An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

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Peter34
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An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Peter34 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:50 am

Factorio is very much a game about not doing things manually. The ideal player performs as little work as possible.


Yet there's on "odd man out" here: The removal of Trees. Early and mid game, you have to do that manually. Only in the late game do you get Roboports so that you can automate wood clearing.

Players resort to all sorts of stupid things to avoid having to cut down Trees, including shooting them with Shotguns, or with an SMG with AP ammo. You'd expect the Flamethrower to be superb for removing Trees,but I've not found that to be the case.

I have a distinct preference for playing on Desert maps, and while part of that is the colour scheme, a much larger part is the absence of Trees that must be cleared, so that I don't have to perform to much boring work. Yet one game I played, about a week ago, was in a variant Desert Biome which was very generously littered with tiny Coral plant thingies that also needed to be cleared away. I routinely "regenerate map" until I get a Desert look terrain, though, and most Deserts do not have Corals or at least not more than a few.

Something needs to be done about this. Factorio is a game, games are supposed to be fun, but clearing away hundreds of Trees one by one, manually, isn't fun.

Note that the problem is in the early game, and the mid game. Roboports arrive, by definition, late game, which is too late to resolve the frustration.

One solution for mid game could be to give the Flamethrower a huge damage bonus vs Trees. Effectively give Trees a negative Fire Resistance, so that they take quadruple damage from Flamethrower. Alternatively, have the Flamethrower create an on-going Ignite debuff on targets that have the "Very Flammable" flag set, which should include Trees (obvious) so that each tick they're hit, if not already "On Fire", they have a 50% chance of getting the "On Fire" debuff and will thereafter take periodic damage with a 5% chance per tick of ceasing to be "On Fire" (greater if it's currently raining; I know weather isn't in the vanilla game yet, but that might change).

But that still leaves early game.

The only really good solutions I can come up with are that when you manually place down an item, e.g. an Assembler Machine 1 or anything else, it simply supersedes any easily removable natural items already present, i.e. it removes Tree but not Rocks. Or else that you can build a Bulldozer, as a drivable vehicle, slow, burning a lot of fuel, and not having much cargo capacity,but with a superb ability to plow through Trees and Corals. Still, even a buildable Bulldozer won't be very early game phase...



Edit: I've made a few changes to the above, fixed a typo, clarified a bit. Also I've found that the Basic Grenade, a fairly early-game item, is pretty good at clearing Trees. It's silly expensive to use against one or two Trees at a time, given that it requires 2 Basic Grenades to do enough damage to destroy a Tree (50 HP, 25 down per Grenade), but if used against larger amounts of Trees, often 5 or 6 at a time, it looks like a decent bargain, compared to using AP Ammo from the SMG. And in the mid game there are Poison Capsules

Nevertheless, I maintain that better, more elegant, less effort-based methods, need to be added to the game, and ones that are available in the early phase. Maybe some kind of Agent Orange Grenade, that create a coloured cloud (not toxic to the player, nor to aliens) which gives Trees a disease that makes them slowly lose HP until they die, and which the player starts the game with a supply of, say 30 or even 50, and with more being craftable after inventing an early Tech?

Because Trees are ******* annoying, and Factorio is a game, and games are supposed to be fun, not work!
Last edited by Peter34 on Mon May 11, 2015 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Ailure » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:46 pm

I forgot how deep in the tech tree it is, but the tank is wonderful for clearing out trees and is what I used at the point when I did need to clear them out. Trees do token damage to the tank, but it's so small that I could drive through a big forest without worry.

Edit: It's a early-midgame tech, requires science pack 3 but isn't too deep in the tech tree if you beeline for it (it's also only in the exprimentals), relativly to the flamethrower though it's only slightly later.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by ssilk » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:54 pm

(Good) methods to get rid from trees:

- mining (pick-axe)
- grenading https://forums.factorio.com/wiki/inde ... ic_grenade
- poison https://forums.factorio.com/wiki/inde ... on_capsule
- tank
- shooting by shootgun
- deconstruction

(there are per sure a lot more, but that are in my opinion the best)

But I agree: For the early game we need one more method, cause if you have the luck to have much forest around your starting area, this gets fast annoying. :)

I think one new method will come sooner or later: trees will die because of pollution (somewhere mentioned in a FFF or so). That has advantages and disadvantages, but I like the turn, this gives to the game: More pollution, more biters, but less trees, you need not even to hack them, and of course more land for expansion... :)

But we'll see.
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by SirRichie » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:48 pm

I fully agree that especially in early game, chopping trees is one of the less enjoyable activities. I like the suggestion of auto-removal upon placing down items. Or have some kind of small, autonomous vehicle that cuts down trees (basically a miner for trees), fueled by coal it slowly cuts down an area around it.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by SHiRKiT » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:55 pm

I think that everyone overlooks the power of grenades to clear big chunks of trees. It's really really fast and they are cheap. 2 of them and a big circle of trees is gone.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by ssilk » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:32 pm

No, not overlooked. But you need military tech 2.
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Ohz » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:21 am

In super beginning weapons are weak but you can fire with the button "C" and mouse over your target. While waiting for my first production, after a basic setup, I sometimes do that but cost lot of ammo, aka iron.
Grenades is not far in research tree (Military 1 + Steel + Military 2 = 50 red and 20 green science).
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Koub » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:33 am

I have the earliest and easiest way to remove forests ingame : choose the option "Water only in starting area" in world generator. Forest is removes before even it is generated.
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by bobingabout » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:14 am

Let's also not forget that wood is a resource. You get annoyed by trees, so blow them up with grenades and shotguns, and then... you end up with a wood shortage later on.

so we really need an early game method of removing trees that also gives us the resources from them.
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Peter34 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:15 am

bobingabout wrote:Let's also not forget that wood is a resource. You get annoyed by trees, so blow them up with grenades and shotguns, and then... you end up with a wood shortage later on.

so we really need an early game method of removing trees that also gives us the resources from them.
No. I'm perfectly happy with a destructive method. It needs to be quick and cheap, and I don't want to recover the wood. If I wanted some wood, I'd be happy to chop down each tree manually. But I don't.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Peter34 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:19 am

Ailure wrote:I forgot how deep in the tech tree it is, but the tank is wonderful for clearing out trees and is what I used at the point when I did need to clear them out. Trees do token damage to the tank, but it's so small that I could drive through a big forest without worry.

Edit: It's a early-midgame tech, requires science pack 3 but isn't too deep in the tech tree if you beeline for it (it's also only in the exprimentals), relativly to the flamethrower though it's only slightly later.
I'm asking about an early game method,though, not an early-mid game. And preferably a very early game stage method. Because that's when you have the fewest tools and options available.

As it is now, every time I start a game, I sit there re-generating a map again and agian until I get one that has sufficiently few trees that it's to my liking. That's indicative that Factorio is badly designed. That it's failing at being what a game first and foremost generally needs to be, fun, because currently most generated maps end up containing objects (trees) in huge quantities that forces the player to spend a lot of the early game phase time performing manual labour, which specifically is in opposition to the core ethos of Factorio.

And I'm not expressing an opinion about what the core ethos of Factorio is. Rather, I'm calling attention to a fact: It is obvious, if you look at everything else in the game, everything but the subject of tree removal, that this is what the devs are going for, that this is their intent, going for a maximization of automation and a minimization of manual labour.

This makes tree removal stick out. Like a sore thumb.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Factoruser » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:50 pm

You may be able to build a "harvester" from the beginning on, almost similar to the burner mining drill. It'll drive simply/stupidly in one direction and chops and collects all the wood in its way until it hits an obstacle or its storage gets full. It should cover an area of maybe up to 5x5.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Peter34 » Tue May 12, 2015 3:19 am

I made a few edits to my original post, to clarify, and add a bit of new information.

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by ssilk » Tue May 12, 2015 6:28 am

I think that clearing trees needs to be fun, not work, is a very good argument. In my current game I've so many, that I needed to use the test-mod to get rid of them.
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by orzelek » Tue May 12, 2015 6:33 am

There is a nice mod that gives you explosive termites (named that way too).
They only cost coal and wood to make and are excellent at mass tree cleanup - area of working is quite big so need to be careful to not remove to much :D

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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by Koub » Tue May 12, 2015 10:43 am

Trees lack when you need them, and overburden when you have some ... :roll:
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Re: An early-game way to easily remove Trees is needed

Post by ssilk » Thu May 14, 2015 3:40 am

Right words.

See also https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 477#p82477

In that suggestion this is solved by enabling a special mining mode, that clears an area, but comes eventually a bit too late into the game. This is in my opinion more or less a balancing problem.
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