and the ecliptic to the sun)
O Wind speed changes between 5-100% randomly [The "from-to" can be set by the player]
O Clouds: more wind but less sun-power
O Different temperatures (influences growth of biomes and natives) [This is a new idea I just had]
O Weather-forecast station predicts for about 3 days (30 game minutes) with 50% reliability. [also a new idea]

Imagine to this situation: The weather-forecast-station tells you, that it is low wind within the next days. Ideal for the solar panels, but it tells you also the next eclipse is only 10 minutes away and will last 10 minutes. Also it tells you, because it was warm, the natives had much eggs and this means, they will come in masses during that night. You get in hurry, try to switch off all you can to store as much power as possible. Then you see, that there are not enough coal anymore. So you begin to create a new coal supply in the middle of the night...

I really would like such hardcore elements that frightens me to the end, if I can manage those 10 minutes, until the morning dawns. :)

Maybe this is cool, maybe I was wrong. :)
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by Gammro »

It certainly sounds cool to me :D . However, it is (semi-)random difficulty not every player wants to be bothered with. So if it's implemented, it should be an option to set at the start of a game for freeplay, and maybe a feature of (some) campaign maps(where it might be integrated to the difficulty settings?)

I understand the game shouldn't be too overwhelming to new players, but don't forget about the people who have been playing for a while who have some more knowledge of how things work and to spice it up.
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Re: Bootstrapping with wind power

Post by ssilk »

The "O"s above are the check-box to switch it of. Because I think sometimes that would bother me too. And I admit that it is a bit too much in the beginning, that's because it should be switched off.

But the essence for me is: It's the right direction. I think the gameplay can be changed radically and a player can create a true green production when going a bit more into that direction. There we have the "current way", which is: Going for steam engines, going for some solar, some accu (or keeping at steam) and the other way is going for green, having windmills and going so the research for the anti-pollution module is much easier in some way... dunno how yet.
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