Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

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

Post by DanGio » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am

RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:23 am
PacifyerGrey wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:15 am
However sadly this still does push back construction bots due to those indirectly requiring red chips. Maybe this could also be modded a bit to grant most satisfying experience.
Ahem, Construction Bots require Green Circuit Chips not Red Circuit Chips.
Don't you need a roboport to make them work ? :)

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

Post by Katamechanic » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:14 pm

Think the heavy oil, cracking solution is the way to go.

However, I reset my account to chime in on con bots.

Con bots being put back after blue science makes the game much more tedious. I get that per the technology, robots are more of a blue science thing, however Factorio is very much a steampunk, automation kind of game. Building by hand all the way to blue slows the game way down, and not just for veterans. Automating building should be earlier on since it's in line with the spirit of the game.

Surprise surprise though, the solution is already here. Construction Drones, a wonderful mod by *cough* a dev *cough*, unlocks this automation early, although probably too early. I propose having an early con bot like the construction drones unlockable, not at red science as in the mod, but in the spot reserved for con bots now. However, I would make them locked to a personal robo(drono?)port of maybe just 10 (15, 20?), and not include any building ports or provider/requester chests, so you can't automate building unless you are directly supervising it. This allows for an easier time of building blueprints, but pushes the efficient roboport process of building further on in the game, providing a staircase progression just like BOP versus AOP. You could also rework so these early drones match the building of con bots (Robotic frame + 2 EC) as the first progression after robotics, and then beef up con bots with Robot Frame + Advanced Circuits + Green Wire and Log bots with RF + 2 AC + Red Wire.

Just an idea to throw out there, to address the smoothing the devs want to accomplish, but preserving the challange and reward system that makes this game special. It also doesn't throw too much at the devs to accomplish, since the mod has already been developed, and would just need to be balanced and reworked.

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

Post by RocketManChronicles » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:15 pm

DanGio wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am
RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:23 am
PacifyerGrey wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:15 am
However sadly this still does push back construction bots due to those indirectly requiring red chips. Maybe this could also be modded a bit to grant most satisfying experience.
Ahem, Construction Bots require Green Circuit Chips not Red Circuit Chips.
Don't you need a roboport to make them work ? :)
For the roboport and the personal roboport, yes. But you can still make construction bots! :)

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

Post by Preserteo » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:35 pm

What is clear is that the devs are reading us and thinking what to do, the release that should have come out on Monday has not yet done so.

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

Post by Yijare » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:42 pm

RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:15 pm

For the roboport and the personal roboport, yes. But you can still make construction bots! :)
and they need a roboport to work. This is ad adsurdum.

Anyways. Sleeping another night on this, just got me this:

Oil is not easy and should not be. The cooking of crude is an advanced chemic process and it has several inputs and outputs. Heat, the Crude itself and the many products resulting from it.

Oversimplyfying the process in the Game not just feels wrong, it's the wrong way of tackling a problem users encounter. If they can't figure out why thier 3 output-machine is blocked then it's not the problem of there being a general problem with undertanding multi-output devices. It's clearly an UI/UX problem, because it is not indicated what causes the problem. But hey, we have already a butchered UI in 0.17 so why bother.

It was proposed several times in the thread, that the blocked output should be highlighted in red. - red usualy is a warning color. One of the easiest ways of showing even the BDU what is going on.
Madness? No, just insannity!

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

Post by Muche » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:50 pm

Maybe Engine units would be a good candidate for multiple outputs?
Something like Image + Image + Image -> Image + Image.
The engine units need to be made in an assembler (thus no workaround by handcrafting) and the resulting iron plate can be easily fed back into ingredients crafting.

However, I'm not sure how to evaluate the probability of a new player encountering and solving the desired lesson (i.e. engine units not being produced because of full iron plates output). Although the reverse (full engine units output with no iron plates) seems to be very likely.

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

Post by bhaktivedanta » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:13 pm

Great post and thank you for the research done:
I especially like these suggestions you made (the others are all good but might introduce too much detail while the general direction of developement appears to be to simplify things):
kbk wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:01 pm
[*] Heavy oil as a product of Basic oil processing must be retained (because what happens at the refinery at this stage is separation and the refinery is indeed useless when oil processing becomes so basic that there is no separation at all)
[...]
[*] There might be some 'backwards cracking' recipes later on for Plants or Refineries similar to IRL process called alkylation at or after the Advanced oil processing tech. E.g. PG + Sulfuric acid —> Less PG + some Light oil + a bit Sulfur (or a bit Sulfuric acid). These could allow for more precise control over oil products later on, like rather simplistic circuit balancing for your oil rigs or creation of separate lines for Rocket fuel elsewhere on the base
[*] Rocket fuel should be made almost entirely of Light oil (also more like IRL). This is to provide the much needed incentive to use the light oil at all

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

Post by RocketManChronicles » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:44 pm

I posted earlier in this thread that I like BOP as is, and gave the reasons why. Petroleum Gas goes for Plastic and eventually making Advanced Circuits, Light Oil goes for Solid Fuel, and Heavy Oil goes for Lubricant and eventually into Electric Engine to lead to Construction Bots. It is not balanced, but at least you have uses for all three outputs.

Now, the new proposed BOP is for only Petroleum Gas. I feel this is very limiting for production of other items and is not a true refining process (as in relation to the definition of refining oil). Having only the output of Petroleum Gas, you are using all of it for Plastic and Solid Fuel. Of course, the solid Fuel production is a very inefficient use of Petroleum Gas, and unlocking Advanced Processing will give better ratios and efficiencies. But I think I have a better solution, similar to others here.

A better solution (more of a compromise) would be to have Basic Oil Processing be having an input of Crude Oil and outputs of Heavy Oil and Petroleum Gas. Here, you can dedicate Petroleum Gas to Plastic and Heavy Oil can be used for Solid Fuel and also for Lubricant. The Heavy Oil to Solid Fuel is not that efficient, but is better than using Petroleum Gas; at least at this stage. And having heavy oil for Lubricant for Construction Bots (which should stay before Chemical Science) is a nice use. Therefore, you can have the research of Advanced Oil Processing be able to introduce Light Oil, which is a much better solution to Solid Fuel. And the introduction of oil cracking helps allow the user to balance the products to their needs and demands. I can go with this as a compromised solution, but I highly stand against having only Petroleum Gas result from Crude Oil. And like others have discussed, a better UI to indicate a backed up fluid would be a good solution as well.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:49 pm

IronCartographer wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:26 am
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:46 am
Wouldn't this delay sulfur processing and, by extension, batteries (accumulators, bots) and explosives?
It spreads out the oil learning and building process, yes. While it does reduce choice (enhancing focus on the fundamentals of basic fluid handling) at first, unlocking blue science happens quickly and advanced oil is displayed prominently.

Countless new players have rushed to exciting new technologies while disregarding advanced oil processing until it's too late. These changes push back the complications just long enough so that when they hit the full complexity increase of oil they will still be unlocking new things--driving production and scaling of their oil industry in order to try out the new toys.

It's an inversion of the philosophy of forcing advanced circuits through science directly, but one that just might work as there are so many other reasons to want them in abundance.
I'd rather us not push some of these techs out further, though. That and 1 in 1 out still feels wrong to me, and still pushes the 3 fluid "why is my production halting cause I can't see the backup in the pipes" problem out. I mean, all the techs between BOP and AOP right now are supposed to use the fluids so you, theoretically, don't get blocked up too much. Just personally, I don't think the usage is properly spread out between them.
RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:15 pm
DanGio wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:38 am
RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:23 am
PacifyerGrey wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:15 am
However sadly this still does push back construction bots due to those indirectly requiring red chips. Maybe this could also be modded a bit to grant most satisfying experience.
Ahem, Construction Bots require Green Circuit Chips not Red Circuit Chips.
Don't you need a roboport to make them work ? :)
For the roboport and the personal roboport, yes. But you can still make construction bots! :)
PacifyerGrey did say "indirectly", and seems you need roboports to be able to make it work....

Muche wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:50 pm
Maybe Engine units would be a good candidate for multiple outputs?
Where would the iron plate come from? Based on the input ingredients, you could feed in less gears or pipes to not get that, and getting it from leftover steel doesn't make much sense (as you'd essentially be "unsmelting" some of the steel). While I would support the idea of trying to put something like this in earlier than oil so the backing up can be visualized, in order for it to work, it really has to be something where it's logical that you can't simply trim down some of the input to avoid "leftover" output. Unfortunately, nothing easy comes to mind.

But, as time goes by, as others have pointed out:
Yijare wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:42 pm
It's clearly an UI/UX problem, because it is not indicated what causes the problem.
I, too, am becoming less convinced on that people can't understand the backing up and more convinced that they're simply not "seeing" it.
Roxor128 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:35 am
include a red blockage indicator light above each output on the model (well, sprite) that turns on when that output is blocked. Inside the window for a machine's details, turn the backgrounds of blocked outputs red for all machine types.
The indicator light could definitely help, though it'd have to blink, too, in order to have a better chance of being spotted. And yes, in the gui for the machine it should have a red background. I thought it already did, but I noticed yesterday that it's yellow (insufficient inputs are highlighted red). My guess why the devs did this is because it follows the color scheme of the Bottleneck mod that so many want integrated in: red for can't run due to insufficient input, yellow for running but no place to put the output/blocked up.

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

Post by IronCartographer » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:16 pm

I've added a list of changes to the long description, in case some of them were not obvious from the description before: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Heavy_Oil ... al_Science

I still encourage viewing the tech tree in-game, as it feels very different at all stages, breaking things down smoothly for someone with little experience at fluid handling or oil products.

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

Post by sadkov » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:35 pm

I really loved the chemical science pack recipe changes for 0.17 - but these oil-related changes - please don't change the recipes/requirements/tech tree (disabling one refinery input is awesome though)!
  • I found them being balanced perfectly in 0.17 so far
  • Chemical science pack unlocks damn advanced oil processing - it is one of the biggest progression milestones in the game I would say. Chemical science pack as a whole unlocks quite enough already (I didn't have any problems with that for sure)
  • Factorio is already a very OCD-heavy game, if I may say. Having a necessity to tame your OCD and build up a dirty temporary construction to rush for advanced oil processing (and several armor grid things) was a very nice flavor for the game progression
  • It also taught a very good lesson, critical for megabase construction and fast early progression in consecutive games (i.e. you build something in an optimal way for your current tool kit and resources at hand with a realization that you will definitely tear it down after you scale up with your available tools and resources).
  • Well, as funny as it may sound, but the "old" oil processing recipes better represent the real-world chemical technology, which was helping to not break the immersion of the game.

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

Post by Jan11 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:07 pm

Not patch again? Today? I want to start a new game.^^ :mrgreen:

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

Post by Omnifarious » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:19 pm

Katamechanic wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:14 pm
Surprise surprise though, the solution is already here. Construction Drones, a wonderful mod by *cough* a dev *cough*, unlocks this automation early, although probably too early. I propose having an early con bot like the construction drones unlockable, not at red science as in the mod, but in the spot reserved for con bots now. However, I would make them locked to a personal robo(drono?)port of maybe just 10 (15, 20?), and not include any building ports or provider/requester chests, so you can't automate building unless you are directly supervising it. This allows for an easier time of building blueprints, but pushes the efficient roboport process of building further on in the game, providing a staircase progression just like BOP versus AOP. You could also rework so these early drones match the building of con bots (Robotic frame + 2 EC) as the first progression after robotics, and then beef up con bots with Robot Frame + Advanced Circuits + Green Wire and Log bots with RF + 2 AC + Red Wire.
This does address my main objection to the oil change.

I still don't like the change very much. But, if something like this were done, I'd no longer think it was obviously a terrible idea.

And something a bit easier to get than construction bots that are limited to being controlled by a personal roboport (call it a remote control) seems like an excellent idea even without the oil change.

What's mildly amusing here is that it in the real world, it seems like it's actually easier to build flying drones that work well than it is to build ground-based ones. :-)

I would also like to re-iterate that other than construction drones, I'm fine with some of the other technologies being moved behind blue science, and I think rocket fuel should be there too. It feels too powerful to get it with just red and green science. It's caused me to avoid doing anything significant with trains until I've researched it. Moving it behind blue science would change that.
Last edited by Omnifarious on Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Reika » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:21 pm

IronCartographer wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:16 pm
I've added a list of changes to the long description, in case some of them were not obvious from the description before: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Heavy_Oil ... al_Science

I still encourage viewing the tech tree in-game, as it feels very different at all stages, breaking things down smoothly for someone with little experience at fluid handling or oil products.
I still really prefer the idea of moving sulfur to the heavy oil BOP, and adding that to the chemical science pack recipe (in place of the wires, which are not "chemical-y"). This addresses the concerns of having a 1-in, 1-out recipe which does feel wrong for oil, and it makes more thematic and realism sense as well. Plus it introduces the player to multi-output recipes, while one is still an item and thus easy to deal with. And it addresses the "no useful end products from BOP" concern; here sulfur is directly used in blue science and thus of obvious value.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by T-A-R » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:27 pm

It seem that solid fuel is, at the moment of unlocking, not clearly as valuable as it is for new players. I noticed yesterday in my game, my starter furnace block was still on coal, far after the first rocket launch, reason: it worked fine supporting my electic smelters, and the starting coal patch was nowhere from ran out (hate to build on ore).

For a good new player experience we forget common knowledge: (buffer solid for later, use it as a flare to balance production) Now the only reason why a player should look for solid fuel is when he lacks coal to burn. But at time of unlock you usually have more coal then oil, so no reason to burn it. Oil processing should start inefficient, And with a lot of waste, that's oil business. To improve it there is AOP. Current balance is just fine there IMHO, and quite fun to keep playing with (careful!)

people asking for a flare shows the problem, solid fuel is a void option for balance (boilers are always hungry for fuel), as cracking is the advanced void version where the output remains useable fluid. Given these options why do people still wanna voil oil/gas (The will going to ask: "how it comes that my oil patches deplete so fast!?").

On the right there already is a info panel showing the status of the machine. Giving a textual state of the machine and a bar diagram with fluid levels. (and things as speed, power consumption etc.) I think the solution of the problem is in this panel: help new players to read this panel, al the info is/should be there.

Another option would to edit the item description and technology description of solid fuel:

"Key component used to make rocket fuel. Besides being a efficient type of fuel, this is the output result of processing unwanted fluids, clogging your production".

Something like that. So the lesson is given in the descriptions. It feels like there is a option not to make solid from the start like uranium, where practically it is not! It's one of the key components for finishing the game(just like the rest). Why let it sit in a fuel tank (Orr worse in a pipe, clogging things up, when it's clear that rocket fuel is coming. Show there is more value to it then just replacing your coal belts early on (incentive really depending on mapgen).

The 0.17 change to include solid fuel in science is a great step in the right direction (really like it), but a bit too late for new players, since most oil problems exist in the red/green era, when people don't see that medium oil solid fuel is the awnser to their question.

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:37 pm

Reika wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:21 pm
IronCartographer wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:16 pm
I've added a list of changes to the long description, in case some of them were not obvious from the description before: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Heavy_Oil ... al_Science

I still encourage viewing the tech tree in-game, as it feels very different at all stages, breaking things down smoothly for someone with little experience at fluid handling or oil products.
I still really prefer the idea of moving sulfur to the heavy oil BOP, and adding that to the chemical science pack recipe (in place of the wires, which are not "chemical-y"). This addresses the concerns of having a 1-in, 1-out recipe which does feel wrong for oil, and it makes more thematic and realism sense as well. Plus it introduces the player to multi-output recipes, while one is still an item and thus easy to deal with. And it addresses the "no useful end products from BOP" concern; here sulfur is directly used in blue science and thus of obvious value.
I have a mod on the portal right now for moving sulfur to heavy & light oil, though no changes to chem science.

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

Post by IronCartographer » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:42 pm

Heavy Oil Chemical Science retracted as an alternative to the proposed changes due to a lack of distinction between various t1 and t2 products that would both land in the chemical science unlock tier. :D

Edit: Problems would be solved if light->gas cracking were included in basic oil, and tech tree dependency changes reverted!
Last edited by IronCartographer on Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Adamo » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:13 pm

RocketManChronicles wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:23 am
PacifyerGrey wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:15 am
However sadly this still does push back construction bots due to those indirectly requiring red chips. Maybe this could also be modded a bit to grant most satisfying experience.
Ahem, Construction Bots require Green Circuit Chips not Red Circuit Chips.
They also require batteries.

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

Post by Rebmes » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:04 pm

I'm a bit disappointed that the aforementioned changes aren't in the game o.O I made a new map, partly to check out the new tech tree with the new simple oil mechanics, and it isn't there?

In any case, Logistic science was far too vast, and this helps reel it in a little. I always hate how in the early game, I can automate green/red science and basically tear through 50 different researches without having to make decisions as to what I'm getting. It goes by so fast, and automatically! You'd think it'd just be a few new techs, before having to upgrade research a bit more.

Making the oil more accessible will make stepping to blue science more reasonable; it really was a very tall order before, and dumbing it down will help access laser turrets a bit sooner (which seems to be intended, as it didn't require blue science before despite requiring that level of materials).

Keep up the good work guys

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

Post by FuryoftheStars » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:08 pm

Rebmes wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:04 pm
and dumbing it down will help access laser turrets a bit sooner (which seems to be intended, as it didn't require blue science before despite requiring that level of materials).
I'm pretty sure they were talking about moving laser turrets to require blue science with this change, thus moving it later.

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