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Improving Logistics, Part 2: Using Priority to Stockpile Materials

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I propose a change such that duplicants will not pull from a storage compactor to supply a building if the it has a lower priority than the storage compactor.  To illustrate the benefits of such a change, let's consider smelting copper.

Copper ore is something you'll want to keep on hand in case you need to produce more exosuits.  But you won't need tens of tonnes of the stuff for exosuits, so the prudent thing to do is to smelt excess ore into refined copper.  To do so in a way that leaves our copper ore stockpile intact means either micromanaging the refining process or using a smart storage compactor to automate the metal refinery.  The latter solution means dedicating a single metal refinery solely to the purpose of refining copper ore.

Now consider the setup in required under my proposed change.  We build a single storage compactor and set it to hold, say, 2t of copper ore at a priority of 5 and a metal refinery set to continuously refine copper at a priority of 4.  Our duplicants will first fill the storage compactor to capacity, then excess ore will be taken to the refinery.  There's no micromanagement or automation required.

The benefits of such a system is compounded when you consider other metals.  You'll want gold amalgam or iron ore for airflow and mesh tiles, fire poles, and pumps in places where steel is overkill.  But you'll also want gold for oxylite refining and iron for steel production.  You'll want wolframite for radiant gas pipes, but you'll also want tungsten for radiant liquid pipes and automation wires in your rocket silo. 

The current system means manually queuing every kilogram of metal you wish to refine (a somewhat tedious affair) or automating as many as five different metal refineries (an horribly inefficient use of space).  Under my proposed change, with just five storage compactors, a single metal refinery, and carefully calculated priority settings we can continuously refine metal without worrying about depleting our stores of metal ore.

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16 hours ago, K_Lark said:

A better solution is to fix the issue where you need to keep a unrefined metal around...
Like allow the use of refined metal but less of it 

I'm all for the backwards comparability of refined and raw metals, but this has more application than just that. 

  • You can use it to keep a store of clay on hand for ceramic while feeding the excess to hatches. 
  • You can ensure your caffeine addicted duplicants don't drink your kitchen staff out of pincha peppers. 
  • You can use it to stockpile igneous rock for insulation while grinding a surplus into filtration medium.
  • If we're ever able to continuously compost seeds then you can keep a reserve in storage while mulching the rest.
  • Etc.
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Hmm another option would be a "restricted storage" compactor that you can attach to a machine or room, and X will only use that assigned storage. (or maybe you can limit it to only, or use it first, etc...) 


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