turret rework

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mudcrabempire
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turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:01 pm

Note: Since I've changed my opinion quite a bit, I've decided to update my suggestion. The original post is further below.

Gun turret: Gun turrets have good damage, when kept up-to-date with upgrades and ammunition, but they suffer from their low health and range. A small increase to the range (to 22 or so) could help them to make better use of their damage, compensate their health a bit and make it a bit easier to cover one's base early, when resources are rare.

Laser turret: They are good at everything, with no serious drawbacks. Decreasing their range a bit (to 20 or something) could help making them feel a bit less like masters-of-almost-all-trades.

Flamethrower turrets: I stand by my opinion that combining perfect automated threat identification protocolls with terrible aim is embarassing for whoever builds these things. It almost hurts me to watch them. One would have to adjust the numbers, but I'm sure that's not too much of a problem. I favor a strong reduction of the sticker damage (being on fire from getting touched by the stream) to reduce the "touch of death" property of flamethrowers.

As a proposition:
-No contact damage
-Sticker damage to 52/s and duration to 15s
-Ground damage to 26/s, base duration to 15s, maximum duration also 15s (repeated shooting just refreshes the duration and the damage multiplier)
-Takes longer to reach the maximum damage multiplier for ground fire (maybe 2s continuous fire)
-Make the damage multiplier decay exponentially: per frame: dmg -> dmg * 0.something

I also stand by my opinion that it would be very enjoyable if robots wouldn't kill themselves by flying into the flames while trying to make repairs. Fire resistance would be the easiest solution.

Note: I made a mod where you can test these changes: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/MudcrabempireBalanceMod
-The mod also contains some changes to the tank and the PLD, feel free to disable them if you don't want that (you'll have to cut the respective lines from the "item-final-fixes" file).


Following, my original post:
I am not very satisfied with the current turret system. It's basically a simple progression: Gun turrets first, Flamethrower turrets later, Laser turrets the ultimate solution to border defense. So I propose a few reworks and some new turrets to improve that.

Note: This list is probably too extensive and may need to be boiled down for actual implementation.

Gun turret: The one and only. A small increase to the range (to 20 or 22 maybe) would be nice but I guess being the first available and the cheapest will relegate this turret to an eternal early-game role. Good ol' days. Sniff.

Flamethrower turret: Combining perfect threat identification protocols with terrible aiming algorithms should give any programmer a serious headache. I propose increasing the fire-pool damage, reducing the direct damage, maybe increasing the fire-pool size and duration a little and giving the damn thing perfect aim already. This, combined with the biter's lack of fire resistance would make the Flamethrower turret better at being an aoe support turret which is what I think this guy does best.

Laser turret: Easy to supply, lots of health, un-resistable damage and good range. This guy is basically a jack-of-all-trades. I propose to keep this theme, but making the Laser turret weaker overall (reducing damage and range, mostly), thereby making the Laser turret a good line-holder and gap-filler, but still requiring other, more specialized/powerfull turrets to deal with larger threats.

Laser turret corollary: Adopt the same idea for the PLD to encourage the usage of weapons, even later in the game.

Artillery turret/wagon: These two are fine.

Grenade turret: A grenade lobber on a turret. I'm not sure about this one, but it would roughly be an early option to the Flamethrower turret, more heavily oriented towards aoe damage. Large potential for collateral damage (especially when using cluster grenades) would make this turret a bit hard to use (at least it would definitely need a minimum range).

Rocket turret: The go-to option for dealing with the big guys. Optionally, make this turret prioritize the biggest enemy in range, instead of the closest.

Cannon turret: Mounting a cannon on a turret sounds way too awesome for me to not do it. It would be similar in size and defenses to the artillery turret. Obviously the strongest, but also the most expensive one. I guess there's a risk that this turret becomes the new "best" turret, but with it's high price and supply requirements I think that is valid. Also, for dealing with less contested areas or for dealing with very large waves, other turrets should still be good.

Corollary: I don't know wheter it is intended, but when I use Flamethrower turrets I often run into the situation that the biters reach a structure (walls, mostly), leaving a damaged wall with a fire-pool next to it, and when my robots fly in to repair the wall, they die in the flames. It's very annoying and this issue increases with increasing research (robot speed and fire damage). Again, I don't know if this was intended, but if not it would be very pleasant if robots wouldn't take damage from fire-pools (they fly above it?).
Last edited by mudcrabempire on Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:46 am, edited 13 times in total.

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Re: turret rework

Post by Koub » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:37 pm

mudcrabempire wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:01 pm
I am not very satisfied with the current turret system. It's basically a simple progression: Gun turrets first, Flamethrower turrets later, Laser turrets the ultimate solution to border defense. So I propose a few reworks and some new turrets to improve that.
I disagree. All are good in their own field. Laser turrets have the worst DPS from all turrets, but need very little infrastructure and logistics to operate. on big enough behemoth biter attacks, they can be outrun where other solutions can easily sow through the biters.
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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:48 pm

Huh. You're right. I never did the numbers on gun turret vs laser turret.

I still think that gun turrets are ill-suited to the late-game, due to their low health and range and I still think that my points above are worth considering. But thank you for pointing this out to me.

PS: Added a bit of text concerning flamethrower turrets and construction robots.

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Re: turret rework

Post by kaleraven » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:21 pm

Gun turrets with uranium ammo do disgusting damage. Their low health is irrelevant if they kill things almost instantly.

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Re: turret rework

Post by Koub » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:13 am

I did a test once with just creative mod, one single turret, one single behemoth biter, both of them placed in editor mode with the biter at the turret's maximum range. All non infinite researches conducted.
Did this twice, one of the turrets being a gun turret, one being a laser turret, with enough room between the turrets for them not to interfere.

Snapped an uranium ammo clip in the gun turret, and powered the laser turret with creative power source.

Then, without removing the pause, did tick-by-tick time advance.
The gun turret behemoth biter dies before even touching the turret. Meanwhile, the laser turret has only landed 2 shots ...
I quickly become bored doing tick by tick, and let the time unfold at its normal pace. The biter gets to the laser turret, and chews half of it before it actually dies - and this, despite gun turret has a range 33% inferior to the laser turret.
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Re: turret rework

Post by Darinth » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:34 pm

Koub wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:13 am
I did a test once with just creative mod, one single turret, one single behemoth biter, both of them placed in editor mode with the biter at the turret's maximum range. All non infinite researches conducted.
Did this twice, one of the turrets being a gun turret, one being a laser turret, with enough room between the turrets for them not to interfere.

Snapped an uranium ammo clip in the gun turret, and powered the laser turret with creative power source.

Then, without removing the pause, did tick-by-tick time advance.
The gun turret behemoth biter dies before even touching the turret. Meanwhile, the laser turret has only landed 2 shots ...
I quickly become bored doing tick by tick, and let the time unfold at its normal pace. The biter gets to the laser turret, and chews half of it before it actually dies - and this, despite gun turret has a range 33% inferior to the laser turret.
Thank you for this. I knew that the uranium ammo damage was superior, but I wasn't ever certain just how 'superior' it was. I've done playthroughs with both of them, and thus on default settings both laser and gun turrets are... more than sufficient. You don't even really need a huge amount of support infrastructure. I believe I ran turrets with uranium rounds with 4 spaces in between. Never bothered with robotports for repair. Every several hours I'd get a notification that a turret somewhere got destroyed, swing by and let my bots repair/replace it and thten not have to worry about it. Unless you're on a modded playthrough... there's plenty of firepower in both laser and gun turrets to easily make this work. Laser turrets tend to be the go-to... because they're simpler.

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Re: turret rework

Post by Koub » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:06 pm

Actually when big and behemoth spitters start kicking in in high numbers, gun turrets alone really suffer from their limited range. Pairing each gun turret with a flamethrower turret really makes the difference in my experience. The fire aoe just soaks through all the spitters while gun turrets can concentrate on the few biters that make it through before the first fire jet lands.
In terms of raw DPS, flamethrower turret is unrivaled in vanilla.
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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:23 pm

Koub wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:06 pm
Actually when big and behemoth spitters start kicking in in high numbers, gun turrets alone really suffer from their limited range. Pairing each gun turret with a flamethrower turret really makes the difference in my experience. The fire aoe just soaks through all the spitters while gun turrets can concentrate on the few biters that make it through before the first fire jet lands.
In terms of raw DPS, flamethrower turret is unrivaled in vanilla.
Yeah, killing a biter before it can attack doesn't matter much, if his spitter buddy can use that time to make an attack. Soaking damage is what biters are there for and when the spitters (especially behemots) land a few attacks you start noticing those 400 hp.

I guess I did not do enough of my homework before posting this.

I would still like to trade some of the damage (especially the "death sentence") from flamethrower turrets for perfect aim. It's not even a matter of game balance, it just annoys me to no end, how one could build such a powerfull weapon without something so simple and easy as good aim.

The "death sentence" is also weird, as it is completely unrelated to anything else, despite being just a bunch of burning liquid stuck to you. It would make more sense if the "ignited" effect would work like the fire pools - same damage, same duration, just stuck to a certain enemy (maybe dealing double damage, as having burning liquid stuck to you is arguably more dangerous than standing in a puddle of it).

How do you deal with construction robots flying into and dying from fire pools because they try to repair something that happens to stand there (eg. a wall)?

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Re: turret rework

Post by Koub » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:33 pm

mudcrabempire wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:23 pm
How do you deal with construction robots flying into and dying from fire pools because they try to repair something that happens to stand there (eg. a wall)?
I replace them manually from time to time.

Also, It might not seem so reading my posts, but I'm a really crappy Factorio player. I have started literally tens of maps, but most of the time, I get lost somewhere while trying to automate blue science, oil, construction bots alla t the same time, and miserably fail :D. Most of my knowledge of the game is theoretical, except the tests I do in creative on threads such as this one, to see if common beliefs are indeed true, or just false impressions.
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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:57 pm

Well, my original motivation for writing this post was, that I played deathworld marathon to the point where I basically "won" the arms/evolution race and where just idly shooting rockets into space/expanding my territory.

My strategy was gun turrets early, with minimal upgrades, barely even using red ammo, beelining research to get laser turrets ASAP and then just spam laser turrets along the borders while keeping laser upgrades up-to-date. I did make use of flamethrower turrets, because regardless of how annoyed I am at them, they are undoubtedly best at what they do (and their tendency to kill robots appears only later, because early, the robots are so slow and the flames so weak that the threat to the robots is negligible). Also walls and roboports, of course.

Point is: The pure laserturret build - supported by flamethrower turrets during the middle stages of the game - was more than enough to deal with anything the biters could throw at me, while being significantly easier to setup and maintain. My defensive "strategy" is as simple and stupid as a great-wall-of-china style wall of laser turrets whereever I want my borders and then just churn out laser turrets and research to out-tech/out-spam the biters.

While this solution - being based on a sufficiently powerfull and efficient factory - is probably in the spirit of factorio, I was a bit disappointed at how simple and bland that strategy is (beelining to laserturrets and then just spamming/upgrading them is not what I would call interesting or challenging). It's just a matter of optimizing your factory. So I thought it might be nice to add some diversity and shake things up a little.

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Re: turret rework

Post by dog80 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:17 am

so while here seems to be a big discussion about stuff, i have one little question... why dont you make a mod for this and test it? when its so good as you think it is, everybody intrested will use this mod and it will then be implemented in the main game (hopefully)

so very good give me a dl link plz when its ready for testing greetings

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Re: turret rework

Post by Xeorm » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:56 pm

Real question though: is the defense strategy against biters necessarily that bad as a big picture? Biters defense in general reminds me of electricity generation. It's a problem that you "solve" later. You can have it go wrong at times if you neglect it, but it is an effectively solvable problem. In the same way you deal with biters and eventually upgrade things so that the issue is more or less solved. Then you transition to another problem.

Like how do you want the problem to grow? Increased logistics? Most players find it a pain, and for those that don't no laser turret playthroughs work well.

But more turrets? I barely use the additional weapons as is. I can't remember a time that I've seriously thought I wanted a rocket launcher for killing bases, and felt that it was worth the time and effort afterwards.

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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:30 pm

I don't mind it being solvable. It should be. I just thought maybe one could make the solution more interesting.

I'm playing around with the modding stuff currently. Did the adjustions to the existing turrets and gave robots fire immunity, but I have yet to properly test it.

Funnily enough, once I started to seriously think about how to implement the new turrets I suggested, one by one I came to the conclusion that they are not really necessary or not worth the trouble. :P

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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:10 am

I found another issue with the multiple-turrets approach: Whatever turrets you choose, you need to keep your research up-to-date. In a difficult scenario you can afford to keep two turret types up-to-date at most, one of them necessarily being the flamethrower turret. So you play mono-turret plus some flamethrowers anyways.

I also updated the OP to my current view.

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Re: turret rework

Post by mudcrabempire » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:07 am

So, I made a mod for testing these settings and they pretty much do what I want them to.

I did notice an issue with perfect aim for flamethrower turrets: If the turrets aim to where the biters will be, they often shoot to a point very close to themselves (since the biters are running at them). This means, if you have placed anything flammable in front of the flamethrower turrets (like other turrets) they often end up shooting that stuff, even though the biters may not be able to actually get there (walls, ...).

Also, if the biters move eratically, not in a straight path, as may be the case when one uses labyrinth-style walling to slow the approach of the biters, the turrets will often miss widely.

So while for myself perfect aim works well and feels much better than the current mechanism, it does not come without drawbacks and still has some design-requirements, which may not be to everyone's taste.

Lastly, by now this threat contains mostly suggestions for adjusting the numbers of existing entities and a small change to the mechanics, so this threat should probably be moved to the "balancing" subforum.

Edit: Here's the link for anyone who cares, I'll also put it into the OP: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/MudcrabempireBalanceMod

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Re: turret rework

Post by Koub » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:33 am

mudcrabempire wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:07 am
Lastly, by now this threat contains mostly suggestions for adjusting the numbers of existing entities and a small change to the mechanics, so this threat should probably be moved to the "balancing" subforum.
[Koub] Seems legit, moved the topic.
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Re: turret rework

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:43 pm

Yeah, when 0.17 was first released, flame turrets were actually leading with their aim, but this caused a lot of 0.16-made defenses to burn themselves down, so this has been reverted until a more satisfactorily solution could be found :
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=65152

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