Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

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Drury
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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Drury »

I like how much this speaks as to what kind of player each member of the development team is, a very nice post and arguably more informative than even the special FFF edition where they directly described themselves.


So for Twinsen's opinions:

I never actually considered inserters messing up my rations and timings and such, since I don't really care about such things and I don't think the vast majority of the playerbase does either. They're not really relevant until you've played the game for hundreds of hours and got positively hooked. Does this invalidate your concern? Not at all. Having a high "skill ceiling" is one of Factorio's major strengths. This kind of change would barely affect me, and would have a major impact on how the game is played on a high level, so yes, it could be easily argued to be a net positive for the game. However, I hope you'll excuse me if I don't exactly give a standing ovation if or when it occurs, and yes, I will miss the neat little animations of the inserter arm grabbing directly onto an item. I believe /v/ would call this change "soulless", but then again who cares what they say.


Blueprint importing is a part of an apparent issue that woes many developers - how do you make a puzzle satisfying to solve in a cultural climate where the solution can be googled in 5 minutes?

Ultimately, I believe this is almost a phantom problem. I as a player was completely unaware of it before you mentioned it. I don't import blueprints, but I don't mind people who do, and I don't think they find the game boring or leave negative reviews because of it. In fact I think to them this is just another way of overcoming the challenge, and I'd argue that, when viewed from a certain angle, it's even smarter than coming up with your own solution. Instead of racking your little brain trying to make the little puzzle pieces fit correctly, you identify that you can go online and ask someone else, or look one up. There are people out there who actually find this satisfying and a clever way of avoiding frustration, I say let them have that satisfaction, even if I don't swing that way personally.

I can see it being a genuine issue if it turns out that like, 90% of the playerbase just beats the game practically using stitched together parts of other people's factories. But looking at people of all skill levels sharing their factories on reddit, steam community hub and such, I just don't see it as a prevalent tactic. What I do see is a massive prevalance of bots, and that grinds my gears way more as I find it actually stifles creativity much more, as they're the logistics system of choice for megabasers, the kinds of people you want to challenge more, not less.



Now for wheybags:

Yes! Finally someone else says what I've been saying for years! Either make the biters interesting or ditch them, they're an embarrassment. I 100% agree weapons should be more interesting to use than holding down spacebar and vaguely aiming in the direction of the biter horde, make fighting them fun already. It could be via giving them interesting AI that challenges you in more ways than "see if you can spam enough turrets before you get overrun", it could be via making the weapons more fun to use in a plethora ways, literally the world is your oyster, there are so many examples of fun combat games out there to take inspiration from. It's really inconsistent how a game that is as fun to play as Factorio is so boring in this one aspect, the one that's the easiest to get right. And it's really frustrating that the preferred way of solving it has been to stick to the core theme so stringently and outsource combat to automation, the one thing that you always do in this game. Combat has the potential to be the fun little side activity you embark on while you take a break from all the automation, but as it stands, if you treat it that way, you'll be met with a boring chore.

This is the only game I've played that made nukes and tanks boring to use, just think about that for a minute.


As for why miners directly output to belts (and chests and furnaces and such), this also struck me as odd, but I never was able to conjure a reasonable argument as to why they would (or wouldn't) work that way. Makes for some nifty earlygame tricks like making burner miners feed coal to each other and I'd be sad to see that go.


Removing water output from boilers would have grave consequences for boiler setups, but I'd still be up for the challenge I think.


Regarding fluid physics, I see you have made a bunch of very reasonable arguments against them. I have nothing reasonable to say except I hope nobody listens to you in this one instance. You see, one thing I love doing is the no power connection challenge - I allow myself electricity poles, but whenever they connect, I must disconnect them. It is way less masochistic than it sounds and makes for a lot of fun coming up with brand new designs incorporating pipes and steam engines. It turns the whole factory into a steampunk dystopia. If you made fluids work like electricity, the novelty of it would almost completely disappear and I'd be very sad. Ironically the whole idea of this challenge is to make power distribution more interesting since by default it, well, isn't - so my controversial counter-opinion would be to make electricity more complex, like the fluid system.



goto TOGoS:

Oh yes, I've always fantasized of exploration being a part of the Factorio experience, along with the combat improvements. Again, automation is fun, but there are times when you just feel like hunting for big game biters in the thick of an exotic concrete jungle and find some long-lost ancient artifacts of a bygone era, like an old rusty warehouse full of stack inserters you haven't yet researched or such. The community-made abandoned city from the previous FFF is a good proof of concept for this kind of thing, it's the kind of stuff I'm expecting from the singleplayer campaign.


I think it'd be super neat if buildings had a setup time and construction animations, and it's a little bit depressing that it can't and won't ever happen due to VRAM limits and the late stage development and whatnot. Also goes without saying bots are inherently OP and very uninteresting to use, however I don't think the latter issue can be fixed with a simple nerf to their behavior such as what you're suggesting. If you nerf them like that they just go from boring and OP to a bit more fun to watch but useless.


I like immersive features such as limited inventory and whatnot, and I pitched the same concept here of building large buildings and trains on-site years ago. I think this could be a fun avenue for mods. However, I find that when I play the actual game, I get super annoyed by how long refineries take to tear up (like a full second? eww), so I don't think we actually want this in vanilla for real though.



apropos posila:

Sounds fun, I'd be up to see what crazy bindable actions you could come up with unrestrained from the duty to have everything bound by default.



regarding Rseding:

This controversial yet brave opinion may very well divide the community for years to come. I don't know what possessed you to share it, I can't imagine the risk was worth it.
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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Zentrino »

I would love Bridges and tunnels. Mountains too. I like the idea of biters being smarter in their attacks as well. It never made sense to me that I only need to defend certain sections because all the biters always go to the same place. Adventure mode also sounds interesting.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Ryba666 »

Only controversial change is advanced and base oil processing

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by OmegaStorm720 »

I think the power user hotkeys would be epic and would love for an option to have an adventure mode

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by CaveGrinder »

Definitely many interesting points to talk about in this one.

Inserters should not chase items:
This is the only one reason why i have to open a wiki page when building even basic factories as i like min/maxing; i don't like this aspect currently. No matter what you choose i would like to see the item transfer rate being part of the tool-tip.

Weapons shouldn't lock on:
I think it's fine right now with this being true for some and false for other weapons. Trying to perfect aim with a pistol / sniper rifle would be quite ridiculous. However a minigun without aim would be neat. The Submachine gun is a grey area where it is worth thinking about though.

Biters should be more aggressive, and probe your defenses:
I think Biters being 'stupid' enemies is fine; However if you implement a smarter AI which we can then use in mods for other forces (maybe someone implements an evolution from 'Biters' to 'Zerg' for evolution factor 1.0 to 2.0?) that would be neat. Although i do have fond memories of my first turtle base when i didn't know doing this was pointless and inefficient.

Miners shouldn't output directly to belts:
I disagree; i think there is a prototype missing for an furnace/assembler which can output to belts, or a flag to be enabled on them. This raises the potential puzzle complexity, which i would really like as an option for mods. In a similar way, the engine should support feeding furnace/assembler directly from a belt if a feed-in position is specified in the prototype.

Pipes should work like electricity:
I want this feature for mods but not for the base game. For example one could play with this to create high/medium/low voltage lines by using pipes and transformers (assemblers which convert high voltage 'liquid' to medium voltage 'liquid'). Also for energy systems like rotarycraft's torque+speed system there would be a use case.

Adventure mode:
Please don't force me to explore; this paired with praying for lucky dice rolls is a major turn-off for me in mods for other games (e.g. minecraft). Its fine in RPGs but not here. However, being rewarded for exploration itself can be nice! It just shouldn't be a gate to progression. I like the satisfactory approach of finding more efficient recipes in the world.
On the topic of mountains:
The way it is described sounds neat, but just like with cliffs the question is if its really a good idea. I wanted cliffs and now i turn them off almost always.
Having implemented a cave system myself, the single most important missing engine feature is cross-surface belt+pipe+power transfer. We need that a lot.

Robots should take up space and time:
again something i want for mods, no the base game. I was thinking of airplane-logistics and 'car'-logistics mods but without support from the engine that's not going to happen. (logistic-network-category is missing, also collision / pathfinding settings for bots are missing)

Items should have volume and mass:
I would love to see an alternate universe where this was a thing, only to visit it shortly for a brief look. It sounds both fascinating and terrifying.

Mining furnaces and assembling machines should return the ingredients for the in-progress recipe:
should they though? As recipes represent all kinds of real / fantasy world processes i have a hard time coming up with a generic solution. I think you should add "cancel_results" to the recipe prototype and let us specify exactly what the result should be; whether that would be the original ingredients, scrap or nothing.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by brunzenstein »

With all due respect
Drury wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:57 am
- you got it wrong.
If you want an ego shooter get one.
Factorio is imho a completely other kind of game. That Factorio has a invigorating hunt and destroy section build in, biters and worms, is a nice side story but not what’s about this game.

Try combinators, their settings with red/green wiring and you got a fight on a completely other level :-)

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by terrible »

A very simple solution to the bots out-scaling everything (that others have mentioned in the thread as well) is to make bots take time to pick up or drop something.

The simplest and cheapest implementation I can think of is to introduce a "cooldown" for containers when a bot interacts with them. If a bot picks up an item from a chest, then for the next 0.25s, another item can't be picked up from the same chest by a bot. If a different bot wants an item, it just sits above the chest, waiting for its turn. (Similar to roboports.)
The result is that factories using low amount of bots will be completely unaffected, only those using it for throughput purposes do. If you really want to haul tons of items through bots, then you can still do so by building an airport out of chests.

The best thing about this approach is that it can easily be modded out; the cooldown could be set to 0s to disable it entirely. (Being identical to the old behavior.) Likewise, mods can expand on it with researches and structures with varying cooldowns.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by jodokus31 »

Mylon wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:04 am
jodokus31 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:31 pm
Mylon wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:59 pm
I think logistic bots are fine, but construction bots need a "nerf". There's little reason to build more than a couple hundred of them. I've asked before for construction times to make construction bots more interesting.
I definitely see the use case for more of con-bots, when building large solar arrays, tiles etc. So, why should there be a limit to them?
Construction and mining times could be interesting, i'm just wondering, if it not just tedious.
...
There's rarely any rush for large construction orders. When it comes to solar arrays for example, usually the chokepoint is the stockpile of materials. Even still they can generally get the job done before any other big construction orders come through.
Its might be true, that you cannot always occupy all of your con-bots at the same time. But a whole lot of them could idle at the borders in disconnected outposts and repair occasionally. Another big bunch of them fill in a lake for a nuclear plant incl the plant itself in another outpost. etc. Possibilities are endless.
You would have to gather most of them first to start a solar array, otherwise you would be limited by bots?

Or do you mean max. limit of construction orders? I think that is already the case to some extend, but handled by the queue

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Drury »

brunzenstein wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:10 am
With all due respect
Drury wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:57 am
- you got it wrong.
If you want an ego shooter get one.
Factorio is imho a completely other kind of game. That Factorio has a invigorating hunt and destroy section build in, biters and worms, is a nice side story but not what’s about this game.

Try combinators, their settings with red/green wiring and you got a fight on a completely other level :-)
You misunderstood, I agree that killing biters should be a side activity. I just don't think killing them should outright be a chore.

As it stands, they're a blemish on the game. Either improve them, or remove them. It seems nobody on the dev team can bring themselves to do either and it's frankly a little frustrating after all these years and with the game very much nearing release.

About circuit networks, I love those. Built an LTN without looking at other people's designs ;) They're a nice distraction too, and a well-developed one. I would estimate polishing up the combat system would take way less effort than circuits did, what with it not interacting with most of the game's systems.
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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Brambor »

I made a topic with a poll to see the general opinions on those issues.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by theolderbeholder »

Ryba666 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:19 am
Only controversial change is advanced and base oil processing
Certainly. Though it speeds up blue science significantly as there are already engines (and therefore, steel) to set up for it. I used to research circuit networks before and after basic oil beeline advanced oil, effectively turning basic oil into a roadblock to oil processing. This is not the case anymore, now you are set up until you need electric engines.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by DeeHants »

Regarding weapon lock
Even if you don't like this style, we already have it for some weapons (shotgun), and using it for some weapons but not all is inconsistent and confusing.
This was *so* confusing when I first moved from machine gun to flame thrower. It took me a good 30 minutes before I figured out it was following the mouse (position of which had no relation to player position at all) instead of the nearest enemy.

Having said that, removing weapon lock would make it a *lot* harder to escape biters, trying to run away, *and* coordinate the mouse to point at individual enemies, rather than just run holding a space.

If this was to be modified, maybe 2 keys, or a modifier key?
My left hand tends to be busy, so maybe click to shoot in direction (not much more when already aiming), space to shoot nearest.
Best of both worlds?

As for the difference, could it be because shotgun and flamethrower have an arc/range of impact while pistol/machine gun are "precise"?

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by ElCapitan1701 »

@blueprints modded: yeah, I agree. I played with some guys and we researched the nuclear plant. I said, yeah, I build one - but someone just said, well, you dont need I have a blueprint for it - you wont build a better one. It was a huge nuclear plant solving all power issues for the whole game. All fun killed.

@adventure mode: expanding the factory is fun. But you reach a point, where you can do all at your factory. There is no need to expand on the map. The game is stationary. You might need new amounts of old resourcess but always set up the same iron mine thing is just a pain in the ♥♥♥ and not fun. Instead of distributing items on the map there should be different layers of technology/research which need different types of ressources. Those ressources should be in very far distance of the players starting location. So building a train network is just not something for nerds but essential to reach the goal of the game.

@inserter: i am not sure about this. Might turn the game into something like idle clicker anything.

@new suggestion: I would love to use factorio with my students - but the whole fighting part is a no go for educational use with my 12-18 years aged students. (So they still need to play Fortnite) . I am just not allowed to use a game in my class where there is violence and animation the way it is in factorio. Besides that the game is extraordinary well suited to teach some form of logic, structur and mathematics and students need that. So here my suggestion. Make an educational factorio version with a subset of features and non violent (for free?). Thx.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by equitime77 »

Myself, I use a lot of mods, so other people's blueprints are useless to me. Tho rarely I do look for one.

Regarding inserters, I build megabases, and really need to watch my ups etc. I do no view close enough up to see the inserters in action. So I would prefer them to be as fast as poss. Would it be possible to have a setting that you can either have the inserters chase the item, or just pick them up?

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by luc »

I think you should have to defend your railway lines, power poles, etc.
but... you do have to? I'm running double or sometimes triple power lines to outposts and fix poles whenever one gets destroyed. Railways are less bad, but they destroy those too when they're scrambling near the base.

Should I open bug reports whenever a power pole or railway is destroyed by a native?

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by DudebroPyro »

I usually just lurk, but here I do want to add my own opinions to the mix.
  • Inserters should not chase items
This is a big YES from me. Right now, managing inserters is a business of "Am I certain I plopped down enough? If I'm not 100% positive, do I have space to add some more? If so, just add them." This process goes entirely contrary to how everything else in the game works, where you can work out the exact ratios for everything and build a perfectly balanced setup. But without following this, your carefully calculated and balanced perfect ratio assembly line will inexplicably become totally unbalanced and bottlenecked.
Yes, inserter throughput can be calculated to 100% prove they're not bottlenecking the setup. However, that doesn't even have orientational symmetry - a north-south setup will behave differently to an east-west setup, and in many cases a north setup will behave differently to a south one and an east won't match a west one! In a game that intentionally appeals to OCD-type people who want to build a perfect factory, this is appallingly inelegant and overcomplicated. I think there are games where working around the quirks of the engine to optimise for minute differences is fun, but Factorio is not such a game: the engine is supposed to be built to help me optimise, I shouldn't be fighting against it.
  • Blueprint import/export should be a modded feature
Personal experience: I started playing Factorio three times. Twice, I imported someone's giant blueprint book, stamped down some early-game factories, wandered around for a bit lost on what to do, got bored and gave up. The third time, I abstained from any blueprints which weren't my own, and actually tried playing the game. I went through the troubly of figuring out a smelting column on my own! That alone completely changed the way I thought about the game and was the catalyst to hundreds of hours of factory designing and building.
On the other hand, balancers are a science of their own, and I feel no shame in skipping over that completely and just using existing designs.
Perhaps this feature should hidden a bit more? Maybe make it one of those things that aren't bound to a hotkey. Then new players won't immediately have a "skip" button thrust in their face, but players who know what they're doing and are more capable of managing their own fun and resisting temptations can have more freedom, without needing to install a mod.
  • Combat/Biters
This is such a configurable area of the game, lending to such vast differences in gameplay and preferences from death world to biters turned off, that I don't think these would be too controversial. The last bullet point, for instance, can pretty much already be achieved just by tweaking expansion parameters. However, better AI would be appreciated (I hate building walls, but I also think biters are dumb, and if the new AI were too much for me I'd just turn them off or something).
  • Miners shouldn't output directly to belts
Something something loaders
Imagine the UPS (especially assuming the first point on the list doesn't get implemented)
  • Pipes should work like electricity
First of all, who actually looks at the windows in the pipes? At best, I think they're a useful indicator of what fluid is inside them, but that would still be entirely possible. Is the flow animation really that important? Am I in the minority for ignoring that completely?
As for the actual change... I'm ambivalent. On one hand, it'd simplify things greatly, and make fluid handling a lot more elegant. On the other hand, in stark contrast to the inserter issue, fluid handling isn't that complicated and unpredictable; it's just somewhat more complex, but not incomprehensibly so. I think overall it's a welcome addition, much like how oil - with its multiple outputs and the need to balance them - is an intentional step up in complexity over "stick things in machine, take output out". I don't think this change is worth it for gameplay reasons alone; the possible UPS gain may perhaps be a bigger consideration, if anything.
  • Robots should take up space and time
I love belts. Late-game, belts are near useless. Ultra-late-game, they're patently useless, as trains ferry vast quantities of items directly between logistics networks; at best, they might be placed in front miners in outposts, if even there. This is a well-known issue, and I would honestly whole-heartedly support anything that nerfs robots in a fun way. In a perfect world with no UPS, at least.
(This is actually another reason I support simplifying inserter grabbing logic: the significant UPS gain might well make belts more viable quite a bit further into the late-game!)

As for everything else, I don't really have a strong opinion either way.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by brunzenstein »

I'm grossomodo happy with Factorio as it stands today -
the devs better focus on extending Factorio to more platforms and/or consider a 3D version - similar to Satisfactory

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Keken »

Options, options, and more options.

I feel that Factorio is like Minecraft in the sense that vanilla isn't the only playstyle anymore. I feel that when there are more options to play the game differently, the more experiences I have within this one game.

We already have the option to create rich resources in the world. I would suggest adding more options to the menu; allow hosts of games to allow/disallow blueprints before the game even starts.

In my opinion (if you guys have the time) create everything mentioned and have the option for the creator of the game to allow or disallow something.

As for what vanilla should/shouldn't be, look at Minecraft, it's always changing, things are being added all the time and it isn't a bad thing, it's just someone's opinion.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Deadlock989 »

brunzenstein wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:31 pm
I'm grossomodo happy with Factorio as it stands today -
the devs better focus on extending Factorio to more platforms and/or consider a 3D version - similar to Satisfactory
Satisfactory was a massive disappointment. I found it like trying to play Minecraft except that every single machine is larger than the entire screen. Modded Minecraft is superior to Satisfactory in absolutely every single regard unless you happen to get particularly excited about the colour yellow.

Factorio 2 should definitely be 3D vector graphics, but still top down god view, rotatable around the Z axis like modern RTS games. It could maybe have a height map or voxel terrain, but I'm not especially bothered - I don't think cliffs added anything except annoyance to the game and I always, always turn them off.

It could also lose biters, inserters and even the player character completely.

While we're on controversial opinions, Compilatron and everything associated with it can die in a fire. I can feel my brain shrinking every time I remember it even exists.
"If Stalin had a good writeup on programming, would linking that be dangerous?"

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by brunzenstein »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:42 pm
I agree with your statement: "Satisfactory was a massive disappointment" but its graphically well done.
We don't ask that extreme 3D level for Factorio as a top down look is indeed essential (a must) for the playability of Factorio.
Agree.
But al little bit of polishing will do just fine.

--And the jump on the iOS bandwagon... :D

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