Chris, I might be wrong, but I think you wrote this post prior to the recent 
version 1.1b release.  The new version addresses many of the things you brought 
up here.  If you Are!, however, using the newest 1.1b version, then I guess I 
need to take a closer look at some spots in the code!

The multiplayer characters aren't tied That! closely to their owner.  If I were 
a character in your settlement, and I was a builder, your "Aprone" won't work 
as a peasant just because my "Aprone" is temporarily serving as one in my 
settlement.  If they both are doing the same temp job, that's purely 
coincidental.  Only their main assigned job is translated between everyone's 
settlements.

If your multiplayer builder wasn't helping out, it could simply have been 
because there wasn't enough work to go around.  Multiplayer characters are 
usually assigned jobs after your own people have been given theirs.  This is 
because you never know when one of them is going to exit the game, and it's 
better to maximize how much control you have over what's going on.  If you had, 
say, 10 builders of your own, plus an "Aprone" builder, he wouldn't even be 
needed if a construction site just finished being stocked.  The 10 builders 
ahead of him would take the building to 100% competition, so he would spend his 
time simply standing around.

It is just a guess as to what was really happening though.

Back in 1.0v, co op people Did! count toward your housing, but in version 1.1b 
they shouldn't.  If you are using the newest version, then your 4 houses 
example is pretty good evidence that there is a bug with that still.

The materials bug has been really hard to track down.  Many people have sent me 
saved games where the bug occurs, but it seems to work when I load the games.  
It must be a mistake that isn't saved into the save game files, which means it 
is that much harder for me to track down.  I've never had it happen to me 
personally, so I just keep waiting for when it finally does.

The difficulty settings do not change the building requirements.

I'm not sure if this is a bug, or a time when a message was overlooked, but 
there is code that explains exactly where, and what, was attacked by the 
Goblins.  I'm not sure why you didn't receive a message, but please tell me if 
it happens again.

Hold shift, and press G, to hear all of the squares being occupied by Goblins.

The bug that causes the game to hang was reported earlier today actually.  I 
can't remember who told me, but they were able to tell me exactly what they had 
done before it happened, and I spotted the problem in the code.  When I release 
the next update, that bug will be squashed.  Even with it squashed, your advice 
is still good for Any! game that involves hours of work.  Save often!

I do have eventual plans for resource trading, although this probably won't be 
in the co op mode.  It might be, but I haven't actually Planned! to add this 
feature to the existing co op mode.

While different people will argue different strategies, personally I would say 
that yes, there is a benefit to having multiples of some buildings.  Some 
people build out, stretching away from their first storehouse.  This means that 
each new building is a longer walk for your people.  If I know, in advance, 
that my city will grow quite large, I don't center my storehouse, I think of it 
as my right or left side to my eventual city.  As things expand, I'll put 
another storehouse on the other side, so that all of my buildings are pretty 
close to one storehouse or the other.  This serves as an efficiency boost for 
my people who need to travel.

The Tavern is another building I like to have 2 of.  If things like up just 
right, you can easily run in to a "dinner rush" where a dozen people all seem 
to want to eat at the same time.  Assuming I'm only stocking 2 food types at 
the time, at least 2 of my people will have to sit in the empty tavern, waiting 
for more food to be carried over.  With a second Tavern, I can support twice as 
large of a "dinner rush" without anyone needing to wait for restocking.  I'd 
rather have my main work force eat fast and get back to work, and while they're 
working, peasants can take their time restocking the Taverns.  A single cook 
will just walk back and forth between the 2 taverns, so I don't necessarily 
need 2 of them when I'm using 2 taverns.

Multiple guard towers works the same as having multiple storehouses.  When 
carrying supplies around, workers will use whichever storehouse is closest.  
The supplies all magically get pooled into the same place, so it really just 
comes down to distance.  When soldiers travel out to fight Goblins, they will 
launch from, and return to, the guard tower that will require them to walk the 
shortest distance.  This means that putting a guard tower up close to the 
enemy, cuts down on wasted time as your soldiers walk back and forth to the 
tower.

As forests and rocks thin out, I have been known to build a second of each, in 
an area with richer resources.

The 4 food types act like 4 small fuel tanks within your people.  Even when 
they have had their fill with meat, that tank is at 100%, but overall they are 
only 25% full.  The calorie burning rate stays the same, so if you have food in 
2 tanks, each tank drains only half as fast.  A person fed only meat will run 
low on energy, and have to travel to the tavern, 4 times as often as a person 
fed all 4 food types.  It is hard to sustain more food types, but the reward is 
greater efficiency.

Wow, this turned out to be a long response.  Good questions though Chris!  I'm 
sure others were wondering many of these same things.

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