BlackRece wrote:Please tell me why worm spits follows a player and not travel in a straight line!?
It is to prevent player skill from having any impact in PvE combat. The combat is optimized to make the tactic
of standing still while pressing the autoaim-and-fire-button and having some fish in the hand most efficient after turret creep.
If you want combat that is less optimized to be the most easy and boring experience possible, you have to use mods.
It is like this by design to not scare away the people having no RTS experience.
I don't think it's even that complicated, or planned as a "feature" to begin with. "Homing boulders"
have been in video games long since the days of Age of Empires, and are especially prominent in the real-time strategy genre where consistency of attacks are key. In order for damage to be properly calculated with each hit to produce desired results, you often have to live with something that seems unrealistic for the sake of gameplay. If you could make entire attacks miss by out-microing your opponent in an RTS, it would break the game and be incredibly frustrating as you say, but often times this is simply how the game engine handles attacks.
There are ways to alleviate this effect, though: for instance, gun turrets. When you throw ammo into a gun turret and some biters approach, it mows them down, but you don't actually "see" the projectiles flying through the air. Therefore, you're left to assume that the gun turrets have pinpoint accuracy in "lore" terms (which they do), and your brain fills in the rest -- "the bullets fly so fast that they reach their target instantly and you don't even see them". Another place you can really see this is with laser turrets. The laser turrets had projectiles at first, so instead of firing a continuous beam, they went "Pew-pew!" However, because they HAVE to reach their target, you get that undesirable "homing boulder" effect. For a lot of people like me, this ruins your suspension of disbelief.
So, for something like this to work in an RTS (or a game like Factorio), you need one of two things to make you "believe" that the game is realistic: Either the "projectiles" in question reach their target instantly with 100% accuracy, or are fired in a beam (such as the gun turrets and new laser turrets respectively), OR they have "technology" in the projectile which actually makes it believable to home in on their target (such as with rocket launchers with "smart" rockets). "Dumb" projectiles such as with artillery wagons work well, because they have a splash range and typically just fire on static targets such as nests, or attempt to "lead" moving targets, much like the flamethrower turrets which actually spew out a constant number of small arcing projectiles.
A wonderful example of this is the classic RTS, StarCraft, its expansion Brood War, and the sequel StarCraft 2. In StarCraft/Brood War, infantry units such as Terran marines and Zerg hydralisks had projectile attacks, but they were only by description. Much like the gun turrets in Factorio, marines and hydralisks would "shoot" projectiles that hit their target instantly all the time. In the marine's case, you would only see the muzzle flash and the sparks of the bullets hitting the target at any given point. For the hydralisk, which resembles more of a spitter in Factorio, it would have the same concept as the marine: you would see its shoulder pads open up to fire the "needle spines" that actually looked and sounded more like an acid shot, and it would make a splash of acid instantly on the target they're firing at. On the other hand, many Terran and Protoss vehicles that use projectile weapons such as "pew-pew" lasers and missiles would actually either fly so fast that you barely notice any curve, or fly slow and have that homing effect, but actually be believable since they were rocket weapons. That is of course, with the exception of Protoss dragoons. Anyone who's played brood war remembers how derpy those guys were.
Fast forward to StarCraft 2: New engine, new units, new technology, yet projectiles are handled largely the same way. The Zerg roach, for instance, has an acid spray "projectile" as an attack, but it fires more like a beam where you see the acid fly through the air. However, even though the projectile itself lands on the target unit 100% of the time, the line of acid shot out appears so quickly and only ever goes in a straight line that there is no homing boulder effect to begin with. Factorio's Zerg-like enemies could have something like this in lieu of globs of spit that fly slow yet home in on the player. We know the engine is capable of producing trails such as with the new laser turrets, and the officially-sourced "bullet trails"
Point in case: there are ways to rebuild a suspension of disbelief among Factorio players in combat without compromising the gameplay. I think it's important to bring this up, because for people like me who are veterans of the RTS genre, it just doesn't seem "right" to have such a fantastic game like Factorio that suffers from the same limitations on projectiles from games that released decades prior. There's a better solution, we've seen that the game engine supports it, and it would not be precedent-setting in any way. So, why not?