Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Regular reports on Factorio development.
ensano
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by ensano » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:35 pm

a big one would me to make science labs scale non-linearly. 20 labs should not be 20x faster research. A 2% efficiency loss would be good. Ie lab 1 100% research, lab 2 98% research, lab 3 96% research, etc.

maybe it's just me but I love resource sinks

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Marconos » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:38 pm

Solid review and thoughts. Only exception I have, as others have mentioned ... do not merge busted items in my inventory, auto repair of them would be great if I have repair packs on my and a personal roboport. But please don't merge them. Pickup two pumpjacks after a biter attack, boom now I have one ... mumbles horribly as I have to run all the way back to base to make a new pumpjack.

Beyond that, most of the items seem solid.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by AndrolGenhald » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:40 pm

I'm a little surprised you decided to go ahead with the item combining, it will definitely make it less annoying to not have 10 different stacks of the same thing at different health, but on the other hand if it's something expensive that you aren't mass producing yet it really sucks to lose one. I guess you can always just repair thing before picking them up, but it seems like something that's gonna catch some people off guard. I guess you can never make everyone happy can you?
I love the idea about unlocking mini-tutorials as you progress, not that they'll be particularly useful to me personally, but I think it'll make the game much more approachable. It took me forever to find out you could copy/paste from an assembly machine to a chest.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by aubergine18 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:42 pm

If damaged item merging is implemented, can we at least get a setting in prototypes to disable it for specific entities? Alternatively, a way for mods to more reliably tag item-entitiy or something like that?
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by AndrolGenhald » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:44 pm

Syriusz wrote:I think that merging is good idea, but do not merge them with possibility of loosing items, like now with ammo, but instead make them average health.
So health of merged items should be: HP=SUM(HP of items)/(number of items).
It will require as many repair packs (more or less, depends on rounding) as before and there would not be possible to loose items. You could only make it that damaged items don't mix with items with full health, so you don't place damaged ones when you don't want.
When they first mentioned it I figured it'd be something like this, but after considering it more it just doesn't feel right to introduce rounding issues like that. Not a huge problem I guess, but I'd rather lose items. To be honest though both solutions are imperfect, and I wonder if the people suggesting auto-repair might be right.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Mooncat » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:45 pm

aubergine18 wrote:
Mooncat wrote:Look forward to the MK2 artworks. :P
Finding 3 - the most needed changes
Please add one:
- better map gen so it guarantees every map is playable.

I know this has been discussed many many times, but this should really be fixed. I have seen people from different forums asking "how to play on this map?", showing pictures of their characters isolated by water.
This is not ideal. This has to be fixed before v1.0 is released. :)
Possible solution: besides changing the algorithm for map gen, we can also give the player a slow personal lifeboat to start with. When the character moves to water, the lifeboat is used. (Like the engineers in Red Alert 3 :P )
Simply prevent water spawning in the starting chunk of the map. Problem solved. IIRC the autoplace controls already facilitate this sort of thing?
But water is needed for energy generation in early stage, so there is a conflict.
And it is still possible that player get isolated on an island larger than a chunk, but does not have enough stone to build landfill. So I guess it is not that easy if they go to the "change map gen algorithm" way.
My mods (Deprecated, maybe temporary... idk. Currently enjoying vanilla 0.17): Article: List of black magic for modding

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Peteza34 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:57 pm

Excellent stuff as always. I like the idea of adding mkII versions of some of the things in the game. I would love to see different tiers of walls. Like maybe wood for the very early game, stone as usual, then some sort of metal for late game. I would also love different varieties of pathing, for aesthetic reasons. Lots of people love making and posting these really nice symmetrical builds, and I think having more flooring options would really help this aspect of the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by CrushedIce » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:59 pm

fpe wrote:
You build 10 requester chests → Tutorial that copy paste from assembler to requester chest does exactly what you need.
Woooot!!?! :shock:
I have > 200 hours on the clock and I didn't know this!
I'm playing the game for two years now, and didn't know this either :D

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Ghoulish » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:03 pm

Interesting read as always.
kovarex wrote:Figure some way to have low level personal construction robots earlier in the game.
How about basic bots, which are ground based and run off coal? Simple steampunk-esq machines. They can clear trees first (a real pain to clear trees in early game..) And then you can shift-click or similar stuff for them to build - they wonder off to a wooden chest to find what they need, and whir-and-clank their jobs through.
kovarex wrote:Decrease the bounding box of burner mining drills,chemical plants and pumpjacks so walking in between them is possible.
Pipes too I sincerely hope! Someone mentioned the Squeak Through mod already, once you play with it, you can not stop using it.
kovarex wrote:I forgot to mention that. This will be solved by the artillery train! :)
Sounds great, can't wait to see what your art department (Albert?) Comes up with. Something along the lines of the Schwerer Gustav from the Second World War? Combat in Factorio still needs to be looked at though - I'm sure it will be as there is a thread in the development proposals for just that. Something a few others have mentioned already is automated combat along the lines of a mod called Robot Army. I sincerely hope that this idea is not already considered and put out to pasture as it it really does fit in well with Factorio. Xeteth raises interesting points about the chore dealing with biters has become following the removal of victory poles, and I have to agree. Please do consider a biter removal automation technology. Automate all the things!
Ohz wrote: TL;DR: Please make add more settings for starting new game:
- Ores: Normal/Rare/Very Rare Ores (= RSO-kind of rare)
- Balancing: Normal/Slow/Marathon gameplay.
- Difficulty: Normal/Hardcore/Nightmare Aliens.
- Challenges: Normal/No solar/No laser/No train (like impossible to craft or research, totally disapperead of the research tree and craft inventory)
Indeed! RSO type settings in vanilla to really spread things out and force trains.
Last edited by Ghoulish on Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by orzelek » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:03 pm

Vizzy wrote:
kovarex wrote: I forgot to mention that. This will be solved by the artillery train! :)
Oh boy!
Ohhh shiny.
More info pretty please :D

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by MrGrim » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:05 pm

This artillery train sounds interesting! I can't wait to hear more!

Ground based artillery could be an interesting way to go. Long range bombardment from static artillery, maybe with a range of 5 or so chunks, that takes a decent amount time to reload and fire making it primarily an offensive weapon, expensive ammunition, and have it aggro all biters and initiate additional spawning in a 1 chunk radius of each blast and has them immediately target the artillery piece.

So, if I want to expand 5 chunks in a direction I set up some artillery, logistics to feed it, and sufficient defenses to deal with how pissed off it's going to make all of the biters. Combine that with it taking a sufficient amount of time such that you are encouraged to go do other things while your bombardment continues, and I think that could be quite an interesting mechanic!

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by delus » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:08 pm

Love the proposed changes (minus Item merging). My two cents on turret creep + early base construction.

1) add a small build time to robots placing structures (not enough to be too annoying, just enough to let biters kill construction robots that get too close)
2) unlock blueprints early and allow players to auto-place structures within certain range (with same build delay to prevent this being used for turret creep)

I'm not quite sure how exactly the auto-place mechanic should differentiate between things you want robots to place and things you want your player to place but it's always bothered me that I can't help robot's build blueprints myself without resetting any recipes/filters/logic conditions on the parts I manually place over the blueprint (maybe even a snap and copy blueprint state on manual placement would be good enough?)

Keep up the awesome work!

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by delus » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:11 pm

MrGrim wrote:This artillery train sounds interesting! I can't wait to hear more!

Ground based artillery could be an interesting way to go. Long range bombardment from static artillery, maybe with a range of 5 or so chunks, that takes a decent amount time to reload and fire making it primarily an offensive weapon, expensive ammunition, and have it aggro all biters and initiate additional spawning in a 1 chunk radius of each blast and has them immediately target the artillery piece.

So, if I want to expand 5 chunks in a direction I set up some artillery, logistics to feed it, and sufficient defenses to deal with how pissed off it's going to make all of the biters. Combine that with it taking a sufficient amount of time such that you are encouraged to go do other things while your bombardment continues, and I think that could be quite an interesting mechanic!
+1 Really like this idea!

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Xterminator » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:11 pm

Hot damn, this is like seeing my Christmas wish list being completely fulfilled! It's fantastic that you took the time to play through the game yourself to consider what needs changing. I don't think many devs do that, and it shows when you do take the time to do it. :D
The changes you mention, plus the artillery train are outright amazing! I thought that 0.12 was great, and then that 0.13 was almost better, and now 0.15 sounds like it will blow those out of the water. :D

The decision to make the space exploration/platform into a possible expansion rather than part of the base game is slightly disappointing but completely understandable. I would not hesitate at all to buy an expansion even if it just added the space exploration/platform part and nothing else.

There seems to be a bit of controversy on on the merging items thing. I feel that the possible loss of an item (unless it's like a power armor mk2 or something) is a very acceptable loss in exchange for not having tons of single stack things in your inventory from being damaged. I do however like the idea of adding the pocket-repair ability into the vanilla game either through an armor module or fairly expensive research perhaps.
Either way though, I have no complaints about any of the stuff mentioned, aside from maybe the craft time change of Red Circuits. I agree the change is probably needed, but it will throw off some ratios. Not that huge of a deal though I suppose in the grand scheme of things.

Any ETA for when 0.15 might be coming out? :D
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Earendel » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:23 pm

kovarex wrote:
MrGrim wrote:
Vizzy wrote:One suggestion I might make in regards to content would be some way to automate biter base killing. The mod Robot Army (viewtopic.php?t=23543) is a good example but I think the idea would really benefit from an official implementation because of the complexity of things like pathing.

Thanks for posting more excellent Friday Facts :)
Indeed, if the intent is to nerf turret creeping then it would be helpful if something could be done to help alleviate the tedium of mid/late game land clearing. It would be difficult to do this while also maintaining the pressure that biter expansion and pollution mechanics provide which I personally think are quite enjoyable. I just wish there was an option when it comes time to seize more territory beyond the very manual and repetitive process there is now. The first 100 biter bases burned to the ground are fun.. the next 100 less so..
I forgot to mention that. This will be solved by the artillery train! :)
I'm working on a mod that allows you to control units using signals: [MOD 0.14] Programmable Warfare - command units via signals. There's no way to automatically detect where the enemy bases are yet, but you can paint attack zones over the ones you want destroyed. Does that cover the sort of things you want? I'm trying to get a bit of feedback before continuing.
Last edited by Earendel on Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by aubergine18 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:29 pm

Figure some way to have low level personal construction robots earlier in the game.
Early game, we don't really need flying bots - we can have something more basic to help us get started. There's one very obvious bot that we've not seen in game yet:

Image

FactorioBot!

Just one of them at start of game (or early game via research). It would be able to follow the player, or be assigned tasks like cutting trees, basic construction or mining. It could have large inventory. No defence ability so the player has to keep it out of harms way until they research flight later on (although later on it could get armour slots etc).
Last edited by aubergine18 on Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by ZombieMooose » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:31 pm

No! Don't get rid of turret creep! Lol

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by boodan » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:32 pm

I think all the changes sound good. Your team really has a feel for how to put a game together. The only thing I hope for, personally, is a proper reason to build a mega factory, like the biter queen or what have you. I absolutely love the game, but I haven't bothered to build an awesome, super-efficient base because there's just no reason for it. Giving myself some arbitrary x rockets per minute goal just doesn't have the same luster as an in game objective, and I suspect there are many like me. That whole problem would be resolved with just an optional boss or task that requires some unreasonably large and efficient factory to overcome. I do think that in order for that to be "The End", the difficulty would need to be truly monstrous--well outside the reach of most. A long term aspiration, perhaps. Anyway, after the queen goes down, she drops a flag that the player plants to claim the world as their own (and show others how too-cool-for-school they are). Regardless, the game is a great one as it stands, but you already knew that.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Rhamphoryncus » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:34 pm

I'd be really bothered by item merging. It takes 5 repair packs to fully repair a laser turret, that's 22.5 resources. Rebuilding that laser turret costs 198 resources, including oil which is usually more valuable. It would feel like you're penalizing me for picking up a damaged item, which isn't the purpose of the change.

Boring alternative: let the player click on themselves with repair packs and have that repair anything in their inventory. Have bots do the same.
Finding 4 - The interactive tips and tricks is a must
Why not show small tips on the side/bottom during various menus and loading screens? Expose new and old players to "You can place half a stack in a machine using ctrl-rightclick." without interrupting gameplay.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by R3vo » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:36 pm

Unlimited research? Yes!

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