Hello, first-time poster here.
After the last developer stream, I downloaded the Testlive client and started playing solo. I would like to share my feedback, maybe it might be useful.
I started playing on the Exiled Lands so that I could grab thralls easier. After some 12 hours of play, I can safely say that boy do I love these changes: shifting the fuel efficiency/reduced materials for crafting on benches has changed the game dramatically for the better. Before, I would avoid T1 and T2 thralls because they simply did not impact enough on the crafting stations. Now, since these aspects are managed by the bench and not the thralls, capturing a T1 for that simple 50% time reduction is suddenly more enticing.
Another great aspect of this is that it changes the importance of Purges. Before, I would play on solo with frequent purges because I wanted those thralls to cut down resource costs in crafting. Now, it makes sense to have less, more impactful Purges to happen. In this regard, I think it would make sense to have an option that allows server mods to set the minimum level for Purges, so that when it comes, sh*t gets real.
Overall, I think these changes to benches and crafting stations are absolutely fantastic: they make low-level thralls more enticing, Purges more exciting, and now everything is tidier and cleaner. Great job!