Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

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Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:19 am

TL;DR: A way to have local stock for your logistic network which does not lead to drones flying items in circles is needed.

In bases with large perimeters to keep in order I ran constantly into the problem that if an area is far from the provider/storage chest in which repair packs are stored the resupply time becomes more and more important. The same is even more critical when it comes to munition or an array of assembling machines supplied via drones (assembler builds faster that the drones restock the requester chest).

So for these cases and a lot more It would be great to have a local supply near all the requesters.

Provider/storage chest -> local provider chest -> requester chest / personal inventory

Building that with a requester, provider combination unavoidably results in drones flying in circles. (Request 50 rounds -> Smart Inserter puts rounds into provider if it has less than 10 rounds. Now the drones are restocking the requester form the provider I want to have a minimum level)

The only "solution" I have found so far is to either split the logistic network in sectors and resupplying each separately or produce things like munition locally. The first is a pain to maintain the second forces you to transport all needed materials to your outposts instead of just products.
In case of repair packs this can be achieved by supplying them via requester chest directly to a roboport. However I find 6 stacks excessive.

An other example: The drones at base could fill the local provider near your train station so the right amount is ready for you when you come back. That way the drones have to fly the short distance between you and the local provider rather than flying all over the base to find everything you want.

For bused materials I include limited provider chests into the bus so the items become available at multiple points. But that is hardly a solution for stuff like repair packs.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:46 pm

Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=18093 Roboport/Logistic Network/Robot enhancements
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Evan_ » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:17 pm

I somehow found these problems you mention a fun challenge to overcome with vanilla tools. The server I'm playing on currently has RSO mining outposts far away, and a zoo near the main facility (read: a walled off bug-nest).

Outposts of course have separate roboports, and the same train that loads ore there supplies them with repairs (and ammo, as gun turrets are more fun). That needs a not-too-obvious trick: you can set slots in a wagon to be only filled with a certain item (done by middle-click). I have to add that it's not needed to fill these ports with spare parts - if repairs are unloaded to a storage-chest in range, bots only pick them when there's damage to fix. Thus there's no need for logistic bots in these places.

The zoo presents a difficulty more alike what you described. The problem isn't just the travel time of bots, but if the farther wall needs repairs, bots from the central area fly -through- the nest, and bugs eat them. Well, most of them. It would work, but it would be very very expensive on the long run. So a belt is used with repairs around the specimen containment area. It gets parts from a requester chest (from the 'nearby' wall, so bots are safe), and unloads to storage chests next to the other three walls (that has three, not networked roboports).

Image
damn, they have eaten the dot from the 'i'. Strange - they usually only eat bullets

Hope I could give a useful idea or two before other solutions become available.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:35 pm

Thanks for the response your perimeter should be all but insurmountable.

I find having hundreds of bullets on belt irritating and impractical for the same reason I do not simply set the requester chests to 50 bullets (magazines) 50 for two to four turrets just to avoid running out while the drones fly will add up quickly to .. well lets do the math:

One of my turret placements is seven tiles wide. Spacing them to mid electric pole span means one placement every 14 tiles. (Not compensating for higher load areas)
To defend a small mining outpost and its train station I take one roboport area for reference (100*100)
So 4*100 perimeter length => ~29 turret placements => 1450 bullets in requester chests for a small base (problem would not occur at this size but the amount only gets higher)

Your reload belt would store 400 * 8 = 3200 bullets (1600 half belt)

At this level you will no longer need to resupply the outpost once the belt is fully loaded or every requester has its 50 rounds.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:59 pm

@ssilk:

From the list I found this Three in one of relevance (forwarder mode)

This was rejected as:
kovarex wrote:min/max is standard way of doing this in logistics, but I'm afraid that making the gui even more complicated is not worth it.
But my idea would be a chest with the same UI as a normal requester chest. The difference would be it does not receive items from other local provider chest but only from storage/provider chests and provides items only to requester chests and the player's inventory (or maybe a limited radius).

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:12 am

Nevertheless it increases game-complexity and does not add much game-value. ;)
(See top posts in suggestion board, that explain this better)

This suggestion has the same problem as the many others, that suggest new types of logistic chests: they solve a very special need. But in general I can say, that I never found me in a situation, where the current chests didn't work. And good games are those, where your possibilities are somehow shrinked. A good game is, when it offers you some of those puzzels.

And I admit, that it is currently not clear, as with the belts, that this is also a puzzle. :)
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Evan_ » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:46 am

EvanT wrote:I find having hundreds of bullets on belt irritating and impractical for the same reason I do not simply set the requester chests to 50 bullets (magazines) 50 for two to four turrets just to avoid running out while the drones fly will add up quickly to .. well lets do the math:

(...)

4*100 perimeter length => ~29 turret placements => 1450 bullets in requester chests for a small base (problem would not occur at this size but the amount only gets higher)

Your reload belt would store 400 * 8 = 3200 bullets (1600 half belt)
That assumes that you place chests between the ammo belt and the turrets. That's impractical. You can feed the defences right from the belt - none of them goes anywhere. If you supply the belt from the ammo fab or a single requester chest, and turrets are fed directly from it, each belt-tile will hold 2 bullets. So 4*100 perimeter length => 800 bullets. That's it. Also, 99.9% of the times the turrets will be full (well, as in having like 5 bullets, are inserters doesn't fill them to the max), so the belt will be saturated. You can just always pick a few hundred mags when you pass by at any point near the defence. K, you have bots at this point, but still.

One more thing that's off in your math that's worth a mention: If you -wanted- to have chests between the belt and the turrets for some reason... 50 is not the minimal amount it can be limited to. You just need a smart inserter, a smart or any logistic chest and a wire connecting the two. Now you can set the inserter to only operate when <item in chest>(bullets in this case) is < X. And any number can be x. This setting is copied into BPs, so you don't need to do it one-by-one on the whole perimeter.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:12 am

Why does each belt tile hold only 2 bullets? When fully compressed it's 7!
See https://wiki.factorio.com/index.php?tit ... ts/Physics
Density for single lane is 3.571.
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:34 pm

I have no belt in my turret placement. Only a chest in the middle. With inserters to the turrets.

I calculated from my observation with ore.. picking up a fully loaded iron ore belt will get 8 ore so 4 on each lane.. I did not have reload belts since .. v 0.8 maybe?! Because I found them to be wasteful and to hard to maintain in comparison to just moving on to laser turrets. But lately I find the energy saving rather interesting so I moved back to them at least for low attack areas.

I run constantly into the described problem when building requester based assembling parks. And having to wait on restock items at my main base train station.

I guess that most problems which cause people asking for sub-nets, no-fly zones, [manual] chest priority, .. could be solved by this forwarding chest (local provider). If you add a forward-to-chest selection it could even solve the node problem.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:40 pm

What I want to try in my next game is a setup with belts (more or less) around my base: Gun-Turret, then a burner-inserter, then the belt. That belt looks so: one side loaded with magazines, the other with fuel (coal, wood).

Big advantage: This setup doesn't need any electric power.

Also so, that there is no high compression on the belt. Some smart mechanism, that keeps the dense on that belt low; only sometimes (after a big fight?) a bulk of item runs through.
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:04 pm

You could build a reload circle.

And then a timer belt circle with just one Item on it. The timer circles has a smart chest at one point inserted with fast taken with yellow inserter. A new magazine is added to the reload belt if timer box has an item. The Surplus from the reload belt is put back into storage.

With that the reload belt will have a magazine every timer-belt-legth tiles.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by EvanT » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:58 pm

I build a prove of concept line.
Image

Problems:
  1. If Coal comes not first in the pattern the inserters will run out before coal arrives. Same if you add more than 5 magazines per coal in the pattern.
  2. Coal must not be at the first pattern position. Doing so will clog the inserter when its turret gets destroyed/replaced. (inserter has coal and nowhere to put it.)
  3. Without an adder you have to build the pattern at the restock side checking for coal>0. I tried using two blue inserters at the timer but the restock smart inserters did not always register the item before it was taken out so you have to use a smart inserter for the pattern as well and add up every item type in the pattern.
  4. Initial setup needs manual corrections because burner inserters will run out regardless of pattern (Initialize with coal only until all inserters have been supplied).
  5. After a turret got destroyed and replaced the Inserter may have coal in its hand. If coal comes last in the pattern this is unlikely but still possible.
  6. The belt is never saturated, items will always move. So the performance saving mechanism for clogged belts has no power here.
Pros:
  1. Significantly reduces unnecessary belt storage/requester chest buffer.
  2. Works without electrical power at the turrets.
  3. Turret density can be adjusted better to local attack level.
  4. Higher turret density than with requester chest in the middle of two/four turrets
  5. Lowtech (Will work without logistics)
Back to Topic:

I still think that a forwarder chest for the logistic system would be a good addition to make it less inert to sudden requests with long fly times and/or high item count peaks.
Last edited by EvanT on Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:10 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by mooklepticon » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:17 pm

Oh, man, I *so* want the solution to this. I have many times set up a provider-requester loop. I do this all the time with tier 1 speed cards. I need to provide them so I can build tier 3 assemblers. I need to request them so I can build tier 2 speed cards. This happens to me all the time. I need Item X for two different things. I need to provide tier 1 efficiency to stock my miners. I need to request tier 1 efficiency to make tier 2.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Moosfet » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:23 pm

ssilk wrote:Nevertheless it increases game-complexity and does not add much game-value. ;)
I'd say it would add more value than the active provider chest, and we already have the active provider chest. Indeed, we could remove the active provider chest and replace it with this new local provider chest, and I don't think anyone would miss the active provider chests as they are quite useless.

I found a use for this proposed local supply chest as soon as my logistics area became about 5 roboports wide, back when I was still a noob and didn't even completely understand how the logistics network worked. (...and so I spent a lot of time assuming there must be some way to do it, only to come up with no solution.) That was after only like 25 hours of game play. I'm now up to like 250 hours and still haven't found a real use for the active provider chest, but I'd still love to have a local provider chest.

The only use I can find for the active provider chest is to use it as a trash can, to compensate for the fact that the game only considers certain items to be trash and thus allows me to shift-click only those items into the logistics trash slots, whereas I can shift-click anything into an active provider chest, and so when I have a lot of junk to get rid of, I place an active provider, put the junk in it, wait for the bots to take it away, and while waiting I then remember that the deconstruction planner exists, so I deconstruct the chest so that it's removed automatically after they're done. (One of these days I'm going to remember that I can do that with any chest.) I was also once using them to manage empty oil drums, producing new ones into a passive provider while placing emptied ones into active providers, so that new ones aren't taken until there aren't enough old ones, but then I realized that smart inserters could be configured to not remove the new drums from the machine until there weren't enough old drums in the logistics network, and that works better as it doesn't involve the unnecessary steps of transporting the empty drums to and from whatever random location the bots decide to store them in, but instead only causes the bots to carry them the distance they actually need to travel. (...and for that same reason, using the active provider as the output for any machine just wastes bot resources and energy.)

So I think it'd be quite fine to remove the active provider chest and replace it with this local storage chest. Simply make it work like a requester chest, where you set up what items you want in it, and the bots will refill it from other storage/provider chests, but also consider it to be a source of items when filling a real requester chest or delivering to the player. Thus you don't have to complicate the GUI at all, since it's exactly the same user interface as the requester chest.

Alternately, the requester interface could be added to the storage chests, to tell the bots to actively fill the chest to that level, and only reduce it from that level when filling requester chests or player inventory or repairing/replacing damaged items, just not when filling other storage chests. Call it a "cache chest." In my opinion, this would add something much needed to the storage chests: A reason to think about them occasionally. As they are now there's almost no reason for them to exist. They're not hard to produce, so you make a hundred of them, put them somewhere central to your factory (since you have no control over which chest bots will store stuff in, there's no reason to plan their locations beyond that) and then never think about them again. So its as if the bots simply store items "in the cloud" and so they might as well actually do just that rather than store things in an actual chest somewhere, as the difference would have virtually no effect on gameplay. The chest is useless to interact with as there's no guarantee what will/won't be in it, so you can't expect to remove anything from it, and you can't expect they'll be empty space to put anything into it. So it's completely lame as far as gameplay is concerned. Allowing the configuration of how much material is actively stored (cached) in the chest would give reason to interact with it and reason to choose specific locations for the chests, and that would greatly improve the game in my opinion, adding something useful and making it more fun. I don't see it as being a lot of work to code either, as it's mostly just a matter of making a hybrid of the storage and requester chests and so most of the necessary code has already been written, the only new code being that which prevents one cache chest from being selected as a source of items to fill another cache chest unless the source cache chest is over-filled and thus has items to spare. So the programming is quite trivial as far as suggested features usually go.
ssilk wrote:And I admit, that it is currently not clear, as with the belts, that this is also a puzzle. :)
I don't think it is. No one has posted a solution yet, and if it were just a puzzle, I'm sure someone would have solved it.

Refilling turrets with ammo isn't the only problem, or even the problem in my opinion. The problem is WRT the construction bots. Image a turret is destroyed and a new one has to come from very far away where the turrets are built, requiring five minutes to arrive, rather than being sourced from a local cache of spare turrets. Usually you account for long delivery distance by turning up the values on requester chests so that there's more extra items in the box, but as the construction bots source from the same boxes as the logistics bots, attempting to feed them local material just creates a loop. Essentially we need a way to request material for the construction bots to use and prevent the logistic bots from grabbing that material to satisfy the requests for material for the construction bots to use. So it could be solved also by adding a "construction requester chest" that only construction bots can grab items from, but I think the "cache chest" solution is simpler and more generally useful.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:27 pm

TL;DR. Luckily I found the autosumarizer-project (I searched for "tl;dr maker" :lol: ). This is what he did with your post:
Indeed, we could remove the active provider chest and replace it with this new local provider chest, and I dont think anyone would miss the active provider chests as they are quite useless.

The only use I can find for the active provider chest is to use it as a trash can, to compensate for the fact that the game only considers certain items to be trash and thus allows me to shift-click only those items into the logistics trash slots, whereas I can shift-click anything into an active provider chest, and so when I have a lot of junk to get rid of, I place an active provider, put the junk in it, wait for the bots to take it away, and while waiting I then remember that the deconstruction planner exists, so I deconstruct the chest so that its removed automatically after theyre done.

Simply make it work like a requester chest, where you set up what items you want in it, and the bots will refill it from other storage/provider chests, but also consider it to be a source of items when filling a real requester chest or delivering to the player.

Alternately, the requester interface could be added to the storage chests, to tell the bots to actively fill the chest to that level, and only reduce it from that level when filling requester chests or player inventory or repairing/replacing damaged items, just not when filling other storage chests.

I dont see it as being a lot of work to code either, as its mostly just a matter of making a hybrid of the storage and requester chests and so most of the necessary code has already been written, the only new code being that which prevents one cache chest from being selected as a source of items to fill another cache chest unless the source cache chest is over-filled and thus has items to spare.
...
Usually you account for long delivery distance by turning up the values on requester chests so that theres more extra items in the box, but as the construction bots source from the same boxes as the logistics bots, attempting to feed them local material just creates a loop.

Essentially we need a way to request material for the construction bots to use and prevent the logistic bots from grabbing that material to satisfy the requests for material for the construction bots to use.
And my answer to this last sentence:
Yes. But there are many other ways to achieve that.

PS: Don't take my pulling your text through the autosummarizer to serious. ;)
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Moosfet » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:55 am

ssilk wrote:Yes. But there are many other ways to achieve that.
Like?
ssilk wrote:PS: Don't take my pulling your text through the autosummarizer to serious. ;)
Well, I'll try to keep this short enough to read:

I spent about five hours writing that text, thinking the suggestion through from all the angles: Why it was necessary, how it would be implemented, what it would do to the game, etc. Then you don't read what I wrote, but you do take the time to tell me that I've overlooked something. What? Well, you can't possibly know, now can you?

So you don't actually want suggestions? That's fine. I get it. There's too many and you're only human. Just do everyone a favor and stop asking for suggestions, so that we don't waste our time thinking and writing about them. I could have spent that five hours doing anything else and it would have been a better use of my time.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:09 pm

Moosfet wrote:
ssilk wrote:Yes. But there are many other ways to achieve that.
Like?
See viewtopic.php?f=80&t=18093 Roboport/Logistic Network/Robot enhancements
everything below "Related Logistic Suggestions". This suggestion is also included. And I have looked back, I think I have posted here the wrong link (linked to Roboport/Logistic Network/Robot enhancements )

And to be more concrete, some examples:
- By having a new transport system that fill this gap.
- By splitting robot networks into several local parts and a mechanism to exchange between them (look especially viewtopic.php?f=67&t=8905
- By adding "other types" of logistic chests.
ssilk wrote:PS: Don't take my pulling your text through the autosummarizer to serious. ;)
Well, I'll try to keep this short enough to read:

I spent about five hours writing that text, thinking the suggestion through from all the angles: Why it was necessary, how it would be implemented, what it would do to the game, etc. Then you don't read what I wrote, but you do take the time to tell me that I've overlooked something. What? Well, you can't possibly know, now can you?
Well, to be honest I read your article and all I want as moderator was to tell you somehow, that this is just a bit too much. And I excuse me: that kind of humor comes out in the evening after 2 glasses of wine. I'm really sorry for that. :oops: Even after 2 glasses I should have meanwhile the experience to see that I made now again such a mistake.
So you don't actually want suggestions? That's fine. I get it. There's too many and you're only human. Just do everyone a favor and stop asking for suggestions, so that we don't waste our time thinking and writing about them. I could have spent that five hours doing anything else and it would have been a better use of my time.
Well, first of all: You don't write suggestions for me, you write it for the devs. And I know them and I'm 100% sure, they won't read that. 8-) And then you don't write it for me, you write it for the community, so that we can discuss it.

So, instead of writing five hours you could have made a picture in that 5 hours. Or take another hour to cut your text down (as I did). Just to make it clear: It is not, that your thoughts are wrong or so, they are well thought and the idea would probably work, but to discuss a subject everybody (as many as possible) needs to read and understand it.

As one result of that I can say it is in your interest to make complicated things short. ;)
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Moosfet » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:24 pm

Oh, I see. When you say...
ssilk wrote:Yes. But there are many other ways to achieve that.
...you don't mean that there are ways that exist in the game as it exists right now without mods that will solve this particular problem, you just mean that there are other ideas for stuff. So you weren't debating the need for this new feature, you were just stating the obvious.

Well, your meaning would have been less ambiguous if you had used more words. You might try that in the future.
ssilk wrote:Just to make it clear: It is not, that your thoughts are wrong or so, they are well thought and the idea would probably work, but to discuss a subject everybody (as many as possible) needs to read and understand it.
My entire post was in response to your criticism of this idea. Yes it was longer than your post, but that's because your post made unsupported statements while mine presented actual arguments. So if you don't want people to talk about a lot of stuff, then don't prompt them to do so by bringing up a lot of stuff.

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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by ssilk » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:28 am

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Right, overload is no excuse in doing bad work.
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Re: Logistic Provider Chest with minimum level

Post by Qon » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:15 pm

Moosfet wrote: I'd say it would add more value than the active provider chest, and we already have the active provider chest. Indeed, we could remove the active provider chest and replace it with this new local provider chest, and I don't think anyone would miss the active provider chests as they are quite useless.

Alternately, the requester interface could be added to the storage chests, to tell the bots to actively fill the chest to that level, and only reduce it from that level when filling requester chests or player inventory or repairing/replacing damaged items, just not when filling other storage chests.
I agree with what you said in general in this post, and I also want this feature.

But I have uses for active provider chests so the fact that you don't find them useful in your factory is not really a good argument.

And storage chests are the wrong item to give requester slots because they might fill up with other random stuff.
They will request items from eachother because all storage chests are at the same priority also but it can be solved though by just not having things that are requested available for requests to other storage chests.

What you want is requester slots for passive provider chests. That would be fantastic. They could also request from other passive providers if those aren't requesting that item.

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