Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by BlueTemplar » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:12 pm

I was worried about that too, but then I saw how a real newbie plays it :
viewtopic.php?p=402922#p402922
the massive differences between the tutorial and the game it's supposed to be teaching
Yeah, it should still be made VERY clear to the player that this is much closer to the Wave Defense scenario than to Freeplay...

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:07 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:59 pm
And the fact that this tutorial passed developer play-testing despite all of the above and 9000 kills is frankly worrying.
100% this is, was, and has always been my concern. This sounds like a really fun optional challenge for those who like fighting biters and securing their base. It does not sound like something a new player should load first. At all.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:13 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:59 pm
The tutorial is not unfairly difficult if you're lucky or if you know the trick. This is not the hallmark of a good tutorial.
I feel like it's also not unfairly difficult if you pay attention, do as you're told, and make a reasonable effort to predict the upcoming events.

If you haven't noticed that the biter gang is growing, well, that's on you.

If you haven't left your factory producing at the specified rates, again, that's on you.

And if you don't figure out that at six science packs a minute, a 150-pack technology will take 25 minutes, and at ten rounds per magazine 25 magazines a minute is slightly more than four shots a second?

Guess whose fault I think that is. Go on, guess.

I feel like every player is given adequate signals and clues about what's going to happen, and if they aren't imagining that the campaign is lying because this is just like 0.16 freeplay, they will act based on those signals and clues.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Light » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:24 pm

CDarklock pretty much nailed it in his post above. A lot of the faults are on us and not really the campaign itself, as it does clearly state to automate ammo production at a set rate. Nor are we under any time constraint to require us to create massive infrastructure from the very start. There's time to build up a defensive wall before any major attacks occur.

I was in the same boat as the rest with the difficulty, but seeing my little brother play completely changed my mind. We're incapable of playing like newbies and we give people far less credit than they're due. He even wanted to go out and fight the biters while the science slowly progressed, as he wasn't in any rush and the research was slow anyway. (He had 4 labs)

The only thing he truly struggled with was figuring out how to create walls, which is the one time I intervened to show him how to do it. He otherwise went through the process of figuring things out for himself and I'm remarkably proud of him for doing so.


CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Light wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:04 pm
My 9 year old brother also aced the campaign
Oh man, if that doesn't shame the people complaining it's too hard, I don't know what will. :D
He's no ordinary 9 year old, he's a space marine. (That's what he told me)

5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:23 pm
CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Light wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:04 pm
My 9 year old brother also aced the campaign
Oh man, if that doesn't shame the people complaining it's too hard, I don't know what will. :D
I lost any ability to be shamed by a 9-year-old the day I played Fortnite with my nephew.
Now I think I understand what my father may have felt when I was better at the Atari and NES games he played. Sorry dad.

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:59 pm
CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:37 pm
I have no problem being shown up by a younger player. But if a 9 year old can play the game, I am sure as hell not going to be banging my fist on the table screaming about it being unfairly difficult.
The tutorial is not unfairly difficult if you're lucky or if you know the trick. This is not the hallmark of a good tutorial.
This isn't a lootbox game, there's no RNG so there's no "luck" involved. Everything you need to know is clearly mentioned so there's no "trick" either.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Mike5000 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:51 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:13 pm
If you haven't left your factory producing at the specified rates, again, that's on you.
Got it.

Potential buyers are supposed to magically guess that they have to stop green circuit production and magically guess that they have to NOT stop ammunition production and magically guess they should accelerate and cache ammunition production (because demand by design ultimately exceeds 100% of capacity) and magically guess that they should not be accelerating science production which is pretty much the whole point of the game called Factorio which of course this tutorial is not.

No luck involved. Just a lot of magical guesses.

The old demo sold a shipload of Factorio. And rightly so. Hard to imagine this unimaginative coal shoveling tower defense scenario selling anything.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:27 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:51 pm
Potential buyers are supposed to magically guess
I'll just leave this here.
defenses.png
defenses.png (5.1 KiB) Viewed 760 times

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by JulianB3000 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:59 am

Thanks for the explanation of the biters. That puts them in a different perspective for me in overall gameplay, not only in here.

As for the intro campaign - it crashed for at the end of the first part, so I can't see the bit everyone's complaining about. ;)

Still, I think a few of those people missed this comment: "We already use dynamic difficulty in the Freeplay, so I would consider it representative. The difficulty will of course get a bunch of balance passes and something will be added to warn players better of the dangers ahead."

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by matheod » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:12 am

Okay so I tested the campaign. I played it like if it was the first time I was playing factorio. I also knew that I needed to have good defense and to not go too far in research tree. But I still got killed near the end. I never done that much defense in any of my previous play. Usually I manually feed ammo until I switch to laser turret. But for once, I put an automatic reffilling and made a lots of ammunition. But still lost because near the end you keep receiving every few seconds very big wave of biters, so even if I had a lots of ammunition in my belts it got consummed so fast.

So even know the game, even knowing that biters were hard on this tutorial, I still managed to lost. There shouldn't be the brutal increase of attack near the end. It should still slowly increase to make time for the player to adjust.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:46 am

CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:02 am
5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:37 am
Yeah if people are complaining that you can't take out spitters with a pistol and yellow ammo well I can't speak on that.
I think the complaint is more "they show up before I have a chance to get more than that."

Which is really a complaint of "my pollution is entirely out of control before I can effectively defend myself."

It's not like anyone, to my knowledge, is out bug hunting at that level. They're just minding their own business, building the blueprints they usually do, only now the biters are close enough that their pollution has aggravated the crap out of a half dozen bases in twenty minutes.

And all they really have to do is back up, take a deep breath, and keep the operation small a little longer. I'm currently working under a little system that has not upset anyone, just yet:

- Gather resources with one burner drill and one furnace per resource patch.
- Retreat to a water source and wall off a small area large enough for a steam engine, four labs, and a little red science production line.
- Crank out a bunch of red science. Lights. Walls. Turrets. Heavy armour. Get equipped.
- Wall off resource patches and put small drilling operations on them, defended by turrets. (I am here.)
- Transport resources to a convenient location for your green science production line.

And I think that should take me far enough down the tree that biters stop being an issue - if I treat them proactively and go eliminate their bases before pollution forces the confrontation. The car and the AP ammo are just a hop, skip, and jump down the tree in green science.

EDIT: It strikes me that my first three steps are basically the stages of the campaign.
Have you actually played it? They spawn from thin air. Not from pollution or bases. They literally just spawn in, in packs of 30 every 5-10 seconds. In terms of teaching a new player the mechanics of the game, it fails in every degree.
Last edited by Xuhybrid on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:53 am

CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Light wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:04 pm
My 9 year old brother also aced the campaign
Oh man, if that doesn't shame the people complaining it's too hard, I don't know what will. :D
Shame? It's intentionally designed to punish people for playing well according to the devs.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by 5thHorseman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:00 am

Xuhybrid wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:46 am
CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:02 am
5thHorseman wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:37 am
Yeah if people are complaining that you can't take out spitters with a pistol and yellow ammo well I can't speak on that.
I think the complaint is more "they show up before I have a chance to get more than that."

Which is really a complaint of "my pollution is entirely out of control before I can effectively defend myself."

It's not like anyone, to my knowledge, is out bug hunting at that level. They're just minding their own business, building the blueprints they usually do, only now the biters are close enough that their pollution has aggravated the crap out of a half dozen bases in twenty minutes.

And all they really have to do is back up, take a deep breath, and keep the operation small a little longer. I'm currently working under a little system that has not upset anyone, just yet:

- Gather resources with one burner drill and one furnace per resource patch.
- Retreat to a water source and wall off a small area large enough for a steam engine, four labs, and a little red science production line.
- Crank out a bunch of red science. Lights. Walls. Turrets. Heavy armour. Get equipped.
- Wall off resource patches and put small drilling operations on them, defended by turrets. (I am here.)
- Transport resources to a convenient location for your green science production line.

And I think that should take me far enough down the tree that biters stop being an issue - if I treat them proactively and go eliminate their bases before pollution forces the confrontation. The car and the AP ammo are just a hop, skip, and jump down the tree in green science.

EDIT: It strikes me that my first three steps are basically the stages of the campaign.
Have you actually played it? They spawn from thin air. Not from pollution or bases. They literally just spawn in, in packs of 30 every 5-10 seconds. In terms of teaching a new player the mechanics of the game, it fails in every degree.
CDarklock and I were discussing biters in general there.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:01 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:00 am
CDarklock and I were discussing biters in general there.
Ah that's fair. I assumed it was about the campaign.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by kulkutautinen » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:11 am

The intro sucks at the moment, to be honest.

I have played the game "through" over 10 times from 0.14 to 0.16 and now lost the introduction. INTRODUCTION!!! I maybe had bought such tower defence game, but then would have been really dissapointed about the real game.

Then I studied the forums and found out about this new pollution mechanics and ever-increasing waves. Now I'm going for a second run and have learned following:
* don't use burner inserters, carry large chunks of stuff around manually
* mine by hand whenever you have time
* do not build additional mines
* do not build large production

After watching BIlka's playthrough, I learned few things more:
* build furnace walls and pipe walls, because those are cheaper than real walls


Is this what you want to teach?

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by ske » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:38 am

kulkutautinen wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:11 am
Is this what you want to teach?
In my view the pollution mechanics sound good on paper... but only on paper. The mechanism they introduce doesn't translate well into some kind of auto-adjusting difficulty setting. What's going on is not very transparent to the player and there are ways to game the system. All in all I would be in favor of ditching the whole pollution thing as it is right now to make space for something better.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:49 am

IMHO it does it pretty well... however it probably should be tweaked to not scale as much with research, so as to not be as brutal towards the end ? (At least on default settings...)

Also, at least towards the end, the player should be given tips about not leaving too many ammo in a single turret
(in the case it gets destroyed and all that pollution "wasted"),
and how inserter-feeding is a natural solution to that ;
and about not wasting your pollution on boxes filled with useless (at that point) stuff.

IMHO wooden chests should only have space for 1 stack (so they're auto-limited!), and iron chests for 5/10/20(?) stacks.
I'm considering making a mod for that.
Yes I know that other mods like that exist, but IMHO they don't have quite the right balance... (or add other unvanilla-like multiple tile containers.)

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by mrvn » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:09 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:33 pm
MoleOnDope wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:29 pm
Tomik wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:17 pm
Will we get Loaders in Freeplay? Have Loaders only work with filling up/emptying chest-types (wagons and chests). Everything else would need inserters.
I believe loaders/feeders are intended as tools for playtesting by the devs or modders, so they're deliberately not made for vanilla.
Inserters would be pretty much useless compared to loaders/feeders ;)
Loaders can't replace inserters. Assemblers at least do not need a while belt of resource input, and the mess of splitting a belt into 2 assemblers is something inserters are just plain better at.

Loaders would be good for loading/emptying chests, trains, and..... Thats about it. Rockets maybe?
Splitting for 2 assemblers is easy. Simply put them next to each other with power poles on the outside. Then the belt comes in from the side, hits a splitter and then 2 loaders to feed the 2 assemblers. Also balances nicely.

The "problems" come with N assemblers. You need N-1 splitters and if you simply chain them in a line then each assembler will get half the input of the previous one. And loaders don't stop when they hit the requested amount but fill a full stack into each assembler. In the long term that is no problem. But short term it means a chain of assemblers will start up slowly and you have to buffer a ton of items before production takes of.

So inserters are better if you don't want any one assembler/furnace/whatever to hog all the resources till it has buffered a full stack.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by rantingrodent » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:51 pm

Dynamic difficulty is hard to get right and I think everyone needs to remember that this is aiming at something good and probably not missing by much. The tutorial must apply production pressure in order to teach the thing it's trying to teach, and it can't do that predictably if it doesn't increase the pressure in step with the player's skill and progression. Since the tutorial favours an approach with few explicit hand-holdy steps, the game has to rely on some kind of heuristic to figure out where the player is and what size of force they can deal with. They chose a combination of research and pollution, which produces a really wild result if you play with the typical veteran playstyle of overbuilding infrastructure. New players are never going to play this way, because it's entirely a product of prior Factorio experience. New players have no idea how much they'll need of any particular thing until they encounter such a need. On the other hand, new players can become fascinated with a thing they just learned and overdo it a bit, which is a thing we want, and might run afoul of the same problem.

My suggestions:
1. Dampen biter aggression in the tutorial to control towards a particular ratio of attacking biters to active turrets (not a hard cap, just a tendancy towards) since the intent is to apply pressure, but overrunning the player's base doesn't teach anything
2. When several non-wall buildings are destroyed, especially production buildings, trigger a temporary hard cut off in biter spawns to ensure there's time to mop up the current wave and rebuild. In tutorial terms it feels much more fair for the game to pull its punches when it looks like you're not keeping up, and give you the space to say "ok, I need to produce more ammo and feed it in more efficiently. how do I do that?"

With the intent of giving the player some breathing room if the biters are overwhelming their defenses. Being given space to rebuild is much more instructive and satisfying than having to restart the tutorial, even from an autosave point.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:16 pm

rantingrodent wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:51 pm
Dynamic difficulty is hard to get right and I think everyone needs to remember that this is aiming at something good and probably not missing by much. The tutorial must apply production pressure in order to teach the thing it's trying to teach, and it can't do that predictably if it doesn't increase the pressure in step with the player's skill and progression. Since the tutorial favours an approach with few explicit hand-holdy steps, the game has to rely on some kind of heuristic to figure out where the player is and what size of force they can deal with. They chose a combination of research and pollution, which produces a really wild result if you play with the typical veteran playstyle of overbuilding infrastructure. New players are never going to play this way, because it's entirely a product of prior Factorio experience. New players have no idea how much they'll need of any particular thing until they encounter such a need. On the other hand, new players can become fascinated with a thing they just learned and overdo it a bit, which is a thing we want, and might run afoul of the same problem.

My suggestions:
1. Dampen biter aggression in the tutorial to control towards a particular ratio of attacking biters to active turrets (not a hard cap, just a tendancy towards) since the intent is to apply pressure, but overrunning the player's base doesn't teach anything
2. When several non-wall buildings are destroyed, especially production buildings, trigger a temporary hard cut off in biter spawns to ensure there's time to mop up the current wave and rebuild. In tutorial terms it feels much more fair for the game to pull its punches when it looks like you're not keeping up, and give you the space to say "ok, I need to produce more ammo and feed it in more efficiently. how do I do that?"

With the intent of giving the player some breathing room if the biters are overwhelming their defenses. Being given space to rebuild is much more instructive and satisfying than having to restart the tutorial, even from an autosave point.
I think it could be adjusted quite easily. Only spawn enemies on the side we came from. This not only makes sense in the narrative so far because it's where the enemy base is. But this also allows a new player to not be in panic mode, defending all sides at once, while still maintaining a level of challenge. I still don't agree with the ramping but this single change would make it work.
Last edited by Xuhybrid on Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by meganothing » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:27 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:51 pm
Potential buyers are supposed to magically guess
I'll just leave this here.

defenses.png
Haven't played the scenario yet, but is there enough info for a new player to guess what a "strong enough" defense is? If he overdoes the defense, would he fail?

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:20 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm
CDarklock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:27 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:51 pm
Potential buyers are supposed to magically guess
I'll just leave this here.

defenses.png
Haven't played the scenario yet, but is there enough info for a new player to guess what a "strong enough" defense is? If he overdoes the defense, would he fail?
It requires you to product x per minute however the amount of ammo assemblers comes out to 2 which is by far not enough. 4 wasn't enough towards the end. It required you to stockpile 100 ammo which is nothing compared to the amount needed.

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