PS: cause I writing from iPad no pics yet, I promise some pics, as soon, as I'm home again!
I mentioned it earlier, that I currently try to go east. I came now to a point of about 2000 tiles. That's 10 radars, it takes about 2-3 minutes by train.
Immibis asked me:
This is an experiment. How far can I come? Currently I only survive out there, because the biters stop moving, when I shot them (I think this is a kind of bug). And because I can run through their villages with my fully upgraded combat bots like butter.Btw, why do you actually need this? You seem to want to be able to request anything over a distance of 2000 tiles, is that correct? That's a big project, and the game shouldn't have features to make everything easy.
The questions for me are:
1. what is the distance, when a logistic network begins to make no sense anymore?
2. is it possible to bring the needed items so far by train? What is needed for that?
3. how far can I come? And what happens?
4. does the distances feel "natural"?
5. and most important: is it fun to play with such distances?
1: well, this distance is not defined, because it can work over very long distances... Or not.
The logistic network over such distances is not reliable, because you need so many bots. The need for bots grows about linearly with the distance, but you need many, many bots to have a more or less continuos stream. The bots tend to built a "critical mass", especially at the beginning/end of a route.
What odds me a bit: it is still possible. I've built a line of roboports to test that. In my eyes I think it shouldn't be possible, not because it shouldn't be possible to transport things over that distances by robots, but because you cannot control it anymore. I had a more or less working factory with about 500 bots, and because nothing was to do, only 10-20 are needed. Then I built this long line of roboports and requested something. The result was: it needed all bots to fulfill the request. This was due the long distance, they need about 5 mins to fly there and another 5 to fly back. Ok, I could built much more bots, but the experience showed, that this leads to massive loss of bots because of charging.
Another issue, which speaks against such long distances by bots is with the construction bots. It needs too long, the ghost building disappears after 15 minutes. If I have too less bots, they need to return and get the rest, but then the building disappeared. I stopped the experiments there. What I haven't tried was a combination of logistic networks. Network A delivers to B, then C, then D. Or if a massive increase of bots couldn't be handled by massive increase of ports.
Well, taking the current experiences into account, I think the maximum size of logistic network should be about 300-1200 tiles in diameter. This depends from the current speed of the bots, without upgrade I think 300 is very ok, fully upgraded 1200, eventually 1500. And to be on the sure side I would divide all by 1.5.
2: yes. Possible with some effort. and that I don't know how much is In the wagon. I set very short loading times to avoid overloading with one item - for example piercing bullets. It happened that it loaded a wagon full of them, but needed only 10 or so. What's needed I'm trying to figure out in the above mentioned thread.
3: some death are waiting. well. I don't see an end. Perhaps I can try to come much more far. There should be some change. Something, which can be really dangerous. Some ancient biter city. Something else then forest, lake and biters. fantasy sets no limits.
But my current wish is to create massive mining and oil production. Massive = 200-300 mines. Because I want to know where are the limits of my factory and where are the limits of transportation over such long distances with so much items. and because the usage of combat bots is SO expensive...
4: in the original article, I mention it: it feels too tight. To many changes in landscape. Too many native villages, resources, the forests are too often, too many lakes. I wish to have vast areas of one type of landscape. Dessert for example, or thight forest. No resources, no villages, nothing. And then the landscape changes rapidly, many different types, biters everywhere, water, staggered forests, resources.
5. Is it fun? Well, difficult. I'm not the typical gamer, I have extreme duration in doing stupid stuff. So I would say, currently not any longer. It takes all too long! 3 minutes by train! The first 5-10 times this ride is a kind of fun, but it looses interest.
But when those gaps would be closed, I think - I'm nearly sure - it could be fun and would open factorio for many more ideas.
There are many:
A) when I take the idea of #4 into account, then the landscape looks like there are vast areas without anything (well, not really, even in deserts are many things, but not as much as needed or that it is worth the afford), and then there are areas where everything happens: resources, natives, etc. The starting area is such an area! We are surrounded by natives. But going 300-500 tiles, there is nothing. 1000-2000 tiles of nothing. And then "isles" of areas like the starting area... I think this should look very natural.
B) We need some kind of automatic exploration, long range radar or exploration bots. We will find hidden resources, old factory parts, secrets. We enhance the car to much more speed. faster trains. Helicopter. Planes...
C) The resources in the starting area are good enough to get power armor, but then we need to expand massively over this large area. Is that really fun? Well, I think so, because it is the question if you have enough resources left to handle this jump.
D) the most difficult problem is then the logistics. It's impossible to drive see-saw yet, and it gets really boring, if there weren't the fights with the natives. We need stuff and we need to send resources back. Massive automatism needed. I think at this point the ability for good mode, or to change into another entity (airplanes, track builder) is an option. Automatic building of tracks, mining sites, airports...
I think this type of game is then really new: vast landscapes, realistic distances...
But is that fun? I really don't know, but I can imagine it.
Repeat: I'll try to send pics as soon as possible.