Very BZ

by brevven

Mod pack for all BZ Mods including Titanium, Lead, Tungsten, Silicon, Zirconium & Foundry. Turns on some settings by default, but adds nothing new to the game itself.

a month ago
1.1
2104

g Feedback from a "Vanilla" playthrough

5 months ago

I use the term "Vanilla" very loosely as the playthrough was heavily modded. But there weren't any drastic recipe or tech changes that affected these mods, and I wanted to leave some feedback for the collection when used somewhere closer to Vanilla.

General

Overall I really liked what you've done. I particularly liked the Lead and Titanium mods, as well as the Foundry mod.
I do think the Electric Furnace is overdone with 7 ingredients. I know you said you've been leaning on it to be the most complex recipe in science, and I respect that angle. However, this is also an item you'd like in a mall/make-everything, and the recipe is just too complex for that in a belt-based setup. It almost requires bots.

And again, I'm looking forward to trying out the Carbon and Graphite mod later, though for now I think I'd like to explore some modpacks I never got around to before. Like Bobs & Angels.

Lead

This one I liked a lot. Useful all game in a number of recipes. I like the copper by-product too. Dealing with byproducts has steadily grown on me as something I like in my games, and this adds a little of that without it being overwhelming or some esoteric, low volume item you have a hard time finding a use for.

Titanium

Another good one. I used to want to see Titanium used in more recipes as the mod didn't seem impactful enough. Now I think your other mods have covered that desire, leaving Titanium in a good place in that context.

Silicon

Hard for me to say. I felt like it was lacking something, but as I was nearing the rocket launch I realized I'd forgotten to turn on the extra intermediates for this mod. I'm 90% sure that would have fixed that.
As I was playing it felt like it was too hard to get Silicon - two full red belts of silica makes what seemed like a bare trickle of Silicon. But looking at the numbers it comes out to 4 raw stone to 1 silicon, which seems totally fine. So I think that intermediate step of silica threw off my perception and I probably should've been direct inserting.

Tungsten

Tungsten plates are good, no complaints there. Tungsten Carbide I can't make up my mind on. Up to the rocket launch it felt like there was very little need to produce it in volume. I put it on a belt, but could have gotten by just fine hand-feeding some chests. But it is in all the most commonly used buildings, so you'd definitely need a good amount if you were to go megabasing.
That leads me to the Advanced Carbon Furnace. Why? Any base that wants this would probably just install a higher tier general-purpose furnace such as your Foundry. Speaking of which, it looks like installing the Foundry mod makes the Advanced Carbon Furnace non-functional.
I do also wonder why there's an option to remove Military Science from Rocketry? I'm all for skipping military, but this mod hardly seems like the place for that sort of option.

Zirconium

I think this one needs some work, but there's something here.
- Zircon is needed in small quantities at the start of the game for stone furnaces, but won't be used again until after blue science preparing for purple and yellow. Unless you need explosives, which depends a lot on the map settings (cliffs and biters). Having a patch in the starting area makes you think you'll need it from the start, but you really don't. The low amounts you need can probably be gotten from pickup up rocks in the area, or sorting stone if you're really desperate.
- Zirconium is a research prerequisite for blue science, but isn't actually required to make it.
- Smelting Zirconia can give you Titanium Ore before you have the ability to smelt it.
- Maybe I'm just not looking at it hard enough to see a pattern, but the distribution of what recipes take Zirconia, Zirconium Plates, or Cermet seems a little haphazard.

Some off-the-cuff suggestions:
- Remove Zircon Ore from the Stone Furnace Recipe. Move Zircon patches out of the starting area. Remove the stone-sorting and zircon-sorting recipes.
- Tie Zircon back into stone by changing the Titanium Ore byproduct of the Zirconia recipe to Stone. Maybe also change the Concrete recipe to take Zircon Ore or Zirconia instead of Iron Ore.
- Remove Cermets from the Tier 3 modules. I would leave that to the Silicon mod.
- Add Zirconia to the Engine Unit recipe, and maybe also work it into the recipe for Assembler 2. Perhaps replacing Steel. Solves the blue science weirdness.
- Maybe move Cermet up the tech tree a bit and use it as an ingredient for Low Density Structures, replacing the Titanium Plates and rebalancing the other ingredients accordingly.

5 months ago
(updated 5 months ago)

Thanks for this detailed and thoughtful feedback. Here's some of my current thinking in response.

I do think the Electric Furnace is overdone with 7 ingredients.

I've gotten this feedback a bit before, so you're in good company :) The initial solution was the "Bypass recipes" setting in each mod. Now, in the new Graphite & Diamonds mod, I've created a "Crucible" intermediate used for all electric-furnace-like recipes. I will considering introducing crucible in other mods, like Zirconium, once the number of ingredients is >6.

So I think that intermediate step of silica threw off my perception and I probably should've been direct inserting.

I'm both glad that this is not obvious, and also glad you arrived at this conclusion. That was roughly my goal initially, so hopefully it's in a sweet spot. With other intermediates, I tried to make it less necessary to do direct insertion.

...

That leads me to the Advanced Carbon Furnace. Why?

Good callout. There is a setting to turn this off and on. If you only install Tungsten, this setting is turned off by default. I should probably still make it default off with "Very BZ", I got overexcited about turning on items. And you're right, I should definitely turn it off if Foundry is enabled, so that will take care of the "Very BZ" issue once I add Foundry into that. Thanks!

Tungsten Carbide I can't make up my mind on. Up to the rocket launch it felt like there was very little need to produce it in volume. I put it on a belt, but could have gotten by just fine hand-feeding some chests. But it is in all the most commonly used buildings, so you'd definitely need a good amount if you were to go megabasing.

Yeah, this is defnitely an intermediate where you only need a bit. I made it compatible with tons of other mods that add tiers of miners, assemblers, etc. I wonder if I should do a better job communicating that not a lot is needed in the recipe description or something.

I do also wonder why there's an option to remove Military Science from Rocketry?

I wanted to unlock Rocket Engine Nozzles in Rocketry. It felt right, adding a new tech felt a bit much. However Rocketry then becomes a prerequsite to launching rockets. I know some number of playthroughs just never do military science, so I wanted to put the option. I'll make the description more obvious as to why.

Having a patch in the starting area makes you think you'll need it from the start, but you really don't. The low amounts you need can probably be gotten from pickup up rocks in the area, or sorting stone if you're really desperate.

This is a fair point. I actually just added zirconium to rocks, and decreased the starting area patch richness to about 20%. I could decrease it a bit more probably.

  • Zirconium is a research prerequisite for blue science, but isn't actually required to make it.

Good point, I'll remove that requirement in the next release of Zirconium.

  • Smelting Zirconia can give you Titanium Ore before you have the ability to smelt it.

So, I did go back and forth on this, but decided that it added a somewhat novel challenge in that you are required to figure out how to store some of a resource before you need or are even able to use it. That's not really part of Vanilla factorio, but I have run into something similar in at least a couple overhaul mods. Was it too much of a problem or annoyance?

  • Maybe I'm just not looking at it hard enough to see a pattern, but the distribution of what recipes take Zirconia, Zirconium Plates, or Cermet seems a little haphazard.

Thanks for this feedback. If i had to guess, I think cermet is the complicating factor here:

  • Zirconia is mean to to act as both a refractory and a ceramic.
  • Zirconum Plates contribute to explosives (representing zirconium metal powder) and to various forms of nuclear cladding/protection.
  • Cermet is a little more abstract and represents both cermets used in electronics as well as cermets used in tools and mechanical systems.

I wonder if "cermet" is just too broad a category for a single item. I'll definitely need to think on how to clean this up a bit.

Some off-the-cuff suggestions:
- Remove Zircon Ore from the Stone Furnace Recipe. Move Zircon patches out of the starting area. Remove the stone-sorting and zircon-sorting recipes.

I'll give this serious consideration and also look for alternatives. I did want to experiment with a resource that had a small but vital contribution in the early game, a greater need later, and then a massive need in the endgame, once you're doing space science. I may not have accomplished this smoothly.

  • Tie Zircon back into stone by changing the Titanium Ore byproduct of the Zirconia recipe to Stone. Maybe also change the Concrete recipe to take Zircon Ore or Zirconia instead of Iron Ore.

So the nice thing about the Titanium tie in is that rutile and zircon tend to be found near each other. I suppose I could change it to go the other way around... titanium --> zircon. Though I'm worried that ship has sailed, as I don't want to accidentally brick too many bases.

Concrete taking zircon/zirconia is a neat idea. It seems like it is occasionally used in concrete to improve its lifespan (though more often in refractory concrete). Funny thing is that zirconia is also used in dental cements!

  • Remove Cermets from the Tier 3 modules. I would leave that to the Silicon mod.

I'll think on this. Cermet might need a bit of an overhaul, so it might take some time to think through.

  • Add Zirconia to the Engine Unit recipe, and maybe also work it into the recipe for Assembler 2. Perhaps replacing Steel. Solves the blue science weirdness.

Oh nice idea. I think you've pushed me into this. I'm brainstorming an Aluminum mod, and I had been considering a spark plug intermediate required for the engine unit. Now, it could be made of Alumina, Tungsten, Zirconia, and Copper. It could also be used in other places where flame ignition is needed, like flamethrower turrets, etc.

  • Maybe move Cermet up the tech tree a bit and use it as an ingredient for Low Density Structures, replacing the Titanium Plates and rebalancing the other ingredients accordingly.

I'm a little more hesitant on this one. I very much want to keep Titanium plates in LDS in some form. Both because Titanium is still the most popular mod in this series, and because it just makes sense, being the "space age" metal and all that.

Thanks again for all the feedback, and let me know if you have any more thoughts you'd like to share. It's much appreciated. I'll keep thinking on all of this.

5 months ago
(updated 5 months ago)

The initial solution was the "Bypass recipes" setting in each mod. Now, in the new Graphite & Diamonds mod, I've created a "Crucible" intermediate used for all electric-furnace-like recipes. I will considering introducing crucible in other mods, like Zirconium, once the number of ingredients is >6.

This sounds like a good solution. It's not like I didn't want the recipe changed at all, but neither did I experiment with selectively bypassing to get it to something more manageable.

I wanted to unlock Rocket Engine Nozzles in Rocketry. It felt right, adding a new tech felt a bit much. However Rocketry then becomes a prerequsite to launching rockets. I know some number of playthroughs just never do military science, so I wanted to put the option. I'll make the description more obvious as to why.

Rocketry being a prerequisite for launching Rockets was so intuitive I actually thought it was vanilla behavior. If that was your mod doing it, the option makes a bit more sense now. I'm one of those people that only does military to get the techs out of the way in the research window.

Come to think of it, could you just add the Rocket Engine Nozzles to the Rocket Silo research instead? Seems like the most sensible solution, unless you need them unlocked earlier for Krastorio/SE integration. I'm not very familiar with those mods.

I actually just added zirconium to rocks, and decreased the starting area patch richness to about 20%. I could decrease it a bit more probably.

I'm pretty sure I started my map before that change. I had tons of zircon available in the starting area, and I remember starting to get zircon from rocks somewhere in the middle of the playthrough. Current status may or may not be fine.

So, I did go back and forth on this, but decided that it added a somewhat novel challenge in that you are required to figure out how to store some of a resource before you need or are even able to use it. That's not really part of Vanilla factorio, but I have run into something similar in at least a couple overhaul mods. Was it too much of a problem or annoyance?

Definitely was not a big problem for me - Zirconia use between unlocking it and unlocking Titanium was pretty low so I just had a furnace outputting to a chest. Had maybe a stack or two of unusuable Titanium Ore. Minor annoyance, but not a big deal

Might be something to keep an eye on if you do go through with adding Zirconia to engines though.

I'm a little more hesitant on this one. I very much want to keep Titanium plates in LDS in some form. Both because Titanium is still the most popular mod in this series, and because it just makes sense, being the "space age" metal and all that.

The overall recipes being similar was what made me think "What if LDS were made out of Cermet?" I always thought the LDS recipe was unusually simple (no intermediates) for something so far into the tech tree.
So I was thinking leave it at Titanium if only that is installed,
If Zircon is installed with Titanium change it over to Cermet, since Titanium is part of the Cermet recipe when both are installed
Maybe change to Cermet with only Zircon installed, if appropriate. I actually don't know what the recipe is without Titanium.

5 months ago

Rocketry being a prerequisite for launching Rockets was so intuitive I actually thought it was vanilla behavior.

I believe it used to be, prior to the existence of military science. Wasn't there like Rocket Shooting speed 1,2,3,4,5 and then Rocket Silo? Or something like that?

Come to think of it, could you just add the Rocket Engine Nozzles to the Rocket Silo research instead? Seems like the most sensible solution, unless you need them unlocked earlier for Krastorio/SE integration. I'm not very familiar with those mods.

I'll think through the options. For Vanilla+ I could at least put it on both Rocketry and on Rocket Silo research. That should work for K2/SE as well, but I have to check.

I'm pretty sure I started my map before that change. I had tons of zircon available in the starting area, and I remember starting to get zircon from rocks somewhere in the middle of the playthrough. Current status may or may not be fine.

Ah, yeah, I ran into that issue two games in a row and realized I had overshot on starting area zircon. I'll evaluate a bit and might shrink more or remove if it seems right to remove.

The overall recipes being similar was what made me think "What if LDS were made out of Cermet?" I always thought the LDS recipe was unusually simple (no intermediates) for something so far into the tech tree.
So I was thinking leave it at Titanium if only that is installed,
If Zircon is installed with Titanium change it over to Cermet, since Titanium is part of the Cermet recipe when both are installed
Maybe change to Cermet with only Zircon installed, if appropriate. I actually don't know what the recipe is without Titanium.

Ohhh. This is a great idea! I'll think through this in more detail, but will likely do something in this vein.

5 months ago

Ok so I really like that idea around Cermet in LDS -- I am going to tweak it from your idea a bit:

  • leave it at Copper + Titanium if only Titanium is installed,
  • If Zirconium is installed with Titanium change Copper over to Cermet (copper is in cermet recipe)
  • If Zirconium is installed without Titanium, change Steel to Cermet (and leave copper)
  • (If Zirconium is installed but with Cermet disabled, use Zirconium as we currently do)

What I achieve here is:

  • There is always at least one pure metal. Preference order for metals: Titanium, Copper, Steel.
  • If we can add cermet, we do. If we can't, we add Zirconium as a ceramic. If we can't, we forget ceramic materials.
  • It still always has plastic

What I also like about this (metal + ceramic + plastic) is that future mods can follow the pattern, as I add more alloys or perhaps eventually different ceramics or even plastics.

5 months ago

I like it, looking forward to seeing revised cermets in action.

Following up on some earlier thoughts -

  • The reduced amount of zircon in the starting area is definitely an improvement. I stand by my earlier suggestions to move Zircon out of the early game and turning it into sort of a mid-to-late game stone type resource, but I'm okay with the status quo if you'd prefer to leave it that way.
  • I quite like the spark plug idea for Engines. I was looking at adding Zirconia to the Engine recipe for my own game, but I think 4 is a good number of ingredients for the recipe, and all the current ingredients should stay in some form. Having that extra intermediate step allows for both.
  • I take back the suggestion to add Zirconia to Assembler 2's. I've thought better of it, and the tech tree is the wrong way around for it anyway.

As an aside, I'm coming to a realization that it's difficult to squeeze all these different resources into the vanilla recipes and give each its own space. I now understand why the big mods tend to get SO big.

5 months ago

Uploaded the new version of Zirconium with that. It's a mod startup setting. Defaults to the new LDS recipe, but the old one is still available and set for old saves.

As an aside, I'm coming to a realization that it's difficult to squeeze all these different resources into the vanilla recipes and give each its own space. I now understand why the big mods tend to get SO big.

Indeed, it is getting increasingly difficult :)

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