Logistic system - high tier belt management

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eriongtk
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Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:04 pm

Currently the belts are quite restrictive. I know their use is intended, but some of them does not make sense. so here are a few ideas that might help general item management and solve much of the headache some problems propose.


1. Split transport belt

Transport belt is split in half, the two halves are going to opposite directions. Main direction would be on right hand side, that would determine main direction, left side would always go the opposite.

Like this (excuse the quality please)
Image
Example of a right direction belt

2. "Organizer" transport belt

Graphically, it is split in half with a metal rod/plate and we could set up organizing transport side
So, if an item is placed on right hand side, it could push it to the other
(for an example a series of these belts could play "pong" with the item on belt, keep changing its side)


Alternatively, this could work really well with split belt!



3. Wide splitter


Single input, 2 output, but like this setup:
████►►►►
►►►█████
████►►►►
Alternatively:
2 input, 2 output, widely spaced
████►►►►
►►►█████
►►►█████
████►►►►

Exactly like normal splitters otherwise.


I know that we can achieve this setup by planning the setup accordingly, but sometimes we need to be a bit more compact, it would be amazing if we had these options at least.

4. Multi splitters
Variants:

1to3
████►►►►
►►►►►►►
████►►►►


2to4
████►►►►
►►►►►►►
►►►►►►►
████►►►►


Again, i know that the 2to4 is easily achievable by placing 3 splitters, but the 1to3 is a headache to do so, and its not even balanced.


5. Smart splitter


Variants: 2to2 (like the current one) and 2to4



Now, i think this one could solve pretty much most of the logictical problems we face.

They would be pretty much the normal splitter, except that each output slot could be set for a certain ratio, so for example

2to2
███████████
►►►█►►►►[87]
►►►█►►►►[13]
███████████

2to4
████►►►► [70]
►►►█►►► [10]
►►►█►►► [10]
████►►►► [10]

The numbers you see are not percentages, but rather an actual item count, so it could be like

████►►►► [12]
►►►█►►► [50]
►►►█►►► [5]
████►►►► [480]

I think it could really help us!

6. Depth ID for underground transportation (Pipe, belt)
could simulate 3D, in a sense that pipes would only connect to other pipes with same ID, se we could have stacked underground belts of the same type, and pipe layout/map could be more confusing after returning to our save!


==========================================================
Now obviously, this tech could be locked away behind a research

What do you think? :)

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by Mehve » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:40 pm

There's always been a strong reluctance on the developer's part to introduce "shortcut" items to vanilla - that is, items that do things that we can already achieve using in-game tools. Considering that land in this game is effectively unlimited, that tends to place a small value on things that merely save space, and don't actually bring anything new to the table. Those sorts of things tend to be best relegated to the domain of mods.

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:47 pm

Mehve wrote:.... and don't actually bring anything new to the table. Those sorts of things tend to be best relegated to the domain of mods.

I respectfuly disagree. #5 and #6 should have been implemented a long time ago. I know the phrase "mods will do that for you", but i am talking about the vanilla experience. Makes no sense especially considering we have the circuit system. Well, thats my opinion, and many others that i have asked

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by Mehve » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:21 pm

Re: #5, you may not be able to dial in exact splitting ratios, but the mass production theme of this game means that extremely little actually needs that precision, and you can generally get a good approximate split by using combinations of nested splitters, or simple overflow circuit setups.

Re: #6, while I'm quite familiar with the joy/frustration of trying to keep pipes and UG belts from accidentally connecting with each other, 90% of that frustration comes when I'm trying to compact them as tightly as possible. The instant I relax and separate things a little, most of those problems go away. For better or worse, I suspect that might fall into the "Working as intended" category

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:49 pm

Mehve wrote:Re: #5, you may not be able to dial in exact splitting ratios, but the mass production theme of this game means that extremely little actually needs that precision, and you can generally get a good approximate split by using combinations of nested splitters, or simple overflow circuit setups.
Obviously its not about setting number so i would achieve EXACT ratios, but its about the idea that splitters should have option in forms of other than strict 50/50.
Just because we have an item that does "something like that" it would not take long to actually reward players with a higher tier item with more control.
Lets take the filter inserter for example. It's in the game, but if it wasn't we would argue about that we don't need one because we would just need to use an underground belt to pick the item we need.
It doesn't add to the challenge, it just makes (would make) things needlessly complicated.

Or if it didn't have Tank, we would argue about we dont need a tank, because this is not battlefield, and besides, we are just an engineer, not a soldier. That we have plenty of ways to deal with enemies.

I agree that it doesn't take much to nest 3 splitters together to create the 2to4 output, but again, it would be nice to simplify things. This game is all about optimization, to create something that just works even if you left for lunch
Ratio system would be nice because it would give us more control.
Mehve wrote:Re: #6, while I'm quite familiar with the joy/frustration of trying to keep pipes and UG belts from accidentally connecting with each other, 90% of that frustration comes when I'm trying to compact them as tightly as possible. The instant I relax and separate things a little, most of those problems go away. For better or worse, I suspect that might fall into the "Working as intended" category
Yes, and some of the solutiouns required by game mechanics would cause any engineer to cry their eyes out. Pipes can be really messy in a complex setup. Needlessly messy.
Kind of like the amount of space minecraft requires to build anything nice in vanilla.


Addendum: #1 and #2 would do the same. it would add more control. If i was an engineer on a desolate planet i would do anything within my power to make up anything that would help me...automate, and wouldn't think "i can just build 5 times more stuff and achieve the same, yea, why would i make easy for myself"

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by ssilk » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:05 pm

Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=518 Smart Splitter (-Suggestions will never End)
I recommend to read the whole thread, cause I think it explains the history and problematic of splitter-suggestions quite well.

In my opinion we can eventually await to become the splitter a bit smarter, so that he can be used as belt-switch or so. But not much more.

And I point to an article viewtopic.php?f=80&t=24061 New Types of Belts (NOT!)
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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:50 pm

ssilk wrote:Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=518 Smart Splitter (-Suggestions will never End)
I recommend to read the whole thread, cause I think it explains the history and problematic of splitter-suggestions quite well.

In my opinion we can eventually await to become the splitter a bit smarter, so that he can be used as belt-switch or so. But not much more.

And I point to an article viewtopic.php?f=80&t=24061 New Types of Belts (NOT!)
Yes, and unfortunately these are still in demand and have not been implemented, clearly there are demand for these items...

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by ssilk » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:50 pm

eriongtk wrote: Yes, and unfortunately these are still in demand and have not been implemented, clearly there are demand for these items...
Well "clearly" is your current opinion. ;) 8-)

Fact is: If everything what is demanded/suggested by the community would be built into the game, it clearly would not be so successful. And - second argument - if it would be so clear, why is the community in this forum obviously the opinion, that it is not so clear? Otherwise it is not explainable, why we didn't have a "storm of belt suggestions" - every day one or two... So I doubt the majority of the community would support it. But you can say of course that this is my personal opinion. 8-)

Maybe so: See in viewtopic.php?f=80&t=24061 below "There are some dozens of suggestions about new belts" how that normally works out. :)
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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:41 pm

ssilk wrote: Well "clearly" is your current opinion. ;) 8-)

Fact is: If everything what is demanded/suggested by the community would be built into the game, it clearly would not be so successful. And - second argument - if it would be so clear, why is the community in this forum obviously the opinion, that it is not so clear? Otherwise it is not explainable, why we didn't have a "storm of belt suggestions" - every day one or two... So I doubt the majority of the community would support it. But you can say of course that this is my personal opinion. 8-)

Maybe so: See in viewtopic.php?f=80&t=24061 below "There are some dozens of suggestions about new belts" how that normally works out. :)

"clearly" because these types of topics pop up since the beginning. Like the examples you have linked is from 2013. I can imagine these types of "great ideas" popping up like weed here. Obviously not all has to be taken as a godsend, but people have a rough idea on how it could be implemented. On average these ideas hit the better chords and could be added to the game. This is not just my opinion, as they would not be filling up the ideas section otherwise, even from 3 years back.

Oh,
They think the complexity of the belts are limited.
They are. very much so - we can still do many thing with them though, but regardless, they are still limited. Let's go as simple as trying to connect 2 separate lines within the same lane, you cannot because one will always override the other, we need to use a different color belt to do so.
... half a year later ...

User D (Newbie after 10 hours playing): I suggest some new belt that does this and that, cause (to make things easier in general).
User A (now with more than 50 game-hours): I have suggested the same half a year ago and it was a stupid idea, cause (see some reasons above).
I might stand corrected, but i dont see at the moment how these ideas (especially the filter/smart inserted would be considered by my a bad idea 100+ additional hours down the line
Image Image Image Image Image

That are just some of the most stupid examples. There are a lot, lot, lot more of such "tricks"!
Do these work? Absolutely.
Will i die if i have to follow suite to achieve same? No
Is it needlessly stupid? (#1,2,5) Yes.

It DOES work, it just doesn't make any sense.


I don't and i will never debate the fact that i felt -and possibly others as well- when i made something that worked out really well. I do not question the puzzle factor, or rather: the exploration of possibilities and experimenting factor of the game.
It is a good thing. Having some new things that would do it for us would not take away from the gameplay at all, it would not force existing players to abandon all creativity, people are more than welcome to build a 200 train network for a simple task still.

See my point with the smart inserter and the tank.

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by Mehve » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:58 pm

Honestly, I don't quite understand the Smart Inserter/Tank examples.

The smart inserter does something that can't be duplicated with any other tools - selectively grab only specific items. The Tank's cannon, armor, and ability to bulldoze through terrain can't be duplicated by any other vehicle in-game. It isn't merely a question of complexity or convenience, they stand as unique tools. The vast majority of your splitter examples don't meet that criteria at all - all they offer is a few squares of saved land, which is what makes them a weak addition to vanilla gameplay, but a perfectly valid target for modding.

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:13 am

Mehve wrote:Honestly, I don't quite understand the Smart Inserter/Tank examples.

The smart inserter does something that can't be duplicated with any other tools - selectively grab only specific items.
Not true, you can use an UG belt to only allow required item to go further on the line, then a normal inserter can be, could be used to pick said "specific" item off the belt.
Furthermore, if i researched a way for inserters, robotics to recognize and manipulate certain items, why can't i apply the same principle to a splitter?
Mehve wrote: The Tank's cannon, armor, and ability to bulldoze through terrain can't be duplicated by any other vehicle in-game. It isn't merely a question of complexity or convenience, they stand as unique tools.
One can argue this point by saying "we already have shotguns to clear forests, grenades and other weaponry to cause huge damage, robotics to clean out an area, capsules to quickly flatten bases
Player can also wear really powerful armor. With a proper setup you can be untouchable
Mehve wrote:The vast majority of your splitter examples don't meet that criteria at all - all they offer is a few squares of saved land, which is what makes them a weak addition to vanilla gameplay, but a perfectly valid target for modding.
Back to the smart inserter example. All it does it just saves you a few tiles, because you can work your magic with UG belts around that problem

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by Mehve » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:48 am

Not to get off topic, but I'm not aware of any trick with a UG belt that lets you selectively control what items go further on a line? You can block entire lanes, but if you had a mixed belt that was 99% full of copper ore, but had 1% stone because of some unavoidable stone edges in the ore patch, I don't know how a UG belt would help there? Or if you were unloading a train wagon with multiple items?

That aside, the robotics network technically obsoletes just about everything by that logic. Belts, splitters, UG's, inserters, trains, etc could technically ALL be replaced by the robotics network, so you probably have to draw the line somewhere. In that case, I might argue that the robotics network is the thing that shouldn't have been introduced :)

I suppose the tank is a grey area once you get enough personal weaponry. And in all fairness, I haven't bothered making a tank in a long time, for just the reasons you mentioned.

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Re: Logistic system - high tier belt management

Post by eriongtk » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:10 am

Mehve wrote:Not to get off topic, but I'm not aware of any trick with a UG belt that lets you selectively control what items go further on a line? You can block entire lanes, but if you had a mixed belt that was 99% full of copper ore, but had 1% stone because of some unavoidable stone edges in the ore patch, I don't know how a UG belt would help there? Or if you were unloading a train wagon with multiple items?
Just for you
(Please excuse the fact that its not a perfect loop.close enough )

Now imagine if the other end would have an inserter
as for the stone patch, the answer is easy: "don't build there", or "make sure that mine area does not include the resource you don't want to mix it in"

OF course it is easier to just use the filter inserter since its in the game, but if it wasn't, i would imagine explanations like that. But since it is that useful, why not just have a filter/smart inserter that would redirect resource we don't need to a separate line, rather than have an arm pick it off one by one, instead of a constant flow
Mehve wrote: That aside, the robotics network technically obsoletes just about everything by that logic. Belts, splitters, UG's, inserters, trains, etc could technically ALL be replaced by the robotics network, so you probably have to draw the line somewhere. In that case, I might argue that the robotics network is the thing that shouldn't have been introduced :)
Exactly, just because a particular technology is available, it does not mean that it forces players around that new tech, I love this game because the tools are there to succeed any which way you want. If you want, you can go full robotics, and ditch the belt entirely, or ignore that entire thing and just deal with problems the good ol' fashioned way. You have freedom :)
Mehve wrote:I suppose the tank is a grey area once you get enough personal weaponry. And in all fairness, I haven't bothered making a tank in a long time, for just the reasons you mentioned.
I had a feeling about that, too. To be honest, i have never made a tank, ever. It is kind of obsolete if you look at it, because as you said it, once you get into it, you can easily ignore that it even exists :)

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