Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Tankh
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Tankh »

I like the idea of loaders, but I feel it should only work on special storage chests, maybe even bigger storage chests.

If it should work with assemblers then add a new tier of assembler as the only type of assembler compatible with it.

To people whining about it being overpowered:
- Don't be afraid of new things. Just because they've been rather restrictive of adding new things in the past doesn't mean you should default reject everything!
- What about logistics bots? It literally deletes the whole use of belts and inserters in endgame anyway. This is a good middle ground.

I really like compacting builds, which is also a reason I like this idea.

Edit:
Additionally, the "consuming lubricant" is an exceptionally horrible idea. How would that at all help the situation if we want more compact builds?
With pipe management as horrible as it is right now, that's just a no-go from the get-go. It would just end up a big mess of pipes and end up both looking uglier and taking up more space.

SirArag
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by SirArag »

And what about this:

Make the Loader research available after researching first Stack size bonus and Oil processing (and maybe Logistics 3, or even add Logistics 4).
But wait. It's not as easy as you probably think right now.

First of all you need energy and lubricant to run the Loader. Still too overpowered, right?
Well, look at the image below:

Image
You would need to research more of Stack size bonuses to make Loader more efficient (and even after all the research it wouldn't be as efficient as in the original GIF).
Of course higher level Loader would need more energy and lubricant.

Loaders would be able to load/unload everything that inserters can.
Downside would be that you would have to had pipes all over the place and with Loaders connected to everything, consumption of Lubricant would be MASSIVE.

What do you think about that? :)

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by JLBShecky »

Well first off it is good to hear that things have been going well over on the steam front.

In regards to the loader, although in it's current state it is overpowered, I would really hate to see it not make it into the game in some form. I am salivating at the thought of what could be done with something like that as an entity prototype by modders. I am imagining using such an entity as an automated railroad unloading platform maybe 7x3 or such with one output/input.

Having able to use some other resource in-order to run, such as lubricant would probably be interesting as well, although if a modder could make it use other resources it say barrels of oil, or pallets for a train station would increase it's possible uses in my opinion, while allowing it to be balanced.

[EDIT]
Removed the word 'No' that managed to sneak it's way into the start of the second paragraph.

delus
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by delus »

My vote is yes to loaders/unloaders but as a special type of chest (ie. you need inserters to fill/empty their inventories). I also like the idea of making them a bit less than full saturation and consuming power (some idle, lots when in-use). I am on the fence about lube, I like the idea of resource consumption for high tech items operation but fluid transport is currently my least favorite part of the game (if we could have a service robot deliver lube I'd be all for it).

Keep up the great work,
Delus

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Dupl3xxx »

Congratulations on the great reception on steam! Though, having kept an eye on the negative reviews, there seems to be a small group of users that almost seem to vote down each and every negative review. There are some of them that do have very well-written and with good points.

Loader, yes.

Limiting the loader to only certain items would break the very intuitive way factorio is built. Having it require lube would make it a lot more challenging to use. As for possible limiting factors, either only unloading or loading would be good. The size could be changed as well. Making it longer or wider are all options that would effect balance. If it's bigger, that would limit it's possible placements and usefulness, like how the electric furnace requires one to remake a furnace-line as it's bigger.

Manawind
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Manawind »

Yes to loader, with some stipulations

1. Loader should have tiers that run slower then the same belt. ie yellow is slow, red loads at yellow speed, blue loads at red speed
2. Loader as a larger footprint that an inserter, 1x2 or 1x3
3. Should require power.
4. Blue tier loader requires lubricant to make

frustbox
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by frustbox »

I'm in favor of the loader/unloader. It might be two separate items, or a single item.

Honestly, I don't see the downsides many people seem to be afraid of. Please elaborate – overpowered how? They can fill or empty a belt, ok, fine. How exactly is that overpowered? Ok, this allows for a much simpler and cleaner balancer, so what? It seems clear to me that this is a late game item which will require a sufficient level of research and will hopefully be expensive to make. It would not render belt balancers obsolete, it would just give a late game option to replace them with a better more efficient design. So what is the problem with this?

That it can saturate the belt? What it produces items out of thin air? Of course not! The challenge in the game is getting the belt to be full in the first place! Producing stuff fast enough to saturate a belt, bringing in train loads of resources fast enough, getting production ratios just right – this is the challenge and it will not go away just because a loader is faster than an inserter.

Once you have sufficient production to be able to saturate a belt, a balancer is trivial. It has always been trivial. Just look it up online and copy the design – no challenge at all. It's not difficult to come up with balancer designs, it's not challenging to build them, it's just mildly annoying and fiddly to build. Actually, I guess the biggest challenge would be to find a place where they fit, but you can anticipate that and plan ahead. So, as I understand it, none of that changes. If at some late stage you are suddenly able to replace your old style balancers with a design based loaders, after hours of research ... yea, I don't see the negative side effects. I see potential for new designs and interesting applications.

If I were to suggest some limitations (beyond research and power requirements that were already mentioned a lot) hmm … Have them only work between an inventory and a belt, i.e. not between two chests, one of the sides must be a belt.

hylomane
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by hylomane »

Congrats on the Steam release!

Anyways, why are you debating introducing a new element in the game that doesn't add anything new? As a game developer this is not something I would work on.

Instead I would like to see you work on some of the 0.13 features you have on a list somewhere. Like a tanker train car that can carry liquids would be nice and would expand the possibilities of the game, like running steam engines where there is no water. Or hauling hot water directly to power engines as opposed to hauling fuel. Or hauling the other liquids directly. Right now there isn't even a way to do that. A simple addition like this would add so many more possibilities.

So my vote is no, maybe later. You have more important priorities :)

jamuspsi
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by jamuspsi »

sillyfly wrote: 1. Takes a high-level research to unlock (at least blue science, possibly gated by Inserter stack size bonus 3 or 4).
2. Can't take things out of / put things into assembling machines / furnaces etc.
3. Is expensive to build and requires electricity.
4. (And I know this will probably be a point of contention, but I really think this one makes a lot of sense!) It can put things into / take things out of cargo wagons.
I agree with all of these. The only part of the belt minigame that I've ever struggled with/enjoyed has to do with turns and inserter speed, and I like that it would be a natural, if late-mid-game (early blue) extension to it. I also like that you could work out some more interesting layouts. Sure, the stack size bonus doesn't help get iron into the assembler- unless you build one of these, and a box, and an inserter. That seems like a reasonable exchange that could lead to some hyper-efficient builds. I really like it being gated by inserter stack size bonus- that's where this gets interesting.

Keeping it 2x1, or even 3x1, would be fine by me, I think.

Supercheese
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Supercheese »

I like the loader idea, as long as it consumes plenty of electricity -- after all, inserters doing the same job would consume quite a bit. Requiring lubrication seems like a decent idea as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Zombull »

I think the loader can be a fantastic addition. Your prototype doesn't appear to require power, which the loader -should-. If it seems to be overpowered, you could further balance it by having it require a robot-delivered resource such as filled oil barrels.

Or since it is clearly a complex machine with very rapidly moving parts, you could give it a defect such as jamming. Each item processed through the loader has a small chance to do a small amount of damage and at a certain level of damage the loader seizes.

Neotix
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Neotix »

In my opinion, entity that is able to load/unload chest with belt speed is too OP.
I think, it would be good only for trains because loading/unloading wagons are not puzze and entity like that won't destroy gameplay.
Endgame Hopper than can be build only on tracks and fast load/unload wagons.

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MeduSalem
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by MeduSalem »

Concerning the Loaders... From my side there has got to be a... NO.


At least not the way it is proposed. Reasoning:
selkathguy wrote:Entities should provide convenience or performance, never both. An item can use existing performance and add convenience (splitters), or use existing convenience and add performance (beacons), but never add both of these concepts into one item, it will always be overpowered. The loader as it stands generates new performance (taking items out at full speed as fast as a belt can handle, already better than even the fastest inserter) AND generates convenience by loading both sides of a belt for you, automatically balancing it.
I think of the above as a special case of the following golden rule to game development with satisfying balance:
For every advantage there is a disadvantage.
It should always be kept in mind when considering new game features and elements, especially if they are about to complement or compete with existing features and elements.


There are already quite a lot of features in Factorio that defy above reasoning and they should be sorted out first before adding additional features that throw off the balance even further.

It would be different if it would be something completely new to the game, something that we can't do yet at all, but we are perfectly able to handle loading/unloading trains and chests with Inserters. Adding an additional way to do it would require substantial balancing of BOTH ways or limiting the scenarios in which they can be used. The later also being something I take with a grain of salt because I clearly favor Universal Solutions over Special Edge cases (another rule of mine).
Last edited by MeduSalem on Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by o6dukeleto »

Basically this is an inserter that can fill a belt, so today it takes anywhere from 6-14 fast inserters to fill a belt depending upon it's speed. It might take a bit more space, but 6 to 14 times faster... OP. NO.

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by gknedo »

I think we need a better system for load/unload wagons only.
I think that this can be done where the speed of this "inserter" is proportional on number of itens in chest, if there's more than X itens the load will be done in Y seconds, if there's less than X itens the load will be done in Z seconds. where Z>Y.

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by tux_mark_5 »

In my opinion, the proposed Loader is nowhere close to OP.

I play factorio primarily with full set of Bob's mods, which add crazy additional complexity to production chains. As such there are much more items to manage and juggle all over the place. Because of this, belts are even less useful in there than in vanilla factorio. Roboports completely dominate the end game where there are probably hundred of different items being produced. Belts seem clumsy and inflexible compared to the alternative. And therefore anything that makes belts more appealing to use is a win for me. Hell, I even stopped using belts in mining outposts, because Roboports are that much more flexible. In my opinion, factorio is in a dire need of late-game belt related entities.

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Tankh »

tux_mark_5 wrote:In my opinion, the proposed Loader is nowhere close to OP.

I play factorio primarily with full set of Bob's mods, which add crazy additional complexity to production chains. As such there are much more items to manage and juggle all over the place. Because of this, belts are even less useful in there than in vanilla factorio. Roboports completely dominate the end game where there are probably hundred of different items being produced. Belts seem clumsy and inflexible compared to the alternative. And therefore anything that makes belts more appealing to use is a win for me. Hell, I even stopped using belts in mining outposts, because Roboports are that much more flexible. In my opinion, factorio is in a dire need of late-game belt related entities.
This is exactly my point too. People whine it's OP, but what then are roboports? You won't see loaders the first hour of gameplay. This is an excellent middle ground between belts+inserters and just massing roboports

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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by Zeblote »

Image

pls why!!





Image

Aren't these "pros"? Especially the last one?
Last edited by Zeblote on Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MeduSalem
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by MeduSalem »

Also concerning the people who would favor the Loader requiring Lube for operation...

That is something quite a lot of the items/entities should be requiring already, not only the Loader. Especially in their more advanced forms. Many of them should be requiring Lube constantly to operate at a faster speed.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ske
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Re: Friday Facts #128 - Back down to earth

Post by ske »

MeduSalem wrote:Also concerning the people who would favor the Loader requiring Lube for operation...

That is something quite a lot of the items/entities should be requiring already, not only the Loader. Especially in their more advanced forms. Many of them should be requiring Lube constantly to operate at a faster speed.
Intersting idea. Assembly machine 2+ needing Lube to become faster than assembly machine 1. What would assembly machine 3 need also? Maybe some processing unit for faster coordination. In this case an "Effect transmitter" could be renamed "Control computer" which supports some assembly machines.

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