Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby Hedning1390 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:24 am

I think tweaking coal liquefaction to produce power is a different issue from the heavy oil to solid fuel recipe. Also it is not really a balance issue so much as it is a suggestion, because there's is nothing unbalanced with the purpose of coal liquefaction being a way to supplement crude oil rather than being a way to produce steam power. Finally it is not a change that would make balancing heavy to solid unnecessary as even when considering power it is much better to pay the power cost for cracking heavy.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby Aeternus » Wed May 16, 2018 8:15 am

bobucles wrote:Isn't that nice? We nearly break even while making heaps of useful petrol, or we can process a third more energy out of our coal by sacrificing the petrol output. That kind of positive outcome makes me want to build more factory. :mrgreen:

Add some productivity modules into that mix, along with one or two speed beacons and watch that third approach a full 100%. But I'd avoid using a finite resource (coal) for fuel generation. Coal is a requirement for plastic, unless you have a huge surplus of the stuff, it's better served dumping it there.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby bobucles » Wed May 16, 2018 12:40 pm

Add some productivity modules into that mix, along with one or two speed beacons and watch that third approach a full 100%.

A post game prod3 speed beacon build is strong? Alert the presses! But how true is that REALLY? Refineries are energy hungry beasts, and so are beacons. If you're pouring in thousands of resources to squeak some more energy out of your oil production, those resources aren't going into solar or research or anything else. But let's play that game for a minute.

Code: Select all
Let's take a refinery with 5 speed3 beacons. Let's also use the boosted cracking recipe (+5H +5L)
The refinery burns 2898kW and the beacons burn  2400kW to give 1.3x production at 3.05 speed.
The prod3 bonus boosts the modified 40H 20L 20P to => 52H 26L 26P
The previous setup produced 3.125 light fuel + 1 optional petrol fuel
The prod3 setup produces 4.625 light fuel + 1.3 optional petrol fuel.
That is an increase from 78.1MJ + 25MJ => 115.6MJ + 32.5MJ.
The boosted coal refinery had to burn 4880MJ of coal power per recipe.
The prod3 refinery has to burn 17370MJ per recipe.
It costs 12500MJ to get 37.5MJ, a profit of 1.0 solid fuel or roughly 30%.

That certainly is a healthy dose of more power! But wait! 10 speed 3 beacons and 3 prod3 modules cost 10.4k copper, 4680iron, 390 blue circuits (another 15.6k copper 9.36k iron) and lots of petrol to set up. Those 40000 resources could also have produced roughly 600 solar panels. Is it really really really worth it?
Code: Select all
600 solar is 25MW of energy.
A plain boosted coal cracker turns 2 coal/sec into 7.8MW + 2.5MW - 480kW.
This is a loss of .68MW to start, but a profit of 1.8MW if we burn the precious petrol.

The prod3 beacon coal cracker turns 6.1 coal/sec into 35.3MW light + 9.9MW petrol - 5.7MW drain
The extra production bonus amounts to a total free energy yield of 5.2MW(baseline with upkeep) + 7.4MW(burning petrol).

Those are the numbers with boosted cracking (+5H +5L). The boosted speed prod3 cracking is a massive investment, but even when I include my coal cracking buff, a speed beacon refinery can't compete with using plain jane solar panels. Granted, the power of prod3 speed3 beacon builds will get more effective with scale and by including more processing steps. But that's true of literally everything that uses a speed beacon build.

So. I'm not seeing the balance issue here. I buffed the coal. I speed beaconed the coal. I am putting a LOT of effort into this coal and what do I get? A gigantic waste of time. I'm better off building solar. :lol:

I can also get 40% more power with no effort just by placing prod3 on nuclear fuel. I can also produce a third of a rocket out of thin air with prod3 modules. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know which setup is going to get more value out of your factory. There's absolutely no reason to be worried about coal cracking producing slightly more oil energy than doing nothing, and there's no reason to worry about prod3 producing more energy out of "nothing". It's not like a steam boiler energy supply can handle a multi GW beacon base, anyway. :roll:
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby Aeternus » Fri May 18, 2018 3:05 pm

Well, to be honest, if you want an extremely efficient non-solar power setup, you're better off going nuclear anyway. Huge investment but once you get that going... I've not run the math but I think we're in the order of several dozen, if not hundreds of megajoules per uranium mined. I was merely pointing out how to squeeze every last joule out of the proposed coal-cracking-to-solid/rocket-fuel design. When you do solar tho you do need to take accumulator production into consideration as well - along with nightfall, solar panels are ~2/3rds effective (so count 40MW per panel). Still, it'd probably be cheaper to go solar material wise, if you have the spare room somewhere.

And steam power theoretically could handle a multi-GW base, but you'd need... a metric crapton of steamengines (and an imperial crapton of boilers too). It's just inefficient to do it that way. I've gone nuclear in my own plant and am now backpeddling to solar - the UPS penalty of a huge 20+ megawatt nuclear plant is just too severe.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby bobucles » Sat May 19, 2018 12:24 am

Well, to be honest, if you want an extremely efficient non-solar power setup, you're better off going nuclear anyway.

I was kind of taking the long route to explaining that. One of the most important tenants of Factorio is that building more gets you more. Coal cracked fuel is one of the few situations where building more gets you less. That isn't Factorio at all.

The idea behind losing energy from coal may make sense from a thermodynamics standpoint (can't create energy from nothing *coughnukefuelcoughcough*) but in terms of gameplay it is complete nonsense. We have a fairly new recipe that gives a new way to turn coal into energy, except we LOSE energy by using it! That is simply a travesty. This is the kind of game where players are expected to build more. Coal cracking should be energy positive for that reason alone; because it makes players build MOAR.

The proposed buff isn't very different in terms of recipe use, but it makes coal cracking a very tempting option. If I had to pick final numbers I'd say something like:
Code: Select all
 Modified yield: +5H +5L -5P
100% faster recipe: 20 coal + 50H + 100 steam  x 5sec => 80 H + 40 L + 30 P
Heavy cracking given by default
Heavy oil fuel recipe removed from game
Coal liquefaction blue tier
Advanced oil Gold tier

If coal cracking is energy positive then one of the biggest downsides - I can't crack coal because I lose energy - suddenly stops being a problem.
If solid fuel becomes the primary fuel source after coal than the second problem - I have more light oil than god - stops being a problem.
If the player is no longer burdened with heavy/light oil than their third biggest problem - I NEED advanced oil or I will literally die - stops being a problem.
Coal cracking can never replace advanced oil, but advanced oil can make coal cracking obsolete. The techs get reordered with that in mind.

This setup tries to make a smoother progression that gradually gives the player more options as they need them.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby dragontamer5788 » Sun May 20, 2018 8:11 pm

bobucles wrote:
Well, to be honest, if you want an extremely efficient non-solar power setup, you're better off going nuclear anyway.

I was kind of taking the long route to explaining that. One of the most important tenants of Factorio is that building more gets you more. Coal cracked fuel is one of the few situations where building more gets you less. That isn't Factorio at all.


I have a feeling that coal-liquefaction is balanced around Productivity3. You do in fact "net energy" when you factor in Prod3 modules.

However, I think I agree with you that coal-liquefaction should be net-energy positive before Prod3 modules. In a standard game (non-megabase, going for one rocket launch), coal liquefaction is simply not worth it. In a mega-base sized game, you'll find more than enough crude oil for your needs (space is infinite. Exploration is now highly automated due to artillery trains). So coal-liquefaction is in a poor state: too expensive for normal games, but not really too useful for mega-bases.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby bobucles » Mon May 21, 2018 1:30 am

Don't forget that a megabase has nuclear power, which renders coal and solid fuel pretty obsolete. So you don't get coal cracking early enough to use for power, it's not energy positive when it's available, and it's obsolete by the time prod3's finally make it energy positive. Its only current value is to feed more juice into advanced cracking, which I guess was the original intent but still. Not a great tech by any means.
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Re: Remove or tweak heavy oil to solid fuel recipe.

Postby bobingabout » Mon May 21, 2018 9:02 am

bobucles wrote:Don't forget that a megabase has nuclear power, which renders coal and solid fuel pretty obsolete. So you don't get coal cracking early enough to use for power, it's not energy positive when it's available, and it's obsolete by the time prod3's finally make it energy positive. Its only current value is to feed more juice into advanced cracking, which I guess was the original intent but still. Not a great tech by any means.

I just have a massive solar farm... and more than enough accumulators to take over when the sun goes down... and a 400MW Hydrazine power plant... and 400MW steam MK4 power plant...
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