Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by eradicator » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:38 pm

Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:29 pm
Is ignoring the feedback of the community a better option?
Honestly? Quite possibly yes. The vocal community is only a very small part of the customer base. Immediate reactions are often heated and people change their opinion when they calm down (often means "not always"). You can aleady see that this thread has calmed down quite a bit from the start. Not that i like the implications of that, because obviously i am part of that tiny little vocal thing. But denying reality isn't getting us anywhere. Devs are humans too, and have a limited capability for enduring flamewars. I remember reading interviews not related to Wube that actually stated the community management is the most exhausting part of developing a game. And mental health is important for writing good code ;). Factorio is still unique in how the devs regularly interact with the community at all, but as the community grows, so does the preassure, and i'd rather not burn them too hard. I bet at least part of each one of them wants to get the thing over with and move to greener pastures.
Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:29 pm
Also, as for the last time something from a FFF didn't happen? Try FFF 254/255 with the research queue, less than three months ago.
Good catch, yea. But i don't remember a flame war around that. Just mild complaints. And it wasn't about removing something, it was about not adding it (from a users persepective). It's also still limited to 5 queue entries as originally planned by the devs (at least that's what i think they said there). And it was "hidden" in the options menu. I think more options are honestly the way to go (like FFF267 with the entity-info options), but i can see that it takes more work to do it. And by the phrasing in FFF267 it took them quite some time to realize how good options are, this being their first major game ever i can't blame them on not having the perfect decision ready for everything.
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Inari » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:17 pm

eradicator wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:38 pm
Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:29 pm
Is ignoring the feedback of the community a better option?
Honestly? Quite possibly yes. The vocal community is only a very small part of the customer base. Immediate reactions are often heated and people change their opinion when they calm down (often means "not always"). You can aleady see that this thread has calmed down quite a bit from the start. Not that i like the implications of that, because obviously i am part of that tiny little vocal thing. But denying reality isn't getting us anywhere. Devs are humans too, and have a limited capability for enduring flamewars. I remember reading interviews not related to Wube that actually stated the community management is the most exhausting part of developing a game. And mental health is important for writing good code ;). Factorio is still unique in how the devs regularly interact with the community at all, but as the community grows, so does the preassure, and i'd rather not burn them too hard. I bet at least part of each one of them wants to get the thing over with and move to greener pastures.
I see what you mean, but also, they do go "Lets us know what you think" at the end of FFF's. It seems a bit odd to then meet the criticism with being defensive ("Well, if we can't change anything any more we could just ship it now") and completely ignoring the part of the players that was dissatisfied.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by eradicator » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:43 pm

Inari wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:17 pm
I see what you mean, but also, they do go "Lets us know what you think" at the end of FFF's. It seems a bit odd to then meet the criticism with being defensive ("Well, if we can't change anything any more we could just ship it now") and completely ignoring the part of the players that was dissatisfied.
I just scrolled through all the 20 pages, and i don't see any devs defending anything. They answer a few uncontroversial questions here and there, as they always do - staying largely in the shadows to not influence the discussion (according to past FFF). "Let us know what you think." doesn't mean they have to write an answer to every concerned user. They say they read most of the posts, and i'm willing to believe that. But with any A/B decision, you can only decided for one side. That doesn't mean they ignored the dissatisfied players, it just means that they made a decision. That decision may very well be based on long, careful and agonizing consideration of the requests of the dissatisfied players, and still end up deciding "against" them. Without installing mind reading devices in all of their heads we'll never know how much they really think about these things. Or how close the decision was. And it's pretty obvious from past FFFs that sometimes even the devs themselfs are being democratically overruled by the rest of the team.

Also some people seem to believe that @Koub, who brought up the "removal of weapons" is a dev even though he's just a moderator.

Btw, i'm not taking sides here. Just trying to make sense of what is happening :).
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by huhn_m » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:22 pm

Coming out of lurk mode here. I wanted to wait whether there would be any response in the current FFF (267) ... alas, there wasn't.

I have to say that I'm disappointed by the direction taken here. As many said before it's not about removing the pickaxe or the assembly machine tiers or other features mentioned in this FFF - it's about removing the feature from the engine making it impossible for mod authors to mod it back in. Remove the pick from vanilla if you want, remove the hardness modifiers etc, but keep them behind the curtains with the ability to turn them back on.

I had hoped that there would be an explanation in FFF267 on why that can't be done (e.g. valid performance concerns) but there was none. Of course, it's wube's game and they can do to it whatever they want. It's just that this (especially after reading Rseding91's response) leaves a very sour taste ...

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by posila » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:38 pm

Inari wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:17 pm
It seems a bit odd to then meet the criticism with being defensive ("Well, if we can't change anything any more we could just ship it now")
I was specificaly responding to Ferlonas saying (I am paraphrazing) "Bob and Angel will have to modify their mods because of your change, so it's a bad change and you shouldn't have done it." I have to admit, I have read only fraction of this discussion (mainly because the topic is not related to my work on 0.17 and the thread is too long), and I responded just to one person that I randomly saw was criticizing we removed features from the engine that were actually not removed.

I can see how pickaxe removal kills Stone Age mod, and that there was creative use of hardness to prevent a non-resource entity be mineable by player. So that's a bummer (we could probably add entity flag for the latter) ... but we have made changes that killed mods before (anyone remember single belt lane blockers?)

I realize we are not super accommodating when it comes to modding interface requests, but when we have time we try to add something extra, or finish-up an experiment that didn't make it into vanilla and leave it in the engine for mods to use. Other times, an optimization or polish causes removal of functionality that we don't have time to make optional. Some devs hate unnecessary mod breaking changes (even in between major updates), others make mod breaking changes without second though (at least in between major updates) ... so it's a mixed bag.

EDIT:
@eradicator: don't know if anyone responded to you - you can define more damage types in your mod if you need to.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Mike5000 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:59 pm

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:38 pm
I realize we are not super accommodating when it comes to modding interface requests, but when we have time we try to add something extra, or finish-up an experiment that didn't make it into vanilla and leave it in the engine for mods to use.
But that's not the case here. Wube deliberately broke a lot of great mods and diminished the vanilla experience (AM1) for no good reason.

And most of the people arguing here for making Factorio more of a sandbox and less like 0.16 freeplay seem to be unaware that Factorio already has a sandbox mode.

Face it: Factorio has a great moddable engine. Period.

Meaningful terrain? No. Interesting campaign? No. Story? No. Opponents? No. Realism? No. EDIT: Satisfying conclusion? No.

UX? NO! After using QOL mods like Picker Extended it's impossible to go back to vanilla.

Balance? HELL NO! There's nothing edifying or fun or realistic about building and baby-sitting a few thousand mining machines.

Why downgrade the only thing that makes Factorio what it is - the great moddable engine?
Last edited by Mike5000 on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by wartthog » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:05 pm

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:38 pm
I have to admit, I have read only fraction of this discussion (mainly because the topic is not related to my work on 0.17 and the thread is too long) ...
Thank you! Can't speak for others, but I very much appreciate a concerned nod from one of the developers!

This thread is indeed epic, but I recommend at least one of the original devs read through it. There have been some very interesting commentary on general game design theory as it relates to Factorio. You just have to sift through all the common (and often angry) "ME TOO!" messages.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by wartthog » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:07 pm

Another thing that might help is to have a clear list of what is and is not still moddable, and perhaps a justification (whether it's accepted or not) for removing what you did from the engine. Then people wouldn't need to speculate and extrapolate.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by posila » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:59 pm
But that's not the case here. Wube deliberately broke a lot of great mods and diminished the vanilla experience (AM1) for no good reason.
Assembling machine limit is still modable, but in vanilla, they are unlimited (which really means limited to 255 ingredient slots)
wartthog wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:07 pm
Another thing that might help is to have a clear list of what is and is not still moddable, and perhaps a justification (whether it's accepted or not) for removing what you did from the engine. Then people wouldn't need to speculate and extrapolate.
I don't know reasoning beyond what was in FFF
  • Pickaxe - tool slot and mining-tool prototype removed from engine (there is dummy mining-tool for purpose of migration of old saves)
  • Burner efficiency - no engine change, base mod was changed so it always uses efficiency = 1
  • Hardness, Mining power, Mining speed & Mining time - mining speed calculation overhauled in the engine; mining_hardness and mining_power removed, only mining_time and mining_speed are used to calculate final mining speed. If you want to constrain some resources to be minable only by higher tier of drills, use resource_categories (see pumpjack definition in base mod). Restricting player from mining non-resource entity is not possible at the moment. It's also not possible to temporarily prevent player from mining resource entities (player can either mine a resource from start - but maybe super slow, or not able to mine it at all).
  • Resistances/Damage types - no engine change, mods can add more damage types if they need to
  • Assembling machine ingredient limit - minor engine change = AssemblingMachinePrototype::ingredient_count is now optional and defaults to 255, everything else were changes in base mod

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by SpiffyTriffid » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:31 pm

This makes me sad. Really, really sad to see what the devs are doing with factorio. The argument was never about pickaxes in particular, or engine sims, or assembler counts. It was about the community asking to keep heavily-used mod features in the game engine, even if they were removed from the base game, and the devs saying "no. We don't care about your modded experience. You can't do this anymore."
It seems like the devs don't really care what their current playerbase thinks, and just starts a discussion post to gain the respect and sales "interacting with the community" gets a company without actually listening to the community, going by the lack of a mention in #277. Was it really that hard to leave those features in and mask them in the UI? Was it potential UPS gain, or code maintainability that internally justified degrading the modded experience by tearing out useful features? Were those improvements worth alienating a group of players that use the game as a base, an engine to build far richer and more complex experiences on? Was it worth giving the finger to those who are your greatest advertisement, people who love complex puzzles and just can't shut up about how amazing factorio is and you need to buy it right now?

There's a simple answer to that: mods can't do that [any more]. So they're forced to just not use pickaxes in any way because they no longer exist in the game engine and they can't change the game engine.

They're forced to "just not use this feature anymore".
This broke my heart Robert.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Mike5000 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:44 pm

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm
I don't know reasoning beyond what was in FFF
You have a great moddable engine. It has justifiably earned Wube megabucks. I'm happy for you.

And as explained above you don't have much else.

Seems to me that before you can achieve more great features and avoid breaking what you've already got Wube needs a vision, long-term goals, planning, and play-testing. (Playing is not play-testing.)

Yes I know "vision" is what suits say when they don't have anything useful to say. But a vision can be flexible and adaptable and it is vital to your continued success.

And while not vital to us players and modders it will at least help to manage our expectations if your vision really is for a megabase sandbox with limited moddability, no sense of progress, and no satisfying end game.

Here's a suggestion to get you started:
  • Factorio should support large complex performant worlds with freeplay, sandbox, scenario, and campaign gameplay; single- and multi-player; with flexible cooperation and adversaries; highly moddable; and feature rich such that players should not miss earlier classics such as Minecraft, OpenTTD, SMAC,and C&C.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by jodokus31 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:10 am

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm
Assembling machine limit is still modable, but in vanilla, they are unlimited (which really means limited to 255 ingredient slots)
Thanks for the explanations.

Are there any plans to use recipe categories to limit recipes for lower tier assembly machines in base mod? This would has a similar effect like ingredient limit, but in a much clearer, easier understandable and explainable way.

BTW: In my opinion, the game is getting better with each release. Keep up the great work!

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:22 am

Mike5000 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:44 pm
You have a great moddable engine. It has justifiably earned Wube megabucks. I'm happy for you.

And as explained above you don't have much else.

Seems to me that before you can achieve more great features and avoid breaking what you've already got Wube needs a vision, long-term goals, planning, and play-testing. (Playing is not play-testing.)

Yes I know "vision" is what suits say when they don't have anything useful to say. But a vision can be flexible and adaptable and it is vital to your continued success.

And while not vital to us players and modders it will at least help to manage our expectations if your vision really is for a megabase sandbox with limited moddability, no sense of progress, and no satisfying end game.

Here's a suggestion to get you started:

Factorio should support large complex performant worlds with freeplay, sandbox, scenario, and campaign gameplay; single- and multi-player; with flexible cooperation and adversaries; highly moddable; and feature rich such that players should not miss earlier classics such as Minecraft, OpenTTD, SMAC,and C&C.
Telling them their game is total shit is probably not going to get them to listen to your ideas. I know it deterred me and I don't even work on the game.
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Mike5000 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:04 am

EDIT: Thanks for the retweet.
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:24 am

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:04 am
5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:22 am
their game is total shit ... I know ...I don't even work
Thank you for sharing.
You seem to think I selectively quoted you to make you sound like an ass. So I'll fix the original post because I think you sounded like an ass in the whole thing but I only wanted to address the first part.
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Light » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:29 am

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm
wartthog wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:07 pm
Another thing that might help is to have a clear list of what is and is not still moddable, and perhaps a justification (whether it's accepted or not) for removing what you did from the engine. Then people wouldn't need to speculate and extrapolate.
I don't know reasoning beyond what was in FFF
  • Pickaxe - tool slot and mining-tool prototype removed from engine (there is dummy mining-tool for purpose of migration of old saves)
  • Burner efficiency - no engine change, base mod was changed so it always uses efficiency = 1
  • Hardness, Mining power, Mining speed & Mining time - mining speed calculation overhauled in the engine; mining_hardness and mining_power removed, only mining_time and mining_speed are used to calculate final mining speed. If you want to constrain some resources to be minable only by higher tier of drills, use resource_categories (see pumpjack definition in base mod). Restricting player from mining non-resource entity is not possible at the moment. It's also not possible to temporarily prevent player from mining resource entities (player can either mine a resource from start - but maybe super slow, or not able to mine it at all).
  • Resistances/Damage types - no engine change, mods can add more damage types if they need to
  • Assembling machine ingredient limit - minor engine change = AssemblingMachinePrototype::ingredient_count is now optional and defaults to 255, everything else were changes in base mod
Now this is proper information we can work with, and it's something that should have been included in FFF 267 to clarify and calm the frustrations of the community.

So thank you posila for doing what you could despite it being outside your area of work. It has restored some faith in 0.17, but most certainly shows that mods will take a lot longer to create the workarounds to start functioning similarly to how they do currently. That is if this list is all encompassing of what is changed for sure.

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by ttapada » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:37 am

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:59 pm
But that's not the case here. Wube deliberately broke a lot of great mods and diminished the vanilla experience (AM1) for no good reason.
Assembling machine limit is still modable, but in vanilla, they are unlimited (which really means limited to 255 ingredient slots)
wartthog wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:07 pm
Another thing that might help is to have a clear list of what is and is not still moddable, and perhaps a justification (whether it's accepted or not) for removing what you did from the engine. Then people wouldn't need to speculate and extrapolate.
I don't know reasoning beyond what was in FFF
  • Pickaxe - tool slot and mining-tool prototype removed from engine (there is dummy mining-tool for purpose of migration of old saves)
  • Burner efficiency - no engine change, base mod was changed so it always uses efficiency = 1
  • Hardness, Mining power, Mining speed & Mining time - mining speed calculation overhauled in the engine; mining_hardness and mining_power removed, only mining_time and mining_speed are used to calculate final mining speed. If you want to constrain some resources to be minable only by higher tier of drills, use resource_categories (see pumpjack definition in base mod). Restricting player from mining non-resource entity is not possible at the moment. It's also not possible to temporarily prevent player from mining resource entities (player can either mine a resource from start - but maybe super slow, or not able to mine it at all).
  • Resistances/Damage types - no engine change, mods can add more damage types if they need to
  • Assembling machine ingredient limit - minor engine change = AssemblingMachinePrototype::ingredient_count is now optional and defaults to 255, everything else were changes in base mod
I dislike all changes now "proposed". I oppose particularly the removal of the limit of ingredients for an assembly machine and the fuel efficiency mechanics.
Those are a big part of the player's progress through the game and a bit of the puzzle that is a Factorio run.
I think removing those, as well as the pickaxe, ruin the early to mid game.

I'm hoping you can reconsider...

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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by Tomik » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:07 pm

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:38 pm
Inari wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:17 pm
It seems a bit odd to then meet the criticism with being defensive ("Well, if we can't change anything any more we could just ship it now")
I was specificaly responding to Ferlonas saying (I am paraphrazing) "Bob and Angel will have to modify their mods because of your change, so it's a bad change and you shouldn't have done it." I have to admit, I have read only fraction of this discussion (mainly because the topic is not related to my work on 0.17 and the thread is too long), and I responded just to one person that I randomly saw was criticizing we removed features from the engine that were actually not removed.

I can see how pickaxe removal kills Stone Age mod, and that there was creative use of hardness to prevent a non-resource entity be mineable by player. So that's a bummer (we could probably add entity flag for the latter) ... but we have made changes that killed mods before (anyone remember single belt lane blockers?)

I realize we are not super accommodating when it comes to modding interface requests, but when we have time we try to add something extra, or finish-up an experiment that didn't make it into vanilla and leave it in the engine for mods to use. Other times, an optimization or polish causes removal of functionality that we don't have time to make optional. Some devs hate unnecessary mod breaking changes (even in between major updates), others make mod breaking changes without second though (at least in between major updates) ... so it's a mixed bag.

EDIT:
@eradicator: don't know if anyone responded to you - you can define more damage types in your mod if you need to.
Okay. Let's do it rationally. Thanks btw for telling us WHAT EXACTLY was removed. Because we didn't get it from the update.

Please. Now tell us. What was the reasoning put forth for not only removing those mechanics from the base game by deactivating them but also removing them from the game code itself?

I am extremely curious about Wube's logic here.
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:59 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:04 am
EDIT: Thanks for the retweet.
I apologize for my post, unmitigatedly. You seem to regret yours as well. Truce?
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Re: Friday Facts #266 - Cleanup of mechanics

Post by emp_zealoth » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:02 pm

posila wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:59 pm
But that's not the case here. Wube deliberately broke a lot of great mods and diminished the vanilla experience (AM1) for no good reason.
Assembling machine limit is still modable, but in vanilla, they are unlimited (which really means limited to 255 ingredient slots)
wartthog wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:07 pm
Another thing that might help is to have a clear list of what is and is not still moddable, and perhaps a justification (whether it's accepted or not) for removing what you did from the engine. Then people wouldn't need to speculate and extrapolate.
I don't know reasoning beyond what was in FFF
  • Pickaxe - tool slot and mining-tool prototype removed from engine (there is dummy mining-tool for purpose of migration of old saves)
  • Burner efficiency - no engine change, base mod was changed so it always uses efficiency = 1
  • Hardness, Mining power, Mining speed & Mining time - mining speed calculation overhauled in the engine; mining_hardness and mining_power removed, only mining_time and mining_speed are used to calculate final mining speed. If you want to constrain some resources to be minable only by higher tier of drills, use resource_categories (see pumpjack definition in base mod). Restricting player from mining non-resource entity is not possible at the moment. It's also not possible to temporarily prevent player from mining resource entities (player can either mine a resource from start - but maybe super slow, or not able to mine it at all).
  • Resistances/Damage types - no engine change, mods can add more damage types if they need to
  • Assembling machine ingredient limit - minor engine change = AssemblingMachinePrototype::ingredient_count is now optional and defaults to 255, everything else were changes in base mod

Why not post a paragraph like that in FFF 267? Why not respond with such constructive information 10 or 15 pages earlier of this thread of sadness?

266 made it sound like those things are GONE gone and there will be no sane way to have same functionality re-implemented in mods. (I still think completely removing any functionality for tools is...questionable, but if the rest can be reversed it makes way more sense. I also can understand why you'd remove multistep calculation of mining since it had to be impacting UPS) Obviously those changes drive me even further away from coming back to vanilla, but at least I get to (mostly) enjoy the experience I desire thanks to amazing modders.

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