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

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

Post by Avezo »

franqly wrote:A simple and effective nerf to bots would be to limit the amount of roboports. Give the roboports and minimum distance they must be placed apart. Less roboports => less throughput, added more bots after a cap wouldn't add sustained throughput because the roboports wouldn't be able to keep up.
Actually it would discourage me from using belts. Why? Because in belt based bases there is less free space to put roboports for personal deliveries and other small-scale bot transport, so you really need flexibility of putting roboports wherever you want to have proper coverage.

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

Post by ttapada »

I think chests should only be accessible by one bot at a time, and this access should take a fixed amount of time. This would cause bots to queue up at chests, and put a limit on their throughput. This kind of limitation "makes sense" to me, and wouldn't feel annoying like lengthening bot charging times would.
Bots would still be incredibly handy for the low volume tasks and "housework" which can be anoying to do using belts, but it would create a compelling reason to invest the time into developing a really impressive belt base
This is probably the smartest and sanest non-hater idea that I've seen around this topic.
I love it! Totally agree on making each mean of transport to it's specific purpose. Trains for long hauls, belts for shorter distance with good throughout (why don't belts required electricity?!?! Would make sense) and bots to quick short distance light load transport.

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

Post by Omez »

Optera wrote:
vorax wrote:I believe the real problem with bots, their game breaking ability, is their inventory access speed. Think about it, if I have a chest which needs to be filled with resources, there is a hard limit on how quickly I can supply items to it using belts. Intuitively that limit is the number of inserters I can place around it times the inserters throughput. Bots do not have any such limit. No matter how slowly bots move, or how few items they carry they will always be able to transport items faster than belts given that I have enough bots.

I think chests should only be accessible by one bot at a time, and this access should take a fixed amount of time. This would cause bots to queue up at chests, and put a limit on their throughput. This kind of limitation "makes sense" to me, and wouldn't feel annoying like lengthening bot charging times would.
Bots would still be incredibly handy for the low volume tasks and "housework" which can be anoying to do using belts, but it would create a compelling reason to invest the time into developing a really impressive belt base.

I also think it would be important for bots to still be able to access a players trash slots, or probably their entire inventory without queuing up.
That's the first idea to reduce bot throughput I've seen that couldn't simply be brute forced away by just building more bots or roboports.
To make this work bots would need to be made a fair bit smarter, and cost more performance, so they don't queue up at one chest instead of fully utilizing all potential target/provider chests.

I posted the same idea on reddit when the previous FF came out, though in a little less articulate way.
I couldn't agree more, the "simplest" way to make bots harder to use and not as overpowered is limit how many bots can interact with a chest and how fast they can get items out of the chest.
Limit it in a similar way the charging is done at a roboport. Now you have to have multiple supply chest connected to one equipment if you want to swarm it with bots, all without reducing functionality on low throughput items.
In addition, this might give the possibility for a "warehouse" for bots, ie a 2x2 entity that could load/unload 4x as many bots as a normal chest would.

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

Post by ttapada »

Also, I wish people would stop their aggressive stance towards the devs even if they come up with somewhat crazy notions in your opinion..
They've put a lot of work into Factorio and just want to put out a product that they're happy with and that they would enjoy. I think Kovarex clearly demonstrated their opinion that bots are now overpowered and exceed the plans the devs had - double the throughput of belts?!?!

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

Post by Ryba666 »

Great idea with new options for splitters. It is good way to buff belts and dont nerf bots. My suggestion for another belts buff is... buff long inserter (or add more expensive version), for items which need more than 3 components when you take ingredients from 2 belts line long inserter (sometimes 2 long inserters) don't have enough input/output capabilities. For better belts arranging, 360 degree fast inserter will be also helpfull (like it is in bobs mods).

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

Post by Ormek »

While this discussion is valid for the open world approach, I'd say it could be transformed into a "More Scenarios" discussion.

I do not feel that encouraged to rebuild a complete factory from scratch. I rather like to achieve the goals that game asks of me, like "launch a rocket". I do not thrieve to reach the high score of launching that many "rockets per hour". That said, I would solve the "Bots or no Bots, that's the question" topic by applying the different alternatives to various scenarios: While I learn to set up a base and launch a rocket using Bots in Scenario 1-20, I am challenged to do the same in level 21 without Bots. I am thrilled to reach the goal given different environments. Of course, in the open world, I could restrict myself "this time I will not use Bots", but that is not the same.

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

Post by Oxyl »

Hello,

Reading the subject I wanted to propose a simple solution to restrict the usefulness of the bosts:

removing connections between robotsports

The robotsports would no longer be interconnected but each one would be an independent network whose size is fixed (50x50 tiles)
Which means that you can no longer transport an object via a robot over a distance greater than a single robot port.
Which means that the belts would be the most versatile system, the trains would be better over long distances and the robots better over short distances (the robotport maximum range : 50x50 tiles)
Thus each system has its defined utility but robots can no longer replace trains / belts

What do you think ?

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

Post by Aflixion »

ttapada wrote:Also, I wish people would stop their aggressive stance towards the devs even if they come up with somewhat crazy notions in your opinion..
They've put a lot of work into Factorio and just want to put out a product that they're happy with and that they would enjoy. I think Kovarex clearly demonstrated their opinion that bots are now overpowered and exceed the plans the devs had - double the throughput of belts?!?!
Why is it a problem that the technology considered an upgrade from belts has higher throughput than belts? Bots are locked behind high-tech science packs while the highest tier of belt is only behind production science packs.

Any change they make to limit bots now will have only one effect: limiting the possible size of megabases due to increased UPS need from bots. That doesn't affect the core gameplay goal of Factorio, which is to launch a rocket (one single rocket). What purpose does limiting the options in the postgame of a non-competitive game serve?

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

Post by Ahry »

Hi again. I build belt fully baconed green chips. And calculated throughtput with 8 copper cables 4 productivity modules and 16 speed modules in bacons should make 14 green circuit per second witch is 30 copper cable per second. And because there is belts you cannot put 2 inserter but only 1... But when you build with robots you can use 3 output inserters and one input and you will be ok and fully saturated. So something witch can put from assembly to belt and from belt to assembly much faster will be really good buff for belts.

And for sure this unlouder and louder should take only 1x1 tile becase you do not have enouh space when you using belts. And also importat will be... that you can not load or unload to chess.
Last edited by Ahry on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Llama »

It's still a nerf, but if bots could not carry ore and metal plates that might "promote" belt use more. Personally I'd still prefer to use bots as it's a powerful thing that the player has earned, another option could be to limit bot stack size to 1 for ore and plates.

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

Post by Ahry »

Aflixion wrote:
ttapada wrote:Also, I wish people would stop their aggressive stance towards the devs even if they come up with somewhat crazy notions in your opinion..
They've put a lot of work into Factorio and just want to put out a product that they're happy with and that they would enjoy. I think Kovarex clearly demonstrated their opinion that bots are now overpowered and exceed the plans the devs had - double the throughput of belts?!?!
Why is it a problem that the technology considered an upgrade from belts has higher throughput than belts? Bots are locked behind high-tech science packs while the highest tier of belt is only behind production science packs.

Any change they make to limit bots now will have only one effect: limiting the possible size of megabases due to increased UPS need from bots. That doesn't affect the core gameplay goal of Factorio, which is to launch a rocket (one single rocket). What purpose does limiting the options in the postgame of a non-competitive game serve?
For building only one rocket you do not usually research event red belts :-). Devs want to know, what many people want to use belts for their megabase... so there will be more possible options for building megabase.

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

Post by PacifyerGrey »

Thanks devs for splitter changes. They are most welcomed.
I am also glad that shitstorm started with previous FF has ended. We could see quite a lot of people lacking wisdom and spilling oil into the fire.

I will put all my ideas in a single post here.
1. Beacon issue
As already stated dense beaconed builds is something that forces super dense builds and ultra high throughput. The 12 beacon build is something extremely ridiculous and I do find it inappropriate. However the beacon idea itself is actually interesting if not overabused.

Things to consider:
  • Introduce a hard cap on beacon effects like crafting speed at like +200%. This will prevent creating ultradense builds and increase build sizes effectively nerfing bot viability and increasing belt viability.
  • Make crafting speed bonus/debuff multiplicative instead of additive to prevent easy negation of productivity module debuff
  • Make energy consupmtion bonus/debuff multiplicative as well to make Efficiency modules meaningfull so their decrease will apply after all calculations.
  • One of the main use cases for beaconed setups is smelting. The size of smelting arrays is just rediculous for end game and is actually taking like a half of all building and inserters in all the base. To help the situation I would suggest introducing something like Electric Furnace MK2 or something alike with dramatically increased smelting speed. Another use of such entity would be a possible implementation of on-site smelting for mining outposts to decrease overall entity numbers through the game
2. Belt compressors/palletizer
The entity (Lets call it Palletizer) similar to Klonan's Belt Buffer can be introduced. It will have a filter for an item processed and a direction (packing/unpacking). It will have 2 loaders (input/output) with filters set accordingly and 2 item slots (1 input 1 output). This entity will also be a chest which will accept only input/output items and will be able to provide ones.

Every item will need a few new parameters added. They do have a stack size already and they recieve:
  • Pallet size which is obviously a number of items in the pallet
  • An item which will represent a pallet.
Here is a note that a stack of pallets should have a greater number of items total than a pure stack of items. For example if Iron Plates have a stack size of 100 and a pallet size of 20, then a Iron Plate Pallet stack size can be 20. This is a reflection of a real world mechanics that properly stacked/packed items take much less space than a simple stack and is addressing train capacity to prevent trains from being useful compared to newly buffed belt transport.

So the palletizer automatically converts input items to output items and has several uses. Obviously it serves as a transition from / to production lines to compress belt load for big distances and/or provide high volume supply belts for high density builds
This can also be used as a train unloading device paired with stack inserters.
It will also remove the need for Loaders at all providing all required functionality and also not replacing inserters but supplementing them as they can load any other entity like train or assembler.

Obviously only stack inserters can move pallets and only 1 at a time so Stack Inserters are effectively repurposed. Also obviously pallets can not be transported by bots due to their weight.
Normal inserters can not operate pallets at all however they might be able to transfer more of normal items.

Pallets are considered single normal items by belts and splitters so there is no need to make any adjustments to those.

This seams like a nice buff for belts without crippling trains or bots and is a standalone idea.
3. Stacks on belts
Proposed many times. To sum this up:
  • Stack inserters can put stacks of items on any belts.
  • Stacks can then be picked up by either stack inserters only or by normal inserters (partially)
  • Stack size correcponds to stack inserter capabilities and might have infinite research applied. A good start before infinite research would be something less than 12 so maybe 10.
  • Stack inserters loose the ability to "scoop" items from belts and can only deal with stacks 1 at a time
  • Once placed on a belt stack is displayed as a box or a pallet with an item icon on top of it and is processed as a single item by belts and splitters
The only downside of this solution is a heavy hit on trains as belts alone become really powerful and might unbalance trains making those much less effective relative to belts. Introducing a wagon of higher capacity which can only be loaded by stack inserters is a viable solution.
4. Bot nerfs
The problem with bots is obviously overusage in dense environments when they are used for bulk transport.
While introducing collision is natural it would be too much of an UPS hit so I would avoid this.
The main issue I see is the "swarming" when bots do access a single chest hundreds at a time. So I am all for introducing chest access queues with access time. This alone will remove the problem of uncontrollable throughput.
Removing/reducing bot cargo capacity is a viable nerf as well as it will limit bot usage by increasing the amount of roboports required for every build which is fine by me. If a player wants to brute force bot usage why not? It will not be optimal or elegant and will certainly increase amount of bots flying so will hit UPS as well like a truck making bot only bases much less effective CPU wise which is totally fair.

Increasing bot charge times is not something I would like to see especially on construction bots which might or might not be affected. This will cause severe delivery delays (player included) and just needlessly increase the amount of active bots which will be just crowding in charge queues.
5. Loader
And yes. It seams loader is crying to be introduced to vanilla. Only blue one, no need for lower tiers. However it might be smaller than 1x2 and should also be unlocked pretty damn high in research tree. Should have high cost and require electricity.

I also like the suggestions to increase some chest sizes to 2x2 (logistic ones as well) and as a side note a storage building of 3x2 size with built-in loader would also be awesome to make train loading/unloading easy. Imagine Belt Buffer but 3 tiles wide and a great storage capacity. Would replace a loader for most purposes making train unloading easier (3 inserters > 1 belt)

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

Post by sergey--05 »

I also thought about how to increase the carrying capacity of belts, even wanted a mod to do but do not know "lua". My suggestion is to make another branch of more advanced conveyors on the basis of freight-trailer cableways, using electricity for traction. They are able to move more cargo than conventional tapes.
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Brunel »

Here is an idea, if a bit late:

Why not just limit bot's currently unlimited magical acces to entities? The same way that only 4 inserters can access a chest at the same time. Say, each time a bot loads/unloads to/from a chest, it takes 1 second (or however long based on balancing) during which time, other bot's can't access the same chest.

What I think this achieves:

Remove the magical infinite scaling of bots, while keeping their usefulness in complex logistic scenarios.
AND meanwhile, keeps the door open to bot based factories, only this time, it brings it's own design challenges, like "unloading" stations, with a bunch of chests, and insertet-belt balancer contraptions to create filled belts, and loading contraptions, where it is advantageous to fill a larger number of providers in a balanced manner.

This does not introduce any new meaningful gameplay element, as the same is already true for inserters, does not pose any arbitrary game-y limitations and so on.

Sorry, but did not read through all the replies on prev post, or this, but if this has already been discussed, I would be interested in why it was discarded.

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

Post by Tomik »

-REPOSTED-
Last edited by Tomik on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Aflixion »

PacifyerGrey wrote:making bot only bases much less effective CPU wise which is totally fair.
"You're no longer allowed to build a base that big because you don't have a supercomputer." How is that fair?

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

Post by Aflixion »

Ahry wrote:
Aflixion wrote:
ttapada wrote:Also, I wish people would stop their aggressive stance towards the devs even if they come up with somewhat crazy notions in your opinion..
They've put a lot of work into Factorio and just want to put out a product that they're happy with and that they would enjoy. I think Kovarex clearly demonstrated their opinion that bots are now overpowered and exceed the plans the devs had - double the throughput of belts?!?!
Why is it a problem that the technology considered an upgrade from belts has higher throughput than belts? Bots are locked behind high-tech science packs while the highest tier of belt is only behind production science packs.

Any change they make to limit bots now will have only one effect: limiting the possible size of megabases due to increased UPS need from bots. That doesn't affect the core gameplay goal of Factorio, which is to launch a rocket (one single rocket). What purpose does limiting the options in the postgame of a non-competitive game serve?
For building only one rocket you do not usually research event red belts :-). Devs want to know, what many people want to use belts for their megabase... so there will be more possible options for building megabase.
Nothing is stopping people from building a megabase using belts right now. They just want to build it as big as the bot-based megabases and get the same performance when bots were designed to have better performance than belts.

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

Post by Tomik »

I think the main issues are Bot access to Logistic chests and the inability of more then four (eight if you combo yellow and red) inserters from accessing a single chest. Bots are simply TOO good at taking and giving items to a chest and inserters are simply too weak. A thousand bots are able to take from a single chest. In real-life? That should be utterly impossible because they would crash into each other. Only four stack inserters are able to access a chest. In RL we have robotic arms who can in a swarm of dsozen or more dance around each other when working on a single vehicle in car factory

So a solution:
1. Only one or several (but definitelly not an infinite number or even a high double digit number) bots can simultanously access a single logistic chest.
2. Side Inserting and Long Arm and FIlter upgrades to all Inserters: DELETE Red, Purple/Violet and White Inserters from the game entirely. Add several research upgrades that add Long Arms, Filtering and Side Inserting as options to Yellow, Blue and Green Inserters. Burner should remain as is and become an ingedient in the making of Yellow inserters. This allows for Long Armed Filter Stack Side Inserters in late game: Capable to take or insert from chests from from tiles away like a red inserter and from any angle possible, this guys and gals:

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

Post by ttapada »

Aflixion wrote:
ttapada wrote:Also, I wish people would stop their aggressive stance towards the devs even if they come up with somewhat crazy notions in your opinion..
They've put a lot of work into Factorio and just want to put out a product that they're happy with and that they would enjoy. I think Kovarex clearly demonstrated their opinion that bots are now overpowered and exceed the plans the devs had - double the throughput of belts?!?!
Why is it a problem that the technology considered an upgrade from belts has higher throughput than belts? Bots are locked behind high-tech science packs while the highest tier of belt is only behind production science packs.

Any change they make to limit bots now will have only one effect: limiting the possible size of megabases due to increased UPS need from bots. That doesn't affect the core gameplay goal of Factorio, which is to launch a rocket (one single rocket). What purpose does limiting the options in the postgame of a non-competitive game serve?
It's not. Not for me. Each one uses the tools available as one sees suitable.
Just stating the devs have a vision for their game and shown the numbers that support that vision and deserve some credit and not just the too common "this is what I want and I'll stop playing and supporting if it isn't like I want".

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

Post by kbramman »

What about limiting what items a bot can move?
Obviously have it on a config so people can change it if they wish, but effectively forcing people to use belts for parts of the base and bots for others if they wished is a middle ground.

And yes, forcing players into a play style is never a good thing, but changing a mechanic like this is never going to go down well

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