DF2014:Quantum stockpile

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This article is about the current version of DF.

A quantum stockpile (QSP) allows you to store an infinite number of items in a single tile. QSPs can make for super efficient storage, allowing more compact fortresses, shorter hauling routes, more efficient manufacturing flows, stocktaking at a glance with look k and possibly higher FPS. Quantum stockpiles are considered to be an exploit.


[edit] Simple quantum stockpiles

The simplest QSP is created by designating a garbage dump activity zone, dumping the items you want to store and then reclaiming them when you are ready to use them. If you place this garbage dump on top of an existing stockpile, the dumped items will automatically be considered part of the stockpile, allowing the use of stockpile links to distribute the items to workshops or other stockpiles.

A similar effect may be achieved for stones by building a wall two tiles in front of a catapult and digging a channel between the wall and catapult. By firing the catapult at the wall, the stone falls into the trench. The stone will pile up in the channel, putting it out of sight and out of mind. Not only does this train siege operators, but it clears the stone that your miners leave everywhere.

Another way to quantum stockpile is to not have appropriate stockpiles to move items back to after you move them to the trading depot. The depot can hold an infinite number of items, and those items will not be removed if there is nowhere else to place them. This is also useful for anything you want to trade anyway.

[edit] The Minecart Stop

This method allows the type of items to be stored in the quantum stockpile to be completely controlled and to be as broad or specific as required. Collection of items is automatic with no user input required (just like a normal stockpile), and the number of haulers collecting for the stockpile is controlled by the size and number of receiving stockpiles. Distribution is also automatic, with dwarves coming to collect items as needed (just like from a normal stockpile).

This can be utilised as part of a minecart transport system, or standalone with no tracks or moving minecarts whatsoever. The steps below are to create a standalone quantum stockpile, but the same general principles apply if used in a minecart transport system.

[edit] Setup

  rrrr     r receiving stockpile          
   S       S track stop, set to dump south
   d       d distribution stockpile       
  1. Build a track stop b - C - S. Ensure you set the dumping direction d.
  2. Designate a 1x1 distribution stockpile p on the square where the stop will dump and define preferences q to make the settings s store only what you want, with no barrels E, bins C or wheelbarrows w. Make it take from links only a but don't make any links.
  3. Designate a receiving stockpile p (can be anywhere, but optimally right next to the constructed track stop) of any size. The larger it is, the more dwarves will simultaneously collect items. Define the preferences q of this stockpile to be the same as the distribution stockpile, with the possible exception of the number of wheelbarrows. If the QSP is for heavy items (e.g. loose stones), you may want to use wheelbarrows in the receiving stockpile to speed up collection. Wheelbarrows will place a limit of up to three dwarves simultaneously collecting, unless you make multiple receiving stockpiles, each with its own set of wheelbarrows.
  4. Construct a new hauling route h - r, assign a vehicle v (you'll need to make a minecart), and define a new stop s on your constructed track stop. Enter to define the stop, Enter again to set the desired items to the same as your stockpiles, x to remove all existing conditions, s to make a stockpile link and choose the receiving stockpile/s p.

It is a little fiddly to initially set up, and if you miss any step it won't work at all, but once in operation it's an extremely efficient storage system, and scales easily with the size of your fortress, number of haulers and number of items to store.

[edit] Drawbacks

This method cannot store any items in bins or barrels at all, including bolts (which shouldn't be stored in a bin anyway Bug:2706), and all types of drinks (you will see your dwarves leave barrels and pots of alcohol all over the place)(However it might not be true, it is observed that you might be able to store items in bins or barrels this way, further research is needed). Food stored using this method tends to attract vermin, especially swarms of flies, since it can't be placed in barrels. This method works well for furniture, cast-off clothing, metal and stone. A quantum minecart stop can be combined with some sort of garbage disposal mechanism to easily handle refuse and invaders' corpses.

Note however that if your dwarves are under standing orders to ignore outdoor refuse (the default setting) they will also not load an outdoor refuse pile into the minecart.

[edit] The Undump

This technique was developed before minecarts were implemented. While still a valid method, it has been superseded by the Minecart Stop QSP which achieves the same result, is easier to set up and has fewer drawbacks.

[edit] Setup

         H Hatch cover                                      
  =====  ^ pressure plate, citizens trigger, linked to hatch
  ^sHs=  = Wall                                             
  =====  s Stockpile (same type)                            

The idea is that haulers try to place some item on the right stockpile, step on the pressure plate and make the hatch cover retract. This makes them cancel the hauling job because they can't reach the right stockpile. They then drop the item on the left stockpile, on top of as big of a pile as you want.

More information on this method can be found on the inventor's user page.

[edit] Drawbacks

This design as the following drawbacks:

  1. It's slow, because the one target stockpile generates only one job at a time. If you have more than one target stockpile they create lag because of pathing issues. You probably want to keep your normal stockpiles and use the undump to clean them up slowly. At which point you could consider just using the normal quantum stockpile dumping. Or you build more undumps.
  2. Job cancellation spam. You can turn that off.
  3. Oftentimes, dwarves drop the item on top of the pressure plate instead of on the stockpile. A feeder stockpile just outside the undump helps here.
  4. You obviously need some materials to build it.
  5. You need to create an open space tile where the hatch cover is (channelling only leaves a ramp), which means digging in the level below.
  6. You want to set the pressure plate to the lowest minimum weight (10000, which gets a zero cut off and displays as 1000). This can get tedious, so getting a macro is advised.
  7. If your stockpile management is exceptional already, the undump may not be of as much use to you.

However, there is a multitude of potential applications that get discussed in this thread.

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