[0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by _wf_ »

CDarklock wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:40 pm
Conversely, UNTIL you press that "research" button...
Yes, after I knew, it was easy to stockpile ammo, fortify to a level that would be silly for this stage in regular freeplay, and disable anything else. That's the part about "telling".
Ranakastrasz wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:59 pm
So, lets hope they started production and stockpiling, and more importantly, aren't mining anything they don't need directly, and aren't producing anything that is not science packs or bullets.
In particular, you're asked to automate green circuits, then are supposed to completely stop them or you severely hamper your chance of success.

Edit regarding "connecting the dots": I was obviously expecting that there would be some kind of scripted attack coming. I assumed something like perhaps three waves of the ~50 biters we had seen before. I did indeed NOT expect an auto-scaled brutality of assault that requires me to shut off anything except ammo production.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by Ranakastrasz »

_wf_ wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:33 pm

Yes, after I knew, it was easy to stockpile ammo, fortify to a level that would be silly for this stage in regular freeplay, and disable anything else. That's the part about "telling".
Yea. Thats the issue with scaling difficulties. If you know how difficulty scales, and it reacts to your actions, it can often be gamed. Having it take into account how many bullets you have on the map, rather than pollution based, along with bullets per minutes would be more accurate, but I don't really know.

In particular, you're asked to automate green circuits, then are supposed to completely stop them or you severely hamper your chance of success.
Yep. I imagine that killed me. Had a thing churning out green circuits, because I always have a thing churning out green circuits, on account of always needing green circuits in every single factorio game I've played that didn't replace them with weird bob circuit varients.

Of course, the issue wasn't that I was automating them, so much as I was automating them into a chest rather than into the inserter maker for SCIENCE. So it didn't backup and stop....

Did it have you automate into a chest at any point after the drills?
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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by CDarklock »

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:44 pm
Yea. Thats the issue with scaling difficulties. If you know how difficulty scales, and it reacts to your actions, it can often be gamed.
Case in point, I'm gonna see how this works.

minimal.png
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There's nothing else in the whole base. All the assemblers are loaded with the appropriate resources to meet the automation requirements, and once they do, I can pull the power pole and they drop off the electrical grid. I do want to complete my turret speed research first, though. Maybe even level 2.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by _wf_ »

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:44 pm
Did it have you automate into a chest at any point after the drills?
It doesn't ask you, but it is incredibly tempting, since you have to reach all production levels simultaneously and there is no consumer for the circuits.

So on my first attempt I automated the things, started the research, noticed that attacks went up a bit immediately (which was expected), noted defenses were adequate for that level, then just turned my attention to automating inserters (because, we just did circuits and are researching green science).
This went fine until about the halfway mark, when "turret damaged" immediately turned into "turret destroyed", til I made it over a second turret was gone, then I tried to help with the dinky pistol and got myself killed. Yay.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by CDarklock »

_wf_ wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:34 am
This went fine until about the halfway mark, when "turret damaged" immediately turned into "turret destroyed", til I made it over a second turret was gone, then I tried to help with the dinky pistol and got myself killed. Yay.
You know, here's a thing.

defenses.png
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Strong enough for... what, exactly?

Do we get a reasonable indication of how strong the attacks will be?

I mean, we do get an indication...

incoming1.png
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...but is that an adequate indication of how strong our defences should be? Prior to this, we see a group of three biters, and then a group of five. After this, pairs of biters will wander over here and there. Should there be a stronger message to the player that yes, that huge swarm is representative of the attack waves we'll be getting later?

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by montandalar »

FFF explained this problem of very hard biters very well when it said:
Actually no, it isn’t so hard for new players. It is hard for veteran players. The attack system emulates Freeplays pollution system. If you pollute hard, you are attacked hard. The only difference is that the 'price' of a biter is lowered inversely to how far you are through the final research.
This lead to a big problem in my base in the NPE: I had stacked everything into running 6 labs at full speed, like I would usually do with a science focus rather than a military focus. Note that I've usually played on rail worlds, so the biters only attack where they're still in a polluting area and do not return. I will still usually leave my mine sites defended with turrets rather than go wipe them out, so the threat of biters isn't entirely foreign. Thus, in the past, my military strategy has been almost completely reactive, rather than proactive, since the difficulty of sandbox is easy to manage with speed and damage upgrades. So the NPE was quite harsh on me as a long-time player but combat noob.

Quite far into the NPE, I found myself in an unfeasible situation: As soon as I finished shooting speed 1 and switched my labs to researching green science, I was met with unmanageble waves of biters quickly consuming all my ammo.
Before: Producing just the right amount of ammo to start with, as dictated by the production requirement. Actually it looks like I'm slightly under, possibly due to pollution.
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After: It became impossible to ramp up ammo production fast enough to deal with the biter menace:
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The rather inintuitive solution, it seemed to me, is to stop researching so fast, so that the biter attacks won't ramp up as fast. Again, from FFF:
the 'price' of a biter is lowered inversely to how far you are through the final research
I returned once more to my 'doomed' save and turned off circuits and research, also reducing labs to 3 for when I started the research again. I started building 5 ammo assemblers per side of the base, only to find I had neglected to manually feed my turrets enough and they were quickly overrun. It's just not fun or intuitive to be getting this many biter attacks for what, in 0.16 sandbox, is a negligible-sized factory. I see a big problem with this: now that I have a doomed save, I have no inclination to go back and replay the rest of the highly manual, artificial 'factorio' just to try setting myself up properly and beating this challenge.

Back to the mechanics of how the NPE difficulty works, as said before: pollution, PLUS research. In sandbox, the research only coincides with the difficulty, most as a penalty or bonus for your pollution. It is emphatically not tied to the research. If the developers' intention is to teach how to play Factorio, then I feel like they've failed because they're teaching new players how to play an escalating scenario with limits and boundaries, not how to play the main mode of the game, sandbox. Honestly, if I was new to the game, I'd be tossing up whether to refund it as soon as I got wiped out (actually, I'd be kicking myself that I couldn't because even as a (low-end) experienced player I spent more than 2 hours getting to the point I'm up to; hopefully I would then try sandbox to see if it's better, but no guarantees as this is hypothetical anyway). I can't think of much that's more painful than re-playing through a learning experience because I failed the 'test' at the end.

To sum up my gripes with the artificiality of the tutorial:
  • Research progress should never affect biter difficulty.
  • You can't take the fight to them: Their nests are non-existent to the east and probably the west (as in they may or may not actually be spawning at the nests we see them make after wiping out our old base).
  • It's much easier to put yourself in an unwinnable solution than the sandbox. This may have newbies thinking the game is more of a biter defence game.
Hopefully there are a few other sore losers to sympathise with anyway. After all, it is the 'too hard' thread ;)

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by CDarklock »

montandalar wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:44 am
Research progress should never affect biter difficulty.
I cannot really find fault with this logic. Research progress never affects biter difficulty elsewhere in the game.

If you view the campaign as an artificial story mode, it makes sense to tie research to attack intensity, because that's how literally every campaign everywhere works. Go play any RTS that says "research this thing," and as your research progresses, the enemy will send larger and stronger forces. Guaranteed.

But if you view the campaign as... idk, something else?... it doesn't make any sense because that is literally never how the game works.

I always viewed the campaign as an artificial story mode, because... that's... how other games work? If a game has both a campaign and a freeplay mode, the campaign layers new challenges on top of the freeplay experience.

Like you take any open world RPG, perhaps Skyrim. You wander out of the caves under Helgen, and your companion says "hey let's go to Riverwood." And when you get to Riverwood, you get told "go talk to the Jarl of Whiterun." And if you go to Whiterun, and you talk to the Jarl, you have to go fight a dragon.

But if you don't, you can fart around Skyrim all you want and never see a dragon. The same thing happened with Oblivion: there's a point in the storyline that you go to Kvatch, and there's an Oblivion gate. Or you can just not go, and there are no Oblivion gates anywhere.

The campaign is layered atop the open world / freeplay experience. That's how campaigns work. And the introductory campaign is not necessarily introductory to the freeplay experience, but to the planned campaign experience.

Which is probably more combat focused, just like the campaign in Skyrim and Oblivion revolves around fighting dragons and dremora respectively, when the open world experience pre-campaign has neither.

I expect there to be three major ways of playing Factorio, in the eventual 1.0 era: freeplay, campaign, and post-campaign. Again, look at Skyrim - you have Skyrim with no dragons, Skyrim with a specific dragon-fighting goal, and then Skyrim with dragons. Or look at Minecraft; you have Minecraft before you enter the End, Minecraft before you defeat the Ender dragon, and Minecraft after you defeat the Ender dragon.

I'm sure you can think of other examples. Or, maybe, just complain that Factorio is neither Skyrim nor Minecraft and you don't want it to be? Whatevs.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by montandalar »

CDarklock wrote: If you view the campaign as an artificial story mode
I see your point here and I welcome the idea of an artificial kind of campaign, a la RTS campaigns like Warcraft III's that are completely different from a skirmish game. In fact this campaign mission was a good example of an introduction to such a campaign, like how the Intro campaign to Warcraft III is a short one to teach the player the basics of that game - though it's much easier than Factorio's current mission.

However, as much as Warcraft III's campaign is a good storyline of its own and a good way to play the game, it also doesn't teach you nicely how to play a skirmish game. In the same way, Factorio's NPE doesn't teach you how to play sandbox. So while I don't take issue with the campaign being artificial as it is, I do take issue with it being marketed as a way to introduce the player to Factorio, which my viewpoint tells me is the sandbox. I've already explained how this campaign is very different from the sandbox. The devs seem to have this big question in mind:
Abregado wrote:How do we teach a new player the concept of never having enough?
So I guess I'll just have to settle for the fact that my vision may differ from that of the devs.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by CDarklock »

montandalar wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:18 pm
I see your point here and I welcome the idea of an artificial kind of campaign, a la RTS campaigns like Warcraft III's that are completely different from a skirmish game.
I was thinking of Starcraft the whole time through that mission. It really felt like the Starcraft campaign.
However, as much as Warcraft III's campaign is a good storyline of its own and a good way to play the game, it also doesn't teach you nicely how to play a skirmish game. In the same way, Factorio's NPE doesn't teach you how to play sandbox.
Agreed. That's why I'm kind of... confused, when it comes to this campaign. Is this supposed to be an introduction to freeplay, or an introduction to something else? I don't think it's very good as an introduction to freeplay. I think it's good as a game experience, but it's not especially good as training for future freeplay games. So I'm leaning very heavily in the direction that it is an introduction to something else, most likely the nebulously-referenced single player campaign that will apparently be done for 1.0 but we don't have any specifics about it.

It's simply impossible to make any reasonable determination of how good the intro campaign is for introducing the rest of the campaign we haven't seen and don't really know anything about.

The best I can do is say that Wube, as game developers, are... pretty good at developing games. So I find it really odd to assume they've done a bad job on what they're doing. I tend to find it more likely that if I think they've done a bad job, I don't understand what they're doing.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by ManaUser »

CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:30 pm
I was thinking of Starcraft the whole time through that mission. It really felt like the Starcraft campaign.
They even added creep to the spawners. :P

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by CDarklock »

ManaUser wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:47 am
CDarklock wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:30 pm
I was thinking of Starcraft the whole time through that mission. It really felt like the Starcraft campaign.
They even added creep to the spawners. :P
Which, please tell me, they are not doing to prevent the "turret creep" strategy... why, exactly?

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by ManaUser »

CDarklock wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:24 am
Which, please tell me, they are not doing to prevent the "turret creep" strategy... why, exactly?
Best guess is they just wanted to jazz it up visually since you don't normally see biters forming new bases on-screen. Had to be Starcraft inspired though.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by Broskev »

I must admit I failed miserably during my first play-through of the new campaign. I must try that again and try to be more relaxed. I kind of agree with devs here and also find CDarklock's arguments agreeable. If you stop regarding this as a tutorial and start viewing this as introduction to the game, I believe it is designed properly.

The fact is that no new player will think to the future when doing the basic stuff and will not build those unnecessary machines, thus the difficulty stays reasonable.

Yes, it probably needs some tweaks, but in general, I believe they chose a right path for the introduction.

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by hobbitmax999 »

CDarklock wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:11 pm
humblegar wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:18 am
That is an interesting way to look at it. But I do not doubt that I can beat the campaign or tutorial, and that was not my point.
Not suggesting it was. I just wrote that light novel as a sort of train-of-thought while things were occurring to me.
A new player getting into the same situations I got into would probably just quit
I honestly don't think so, because I hate the combat sections of the game, and this is literally the first time I thought combat was both fun and challenging.

I've also reloaded one of my old saves to find that the difficulty of attacking biter bases has gone way up. One of the things I try to manage reasonably diligently is the clearing of biter bases in a substantial margin from my pollution cloud, along with keeping that cloud minimal.


pollution.png


I strive to keep power production no more than 1 MW above peak consumption, and production no higher than necessary. Right now, I am running four iron miners and one each copper and coal miner, producing nothing but automation science packs and magazines. I also have minimal steel production running, but it's backed up and stalled because I'm not using any steel for anything.

At my current research level, I can clear out a four-spawner base in 0.16 with about 43 magazines while taking minimal damage. I don't have a car or anything and I don't turret creep; I just approach from the outside and circle-strafe the base.

In 0.17, I had to retreat twice from a two-spawner base because I was taking heavy damage from worms. I don't like this, and when I went after a three-spawner base, I was outright killed after blowing through over 85 magazines. This suggests combat is significantly more than twice as hard.

I... like this? Really? Because I've never liked combat in Factorio before, ever. But I'm looking at this and saying "I'll bet if I got some grenades..." and also debating whether to start using turrets in the mix. Where turrets felt cheaty before, now they feel like a reasonable strategy. I want to see how well they weather worm attacks. Can the worms hit them from outside turret range? Does the DoT effect kill turrets quickly? How well does a grenade-walk with turret backup work?

And this isn't a "you polluted too much" issue, either. Some of the people who say "this is way too hard" are pumping out a thick red cloud across half the map and whinging about how the biters suddenly give a crap. I'm conscientious about pollution. I'm careful about my perimetre. And the combat is way harder, but it does not make me want to quit. I actually care about the combat now.

That seems like exactly what the devs are going for. I didn't have too much trouble with the campaign, and I'm not having too much trouble with this save, but I have certainly shifted military matters higher on my priorities.

Side note: the first time I ever got the achievement "It stinks and they don't like it," which requires triggering a biter attack by pollution - the biters simply never showed up. I don't know how tough that achievement should be, but it does seem like there should be, like... an attack.
I recommend you try to dance while fighting them ( :lol: ) because the worms nolonger have homing bullets instead the Target Where
They THINK you will be and if you dont change you speed or direction then you die because of that... it made it easy for me when they changed that

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Re: [0.17.2] Tutorial seems very difficult

Post by abregado »

Good feedback, but we have a new version now. Moving this to outdated

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