Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

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GotLag
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Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by GotLag » Sat May 03, 2014 3:41 pm

As the thread title says. I started a new game (my first) and I see I start with coal- and electric-powered versions of inserters and drills and electrical generators already available for construction, and yet and electrical furnace is buried in the tech tree and requires several hundred green science packs to unlock, including oil and plastics research.
I'm curious as to why such a relatively minor upgrade is so horrendously expensive and time-consuming just to unlock. It seems like something you should either start out able to make or be a first-tier research item.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Kyte » Sat May 03, 2014 4:05 pm

I dont think so if you would switch more "major" objects to the beginning you wouldnt have a goal to reach the next level of technology. I think it challenge the player to work for his loved electric machines and I shouldnt be too easy to get everything ^^.

Well just my opionion.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Drury » Sat May 03, 2014 4:26 pm

GotLag wrote:As the thread title says. I started a new game (my first) and I see I start with coal- and electric-powered versions of inserters and drills and electrical generators already available for construction, and yet and electrical furnace is buried in the tech tree and requires several hundred green science packs to unlock, including oil and plastics research.
I'm curious as to why such a relatively minor upgrade is so horrendously expensive and time-consuming just to unlock. It seems like something you should either start out able to make or be a first-tier research item.
This is because it's a highly advanced smelting machine, duh. It doesn't need coal to work and it has module slots. Having it available from the start would make earlier furnaces redundant.

It's natural tech-tree progression, stone furnace>steel furnace>>>electric furnace.

Assembly machines are the same.
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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Fisherman » Sat May 03, 2014 4:39 pm

Electric furnaces also makes steel furnaces useless.
It's because steel furnaces don't need for craft.
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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by GotLag » Sat May 03, 2014 4:43 pm

So why not also have a simple electric furnace with no module slots?

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Drury » Sat May 03, 2014 4:52 pm

Because it would make coal furnaces redundant.
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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by GotLag » Sat May 03, 2014 5:18 pm

Like burner inserters?

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Drury » Sat May 03, 2014 7:32 pm

No because inserters aren't furnaces.

Furnaces are designed to be automatically fed fuel, inserters on the other hand...
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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by GotLag » Sun May 04, 2014 7:42 am


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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by badminton » Sun May 04, 2014 11:13 am

I like where they are now. Before the oil update I used to only build 3 or 4 stone and steel furnaces and go straight for electric and then expand with those.
Now I'll go 5-6 hours before I get them or sometimes, like my last 40+ hour factory, I won't bother with them at all if I have a good supply of fuel.

Saying that though, the whole tech tree does need a huge rebalance. Some early techs are earned far too quickly (I've never built a burner inserter in free play) and a lot of early/mid tier 2 techs like laser turrets and mk II armour/equipment should be mid/late tier 3.

Nice solution too btw :)
Would be more balanced if the smelting speed was a little lower than a regular stone furnace but I guess you're not really going for balance ;)

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by just_dont » Mon May 05, 2014 12:03 pm

GotLag wrote:As the thread title says. I started a new game (my first) and I see I start with coal- and electric-powered versions of inserters and drills and electrical generators already available for construction, and yet and electrical furnace is buried in the tech tree and requires several hundred green science packs to unlock, including oil and plastics research.
I'm curious as to why such a relatively minor upgrade is so horrendously expensive and time-consuming just to unlock. It seems like something you should either start out able to make or be a first-tier research item.
But it's not like that.
1. It isn't "buried in the tech tree". If you're going for it -- it's very easily obtainable without even much automatization (i.e. just plop 2 assemblies feeding 1-2 labs and relying on "manual insertion" for gears/belts/inserters -- and it'll easily get you through some early 50- and 100-potions techs while you're building your early base).
2. The only hassle about electric furnaces when you get to them -- is that you'll need to do some makeshift (as you'd want to rebuild after advanced oil cracking tech) oil industry. However, you'll need to produce only limited amount of plastic, afterwards you can just dismantle everything and go on with your furnaces.

PS: Personally, I do things this way VERY often, simply because I absolutely hate to rebuild my smelting factories, because of the size shift (electric furnaces are 3x3 instead of 2x2). So I simply go after electric furnaces, laser turrets, and advanced oil cracking without much automation -- and only afterwards I proceed to large-scale automation.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by YotaXP » Mon May 05, 2014 2:52 pm

I'm inclined to agree that they aren't really worth the sum of their parts. They smelt as fast as steel furnaces, but take up much more space. If you form lines of furnaces as I do, that's a 66% speed penalty, meaning you'd need to use speed modules (Mk 2+) to give them any sort of edge. I'm not sure how they compare when it comes to fuel and pollution efficiency, but given that you have to fill them with such modules, I'd assume they would be less efficient than steel furnaces on that front as well. The only real downside to steel furnaces is that you have to route fuel to them, but since they are smaller, you don't really lose any space from doing so.

Have there been any studies comparing the two furnaces?

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by just_dont » Mon May 05, 2014 6:12 pm

YotaXP wrote:I'm inclined to agree that they aren't really worth the sum of their parts. They smelt as fast as steel furnaces, but take up much more space. If you form lines of furnaces as I do, that's a 66% speed penalty, meaning you'd need to use speed modules (Mk 2+) to give them any sort of edge.
I'm totally not sure how you went from size difference to speed difference.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by badminton » Wed May 07, 2014 11:23 am

Because you can fit less burners in the same amount of space.
I don't think it's quite 33% less though because, depending on how your factory is arranged, you don't need a coal belt/arm loading an electric furnace. Which will save some space.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by andrewas » Wed May 07, 2014 1:32 pm

Which affects startup time but not throughput. It takes a little longer to get production running at full speed because it takes longer to load materials and to retrieve them, but once its running you still get the same quantity of output in the same time.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by ssilk » Wed May 07, 2014 1:45 pm

The most advantage are the modules you can put into the electric furnace... that can really play a big role.
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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Tirou » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:40 pm

ssilk wrote:The most advantage are the modules you can put into the electric furnace... that can really play a big role.
Since you already need the advance circuits to use modules, it is useless to make the oil processing a requirement just for creating the electric furnace : even if you can create your 3x3 furnaces from the very start, you'll still need your oil processing to use those so loved module slots.


I do agree that the tech tree isn't balance for the electric furnaces which comes too late in the game : not because they are the end game furnaces, but because of the size shift.
This point of size shift is just nonsense to me.
I'll explain it in another topic, because I think it requires a discussion by itself, and have nothing to see with the overall price of the device.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by therapist » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:03 pm

I was very upset at the cost of plastic they added and the rigamarole it all causes with oil and oil processing, but at no point did I feel it was undeserved.

I have never built more than 6 steam engines at once to power a real factory, before I switch to electrical power and dismantle those beasts. You should feel ashamed of yourself every second you choose to use your coal for something as silly as providing electricity. Ever piece of coal I burn for electricity is a small defeat for me, you people give me the impression you'd burn iron and copper too if they produced energy when burnt. Honestly, It makes me sick when I get on these forums and see people using coal power well into the late game, don't you think you'll need that coal for cranking out circuits and modules in the late game? Wretched Barbarians.

This is why I think the devs raised the price, because they know that you cannot put a price on kicking the coal addiction. Free limitless energy fueling free limitless smelting SHOULD cost alot. I mean cmon, you're BATHED in a near infinite steady supply of free energy from sun up to sun down and you jerks want to burn coal (also created by solar power btw) to run everything. Preposterous.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by Robbedem » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:04 am

You shouldn't feel so strong about other people using coal, it's just virtual coal. ;)
Also, the game is still in alpha, so players should experiment and try weird unexpected things to test balance and find possible bugs.

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Re: Why are electric furnaces so expensive?

Post by therapist » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:17 am

Heh yeah, I'm not even an environmentalist in real life. Lol.

In real life, coal is only useful for the stored power inside of it. In factorio, you need coal for producing goods, and unlike oil, coal is finite. It just pains me to watch people shoot themselves in the foot and call it "legitimate strategy".

For me, its like watching people stranded on an island drink salt water trying to beat dehydration. Mass-Coal is a fine strat for a speed run or if you don't plan to push thru to the endgame though.

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