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Tips for setting up storage bins?


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No matter how I tweak the storage bin settings, dupes are travelling all over the map in order to store things into random bins.   It seems like there would have to be a special combination of dupe storage priority, bin sub-priority, sweep-only setting, and so on, to make dupes simply fill up a nearby bin.  Now I'm aware of the issue that dupes choose a target bin based on their current location, and not the swept item location -- I'm not talking about this.

I'd like a way to mark a bin to store only one thing and have the dupes automatically fill it from stuff on the ground without having to click sweep on each of them. (Like a "Sweep Here" which could work like "Copy Settings")  This happens to me a lot with diamond, iron from comets, but in this case let's use an example for slime.  With slime it's easy to see the problem. 

Suppose I have mined slime on the ground.  I also have a submerged storage bin nearby and I want my dupes to automatically store slime there.  Let's also say that I have a storage bin with priority 5 in my base for slime in a mushroom farm.

If I set the bin to priority 6, then dupes will transport slime from my base to this bin, de-supplying my farm.  If I set the bin to priority 4 then dupes will carry the slime not to this bin, but to any valid bin with priority 5 or higher. (Also there's the obvious need for a higher priority to clean up slime.)  It seems like any 2 bins that store the same thing need to be the same priority.  By extension you kind of need to set all bins to the default priority.  Otherwise any accident with setting subpriority, or the construction of a new bin will generate a ton of errands.

I could try to use "sweep only" instead.  If I set the bin to priority 6 and sweep only, then the slime gets cleaned up quickly without dupes moving stuff between bins.  However now I need to sweep the slime.  I insist that I be able to use the sweep tool, not manually select each slimeball and click sweep in the popup.  Thus I need to sweep all the clay and rock as well, so I need bins for that and I need to waste my dupes' time sweeping it.

What's the solution/workaround to this whole thing?

- All bins at priority 5?  (Does anyone have a setup with different priorities that doesn't result in useless movement?)

- All bins sweep only?

- Restricting most dupes from doing storage tasks at all?

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I have a central storage area on priority 3 which stores most things except specific items. Everything else is stored on a 5 and is default in Priorites. Everything that has a specific location goes where it needs to go and the rest of the clutter is dealt with when there's no other task. The only time i use sweep only on my main storage is when i start expanding out into hotter areas, in order to avoid bringing in slimelung or heating up my living area.

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I set most stuff to sweep only. Exceptions are ofgassing things that are placed under water. I usually don`t use different priorities for bins storing the same thing but in a sceanrio where i want a supply of slime near the farm nd a storage under water i`d do it like i do my food storage earlygame:

1 bin close to the farm. Do some maths to know how often the slime is used and how much it`s needed then set the max amount stored based on that (it`s easier for food as dupes eat once per day). This bin has higher priority. The lower priority bin is in the water. All excess slime goes there so it won`t ofgass needlessly. This way you got a little slime near the farm for fertilization, that is refilled by dupes with higher storage priority and a larger storage further away where all the dug out slime will be stored.

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Storage tasks are pull requests by the bin, not push requests by the objects being picked up. Dupes don’t ask “where can I put this junk,” they ask “where do I find stuff that fits in this bin.” This applies for any priority, and for sweep tasks as well.

I had an issue with clearing out a lot of ice, and wanting to get it stored before it melted and flooded things I cared about or at the very least had to be mopped.

What I did was create local bins and set them to priority 6. This had two effects - it made collecting ice a more important task than other supply tasks, and it meant they were trying to fill those bins specifically. While dupes would try and move ice from other bins, they’d only do that if the priority 5 ice bin was closer than the ice lying on the ground.

The key issue was to set the ice bins priority back to 5 once the local ice was all collected.

It’s also important to set at least a couple of dupes with the “storage” (last task on the right) task as highest priority. While they’ll spend a lot of time picking up minerals, it means that when you do set a bin to priority 6, they’ll almost always fill it before doing anything else. Since my main chlorine-room slime bin is always at priority 6, it means slime doesn’t linger even if I don’t make a special effort.

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2 hours ago, Gus Smedstad said:

It’s also important to set at least a couple of dupes with the “storage” (last task on the right) task as highest priority. While they’ll spend a lot of time picking up minerals, it means that when you do set a bin to priority 6, they’ll almost always fill it before doing anything else.

I agree in general with your assessment, I would have used sweep instead of store. I would point out that if a dupe has storage as it's highest priority that is all that dupe will do so long as storage tasks are available. I would advise against that as it's an expensive investment for something you only really need intermittently..

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I set general storage for 2 and specific storage for 3.  For things like dirt for a farm or algae for oxygen, those will be stored first in their specific bins, then in general storage once the specific bin is full.  The priorities are lower than the standard 5 because I really only want them doing these things if I told them to, or if they'd otherwise be idle.

For things like slime and bleach stone, I set that to 6 because I do want them to pick it up immediately.  These things obviously don't otherwise go into general storage, so if specific storage is full, I need to make another.

Liquifiables are also set specific storage at 3 and not general storage, but I try to clean up the ice biome as I go in, to avoid having them take ice across the map to some other ice biome.  It's not perfect, but it's worked so far.

I don't change duplicant priorities unless I'm taking in a larger (than 8-10) number of duplicants and decide to specialize.  In general, I find that messing too much with task priorities leads to unintended behavior and unnecessary stress (for me).  I do use these options, but sparingly. 

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3 hours ago, JohnFrancis said:

I would advise against that as it's an expensive investment for something you only really need intermittently..

I don't find it to be expensive. For one thing, I'm currently running 20 dupes, so dedicating one or two the task isn't a major outlay. For another, I do want the random junk lying around to get picked up. Since I tend to make local bins for minerals and other mining debris, usually the time expense is quite low - just pick up the debris and move it a few feet to the bin.

I believe it saves time in the long run, because when a dupe wants rock for construction, it's all in one place rather than scattered, and there's likely to be a local bin holding it.

I do use the duplicant (as opposed to task) priorites fairly often, mainly so that a dupe with a particularly high skill strongly prefers tasks that use that skill.

It's also important when you've only got a few dupes, and a small number of specialists. If you've only got one dupe that can build conveyor belts, he needs to make building things his top priority, since no one else can do it. Similarly if you've only got one dupe that can mine abysallite, mining needs to be his top priority because some construction jobs can't start until he clears the path.

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2 hours ago, Gus Smedstad said:

It's also important when you've only got a few dupes, and a small number of specialists. If you've only got one dupe that can build conveyor belts, he needs to make building things his top priority, since no one else can do it. Similarly if you've only got one dupe that can mine abysallite, mining needs to be his top priority because some construction jobs can't start until he clears the path.

Personally, I would still avoid the duplicant priorities in these cases.  In your example, if I have only one duplicant who can mine abyssalite, it is important that they prioritize mining abyssalite so that I can move forward - but if I set that duplicant to prioritize mining tasks, it doesn't mean they'll prioritize the task only they can do - they'll do any mining job assigned.  It's far easier and faster to simply bump up the priority of that job, knowing that only one duplicant will be doing it, than it is to mess with general duplicant priorities.

At least, this is true for how I play. 

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The only tip I have is to never ever set alarm number of bends that are just general storage and can hold almost everything.

There's a reason. If you ever get low on any particular material and then set your dupes to build something with that same material that you're low on, you will find that the rest of it is scattered across many bins.

In extreme cases just to build one item you might see 20 different dupes common deliver a few milligrams at once.

The problem goes away just by specializing your storage bins.

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I have only 2 kinds of bins

1. Sweep-only bin, used for when I need to clean a room as quickly as possible. I’ll empty the bin once the room is empty, so at the foot of the bin, there is a ton of debris stacked up. Another use for this kinda bin is to move ice to ice biome before it melts using

2. Offgassing debris bin for slime, beach stone, Pdirt and oxylite. Priority set to 9 all time.

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On 2/26/2019 at 12:29 PM, Gus Smedstad said:

Storage tasks are pull requests by the bin, not push requests by the objects being picked up. Dupes don’t ask “where can I put this junk,” they ask “where do I find stuff that fits in this bin.” This applies for any priority, and for sweep tasks as well.

I had an issue with clearing out a lot of ice, and wanting to get it stored before it melted and flooded things I cared about or at the very least had to be mopped.

What I did was create local bins and set them to priority 6. This had two effects - it made collecting ice a more important task than other supply tasks, and it meant they were trying to fill those bins specifically. While dupes would try and move ice from other bins, they’d only do that if the priority 5 ice bin was closer than the ice lying on the ground.

The key issue was to set the ice bins priority back to 5 once the local ice was all collected.

It’s also important to set at least a couple of dupes with the “storage” (last task on the right) task as highest priority. While they’ll spend a lot of time picking up minerals, it means that when you do set a bin to priority 6, they’ll almost always fill it before doing anything else. Since my main chlorine-room slime bin is always at priority 6, it means slime doesn’t linger even if I don’t make a special effort.

I ran across that problem with ice. Where they'd carry it from one ice biome to the other because i had local bins setup, but they didn't use them. You can avoid the issue by having these bins behind a door, so that when there's no ice to sweep, nothing gets taken to it. Your method of using priorities makes them carry from other bins to the active one. An alternative method would be to set the bin to sweep only and empty the bins onto the floor when not needed.

When it comes to building a big project, i've started making bins nearby one for each specific resource that the build needs. Usually igneous rock and iron. That way everything can be delivered in a big batch then built on site rapidly.

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