The idea is to be able to choose what set of ingredients go into making an item, chosen from a predetermined list of those sets. Here is a picture:
Why would this be a good idea? well, a few things:
- Recycling: There has been some debate about how we should be able to craft comfy beds; just straight out of raw materials, or out of a mean bed. While it makes sense to craft it in one step, instead of two, it also makes sense to be able to upcycle old beds into comfy ones.
- What if I wanted to make a mod that adds a recipe to turn old furniture into scrap-wood, which can be used like normal wood. Now way I’m going to make a separate recipe for each piece of furniture that I want to recycle, that will just clutter the workshop menu. What I’d want is to make one recipe for scrap-wood, and let the player choose what ingedrient he wants to put in.
- Especially if the environment is going to get angry if we fell to many trees, it makes sense that I want to recycle things to keep entling-rage to a minimum.
- Fuel: Maybe mods or future stonehearth versions will add different types of fuel, maybe some loot item of some magma-monster that just happens to be useful for smelting metal ingots. Then It would be cluttering as well to add new recipe’s for every fuel type and for every metal ingot that the blacksmith can create.
Ok, but so what. These are all very specialized, what-if cases. But those cases are not the point, they are not the reasons why we should have this. The reason that we should have it is that when you don’t put it in, you won’t notice it all that much during development, apart from the “how should I craft a comfy bed”-debates that you will have once in a while, but when you do put it in, it will prove useful in all kinds of ways, for yourself (devs) and modders alike. Those examples are only to illustrate this point.