Troops don't listen and other command issues


#1

The command system for troops has always been tolerably clunky. Recently, thanks to many performance updates for the game, I have been able to have towns with >20 hearthlings without productivity grinding to a halt. Currently, I have 33 hearthlings and just about everything is smooth.

The troop command interface has become so burdensome that it’s crippling the experience for me. Troops have SEVERE ADHD. It would be nice to have the option to tell troops to stay put for a while so I can gather them together for an organized attack. Worse yet, I’ve gotten to where troops just do not listen half the time. I tell them where to go, half of them listen, the other half patrol, sleep, talk, or eat.

Can something be done to make troops in the late game behave less like morons???


#2

The “guard” button (the blue one) keeps them in a set area until you dismiss the guard flag or they desperately need to go eat/sleep. It’s ideal for mustering your army together before sending them into combat.

Make sure their jobs aren’t disabled (either individually, or having the jobs column un-ticked), this will cause them to ignore all commands. Also, be aware that if the CPU is over-strained, hearthling AI is one of the first things to go. Any task which involves pathfinding is fairly expensive to compute and thus has a higher chance of being ‘dropped’ if the CPU is doing too much work (it will work on each task for so on, and then return an automatic ‘fail’ if it’s taking too long so that the whole game doesn’t get traffic-jammed behind that calculation); although this shouldn’t be an issue if everything else is running smoothly there’s a chance you’re getting spikes of CPU use and everything goes back to normal quickly after, but those tasks attempted during the spike quietly fail.

Putting all your soldiers in a single party is another thing which makes it more difficult for the game to process their tasks, since more units have to stay together at once. I’ve found that when I have more than 6 soldiers, it works better to start splitting them up into multiple parties. I like to have a party of knights and clerics, and another with my archers and footmen – the “tanky” party goes in first to draw aggro, and the “DPS” party follows behind so their more fragile members don’t get targeted.

If you’re getting lots of cases where soldiers outright ignore orders, it’s probably a good idea to upload a copy of the save file so that the developers can take a look (probably mark it as a bug report so it’s easier for them to see)


#3

Wow this tip works really well. I had an army of about 16, they completely ignored orders (I like OPs ADHD comparison). I split them up into groups of 12 and 6, no change. Then I split them up into groups of about 6, closed all other programs, and they immediately started following orders again.

TL:DR Thanks for the tip it worked perfectly.


#4

I suspect in that case, the extra programs open outside your game were contributing heavily to CPU use, meaning that hearthling AI (combined job, pathfinding, idle and soldiers’ use e.g. patrolling) would easily push it over the edge. Breaking up the parties will help, but it shouldn’t have quite that much of an impact… although it’s definitely a lot easier to to handle 3 parties of 5-6 than it is to handle a single massive party of 16, I never ran a party that large so I don’t know how taxing it would be on your computer.

There are a bunch of things you can do in Stonehearth which will subtly chew away at your CPU/memory without announcing any issues, and then suddenly everything stops working all at once. The CPU and memory monitor in the bottom-right corner (not sure if it’s always there or part of debug tools?) is a great indicator of what’s going on – if one colour is frequently “spiking” to a full bar it’s a clear sign that something in particular is chewing up your whole CPU; if the bar is constantly filling up with different colours then it’s a sign that your town’s size, inventory, hearthling limit etc. have reached the combined point where it’s more than your computer can handle.

I’m glad to hear that breaking up your combat parties is working for you, though :slight_smile: There’s a lot of similar tricks you can use (e.g. try not to do large tasks all in one go, but break them up into sections and let each section finish before moving to the next one) to reduce the load on your computer; and doing so helps the game to run smoother for longer.