Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

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Entelin
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Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Entelin » Thu May 04, 2017 1:54 am

I want to have aliens on my map
I want to have them grow, evolve, and attack my base
I want long train systems to remote resource bases

However if you want these things there's a big gameplay problem. Biters don't attack tracks, but they are attracted to you and the trains. And at max evolution the train looses against even one mob. This means that unprotected, trains will regularly be stopped and the engines destroyed, randomly, all over the place. It's incredibly irritating, un-automatable, and the only way around it is fairly gameplay destroying.

Currently you have really only two options to deal with this.

1: Build a giant turreted wall around your entire play area including resources and kill all the aliens inside.
Obviously this works, and you see many large bases do exactly this. I think it's awful gameplay as it basically just bypasses the entire interaction with the aliens entirely, and leaves huge sections of the map vacant of aliens. Surely there is better gameplay to be had regarding aliens than doing this.

2: Build turreted walls on both sides of all tracks.
The problem is that this is the exact same thing as #1 except costs even more resources to do.

Allowing the trains to simply run them over, like in the trailer, like in the early game, would be a fine solution. If you don't want to do this, then there needs to be some other gameplay around aliens instead, like defender cars, escort drones, remote missiles or something. I stopped working on my factory last patch because I just got sick of this. I picked it up again to test out the nuclear reactors and stuff and within a few mins had to go replace 3 trains in opposite corners of the map, I just can't be bothered frankly, it's not fun, and to me playing without aliens seems a bit like cutting out an important part of the game.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AndrewIRL » Thu May 04, 2017 3:04 am

We need armoured trains which are heavier and slower so you can build some for the outposts and run regular trains where it is safe. Ideally they'd have replaceable turrets but given that the devs are trying to reduce turret creep they'd probably balk at the idea of putting turrets on wheels. :lol:

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by saturn7 » Thu May 04, 2017 3:43 am

We need behemoth trains and behemoth tanks. :)

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Aeternus » Thu May 04, 2017 3:45 am

There are some mods that feature an equipment grid for vehicles, including trains - allowing you to put some weapons on them to clear any aliens that might be slowing them down. I've used Bobs Vehicle Equipment - sadly it doesn't seem to be updated to v0.15 yet.

[Edit] Looks like it was updated today, it's available again. Bobingabout has been busy :)
Last edited by Aeternus on Thu May 04, 2017 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AndrewIRL » Thu May 04, 2017 3:51 am

Aeternus wrote:I've used Bobs Vehicle Equipment - sadly it doesn't seem to be updated to v0.15 yet.
bobingabout is actively working on updating his mods to 0.15, he's started and already done some of them. The problem is that he's such a prolific mod author that he's got an incredible number of mods to convert so it takes time to get to all of them.
bobingabout wrote:Mods that don't require much in the way of changes Like Ores (Okay, I actually do need to completely redo the graphics to bring it up to 0.15 spec, but that will probably still work even if I don't, they can be updated afterwards) will probably be updated and released first. Mods that require more effort, like Tech, Power and Warfare will likely be last on the list.

You're probably looking at about a week before something of everything is released, and more like a month before everything makes sense.
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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AcolyteOfRocket » Thu May 04, 2017 7:22 am

I was going to build an outpost heavy factory, so this thread was a useful warning - thx OP ;-)

Trains should have the means to defend themselves with weapons that are :

Heavy - to kill behemoths
Short-ranged - to avoid unnecessarily aggravating biters. Longer ranged option might be a good idea to give the player some flexibility, but the availability of the short range option must be prioritised.
Attacks only biters, not spawners, and preferably not worms, to avoid another turret-creep-style issue. Again can give the player some choice to attack spawners if you want, but the minimal option to attack only nearby biters is top priority.

You can tech-tree the ability to make more powerful weapons available later in the game, but it should always be possible to defend a train against a current generation of biters (for a price) otherwise we can be automation-resource-locked which leads to manual-grind. I have done manual moonshine-runs with resources and it can be fun, but not if you are forced to do it all the time.

We need both armed locomotives and armed wagons. Arming locomotives is more important as they will have a small front arc that the train must move through that cannot be targeted by weapons mounted on the side, unless you want to relax weapon line-of-sight. Locomotives need a way to prioritise movement obstructions and denying them sideways firing choices is the easiest way to achieve this.

A suggested design start.
  • Locomotive Mounted Machine Guns
  • A pair of cannons with a small arc facing forward that can target and shoot biters in front of it, just to clear the rails and allow the train to move forward. Use standard cannon ammo. so damage can improve as ammo is improved.
  • Locomotive Mounted Tank Cannon
  • More bang for more bucks.
  • Locomotive Mounted Lasers
  • Lasers that point forward, don't need separate ammo, but do draw from trains fuel supply. The player to decide if the risks outweigh the reduced complexity.
  • Locomotive Mounted Turrets
  • Optional really, as the locomotive need to prioritise forward firing
  • Wagon Mounted Turrets
  • These will serve to keep rail corridors clear, they will be less useful for maintaining movement unless they can target the track immediately ahead of the locomotive.
  • Locomotive Defence Grid
  • Stuns biters and moves them from the track in front of the train to allow forward movement.
  • Repair Wagon
  • A cargo wagon with reduced capacity that can also heal adjacent wagons (including the locomotive). The cargo reduction must be severe or else players will just run these as cargo wagons instead. The repair function can be fueled with repair packs taken from cargo, or a special slot, or nothing at all, whatever is easiest for the devs. Don't use bots as they will get left behind as the train moves, which would be a serious RP annoyance for me :D
Minimal design to satisfy hungry players :lol:

Overall, at minimum, I'd say we need the option to add short range forward mounted cannons to the locomotive. Make it a separate type of locomotive, using a standard loco as part of the resource chain.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Thu May 04, 2017 9:02 am

Trouble is once a train is stopped, it would need a tremendous amount of firepower to get out of a swarm. If it's hit one biter (especially a behemoth) you can bet there's a lot more nearby which will all come running to avenge their fallen (or just injured) comrade.

I think it should be nearly impossible to stop a train. I've said it before, anything hit by a train should take damage and (if it survives) be moved to the side and back a bit. If there is a wall or something in the way that's fine, the train will simply collide with it again and repeat until either the offender dies or is moved out of the way. The train could take a small amount of damage (like 1% total HP) for each collision, not enough to be a threat on a single journey but would add up if not repaired.
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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by OldFritz » Thu May 04, 2017 10:10 am

There are some mods that feature an equipment grid for vehicles, including trains - allowing you to put some weapons on them to clear any aliens that might be slowing them down. I've used Bobs Vehicle Equipment - sadly it doesn't seem to be updated to v0.15 yet.
Indeed, but hopefully in the "near" future they will be updated/adopted by another modder.

Here are some that anybody might keep in mind and check upon once in a while:
https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Optera/VehicleGrid
https://mods.factorio.com/mods/LuziferS ... -Train-MOD
https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Y.Petrem ... Equipement

And of course Firepower to take on behemoths:

https://mods.factorio.com/mods/AutoMcD/ ... al_Defense
https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Devterev ... vs_Warfare


But there should really be some proper regular weapon systems for trains if behemoths are such a problem.

Well, or add more impact damage on trains. Though a rocket launcher is indeed pretty cool.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AcolyteOfRocket » Thu May 04, 2017 11:55 am

Deadly-Bagel wrote:Trouble is once a train is stopped, it would need a tremendous amount of firepower to get out of a swarm. If it's hit one biter (especially a behemoth) you can bet there's a lot more nearby which will all come running to avenge their fallen (or just injured) comrade.

I think it should be nearly impossible to stop a train. I've said it before, anything hit by a train should take damage and (if it survives) be moved to the side and back a bit. If there is a wall or something in the way that's fine, the train will simply collide with it again and repeat until either the offender dies or is moved out of the way. The train could take a small amount of damage (like 1% total HP) for each collision, not enough to be a threat on a single journey but would add up if not repaired.
The game would be playable if you lost the occasional train due to poor equipment. But if you put twin U-238 machine guns on the front of a standard train it should hopefully cut down even a behemoth before it dies, and if it doesn't then thats a good reason to have a locomotive available that is more heavily armoured, more powerful and uses more fuel. More mobs should be able to "mob" a train, but thats what other armed wagons would be for, and it may be necessary to have a very powerful wagon available that totally sacrifices cargo to pack punch.

Mind you, I haven't tried using MG's on a Behemoth yet on my 0.15 map so maybe its time for a scientific fact finding hunt :D

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Mehve » Thu May 04, 2017 1:02 pm

There have been a few FFF references to an artillery train, so I reckon there's hope for the future.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AndrewIRL » Thu May 04, 2017 1:23 pm

AcolyteOfRocket wrote:Short-ranged - to avoid unnecessarily aggravating biters.
This is a great idea because it limits their usefulness in the turret creep strategy.
Deadly-Bagel wrote:Trouble is once a train is stopped, it would need a tremendous amount of firepower to get out of a swarm. If it's hit one biter (especially a behemoth) you can bet there's a lot more nearby which will all come running to avenge their fallen (or just injured) comrade.

I think it should be nearly impossible to stop a train. I've said it before, anything hit by a train should take damage and (if it survives) be moved to the side and back a bit. If there is a wall or something in the way that's fine, the train will simply collide with it again and repeat until either the offender dies or is moved out of the way. The train could take a small amount of damage (like 1% total HP) for each collision, not enough to be a threat on a single journey but would add up if not repaired.
Real world trains are nearly impossible to stop. Biters should be pushed out of the way and the train slowed by however much kinetic energy was transferred into the biter. To calculate you'd need biter and train weight. Real world trains are so heavy (~100 tonnes just for the loco) that they basically aren't slowed by hitting cars. If a 100 tonne train at 259km/h hit a 2 tonne car and the car ended up as a bug-splat stuck on the front of the train (thus increasing the weight from 100 to 102 tonnes) the train's speed would dip to only 254 km/h while the car would be nearly instantaneously (under 30 milliseconds) accelerated at over 200Gs from rest to the same 254 km/h. So how much do biters weigh that they can stop trains and where is all the kinetic energy going?

AcolyteOfRocket wrote:and if it doesn't then thats a good reason to have a locomotive available that is more heavily armoured, more powerful and uses more fuel. More mobs should be able to "mob" a train, but thats what other armed wagons would be for, and it may be necessary to have a very powerful wagon available that totally sacrifices cargo to pack punch.
Should also be slower on acceleration (extra weight) and top speed (top heavy armour prone to cause tipping over) so there's a significant tradeoff.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Thu May 04, 2017 2:12 pm

I would like to see some kind of a plow on the train, so it can push to the side any mobs it can't run over, without loosing too much speed.

Personally I think guns won't be practical against larger enemies - I would go with some kind of shelds or deflectors to keep the trains safe and repel the enemies. Or maybe some kind of repellent, that keeps them away?

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AcolyteOfRocket » Thu May 04, 2017 2:36 pm

Please delete
Last edited by AcolyteOfRocket on Thu May 04, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by AcolyteOfRocket » Thu May 04, 2017 2:39 pm

So how much do biters weigh that they can stop trains and where is all the kinetic energy going?
Well Behemoth means big, so it is plausible they could be heavy enough to stop a slow train, and a pack of them could certainly stop one if the train can't fight back.
Personally I think guns won't be practical against larger enemies
Sometimes when I'm out in my tank and I get mobbed by biters, I can escape by pushing W and Fire at the same time. The tanks MG chews up whatever is blocking me and I eventually start moving forward again. A train could do something similar.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Nich » Thu May 04, 2017 2:44 pm

Meh IMO I say leave it for a mod.

I think recursive blueprints is more in the spirit of factorio with automated expansion

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Entelin » Thu May 04, 2017 3:14 pm

It's important I think to not let perfection be the enemy of the good. I'm 100% for expanding out the combat gameplay, but if there's nothing cooking right now, just let the train run over the mobs in the meantime to address the gameplay issue.

I also dislike turret creep. One has to realize that one of the primary reasons why people will wall off their entire play area is this issue.

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by MasterBuilder » Thu May 04, 2017 3:19 pm

The train doesn't need to kill the biter, it just needs to push them out of the way.

A simple engineering problem.
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This is designed more for snow but should work equally well for cows. I like to think that trains consider biters to be angry cows.

Maybe the train takes damage? Maybe it's forced to slow down? Minor details.
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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Nich » Thu May 04, 2017 6:48 pm

Has anyone ever seen a train crashing into a blue whale?

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Vykromod » Fri May 05, 2017 2:39 am

I suppose the answer should be obvious, but since I'm a noob, I need to ask:

Does adding more wagons/locos to the train increase impact damage?

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Re: Please make trains able to run over evolved aliens

Post by Aeternus » Fri May 05, 2017 7:28 am

Locs can, indirectly. More locs means higher top speed and accelleration means higher energy impact. Wagons, not so much.

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