Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

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seePyou
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by seePyou » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:21 am

Pascali wrote: [...] Noone has startet playing factorio because of the bots do all thing alone...
But many people dread starting bases from scratch without bots after they got some experience with the game.
And again, if you don't like them, stop using them, problem solved.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by British_Petroleum » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:25 am

I come back to the factorio forums after 6 months absence and it's the same old debate of bots v belts :P

omg 40 pages...

Logistic bots are fun, belts are fun, trains are fun.. so what's the problem? Everyone's having fun :D

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:45 am

To anyone saying bots are too easy and too powerful... I recommend trying a no belts run. Launch a rocket without placing a single belt. I honestly got bored of the save because the power requirements are astronomical and solar power is EXPENSIVE, primarily because the new science consumes so much steel so you're stuck either trickling out solar panels OR doing science - there generally isn't enough for both. Of course you could always increase Steel production - got some Steel for the extra furnaces and bots? And then some more to make trains to reach the next deposit because this one's fully tapped?

It becomes clear pretty quickly that belts are WAY more powerful. They're cheaper, free to power, aren't limited to expensive Roboports, higher throughput, and don't require copious amounts of research to obtain and more to make them useful. The only advantage bots offer is that however much spaghetti is everywhere you don't have to worry about pathing. I guess another slight advantage is you don't have hundreds of expensive items laying around on belts when they are only required in small quantities. Bots only become stronger than belts when power, resources and research are no longer any concern, all of which you typically struggle with through most of the game.

I only use them for convenience anyway, eg finished products get dumped into the logistic network and taken to a storage area for quick access. I might also use them if I have to have concrete production and iron smelting at opposite sides of the factory, as setting up a whole belt seems overkill for the small amount of Iron Ore required.
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by sicklag » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:33 pm

.
Last edited by sicklag on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by daemonazazel » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:43 pm

Ok. Here are my 2 cents.

I'm a bot lover. I played the game already before the science overhaul when logistics system was easy to achieve by crafting the few (blue or what was it?) bottles it took to research "logistics system" by hand and then shout out "Lift off" and make everything with bots.

After the change I honestly tried to work my way in vanilla so I could reach bots again without cheating and I played around 5 games trying it and ended up really fed up with laying belts and more belts and more belts every time, giving up the game before I reached my beloved bots.

I finally gave up completly and got the mod to lower the research requirements and played the game with "easy bots" from then on.

Honesty. I tried. It was no fun to me without bots. Others are, off course, free to see this differently.

So what would I suggest?

Target the middle ground. Going all-bot is maybe not the best way to experience the game, but going all belt is boring (to me) also. Generally speaking I would love to see bots early on but with limits so I don't end replacing all belts with more and more bots as I do now but instead can get a first quick and dirty solution with bots that just does not hold up and has to be replaced with belts sonner or later.

Here are some of my ideas:

Maybe have bots line up in front of chests like they do for roboports? Supplying my super high demand factory "bot only" does not work this way while having that stupid little factory that builds a roboport every half an hour does.

Maybe strike the battery from the bots and make them use fuel. Some special fuel that has to be produced and is consumed by all bots. Maybe make them need more fuel the heavier the item they need to carry. Or make them slower with heavy items. Or maybe have some items that cannot be carried by a bot at all. A stack of steam turbines carried by a single bot at full speed across the whole map? Who can blame you for going "not really" on that one? Construction bots could be the only ones to "team up" and carry it together.

Maybe tweak the recepies a bit so that I have to build belt connected islands that can be interconnected by bots. Or make it the other way around and limit the total range a bot can fly with cargo so I end up having belt connected islands that can use bots internally. Maybe introduce some kind of penalty the more roboports I combine into one network?

Maybe increase the absolute number of used ingredients in recepies so I have to turn to belts to handle the volume? You changed the amount of gears needed over time so I end up needing a hell of a lot more of them by now. That already made me turn to belts a lot of the time since robots just could not handle the volume any more. I did curse at you... but in the good way that made me smile when my factory did manage the high volume after all.

Maybe make chests not targetable at all and have a special landing pad that receives the cargo and an inserter to put it into the chest. That would increase room consumption of bot only factories and maybe encourages players to build with belts since they can be more compact.

Personally I would also love to see belts need electricity. They could also work as a power line so I only have to supply them at one point. And early on simple generators are availalbe in mods. Throw in coal by hand and the wheels start turning. Does not help the balancing mid or end game but would make belts more fun for me.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by NimbleCZ » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:23 pm

You know what else is OP and makes the game too easy? Electric furnaces. So let's fuck this game up and get rid of them too.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Koub » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:28 pm

sicklag wrote: And that no moderator said anything against this versus thing says all about the moderators here. @Mods: You don't feel the need to change it? You don't see the big problem with this topic name? You shouldn't be a mod.
There you are, moderators did their job. BTW the job of the mods is not to go against whatever the devs choose to publish on their forum (provided it's not offensive, personal attacks, ...).
[/offtopic]
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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by meganothing » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:32 pm

seePyou wrote:Why is everyone trying to remove a part of the game that they do not use?
Nobody is. People here are discussing options and ideas, nobody (except a presumend troll that never explained himself) spoke up, after I literally asked: "Does anyone here really WANT logistics bots removed". Don't assume such persons exists only because a lot of people ask the same question as you and make it seem like there is such a group.
Tricorius wrote: My point is: why does it matter if no one builds them? It matters 0% to me if you or anyone else builds assembly mark three. I already don’t build or use a rocket launcher. It’s existence (or current lack of balance) doesn’t matter to me at all.

What you do in your own sandbox doesn’t have a single effect on what I do in mine.
The problem is you think it is about you. It is NOT about you at all. I don't care at all how you play the game (except for general compassion, which makes me want to find solutions even acceptable to you). I care that MY game has balance, objectives, increasing challenges. So do the developers, who don't want to program a feature for weeks and months that is ignored by everyone.
Last edited by meganothing on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Oktokolo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:41 pm

NimbleCZ wrote:You know what else is OP and makes the game too easy? Electric furnaces. So let's fuck this game up and get rid of them too.
Actually, removing efurnaces would not be bad at all. I like them too. But fuel is a solved problem at the time i usually get to use them. I only use them because they look so good. There are plenty of good designs for fuel-based smelters and without modules steel furnaces exhibit the same throughput.


P.S.: Thank you, Koub. Did some impressive and sensible moderation here.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Noobc0re » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:43 pm

I think bots should be superior to belts simply because of the difference in resource cost.

In a free, long, straight line however, I think max lvl belts should win over bots. Be a fast lane of sorts.

I think that nerfing the bots is the wrong way around it.

Could there not be an addition to the belts instead, to improve them? Like a beltable box that can store a stack or something like that. That should increase the usefulness of a belt by a lot.

Or just a wide belt. The width of two belts but with more capacity?

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by PacifyerGrey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:55 pm

sicklag wrote:Snip
I smell a well deserved ban here

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by svalorzen » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:57 pm

Yinan wrote:
jvandillen wrote:Myself I never use bots. But would it not be more interesting if bots where constraint to one robotport and its own network. You would be able to determine the size of the network manually with the maximum decided by technology.
Why would it? You just admit that you never use bots. So why are you arguing for restraining the very thing that you don't use for players that do use it?
Seriously, I don't get you people that want to nerf bots when you yourself don't use them. Why must you hinder the fun for other people just because they don't play like you?
Personally I do use bots, if as little as possible. I'm saying this just so you know where this reply is coming from.

Personally I don't care about any one element of the game. I care about Factorio, the game, the concept, and I want it to be as fun as possible. If the devs find a way to make the game 40x more fun by buffing bots I'd be all over it.

This is what this discussion is about. How to make the game more fun? Of course people have different concepts of what is fun, and this is why the game does both offer a series of settings for your games, and the ability to mod. But this doesn't mean that whatever should be shoved into vanilla since "you can just not use it if don't like it".

So this is why the devs are asking the community about it. A lot of people who like bots as-is are taking this as a personal attack that their playstyle is bad. I don't think this. You should have the ability to play however you like. I just think it is useful to have a discussion so that the main game becomes the best it can be. If the bots are fine as-is, they should be left as-is. Personally I'd like more complex bots, but if that is a more niche view, I'd be happy to just look for a mod which gives me harder bots. Doesn't mean anything is wrong with anyone's playstyle.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by purdueme91 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:13 pm

NimbleCZ wrote:You know what else is OP and makes the game too easy? Electric furnaces. So let's fuck this game up and get rid of them too.
And moving large amounts of ore/finished items is too easy with trains. Belts are more challenging/fun to do that so let's get rid of trains too.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by noobhead99 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:50 pm

The bots are controversial, they determine alot of things, here is what I think about this:

PROS:
Simpler design, more attractive to newer users
Don't have to craft both of each
Really good for personal roboports (can have one set of robots that do all of the things)

CONS:
Factorio is an already easy game to understand, and probably don't have to sacrifice simplicity for more "classes" of robots
What if you want different classes of robots to just ONE thing and not the other, example: Halting your whole logistic system if you want to clear out a piece of the forest
Makes the game alot less fun as there is less challenge.

I may be biased but this is what i think, hopefully the developers will understand, I'm a new user to Factorio, and I only needed a few tutorials, mostly found them in third-party sites, like YouTube.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by bobingabout » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:46 pm

Deadly-Bagel wrote:and don't require copious amounts of research to obtain and more to make them useful.
you need to research the requester chest which is walled off behind one of the higher tier science packs. (actually, I should double check, it might only be science pack 3 which isn't that painful anymore) My mods reduce this requirement (and make science pack 3 more painful).
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Pascali » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:11 pm

British_Petroleum wrote:I come back to the factorio forums after 6 months absence and it's the same old debate of bots v belts :P
Logistic bots are fun, belts are fun, trains are fun.. so what's the problem? Everyone's having fun :D
bots are replacing belts - so we habe to look what´s more fun.
noobhead99 wrote:The bots are controversial, they determine alot of things, here is what I think about this:

PROS:
Simpler design, more attractive to newer users
Simpler design - yes. But more attractive to newer users? I think no. The most new user are starting with belts. That´s what the users getting to the game. Bots get the users out of the game.
purdueme91 wrote:
NimbleCZ wrote:You know what else is OP and makes the game too easy? Electric furnaces. So let's fuck this game up and get rid of them too.
And moving large amounts of ore/finished items is too easy with trains. Belts are more challenging/fun to do that so let's get rid of trains too.
Yes! Make electric furnace useful for a special thing. But not useable for the things the other furnaces can do.

Training is fun, too. So make them useful for large distances.
Last edited by Pascali on Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by pr0n » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:15 pm

I'm sure this will be missed but here's my two cents

It's pretty simple, if the bots are too easy and boring make them less easy and less boring. A couple ideas:

Make them take more energy every time they recharge on a single trip. This adds a scaling factor that can't be solved with just more bots.

Make charging take much longer but create a few tiers of chargers.

Create logistics bot tiers, logistics bot tier 1 can carry 1 item and is slow, can't be upgraded to a logistics bot 2. you can push this as far into end game as you want.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Pascali » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:54 pm

Factorio with bots is like bying a puzzle and paying a slave doing it for you.

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by Tricorius » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:24 pm

meganothing wrote:
Tricorius wrote: My point is: why does it matter if no one builds them? It matters 0% to me if you or anyone else builds assembly mark three. I already don’t build or use a rocket launcher. It’s existence (or current lack of balance) doesn’t matter to me at all.

What you do in your own sandbox doesn’t have a single effect on what I do in mine.
The problem is you think it is about you. It is NOT about you at all. I don't care at all how you play the game (except for general compassion, which makes me want to find solutions even acceptable to you). I care that MY game has balance, objectives, increasing challenges. So do the developers, who don't want to program a feature for weeks and months that is ignored by everyone.
:: sigh ::

Ok.

The problem is you think it is about you. It is NOT about you at all. I don’t care at all how you play the game (except a general compassion which makes me want the devs to find options to make parts of the game fun for everyone). I care that THIER game is the game they want to make, and if it isn’t the game I want to play, then I won’t. The developers might, but I’m not sure why they programmed, tuned, and balanced a feature (bots) for weeks and months if they didn’t like it to begin with.

(Do you realize we are actually saying the exact same thing, but differently? I’m just hoping people will actually begin seeing this at some point.)

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Re: Friday Facts #224 - Bots versus belts

Post by js1 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:38 pm

seePyou wrote:Why is everyone trying to remove a part of the game that they do not use? I don't get that basic premise!
All the people arguing to remove the bots are the same people that are not using them! Keep on not using them please and let the rest of the people that want bots continue to use them.
I think you don't understand it. I was at first against the blog post; but then I thought about it some more and I would now strongly favor nerfing bots by putting a queue and limit to speed of access to each logistic endpoint.

The thing is, I don't want bots to be removed, I use them. What I want (and many others, it seems) is that optimal solution for end game ("megabase") forces you to use each of the triad - belts, trains and bots - as appropriate. Each of these logistic methods should have strengths and weaknesses (this is also called "game balance"), and it should roughly match the real world (otherwise you have issues with suspension of disbelief). In this vision, the bots should be used for complex, low volume production at medium to long range. They should not replace belts, which should be used in high-volume short-range and medium-volume medium-range scenarios. This is how it is in the real world, you don't airlift ore and coal.

Unfortunately, as it looks now, bots are undeniably better than belts in the end game, where the resource limitations are lifted and the only limits are space and time (how much production you can cram into unit of spacetime).

Now of course alternatively, they could also buff belts. However, I suspect this will be difficult, since there is more for computer to do when it calculates belts than when it calculates bots. It's difficult to come up with competitive belt optimizations, and the space issue is hard to fix. And then, if you buff belts, you will also have to think about buffing trains, remember, to balance the triad.

Finally, I find the UPS argument (belts kill UPS, bots do help) a bad one from game design perspective. There is always limit to what a computer can do. So, perhaps you won't run 1k SPM megabase on your PC with belts, but in theory you could do it with bots. It's an arbitrary limit that exists outside the game world. It shouldn't inform player's choices, because that would be breaking the 4th wall.

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