Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

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Redpossum
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Redpossum »

I bought the game, I paid for it, I am entitled to play it any way I like.
And the devs not only gave us BPs, they gave us the ability to export and import them. So any suggestion that using BPs is somehow cheating, I reject emphatically.

What happened to me is this-
I did it all on my own until I reached a plateau. I had advanced oil, a tank, railroads than ran well, and a secure base that could hold off the biters, but I was spending 100% of my time running around "putting out fires". And that stopped being fun. I was no longer progressing.

So I spent a few days watching the videos of Nilaus and Katherine of Sky, and I learned what I was doing wrong. For starts, I was working on much too small a scale, in much too small an area. So I geared up and went out to wafflestomp all the nearby biter bases, then I expanded the walls of my base by about 50%, and built new defenses. Then I tore down most of my existing base and rebuilt with some use of BP's from KoS, partly because it's been much faster than rebuilding by hand, and partly because her designs are bully for efficient. I did not use any BP containing anything which I didn't understand.

I'm still in the middle of that process, but it's fun again, and that's the bottom line for me.
Last edited by Redpossum on Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jodokus31
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by jodokus31 »

Why cheating in a sandbox game? You have to make sure, you don't cheat yourself. And if you get triggered by the question, you might be in danger ;)

In multiplayer, it's probably a bit boring, if everybody spams blueprints?
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by VinaLx »

It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Redpossum »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.
Very well said, thank you!

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by ptx0 »

blazespinnaker wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:31 pm
Bit of a necropost but I haven't seen this very well discussed before
then i guess you haven't searched.

i wish this topic would just die already.
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by taylor1110 »

I think it is

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by blazespinnaker »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
It mostly depends on how you enjoy the game. Some considers factorio a puzzle game where you work on individual little problems so they detest blueprinting, which I respect.
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
So I would argue that not only blueprinting does not break the spirit of the game, it is (at least one of) the spirit of the game, if you consider it a game about engineering. I understand and respect people who does not enjoy this particular aspect of the game (like I respect people who implement everything from scratch in programming), but not admitting it's an important part of the game is simply wrong.
The problem is that there is a bunch of fun, low hanging fruit problems to solve if you don't re-use. If you plan to re-use, the amount of unsolved problems become much smaller.

I guess I'd warn folks - if you're going to re-use, than be prepared for very hard problems (if that's what you're looking for) as pretty much everything that is easy - has been solved.

Of course, for folks who want to play factorio as something other than a puzzle solving game, that is obviously a different story. I can't comment, as I don't understand those folks :)

I like to make the analogy to sodoku, crossword puzzles, chess puzzles, etc when describing factorio to someone. It's pretty trivial to get a computer to solve these for you, but then you lose out on a lot of the fun.

Hopefully in the expansion pack, Wube will think of a way to massively expand the puzzle solving space in creative and non-repetitive ways.

One way to do so, is to utilize a recipe randomizer, or something even more dramatically ingenious, but that will fracture the community somewhat. BP reuse problem is solved, though.

Ideally, wube can create a massive puzzle space right down to a fixed map, so nothing is random and allows everyone to work on it together. A far greater number of achievements can help here a lot, but that is a bit lazy. Better is one achievement, like "launch a rocket" that embraces the entire puzzle space.

Adopting a more welcoming approach to speedrunning as well, I think, would help, but you have to be careful there. You can alienate some of your more relaxed customers that balk at this sort of stress inducing gameplay being default.

Witness, for example, the complaint below about the 8 hour spoon achievement.

My favorite way to expand the puzzle space is a far more intelligent and strategic enemy for PvE. Like a 'big brain biter' or maybe some kind of highly intelligent invading robotic force that you have to defend the biters against after your make peace with them. The robot force will leave you alone to launch your single rocket as long as you don't get ambitious. But if you start to protect the biters or launch too many rockets, they will turn their attention to you.

Why launch so many rockets? Well, you're trying to help save the biters by getting them off the planet. The robots aren't on board with that.

But whatever the plot, the point is, you'll be faced with an enemy which will require you to think very hard and very creatively about defending against, but there will be a way to dial up/or down how much of that gameplay you'll have to endure.

Anyways to get back to the main point, some people will say - just make up your own puzzles, and re-use blueprints for that.

Sure, and that's what we all have to pretty much do at this point, but there's a lot to be said for being provided with a community wide set we can all take a look at together.
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Hannu »

VinaLx wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:55 am
But I strongly disagree on the opinions that blueprinting "breaks the spirit of the game". Factorio is a game about engineering, and "blueprinting" (using the existing solution to a specific subproblem to solve a bigger problem) is a common practice in real life, such as in programming (using libraries implemented by others to write your own programs) or in academia (using others' proof to prove your own result). Are they "cheating" in any sense, if you completely copy others' work as the your own accomplishment (plagiarism), yes, but for most of the cases, no.
They say this is engineering game but they have cleaned engineering aspects very carefully away. Real engineering is adapting to compromises and varying conditions. Engineers prefer to reuse proven methods but they can almost never utilize them without changes and compromises. Even selecting the best for your purpose is very hard. If you copy best known factory which work at temperate area to hot area or cold area it may be very bad and expensive error. Or if you have oil refinery and change producer of crude oil you may have to do significant adjustments in your process due to different composition. Or if you use certain component in your produce and manufacturer stops production you have to select another one. Anyting like these never happens in Factorio.

Factorio have supersimple world and Factorio's puzzles are usually extreme optimization of single simple parameter shown clearly on screen. It is very rare situation in engineering work (maybe some race car engineer can encounter such challenges). You can rely that blueprint work exactly similar way in your factory than in any others. In my opinion planning of production systems is the spirit of Factorio and I can not understand why Factorio is best choice for significantly different gaming, for example combat oriented. But if course it is just one silly opinion and if someone is entertained by another way it is OK. I have said that versatility is great strength of Factorio. Everyone can set own objectives, own restrictions and find own ways to achieve them. If using others blueprints is a part of that process anyone else should not nag cheating. That's why devs have made ways to deliver blueprints easily between players.

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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

Hannu wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:55 am
[...]
This sounds to me like removing the work aspects and keeping the fun.
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Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Hannu »

NotRexButCaesar wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 2:25 am
This sounds to me like removing the work aspects and keeping the fun.
It seems to be very common attitude with players and secret of success of this kind of games. However, I would like to have gamemode in which I should plan and build active control systems to adapt all kind of variations in conditions. It is in my opinion the most interesting thing in engineering work. Nagging boss, tight deadlines, strict budget restrictions and stupid safety and other regulations could be omitted for increasing entertaining value.

I have thought to program such a game (not public but some simple game or simulation for my own use) and began many times, but it is far too large project. I have also tendency to use tens of hours with some interesting mathematical detail and then begin a new idea. (Maybe all those nasty restrictions in work have some meaning.)

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