biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gameplay

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muzzy
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biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gameplay

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:09 am

So, I've learned to watch the pollution. This made everything really boring because now the biters NEVER attack during the entire game.

Steam engines in forests, efficiency modules, accumulators and solar ... completely peaceful game, but it means I just have to alt-tab away for long spans of time while waiting for the research to happen. That's just depressing :(

I don't even make gun turrets anymore because I know I'll be safe forever. I even tried to set maximum settings for enemies and yet the same thing happened, I could build my base and advance to laser turrets without a single biter attack. And I don't think I really need those lasers either, they're there "just in case".

Super boring... and yet there's something so addicting about building the base that I keep doing it again and again, even though there's never much variation... even though it's always the same pointless "wait for research to happen" festival of alt-tabbing after the minimum necessity of factories are up and running.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by Calico » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:21 am

Well, i like it that way. Not saying that everyone has to, ofc. ;)

But instead of alt-tabbing my way through research, i usally have plenty of stuff to do. Making dozens of small adjustments to production, scouting for valuable ressources out in the field or building radar outposts, automating some parts of the base building process, plan ahead what ressources i need next, making sure enough production is available and so on. There is always something todo. And if research takes so long that i get bored...well, then my factory could use a upgrade. More mining, more smelters, more assemblers.... oh and modules, more modules always. :D

Since i started with 0.8.8 a few weeks ago, with each playthrough, i researched more, faster. And build bigger, more effective factorys everytime. Which are more ressource hungry, leading to more aggressive expansion into biter territory. I do agree, the game could use more "end-game" content (besides researching drone numbers above 50)... but it's alpha and lots of stuff is still coming. So long we have to make due with what we have... or go play some of those nice mods. There will be a long thirsty road until multiplayer, without a lot of new features. Still i feel that factory is a very polished alpha, compared to lets say TOWNS. ^^

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by slay_mithos » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:27 am

Well, if you are content with your factories only producing research packs and basic things, then we really don't play the same.

I tend to actively hunt the biters before pollution reaches them, and to expand a lot to be able to make nearly all the items available in quantities.
This usually means that I need a lot more resources and power than my starting area can produce, and I end up using trains, remote bases, and all that.

Of course, this leads to a lot of pollution, so I need to take down even more bitter bases in the process, making it a game with very few down times.


You could also dive into mods to expand your possibilities further.


From what you wrote, you choose to limit your pollution, but it turns your game dull.
Why not change that?

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by jeroon » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:45 am

If you have to wait for research, you don't have enough labs :D

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:46 am

The low pollution strategy is indeed a choice, but a logical one. I could change the strategy, yes, but then I would no longer be playing to win.

Once the basic factories are in place and you only need to wait, the game is over and you've won. There's no need to do anything else anymore, no reason whatsoever. If leaving the computer means you've won the game (assuming you could queue research), what reason is there to play anymore?

The only difference I could make is in the time it takes to complete the game. There's no in-game reason for speeding up the progress, however, and I don't really enjoy the idea of competing against your old record time in a different randomly generated world. I think that would make things even worse - if the game gave me a horrible starting area it would feel a complete waste time to even try.

It's just not right if I need to make my own rules. It's no longer a game of Factorio but something else entirely.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by ccik » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:50 am

If you start your next game, set the ressources to very few and small. It adds a whole new challenge to the game.

I started a new game with these settings, and i needed a new approach for gameplay. No massive factories, everything is slower, but i'm always busy finding new materials, getting to them, killing biters in the way of ressources, managing transportation.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:56 am

ccik wrote:If you start your next game, set the ressources to very few and small. It adds a whole new challenge to the game.

I started a new game with these settings, and i needed a new approach for gameplay. No massive factories, everything is slower, but i'm always busy finding new materials, getting to them, killing biters in the way of ressources, managing transportation.
That's actually a really good idea, will be trying it. I suppose there's way too much resources and way too much trees currently. More enemies didn't make the game harder, but less resources probably will.

EDIT:
Image

HAHAHHAHAHA ... very low / very small / very poor ... this might be a bit more challenging than I thought.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by GROOV3ST3R » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:25 pm

See that's the problem with a factory building game - where do you go next? What's the story line?

Gotta keep in mind that Factorio is in early development stages. More features are sure to come. But as it stands, the storyline takes a backseat in favor of gameplay and new features.

That's assuming that a storyline is what would make the game more interesting. But where could a story go when making a factory?

I guess we have to wait and see :3 I'm curious whether or not we will ever have the option to actually keep playing beyond the initial research and actually make factories to support a growing colony. Sort of like Simcity mixed with Industry Giant.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:09 pm

GROOV3ST3R wrote:See that's the problem with a factory building game - where do you go next? What's the story line?
There's already a storyline or at least a scenario here; surviving on an unknown alien planet. More storyline could help obviously, but ultimately it means nothing unless there are game mechanics to support the story.

The game needs more focus on the game mechanics that support the existing story; fighting for survival and having to explore the unknown territory. That's all, really.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by LoSboccacc » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:58 pm

Even if you get pollution low enough to be attaked, you have to build reasonable defences as the missile defence put biters in aggro mode.


There could be more events triggering aggro mode to keep the game more interesting.

(Activating beacon to trade resources with a mothership of sort, i.e.)

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by GROOV3ST3R » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:29 pm

I am aware that there is a basic story line. My point is that it could be expanded. Maybe in the future we could go beyond simple fighting for survival and actually colonize the planet - after all, that is what the story is preparing us for. Then, our factories would go from being just research vehicles to life support and we could then build and expand a civilization on the planet, whilst struggling with the locals. It would add a whole new mechanic to the game and pretty much make it endless as far as goals are concerned. You wouldn't have to stave off researching rocket defense in order to play longer - you would go past that point and see how far you can get after you complete the 1st stage of the game.

Just my 2 cents. To be honest, anything like this would probably take months and months of hard work and we won't see anything like it until the game is near it's official release. Still, we can have dreams right?

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:58 pm

muzzy wrote:More enemies didn't make the game harder, but less resources probably will.
I have failed. All resources at Very low / Very small / Very poor ... just slows down things, doesn't actually change the nature of the game that much, doesn't actually seem to make the game harder :(

Image

Old habits die hard - again strict pollution control to avoid aggro. Everything's just much much slower now. I don't have a single factory yet, just smelting resources, running between the different places to gather the things they collect and crafting everything in hand ... and one single lab right now, I'm about to research oil processing, maybe get first factories down soon too.

Lack of coal was the biggest hurdle, but I finally found some far in the south. Taking out the alien bases is too much hassle though. I can only have single drill per resource site so stuff is coming in slow, and I'm not going to waste my iron to make ammunition.

Any other ideas? Maybe I should start modding the game instead of playing it...

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:11 pm

I have been informed that "Water: only in starting area" is fantastic for making a brutal no-tree world where pollution cannot be avoided. Gotta try that next time.

I thought the number of trees couldn't be controlled, didn't realize it was tied to water settings now.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by kovarex » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:01 pm

As mentioned trying to finish the game as fast as possible is one of the challenges I enjoy (I have no finished attempt in the 0.9.x version as it was still in the process of rebalancing, but I will do it when it is stable).

Under the pressure of the time, you will never have the feeling you can just wait.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by muzzy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:46 pm

kovarex wrote:Under the pressure of the time, you will never have the feeling you can just wait.
I just can't feel this "pressure of the time" because it doesn't exist inside the game.

Also, if I make such a rule outside of the game, suddenly "restart repeatedly until you get a super good starting area" becomes a winning strategy, among other things that ruin the fun.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by kovarex » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:57 pm

muzzy wrote:
kovarex wrote:Under the pressure of the time, you will never have the feeling you can just wait.
I just can't feel this "pressure of the time" because it doesn't exist inside the game.

Also, if I make such a rule outside of the game, suddenly "restart repeatedly until you get a super good starting area" becomes a winning strategy, among other things that ruin the fun.
That is a good point, for that purpose, we will make some transfarable starting configuration (as copy-pastable string), so we could fight for the best time with the exact same map and settings.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by slay_mithos » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:08 pm

From what I understand, your gameplay choices makes you bored.

You only have 3 viable solutions from there:

1. Keep playing like that, because you obviously like the game, until you are bored enough to get to either of the other solutions.

2. Accept that your own choices got in the way of your fun, and try other ways. It can come from using mods, or even modding the game yourself to force bitter aggression every once in a while. It can also come from setting other goals for yourself, like making a fully automated factory using robots that produce all the common commodities, or going for a play style that focuses on expanding, and having 'regions' that are all connected by trains and all do something specific (an oil region, a mining region, a military outpost, multiple power plants to power all these...)

3. Stop playing Factorio for a while, do/play something else, and come back in 3-6 months, when the game will have updated a bit, and mods have become even more polished and varied.



I can understand that some game feel like they are not what we want from them, but when you are voluntarily limiting yourself, it's hard to then blame the game for not having enough to do.
Don't take it the wrong way, it's totally fine to play by your own rules on a game like this one, we all do it to some extend, it's just that you seem to say 'no' to every possible way to make it more enjoyable for yourself.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by Calico » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:18 am

I'm going "white knight" this one...

Factorio is in a medium alpha stage, with recipes, features and other balance changes pretty much every 2-4 weeks. "Endgame" hasn't been established yet, with freeplay with "hard" options and setting your own goals the only endgame content right now (and i'm very grateful that the Devs put this into the game). And there is still so much more room to grow.

IMHO I don't think that building a "civilization" is the goal of Factorio... it would distract from the scenario we already have. And there are so much possibilities already... building a colony might be something for Factorio 2, simply because of the effort of creating those features needed for something that big.

Lets go back to the scenario we have and the possibilities expanding on that idea. You are, as far as you know, the only surviving member of a scout force sent ahead of the colony fleet to establish a bridgehead for the later landing colonists. So instead of a full force of marines, pioneers and support personal with caches of highly advanced earthmade equipment you are now all alone. You are the only thing that stands between the colonists certain doom or their survival. There is no turning back for them, with ressources of the fleet completly depleted upon arrival on the planet. Maybe there isn't even a Earth to return to... we don't know yet.

Filling the time between the landing on the planet and the colonists arrival shouldn't be too hard. OFC there is the Missile Defense to establish. But i guess it wouldn't be too hard to implement a load of random events, inspired by the hundred of sci-fi stories, tv-series (from Stargate to Earth 2) or computer games (Outpost, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri). I'm talking about at least a hundred small events/map events that easily could influence gameplay, sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller, making every freeplay a "unique" experience. A few of those could have special triggers, like establishing your first radar, advancing to a tech or based on difficulty. Thinking of the coming multiplayer, some of them might be disabled. Some could be global, affecting every player, some might be just for you. Just a few ideas:
Ideas


Well, i could go on on forever... but i guess made my point. There is room to grow and lots of stuff to be added for sure... but core features must be implemented before anything can be done about creating more goals or just making every playthrough more unique. Otherwise you would have to reblance all that stuff too, everytime you make a change to the core game, doubling the work to make updates.

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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by ssilk » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:15 am

Yes, this is the right direction.
I just cannot understand the masses of aliens on that planet. :)
Even if there is live out there, and the chances for that is high, the chance to meet another intelligent liveform is nearly zero. And the chance to meet more than one is much lower. But well. Might be. It might be a cool idea to implement a second / third party, which have a completely different tech-tree - just for gameplay-reasons. And it might be very interesting to have nonconsensual communities, which want to fight each other, but need the research of the others, because they cannot achieve it themselves. But in my opinion an intelligent lifeform, which has the ability to fly into space is far beyond beeing aggressive, because otherwise they have destroyed themselves long before. See mankind: It's such a long and complicated way to get real colonization to run, that it is more realistic, that we destroy us, before we are able to go outside. It's much more difficult and takes much longer to take the non-aggressive way. The question is, if this would be a good game... I mean eventually, with some compromises. In every case it would be a not so common behavior (like other games), if another alien liveform is not aggressive per default.

Where you mention the weather: Weather is something, which can't be "discussed", because you cannot change it. This is because it is such a good theme, if you don't know, what to talk about. I mean the natives are also a bit like that. You cannot change them. They are just there. Like your example with the biter seasons. They will come, like snowfall or spring and will come in ridiculous masses. There are a lot of signs, which show that. For example the light is changing. The planet turns around a gas giant (like seeing here: http://assets-factorio-com.s3.amazonaws ... middle.jpg ) and when it is exactly between sun and the gas giant they come!
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Re: biters NEVER attacking makes for some depressing gamepla

Post by Smee » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:30 am

Interesting discussion.

To me this game is readily classified in my head as a Sandbox, and in a Sandbox there is sand, and buckets, spades and that's it. The grand pirate adventures, or missions into Mordor than you can concoct rely on your imagination using the tools provided to create fun.

The game is very Dwarf Fortress - but with just one man you can actively control rather than 7 dorfs who kinda do what you want in-between drinks. The story is very similar - establishing a new colony/settlement.

In both games variations and variety of adventures you can come up with to work in this theme is limited only by imagination and tools. The latter is up to the devs - there's a lot there already but whilst waiting it requires more from you.

When it comes to Dwarf Fortress I'm very like OP - I have a tried and tested opening that is very safe and I can't break my habit enough to change that, so I get bored. Factorio is still too new for me to know yet - I only started my first proper game yesterday (easy-noob-mode switched off (peaceful ;-) ). I'm going to take this thread as warning though to perhaps try to be more imaginative in my play and perhaps avoid the situation OP finds himself in.

OP - my suggestions is going to be along the lines others have already given. Whilst awaiting further development of this Alpha game you can either stop playing, or change the rules yourself. One idea I saw somewhere that might spark something - consider playing without transporter belts! Rail (or other) only!

Happy Playing. :)
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