Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Locked
Faen
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:31 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Faen »

After a little more thinking, apart from what I said before (viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56218&start=180#p331099) I think a research of MAXIMUM ACTIVE ROBOTS per LOGISTIC NETWORK would help to nerf them a bit forcing you to make more research if you want to use them elsewhere, so you have to be more picky were to use them at first or making you divide you network in little pieces that can only supply its area of inluence.

EDIT:
Let me explain this point further, basically you divide this research into two steps, first one that push up the limit by dozens for every research and second one, locked after some more advanced research that push the limit by the hundreds and eventually by the thousands.

This way if you want to use bots extensively early you will have to make small logistic networks with small coverage forcing you to plan your factory for this use, making use of belts to move items from one to another and positioning your asembling machines and furnaces so they stay inside the same area coverage.

This will also lead to a natural progression from a belt based early game factory to a bot based/mixed late game factory, making you think how to get the most efficience from your bots instead of just adding more to the logistic system.
Last edited by Faen on Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:39 am, edited 4 times in total.

Novalith
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:24 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Novalith »

Razoric480 wrote:It's important to balance the game for the right reasons. "We think it's the more fun way to play" can backfire, and is in something of an elitist bracket way of thinking ("only hardcore gamers can appreciate a real game. Logistic Bots are for casuals, real gamers play with belts, huff huff!") which is a pretty toxic thing to consider.

Cases in point:
Firaxis thought it was way more fun and challenging for players to run through missions in XCOM and thought that going slow and methodical was not as fun, so they punished slow and methodical with mission timers in XCOM 2. Many players hated the timers, and by the time the expansion comes out, most timers in the new missions aren't even there anymore.

Compare that to DOOM (2016.) ID's idea was to have the player in the face of the demons instead of ducking under cover, so they incentivized the rush-into-melee idea by making weakened enemies explode like a pinata with ammo and health pick ups, instead of penalizing players for staying under cover. This was extremely well received.

Firaxis should have incentivized players to go quickly with bonuses of some kind, instead of punishing players for playing the way they wanted to play.

Factorio should incentivize belts instead of punishing players by removing logistics.

Just my two cents, anyway.
Please listen to this person. I wish we could just upvote posts but he said exactly what I was thinking. Don't remove a playstyle just because it annoys you. Think about why belts are not being used. Is it because bots are easy or because belts have true limitations that bots are the only way to overcome? The person who mentioned beacons hit the nail on the head. It seems you wanted to limit the ability to overuse beacons on an object so you structured them in such a way as space became the limiting factor in their use. What if you just limited what they can do and stopped making space as big a factor? As it stands you cannot use beacons to their fullest extent in some applications without using bots. Just limit the bonuses an assembler can receive and then you can change the area of effect and size of beacons to something less setup killing.

AlTurGo
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:16 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by AlTurGo »

I think it's not good idea to disable bots. I think it's good as it is.

Bots allow you to avoid a large field of spaghetty for low-serial production. It's cool i think. Spaghetty is too anoying. But huge amount of bots for large-serial production requiring a powerfull energy system. And it's cool too. I think player should have a choise what to use: cheap but large belt-based logistic or expensive but compact bot-based logistic.

And if some players want to play without bots as their own challenges it shouldn't look as nobody must play without bots. It's not a PvP or competition game in usual case. It's an sandbox game. So why it's must be an everybody-on-one-line-game?

My choose is both: my main base not too big and it's produsing low-serial products (ammo, assemblers, modules, etc.) with bot-based logistic network. But large-serial production (plates, circuits, plactic, rocket fuel, etc) are based on belt-based logistic, buses and large railway system. It's allow me to have balance between power and space in space-limited games (with a lot of water and enemies) where i not wont and can't use a lot space for spaghetty and solar fields. And it will be not cool to lose any tools to make my base based on my play style.

But in any event:
- it's not bad to nert bots a little. If we talking about power consumption an example, bot's stack size research may include energy consumption up, or power consumption may been depended by current bot's cargo size, but not 1 to 1.
- bots enabling may be as an map's option
- belt-based logistic in contras to bot-based logistic has an capacity limits, and it will be cool to have some kind of belts upgrades (mb infinite and without belt replacement): speed, resource's stacks, etc to make this limits wider in late-game.

I know that it may been reached by mods... but if we talk about balance it may been reached officially.

Sorry if i repeating some posts above, and for my english...

User avatar
Oktokolo
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 851
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Oktokolo »

cpy wrote:Yeah GL with belts when you play mods that have 8 item input recipes.
I have had sushi belts feeding science and all science productions in a gamethrough a year ago. It is possible to reliably fit 4 or even more different types of items on each lane if the belt is fast enough. It takes a bit of fiddling with circuits though.

Sadly, a lot of the recipes in factorio are optimized for one ingredient per lane or even belt because of the quantities involved. Would like to see more recipes needing more different low-quantity ingredients. Should not go crazy on it like Bob's though...
Add circuit-selectable recipes for assemblers and most items of the mall would be made in the same single assembler. Then doing all the circuitry, a recipe-switching and suhi belt powered setup needs, would really pay off in reduced space and power consumption - and the elegant look of suhi belts.

Starsh1p
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Starsh1p »

Hello Factorio Community and Developers!

We have a possible solution for the Robot-question.
1) Limit the capacity of the Logistic Network and couple it to an infinite research. For Example limit the number of Robots inside the network to ~500 prior to infinite research. This would result to have a running mega-factory prior to using logistic robots in a wider scale but allows limited transport with robots. You could use them to deliver goods to the player or help in critical areas with transport of limited resources. But in the absolute late game you could have them anyway.
This could greatly be beneficial for all different kinds of game elements.

2) Make Belts more attractive.
Main Belt systems have the absolute downside of being too big and transport too less items. With "Speed-Lane"-Belts it could be possible to transport items with higher volume. They could not be unloaded by inserters but with unloading belts instead to make the resource available again.
Another possibility would be to make assemblers directly feed-able. Lay one high speed belt inside a special Assembler and one output belt on the other side (Pretty much like liquids but with moving belts). This would result in higher throughputs less frisky inserters and maybe performance improvements?

Anyways, we totally love the game and have gathered beyond 600 hrs since Version 13. Nowadays we mostly play with Bobs and Angels mod, so any more complexity would be in our favor!

Best Regards,

Knarf and Starship

GenBOOM
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM »

I agree. change beacons. leave robots alone, add more belt mechanics, and have robots unlock after those new mechanics just as they do already. all remains well in factorio

User avatar
Nova
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:13 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Nova »

I don't want to read all the previous posts at the moment (sorry ^^), but here's my opinion to that: Bots are overpowered and I think it would be a good idea to do any drastic changes NOW.

Really. You are in beta now, not a finished game. NOW is the time for any drastic changes. Do them as soon as possible because every day you delay that will only make it harder. My proposition: implement another game mode (costum map? separate mission?) without bots, or with a huge nerf for bots. If you do that people can really check out these changes and will partly get used to it.
Removing them at all is no good idea. I really don't want to transport every small thing per belt, like late game modules.

Mh, how to nerf the bots... how about making every roboport only serve a specific amount of robots in its area? Like if there are already X robots in the area of a roboport, no more could enter that area. That could be doable without huge performance loss. it would make it much more costly to have many bots in a specific area - not only do you need multiple roboports, but also have the space to place them. If you start to spread your base more apart to have more roboports you would also raise the amount of flying time for the bots, making them even more expensive.

@Sniperfuchs: Yeah, you're right. That's a useless approach to the discussion, like saying "then do it better!1!!" to people criticising other.
@Razoric480: Well, that's all in all right, but not so easy to really DO. Every way should be equally good so people can chose their tactic, but some ways are just better than other. You have to change fundamental things for them to be more or less equal.
Greetings, Nova.
Factorio is one of the greatest games I ever played, with one of the best developers I ever heard of. Image

Mimp
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Mimp »

Sniperfuchs wrote:...if they are a good addition in terms of gamedesign, which they are most likely not.
They're a great feature, I wouldn't have made it past the demo if not for the lure of being able to try them out. The reason I say they're great is they open up the option for players to play alternative ways; that's a hard value to discard.

By the time I reach the end game I want to work on a particular end game goal I've set out for myself. I don't want to deal with going back and automating something I never needed to automate before but have a minor use for now. In those cases I slap down an assembler in the middle of my base somewhere and let the bots work their magic. I'm taking the lazy route, but I don't care. I want to focus on the end game thing, not finding a spot to automate green/red circuit wire. I really don't care where those are being made. Or how efficient their productions is, just that they're available in logistics and I didn't have to waste any significant time/effort on a tedious thing.

Every single game we're faced with this sort of decision over and over again. As players we have the freedom to choose different answers for each question, on each play through. That flexibility only exists because we have bots, belts and trains as options. If you remove the options the game loses complexity and becomes dull repetition. Great games with immense replay-ability have immense complexity, the complexity is required to generate fresh, new experiences. With that in mind I'd much rather see new logistical options added that increase complexity. They add more value, more choices and more unique experiences to the game. Removing the logistics network wouldn't fix the problem, it would damage the game experience though.

ManaUser
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by ManaUser »

You want to encourage people to use belts? Here's what you do, make belts more fun and less annoying to work with. Some ideas:

The oft-suggested lane-splitter.
A belt-planner, like the rail planner, to make placing long non-straight belts less hassle.
Near inserters (inserts on the close side of a belt).
And of course, bring back side-load compression.

That's just off the top of my head, but when was the last time belts got anything new

Sniperfuchs
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Sniperfuchs »

Mimp wrote:
Sniperfuchs wrote:...if they are a good addition in terms of gamedesign, which they are most likely not.
They're a great feature, I wouldn't have made it past the demo if not for the lure of being able to try them out. The reason I say they're great is they open up the option for players to play alternative ways; that's a hard value to discard.
I'm amazed by how little of my comment you must have read to quote me without addressing a single issue I pointed out. I have not once said bots should be removed, and I'm glad you enjoy them. But you can't bring up the one balanced use (putting down a random assembly machine when you just need a small amount of a certain item and use bots to feed it) and disregard the straight up broken applications, so basically everything else.
Bots remove complexity, period. They add limited choices in certain situations, and I am all for that, but if used on a massive scale, they turn into a design problem. I'm gonna repeat myself, I don't want them gone but something should definitely change. The best approach will probably be a buff to belts (and MAYBE a small nerf to bots, who knows) to bring them in line or just other means to transport items that are more complex in terms of logistics planning but with similar throughput.

GenBOOM
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by GenBOOM »

to summarize my posts since I have been thinking about this while reading other replies...

belts are 1 dimensional. they are either lines or dotted lines on the plane that you play the game on; being normal belts or underground belts.

if you want to make belts more interesting make belts that can intersect on that plane and move upwards into the 3rd dimension of the game.
that would make them a constant rubix cube logistical problem to solve of how to manage those intersections and merges.
I want to build a layered base of belts. please make this possible.

nerfing bots, solar power, laser turrets in no way improves the game and how you interact and solve these interesting puzzles.

there is no solution like creating a new mechanic that provides content.
don't go down the road that other devs go down by alienating your player base by re-aranging existing content instead of creating something new.

as someone mentioned undergrounds belts are not really underground, and they for no reason have a distance limitation imposed upon them.

I think elevated belts that do not allow the player to walk on them and require some kind of support structure to be held up would be a much more interesting mid game, and bots can be pushed further back and it would seem only natural.

also, bots and belts are inferior to trains in every way in late game anyhow. while bots vs belt fight is going on the trains are doing all the work.
I agree beacons are too simplified as well. I would welcome an update.

to continue on this idea of 3 dimensional belts...
there would need to be a splitter for going up and down on a layer of belts, and the top belts could easily drop onto a belt below and merge or overflow with that belt.
timing the merge would be the tricky part.
in my mind this seems like the logical step forward for the game.
by having layers you can have different belt priorities and interject items that are not needed as often onto a primary belt, maximizing the use of your space and the use of your high-speed belts.

for recipes that have lopsided ratios like blue circuits of 10:1 it makes sense that you would not want to dedicate even half a belt to that one resource and giving up 1 more tile to make the assembly wider is unnecessary. with 3 dimensional belts you wouldn't need to waste the space you already have. its time to build up, not out.

I was thinking there would be two ways to do it. one with wires and circuitry magic and the other with some new dedicated technology like a hopper. with this it would be possible to hack together something that worked temporarily before you research it and can begin planning on where to place things.

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

more on the idea of a 3d belt factorio...

there could be 3 "elevator" objects (more like spiral staircase) that have internal belts that spiral upwards these are 2x2 objects.
one is a single belt version. the belt starts on the left of the 2x2 spiraling to the right, the other version is right spiraling to the left. these input and output 1 belt.
then you have another version that is a helix with two belts on the inside, one going in each direction. these input and output 2 belts

these can all be stacked again allowing you to have hanging belts like hanging train rails.

of course there would need to be something like scaffolding added to support the belts every few tiles, and the upgraded belts weigh more and require more support more often.
this support would be on the lines between tiles to exist with the current belt sprites.
of course the higher you built it, the more expensive it is...but in this way belts would never take more than 2 spaces for input and output and would be an order of magnitude better than they are currently.
Cordylus wrote:I will remind my idea about ropeway conveyors:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7977
that would be pretty neat

ropeway conveyors would solve the big problems such as belting ammo around the entire perimeter of your factory, as well as repair packs, and would be a good alternative to add to the game leading up to trains. though I still do not think they can replace bots, then can push them farther down the tech tree.

User avatar
Ohz
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:40 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Ohz »

My opinion:

Do whatever you want, I don't want to use logistic bots, therefore they can exists, I simply ignore them.

To be honest I also ignore solar, laser turret, and half of the military features (rocket launcher and unused armor goodies) actually, since 400 hours of gameplay so far.

Whatev, I'm fine.
I'm not english, sorry for my mistakes

dewiniaid
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by dewiniaid »

Peppe wrote:Another option might be to remove roboport logistics areas linking? Could see logistics bots working in small defined areas to help support max speed beaconed buildings (which being the UPS peak is the megabase design), but the logistics bots can't move out of their roboport's zone. Construction bots would deliver items across zones to the player / blueprints.
So in a small area logistics bots are the peak if item I/O, but to go any other distances belts and trains are the only option.
This needs some work, but I can see this being the right direction to go (in addition to adding some throughput improvements to belts -- maybe making express belts cheaper and/or adding a 4th belt type).

What might work well is:

1. Reducing the current range for roboports, and possibly reduce the cost of constructing them somewhat to balance this.

2. Move the current Logistics System research to be slightly earlier. With logibots not being able to travel between roboports, this is allows some of the early uses of them to still be feasible without immediately going into the "replace all belts" territory.

3. Add upgrades for roboport charging capacity, roboport charging speed, roboport logistics range, and roboport construction range, as well as an improved Roboport 2. The first couple of upgrades here can be in the realm of red/green/blue science, other ones can require the first 5, and then possible infinite research (probably just for charging speed/capacity).

4. Add research that requires space science to allow logistics bots to travel within (connected) logistics networks -- or make a more-expensive Logistics Robot 2 (that also requires space science) that has this functionality. The latter option opens up some additional options too -- like having long-range 'distributor' bots to move cargo within a wider network and then shorter-range bots assigned to work a small area simply by mixing robot types.

So, in a nutshell this would mean that some of the basic uses of logistics robots become available earlier (e.g. for dense beacon setups and some ad-hoc manufacturing), but replacing belts entirely is likely to not happen until a rocket has been launched (at which point you're probably going for massive scale anyways and need the benefits that robots provide). Until connected logistic networks are researched, this may result in a setup using belts as a mid-range transportation option -- too short to justify the space/expense of rail but too long to fit within one roboport's area.

Caine
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Caine »

GenBOOM wrote:if you want to make belts more interesting make belts that can intersect on that plane and move upwards into the 3rd dimension of the game.
Perhaps this warrants a thread in the ideas and suggestions section. This thread moves quickly and it will rapidly get overlooked.

Drison
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Drison »

As someone who has been playing Factorio forever, but just registered on these forums because of this FFF, I think this is completely the wrong thing for the team to be even looking at.

Instead of nerfing an existing feature, why not ADD a feature, such as much harder biters, new types of biters (e.g. flying), smarter biters, and new mechanics to how biter attacks work (e.g. massive swarms overwhelming defense).

If you instead took an additive approach, you make bots at their current power level REQUIRED just to survive in the late game. That would be a FAR more interesting mechanic.

Bottom line, stop playing with things that already work, ADD new content which challenges the player and needs the powerful bot scheme already in the game.

vanatteveldt
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:44 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by vanatteveldt »

[posting without reading the replies, 10 pages of bot-fury is too much for me, so I'll just add my own rant ;-) ]

Currently bots are needed to use fully boosted plants to their maximum capacity. I've tried to make a marathon green circuit plant with 4 pr3 modules and 8 sp3 beacons working without bots, but I can't supply the needed materials without breaking the tightly packed plants ("linear design"). So, you either accept inefficiency, or use bots to transport cable over a short distance.

Before stack inserters it was a lot worse, it was almost impossible to get any kind of late-game performance without bots. Stack inserters improve throughput a lot, but container-container inserter throughput is still more than twice belt-container.

Suggestion: If you want me to ditch (logi)bots completely, give me a better way to use inserters. I like the (kovarex?) belt buffers to improve container -> belt throughput. If you make it so inserting to a belt buffer would be as fast as inserting to a container, that would solve half the problem. You can solve the other half by doing a sort of reverse buffer, that removes 12 items from the belt and keeps them buffered so a stack inserter can grab them directly. For current beacon designs, this needs to be on the tile of the belt itself. This would allow inserters to get the same speed on belt-container insertions.

Alternatively, we can make our own solutions by using multiple belts, buffer chests, etc., but within beaconed designs you just don't have the space. So, removing beacons or replacing them with a different mechanic that allows for a bit more room for logistics could also help.

In my current game I'm trying a hybrid approach trying to use both. I found that using bots in smelters or mines is just not worth the trouble, but it is very useful to use as the "last mile" in outposts to avoid custom balancers, loaders etc; and I use them in science production for some rare items and (as said above) for cable and green circuits. Finally, I use them in my "make everything" factory which would just be too much of a hassle to do with belts, and I would probably just resort to hand crafting more.

[to nitpick, the 1ks base is not self-contained as it still needs smelting, which is easily the biggest part of a base, at least in marathon. My current 60spm ore-to-science modular design has 166 smelters vs 63 assembly plants, 14 chem plants and 3 refineries, and the plants aren't even all used to full capacity due to ratios - see viewtopic.php?f=204&t=54237]

Bi0nicM4n
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Bi0nicM4n »

Is this a stage where game developers have less and less ideas of what can be put into a game so they start coming up with suicidal "improvements" like this? If so, then have my opinion/advice - DON'T DO THAT (be it deleting the logibots altogether or merely nerfing them). Surely many things can be done by belts, and I do use belts mainly, but I certainly don't want to be left with BELTS ONLY. This is a game about automation. If logistic bots are no more, how am I supposed to load my maintenance and outpost-building trains? There are more than 30 types of items needed FYI! Or how would I build my outer walls. They need supplies too! My base is currently 4x4 km or so, am I supposed to cover all the perimeter with belts to load chests near roboports so that construction bots don't spend all eternity flying over 500 blocks in one direction? I wouldn't be able to load all the chests evenly no matter what if there were no logibots.

Logistic bots are perfect as they are. A gift from the Heavens even. I already use belts for primary resources, but there are times when I absolutely need bots, or else I lose crapton of time.

Now, to all people above me that proposed nerfing the bots, - would you all be please so kind as to not force your opinions on the rest of the player base? Honestly, if you hate logistic bots so much, just put a mod that turns them off completely, there is no need for everyone to play like _YOU_ want to play!

And a small word for @Twinsen. Disabling logistic bots in Factorio is like disabling furnace from smelting ore to ingots in deep underground in FortressCraft Evolved. Completely ruined the game for me. Please don't do such mistakes.

P.S.
dewiniaid wrote: 4. Add research that requires space science to allow logistics bots to travel within (connected) logistics networks -- or make a more-expensive Logistics Robot 2 (that also requires space science) that has this functionality
Are you even serious?

o6dukeleto
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:23 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by o6dukeleto »

Faen wrote:After a little more thinking, apart from what I said before (viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56218&start=180#p331099) I think a research of MAXIMUM ACTIVE ROBOTS per LOGISTIC NETWORK would help to nerf them a bit forcing you to make more research if you want to use them elsewhere, so you have to be more picky were to use them at first or making you divide you network in little pieces that can only supply its area of inluence.
I agree. See my #2 suggestion in post viewtopic.php?f=38&t=56218&start=140#p331042

That said, you still have to buff belts to make them useful later in the game, see my #1 suggestion in above post. (Similar to boxing, but instead of boxing, just stack items on the belts so they overlap.) Belts need more throughput to be viable later in the game.
Last edited by o6dukeleto on Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Triaxx2
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Triaxx2 »

Why not break up Logistics bots into two separate types? Logistics Delivery Bots, which are much faster than belts but only hold 1-4 items, and have a very short range before needing to recharge. These would be the bots that could catch up to the player and deliver them items, but could also move around items in the base network.

Logistic Cargo Bots on the other hand, can carry a lot of items, 8-24 depending on capacity research, but are slower than a yellow belt to start and only reach red belt speed just before the speed research becomes infinite. They'll probably never catch any player not standing perfectly still, but be able to satisfy a huge chunk of a request with fewer robots, instead of having to use massive clouds of smaller capacity bots. These are the bots you'd see going by carrying rocket parts for example, while Delivery Bots run around hauling ammo to turrets, or loading/unloading train chests.

Doing it this way breaks up the one bot to rule them all monopoly, while still giving belts a place in any factory. Then you could still have the big Bot/Beacon Smelting array, but have ore delivered in one end by belts, and plates removed out the other side by belts, and in the middle, Delivery Bots zip around picking up and dropping them out of smelting chests.

GenBOOM
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:39 pm
Contact:

Stacked/Layered/3D Belts (Thoughts on FFF#224)

Post by GenBOOM »

to summarize my posts since I have been thinking about this while reading other replies...

belts are 1 dimensional. they are either lines or dotted lines on the plane that you play the game on; being normal belts or underground belts.

if you want to make belts more interesting make belts that can intersect on that plane and move upwards into the 3rd dimension of the game.
that would make them a constant rubix cube logistical problem to solve of how to manage those intersections and merges.
I want to build a layered base of belts. please make this possible.

nerfing bots, solar power, laser turrets in no way improves the game and how you interact and solve these interesting puzzles.

there is no solution like creating a new mechanic that provides content.
don't go down the road that other devs go down by alienating your player base by re-aranging existing content instead of creating something new.

as someone mentioned undergrounds belts are not really underground, and they for no reason have a distance limitation imposed upon them.

I think elevated belts that do not allow the player to walk on them and require some kind of support structure to be held up would be a much more interesting mid game, and bots can be pushed further back and it would seem only natural.

also, bots and belts are inferior to trains in every way in late game anyhow. while bots vs belt fight is going on the trains are doing all the work.
I agree beacons are too simplified as well. I would welcome an update.

to continue on this idea of 3 dimensional belts...
there would need to be a splitter for going up and down on a layer of belts, and the top belts could easily drop onto a belt below and merge or overflow with that belt.
timing the merge would be the tricky part.
in my mind this seems like the logical step forward for the game.
by having layers you can have different belt priorities and interject items that are not needed as often onto a primary belt, maximizing the use of your space and the use of your high-speed belts.

for recipes that have lopsided ratios like blue circuits of 10:1 it makes sense that you would not want to dedicate even half a belt to that one resource and giving up 1 more tile to make the assembly wider is unnecessary. with 3 dimensional belts you wouldn't need to waste the space you already have. its time to build up, not out.

I was thinking there would be two ways to do it. one with wires and circuitry magic and the other with some new dedicated technology like a hopper. with this it would be possible to hack together something that worked temporarily before you research it and can begin planning on where to place things.

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

more on the idea of a 3d belt factorio...

there could be 3 "elevator" objects (more like spiral staircase) that have internal belts that spiral upwards these are 2x2 objects.
one is a single belt version. the belt starts on the left of the 2x2 spiraling to the right, the other version is right spiraling to the left. these input and output 1 belt.
then you have another version that is a helix with two belts on the inside, one going in each direction. these input and output 2 belts

these can all be stacked again allowing you to have hanging belts like hanging train rails.

of course there would need to be something like scaffolding added to support the belts every few tiles, and the upgraded belts weigh more and require more support more often.
this support would be on the lines between tiles to exist with the current belt sprites.
of course the higher you built it, the more expensive it is...but in this way belts would never take more than 2 spaces for input and output and would be an order of magnitude better than they are currently.
Cordylus wrote:I will remind my idea about ropeway conveyors:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7977
that would be pretty neat

ropeway conveyors would solve the big problems such as belting ammo around the entire perimeter of your factory, as well as repair packs, and would be a good alternative to add to the game leading up to trains. though I still do not think they can replace bots, then can push them farther down the tech tree.
sparr wrote:re "stacked belts"

I would love to see this. Give me a whole new category of belt where each individual "item" moving along the belt can actually be a stack of 2+ items. If an inserter tries to drop an item on top of another item of the same kind, they get stacked. If you pull an item from a stack, the stack gets smaller. This wouldn't just change total throughput, but would allow new and more complex things to be done with "smart" circuit+belt designs, etc.
woo, we are like 4 people now.

huh, thats not actually what I meant by stacked belts, but is still intriguing idea. maybe red belt can handle 2 stacks and blue can handle 3?
we would need a machine we can put onto a belt and organized the stacked resources vertically. this way we can still place things on top of other things, making blue belts go from 6 to 18 items per belt, but the UPS should not be really affected because 3 items hold the same position on the belt.

I meant literally a belt on the ground with a box around it supporting a belt above it so that you have 1 tile but 2 belts. inserters would still be able to grab from both.
stacking higher would require you to merge the top belt to a lower one or just have them be dumped into an assembler. but if the assembler doesn't need that many items per second it would be required to regulate it with a circuit network or a hopper.
Last edited by GenBOOM on Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

Locked

Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users