Author Topic: Equivalent Exchange  (Read 2847 times)

September 04, 2012, 05:51:11 pm

Baltazar

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Equivalent Exchange

As most of you are aware we enabled Equivalent Exchange on the server after it had been disabled for the first couple of weeks.  It was initially disabled as there were several exploits with certain items, and some items I viewed as not balanced with the the other mods on the server.

It is now on, but I have disabled certain items within the mod.  I also patched the mod so the items would not bypass the block logger that would prevent us from rolling back changes.  This list may change over time, and I will try to keep it up to date.

Disabled Items

Energy Collectors
Nova Catalyst
Destruction Catalyst
Void Ring

The one I know some may have an issue with not being there are the enery collectors.  I beleive them being included in the game would cause balancing issues, and would make it so most items someone would need would be produced via EMC recevied from large collector arrays.  It was just a method to receive passive items that's too easy to setup.

As for the two Catalysts, they have been disabled as I beleive they are too overpowered for the recipes used to create them.  There are other items in EE that also allow for very strong methods of clearing blocks, but they require more effort to craft, and in turn I left them in.

The void ring was disabled due to a duplication bug.

September 06, 2012, 06:03:51 pm
Reply #1

Baltazar

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I am considering disabling Energy Condensers and possibly the Antimatter Relay as well.  I am just currently struggling with how to allow these items in the game and prevent people from using them to farm massive amounts of passive EMC.

The Energy Collectors were disabled because it allowed passive EMC generation with very little effort.  I viewed that the rate of EMC generation it allowed was not balanced with the rest of the mods on the server.  Unfortunately seeing there are ways to automatically produce an infinite amount of certain items in the game (i.e. milk, snowballs, cobblestone, etc.) and EE allows you to collect and convert these items into more useful items, a player can very easily produce most of the basic items in the game via simple EMC collecting machines.  With a little more effort there are also inequalities with certain items (i.e. blaze rods, flowers, etc.) that allow you to take advantage of these by converting items through a repetitive loop of processes.

My main concern with this is the volume of EMC generation it allows.  I am fine with the concept in EE where you an exchange one item for another of equal value and then back again, as there is no EMC gain in that process.  My issue is there are some inequalities related to vanilla objects, as well with the other mods.  Through automation you can quickly exploit these areas to create a massive amount of EMC.

If this occurs there is be little to no reason to mine for ore manually or with quarries.  There will be no reason to bother with all of the work involved with setting up a nuclear reactor, when you can just slap together a bunch of HV solar arrays that will be safer and output more power, as materials will no longer be an issue.  With materials not being an issue it will be very difficult to setup any sort of player to player trade, as the people doing EMC generation would need very little, and could flood the market with whatever raw material is needed.  I view the gathering part of Minecraft as an important aspect of the game, which is why we are playing on a survival server, and I do not want to lose that.

These two items are very useful, as they quickly allow you to turn all of your junk blocks (i.e. dirt, cobblestone) into something a little more useful (and more compact).  I just don't see how I can police it and leave them in, which is unfortunate.  I have not made any changes yet, as I will be speaking to several of you this weekend to get your thoughts on it.

September 06, 2012, 11:21:21 pm
Reply #2

technomage72

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While I agree EE can sort of unbalance the game, the same can be said for most of the mods. Industrialcraft, with the macerator already gives you the ability to double(overworld) or quadruple(nether) your output of ores. As far as the passivity goes, it wouldn't be that hard to set up a quarry, feeding a recylcer, feeding a mass fab, churning out uu to an autocrafting table to generate diamonds either...and all could be run by just a few mv/hv solar arrays. EE just makes it *faster* and sometimes *easier*. While I do agree with banning certain aspects of EE, mainly the devestation rings (evertide, volcanite, void, etc) I honestly don't see too much of a problem with "gaming the system" per se.

Also, there are quite a bit of items that have no emc value that are used constantly...refined iron for ic2, steel for rc, red/blue ingots for rp2, just to name a few. From what I've read on EE, it's not had for you to modify the EE values to allow them to be "autocrafted", but there is no point. (though personally I will admit, waiting 3 minutes to turn one piece of coal into coal coke is a bit excessive) *These* would be the items that sell. If someone sets up a line of coke ovens and blast furnaces, to churn out steel for rc, other people that don't have the time or inclination would be happy customers.



That being said, I don't have an issue with turning off the chests....I like building machines, and I am sure I'll find some other way to automate my cash crops ;)

September 15, 2012, 11:44:10 am
Reply #3

Baltazar

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I will be applying a patch today to EE that reduces the EMC value of blaze powder and bonemeal.  The reason is there was an exploit with both of these items between EE and IC2, involving the macerator, and the ability to revet the result back into the original item.  Based on the EMC value you ended up with more than you started with.  If you automated this loop it could create you very large amounts of EMC with very little effort.

I tested this out on the test server, and it seems to work well.  The client still reports the old EMC values, but the sever has the updated ones.  Seeing it is only the EMC value of the result that changes, you still get the benefit of using the macerator on these two items, but when converting them back to the source, you now end up with the original source amount.

Let me know if anyone notices any issues caused by this update.

September 21, 2012, 02:54:54 pm
Reply #4

Baltazar

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The patch seemed to work well, but I am still considering more changes.  I believe I ultimately made a mistake turning on all of the items that I did.  I realize turning things off that have already been on is not one of the more popular things to do, but is still one I am considering.

What I am considering removing from the game is the energy condensers and relays.  I am also considering removing the transmutation tablet.  There are two reasons for this.  Disabling the collectors and relays will prevent various automated processes that can be setup to farm passive EMC.  Disabling the transmutation tablet is for a separate reason.  The reason is to remove the ability from the game to convert one item into another via its EMC value.

Removing the energy condensers and relays is unfortunate as they are very useful with turning the useless quarry junk into something more useful.  There are alternatives for this, but nothing as easy as these are to use.  With them in the game, and the use of pipes/tubes, it is too easy to setup EMC farms.  While turning these off may not be something everyone agrees on, I think it will help the game in the long run.

I'm not as sure about turning off the transmutation tablet.  Converting one item into another based on its EMC value is the main principle that EE is designed around.  Removing this in conjunction with the other items mentioned will effectively remove the purpose of the EMC value on the items.  Some items (i.e. Tungsten) will end up with little or no purpose in the game.

The reason I am considering this, is with the ability to convert between different item types, you never really have to worry about running out of a specific type of raw material, you just need to worry about running out of all of them.  Running out of certain types of items help drive the need for us to continue to gather items, as well as trading items with other players, which I believe ultimately helps the server as a whole seeing we are a survival server.

If you have an opinion on this please post it here.  At this point nothing has been decided.  I am sharing my thoughts here to give everyone a chance to comment before any change is actually made.


September 21, 2012, 05:54:51 pm
Reply #5

technomage72

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As you said, there are other ways of converting things, albeit a little harder, and usually at an eu cost or a bc cost. while passive emc farms can be abused, they also have many beneficial uses, boiling down to what you said, turning one item that is junk into something more useful. This could be beneficial in the long run, depending what the project is. Every item for good can be abused, I don't see turning something off as a viable alternative. I wouldn't toss out the whole bushel of apples for one bad one up top. I will admit, I like emc farms, but for wholly different reasons then just "generating tons of emc". I'm the one that had the blaze rod farm that prompted the blaze powder reduction. I currently have another type of farm set up, but naturally I don't get anywhere near the amounts of emc I had before. My plans for it? basically it is going to be a function of my nuclear reactor, and I almost have my design perfected in ssp. My current farm produces about 75-100 emc per sec when it is running. I could get this from quarry chaff, but I am looking at something bigger and better without tearing up huge swathes of land. Turning off the condenser will put a wrench in my plan, but it is not something I haven't already thought of ways around. My main purpose is looking at building a nuke plant in the nether, but one that is self contained without the need of external power sources, such as geotherms to get the material I will need for the reactor. without the condenser, I'll be forced to rely on that geotherm for the materials, and it will put a few extra steps in my plan, but nothing that can't be worked around.

I guess my main point is, removing something because it makes it easy, when there are other tools that are a little harder doesn't really change the fact that something can be done. If the net result is the same, then there really isn't a reason to either keep it or remove it.


September 21, 2012, 06:48:58 pm
Reply #6

Baltazar

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While I agree that there are other ways to acheive the same result, I do not beleive it is the same.  There has to be some balance to the work reward ratio of each of the different areas of the game.

If I added a mod that allowed you to convert 1 dirt block into 1 diamond block via a single action, it would make diamonds a common item instead of the rare item they are today.  Yes, you would still have to feed the process dirt, but reward does not match the work you put in to get it.  This in turn makes everything that was difficult to craft based on the rarity of diamonds, eaiser.

No I'm not saying what you can do with these items is like convert a single block of dirt to a diamond block.  I am just using this as example to what an obvious imbalance can do to the game.  I know that many of these machines do take a lot of work to setup.  I just don't beleive the work justifies the reward.

Now there are built in items in the game that allow you to farm large amounts of items quickly.  Some of these are sand, snow, milk, etc.  While these are exploitable in vanilla MC, you just end up with a crap load of that item.   Who wants 50 chests full of milk buckets or snowballs :)  But with EE you can convert those buckets into EMC, and then in turn into whatever item (that has an EMC value) you want.  The same thing goes for cobblestone generators and other similar setups.

I understand why you like these items as they allow for the creation of some interesting processes, and I use them as well.  My concern is is they just allow us to generate too much too fast compared to the other methods in the game.

I would rather look for alternative methods of controlling this without removing these items from the game, which is why we did the previous step.

This is something we can continue to discuss.

September 21, 2012, 08:07:10 pm
Reply #7

technomage72

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50 chests full of snowballs makes lots of ice to feed heat hungry reactors

September 21, 2012, 08:21:44 pm
Reply #8

Baltazar

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Yes, using the compressor.  That though is something you can do without EE :)