I disagree with most of this honestly, but I want to give a constructive rebuttal:Hedning1390 wrote:
DisclaimerFirst of all I'd like to say I love this game and I have over 500 hours on steam, with a further couple of hundred hours not logged. That said I get a little triggered when everyone on these forums (and the steam forums) praise it as if it's the best game ever with no flaws, so I have compiled a list of some of the flaws. The list is somewhat ordered with the worst flaw first. Please don't take this list as a personal attack.
tl;dr version (please read the full text before getting angry):1: There's only a handful of buildings, with few or no side-grades.
2: The beacons and requester chests pits creativity against efficiency.
3: The "win" condition is totally misplaced.
4: The biters are confused and almost a scam if considering the promos.
5: The lazy reskins are weird to me.
6: It's basically just a bunch of recipes and adding recipes is not very advanced.
Full version:1: There's only a handful of buildings, with few or no side-grades. The 3 assemblers and 3 furnaces are straight upgrades, so can be considered as 1 each. The assembler, chemical plant, refinery and furnace while doing the exact same thing doesn't compete with each other because each recipe requires one and exactly one of them. This makes for a rather linear and boring experience. The only side grade in this game is your choice in power. The way solar panels, accumulators, boilers, nuclear reactors and transportable steam work and are balanced against each other is sublime. Imagine if the 3 assemblers and 3 furnaces could be changed in a similar way, from boring straight upgrades to a strategic choice, how much more interesting the game would be.
2: The beacons and requester chests pits creativity against efficiency. Even with the lackluster content you can still make some beautiful and creative designs. However the two mentioned things severely hamper this because the implicit goal of factorio is to be efficient:
-Requester chests kills belt logistics: Every recipe can be created with a requester-asember-provider chain. If you are not using this chain for everything but perfectly straight belt lines you are making your factory less efficient.
-Beacons force perfect grids: The most efficient way to produce things is to have 8 beacons per assembler and 8 assemblers per beacon. This can only be accomplished by placing them in parallel straight lines. Any attempt to use direct insertion breaks the pattern and thus cannot be used. Another design, efficient in another way, is to have the maximum 12 beacons per assembler. This can also only be accomplished one way which is already a boring square. On top of this each square has to be placed in a perfect grid else you pay for more beacons than you have to.
3: The "win" condition is totally misplaced. You win the game so fast that the people who only play to the "win" won't experience much of the game unless they go out of their way to do so. For the rest of us the "win" is totally meaningless, because it is just a science pack among others, not more significant than when you set up purple science. From my perspective it would be better to just remove the "win" prompt and treat it like any other infinite builder game.
The greater point is about pacing, and it ties up all the first 3 points here. While people who play to the "win" miss out on game content, so do those of us who play continuously. The beacon problem (above) is not a problem if you only play to the first rocket, because almost none of your assemblers will have beacons and modules. Neither is the first point a problem, because at least straight upgrades change what you can do in your designs, and the refinery introduces multiple outputs, which is sufficiently different to feel fresh the first time you unlock it.
If the intent is that we should only play to the "win" then I question even more the asking price of €25, because there are few random factors and even fewer branching and exclusionary choices that makes doing the first 6-10 hours over and over interesting. The most common argument I hear in defense of the price is how many hours you can spend, but even though your very first newbie play-through may take more than 10h you really can't spend that many hours in the pre rocket phase unless you are interested in speedrunning. Therefore I conclude that continuous games are essential for the value of the game, and therefore point 1 and 2 are problematic flaws.
4: The biters are confused and almost a scam if considering the promos. It seems to me that the developers have changed their view on what they wanted the biters to be from their original plans, but just left them in limbo. Almost every aspect of this enemy is simple and boring. There is lots of creativity when it comes to weapons, but because the enemy is so boring this is sadly almost wasted effort. I could explain why they are boring, but clearly the direction now is to just reduce their presence in the game, and it makes me wonder why we can't just get a "/c for all revealed chunks if entity=enemy do destroy" bomb.
5: The lazy reskins are weird to me. Compared to the other flaws this is a very minor one. I'm talking about many things only differing in color. The circuits, science packs, inserters, belts, chests, modules, 3 of the ores, etc. All several versions but with only a color differentiating them. The game is so incredibly polished in so many other aspects, so I don't understand why this is.
6: It's basically just a bunch of recipes and adding recipes is not very advanced. I could add hundreds of new recipes in the blink of an eye, and since the game is based almost solely around these recipes I can expand the game massively this way. The only effort is in balancing these recipes to make an interesting experience. This is mostly a problem in relation to the price, as being small and simple isn't a bad thing in and of itself. I'm not saying €25 is too much (although it may be considering the no sales policy), but some people suggest it is worth even more than this, and there is no objective ground for that.
1: Unlike the other buildings you mention, these are things you build within the first hour of gameplay (unless you're doing a lazy bastard run and have to mine up a stockpile of materials first) and continue to need, in quantity, for the rest of the game. It makes some sense to have some verticality to those buildings. They are also always more expensive to build the higher tier buildings, so the lower tier buildings may be worth continuing to use even when you have a higher tier available for at least some amount of time or in certain cases. Finally, they are not, strictly speaking, upgrades over the previous tier: the most significant example is Steel furnaces v. Electric furnaces regarding fuel usage for steam-based power setups; you have to use 2x Eff1 modules in the Electric furnaces in order to make them more Coal/Solid fuel efficient than Steel furnaces, but it's not the only example, Assembly machine 1s are actually more energy efficient than Assembly machine 2s (90kw for 0.5 crafting speed v 150kw for 0.75 crafting speed). Belts are also tiered for much the same reasons as assembly machines and furnaces are (and there, the fixed cost of upgrading is pretty massive).
2: I generally agree with your criticism of how beacons are warping layout choices for module based setups (the modules themselves and how they interact are partly to blame for this, but so too are the beacons themselves). However, logistics robots are not straight up better than belts. (This coming from someone who much prefers robots to belts, I might add.) For one, belts have no energy costs, whereas robots can actually use a LOT of energy. The usual argument for why bots are better is that they allow for more compact layouts and work nicer with beaconized setups. But that massive energy cost means you will likely lose whatever space gains you made and then some due to needing more power infrastructure (this is especially true for solar users, who should take energy efficiency seriously). In my opinion, what really makes bots desirable is simplicity. They are a simple, yet very flexible solution to the problem of local transportation of materials (long distances are better left to trains).
3: Pretty sure most people aren't launching a rocket in less than 20 hours unless they're trying to speedrun the game. It gives a good 'pie in the sky' goal for new players that also serves to give them some direction in what they are ultimately building towards. Space science research is for people that want to go beyond the core game and build more, and bigger designs, and challenge themselves. So I fail to see how the 'win condition' is 'misplaced'.
4: Biters being easy is, mostly, a function of map settings. If you find them too easy, you can rectify that by changing your map settings so that they are more of a challenge (I've had plenty of fun with just changing the starting area size to very small so that I have to deal with them buggers from the very beginning, for example). Eventually you will reach a point where beating them in combat is trivially easy, because your technology is that advanced, but that is par for the course for everything in the game (things become easier to do as you progress down the tech tree). Otherwise there really wouldn't be much reason to research better tech (or the reason would be: just to keep up, which if you increase evolution rate enough, can become difficult to do).
5: The 'laziness' here is actually both efficient and useful, the recolored but otherwise identical icons tell you that they are clearly similarly purposed components and yet distinct (color making the latter obvious). It's convenient that this also takes not much effort from the devs to achieve this result (win-win).
6: This is a criticism that I have some agreement with. Most of the recipes in this game follow the pattern of combine items A through F (or fewer, typically no more than 4, actually), to get new item Z. They have added some recipes that use a catalyst which motivates a feedback loop design (Coal liquefaction and Kovarex process come to mind), but overall I agree that too much of the stuff we make in the game is 'combine components to make item'-style recipes. At this point I think Factorio itself is too far along to really 'resolve' this issue. I would rather see Wube finish Factorio (1.0+whatever they want to do with it in the near term post 1.0), and that their next project be a new game that is a 'spiritual sequel' to Factorio (I don't actually want it to be a Factorio 2 because that would mean they have expectations from Factorio 1 to meet, and I'd rather they not confine themselves like that). For that next, future title, I would LOVE to see them explore a similar style of game with much more recipes that make multiple products or use/need catalyst(s). That would create more varied and intricate design decisions for players to engage with, but it's something that, imo, is beyond the scope of Factorio itself at this stage of it's development (it's fair game for mods though, and mods like Bob's Mod have shown that there is worthwhile design space there to be explored).