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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » Two interesting things on the farm bug
Topic Subject:Two interesting things on the farm bug
posted 03-01-99 07:54 PM ET (US)         
I've just tried the farm bug and two thoughts came to mind.

1.Micromanagement time drops.

I'm one of those people who avoids farming until all the fish have run out and all the animals/berries are gone. The problem with this approach is you have to keep moving your boats and foragers/hunters to new spots. This can take a fair amount of micromanagement if you have dozens of boats and villies (as I usually do). I always try to keep track of villies and check on my economy regularly but sometimes it can become a real hassle, specially in intense games, to keep going back to move the fishing boats around.

Now, all a player faced with this problem has to do is lay out a single set of farms in bronze or whenever, group them and just regularly press (random group #) and S. That frees you up to concentrate on battles, woodies/goldies and so on.

2.Makes farming a more viable and "accurate" (?) food source. I've always been puzzled by the fact that farms were, according to tests, one of the slowest methods of gathering food and only contained a relatively small amount of food. Eles, packs of gazelle, fish all carry equivelant amounts or more in food and each one is faster to gather (not counting boat fishing). I was always under the impression that farming HELPED human beings settle down, gain stable and more productive means of food collection and advance to civilization. I remember, LOOONNG ago (newbie days from a year ago), playing a game with someone from ES and wondering WHY they were hunting in Iron age! "So primitive," I though. Hehe Of course, I've learnt since then but I think the point remains.

I should specify I'm not in favor of the bug or of cheating, viz, you use it without letting other people know. I think "replenishment of farms" is, in theory, not a bad idea at all. I believe it's going to be present in AoK. Maybe the bug was a feature that ES decided to leave out of the game or something. Dunno.

Just my thoughts.

[This message has been edited by j_bourne (edited 03-01-99).]

posted 03-02-99 00:53 AM ET (US)     1 / 4       
Interesting thoughts, both. I, too, wondered about hunting in Iron, but, hey, it's the way the numbers work out. It isn't realistic, but it is just a game. I often wished they had an upgrade called "Crop Rotation" that would make the farms last virtually forever, but made collection slower, to simulate the amount of land set aside. (Yes, I know that technique wasn't developed for centuries.)

But I really don't think it will make too big a difference in overall game play. Let's say you have no farm upgrades. It takes a little over 10 minutes to farm it away, then you need another 75 wood. That means one woodchopper per 4 farms, if nothing is upgraded. Full upgrades is roughly 1 woodchopper for 12 farmers. A huge farming community of 36 farmers needs just 3 woodchoppers. That's nothing! If it bothers you, just build those 3 extra woodies and you are even. Heck, I'll trib you the 150 food and the 120 wood they could have gathered when you show me your 36 farmers.

Sumerians are obviously the big losers here, and IMO, the winners are either Persia or Palmyra. Interesting that the ones most hurt should be one of the strongest, and the most helped two of the civs considered in the lower tiers. But I haven't really considered the farm upgrades to be all that big a deal in determining the victor. I can't think of a single game where I thought, "Geez, it's sure a good thing my farms were upgraded." or "I would have won that one if I had just upgraded my farms."

Yes, it's cheating. It is arguably the weakest cheat there is, since it can be used only once every 10 minutes at most. It is also the easiest. Anyone can do it with basically no instruction. I will only use it if all in the game are going to use it, but the crux of the matter is, if I don't know my competition, as is usually the case, there will always be that element of doubt. I think it is better to agree up front to use it and see all the "DOH! Forgot my farms again!!" messages than to wonder if my loss was legit, or if someone cheated, that little difference costing me the game.

Anyway, I'm willing to play either way until the patch comes out, but cut me a little slack if I hesitate when one of you using a non-forum name suggests playing without the cheat.

Keep your stick on the ice.

[This message has been edited by Thorfinn (edited 03-02-99).]

posted 03-02-99 12:03 PM ET (US)     2 / 4       
Just a side note, farming was not, and still isnt an easy way to make food. However, it did 2 things, first it created communities since people maintained the same lands instead of migrating w/ the herds. Second, it provided a more consistent food source, not faster per se.
posted 03-03-99 05:14 AM ET (US)     3 / 4       
This bug certainly give those wood-dependent civs, like those who use SCs and seiges, advantages.

It is not unusual that a gig map stripped of wood in some games.

I am really disappoint of ES who did this against us. If it is a feature of the game, they should informed all fans. How does this come to day light ?

After read some post about this "bug" -- I personally agree with most of you that the knowledge should be spread to all players. As to whether it is ethic to use it or not --- as long as all partners know it and decide to use it all or not at all, it would be still fair games. In fact, this may add a new stretagic aspects to the game -- one may have to pay more attaention to protect his farm land.

I would suggest that ES make this a real feature of the game -- that is renew the game with half the cost (say 40 wood) when it is empty. Make it automatical renew until you say no or no more wood left for this.

posted 03-03-99 09:08 AM ET (US)     4 / 4       
One more interesting thing about it. I have played more in the last two days than the previous 4 weeks. The game was getting very routine, and this has sparked a little interest in playing. I don't think that is all bad.

BTW, I would not put this cheat in the same league as POW, BIGDADDY, PHOTON MAN or the TC bug. (I, too, was on the receiving end of the wood bug, so I can't comment on its effectiveness, though I got a heck of a lot better the day after 1.0b was released. Hmmmm)

I would definitely let people know whether or not it was "ethical" in each particular game, and would have to count on the integrity of the players to adhere to it. I mean, advertising the speed settings ahead of time seems to work fine, doesn't it?

Keep your stick on the ice.

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