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

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

Post by TheKingOfFailure »

I am strongly against loaders myself. I only use them in mods for convenience sake, like filling a warehouse straight from a mine until i can set up a train to it. Even then, they simply feel cheaty, as if they magically teleport the items out onto the belts perfectly. Loaders make setups look simple, bland and boring. Please buff inserters instead!

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

Post by Darthlawsuit »

In real life the reason why we use belts is because it can haul heavy items, move it cheaply, and it uses little energy.

Using drones to lift anything of any weight would require very large multi-motor drones which would require a very powerful battery, have shitty battery life, and be hugely energy inefficient along with being very limited in carrying capacity. Though they can move in 3D so there is that. Could also add birds to the game to run into drones. Have to replace them all the time and become a huge maintenance problem in mass.

Drones aren't so much a problem as you have removed all the problems associated with drones so they are very badly over powered. Drones dying need to be more of a thing and they need to use a LOT more energy.

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

Post by Avezo »

TheKingOfFailure wrote:I am strongly against loaders myself. I only use them in mods for convenience sake, like filling a warehouse straight from a mine until i can set up a train to it. Even then, they simply feel cheaty, as if they magically teleport the items out onto the belts perfectly. Loaders make setups look simple, bland and boring. Please buff inserters instead!
If that makes them feel cheaty, how bots don't feel so? If insterters were buffed to be able to do the same, how wouldn't they feel cheaty too?

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

Post by 5thHorseman »

bobucles wrote:
Pallets/crates/packs of items on belts is a good way to drastically improve the throughput of belts at such level that it is much more effective than bots.
That's true, except it's not. Anything a pallet on a belt can do, a bot with a pallet can do better. But what if bots can't carry pallets? Then you have an issue where bots can no longer move items, which messes up bot storage and causes the deconstruction planner to break down. That's also a very bad thing.

If belts get some kind of item compression, it needs to be something belts can do that bots can't, but it can't screw up the bot network either.
Maybe bots can empty pallets, and carry empty pallets. It'd be like deconstructing a loaded belt.
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by floodo1 »

LOL, "optimal play". Good thing there is mod support (-8

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

Post by Nomadic Steppe »

Hello community

My English is not the best but I will try to be clear.

I leave a comment on "bost vs belts 1", I think the bots are fine, but the belts have to be improved urgently, I feel the bots easier, so I only play with belts and construction bost.

But what is needed for factory functions with belts is extreme in mega-base.

For example, this part of my base only creates white science and they have 18,000 bluebelts inside.

Image

eighteen thousand blue belts :? :?

Image

the core of my base has forty-seven thousand (47,000), these numbers are insane, and that does not include mineral extraction zones.

Image

Added to the fact that it is an old version, the most current version was lost due to my mistake, about writing the game. and this one was even bigger.

I am currently using a laptop and that game is a heavy burden for him, but I am in a new game where I am trying to simplify and improve many designs.

A stacked belt is necessary to keep pace and reduce the number of belts on the map.

In my comment of "bost vs belts 1" I said,

do you want to play with bots? you complete the speed research for the bots
do you want to play with belts? you complete the investigations of maximum stacking of the belts.

and we are all happy

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

Post by NoahZarc »

Seems easy enough
Bots setting:
- Easy (Legacy--the way it is now.)
- Normal (Nerfed)
- Hard (Very poor scaling, only small number of bots can be used)
- None.

Everyone gets what they want.

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Belts and Upgrades

Post by orionw04 »

Hey. I've noticed that the belts vs bots discussion has really got a lot of attention so why not add more fuel to the fire. I think that if belts where to be improved that a way to do it could be a machine called a belt zipper. It kinda acts like a zipper but, allows two belts to be stacked ontop of eachother so that you can have double the resources in one belt. For example let's say you zip iron gear wheels, engine units, red circuits, and green circuits with green and read circuits paired together and engines and gears paired together then, you would have one belt "on top of the other one" that has engines and gears and another belt "on the bottom" that has the circuits. This would allow items to be moved across you factory without large arrays of belts and rather half the size. With the belt zipper would come a belt unzipper and obviously and new type of belt that would be used in this process. Both the belt zipper and unzipper would be 3x1 objects with the left and right sides of the 3 long size having belt input and one on the other side on the middle with a special belt output. Whether or not inserts can take from it would just be some balancing otherwise it might become a bit too powerful(perhaps a new type of inserter). Anyways thats my idea let me know what you think about it.

[Koub] Merged from isolated topic in General Discussions.

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

Post by Bauer »

True. The number of items you need to place for belt based solutions is insane.
My bot base with 500 000+ bots that transport basically everything uses >80 000 belts for niche applications, i.e. mining outposts or quick and dirty temporary "hacks".

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

Post by Bauer »

Factorio always reminds me of programming in LabView.
Placing belts should be equally easy as connecting entities in LabView. Maybe locked behind some
high tier research.
The rail planner comes close.

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

Post by martinez_21601 »

A vacuum Canister setup that you can upgrade belts too. Make a tier of belt higher than Blue and have it require blue belts blue circuits and plastic and make it so you need to supply steam for the pressure. Then make canisters that you use (similar to barrels) you then fill with assemblers and you can have instant transport from one chest to another. Make a below but also an over variant it would be similar to the systems used by banks in the US at the drive thru's. Not sure if they have them in Europe but a way to transfer Iron from one side of the factory to another efficiently without using bots. The way to promote belts is to make them more efficient. A canister system made from plastic would make oil even more important and give plastic more uses as not only the tubes but also the canisters would be made from plastic. It would also force creating a system of steam to maintain the pressure and maybe limit temperature so it has to be powered by fuel or else it creates damage nuclear steam can't be used as it would be hot enough to melt the tubes. Force the player to maintain two separate sources of steam. You asked for ideas I think an endgame system of belts that function almost like bots. Make an output to chests along the way of a tube so you can build it like you would a bus. I think a system like that would make the game interesting again. I wouldn't be as excited as I was for Nuclear power but it would be a new thing to figure out. Factorio needs a new system a new line of production something new for people to calculate out. I have been playing since the beginning of 2012 and I am still not tired of the game because every update I start a new Factory and launch as many Rockets as possible and start building a megabase. I erase all my blueprints and everything and start again with every new update. Things change they need to be redesigned that's why it's still fun. Once in a while a system comes out that you need to learn and make efficient. You asked for ideas and I have complete trust in the team behind Factorio. A game that started out great has become amazing I have wasted thousands of hours optimizing Factories. Thank you, for all the hard work and consider that if you want to encourage belt usage scaling up to a system like that before bots possibly?

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

Post by Phaune »

In Baldur's gate, you start at level 1 and you are very weak. Almost every monster is a challenge and a threat to kill you. But as you gain experience and level up, you get stronger and if you are a wizard, you also get stronger spells. At level 12, you get one of my favourite spells called Death spell. It instantly sucks the life out of all low/middle level monsters within a certain radius. When acquired, it gives you feeling of being very powerful, as instead of having to fiddle with the enemies one by one, you just end the battle instantly. It is one of the things you look forward when you start the game and gives you great feeling of improvement.

This is very similar to how bots work. Once you get them, they give you the same 2 similar things. First is the power, as they just provide stronger logistics. The second is that they free you from having to fiddle with every little logistic detail and let you think more in the bigger scale. The big difference between Bots and the Death spell is, that in Baldur's gate, Death spell only works on the low/middle level monsters, so as you progress through the game, there will be less and less enemies who are affected by it. It is still useful to clean out the weaker part of the enemy group, so you don't waste time with the small things, and you can concentrate on the stronger ones. The game would certainly be very bad, if the Death spell would be ultimate way to kill anyone anytime, as at the point of getting it, all the other spells and things would be borderline useless.

You probably understand where am I getting to. Yes, we kind of managed, to make long distance transport to be more suited for trains, but other than that, bots are the one solution for everything. With bots, there is no reason to think about other types of transport.
Indeed, in Baldur's gate, Death spell automatizes the killing of low level enemies as in Factorio bots automatizes the tranport of ressources. In both cases it makes the player feel like he is getting stronger and therefore, the player can use its energy for higher level task. However, when in Baldur's gate there are higher level enemies to defeate, in Factorio their is no higher level content, their is no higher level to organize once you have a mega-factory set up, that is why people feel like bots are overpowered.

My opinion is that your conclusion is wrong, bots are not overpowered, there is just not enough high level content in Factorio. For example, once a bot based is built, the next step could be to build several of them in an automatic manner on the same planet or on other planet, or even on space. Therefore new automatization and management issues would emerge, issues that cannot be solved with bots, exactly like in Baldur's gate with enemies with a level > 12 couldn't be killed using the Death spell.

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

Post by vampiricdust »

Because I love calculating costs....
Nomadic Steppe wrote: For example, this part of my base only creates white science and they have 18,000 bluebelts inside.
It would take about 32,000 bots with capacity 4 & 187% speed to move the same number of items ideally. It would probably be more due to having to fly around, but with that many you would need 320 roboports, 1.28 GW of addition power, and all of the nessecary chests to load/unload. Just bots & roboports is about 6.5 million resources. You used 927k for your belts, which is ~14% of the resource costs ignoring the chests & extra power production.
Nomadic Steppe wrote: the core of my base has forty-seven thousand (47,000), these numbers are insane, and that does not include mineral extraction zones.
That is about 83,555 bots with above researched with about 835 roboports. So that's just shy of 16 million resources.

I didn't multiply out the bots to take flying to charge & flying back to the starting point mainly because the base probably could have been built smaller overall, reducing flight times, but my general point stands. Belts cost less than 20% of what logistics bots do, but according to Kovarex, they are only 2 to 5 times better. So yeah, unless you can build the same production levels and get the cost ratio below 3x what the cost of the belt base is, your base is better resource for resource.

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

Post by bobingabout »

Everyone is talking about Bots and Belts... what about Pipes?
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by Unclebod »

bobingabout wrote:Everyone is talking about Bots and Belts... what about Pipes?
Ahh, that is the reson about last two FFF. Geting us forget about the pipes.....
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Re: Friday Facts #225 - Bots versus belts (part 2)

Post by csdt »

That's funny and sad how several pages of interesting discussion that was getting somewhere were completely wiped out by new people on this topic who didn't read and/or didn't even consider that previous posts would already have interesting ideas.
This is an endless cycle, and this is probably not the first time that this topic loops, shamefully.
Knowing that, I really hope that devs will read every single post of this topic (good luck to them, by friday we will probably reach 1000+ posts).

Any resource consideration is "broken": making the cost of bots higher will not solve the balance problem, unless their cost is insanely high, at that point, we would just have killed all the fun of the bots.
Overlapping belts will probably never come as it would be inherently difficult to visually understand what is happening (and it would be difficult to program).
Introducing weights for bots is a bad idea: why bots should even consider item weights when all the rest of the game doesn't mind.
The player is able to carry hundreds of nuclear reactors, let's be it! Why bots should be different?


From the previous posts, we could argue that bots and belts aren't/shouldn't be for the same purpose:
- Trains: High throughput over long distances
- Belts: High throughput over short/medium distances
- Bots: Low throughput over short/medium distances (much simpler to use for complex recipes with lots of ingredients)

For that, 2 possibilities:
- nerf bots for high throughput (cooldown on chests, or limited bot density)
- buff belts for higher throughput (pallets/crates/packing: this should be done properly, not like in those mods that tried that)


Other possibilities not achieving this kind of balance:
- Make bots more fun (new building strategy keeps being fun): manual path scheduling of bots like trains
- Make belts more fun (prefer old strategy to keep having fun): fix all the little problems of belts (like belt compressing), belt planner
- spatially bigger logistic chests (like 2x2): reduce the machine density difference between belt-based factories and bot-based factories
bobingabout wrote:Everyone is talking about Bots and Belts... what about Pipes?
Simple, they are off-topic: While they need to be fixed, they doesn't interact with bots vs belts balancing.
They deserve their own topic.


The chosen set of solutions should be simple to understand and intuitive to use while not being arbitrary.
As for now, I leave this topic and hope the cycle will not loop too many times.

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

Post by rldml »

csdt wrote:
bobingabout wrote:Everyone is talking about Bots and Belts... what about Pipes?
Simple, they are off-topic: While they need to be fixed, they doesn't interact with bots vs belts balancing.
They deserve their own topic.
Well.... no.

Because you can build a barrel-based fluid setup, pipes aren't off-topic. The usability of pipes, pumps and tanks is directly affected by the general usability of belt and bot networks.

Greetings, Ronny

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

Post by Nomadic Steppe »

vampiricdust wrote:Because I love calculating costs....
Nomadic Steppe wrote: For example, this part of my base only creates white science and they have 18,000 bluebelts inside.
It would take about 32,000 bots with capacity 4 & 187% speed to move the same number of items ideally. It would probably be more due to having to fly around, but with that many you would need 320 roboports, 1.28 GW of addition power, and all of the nessecary chests to load/unload. Just bots & roboports is about 6.5 million resources. You used 927k for your belts, which is ~14% of the resource costs ignoring the chests & extra power production.
Nomadic Steppe wrote: the core of my base has forty-seven thousand (47,000), these numbers are insane, and that does not include mineral extraction zones.
That is about 83,555 bots with above researched with about 835 roboports. So that's just shy of 16 million resources.

I didn't multiply out the bots to take flying to charge & flying back to the starting point mainly because the base probably could have been built smaller overall, reducing flight times, but my general point stands. Belts cost less than 20% of what logistics bots do, but according to Kovarex, they are only 2 to 5 times better. So yeah, unless you can build the same production levels and get the cost ratio below 3x what the cost of the belt base is, your base is better resource for resource.
Where do you get those numbers?, The mega base that started the discussion in "bots vs belts 1" in the core of the base has 6000 bots and produces 1000 sciences per minute, that base has twice the production of my base, and it works fluid, with my base the game works slow and uses much more CPU. Everything looks slow.

and the electrisity is not a problem, in the game it is very easy to have energy to spare.

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

Post by XDbored »

my suggestion for the re-balance would be to adjust belt speed so throughput is increased from
13.333
26.666
40.0
to instead be
20
40
80
double throughput IS NEEDED late-game for beacons and this makes the transition from red belts to blue belts more rewarding which i think is important given that when you go from yellow to red all you have to is process more iron and you double your belt-speed but when you upgrade to blue you have to get lube which means you need to do oil(which most new players avoid like the plague) and after all that work you only get 50% more speed, blue belts feel like a ripoff for the tiny under powered upgrade they are and this is around the part of the game when you unlock robots why would want to make everything out of blue belts when they are shitastically slow and you could start making robots instead?

and about the downside of having less moving belts if belts are faster is it really a problem if people make a 4 lane bus instead of a 8 lane i don't think so but i think if people started making 1 lane buses instead of 4 lanes it would be a huge problem so *2 speed not a problem cause you don't get very far with only 80item/s but if you had 160items/s it would replace a bus lanes entirely for most small factory's

and i would remove stack size bonus from robots completely robots shouldn't be fastest way to move lots of items from a to b
robots should be used more for low throughput low latency parts of a factory like blue circuits or player items like power armor, cars, weapons,

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Bots Solution

Post by lamenters »

Hello, long time lurker but avid player.

A thought on the belts vs bots conversations that have been had following on from the last two FFs.

Could you put a distance limiter on the bots, let's say 10,000 tiles, or even perhaps a time limiter? You could have 15 minutes of flying time perhaps. This means that bots in roboports aren't being consumed. When this time or distance is up, the robot breaks down.

This adds an interesting twist on the megabase solutions. you would need to have an are also dedicated to replacing robots and their distribution. You could still have the megabase but it increases the requirements without nerfing bots in general.

Just my thoughts, be nice.

L

*edit - If this post in is the wrong place, feel free to move it.

[Koub] Merged into the main bots vs belt discussion from isolated suggestion

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