Early massive biter attack

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GregN24
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Early massive biter attack

Post by GregN24 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:46 pm

I started a new 0.17 game today and it looks like the balance of the biters was off.

Normally I get attacked by a few small groups of biters early in the game so I place some turrets to protect my base. In this game there were no early attacks so I thought I got lucky with an easy map. And then around the 45 minute mark a massive group of biters attacked and quickly took out two turrets and killed me. The game stats said I killed 34 biters before I died and there were probably another 50 left alive. Not even kiting with the machine gun could save me.

This is not normal behavior so I am not sure if it is a balance issue or a bug.

I have attached the save game but I am not sure if that is helpful or not. I didn't have replays enabled.
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BlakeMW
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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by BlakeMW » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:55 pm

Also had something like this: was on Deathworld but nevertheless seemed excessive for the first attack.

Image

Note how many are streaming in, all in all there are roughly 200. It's not an unbeatable scenario with the brave strategy of bravely running away, but eh, it's a lot of biters for the first attack.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by quyxkh » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:47 pm

Before starting a death world I think I'll change my character name to "Sir Robin".

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:30 am

It seems to be the new "normal". The devs seem to have decided that Factorio is now mainly a combat game, no longer a design game.

At least we can still adjust things by changing g the New Game settings. The trick is going to be figuring out the desirable values.

I suspect that we need to experiment with pollution and evolution settings

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by jim lee » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:57 am

Try train world.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by Zavian » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:00 am

Yeah. To me the new tutorial/demo misses the mark, and does not represent the game I played in 0.16. (Nor does it represent the game I play in 0.17, where I eliminate most attacks by clearing the biters out of my pollution cloud. Admittedly I don't play deathworlds). That is a pity, as I can see the new demo being off-putting to new players who might enjoy the build a base aspect of the game, with combat at a lower intensity.

It sort of represents 0.17, except that I can clear all the nest out of my pollution cloud, and then I only rarely get attacked.

A related issue that I consider a regression from a game design perspective is that in 0.17 the first attack seems to be 50+ biters, which is enough to overwhelm even a couple of turrets without walls (especially if you aren't expecting it). In 0.16 the first attack was only a few biters, which you could deal with even with the starting pistol and ammo. Attacks then gradually ramped up giving a much smoother start. Before 0.17 I never needed to add walls around my turrets to prevent the biter from destroying them during the early game.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:01 am

jim lee wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:57 am
Try train world.

-jim lee
Trains is the style I normally play, but I have not yet tried the preset.

I was considering it in 0.16 but I am afraid of how horrid the biters might be in a trainworld scenario.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:57 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:01 am
jim lee wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:57 am
Try train world.

-jim lee
Trains is the style I normally play, but I have not yet tried the preset.

I was considering it in 0.16 but I am afraid of how horrid the biters might be in a trainworld scenario.
Default Railworld disables biter expansion. So once you've cleared an area it stays cleared forever.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:35 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:57 am
zOldBulldog wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:01 am
jim lee wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:57 am
Try train world.

-jim lee
Trains is the style I normally play, but I have not yet tried the preset.

I was considering it in 0.16 but I am afraid of how horrid the biters might be in a trainworld scenario.
Default Railworld disables biter expansion. So once you've cleared an area it stays cleared forever.
Aha! I should definitely try it. Besides using rail extensively from early on, I already disable expansion and manually tweak some settings.

What does railworld do to pollution and evolution?

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:01 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:35 am
What does railworld do to pollution and evolution?
I don't actually know for sure but I think they stay at the same defaults of the default game. You can check them though pretty easily by toggling between the two and checking the appropriate screens.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by astroshak » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:53 pm

I find that most of the default settings are fine (though I tend to reduce the chances for resources, a la rail world), except for one : starting area size.

The default starting area size is basically equivalent to “Tiny” in 0.16. Crank that thing up to 200% (or more, if you want/need the breathing room) for a better start.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by GregN24 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:43 pm

I am not that upset about the aliens being more aggressive and having to spend more time on defenses. I just think that the game works much better if the first biter attacks are small. That way if you don't have sufficient defenses you only take a little damage rather than losing half your base. An early small attack is a nice reminder to focus on military and a nice indication of where the next attack is likely to come from. If the first attack can be large than you need to spend a decent time scouting and predicting where you will need your early turrets.

Maybe this is what the devs want but it seems to make the early game too focused on military and scanning the map for attacks. I can't even imagine what this would be like for a new player who doesn't realize they need to have turrets everywhere.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by BlakeMW » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:51 pm

astroshak wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:53 pm
I find that most of the default settings are fine (though I tend to reduce the chances for resources, a la rail world), except for one : starting area size.
Agreed. I clearly remember back when I was a little baby nublet at factorio and venturing out of the safety of the starting area I was scared shitless of the biter nests, I didn't want to go anywhere near them, I basically assumed I would die in all sorts of horrible ways if I actually provoked a nest. Turns out they weren't actually that scary, but having them as this unknown other, the bogey monsters in the fog of war, was awesome.

Having the nests well within the starting revealed area and very near the starting resources - which is possible on normal settings as well as Deathworld - would spoil that because it forces an early confrontation with the nest. Better that you can just build in (relative) peace without feeling forced to engage with a nest because it's intolerably close to the factory. Let the nests be part of the great unknown outside the safety of the starting revealed area. (at least on normal settings, I don't mind on Deathworld so much because by choosing Deathworld you're signing up for that shit). So I'd say that no nests whatsoever in the revealed area, would give the nest new player experience.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by jim lee » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:53 am

In rail world, the nests are started pretty far away from your base. So its rare to run into any biters before you need to expand up to the next level of resources. By that time you are usually pretty well equipped and ready. Remote mining areas are what get hit the most.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by tbelaire » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:43 pm

I also had a really big attack (maybe not as big as your deathworld one), maybe 30 biters in the super early game. I had around 16 burner miners going, and had researched the first tech, and halfway to walls.

Only reason I could survive was a bit of save scumming and using 2 layers of pipes to make a bunker. And armour, and going back to an earlier autosave to aggro half of them early so the attack wasn't as large.

It's really aggressive. Compared to before, where the first attacks usually were one or two biters to annoy you are force you to run over. Now the first attack just steamrolled me, and I was going straight for military tech.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:09 pm

Is this a recent change ?
Post 0.17.12 ?

In my DeathWorld Marathon game started with 0.17.0, the early attacks were 6 biters, tops.
But then I was also paranoid about pollution, just letting it barely touch the two nests nearby, and only had something like 6 drills & 4 furnaces...

This is very bad, on default settings, new players should not have to face swarms of biters as the first attack they get !
BlakeMW wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Agreed. I clearly remember back when I was a little baby nublet at factorio and venturing out of the safety of the starting area I was scared shitless of the biter nests, I didn't want to go anywhere near them, I basically assumed I would die in all sorts of horrible ways if I actually provoked a nest. Turns out they weren't actually that scary, but having them as this unknown other, the bogey monsters in the fog of war, was awesome.
I'm not sure that I agree, I'd say that the revealed area at start should ideally always show at least one nest - so that a new player has a clue that there are enemies in this game and that he might get attacked.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by Theikkru » Fri May 03, 2019 3:43 pm

Pretty sure this is just the game/devs teaching you that wanton pollution will be punished. The way I see it, either you take things a bit slower and manage your pollution, or you race for military expansion and pay the price in ammunition. I've also found that terrain (desert vs. grasslands) makes a huge difference in pollution spread, so if you want to go ham on early expansion but don't want the whole neighborhood up in arms about it, set up where it's green and quit razing the forests. If that's not enough, you can wall off the nearest couple of nests and post turrets right around them, and steadily pay ammo to mop up your pollution pretty effectively.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by zOldBulldog » Fri May 03, 2019 3:50 pm

Theikkru wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 3:43 pm
Pretty sure this is just the game/devs teaching you that wanton pollution will be punished. The way I see it, either you take things a bit slower and manage your pollution, or you race for military expansion and pay the price in ammunition. I've also found that terrain (desert vs. grasslands) makes a huge difference in pollution spread, so if you want to go ham on early expansion but don't want the whole neighborhood up in arms about it, set up where it's green and quit razing the forests.
That would be a good lesson... If they gave us decent tools to control pollution like the BioIndustries mod seems to do.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by Theikkru » Fri May 03, 2019 10:54 pm

Efficiency modules seem to do a pretty spectacular job in the longer term.

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Re: Early massive biter attack

Post by Xeanoa » Sat May 04, 2019 11:14 am

I actually liked being attacked by 30 or 40 small biters as a first attack on a new map.
I had to load the latest autosave, build an SMG and 2 turrets, which were subsequently lost during the attack, and actually fight for my life.
Getting attacked by swarms of 2 or 4 or maybe 6 feels more like an annoyance than a threat.

I think starting area size plays a huge role, too. Larger starting area means a longer delay before the first attack, means a stronger attack.
I soon as I reduced it I was hit by a lot of smaller attacks much earlier.

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