Belts, rollers and the power involved

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TheLogical Lowdown
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Belts, rollers and the power involved

Post by TheLogical Lowdown » Sat May 24, 2014 4:05 am

First, I LOVE THIS GAME. Its addicting.... you guys have made a great game, thank you for that. I apologize ahead of time for the long winded post, but it all flows together.

Ok, the real topic. I watch a lot of streams and YouTube vids and people are always commenting on how belts don't require power, kinda a game breaker for some. Well i believe i have the solution. In real world factories they use a lot of roller tables. They are rollers on bearings built in a line to push things down on top of in an assembly line. They require no power, but they do require something to push the line forward. Think hydraulic or pneumatic piston pushing the material forward, freeing up the end of the line for the assembly machine.

So it goes like this: early game, you use all roller tables, roller tables are loaded via inserters but must be pushed forward by something like a ram. This sends everything forward on the rollers, so that the assembly machine now runs and fills the rollers again and the cycle repeats, all the while its feeding an inserter at the other end. So now early game there are no belts, just powerless rollers and a ram that requires power.

Then belts can now require power. As they should.... I would like the belts to be like electric poles, as in if power is routed to one, all belts connected in the line are powered. This way you don't need 3000 power poles. Belts already have to be unlocked except for the slow ones. So just make all belts require unlocking and you start with rollers and rams unlocked.

Make sense? This whole system would force you early game to make everything work off of a backlogged roller system, until you got the tech for powered belts which can run empty unlike a roller setup, since the ram requires something to push in order for the line to move.


This could also open a slew of things to make, one of which i would really love to see in game.. bearings. Most machines require bearings. Most anything that turns, spins, pivots etc. require some type of bearing, be it polymer or steel, sealed or unsealed. It would be a staple item for belt and rollers, inserters, engines, cars, assembly machines... etc. I think most things in the game move in a way that would utilize bearings in the real world. But you can't go changing everything to take bearings... So maybe just belts and rollers take bearings, because belts are too simple to make IMO for how complicated they really are, and rollers are literally big pipes with bearings on the ends.

I would think crafting would go like this: bearing crafting takes iron plates, thats it, like cogs. Roller crafting takes iron plates and bearings. Belts move up the list to 3 part crafting, requiring bearings.

Then there is the issue with bearings require lube... Well.. we can make lube, but its later, not until oil processing.... My take on this is: bearings can be made without lube, but all belts and rollers "decay" over time.. so X amount of time = X amount of damage on the rollers or belts (im talking slow slow damage, nothing too crazy). This requires repair before they break via repair packs. BUT... later once you have lube, you could craft lube tubes or something that work like repair packs, except they decrease the amount of "wear and tear" on the belts. So now belts run longer with less wear, which means less maintaining. Maybe the lube makes them completely wear resistant until X amount of time passes and the lube decays, once the lube wears off, belts start to decay again.

This all comes from my personal experience. I worked at several factories in my day and now I work in a coal mine on a belt crew. We keep the belts going, and let me tell you, belts are 100% the most maintained thing in a factory. They always break, or bearings go out. The belts in the mine are like the rollers i mentioned above, but with a rubber belt on top. The rubber belt is spun around a shaft at one end and it rides across the top of the rollers. Rollers are actually very common in factories and such.
Last edited by TheLogical Lowdown on Sat May 24, 2014 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

sciencemile
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Re: Belts, rollers and the power involved

Post by sciencemile » Sat May 24, 2014 5:20 am

I know there's been a lot of things in the past about the fact that belts don't require any power to run and the response is usually "it would spoil the fun of the game" or something to that affect.

I think having a primary motivator as mentioned by Topic Creator, might be an ideal solution; it wouldn't require too much more "Blockage", aside from maybe a feeder line if you're going to be using the Burner version of the Drum Motor (which I believe is the term for a conveyer belt engine), you'd just need to make sure your electric ones got a power line next to them.

Though I like the conveyer belt system just fine at the moment because I don't have to think about it too much <_<, and it would require a bit of a rework of the Belt Tech Tree (does the Drum motor affect the speed of the belts, does it affect how many belt segments you can have before you need another Drum Motor to extend the line?)

So if it comes to priorities, I'd rather they keep adding new things rather than rework old ones at the moment (although unless I'm mistaken I heard that Logistics Robots originally didn't need Electricity or a Roboport so eh maybe they would nerf the belts eventually)

TheLogical Lowdown
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Re: Belts, rollers and the power involved

Post by TheLogical Lowdown » Sat May 24, 2014 6:10 am

sciencemile wrote:I know there's been a lot of things in the past about the fact that belts don't require any power to run and the response is usually "it would spoil the fun of the game" or something to that affect.

I think having a primary motivator as mentioned by Topic Creator, might be an ideal solution; it wouldn't require too much more "Blockage", aside from maybe a feeder line if you're going to be using the Burner version of the Drum Motor (which I believe is the term for a conveyer belt engine), you'd just need to make sure your electric ones got a power line next to them.

Though I like the conveyer belt system just fine at the moment because I don't have to think about it too much <_<, and it would require a bit of a rework of the Belt Tech Tree (does the Drum motor affect the speed of the belts, does it affect how many belt segments you can have before you need another Drum Motor to extend the line?)

So if it comes to priorities, I'd rather they keep adding new things rather than rework old ones at the moment (although unless I'm mistaken I heard that Logistics Robots originally didn't need Electricity or a Roboport so eh maybe they would nerf the belts eventually)
The best time to make changes of the most basic features is early on so you can build on them later. Its possible that the further we get into the development of the game that changes in the chain of things make big impacts further down the line. IMO the best time to change the core features is as early as possible.

and dont take me wrong, i love the game and if the belts stay unpowered then so be it. I just think the solution would be as easy as adding an unpowered system so that the current one can be powered without "spoiling the fun" because without another system like rollers, then making the belts powered would be a nightmare for players.

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