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Play Balance Team Tip: The Deer Split
5/30/2012

Hello, and welcome to another gameplay tip brought to you by the Play Balance team, where we discuss core gameplay strategies that we have discovered through our daily, internal balance-test games.

A while ago we explored the idea of the “lumber trick,” where building a lot of Lumber Storehouses can drastically increase your Wood income. When you spread Villagers between more Lumber Storehouses, Trees will deplete slower Villagers spend less time walking and villagers spend less time tripping on each other since lumber lines are crowded.

We also like to use a very similar trick which we call the "deer split.” It uses the same principles in a new situation to significantly increase food harvest efficiency on hunts.

If you send 4 Villagers a deer hunt and you assign them all to the same Deer, they will cause problems for each other. It’s hard for all of them to fit around a single Deer, and several of them spend time stumbling on other Villagers while they take long walks to and from the far side of the Deer. Also note that the first Deer depletes almost instantly, and then all of the Villagers get in each other’s way as they fight for space around the next closest Deer. Hardly ideal!

Crowded
It’s getting a bit crowded around here!

To solve these issues, we prefer to assign each Villager to an individual Deer. If you pick Deer spaced out from each other, this completely removes the need for Villagers to bump into each other or spend time walking around each other.

Not So Crowded
Much better…

Eventually Villagers will deplete their first Deer, and they will probably clump up on 1-2 Deer when their default AI decides what they should harvest next. You can split them again when this happens to keep their harvesting as efficient as possible.

Also, if you can spare the actions-per-minute in the early game, you can Shift+Right-click to queue up each Villager with their own first Deer and their own second Deer. They will harvest the entire hunt with increased efficiency and with no micro required after you set up the hunt! However, this requires a lot of worker micro up front.

Thank you for reading; good hunting out there!

-kedinik


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