Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Regular reports on Factorio development.

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:15 am

malecord wrote:My two cents. Logistic bots are evil only because they are not "realistic". In the sense that they occupy no space and so are collision free. And this allows them to defeat physic and achieve impossible throughput. You can buff belts as much as you like but they will never match logistic bots throughput simply because bots have no throughput limits. They scale infinitely in addition to be extremely flexible (as they should be).

Give them collision box, force them to respect safe distance from each other and you will have brought them in the factorio spirit where you have to take in account numbers and designs. They will still have their use, be part of smart Logistic designs but they won't be anymore the brainless solution for all the problems in the game.

Suuuuuuuure.
Don't get me wrong. I utterly and completely agree with your opinion. Bots are stupidly OP, and they should get a nerf, and a mean one at that. Your idea is, in fact, more than accurate, it totally goes to the point and, according to me, totally agrees with the rest of Factorio's logic.
But seeing how people reacted when you take away only a little bit of the comfort they got used to and took for granted (the barrels nerf), and how they immediately screamed "megabase murder", suggesting to delete or even nerf logistic bots sounds a bit like this :

I told them I'd delete/nerf bots, and watched the forums burn

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby WarpZone » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:17 am

AntiElite wrote:I've played around with the idea of limiting the amount of total bots you can have in all your networks and extent this with an infinite research, like you do with combat robots. This would buff belts immensely, while ensuring the opportunity of using logistic bots in specific situation.


One more time: making bots worse does NOT buff belts! You buff belts by making belts better. If you're making bots worse, IN ANY WAY, it's a NERF.

Call a spade a spade.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby Ahry » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:18 am

I really want to build copper production with using belts. But then I see, then only 2 assembly machine can fill almost full belt (make 30/s) so they belts are useless because of their through put. Also very paintfull is their compressing (but we can hope, that it will be improved).

In another hand I am very proud that I can build smelting where output is 80/s (input only 66,6/s) and it seems that it work all by belts.

Simply belts throughtput is really bad. But when you want to satisfy bots base. Then you really fast have problem with trains in junction so you have to figure out how to move resources faster (improve junction or set circuit network). So still you have a lot of things to sort out.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:21 am

Ahry wrote:Simply belts throughtput is really bad.

It is only bad because you compare it to something that's so overpowered it makes no sense.
If logistics bots had sensible limitations or didn't exist at all, you'd consider belts throughtput acceptable.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby ScaryBuh » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:22 am

I think logistic bots shouldn't carry heavy things like iron ore, iron plates, steel plates, tanks, locomotives... but they could carry light things, like green/red/blue chips, copper cables...
This way we would need belts to carry heavy things and have logistic bots carry lighter items, because they can fly! This way we would merge the two universes and have some balance between worlds.

Why not carry all the tiny items via belts?
Well, because we want to lower the complexity of having all those extra belts to carry lighter items.
Make the inserters drain more power for the same movement of a light and heavy item, that way we would optimize electricity by carrying a bunch of light items via bot and not wasting energy of moving the inserter arm just to place a tiny bit of a chip into a belt when it could be dropping heavy stuff.

What about bots building heavy stuff in the map?
That task is for the construction bots. While back there I was talking about the heavy, big size items the logistics bots should not carry, so logistics bots would not carry solar panels, those are meant for construction bots.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby WarpZone » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:27 am

malecord wrote:My two cents. Logistic bots are evil only because they are not "realistic". In the sense that they occupy no space and so are collision free. And this allows them to defeat physic and achieve impossible throughput. You can buff belts as much as you like but they will never match logistic bots throughput simply because bots have no throughput limits. They scale infinitely in addition to be extremely flexible (as they should be).

Give them collision box, force them to respect safe distance from each other and you will have brought them in the factorio spirit where you have to take in account numbers and designs. They will still have their use, be part of smart Logistic designs but they won't be anymore the brainless solution for all the problems in the game.


So stop using them. Don't research them, don't build them. And keep your hands off my gameplay style. Everybody wins.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:30 am

ScaryBuh wrote:I think logistic bots shouldn't carry heavy things like iron ore, iron plates, steel plates, tanks, locomotives... but they could carry light things, like green/red/blue chips, copper cables...
This way we would need belts to carry heavy things and have logistic bots carry lighter items, because they can fly! This way we would merge the two universes and have some balance between worlds.

Why not carry all the tiny items via belts?
Well, because we want to lower the complexity of having all those extra belts to carry lighter items.
Make the inserters drain more power for the same movement of a light and heavy item, that way we would optimize electricity by carrying a bunch of light items via bot and not wasting energy of moving the inserter arm just to place a tiny bit of a chip into a belt when it could be dropping heavy stuff.

What about bots building heavy stuff in the map?
That task is for the construction bots. While back there I was talking about the heavy, big size items the logistics bots should not carry, so logistics bots would not carry solar panels, those are meant for construction bots.

This concept is interesting, but I fear it would introduce too much complexity, as well as being unintuitive, especially for new players of course.
If you begin to categorize items regarding their weight, mass or size, you will have to spread this logic all over : robots can't carry heavy things, inserters behave differently depending on the item...
Just remember what a single character can carry in this game. It does not make any sense at all. Even if you'd consider this planet to have a very... very... very^20 low gravity, making items virtually weightless, the sheer volume of space it would occupy is ludicrous.
You can have thousands of iron plates, whole locomotive and wagons, factories, rockets silos, nuclear plants, all in your pocket. I'm pretty much alright with robots carrying a bunch of heavy stuff.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby Ahry » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:32 am

SeigneurAo wrote:
Ahry wrote:Simply belts throughtput is really bad.

It is only bad because you compare it to something that's so overpowered it makes no sense.
If logistics bots had sensible limitations or didn't exist at all, you'd consider belts throughtput acceptable.


No even when bot does not exist I feel pain that throughtput is soo low. 2 assembly fill almost full blue belt is too much. And also using 20 lines of green circuit seems to me too much.

Important thing is, that i do not compare bots throughput with belt throughtput but assembly making with belt throughtput.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:44 am

Ahry wrote:
SeigneurAo wrote:
Ahry wrote:Simply belts throughtput is really bad.

It is only bad because you compare it to something that's so overpowered it makes no sense.
If logistics bots had sensible limitations or didn't exist at all, you'd consider belts throughtput acceptable.


No even when bot does not exist I feel pain that throughtput is soo low. 2 assembly fill almost full blue belt is too much. And also using 20 lines of green circuit seems to me too much.

Important thing is, that i do not compare bots throughput with belt throughtput but assembly making with belt throughtput.

What's the reasoning behind that ? Why should a belt carry more items ? And where's the limit ?
When I read the forums lately, I get the impression (possibly I'm mistaken, though) that people just want godmode. Most complaints, suggestions are about buffing such and such aspect, more than they worry about balancing.
So your point is that you only need 2 assembly machines to fill a blue belt. Then why shouldn't we have assembly machines go slower ? Why is the solution always to buff something to achieve balance, rather than nerf something else ?

In my (very humble) opinion, Factorio should remain reasonably challenging. Buffing this and buffing that is simply about shifting the bottleneck this way or that way. Need more throughput ? Build more. Scaling has always been the center of this game (and this is still only my opinion, don't worry), and I don't get why people just want more OP devices/means of achieving things. There's more than one way to skin a cat, it's even truer in Factorio than any other game.
If anything, you could worry about such buffs spoiling the fun, not the other way around.

Bright side is : whatever the orientation chosen by the devs, they provide us with all the means to customize our gaming experience. Mods are the way to go if you need to tweak the internal mechanics. You want godmode, you get godmode. Simple as that.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby WarpZone » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:00 am

SeigneurAo wrote:When I read the forums lately, I get the impression (possibly I'm mistaken, though) that people just want godmode. Most complaints, suggestions are about buffing such and such aspect, more than they worry about balancing.


This whole tire fire started when the devs released an announcement on Steam basically threatening to remove logistic bots from the game. The only reason people are suggesting buffs to belts is because the devs keep using "balance" as their excuse for removing an item from the game that lots of players use.

The devs can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that not everybody wants to be forced to play the way the devs think is "the most" fun. We certainly don't want to be forced to play that way by having the devs delete all the other ways of playing. They've got a great thing going here, but just like so many other early access developers on Steam, they seem determined to fix it until everybody quits playing.

I'm sorry if buffing belts would make your gameplay style too convenient for you, but the alternative the devs pitched was deleting my gameplay style entirely.

It's basically a toxic relationship, at this point, between the devs and the players. If I could turn off Steam updates, I would.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby toketsu_puurin » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:12 am

Congratulations! You motivated me to stop lurking and make an account!

There comes a time in the life of every game where players have non-trivial choices to make that a certain subset of players either start whining about or become dismissive of certain features of the game because they are either "not balanced" or "not fun." And when I say every game, I don't just mean video games. Magic the Gathering has this issue too: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/timmy-johnny-and-spike-2013-12-03 and the followup: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/timmy-johnny-and-spike-revisited-2006-03-20-2

These are good articles. Read them, Devs. Actually, everyone on the forums should read them. Consider what kind of player you are when you play a game. It's important.

Sometimes there genuinely is a problem. If a new feature is universally loathed...yeah. It's probably got some issues. But when your player base is divided over a feature you probably have a Timmy/Johnny/Spike problem. (No really. go read the articles. Fine. TLDR: Timmy Johnny and Spike are psychographic profiles of game players. It was originally intended for MtG but it extends fairly well to the majority of other games. Timmy likes doing cool awesome stuff, Johnny wants to make cool things, Spike likes winning and he wants an even playing field and rules when he does it.) Timmy Johnny and Spike do not like the same things, but they all like your game for different reasons. TJ&S will all eventually find something in your game that they do not like. Then they will complain and argue. It's what they do because they don't understand how someone else could like this "thing X" that is just "the worst thing ever."

A game designer has two options when dealing with this problem. They can say "Well, our game caters to the Timmy/Johnny/Spike crowd. They're where we make most of our money. The other two can take their balls and go home." Or they can say "We don't care, there are options for everyone!"

For a case study: compare Diablo 3's design decisions to Path of Exile's. Blizzard focuses on tournament play. That's their thing. They care about the Spike crowd and the other players are welcome to play but shouldn't expect much love. Because they cater to Spike they constantly work to make sure all the classes are balanced and competitive. Path of Exile does NOT care at all about balance. You build your character. if you have a bad build, that's on you. Make a new one and try again until you get it right. They're the same kind of game, but their design philosophies are very different.

Now don't think you have to be purely one type. The world is full of "Johnny/Timmy"s or "Spike/Johnny"s. A few rare people might be all three. Factorio is predominantly a Johnny game. It's all about building cool stuff and figuring out clever tricks. My guess would be that practically everyone who plays the game has a good chunk of Johnny in them.

Now what do all three of these classes of player want/not want?

Johnny is a very self-motivated creature. He sets his own goals to count as "winning." Johnny makes factorio play "Still Alive" to win the game. He makes an Avi decoder and counts that as a win. Or he may decide to play the game with a self-imposed challenge like limiting his hand crafts or playing without bots just to see if he can. As long as you're giving Johnny tools he can combine to make cool things, he's happy. The circuit network alone is enough to keep Johnny satisfied. In the argument of Bots vs Belts Johnny either says "Self imposed no-bot challenge!" or "How can I use the circuit network to make the bots dance to the nutcracker suite?" (Somebody figure out how to do that. It would be awesome!) Johnny likes belts because he has to be clever about placing them, but he likes bots because they're flexible.

Johnny doesn't like boring things. If something makes the game less of a puzzle to put together he won't like it until he can figure out a way to make it interesting. But he also hates it when people take away his toys because more toys equals more potential fun.

In the Bot v. Belt war Johnny is generally neutral. His thought is "Don't like it, don't play with it. What's the big deal? I'm playing no bots this game. Next game I'm gonna try optimizing bot networks."

No. The Bot v. Belt war is an argument between Timmy and Spike.

Timmy wants to do the awesome thing. In factorio that usually means Rockets. LOTS of Rockets. But it could mean an Avi decoder. Whatever Timmy does, he wants it to be BIG though. The players who seriously consider or actually do build Megabases probably have a Timmy-streak. I know I do.

What does Timmy hate? He hates waiting for a payoff. He hates tedium. Anything that will get him to his goal faster he's all about. Timmy LOVES bots.

Spike wants to win. He's very competitive and he likes beating other people. He tends to be a PVP player, but in a single player game he likes the satisfaction of beating the computer. But he also has an underlying sense of rules and fairness. Fairness is VERY important to Spike. He likes mastering the rules of the game. ESPECIALLY the tricky fiddly rules like belts. Spike also likes optimization. If there are three ways to do something Spike will always choose the BEST way. If he doesn't know the best way, he will by gosh and by golly research and test until he FINDS it. If Spike builds a megabase you can bet it will be more compact and efficent than anything Timmy puts out.

Bots don't really have rules. They zoom stuff over the map and don't require much work to figure out. They certainly don't have the quirks or logical consistent behavior of belts. (Spike might like them more if they did.) in short: Bots CHEAT. Spike hates cheating. It's not enough to just tell him "Don't like, don't use," because he's still aware that there's a horrible rule that allows cheating sitting there in his game. He's also aware that bots are objectively the best option for at least some things...which means he feels compelled to use these things he hates. Bots actively offend Spike. He generally doesn't like Mods much either, at least mods that change gameplay. He'll use a mod like the picker tool that adds a quality of life feature, but nothing that changes game balance. (Well, if he plays it enough that he's getting bored he might pick a mod that completely revamps everything and ups complexity, but he'll pick one that's BALANCED.)

The challenge a Dev faces is balancing these wants and needs that your TJ&S players have.

Ultimately, rather like Dwarf Fortress, Factorio is a game where the player makes their own fun. If you aren't willing to do that then eventually Factorio will not be for you.

Devs, I realize that as game designers you want to make a tight pretty elegant product. This is your Spike nature talking to you. But you made a sandbox game. Just because your product is tight and pretty and had all the bugs squished does not mean your players will produce elegant solutions. This is life. Not all solutions are satifying to all players in sandbox games. This is also life. Take your Spike side to get some Zen therapy. Make your Spike self a belt only challenge mode where trains and bots are forbidden. It will make your inner Spike happy. It will make your Spike players happy. Do not forget to embrace your Timmy nature and say "OH, THAT'S AWESOME!" when something in the game is. That little hit you get when all your bots zoom out of a new Roboport and you feel like a god? That's all it takes to satisfy Timmy players. Nurture those feelings and your Timmy players will love you. When you create a new thing and realize that it affects those five other old things in new and exciting ways and eagerly wait to see what the players will do with it? That's your inner Johnny. Find more of those moments and nurture them the most, because you have to be a Johnny to pick up this game. Johnny loves making decisions. Give him lots of them.

Players, you're playing a sandbox game. You make your own fun here. If you come up with a new solution and you find yourself getting bored then it really wasn't a solution after all because you're not having fun. Find a new solution.

Spikes, if your solution is "I hate bots and they suck and I want them all to go away!" that's fine. Just ignore them. Even if you're compulsively driven to research everything, you don't have to build them. There is no gun pointed at your head demanding you build a bot. They can just sit there in your menus like that useless pistol crafting recipe you have never used. No. I'm not being dismissive; I understand the pain you feel when you choose not to. I don't have a lot of Spike in me, but I have a little. But until the devs give you your belt only mode it will have to be called a self-imposed challenge. You can do it! I did it! It was hard and painful when I decided as a newbie player fresh out of the box to get that minimal handcrafting achievement. But I did it. And I was new and trains were confusing and bots were even worse so I did it all with belts. It can be done. You don't have to use the best option EVER. The best option ever is those horrible cheat mods that just make everything easy and what's the point? If you think logi-bots are unbalanced and cheaty that's all the excuse you need to never use them at all. You're a Spike! You play to win, but you win FAIR. Take pride in choosing the hard road. Just remember that Timmy and Johnny don't prioritize the way you do. You're not playing a first person shooter here. Not everyone has to come at this the same way. There are lots of tools in a sandbox game. Not all of them are meant to be enjoyed by everyone.

Timmy, remember instant gratification will eventually make the game boring. Don't complain too hard or act like it's the worst thing ever if the devs ultimately make small nerfs to your Logibots. They aren't taking them away from you. They already said so. (Devs, you might wanna make sure that you put that spider tank in the same release as any nerfed Logibots. If you give the Timmys a spider tank they probably won't even notice the bots took a little hit.)

Timmy and Johnny, understand Spike's pain and don't belittle him for it when he gets frustrated at being constantly taunted by a thing that offends him. (Don't you all just hate that stupid little pistol the game gives you when you die? Once you get your body back you have two of the useless things. I have fifteen of them in a crate. Mocking me. Telling me how often I've died. Reminding me of my failure. I want to stuff them in a furnace and watch them melt but I can't! and shooting the crate is just not satisfying...and it's wasteful.) Remember that Spikes are motivated by different things than you are. They aren't trying to take away your fun even if it seems like it.

Factorio's strength lies in its diversity and willingness to let us do utterly insane things few other games will even consider letting us do. Play to those strengths. Magic the Gathering deals with TJ&S by making sure they make cards that appeal to every player type. Not every tech or playing mode HAS to appeal to every player or even every type of player. We as players need to remember this too. If you don't like an element in the game it may be meant for a player who has a different style than you or who has a different skill level. That doesn't make it something broken that needs to be fixed any more than that Team Fortress 2 needs to make every player class a Heavy because you're bad at playing the Medic.

Bots, belts, and trains all have their plusses and minuses. Push their plusses and make it obvious to the players what their strengths are. We'll pick the techs that work best for our needs and circumstances. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the thing you find most fun about the game is the thing that should be most important.

In fact, I'm going to go further than that. We have rail world settings. Come up with bot-world settings and give us three challenges: Belt only, Bot only and TRAIN ONLY. Start us with that type of tech and make the other two post purple/yellow (or forbidden entirely if you're playing hardcore). You think belt spaghetti is bad? I'd like to see people handle inserter spaghetti with trains.

So a few points from the thread before I get tired of reading it because 28+ pages is ridiculous and just post this because I got sick of seeing people fail at reading comprehension:
1) No one seems to be complaining about construction bots. Make them two separate techs. Timmy loves bots. Johnny hates boring things, and manually laying out a problem you already solved and bluprinted is annoying. Spike could probably live with early construction bots because he still has to solve the problem, c-bots just speed up placing the solution. To make Spike happier: consider making the Roboport it's own tech and placing it AFTER personal Roboport in the tech tree. (It may make more sense to have it before based on how tech works, but Roboports are powerful objects you can set and walk away from. PRPs are limited to the area you're in and are much more like an extension of your own hand.)

2) Having a "Challenge" game mode where bots are disabled (And possibly some other techs) will go a long way to making Spikes happy. It may seem trivial to Johnnys and Timmys to just not play with a part of the tech tree you hate. But I'd hope it's almost as trivial to create a standard scenerio where some features just do not exist. Spikes like challenges. It feeds their competitive side. Conversely having a mode with a flatter faster tech tree will vastly appeal to Timmy who wants to get to the cool stuff sooner. Johnny will play in both of these modes and happily spend his time trying to break the game and make his computer beg for mercy.

3) Buffing is generally better than nerfing. Spike is the only player type who will be happy about it, but even he can find it irritating if he has to rebuild half his base. Johnny will be irritated but can deal and Timmy will hate it. Buffing things makes the game more awesome in general. (For the record nerfing the tankers was the right way to go in this case, because buffing everything else would have touched too many systems.)

4) Buff the belts. Green Belts that auto compact, carry stacks, and is a double decker with four lanes sound AWESOME. (Actually just the double decker aspect sounds good enough...but I'm designing my dream belt here so I'm packing everyone's good ideas into one uber-godlike belt!) Timmy gets uber powered stuff, Johnny gets to come up with new solutions to new problems, and Spike gets more tools that still follow complex rules. being able to more densely pack a higher belt, or even just having belts carry consistent quantities of stuff when fully compact is pretty much a necessity for belts to be competitive with bots in the late game. If you make a new belt it should be the belt of perfect awesome...that can still perhaps get more speed upgrades. (And if you make a double decker belt, give us a 1-4 splitter too! And elevated inserters so we can decide if we pick from the top or bottom belt!)

5) Encouraging base planning through mechanics sounds like a wonderful idea...to a certain kind of player. But it makes the learning cliff harder for newbies and it would make the game significantly less fun for Timmy.

6) Changing roboport linking is something to consider. Maybe linking could be an upgrade tech? (Or at least the abillity to turn off individual links so we can define our own networks!)

7) Achievements that encourage weird playstyles are your friend! Spike loves achievements, and Johnny loves ideas for weird things to do. If you want to promote belt play, come up with belt related achievements that have nothing to do with "miles of belt used in your factory."

8) Giving us more options on game generation to turn off techs we don't want to play with (or even turn on techs we should start with) and enforcing those settings in multiplayer is a good option just in general. It lets us start at whatever point in the game we feel like playing.

9) Two kinds of logibots might have potential. One for player use that's fast and is only limited by your PRP but can only refill you; and one for normal ports that has some additional limitations. (I don't know. I don't even use L-bots for refilling myself. I tend to forget that exists.) All I can say is they seem like good ideas to fork...but again, that's nerfing and you're going to irritate Timmy and Johnny if you go too far.

10) Beacons hurting the usefulness of belts is something to seriously consider. Belts being weak vs bots may actually not be the primary issue at all. If you increase beacon bonus caps, but don't permit beacon overlap so that you still get approximately the same max caps that frees up space for belts, which might make late game players more inclined to use them. (But I still want those green belts! gimmie!)

11) I'm not convinced that solar power being ultimately resourceless is a bad thing. (I like it as is, personally) but if we go with the argument of that being the real problem with bots... the most reasonable way to solve that is probably to give accumulators a shelf life of say 100x their max charge capacity or something before they fail and have to be replaced. You could give the panels an occasional failure rate too. (Not unreasonable actually. The things are terribly finicky even in real life.) Give us recipies or something to recycle spent panels and accumulators like we can with nuclear fuel.

12) I'm going to argue against land bound pathing for bots. Even if the player has to build defined lanes for them to run on I can't imagine anything that would KILL our computers harder than the devs having to code dynamic pathing for thousands of bots that always ran into each other. This is in no way a solved problem in video games (NP Complete problems are HARD!) and is one of the things that will make dwarf fortress cause your computer to cry for mercy. Factorio already does that to some players. Asking the devs to make it happen to everyone is a terrible idea. Forced flying from port to port and requiring clear paths between sounds more reasonable... but we already have trains.

13) actual underground belts a la technogen sounds like an awesome thing...for an expansion.

14) Forcing us to upgrade robots in a similar way to speed modules has plusses and minuses. It may lead us to treating them more like inserters: the right tool for the right job. It may also lead to pointless complexity. We have mods for that. Timmy will hate this unless it leads to bots that are demonstrably different in useful ways like the different kinds of inserters. Then he might be ok with it.

15) Changing bot stack size in ports is an interesting and simple option, and from what I understand overfilling your ports can actually kill your network stone dead once all those bots need to recharge at the same time if you have an inefficent network... maybe reducing stack size will solve a lot of the issues? It would be a very easy thing to test at least.

16) Late game belt splitters/combiners/dividers/balancers that can be used to manage belts more efficently in small spaces sounds like something useful to make...but only at a blue/green belt level I'd think. It's at least an option to consider. Belt spaghetti is fun (for most people) to figure out and run, and regardless it's a huge part of the game. But once you get to the point of beacons and packing for efficency being able to have 4 input lanes get balanced by something that's 4x2 instead of 4x8, or being able to split two belts to go from AABB to ABAB in 1x2 instead of 3x2 is a really big thing. Put these special items after purple and yellow science. Make us work for them, sure but space is at a premium by that point in the game. Give us more options. Filter splitters are a good idea too. Put loaders in as endgame spacetech.

17) Rate limiting chests to only accept one bot at a time is a nerf that will break factories and make people upset... but overall it's a comparatively small nerf that could be upgraded with research techs. You could compare it to the fluid wagon nerf.

18) Undergrounds on steroids belt teleportation systems: DEAR GOSH YES.

Yeah, I made it five pages before I gave up...Ah well.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:22 am

WarpZone wrote:basically threatening to remove logistic bots from the game

Except that they never ever said such a thing, not even close.
It's ONE dev, having an intellectual exercise of thinking outside the current situation in order to get things in perspective, plus expressing personal feelings.
I've followed Factorio almost since day one, and no other game has ever given me such a feeling of a community being listened to by the devs.
They do take feedback seriously, plus they obviously play their own game (which makes all the difference in the world), and it's sad that it feels so much as an exception in nowadays' gaming industry, but that's how it feels, to me anyway.
Stating that they shy away from fixing things by removing them is not only unfair, it's plainly wrong.

I consider video games an art. Devs should be able to, and in my opinion simply should, make the game they want to make first, and make the game players want to play second.
It is often reversed, because it's always nice to make people happy, and because it's always necessary to make money.
And also, gamers feel enticed to whine because they paid, and even more so in Factorio's case because, as I mentioned above, Factorio's devs DO listen to their community, and kudos to them for that. So more complains.

I'm not saying devs should be allowed to release crappy games, just refuse to fix bugs and get away with it. And we had proof that's it's completely the opposite here. Heck, they even fixed things and published releases during Christmas and New Year's evenings.
I'm saying that, when it comes to pure balancing concerns, players can always express their feelings and wishes, of course. In an ideal world, devs should take this into consideration (and I strongly feel like they do, in our case, and we're damn lucky) but they should also be given some slack when/if they decide to have it their way. It's their game, they have been working on it for years, they have a vision of it, and it's already a pain to get a common vision resulting of 5, 10 individual, often diverging opinions, so they really shouldn't bother too much about everybody's demands. In the end, it's their baby, and they should get the final call.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby Zavian » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:29 am

vampiricdust wrote:Blue belts move 40 items per second. Logistics bot with a capacity of 5... that means to compete, you would need 8 logi bots per second carrying those items for however long it takes to reach their destination. I have already done the math that 1 logi bot equals a little more than 3 blue belts. So for each 8 logi bots flying, you could have 27.8 blue belts. Then, because bots need to charge AND fly back to the starting point, you need more than double the amount of logistics bots for any given distance to maintain that.

Logistic bots are INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE. There is a reason speedrunners don't use logistic bots, they're incredibly expensive. Combine this with the expense of roboports and the expense of expanding power production without risking blackouts due to these guys eating 1mw each, bots are not "overpowered" and they are not "cheaty". They are a huge investment. For every 8 logi bots, you could build a 1-5-1 train or 138 rails. You could build 478 yellow belts for each 8 logi bots and move 6,373 items per second twice as far as the bots can without any power consumption.

The only advantage bots have is operating in tight spaces where bulking out on belts is just not an option. Belts vs Bots is bulk vs space. Using bots for anything you have the space to use belts for is incredibly wasteful and incredibly inefficient. Yeah, bots can empty a chest in seconds, but the cost of the bots to do that is crazy. 48 stacks of 100 is 4,800 items, it would take 960 robots carrying 5 items to do that at a resource cost of 172,320 per chest you empty at the same time. That is 515 blue science packs worth of logi bots.

Belts are dirt cheap compared to bots and anyone who says blue belts are expensive is wrong, because they are dirt cheap for their item per sec efficiency.


If you are worried by the costs of logistics bots, then you simply don't understand the way megabases are built. Firstly logistics bots are only about 50% more expensive than each piece of blue belt. (Blue belt 31.5 iron, logistics bot about 45 iron + copper) You can build 5 about logistics bots for every pair of blue undergrounds. In terms of iron and copper one logistics robot is the same cost as one blue science flask, and cheaper than either purple or yellow flasks. Yet even small player bases tend to produce 45 blue science/minute, and eventually a similar amount of purple and yellow. For the cost of rocket silo research you could build 1000s of logistics bots. Yet a megabase is designed to make something over 1000 red, green, blue, purple, yellow, and space science flasks per minute. And it designed to do that every minute for 10s or even 100s of hours. It needs 2, or 3 or maybe even 10 green circuit build like this.
BotBasedGreenCircuits.png
This needs about 15 blue belts worth of iron and copper, and produces over 10 belts worth of green circuits. Yet there is no room to squeeze those belts into the build.
BotBasedGreenCircuits.png (2.83 MiB) Viewed 5073 times

That build eats about 15 blue belts worth of iron and copper, and produces over 10 blue belts worth of green circuits. There is no room to squeeze those belts into the build, without sacrificing crafting speed.

The most expensive part of that build is modules. Each productivity or speed modules costs about as much as 80 logistics robots. And that build has about 500 modules, and only needs about 650 bots. The rest of the megabase will also use modules pretty much everywhere. Smelting, refining, circuits, science production. Why, because in the long run those productivity modules save you more resources than they cost, and the speed modules save you cpu cycles and productivity modules. (Also I don't know where you got the logistics bot use 1 MW from, they are more like 50 kw each. But again that is minor compared to the power cost from those beacons and assemblers).

But the real advantage of bots is that they allow you to avoid all the difficulties of belt based design. As such, once you have them they can remove much of the challenge from the game. From a game design point of view the fact that they are the 'easy' solution a player can use, that is better than the more challenging alternatives in almost every way, able to do everything you can do with belts, as well as allowing you to do builds you couldn't do with belts, (whilst also being very ups efficient) isn't good.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby Shadowcaster » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:31 am

To put it quite simply, all bottlenecks can be removed by adding more of something. Bots cannot move more items than trains at distance. Period. Belts cannot move more items than bots over short distances. Period. Bots cannot move the same amount of items in robots in the same amount of space for practical function. One main highway that goes into several assembly machines is limited by space. Need to increase throughput? Build more belts. The byproduct of this is that the total area needed for items makes belts less efficient as bots can fly diagonally or over other belts. BELTS CAN'T CROSS IN THE SAME SPACE BOTS CAN. Underground intersections at minimum, require 3 tiles, while bots can stack INFINITELY in 3 tiles. And it's not that space is an issue as the maps are infinite, but in terms of ease, it is much easier to slap down an assembly machine and make 1000 bots than to re-layout an entire area dedicated to increased production of items that has a WHOLE new set of belting that also requires pre-planning, not just holding left click and watching the little fellas go to work.

As far as making belts as easy to expand as bots, the only thing I can think of would be layered belts that could carry 4 total lanes (each side being 1 lane so 4 total different items on a belt) and an inserter could grab from these. Putting these in the mid game would allow for different less expansive automation setups as well as things like blue science could be stacked on one belt. The way to place items on these layered belts would be similar to a splitter but it could be called a stacker. A small UI window would allow for customizing which items go where on the stacked belt (Top row Left lane and Right Lane then Bottom Row Left Lane Right Lane)
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby vampiricdust » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:46 am

Zavian wrote:
If you are worried by the costs of logistics bots, then you simply don't understand the way megabases are built. Firstly logistics bots are only about 50% more expensive than each piece of blue belt. (Blue belt 31.5 iron, logistics bot about 45 iron + copper) You can build 5 about logistics bots for every pair of blue undergrounds. In terms of iron and copper one logistics robot is the same cost as one blue science flask, and cheaper than either purple or yellow flasks. Yet even small player bases tend to produce 45 blue science/minute, and eventually a similar amount of purple and yellow. For the cost of rocket silo research you could build 1000s of logistics bots. Yet a megabase is designed to make something over 1000 red, green, blue, purple, yellow, and space science flasks per minute. And it designed to do that every minute for 10s or even 100s of hours. It needs 2, or 3 or maybe even 10 green circuit build like this.
BotBasedGreenCircuits.png

That build eats about 15 blue belts worth of iron and copper, and produces over 10 blue belts worth of green circuits. There is no room to squeeze those belts into the build, without sacrificing crafting speed.

The most expensive part of that build is modules. Each productivity or speed modules costs about as much as 80 logistics robots. And that build has about 500 modules, and only needs about 650 bots. The rest of the megabase will also use modules pretty much everywhere. Smelting, refining, circuits, science production. Why, because in the long run those productivity modules save you more resources than they cost, and the speed modules save you cpu cycles and productivity modules. (Also I don't know where you got the logistics bot use 1 MW from, they are more like 50 kw each. But again that is minor compared to the power cost from those beacons and assemblers).

But the real advantage of bots is that they allow you to avoid all the difficulties of belt based design. As such, once you have them they can remove much of the challenge from the game. From a game design point of view the fact that they are the 'easy' solution a player can use, that is better than the more challenging alternatives in almost every way, able to do everything you can do with belts, as well as allowing you to do builds you couldn't do with belts, (whilst also being very ups efficient) isn't good.

I'm not worried about costs, my point is that bots cost a lot for their usage. The costs I use include liquid costs. However, a pair of express undergrounds moves 40 items per sec over 8 tiles, how many bots would take to provide non stop throughput of 40 items per second over the same distance? Bots also have to travel back to the starting point and recharge every so far they go, so even more bots are required.

That build you showed could be replicated by belts if you spaced them out more to fit in belts. Because you favor compactness over efficiency does not prove bots are better than belts. All you're proving is that you like bots over belts because it fits your design goals, which are not required to produce the same results.

As I said, as long as you can fit enough belts to do the job, belts approach infinitely better resource efficiency as time goes on just do to 0 power requirements for belts.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby GenBOOM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:16 am

Zavian wrote:
GenBOOM wrote:
Zavian wrote:Try fitting trains, inserters and assemblers between 2 rows of beacons so you can get 5.5 craft speed. There isn't enough room.


you dont need 2 rows. just add another train next to the first one. get double use out of your single row of beacons and spam trains.


Well I'm talking about competing with builds like this.
BotBasedGreenCircuits.png

Yes technically you don't need an 8x8 build. Technically you don't need any beacons at all, you can just build more assemblers. But that ends up costing more modules and power. If you are willing to settle for just 4 beacons, then that leaves plenty of room for belts. But it means that the train or belt based solution isn't really able to achieve the same craft speed as the bot based solution, so will use more modules for the same production rate. I actually have a belt based green circuit build that does 20 fully compressed blue belts of green circuits in 0.15. (After the compression changes in 0.16, it needs some tweaks). However in order to achieve that, I needed to feed copper and iron from both the east and the west, and I output green circuits from both the north and the south. That makes it pretty unwieldy to attempt to integrate with anything else. A straight 8x8 build can easily share beacons and integrate with adjacent assemblies, if we had belts to feed it adequately. Also note, I'm only talking about trying to get belt based solutions for craft speed 5.5. In the last week I've seen a player insisting he wants 12 beacons per assembler for craft speed 8 :( .


challenge accepted. this takes 13K iron, 21K copper and 3K plastic and turns it into roughly 12K green circuits 20 seconds, 1K red circuits 40 seconds and then 500 blue circuits 60 seconds and can be stacked side by side to get max use out of the beacons. and this can be done without any belts or bots, it just uses 1 train cargo wagon and swaps items around
challenge accepted.
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
Power consumption:Image
Last edited by GenBOOM on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
GenBOOM
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby Zavian » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:34 am

vampiricdust wrote:I'm not worried about costs, my point is that bots cost a lot for their usage. The costs I use include liquid costs. However, a pair of express undergrounds moves 40 items per sec over 8 tiles, how many bots would take to provide non stop throughput of 40 items per second over the same distance? Bots also have to travel back to the starting point and recharge every so far they go, so even more bots are required.

That build you showed could be replicated by belts if you spaced them out more to fit in belts. Because you favor compactness over efficiency does not prove bots are better than belts. All you're proving is that you like bots over belts because it fits your design goals, which are not required to produce the same results.

As I said, as long as you can fit enough belts to do the job, belts approach infinitely better resource efficiency as time goes on just do to 0 power requirements for belts.


The biggest part of the costs is the productivity and speed modules. If you space out the build, that means that less speed beacons affect each assembler, so to get the same throughput you need more assemblers and more productivity modules, and hence the build become more expensive. I actually have a belt based green circuit build that does 20 fully compressed blue belts in 0.15. (With the changes to compression in 0.16, it will need some changes to get full compression).
20BeltGreenCircuits.png
20BeltGreenCircuits.png (1.9 MiB) Viewed 5034 times

That build does 48k green circuits/minute compared to the bot based version which does 27.9k. But it uses more than twice as many assemblers, and about twice as many modules. It also needs 2k blue belts, and 300 undergrounds. Realistically you probably wouldn't share the outside rows of beacons. (They could be shared with the bot based build. In theory you could probably also scale up the bot based build to include another row of assemblers bringing it to similar throughput, and improving it's beacon to assembler ratio. That would probably require redoing the station to increase the number of stack inserter loading and unloading). So the total cost is about double the bot based build, for only 170% of its production. The bot based build is cheaper per 1000 green circuits/minute, even after accounting for the cost of bots. (And with outputs coming out the top and bottom, and input coming in the left and right, you still need to route some belts and build some stations, whereas the bot based build includes it's stations.

Another cost is player time and effort. The belt based build took about 12 hrs and multiple iterations to get right, and will need more tweaks to cope with the 0.16 belt changes. I threw the bot based design together in under 20 minutes. A decent bot based outpost design is almost always much faster and easier to design and build than the equivalent belt based design. (In 0.15 the bot based design was much more cpu friendly as well. That is probably less true in 0.16, but I haven't done enough testing to really compare them).

If the devs want us to stop using belts, then they either need to find a way buff belts in the very late game so that they can provide the throughput needed to do a decent 8x8 beaconed setup for high throughput items like green circuits, or they need to nerf beacons so that we only want to use 4 beacons per assembler, and hence free up more 'space' to route lots of belts, or they need to nerf bots somehow. Even then a bot based design is probably always going to be faster and easier for a player to design and build.
Zavian
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby GenBOOM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:47 am

Zavian wrote:
vampiricdust wrote:I'm not worried about costs, my point is that bots cost a lot for their usage. The costs I use include liquid costs. However, a pair of express undergrounds moves 40 items per sec over 8 tiles, how many bots would take to provide non stop throughput of 40 items per second over the same distance? Bots also have to travel back to the starting point and recharge every so far they go, so even more bots are required.

That build you showed could be replicated by belts if you spaced them out more to fit in belts. Because you favor compactness over efficiency does not prove bots are better than belts. All you're proving is that you like bots over belts because it fits your design goals, which are not required to produce the same results.

As I said, as long as you can fit enough belts to do the job, belts approach infinitely better resource efficiency as time goes on just do to 0 power requirements for belts.


The biggest part of the costs is the productivity and speed modules. If you space out the build, that means that less speed beacons affect each assembler, so to get the same throughput you need more assemblers and more productivity modules, and hence the build become more expensive. I actually have a belt based green circuit build that does 20 fully compressed blue belts in 0.15. (With the changes to compression in 0.16, it will need some changes to get full compression).
20BeltGreenCircuits.png

That build does 48k green circuits/minute compared to the bot based version which does 27.9k. But it uses more than twice as many assemblers, and about twice as many modules. It also needs 2k blue belts, and 300 undergrounds. Realistically you probably wouldn't share the outside rows of beacons. (They could be shared with the bot based build. In theory you could probably also scale up the bot based build to include another row of assemblers bringing it to similar throughput, and improving it's beacon to assembler ratio. That would probably require redoing the station to increase the number of stack inserter loading and unloading). So the total cost is about double the bot based build, for only 170% of its production. The bot based build is cheaper per 1000 green circuits/minute, even after accounting for the cost of bots. (And with outputs coming out the top and bottom, and input coming in the left and right, you still need to route some belts and build some stations, whereas the bot based build includes it's stations.

Another cost is player time and effort. The belt based build took about 12 hrs and multiple iterations to get right, and will need more tweaks to cope with the 0.16 belt changes. I threw the bot based design together in under 20 minutes. A decent bot based outpost design is almost always much faster and easier to design and build than the equivalent belt based design. (In 0.15 the bot based design was much more cpu friendly as well. That is probably less true in 0.16, but I haven't done enough testing to really compare them).

If the devs want us to stop using belts, then they either need to find a way buff belts in the very late game so that they can provide the throughput needed to do a decent 8x8 beaconed setup for high throughput items like green circuits, or they need to nerf beacons so that we only want to use 4 beacons per assembler, and hence free up more 'space' to route lots of belts, or they need to nerf bots somehow. Even then a bot based design is probably always going to be faster and easier for a player to design and build.


yeah and after I place 1 of them my framerate gets cut in half if I am even looking near it. the trains however can be spammed endlessly with no fps drops. bots and belts are inferior for longer games. you will hit a limit eventually.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby vampiricdust » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:52 am

So you're using 2 builds that are drastically different production levels... you dont need to use beacons and modules, I never do, but I dont make mega bases. You're making no arguments that in any way disagree with what my point was. If anything, you're proving me correct but showing that bots are only worth it when things are so tightly packed you cannot fit in belts. However, bots have worse throughput per bot. Only because you have 560 bots can you keep up. They can only move 2,800 items at a time while flying with a stack of 5. You're 2k blue belts together can move 40k items per second forever without having to charge.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Postby jockeril » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:30 am

Ok. Now I've read it and if that's the direction Factorio is going I'm gonna stay with 0.15 ! :angry:
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