There are not enough options vs bases early game

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Noobc0re
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There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by Noobc0re » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:19 pm

Currently, by far the best strategy to eliminate enemy bases is to turret creep. Problem is, that it seems to the only viable way to of eliminating bases until tanks, basically. Which is far too long.

Devs have made it pretty clear that they don't like the turret creep, and are working against it.

But there needs to be a way to eliminate bases pre-tanks.

Small bases you can take down with a car or shotguns. But as soon as they have some worms or a bit of size, you're straight fucked. ...unless you use turrets.

Or am I missing something?

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by CDarklock » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:34 pm

Noobc0re wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:19 pm
Currently, by far the best strategy to eliminate enemy bases is to turret creep. Problem is, that it seems to the only viable way to of eliminating bases until tanks, basically. Which is far too long.
I see your point, but I also think it's meaningful to have the biter bases as an effectively intractable problem in the early game - so you have to work around them, until you get to a point where you can effectively remove them.

Personally, I find grenades effective, although worms can be a little touch-and-go. But that's mostly just me being bad at this.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:11 pm

Well, shotgun quickly gets too weak against nests, (and makes you an in-acid-sitting duck)
machine gun is viable longer, but is wasteful.
viewtopic.php?p=404389#p404389

Gun turret creep is certainly much easier at the beginning of red science.

But once you get them, Heavy Armor + Grenades (+shotgun/machine gun) work very well too !

Then you have options I haven't even tried in 0.17 yet, like Car, Train, Flamethrower, Landmines, Modular Armor with bots and Shields, Rockets, Combat robots Mk1(hopefully viable now!), Poison/Slowdown Capsules, Combat shotgun - all available before Tank ! (Yeah, *just* before it for the 2/3 last ones.)

So I doubt that gun/laser turret creep is "the only viable way to of eliminating bases until tanks" !

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by Ranakastrasz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:17 pm

I can't really disagree entirely.

Early on, Shotgun used to be great, but it kinda fell behind. Red bullet work pretty well, and the shotgun is kinda pointless now.
Grenades are horrifically effective, even if only for keeping biters off of you.

Later, I find rockets pretty effective. Flamethrower is still kinda OP.


But, as always, turret creep is king, and until practical alternatives exist, turret creep will continue.
Past that, turret creep is one of two automated options, with artillery being the other one.
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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlakeMW » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:34 pm

In 0.17 performing "stutter-step" or rapid zig-zag is obscenely effective at making all the worms completely miss.... if you have the micro skills for it. Heavy Armor makes you nearly immune to small biters and dropping a grenade every now and then eliminates the herd. So you can run into the base with Heavy Armor and Grenades and SMG down everything while faking out the worms.

Before grenades you can drop a couple of turrets to keep biters off your back then run up and do the stutter-step dance while gunning down the worms and spawners.

Carrying stacks of fish and keeping them on the hotbar always helps, snarfing fish is a strategy I call "fish-tanking".

In the early-mid game the car is very effective in open areas, just weave while circling nests to make all the spits go astray while machine gunning everything. Becomes easier with slowdown capsules. Requires tight car micro: if you run into a rock you have to quickly back up.

Slight later in the early-mid game a Flamethrower and Modular Armor + 2x Energy Shield (with batteries and PSPs) is pretty effective, you'll have to zig-zag a bit to keep the worm spits from melting you but the regen from energy shields is very respectable and flamethrower is very effective at burning down nests if you scatter fire patches around liberally (always scatter, never hose). The flamethrower has the advantage of making all the biters go away so again if you can stutter-step to keep the worms missing you can take on even huge nests in the early big biter era, with just modular armor and flamethrower. It's pretty OP actually.

Basically if you don't mind being a glass cannon who stays alive by micro skills, there are now several options for taking down even large nests in the early game.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:57 pm

Technically, this is still turret creep, but a bit more involved :
Image
(And is even earlier than modular armor.)

Medium worms have (slightly) longer range than flame turrets, but are pretty feasible if you keep repairing it - also in 0.17 acid splashes will destroy pipes, but then a full turret takes 40 seconds to empty...

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:00 pm

BlakeMW wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:34 pm
In 0.17 performing "stutter-step" or rapid zig-zag is obscenely effective at making all the worms completely miss.... if you have the micro skills for it.
[...]
Basically if you don't mind being a glass cannon who stays alive by micro skills, there are now several options for taking down even large nests in the early game.
I've tried doing that, but you quickly end up with the floor covered with acid... and you have to step in just one puddle, or get hit by just one worm/spitter for the situation to start to degrade exponentially...

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlakeMW » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:19 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:00 pm
I've tried doing that, but you quickly end up with the floor covered with acid... and you have to step in just one puddle, or get hit by just one worm/spitter for the situation to start to degrade exponentially...
You need to both make rapid direction changes, and maintain a situational awareness of where the acid patches are. Once you step in an acid patch immediately stop shooting and step out of it, you don't want both movement debuffs to be stacking because you WILL die, but with only one movement debuff you should be able to walk out, it also helps to bash A/D or W/S with extra rapidity to send future worm shots far away. Do not under any circumstances try this with the shotgun, it's complete garbage and it causes a much larger and longer lasting movement speed debuff than other weapons making it far harder to step out of acid patches. The best weapon for small / quick to fade movement penalty is Flamethrower followed by SMG, this is because the weapon applies a movement speed debuff until it has finished reloading, for the shotgun that is 1s (!!!!!!!!!!) for the SMG it is 1/15th of a second, and for the Flamethrower 1/20th of a second. Eventually with shooting speed upgrades the SMG actually becomes a more agile weapon than the Flamethrower, but for both weapons you regain full speed nearly instantly upon ceasing shooting so far as human perception goes. Thrown weapons like grenades and capsules cause no movement speed debuff making them also good for assisting escape.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by bobucles » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:28 pm

It'd be nice to have level 1 combat drones accessible a bit sooner. Right now they take flying frames, which is a huge chunk of green tech all the way into oil. If they took engines+solid fuel then players could have a reliable support unit around early automobiles.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by Koub » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:38 am

Noobc0re wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:19 pm
Currently, by far the best strategy to eliminate enemy bases is to turret creep.
Is turret creep still effective against big and behemoth worms ? I thought at least behemoth worms had more range than turrets, but I might be mistaken.
[Edit] https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... ets_worms/
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlakeMW » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:04 am

Koub wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:38 am
Noobc0re wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:19 pm
Currently, by far the best strategy to eliminate enemy bases is to turret creep.
Is turret creep still effective against big and behemoth worms ? I thought at least behemoth worms had more range than turrets, but I might be mistaken.
[Edit] https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... ets_worms/
The thing is in the context of Behemoths the worms don't even get a chance to finish their demented giraffe screech before they've been erased from existence by the tidal wave of laser turrets being slammed down by upwards of a hundred construction bots.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:08 am

Well, "early game" pretty much excludes Behemoth worms...

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:16 am

bobucles wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:28 pm
It'd be nice to have level 1 combat drones accessible a bit sooner. Right now they take flying frames, which is a huge chunk of green tech all the way into oil. If they took engines+solid fuel then players could have a reliable support unit around early automobiles.
Huh, in 0.16 they took 2 green circuits instead of a flying frame. Which seemed more appropriate for a very basic robot firing basic ammo slower than a pistol (though the damage does stack up with multiple robots so 2 green circuits might have been too cheap...).
IIRC some mod (Bob's? AAI Industry?) changed them to require flying frames already...

(They were still gated behind a TON of red+green+mil tech, including the one for robot frames...)

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by SyncViews » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:47 pm

Koub wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:38 am
Noobc0re wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:19 pm
Currently, by far the best strategy to eliminate enemy bases is to turret creep.
Is turret creep still effective against big and behemoth worms ? I thought at least behemoth worms had more range than turrets, but I might be mistaken.
[Edit] https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... ets_worms/
Nothing really has been done to change turret creep. Gun turrets need a few upgrades to deal with the flat-physical resistance (10 physical on big and behemoth but zero percentile, so once past that 10 damage they start shredding worms), lasers work even with zero upgrades. Reason to upgrade is to deal with the biter counter-attack when you poke the nest, and to just clear it faster.

Range hardly matters. Turrets are incredibly cheap so what is a few losses if the worms can shoot back?

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by bobucles » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:13 pm

Nothing really has been done to change turret creep.
That's not entirely true. Biter spit leaves an acid spot on the ground which hurts anything that doesn't move. Turrets don't move so they will take a lot of extra damage that a player can normally avoid.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by SyncViews » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:37 pm

They are expendable though, its easy to build a stack of 50, 100's even. As long as they get some shots off before dying, turret creep works, if I loose twice as many turrets or construction bots, it doesn't really matter.


The only place the acid mattered when I was playing was if there was a big group of behemoth worms, and I wanted to turret creep with a belt and gun turrets, there was a tendency to kill the belt. Adding ammo manually is fine, as is using requester chests.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:18 pm

bobucles wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:13 pm
That's not entirely true. Biter spit leaves an acid spot on the ground which hurts anything that doesn't move. Turrets don't move so they will take a lot of extra damage that a player can normally avoid.
Actually, it looks like buildings in general seem to be immune to acid spots.

(For instance my pipes would keep dying after I fully repaired them.
While they only were damaged when spit hit the turrets nearby and they were splashed.)

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by V453000 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:24 pm

I've done a significant amount of testing and tweaking when making the new worms, and in general I can say at least this:

- Early gun turret creeping does work decently until some point. Once there is a bit too many small or medium worms, it falls apart quite quickly, and you tend to lose a lot of ammunition in dying turrets (depends how much you put in them of course) so it turns out to be quite expensive. Grenades cost a lot of coal but are quite effective as well I find. Using either or both is completely fine as a state of gameplay to me.

- Worms are stronger against buildings mainly because of the long ranges, but also area attacks damaging multiple structures next to each other, and i think they also do more DPS against a target which can't dodge.

- In general the player is trying to solve 2 issues when attacking - dealing with worms, and dealing with biters who retaliate. Turrets are great against biters, but less amazing against worms, and a rocket launcher is great at picking off worms from safe distance.

- In general, small worms are only in a very close proximity to the starting area, Medium worms are the majority of worms that you meet in a shorter game ("just to launch a rocket"), Big worms spawn very far and if you are somewhat modest with your resource spending, you can have any military tech you want to fight them, and Behemoth worms are that thing super far just to be consistent with biters, just a slightly stronger version of Big worm being a problem for the same reasons.

Small worms
- in small numbers easy to kill with a pistol or SMG with yellow bullets
- in bigger numbers die quite quickly to grenades
- gun turret creeping works quite well

Medium worms
- usually in big numbers
- rocket launcher + "some way to deal with attackers" is a general solid strategy - the best part is that there are various options for the support weapon ... flamethrower works great, defensively positioned turrets work great, PLD in power armor works great just as a few examples
- the tank is still really good and there are again various ways to use it - the "just put in piercing rounds with the best upgrade level you can afford and dive straight in anything and it just dies" is not there anymore, but an early/simple method of tossing grenades from a tank works somewhat fine. It's dangerous, but even against huge medium worm bases you can slowly get the job done. A much more efficient approach is to actually get explosive cannon shells. The extra range and damage helps very significantly, and since you don't need to be on foot anymore you can put PLDs in your power armor as much as you can.
- special mention should get combat robots as they work quite well vs. the retaliating biters, and also they move with you unlike turrets. However Defenders fall off as soon as big biters start appearing and Distractors are a bit crazy powerful (especially if you invest into Energy weapons damage) and static. I'd like to do a bunch of balance changes to combat robots overall... Defenders should stay relevant a bit longer, distractors probably should not do as much damage and Destroyers should probably do a bit more.

Big worms and behemoth worms
- very far away
- at this point it's quite easy to have power armor mk2 full of PLDs/exoskeletons/shields, which makes quite short work of big biters and worms
- if you want, it's definitely possible to get artillery and make any other offensive tactics irrelevant
- it's possible to use some heavily upgraded rocket launcher, cluster grenades or other things so it's not "artillery or nothing", but I find it quite hard to justify. Nukes also work of course, but I find artillery quite a bit better as you don't even need to travel there anymore.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by bobucles » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:43 pm

Defenders should stay relevant a bit longer, distractors probably should not do as much damage and Destroyers should probably do a bit more.
Defenders can last longer by giving them earlier. Green is early, but flying frames is very late green tier. So by the time they're on the field the player can probably burn the blue science to get the next bot tier (and skip follower count at the same time). Try making their recipe as easy as possible and see what players can do with the 5-10 limit they normally have.

It was always kind of weird that distractors didn't consume bot cap. Their main power comes from players throwing them around in huge numbers, not necessarily because the bots themselves are super powerful. Let them consume cap, just make sure there's a good follower count to keep that tier viable.

Destroyers are fantastic but there may be problems with how spitter AoE damage works. A swarm of destroyers can hurt badly if they clump up and get whacked all at once. I don't think they need to be stronger per se, but they take a lot of resources and time to craft. I mean they cost 1.9k iron/cu and 12k crafting time a piece! Even the atomic bomb costs 3k iron/cu and 15k crafting time. Tone down their cost to make them more accessible. Once players can afford to field them then their full power will get to shine.

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Re: There are not enough options vs bases early game

Post by V453000 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:33 am

I understand defenders are later now because they actually need the flying robot frames, but in 0.16 they required flight technology, which is really weird.

The design idea behind them was that you can secure oil patches with them which obviously doesn't work anymore, but I don't think it worked significantly well beforehand either.

I could see converting defenders into a land-based combat robots without any need for flying, OR an earlier version of flying construction robots, but neither of those things are too likely to happen as we have a ton of other things to do.

Will think about it.

Anyway, why I replied here in the first place:
Turret creeping is functional, but in most stages of the game there are more convenient and possibly more effective ways of doing it, and in the end it comes to personal preference.

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