Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:18 am

Adamo wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:24 am
{...}
If you haven’t already, you should read through the thread. It was started by one of the devs and he did cite that currently temp calculations need to be done at every fluid box junction, so removal of it would have large performance gains.

And yes, if temp were removed, they’d solve the multiple steam temps by creating multiple steam fluids.

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

Post by Adamo » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:21 am

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:18 am
If you haven’t already, you should read through the thread. It was started by one of the devs and he did cite that currently temp calculations need to be done at every fluid box junction, so removal of it would have large performance gains.

And yes, if temp were removed, they’d solve the multiple steam temps by creating multiple steam fluids.
Roger that.

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

Post by Yijare » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:44 am

Omnifarious wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:02 am
Yijare wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:55 pm
TheBloke wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:32 pm
In this very same FFF we see a change reversed as the result of past feedback.
They reverted nothing. they just added pause ticks again.
You didn't read hard enough. They returned obstacle avoidance for rail building. A feature I sorely miss, as well as many other people.
As they figured out before the FFF and even in a release before the FFF. Figures.

I've been critical of the devs, and sometimes not so pleasantly (most notably a bug report involving ghost rail building), but I try hard to be reasonable most of the time. The devs for this game are some of the most reasonable and careful devs of just about any software product I've ever had experience with. Some Open Source communities are better, but it's far from common even there.
I think you are missing a point here. I'm not saying they are bad or that they can't code. I'm saying that they have clearly one thing in mind and that is 'the new players' - other words for Cash. I'm not saying Wube needs or lacks any of it, but targeting a potential player that might spend 30 bucks if the game just is like any causal uncomplex wahtever game... well you see where we are going with this.
Personally, my biggest objection to the change is the way it moves bots farther on, and the way it forces me to painfully convert pet gas to solid fuel. I think moving construction bots farther out is a big mistake. The other problem is just a pet peve.
This is causing us to start the belt-bot war again, but construction bots should be separated from logistics bots. because the one is 'user instrucked' the other one is just a "set n forget, i dont want to think about belting this" option.

But it seems like a lot of people do. I'll let the devs decide how important it is to deal with that problem. I trust their experience with game development and the testing they've done more than I trust my judgement in this matter.
You know... that we have 0.17.x is because we ARE the testers.
Factorio did not leave Beta.

And if People can't deal with some 3 outputs how should they deal with things as complex as rail systems? We should just nerf this also, remove the need for any signaling and just let the trains figure out when it is save for them to go anywehere w/o crashing. because, matter of factly, thats what this will culminate to.
Madness? No, just insannity!

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

Post by whispermusic » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:48 am

Meta_Boy wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:51 pm
So, the team thinks the problem with Basic Oil Processing is that new players can't handle the 3 outputs?

I guess it is easy to see why. Constant posts by all kinds of players asking why their refineries stopped working, does give the impression that there is a problem.

There is a problem, but it's a little offensive to put that blame on players in general, especially new ones. "Those bleepin idiots can't even handle 3 liquids, ugh, fine, we'll reduce it to one, for the babies." is what I'm hearing from the dev team.

The problem isn't the players, the problem is the recipe. Players who post about their backed up refineries consistently display that they set up everything correctly. Crude oil goes in, 3 other "oils" come out, and most of the time those are connected to chemical plants or at least fluid tanks. Because new players aren't braindead idiots, they can "read" the game systems, and they have reacted correctly to the new resource.

It's Basic Oil Processing that doesn't work properly. Never has, and even with the proposed change, never will.

Taking away 2 products does not fix what you think it will fix. Yes, it eliminates the 2 commonly backed-up resources, and thus reduces some of the pipe-spaghetti. But what does that do to the player? It sets up false expectations, and when fluid back-up hits them once they switch to Advanced Oil Processing, they should be in a position where they can play around with all the cool things Blue Science unlocks, but instead they're forced to suddenly juggle 3 oil products AND Cracking all at once!

The problem isn't that Heavy and Light Oil exist in Basic Oil Processing, the problem is that they don't work properly. There is way too much of either, even when you're immediately making solid fuel out of both AND storing thousands of units of the stuff in tanks. It's almost like the New Player Experience, but also the 700th playthroughs of veterans, would be MUCH simpler and easier to manage if refineries had the Advanced Oil Processing ratios from the get-go. WAY less oil, probably just enough to help blue science tick over every now and again - which is exactly what this FFF wants. Blue Science. Nothing but Blue Science. ALL the useful things from now are behind Blue Science. Make Blue Science. Make Blue Science NOW!! And that's all the oils will be good for, until you get Cracking.

Then we get to Cracking, which at this point should be the only thing the "Advanced Oil Processing" tech unlocks. Oh boy. Cracking. New Players get stuck and give up because their refineries stop working, because Basic Oil Processing doesn't work correctly, because you 1000% want every player to suffer through Basic Oil Processing for 20 minutes to 20 hours (depending on the type of player), because neither of your oil processing recipes work right, because you want the players to be cracking. Because you need the players to be cracking. Because Cracking, not the oil processing recipe for the refinery, is your solution to the backed-up fluids.

And I admit, I don't understand cracking. It is the ONLY instance in the entire game where you put in 3 resources, and out come ... the exact same 3 resources, just in different numbers. Yes, they're staggered, you're not putting in coal and getting coal. But you're not actually making anything new. Every other process in the game makes something "new", even if it's only gear wheels. Even that weird-ass uranium conversion process squeezes more glowy bits out of the dull bits. That's a "new" thing that comes out of that machine.

And this process is so damn weird and out of place and a band-aid for a wound you deliberately gave us 2 in-game hours ago, that I cannot even begin to come up with a "fix". I mean, so far I have not proposed any fixes to anything (the Advanced Oil Processing recipe is already in the game and already works better, I didn't come up with anything). I'm not a game designer, I'm a dude who plays video games; I can only attempt to describe why playing with your oil products feels bad to me and other players.

I do get that there probably needs to be a way to control the amounts of oils and gas in larger factories. Come to think of it, I don't even know if us minimal-effort losers can get away without cracking at all, if all we're making is plastic and solid fuel. Both are constantly being used until the end of time, by blue science. That change was one of the best thing the team ever put into this game. It is so goshdarn useful. Above all, it massively improved the early-oil situation for new and intermediate players. You guys clearly know how to do this.

So really, I almost agree with this proposal. You're right that Basic Oil Processing right now feels bad - but you're wrong why. You're right that Blue Science should probably be the key to all those other things we want - but you're wrong that locking EVERYTHING behind it makes anything easier. Both on current version and in the proposal, "Things unlocked by Blue Science" and "Mandatory Rework of my Entire Oil Setup" happen at the same time. You need to seperate those. YOU, the devs, NOT the newbie player who can't get this fluid thing right, need to fix YOUR oil product ratios. They need to work just about well enough very early on (and current Blue Science already does most of the work); and they need to work well enough when we set up S.Acid, Explosives, and Batteries - without cracking. THEN you can task us with precise fluid manipulation via cracking, for specialized oil modules, for science-only production, for only making rocket fuel for the rocket(s), for the unquenchable thirst of a module3-only factory, etc.

... and then we can keep items researched by green science but built with advanced circuits. Everybody wins.
I quite like the idea of changing basic oil processing to have advanced oil processing ratios and the advanced oil tech just unlocks cracking.

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

Post by IronCartographer » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:02 am

whispermusic wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:48 am
I quite like the idea of changing basic oil processing to have advanced oil processing ratios and the advanced oil tech just unlocks cracking.
On its own, that would make coal liquefaction far more important for the times when you need heavy oil. . . interesting.

Might be good to move liquefaction into blue science tier as a result though.

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

Post by Omnifarious » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:51 am

Yijare wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:44 am
Omnifarious wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:02 am
You didn't read hard enough. They returned obstacle avoidance for rail building. A feature I sorely miss, as well as many other people.
As they figured out before the FFF and even in a release before the FFF. Figures.
No, the change to bring back obstacle avoidance has not yet been released. Yes, Kovarex did decide to make the change as the result of a discussion attached to the post about the 0.17.58 release, which was before FFF #304.
Yijare wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:44 am
This is causing us to start the belt-bot war again, but construction bots should be separated from logistics bots. because the one is 'user instrucked' the other one is just a "set n forget, i dont want to think about belting this" option.
And, yes, I agree with you, construction bots are distinct from logistics bots. And my objection is specifically to construction bots being moved further back in the game. I'm happy with any attempt to make the initial oil setup easier for new players that does not also result in construction bots being made significantly harder to get. That's why I'm all for the only heavy oil + cracking idea. :-) Particularly since it still requires complexity of one kind (chains of cracking stuff) that the player should already be sort of familiar with. And then Advanced Oil Processing rewards conquering a complexity of a different kind.

Though, changing the basic oil recipe to have ratios more in line with what players need at that stage seems like a good idea, it still puts construction bots behind blue science because you still can't be producing heavy oil because you can't count on the player using it for lubricant. Maybe if there's a 'reverse cracking' recipe that still lets you make heavy oil, or a very wasteful recipe that lets you make lubricant from light oil and crude, it could be OK. Also, if you did this, you'd have to move the pet gas -> solid fuel recipe to advanced oil processing or players would use it and still have the same problem.

I do not have strong opinions about where in the progression you should acquire chest->chest logistics bots. I, personally, generally only use logistics bots to transport things that would require significantly less than a yellow belt to move without them. But if the belt vs. bots debate should arise again, I agree with most who think that it's a matter of design choice that the devs shouldn't intervene in beyond adjusting how hard lit is to get chest->chest logistics bots.

Your other points about over-simplifying the game... I think changes that reduce the complexity necessary to progress while not reducing the complexity needed to be efficient or good are often good changes, particularly if that change makes it accessible to a wider variety of players. I can't think of a way to make a change to trains that would accomplish that goal. I do think some of Factorio's complexity makes it more of a niche game than it needs to be. And I would enjoy playing this game with more people.

I can understand, to an extent, the "I like games that are HARD." school of thought. While I do think a game should pose some challenge, I don't generally agree that extreme challenge makes a better game. I find such games off-putting. For Factorio, it just so happens that the kinds of problems Factorio made me solve were ones I was already good at. I like games that strongly reward extra effort without requiring that I put in that extra effort in order to progress. I know, for example, that I will never return to Dark Souls because I don't really enjoy being defeated by the same enemy 20 or 30 times in a row before I finally get all the timing absolutely perfect so I can move forward. And I know that there are people who will look down on me for that, and I think that's silly.

It's possible to have a discussion about game design philosophies and their merits that don't cast aspersions on people's motives for holding a particular philosophy.

The assembler change simply made the point of complexity be recipes requiring a fluid input rather than recipes requiring more than a certain number of ingredients. The pick-axe, mining hardness, and burner efficiency changes arguably just removed pointless complexity that added nothing to gameplay (though some mod authors had found better ways to use the features than vanilla did, and maybe the code shouldn't have been removed). I don't really feel the game is on a 'dumbed down to pointlessness' trajectory while trying to chase new players.

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

Post by Illiander42 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:58 am

I don't think anyone would care if logi bots are pushed behind blue science. At the end of the day, they're just a different type of belt.

But construction bots let you automate something new. They're the biggest paradigm shift in the game, and where the early game ends.

I'm a big believer in giving players access to all the types of tool early, then letting them unlock better versions later.

Factorio is all about construction bots. Pushing them later is bad.

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

Post by F_W » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:38 am

Made an account just to post for the first time and give my opinion

As a recently new player (<300 hrs), I felt that the big difficulty jump with blue science came not just from oil, but also 1) the slow recipe requiring 12 assemblers for proper ratio, 2) engines and red chips being so slow to make, and 3) it was the first science pack that required three ingredients AND was used in EVERY research afterward (unlike military/purple/yellow). It really feels like there are not one, but TWO difficulty spikes at the same time with blue science and oil. I would propose to separate these two by both simplifying blue science and changing the oil difficulty spike to be a gradual ramping up

Red chips were, in my opinion, the worst offender. They were slow and required 3 of them for the recipe, and also required knowledgeable oil handling to make the plastic components. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned this besides one other person (Avezo). Are we alone in this?

I thought about this for awhile like all of you, and thought about combining some of the changes proposed by many others. If it were up to me, this is what I'd do:

1) I really liked Hexicube's idea to make the first oil recipe output heavy oil only. So as not to compete with coal liquefaction later on, this recipe would need to be very inefficient. Maybe have it yield 30 to 50 heavy oil only? Also, separate the cracking recipes out into their own research (red+green packs only) to incrementally teach new players the uses of each fluid (more on that below)

2) At the same time, only allow solid fuel to be made from heavy oil at the very beginning, with a new research for "more efficient" solid fuel coming from light oil (maybe requiring blue science). This will make it more obvious and will come in handy later on when people need rocket fuel, giving a reason to use light oil instead of heavy oil to make solid fuel

3) To complement the above changes, remove red chips from the blue science recipe. They are a huge learning hurdle and are already required by purple and yellow packs later on (for the electric furnaces, modules, and blue chips). Balance this removal by making blue science a 6-second recipe that yields a single blue science pack, but make it require an electric engine to introduce lube (idea from IronCartographer's post) and change the solid fuel requirement to be much higher (maybe 3 to 5 units), in order to burn up lots of the heavy oil from change #2) and incentivize the use of light oil and advanced oil processing to make it instead

This would reduce the overall need for red chips (and therefore plastic and petroleum) so petroleum will no longer be as sought after. The single-output heavy oil will be the introduction fluid for blue science packs (to make solid fuel and lube for the electric engine). Later on, light oil will have the best use for meeting the higher solid fuel demand for blue science, giving each oil component a bit more balance in terms of usage while slowly introducing all the components of the fluid puzzle to new players

Regarding bots: I think locking the logistics bots behind blue science is fine but I think construction bots should be unlocked earlier since they only need a green chip and aren't as versatile in terms of moving resources around the base. Since the game is about automation, pushing construction bots further back in the tech tree doesn't seem right

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

Post by TRauMa » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:29 am

Huh, boy. The sky is clearly falling in here.

After reading through at least half of the thread (start and end, feel free to dismiss this because I didn't read it all), I must say I kind of regret doing so. I always thought the factorio community was one of the few gaming communities that was somewhat rational in their discourse and evaluation of changes to the game. And now I think I may have just been lucky in what I saw, and with how WUBE handled changes.

Things like "Argh, no, I can't just quit slamming the door with angry face" or "if people can't even figure out three outputs, let's remove rails" or " will this game be the best it can be or will it cater to the lowest common denominator?" (nice false dichotomy, there) or the lovely suggestion that the only (or likely) reason devs care about the new user experience is because they are greedy for the sweet money new users bring...

Seriously? Because basic oil processing now has only one output? I just don't get it.

Sure, I can see that some of you are concerned that the game now starts to remove features for the first time after basically only ever adding complexity for years. And it sucks to lose C++ engine features because they are removed after the base game doesn't use them any more, and mods either having to recreate them in lua or getting rid of them, too. And maybe you have a point if you say that the latter happened a bit too often lately (mining hardness etc.).

But this fear that factorio is now "showing a trend" of becoming a lesser game every time it loses some of that sweet convoluted complexity in vanilla? C'mon. Take a breath.

The truth is, factorio is a lowest common denominator game. Resources and space are infinite, enemies are optional, the only pressure you are under if you are achievement hunting in vanilla is rushing the first rocket, not using certain optional features and scaling production beyond what is necessary, and you can do them all one after the other. This is not dark souls, or super meat boy, or dwarf fortress. Factorio is not hardcore. It can be, if you insist on a hell world with sparse resources, or marathon, or complexity mods, or a mega base, or all of the above combined.

What is hard, and harder than it should be still, is learning the game mechanics. Most players that don't get hooked on the game (from what I see) , or never launch a rocket, they don't fail because they are "stupid" and should get on your level. They are not your enemy. They are fellow gamers who gave up because the game either wasn't for them (nothing anyone can do here) , or because they got frustrated because of some stupid thing like not getting enough plastics because light oil is backed up, and then wondering "Well, what is light oil good for anyhow?" and then discovering "nothing in particular, its just there to annoy you lol" and then quitting the game and never turning back. And yes, I've seen exactly this happen. And no, showing them more clearly that light oil is backed up is not a solution to this (though still a good idea).

But most of you don't remember how hard it was to learn. Most of you don't know how close they were to quit and not come back if they had been running against one stupid thing again and again without realizing what they are doing wrong.

Frankly, I'd value any player who could have enjoyed the game lost to the needless complexity in BOP much more severe than ten players who claim it is essential in vanilla (but who refuse to use vanilla changing mods at the same time) leaving because the change pisses them off. Because those already had their fun, else they wouldn't hold such strong opinions.

Well, we will see how all of this will shake out. I have a slight suspicion the sky won't be falling. But I sincerely hope the devs don't just back down on simplifications they deem necessary and good, even this late in 0.17, because of community backlash. And, after proofreading, sorry for also posting a novel. :(

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

Post by Light » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am

This thread sure has grown a lot in a day.

F_W wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:38 am
I would propose to separate these two by both simplifying blue science -
I had to stop reading there. Science is the main means of progression and undermining that aspect only makes everything else easier as a result.

Part of the appeal for blue science being a bit of a hurdle is that you're going to be using less than ideal things for a while until you are ready to make the next jump into superior tech. This minor hurdle being removed makes many things obsolete very quickly and rushes you into the late game far sooner than was designed.

This entire thread has been explaining why simplification in such a niche game that was formerly more involved is already a bad thing, but that's one thing that would have even worse ramifications than the change to oil.

TRauMa wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:29 am
But most of you don't remember how hard it was to learn.
I do. It's the only reason I bought the game in the first place.

Learning how to master the train system after hours of trial and error was a thrill once things started to flow and I started to see how things seemed to function. It provided the tingly sensation seeing trains sail across the tracks without crashing. It felt very rewarding after spending the time to learn the ins and outs which also applied to oil and other systems. I could have used a wiki but that would have spoiled the fun for me.

If these systems were simplified at the time then that rewarding sensation would either be diminished or eliminated since it took no effort to do. The main appeal of puzzles is the challenge of figuring it out for yourself, but that's not possible if you're forced to take the easy route only. Easy games like that bore the hell out of me, which is why Factorio stood out among the crowd as something to challenge the mind. Now I turn to mods to sustain the stimulation that vanilla no longer provides.

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:59 am

F_W wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:38 am
[...]
As a recently new player (<300 hrs), I felt that the big difficulty jump with blue science came not just from oil, but also 1) the slow recipe requiring 12 assemblers for proper ratio, 2) engines and red chips being so slow to make, and 3) it was the first science pack that required three ingredients AND was used in EVERY research afterward (unlike military/purple/yellow). It really feels like there are not one, but TWO difficulty spikes at the same time with blue science and oil. I would propose to separate these two by both simplifying blue science and changing the oil difficulty spike to be a gradual ramping up

Red chips were, in my opinion, the worst offender. They were slow and required 3 of them for the recipe, and also required knowledgeable oil handling to make the plastic components. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned this besides one other person (Avezo). Are we alone in this?
[...]
Maybe because blue science was already tweaked for 0.17 ?
https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-275
(It went from 1 to 1.5 red circuits per "bottle".)
mcdjfp wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:09 pm
Meta_Boy wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:51 pm
It's Basic Oil Processing that doesn't work properly. Never has, and even with the proposed change, never will.

Taking away 2 products does not fix what you think it will fix. Yes, it eliminates the 2 commonly backed-up resources, and thus reduces some of the pipe-spaghetti. But what does that do to the player? It sets up false expectations, and when fluid back-up hits them once they switch to Advanced Oil Processing, they should be in a position where they can play around with all the cool things Blue Science unlocks, but instead they're forced to suddenly juggle 3 oil products AND Cracking all at once!

The problem isn't that Heavy and Light Oil exist in Basic Oil Processing, the problem is that they don't work properly. There is way too much of either, even when you're immediately making solid fuel out of both AND storing thousands of units of the stuff in tanks. It's almost like the New Player Experience, but also the 700th playthroughs of veterans, would be MUCH simpler and easier to manage if refineries had the Advanced Oil Processing ratios from the get-go. WAY less oil, probably just enough to help blue science tick over every now and again - which is exactly what this FFF wants. Blue Science. Nothing but Blue Science. ALL the useful things from now are behind Blue Science. Make Blue Science. Make Blue Science NOW!! And that's all the oils will be good for, until you get Cracking.

Then we get to Cracking, which at this point should be the only thing the "Advanced Oil Processing" tech unlocks. Oh boy. Cracking. New Players get stuck and give up because their refineries stop working, because Basic Oil Processing doesn't work correctly, because you 1000% want every player to suffer through Basic Oil Processing for 20 minutes to 20 hours (depending on the type of player), because neither of your oil processing recipes work right, because you want the players to be cracking. Because you need the players to be cracking. Because Cracking, not the oil processing recipe for the refinery, is your solution to the backed-up fluids.
Still not 100% convinced a change needs to happen, but this is an idea I could probably get behind. Far better than any oil in one product out starter recipe.

You already tried to balance the resources spawned on the map with respect to the amount needed to "win the game." Do the same for the oil processing recipe. Provide a reasonably well balanced oil processing recipe with the basic oil processing research. It won't be perfect because everyone builds differently. But since it won't be deliberately off (to encourage changing later) it will be much easier do deal with the excess (the steam boilers, fuel for smelters, or a couple of chests will make it vanish). Get rid of the advanced oil processing recipe. The advanced oil processing research would only give the cracking recipes which allows for fine tuning of the output. Need more heavy oil, then there is coal liquefaction. A fairly foolproof heavy oil multiplier could be build by routing the heavy oil from the oil processing straight into coal liquefaction, and from the coal liquefaction to the rest of the base.

This keeps the oil puzzle, and encourages solving it earlier (maybe a helpful tutorial as well) in the game when it is not as entrenched in the base. A better balanced ratio keeps the excesses down and reduces the pressure to rush to advanced. If the ratio ends up a bit off in the lategame there are plenty of solid fuel sinks (trains and of course rocket fuel). I don't bother with coal liquefaction now as I haven't needed it, this even gives it a good use. Plus the other stuff can be left alone.
Except that the whole point of cracking is that the ratios between what you get and what you need are off, so you're rewarded for setting up the cracking instead of just dumping the little excess in tanks, and "voiding" it by removing those tanks once in a while...

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

Post by PacifyerGrey » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:00 am

F_W wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:38 am
Red chips were, in my opinion, the worst offender. They were slow and required 3 of them for the recipe, and also required knowledgeable oil handling to make the plastic components. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned this besides one other person (Avezo). Are we alone in this?
Look at my previous post then
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=73443&p=444061#p444061

And the idea is not plain simplification of blue science but separating its oil part from heavy production part. This can be naturally done using production science pack as the name implies heavy load on production capabilities.
Last edited by PacifyerGrey on Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:01 am

Omnifarious wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:51 am
[...]
The pick-axe, mining hardness, and burner efficiency changes arguably just removed pointless complexity that added nothing to gameplay (though some mod authors had found better ways to use the features than vanilla did, and maybe the code shouldn't have been removed). I don't really feel the game is on a 'dumbed down to pointlessness' trajectory while trying to chase new players.
Reika wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:13 am
Adamo wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:42 pm
_Attila_ wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:20 pm
Pickaxes removed
I just want to say that this is an excellent example of a change that was a good change. I didn't realize some people complained about it, but those people were silly. The pickaxe served no meaningful purpose in the game; it had no value. It was right to remove it and at least those among my little corner of the universe agreed this was so. My point being we're not against change, but we are trying to stop a bad change.
A better example would be the removal of boiler efficiency, or mining hardness, or the (fortunately abandoned) damage type simplifications and removal of fluid temperature.
The underlying burner efficiency mechanic was not removed (at least for buildings, not sure for vehicles?) - the reason given was that a lot of mods used it... but so they did too for item durability and mining hardness !
Also, AFAIK damage types were simplified, and the jury on fluid temperature is still out yet (as can be seen in the thread that Omnifarious linked).
Reika wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:13 am
All mechanics which are a big piece of many mods and allow for more nuanced behavior than the comparatively simple vanilla utilizations of those features.
Indeed, removing item durability and how the pickaxe was a stackable, removable melee weapon snuffed out the potential for a whole class of survival-themed mods !
(And it does even affect gameplay on low-resource, high-biter games - you don't have to care about preserving your pickaxe and armor anymore, as well as the resources that you put into them...)
(However, their removal from vanilla was a good thing.)
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:35 am
[...]
Other things like the boiler efficiency and mining hardness, I really wish they had taken better advantage of these things and actually made some things interesting through their use. Yes, to some degree it did confuse things cause they just stuck these raw numbers out there and left it up the the user to try and do the math. Especially in the case of mining hardness, it would have been better if instead of having the raw numbers on the gui (or maybe in addition to), that they went ahead and did the math for you and put the final number out there for you to see.
[...]
Yes, they could (should!) have done that for item durability !
We don't even know how much damage the pickaxe does anymore ! ("Steel pickaxe" has probably been nerfed as a result ?)

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

Post by TRauMa » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:16 am

Light wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am
TRauMa wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:29 am
But most of you don't remember how hard it was to learn.
I do. It's the only reason I bought the game in the first place.

Learning how to master the train system after hours of trial and error was a thrill once things started to flow and I started to see how things seemed to function. It provided the tingly sensation seeing trains sail across the tracks without crashing. It felt very rewarding after spending the time to learn the ins and outs which also applied to oil and other systems. I could have used a wiki but that would have spoiled the fun for me.
Ah, but trains are optional. As are circuit networks. Or bots. Or anything military if you don't have biters. And so if factorio is also OpenTTD light, and Shenzhen IO weird, that's fine. But why has it to be liquid buffering and Adv. Oil Processing rushing? is this a fun mechanic?

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

Post by seltha » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:13 am

I get everyone's playstyle is different, and there are mods to tweak that, but after 500+ hours of factories over the past 3 years, this topic was finally controversial enough to make me create a forum account... lol. Given the fact that everyone is wrong on the internet, here is my 2c. Feel free to ignore it or not as you see fit. :)

1) IMO the best way to 'fix' basic oil processing (if it needs to be fixed) is to make three different recipes for you to select in the refinery, crude goes in, and whichever of the three you want comes out and the excess/other products are burned off/turned into delicious pollution for the biters to speak harshly with you about.

2) Construction robots should NOT be put behind another gate, if anything they should be brought forward. If it were me, I'd make Compilatron a construction robot who can work slowly on the ghosts you place (because why even bother building ghosts early game if a bot isn't going to build it for you?). Logistics bots can go further down the tree if you like.

3) There should be an early way to liquefy coal (part of basic processing?) that doesn't require oil to kick the process off. In my most recent playthrough I used a seed that turned out to only have a single oil well within practical reach, so I couldn't really do any oil processing until I had researched coal liquefaction. It was an interesting challenge, but also pretty disappointing hump at the same time.

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:44 am

seltha wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:13 am
[...]
2) Construction robots should NOT be put behind another gate, if anything they should be brought forward. If it were me, I'd make Compilatron a construction robot who can work slowly on the ghosts you place (because why even bother building ghosts early game if a bot isn't going to build it for you?). Logistics bots can go further down the tree if you like.
Yeah, this suggestion regularly comes up, and it seems like slow, ground, construction bots unlocked by green science & basic engines would be even more appropriate if the fast flying conbots were clearly moved to mid-blue science :

(source : Klonan)
(maybe a bit slower than this though, and burner-powered ?)
seltha wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:13 am
3) There should be an early way to liquefy coal (part of basic processing?) that doesn't require oil to kick the process off. In my most recent playthrough I used a seed that turned out to only have a single oil well within practical reach, so I couldn't really do any oil processing until I had researched coal liquefaction. It was an interesting challenge, but also pretty disappointing hump at the same time.
Well, it's a mod, but I leave it here just in case...
Turn wood into crude oil

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

Post by psihius » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:24 am

Let's get back to what actually matters in Factorio - numbers, ratios and efficiency (all kinds)! :)

So, I did some math and had discussions in my circle with other experienced players I know (which is not a small amount) and here's the conclusion - we are in agreement that it is going to be more efficient for us to skip Advanced Oil Processing entierly. Here's how it goes.

First - space/performance efficiency. New recipe is gonna allow us to do this setup
Image
As you can see, this is way WAY WAY fewer pipes and heck of a lot more throughput than any current beaconed setup today can provide.
Second - I math'ed out the difference between AOP currently and new basic recipe - 1 craft of the oil refinery to amount of petroleum after cracking you get - no productivity modules
AOP today: 90 petroleum, 132 with everything with lvl 3 prods all the way in the cracking chain.
New Basic Recipe: 50 petroleum, 65 units with prod 3s.

So a diff of 2 times.
But, compare current oil setups and all the cracking chains and all the balancing you need to do against the new recipe setup witch is dead simple that a monkey can stamp it. Take into account that there is way way way less piping and different entities because this is 1 refinery vs 1 refinery + 1 heavy oil cracking + 3 light oil cracking plants. It's not exactly 1 to 4, but it's up there.

Taking all that into account, it is still performance and time-wise easier to deal with a basic recipe than setting up AOP and it seems it is actually more performance. And grabbing oil is not really a problem - traffic for trains is gonna be more, but that can be easily handled (much easier than building the whole AOP setup).

As for lube - coal liquefaction. Petroleum goes into the main system, heavy into lube and light oil into solid fuel. We can also add a bit of heavy to light cracking to run it all the time cause you need a very little amount of chemical plants to run heavy cracking.


Sure, this is theory crafting, but even at this level this is way too close to comfort and it makes a very compelling case that AOP can go the way of the dodo.


Also, we went through 800 whitelisting tickets right now on Gridlock and I asked the whitelisting team what the stats are for people caring about ratios, performance and general efficiency. please take into account that this is a fairly advanced event, so our stats are also skewed towards more experienced players. I'm gonna just copy-paste a direct quote from our Discord cause the person replying to my request probably put it best:
well as the one that has probably seen most of the tickets i would say about 60% vaguely know about ratios and copy builds from memory they have seen somewhere
10% just build something without any real relation to ratio
15% hard copy builds via BP books and such
15% know what they are doing
about those 60% those are really only true for anything related to assemblers and belts
once we go to oil or beaconed build those numbers take a nose dive
also about 80% of all players copy their rail BPs
but back to oil you can have carefully crafted bases with all sorts of good ratioing nicely layed out belts and then they post oil and it is an utter mess where you are questioning wtf is going and how is this working?
most players also solve the problem of not enough oil by either building more tanks and/or more oil production
also arbirtrary numbers of cracking are quite common
These numbers really do not encourage me for people to go and tackle AOP after the change when they do not have to deal with light and heavy oil, when you can make solid fuel from petroleum and you don't really need a lot of lube so it can be a small dedicated build somewhere on the side with some AOP or just go with coal liquefaction cause that gives much more heavy oil.

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

Post by seltha » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:27 am

That ground based construction drone mod looks very interesting! I think I'll give it a go next time.

I used this mod on my current playthrough - https://mods.factorio.com/mod/early_construction - it felt a little cheaty to have flying things so early (though they were single use so there was a kind of balance). The quality of life was so much better... I'm doing a rail world, and manually cutting down trees to build the track is the worst :D

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:45 am

psihius wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:24 am
Let's get back to what actually matters in Factorio - numbers, ratios and efficiency (all kinds)! :)
I get that you're being semi-facetious here, and I feel the same way but... not really ?
psihius wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:24 am
Taking all that into account, it is still performance and time-wise easier to deal with a basic recipe than setting up AOP and it seems it is actually more performance.
Aaand you've ruined it... :P (if the main point was hard proof about performance issues)

But there *is* a worthwhile question here : can the new Basic Oil Processing be at the same time :
- Too bad efficiency-wise for a (semi-)serious/experienced player to even consider for late game.
- Still good enough to not be too tedious for early game and first time players ?
(- And Advanced Oil Processing not being the mandatory technology to rush would be nice too, but perhaps this is asking too much...)

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

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:00 am

seltha wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:27 am
That ground based construction drone mod looks very interesting! I think I'll give it a go next time.

I used this mod on my current playthrough - https://mods.factorio.com/mod/early_construction - it felt a little cheaty to have flying things so early (though they were single use so there was a kind of balance). The quality of life was so much better... I'm doing a rail world, and manually cutting down trees to build the track is the worst :D
There's also :
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Bluebuild
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Nanobots

And of course the time-tested vanilla method to get rid of trees :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvxdPIeUBrs&t=42s

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