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Chef Niko

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I'm sorry to whoever wrote this AI, but in all honesty it needs a lot of work. Even at a medium or low shuttle load, my buildings stop working sometimes because they don't have resources available. This is due to the fact that the shuttles didn't bring them resources in time. It's not often a critical problem for a factory to stop working for a few hours, but it should never happen with good infrastructure, and it (almost) never would, if the shuttles would only stock my depots as I have them set!

As far as I can tell, the shuttles completely ignore how the player sets up depots, and instead use their own AI to bring resources to where they are "needed". As I've explained above, this doesn't really work well, so it's not the best idea in practice. Even theoretically, this attitude of elitism, where the developer is forcing their own idea of what's best on the player (ignoring their depot settings), is really not appreciated. Hopefully, whoever wrote this code was just trying to be helpful, but help should always be offered, not forced. I'm also a big fan of AI, but it needs to be implemented in a good way.

It would also be helpful if I could set priority on my depots. For example, it's extremely important for the shuttles to keep my food depots stocked, and far less important for them to move waste rock from one dumping site to another, or moving extra resources from depots to storage. I think the shuttle AI already somewhat has this behind the scenes, but not they way I would set up.
 

Chef Niko

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I'd hazard a guess of less elitism and more: it works ship it.

Perhaps. To be fair, I don't know the mindset of the developer who made it this way. I do know from my own experience that things are often rushed and released too early because of management.

Thanks for pointing this out, and bringing some positivity to the thread.

--

I find my mod Tidy Depots helps a lot with the drones. Changing / improving the shuttle code is on my to do list, but it's a very long list at the moment. :)
 

Jon_Smith

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I think its a matter of priority actually. They do fill your depots to the levels you specify, but it seems they sometimes have other jobs they prioritize instead.

Maybe it could be easily tweaked in a mod so that it lowers the priority of other items in the queue and focuses on depots first, then just does its own tasks if they are all at capacity, I'd wager that would cause issues of constant reshuffling however to balance the amounts across multiple depots when they are all below the desired amounts
 

Chef Niko

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Hmm, that is possible, I suppose. I find the shuttle (and drone) "load" to be rather inaccurate... or more precisely, I'd rather see it use a predictive algorithm along with a reactive one.

In my experience the depots are not stocked correctly by shuttles. However there are a lot of factors involved which require further testing on my part.

I'm not sure I would try adjusting priority first. As you said, it may lead to other issues. I don't have a solid suggestion for an improvement until I do further testing, especially considering your report that the shuttles do fill the depots correctly in some situations.

If I had to take a guess off the top of my head, I suspect that, in my case, the resources are getting used too fast for the depots to fill. If that is indeed true, then I think a predictive algorithm would help solve this as well.

As a work-around, I could build more depots. Whlie this is a waste of space, shuttle overhead, and resources, it would generate additional demand, which I expect would lead to more resources being moved to the sector, faster.
 

Jon_Smith

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Well its simple to test. Just drive an RC rover out somewhere, slap down a food depot and set a resource amount of 50, you'll see the shuttles go fill it up. Perhaps do it on an empty map and you can see more clearly that they do indeed move resources. They also take resources which are simply needed for construction aswell, question is what is the priority on this.
 

Chef Niko

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Well its simple to test. Just drive an RC rover out somewhere, slap down a food depot and set a resource amount of 50, you'll see the shuttles go fill it up. Perhaps do it on an empty map and you can see more clearly that they do indeed move resources. They also take resources which are simply needed for construction aswell, question is what is the priority on this.
Well yes, I'm not saying they don't move resources at all. I'm saying they don't move enough resources, fast enough, to make "supply" depots worth using. IMO, if a depot is set to 5, and it never has 5 on it, then the shuttles are "broken".
 

Jon_Smith

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Well yes, I'm not saying they don't move resources at all. I'm saying they don't move enough resources, fast enough, to make "supply" depots worth using. IMO, if a depot is set to 5, and it never has 5 on it, then the shuttles are "broken".
I'd argue thats an overly simplistic response to them, there are a myriad of factors that affect your resource spread.

If you have 3 depots, each set to store 5 units but you only have 10 units across your entire colony then of course there won't be 5 in each of them. It would also be tiresome if an area needs 100 units to build a dome but because the depot limit is only set to 10 that the shuttles only move resources there when there are less than 10 present, it would make building extremely slow, even moreso if it was trying to balance out resources across multiple depots so they were all under the desired amount.

I feel like you'd have more issues if you just had them only pay attention to depot limits, but thats just my gut instinct. I don't have the issues you complain of usually, with resources running dry only during a dust storm if I didn't stockpile enough.

Would be interesting to try out a new AI version however.
 

Chef Niko

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Yeah, there are pros and cons both ways, as with anything.

At the end of the day, I believe the user/player input should override any AI. So if I set the depot to desired amount of 5, there should be 5 units on it at all times. If there is a resource shortage, then it is up to me to re-adjust my desired amounts and compensate for that.

However what I tried to do with my Tidy Depots mod, and what I'd like to do with the shuttle code, is to have a "smart" AI to handle extra resources. So if you need 100 units to build a dome, and you have 100 units extra (beyond desired amounts settings), then the shuttles should move all those 100 extras to the closest depot to the dome to be used for building. I would not like it to take off other depots below their desired amount though.

Again, it's up to me (the player) to adjust my desired amount input based on a shortage. The great thing about AI working this way is that someone who isn't too concerned about having a stockpile can just leave "desired amount" at 0, and have the AI take care of everything, but they still have the power to override it, should they feel it necessary to do so.

That's what I do with Tidy Depots most of the time, so everything balances out nicely. When I start building mechanized storage, I do set a small reserve on my depots because the rest will move to mechanized for long term storage.

I'm actually not sure if the shuttles need to be improved further with Tidy Depots. I suspect they could still use a bit of love, but I do need to test it. I haven't had much time to play/mod lately. :)
 

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To be honest, the way you describe it is the way I experience it in game. If there is a building that needs 100 concrete the shuttles will keep taking concrete over there and not fuss too much over maintaining the resource limits on other depots and I think they take from depots that are over the limits where possible.

As for if there is a resource shortage then you need to adjust your limits, how would that work though? If you have 10 and 10 and 10 set to all the depots but end up with 29 resources do the shuttles just ignore transporting until you reach 30 again? If you drop down to 10 resources its possible all 10 are then stuck in a single depot and won't get moved, surely its better the shuttles move 3 to another depot and 3 to the last?

There cannot be micro hell involved in this, and I think the shuttles are prioritizing tasks well already, I'd be curious to see a more specific problem of how or when its an issue, if you have a save where they are frequently difficult I'd like to see it.
 

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Hmm, interesting. I guess we disagree. If I say I want 10 units at a depot, then I want 10 units at a depot. I don't want them taken away to somewhere else. Given that it seems you do want them taken away, I think this would be a good option, i.e. not hard coded either way.

I really don't appreciate being told what I can and cannot do. There can be as much micro hell, or whatever I want in it, because it's my mod. :) I don't see this as being micro hell though, especially when you can set the desired amount on all depots at once. If I'm low on resources, I usually snap them all down to 0, otherwise I set them to 5, or sometimes higher for problematic depots... not that setting them higher seems to help, which is the point of this thread.

I don't have a save handy but I'll keep it in mind next time this comes up.
 

Jon_Smith

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Apologies if I seemed like I was saying what you can or cannot do in your mod, I was referring to the vanilla game and why its balanced the way it is, to avoid micro hell.

If you say you want 10 units at a depot sure, but what if there are only 10 units and there are already at a depot thats limit is set to 10? What do you expect the shuttles to do then?
In my experience they move 5 from one to the other to balance it out as best as they can. It does sometimes result in needless shuffling, but I find this a minor issue.

Curious what you want in that situation?
 

Chef Niko

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Thanks! :)

I'm not sure I fully understand your question, but I think I get the gist of it.

I don't want shuttles to take away resources below the amount I have set. If there are 10 units in total and I set one depot to 10, then I want all 10 at that depot. That's why I set it to 10 in the first place.

Yes, I realize that means that other sectors will not have resources to work with. During a shortage it is helpful to be able to allocate resources to where they are needed most. As far as I'm aware, I need to turn off shuttle access at the depots to do that in the vanilla game, which is much more micromanagement.

I'm also not sure why this would be an issue. In the vanilla game, the only reason I set a desired amount is to keep resources on hand because the shuttles won't deliver them fast enough. But again, that doesn't even work all the time. IIRC the food doesn't seem too bad, but I've struggled to keep factories going.

Especially with my Tidy Depots mod, I find there is very little reason to change the desired amount. As I mentioned before, I snap them all up to 5 when I put a mechanized storage down, just so there's a bit on hand which can be accessed faster than waiting for the mechanics. When resources get low I power off the mech. depot, and snap the depots down to 0 if it gets really bad. It's only a few clicks during a bad situation, which hopefully isn't often.

Do you set a desired amount higher than 0 frequently? Perhaps that is the source of our difference of opinion?
 

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I set resources higher than 0 all the time, but I want something very different to you.
I don't understand how you want to manage those 10 resources if 2 depots need a minimum of 10 and you don't want to shuttles to take from the depot if its under the desired amount. You'll end up with zero resources at one site and all at the other.

For context, an easy example I do is I set food depots to 50 everywhere, but I don't want a limited food supply hoarded in any one single location, otherwise colonists in more remote locations can and will starve. I also don't want to have to set all my depots to 5 or 10, then 5 sols later set them all to 15, then get an import and set them all to 40, then start running low and set them down to 20... It sounds like a bloody nightmare.

What I can do now is set a food depot by a smaller dome to 50, next to a larger dome to 100, etc etc. Then it doesn't matter if I am below the total amount across all my depots, the shuttles might put 20 in my depot set to 50 and 40 in the one set to 100 (so the ratio's balance) and my limited food supply is managed, if one of these depots gets a boon, the shuttles correctly balance the load again, if they are both above their limits I don't care about the surplus.

This allows me to set a ratio and where I want my goods and set them and leave them.

The only time I do things in for example 5's is for a remote concrete operation where I might have 3-4 concrete extractors and some wind turbines. I set machine parts to 5 and that way, the shuttles should always keep a few there.

This works for me very well and I rarely need to mess around with my depot limits or have issues with materials distributed around my colony.
 

Chef Niko

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I see, that is certainly different from what I do.

It's also exactly why I wrote Tidy Depots. I set my food depot to 5 or maybe 10 so there's always a bit there. All the extras are automatically balanced evenly across the depots. There's no need for me to set them up to 50 or 100 or whatever. I don't want 50+ food just sitting there.

If there's such a serious shortage I can't even keep 5 food per depot, then it's not if some will starve, but who... which I want to be able to choose.

I'm glad you find it works well for you, but personally, I'm unhappy with setting my Desired Amounts so high. This creates a shortage (more demand than supply) when there's not enough to keep them filled to desire, and also sounds like it results in a lot of extra resources sitting around.

If you're good with the way things work, sounds like Tidy Depots and the shuttle mod I plan on doing wouldn't be a good choice for you. That's okay. :)

If you're interested in changing up your play style a bit to be more efficient and exact, maybe you could check them out.

Either way thanks for explaining. Everyone has their own style, so not every mod is good for everyone.
 

Jon_Smith

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I think you misunderstand.

I am not wanting 50 food just sitting there, my value is often over what I need. I see it as a target, not a minimum and its totally fine if most of the time my depots are under limit. But what it allows me to do is easily set out that certain areas get twice as much food as others (this is overly simplistic but I hope you understand).

I don't fret if I'm above or below the limit because my resources get spread out adequately in this manner, even in a shortage the limited supply is spread out and goes where it needs to, remote concrete mining outposts only get a fraction of the limited machine parts compared to where all my wind turbines are.

I never need to fiddle with the levels, the colony balances out.

I don't agree that setting them too high creates shortages. That doesn't happen.

When I have 100 food and 4 depots, 3 of which are set to 50, and 1 to 100. Then I would get 40 in the 100 depot and 20 in each of the 50 depots. This is perfect.
Then I have 120 food, same depot layout, then I get 48 in the 100 depot, and 24 in each of the others. Again, this is perfect and I haven't had to micro manage anything and I don't have shortages anywhere.

If I get a bunch of extra food then it'll shift over 50 to each of the more remote depots, but not bother with more, as its not worth overstocking them. Again, this is perfect.

I find this to be very efficient and play very efficiently already (happy to challenge you on any of the challenges friend :p)

I'm not sure I have the attention span nor patience to micro my depots in the manner you describe, I feel like I'd be checking them every Sol. But perhaps you can try my method and see if the shuttles seem smarter at all?

If you haven't tried it already btw, you should definitely try the low sanity/comfort/health alert mod I made you. Early game you will absolute love it if you care about microing stuff around and being efficient.