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The issue with prioritization and jobs


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First, I understand priority and strict priority and I used 5-9 in the old system but it seems like one group at Klei decided to go to 1-5 (which I am fine with in isolation) while the other half implemented the jobs system (and forced it into 1-5 too).  Combined, they are unintuitive and needlessly complex/clunky.

So a new player sets all 3 dups to dig job and then comes here and asks "why won't dups build?"

So then changes to 2 diggers and a builder but then wonders why "my dups won't clean the toilet".

The problem is that the system assumes you have a dup assigned to each critical job type.  If you do, they will have a lot of down time until you have an evenly balanced set of these job tasks for each role (which translates to tons of micro) and if you don't nothing gets done unless you use strict priority and regular priority throughout your base.

An expert player will be staring at their screen because they forgot the priority was a blue 4 and not a yellow 4. 

Just lose the * thing and do not use the same numbers to mean different things.  Use: 

1-5 = job priority

6-9 - strict priority.

This saves an extra click and is far more intuitive.  If nothing else, you can punch that 9 and know it will get done which is far better than hitting a * first.

There are issues within the roles too.  If I give a dup the exosuit job (because he takes too long to get to the work site) but then he can't dig because he is not a master miner, you have a broken job system or expect people to micro way too much.  A job can't exclude the ability to do other common things.

 

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Just my 2 cents on this, I had the complete opposite issue: I updated from an existing base with 44 dupes, all rather experienced. Due the dupes now having to acquire experience in mining before they can dig abyssalite, I assigned 3 dupes for the job. I made sure I did NOT use the strict priority so that these dupes with miner job will do dig jobs to build up experience. This ended up being a disaster as engineers, goofers, artists,... all end up crowding out the dig job. I had to uncheck everyone except the ones with the miner jobs for digging.

IMO, the job system is way too much a requirement now and hands out way too much complexity. I firmly dislike that dupes no longer can level up unless they are in a specific job. It's a great concept but this is being pushed on us. A small colony requires dupes being versatile and being specialized in several functions. This contradicts that.

I'd much rather see slower leveling and maybe attribute penalties when handling advanced stuff, unless the dupes have a certain profession, but not a complete halt to leveling and not completely prohibiting dupes handling advanced stuff.

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1 hour ago, chemie said:

Just lose the * thing and do not use the same numbers to mean different things.  Use: 

1-5 = job priority

6-9 - strict priority.

That would be better. Either way this new priority system is counter-intuitive.

59 minutes ago, turbonl64 said:

I'd much rather see slower leveling and maybe attribute penalties when handling advanced stuff, unless the dupes have a certain profession, but not a complete halt to leveling and not completely prohibiting dupes handling advanced stuff.

Yeah, old job / skill system required some changes - but not completely new mechanics. Especially that this new mechanic is limiting and static.

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Changing it back to the old system actually loses some flexibility. The new system just takes a second to wrap your head around.

I used this example elsewhere, so I'll just type it here.

If you have a dupe that has two preferred jobs of priority 4 and 2, and then three non-preferred jobs of priority 5, 3, and 1. They will do the jobs in this order 4 -> 2 -> 5 -> 3 ->1.

If you switch any single job to strict, these become the new job orderings

  • 5* -> 4 -> 2 -> 3 -> 1
  • 4 -> 3* -> 2 -> 5 -> 1
  • 4 -> 2 -> 5 -> 3 -> 1*

What this system allows that the old system doesn't is prioritizing your tasks within a job. For example, my current colony has two Microbe Mashers, one set to infinite Liceloaf and one set as needed, as well as an electric grill. I have the Liceloaf one set to a priority of 4, the grill a priority of 5, and the remaining masher set to 1. This way my cooks are always prioritizing cooking, and use the grill first since it makes the best food. Then fall back to the liceloaf if there are any available, before finally making what usually ends up being mush bars. Also, after each mush bar, they'll take it upstairs and fry it. Also, if for whatever reason no one is cooking, anyone else I have set to cook will rush in to handle the important food items if their preferred tasks are complete. Miners will mine and builders will build, unless they've got nothing better to do.

The old system required a lot more micromanagement in terms of restricting jobs and door access to accomplish the same thing.

 

Now I agree the UI could be laid out a little better. Maybe instead of the *, having two rows of 1-5 with the top being preferred and the bottom being strict. And better document how the strict works.

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Where the new system fails utterly is taking care of tasks not covered by any occupied job. Seeing a task not done for an eternity is the only way the player can realize he doesn't have a duplicant to do it, and it's not usually obvious which job to even use, not mentioning selecting a duplicant to get the job from available duplicants.

I think the game should allow selection whether "uncovered tasks" go into the job queue of all duplicants with a job, or if they go close second (say, 0.5 points lower priority).

The second point where the new system fails is delivery and support tasks. There's one good delivery job, Gofer/courier. But EVERYTHING needs a delivery. You need half of your duplicants as delivery boys because delivering water to a supercomputer isn't part of the scientist's job and you can find him digging in the basement instead of doing his job because his supercomputer is out of water from a pump right beside it.

If both these issues get handled somehow, I think it can be good. The way it is, there's way too much micromanagement necessary and as a whole it's worse than it used to be.

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I agree there. I'm not a fan of the caretaker job either since it has similar problems and has no buffs. I got lucky and had a neural thingy give my dupe +10 athletics so I immediately made her a caretaker since she had the speed to actually do the job.

Another thing I'd like is for dupes with preferred tasks to take over from non-preferred dupes. So if my cook or researcher wanders off to eat and someone takes over, the cook/scientist should come back and kick the unskilled dupe off their machine. Otherwise I have to just go back to unassigning everyone else from those jobs or manually saying "Move to" if I must have the work done now.

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1 hour ago, Wedgebert said:

Changing it back to the old system actually loses some flexibility. The new system just takes a second to wrap your head around.

I used this example elsewhere, so I'll just type it here.

If you have a dupe that has two preferred jobs of priority 4 and 2, and then three non-preferred jobs of priority 5, 3, and 1. They will do the jobs in this order 4 -> 2 -> 5 -> 3 ->1.

If you switch any single job to strict, these become the new job orderings

  • 5* -> 4 -> 2 -> 3 -> 1
  • 4 -> 3* -> 2 -> 5 -> 1
  • 4 -> 2 -> 5 -> 3 -> 1*

What this system allows that the old system doesn't is prioritizing your tasks within a job. For example, my current colony has two Microbe Mashers, one set to infinite Liceloaf and one set as needed, as well as an electric grill. I have the Liceloaf one set to a priority of 4, the grill a priority of 5, and the remaining masher set to 1. This way my cooks are always prioritizing cooking, and use the grill first since it makes the best food. Then fall back to the liceloaf if there are any available, before finally making what usually ends up being mush bars. Also, after each mush bar, they'll take it upstairs and fry it. Also, if for whatever reason no one is cooking, anyone else I have set to cook will rush in to handle the important food items if their preferred tasks are complete. Miners will mine and builders will build, unless they've got nothing better to do.

The old system required a lot more micromanagement in terms of restricting jobs and door access to accomplish the same thing.

 

Now I agree the UI could be laid out a little better. Maybe instead of the *, having two rows of 1-5 with the top being preferred and the bottom being strict. And better document how the strict works.

I think you just proved my point about how confusing it is by saying 4,2,5,3,1 somehow makes sense, is easy, obvious, and better than 1-9.

I agree two rows would be better than a *.

My suggested 1-5 and 6-9 has issues too since a 6 would beat a 5 dig order for a miner....

48 minutes ago, Kasuha said:

Where the new system fails utterly is taking care of tasks not covered by any occupied job. Seeing a task not done for an eternity is the only way the player can realize he doesn't have a duplicant to do it, and it's not usually obvious which job to even use, not mentioning selecting a duplicant to get the job from available duplicants.

I think the game should allow selection whether "uncovered tasks" go into the job queue of all duplicants with a job, or if they go close second (say, 0.5 points lower priority).

The second point where the new system fails is delivery and support tasks. There's one good delivery job, Gofer/courier. But EVERYTHING needs a delivery. You need half of your duplicants as delivery boys because delivering water to a supercomputer isn't part of the scientist's job and you can find him digging in the basement instead of doing his job because his supercomputer is out of water from a pump right beside it.

If both these issues get handled somehow, I think it can be good. The way it is, there's way too much micromanagement necessary and as a whole it's worse than it used to be.

I was thinking the same thing.  If a job does not have anyone assigned to the role, it becomes strict instead.  Your second point builds on my second point.  Some tasks require more than one specialization to perform and this prevents that without huge mico.

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3 minutes ago, chemie said:

I think you just proved my point about how confusing it is by saying 4,2,5,3,1 somehow makes sense, is easy, obvious, and better than 1-9.

I agree two rows would be better than a *.

My suggested 1-5 and 6-9 has issues too since a 6 would beat a 5 dig order for a miner....

Except it does make sense if you think about it. Dupes have preferred jobs and will do those in priority order unless you tell them otherwise.

Basically setting a priority to Strict just tells all dupes "Hey, this task is also now a preferred task for you". 

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I don't really mind the new system now that I've given it some time.

I find that the duplicants' lower movespeed has the biggest impact on jobs not getting done the way I want. I don't honestly think the new priority system breaks things as much as dupe move speed.

So, I have to develop my base more slowly and keep things organized the whole time. This to me has less to do with jobs and priorities.

But, there are a few things that need tuning, for sure. Like when does every single duplicant in the game stop all other jobs and only sweep for multiple cycles straight. When sweeping starts to happen (without forcing the issue) has always been a really awkward/unintuitive point. And there are other things that seem clunky, like, I regularly get dupes doing each others' jobs, even though I have work for all of them to do. Hm.

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42 minutes ago, Wedgebert said:

Except it does make sense if you think about it. Dupes have preferred jobs and will do those in priority order unless you tell them otherwise.

Basically setting a priority to Strict just tells all dupes "Hey, this task is also now a preferred task for you". 

 But you are setting a priority to things that require different specialties.  Take a research station.  This requires water delivery and a researcher.  How do you give that machine a priority for the researcher but still have a general dup deliver water (at a priority that gets him to do it)?

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1 minute ago, chemie said:

 But you are setting a priority to things that require different specialties.  Take a research station.  This requires water delivery and a researcher.  How do you give that machine a priority for the researcher but still have a general dup delivery water (at a priority that gets him to do it)

If very frugal with higher priorities, a non-strict 3 should work for both.

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10 minutes ago, Ichikai said:

If very frugal with higher priorities, a non-strict 3 should work for both.

Not if your 3 dups are dig,dig,build specialties!

You have to have the right number of general dups and the right number of specialties for your current and ever changing order que.

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30 minutes ago, chemie said:

How do you give that machine a priority for the researcher but still have a general dup deliver water

Uncheck the research job from all your dupes so only researchers can research. Then set the priority as high as you want.

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19 minutes ago, Ichikai said:

No, you'd need at least a researcher and a gofer to have it semi reliable. With those 3 only strict priority can save you.

Maybe.  Unless your gofer is busy with other stuff so your researcher is shut down.  Before putting that research machine in 7 meant water and research got done.  Now with split roles, you can't say that all tasks for the research machine is important.  The new system breaks anything that required multiple tasks.

 

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See, before we were quite in agreement about how dupes function. Now we can't even agree on the functionality behind it.

I repeat: it would have been much better if they kept the current system downtuned with slower leveling and penalties on using advanced stuff, and then added the job system to accelerate leveling in specialized functions. But this is nuts. Being able to command each individual dupe's current task would be more effective and simpler micro management.

I also don't mind the priority system simplified. Like the developers said, priority levels below 5 were almost never used. However, having a separate strict priority row is not the right call either. Allow dupes to do jobs they are not specialized in, allow them to level that task but on a slower pace and you do not need strict priority buttons.

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6 minutes ago, turbonl64 said:

See, before we were quite in agreement about how dupes function. Now we can't even agree on the functionality behind it.

I repeat: it would have been much better if they kept the current system downtuned with slower leveling and penalties on using advanced stuff, and then added the job system to accelerate leveling in specialized functions. But this is nuts. Being able to command each individual dupe's current task would be more effective and simpler micro management.

I also don't mind the priority system simplified. Like the developers said, priority levels below 5 were almost never used. However, having a separate strict priority row is not the right call either. Allow dupes to do jobs they are not specialized in, allow them to level that task but on a slower pace and you do not need strict priority buttons.

They said "strict" for a reason.

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8 minutes ago, turbonl64 said:

I also don't mind the priority system simplified. Like the developers said, priority levels below 5 were almost never used.

And 9 was overused.  Should the rest of us have tools taken away from us because some players don't know how to use them?  We all have to eat Spam because Timmy can't chew a steak?

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2 minutes ago, goboking said:

And 9 was overused.  Should the rest of us have tools taken away from us because some players don't know how to use them?  We all have to eat Spam because Timmy can't chew a steak?

Plus if the average player did not use priorities, boy they are in for shock now.....nothing will get done in their base. 

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