Long-range bots alternative

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Ardagan
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Long-range bots alternative

Post by Ardagan »

I know I'm lazy, but.

How about logistic bots long-range alternative?

The issue: I produce laser turrets/walls in one place and need them delivered to defense in rather long distance for construction bots to use. Building train is overkill, same goes with both logistic bots towers and belts. Just too big distance and too low load.

What is wanted is: possibly expensive on energy, possibly using coal (though according to bots existence, pure energy sounds more logical), low-load long-range avia-transfer.

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by SilverWarior »

In the beginning the logistics bots had no range limit. But that made the to powerfull. You simply built some logistic chests in your remote mine bases and leave all hauling to logistic bots.
That meant that there was no more need for long conveyor belts or trains. You have to understand that developers already put quite a lot of work into trains. So keeping logistical bots the way they were implemented initially would mean that they wasted all that time they spent on making trains posible.

And since the main purpose of the game is for you to build the way how logistical bots have been implemented before was killing the main purpose of the game.
That is why developers decided to limit the range of logistics bots. At some time they were even considering of removing them entirely. But they haven't.

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

Ardagan wrote:What is wanted is: possibly expensive on energy, possibly using coal (though according to bots existence, pure energy sounds more logical), low-load long-range avia-transfer.
Use the car.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by Ardagan »

ssilk wrote: Ardagan wrote:What is wanted is: possibly expensive on energy, possibly using coal (though according to bots existence, pure energy sounds more logical), low-load long-range avia-transfer.



Use the car.
Good one, but:
I can't automate car.

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

Then use railway. ;) or make a useful suggestion. The thing is, that the most stuff in factorio has many uses, but long range robot like you described only one.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

I think they are punishing us on purpose for long range logistical operations. Maybe when oil, underground mining, Bug Reform, and Nukes are all done, They might give us a long range logistical alternative. Placing tracks makes me ill.

edit: because ssilk loves "useful suggestions" so much
1. Underground or Above-ground Pneumatic tubes might be cool, you could watch your items slowly drift from base to base. Maybe this just stems from my dreams of longer underground tunnels.
2. After oil and rocket travel are done, I'm picturing a slow-flying rocket-chest. A steel chest that could fly between small chest-landing stations the way trains do and be loaded by robot arms. You could even put rocket boosters on each side of the chest so it would only be accessible by 2 robot arms max (smart loaders and unloaders i imagine)
3. I never understood why the car wouldn't be automated. What kind of futuristic space-faring society relies on coal fed trains for long range logistics? An automated vehicle, even a small wheeled RC-Car style steel chest would be really impressive if the game's engine can "handle" it.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

To #3: I must admit, that I use the car relatively seldom, just because of the simple reason, that it is difficult to drive in narrow surroundings. I broke too much important stuff with it. :) or I forgot to leave enough space through my solar panels. Or the way by foot is just shorter.

Some others and me suggested for this roads or streets, where the car drives on it like on a magnet. Roads have the advantage, that they will give your factory a much better layout. I think currently for a minimum width of 2 tiles, a car should fit on that?! 2 has the advantage that it fits with the railroad-raster. Maybe, this roads are above the factory, higher than the most basic stuff and the road-elements have a fixed length (32 tiles) and are transparent. They have ramps at the begin and end, where they touch the ground and connect to the other street elements. (Not really finished this part, you need for example stations,w where they can load, pass-by zones etc..)

Now this RC like stuff or rocket chest from #2: a driving chest or better a driving stack, also 2 tiles in size, but very flat, so that you can drive/run over it.

Now it is very clear for me, that the constructions bots should built the stuff, not this vehicle. This vehicle is just a temporary base. You want to built something and this vehicle is filled with the needed stuff and a construction bot. At target, the vehicle stops, the bot takes the stuff out of the vehicle and places it, it also loads the boot, if needed.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

edit: @ssilk
I use single wall segments separated by an empty space to protect my panels, its kind of the same way you see those yellow poles in real life around certain objects in areas where vehicle traffic is common. My light poles all have 4 concrete walls on each side to protect them from the horrible way i drive that car.
All my factories have a list of "safety regulations" like these.

I like the idea of roads, but for REALLY long distances its not much more useful than trains or a very long conveyor belt rig, is it? A series of expensive, solar powered, "beacons" ( i know that name is already taken) could guide a robotic vehicle from one base to another. The guidance beacons could have an area like the roboports do, only smaller. A yellow dotted line could appear between beacons and create logical paths between bases. If the player fails to clear trees or other debris, your robocars/wheeled RC chest would crash, spilling their contents or at least becoming stuck. You would have to code the vehicle to activley avoid the wireless beacons, but other than that, let the bots deal with the game's many dangers on their own. This would nerf the effectiveness of long range logistics.
Near impossible to implement though I imagine.

The easier to implement idea would be the rocket chest and, as an alternative form of long distance logistics, it might be cool to just load up a regular rocket with stuff, pick where you want the rocket to go, and force the rocket to crash land, spilling its contents. This would require an animation for the rocket launch and crash, and a crashed rocket doodad. Because this system is not automated, you don;t have to do alot of station pathfinding like with the other ideas.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

To the rocket chest: reminds me to battlefield: the commander could send a chest with a car, supply, ammo etc.

This was a very fast game mechanics and that could work here too: request a chest in a way like the requester chest works. When full it is "fired" to your target destination. Should be useable in the map view.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

I picture little landing zones as stations using the same station logic as trains, but It would be cool if you could build a suit module that summons the rocket chest to your location.
What your describing about targeting a spot on the map and "firing" is more what i pictured for the crash landing rockets filled with goodies idea BUT having flying chests that are manually fired makes more sense to me. I really like that it isnt automated. Having automated long distance logistical options negates the usefulness of trains and other short distance logistical options like the roboports and belts, we have to be careful not to reduce their usefulness when we brainstorm new Long-Range logistical ideas.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

Hm. Perhaps thinking back to the reason for this thread: ardagan want to built for lasers.

So when I read that I think this: How many times have I been in this situation? I want to built up a new mining site. So I fill my stacks and go. Then in the middle of the process I see, that I don't have anything, no belts, no miners and no laser towers.

I need to stop here, drive or go back, refill and return.

I think this is the case. This walking back and forth takes up much time. I often found me at a point, where I forgot, what I wanted and do other stuff.

Avoiding that means, that the player can say: ok I go now there, meanwhile fill me a chest with these things and send it to that point. So that, when I reach that point, the stuff is already there.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

No offense to ardagan but when i set up new mining bases i bring most of the supplies needed on the first trip, with a return trip using a much smaller shopping list to finish up. If you set up a repair station at the outpost with a repair bot or two, you wont have to worry about being creamed before you get back and finish up. Any third trip I make should just be for expansion, or just a checkup. (you can scroll on the radar screen and look at your outlier bases if you dont wanna walk) I think as time goes on youll have all those supplies on hand in quantities that make setting up outlier bases really easy. Mines make a nice "Plan B" defense for short term construction jobs where you need to finish an unfinished base and dont have enough lasers on hand. In the latest update mines can be replaced by construction bots, so maybe lasers are going to get some competition? I think the devs have already expressed a want to bring in new defensive measures (some kind of "laser walls" i think?).
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by Garm »

I think in that situation car works beautifully: It has a large cargo so you can bring enough material to build a decent base, while shortening player travel time.

I fear that any proposed long range bot alternatives would not only make bots OP again, but introduce more mechanics similar to turret creep strategy.

I believe this game needs to shift towards a more thoughtful exploration:

- Exploring is harder due to stronger/smarter enemies
- Rewards from exploration are proportionally more lucrative
- Main concept: You are on alien world, that literally hates your guts
- Less scenic walks, more armoured expeditions into unknown.



With all said I do believe there is alternative that can work:

Missile delivery

Concept as such:

Player builds a Missile silo (Airport/Mass driver/Ballistic cannon, whatever) at the main base. Said structure will have storage similar to Requester chest allowing you to specifically select the contents of the delivery. Multiple structures can be built to speed up delivery (multiple launch) or use separate launches for specific items (belt package vs. defense package vs rail package). Delivery is not instant.

Why I think it would work better:

- Semiautomatic: while delivery pre-loading can be automated the actual launch can only be triggered by player.
- Does not obsolete rails and belts.
- Prevents unnecessary walks.
- Does not introduce similar problems as turret creep does: since the delivery is delayed players need to make sure location is secure and protected
- Encourages rail building: since there is less problem about carrying enough rails and signals.
- Eye candy: missile launch as well as landing can be extremely pleasant to see if drawn well.
- Strategic use: "strategical" belt package delivery on top of the spawner?
- Future implementations: Builder roboport with small blueprint delivered via missile? limited in size due to cargo and additional energy, and delayed launch and build to prevent offensive spam.

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

Okay... isnt that just like my rocket idea without the crash landing part?
If you did this, then in the endgame, a player wouldnt bother with trains, he'd just make rocket ports next to each base once fuel concerns went away, and limiting the amount of fuel per map means the longer you play, the less fuel resources you get to have, not fun. A central fuel base would deliver fuel to outlier bases, and outlier bases would fly back resources.

I really think that long long long term resource movements SHOULD NOT be automated. Maybe we could have the rockets be loaded automatically, but I would want a human pulling traffic control duty on the rockets, a player should have to pull out his rocket console or whatever the fudge, and manually launch each rocket. I think if your gonna have a vehicle that takes off and lands, some sort of quad-rotor electric helicopter chest makes more sense.

I know you can land rockets in real life, but it is a practice as stupid as balancing a plate on a stick on your nose.
As your rocket approaches its target base, the rocket has to turn itself around and blast in the opposite direction to kill its forward velocity, then turn the thrusters downward and slow the fall of the rocket vehicle. Really really inefficient, and it requires a small system of minirockets all over the rocket craft to turn the rocket while in flight. In real life we can only turn our rockets in this way in situations where you have a very thin atmosphere (makes turning the thruster backwards easier) or where the speed of the rocket is slow and the force of a planets gravity "hill" is gradual.

Other techniques would involve parachutes deploying on the rocket over a target area, but this is unpredictable and it makes it impossible to "catch" the rocket into a rocketport. (A giant acme net might work tho) The player would have to recover parachuted rockets to make any realistic sense, although, like i said, i like the idea of no automation for these kind of long distance transfers.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

All this rocket stuff got me stoked for multiplayer. I really like the idea of using missile batteries to shoot down other player's rocket shipments and steal their hard earned goods. You could make it so less items survive the explosion the more rocket fuel is left in the rocket.
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by ssilk »

Garm wrote:I think in that situation car works beautifully: It has a large cargo so you can bring enough material to build a decent base, while shortening player travel time.
Yes, I would like to use that, but in most cases I don't have enough to fill even my inventory.
And on the other side my inventory is full with stuff I never need. But this is another theme.

This is like taking credit: you say "I want that in a few minutes to be there." Then you go there and the meanwhile produced stuff is there. This is good, because it speeds the game up.


I think the delivery should be expensive. They cost rockets, parachutes (?) and the chest.
Also sad to say, but this type of filling seems to me only solveable with logistic bots. That means an earlier in game is not possible.

Hm. What's with the market? Place market. Feed it with the needed stuff. Get other stuff for that? And where you want. Delivery is with the rockets as above. So it would be possible to have that within the first hour. Yes, that would make much sense. :)
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by Garm »

malokin wrote:Okay... isnt that just like my rocket idea without the crash landing part?
If you did this, then in the endgame, a player wouldnt bother with trains, he'd just make rocket ports next to each base once fuel concerns went away, and limiting the amount of fuel per map means the longer you play, the less fuel resources you get to have, not fun. A central fuel base would deliver fuel to outlier bases, and outlier bases would fly back resources.

I really think that long long long term resource movements SHOULD NOT be automated. Maybe we could have the rockets be loaded automatically, but I would want a human pulling traffic control duty on the rockets, a player should have to pull out his rocket console or whatever the fudge, and manually launch each rocket. I think if your gonna have a vehicle that takes off and lands, some sort of quad-rotor electric helicopter chest makes more sense.

I know you can land rockets in real life, but it is a practice as stupid as balancing a plate on a stick on your nose.
As your rocket approaches its target base, the rocket has to turn itself around and blast in the opposite direction to kill its forward velocity, then turn the thrusters downward and slow the fall of the rocket vehicle. Really really inefficient, and it requires a small system of minirockets all over the rocket craft to turn the rocket while in flight. In real life we can only turn our rockets in this way in situations where you have a very thin atmosphere (makes turning the thruster backwards easier) or where the speed of the rocket is slow and the force of a planets gravity "hill" is gradual.

Other techniques would involve parachutes deploying on the rocket over a target area, but this is unpredictable and it makes it impossible to "catch" the rocket into a rocketport. (A giant acme net might work tho) The player would have to recover parachuted rockets to make any realistic sense, although, like i said, i like the idea of no automation for these kind of long distance transfers.

Well I specifically mentioned the fact that it will not be fully automatic ever: since not only player has to call the launch I expect the landing to be in the vicinity of he player.

Think of it as lazer guided missile with player holding the marker.

Not only that each rocket is single use only.

As such it is impossible to have even one-way automated traffic

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by Garm »

Perhaps I again was not specific enough.

When I said missile I did not mean large UFO flying from one place to the other. I meant laser guided rocket that would crash-land where player is currently pointing at, delivering package.
Each package would require another rocket, and launch can only be triggered by player with location in the vicinity of player. It will be impossible to launch such rockets from a base to a specific target.

Single-use, one-way, on demand system designed as extreme backup and not for constant use.
ssilk wrote: I think the delivery should be expensive. They cost rockets, parachutes (?) and the chest.
Also sad to say, but this type of filling seems to me only solveable with logistic bots. That means an earlier in game is not possible.

Hm. What's with the market? Place market. Feed it with the needed stuff. Get other stuff for that? And where you want. Delivery is with the rockets as above. So it would be possible to have that within the first hour. Yes, that would make much sense. :)
Yes I intended that my proposed system to be expensive. About the market - I fear it is too early at this point. Not only it requires some sort of economy and possibly currency it is also backdoor for abuse, where players instead of building complexes will overuse market.

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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by malokin »

@garm, not a fan of long posts huh?

"The easier to implement idea would be the rocket chest and, as an alternative form of long distance logistics, it might be cool to just load up a regular rocket with stuff, pick where you want the rocket to go, and force the rocket to crash land, spilling its contents. This would require an animation for the rocket launch and crash, and a crashed rocket doodad. Because this system is not automated, you don;t have to do alot of station pathfinding like with the other ideas." -ME on page 1

I loved your idea so much, i went back in time and posted it in this forum thread before you. And i'll keep stealing your best ideas with my time machine MWAHAHAHA
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Re: Long-range bots alternative

Post by Garm »

I got confused by another post of yours: " After oil and rocket travel are done, I'm picturing a slow-flying rocket-chest. A steel chest that could fly between small chest-landing stations the way trains do and be loaded by robot arms. You could even put rocket boosters on each side of the chest so it would only be accessible by 2 robot arms max (smart loaders and unloaders i imagine)"


Anyhow lets just concede that we both ended up with similar idea and both agree that it needs to be expensive, not automatic, with player initiating being near point of impact not point of origin.

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