Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

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Cribbit
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Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Cribbit » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:27 pm

The lack of supply chain needed for laser turrets means they are incredibly spammable. Nuclear power becomes a tipping point where base defense is as easy as spamming laser turrets everywhere.

The lack of supply chain also makes them effectively smaller than gun turrets as you don't need to insert anything into them.

A set of changes that would be nice:
  • 1. Make them 3x3. This fixes the size comparison issue and makes it a little more difficult to create overwhelming fire
    2. Make them have damage falloff. This means you can't just spam them deeper to account for the front line being less dense.
    3. Make them more fragile. It's a laser with fancy optics, it shouldn't have so much health. Ideally also put it in a 'disabled' state if health drops below a certain amount as if the optics are damaged.
These make it more likely for an attack to get close enough to cause damage and makes rapid repairs important to fend off the next wave.

And a fourth, it would be nice if lasers took longer to repair than normal buildings to make an effective repair setup important. Again, fancy optics or whatever.

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WeirdConstructor
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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by WeirdConstructor » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:02 am

One could argue that the whole point of Factorio is to spam everything. It's always about "more" and "faster" and dealing with the complexity it brings. When I moved from normal gun turrets, which were spammed around the outer wall of my base to laser turrets, I had to beef up my electric production quite a lot, or the network was shaken very much by reloading the lasers.

I agree, that the interesting logistics aspect of delivering bullets to the turrets is lost with laser turrets, but they allowed me to focus on finally building my first rocket. Once the biters were a bit more evolved, they already were a threat to my walls and lasers. So I had to drive out and clear some biter bases.

My first impression of laser turrets also were, that they were quite strong first and let me easily deal with medium biters. But that makes them a valuable research and the more casual players will be grateful.

Factorio is not a tower defence game after all.

Cribbit
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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Cribbit » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:41 pm

WeirdConstructor wrote:One could argue that the whole point of Factorio is to spam everything. It's always about "more" and "faster" and dealing with the complexity it brings.
I think that's the issue I have right now. There is no additional complexity to adding N + 1 laser turrets. Yes, you need more power, but except for your very first playthrough power scaling is also simple. An experienced player can make a 480MW nuclear plant within an hour or two of starting. Solar is just spam mindlessly even more.

I'm not saying it needs to be as complex as actual production, just... something. The supply logistics for gun turrets and flamethrower turrets is actually rather simple.

The changes I've proposed aim more about placement. Obviously with no ammo requirement laser turrets will always be spammable but this would encourage formations more complicated than "1 deep line around my entire base" and encourage mixing other types of turrets in.

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WeirdConstructor
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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by WeirdConstructor » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:38 pm

It would be interesting to have a big central laser generator and you have to route the beam using mirrors around your base. All with running into beam kills you and with underground optic mirrors. You could alsl route it into a steam generator optionally. And the turrets would just be autonomous mirrors with shutters.

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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Cribbit » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:19 pm

WeirdConstructor wrote:It would be interesting to have a big central laser generator and you have to route the beam using mirrors around your base. All with running into beam kills you and with underground optic mirrors. You could alsl route it into a steam generator optionally. And the turrets would just be autonomous mirrors with shutters.
That would be a fun mod. Probably steal the adjacency concept from nuclear, so you can either have spread out laser generators which have simpler optic chains, or one central, highly powerful one.

The modded route I was considering building was something that has both windup and multiplying damage if multiple turrets hit the same target. Basically greatly weaken them against small and medium biters, make them more focused on taking out large/behemoths. A simpler change to get the same effect is increasing damage per shot while reducing fire rate to keep overall DPS the same - resulting in more overkill on small targets.

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Hyenna
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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Hyenna » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:31 am

Cribbit wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:27 pm
The lack of supply chain needed for laser turrets means they are incredibly spammable. Nuclear power becomes a tipping point where base defense is as easy as spamming laser turrets everywhere.

The lack of supply chain also makes them effectively smaller than gun turrets as you don't need to insert anything into them.
You have to bring electric power to them building power plants and accumulators to work effectively which also can take alot of space on the ground. It is just not close to the turret like a belt with inserter and dont forget about the power poles, what it cost to generate all the power, saving it over nighttime. They are effective because they can share electric power via accumulators and use in the place where it is needed.

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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Cribbit » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:33 pm

Hyenna wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:31 am
Cribbit wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:27 pm
The lack of supply chain needed for laser turrets means they are incredibly spammable. Nuclear power becomes a tipping point where base defense is as easy as spamming laser turrets everywhere.

The lack of supply chain also makes them effectively smaller than gun turrets as you don't need to insert anything into them.
You have to bring electric power to them building power plants and accumulators to work effectively which also can take alot of space on the ground. It is just not close to the turret like a belt with inserter and dont forget about the power poles, what it cost to generate all the power, saving it over nighttime. They are effective because they can share electric power via accumulators and use in the place where it is needed.
None of that is relevant. Power poles are the only thing remotely relevant but even smalls can support a multi deep line of turrets. The power plant can be anywhere. Power is cheap enough to be considered free. Nuclear isn't impacted by day/night. Even for solar, day/night just adds accumulators - it's still a question of setup cost after which the power is free. Also, the main people using large scale solar are UPS freaks who turn off biters anyways.

Nuclear power is available in the early part of the mid game. From then on out laser turrets are far too much of a no-brainer.

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Re: Laser turrets shouldn't be so spammable

Post by Hannu » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:02 pm

Cribbit wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:33 pm
Nuclear power is available in the early part of the mid game. From then on out laser turrets are far too much of a no-brainer.
They are intended to be a no brainer. In that phase the player need more time to plan and build full scaled endgame production facilities and logistics. Continuous attention to defenses is then annoying distraction. Lasers can be built fast and then need no special logistics or maintenance. As you wrote, power is practically free (at normal settings) and continuous line of lasers and two layers of walls can defend all attacks in normal vanilla game. Bots repair damages and defense is fully automated. It is very natural objective in automation game.

Personally I agree with you. Laser turrets are boringly overpowered and they lack one piece of interesting and somewhat unpredictable logistic needs. Situation was little better when they had significant power drain any you had to build several rows of steam generators to power them, but now they practically free. Fortunately I have found an ingenious solution, I just do not use lasert in most of my games. There is no need to demand that everyone who have different opinions and style of play must stop using them. You can have completely automated 100% safe defense line with gun turrets too, but get a little more diversity in your base.

If you want to shift overall game balance from building to combat, I think it is better to choose or suggest mods for that. Factorio is not intended to be combat game. Also choosing biter heavy and resource poor settings can increase significantly time used in combat or military structure building.

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