Hello, everyone! I was playing the game recently, and I had a few concepts that I wanted to share in terms of future functions/options with zones’ capabilities and their relation to crafters. I don’t believe I saw a discussion directly on this topic, but if these do happen to overlap, I apologize for the redundancy!
1. Resetting/specifying crafters’ dropboxes
This is probably the most common request right now for most of us (This one was discussed earlier, in this topic: Being able to move crafter output pile).
With Alpha 4, being able to put stockpiles and workshops inside structures gives all the more reason for this function (not crafting and storing things out in a field the whole game!).
The player could select an existing stockpile as a new dropbox for a crafter–or multiple crafters (useful for same professions, like carpenter). That way, all their goods come straight to the same location after crafting. A bit more specific than just checking “furniture” on the zone screen, but it can help streamline which exact stockpile in your settlement your items are stored.
2. Locking a stockpile
This would prevent items from being taken from this stockpile, acting as a reserve or preventing settlers from using certain items (likely more useful later on, with more recipes). The items, seen within the “Place an Item” list (as well as the actually stockpile in the world) could be grayed-out, have a red border, a padlock icon, etc., preventing (or just warning) their accidental usage when designing, building, etc… A good possibility for caravan requests, keeping them separate from your general belongings in the game. But there’s also my request of…
3. A unique “Request” zone
This functions like the locking concept, but it operates primarily for requests you receive. This could be accomplished either by typing the object’s name or selecting it from a list and specifying the total number, but I think a more efficient way would be to somehow “assign” the request to the stockpile–that way, only that particular request’s items would be kept there so you can track them better. Maybe this could be a new color zone, such as yellow. Yay, more colors! We all like colors, right?
4. “Fill this stockpile”/“If stockpile X full/empty, then…” command
This final suggestion came from my usage of the weaver the last few days. It takes time and several steps to make bolts of cloth, distracting the player from other things. A way to automate this process more could be to have a “Fill” command for a specific stockpile–example: “Fill stockpile with: Spools of Thread until no more room”. Then, another stockpile could have a similar “Fill” command for Bolts of Cloth, but only be activated when the first one is full, then stops when empty; “If stockpile X full/empty, then…”.
A simpler concept would be to have one stockpile, where “If stockpile holds: 3 Spools of Thread”, then “Weaver crafts: 1 Bolt of Cloth”. This could then also involve only one particular weaver set to continuously produce these two items, leaving the others and their stockpiles to other recipes.
This one’s definitely a bit more involved than the others, but I feel having the ability to create these sorts of scenarios later on will definitely let the hardcore economy-oriented city-builder players create intricate manufacturing systems and really go for the highest settlement score they can.
That’s all I have for now. I hope a few of these concepts sound interesting or useful and that some of them eventually make their way to the game. As usual, feedback and suggestions are highly requested!