Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by noliVe » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:32 pm

great feature! how can i use it with our Servers?

API? - Config file ? hope you thought this through?
please tell us

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by krux02 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:12 pm

I think map generation parameters need a good preview. I would like to see the effect my changes have, possibly without starting the game. I don't necessarily want to see the exact same map that I would play later, but I would really like to see a map. I would like to see, how may resource patches I need to conquer, to have enough resources to launch the rocket. I saw the last Factorio mass multiplayer (Arumba) and they hat the same problem I had, oil was way too sparse on the map, and I had the exact same issue. I would be great to have the the power in the preview to prevent that kind of mistake to be visible so late in the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Xterminator » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:07 pm

Welp... Although not surprised, I am very sad about the even further delay of 0.15, but oh well it happens. :P

As for the difficulty settings, they look awesome! :D This will allow so many different types of styles of gameplay now without even having to touch mods, or even n conjunction with them.

Suggestion: Like some other people have said, I think a "set to default" type button definitely needs to be added. It would be extremely frustrating if a game restart or something is required just to set all the sliders back to their default state.
Also agree it would be super cool if you could set the spawner killing Evo factor to negative if you want, so you could have a scenario were destroying them would lower evolution a bit. :D
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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Cabanur » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:16 pm

Xterminator wrote:Also agree it would be super cool if you could set the spawner killing Evo factor to negative if you want, so you could have a scenario were destroying them would lower evolution a bit. :D

This adds the interesting idea of being able to hunt biters to their extintion. I feel like it would convey a message related to the rest of the game. But the same objective could be achieved the other way around: having more than x polution in an area would make it impossible for biters to breathe, so them and their spawners would die.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by y.petremann » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:07 pm

For those which complain about time ... I have a diferent aproach ... I consider the dev releasing 0.15 in june, so it's not really frustrating, (unless they release it after june), and the sooner is simply the better ... but also the bigger is the better ...

Dev take your time to make this game greater again and again ...

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Nemoricus » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:39 pm

PacifyerGrey wrote:With the new difficulty options introduced what I would like to see is making a big switch for the preset difficulties like Easy/Normal/Hard/Insane/Custom with only Custom letting you use all those sliders while other having hard preset values. This will make it more convinient for the majority of playerbase and will also allow implementing achievements requiring certain difficulties to complete.
The forums need a +1 button for posts like this.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Impatient » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:49 pm

especially i like the enemy expansion difficulty settings. because to me the enemy is always underpowered - with enough turrets the base is never at risk.

questions:
- does the enemy evolution end with with behemoth biters and spitters? i mean, there are no more bigger sprites, but do they still get stronger?

suggestions:
- make enemies gain strength after behemoth level
- also make the range of spitters and spitter worms increase together with strength
- if the feedback on those suggestions is mixed make it optional

and lastly i want to bring some sort of exlpoit to your attention by which biter attacks effectively can be rendered useless. have a look at this setup i created with the map editor:

https://s12.postimg.org/g63v26ed9/biter ... xploit.png

as you can easily imagine, a biter, attacking from the right side, can never reach the wall. i have tested it. it works. it can be seen in use frequently on multiplayer games with enemies on behemoth level.

some solutions against this exploit i could think of, are to introduce new properties to the biter. like being able to jump or not being affected by belts. but i dont like them very much. pathfinding a way around belts can also be exploited to lure the enemy in a maze of turrets. so the only remaining thing i found for now is to make the biters attack belts their pathfinding makes them run onto.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Rseding91 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:33 am

Impatient wrote:especially i like the enemy expansion difficulty settings. because to me the enemy is always underpowered - with enough turrets the base is never at risk.

questions:
- does the enemy evolution end with with behemoth biters and spitters? i mean, there are no more bigger sprites, but do they still get stronger?

suggestions:
- make enemies gain strength after behemoth level
- also make the range of spitters and spitter worms increase together with strength
- if the feedback on those suggestions is mixed make it optional

and lastly i want to bring some sort of exlpoit to your attention by which biter attacks effectively can be rendered useless. have a look at this setup i created with the map editor:

https://s12.postimg.org/g63v26ed9/biter ... xploit.png

as you can easily imagine, a biter, attacking from the right side, can never reach the wall. i have tested it. it works. it can be seen in use frequently on multiplayer games with enemies on behemoth level.

some solutions against this exploit i could think of, are to introduce new properties to the biter. like being able to jump or not being affected by belts. but i dont like them very much. pathfinding a way around belts can also be exploited to lure the enemy in a maze of turrets. so the only remaining thing i found for now is to make the biters attack belts their pathfinding makes them run onto.
None of this is anything we care about trying to prevent. Biters aren't meant to be some incredible difficult force to be reckoned with. They simply exist as a thing that goes along with the main part of the game: factory design and automation. They're even less important in 0.15 with alien artifacts being removed.
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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Tricorius » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:11 am

Avezo wrote: All you said is true and right. Through mods. Not through BASELINE game. When they start fragmenting baseline game, shitstorm is about to happen, and they know it very well as they refused to implement quite some mods into vanilla.
I disagree. There is a large player base that prefers to play without mods (or won't even know they are an option). There are also downsides to playing with mods. Obviously, not everything can be rolled into the base game (nor should it be), but I think many things should.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by RoddyVR » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:34 am

The options include: simple, normal, and complex. At the moment the base game only has definitions for 'normal' but we may expand it.
To everyone who's complaining about dificulty settings messing with competitiveness, read that line again.
As fat as i understand, all they're adding right now is the ability for mods to use those 3 levels of dificulty to have up to 3 sets of recepies for each of their items. The base game at this point isnt touched at all. And MAY remain that way.

Having said that, i fully agree with the need for a "custom" dificulty that turns on the sliders, and preset levels of slieders for all other dificulties. Because otherwise any comparison between player games is impossible (speed runs, rockets per minute and so on)/ Even now, ore patch frequency and richness sometimes causes confusion between players on these forums (see players who dont understand why others "need" trains)

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by CrushedIce » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:41 am

Well, in my oppinion the game is not about comparison. If you really want to "cheat" in such a challenge you always can. There is no need for mods or other difficulties, you can just edit the base game configs.

Nevertheless i agree that presets for the difficulty options are needed, because they could be quite overwhelming for new players.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Impatient » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:00 pm

Rseding91 wrote:
Impatient wrote:especially i like the enemy expansion difficulty settings. because to me the enemy is always underpowered - with enough turrets the base is never at risk.

questions:
- does the enemy evolution end with with behemoth biters and spitters? i mean, there are no more bigger sprites, but do they still get stronger?

suggestions:
- make enemies gain strength after behemoth level
- also make the range of spitters and spitter worms increase together with strength
- if the feedback on those suggestions is mixed make it optional

and lastly i want to bring some sort of exlpoit to your attention by which biter attacks effectively can be rendered useless. have a look at this setup i created with the map editor:

https://s12.postimg.org/g63v26ed9/biter ... xploit.png

as you can easily imagine, a biter, attacking from the right side, can never reach the wall. i have tested it. it works. it can be seen in use frequently on multiplayer games with enemies on behemoth level.

some solutions against this exploit i could think of, are to introduce new properties to the biter. like being able to jump or not being affected by belts. but i dont like them very much. pathfinding a way around belts can also be exploited to lure the enemy in a maze of turrets. so the only remaining thing i found for now is to make the biters attack belts their pathfinding makes them run onto.
None of this is anything we care about trying to prevent. Biters aren't meant to be some incredible difficult force to be reckoned with. They simply exist as a thing that goes along with the main part of the game: factory design and automation. They're even less important in 0.15 with alien artifacts being removed.
i feel a little bit turned down now. what am i building the factory with all its micromanagement and clever solutions even for? it is not that rocket. that's for sure. i would like to do it to win a challenging struggle with a threat, i am not sure i can win against. ... oh well, maybe versus multiplayer will fix me. but something, some challenge, is missing for single player and coop-multiplayer. mark my words. after the nth-game i have seen all those clever designs or found them myself to build the factory in no time. with blueprints going to be shareable from game to game, it will be even easier.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Impatient » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:04 pm

Cabanur wrote:
Xterminator wrote:Also agree it would be super cool if you could set the spawner killing Evo factor to negative if you want, so you could have a scenario were destroying them would lower evolution a bit. :D

This adds the interesting idea of being able to hunt biters to their extintion. I feel like it would convey a message related to the rest of the game. But the same objective could be achieved the other way around: having more than x polution in an area would make it impossible for biters to breathe, so them and their spawners would die.

i very much like this idea. this would enable the scenario, where the enemy is very strong and threatening in the beginning and can be fought down with considerable effort.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by grimdanfango » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:04 pm

The difficulty UI is a good idea - mainly to move those settings out of the realm of .ini tweaking.

What would be great is if as part of this, you could work in some sort of officially supported and balanced version of the "Marathon" mod, as a custom "game length" option, that multiplied up the volumes of required resources for recipes, and maybe had presets to auto-balance those increase (/decreased) game lengths against evolution settings, etc...

Either that, or I'll just wait for the Marathon mod to be updated for 0.15 :-P

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by BryanSw » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:14 am

Impatient wrote:what am i building the factory with all its micromanagement and clever solutions even for? it is not that rocket. that's for sure. i would like to do it to win a challenging struggle with a threat, i am not sure i can win against. ... oh well, maybe versus multiplayer will fix me. but something, some challenge, is missing for single player and coop-multiplayer. mark my words. after the nth-game i have seen all those clever designs or found them myself to build the factory in no time. with blueprints going to be shareable from game to game, it will be even easier.
I'm curious on what your ideas are here for improving this. Let's say for the sake of argument there was evolution beyond the behemoth level. If you had biters twice as strong as them, or five times, or whatever ... wouldn't you still be able to beat them with similar exploits or with a sufficiently increased amount of turrets? It seems to me that either you use settings(resource/enemy base sizes) that are sufficient to allow them to overwhelm you before you have a chance to be prepared to handle them, or else there inevitably comes a point where it's just a question of how much you have to invest into combat to fend them off.

I think the rocket definitely should be the goal. There are certainly ways in which getting it done can be made more challenging, but it's always going to be the case that once you figure it out or achieve it, then what do you do next .... I think that's an inevitable fact of life in this kind of game. Various mods make it more complex or difficult, but that can never extend the challenge indefinitely.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by vanatteveldt » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:50 am

Klonan wrote: I mean, we had 21 bugfix releases in 75 days for 0.14, and we could keep going indefinitely bugfixing, for increasingly smaller and rarer bugs. At a certain point we have to shift focus from what we consider a stable version, and more to developing f a eatures for the next version.

This has always been the factorio development cycle, and if there were any major game breaking or large scale bugs still in 0.14, we would release a bug fix, which we recently did with 0.14.22.
As a fellow software developer I really want to back the devs here. As they continue developing .15 the codebases diverge more and more, especially also if performance optimizations require changing how information is stored and processed (e.g. the belt updates). This means that backporting minor fixes takes more and more time, for decreasing rewards as fixes become smaller.

Of course, they could release more major versions, but the overhead (especially in terms of QA and making sure all parts come together, i.e. core code, graphics, lus etc) is quite a lot, so that also takes a lot of dev time.

In the end, it's a balancing act, and I think their dedication to continuous releases and the amazing stability of their 'experimental' releases is absolutely fantastic.

A lot of AAA studios release a game that's not even half as stable and balanced as an 0.X.0 version of factorio, and then take their sweet time writing a patch without communicating a thing. And if they create more content features, you can be sure it will be a (paid-for) DLC rather than a free update.

tl;dr: Thank you devs, you guys are great!

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by henke37 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:59 am

Alien artifacts being removed? Yet they just got a new icon! I think that there might've been a communication error there.

As for tech difficulties, lets talk tweaks.
  • The labs have a lot of ingredients. Maybe drop one or two for easy tech.
  • The assemblers require research. Give the entry level ones for free on easy tech.
  • Rockets already require a lot of parts. I think they are balanced. But the satellite? Maybe a little too many ingredients on normal. Punt one or two of them to advanced tech.
  • All the constant use for iron sticks, iron gears, wood and copper wire are annoying. Remove those on easy tech.
  • Steam engines don't use any copper. Maybe add in some copper wire/electric circuits on hard tech?
  • None of the handguns use plastic. Maybe add in some plastic in those recipes on hard tech? You know what, we do need laser handguns. They can eat batteries or something as ammo.
  • Chain rail signals have the same recipe as normal rail signals. Lets add in advanced circuit boards on hard difficulty!
  • Blue assemblers are rather simple to make once you have gray assemblers made. Hard tech needs to add something more.
  • Steel can be researched using only red sciencepacks. Add in some green ones for difficulties above easy.
  • Filter inserters are a trivial upgrade of fast inserters. Add in another ingredient on hard tech.
  • The game doesn't do too much with oil. Add in rubber. It could be useful for cars, level three assemblers, rockets and all sorts of things with moving parts. Especially pumps.
  • On the topic of pumps, they require electric engines which is a high end item. Simplify or remove that dependency. Only hard tech needs to delay pumps until after oil production has begun.
  • Splitters are a straightforward upgrade chain. Add in some more ingredients on hard tech.
  • It has always bugged me that the lamps and lasers don't require glass. Add that as an intermediary item on hard tech. Add sand as a raw resource to mine for that. With a tech to grind stone into sand.
  • Processing units are a straight upgrade from advanced circuits. Add in some chip production on hard tech instead of the acid.
  • Entry level items such as burner inserters have very low requirements. Add in wooden circuit boards on hard tech.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Artman40 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:31 pm

If there's a difficulty setting for tech then I think you should also include harder difficulties with more complex tech trees.

Anyway, I think the main problem and cause of delays is usually classic mistake for developers: trying to take out a bite that's too big and in the end, it will still be released in multiple parts and full of bugs. Maybe you should scale down the scope of how much you change per version and then say "Ok. That's enough. I'll do next things in next update".

Think how fast you managed to get the early updates out and why you managed to do that.

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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Ranakastrasz » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:42 pm

Need text boxes for some of those values. Precision sliders for large numbers isn't feasible, even with arrow keys
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Re: Friday Facts #177 - Difficulty settings

Post by Xeanoa » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:55 pm

henke37 wrote:Alien artifacts being removed? Yet they just got a new icon! I think that there might've been a communication error there.
I think they got their new icon BECAUSE they're being removed. Otherwise the icon would have been wasted entirely. Looks more like scales than artifacts, though.

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