Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

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Killcreek2
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Killcreek2 » Thu May 25, 2017 7:56 pm

I love the way underground belts work. They are a versatile tool.

Here are two examples from my factories:
This is why UG belts are great

BlakeMW wrote:
FasterJump wrote:According to the devs, it's not a gameplay bug. But why don't they fix the graphic then?
That is by far the best point I've seen in this thread. If the feature is here to stay, the underground belt hood should be half-open.
Indeed, the only bit I dislike is that the graphic needs a tweak.
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Ranakastrasz » Thu May 25, 2017 9:03 pm

Image
And yet, this allows the same functionality, and looks really good. Yea, it required you to add 2 new splitter types, but if you could just lock the inside or outside lanes of a splitter, it wouldn't even need a new item, just a circuit-setting.
It would take up slightly more space ,but in both examples, it would work great.

Can anyone look at this and say it doesn't look better than the underground usage?
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by 5thHorseman » Fri May 26, 2017 1:24 am

Ranakastrasz wrote:Can anyone look at this and say it doesn't look better than the underground usage?
I don't think anybody would say it looks worse, but it can be argued that it's still not better. I'd personally only get behind something that didn't add a new part. Or, added a new part that did more than just "blocks a lane." If there was a way to get all this functionality into a splitter? I'm down with that.
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by milo christiansen » Fri May 26, 2017 4:27 pm

I used to use that mod, and it was great.

But for .15 I wanted to do a modless run, which underlined just how annoying this particular problem is to deal with the vanilla way (hence this thread).

A splitter GUI that allowed you to select open lanes would be perfect, but possibly OP.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Ranakastrasz » Fri May 26, 2017 5:12 pm

It was one of the first mods I used, I think. Mainly because it was just so blatantly useful and made my crappy setups easier back then. Now at least, there are some alternatives, but yea. I eventually got into using belt-balancers, but I still can't stand the look of the UG belt abuse, its just painful to look at.
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by grimdanfango » Fri May 26, 2017 5:51 pm

5thHorseman wrote:...
Or, added a new part that did more than just "blocks a lane." If there was a way to get all this functionality into a splitter? I'm down with that.
This is exactly why I think my previous suggestion of a T-junction-belt part would be the most elegant solution:

Code: Select all

<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
It retains the exact same functionality as the current underground belt exploit, in the exact same space. Would function as a drop-in replacement in most cases (admittedly not all), adds significant additional functionality without making things more complicated, or requiring an additional GUI of any kind, and only adds a single basic part to the base game which would aestheically blend perfectly in with existing belts.

Surely there's no real downside to this approach?

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by milo christiansen » Fri May 26, 2017 6:02 pm

Nothing wrong with that, aside from needing to deal with the "it's a new part" whiners.

I personally like your idea, certainly better (more flexible, less OP) than any other I have heard.

Would it be possible to make something like that as a mod? Because I would totally use it.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by 5thHorseman » Fri May 26, 2017 6:32 pm

grimdanfango wrote:

Code: Select all

<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
<<<<<<< <<<|>>> >>>>>>>
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
        ^^^^^^^
It retains the exact same functionality as the current underground belt exploit, in the exact same space. Would function as a drop-in replacement in most cases (admittedly not all), adds significant additional functionality without making things more complicated, or requiring an additional GUI of any kind, and only adds a single basic part to the base game which would aestheically blend perfectly in with existing belts.

Surely there's no real downside to this approach?
Other than adding a new part, no, but mentioning that is apparently whining now ;)

I will say, if they go forward with the toolbelt->toolbar transition and we end up with an unlimited (or at least n>2) number of toolbars at our disposals, I'd be far more amenable to adding new parts. As it is, I fill up all 20 slots pretty quickly and by the end game I'm trying to find things to take off of it.
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by 5thHorseman » Fri May 26, 2017 6:40 pm

BTW I spent 2 minutes in MSPaint some time last year and made this pic.

Image
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by milo christiansen » Fri May 26, 2017 7:36 pm

Which looks kinda ugly, but honestly better than expected for so little work.

If done properly (modifying the 3D model, then rendering), it would at least make the hack less obnoxious.

@5thHorseman: Good point about the quickbars. Once the GUI improvements become reality there will (hopefully) be far less resistance to a new part on the grounds of "clutter".

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by AndrewIRL » Sat May 27, 2017 4:19 am

5thHorseman wrote:I will say, if they go forward with the toolbelt->toolbar transition and we end up with an unlimited (or at least n>2) number of toolbars at our disposals, I'd be far more amenable to adding new parts.
The FFF only said change to toolbar, it didn't suggest any increase in available space, I assume they'll keep it the same.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Krazykrl » Sat May 27, 2017 5:12 am

My main problem with using Undergrounds for lane blocking (the ugliness isn't much of a factor) is that undergrounds don't let me use other undergrounds nearby on the same plane. This is especially noticeable now that red and blue underneathies have extended range. Using 1 Underground for a single lane-split locks out a pretty large portion nearby for underground use.

You really wouldn't need to have a dedicated T-junction entity. Splitters can do the same thing if you just have a way of blocking a lane.

IMO:
Lane-splitting should be available early game (as you can get yellow undergrounds among the first few researches you ever perform.)
As such... the handful of options (to also prevent further muddying of the buildable entity pool) the best would probably be a configuration for the belt segment itself (option unlocked along with underneathies).
This configuration should just need to be two checkboxes. Enabling a checkbox would place a "mechanical blocker" to the end of its lane (i.e. inserters can still remove and place on that blocked lane, but the last entity slot is permanently blocked which prevents pass-through.)
Of course you should be able to circuit network lane blocking. And lane blocking would also be an exclusive condition (just like other circuit network settings for each entity.)

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by lyallp » Sat May 27, 2017 7:03 am

I hate how I have to go to so much effort and real estate to split lanes.
A lane segment with an option to 'block' either left or right would do!
:)
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by grimdanfango » Sat May 27, 2017 5:16 pm

Krazykrl wrote:My main problem with using Undergrounds for lane blocking (the ugliness isn't much of a factor) is that undergrounds don't let me use other undergrounds nearby on the same plane. This is especially noticeable now that red and blue underneathies have extended range. Using 1 Underground for a single lane-split locks out a pretty large portion nearby for underground use.

You really wouldn't need to have a dedicated T-junction entity. Splitters can do the same thing if you just have a way of blocking a lane.

IMO:
Lane-splitting should be available early game (as you can get yellow undergrounds among the first few researches you ever perform.)
As such... the handful of options (to also prevent further muddying of the buildable entity pool) the best would probably be a configuration for the belt segment itself (option unlocked along with underneathies).
This configuration should just need to be two checkboxes. Enabling a checkbox would place a "mechanical blocker" to the end of its lane (i.e. inserters can still remove and place on that blocked lane, but the last entity slot is permanently blocked which prevents pass-through.)
Of course you should be able to circuit network lane blocking. And lane blocking would also be an exclusive condition (just like other circuit network settings for each entity.)
I get your point here, but it seems like you're making the case that an additional placeable belt-piece would somehow be more complicated than adding a configurable GUI layer to an existing piece.

That strikes me as proposing adding a whole additional fiddly and complex layer, solely for the sake of avoiding adding a single, simple, versatile new piece. Imagine needing to build anything large, and needing to open and fiddle with checkboxes for hundreds of those individually! Why, when you could have an item whose use is clear and implicit simple from where you place it and the orientation you place it in?... the exact same way that existing belts, pipe and inserters work.
I really do think adding a lane-blocking GUI *would* needlessly add clutter (and fuss) to the game, far more than one additional basic placeable.

Circuiting lane-blocking using your solution would be redundant anyway - if you have a simple way to split lane, you can just use the existing circuit conditions available on belts already to have them block the lanes you just split.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sat May 27, 2017 5:40 pm

True enough, I suppose.

You could use the same thing "Flow Control" does.


Or, you could allow a secondary "Rotate" option that lets you cycle between a secondary pool of ... Entities..
Kinda like how you can 'rotate' hazzard concrete and end up with two separate actual tiles. I think.
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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Krazykrl » Sat May 27, 2017 8:03 pm

grimdanfango wrote:That strikes me as proposing adding a whole additional fiddly and complex layer, solely for the sake of avoiding adding a single, simple, versatile new piece. Imagine needing to build anything large, and needing to open and fiddle with checkboxes for hundreds of those individually! Why, when you could have an item whose use is clear and implicit simple from where you place it and the orientation you place it in?... the exact same way that existing belts, pipe and inserters work.
I really do think adding a lane-blocking GUI *would* needlessly add clutter (and fuss) to the game, far more than one additional basic placeable.

Circuiting lane-blocking using your solution would be redundant anyway - if you have a simple way to split lane, you can just use the existing circuit conditions available on belts already to have them block the lanes you just split.
Well, the devs have stated that they don't want to add more buildables to the menu if they can help it. Yes you can just add another entity you need to assemble, store, transport, and build; but what other unique features would warrant another spot in the roster of assemble-able entities? IMO adding a dedicated belt lane blocker entity to the (already extensive) list of stuff to build in vanilla would be bloat.
I was suggesting a few checkboxes to be added to an already functional entity. Of course, the belt segment is easily a copy-pastable entity config which would obviously be blueprintable. Inserters have had an improvement in their stack size limitation, this would be about the same for belts... a settable lane limitation.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by grimdanfango » Sat May 27, 2017 8:44 pm

Krazykrl wrote:Well, the devs have stated that they don't want to add more buildables to the menu if they can help it. Yes you can just add another entity you need to assemble, store, transport, and build; but what other unique features would warrant another spot in the roster of assemble-able entities? IMO adding a dedicated belt lane blocker entity to the (already extensive) list of stuff to build in vanilla would be bloat.
I was suggesting a few checkboxes to be added to an already functional entity. Of course, the belt segment is easily a copy-pastable entity config which would obviously be blueprintable. Inserters have had an improvement in their stack size limitation, this would be about the same for belts... a settable lane limitation.
Fair points, but I wasn't suggesting adding a dedicated lane-blocker... I've been suggesting adding a simple T-junction belt piece, where each half points in a different direction. That would allow lane-splitting, lane blocking (if one side was just left unconnected), and no doubt a whole raft of interesting new uses that I couldn't even foresee coming from the community, as it'd be an item with a very versatile behaviour, in the same way existing tools do.

I know they mean not to add more placeables in general, and in general I certainly agree, but to some extent the point of this thread is that some people believe they should make an exception in this one case, given that the mechanic is such a core part of the game.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Zeblote » Sat May 27, 2017 9:21 pm

grimdanfango wrote:Fair points, but I wasn't suggesting adding a dedicated lane-blocker... I've been suggesting adding a simple T-junction belt piece, where each half points in a different direction.
If the T belt is not a new item, how do you build one?

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by grimdanfango » Sun May 28, 2017 12:36 am

Zeblote wrote:
grimdanfango wrote:Fair points, but I wasn't suggesting adding a dedicated lane-blocker... I've been suggesting adding a simple T-junction belt piece, where each half points in a different direction.
If the T belt is not a new item, how do you build one?
It would be, I just meant it wouldn't be "dedicated" - to one specific niche task. It would be useful as a basic building block in many different cases, not *just* for blocking off a single lane. To me that seems like an ideal candidate to complement the existing tools, rather than complicate them.

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Re: Underground belt lane splitting, anyone else hate it?

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sun May 28, 2017 1:35 am

Could add a hotkey like rotate, which changes settings like that. For belts, it can block a single side of the lane, make both sides go to one side, or one side go to both sides.
For a splitter, can block both center or both outsides, or nothing.

For pipes, see Flow Control. Straight, Curved, 3-sided.

Etc, Etc
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