Defending your base is just to easy!

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by sicklag »

Last edited by sicklag on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by Hannu »

sathill wrote:Ok so basicly you wanna better/harder fight with monsters, but don't wanna use mods, just play vanilla and don't care about achievements?
I personally see no problems with mods. I use mods and have also made own mods and modifications in other's mods to adjust details.
But there seems to be much players who do not want to use mods for various reasons. My point was to clarify that it would be very fast and cheap for devs to give few adjustment sliders which would affect variables which are already in the game. Like biter health and attack strength. I do not see many reasons to resist this kind of suggestion because it would not change anyone's game if they do not change their settings intentionally and it would not slow other development process significantly.
For example biter AI or automated defense robots would be totally different thing. It would need huge programming work and maybe dev team should hire some AI expert to get fun results. I think it would be great addition in this game, but do not believe that devs see it reasonable business decision in this kind of development process.
I belive most people care to make megafactory of logistical challenge and only what bitters contribute to this is UPS lost. Without bitters pollution do not matter and cant be disabled + all walls + turrets etc. Big ups gain.
I believe that very small part of million players will ever make a megabase. Probably minority launch ever a rocket. If I see my kids and other young people they play few hours most of the games and get bored. I am sure that Factorio is easy to get bored for most people. It need certain engineering thinking to be entertaining and be too slow and technical for normal people. Especially if you try to achieve megabase level.

But this kind of change would make possible to give certain pressure against player with lower number of tougher biters (if I remember correctly, it was the reason why devs implemented behemoth level enemies couple of years ago), and give also UPS benefits for megabase builders who want to keep defense as an element of the game.
The other thing you can done its download some mods, that some of them actually increase bitters ai, or add giant bitter bosses, more aliens types, more weapons or turrets type, automatic droid army. Mods add many many other thing and you can do this like in 2 minutes and start having fun immediately.
I have tried many mods and watched videos of others. It is easy to change basic properties, like health, but AI mods are quite crude and not very interesting. It is not possible to make a good AI with lua scripting interface. Even simple solutions take too much CPU to be practical in megabase scale. Such modifications should be made in C source.
Just download a lot of them and start fight for survival on alien planet like right now.
I do not like extreme survival type of gaming, but I want that defense is significant resource sink and give moderate workload. At 0.15 it is a joke and it seems than in Nilaus's 0.16 deathworld it is not even a joke. I just like very broad adjusting possibilities including ridiculously under- and overpowered extremes, which may be interesting in some special cases.

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by 5thHorseman »

sicklag wrote:
5thHorseman wrote:Completely rewriting the biters would take a lot of time, which - considering this is not the game's main focus - is a misuse of resources.
What is not the game's main focus? I don't understand you. You want to say biter and or biters with better AI is not the game's main focus?

Maybe you misread the word finally="and finally protect it from the creatures who don't really like you. " This word "finally" means they ARE one of the game's main focus.
Okay I'm wrong. Factorio has nothing to do with optimizing an automated factory and is instead a tower defense game.

Or that's ad copy and was written to entice, not provide a spec sheet for the game.

Or "finally" means Biters are an afterthought.

But you're probably right.
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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by BlakeMW »

sicklag wrote: I hope they find time to fix the broken biters AI.
One of the underlying themes of the game is that it is made up of simple things which perform simple actions which are put together to make something wonderful and complex.

The biters are simple things, and the defenses are simple things. The biters run towards pollution, they bite whatever they come across, the defenses shoot whatever is closest. Simple things that perform simple actions. The Biter AI is working perfectly in the context of the game.

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by Green_Baron »

I like the construction and planning part of the game, especially railworlds. There are more than enough shooting games out there for those who like it hard
Also, the settings allow for pretty thrilling setups where you're overrun before you can launch your first rocket. So, as far as i am concerned, there is not need to turn the screw tighter on the fighting aspects. Remember, after "tight" comes "off". :mrgreen:

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by borra »

I think this should be one of the main concerns for the devs right now... biters have always be there; why? they add (or should add) the spice to Factorio. No biters, no point having a tank to go and smash them.
And I also think biter mechanics have become dull.
Of course, this can't be a "whole game imposition", that's why difficulty settings are for (and Factorio has done great in this area, there's Marathon, Deathworld, etc.)
Maybe making a "vanilla" difficulty mode, with biters as they are,annoying buggers but eventually just a pest, make a new "survival" mode, where biters are a "normal", progressive challenge (the matter about how to make them challenging is another big topic) and then have Deathworld as a "hard/brutal" mode.

Why do I say devs should care about this biter stuff? Well, I think having a game mode in which the purpose of all your base building is to, primarily defend yourself and your base, and eventually be able to push biters back (maybe even finding and destroying something like the biter hive, or a biter queen or something, sort of a Sending Rocket to Space alternative in this mode), and this purpose of defense and later offense is challenging itself, would cater to lots of new players, and add a lot of variety and replayability to the game (same as the map improvement topic, the factorio game world has to become "alive", and biters are a crucial part of it)

All this stated, I'm not saying this game should become what it isn't, it should still be all about building and automating stuff. Defense systems can and must be autonomous, and why the hell not, I want robot tanks destroying biters while I drink my coffee.

And I'm saying this as a player that hates biters, I always end up making myself a custom scenario to surround a nice chunk of land around water and just leaving two or four entrances to pile up walls there and forget about biters forever.

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by BossmanSlim »

Having played RTS games from the C&C days in there multitude of versions, I think biters are in a strange place.
  • On the default settings, biters are basically in the game to tax the player resources (time and ore). If biters are turned off, several elements in the tech tree are pointless and most of the tax is removed.
  • In some prior version biters were more integrated into the progression because the player had to kill biters for alien tech, which was needed to research the rocket. This made no sense as why would bugs, who show no tech, have components needed to launch a rocket. It has sense been removed and I think the game is better for it, if the biters are going to remain bigger and bigger bugs.
  • Biters don't have any purpose other than being an annoyance currently. I agree this needs to be fixed, but where to go based on current mechanics is the challenge. All biters do now is evolve quickly and spread over the map, delaying the players progression by sapping resources. Once the player has teched up, the annoyance is real and at least we now have artillery to lower this annoyance factor. I'd like to see biters brought into the game more, maybe some kind of bio tech based off their rapid evolution.
Now how should the RTS combat side of this game be designed? A lot this comes down to what the player views Factorio as; RTS, simulation or puzzle game. I see it mainly as a simulation game similar to City Skylines because the main focus is on building a factory and progressing up increasing complexity of adding new stuff to the system. The combat side of the game right now I think is an annoyance for most once they have a their base up. I think the thing that is being missed about the RTS side is that most RTS games have a break over point where the player is going from a defender to attacker and after playing a while vs the AI, the victory is assured and it is purely about execution and mopping up the AI. Factorio is the same, though on default settings I think most would say it is fairly early in the game. Thankfully, this is not a huge problem because most people are playing Factorio for the base building/puzzle aspect and not the RTS. Even if Factorio was made into a more fleshed out RTS, it would need more than 2 enemy types (size doesn't count) and the player would need more options as well.

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Re: Defending your base is just to easy!

Post by voddan »

I totally agree with DustFireSky and others that we have this problem with the game.
Factorio's aliens are unbalanced as they are now.
They literally disappear from the equation of the late game when proper factory defences are built and fixing bots are in place.

I would suggest looking into 2 things:

1) Infinity research for weapons is damaging to the game

As it works now, I complete a research and suddenly all my guns are more effective.
How come I need no new items or no new buildings?
I can understand replacing one type of amo with the other type, or replacing one type of gun with another, or adding speed modules to guns.
But getting an upgrade without moving a finger, instantly, just goes agains everything else in Factorio.

IMO weapon damage & speed research should require actual items to be manufactured/added/replaced, so that the upgrade process is tedious and takes time and effort.
That will greatly increase involvement of the player into planing out the defence system in the late game.

2) Small biters should NOT disappear as game progreces

Currently the bigger the evolution, the bigger the biters.
In numbers it works by increasing the number of higher level biters and reducing the number of low level biters.
That strategy keeps the total number of biters around a constant level.
As a result the average number of biters in an attack wave stays about the same, and the gun/biter balance does not change much: biters are upgraded through evolution and guns are upgraded through better amo.

IMO this stand-still could be moved if next-gen biters appeared IN ADDITION to previous biters, NOT INSTEAD of them.
In other words, I propose keep generating the small biters even on high levels of pollution.
That would result in late-game attacks that would look like big biters surrounded by herds of small biters.
This change would shift the bottleneck from fire power (arguably unlimited) to an amo and time constraint (naturally limited), which would pose a significant threat to bases and require major defence redesigns in the late game.

Here is how it would work based on 3 simple premises:
- even a small biter requires at least a bullet (or a laser beam) to be killed
- it takes time for a turret to switch targets
- a turret is not smart enough to prioritize big biters over small biters
Those 3 combined would result in a situation when automatic turrets spend too much amo & time on small biters, while some big biters destroy them.
A solution would be to increase the number of turrets, which would require advanced layouts and would still be limited by space constraints.
All in all, late game defence would require significantly more design effort than it does now.

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