Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Locked

Mylon
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Mylon » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:02 pm

Re:bots

Bots enable scaling the game to work on a whole different level. While early game is about getting production lines set up to make products, bots really allow megabases to take off. Without them, bases would scale roughly linearly with the player's ability to drop blueprints. Bots make the primary restriction into the player's ability to feed the base.

mikeplaysgames
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 7:14 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by mikeplaysgames » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:03 pm

Please don't nerf the bots, I think they are great for late game! I think some new late-game belt buffs would be awesome. Definitely intrigued by the concept of stacked belts.

milo christiansen
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by milo christiansen » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:05 pm

Die bots, die!

Seriously, they are the most boring part of the game. Luckily they are so easy to avoid.

iseebelts
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by iseebelts » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:05 pm

I've been using a mix of both in my bases because bots are poor at moving volume long distances. Sure, add more roboports and bots, but belts get it ton faster and for much less resources. I've also been using belts for self-contained mini factories (like sulfuric acid production) where I don't need to share the resources with other parts of the factory.

Many ways to play and I really hope logistics bots remain viable. Belt spaghetti is something but without building the main bus way or knowing all the tricks many players will never reach the megabase stage on belts alone. Make it a decision for the player.

Caine
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Caine » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:07 pm

Oh boy. I thought the fluid wagon was bad. Time to get some popcorn.

I do not use logistic bots, I find them to be extremely boring as they all but eliminate the logistics challenge from the game. It is belts and trains all the way for me.

ChevRonBurgandy
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:27 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by ChevRonBurgandy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:09 pm

IMO there is a need to move construction bots earlier; they are a really important quality of life upgrade. The fact that you get construction and logistics bots at the same time is a huge imbalance. One is QoL and the other is game-redefining.

I hope that while this discussion may devolve to pro/anti logistics bots we don’t forget about the humble construction bot.
Last edited by ChevRonBurgandy on Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

psychogears
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by psychogears » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:10 pm

This post seems to be more about the pros and cons of the logistic bots and the Logistic Network. If there were some decision about the system to be made in the future, I'd keep the construction bot mechanics the same and would not bother to defend the logistic bot. Construction bots don't really share duties with belts or otherwise getting things from point A to point B, with maybe repair packs being an exception.

jmickle_
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by jmickle_ » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:11 pm

I also agree that bots tend to ruin the fun of some parts of the game, having the "lazy" option of just putting down an assembler with one requester and provider is too tempting to pass up on when you're trying to solve a problem. When logistics was put behind purple/yellow science I was initially annoyed (because i'm lazy!) but realised setting up those sciences properly was fun and in turn that it was a positive change. My personal thought on the subject would be to go one step further and put it behind space science too.

I think game-breaking mechanics are definitely fun and shouldn't be taken out, but a good and common option is just only allow it at the "end" of the game. An example I think of a lot is the secret characters in Super Meat Boy. In the PC version, the last unlocked character is Steve from Minecraft, who has the ability to edit levels. This of course absolutely destroys any semblance of balance in the game, but you only get it when there is nothing left to unlock. I feel like putting logistic network behind space science would achieve the same thing.

Amegatron
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:12 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Amegatron » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Nerfing bots is a bad idea. Even one reason is enough: If a player does not want them - he can just not research them. And that is!
(BTW, I did so in my last playthrough - completely without bots).

On the contrary, having bots in the base is so cool. I was extremely happy when I got to my first logistic bots: it was such a pleasure to watch them flying around.

I can agree that bots are some kind of cheaty, but again: if you does not want yo use them - just don't use them, just expand your base as there were no bots. It would be quite ... how to say ... dishonestly(?) to decide for all players that using bots is bad ...

P.S. Maybe just add an option when starting the game: "Disable bots"?
Last edited by Amegatron on Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Darkhogg
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Darkhogg » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Always buff. We've had enough nerfs with the oil, I think.

PunkSkeleton
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 2:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by PunkSkeleton » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:14 pm

If you think bots simplify the game too much (like me) just don't use them. That's the best thing about Factorio: you can build your base in many ways.

Rhamphoryncus
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Rhamphoryncus » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:15 pm

While in theory belts add all sorts of interesting complexity, in practice I hate it. Belt balancers/taps are overly complex and have just that touch of unreliability due to weird timing quirks in splitters. Make them 100% reliable, give better ways to lane balance, and make compression actually sane and belts might just have a fighting chance.

A more realistic suggestion though: overhaul modules and beacons. Currently the optimal way of using them is the bands shown in your screenshot. It's high throughput and cheap material cost. And it's boring. Belts can't compete because it's usually impossible to weave them in there (although there's a few cases where a clever design makes it work.) Instead I suggest making the beacon itself have decreasing returns (so there's little point maximizing the overlap), integrating the module into the beacon (so it becomes a "speed beacon" rather than just some slots), and make each module a unique combination of effects. You could have a low grade "eco module" that's low cost and lowers energy with a small speed boost while a "tycoon" module is expensive but increases productivity, speed, and energy consumption. Each machine would have only a single slot so you just use the modules fitting your style rather than min-maxing. You could also avoid having 3 tiers of everything unless each has a clear application.

Edit: Another way of putting the balancer/tap issue: it's like splitters on the slow corners. One person figured it out, everybody else just copy-pastes it. That's not solving a puzzle. It's complexity at the wrong layer for what the game has become.

Edit2: I hope Twinsen had a good cackle at the shitstorm he caused. :lol:
Last edited by Rhamphoryncus on Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jona5
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by jona5 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:16 pm

as long as player logistics remain and there is still a way to feed trash slot items back into the factory in an automated way, i think i would be ok with that.

Denali
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Denali » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:17 pm

I would almost make another science pack level just for bots. I like belts because of the challenge but I also like bots for getting fuel to my nuclear reactors and trains.

psihius
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:47 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by psihius » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:17 pm

For a regular casual Joe the bots are a big simplification, true. But when you start going megabase (or numerous outposts) level and for production levels, sadly belts are just not up to the task. If there were faster belts (and/or loaders), then okay, but as things go, you just can't do some things in a reasonable manner. At some point the amount of belts you need just becomes unmanageable :)

Also, bots are stupid, and for that reason, having just one giant network is a really dumb idea, Best factories use at least trains and bots. Great factories use all 3 methods of transportation: belts, trains and bots.

Fourwingsy
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:17 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Fourwingsy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:19 pm

IMO there is a need to move construction bots earlier; they are a really important quality of life upgrade.
Absolutely! Early and easy recipe for that Flying bots(Constructing and supply player only), and make logistic networks research needs space science!

Jan5366x
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Jan5366x » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:19 pm

Als long the player delivery and "construction" robots are still there I could live with that. Maybe you could make it as an difficulty setting (default off) to avoid a hard nerf.

User avatar
MeduSalem
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by MeduSalem » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:20 pm

Honestly...

Bots > Belts.

No matter how much you intend to nerf them.

Belts are throughput limited and a huge UPS killer, no matter the optimizations you make to them.

You simply can't build a huge megabase without using bots. The effort doing the same with belts would make the game virtually unplayable for a lot of people due to CPU limitations.


If you nerf the bots then all you achieve is going backwards... bases/maps becoming smaller in average again. And all that just to force Belts into people's faces.

postulate
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by postulate » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:21 pm

I think logistic bots should occur earlier and not be nerfed, but instead the main map generation should be moved closer to the rail world settings so as to make bots alone infeasible. On the current map settings I do admit they're a little too powerful, but I don't think that's an issue with the bots themselves.

I also think that belts should be improved. The problem I have with entirely relying on belts and avoiding bots is that subtle management of belts can be extremely frustrating. Take for instance the challenge of a 4x4 balancer. Yes it's been solved without reducing throughput, but if someone doesn't look up what other people have done, this (and many other problems) seem daunting Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, a fully compressed belt will not always have a constant number of items on it per tile. This makes circuit network conditions really frustrating. There are some other features that would make logistic challenges involving belts much more satisfying, like a priority splitter which preferentially splits to one side.

I think that if anything, belts should be improved to be as satisfying to keep up with the ease of implementing a well-designed bot network.

Locked

Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users