## How to balance main bus throughput priority?

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mooklepticon
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### How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Last night, my friends and I got a MP map to a decent late stage and were trying to balance loads on the iron line. I realized that our later factories were more important (they were making higher tier stuff) but they were getting much lower priority when everything is running. (If early factories aren't running, then their draw is shunted to later factories.)

How do I solve this? It's not immediately obvious. I can lower the priority of earlier things by splitting them further and recombining, but this just seems inelegant.

I've made a simple diagram. On the left is before, on the right is after adding a pipe factory. The pipes are causing the gears and yellow belts to drop in priority. If you don't plan this well, just place things in order of research, then ammo is always going to be made (which isn't a bad idea) but are pipes more important than belts? Not IMO. (Priority is always subjective, remember.)
2016-03-08 10_04_33-Book1 - Excel.png (38.37 KiB) Viewed 5081 times
So the question: How can I give things the same priority level? Is there any way to balance this load so that gears, pipes and belts are equal in priority?

byronczimmer
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Perhaps don't ask in terms of "Priority" and instead focus on how much of each thing you need?

Splitting the stream 4 ways at the top and then routing from there will balance the Iron *input*, but you may instead be asking to balance the product *output*.

If so, then Pipes (1 iron plate / 0.5 sec == 1), Gears (2 iron plates / 0.5 sec == 1) and Belts (3 raw iron plates | 1 iron plate + 1 gear / 1.0 sec == 2) are going to be output at different rates if the input is balanced, or require different input through put if the outputs are to be balanced.

So - what are you actually trying to do?

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

byronczimmer wrote:Perhaps don't ask in terms of "Priority" and instead focus on how much of each thing you need?

Splitting the stream 4 ways at the top and then routing from there will balance the Iron *input*, but you may instead be asking to balance the product *output*.

If so, then Pipes (1 iron plate / 0.5 sec == 1), Gears (2 iron plates / 0.5 sec == 1) and Belts (3 raw iron plates | 1 iron plate + 1 gear / 1.0 sec == 2) are going to be output at different rates if the input is balanced, or require different input through put if the outputs are to be balanced.

So - what are you actually trying to do?
Good point on output. Different consumption rates, etc.

I'm trying to make sure that later built factories have similar priority to earlier ones. Later built factories usually have higher importance, because they have newer technology and more material consumption, but they actually get lower priority from the bus because they're built further down the line.

byronczimmer
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Can you define "Priority" as you are using it?

Can you define which items you want to eventually output, and in what relative quantities?

Can you identify which items you only want to be created as intermediate items (and thus do not want to output, but are needed for desired outputs)?

Rockstar04
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

One thing you can try is using splitters like this:
Screenshot_2016-03-08_08-50-46.png (417.33 KiB) Viewed 5055 times
This should send 25% to the pipe factorio instead of 50%, you can stack more splitters to change the overall ratio.
Last edited by Rockstar04 on Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

starholme
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

I've personally started building my bases like this:

Smelters-> large area for 'my stuff'-> surplus to science.

I find the only thing that generally starves me for resources is science. So I've taken to leaving a somewhat large area where my iron and copper first meet. All the production of items that I use pull from here. Things like gears/circuits/pipes/belts. All into slot limited chests.

Anything left over can go to science.

In your particular case, it's really down to priorities/quantities you need in stock. If your pipe assembler is only keeping 200 pipes in a chest, then who cares? It'll get use 1/4 your iron, but only till it's full.
Maybe the real question to be asking is "Why don't I have enough iron to keep this part of my factory satisfied?" Are you trying to fill an entire steel chest with gears, belts, pipes and ammo?

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

starholme wrote:I've personally started building my bases like this:

Smelters-> large area for 'my stuff'-> surplus to science.

I find the only thing that generally starves me for resources is science. So I've taken to leaving a somewhat large area where my iron and copper first meet. All the production of items that I use pull from here. Things like gears/circuits/pipes/belts. All into slot limited chests.

Anything left over can go to science.

In your particular case, it's really down to priorities/quantities you need in stock. If your pipe assembler is only keeping 200 pipes in a chest, then who cares? It'll get use 1/4 your iron, but only till it's full.
Maybe the real question to be asking is "Why don't I have enough iron to keep this part of my factory satisfied?" Are you trying to fill an entire steel chest with gears, belts, pipes and ammo?
I like the idea of putting research last. It's super expensive and but not urgent. Other things are usually more urgent but not expensive! EDIT: Combine this with the multiple splitter priority lowering, then I can place research first in line, normally 1/2, but over-ride it to super low priority, 1/32 or something.

The example is just for illustrative purposes. Don't read too much into it.
Last edited by mooklepticon on Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Rockstar04 wrote:One thing you can try it using splitters like this:

PICTURE WAS HERE

This should sent 25% to the pipe factorio instead of 50%, you can stack more splitters to change the overall ratio.
I like it! This splits the line into 1/4 and 3/4. I could split further into 1/8 and 7/8... This goes on and on.

Maybe what I need is a smart splitter where I can determine a ratio or percentage...

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

byronczimmer wrote:Can you define "Priority" as you are using it?

Can you define which items you want to eventually output, and in what relative quantities?

Can you identify which items you only want to be created as intermediate items (and thus do not want to output, but are needed for desired outputs)?
Priority on the main bus is how the splitters are going to divide the incoming resource (iron). This can also be thought of as urgency.

Another poster implied a good point that research is important but not urgent. It can be last on the bus. Ammo is urgent. Bullets are REALLY necessary to have in short order, but you don't need that many of them. Research is already super slow, so it can wait until after the bullets are made.

byronczimmer
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Code: Select all

`````` <
< <
< < =====
<
``````
Input from right (made the picture easier to draw). 3 Splitters gives you 4 lines of equal density.

That may or may not be what you actually want, but Factorio is all about experimenting.

I suspect you actually want to play around with some of the input ratios to help control your output speeds (depending on how fast those are consumed).

Prioritizing Bullet Creation is interesting to me.

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

byronczimmer wrote:

Code: Select all

`````` <
< <
< < =====
<
``````
Input from right (made the picture easier to draw). 3 Splitters gives you 4 lines of equal density.

That may or may not be what you actually want, but Factorio is all about experimenting.

I suspect you actually want to play around with some of the input ratios to help control your output speeds (depending on how fast those are consumed).

Prioritizing Bullet Creation is interesting to me.
Yes, something like that. I'm thinking of making my main bus more than 1 line of each resource. I usually see 1 line of whatever. Why not 2? or 4? all at the same priority. Maybe 3: 2 low priority, 1 high priority.
2016-03-08 12_22_57-Book2 - Excel.png (5.15 KiB) Viewed 4034 times
Why would bullet creation prioritizing be interesting? Seems rather important, lol. I was attacked about minutes into my latest SP map.

byronczimmer
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

The belts between the splitters are superfluous unless they are there for a reason. You can tighten it up by having the first splitter feed into the 2nd and 3rd directly. If you really need a then combined "1/2" line, you can hook the 4th splitter directly to the inputs of the 2nd and 3rd.

Prioritizing Bullet Production implies you're expanding rapidly and producing a lot of pollution, or expanding directly into a nest.

mooklepticon
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

byronczimmer wrote:The belts between the splitters are superfluous unless they are there for a reason. You can tighten it up by having the first splitter feed into the 2nd and 3rd directly. If you really need a then combined "1/2" line, you can hook the 4th splitter directly to the inputs of the 2nd and 3rd.

Prioritizing Bullet Production implies you're expanding rapidly and producing a lot of pollution, or expanding directly into a nest.
Yes, I left them for visual purposes. I tend to include those intermediate belts unless I need the space. I like the aesthetic.

I spawned VERY close to 3 alien bases. I was attacked almost immediately. It surprised one of my friends how quickly I was attacked. I don't have much context, as this is my first SP map.

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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

Moved to Gameplay Help

Ringkeeper
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### Re: How to balance main bus throughput priority?

my wife and i have at the moment a factory with 64 iron smelter. 4 iron plate lines run through the factory. We keep splitting away from the first till it runs dry then start going from 4 to 3 to 2 belts. Still not enough comming to the last productions. The new smelters we build at the moment go directly to the end of the factory.

For the incomming ore we use this http://factorioblueprints.com/view/qD5z38u647t5vSK8s , for the iron plates we use a similar setup, just the other way.

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