Since the fundamental idea behind Factorio is to combine simple unit operations to create complex behaviours, I propose to replace the current splitter with two simpler unit operations:slpwnd wrote:... philosophy of Factorio when you are supposed to work out your solution from simple components ...
- The lane splitter (a simple piece of metal that pushes one lane off the belt)
- The lane re-balancer. (takes the input lanes (alternating if possible), and distributes the items neatly over the output lanes)
Lets look at the current use-cases for the splitter:
- A belt with 1 lane filled needs to be split in two: 1 re-balancer to put stuff on both lanes, followed by a lane-splitter. This doesn't even need the complex "lift items over a lane to the other belt" functionality of the current splitter.
- A belt with 2 lanes, filled with the same stuff, needs to be split in two belts, each with only 1 lane: 1 lane-splitter.
- A belt with two lanes of different stuff, need to be split into two belts, each with only 1 type: 1 lane-splitter. This use-case requires the ugly underground-belt trick at the moment.
- A belt with stuff mostly on one lane (that fills up too much) needs to be spread better over both lanes: 1 re-balancer. For re-balancing purposes the current splitter only works well if one lane is completely empty. If both lanes have things, the split-and-merge trick doesn't work very well.
- Merge stuff from two belts onto one: A T-junction of belts, with a re-balancer if need be. I have never used a splitter for this.
- Merge two lanes into one, with both input lanes being used equally: a re-balancer followed by a side-feed on the next belt.
- A belt with two lanes of different things needs to be split in two belts with two lanes of different things: (the most complex one)1 lane-splitter, each side followed by a re-balancer and another lane-splitter. Then 1 underground belt to swap the places of the middle two belts, and finally you merge the inner two belts with the outer two.