"Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

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AshToDust
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"Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by AshToDust »

First of all, I m really enjoying this game!!! Just like a giant puzzle where you got to decide what the picture will be :D

I dunno about something still... Everything has a construction cost in the form of raw material and everything not (passive as chest or ammo) has an upkeep cost in the form of energy or ammo.

Everything but a few thing like solar panel and transport belt. Solar panels are alright as you need to massively deploy them and condensators to make them efficient as a main power source.

Transport belt... that's the thing bothering me. I m massively using them. I have loooooooong belt circuits to bring raw material (iron, copper and coal) to my main base. And, it's upkeep free! As you can use as many belt as you want without upkeep, you don't have to worry that much about optimizing your building setup or your supply chain of raw material. The only thing you got to optimize is to have enough raw material to avoid bottleneck in supply chain and in a smaller way the use of injector to minimize a bit their energy costs and of course, avoid supply bottleneck.

I don't get why my transport belt circuit should remain free upkeep wise. I won't like them to be directly connected to electricity pole like other building but more in a "fluid" circuit like water for boiler : pipe and pump. With that logic we could keep the transport belt and had a transport belt relay. Each and every belt after the 5th between 2 relay will decrease speed of thoose transport belt by 10%. As such a 7 belts length (relay, 5 belt, relay) will be 100% efficient but a 12 belts length will get down to 50% and a 16 belts will go down to 10%. Of course a more than 16 belts length will just stop moving.

I would like to move forward on this idea by removing the faster belt but adding faster relay! We would use the same belt everywhere but had various base speed for different relay. As such, if an "express relay" is twice as fast as a basic relay, it would make a 12 belts length circuit just as fast a 7 belts length circuits with basic relay.

That's the main idea, numbers and equation are of course just there for a better understanding.

More electricity needed = more polution (or massive solar panels setup) = more chalenge

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Okami »

I think this would be not to bad to have.

But the length should be a bit more. In my current Base there are belts i would need lots of motors to keep the belts rolling ;)
Only thing i wouldnt like to ses, that the relay occupies more space. makes very short belts in compact design impossible. so the relay itself should work like a normal belt tile, and even need only 1 square space. also the splitters should need power and work as kind of relay. this way we have still 3 different splitters, and 3 different "belt relays". but maybe only one belt type. could work.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Zourin »

Belts, or at the very least basic belts, are meant to operate in a zero-electricity (burner) environment.. considering how many tiles of belts a player winds up laying, even small power requirements could cause pretty devastating consumption levels.

Although.. that said, the idea of a 'belt circuits' does offer some interesting alternatives, such as belt-power line (power transmission) or belt-network hybrids (circuit communication).

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Coolthulhu »

It could be cool for the advanced belts.
Basic ones should be upkeep free, though. Early on, belts are the only transportation you have (other than "manual inserter") and they have to cross relatively large distances. Until we get low-tech steam trains that don't require steel and lots of resources for tracks (and yet still have the ability to automatically drive and stop at train stops), belts have to fill the role of early large-scale transportation.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Zequez »

I don't see why would you need a transport belt relay. I mean, the belts should work as as an electrical network, so powering one belt should power all the belts connected. And the upkeep should be pretty low though.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Arpaleggia »

Zequez wrote:...the belts should work as as an electrical network, so powering one belt should power all the belts connected. And the upkeep should be pretty low though.
I agree with this approach. It makes sense to me that all transport belts (TB) should require power and only move as long as that TB or at least one other connected to it at any point in the chain is provided power; it could work as a specialised power network that only applies to TBs, perhaps the connectivity could work somewhat similar to electric poles/Substation (which only connect to each other) whilst having a range of one tile in all non-diagonal directions and still allowing them to take power from electric poles in the electric network.

Edit: Splitters would be included in the "transport belt power network" and all varieties of TB and splitter would be compatible with each other
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by ssilk »

:roll:
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by ChewyRedstone »

I've thought a bit about belt upkeep as well, and I think the best way to balance it would be a "belt motor". This would function as a regular belt, it would have all 3 tiers, but it would have a slightly fancier texture. This belt would need power, or perhaps fuel, and any belts connected to a powered belt motor would run, and any belts connected to running belts would run. Splitters could also act as belt motors.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by brab »

Making belts having some resource cost would also push toward the use of more efficient systems for long distance transportation, such as trains. Right now I only use trains because I like trains, even thought they might cost more than belts (tracks are slightly cheaper than belts, but then one has to add the cost of the train itself, and the loading infrastructure).

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Koub »

I wouldn't mind if higher tier belts had some sort of upkeep. But as always (or at least as most often), the hardest part of the game is the beginning imho. The moment when every single bit of resource counts. I think it would be OK for people who have been playing alpha for months (years ?) and who could cope with it single handedly, but for beginners or more casual players, i fear it would be too hard to get to learn the game.

Maybe would it be more balanced if it was just an option at map generation, like : TB have an upkeep. Like that, hardcore players would have challenge, and softcore players could enjoy the game too.

Another option would be to consider that basic TB have no upkeep under say 50 tiles length, which is OK for when you are just starting, and then, as you get bigger and bigger, you have means to pay that upkeep.

Another possibility even would be that tier 1 TB have no upkeep, but red and blue use a fixed power to go their speed. When unpowered, they're as good as tier 1 TB, but when powered, they go faster. And I would also prefer the transmission of the upkeep would be considered IN the TB, and not some other thing you have to repeat every 7 or 15 tiles, which would be a PITA to set up.
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by ssilk »

Hey, guys, before making longer posts:
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 951#p29268

In other words: it will not be implemented yet.
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Luaan »

What if... belts gave off a tiny, tiny amount of polution? Not enough to make anything important inside of a factory, but enough to attract biters to belts that stretch on for miles?

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by ssilk »

Pollution means, it uses energy. Belts don't use energy. :)

But what you mean is perhaps a new type of biter. There are some suggestions about that. But this begins to get off topic.
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by pbhead »

Zequez wrote:I don't see why would you need a transport belt relay. I mean, the belts should work as as an electrical network, so powering one belt should power all the belts connected. And the upkeep should be pretty low though.
this method best method.

Nothing that requires anything to be built, but just some sort of very minor penalty for building stupidly huge, inefficient belt networks.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by sillyfly »

ssilk wrote:Pollution means, it uses energy. Belts don't use energy. :)
Why must it stay that way? (e.g. - that something must use energy to create pollution)
I think this is actually a rather elegant solution to this problem. I can think of a few explanations if that's what you're missing, but having the belts run free is already rather unrealistic, so I don't think this should be a problem :)

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Gammro »

The problem I have with adding pollution to belts is, if you want it to pollute on long stretches, adding yet another significant amount of pollution to the game:

For long stretches, people build as much straight as they can, so let's assume a straight piece of belts on a chunk. This means 32 belts.
A chunk removes 0.6 pollution per tick. This means for the belts to add pollution to the chunk, one belt should at least emit 0.6/32=0.01875 pollution per tick.

This seems pretty small right? The stone furnace emits 0.01 and the steel furnace 0.02, for comparison. These are very small values by themselves, but on those long stretches it's not going to reach any further than 1 chunk away. I don't know about you guys, but I can't built stuff in the chunk next to a biter base.
Inside your factory, where belt density is higher, it will add a large amount of pollution. I have over 120 pieces of belt per chunk chunks in most parts of my factory. This would mean the polluting belts would add quite a lot of pollution, and where does that come from? I just don't think it's logical, they don't emit anything. They barely make any sound, so It can't be noise pollution either.

I hope this makes sense to you
Last edited by Gammro on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sillyfly
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by sillyfly »

Oh, why do you have to ruin everything with technicalities? :P

Well, maybe the pollution mechanic isn't the best solution to this, but maybe we could have it that biters passing by transport belts would go on attacking them instead of ignoring them and going towards their initial (polluting) target.
This could be "justified" by the movement angering them, or maybe even the sound (Which I don't think is negligible, but we can have different opinions about that).

The whole idea (as I see it) is to make belts less feasible as a long-range transport solution without ruining their legitimate in-base usefulness (especially early on). I think in the current state they are a bit overpowered, but the problem with most solutions proposed is that they would make it too much of a hassle to use them in the beginning.

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Luaan »

Gammro wrote:A chunk removes 0.6 pollution per tick. This means for the belts to add pollution to the chunk, one belt should at least emit 0.6/32=0.01875 pollution per tick.
Well, the point isn't to make a lot of pollution - anything small will still do; it's all about attracting biters to stretches with belts and little else around. I agree that this means a bigger change to the pollution mechanics, it can't simply add pollution like furnaces do; at the very least, it shouldn't increase pollution in a chunk that already has pollution over 0.6. It could actually be a explained as the noise - it doesn't do anything inside of the huge polluting and noisy factory, but on those long stretches of land with just the wind blowing, it'll be very noticeable. This way, it would not make much of a difference inside of your factory (apart from requiring a bit more protection, which is probably a good thing anyway - it would help against the fact that right now you can often protect your whole base with two turret clusters in the biters' path, and it would help against belt slowers in front of the turrets too).

Of course, it would be even better if the mechanics worked even more differently - I'm sure that there's a lot of good ways this could be implemented.

In any case, I'm no rabid anti-belter - it doesn't really bother me personally. I don't use long range belts, trains are simply too much fun. Make trains even better, even less of a reason to use long range belts. I think it would be nice if belts attracted biters, just because it would make it harder to protect your base, and bring more FUN (okay, so I love Dwarf Fortress, sue me :D).

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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Gammro »

I don't think the solution lies in making long belts less attractive, but in making trains more attractive. I already love them, and I especially love the new "name your station" feature in 0.10, but it still needs some work to make it easier to manage and make people want to jump the hurdle of learning how the train system works. But I don't think this is the topic to discuss how trains can be improved.

quick edit: It could be nice that while belts won't emit pollution, biters would attack them when they come across them. I don't know if that already happens.
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Re: "Free belt system" versus "belt circuit"

Post by Colombo »

Gamro: It is quit easy. Make more wagons with different properties. So you could pull out your supply train, that could fire on bitters and repair damaged tracks while manufacturing just another set of ammo.

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