[TOGos] [0.16.0] Starting area has no water

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AntiElite
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[TOGos] [0.16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by AntiElite » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:51 am

Starting area sometimes has no water:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/209278379?t=13m30s

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Re: [16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Twinsen » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:06 am

There are quite a bit of problems with the staring area such as missing water, missing resources or overlapping resources.

Unfortunately the fix will probably be in 0.17 since we can't change map generator without creating glitches in existing saves.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by AntiElite » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:59 pm

The first experimental is out for like 24h now. I rather recommend overworking this in early 0.16 than waiting for half a year to fix this. Generation out side of the starting area is good, but within there are several problems. Missing ressources is only one of them.
Personally I think there should be several small tweaks to map generation still.
In general i think the frequency of the patches should decrease with distance, so that you have small and close patches in the starting area, and RSO like behavior in the far lands.
Also Oil currently seems to have too low in frequency, you nearly always miss it in the starting area, and if you find a patch, it has like 30 wells, which is enough for the rest of the game for most people.
Water seems to be way too rare, there are no oceans anymore at all, but little lakes only. having "big" as the default here seems to give more interesting results.
Cliffs are great, but the generation ist still very poor IMO. They clump up in mountain areas and therefor nearly give no natural border. They are too many and too short in one place, while there are absolutely none on complete whole other maps. Instead there should be long, single rowed cliffs going over large areas of the map, to give them actual meaning.
Coal seems very low compared to oil here too, Coal liquification seems completely pointless nowadays. I rather had a tech called oil solidification, to make off for missing coal. Most maps only have coal for like 10 miners (starting area), which is barely enough for a starter power plant.
So while this is all not bugs, my point is: you should really take into consideration to improve map generation before 0.17 once again. It's still the early days of 0.16 and now is still a good point to do so.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by terror_gnom » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:04 pm

Fix in 0.17? I guess (nearly) every new player will try to start with the first generated map and quit the game frustrated, instead of rerolling dozends of times to get a playable map... And as you say, its called .16 EXPERIMENTAL; I didnt start a map I want to play on for any longer time, because I expected several iterations in Mapgen until .16 stable...

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by mishugashu » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:07 pm

I agree with Anti. The earlier the better. I'd rather cause minor glitches in a saves made within the first few days of an experimental release than have to wait for the next major patch (which will be 6-9 months away). How can you even progress 0.16 to "stable" eventually with these bugs present? I think the community would be understanding that you're causing some minor glitches with their experimental patch to make the game better. The people who don't want to deal with this sorta thing usually stay on the stable revision.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Bilka » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:12 pm

I also agree with Anti. Better break the game now when people expect it instead of leaving it broken and then declaring a stable. You dont want to push the belt compression fixes (sideloading) or the buffer chest priority fix to 0.17 either, then why the map generation that literally affects everybody, unlike the first two things.
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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Starbrow » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:20 pm

I'd also like to join the choir and state that a fix to the starting area, at the cost of some broken experimental saves is an absolutely must-make trade-off in my eyes. As stated, how could you even think of being able to declare 0.16 stable at any point if the starting area is potentially broken?

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by terror_gnom » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:35 pm

It will probably cause the same issues that all mapgen changes until now did; creating nasty cuts where you transition from "chunk created with old version" to "chunk created with new version"
Its still playable, but it will look realy weird. It happens anyway if you load your .15 map in .16, so it doesnt matter imo whether you have 1 or 2 ugly transitions :P
screenshot

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by doktorstick » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:42 pm

I do appreciate *trying* to maintain compatibility between EXPERIMENTAL versions, but ultimately fixing it now than later is better. There's no guarantee that you will get it correct in 0.17 and then... we'll have to wait for 0.18.

When I downloaded 0.16, I saw this:
This is the cutting edge "experimental" version. There might be some nasty bugs. Use on your own risk. Your computer probably won't explode though :).
Seems tough but fair. Nasty bug. Use at own risk. Sorry, we fixed something and your map glitched.
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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by quyxkh » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:51 pm

Yup. This is an experimental release. Lots of the experiments in it are working marvelously, THANK YOU! Some of them? Not so much. It's why they're called "experiments", right? Nobody's hung up on early-experimental-release stability. Fix the worst of the ones that didn't turn out, and this one might make the cut, go have a really fantastic few weeks' holiday knowing we love you, come back and we'll welcome you by buying your first pizzas. I'd been thinking of suggesting the pizza buy anyway, and if y'all don't need a break and some downtime, that'd be just ... scary.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Gnorok » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:21 pm

Please fix it with 0.16.

A starting area with only very small patches of coal or copper isn´t helpful at all. After seeing the first ones I have decided to wait with a gamestart because I was sure that you will tweak it a bit...

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by peet1993 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:29 pm

I can just emphasize this more with my vote. Don't get me wrong, I really like the Map Generation update with its increased diversity in different areas of the map, it's awesome work! But having missing ressources in the starting area to at least get something started is kinda annoying, especially for a new player who starts a map, has coal for 5 miners and doesn't know what he's doing wrong.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Zulan » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:00 pm

I have to agree with all the others. Do not delay mapgen changes. As long as 0.16 is marked expermental, you needn't be worried.

Water is clearly not the only issue. I strongly believe cliffs need adjustment to fulfill their role of "create interesting combat situations, or with some modifications serve as a natural wall against the biters".

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by zyklame » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:00 pm

I belief the most people wait until the main bugs are fixed during early experimental before they start with more serous playthrough.
So please adjust the map generation now in early experimental than later on.
I really don't want to wait till 0.17 to get these fixes.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Twinsen » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:21 pm

I actually generated about 170maps until I had one that still had water, but only in a small square. So I don't think it's such a big problem.
Also the starting area did contain iron copper coal and stone in about 95% of the maps I generated, so this problem is also minor.

I would be interested to know the exact problems you have with the new map generation. Please give me map exchange strings.


Resources were reworked so the starting area does contain much less resources, to incentivise using trains.
Oil is no longer guaranteed to be in the starting area and and uranium is guaranteed to not be in the starting area. So you need to explore to find them.

Before you could easily launch a rocket by just belting some resources nearby.

Also by making resources more spread apart, they are also much more random and unpredictable as a side effect but with enought exploration you can find what you want.

The whole system requires quite a bit of rework unfortunately, so even if it happens in 0.16, it won't be for a few months anyway.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Tongs » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:58 pm

I have to agree with Twinsen here. I have generated a dozen or two maps on 0.16.x (not 170 though) without any mods active. While there were maybe two that were unworkable, the majority were fine. They were certainly inconsistent in that some looked to be easier than others, but that is to be expected in a game with an RNG-based map and should be encouraged.

One map had zero iron anywhere close to spawn, another looked like the starting water pond spawned on top of coal with about five squares of usable coal. The rest were usable maps.

If any changes should be made, maybe something to guide new players toward previewing maps and giving some indication of what makes a map good or bad. Perhaps an option to use a known good map seed? Or maybe something that detects unusable (to new players) maps that have insufficient resources and auto-regenerates them? Both of those ideas help the people that need it most without altering the map generator itself.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by DerGraue » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:12 pm

Since I started playing factorio there were issues with the map starting area. Not major, but minor and they were there!
I think the main problem right now is that the player does not look at the map preview which is way larger than the normal starting area. So the player can't see if there are some good resources right outside his view.

Why don't you make a separate function for improving the starting area, independent of the map generation? Like this:
- You start generating the map and the resources for a new game, like you do now. The player is still in the loading screen.

- Now the starting area algorithm starts and checks if there are enough resources and if the player is not on an island. If not it creates a new patch of said resources or moves the player.

- After this is finished the player sees his map for the first time.

You can easily change the map generation in future patches and you do not have to worry about starting areas ever again, because it is separate.


Serious question here: How much time have you devs wasted on reading complains about the starting area and how much time would it take to create and implement this simple function into the game which basically already exists in the form of RSO? How much time would that save for future updates for the map generation because you can focus on the bigger picture of the map and do not have to worry about the starting area?

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by GThoro » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:47 am

Twinsen wrote:Also the starting area did contain iron copper coal and stone in about 95% of the maps I generated, so this problem is also minor.

I would be interested to know the exact problems you have with the new map generation. Please give me map exchange strings.
Throwing in my few cents here. I was somewhat waiting for 0.16 to start new playtrough, I do like rail world settings, but I also want biters to expand, so I manually set following from default settings:
  • Frequency of all resources to very low
  • Richness to rich (one step above average)
  • Big starting area
  • Very low frequency of water, but very high in size
What do I expect? Some kind of an archipelago landscape with maybe some islands and I get it - this is super cool! I would like also to get fairly spaced resources, not big in size but with slightly larger amounts, but what I end up with is that most maps have two faults: either there is one resource missing or very tiny around starting area, or very close to starting area there are huuuge patches of resources that would last for eternity.

About third of the maps are very difficult or tedious to play, another third of the maps doesn't follow rule of medium sized but rich resources (and even with small size they are very often quite big), and last third is playable (but this needs to have right "look and feel", but this is not an issue)

Few examples https://imgur.com/a/S5zP5

Got one map where I got closest coal patch on few biters nest with two big worms and I had to fuel my factory with logs to research some military tech to be able to defend even smallest coal mining operation. This was kinda cool and challenging!


TL;DR I think the biggest issue with map generation is that settings are inconsistent with results, if ore is set to be very big and very rich it often is the same size (not amount of resources, didn't checked that) as small and rich.

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by PacifyerGrey » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:58 am

I have to agree with Anti here

It is best to break copatibility now than wait a long time with map gen issues.
New terrain is kinda cool but you should really look into resource gen. There is a reason why people tend to prefer RSO over built in generator. Because it forces certain resources to be deployed with certain density and does not completely rely on RNG

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Re: [TOGos][16.0] Starting area has no water

Post by Charlemagne » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:41 pm

I just figured I'd jump in with some issues I noticed when going for a particular kind of world. I wanted to start a train base, but I wanted to have to be clever in how I designed my rail network. So I was trying for a world with lots of water and very few connections to other land, like a peninsula or a string of land-bridges. Generating that structure was no problem - set water size to very big, starting area to small, and we're off to the races. With those settings, every other world had the topography I wanted. The trouble was getting a world with that topography and also resources within striking distance.

I eventually settled on a world I wasn't too upset with. I'll attach the map string. It has a rather expansive starting peninsula, some open spaces and some forests, an ocean surrounding about two thirds of the starting peninsula, and some narrow bridges connecting it to the major continents to the east and south. The starting area has two decently sized iron patches, several copper patches, a small stone patch, a decent coal patch, and a pond. There's even oil just northwest of the starting spot. Deeper into the peninsula is another coal patch and a large stone patch. But outside the starting area, the nearest source of iron is a very long walk to the south. The next nearest is almost twice as far to the west. Besides those two, I haven't even discovered any other iron by several hours in. And this was the best case I found in an hour of regenerating previews.

I'm not 100% certain this is how it works in worldgen, but I think the issue has to do with how it places resources. When it places a patch of resources, it uses a noise algorithm to determine the location, size, and richness of the patch. Any tile of the patch that overlaps with water disappears; any tile that overlaps an existing resource tile either overwrites it or is overwritten (I think this was altered slightly in 0.16 to boost iron relative to copper). Ores and trees can coexist. I don't have an issue with the size, with the richness, or even with the ore patch overlapping procedures. I think the problem is that in high-water worlds, the chance you get patches to appear on land is much lower than on low-water worlds. You can check this yourself; find a setting that generates huge bodies of water, generate a few previews and add up the average amounts of each resource visible, then turn the water off and do the same for a few all-land worlds. You'll see that the land worlds generate way more resources on average than water worlds, and that the variance for each resource on water worlds is much larger than on land worlds. This is what tells me the resources are getting lost in the water.

Okay, there's an easy fix on watery worlds for now. Just turn the frequency up a notch. But now achievements are disabled, and you have the opposite problem of three resources generating reasonably and the fourth getting lucky with its locations and being *everywhere* - now it's not a challenge (which is why achievements are disabled, I get it). It seems like if worldgen is getting reworked again, then this could be fixed during resource generation by checking if the patch overlaps with water, then translating it until a certain percentage of its contents are on land. Or frequency of the mine-able resources could be tweaked slightly upwards on high-water worlds and slightly downwards on low-water worlds to bring them into better parity. Or you could read the quantities of each resource after worldgen is finished, then check to make sure it's within a certain (wide) range as calculated by the generator settings. There's lots of solutions available, and I'm of the opinion that finding a solution everyone's okay with is best done sooner, rather than pushed off to 0.17. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'll probably be restarting most of my saves anyway before 0.17 is finished. What's one more, if it means I might feel like keeping the next one?
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