Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

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Rythe
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Rythe »

ske wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:30 pm
"Cutting is shipping." - you have to cut down features without mercy to deliver a polished product. Right now the benchmark for me would be a satisfying campaign. That is the game that's being shipped. The multiplayer/sandbox parts are extra. That's how I would see it right now.
Sure, but that's for things like the spiderbot. Making the simulation level worse than it was doesn't count there, nor axing completed features in the hope that it's an easy fix for underlying problems and magically makes the game play better.
ske wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:01 pm
I could say this is how games are. But it is not always like this. Some games provide you with joy seemingly without end. Chess for example. Chess has something that factorio doesn't. I think that this "something" could be replicated in factorio by very carefully selecting the properties of some base items such that there are many different good solutions to do something and you always try to find another one. Having overpowered items/upgrades kills this property of the game.
Chess has an active opponent. In the more prototype stages of Factorio, the environment was your semi-active opponent, with player options being limited enough that biters were once more than a simple environmental hazard. But freeplay usually has this flaw. It's really hard to do a player vs environment experience well when the environment is rando and the player has pocket factories that spit out tanks and nukes. Rogue-likes work because the simplicity of those games and stricter player limitations.

So yes, the campaign is usually what fills in the lack of purpose or void that most freeplay experiences haven't managed to overcome.

I see this as Factorio being a completed game if narrowed down to a factory building sim/puzzle but incomplete game if expanded to the player vs. environment prototype goal. I don't see this getting fixed. I don't think it should be fixed. The campaign is the stopgap to say Factorio 1 is done.

Maybe Factorio 2 can do the player vs environment more fully, but time will tell.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Mike5000 »

ske wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:01 pm
I think the campaign is the key. It will make or break whatever will be released as 1.0.
If the campaign is the key then Wube is starting from scratch and 1.0 is 2-3 years away.

Factorio's strengths are the flexibility and performance of the underlying engine. This excellent engine supports learning, freeplay, modding, and megabases.

Balance? Campaign? Story? End game? They're not even close. Maybe that's a formula for Factorio 2.0.

I'd love to see a great campaign but if Wube wants to release 1.0 this decade they're going to have to build on their strengths rather than throwing them out.

Or maybe Wube should build on its real strength - continuous development - and not allow themselves to be distracted by a spurious 1.0 release.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by bman212121 »

Rythe wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:11 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:27 pm
Burners and stone furnaces and then AM1 are exciting first steps on the long road to automation - although AM1 should be burner-powered, there should be burner labs, and electricity should be a much greater challenge.

...

Factorio needs another tier of miners and smelters before bots. The miners should be at least 4x4 and the smelters should have similar throughput. There is nothing edifying or exciting or realistic about running around plonking down a couple hundred miners and smelters with identical inserter patterns and repetitive power poles.
+1 to this.

I should have spent a bit more time on my post. Because Gray is Burner tier and needs to reflect that via AM and Research starting as burner powered. I'm even mixing up Gray and Blue Tiers (burner vs electricity) by habit (partly that burner inserters weren't able to fuel themselves via coal line at one point which made fueling them and burner drills a straight up manual chore which obfuscated the automation process).
Yes I kind of agree with this line of thought. The burner phase is in an odd place in the game at the moment. If the burner phase is going to stay then yes I think that assemblers and labs should have coal counterparts, and then you can research electricity. Right now the burner stuff is only used for like 10 minutes while you build your steam engine, then you just discard it and throw it away. There is no real value to the miners or inserters, but yet the stone furnaces stick around for a long time simply because electric furnaces are walled so deep into the tree. (And steel furnaces are just a weird entity that doesn't really advance you from burner to electric phase, so they tend of be useless)

For me Burner phase would include:

Burner Miner
Burner Inserter
Burner Assembly Machine
Burner Lab
Pistol
Normal Ammo
Light / Heavy Armor
Iron axe
Stone Furnace


From there you should be able to learn the basic mechanics of the game, then you can start playing around with the belts and getting into the actual automation part. That said I think it would be a good thing to actually classify that stuff into an "early" phase, and then give the option to skip early phase to people that want it. There is already a mod that does it, and it would be an easy checkbox to do.

I like the early phase, and it definitely would remove value to the game if all of those entities were just axed because it's "bloat" that doesn't model "what the game is about". It's literally part of the story line that makes it probable, but I can understand the devs wanting to showcase mid game for their NPE rather than the beginning. I'm sure they could figure out a way to just make a new player tutorial that shows off mid game, then the campaign itself would run from beginning to end. Launch new players into a mid game tutorial, so they can get hooked into what Factorio has to offer, then let them figure it out on their own from the start. (That's part of what games the game fun, actually having to figure things out and not just having something do everything for you)

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by bman212121 »

The one other thing I was going to mention for the assembler discussion is the limits also make a whole lot of sense when you think about the actual limitations you'd encounter.

Imagine putting down a square wall that is 25 x 25 tiles. That's the "inside" of your factory. If I told you to set up something inside of that area to assemble gears, you could do it quite easily with the starting game resources. You just need a belt, a couple burner inserters, a furnace, and an assembly machine or two. Super easy to do and everything would work just fine. But let's say you need to build something more complex like an inserter. You now need to bring in multiple resource types, and now you need multiple chains of things to actually get copper cables, gears, electronic circuits, etc etc. So you say fine, I'll just pipe that stuff in and use underground belts, splitters, long handle inserters, etc. But wait a second, none of that stuff was available when you started the game. You needed to get upgraded equipment to make that happen. That exactly what the upgrade from assembly 1 to assembly 2 is. It's not realistic to think that the base assembly machine that was the first thing you had at the start of the game, is advanced enough to handle 4 different chains of ingredients at once. You would be hard pressed to do it inside of your base without upgrades, so there's no reason why all of the sudden a factory that requires the most basic components can handle some of the most complex setups.

Factorissimo is actually a perfect showcase of this in action. The starting factories only have a few inputs / outputs, and you can easily overrun the floor space and I/O to build complex things. You need to get bigger Factories to support more I/O and have more room to work with. It also does something that I actually do wish the Assembly machines did. An assembly 1 should be 3 x 3, but an assembly 2 that supports more complex chains should be like 4 x 3, then the assembly 3 would top out at like 4 x 4. We already are accustomed to making setups that are future upgrade able for stone to electric furnaces, so it's certainly possible to design things to rework for assembly changes. But either way the main point is that each tier brings logical upgrades that would allow you to handle more complex things. If you consider your base a "factory" most people would already understand that it's not as simple as just piping in another input into their base and it can handle it. You need upgrades to allow you to rework it to become more dense. So Assembly 1's shouldn't be super advanced from the start, and if you need something more advanced you need upgrades.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by planetfall »

ske wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:30 pm
Trying to do everything at once and satisfying all types of customers at once was never a good idea. Communicating clearly "we're doing the campaign now" and "we're taking the proverbial axe to all things that are not necessary for the campaign" would send a strong signal about what's happening and set the expectations accordingly. This would be the stage where you can actually ship a polished product. Everything would depend on the campaign and its designer. The story must be proper and the execution excellent. It might take another year or more and it might not be public development as to not spoil the masses prematurely. The engine itself is solid and I think the campaign levels would be properly tested and polished before release.
What?

Factorio basically IS the freeplay right now. People know it as a sandbox, all the reviews laud it as a sandbox, most of the millennia of combined youtube videos of the game treat it as a sandbox.

"We're going to sacrifice the strongest part of the game and its best selling point, and try to sell it on what is currently its weakest aspect" is an absolutely terrible plan.

I also don't see what's stopping Wube from just creating a campaign using the existing mechanics? If anything, removing whatever "isn't necessary" is creating extra work. (Scare quotes because who defines what's the scope of the campaign? You could make the entire campaign be "automate iron production" and delete everything else, for an extreme example.) I think the understanding was that the campaign would be complete when it had toured all the major game systems and tutorialised most of the mechanics.

The changes are honestly relatively minor and I'll probably live (though I certainly understand the modders' frustration!) but I can't wrap my head around your "It must have a campaign, and it doesn't matter what else gets destroyed in the process" mentality. Nobody bemoans minecraft for not having a campaign.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

Henry Loenwind wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:46 pm
My recommendation for the pickaxe would be:
  • Keep the items.
  • Set all vanilla resources to be minable by hand
  • Set breaking speed by hand to ~80% of old iron pickaxe and iron pickaxe to 120%
  • Put tooltip onto pickaxe "Increases the speed you can mine resources and destroy buildings by 50%"
  • Replace tutorial about pickaxes with a "hint" tooltip for the equipment slot that pops up after ~30 minutes of playing if that slot is empty: "You can increase the speed you mine resources and destroy buildings by equipping a pickaxe into this slot"
This solves the "new player" issue by not having them need and understand pickaxes while still keeping the mechanics of speed-boosting items (for everyone) and tool requirements (for mods) available.
This x10. If you're concerned about making mining a manual chore, with breaking tools that confuse new users, mention in the tooltip that pickaxes can break over time, and flash the pickaxe slot red for once every time the axe breaks and there's another in the stack, and 20 seconds or so when the last one breaks. The first time this happens, if the pick was the last one, provide a popup "Tools will break with extended use. You must occasionally create a new tool, or you can create many tools at the same time to increase the time before breakage" or something along those lines. This helps link the red flash at the bottom to the concept of running out of something, and could be extended to the inventory and the ammo count. For more advanced pickaxes, have the durability decrease, because that will give an incentive to automate a steel-based pickaxe system.

Tearing out "lumps" (sandbox features/complexity) in the game to streamline the upcoming campaign seems like a horrid idea to me. Factorio has always been seen by the community as a sandbox game. The campaign may be useful to onload the new players into the sandbox, but the changes I see here are like minecraft devs deciding it needs a campaign, and removing boats, crafting, and custom potions to make the campaign experience smoother. This isn't going to do any favors for the existing players, who all view factorio as fundamentally a fun, sandbox game with incredible depth, replay, and moddability. Please, please, please don't push these changes through for the sake of a "1.0 campaign". Release factorio as it is for a 1.0, with deep complexity and complex production puzzles. If players are having trouble getting into it, then the campaign can be used as a tutorial, but don't turn the campaign into the focus of the game when the sandbox is far more fleshed out.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

In my case, it took twenty seconds of looking at the UI to figure out better assemblers allowed better recipes. The eureka moment is something I still remember as a wonderful part of the game.
WRT assemblers, create a popup when a player unlocks a recipe that requires a second tier of assembler or the recipe for assemblers themselves that notifies them more complex recipes require more complex assemblers. For the assembler UI, perhaps include all the researched recipes and red-out the ones that cannot be created in a lower-tier machine, and if the player tries to click on it pop up a more complex pop-up that explains the requirement for a more complex assembler. This would make new player onboarding more effective in my opinion.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Jarin »

I was coming in to make a silly comment mourning the loss of the lazy bastard puzzle, but I'm just dumbstruck here. Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design? Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

DRY411S wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:51 am
If the motivation for changes is to make entry level simpler, I get it. Just look at the Steam achievement percentages to see the low proportion of people who stick with the game.

But do all the mining changes and the assembler ingredient count nerf meet that motivation? Mining, I don't think so. Energy, no. Both those are nuances you learn about later, and add depth rather than make game entry too hard. Assembler ingredients, yes but there must be a better way.

There is something wrong about Assembler 1. It works half the speed of the character, and cannot craft as much. If you need to make game entry level easier, fix that, please don't dumb the the whole assembler hierarchy down.
Please note that mods disable achievements.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
I was coming in to make a silly comment mourning the loss of the lazy bastard puzzle, but I'm just dumbstruck here. Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design? Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).
There's a difference between unnecessary complexity and complexity. Sure, it would be less complex if you could produce rockets in an assembler and launch them from there. It would be less complex if you could pump oil into a refinery and a single, unified oil fluid came out. But is less complex more fun? Or is it worth spending less time on removing features and spending more time on explaining those features?

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

DRY411S wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:14 pm
Blacky007 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:56 am
@ devs why do you give Bob and Angle this big punch in the face?
they made this game to what it is now - what would happen if they stop supporting this game?
all the high skilled streamer stop playing factorio and as a follow the sales will decrease.
Whilst I don't like many of the changes, that claim about Bobs and Angels just is your opinion. Back it up with facts. Here's some.

On the portal, bobs library has around 1/2 million downloads. Almost 18 months ago Devs reported 1 million sales https://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-192 . I'll leave it to you to estimate how many more sales since then, and what percentage of the mod downloads are actually used. I for example have them downloaded, but use them only for compatibility testing with my mods. So while active bobs players might be significant, they did not make this game, they modded a game in early access, with all the risks that entails about future changes to the core game.

Besides isn't one of the reasons that modders produce mods (I am one of those people) because they like modding?

Now they'll have a whole lot more to do. 😉
Making "a whole lot more to do. 😉" for modders is not a good thing, unless you want modders to stop modding. Removing features mods rely on instead of hiding vanilla values in the UI is not a good thing, unless you want entire classes of mods to disappear. Removing features from the engines that *massively* popular mods (1/2 a million downloads is not trivial) rely on is not a good thing in any way shape or form. Please reconsider.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid »

blueblue wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:48 pm
I like the direction of these changes. Obviously factorio is a complex game but these changes mostly dont take away from the main complexity and instead allow players to put more focus on those and just remove distractions. I do not watch people like AntiElitz play because they are so good at calculating mining drill production rates.

That said, making numbers like mining drill rate more accessible makes it easier to do the calculation on every assembly line and build everything according to ratios. I do not think that this is the developer intent but players might feel forced into it. As I said, I like the changes but I hope the new player experience makes it clear to the player somehow that this is not the intended gameplay.

With the changes to the assembling machines, the first two tiers are now almost indistinguishable. Getting a better assembling machine could be a satisfying moment of the new player experience but with how similar they are, that moment is diminished. I dont really have a good idea for how to distinguish them better. One way would be to add arbitrary restrictions on which items the assembler mk1 can craft. For example allow the mk1 to only craft items that are available via red science. Similarly an mk3 assembler could be required for everything that is unlocked via blue science, for example processing units and rocket control units. This appears to be what the ingredient restrictions originally intended but failed to accomplish. Another idea is to add an item that is hard to obtain in the early game to the recipe of the mk2 assembler in order to increase the crafting cost, similar to how the assembler mk3 requires speed modules. But there is no good candidate for this, mostly because engine units are later in the tech tree.

With the pick axe gone there are now only two items that require iron sticks, so it seems like an unnecessary item, especially with how similar to copper wire its recipe is. It could be removed or added into more recipes (for example engine units, red belt).

As another leftover mechanic, there is the somewhat arbitrary restriction that engine units cannot be handcrafted. Again, this should be either removed or fleshed out, for example I keep being surprised that red circuits can be hand crafted and if I recall correctly it is also possible to hand craft rocket control units and rocket fuel.
Those rates do not need to be calculated unless one is building a *massive* base. The rates could be hidden behind an "advanced" UI toggle, but there's no reason to tear them out just because you don't personally use them.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Light »

Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).
Literally nothing, eh? Glad to know Wube added a Pickaxe just for aesthetic reasons and nothing more. :roll:

When you've got lots of trees to cut and no bots at your disposal, a higher tier pickaxe is quite useful. (Bob's higher end pickaxes can make tree mining near instant for instance.) It also makes picking up objects much faster as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Ser_Optimus »

I'm glad to see you're still working hard on user-experience related stuff. But...

Please do not streamline Factorio down to one of these simple rush-through games you could aswell play on your smartphone. I think complexity is something that makes this game special. Factorio always had its edges and players love them.
I know you have to make it attractive and non-frustrating for new players to keep making money (It's business after all). But rather than just removing things because you cannot give a proper reason for it (better assemblers don't need an explanation imho) and to make it easier, maybe some kind of "easy mode" would be a better solution to comfort everyone.

anyways..
Keep up the good work,
Optimus

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Ferlonas »

Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design?
We do, but I'll have to follow that up with a bit of elaboration.
SpiffyTriffid wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:38 am
Making "a whole lot more to do. 😉" for modders is not a good thing, unless you want modders to stop modding. Removing features mods rely on instead of hiding vanilla values in the UI is not a good thing, unless you want entire classes of mods to disappear. Removing features from the engines that *massively* popular mods (1/2 a million downloads is not trivial) rely on is not a good thing in any way shape or form. Please reconsider.
This is exactly right. If you make software for users, you want to remove all complexity that does not improve the program. But in this case, the players are not the users. In sandbox mode, the players are builders, using tools they have been given to create something. And in order to create new and interesting things, the tools need to be complex.
The users are the modders. Removing any complexity that hinders them in making mods is the right step, because modders may enjoy making the mods, but nobody likes having their tasks made unnecessarily complicated. Give modders the simplicity they need in order to create tools for the builders to build complex constructions.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by J-H »

Off Topic since the Devs are reading this:
Can we please get a function so that when a player mouses over an option in his personal crafting menu, any existing inventory slots that already contain the item are highlighted?
With something like 120-150 inventory slots, it's hard to tell at a glance whether or not I already have boilers/heat exchangers/sorter inserters/rail stops/etc. already made, or whether I need to make one more to drop where I need it.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by meganothing »

Light wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:03 am
When you've got lots of trees to cut and no bots at your disposal, a higher tier pickaxe is quite useful. (Bob's higher end pickaxes can make tree mining near instant for instance.) It also makes picking up objects much faster as well.
This seems to be a misunderstanding. Wube doesn't remove the pickaxe or the higher tier pickaxe from the game, it just removes a clunky user interface where you need to actually klick on the icon in the craft screen whenever your pick is used up. Or do this 10 times in a row (for the steel pick) and never bother again.
SpiffyTriffid wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:34 am
Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
I was coming in to make a silly comment mourning the loss of the lazy bastard puzzle, but I'm just dumbstruck here. Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design? Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).
There's a difference between unnecessary complexity and complexity. Sure, it would be less complex if you could produce rockets in an assembler and launch them from there. It would be less complex if you could pump oil into a refinery and a single, unified oil fluid came out. But is less complex more fun? Or is it worth spending less time on removing features and spending more time on explaining those features?
That's why Jarin specifically said "unneccesary complexity". Instead of inventing examples to show what complexity is you should try to tell us why hitting the "craft pickaxe" button whenever the old one is used up has any complexity at all. I don't see any.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Ferlonas »

meganothing wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:03 pm
Light wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:03 am
When you've got lots of trees to cut and no bots at your disposal, a higher tier pickaxe is quite useful. (Bob's higher end pickaxes can make tree mining near instant for instance.) It also makes picking up objects much faster as well.
This seems to be a misunderstanding. Wube doesn't remove the pickaxe or the higher tier pickaxe from the game, it just removes a clunky user interface where you need to actually klick on the icon in the craft screen whenever your pick is used up. Or do this 10 times in a row (for the steel pick) and never bother again.
SpiffyTriffid wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:34 am
Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
I was coming in to make a silly comment mourning the loss of the lazy bastard puzzle, but I'm just dumbstruck here. Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design? Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).
There's a difference between unnecessary complexity and complexity. Sure, it would be less complex if you could produce rockets in an assembler and launch them from there. It would be less complex if you could pump oil into a refinery and a single, unified oil fluid came out. But is less complex more fun? Or is it worth spending less time on removing features and spending more time on explaining those features?
That's why Jarin specifically said "unneccesary complexity". Instead of inventing examples to show what complexity is you should try to tell us why hitting the "craft pickaxe" button whenever the old one is used up has any complexity at all. I don't see any.
Most of the complexity discussions in this thread are on assembly machines or modability of the game, not pickaxes. The examples were not invented, they're the actual thing being discussed here.
The context of the pickaxe discussion is that by removing the pickaxe they're removing it in the backend as well. Mods require the implementation in order to work.
Bob's mods introduce several tiers of pickaxes, the top one being a diamond axe that has 5 times the mining power of a steel axe.

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Ferlonas

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by meganothing »

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:27 pm
Burners and stone furnaces and then AM1 are exciting first steps on the long road to automation - although AM1 should be burner-powered, there should be burner labs, and electricity should be a much greater challenge.
double plus good.

There could be a similar change on the other end where providing nuclear fuel rods to AM3 assemblers provides another speed boost.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by meganothing »

Ferlonas wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:15 pm
SpiffyTriffid wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:34 am
meganothing wrote:
Jarin wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 am
I was coming in to make a silly comment mourning the loss of the lazy bastard puzzle, but I'm just dumbstruck here. Do people truly not understand the concept of removing unnecessary complexity from a design? Pickaxes add *literally nothing* to the actual gameplay, other than potentially giving the wrong impression at the start of the game that you'll be doing lots of work yourself (see: Minecraft influences).
There's a difference between unnecessary complexity and complexity. Sure, it would be less complex if you could produce rockets in an assembler and launch them from there. It would be less complex if you could pump oil into a refinery and a single, unified oil fluid came out. But is less complex more fun? Or is it worth spending less time on removing features and spending more time on explaining those features?
That's why Jarin specifically said "unneccesary complexity". Instead of inventing examples to show what complexity is you should try to tell us why hitting the "craft pickaxe" button whenever the old one is used up has any complexity at all. I don't see any.
Most of the complexity discussions in this thread are on assembly machines or modability of the game, not pickaxes. The examples were not invented, they're the actual thing being discussed here.
The context of the pickaxe discussion is that by removing the pickaxe they're removing it in the backend as well. Mods require the implementation in order to work.
Bob's mods introduce several tiers of pickaxes, the top one being a diamond axe that has 5 times the mining power of a steel axe.

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Ferlonas
Jarin was talking specifically about the pickaxe, and Spiffy replying to that post directly. Furthermore producing a rocket in an assembler is an invented example.

Some criticize the pickaxe removal because of modability but there are posts directly saying removing the pickaxe would make the game less complex.

PS: Loss of pickaxe for modding may be a loss, but have you ever used a lesser axe after you have researched the diamond axe? If not, it definitely isn't necessary to keep the axe as a user interface element, just having a research progression gives you the same without the micromanagement. I can't comment on whether a pickaxe as research would work in Bob's mod, but at least the part you are describing seems to be easily adaptable to just a research item.

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