Was playing the other night and the Hearthlings of North Wood was living their lives happily enough, not having much to do. But as their great overlord I wasn’t going to just let them Idle. I had a pretty good idea that the next daily status was just going to miss a little food to meet the criteria for another little worker. Luckily there was 5 berry bushes ripe for the plucking, a little stretch away, but they need to work for there food. Click harvest, drag square and two Idling Hearhlings ran off and started plucking away. While they where plucking I could see I need some wood as well so drag a square around some trees in the other end of my little Paradise. The two free Hearthlings when done derided that i would be fun cutting down tree. Well that was what i told them to do, but the are going right past the food stockpile, but still left all the baskets on the ground. Sigh…
I know the IA for the person just looks at what is most important and does it. But I think you need to make some update that can make some bundling of tasks. In the first place the two Hearthlings journey to the bushes toke just as long as the harvest. So i might have been smarter for just one to go. So maybe some functionality that when the first Hearthling have found that plucking is his next task, he looks to see if it is a quick task compared to distance, if it is the see if there are similar task close to this one and are there then reserve these. This would also make the production of buildings work better, here the number of reserved tasks should of course be limited to what he could build with the block of material he has.
In the plucking scenario it would of course result in 5 baskets and only one set of hand in the end. This where a backpack/wheelbarrow/wagon comes in it would be nice if one person when ending up with the task to bring something to a stockpile she would think is there anything else that need to be moved approximated the same way. If so let me get them all with my bulk items hauler.
In general an optimization that if a Hearthling on the way to its next target passes close to a stockpile after it passes close to an object accepted by the stock pile then do this on the way, the do this.
I know this is not a simple as i am making it (and properly something, if solved perfectly could be sold to Amazon for a lot off money), but approximation and not complete optimization would actually just make the Hearthlings seam more human.
Another small optimization i would like to see is when a Hearthling need something to build with then she shouldn’t just grab what is closest to him but what is closest to where he should use it.