The storage system and transferring items
When I first learned about ECO, I remember reading "In ECO, you can only move realistic amounts". Well, this is true except when moving item stacks around. Say you collect 50 stone and put it in your cart. 50 stone weighs 1,500kg, which seems like a heavy cart to pull by hand, but let's put that aside. You then can pull your cart right up to a crafting station, open both inventories, and with a few clicks and drags, your resources are in the crafting table. You've moved 1,500kg in a matter of seconds!
This is so efficient that it practically requires buildings to be built a certain way: crafting stations must be next to windows or doors adjacent to roads, so carts can pull up next to them. I noticed in Alpha 5 that an object's storage window will disappear at a shorter distance from that object than in Alpha 4. Seems like this was an effort to address the issue, but it's only forced us to smush our crafting stations and roads closer together.
The alternative is to transfer every block of stone one by one (if we didn't have the 10-blocks-on-a-shovel bug). This is comparatively tedious, but if I had to pick between this and quick item transfer, I would go with this because it makes more sense in the context of the rest of the game.
Please note that the issue also applies to non-block items. I can click-and-drag stacks of 100 ingots (400kg) between inventories as well. If this was not possible, I would be clicking and dragging the ingots, 5 at a time, from one inventory to my backpack to another inventory. This sounds even more tedious than moving the stone, and makes me wish I could pick up, carry and drop these items in my hands in the same way that block items work.
@Metachronism mentioned his plans for a new "stockpile" system, so maybe this will bring big changes to how resources and items are moved. But it has to address this issue.
Once stockpiles are implemented, I think a happy medium (between the tedious "one-block-at-a-time" and the efficient inventory transfer) could work something like this:
- Carts can "dump" their inventories when on top of a stockpile, transferring everything with a single click.
- Crafting stations within a certain radius can use the inventory of the stockpile for crafting.
- When moving resources out of a stockpile, same rules apply as if you were collecting it from the world.
My understanding is that stockpiles would be for block items only, so this does nothing for moving around large stacks of non-block items. Maybe non-block items should continue working this way, or maybe they should be able to be added to stockpiles as well.
I don't know all the answers, I just feel there is a better way of doing things than relying on the all-too-effective inventory transfer.
That's something I also got frustrated while playing. I've made 'garage' next to my house's windows so I can unload everything into chests/worknbenches. Still, it's annoying to have to drag and drop every stack (usually of 10 units). I would like it to happen not only to happen automatically, but to also have a filter function lie "move these types of unit into X storage unit", which can be clickable.
That being said, if you want to keep it more realistic, you can add a timer for each loading/unloading you do, which will be based on the kg of you cargo you are moving. So, it still requires you to "spend" time, you just don't have to do the tedious drag & drop.