Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

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akmotu
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Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

Graphics aside, the combat feels heavily in favor of the biters now. It feels more like a combat game and less like a building game. I had the game set to default in 17.1, and within 5 minutes I had biters on my base. Also, these small biters were doing WAY more damage than any other small biter I'd seen in 0.16. Trying to do turret walks, I noticed picking up turrets is incredibly slow compared to last version. It's like the Devs are punishing us as the game develops to make it harder for an existing community as opposed to a 1.0 audience.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by Serenity »

I think they said the biter base density in the last one or two versions was unintentionally low. As an artifact of the resource generation algorithm. And older versions were indeed denser. Death world used to mean basically solid red walls. You can easily use the map preview to see what the settings now get you and decrease the base frequency and size a great deal.

They also attack more no because pollution isn't endlessly absorbed anymore. Which is a good idea. They may need to balance overall combat to compensate for that, but that's why this is an experimental release

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by CDarklock »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Graphics aside, the combat feels heavily in favor of the biters now.
I don't really get that sense. Instead, I get the sense that the game has been heavily weighted in favour of the player for years, and they've only just gotten around to saying "yeah, that's not what we wanted."

I spent a long time worrying about pollution until I realised it basically didn't matter because the biters were hella weak and you just needed a few turrets to handle them. I think the devs wanted us to worry about pollution. And now that we've gotten accustomed to not worrying about it, our behaviour is starting to have the undesirable impact it always should have. So some relearning will be necessary, but I don't think it will take more than a couple months - especially if they tweak balance some more - and new players won't have this problem because it will just be how the game works.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

Changes for an existing community feel biased. Design for the first-time player. Of course game vets would be better at playing. Which is what happens when you leave your game in Early Access for 5+ years, it starts to feel old so you ramp it up and before you know it, you have a 1.0 version of the game that is designed for people who've been playing it for 6-7 years. Not smart, wise or prudent, IMO.

By default, I would prefer a building game. By default, in this "experimental" release, it feels like a combat game. Like I have to build to defend, instead of building to build.

I know you CAN change settings, but the point is, by default, this is way too challenging for a new player.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by Serenity »

My very first Factorio game was very intense combat wise. Some part of it was the inexperience, but compared to later versions I did need a lot more defense. Even then they were a real threat and at one point ate my power plant.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by vedrit »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Trying to do turret walks, I noticed picking up turrets is incredibly slow compared to last version. It's like the Devs are punishing us as the game develops to make it harder for an existing community as opposed to a 1.0 audience.
I assume you mean 'turret creep', and yes. From what I recall, the devs very much wanted to make that method of expansion less viable

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

Then if that's the case, which is entirely their prerogative, the devs need to add a clear and obvious written or visual indicator to the player that the turret takes longer to pick up either via a stat or an entry in the description. Otherwise, a new player would be lost as to why the turret is the only item in the game with a different pick up rate.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by CDarklock »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:47 pm
I know you CAN change settings, but the point is, by default, this is way too challenging for a new player.
Which new player?

There are lots of types. There is the type that will ragequit if they don't win the first game, and the type that will only play a few times if they can't win, and the type that will play over and over again no matter how many times they lose. And there are a lot of types in between, too.

Settings aren't really the issue, anyway. As established players, we are accustomed to playing in a particular way, and we resist any push to change that. We like how we play. It's comfortable. We don't want to change.

A new player does not have this cognitive friction. They will play however they need to play, if it's communicated that this is how to play - unless they don't like playing that way, and then they will go play something else.

I don't really like the attack waves in the campaign, but I have gotten a decent handle on how to manage them. I took a very strong hint from the campaign's goal: 25 magazines per minute.

That not only sounds excessive, I know from playing many other games that it is probably a bare minimum. Maybe - just maybe - you can win if you are producing 25 magazines a minute. And you put all your turrets in exactly the right place, and you make proper use of the terrain, and you anticipate enemy behaviour, and you continue to increase production fast enough.

So I put wayyyyyyy more effort into defence than I thought was necessary, and it turned out to be just barely enough.

I'm not going to like it if this is how it works in freeplay on default settings now. But I don't think it is. I think this is supposed to be a very specific and abnormal challenge.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

I suppose a possible solution would have settings such as Easy, Normal, Hard, etc. Not to be confused with different game modes, like Rail World, Deathworld, etc.

I understand the sliders bit, but from a new player POV and from a UX/UI POV, if a new players launches the game and hits new game, they should be able to select Default and then select a challenge rating; easy, normal, hard. Along the lines of the Diablo difficulty descriptions, each setting can describe what the player should experience, or at least highlight how the sliders work in relation to the setting. I.e., This is easy, therefore sliders are set to this, and so on.

I'm aware the relative view of a new player is subjective. But feedback is feedback, and is meant for the devs. :D

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by CDarklock »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:16 pm
I understand the sliders bit, but from a new player POV and from a UX/UI POV, if a new players launches the game and hits new game, they should be able to select Default and then select a challenge rating; easy, normal, hard.
What does easy... mean?

I hit this a lot with other games, too. If you say "I want the game to be hard," do you want it to start hard and get easy slowly? Or start easy and get hard fast? Or should it start less-easy and end more-hard but progress at about the same pace?

And even then when you say "hard," what does that mean? Resource patches are smaller, less rich, farther apart? Aliens are more numerous, closer together, nearer the start? Terrain is more rugged and harder to navigate?

From where I sit, the pregenerated options are how Wube has tried to handle that. In the resource sense, easy is rich resources, hard is marathon. In the combat sense, easy is rail world (kind of an easy-hard), hard is death world. You can double-hard the selection with death world marathon. Ribbon world is a type of combat-hard. Island is a type of resource-hard. And I think that may be the best option, really.

Maybe we need a difficulty rating for presets? Like tag each preset with an easy/medium/hard indicator? Or, perhaps - though it would be more work - an easy/medium/hard selector in each tab? Easy/medium/hard resources, easy/medium/hard terrain, easy/medium/hard enemy? Not sure you could rate the advanced tab tho.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

A easy, medium, hard for each setting could be an option.

As far as what easy is, you have to establish a baseline of normal first.

Normal could be dependent on a lot of things, but generally, it would be based on resources spent over time to reach a desired outcome.

e.g., on "Normal", it could take a player exerting 400 points of damage to mitigate a threat over 5 seconds of game time. Let's establish that as "Normal". So from there, "easy" could be 200 points of damage over 2.5 seconds and "hard" could be 500 points over 6.25 seconds.

Easy requires less time and/or resources while hard would require more time and/or resources. But this is all established off a base.

The point that I'm trying to make is that current base "Normal" default settings for 0.17 have, what I feel to be, a disproportionate ratio of resources spent over time to mitigate a threat. It takes too long and requires too many resources. And the frequency. The instance to mitigate a threat happens too often, therefore exhausting resources and again time. I would like to see the base stats change and then have applicable Easy and Hard variants based from the adjusted "Normal" stats.

As it stands, the opposite of a good game is one that isn't played.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by Koub »

Took me 5 attempts (new games) during several hours total to be able to outpace biter attacks during my first playthroughs back in 0.10.
I think things changed gradually towards being easier the last 5 years, and the devs might have thought it was somehow easier that first expected, and rebalanced.
Failing with default settings for the few first attempts shouldn't be considered abnormal.
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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by christian »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Graphics aside, the combat feels heavily in favor of the biters now. It feels more like a combat game and less like a building game. I had the game set to default in 17.1, and within 5 minutes I had biters on my base. Also, these small biters were doing WAY more damage than any other small biter I'd seen in 0.16. Trying to do turret walks, I noticed picking up turrets is incredibly slow compared to last version. It's like the Devs are punishing us as the game develops to make it harder for an existing community as opposed to a 1.0 audience.
Jesus Christ.... there's a setting to make the biters easier [Moderated by Koub]. I love games with a challenge. I hope the devs don't pander and coddle the types of gamers like you. The trend in games is to make things easier and easier like we're 10 yr olds. The harder the game the bigger the sense of accomplishment.

Oh yeah why don't you just turn biters off if you want a city building only experience?

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Reminder : please no personal attacks.
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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by evopwr »

Koub wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:45 pm
Failing with default settings for the few first attempts shouldn't be considered abnormal.
Agreed! In fact, I think its a compulsory element towards making it a good challenging game. If I dont feel challenged, then I'm bored pretty quick.
Ive only played an hour of 0.17 so far, and have red and green science going at 100 per min. So far no biter attacks, so cant comment any further.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by akmotu »

christian wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:54 pm
akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Graphics aside, the combat feels heavily in favor of the biters now. It feels more like a combat game and less like a building game. I had the game set to default in 17.1, and within 5 minutes I had biters on my base. Also, these small biters were doing WAY more damage than any other small biter I'd seen in 0.16. Trying to do turret walks, I noticed picking up turrets is incredibly slow compared to last version. It's like the Devs are punishing us as the game develops to make it harder for an existing community as opposed to a 1.0 audience.
Jesus Christ.... there's a setting to make the biters easier [Moderated by Koub]. I love games with a challenge. I hope the devs don't pander and coddle the types of gamers like you. The trend in games is to make things easier and easier like we're 10 yr olds. The harder the game the bigger the sense of accomplishment.

Oh yeah why don't you just turn biters off if you want a city building only experience?
The devs asked for feedback. This is mine. Sounds like you took it personally. All that aside, this feedback is with new players in mind. I've been playing for some time. It's feedback for an experimental version of an early access game. Maintain your perspective.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by CDarklock »

akmotu wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:29 pm
The point that I'm trying to make is that current base "Normal" default settings for 0.17 have, what I feel to be, a disproportionate ratio of resources spent over time to mitigate a threat. It takes too long and requires too many resources. And the frequency. The instance to mitigate a threat happens too often, therefore exhausting resources and again time.
I'm honestly very concerned about this, but I'm focusing on the NPE campaign right now. From the last few FFF updates, I've started to be worried that biters will become too difficult, and attacks will become too frequent.

But also from those last few updates, I have taken a few bits of feedback. One is that I am too cavalier about my pollution, and another is that I am too shoddy with my base defence. Part of that is that I tend not to go out and actively hunt down biters around my base, because I don't think it's fun... and therefore don't want to do it... and therefore don't get much practice... and therefore kinda suck at it.

I absolutely agree that compared to the older versions, the new versions are... rougher. A lot rougher. I don't think the NPE campaign is representative of freeplay, but the biter attacks are bigger than I usually see, and they do more damage before the turrets can eliminate them, and it seems to take more ammo to take them down.

I still think the core issue is that we have developed bad habits, and now they're starting to hurt. Fundamentally, we've been exploiting bugs in the game (biter belts and spawner pollution absorption), and now those bugs have been fixed. And that's going to bring us Bad Things that we're not used to dealing with.

We might be getting too many of them rn, but if we are, that will probably get fixed too.

Could you go into a little more detail about how you think the ratio has gotten disproportionate? How much more expensive has it gotten, in terms of resources?

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by The Eriksonn »

For me in the new tutorial: "Ok so they want me to prepare for more biters, sure, i will just plonk down some turrets and put a few walls infront and it will be fine".
5 min later: "Omg, there was way more biters than i expected " (rip)
Restart: "lets get serious with the defences here." (puts twice as many turrests and walls around all of them)
Later: runs around like a madman putting ammo everywhere while the factory makes 90% ammo and 10% science
Finished the tutorial with 5 seconds to go before the turret gets killed and biters destroys everything.
Conclusion: Bit too many biters but i sure got a rush out of it that i didnt expect at all. Was quite fun actually.

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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by Ranakastrasz »

Yea. Pollution has been such a non-factor for so long because of spawner absorption bug. Now that it works like it was intended, and after what were probably a number of buffs to biters to increase difficulty to where it was intended to be, suddenly those buffs, plus the increase in spawning due to the pollution fix, well, it added up.

They will probably pull it back in the future.

Kinda amusing that pushing biters back actually used to make the situation worse. More surface area, more enemy bases active, more attacks. Instead of killing bases with the intent of less attacks, the pollution would spread to a larger number of chunks with spawners on them.

But yea. Play green, respect pollution, and use a lower difficulty setting til this gets settled.
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Re: Not pleased with 17.1 so far...

Post by ahydra447 »

One problem is that there's no way to control pollution short of turning your factory off completely, which then prevents you making ammo to defend yourself. If there was some sort of pollution absorber you could build e.g. some plants, filtering tech, ... you could choose to try to prevent attacks that way.

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