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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » AoM Farm Analysis (Not what anyone expected)
Topic Subject:AoM Farm Analysis (Not what anyone expected)
posted 31 December 2002 09:13 PM EDT (US)         
Heh, I guess it shows that you do not really know unless you test it out. If you dont want to read this, here is the Coles Notes Version:

Plow and Flood Control give you true 10% gains.
Sacred Cats and Irrigation give you 5% gains, maybe 6% at tops.
Husbandry benefits you anywhere from 7%-10% depending on when you research it. The more upgrades you have the better it works.

Farm animations are not the reason for the difference. I had a sneaking hunch that the time to walk 1/2 to a quarter of a square was not the reason why Sacred Cats lost so much of the 10% gather rate bonus. Hence why I did this test. It is now pretty conclusive (i hesitate to say this with too much conviction) that some upgrades work better than others. Some dont give you 10% gather increases, some do.

Test setup:

1) 2 granaries were placed on the map. Each granary had 4 farms surrounding it, adjacent to the building.

2) Each farm had a villager placed on its outside edge. Care was taken to ensure the villager started right beside the farm, and not a few steps away.

3) Each farmer was activated in a controlled manner (even more than before) and left to farm for 3 minutes.

4) After those 3 minutes they were taken off the farms, and their excess food dumped into the granary. The change in food was then calculated.

5) For each upgrade 10 tests were performed

Initially, I just wanted to test to verify that the plow, irrigation, and flood control were similar to Sacred Cats. Being similar meaning that because of the distance they walk while farming (on the farm)and the time spent putting the food in the granary, they suffer a penalty that makes your true gains less than 10%. As I found out earlier, the penalty was anywhere from 30-70% of the gains.

I also wanted to find out the effect of Husbandry, so i saved that for last. I assumed that if the gains for the 3 granary upgrades + sacred cats were similar, that it would give us an unbiased estimator of Husbandry. Didnt turn out that way.

I also was extra careful in how I sent them off to work. If i took an extra second to send them off (like 10 seconds instead of 9) I gave them an extra second to work. The Standard Deviation that resulted was far tighter than the first test.

I'm going to list the data below, its long so i dont want to force people to read it unless they are interested. Here are the results:


Test 1:

a) No upgrades at all. Average food gathering 764.

b) Plow upgrade only. Percentage increase? 9.8%, within .7% of this 99 times out of 100.

c) Irrigation upgrade. The gain from this over the plow? 5.4%, within .8% 99 times out of 100.

d) Flood Control. The gain from this over the plow plus irrigation is 11.4%, within .7% 99 times out of 100.

e) Sacred Cats. All upgrades minus husbandry, and our gain is 5.5% within .7% 99 times out of 100.

f) Husbandry. Note that this gain is accurate only within the context of this particular case. As you will see in Test #2, the gather rate affects this. With all upgrades though, husbandry will garner a gain of 9.6% within .8% 99 times out of 100.

g) Empowered + all upgrades. Net 20% bonus (priests not pharaoh), was consistent with both test cycles. Tested 10 times overall. Will not be included with the next test data because it really doesnt need to be.

Analysis of Test 1:

Obviously these results defy common sense. Plows essentially net you 10% food gains. This flies in the face of the conclusion of the first test (or many explanations of it) that you dont gain an actual 10% because the farmer is roaming around and he has to drop the food off.

Irrigation provides a bonus similar to Sacred Cats. If movement is the cause of this loss it requires explanation of why this doesnt not happen with flood control and the plow. Some may after viewing this first test think its a one 10% bonus one 5% bonus cycle. However the next test discounts that and demonstrates the gains for the gather rate upgrades are consistent regardless of the situation.

Husbandry gains are dependent on how fast you gather. The faster you gather, the higher the benefit. This becomes obvious in the next test.

Test 2:

a) Boring base test done. 766 food gain. Only tested 5 times because i was just confirming the first round.

b) Husbandry only. Net gain over the base was 6.8% within .6% 99 times out of 100.

c) Plow + Husbandry. Net gain over husbandry only was 12.1% within .7% 99 times out of 100.

d) Plow + Irrigation & Husbandry. The addition of Irrigation results in a net gain over c) of 5.8%, within .8% 99 times out of 100.

e) Plow, Irrigation, Flood Control & Husbandry. Addition of FC results in a net gain over d) of 11.1%, within 1.0% 99 times out of 100.

f) Add sacred cats to all of this. Net change of 6.3%, within .8% 99 times out of 100.


As you can see it is very plausible that when you start with husbandry, your initial gain is not as much, but then its effects influence each next level to some degree. Test 1 shows smaller bonuses for each gather upgrade, and the difference is made up once you upgrade to husbandry at the end.

It is worth noting that for both tests when all upgrades are taken into account (minus empowering) your total bonus vs no upgrades at all is 49.7% within .5% 99 times out of 100. With empowerment, this turns out to be an 80% bonus. Note that the cumulative nature of these bonuses is that they accrue on to the next one. So a 20% bonus from empowerment to the base also extends to the other bonuses as well, and it is easily calculated that 20% of 50% is another 10%, which is why you get 80% instead of 70%.

That being said, it is strikingly obvious that the bonuses are not equal. The Plow and Flood Control are twice as good as Sacred Cats and Irrigation. Husbandry, which affects holding amounts, is a progressively better effect. For example, if you choose just one upgrade, choose the plow. (If you were just speaking about farming that is.) The best bang for your resources is clearly Husbandry and the Plow combined, which garners around 10 extra food per minute per 8 farms for a smaller cost.

It cannot be understated that the overall effect of these bonuses is cumulative as well; they are not only cumulative on the base rate but act much like compound interest. This gives the very distinct possibility that to achieve a true 50% gather rate (cumulative) they lowered the gains of Irrigation and Sacred Cats to 5%.

The only problem is if you choose them alone (you cant do this with irrigation)you lose half your value.

Other side notes:

As for animation while gathering, i noticed that each uggrade results in a change in the gather cycle. If you count rythmically with the numbers, after one upgrade, you will notice a pattern of 1-4, break, 5-7, break, 8-11, break, 12-15. Another upgrade and then it becomes 1-4, break, 5-8, break, 9-11 break, 12-15. Its not female/male dependant either; it is a result of the particular number of upgrades you have.


***BORING DATA STUFF*** (reference above to find out the test parameters)

Test 1:

a) 763,765,767,760,762,664,771,761,767,760
b) 837,840,839,833,841,844,834,844,829,836
c) 882,882,883,876,871,888,879,880,878,873
d) 987,983,981,980,994,979,977,985,986,980
e) 1040,1052,1056,1038,1044,1047,1049,1042,1050,1039
f) 1144,1146,1149,1143,1145,1136,1139,1145,1150,1143
g) 1369,1350,1361,1364,1353,1371,1368,1366,1368,1358 (combo of test 1 and 2)

Test 2:

a) 768,761,759,756,765
b) 816,813,815,817,821,820,813,816,818,823
c) 914,916,911,905,909,918,914,911,920,915
d) 966,968,974,970,974,972,962,967,962,967
e) 1071,1077,1075,1074,1058,1061,1082,1075,1078,1062
f) 1150,1145,1141,1138,1142,1155,1152,1148,1152,1144


posted 31 December 2002 09:28 PM EDT (US)     1 / 25       
this is very interesting and it seems from your presentation that both your methods and data are sound. excellent work.

If all else fails...just blame the egyptians...until they get nerfed and then blame the Greeks...and when they get nerfed blame the Norse...
posted 31 December 2002 09:53 PM EDT (US)     2 / 25       
Reminds me of mayan farms in aok. Something funny about that extra 20% resources and the walking around farms made them slightly slower than other civs farmers. If aom works in the same way as aok villagers will gather fractional resources, you just see the integers in the game however. I think I'm going to take a careful look at that farming animation.....
posted 31 December 2002 10:14 PM EDT (US)     3 / 25       

Great research Loicenick. I love getting a look at the hard numbers like this.

If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.

[This message has been edited by TheShadowDawn (edited 12-31-2002 @ 10:17 PM).]

Kaziglu Bey
posted 31 December 2002 10:46 PM EDT (US)     4 / 25       
I oftenly remain quiet when I agree with something, but have to say that this was an excellent effort. I really agree with the analysis this time. It should help people realising not only wich upgrade does the most for farming but also understanding tech upgrades better in general. Very well put together.

Now all we need is an ES guy coming in and stating that we've totally misunderstood something. (just kidding)

[This message has been edited by Kaziglu Bey (edited 12-31-2002 @ 10:46 PM).]

posted 31 December 2002 10:52 PM EDT (US)     5 / 25       
Very interesting results, and definitely not what anyone expected! Hopefully ES looks into this.

About the upgrades that give 10% while others don't... Has anyone looked into what their true effect is? Maybe Plow etc makes villagers take say 11 food instead of 10 in the same time while performing the same animations, while the others make villagers gather faster but not more in the same walk and therefore suffer from walk time.

Also I noticed that you always stacked upgrades. Maybe they are each supposed to give 10% more than the original amount that would be gathered without any upgrades, not 10% more than the rate of gathering at the time you research them.

Also did you check the gender of the villagers?

Programmer on 0 A.D., author of Norse Wars, co-author of Fort Wars.

[This message has been edited by Matei (edited 12-31-2002 @ 10:55 PM).]

posted 31 December 2002 11:01 PM EDT (US)     6 / 25       
great work here! even better than the last one! which i think is quite hard. your tests seem to b fairly accurate, from wat i understand.

ok, i haf a few queries. are u using an egpytian villie? coz they gather slower than the other civ's(i think so, i mean where does the sacred cats come from?) if i m not wrong, i believed that ES said that the improvemtns 4 egpyt are better than those of norse/greek, since they start out with a lower gather rate. (can someone confrim this?) if my hypothesis prove correct, can u do one on greek villie.(ok, i noe this may be a bit too much to ask of anyone )

to end off my post, let me say this b4 any others will: EMPOWERMENT IS OVERPOWERED, ESPECIALY RA'S!(ok, maybe only ra's) it seems that ES nids to hit the nerf stick really hard. and i hope this will stop ppl from saying: RA is not overpowered, i lost 5 games with Ra since i got my midgol up in 15 mins.-_-

my wpa w/o including errors is 5 so shuddup about my spelling
Lord Anatoly
posted 31 December 2002 11:17 PM EDT (US)     7 / 25       
Impressive, yes. But, Sacred Cats is not the only Mythological Farm upgrade. Since I mostly play Norse it would be interesting to hear about the effects of Winter Harvest.

ESO- Whitecrow
Rusky wave attacks ftw!
posted 01 January 2003 02:06 AM EDT (US)     8 / 25       
Matei, you sed "Also did you check the gender of the viligers". Does the gender change the preformance? If it does, tell me what changes.
posted 01 January 2003 08:43 AM EDT (US)     9 / 25       
I know this won't make sense, but what if you started with Sacred Cats first? Will you get the same effect as when starting with the Plow?
posted 01 January 2003 11:06 AM EDT (US)     10 / 25       
Future techs increase the gathering speed based on the original gathering speed by a certain percentage, BUT they don't affect moving speed of villagers.

So the first upgrade seems most beneficial, while the later upgrades will be overshadowed by the lack of increase in villager moving speed. This is obvious in farming in which villager moving speed plays an important role.

Try this
Divine Blood Villagers move 20% faster, carry 10 more resources, and construct buildings 20% faster

[This message has been edited by aCCoUnT INvALiD (edited 01-01-2003 @ 11:13 AM).]

posted 01 January 2003 03:54 PM EDT (US)     11 / 25       

The only change I see is the speed of which they gather food. The animation cycles are no different.

Villager gender makes no difference either.


Yes, i used Egyptian Villagers. They do gather slower initially, which makes their bonuses not working properly even more problematic.

Lord Anatoly:

You are quite right. There are many other upgrades which are suspect now that I am curious to check out.


If you start with Sacred Cats, you will receive a 5-6% bonus vs starting with the plow and getting 10%. It doesnt matter where in the build order you research these gather rate increases; plow and flood control work far better than irrigation or sacred cats.


It really appears that movement speed has little effect on this. However, even if movement speed did play a factor, it would only exasperate the differences between the gather rates, as a portion of the 3 minute time would be on a neutral playing field. (Meaning essentially that Plow and Flood control would be more than twice as good as Sacred Cats or Irrigation)


posted 01 January 2003 07:33 PM EDT (US)     12 / 25       
I wonder if Sacred Cats would perform any better if tested without any other upgrades, or with Husbandry only. It's possible, for example, that the game engine is calculating the benefit based on the original gather rate, and not the current gather rate (after cumulative upgrades have been applied).
posted 01 January 2003 07:38 PM EDT (US)     13 / 25       
It does not. Sacred Cats provides the same benefit if you train it first percentagewise as it does if you have everything else trained.


posted 01 January 2003 08:34 PM EDT (US)     14 / 25       
Very quick response. Had you already tried that test and simply not documented it?
posted 02 January 2003 01:56 AM EDT (US)     15 / 25       
Actually if you scroll back a page I initially began testing Bast upgrades because people said they were broken. So I had initially tested Sacred Cats with no upgrades at all.


posted 02 January 2003 12:46 PM EDT (US)     16 / 25       
Thanks for the info.

My question is: why aren't these type of articles posted in the strategy forum instead of the chaotic general forum?

posted 02 January 2003 03:06 PM EDT (US)     17 / 25       
Note however, that husbandry also increase the rate at which animals fatten by 30%.

If you're on a map with lots of cows, sheep, or pigs, it's worthwhile to take it earlier on because you can get that much more food out of your herd animals.

- MM

posted 05 April 2003 02:19 PM EDT (US)     18 / 25       
Wtf are you talking about? Nerd Ra? Hello!! He's underpowered and empowerment sucks!

Do not try to stand, for I will knock you back down.
-Sir Ajh

NoFx Clan Website

NoFx Clan Webmaster

posted 05 April 2003 02:20 PM EDT (US)     19 / 25       
loic nice work but some one allrdy posteed some thing similar to this

Mokon | | | AoE3 Rate 2200~ | | |
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  • ArmorPierce
    posted 05 April 2003 02:32 PM EDT (US)     20 / 25       
    Why do you keep resurrecting old threads that has anything to do with about nerfing Ra from beore 1.03and saying that he doesn't needs to be nerfed?

    ESO nick: NerVe_Pierce
    Proud member of NerVe Clan
    To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. ~Steve Prefontaine
    posted 05 April 2003 02:55 PM EDT (US)     21 / 25       
    Dang it. I did it again! It was an accident was a link on the Ultimate Guide to AOM post! Dang! I have to remember to look at the dates

    Do not try to stand, for I will knock you back down.
    -Sir Ajh

    NoFx Clan Website

    NoFx Clan Webmaster

    posted 05 April 2003 04:03 PM EDT (US)     22 / 25       
    ahhh so thats why i have seenit before lol

    Mokon | | | AoE3 Rate 2200~ | | |
  • To check out my Age of Empires III Strategy Guide click here!
  • The price of my guide has been reduced! Check it out!
  • New TWC Recorded Games Posted on my Media Page!
  • Jazzman
    posted 05 April 2003 11:19 PM EDT (US)     23 / 25       

    War doesn't decide who's right. It only decides who's left.

    [This message has been edited by Jazzman (edited 04-05-2003 @ 11:21 PM).]

    Eric The Red 1st
    posted 06 April 2003 00:32 AM EDT (US)     24 / 25       
    so how bout them jarls? lol
    posted 06 April 2003 02:42 PM EDT (US)     25 / 25       
    didn't you just start a post about norse...and jarls..and something like that? or was that jetsolo again?
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