My first victory! (0.15.x, default settings, no mods)

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Patashu
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My first victory! (0.15.x, default settings, no mods)

Post by Patashu »

Whew. After 25 hours of gameplay time (54 total, I've played on other files too), a lot of stress and my brain frequently deciding that planning my next production line is more important than going to sleep, I'm finally finished. In a weird way, I was motivated to finish because I didn't want to spoil myself by watching speedruns, guides or looking at other people's builds for this game UNTIL I had launched a rocket once - so the motivation basically snowballed into itself until it was all-encompassing, haha.

This game inspires so many strong emotions - cursing at yourself for building your factory so inflexibly/cramped, despair at seeing yet another alien base expand where you don't want, joy at automating yourself further into the game, thrill at taking your new military toys and stomping some bases, satisfaction at securing an ore or oil supply, shock when an attack comes while you're not prepared, pangs of realization at a mechanic or keybinding you didn't know existed... it's all there.

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I started in a forested area with coal/iron/copper/stone/water all close together. Getting to red/green science automation was straightforward, followed by a clumsy steel setup into black science automation. (By the way, using grenades to clear trees is something you don't appreciate until you realize that you don't start the game with them!) I was running a full red belt of iron through my factory and had full steel furnaces and I couldn't put it off any longer - it was time for oil.

Oil was far away to the NE. I ran power lines to it, set up gun turrets and walls, and built a railway line to drop it off at my main base. This took a while but was satisfying to get working. (Much later I'd use signals to get a second oil outpost to the SW on the same railway line.) I set up cracking/sulfur/sulfuric acid/batteries/plastic/red circuits, and suddenly had a rudimentary blue science setup, but still a lot to accomplish ahead of me.

Next was to automate solar panels and accumulators, which I recall requiring a lot of futzing with underground conveyor belts and splitters. Now that I had a power source that could handle spikes in demand, I was able to automate laser turrets and set them up around the perimeter. I never set up an ammo distribution system, so laser turrets were far more reliable - especially as biter attacks got stronger and more aggressive from here on out. I expanded factory walls and added outposts for iron to the southwest, and copper/coal/iron to the northwest, bringing them in by belt instead of train b/c lazy. Around this point to clear out biter nests I'd use a car to get near them and fight with modular armor, one energy shield, a machine gun and grenade spam. But soon this wouldn't be enough.

With the second oil-by-train outpost set up, oil suddenly stopped being a bottleneck for the rest of the game - I always had more than I was spending. I automated productivity/speed modules and started going wild with them in my pumpjacks, miners and assemblers. I stressed a lot about if putting modules in everything was needlessly destroying my energy economy for marginal gains - I eased the stress by planting a TON of solar/accumulator and seeing that, no, nothing was going wrong. I automated lubricant->electric engines, made construction robots and set up a personal roboport. Boy, was this a big change! I needed a while to figure out the workflow for creating and placing blueprints. At this point I was using it to place solar/accumulator en masse, but much later I'd be copying-pasting parts of walls with turrets, assembler/conveyor setups, and I didn't realize how big of a quality of life help it was until I was doing it!

In Factorio, there's always either a bottleneck or something stressing you about being depleted or overrun. I was feeling the latter really strongly right now. My main base coal, iron and copper were starting to deplete, and aliens were getting harder and harder to deal with. At default settings it feels like they expand towards you so often that you could clear them out non stop and never finish - and you don't have time, you have a factory to run! And around this time was when big biters started to show up. They were so much stronger than the regular kind - they'd tank my machine gun piercing rounds all day long and run right up to eat my face. It was actually starting to feel impossible to clear out bases, I had half a solid line of laser turrets around outposts and walls near alien bases, and I was fretting about what would happen if I ran out of iron. There was a set of bases densely covering a -3 million- iron ore deposit to the northwest. It was the closest and biggest. I needed it, but any time I ran into the bases there, I came out without a single building destroyed and my life nearly depleted. It seemed impossible...

...So with blue circuit research in hand, I set up an assembler and hand-fed it the components, crawled up to power armour and 3 energy shield mk2s, made a flamethrower and stacks of flamethrower ammo - and now I was FINALLY ahead of the power curve again. It was hilarious to stand in a crowd of big biters, grenade myself and kill them all, and to set huge fires and watch things slowly burn. I secured the 3 million iron ore deposit and was starting to use full solid lines of laser turrets to defend the furthest walls of my outposts out of necessity. Combine that with the 1mil coal and 1mil copper (later expanded to 1.5mil copper with an easy expansion to the east of my starting location) and I finally felt safe and secure. OK, now what?

I doubled the throughput of iron ore, iron plate, copper ore, copper plate, copper wire, green circuit, red circuit. I made and installed tons more solar/accumulator and productivity/speed modules. (My miners were all full productivity 1, as were a lot of other things, and I used speed where it was the only option or for things that were primarily oil-derived.) And here things started to get scary just when I thought it was fine - I started getting brownouts - my factory was more moduled, more productive, my laser turrets were more numerous and shooting more frequently at tougher enemies, and the coal line leading to my steam engines was from a mostly depleted deposit. It was a fearful in-game day or two while I placed more solar/accumulator blueprints and hoped biters wouldn't destroy everything I know and love.

And biter attacks were getting tougher still - even my power armor/3 energy shield mk2 setup felt outdated with the sheer mass of big biter/big spitter spawns. I automated up to purple/yellow science, including blue circuits, electric furnaces and more batteries. I dragged my way up to fusion reactor and personal laser defense, and with my new ability to tank hits forever without worrying about running out of battery charge, I was able to charge at enemy bases non-stop before they had a chance to fully respawn their units. I also built an exoskeleton, and the speed boost was REALLY appreciated. 1 full solid line of laser turret everywhere became the rule rather than the exception, and the most frequently attached places were now up to 2 solid lines, sometimes 3, and it STILL didn't feel like enough sometimes, but it was doing its job.

At this point though I was ready to beat the game - Err. After dealing with ANOTHER brownout. (Much solar/accumulator later, including a wall expansion to find the room...) I researched productivity 3/speed 3, rocket speed 5, and rocket silo. (Rocket silo took forever, so I used the time to... figure out I made a mistake when expanding blue science, and not all of it was being put on the conveyor belt. Doh! Also clearing bases/expanding walls/building laser turrets/clearing bases/moduleing things, stuff like that.) I automated concrete, solid fuel and expanded steel production with a ton of productivity 1 electric furnaces. (I never got a fully saturated yellow belt of steel, but that's OK.) Rocket silo placed, low density material/rocket fuel/rocket control unit automated...automated in larger quantities...wait one sec, gotta run off and add laser turrets to a neglected wall, OK back... whoops, brownout, adding more solar/accumulator... rocket still building, craft productivity 2 modules while I wait... satellite made... Rocket ready. OK, let's launch that thing! WHOOO! GG.

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What's next for me?

This was already really hard, so I don't know if I'll jump into mods, build a megabase or get all the achievements, haha. But I'd love to play some more multiplayer sometime. It's such a different experience when you have a counterpart handling all the parts of the map where you aren't, and stuff just gets -done- without you having to be around, is a really satisfying experience, plus the learning of each others' tricks and techniques and clearing bases together. And of course, I'm gonna finally check out speedruns and other people's factories/guides/playthroughs with a clear heart :D

EDIT: If I learn enough stuff from guides/speedruns/etc that it reduces the cognitive overhead of playing Factorio significantly, I'll look into achievements/mods.

Hamster
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Re: My first victory! (0.15.x, default settings, no mods)

Post by Hamster »

Well done. :)

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