TL;DRRobo-teleports that allow bots to travel and carry items vast distances quickly.
What ?We need a MK2 version of the Roboport... I'm proposing the Robo-teleport!
The Robo-teleport looks and works almost identical to the standard Roboport. It even has the same supply area and construction area. Well, what makes it different? Logistic and Construction bots, even while carrying items, can enter into one Robo-teleport and teleport out of a different Robo-teleport as long as it’s within the same roboport network. Players can choose to mix roboports and robo-teleports, bots will find the optimal route and use a robo-teleport if necessary.
Why ?Almost everything in Factorio is about making it bigger, in fact most of the time, bigger is better.
Need more productivity? Make more assemblers, then make modules, and add those beacons. Not enough iron? Mine more! Smelt more! Want a bigger badder roboport network? Just make more roboports… system error, does not compute. In fact, the bigger your roboport network, the more likely that it will be slow and inefficient, as bot travel time and charging time will increase.
Initially Buffer Chests seem like the solution, as its goal is to queue items and make them available for faster construction. I generally avoid using them as its weaknesses begin to outweigh the benefits quickly.
-- You have to preselect up to 16 items that you want. (If you want more types of items just use more buffer chests.) If you didn’t anticipate the item that you needed, you’re going to have to wait for it.
-- Mismanagement of buffer chests can lead to an overproduction requested items, as they are queued up in the buffer chests mostly unused. Which leads to micromanaging of buffer chests; how many of them, their location, and deciding when to decommission old buffer chests. Just finding an old chest can be a challenge.
-- Long distance buffer chests are inefficient, as logistics bots cannot pull items from other buffer chests. They must pull from the passive provider or storage chests from wherever you are producing the items. (sigh… If only they could somehow bucket brigade between them)
-- Buffer chests can still be a great stepping stone to before obtaining the Robo-teleport technology. Might even be great when used in conjunction with Robo-teleports.
-- And I’m fine with all of these “quirks”, because I’m sure... it’s all by design.
Maintaining Game BalanceHow much will it cost to build one?
How much will the research cost?
Does teleportation use more energy? How much?
Is it too much of a cheat?
Should teleportation be “instant” or should there be some fixed travel time or travel time based on distance?
I have no idea, but I’ll leave these decisions to the super awesome game developers to decide.
However I do have a tiny bit of input…
-- Maybe teleport technology isn’t so perfect and there is a very small chance that the bot and the item(s) its carrying is destroyed. Might dissuade the player from using it as bulk material transport (aka locomotives). They’d have to decide if speed or the cost of losing a percentage of items is acceptable.
-- Maybe several research tiers can improve transport technology reliability.
-- Maybe transport has a high enough energy cost which will dissuade the use of bulk material transport. Players might choose to build bigger power supplies to support their teleport needs. (see... there we go with making more! which is what factorio is all about.)
-- I do feel that the build cost for the current roboport feels a bit high. Maybe the same ingredients, just a little less of it.
-- It would be great if the new robo-teleport uses a regular roboport as an ingredient for it’s recipe.