[0.17.1] intro too hard

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Re: [0.17.10] intro too hard

Post by malventano » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:38 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:11 am
malventano wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:07 am
Seems a bit steep for what would be a brand new player.
The difficulty is based on pollution, so if your factory was "big" and you did not produce many bullets (as a % of your total production), then you will fail. New players do not produce as much pollution as a vet.

I will be tweaking it to make it easier, but balancing is easier if you start clearly at one end of the scale.

Could you all email me the autogen screenshots found in the script_output folder?
I think the pollution related problem also stems from if the player chooses to research bullet shooting speed first - it forces them to hold off that much longer before the scenario winning research is completed and seems to let things ramp up that much further. Also, building extra iron smelting to keep up with the ammunition needed led to a feedback loop that had biters overwhelming the guns by the end of the scenario. Just turning down the pollution>biter metric a bit would go a long way there while still achieving the goal.

I sent in my screenshots last night. It is the ‘script-output’ folder, not the ‘script_output’ folder (typo in the game dialogue or in the script making the folder - I bug reported it) :)
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Re: [0.17.10] intro too hard

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:54 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:11 am
The difficulty is based on pollution, so if your factory was "big" and you did not produce many bullets (as a % of your total production), then you will fail. New players do not produce as much pollution as a vet.
This lines up with my experience: I produced bullets from four factories, electronics from two (one making cables), science from two (one making gear), and walls from one. I had four electric drills for iron, one for copper, and two for stone. Twelve furnaces. Two labs. Four steam engines and two boilers. Lots of electric inserters.

I found this to be marginal for completing the campaign. I needed more bullets. And when you look at those numbers, bullets are almost half of my production. Plus, without the walls, I wouldn't have been able to keep the turrets up - so that's a pretty important research step - and without the bullet speed research I did, the walls wouldn't have kept the biters out.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by abregado » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:57 pm

The "cost" per biter sent to attack you is scaled with the %progress of the Logistic pack technology. It starts that you need ~2% of your factory output(by pollution) dedicated to making bullets (calculated from the most polluting method)

At 90% research completion it hits 100% production, so the player has no chance to keep up. Then it is just about holding out. The problem comes when a turret with 100 rounds dies, and those rounds are destroyed (but the pollution worth of biters are still there)

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by nimeroni » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm

I won, and the bitters didn't breach my walls, but I had no ammo left. I appreciate the challenge, but I'm fairly sure a newbie would have been absolutely crushed, so you might want to tone that down a bit.

For the first base, I think I would have preferred the tutorial to ask me to power up the assemblers and labs with power-poles connected to the vessel reactor.

About the lack of undergrounds and splitters, it's fine. It made the game harder (obviously), but newbies won't know that, and that will make them very happy to unlock them for the next base / the continuation of this map.

I really hope you plan on continuing the campaign. The bitters crushed my beautifully dirty first base and I'd like to take revenge on them, preferably with grenades.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by dmsilev » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:50 pm

At 90% research completion it hits 100% production, so the player has no chance to keep up. Then it is just about holding out.
I would submit that a Kobayashi Maru scenario is great for a stand-alone, but is probably not appropriate for a tutorial.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:07 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:57 pm
The "cost" per biter sent to attack you is scaled with the %progress of the Logistic pack technology. It starts that you need ~2% of your factory output(by pollution) dedicated to making bullets (calculated from the most polluting method)
Which leads me to exactly the conclusion I had already reached: install an insane amount of base defence before even starting research on green science. If you have a dozen turrets with 200 rounds on each side of the base, I suspect even the highest levels of attack won't hurt you.

I had almost half my production dedicated to bullets at the end of the campaign. I'm planning, at some point, to try reducing production on anything that isn't bullets. Like once you get your production goals met, pull everything down except bullets and just let them run. Pack a chest full of nothing but magazines. Make a line of turrets with no gaps. Put the line behind stone walls three deep in dragon teeth.

I'm honestly looking forward to playing the campaign all-out, instead of pretending I don't know anything. But the pretending is more fun right now.
At 90% research completion it hits 100% production, so the player has no chance to keep up. Then it is just about holding out.
...for the space of fifteen science packs. That's not terrible, really. It's like... a bit over three minutes, if you have two labs? Which I feel like is what most new players would have, since Compy does say "make more labs" at one point but then you make a second and he never says anything else about it.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by bobucles » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:16 pm

I was still in the tutorial mind set for the final part, expecting something along the lines of "oh cute I'm going to shoot some biters and win". It was about halfway through the final research when the waves started getting scary. Around that point I decided that holding out wasn't going to work and it was better to race towards the goal.

Perhaps our little robot friend could contribute to the later stages of defense? If he's going to run up to a building and point out problems, he can start fixing them. Just hand him a few repair packs, some ammo and let the guy help out. That way instead of 1 player holding up two fronts it's 1.5 players. It will also tease the player to the concept of useful friendly bots. Or friends. :mrgreen:

I think the high difficulty is great for a demo, the idea being that a demo gives a sample of the complete experience. If the ending is really hard it can addict players into replaying the demo just to beat that final part. But that's the end of the demo experience. The tutorial is the beginning of the game experience. You don't want to slap players around first thing, at least not unless it's one of those cutscene scripted "can't be helped" kind of tropes.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by malventano » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:03 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:57 pm
The "cost" per biter sent to attack you is scaled with the %progress of the Logistic pack technology. It starts that you need ~2% of your factory output(by pollution) dedicated to making bullets (calculated from the most polluting method)

At 90% research completion it hits 100% production, so the player has no chance to keep up. Then it is just about holding out. The problem comes when a turret with 100 rounds dies, and those rounds are destroyed (but the pollution worth of biters are still there)
I really like how that ramp works (even having barely made it through myself). Maybe if the scenario suggested to stock up on ammo earlier on, as that would help make it to the end. It also means it is smarter to research shooting speed first since that doesn't impact the ramp up.
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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by roothorick » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:10 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:08 am
My expectation is that like many people, you were expecting a tutorial and played very lazy (compared to your regular level of play). Its ok, I see it a lot. Actually it means it would have been easier for you because the attacks are based on pollution, and after automating Circuits many players leave them running for no reason.

The goal of the attacks is to increase consumption of resources to a point you cant match. Ammo is the only item in which I (as the level designer) can control how much you need to consume. Think about research and science packs. If i make the Technology cost 100000 packs, the player will just wait for it to finish slowly. If i make the research time very fast, they will complete it with one lab.

The old tutorial and campaign asked the player to increase production for no reason. The key change here is that I increase consumption and let you decide if you want to increase production.
This is completely the wrong mentality.

The expectation of any new player is that the tutorial will be significantly easier than the main game. This tutorial gives the impression that the game is beyond-batshit-hard and developed for an infinitesimal niche of extremely skilled players looking for the ultimate challenge. It will turn away more players than not having a tutorial at all.

You need to completely rethink your entire approach. I suggest: keep attack frequency and size at a constant level, something that one assembler could easily keep up with. Now change the final goal to produce a certain amount of science per minute, somewhere over 60 to show that a single gear assembler isn't gonna keep up. Expand the final area to give enough space for that scale. The bullet speed infinite research demonstrates the reason for scaling on its own.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by credomane » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:52 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:08 am
the attacks are based on pollution, and after automating Circuits many players leave them running for no reason.
Why are you basing attacks on pollution without teaching about pollution? The first attacks are clearly scripted for the story then you switch to pollution-based scripted attacks without ever teaching about pollution and the side-effects it will have. Such as in the future there will be more frequent and larger biter attacks. Plus, I was told to make green circuits after previously being shown how to automated stuff to a chest. I was never told to stop that once that task was completed nor was I informed that any harm would come from leaving it running. So why would I halt circuit production before moving to the next task? That would be an excellent time to bring up the game's pollution mechanic and the need to balance defense automation with factory progress. Then make things difficult for players that don't do this.

This sudden and silent change in mechanics along with the ramp up of difficulty caused my defeat in the campaign 5 times now. Now that I know about the pollution-based attack mechanic being absolutely soul-crushing overpowered compared to even the rampant mod, I can abuse this knowledge to complete the campaign. I had no idea that leaving the green circuit running like that would screw me over time and time and time again later in the campaign!
abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:48 am
I want to rewrite the algo that calculates attack rate so that it pulses more and gives the player times to recover before being hit again.
That would be awesome. Once you start to get overwhelmed there is no recovery. Perhaps have turret destruction cause a hidden CD to biter spawns. Giving players a chance to rebuild lost turrets and add even more for a future wave. Naturally the pollution would continue to build making future attacks deadlier. Eventually showing the player what happens when you neglect base defense too much. You should also teach the alert mechanic for damaged/destroyed structures. Even though I know about it the new sound is throwing me off my jam. It is actually the new sound that made me realize that mechanic hadn't been taught.
abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:11 am
The difficulty is based on pollution, so if your factory was "big" and you did not produce many bullets (as a % of your total production), then you will fail. New players do not produce as much pollution as a vet.

I will be tweaking it to make it easier, but balancing is easier if you start clearly at one end of the scale.

Could you all email me the autogen screenshots found in the script_output folder?
My factory was just big enough to meet the 25pm green and 25pm ammo which you can do with a fully feed assembler for each. I was kinda surprised that that was all it took. Which is no where near enough ammo production once the survive task kicks in shortly thereafter and you are quickly overwhelmed with no chance to make it right.

I don't know how to email you. Did you mean private message? I'm just gonna attach them to this post for others to look at. :D
demo_17_1_16881_a.jpg
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demo_17_1_16881_b.jpg
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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by CDarklock » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:21 am

roothorick wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:10 am
The expectation of any new player is that the tutorial will be significantly easier than the main game.
That is absolutely not what I expect of a game's tutorial.

I expect the tutorial to be a deliberate consumption of at least two hours, so I can't get a refund under Steam policy.

Granted, I am a cynical jackass. But at the ninety minute mark, I ask "am I having fun?" and if the answer is "no" I run get my money back.

I have zero expectations with regard to difficulty.

Incidentally, I don't care whether a game was actually sold on Steam or not, I still expect it to be primarily geared toward forcing me to spend two hours playing. So I'll be invested in the game, and not want to quit, because of the sunk cost fallacy.

And yes, I am a cynical old jackass.

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Re: [0.17.10] intro too hard

Post by JareX » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:45 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:11 am
malventano wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:07 am
Seems a bit steep for what would be a brand new player.
The difficulty is based on pollution, so if your factory was "big" and you did not produce many bullets (as a % of your total production), then you will fail. New players do not produce as much pollution as a vet.

I will be tweaking it to make it easier, but balancing is easier if you start clearly at one end of the scale.

Could you all email me the autogen screenshots found in the script_output folder?
I have to strongly disagree with you on this one.

I made a friend who has never played factorio before play the tutorial without helping him... it was a disaster, he felt so frustrated that I don't think would play again.

The most important problem though is not difficulty but confusion. The instructions are very confusing for new players.

And about bitters difficulty being based in pollution...yeah we all know that, but belive me that new players will take even more time to complete each stage of the campaing. Maybe you should tweak time and pullution difficulty a bit lower on those stages.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by nemostein » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:56 am

Let me share my (UX professional biased) experience with the tutorial...

About the first part:
- Compilatron takes forever to explain what (and how) to do next.
- The objectives list checked "mine stone" after first stone was collected, but that isn't enough to make anything.
- Compilatron doesn't explain at all how to build the furnace.
- Once built, after some (long) time, Compilatron says the furnace require fuel, but doesn't tell me how to acquire it.
- Unclear how to acquire iron ore (I had to open the map to see where the ore patch were). Compilatron should guide me there.
- Crafting a burner drill requires another stone furnace, but there is no indication that I must craft another, pick the one I already built or collect enough stone for that before crafting the drill. Also, "Hints and Tips" doesn't explain that some items requires another items.
- Compilatron started to run somewhere south after I finished the mining drill, but was completely silent the whole time.
- Although current tasks require you to have coal mined with the burner drill, there was no coal around Compilatron (it was far right, outside of the screen)
- Sometimes Compilatron rushes to say something (e.g.: fuel needed in a furnace), but no tooltip appears.
- Compilatron told me to build a inserter, but the tooltip didn't go away after placing one in the designated tile.
- Also, the "hints ans tips" says I can rotate the inserter, but Compilatron doesn't, and that is crucial to advance in the tutorial.
- Even after rotating the inserter nothing happened because there is one belt missing (below the inserter) after removing the loader, but the sprite of the "claw" is close enough to the last belt, making it incredibly hard to understand why it doesn't work (for a newcomer, this should work because it looks like it should).
- Compilatron told me to press "T" to open the research screen, but there was no indication at all of what to do next. My first instinct was to click in the GIGANTIC "Basic Eletronics" button in the middle of the screen, but the real "Start Research" button was gray and completely out of focus.
- Can't build Eletronic Circuit or another assembler because copper cables can't be built by hand, but the current objective is to create 5 Eletronic Circuits. That means the user promptly selects "Eletronic Circuit" as the assembler recipe and is unable to start making progress towards the objective. There is no indication that he MUST select copper cables first, then change to Eletronic Circuit after assembling some cables.

Now, about the second part, I thought that as I have 1000+ hours of experience I'd cut through the campaign like a hot knife in butter, but guess what?!
Image

I was trying to play it like a new player would, so I was slowly making the things I was told to do by Compilatron and the Objectives, but halfway through I decided to be a bit more aggressive, since I was getting hit hard...

Well, TOO LATE!!!
I was thrown to the wolves bitters like a baby dear, helplessly hopping from one side to another reloading the turrets.
That wasn't enough, though... My 2 ammo assemblers and my personal fabricator wasn't enough to keep up with the attack.

I understand the need to apply pressure on the player, forcing expansion & automation, but this campaign was a baseball bat and I was just a piñata.
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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by elendiastarman » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:46 am

I too approached the new campaign like a new player (Steam says I have just about 200 hours of experience) and took notes throughout. I agree with the others that the difficulty ramped up quite sharply quite unexpectedly. So for the last half hour or so, probably, I wasn't thinking about the new user experience; I was just running ammo to the turrets as quickly as I could.

I do want to remark that I feel like exploration and discovery is an integral part of the game, so I can't/won't say with confidence that new players should have their hands held throughout the entire experience. That said, I still think that the essential ingredients (so to speak) should be covered and players can be allowed to discover more outside of that.

Another general remark and then I'll list out my specific notes: it can be a bit overwhelming to have e.g. five instructions on how to do things back-to-back without a chance to practice them in between. I would suggest adding some kind of scroll-able log at the side of the screen with all the tips and instructions seen so far. (Which might be useful for people who have trouble understanding or remembering things in general, including a variety of mental disabilities.)

Alright, here's the notes in roughly chronological order:
* It took me a minute or so to figure out what "salvage scrap metal" meant, which was to mine the third piece of metal junk just to the south.
* I don't remember any explanation of how to mine things.
* I was initially confused by how the objectives were presented since my instinct was to complete them from top to bottom when they really should be complete from right to left, so to speak.
* When it was time for me to mine coal with the burner mining drill, the movement of Compilatron was misleading since it went to another empty patch of dirt and didn't say anything. (By this point, the pattern was that Compilatron moved and/or said something when it was going to help you somehow.) [Side note: having a robot as a mobile teacher is fantastic.]
* Compilatron indicating that you needed to build a chest for the output of the burner mining drill was brilliant.
* No hint that you can pick up stuff by mining them. (Or was there a hint that I don't remember?)
* Would a new player necessarily know how to look for copper ore?
* Should probably tell the player how to get into and out of the map. Don't be like vim.
* As an experienced player, I knew not to go near the biters while I had no armor and no weapons. But what about new players? (I suppose going out there and getting attacked and dying is one way to learn!)
* Nice way of demonstrating that biters are on their way to destroy everything you know and love. (Good thing I went and got stuff from that large shipwreck!)
* Interestingly enough, when I was supposed to build equipment for evacuating, I completed the items from bottom to top because that's how all the other objectives got completed.
* I didn't get to see/read what Compilatron said when it was time to leave.
* Oh...I should've picked up more stuff before I left my camp... Very cool how you showed what happens when a biter army attacks and takes over.
* It's cool how techs like "Improved personal equipment" are a thing that's presumably only for this campaign.
* Evacuating without coal is inconvenient. Would a new player necessarily understand that you can use wood and/or solid fuel instead? (Or even that solid fuel is a thing.) [10 minutes later] Oh, *there's* the coal! (It's hard to see on the grass.)
* The quickbar shows up after evacuation, but there's no explanation of what it is or how it works. (Yet?)
* I'm an experienced player and I have no idea how to clear a slot on the quickbar. At all.
* I like how a task going yellow told me the boiler ran out of fuel.
* It's unclear what satisfies the "must keep Gun turrets loaded to survive attacks" condition (has >= 10 ammo in turret).
* No explanation is given of the power infrastructure. I think my base got very close to the max capacity of one steam engine before I realized it and added another one.
* It's not obvious that you can connect steam engines together.

Having seen the bases of other players in this thread, I'm actually amazed that I made it to the end with such a small base. Behold!
demo_17_1_9374_c.jpg
demo_17_1_9374_c.jpg (2.83 MiB) Viewed 728 times
I'll close by saying that I definitely enjoyed this tutorial much more than the previous one in earlier versions of the game, even if it did get crazy towards the end. Looking forward to the improvements!

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by CDarklock » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:26 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:48 am
wahming wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:42 am
You might want to introduce a hard cap on how frequently they can spawn?
There is one.... it is just rather high. Yeah the difficulty will come down. I want to rewrite the algo that calculates attack rate so that it pulses more and gives the player times to recover before being hit again.
Well, by "recover" you mostly mean "run across the entire map to grab more ammo." :mrgreen:

That's the single biggest problem. You're covering a very large area, and you don't know which side is going to get how much of an attack. I had a very different result from my barely-managed win by simply reloading the save a couple minutes earlier, and visiting the opposite side of the base with ammo first. Usually, I grab the ammo out of my chest and start in the top left. But since, at the end of the first campaign try, the turrets at the bottom right ran out of ammo... I went there first instead. It felt arbitrary and unpredictable. Having the foreknowledge of "a big attack is coming here" made way too much of a difference.

It would be really, really helpful if you slowly massed the biters on the edge of the map. Like add two or three to the group, then when the group reaches n members they rush the base. The player would be able to see, on the map, which side the buildup was on... and have time to prepare that side for the attack. This would, I think, roughly double the success rate of player defences. They'd also have a solid indicator of "they are happening faster" and "there are more of them."

I think I'm done with the tutorial campaign until it's updated, it seems like enough feedback has come in. I've completed it four times, and only ever "lost" by doing dumb things that were my own fault - like exhausting finite resources and finding ways to destroy them. All of these scenarios seem well-known on the dev side, and whatever is going to be fixed will probably get fixed in an update Real Soon Now.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by Bilka » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:55 am

I don't think it is too hard at all. I played 3 times now. Yes, the first two times I got overrun because I was not used to fighting biters and protecting my base (like, 5% away from getting the research done...). But the third time was extremely easy. It took me a little more than an hour to complete it. The biters were very manageable with my ammo production.

However, I am an experienced player who did not "pretend to be a noob". Because it is not possible to pretend to be a noob like that. Every person in this thread that said that they "played like a noob" and then posted a screenshot had their screenshot clearly show that they did *not* play like a noob. This is how a noob plays: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/387484549. It took them 5 hours to complete it. But they had no problems with attacks. They used only ONE copper miner. 3 labs. 2 ammo machines. This is very little if you look around this thread. They survived with only one turret protecting the eastern wall for the longest time!

I would say that any expert pretending to be a noob very rightfully is getting overrun at the end. Because they are producing pollution like an expert, but fighting like a noob. Of course they will be overrun like that! Play and fight like and noob and everything will work out just fine. Or play and fight like an expert and you can beat it in record time: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/387668996

Here is my "I win" screenshot, for those curious:
Image
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by wahming » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:24 am

Bilka wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:55 am
However, I am an experienced player who did not "pretend to be a noob". Because it is not possible to pretend to be a noob like that. Every person in this thread that said that they "played like a noob" and then posted a screenshot had their screenshot clearly show that they did *not* play like a noob. This is how a noob plays: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/387484549. It took them 5 hours to complete it. But they had no problems with attacks. They used only ONE copper miner. 3 labs. 2 ammo machines. This is very little if you look around this thread. They survived with only one turret protecting the eastern wall for the longest time!
I think the problem is that a subset of new players will happen to build up their production the way many experienced players do. Even if it's only 10-20%, that's a lot of players. And if they do that, it becomes an unwinnable scenario. There's no way for them to figure out what they're doing wrong, and realise that they're getting overrun because the biters are scaling up to their base size (which isn't common in other games).

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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by mward » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:26 am

Either the whole point of Factorio has changed since 0.16, or the intro gives completely the wrong impression of the game.

Is Factorio now a sort of "Tower Defence" game which relies on memorising enemy attack patterns and frantic clicking to desperately shore up your defences? Some people like that sort of game: but I think they will be disappointed in the rest of the game! Others, who would actually like the real game of Factorio, will be put off by the tutorial.

Factorio is a game of building factories and automating things: in the last part of the tutorial you have no chance to build anything or automate anything.

In conclusion: the tutorial is supposed to be an introduction to the full game, not a completely different game which shares some of the same graphics!

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Awkward defeat in 0.17

Post by xng » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:29 am

I've got a couple thousand hours in factorio, tried the 0.17 tutorial and failed.

The entire iron field on the map went to constant production of ammunition but still it could not produce enough to keep the turrets filled because of the never ending waves of thousands of biters.

I think I should probably not have followed the instructions and instead bunkered up turrets and ammunition until the fields were all empty to get enough time to research logistics (which was the current goal) before the inevitable destruction of the base.

I had some kind of game breaking bugs too during the game, but I'm not sure if this is a bug or the way the devs want the first experience of factorio to be. I can think back to the game Homeworld a long time ago for example, every quest in that game was a trap so you had to prepare before and know beforehand what was going to happen, and that was by design too.

Any thoughts, or other/similar experiences from you people trying the new tutorial so far?

Koub
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Re: [0.17.1] intro too hard

Post by Koub » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:37 am

[Koub] Merged into the "0.17 intro too hard" topic in Balancing subforum (from General Disussions).
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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