Looting resources equals faster harvesting?

So, I just started playing the new version, and I realized that my Trapper’s Knife was left out in a field when I demoted the unit back to a Worker (there’s not too many animals where I settled). I decided to try the Loot command and see if this would force them to gather it more quickly–and they did! But I also selected several logs from nearby trees, and one Worker collected not only the Knife, but also at least half a dozen logs. Once collected, he took them all and unloaded them into a stockpile.

So apparently, the Loot command can be used to force Hearthlings to gather numerous items at once, avoiding the tedious “one-item-carried-at-a-time” mechanic we’re currently limited to.

Has anyone else had this happen (or is this something that’s been around, and I just didn’t realize it)?


This is exactly how the looting tool works. However, apparently if a hearthling doesn’t fill up their internal inventory they won’t dump anything out to a stockpile. Or so I’ve heard.

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I dislike a lot how the current loot tool works. So yes, there’s a chance that you are looting things faster, and you can have multiple items - but from a game design point of view, that’s a really bad decision. I would expect this to change at some point in the near future, for example by disallowing looting items that are already yours or limiting looting to certain classes (footmen for example). Preferably both.


You say it’s a bad design, but what’s your reasoning behind that?

The current implementation, which is more or less just “Each citizen becomes a humanoid vacuum cleaner”, shortcuts many things that I think are pretty nice in the “normal” way of moving things.

There’s the whole visual aspect: You can see your hearthlings move stuff, which adds to the cute factor. Most prominent example would be building: Imagine how dull and weird it would look if they just went to a stockpile, loaded up a bunch of wood and stone, then just casually walked without resources to the construction site and started building a cathedral, while you can’t see anything more than a hammer sometimes.

Then there’s the gameplay aspect: They can only move one resource at a time, which simplifies a lot of things. Because of the iconic system, where all entities are supposed to be stocked at a size at most 1x1x1 blocks, carrying a bed or carrying a log has the same dimension. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to be able to carry more of these things, it wouldn’t make sense to allow, say, carrying 10 logs or one bed (i.e. different “carrying stack sizes”).

Of course, usability is part of it, too. You can see what they are carrying at every time, you see how the resources “flow” around (because they are carried around). If workers can carry multiple items, which can hardly be represented visually, you would have to click through some GUI or HUD to see what items those are. You couldn’t interact with those items either easily, because they, well, aren’t there. It also raises the question of how item removal works: What if the worker dies? Are the items just splattered on the ground? Are they lost?

I think the current system works fine, not to mention that point-to-point actions are much easier to do than solving the travelling salesman problem… for multiple salesmen.


Let me say that I mostly agree with this.

You’re right in that it ruins the visualization of carrying around resources. Currently this is how the Trapper collects resources from his traps and this is different than any other resource collection.

As far as gameplay goes, almost any game that isn’t an FPS has inventory item stacking and in differing amounts depending upon the item so I don’t really see this as a downside. Although I will agree only having to keep track of one thing is simpler than keeping track of multiple things.

I agree with your usability point however, I offer the counterpoint of ‘how often does it actually matter what they are carrying as long as they’re actually doing it’? Seeing the ‘flow’ of items I feel is really part of your visualization point rather than usability. And I wouldn’t want to go through a GUI to see what those items are either. You can’t currently interact with the items a Hearthling is holding other than to click on it anyway so I think that part is moot. And if a worker dies why wouldn’t it be handled exactly the same way it is now? There’s just multiple things instead of one.

I think a better system would be to change the looting command to a more general directed ‘pick up this stuff over here’ command. I would say keep the Hearthling internal inventory but limit it to a single stack, with a cap of course. The visualization would show the Hearthling carrying one of whatever it has in it’s stack. Then they can still pick up multiple things (but only like things) and you would be able to see the visual representation of it.

It seems like this thread is becoming a Suggestions or Gameplay thread…

I’ll second this concept. In the case that an item is owned by a different faction or group, perhaps the name can appear under the item’s description in the bottom left and a warning can come up when you drag a box and include items claimed by someone else. There could then be an option to gather only unclaimed/your items in this box, to avoid antagonizing groups you might be close to.

Nah, it’s a great decision, as it allows all my stuff to actually be picked up at some point instead of laying there while my Hearthlings focus on more important things like - harvesting more plants without picking the items up. Or eating. Or sleeping. Or occasionally mining my trench as slow as possible.

Though looting’s current implementation is a bit wonky, it’s going to have to stay until hauling fixes some priority issues.

My biggest gripe with resources currently is that I still have no way to tell the numeric ‘value’ in each voxel of resources. You can disassemble a ladder that’s two units tall and one that’s ten, and they’ll still visually create ‘one’ block of wood. How does that work? I have no idea if these blocks have different values, and, if so, I won’t know about it until Workers start another structure and one needs another block sooner than the other. It’s like the gold chests, but we at least have a total count revealed to us. We can’t control the stacks’ values, however.

Also, the fact that recipes call for “one block of wood” is also confusing, when remembering “one block” can create numerous voxels of walls and floors for a structure. This again brings the value of resource blocks into question, and I as a player feel like there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes I’m not allowed to see or understand. If stacks can be brought to a value where only a single voxel of a wall can be built, but still be used as “one block” as required in a crafting recipe, can’t this be manipulated?

Sure, carrying things is cute. It is one of the foci of the game. But resources and harvesting also have to be progressively easier, more efficient, and trackable, or else gameplay will become slower and more tedious to the gamer. Personally, I still would like means of carrying more items, or at least a fixed value of resource ‘units’ to store in personal inventories.


Once you have 20+ hearthlings, you probably don’t care much what each individual hearthling is carrying. I think it would be nice if the default was carrying, but people could be upgraded with a backpack item to allow it to be used. I think any (current) class should be allowed to wear one. Other forms of mass transport eventually would be nice.

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Resources have large stacks (food has small stacks, such as 10 for corn baskets). Wood is “stacks” : 120 while coal is 40. Things like beds don’t have a stack property, so I’d assume that means 1. So you probably can’t manipulate it even if you could control which stack of wood is used for each activity. And if you could manipulate it, it probably wouldn’t be useful. You can generally get a good idea of your resource counts by checking your inventory.


Personally, I would prefer the earlier implementation, where things just lay around a lot, not being picked up due to higher priority tasks in the queue. Yes, it’s unfortunate to have that kind of clutter, but I mind it less than the current looting system, for all the reasons @RepeatPan outlined, with which I agree. I will agree that the priority overhaul will at some point be necessary.