Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

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FuryoftheStars
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:31 pm

Adamo wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:18 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:09 pm
The point was that if the output doesn't have anywhere to go, then the assembler is going to shutdown until you make room.
I agree, but from my observations, some players aren't getting the memo. They are totally stuck on the refinery and really have no clue what to do. Their experience with assemblers and inserters hasn't prepared them for this moment, even though you and I think it could have through a certain abstraction. But this is also why I'm falling on "just explain it in a tutorial". I thought there was an oil processing tutorial, in fact? I've never actually played the tutorial, since I already know how to play the game, but some of the comments in the thread seem to suggest that how to setup a refinery is not taught to players.
No, unfortunately it's not. They have inventory transfers, logistic bots, and trains. Even then the only way to access the tutorials as of now is in a play through with a small button you can easily ignore (and forget).
5thHorseman wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:13 pm
If there was the equivalent of belts for pipes (and I'm sorry the little windows aren't in your face enough) maybe it'd be obvious the first time. Maybe if some recipe had 2 outputs before oil processing that would teach the lesson as well. But giving people multiple liquids to deal with for the first time AND multiple outputs from a recipe is too much.
Actually, as I think about this some, if there was a recipe that was a 2 out, but before oil so it can be better visualized, this may help.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Oarc » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:29 pm

I like the new proposed oil changes. Definitely interested to see how it plays out.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by ME4595 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:30 pm

Not being the first one to register to the forums just to comment on the oil change, I am strongly opposed to it too.

As many others have stated before, the problems for new players are the lack of an indication that the refinery has stopped working because one of the multiple outputs is full and the lack of a proper and attention-grabbing tutorial.

In my opinion, providing assistances like that is a better way of solving the problems than delaying the difficulty spike by making a dumbed down version of the basic oil processing and changing the related tech in an adverse way to make the oil change possible.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Preserteo » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:46 pm

I play Factorio because it makes me squeeze my head, it makes me think, it forces me to organize myself ... if we are going to remove that, it is better to warn already. Tell us that from now on it will be easier for the newbies not to have to think so much ... and I get off this train.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by psihius » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:54 pm

Loewchen wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:46 am
psihius wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:29 am
I talked to my peers about this change, trying to see it from different angles and honestly for me, as an advanced player and into mega base stuff (as many of my peers are too from multiple communities), you just gave a UPS blessing.
Back of the napking on the fly math in my head just says: I do not need any cracking for my megabase any more except one small setup to crack light oil from coal liquefaction.
You really think that after you need to double oil refining and double oil extraction and logistic to compensate for the bad basic processing efficiency and the need to set up coal liquefaction you would still get a UPS advantage because you can omit cracking?
Yep, as bman212121 has said, there is a lot more going on:

The pipe segments explosion is not nearly linear.
The water needs to come from somewhere - mean you need to build in specific places or deliver it by rail
You have to route and pipe 3 more liquids, that means a lot more pipes, a lot more intersections, a lot more tanks and valves to deal with. And all that is massive in size, so that balloons the number of pipes, even more, adds more pumps to setups or you just start to use rail to deal with it all, adding pumping stations and all that stuff.
The change is that fundamental, that for the sake of squeezing out the science per minute you probably just gonna forgo cracking at all.
Oil spouts are all draining with time to a low level anyway, so you basically always end up building so many that you get over-supplied anyway and adding some more to compensate at that point is pretty easy. Also just push mining productivity higher and you compensate for the oil in a big way.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by RabbitKiller » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:22 am

Why change something that wasn't broken. I've got 8000 hours in Factorio and this change was never needed and was never a issue. Putting bots back behind another science is going to make the game longer and damn near impossible on Death worlds where we have laser and bot walls. I really would like an option in setting's for beginner setups and Expert setups instead of making all the people who understand the game looking easier but in fact making it more long winded. Also i hope they aint trying to dumb it down cause 1.0 is coming soon and most games these days that hit final release are for people that are to lazy to use their brain. Honestly 6000 of my hours are basically reset now cause you have changed something that didn't need to be changed. If new player are'nt head strong enough to understand what to do with the old oil setup then they will never understand the logistical system or even train signal placement. I worked oil many times over the last couple of years but now oil is broken.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Reika » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:03 am

RabbitKiller wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:22 am
If new player are'nt head strong enough to understand what to do with the old oil setup then they will never understand the logistical system or even train signal placement.
That is another point I have sort of been refraining from making. You - ie the developers of Factorio - appear to wish to lower the barrier to entry for new players, but you appear to be rather naive in assuming that even a change like this is going to help Factorio appeal to that many more people; the reality, unfortunate as it is, is that a depressingly large number of people will never be interested in a game like Factorio, not because of any minor failing in terms of the balance of the game, or any one particular stumbling block, but because they are fundamentally opposed to the very design concept of the game. That is, they are resolutely unwilling - or simply unable - to invest the kind of mental effort to solve the kind of problems a game like Factorio is explicitly supposed to be designed to put in front of the player.

And yes, I realize how elitist and egocentric this sounds, but I speak from experience, having - as stated previously - been part of the communities of quite a number of logistics-type games, and modder for most. Not to mention the significant number of other games I do/have play(ed) and mod(ed) which also have the primary source of achievement be mental effort and/or problem solving.

The reality is, my experience tells me most people are either lazy, stupid, or both, and whether the game-supplied puzzle is Factorio oil handling, or managing shaft power distribution in Minecraft, or designing a "smart" minecart loop in FortressCraft, or creating a weapon-proof ship design in Space Engineers, or getting a rocket off of Kerbin in one piece, or designing a durable ship in Elite:Dangerous, or simply getting a cube behind a fizzler with judicious use of portals, most people will NOT be both willing and able to meet the challenge as given. And no amount of "dumbing it down" makes a practical difference. Many have tried - just look at all the magic block ("just place them somewhere and they work automatically with no further input!") mods for Minecraft, or 234983548730-newton thrust KSP rocket parts, or "pick up cube. put on button. walk to door" Portal maps - and even when the challenge is little more than pressing a few buttons in the right order, it still is met with an avalanche of "it's confusing/too hard/grindy/unforgiving/et cetera".

In other words, even if you were to simplify the game to the point of having assemblers be able to process whole recipe chains, such as to get modules and rocket parts directly from raw materials, you would still not be meeting your goal of general appeal, because the very fact you still have something to figure out would become their roadblock.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Trebor » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:18 am

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:31 pm
Actually, as I think about this some, if there was a recipe that was a 2 out, but before oil so it can be better visualized, this may help.
I think this would really help new players.

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Reika
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Reika » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:28 am

Trebor wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:18 am
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:31 pm
Actually, as I think about this some, if there was a recipe that was a 2 out, but before oil so it can be better visualized, this may help.
I think this would really help new players.
Agreed.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by RabbitKiller » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:36 am

Well instead of changing the oil setup, Add a in box setup where you can single oil refinement or triple oil refinement. Cause having to setup solid fuel for peto then to rip it up when getting light/heavy oil is long winded and a waste of recourse's. also reika the second you mentioned minecraft i lost interest in your post. im kinda sick of people saying minecraft is similar to factorio when it clear not and i kinda ignore people when mention it or speak about

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Reika » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:05 am

RabbitKiller wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:36 am
also reika the second you mentioned minecraft i lost interest in your post. im kinda sick of people saying minecraft is similar to factorio when it clear not and i kinda ignore people when mention it or speak about
I am not going to derail this discussion with a separate debate, but modded Minecraft is not only similar to Factorio, it was (in part) the inspiration for Factorio: https://wiki.factorio.com/Factorio:Abou ... ired_by.3F
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:22 am

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:09 pm
It also isn't the lesson I was referring to. The point was that if the output doesn't have anywhere to go, then the assembler is going to shutdown until you make room.
And the point I'm referring to is that every single recipe produces one output in a very visual way, until suddenly you produce 3 with very subtle (in comparison to a loaded belt) clues as to what's going on.

EDIT: And then I read you agree with me and several others agree with that agreement :)
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Adamo » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:29 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:22 am
EDIT: And then I read you agree with me and several others agree with that agreement :)
Good work. :)

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Winnkys » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:35 am

Created an account here just to say I’m not a fan of the changes to oil. Love the game and just about everything you do. But I’ll be download the inevitable mod to change oil back to normal.

Other than that, keep up the great work

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by vampiricdust » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am

Well, it's nice to see that belts are being pushed back in tech for once, but of course bots have to get smacked as well.

For all the work of getting oil going, it's extremely lacking in uses. You use oil for: plastic, lubricant, and solid fuel. That's it. You need tons of plastic, a tiny amount of lube comparatively, and solid fuel is more a way to get rid of excess than actually being needed.

In all honestly, you should get rid of light and heavy oil, it serves no purpose other than to make things complicated for the sake of being complicated.

Just have everything made from petroleum and be done with it, let advance oil processing just make more petroleum per crude oil. Why complicate this so much?

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Killcreek2 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:48 am

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.
/snip/

Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!

/snip/

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!
"Functional simplicity, structural complexity." ~ Appleseed

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by whispermusic » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:15 am

I really don't like the oil change. It seems a little easier to do basic oil processing now since you don't have to build tanks to store light and heavy oils right at first, but then you run into real trouble later on when you do need them and you haven't allocated space. It seems like it replaces some frontloaded complexity with a nasty noob trap.

The above is mostly just relevant to the new player you're trying to help with this. The thing *I* really don't like about the change is construction robots being moved into blue science. You might say that you need to have most of blue science set up to build robots anyway but that ignores the fact that if you just want 30 or 50 robots to work out of your inventory you don't actually have to set the production lines up properly. You can plop down a few assemblers and direct insert the intermediate components. I usually get a few robots up much earlier than my proper blue science line.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by MadTony » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:22 am

I never post but I am hoping to add my voice in support of those who are lobbying for No Changes to Oil Processing. The new recipes don't make sense to me logically and move construction robots back further in development time. I love this game. Don't dumb it down because some are slow to master oil balancing. What keeps me playing again and again is the striving for the "perfect" balance across factory production. Things that are initially tough to master: oil, circuit networks etc. provide a great sense of satisfaction when one finally does master the difficult. Thanks for asking for input and keep up the good work.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by BlueTemplar » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:25 am

vampiricdust wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am
Well, it's nice to see that belts are being pushed back in tech for once, but of course bots have to get smacked as well.
Belts ?
vampiricdust wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am
For all the work of getting oil going, it's extremely lacking in uses. You use oil for: plastic, lubricant, and solid fuel. That's it. You need tons of plastic, a tiny amount of lube comparatively, and solid fuel is more a way to get rid of excess than actually being needed.
You might want to check those chains again...

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by SmakDaddy » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:44 am

I'm not crazy about the oil refinery changes. Can the refineries put out different levels of pollution based on what is being processed?

I ask, because when crude oil comes out of the ground, it's a huge mix of different hydrocarbons stuff - all of which have different characteristics (viscosity, boiling temperature, etc). Without the boring details of how, refineries separate the crude into the individual hydrocarbons stuff.

It would be reasonable to have a straight up 'Crude in - Petroleum out' setup, but that would mean the leftover hydrocarbons are stuff is flared off. The reason flaring is banned in many first world countries is the resulting massive carbon emissions. Basic oil processing, if you are doing that crude-to-petroleum process, should throw out a somewhat unsavoury level of pollution compared to the advanced method, but I am not sure if building pollution can vary by product.

Just my thoughts anyway

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