Idea: The ability for entity ghosts to exist on top of landfill ghosts when on water, such that Construction Bots can first place landfill and then the entities on top of them.
Supplementary idea: Some way to have it such that the game automatically adds landfill when a BP is placed on water, allowing any BP to be placed on water and have the necessary landfill be ghosted and built. This could be default behaviour (like the removal of cliffs), or it could be a tickbox or other UI element in a BP, allowing this to be specified per-BP.
I was really excited when I saw that bots could now place landfill. And it is a helpful feature that I'm glad we have, but unfortunately not quite as useful as I hoped it might be. However I believe it could become incredibly helpful, and a big time-saver, with one or two additions.
What I hoped I could do:
Plop down a blueprint over water and have any and all water be filled with landfill, in the same way bots will automatically remove trees, rocks and now cliffs. Meaning I could now place a blueprint just once and it have it built regardless of the terrain obstruction. The only thing I'd need to take care of manually would be biters.
What happens in practice:
I first need to re-blueprint my structure to include landfill over the entire surface. This may well involve having to landfill over a large lake, so I can ensure I can get an area where 100% of the blueprint will be on top of landfill.
Then I can place this new blueprint on water. However any water tiles will only get landfill ghosts placed on them. The ghosts for structures on top don't get placed and so won't be built. I guess this is because the game doesn't allow ghosts on water, and so because the landfill hasn't yet been placed it's not possible for the ghost to placed. This is the key thing that I hope can be changed.
So instead only the landfill gets constructed, and I have to wait for it to be entirely finished - which could take a long time - before I can go back and place the blueprint again over the top to get the other entities in place.
This loses the big benefit of automation. I hoped that with bots able to both place landfill and remove cliffs, I'd be able to just place a blueprint and leave to let them get on with it. But as I have to go back and manually intervene anyway it makes me think I may as well just place the landfill myself as I was doing before, which means it goes down a lot quicker.
My hopes for improvement:
This whole process would be enormously improved if the game were able to place entity ghosts on top of landfill ghosts such that once the landfill is built so too will be the entities on top. Just like with concrete. The difference here being that this means the game needs to allow entity ghosts on water, so long as there's also a landfill ghost there.
On top of that, the whole process of building on water could be made much quicker and more pleasant for the user if the game could automate the addition of landfill when over water. This could simply be default behaviour - once the user has landfill available, it is automatically added under water in the same way that cliffs, trees and rocks are automatically moved. Or it could be configurable, such as having a tickbox in a BP that would cause landfill to be automatically added on a per-BP basis.
That would cut out the whole business of having to re-blueprint everything on top of 100% landfill. This additional request is a less important concern as at least this process only has to be done once for each BP and then it'll work forever. And probably we can use external tools to automate this for us. But it would certainly be a much appreciated time saver if it could be implemented in vanilla, particularly as it means the same BP can be used on both land and water (without needing to shift-click force it) just by toggling the box on and off.
The per-BP configuration idea could be extended to something more generic and even cooler: A 'tile box' on every BP, into which the user can place any tile entity. If this tile box is filled then when the BP is placed it automatically has that tile as its 'floor'. Thus allowing the user to make any blueprint go down on landfill, concrete, stone, etc, without having to first create it like that and blueprint it.
Last edited by TheBloke
on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.