The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:17 pm

vedrit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:38 pm
On a small side topic, perhaps the slot where the tool went could instead be used as a dedicated spot for repair packs? Somehow, they're always moving out of their spot on my toolbar, even when I lock a slot to them
I like this idea!

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by vedrit » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:49 pm

featherwinglove wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:15 pm
2. FFF#266 basically overturned the mod API in other ways too, and this is not such a good deal for Wube if they're saving themselves just a few hours by removing things from the game to waste hundreds of mod developer hours to put them back in for players who want to keep them. It is more economical to mod them out of the "base mod" (the vanilla game's Lua side) than remove support for them from the engine. In doing the latter, they came across as lazy and greedy, and I believe this hitherto (as far as I know) unspoken impression expressed itself as an undercurrent of confusion and concern in the more diplomatic forms of backlash, and when flippantly dismissed as it has been, open rage. Mod developers work on this game for free, and there is going to be a visceral reaction when Wube renders all that work useless.
Is having a graphical icon representing your pickax really so important? If the pickax had never existed, would modders go through this effort of putting it in? Are you really so worse off for having the pickax implied?

If you answer no to any of these questions, then perhaps you're fighting a losing battle.
It's been said before, if you want to mod in ways for players to unlock faster hand mining, it's easily done. If you want that unlock to require certain materials, it already can easily be done.
I'm honestly quite confused about why there's even such a heated debate about it. Whenever a new feature is suggested, Wube asks a few simple questions:
How does it improve player experience?
Is it worth the effort to implement?
(There are a couple others, but I can't recall off the top of my head)

So, let's apply them to the pickax (item) vs pickax (research)
How does it improve player experience? Hmm....I honestly can't really say that it does. It's the same thing, except that you have to manually craft the item after researching it. It adds an extra step. But why? If there's no durability, then that's literally the only difference. If there is durability, then it's just another thing that has to be micromanaged primarily for the first little while of the game until the player has miners and, eventually, bots.
Is it worth the effort to implement? Well, I don't know how it was hardcoded in, but clearly it's not all that difficult for Wube to cut out. It also seems to be rather difficult for modders to put back in, so...No?

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:00 am

vedrit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:49 pm
Is having a graphical icon representing your pickax really so important? If the pickax had never existed, would modders go through this effort of putting it in? Are you really so worse off for having the pickax implied?

If you answer no to any of these questions, then perhaps you're fighting a losing battle.
I was about to answer those questions, which are not simple yes/no type answers; there wouldn't be ballpark six hundred posts on the topic if they were. The sentence following seems to indicate that you're not willing to have a productive discussion and truly understand why the axe is so important to the people who want to keep it, or (if it is indeed the case, and it doesn't seem to be) why those who want so badly to lose it wish to "fight a battle". Please let me know if a productive discourse is what you would like. Otherwise, I'll wait for Maddhawk or someone else to jump in.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:32 am

vedrit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:49 pm
So, let's apply them to the pickax (item) vs pickax (research)
How does it improve player experience? Hmm....I honestly can't really say that it does. It's the same thing, except that you have to manually craft the item after researching it. It adds an extra step. But why? If there's no durability, then that's literally the only difference. If there is durability, then it's just another thing that has to be micromanaged primarily for the first little while of the game until the player has miners and, eventually, bots.
Is it worth the effort to implement? Well, I don't know how it was hardcoded in, but clearly it's not all that difficult for Wube to cut out. It also seems to be rather difficult for modders to put back in, so...No?
From a casual Factorio player, removing pick ax as an item helps. I no longer have to worry about having one, crafting them, or making sure I always have resources in case the last one happens to wear out (you get no warning prior).

The opposite is true - having to craft a pick axe adds nothing to the player experience. It doesn't affect the theme of developing a factory, it's just an annoying bit that suddenly cripples you without a warning. Easy to go around if you happen to have resources to make another one, but if you don't - that might mean losing time just to get another bloody pick ax. I would compare it to having food in the game and slowing down the player speed if he didn't eat in regular intervals - adds nothing to the theme and makes players life more difficult for no benefit.

Wube - good call removing the pick ax - Thanks!

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:40 am

Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:32 am
Wube - good call removing the pick ax - Thanks!
I just hope you finished reading the OP. It's a pretty good read!

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by SirLANsalot » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:49 am

The OP kinda missed something there when saying the game "betrays" you when you get a "free" upgrade on something.

The toolbelt upgrade I can see being changed to something you have to craft and equip (call it a toolbelt slot). However with things like Inserter upgrades, or laser shooting speeds, those are actual upgrades (reprogramming). Think of it like this, your research figured out how to re-program the laser towers to shoot faster with your current equipment. A way to program it to keep the damage (energy) the same, but able to charge it in better ways using current equipment. Same thing with your phone today updating to a new software version that makes things run more efficiently. You never physically changed your phone, but your phone now works faster and better then it did before.

I always saw those upgrades as just means of making something more efficient using what exists now. Some of the upgrades are a little finicky, like the shooting or damage speed upgrade to Gun Turrets, something that you (IRL) would have to physically change. Like a new part for better reloading, more gun powder in the ammo for more damage, or longer barrels on the guns for extra damage and range. Now one could assume that is automatically done FOR you once the research is done, but making a MK2 ect gun be the next thing. Now with the infinite research for those some things would have to change. Instead of adding a new gun to make each time or ammo. Once the research is complete the recipe changes to the MK2 variant, costing a few more gears or plates. The recipe is the same, just more costly for each "level" of research. This way you won't have to go back and change up your assemblers each time you complete a level. Existing guns and ammo would NOT change, and would have to be changed out. This would create the need for a reverse recipe, allowing you to "deconstruct" the old ones for the gears and plates put into them. This stops the need for more slots in the already crowded build menu, but fixes the OP's "issues".

So some of the upgrades make sense as just a flat reprogramming of something, but others that effect more physical things do not. So I half agree with the OP, but in reality there really isn't anything we can do to change it. Suggestions (like above) is the best you can do.

Overall, just enjoy the game for what it is, the epic logistical puzzle game of your own creation.
Last edited by SirLANsalot on Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:13 am

SirLANsalot wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:49 am
However with things like Inserter upgrades, or laster shooting speeds, those are actual upgrades.
What's a laster? Oh, you mean laser. Oh, you mean faster. ...actually, it kinda doesn't matter :lol:

There are lots of mods which have tiered upgrades and ammunition; I don't think any of them disable the upgrade researches, but those are really easy to ignore. I handwave the upgrade researches by usually assuming the Columba crew are operating things by remote, and just getting better at it with experience. Usually I pick one such mod to overlap a certain sector of the game, i.e. Bob's Warfare or Modular Turrets and mod massive artillery and either Orbital Ion Cannon or some form of atomic artillery. I still wound up with 136 mods in my latest pack, ROFL!

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:46 pm

featherwinglove wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:40 am
Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:32 am
Wube - good call removing the pick ax - Thanks!
I just hope you finished reading the OP. It's a pretty good read!
Yes, I did. Making the point sentimental doesn't change my mind.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by DOSorDIE » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:49 pm

After reading that all ... i must say ... WTF???
Really? How want a pickaxe when you can have automated machines!
I find they make it right, and clean up that useless piece of code.
And for that who want to have a pickaxe ... play Mincecraft.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:01 pm

DOSorDIE wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:49 pm
After reading that all ... i must say ... WTF???
Really? How want a pickaxe when you can have automated machines!
I find they make it right, and clean up that useless piece of code.
And for that who want to have a pickaxe ... play Mincecraft.
Hmm... ...yeah, Mincecraft is offline ;)

There's really nothing in this post, just one "you can have automated machines!" Well, here: you can have automated machines!! I mean, is there some sort of problem, some sort of fundamental incompatibility with having both in the same game? Or what point are you trying to make?

My point is that having both in the same game really adds a lot of flavor and meaning to Factorio.

Oh, and there's an insult, "that useless piece of code" - well, now we just have to make some other "useless piece of code" so have you gained any ground by saying that? Or are you just trying to mine salt?

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:38 pm

featherwinglove wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:01 pm
My point is that having both in the same game really adds a lot of flavor and meaning to Factorio.
Really? If not for the fact, that pick ax gets used and you have to craft a new one, I would never notice it exist in the first place. Good choice by the devs to remove it and even greater choice to support it for modding, which underline that these guys go way beyond what is necessary to make players happy. I can see why some people want it, but I still don't think it's justified to exist in the base game and annoy new/casual players.

I disagree that it adds any meaning. It adds superficial complexity. There is no choice but to use it, there is no choice how to use it. As mentioned earlier, you could change it to a food product, a drug, glove, shoes... anything that gets used and slows you down when you don't have it.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm

Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:38 pm
featherwinglove wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:01 pm
My point is that having both in the same game really adds a lot of flavor and meaning to Factorio.
Really?
Yes, really! If you want to see how it adds a lot of flavour and meaning to Minecraft, you can start with a search for Age of Engineering on Twitch or Youtube, go see how many LPs there are and how popular they are.
If not for the fact, that pick ax gets used and you have to craft a new one, I would never notice it exist in the first place.
You have your game and I have mine. If you don't want it in yours, I'm fine with that. Why can't you be fine with me wanting it in mine?
I disagree that it adds any meaning. It adds superficial complexity. There is no choice but to use it, there is no choice how to use it.
To an extent, I disagree that there is no choice. I linked the mod in which I discovered how cheesy certain aspects of the game were without having to worry about pickaxes. There was a mod called "Fast Entity Mining" which basically made all entity breaks instant, but changed nothing about hand mining. That means if you never touched a resource patch without at least a burner drill, you could go through the entire game without an axe just fine. It disappeared with the pre-0.12 mod site and no one made a new one :chinrub:
Good choice by the devs to remove it and even greater choice to support it for modding,
Them taking that "useless piece of code" from the modders is the controversy regarding the axe. We were left very much with the impression for two months that it was not possible to mod it back in. I guess you're not as familiar with the issue as I had assumed, and I'm repeating this point for probably the thirtieth time.

The controversy remains, as it was and still is with the mining hardness issue in FFF#266, dumping a whole lot of work on the modders for- ...well... for pretty close to nothing really: the devs seem to have this sense that things as they were w.r.t. the other two items in FFF#266 (mining hardness and assembly machine progression) were, I dunno, "unclear" or "ancient" or "hardly ever used" (which is incorrect if you count mods) and replaced it with stuff that was less intuitive, still largely mysterious, and I really doubt will be more interesting.
As mentioned earlier, you could change it to a food product, a drug, glove, shoes... anything that gets used and slows you down when you don't have it.
I guess that explains why the PPC mod isn't so popular. (Any Battletech fans? Mechwarrior? :trollface.jpg: ) While the market in general has vastly overestimated the value of such things, they wouldn't have done so if there was no value proposition for the gamer at all. (I also wanted something along this line in my latest mod pack, no farts given as to what it was as long as I could compensate for it and any in-character representation of it wasn't absurd (there's no hope of patching that in the new production science pack, but I'm getting off topic.)

I haven't really seen the intelligent, reasoned defense of FFF#266 that I was looking for, especially the removal of the pickaxe.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Selvek » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:46 pm

factoriouzr wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:58 pm
If you look at my suggestion I'm not talking about a manual upgrade planner. I'm talking about an automatic one where you define what you want to upgrade (same as upgrade planner) but the robots automatically upgrade parts of your factory they pick if you have enough items in stock. This way eventually everything will be upgraded automatically.
It's a bit more complicated than that - there are tons of places where simply upgrading everything is just a waste of resources. For example, say you've got a blue belt feeding a bunch of level 2 assemblers. You already optimized the setup to use the full blue belt - upgrading to level 3 assemblers won't improve throughput one bit. Or maybe you initially built it to use the full throughput of only a red belt... but 3 stages upstream, you're limited by the capacity of your train network. Upgrading inserters indiscriminately is similarly futile, as most of the time the inserter is not the limiting factor.

Even late game, I tend to carry around a stack of red belts ("early" late game I'll probably have yellows too). There are just so many places you don't NEED the extra performance (and associated cost). Plus, it makes your factory more colorful :)

Sure, you could make your robots smart enough to calculate throughput bottlenecks and plan their upgrades accordingly... but aside from being quite complicated (and often undefined because the computer doesn't know your plans and priorities), your factory is SUPPOSED to be "dumb," because YOU are the thinker!

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by featherwinglove » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:20 pm

Selvek wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:46 pm
It's a bit more complicated than that - there are tons of places where simply upgrading everything is just a waste of resources. For example, say you've got a blue belt feeding a bunch of level 2 assemblers.
I've never seen anyone use blue belt with blue assemblers. Of course, if you build knowing and enabling automatic robotic upgrades, you should plan for its use. It doesn't make any sense to build as though you're unaware of upgrades, especially since the tech tree isn't blind, and I don't even think one can mod it to be blind. In light of that, the only problem is that a line design will be designed with a particular tech tier in mind, and it'll drift off optimal when upgraded, but that's not a big deal. I very rarely see a Factorio player who's that OCD about utilization. Even speed runners dump consideration for machine utilization because building a simple factory that's far from optimal is far faster than building a more complex one that is.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Maddhawk » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:59 pm

First off, just gonna say, I am not a coder. All I know about coding is the extreme bare bones basics. So with that in mind, I have to ask, "How are player tools, weapons, armor, and so forth handled by the game?"

The game's core, I would think, would handle all the code that is absolutely required by any mod, including the vanilla mod. The default game is a mod after all. To me this should mean all items in the game, including the pickaxe, should be an item that is added to the game as a mod as well. This means that simply because it is removed from the vanilla mod, doesn't mean it can't be re-added to the game by another mod.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by QGamer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:23 pm

The developers said that they would remove pickaxes from the game engine--this means that for a mod to add them back in would take a lot of hard work and might not work quite as smoothly.
However, they are now discussing the possibility of adding them back in, just in a different way.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:41 am

featherwinglove wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm
You have your game and I have mine. If you don't want it in yours, I'm fine with that. Why can't you be fine with me wanting it in mine?
What made you think I have a problem with your game? I have a problem with the pick ax and I am happy it will be gone. That's it. When it comes to a debate - if it should stay or go - we are simply on the opposite sides. That's it.
featherwinglove wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm
it adds a lot of flavour and meaning to Minecraft
This is not Minecraft. I can't imagine Minecraft without pick ax, while at the same time, I can't imagine why would you ever need a pick ax in Factorio. In a way we are lucky devs never came up with an idea of a separate chainsaw to cut down trees...
featherwinglove wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm
Them taking that "useless piece of code" from the modders is the controversy regarding the axe. We were left very much with the impression for two months that it was not possible to mod it back in. I guess you're not as familiar with the issue as I had assumed, and I'm repeating this point for probably the thirtieth time.
Fair point. When I decided to voice my opinion, there were already topics from one of the devs about modding it back, so I assumed that it is moddable. Still, I find it odd, that there is such a shitstorm about such insignificantfeature. If you would break down Factorio into a Free-to-play game here you had to buy every feature separately, how high would pick ax be on your list? How many less useful features are in Factorio today?
featherwinglove wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm
I haven't really seen the intelligent, reasoned defense of FFF#266 that I was looking for, especially the removal of the pickaxe.
Likewise from the opposite side. So far I heard that:
- It's symbolic
- It adds undefined "depth"
- It adds undefined "meaning"
- There are mods that use it
- Minecraft references
- Some people liked it
- FEELS

I didn't see anyone reasonably addressing counter arguments for the pick ax:
- it's annoying - disappears without warning, crippling the player, causes lost time
- doesn't interact with the factory in any way, other than removing objects
- it's primary purpose is to extract resources, which is automated within first 5 minutes
- It doesn't fit the theme - removing belts and inserters with a pick ax?? Really??
- It slows down the player unnecessarily in the early game
- FACTS

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Rythe » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:44 am

Among other things outlined, the pickaxe is an introductory step for new players. Just as some people no longer see the value in setting up their first electricity plant, initial pickaxe craft isn't meant for very experienced players. It's a step in a different stage of the game - the first five minutes ever, which are kinda important when it comes to impressing new players. This is easily lost in freeplay mode, but quite effective in a campaign for new players or players who value an immersive and cohesive experience in general, which is why I went over different player types once upon a time.

An immersive and cohesive experience translates into 'believable', 'developed/realized environment or setting' and 'internally consistent' if you want to look at it more objectively.

The pickaxe is also a component of the resource harvesting side of Factorio, which is a side that's been left grossly underdeveloped in basically all regards, but could have been developed out in interesting and useful ways so that people could be given reasons to care about it in general. Like armor modules being the main reason you care about armor at all.

But to pick on a few things:
- it's annoying - disappears without warning, crippling the player, causes lost time
The obvious and simple fix is to remove durability like they're doing to armor. Removing the pickaxe completely is a sign that people are bad at cost/benefit analysis.
- It doesn't fit the theme - removing belts and inserters with a pick ax?? Really??
You clearly don't understand theme, and removing belts and inserters by your bare hands is even dumber. Except that neither are actually shown to happen given the player doesn't animate for removing structures. The pickaxe-related speedup for removing buildings is a weird game mechanic artifact/perk/feature.
- It slows down the player unnecessarily in the early game
It gives the new player something very quick, simple, direct and informative to do in the early game, so...keep the day job and avoid game design.
- it's primary purpose is to extract resources, which is automated within first 5 minutes
Ahhahahahah no. Early game is a crippled, bootstrapped affair that requires a lot of hand mining to go quickly. Also trees for power poles. Large rocks if you don't feel like wasting ammo/repair packs.
- doesn't interact with the factory in any way, other than removing objects
See also: tanks, cars, weapons, ammo....

Whenever someone goes 'FACTS', they're usually an idiot.
Last edited by Rythe on Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Maddhawk » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:10 am

featherwinglove wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:15 pm
Maddhawk wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:18 am
@Featherwinglove and others who think like him.
I see a problem with the train of thought you folks have. Y'all clearly like the game. Y'all clearly greatly enjoy the modded game. Most, if not everyone, disappointed in the removal of the pickaxe and the changes to mining coming with 0.17 are all playing a heavily modded version of Factorio and greatly prefer it over the base game experience

The problem that arises is that y'all enjoy the modded experience so much so that y'all believe that Wube not only should, but must develop the game core explicitly for the betterment of the modded game.

I disagree. Wube must develop the game's core engine for the stand alone NO MODS experience. This is to establish the game's baseline from which all new players learn the game's fundamental mechanics from.
I see your point, and you really have done the best job of defending it so far, a much better job than the developers have, but they don't actually address the countercurrent concerns of the core audience; I'll try to keep them brief:

1. The axe has been in the game for six years, and bear in mind that we were left very much with the impression that they could not be modded back in for the better part of two months. For the players who have been with the game the longest, and those tend to be the speed runners, modders, and mod developers, they remain a fundamental.

2. FFF#266 basically overturned the mod API in other ways too, and this is not such a good deal for Wube if they're saving themselves just a few hours by removing things from the game to waste hundreds of mod developer hours to put them back in for players who want to keep them. It is more economical to mod them out of the "base mod" (the vanilla game's Lua side) than remove support for them from the engine. In doing the latter, they came across as lazy and greedy, and I believe this hitherto (as far as I know) unspoken impression expressed itself as an undercurrent of confusion and concern in the more diplomatic forms of backlash, and when flippantly dismissed as it has been, open rage. Mod developers work on this game for free, and there is going to be a visceral reaction when Wube renders all that work useless.

3. Wube basically gets all its advertising for free from the community. Keeping the dedicated audience who does all the free work of modding the game and creating Youtube LPs, Twitch streams, and Steam reviews at least somewhat happy is a fair trade, and much cheaper than a AAA-style marketing campaign.
  1. Simply because it had been there for 6 years does not mean a thing. History is replete with examples where bad, poorly thought out or meaningless features/ideas/concepts existed within a greater idea for lengthy periods of time before someone wisened up and removed them. What kind of players who have been with the game longest also do not matter. Simply stating that gives your entire argument for retaining the pickaxe and whiny, entitlement feel to it as well as an elitist feel, "I been here since the beginning so that makes me and my wishes more important than the newer players and the their experience.

    The valid point you have in your first list is the fact that you believed the nature of the change precluded the ability to return the pickaxe via modding. That is a very valid concern. Whilst I approve of the removal of the pickaxe, I do believe how the game handles avatar tools: pickaxes, hand gun, machine gun, rocket launcher, flame thrower, shotgun; needs to be designed in such a manner that the slots are handled by the game core and scaleable, with the mods handling the actual tools available. This way they can remove the pickaxe from the vanilla mod while having a framework for other modders to add it back in if they so desire. The fact that it was believed to not be possible was and is an important issue.

    The solution to that issue, however, isn't to reverse the change to remove the pickaxe, but to change how the game handles those tools to make modding hte pickaxe back in possible.
  2. At the end of the day, Wube"s job is NOT NOT NOT NOT!!! to develop a game for the mod maker's ease of life. Their job is to develop a game for ALL PLAYERS. It is clear they support and embrace modding and the modding community. The fact that they have a dedicated depository and in game catalogue for mods is clear of that. I have NEVER seen a game embrace modding like how Factorio has. Not even Blizzard or Bethesda, both of which made their fortunes on making modder friendly games.

    I have put such heavy emphasis because you still throw out that tag about mods and modders and present your argument in the format that such players are more important than any other. Quite honestly, you come off degrading towards other players who. That is just my impression.

    Mod developers do not work anything. They make mods because they are having fun. If they begin to feel like making mods is work, then they are not having fun anymore. You cannot equate what modders do to what the paid developers do. Even if the actual 'what' is the same thing, writing code and creating graphical assets for things to be added to the game, one is being paid to develop a game for everyone who wants to play, while the modder is developing content for themselves within someone else's creative work and then sharing what they created with fellow players if the feel like it.

    You also cannot call Wube lazy nor greedy. If you take a look at the broader landscape of the gaming industry, Wube is a MASSIVE throwback to the old days of gaming. They are a throwback to the Golden Age of Gaming. When developers made game because they thought they were FUN and if they got it right, then they got a nice payday as the icing on their cake. Wube is doing this. They are working towards the big picture. Again, if it wasn't possible to add the pickaxe back in via modding, then the proper thing to do would have been to call attention to this oversight and ask them to help remedy the situation. Like they are are doing now.
  3. Free advertising via word of mouth is not something Wube should base their decisions around. Now or ever. This is something that we, as the players should be doing gladly in thanks for having been provided a quality product and/or service that we truly enjoy. Their decisions need to remain based around all players, new and old alike. From what I see, this is what they are doing. Remember, this game is still in early access and technically not complete. Changes have to be expected. The final vision for the game is still morphing and incomplete. Sometimes changes come that you love and at other times changes come that you will hate. Don't get so caught up in one particular version of the game that you lose your flexibility to deal with the changes.
featherwinglove wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:00 am
vedrit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:49 pm
Is having a graphical icon representing your pickax really so important? If the pickax had never existed, would modders go through this effort of putting it in? Are you really so worse off for having the pickax implied?

If you answer no to any of these questions, then perhaps you're fighting a losing battle.
I was about to answer those questions, which are not simple yes/no type answers; there wouldn't be ballpark six hundred posts on the topic if they were. The sentence following seems to indicate that you're not willing to have a productive discussion and truly understand why the axe is so important to the people who want to keep it, or (if it is indeed the case, and it doesn't seem to be) why those who want so badly to lose it wish to "fight a battle". Please let me know if a productive discourse is what you would like. Otherwise, I'll wait for Maddhawk or someone else to jump in.
Of coarse those questions are more than simple yes and no questions. They invite one to state one's own opinion. That they are asking you start off with a yes or a no doesn't mean they are not looking for a reasonable discussion. This is demonstrated by the fact that they went on to discuss the topic and even apply a few key questions any good developer should ask when considering an idea for a game feature or mechanic.

--------------------------

Here is where I am on the topic. First a bit of a dictionary:
1. Base Game = vanilla mod
2. Game Core & Game Engine = the core code that the vanilla mod and all other mods sit on top of

I think removing the pickaxe from the base game is a good thing. If it was in fact implemented via the game core and these changes make/made it impossible to mod back in for those who wanted the pickaxe, that is a bad on Wube. I see they are considering options to change that. Good on Wube for listening to both sides.

My own idea to solve the problem would be to have a system in the game core that handles player tools and allows for modders to create additional tool slots and tools to go in those slots infinitely as a player has as many mods for. This would allow for modders to restore the pickaxe to the game and add other tools as they think of them. I also understand the decision to remove the pickaxe came about partly as a result of changing how the underlying mechanic of mining is accomplished. I confess I understood that part of the FFF a fair bit less. That said, I can see a mod being made to do the following:
  1. Create New Tool Slot
  2. Name Tool Slot = Pickaxe
  3. Establish player parameters to be modifies = mining speed
  4. Establish how player parameters are to be modified
  5. Modify player parameters
From there the mod would add the tool item to the recipe book to be so crafted for the new tool slot. This would restore your pickaxe and give you the faster mining speed you desired for cosmetic reasons.

Now I have say I do play with a few mods myself. One of my favorite mods is the Mega Bot Start. It gives me a Power Armor Mk.2, 4 portable fusion reactors, 2 Batter Mk.2, 4 Personal Shield Mk.2, 4 Personal Roboport Mk.2 and 50 construction bots. As such, I have zero need for the pickaxe. I use this mod because going on the story logic, if I am on board a starship and crash landing on an alien world, I'm clearly a very skill artisan and engineer, I had to foresight to be able to properly evacuate the ship; then you can bet every penny you got that I am gonna be wearing my Mk.2 Engineer's Power Armor at all times. Or keep it real handy when I have to take it off. That is just a tiny bit of roleplay on my part.

I know you are a passionate individual featherwinglove, but you need to take your passion out of the drivers seat. Let logic do the driving and your passion do the motivating. Give us a CONCRETE reason why the pickaxe should remain. HOW does it make the game better? How is my experience improved by its presence? Give us examples for yourself AND for myself. If you cannot provide for both, then instead of fighting the pickaxe removal, advocate for ability to mod it back in.

Maddhawk
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Long Handed Inserter
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Re: The Problem With Pickaxes - Digging Out Factorio's Core

Post by Maddhawk » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:34 am

Rythe wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:44 am
Among other things outlined, the pickaxe is an introductory step for new players. Just as some people no longer see the value in setting up their first electricity plant, initial pickaxe craft isn't meant for very experienced players. It's a step in a different stage of the game - the first five minutes ever, which are kinda important when it comes to impressing new players. This is easily lost in freeplay mode, but quite effective in a campaign for new players or players who value an immersive and cohesive experience, which is why I went over different player types once upon a time.

It's also a component of the resource harvesting side of Factorio that's been left grossly underdeveloped, but could have been developed out in interesting and useful ways so that people could be given reasons to care in general. Like armor modules being the main reason you care about armor at all.

But to pick on a few things:
- it's annoying - disappears without warning, crippling the player, causes lost time
The obvious and simple fix is to remove durability like they're doing to armor. Removing it completely is a sign that people are bad at cost/benefit analysis.
- It doesn't fit the theme - removing belts and inserters with a pick ax?? Really??
You clearly don't understand theme, and removing belts and inserters by your bare hands is even dumber. Except that neither are actually shown to happen given the player doesn't animate for removing structures. The pickaxe-related speedup for removing buildings is a weird game mechanic artifact/perk/feature.
- It slows down the player unnecessarily in the early game
It gives the new player something very quick, simple, direct and informative to do in the early game, so...keep the day job and avoid game design.
- it's primary purpose is to extract resources, which is automated within first 5 minutes
Ahhahahahah no. Early game is a crippled, bootstrapped affair that requires a lot of hand mining to go quickly. Also trees for power poles. Large rocks if you don't feel like wasting ammo/repair packs.
- doesn't interact with the factory in any way, other than removing objects
See also: tanks, cars, weapons, ammo....

Whenever someone goes 'FACTS', they're usually an idiot.
Ending your post with an insult to someone for something you could have ignored, also makes you look like an idiot. So...

As to your rebuttal:
  1. Yes, removing the durability so one pickaxe lasts forever does make it less annoying. Does nothing to change the fact that it is of limited utility at best and loses all utility the moment you complete for first construction bot. You call it bad cost/benefit analysis. Please present us a cost/benefit analysis for retaining the pickaxe. Try to be objective and not include how you feel about having it in the game.
  2. How does the pickaxe fit in thematically into the game? A proper thematic tool would have been a multitool, or perhaps a ruler, or a micrometer. Those are all make much sense when you think of a factory and the need to build things with precision.

    Removing things by hand does make sense. Our hands are still the greatest multitool ever made. Sure there are lots of things our hands cannot do on their own, however we can use our hands to build the tools that can get the job done. I will grant stating that the pickaxe doesn't make sense for factory item removal was not a very strong argument for removing the pickaxe from the game.
  3. Not really. If I hadn't decided to play through the tutorial campaign first after buying the game, I wouldn't have known to craft the pickaxe. Soon as I get construction bots going, I stop using the pickaxe and just use the deconstruction planner with my bots. As it stands now, I really don't have much of any reason to make a pickaxe since I use a mod that gives me a Power Armor Mk.2, roboports, fusion reactors, and construction bots right out the gate. Again with the insults to that other guy.

    If you go back and read the FFF in question, the decision to remove the pickaxe was due to new players using it incorrectly. Clearly, it isn't as direct and informative as you believe.
  4. I personally do zero hand mining these days. I can understand why speed runners still hand mine, but that is a play style choice.
  5. Cars help you get around your base in speed and style. So too can the tank. The tank also gives you a big massive hp buffer when clearing biters. Again, the tank, guns and etc. help you clear biters if you play with them enabled. Which can be fun to do so when you are bored of building your base and want a change of something to do. They also factor into the game and become useful in multiplayer pvp matches. Now, pvp isn't my thing in this game, but for those who like it, I am sure they would disagree with you as well.

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