Last time I played this game was in okt 2019, at the time I was forced to built as little as possible to ‘‘finish’’ the game or the game would stop functioning. has ACE improved and maybe added to the experience?, as I recently saw interest in the game starting to rise again.
ACE has made some performance improvements, but it’s also added a LOT of new content and new tasks to be done; so in some ways ACE makes it even easier to clutter your game up with lots of extra tasks and items.
The key trick to getting Stonehearth to run smoothly is to think about the individual steps required for each task you create – e.g. making a chair isn’t just “make chair”, it’s “walk to a log, pick it up, walk to another log, pick it up too, walk back to the carpenter’s bench, make the chair, find somewhere to put it down (either storage or the ground.)” So, you can simplify that job a lot for the hearthling/computer to process by making sure that you have logs available near the carpenter’s bench already, and that you have an output shelf for the finished chair to go in, and so on. Multiply that across potentially dozens of simultaneous crafting orders; plus a “hey, find a home for me!” job always being created for every single log and rock and harvested plant/crop and trapper loot drop and so on in the world… and you can start to see how the computer’s memory fills up quickly.
If you understand all the new mechanics that ACE adds, you can absolutely use them to make a more ‘efficient’ town which requires less work and less general stuff to function. However, it seems like many players open Stonehearth and just go “build all the things! Gather, harvest, mine all the things so I can build all the things!”; and with ACE present there’s just so much more stuff in the world and so much more to build/farm/craft/etc. that it’s easier than ever to bog the game down with too many things at once. ACE is great, but it isn’t a magic bullet for issues like that… those kind of issues start with the player, and the solution for them starts with the player too.
So yes, ACE does improve the stability of the game in a couple of areas, and does make a few performance improvements. However, the game “grinding to a halt” isn’t really a bug and can’t really be fixed with performance optimisations… it comes from the finite processing power of a computer (even the ‘best’ computer!) trying to take on an infinitely growing number of jobs at once.