RTS direction

Give feedback on topics proposed by the developers.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by obstinate » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:28 am

I would say no to this feature. The biggest strengths of your game are undoubtedly the challenge of building good manufacturing pipelines. If you want to add challenges to the game, that is what you should focus on. Play to your strengths.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by bobucles » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:35 pm

I don't see any real way for players to compete against each other on the same map. The raw mechanics of Factorio really force players to work together, as it is difficult to run out on one's own due to biters. The only other option is to grief another player's build, which hasn't really happened due to factorio being a tight knit community.

I can see a competitive mode working as a "Tetris Vs." style. Teams are placed on separate maps, and build their own factory to deliver completed goods. They get rewarded with obstacles that attack the other player. Those obstacles could be biters, rocks, some kind of damage to their factory, or maybe some other thing. Eventually one team reaches a high enough tier that they can launch an unstoppable force to destroy the other team.

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Drury
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:49 pm

Actually it's possible to play PvP and I believe there are mods for it. I've watched a series some time ago where FishSandwich fought Xterminator and it seemed quite fun.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by 3trip » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:11 am

bobucles wrote:I don't see any real way for players to compete against each other on the same map. The raw mechanics of Factorio really force players to work together, as it is difficult to run out on one's own due to biters. The only other option is to grief another player's build, which hasn't really happened due to factorio being a tight knit community.

I can see a competitive mode working as a "Tetris Vs." style. Teams are placed on separate maps, and build their own factory to deliver completed goods. They get rewarded with obstacles that attack the other player. Those obstacles could be biters, rocks, some kind of damage to their factory, or maybe some other thing. Eventually one team reaches a high enough tier that they can launch an unstoppable force to destroy the other team.
I do, it won't be so difficult, at the most players will have to either spawn, or separate themselves with enough space (and scouts) to give them adequate response time to react to threats from other players. Also, I would be very unhappy with such an artificial restraint like yours suggested placed upon me.


Kovarex I eagerly await when you can command an armored force to attack the enemy, though I think factorio's unit line up needs a few more additions to make a decent RTS portion. what kind of units? well You know, typical RTS stuff, like artillery, APC's, walls that can block attacks and more terrain stuff, like cliffs.

Oh, and an objective, you'll need a military objective to conquer, say instead of you building a missile defense, you instead have to take down 1 or more alien orbital defense structures located around the planet? An organic chemical powered laser sounds plausible for our aliens.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Mr.YaR » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:30 pm

The way i bought the game made me sure it already has RTS element in it:
Combat units from simple to produce to complex, maybe automated or that can be automated as the rest....
I didn t think about workers of any kind tho, they should be there also, maybe progrsmmable actions also. Gather wood? Water???? This could make the setup of a factory start with manual labor lol, or robotic x)

I enjoy the game how it is tho x) But i think this is a must! For coop and pvp. While the organizationnal part stays mostly the same as it is, you can command yourself some forces in some situations(small ones, hundreds maybe).or leave them behave as you set them to.....


PS: I bought Factorio for combat with a deep base building/econ side. It make even the poorer combat mechanics much deeper than most rts. All your early and late choices and specialization/play style impacts the combat side(actual fort survival building). Reminds me some early anno games in many ways, we did pvp with friends in anno 1404 - was great. Factorio is much more potent in terms of combat than anno series and moddable!
Last edited by Mr.YaR on Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:13 am

Definitely wouldn't mind automated mobile crawlers in the vein of the nestt mod and red alert harvester.

Build a factory inside it, send it to do stuff. Harvest resources, cut down forests, build railways, whatever.

Kind of like the new Homeworld game.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Ninjadude501 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:19 pm

While I do love this idea, I wouldn't recommend you guys go crazy on the fighting units thing. I didn't really buy Factorio for a full-blown RTS where you create units and go destroy enemy bases. I'd play Planetary Annihilation, or some other RTS if I wanted that. But I do absolutely love the idea of simply going into a throne room and ordering my bots around from there.

Main point, in case I didn't say it very clearly: I definitely want the throne room, but be careful you don't emphasize creating an army and going to destroy enemy bases too much. I didn't buy Factorio for that.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by piriform » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:57 am

For what it's worth I believe that a viable RTS option is necessary in the longer run. As the Factorio user community grows and matures, there will be a substantial fraction yearning to engage in the ultimate contest. Factorio has a lot to offer, and lot to explore, but what happens when you've finally mastered planes, trains, automobiles and mega factories. Launch more rockets?
I believe that replay-ability would be greatly enhanced with the PvP option.

Properly implementing PvP is not that easy. Adding more weapons, and toys will not make it more usable nor fun. If the design team decides to take the Factorio in that direction, I'd strongly suggest taking a close look at how it was done in some of the classics such as AOE.

Some Considerations in RTS design

Fog of War: visibility is the king. Knowing your opponent's strengths and weakness is crucial, but it should not be easy. (Think of the interesting possibilities in using radars and radar jammers).

Balance: For every offensive unit there must be a counter. At a minimum there should be a small set of units all observing rock/paper/scissors rule.

Some examples:
infrastructure attacker- strong against infra, weak against defender
attacker 1 strong against defender 1 weak against defender 2
Balancing of minions attributes (damage dealt, durability, type of attack/defense, speed, range, cost) is essential to prevent the "I win button" (i.e. Invulnerable Mega Tank that can crush the whole base and costs 2 iron plates and a wood pole).

Grouping: Minions (robots, mutant bugs,auto tanks, whatever) should operate in groups. These groups must be assignable and controllable (to a greater or lesser degree). Some things to consider: preferred targets, primitive tasks (patrol, destroy, observe), attitude (aggressive,defensive, cowardly), way-points, tactics(??)

Overall cost: Minions should be Expensive ( War IS Expensive)
Upgradeable: Initially, the Minions should be relatively weak but still capable of doing the job (if unopposed). By unlocking technologies,and constructing upgrade facilities they would gain stronger traits. This provides a strong incentive to keep researching and expanding the infrastructure (i.e. the Red Queen Race)

In closing, I do believe that RTS is the way to go in the long term. Proper implementation is very important for the acceptance of this mode of play but is also non trivial.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:29 am

I believe this rock-paper-scissors approach is what Factorio combat needs in general. Despite the "action-oriented" WASD movement system, Factorio is not an action game and in my opinion shouldn't be made to be one, as much as I like them. In terms of combat, it has always been more of an RTS - a pretty weak one on some accounts. The "base-building" is amazing, but the actual combat boils down to using weapons which are varied in visual depiction, but all have the exact same effect and work in the exact same way in all possible scenarios, just with varying efficiency (spam poison capsules to win the game).

Yes, you have assault rifles, rocket launchers, flamethrowers, which seemingly provide different strategies, but in reality nobody uses them because despite the game apparently having a way to handle various types of damage, as ultimately the biters will become resistant to all less powerful weapons and the only viable choice will be the more powerful ones, without any regard to their function. It's only a matter of climbing the research tree that dictates when you gain access to superior weapons, and at that point you don't have to bother with anything else. This approach doesn't make for meaningful combat. It's a pure rush to gain the ultimate weapon that makes the combat element obsolete for the time being, then tech rush some more once it stops working.

We need more types of natives. We need natives that die easily to flames, but not so much to bullets and lasers. Natives that die to bullets, but not lasers or flames. Natives that die to lasers, but not bullets or flames. We need to give the player the tools to predict what type of native is coming next, and what to use against them. We have to make sure that "all of above" is not an option.

Apply the same philosophy to native nests. Give them a way to defend themselves from one type of attack to force the player to use different strategies. Give them various ways to attack the player or factories, and various ways to counter them. For instance, burrowing natives that don't deal damage, but surface and send out EMP pulses that disrupt electric devices - their presence can be detected by seismic activity detectors as they spawn in native nests, and countered by gun turrets which don't require electricity, or proper factory flooring. If not countered, they don't actively seek to destroy anything, but can leave a segment of a factory protected by laser turrets susceptible to attack by natives that can deal damage.

This is just one specific example. The general idea is: Have a hard-counter system where using the correct strategy guarantees success, and using an incorrect one guarantees failure. There should also be a general way for the player to adjust the difficulty of engagements - more control over native mutation. If you decide you don't want to fight biters anymore, you should have means of putting an end to it.

I believe the peaceful mode should be integrated into the game and be removed as a separate option. The natives should remain passive until provoked, at which point the game switches to aggressive mode until peace is brokered by the player. This could be done by either reducing pollution, or researching passive defense technology, which works much like combat turrets, but pacifies the natives rather than killing them. Some high frequency soundwave emitters or such, something that forces the natives to stay away, and eventually completely forget about the player. This would allow peaceful players who happen to make one mistake to take it back and continue their peaceful playthrough.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Koub » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:40 am

The question is : do the devs want to keep the audience they have targetted so far, and keep on pleasing it and widening it by making the game always better in Factorio's own way, or do they want to change Factorio to point it towards a far wider audience, changing it substancially on the same occasion ?
I would prefer Factorio to stay Factorio : is I want a RTS, I just filter by RTS on Steam, and I have a huge laod of suggestions. But there's only one Factorio :).
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:42 am

Koub wrote:The question is : do the devs want to keep the audience they have targetted so far, and keep on pleasing it and widening it by making the game always better in Factorio's own way, or do they want to change Factorio to point it towards a far wider audience, changing it substancially on the same occasion ?
I would prefer Factorio to stay Factorio : is I want a RTS, I just filter by RTS on Steam, and I have a huge laod of suggestions. But there's only one Factorio :).
There was a point in my reply that I seem to have deleted.

It seems as if the devs had the same train of thought. To put it bluntly - that the combat element should be half-assed for the good of the game. I strongly disagree. Let me elaborate:

The combat element, as it exists, is not good for anybody. The people who like fighting won't enjoy it because it's bland. The people who don't like fighting dislike it out of principle.

We can improve the natives without any tradeoffs. We can have the game accessible for people who prefer not to fight. We can also make it better for people who do enjoy fighting. It's not impossible. I touch upon that philosophy in the last paragraph of my post.

Things shouldn't stay the way they are now. That part of the game is already being criticized, and the more polished the game gets, the more it will stick out like a sore thumbs. Interaction with natives needs dire improvmenets.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Koub » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:56 am

I understand more what you say, and the way you say it in your last post, I fully agree.
I have read some time back in a FFF that the combat part was to be revamped with the 0.13.
I hope the "Fight revisit and balancing" will indeed make it enjoyable for the ones who like fighting, without it being even more of a burden for those who, like me, are not that much interested in the fighting challenge.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by piriform » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:30 pm

I very much agree with Drury's post on the combat system and weapons in general. Yes, you have all those flavors but the net effect is pretty much the same.
Regarding Biters. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always viewed Barbs Biters filling the role of Barbs in the CIV series. Annoying certainly. A real threat?
Making Biters more of a challenge?. Would be nice, but not sure if the cost is worth it. In order to make the Biters a meaningful, challenging opponent, AI would require a LARGE ( compared to non-trivial) investment.
I've seen several posts opposing inclusion of RTS into Factorio. Quite frankly, I'm having trouble understanding why, and wish that someone would explain how an entirely optional element or set of elements would corrupt the base game.
Factorio is a Good game. It is rich and immersive, up to the end. One problem I see is that the game is linear and does not have a strategic depth. By adding that depth (via RTS or other means) Factorio could become great or even legendary.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by noken » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:50 pm

I think this is how Factorio RTS PVP should go

There will be two phases:
Phase 1: Peaceful, cold war phase
- This is all about competitively preparing the fastest automated system to fight your enemy with when the battle begins. You should be able to set the timer to however long you'd like for this phase.
Phase 2: WAR
- Get into your command center (Throne Room) and begin fighting without any restrictions. A few of your teammates might want to continue hands on production/building while one or two commands builder/fighter robots.

I think the RTS mod would be best achieved by:
1: building a command center that you enter like a vehicle and you switch to being in God Mode
- this should be big enough to let all your team members enter into so everyone can control your team's robots together
- you can exit/enter at any time
2: then you can control your robots within your radio signal distance strength.
- So we'll need powered radio or microwave transmitters/receivers
- A team should be able to construct a way to sense foreign enemy signals being sent through their territory
- This will prevent a person from easily sending fighter bots into the enemy's fragile economic portions of their base without knowing what may be coming and being prepared to defend.
3. And there will obviously need to be fog of war in order for this to work as well.

War Robot Idea:
1. Hacker Bots
- Hack the enemy's robots and put them under your own control or give them weird viruses, like Trojan Horses so you can spy on your enemy, or one that takes a certain amount of time to take total control of the robot, allowing you to control it and still look friendly to your enemy.
- Make upgrade-able security firmware/firewalls for your robots to combat being hacked and warn you of hacking.

To hold the integrity of this beautiful game in PVP, I believe all robots should still require power no matter what, but we can power them with better, more futuristic sources of energy that may be easier to obtain. Mobile charging or fueling stations for example. Fighting will have to be incredibly strategic with this system because we are worrying about both fuel and radio strength for our bots to even fight. After the cold war phase ends players will have either heavily defended their economy or heavily developed a robot army. Hypothetically, both strategies, if done at the same pace with similarly efficient automated systems, should be built up to a similar degree and thus so well balanced that they cancel each other out and only the skillful player wins. *I crossed that out because it is very difficult to imagine how a game like this would play out in that scenario. There will be far more going on in a game like this than any normal RTS.

I think there should be a hardcore mode where if your character dies, he stays dead. And once all players are dead on one team, or the team's command center is destroyed (so hiding is pointless), that team loses. That way going in personally with your bots is a risky thing to do but may be something you'll want to do anyway because humans in this game don't run out of power and you can undergo risky sabotage missions. But if you go out of your radio signal strength you lose communication and vision of everything other than what's around you.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Ghoulish » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:35 am

Been pondering the OP for a while now, as I'm an avid RTS (read starcraft 2) Fan, so I am most open to the idea of RTS elements in Factorio.

However, I do not feel it is the direction Factorio should be taking. You'd be adding in quite alien elements that have nothing to do with what has gotten you as far as you have with Factorio. At its current development stage, Factorio and the RTS genres don't have much in common, when I think of build orders, scouting, timing attacks, stutter stepping micro management of units or having 4 or more camera locations mapped to hotkeys.. It's just not Factorio. Whereas I wouldn't expect quite that level of RTS feature integration, I still can't forget how different Factorio is to RTS (even in a watered down state).

A line struck a chord with me from a post above that sums it up well - But there's only one Factorio.

Factorio is very unique, and it's the unique nature of Factorio that needs to be carried in to the late game, any new features should be in line with this - or otherwise you risk polluting the beautiful, most unique game you've already created.

The throne room idea - where you could create a room to observe anywhere is a great one, in my most humble opinion though.

ps. hope Steam is blowing its valve with sales.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by piriform » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:36 am

Agree in general that adding features alien to Factorio would, if not corrupt, then certainly make it a very different game. So the question is:
What is the minimum necessary for a good PvP experience?

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:03 am

piriform wrote:Agree in general that adding features alien to Factorio would, if not corrupt, then certainly make it a very different game. So the question is:
What is the minimum necessary for a good PvP experience?
A rock you can throw at the other guy to eventually kill him on the 73rd throw.

Question is: Would people be alright with such a shallow combat element?
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Mr.YaR » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:11 am

To imagin what Factorio in some ways could be with RTS units and control = watch Anno 1404 gameplay(in a lesser way anno 2070)
Don't focus on aspects that differ from Factorio.(Trade, city building, wooden boats with sales...)

The unit production and the basic combat is the thing to watch(accuracy, armor system is absent tho, combat is flat)

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Re: RTS direction

Post by joe_da_cro » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:00 am

I do not know if a full Blown RTS system is what Factorio needs in order to make Combat fun and engaging.

the way i would start is by looking at games which are popular with the top down segments aka MOBAs. Taking the good elements from them heros fighting in a war and implementing them with factorio. So with quick brainstorming here are some ideas.

- Treat the player as a hero unit, and pretty much keep the system that is already in place for the player. the way the player can be set up in game through out a game is perfect and doesn't need to change at all.

- the RTS system cannot be engaging like most other RTS games (this game is primarily a factory builder from my play through experiences). you want the player to be able to set and run so they focus on playing the player. basically the idea mixes both MOBA and epic rts games like Supreme commander and taking out the micromanagement away from both.

Elaboration of the idea

- new building for creating units. the units are only simple in mentality (think of creeps in any MOBA) that by default do nothing when spawned.

- using the OP throne room, you assign way points from the factory and squad size. the factory builds the squad size then they carryout the way points from that building (think of expanded rally points from other RTS games)

- once the squad is complete the building will only produce more units if a squad member is destroyed (default squad size can be low and it increases via research)

- the units will guard way points with a radius (research upgrades radius)

- if the squad is destroyed the way point system remains and the factory will keep churning out as units are destroyed.

- new units will try and catch up to the squad by moving to the squad rather than following way points. squad will move slower or stop to allow for catch up and full squad composition. (might be hard to do could just spawn new units and wait until squad is destroyed before giving the new squad the move orders from the factory instead)

- linking squads and timed attack this is to combine forces for an attack. (Basically this is just making the squads move to a set waypoint on their plans at the same time)

- If the player is near a waypoint radius units will follow and protect the player until player leaves waypoint influence. (possibly having a bigger radius than normal waypoint guard read above).

-when waypoints are changed units will follow new paths.

- the way i would use the pathing system would be to use a minimap view and the player can draw on the map for each building and connecting at a section creates a patrol so think of it as a mix between the powerline system, the rail system and the conveyer system joined together :)


Basically the idea is making the game strategic but not following the conventions of current RTS games which require too much player involvement to get things to happen. in factorio i love the factory building aspect and at the same time love the threat posed by the biters. But having the player have to go out and destroy the nests every time for expansion gets boring once the player has the tech. What im trying to say here as the player i feel that i should be a supplement to the force i can muster not the only force that is available.

p.s I hate MOBA games and only mentioned MOBAs as a reference point to understand the idea and to take the elements which are good from them.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by piriform » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:23 pm

Question is: Would people be alright with such a shallow combat element?
Well the current combat system is shallow. The fact that this discussion is taking place, indicates that some are not satisfied.
In my response I was referring mainly to
stutter stepping micro management of units or having 4 or more camera locations mapped to hotkeys.. It's just not Factorio
Having such elements would be alien to Factorio and would not necessarily add that much to the PvP element (then again, I could be wrong :? ).
On the other hand being able to successfully implement a fort and tech, early unit spam, periodic harassment , etc. strategies is almost a must.

I still think this is a valid question: "What is the minimum necessary to enable a satisfactory PvP experience?"

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