Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by fidgetwidget » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:20 pm

Really excited to see that you are going to take a look at the combat systems of the game - they are for me the weakest part of factorio in it's current form.

I was playing around with some ideas I was thinking of making a mod for that would address this very thing.
1) Create a few more enemy types with different weaknesses/strengths.
a) diggers - Enemies who are immune to damage when moving, but have little health. (defend with high rate of fire)
b) tankers - Slow moving, base wrecking enemies with lots of health and defence. (high defence against ballistic and energy weapons, weak to fire and explosives)

2) Add new alien base structures to counter certain types of attack tactics
a) thorn fields - a flooring that comes out from alien structures that prevents the player from building close enough to place shorter range turrets
- growing to about 18 range away from each structure to prevent the player from using gun turrets to attack structures.
b) artillery "spikers" - long range attacks with splash damage. these are easily avoided by continually moving, but make placing defence structures near alien bases less viable.
- attacking with a range of about 27 to make sure that it can hit laser turrets even just outside of the turrets range

3) Change the way laser turrets behave.
a) slow down the speed a laser turret charges for each attack, and make the power requirement of each shot be based on the range of the attack (shorter ranged attacks cost less energy than long range ones).
b) add a long initial delay after a turret is placed before it can start charging its first attack.

4) Create new "long range" turrets that use less used ammo types
a) grenade turrets that lob grenades at a long range
- enough range that it can be used effectively to counter alien the artillery "spikers"
- perhaps cluster grenades would have slightly longer range than the normal ones (normal would be between 12 and 18 range, cluster would be ranged between 18 and 25)
b) cannon turrets (use tank cannon ammo) with slightly higher range than tanks (35 instead of 30)
- great defence agains the tankers and "spikers", when defended with other turrets, a viable turret to use when attacking enemy bases.
b) rockets turrets at much greater range than any other weapon (range of 40 or 50)

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by torham » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:43 pm

The obvious way to buff tank/extend usefulness is give it power armor style modules. Tanks with shields and fusion generators. Tanks loaded with 3- 5 automatic laser turrets. tanks with heavier variants of hand held weapons - lasers, flame throwers, cannon (already have this one) . tanks with speed modules, tanks with extra plating ... tanks as a modular, customizable weapon platform. :twisted:

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by DrBladeSTEEL » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:44 pm

Hello.

I agree with the idea many have put forward with some way of automating biter clearance.
I do not agree with changes or expansions to enemy type or major renovations to mechechanics, I like the general idea of the meat prison if biters are left unchecked, but I would like to see larger biter and spitter waves, as well as the ability to set target priorities for turrets, E.G. Guns set to attack spitters and small/medium biters, while leaving flamethrower to deal with heavy biters etc. I would Also like to see an additional late-tier magazine/weapon to smooth the transition away from gun turrets and to provide longevity for the machine gun into early late game.

Ultimately turret creep is a fine thing to fix, but it may be worth looking at it as a symptom to see if something else in the combat system is broken. I'm in favor is small tweaks as opposed to sweeping changes.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by hi_impact » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:33 pm

Yea!

Big, slow biters that perhaps unleash a lot of regular biters upon death sounds pretty sweet. Might be a good way to get some walls destroyed :)

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by MalcolmCooks » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:42 pm

Agreed: The way to improve biters is to improve their AI, not to add more enemies. Example - instead of following the same path each time, they will send small attacks to different areas, probing for weak spots, and when they find one send a large attack. That would definitely keep you on your toes and make you pay more attention to defence. The ability to give your turrets a target priority would also be very welcome - too often turrets let themselves be destroyed by spitters while some other biters are chewing their way through walls that will take them a few minutes to get through.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by Vinnie_NL » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:15 pm

I think it would be good if the homing laserbeams are replaced by faste straight laser shots or instant laserbeams. I'm aware there is a mod for instant laserbeams but the current lasers don't make any sense actually so they should be fixed anyway for the 1.0 release. Same for the homing spitter projectiles. Should be nice to have the ability to dodge them to make combat more interesting.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by aristocrat » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:49 pm

ChurchOrganist wrote:
aristocrat wrote:IMO: Don't be too quick to nerf/limit turrets, make other options more attractive.
Currently laser creep is one of the two options which are effective in killing Behemoth biters, so nerfing them is going to affect late game combat adversely.

I agree that they are far too OP when you first get access to them, but surely that could be achieved by changing their research requirements so they are accessed and upgraded later in the game.

See my comments on Kovarex's FFF when he first mentioned this idea....

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=34319&start=160#p215808

Personally I prefer using destroyer bots, but there are a lot of players who use laser creep for endgame biter clearance.
That seems like a better approach than just hitting the laser towers with the nerf bat. Though the requirements would have to be raised quite a bit to make a notable difference. Like making the final firing frequency and damage upgrades as costly as the final stack inserter upgrade. At least. In the end though (IMO), making vanilla harder doesn't do much outside of deterring new players, as intermediates and veterans will usually either figure the game out or mod the game to their liking. This is why I think it's important to bring the other base assault options "up there".

On a side note: laser turrets are indeed quite OP when you first get access to them, but the tank is also really OP when rushed, only costing repair packs and fuel and a couple of SMG mags perhaps, while staying viable until the first big have appeared, letting the player make power armour and laser towers in peace.



If I recall correctly, I saw a suggestion in either this thread or the steam thread about making worms and spawners resistant to laser turret attacks, I think this would be one of the correct approaches if the devs do still decide to nerf turret crawling in the end.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by ihcn » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:10 pm

It's worth sayign that projetile turrets shouldn't be overlooked either. I usually completely skip laser turrets and go straight from projectile to the top tier combat capsules.

Projectiles are so much nicer than lasers because you don't have to worry about getting electricity all the way out to whatever area you're trying to clear. Granted, it was born out of a time when I used RSO, because aliens were so spread out, but i've kept the habit and i still prefer just plopping down a few turrets and putting bullets in them vs building 20 power poles and having to worry abut whether my accumulators have enough power etc.

For me, the problem I want a combat rebalance to fix is that combat just isn't fun. It's a chore. I don't feel clever, or accomplished, or anything else when i clear out an area. I don't feel like I'm "setting myseflf up for success" or anything like that, because I know they'll just keep coming back. I did feel clever when victory poles were a thing. I legitimately felt like i was doing something smart, (Ie, "work smart, not hard") and it felt satisfying to know i had actually done something semi-permanent in preventing them from returning.

Now it's just a drag, enough so that it's been the primary factor in me abandoning my last couple factories. Whatever this rebalance does should focus on "what is the point of doing this if it's not fun and they're just gonna come back as soon as i walk away", not just on making each weapon system more equally useful

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by PacifyerGrey » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:51 am

fidgetwidget wrote:Really excited to see that you are going to take a look at the combat systems of the game - they are for me the weakest part of factorio in it's current form.

I was playing around with some ideas I was thinking of making a mod for that would address this very thing.
1) Create a few more enemy types with different weaknesses/strengths.
a) diggers - Enemies who are immune to damage when moving, but have little health. (defend with high rate of fire)
b) tankers - Slow moving, base wrecking enemies with lots of health and defence. (high defence against ballistic and energy weapons, weak to fire and explosives)

2) Add new alien base structures to counter certain types of attack tactics
a) thorn fields - a flooring that comes out from alien structures that prevents the player from building close enough to place shorter range turrets
- growing to about 18 range away from each structure to prevent the player from using gun turrets to attack structures.
b) artillery "spikers" - long range attacks with splash damage. these are easily avoided by continually moving, but make placing defence structures near alien bases less viable.
- attacking with a range of about 27 to make sure that it can hit laser turrets even just outside of the turrets range

3) Change the way laser turrets behave.
a) slow down the speed a laser turret charges for each attack, and make the power requirement of each shot be based on the range of the attack (shorter ranged attacks cost less energy than long range ones).
b) add a long initial delay after a turret is placed before it can start charging its first attack.

4) Create new "long range" turrets that use less used ammo types
a) grenade turrets that lob grenades at a long range
- enough range that it can be used effectively to counter alien the artillery "spikers"
- perhaps cluster grenades would have slightly longer range than the normal ones (normal would be between 12 and 18 range, cluster would be ranged between 18 and 25)
b) cannon turrets (use tank cannon ammo) with slightly higher range than tanks (35 instead of 30)
- great defence agains the tankers and "spikers", when defended with other turrets, a viable turret to use when attacking enemy bases.
b) rockets turrets at much greater range than any other weapon (range of 40 or 50)
pretty nice set of ideas here

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by R3vo » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:13 am

MalcolmCooks wrote:Agreed: The way to improve biters is to improve their AI, not to add more enemies. Example - instead of following the same path each time, they will send small attacks to different areas, probing for weak spots, and when they find one send a large attack. That would definitely keep you on your toes and make you pay more attention to defence. The ability to give your turrets a target priority would also be very welcome - too often turrets let themselves be destroyed by spitters while some other biters are chewing their way through walls that will take them a few minutes to get through.

I disagree. Making biters search for weak spots will force players to build turret walls around their factories, basically what we have now. There is no way to create a defense around a 500 mw factory without walling it off.

PacifyerGrey wrote:
fidgetwidget wrote:Really excited to see that you are going to take a look at the combat systems of the game - they are for me the weakest part of factorio in it's current form.

I was playing around with some ideas I was thinking of making a mod for that would address this very thing.
1) Create a few more enemy types with different weaknesses/strengths.
a) diggers - Enemies who are immune to damage when moving, but have little health. (defend with high rate of fire)
b) tankers - Slow moving, base wrecking enemies with lots of health and defence. (high defence against ballistic and energy weapons, weak to fire and explosives)

2) Add new alien base structures to counter certain types of attack tactics
a) thorn fields - a flooring that comes out from alien structures that prevents the player from building close enough to place shorter range turrets
- growing to about 18 range away from each structure to prevent the player from using gun turrets to attack structures.
b) artillery "spikers" - long range attacks with splash damage. these are easily avoided by continually moving, but make placing defence structures near alien bases less viable.
- attacking with a range of about 27 to make sure that it can hit laser turrets even just outside of the turrets range

3) Change the way laser turrets behave.
a) slow down the speed a laser turret charges for each attack, and make the power requirement of each shot be based on the range of the attack (shorter ranged attacks cost less energy than long range ones).
b) add a long initial delay after a turret is placed before it can start charging its first attack.

4) Create new "long range" turrets that use less used ammo types
a) grenade turrets that lob grenades at a long range
- enough range that it can be used effectively to counter alien the artillery "spikers"
- perhaps cluster grenades would have slightly longer range than the normal ones (normal would be between 12 and 18 range, cluster would be ranged between 18 and 25)
b) cannon turrets (use tank cannon ammo) with slightly higher range than tanks (35 instead of 30)
- great defence agains the tankers and "spikers", when defended with other turrets, a viable turret to use when attacking enemy bases.
b) rockets turrets at much greater range than any other weapon (range of 40 or 50)
pretty nice set of ideas here

I'd love to see more variety when it comes to turrets and the need to combine them. Right now, I feel the only useful one is the gun turret due to the high damage when upgraded to maximum.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by vanatteveldt » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:20 pm

R3vo wrote: I'd love to see more variety when it comes to turrets and the need to combine them. Right now, I feel the only useful one is the gun turret due to the high damage when upgraded to maximum.
I disagree there, the flame turret is incredibly powerful, especially combined with a maze structure to distract biters.

Laser turrets have more range and less logistics needed, so are a good choice for outposts or other places where the hassle of dealing with bullet logistics is too much. Also, guns are really bad against behemoths, so I don't think they actually do (much) more dps than lasers after resistance is taken into account. Behemoths have 8+20% physical resistance, but no laser resistance...

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by malecord » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:54 pm

vanatteveldt wrote:Also, guns are really bad against behemoths, so I don't think they actually do (much) more dps than lasers after resistance is taken into account. Behemoths have 8+20% physical resistance, but no laser resistance...
Yeah... they do just 4 times the damage of laser turrets at max upgrades :roll:

Personally right now I like to have a pair of laser for getting aggro (the 25 range), one flame turret for the insane damage and 2 guns to delete anything that come loser. I put these clusters at 50 range distance from one another behind walls. In that way any biters that attack the wall in between will get aggroed by lasers. I blueprint a chunk with poles and pipes and there you go.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by DrBladeSTEEL » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:42 pm

After running some numbers, here is what i have come up with:

Gun turret deals 777.6 DPS with piercings ammo against unarmored targets.
Laser deals 344.52 max DPS against all targets
Gun turret deals 517.15 max DPS against behemoth biters.

All calculated with max upgrades.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by mdqp » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:42 pm

DrBladeSTEEL wrote:After running some numbers, here is what i have come up with:

Gun turret deals 777.6 DPS with piercings ammo against unarmored targets.
Laser deals 344.52 max DPS against all targets
Gun turret deals 517.15 max DPS against behemoth biters.

All calculated with max upgrades.
How much time does it take to a biter to go from laser range to gun range, is it significant enough to further reduce the spread between the two? I assume that only matters in small groups, though.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by vanatteveldt » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:00 pm

In any case, the difference between 500 dps and 350 dps is pretty small, so for me the choice is more like 3 laser turrets plus enough grid power (which can be somewhere else) or 2 gun turrets plus ammo logistics (which needs to be on-site). For outposts, lasers almost always win for me. If you place enough laser turrets you can also mostly ignore repairs etc, and hope that the turrets will last as long as the mines...

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:15 pm

You mean someone is actually using landmines? o_O
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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by malecord » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:36 pm

It's the insane rate of fire and the instant damage effect that makes gun turrets much more effective than lasers once fully upgraded (including the piercing bullet upgrades ofc).

The low hp and the logistic challenge posed by bullet supply though usually push "lazy" players toward lasers. Which are kind of deploy and forget in this regard, especially in outposts. I think nobody argues how convenient lasers are. Imho even to convenient considering the spirit of the game.



As for mines, I tried to use them once. I ended up making more damage than the biters.

In theory it's cool to supply outposts with mines for maintaining the perimeter. In practice though they don't shine in any situation compared to the other fixed defenses and have lot of drawbacks (like damaging rails). So like the majority of the offensive weapons in the game they end up being rather useless. I hope the military rework also finds them a niche to fill.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by wlfbck » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:32 pm

Mhm, reading through this thread, i thought of a couple of ideas:
  • A lot of suggestions are basically what gets added by bobs mods. Long range turrets, modular vehicles, etc. I second all of them.
  • More enemy types. Also often suggested, and bitterly needed. I suggest also looking at other games like starcraft or other classic strategy games (AoE,AoM,etc) for ideas on what could be fun.
  • Laser turrets are basically fine. They need a lot of energy, which either costs a lot of fuel or a lot of space for solar.
  • Something which would help against turret creep is building time. Not sure if that is a "fun" solution though.
  • Vehicles are pretty shit right now. Tank is simply not as good as the flame thrower. Jeep is nice for getting around, but basically stopping everytime you hit a biter makes it unusuable outside "safe zones". This ties into a more general problem:
  • The beginning of the game is nearly always filled with just getting walls and turrets up and then slowly expanding your "safe zone" (usually roughly rectangular). Since biters expand back so fast, there really is no other way to do it. (I'll cover outposts further down)
  • Flame thrower is simply the best weapon. As soon as i have it, i don't use anything else. Because why would i? Just run to biter base, fire a bit at buildings, run away, done. Mechanically this is fine since you still have to escape the biters, but this renders all other weapons pointless. Even the ones good at clearing biters are pointless, since biters respawn so fast that weapon-switching is not feasible.
  • Very late game biters nearly never attack the "safe zone". This might be because i'm always switching completely to solar and accus, but late game polution just never reaches them.
And at last: Currently, making an outpost for ore is kinda shitty for multiple reasons:
  • If you make a logistic network connection, your bots will suicide since they fly straight lines.
  • If you don't, you have to put a single roboport there and a crate with supplies. And then have to check on it occasionally or massively oversupply. This is kinda unfun and really not in the spirit of the game regarding automation.
  • Biters often don't cut power for these, but sometimes do. Not sure why yet, but it's weird and annoying.
Suggestions to make outposts fun:
  • Implement "Logistic Network Connectors":Basically a tool to connect two points A and B. When a robot wants to go from his current logistic network to another connected network, it has to fly to the connector and then follow it in a straight line until it reaches the other network.
  • Underground power lines. I know these kinda circumvent some game mechanics, but just make them expensive or have some form of upkeep.
PS: The cursor for this text box (the editing cursor) is basically invisible, really hard to click at a specific line/point. I noticed there is a color change when this text box does not have focus, that does not help however (or i have to click outside once before i can jump to where i want, which is kinda meh).

PPS: In your diagram "easy combat" and "hard combat" are all in relation to tanks. No idea why. For me they are in relation to flamethrower and then in relation to exoskeleton.

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by IronCartographer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:33 pm

wlfbck wrote:If you don't, you have to put a single roboport there and a crate with supplies. And then have to check on it occasionally or massively oversupply. This is kinda unfun and really not in the spirit of the game regarding automation.
There are solutions to problems like these if you look deeper: https://wiki.factorio.com/Circuit-netwo ... fied_items

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Re: Friday Facts #166 - Combat Revisit

Post by wlfbck » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:59 pm

IronCartographer wrote:
wlfbck wrote:If you don't, you have to put a single roboport there and a crate with supplies. And then have to check on it occasionally or massively oversupply. This is kinda unfun and really not in the spirit of the game regarding automation.
There are solutions to problems like these if you look deeper: https://wiki.factorio.com/Circuit-netwo ... fied_items
Thanks for the suggestion, but tbh that seems ridiculously overkill for a base that consists of like 40 drills, a small train station and a couple of walls with turrets. Would have to run an extra train line for it or even put some extra waggon onto the train that gets the ore. Aside from that, i would also welcome a solution which fixes the "rectangular bases" problem.

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