mines hve strange working cycles. One time they produce something, another time they produce something else. most baffling is the atlantean crystal mine, which produces (if i am not mistaking) first stones, then quartz, then stones, then diamond. I have a few questions and a few comments
1) how does it all work exactly? how can i figure out, from the lua files, what the mine is going to produce?
2) suspending the work cycle causes it to restart, or the cycle goes to completion?
3) mined resources are detracted from the total available to the mine based on actual resources excavated, or on working cycles? and how does it work for atlantean crystals?
regarding point 2), I suspect that with more consecutive working cycles the mine is going to produce more stuff. For example, a mine coal mine produces 1 coal the first time, 2 coals the second time, and 3 coals the third, then it starts back. if after extracting 2 coals the mine has no food, and stays idle for a while, after getting new food does it make 3 coals, or will it go back to making one? I suspect it is the second case, because mines working that way are supposed to encourage a strong economy. unfortunately, it is just possible to stop a mine and wait until it has food, so the system just ecnourages extensive micromanaging. Worse, it is the bad kind of micromanaging, the one that does not involve taking meaningful decisions but only a lot of work.
To fix that, it would be good if stopping the mine automatically caused it to restart the cycle. ok, one could still stop the mine until it has full food so that he will get at least a few working cycles complete, but it cannot be fixed; also, it is a somewhat meaningful decision, as it requires stopping the mines for a long time and you may need those resources earlier. Mines skipping work because economy does not need more ores should be treated differently; either they would have to be exempted from the restarting of the cycle, or a mine would complete the cycle regardless of ores in warehouse before declaring "skipped work because economy does not need".
regarding point 3), I am ok with mines being more food-efficient if kept well fed, but the mountain should deplete proportionally. I suppose that if the coal mine digs 3 coals in a single working cycle it still consumes 3 coal from the mountain, but this is the kind of mistakes in programming that are often overlooked.
Also, how does it work for the crystal mine? if it require 4 cycles to get a diamond, and there is scarce food, can it go through all the mountain without finding a single diamond? this would make stopping the mine of higher importance. I doubt it is important, though, as diamonds are used very rarely. And how about the marble mine? can there be some trick to get more marble than usual from it?