Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Regular reports on Factorio development.
AlexTheNotsogreat
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by AlexTheNotsogreat » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:39 pm

Just make sure you guys don't forget to update some of the icons to match the in game entities (specifically, the tech and achievement icons involving trains still use the old train model)

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by malventano » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:23 pm

Tricorius wrote:
Introprospector wrote:Barrels are now useless >.>
Barrels are fine.
Barrels may be fine, but they ended up becoming a workaround for the higher flow requirements for larger factories and power plants. The fact that folks could barrel / transport / unbarrel faster than the practical/usable flow rate of pipes highlights the root problem - pipe flow needs a better solution than what is currently available.
Allyn Malventano
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Want to improve fluid flow between pumps / across longer distances? Try my Manifolds mod.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Avezo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:26 pm

Since we're talking about increasing pipeline's throughput, what about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slurry_pipeline ? :)

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by NemesisZidar » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:39 pm

First time i write a comment here on the official website, although im a user now since it was a fresh game.

But im really concerned.
Quoted part is from a comment i made on the announcement, but it gets across the basic point.

"Would like to know then whats up with the combat.
The combat is still unfinished and boring. Pretty much the worst element in the game. While all the other features got refined, tweaked and improved a lot, the combat is still dull, not automated and doesnt hand anything worthwhile to the player.
When you did your first trailer, you said the game is about getting all the things automated so you can handle the overlaying tasks and not be bothered with small stuff. This is true for pretty much anything, except combat.
I feel like adding combat robotics (units) to the game would be the final step to make the game perfect. This way however, i feel like it is only finished by 3/4th and wont ever be finished until that mechanic received a complete overhaul. Until then, keep pressing "space" to kill bugs instead of ordering some robots to do the stuff."

Yet you say the game is pretty much done and going to get released.

The reasons as to why i think combat is dull and the worst mechanic in the game, can be seen in my review.
I think its pretty much the only negative review on steam for this game.
And it kinda splits the playerbase and the readers as it received as many likes as dislikes (over 400 votes).
There are many who admire the effort you spent into polishing the part of building and optimizing your factory, which is great.
Its great to experiment and try new layouts, its sandbox playstyle is awesome. Thats 50% of the game though.
If it comes however to playing the combat road, which sees the production more as a tool to get better at wiping out aliens (or fend them off), then the game instantly falls flat on its face.
Yeah you have towers, but cleaning areas from aliens and get new space to build is the most boring experience i ever had in a game.
On top i might add, there are several problematic aspects that show inconsistency there, where you didnt put any effort into the combat area, in connection with the original idea you had for the game.
Because there is a problem with the consistency of the games concept itself.
You said it is about automating everything, which is true, but only if that is harvesting, producing and research.
Exploration and combat is done by hand.
(in your original indiegogo campaign it was all about that crafting by hand is boring, automate everything)
Although admitted, exploring somewhat is half-automated with radarscanners.
So you didnt really fulfill what you wanted to go for, which feels odd. It seems like you lost focus a bit and got stuck with all the fluid handling, the layout and what ways to research stuff there are.
I ever felt that producing and building a factory was fun and could hold me a while, but ultimatively i wanted something to do with it in the end.
I wanted to be able to wage war at the aliens, be able to wipe them out, be able to build robots and send them out to destroy nests and keep the areas clean.
Not as something i have to do, but be able to do.

But the game never delivered on that part. Which feels like i spend hours to build an efficient factory, to end up not being able to step into the next part of the game and make any use of what i built.

I might add, im not alone with that feeling.
I dont want to use other peoples opinions as a basis for my argument. My argument stands with logic. But when i played with a friend who was new to it and didnt know what it is about really and also isnt so keen on your game or blindly hyped for it, he said that building a factory is really fun, but then asked me what it is for ("Why are we doing all of this?").
I would have liked to say "so we can produce weapons and combat robots and send them into war with aliens, fortify our base and defend from alien waves aswell.
I couldnt, because it wouldnt be true.
Instead we ended up having most of the tech and weapons in the game (which are boring anyway, subjective, but at best you hold down one button and thats it) and then had to tediously wipe out alien nests by hand. Which took us literally an hour until he said
"So we leave our factory to produce thousands of plates and other stuff, only to then be stuck killing aliennests for hours only to be able to expand? Thats boring. It was boring at the start, and its boring now. I want to build a railway but cant because i have to singlehandedly kill aliennests by holding down space."
And sadly, he is right.

Other points on that matter:
Improving the combat would also mean many big advantages for the game listed below:
- it would offer the player more playstyles, which means more freedom and things to do.
- it would mean more to research and focus research, want more warfare, focus on that. Want to produce more, focus on that.
- it would literally expand on the RTS formula. Having commandable units would mean this game would introduce itself partly as a complex RTS game, which means that not only Factorio would be a unique RTS, it could also claim to have lead the genre into a new era with a unique approach.
- it would offer players to utilize the feature of building and commanding units in many different ways.
For example in PVP and so create a unique game of player versus player RTS gameplay, while also having a neutral faction, the aliens. The last game to have something similar, was Dune (sandworm), which if i remember was your reference and inspiration originally aswell. So why not step into its boots then?
- right now several research projects are a dead end. You barely craft a gun two times in a session, because why? There are many items i never need to pay attention for anyway, as they are crafted once and then never again.
- having robotics would also mean that you could implement and build on top of that. Like not only have robots moving to fight, but also to scout (exploration), to transport or even to mine.

Introducing combat robotics would be one way. I cant think of any other way to improve it to be honest.
But i personally think thats the most interesting way aswell. So why ditch the idea?
I think its the best way to overhaul and enhance combat.
On top, it wouldnt mean to get rid of anything you created. The combat as it is can easily stand alongside combat robotics.
But it would finally automate the combat mechanic and give people a good thing to do.
Producing thousands of steel plate and ammunition would have a point, producing thousands of machine guns would have a point, producing thousands of armors would have a point, because you could build combat robots with it.

You dont have to agree with every point i made.
Treat it as a hint that the game is immensely lacking in that regard for many people and that it wouldnt take "that much effort" (i know that developing a game ever is big effort, but the basis is already there, it mostly needs assets and design) to implement.
On top, theres a mod offering basic combat robotics already. Its somewhat working, but i would like to see getting in contact and taking good ideas from the modding scene and implement it in a polished way into the vanilla version.
If not until release, then i wouldl ove to see this happen as your next DLC project for the game. Maybe take a bunch of the good mod ideas, get them into the game and release it as DLC (obviously in contact with the modders).
Or take inspiration and try it yourself.
My review is to be found under the same username and as said, is pretty much the only negative one.
And again as a reminder. You have not to agree to every detail, i wont create the biggest wall of text imaginable. None of what i say is set in stone and some would need more explanation.
Take the basic idea, suggestion, request, critique i voiced here and think about it.
That basic idea/suggestion/request/critique i hope, came across.

I further want to add, my negative review on steam is mostly because the game in my eyes sits on a 50% level of being good. Because when it comes to building, planning, designing and optimizing a factory, its a great game. For those people its an awesome game to digi nto the mechanics, do logic stuff and so on.
But there are many, and looking at the data i would say its probably around half of the playerbase, at least a good chunk of it, who needs the other 50% to be good aswell.
Some might be ok with messing around with factory designs forever and barely touch the combat and exploration, but others want all 4 aspects of the game to be deep. Currently combat and exploration arent deep mechanics, they are not even scratching the surface.
And where the one half of the game is insanely deep and complex so that you could spend days messing around with it, the other is literally only pressing one button and using a few weapons that dont add anything to the game.

ske
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by ske » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:23 pm

Another possibility, is to use the Factorio engine for completely different game or for fast prototyping of crazy ideas.
Yes!

As much as it may be controversial, a shop system for paid mods or a paid monthly subscription might be a next step to finance the graphics departments of the modders.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by ske » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:40 pm

NemesisZidar wrote:Yet you say the game is pretty much done and going to get released.
One day somebody infamous in the gaming industry said
George Broussard wrote:Cutting is shipping.
well, he was right but he didn't cut hard enough and he didn't ship. He wanted the perfect product and scrapped it before release many times and burned many of his millions on game development. Meanwhile the industry moved on, moved faster and finally he lost control over his baby. It was shipped by others but it was a disappointment.

I basically agree with everything you said. The combat is not as fun as it could be. Far from that. There is so much potential. Yet, the game needs to reach the finishing line before the finishing line moves out of reach. This is hard enough. They already scrapped the planned endgame in outer space. Once it's released it can be extended in different directions with major changes.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by falizure » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:05 pm

Not to belittle the changes, I am glad to see so many updates and bug fixes however I have 1 hang up with this change to fluid hauling...first of all fluid wagons could hold more but it was not a condensed form of storage because you needed pumps to insert or pull from, balancing the size, as for hauling barrels, I am ok with a reduction in size but I feel the most important update would be 1 to fluid mechanics, and more important a fluid splitter, right now when you get to large base designs its almost impossible to stick with using fluid pipes, I try as long as I can but even so I eventually move to bot based...I believe pipes need to be made more practical threw the entire length of the game, I do not know how you could change the fluid mechanics themselves but a fluid splitter could be something as simple as a pump with aa small internal buffers...say 10 or 20, and whenever the buffer fills it drains it and sends half off each of 2 outputs. I feel the pipe changes as a whole would dramatically improve the game and reduce the dependence on bots and in some situations trains.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by meganothing » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:11 pm

malventano wrote: Barrels may be fine, but they ended up becoming a workaround for the higher flow requirements for larger factories and power plants. The fact that folks could barrel / transport / unbarrel faster than the practical/usable flow rate of pipes highlights the root problem - pipe flow needs a better solution than what is currently available.
If one pipe doesn't have enough throughput, why not use two pipes in parallel?

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Metin200 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:18 pm

I would like to see a Gource video of the factorio development ;)

http://gource.io/

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by malventano » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:49 pm

meganothing wrote:
malventano wrote: Barrels may be fine, but they ended up becoming a workaround for the higher flow requirements for larger factories and power plants. The fact that folks could barrel / transport / unbarrel faster than the practical/usable flow rate of pipes highlights the root problem - pipe flow needs a better solution than what is currently available.
If one pipe doesn't have enough throughput, why not use two pipes in parallel?
Because over any significant distance (>10 pipe tiles), it takes *12* pipes in parallel just to carry the flow rating of a *single* pump, and even then you need a modded manifold just to be able to distribute that single pump exit across to 12 pipes (using standard pipes to split off of the pump cuts its output to a fraction of its rating).
Allyn Malventano
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Want to improve fluid flow between pumps / across longer distances? Try my Manifolds mod.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by OBXandos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:58 pm

ske wrote:
Another possibility, is to use the Factorio engine for completely different game or for fast prototyping of crazy ideas.
As much as it may be controversial, a shop system for paid mods or a paid monthly subscription might be a next step to finance the graphics departments of the modders.
I for one will not buy any "paid mods" for the devs or the content creators. I also will not pay for a monthly sub for this game in any way. 0.15 had a few changes I didn't like but overall it was a good update. 0.16 has even more changes I don't like to the point I'm not even playing that version anymore. At this rate I probably won't even want to play 0.17 at all.

I am not going to ask the devs to roll back changes or redo a bunch of their work, but in the future I hope they consider some things. Increasing complexity for no apparent reason is not a good thing, and reducing options for no apparent reason is also not a good thing.

The end game combat content needs a revision as do the biters in general. Biters are only ever a challenge in the early game, and after mid game they just become tedious to deal with. Removing the biters is the only thing we can't automate plus they don't offer us any incentive to do so beyond just removing a nuisance. So I do the next best thing to biter removal automation, I don't spawn them at all.

I really hope the devs take all of this player feedback to heart. I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by FactorioParadox » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:15 pm

OBXandos wrote: I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.
No Man's Sky.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by OBXandos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:57 pm

FactorioParadox wrote:
OBXandos wrote: I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.
No Man's Sky.
I meant in Factorio. There have been plenty of other game releases and updates that have bombed far worse than this ever will.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by AlexTheNotsogreat » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:07 pm

OBXandos wrote:
...and after mid game they just become tedious to deal with. Removing the biters is the only thing we can't automate...
Could the artilery count as automated biter clearing?

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Tricorius » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:30 pm

malventano wrote:
Tricorius wrote:
Introprospector wrote:Barrels are now useless >.>
Barrels are fine.
Barrels may be fine, but they ended up becoming a workaround for the higher flow requirements for larger factories and power plants. The fact that folks could barrel / transport / unbarrel faster than the practical/usable flow rate of pipes highlights the root problem - pipe flow needs a better solution than what is currently available.
I won’t disagree with fluid mechanics. And I believe that a final fluid mechanics / optimization phase is scheduled before the full game release.

But that is not the fault of barrels. In fact, barrels can still work around that issue. You just need to scale it out a bit now. Bots can’t carry insanely high amounts of fluids now, you have to belt them, and you have to use multiple belts for really high throughput.
AlexTheNotsogreat wrote:
OBXandos wrote:
...and after mid game they just become tedious to deal with. Removing the biters is the only thing we can't automate...
Could the artilery count as automated biter clearing?
That is one way I’m using them. They are great for keeping your perimeters clear, and even better for pushing into enemy territory. Even the standard range on those things is amazing.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by torham » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:33 pm

OBXandos wrote: I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.
This is an overstatement.
Sure, even I have voiced some opinions on the removal of the belt compression( i actually prefer the other fluid handling changes) , but compared to other games, Factorio still grows from strength to strength. In 25 years that I play games, I have never seen a game that was more polished or with more dedicated developers. Factorio is so far in front of everyone else in terms of quality, that the perception of quality standards is distorted. People are really haggling over pennies here. This game is already a masterpiece, even if they dropped all of the development tomorrow. I have to say, best £20 I have ever spend.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by roman566 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:43 pm

I'm against the fluid change. Rather than buff pipes/fluid wagon, barrels were nerfed. Rather than give us more options, options were taken away.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by sicklag » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:47 pm

.
Last edited by sicklag on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by stretch611 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:02 pm

torham wrote:
OBXandos wrote: I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.
This is an overstatement.
Sure, even I have voiced some opinions on the removal of the belt compression( i actually prefer the other fluid handling changes) , but compared to other games, Factorio still grows from strength to strength. In 25 years that I play games, I have never seen a game that was more polished or with more dedicated developers. Factorio is so far in front of everyone else in terms of quality, that the perception of quality standards is distorted. People are really haggling over pennies here. This game is already a masterpiece, even if they dropped all of the development tomorrow. I have to say, best £20 I have ever spend.
I have to agree... Best $20 I ever spent on a computer game.

Personally, I don't care for the nerf to fluid tanks... but I understand it, and in the overall course of things, I can live with it.

As for the barrel nerf, I actually agree with this... It boggles the mind to think that barrels are more efficient than piping or large fluid tanks. I don't look at this as a bot-based nerf as much as I see it as encouragement from the devs to build using pipelines.

IMHO, part of the appeal of Factorio is the fact that there are multiple different solutions to everything. It saddens me to think that in end game, the majority only consider bot-bases. It would be a great thing to allow for belts and pipes to be just as effective in late game... this would encourage multiple factory designs instead of the singular bot delivery blueprint. Moving items around using interweaving belts and pipes would be more creative than putting a requester chest on one side of a assembler and a provider chest on the other side.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by OBXandos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:04 pm

torham wrote:
OBXandos wrote: I don't think I have seen a release this widely disliked.
This is an overstatement.
Sure, even I have voiced some opinions on the removal of the belt compression( i actually prefer the other fluid handling changes) , but compared to other games, Factorio still grows from strength to strength. In 25 years that I play games, I have never seen a game that was more polished or with more dedicated developers. Factorio is so far in front of everyone else in terms of quality, that the perception of quality standards is distorted. People are really haggling over pennies here. This game is already a masterpiece, even if they dropped all of the development tomorrow. I have to say, best £20 I have ever spend.
Well you may think this is an overstatement, I think you are taking my post out of context. I am not talking about other games, I am talking about Factorio and their incremental releases. Looking at the front page of the "Releases" forum you can see 0.16.7 has 8 pages of responses, and a large number of them are negative. The only other release to have that many pages is 0.15.0 and most of those posts are due to the massive changes to research and problems updating the game and mods.

0.16.0 - 7 pages - Mostly congratulations, bug reports, mod/update problems
0.16.1-0.16.6 - Less than one page for each
0.16.7 - 8 pages - lots of negative comments and concerns
0.16.8 - 3 pages in 26 hours - filled with mixed comments, some like the changes some do not

You can't tell me that the 0.16.X release was one that was overwhelmingly positively received. Factorio is still an amazing game. It is well worth the $10 or $20 dollars people have spent on it. I am worried that if they keep making these type of changes the game will not be worth the $30 or $40 dollars they will want to charge when it gets officially released.

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