Thanks for clarifying, I figured it was due to the dev philosophy here. If it had resulted in break-even or even a tiny net loss of spark, it would make it perfectly clear that the speed was the intended bonus.
A furnace of iron ore produces 14,400 XP with pie, in roughly 150 minutes - using hard coal. That’s 2100 machine-minutes per level. 35 machine-hours.
So with the enriched compacted etc … you’re getting each level roughly (with some rounding) 18 hours faster.
I pulled those numbers from the GUI, right now boundlesscrafting is giving me some 500 errors on bar lookups. The numbers might shift a bit based on buffs and etcetera (I don’t have spark and wear on this machine right now) but the ration of halving the time to level will be there whatever the time is.
For some folks, halving those times is worth it. But I will say I have only ever spoken to three or four people that were actually excited about it. Late game players who were already growing all of the additional materials, anyways.
This is fuel for the same people that fuel portals with meteorite ichor and mine with starberry and speed hammers.