Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

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ChurchOrganist
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Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by ChurchOrganist »

As we all know, blue belt is exorbitantly expensive in terms of resources.

For this reason, I have so far avoided using it in my factories, and as I generally move from belt transport systems to bot transport systems in the main base, so far I haven't missed it.

Having just started to look at other peoples factories via the multiplayer system, I'm noticing that they all seem to move on to blue belt at a certain stage.

So my question: Is blue belt worth the exorbitant cost?

Eagerly awaiting your views on this :)
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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by LotA »

AFAIK, a blue belt have can carry 50% more items (max, probably somewhere between 33-50%, don't have calculation in mind) for a cost that is double (not even counting the lubricant) to the red belt

so basically, blue belts are not worth the price unless you've reached a point where you don't care about resources (personally, i reach this point once I get blueprints / train) or in specific circumstances, when you want to saturate a red belt for instance.

but if you really care about resources, yellow belts all the way are the best. They cost 3x less items than red belts and are 'only' 2x slower.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Hannu »

There will not be simple general yes/no answer. Economics depends on your personal playstyle and objectives and also performance of your computer.

If your playstyle is relatively straightforward run to launch couple of rockets and then you begin a new game, blue belts are probably not the best choice. Especially, if you use bots as a main transport method. You do not need many parallel lines and it is more economical to put 2 red belts than one blue. But if you want to make a large megabase, which consumes order of million raw materials per hour and run your factory hundreds of hours, cost of the blue belts is negligible. Its higher throughput per line and lower need of CPU resources give more advantage than used iron plates cost. Of course there may be many other limitations which affect to economics of the belts, like ore abundance, strength of enemies, personal restrictions. You should tell more about your game if you want more detailed answer.

I have played my current game 290 hours. I have produced 79M iron plates, 57M copper plates and 865k barrels of crude oil. Last hour's statistics are 933k, 527k, and 7.9k, respectively. I have made 23 k blue belts (1.7k underground and 859 splitters). It means less than one percent of my all time iron production. My base is quite extreme example of the case where the blue belts are clearly worth of costs. I can keep my bus lines in tolerable size and reduce also the lag. Bots would be much better technically, but I like wide high capacity belts buses and their balancing problems and make own rule to restrict use of the bots. I have only 400 logistic bots in the main base.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Frightning »

Yellow Belts are dramatically cheaper than even red belts, granted they have 1/2 the throughput of a red belt.

Costs in Iron plates/tile are:
Yellow belt: 1.5
Red belt: 11.5
Blue belt: 21.5 (+2 Lub)

Speeds in number of yellow belts worth of throughput are about:
Yellow belt: 1
Red belt: 2
Blue belt: 3

What you're paying for, with the higher belt tiers is compactness of the belt transport system, You can totally make a decent sized base with only Yellow belts if you lay it out right, and at a certain point bots are just simpler and more efficient than belts (imo). I've actually never placed any Blue belts in over 300 hours of play; never needed the throughput, and the only base where I would've I've long been using Logistics bots instead.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by ChurchOrganist »

Hannu wrote:You should tell more about your game if you want more detailed answer.
Well I'm just starting to get a bit more ambitious with my factories.

On my last map I used the RSO mod to produce a train friendly spacing of resources with hIgh water frequency set to very big, which produced an interesting map consisting of internconnected peninsulas, some large, some small, which creates some space challenges. I'm currently into the 90th hour of this map, having already launched 3 rockets. Due to space limitations with the main base I have set up a self contained factory for red and green circuits on another peninsula, and am intending to do the same for other productions, although I haven't decided which will be moved out yet.
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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Mehve »

As long as you know some basic belt-fu, multiple cheaper belts is usually the most cost effective choice. The most obvious situation for blue belts is stuff involving beacons, where a single space can determine whether the beacon hits all the furnaces/assemblers, and you simply don't have the real estate to double up with reds.

But blue belts only delay the inevitable. If you're really going big, plan on using multiple, parallel manufacturing assemblies.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Hannu »

ChurchOrganist wrote:On my last map I used the RSO mod to produce a train friendly spacing of resources with hIgh water frequency set to very big, which produced an interesting map consisting of internconnected peninsulas, some large, some small, which creates some space challenges. I'm currently into the 90th hour of this map, having already launched 3 rockets. Due to space limitations with the main base I have set up a self contained factory for red and green circuits on another peninsula, and am intending to do the same for other productions, although I haven't decided which will be moved out yet.
Space limitations of your world favor faster belts but on the other hand, water may also bring limitations to availability of materials. I have never tried such a world and can not give an answer based on experience. Probably I would think that it does not take so much iron to use blue belts and I would use them. It is also fun to make longer production chains and liquid tubes in the production cells. In my opinion there should be much more things that need lubricant, engines, vehicles, production machines (higher tiers) etc.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Tnarg »

As a rule I plan to use red belts and have no problem running 4 red belts side by side and can build a 4 belt balancer in my sleep. I only use blue belts when I unexpectedly need that extra 50% and I don't have room to run another belt next to it. I think the use of blue belts shows the lack of planning (I do use a few and my statement stands). The use of blue belts every where shows a little laziness in your planing and gives no where to go when you find you do need a little more throughput.

TLDR: I would plan on using 2 red belts instead of 1 blue, only use blue belts to fix problems i didn't plan for.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Hannu »

Tnarg wrote:I think the use of blue belts shows the lack of planning (I do use a few and my statement stands). The use of blue belts every where shows a little laziness in your planing and gives no where to go when you find you do need a little more throughput.
In my opinion you think from one side. There are also other optimizing parameters than resource costs. At least I want to make things which looks good, works well and are practical to make but cave certain complexity to give challenge (I like for example Bob's mods). I could certainly run 1M iron per hour through yellow lines, but then my base would be insane mess and I would not like such optimizing challenge. Belt buses and balancers would take most of area and it would be boring to run around (it is even I use blue belts). Of course I do not say that my way is better for anyone else, but it is not more lazy than any other way. It makes the game great if there are many very different ways to play and get fun.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by bobucles »

Short answer: No. Everything important can be solved with yellow belts.

Long answer: Well if you HAVE to...

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Tnarg »

Hannu wrote:
Tnarg wrote:I think the use of blue belts shows the lack of planning (I do use a few and my statement stands). The use of blue belts every where shows a little laziness in your planing and gives no where to go when you find you do need a little more throughput.
In my opinion you think from one side. There are also other optimizing parameters than resource costs. At least I want to make things which looks good, works well and are practical to make but cave certain complexity to give challenge (I like for example Bob's mods). I could certainly run 1M iron per hour through yellow lines, but then my base would be insane mess and I would not like such optimizing challenge. Belt buses and balancers would take most of area and it would be boring to run around (it is even I use blue belts). Of course I do not say that my way is better for anyone else, but it is not more lazy than any other way. It makes the game great if there are many very different ways to play and get fun.
I mostly play with marathon mod my self. I desinged a base that was feed with 4 red belts of iron ore, 4 of copper ore and 2 coal. When I found out I needed more I upgrade around my stations to blue. (I have designed what I thought was the best compact station turns out what I was designing was something with no room to upgrade) Once the belts where away from my stations and I had room I switchs from 4 blue belts to 6 red. I think thats the main reson I plan to use red belts it gives me some where to upgrade to when my plans change.

If you know your going to get every thing right first time and are 100% sure of your ratios then yes there is no problems with planing to use blue belts. Blue belt are never going to be my first choice but they do have a place in my base.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Hannu »

I agree that it is typically not necessary to use blue belts if you have 4 lines for basic resources. But if you have more belts than four, complexity and area requirements (for example balancing) increase steeply. Computational requirements could also be a practical issue. I am sure that if I replaced my 12 belt iron bus with 32 yellow belts, the lag would be quite annoying even I have relatively powerful desktop computer (i7 3770K @ 4.2 GHz).

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My current game is the my first try to make relatively large base. I allocated room for 4 belts and made first 2 red, then 4 red, then 4 blue. After that I increased iron capacity to 8 and 12 belts (which is not fully utilized yet). I do not like to try to make final base straight from beginning. Disassembling of old structures and constructing new larger and better systems is important part of the play for me. I usually always make fast and ugly base able to produce anything (up to roboports, blue belts, assembler 3:s etc.) first. Then I begin an "official" large base near and when I get it to produce everything needed in expansion, I leave the old base to be some kind of "museum".

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by AutoMcD »

I made a compact base. After things have upgraded enough, it was necessary to increase belt speed. It's worth it to me because they are automatically produced at this stage, makes no difference red vs blue if I'm just grabbing from a chest.. It saves me from rearranging the whole base.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by MrGrim »

When I started setting production goals for tier 3 modules my definition of "expensive" changed. I could pave my entire map in blue belts for what I spend on modules in an hour.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Acarin »

MrGrim wrote:When I started setting production goals for tier 3 modules my definition of "expensive" changed. I could pave my entire map in blue belts for what I spend on modules in an hour.
Hahaha! Absolutely agree - my belt production area ensures that I always have 2k blue belts in stock, but that is mostly a "tick over" rate. When the base is pushing (only) 2 module 3s per minute, that is where the component part stresses begin. But I would hate to try and redesign my green circuit production for non-express belts: I can run 8 assemblers off 1 copper branch line with blue belts, which would be a struggle with red or yellow belts...

That said, for most of my branches I use red belt as that is all that is required. Blue belt is mostly for my main bus lines.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by SirLANsalot »

Blues (Teal and Purple are higher on modded games with bob's for example) are worth every bit if you have long distances to travel with the belt. It gets whatever is needed from point A to point B faster, and since they have a higher throughput then all other belts, its better for allowing more plate to get to areas of the base from the central furnace area. Also very good for unloading areas of trains, like when a train comes with ore to feed into the furnace area. As some have stated the blue belts are good for feeding to the many sub areas of a base, aka good for main bus lines. Reds are good for the sub areas leaving the bus, since they are slower they are nearly guaranteed to be max sat since there is something faster feeding into them.

Really resource cost of XX thing is never something someone should think of, even with RSO mod (witch I LOVE!) its not like your going to run out of resources (infi map afterall). Its a mute point to think "oh it costs so much to make!" when the end goal of the game is the most resource intensive thing to build, everything else pails in comparison.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by AutoMcD »

I agree. The real "resource" in my opinion is the precious space in between buildings. Having to branch off and build another production line is definitely more of an investment than upgrading the feed belts into a production line that is merely upgraded or extended.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by Deadly-Bagel »

When you start making something prevalent in high quantities (pipes, belts, solar panels, etc) it's a lot easier to have a single blue belt going in than it is to have two red belts or three yellow belts. Because when a part of your factory starts using more than a single red belt of resources you either need to upgrade to blue or add in another feed which is just awkward and messy.

Anyway, the most "expensive" component of blue belts is arguably the lubricant (as relatively speaking iron is in abundance) which you just siphon off from heavy oil, you don't miss much.
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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by SirLANsalot »

Deadly-Bagel wrote:When you start making something prevalent in high quantities (pipes, belts, solar panels, etc) it's a lot easier to have a single blue belt going in than it is to have two red belts or three yellow belts. Because when a part of your factory starts using more than a single red belt of resources you either need to upgrade to blue or add in another feed which is just awkward and messy.

Anyway, the most "expensive" component of blue belts is arguably the lubricant (as relatively speaking iron is in abundance) which you just siphon off from heavy oil, you don't miss much.
The only real annoying part of Blue belts is the in-ability to craft them by hand, which then comes down to having to build a chain of yellow > red > blue to get them. After having crafted both yellow and red by hand, and building them as the need arises, I understand why many people just forgo blues. Why run across the base to go pickup more blues from a box when I can just build what i need on me and get XX new production online and running.

Lubricant is simple to make needing only 1 chem fac for it and a storage tank as a flow regulator to feed several factories making blues.

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Re: Is blue belt worth the cost in resources?

Post by AutoMcD »

Usually by the time I need to upgrade a feed to blue, I have drones delivering to my inventory. Not such a hassle.
If you run into the need before that, well maybe the previous advice about planning for multiple feeds may apply. :)

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