Recently, there was a post in Bug Reports that someone was baking gold/silver in the furnace with a coin mold, accidentally left it, and wound up loosing all their gold/silver as it converted back and forth between bar and coin. This cemented something that was already in my head.
Having different workstations work different ways is counter-intuitive. When the Firebowl Cauldron first came out, it worked like the furnace or campfire. Put in the raw ingredients, turn it on, and it made stuff automatically. No recipe needed. You found it necessary to convert it to a hybrid style between the furnace and the carpenter’s bench. Now I think it’s time to convert the other stations to this style.
Why? Because choosing to make something is better than not having a choice in the first place. If I’m making both Iron and brick, at the moment I have no choice which processes first: the iron does. Well maybe I need the brick more. Now, I’d have to sit around with that iron in my inventory waiting for the brick to finish. With the choice, I can throw both in, tell it to make brick then iron and be on my way. And I don’t have to worry about it doing something I don’t want it to do.
Sure, this means we can’t just throw 1000 stone and some hardener in the furnace and come back 20 minutes later and have hardened brick. We’ll have to come back halfway through and add the hardener. But you know what? That’s a slight inconvenience for having COMPLETE control over what I’m making.