Defence economy balance

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.
Nefrums
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:57 am
Contact:

Defence economy balance

Post by Nefrums »

TL;DR
Defense economy of Factorio needs better balance. It is a flaw in the otherwise very well balanced game.

What ?
I suggest that the amount of bullets in a magazine is increased to 32 and that the flamethrower turret consumption is increased to 50/s
Why ?
Building a efficient defense in Factorio is very easy if you know what you are doing, but for beginners it can be frustrating because if you choose the wrong strategy it leads to you spending more and more resources on defense and it is hard to progress.

The problem i see it is the economy between different defensive strategies. Here is an example on what infrastructure you need to have to keep three turrets firing constantly. Given mid game tech level. red/green/military/blue science available, but not yellow/purple


3 Gun turrets:
108 iron miners
60 copper miners
179 Furnaces
32 assemblers2s
59 steam engines

3 Laser turrets:
8 steam engines

3 Flamers:
1 pump jack


To me it feels wrong that gun turrets require 8x the power as laser turrets do. The infrastructure required to feed gun turrets with ammo dwarfs all other kind of defense. I still do believe that players should be encouraged to move to better kinds of defenses, but the gap between using gun turrets and flame turrets is just to large.
Flame turrets is available early, requires a totally insignificant amount of fuel and has way better single target dps in addition to aoe damage. This makes defense very trivial from early in the game, if you use them.

Koub
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6035
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Moving this to balancing.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

netmand
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by netmand »

Nefrums wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:29 am
The problem i see it is the economy between different defensive strategies.
Have you considered that your defensive strategies just need improvement?
At Chemical (blue) science I'm still using Firearm magazines. I'm making Piercing round magazines to make Military science packs. And I don't let my defenses need to deal with numerically large waves of biters; I kill the nests all nearby nests before they get a chance to grow too big. At this point you should be exploring for oil and would need to be prepared to clear enemies in the way.

I never have any turret firing constantly; and your analysis doesn't factor in bonuses and logistics.

Koub
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6035
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Koub »

netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:08 pm
I never have any turret firing constantly; and your analysis doesn't factor in bonuses and logistics.
I think Nefrums knows the game pretty well (better than most of players).

The reason he chose continuous firing is probably because it gives a common base for all the turrets to compare. DPS is not comparable, because of biters having various resistances and armor that make calculations meaningless.
Continuous firing is a comparable metric.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

Qon
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1523
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Qon »

netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:08 pm
Nefrums wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:29 am
Building a efficient defense in Factorio is very easy if you know what you are doing
Have you considered that your defensive strategies just need improvement?
Have you considered that you missed the point completely?
netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:08 pm
At Chemical (blue) science I'm still using Firearm magazines.
I guess Nefrums will use this great tip to save a few seconds on his next run ;)

@Nefrums
Lasers are what usually gives new players a brownout that lead to a power spiral of death, that doesn't happen with ammo production.

And flamers are great, but not really by themselves and need more complicated infrastructure to keep fed than laser turrets. The ammo could be considered "free", but as long as they have some draw enough that you have to pipe around oil then that's probably the greater cost that people care about more as it is now. I have often used laser turrets only even though flamethrower turrets are "better", because I didn't have the infrastructure set up for laser turrets or gun turrets. Even when they are cheap to feed, they are mostly used when there happens to be a crude oil pipeline going by not too far away. I'm not convinced they need to be nerfed, regardless of how cheap they are to run.

So what are your thoughts on practical defence in an actual base? While gun turrets are more expensive to run, it would be good to have some other ways to compare that puts the argument in another perspective. Something like how much of a typical default base's resources are spend on ammo production? Should be easy to check by looking at "All time production" stats.

And Watt/DPS and Joule/Damage might also be worth looking at.

mudcrabempire
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by mudcrabempire »

Going by your metric of "support continuous fire" it does seem a bit messed up. Question though, do you use yellow or red magazines? Because reds are way more expensive in terms of dmg/resources (in all but some edge cases).

What I'm not sure about is whether that metric does the problem justice. As mentioned above, according to your calculation, supporting gun turrets draws huge amounts of power. According to practice, the moment I start using lasers, my energy usage spikes and just keeps rising (while before it's usually quite tame). According to your calculation, there's a huge amount of resources/infrastructure going into feeding gun turrets, according to (my) practice the resource drain of gun turrets/ammo is usually manageable, while the resource drain from producing usefull amounts of laser turrets tends to make notable dents in my green circuit/steel production.
Also the aforementioned rise in energy demand that I observe when I start using lasers needs to be covered which can get very pricey if you use solar instead of steam (and to complicate the calculation, steam produces pollution which attracts biters which increases the strain on your defenses... have fun calculating that).

While I can't quite say where or how I disagree with your argument, I can't agree that gun ammo should be more resource-efficient - it's supposed to strain your production. Same on lasers, they do strain your resources for the initial production and they do strain your energy network to keep them running. Lastly, on the matter of flamethrower turrets, oil may be an infinite resource but the production/second at any given time is quite finite and tends to be a bottleneck. While I agree that flamethrowers could use some increase in fuel consumption, I strongly advise not to go too far, otherwise you can easily make them drain all your oil which makes them unusable. Also, currently you can actually feed flamethrowers manually by keeping a bunch of filled barrels in your pocket, which I consider very usefull. It allows them to be deployed with some flexibility, without strictly always having to pipe them to your main network or dragging some fluid wagons around with you.

PS: Defense is complicated. I fear the balance of defense cannot be done without taking all those pesky, ugly, dirty, painfull-to-calculate considerations into account (alternatively, do it with gut and experience but that one is kinda hard to debate about).

PPS: Just to give one example of one small such thing: Did you or did you not put efficiency modules in all machines in your example? Because they are very well available at the stage of laser turrets and they have a huge impact on the energy consumption of the ammo production in your example.

PPPS: You forgot the power needed to run the lone pumpjack to feed the flamethrower turrets.

Nefrums
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:57 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Nefrums »

Having in average three turrets shooting at any given time was of course just an arbitrary reference point. If it is realistic or not depends on base size/map etc etc.

Red ammo is acctualy not more expensive per damage dealt to most types of biters before you gain very high levels of damage tech.

jodokus31
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 711
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

My gut feeling agrees, that flamers are a bit too resource efficient.

I also would like, if you could reliable insert/fill up to 10 - 20 ammo in turrets without too much clicking and checking, but that's another topic

Nefrums
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:57 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Nefrums »

jodokus31 wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:14 pm
My gut feeling agrees, that flamers are a bit too resource efficient.

I also would like, if you could reliable insert/fill up to 10 - 20 ammo in turrets without too much clicking and checking, but that's another topic
Cntr-right click, 3 times. First with ammo in hand then 2 times without.

mudcrabempire
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by mudcrabempire »

Red ammo is equally or more resource-efficient if

~0.76*D < R < ~1.76*D

With D: Damage of yellow ammo including all modifiers. R: Flat resistance of target.
With expensive recipes the window is roughly 0.84 - 1.68.

Considering the defense of all enemies the respective ranges where red ammo is worth it are (remember, modified damage of yellow ammo)(using turrets so the modifier gets squared):
small biters, all spitters (armor 0) and bases (armor 2):
always
Red ammo is never worth it

medium biters (armor 4):
n/a - 7.04
Red ammo is worth it up to (including) damage upgrade 1.

medium worms (armor 5):
n/a - 8.8
Red ammo is worth it up to (including) damage upgrade 2.

big biters (armor 8):
6.08 - 14.08
Red ammo is worth it from (including) damage upgrade 1 (barely) to upgrade 4.

big and behemoth worms (armor 10):
7.6 - 17.6
Same as behemoth biters.

behemoth biters (armor 12):
9.12 - 21.12
Red ammo is worth it from (including) damage upgrade 3 to upgrade 5.

Upgrade 4 needs gray science, 5 requires up blue science, 6 needs yellow and then it's white. So depending on how fast you play (and what mode you use) it is well possible to run to the techs fast enough to never get into the area where red ammo is worth it (and if you play so slow that red ammo is worth it, you probably have a problem).

The primary advantage of red ammo is that it deals more damage and if a biter wave rushes you, you only have so much time, so that extra damage can make the difference between turrets damaged or not (though you can achieve a similar effect by simply building more turrets).

Please correct me if my math is wrong.

Some additional math of interest:
killing a big biter at upgrade 4,5,6,7 requires roughly 8,4.5,2,1.5 yellow magazines or 3,2,1.2,0.8 red magazines
killing a behemoth biter at upgrades 5,6,7 requires roughly 70,24,13 yellow magazines or 21,11,7 red magazines

Qon
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1523
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Qon »

Nefrums wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:29 am
Here is an example on what infrastructure you need to have to keep three turrets firing constantly.

To me it feels wrong that gun turrets require 8x the power as laser turrets do.
All research up to pre utility and production:

DPS for gun turrets with red ammo:
(10 + 11) * (8 + 17.92) = 544.32

DPS for laser turret:
(20 + 22) * (1.5 + 1.35) = 119.7

544.32 / 119.7 = 4.5474

So while gun turrets require 8x the power, they only have to fire for 4.5 times shorter to kill an enemy (resistances ignored) which also means less repair and less risk of getting overrun. You don't launch a rocket from earth with an Ion drive even though they are much more efficient than chemical rockets. The goal is not to minmax resources, it's to protect the base. And that's what bullets do here.

So taking DPS into account, now lasers are no longer 8x more efficient. They are 1.76 times more energy efficient (damage/joule). But they also have energy drain which will dwarf the actual firing cost if you have a thick and long wall of them around your base. And to get enough DPS you need much more laser turrets than gun turrets, which means more energy drain and much more turrets to produce. And the time it takes to recoup the energy that is used to produce all those laser turrets is going to take a while.

I made a 0~ drain laser turret blueprint. But basically no one is using it so it doesn't really affet calculations. Also drain is only really an issue for a big base. For a chemical science base the amount of laser turrets you have is going to be limited by your production of laser turrets enough that you can't even get high drain. Which also tells us that they are expensive.

netmand
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by netmand »

Qon wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:50 pm
Have you considered that you missed the point completely?
Apparently I have missed the point completely. I don't get why these parameters need adjustment, and why weapons need balance at all. It would ruin my fun if all weapons were made to effectively cost the same.

jodokus31
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 711
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:16 pm
Apparently I have missed the point completely. I don't get why these parameters need adjustment, and why weapons need balance at all. It would ruin my fun if all weapons were made to effectively cost the same.
If one weapon is superior, then you don't need the other.
If they are comparable, then you have the choice.

But, I don't say, that the balance currently is way off. It may need a bit fine tuning.
Nefrums wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:19 pm
jodokus31 wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:14 pm
I also would like, if you could reliable insert/fill up to 10 - 20 ammo in turrets without too much clicking and checking, but that's another topic
Cntr-right click, 3 times. First with ammo in hand then 2 times without.
:) Well, i thought more of a one click or dragging action.

Qon
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1523
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Qon »

netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:16 pm
Qon wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:50 pm
netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:08 pm
Nefrums wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:29 am
Building a efficient defense in Factorio is very easy if you know what you are doing
Have you considered that your defensive strategies just need improvement?
Have you considered that you missed the point completely?
Apparently I have missed the point completely.
Read the entire quotation here from start to finish. All of it. Not just the latest bits. The context is important. Read carefully.
You edited out the part you should have responded to, twice now. So I want you to NOT do that this time. Ok?
netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:16 pm
I don't get why these parameters need adjustment, and why weapons need balance at all. It would ruin my fun if all weapons were made to effectively cost the same.
I don't think Nefrums what them to be exactly equal in cost.

And making them energy-equal per second of firing would absolutely not guarantee balance anyways. That's my main critiscism of his post though.

I think Nefrums wants them all to be viable and to not have one of them completely outshining the other so that only that one gets used. Or so that the "worst" one isn't accidentally used by new players because the are "tricked" into missing the hidden costs.

mudcrabempire
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by mudcrabempire »

missposted content not applicable
Last edited by mudcrabempire on Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

netmand
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by netmand »

Qon wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:45 pm
I think Nefrums wants them all to be viable and to not have one of them completely outshining the other so that only that one gets used. Or so that the "worst" one isn't accidentally used by new players because the are "tricked" into missing the hidden costs.
Right, so we embrace this change and then somewhere down the line someone looks at piercing rounds magazine, sees 32 and wonders why the others are 10... then makes a big stink about balancing the magazines.

...Don't get me wrong I can accept any crack-pot change that happens in this crazy world lord knows we all deal with some strange rules these days but there should be a limit (or at least significant justification) to fiddling with things. Out of context; what's being said here is that laser turrets are power efficient as compared to gun turrets so one of the magazines it takes should have more bullets and oh by the way, make flame turrets eat more fuel because they are too efficient compared to the others...

Yoyobuae
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Yoyobuae »

netmand wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:18 pm
Right, so we embrace this change and then somewhere down the line someone looks at piercing rounds magazine, sees 32 and wonders why the others are 10... then makes a big stink about balancing the magazines.
It would be just as easy to modify the recipe for AP ammo instead to produce 2x or 3x magazine per craft or similar. Potentially with adjusted costs too (maybe take in 2x or 3x regular ammo).

netmand
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by netmand »

mudcrabempire wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:47 pm
Forgive me. It's just an easy topic to throw some basic math/gut/personal experience at. So I guess lots of people flock to it and enjoy "contributing"? And honestly, your initial post felt like exactly that mix of basic math/gut/personal experience which I guess ended up turning a bit against you? Also it's kinda difficult to judge in advance whether the stuff I'm writing will be appreciated or not?
It wouldn't be the first time I've misunderstood the topic, thanks to those that have patience with me. To be honest I liked your math since you factored in bonuses at least. I'm just challenging the change because the math given was, "gun turrets use 8x the power of laser turrets". Which makes my eyes twitch...

These kind of adjustments may also lead to more over-extending of territory. Why not instead to defend what you can afford, don't bitch about not being able to defend your over-built solar farm because you need to surround it with gun turrets to keep it small (because lasers would make it 8x bigger!?).

What people didn't get about my point is that a good defense strategy and ammo production efficiency pretty much go hand-in-hand. If you are not cost effective in your ammo then your defense and factory plans are not good. Putting more bullets in the hands of the uninitiated will not help teach good factory planning.

mmmPI
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by mmmPI »

Maybe flameturret fuel consumption could decrease with research to achieve actual consumption late game only (+10% damage -X% fuel consumption up to space science then you only have the damage increase). Giving incentive to keep them for late game or early game in strategic location only when their aoe is useful but not as the main defense since it would be too costly on oil, somewhat trying to prevent their use too early in the game might not be pleasant though as it would make death-worlds considerably harder.

And maybe the opposite for laser turret energy consumption should increase with research scaling with their damage, make them cheaper to fire at first but with even less damage, so that players don't fear brownouts, giving incentive to switch to laser as soon as it's available providing you have the production, maybe the actual amount of power consumption would be reached when you have red+green+blue+military science. And going past this laser turrets would cost more energy to fire than with actual setting. ( with a cap for consumption when infinite science is reached).

It could make it so that players are not wrong trying the more complicated way of shipping ammo to outpost late-game rather than spamming laser turret. They would be rewarded when using uranium ammo by saving MORE energy.

For early game, I don't know how many bullets are in one magazine atm, 32 must be a higher number, (X2 ? +50% ? ) . It seems like a very good idea regardless to reduce the infrastructure needed to use gun turrets, increasing the damage per ressource or per energy while maintaining their DPS the same. The risk is that players could delay the tech transition it could lure them into thinking that gun turrets are not so bad if you make them not so bad :).

User avatar
AmericanPatriot
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:47 am
Contact:

Re: Defence economy balance

Post by AmericanPatriot »

Koub wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:15 pm
I think Nefrums knows the game pretty well (better than most of players).
That is a terrible argument. Just because someone is an "expert" is not a good reason to validate their argument.

In other words, who wrote the post shouldn't make any difference.
:D

Post Reply

Return to “Balancing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users