Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

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Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Vas » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:50 am

Today someone mentioned that he feels bots are too over powered. I wasn't around during the whole bots versus belts debacle of that one FFF, so I wanted to provide my take on things, even though its yet another topic on it.

-- Mmm, now if only I was good at formatting... >.>

I hear people even talk about wanting bots to be nerfed too, and it bothers me hearing that... If you nerf bots, I'm relatively sure lots of people will be angry, and mods will come along to undo your nerfings and in the end you'll accomplish nothing at all other than making some players angry or disappointed in you. Like that FFF with all the bot hate.

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So, here's a short version: Enhance belts, don't nerf bots. (And fix the forum input box to not be the same exact color as my cursor! -.-)
Inserter Pickup/Drop Locations, Stackable Belts, Underground Belt ID Saving, Stack Inserters actually stack things.

Before you read the long version, a short bit on the way I play;
I play to relax and do some random stuff I find entertaining. I don't want to solve advanced algorithmic calculations and have to get an engineering degree or go to programming classes just so I know how to use the circuit network. I just want to build and enjoy. So I play with logistics instead of belts, allowing me easier control. Not to mention Bob's Inserters mod, because I think its silly robotic arms can't rotate to more than one location.

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Now for the long version: (My semi-tired and detailed view with how I play the game.)
Belts, are limited to the laws of physics. Currently within the game, you can only have one layer of belts, allowing one single item in a specific spot. That single item takes up that space so no other items can go there, and this item must travel along a belt that can not go diagnally, must make lots of turns, wiggling down a path, till it gets picked up by an inserter, that is only capable of moving one item at a time, unless researched, it then has to wait for another item to come into contact with it, which reduces the time taken to move items if the belt is backed up, however it still has to wait for another item to be in range.

Belts can't go through buildings, and are rather limited in their functionality, with an issue in base game making things worse, the underground belts can't be used in the same line as another underground belt because belts do not save their partner's entity ID, so you can't place two underground belts in the same path to compress things a little better. Underground belts also suffer from crafting menu spam, if you want something longer than 5 in length you need mods to add longer distance belts and this gets annoying when you have 3-5 lengths of every speed of belt spamming up your crafting menu.

Belts are bound by the laws of physics, and if you want them to be enhanced, stacking machines should be added to allow stacks to be created for items.
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/DeadlockStacking - This for example, works in a way.
But it would be better to allow items to have a setting that says how high they can stack to, and let stack inserters, create the stacks, and when the item gets to th destination, the stack is picked up and placed into the inventory it requested not as a stacked item but as the amount of items that make up the stack, with the inserter/stack inserter holding onto the rest till they are all placed. I imagine this to be something only possible via base game till the devs release more of the core to modding.

Stackable belts, could be another way to help with the issue of space and maneuverability. Being able to create a second layer of belt on top of an existing one would allow you to move 3 belts worth of items in a single line if you need to send 6 different kinds of items to some small area of assemblers.

One of the thoughts I had as well for making belts a little more reasonable, is Bob's Inserters mod, being able to specify input output locations. I disabled the "long inserter" research so that inserters max at the current long inserter ranges, but it is nice to be able to tell an inserter where it can pick stuff up, and where it can place it. This helps speed up and compress things a little better too, making belts more efficient than bots. Base game, belts are truly the worst part of the game in my personal opinion because inserters just blow. I simply refuse to play without his mod as a result.

So, there's four things you can do to improve belts without nerfing bots; Inserter Pickup/Drop Locations, Stackable Belts, Underground Belt ID Saving, Stack Inserters actually stack things.

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As someone told me earlier, that they feel bots are over powered. I will now explain my experience and views on bots;

Are bots so overpowered? Well, I don't think so. I can do things a lot faster with belts than I can with bots. For example with bobs mods, starting out with the same stuff I start out with now in my alternate starts mod, I can get to "red circuit" production within 2 hours or so. OR. I use my bots, starting out with 100 logistics bots, and I spend 2 hours, barely getting to "green circuits" with huge power failures as a result of bots consuming too much power. Except I can be lazier and enjoy the game more, because I don't have to figure out crazy big designs using lots and lots of land to move items around on early game slow slow belts.

So are bots over powered? No. In base game, with no mods, you must get to bots, and then create the bots. Then supply them with large amounts of power. You might feel they are over powered, because you can't stand to see people using bots to evade the puzzle solving portion of the game, but they aren't, they are slower than belts early game, and by late game, they are just a convenience that lets you compress your factory.

One thing I personally like about bots though, is the precision control. I don't need large circuit networks to control the flow of items. I can simply connect inserters to the logistic network and say "keep doing this till this". Another is request chests letting me request specific amounts of items. Train stations where I can just dump all ore regardless of whats mixed in, into passive provider storages and bots sort it for me. Smart Splitters helped slightly, needs more than -one- filter option to really be helpful, but eh. Bots add convenience and remove an intended portion of the game and allow those of us who don't want to solve puzzles or get advanced programming/engineering degrees to play, to enjoy the way we want to play.

So in the end; Improve belts, don't nerf bots.

I wouldn't mind some changes to bots, but I don't want them nerfed into oblivion to be useless. Don't force us to play the way you want us to, let us enjoy the game each in our own ways. Add unique achievements that encourage people to play in a way you want but don't force it. I play games vastly different from the way most people play, which is why its so hard for me to find topics relevant to what I want to say or do or whatever.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby impetus maximus » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:10 am

Vas wrote:yet another topic on it.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Vas » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 am

Well Maximus, someone asked for my input on robots versus belts, and I provided a long explanation of my input and felt that I should share it with others too instead of just a private message about the same size as the first post here.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby batorfly » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:53 am

TL;DR
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Caine » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:15 am

Vas wrote:I wasn't around during the whole bots versus belts debacle of that one FFF, so I wanted to provide my take on things, even though its yet another topic on it.

Indeed. The old topic is still open as far as I know. Just add your opinion there. And read it before you post, "don't nerf bots, buff belts" has been said in about 50% of all posts there.

For the rest: TL;DR. Add an abstract if you are going to post a wall of text.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Vas » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:10 pm

Caine wrote:For the rest: TL;DR. Add an abstract if you are going to post a wall of text.

An abstract?
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Caine » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:39 pm

Vas wrote:
Caine wrote:For the rest: TL;DR. Add an abstract if you are going to post a wall of text.

An abstract?

Oh, sorry. I essentially mean a brief summary. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_(summary)

You did have a short version included, but it doesn't really say anything meaningful but starts rambling about why and how you play.
Frankly, I could not care less. That is also where I stopped reading. If you have an idea then get the reader interested.

And do your homework first to see if it has already been proposed.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Vas » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:41 pm

Caine wrote:You did have a short version included, but it doesn't really say anything meaningful but starts rambling about why and how you play.
Frankly, I could not care less. That is also where I stopped reading. If you have an idea then get the reader interested.

And do your homework first to see if it has already been proposed.


I rambled about how I play, because it seems like the devs wish to force people to play the game the way they designed it and don't like that people play it different ways. At least thats the vibe I get.

I'm sure some of my ideas have been proposed, but bringing old topics back from the dead is usually frowned upon, and I looked already in a few boards to see topics of current active consideration to see if anyone was talking about belts versus bots, and didn't see any.

Adding my post, increases the number of posts related to the topic, showing a stronger resistance to nerfing bots should the devs be considering a bot nerf at any point in the future. Its not like they have a page where you can go vote on potential future ideas and I can go there and click a button on "no" to "nerf bots".

Seriously though, if a dev is reading this, change the background color of the input here so I can actually see my cursor when I'm highlighting and editing my posts... I won't be spending time formatting posts till I can see my cursor when I select stuff.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Jap2.0 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:02 am

Vas wrote:
Caine wrote:You did have a short version included, but it doesn't really say anything meaningful but starts rambling about why and how you play.
Frankly, I could not care less. That is also where I stopped reading. If you have an idea then get the reader interested.

And do your homework first to see if it has already been proposed.


Seriously though, if a dev is reading this, change the background color of the input here so I can actually see my cursor when I'm highlighting and editing my posts... I won't be spending time formatting posts till I can see my cursor when I select stuff.


I believe that's only on IE. There have been topics on this before.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Zavian » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:14 am

Jap2.0 wrote:
Vas wrote:
Caine wrote:You did have a short version included, but it doesn't really say anything meaningful but starts rambling about why and how you play.
Frankly, I could not care less. That is also where I stopped reading. If you have an idea then get the reader interested.

And do your homework first to see if it has already been proposed.


Seriously though, if a dev is reading this, change the background color of the input here so I can actually see my cursor when I'm highlighting and editing my posts... I won't be spending time formatting posts till I can see my cursor when I select stuff.


I believe that's only on IE. There have been topics on this before.


I have trouble seeing the cursor as well. Chrome on win10. Once the mouse pointer changes to a vertical bar it has very low contrast against the grey background in these text boxes.
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Re: Bots Versus Belts - Vas's Take

Postby Koub » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:53 am

This is getting off topic, and can be discussed here :
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=47533
and has also been mentionned here :
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=3457

Not that the topic adds much new things after :
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56218
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56519
and the various threads I failed merging into these for different reasons, and can be found in this board.
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