I have to quibble with this. There are some simple uses for combinators such as making a rate-limited smart inserter by linking it to a clock with a condition A = 1. A rate limited inserter can be used for some genuinely useful things and some stupid tricks.siggboy wrote: The devs keep saying that they want combinators for "simple" factory automation, and that they were never made to create "complicated" circuits, even though that's possible.
Unfortunately, by saying that they ignore the fact that nobody uses combinators to make simple circuits. The players who use them to make anything actually useful in the game build very complicated machines, i.e. they use them for things they weren't "made for". There's a huge gap between "toy applications" and "circuits that enhance the factory". Crossing that gap is next to impossible unless you devote a LOT of time to it.
Some pretty simple uses I've come up with is dividing the contents of a tank by 25 to get a %age full number. An example of when I use this is when using steam power I usually have a storage tank inline to buffer demand spikes. I convert the tank quantity to a Yellow signal 0-100 then run that signal to the main factory and feed it into some lights which give a visual indicator of the power plant status, it might also be used to fire up backup oil power. For that use I don't even need to use a arithmetic combinator because I could just send the water signal - but I prefer to convert it to a yellow signal because my convention is Yellow means power quality, also Nucular mod uses Steam instead of Water.
I don't disagree though, that it the circuit network is full of weirdness. Just for a start calling it the "circuit network" is a misnomer - it's more like a scripting language than an electronic circuit. You have a bunch of variables and can compare them and perform arithmetic on them and there's even function type things roughly equivalent to reduce, map, any, every. It's a very weird scripting language, but that's what it seems most like to me.