In order to change that, belts need to be able to be competitive with robots in terms of conveniences and speed.
But that is not a easy feat considering how awesome they are.
Now if we look at the real world, pallets are one of the little things what keeps our entire society thriving so why the hell is that disregarded in Factory.
Sooooo lets look at the couple of things that belts are currently missing to be compelling like the bots:
- ease of use / convenience
- Performance in terms of UPS
Lets start by addressing them one by one:
This one is easy we just need a way to stack items on belts.
This is the hardest challenge to solve since bots are able to deliver specific item ratios and this is
This is easy too, reduce the number of moving objects.
Now we need to find a solution to address all three parts and I think pallets are great option for that.
However they need to be carefully designed in order to enhance the Gameplay and not break it.
This is what I have been come up with and my suggestion how this could be achieved.
Pallets: (solves throughput and indirect performance)
Item, that spans over a entire belt and allows to hold at least 4 stacks of random items. ( This makes mixed item/pallet belts a nightmare and looks cool :-)
Item stacks will be represented as cardboard boxes on the pallet, additional research allows up to three layers of boxes.
Can be directly inserted/extracted into/from cargo wagons.
Have the ability to be labeled.
Pallets are not consumables, besides the fact that they burn very well...
Pallet Cell: (solves convenience and indirect performance)
This is a 1x1 structure that is the interface between the items inside and the world.
It has a belt input and output to be able to receive or send pallets. It has different modes of operations depending on placement and settings.
While it holds a pallet, it acts like a chest allowing inserters to manipulate the items on the pallet.
It can be placed inline between belts or:
- Input placed against a fabricating machine allows to put its output directly on to a pallet, no inserter required.
- Output placed against a fabricating machine allows to feed it directly from the pallet, no inserter required.
- Input / Output placed against a cargo wagon allows insertion / extraction of pallets.
The buffer slot is connected to the logistic network.
The send off of the pallet depends on conditions similar to trains.
Allows to label pallets.
All of these abilities can be subjected to be research.
Pallet/Item switch:(required to make pallets work and generally a nice to have)
Small belt like structure that allows the routing of pallets/items into different directions, based on pallet label or circuit network.
These are my 3 entities I like to see in the game, granted this is a coding challenge for the devs and will require to remodel your factory in oder to accept pallets but i think evolving it is a big part of Factorios gameplay.