Splitting up roboport functions

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katyal
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Splitting up roboport functions

Post by katyal » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:41 pm

tldr: Roboports should be split up into four structures: recharging stations, garage (for storage), Construction antennae for construction coverage, and Logistics antennae for logistics coverage. This would open possibilities for interesting designs.

Roboport's functions
  • Recharge bots
  • Store unused bots
  • Create a construction network
  • Create a logistics network
It is my opinion that if these four functions were each assigned to a separate building factorio would be more fun. Factorio reminds me of legos, simple little parts that don't do much by themselves but when put together in clever ways lead to incredible designs. If we broke the roboport into its building blocks we could better manage our flying buddies. We could have different sizes of network antennae with different coverage for each type of network. We could have charging stations of different speeds.

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ssilk
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Re: Splitting up roboport functions

Post by ssilk » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:37 pm

Some mods, which already do that (cause technically it is already splitted):
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p52548 Robot charging station
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p50028 Pocket bots

And I think also the 5dim's mod.
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Gandalf
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Re: Splitting up roboport functions

Post by Gandalf » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:45 pm

I love this idea. +1 for putting it into the core game.

Addition: Keep the current Roboports around, don't just split it up completely. Basically you could add several buildings
that do any (justifiable) combination of charging/storing/logistics range/construction range at a reasonable prize/range.
Also maybe add a research ladder for extending logistics & construction ranges (both for roboport area and robot flight
duration).
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bobingabout
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Re: Splitting up roboport functions

Post by bobingabout » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:40 am

ssilk wrote:Some mods, which already do that (cause technically it is already splitted):
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p52548 Robot charging station
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ort#p50028 Pocket bots

And I think also the 5dim's mod.
Bob's Logistics does too, it has the charging port, "Robochest" storage, and logistic zone expander (which does both logistics and construction, but I was already thinking of splitting that into a seperate tower for each)

But I agree with you that it could be useful.

One of the potential problems with the construction one expander though is that currently, constructionn robots move from port to port ONLY if they are part of the same logistics zone, and only take things from chests that are inside the logistics zone, a construction zone expander will therefore need to be placed inside a logistics zone to be able to operate, or link to other construction zones. That, or the game mechanics will need to be changed to make it possible to operate construction robots in a construction zone outside a logistics zone.

my only problem when trying to do this myself in my mod is that although you can create roboport variations that have no storage, or a zone area so small you effectively have no zone, the one thing you can't do is turn off the charging facility. even if there are no ports, robots will queue to charge there, especially at the storage, because they like to charge before docking.
to get around this problem my mod includes a single charging port on each of the roboports that were not designed as a charging point, unfortunately that leads to another problem, robots that are close to these structures will head to them to recharge just like any other roboport, so the queue builds up pretty fast around them. the advantage with the charging points, and roboports that have more charging ports is that this queue passes through considerably faster than those with less ports, meaning robots are more likely to go to them for charging when things get busy.
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katyal
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Re: Splitting up roboport functions

Post by katyal » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Hmm I wasn't aware of those limitations....I guess if we were going to separate the network types we'd need some help from the devs. Maybe we could request an api change from the devs...but I think we'd need to think this through before asking and try to solve all the problems with one request. :( doesn't feel like a small change

@bobingabout
Would I be correct in assuming that all those structures from your mod use the roboport prototype? you just modify the values assigned to the roboport's various settings?

If so then the pathfinding probably just looks for any roboport picks the closest one....no way to even just add a way to set a priorities to influence the bots.

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Re: Splitting up roboport functions

Post by bobingabout » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:25 am

katyal wrote:@bobingabout
Would I be correct in assuming that all those structures from your mod use the roboport prototype? you just modify the values assigned to the roboport's various settings?

If so then the pathfinding probably just looks for any roboport picks the closest one....no way to even just add a way to set a priorities to influence the bots.
that's pretty much it, yes, because the roboport entity is the only one that can perform any roboport functions. It may be possible to control it better with scripts, but I think a few simple changes would probably get the job done

1. Add roboport tag "rechargequeuesize=", setting it to zero would remove the need for a charging port on the zone expanders for example, might need more of a behaviour tweek to be able to remove the charging port on the storage port, but setting it to zero should at least stop them queuing to charge there if they're not wanting to dock with it.
2. The ability to have interlinking construction zones, and for construction robots to travel from port to port within a linked zone, and take things from chests inside the construction zone (rather than the logistics zone)
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