The Green Dilemma

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JackGruff
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The Green Dilemma

Post by JackGruff » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:42 pm

I'm a player who likes going full green. The most I ever buff an assembler is putting one Speed 3 in it, but that's to leave space for 3 Efficiency 3's. When I see how other people play the game, their small bases, their medium bases, their mega bases, it makes me wonder if there's many players who try to aim for the least amount of pollution like I do. I could only find cases where someone was trying it out, as if it was something atypical.

I wonder, why do I bother? I have the firepower to eradicate bases quickly. My rows of turrets stand mostly quiet, only being there in case there's a hole in my artillery coverage. I make things more difficult for myself by having to use far more space than designs that use Speed and Productivity.

I'm not rewarded for this in a meaningful way. The reduced attacks from the natives offers a feeling akin to a weak pat on the back. You can't change the aliens. You can't reason with them. The behemoths will come over time and you will need to be able to fight them anyway.

Why go green?

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by zOldBulldog » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:20 pm

I tried to go green when I started with Factorio. But I soon concluded that the way the game is designed it is pointless.

The main reason seems to be the biter expansion mechanic. So, one might say turn off expansion. Except that once you start tweaking you might tweak a number of things, and it is extremely difficult to find the right settings to truly reward going green. So, after a few tries I gave upon going green and focused on other things.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 0celot » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:43 pm

here's my 2c from back here in the peanut gallery... it's not rewarding because it wasn't designed to be, and there ought to be a whole other tech tree dedicated to green manufacturing as in anno 2070; but that i suspect that will never come, except in some sort of factorio 2 which is likely many years away since I'm guessing after this the devs will want a fresh project.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by dood » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:24 am

It's a good midgame.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Hannu » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:28 pm

It may be playstyle or rolegame thing. I do not avoid pollution but do not use beacons (because they are purely unrealistic), I make realistic like train stations and rail networks instead of optimal. When I build I try to somewhat imitate realistic progression of industrial production. I begin from small units, build new factories and abandon old ones one or two times instead of more optimal way to begin with relatively large base and allocate room for large base's needs.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Trebor » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:24 pm

I tend to go green just for the challenge. One thing I do is turn off power to idle parts of the factory.

P.s. 2 Eff2 =80%, 3 Eff3 =80%, 2 Eff3 =80%, 1 Eff1 + 1 Eff3 =80%, 3 Eff1 =80%.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by adam_bise » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:00 pm

You get pretty trees?

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Maddhawk » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:25 pm

My games are very green. I just turn off pollution in the map options. :) I can also plant saplings that grow into trees.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by HurkWurk » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:48 am

dood wrote:It's a good midgame.
THIS! i tend to use green right about the point that i have ~30-60 boilers online, but am not ready to switch over to nuclear/solar due to land grabs.
greening my "starter area" base, usually allows me to get to late game and bots, which make the need for power easier to deal with since you can mass clear/build.

until they can solve the performance issues with huge bases, green simply isnt practical, since ultra fast and dense factories are required for the highest throughput per framerate.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Nubm2 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:19 pm

I think they should limit the amount of effect you get from productivity modules. This way you either had to go speed (which will be challenging to support) or green. Also why is every questionable tech there is in the game to polute and destroy, but not simple stuff that could counter the effects of polution?

I started green when i got the game. But productivity is just too powerful, and you need speed to make it work. Going green just streches the game out, literally in terms of base building. You have to waste more resources while gaining extra free resources for using productivity. Energy isn't a problem anyways, i even run my late game bases on solar (although i'd like to see a efficiency tech tree, the solar park is way bigger than the factory itself).

With all the irl banned military tech (seriously, like the devs are working through a list), the soon to be discarded and outdated view of energy production, badly balanced modules, the utterly boring exploration and meaningless biter fights i tend to go trainworld and turn the critters off. Its not more challenging one way or the other anyways.

Im not all peave and love and happines, but i was really disappointed when they put in nuclear tech (and nuclear warheads), and it even came with no further advancements or consequences.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:32 pm

Nubm2 wrote:Also why is every questionable tech there is in the game to polute and destroy, but not simple stuff that could counter the effects of polution?
Solar panel is a green tech. Nuclear power is a green tech. Laser turret is a green tech. Mining productivity is a green tech.

And you don't need tech to go green, just avoid destroying tree, avoid burning more fuel than needed, that kind of thing.
But productivity is just too powerful
You're trapped by your misperception. Define powerful. Then redifine it in an other way if you want to try an other playstyle. There are definition of powerfull which favor efficiency and speed efficiency.
the solar park is way bigger than the factory itself
Space efficiency for example. An efficiency run solar park is smaller than the factory it runs.

Or minimizing biters causality. That's how I choose to play in my current playthrough, and I don't expect to be more rewarded than a strip mining company would be for preserving ants,
JackGruff wrote:You can't reason with them
let alone by the ants themselves. I do it for the sake of it and that's enough for me.
With all the irl banned military tech (seriously, like the devs are working through a list)
I don't see what you're talking about.

Poison gas is not banned as an insecticide. I don't think there is a ban on weaponized pest controlling drones yet (they don't exist yet anyway, though we'd better be ready). The sole reason nuclear bombs are banned is human, which there isn't on Factorio planet.

the soon to be discarded and outdated view of energy production
:? :?

Solar panels ARE good IRL, factorio's not wrong on this one. It does feature overpowered accumulator though, but that's more a technology of the future (solid state batteryies) than a technology of the past.

Coal power plants are getting outdated, and I'm glad that's how Factorio presents them.

"MonoCulture" is a harmful way of thinking that have plagued both agriculture and energy production and opposing views start to grow, but I'm not so sure it will be outdated soon. As far as factorio is concerned, I assume simplicity is the reason why they haven't introduced more diversity in power production (and even if they do plan to introduce more, the game is still beta, give them time).
Im not all peave and love and happines, but i was really disappointed when they put in nuclear tech (and nuclear warheads), and it even came with no further advancements or consequences.
What should be the consequences? The grass and trees should have cancer?

Come on, radiations are only harmfull to bags of mostly water and fine circuitery. And for both you can imagine near future damage reparation technology, especially for the later (which you can also make not so fine in the first place).

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:34 am

@4xel: accumulators aren't future tech. It is already cheaper for power companies to build energy storage facilities to accumulate power during the off times and use during the peak hours than it is to build new power plants. Just like new solar and wind power plants are already more cost effective than new power plants of any kind except for hydroelectric.

Also, nuclear is not necessarily a polluting tech... if you care enough to pass the right legislation. Europe does a pretty good job of it, for example. They use nuclear power extensively and yet we hear of almost no nuclear pollution or accidents there, unlike what happens elsewhere in the world. Same for oil spills. The point is that you can use almost every tech in a safe and non-polluting way, if you care enough to do so.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Nubm2 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:49 am

zOldBulldog wrote:Also, nuclear is not necessarily a polluting tech... if you care enough to pass the right legislation. Europe does a pretty good job of it, for example. They use nuclear power extensively and yet we hear of almost no nuclear pollution or accidents there, unlike what happens elsewhere in the world. Same for oil spills. The point is that you can use almost every tech in a safe and non-polluting way, if you care enough to do so.
The fact that you do not hear about does not mean it does not happen. The nuclear lobby is pretty strong in EU. And see what has happend in Fukushima. They had some pretty high standarts too. Just count the death zones created by tests or accidends that are inhabitable by humans for generations. And if you count into it that the nuclear waste cannot be stored forever its neither cheap nor safe. People will pay for it for a VERY long time. But that has nothing to do with a fictional planet with only one human on it of course.

4xel wrote:
Nubm2 wrote:Also why is every questionable tech there is in the game to polute and destroy, but not simple stuff that could counter the effects of polution?
Solar panel is a green tech. Nuclear power is a green tech. Laser turret is a green tech. Mining productivity is a green tech.

And you don't need tech to go green, just avoid destroying tree, avoid burning more fuel than needed, that kind of thing.
I was more thinking of something to actively fight polution, like air filter. And how many trees are there to beginn with or have to cut down depends on the map settings. And critters on normal; settings aren't a big threat really. Thats beside the point.
But productivity is just too powerful
You're trapped by your misperception. Define powerful. Then redifine it in an other way if you want to try an other playstyle. There are definition of powerfull which favor efficiency and speed efficiency.
They create extra stuff. Thats pretty powerful. And the majority of people use those over effiency because the downsides can be easily countered. You can go green for fun or challenge (of some sort), but thats beside the point. They grant huge benefits compared to efficiency modules, which costs the same to create. And eff mods do not work in beacons.
the solar park is way bigger than the factory itself
Space efficiency for example. An efficiency run solar park is smaller than the factory it runs.

Or minimizing biters causality. That's how I choose to play in my current playthrough, and I don't expect to be more rewarded than a strip mining company would be for preserving ants,

The last game i played. I don't think you could stack them any closer together. Mind you, this is with critters turned off so no laser turrets to support.
https://i.imgur.com/uiUQzUh.jpg
With all the irl banned military tech (seriously, like the devs are working through a list)
I don't see what you're talking about.

Poison gas is not banned as an insecticide. I don't think there is a ban on weaponized pest controlling drones yet (they don't exist yet anyway, though we'd better be ready). The sole reason nuclear bombs are banned is human, which there isn't on Factorio planet.
Factorio has a multiplayer mode, were you can kill other humans. With landmines, flamethrowers, autonomous turrets and drones, poisen gas and nuclear warheads. But lets stick with the single player mode. What do you think those bugs represent in this game? Ants don't fight back when you claim resources located on or near their nests.
the soon to be discarded and outdated view of energy production
Solar panels ARE good IRL, factorio's not wrong on this one. It does feature overpowered accumulator though, but that's more a technology of the future (solid state batteryies) than a technology of the past.

Coal power plants are getting outdated, and I'm glad that's how Factorio presents them.

"MonoCulture" is a harmful way of thinking that have plagued both agriculture and energy production and opposing views start to grow, but I'm not so sure it will be outdated soon. As far as factorio is concerned, I assume simplicity is the reason why they haven't introduced more diversity in power production (and even if they do plan to introduce more, the game is still beta, give them time).
I agree with all of that, although you left nuclear power out of the list, see above.
Im not all peave and love and happines, but i was really disappointed when they put in nuclear tech (and nuclear warheads), and it even came with no further advancements or consequences.
What should be the consequences? The grass and trees should have cancer?

Come on, radiations are only harmfull to bags of mostly water and fine circuitery. And for both you can imagine near future damage reparation technology, especially for the later (which you can also make not so fine in the first place).

Leaking Radiation causes much more problems than just cancer in a few years. Also the way nuclear plants work (and are represented in factorio) is to create a lot of heat. That suit must be highly efficient at blocking radiation while still taking damage from poisenous gas, which does not make any sense. Or the reactors are unbelievable efficient at keeping the radiation out of the steam, which is not believable. Cutting the water supply on a running reactor and letting it run like in factorio has consequenzes of the highest magnitude. I don't want them to see represented in detail, but there are literally none.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Nefrums » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:47 am

There is currently no point to put efficiency modules in assemblers as the pulution generated from them is marginal.
A assembler with 4 prod3 and 8 beacons with speed3 generates barely more pulution than a single miner.
And you have alot more miners then assemblers.

Fill your miners with effecency 1 modules and you get rid of most of the pulution.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by bobucles » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:19 pm

There is currently no point to put efficiency modules in assemblers as the pulution generated from them is marginal.
False, but thanks for playing.
Miners, then assemblers, then solar panels absolutely last. Full nuclear is so green that it even glows!

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Nefrums » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:46 pm

bobucles wrote:
There is currently no point to put efficiency modules in assemblers as the pulution generated from them is marginal.
False, but thanks for playing.
Miners, then assemblers, then solar panels absolutely last. Full nuclear is so green that it even glows!
A miner generates 5 times more pulution then a assembler, and you normally have at least twice as many miners as assemblers.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by bobucles » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:03 pm

Your math is incomplete. Steam power isn't green, and the energy savings of eff1 modules are highly competitive next to solar power.

Miners, then assemblers, power gap, then solar panels. Grab nuclear power the moment it is available because it is awesome.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Nubm2 wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote: Europe does a pretty good job of [nuclear power safety regulation].
[No It doesn't].
I'd tend to agree with Nubm2, Areva for example has perfected a good habit of falsifying safety test and trying to sell malfunctioning parts in the past years (or decades, who knows?). Granted the fact they got caught numerous times proves legislation works to some extent, but the fact this economic agent tried in the first place, and keep trying so hard, does not reassure me about the human ability to not fuck up.

Still, IMO, this issue has nothing to do at all with the technology itself. Cyborg up humans to have lifespan greater than the halflife of plutonium, send the smartest scientists and the danger of nuclear power in deep space for interstellar colonization, and all of a sudden, nuclear seems like a decent option to me.


I was more thinking of something to actively fight polution, like air filter.
As far as I know, air filter, unless you mean planting trees, are only useful to make a local pocket of air more breathable.

If I had to guess, I'd say we're 2 to 4 orders of magnitudes of clean energy output away from fixing the consequences of pollution, but we can already tackle the causes (reduce polution sources. In factorio, it means solar panels, efficiency modules ...)
And critters on normal; settings aren't a big threat really. Thats beside the point.
Bitters on default setting ARE challenging, the first time you play the game, as they should be. I don't see the issue with having to fiddle with the option to set the game at a proper difficulty as you gain skills in the game.

I don't think that's necessarilly besides the point, I'd rather have efficiency being promoted by subtly punishing pollution than by artificially rewardinng going green. That's probably an awfully bad stance, from a game design point of view, but that would be very realistic and teach a very true RL principle, that effects of pollution are grave but not obvious, that things are systemic, and that the easiest way to not screw up is to not screw up (as opposed to fix the damages afterward).

They create extra stuff.
Creating extra stuff is overrated. There is a practical infinity of stuff. If you have acess to ore deposit with millions or even billions of ressources (and you do by just walking a little bit), the main point of productivity modules is to reduce the factory size, and then you don't need them everywhere. Putting them everywhere is still a smart thing to do as it saves the hassle to figure out where they are the most useful, but that's definitely not a playstyle clearly superior to others.

And no, they don't cost the same as efficiency modules. Efficiency modules are in the vast majority of case Eff1 and Eff2, and they do save solar panels cost, sometimes more than there own cost. Prod3 and speed3 are very expansive, and ProdAny and SpeedAny cost solar panels to support.
Factorio has a multiplayer mode, were you can kill other humans.
I see players as consciousness uploaded in humanoid mecha. Even if they were human, they are at the very least daredevil psychopaths, presumably having cut themselves from civilization to voyage for years in spaceships with little to no company.

It would still be utterly wasteful to use such powers (uploaded consiousness) to wage desolation on a (not so) bare planet, but I am glad Factorio gives me the option to do so, as well as the option not to do so.
Ants don't fight back when you claim resources located on or near their nests.
Yes they do. Put your hand into a fire-ant colony, you'll feel it. Sure, if you step on them with a rubber boot, you won't feel anything. Same with biters, poke them with an iron stick and a colt 45, you'll feel them. Stomp them with a robot port and laser turret, you will not even notice.
What do you think those bugs represent in this game?
I have mixed feelings on them. I don't think they're necessarilly supposed to represent anything but an excellent game mechanic (giving reasons to go green, giving a way to adjust the difficulty in game, giving a cheap good fight).

My sci fy explanation for them would be that they are a terraforming Von Neumann probes, like explained here : https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... rkers_and/

If I had to invent something more symbolic and echoing our society, I'd say they represent Native populations. What we do to them (genocide) is quite bad but I'm ok with it, cause in that particular case, I can't relate to them and genuinely think factories are more valuable than biter nests, so I do my best to replace the later by the former.

So yeah, on the same level as ants, arguably lower, due to the apparently poorer social interactions (but maybe that's just because it's a game and the interactions are supposed to be here, but are not shown).

[nuclear reactor issues] I don't want them to see represented in detail, but there are literally none.
It happens there is one consequence represented for nuclear reactor : if they are demolished when hot (>500 or 900 IDR), they explode with similar effect than a nuclear warhead.

But I too do feel nuclear is overly simplifed, except cell refurbishing and kovarex enrichement process, which makes a lot of sense gameplay wise (players hate lacking control on ratio, and building nuclear ammo does not feel like having control), but is a ludicrous and unrealistic magicolulz bonus that nuclear power does not need anyway.
zOldBulldog wrote:@4xel: accumulators aren't future tech. It is already cheaper for power companies to build energy storage facilities to accumulate power during the off times and use during the peak hours than it is to build new power plants.
Yeah, I know that already, but I was under the wrong impression that factorio accumulators were way too cheap (1/6 of a solar panel installation it serves) compared to their RL counterpart. I've been fooled by simple look of batteries, and did not account for oil price. Factorio's accumulator appear to be spot on both gameplay wise and compared to their real, present day counterparts (bout 1/2 of the solar installation they serve).
Speaking of storage, steam tank and heat pipe storage for nuclear setups are laughable, and the idea that nuclear reactor are more flexible than solar panels constitutes, indeed, a
"[hupefully] soon to be discarded and outdated view of energy production" :
power consumption is not constant, so constant power production from nuclear plant is just as problemetic as day night cycle are for solar panel. This is present in the game but the work arounds (accumulators included), which involve very interesting logistic challenges, could include some losses.

The only downside is the complexity wall, but that's really not an issue when you consider that it's not the only way to produce electricity (solar plant are simpler, even nuclear plants wasting fuel are simple and do work).


TL;DR (which contains stuff I have not said yet) :
I'd rather accentuate pollution punishement than directly reward going green.
Eg. Slight nerf on energy storage especially for nuclear
negative consequences of pollution independant from biters, could encourage preserving biters, even aggressive ones.
Such as pollution cloud blocking solar panels, overheated machines no longer working

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by drachma » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:59 pm

Simple test of the gameplay mechanic is this:

For a factory with a given output (let's say 1 science per minute)

Is the pollution cloud larger or smaller when using Efficiency modules + beacons, compared to using the standard prod/speed modules & beacons?

Building efficiency modules will mean each part of your factory will require a larger number of assemblers, inserters, robots etc. Even though each of them individually uses less power. My question is, is the total pollution smaller for a factory with the same output? Has anyone tested this?

If it's not, I would say that's unbalanced and a simple fix would be to make efficiency modules better.

In real life, the cost of going green IS to pay with extra area (i.e. solar panel farms), the problem is that on planet earth we have thousands of acres of desert and badlands that doesn't much care if we build some panels on top of it. In factorio, all land is equally valuable to the biters so there is more of a cost to area expansion.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Tricorius » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 am

4xel wrote: Speaking of storage, steam tank and heat pipe storage for nuclear setups are laughable,
While I find the logistics of setting up energy storage from a nuclear facility to be quite fun, I agree that just storing a bunch of “steam” energy and cutting fuel to the reactor is kinda silly.

I think a heat dissipation mechanic would make sense. The cruder steam boilers can also save steam, just at a lower mean temperature, which in theory would make them cool quicker than the nuclear steam storage.

Regardless, there’s leeched energy from all forms of energy storage over time. But I’m guessing gameplay balance is probably the main reason energy dissipation isn’t implemented.

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