Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

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Tiggy
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Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

TL;DR
Alien battle tactics need a serious overall. After a very early point in any game, it's easy to forget the aliens are even there because they don't scale and a few walls and basic turrets can end them. You don't even need rockets or piercing ammo. Here's an example. This was so easy to set up I never upgraded from basic turrets:
Factorio.png
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What ?
  • Direct attacks on alien bases should really cause the aliens to start reproducing and spawning new areas - and maybe causing them to try to gain ground near or in your base, much like in the tutorial. That tutorial was how I feel the game should play.
  • Gigantic walkers that can use a charge attack to breach walls would be a game-changer. These walkers, when killed, could maybe spawn a wave or two of units until you also destroy the corpse or they run out of material. The main goal of the walkers would be to breach your walls or find an area to burrow and become a new alien base.
  • Hostile flying units would be good. They would ignore turrets.
  • Burrowing snakes that can go under walls?
  • The alien bases go from tough targets early on, to something you casually wipe off the map at extreme range. I think there need to be more consequences for artillery. Piercing ammo seems to be more effective than a tank's main gun with an explosive shell - which has low range, making it easier to rush everything with your machine gun blazing. and there is no pressing reason to upgrade to uranium rounds. There is, unfortunately, not much reason to use the tank flamethrowers at all - except, maybe, as a hold out weapon. With repair drones, the tank is unstoppable - the only way to kill it is for the player to run out of repair packs.
  • Abandoned human bases with hostile defenses would be amazing. There is already a mod that does this, and I think it should be integrated. Could have automatic builders. Would mainly be fairly basic failed mining/military bases/outposts with most of their best stuff already destroyed - but maybe with a few rare finds.
  • Ancient alien bases automatically mining minerals and making defenders. Would allow the introduction of unique artifacts and structures the player can't replicate. Some of these could be required for high tier research (higher than is currently in the game, even), however. Would also open up intriguing puzzles - maybe randomly-generated ruined 'mazes' with traps, and so on?
  • Water-based and amphibious enemies would mean a greater level of threat, and would prompt the player to build flying or water-based craft. (I'd suggest gyrocopters & hover craft). This would also open up water-based resources.
  • New triggers for increased aggression, such as reaching certain technological points or blowing up a certain number of their bases. Shooting them with artillery could case massive expansion, maybe.
Why ?
One of the most enjoyable parts of Factorio is base defense - but instead of ramping up to the max as the game continues, it quickly loses importance. I think that new levels of difficulty and new tactics need to be added.

falk
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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by falk »

I have played a lot in deathworld marathon and I agree with you.
For the deathworld marathon settings, the biters seem extremely dangerous at first, but once you hit certain military techs and get enough resources, the aliens become nothing but a nuisance.

I would like to add another point, related to the pollution mechanic and how the player can avoid ever getting attacked, making the enemies even more silly.

Aliens are very aggressive and dangerous when inside or close to your pollution cloud. But the thing is, they are harmless when outside of polluted areas.
An experienced player will keep track of his pollution cloud with radars and move around eliminating any enemy bases near it. By doing this, the biters will never attack the player. (They will still expand, which could be a problem if they expand into the polluted area. But the radars are there to spot these expansions so that the player can put an early end to it. Additionally, a full wall can easily prevent these expansion parties from ever entering the polluted area to expand).

I think it is too easy to eliminate enemy bases as long as you have a good military tech relative to the evolution factor.

A few suggestions in addition to yours:
- Spawners hit points and resistances should scale up with the evolution factor. Currently, they have the same stats over the entire game, and taking out spawners at higher evolution factors is way too easy.
- Rocket launcher feels very overpowered once you give it some shooting speed upgrades. The shooting speed bonus it gets from each upgrade could easily be halved and it would still be a quite strong strategy for taking out enemy bases in the late game.
- Personal Laser Defense setups are way too strong for taking out bases in the late game. For free. Personal Laser Defense could use a little increase in the energy cost of each shot.

I like the idea of new triggers from destroying their bases. There could be some kind of boss attacking wave that comes after destroying their nests. The more nests you destroy in a given time window, and the higher the evolution factor, the stronger and bigger these counter-attack waves would be.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

Thank you. I agree with your points too. Alien bases should never be a one-hit-kill with personal weapons. I think the tank shot is roughly what it should be - when you get it - but the piercing ammo just mows down entire armies. It gets pretty silly.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Honktown »

I always play with ~150+ more enemies (don't remember slider names) and at least double, if not 20x, of the factors on evolution. I know one of the sliders, maybe the time-based, doesn't have a value high enough for 20x the normal rate.

The Explosive Biters mod makes them resistant to explosives. Cold Biters (might be a different name) is similar to explosive, but you largely don't get resistance to 'cold' damage. Super dangerous. Better used with Alien Biomes mod, otherwise you get a mix of types, and the different biters can die to each other (normal biters are vulnerable to fire and ice explosion clouds, etc). I didn't normally use rockets or grenades, but in a mod which had more numerous enemies, and after the huge range buff to worms in 17, I've used explosives sometimes. Still usually don't.

I've had an idea for resource/ore dependent enemies, but an idea is not a mod. Another mod already started the work so that might be interesting to look into (and another mod had a feature which I would find VERY useful for enemies... no spoilers).

One problem with enemies is by the norm, they offer no rewards. Not a darn thing. They impede resource patches, but that's kinda blegh. I can't see a way to really balance it out, the way the game currently is. Loot usually doesn't scale well, which might just be an imagination issue on the coder side. A little bit of loot for small guys can turn into piles and piles for large guys. A nice benefit at the beginning can turn into overpowered god-mod stuff mid game. Been trying out various mods, and one of the ones I usually have on is a trashcan mod. Just throw out the ridiculous excesses of certain things.
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thereaverofdarkness
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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by thereaverofdarkness »

There are some who will say this suggestion is bad because so many players don't want the feature. But I offer a solution: make it optional. One of the many sets of options upon game startup could be choices about exactly how far they will evolve, and maybe which stages they will evolve through.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

True! And you can set triggers that mean a more aggressive player activates a more aggressive response.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by PyroFire »

this is the mod you are looking for https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Rampant

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

Oh neat. Thanks. :3 Hope it's integrated soon!

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by gGeorg »

falk wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:50 am

A few suggestions in addition to yours:
- Spawners hit points and resistances should scale up with the evolution factor.
- Rocket launcher feels very overpowered once you give it some shooting speed upgrades.
- Personal Laser Defense setups are way too strong for taking out bases in the late game.

I like the idea of new triggers from destroying their bases. There could be some kind of boss attacking wave that comes after destroying their nests. The more nests you destroy in a given time window, and the higher the evolution factor, the stronger and bigger these counter-attack waves would be.
Agree. On the other side, when you make personal fight a bit more dagerous, then prefered form of combat shifts to turret creap. Unfortunate.
I would like to improve other options of personal combat togetger with reducing OP weapons.
- Combat bots - 1st is ok. 2,3 need buff.
- Vehicles are weak due to limited mobility. On foot you can easy avoid hits, not in tank. Vehicles need some serious improvement. Especialy higher acid resistance. Also allow plug-in combat robot into the vehicle so the robot control the board weapon system. That way the robotized vehicle becomes a mobile turret - it shoot even the player is not inside. Perhaps there could be a repair bot slot - e.g. you plug in the regular combat robot to the proper slot then he repair tank from inside similar like R2D2 as long as repair kits are in the vehicle inventory.

- bitters react to pollution, they should be angry to rocket lounch. What about an event, on each rocket lounch a Herbert's Dune size sand worm is born and heading to the silo. like 30k HP, AOE lighning strike, crush buildings by walking over. That would bring a new challange to mega factories.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

I understand - but with repair bots launched from your armour, the tank is basically immortal.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Honktown »

gGeorg wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:48 am
falk wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:50 am

A few suggestions in addition to yours:
- Spawners hit points and resistances should scale up with the evolution factor.
- Rocket launcher feels very overpowered once you give it some shooting speed upgrades.
- Personal Laser Defense setups are way too strong for taking out bases in the late game.

I like the idea of new triggers from destroying their bases. There could be some kind of boss attacking wave that comes after destroying their nests. The more nests you destroy in a given time window, and the higher the evolution factor, the stronger and bigger these counter-attack waves would be.
Agree. On the other side, when you make personal fight a bit more dagerous, then prefered form of combat shifts to turret creap. Unfortunate.
I would like to improve other options of personal combat togetger with reducing OP weapons.
- Combat bots - 1st is ok. 2,3 need buff.
- Vehicles are weak due to limited mobility. On foot you can easy avoid hits, not in tank. Vehicles need some serious improvement. Especialy higher acid resistance. Also allow plug-in combat robot into the vehicle so the robot control the board weapon system. That way the robotized vehicle becomes a mobile turret - it shoot even the player is not inside. Perhaps there could be a repair bot slot - e.g. you plug in the regular combat robot to the proper slot then he repair tank from inside similar like R2D2 as long as repair kits are in the vehicle inventory.

- bitters react to pollution, they should be angry to rocket lounch. What about an event, on each rocket lounch a Herbert's Dune size sand worm is born and heading to the silo. like 30k HP, AOE lighning strike, crush buildings by walking over. That would bring a new challange to mega factories.
In another game that was moddable (Red Alert 2), there was a greater diversity of damage types and armor values. They had some loose names, but it was as simple as an array of vulnerabilities that unit type had, referred to by it's "armor" variable. Buildings tended to be far more durable than units, except to the top-tiers of attacks and when swarmed. Certain things like cannons didn't work well against more "fleshy" things, and units could be promoted which would change their weapon, which would automatically apply new values and such to that information (it was a really beautiful organization to it, a weapon fired a projectile which had a warhead which had an effect, responded to by unit properties, all of which were reusable). The game even had land/air/sea units, so what a unit could target could be different, and if it had two weapons in the definition, it would use the first, and if not, use the second (a tank could use a cannon for anti-ground/anti-sea but missiles for anti-air capability). There was also 'deploy'ing units, which could change their weapon at the cost of them not moving. Deploying was also used to transform one unit into another, so a vehicle could turn into a building, or an immobile land unit into aircraft, and vice-versa, with properties transferring.

I've seen mods that add different damage/armor types (Cold Biters, Hardcorio), and although I'm sure it's a work-around, it is possible.
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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

I really do like the idea of some damage types being more effective on some units. It's possible the units could even adapt to your most common damage type over time. Thicker armour for standard bullets, flame resistance tor turrets - but only one type of resistance per unit so they don't turn immortal.

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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Honktown »

Tiggy wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:18 pm
I really do like the idea of some damage types being more effective on some units. It's possible the units could even adapt to your most common damage type over time. Thicker armour for standard bullets, flame resistance tor turrets - but only one type of resistance per unit so they don't turn immortal.
I was just checking in-game - "tags" aren't supported on anything but ghosts, so differences in armor are restricted in certain ways. The basic idea would when a damage event is raised, if it's an applicable type, modify the damage. An important detail is how we do it: one type per enemy doesn't even need anything else, just if [one of the biters] and [damage_type ] == [the right one] then final_damage = <based on original_damage_amount, final_damage_amount, time, evolution, type-multiplier, etc)>

Unfortunately I've never messed with the GUI, so I'm dragging my feet on finding how other people have modified it (I've seen 2-3 mods with new "resistance" types, but also read somewhere the damage types aren't extendable, which sounds like it could be true).
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Re: Better scaling of enemies + alien tactics

Post by Tiggy »

Sounds like it would need a little rework to have proper dynamic damage types.... But I think that's something that would have to happen at some point anyway.

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