Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:25 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm
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?
I don't think so, unless his ratio of turrets (and walls if he researched them) to bullets is REALLY high. (edit: derp)
The issue mostly comes from overdoing the other kinds of production...

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:36 pm

meganothing wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm
is there enough info for a new player to guess what a "strong enough" defense is? If he overdoes the defense, would he fail?
I've raised that issue as a suggestion, because I was unclear about it myself. What does "strong enough" actually mean?

I feel like it's okay to guess too high, but guessing too low is a problem. I think I guessed too high and overdid it, myself, but I made it through okay.

Also, I don't think it's realistic to expect you'll beat the campaign your first time through. This is why we have autosaves. If you screw up and lose, I feel like you're supposed to go "dammit, I did it wrong" and reload a save. It seems like a lot of people are just saying "dammit, this campaign is broken." It's a matter of expectations; people seem to be saying "this is a tutorial and I already know what I am doing." But it's not; it's a campaign, which might be productively viewed as an early questline in some other game. You can totally fail early questlines, even if you know what you're doing, if you make bad decisions or don't try hard enough. And I think a lot of people are phoning it in, not paying attention, and then feeling betrayed when the mission isn't trivial.

Like when you're sneaking through Movarth's lair in Skyrim, and you're on the little catwalk where you can shoot him with arrows and he'll never be able to find you, and you've done it fifty times so you have this down pat and then you just casually walk off the edge and land on his thrall. Which does not end well.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by sunnyskies » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:11 pm

I confess, I’m a bit baffled at how increasing difficulty to a point where you still have a chance to lose when you’re doing well is considered a punishment. Isn’t that a reward? All these horror reports inspired me to check it out in hopes of getting gloriously overrun.

If I’m losing, I take it as a lesson that I can improve. That need to improve has me stretching my creativity, and there’s no greater reward for me than that.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Ranakastrasz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:36 pm
Also, I don't think it's realistic to expect you'll beat the campaign your first time through. This is why we have autosaves. If you screw up and lose, I feel like you're supposed to go "dammit, I did it wrong" and reload a save. It seems like a lot of people are just saying "dammit, this campaign is broken." It's a matter of expectations; people seem to be saying "this is a tutorial and I already know what I am doing." But it's not; it's a campaign, which might be productively viewed as an early questline in some other game. You can totally fail early questlines, even if you know what you're doing, if you make bad decisions or don't try hard enough. And I think a lot of people are phoning it in, not paying attention, and then feeling betrayed when the mission isn't trivial.

Like when you're sneaking through Movarth's lair in Skyrim, and you're on the little catwalk where you can shoot him with arrows and he'll never be able to find you, and you've done it fifty times so you have this down pat and then you just casually walk off the edge and land on his thrall. Which does not end well.
Perhaps, but however you dress it up, it looks and feels like a tutorial. The first mission of a campaign is generally a tutorial, unless there is a separate tutorial option. Honestly, if it had changed maps, I would have thought. "Oh, tutorials over. Time to get serious". Instead, it just continued, and kept feeling like a tutorial.

There is nothing wrong with a defense scenario like that. The problem is largely, again, that it not only ramps the attack waves up, but does so to the point that if you don't play by the rules (Produce bullets and nothing else, which it doesn't tell you) you get overrun. And adding more defenses is worthless because it perfectly scales with your defenses. In no other tutorial I've ever seen has difficulty scaled with perceived skill, because a tutorial is not supposed to be challenging, but rather an interactive learning experience or something like that.
----
Also, while I can now know that the "first mission" is "totally not a tutorial" it doesn't matter.
Other games use tutorials that way. It has all the normal features of a tutorial. restricted controls, interface, very specific actions to progress, slow unlocking of each feature, with explanation. Up until the end where, rather than demonstrating combat defense, it tells you that you can never keep up with the level of attacks, and if you investigate it yourself, realize that each bullet you produce means another enemy, such that extra defense is a liability.
While this is true, usually it is only a liability in that it costs resources, not in the, More defenses means more enemies trying to tear them down.

Still looking for a newbie video of the new "not tutorial"
sunnyskies wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:11 pm
I confess, I’m a bit baffled at how increasing difficulty to a point where you still have a chance to lose when you’re doing well is considered a punishment. Isn’t that a reward? All these horror reports inspired me to check it out in hopes of getting gloriously overrun.

If I’m losing, I take it as a lesson that I can improve. That need to improve has me stretching my creativity, and there’s no greater reward for me than that.
Its fine in the real game, but as a tutorial, it really isn't right.
The problem is that, if you get overrun, the conclusion is, I didn't build enough defenses. Great lesson, for other games, even Factorio. So you might re-do it, and discover that, nope, thats not enough defenses either. And you do it again, and suddenly you realize that they are sending larger attacks when you put up larger defenses. Then you realize, Ok, so defense in this game is futile, and my factory will be overrun no matter what I do.

Then you go to the forums, and discover, suddenly, that pollution is what scales the waves, along with research progress. So you go back, stockpile ammo and research, set everything up, shut down everything you can, and watch as you casually counter all the attack waves.

If it explained the pollution, I would have no problem whatsoever with the ending. After all, especially with the new biter spawning fix, it is quite clear that pollution is the source of biter-based problems, and getting maximum functionality out of minimal pollution is the way to go. But this is never explained in the Not Tutorial.
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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:12 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm
And adding more defenses is worthless because it perfectly scales with your defenses.
It doesn't, at least not perfectly, and not directly.
(It would probably be easier if it did.)
Ranakastrasz wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm
Still looking for a newbie video of the new "not tutorial"
I already linked a post linking one in this very thread??
(Though the issue with streaming websites like Twitch, is that you're rarely alone, and often there will be at least one experienced player in the chat to help you... Not sure how much it has influenced that one, I didn't watch all 5+ hours of it...)

(Otherwise, in general, I agree.)

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Xuhybrid » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:17 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:36 pm
meganothing wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm
is there enough info for a new player to guess what a "strong enough" defense is? If he overdoes the defense, would he fail?
I've raised that issue as a suggestion, because I was unclear about it myself. What does "strong enough" actually mean?

I feel like it's okay to guess too high, but guessing too low is a problem. I think I guessed too high and overdid it, myself, but I made it through okay.

Also, I don't think it's realistic to expect you'll beat the campaign your first time through. This is why we have autosaves. If you screw up and lose, I feel like you're supposed to go "dammit, I did it wrong" and reload a save. It seems like a lot of people are just saying "dammit, this campaign is broken." It's a matter of expectations; people seem to be saying "this is a tutorial and I already know what I am doing." But it's not; it's a campaign, which might be productively viewed as an early questline in some other game. You can totally fail early questlines, even if you know what you're doing, if you make bad decisions or don't try hard enough. And I think a lot of people are phoning it in, not paying attention, and then feeling betrayed when the mission isn't trivial.

Like when you're sneaking through Movarth's lair in Skyrim, and you're on the little catwalk where you can shoot him with arrows and he'll never be able to find you, and you've done it fifty times so you have this down pat and then you just casually walk off the edge and land on his thrall. Which does not end well.
That's a lot of assumptions with no basis. For example, after completing it and clicking continue, you're back to normal. Regular controllable attacks on each side. Not several hundred biters on each side. Making bad decisions and not trying hard enough? What kind of vague bs are you talking about? If "bad decision" equals doing what the tutorial told you, i'll laugh my ass off. Not trying? So restocking ammo in turrets with double what the tutorial asked from you is not trying? Wasn't enough.
sunnyskies wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:11 pm
I confess, I’m a bit baffled at how increasing difficulty to a point where you still have a chance to lose when you’re doing well is considered a punishment. Isn’t that a reward? All these horror reports inspired me to check it out in hopes of getting gloriously overrun.

If I’m losing, I take it as a lesson that I can improve. That need to improve has me stretching my creativity, and there’s no greater reward for me than that.
All of this is irrelevant when you realise this is the first mission, a tutorial. Not a challenge mode.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:26 pm

Xuhybrid wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:17 pm
That's a lot of assumptions with no basis.
Where?

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by sunnyskies » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:54 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm
If it explained the pollution, I would have no problem whatsoever with the ending. After all, especially with the new biter spawning fix, it is quite clear that pollution is the source of biter-based problems, and getting maximum functionality out of minimal pollution is the way to go. But this is never explained in the Not Tutorial.
Ah, good point. *nods*

Probably an excellent place for whatever narrative may be going on with Compy, too. The manner in which he breaks the news to the player that the pollution produced by your work causes increased aggression could tip the story. Or hint towards the final objective and give it a slant.

- Does Compy want you to get attacked for data? Ramp up production and see what happens, and suddenly they’re eating our drills. Aha, direct correlation, how interesting. What other data can we collect? And how can we send it to the rest of the universe while stuck on this hostile planet?

- A resigned data compilation that we’ll have to get used to this for as long as we’re stuck here, and we really do want to get off.

- A mention that a flare isn’t enough of a help signal, and that would just attract trouble, oh maybe this plume of smoke from our production is the problem.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Ranakastrasz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:59 pm

Xuhybrid wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:17 pm
All of this is irrelevant when you realise this is the first mission, a tutorial. Not a challenge mode.
It is a tutorial, even if people deny it. And as it is, no way around it. Even expliticly claiming it is not a tutorial wouldn't work, it is setup as a tutorial.
As I said above.
Ranakastrasz wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm
Also, while I can now know that the "first mission" is "totally not a tutorial" it doesn't matter.
Other games use tutorials that way. It has all the normal features of a tutorial. restricted controls, interface, very specific actions to progress, slow unlocking of each feature, with explanation. Up until the end where, rather than demonstrating combat defense, it tells you that you can never keep up with the level of attacks, and if you investigate it yourself, realize that each bullet you produce means another enemy, such that extra defense is a liability.
While this is true, usually it is only a liability in that it costs resources, not in the, More defenses means more enemies trying to tear them down.
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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Mike5000 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:01 pm

Some playthroughs of the NotATutorialHonestGuvWouldILieToYou are easy for another reason. Sometimes the massed hordes of biters get stuck and remain forever near their magic spawn spots with only small fractions escaping to attack. This state can persist indefinitely allowing lucky players to achieve high kill scores over many hours with little stress compared to less fortunate players.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by kulkutautinen » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:10 pm

I would like to stress that it is tutorial. A tutorial.

Many commentators seem to think it as death world alley defence challenge. And it was a great puzzle as such. I solved it after realizing that map1 pollution is cleared when map2 begins. Then you just produce all resources you need in map1 without any danger, use assembling machines for few odd quests in map2, and build 12 labs (in map1 of course) to churn the research. Passed in 59min and had to kill 8 small biters. Neat puzzle, but never a tutorial.

Some new players might be lucky, but some will be a lot less lucky. Capping biter aggression to a small level is very suitable for tutorial.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:05 pm

kulkutautinen wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:10 pm
I would like to stress that it is tutorial. A tutorial.
Fundamentally, it's futile to argue with the playerbase about what something is, so this is going to end up being right. Once enough people insist that this is what this part of the game is, and it can either do a good job or a bad one, but it absolutely cannot be something else?

Well, that's what it is. You can't fight your players.

Rather a shame, really, because I thought they were building something much better and more interesting. And they were doing a good job of it, too. But yeah, sure, let's just have a tutorial instead

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by 5thHorseman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:39 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:05 pm
kulkutautinen wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:10 pm
I would like to stress that it is tutorial. A tutorial.
Fundamentally, it's futile to argue with the playerbase about what something is, so this is going to end up being right. Once enough people insist that this is what this part of the game is, and it can either do a good job or a bad one, but it absolutely cannot be something else?
Literally all they need to do is move it to the Scenarios menu and 90% of what people are complaining about will go away.

Alternatively, they could put somewhere - anywhere - on the screen that it's not representative of the actual game and is intended to be a one-off challenge to exercise your knowledge. Or, for some weird reason for this one, your lack of knowledge on how to actually play the game and ability to follow vague instructions.

I personally have no problem with it being hard. I don't even know for a fact that it's hard because I've not played it. My problem is that - from every report I've seen including those from the devs - it's presented to the player in the same way that many many games present tutorials when it is not one. I 100% guarantee that new players will go into this menu, try this "campaign," and realize that Factorio is not the game for them (when in fact is very much could be). I know this because I did it myself years ago and the campaign wasn't nearly as skewed from gameplay as this one is.
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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by sunnyskies » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:06 am

Or maybe we're all ignoring the real tutorial. When's the last time any of us has clicked on that grad hat button? How useful is it? Is there room for improvement? Did you forget about it? ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by 5thHorseman » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

sunnyskies wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:06 am
Or maybe we're all ignoring the real tutorial. When's the last time any of us has clicked on that grad hat button? How useful is it? Is there room for improvement? Did you forget about it? ;)
I think the game should have both. One for someone who's never played or felt overwhelmed by freeplay to have a guided first couple hours, and one (or many) for specific topics that require a more in-depth explanation than a tooltip can provide.

And FTR I've used that hat a moderate amount since 0.17 came out, though most of the stuff in it is refresher for me.
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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by Ser_Optimus » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:14 am

"How do we teach a new player the concept of never having enough? "

For me this is part of the experience. All those little "OK I gues I'll need more of that"-moments are a huge part of the game itself.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by SuperSandro2000 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:17 am

Ser_Optimus wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:14 am
"How do we teach a new player the concept of never having enough? "

For me this is part of the experience. All those little "OK I gues I'll need more of that"-moments are a huge part of the game itself.
Just tell them:
You could wait now 2 hours to finish that or build it a second time to finish it in 1 hour.
Or build it 8 times to finish it in 15 min.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by McDuff » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 am

CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:05 pm
kulkutautinen wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:10 pm
I would like to stress that it is tutorial. A tutorial.
Fundamentally, it's futile to argue with the playerbase about what something is, so this is going to end up being right. Once enough people insist that this is what this part of the game is, and it can either do a good job or a bad one, but it absolutely cannot be something else?

Well, that's what it is. You can't fight your players.

Rather a shame, really, because I thought they were building something much better and more interesting. And they were doing a good job of it, too. But yeah, sure, let's just have a tutorial instead
Here's an idea: 3 stages instead of 2.

First stage - "basic tutorial," perhaps with a few more clues for things like picking up/putting items on belts and other things that you have to key-mash or look in the settings to find, or side-loading/belt splitting etc.

Second stage - set up a factory, get a few more explanations of concepts, but, oh no, turns out it's the pollution that triggers the biters! Quick, better move again!

Third stage - explicitly say "the biters will get bigger and bigger and worse and worse." Perhaps give the player an additional goal to work towards - put a bit of ship reactor near the biter spawn and get the player to research circuits to trigger it, maybe? That way you're balancing pollution output, making enough bullets to fend off the biters, and doing enough research to get to the goal of making the biters go boom. That also explains why when you get to the "end" of the campaign, the biter waves die down and you can refactor your setup to be a bit less ammo-heavy.

I tend to agree that making it explicit that *pollution* is the mechanic to be aware of is really key to guiding expectations here. It's just giving the player the information about what's going on.

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by CDarklock » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:16 pm

McDuff wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 am
I tend to agree that making it explicit that *pollution* is the mechanic to be aware of is really key to guiding expectations here. It's just giving the player the information about what's going on.
Does the player have that information, though? You've just crashed. How do you know it's the pollution? From a story perspective, what gives you that knowledge?

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Re: Friday Facts #284 - 0.17 experimental

Post by McDuff » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:35 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:16 pm
McDuff wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 am
I tend to agree that making it explicit that *pollution* is the mechanic to be aware of is really key to guiding expectations here. It's just giving the player the information about what's going on.
Does the player have that information, though? You've just crashed. How do you know it's the pollution? From a story perspective, what gives you that knowledge?
There are various ways you could find out. Someone also suggested Compilatron could run an "experiment" getting you to do more pollution and then saying "oops, turns out you're gonna lose this base."

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