Defence economy balance

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blazespinnaker
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by blazespinnaker »

One interesting tidbit is that marathon mode changes the calculations a bit as regular magazines are still 4 plates each. Flame turrets are now 470 plates each. Landmines have steel and have doubled in cost. Laser turrets are more expensive as well.
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

blazespinnaker wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:51 am
One interesting tidbit is that marathon mode changes the calculations a bit as regular magazines are still 4 plates each. Flame turrets are now 470 plates each. Landmines have steel and have doubled in cost. Laser turrets are more expensive as well.
Marathon is quite different. Red bullets are also a lot more expensive, due to double steel cost

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Rubypoker »

blazespinnaker wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:51 am
One interesting tidbit is that marathon mode changes the calculations a bit as regular magazines are still 4 plates each. Flame turrets are now 470 plates each. Landmines have steel and have doubled in cost. Laser turrets are more expensive as well.
There were already nothing or very little to gain by upgrading to red ammo in terms of cost efficiency. It seems to me that in Marathon mode, its better to just stick to yellow ammo. I am not sure if Increased cost for Non consumable items like turrets have an huge impact. But increasing cost of consumables like ammo and landmines will be more noticeable as they can consume resources constantly.

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Re: Defence economy balance

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Rubypoker wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:34 am
...I am not sure if Increased cost for Non consumable items like turrets have an huge impact. ...
Not huge, but it's quite tough to get defence up. f.e. gun turrets in the beginning. Flame turrets need long time to be produced due to steel.
And indeed, in DW marathon, red ammo is very bad, because you drive up pollution insanely
This thread has much info on DW marathon: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=88833

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by blazespinnaker »

I'll admit flame turrets aren't that bad. I usually skip them tho because they aren't very agile (hard to drop a fully effective flame turret as you're being chased by biters). Once I get to bots, the construction bot reload is pretty nice. No logistics required, so I just go with land mines.

In DW marathon, before green modules, 470 plates is a lot of pollution cloud. After modules, it isn't so bad. Also in marathon, land mines aren't as effective due to the doubling in cost.
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Re: Defence economy balance

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I usually play in default, so I can't say much about deathworld, but I always felt that laser turrets are too powerful, considering how easy they are to set up. Sure they have an upfront cost, but even a relatively small section of factory making them makes more than enough.
I would like to see an expensive late-game gun turret MK2, maybe using electric engines and concrete or something.
This would have more range than the base gun turret (still less than the lasers), and much more health, but otherwise be about the same (maybe lower fire-rate, higher damage as well to make it more ammo efficient), while also seeing a small nerf to lasers, such as significant laser resistance on behemoth biters.
And I agree that a significant use-cost increase to flame-throwers would be good, possibly more pollution output, so using them has a significant disadvantage.

This would give specific roles to all the turrets:
- Laser turrets are relatively weak, but require little logistical setup, so are used in cramped spaces, remote bases, or along walls where few attacks occur.
- Flamethrowers are used only in areas where significant swarms arise, but are otherwise used sparingly, as they require piping (hard to set up) and cause pollution.
- Gun turret MK2 become the main damage-dealers. They are expensive to run, and hard to set up, but reward the player for the effort.
- Basic gun turrets are the early game weapons: inefficient, expensive to run, hard to set up, low damage, but really cheap and low tech.

I like this because it seems to follow a principle I really like in Factorio: quality comes with logistical difficulty - the harder something is to set up, the better it will perform.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by 4xel »

BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:12 am
This would give specific roles to all the turrets:
They already have specific roles as per my previous post (viewtopic.php?p=530099#p530099).
I like this because it seems to follow a principle I really like in Factorio: quality comes with logistical difficulty - the harder something is to set up, the better it will perform.
Well there's also the principle of automating everything, and the principle that biters is a resource sink that can be abstracted away.

Besides, turrets already follows the principle of rewarding difficult logistic setup:

You seem to agree that's the case for flamers so I'll focus on laser turrets:
  • It takes no less than 10 different recipes to craft your first laser turret, some involving oil.
  • Small base need accumulators to run them. Pounds for ponds, their DPS is quite underwhelming already compared to gun turrets, their range only makes up for it for small attacks and against spitters. You don't want that already small DPS to be halved by low power.
  • If powered primarily with coal in boilers, they idle drain is not trivial. If they have one minute idle time per 1 second of fighting, they actually consume more energy doing nothing than actually fighting. Beyond 4 to 5 minutes of inactivity to 1 second of activity (extreme, shouldn't happen unless you put turrets at useless spots), laser turrets actually consume more ores than gun turrets (yellow or uranium ammo with sensible upgrade damage and damage resistance).
  • If powered primarily by solar panels, you have the most upfront expensive possible defense in the game, and turrets alone was already the worse. Spamming solar panels also usually requires more than just resources: clearing space, construction bots, logistic to supply construction bots. All in all actually quite hard to setup.
  • If powered by nuclear energy, well, nuclear energy is the hardest one to set up.
So I don't think laser turrets should be made weak because they are easy to setup. I think the ease of placing laser turret is the reward for having everything else related to them so expensive or complicated.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

OK, you must have a very different experiance of defence to me. I tend to find that laser turrets almost never have a significant effect on power consumption - maybe because I tend to get them relatively late game. I find nuclear isn't that hard to set up. It makes a good mid game goal though, so I tend to get it way too early, and never even go near solar panels.
Laser turrets are sort of difficult to make, but even 1 machine making them tends to saturate your use for them, it just then takes a small green circuit factory, and a split off of the sulfuric acid feed to batteries - which are so low resource cost they don't matter. Sure Laser turrets use steel, but that isn't bad enough to offset their quality.
Gun turrets in my opinion become almost completely obsolete as soon as medium spitters turn up, for two reasons:
- 1: The medium spitters have only marginally less range than the turrets, meaning that the turrets cannot hit them until they have already been hit
- 2: The turrets have so little health that the few hits the medium spitters can get in while the turrets are killing the biters, is enough to kill them after only a few attacks. This means you then lose your turrets, then the wall, then the base, unless you have drones, and a huge supply of gun turrets.

The range advantage of laser turrets becomes overwhelming at this point, sure they do less damage, but they can do it for several seconds before the enemy is in range, where the gun turrets have only a few moments to kill the enemy. This, combined with ammo usage, the difficulty of routing ammo before you get drones (and even after that the expense of said routing), and the fact the boilers and steam engines just aren't that hard to add, means that lasers are overwhelmingly overpowered in the mid-to-late game.
This is the point in the game where spitters are the only real threat to base defence, as walls stop biters for a significant time.
Besides this, the logistical challenge of adding a wall after lasers becomes:
- 1: get roboport coverage of the wall
- 2: place blueprint of wall
- 3: wait
- 4: indestructible super-wall is now built and will always be there.
There is no reason in the mid to late game (which in a default game is the only part of the game where you need automated defences, and have the time and effort spare to build a good defence) to use anything other than laser turrets.
At this point in the game laser turrets could use processing units and still be worthwhile, since they are objectively better than other turrets - even a small number of them can defend a wall well enough to allow you to build a better defence after the enemies show an interest, and in the late game, they get even better.
In the end, ammo uses valuable materials that you could be using for something else - like on research for better weapons - whereas adding more boilers and steam engines, while annoying, isn't as hard.
Besides this, laser turrets get even better as you get further into the game - by the time behemoths are arriving (a sure sign you are in the late game), laser turrets are completely free - nuclear power means that a single quad-reactor can power more laser turrets than you would ever need, all off of about 6 mining drills, and three centrifuges (1 on enrichment). Admittedly artillery renders the enemy completely irrelevant at this point, as there is no disadvantage to using it. But this is as much because laser turrets are so powerful that enemy attacks due to artillery are useless - they just walk into a wall of death.

This is the point in the game, where the incentive to put a little more effort in, and use gun turrets, would be amazing. The problem is that behemoths are disproportionately strong to physical attacks, due to resistances. I don't mind laser turrets still being the main defence - their easy use makes that inevitable - but the idea of another turret, harder to use, but better for areas which come under extreme attack - possible only for the late game - is, in my opinion, a good one.

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Re: Defence economy balance

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BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:25 pm
... that lasers are overwhelmingly overpowered in the mid-to-late game...
Everything is overpowered with enough research, mid/late game
Gun turrets with green ammo and upgrades, flamers, landmines
Only thing, that remains different is the logistic challenge.

While speedrunning and expanding fast, the early game balance is more noticeable. If you try to rush lasers, you are quite under attack by the time you get them. (red/green/military science, oil/batteries, steel). And at that stage, you could also have landmines or flamers, which are better without upgrades, just need more infrastructure, walls pipes engines for flamers, later bots for replacing mines

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

TBH, I'm not really bothered by how powerful lasers are - maybe that was a bad way of phrasing it - I meant compared to gun turrets, which, even with upgrades, cannot overcome their inferior range and health, there are no upgrades for those (and that is fine, they would be pretty weird upgrades, I just mean they can't be fixed).
To clarify: I mean mid-to-late as in from getting large numbers of blue potions onwards - the point where most research you do is using blue potions.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by 4xel »

BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:25 pm
OK, you must have a very different experiance of defence to me.
Yes, my experience is with default settings and railworld spedrunning, and with ultra death world slow running. But I think our views differ for more than that. You think biters should still be a pain to deal with late game, I don't. Factorio is not a RTS, it is the genra defining game of automation. I like that biters can be automated away. I like that even logistical setup cost can be automated away. One of the only two reasons I can imagine why you would think "nuclear isn't hard to setup" is blueprint, and it's a great thing that you can just import blueprint from previous playthrough. The first time you set it up was challenging, and enjoyable as such.

I like that late game, you can focus on and enjoy your creation. Don't get me wrong, I also love RTS and the RTS aspect of factorio, but if I really want to feel it, I use mods or crank the difficulty up. And if the later, the challenge in vanilla hard settings is not to survive in the late game, it is to get there, and surviv in the early game.

That's why I wholeheartedly agree with jodokus here:
jodokus31 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:05 pm
Everything is overpowered with enough research, mid/late game
and think balance talk is mostly relevant with noob players, hard settings or speed-running in minds. And early game is the most relevant, any defense that you never have to rebuilt is late game (defense wise) and much less relevant.

I'll still address your points, but with that in mind, even when I agree with you, it doesn't mean I find the game unbalanced.
I tend to find that laser turrets almost never have a significant effect on power consumption - maybe because I tend to get them relatively late game.
That's right. If you beeline them, and there are cases where it makes sense to do so, you can unlock them while still having 20 boilers. If you have 2 areas to defend with 8 turrets each (not that much if you only rely on laser turrets), getting attack at both places at once cause brownout. The issue is very mild and smart easy fix exist, such as adding a third steam engine to some boilers. But my point is, If you have a nuclear power plant, laser turrets aren't OP, your nuclear power plant is. And, while you may consider yourself midgame because you haven't prod3 beacon speed3 everything yet, for the matter of defenses, a nuclear reactor is late game already.
Gun turrets in my opinion become almost completely obsolete as soon as medium spitters turn up
I'd even argue they become really weak as soon as small spitter and medium biter show up.

Pistol becomes obsolete exactly 10 seconds after unlocking SMG. SMG becomes mostly obsolete exactly at the same time, because you now have a shotgun. Burner mining drills become obsolete the moment you got better things to do with your time than handfeeding them (and that moment comes very fast). I know some do, but I don't have any issue with any of that.
[Gun turrets suck mid to late game and it] means that lasers are overwhelmingly overpowered.
No it just means gun turrets suck late gun. Flame turrets, landmines, artillery are all arguably around the same power level of laser turrets.

Instead of saying every weapon is overpowered late game, I prefer to say that every enemy is underwhelming late game, and as I said, I think it's a good thing.
Besides this, the logistical challenge of adding a wall after lasers becomes:
- 1: get roboport coverage of the wall
- 2: place blueprint of wall
- 3: wait
- 4: indestructible super-wall is now built and will always be there.
The second reason I can imagine why you think nuclear is not that hard to setup is if you're just that good. But then designing a simple modular wall is about on the same level of designing a nuclear plant. And once you have the blueprint, the logistical challenge of adding a wall with any turret is exactly the same as adding a wall with laser turret. And again, I like that this challenge is low. The actual, enjoyable challenge is designing the blueprint (or your power-plant in the case of laser turrets). Saving time once the blueprint is done is the reward, not the challenge.


Depending on your game settings, mid game, there is a point where gun turrets are very inefficient/lacking and you don't have virtually unlimited resources and energy yet, and that's the spot where balance is the most interesting and matter the most IMO.
There is no reason in the mid to late game (which in a default game is the only part of the game where you need automated defenses, and have the time and effort spare to build a good defense) to use anything other than laser turrets.
Yes there are:
  • Big waves is reason enough to use flame turrets.
  • Upfront cost is reason enough to prefer landmines. The current meta in DS and DW speed-run is full landmine, sometimes flame turrets, no laser turrets whatsoever. In a more normal play-through, if you like artillery turrets, you could use landmines to skip laser turrets for the time it takes to research and setup artillery.
  • Mixed defense are better than single defense. Spare flamers to kill the bulk of the waves; lasers to kill the rest. Only flamers would waste much more oil in overlap AoE and Dot and against isolated targets. Laser only would require a lot more turrets which means other construction projects are delayed. You can even add a back line of turrets in ranges only of the very foremost biters banging at your wall (this line can be very sparse and hand/logistic fed, it's only very cheap but convincing extra safety).
  • Tech cost warrants the use of gun turrets for outpost that won't get attacked much (the point is not to stick to gun turrets for your defense, the point is to go build an outpost earlier).
  • grenades, combat bots, tanks and modular armors enable fast and aggressive clearing of your pollution cloud as an alternative to fully automated defense. Some defenses behind are still useful, but you can stick to gun turrets or landmines. Efficiency modules is a very different way to achieve a similar goal (slower but raises evo less).
they are objectively better than other turrets
cough, flame turret, cough
This is the point in the game, where the incentive to put a little more effort in, and use gun turrets, would be amazing.
This is where uranium ammo fit in. Artillery cannon + temporary uranium gun turret is a legitimate strategy to clear space.

But even if not for uranium ammo, I see no issue in outdated technology becoming obsolete.
but the idea of another turret, harder to use, but better for areas which come under extreme attack
cough, flame turret, cough
Last edited by 4xel on Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

I don't think biters should be a pain late game - I love artillery as much as the next person - but I still like the idea of defence being interesting, and it just isn't. It isn't a challenge - even when defending artillery bases with the sole purpose of annoying tons of enemies, it just isn't that hard.
I am also aware that flamethrowers fulfil this role, but while they are really powerful, but they aren't a great choice against non-swarm enemies, as they lag behind the actual enemy they should be targetting, and only work in combination with other turrets. These other turrets need high damage but to target only one enemy at once - this is the perfect case for improved gun turrets: lots of damage, and you are already invested in the logistics.
4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
the logistical challenge of adding a wall with any turret is exactly the same as adding a wall with laser turret
Not really - adding a wall with flamethrowers involves piping, and adding a wall with gun turrets involves producing ammo, and porting it in, which is not a minor task. Try building a late game wall using gun-turrets, it is really hard.
4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
the challenge in vanilla hard settings is not to survive in the late game, it is to get there, and survive in the early game.
I disagree with this relatively strongly - I love the idea of fighting a hard battle using a late game base - even if there is no real threat to the base due to its size, I like the idea of having to build a good wall to defend it, and that a better organisation of turrets will outperform a worse (I know - flamethrowers, but gun turrets have a place as well) I also like the idea of having to worry about where I put my artillery cannons, or whether they might annoy the enemies they shoot too much.
4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
No it just means gun turrets suck late gun. Flame turrets, landmines, artillery are all arguably around the same power level of laser turrets.
Kind of... land mines need constant replenishment, flamethrowers need piping and oil (artillery is really powerful yes, but it needs ammo), but laser turrets just don't - at that point in the game, you have nuclear, why use anything else. And it takes a surprisingly small section of factory to produce a huge number of them.
4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
Depending on your game settings, mid game, there is a point where gun turrets are very inefficient/lacking and you don't have virtually unlimited resources and energy yet, and that's the spot where balance is the most interesting and matter the most IMO.
I couldn't agree more. I like the idea that at this point there are three ways you can go: lasers, flamers and better guns.

My opinion comes mostly from the fact I like the planning aspects of defence, and the idea of building an "optimal wall" with just the right turret spacing etc. to defeat the enemies as well as possible, but from what I can tell, nothing beats a double layer solid wall of laser turrets (I am including flamethrowers in this, as the logistical difficulty outweighs the benefit). I would love if the optimal wall was a layer of gun turrets and flamethrowers, followed by lasers or something like that.

jodokus31 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:05 pm
BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:25 pm
... that lasers are overwhelmingly overpowered in the mid-to-late game...
Everything is overpowered with enough research, mid/late game
I have found that even with upgrades, gun turrets with uranium ammo are still outperformed by lasers... Maybe that's just me.

Honestly I don't expect these changes to happen - the game is fine as is - but I would love to see a bit more exploration of the defence side of things, which I always feel is a bit under whelming. I think my suggestion doesn't really warrant being here, as it is less of a balancing issue and more of a suggestion to resolve the issue of gun turrets being underpowered.

4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
I tend to find that laser turrets almost never have a significant effect on power consumption - maybe because I tend to get them relatively late game.
That's right. If you beeline them, and there are cases where it makes sense to do so, you can unlock them while still having 20 boilers.
A lot of these things come down to the fact I play the game really weirdly - I prefer the early game, and rush nuclear like mad (like 4 hours in, before getting drones - I know really inefficient, but way more fun), and then slow down a lot.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by 4xel »

BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:18 pm
4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
the logistical challenge of adding a wall with any turret is exactly the same as adding a wall with laser turret
Not really - adding a wall with flamethrowers involves piping, and adding a wall with gun turrets involves producing ammo, and porting it in, which is not a minor task. Try building a late game wall using gun-turrets, it is really hard.
You can include that in the blueprint. If that's too much to have too restrictive of a grid, you can use logistic bots to deliver ammo and oil barrels and forego entirely with piping/belting. I agree gun turrets still don't make sense to use if you have lasers, but my point is that you can reach a point where any defense is easy to setup, not just laser. Logistic barreling flamers cold be a nice addition to your laser walls.


4xel wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:54 pm
No it just means gun turrets suck late gun. Flame turrets, landmines, artillery are all arguably around the same power level of laser turrets.
Kind of... land mines need constant replenishment, flamethrowers need piping and oil (artillery is really powerful yes, but it needs ammo), but laser turrets just don't - at that point in the game, you have nuclear, why use anything else. And it takes a surprisingly small section of factory to produce a huge number of them.
I would love if the optimal wall was a layer of gun turrets and flamethrowers, followed by lasers or something like that.
Well, what do you mean by optimal. If you optimize by upkeep cost, you would probably need humongous biters strong enough to survive 10 solid rows of laser turret for pure laser to no longer be viable.

In any cases, in a mixed wall, you want the gun turret to be behind, even far behind. This sounds counter intuitive because they have the shortest range, but the point is you don't want them to shoot, since they're inefficient. Why even include them? their contribution is very marginal and a mixed wall can do without, but as back-liner, their purpose is to reduce overrun risk, while save repair packs and construction bots (repairing the wall) by spending ammo.

As to where you want your flamers relative to your lasers, it's a matter of choice I think. But really do try logistic barrel supplied flamers.
I think my suggestion doesn't really warrant being here, as it is less of a balancing issue and more of a suggestion to resolve the issue of gun turrets being underpowered.
Yes think the game is fine as is and I have no problem with guns becoming obsolete, but if we consider it an issue, your suggestion is really good and sensible, gun turrets are inherently weak to spitters due to range alone, so making them a counter to biters by changing resistances would favor mixed defense more strongly through RPS.
A lot of these things come down to the fact I play the game really weirdly - I prefer the early game, and rush nuclear like mad (like 4 hours in, before getting drones - I know really inefficient, but way more fun), and then slow down a lot.
There are so many ways to play the game, it's hard to call any weird. If laser or nuke is your thing, rushing nuclear makes a lot of sense. My approach to game balance is that not every thing ought to be equal, but if for each item there exist one situation, even temporary, that makes it shine, it's enough for me. That's why I'm kinda conservative saying everything is fine, but if your change, or someone else change were implemented, I would probably still say everything is fine (I can appreciate how things get better though, like the various science revamp and the progressive boost of combat robots).

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

4xel wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:26 am
Well, what do you mean by optimal. If you optimize by upkeep cost, you would probably need humongous biters strong enough to survive 10 solid rows of laser turret for pure laser to no longer be viable.

In any cases, in a mixed wall, you want the gun turret to be behind, even far behind. This sounds counter intuitive because they have the shortest range, but the point is you don't want them to shoot, since they're inefficient. Why even include them? their contribution is very marginal and a mixed wall can do without, but as back-liner, their purpose is to reduce overrun risk, while save repair packs and construction bots (repairing the wall) by spending ammo.
Yeah, good point - I spent some time trying to work out a really good wall design, but gave up in the end, and went with pure laser, I would love it if this kind of thing was necessary, at least in some setups:
super-wall.png
super-wall.png (2.23 MiB) Viewed 1721 times
But in my experience, almost no groups will make even close to the lasers.
The combination of flamers and guns allows you to tessellate them, which I really like (this is just made up, don't know how good it is, probably still needs the guns and flamers further back).
4xel wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:26 am
Yes think the game is fine as is and I have no problem with guns becoming obsolete, but if we consider it an issue, your suggestion is really good and sensible, gun turrets are inherently weak to spitters due to range alone, so making them a counter to biters by changing resistances would favor mixed defense more strongly through RPS.
This is basically the goal of my suggestion. I kind of like having mixed defences and want to encourage them, but it is hard in a game about automation to avoid these things being overwhelmed by 'more turrets', which is why spam laser is a thing.
4xel wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:26 am
That's why I'm kinda conservative saying everything is fine, but if your change, or someone else change were implemented, I would probably still say everything is fine (I can appreciate how things get better though, like the various science revamp and the progressive boost of combat robots).
TBH I am fine with how things are too, I just feel this would improve things, but I've never tried it - maybe it would just be a pain. I'll try making a mod for this, and see how it goes.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by blazespinnaker »

Code: Select all

 I would love it if this kind of thing was necessary
DW marathon requires smarter tactics, but laser tech like this might not work until rather late in the game due to electrical consumption and boiler pollution.

Truly, if PVE is your thing, DW really is the only way to fly. Marathon is required for a challenge if you are fairly efficient at production.

As to your design - I don't find straight "walls" that important, more cheaper and effective are creating deep mazes with the wall entity that mess with the biter pathing alg and slows their rush, giving turrets time to take them out. Indeed, straight walls are rather disappointingly useless against spitters, especially the bigger, long range ones.

But really, I keep coming back to land mines, as they are the hammer to every biter nail. They are by far the simplest way to defend. The beauty of the land mine is where ever there are biters, spam a bunch of mines. Conbots will replenish them rapidly. Drop a buffer chest nearby with a bunch of mines if you want to speed things up, but its not really necessary. Landmines can also create the maze above I mentioned as biters try but always seem to fail to navigate them.

Having played through DW marathon mostly, I can say that Flame turrets are possibly cheaper long run, especially in expensive mode, though I haven't done the calculations exactly. But they are more complex to set up and less agile to deal with new incoming approaches, eg if you clear out a base and a new one spawns. Also, you either have to supply via pipeline or load via barrels by either handfeeding or belts. Not as handy as landmines which get a sort of logistics treatment via the conbots.

Flame turrets also have an high initial setup cost in expensive mode, 470 plate turret, however, the tech is easier to reach. I'm not sure, flame turrets may explode landmines and create additional damage, so perhaps a nice combo (though expensive) defense there.

I created a bunch of flame turret based defenses, but when I realized my landmines were just as effective on the other side of my base, I stopped bothering with the turrets as I had production and supply issues to deal with.

Ammo based turrets I find just seem to eat through all my iron and steel and aren't very efficient at stopping bigger biters.

I don't think I went into this before, but Landmines are also useful when clearing out biter bases. Jodokus shared a nice video using a tank, but I find tanks rather risky as they are slow and can very easily get caught up in a large biter group. They are also very fragile, relatively - no shields. Shields are OP for clearing out bases.

Safer for me is just dropping a few lines of landmines, and stepping over briefly to toss poison capsules for worms and then rockets for spawners. Use personal roboport to clean them up afterwards. Maybe it seems too cautious, but I'm currently dealing with a rather high evolution factor and playing (sorta) hardcore. I revert to my last save from the day before if I die.

Wube could nerf landmines by simply stopping the spitters from rushing them. Notably, spitters will pause, take out a few landmies, and then strangely suicide on the mines. Not sure why wube made that choice but it looks deliberate. At the very least, I recommend wube increase the amount of mines they take out before suiciding. It would definitely balance things.

Clearing out bases in DW has significant drawbacks and likely not a good idea due to the spike in evolution factor. Better might be just to rush green modules, play fast and defend only.

One thing I haven't come to yet, but very close, is defending against artillery inspired biter rushes with a very high evolution factor. I'm curious how that will play out. I removed all water from the map so that the island / logistics hack won't be an option beyond my initial (and now completely drained) base. It has railworld settings.
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by 4xel »

blazespinnaker wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:59 pm
I'm not sure, flame turrets may explode landmines and create additional damage, so perhaps a nice combo (though expensive) defense there.
I think it's an anti combo, for the most part, flamers will destroy mines that weren't necessary to explode. On the same note, flamer will damage and eventually destroy any building other than wall and train track. So, the belts here, in addition to being unnecessary, will incur an additional cost.

Notably, spitters will pause, take out a few landmies, and then strangely suicide on the mines. Not sure why
Landmines take a few seconds to setup. During that setup time, they are visible to everyone and can't explode. Once setup, enemy faction no longer see them, and biters in particular no longer attack them. One ossible change to significantly nerf landmine could be to increase that setup time.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

4xel wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:52 pm
I think it's an anti combo, for the most part, flamers will destroy mines that weren't necessary to explode. On the same note, flamer will damage and eventually destroy any building other than wall and train track. So, the belts here, in addition to being unnecessary, will incur an additional cost.
Yeah, I realised that about 30 seconds after posting... I have found in that kind of thing the mines do work though, as they can still stun enemies, and the flamers don't detonate them unless the enemies are on top of the mines anyway. This isn't a wall I actually use, I just hacked it together for the sake of the post.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by blazespinnaker »

Not clear without precise #s. Exploding land mines may be what is keeping behemoths from getting past wall of flame, or it could be something else. I'll experiment and see if I can figure it out when I get some time.

Biggest problem in defending are spitters. Land mines are a cheaper way to keep them at a distance from potentially taking out things like pipes, but less cheap in marathon mode for sure.

I tried reducing my reliance on landmines as I was going through quite a few and the steel is a bit pricey. But now infra is getting damaged as spitters can get in close.
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

In my Marathon dw-ish run, I have a Wall with flamers and gun turrets+Red ammo, which barely gets a scratch at 95% evo. But i have physical damage 6 already, which is very expensive.
Imo flamers are a lot too strong

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by blazespinnaker »

Yeah, level 6 damage tech looks to be rather end gamish. It looks like everything is sorta OP by that point. Wube seems to have wanted to wrap the game up, which is a bit of a shame, TBH.

Have to make arbitrary personal rules to keep it going (not upgrading damage tech, no logistics system, etc) but that really isn't as satisfying. Not sure what their agenda is there for ending the game like that. Feels like there is still a lot left of gaming in Factorio post rocket launch. Maybe they are trying to boost the mod community?

Flame turrets are good, but they have to be backed by something. The nice thing about landmines, is they don't need to be backed by anything. Also, you can tactically deploy land mines with minimal resource commitment until you can tech up to artillery.

Once at artillery, things sort of come to an end and its just a matter of picking which way you want to wipe out the biters.

Alternatively, it'd be very interesting to discuss the best way to do a deathworld marathon rocket rush. A lot of the techniques you use depend on your end state goals. If you're trying to rush for 'winning the game' than you'd most likely take a very different path than someone interested in researching a lot of the infinite tech. Not sure if artillery is the right way to go for rocket rush.

Eg, deathworld marathon there is no spoon achievement. Now that is a real challenge, though most likely impossible except in very very well coordinated mass multiplayer.

No chitchat might be possible in single player, but it will take some advancements in understanding how to deploy robots effectively that speedrunners just don't have yet. Blueprint import might be required.

If I was doing a DW marathon rocket rush than landmines would very likely be my go to. If you know what you're doing and how biters path, you can position land mines tactically and very cheaply to fend off biters. The resources you save can be used for tech / rocket parts. Green modules keep biters from attacking en masse it appears as biter attacks are proportional to pollution.

Not strictly defense economy topic - but a bit related due to pollution and biters, is whether to go solar or not. Managing EF might be the most critical tactical thing you can do. Play fast, don't pollute, and avoid spawner kills means cheap defenses.

Because of frequency boost to 200% I'm not sure clearing nearby bases helps that much as they seem to just respawn rather fast.

My guess though, unless you're speed running, much of this discussion is only interesting to its participants. It's clear to me that wube doesn't priority defense economy balance as something they want to worry too much about. I think they just want to give players fun toys to kill biters. And if finding the most optimal way to do that ends up with a certain narrow approach, that's just fine with them. Probably 90% of players will never bother worrying about it either. As someone mentioned in this or some other thread - Factorio isn't meant to attract the RTS crowd.
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