The Green Dilemma

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Hannu
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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Hannu » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:57 am

HurkWurk wrote: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.
If you want to build different factories why you do not abandon requirement for megabase throughput? At least I think that factorio-optimal megabase is not entertaining way to play at all and prefer realistic-like railworlds with structured production plants instead of maximum throughput. Green world with limited production and active pollution handling would probably also be interesting option. For example by increasing pollution based biter evolution so that player could actually fail if he did not take pollution into account. Maybe it would be interesting idea for larger mod.

I disagree that there are severe issues with megabases. I do not know any games able to handle as large and complex systems ad Factorio. Problem is that because factories are practically free in related to game resources and also easy and fast to build with bots players achieve computing limits in any case. It is hard to believe that if maximum number of entities was ten or hundred times larger gaming would be significantly more entertaining for anyone. It would be just copying of more modules until UPS would drop too low and those who see maximum throughput as only meaningful objective would whine that there are "issues" preventing to build "real megabases".

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Hannu » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:39 am

Nuclear power is far too easy and cheap. There should be risk of accidents. I would make some kind of nonlinear heat controlling system. Player should build active controller by using combinators and if limits were exceeded the reactor would explode like nuclear bomb (destroying large area of nearby structures and players) and spill crazy amount of pollution on range of thousands of units. Maybe there should be some kind of automatic basic controller which would be always safe for those who hate math or do not want copy optimal solutions from net but you could get few times more power with proper adjusting algorithm.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Maddhawk » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Been reading this thread and I confess I find the debate y'all are having to be funny. I feel like y'all are forgetting the most important thing of all.

Factorio is a video game!

What y'all are discussing could make for some interesting basis for some scenario type mods, however would not be good as baseline conditions for the game itself. Think of it from that perspective. Like SpaceX, Earth Map, Sisyphean Deliveries, Turrent Defense, and other scenarios think of "playing green" as the same and get together to make a scenario mod for the game. This will probably help y'all fine tune your desires for a "green gameplay."

On a side note with nuclear power, it is clear y'all do not understand nuclear power IRL. Y'all keep talking of nuclear disasters and accidents like they are regular occurrences or something that is inevitable with time due to poor design. With the exception of Fukishima, every nuclear incident, accident, and disaster was the product of human error in the operation of the equipment and not from any kind of "inevitable failure" of the plants themselves. So keep that in mind when trying to think of draw backs to nuclear power.

As to automating nuclear power, the only thing truly unrealistic is that they keep burning the fuel cell. In reality, when a reactor is shut down the fuel consumption also shuts down to natural decay rates. For Uranium that is on the scale of millions of years for even half of the total amount to decay. This means it is more than fine to assume zero consumption of the fuel left while shut down. This means if Factorio nuclear was to be accurate, there should be an on/off switch that stops fuel consumption midway just like how coal fired boilers can stop midway when there is no power demand. At that point the temperature of the reactor would drop until all heat above the boiling point of water was consumed.

Storing energy in the form of steam is indeed unrealistic as that would require vast storage vessels with truly immense amounts of insulation to keep the heat trapped inside and in the steam. Otherwise the steam would condense back into liquid water over time. That said, again, we must remember Factorio is a video game. That said, you can use combinators to efficiently control the usage of uranium fuel cells in a very simple manner. You will need an energy storage device of some kind. Steam tank or accumulator works just fine. Steam tanks are easier to work with since they can store a very large amount of energy in comparison to battery based accumulators. If you do wish to use accumulators, make sure you have enough to store the entire output of your reactors while they finish consuming the fuel inside them once the shutoff condition is active. If you do not have enough you will waste the energy from the fuel cells once your reactors hit 1,000 degrees.

However you store the excess power generated here is the simple way to control the reactors using only 3 decider combinators. Set your first combinator with the low signal. I use steam and my reactor setup has enough storage for 3 million units of steam. I choose to turn my reactors on at 10% steam left so my combinator is set to ouput a 1 when steam < 300k or 10% or the total steam storage capacity. Combinator 2 receives the exact same steam signal as the first one and is set to output a 1 when steam > 2.1M steam. From combinators 1 and 2, using same color wire as the sense wire, I send the outputs of both combinators to the 3rd control combinator. It is setup to output a 1, using the low sense signal, when low signal > high signal. The output is wired using the opposite color wire and runs to the inserters that feed the reactors AND to its own input creating a feedback loop. For sense wire I use red. For the output of the control combinator I use green. So red wire runs from my storage tanks to the inputs of combinators 1 and 2. Then more red wire goes from the outputs of combinators 1 and 2 directly to combinator 3. Green wire goes from the output of combinator 3 back to its own input and to the reactor inserters feeding fuel in.

You can do the same with accumulators using the %charge level instead of steam level on your sense lines. This turns my reactors on when total steam is less than 300K and keeps them on until steam reaches 2.1M or million. 2.1M is 70% of my storage capacity. The fuel remaining in the reactors is enough to fill up my steam tanks just barely with very little if any wasted fuel. Once the fuel is used up, the reactors will cool down to about 500 degrees, all the while providing heat to the system to keep making steam. Then the system will start consuming stored steam. Once steam hits 300K the combinators will turn the reactors on again. The 3rd combinator is called a "Reset-Set Latch" and I found how to do it on the wiki regarding combinator latches.

Same control sequence can be used for a "backup" steam plant to turn on or off when using solar to power your base and your accumulators get dangerously low before they can begin charging again. Instead of controlling an inserter to feed reactors or boilers, you would control a power switch that cuts your steam power off from the rest of the power grid.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:02 pm

drachma wrote: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?
For a single recipe, the result is trivial. The pollution per item can be divided by 5 with efficiency module 1 and 2 alone, by 7.5 if use 3xEFF3 + 1xSPEED3, and further using speed and eff beacons, but using beacons lets you almost instantly lose the main advantage of EFF module, which is low power consumption.

By contrast, the typical 4prod3 assembler, 8 speed3 beacons generates 3.14 pollution than normal, so that's 15.7 more polluting than the typical cheap efficient build.

But for a whole 1 science per seconds, it's more tricky, the benefits of productivity spread down the crafting tree. Still, I don't see them compensating a 15+ factor. But if pollution or energy efficiency is your sole concern, there are probably intermediate options, like EFF in miners and pumpjack, and 1 or 2 PROD3 elswhere, then fill with EFF3.
So for me, there is no doubts that builds centered around efficiency pollute a lot less than PROD SPEED builds, probably by a factor of 10. But it misses the point of this thread (With which I don't entirely agree), which is, there is no point to go green. The reason is pollution is cheap and energy is free.

I've actually already computed a rough estimate of the marginal (ignoring vegetation absorbtion) cost of pollution here. It ranges from concerning for miners and pumpjack without modifiers (multiplying energy usage by 1.4 for laser shots) to insignificant with upgrades (turrets damage upgrades, mining productivity) : a typical lategame assembly line, even fully beaconned, has a marginal energy cost from pollution <1% of its energy usage. So by the times the discussion of the thread is relevant, pollution is nearly free (and defenses are not too expensive to set up, but there's still big differences in the defense setup cost of mining outposts depending on the modules and optional beacons used).

I don't think it's true that energy is free in factorio, I'd say there is no upkeep cost to solar panels or nuclear reactor, but there's a big upfront cost.

That I think, is the main difference between using mostly low tier EFF module and usin PROD SPEED beacon combo. The former is low upfront cost, the later is very high upfront cost low upkeep cost. Which leads me to think no one is strictly better than the other, but it can be said that generally, low tier EFF is very good mid game, PROD SPEED is better once you can afford it (I still think they are settings and self imposed goals which favor EFF late game though).


I don't think using deserts is cheap IRL but yes, as you say, space is also an expensive ressource in factorio, especially in time.
Hannu wrote: I disagree that there are severe issues with megabases.
To expand on that, it is possible to build a 1 RPM megabase with belts and efficiency modules and without beacons :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK2Qz43wsR4

As you say, performance issue is just for people who like to push the limit of the game, and they will push them no matter where they are.

Building the biggest megabase ever is interesting for some, but as you say, definitely should not be the sole focus of players or devs (it still is impressive how the devs optimised things, like belts).
Last edited by 4xel on Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by herkalurk » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:15 pm

I use the green mods to reduce power all the time. I also use burner inserters for many slow uses like research. I just drop some solid fuel in the requester chest for the burner to consume. When my facilities are maxed out I'm using around 1.5 GW of nuclear power.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by drachma » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:19 pm

4xel wrote: But it misses the point of this thread (With which I don't entirely agree), which is, there is no point to go green. The reason is pollution is cheap and energy is free.
Great point. The game imposes very little cost for obtaining energy. Therefore it makes sense to make use of as much of it as possible. Your follow-up math about the marginal cost of defending PROD vs EFF miners is a great example. Even when they are pissed off the biters only attack so often which doesn't use much additional electricity compared to the always-on miners.

IDK just from when I first got the game and saw solar panels and EFF modules I just kinda wanted to play in a way that I made a "sustainable" rocket factory which is able to produce X SPM in steady-state, but doesn't anger the locals and so doesn't require any defenses. It would be a neat way to play thru the game. But not really possible with current mechanics. It's just not what the developers intent was for the game. You'd have to mess with some pretty major game mechanics to make that style of play viable and balanced. But that's OK, factorio is still awesome.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:19 pm

I would love to see the game evolve to the point that real green behavior was rewarded:. Play fully green = biters leave you and your base alone.

That kind of gameplay would be golden.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:49 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:I would love to see the game evolve to the point that real green behavior was rewarded:. Play fully green = biters leave you and your base alone.

That kind of gameplay would be golden.
With expansion off, it's already possible (maybe you need to clear some space depending on settings).

With expansion on, well, you may be nice, biters are not. They want your space !

(which isn't really yours to begin with by the way).
Last edited by 4xel on Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Crocodile » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:17 pm

I'd love to see pollution having a bigger visual impact in the main game view. Grey, yellowish smog. Ground, water, trees, buildings and infrastructure getting dirty.

Presently, you may see a solid red cloud of pollution over a heavily module'd factory on the map, but in the main view, everything looks crisp and clean, except maybe some trees dying in the periphery.

Some benefits of implementing this would be:

- the pollution mechanic would be communicated more clearly to the player
- the game would appear more varied and alive visually
- the player would get a larger aesthetic reward for "going green"

Another way to incentivize making efficiency modules could be adding another tier of biters, more resistant to lasers. Some big hulking beast requiring another level of gunnery, what about a big slow firing 6x6 tile "ion cannon"? Resulting in more situations where you would want to go green from a defensive standpoint.

This would also serve to make the "end game" more varied, requiring more emphasis on providing military infrastructure.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by herkalurk » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:05 pm

I just want to be able to plant trees, it's ridiculous we can launch a rocket into space, but can't replant trees. Need some research and build requirements.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by RinDiddy » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:05 pm

Why go Green? It's really a matter of perspective. So far in my campaign of naturalness I've found it to be quite rewarding once you've removed the need for boilers.

1 - The attacks are reduced dramatically. I've had occasions where I could go a couple hours without anything happening.

So what right?

Think of it like Speed Increase for a mine. You get more resources right? Well, the less those turrets are firing the less resources you need to keep them armed. Time is also a factor as it takes time to nurse or to set up an automation for turrets. Killing aliens are increases the evolution at its fastest rate.

The way I see it is you will always have a management issue with resources. You could spend a significant amount of resources on military tech/turrets OR you could take those resources and invest them into technology which leads to increased speed, efficiency, and overall that much closer to having the technology to launch that rocket.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:33 am

herkalurk wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:05 pm
I just want to be able to plant trees, it's ridiculous we can launch a rocket into space, but can't replant trees. Need some research and build requirements.
Sputnik was launched within 3 years after it's initial conception. A tree takes 30 years to grow.

I personally am not against replantable trees in factorio taking 30h of in game time to grow, and would probably consider it fast, but I think because of it being a video game it would have to take an hour or less for a single tree to grow. I would consider THAT thing to be ridiculous, and it would be, like many things in video game and it's ok, and it still would feel painfully slow to most.

But it's just a video game, and the way I see it, is tree nnot being replantable is a symbol of irreversible damaages caused by pollution. There are really not many things punishing pollution in this game but that is (a minor) one, and punishing both pollution and non pollution is a lot more realistic and essential than rewarding green or giving the ability to replant trees, no matter how ridiculous you think it is.

Think of it as the soil is damaged beyond repair. (in times shorter than geological ones).
Good luck planting a tree near the Aral See.
Last edited by 4xel on Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:35 am

4xel wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:49 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:I would love to see the game evolve to the point that real green behavior was rewarded:. Play fully green = biters leave you and your base alone.

That kind of gameplay would be golden.
With expansion off, it's already possible (maybe you need to clear some space depending on settings).

With expansion on, well, you may be nice, biters are not. They want your space !

(which isn't really yours to begin with by the way).
I knew about expansion (and pollution) off. I also know about peaceful and no biters at all. But that is not what I am talking about.

According to the storyline biters hate pollution, so it would be nice if "if you managed pollution properly" then you would be rewarded by a change in biter behavior where they would not attack you and become cooperating partners.

Of course, just like in real life, controlling pollution is difficult and requires tough choices. But the rewards are great.

So, it would be nice if the game did that.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by 4xel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:49 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:35 am
4xel wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:49 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:I would love to see the game evolve to the point that real green behavior was rewarded:. Play fully green = biters leave you and your base alone.

That kind of gameplay would be golden.
With expansion off, it's already possible (maybe you need to clear some space depending on settings).

With expansion on, well, you may be nice, biters are not. They want your space !

(which isn't really yours to begin with by the way).
I knew about expansion (and pollution) off. I also know about peaceful and no biters at all. But that is not what I am talking about.
You misunderstood me. With pollution ON, biters ON, peaceful OFF, if you reduce your pollution to a minimum, the biters will amost never attack you with expansion ON, and never ever attack you with expansion OFF.


As much as I like Orang-Outang, and we probably have a lot to learn from them, but none of that knowledge has any link whatsoever with building a factory. And Orang-Outang are a lot nicer and more relatable than biters. So I really don't like the idea of being "partner" with them.

Of course, realism/storytelling notwithstanding, cooperation with biters could add great gameplay elements, but if the game goes that road, adding factions you can interact with, I'd much rather interact with other humanoids, maybe a civilian population.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by PunkSkeleton » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:58 pm

I think that efficiency modules need a buff. This is just plain wrong that 3xEff3 = 2xEff2 on a drill.
In my opinion:
1. Efficiency modules should be multiplicative instead of additive. Ex. 2x 50% reduction = 75% reduction.
2. There should be no hard limit on savings.
3. The reduction percentages of all levels are subject to discussion. In my opinion 25%, 50% and 75% does not seem bad. It makes lvl 3 module so much better than lvl 2 and lvl 2 so much better than lvl 1 - possible saving in a drill are 68% with lvl 1, 88,5% with lvl 2 and a whooping 98,5% (1/64 pollution/energy) with those expensive lvl 3 modules. That would be green mining :).

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by adesazz » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:51 pm

Didnt see anyone mention mods, but Nauvis Day is an example of one that makes pollution much more impactful. Forests die, lakes become unusable, etc. More generally, any mods or config changes that makes biters a more significant threat counts. The bigger the biter threat, the bigger the cost of pollution.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by FredHp » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:36 pm

I simply don't mind about pollution - that's what laser is for.

IMHO Speed Modules LVL3 in Beacons, Productivity LV3 module in factories are more green than green modules considering a pollution per product ratio.

In late game even my electric furnaces has productivity3 modules (I know, it takes forever to p3 module to pays off in a furnace.. but 20% more production means less rush for new materials) and speed3 modules in beacons.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:36 pm

FredHp wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:36 pm
I simply don't mind about pollution - that's what laser is for.

IMHO Speed Modules LVL3 in Beacons, Productivity LV3 module in factories are more green than green modules considering a pollution per product ratio.

In late game even my electric furnaces has productivity3 modules (I know, it takes forever to p3 module to pays off in a furnace.. but 20% more production means less rush for new materials) and speed3 modules in beacons.
I think that is exactly the problem identified by this thread.

The game starts on the premise that the natives don't like pollution - which at least implies that we should minimize it - but then fails to deliver on the benefits of pollution management.

The game's reality is that the most effective ways of playing this game is to almost completely ignore reducing pollution and instead to maximize productivity and ways to suppress the natives. Or, if you don't like combat... to reduce or disable the native's aggressive behavior.

Ideally - although I doubt we'll see it anytime soon, and probably not for years - the game will someday evolve to the point where "going green" will make the natives peaceful (or even cooperative) and there will be a true reward for using green approaches. But for now I suspect that even the mod APIs needed to allow such a thing don't exist.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by Aeternus » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:24 pm

At endgame, when you've got nuclear going and are liberally dispensing beacons and prodmods, yea, speed/productivity is the way to go. But the green thumb has a place midgame. When you're juuust getting oil, are cranking out your first laser turrets and don't really have the fuel yet to keep on powering through constant attacks. Keeping both pollution low and power requirements down with mk1 efficiency modules can be very effective, and they're pretty cheap. Especially if you've got some forests around you it can cause pollution-generated biter attacks to drop to 0.

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Re: The Green Dilemma

Post by FredHp » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:06 pm

At this stage (of just getting oil) i already have a yellow ammo factory and a turret factory - dedicated iron and copper lines for that factory, to i can install turrets and supply with ammo. Being dedicated it doens't interfere with the main factory. It is sufficient to stop almost all early alien attacks.

You dont need a full wall of turrets, just 2x2 turrets enclosed with a wall, with small overlapping range, when the first one shot hits the enemy, the enemy will rush into the the turrets, diverting from the factory.

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