Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Karamel
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:12 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Karamel »

If you had to pick one entity that represents the game to you the most, which one would it be?
Transport belt. It's a very visual automaton (you can see stuff moving), obviously meant to connect other machines together (thus implying the player isn't supposed to keep supplying and loading machines by hand like they do early on), and it stays relevant to the very end so every Factorio screenshot is almost guaranteed to have belts going all over the place. It also has very strong cultural association with industry and mass production as opposed to handcrafting. Finally, it has a simple design which just plain works as a symbol or icon.

User avatar
Dev-iL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Dev-iL »

The context of new players + backed up oil is a perfect opportunity to mention my suggestion regarding "safe mining", where mining is restricted to nondestructive actions (in terms if items / fluids / fuel disappearing into the void), unless a modifier key is used (or it is enabled in the game settings like "Always force-mine"). This would surely make the game more predictable for new players.

On a different topic, am I the only one COMPLETELY MINDBLOWN by the fact Factorio is being used for educational purposes?? TBH, that's pretty much the reason why I translated the game into Hebrew, in the hope that one day, some kid who would otherwise not be able to play it, could enjoy it and perhaps benefit from learning about algorithms, logistics and engineering.
Could we please get some more information about the context of this? What is the age group of the students? What is the declared goal of this exercise? How long do people get to play? What are their comments? Are they playing in English or using some localization (I would guess Portuguese from your nickname)? In case of the latter, would you comment on the quality of the translation? Is this a conspiracy to get kids hooked on Cracktorio and increase game revenues (in other words, what happens when students want to keep playing outside the classrom - is this encouraged? Is it ethical?)? So many questions....!
Leading Hebrew translator of Factorio.

welens
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by welens »

Also I find military tech much more earlier tech than blue. Please change their position. Gray must be third one while blue must be fourth.
And also I find strange purple tech loss of third component. Let add something there to equilibrium. Like chemical plant or pump.

Aardwolf
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Aardwolf »

For me the most core item of factorio is the transport belt:

After a full day of playing factorio, what I see projected on my retina when I close my eyes is items moving on transport belts. That defines factorio :)
Last edited by Aardwolf on Sat May 05, 2018 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anarcobra
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:45 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by anarcobra »

If not too time intensive I would suggest to give players with names you deem offensive 1 more chance (and maybe an email) to change it after the week deadline.
There is an (admittedly tiny) chance that the name is only accidentally offensive, or they simply don't read FFF.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1657
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by bobucles »

Also I find military tech much more earlier tech than blue.
Military tech doesn't add much complexity over green science. Turrets take iron and copper, red ammo takes steel and grenades take coal. Coal is the very first resource you automate(for energy). Iron and copper are necessary to automate for green so you don't need to learn new things, just make more. Military science is a very simple matter of tying together production chains that the player is almost entirely familiar with, and adds one new core ingredient of automating steel. That places military science at a very short complexity level above green science, even if the individual potions are far more expensive.

Red circuits require building oil. Oil requires a tiny amount of brick and automated pipes are a MAJOR help. Oil spots are few and far between so you typically need vehicles(with engines) and upgraded weapons to clear out some wilderness to find a patch. You probably need military science to get enough upgrades to feel confident in the wilderness and you probably need walls+turrets to defend that oil patch. Getting your first drop of useful petrol means learning a new resource harvesting chain. Build pumpjack => refinery => oil sorting => chem plant => plastic => red circuit. It's not too bad once you learn it, but the prerequisite steps to reach that point are a level beyond anything the player has done before. Blue science is very easily a league above military science.

Production science requires automating stone as your new core resource and building a little bit more of everything. Stone automation is a very simple step but the science tiers demand stone automation far too late in the game. The biggest need to first cook brick happens at blue tier, not purple. IMO blue science should be the starting step that ties stone production into your science chain (steel furnaces being a good ingredient).

The tech tree does a fairly decent job of guiding the player's overall game objectives and learning experience. If I were to make a revised tech tier system then it might look something like this:

Code: Select all

Tier 0: Coal and energy.
Red: Begin automating iron and copper. Learn assemblers, belts and inserters.
Green: Automate core base building ingredients. Learn production chains.
Military: Master steel production and build the same iron/copper chains, but more.
Blue: Master stone production.
Purple: Master oil production.
Gold: Master the highest tier products. (maybe uranium?)
Space: MOAR because MOAR.
I've made a chart that is my personal opinion of the game's learning scale. Note that there is a very real learning scale before you ever produce your first red potion. Veterans may forget that stage but that's when you learn how to automate mining and power production. Those steps are a major enough stepping stone IMO that the first first automation and military 1 research "rewards" should only require energy input. Your results may vary.
factorio learning scale.jpg
factorio learning scale.jpg (30.59 KiB) Viewed 2811 times
I can't think of any real way to dampen oil's initial learning curve. Maybe if there were pure petroleum harvest spots? In IRL:
LPG is derived from natural gas, though it is also produced as a by-product of the crude oil refining process.

This would vastly simplify the first production of plastic and make red circuits a far easier ingredient to automate. Crude oil would then primarily be used to unlock heavy and light oil to get flamethrowers/lube/solid fuel.

User avatar
Shenpen
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Shenpen »

Only midly offensive....
mildly offensive.png
mildly offensive.png (516.84 KiB) Viewed 2803 times

Jap2.0
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2333
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:02 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Jap2.0 »

Dev-iL wrote:On a different topic, am I the only one COMPLETELY MINDBLOWN by the fact Factorio is being used for educational purposes?? TBH, that's pretty much the reason why I translated the game into Hebrew, in the hope that one day, some kid who would otherwise not be able to play it, could enjoy it and perhaps benefit from learning about algorithms, logistics and engineering.
Could we please get some more information about the context of this? What is the age group of the students? What is the declared goal of this exercise? How long do people get to play? What are their comments? Are they playing in English or using some localization (I would guess Portuguese from your nickname)? In case of the latter, would you comment on the quality of the translation? Is this a conspiracy to get kids hooked on Cracktorio and increase game revenues (in other words, what happens when students want to keep playing outside the classrom - is this encouraged? Is it ethical?)? So many questions....!
I mean, I'm a student and I play it for fun...
I'd get nothing done in school :P
There are 10 types of people: those who get this joke and those who don't.

Sander_Bouwhuis
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

hi_impact wrote:A big problem is with Basic Oil Refining. People can follow the Petroleum path to Plastic easily. It's fun and engaging. But then their refineries stop working because Heavy and Light are backed up and the game really has nothing for them to do with it, except Solid Fuel, which does not appear useful at all when trying to set up science. The concept of buffering byproducts is foreign until now and it caused almost every player to step away from the game.

Also, every blueprint uses Advanced Oil Refining. New players who get frustrated and/or spoil Oil builds then question why they cannot crack Light & Heavy. I've seen new players stuck at backed up Heavy Light for so long, every time. Honestly, I wish Basic Oil Refining was removed. You throw it away after 75 blue science packs. It would make teaching Oil easier too. Every time I teach Oil to new players, I tell them to arbitrarily store all of their Heavy + Light for no good reason because they do not have the ability to crack. Then, I have to tell them that their build is useless because it doesn't match up with Adv. Oil Processing ratios. They have to tear down their hard work to make a new Adv. Oil build and also learn that when you pick up a storage tank, you lose all of your stored liquids. Lots of negative experiences in one session of the game.
I absolutely agree.

The 3 most un-fun things in Factorio:
1. Doing science is NOT fun. Doing science so you can do more science is really boring. I would REALLY like a better motivation for building stuff.
2. The electric furnace comes too late, and doesn't fit over stone furnaces. This makes everything you build at the start of the game useless because you have to break everything down again.
3. You are uselessly stuck with heavy and light oil when you start with oil.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1657
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by bobucles »

To avoid the need for moderation, we plan to disallow any further changes to your backer name in a week. So this is your final chance to get your final name in game. Keep in mind that at the end, we will go through the list and delete anything obscene or offensive, plus anything we find inappropriate, at our own discretion.
I don't like this option at all. Even if you reserve the right to remove naughty names, it's still an annoying legal bomb that quite frankly doesn't have to be opened at all. Behold:
factorio backer names.jpg
factorio backer names.jpg (105.95 KiB) Viewed 2785 times
This solution fixes all angles. You have 3 major tiers of name lists:
- G rated family friendly
- PG13+ teen or above
- R You know those names are trolls or blatantly offensive and snowflakes might get burned

Stepping down is easy, just disable the icon. In order to re enable these options you have to re confirm your credentials. That means if you're playing your dad's account or a library factorio account you can't just turn these options on. If you don't want them, don't have them.

It's a pretty simple system that allows parental control and keeps the troll backers happy.

User avatar
Deadlock989
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2384
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 »

**** the troll backers. They can learn some respect or go fish.
"If Stalin had a good writeup on programming, would linking that be dangerous?"

User avatar
Deadlock989
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2384
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 »

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:The 3 most un-fun things in Factorio:
1. Doing science is NOT fun. Doing science so you can do more science is really boring. I would REALLY like a better motivation for building stuff.
Like what? Nectar points?
2. The electric furnace comes too late, and doesn't fit over stone furnaces. This makes everything you build at the start of the game useless because you have to break everything down again.
No, you don't have to literally "break everything down". Plan your base better. And it wasn't "useless" if it pushed you into a new phase of the game, was it?
3. You are uselessly stuck with heavy and light oil when you start with oil.
No, you're not, and it's not useless.

Jeez.
"If Stalin had a good writeup on programming, would linking that be dangerous?"

Jigsawn
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Jigsawn »

I'm a fairly new player and went through all the campaigns/tutorials first. To be honest I thought they were good at teaching the basics although I agree with the sentiments in the Friday Facts.

One thing I found very useful which I think you should keep in the campaign is the ruined bases you begin near. Seeing how they are laid out is very helpful for a new player in order to give them an idea of efficient layouts. In particular the premade train stations helped a lot as did the mining/smelting setups. I used that knowledge later in free play.

I really liked the balance of difficulty especially in the last campaign level where bitters get stronger and stronger as you desperately try to build a plane. My only complaint is that there were no more levels after where you learn how to do more advanced tech. I was honestly disappointed when the campaign was over!

Jigsawn
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Jigsawn »

Also I echo the previous points about oil refining getting backed up is something that should be covered in the campaign or tutorials. It's never made clear enough that the reason things stop working is because the excess refinery products need somewhere to go.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1657
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by bobucles »

**** the troll backers. They can learn some respect or go fish.
But why? They wanted a thing and paid for it. Why should the devs not deliver?

I want these names, I think a lot of them are funny. You don't. This will always be a hotly debated topic because it's mostly a matter of opinions.

If a name is really bad, just hide it behind an option that players have to go out of their way to enable. If they want to subject their eyes to nasty combinations of letters then they already have full account access and have been warned. It's basically consent at that point and not a big deal.

User avatar
Deadlock989
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2384
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 »

bobucles wrote: I want these names, I think a lot of them are funny. You don't. This will always be a hotly debated topic because it's mostly a matter of opinions.
And the game company's opinion wins. I and many others don't want borderline or overt homophobic taunting etc. in my game, the devs listened to that opinion and have decided to weed it out, nothing else to say on the matter. I'm not sure why people treat everything in the weekly blog as something that's still up for debate. You're being informed of a decision taken. It's usually pretty clear when it's a topic they're less decided about and want feedback on.
Last edited by Deadlock989 on Sat May 05, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If Stalin had a good writeup on programming, would linking that be dangerous?"

Sander_Bouwhuis
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:The 3 most un-fun things in Factorio:
1. Doing science is NOT fun. Doing science so you can do more science is really boring. I would REALLY like a better motivation for building stuff.
Like what? Nectar points?
No, it could be anything. Most games have story driven reasons to progress. Currently, only the rocket is being build for somewhat of a purpose (to escape the planet).
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:2. The electric furnace comes too late, and doesn't fit over stone furnaces. This makes everything you build at the start of the game useless because you have to break everything down again.
No, you don't have to literally "break everything down". Plan your base better. And it wasn't "useless" if it pushed you into a new phase of the game, was it?
Really? So you wouldn't mind if red belts wouldn't fit over yellow belts and blue belts wouldn't fit over red belts? And filter inserters were different size so that they wouldn't fit over fast inserters, and the same for assembling machines and such?
Needless busy work is NOT FUN. You know, the purpose of playing games.
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
3. You are uselessly stuck with heavy and light oil when you start with oil.
No, you're not, and it's not useless.
No you are not? So you can magically build oil without getting rid of heavy and light oil? You must be playing a different game from mine then.
Generally I just plunk down a bunch of storage tanks and when everything stops because the storage tanks are full I pick them up and put them down again so that I got rid of the heavy and light oil. Only after being able to actually use the heavy and light oil you're stuck with it.

Sander_Bouwhuis
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

Deadlock989 wrote:
bobucles wrote: I want these names, I think a lot of them are funny. You don't. This will always be a hotly debated topic because it's mostly a matter of opinions.
And the game company's opinion wins. I and many others don't want borderline or overt homophobic taunting etc. in my game, the devs listened to that opinion and have decided to weed it out, nothing else to say on the matter. I'm not sure why people treat everything in the weekly blog as something that's still up for debate.
I agree that I too don't want to see racist / homophobic / swear words. It's one of the reasons I don't play multiplayer games. All the 12 year olds misbehaving is not what I want.

A tip for people that don't want this non-sense:
Go to ...\Factorio\data\core\backers.json and simply replace the contents with this:

Code: Select all

{
  "backers": [
  "0"
 ]
}
Now you will have proper names like 'station 1' 'station 2' and such.
You do need the "0", else Factorio crashes.

User avatar
Deadlock989
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2384
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 »

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:Really? So you wouldn't mind if red belts wouldn't fit over yellow belts and blue belts wouldn't fit over red belts? And filter inserters were different size so that they wouldn't fit over fast inserters, and the same for assembling machines and such?
Chalk and cheese. And actually, I might not mind, it would depend. If you want easy-peasy 2x2 electric furnaces, there are mods that provide them, knock yourself out. I'm even in the middle of creating an overhaul mod that adds some 2x2 electric smelting options, but not because I thought 3x3 furnaces were a problem.

Generally, let's not have everything made as simple as possible, eh.

What on earth would a 2x2 belt even look like? Bonkers.
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:No you are not? So you can magically build oil without getting rid of heavy and light oil? You must be playing a different game from mine then.
Generally I just plunk down a bunch of storage tanks and when everything stops because the storage tanks are full I pick them up and put them down again so that I got rid of the heavy and light oil. Only after being able to actually use the heavy and light oil you're stuck with it.
Objectively and completely wrong. You can immediately and easily turn it into fuel, superior fuel to what you've had until then, at that. Fuel is used to burn things, essential things. These are literal gameplay basics. If you've not understood that then the tutorials could use polish, which is precisely the work-in-progress that has been set out in the blog post.

What's more of an issue - but still not a game-breaking one, that has already been pointed out in the last 20 posts more than once - is the very short progression between basic oil refining and advanced. Some have suggested that basic refining should be removed and you only use advanced, another change would be to push advanced further down the tree. They're options, I could live with either or neither.
"If Stalin had a good writeup on programming, would linking that be dangerous?"

Sander_Bouwhuis
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis »

Deadlock989 wrote:Generally, let's not have everything made as simple as possible, eh.
It's not about being simple. I play with Bob's mods and Angel's mods, so I really DON'T play simple myself. But, this is about the vanilla game.
Deadlock989 wrote:You can immediately and easily turn it into fuel
Mea culpa, I completely forgot about that. I personally don't use those oil fuels at all. I generally use hydrogen for better fuel.
Deadlock989 wrote:What's more of an issue - but still not a game-breaking one, that has already been pointed out in the last 20 points more than once - is the very short progression between basic oil refining and advanced. Some have suggested that basic refining should be removed and you only use advanced, another change would be to push advanced further down the tree. They're options, I could live with either or neither.
I guess I would prefer being able to immediately use heavy and light oil.

Post Reply

Return to “News”