Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

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_Peter_
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by _Peter_ »

Your FFF made me think quite a bit, because so far my playing style was always to stay at the lowest Belt tier and wait for the Logistics system to work, and then things got easier to manage but also there was less requirement to plan ahead and to be precise. So in some sense it became less fun.

I think nerfing bots would make me use also higher tiers of belts, but it would make many players angry. Nerfing bots could be a setting for the game similar to research cost.

At the same time I think there are many ways to make belts more attractive:
  • Make an infinite research technology that speeds up belts - you have this for mining efficiency, for bot speed, why not for belt speed? (side note: and why not for general assembly machine speed?)
  • Make belts easier to use with inserters: give inserters the option to insert not always on the "right far end" of their target field, but also "left near" or "right near" or "left far" end of the target field. This would be a transparent change for existing saves and give new possibilities to use inserters with belts. It would remove the need to construct the same standard patterns for inserting items to near ends of belts over and over again (these patterns are cool, yes, but they require an unreasonable amount of space). I would call this change "un-nerfing inserter/belt usage patterns". There can be an achievement for not using this feature.
  • Make belts with the same item on both lanes easier to balance, by creating a "balancer" belt field that feeds whatever comes in on both lanes to both output lanes in the same ratio. It is possible to build this with two splitters and a few belts but (like above) it takes a lot of space and looks unintuitive. This I would call un-nerfing single belt balancing. (It might open a whole new set of patterns for multi-belt balancing.)
  • Make it an intended feature to make designs where belts contain two item on one lane in a certain ratio. This allows to have one belt delivering four types of items to a factory. Why is this fair compared to bots? Because requester chests can deliver more than four (eight, or is it sixteen?) independent items to a factory, in a free ratio, including optional buffering ability (very powerful! maybe this could be nerfed in some way, by reducing the number of item types that can be requested at the same time to 2?).

    Possibilities to facilitate belts with more than two items on one lane:
    • Make a "synchronized stack filter inserter" that takes for each input filter one item, waits until all input filters have received one item, and then delivers the items in the order of input filters to the belt. The number of input filters could be 2 in the beginning and increase with research up to higher numbers. (If people really want to have a belt that always carries 2 iron, 2 copper, 1 steel and 1 plastic, they can achieve this by using several such inserters in combination. With a single synchronized stack filter inserter it is possible to create one lane with a configurable ratio of 2 resource types, which is already much better than one resource type.) I think such a new element in the game would make belts more attractive.
    • Similar to the synchronized stack filter inserter, there could be an inserter with two input arms and one output arm, and each input arm has one filter and one number of items to collect before both arms give the held items to the output belt in a clearly defined order. This can be more intuitive than the synchronized stack filter inserter.
    • Make a "lane joiner" that takes input from one belt (both lanes) and gives output to one lane in a way that it blocks input until two items are available on each lane and then both items are given in the same order to the output lane (left or right lane could be configurable). This is much less powerful than the synchronized stack filter inserter, and also easier to understand and use. It would enable designs where one belt contains four resource types in 1:1 (with complex combinations of lane joiners also other ratios) and if one resource is taken more fast from the lane than the other one, it would require to recover these resources in a kind of "overflow" lane that brings all kinds of resources back to the beginning of the factory where they are sorted with filter inserters into the right lanes.
Thank you for the possibility to openly discuss the future of the game!
Last edited by _Peter_ on Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Version 0.16.15

Post by Zavian »

Caine wrote:
jockeril wrote:Removing bots would mean removing the logistics network system and that really ruins the fun of the late game. I doubt the devs are considering a change like that
They sort of are, check the Friday facts. Though he explicitly states he will not remove them, Twinsen seems to regret adding them and is wondering what the game would be without.
Actually I've seen a few posts of people who just want to rush to bots, and spam a requestor + an assembler + provider chest, just because that is the simplest way imaginable to build a factory. And that sort of factory design doesn't seem very interesting or challenging to build. The way bots work atm, they are simplest way to build almost anything, once you have requester chests. Finding a way to nerf that, without pissing off the 2500+ science per minute megabase crowd is likely to be interesting challenge.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by mdqp »

I don't see why we should change the logistic robots. As a casual player, usually by the time I get to produce them I am kind of bored with fiddling with the belts. Everything that can be said for logistic bots can be said for belts, belts are just more of a chore to setup, but don't really offer any logistic challenges at that point (unless you think requiring more space is a challenge). Sure, systems relying on belts can be designed sub-optimally, and allow *some* challenge in the form of optimizing their structure, but overall, once you can copy-paste, the "challenge" is just making sure you don't starve your factory. Any other challenge comes only if your design isn't good, or if you purposefully gimp yourself.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Bisa »

I'm loving the idea of logi bot removal, I had a more fun and challenging game play working towards the logi network embargo achievement than any of the other achievements -and my base got really belt-messy and dynamic/fun to watch :)
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The bots must occupy space

Post by Hiuston »

Hi,

I think there is a good solution. If the bots occupy space (in the air, not in the ground), they must wait for each other a form lines just like belts but in the air.
It will be much more realistic because now you can have 500 or 1000 bots in the same place.
With this solution you can still move small amount of expensive items from one place to another using bots but they will be useless if you want to move large amounts of items even if you build thousands of them because they have a limited space.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by mykepatch »

Hi everyone,

Just a little modified copy of my post on steam forum about how I feel it:

=============================================================================

Bots AND belts are very good for me as they are now. Bots powerful, but not so easy to get as before and this is a good thing.

I think everyone is able to know what is fun for them and play the right way, whatever the available features. As to me, sometimes I use belts, sometimes bots and I wouldn't appreciate at all any change about both, except maybe adding simple configuration ability for splitters, whose behaviour always bores me according to working environment: one or two lanes used... lanes full or not... and so on.

But I really can't see why anything should change about it. The more possibilities, the more fun (for me). So add features as much as you like, but don't change or suppress the existing ones. Of course, if a feature is of no use at all any more, and not used al all, why not, but bots and belts are right great just now (with this little concern about splitters for me).

EDIT: just an example. I'm also playing "Castle story", witch has a debug mode usable in game. I could spawn a number of workers more and build "in real time", and so on, to resist monster waves... but I don't do it because that's my choice! My fun is to try to resist with the game as it is. If some people can't resist the temptation to use this mode, well it's their problem... but this is not a reason to suppress this feature for everyone!
By the way, Factorio itself has a command mode, as far as I know... I didn't even used it for my games because I don't want. But I don't say I'll never use it.
I think everyone can make their choices.

Sorry for my English if not correct!
Last edited by mykepatch on Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

Caine
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Caine »

_Peter_ wrote:Make it an intended feature to make designs where belts contain two item on one lane in a certain ratio. This allows to have one belt delivering four types of items to a factory. Why is this fair compared to bots? Because requester chests can deliver more than four (eight, or is it sixteen?) independent items to a factory, in a free ratio, including optional buffering ability (very powerful! maybe this could be nerfed in some way, by reducing the number of item types that can be requested at the same time to 2?).
It is already possible, but you need to have some circuit network skills for it. I found this video a while back demonstrating it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lp-UJYwclA

Similarly I have been trying to implement belt provider/requester mechanics myself, again all circuit networks. It would certainly be interesting to have this aspect of the game highlighted more. However, it does not provide a solution for throughput limitations when megabasing.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Alice3173 »

When you learn that bots exist and how they work, building bases with belts just seems tedious.
How is making the game less tedious an anti-bot argument? Making the game less tedious, especially in the late-game when your base is going to be huge, is a good thing in my opinion. Plus it takes quite a bit of time to redesign and rebuild your base to even make adequate use of logistics bots to begin with.

And game-breaking or not (I'd say not since large-scale networks require so much power and resources) the fact it's so late in the game and so expensive to get adequately started with should make anti-bot arguments pretty irrelevant.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Eyeer »

Give the players a chose as it is now. But...

I'm the belt fun and i started with using only belts until i hit 15 UPS/FPS in my megabase - then i was forced to make factory refactor to bots and destroing all of my belts infrastructure.

Now i feel that i do not have any chose and i can use only bots.

So i think that Factorio have only one issue with belts/bots - belts UPS performance - focus on this by making belts more UPS friendly - not by making bots worse or less UPS friendly.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Gnark »

Bye bots !

Bots ruin the end-game gameplay.
They ruin it because there is no limitation (or so little with the charging process) and you can just get out of belt.

Can I suggest you to just put some limitation ?
- Bot carry only one item.
- Only one Bot at a time moving good to a requester chest (can be upgradable with research and you are already computing this info).

Like this you can still supply you train, nuclear reactor chest ... but the base won't scale with Bots we will have to use belt to mass produce.

Regards

PS : For belt UPS performance the last update is very good. I have post my save with eavy belt using in the performance post you can test if you want. Was down to 30 UPS with 7700k back to 60UPS now.
Last edited by Gnark on Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by BrainFooLong »

1+ for bots as it is currently

* They allow to build in a whole new, optimized way
* If removed, they would remove a lot of diversity in the game
* If never have been implemented, player's would surely ask for something that can compensate that, eg: Stackable belts to transport more than 2 resources at a time
* It's like removing factories legs, the body and arms can still do some work but much less effective
* Bots are perfect for the factorio "core" -> 100% automation - I ever saw factorio that way: Build the best automation flow possible
* If a player don't want them, it simply can be ignored, so it's optional and i see optional things as content enrichment

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by alkarian »

Bots are love, bots are life

Hands off my precious swarm
Sing her song and become nothing

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by lottery248 »

Gnark wrote:Bye bots !

Bots ruin the end-game gameplay.
They ruin it because there is no limitation (or so little with the charging process) and you can just get out of belt.

Can I suggest you to just put some limitation ?
- Bot carry only one item.
- Only one Bot at a time moving good to a requester chest (can be upgradable with research and you are already computing this info).

Like this you can still supply you train, nuclear reactor chest ... but your base won't scale with Bot we will have to use belt to mass produce.

Regards
i hope you are not being anti-bots just because you don't like it. from what you have said, i believe that you have not even been tried the bots before you state this out, won't be sympathetic to some of us relying such at all and force us to do the stuff all over again without bots. especially you, as of now, never know how expensive the logistic network is.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by harvald »

I always saw bots as too easy to use and powerful. In my opinion even if they are late in the game they spoil fun too much. Did you ever consider adding to them collision boxes? Of course a mean that only bots cannot fly on each other. As a result too many of them in the air would form traffic jams, as they cannot fly in straight direction, and try to pass another so, they path would be longer, and therefore more of them would not mean faster transport. Some of they even would be trapped in between until run out of power.
This resolve another ugly issue - they look very weird when they form something that look like giant worms.
Last edited by harvald on Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Gnark »

lottery248 wrote:
Gnark wrote:Bye bots !

Bots ruin the end-game gameplay.
They ruin it because there is no limitation (or so little with the charging process) and you can just get out of belt.

Can I suggest you to just put some limitation ?
- Bot carry only one item.
- Only one Bot at a time moving good to a requester chest (can be upgradable with research and you are already computing this info).

Like this you can still supply you train, nuclear reactor chest ... but your base won't scale with Bot we will have to use belt to mass produce.

Regards
i hope you are not being anti-bots just because you don't like it. from what you have said, i believe that you have not even been tried the bots before you state this out, won't be sympathetic to some of us relying such at all and force us to do the stuff all over again without bots. especially you, as of now, never know how expensive the logistic network is.
I have used them and I have reach the limitation of Belt with UPS, I posted one of my 0.15 save game here download/file.php?id=30225 for you to see that I am not just a new player that havn't reach the bot gameplay.
No I don't like them because they kill the difficulty. And the game is to get ride of those difficulty. That is fun and rewarding.

I always start a new game with new version. So I really don't care to do again the "stuff" as you shoudn't.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Drison »

Hopefully our Czech overlords take notice of how fast replies are coming in to this thread. This topic looks to have beaten almost every other FF ever with the large number of replies in such a short period of time. It seems the community has strong opinions, with the vast majority opposed to bot nerfs, and many recommending belt improvements instead.

The level of attention this topic is getting is nothing like the fluid nerf (much more response here) - so hopefully the aforementioned and much loved Czech overlords don’t take the rapid acceptance of that previous nerf as an indication of similar community antipathy on this topic.
Last edited by Drison on Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by daydev »

Just checking in in this official feedback thread to register my opinion. I fully agree with the perspective expressed by others that if you want to promote your view of "belts > bots", you should do it by making belts better, not bots worse. Consider for comparison how you handled the turret creep previously: you solved it by making other combat better, not turrets worse. I hope this approach of "give, not take" will prevail here too.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by MINIMAN10000 »

Instead of thinking "How do we nerf bots to make belts better" you need to think "What could we do to make belts better than bots" You can increase the speed of robots. But what if there was a space science research that allowed you to increase the capacity of belts to hold more items per space for example.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by ps666 »

I like the bots most in your game.
When you remove them or even strongly nerf, then I'm out. :evil:
So, don't touch them unless you make them better or stronger.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Gnark »

MINIMAN10000 wrote:Instead of thinking "How do we nerf bots to make belts better" you need to think "What could we do to make belts better than bots" You can increase the speed of robots. But what if there was a space science research that allowed you to increase the capacity of belts to hold more items per space for example.
Just because nothing can do better that a thing that has no limitation.

Bot need power -> basic to get
Bot need Bot -> just build them.

That is all, they you can virtually transport any amount for any distance. How can you do better than this ??

Ho well you also have to build Roboport to recharge. That is the only item that scale the charge of the moving goods, this is the only real limitation. But that is not reach easily. Some poor placement design of the roboport (let say in the middle of a line) and then you go.

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