[Long Read] Storage Facilities Need a Buff (or Storage Containers Need a Nerf)

I want to preface this by saying I’m really enjoying Industries of Titan (IoT) and that I recognize IoT is at the start of its early access and there are features that are yet to be implemented that may make this post irrelevant (factory gameplay, population simulation, etc.). That being said I still think it will be possible to do what I’ll be discussing after IoT hits 1.0.

It didn’t take long in the forums to find people talking about how Factory buildings feel overpowered. This generally came in the form of saying you should just cram them full of Fuel Fabricators to get the best fuel generation possible (Here) or do the same with conversion capsules (Here). But what I want to talk about is using Storage Containers (SC from here on out) in Factories vs their counterpart Storage Facilities.

(skip to the bottom for TL;DR)




How much can you store?

As pointed out by Devilen84, a level 3 Connected Factory can have an absurd amount of storage space. As you can see in the layout here I was able to fit in 55 medium SC for a total available storage space of 1980 per floor for a total of 5940 in the entire building. I don’t think this is entirely accurate or working as intended as there is no direct access to some of these SC and yet you are still able to store resources in them. I think something more reasonable would look like this. This still leaves me with 45 medium SC for a storage space of 1620 per floor or 4860 for the building.

What about Storage Facilities? An unconnected Storage Facility can store 100, 150, and 200 each level. A connected Storage Facility can store 220, 330, and 440 each level.

+Suggestion+
Storage Facilities do make management easier as you don’t need to enter your Factory to manage or place SC, which can be tedious. As suggested by this user I think there should be a way to adjust the filter on multiple SC or Storage Facilities at one time. This could also be used for selecting multiple mines or smokestacks and adjusting the slider on all of them at once, assigning the same number of people to jobs at multiple buildings, etc. This would be a great QoL improvement.

Notes:

  • Level 3 Factory (unconnected) layouts: here and here with storage capacities of 835 / 2514 and 738 / 2214.
  • Alternative level 3 Factory (connected) layouts: here and here with storage capacities of 1822 / 5466 and 1576 / 4728.



What about Cost?

A level 1 Storage Facility costs 10 minerals and 3 isotopes and offers a 100 storage capacity. Broken down this ends up being 0.1 minerals and 0.03 isotopes per storage slot. I get the per slot cost by dividing cost by storage capacity. A level 1 Factory costs 10 minerals and 1 isotope and offer no storage capacity on its own. If we fill that level 1 Factory so it can store 738 we will spend a total of 72 minerals on the SC. With the initial cost of the Factory included we’re spending 0.11 minerals and 0.001 isotope per storage slot.

Upgrade costs for an unconnected Factory are 2 isotopes from level 1 to 2 and 3 isotopes from 2 to 3. For a total of 6 isotopes and 226 minerals spent on the Factory and SC giving us a storage capacity of 2214. The mineral cost ends up being 0.102 and the isotope cost is 0.0027. Depending on the efficiency of your layout for SC the mineral cost per slot can be even lower (0.08~ range).

Upgrading an unconnected Storage Facility from level 1 to 2 costs 6 isotopes and from 2 to 3 is another 9 isotopes. For a total of 18 isotopes and 10 minerals with a capacity of 200. The mineral per slot cost is 0.05 and isotope slot is 0.09.

The total isotope cost for a level 3 connected Storage Facility is 54 (or 45 if you wait to connect them once both buildings are level 3). This is a huge hurdle to get across early game. Considering you find minerals at about a 3:1 ratio to isotopes (before you start mining from nodes) spending 0.03 more minerals per slot for SC over 0.087 more isotopes to achieve a roughly 4-10x greater storage capacity in the same space is an easy choice.

+Speculation+
Once the refinery and centrifuge is implemented as part of the Factory gameplay I think it is likely we’ll see that the refinery processes faster than the centrifuge reinforcing this trade off between minerals and isotopes. Or, you know, they process at the same speed and minerals are still more common until you come across an isotope node. Even with Factory gameplay, who says you still couldn’t dedicate a Factory building to purely SC?

Notes:

  • We don’t have to consider power costs sense neither building or SC requires power to operate.
  • SC mineral cost 6/4/2/2 for the large, medium, small, and waste.
  • SC storage capacity 72/36/10/15 for large, medium, small, and waste.
  • SC mineral cost per slot of 0.083/0.11/0.2/0.13 for large, medium, small, and waste.



What about defense?

As Satoru points out here and here specializing a building so heavily, or placing them to closely together, as I have been talking about in this post, could have disastrous implications for your economy if they were to be destroyed by rebels/ once further combat gameplay is implemented. However this can be mostly mitigated by the fact that an unconnected building can be burrowed and connected buildings that can’t burrow can currently be reasonable defended by placing 3+ turrets (depending on your difficulty and mode) within a 5 tile radius or your building. The same holds true with defending a Storage Facility (either connected or not).

Also worth mentioning is that Factories have more health (72/108/144 or connected 108/144/180) than Storage Facilities (48/72/96 or connected 72/96/120). This would lend to the argument that if you’re worried about resource storage being destroyed and crippling your playthrough you should spam SC in a Factory and surround it with defenses.

+Speculation+
The to-be implemented ship combat may change this quite a lot. I think it’s likely that they just be adding another layer to defenses and not necessarily changing it up greatly but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Will there be other stats that play a role in deciding damage to a building beyond health? Like pollution resistance of a Residential building. Will Storage Facilities have a higher stat of this than Factories?




Buffs and Nerfs

Unless something changes with gameplay (very possible) around building SC inside of Factories and Storage Facilities a rebalance of these two should be considered.

How could finding a balance between SC and Storage Facilities work? BYG could increase the amount of stuff Storage Facilities can store, lower its isotope cost, and/or increase the buildings health. On the SC side of things you could increase the mineral cost of the medium and large SC to 5 and 8 respectively, add an isotope cost to the medium and large SC of 1 and 2 respectively, and/or decrease the amount the large and medium SC and store. Any or all of these could be things that help find a balance between Storage Facilities and SC.

Note:

  • I don’t think Factories really need to be adjusted when it comes to finding a balance between SC and Storage Facilites.



Further Notes

As explained by Bahar trucks can/should be able to access both SC and Storage Facilities and transport stored resource to/from them via connected roads as long as they’re in range of a hub. Keeping trucks being able to enter and move resources from a Factory and specifically SC will/should be very important to Factory gameplay once it is implemented.




TL;DR

Why would you ever build a Storage Facility? A Factory can have massively more storage, at a great trade off between minerals and isotopes, with more health making them safer from destruction. Build Factories with Storage Containers!




PS

I had a blast writing this (I hope you can tell).
What do you think about this? Do agree/disagree? Did I miss something?
Let me know!

Honestly? Remove Storage Devices. Or limit them to one device per factory floor. This removes a degenerate gameplay path of filling factories with storage, makes the gameplay choices more meaningful of where you have storage.
This way it doesn’t affect the starting phase while giving more weight to the initial purchase of Storage Facilities.
Options:

  • Remove Storage Devices, give Factories 20 storage slots per floot, +5 per connected floor. This includes HQ.
  • Limit of 1 Storage Device per Factory Floor. This includes HQ.

I didn’t think removing storage containers to be a viable option. My assumption was, with conveyor belts being teased, that the factory gameplay would include production chain elements and having storage available in the factory would be really important for that. (not that you don’t suggest an alternative.) With giving factories storage slots we come back to, why have storage facilities if factories are going to have storage built in instead?

I do like your idea of limiting the number of storage containers. I think having 1 storage container a floor or 2 storage container a floor if the building is connected could work well. I think a combination of 2/4 might also work.

I think this wont be an issue long term. A lot of these ‘cram everything into factories and call it a day’ have been slowly made obsolete as new features

  • Fuel - Recent update making fuel a finite resource means you can’t cram fuel generators inton one building
  • Citizens -Its not fully fleshed out, but you see the building blocks of pollution, future Hospitals, and other mechanics that are going to make you want to use ‘less efficient’ Residence/Offices/Conversion Buildings rather than becoming “Titan’s Best Factory SlumLord Simulator 3051”

For storage facilities, my guess which is somewhat visible in the UI, is that there are other refined resources coming in the future. Meaning that while you could use factories for the current low tier isotopes/minerals, there will be future resources like “invisible Aluminium” or such that likely weill be needed for ships or higher tier buildings/things. Those wont be able to be stored in factories, or will have storage capabilities that are very inefficient.

For example you could make it such that in storage devices, isotopes take up 4 slots instead of 1. But in a Storage Building it takes only 1 slot. Meaning storage buildings become more efficient

Did you hear that? That was the screaming of the Unreal programmer upon hearing that idea. Oh and outside my window I think I see the AI and Pathfinding programmers with pitchforks and torches :sweat_smile:

That’s probably not the best idea as I can already see so many collision conditions that it’ll break the game in so many ways. But the point was more that I think that as more gameplay layers are added well naturally see these optimizations become obsolete.

It’s of course good to bring these kinds Of situations up though.