Soldiers Starving (still)

After you’ve been playing a while, soldiers will start forgetting to eat and end up starving themselves. This occurs even if you have a ton of food available.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create some soldiers / archers.
  2. Play the game as normal, just allow them to roam.
  3. Notices start appearing regarding soldiers starving.

Expected Results:
Soldiers will leave their patrols to go and eat when they’re hungry.

Actual Results:
Soldiers starve because they stay on patrol and never leave it. They even starve if you try to reset their patrol by having them go to a location, or by triggering the town alarm on then off. They simply refuse to go and eat.

This occurred in a fresh new game after about 3 hours of play, with a villager limit of 16, the inventory limit turned on, and I also did my best to ensure pathing throughout my village was very simple and straight forward. One thing that I noticed, which might be a bug in itself, is that there were an excess of animals around the map as they kept spawning to raid my farms (which they couldn’t get to) and never despawned.

Version Number and Mods in use:
Release 949 (x64) - No mods

System Information:
Windows 10
AMD FX8320 8-Core 3500mhz
20GB (16 usable) DDR3 1600mhz
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4gb)

There’s your problem. The animals are taking up all the CPU time available as the game checks through each pack for tracking purposes (even though they stop trying to find a path to the town after a set number of failed attempts, they still hang around for a while in case a new path opens up, and the game has to check how long they’ve been around to decide whether to de-spawn them or not.) Because of that, there isn’t enough processing time left for the patrolling soldiers to find a path to the nearest food.

There are 3 things you can do, besides deleting/killing off all the animals, to help the game out in the short-term:

  1. set a move flag for your soldiers right near the food – making it trivial to find a path to the food when they get hungry
  2. put some food around the patrol routes using input bins, and create little “eating stations” (table + couple of chairs) next to them, so that there’s always food nearby. This is not guaranteed to work since there’s a reasonable chance the food doesn’t get hauled out in time; but the up-side is that it also helps out any hearthlings who are working on the edge of town.
  3. take more frequent/regular breaks, and shut the game down completely when you do. This clears a lot of stuff out of the game’s memory, meaning that you’ll free up CPU to run pathfinding jobs or whatever else you need it for.

Of course, the biggest thing you can do to fix this is just… not let huge numbers of enemies pile up outside town. There isn’t much point limiting your hearthling numbers to reduce AI load if you’re just going to fill up all that gained space with random enemies and animals. A few turrets outside your walls, or a patrol of archers (this means having a lock-able door and you’ll need to defend it against bigger raids, but that actually makes the raids easier since you can concentrate on a single defence point), or just using the debug tools to delete the enemies (or even spawn in enemies from a different faction to fight them instead)… you have plenty of options; but just ignoring a building problem isn’t going to fix it.