Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by zebediah49 »

Two comments WRT the "just put a pipe down either side" discussion:

1. I think that putting the relevant recipe onto the normal chem plant would work better. That way you only introduce the single new building, and it's a bit more compact for the worse production rate. When you get Advanced, it gives you the opportunity to build the more complex 2->3 refinery setup with the bigger buildings. Difference recipe, different building, completely different setup.
2. I like the "Start with cracking" approach: Crude +water -> heavy; heavy + water -> light; light+water -> petrol. A basic, inefficient arrangement can be made that just chains three chem plants together. No extra buildings or complexity required. It's a bit more complex than a "Crude -> Petrol" recipe (because you have to build three identical copies of the same thing), but I think makes more sense.

Alternatively, it could be an "integrated oil processing" or something, where crude + water -> petrol. The recipe is thus ~3x slower than the cracking solution, because it's doing all of the processes at once.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by IronCartographer »

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).
The heavy-oil-only basic oil-processing solution required changing the science pack (more than this FFF, though still fairly close) to avoid a double-cracking step and thus a huge complexity hike for new players. More significantly, it made the full 3-output-balancing problem entirely optional--against a core design principle of having to solve that problem for completion of the game.

Personally, I didn't mind that effect, as the circuit network itself is optional--and the rewards for switching to the harder oil process would still have been substantial, even if not mandatory...

Another nice solution avoided the elimination of the 3-output problem, but...didn't fully remove the complexity wall (since it requires cracking), despite also succeeding at enabling non-blocking chemical science until the player figures out advanced oil--and leaving the current chemical science recipe.

In the end, design principles and weightings vary. I respect the official changes balancing the interest in simplicity against being minimally invasive and keeping science ingredients as "useful components" for the early oil craftables. Simultaneously enabling non-blocking chemical science for new players as they venture into those unlocked techs for the first time means it will streamline the process for new players, albeit at the price of a slightly narrower decision path for experienced players. :arrow:
Last edited by IronCartographer on Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by rhynex »

TheBloke wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:15 pm
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.
..take this as a rant :)

then they should think about the "new player" experience AFTER the tutorials.
game is difficult? check tutorial. easy and simple right?
where is tutorial? we shall release tutorials after five years than we sold game to players :)

if the release (and tutorials) will teach new players oil then why we change recipes now "to teach new players oil"?
if tutorials will cover nothing then why delaying release and add a task at 0.18?

if after tutorials game is still difficult? then change game at that time. currently game is not even released and there is no tutorial in game. we dont know when game/tutorials shall be released, maybe after five years, no one can/shall answer that. we dont know how extensive they shall be.

in my opinion 1.0 tutorials shall be very basic and not teach anything to new players because game will be changed anyway. no need for tutorial :D

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

I'm not going to die on this hill. I love you guys (The factorio devs) and I think you've done a great job over the years on many things. I think you've brought up some excellent points in the FFF about where players get stuck, and much of this is addressed in the thread re: FFF304. I will simply respond to the overall sentiment that the reason new players struggle with this is because this is the first thing they hit that is uniquely Factorio. We should try to make prominent the things that are uniquely Factorio, and I think this change does the opposite of that, but duly noted, in an attempt to fix problems that need to be fixed. Since we appear to be moving forward, I am still with you, and I'd like to make a couple of suggestions for science's sake. I'm not one of those people who will make a mod to revert the oil changes. For our server network, the game oil will remain nearly-vanilla, preferring only mods that extend the game. So, I am making these suggestions as someone who will be using these recipes and teaching them to others.
Chemical science pack change - Sulfur

There is however an item that is much more useful than Solid fuel, and is also created from Petroleum gas - Sulfur.

It opens the path towards Sulfuric acid (for Batteries both for Modular armor and for Accumulators), and more interestingly Explosives. Unlocking the Rocket launcher often feels like a big side step mainly because it requires setting up Explosives production. With Sulfur set up for the science pack, this is one step more convenient. A similar case occurs with Tank and Cannon shells later.

Therefore we find it fitting to replace Solid fuel with Sulfur in the Chemical science pack recipe, as there are multiple uses for it even with Logistic and Military science packs, and Solid fuel has lost a lot of its charm with the new changes.
Robots behind chemical science pack

With the change of putting Sulfur into the Chemical science pack recipe, worker robots are even closer to it as all the items in the science pack directly contribute to getting robots.
I recommend you have the chemical science pack take sulfuric acid, or sulfur and water. It's a "chemical science pack" after all: let's make it take a fluid, and sulfuric acid is about 8 times more useful than elemental sulfur across all applications, and raw sulfur needs petroleum reactant for many other applications, whereas elemental sulfur without a reactant is pretty much only useful for fertilizer and other environmental treatments. I'm just trying to say that there's a hell of a lot of sulfuric acid sitting around a research lab, but very little elemental sulfur.
Many of you pointed out that Light oil has very few uses in the game - mainly producing Solid fuel efficiently, but it’s possible to ignore Light oil altogether and just produce Solid fuel from Petroleum gas, sacrificing some Crude oil efficiency for simplicity.

One of the topics repeated many times was that with the proposed changes, suddenly the player is incapable of producing Solid fuel "the right way" (from Light oil) from the start. While this alone is not a big problem and can be justified by "at least the player will appreciate Advanced oil processing more", the efficiency of Solid fuel from Light oil is fairly unobvious, and the player has so many more critical problems to focus on that it’s easy to miss.
Flamethrower ammo change - Crude oil

With Heavy and Light oil behind Chemical science pack, Flamethrower ammo needed to be moved as well or have its recipe changed. Rather hastily we chose to change the recipe for Petroleum gas instead of the oils which does not make much sense, especially as the Flamethrower turret can’t take Petroleum gas. After some of you pointed this out, it shall be Crude oil instead. Technically you can already use the turret with Crude oil barrels on the offensive, so making Flamethrower ammo simpler is not a problem.
I recommend a recipe to make solid fuel from crude. Flamethrower ammo is essentially thickened gasoline. If you can make flamethrower ammo from crude, you can make solid fuel from crude. This should be more efficient than making solid fuel from petroleum gas that's been acquired from a lossy basic oil processing, where I'll assume the recipe is 100-->45 until someone tells me differently. I would put it in efficiency right below heavy oil. Crude oil solid fuel production would then be the most inefficient way to make solid fuel in any circumstance using AOP products. This is explained chemically by that we better target fuel-making procedures when the products are more-distilled, i.e., we have to burn more off from the crude to make solid fuel than we would from any of the distilled products.

So, maybe,

10 LO-->1 SF
20 HO-->1 SF
20 PG-->1 SF
30 CO-->1 SF

This way you get 3.333 SF from 100 CO or 2.25SF from the PG refined from 100 CO under BOP. But under AOP, you get
3.333 SF from 100CO
5 SF from HO (AOP)
10 SF from LO (AOP)
5 SF from PG (AOP)

This way you can also easily-power your drill sites on-site -- at least, if there's water nearby -- which is entirely reasonable, and provides a nice lesson in "Oh, I can't just leave an outpost in the middle of nowhere producing pollution with no defenses".
Adjusting the numbers

We made slight changes to the numbers in the recipes - specifically, Basic oil processing results in a bit more Petroleum gas (45 instead of 40), and Advanced oil processing results in more Heavy oil (25 instead of 10) than before. This is because it was common to use Basic oil processing over Advanced oil processing when you needed a lot of lubricant for Express transport belts.
Are the input numbers changing? It's hard to know what to say about this without knowing, but I'm in support of the idea that if you're pulling only petroleum gas out of your crude, it should come at a loss, whereas if you are producing all levels of products, this loss would be minimized. Maybe that also helps people understand why advanced oil processing is better.
We actually found a bug with the new 'block water input fluidbox' feature we added, so we won't release the changes until we have that sorted. You can test these changes (except the reserved fluid inputs) with this mod.
It would be awesome and directly applicable in one of my mods if you made it possible for us to give each ingredient and result a table of fluid boxes instead of a single index, or an option to "fill all available". Although, come to think of it, that may already be possible by making multiple copies of the same ingredient/result. I seem to recall testing that and finding that they summed. I'll give that a try. (Edit: looks like this doesn't work.)

Thanks for your consideration.
Last edited by Adamo on Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by morsk »

BlueTemplar wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:44 pm
What kind of game settings are you using that you need multiple smelters like that before blue science ?!?
I can't answer this without validating your behavior, which I won't do. You make too many posts and at least 1/3 of them are insulting someone.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by wodzu93 »

This is my take on the whole oil situation: balance the use cases for each oil product. Here's my mockup of the concept:
Screenshot.png (3.1 MiB) Viewed 3597 times
The "Figure why refinery not working" is already dealt with by reading "Status" in the tooltip on the right side. So simple mouseover will deal with diagnosing problems.

As for oil products, my sugesstion is to keep current science, flamer fuel and rocket fuel recipes as is, but change following:
1) Change Petroleum Gas input in Sulfur recipe for Light Oil. This, along with Solid Fuel, gives Light Oil a major resource sink, so backing up should be less of a problem. This way, Plastic uses Petroleum, Acid uses Light, and Lubricant uses Heavy Oil.
2) (Optionally) change Lubricant recipe to include trace amounts of Light Oil as well.
3) Change "Advanced Oil Processing" recipe into "Petroleum Gas Distillation", and add a new recipe "Light Oil Distillation" to "Advanced Oil Processing" tech. Together with Coal Liquification, this allows players to choose which oil product they want the most, while not taking away any complexity. This also leaves "Basic Oil Processing" recipe as a balanced one, compared to advanced ones that specialize output.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Zeg »

So, in general I'm still not on board with the oil changes, though this attempt is marginally better. I still think getting better tutorials and GUI in and waiting to see what new players reactions after that are like would be better.

But to examine this set of changes...

My first thought was why does solid fuel even exist in this setup if it's not in the science pack? For slight bonuses to vehicles? Coal is often excessively plentiful in normal map settings, and wasting that precious (inefficiently made) gas to burn seems even more silly now. Using up solid fuel (that you maybe made to undeadlock your refinery) in the science packs just made more sense to me on both angles.

As for sulphur in the pack... I know it's mostly because of the way I've played up to now, but thinking of having to belt sulphur to where I'm making science packs just seems wrong to me. I'd always keep the sulphur in the oil part of my factory and belt Iron to there instead. Then pipe out Acid and belt out Explosives. As I said, that's just me... I don't like belting things around that have so few uses.

Adding light oil to rocket fuel is such a non-change it's pretty silly. Just a weird attempt to include some kind of use for another entirely devalued product? In fact considering how solid fuel is also pretty useless earlier on, just make the recipe for rocket fuel entirely light oil (or maybe include some other item to at least keep complexity the same) and remove solid entirely instead.

In any case, I'm struggling to make some kind of sense of this set of changes, just like the last. Both versions seem to end up devaluing too many products and merely shift the difficulty spike while creating new different opportunities for new player traps.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Serenity »

I don't mind bussing sulfur. I usually have a fluid bus and produce sulfuric acid in the main base. I often do something like 5 -> 2 direct insertion when I do batteries. And that plant can also supply the blue circuits. It's also where the trains for the uranium mines can pick up acid. For explosives I can produce more sulfur locally.
Now I can just ditch the direct insertion. Build an extensible sulfur plant somewhere. Part of that goes to science. Part of it to sulfuric acid. And part of it to explosives.
wodzu93 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:30 pm
Change Petroleum Gas input in Sulfur recipe for Light Oil. This, along with Solid Fuel, gives Light Oil a major resource sink, so backing up should be less of a problem. This way, Plastic uses Petroleum, Acid uses Light, and Lubricant uses Heavy Oil.
Something like this would solve several issues. It's a bit more realistic for the sulfur to be mostly in the heavier, less refined oil products. And it would address the crucial design flaw of the whole oil processing system: it's way too much about the petroleum gas, with the other products being too much a side show.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Silfir »

Big sigh of relief from me - I will continue to be able to play Factorio without having to make solid fuel from petroleum gas. I'm not sure what it says about me that that was genuinely my biggest worry.

I want to second Adamo's suggestions with regards to using Sulfuric Acid for the science pack, as well as the Crude Oil -> Solid Fuel recipe. Though I suppose there is a concern that blue science will then be the only science pack that requires a pipe intake for one of its ingredients.

I also want to second the suggestions that ask for basic oil processing to be moved to a simpler building, like the chemical plant. The refinery is very clearly designed to accomodate three different types of outputs, so it's going to look very odd for a new player who gets to that point. "Why is this building so big", they might ask. But more importantly, psychologically speaking it's much more "permissible" to be "forced to" rebuild an entire branch of the factory if it involves a new building that you haven't seen before. It's like replacing burner drills with electric drills - replacing the "bad" drills with the shiny new hotness is your reward for setting up electricity.

Instead of the chemical plant, I would recommend a "primitive refinery" because then it would be clear that it's just a stopgap that's supposed to ease you into the proper refinery. The "primitive" moniker emphasizes its grossly inefficient and wasteful nature, which may help explain why the only output that's usable after you're done with it is petroleum gas.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Mike5000 »

You're foolishly trying to change the game to satisfy people who don't want to play this kind of game but as long as you don't retroactively break Factorio 0.16 I'm happy.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by herkalurk »

Light oil to make the rocket fuel? I don't have any pipes anywhere near my rocket fuel processing sites, this will be a new thing to figure out....horray

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Astrella »

gyorokpeter wrote:
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.
I mean, rebuilding is a common thing that happens. I doubt most new players take in account electric furnaces, or start with a proper bus or reserve enough space for expanding their stuff. I think the whole learning to plan ahead is one of the skills you pick up as you play and why you can do things more efficiently upon replays.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Diablo »

... Everything I can think of to try and let you know that I am unhappy with these changes, makes me hesitate to write it down because so many people now seem to be the classic "fanboys" who will burn you down if you say anything negative. But here goes...

I feel like at this point you are trying to over engineer the game. And you will keep doing so until it is no longer the game I fell in love with.
All under the guise of "making things better".
I'm not saying all updates are terrible.
I'm not saying do not try to improve.
But sometimes, notably this time (as, sometimes in the past), it just feels unnecessary.

You sold over a million copies, and for years now people have been figuring out how the game works.
This has led to some epic collaborations between people who had never met and who worked it out together or by someone teaching someone else what was possible.

The argument "new players won't understand" (or any equivalent thereof), to me, is bs. We were all new players at some point and everyone figured it out in the end, either with or without help. But they figured it out.

This game, I think/feel, attracts a certain kind of person, a person who loves problem solving, a person who loves seeing something they planned, thought out, designed and created, come to live and do what they wanted to do.
It might not be the most efficient, or have the perfect ratios, but they built it and that means something. To them.

I have been playing since 2016 and ever since I saw that trailer, I knew I had to play this game.
I literally came into work the next day and told my colleague "I have found my new addiction".
And I have played, nearly daily, ever since.

I even started my own YT channel because of this game and am currently nearing my 200th episode of my third map.
And every time something like this changes, everything gets f*cked up.
It gets a little frustrating, to say the least, at times.
And I'm sure I'm not the only one who is building ginormous setups, with hundreds of hours invested, only to have it become broken/useless because of something that didn't need an update.

But I guess I can already see the arguments and the, often so eloquently made (*sarcasm), objections now:

1: It's beta you are not allowed to have expectations. The game can change at any time.
2: You don't like it, don't play it.
3: Just don't play experimental.
etc etc bla bla bla bla.

I started to already write answers to the arguments but then I stopped, because I feel people who bring this up, don't get it and don't want to get it anyway.

Sufficed to say, I just wanted to let you know that, no I do not like this change. (oil)

Hopefully I haven't offended to many of you.

And remember, a lot of people thought this was already a fantastic/perfect game, even before all the updates.
Not saying there haven't been good ones, because there certainly have. Just maybe consider you might be overthinking this perhaps sometimes.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by kbk »

Adding my voice to the diminishing chorus of people who are for the idea that abandoning Heavy oil at Basic oil processing is an oversimplification.

While the FFF-305 cleared a lot of things up for me and, again, I'm generally in favor of what is going to be done, there are some issues i'd like to voice.

TL;DR: Neglecting Heavy oil arises more problems prior and after Adv. oil processing alike

I still think that using one input and exactly one output for an Oil refinery recipe does the opposite of helping rookies manage fluids around Refineries. All the gameplay lessons that are supposed to be taught here are either known prior to Basic oil processing (i.e. when the first steam power station gets automated) or pushed back to the Advanced oil processing. So, when the player comes up to the moment when Refinery has nowhere to store Petroleum gas he most likely had already met this situation with Boilers not working when no power is consumed (which by the way happens a lot at Lazy Bastard playthroughs). Then suddenly after Advanced oil processing he needs to rebuild all of his entire Oil plant from scratch for mistaking a Refinery with a some kind of huge 5-tile Boiler (this, repeated 20 times in two-three different regions of map, haha) - and that is in addition to other relatively major rebuilds that are inspired by other technological revolutions in Green->Blue science time span (like the aforementioned shift to Electric smelting). Not that rebuilding is bad but too much rebuilding at one time is not good either, I guess.

I'd also like to say against how the Solid and Rocket fuel changes affects Heavy oil usage. While both of this is just basically a buff of Light oil usage to counter its move to the AOP this seems for me to be, again, an overshoot. Yes, here will be 2.5 times as much Heavy oil after Advanced oil processing kicks in and refineries are rebuilt (which is an awesome change in itself), but the proposed changes are whispering player into storing only no more than one silo of Heavy oil for various lubrication opportunities every now and then. Excess Heavy oil is not needed anymore and is to be cracked down to Light oil (which in turn is to be split between Rocket an Solid fuel, which in turn is split between Blue Science and Rocket fuel). According to V453000 this is exactly the kind of "yet another basic step" situations Wube is trying to avoid:
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.[...]
Moreover two problems arise:
-- ridiculously, Heavy oil becomes even more useless in proposed terms then it is now. After researching Coal liquefaction additional whopping 65 Heavy oil is added every cycle of the recipe – and all of that is either to be cracked down to Petrol gas (and then converted to Plastic) or to Light oil. While I agree that proposed changes do the good thing shifting the shares in favour of Light oil, the general undesirability of Heavy Oil as a product is not addressed, at best
-- there is still no stimulus to players to use Solid fuel as a fuel despite the overall focus on Solid fuel production is increased and Rocket fuel is shifted to Advanced oil processing. For the ones who rush to Advanced oil processing this is especially so because all Solid fuel made from Petrol gas at Basic oil processing era is made just to research the AOP tech. For the ones who don't... well, there usually tend to be plenty of coal around the start location, so this is a kinda marginal development. Either way after AOP tech is researched the Solid fuel becomes heavily used in Chemical SP production and thus Rocket fuel is just pushed closer to become default fuel of choice in the late midgame.

So that's why I'd like to propose again to keep Heavy oil in BOP, to repurpose it as the main/best source of Solid fuel and maybe to separate the latter from Rocket fuel in production tree.
Some links

Ambaire wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:44 pm
When a world is created, have {simplified} and {normal} difficulties for oil processing. The existing oil mechanics would go in {normal}, and the proposed changes in {simplified}.
This proposal reminds me of gameplay changes management technique in Path of Exile. GGG, its creators, push a somewhat new gameplay mechanic in production in the form of three- (or, rarely, six-) month 'League' event and at the conclusion of that event decide which parts of the proposed gameplay change stays in the core game, and - if they do stay - to what extent. This also provides some bonus replayability to the game.
It might only add another not-so-intriguing choice at the game start in our case, technically similar to "Standard/Expensive" recipe mode choice. It would become interesting though if your "Normal" implies mandatory "Expensive" mode and provides a motherlode of intermediate product recipes, technologies etc on the whole spectrum of thereof (i.e. not just only Oil-related complexities) in addition to what is provided in "Simplified" to make for a significantly more challenging and mindblowing gameplay experience. Luckily enough, we have a nice capable modding API instead for that purpose :)

Edit: quickfixes
Thanks for reading
Last edited by kbk on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru »

Astrella wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:22 pm
I mean, rebuilding is a common thing that happens. I doubt most new players take in account electric furnaces, or start with a proper bus or reserve enough space for expanding their stuff. I think the whole learning to plan ahead is one of the skills you pick up as you play and why you can do things more efficiently upon replays.
This has come up in this and last week's thread before, but the issue here is that the rebuilding is practically mandatory in the oil processing case. Electric furnaces are quite optional in that they don't provide some large advantage over steel ones, so it doesn't hurt to just keep existing smelting arrangements and add on with electrics (some people don't bother with them at all). There are ways to spaghettify around the lack of a bus or lack of planning for expansion, and in most cases you CAN make educated guesses about what you might need in the future and leave space for it.
Moreover, it is very possible that players (such as myself) start the game with the express intent to plan ahead and leave space for things. With busses (I didn't have a name for them at the time) and such that is possible, even if you don't know exactly what you're going to put on or next to them.
However, in the case of the FFF changes, players without prior knowledge are lured into believing that oil processing is a simple 1-in-1-out recipe (just like all the others so far), with little to no indication otherwise, and ergo wouldn't have reason to leave extra room around that setup to account for more piping later. Then, when advanced processing hits, there's really no good option other than tearing down the basic setup and rebuilding the advanced one elsewhere. Again, the issue here is that there isn't really any player choice or initiative in the matter, unlike furnaces and busses and such.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Ambaire »

Mike5000 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:15 pm
You're foolishly trying to change the game to satisfy people who don't want to play this kind of game but as long as you don't retroactively break Factorio 0.16 I'm happy.
Hit the nail on the head there. That's pretty much exactly what these recent change posts are.

Edit: Wube. I have a question for you. The Steam page for Factorio says the game has over 42,000 reviews, almost 99% of which are positive. Why are you proposing such a major change to oil refining this late in the game's development cycle when the existing game is so favorably seen? Please do not try to capture that last 1%, as you will lose the magic that is currently present in the game if you go down this nerf/radically alter path.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by gGeorg »

1. propose a controversial half baked change
2. get furious feedback
3. propose a controversial half baked change with an cherry on top

That is the esence of stuborness. Or a guide how to shoot yourself to the knee.

If (!) you are aiming at lowering peak of difficulty, you need cut diffuclty to pieces, then offer piece by piece.
Both systems you presented, dont do that.
Both systems you presneted remove dificulty from part of game, while peak remains, just around the corner. On top a bit higher becouse you postpone robot.

If (!) you want better presentation, take the current advanced refienry, then separate difficlty pieces.
a] piping and fluid mechanics
b] new products
c] 2 inputs AND 3 otputs
d] blocking outpts each other

- blocking outputs each other - should be reservered for "Advanced"
- 2 inputs should be in standard - reasons > transition from standard to advanced by adding water brings an extra difficlty. Requirements build with water pipe since "standard" is less hasle. It i easyer to build up with water then add it later. It also make it more interesting for standard two pipes in. And it also actualy SMOOTH difficulty rater then postphone to later.
- new products - introduce most refined product - petrol as product of standard is sick. Better is introduce heavy oil, then let player do all the cracking. Yeas cracking shold be in standard. Its easy machine, two pipes in one out.

e.g. If (!) it needs some change to smooth peak then>
standard oil:
two pipes in, (crude, water) one out - heavy oil, cracking need to done to get other products.
advanced - offers eftra efficiency, different ratios, and blocking outputs

That way, the blocking output difficlty step is posponed, while everything else is kept intact.

Please be carefull with posponing robots. (rather make some trick to bring sooner, the wheel based robot from demo is great as basic one piece of robot available.)
Please dont streamline gameplay to a point that only one research path is "correct" (available).
Last edited by gGeorg on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by MeduSalem »

Diablo wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:51 pm
I feel like at this point you are trying to over engineer the game. And you will keep doing so until it is no longer the game I fell in love with.
All under the guise of "making things better".
I'm not saying all updates are terrible.
I'm not saying do not try to improve.
But sometimes, notably this time (as, sometimes in the past), it just feels unnecessary.
Even if this will turn into somewhat of a lengthy offtopic-post on the general development progress perspective, I still agree with what you wrote in your post.

Me and lots of other veteran players down the road, most of which aren't even an active part of the community anymore, have been pointing the issue out for several years already. There is at least one big thread about it every other year, mostly when the devs are announcing another delay of when exactly they are planning to finish the game.

And I already expect that obligatory "Another year - another delay"-Friday Facts to come out soon in a few weeks already because... look at the date. There's only 4 more months left this year again and soon they will come to the realization that with all the stuff they have been postponing to 0.17 part 2 it won't be done in 2019 anymore, and even less the final bugfixing version that will become 1.0. A prediction most of us veteran players also already have been making accurately like a clockwork for years already.

To be honest they could have been done with the game as early as in 2015 or 2016 already and moved on to another project or possibly an addon or whatever else if they wouldn't continously tear down most of their own work just for the sake of it. The game was already good enough back then to call it a day and leave the rest to modders or addons, part of which could have also improved vanilla for extended support.

Really, I hate to point it out because as much as anyone else I really like the game and the dedication of the devs have shown and pouring into the game in the past years, yet I have to state the obvious... they are over the hill already and don't seem to know where to stop and draw a line in development and the longer they are continuing to work on the game the more it feels like they are lost in the chase of a perfection that doesn't exist... and through that unknowingly make the game less than it used to be.

I mean there are sayings like "You can't please everyone" or "Don't fix what isn't broken" and despite the warnings they can't seem to leave it alone.

Wether they make the oil change now or not, it probably won't be the last change in that direction because there have already been changes or discussions like this about various other gameplay features and despite the outcries back then it obviously doesn't stop them to find and artificially bloat up new issues to make them seem bigger problems than they actually are as a reason to justify the changes only maybe a vocal minority feels like they are necessary.

In reality the oil industry is only a minor setback/obstacle in the player progression and like you also wrote it... most people have dealt with it the past years and overcome it in one or another way.

I mean imagine if there would be a Dark Souls game where in a chase of perfection they gradually remove whatever difficulty there is left in the game late in development in favor of channeling people down the path more smoother. That is exactly what this feels like.

Wouldn't even wonder if the people who are complaining about the starting complexity and learning curve of the oil industry are the same ones that quit the game at the first sight of difficulty or only play games for a month anyway before they shelve it to move on to whatever else is hot at that point, just that Factorio isn't even all that hot or fresh anymore.

Next year it will be officially a classic from the past decade and that just says that they should have put their attention to actually finishing the game already instead of constantly artificially digging up new issues further delaying things.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by T-A-R »

Final try, since above comments are spot on, and I strongly agree on them, enough said about that.

When your building/infrastructure cant keep up with your research speed, without experience of the tree and what is coming, you will get lost. That's not getting solved elegant with a pick axe in this FFF.

That is perfectly fine, it's normal to get lost on starting new things, it's why learning is retrying.
End of green era is usually where you are the most behind your tree, too much to do in a small timeframe. But oil is a conciquence, not reason of this problem. Also not the solution. Invest time elsewhere, leave it as it is, we have fun with it as it is, our total combined playtime is dazzling I guess, this game hook me way longer then any AAA game. It has proven me to be fun as it is.

I found out my single player runs feel way more smooth with a small science multiplier (x5). Because is give way more air to breath, to fiddle, to tinker and improve before another new puzzle arises, it also gives more incentive to scale, compared to rush techs, mind the coal vs solid early here. I could finally keep up with my labs (if not expand or improve).

If there is a problem, it sits in the tech tree and/or GUI, more then in the oil chain. And honestly I don't care anymore for new players who drop out on oil processing, enough ways to find it out either alone or together. It heads the wrong way imho. it's not that everyone can be a nerdy engineer by spending 30 bucks.
Some nice community feedbacked GUI will provide more help for new players.

Early backers used to challenge rerouting empty barrels, it was a nightmare, but we took the challenge, I memorise these contraptions soo rewarding when finally up and running flawlessly.

Keep up the good work, thanks for another Friday update!

Edit: removed two walls of "not adding anything constructive", and once removed unintended spelling corrections.
Last edited by T-A-R on Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Diablo wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:51 pm
MeduSalem wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:49 pm
Expressing agreement.

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