Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

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Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by JackTheSpades »

TL;DR
There should be a second, probably more wasteful, recipe for lubricant than just 10 Heavy Oil as it is the only fluid based recipe that requires you to produce "waste" products along with it.
What ?
I think that the current way lubricant is being produced is somewhat of a flaw in the otherwise perfectly balanced fluid system the game presents.
Not to say the recipe itself should change but there should be an alternative even if said alternative is clearly more wasteful. Like maybe using raw Crude Oil itself somehow?
I'm not really about HOW the alternate recipe should look like but just the fact that there should be one.

Reading this, your first thought is probably that I'm just bad at handling my fluids but I'd argue that the flaw is not with me here.
Refineries work in such a way that they ALWAYS produce Heavy Oil, Light Oil and Petroleum Gas, just in different ratios. This, in my humble opinion is an ingenious idea as it forces you to build increasingly complex fluid systems with pumps, tanks and circuit conditions if you want to get the most out of it as all 3 will stop being produced if one of them if full... and that is also the problem, but ONLY for lubricant.

Lets go through the three of them real quick to illustrate why I think it's a problem, and not just mismanaging of my fluids.
  • Petroleum:
    Arguably the most needed of the 3 for plastic and sulfur. If you can't produce petroleum because you've got too much heavy oil? Crack it into light oil. If you can't produce because you've got too much light oil? Crack it into petroleum. The circle closes and you have what you need.
  • Light Oil:
    The only real purpose of light oil (other than cracking into petroleum) is Solid Fuel, as it is the most efficient to use. So what if you can't produce light oil because you've got too much heavy oil? Crack it into light oil and the circle closes. What if you can't produce because you've got too much petroleum? Use the alternate recipe to create solid fuel using petroleum instead. Once again, the circle closes as you get the end product you wanted to begin with. It's more wasteful but seeing as your initial problem was having too much of it anyway, I see no problem.
  • Heavy Oil:
    Used to create Lubricant (and cracking). If you can't produce because you have too much light oil or petroleum...
    ...
    You're done. There is no workaround. No circle to be closed here. Your only option is to start WASTING light oil and petroleum on other (for lubricant irrelevant) productions.
Why ?
This, rather unexpectedly, happened to me recently. I was building outposts with nothing else (e.g. no research) going on at the meantime. So I was using tons of blue belts, rails, inserters and so on. After about two hours I noticed, to my surprise, I had run out of lubricant. Turns out I was not using anything else in terms of fluid production. No plastic, sulfur or solid fuel. So my tanks for light oil and petroleum were filled to the brim while heavy oil was emptied out. I just tore down the tanks and replaced them as a quick fix but as I pondered the problem I realized there wasn't really a work around.
Sure, I could produce excess plastic/sulfur/fuel but... I didn't need any. They would just flood my storage chests which just delays the problem as I'd have to place down more and more whenever they fill up.
I didn't want to replace my electric furnaces with stone ones just so I could burn my solid fuel or something.

So, why provide an alternative recipe?
Because you literally can't make lubricant without also making something else... unlike any other fluid based recipe. You can set up an entire oil processing side and only produce plastic. You can setup one that only produces sulfur and one that only produces solid fuel.
But with Lubricant? You cannot produce it without also producing a "waste" product that in no way ties back to what you actually want at the moment.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by ptx0 »

two words for you; coal liquefaction.

instead of focusing on the lack of alternate methods to lubricant, you forgot to find an alternate method to heavy oil.

and coal liquefaction will give you tons of that, use the small amount of its byproduct for rocket fuel and launch more rockets.
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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by coppercoil »

You can "compress" excess oil and petroleum by producing rocket fuel for white science.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by netmand »

Am I the only one that thinks these sorts of problems can be solved with the game as is?

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by JackTheSpades »

ptx0 wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:05 pm
two words for you; coal liquefaction.

instead of focusing on the lack of alternate methods to lubricant, you forgot to find an alternate method to heavy oil.

and coal liquefaction will give you tons of that, use the small amount of its byproduct for rocket fuel and launch more rockets.
I already am. That doesn't change the fact that, if you're full on light oil and petroleum, you can't run coal liquefaction either.
coppercoil wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:12 pm
You can "compress" excess oil and petroleum by producing rocket fuel for white science.
I realize that this is a possibility. Just like I could be putting up some iron chest for extra plastic or sulfur. The problem is, I'm still producing a waste product I don't need (right now). If all I need is lubrication than I still need to make sure that I always have enough storage room somewhere to put the excess rocket fuel.
I get that calling it "waste" might seem a bit weird but to me, if a production enforces me to produce something else, regardless of whether I actually need it or not, then it's waste (for now).
And as I said, lubricant is the only recipe with this problem. Neither fluid nor outside have this issue of enforcing side products. Even nuclear cells, which ultimately produce burned out nuclear cells as "waste", can be fully recycled for new cells.

Any production line in the game can be set up to only produce one targeted product. Any except lubrication.
netmand wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:43 pm
Am I the only one that thinks these sorts of problems can be solved with the game as is?
Please elaborate? But please also note my replies to coppercoil and ptx0

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by coppercoil »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:14 pm
I get that calling it "waste" might seem a bit weird but to me, if a production enforces me to produce something else, regardless of whether I actually need it or not, then it's waste (for now).
Maybe we could say "production enforces to think about future, not about present only"? Maybe you can achieve even higher density per chest if you convert plastic into red or blue chips, or modules. You will need a lot of these, just plan ahead.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by netmand »

There are plenty of problems to solve in Factorio. Advanced Oil is one that I'm glad they have in place; one oil refinery producing three products, how will you manage them? I like the challenge this brings to the game.

If you have excess light oil and petroleum gas; you must solve these problems. This is not the game's problem to solve by giving you extra recipes because you are playing a certain way. You must adapt your play and change your approach.

If I were the developers, I would call lubricant an intentional limitation in comparison to the other oils to challenge your factory operation skills and strategy. Some thoughtful suggestions were already made, how about re-prioritizing your build plan? The game is more than lubricant and the products it makes.

Still not seeing my point? There's nothing stopping you from finding or making a mod that does what you want. I wouldn't call lubricant flawed in of itself.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by ptx0 »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:14 pm
ptx0 wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:05 pm
two words for you; coal liquefaction.

instead of focusing on the lack of alternate methods to lubricant, you forgot to find an alternate method to heavy oil.

and coal liquefaction will give you tons of that, use the small amount of its byproduct for rocket fuel and launch more rockets.
I already am. That doesn't change the fact that, if you're full on light oil and petroleum, you can't run coal liquefaction either.
coppercoil wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:12 pm
You can "compress" excess oil and petroleum by producing rocket fuel for white science.
I realize that this is a possibility. Just like I could be putting up some iron chest for extra plastic or sulfur. The problem is, I'm still producing a waste product I don't need (right now). If all I need is lubrication than I still need to make sure that I always have enough storage room somewhere to put the excess rocket fuel.
I get that calling it "waste" might seem a bit weird but to me, if a production enforces me to produce something else, regardless of whether I actually need it or not, then it's waste (for now).
And as I said, lubricant is the only recipe with this problem. Neither fluid nor outside have this issue of enforcing side products. Even nuclear cells, which ultimately produce burned out nuclear cells as "waste", can be fully recycled for new cells.

Any production line in the game can be set up to only produce one targeted product. Any except lubrication.
netmand wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:43 pm
Am I the only one that thinks these sorts of problems can be solved with the game as is?
Please elaborate? But please also note my replies to coppercoil and ptx0
well, you are probably using too many blue belt everywhere for your current consumption level. you outlined all the issues in your initial post, hence, no need to change the game. how has everyone else been doing it? maybe start by asking there.
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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by JackTheSpades »

coppercoil wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:35 pm
Maybe we could say "production enforces to think about future, not about present only"? Maybe you can achieve even higher density per chest if you convert plastic into red or blue chips, or modules. You will need a lot of these, just plan ahead.
It's not that I don't agree with being able to be efficient. Producing things ahead of time isn't per se bad either. It's just that the process is open ended. Even if I already have 20 chests filled to the brim with blue circuits, I still NEED to make more. Maybe I've run out of blue belts and just go off screen for a while to let production fill up again only to come back and see nothing got done because my blue circuits chest was full (or whatever else I'm producing).

I am, after all, not asking them to change the lubricant recipe, I'm asking if they couldn't add a second (worse) one. Just like they have multiple solid fuel recipes. Which, as I stated in my listing above, is what you can use if you can't produce light oil to to excess petroleum. Sure, using petroleum for solid fuel is somewhat wasteful do costing 20 instead of 10 light oil but you still get the same end product using something you had excess of anyway.
netmand wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:47 pm
If you have excess light oil and petroleum gas; you must solve these problems. This is not the game's problem to solve by giving you extra recipes because you are playing a certain way. You must adapt your play and change your approach.
Then what about the 3 recipes for solid fuel? As I said in my listing above, you'd generally use light oil but what if you can't because you've got too much heavy oil? Crack it. If you have too much petroleum? Use IT for solid fuel instead. It's more wasteful sure (20 petroleum vs. 10 light oil) but it is a workaround with the same end product.

Hence I'm just asking for the same to apply for lubrication by adding a second probably worse, recipe for it. Say (random) 20 crude oil and 10 water or something? It's obviously worse than just using 10 heavy oil but that's the point. As is already precedent by solid fuel.

I also feel that this doesn't necessarily lie in "my approach" because I literally have to do it. If I build an outpost with miners and bottleneck the whole thing through on yellow belt, that's on me. If the game says I can't produce heavy oil because I'm full on all the other stuff and keep on having to manually fix it by adding chests or just tearing down the tanks and replacing them... that seems to go against the core idea of the game.

Factorio is incredibly flexible and as such it allows for tons of workaround when stuff doesn't work as intended for your approach. Yet lubrication is somehow the only item on the list that doesn't allow for any of that.
For example, if I wanted to build an "outpost" that just produces blue belts... I can't do that. Because I'm gonna have excess petroleum / light oil. It it smart to build such an outpost? Probably not but usually Factorio's flexibility allows players to make their own random decisions like that. Just like how three different solid fuel recipes allow you to go about things in whatever weird way you want.
netmand wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:47 pm
Still not seeing my point? There's nothing stopping you from finding or making a mod that does what you want. I wouldn't call lubricant flawed in of itself.
I know it says so in the forum description and whatnot but I somewhat hate it when people say "make a mod" as a solution. I see mods as something to enhance the game, not fix it.

If devs were to shoot the idea down... then yeah.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by JackTheSpades »

ptx0 wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:09 pm
well, you are probably using too many blue belt everywhere for your current consumption level. you outlined all the issues in your initial post, hence, no need to change the game. how has everyone else been doing it? maybe start by asking there.
... I'm producing 850 science packs a minute at mining productivity 55 and counting. I do need my blue belts.
As I said in my first post, this whole problem initially came to my attention because one of my (early and small) outposts had exhausted it's resources so I moved it and made a new, way bigger one. In the process of which I ended up exhausting my stored up lubrication.
It wasn't a big problem as I just tore down my other fluid tanks and thus effectively just erased the content before placing empty ones down again to kickstart my production.
But for a game where the entire purpose is to keep manual intervention to a minimum this is something that shouldn't happen.

It's not an issue while researching as my "excess" petroleum and light oil are used thus making room for the refineries to work again (and thus producing heavy oil) but it IS an issue if my outpost is down and I have to make a new one while no tech can be researched due to said outpost being down.

I realize that there solutions for my specific problem like making more outposts before they run dry and always be researching to use up those excess fluids but that seems more like dealing with the symptoms and less like dealing with the cause.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by coppercoil »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:33 pm
Factorio is incredibly flexible and as such it allows for tons of workaround when stuff doesn't work as intended for your approach.[..]
For example, if I wanted to build an "outpost" that just produces blue belts... I can't do that.
I think Factorio shouldn't be too flexible. It must be difficult too. Outpost for blue belts only would be too easy. You shouldn't expect to build closed ecosystheme for single production only.
JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:33 pm
Even if I already have 20 chests filled to the brim with blue circuits, I still NEED to make more.
How about 1000 chests? That's not so bad as it sounds.
Do you plan to use Productivity 3 or Speed 3 modules in the future? These recipes are hungry as hell and will consume literally anyhing.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by dudeTheory »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:42 pm
... I'm producing 850 science packs a minute at mining productivity 55 and counting. I do need my blue belts.
As I said in my first post, this whole problem initially came to my attention because one of my (early and small) outposts had exhausted it's resources so I moved it and made a new, way bigger one. In the process of which I ended up exhausting my stored up lubrication.
It wasn't a big problem as I just tore down my other fluid tanks and thus effectively just erased the content before placing empty ones down again to kickstart my production.
...
It's not an issue while researching as my "excess" petroleum and light oil are used thus making room for the refineries to work again (and thus producing heavy oil) but it IS an issue if my outpost is down and I have to make a new one while no tech can be researched due to said outpost being down.
Initially I was just thinking hey man you're just doing it wrong. :lol:
Even though your situation hasn't happened to me, I totally get what you are saying.

Just to restate your problem:
Currently, there is no alternative method to create lubricant from other petroleum fluids other than heavy oil.
In the event you are full up on light oil and gas, but no heavy oil your refineries won't run, and thus can't produce lubricant.
You are looking for an alternative recipe that allows you to convert something else to lubricant, even if the recipe is inefficient.
Example: petroleum gas to lubricant,
Your reasoning is because other products have alternate recipes that can close a production loop, and eliminate fluid backups.

Did you know? You can totally create a mod for that? LOL I"M KIDDING. :lol:

When you run in to a situation, you're like, oh man I wish the game could do that thing it can't.
I can follow your reasoning and it makes pretty good sense. I don't know if the devs will honor this request.

In the meantime...
I like this game because of it's insane flexibility.
The situation that you ran into seems like a rare one, but you still need a fix that isn't performed manually. I hate having to delete tanks.
SO... here's what I do...
My circuit condition for heavy to light oil is enable the pump when heavy oil is greater than 24k, otherwise all of it is converted to lubricant.

This allows you to bank the heavy oil and keep a reserve for lubricant, any excess heavy oil gets converted to light.
You can probably change the value to how much or how little heavy oil you want to reserve.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by JackTheSpades »

coppercoil wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:49 pm
I think Factorio shouldn't be too flexible. It must be difficult too.
I mean, the actual goal of the game is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Launching a rocket that is. How good your production is at this point might add some hours but still.
I'd say the difficulty comes from going beyond that with infinite research and megabases. Optimizing your factory to get the most out of things. If there was one defined way of doing that, there wouldn't be any fun. You could just download the blueprint and copy/paste everything. The flexibility allows everyone to take their own approach.
Also, as a side note. If there were two recipes for lubricant it would technically add to the difficulty as well in having people figure out the best way to go about and which is more efficient (if one isn't clearly better).
coppercoil wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:49 pm
How about 1000 chests? That's not so bad as it sounds.
Do you plan to use Productivity 3 or Speed 3 modules in the future? These recipes are hungry as hell and will consume literally anyhing.
I have yet to run out of Third Modules...
Look, the point isn't really about whether I can do something else or whether it be smarter to do things this or that way. The point to me is that lubricant is literally the only thing in the entire game that requires you to provide extra space for whatever side product you're forced to make. The precedent of Solid Fuel from 20 Heavy Oil, which for all intents and purposes is completely useless and wasteful, shows that the game is willing to provide alternatives and let the player figure it out for themselves.
dudeTheory wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:53 pm
My circuit condition for heavy to light oil is enable the pump when heavy oil is greater than 24k, otherwise all of it is converted to lubricant.
Well yeah. I literally have the except same circuit condition setup but, as you yourself already summarized:
dudeTheory wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:53 pm
In the event you are full up on light oil and or gas, but no heavy oil your refineries won't run, and thus can't produce lubricant.
The circuit condition is mood if I'm fresh out of heavy oil and can't produce more :P

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by Khagan »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:54 am
The point to me is that lubricant is literally the only thing in the entire game that requires you to provide extra space for whatever side product you're forced to make.
Perhaps the only thing in the infinite game (i.e. when you have all non-infinite tech), but in the midgame (before uranium-tipped ammo and Kovarex enrichment) you can accumulate huge piles of useless U238 while extracting natural U235 for nuclear power.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by ptx0 »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:42 pm
I realize that there solutions for my specific problem like making more outposts before they run dry and always be researching to use up those excess fluids but that seems more like dealing with the symptoms and less like dealing with the cause.
research is intended as the resource sink that drives everything forward. it is definitely what you should be doing, that is why it is infinite.

you could also crack every byproduct down to solid fuel and then burn that in an array of boilers -> steam turbines for power?
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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by leadraven »

Duplicate:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=64674

Ans yes, I totally agree with TS. The difference between theorists and practitioners is clearly visible in this example. Practitioners say : increase storages, use Coal Liquefaction, usually gas is most demanded... Theorists say : none of this solves the problem completelly.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by coppercoil »

I'm just curious: what is your current lubricant production level? 850 SPM should be high enough to balance oil consumption.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by varundevan »

i see the logic , and the hole in the loop
there probably should be more than one source for lubricant.
I reality petroleum is the key ingredient for lubricants.

i would suggest the ability to crack lubricant from petroleum

in the beginning i ran in to excess of one fluid (heavy oil) but i add tanks everytime, after this post i learned the possibilities of running an efficient system.
Good post
Last edited by varundevan on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by planetmaker »

JackTheSpades wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:33 pm
Hence I'm just asking for the same to apply for lubrication by adding a second probably worse, recipe for it. Say (random) 20 crude oil and 10 water or something? It's obviously worse than just using 10 heavy oil but that's the point. As is already precedent by solid fuel.

I also feel that this doesn't necessarily lie in "my approach" because I literally have to do it. If I build an outpost with miners and bottleneck the whole thing through on yellow belt, that's on me. If the game says I can't produce heavy oil because I'm full on all the other stuff and keep on having to manually fix it by adding chests or just tearing down the tanks and replacing them... that seems to go against the core idea of the game.

Factorio is incredibly flexible and as such it allows for tons of workaround when stuff doesn't work as intended for your approach. Yet lubrication is somehow the only item on the list that doesn't allow for any of that.
For example, if I wanted to build an "outpost" that just produces blue belts... I can't do that. Because I'm gonna have excess petroleum / light oil. It it smart to build such an outpost? Probably not but usually Factorio's flexibility allows players to make their own random decisions like that. Just like how three different solid fuel recipes allow you to go about things in whatever weird way you want.
Oh, you can build such outpost: don't import electricity; if you must get rid of the non-heavy oil make a local power production which runs on the solid fuel produced from light oil and/or petroleum, fired in local burners. Also make your defence use only flame throwers which use light oil (that's the most effective oil to use in flame throwers).

If you have somewhat odd consumption of different oils, and are particularily heavy on heavy oil: use more coal liquefaction, and balance it via circuit networks with the normal or advanced oil processing from crude oil.

IMHO the required balancing of oil consumption is one of the challenges which would reduce the difficulty of the game a lot if they were removed. Probably everyone was at least once in the beginning at a point where s/he found out that refineries ceased to work as there was an overload on one of the oils. But I like it. It's a challenge, not a hassle. It makes oil different in that you cannot simply stamp a blueprint for every product and be done, no matter any ratios of in- and output.
Last edited by planetmaker on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lubricant: The only Flaw in the Fluid System.

Post by jodokus31 »

My opinion is, that this "problem" is a certain kind of puzzle, which can be solved by balancing and prioritizing usage of excess by-products.
Not a flaw, but a small example in an not so crucial area of what could be done to make the game more challenging.

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