Okay, first of all, I love this idea. I don't even have the words to express how much I love this idea! I'm probably one of the few who was crazy enough to read 30 - 40 pages of the last FFF thread, and all of this thread. Out of all the ideas I've seen proposed, the is by far the greatest one. Not any other idea holds a candle to this. The Factorissimo mod is so in sync with the Factorio spirit, imo. Heck, the Factorissimo mod would probably be my absolute favorite mod, if I wasn't still playing vanilla to get some achievements. @Devs: if you haven't tried this mod, give it a shot and consider how you could use the idea to improve belts.Mobius1 wrote:Sticking to the point:
We all agree that in the long term, bots are superior to belts from the moment they're available to build, even nerfing them they'd still be superior.
So, buffing belts, or increasing their speed would be just another blueprint copy-paste thing, nothing new and challenging would be put there (see what I did there Kovarex? )
(BTW, you used way more furnaces with the bot transporting than from the belt transporting, the truth is if you plop down same lanes you would see 1.2x difference on the final production. The main purpose of bots is that they can be used with multiple inputs recipes that are impossible to achieve with belts, also they're faster than belts when you need a big base, belts are useless.)
Instead, what about using belts as real-life logistics happens, inside the assembly machine! Inserters takes from the belt, put on the machine inside the factory building, that whole production line will output a product every x seconds based on the speed of the machine, inserters and belts. So the idea here would be something similar to Factorissimo where it would be available in the vanilla game and the factory building would replace the assembly machines, there would be no more assembling machines in the game, instead they would be an factory building where you have to design the production block inside your factory building using belts, containers, machines that will do stuff with the raw materials, inserters to move intermediates around and that factory building would output in a box outside, in the real world, where logistic bots would then grab the finished products and separate them for delivery either by train, car, truck, whatever means the player would choose from.
But there is a catch, you would have to prepare that factory building to craft 1 product at a time, just like an assembly machine does, but the productivity from the factory building would depend on the player's designing inside it. That way you make the logistic part of the game more interesting, there would forcefully make belts worthy somehow since they would be necessary inside the factory buildings (OFC I would still download the mod that would enable logistic bots inside bcoz belts sux, but that's just me) and everyone would be happy, excited, glad to play exactly the way they want... (it would be a shitshow, obviously, but you know, I had to )
I hope something useful will come from those words and kudos for the FFF #224 Twinsen you managed to light a fire without a fire, I loved it!
I wouldn't implement this idea exactly like this quote describes. I don't like the idea of removing any of the existing stuff, so I'd skip the part about only being able to use the existing assemblers in the factory building. Actually, I'd keep it basically the same as the Factorissimo mod, with the tweak of not limiting the belt input/output slots. No bots allows inside the factory building either. Maybe even different interior and exterior sizes of factory buildings too. And the factory being the only building that could interact with a new class of much higher throughput belt. Basically the problem (as I understand it*) with belts vs bots is how bots eventually thrash belts in both throughput efficiency, and space related requirements. Leaving the players who cannot restrain themselves to choose a strategy they find less fun.
And I think this Factorissimo could help solve the issue. Combine it with one of the other ideas I liked in one of the two threads, the one where you have another tier of belts with super high throughput, but need special building to interact with them. The factory would be the perfect candidate to be that building. You could have a new class of belt where 1 belt moves stuff as if it had the throughput of 5, 10, 20, or however many blue belts you want it to equal, so now belts give the best throughput. This new class of belt would have to run into the factory where you'd design your layout to unload the belt and split it off however you'd like, with the excess running back out into the super-belt. That is how you could have belts match the throughput capacity of bots.
Then as far as space usage is concerned, you could have different factories with larger or smaller interior and exterior spaces. So the player has room to squeeze in some layouts that are harder to do with belts, like the beaconed stuff that people are talking about. I haven't got that far myself yet, so this is where my knowledge of the game breaks down. But you could allow or disallow beacons inside the factory building, and allow or disallow beacons outside the factory to affect what is contained within. Whichever makes it the most interesting. The point being to have factory buildings of a certain size that help negate the disadvantage of belts having a physical space that they cannot share, compared to bots with no collision. Certain exterior sizes are limited on the inside so you can't squeeze too much, like a huge green circuit production line, into too small of a space.
Maybe these factory buildings could even be coded in such a way that it also helps UPS even more as well. Once it is designed and the game knows what the maximum output of the product the factory makes is, maybe it could shortcut the simulation of all the assemblers and inserters inside the factory. Turning 20 assemblers (3 wire, 2 circuit) producing green circuits into 1 assembler, as the computational side sees things. If the input of material slows, the output of product would slow by an appropriate amount.
I don't like the idea of directly nerfing bots in any way, because from what I understand that would have an impact on the maximum size of factory possible when you start to run out of computing power. I don't even like the idea of making bots more complicated but vastly more interesting to use at the tradeoff of UPS, thus smaller factory sizes. I would want the devs to address the issue by making belts better in some way. Or add in new bots with more limitations and interesting mechanics, and just push the current logistics (only logistics bots) robots further up the tech tree, as they are. So the UPS friendly nature of these bots is still available for megabases.
I apologize if my thoughts have been written in a disorganized fashion. TLDR; Solve the belts vs bots "issue" by making the Factorissimo mod an official thing, and make it work in conjuction with a new class of super-belt.
*Disclaimer: With 560 hours, I've still only launched 2 rockets, and have not yet made any use of the logistic bots myself. Construction bots yes, logistic bots no. I have had access to them, just not ready to actually try them out yet.