Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

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justincuster
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by justincuster » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:14 pm

I think you could potentially make a lot of players mad if you removed bots or nerfed them too much. Perhaps you could add a starting condition which permanently disables logistic bot research/production in a particular save.
- Justin -

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Oktokolo » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:15 pm

I like bots - for construction and filling or emptying my inventory. I even use the nanobots mod so i don't have to play days without construction bots until i got all the science. I don't use bots for actual manufacturing.
I also like to use belts and trains.

Nerfing bots would not improve my experience at all.
But making railways more flexible (multiple curve radii for example) or belts less space-consuming (adding faster tiers and matching inserters) would.

So don't nerf the bots. Improve the other logistic options instead.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Cleany » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:15 pm

Squeegy wrote:
Cleany wrote: You will find that people generally gravitate to what is more fun and do it voluntarily. What is more fun, is what most people do.
Sadly, this is not true. In a game like this, people will gravitate to the simplest and easiest solution, which may result in less interesting problems to solve and less interesting factories if those gameplay mechanics are too easy.
In a game like this, people will do what they prefer. They will choose what they enjoy the most. This enjoyment can be called "fun".

You may like certain challenges brought about by the use of belts, but other people enjoy and appreciate the challenges and advantages inherent in the logistics system and the bots that it employs.

Don't mistake your own preferences with what is good for everyone.

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brunzenstein
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by brunzenstein » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:16 pm

It would have been wise not to write this total ......(put here your own slew) FF in first place
- or alternatively save the not really sparkling text to April 1
To say the least in a nice way.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by o6dukeleto » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:18 pm

Two suggestions:

1. Make belts carry more through automatic compression and maybe even OVER-compression, maybe items could overlap... so a belt could carry 3x as much if they overlapped by 6 of the 9 slots an item usually occupies. This could be a research technology that would allow for more late game use of belts. This OVER-compression would also help with some of the "slowness" of stack inserters due to having to space out items on belts and make it more competitive with robots and chests which do not have to wait for the belt to move before picking up the next item. Items closer together would make stack inserters work faster with belts.

2. Limit the number of logistics bots flying in any single connected network. This would remove the easy-mode "swarm base" and make people think about how they set up logistic networks -- i.e making the need for more separate networks and at least a little bit of planning for interconnecting them. This too could be a research to a possible maximum, say for example a 1000 logistic bots.

The 2nd suggestion would make logistic bots slower to overcome belts, but in the long run would still allow for mega bases to be built because logistic bot speed would eventually overcome the maximum allowed. In fact most mega base builders already abide by the 2nd rule because larger swarms tend to be more cpu intensive -- so the 2nd suggestion may also help for performance.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Tomik » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:19 pm

Wow. We are going places.

If you want to make the game better?

Do not remove features.

FUCKING ADD FEATURES!

Like:
-Belt Sorters: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/judos/beltSorter
-Belt Loaders Basic and Compact: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Thaui/vanilla-loaders, https://mods.factorio.com/mods/therax/miniloader
-Hacked/Programmable Splitters: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/ReasonX/ ... splittersT
-Belt Item Stream Swappers: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/ReasonX/Belt-SwapperT
-Belt Item Balancers: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/ReasonX/Single-SplitterT
-Belt Buffers: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Klonan/belt_buffer
-Research upgrades for Underground Belt maximum length: https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Phalke/DistancePlus

MAKE BELTS GREAT AGAIN!
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Caine » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:20 pm

brunzenstein wrote:It would have been wise not to write this total ......(put here your own slew) FF in first place
- or alternatively save the not really sparkling text to April 1
To say the least in a nice way.
At least they are seeking feedback from the community this time instead of "pulling another fluid wagon".

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Mimp » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Eelshock wrote:What if bots were able to transport some items but not all?

So you could update your lategame factory to move all your ores around with bots, but you'd still need belts for intermediates and science packs.
Or unlockable research for each item or class of item adding greater cost to the logistics system. Adding more cost or power draw to requester chests might be a way to nerf the logistics system without trashing on the bots themselves.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Tar » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:25 pm

"..incentive to use belts.."

- Much more configurable inserters, similar to what can be found in some mods.
- ability to move a stack worths on a belt .. a stack belt only really usable by stack inserters?
- a more configurable splitter - perhaps a multi-belt splitter. If thats possible, then a look at a multi-belt 'recombiner' (certain belts could get a priority, rather then FIFO)

* Perhaps a slow moving crate mover?
> much larger then a stack - possibly equivalent to 1 slot found in a wooden chest - but considerably slower.
> *could* ride on the current belts (T1 - 3) but would need restrictions due to its size (spans the width of the belt)
-- Would need a specialized lifter to get it off the belt/railcar.
-- Due to size, would stop at any splitter/underground entrance and just stay there until removed (clogging the line)
> Perhaps a specialized tram track, if that would break the belt code too much. Could think of it as an automated forklift. It could then be a power requiring "belt".
If it helps illustrate, think of the "crate" as a land/sea/train container, only smaller.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by SlendyMcTendies » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:25 pm

Kind of jumping on the bandwagon, but please please please do not nerf bots.

Many others have made pretty much every argument there is to keep bots as they are, and instead buff belts. Factorio is a sandbox, so don't start taking away bits of "sand" for others to enjoy just because YOU don't like those bits. When you take the sand out of a sandbox all you have left is a dull, boring box.

I do like the idea of more high-tier belts (tier 4+), and belts certainly still have their place in the game. Belts can do certain things that bots (as they are now) never will, or at least more efficiently. Therefore removing bots is an absurd idea.

I will admit I do somewhat like the concept of 1 combined bot type that builds and transports items but removing 3 of the 5 logistics chests, one of which you JUST ADDED A WEEK AGO, seems a bit pointless, does it not?

I understand that you've thus far agreed to not remove the logistics bots, but please understand that since they've been in the game this long it will severely divide (and potentially ruin) your player base if they end up removed.

Keep up the hard work! I look forward to your future content.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Mimp » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:26 pm

GenBOOM wrote: there would need to be a splitter for going up and down on a layer of belts, and the top belts could easily drop onto a belt below and merge or overflow with that belt.
timing the merge would be the tricky part.

This totally makes me think of the path building system in Roller Coaster Tycoon, you could have ramps that could lead to overhead belts, those could also lead up to higher overhead belts. I think dropping items off the end of a higher belt shouldn't be permitted unless there's a hopper item below to merge those falling items into the stream below, (just have the items on the belt stop moving and back up like a dead end does now.)

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Koub » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:27 pm

My advice is : buff is most of the time a better solution than a nerf. Buff brings you love, nerfs only bring hate.

Give the belt system something that - even if it doesn't make them as good as bots - woudl make them a decent alternative very end game.
Logistic bots arrive very late in the science tree. Whatever challenges you have to overcome to actually beat the game, you have to overcome them with belts. Once you've managed to do so, botsd add something belts are not designed to do : transport items straight from point A to point B. It's far from being as powerful as a teleport, because at some point (in distance, and/or quantity of items to carry), bots are not such a good alternative.
Just by adding some incentive to use belts over bots, you'll win on both sides : bot loers will still have their toy, and bot haters will be able to continue despising the infamous bots. But everyone will have his pleasure.

Other things on bots : I would love to have limited construction bots very early ingame, even if it's only within player's reach only, because what's the pleasure in being obliged to plonk every single entity one by one when you have the ability to lay blueprints ? Being able to auto-build in your reach would make the early game a lot more enjoyable : plonk a blueprint, run through the ghosts, and everything that's within reach (while being in your inventory) gets built.

The ideas of a large list of presets is also very interesting :
[Y] [N] Logistic Bots
[Y] [N] Nuclear power
[Y] [N] Solar power
[Y] [N] Laser turrets
[Y] [N] Artillery
[Y] [N] Nuclear weaponry
[Y] [N] ...
Every feature that wouldn't be mandatory to launch the rocket could be enabled/disabled at will, for everyone's best gaming pleasure. Give moar options, do not remove them.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by arec » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:28 pm

I don't see any problem about bots in the game. For me it is like transportation: Railways and also belts are used for creating high capacity logistic lines, but they require a lot of infrastructure. Logistic bots are more like planes: They are for connections with low demands, if you going to use them for other applications, you are miss-using them and you have to deal with some nasty side effects.

Also, we should not go to tell people how to play the game. If people love bots, just let them use them, even if they're able to play factorio in a less complex way than others use it. It won't harm you, really.

If bots are annoying some users in network games, simply use mods to hide them or add an option to remove the logistics part of bot research or building from the game. Me and my friends love to use bots, even in local network games, not to create an "aviation powered factory" but to refill inventory, power low-demand factory parts or to order some very special items on demand.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by laughsofgreed » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:29 pm

Not sure if anyone will even read this post in a long and controversial thread but my thoughts are:

- I agree the logistic bots are OP but I choose to not use them, just like I choose not to turn on cheat mode etc.
- The great thing about Factorio is the freedom of choice how to do things, that's why there are so many really well made mods which people love. Taking features out of the game which can otherwise be ignored doesn't improve the game any more than making it an option in the create game menu would.
-I prefer to belt things as I find them more enjoyable, I only use the bots when I'm short on time or effort or I'm trying something new. I therefore wouldn't get rid of them.

- I love the idea of improving the options for belts more with double levelled belts. That was something I had thought would improve the game prior to reading the blog post.
- Double stacked belts would be a great late game tech addition.
- New multi level inserts would go hand in hand.
- It would be interesting to see how they would work in terms of merging belts up and down tiers.
- Could higher tiered belts go over buildings like underground belts go beneath them maybe?
- How would you see what items were on the tier below easily?
- New multi level splitters?
- Still think belt compression needs more options though as I'm not enjoying the current method when there were so many options before (unintentional as they were).

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Container belts

Post by TOGoS » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:29 pm

The logistic system (but not necessarily the flying robots aspect of it) just make too much sense to take out. The reason flying logistic bots become overpowered is that they take up zero space and pick up/drop things instantaneously. As someone else said they act like teleporters. If we could have bots repulse each other somehow, or have to wait in line to take things out of a chest, that would nerf them in a reasonable way, I think.

As for improving logistics in other ways, there are a lot of good ideas on here, but my favorite is a 'container belt' that carries small (maybe single-stack) containers that are either filterable and/or have an ID that can be read by inserters (similar to trains). That could help bridge the gap between belts (because they would be small and slow) and trains (it would allow sharing a track for multiple items, but in less complex ways than trains do). It would encourage building loops around your factory for non-bulk item delivery.

Or there could be logistic cranes that do a similar job to logistic bots but look like big inserters and are constrained to an area. They'd be able to move only one stack at a time but they'd move the entire stack.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:31 pm

Mimp wrote:
GenBOOM wrote: there would need to be a splitter for going up and down on a layer of belts, and the top belts could easily drop onto a belt below and merge or overflow with that belt.
timing the merge would be the tricky part.

This totally makes me think of the path building system in Roller Coaster Tycoon, you could have ramps that could lead to overhead belts, those could also lead up to higher overhead belts. I think dropping items off the end of a higher belt shouldn't be permitted unless there's a hopper item below to merge those falling items into the stream below, (just have the items on the belt stop moving and back up like a dead end does now.)
well I was thinking there would be two ways to do it. one with wires and circuitry magic and the other with some new dedicated technology like the hopper you mentioned. with this it would be possible to hack together something that worked temporarily before you research it and can begin planning on where to place things.

its more like managing an existing road network by only adding highways.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Hedning1390 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:31 pm

Xterminator wrote:If you think belts aren't good enough compared to belts, then buff the belts (many great suggestions on how to do that so far), don't nerf bots.
The game seems to be going more and more in a direction of having players play in a certain way based on what you the devs want. It no longer becomes sandbox and becomes "I want to play this way so you all should too".
Last thing. Be a bit more blunt... The several weeks since 0.16 came out and the decisions and proposed changes during that time have made me highly question the judgement within the Dev team and if I want to even continue supporting the game and playing.
I hope it doesn't continue down that path.
If the game tries to have puzzle elements where you need to find solutions to logistics problems then having a very simple solution that solves any and all problems is gamebreaking.

Restricting the player is not universally bad. Some linear games are better than some open world games. Some books, movies and tv shows where the viewer has no choices at all can also be more enjoyable than playing games.

Buffing also isn't always better. Yes, it is true that people react more hostile to nerfs than buffs, but in this case buffing makes thing easier, and maybe that's not what they are going for?

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by EdTheMad » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:32 pm

Remove bots!

Make the game great again!

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Psitticine » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:33 pm

I wouldn't remove logistic bots or render them too painful to use as they are a valid option for players that prefer them while being easily ignored by those who don't.

If I were to suggest a change, I might suggest switching them from electric power to a fuel source that requires the player to do a little more decision making. If they are rocket powered instead, for example, and one had to choose between (say) consuming petroleum and slowing momentum towards a rocket launch or not using logistics bots, that seems much more like an interesting choice rather than the mechanics trying to nerf them in order to force a designer-preferred playstyle.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by nihi00 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:38 pm

Long time player in factorio and a bot player.

I think the next feature of factorio is 'Heavy Duty'. This is in relation to the bot vs belt discussion. The bots have the edge over belts to (as mentioned in other post) scale in a better than linear, because og 'zero-space-z-axis'. Have you tried bot-mining? With heavily enhanced mines pumping out ore into a active provider chest, with logistical robots removing ore to sorrounding infrastructure. When that rate hits i dunno 2x800 ore pr second to the chest, the belt is not capable of removing ore at that rate. Bots are.
Heavy duty is when you can suck up 2-5-million ore in about 2 minuttes and process to metal in an area of 4 by 4 screen area in 10 minuttes. What will you do with that much ore you ask :). Well i produce stuff.

A second benefit the bot base hase. The complex and highly refined recipe item (above 1000 metal or coper total cost) you need maybe 5 or 10 of, But you need 1 or 2 complex recipe pr. large blueprint. It is much faster to set up a requester chest bring in the 5 highly refined items for the recipe. The belt work for that is just ridiculios. A sorting system uni-belt solution with wiring is to fragile to design in a play through for multiple highly refined complex recipes.

In the automation industri there a bassically three defined segment. Production, Heavy duty production and Prototype production. Production the normal an mature production that supersede human processing output with focus on efficiency and quality. The Heavy duty focused on very high volumen production. The prototype production focused on specialized high quality and flexible production. In the real life the belt shines in the Heavy duty production because of it low energy high volumen moving power. The prototype production is small configurable assembly lines with lots pickers and placers robots.

I think factorio currently covers the production segment and by the use of bots the prototype production. But we lack the heavy duty production often translated into mega factories.
An idea could be an iron smelter setup with molten ore flow from an oven to cauldrons moving it plate moulding forms to create multiple plates. That is heavy duty production,

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