Defence economy balance

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.
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jodokus31
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

blazespinnaker wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:58 pm
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.
Landmines are probably yet better than flame turrets, but lets check flameturrets.

The thing I see in DW, if you get to flame turrets, you instantly have a tool to melt down all kinds of biters and with every group size. 90 aoe damage/sec. in 2.5 radius, +100/s per fire sticker + 13/s per fire on the ground. Additionally, that huge range + biters have no resistance to fire.

Lets assume, you are at evolution 25-30% until you reach flame turrets. Before you had big problems with huge waves of small, medium biters and spitters. 6 or 8 turrets firing a lot of iron to get them down and leave some destroyed walls and most likely also fallen turrets destroyed by spitters.
As soon you get the flame turrets, all those problems are more or less gone. because such a huge wave is melted down in no time, when the fire hits.
Of course, the initial cost is expensive, you need a wall in front, you need piping, some turrets to back up and the fire stream has a latency. But you hardly need any oil compared to the iron for ammo you used before. This tool makes you more or less invincible. The rest is just work

shopt
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by shopt »

Reading this thread has been interesting. One thing I think that has been overlooked with gun turrets vs lasers regarding outposts, is resilience. Laser turrets at an outpost are vulnerable to biters chewing on your poles, meaning you need to either:
  • * Set up redundant electricity connections
    * Produce electricity at the outpost (takes up space, meaning you need to defend a longer wall
    * Store electricity/steam at the outpost (takes up space, but less so)
    * Accept the risk or somehow protect your poles.
Storing ammo is much easier than storing energy. True you still need enough energy to run your inserters but that's orders of magnitude less than running lasers.

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jodokus31
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by jodokus31 »

shopt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am
Reading this thread has been interesting. One thing I think that has been overlooked with gun turrets vs lasers regarding outposts, is resilience. Laser turrets at an outpost are vulnerable to biters chewing on your poles, meaning you need to either:
  • * Set up redundant electricity connections
    * Produce electricity at the outpost (takes up space, meaning you need to defend a longer wall
    * Store electricity/steam at the outpost (takes up space, but less so)
    * Accept the risk or somehow protect your poles.
Storing ammo is much easier than storing energy. True you still need enough energy to run your inserters but that's orders of magnitude less than running lasers.
That's a valid point, but doesn't affect running cost (economy balance) that much, unless you also calculate rebuilding of outposts due to power outage

Every defence option has some disadvantages for handling it automated:
- gun turrets : feed ammo
- laser turrets : lots of secure energy
- flamer : pipes and oil nearby, also wall is quite important.
- landmines : bots for replenishment

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by Koub »

shopt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am
Storing ammo is much easier than storing energy. True you still need enough energy to run your inserters but that's orders of magnitude less than running lasers.
And if you want full resilience with ammo turrets, use burner inserters. A single nuclear fuel cell will give over 17000 burner inserter swings. That's a lot of damage with uranium rounds.
Alternatively, feeding regular inserters with local solar panels + accus is also very cheap.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

shopt
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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by shopt »

jodokus31 wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:47 am
shopt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am
...
That's a valid point, but doesn't affect running cost (economy balance) that much, unless you also calculate rebuilding of outposts due to power outage
Which I guess is where I'm not sure I accept the premise of this thread, which seems to be that all 3 turret types should be economically balanced. Turret balance needs to be considered holistically across economics, logistics (both of producing and operating turrets), and fragility.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

shopt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am
Reading this thread has been interesting. One thing I think that has been overlooked with gun turrets vs lasers regarding outposts, is resilience. Laser turrets at an outpost are vulnerable to biters chewing on your poles,
Ah, but you see, this problem only weighs in on the equation if you have the foresight to notice this problem.
In all seriousness though, I don't find this a major factor - in my games, I ignore it, and assume that the biters wont attack the power poles (which they usually don't). And when they do, I add loads more power poles in the hopes that they can't kill all of them.
Also it takes so long to be a problem, that I'll usually have artillery before they cut off any outposts (unless there are some really unfortunate biter-routings), and fixing the problem isn't that hard in the early game, as its so rare.
This is also one of the reasons I use big power poles - they have much more health, and are sparser, so get hit less.
Also, if you are that scared of loosing power poles, it isn't hard to defend them a bit, with a few lasers and some wall, also in the late game, I tend to have roboport coverage going to my remote bases, which can repair power poles, and all of this is still easier than building an entire ammo factory/distribution system, with the trains that would involve.

shopt wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:37 am
Which I guess is where I'm not sure I accept the premise of this thread, which seems to be that all 3 turret types should be economically balanced. Turret balance needs to be considered holistically across economics, logistics (both of producing and operating turrets), and fragility.
The holistic balance was my interpretation - in fact in factorio, I consider very little of the balancing to be economic - the logistics is far more important.
In this way, the gun turrets deserve to be far better, as routing power is so much easier than making belts everywhere. Flamethrowers satisfy this, as they take some routing for the pipes, but are more powerful in exchange. Gun turrets are a pain to do logistically, as unlike pipes, belts have direction, and are much more expensive (or have really short underground for the cheaper ones), and the ammo needs a relatively big factory devoted to it, as you are unlikely to be making ammo for anything else, whereas power and oil, you make anyway.

This is all from the perspective of a slow-run of default, where, in the late-game, the actual resource cost of the weapons is minimal, but the time-cost of setting it up is huge, unless you use lasers, in which case it is really easy.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by shopt »

BicycleEater wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:05 pm
shopt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am
Reading this thread has been interesting. One thing I think that has been overlooked with gun turrets vs lasers regarding outposts, is resilience. Laser turrets at an outpost are vulnerable to biters chewing on your poles,
Ah, but you see, this problem only weighs in on the equation if you have the foresight to notice this problem.
In all seriousness though, I don't find this a major factor - in my games, I ignore it, and assume that the biters wont attack the power poles (which they usually don't). And when they do, I add loads more power poles in the hopes that they can't kill all of them.
Also it takes so long to be a problem, that I'll usually have artillery before they cut off any outposts (unless there are some really unfortunate biter-routings), and fixing the problem isn't that hard in the early game, as its so rare.
This is also one of the reasons I use big power poles - they have much more health, and are sparser, so get hit less.
Also, if you are that scared of loosing power poles, it isn't hard to defend them a bit, with a few lasers and some wall, also in the late game, I tend to have roboport coverage going to my remote bases, which can repair power poles, and all of this is still easier than building an entire ammo factory/distribution system, with the trains that would involve.
I was ignoring it too until I had problems. I had an iron outpost around 40 chunks from everything else. I connected it up with a rail and some large poles. It was generating enough pollution to bring in the occasional small attack party of biters, easily dispatched by the single line of laser turrets I had behind a single tile wall. Somewhere on the connecting line I had run my poles and rails through a choke of cliffs and forest. An artillery base aggroed a heap of biters which pathed through the choke ripping up my rails and poles. The "harmless" attacks at my now defenseless and blind outpost caused a fair bit of damage, before I could get a train to the location and reconnect the wires. I put some walls around the poles thinking that would encourage the biters to path around, but that wasn't the case and this scenario repeated itself one more time before my artillery had cleared out the area for good.

Now did I play poorly there? Yeah I think I made some mistakes. If I was more knowledgeable about biter pathing I could maybe have modified the choke to get the biters to path around my stuff. The swarm was too big for "a few lasers and some wall". Maybe I could have built a defensive outpost at the choke, but I'm definitely not experienced enough to predict all the biter pathing issues along my 40 chunk rail line. Running more poles may have worked, and that's something I'll consider in the future (though the biters did eat 3 consecutive poles). Maybe if I placed my artillery base better I could have avoided drawing biters through that choke.

So maybe defending power lines isn't an issue for most people and my opinion is coloured by the issues I have had as a relatively new player. I'm now quite paranoid about using a laser-only defense anywhere that's not well connected to my main factory, despite the logistical ease of only needing to run poles to get it to work.

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Re: Defence economy balance

Post by BicycleEater »

shopt wrote: ↑
Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:22 am
...
I have had those kinds of problems, but I tend to avoid them in a few ways:
1: have a secondary set of power poles on the route out to a remote base, close enough to the first that they interconnect, so that you can lose quite a few before it becomes problematic.
2: use artillery trains, not turrets, as artillery aggros enemies to itself, which can result in different routings, so using trains you can aggro enemies to the nearest base, so they don't go through any of your stuff. This way you can attract almost all the enemy to remote bases, and barely have to defend your main base .
3: in the late game, use artillery and roboports to build a few super remote walls, and use these to fully enclose your base, and claim tons of land, then you never really need outposts.

The events you describe are rare, so while stressful, they don't matter in the end. Also while attacks like that cause damage, I tend to find I have enough spare lasers, mining drills and belts, that they aren't that hard to repair - the hard bit about setting up a remote base isn't usually the actual materials, but instead the logistical difficulty of making the trains go there properly etc. (particularly for the first few outposts, as these require an entire railway system which you probably didn't have before). This means that even if the base were completely destroyed, it wouldn't take that long to rebuild it, where the time to set up ammunition transport etc. is huge.

Also for gun turrets you still need power for the inserters, which means you will need an isolated electricity grid (which is always a pain), and the guns will still need more repair/replace than the equivalent lasers. It is also a challenge to make the guns good enough that they don't just immediately fall when attacked, particularly as they are so rubbish.
Another approach to fix what you are describing is flamethrowers, which still need less micromanaging than guns, particularly for a mining base, as then the fluid wagons wouldn't try to pick up the ore, which ammo carriages would, so it is easier to do in parallel. (Also for an oil base, you can just use the oil).
This all avoids the difficulty of setting up a proper ammo factory, as oil is far easier to get than ammo.

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