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Author Topic: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit  (Read 1915 times)

Drewski

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Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« on: September 07, 2018, 11:09:29 AM »

So I really got to get into b19 over the long weekend, and now I have a colony that I've been tending for about 30 hours. I thought I had better get some thoughts down on the changes. I had a few false starts on Cassandra and Randy rough and settled on Randy medium while I get my feet under me, always as crashlanders, always vanilla.

This is pretty random feedback. If a lot sounds critical, that's only because those are the bits that stick in my mind. I really like the game and most of the changes! I'll try to point out some things I really enjoy but mostly I'll focus on what I don't like.

That said, why not start with some good stuff? The new turret dynamic is great and feels very balanced. The raider AI is tricky enough to get me running around in circles and thwart me on occasion. Bed rest finally works right!

But patient does not. Even with 1 priority, pawns will literally get out of bed while being treated to do something of lower priority, such as treating another patient. This causes a big charlie foxtrot of medicine reservations, better doctors moving on to new tasks, and musical beds. They'll also still break off mid-treatment to change their pants or play horseshoes.

The new animal training stuff is mostly fine, although it has two serious problems in my mind. First off, I believe it is now optimal to always slaughter the starting pet unless you're willing to reroll colonists to get a super-high animal stat. Otherwise the trainer can waste days and just loads and loads of food trying to keep it tame very early, and to make it worse, tamers seem to select the least-efficient food available for training. Forget about actual training for a while, or taming other animals. It's also very possible to start with a pet that you cannot keep tame, which is kind of weird. I had that happen with a warg. The second issue is that animals need to stop moving for training now. I watched a tamer follow a dog around for two days to get the opportunity to get hauling back to 7. When it finally caught up, the dog dropped what it was actually hauling, the tamer failed, then started chasing another one. In older versions you could zone animals for training, and you can still do that for the first round of training but it goes pear-shaped when it starts decaying. I'm not going to constantly monitor every animal's training tab to do that for retraining. I'm not.

The early game feels more pressed for labor, what with the new hauling tasks and the increased importance of cleaning and research. I think this is good, but it plays back to "slaughter the pet to save time". I also feel like electricity is scarce enough to be challenging, even into mid-game. Starting with wind turbines and no batteries seems kind of pointless, like it's only to trigger the "need batteries" alert. The increased output means little to me; what matters is that the wind dies out a lot so you can't count on them for anything until you can put that electricity in a box. Still, the overall power dynamic feels good and challenging. Starting with passive coolers is huge and very nice.

I'm gonna join the chorus of "combat RNG feels goofy". One of my early b19 colonies got wiped out by the second raid - a guy with two shooting and an autopistol, standing in the wide open, killed one guy and downed another through a sandbag-wall-sandbag-wall setup, while my 9 and 2 shooters didn't connect at all. My last colonist was a pacifist who already had a scarred eye from an animal attack, and got downed trying to rescue. The man in black came to the, whoops, no, he got killed with one club hit to the noggin.

Mechanoids are really hard to see in the snow. It can feel like a game of Where's Waldo trying to figure out where they've gotten to. Can they be given a splash of color?

I really like the wild man event. I'm disappointed that there's no mood debuff for "we hunted a man down like he was an animal", only maybe with a most dangerous game reference somewhere. Seems like something that would bother the colonists. It would bother me.

The man in black sounds good in theory but doesn't really play well. Consider giving him a shooting or go frenzy when he appears? Or even a special event-specific frenzy that boosts several abilities for a brief while. My only experience with him was disappointing, and so far I've never heard a story of a successful one.

I feel encouraged to be more selective with starting pawns. It's really unsafe to train up cooking and animals from low scores now, and I think gourmand is worse than any other trait in the early game (although later it's no big deal). Research also feels more critical, but as before it grinds slowly early on and blazes along later too quickly to keep up with.

Mortars are still a mess. No multi-select to extract shells, no hotkey either, no way to select ammo except forbidding, so it's pause the raid, select one at a time, click extract for each, unforbid whatever ammo I wasn't using, and changing ammo types mid-raid is even worse. They seem as useful as ever, but also as annoying as ever. Did colonists always list the activity as "manning turret"?

Traps feel more powerful than in b18. The auto-hit and low cost mean they can really tear into most stuff. Perhaps more significantly, their low cost and the ubiquity of stone make it trivial to train and keep a level 20 builder. Only research feels similar in the ability to get someone to max early and keep them there. I had a level 20 builder in the first year of this colony, and she's never slipped since - a couple years later and I still don't have a cook, crafter, or shooter anywhere close (although the last is probably because of all the traps).

Really like the social interaction stuff. Some similar love for the artwork would be very welcome. Most of my art is about animal taming and traps. Haven't seen a (buried_corpse) art piece, so that's nice!

Love moving workstations around. Being able to move a stonecutter table to the chunks in the early game is very helpful indeed, and helps offset the new hauling tasks. In general reinstalling stations makes it much easier to expand my base instead of feeling like a chump while rebuilding them.

Speaking of new hauling tasks, what are my haulers doing when they run over to touch grave blueprints? Sanctifying them? I really like that hauling animals can bury corpses now, though.

The new biome ranges are very nice but may want a closer look. My current colony is in temperate forest, 30 days growing, and getting mid-summer "slept in the cold" penalties each year with daytime temps over 30C. I went from a late spring heat wave to flipping heaters on a week later. The "need warm clothes" alert is super-obnoxious, too, ringing the bell constantly from late summer through the end of spring. My clothes are fine! Devilstrand button-downs, pants, and hats with wool dusters ought to be enough for a temperate climate, and it seems to work okay but the alarm just keeps a'dinging. I understand that someone might start shivering if I send them to stand outside during a cold snap at night. That's okay! Just stop with the bell!

The new hunting alerts are nice, I guess, but as long as animals get revenge I'm sticking to drafted-squad hunting. Stealth, schmealth, more bullets in the air and changing targets a lot is faster (in game time) and safer. Hunters mince around chasing a deer all day in some kind of cleansing ritual or whatnot, I dunno, but a few guys with pistols and bolt-actions can lay waste to a herd in an afternoon. Even aside from hunting, I wish the group formations were better - the game really, really wants to line up shooters to maximize friendly fire. Send four shooters and it lines up three abreast. Send five and it makes a +. It's all very nice and geometric but feels like a gotcha if you don't pause and rearrange them.

Caravans are much better! I was a bear for trade caravans in b18 and I am now. Trade quests are still charmingly ridiculous. Why do they need human leather specifically? Doesn't anyone urgently need, like, corn? To eat? Sorry, I don't have 33 bolt-action rifles laying around in the first summer. I have one. And I'm using it. I'm still researching batteries, guys. You want a rusty steel knife? I have an extra.

Bandit quests still feel not worth it most of the time. Let me select a reward, heh? I don't want your legendary plasteel dining chair. Let me see what you got and we'll talk. Rescue quests feel even less worth it, but at least they make me feel a little guilty when I dismiss them. It is really nice to see at least a general picture of what I'd be facing, though.

That's probably enough rambling for now. I'm just entering what I think of as the late-game, where I'm researching odds and ends before starting ship research, getting deep drilling started (got spiders once already! Nice event but I hope it's not super-frequent and I was just lucky), and generally trying to upgrade equipment and defenses. Looking forward to the new ship sequence, if I make it that far!
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Shurp

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 06:15:32 PM »

Hmmm, you've managed to cure my desire to upgrade to b19.  Not that I can anyway (I'm not using Steam), but I was concerned I was missing out on something still playing b18... but from what you describe, there's no real advantage to switching and definitely some downsides.

Does b19 address cooking micromanagement at all?  I've given up on kitchens in b18.  Instead my colonists just cook in the freezer and enjoy the 40% cold penalty.  But it beats trying to set up a stockpile in the next room and manage it.
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If you give an annoying colonist a parka before banishing him to the ice sheet you'll only get a -3 penalty instead of -5.

And don't forget that the pirates chasing a refugee are often better recruits than the refugee is.

vzoxz0

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 06:25:20 PM »

Hmmm, you've managed to cure my desire to upgrade to b19.  Not that I can anyway (I'm not using Steam), but I was concerned I was missing out on something still playing b18... but from what you describe, there's no real advantage to switching and definitely some downsides.

Does b19 address cooking micromanagement at all?  I've given up on kitchens in b18.  Instead my colonists just cook in the freezer and enjoy the 40% cold penalty.  But it beats trying to set up a stockpile in the next room and manage it.

Your primary mistake is not eating raw human flesh instead.
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Drewski

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2018, 08:49:13 PM »

Not that I can anyway (I'm not using Steam), but I was concerned I was missing out on something still playing b18... but from what you describe, there's no real advantage to switching and definitely some downsides.
. . .
Does b19 address cooking micromanagement at all? 

Oh, no, I love the changes overall. The caravan improvements, the stockpile settings, the social interaction flavor, the simplified quality levels, the turret interplay, the AI, the reworked mechs (except for the snow camouflage), the multidirectional and themed raids, the stack merging and "pre-building", chunks from deep drills. . . there's too much good stuff to even think of in one go. Most of my complaints are just things that, in my opinion, need adjustment, not massive problems that make it unplayable or even unpleasant.

I can't say kitchen micro is a big problem I have, though. I guess I've always been big on cleaning, which helps.  "Cleanliness is next to god mode" is a phrase I've been known to use, and it's even more true now than before. I do feel like trying to train up a poorly-skilled cook early on is a problem.

Otherwise, I just do the regular kitchen stuff. Chair at the stove, shelf of veg next to it, bills set to drop on floor, sterile tile when able, autodoor to the freezer when able. Now I use another shelf of psychoid leaves for tea and have to research tile, but otherwise it's the same. I sure wish there was a better way to rotate stock on shelves, though. In the freezer I can use tiered zone priorities to keep stock rolling toward the front, but without two stoves I can't make them use the far side of the shelf without forbidding the near side - I guess that's kitchen micro, now that I think of it. But fairly trivial micro, and the worst case is a little cuckoo clock telling me that some rice rotted on the shelf.

Overall I do recommend upgrading. I despise Steam myself but I launch it to update then kill it again.
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Tynan

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2018, 09:06:25 PM »

Thanks for the feedback Drewski. I will carefully consider it.

I do hear about issues with the medical AI sometimes but it's hard to actually reproduce these cases. There's a lot of rules in the AI and reports tend to be a bit vague about exactly what the circumstances are, besides the fact that something that seemed wrong happened. At least in the simple test situations we can invent in development, it works fine. All this to say it'd be great if you (or anyone else) could post savegame(s) where the doctors/patients are just about to do something that seems wrong. Then we can actually trace the problem.

btw the man in black isn't supposed to be a guaranteed save; just a final chance to add a bit of interest. You already lost the game after all. I have seen various stories of him saving the day.

For mortars, you can filter what kinds of shells the mortar is allowed to use. There's a tab if you select it.
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Drewski

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 10:57:17 PM »

Hey, thanks for the reply. I'm a little embarrassed that I never noticed the mortar settings.

And of course I said to myself, "No problem. I can recreate the exact circumstances of doctors breaking off being treated to treat others, save incrementally, and post the save." But, uh, but that didn't work. Or, that is to say, everything worked. So I see your point.

I'm going to keep trying that a bit tomorrow evening, though, and failing that I will try to save periodically when there's about to be significant hospital stuff going on.
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Tynan

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 11:14:53 PM »

Now you know my pain :)

That'd be great, if you could ever come up with a savegame from *just before* the problem occurs. I'd really appreciate it.
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mlzovozlm

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 05:53:48 AM »

this happens at least once for me, though it was nothing significant as the injuried-doctor patient got only a small bleeding arm

what concerns me more is the inability to prioritize operation, pawns with doctoring job take over the job every single timeeeeee!!!!!

imagine it like this, i've a pawn that need surgery, i've a pawn with >100% success chance, i prioritize the sure-kill surgeon on the job, while they were moving to the bed, another halfass doctor takes over, now i need to draft that take-over one and re-prioritize the surgeon, then another one try to take over, then another one, etc.

then once the doctor gets to the bed, they go take the med, again another take over, then they go take the body part, another take over :| it's endless :|

unless i micro everything from a to z by put everyone off doctoring, or drafting them the whole process
---
the take-over thing may also be 1 of the causes of the doctor-patient not lying still and wait for treatment but going and do something else instead, like treating other
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 05:55:35 AM by mlzovozlm »
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cultist

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 08:56:39 AM »

Pawns don't blindly follow orders when doing jobs - this is nothing new. The problem is that being both a doctor a patient are considered jobs, and pawns prioritize their needs over their jobs. This is why patients get out of bed to play horseshoes at bad times, and why doctors go to bed instead of treating serious wounds. You have to manually force your pawns to preserve their own lives, which makes the AI appear dumb.
Until we have some sort of tool to affect that decision-making process, you're stuck micro-managing every major medical emergency, because it requires fast and co-ordinated effort that the AI is simply not capable of in my opinion.

I do like the changes to disease/infection treatment - it makes the whole thing much less fiddly as long as you have enough medicine.
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Drewski

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 10:51:43 AM »

The problem is that being both a doctor a patient are considered jobs, and pawns prioritize their needs over their jobs. This is why patients get out of bed to play horseshoes at bad times, and why doctors go to bed instead of treating serious wounds.

Yeah, but there's a little more going on here, and I suspect it involves the interruption mechanic and job segmentation. Normally needs don't interrupt tasks, and normally higher-priority jobs don't get dropped for lower-priority jobs. I think something's happening where the patient vomits or the doctor gets shoved that causes them to look for their next task instead of continuing "patient", which in turn makes the doctor seek a new task.

It's really hard to pin down though, because it's  hard to reproduce reliably. I think I'll try setting up a bunch of doctors, patients, and cleaners all working in a dirty hospital with some flu victims and bleeding wounded, see if I can get lots of interruptions happening.
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Serenity

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 12:08:43 PM »

It's astounding that hauling hysteresis hasn't been included into vanilla yet. That simple setting (being able to set when a stockpile is refilled) would solve a lot of the issues with cooking.
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enterprise12

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 06:44:28 PM »

Pawns don't blindly follow orders when doing jobs - this is nothing new. The problem is that being both a doctor a patient are considered jobs, and pawns prioritize their needs over their jobs. This is why patients get out of bed to play horseshoes at bad times, and why doctors go to bed instead of treating serious wounds. You have to manually force your pawns to preserve their own lives, which makes the AI appear dumb.
Until we have some sort of tool to affect that decision-making process, you're stuck micro-managing every major medical emergency, because it requires fast and co-ordinated effort that the AI is simply not capable of in my opinion.

I do like the changes to disease/infection treatment - it makes the whole thing much less fiddly as long as you have enough medicine.

Agreed, this does happen almost in every operation, maybe make a way to assign which doctors can do "major operations" ?
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Shurp

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 08:29:29 PM »

Lo and behold, b19 is now available on SendOwl, woohoo!  So I guess I'll give it a try.  I figure Naked Brutality is the right way to try it out, that way I *know* I'm going to get killed and I won't get too upset when it happens :)
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If you give an annoying colonist a parka before banishing him to the ice sheet you'll only get a -3 penalty instead of -5.

And don't forget that the pirates chasing a refugee are often better recruits than the refugee is.

enterprise12

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 12:03:51 AM »

New Recommendation:
Specify what MATERIAL clothing colonists can wear...ahem
When you have human leather clothing in your cannibal society but you have a special NON cannibal they dont like wearing human leather clothing :).
So some cannibals take human leather clothing and normal clothing, i want to restrict them to just human leather clothing for mood boost, leave other clothing for normal colonists!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 12:05:23 AM by enterprise12 »
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Yoshida Keiji

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Re: Some random b19 feedback now that I've sunk my teeth into it a bit
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2018, 04:41:17 AM »

[...]
Caravans are much better! I was a bear for trade caravans in b18 and I am now. Trade quests are still charmingly ridiculous. Why do they need human leather specifically? Doesn't anyone urgently need, like, corn? To eat? Sorry, I don't have 33 bolt-action rifles laying around in the first summer. I have one. And I'm using it. I'm still researching batteries, guys. You want a rusty steel knife? I have an extra.

Bandit quests still feel not worth it most of the time. Let me select a reward, heh? I don't want your legendary plasteel dining chair. Let me see what you got and we'll talk. Rescue quests feel even less worth it, but at least they make me feel a little guilty when I dismiss them. It is really nice to see at least a general picture of what I'd be facing, though.
[...]


I share your frustrations, I got a request for 24 short bows in an Extreme Desert game... which had 1 single cactus at start.

Me: Sure...



The algorithms for these events still need several adjustments based on biomes. Or go ask elsewhere...

And of course, inversely, most of the rewards are ridiculously selected as well.
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