Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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RobEVO
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by RobEVO » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:37 pm

irbork wrote:Many nice changes on the list.
It would be convenient if you figure out a way to place ghost of an entity without necessity to have it in the inventory. Kind of like grabbing it from crafting menu with ctrl+LMB or MMB.
YES! That would also let you ghost mining drills. I've wanted to ghost drills on empty terrain for a long time so i can make a REALLY REALLY big mining blueprint to cover HUGE chunks of terrain.

I'm all for efficiency but my base is to the point where I want to just drop a blueprint that covers 1000x1000 tiles in drills and belts and just puts the drills where the ore is.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by vanatteveldt » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:42 pm

Merging items with different health. - We didn't do the item merging, as we didn't want the player lose his precious items as two 49% items would merge into one, which would prevent the player from repairing both for just a few repair. In reality, I feel that the annoyance of having 8 different stacks of laser turrets/walls in my inventory is not worth the rare possibility of losing an item or two.
There's been a number of responses already, but here are my two cents:

- I also really dislike the way multiple damaged items each take a single slot, which is very annoying when you're removing defensive structures. I don't turret creep, but it does annoy me in other situations.
- I would either (a) remember the health info on each item but allow them to be stacked anyway, and just display the top of the stack (presumably the most damaged), or (b) merge all damaged items and average the damage, so 5 health turrets and 4 damaged with (20, 40, 60, 80) percent health becomes two stacks: 5 healthy and 4 with 50% health.
- I would also be in favour of using the personal logistic robots to repair items by floating around the player and seemingly repairing the player itself.
Tutorial that copy paste from assembler to requester chest does exactly what you need.
Wait, what? It does? That makes *so* much sense :)

It would also be nice to be able to copy-paste train schedules from the train menu, I often build a new train on a line without another one nearby to copy/paste settings from...
Shift click (ghost placement) should go through trees and rocks as blueprints with shift do.
Yes! Also, shift-click train segments should (optionally?) demolish trees and rocks rather than trying to find some sort of convoluted path through them. Does anyone allow trees to get in the way of his/her factory? :)
Figure some way to have low level personal construction robots earlier in the game.
+1!

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by aubergine18 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:53 pm

factoriouzr wrote:+we should be able to copy and paste from a factory to an inserter and it should set the filter to the same good as being produced by the factory
I thought you could already do that, or maybe only to request container (which has same effect)?
Better forum search for modders: Enclose your search term in quotes, eg. "font_color" or "custom-input" - it prevents the forum search from splitting on hypens and underscores, resulting in much more accurate results.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by nullvoid » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:15 pm

vanatteveldt wrote:
Shift click (ghost placement) should go through trees and rocks as blueprints with shift do.
Yes! Also, shift-click train segments should (optionally?) demolish trees and rocks rather than trying to find some sort of convoluted path through them. Does anyone allow trees to get in the way of his/her factory? :)
Try holding shift again whilst in ghost track mode. ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by matheod » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:17 pm

A possiblity for damaged item is to "merge health" but always keep the item with 1hp. That way we could have 2 stack at maximum and no item lost.

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Drury
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Drury » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:20 pm

Andrzejef wrote:8) Filling water with dirt is fine, but what about the other way (digging channels in dirt)?
Dig a moat around your base = win. Not a single biter can get to you.
Andrzejef wrote:10) I hope boiler mk2 will be electric powered. It's strange that with everything that can be electricity-powered, only boilers sill are not.
Boilers power steam engine, steam engine powers boiler. ??? This kind of setup doesn't exist IRL either, it's nonsense. It will always eat more power than it generates.
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Drury » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:30 pm

kovarex wrote:
MrGrim wrote:
Vizzy wrote:One suggestion I might make in regards to content would be some way to automate biter base killing. The mod Robot Army (viewtopic.php?t=23543) is a good example but I think the idea would really benefit from an official implementation because of the complexity of things like pathing.

Thanks for posting more excellent Friday Facts :)
Indeed, if the intent is to nerf turret creeping then it would be helpful if something could be done to help alleviate the tedium of mid/late game land clearing. It would be difficult to do this while also maintaining the pressure that biter expansion and pollution mechanics provide which I personally think are quite enjoyable. I just wish there was an option when it comes time to seize more territory beyond the very manual and repetitive process there is now. The first 100 biter bases burned to the ground are fun.. the next 100 less so..
I forgot to mention that. This will be solved by the artillery train! :)
Combat is boring so we replace it with artillery? I mean, sure. That's one way to solve the problem.
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Fatmice
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Fatmice » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:31 pm

Drury wrote:
Boilers power steam engine, steam engine powers boiler. ??? This kind of setup doesn't exist IRL either, it's nonsense. It will always eat more power than it generates.
Indeed, there is nothing wrong with that setup. Boiler->steam-engines already net you a -50%, steam-engine->boiler would net you another -50%. So people like crazy setups...I think it should be allowed. ;)
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by LCCX » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:32 pm

kovarex wrote:We can still do the expansion pack with additional stages of the game and space exploration later, but that is a different story.
Great story; I'll look forward to such an expansion pack!
kovarex wrote:Finding 3 - the most needed changes
I do not disagree with "Finding 3 - the most needed changes" -- those do sound like the most needed changes. However, I do feel like the combat portion of Factorio could really use a little bit more depth. Fields of solar panels with borders of laser turrets feels a bit dull/static, especially as a strategy for expanding. There is a very nice personal progression with 6 hand weapons, 6 thrown/deployed consumable weapons/capsules, 2 vehicles, armor + modular armor... But on base/turret defense there are only 3 turrets. And there are only 2 types of biters (melee and ranged) which power up.

Some users have already pointed out the Robot Army mod; to suggest something different:
* What if roboports could deploy the existing follower robot combat capsules on patrol, retrieving and redeploying them at the end of their timer if they hadn't died? (perhaps with a couple researches which increase patrol time and therefore range)

On the other side, I feel like the biters could also use 1 more trick/step/level/challenge. Maybe it would be an alternate-movement unit (e.g. flying, jumping, borrowing). Maybe it would be a support unit (e.g. healing, speed boost, mobile small biter spawner). Maybe it would be a parasitic/thief unit (e.g. a glowing biter that tries to consume power out of a power grid rather than destroying power lines, or a biter that tries to take coal and oil back to its nest for more biter population points). But *something* to keep clearing them from feeling like simply mowing the grass manually.
kovarex wrote:This will be solved by the artillery train! :)
Oh, well then. BOOM?

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Drury » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Fatmice wrote:
Drury wrote:
Boilers power steam engine, steam engine powers boiler. ??? This kind of setup doesn't exist IRL either, it's nonsense. It will always eat more power than it generates.
Indeed, there is nothing wrong with that setup. Boiler->steam-engines already net you a -50%, steam-engine->boiler would net you another -50%. So people like crazy setups...I think it should be allowed. ;)
Why though.

It will literally not work. That kind of contraption shouldn't even start. It's literally this.

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EDIT: Is this super obvious sarcasm that I'm not getting.
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golfmiketango
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by golfmiketango » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:52 pm

I really like and agree with just about everything you've mentioned.

One thing that makes me a bit uncomfortable though is what you mentioned about "painting" belt routings with the mouse.

In theory this idea sounds good but there are mods that try to do this and, in practice, they are annoying as hell.

So, I'm not gonna say it's a bad idea -- it's plausibly a good idea, but I would argue that some very careful thought will need to go into how this painting-with-belts thing works in order to prevent it from becoming its own source of even greater pain that the current implementation (which is, I agree, somewhat cumbersome).

Another "dangerous" human-factors idea I'd love to see done well is the ability to lay down multiple parallel rows of belts all at once. There is, again, a mod that enables this, although back when I gave it a try,it used a big ugly GUI panel that, from my perspective, made it more of a proof-of-concept than a daily-driver mod. Assuming the interface could be made intuitive, it would be just fantastic to be able to, for example, turn a number of belts around a corner simply by drawing an "L" with the mouse -- currently, although it's easy to understand why, it requires a comical amount of futzing to do it, and, as you know, the need for this arises quite a bit in the late game.
Last edited by golfmiketango on Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by dasiro » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:53 pm

is an MK2 roboport too much to ask? Now I'm dropping 10 of them at high-throughput area's just because they can't recharge the delivery-bots fast enough and even then they're all covered in circles with dozens of bots waiting to recharge :(

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by golfmiketango » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:01 pm

Drury wrote:
Fatmice wrote:
Drury wrote:
Boilers power steam engine, steam engine powers boiler. ??? This kind of setup doesn't exist IRL either, it's nonsense. It will always eat more power than it generates.
Indeed, there is nothing wrong with that setup. Boiler->steam-engines already net you a -50%, steam-engine->boiler would net you another -50%. So people like crazy setups...I think it should be allowed. ;)
Why though.

It will literally not work. That kind of contraption shouldn't even start. It's literally this.

Image

EDIT: Is this super obvious sarcasm that I'm not getting.
I think Fatmice's thinking is that it's more like having a motor turn a gear that turns another gear attached to a generator. It's wasteful, but sometimes efficiency is a secondary consideration, and there are valid reasons to do things like this.

In more technical terms, your illustration/reductio assumes the two steam rigs attach to the same power network which is not necessarily so.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Drury » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:19 pm

golfmiketango wrote: I think Fatmice's thinking is that it's more like having a motor turn a gear that turns another gear attached to a generator. It's wasteful, but sometimes efficiency is a secondary consideration, and there are valid reasons to do things like this.

In more technical terms, your illustration/reductio assumes the two steam rigs attach to the same power network which is not necessarily so.
It's not wasteful, it's pointless. It eats power, it doesn't generate any.

Even if you have an external power source, like a solar array, you'll just be feeding it to the rig and it won't give you any power gain. You might as well be powering a lightbulb painted black. There is no energy coming out of this.

EDIT: I suggest lamps placed next to solar panels power them, so we can use solar at night.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Darloth » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:28 pm

When you boil water in your electric kettle, that power comes from most likely a boiler elsewhere being powered by something burning to boil water, to make electricity, to boil your water!

Much power is lost along the way, but it's still really convenient to send it through the wire so you can have hot water when and where you want it.

The better argument against this I've seen is that given that hot water is ONLY useful for making power, it's a bit wasteful to have an electric boiler which would always waste energy. That being said, it would also be useful from a solar power to hot water storage sort of system or some other bits and pieces.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Neemys » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:31 pm

Drury wrote:
golfmiketango wrote: I think Fatmice's thinking is that it's more like having a motor turn a gear that turns another gear attached to a generator. It's wasteful, but sometimes efficiency is a secondary consideration, and there are valid reasons to do things like this.

In more technical terms, your illustration/reductio assumes the two steam rigs attach to the same power network which is not necessarily so.
It's not wasteful, it's pointless. It eats power, it doesn't generate any.

Even if you have an external power source, like a solar array, you'll just be feeding it to the rig and it won't give you any power gain. You might as well be powering a lightbulb painted black. There is no energy coming out of this.

The only valid reason I see to have electric boiler is to store electricity more efficiently than in accumulator (by storing heated water). Even if you end up with less electricity from your solar panel, as solar panel are place and forget, that's not a real problem. A full storage tank store 212,5MJ. I'm not the kind of guy who would do that though.

Edit : if a recipe need heated liquid (i don't know if possible at the moment) that would be another reason to have electric boiler.
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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Slayn25 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:35 pm

I am all for early game robots, especially for clearing forests.

Maybe have mk1 construction robots (slow & land based) unlocked at electronics or automation 2 plus you could start the game with one of them next to a crashed ship w/ a couple of salvageable modules or something.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Zeno » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:36 pm

Merging items based on remaining health is a bad idea. What happens when two high-tier items reach the merge state?
In theory you could build two highest-tier buildings (nuclear power plants) damage each to under 50% HP, and then "lose" one of the two of them mysteriously due to item merging.

You could definitely expect lots of false bug reports from newbies "Biters attacked my 10 boiler setup and i picked it up, and now i only have 7 boilers!" with item merging.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by BlackSalander » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:08 pm

That ideia someone posted on reddit about having fewer but stronger bitter attacks is a good idea. That way cleaning the bitters spawn would feel more like a challenge and less like a chore in late game.

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Re: Friday Facts #160 - Playtesting

Post by Drury » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:21 pm

BlackSalander wrote:That ideia someone posted on reddit about having fewer but stronger bitter attacks is a good idea. That way cleaning the bitters spawn would feel more like a challenge and less like a chore in late game.
I can get behind this. That's generally the dynamic of RTS games - you wait for the enemy to build a huge army, you find a way to crush it, then you strike the defenseless base. That's engaging.
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