zOldBulldog wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:48 am
A game that can't stay fun in vanilla without mods... is by definition... Broken. That is almost certainly why most players bail before oil, and only about 10% get to launch the rocket. It is because for those that enjoy factorio for its *design* aspects the things that reduce and eliminate tedium are locked too far behind too much research and a chain of builds. It is no surprise that those mods got invented... People simply got so annoyed that they had to create a fix.
Thank GOD I finally found someone who understands this.
Vanilla should be able to stand on its own for a fun experience... especially since indie games like Factorio are beacons of light in the dark age of video games.
I don't mean to rip on mods. Mod creators are awesome, they enrich the experience for entire communities of players. However, mods should not be the only way people can get replay value out of a game (I'm looking at you, Bethesda).
Furthermore, the more tedious something is, the less fun it is by definition, since "fun" is typically achieved with a state of arousal or flow when faced with a proper challenge. Building a main bus by hand is not fun, nor is placing hundreds of furnaces, or waiting for a ridiculously long manual crafing queue. Yes, automation and bots mitigate this... but at that point, as you say, most people have lost interest.
Oil is probably my favorite part about Factorio (aside from train layouts) because of how fun it is to design. Most people that I've played with hate setting up oil, and it baffles me as to why. It's more puzzling than most of the other activities and provides a challenge, which makes it fun for me.
QoL features are great, but like you mentioned, it's locked behind so much late-game tech that unless you're making mega-factories from blueprints, you can never really fully take advantage of them. Even then, the game has just become much easier and there's no longer fun from challenge.
The key word here is balance
. At some point, we've all felt "Cracktorio" kick in, lost track of time, and neglected personal hygiene because there's always. One. More. Thing. To. Do. Finding out all of the how's, where's, when's, and why's this happens and capitalizing on it could make Factorio even more of a dream.
For me, I know for a fact "Cracktorio" hits in the transition from early- to mid-game, right around the time acquiring blue science becomes a big priority. That's when I get my trains and oil. Most of the early game before that and the late game far afterward just doesn't even come close for me in excitement factor. I believe there's a strong link between the "Cracktorio" feeling of the mid-game, and the proportional apathy I feel towards starting out at square one with nothing but a stone furnace and burner mining drill, or joining a mega-base in a multiplayer game where all the work has already been done.