New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

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zarklin
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New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by zarklin »

So first off I'm full on hooked. Absolute blast of a game. Made it through the initial campaign with some pains but finally started freeplay. Started a second map since my first was a spaghetti mess. For the sake of learning things I turned off cliffs and opened the starting area to 600% I know tsk tsk... boo a casual lol Anyway trying my hand at doing a bus system or at least planning for one. This will certainly be easier to do once I can use blueprints... I think i have the right idea going. Once these starter nodes dry up I plan to bring in raw mats on the East side of this shot via train. Planning the north side as raw processing ore/stone to plates and continuing the bus east with more finished goods. Belt plans are 1 coal / 1 stone - 2 copper/2 iron - 2 iron plate/2 copper plate ---- undecided on the rest of the way down. Think I'm on an ok path but have a ways to go before I get to the level I see on these forums. Id I'm way out of line feel free to boo me and tell me to start over lol... anyway I'm "essential" so back to work... Thanks all
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Serenity
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Serenity »

Ore doesn't really belong on the main bus. Two each of copper and iron ore are nowhere near enough later on. What you have there works for now but isn't extensible. The coal for the smelters should also be separate from the coal for the boilers, the plastic or military science. The boilers alone need one whole belt of coal. So why have that on the bus? Just a waste of space.
Give your smelters a dedicated coal line instead of leeching off the bus for each column. You can run it with undergrounds within the coal/ore loop

In your example it's better to eventually bring in the ore from the north where there is plenty of free room for belts and train stations

Something like this works:
Bus.jpg
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That's 2 iron, 2 copper, 2 green circuits, 1 steel, 1 red circuits, 1 stone/bricks (a half lane each is really enough here), 1 coal, 1/2 sulfur, 1 blue circuits/batteries, 1 plastic/low density structures

I used to plan for 4 lines of copper, iron and green circuits. But that's not needed at all. Not all materials should be routed via the main bus! Circuits especially. The metal for circuit production can go directly to those. For example for two belts of green circuits you need 3 belts of copper and 2 belts of iron. If you put all that on the main bus it just becomes huge for no reason at all. A bus is for splitting off materials. If an assembly line for sure needs a whole line by itself you can also feed it directly

And the green circuits for red and blue? Don't have to be on the bus either. You can have an assembly line for green circuits dedicated to what you need for red or blue and route that directly.
My "make everything" factory also gets dedicated iron lines because the gear assemblers eat tons of iron. But there are also people who put gears on the main bus because 2 iron plates compress to 1 gear wheel and they are used in many recipes.

It's similar with other items in the picture:
The plastic you see is only really for cannon shell production. This is not meant for red circuits or LDS. Those again get dedicated lines.
The sulfur is only for blue science. With sulfuric acid you're far better off with direct insertion (2 acid plants need 5 sulfur plants, which can fit around them).
The coal belt is solely for grenades and explosives. Not for fuel or plastic.

EDIT: As pointed out below, sulfur doesn't really need to be on the bus. Blue science needs very low amounts that can be produced locally from petroleum gas and water. Explosives need raw sulfur too, so that could draw from the bus. And that's one reason why I put it there. But it could also be produced locally


Also consider a fluid bus using underground pipes. For example you need water and sulfuric acid for some things. Or lube for blue belts and electric engines
Last edited by Serenity on Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.

zarklin
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by zarklin »

When you say dedicated coal lines for boilers and smelting do you mean a certain number of miners for each line vs dumping all coal into say four lines and out to while balancing the outputs with splitters?

Does this make more sense? Tried to balancing the input and send one side just for smelting and the other to the boilers. I'm still trying to wrap my head around belt balancing.
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Serenity
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Serenity »

That may be a bit better. In the first picture it looks like you are splitting off one belt to the boilers. The issue there is that once you build that entire coal power plant 34 boilers will consume the entire belt (I generally go for 2 x 20 as well, but that needs a red belt when it runs 100%). So it doesn't make much sense to split off from a bus. Either the boiler belt only gets half, or if you use the priority function there is nothing left after the splitter

People often use belt balancers to distribute stuff from and to several belts. You have three coal lines so a 3x3 balancer would put them equally on three output belts:
https://gist.github.com/Bilka2/aeec4ff7 ... 0cf1046a06
You don't have do understand how they work. Few people do :) Just use the blueprints and hope they are correct

Now there is also the splitter priority function that has made these things obsolete in some cases. You can tell a splitter to output everything possible to one side. So you can shove all materials to one side of the bus and only have the overflow go on.

Your small starting coal patch is not really going to support all that if you actually used it all. You need 30 electric miners to fill a yellow belt. But that's normal. It's not just the total amount of resources driving expansion, but also the amount you can extract at once.


For the smelters I meant something like this:
Smelters.jpg
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Putting the ore and plate belts in the same horizontal space is neat, but not necessary. I'm really referring to the way the coal belt uses undergrounds and just a splitter to get a line for each column.
What you have works. And it looks pretty good. But you constantly have to move the plate and ore lines under the coal belt. Not a huge deal though. Probably more of a personal preference :)

Later though it would probably be more convenient to turn all that around and put in the ore at the top as you need a lot more of these columns from the mid game on. At least with the little space you have for more ore belts at the bottom. You just can't fit enough of them there. Circuits need a lot of plates and as the game goes on you need more and more circuits. So you should leave a lot more room there. Understandable mistake though. You lack the experience to judge how big smelting can get later on. And even with hundreds of hours there will always be times when you didn't leave enough space for expansion.
Last edited by Serenity on Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

JimBarracus
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by JimBarracus »

I would highly recommend you to automate production of things like inserters and belts.
Makes the expansion much easier and less tedious.

astroshak
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by astroshak »

Workmate the production of everything. However you want to set it up, make an area of machines making everything. Some things like gears you will want several machines feeding other machines, but belts, I sergers, assembly machines, power poles, et al should all have at least one machine making it and putting it into a chest. For most things, use the red X in the output chest to limit production.

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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by GrumpyJoe »

Serenity wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:44 pm

It's similar with other items in the picture:
The plastic you see is only really for cannon shell production. This is not meant for red circuits or LDS. Those again get dedicated lines.
The sulfur is only for blue science. With sulfuric acid you're far better off with direct insertion (2 acid plants need 5 sulfur plants, which can fit around them).
With sulfur only going into blue science, i´d even argue against it on the bus, unless oil facilities are far away and it routes through the bus region anyway.
Blue science sulfur consumption is pretty low and if you can route it more directly, you could have 3x4 lanes of a bus, which can be crossed with yellow undergrounds

Serenity
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Serenity »

GrumpyJoe wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:13 pm
With sulfur only going into blue science, i´d even argue against it on the bus
Yeah, good point. You need such a small fraction of a chemical plant to produce the needed sulfur that it's no issue to produce that locally from the fluid bus. Which contains petroleum gas and water anyways.

Explosives also need raw sulfur. So that's something that could draw from the bus. Now that I think about it, that's what I did after sulfur was added to science. Forgot to mention that. But it's also easy to produce locally, which is what I did before. Either one works

Ultimately it's a matter of taste. If you think you need or don't need to bus certain things it's always an option. I'd just heavily discourage to bus everything by default. That's a pretty naive application of the concept and just makes things needlessly difficult
you could have 3x4 lanes of a bus, which can be crossed with yellow undergrounds
By the point where you need to bus things like batteries and blue circuits you have red belts. I've had games where that "miscellaneous" section of the bus was wider and it's not an issue.

Personally I put things like science and other end products on the plate side of the bus. So the wider section doesn't get crossed a lot. It's possible to add other things to that as needed. For example uranium 238 is a possibility if you get into ammunition production

zarklin
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by zarklin »

Hey thanks for all the replies. Trying to play here and there I did build out an area to make some of the items automatically. It's not the prettiest or most efficient but it's helped a ton. I did divert off the smelter line for grenades but I don't plan to keep it that way.
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Slowly expanding this area and even with the 600% starting space I managed to piss off the neighbors. Switched focus to defense for a bit and took out a few spawners. Thinking I'll end up leaving this area as power and smelting and expand elsewhere. Keeping me hooked though, now if I could just focus and work towards that rocket lol
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Serenity
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Serenity »

You don't really need to wall in just yet. Just some turrets without walls can hold off early biters. After that you can build bunkers where you wall in groups of 4-6 turrets. It's not wrong or anything, but removing and moving those walls is a lot of work when you have to do it manually.

Tip for steel: steel takes 5 times as long as iron plates, but you need 5 iron plates per steel plate. That means you can directly insert iron plates into another furnace
But belting the plates also works of course.

As you can see you don't have anywhere near enough iron ore for that. One belt of plates needs one belt of ore. And one yellow belt of ore requires 30 miners. You can't even run one of those iron smelters full time. So arguably it's somewhat pointless to build all of them. It's fine of course to prepare for the future, but the next step would be to go out and secure more iron ore.

The inserter and belt production part looks good. You don't really have to double up on the yellow inserter assemblers though. Again, what you are doing isn't any way wrong. But this part doesn't have to be designed so it can run 100% all the time. One yellow inserter assembler can supply both the red and blue inserters. Because you aren't going to need them all the time. Eventually one of the boxes will be full and then it can produce for the other one. Usually it will only struggle at start up and be fine afterwards.
You can also put a box with one or two free stacks between the two assemblers. Then there is a bit of a buffer they can use up when there is a lot of demand. Especially useful to run undergrounds and splitters with one belt assembler

Eventually you are going to run out of space in some areas. But that's part of the learning experience. For a first go at a non-spaghetti space it's pretty good :) And a lot prettier than what many other people built when they started out.

zarklin
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by zarklin »

That's one of the things I'm enjoying is the constant tweaking with expansion. I took the screenshot before I finished belting in a near by iron node that can handle 60 electric mining drills. Then adding gray science that then needed more stone and brick and so on and on and on.

Serenity
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Serenity »

And then you need to massively increase circuit and steel production for blue, purple and yellow science. That's where the real smelting fun begins :) Also adds oil which is a huge complication. Especially for beginners.

If you just want to build a rocket without planning for a huge base after it you don't need as much as you may think though. That can be done with surprisingly little. It's just a question of waiting until everything is produced

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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by je11693 »

Serenity wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:23 pm
And then you need to massively increase circuit and steel production for blue, purple and yellow science. That's where the real smelting fun begins :) Also adds oil which is a huge complication. Especially for beginners.

If you just want to build a rocket without planning for a huge base after it you don't need as much as you may think though. That can be done with surprisingly little. It's just a question of waiting until everything is produced
I am struggling with oil and the related fluids now (on my second playthrough). I am not sure how to solve it. Is there any way a game can be shared with someone else to allow a more experienced player to take a look? (and if there is, are there any experienced players who are willing to do this?)

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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Kinson25 »

You can upload a save file, Or you can start in multiplayer, or you can upload it to factorio.zone and share the ip:port
A LOT of us would be happy to help you out.

zarklin
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by zarklin »

Well, I did it.. finally launched one... slow and inefficient and almost 50 hours in game but it happened...
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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by ColonelSandersLite »

Gratz man. I wouldn't say that 50 hours + whatever time was saved by your first try is a bad first rocket. Now get to work on that spoon run ;).

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Re: New Player - Trying to wrap my head around things

Post by Zillard »

I must confess. These bases look far better than probably my 20th, and even then i haven't launched a rocket yet.

Fond memories though.

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