Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

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dinodod
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by dinodod »

Its possible, I tried removing unneeded quotes to keep the message short. Sorry for the mixup
bobingabout wrote:
dinodod wrote:
Deadly-Bagel wrote:
bobingabout wrote: We have nukes, we have rockets, why can't we combine the two? As I see it there are two niches to fill, in the mid game a long-range weapon to stave off expansion from getting too close to your factory, and late game to make expansion easier.
I don't recall ever saying that. You might have got your quote headders mixed up there.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Jap2.0 »

bobingabout wrote:
Mooncat wrote:Also, it will be much better if there are no trees surrounding the spawn point. :)
Edit: I meant big forest.
Although I can understand the annoyance of starting in a dense forest, I have to voice my disagreement with no trees.
While in vanilla you can get by with using very little wood (small electric poles being pretty much the only requirement for having wood, and only because metal poles require research), having no wood would completely break my mods.

I remember doing a map generation run trying to find a good map to play my mods in back in 0.12, and rejected quite a few maps because of the lack of trees in the starting area.
Mooncat wrote:Edit: and about Artillery train.... do we really need a new system? How about just reuse the equipment grids? :geek:
waduk wrote:Am i the only one that miss the point of having an Artillery Train ?
BHakluyt wrote:Is an artillery train really needed? Why not unlock the vehicles equipment grids as part of vanilla and add some more goodies for the grids. It seems way easier than making a new train...
I have to agree. I fail to see why an artillery train is even a good idea.
Maybe add an artillery weapon for use on train vehicle equipment grids, but do we really need a whole new train?
I added vehicle equipment grids to my mod (It is its own mod), one of the grid weapons that can be used on the Armored train (Added in my logistics mod, which means you can't use this item on a train with only my equipment mod) is a plasma cannon. This is an artillery weapon.

IT SUCKS!!!

There's 2 complaints I See quite often with my vehicle equipment mod.
1. How come I can't put vehicle equipment in my train grid? (Mod incompatibility with another mod adding grids)
2. Why is the plasma cannon crap?

It blows up your own base.
it blows up the railway lines
Even with a minimum range set, it blows itself up! (I'm 99% sure I did everything right to set the weapon to target position, yet the projectile still tracks an enemy, an enemy that is running towards the train, causing the projectile to turn around, come back, and blow the train up)

I mean, it could be my implementation of the artillery weapon that people dislike(make the projectile faster, it doesn't have chance to come back and blow up the train), but it does put the idea of an artillery train in a very bad light.
I believe that the artillery train's main purpose is to destroy bases created by enemy expansion, not to kill attacking biters, as lasers and gun turrets do now. I do, however, think it would be cool if they used trains' equipment grid and had artillery as an option, along with shields and lasers and maybe even flamethrowers, so the trains could do both.
NotABiter wrote:
bobingabout wrote:2. Why is the plasma cannon crap?
It blows up your own base.
it blows up the railway lines
Even with a minimum range set, it blows itself up! (I'm 99% sure I did everything right to set the weapon to target position, yet the projectile still tracks an enemy, an enemy that is running towards the train, causing the projectile to turn around, come back, and blow the train up)
These are good things for the devs to consider when creating the artillery train. For both your mod and the upcoming artillery train I think an acceptable solution is to make them only target spawners and worms - those don't move and they don't exist close to your stuff (unless you actually build your stuff close to them).
The devs may have more solutions at their disposal than a mod though - for example another solution they could do (and I don't know if a mod could do this) would be to have "attack ground" targeting (basically what you tried to do) - let them target anything a safe distance from your own force's stuff, but the shots don't follow the target like some kind of guided missile (so they'd be good against spawners, worms, and large groups of biters sort of like "burning ground" from a flame turret is, but not so good against individual enemies on the move). An even better version of that would be to have the turrets try to lead targets - that would be pretty cool (far more like real artillery), and that would still allow for excluding shooting at positions too close to your own stuff.
I think it might be best, though, if artillery trains don't target biters/spitters, or can at least be set to not do so (or do so only when they are attacking). That's because if a spawner is just out-of-range of the train, I don't want the train shooting at (previously non-agro'd) enemies and thereby pulling enemies towards the base (with the subsequent expenditure of resources to kill them). For "defense duty", I'd prefer the train just leave such enemies alone and only fire at spawners (and maybe at enemies that are already agro'd anyways and on their way to attack).
Deadly-Bagel wrote:You can't use it for expansion since you have to have expanded there to lay the rails in the first place
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Probably the biggest use it would see is a return to turret creeping, except now it will be rail creeping. Lay a segment of rail, plant an artillery train and maybe some turrets, slowly advance the rail.
1. You clearly contradict yourself here (saying it can't be used for expansion, and then explaining how it could be used for expansion).
2. You need to think bigger. "Bad old turret creeping" is a highly tedious process involving chewing little bites out of a vast biter expanse. Yes, you could use artillery trains like that, but artillery trains will offer a better way of "creeping" - expand your whole base at once. I.e. unlike "traditional" turret creep, it would be feasible to do this around your whole base (or at least *much* easier - rails are cheaper than turrets, don't have idle power, don't need bullet belts or fuel pipes), expanding outward in all directions at once. And it would make use of artillery train(s) you already have going around your base anyways (for defense). Since artillery should be longer range, it will probably be possible to expand out many rail-widths each time (so you're expanding out not only along a massively wider surface area than "traditionaly creeping", but also in bigger steps forward). Have construction bots and materials available all around your perimeter and you can do the whole operation from map view... and then go off and do other stuff while while your trains and robots make it all happen. (That said, this expanding force would need some lasers or other turret as well - killing spawners will agro biters which will then attack the train and tracks, so lasers would be needed to deal with them. But it would not need nearly as much as traditional creeping because you would be taking spawners out at a greater range and therefore agro'ing far less enemies.)
3. An artillery train could also be used to more easily lay track through enemy territory as the artillery train can travel on the very track that you are in the process of laying. You can then either use militarized rail or combat robots to take out any biters that the train's spawner killing agros. This process involves really no creeping (temporary placement of "defenses") - the track is permanent (to the extent that any track is), as are any rail defenses.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:You can't use it for perimeter defence since there's every chance biters will wander through gaps in the train schedules
You just need MOAR TRAIN. :lol:

Seriously though, you should be able to use it (quite effectively) for perimeter defense - it's just not a total (or even primary) defense solution by itself. But it should be able to do what *NO* current (vanilla) defenses can do, which is keep spawners out of agro range from your base. Right now if a spawner pops up too close and starts spewing a constant stream of enemies it requires manual intervention to go take care of it (to stop bleeding resources from constant attacks) -- artillery trains should automate getting rid of such spawners (and automation is a pretty core Factorio feature that players like). I know I've certainly been annoyed on more than one occasion at having to stop whatever I'm doing to deal with a too-close spawner and would like to have some way to automate that. Unless the devs screw it up horribly (e.g. prioritize biters over spawners so it never even kills the spawners, or give it "range 15" :lol: ), the artillery train should do the job nicely.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:I do think we need a long range weapon, ideally that prioritises spawners
Who says artillery trains won't prioritize spawners? (I would hope the devs get that right.)
Deadly-Bagel wrote:We have nukes, we have rockets, why can't we combine the two?
So, automated artillery is dangerous (according to bobingabout), but automated nukes are perfectly OK (according to you)? I am NOT looking forward to the first time a nuke goes off in my base! :lol:
And if you're not talking about something that can be automated, then you're missing the point of artillery trains (and not offering a viable alternate solution).
Deadly-Bagel wrote:in the mid game a long-range weapon to stave off expansion from getting too close to your factory
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Artillery train does neither of these things.
If you place them (and your other defenses) correctly, then how exactly will artillery trains fail in the "stave off expansion from getting too close" task? Keep in mind that the artillery train should generally be used in concert with other defenses, not by itself. E.g., a defensive wall might have some lasers behind it and track for an artillery train in front of it. The wall and lasers take care of the biters, and the artillery train takes care of (migration created) spawners.
burner wrote:Why turrent train? Why not just modular wagon what allows install same mobile modules what modular power armor use? Then users can install modular turret or roboport or what they want to it.
I believe the reason is that they want to give the player a long-range spawner-killer to keep spawners (new ones created by migration) at bay in an automated fashion, but they don't want to give this same range and killing power to the player character because that would be overpowered. If you just use the same "artillery module" (or whatever it is called) for both train and player character, then the player character becomes overpowered.
(That said, I would like to see modular wagons in vanilla that can have shields and short-range weapons along with "hardened"/indestructible rails/signals so I don't have to place defenses along my rails and can have proper individually-defended outposts and get away from "one big wall around everything" being optimal play.)
A few things: I think it would be cool if you could automatically place rails (and I'm sure there's a mod for that, I haven't gotten into mods yet, I should sometime - do any of you have any suggestions for first mods when I do?), which wouldn't be like turret creeping because:
  • 1. It would be automated.
  • 2. Artillery is for bases, not biters - using equipment grids with an artillery option could change that, and I personally think that would be really cool, if I could automatically expand my train network and kill biters at the same time.
Also, I'm fairly certain that bullets and lasers track the biters because doing otherwise would mean that many would have to miss, or they would have to directly check the path the biter would take, due to changes in direction, etc. In addition, any type of leading of enemies could be costly for CPU, even if you do basic tracking and allow misses, since in large bases there can be hundreds of bullets or laser shots in the air at one time.
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by NotABiter »

Jap2.0 wrote:Also, I'm fairly certain that bullets and lasers track the biters because doing otherwise would mean that many would have to miss, or they would have to directly check the path the biter would take, due to changes in direction, etc. In addition, any type of leading of enemies could be costly for CPU, even if you do basic tracking and allow misses, since in large bases there can be hundreds of bullets or laser shots in the air at one time.
Just to be clear: That need not apply to anything that "targets ground". You can't miss the ground. Simple leading (linear extrapolation) could be trivially cheap for artillery if it uses "target ground". Any time the artillery train selected something to shoot at, if that thing is moving the game just does a simple one-time (per shot) calculation based on that thing's current position and velocity, the artillery train's current position, and shell velocity to compute which bit of ground to target. The key point is that the shell can't hit anything in the air so there's no per-tick computations going on to determine "what happens" while the shell is in flight -- the shell has a fixed trajectory and fixed fate the moment it leaves the cannon and the shell basically "sleeps" (in terms of CPU) until the time it hits the ground at which point it explodes and does damage (just like a grenade or landmine going off, but more "boom"/damage of course).

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by featherwinglove »

FFF #200 wrote:...will have the side-effect of making the system hackable by modders.
I think the chair-breaking potential of this bit has been overlooked. To get back to what the post is talking about (by the way: Sorry, I'm kinda jumping in dry here and am going to be massively OT on a very interesting conversation in progress), being able to mod the terrain noise functions might brick map exchange strings, which is something I really like. I hope we can still have both.

By the way, I'd love to have options like tree/forest segmentation, enabling/disabling desert forests, other resource patch-like options for trees, as well as for terrain types such as desert, grass, dirt, and maybe mountains. I like Mountains, so I'm reasonably sure I would like mountains i.e. (TL;DR version) the occasional massive wall of rocks. One of the more hilarrowing aspects of this would be the biter nest on the other side that picks up some pollution and sends a bunch of attackers, which path through the mountains and starts scratching at them. Before they're through, the nest absorbs more pollution and sends another posse. Rinse and repeat until they finally break through and hundreds of biters come through like an Oroville Dam break on my unsuspecting ass.
Um, which of you? wrote:To be honest I'm not sure if this isn't the right time to pause for a while, to avoid being this kind of show that gets worse and worse over time until it is so bad that you want to take your intestines and strangle yourself with them.
Back of my mind sounded off thusly. (And no, BBC Earth is not the series I'm thinking of.)

As bored as you Wube guys find yourselves writing FFF, I'm nowhere near tired of reading them. FFF's existence is most of the reason I'm trying very hard to convince a gaming Youtuber that concentrates on the ethical (and otherwise) behaviour of game developers that Wube Software is the best game studio between Earth and Nauvis.

Finally, thanks in advance for northern Ontario.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by featherwinglove »

Okay, let's not try to put nuclear missile words into Bob's mouth... :mrgreen:
bobingabout wrote:
Mooncat wrote:Also, it will be much better if there are no trees surrounding the spawn point. :)
Edit: I meant big forest.
Although I can understand the annoyance of starting in a dense forest, I have to voice my disagreement with no trees.
So do I. Loving plantable trees (in my installation which have them) I like the idea both of trees being an obstacle and trees being a struggle to find, and would like options which span the spectrum. I also like the idea of being able to completely eliminate trees from the game (by the way, done) and then unbreaking the problem. I've done this with water, and it was possible to spawn a map without any water in 0.12, but Wube broke it (Pithlit is awesome.) Now, if I could eliminate the rest of the problems with the starting area thing, so I can once again spawn into the middle of a glorious biter metropolis nekkid with a pistol... (Pithlit probably fixed that too, but I'm either forgetting or haven't noticed yet.)
bobingabout wrote: While in vanilla you can get by with using very little wood (small electric poles being pretty much the only requirement for having wood, and only because metal poles require research), having no wood would completely break my mods.

I remember doing a map generation run trying to find a good map to play my mods in back in 0.12, and rejected quite a few maps because of the lack of trees in the starting area.
I wonder what you'd think of my favorite Bob's map seed, the "badlands", a 0.12 NSA map where you land in the middle of a desert, and there are no standing trees until you spend about fifteen minutes walking between the massive alien cities to get to one accessible grove. I've also played the map with no coal. With coal, it is possible to bootstrap the mod pack without going to that grove, but without coal, you have to go there for fuel. (It obviously has start-tech renewable electricity; it's in the form of KS Power wind turbines.)
bobingabout wrote:
Mooncat wrote:Edit: and about Artillery train.... do we really need a new system? How about just reuse the equipment grids? :geek:
waduk wrote:Am i the only one that miss the point of having an Artillery Train ?
BHakluyt wrote:Is an artillery train really needed? Why not unlock the vehicles equipment grids as part of vanilla and add some more goodies for the grids. It seems way easier than making a new train...
I have to agree. I fail to see why an artillery train is even a good idea.
Maybe add an artillery weapon for use on train vehicle equipment grids, but do we really need a whole new train?
I like the idea of train vehicle grids which house defensive equipment for biters attacking the train, along with a rail car which consists of a massive artilery weapon for dealing with biter bases. It would have a one or two stack ammo box loaded from an adjacent cargo wagon (not averse to having something like naval artillery where the projectile and propellant are loaded seperately for example. Later might have an electric variant that pulls power from the grid to propel the projectile wihout propellant. Also not averse to needing inserter equipment in the cargo wagon's grid to load the artillery.) How I think it should work is that the player goes out with a target designator, targets a ground location, and if the artilierry train is in range, calls in fire, and fun happens. It could lead to some hilarrowing moments like heading out into combat with a tank, finding a few too many of Bob's elemental behemoths, running back to base sans tank, and oh, I didn't build enough walls and turrets to protect the rail lines, but I loaded up the cargo wagon grids with defensive stuff and deployed a few artillery cars among my mining outpost trains. Here's a rail line, I'll spam a bunch of walls around me to keep these biters from eating my but for a few seconds until one comes into range and boom. Oh, that one was at the edge, got through the wall and <end game screen>
bobingabout wrote: IT SUCKS!!!
I agree, magnetic plasma sucks :mrgreen:

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by someuid »

A suggestion on the different biomes and how to give people a reason to explore in this direction or that direction:

Make each biome offer up more frequently certain ores, or limit ores and resources to certain biomes outside of the starting area. This could be a toggle in map generation (biomes favor certain ores vs ores limited to specific biomes.)

For example, outside of the starting area, only coal is found in forested biomes, uranium in desert biomes, oil in swamp biomes, etc.

This would help give biomes a specific role vs just looking nice. This would also add some challenges on maps where the biomes are very large.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Hellatze »

dinodod wrote:Wow, are you guys crazy? What's not to love about artillery trains?
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Why should a new train be an issue? equipment grids in vehicles? really? Then mod your game as I'm sure the mod is still available
We loves artillery train. But we cant find practical use for it.

Equipment grid gives a lot more practical ideas. And mod sometimes unbalanced, and buggy.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by d3x0r »

Hellatze wrote:
dinodod wrote:Wow, are you guys crazy? What's not to love about artillery trains?

Why should a new train be an issue? equipment grids in vehicles? really? Then mod your game as I'm sure the mod is still available
We loves artillery train. But we cant find practical use for it.

Equipment grid gives a lot more practical ideas. And mod sometimes unbalanced, and buggy.
Maybe a modified Vehicle Wagon that can load/unload a semi-mobile artillery piece?

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Deadly-Bagel »

NotABiter wrote:1. You clearly contradict yourself here (saying it can't be used for expansion, and then explaining how it could be used for expansion).
2. You need to think bigger. "Bad old turret creeping" is a highly tedious process involving chewing little bites out of a vast biter expanse. Yes, you could use artillery trains like that, but artillery trains will offer a better way of "creeping" - expand your whole base at once. I.e. unlike "traditional" turret creep, it would be feasible to do this around your whole base (or at least *much* easier - rails are cheaper than turrets, don't have idle power, don't need bullet belts or fuel pipes), expanding outward in all directions at once. And it would make use of artillery train(s) you already have going around your base anyways (for defense). Since artillery should be longer range, it will probably be possible to expand out many rail-widths each time (so you're expanding out not only along a massively wider surface area than "traditionaly creeping", but also in bigger steps forward). Have construction bots and materials available all around your perimeter and you can do the whole operation from map view... and then go off and do other stuff while while your trains and robots make it all happen. (That said, this expanding force would need some lasers or other turret as well - killing spawners will agro biters which will then attack the train and tracks, so lasers would be needed to deal with them. But it would not need nearly as much as traditional creeping because you would be taking spawners out at a greater range and therefore agro'ing far less enemies.)
3. An artillery train could also be used to more easily lay track through enemy territory as the artillery train can travel on the very track that you are in the process of laying. You can then either use militarized rail or combat robots to take out any biters that the train's spawner killing agros. This process involves really no creeping (temporary placement of "defenses") - the track is permanent (to the extent that any track is), as are any rail defenses.
Try to put yourself in the situation. We'll start with the small picture, a single train that you're manually creeping forward. The moment it fires, the ENTIRE population of that nest is going to run straight for you and the train. It's an artillery train, it's going to be targeting the spawners (if it's to be of any use) so you now have to deal with the massive wave of biters. Oh well that would be with turrets then, no? Now you need to creep your train forward except now you need to build more turrets, provide them with ammo/power, then build more rails, enter the train and drive it forward. I thought you said this would be less tedious than turret creeping? You've added more steps. Maybe you have to use them less often but I still fail to see how it is not a step backwards, and why it would be superior to a static placement or non-rail-bound vehicle. Fun fact! We already have a vehicle with a mounted cannon. It's not that useful.

Big picture, you say you can do all this from the map. Trains are bound by train stops, they go from point A to point B via the shortest available route, you can't tell them to patrol the perimeter. So expansion is actually a very tedious process of building the rails and moving all the train stops, ensuring they're in the right places (easiest would be with a square factory, a unique stop in each corner, good luck if it's not a square), and this is ON TOP OF walking up the requisite wall defences. Not exactly a shining example of automation.
NotABiter wrote:But it should be able to do what *NO* current (vanilla) defenses can do, which is keep spawners out of agro range from your base.
As I said there is something of a need for this but there are far better implementations. You say
a defensive wall might have some lasers behind it and track for an artillery train in front of it
but you're failing to take into account many factors. It's still a train, if it hits a behemoth it's going to stop dead and be killed, yeah they could make it absurdly powerful but they could have also done that to the tank and existing trains and yet they didn't. It's therefore going to have to go behind your defences. If it's going to be there anyway why not just use static artillery? If you're thinking about expense, think again, they wouldn't need to be placed close to each other and between the rails (which you might use eventually but you'll always need a rail along your wall which otherwise wouldn't be used), the train, stops, etc, realistic costs could be comparable. Actually I think an even better approach would be a massive cannon you plant in the middle of your factory that increases range somehow, maybe with research or different tiers of ammo that use progressively more Explosives, enough to significantly increase the cost of longer ranges but discourage building loads of them instead.
NotABiter wrote:So, automated artillery is dangerous (according to bobingabout), but automated nukes are perfectly OK (according to you)? I am NOT looking forward to the first time a nuke goes off in my base! :lol:
And if you're not talking about something that can be automated, then you're missing the point of artillery trains (and not offering a viable alternate solution).
I said there's two niches to be filled, this would be the latter. And targeted nukes are more automatic than creeping up rails or fiddling with blueprints.

I get what you're saying and yes potentially it could have its uses, I just don't see any advantages over static artillery and, going off the combat revamp of 0.15 I can guarantee it won't be nearly as awesome as you think it will be. Look at the Rocket Launcher. They "fixed" it right? Do you use it? No. Its range sucks, it has no AoE including the explosive shells which do half the damage and cost three times as much as tradeoff for being able to hit two spawners that happen to overlap, it requires several research investments before you can instakill spawners, the shells are expensive, and the production of the shells requires quite a lot of setup. All this for literally no advantage over AP rounds which are cheaper, easier to make, more versatile, higher DPS, research boosts SMG + Tank + Turret damage, and everything flows nicely into uranium rounds for even more damage lategame.
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by 5thHorseman »

Deadly-Bagel wrote:The moment it fires, the ENTIRE population of that nest is going to run straight for you and the train.
Why? If they're out of aggro range, all they'd know is that their base suddenly exploded. And they along with it, possibly.

Now sure it could be coded for them to aggro upon firing at the thing that fired upon them, but it could also be coded to not.
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Hellatze »

5thHorseman wrote:
Deadly-Bagel wrote:The moment it fires, the ENTIRE population of that nest is going to run straight for you and the train.
Why? If they're out of aggro range, all they'd know is that their base suddenly exploded. And they along with it, possibly.

Now sure it could be coded for them to aggro upon firing at the thing that fired upon them, but it could also be coded to not.
biter base always change. they could migrate to other area. no mention artillery train are moving object, each shot could miss. suddenly your track have biter nest on it, then the artillery shell hit your track. RIP.

i think artillery train should not move at all.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by mrvn »

Hellatze wrote:
5thHorseman wrote:
Deadly-Bagel wrote:The moment it fires, the ENTIRE population of that nest is going to run straight for you and the train.
Why? If they're out of aggro range, all they'd know is that their base suddenly exploded. And they along with it, possibly.

Now sure it could be coded for them to aggro upon firing at the thing that fired upon them, but it could also be coded to not.
biter base always change. they could migrate to other area. no mention artillery train are moving object, each shot could miss. suddenly your track have biter nest on it, then the artillery shell hit your track. RIP.

i think artillery train should not move at all.
I think they should not be able to fire while on the move. There could also be a delay before firing. Like the train stops, then it has to put down some supports and unfold itself before the turret can rotate and fire. Reverse that before driving away. So you can just do a drive by shooting and escape the angry aliens by driving away.

By the way: Reasons for a new train instead of equipment grid: Cool graphics.
Actually if adding things to the grid would show up in the graphics that would be even cooler.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by bobingabout »

mrvn wrote:By the way: Reasons for a new train instead of equipment grid: Cool graphics.
Actually if adding things to the grid would show up in the graphics that would be even cooler.
Yes. Grid having a graphical effect on the entity would be awesome.
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by dinodod »

I wish the nukes would be launched from a rocket silo and air dropped like an ICMB onto the bases. Using a rocket launcher is just so lame.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by NotABiter »

mrvn wrote:I think they should not be able to fire while on the move. There could also be a delay before firing. Like the train stops, then it has to put down some supports and unfold itself before the turret can rotate and fire. Reverse that before driving away.
From the start of that paragraph to the end, I went from mild kneejerk aggravation to "I like!" :lol:
Deadly-Bagel wrote:so you now have to deal with the massive wave of biters
That's funny, because I've taken out quite a few spawners with bob's mods sniper rifles, and I don't seem to have any recollection of the "massive wave of biters" you speak of. Maybe I'm just getting old...
(Since bobingabout's in the thread, maybe he can speak to this with a bit fresher memory than me, though I don't know if his enemies have different AI than vanilla ones.)
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Oh well that would be with turrets then, no? Now you need to creep your train forward except now you need to build more turrets, provide them with ammo/power, then build more rails, enter the train and drive it forward. I thought you said this would be less tedious than turret creeping? You've added more steps.
I talked about three different scenarios. I even numbered them 1, 2 and 3 for you. You're conflating different scenarios. I said in #2 that using an artillery train + blueprints in map view with supporting lasers could be a less tedious way to expand one's base (rather than using traditional turret creeping). That's a different scenario than #3 which was about building a railway through enemy territory. And no, for #3 there are not really more steps because you already have to do all of the steps in question (laying rail and placing defenses for your rail - at least that's what I always do when placing rail outside my base walls, all of my rails have power, circuit wires, and lights, so power for lasers is already there, and I use blueprints for militarized rail that include everything so I'm not hand-placing anything) - the main change (between that and laying militarized rail when not so close to the enemies) is that you would have to proceed slow enough to allow the artillery train to do its job, and that small price should be much less than the price associated with traditional turret creeping (but who knows - we'll see).

With mrvn's idea of how artillery trains should work, I'm having additional ideas on this - *if* we ever get modular wagons in vanilla, it would be very nice to have such a wagon on an artillery train or in a train right behind the artillery train, far enough back so the construction zone barely reaches in front of the artillery train. Then you could drop a massive rail blueprint and have it auto-built in front of the artillery train without the bots getting too far out ahead and getting themselves killed. Any time the artillery train stops to fire the bots would then automatically stop building and wait for the attack to finish (because their construction zone has stopped moving forward).

Note that a big problem with traditional turret creeping is that it requires you get too close to spawners before you can get in range to take them out. The vast majority of the biters you end up fighting are not biters that happened to be there before you arrived, but biters that were spawned after you arrived. If artillery trains have the range to take spawners out before biters agro, none of those additional biters will ever be created so neither you nor your defenses ever have to fight them.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Maybe you have to use them less often but I still fail to see how it is not a step backwards
A step backwards from what? (Since you've conflated multiple scenarios it's impossible to know what your basis is here, much less guess in what way it would be a step backwards.)
Deadly-Bagel wrote:why it would be superior to a static placement or non-rail-bound vehicle.
This is a game, not the real world. "Superior" for a game does not equate to "more powerful in the game world", it just means fun and interesting to play with. If you just want an "I win!" button, feel free to mod-in such a thing. I predict that getting good working defenses with an artillery train (assuming it's expensive enough so it can't just be spammed and used statically) would be more interesting than doing the same with static artillery. Of course, whether it really turns out that way depends on the details, which we do not know yet.

BTW, artillery trains should be far more useful/convenient than both static placements and non-rail vehicles when it comes to keeping spawners away from your rail lines.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Fun fact! We already have a vehicle with a mounted cannon. It's not that useful.
"Fun fact!" That vehicle does not provide ANY automated defense. You're just wasting time making arguments that ignore the automation aspect. I want my defenses, if I build them properly, to work without me having to intervene.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Big picture, you say you can do all this from the map. Trains are bound by train stops, they go from point A to point B via the shortest available route, you can't tell them to patrol the perimeter. So expansion is actually a very tedious process of building the rails
Do you know what a blueprint is? Yes? You know you don't have to dirty your hands with the "processing of building the rails" when you use them, right? So how is it tedious? Are you using blueprints that are too small so you have to repeat them 100 times along each side of your base or something?
Deadly-Bagel wrote:and moving all the train stops
Um, you clearly don't know what you're talking about - you would never move the train stops as part of the process (at least not as Factorio works now because "moving" train stops by constructing them with blueprints causes them to lose their names). Luckily, there's no need to move the train stops.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:ensuring they're in the right places (easiest would be with a square factory, a unique stop in each corner, good luck if it's not a square)
Since you don't have to move the train stops, you don't have to do anything to ensure they are in the right places when expanding - they already are.
(And you act like people aren't using blueprints for giant rail systems already. Many of us can handle train paths that are not squares just fine. If someone is using the scheme I talked about, it is likely that before they get too far they are going to make themselves a modular set of blueprints that makes it easy to construct whatever set of angles and corners they want to use. E.g., if they just want to use vertical stretches, horizontal stretches and 90 degree corners then they will make themselves a set of blueprints with such features in it, along with long versions of straight sections to save time when placing blueprints. People are of course already doing this now for their defenses.)
Deadly-Bagel wrote:and this is ON TOP OF walking up the requisite wall defences. Not exactly a shining example of automation.
As Factorio stands now, the process would involve issuing construction and deconstruction orders in map view, and then your robots do the rest - not just in some small area where you're killing spawners, but around your whole base - that's a nontrivial amount of automation. If you wanted to fully automate base expansion, performing multiple expansion steps with one command (and who wouldn't want that?), you'd need some functionality like what the Recursive Blueprints mod provides (which a lot of people would really like to see in vanilla, including at least one of the Factorio devs).
Deadly-Bagel wrote:As I said there is something of a need for this but there are far better implementations.
Better how? Like I said, this a game, so fun and interesting is more important than highly effective. And being different and being more complex makes things interesting. We already have static weapons, and we already have direct player controlled mobile weapons. An automatic train-mounted weapon (that is not just a "train install" of some other weapon) would be something quite different than what we have now, and different is good.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:you're failing to take into account many factors. It's still a train, if it hits a behemoth it's going to stop dead and be killed, yeah they could make it absurdly powerful but they could have also done that to the tank and existing trains and yet they didn't.
You're failing to take into account the fact that you can already kill behemoths with appropriately constructed trains - you just need a number of locomotives on it to do so. I would guess it's more likely than not that they make artillery trains tougher than normal trains, but even if they don't the multiple locomotive solution exists.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:It's therefore going to have to go behind your defences.
Hell no! Out front for sure!
Deadly-Bagel wrote:If it's going to be there anyway why not just use static artillery?
Wait... what? That was a total non sequitur. What does "behind the wall" vs "in front of the wall" have to do with "moving" vs "static"? (Hint: Nothing.) You could make a case for how close the lasers are - there's some advantage to having it so lasers are in range of any spitters that are in range of whatever artillery you are using. Since lasers out-range spitters by 10 tiles IIRC, that still gives quite a few usable tiles in front of the lasers. You could have "cowardly artillery" and actually put it behind the lasers, but that's not how I roll - e.g. when playing bob's sniper turrets go up front, regular turrets/lasers go in the rear. Anything else reduces the useful range of your best-ranged weapon. Ditto for lasers and gun turrets in vanilla -- lasers up front, gun turrets in the back (or at best, side-by-side if there's only one turret row).
Deadly-Bagel wrote:they wouldn't need to be placed close to each other
You're making assumptions about range which may not be true. Sure, if they have a range which is much, much larger than biter agro range (which I'm not expecting to be the case as it would be totally OP), then you could space them out a lot and still keep spawners back far enough. But if their range is just a bit more than agro range, then that doesn't work - spacing them out would very quickly result in defensive holes that allow spawners to get too close.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:the train, stops, etc, realistic costs could be comparable
Unless the range is massive, I don't think so. You only need two train stops total, regardless of base size. You only need about twice as many rail signals as you have trains on patrol. One train could patrol a very large section of perimeter because you don't need instantaneous response - if a spawner shows up and starts spewing biters, it's OK if it takes a couple of minutes for the next train to arrive and blast it. (That's probably still faster than I would have gotten there anyways, and now I don't have to.) Trains can travel a *long* distance in a couple of minutes.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Actually I think an even better approach would be a massive cannon you plant in the middle of your factory that increases range somehow
"better approach" how? It sounds insanely dull to me! What interesting design challenges might I run into while placing this gun in the middle of my base? It sounds like "none" to me. With trains, on the other hand, you have just tons more possibilities. For example you could use accumulators+switches+circuitry to measure power usage in major sections of your base's defenses, thereby detecting when lasers have fired, and automatically send extra artillery trains to any section which is seeing high amounts of enemy activity (though we don't know enough yet to know how useful that would be - we'll have to wait and see).
Deadly-Bagel wrote:I just don't see any advantages over static artillery
That seems to be because you simply don't understand good game design and interesting game play, and you just want stuff that's powerful and easy. If you want to offer a viable alternative to artillery trains for keeping spawners at bay, than suggest something that's actually interesting and (at least potentially) complex, not simplistic and boring.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:I can guarantee it won't be nearly as awesome as you think it will be
You've already failed then - your guarantee is worthless. I've never thought it would be "awesome". I do think it will more likely than not be a positive addition to the game, and I will most definitely be playing around with it once (if!) it comes out, and I find your arguments about "why it will suck" to be extremely weak. But none of that means I hold the belief that it will be "awesome".
Deadly-Bagel wrote:the production of the shells requires quite a lot of setup
Do you also forgo nukes? Because if you're making nukes, you already have everything but one last step to make regular rockets. (I'm not quite sure why you're into Factorio if even one step of automation is "quite a lot of setup" and deters you from even doing it.)
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Look at the Rocket Launcher. They "fixed" it right? Do you use it? No.
Actually, I'm in my first major 0.15.x game and I have been specifically getting ready (tech'ing up) to give rockets a shot again. (I probably last tried them in the 0.12.x time frame - not a good impression at the time, but I don't know that I had that many upgrades either - and my fighting style was quite lacking back then.) And... I'm back - just tried rockets (and nukes, and uranium rounds, and combat shotgun, and combat robots). Rockets don't seem that bad. For small nests combat robots by themselves and/or uranium rounds is easy/quick, but for somewhat larger nests the rocket (with destroyers, I generally always have destroyers active when fighting) lets you stay back a bit farther so you're not getting caught in biters as easily, and it's slightly quicker at killing spawners as well (with the only time consumed being the slight pause of your character while he fires). Combat shotgun seems to have been nerfed significantly. Nukes - well, I don't need nukes to take out large bases, and making nukes is a bit expensive, but they sure are a time-saver! (And time is a valuable resource.) I just happen to be at the point where I have all of these weapons researched right up to (but not including) space science so it should be a good comparison between them. I used to (0.14.x) mostly go out using bots and combat shotgun, but now I think I might use bots + uranium ammo + rocket + nukes as my weapons configuration and switch between weapons as suits the situation. (I still have to try the flame thrower - I don't have that one tech'ed up yet however so I'll wait before comparing it. I don't like the idea of setting forests on fire while fighting, though, but maybe I'll get over it.)
Anyways, now that I've tried the 0.15.x rocket and found some use for it, I'd have to tentatively say you're claim of "Do you use it? No." is going to be false.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:going off the combat revamp of 0.15 I can guarantee it won't be nearly as awesome as you think it will be. {...} All this for literally no advantage over AP rounds which are cheaper, easier to make, more versatile, higher DPS, research boosts SMG + Tank + Turret damage, and everything flows nicely into uranium rounds for even more damage lategame.
That whole paragraph boils down to "Hey, the factorio devs suck at this combat stuff so whatever combat thing they're adding is going to suck." Well, yeah, they kind of suck at the combat stuff, but I figure it's a dice roll and we've got a better than 50/50 chance of getting something fun to play with out of it (and probably better still if they improve it based on feedback after it comes out). And I notice you don't mention nukes even though they were part of the 0.15.x changes - do you think nukes suck too? Or do you concede that the devs don't always totally suck at combat stuff? Frankly, nukes turned out better than I had expected because I figured they would just be too overpowered and boring, and while they sort of are overpowered, they're not exactly boring - they are actually rather dangerous to use (and there's some nice dynamic positioning aspects in terms of getting the most bang out of each shot). Anyways, it's the same devs whether they make artillery trains or static artillery, so that whole paragraph constitutes no argument for one or the other. Actually, I take that back - I believe your paragraph is an argument FOR artillery trains. Because even if artillery trains did end up kind of sucking, some of us will still have some fun coming up with and trying out creative designs/schemes aimed at making them not suck (whereas with a static defense, there's a whole lot less you can try to do with it).

Anyways, if they give us artillery trains, you can have your static artillery - just put down some track and plop an artillery train on it. So why are you complaining? (OK, maybe a little complaint about inability to blueprint trains.) The reverse does not work - if some of us want to play with automated mobile artillery and they give us non-automated and/or static artillery, there's nothing (short of modding) that we can do with that.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Freddy72NZ »

dinodod wrote:I wish the nukes would be launched from a rocket silo and air dropped like an ICMB onto the bases. Using a rocket launcher is just so lame.
Really?

http://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/05/0 ... old-war-2/

IronCartographer
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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by IronCartographer »

NotABiter wrote:I think an acceptable solution is to make them only target spawners and worms - those don't move and they don't exist close to your stuff (unless you actually build your stuff close to them).

...

(That said, I would like to see modular wagons in vanilla that can have shields and short-range weapons along with "hardened"/indestructible rails/signals so I don't have to place defenses along my rails and can have proper individually-defended outposts and get away from "one big wall around everything" being optimal play.)
Yes. Target spawners and worms exclusively with the artillery, then use modular grid laser defenses and such for biters that get close.

Something to remember with long-range attacks: Biters no longer chase forever. From far enough away, they really don't have to aggro at all. In fact, if you cluster grenade bases in Sandbox/Godmode...they just run to another spawner and guard it instead.

The artillery train or at least a vehicle equipment grid equivalent for long-range spawner/worm destruction is a very viable and welcome addition I hope to see become a reality. :)
NotABiter wrote:it would be very nice to have such a wagon on an artillery train or in a train right behind the artillery train, far enough back so the construction zone barely reaches in front of the artillery train.
Also yes.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by PacifyerGrey »

While artillery train is probably fun it is generally useless because we have no way of detecting biter nests automaticly to call for the train.
Armed train would only make sense if you could equip it with different kinds of weaponry using equipment grid alongside the artillery cannon it might have.

I would prefer having stationary artillery turrets with really significant range (like a radar active coverage) which would target only biter nests/worms and would use some kind of artillery ammo for that.
Also it makes sense to make trains being able to run over any obstacles it might meet. Maybe you should use some new type of locomotive that can do it and could use weaponry alongside of it.

But really - what is the purpose of atrillery train and how would you use it? And the main question - how would you automate its usage and what task will it solve?
We all need artillery yes. And it has a specific task we want to be solved - clearing out biter nests that get close (read active radar range) to our defence perimeter automaticly.
If you got a straight solution to this task - go for it. If I can replace my Ion Cannon with artillery whatever - I will like it. And as mentioned by Bob - how would you solve friendly fireproblem

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by IronCartographer »

PacifyerGrey wrote:If I can replace my Ion Cannon with artillery whatever - I will like it. And as mentioned by Bob - how would you solve friendly fireproblem

Ion Cannon already solves the problem with the same solution mentioned by NotABiter: Only target spawners and worms.

Unfortunately, since 0.13 allowed them to colonize nearly on top of buildings like railroad tracks and other infrastructure, that means we still need perimeter walls.

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Re: Friday Facts #200 - Plans for 0.16

Post by Septimus ii »

Ridge effects would be really good for giving the map a bit of natural zoning and character!

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