Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

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AngledLuffa
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Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by AngledLuffa » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:30 pm

Infinite bullet research scales in effectiveness O(log log X), where X is the amount of rockets you have completed. This is rather unsatisfying.

* using big-O notation typical in algorithm analysis

Because the infinite research for bullet damage doubles in cost each iteration, if you continue researching bullet damage, you are essentially launching as many rockets as you have all game simply to progress one more step down the bullet damage chart. So, O(bullet upgrades) = O(log rockets) is obvious.

The only measure of how useful bullet upgrades is how quickly you can kill biters. Because the 40% damage increase applies to the base damage, not the upgraded damage, it quickly reaches a point where you need twice as many research upgrades as you already have to kill biters twice as fast. In other words, O(dead biters) = O(log bullet upgrades).

The result is that the return on bullet damage upgrade is O(log log rockets), which flattens out very quickly. Obviously you can make it go faster by adding more rockets, but unless you can double the number of rockets for each new upgrade, this is not a viable way of beating the asymptotic growth.

I suggest making it more in line with mining production, which is O(log rockets) in terms of effectiveness.

AngledLuffa
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by AngledLuffa » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:57 pm

To add some concrete numbers: after 15 bullet upgrades, one uranium bullet does 139.2 damage. Reaching 3000 damage, the health of a Behemoth biter, would take 298 more upgrades. This is roughly one google (the number, not the search engine) science packs of research.

Koub
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by Koub » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:13 pm

[Koub] Moved to balancing
I'm pretty sure the devs are aware of this, and it's working as intended. It's a balance thing : why should we want to be able to OS behemoth biters with a single bullet ?
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

AngledLuffa
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by AngledLuffa » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:29 pm

Well, I'm not saying it should happen after 15 upgrades. I just think the current asymptotic rate of growth is too slow. It stops being rewarding pretty quickly.

If I play the game 32x as long as I've already played - call it 10x if I triple the rate of my science - then my bullets will be 35% more effective than they currently are. This is barely noticeable. I don't know what the proper reward is if I invest that much time, but I think it should be a bit more than it currently is.

Frightning
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by Frightning » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:46 am

AngledLuffa wrote:Well, I'm not saying it should happen after 15 upgrades. I just think the current asymptotic rate of growth is too slow. It stops being rewarding pretty quickly.

If I play the game 32x as long as I've already played - call it 10x if I triple the rate of my science - then my bullets will be 35% more effective than they currently are. This is barely noticeable. I don't know what the proper reward is if I invest that much time, but I think it should be a bit more than it currently is.
The diminishing marginal utility that you are observing is entirely intentional, at a certain point you will kill all manner of biters, behemoths and otherwise, quite quickly. Remember than the SMG has a base fire rate of 10 shots/sec. With full Bullet shooting speed upgrades, that becomes 25 shots/second. With Uranium ammo having a base damage of 24, and non-infinite research adding 28.8 to that, it really doesn't take too much infinite research before you're getting near 100 raw damage per shot, which, even after behemoth resistances is still about 79 actual damage per shot. Considering the 25 shooting speed, that works out to doing the 3000+ damage needed to kill a behemoth biter in just 1.56 seconds...pretty damned fast... put those rounds in the Tank MG with it's 50% faster firing rate (slightly longer range) and +100% damage bonus (which is multiplicative with other bonuses), and you don't even need to do any infinite research to hit sub 2-second time-to-kill against a behemoth biter ((24+28.8)*2=52.8*2=105.6>100 damage, and at 50% faster fire rate).

Edit: according to my math, with all non-infinite research, tank's MG has TTK on behemoth of 0.96 seconds....
(24+28.8)*(1+1.00)=105.6
105.6-12=93.6
93.6*(1-0.1)=84.24
3000/84.24=35.612... -> 36 shots to kill
15 base shots/sec, times 2.5 (for all speed upgrades), equals 37.5 shots/sec...which implies that
Tank MG ttk=37.5/36=0.96 seconds

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eradicator
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by eradicator » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:44 pm

In RPGs this is called a "soft cap" and most games have it to limit the amount of damage a skill can do. The cost/effect relation is a bit different in that it's usually the cost that stays the same for each additional level ("one skill point") but the effects you gain becomes smaller and smaller until it becomes negligible (+10%, +5%, +2%, +1%, +0.5%, +0.1%,...). So in RPGs you just move to other methods of increasing your damage, like passive skills, equipment etc.

Though contrary to RPGs factorio biters never level up or get stronger. So there is less need for better equipment, etc. Most RPGs avoid the fallacy of allowing you to grow so strong that there are no worthy opponents left by adding super high level bosses, but factorio currently has no such enemy scaling and thus (from a game design perspective) should not allow you to make combat with the only existing enemys completely trivial.

I can related to the OP in the way that (to me) it "feels" less frustrating to have the same cost but diminishing return. Though this is most likely a psychological effect derived form the fact that in RPGs you can actually afford it, but the numbers tell you it's not going to be a good invenstment. While in factorio the bonus still sounds high (because it's the same bonus number always) but the cost is so high that you can't actually buy ("research") it. I.e RPGs convince you that you decided yourself that you don't need the next upgrade, while factorio teases you with another seemingly(!) good upgrade that you can not afford.

AngledLuffa
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by AngledLuffa » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:07 pm

Understandable. My biggest issue is that aside from mining, all of the tracks have this cap, so eventually every practical upgrade has been researched and there is nothing left to do in a big base other than continue to fuel it. It feels more rewarding to have something to work towards.

Zavian
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Re: Infinite bullet upgrades should be faster

Post by Zavian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:14 pm

Well you could expand your base, so you can reach those high cost researches faster. (Admittedly their does come a point where ups considerations means that isn't worthwhile anymore). Also mining productivity isn't has a much slower scaling rate, so you can research quite a lot of that, before it feels too expensive.

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