1> Thank you
for allowing the rail placement mode to optionally route around
obstacles once again! The Cliff Preservation Society is well pleased.
2> But I intensely dislike the proposed change to basic oil processing, as it seems to be a poor solution on many fronts without actually solving the most-common* oil-related new player roadblock: some blocked outputs when first learning oil processing & cracking. The FFF change just delays that roadblock to later in the tech tree without teaching the player to properly use the tools they will then require to solve it.
Likely result = similar difficulty spike as we have now: new players get stuck trying to learn & build new processing & cracking setups at the same time
as balancing the refinery's multiple outputs.
*(Judging by help topics posted in the Steam forums, which I have checked almost daily since I started playing in v0.12 ~ Seriously, this seems to be the #1 solution to "help, my refinery stopped working!" topics. Most of them appear to have roughly figured out the correct pipe connections by themselves, but cannot find out why it doesn't work as it should, so ask the community for help. This multiple-output "use
all or stop working" mechanic ought to be better explained to the player, preferably in the refinery UI somewhere more obvious, or within the NPE campaign itself, or at least via a mini-tutorial, & maybe in the (advanced) oil processing technology description(s) too.)
Others have stated many other good reasons this appears to be poorly thought through (so I won't repeat them yet again), and after considering it for some time I also think the following suggestion is much better than the one posted in the FFF, & gets my full support:
MrGrim wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:40 pm
Some discussions on the Discord server led to an idea for dealing with the new player issues with oil that I think would work a lot better here. Original credit for the idea goes to Hexicube.
Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!
Basic processing would then require a straightforward linear approach: crude oil > refinery > heavy cracking > light cracking > petgas out. (ie: similar to an assembler-based production chain, which the new player should already understand by that point. Easy to debug.)
Advanced processing would then add the "multiple output products" balancing puzzle to optionally earn better resource efficiency, but only after
the player has already learned how to build a working fluid-processing & oil-cracking system. (So identifying the cause of a stoppage would then become much easier, eg: it broke! > what was changed? > just the refinery recipe > check refinery > find blocked output(s) > solve the new balancing puzzle.)
+ New players can learn pipe building, fluid flow, & cracking in an easy linear production chain;
+ & should be far less likely to get completely stuck when the refinery "mysteriously" stops working (due to multiple products);
+ No need to build an working basic setup then have to rebuild it later to get lube for later science packs;
+ New players won't be trained to inefficiently use petgas for making solid fuel;
+ Recipes using light oil can remain as previous, rather than it being further marginalised (& petgas for flambé-thrower fuel just seems so wrong, it would not leave burning puddles on the ground at all, crude oil would fit better)
+ Veterans can pre-prepare for advanced processing &/or use the other oil types right from the start, if they want to;
- Downside is losing the potentially-large UPS savings that the FFF method would likely bring for megafactory builders. (Though this would not matter for new players anyway.)
I sincerely hope you (Wube) reconsider the oil recipe changes a bit more, before pushing it out for testing. (I would also choose to use a mod to revert the proposed change if it happens as described in the FFF, or preferably one to swap the output to heavy oil instead as that seems like a better idea overall.)
Otherwise, as usual, thanks for making this awesome game & keep up the good work!