Belt speeds

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Belt speeds

Post by foamy » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:03 pm

This is something that's been niggling at me ever since 0.17 changed the belt speeds from the old (ugly) 13.33x item/s multiples into 15x multiples. The new change to whole unit flow is nice, but it's pointed up the fact that the unit speeds selected are ones that don't subdivide readily (excepting fast belts).

The reason for this that 15's only factors are 3 and 5, and 45's only factors are multiples of those (3, 5, 9, 15). Fast belts are in a much better place because, as a multiple of 6, they have a huge number of factors: 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, and 15 are all there.

This means that red belt, much more so than either yellow or blue belts, lends itself to simple assembler and recipe math. Since belts are the earliest and most basic form of transport the game provides I think that easy factorization is a very useful thing to have, particularly given the simple ratios in many of the other early-game recipes.

So I propose a tweak:

Yellow belts to go to 12 items/sec; red to 24 items/sec, and blue to *48* items/sec.

This I think accomplishes a few things:

First, it makes belts throughput way easier to balance out without needing to resort to a spreadsheet even early. Also means foundry crafting times can stop having that stupid .2 in them.
Second, it makes each tier of belt twice as fast as the previous, maintaining a consistent ratio and allowing for neater merges and splits. When the .17 changes were first made some people requested this but were told going to 60 items/sec caused graphics issues; I hope that is avoidable here since the blue belt speed increase is minor.
Third, how many tiles a belt moves in a second becomes instantly obvious: 1.5 for yellow, 3 for red, 6 for blue.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:08 pm

I would point out that 13.33 doesn't subdivide evenly either.

But yes, I could get behind those changes, if only because doubling speed per tier feels better. I use calculators for everything anyway after all.
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Re: Belt speeds

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:17 pm

It's even "worse" than that, since belts have two lanes, each going at a speed of 7.5 items/s !
leadraven wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:10 am
1 pixel / tick x 60 ticks / second x 1 item / 8 pixel = 7.5 item / second on 1 lane.
(From the thread suggesting to change belts to be 16 items/s :
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=68569 )

https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-276
Image

Image

After investigation, it seems that, in 0.17, the only possible lane speeds are multiples of 1/8 pixel per tick = 0.9375 items/s or 1.875 items/s for 2 lanes.
Any other speeds are going to be truncated down to these... (and 15 is the first integer on that list)
viewtopic.php?p=423472#p423472

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by foamy » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:33 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:17 pm
After investigation, it seems that, in 0.17, the only possible lane speeds are multiples of 1/8 pixel per tick = 0.9375 items/s or 1.875 items/s for 2 lanes.
Any other speeds are going to be truncated down to these... (and 15 is the first integer on that list)
viewtopic.php?p=423472#p423472
See, this I don't fully understand (and didn't when I saw it alluded to in the FF about the belt change to 15/30/45), because there's no particular reason why an item's logical position on a belt needs to correspond to an actual display pixel. Why not declare belts to be, I dunno, 96 * 60 slots across, and truncate back out of that to your graphic display pixel positions? It's math you need to do anyway since Factorio has a zoom function. The logical positions of items on a belt should be able to be made whatever arbitrary number is convenient.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Klonan » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:48 pm

foamy wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:33 pm
The logical positions of items on a belt should be able to be made whatever arbitrary number is convenient.
It can be any number we like, and we determined that 1/256 of a tile is enough for what belts need to do

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Vansaar95 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:29 pm

I have only one request: to make the speed of the blue belt equal to two red ...

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by coppercoil » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:23 am

Vansaar95 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:29 pm
I have only one request: to make the speed of the blue belt equal to two red ...
There's a mod for it: Double Speed Belts.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by foamy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:07 pm

Vansaar95 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:29 pm
I have only one request: to make the speed of the blue belt equal to two red ...
This'd do that.

It'd also be convenient for the purposes of train loading and unloading; one of the advantages of the old blue belts at 40 was that it was very easy to figure out how long it'd take X blue belts to drain a wagonload, since a wagon had 40 stacks: It was just the stack size, in seconds, divided by the number of belts.

That could be gotten back by moving the train wagons to have 48 stacks, matching a steel chest, which would then allow easy calculations for *all* tiers of belt since they'd just be power-of-two multiples of each other. It might require a tweak of either barrel stack size or fluid wagon capacity, I guess.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by nafira » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:04 pm

Klonan wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:48 pm
foamy wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:33 pm
The logical positions of items on a belt should be able to be made whatever arbitrary number is convenient.
It can be any number we like, and we determined that 1/256 of a tile is enough for what belts need to do
A Byte seems also pretty convenient for coding as I understand it ?
You just have to increment it to move the object.

It's not criticism, just a fact. I think it helps with performance rather than playing with floats ... or play with odd numbers.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Honktown » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:20 am

Belt speeds being double would be convenient, and would give more of an incentive to upgrade tiers. 13.333 was often cutting out just when you needed it, so increasing the speed makes upgrading belts less necessary (and relatively cheaper/easier - since you're further down the resource income chain when you need to upgrade). Making yellow belts a little worse earlier emphasizes "keeping your factory flowing is important! CONSUME!"

Doubling still let's splitter "math" be easy, too. yellow + yellow = red, yellow + red = 3/4 blue, red + red = full blue. The output items would be one pattern too, instead of staggering if the speeds weren't ideal.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by BlueTemplar » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:53 am

IMHO 7.5 items/s/lane is too fast, you can pretty much stick with yellow belts until the end game, and only need more than a single lane for a few items... (longer undergrounds are always very useful though). And so blue belts are even more optional, especially considering their costs !

Changing lane belt speeds to scale as 3.75/7.5/15 - so that new yellows are now half speed or old yellows (or also the speed of bob's "white"), new reds are like old yellows, and new blues are like old reds - would force players to use multiple lanes or even belts in the late game (which IMHO would be a good thing - logistics being one of the aspects where Factorio really gets interesting !)

Though doubling belt speeds at each level would makes us lose the very nice yellow + red = blue underoo weaving... :(

But we're getting into duplicate discussion territory...
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54465&p=320475

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by foamy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:35 pm

I have some thoughts on how to make 'let's throw more belts at the problem' be a viable alternative to 'screw it, I'm using robots', but they're beyond the scope of this thread :p

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Hannu » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:55 am

BlueTemplar wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:53 am
Changing lane belt speeds to scale as 3.75/7.5/15 - so that new yellows are now half speed or old yellows (or also the speed of bob's "white"), new reds are like old yellows, and new blues are like old reds - would force players to use multiple lanes or even belts in the late game (which IMHO would be a good thing - logistics being one of the aspects where Factorio really gets interesting !)
Even now large base needs several tens of blue belts of raw resources. Increasing the number needed would just worsen UPS problems and add more tedious belt laying. At least in my opinion it does not give more interesting challenges or aesthetic pleasure after 16 belts. Everything is just more copies of same structures. I agree that lower tier belt could be interesting, but I hope that there would be faster tiers too. They exist in many mods and seem to work well. And please not ultra boring ratios of 1:2:4:8.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Deadlock989 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:18 pm

Belts faster than 45 item/s suck. You need uber inserters to cope, it's just an arms race of rainbow-tinted entities cluttering up the crafting menu.

Belts faster than 60 item/s are just broken.

The proliferation of multiples of 1.6 in recipe crafting times is a very minor price to pay for having a nice round number ratio of machines to belts, IMHO.

Increasing belt throughput by stacking/crating etc. was always a more interesting solution to the issue of belt throughput, as opposed to the brute force method of accelerating them to bonkers speeds that induce seizures.

But the proper upgrade to belts is rails. Trains rock, full stop.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Pandrosos » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:41 pm

Considering the wide range of item crafting times and the multipliers on crafting speed in the machines, I'm not sure the factorisation of the belt speed in items/s matters much. Slowing down yellow and red in order to make 1 blue = 2 red without problems with high-speed belts might be an idea though. At the moment blue belts seem kind of not worth it, they require over 10 times the iron a yellow belt does to move only 3 times as much.

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Ranakastrasz » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:26 pm

Pandrosos wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:41 pm
Considering the wide range of item crafting times and the multipliers on crafting speed in the machines, I'm not sure the factorisation of the belt speed in items/s matters much. Slowing down yellow and red in order to make 1 blue = 2 red without problems with high-speed belts might be an idea though. At the moment blue belts seem kind of not worth it, they require over 10 times the iron a yellow belt does to move only 3 times as much.
The advantage of blue has always been density. As has upgrading assemblers and inserters. Lost resource efficiency for higher effect per space taken up.
That and the fact you can just casually upgrade an area once or twice before having to tear it all out and start over.
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Re: Belt speeds

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:00 am

Yeah, blues are so expensive ! In normal mode, they already cost ~20 times what yellows do (you only get 1 blue per craft), and this rises to ~40 in expensive mode ! (And undergrounds are worse - but then these are actually irreplaceable, thanks to their underground length...)

So, in my Deathworld Marathon game I've just decided to use yellows wherever I could :
Screenshot from 2019-10-12 01-46-15.png
Screenshot from 2019-10-12 01-46-15.png (4.73 MiB) Viewed 326 times
(I planned my end-game base around 24 yellow lanes of iron - the equivalent of 4 blue belts. It was nice to have to deal with high throughputs thanks to marathon, in normal mode I just got to the end game with a single blue belt of iron ore...)

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:09 am

Isn't the extra space taken up a problem, especially in deathworld? Or are the resource costs really that much more a problem?

And yes, I always end up using red and then blue underneathies early. Mainlu because distance, partly because I upgrade everything else later but using the extra distance immediately helps.
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Re: Belt speeds

Post by Honktown » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:16 am

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:09 am
Isn't the extra space taken up a problem, especially in deathworld? Or are the resource costs really that much more a problem?

And yes, I always end up using red and then blue underneathies early. Mainlu because distance, partly because I upgrade everything else later but using the extra distance immediately helps.
Not him, but deathworld isn't that hard. Honestly. I also tended to overproduce early (like multiple furnaces making steel when I didn't even have a use for it), and would spew pollution. Marathon on the other hand, ugh, I'm never gonna touch that.

What's frustrating is if you start doing splitters/belts (which do help a lot in making things organized) you have to upgrade everything up until you can lose density, and splitters and underground belts are stupidly expensive. A yellow splitter alone is 7.5 copper and 16 iron according to the wiki. A red underground belt costs 97.5 iron. Blue? 275.5 iron(!)

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Re: Belt speeds

Post by foamy » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:08 am

Deadlock989 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:18 pm
Belts faster than 45 item/s suck. You need uber inserters to cope, it's just an arms race of rainbow-tinted entities cluttering up the crafting menu.
I don't think the 3i/s difference between 45 and 48 would require anything beyond the usual fast/stack inserters already used for direct blue belt pulls. In particular any necessary additional speed could be trivially obtained by cutting the stupidly long time hand extension requires.

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