Logistics net: Less research needed

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Aeternus
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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Aeternus » Tue May 09, 2017 9:01 am

Kelderek wrote:
Aeternus wrote:Bulk moving stuff by hand just to get something done just seems... wrong to me.
Not having access to requester chests does not equate to having to do things by hand. By the time you would be even considering logistic bots you already have belts and trains available. If you are desperate for that requester chest you could craft or move some science packs by hand or you could automate it using belts like everything else in the early game.
You'd need to run 5 separate production chains by belt, and output 5 different resource types (the 5 science packs) back to your research facilities. Sure, it can be done, but it's... messy at best.

Aeternus wrote: Intuitively the game tells me that's the best way to do it
This is an entirely subjective opinion. There is no right or wrong way to do things in a game like this and the game certainly doesn't have a way that it "tells you" how to do it. You use the tools that are available and if later on you find a better tool then you can switch to that. Just because it's your preference to do a science pack build using logistic bots doesn't mean everyone else will. As it is right now most people will automate it with belts and then once the requester chest is unlocked some people will redo the build in favor of that and others will keep the science packs as a belt system and use bots for other things.

This is similar to saying that substations are the best way to distribute power to your factory, therefore we should get substations much earlier in the game. The problem is that would break progression and greatly devalue small and medium poles. I can get along with small poles just fine even if I don't prefer to use them until I get access to medium ones and eventually substations. In the same fashion, if you get full access to logistic bots too early, then it may devalue the use of belts and trains.
Funny you mention the substations. Those only need red, green and blue research... the same as what I'm proposing for logistics. You can get access to Substations early on if you really want to use those a lot.
Trains remain the go-to for long distance bulk cargo movement - mining outposts to main factory or smelter. Belts are useful for a steady supply of similar resources along a fixed path. Logistic bots are in my opinion the best option to move low volume cargo without the need for point-to-point infrastructure. Exactly the kind of cargo you get in many research chains.
IMO the requester chest should be available no earlier than purple science and I am totally fine with it being high tech science as it is now. It's fairly cheap at only 150 science packs so anyone who is more desperate for early bot usage has an easy way to unlock it even without a full build of yellow science packs automated yet (compare that to 1000+ science of things like nuclear and kovarex enrichment).
Nuclear is expensive, yes. But even basic nuclear only needs red, green and blue research, albeit a lot of it. Kovarex is an upgrade to basic nuclear. Just as bot speed, personal logistics, logistics trash or bot cargo capacity would be to the basic logistics network.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Tev » Tue May 09, 2017 12:46 pm

+1 to what Kelderek says. I almost never needed main bus due to logistic bots . . .

On the other hand, yellow science is fairly late, especially for Marathon / Deathworld. I'd definitely not move logistics back to blue, purple science seems ok tier to me for it.

Btw I love the comparatively early access to construction bots and personal roboport. So I think overall devs have good vision for the game, and even leaving it as it is it would be fine . . . And hey, at least people will be forced to untangle their spaghetti :D

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Aeternus » Tue May 09, 2017 3:01 pm

Tev wrote:. . . And hey, at least people will be forced to untangle their spaghetti :D
Well, at least you can vent the frustration with the nuclear option now... Kaboom. :twisted:

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Kelderek » Tue May 09, 2017 4:44 pm

I guess my main reason for talking in this thread so much is that I want to make sure that any balance change to this would be done for the right reasons. This is just my opinion, but nostalgia for how we were always able to do something in the past would not be a good enough reason to revert this change. Flying robots that can avoid all obstacles are very powerful, their acquisition in the tech tree should reflect that.

Most of us here on the forum are biased because we have played in previous versions. But if you try to imagine it from the point of view of a first time player, would you still have a problem with unlocking requester chests at high tech science or would you just get to that point and think "hey this is cool". Yes I know that many new players will never play more than a few hours, a lot of games just don't stick for some people. But for those new players for whom Factorio is a great match, how will they see it?

It would be useful to know what the devs were thinking to themselves when they made this change. They may have other reasons we haven't mentioned here.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by steinio » Tue May 09, 2017 4:50 pm

Kelderek wrote:I guess my main reason for talking in this thread so much is that I want to make sure that any balance change to this would be done for the right reasons. This is just my opinion, but nostalgia for how we were always able to do something in the past would not be a good enough reason to revert this change. Flying robots that can avoid all obstacles are very powerful, their acquisition in the tech tree should reflect that.

Most of us here on the forum are biased because we have played in previous versions. But if you try to imagine it from the point of view of a first time player, would you still have a problem with unlocking requester chests at high tech science or would you just get to that point and think "hey this is cool". Yes I know that many new players will never play more than a few hours, a lot of games just don't stick for some people. But for those new players for whom Factorio is a great match, how will they see it?

It would be useful to know what the devs were thinking to themselves when they made this change. They may have other reasons we haven't mentioned here.
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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by jonatkins » Tue May 09, 2017 6:56 pm

Kelderek wrote:Most of us here on the forum are biased because we have played in previous versions. But if you try to imagine it from the point of view of a first time player, would you still have a problem with unlocking requester chests at high tech science or would you just get to that point and think "hey this is cool"
Yes, we existing players are biased. It's impossible not to be. However, existing players are important to a game, their opinions should matter.

As for new players, who know. Maybe they'll think as you suggest, or maybe they'll look ahead through the tech tree and see the one missing piece (deliver to chests) and wonder why it's so much further ahead in science cost.
Kelderek wrote: It would be useful to know what the devs were thinking to themselves when they made this change. They may have other reasons we haven't mentioned here.
Yes, it would. If I had to guess, I might think that the devs think that some players rely too much on logistics - and perhaps some do (perhaps I do?). Making it harder to get will force players to use belts for longer.

But so what? If they want to, let them. It's not an efficient way of doing bulk production, so they'll eventually experiment with other methods if they care about throughput.

At the end of the day, Factorio is a game - it should be fun. It should allow exploring the different game mechanics and learning what works. This change takes away from this - an option that can't be used at this point. Less exploring methods of play, forcing the player to use belts for everything for much longer.

This change takes away from the game, makes it less enjoyable. Forces a particular play style for longer, rather than giving choice.

Well that's my opinion anyway...

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Kelderek » Wed May 10, 2017 1:31 am

jonatkins wrote:This change takes away from the game, makes it less enjoyable. Forces a particular play style for longer, rather than giving choice.
This is the price you have to pay for having progression in any game, otherwise why have a tech tree at all? If the game does not impose a path of progression then you are left with no tech tree at all and a purely sandbox game where you get access to everything at the start -- that's the only real way you get the kind of choice you're asking for. If the game is going to have a tech tree then the devs have to come up with a progression that they feel will fit for a balanced play for most players. Anything else can be handled by mods to tweak it for different play styles.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by bman212121 » Wed May 10, 2017 1:59 am

Kelderek wrote:
jonatkins wrote:This change takes away from the game, makes it less enjoyable. Forces a particular play style for longer, rather than giving choice.
This is the price you have to pay for having progression in any game, otherwise why have a tech tree at all? If the game does not impose a path of progression then you are left with no tech tree at all and a purely sandbox game where you get access to everything at the start -- that's the only real way you get the kind of choice you're asking for. If the game is going to have a tech tree then the devs have to come up with a progression that they feel will fit for a balanced play for most players. Anything else can be handled by mods to tweak it for different play styles.
But we can reiterate the sticking point again.... You can literally get every piece of tech needed for logistics, except for two chests. You can craft said chests with just the ingredients needed for everything else, expect you can't unlock those chests until the game is almost over. Tech tree or not, that makes no sense.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Aeternus » Wed May 10, 2017 2:03 am

Kelderek wrote:Most of us here on the forum are biased because we have played in previous versions. But if you try to imagine it from the point of view of a first time player, would you still have a problem with unlocking requester chests at high tech science or would you just get to that point and think "hey this is cool". Yes I know that many new players will never play more than a few hours, a lot of games just don't stick for some people. But for those new players for whom Factorio is a great match, how will they see it?
Will they see it at all? If you get the logistics network so late, you'll not learn how it works in an evolving factory - you'll not be able to try it out until you're practically at the endgame. So how will new players be able to compare belts vs bots vs trains if the bots aren't yet available? For the first playthrough, players will be shoehorned into figuring things out with belts and manual labor. I like those little bots, so do many other people. Having the option to get them out early would increase the funfactor for many folks. Not everyone, but many.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Kelderek » Wed May 10, 2017 4:18 am

Aeternus wrote:If you get the logistics network so late, you'll not learn how it works in an evolving factory - you'll not be able to try it out until you're practically at the endgame. So how will new players be able to compare belts vs bots vs trains if the bots aren't yet available?
Won't this be true for everything that gets placed at the high tech science level? You could make the same argument for other items at that level, but if you're going to have a separate high tech science pack tier, then anything that gets assigned to that level will be difficult to get to. The big difference I think for the requester chest is that it is probably the cheapest high tech science item at only 150 packs. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything that costs less at that level. If you could get the rocket silo earlier you could benefit from the unlock of rocket fuel for all of your fuel burning boilers, furnaces and trains. If you could get access to kovarex enrichment earlier then you could sustain uranium fuel cells much easier. Something needs to require the high tech science packs and there are reasons why each item might be available earlier, how do you decide which items are worthy of earlier access versus being locked behind an end game science tier?

New players will already get a taste with the logistic slots for the character and construction bots, even if they have to wait to get full access to the rest of it later on. It may even be incentive to keep playing in order to unlock it.

It's a tough nut to crack for sure, figuring out all this balance. As I said before I wouldn't mind it being only purple science. My attitude is that I will use this feature whenever I get access to it and I can manage my designs just fine prior to getting access to full logistic bot capabilities.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by jonatkins » Wed May 10, 2017 7:47 am

Kelderek wrote:It's a tough nut to crack for sure, figuring out all this balance. As I said before I wouldn't mind it being only purple science. My attitude is that I will use this feature whenever I get access to it and I can manage my designs just fine prior to getting access to full logistic bot capabilities.
Purple only perhaps would be OK - no need for processing units or speed modules (which suck up an awful lot of basic circuits) for gold science, and, as I'd already have blue science up and running at this point it'd only mean one more science pack to produce. I'd need to play through like this to be sure, but at a quick glance it doesn't seem too bad.

I still don't really understand why it was increased at all from 0.14, but if the devs are following this thread and change it to purple only, I'd be happy to play through from the start again and give feedback.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Tev » Wed May 10, 2017 3:21 pm

jonatkins wrote:I still don't really understand why it was increased at all from 0.14, but if the devs are following this thread and change it to purple only, I'd be happy to play through from the start again and give feedback.
Seems to me like it was way too early, as a noob I never really bothered with bigger belt setups. Just rush bots . . . and blue science got easier to setup, so leaving bots on that level would make people not discover bots at all.

I think pretty cool would be moving logistic research to purple science AND making req chests cost blue circuits instead.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Kelderek » Wed May 10, 2017 4:11 pm

Tev wrote:I think pretty cool would be moving logistic research to purple science AND making req chests cost blue circuits instead.
This is a good point. It would certainly help justify the placement of requester chests at a higher tier of science like yellow or purple if the cost of the actual chests was also higher. Adding a blue circuit to the recipe would make a lot of sense in that case.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Jarin » Wed May 10, 2017 11:00 pm

Taking off the yellow pack requirement seems the most balanced to me. It's still pushed higher (which is fine, a progression between personal logistics and bot-running your whole factory is good), but doesn't nonsensically jump two whole tiers ahead of all the related techs.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Roxor128 » Mon May 15, 2017 2:17 am

Jarin wrote:a progression between personal logistics and bot-running your whole factory is good
Another way you could handle it would be to invert that and make the chests come first and the character slots second. Would line up with how the personal versions of the roboport and solar panel come later than the regular versions.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by firesign » Fri May 26, 2017 12:56 pm

Apart from any question of whether requester chests should be unlocked earlier, the current implementation in 0.15 feels really wonky.

Consider: at 150 red/green packs you unlock a tech with the description:
Logistic Robots are a flexible alternative to transport belts. They transport items between logistical chests.
This misleads the user; it's a big letdown to build a roboport and a bunch of robots only to find out they won't do anything until the late-game.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Kelderek » Fri May 26, 2017 4:44 pm

If you feel it's misleading enough then submit it as a bug report to have them change the wording. It was probably just an oversight when they added the new science pack types.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by dragontamer5788 » Fri May 26, 2017 4:52 pm

I strongly disagree with the intent of this topic. The only chance that combinators would be used is if:

1. Wire becomes automatic (ie: Construction Bots). Placement of wires is extremely tedious pre-Construction bots. With Construction Bots however, it becomes reasonable to actually play with "Sushi Belts" or "Mixed-Belts" for easy expansion of your base.

2. Decent players can finish this game within 8 hours. With my personal playstyle, the rocket is easily launched within 15. I estimate that the timeperiod where you can take advantage of Combinators (but before Logistic Bots solving every issue) is at best... 2 or 3 hours. That is: the time period after you research Construction Bots, but before you research Receiver Chests.

Solving the logistical issues of a base is actually quite doable with blueprints, wires, and combinators... especially if you have Construction Bots auto-stamp out solutions. The main issue is that creating the blueprints is still tedious the first time... but at least its solved. I would argue that Construction Bots should be sooner in the game, if only to solve the "tedious wiring" problem. Or maybe if there was some way to use Blueprints to automatically hook up wires.

The Logistic Network is by far, the best way to organize a base. It deserves to be end-game tech, possibly even harder to research than the rocket itself. The "cheaper" way to organize a base generically (ie: COMBINATORS) has such limited scope right now that nobody in this topic even seems to be aware of the possibilities.

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by Aeternus » Fri May 26, 2017 5:38 pm

Combinators don't move items. They can control when stuff moves, but not move it themselves. As for logistics bots solving all your problems: Early on, when they move slower then a snail on salt and can carry only one thing, they're definately not the go-to method for solving all item movement. They can be the go-to for moving resource expensive items, low volume traffic that needs to be flexible because of the complex chain of resources.
By your arguement, trains should be locked behind purple tech because you can also use belts at long distance. Sure, you -can- do so, but why do you use trains for that purpose usually? Simple, it's the better method for doing so.

Bottom line though, Factorio is a game. Ask yourself what's more fun: Having the option to not use bots and use the "tedious wiring" as you label it, if you choose to do so (and getting the logistics embargo achievement in the process), or being forced to do so by making the other options unavailable?

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Re: Logistics net: Less research needed

Post by dragontamer5788 » Fri May 26, 2017 6:09 pm

Aeternus wrote:Combinators don't move items. They can control when stuff moves, but not move it themselves. As for logistics bots solving all your problems: Early on, when they move slower then a snail on salt and can carry only one thing, they're definately not the go-to method for solving all item movement. They can be the go-to for moving resource expensive items, low volume traffic that needs to be flexible because of the complex chain of resources.
By your arguement, trains should be locked behind purple tech because you can also use belts at long distance. Sure, you -can- do so, but why do you use trains for that purpose usually? Simple, it's the better method for doing so.

Bottom line though, Factorio is a game. Ask yourself what's more fun: Having the option to not use bots and use the "tedious wiring" as you label it, if you choose to do so (and getting the logistics embargo achievement in the process), or being forced to do so by making the other options unavailable?
'

Aeternus: you're not forced to do anything in this game. Some dude launched the rocket in under 8 hours using Burner Inserters with Logistic Network ban.

Here's the problem: Combinators, although they are really cool, have virtually no use right now. The 2 to 4 hour window where you have Construction Bots (but not Requester chests) is the best chance Combinators have of actually seeing some use. Before Construction bots, wiring is far too tedious. After Requester chests, Combinator-based "fake-logistics" is an order-of-magnitude weaker than mass-producing logistic bots. Heck, Logistic Bots outperform Blue-Belts and basically make all belt-based gameplay obsolete.

The game as it is forces the players to basically ignore Combinators. There's very, very few practical uses of Combinators in this game... aside from maybe the Mazuri Loader (which can be solved by splitters more effectively and faster actually...).

I would argue that the game would be more fun if Construction Bots + Personal Roboport were available sooner.

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