Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

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gorothdablade
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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by gorothdablade » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:48 pm

Factorio has a lot of potential for a combat game, but it isn't one. Combat is an optional pressure in the game, and I think it should stay that way.

That being said. I would gladly welcome more options when it comes to the combat. "Smarter" aliens would require smarter defenses. There also is alot of possibility of incorporating the aliens peacefully into the factory. Means of trade, negotiation, or even the use of bio-automation would be an interesting addition.

Then again, that is also why there are mods.

All in all I am glad that there are still ideas for improvement in this game. Stagnation would kill more player-base than any controversial change

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by mrvn » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:20 pm

gorothdablade wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:48 pm
Factorio has a lot of potential for a combat game, but it isn't one. Combat is an optional pressure in the game, and I think it should stay that way.

That being said. I would gladly welcome more options when it comes to the combat. "Smarter" aliens would require smarter defenses. There also is alot of possibility of incorporating the aliens peacefully into the factory. Means of trade, negotiation, or even the use of bio-automation would be an interesting addition.

Then again, that is also why there are mods.

All in all I am glad that there are still ideas for improvement in this game. Stagnation would kill more player-base than any controversial change
I'm not sure about combat. That would be a huge change to the game to get anything good and 1.0 is supposed to be round around the corner.

I would really like to see the possibility of peaceful interactions though. Not just aliens but between any force. There should be buildings where you can exchange goods. For example 2 players agree to exchange 1 iron ore for 1 copper ore each. Then each player puts ore in with an inserter and takes the other ore out with another inserter and the building would ensure the agreed upon ratio is observed.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by gorothdablade » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:37 pm

mrvn wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:20 pm
I'm not sure about combat. That would be a huge change to the game to get anything good and 1.0 is supposed to be round around the corner.

I would really like to see the possibility of peaceful interactions though. Not just aliens but between any force. There should be buildings where you can exchange goods. For example 2 players agree to exchange 1 iron ore for 1 copper ore each. Then each player puts ore in with an inserter and takes the other ore out with another inserter and the building would ensure the agreed upon ratio is observed.
I agree, I don't think it would make it into 1.0, but the thing I want least is for the game to stop at 1.0. Planning for 1.1 and beyond is the best way to prevent that. I also realize that this is a place where the modding community can, and to an extent already does, shine.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by jaxprog » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:17 pm

I agree. Discussion of different points of view are great. These discussions make greater decisions.
However in the event however where you have issues that are polarizing the team, its an opportunity to create options in the game as opposed to taking one side and leaving out the other.

For example, lets examine the issue where Biters are not aggressive enough and should the probe your defenses and expand again into pollution areas.

Instead making a decision where a portion of your team in alienated because one side is chosen, you instead create a game option that accommodates both points of view. Think about it. Your feelings as a developer likely mirror a consensus in the player base. By giving and allowing these options you are enabling your player base to play the game they want to play thus broadening your player base. More players playing the game means greater profit in your bank account.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Cadde » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:21 pm

I've always thought "Why don't some machines just output directly to belts? I mean, stuff is assembled and can then easily roll off onto a belt.

Same goes with loading/unloading train wagons. Why are inserters used for this task even when there's bulk cargo? You should just empty the wagon into a chute and be on your way, not picking each and every piece of coal one by one.
And beyond bulk cargo, there should be special stack inserters that can pick certain items from train wagons in larger quantities. Say any plates, they are stacked on the wagon already. You should be able to pull the entire stack off in one sweep.

And to be honest, i don't understand why assemblers are used for everything... Ever heard of an assembly line? Why can't we assemble things on belts without passing them through a machine.
Simply use inserters as the "assembling machine" and take ingredients from one belt and put them on top of an item on another belt and as you've added all ingredients to that slot, the item turns into the new thing.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by meganothing » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:25 pm

mrvn wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:18 pm
meganothing wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:47 pm

But that people are pissed because they need to install a mod shows exactly that the change would have an impact to trading! Because people who want it all easy have the same if not more reluctance to install a mod as well. And BOTH importer and exporter need to install the mod before they can trade.

...
The people not trading but still needing import/export will be pissed.
I know. But why do you think the "trading" group is different in that respect to the "not trading" group? If one group thinks twice before installing the mod, the other group will do too.

And that shoots down your theory that it won't make a difference with the "trading" group if trading needs a mod install

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Akiramenai » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:54 pm

The topics: combat, bitters & tower defense have been bought up many times for quite some while already, but nothing has really been done about it. Some fluffing about here and there, but nothing much.
It's especially frustrating, considering that exploring the previously named topics can turn into solution for the vacuum that factorio endgame is. Infinite research doesn't quite cut it when it comes to 'end game', since it actually doesn't add anything (if there were some, that didn't notice). It was quite fine as a temporary fix at a time, but here we are on the doorstep of v1.0 already and it is left as it is. So it's hard to find an excuse for that (underdeveloped combat, bitters and tower-defense) and pure builders always could just disable bitters in the first place and still be left with weapon production chain to solve & design making it a win-win for whole community anyway.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Anson » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:19 am

deleting items on removing machines (imho a bug report) :

if there is a slight chance for an exploit with returning items (although very tedious, and as i understood it, only for advanced players in the endgame when they have very high productivity bonus and probably could get those items much faster and more easily without cheating), it might be debatable whether items "currently in production" should be returned or deleted. there were several threads about this which all got moved from bug reports to "not a bug", but i think that at least one specific case clearly should still be considered to be a bug: deleting CATALYSTS.

btw for people who don't know what catalysts are: they are (in factorio as well as in reallife) items which are necessary for something to happen (eg for chemical reactions or 40 of the uranium used in the kovarex process), but they are neither consumed nor produced and are input as well as output with exactly the same amount. in the example of Kovarex, 40 costly uranium and 2 cheap uranium should be catalysts (input AND output), 3 cheap uranium are only inputs, and 1 costly uranium is only output, and productivity only gives some percent bonus on the one single additional uranium output (I'm not sure whether those 2 cheap uranium are really considered catalysts or input and output to make the recipe more simple to handle).

once upon a time, there were problems with getting productivity bonus on all items (example kovarex: when the bonus bar was full, you would get xx% bonus on all 41 output uranium), and thus (as a temporary hotfix) productivity on some recipes was disabled until a while later the devs did great work to invent the catalyst mechanic that treated those items differently than the items that were consumed and produced on production, no longer gave them any production bonus, and reenabled those recipes. thus these catalyst items also should not be affected by any exploit that gives "illegal bonus" on productivity, and thus all catalyst items should also be returned when the machine is removed, just like all items in the input and output buffers of the machines.
whether this should also apply to those recipes where productivity modules are not allowed anyway (or even to all recipes) is another and/or debatable subject, related but still separate from this part of deleting catalysts.

because of all the above, i still consider the deletion of CATALYSTS to be a bug, and imho at least this part of the bug report still holds true and is a real bug, which should not have been moved to "not a bug" in its entirety. i tried posting this clarification to the existing thread instead of creating a new bug report, but the message was deleted by a moderator, all those threads were closed, and people now are told to go here to the FFF discussion and post such reports here.
what do you think about (at least) the catalysts ?

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by foamy » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:51 am

My thoughts:

Re: Blueprints:

Being able to swap around blueprints is a really big factor in helping out the Factorio community kick things around, and after I've sunk days of effort into designing something in one save I damn well want to be able to use that again in another one as easily as possible. The blueprint library and its export/import abilities shouldn't be cut; it should be so well integrated into the base game that using your blueprint repository is as easy as pulling something out of your inventory.

Re: Inserters:

I like that they can chase and fail to grab items. It is not only direct feedback that you should consider a faster inserter, slower belt, or some combination, but it also adds to the challenges of brownout management.

However there's room for improvement. Right now inserters have inconsistent behaviour; depending on the direction of a turn, inserters may prefer pulling from the near lane or the far one. I would think they could change to always prefer pulling from the near side over pulling from the far; the only time that behaviour would need to shift would be for belts that are straight on.

(Alternatively, they could be made to pull in a balanced fashion by default. This would, admittedly, drastically reduce the complexity of balancing belts in general, but it would eliminate a *bunch* of the weird inserter mechanics.)

The relatively slow hand extension speed is kind of weird. Faster hand repositioning and/or being able to grab from both sides of the belt at once, provided the inserter is aligned over it, would go a long way towards cleaning up weird throughput oddities.


Re: Bots

The problem is logistic bots being used for mass throughput and/or literally everything. Construction bots are fine -- in fact, could use improvement, so that they e.g. use their entire inventory capacity when building multiples of the same structure -- and logistic bots delivering to the player are fine. Similarly the use case of logistic bots being used to shift low-throughput items or help with complex recipies are okay in my books.

Using bots to fly green chips and barrels around, in preference to trains and belts and pipes, is... bleh. The simplest answer is some kind of timing restriction on pickup or delivery to chests, in the same way they need to queue for charging at roboports. That way there's a throughput limit no matter how many bots you have or how many bot speed upgrades you've researched, just like all the other throughput boosts (except mining productivity, I guess? But that's not really relevant here).

Re: Boilers:

The problem with boilers isn't that they have two bidirectional water lines and a steam output it's that the game is poor about signalling which is which, a problem that extends to all fluid sockets generally (see also the 'problem' with basic oil refining that resulted in the drastic change in to its recipes). The only way to see what direction(s) a fluid socket goes, or what material it handles, is to use alt-mode.

So, either alt-mode should be clearly communicated, or enabled by default, or something, to raise awareness, or there should be some kind of immediately obvious indicator on the entity sprites as to what is what. Boilers being chainable and their T layout are not aspects I am keen to lose and I much prefer the current system to the old one.

Re: Miners:

I admit that my very first run I initially thought you needed inserters to pull from miners. Learning you could output directly to belts (and, later still, to other entities) was both really cool and very useful. I don't think the behaviour needs to be changed at all, but it may need to be better communicated.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Unclebod » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:53 am

Blueprint import/export should be a modded feature Twinsen
So, that is basically the pre 0.15 version of the game when I started to play.
IIRC, very many had one of the two main mods (if not both) for BP import/export installed back then. It worked, and that is what will happen.
I just think removing this function again might very well result in a lot of bugs that need to be found and removed. Extra work to make the game like in the "old days"...
/UncleBod votes no to that....

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by conn11 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:34 am

Since there is little point in connecting steam engines to the boiler water output, why not use reserved fluid boxes, this would fit in the narrative of a more handholding and therefore easier to grasp fluid system for newer players.

Furthermore Alt-Mode is such an quintessential tool, that either it should be on as default or a dialogue box hinting at it, displayed at the beginning of the game, right after the freeplay dialogue, or even better after placing your first alt-Mode affected entity. I think most current players will find it acceptable to hit tab one time more.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by pieterhulsen » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:20 am

Inserters should not chase items
disagree, but don't care so strongly one way or the other
Blueprint import/export should be a modded feature
I think it should be an option when starting a new map. I understand the frustration with this feature, but on the other hand why not let each player decide for himself to use it or not?
Weapons shouldn't lock on
Disagree, factorio isn't a combat game. The combat mechanics are to add variety and a different organisation. Not to be a whole separate game in itself.
Biters should be more aggressive, and probe your defenses
Disagree on being more aggressive, that should depend on the players wants and adaptable in the map settings. Probing the defences in different ways could be a good feature. Adds a little variety to the way defences are organized. Don't go overboard though! Not many players want to spend a lot of time walling their entire base and then rewalling after every expansion.
Clearing bases should not leave you safe
Disagree, as said earlier factorio isn't a combat game. If you have achieved clearing bases in an area and the biters have no way to migrate there you should be safe from that area.
Miners shouldn't output directly to belts
Disagree, why is this even an issue?
Boilers shouldn't have a water output
Disagree, why is this even an issue?
Pipes should work like electricity
Disagree, does water behave like electricity?
Adventure mode
Now this is what mods are for. There could be a feature in the base game that modders can expand uppon. Like scenarios in Civ.
Robots should take up space and time
That robots are too easy sometimes I agree with, I just don't have the solution. And I don't think this is it.
Items should have volume and mass
Disagree, that would remove one of the very charms of factorio.
Power-user hotkeys
I don't know, too many hotkeys can be overkill
Mining furnaces and assembling machines should return the ingredients for the in-progress recipe
never really thought about it since it only relates to such a small percentage of the items. Does this include fuel when you disassemble a train for example? I don't mind one way or the other.

In general:
Maybe some changes could be playtested but in general I think most of the controversial opinions are controversial for a reason. Different types of players would take the game in different directions. Myself I would be dissapointed if combat was intensified too much and I would like to have the option to use my made blueprints. I generally think a good vanilla game works better than a vanilla game with the same extra's modded in.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by posila » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:32 am

conn11 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:34 am
Furthermore Alt-Mode is such an quintessential tool, that either it should be on as default or a dialogue box hinting at it, displayed at the beginning of the game, right after the freeplay dialogue, or even better after placing your first alt-Mode affected entity. I think most current players will find it acceptable to hit tab one time more.
You mean, like this?
freeplay-start.jpg
freeplay-start.jpg (144.56 KiB) Viewed 386 times

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Serenity » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 am

That's still somewhat hidden. Alt-mode should really be on by default. Why is it default off? You come across so many newbie screenshots where they try to show you something and alt-mode is off so you can't tell what is what.
It would immediately solve the steam engine issue for most people. I don't get why removing game mechanics is the preferring solution here compared to better visualization


As for biters. The problem is that you have to deal with them but they aren't very interesting and become very repetitive. Clearing nests isn't much fun and defense is very predictable with the straight line pathing. There is potential to make them more engaging without turning the game into a combat / tower defense game. Adding smarter AI as an option would also work. Then you have three biter difficulty/experience modes
Last edited by Serenity on Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Deadlock989 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:57 am

Serenity wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 am
That's still somewhat hidden. Alt-mode should really be on by default. Why is it default off? You come across so many newbie screenshots where they try to show you something and alt-mode is off so you can't tell what is what.
It would immediately solve the steam engine issue for most people. I don't get why removing game mechanics is the preferring solution here compared to better visualization
No. There are situations where alt-mode is an ugly visual overload. I want it left off until I choose to turn it on.

A pox on all of this noob hand-holding.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Oktokolo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 am

Serenity wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 am
I don't get why removing game mechanics is the preferring solution here compared to better visualization
It isn't. The entire FFF was about stuff that has been decided upon to not be included in the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by conn11 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:27 am

posila wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:32 am
conn11 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:34 am
Furthermore Alt-Mode is such an quintessential tool, that either it should be on as default or a dialogue box hinting at it, displayed at the beginning of the game, right after the freeplay dialogue, or even better after placing your first alt-Mode affected entity. I think most current players will find it acceptable to hit tab one time more.
You mean, like this?
freeplay-start.jpg
Not exactly, the info at game loading are helpful (for example boiler function is explained there to) but they appear randomly chosen. So my suggestion is either showing info about Alt-Mode by default in the infobox style after or with the general freeplay introduction, or to always show the above mentioned game helper for all newly started freeplays (wich isn’t currently implemented I think) or just toggle it on by default for this scenario.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by 5thHorseman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:55 am

Oktokolo wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 am
Serenity wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:53 am
I don't get why removing game mechanics is the preferring solution here compared to better visualization
It isn't. The entire FFF was about stuff that has been decided upon to not be included in the game.
If only it was the unpopular opinion among the devs to turn OFF actually-show-information mode by default.

"Alt" mode should be icons OFF. Default should be on. Not for newbies. For everybody.
"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 #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Serenity » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:26 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 am
It isn't. The entire FFF was about stuff that has been decided upon to not be included in the game.
Not what I meant. Even if they didn't implement that idea, you can clearly see a tendency to simplify and streamline the game to appeal to more people. Some of the streamlining ideas make it into the game and some don't. But just the fact that it was so readily considered by at least one of the developers is worrying.

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Re: Friday Facts #309 - Controversial opinions

Post by Oktokolo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:32 pm

Serenity wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:26 pm
Even if they didn't implement that idea, you can clearly see a tendency to simplify and streamline the game to appeal to more people. Some of the streamlining ideas make it into the game and some don't. But just the fact that it was so readily considered by at least one of the developers is worrying.
Of course they check the odd options too - they are developers and evaluating all the options is an important part of the job!
You should not worry about what they consider - but rather what they do not. Did you know that we had zero-UPS-impact reliable rail bridges as a side effect of a bug in the game for some weeks?

Making the game accessible to a bigger audience is actually what is to be expected. It came a bit late and some of it saddens me too. But they want as much people as possible to be able to have fun with the game. And that is jonestly a pretty good goal morally and especially economically.
The noobs get vanilla and we get the modded experience. It is a bit like with the old Bethesda Games (before they've gone MMORPG): They are sort of playable and somewhat fun the first time without mods - but the real fun comes when you selected your personal set of some dozens to a hundred mods altering almost every aspect of the game. With Factorio the initial fun and the fun gained by modding are just some orders of magnitude greater - but in principle it is the same thing.

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