Auto research queue

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factoriouzr
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Allow researching technologies and their prerequisites

Post by factoriouzr » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:23 pm

It would be really useful to allow researching technologies that are currently red in the tech tree. The expected behaviour is that this would research all prerequisite technologies in order and when one is done, automatically pick the next one available in in the tree until researching of the chosen top level technology is completed. All this should be without player interaction aside from the initial selection.

Eg. You can research robots at the beginning of the game or some other technology you want to get to.

Typically when I play the game, I look at my current situation and decide what new tech I want next. What's the most useful to me now. Often times these have other prerequisites that I don't care about, such as plastics required for robots or batteries for laser turrets. I will have to make these in factories, but they are never the end good I care about, they are just a requirement to get me to what I really want. As such it would be great if we don't have to select every research one by one.

When the research takes a long time as well and goes between multiple gaming sessions (eg. slow production of science packs, mods change research times, recipes etc), you can forget what research you were trying to get to when you started it several days ago and several playing sessions ago.

This is also useful late game in researching leftover technologies I don't really care about. Eg. research level 5 upgrade to whatever (guns, carry capacity, whatever) and you can just let it go for a while. This also would help when using mods that increase research speed so that the last 40 to 100 or so researches, you don't have to click one by one every 10 seconds when the previous one finishes. This can also happen for early game researches that you never did until late game when you have thousands of research packs stockpiled or you can produce them quickly because of large amounts incoming resources.
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Re: [Enhancement] Allow researching technologies and their prere

Post by mattj256 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:16 pm

This is a good idea.

What if your factory is currently set up to only make red and green science, you click on a technology that requires red and green science, but it has a prerequisite that needs blue science?

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Re: [Enhancement] Allow researching technologies and their prere

Post by factoriouzr » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:30 pm

mattj256 wrote:This is a good idea.

What if your factory is currently set up to only make red and green science, you click on a technology that requires red and green science, but it has a prerequisite that needs blue science?
I thought of that too and it can't know easily what you can produce in a reliable way, so at a minimum, it should pick the farthest back research it can which is likely to require the least types of science packs. This would be good enough as an assistance to the player.

A proper solution which wouldn't be more complex then the above would do the following the way I see it:
  • sort all unresearched technologies internally in order of increasing cost and complexity (complexity being types of science packs, cost would be number of science packs) and always pick them in order of lest complex first. Eg. 1 red sceince would come before 10 red science and before 10 red and 10 green. If there is a tie, because multiplayer is deterministic, just sort alphabetically and pick the one first alphabetically

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Re: Allow researching technologies and their prerequisites

Post by ssilk » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:45 pm

Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=14645 Research-queue and -progress Visualizaton

The suggestions around that subject are very old. My personal favorite would be a research progress, where you can split the research between labs as you want. To make it not too complex I think 2 different research topics at a time would be really enough.
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Re: [Enhancement] Allow researching technologies and their prere

Post by mattj256 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:45 pm

factoriouzr wrote:I thought of that too and it can't know easily what you can produce in a reliable way
As far as I'm concerned, if the user has never produced a blue science pack (manually or by assembler) then it doesn't make sense to allow the user to skip ahead in the tech tree to something that directly or indirectly requires blue science.

(The same thing applies to green and purple science.)

In all other cases, just let the user shoot themselves in the foot. IMHO it's too complicated to try to come up with a "perfect" solution here.

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Re: [Enhancement] Allow researching technologies and their prere

Post by Ghoulish » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:49 pm

mattj256 wrote:
factoriouzr wrote:I thought of that too and it can't know easily what you can produce in a reliable way
As far as I'm concerned, if the user has never produced a blue science pack (manually or by assembler) then it doesn't make sense to allow the user to skip ahead in the tech tree to something that directly or indirectly requires blue science.

(The same thing applies to green and purple science.)

In all other cases, just let the user shoot themselves in the foot. IMHO it's too complicated to try to come up with a "perfect" solution here.
I agree, if blue packs are needed for X and the player doesn't have them, then just disallow selection of that technology for auto-research with a pop-up 'Blue Science is needed to research X'.

It's a nice idea OP, imho.

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Re: Allow researching technologies and their prerequisites

Post by 5thHorseman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:02 pm

I'd prefer it if the game allows you to select the node but as well as telling you how much science that node requires, it also tells you how much science you need in total to research that node and all proceeding nodes (that you've not researched yet). Then you can see "Oh I need blue for this" and act accordingly.

Also, I'd like a checkbox somewhere so I can turn on the science popup anyway. I like knowing when I've researched a node and I like that knowledge to be in my face lest I unknowingly disregard it.
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Re: Allow researching technologies and their prerequisites

Post by factoriouzr » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 am

5thHorseman wrote:I'd prefer it if the game allows you to select the node but as well as telling you how much science that node requires, it also tells you how much science you need in total to research that node and all proceeding nodes (that you've not researched yet). Then you can see "Oh I need blue for this" and act accordingly.

Also, I'd like a checkbox somewhere so I can turn on the science popup anyway. I like knowing when I've researched a node and I like that knowledge to be in my face lest I unknowingly disregard it.

I think this is a good solution to provide the total cost of all science yet unresearched.

However I also don't think this feature needs to do any of this. The argument is that the player might not be making let's say blue science so the research would never finish. Don't forget you can shoot yourself in the foot with just one research in the current implementation. You can pick to research any technology currently available in the current game regardless of if you are making blue science for eg. or not. So while I agree a sum of all science packs would be extremely useful and easy to implement, it's also consistent with how the game works now so it's an improvement no matter how you look at it to be able to research all prerequisites as well.

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Auto research queue

Post by Nemoricus » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:20 pm

Since Factorio can read a tech tree and display, it seems reasonable to me that you should also be able to select a late tech, and have the game automatically queue all unresearched prerequisites.

For example, if you wanted to research Follower Robot Count 5 and only researched up to Follower Robot Count 1, the game would queue Follower Robot Count 2, 3, and 4 as well.

The reason I ask for this is that I often found myself looking at the very nice tech trees Factorio can draw, and wondering why it couldn't also use that information to automatically queue the technologies I need to research to reach some later technology. Also, given how fast some of the researches can go, it would be nice to let my factory start work on the next technology I want, without having to go back and figure out the prerequisite tree for a certain technology for the fifth time. (The trees for construction and logistics bots have a lot of parts, though they do overlap considerably.)

One argument I can see being made against this is that later technologies may need science packs you're not currently making. Still, the fact that the research bar isn't progressing should lead people to investigate and troubleshoot, but it is a potential point of confusion.

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Re: Auto research queue

Post by ssilk » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:36 pm

Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=14645 Research-queue and -progress Visualizaton

I think a full automation makes no sense, cause that may lead very fast to a point, where you might not have enough resources anymore.
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Re: Auto research queue

Post by Nemoricus » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:37 pm

To clarify, it's not about automatically researching all technologies. It's about automatically queuing the prerequisite technologies for one particular technology.

If I want, say, Automation 2, I'd like to be able to tell the game to research that, and if I don't have Electronics, it will automatically start researching Electronics, then move to Automation 2.

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Re: Auto research queue

Post by dragontamer5788 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:49 pm

I would like to add that a good implementation of this is in the game "Civilization V".

Image

You don't have red science / green science / blue science there, but if research is disrupted (due to anarchy, or maybe your major science city was destroyed by an opponent) then science may be stalled perpetually. Its the player's responsibility to ensure that technology is managed well.

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Re: Auto research queue

Post by ssilk » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:19 pm

Yes, see the linked thread. And there are also already mods.
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Automatic science dependency research / Allow "researching" unavailable technologies

Post by osndok » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:28 pm

I think that the 'research' button should be present and clickable on unavailable science technologies, but having a "deep" effect (researching the dependencies in turn in order to fulfill your request).

Sometimes, I would like to not have to micro-manage the science research order, and I think that it could be more fun to keep playing, without the tedium, and just let the science "sort itself out". After all, the game already "knows" the dependencies, especially those with 'hidden' dependencies (like which tech grants you science packs), which can be awkward to figure out (often requiring a wiki lookup or extra game skill/knowledge).
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Re: Automatic science dependency research / Allow "researching" unavailable technologies

Post by n7m6e7 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:51 pm

Its an awesome and interesting idea, but I see one or two major issues.

What happens when you have 2 or more dependencies available at once? Does it choose randomly, or the cheapest?

Also, lets say you go straight to the rocket. Many researchs are stepping stones that teach you to automate certain products, and make the final goal of building a rocket easier. You would end up ignoring important research that isn't "necessary" but makes the end goal easier/faster.


May I instead suggest a "research suggestion"?

Select a goal, and whenever a research finishes, it should show the next available dependencies in the path first, and let you choose.
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Re: Automatic science dependency research / Allow "researching" unavailable technologies

Post by Koub » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:24 pm

Automatic science dependency research would make sense is there was an unlimited research queue.
Unfortunately, while the research queue is planned (as an optional feature) for 0.17, it will be very limited (5 researches max).

It would be totally feasible without this limit, because Factorio's dependencies are "AND"s, not "OR"s. So to be able to conduct a research, you must have researched ALL prerequisites.

... on a second thought, a queue is not even needed. One could imagine a "research up to" feature that wouldn't queue all researches at once, but select one of the prerequisites whenever the previous one is compete, until the aimed research is done.

BTW, this is an OLD recurring suggestion, I'll find the relevant topics and merge them.
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Re: Auto research queue

Post by Koub » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:35 pm

[Koub] Merged topics about auto-researching prerequisites of a tech.
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Re: Auto research queue

Post by leadraven » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:49 pm

Example : if you have only iron plates, you can order belts, and all gears will be crafted automatically.
Exactly the same thing should work with researches : queue, cancel mechanic and so on. Because why not?

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Re: Automatic science dependency research / Allow "researching" unavailable technologies

Post by osndok » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:26 pm

n7m6e7 wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:51 pm
What happens when you have 2 or more dependencies available at once? Does it choose randomly, or the cheapest?
Exactly... that's the whole point... it doesn't matter, it is under-defined, it's up to the game [developers]. It can just pick "the first one that would appear in the available research list" for all I care, as long as (given a supporting factory) it would eventually get done & not block on a missing research dependency.

Having automatic research available actually unlocks far greater functionality for those that might step away from the game to grab dinner, or leave it running overnight simcity-style... and that doesn't necessarily mean peaceful mode.

I think it would be great if micro-managing research could gain you something (esp. for speed running), but that everyone else (esp. noobs) didn't have to.

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Re: Auto research queue

Post by GuidoCram » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:44 pm

I've played Civ IV alot, and auto research is really a great feature. You can determine yourself if you want to use it. If so, you give control to the computer in which order technologies are reseached. If you don't like the computer's route, do it yourself.

When I open the technology screen, the technologies are sorted already. So the computer should pick the first in the list that is usefull.

Really a must-have feature for this great game (imho).

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