Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Chaoseed » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:57 am

Oh yeah, this reminds me of Minecraft Prison servers. People spend hours and hours doing repetitive tasks on those...why? Because when they rank up, they feel an intense sense of accomplishment, and they feel like all the time they spent was worth it.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by RobertTerwilliger » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:04 am

Speaking of low- and high- level WoW areas: it would be interesting to make biters' difficulty to rise from starting area outwards.
This would mean certain things
- biter evolution may be taken away, 'cause it will be faced directly by progressing through map, instead of "pollution produced" it'd be "resources consumed" (i.e. "exploration forced")
- player should make more decision on what tech to develop: to make more efficient and high-tech factory, or a new weapons to conquer resources to actually run your factory (as old gun may not do the job every next time)
- make adjustable scaling, so hardcore players will make challenge to themselves with super-hostile worlds to fight through
- give a bit more replayability to game, as you'll now be able to loose game by stagnating it to infinity, which won't be solved by "loading last autosave"
- surely, make a switch "classic evolution vs distance evolution vs both"
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by ske » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:44 am

vedrit wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:13 pm
ske wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:37 pm
...
I don't know about you, but I come from a time when you didn't have the more detailed view when zoomed in to radar-covered areas. I don't really use that feature much. Maybe place some ghosts, or change train schedules, but that's about it. Otherwise, I tend to go to that place myself directly (or someone I'm playing with will go)
Yes, I remember the time before and the map view has improved a lot since then. I use the detailed view a lot when exploring online games that other people have been building for some hours. It is very convenient and it should be an option. Like blueprints and especially the blueprint library it should be an option that is not enabled by default. I consider those convenient features to be a killer to creativity and problem solving skills. The problems that are left are big puzzles and way beyond the capabilities of the "average player". The things that those "average players" would do are all automated away after an hour into the map. The default game should be hard my opinion and the default online game should have lots of small things to do for casual human players.

How would we get there? I'm not quite sure. It goes a bit against the "automate everything" slogan, so I'm not sure if the game devs even want to go there. But if they want, they can't just take features away from the player. The best way would probably be to introduce the "new game mode" as an option that is not default and develop it until it seems satisfactory enough. Then the current game mode would be an option and the "new game mode" would be default.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:14 pm

So, like someone predicted, we're going to see 0.18, 0.19 .. 0.99 before we see 1.0 ? :lol:
(but with much less time between major versions)

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by commontatersc2 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:10 pm

Thank you for not dumbing down the game as it has gotten more popular. That is what has happened to many publishers/studios/games that have gotten popular over time. To make it more accessible they make it less fun. I agree with the notion that some things need to be challenging because it makes them more rewarding.

I also appreciate that you take breaks and recharge. It's important to remember that you work to live, you don't need to live to work. Keep up the good work!

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by bman212121 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:21 pm

Antaios wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:45 am
Optera wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:18 pm
So now that the thought of "optimizing for convenience and streamlining the experience doesn't make a game better" sunk in can we revert basic oil processing to output heavy, light and petroleum? ;)
This.
I didn't want to be the first to say it, but this was basically the first thing that came to mind. I'll toss in my support for this even though I'm quite sure it will fall on deaf ears.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Agamemnon » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:03 pm

Oh god, no. Those points about WoW classic... I don't agree at all.

Dungeon finder was a godsend to those of us who didn't want to spend hours assembling a functioning group. Having to idle around the dungeon entrance while trying to find competent AND friendly people to join and help us, then having to wait for them to travel there... Over half my playtime in the end was spent waiting on other people. That's why I quit Classic in the first place!

Same for dynamic leveling. If you were a certain level, you'd have to grind in a certain zone, even if you despised it. Be it because it's not that interesting content wise, or because it's constantly full of gankers. Now you have options. That's a good thing!

---

I do agree with the post in regards to Factorio, though. But mainly because it is all moot, since you support mods. (thank the omnissiah!) Can't do that in a MMORPG. So, you can still have the progression you want for vanilla, and it's a good experience for new players, but I, as a veteran player, I'll take any convenience I can get.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by VFaalcatnodriiro » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:20 am

RocketManChronicles wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:48 pm
Optera wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:18 pm
So now that the thought of "optimizing for convenience and streamlining the experience doesn't make a game better" sunk in can we revert basic oil processing to output heavy, light and petroleum? ;)
I was waiting for someone other than me to point this out. As far I feel, the 'new' Basic Processing is way too convenient that makes oil processing way too easy. I mean, at the core, it is essentially refineries with built-in flare stacks. But, the decision was made; Thank God for mods to revert this awful decision.

Anyway, with the discussion in the FFF, please please keep all of this perspective in consideration when you do decide to change the game as dramatically as Basic Oil Processing. Just because it seems to make the NPE 'better,' does not mean it makes the gameplay fun. Use the same considerations as reality vs fun as has been done along the way.
Yes please. That was also my first thought when I read
By that I mean, that I wouldn't want to spend next 10 years working on better versions of Factorio just to find out, that the old ones were better for some reason.

The topic that connects it all is "Making things more convenient isn't always making things better".

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by bobucles » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:25 pm

"Making things more convenient isn't always making things better".
This is a very critical lesson that is difficult to get right. If every goal was a clear shot from the start, there wouldn't be any puzzle to enjoy. If all progression was simple, you may as well play cookie clicker. It's important to give the player challenges to overcome, or they'd get bored too quickly.

I do think Factorio gets a lot of the challenges right. The game isn't a train simulator, so it's good that a lot of effort goes into simplifying them for player use. Combat is pretty simple because it's not a combat game, quick reactions and daring combos are not required. The main meat of factorio is belts and assemblers, and most of the player time definitely goes into that. If the main meat were to be overly simplified, there wouldn't be much left for the player to play.

Fun doesn't always mean easy. Sometimes bashing your head against the wall can be fun, too. The journey is just as important as the destination.
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Unknow0059 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:28 pm

And same as with previous point, getting there requires more effort, so the value of doing the dungeon is higher.
No, clicking around from point A to point B is the least challenging thing in an MMO. That is BORING. And that says a lot when the whole genre is designed around cheaply psychologically manipulating players into playing a quantity-over-quality game.
I could understand if there were mechanics in place to go faster, but there aren't.
Replacing boredom with convenience is great. Replacing convenience with challenge is okay.
Yes, I despise the MMO genre, but I do believe I'm making a fair point here.
Instead of zones, their levels and your level meaning something, and the progress being clearly visible every level, suddenly it all disappears.
I agree that that's important and helps with worldbuilding.
We were thinking about a belt building tool, similar to the rail building tool. It would just connects ends, and even find underground connections etc to get to the point of destination
I find it interesting you didn't apply the same philosophy you did to bots. They trivialize belts. This trivializes belt construction logistics.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by AndrewIRL » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:37 pm

FFF#314 wrote:Getting first mount at level 40 for 100 gold? You have to walk a lot before you get it and it might feel annoying at times. But when you actually get it, it means A LOT. Similar as how it is a game-changer to get construction robots/logistic robots/power armor. Getting there isn't easy, and there are certainly a lot of moments where you/we feel like having these sooner might be more convenient. But it would just decrease how great and valuable upgrade it is.
The only difference between the above and below is that EA was selling hero unlocks.
EACommunityTeam -667817 points wrote:The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
EA Received A Guinness World Record For Most Downvoted Comment In Reddit History

Yes a sense of progression is needed. Yes people complain this or that is too hard to acquire or do. Doesn't mean they are necessarily right, doesn't mean they are necessarily wrong. Getting the balance right is what separates a good game dev from a bad one.

Personally I like to heavily automate trains using LTN which expands the game for me. In other games I've completely ruined the experience with cheats that destroyed the progression. Certainly I can see that the dungeon teleport was a mistake for WoW. The other lesson to learn is that this wasn't obvious to Blizzard, getting this right is HARD.

Copy/paste is an example of a Factorio automation that greatly adds to the game. I'm not clear on why your proposed belt feature is necessarily bad.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by proclion » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:07 pm

We were thinking about a belt building tool, similar to the rail building tool. It would just connects ends, and even find underground connections etc to get to the point of destination. It would be super convenient. But suddenly, solving the belt puzzle wouldn't mean much, and having the belt factory would feel like much smaller accomplishment.
This makes me unhappy. :(
Threading pipes and belts isn't fun after the first couple of hundred of them, it's a trivial chore. It's not a challenge, it's a grind.
By all means make it gated behind a tech (maybe gated behind Processing Units?), but please include it.
Quite a bit of the appeal of factorio (and indeed its whole theme) is automation, not grinding. Yes, maybe having to manually manufacture the 50000 copper plates to make a rocket would make it feel like a greater accomplishment to some people, but it would also greatly annoy others. (Honestly, blueprints take away far more than belt planning would...)

One thing to bare in mind is that the people on the forums are an unusual sampling of factorio players who aren't put off by this and other things, the majority of players (quite literally: https://steamcommunity.com/stats/427520/achievements/ ) who tried for a bit and then got annoyed/bored aren't going to be represented here.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:47 pm

proclion wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:07 pm
(Honestly, blueprints take away far more than belt planning would...)
Blueprinting in itself doesn't, I think. The point of blueprinting is along the lines of "if you can do it once, you can do it again" so once you find a nice setup you can blueprint it and use it next time without having to work it out again. I have some really cool stuff I've designed, like a compact blue belt production line and a circuit network that automatically adds bots to the network as they're needed, but having to try to work out these same setups in every game would just be tedious.

Belt planner, on the other hand, would allow you to just throw a bunch of machines down and plan belts between them. There is none of that original "solve" of the puzzle so it would actually detract quite a lot from the game. It would also encourage players to be lazy with their designs, which isn't in the spirit of the game. About the best use for the belt planner I could see would be for making a belt bus, but that is reasonably simple to achieve with blueprints especially now with being able to blueprint from the map.

Arguably, allowing the import of blueprints also detracts from that "first solve" experience, but most of the players doing that would likely just do it anyway by copying the builds in manually (plus the Blueprint String mod existed).
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by <NO_NAME> » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:42 pm

While I generally like being challenged, it strongly depends on the type of the challenge.
We need to draw the line between a demanding task and a tedious one. You don't want your game to be tedious (or at least I assume so).
For example having to design you nuclear power plants in a way that will provide the maximum efficiency is great. (I even installed a mod that makes it blow up half of your factory if you screw this up.) On the other hand, having to manually rotate belts while placing them is just tedious. It adds nothing to the gameplay, it just makes the player irritated and bored.
Quality of life changes are totally fine and I don't think they subtract anything from the challenge. They just cut off parts of the gameplay that discourages players from experimenting. Why? I've noticed that there is a certain level of tediousness of repeating task which is the line between "I'll try one more approach." and "F**k this, I'll just look for the solution online". The limit of "tediousness" varies from person to person but it is always there.
That's why I think blueprints are one of the greatest mechanics of Factorio. (Not because you can download ready solution but because you don't have to bore yourself to death by placing the same elements over and over in the same configuration. You can just copy and paste and see if your design works and scales properly.)

I think we definitely should have all of the quality of life mechanics like blueprints, belt brush and more. This wouldn't cause that player to have less challenges. The opposite, it would allow players to focus properly on the challenging parts of the gameplay.

TL;DR: Don't make the game easier but give players all the tools they may need to deal with challenges.
TL;DR v2.0: Allow players to make mistakes and allow them to make mistakes over and over but make it fast enough so one (or ever a few) failures are not too discouraging. (After I wrote that I realized I hears that before. This is the game design of Super Meat Boy. WOW, and that make me remember of the video about game design which is actually exactly about the topic of this FFF O_O: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea6UuRTjkKs)
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Chaoseed » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:39 am

The more I think about this, the stupider it seems. "When it is harder to find a group, it has also more value when the group is already assembled"? That's false value. These things aren't good because they're inherently good, they're "good" because you had to sink time into them. And why should you be forced to play with a group of bad players if you don't want to?

When I play Factorio, I never use bots. I always use belts. Why? Because it takes so much time and effort to get the bots. After all the research, after making things in the three- or four-step process of assembly or whatever it is...it's just not worth it. The effort doesn't make me value the bots, it makes me think "I'm so glad that's over, I'm never doing it again".

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Ringkeeper » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:47 am

WoW is really a good example for the thin line between "dumbing down stuff" and "making life easier" and "annoy player with boring repetitive shit".
And with all games that you play for a loooong time, you notice that your own play style changes.

I played WoW for 13 years, started shortly after release. At that time i was 27, single or in a long distant relationship. I had time to play and as my former girlfriend was also playing, we could play together in the week.
I had time to run Blackrock Depths for 5 hours and search for a group before.

Then work+private life became more demanding. WoW Legion with Garrison as someone that loves Twinks? Hell, give me that nice little automated bot of yours, so i can do my chores after work and then spend my little time on fun stuff, not mandatory-Garrison-Grind on 10 chars.... (yeah, enjoyed the 6 month ban then :D )

Now i'm married, have house, 8 month old baby, i don't have time for that anymore. I'm lucky if i manage 1 hour of playing in the evening. When i started playing factorio 3 Years ago and bought it for my wife, we played hours a day , which you also need in factorio as you don't accomplish much in short time.
So now we can play only maybe on weekends when kid sleeps and you don't need to go to bed early due to work. And every time its "what did i want to do and why this is build like that ?"

So as much as i appreciate complexe buildings in factorio i just don't have the time for them anymore. Blueprints? Yes please. Robots? Yes please. Mod that skips first 60min? Yes please, did that often enough and not fun anymore.
Belt tool? Hell no.... that breaks more then it fixes.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:02 am

Chaoseed wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:39 am
When I play Factorio, I never use bots. I always use belts. Why? Because it takes so much time and effort to get the bots. After all the research, after making things in the three- or four-step process of assembly or whatever it is...it's just not worth it. The effort doesn't make me value the bots, it makes me think "I'm so glad that's over, I'm never doing it again".
Here again, we have the potential of the discussion derailing due to the lumping of conbots and logibots together into "bots" (though you're not the first of doing this in this thread), while they are in a quite separate category even if they can share the same roboport building :
- you pretty much require conbots for large-scale blueprints, which is arguably the core of Factorio gameplay
- logibots on one hand can be almost replaced in their function of resupplying the player by using instead a well-designed mall ; and on the other hand, when abused via requester chests, can destroy the whole puzzle of designing logistics inside a factory, to the point that some of the devs sometimes regretted introducing them in the first place...

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Re: Factorio version 0.17 - Now stable

Post by Factory Overlord » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:43 pm

I just want to say your Assesment of World of Warcraft analogy of "LFG" is horrifically wrong.

You claim people are likely to have find a solution around the group if they have a new player?
That is because WoW Classic is in its Honey Moon Period.

In reality look at existing games like Guild Wars 2 which also does not have an LFG system.
Instead of people "treasuring" their group they completely ostracize anyone who isn't a veteran.

Warframe also has the exact same issue no LFG System for things like Terralyst and Previous Raid Mechanics that were removed.
Again people end up not "Treasuring" what they have but demand people with only experience.
New players and casual players end up again being kicked to the curb.

What happens in Reality is it creates an Elitist groups form and don't want to waste time suffering a loss. So they rather wait then pick anybody.

LFG System solved many problems
1. It allowed everyone to participate in a dungeon without discrimination
2. It made the game more enjoyable because people did not have to wait infront of a dungeon hoping for others, they could do other content
3. It made elitist cry. Now they became the minority and to hide away in guilds.

Guild Wars 2 - almost nobody does dungeons due to the lack of LFG system.
To even remotely consider no LFG was a good idea, is like saying

Round Wheels were a bad idea, because before they were made people were healthier as they had to walk around everywhere and they "Treasured" their small adventures to the outside world more.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Hiladdar » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:24 pm

Factory Overlord wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:43 pm
I just want to say your Assesment of World of Warcraft analogy of "LFG" is horrifically wrong.

...

Round Wheels were a bad idea, because before they were made people were healthier as they had to walk around everywhere and they "Treasured" their small adventures to the outside world more.
Overloard, you bring some some very good points regarding LFG that I agree with and would like to expand on that.

MMO's, especially those that have been around for several years, then to become much more complex over time. It is not just the higher level that the avatar attains, it is also the weapons, armor, and other items that the avatar has access to. Some of the intangibles would be the reputation and experience the person behind the avatar has. Most MMO servers have a rather limited population in the low thousands with about 20-33% of the avatar population on line doing something at any time, and it did not take long before an avatar's reputation preceded the avatar.

When a new mod or release for an MMO comes out, I do agree with you, that new players and casual players get left behind, with the veterans all racing to be the first to beat a certain encounter. Also depending on the MMO, it may take from 1-12 months before a new player, gears themselves, and learns enough about the game for their avatar not to be a danger to themselves and other avatars around the. Proof for that is to just take a look at the specific game individual and association leader boards. But once that race to beat newly introduced encounter to the game is over, something else happens.

Veterans start grouping with non-veterans. Depending on the content, that is not a disaster but even beneficial for all, and there are may reasons why. One reason would be they are just friends inside or outside the game and enjoy hangout with each other. One reason would be to mentor the less experienced player to a higher level of play. Another reason would be just to find out how good that player is and what they know. Some of those LFG what were invited to veteran groups, in the future would eventually end up as friends or even association members of elite veteran associations. Long standing servers or games, after the initial Honey Moon period start loose players due to attrition, and retiring veterans need to be replace.

When I look at Factorio, I do not see an MMO. I do see a game that can be played cooperatively, with much more of a Player Verses Environment PVE element and smaller less persistent servers, than any MMO I have played. If Factorio is played by several at the same time on the same server, running VOIP software connecting to a server via Discord, Ventrilo, Teamspeak, or Mumble will the the way to go. I don't think LFG would make sense for Factorio, since any arraignments and passing of server connection would probably be coordinated outside the game.

I think it would require a major re-architecture of the game to convert it from a construction / building game to launch a rocket into space into an MMORPG type of game. I think it may be possible to include some MMO or RPG elements in Factorio in the future but that is in the distant future.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by proclion » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:20 pm

Deadly-Bagel wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:47 pm
Belt planner, on the other hand, would allow you to just throw a bunch of machines down and plan belts between them. There is none of that original "solve" of the puzzle so it would actually detract quite a lot from the game. It would also encourage players to be lazy with their designs, which isn't in the spirit of the game.
I have never seen any "puzzle" aspect to belt layout in any of the games I've played. It's always been a tedious "I need to get from HERE to HERE, I will take the most direct route, snaking around and under anything I can to get there". If there's any puzzle to be had it will be well before you've researched robots, when you're in your first or second game.
Do you have an example of a real-game "puzzle" aspect to belt placing that takes place after construction robots are researched?

Getting that research that lets you automate tedious shit is incredibly rewarding.

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