Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby BlakeMW » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:19 am

Lav wrote:Nah, I'm saying there are situations where turret creep is still the only solution.


I'd find this debatable. For example I like to play on Deathworlds. One thing I do is run around the starting area and preemptively put turrets down on iron patches and oil patches. That way I get no nasty surprises like finding a nest with blue worms has setup shop on my oil.

Technically you can kill off at least one blue worm with a stack of grenades and a stack of fish, if you bring in some military science - and you can always research military science - you can add a Modular Armor with Energy Shields and use a swarm of 10 defender capsules to supplement the fish for damage absorb (technically they'll even do a small amount of damage to the worm) and you can get some nice bullet damage upgrades making the SMG do fairly meaningful damage. If you do have access to oil you can add a Rocket Launcher which takes down worms real quick and doesn't require blue science.

If you don't mind playing metagames, you can restart if there is no oil visible and combined with laying down turrets on the oil will guarantee no big worm problems.

So yeah, there are cases where using gun turret creep is the most convenient solution and quite possibly the sanest solution (I wouldn't call grenades+fish entirely sane), but it is far from the only solution.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Lav » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 am

BlakeMW wrote:
Lav wrote:Nah, I'm saying there are situations where turret creep is still the only solution.

I'd find this debatable. For example I like to play on Deathworlds. One thing I do is run around the starting area and preemptively put turrets down on iron patches and oil patches. That way I get no nasty surprises like finding a nest with blue worms has setup shop on my oil.

So you do have oil in your starting area. :-)

Preventing biters from settling on an oil patch is not the same as fighting through a dozen or two of already established nests, including nests with 20+ spawners and/or 3+ big worms - just to get your first oil pumped.

BlakeMW wrote:Technically you can kill off at least one blue worm with a stack of grenades and a stack of fish,

Sure, now try the same against three of them in close proximity, with a dozen spawners around. :-)

BlakeMW wrote:if you bring in some military science - and you can always research military science - you can add a Modular Armor with Energy Shields and use a swarm of 10 defender capsules to supplement the fish for damage absorb (technically they'll even do a small amount of damage to the worm) and you can get some nice bullet damage upgrades making the SMG do fairly meaningful damage.

And that's where you're wrong. You can research all that stuff without oil, true. But good luck producing it. Modular armor needs oil. Energy shields need oil. Defender capsules need oil. The only thing you have left is the SMG and grenades. :-D
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby BlakeMW » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:51 pm

Lav wrote:Defender capsules need oil.


You're right about the others, but surprisingly Defender Capsules do not require oil. Despite having tech pre-requisites like electric engine Defenders are pure iron and copper, their recipe is just electronic circuits, iron gears and AP ammo. Sadly they only deal 5 damage instead of the 8 damage of AP ammo - if they dealt 8 damage then with the military science bullet damage upgrades they'd rip through Big Worms quite satisfactorily, as it is if you maintain the swarm of 10 Defenders they should grind down a Big Worm in roughly a minute - quicker if you add the firepower of the SMG or Car MG which with military science damage upgrades is quite respectable against Big Worms.

I will concede it is possible to roll maps that royally screw the player in terms of oil - but a player can simply reroll until getting oil in the revealed area. A player would only be forced into turret creeping to get through to oil if they don't use this rather simple and obvious solution to ensure oil availability. Personally I think Oil should be a guaranteed starting area resource as it used to be - even if it's only 1 or 2 puny wells. I often play on Deathworlds with enhanced biter settings or reduced starting area sizes or just generally ways to make it more masochistic - but I do reroll until I have at least an oil patch in the revealed area. Because even gun turret creeping is seriously painful against more than 1 big worm: having to fight through several large nests to get to oil would be an awful grind, gun turret creeping works but it doesn't work well because they barely overcome the physical resists of the Big Worm, are significantly out ranged by Big Worms and die quickly to Big Worm spitballs.

edit: It should also be mentioned that oil-less starts are the exception not the rule. Out of curiously I tried rolling a bunch of deathworlds, it seems about 20-30% have no oil in the revealed area. After rolling about 30 deathworlds I finally found one where the nearest oil was further than the nearest Big Worm - though in that case the oil was not actually protected by Big Worm - it just could have been.
For fun I cheated in the military science techs to try out low-tech Big Worm slaying. With Heavy Armor the SMG+Fish was quite effective, Heavy Armor makes the player nearly immune to small biters so you can just run up and face-tank (or fish tank) the Big Worm and biters while gunning down the worm with the SMG. You probably do want those bullet damage upgrades though. Grenades also pretty effective though more awkward with need to swap between grenade and fish. Car also proved respectable, mainly because the significantly longer range and fire rate of the Car MG made it effective for cutting down the spawners and worms around the big worm. Taking down two Big Worms simultaneously was not as hard as I thought it would be and I was in no risk of dying: but I did use everything: 10 Defenders, SMG, Grenades and Fish. I also took down a nest with 3 Big Worms though it was very hard and approaching the limits of what felt possible and it was easy to die.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Lav » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:28 pm

BlakeMW wrote:You're right about the others, but surprisingly Defender Capsules do not require oil.

Hmm, indeed they don't. Weird, I was so sure they do. Bad me. :-/

BlakeMW wrote:I will concede it is possible to roll maps that royally screw the player in terms of oil - but a player can simply reroll until getting oil in the revealed area.

That's an option, sure, but it depends on what goals do you set for yourself when you play. If your objective is to build a megafactory, re-rolling is ok. But I treat the game as a war of conquest against the bugs, and in this scenario lack of immediately accessible oil isn't a problem - just another challenge to overcome. And it's a welcome challenge too, since after blue science the biters don't pose much threat anyway. So if you want to play Factorio as a wargame, you kinda have to fight the biters at low tech-levels to get your fun. :-)

BlakeMW wrote:Because even gun turret creeping is seriously painful against more than 1 big worm: having to fight through several large nests to get to oil would be an awful grind, gun turret creeping works but it doesn't work well because they barely overcome the physical resists of the Big Worm, are significantly out ranged by Big Worms and die quickly to Big Worm spitballs.

That's cause you don't do the gun turret creep properly. In my experience, screen-sized bases with multiple big worms are perfectly valid targets if you know what you're doing - and remain valid targets until behemoths appear. Then it gets slightly more complicated. :-)

BlakeMW wrote:edit: It should also be mentioned that oil-less starts are the exception not the rule. Out of curiously I tried rolling a bunch of deathworlds, it seems about 20-30% have no oil in the revealed area. After rolling about 30 deathworlds I finally found one where the nearest oil was further than the nearest Big Worm - though in that case the oil was not actually protected by Big Worm - it just could have been.

The thing is, I'm pretty sure big worm frequency depends on distance from the starting point, not on distance from the starting area. Which means when you play with a Very Big starting area, it's not that rare to see a big worm even at the closest nests. Combine that with Very Low oil frequency, Big of Very Big water (which "swallows" many spots that would otherwise spawn an oil patch) and Big or Very Big sized deposits of other minerals which seem to often do the same - and it's not that uncommon to see a closest oil patch about 1200-1500 tiles away from the start - that's 35 to 45 chunks away. Deathworld on the other hand is 100% vanilla in resource distribution, so it's much more "humane" in this respect.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Cribbit » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:38 pm

Default settings guarantees an oil patch in the starting area.

Pre oil weapons aren't supposed to be able to take on big worms easily and I don't think they should. If you're using custom settings (anything other than default - other pre sets are not default) then that is your challenge to try to face. Pre oil weapons are powerful enough to get you through with creativity and skill which is how it should be.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Jap2.0 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:09 pm

Cribbit wrote:Default settings guarantees an oil patch in the starting area.

Pre oil weapons aren't supposed to be able to take on big worms easily and I don't think they should. If you're using custom settings (anything other than default - other pre sets are not default) then that is your challenge to try to face. Pre oil weapons are powerful enough to get you through with creativity and skill which is how it should be.


Technically yes, but sometimes there's a lake on top of it so there isn't any :).
That'sw at least true for ores, I'm fairly certain it's true for oil as well.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby n7m6e7 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:05 pm

Cribbit wrote:
Also, can you post a video of you managing to get turrets up vs several big worms with a simple 30 second activation delay? Without losing dozens of turrets.


Well. That's kinda why turret creeping is OP. You would be automating turrets and ammo anyways for military science. So who cares if you lose a few dozen turrets...when you can carry a few hundred with you?
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Cribbit » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:18 pm

n7m6e7 wrote:
Cribbit wrote:
Also, can you post a video of you managing to get turrets up vs several big worms with a simple 30 second activation delay? Without losing dozens of turrets.


Well. That's kinda why turret creeping is OP. You would be automating turrets and ammo anyways for military science. So who cares if you lose a few dozen turrets...when you can carry a few hundred with you?


If you're willing to take those sort of losses then that's fine. I don't think turret creep should be eliminated (they could easily disallow turret placement within a radius of a spawner/worm), just made to not be by far the best way to clear biter bases.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby JohnyDL » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:20 am

I might debate easily but that would be doable but I don't think removing or nerfing something that is so relied upon by people who don't like the combat options but enjoy the challenge of defending from biters is fair. I suppose it's less critical in 0.15 because no alien blood science but still there is value in the pressures of defending from Biters even if you don't like the attacking of them. Like the forcing a player to design better compact bases or do things with limited resources.

I see no problem in you not using turret creep 'cause it's OP' and letting me use it if I want to, but you're arguing about removing something which will turn non combat oriented players from 'biters are annoying but I can handle them with turrets' to 'well biters are impossible to deal with I'll never turn them on again... oh look there's even ways to do that which don't disable achievements goody.' And who benefits from that, well those players don't because they turn off a significant challenge, and you don't because you weren't using it anyway so your task of making the game more interesting for everyone fails because rather than engaging the people who use turret creep and bringing them on board with the many other possibilities you've turned them off. And the game continues but now with the biter players saying "there shouldn't be a way to turn off biters it makes the game to easy" and the former turret creepers saying "come on give us a break or we can't enjoy our games the way we want to."
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby mrvn » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:06 am

quyxkh wrote:A powerup delay will barely even slow down turret creep as a tactic unless the powerup delay is made very large, just drop your first turret(s) outside the biter-response range, wait out the power-up delay once, and commence creeping as per usual.

Here's a turret delay mod to demonstrate:
TurretDelay_0.0.0.zip


It defaults to a five-second powerup delay and the factory limit on the option is up to an hour.


A powerup delay isn't supposed to prevent you shooting bitters. Try attacking worms with that. A 5s powerup delay means the worm has 5 extra seconds to shoot your turret before it takes any damage. In those 5 seconds you are going to loose turrets against a nest of worms. Try 30s and you might not have any turrets survive to fire a single shot.

As long as turrets have a shorter attack radius than the worm the powerup delay will weaken turrets making other weapons relatively better. At the end of the game I find nukes are far more fun and effective than turret creep. But there is a long time between getting laser turrets and getting (enough) nukes.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Lav » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:41 am

mrvn wrote:A powerup delay isn't supposed to prevent you shooting bitters. Try attacking worms with that. A 5s powerup delay means the worm has 5 extra seconds to shoot your turret before it takes any damage. In those 5 seconds you are going to loose turrets against a nest of worms. Try 30s and you might not have any turrets survive to fire a single shot.

As long as turrets have a shorter attack radius than the worm the powerup delay will weaken turrets making other weapons relatively better. At the end of the game I find nukes are far more fun and effective than turret creep. But there is a long time between getting laser turrets and getting (enough) nukes.

The problem with the startup delay is that it doesn't make the game better in any way, shape or form. Instead it makes the game worse and more annoying for a considerable fraction of the player base. It doesn't even make the game better for those who don't like turret creep because they don't use it anyway.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby mrvn » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:39 pm

Lav wrote:
mrvn wrote:A powerup delay isn't supposed to prevent you shooting bitters. Try attacking worms with that. A 5s powerup delay means the worm has 5 extra seconds to shoot your turret before it takes any damage. In those 5 seconds you are going to loose turrets against a nest of worms. Try 30s and you might not have any turrets survive to fire a single shot.

As long as turrets have a shorter attack radius than the worm the powerup delay will weaken turrets making other weapons relatively better. At the end of the game I find nukes are far more fun and effective than turret creep. But there is a long time between getting laser turrets and getting (enough) nukes.

The problem with the startup delay is that it doesn't make the game better in any way, shape or form. Instead it makes the game worse and more annoying for a considerable fraction of the player base. It doesn't even make the game better for those who don't like turret creep because they don't use it anyway.


I was only commenting on it's effectiveness. Not weather the game should have turret creep or not.

Note: Bobs mods have sniper turrets. They have a longer range but lower repetition. So you can attack worms with the sniper turret but bitters will overwhelm them. You have to protect them with normal turrets. I think that need to combine weapons makes the game more interesting. There should be more such combination warfare.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Lav » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:26 pm

mrvn wrote:Note: Bobs mods have sniper turrets. They have a longer range but lower repetition. So you can attack worms with the sniper turret but bitters will overwhelm them. You have to protect them with normal turrets. I think that need to combine weapons makes the game more interesting. There should be more such combination warfare.

Now this is an idea I would enthusiastically support.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby Oktokolo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:32 pm

I played vanilla for a while now and after trying all weapons i settled with the SMG with piercing (uranium as soon as i can get it in quantities), gun turrets (they never get uranium though) and the nuke (i love the nuke). I used the shotgun for deforestation but do that with the SMG now too. So i do not use the tank or even the almost uncontrollable car. I never use the flamer or any non-nuclear rocket.
Grenades are a bit of a special case as they are usable together with the SMG. Sometimes i upgrade them and use them to aid in cleaning biter bases or when a lot of trees have to go real quick. Cluster grenades are a nice upgrade path for mid game if uranium is scarce or biters are too annoying (like when huge bases sit on my resources). But otherwise the SMG is good in any situation and upgrading its ammunition upgrades the standard turret too.
So there are a lot of weapons but only the SMG and the grenades are really usefull until late game. Even after getting the nuke, smaller bases can still be wiped using cluster grenades, the SMG, and some turrets for backup.

In theory the flamer and ordinary rockets could be great and a lot of fun. But i can't use them while shooting the SMG and i have to use the SMG because it is the only precise weapon good against all targets. Rocket-shooting turrets could be great for attacking bases. But when i get rockets, i already applied a shitton of upgrades to the bullets and kill worm clusters with piercing rounds using turrets and the SMG.

What i really would want, would be some sort of artillery. Especially at the main base and outposts to prevent biters from reclaiming cleaned territory (although disabling biter migration or increasing the timers both work well too).
I like Factorio and tower defense so for me, turrets are fine and i would like much more of them (currently trying a complete bob's).
That artillery may be another turret using the cannon rounds at far greater range or a rocket silo for using rockets at actual rocket ranges.
Would also like to use that drone strikes mentioned in the first post.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby BlakeMW » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:21 am

Oktokolo wrote:In theory the flamer and ordinary rockets could be great and a lot of fun. But i can't use them while shooting the SMG and i have to use the SMG because it is the only precise weapon good against all targets.


I've found the flamethrower to be an excellent anti-nest weapon once you've got some damage upgrades. At low upgrade levels the flamethrower is a bit inadequate for taking out spawners and the tougher worms (though it's much better than many alternatives), but get +100% damage upgrades and spawners go down nice and quick. The trick is still to scatter fire patches around, 3 separate fire patches burning one spawner does much more damage than if you'd held the fire stream at one point*. The other nice thing about the flamethrower is that once you have +70% damage even Bememoth Biters are sentenced to death from the barest touch of flame, so you can run around burning down spawners and occasionally splash the biters sentencing them to death. Between the movement speed debuff from being on fire and the fact the flamethrower doesn't need to be fired continuously the biters can't keep up even if you only have one or two exoskeletons.

In fact in the end game I consider the only two weapon worth using to be the Flamethrower and Nukes, Nukes for big targets, Flamethrower for small targets and cleanup. Flamethrower can take on nests of any size quite effectively due to effectively infinite crowd control ability though the dancing around and kiting huge mobs of biters is more tedious than just lobbing a nuke.

* The reason why separate fire patches do more damage is the shitty damage mechanics of the flamethrower. Although holding down fire at a single location intensifies the fire patch damage, the way it works is an individual fire patch can only be "intensified" every 10 ticks so holding down fire at one location for 10 ticks is pointless, instead you should scatter fire around trying to create 3-4 fire patches during those 10 ticks, then you do another sweep to intensify those 3-4 patches, an intensified patch deals more damage per tick and burns for much longer. With the right rhythm you can scatter and intensify fire patches in such a way that simply melts spawners. Big Worms are more of a nuisance and make it a two pass affair but you can use poison capsules to make clusters of Big Worms go away.
Last edited by BlakeMW on Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby mrvn » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:48 am

BlakeMW wrote:
Oktokolo wrote:In theory the flamer and ordinary rockets could be great and a lot of fun. But i can't use them while shooting the SMG and i have to use the SMG because it is the only precise weapon good against all targets.


I've found the flamethrower to be an excellent anti-nest weapon once you've got some damage upgrades. At low upgrade levels the flamethrower is a bit inadequate for taking out spawners and the tougher worms (though it's much better than many alternatives), but get +100% damage upgrades and spawners go down nice and quick. The trick is still to scatter fire patches around, 3 separate fire patches burning one spawner does much more damage than if you'd held the fire stream at one point*. The other nice thing about the flamethrower is that once you have +60% damage even Bememoth Biters are sentenced to death from the barest touch of flame, so you can run around burning down spawners and occasionally splash the biters sentencing them to death. Between the movement speed debuff from being on fire and the fact the flamethrower doesn't need to be fired continuously the biters can't keep up even if you only have one or two exoskeletons.

In fact in the end game I consider the only two weapon worth using to be the Flamethrower and Nukes, Nukes for big targets, Flamethrower for small targets and cleanup.

* The reason why separate fire patches do more damage is the shitty damage mechanics of the flamethrower. Although holding down fire at a single location intensifies the fire patch damage, the way it works is an individual fire patch can only be "intensified" every 10 ticks. Fire patches from the handheld flamethrower start at 2x damage and after 10 ticks can be intensified to 3x damage. So i you hosed one location for 1/4 second (15 ticks) you'd have one intensified fire patch dealing 3x damage. But if you instead scattered that 15 ticks of fire stream over 3 tiles, you'd have 3 intensified fire patches at 3x damage and are dealing 9x damage. Basically fire patch scattering multiplies damage much more effectively than hosing a single location.


I just fire the flamethrower and run parallel to (around) the base. So I get a line of fire patches. You might even say I'm building a wirewall and all the bitters that want to attack me also run smack into it.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby GiftGruen » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:15 pm

What about making the worms able to burrow and destroy turrets by "undermining" them? You would not need a lot of animations to implement that, just a burrowing and unburrowing one and a few animations to show the worm's path (producing "fault lines" along its path). It would be useless against the player, but could easily and quickly take out a lot of turrets, and together with as little as a 5 second activation delay, it could completely wreck turrets. You would also need to implement some way to make the worm come back to its original position, but that shouldn't be all that hard.

Maybe combine that with the "creep" idea from above, but instead of making it damaging, the creep would simply show the radius in which the worm can hit buildings.

Of course, that would make distracting worms with turrets even easier, so it might only shift the problem. But at least you're required to bring a lot of turrets if you want to distract the worms long enough to kill a few spawners pre-oil.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby mrvn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:08 pm

I think that would make killing worms much easier. Only a single worm would attack one turret. Setup a wall of turrets out of worm range. Then place one sacrificial turret in range. A worm burrows, all other turrets shoot it and it dies. Repeat for next worm. That way you can take out a huge nest of worms with a few sacrificial turrets.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby GiftGruen » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:27 pm

The idea was that the worms stayed underneath the ground and could not be attacked, but only ever used this attack versus turrets.
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Re: Attacking biters with turrets makes all weapons pointless

Postby mrvn » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:15 am

Yes, I assumed it would come out of the ground when it swallows the turret.
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