My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

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troastervista
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My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by troastervista »

I've been playing Factorio since 0.17 and through the years I've learned some stuff.
I've learned that I absolutely love this game, it takes the #1 spot for being my most favorite.
I've learned also that for me, Factorio has a massive issue. It's in the core of the game so it probably happens to a lot of you. So I decided to share my opinion. Another reason for writing this is for me to look back on it in the future and know what I was thinking.

This issue isn't easy to explain, but simply put, I really want to make the rocket ASAP, but end up doing the opposite.

Let's follow the gameplay to see why.
In the beginning, the game is quite random and sometimes difficult. This is because sometimes you're in a desert or a forest. Have a nice starting patch or it's spread out. Have a lucky or unlucky biter base spawn position. That's all fine though because what do you do? Just start progressing through the tech tree.

When you build more of your base you automate stuff and the game becomes easier in certain ways. However when you run your base this makes pollution. Biters hate pollution and are ready to take down you and your factory. You don't want to die, so what do you do? You have several possible choices, most of which are not mutually exclusive:
- Bite back
- Defend the factory with turrets
- Reduce pollution output
- Kill biters in pollution cloud

Here is where the problem can be seen. The factory must grow, so how come you reduce pollution output? Doesn't that mean the factory must not grow? Or grow slower? Of course there's efficiency modules, but early game you have no modules. Plus efficiency modules are mostly not what people end up doing.

My personal playstyle is prevention for some reason. I have this part which says "if you cause too big of an attack, you may fail to handle it so don't cause attacks"
And this really slows down my progress. I end up wasting so much time on looking at the pollution and the debug to see if a new expansion is going to appear where it shouldn't. I learned from my previous mistakes and no longer build a wall of gun turrets that gets automatically refilled, but this introduces a new problem.
No wall, no solid defense until lasers. Lasers are very slow to start defending with once you research the technology as you need sufficient power, batteries as buffer for the energy spikes, but overall you can just build a line of lasers with a substation and that is sufficient defense until massive waves of artillery triggered biters comes your way.
This turns my playstyle more into trying not to die rather than trying to fix bottlenecks and increase base throughput. Everything backs up. Nothing is showing its bottlenecks.


Why do I believe the expansion will fix this?
Because when I start making those blue science rockets for a space platform that makes space science, a part of the base will be outside Nauvis. This should help reduce the amount of pollution you really need to create in order to achieve progress even though rockets will be expensive to launch. You can have a better control of a closer goal with less complexity.
I believe it's possible to decide to start doing more and more with that one space platform for space science since it won't need rocket fuel to move anywhere, it can just sit and you can make many of those platforms so each can act as its own special mini factory that is mostly self sufficient.

You can get iron from space, why not export it to the ground if you happen to get too much? Of course that'll probably be rookie numbers, but any help is help, plus you'd be throwing this iron out if it doesn't go down to Nauvis.

For me having closer goals such as going to space, then exploring each planet is much better than having this massive goal. Especially because I know I can fail on the new planets. I know I can allow myself to die because what will be enemies do, fly back to Nauvis?


This is not a rant nor complaint, it's just me sharing an opinion that I wanted to put on the internet. Because I want to make mods for Factorio and this type of post really helps me make decisions on which gameplay design choices would feel better. Any reply is welcome, any criticism or your personal opinions. Let's have fun and grow that factory!

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by Tertius »

I know it's not really a solution, but what I do isn't what you even mentioned: I disable biters at map generation. I play without them.

That's more fun for me personally. I tried with biters vanilla settings, I tried with biters peaceful, I tried with biters reduced. All ended up the same: I avoided playing these saves sooner or later.

Instead, I found myself creating blueprints in map editor mode to be able to spawn factory parts (and defense parts) as hassle free as possible. I simply cannot think with the biter threat in mind. In the end, I didn't even use these blueprints, because I still avoided playing maps with biters. I thought about what I will do to fight the biters, but in the end, I simply didn't load these maps any more.

So I finally turned off biters to be free. I'm not completely satisfied with this solution, because this means I have a whole military available to me, but I will not use all those nice walls, doors, turrets. However, I did play these maps, while I didn't play maps with biters activated.

If you ask me for a possible solution, this is how I would actually load and play a map with enemies. Enemies must not be present until I explicitly allow them to be present. One point into the game, I consider myself prepared (I built defenses), and then I want to be able to enable enemies. Press a button, and they appear. Then I fight them, destroy them, and they're gone. Then I continue to expand the factory without enemy threat, and some point in time after that, I am again prepared for the next wave and I manually activate the next enemy wave. And so on.

This way I'm in control of the enemies any time. I can expand the factory without that threat, and I can actually fight after I prepared for the fight (which is quite fun, if you're prepared). But I'm not the person that sees fun in splitting his attention into two completely different things at the same time: expand the factory on one spot and defend the factory at the other end of the map.

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Many people actually enjoy the journey to the rocket, not just everything that comes after (making it bigger), and like the constant threat and push back/slow down caused by the biters.

As such, I'd dare say that your assessment of this being a "major issue" with the "core of the game" is actually incorrect. That's the way the devs wanted the game to be, not just another factory builder sim where you're just in God controller mode with no worries other than expansion.

That said, as Tertius pointed out, for those that don't like that game play, there are options to reduce or even turn off biters, as well as a whole separate game mode that removes the player character restrictions completely (collision, movement speed, able to die).
My Mods: Classic Factorio Basic Oil Processing | Sulfur Production from Oils | Wood to Oil Processing | Infinite Resources - Normal Yield | Tree Saplings (Redux) | Alien Biomes Tweaked | Restrictions on Artificial Tiles

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by NineNine »

I think that the current biter/pollution mechanic is great. It's challenging for a while, but by the time you get to building a rocket, you don't have to worry about them any more, and you can focus on megabase issues. I think it's well balanced and makes sense.

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by Vulkandrache »

I dont quite understand this.
Like many annoyances in this game basedefense is handled by having good blueprints.
On normal difficulty levels the amount of ressources spend on defense is a laughable percent of the total base.
Spend 2 hours in the Lab to make a handful of good blueprints from simple Gun to full-on Laser+Flame mix
and let the bots build it.

Unless you play some deathworld setting in which attacks per polution is stupidly high
holding back the base is so hard the wrong approach.
You will easily outtech the biters even at a moderate pace.

And Laser are the worst defense to switch so immediately.
What they need isnt a solar farm. They need more tech. The difference between a 5 Dmg laser and a 20 Dmg laser is a screenfull of solar.

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by EustaceCS »

troastervista wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2023 2:52 pm
My personal playstyle is prevention for some reason. I have this part which says "if you cause too big of an attack, you may fail to handle it so don't cause attacks"
And this really slows down my progress. I end up wasting so much time on looking at the pollution and the debug to see if a new expansion is going to appear where it shouldn't. I learned from my previous mistakes and no longer build a wall of gun turrets that gets automatically refilled, but this introduces a new problem.
No wall, no solid defense until lasers. Lasers are very slow to start defending with once you research the technology as you need sufficient power, batteries as buffer for the energy spikes, but overall you can just build a line of lasers with a substation and that is sufficient defense until massive waves of artillery triggered biters comes your way.
This turns my playstyle more into trying not to die rather than trying to fix bottlenecks and increase base throughput. Everything backs up. Nothing is showing its bottlenecks.
Remember this seed number:
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Check it in Preview.
Should work for your situation without having to wait for 2.0 .
Even with most default settings, even with burner tec abuse there will be enough time to either research all drone logistics chests, or grab lasers + solars + accumulators and go all eco-friendly. Or, with some effort, even both!
Enough space to fit few rocket silos + all early production you might need.
On-site Oil. Uranium within logi drones' reach. Expansions will need some fighting to do - but, with some sheer luck, rocket CAN be launched without expanding anywhere.
(also, fish.
Lots of)
Why do I believe the expansion will fix this?
Because when I start making those blue science rockets for a space platform that makes space science, a part of the base will be outside Nauvis. This should help reduce the amount of pollution you really need to create in order to achieve progress even though rockets will be expensive to launch. You can have a better control of a closer goal with less complexity.
I believe it's possible to decide to start doing more and more with that one space platform for space science since it won't need rocket fuel to move anywhere, it can just sit and you can make many of those platforms so each can act as its own special mini factory that is mostly self sufficient.
I believe, unless you'll go nuts on Legendary Quality (which won't happen until very late midgame because Legendary tech is on one of optional planets), it will not be worth the effort.
Making rockets to haul stuff around costs resources + pollution.
It's way easier to dedicate some space to solars + 2* efficiency modules rather than to throw everything into space and hope that it'll suffice.
If I read FFFs right, there are no option for direct platform2platform resources transfer. So some on-ground infrastructure (costy, pollution inducing infrastructure) SHALL be mandatory.
(and actual mining is not the biggest pollution source anyway)

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by DrakeyC »

My personal playstyle is prevention for some reason. I have this part which says "if you cause too big of an attack, you may fail to handle it so don't cause attacks"
I think the problem is this thought process. Attacks are inevitable until you get to the lategame and can use artillery to keep biters from ever getting close to your base. If you're afraid of expanding the factory because you're afraid of being attacked, you're being too paranoid and cautious.

If you want to minimize attacks without slowing growth, there's a lot you can do. Look for resource patches near lots of trees that will absorb some of the pollution output. For defending expansions once you need to set up trains, you can mark a slot in one of the cars to carry ammo, and use filter inserters to make sure that the ammo is only unloaded at the expansion where it can be fed to turrets. You can do the same with barreled crude order for flamethrower turrets.

You can also improve your defenses by making use of the natural terrain like water and cliffs instead of walls. I'll often look for relatively small areas connection spots of land and will set up turrets and a radar there to form a chokepoint, repeat in a clockwise-ish manner until my base is inaccessible without passing by turrets. If you place them out far enough that they're beyond the pollution cloud, the only times they'll have to shoot anything is when an expansion force tries to pass by, which they'll be able to handle.

Finally, there's always good-old fashioned violence - go on the offensive. Turret creep is slow but practical, slowly encroach turrets on a nest until they're in range of the spawners, or let the turrets focus on enemies while you get in a bit closer to shoot the nests. The flamethrower is an amazing weapon for clearing biter nests up until Behemoth-stage, and as I recently learned myself, landmines are a very cheap and effective way to handle normal enemies, throw some down before approaching the nest and then retreat into the minefield. The rocket launcher is also good at taking out nests from long-range, especially as you upgrade its damage and can take out clumps of nests with explosive rockets. The tank can just drive through smaller nests with ease running over enemies. Once you get poison capsules, three of them will kill even the highest-level worms and then its just the spawners left.

Unless you play with enemies disabled, fighting them is part of the game, so don't sleep on your military research and the arsenal of weapons and upgrades available.

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by aka13 »

DrakeyC wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 6:49 pm
get to the lategame and can use artillery to keep biters from ever getting close to your base.
I disagree, even in late-game biters are not "solveable". Artillery is too weak, even if you reach absurdly high range upgrades.
And what happens then, is even funnier, you get artillery with enough range to pre-clear enough land for a rail-grid-expansion, but it does not generate chunks on its own, so you have to pre-click areas manually for artillery to clear it.
Biters at the same time turn all land into the stupid uncleanable creep and occupy ALL space except for water.
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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by NineNine »

aka13 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2023 7:52 am
DrakeyC wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 6:49 pm
get to the lategame and can use artillery to keep biters from ever getting close to your base.
I disagree, even in late-game biters are not "solveable". Artillery is too weak, even if you reach absurdly high range upgrades.
And what happens then, is even funnier, you get artillery with enough range to pre-clear enough land for a rail-grid-expansion, but it does not generate chunks on its own, so you have to pre-click areas manually for artillery to clear it.
Biters at the same time turn all land into the stupid uncleanable creep and occupy ALL space except for water.

You must be running some sort of unusual mods or have some sort of unusual settings. I have a 100% vanilla megabase and artillery completely takes care of all of my biter problems. I do have a row of lasers just to be safe, but they rarely engage (only when artillery hits a new nest, and the biters run towards me). I also don't have to click anywhere to clear the space (and yes, I run a giant rail grid inside of my artillery/laser border). My evolution is at 1.0. I don't even think about biters any more.

When I want to expand, I plop down a new line of lasers/artillery, and when it's all built, then I fill in with rail grid behind it. By the time my new border is built, the biters are already cleared from that entire new border area.

If you need some specific help with your base, you might want to post what you've got and we'll get you squared away. Biters shouldn't be a consideration late in the game, if you're doing everything "correctly".

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by aka13 »

It's nothing unusual, you will reach that point on vanilla settings as well. If you don't pre-click, it only means you are using very small segments.
The issue I am describing is in "not a bug-minor issue" hell. The problem is, that while artillery "senses" biters in generated, but "black" chunks, it does not generate chunks itself. Artillery does not generate chunks on itself though.
I posted a screenshot here viewtopic.php?p=580824#p580824, and explained the issue in detail here: https://forums.factorio.com/viewtopic. ... 22#p579422.
You can automate your defenses, but you have to spend ludicrous amounts of time, if you want biters outside of the pollution, and vanilla does not gve you the necessary tools for that.

And don't even get me started on fires and construction robots, and how bad on-demand-trains work in vanilla.
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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by Illiander42 »

> but you have to spend ludicrous amounts of time

I have a blueprint with 4 artillery fed from a requester chest surrounded by laser turrets.

I slap a few of them around the edges of my base and they handle everything. I don't even build a wall for default settings anymore, I just clear the pollution cloud until I have artillery.

Biters aren't really a threat, late-game vanilla. Even on deathworld.

If you're expanding fast enough that auto-chunk-generation hasn't filled in your entire artillery range, then manual a few at max range and the rest will get filled in and handled.

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by aka13 »

Illiander42 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2023 12:05 pm
> but you have to spend ludicrous amounts of time

I have a blueprint with 4 artillery fed from a requester chest surrounded by laser turrets.

I slap a few of them around the edges of my base and they handle everything. I don't even build a wall for default settings anymore, I just clear the pollution cloud until I have artillery.

Biters aren't really a threat, late-game vanilla. Even on deathworld.

If you're expanding fast enough that auto-chunk-generation hasn't filled in your entire artillery range, then manual a few at max range and the rest will get filled in and handled.
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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by NineNine »

aka13 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2023 2:47 pm
Illiander42 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2023 12:05 pm
> but you have to spend ludicrous amounts of time

I have a blueprint with 4 artillery fed from a requester chest surrounded by laser turrets.

I slap a few of them around the edges of my base and they handle everything. I don't even build a wall for default settings anymore, I just clear the pollution cloud until I have artillery.

Biters aren't really a threat, late-game vanilla. Even on deathworld.

If you're expanding fast enough that auto-chunk-generation hasn't filled in your entire artillery range, then manual a few at max range and the rest will get filled in and handled.
Are you trying to compete at not-reading?
Dude I've read your posts here and on the other thread multiple times, and I still can't figure out what you're complaining about. Multiple people have tried to help you, but you're insisting that there's some sort of problem that nobody else sees.

Good luck!

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Re: My issue with Factorio and how the 2.0 Space Age expansion is going to fix it (i hope)

Post by Illiander42 »

aka13 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2023 2:47 pm
Are you trying to compete at not-reading?
From having a quick read of your other post, it seems like you want recursive blueprints in vanilla or something? (For the record, if the devs figure out a good UI for this, I'm all for it)

Maybe explain what your actual problem is?

Because biters are fully-solvable with a simple artillery blueprint in vanilla. You don't even need to defend anything but the artillery itself. "Great Wall" not needed.

The pollution cloud generates chunks, so once artillery stabilises all you need to worry about is expansion parties.

Again, except for if you are expanding. But expansion isn't automatable in vanilla, you always have to click the blueprints down. So clicking some artillery to generate the chunks isn't much more effort.

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