Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

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arides
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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by arides » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:24 am

viveks711 wrote:May the one way to nerf turret creeping is to change the bitter attack AI.

If the biters AI figures that they are being attacked by turret creeping, take out the electric poles that is out of the range of laser turrets before attacking them.

I do agree that you should not change the base gameplay because of this attack mechanism:
I'm playing with a mod called "Rampant AI", which does exactly that. Turret creep is still the best way to deal with enemies - even if it means building minibases all along the power lines and risking losing power from random attacks from time to time.

However I believe the whole "stop turret creep" initiative is focusing on the wrong thing. If there was a better way to deal with the nests, I would happily stop turret creep that second. That's why I'm really excited about the new combat changes!

tl;dr
Give me more feasible combat options to destroy nests and i'll stop turret creep that second (hopefully after this release? :)). Until then, for the love of god leave it in or i'll never be able to clear larger nests until heavy power armor.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by bobucles » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:23 pm

The player is one unit. The enemy is the entire enemy force. The only way for the player unit to scale against the enemy force is to bring a scaling force with him. It's pretty straight forward logic.

There is no way for the player to bring scaling power with him in the early game. Sure he can upgrade his weapons but he's still one combat force against many. Capsule armies don't become effective until much later so the only real option for supporting your attack is to use turrets. It can't be helped.
defenses
Currently the base defense options are limited. You only have immobile base defense, entrenched base defense, and one mobile player to patrol it. The game design can not require the player to intervene against all attacks because that requires all base defenses to be essentially useless. The only other option is to have the player NOT required to intervene against all attacks. Players solve this by placing MAXIMUM turret firepower at all points along the perimeter. If the perimeter defense solves everything, there's no reason to ever build a second layer.

I think a combat roboport option would dramatically change things for the better. Roboports create the option for a mobile defense, which allows firepower to be concentrated where it is needed most. A mobile defense option means you longer need to counter "500 biters" of danger by building "500 firepower" along every single sq. foot of perimeter defense. (The total defense ends up much higher so you could have over 100K firepower total on the perimeter!) You can instead engage "500 biters" with "500 firepower of bots", and if another attack comes along then you need more bots to directly deal with that.
I hope that makes sense.
But bot defense will be too expensive!
Probably! The initial cost of bot defense needs to be high or the player will overwhelm the map with sheer growth of firepower. But the penalty of losing bots needs to be low so the player doesn't collapse his economy in a hopeless defense. The best compromise I can come up with is to make dead bots leave wreckage. If a bot gives 70% wreckage for example then you can fight with 10 bots, lose them, and rebuild the junk into 7 "free" bots for next time. That way a player who spends all game building his bot army doesn't get completely over run in one bad stroke of luck.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by silverkitty23 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:57 pm

I've seen a lot of replies on here evaluating turret creep in light of current-patch offensive options, but the majority of the article was about how they buffed most of those options. So a comparison of creep to tanks, or rockets, or whatever may be premature.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Iphrid » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:35 pm

What if the turret was made out of two parts you had to put down? A base and a turret that slots onto it?
It would make the turret creep more clunky but still doable and that way a whole line of turret specializations opens up. Bullets, lasers, rockets, grenades, destroyer/distractor drones.. Almost everything could have its own turret you could put on. That way the tower defense aspect would be way more interesting. No good tower defense has towers that all do basically the same thing.
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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Sigma1 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:53 pm

Iphrid wrote:What if the turret was made out of two parts you had to put down? A base and a turret that slots onto it?
It would make the turret creep more clunky but still doable and that way a whole line of turret specializations opens up. Bullets, lasers, rockets, grenades, destroyer/distractor drones.. Almost everything could have its own turret you could put on. That way the tower defense aspect would be way more interesting. No good tower defense has towers that all do basically the same thing.
I like this! Well, actually I like anything that's modular. But still, I like this idea.
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They include nuclear and military stuff right now.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by MeduSalem » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:29 pm

Iphrid wrote:What if the turret was made out of two parts you had to put down? A base and a turret that slots onto it?
It would make the turret creep more clunky but still doable and that way a whole line of turret specializations opens up. Bullets, lasers, rockets, grenades, destroyer/distractor drones.. Almost everything could have its own turret you could put on. That way the tower defense aspect would be way more interesting. No good tower defense has towers that all do basically the same thing.
I also suggested it once even before they reworked the Gun/Laser Turret size and graphics and added the Flame Thrower Turret.

So basically they had the option going for that concept but didn't. So the chance of them going for a modular approach in the future is almost zero... or at least very unlikely since it would require an additional rework which they just don't have the time for.

They probably think that it would be too complex/annoying to handle for the player having to put an extra turret module onto each and every base you place... since you can't automate the turret placement until you get Construction Robots.

But in general I have the strong feeling that whoever is responsible for all the final decision-making of Factorio game design truly hates modular concepts in general because there have been like a ton of these kind of concepts covering many parts of the entire game in the past 4 years and they have all been written off eventually and their responding threads reside on the dumping grounds of the forum never to be seen again.

I think their basic mindset is "whatever can be done with mods should be left to be done with mods"... So if they don't have the feeling of something being absolutely necessary then Vanilla won't get it. It's a mindset that has become widespread and strong on the forum in general when it comes to new or expanded features... someone suggests something and they have to defend their idea against hordes of meta-discussing expert players and/or modders who don't have anything to contribute other than "can be done with mods". That's what you get when a game has too much modding support, it's like a lot of people don't see a need for things to be in Vanilla anymore.

That said I can also see that they eventually want to get to a point or state they can call the game "done" and move on to other projects... otherwise they would sit there developing Factorio forever which leads to burnout... not even considering the financial problems it might cause if they keep circling around the same project for too long.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by urza99814 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:53 pm

Hmmm. Looks to me like after these changes you'll need to put some work into making combat more challenging again. I think the best way to do that is to revamp the power or robot systems though. Either robots shouldn't build instantly (they're already weak enough that turret creep incurs noticable losses in both robots and turrets, so a small build delay would effectively prevent you from building too close) or limit current through power lines so you can't run twenty laser turrets indefinitely through a single power line.

Making the tanks more powerful would be nice too, I find at higher levels the tanks and car are completely useless -- they're slower than walking with good armor and even the tank can't last more than a few seconds in battle. Or maybe nerf the armor? I find it's more effective to load up on shields and lasers, run into the middle of the enemy base with a rifle, knock off a couple buildings, then drag the bitters back to a laser wall and repeat. The strategies mentioned to nerf turret creep wouldn't do much against that either, but nefing it through power limitations might.

Happy to see other weapons are getting an upgrade though... I usually end up laying rails as i go and dragging a train behind me loaded with bullets, so if these need fewer stacks of ammo that'd be great xD Explosives in general have felt rather useless so that's a welcome change. I've also been disappointed with the area of effect. If I can take our an entire structure with a dozen rifle rounds then a well aimed rocket should be able to take down two or three IMO. Oh and while I'm on the topic of trains in combat, how about a locomotive with some gun ports? :) (i realize that's probably more an idea for a mod though)

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by apriori » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:59 pm

I'm agreed with some spokesmen and have a couple more thoughts about the combat and expansion. My humble experience and opinion:

I've finished this great game 4 times. Last 2 times I tried to use railroads and vehicles. But it was useless: 2-3 trains and no vehicles each time. Because my PA Mk2 is more reliable, powerful and faster. My shotgun, rifle and flammer are much more preferable to use. I don't even need to use grenades, capsules and even turret creeping to beat biters and expand. How to make me to use vehicles (I want to use 'em)?

1. Walk speed can be realized as armour upgrade tech - no more exos. So I can have walk speed boost for in-base walking, and need to use vehicles to move faster in out-base.
2. Vehicles should be better: more health, equipment grids, selectable weapons (like character has).
3. Maybe vehicle as-is is just a chassis with body slot, which can be used to install body. Bodies options:
• cargo. One weapon slot, 100 inventory slots, small equipment grid.
• supply. One weapon slot, better armor, 70 inv slots, medium equipment grid.
• battle. Two weapon slots, better armor, 40 inv slots, large equipment grid.
3.1. Equipment for vehicles: like character ones.

It's just a primitive example.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Balinor » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:32 pm

I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Nexela » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:37 pm

Balinor wrote:I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.
Turrets....

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by MeduSalem » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:17 pm

Nexela wrote:
Balinor wrote:I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.
Turrets....
I'd guess Balinor means something like Combat Robots that fly out for search & destroy missions.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Rythe » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:23 am

Balinor wrote:I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.
And therein is the core flaw.

But back to the Wave Defense scenario.

Here's how I see it working best, at least as a starting point:

-Put the prefab base/structures in the middle of the map.
--Biters waves would come from the east only.
---Have each wave spawn groups that start split up and spread out but merge into fewer, bigger groups as they get closer to the player's starting point.
----This would create incentives for the player to create defense outposts to the east to try and deal with some of the groups when they're small.
--Resource fields would mainly populate the west side of the map, where biters don't spawn and won't generally approach from unless they're allowed to swing around through the north or south.
---This gives the player a safe area to freely expand resource production without having to protect those expansions.

-Research is done by some/one of the prefab structures the player starts with. There is no way for the player to expand research capacity beyond their initial structure(s).
--Creates a hard cap on how fast research can be done which allows some semblance of balancing biter wave strength against tech levels.
--Avoids the silly (as far as suspension of disbelief and Factorio's theme goes, but otherwise legit) mechanic of gaining 'research' via biter kills.
--Creates a potential avenue to expend economy (having to feed research structure(s) to get them to produce) without any sky is the limit balance zaniness.
--Protecting the research structure(s) becomes a point of concern for the player, and they can be a bit of a buffer between the biters and the game over rocket silo.

-Production of core buildings is vastly more resource and time intensive than the base game.
--Concrete walls should involve steel and more stone bricks to produce.
--Making a burner mining drill or gray factory should be like completing red-level research.
--Making an electric mining drill, normal turret or blue factory should be like completing green-level research.
--Making a laser turret or green factory should be like completing blue-level research.
---Will greatly flatten out Factorio's automation of production curve so some semblance of balance on wave difficulty can be achieved.
---That is, choices that are much smaller (number of buildings-wise) and slightly less activity intensive are able to have much greater impact.
--I'm not sure how land mines or flame turrets fit into this picture

-Biters are much tougher to kill, defenses are a bit tougher to kill.
--Smallest biters should be a bit tougher than medium biters in the base game sort of deal.
--Desired dynamic is to create a larger danger buffer where biters can cause damage and will often do so to an average player (vs difficulty level) without completely breaching defenses or even destroying most of them.
---Add research options for health/resistance upgrades to structures

-Biter waves should be balanced on an exponential-style curve.
--Trivial to start, but brutal towards the last 10-25% of the game.
--Waves should start with a ~20 minute calm period between them to allow the player to expand their economy, repair, and improve defenses without harassment
---Calm period shrinks as game progresses

That's what I think the winning formula looks like for the most Factorio-style Tower Defense setup you're going to get.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Balinor » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:08 am

MeduSalem wrote:
Nexela wrote:
Balinor wrote:I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.
Turrets....
I'd guess Balinor means something like Combat Robots that fly out for search & destroy missions.
Correct. I thought I was being completely obvious but perhaps not so I will rephrase slightly.

I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters and their nests with roving patrols of robots that I can craft and send out from my base.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:13 pm

So basically what I've always said, the only reason turret creeping is a problem is because we hate doing it but there's no good alternative. Some people want to do it, good for them, doesn't affect me.

Though I still highly suggest making spawners very susceptible to explosions, 1-2 grenades with appropriate level of research should be sufficient to kill a spawner in the early and mid game. This encourages a production of grenades (gotta use dat coal), gives you some early combat viability and transitions neatly into rockets or cluster grenades later.
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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by souel » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:47 pm

I just read some of the posts and some ideas interested me about anti turret creap.

- Turrets should be unable to shot spawners.
- Good idea, but we can control the spawns while cleaning the base.
- Activation delay or any restriction on turrets.
- Another good idea, but other turrets can defend new turrets while activation.

But combining these ideas can make this.

- Laser turrets can't shot indefinitively. The power input must be lower than the use. So we can't use them as an offensive way.
- Not to be able to shot spawners and worms will give very little time for a quick cleanup, so almost impossible.
- The batteries in the turrets must still be good enough for an effective defense. But not for a big ass attack.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by drmason13 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:49 pm

TL;DR
I propose a significant, yet simple, change to laser turrets (less damage, gradual damage build up with time) so that we have
  • a more interesting turret ecosystem: Gun, Laser, Flame on a more equal footing with strengths/weaknesses to each
  • increased viability of explosive/flame damage used for base defence (mines, flame turrets, oh and a rocket turret wouldn't hurt!)
I also further the idea for "combat robots as logistic entities", i.e. permanent combat robots that live in your logistics network! :D

I posted in a topic here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37158&p=232172#p232172

I think the "solution" to turret creep is closely linked to a fun Tower Defence mode.
As always, keep up the hard work Devs, we love and appreciate what you do!
You're nearly there and the combat can be a lot more satisfying for everyone without huge changes and additions to the game.
You can do it! :D

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by IronCartographer » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:58 pm

Rythe wrote:
Balinor wrote:I'm rather disappointed that after all this time a game about automation still does not have an automated way to destroy biters.
And therein is the core flaw.

But back to the Wave Defense scenario.

Here's how I see it working best, at least as a starting point:

-Put the prefab base/structures in the middle of the map.
--Biters waves would come from the east only.
---Have each wave spawn groups that start split up and spread out but merge into fewer, bigger groups as they get closer to the player's starting point.
----This would create incentives for the player to create defense outposts to the east to try and deal with some of the groups when they're small.
--Resource fields would mainly populate the west side of the map, where biters don't spawn and won't generally approach from unless they're allowed to swing around through the north or south.
---This gives the player a safe area to freely expand resource production without having to protect those expansions.
Having one direction to expand for resource acquisition makes a lot of sense. That's actually very similar to the Frontier Scenario design, with biters actively swarming from the east instead of sitting behind a wall.

Good suggestion.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Pipebomb » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:32 am

I love that tower defense idea. It is one of my wet dreams for there to be a tower defense game mode! Just need to add more variety of towers and mazing.

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Kazaanh » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:36 pm

What this game needs is RTS mode, Tank's workshops to automate vehicle production, setting up AI patrols with some *invisible rails*.

Or ordering them via select&move

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Re: Friday Facts #169 - Combat revisit 2

Post by Coffee Daemon » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:54 pm

On the topic of turret-creep, making inserters the only thing to reload them would solve it early.

Yes, it's a terrible idea, but the more put out there the better.

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