Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

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Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby factoriouzr » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:21 pm

Add a chest that literally combines the functionality of a requester and passive provider chest into one. It would behave exactly like both these chests do right now, just in a single chest. The only difference would be that a combo "requester/passive provider chest" would never supply any goods to other "requester/passive provider chest", but it would to everything else, the way these individual chests do now.

The reason to not supply to other "requester/passive provider" chests is to avoid an infinite loop where robots keep moving items between the same two "requester/passive provider chests". However this is the only change that has to be made to these new chest types, everything else is exactly the same as the current chests whose functionality this chest combines. As such the implementation should be very simple as all the functionality is in game already, just one addition if condition needs to be added as I mentioned.

What this would allow:
+simplified train unloading using robots allowing outposts to store a buffer of goods locally (see suggestion viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44237)
+allow items to be stored where needed. A great example that was requested by many people is to store some repair packs near the front lines for construction robots to pick up, thus avoiding long trips back to where the repair packs are made.
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby IronCartographer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:36 pm

https://www.google.com/search?q=factori ... ache+chest

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=23088

Full agreement, though. Just letting you know this has been requested a lot. :-)
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby factoriouzr » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:39 pm

IronCartographer wrote:https://www.google.com/search?q=factorio+logistic+cache+chest

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=23088

Full agreement, though. Just letting you know this has been requested a lot. :-)


Thanks, I know this type of thing was desired before, but I never saw anyone suggest my solution. I think my solution is extremely simple, elegant, fits perfectly with the current design of the game, and is very easy to implement.
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby PacifyerGrey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:02 am

Actually this type of a chest will conflict with common requester chests causing them to be an extra delivery point in production output.

While this one makes some sense, I would prefer the storage chest with locked slots which would prioritize storage of locked items over other storage chests.
Maybe a storage chests could have "filter" as an alternative to locking slots.
This one will not add any new entities to the game but will solve several wanted tasks. In your case this would be perfectly solved using filtered storage chests and active providers on the other side.
Below is a link to such suggestion
Storage chest filter
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby IronCartographer » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:46 pm

PacifyerGrey wrote:Actually this type of a chest will conflict with common requester chests causing them to be an extra delivery point in production output.


There shouldn't be any more of a conflict than using multiple requesters already causes, though if a different priority were desirable I'm not sure which it would be.
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby factoriouzr » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:12 pm

PacifyerGrey wrote:Actually this type of a chest will conflict with common requester chests causing them to be an extra delivery point in production output.

While this one makes some sense, I would prefer the storage chest with locked slots which would prioritize storage of locked items over other storage chests.
Maybe a storage chests could have "filter" as an alternative to locking slots.
This one will not add any new entities to the game but will solve several wanted tasks. In your case this would be perfectly solved using filtered storage chests and active providers on the other side.
Below is a link to such suggestion
Storage chest filter



There wouldn't be any conflict. This chest is a buffer of items until another requester or a consruction robot needs it. This is by design. Once the item is transferred to a requester, that item isn't coming back from that requester to here unless the player does this on purpose.

I don't see how your suggestion would solve the issue I mentioned. This isn't about filtering chests.
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby ssilk » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:31 pm

Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=43460 Logistic Network and Logistic Chest Extensions
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby Aeternus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:39 pm

factoriouzr wrote:Add a chest that literally combines the functionality of a requester and passive provider chest into one. It would behave exactly like both these chests do right now, just in a single chest. The only difference would be that a combo "requester/passive provider chest" would never supply any goods to other "requester/passive provider chest", but it would to everything else, the way these individual chests do now.

The reason to not supply to other "requester/passive provider" chests is to avoid an infinite loop where robots keep moving items between the same two "requester/passive provider chests". However this is the only change that has to be made to these new chest types, everything else is exactly the same as the current chests whose functionality this chest combines. As such the implementation should be very simple as all the functionality is in game already, just one addition if condition needs to be added as I mentioned.

What this would allow:
+simplified train unloading using robots allowing outposts to store a buffer of goods locally (see suggestion viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44237)
+allow items to be stored where needed. A great example that was requested by many people is to store some repair packs near the front lines for construction robots to pick up, thus avoiding long trips back to where the repair packs are made.

It isn't hard to do your examples without combined passive/requestor combi's. Buffering goods locally (a supply depot for each output) can be handled using a wagon flanked by 12 (6 each side) filter inserters feeding into passive provider boxes. Set the amount simply by connecting a circuit cable between chest and node, deactivating the inserter at the limit - or just set the maximum number of stacks low. You can use reserved slots on train wagons to reserve room for specific items, to be loaded at your main base.
I run such a "supply train" between all my outposts in my current game - it sends some replacement power poles, repair supplies, laser turrets (I don't use ammo based turrets), wall sections and constructor bots (hook a circuit signal to the local roboport and read bot stats - constructor bots below desired amount? Feed bots into the roboport to replenish their ranks. I typically buffer 50 per outpost, more if it's a large one). With that setup, I've got 7 more goods I can transfer, in the first wagon. Setting up these stations is trivial once you've done your first - just blueprint it.

I worry though that your suggestion won't work for buffering locally. You run into the same issue as you're aiming to solve - goods get dropped at the combi chest, then taken out because another dedicated requestor chest needs them too. The logics of when the goods would be taken out (passive provider role) or requested in (requestor role) are undetermined. Better suggestion I think, is to have a Provider chest that demands bots to deliver within a limited (both minimum and maximum) range, or ignore it's goods. That would allow you to set up local repair depots, that could still be fed from requestor chests.
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby factoriouzr » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:43 pm

Aeternus wrote:
factoriouzr wrote:Add a chest that literally combines the functionality of a requester and passive provider chest into one. It would behave exactly like both these chests do right now, just in a single chest. The only difference would be that a combo "requester/passive provider chest" would never supply any goods to other "requester/passive provider chest", but it would to everything else, the way these individual chests do now.

The reason to not supply to other "requester/passive provider" chests is to avoid an infinite loop where robots keep moving items between the same two "requester/passive provider chests". However this is the only change that has to be made to these new chest types, everything else is exactly the same as the current chests whose functionality this chest combines. As such the implementation should be very simple as all the functionality is in game already, just one addition if condition needs to be added as I mentioned.

What this would allow:
+simplified train unloading using robots allowing outposts to store a buffer of goods locally (see suggestion viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44237)
+allow items to be stored where needed. A great example that was requested by many people is to store some repair packs near the front lines for construction robots to pick up, thus avoiding long trips back to where the repair packs are made.

It isn't hard to do your examples without combined passive/requestor combi's. Buffering goods locally (a supply depot for each output) can be handled using a wagon flanked by 12 (6 each side) filter inserters feeding into passive provider boxes. Set the amount simply by connecting a circuit cable between chest and node, deactivating the inserter at the limit - or just set the maximum number of stacks low. You can use reserved slots on train wagons to reserve room for specific items, to be loaded at your main base.
I run such a "supply train" between all my outposts in my current game - it sends some replacement power poles, repair supplies, laser turrets (I don't use ammo based turrets), wall sections and constructor bots (hook a circuit signal to the local roboport and read bot stats - constructor bots below desired amount? Feed bots into the roboport to replenish their ranks. I typically buffer 50 per outpost, more if it's a large one). With that setup, I've got 7 more goods I can transfer, in the first wagon. Setting up these stations is trivial once you've done your first - just blueprint it.

I worry though that your suggestion won't work for buffering locally. You run into the same issue as you're aiming to solve - goods get dropped at the combi chest, then taken out because another dedicated requestor chest needs them too. The logics of when the goods would be taken out (passive provider role) or requested in (requestor role) are undetermined. Better suggestion I think, is to have a Provider chest that demands bots to deliver within a limited (both minimum and maximum) range, or ignore it's goods. That would allow you to set up local repair depots, that could still be fed from requestor chests.



This is what I do now to buffer goods. It just takes up a lot of space. 2 player access trains (playing multiplayer), 1 ore loading train, 1 or 2 supply trains (each about 5-7 cargo wagons long, with 2 or 3 engines on it for speed). Each train (except player access) surrounded by an extra 2 blocks of space on both sides (so 4 more blocks of space) for inserters and passive providers). This blueprint is easily bigger then your fully zoomed out screen (outpost surrounded by walls and turrets). The issue with the current setup is that it takes up too much space, and it's not flexible or expandible. You can't use double headed trains easily and if you want to transport more goods after you already picked your train length, you either need to add a new cargo wagon (which requires completely redoing ALL outposts and your main loading one too which is a pain) or you go with trains with a single cargo wagon and keep adding more trains, but then you still have to redo your outpost because you can't have 5 supply trains easily going to the same stop at your outpost.

I also use the circuit network to feed robots into my roboport. It's really good.


I think my suggestion works very well for buffering locally. You move goods closer to where you are likely to need them. It's available where you need them and it's quicker, and If you need them somewhere else, and that's the closest point of availability, then it should be taken from the combo chest. That's it's whole point. You can never guarantee where you will need how many things (eg. repair packs). You set up the combo chest and take your best guess. If all your repair packs are at one end of your factory in a buffer chest and you need them at the other end of your factory, I would want them to be moved there (as they are with my solution). you don't want your whole factory to stop working, or your other side of you factory's walls to stop being repaired because the repair packs are in a buffer chest on the other side. There are many ways to solve this and I would argue you want something different in this case.

If you want the behaviour you described, you should make two distinct robot networks. My suggestion captures exactly how I would like this to behave. I would want my factory to continue working and not limit the combo chest in the way you suggest. I would argue there is another problem in your factory if you want this. You aren't producing enough of your item (eg repair pack) as you demand, so you should increase the production, or you should tweak the combo chests buffer amounts.

I don't see how a min/max would solve any of these issues. If you set a minimum, who is given permission to remove below the minimum? Would the items just stay at the minimum forever and nobody would be able to remove from it?
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Re: Add a single combo requester and passive provider chest

Postby Aeternus » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:53 pm

factoriouzr wrote:This is what I do now to buffer goods. It just takes up a lot of space. 2 player access trains (playing multiplayer), 1 ore loading train, 1 or 2 supply trains (each about 5-7 cargo wagons long, with 2 or 3 engines on it for speed). Each train (except player access) surrounded by an extra 2 blocks of space on both sides (so 4 more blocks of space) for inserters and passive providers). This blueprint is easily bigger then your fully zoomed out screen (outpost surrounded by walls and turrets). The issue with the current setup is that it takes up too much space, and it's not flexible or expandible. You can't use double headed trains easily and if you want to transport more goods after you already picked your train length, you either need to add a new cargo wagon (which requires completely redoing ALL outposts and your main loading one too which is a pain) or you go with trains with a single cargo wagon and keep adding more trains, but then you still have to redo your outpost because you can't have 5 supply trains easily going to the same stop at your outpost.
I also use the circuit network to feed robots into my roboport. It's really good.

What kind of map are you on that you'd -ever- need more then one supply train zipping around between resource outposts? I load mine with bots, power poles, laser turrets (I prefer lasers over gun turrets, but you could use gun turrets and ammo as well) wall sections, repair supplies, fuel and if I'm feeling for it, gate sections and rail as well. Don't need much else for autoreplacing at bases. If I got a fueling plant further from the main base (local at an oil field) the supply train loads that there instead. If I got a brickyard going somewhere out in the field, I can buffer some wall sections locally there. A single dedicated supply train with relatively minor quantities of goods can easily deliver 12 good types in quantities sufficient to maintain outposts. Single engine, single wagon, requiring roughly a 6 by 14 grid with connected rail - you can squeeze that in somewhere usually - and such short trains are very fast. Have the train schedule go from supply dock along all your outposts, one by one... if you just built one and need it there rightaway, just tell it to go there directly and then send it back to it's supply dock.

For actually building such an outpost, I typically use a Builder train: Set it up like a supply train, but with more wagons. Set up a dummy station unconnected to your rail grid and call it "Outpost-ToBuild", and tell the builder train to go there from it's supply depot. It'll not find a path so it stays put. Then lay a rail to where you want your outpost to be built, plop down a station and name it "Outpost-ToBuild" and the train will head there. If you make it unidirectional and the rail a deadend one, it'll stay put once it gets there, so you can grab all the supplies... as many wagons as you need. I load mine even with a solar array, modules and accumulators to have the outposts be self-powered most of the time. Handy for laser defense, if biters wreck a power line they aren't defenseless.

I think my suggestion works very well for buffering locally. You move goods closer to where you are likely to need them. It's available where you need them and it's quicker, and If you need them somewhere else, and that's the closest point of availability, then it should be taken from the combo chest. That's it's whole point. You can never guarantee where you will need how many things (eg. repair packs). You set up the combo chest and take your best guess. If all your repair packs are at one end of your factory in a buffer chest and you need them at the other end of your factory, I would want them to be moved there (as they are with my solution). you don't want your whole factory to stop working, or your other side of you factory's walls to stop being repaired because the repair packs are in a buffer chest on the other side. There are many ways to solve this and I would argue you want something different in this case.

Had another thought about this. You basically want the content of some chests equalized... IE if there's 50 repair packs in one chest, and 0 in another, bots should as low priority move 25 over, but the goods should remain available for pickup to any area. That could work... and wouldn't be too difficult to code either I think. The trick would be preventing goods from bouncing back and forth due to stack size pickup and goods in transit. A chest like that would also work neatly at loading docks, autobalancing between the various chests for maximum loading throughput.

If you want the behaviour you described, you should make two distinct robot networks. My suggestion captures exactly how I would like this to behave. I would want my factory to continue working and not limit the combo chest in the way you suggest. I would argue there is another problem in your factory if you want this. You aren't producing enough of your item (eg repair pack) as you demand, so you should increase the production, or you should tweak the combo chests buffer amounts.
I don't see how a min/max would solve any of these issues. If you set a minimum, who is given permission to remove below the minimum? Would the items just stay at the minimum forever and nobody would be able to remove from it?

No, I meant, "goods are available if the destination for those goods is at least X tiles away and at most Y tiles away". That basically gives the supply chest a range - useful if you want the goods within available only to a small section of your factory, such as a local wall/turret section for repairs, or a local production facility that needs to be supplied with goods on a priority basis. Essentially, a flying range limiter for the bots. But a supply content balancer works neatly too.

I don't like having to manage split bot zones - I usually try to connect my entire main factory (outposts excluded) in one gigantic bot zone and flood it with a few hundred logistics and constructor bots. That way the full content of the network can be brought to bear if you need massive goods movement, or got major construction going on. Getting rid of a forest without burning it down for instance, requires hundreds of bots to do it fast. Another option I've recently tried is to just... send a supply train with a few passive provider boxes, just like the outpost supply train, to buffer small quantities at the far ends of my complex locally. With enough bots, there's usually some nested locally and they'll be the first to respond to trouble, so they'll grab from the closest chest. Downside to that is you have to lay rail to where you need the goods.
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