Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

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Hedning1390
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Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Hedning1390 » Fri May 11, 2018 12:39 am

I learned today that heavy oil is better cracked than turned into solid fuel directly. Obviously I have never used the heavy to solid recipe, but I thought I only did that out of laziness since setting up two different solid fuel production lines is more effort. When the lazy way is also the best it makes the heavy to solid recipe completely redundant, which means it should be removed or tweaked to be slightly better than cracking it (or the heavy cracking can be nerfed to accomplish the same thing).

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Fri May 11, 2018 1:38 am

Indeed it is better to crack heavy oil to make more light oil fuel. It's not a big balance issue because oil is much harder to use as an energy supply. Coal is more abundant and reliable.

For example 1 coal miner can give about 5MW worth of coal. A 100% pumpjack gives about 6MW of heavy and light oil, but only goes downhill from there.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Zavian » Fri May 11, 2018 7:36 am

THB I think it is fine. If you want to avoid or delay advanced oil processing, then you can turn heavy oil into solid fuel. Otherwise you save some oil by turning it into light oil, then solid fuel/petroleum. The fact that heavy to light to solid is more efficient in terms of resource usage doesn't mean that the devs need to change recipes., but rather that the player needs to make the most appropriate choice for what they are trying to do.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobingabout » Fri May 11, 2018 8:06 am

heavy oil solid fuel recipe exists because you unlock it before you can crack.

I admit it would be nice if it wasn't so costly to do though.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Aeternus » Fri May 11, 2018 8:42 am

Exactly that. The Heavy Oil to Fuel recipy is the only heavy oil sink until you reach Advanced Oil Processing - which requires blue science - which requires advanced electronics and whatnot. If omitted, you'd either be stuck building a few dozen tanks to store all that heavy oil. It becomes obsolete after you research the better refining techniques, but since you need refining to reach that, it has to stay in.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Fri May 11, 2018 11:44 am

you'd either be stuck building a few dozen tanks to store all that heavy oil
I wouldn't say a dozen, but it is pretty important to rush advanced oil processing as soon as possible. Those oil tanks won't hold it forever.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Aeternus » Fri May 11, 2018 11:48 am

Not really feasable for Marathon games, otherbob ;)
Tanks too expensive and research as well, you'd end up with more heavy oil then you could reasonably store.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Hedning1390 » Fri May 11, 2018 12:24 pm

bobucles wrote:Indeed it is better to crack heavy oil to make more light oil fuel. It's not a big balance issue because oil is much harder to use as an energy supply. Coal is more abundant and reliable.
Solid fuel is used for the rocket. Hence how it is made is important. I agree it is not a big issue though.
Zavian wrote:If you want to avoid or delay advanced oil processing, then you can turn heavy oil into solid fuel.
bobingabout wrote:heavy oil solid fuel recipe exists because you unlock it before you can crack.
Aeternus wrote:The Heavy Oil to Fuel recipy is the only heavy oil sink until you reach Advanced Oil Processing
When you get to blue belts you will want a lot of lubricant, so even if you delay advanced oil a bit it is better to just stock up on lubricant. It also doesn't matter if you hate belts and love bots, because bots require lubricant as well. In fact lubricant demand can get so high that once you get to advanced you may not switch all your refineries to keep that lube flowing.

There is almost never a situation where you want the heavy to solid recipe (like I mentioned I have never used it). It is not good to have bad recipes in a game like this. I as an experienced player get annoyed when useless crap clutter my screen, but I can only imagine how much more annoying it is to have bad recipes to choose from as an inexperienced player who may be unsure what the best thing even is.

Also I didn't say it had to go away, but if it is to stay it should be tweaked, or the cracking should be, so that it is no longer beneficial to crack it first.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Fri May 11, 2018 12:55 pm

I've done my share of easy mode marathoning. It absolutely takes meta knowledge to know that Advanced Oil is very important and should be rushed as soon as possible. If you rush it then the heavy/light oil doesn't back up too much, even on marathon mode. The problem is not knowing how important AO tech is and rely on regular processing for too long.

I'm not entirely sure that heavy => fuel should be removed, but it doesn't have much reason to stay either. It is not a good recipe, but it is still a way to burn out heavy oil before Advanced Oil is online. I think with flame turrets we do have a way of burning lots of heavy oil, and lubricant can absorb heavy oil demand for quite a while. The game may very well work out just fine without heavy fuel.

If regular oil tech gave heavy => light cracking then I would say "rip it out. Heavy fuel has no place in the game". There's not much of a balance issue behind giving the heavy => light recipe right away, since the only thing it can do is to make solid fuel. The importance of advanced oil would not change.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Koub » Fri May 11, 2018 3:45 pm

Honestly, the more I think, the more I'd like there wasn't an "advanced poil processing" tech, and that basic and advanced were all unlocked with the same green research. I am able to pinpoint where I lose the pleasure to play in my new games, and it's usually when I have researched most of the green science, and I *have* no other choice but to start automating the blue science. And at that moment, the tedium of having to do basic oil processing just to make 75 blue science packs, I do most of it by hand feeding assembling machines, and once I have my 75 science packs, I feed them in my labs, and there is always one single research I do with basic oil processing when I start blue research : advanced oil processing. I hate having to buffer unused oil byproducts until I can process them.

So, to get back to topic, I'd prefer leaving the solid fuel recipes as is, but merge the Advanced oil processing tech into the Oil processing tech. That way, you have all the options from start, and can start doing whatever pleases you with your crude oil.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Fri May 11, 2018 5:32 pm

I wonder if reordering the tech tree could spice things up a bit? Consider the previous idea that Heavy cracking is unlocked by default. That solves the biggest issue of early oil- Instead of having to deal with both excess heavy oil and light oil, the heavy oil gets solved right away. Coal cracking is good but honestly advanced oil is way better. What if these two techs had their positions swapped? The tech tree would look something like this:

Code: Select all

Basic oil:
- Oil refining
- Heavy oil => light oil
- Light oil => solid fuel
- Petroleum => solid fuel

Then Coal Cracking:
- Coal + heavy oil => coal cracking output

Then Advanced oil
- Superior oil refining
- Light oil => petroleum
I do think that solid fuel should have a tangible upgrade on all fronts over coal fuel. This can be done by reducing boiler pollution (50-70%) and by increasing the energy yield. That way when players are using oil, it just MAKES SENSE to upgrade your fuel supply to solid fuel at the same time.

In short:
- Your heavy oil gets used.
- Your light oil gets used.
- Solid fuel gets used.
- Your petroleum gets used.
- Total supply can be increased with coal
So why bother upgrading to advanced oil? There's no longer a doom clock on your oil storage nor a massive chokepoint on your petroleum. AOP is no longer a "must have" because the player can fulfill their oil supply just fine with basic oil and coal cracking. Advanced oil only makes sense far down the line when you're ready to not use solid fuel any more, such as with solar or nuclear power. That's the REAL time you need to be able to crack all the light oil into petroleum.

It's a simple progression curve that solves problems when they become problems in your factory.
But creating energy from nothing breaks thermodynamics!
Don't think of it that way. Think of it as "build more factory to get better stuff", I.E. think "Factorio". There's no infinite dupe exploit, it's fine. Besides, prod3 nuclear fuel lets you get +40% more fuel cells per fuel cell. If that's fine then a little more oil energy isn't a game breaker.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by stm » Mon May 14, 2018 6:36 am

bobucles wrote:

Code: Select all

Basic oil:
- Oil refining
- Heavy oil => light oil
- Light oil => solid fuel
- Petroleum => solid fuel

Then Coal Cracking:
- Coal + heavy oil => coal cracking output

Then Advanced oil
- Superior oil refining
- Light oil => petroleum
From My Point of view Coal Liquification should loose the heavy oil reqirement and the blue sience to have a chance to get around unreachable oil wells!

But back to the topic:
I agree with the sentiment that the heavy oil => solid fuel recipy is redundant mostly, but not completely, because there is one thing nobody has mentioned yet: You need water for cracking! So for a solitary well which is far off you might not want to go through the hassle to connect it to your refinery via trains. In that case you can still use it to create solid fuel to refill trains which go there.
I admit it is a quite unlikely circumnstance, but at least you have the option to use the oil without a water supply.
But otherwise: How many people do not research advanced oil processing more or less immediately after oil processing?
And on the note of lubricant: you need a reasonable amound of it, but I usually build a temporary refinery in the beginning and do not produce it until later, so I do create solid fuel because it is the easy way to do it and the yield of oil wells is often high enough to power your base (And it is more fun than using solar anyway!) though of course I do switch to cracking reasonably fast.
In conclusion I would say: The recipy is not optimal, but you need it, eventhough you do not use it a lot. But who uses Mk1 equipment? or missiles (exept the nuke)?, or the shotgun? or the discharge defense?...
And on that note: What are combat robots good for?
And I also prefere to go from wood poles to medium poles at some point, so why not remove wood poles? For two resons: They are a wood sink, and you need them in the beginning. The same goes for the heavy oil => solid fuel recipy.
Stm

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Zool » Mon May 14, 2018 7:26 am

I think its fine like it actually is.

Its a good thing that you can make bad ... or rather less efficient ... choices in the game.

Its good that you really want to have the higher oil researches as soon as possible, its one of those little details that really pushes you to get blue science automated very quickly.

Please don‘t change a really great working system.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobingabout » Mon May 14, 2018 8:18 am

Hedning1390 wrote:In fact lubricant demand can get so high that once you get to advanced you may not switch all your refineries to keep that lube flowing.
My mod actually adds the reverse of advanced oil processing, so that the main result of oil processing is heavy oil, because you actually need so much of it in my mods.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by MeduSalem » Mon May 14, 2018 8:39 am

Koub wrote:Honestly, the more I think, the more I'd like there wasn't an "advanced poil processing" tech, and that basic and advanced were all unlocked with the same green research. I am able to pinpoint where I lose the pleasure to play in my new games, and it's usually when I have researched most of the green science, and I *have* no other choice but to start automating the blue science. And at that moment, the tedium of having to do basic oil processing just to make 75 blue science packs, I do most of it by hand feeding assembling machines, and once I have my 75 science packs, I feed them in my labs, and there is always one single research I do with basic oil processing when I start blue research : advanced oil processing. I hate having to buffer unused oil byproducts until I can process them.

So, to get back to topic, I'd prefer leaving the solid fuel recipes as is, but merge the Advanced oil processing tech into the Oil processing tech. That way, you have all the options from start, and can start doing whatever pleases you with your crude oil.
I am doing the same... so I feel the same about it.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by Aeternus » Mon May 14, 2018 11:09 am

Koub wrote:Honestly, the more I think, the more I'd like there wasn't an "advanced poil processing" tech, and that basic and advanced were all unlocked with the same green research. I am able to pinpoint where I lose the pleasure to play in my new games, and it's usually when I have researched most of the green science, and I *have* no other choice but to start automating the blue science.
I feel the same. Make advanced oil processing a red/green science, requiring 200 of each to compensate the blue science cost. That would offset blue science's expense.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Mon May 14, 2018 11:53 am

Factorio doesn't need MORE green sciences. Half the tech tree is already green science! Find a solution that doesn't make more green science.

Give heavy cracking as an early tech. It makes heavy oil easy to manage and completely eliminates the need for heavy oil fuel so the recipe can go bye bye. Solid fuel is easily disposed of in boilers or stockpiled for rockets. Two birds with one stone.

Players do need one more oil after getting basic oil, but they only need to pick one from coal cracking or advanced oil. Advanced oil creates an awkward meta where players need to rush it to increase the efficiency of their limited supply. When it comes to the typical game, you NEED to turn 100% of oil into petrol because oil is always in limited supply. However, coal cracking eliminates the need for petrol cracking because it eliminates the chokepoint of oil pumps. If you have enough oil, then being efficient with your oil doesn't matter.

There is still a late game NEED for petrol cracking because solar and nuclear power eliminate solid fuel as an oil sink. Without the ability to consume light oil, your base will back up and deadlock. Give coal cracking early. This solves the advanced oil issue. Give advanced oil late, so players can evolve out of using boilers for fuel.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by MeduSalem » Mon May 14, 2018 3:44 pm

bobucles wrote:Give coal cracking early. This solves the advanced oil issue.
I could live with that.

Coal liquefaction could be the first step into oil industry even before basic oil processing.

The recipe would have to change though so that it doesn't require heavy oil anymore (but instead maybe crude oil)... otherwise you wouldn't be able to start it up.

The recipes would be unlocked in this order:
  1. Coal Liquefaction
  2. Basic Oil Processing + Heavy Oil Cracking
  3. Advanced Oil Processing + Light Oil Cracking
I might even argue that the Basic/Advanced Oil Processing and cracking could all need Steam instead of Water in that case because it would evolve naturally out of coal liquefaction.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by PacifyerGrey » Tue May 15, 2018 5:56 am

I feel like oil cracking by itself should be green science. However Advanced Oil Processing recipe (which requires water as a second input and changes output rates) should be blue.
The reason for this is that you just have to build this intentionally crippled builds for oil just to rush this Advanced Oil Processing. And when you do you go and fix oil stuff. So it is a double work every game you have to do with no particular interesting task to solve. Sure thing experienced players have this in mind and create their builds with this in mind but I do not find this being beneficial to the game at all.

Also about coal liquification - I do feel its purpose is to replace oil on any stage of the game in case you are seriously lacking it on the map. At its current tech level you already have serious map control so you will probably find suitable oil deposits anyways. But if you are locked by biters in early to mid game without access to substantial oil deposits (when it is important) it will not help you at all.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Post by bobucles » Tue May 15, 2018 10:41 am

Also about coal liquification - I do feel its purpose is to replace oil on any stage of the game in case you are seriously lacking it on the map. At its current tech level you already have serious map control so you will probably find suitable oil deposits anyways.
Pretty much this. Coal liquefaction is made to replace a shortage of oil, but it needs a considerable amount of oil to unlock. Isn't that ironic punishment? Giving it to blue tier will make this tech easier to reach. It's a good tech that not only gives your coal a second life, but gives your steam boilers a second life as well. Once you have coal cracking, petrol cracking isn't a life or death research anymore. Advanced oil can be high tech tier with no issues.

Or at least it could be. Coal cracking is a net loss of energy for fuel and I think this is a tragedy. In Factorio, building more should give more and fuel shouldn't be any different. The refinery yield is also nothing spectacular either, because it produces useful material at less than half the rate of oil processing. Cracking is rarely used in games and could certainly use a buff.

So some numbers.

Code: Select all

Vanilla coal cracking consumes 80MJ of (unburnt) coal, or a value of 40MJ when cooked.
It outputs 10 heavy oil, 15 light oil and 20 petrol. 10 heavy oil turns into 7.5 light oil.
The total fuel output is 2.25 solid fuel for heavy/light, and 1 solid fuel for petrol.
The total energy output is 56.25MJ light oil fuel + 25MJ optional petrol fuel.
The refinery needs 2.1MJ. 50 steam is 1.5MJ of cooked(50% eff) coal. Heavy oil cracking needs 630kJ every 4 doses of coal cracking. Fuel processing is a 630kJ tax on every solid fuel (25MJ) worth of output.
The total energy tax is 4654 MJ of burnt coal ((((2.25 fuel+.25 Hcrack)*630 chemplant)+2100 refinery)*2 coalburn + 1500 steam) plus another optional 630kJ to burn the petrol.
The total energy yield is 51.6MJ light fuel + 24.4MJ petrol fuel.
You can crack coal to produce roughly 50MJ of fuel plus useful petrol, or about 76MJ of fuel with no other outputs. You spent 80MJ of coal in the recipe so it's a net loss! I don't like Factorio games that punish me for building factories. I like Factorio games where building more is MORE. :lol:

Fortunately the energy yield is super borderline, so we can fix it easily by giving just a tiny bit more from the coal cracking recipe.

Code: Select all

10 coal + 50 steam + 25 heavy oil =>
40 H + 20L + 20P
Just 5 more heavy and 5 more light oil goes a long way:

Code: Select all

15 Heavy oil=> 11.25 light oil + 20 Light oil => 3.125 solid fuel
Roughly 75MJ energy yield + 20 petrol
OR
Roughly 100MJ energy yield + no output
Isn't that nice? We nearly break even while making heaps of useful petrol, or we can process a third more energy out of our coal by sacrificing the petrol output. That kind of positive outcome makes me want to build more factory. :mrgreen:

--------
PS: The current vanilla cracking recipe churns through 8MW worth of coal. If you ran a factory's coal supply through coal cracking you'd need to triple your refinery count easily, which is probably way too many refineries. Coal cracking operates at half the pace of regular oil processing, so it may be worth doubling the recipe scale or doubling the recipe speed. Doubling the recipe processing speed will allow one refinery to process 16MW of coal, and you could comfortably fuel a good midgame base on 5-10 refineries.

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