Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

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alefu
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by alefu »

Tomik wrote:Also add fucking Loaders, which are already programmed in the game. Allow them to only put things in and out of cargo wagons and other chest types and put ores into and out of furnace type buildings faster then then stack inserters. Not Assembler types and Reactors/Steam Engines types. You do this and suddenly the bonus gained from HUMONGOUS Botport unloading/loading stations and robotic furnace setups goes to zero.
I second this! And maybe also add 90° inserters as a late game research to enable more compact belt based designs.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Topher »

I think the problems with robots can be solved by making them a more specialised way of transport for small quantities of items.
To limit the transport capacity of robots the item count transported per robot can be reduced.
Furthermore the amount of robots operating in an area should be limited. Adding mulitple roboports in an area doesn't increase the transport capacity anymore (because only x robots are allowed to be in operation in this area), but only helps the rechargetime.
Late game recipes should consist of a few items which are needed in large quantities per cycle (so that bringing them in per belt is the better option) and a few items were only one item is needed per cycle, so that bringing them in by belt seems wasteful of space and difficult to integrate in the layout, here robots should be the best option.
That way you need both ways of transport to get a high throughput for high-end items. Just relying on on type of transportation than limits the throughput of your factory.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by <NO_NAME> »

Splitter filters are actually not a new thing. There was some designs that do that before, e.g. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=19114&start=10#p122988
They are hard to use though and they take too much space so it is a welcomed change.
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Xterminator »

Emotional rollercoaster indeed.

I'm glad that for now you guys have decided not to nerf bots and did give buffs some thought. I really like the last idea provided by V453 and if there is a way to do it without too much trouble I feel that would be great! :)

The new splitters options are fantastic! This will make some parts of belts so much less annoying and overall a great QoL improvement. Especially will be awesome for mixed ore patches instead of having to use like 10 filter inserters to fix mixed ore belts.

In regards to bot nerfs in general and Kovarex's beliefs. I see where you are coming from, but honestly you are way late to the party for this. You guys had like 3-4 years to realize this issue and it would have been much easier to do and far less outcry if you debuffed bots a long time when they weren't such a big part of the game. Doing it now will just ruin a lot of people's fun and destroy any chance of UPS friendly megabases of large scales. There of course belt megabases but they are limited to about 3k SPM I believe.
Not to mention things were made even worse by screwing up belt compression and limiting it to only be possible with splitters, that hurt belts a lot.
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by ohmusama »

Xterminator wrote:Emotional rollercoaster indeed.

I'm glad that for now you guys have decided not to nerf bots and did give buffs some thought. I really like the last idea provided by V453 and if there is a way to do it without too much trouble I feel that would be great! :)

The new splitters options are fantastic! This will make some parts of belts so much less annoying and overall a great QoL improvement. Especially will be awesome for mixed ore patches instead of having to use like 10 filter inserters to fix mixed ore belts.

In regards to bot nerfs in general and Kovarex's beliefs. I see where you are coming from, but honestly you are way late to the party for this. You guys had like 3-4 years to realize this issue and it would have been much easier to do and far less outcry if you debuffed bots a long time when they weren't such a big part of the game. Doing it now will just ruin a lot of people's fun and destroy any chance of UPS friendly megabases of large scales. There of course belt megabases but they are limited to about 3k SPM I believe.
Not to mention things were made even worse by screwing up belt compression and limiting it to only be possible with splitters, that hurt belts a lot.
That's pretty high handed to tell the devs they are "late to the party" of their own game that isn't fully released yet... please be considerate, early access is early access.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Drury »

this is awesome

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I hope it's circuitable!
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by MeduSalem »

Well if you really have to nerf the bots... then push up the charging times. That change would really fuck up a lot of Bot-only bases because of the recharge queues.

Nerfing the cargo size can be easily outsmarted by simply using more bots at the cost of additional power consumption. And since they recharge so quickly you don't even need that many more Roboports.


The only way I can imagine the cargo szie nerf to work is if bots can only carry 1 item at a time. That makes bots absolutely useless in mass transfer of items. At least I wouldn't do it anymore because... damn man... 20000 bots for 20000 items/sec throughput? Fuck that.


But that said I would prefer some kind of other hard limits instead of having to fiddle around with the perfect balance between roboports/amount of bots.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by psihius »

EntroperZero wrote:
psihius wrote: You, actually, might be right about the power. Maybe the issue here is in that the late-game in regular plays just is to easy to expand and real estate is just too cheap/easy to get, so whatever power requirements you have, you can match them with ease.

Bots do eat a lot of power, in megabases that is usually the top power consumer.
Do roboports or beacons generally consume more power in megabases? I don't have a handy save, my old 0.15 server files are gone. I wouldn't be surprised by either answer, though.
Not per-se, but roboport power usage consists of 2 parts - the static one, read linear increase the more roboports you place, and the dynamic one - the energy used to charge bots. The more bots are flying, the more energy is used. Energy usage spikes are quite big, when say, a train arrives to load/unload. A 60 MW static power usage roboport network can spike to use twice the power to unload/load a train.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Avezo »

Some belt buffing could be also done by reducing their crazy production cost of bazilion gears per one piece.

New splitter looks promising, but gotta test it to give proper feedback. I hope it will allow making a proper 'merger' that never puts items on unused exit lane. This triggers my OCB too much.

As I've read it, still no definitive word about bringing belt compression by inserters? As I understand it 'stack belts' are something different.

I don't see the problem with introducing loaders as described in this FFF, balance them with energy costs and whatnot, just as stack inserters are now. Stack inserters are more powerful than normal inserters and yet you don't see people using them everywhere like you are afraid they would do with loaders. And personally, I find the idea of stack inserters weird as a whole and would like loaders instead.

I suggested in past to make bots never recharge before they finish their task, that would discourage building huge logistic networks over entire base (deliveries would take too long, after bots run out of power), yet wouldn't break small dedicated bot networks, like dedicated rail sandwiches from Xtreminator's SSTS megabase for example (such small dedicated networks shouldn't get hit by nerfs IMO).

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Cleany »

At some point people are going to move on from belt and assembler mechanics to other things, postponing this by nerfing bots won't solve the problem, it will just make the point where you can move on from this more satisfying.

There is so much more than belt and assembly mechanics, such as megabase building, trains and signals, beautification, planning and building a large factory. In my opinion belts only form a part of a huge survival/turtling/design sandbox that people enjoy.

Personally my megabase includes areas of production with belts, but that is only part of it. There are huge areas dedicated to solar power, nuclear power backup, a massive area of smelters, train hubs, organised storage area. I have belts, parallel processing areas, (are people blind to this or what? It's not like space is limited), and I don't use bots for throughput, I use them for logistics, wierd isn't it.

I honestly didn't realise so many people were using bots and beacons for massive small area throughput. I don't know why, it doesn't appeal to me, maybe people just want lazy high numbers who knows, but forcing these people to use belts seems aimless and self defeating. Why not just ignore them or make parallel processing more appealing (just use more assemblers and belts, it's not complicated) but to change the game drastically just to discourage a certain playstyle from a minority of players makes no sense to me.

Finally, if there must be a nerf, longer charge times seems the best one. And it wouldn't affect me :-D

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Durabys »

Xterminator wrote:The new splitters options are fantastic! This will make some parts of belts so much less annoying and overall a great QoL improvement. Especially will be awesome for mixed ore patches instead of having to use like 10 filter inserters to fix mixed ore belts.
Especially we will be able to do Arumba´s and Steejo´s main bus Smart Priority Self-Balancing Splitters..this time for reals and better! :twisted:

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by _alphaBeta_ »

I find any game with mechanics and units to be more interesting when there's an assortment to choose from and each has its place. There's definitive trade-offs with pros and cons the player is faced with to weigh and ultimately deal with. If the choice of what to do is always so obvious, appeal is quickly lost. When one solution is 5x better than the other, that trade-off relationship breaks down. If you like implementing efficiency above all else, you're switching over to bots apparently. I always used bots as a supplement for priority, low quantity items. I wish I hadn't read any of this. Knowing that I can't possibly be as efficient with a mostly belt setup is a bummer. Yes, I'm aware you can set personal goals with game like this - I could be going for being as efficient as possible with just belts. It's a nice little personal goal, but before long the unwelcome thought of how you could be doing so much more with bots will inevitably come back at some point. This includes trying to compare your throughput to others.

As a game designer, this lack of trade-off concerning a fundamental system (logistics for this game) would plague my thoughts. As above, it'll do the same to me as a player. I would absolutely take measures to equalize the two approaches, so the choice of which system to use is not so one-sided.

Twinsen wrote:It's hard to nerf something players are so attached to. Seeing your factory produce much less won't be seen well no matter how good the reasoning behind the change is.
I don't really agree with this, respectfully of course. I don't think your (developers) design decisions, that will stand for the life of the product, should cater to those who wish to keep playing the same factory through multiple major releases. I also don't agree with the apparent acquiescence to these players who continually demand that their existing creations continue to function in ways they're used to. If a player is after that, they're welcome to continue playing an old version. What about your new players or players who start a new factory for every release?

Let's not forget that this is an early-access game. I'd rather have a game with thought provoking trade-offs and design decisions than the knowledge that existing players didn't have their current factories break or had to step outside their comfort zone. That means little to me now, and certainly will mean nothing when I play this game years from now.

I'm not crazy about the splitter changes. I used to enjoy the complexity and challenge to properly manage a sushi belt or make a priority splitter (even if it wasn't absolutely perfect down to every last item). This is just one more thought-provoking feature that was replaced by a one-click solution.
Last edited by _alphaBeta_ on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by doktorstick »

Increasing the charging time would severely impact personal roboports when clearing forests and reorganizing parts of your factory.

Increasing the charging time will be circumvented with more roboports, which means more solar stamps, which means more tedium and boredom for the players. If they are going to use the robots at scale, then they will suffer the tedium to go power crazy.

I hope the splitter is circuit-connectable.
Last edited by doktorstick on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hacked Splitters - the mod prophesied to bring balance to the belts

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Avezo »

Oh to add up, I think splitters need even more settings, so we can use them to avoid building up huge balancers for bigger bases or playing with circuitry at smart train stations.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Caine »

<NO_NAME> wrote:Splitter filters are actually not a new thing. There was some designs that do that before, e.g. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=19114&start=10#p122988
They are hard to use though and they take too much space so it is a welcomed change.
Those were broken in the last update when splitter state the per item type was removed. The new splitter filters somewhat compensate for that loss.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by aelios »

One way to nerf bots would be, to give a bot a „loading and unloading time“ on a chest
This may be one of the few ways to debuff bots without the "just build more" problem/solution.

Another way to buff belts may be to let belts act like (adjacent only) power conduits. This would make belt factories easier, more dense, and therefore more powerful.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by CmdrKeen »

I think Stack inserters should lay the entire stack as one item on the belt. It worked well when I tried it out as a test in 0.12.x

I'd also like to see n-lane splitters of up to 5 belts. I made a mod that does this but would like to see an in-game version instead.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Yinan »

MeduSalem wrote:Well if you really have to nerf the bots... then push up the charging times. That change would really fuck up a lot of Bot-only bases because of the recharge queues.

Nerfing the cargo size can be easily outsmarted by simply using more bots at the cost of additional power consumption. And since they recharge so quickly you don't even need that many more Roboports.
It actually changes nothing.
So I'm all for that change.

Seriously, if you want to nerf the bots, increasing the charging time is one of the worst decisions you can make because you don'T really nerf it. So instead of 1 Roboport line have 2 of them or so and that's it, nothing else changes.
Yes, existing megabases will probably have to be rebuild but for new ones this doesn't change anything.



Btw. on a different note:
Why do you even have to visualize the amount of items in a stack on a belt to begin with? You don't visualize the amount of items that a Stack inserter (or normal inserters considering that you also get a few stack upgrades for normal inserters) is currently holding, so why would you need it for belts? As long it's only the same type it shouldn't really matter if that 1 item you see on the belt is actually just 1 item or X (X > 1) items.
This would also automatically increase inserter speed as they only need to pick up 1 or 2 items, because they're now stacks and thus doesn't need to wait a second until it has enough items in the handle.


So frankly, just let bots the way they are, add a research that retroactively adds stacks to belts (i.e. items of the same type can overlap each other and form a stack) and that's basically all it needs right now. Would definitely increase the throughput of factories that uses belts instead of bots by a lot without pissing of any bot users.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by djtumolo »

What about bot congestion? Nerfing bots by making them more expensive doesn't work because it doesn't introduce a negative feedback loop. If you have congestion, you can't solve that with more bots. You get throughput limits.

A simple place to start would be bots taking non-zero time to pull from a chest, and locking that chest for other bots while they are pulling.

You could also have flight paths that avoid other bots. With a few bots, they generally take direct routes. With lots of bots, they start having to route further and further off the direct path.

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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by fallobst22 »

you could make bots collide with each other

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