Prykpryk's Efficiency Module Balance

Rebalances efficiency modules to be viable at all levels, in assemblers or beacons. Changes make their use cheaper than an equivalent cost solar powerplant.
5 months ago
0.16 - 0.17
160
Owner: prykpryk
Source: N/A
Homepage: N/A
License: MIT
Created: 5 months ago
Latest Version: 0.2.0 (5 months ago)
Factorio version: 0.16 - 0.17
Downloaded: 160 times

The goal of this mod is to balance (buff) the efficiency module 2 and 3. In base game they are basically worthless. Additional solar power is almost always cheaper than the power reduction effect of efficiency modules. Also in late game it is always better to use speed or productivity modules wherever you can.

Goals

  • Balance the efficiency modules so the power gains from using them is cheaper than equivalent solar power. This can also be expressed as such: The power savings from using efficiency modules should be higher than the cost of solar power plant that could be produced from the ore you spend making a bigger factory block. Factory block will inherently have to be bigger for the same output when you use efficiency module instead of a speed module.

Changes

  • Lowered the cost of efficiency module 2. Now it requires 2 processing units instead of 5. The equivalent ore cost of eff-2 module is now 1045 (stock is 1400). This change in turn changes the cost of eff-3 module. With the mod it costs 5972 ore (stock is 7746).
  • Drastically increased energy consumption modifiers of efficiency modules 2 and 3 to make them suitable for beacons. It's the best to put 1 efficiency module for every 7 speed modules in beacons. For heavy savings consider putting 1 efficiency module in an assembler slot instead, if productivity doesn't matter to you.
  • Efficiency module 2 and 3 now come with a small speed bonus. Purpose of this is to lose less speed by replacing a speed module with an efficiency module - so you need to build only a few additional assemblers and modules for them.

Module stats

  • Efficiency module 1
    Not changed, -30% power consumption.
  • Efficiency module 2
    -120% power consumption, +10% speed
  • Efficiency module 3
    -660% power consumption, +20% speed

Examples of gains

I am not using rounded numbers to present a general idea that can be extrapolated accurately.

  • Consider you have a late game setup producing 1000 engines per minute. 8x8 beacons around assembler-3 machine. Ratio of beacons to assemblers of 26:15 (this is true for 30 assembler layout). Inside every beacon you have 2 speed modules 3. Inside every assembler 4 productivity modules 3.
    Your factory consist of 21.65 assemblers and uses 62.55 MW of power and produces 62.36 arbitrary units of pollution.
    By switching one speed module 3 with an efficiency module 3 in every fourth beacon, you would get those numbers:
    Assembler count: 23.23. Power usage: 31.52 MW. Units of pollution: 17.07. Because of lower speed you need to spend additional 77000 ore to build more assemblers, beacons and modules. For the price of 77000 ore you could build a solar farm producing 14.19 MW, however that ore saves you 31.5 MW of power. Conclusion is that the usage of efficiency modules is 2 times more efficient (pun intended) than building a solar farm. Same comparison in vanilla game makes solar power path 14 times cheaper than efficiency module path.
  • TBD More examples, including efficiency module 2.

Notes

  • I consider the mod to be in a beta phase. If you have played with this mod, please write your thoughts in the discussion tab.
  • What about nuclear power alternative?
    1 MW of solar power costs 5417 ore. 1 MW of nuclear power (assuming 2x2 reactor layout) costs 513 ore. 24 hour worth of fuel for this nuclear plant costs 156 ore (assuming kovarex and reprocessing). So there is no real way to balance efficiency modules with nuclear power. Nuclear power is just too cheap.
  • Pollution
    Pollution reduction seems to be very high. This might not be balanced well but I need to wait for 0.17 and see the impact of pollution mechanics changes.
  • Why the speed bonus?
    Making the modules even cheaper doesn't make a huge difference as the speed bonus. I didn't use a productivity bonus because it could be exploited with beacons to get huge productivity gains. That would break the balance of everything.
  • What about efficiency module 1?
    It is already pretty powerful when used in miners. I don't see any reason to change it.