Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:58 pm

Hanse00 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:38 pm
What happens when people realise 1 belt split between coal and iron isn't enough? That electric furnaces are larger than coal ones? That you actually need a lot more science production than you walled yourself into fitting?

I would argue all these situations are at the core of the gameplay of Factorio. Build once use forever is a fool's errand.
Those situations occur, but the solutions are not singular in most cases. If you find one split belt isn't enough, you can simply duplicate your setup with another split belt. When you find electric furnaces to be larger, you can simply ignore them if you choose (they have the same crafting speed). If you need more science, you can wait. I'm not saying that these are optimal choices or anything, but they are available to the player, and circumvent wholesale reconstruction of any part of the base. This is not the case with the oil processing changes, because the player is forced to make advanced processing work in order to progress, and that will almost certainly involve a significant rebuild and/or redesign, because basic processing becomes so much the inferior by comparison.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by helltone » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:02 pm

crambaza wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:20 pm
(...)
The suggestion made by the user last week, to have Basic Oil Tech produce Heavy Oil only which must then must be cracked down, was the most elegant solution. You learn about the different outputs, because you are making them when you crack down the heavy oil. It's like the game play becoming the tutorial, which is perfect. Then later when you ramp up to Advanced Oil Tech, the change can be plugged into your existing line. You hook up the Light Oil to the Light you have cracked from the Heavy. Same with the Pet. Gas. You are now working with multiple outputs like a champ! You taught the new player how to play efficiently. You taught them through game play.
@crambaza you put this perfectly. I also think that having Basic Oil Tech produce Heavy Oil only is by far the best solution. It makes the early stages simpler, without causing any of the problems that everyone is talking about. Devs please try this out and see what you think?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Reika » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:06 pm

dzaima wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:59 pm
Reika wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:23 pm
* This new system still "teaches" players the wrong thing, such that they will have to massively refactor their entire oil processing setup once they switch to AOP from BOP. And need I remind you, unlike with items, deconstructing fluid handling systems voids the fluid, meaning if they have built this big mess of pipes with 50k stored PG, they will have to lose all of that in order to rebuild, or sit there and gradually consume it while waiting 12 ingame hours to actually do so. I have done the latter in many cases, in many games; it is not fun.
As far as I remember, breaking fluid containers first tries to push the fluid to nearby machines before voiding it, and either way, 50k is a very very little loss (I'd be more conflicted with 500k or a couple million, but crude oil fields contain literally infinite oil), and it's worth it for the 2x (or 3x with productivity modules) production gain.
Are you kidding? 50k fluid is enough to make hundreds or even thousands of red circuits or solid fuel. Those are not insignificant numbers, especially to a new player who has likely not built on a massive scale and as such has throughput issues. New players are not building on megabase scales; they probably have science production per minute measured in the tens or even ones.

dzaima wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:59 pm
And upgrading to AOP shouldn't be that hard either way - even removing and completely redesigning the refinery setup and moving it shouldn't be bad, as all the products from PG could stay unchanged. If changing a small part of your base breaks everything, you're playing factorio wrong.
Great, now we just need to make sure people brand-new to the game, with no experience, never "play it wrong". Absolutely brilliant.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Hanse00 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:07 pm

Theikkru wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:58 pm
Hanse00 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:38 pm
What happens when people realise 1 belt split between coal and iron isn't enough? That electric furnaces are larger than coal ones? That you actually need a lot more science production than you walled yourself into fitting?

I would argue all these situations are at the core of the gameplay of Factorio. Build once use forever is a fool's errand.
Those situations occur, but the solutions are not singular in most cases. If you find one split belt isn't enough, you can simply duplicate your setup with another split belt. When you find electric furnaces to be larger, you can simply ignore them if you choose (they have the same crafting speed). If you need more science, you can wait. I'm not saying that these are optimal choices or anything, but they are available to the player, and circumvent wholesale reconstruction of any part of the base. This is not the case with the oil processing changes, because the player is forced to make advanced processing work in order to progress, and that will almost certainly involve a significant rebuild and/or redesign, because basic processing becomes so much the inferior by comparison.
I think you have some good points, maybe my view was a little too simplistic.

That said, some of your solutions apply here too: When you need advanced oil, you can leave your existing setup and create a new, rather than "rebuilding", you can have both.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by EverettSpair » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:09 pm

I think these changes sounds great and I cant wait to try them out. It should help me with the big big trouble of what to do with heavy and light oil when I first have to setup oil refineries.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:12 pm

Hanse00 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:07 pm
I think you have some good points, maybe my view was a little too simplistic.

That said, some of your solutions apply here too: When you need advanced oil, you can leave your existing setup and create a new, rather than "rebuilding", you can have both.
True, but that's where the categorically inferior part comes in; in the case where you just rebuild everything for advanced processing elsewhere, you would still be pressured to demolish your existing setup to keep it from sucking down your crude oil for its horribly inefficient recipe (that doesn't even produce heavy oil).

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by morsk » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:22 pm

The FFF claims "worker robots are a good motivation and reward for unlocking Chemical science pack" but I disagree. Motivation is for things in sight, not something far over the horizon. It already took so long to unlock them that Nanobots is one of the most popular mods. Now it takes longer.

Returning players can quit before blue science too. I've quit several maps before blue science. New players can make 2nd maps, and quit them before blue science. It's the worst part of the game, for reasons unrelated to oil. There are over 300 entities in a single smelter. What does the cleverness of tech tree changes matter, to the reality of building the Nth smelter?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by argbla » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:24 pm

Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Illiander42 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:01 pm
You are saying exactly what I'm thinking.

And the devs have decided to ignore us on this.

They've also made AOP even more of a mandatory rush, when they claim to want to make it less important to rush it.

Yes, Construction bots (ie: Heavy Oil) are that important. When you grok them it's one of the biggest "Whoa! Why don't other games do this?" moments you will ever have.
Listening and disagreeing is not the same as not listening.
I agree they've certainly read the heavy oil suggestion and seemingly disagree with it through silence, but given how nice an idea it seems, people wonder what their thoughts on it are. Though we could have also simply missed their thoughts on it (pls link).

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:33 pm

argbla wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:24 pm
I agree they've certainly read the heavy oil suggestion and seemingly disagree with it through silence, but given how nice an idea it seems, people wonder what their thoughts on it are. Though we could have also simply missed their thoughts on it (pls link).
V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm
[...]
Adding cracking with basic oil processing and having basic oil processing only output heavy or light I don't find to be a good solution. It would mean it just extends the refining process by one (in case of light oil) or two (in case of heavy oil) rather basic steps - when we already have a lot of basic steps.

Allowing the player to select individual recipes (heavy or light or petroleum gas only) would allow to completely avoid using Advanced oil processing. That's surely dumbing it down significantly. Adding flare stacks has the same effect of making Advanced oil processing completely optional additional complexity for more resource efficiency.

I believe Advanced oil processing should be mandatory to go through in order to finish the game, but it does not have to be when the player is completely new to the whole concept of oil. You didn't learn quadratic functions before learning to count on fingers either.
[...]
There is further mention of it later in the thread as well IIRC.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by jodokus31 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:36 pm

argbla wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:24 pm
Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Illiander42 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:01 pm
You are saying exactly what I'm thinking.

And the devs have decided to ignore us on this.

They've also made AOP even more of a mandatory rush, when they claim to want to make it less important to rush it.

Yes, Construction bots (ie: Heavy Oil) are that important. When you grok them it's one of the biggest "Whoa! Why don't other games do this?" moments you will ever have.
Listening and disagreeing is not the same as not listening.
I agree they've certainly read the heavy oil suggestion and seemingly disagree with it through silence, but given how nice an idea it seems, people wonder what their thoughts on it are. Though we could have also simply missed their thoughts on it (pls link).
Here: Follow the arrow on the quote
V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm
EDIT: Too late already :)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by argbla » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:39 pm

Theikkru wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:33 pm
argbla wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:24 pm
I agree they've certainly read the heavy oil suggestion and seemingly disagree with it through silence, but given how nice an idea it seems, people wonder what their thoughts on it are. Though we could have also simply missed their thoughts on it (pls link).
V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm
[...]
Adding cracking with basic oil processing and having basic oil processing only output heavy or light I don't find to be a good solution. It would mean it just extends the refining process by one (in case of light oil) or two (in case of heavy oil) rather basic steps - when we already have a lot of basic steps.

Allowing the player to select individual recipes (heavy or light or petroleum gas only) would allow to completely avoid using Advanced oil processing. That's surely dumbing it down significantly. Adding flare stacks has the same effect of making Advanced oil processing completely optional additional complexity for more resource efficiency.

I believe Advanced oil processing should be mandatory to go through in order to finish the game, but it does not have to be when the player is completely new to the whole concept of oil. You didn't learn quadratic functions before learning to count on fingers either.
[...]
There is further mention of it later in the thread as well IIRC.
Interesting, though his criticism sounds like exactly what they want, more basic steps to introduce oil concepts. Also you already don't need advanced oil processing to finish the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:42 pm

I think one of the goals of the changes was to make advanced processing more mandatory (as a more integral part of a more even progression).

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:44 pm

morsk wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:22 pm
The FFF claims "worker robots are a good motivation and reward for unlocking Chemical science pack" but I disagree. Motivation is for things in sight, not something far over the horizon. It already took so long to unlock them that Nanobots is one of the most popular mods. Now it takes longer.

Returning players can quit before blue science too. I've quit several maps before blue science. New players can make 2nd maps, and quit them before blue science. It's the worst part of the game, for reasons unrelated to oil. There are over 300 entities in a single smelter. What does the cleverness of tech tree changes matter, to the reality of building the Nth smelter?
What kind of game settings are you using that you need multiple smelters like that before blue science ?!?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by MrGrim » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:47 pm

Hiladdar wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:34 pm
The good idea is the use of only steel + crude to make flamethrower ammo. That is good, since this will greatly simplify base defense were we no longer need any oil processing to for base defense, just pumping crude directly from oil patch into a tank then into the turret.
You could already do this, and lots of people do. It's an exceptionally simple way to guard an oil outpost. The turrets have always accepted crude.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by jodokus31 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:55 pm

argbla wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:39 pm
Interesting, though his criticism sounds like exactly what they want, more basic steps to introduce oil concepts. Also you already don't need advanced oil processing to finish the game.
AOP or Coal liquefaction, one is needed, considering Coal liquefaction is even more complex to setup (and you need heavy oil as seed)
With BOP producing heavy oil only and cracking, you could get away with BOP only. Not very efficient, though.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by TheBloke » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:15 pm

Igenham wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:50 pm
I think one thing that might help is a tutorial like you have for trains (many have suggested this), or possible some visuals that better show the pipes going in and out of the refineries and chemical plants. That could help to see that there are multiple inputs and outputs. (This has probably been suggested, just reiterating)
vorku wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:48 pm
Thus, any proposal wishing to bring back multiple-output before Advanced Oil Processing should explain how the player would find an intuitive way to solve the lock-up without blowing up tanks / chests...
mcdjfp wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:59 pm
Why isn't there a tutorial on oil?
People have been asking these sort of questions a lot since the oil discussion started a week ago. To me, it feels like the answer has already been given.

From what Wube have said in the past, it seems to me that there definitely will be tutorials/help/guidance on all these things, and on pretty much anything and everything that is in the game at 1.0. So my expectation is that the lack of in-game information/tutorials we see today - and there definitely is a big lack, as we all know - won't be representative of the final game.

We know the devs are working on the new campaign, and have previously described the 0.18 release as being dedicated to campaign and tutorial work. More recently, FFF 291 described the "new full campaign" as being a "guided freeplay", which takes the user through the whole tech tree "without being overloaded with choice, while still having the permanence and unidirectional progression of Factorio".

To me that suggests that pretty much every important mechanic in the game will be explained to the user, and the user guided through it. We don't know exactly what form that will take - whether it will be through campaign-style messages like "Now research Oil Processing and then build a refinery..", or whether there will also be more separate tutorials of the form we see today, eg for trains and signals. But I think we can be confident that, in some form or another, all aspects of oil will be explained to the user by the time of 1.0.

Of course, all of that is not to say that we shouldn't give suggestions for possible tutorials/guidance. Just that, I believe that when we discuss existing and proposed mechanics, we can assume that by the time the game is finished, all mechanics/recipes that exist at that time will be explained to the user. In fact it's possible that these oil changes have come about exactly because of Wube's campaign/tutorial planning. It's conceivable that they decided to spread out the oil puzzle across a longer period of time because, while they were planning this stage in the campaign, they concluded that currently, too many new things were being introduced to a new user at once.

TLDR: I believe that by the time of 1.0, all in-game mechanics/recipes will be properly explained to the user, and a new user guided through them in the 'guided freeplay'. Therefore I feel we might be best to evaluate new mechanics on their merits alone, and not worry too much about the fact that in current builds, they are not explained. I am confident that Wube's past statements, eg in FFF 291, show that this is definitely going to be addressed in future.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Asterix » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:43 pm

Theikkru wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:33 pm
argbla wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:24 pm
I agree they've certainly read the heavy oil suggestion and seemingly disagree with it through silence, but given how nice an idea it seems, people wonder what their thoughts on it are. Though we could have also simply missed their thoughts on it (pls link).
V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm
[...]
Adding cracking with basic oil processing and having basic oil processing only output heavy or light I don't find to be a good solution. It would mean it just extends the refining process by one (in case of light oil) or two (in case of heavy oil) rather basic steps - when we already have a lot of basic steps.

Allowing the player to select individual recipes (heavy or light or petroleum gas only) would allow to completely avoid using Advanced oil processing. That's surely dumbing it down significantly. Adding flare stacks has the same effect of making Advanced oil processing completely optional additional complexity for more resource efficiency.

I believe Advanced oil processing should be mandatory to go through in order to finish the game, but it does not have to be when the player is completely new to the whole concept of oil. You didn't learn quadratic functions before learning to count on fingers either.
[...]
There is further mention of it later in the thread as well IIRC.
Then basic oil processing should at least have heavy oil and methane as outputs, with flare stacks in teh same tech, to allow burning the excess early on.

This would still make advanced oil or coal liquefaction mandatory (since light oil is now required for rocket fuel), and the player would even be able to choose which route to go.

Robots would not be locked behind yet another layer of complexity (have the devs decided that they simply don't like robots? first they talk about removing them, now they lock them behind another science pack...), advanced oil techs would still be required to finish the game, players would still be introduced slowly to the concept of multiple outputs (and given a way around it, with a cost in efficiency), everybody wins.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by gyorokpeter » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:58 pm

I dislike the idea of the game leading me down the "garden path" then force me to scrap a whole section and rebuild it in a different way. If I imagine being a new player and facing the oil refinery with a single input and output I would probably build a straight pipe on both sides and also not leave enough space for expansion. Then later when advanced oil processing comes I would have to rebuild the whole thing. In my first game I had trouble with rebuilding things due to inefficient space management in general.

On the other hand the "reserved input" for water is a good idea. Maybe it should display a placeholder icon ("reserved for future input/output") which would automatically mismatch with the crude oil input and the petroleum gas output, such that at least the straight overground pipe can be avoided. Some tutorials on how the fluid system works would be useful - I had to watch some youtube videos on how to properly setup oil before building my first tileable design.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DRY411S » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:01 pm

Slightly OT response, but if you are going to add another fluid recipe to assembly machines, could you also change batteries to be made there too, so we could get slightly better productivity bonuses? Making batteries isn't really a chemical process in my opinion, it's an assembly of ingredients.

I think the oil changes will drive a certain gameplay behaviour. An absolutely minimal build to generate the plastic and sulphur needed to research advanced oil processing, then an immediate tear down. It won't really help with the oil learning curve.
Last edited by DRY411S on Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Solinya » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:09 pm

huancz wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:41 pm
Now the main wall of text:
- robots - I knew about them (there is tutorial for them), tried them in practice and then ignored them because... Main reason was that I noticed that there is an achievement for winning the game without active logistics network, and decided "hey, this looks doable". So half of the robots were out by choice. I still don't use them much, I always forget to include space for roboport coverage in my factory and they are so power hungry...
I made the same mistake when I was starting out but you CAN use logistic robots and get that achievement. You just can’t use the advanced logistics network. So resupplying yourself with bots is ok. Having bots move stuff between chests to automatically feed into machines (instead of belting ingredients) is ineligible.

But I agree that bots aren’t really a new player concern. Nor are circuit networks, or depending on your map, not even trains. Even belt sharing is something I rarely had to do on my first play through.

I also don’t think many new players will stop and tear up their entire base. My first base had issues but was functional. You don’t know for a while how much space you’ll truly need for everything, even perfect ratios don’t really matter. I think my first rocket was on a sub-100 SPM base, and that was with help from my brother who had played before.

If you need more then you simply tack an extra machine or two on the end. Next game you’ll have a better idea and can have a more refined layout (and uncover new issues).

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