Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

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StarTotino
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by StarTotino »

I think we should keep things the way they are because many players still stick to belts by choice and the change would be a hard transition, however, I think bots should still be nerfed more:
(but maybe make the nerfs as settings)
-more research required
-more varied items needed (so you can't get them as soon as you get plastics and lubricant)
-further limit the number of bots per roboport

-ADD (A) SETTING(S) IN /WORLD CREATION/PVP-SCENARIO-SETTINGS/ FOR WHETHER OR NOT TO ALLOW LOGISTICS ROBOTS (or raise their research needed very high)

I'm a strong believer that having more settings for users makes anything better. Sure, some things should be enforced, but more settings allows more players who can't/don't want to mod, can still totally change their games from one to another.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by bobucles »

Don't forget that the goal of the game is to build a rocket. One. Uno. Singular. Not a hundred. Not a thousand. And sure as hell not a million. The balance between belts and bots is pretty good for meeting the game's objective of building ONE rocket. Belts ARE the superior option for building your base, they're superior for building research, and they're superior for feeding and launching the first rocket. Bots ARE effective as a supplement to the belt network, for moving barrels, and untangling belt spaghetti by handling oddball recipes. This is fine. It's actually fine. Nothing is broken between belts and bots for the main game. The crumbling point happens during post game, and the breaking point is so far beyond you can hardly call it post game at that point. Bot balance doesn't actually break down until PLAYERS LITERALLY TRY BREAKING THE GAME. The fact that it takes such extreme effort, dedication, and over a THOUSAND rockets to find that breaking point shows just how well balanced bots vs. belts are.

Devs should not be asking "are belts and bots totally balanced" because if you dig hard enough you'll eventually find out where the answer is no. Devs should instead be asking "Just how deep down the rabbit hole of post game do things need to stay balanced?" Because with all the uranium, super artillery, and nukes it's very clear that the balance of Factorio's post game is far more silly than serious.
Last edited by bobucles on Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Sigma1 »

SquirtingElephant wrote:Mega factories can't really use bots anyway without killing your PC.
Actually (ACKCHYUALLY), Megabases use mostly bots because they are very friendly for your PC resources compared to other stuff.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by agmike »

I see some misconceptions here, mentioning how bots are easiest and most powerful solution to everything with no downsides or performance problems...
They are not. High throughput is not something inherent in bot designs. It is something you get when you specifically plan for it.
They have good throughput only for small areas with simple cargo flows, you wont get good throughput putting log net over your whole base, unless you put tens of thousands of bots for that. And this won't scale performance wise, not at all.
Small specialized bot builds look simple, but their simplicity comes from offloading complex parts to other places — train networks, big scale logicstic planning.
They are not free from UPS costs either. Dispatching and flight still takes time to update, I'm yet to see comparisons, but somehow I doubt belts in 0.16 are so far away from bots anymore.

Any way you restrict bots with, belts won't become any better... Currently they suffer from 0.16 compression issues, lack of powerful end-game tech (lets face it, blue belts are mid-game stuff you can easily make a lot with even smaller starting bases), lack of scaling with infinite research. Harming bots won't solve any of these.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by helo »

I refer directly to the question´s in FFF from
Twinsen
May it´s really time, that development of this game should end and it´ll be released before devs overthink more of the core techs which made game successful and highly appreciated.

I´ve an achivements for that.
[irony]"Build a handmade rocket (without factory and miner)"[/irony]
This is at same level of your crazy idea.
Twinsen
One of the greatest satisfaction in Factorio happens, if you were able to successfully establish a new automation of a product which runs without manually corrections.
If this is belt or drone based is determend from gameplay of gamer but the other way is still possible in another try. My money was well spend and however it turns, I had a lot of fun with this game and Factorio is in Top3 of all played games ever.
So thanks a lot for your effort.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Hertzila »

WarpZone wrote:In the end, the whole idea of eliminating one of these styles of play, or forcing one of the playstyles to change to become "balanced" with the other (nerfs and/or buffs) is fundamentally flawed. It's not comparing apples to apples. It's comparing grocery stores to credit cards, and then making us fight over which one we do away with in how we get our apples. It's madness and nonsense. And I think Klonan knew better than this when he set us against each others' throats in that Friday Facts post.

I mean, seriously Klonan, what did you think was gonna happen? Did you think the whole community would rally around "Klonan knows best" and help you win the internal debate you're having with your team? You've been around the internet long enough by now to know that that's not the way it works. You can't go "Hey guys, I want to take your cool toys away, but the rest of the team won't let me, do me a favor and talk some sense into them" to a bunch of random gamers on Steam. Your community is strong. Your community is full of smart people. But we're still human.

You should have known better, Klonan. Welp, it's your move. I guess this is what you wanted. You lit the fire. Now are you gonna put it out again? Or pour gasoline on it and hope nobody notices?
What is it with you and your made up idea of the devs removing or nerfing the bots to oblivion? Twinsen, the author of this FFF, posted a thought experiment about the elegance of Factorio's design had they never implemented bots. They very specifically said that they won't remove them and will consider buffing belts some way instead. From where did you grab this idea of bots going away?

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM »

Zavian wrote:
GenBOOM wrote: 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.
If you are serious that placing one belt or one bot cuts your framerate in half, then that sound like it might be a bug. Whilst you can have a lot of trains, you can't spam just them endlessly without affecting ups, eg see viewtopic.php?f=49&t=52620&p=307753
no not 1 belt, did you even look at the image? its a 20 belt bus. looking near the 2.2K belts means over 264000 items that have to be rendered and updated every frame.

my train blueprint? 0 belts, 0 bots
Last edited by GenBOOM on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM »

Zavian wrote:
GenBOOM wrote: 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
Ok I tried that. For me that settles down in at an average of around 535 blue circuits/minute. (5 trains on a loop, stopping for 15 sec at every station, but with smaller pickup loads, and filtered slots. the only assemblers that are short on materials is blue circs which are missing red cicrs).
blueCircTrains.png


Here is a belt based alternative design that uses about the same number of assemblers and modules, but averages more beacons per assembler, and hence a higher craft speed. Note I'm making green circuits and plastic as part of this build.
red_blue_Circs3.png
red_blue_Circs2.png
red_blue_Circs.png
We are just a fraction short of red circuits, and a fraction over on greens and copper wire, but ratios are pretty good, and most machines should be running almost continuously.
Blueprint String
the point of that train design is to run 1 green stop into multiple red stops into even more blue stops so that each station is being utilized more.

the reason your station didn't work is because it requires a special method of loading using combinators.

if done right it should be between 30K to 40K green circuits a minute

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by spacedreamer »

My main concern with the post is that the developers opinion is leading to making Factorio less fun.

The strength of Factorio lies in the freedom to use or not to use certain blocks. Factorio offers options and it is up to me, the player, to utilize the options to how I personally see fit.

It's about the creativity of people.

Via Youtube, people like Arumba, Xterminator, Nilaus, KoS, Madzuri showed me what is possible or where certain limitations lie. Playing for and odd 600hrs now, I'm nowhere near those limits, but I get when you get to really BIG bases performance becomes an issue. The fun then lies in solving this challenge. And if bots allow to solve that then it's fine. And if you don't want to use them because of whatever reason, then that's equally fine. You place or remove your own limitations.

If there is another underlying problem then don't nerf the bots, but fix the problem. In my opinion, coming from playing MMO's, 9 out of 10 nerfs do more damage then good.

Especially don't nerf the bots because you feel they are (too) powerful, because you then, unintentionally, impose your view on other people. It 'd be the same saying me you can no longer do your favorite thing because I think it is rubbish.

The strength of Factorio lies in its appeal to Infinite Diversity and Infinite Combinations.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM »

toketsu_puurin wrote: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.
you lost me here. I have game where I have tens of thousands of accumulators and you want them all on day 100 to be replaced? you must be joking.
even having to repair them would be a nightmare. day 100 the day the world ends.

for those that don't know proper solar panel setups are designed to drain their accumulators each night to carry you through the period where your solar panels are inactive.
so basically on day 100 they would all break at exactly the same time.

don't talk about things you haven't fully considered please.
Last edited by GenBOOM on Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by n7m6e7 »

Throwing in 2 cents, driveby style.

Construction bots definitely dont need to be touched.

When it comes to logistics bots, nerfing doesnt help, as no matter how weak a bot is, the solution is "more bots"

My only suggestion,(and indeed any changes to bots) would be met with serious opposition, as no one likes their favorite strategy nerfed, and fight it tooth and nail.

But i would suggest simply removing the whole roboport connection thing. Forcing players to assign X bots to each port.
If things aren't running as fast as you want in an area, you can strategically overlap roboports.

Hopefully a hybrid system of belting in materials, and distribute them from there.
No more robo swarms carrying material across the map.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by WarpZone »

Hertzila wrote:What is it with you and your made up idea of the devs removing or nerfing the bots to oblivion? Twinsen, the author of this FFF, posted a thought experiment about the elegance of Factorio's design had they never implemented bots. They very specifically said that they won't remove them and will consider buffing belts some way instead. From where did you grab this idea of bots going away?
Friday Facts #244 wrote: Removing logistics bots from the game
This isn't 20 rockets-per-second surgery, here. It's right there in the big bold text at the top of the page. Sure, he walks it back a little further down the page, but if he's "thinking about it" today, that means he wants to do it tomorrow. Then he asked for us to comment publicly on the forum. This is my comment: NO.

Also I've seen all the other nerfs Factorio's devs have packed into update after update in the past, and I've seen those updates do nothing but make the game more painful to play.

Also I've seen too many other promising indie games on steam nerf themselves into painfully unpleasant grinds just because the dev thought people "weren't playing it right."

Basically, I've already been though this slow and painful process of devs taking a brilliant early access game and destroying it too many times before to sit idly by and watch it happen again.

(Usually, these days, it's microtransactions devs ruin their game with. So I guess we dodged a bullet in that regard. But just because they're not stooping to that level doesn't mean the change they are planning is good.)

Factorio without logistics bots would be worse than Factorio as it is now. That's all anyone needs to know.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by SeigneurAo »

WarpZone wrote:Factorio without logistics bots would be worse than Factorio as it is now. That's all anyone needs to know.
Thanks for enlightening us all with the one and only Truth.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by ske »

People seem to love overpowered items and don't want to let go of overpowered logistics chests. It's as hard as getting rid of an earworm or a space dragon. You can't get rid of it, only replace it with something more powerful.

Therefore I propose the following change: Logistics chests are made infinite in storage and share the inventory globally.

This way we get rid of the UPS draining flying robot animation and megafactories can be more mega than ever before. The logistics hassle is a thing of the past. You can also integrate the chest as module into the assembly machine directly. So no pesky inserters. Just watch the stats grow exponentially.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by vladdu »

Therefore I propose the following change: Logistics chests are made infinite in storage and share the inventory globally.
Sorry, but that already exists (albeit with poor graphics): https://factoryidle.com/ :o

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Master »

I always prefered the "mechanical throughput" over the magic that bots do.

What I consider strange though is that you basically nerfed the belts by making it way harder to compress them now.....

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Bi0nicM4n »

SeigneurAo wrote: Yeah, so basically you probably haven't read the articles and OP properly.
Spike is mostly about competition, but they do mention that his defining attributes also include a deep love for a game that's balanced and fair in itself (i.e., even when playing solo), and a deep hate against the very notion of "cheating". Even if you're not in direct competition with others, you can feel offended by the simple fact that shortcuts exist. You can think it's silly, disrespectful, or whatever, but it doesn't change the fact that some players feel that way, and that they deserve some love, just the same way as the Timmys and their big, shiny toys and immediate satisfaction do.
Factorio is not PvP... for you. It does include a PvP mode, and it's getting improved. You can actually imagine Factorio events, competition taking place. It is arguably a minor aspect of the game for most players (IMHO), but it's still there, for a reason. Being dismissive about it doesn't help much.
Feel offended because something exists? FFS, learning not to get offended by every little thing is what makes adult an adult. If I were blind, would I have the right to get offended that 99% of people are not? Would I have a right to demand that the rest of humanity wear eye-patches all their lives? What you're saying is "lets shit on 99% people for the sake of 1%". Stop with this already, people!

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Scrable »

Wouldn't it be possible to add an ingame event which makes the bots inactive for a certain amount of time. Strong wind? EM pulse? Or just a (ion) storm...
It could work like this, that bots will remain ingame, but they are susceptible to special types of world events to which the other means of logistics aren't.
I would just say, oh a storm is approaching better deactivate the bots... Or when you don't do that they simply fall to the ground and those who fall into water get destroyed along with the material they were carrying, but those on the ground will continue their work once the storm is over, but while on the ground they will susceptible to biter attacks.

This would mean that you can't solely rely on bots, but have to use belts, since solely relying on bots in this scenario would mean the demise of your factory with the first storm. Auxillary production like rocket production would still be able to rely on bots, since you don't need them permanently going. Of course this adds some kind of unpredictability to this game... So those who built buffers are better of.
The storm could also affect production speed and pollution, maybe even make your surroundings absorb more pollution.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by zebediah49 »

I'm going to add a nerf possibility that hasn't been seen yet, and IMO misses most of the problems of the others:

Make the logistics chests larger. Possibly only the requesters; possibly all.

Much of the benefit of using logistics bots comes from the fact that compact physical space is one of the very few endgame-limited commodities. The two squares taken by a requester chest and an inserter is also necessary with a belt and an inserter... and then you need much more belt segments to deliver the resources. This makes logistics setups more compact, more able to use beacons, and all-around more convenient.

If the requester chest -- seriously, how does a bot deliver items into a chest? Shouldn't it need a landing pad? -- was a 3x3 object, much of that benefit goes away. Sure, with a bit of creativity you can fit at least six factory buildings around it, but it removes much of the benefit. Suddenly, three squares of delivery belt is a more compact solution than just jumping to logistics.

It maintains the convenience of being able to route esoteric and limited use items across mid-range distances. It's only in the "every-square-matters" micro-optimized endgame case -- the case that appears to be what's being primarily criticized here -- that it becomes a problem.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Ranakastrasz »

I dont really know. Bots scale with zero challange. Belts require space and somewhat clever planning.

If you have to set up highways, it is quite an undertaking. Bots are mostly integrating roboports everywhere and supplying tons of power.


I prefer belts. Bots are cool as a smallscale fix, but being able to scale it up to replace belts feels wrong
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