Anyone else playing with biters?

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Zentay
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Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by Zentay »

I disabled biter expansion and toned their evolution a bit down. The biters are still a problem

Turrets worked well for a while. Now even with all the pre-chemical science pack upgrades they no longer do as the big worm density has become too high.

I need to clear nests to be able to get vital resources. One creative strategy that allows me to continue clearing nests has been to drop defender bots and do drive-by attacks in a car. With every attack I can kill a few biter spawners and worms.

I think I really need a rocket launcher though. Fortunately my fish production has come online which will allow me to produce rockets.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by smick »

I'm testing a new start with biters but I find it's very difficult to get the settings where the bugs are a challenge but don't crush you. Another issue is I started with companion drones and those are pretty OP with bugs. I think a couple early turrets added to the game that didn't use lead based ammo would make tuning the bugs a bit easier.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by Zentay »

I don't remember exactly but I believe I set the biter evolution to about 2/3 of the default values. The bugs were challenging but managable until the aforementioned point when the usual turret drop strategy stopped working for larger bug bases. If it wasn't for the defender bot drive-by tactic working, I would be forced to use and lose ammo and turrets costing me thousands of lead plates for every medium or big bug base.

Pymod doesn't seem balanced with the default biter settings, as the game and tech progression is much slower and pollution seems to be higher. I'm playing with resource spawner overhaul mod as well.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by kingarthur »

Zentay wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 5:12 am
Pymod doesn't seem balanced with the default biter settings, as the game and tech progression is much slower and pollution seems to be higher. I'm playing with resource spawner overhaul mod as well.
no its not. even recommend to turn them off completely. py isnt at all setup for biters currently.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/pypollution <= includes various pollution presets

Crawdad ramming is pretty OP. (Crawdad is ~end of red science)

Dried meat serves the equivalent of fish in vanilla (to heal yourself) and is unlocked by Rendering. (~mid/end red science)
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

I play PyAL with :
- the non-official pypollution (link above)
- RSO
- default game settings (not even one of the pypollution presets) except for resource sliders at 50% / 50% / 50%
(for what should be 1/4 starting ores and 1/8 non-starting ores - compare with vanilla marathon's ~x8 cost for red & green science)
- other most important gameplay-changing mods :
-- Vlad's Auto Time (it *is* quite powerful in combat, even though game speed jumps back to 100% as soon as you move, fire or get hit).
-- red science "Junk Trains" (also for planning future steel rail placement !)
-- Squeak Through (but only after I stop making pipe walls)
-- Vehicle Snap

----

My first PyAL game I also used Alien Biomes (which makes some combat a *lot* harder because of the slowdown in sands - you have to pave the ground over first !), and landed in a half forested - half desert area (best balance IMHO).

IIRC I managed to get to flame & laser turrets & mines just before 50% evo and blue biters (mines & laser for wooded areas, laser turret didn't require blue science back then).
(I didn't know how good crawdad was yet at dealing with biters.)

But this also was before the introduction of the Research Center and the power hungry (even with pypollution ?) Glassworks.

Despite it going well (was about to set up py science), I ended up restarting that game because :
- alien biomes seemed to just have too much of a performance impact, py is already heavy enough !
- I wanted to try out the new PyAL early game (glassworks, but also involving moss and seaweed as modules that you could gather).

----

Now my *current* PyAL game I had quite a bit more trouble :

Despite rushing crawdad, I hit 50% evo before that (on the 35 hours mark),
and since restarting after so many hours was out of the question,
and the 0.16 tactic of walling in blue biters and waiting until they despawn or go back to their nests (sometimes not before killing the closest turret/radar) - too cumbersome,
after an hour of muddling through like this, I resigned myself to cheat by drowning blue biters with waterfill.
(I drowned 96 of them that way before crawdad.)

Finally got crawdad on exactly the 50 hours, 63% evo mark.

I suspect that it was also harder this time because I landed in a mostly desert location...

And now, just around the 200 hours mark, what I was dreading next happened :
pyAL_Behemoth_Worm_siege.png
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In a location like this it is going to be so much of a pain to deal with only crawdad / rocket that I'm just probably going to give up on this nickel mine, and rush Tank - which is only 350 blue science away, should be done in a few hours ?

(Despite being able in theory to make blue science at 158 hours already, I only started using it at the 195 hours mark (at which point I also had py science set up) - too small of a trickle wouldn't do much, and I wanted to get Research Centers Mk 2 with the two prodmod slots for both first.)
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

An uneasy truce...
Screenshot from 2022-01-12 21-29-50.png
Screenshot from 2022-01-12 21-29-50.png (4.99 MiB) Viewed 2356 times

P.S.: Almost forgot :
Schall Remains & Pickup as a gameplay-affecting mod - with hard biters, low resources, and huge items stacks in pY, losing even a single stack of items could be really aggravating...
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by factoriogame1121 »

Biters, whatever one may say, bring their interest even to the planning process!) They are definitely needed.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

Yeah, with them your space isn't effectively unlimited any more, and they force you to pay attention to pollution efficiency...

----

Tank alllmost ready as I'm getting a 3rd behemoth worm spot outside of my base, sniping my turrets and conbots !
Screenshot from 2022-01-19 15-58-52.png
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(That tank took a bit more than "a few hours", lol, as I depleted my silver stash and also had to make a whole new coke production factory !)

Hmm, I guess that I could try crawdad-dropped poison capsules in the meantime ?

P.S.: An extra gameplay-affecting mod : Picker Extended - first installed it for blueprint mirroring and showing total item count for item in hand, but it also has a nice feature where moving with an item in hand over a ghost auto-drops/builds it, which is quite effective for pipe/turret/wall replacement !
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by _impish_ »

I've tried with biters a couple of times. What seems to work well is dragging the evolution from pollution and time sliders down to their minimum (it looks like it is off but it is actually a small non-zero value). Leave the evolution from killing bases turned up. This counteracts the extra length of the game and puts biter evolution into sync with your rate of expansion. Then adjust the relative percentage for difficulty. I'm doing this on 400%, with the expansion timers slowed down (so it is about 30-90 minutes between nest expansion). 65 hours in and it looks about right. I haven't left the 400% starting area yet, but the distribution of nests and resources should work.
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Resource generation is RSO (starting area richness is x10, other patch richness is default, biter generation is vanilla). This required picked a seed with a defendable landmass (high water, interesting shape then change the scale slider until it forms large seas / lands).

Depending on how you set the starting area size and biter level you get a different amount of challenge. Previous run didn't really work, 200% starting size and didn't boost the starting size richness: ending up trying to kill large worms with grenades and defend against blue biter constant attacks with only walls and turrents).

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by _impish_ »

A bit of an update with some balancing info. Needing to expand east to get access to Sulfer (I can't make it directly from Fawogae without access to the metals for an Atomizer). Currently I've wiped out two medium sized biter villages (maybe 50 nests?) and evolution is on 0.09 already. So this scaling doesn't work too well for the biter generation settings. I'm going to edit the save to reduce it further to find a balance.
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(this differs slightly from what I wrote above, reloaded the map exchange string to check)
Setup: all the pymods + rso
Mapgen:
* Starting richness 10x, vanilla biter gen, default 7 block spawn rate for resources
* Iron / Copper / Stone / Uranium size=200 everything else default 100
* Enemy bases: size and freq both 133%
* Enemy expansion: distance=5 size=5..20 cooldown=30..120
* Evolution: time=0 destroy=150 pollution=0
* Starting area: 600%

Just read through the RSO mod posts and the large starting area size is probably debalancing these settings a bit. I thought that it just affected the "safe radius" around the start position, but it also spaces out the ore spawning which pushes them further into the dense biter region. This is why it took about 50 nests to chug through the first two villages. If you are looking for a balanced game it makes sense to reduce that a bit or compensate by reducing the evolution factor for destroying nests, which is what I'm going to edit into the save.

Edit: Found the evolution charts on the wiki, so the transition from small to medium biters is between 0.21 and 0.36 evolution. At this rate of nest killing
it will be between 5-8 medium sized villages-ish. Looking at the number of villages around the first ring of resources outside the starter area this factor should probably be reduced to about 40, i.e. 0.004% evolution per nest. I'll update the save and may post a follow-up after another 50-100 hours on how it plays out.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

I'm pretty sure that each new nest killed adds to evolution less than the previous one (otherwise you'd easily get evolution "over 100%" in the late game), but I don't know what the exact function is...
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by Silari »

BlueTemplar wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:06 am
I'm pretty sure that each new nest killed adds to evolution less than the previous one (otherwise you'd easily get evolution "over 100%" in the late game), but I don't know what the exact function is...
Wiki has the formula used to calculate evolution factor but it's a bit of a doozy. Short version is the current evolution factor is used to determine how much something changes the evolution factor, so the higher it is the slower it increases.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by _impish_ »

Yes the curve drops off as the number of nests goes up (nice graph on the wiki page). I wanted to make sure that I could expand off the central area to the east and west before the evo hits 0.21. This is mainly so that I can get Sulfer for rockets before medium biters show up, and also because there is a Niobium patch to the SE that I would like to mine for QoL before locking down the outer walls. I think it seems to be ok - finished the east side with an evo of about 0.11 so it should work out.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by Sam_Daywalker »

I like to play with biters, too. However I always adjust my game in the following way:
  • Increase starting area to max
  • Turn off time evolution factor
  • Disable expansion
  • Reduce evolution through pollution absorbed and nest killed by about 50%
  • Use Modular turrets or equivalent by all means (https://mods.factorio.com/mod/scattergun_turret) cause they have enormous firepower and hitpoints
Optional: You could tweak pollution absorbed by trees and environment if you still have trouble - and then save the trees until you are sufficiently advanced. At that point you may be powerful enough to reenable expansion via console if you like. However, you will probably have a huge factory with long borders by then, requiring a large amout of resources or energy to defend yourself.

The tweaks in the list allow to compensate for the fact that the biters will evolve so fast compared to you that you will stand no chance. In my experience switching off the time evolution factor is most important cause I like to overthink my stuff a lot. Otherwise I always end up poking behemoths with a stick.

For me modular turrets was the most important step to fight biters off early and I find them really fun to play with. It can easily be installed at any time after starting the game. Heayy Frontline MG Towers really are a gamechanger against biters, and as a neat addition you can also use its gun as handheld weapon. However be aware that they use up a considerable amount of ammo, especially in turret creeps, so start crafting by hand (no need for lead!) when you don't craft anything else ;)

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by GrimerX »

I use this mod with Py - it causes evolution to increment on research, not

I take no credit for it - I just repackaged it for 1.1 - but it works great. I use it with all the large modpack games because it really sucks to get a few hundred hours in and then realize the balance is wrong.

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/research_ ... grimerxfix

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by fencingsquirrel »

Anyone know if there's any useful offensive tech at the py science level? So far my plan for nest clearing based on tech is:

-Crawdad
-Crawdad + grenades
-Crawdad + landmines (here)
???
-Atomic bomb
-Nuka van

I haven't found anything in the ??? area, so I'm just coccooning until blue science, since attacking large nests with landmines is a really slow/dangerous process.

It looks like biotech 2 gives a backdoor to get blue science before complex circuits. But it's very expensive, so probably not useful for getting nukes. Maybe distractor capsules or poison capsules?

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

Better food for animal vehicles (which I kind of forgot about after fish, until Dingrido) and uranium rods for vehicles.

Tank has proven to be really disappointing : without access to discharge defense it just dies too fast against Behemoths.
I did eventually find a good way to use it :
- a first pass with the faster and tougher crawdad throwing poison capsules for deworming
- a second pass with tank with fuel rods mk3 using regular cannon shells when I can afford them, and just ramming nests + flamer when I couldn't, using slowdown capsules as a poor man's discharge defense

But the biggest upgrade (at least until the flying panther at the end of blue science) seems to be... Energy Drink ! (only pY, not BlueSci !)
Using it with hand flamer and dried meat is *way* superior to the above tactic, even before Modular Armor !
(A pass with poison capsules first is safer of course, but those are blue science - note also that I got red circuits and blue science before pY science because tank rush seemed inevitable.)

Not to mention the immense QoL that Energy Drink brings outside combat.
Funnily, paving your whole base (instead of just a few walking paths) actually becomes a bad idea, because you're moving too fast !
In fact I had to triple my «movement safety walls», because on asphalt/limestone/nexelit tiles I just phase through 2m of reinforced concrete !
Also looks like it obsoletes exoskeletons long before they show up, except maybe in spidertrons ?

Another disappointment was the so hard to get Dingrido xenowolf vehicle (late blue science, and not too far from the Phadaisus flying xenopanther) : it's just barely better than Crawdad in combat (better ramming), and worse otherwise (worse acceleration). Health and Resistances seem to be similar if not exactly the same as Crawdad ?
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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by fencingsquirrel »

Interesting, that drink looks super cheap too. What does it do exactly? Looking at it in fnei it says shooting speed x2, and you say it buffs your speed a lot too. Does it increase health? Running around in heavy armor against behemoth worms sounds pretty risky if not, I think they do something disgusting like 3x your max health per second before acid resistance.

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Re: Anyone else playing with biters?

Post by BlueTemplar »

No, that's capsule firing speed, means that after you use it, you can't use any other capsule for 0.5 seconds.

I've looked into the mod files, only found increased movement speed (x5 IIRC).

P.S.: Yeah, you basically cannot afford to get «tagged» by a Behemoth worm.

EDIT :
There's also this mysterious item, but when looking at the modfiles, it doesn't seem to do anything ? :cry:
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