Trains vs conveyors?

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.

Trains vs conveyors?

Postby KDR_11k » Thu May 29, 2014 11:51 am

Okay, so I haven't used trains much yet and I'm very wary of spending large amounts of resources on infrastructure but:

Train tracks cost 5.5 metal per 4 squares distance. The train itself requires fuel and some complexity for loading/unloading and turns and stuff.
(Basic) Conveyor belts cost 6 metal per 4 squares distance. They aren't as fast as trains and certainly not as fancy but they do have plenty of throughput and even slowly trundling the materials do reach the goal eventually. Plus you just have your machines spit materials onto the belt, maybe add a split-and-join section to fill both sides of the belt equally and then just grab them off the belt at any point where you need them.

The only case where the train seems like the better deal is when the transport must be bi-directional (e.g. when transporting oil barrels though a pipeline may just be a simpler option there) since it can just turn around and drive back on the same set of rails. Or maybe if you're picking a lot of different things up on the same route but I haven't had that issue yet.
KDR_11k
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:01 am

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby murillokb » Thu May 29, 2014 11:57 am

Man are you spying on me? I was having a discussion about exactly the same thing right now lol

Yes, I agree with you. Right now there's no real motive for using trains for mass transportation of one type of item.

edit: or there is? I would like to hear peoples opinions and observations on that.
murillokb
Inserter
Inserter
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby brab » Thu May 29, 2014 12:32 pm

I've also been thinking about the lack of motivation to build a train network, after building a very very long conveyor belt.

One way to solve this would be to make a conveyor belt too expansive after a given size, for instance by imposing to have motors every 10 or 20 belts. (That's one of the great thing about conveyor belts, they never run out of power, which make them a bit too powerful.)
brab
Inserter
Inserter
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 2:08 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby GewaltSam » Thu May 29, 2014 2:06 pm

It's harder to initially set up, but it's cleaner than a belt (not that much material lying around in the desert), it's faster, it has a much higher possible throughput, and it's a lot of fun to build.
Sure, right now, in most cases a belt would suffice. That's why i suggested this: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3834

The map generator should work in a way that encourages people to build trains instead of belts. That's not given right now, if you ask me. But you should try to do it; it's very satisfactory to have a nice working train setup in conjunction with your standard belts and logistic network.
User avatar
GewaltSam
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby KDR_11k » Thu May 29, 2014 2:25 pm

I'd use trains more if rails were cheaper but then again I'm not even willing to build red conveyors due to their high price so maybe others are less price sensitive.
KDR_11k
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:01 am

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby GewaltSam » Thu May 29, 2014 2:32 pm

KDR_11k wrote:I'd use trains more if rails were cheaper but then again I'm not even willing to build red conveyors due to their high price so maybe others are less price sensitive.


If something seems to be too expensive, you're not conveying enough resources :P
User avatar
GewaltSam
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby undeadnightorc » Thu May 29, 2014 5:57 pm

Most of my games have Biter settings at max, so a train network is almost useless for me. I can usually get missile defense given whatever resources are in my starting area, with occasional expansions nearby for certain resources I am running out of.

Perhaps if the game introduced rare resources that are located far from my starting area it would give me incentive to get a train system going. As it is, I find pipes and conveyor belts do the job for me.
undeadnightorc
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 11:05 am

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby kovarex » Thu May 29, 2014 6:35 pm

Whenever I want to transport resources from bigger storage area, I have to use trains, as even 2 or 3 red belt highway wouldn't suffice. And once I have the home station and basic route finished, I can extend it quite easily, without worry. If I used just belts, I couldn't expand so easily, as they would be already fully used by the first mine.
kovarex
Factorio Staff
Factorio Staff
 
Posts: 6308
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Prague

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby chlue » Thu May 29, 2014 7:00 pm

One thing you should not forgot is that you can move yourself via train too. So If you want to visit a special outpost then look up the station name, put a train on the rail, press return to enter and let him go there. Thats surely faster and more fun than using the belts.
chlue
Inserter
Inserter
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 2:06 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby hybird607 » Thu May 29, 2014 7:47 pm

chlue wrote:One thing you should not forgot is that you can move yourself via train too. So If you want to visit a special outpost then look up the station name, put a train on the rail, press return to enter and let him go there. Thats surely faster and more fun than using the belts.



I second chlue's opinion. I use trains often now to reach remote outposts quicker then what a belt/car could do.

ps. Couple two trains together for a nice speed boost as well!
hybird607
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 6:33 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby ssilk » Thu May 29, 2014 8:26 pm

In my opinion it depends on the game-setting. If you always play with full rich resources etc. then forget about trains. But I think that game is boring.

In my opinion the interesting game begins, when you need to go outside. To explore the surrounding. This begins with about 400 tiles distances. That's two ranges of radar. And that is also the border, where train comes really into the game, cause with that distance you wont place belts after belts. It takes much too long, until some new resources are in your factory. It is boring to do everything by car. And many more reasons.

In my eyes - I repeated that now several times - the really, really interesting game begins in a distance of 1000 tiles from the base. Here you are suddenly alone again. No tech in reach.

What, if this is the distances, in which we normally find new resources? What, if the game forces us to expand 5 times the scan-range of radar, before we find enough resources? I mean there is a lot of needed game mechanics missing to do that for now. But the question, if you want to use belts or train is then no longer a question, it's just stupid to have so many belts over that distance. :)
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...
User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 10381
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Location: Würzburg, Germany

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby KDR_11k » Thu May 29, 2014 10:14 pm

kovarex wrote:Whenever I want to transport resources from bigger storage area, I have to use trains, as even 2 or 3 red belt highway wouldn't suffice. And once I have the home station and basic route finished, I can extend it quite easily, without worry. If I used just belts, I couldn't expand so easily, as they would be already fully used by the first mine.

My question there would be why you have such a massive storage area away from your factory in the first place... Yeah, if I stored all my mined ore near the mines and only shipped it out at some later point I wouldn't get away with the belts but by sending materials immediately I can ship about 6 or 7 mines worth of production (actually have a lot of spare space with that but I usually don't use more than that on one ore field, I haven't tested the limits) with just one yellow belt.
KDR_11k
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:01 am

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Gammro » Thu May 29, 2014 10:45 pm

Then you haven't built big yet :P

After a while, it really pays off to just go big to be able to produce much and fast. You really need a lot of circuits in the late game, so you want a lot of production of that, which needs a lot of basic resources. So nowadays, I start out with 4 yellow belts wide for every resource for internal transport in my base. Then I start building rails to supply the smelting area of ore, because I need a lot of it to fill all the furnaces.
Ignore this
Gammro
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
 
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby therapist » Fri May 30, 2014 6:49 am

Trains move materials much faster at the cost of fuel, and you can even put a train engine on both sides of a rail car so it moves both directions on a single track. This setup works well for a factory away from the biters in the woods connected to a high polluting mining operation. Raw materials go the the factory while replacement walls, turrets, bots, and repair packs return on the train to the mining outpost. That's just me though, I never liked the idea of trains spending fuel just to return an empty train to a loading station.
therapist
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 7:22 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Chthon » Fri May 30, 2014 3:25 pm

Trains have saved my bacon when running from 40-50 big biters, where a conveyor wouldn't have done anything. Nothing better than running along side the tracks with 4 HP, hoping a train would come by and smash all of the, just to have it happen and suddenly you survive!
Chthon
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Khyron » Fri May 30, 2014 7:00 pm

I think there is a small balance problem with Trains vs Belts at the moment. But mainly it comes down to a question of how your map was generated. As ssilk said, once you need to move resources 400 tiles or more, the train networks are a better solution. The problem is defaul/normal map settings are very generous, so most players just won't encounter that problem. This in turn makes it less likely they'll bother with rail networks which is a shame because it's a very engaging part of the game.

Still, some people will want to play Factorio on high resource settings because they just enjoy setting up a factory. For those kind of people, the combat and logistics problems might be an annoying diversion. To each his own.

Belts
+Very accessible to the player, easy to set up and familiar
+Consumes no energy & produces no pollution
-Low cargo capacity
-Unresponsive to supply changes
-Vulnerable to biter attacks
-Can be time consuming to repair

Trains
+Very high cargo capacity
+Very responsive to supply changes
+The player can use the train to get to and from distant resource bases
+Track is not attacked by biters (?confirm?) and the loco can kill biters (very fun!)
-Complex to set up (the track, the automatic network and manufacturing the locomotive itself)
-Consumes energy (although trivial amount)
-Produces pollution (again, a trivial amount)

What changes I hope for
  • Some method by which belts consume energy. I imagine something like a 1x1 tile 'motor' unit that power all connected belts in something like a 10x10 area. There could be a burner equivalent of this (like the burner inserter) for early game. I've read the arguments against this and I don't find them compelling at all.
  • Some improvements in the track-laying interface. For example, some automatic sensing of how an existing track could logically be extended, rather than letting you cycle through all the possible track puzzle-pieces. I want to press R less times!
User avatar
Khyron
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 5:47 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Darthlawsuit » Fri May 30, 2014 7:15 pm

I personally like trains since I can run 20 trains on the same track compared to laying 20 sets of conveyor belts. Maybe for a small base trains aren't as useful but I play on an infinite map going for global conquest so expanding my rail network is so much easier than building a conveyor network. I can use existing rail networks to expand in any which way then use that same network to deliver weapons/walls/etc if the base is too far away to be connected to my main logistic network. Instead of going for "win" go for biter extermination and rails become so much more useful.
User avatar
Darthlawsuit
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:32 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Dispaminite » Fri May 30, 2014 10:27 pm

As Darth said, you can run multiple trains on the same set of tracks, only needing to create smaller, separate tracks for the branches.

Plus trains are just cool.
Dispaminite
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby starxplor » Sat May 31, 2014 6:00 am

The complexity that trains allow is huge compared to belts for the same space/resources. Having trains bring coal, iron ore, copper ore, stone, and oil barrels from remote outposts to the main processing hub is amazing fast and extremely extensible. Need more iron? Swing by an iron patch on your way back from a near by copper patch. One set of tracks with the occasional holding lane near junctions and you can get everything delivered at once.

Current patches run out? Need more ore? Just hop in the train heading to the empty patch and you are ready to extend the line without running or driving over trees to get there.
starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm

Re: Trains vs conveyors?

Postby Ric » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:54 am

I think everyone has stated most the reasons why trains are better than conveyors in certain situations so I won't repeat them.

What I will say though is I'm a huge supporter of the train system & definitely hope it's developed more so I can build even more elaborate systems than I do now.

I even built a relatively small circular route within my main base so I can hop on & off if I want to travel a little around the base without walking.
Yes, I'm a little lazy & running gets boring :P
"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, it's half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice the size it needs to be"
Ric
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 8:49 am
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Next

Return to Balancing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron