Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

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Loli in a Box
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Loli in a Box » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:39 am

Don't think there should be a nerf to the bots, because of:

1. It wont make people who like bots happy
2. It provides a lot of solutions to limitations of belts and pre-existing production lines rather than a complete reconstruction.
3. Once your base gets big the difficulty to defend it gets higher and you really do need bots for that.

What I think should be done is buff the belts through many ideas shown in the mods like sorting left and right distribution ratio sorting etc. Different underground lvls for belts and pipes would also work.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Octavio » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:43 am

One of the best things about Factorio is how it allows players to have their own playing style. The flexibility in map generation and gameplay are a very strong point of Factorio. Please never take that away.
Having said that, making logistic robots available a bit later than construction robots wouldn't be too bad. Maybe even make them use processing units instead of advanced circuits in manufacturing.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Tergiver » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:45 am

I used to think about bots the same way. Solar panels too, never used either of them. Then I started playing the Seablock Mod. I started using bots to reduce the challenge of both learning the enormous and complex system those mods add, and the usual factory building. Since I was now using bots, I then decided to build an entirely beltless factory! Isn't that awful of me? Guess what? I'm having a blast. Am I having fun because bots are more fun than belts? Certainly not. I'm having fun because I'm doing something different.

There are two ways to make a good game: Simplify the rules down to the fewest possible while still maintaining 'fun'. Or expand the rules to make a complex game, but give the players many ways to solve the same problems. Factiorio clearly falls into the later cagegory. Reducing the rule-set would not make Factorio a better game. For me it gets better the more complex it becomes (adding Bob's, then Angel's, etc.).

Instead of considering what you could remove to make the game more challenging, consider what you could add to the game to give players even more choices!

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by vtx » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:59 am

Belt are fun and interresting in early stage of the game. You reach early the horizontal expansion you can do with one belt (considering you can only use 50% of a belt when you split it / so you need to add 2 split on 2 different lane to have one exit at 100% ) after that you can only expand vertically that mean you need more lane into the system.

Unfortunately most of items you do have a short lifetime consumming ressources ( only infinite is potions / and rocket + satellite ). That even if you calculate everything perfectly and you move left all your belt as they stay compressed, you reach a point where you lost potentiel item throughtput for the end of the line as more item should go there but can't.

Myself for all short lifetime items I switch to bots as soon I have them. For potions I stay with belt as they are allready placed by the time I have bots. For all circuit I used a train system very easyly expandable.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by yanivger » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:07 am

the problem with belts is that they are not scalable, and beyond blue belts there is nothing and you need to add more belt lines.
maybe add a new feature of storing ingredients in boxes that can be moved , then load them into belts ,then handle packing and unpacking of them in destination.there is something similar called trains, but with trains setting single line in complecated ,and rails take lots of space.the "boxes" sould mybe be late game too, and each box can be expensive to build.or just do belts faster then blue and fix the lag caused by it

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by SuperflyR6 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:14 am

Please don't remove the logic bots

maybe add more start game options
Disable global blueprints for this game
Disable endless research
Disable research
Disable ore/oil depletion
Disable trains
Disable logistics bots
Disable construction bots
Disable enemies
Disable aggressive enemies
Disable starter pack (mining drill, furnace and 2 iron plates)

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Zavian » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:40 am

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

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by rbtcollins » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:04 am

I'm pretty sad to hear that there is a 'right way' to have fun.

For me, a fun game is one that I choose to come back to in my precious spare time, whatever the particular thing is. Chess, go. space invaders, factorio.

I enjoy doing ridiculous things in factorio - 512 way CLOS blue belt balancers... and the 40 blue belt + 40 blue underground + 40 blue splitter per second ... unmodded ... build needed to build out the balancer in the first place. Trains only to deliver ore and get around.

But I've also done bot-only with train outposts, and hybrid things.

That to me is the beautiful thing about factorio, that (other than UPS - and we need to talk about that), we each are basically making our own choice about what the game means to us at any point in time. Is it a new map? Is it adding another 20% to a megabase without dropping UPS? is it working within the constraints of a marathon ribbon world?

I find it very sad that you seem to be missing this fundamental aspect of Factorio - I, and everyone I've introduced it to, enjoys it not because its hard/complex/time consuming. We enjoy it because we can pick a thing we want to do: hang out, deliver some Xps science value, play with trains - whatever - and we can mostly do that really elegantly. We can play with the train sandbox. We can play with the automation sandbox etc.

Its not fun because its hard. Its fun because we can make it hard where we choose to.

That meta discussion aside:
- please don't do this in 0.16. many players have migrated to it already and invested lots of time in bases they'd then be stuck playing whatever point release on to avoid the nerf.
- if you do do a nerf to bots, please provide replacements for:
- bot mining (at high mining productivity tiers a blue belt cannot keep up with a miner.
- ups suckage: you know what I mean :).

I think the factorio dev team has pulled off some really elegant solutions to things that have frustrated players - like the battle balance and overhaul for 0.15, or the stack inserters. Whatever the problem with bots (and *none* has been articulated other than a developer thinks that they are 'less fun' - see above, if I'm choosing to spend many hours testing and tweaking a bot thing, and am enjoying myself doing that, thats the very essence of fun).

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by js1 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:26 am

Don't remove logistic bots!

I am going to improve a belt-based concept base that will be very similar to what you can do with logistic bots. It will be based on my earlier designs of sushi belt factory. So my point is, nerfing logistic bots is pointless, you can actually do the same thing just with belts.

I think it's an over-reaction. It's natural for any game to eventually settle down with the optimal solution about how to play it.

I enjoy playing with belts only, still don't want logistics to be removed, I think it's a very neat mechanic that has some great uses. I think there would be ways to make belts better by providing more belt elements to play with, such as Klonan's buffers, T-wedge lane splitters, filtered splitters, side underground entrances, side inserters.

And IMHO, if anything is OP in Factorio, then it's Beacons.
Last edited by js1 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Zavian » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:38 am

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
blueCircTrains.png (4.4 MiB) Viewed 1898 times


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_Circs3.png (2.92 MiB) Viewed 1898 times
red_blue_Circs2.png
red_blue_Circs2.png (5.73 MiB) Viewed 1898 times
red_blue_Circs.png
red_blue_Circs.png (1.7 MiB) Viewed 1898 times
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.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Caine » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:42 am

toketsu_puurin wrote:Congratulations! You motivated me to stop lurking and make an account!
Holy walls of text batman. That was by far the best post in this thread.

Thank you for making an account, it was a most interesting read with well thought out points.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Ryba666 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:56 am

We need more building blocks (like different types of assemblers, mining drills, fuel furnaces, electric furnaces etc.), not nerf one option to use favorite method by developers.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by ps666 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:04 am

To be honest. I always thought and hoped that you would make the bots even stronger and not weaker.
I have the most fun with them. And now you want to take my fun?

I hate people in this thread that says me how I have to have fun.
I don't like trains and I don't use them. And what now? Nerf them to the ground or even remove them because I hate them?
NO! Just don't use trains. Problem solved. The same with bots. You little kids don't like bots? THEN DON'T USE THEM!
I have to leave this thread because my blood pressure rises and rises... :evil:

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by krail9 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:13 am

I think bots need their throughput nerfed somehow unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many speed or stacking upgrades you add to belts, they'll always be inferior to ever increasing bot swarms because they don't have any layout/space limitations and allow for maximum beacon coverage.

What if the thoughput of bots in the air was limited, so that the more bots over a port, the slower they all go? Scaled so that adding more bots does increase throughput, but with diminishing returns.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by SeigneurAo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:33 am

krail9 wrote:I think bots need their throughput nerfed somehow unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many speed or stacking upgrades you add to belts, they'll always be inferior to ever increasing bot swarms because they don't have any layout/space limitations and allow for maximum beacon coverage.

What if the thoughput of bots in the air was limited, so that the more bots over a port, the slower they all go? Scaled so that adding more bots does increase throughput, but with diminishing returns.
Logarithmic progression instead of linear. I like the idea, a lot.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by PacifyerGrey » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:40 am

Again for those who panic - no one is taking logistic bots away. This topic arised to probe players on the topic and to find an end solution how to make the game most interesting.

So here goes another try from me to find solution of how to buff belts and not hurt bot users much.
Take into consideration I am doing this from mobile phone riding a train :)

So the most simple solution here is to make stack inserters place “stacks” of items in a form of boxes/pallets on the belts instead of spilling a line of them. Also only stack inserters can pick those. Those boxes will behave like any other item on the belt.

You may opt into having those boxes of the same size but I do find it more appealing to have it like any item stack which will grow in size with research and can even get its own infinite version.

Stack inserters can get a checkbox to wait for full stack size (their, not items) along with “override stack size setting - to ensure maximum belt usage.

Stack inserters can still be used as inter container transfer.

This can dramatically increase belt throughput while minimally effecting other game mechanics and can also be put high enough in research.

With this change trains get hit as their throughput is staying the same so there is an option to Ann 2nd tier of wagons which can only be loaded by stack inserters but they have more cargo space (as palletized items obviously take less space) but weight more.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Zavian » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:47 am

PacifyerGrey wrote:Again for those who panic - no one is taking logistic bots away. This topic arised to probe players on the topic and to find an end solution how to make the game most interesting.

So here goes another try from me to find solution of how to buff belts and not hurt bot users much.
Take into consideration I am doing this from mobile phone riding a train :)

So the most simple solution here is to make stack inserters place “stacks” of items in a form of boxes/pallets on the belts instead of spilling a line of them. Also only stack inserters can pick those. Those boxes will behave like any other item on the belt.

You may opt into having those boxes of the same size but I do find it more appealing to have it like any item stack which will grow in size with research and can even get its own infinite version.

Stack inserters can get a checkbox to wait for full stack size (their, not items) along with “override stack size setting - to ensure maximum belt usage.

Stack inserters can still be used as inter container transfer.

This can dramatically increase belt throughput while minimally effecting other game mechanics and can also be put high enough in research.

With this change trains get hit as their throughput is staying the same so there is an option to Ann 2nd tier of wagons which can only be loaded by stack inserters but they have more cargo space (as palletized items obviously take less space) but weight more.
Well train to chest to belt unloading would be optimised, and faster such that you could get more throughput from the station to the belts, and stations would be easier to build, and more efficient. If you added infinite stack research the train to chest unloading could also get faster. (Plus the existing fuel and braking researches mean trains already get better over the course of the game).

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by WarpZone » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:25 am

AbnegationPSA.png
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[/url]

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Jürgen Erhard » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:38 am

toketsu_puurin wrote: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/a ... 2013-12-03 and the followup: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 06-03-20-2

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.
These are bad articles. For Factorio. Because MtG is all about competition. It's a defining attribute. You play *against* other players. I'm not an MtG person (never owned even a single card), so there might be a solitaire mode, but I've never heard of one.

Factorio is not PvP. So MtG's "lessons" are basically inapplicable.

I'd much rather look at Bartle Types. And that the MtG people are apparently unaware of them doesn't give a lot of confidence.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by juliejayne » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:39 am

Zavian wrote:
PacifyerGrey wrote:Again for those who panic - no one is taking logistic bots away. This topic arised to probe players on the topic and to find an end solution how to make the game most interesting.

So here goes another try from me to find solution of how to buff belts and not hurt bot users much.
Take into consideration I am doing this from mobile phone riding a train :)

So the most simple solution here is to make stack inserters place “stacks” of items in a form of boxes/pallets on the belts instead of spilling a line of them. Also only stack inserters can pick those. Those boxes will behave like any other item on the belt.

You may opt into having those boxes of the same size but I do find it more appealing to have it like any item stack which will grow in size with research and can even get its own infinite version.

Stack inserters can get a checkbox to wait for full stack size (their, not items) along with “override stack size setting - to ensure maximum belt usage.

Stack inserters can still be used as inter container transfer.

This can dramatically increase belt throughput while minimally effecting other game mechanics and can also be put high enough in research.

With this change trains get hit as their throughput is staying the same so there is an option to Ann 2nd tier of wagons which can only be loaded by stack inserters but they have more cargo space (as palletized items obviously take less space) but weight more.
Well train to chest to belt unloading would be optimised, and faster such that you could get more throughput from the station to the belts, and stations would be easier to build, and more efficient. If you added infinite stack research the train to chest unloading could also get faster. (Plus the existing fuel and braking researches mean trains already get better over the course of the game).
The problem with this remains that stacks on belts would still use computer ticks UPS and therefore be a hindereance for the Mega base end game. This is the great advantage (OP perhaps) of bots, that they can move from A to B without any UPS hit... in effect teleporting the resources as was mentioned in the FF. The solution, to my mind is to enable belts to do the same. The practical solution to this is to ADD a new SuperExpress belt that goes underground from point A to point B. Effectively teleporting resources.This would still not be as flexible as bots, but if carefully balanced re resources per second, and perhaps with a filter station option (allowing one Super belt to carry ALL products on a mixed belt) this could provide a realistic challenge to the bots.

Like bots, the game engine would simply have to calculate what went in and when it comes out.... so no UPS hit.

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