Designate Area is similar to constructing workshops in that you are setting aside a specific area for a set purpose. Unlike Build, issuing the command does not cause the building of any objects but alters gnome behavior instead. All objects within designated areas must be completed before designation occurs or they must be started afterwards, as designation causes all pending build orders to be instantly terminated.
Designate Area is part of the contextual menu which is accessed by right-clicking anywhere not covered by a workshop (right-clicking a workshop brings up its management window). Your first mouse click sets one corner and your second sets the opposite corner, marking out a rectangular area. This will cause a window related to that specific designated area to open so that you can make changes and manage your items.
Preexisting areas can be extended by creating a new area that partially overlaps the old. Highlighting the new section, making sure to include some small portion of the original before you release the mouse button, will effectively merge the two, creating one large area that is still under your original instructions.
Remember! You will not be able to place torches in most designated areas (the main exceptions being dormitories/personal quarters and dining areas), so plan ahead. Even if it's just a stockpile, you'll want to keep the lower levels well light to prevent hostile mobs from spawning.
List of Designated AreasEdit
This option creates a space to pile up raw materials and finished goods and provides a means for keeping all your Gnomes' stuff organized.
Like buying a house in real life, the important thing to consider here is location. Having refiners of raw materials far removed from their sources will waste their time and energy acquiring them from distant stockpiles. Try to put workshops that use each others' products closer together and near their source of raw materials so that your associated stockpile(s) can be near every location that needs to use them regularly. For example, the sawmill should be near your groves and the carpenter should be near the sawmill. This also allows you to easily find malfunctioning stockpiles whenever resource distribution is disrupted.
For food, you should consider that gnomes will fetch their meals themselves (opting for the closest sample of the highest quality food available) and head to a Dining Hall to eat. This is especially important as your gnomes will be doing it regularly.
The window that opens after designating an area controls how gnomes will use that particular stockpile. Select the items you wish stored here and set a priority value to govern its restocking. Higher priority (marked by lower priority values) stockpiles are attended to first and lower priority ones (marked by higher priority values) are handled later. It is also recommended to replace the generic name stockpile with something more specific such as Coal Bin or Meat Locker.
ContainersEditStockpiles can fill up quickly if their storage capacities are not increased. Be sure you have all the crates (32ct) , barrels (64ct) , and bags (32ct) you need to hold all of your items, drinks, and seeds, respectively. Most items except dirt, clay and furniture can be stored in one of the three container types. Full stockpiles can be quickly freed up by the addition of the right storage container since they hold far more than the single square they occupy. Construct appropriate containers in stockpiles through the Build>Storage command in the contextual menu. Available containers are identified by what they contain and the material they are made from (pine, apple, orange or birch for carpenter-crafted crates and barrels, and cotton or wool for tailor-made bags). Crates can contain any mix of the allowable items that you let into its stockyard. Barrels and bags are single-type containers and will only accept whatever is similar to what they already contain.
See Earth Stacking for information on managing dirt and clay.
The prompt that appears after designating a farm area allows you to choose a crop type (strawberries, grapes, wheat, or cotton) and set the farm's priority. Gnomes with Farming as a profession will prepare the ground, plant seeds, and harvest the resulting crop. Strawberry and cotton seeds can be acquired by foraging their wild counterparts while wheat and grape seeds must be purchased from merchants. It usually takes a day or two before crops begin to appear; see Plant Growth for more information.
Strawberry Farms will typically be your first farm since the seeds are readily available and the fruit can be eaten with no preparation needed. With the addition of a Distillery they can also be brewed into wine (drink).
Farming wheat generates wheat seeds, straw, and wheat grain. Straw is used to manufacture beds and feed yaks and alpacas. Wheat grain can be turned into loaves of bread with a Kitchen or brewed into beer with a Distillery.
Farming cotton produces cotton seeds for replanting your field and cotton fibers for your Loom. Weavers turn fibers into cloth for your Tailor, who then turns them into items such as mattresses , Bandages , string and storage bags.
Grapes are similar to strawberries in that they can be eaten directly or turned into wine at a Distillery. The primary difference is that grape seeds must initially be purchased from a merchant.
Underground farms are similar to normal farms except that they are created underground and as such require no sunlight. However, they must be irrigated first by covering them with water. This can be difficult to do due to rate at which water evaporates when flowing over new ground.Underground farms can only be used to grow mushrooms. Mushroom seeds must first be purchased from a merchant.
Designating a Pasture sets aside the selected area for a single type of animal (Yak, emu, or alpaca), allowing that type of animal to breed. After you designate a Pasture you will prompted to select which type of animal you want to pasture. If the animals and space are available your gnomes will lead them to the pasture area. Animals assigned to a Pasture will stay there instead of wandering around your settlement.
Each type of animal require a different number of pasture tiles to sustain themselves. For example, yaks are size 12 animals, so a 120 tile pasture can sustain 10 yaks. Newborns will be assigned to the Pasture if there is room but any excess animals will escape and roam free.
A Trough can be built within a Pasture to prevent your animals from traveling across your settlement in order to find food. It is built in a Stonemason's workshop and requires four units of stone blocks. It will hold up to 32 units of animal feed.
Pastured animals can be used as an unreliable defense force (they may occasionally kill weaker goblins) and provide meat, milk, wool, eggs, hides and bones. To harvest meat, bones, or hides you will need a butcher shop where you can manually choose animals for slaughter or set it to butcher excess animals automatically. You can craft leather armor with their hides and carve certain bone goods from their bones. At your kitchen, you can make sausages (and then sandwiches) from the meat.
Some tips for using pastures to control the growth of animal populations can be found here.
Designating an area as a grove enables automated management for trees of a single species in the designated area. Four management options are available, and can be turned on and off independently:
- Plant Saplings - If a grove square is empty, a gnome will use a clipping of the designated type and their Horticulture skill to plant a sapling which will mature into a tree over the course of time.
- Clip Trees - If a grove square contains a tree of the designated type with intact foliage, gnomes will use their Horticulture skill to defoliate it, generating a clipping.
- Harvest Fruit - If a grove contains a fruiting tree, gnomes will use their Farming skill to pick fruit. This option does nothing for pine and birch groves.
- Fell Trees - If a grove square contains a tree of the designated type, gnomes will equip a felling axe and use their Woodcutting skill to make logs.
The tasks in any square will occur in that order. A grove set to plant, clip, and fell will be continuously replanted and provide a stream of logs. A grove set to plant and clip will be filled with trees of the designated type and will generate a stream of clippings. The fastest way to generate fruit is to only harvest. Fruit trees set to be both clipped and harvested will be clipped as soon as they have leaves (which is before fruit grows) so you won't get fruit from them unless your gnomes are slow enough that the fruit has time to grow before they are clipped. As such, set them to be clipped only when you need more clippings for planting and deactivate it afterwards.
Any trees not of the designated type will be ignored, though the space they occupy will remain part of the grove. If a grove is not set to manage any type of tree then all of the trees in the area will not be managed.
Designating an area as Personal Quarters creates a private bedroom for a single gnome. Gnomes sleeping in their own rooms need less sleep than those in a dormitory. The quality of sleep received by the gnome is affected by the value of the room. The higher the value the more quickly the gnome rests, and the longer he or she can go without sleeping again.
Using Personal QuartersEdit
After you designate an area as Personal Quarters, you will be prompted to assign a gnome to the room (next to each gnomes name is a number showing how many Personal Quarters are already assigned to that gnome). It is generally a good idea to place a bed in the room so that your gnomes can sleep comfortably. If you leave the quarters unassigned a tired gnome will claim it on its own rather than sleeping on the floor.
Designate the area before placing a bed. If a bed is queued but not yet built when the room is designated the tile the bed occupies will not be included in the designation; this means your gnome will not sleep on the bed. Alternatively, wait until the bed is actually built before making the designation.
The Dormitory designation allocates an area for all of your gnomes to rest in. After you designate a Dormitory you will be shown its worth. You'll have to place beds for your gnomes to sleep in.
Utility of DormitoriesEdit
The Dormitory is a faster and cheaper option for your gnomes to rest in. They will share beds so individual beds are unnecessary.
The Dining Room designation allocates an area for your gnomes to eat in. After you designate a dining room you will be shown a prompt displaying its worth and the option to create a Great Hall. You can only have one Great Hall.
Utility of a Great HallEdit
The Great Hall is where your gnomes will idle when they have nothing to do. The value of anything placed in the Great Hall is doubled for the purposes of attracting gnomads each season, making it a perfect place to install high quality statues and other furniture. The value of the Great Hall can be improved further with block or metal walls and floors.
For more information on attracting gnomads, see Attracting Gnomads.
A Guard Area allows you to assign one of your military squads to defend a location. After you designate an area to guard you will be prompted to choose the squad which will be assigned there. The assigned squad will then move around the area fighting off any enemies they encounter.
A Patrol Route allows you to create a series of points that will be patrolled by one of your military squads. After a few points are designated a prompt will appear allowing you to choose the squad that will patrol the route. You can opt to make the squad patrol the route continuously by choosing to loop it. The assigned squad will then patrol the route for invaders.
Hospitals are designated areas for injured gnomes to rest and receive treatment for their wounds. They require beds to function. Gnomes with the Medic profession will heal the injured using Bandages, and Caretakers will feed resting gnomes.