Factorio Diary



New Crontinnium setup, luckily will also work for Jivolite so I've started to set up that one too.

Red: The Flotation Cells as before, producing Crontinnium Crystals, Geodes, and Chloric Waste Water.

Green: Instead of just pumping in Purified Water into the Flotation Cells, we got Hydro Plants. They take in Waste Water, and output Purified Water, usually another water byproduct (in this case Saline Water), and also usually a solid byproduct, in this case _Jimmy Neutron voice_ Sodium Chloride, aka Salt. I still make some extra Purified Water just to make sure the Flotation Cells have plenty, and we can prevent backing up by installing...

Blue: Clarifiers, which more or less just void out unwanted liquids by I guess just dumping it into the ground. The Saline Water I don't have a use for here plus I can easily make more of it if I need it elsewhere so it's just goin back in the ground.

Purple: The Salt is sent over from the Hydro Plant here to a Chemical Plant to make Hydrochloric Acid. The two ingredients are Salt and Sulfuric Acid, which I have plenty of to spare at this point, so I pipe it in from a nearby train station. The smaller looking Warehouse guy is a Silo, also decent storage and smaller than a Warehouse. This is necessary because making Hydrochloric Acid creates a solid byproduct, Sodium Sulfate. I've got that going down to a nearby train station, so, I'll be figuring out what to do with that stuff another day.

I still have to set up a Hydrochloric Acid production facility elsewhere, and I'm having trouble with a lot of backed up Sulfuric Waste Water and solid Sulfur. I might bump up my Sulfuric Acid production as well as try and figure out some more uses for it so I can keep Ore processing from backing up.

@Gaagaagiins#13029 @exodus#12995 Some examples that immediately come to mind in various degrees of difficulty are TIS-100, and Human Resource Machine.

Many of Zachtronic's games are based around programming, some do more or less of a job of trying to hide that. TIS-100 is obviously programming, [Molek-Syntez](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1168880/MOLEKSYNTEZ/) perhaps less so?

I love the idea of these sorts of games, got hooked on TIS-100 fairly hard and put in effort to try to equal-or-better the leaderboard entries on most puzzles (which have all since been reset a few times)... but haven't been really hooked by any more of them since. I'm a programmer, and these games sometimes feel too much like _work_ for me.

@rejj#13119 Oh boy… I can‘t decide if I would bounce off of stuff like that real hard or if they would hook me real bad once I could learn the basics, but I can’t imagine it happening anywhere in between those two things

Entry #2 - January 15th, 2021

I am playing Factorio a lot more sporadically lately, but tonight I thought I would sit down and do some troubleshooting that I had put off on the tail end of the last session. Thankfully I saved on the right part of my factory so that when I loaded the game again I'd remember what I wanted to do when I came back.


This is a facility for making Metal Catalysts. There are 4 varieties, they all take a little iron frame with a mixture of different kinds of ore in them. Some more advanced chemical processes use these metal catalysts as a component, and then produce an empty iron frame for catalysts as a byproduct. This train stop has pickup points for all 4 catalysts, and also a dropoff point for both a variety of ores, as well as the empty catalysts.

I have a bit of a robot problem here, though.

**Red:** These are the assembly machines that make the catalysts. There are little special red crates next to each one. These are called Logistic Network crates, and the red ones are called Passive Providers.

The Logistic Network is a really cool and flexible part of later game Factorio, base game too, this isn't mod stuff. Basically you build...

**Yellow:** Little flying drone guys, and they operate the Logistic Network. They can each hold a small bit of cargo. They can fly around a certain area...

**Purple:** ...around Roboports, where they dock when they don't have an active job and also they charge their batteries at ports too.

**Blue:** This is a Logistic Network Silo (mod stuff but it's just like a big logistic network crate, functions the same but has a big capacity and takes up more space). It's called a Requester Silo.

There are a few more kinds of logistic network crates but these are the most basic ones. Here's how it works:

  • - Any item inside of a Passive Provider Chest is being provided to the Logistic Network.
  • - At Requester Chests, you configure them to _request_ a certain amount of individual items.
  • - So long as there are items that are being requested by a Requester Chest somewhere within the Logistic Network, a bot will go to where it is being provided by a Provider Chest, and move it from the Provider Chest to the Requester Chest.
  • - Once the Requester Chest has as many items as it has requested, no more bots will bring items to it, and they will go and rest in a Roboport.
  • Basically, it's a way of simplifying the moving around of items on a more short distance, low volume way. They are great for supply things with complex recipes (instead of routing 4 belts to one assembler you can just plop down a Requester chest, tell it to request the recipe, and keep those ingredients supplied nearby). You need to build a *ton* of bots to move volume though.

    Bots are also great for a key principle in getting ahead in Factorio: laziness. They are great for saying "fuck it" and not routing belts around to crazy places.

    However... you can run into problems if you get careless.

    **Green:** this is the result of my laziness elsewhere. I have a dropoff point somewhere else in the map for green metal catalysts. I used Logistic Network Chests, because I got lazy. Unfortunately, this means that when a train brings green metal catalysts over to that other train stop, my near empty Requester Silo over by where the catalysts are being made Requests them right back. So I've caused myself a non-productive loop.

    I think I will undo my laziness here where the catalysts are being produced and just route belts over to the train stops. Laziness is useful, but you need to stay principled and lazy...

    Now it's fixed with boring ol' belts.

    So what‘s your current goal? How do you know when you’re “finished”?

    @Moon#13859 The goal even in heavily modded play is still basically the same. Build the rocket.

    That's probably where I'll say that I'm done, at least for this big bonkers undertaking.

    Entry #3 - January 15th-16th, 2021

    Productive day, man thing I got done was this chemistry setup for making supplementary Hydrochloric and Nitric Acid. I'm tired so only short description today!


    **Green:** Various components for making Hydrochloric Acid, and the Chemical Plant that mixes Hydrogen Chloride gas with Purified water to make the Acid is on the right. The weird spaceship looking thing is overflow storage!

    The components of Hydrogen Chloride gas is Hydrogen and Chlorine. You can use Saline water (created in the Salination plants, big white things in the middle) to do a process called salt water electrolysis, to extract Hydrogen and Chlorine from the salt water. That creates a byproduct, Sodium Hydroxide, which we send down a storage/conveyer belt on the left **(Blue)**.

    **Red:** Various components for making Nitric Acid, and the Chemical Plant that mixes Nitrogen Dioxide with Purified water to make the acid is on the right. You compress air, separate it to get Nitrogen and Oxygen, then take some extra Hydrogen from the salt water electrolysis to bind with some Nitrogen to get Ammonia gas (using some of those metal catalysts from the other day), then cram the Ammonia and some of that Oxygen together to make Nitrogen Dioxide (which also uses a metal catalyst, and we send the empty carriers down a similar storage/conveyer as the Sodium Hydroxide), and then finally throw some Oxygen at that to create Nitrogen Dioxide.

    Entry #4 January 16th-17th, 2021

    Damn, I did a whole lot yesterday!


    My Ore Processing setups for all 6 ores are now in place! Most of everything else I was doing was putting together more random pre-reqs or looking ahead to smelting.


    Set up this coal mine, to mine Coal to be brought where needed as well as two things made with coal, Coke and Carbon. Coke is made by crushing Coal and then baking it in a furnace. Also one of the few things where you can use itself as fuel when baking it in the furnace.


    Pure Carbon is made by steaming Coke, so it's just one extra step and one extra building. **Red** is the ore crusher and furnace, **Blue** is an electric boiler with a ground water bore hooked up to it, and Green is a Liquifyer.

    I also set up this monstrosity, I'm actually rather proud of it, as ugly as it is:


    I won't belabour the details but this takes Natural Gas and Multi-Phase oil, mainly to create Coolant, a fluid I'm going to need soon to set up a part of Iron smelting. It takes the various byproducts and such and converts them back into more useful things. As well, if I am full on Coolant, the system starts to use the main material used for Coolant to instead make Lubricant.

    The game is really quite beautiful. Some of the stuff you’ve set up is really pleasing to look at in the same way it’s fun to look at circuit boards and follow the traces around. This is some wild shit.

    @Jtwo#14018 heheh… I intentionally don't show some of my more chaotic setups… That coolant/lubricant setup has a dark secret to the right of the screenshot…

    I'd really like if you could provide a fully zoomed out view of what the map of your area looks like.

    First, Hubris.jpg

    Here is the map view of my entire factory!


    The grid of gray squares on the map is the stone brick walkways and for reference this is one of them zoomed out in the game mode screen.


    I'm not going to sit here and count but my factory at the moment, with a lot of empty space within, is occupying about 100-200 blocks of the grid.

    There are two main/well-known base building philosophies. Well, three, the first one being chaotic disorganized spaghetti. That is less of a philosophy and more of a natural property of nature.

    The first place most players upgrade to after they go as far as they feel they can with a spaghetti factory is the "main bus" style.

    Not my screenshot, and seemingly quite an old screenshot with how funny those underground belts look:

    What you do with this style is route all common materials through a main bus array of conveyer belts running through the center or one side of your factory, and route some off as needed.


    The advantages of the main bus style is that they're simple to understand, simple enough that I was feeling intuitively drawn toward doing it even before I went on to the subreddit and wiki and discovered other people were doing it. You can also develop off of them fairly quickly and organically, and can mix and match intermediate components easily. And they can provide a sort of progress bar for your current playthrough,

    The disadvantages are that they're only as useful as the number of components that you want to put on them. The wider they are the more unwieldly and annoying they are to work around. And if you need more than 4 belts of Iron Plates, you need to just add another belt, and you're making your main belt more useful to work with by making it more annoying to work with.

    The other main philosophy is the "City Block" design. My current factory is a City Block factory.

    You plot out everything on to a grid. The size of each block of the grid is generally the range that 4 Roboports can cover if you want to connect that block to the Logistic Network. And you split up your factory by building areas and train connections, with stations for picking up and dropping off everything.

    The advantages of City Block is that they're extremely modular and flexible. Trains can move a huge amount of stuff, very quickly. Especially when combined with a mod called Logistic Train Network which I use, where you can get trains to hang out waiting around in a depot, and then have trains request items to stations once they reach a certain deficit, and then have a train waiting in the depot go and fulfill the deliver from other stations where you have items waiting.

    The main disadvantage of City Block design is that you are more or less obligated to constrain your designs into the grid to make the most of it all. Which can be tricky if you want to do big blow out excessive designing. I kind of gave up on that and think a bit of a hybrid design is best, pick places to constrain yourself tightly within boxes, and other places that are definitely on the periphery of your factory, stretch out as much as you want or even choose to have a design be expandable infinitely like I did with my ore processing setup.

    Entry #5 January 17th-18th, 2021

    Did a whole lot yesterday, and a lot of very satisfying work. I'm starting to see some things I put in prep work to be functional later are able to start to click and work together.


    This is a mudwashing set up. You pump up viscous muddy water from the seafloor, and send that through these buildings which are all Washing Plants. There are several different levels of viscosity of muddy water, from Viscous to Thin Mud Water. You get a couple things out of it, first off, each conversion of one level of viscosity produces, you guessed it, Mud. With Heavy Mud Water you can extract Clay, Light Mud Water you can get Limestone, and Thin Mud Water you can get Sand.

    With Clay we will end up making Clay Bricks, as well as Reinforced Clay Bricks, which are used for higher tiers of buildings (reminder that I'm still building out of God Mode so this isn't totally relevant right now).

    The reason I set it up now was mainly for Limestone, which is a reagent used in a variety of things. We'll get to that in a moment!

    The main use for Sand is to mix it into Concrete, although it's also used for a few other things, like part of a more complex and efficient recipe for glass mixture.

    Now for something really fun, because it's finally time for actually USING that ore I have been producing all this time...


    Iron Ore Smelting! This takes Iron Ore and turns it into Iron Ingots. It's a mostly horizontally mirrored setup, which I thought was fun and an economical use of space.


    **Red:** Iron Ore comes down in from either side.
    **Blue:** First step is turning it into Processed Iron. How is the Iron Processed? It is Processed in an Ore Processor. It becomes Processed. Convenient! Even comes with its own little minecart tray thing.
    **Green:** A Pellet Press turns the Processed Iron into Iron Pellets.
    **Yellow:** Blast Furnaces melt the Pellets down into Iron Ingots.
    **Purple:** To melt down Iron Pellets specifically, the Blast Furnace needs both Limestone (there it is!) and Coke as reagents. It's pretty efficient with this so we don't need much, and we don't have to worry about throughput all that much, so I just have one belt of each running underground underneath each Furnace, splitting to accept input from a miniloader, and then going back underground again, which is in the lower Purple square.. Basically weaving belts of Coke and Limestone through the line of Furnaces. Blast Furnaces also need a solid fuel to operate, but conveniently, Coke is a great fuel for smelting, so they use Coke as both a fuel and a Reagant, much like the furnaces creating the Coke in the first place.

    Another fun thing about this is that to create Steel Ingots, I mostly just copy and pasted the Iron Ingot set up and added a few extra components, since Steel is a) heavier than feathers b) just Iron with some extra steps.


    **Red:** Just like from other setups, an Air Filter compresses air...
    **Blue:** A Chemical Plant separates that air into Oxygen and Nitrogen...
    **Yellow:** ... a Flare Vent, which has been in my setups before but I haven't explained them before, takes that Nitrogen that we have no use for here and burns it away...
    **Orange:** ...and instead of the Iron Ingots going up to the train station, they're put through another Blast Furnace, and fed Oxygen from the Chemical Plant, to create Steel Ingots.

    In comparison to Ore Rinsing and Crystallizing and whatnot from before, creating Ingots out of it is wildly efficient, at least in terms of space needed. That gargantuan 5 x 12 Grid set up, where at least half of the types of base ores that I've been processing will result in Iron Ore, I've been producing about 1k-2k Ore per minute, steadily and more or less consistently, but it's never gotten too far above 2k. The Iron Ore to Iron Ingot fits into one Grid Square, and the Steel one I put on to two squares since it's a less efficient process. The Steel one as I'm watching it right now seems to be operating at max capacity (after some trouble shooting I did off screen, I forgot to route an output for the second Blast Furnace on the right side of the setup, and overall it wasn't getting enough Compressed Air so I added more supplementary Air Filters) is consuming Iron Ore at a rate of 10k per minute! I am going to have to throttle it a bit for now and limit the buffer of Ingots by limited the storage space for completed Ingots so I don't eat through all of my Iron Ore! Iron Ore is one of the few ore types that are needed for recipes other than the Plate equivalent (for instance but Gold Ore is used to make, well, the prerequisites for Gold Plates and not much else) so even if that is going to be a minimal usage for Iron Ore, I don't want it to be using all of it all at once.

    Finally, this is what a lot of this has been leading up to... finally, we're making Iron Plates, which is the base for a ton of things we are actually going to be BUILDING eventually.


    **Red:** Iron Ingots coming in from the train station offscreen.
    **Green:** Induction Furnaces melt the Iron Ingots down into Molten Iron. There are a lot of options for how to get Molten Iron, most of which result in cutting it with Ingots of other metals to double or triple the efficiency of your target Molten Metal at the expense of the other metal. For instance, you can melt down 12 Iron Ingots into 120 Units of Molten Iron, or you can melt down 12 Iron Ingots and 12 Silicon Ingots to get 240 Molten Iron. I am probably going to do this at some point to limit the consumption of Iron but not until I've done a lot more other set up.
    **Yellow:** Strand Casting Machines take the Molten Iron and rapidly cool it down with Coolant, to create Iron Sheet Coils. They also output Used Coolant as a byproduct, which we can pipe away and process into more Coolant, but I haven't set that up yet... I need Iron Plates and Steel Plates for that!
    **Purple:** Regular assembly machines take the Iron Sheet Coils and make Iron Plates out of them.

    73 Hours of play later and I've created something you can create within minutes of the base game!

    It's worth mentioning that even in this heavily modded play, it is possible to just melt down Iron Ore directly into Iron Plates which you can start using immediately. By introducing extra complications, you either make the end result faster, you make more interesting or useful byproducts (or in some cases eliminate pesky ones), or more efficiently, getting more of the end result out of the same base materials than with a simple process.

    For example, by taking 3 Saphirite Ore, crushing it with an Ore Crusher or by hand to get 3 Crushed Saphirite, and then chucking it into the first tier of Furnace, I can have 2 Iron Plates in about 8 seconds.

    Or, if I take Saphirite Ore, crush it in an Ore Crusher, treat that crushed ore in a Flotation Cell to make Saphirite Chunks, treat that in a Leaching Plant to get Saphirite Crystals, treat those in an Ore Refinery to get Purified Saphirite Crystals, sort that through an Ore sorting facility to get Iron Ore, Process that Ore to get Processed Iron, press it into Iron Pellets, melt it down into Ingots, melt Iron Ingots into Molten Iron, turn it into Sheet Coil with a Strand Casting Machine, and then turn that into 2 Plates, the amount of Saphirite Ore I've used to get the same amount of plates is... 2.7!!!! But also, I've created 5 other kinds of Ore at the same time, a few other interesting byproducts, and with the right set up I can do that thousands of times a minute. Also, dang, this is really making me come around on cutting my Molten Iron with either Silicon or something else, I really gotta get my other Ingots set up ASAP!


    @Gaagaagiins#14136 73 Hours of play later and I’ve created something you can create within minutes of the base game

    is this due to mods adding complexity+hurdles or are you playing more expressively rather than simply to "win?"


    @yeso#14144 Gaagaagiins 73 Hours of play later and I’ve created something you can create within minutes of the base game


    is this due to mods adding complexity+hurdles or are you playing more expressively rather than simply to “win?”

    In my case, and in most cases, absolutely the latter, at least right now. With these mods there's still the easy/inefficient way to make Iron Plates, and it's only a little more complicated than in vanilla--I could hand mine Saphirite Ore, crush it by hand, chuck it in a Stone Furnace, and have Iron Plates. In base game you just mine Iron Ore directly _(so boring!)_

    Hand crafting most things is always the baseline for creating it. You have a whole interface that you can use as a reference for recipes but primarily if you have the prerequisite materials in your inventory you can craft it by hand. It's generally slower than creating it in a machine of course (especially as you get better tiers of machines), but so much simpler. It makes sense for lots of things to just hand craft, like if you're only going to build one at a time like a vehicle. Normal play involves plenty of hand crafting through all stages of the game.

    Playing on God Mode means my hand craft interface just turns into "materialize out of thin air instantly" interface. So in a lot of ways I'm skipping a huuuuge amount of incremental progression, that at least to me right now, is redundant, because I did it before in an earlier playthrough I lost to mod incompatibility. So, I'm getting myself back to that point before turning it off and it's way easier to just make things out of order without being too much of a purist about it. At least right now, the game is more satisfying this way because I've already done it the really hard way before and while that was tons of fun I wanted to be able to just cut out the monotony and retreading of progression for now.

    Don't worry though, I'll definitely be saying when I've turned God mode off. There's plenty of incremental progression I'll be working through at that point. It just might take a few more dozen hours to get there lol.


    @Gaagaagiins#14151 In my case, and in most cases, absolutely the latter, at least right now.

    That being said, this combination of mods known as AngelBob's is not even nearly the most "complicated" (read: masochistic) modpack. As other people tell it that one is called Pyanodon's, which honestly just sounds way too much for me. People often say that the difference between Vanilla and AngelBob's is roughly equivalent to the difference between Angelbob's and Pyanodon's, which sounds ludicrous.

    I wrote a whole lot about why I‘m “cheating” in a sandbox game with no real rules or competitive component, but skipping steps mostly means I don’t need to rebuild or retrofit anything.

    My use of Air Filters is a good example. If I wanted to build those normally I'd need to have done a lot of other things first, but they're not the only way to get Oxygen, it's mostly that a simpler process also creates a physical byproduct, so it would overcomplicate my designs while also making them worse.