Conveyor belts optional using electricity

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Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by Hakkayo »

Changed the subject of this subject a bit, according to the discussion! So please read forward to understand, why the original idea will not be implemented and read this viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21058#p133429 and this viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21058&start=10#p133879 article, where we changed the direction -- ßilk

Hey guys,

First time poster on this forum, I've really been enjoying my time with factorio. I don't know if this has been suggested but, I think it would be a great option if before you start a game you can indicate whether or not you want conveyor belts to use electricity. Conveyor belts moving on their own should still be an option, but I think it would add an interesting and realistic wrinkle to the game to give it a bit more challenge and make the transition from early to mid game a bit harder. The movement of the conveyor belts could be generated by a motor at one of the two ends and powered via fuel or just the electrical network. Would love some feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Hakkayo

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by ssilk »

This have been often discussed.

Will not come, cause
- there is no added gameplay. You just need to place more poles. So what? you already placed the belts, where is the fun in that?
- there is then a bad vicious circle: Low on power, belts drive slower, bring less coal to the burners, even lower power until energy breaks down. Now try to restart the factory and have fun. Same reason, as why the offshore pump doesn't need energy.

Moved to won't implement. :)
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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by Hakkayo »

I see your points about the poles, but I'm not suggesting running poles, instead like the water pump have an engine at the beginning or end of the belt. I understand it has been discussed at length. I'm just saying your counterpoint is not addressing my own.

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by ssilk »

Well, sorry. You're right to intervene: I stopped reading too early. :oops:

But bad news: But that subtype with motors at the end was already suggested very often (I think even by me) and it's basically the same. :)

The base of the game is not the energy-flow and that everything will get energy, the base is the puzzle-like playing around with the belts. To think also about energy just adds a little more complexity.
The currently discussed LOADER entity (see last FFF) may need power. :)
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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by Hakkayo »

Ah okay, making sure all avenues were thought of. I looked up the loader hope that gets implemented soon.

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by DrEthan »

ssilk wrote:This have been often discussed.

Will not come, cause
- there is no added gameplay. You just need to place more poles. So what? you already placed the belts, where is the fun in that?
- there is then a bad vicious circle: Low on power, belts drive slower, bring less coal to the burners, even lower power until energy breaks down. Now try to restart the factory and have fun. Same reason, as why the offshore pump doesn't need energy.

Moved to won't implement. :)
I see your point about the low power slower belts. but in my game i was running low on coal which made some of my steam engines lose energy production which made my electric miners for the coal go slower which is a example of a "bad vicious circle".

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by ssilk »

Ok, I explain it a bit more.

The miners needs energy to run. If they don't get energy they don't produce coal. Which is a vicious circle - of course.

Now imagine, that the belts also need energy to tun.
How will you restart your factory once it runs out of energy? Currently it is a problem, but even a beginner is after a while able to handle that situation, because the belts don't need energy.

Otherwise imagine, how will you bring that much coal to the burners, that the factory runs so long with so much energy, that the belts bring the coal again themselves? That is really, really difficult after early game and without solar panels. It's frustrating and it's not a good game, for a beginner it's a very bad surprise.

The same logic is with the water.
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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by MeduSalem »

ssilk wrote:Ok, I explain it a bit more.

The miners needs energy to run. If they don't get energy they don't produce coal. Which is a vicious circle - of course.

Now imagine, that the belts also need energy to tun.
How will you restart your factory once it runs out of energy? Currently it is a problem, but even a beginner is after a while able to handle that situation, because the belts don't need energy.

Otherwise imagine, how will you bring that much coal to the burners, that the factory runs so long with so much energy, that the belts bring the coal again themselves? That is really, really difficult after early game and without solar panels. It's frustrating and it's not a good game, for a beginner it's a very bad surprise.

The same logic is with the water.
True it is a beginner's trap.

For anyone with some experience it should be logical NOT to put the infrastructure necessary to be selfsustaining (Miners, Boiler Inserters, etc) on the same electrical network as everything else. People who are throwing everything into one huge electrical network basically beg for power outs and death spirals even without belts requiring electricity/fuel.


That's why I am not really against the idea of having belts require a motor at one end of the belt (or somewhere along it). During early stages it could be powered by fuel (so you can make the belt independent from the electrical network if you wish) but later on there could be an upgrade with an electrified item.

With the electrified item available it could even support Speed Modules inside them. With that in mind Fast/Express belts could be removed from the game (I hate having to carry around 3 types of belts, splitters and underground belts anyways). Want a faster belt? -> Use Modules. Want it even faster? -> Boost it with Beacons too.

Just saying.

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by Pappus »

Actually this is patronizing to beginners in some way:

1) What is wrong with being unable to restart your factory ONCE (it will not happen to you anymore after that for sure since you will take care) and to begin with all it takes to restart a factory is slap in a bit of coal into every boiler and to suggest that someone might not figure that out because he is new is quite strange.

2) If this "vicious" cycle is so bad remove coal for boilers! There are a lot of problems with long belts vs trains to begin with and the electricity doesn't even need to be transported via poles for all I care. Just some sort of deterrent to run belts from mining outpost to mining outpost...

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by ssilk »

Pappus wrote:1) What is wrong with being unable to restart your factory ONCE (it will not happen to you anymore after that for sure since you will take care) and to begin with all it takes to restart a factory is slap in a bit of coal into every boiler and to suggest that someone might not figure that out because he is new is quite strange.
You are speaking from the early phase of game. I'm speaking from the middle game, BEFORE you get solar. That is a phase, where you really need much coal per second. More, than you can dig in a few minutes.
It's really not patronizing if I say, that is just a complete game-fuckup. Just imagine it yourself: You need in that stage maybe 2-4 miners only for the energy production. That is 100, maybe 200 coal per minute. If your miners are then 10-20 seconds of walk away (which is quite normal) and you have biters walking into your factory you can give up the whole game.

Maybe, this can change, when we have more different types of energy: For example wind-energy which is available with the steam engines... There's a mod, but it's not in the vanilla.
What's also a possibility in my opinion: A belt could be made FASTER, if you add some kind of motor (see down). But only as an alternative of having different types of belts. But that is not just a simple thing to be added, that needs some time to think about.
2) If this "vicious" cycle is so bad remove coal for boilers!
Wat? Not understood. Do you suggest that the whole energy production should be refined?
There are a lot of problems with long belts vs trains to begin with and the electricity doesn't even need to be transported via poles for all I care. Just some sort of deterrent to run belts from mining outpost to mining outpost...
Trains have nothing to do with that in my opinion. Why should belts not be used? If a player wants to use belts let him use belts - there are many cases, in which I would say "Could be made like so or so". And if belts need power you may also have much problems to feed the trains at all. ;)



@MeduSalem:

Upgrades: Maybe? Me for example would like to have a belt, where you can change the speed in very fine steps. That is of course a good reason.
Nothing against. :) But I think that is always an optional type of belt. Nothing, which is really needed - just because of the above reasons.



Now I think, if we change the suggestion into that direction I can move it back ("Conveyor belts optional using energy" or so). Opinions?
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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by MeduSalem »

ssilk wrote:
Upgrades: Maybe? Me for example would like to have a belt, where you can change the speed in very fine steps. That is of course a good reason.
Nothing against. :) But I think that is always an optional type of belt. Nothing, which is really needed - just because of the above reasons.

Now I think, if we change the suggestion into that direction I can move it back ("Conveyor belts optional using energy" or so). Opinions?
Move it back to the suggestion or balancing section and mark it as optional! :lol:

Also I think there might be a compromise... Let's say that Basic Belts don't require energy. They work with space magic!

But remove Fast/Express belts from the game. So how do we get faster belts then?

-> Research a motor and put it somewhere along your Basic Belt, power it up with Electricity and it already moves faster. Then insert some Speed Modules and it goes even faster (but requires more energy). Push it with Beacons and see how the items on the belt explode at Ludicrous Speed!

Seriously, I would recommend that after a certain speed barrier wear & tear sets in and you need to provide Lubricant to the motor as well to oil the entire belt, with the amount of Lube depending on how long the Belt is and how fast the Belt has to move.

All of the Belt Items including Underground Belts, Splitters and even the possibly upcoming Loaders would automatically adjust to the Speed given by the attached Motor. If you run low on Lube or Electricity the Belt would automatically slow down.

Maybe there can also be some connection to the circuit network or something that allows the player to adjust the speed of the belt according to signals. So one could power down the belt or ramp it up to maximum depending on the throughput needed.

So maybe there could be an expert option during map creation to punish experienced/hardcore players from the beginning. And that expert setting requires you to power even basic belt speed with a motor+electricity or you can't use them (so no space magic anymore). I would have put things that add more realism to an "expert difficuluty setting" a long time ago. Where items require upkeep that usually don't require upkeep (like Gun Turrets requiring at least some electricity for their targeting systems, Water Pumps requiring fuel/electricity etc). That way the real nerds can prove themselves against the odds.

I could definitely live with that and it would finally give the Lubricant some use.

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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by ssilk »

Well, moved back.

I see this as kind of discussion thread.
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Re: Conveyor belts using electricity

Post by DrEthan »

MeduSalem wrote:
ssilk wrote:
Upgrades: Maybe? Me for example would like to have a belt, where you can change the speed in very fine steps. That is of course a good reason.
Nothing against. :) But I think that is always an optional type of belt. Nothing, which is really needed - just because of the above reasons.

Now I think, if we change the suggestion into that direction I can move it back ("Conveyor belts optional using energy" or so). Opinions?
Move it back to the suggestion or balancing section and mark it as optional! :lol:

Also I think there might be a compromise... Let's say that Basic Belts don't require energy. They work with space magic!

But remove Fast/Express belts from the game. So how do we get faster belts then?

-> Research a motor and put it somewhere along your Basic Belt, power it up with Electricity and it already moves faster. Then insert some Speed Modules and it goes even faster (but requires more energy). Push it with Beacons and see how the items on the belt explode at Ludicrous Speed!

Seriously, I would recommend that after a certain speed barrier wear & tear sets in and you need to provide Lubricant to the motor as well to oil the entire belt, with the amount of Lube depending on how long the Belt is and how fast the Belt has to move.

All of the Belt Items including Underground Belts, Splitters and even the possibly upcoming Loaders would automatically adjust to the Speed given by the attached Motor. If you run low on Lube or Electricity the Belt would automatically slow down.

Maybe there can also be some connection to the circuit network or something that allows the player to adjust the speed of the belt according to signals. So one could power down the belt or ramp it up to maximum depending on the throughput needed.

So maybe there could be an expert option during map creation to punish experienced/hardcore players from the beginning. And that expert setting requires you to power even basic belt speed with a motor+electricity or you can't use them (so no space magic anymore). I would have put things that add more realism to an "expert difficuluty setting" a long time ago. Where items require upkeep that usually don't require upkeep (like Gun Turrets requiring at least some electricity for their targeting systems, Water Pumps requiring fuel/electricity etc). That way the real nerds can prove themselves against the odds.

I could definitely live with that and it would finally give the Lubricant some use.
I for one vote yes to the expert mode idea where everthing requires energy.

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by Kaiji »

I find it extremely immersion breaking that conveyer belts don't require any power. Frankly, it feels stupid to have a factory filled with conveyer belts that run by magic while everything else needs power (apart from water pumps, which I also think should be addressed before beta).

To solve this, you could change it to allow an entire belt to be powered as long as at least one element of it is near a powered pylon. The electricity runs through the belt.

Of course, the longer the belt, the more electricity it would require.

This would add a subtle element of problem solving if a belt gets broken by biters while making the game more immersive and believable. I love looking over my factory and checking how much power everything's using, then I look at my conveyer belts and think "Oh yeah...... They run on magic......". Sorry if I'm labouring the point but it just feels crappy.

I sincerely hope the devs will consider implementing this. Immersion is everything in a game like this.

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by ssilk »

Kaiji wrote:To solve this, you could change it to allow an entire belt to be powered as long as at least one element of it is near a powered pylon. The electricity runs through the belt.
Assumed that would not break the game (please read above, why it will!): What does that change in gameplay? Despite from needing a bit more power? And that you need to repair a bit more. Tell me one example, where such a change would make the game more playful. And I mean playful, not immersive.
This would add a subtle element of problem solving if a belt gets broken by biters while making the game more immersive and believable. I love looking over my factory and checking how much power everything's using, then I look at my conveyer belts and think "Oh yeah...... They run on magic......". Sorry if I'm labouring the point but it just feels crappy.
But it's a game. Realism is nice, but at the end of the day it needs to be playable. See the above thread.
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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by Kaiji »

ssilk wrote:But it's a game. Realism is nice, but at the end of the day it needs to be playable.
It's not about realism. It's about immersion. Factorio is not very realistic, but it's depth gives it strong immersive qualities. But when one or more elements of your factory run on pure magic, that immersion is broken.

I can't speak for everyone, but in my personal experience the more immersive and believable a game is the more fun I have playing it. The more the immersion is broken and I'm reminded that I'm "just playing a game", the less fun I have.

This change would in no way adversely affect the playability of the game. Conveyer belts would simply need to have a pylon near them at any given point in order to be powered. They would no longer run on pure magic.
ssilk wrote:See the above thread.
I'm not sure what post you're referencing. Could you please explain why this would be a bad idea?

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by DrEthan »

ssilk wrote:
Kaiji wrote:To solve this, you could change it to allow an entire belt to be powered as long as at least one element of it is near a powered pylon. The electricity runs through the belt.
Assumed that would not break the game (please read above, why it will!): What does that change in gameplay? Despite from needing a bit more power? And that you need to repair a bit more. Tell me one example, where such a change would make the game more playful. And I mean playful, not immersive.
This would add a subtle element of problem solving if a belt gets broken by biters while making the game more immersive and believable. I love looking over my factory and checking how much power everything's using, then I look at my conveyer belts and think "Oh yeah...... They run on magic......". Sorry if I'm labouring the point but it just feels crappy.
But it's a game. Realism is nice, but at the end of the day it needs to be playable. See the above thread.
Its not like everyone would have to have this it would only part of an extra option where everything requires energy, and if you dont want to have the belts require power then dont activate expert mode.

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by Hexicube »

Conveyor belts would require such a minute amount of power that it would be pointless to even include such a system. According to wikipedia a certain 17km belt in constant use (1 ton every 4 seconds) is using 1.8MW to power the entire belt. Judging by the player model, each belt piece in game is probably a meter long (if not less), and assuming a similar power cost (a full but not backed up belt) any given piece would need just over 0.1W. A mega-base would need maybe 2kW (assumed 20k belts, probably way less), which is a sneeze in the general direction of a wind turbine in comparison to everything else.

In other words, it's entirely reasonable to assume that the belts are powered by built-in solar panels and have tiny batteries (or flywheels) to manage the night, given the level of power produced by the 9m^2 solar panels.

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by MalcolmCooks »

Hexicube wrote:In other words, it's entirely reasonable to assume that the belts are powered by built-in solar panels and have tiny batteries (or flywheels) to manage the night, given the level of power produced by the 9m^2 solar panels.
Perhaps the belts generate their own electricity by using thermoelectric pads that exploit the difference in temperature between the cool ground and the top of the belt, which is heated by the sun

Also
It took me a little while of playing the game just to figure out basic automation, and getting belts and burner inserters to work properly together. Once you learn this, the burner stage of technology can be pretty much skipped and you can go straight away to using electricity, but for beginner players I think it is crucial to learning the basic game mechanics. If electricity was required to make belts work, the learning curve would be a lot more difficult.

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Re: Conveyor belts optional using electricity

Post by Kaiji »

Hexicube wrote:Conveyor belts would require such a minute amount of power that it would be pointless to even include such a system.
The point would be to show that they require power and you need to do something to provide it, just like everything else in the game (except water pumps, which also need to be addressed).
Hexicube wrote:In other words, it's entirely reasonable to assume that the belts are powered by built-in solar panels and have tiny batteries (or flywheels) to manage the night, given the level of power produced by the 9m^2 solar panels.
So you're saying that you can develop the tech to build solar panels to attach to your conveyer belts at the start of the game before you've gone anywhere near actually researching solar panels? I think that would be pretty silly.
MalcolmCooks wrote:If electricity was required to make belts work, the learning curve would be a lot more difficult.
The learning curve already includes learning to provide everything with power. I don't see why a new player would be stumped by the idea of providing conveyer belts with power if they're able to wrap their head around the idea of providing everything else with power.

Again, to reiterate my solution (because I feel like it's being lost) you would not need to provide every section of the belt with power, just one section. The power would then spread through the rest of the belt.
Last edited by Kaiji on Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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