Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

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

Post by dmsilev » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:04 pm

It was mentioned a while ago that the overall development plan for 0.17 was to declare it stable, and then have sort of mini experimental branches with new features, all under the 0.17.x umbrella. I'd strongly suggest using one of those branches for this idea. Once the bug count for 0.17 gets low enough, hit the "stable!" button and give everyone a checkpoint that's a reference. Then, relative to that reference, roll out an experimental with the change. Easy for users to opt out, allows testing and the possibility of reversion etc.

As far as the change itself goes, I'm not a fan. It makes basic oil too simple, simpler even than metal smelting. Consider the production chain to make pet gas vs. iron plates. For plates, it's

Mining drill->Belt->inserter->furnace->inserter->belt->to consumers

and the player has to deal with belt capacity and fueling the furnaces. By contrast, with this proposed oil recipe, it's
Pumpjack->pipe->Refinery->pipe->to consumers
There's no capacity issue (for new users, a pipe has huge capacity especially compared to a single lane of a yellow belt), no inserters, no need to route coal into furnaces. The only real new element that the current version of oil processing adds is the idea of multiple outputs and the need to draw from all outputs to prevent blockage. Getting rid of that means that there's fundamentally no new element being introduced.

I'd argue that instead of changing the recipe, what is needed is more information. Specifically, an oil tutorial. Have the player build a pump jack, connect it to a refinery, and then instruct them to use one of the outputs to make something. Let's say a chem plant to make plastic. Once the output blocks, introduce the concept of needing to draw on all three outputs and have the player build a lubricant plant and a light oil to solid fuel plant. Finally, once Advanced oil is researched, have a second tutorial on cracking.

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

Post by jodokus31 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:06 pm

Bilka wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:39 pm
BattleFluffy wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:25 pm
However this should not come at any cost. This change seems like it would greatly reduce the complexity of oil, especially for a megabase, as there is likely no need to ever use Advanced Oil Processing recipe or cracking.
You just create heavy oil and light oil out of thin air? Neat. You could argue that coal liquefaction is used instead, but what's the problem with that? It's more difficult than advanced oil processing, so it definitely doesn't reduce complexity. And it won't have the exact ratio of heavy and light oil that you need, so there's cracking again.
Some major complexity arises from the fact, that you need alot of it.
For heavy oil, you won't need that much and a small unbalanced AOP or Coal liquefaction plant would be enough for most. Sure it must be setup, but it's not so critical to work perfectly.
For the main product petroleum its just a lot of BOP, if you have enough oil.
Solid fuel can be obtained from BOP, if you have enough oil

But, I'm not totally against the change any more, because i think, it'll be an interesting change. Esp. if you NOT have enough oil :)

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

Post by meganothing » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:16 pm

Reika wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:17 pm
I am not the original poster, but here is my issue with "forcing" people to use mods that substantially change the gameplay:

[four reasons...]

... but as stated some pages back, that confidence is cracked.
You are treating an Early-Access game as a service game. This is not a service game. There are no guarantees for backwards compatibility, EA is specifically for the developer to DEVELOP the game, including experimenting and breaking eggs, we are just onlookers.

Factorio users were especially pampered by Wube all these years I guess. I'm also playing "7 Days to die" and there they have changed the whole RPG system, after 7 years in development. Every alpha you have to start a new game, and often even between experimental sub-versions too (though that takes 1-2 months usually). There is no upgrade path, no automatic conversion of the save game.

Your confidence is cracked, and it should be cracked if you are confident that EA is a stable environment where you can play the same save for years.
In a few months Factorio will probably be released. THAT is a stable version, that is what you would have to use if you want to depend on it. But don't complain if that version bores you after a few weeks, because as per your wish THAT is a stable environment that won't see any new features, never again (except for DLCs and expansions that will probably break compatibility again)
Last edited by meganothing on Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:35 pm
Astrella wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:16 pm
Out of curiosity, is there currently a tutorial in game that covers oil refining?
Not really...
Otherwise, I already mentioned it, but I guess that a picture is better ?
Only problem with that is many people will probably disable those from the start.

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

Post by melind » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:32 pm

I appreciate the simplicity of the oil change, but I don't think it flows well with the rest of the game (in particular you are now forced to use liquifcation if you want to have a significant amount of heavy/light oil).

I'd propose a setup like this:
1. Oil Processing provides petroleum and heavy oil only. This means you will still have much simpler oil processing. Petrol becomes plastics, heavy oil gives lube, solid fuel should come mostly from heavy oil, but can be produced from either as way to prefent fluid from backing up.
2. Advanced oil processing is where light oil is first introduced and cracking as well. This gives a more efficient recipe to get petroleum and also provides access to light oil which gives better rates of solid fuel. This allows more efficient setups but the additional complexity of advanced oil processing is not required.

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

Post by Llama » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:35 pm

To address the issue of heavy/light/petro backing up and blocking production, rather than scrapping basic oil production as we know it there could be a yellow flashing :!: at the bottom to indicate an issue, like when trains run out of fuel or robots have no free chests to deliver to.

I got this idea from the screenshot on the previous page, it might break continuity in the UI if the tip was shown when clicking on the :!: , but what if there was an intelligent button in the corner you can click on to bring up a "random" tip, based on what it thinks the player needs to learn most at a given moment. If there's low power, it could suggest alternate power means or checking poles are connected. If all the oil refineries are backed up, it could suggest this:
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Last edited by Llama on Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:36 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:16 pm
Reika wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:17 pm
I am not the original poster, but here is my issue with "forcing" people to use mods that substantially change the gameplay:

[four reasons...]

... but as stated some pages back, that confidence is cracked.
You are treating an Early-Access game as a service game. This is not a service game. There are no guarantees for backwards compatibility, EA is specifically for the developer to DEVELOP the game, including experimenting and breaking eggs, we are just onlookers.
Actually, I'm pretty sure we're more investors.

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

Post by Theikkru » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:39 pm

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:35 pm
Astrella wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:16 pm
Out of curiosity, is there currently a tutorial in game that covers oil refining?
Not really...
Otherwise, I already mentioned it, but I guess that a picture is better ?
Only problem with that is many people will probably disable those from the start.
True, but the onus is on the player if they disable an in-game help feature without at least thumbing through the pages, so in that case you can invoke RTFM.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:50 pm

Theikkru wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:39 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:35 pm
Astrella wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:16 pm
Out of curiosity, is there currently a tutorial in game that covers oil refining?
Not really...
Otherwise, I already mentioned it, but I guess that a picture is better ?
Only problem with that is many people will probably disable those from the start.
True, but the onus is on the player if they disable an in-game help feature without at least thumbing through the pages, so in that case you can invoke RTFM.
To a degree, yes, but even if they do flip through them all at the start, I wouldn't expect them to remember them all.

But a thought, too, seems oil is such a huge hurtle for some, perhaps disabling the oil tip could be a separate disable option? So even if they disable the tips at the beginning, this one will still pop on them, but then still have the ability to disable so it won't continue to annoy if/when they start another map. Or incorporate it into something similar to what Llama said above.
Llama wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:35 pm
To address the issue of heavy/light/petro backing up and blocking production, rather than scrapping basic oil production as we know it there could be a yellow flashing :!: at the bottom to indicate an issue, like when trains run out of fuel or robots have no free chests to deliver to.

I got this idea from the screenshot on the previous page, it might break continuity in the UI if the tip was shown when clicking on the :!: , but what if there was an intelligent button in the corner you can click on to bring up a "random" tip, based on what it thinks the player needs to learn most at a given moment. If there's low power, it could suggest alternate power means or checking poles are connected. If all the oil refineries are backed up, it could suggest this:

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

Post by meganothing » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:00 pm

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:36 pm
Actually, I'm pretty sure we're more investors.
Not really. An investor usually has shares, he owns part of the game or at least gets a share from the profits. You don't. You payed for the game and you payed for also getting early access to the game. You are a player.

The only rights you have by law is a claim to get pre-release versions (but there is no place where the number is really specified) and an ambiguous assurance on steam that you will be able to watch and give input into the development process.

Surely it would be a desastrous publicity-move for a developer to not talk and listen to its EA audience, but legally we are on nearly the same level as someone pre-ordering the game.

Ask a lawyer if you don't believe me.

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

Post by Jan11 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:03 pm

Please release the update.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:06 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:00 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:36 pm
Actually, I'm pretty sure we're more investors.
Not really. An investor usually has shares, he owns part of the game or at least gets a share from the profits. You don't. You payed for the game and you payed for also getting early access to the game. You are a player.

The only rights you have by law is a claim to get pre-release versions (but there is no place where the number is really specified) and an ambiguous assurance on steam that you will be able to watch and give input into the development process.

Surely it would be a desastrous publicity-move for a developer to not talk and listen to its EA audience, but legally we are on nearly the same level as someone pre-ordering the game.

Ask a lawyer if you don't believe me.
I'm not talking literal legal.

Part of the point behind EA is development funding. They gave a sales pitch, we liked the idea and concept, so we gave them money to use in the development.

It is very much like investing because we're hoping to get a payout of a nice, finished game.

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

Post by AngledLuffa » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:13 pm

Advanced Oil Processing seems like it will become entirely redundant. My personal feeling is that Advanced Oil Processing should not be made redundant. Do you think it won't be? Where would you efficiently use it?
If I read the FFF correctly, AOP will produce more output than BOP. Even if you only want gas, you'll get better results from using AOP and cracking the two heavier fractions to gas. Of course, a large factory needs a substantial amount of solid fuel for blue science and transportation. Granted, you can make that all from gas, but you get much, much more efficiency from making it out of light oil. Ultimately, I'd much rather have AOP and get rid of the heavy oil somehow than just make everything out of BOP except for a tiny bit of lube for the yellow bottles.

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

Post by cazzaaa » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:17 pm

Llama wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:35 pm
I got this idea from the screenshot on the previous page, it might break continuity in the UI if the tip was shown when clicking on the :!: , but what if there was an intelligent button in the corner you can click on to bring up a "random" tip, based on what it thinks the player needs to learn most at a given moment. If there's low power, it could suggest alternate power means or checking poles are connected. If all the oil refineries are backed up, it could suggest this:
Llama raises a good idea.
Looking at responses to this proposed change have really highlighted the issue that seems to be very little is taught or explained about fluids. Not only that, it can become difficult to easily identify a issue in the production chain for fluids due to more closed nature of pipes. It is one reason i rarely like to use underground belts as the visual feedback is great to have as i can tell straight away whats wrong.

Tips/Hints i turned off after flicking through them once, i didnt even know oil had one as i only remembered the ones that i had in game experience with shortly after. We also have a great system used by electricity and biter attacks that trigger a warning, surely one can be made for oil outputs or at least make the difference between stalled and operational pipes more visually apparent. Hell, even a suggestion or something that explains Solid Fuel and not allowing PG to be made into it till AOP would help immensely as it might not be clear as day in the tech tree

A tutorial is definitely needee for oil already, and i recall someone earlier suggesting how it can be done which sounded great.

If a player doesnt know how to overcome the wall that is oil, maybe it wasnt explained well enough in game, or ways to deal with it were not readily avaible or apparent. Just pushing the problem away to later won't help, moreso when that later supposedly better method has you un learn what you recently were taugh aka the PG to solid fuel, then with AOP, turning LO to solid fuel would be more apparent.

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:23 pm

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:50 pm
Theikkru wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:39 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:35 pm
Astrella wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:16 pm
Out of curiosity, is there currently a tutorial in game that covers oil refining?
Not really...
Otherwise, I already mentioned it, but I guess that a picture is better ?
Only problem with that is many people will probably disable those from the start.
True, but the onus is on the player if they disable an in-game help feature without at least thumbing through the pages, so in that case you can invoke RTFM.
To a degree, yes, but even if they do flip through them all at the start, I wouldn't expect them to remember them all.

But a thought, too, seems oil is such a huge hurtle for some, perhaps disabling the oil tip could be a separate disable option? So even if they disable the tips at the beginning, this one will still pop on them, but then still have the ability to disable so it won't continue to annoy if/when they start another map. Or incorporate it into something similar to what Llama said above.
I suggested a while ago that Factorio should consider doing it the way some other games do :
Image
(And make the player press Tab/Space/Enter to close that screen once the game finished loading, which tends to be quick these days...)
In fact, this autopause after loading is the reason why I haven't disabled them... though I don't even look at them anymore !

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

Post by n8crafter » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:33 pm

vampiricdust wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am

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?
while we're at it, remove copper and make everything from iron
copper only serves to make things complicated for the sake of being complicated

the point of oil processing having multiple outputs is to match real-world chemical processes, in addition to providing a logistical challenge to the player. I personally feel like this suggestion aims to remove logistics from a game involving logistics as a core component.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:34 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:23 pm
I suggested a while ago that Factorio should consider doing it the way some other games do :
Image
(And make the player press Tab/Space/Enter to close that screen once the game finished loading, which tends to be quick these days...)
In fact, this autopause after loading is the reason why I haven't disabled them... though I don't even look at them anymore !
That could certainly be a way of getting it in.

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

Post by Arcitos » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:40 pm

dmsilev wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:04 pm
I'd argue that instead of changing the recipe, what is needed is more information. Specifically, an oil tutorial. Have the player build a pump jack, connect it to a refinery, and then instruct them to use one of the outputs to make something. Let's say a chem plant to make plastic. Once the output blocks, introduce the concept of needing to draw on all three outputs and have the player build a lubricant plant and a light oil to solid fuel plant. Finally, once Advanced oil is researched, have a second tutorial on cracking.
+1

Dear devs, I'd love to see another good mini tutorial from you, this time covering the hurdles to overcome in oil refining. This way new players will experience the critical aspects of output blocking, petroleum dead lock and pipe management in a controlled environment where they may experiment with different setups and are confronted with scenarios that normaly would occur only hours after setting up the inital refinery - once at a time.

The tutorial also would act as some kind of mile stone achievement, showing the player that he/she has mastered the basic game mechanics and will now officially be introduced to the mid game experience. I for my part would appreciate it greatly if you could take the creation of a new, comprehensive oil refining tutorial into consideration before changing the BOP recipe. :)

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

Post by Llama » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:42 pm

There's only so many tips a brand new player can absorb right at the beginning, I find I understand them better when I have some context to apply them to in order to remember them, and I get the context through playing. So having tips spaced out as the game progresses would help, as technologies are researched or perhaps the first oil-related building is placed, since players may research something a while before they actually use it. Finding some balance between informing new players, but not being too intrusive. Shouldn't keep popping up for subsequent playthroughs, unless re-enabled in options.

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

Post by n8crafter » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:49 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:16 pm
Reika wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:17 pm
I am not the original poster, but here is my issue with "forcing" people to use mods that substantially change the gameplay:

[four reasons...]

... but as stated some pages back, that confidence is cracked.
You are treating an Early-Access game as a service game. This is not a service game. There are no guarantees for backwards compatibility, EA is specifically for the developer to DEVELOP the game, including experimenting and breaking eggs, we are just onlookers.

Factorio users were especially pampered by Wube all these years I guess. I'm also playing "7 Days to die" and there they have changed the whole RPG system, after 7 years in development. Every alpha you have to start a new game, and often even between experimental sub-versions too (though that takes 1-2 months usually). There is no upgrade path, no automatic conversion of the save game.
7 days to die isn't exactly an EA game i'd point to, considering the 7DTD devs are really just milking the title for money and bug reports.
Factorio, on the other hand, is more than qualified to be a release-level game. in point of fact, it was qualified in v0.16. Wube's criteria for release is, to my knowledge, nothing more than "it doesn't have any major bugs" with 0.17 being mostly dedicated to a few QOL changes and heaps of bugfixes.

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