+5 votes
in Suggestion by (800 points)
How do you connect a splitter to a building input? You can't snap it directly onto the input like a conveyor lift, and if you want to place it in mid-air then foundations won't help you either.

You usually end up doing some slow workaround, like creating temporary foundations or creating a stack of splitters from the ground below or creating a temporary stackable pole to which a belt can be attached followed by a splitter in the middle of the belt... either way, lots of unnecessary work. And you often have to do things multiple times because the splitter ends up slightly misaligned and the belt refuses to connect.

Suggestion: how about you extend ctrl-snapping so that you can drag a belt in a straight line directly out of a building input/output. Then you can drag the belt out into mid-air and snap a splitter (or lift) directly onto it.

Combine this with being able to build any machine (splitter, merger, constructor, storage containers - not just lifts!) directly onto the end of a belt and I'd be in heaven!

1 Answer

+1 vote
by (18k points)
You don't need this. In game it gives you a little blue line when you're moving the splitter around and it lights up blue when you are aligned with a building's input or output. This is already in-game and has been for a very long time. They don't need to add anything. Just use the existing in-game visual indicator for this.
by (800 points)
Yes this is exactly what I've been doing :)  It's a time-consuming and fiddly workaround.

The UI is really close to being amazing. I'm just suggesting some refinements that will tip it over from "almost great but also frequently annoying" to "conjure factories out of thin air, fast and fluid like a freaking wizard".
by (220 points)
What if the stacking heigh you can achieve does not lign up with the heigh you are targeting. And even then, the answer of "there already exist a way, you can do that then that and finaly that" is only giving workarounds. If you want the game to be good it should be more ergonomic and less of a puzzle. Adding different way of achieving the same thing is not a mistake, but most of the time a necessitie if you want your game to appeal to the most of people. Currently building thing where you want them can be a real puzzle, and as far as I understood this game is not meant to be that.
by (18k points)
But figuring out how to connect everything correctly is more than half of the fun of the game. If you make it super simple to connect it all then it would take that fun aspect of building away. Instead of trying to fix something that's not broken they should be focusing on far more important things like fixing the actually (very) broken multiplayer and dedicated servers.
by (220 points)
I agree with the fact that figuring the layout, the connections and all that jazz is half the fun of the game. But being forced to prebuild a lot of thing (and hence having to respect a "build order" so that you can fit all this scaffolding) just to have the layout you want is a nuisance.
Especially when you start to use the verticality, it becomes insane how must fiddling, redoing you have to make to be abble to place thing where you want them.

I guess to further the differenciation I'm trying to make between the two thing I would say that if someone gave you a layout, it should be a piece of cake to rebuild it somewhere else. Whereas rightnow, if you are given a moderatly complicated layout, you most propably won't be able to reproduce it. And this difficulty comes primerally from the fact that you can use a lot of not obious and convoluted tricks to thing where you want, but because of consistency issue, it leads to design that can only be reproduced through following the exact same operation order. That is not what a construction game should look like.

In a construction game the number one thing you want to avoid, is to allow such a thing. The set of every layout feasible (even though the use of trick) should be as close as possible to the set of normaly accesible layout. The main difficulty then is to find the right balance between to many constraint, and to much freedom (so to much possibility)
by (220 points)
Oh and I forgot about the multiplayer thing. They made a choice, they talked about it, they knew the conscequences and the "broken multiplayer" is just the price they are starting to paie for.

When you make a game that is all about building more and more thing, the solution they choose (which is standard client-server replication with some improvement for special cases) will always be a barrier just like processing power already is.

So instead of having to improve on one front to make player able to go further with the game (more and more automation and bigger factory) they have to work on both front (or at least on the one that is limitant). And I think that the internet throughput will be the first limitant for a while as it seems harder to improve on for several reasons, mainly the uncertainty of networking (varaible delai, lost packet...).

I see the choice they had to make as either get quickly a multiplayer that is not perfect, but that can be played while putting themselves in a bad place to bring it to the perfect multiplayer everbody is dreaming of, or preparing for a good working multiplayer but only being able to get it out when it is finished, so not before a long time. That is the choice between incremental improvement or well design complet system that only paie of when complet.

I can only understand their choice because of :
- the pressure from the people wanting a multiplayer mode;
- the fact that by being dependent on others technology (the game engine and and especially the physics engine) the well being of the other possible multiplayer design is not really in their hand, unless they remake so of the stuff by themselves);
- the fact that the first solution is the go to one, well documented, well known one. And that players may understand the issues it causses because they are kind of used to them;
- and finally maybe the fear to never be able to have the second solution in working order because of the added constraint it forces on the whole simulation code and having never experienced it before.

My only hope is that before going to deep into their implementation of the game, they at least try to fellow the constraint the second solution requires to work. So that if one day they (or somebody else) can or want to implement it, they only face the original obstacles and not ones they have created by themselves.
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