About gun turrets

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Nimaniel
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About gun turrets

Post by Nimaniel »

I tried building a factory that only used gun turrets. Partly because guns have awesome damage output (with AP ammo) and I prefer their "style" to lasers, and partly just because I wanted something to be different about the new factory, compared to the last few.

This proved problematic however, since I like to play in a setting where you are forced to fight the biters early on, which accellerates the evolution, and makes for a more interesting (for me) game. Playing with "small" starting area and "large" and "frequent" biter camps, I learned the hard way that:

1) The price in iron and copper ore, not to mention the energy to produce the plates and steel as well as the actual ammo, is _considerable_ when the biters have evolved, and they attack each night, because you cannot wipe out that 18 spawner hive sitting very close to your ressource patch.
2) Providing ammo to new ressource mining operations becomes increasingly difficult as the game progresses. Fully automating this takes considerable time and resources. Keep in mind that AP ammo can only be produced where you have BOTH copper AND iron (so how to you protect those oil rigs, or your coal mine?)
3) Serial feeding gun turrets with autoloaders eventually becomes problematic, when that 18 spawner hive sends waves of 30+ biters where perhaps as many as one third are large biters... because the turrets (which now have most of the attack speed upgrades) will burn through 10 clips of ammo in the time it takes you to whisper "Oh sh*t".., which will rapidly lead to ammo starvation of the turrets downstream of the ammo-carrying conveyor (not to mention that a fast inserter probably can't even reload a turret fast enough to keep it fed, even if the ammo supply was perfect logistic-wise).

I realize that not everyone likes to play the game this way, but even so..

I propose that gun turrets are rebalanced. Mainly, the ammo should be slightly cheaper in ressources and time to produce, and it should be possible to set a global default for how much ammo a turret is loaded with (instead of the hardcoded 10, which is not enough IMO).

If any of you have ideas for how to solve the serial ammo feed issue in a manner that doesn't require a lot of space (which is scarce at "harder difficulty" settings), then I would love to hear about them and discuss them. Obviously parallel (to some degree) ammo feeding is the alternative to serial feed, but how to do this in a cost and space efficient manner? Please consider that number of turrets required mid-/late-game when the biters have evolved significantly.

/Nimaniel

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by DaveMcW »

There have been a lot of complaints about the price of AP ammo.

Sitting passively while 18 spawners dump biters at you sounds like a recipe for failure. If it costs more resourses to defend your mining operation than it produces, you should give it up.

I recommend distractor capsules for early spawner clumps. If there are no worms and you aim a distractor at the center of a spawner, it will be protected from biters until the spawner dies. Run up, toss 1-2 distractors, then run back to your turrets to clean the biters off your tail. Some slowdown capsules might help with that too.
Last edited by DaveMcW on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Balinor »

I would like to see additional research that increases the amount of ammo per clip. If after a few ranks of research you then had 30 bullets per clip that would certainly ease the situation. I also think the balance is off on the cost to performance of the ammo in the first place and this would help address that somewhat.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Turtle »

I wouldn't expect much change in this. I think the dev's mentality is "It works, balance is so-so. Let's continue to work on essential stuff to progress in development in this version since we're gonna revisit this later." If you take a look at the roadmap, you'll notice that they will work on balance and fighting in 0.12. I don't mean to put words in their mouths, but that's how I would do it. Just make sure it works and balance later because it's just changing numbers around. It doesn't make sense to spend too much time in calculating this and that and trying to get it perfect because if you add one more enemy type or weapon type or anything, then you've gotta balance the whole thing again. With that said, I still read a little here and there about balancing this and that because when it's time to actually do the balancing, there will be a lot of info, discussions and ideas.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Zourin »

Gun turrets are just a holdout for laser turrets.

Lasers work purely on electricity, which can be produced 'material free' with solar panels and accumulator banks (with some supplimental fossil fuel power if needed). Guns actively drain your iron and copper reserves, lack the punch needed to bring down large biters, and require massive research material drains to continue being a fully inadequate defense mechanism.

They take up extra space (2x1) AND require additional space for logistical supply of ammunition if you want an automatic reload. They are inferior in EVERY way possible, and should only be used as a temporary hold-out until you can research laser turrets and deploy them for static base defenses.

The same holds true for personal weapons. the SMG is just a temporary holdout weapon to hold out for the auto-shotgun, and even that is pointless to use since it's all just a holdout for combat bots, offensive towering, and obligatory runspeed-stacked power armor.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Khyron »

Some info about this here

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Nimaniel »

Thanks for the replies guys.
by DaveMcW » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:15 pm
I recommend distractor capsules for early spawner clumps.
The early spawners are not a problem, and I can assure you that I am not sitting idly by while being attacked. By this time in the game I have transitioned to new fields of all resource types and removed enough spawners from those area to collect ~200 artifacts. But consider what happens when you jump in your car to assault a biter hive that is so big, on a map that has so many hives, that when you circle it, you cannot avoid drawing aggro from neighbouring hives as well. In a matter of seconds, you will have literally hundreds of spawners tailing your car. I refuse to turret advance on hives, which would also be silly when using gun turrets and getting ammo starved in the first place. Note that I have 10 tier 3 assemblies producing AP ammo full time at the time I get overwhelmed and forced to abandon my factory.

Turtle, good info. Thanks! I had not noticed the roadmap before. I feel that changing the number of copper plates required to make an AP clip from 5 to maybe 3, and cut the time to produce it in half would take about 10 seconds for a dev to update. That said, I understand that balance is an issue for later.

Zourin, your post makes me sad about Factorio, because it destroys my illusion of freedom of choice. I like my (de/i)lluisions. :| I will not turret creep, and I cannot hold out for tier 2 powerarmor (stacked exo) when all resources are heavily encroached by biters.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by DerivePi »

I'm in my latest mid-game and I'm finding that the car with poison and distractors has been very successful. I will preface that this offensive set is useless in forests, but in the open I can eat through any size hive given time, distractors the ability to remove worms with poison and a local bunker of turrets for occasional clean-up.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Rahjital »

Gun turrets are very strangely balanced. In the early game, there's nothing else and they are good enough. Once big biters come, the gun turrets become useless due to their resistance... but become stronger once again in the late game when all the researches are done due to the way damage resistance works. Automatic reloading means you can build at most 1 gun turret per every 3.5 laser turrets you could place, which still makes them slightly inferior, but if you are willing to reload them by hand from time to time, they outperform lasers easily. It should also be noted that if you don't have a solar farm powering your base, laser turrets eat through coal like there's no tommorow.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Kazuar »

Zourin wrote:Gun turrets are just a holdout for laser turrets.
Excuse me?
Zourin wrote:Lasers work purely on electricity, which can be produced 'material free' with solar panels and accumulator banks (with some supplimental fossil fuel power if needed).
True...
Zourin wrote:Guns actively drain your iron and copper reserves[...]
Also quite true, technically. Practically, they only drain when firing - which they only should once in a blue moon, since the best defense is a good, dedicated and proactive butchering of the local wildlife.
If you hit the ALT-key (or whatever you changed it to in the settings), you can see the how your factory's pollution spreads - biters only attack when you pollute their homes, so before your pollution spreads to them, go there and just kill everything.

Behold: your guns now act as a backup, not as a constant drain.
Behold further: being proactive in your defense saves resources.
Zourin wrote:[...]lack the punch needed to bring down large biters[...]
Gun turrets deal three times as much damage per second, per turret, than laser turrets - against big biters, no less; against smaller biters, the gun turrets advantage gets even bigger.
Zourin wrote:[...]require massive research material drains[...]
That you're going to spend one way or the other, see also: being proactive in your defense.
Zourin wrote:[...]to continue being a fully inadequate defense mechanism.[...]
Any defense mechanism that can kill a wave of big biters, without them reaching the walls and blow this massively annoying "boOOIIIIIIP boOOIIIIIPPP boOOIIIIIPPP" sound into my ears*, is an adequate defense mechanism.
Zourin wrote:[...]They take up extra space (2x1) AND require additional space for logistical supply of ammunition if you want an automatic reload.
Now, this gets interesting.
Every gun turret (2 tiles) requires 1 inserter (1 tile) for auto-loading - in this space, you could've placed 3 laser turrets. Since one gun turrets deals the DPS of three lasers, damage-wise, they become equivalent. The guns require belts or robots to auto-load, and the lasers require robots to fix the walls they can't keep from getting damaged. The only remaining benefit of lasers, their higher range, is consumed by the strange design of bullets travelling faster than light, which means that, although they shoot earlier, they kill much later (see also: "boOOIIIIIIP boOOIIIIIPPP boOOIIIIIPPP").
In the end, guns need more setup for the ammo system, but kill things faster(due to hit-scan), whereas lasers need only power, but accept the chance of "boOOIIIIIIP boOOIIIIIPPP boOOIIIIIPPP".
Zourin wrote:They are inferior in EVERY way possible, and should only be used as a temporary hold-out until you can research laser turrets and deploy them for static base defenses.
As one can imagine by this point, I disagree.
Zourin wrote:The same holds true for personal weapons. the SMG is just a temporary holdout weapon to hold out for the auto-shotgun, and even that is pointless to use since it's all just a holdout for combat bots, offensive towering, and obligatory runspeed-stacked power armor.
The same also holds true for enemies: the small biter is just a temporary holdout enemy to hold out for medium biters, and even that one is pointless to be afraid of since it's just a hold out for big biters.
The enemies grow stronger over time (unsuprisingly); as long as there ain't any medium biters, the SMG(with AP bullets) is pretty much Death himself sitting atop his pale horse. That's the whole idea of the enemy getting stronger: all these weapons have a timeframe in which they're useful. You could ignore them and just try and rush the late-game stuff ASAP, but it'll just be more difficult/stressful for no reason (just go there and kill them. seriously. there is no "too much pollution", "not enough resources" or "not enough space", there is only "not enough killing".)


* = Of course, I could also turn the volume down or something, but I prefer this sound to only having a visual reminder, which I'm going to overlook anyway. The annoying part comes mainly from having to hear this sound every few seconds, constantly. It made me disregard lasers, and favor gun turrets, which kill things before a random chunk of concrete somewhere in nowhere gets a bitemark.
[Note: I'm actually sorry if my posts come off as rude; english is not my native language, and I'm not aware of all it's nuances. Please do point out my misadoptions in tone!]

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Khyron »

Kazuar wrote:Gun turrets deal three times as much damage per second, per turret, than laser turrets - against big biters, no less; against smaller biters, the gun turrets advantage gets even bigger.
DPS per turret is irrelevant. If you want more damage, build more turrets. DPS matters in games where you are not able to scale the number of weapons firing. In Factorio, the concern is damage per resource or even higher meta is damage per pollution. Lasers approach zero for the denominator for both of those measures which is a huge part of why they are the better weapon.

I agree that the building destroyed sound effect should be looked at. It would be nice if walls had a crumbling/collapsing sound effect.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Kazuar »

Khyron wrote:DPS per turret is irrelevant. If you want more damage, build more turrets. DPS matters in games where you are not able to scale the number of weapons firing. In Factorio, the concern is damage per resource or even higher meta is damage per pollution. Lasers approach zero for the denominator for both of those measures which is a huge part of why they are the better weapon.
When making absolute statements about whether or not a turret can kill something, it becomes a relevant metric. Due to attack ranges, there's also an absolute (hypothetical) maximum of turrets per chunk that can be brought to fire against attackers.

Lasers require oil, which is a less readily available resource to tap, than copper and iron. Damage per pollution I don't consider relevant, since pollution is kinda irrelevant in itself, IMHO - If your pollution cloud gets big enough to attract biters, you didn't kill them. Be more proactive. Literally, everything that pollution can do requires it getting to the enemies bases. As your pollution grows, local wildlife must get pushed backed.
In the long term, this is cheaper than letting your laser/gun turret line fire almost constantly for minutes upon minutes.
[Note: I'm actually sorry if my posts come off as rude; english is not my native language, and I'm not aware of all it's nuances. Please do point out my misadoptions in tone!]

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Khyron »

Kazuar wrote:When making absolute statements about whether or not a turret can kill something, it becomes a relevant metric. Due to attack ranges, there's also an absolute (hypothetical) maximum of turrets per chunk that can be brought to fire against attackers.

Lasers require oil, which is a less readily available resource to tap, than copper and iron. Damage per pollution I don't consider relevant, since pollution is kinda irrelevant in itself, IMHO - If your pollution cloud gets big enough to attract biters, you didn't kill them. Be more proactive. Literally, everything that pollution can do requires it getting to the enemies bases. As your pollution grows, local wildlife must get pushed backed.
In the long term, this is cheaper than letting your laser/gun turret line fire almost constantly for minutes upon minutes.
Basically I think you don't understand or appreciate two particular mechanics of the game which is why you have these strange conclusions. The first one is physical resistance. This alone is the biggest reason why gun turrets are pointless. I'd suggest having a look at the link I posted earlier in this thread. The second thing I don't think you understand is how evolutionfactor works. Pollution is the root metric on all activities until evolutionfactor reaches 1. If you want to drive up the evolutionfactor faster by killing the spawners, go right ahead. At the moment you seem to think that's an action without consequence.

Deciding whether to kill a spawner that is in range of your pollution vs. leaving it there is one of the most complicated decisions in the game due to the number of variables you need to consider about the particular situation. Especially since biters can build new spawners.

Beyond that, I don't see any point in considering extreme edge cases or improbable scenarios:
  • There's no practical scenario where someone builds a wall of turrets so thick that the back ones can't shoot past the front ones.
  • Oil is readily available and is one of the rare resources in the game which is actually infinite.
TL;DR - Lasers >>> gun turrets.

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Nimaniel »

Perhaps I didn't make it clear that my whole premise for opening this topic was game settings that force you to kill a significant amount of spawners just to survive, driving up the evolution MUCH faster than in a default ("medium") setting.

I feel Khyron understands this premise based on this statement:
by Khyron » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:04 am
Deciding whether to kill a spawner that is in range of your pollution vs. leaving it there is one of the most complicated decisions in the game due to the number of variables you need to consider about the particular situation. Especially since biters can build new spawners.
If you don't understand or agree with what Khyron says here, you have not played the game on sufficiently difficult settings. Playing the game on settings that make Khyron's statement untrue is fine if that is your cup of tea, but although I find the Sim-city aspect of Factorie great, I need to spice it up with something resembling a challenge. This means settings that forces a significantly faster evolution through the forced killing of spawners, which makes it a race against time.

Since you are racing time, are encroached by biters that are large compared to your tech, and your resources are constantly running out, you must fight to both transition between resource patches and technologies, make hard choices about when to counterattack the biters, and even superhard choices like completely relocating your entire main base to a more resource rich and pollution free area (when you can tear it down with constructor robotes).

Crank up the settings, and remember that losing is fun!

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Kazuar »

First off: Thanks, makers, for the draft function of this board. My first attempt at an answer was not fit to be posted, and being able to save a posting, come back later and remove the (worst of the) bile is just boss. I'm really really fond of draft management now.

I also really, really love how the basic premise of you two is basically "this guy does not agree with us, so he must be stupid".
Clearly, I just can't possibly know what I'm talking about, as evidenced by the fact I have less posts than others.
This is, of course, a correct assumption, despite the common misconception in which playing the game is how the game is learned.

I'm going to structure this post, for ease of navigation, since this is going to take up lots of screen space.

------------- @Khyron -------------
Khyron wrote:Basically I think you don't understand or appreciate two particular mechanics of the game which is why you have these strange conclusions. The first one is physical resistance. This alone is the biggest reason why gun turrets are pointless.[...]
You might remember that my earlier response to Zourin in regard to gun turrets included the little part...
Kazuar wrote:against big biters, no less
I am very well aware of the fact that medium and big biters reduce incoming physical damage by 4 and 8, respectively.
Please, do explain to me how "11 damage" is bigger than "(24.2-8)damage with twice the firing speed". I'll wait.

So, just to make sure I understand your point here, are you saying that the fact that they kill big biters almost three times as quickly is "the biggest reason why gun turrets are pointless"?
In that case, my answer is WHAT?!?
Khyron wrote:[...]The second thing I don't think you understand is how evolutionfactor works. Pollution is the root metric on all activities until evolutionfactor reaches 1. If you want to drive up the evolutionfactor faster by killing the spawners, go right ahead. At the moment you seem to think that's an action without consequence.
I was under the impression that pollution needs to be absorbed by a spawner before it's counted. Interesting, but without relevance to your point, it seems.

I still stand by my point: Reducing your pollution in order to keep the evolution down will merely make the game last longer, for close to no benefit - the enemy will progress slower, and you will progress slower.
Allowing a spawner to live and attack you, will cost you ressources one way or another, for, again, no real benefit.
Virtually everything that makes the evofactor go up faster will also allow you to progress faster* - either because
  • - Killing all spawners you see allows you to not get attacked and instead put resources into something that is not defense (see also: destroy_factor)
    - Producing pollution requires having a factory - more pollution means more resources mined and processed that can be used (see also: pollution_factor)
    - Being able to just peacefully fortify, tech up and expand continiously increases the sum of all resources mined ever, which nessiciates the enemy getting better, as well, just so it's not becoming a cakewalk (see also: time_factor)
* = The one exception involves effectivity modules, of course. Naturally, I need to explain this to you, because otherwise you'll pretentiously point out that modules exist, as evidenced by the very discussion we're having here. Of course, by the time I bother with modules, my killing spree has ramped evofactor very close to 1, anyway, at least judging from the fact that big biters become as frequent as the others, if not more frequent. Somehow, this does not result in me getting swamped.

I'll say it again, just to be clear:
The increase in biter toughness caused by evolutionfactor is only relevant when there are spawners that can be aggrevated by your pollution - if there are spawners within your pollution cloud, this is your fault, entirely. Just. Go. Kill'em.
Khyron wrote:[...]Deciding whether to kill a spawner that is in range of your pollution vs. leaving it there is one of the most complicated decisions in the game due to the number of variables you need to consider about the particular situation.[...]


I disagree.
The variables here are pretty much "general progression of the game", "amount of spawners" and "amount of ammo".

If the first prevents you from attacking (i.e. enemy too evolved for current tech), it's your fault for not giving enough priority to research, (i.e. you didn't properly prioritize your resource spending.), or it's your fault for not conquering and tapping enough resources (i.e. you didn't properly prioritize your resource spending.)
If the last prevents you from attacking, you didn't properly prioritize your resource spending.
There is a brief moment in the early game, at least on higher enemy settings, where the enemy bases just can't be assaulted since there's literally hundreds of spawners per base. Such bases can be tanked until they can be killed.

There is no reason to not kill a spawner in range other than "i can't kill it" - they will attack, and defending against them will contiunously cost you resources, until you finally get there and kill them. It's just math, really.
Lets do the math
Khyron wrote:[...]Especially since biters can build new spawners.[...]
I've never seen biters build a new base in an area that they couldn't walk to. Which goes to say, I assume they cannot teleport, which in turn means they'll be outside the perimeter. I've also never seen a new base with more than eight spawners. Although the big worms can be annoying, early-game.
Khyron wrote:Beyond that, I don't see any point in considering extreme edge cases or improbable scenarios:
  • There's no practical scenario where someone builds a wall of turrets so thick that the back ones can't shoot past the front ones.
  • Oil is readily available and is one of the rare resources in the game which is actually infinite.
The first point's fair enough - you don't need that many turrets to be completly immune to any and all attacks that a new base could spawn, since every other base should have been stomped already.
The second point is arguable -
  • - All resources are infinite, if you go that route, since the map is (virtually) infinite. Getting a monstrous 2.1 oil a sec from 21 depleted spots, however, is not going to fuel my destroyer facility plus my research facility plus my modules&circuitry facility, at least not in a meaningful way, so the finity of oil spots is a relevant concern. HINT: Improving the output to a staggering 4.2 oil per second by lavishly throwing speed-3's into it, will not improve the situation in any meaningful way, either.
    - Of course, on the standard setting, no resource is ever going to run out in a way that would case any problems, since the map generator is pretty much trying to choke you with resources.
Khyron wrote:TL;DR - Lasers >>> gun turrets.
TL;DR - you are mistaken.


------------- @Nimaniel -------------
Nimaniel wrote:[...]If you don't understand or agree with what Khyron says here, you have not played the game on sufficiently difficult settings.[...]
Yes, using ye olde "if you don't agree with me, your opinion is worthless to me" never fails to faciliate a constructive and courteous discussion. So you want to be forced to kill bases, yet when I say you should always aspire to kill bases, my opinion becomes worthless. You want situations in which you're forced to think, and be a bit more challanged, yet remarking on the special niche that gun turrets can fill, and how there's pros and cons, is not acceptable. You lament the lack of choice, based on a false information, yet correcting it makes me the asshole.

Thank you so much. Seriously.
Nimaniel wrote:[...]Playing the game on settings that make Khyron's statement untrue is fine if that is your cup of tea, but although I find the Sim-city aspect of Factorie great, I need to spice it up with something resembling a challenge. This means settings that forces a significantly faster evolution through the forced killing of spawners, which makes it a race against time.[...]
So you immediatly presume I'll play in "wimp mode" because... why, exactly? What makes you think that?

If I'd want to play sim factorio, I'd set the checkbox for "peaceful mode" - which, I guarantee you, would make me absolutly not care about turrets, guns or otherwise.

But you know what? I'm not being facetious or even bileful here, but can you please tell me what these settings are? Because I can't get to this situation even when putting all resources to "very low/small/very low" (with oil&coal at "very low/very small/very low") and putting the enemy to different permutations of "very low - medium" and "big - very big" (I've tried reducing frequency because that results in bigger bases as well). I've tried, but I can't make the biters challenge me. Annoy me endlessly, yes, if I ignore them, but challenge me? Nope. Sincerely, please, share your secrets of map setting selection.

And since re-reading my former section here makes me realize I'm "sounding" really presumptuous here, let me clarify: No, I do not think I'm the hottest s**t in gaming. I just fail at using the game settings form.
Nimaniel wrote:[...]Crank up the settings, and remember that losing is fun!
You're preaching to the choir here.


Immediate Edit: Set "Notify me when a reply is posted" to on.
[Note: I'm actually sorry if my posts come off as rude; english is not my native language, and I'm not aware of all it's nuances. Please do point out my misadoptions in tone!]

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Khyron »

... ok. Good luck, have fun :)

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by ssilk »

I currently experiment with gun turrets as "second line".

TL;DR: Gun turrets enables to have a very weak laser defense.


Assumed, you have researched lasers and gun fully, gun-turrets are a great second level weapon, behind the lasers (I use mainly laser defense-posts of 8 lasers around a big electric pole, surrounded by walls).

I could significantly reduce the power consumption by thinning out the lasers in the first line (laser defense-post only every 30 tiles). They cannot stand a full wave of biters. Of course. But they are enough to reduce them, before they come in reach of the gun turrets. And cause of the walls I just need some repair packs. I try to set the reach so, that the gun turrets reach are about 1-3 tiles before the walls laser outposts; The remaining biters are immediatelly killed, when they reach that line. :)

The second line is an unwalled line of gun turrets (also not very dense), filled by burner insrters from a basic belt, one lane is the ammo, the other is the coal. The belt is either filled directly by an assembly/coal mine or by requester chests.
This construction is also quite safe against power loss! It's easy to built it up with blueprints.

PS: using burner inserters for gun turrets is a very good idea, since they now can feed themselves with coal.
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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Kazuar »

Khyron wrote:... ok. Good luck, have fun :)
Oh. Oooh. I get it now.
You trolled, I raged, you win.

Very well, then.
[Note: I'm actually sorry if my posts come off as rude; english is not my native language, and I'm not aware of all it's nuances. Please do point out my misadoptions in tone!]

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Hardison »

I'll stick with my Pew pew lasers :D..

FIRE THE "LASER"! :ugeek:

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Re: About gun turrets

Post by Taffetafanatic5 »

I personally think that it really doesn't matter because if your defenses aren't working you can just go kill the spawner. So just deal with the bitters early on or wait for them to become a problem either way the true correct answer is to just kill them and don't relie on turrets to keep you safe because they are a temporary solution.

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