A Quick Idea for making Livestock more interesting

As far as I’m aware, livestock training and fattening is one of the most ignored features of the game. Most players simply will consume whatever livestock they find on the map and then never use this mechanic again for the rest of the match.

In order to make this mechanic a little more interesting and worthwhile of the player’s time, I came up with a single idea: Livestock Pens(or Farms or Villages for Native Americans and Chinese respectively) generate food automatically whenever a Livestock Animal is working on it, the more animals you have, the larger will be the income. Just a small trickle per animal, to support your food production in the background. With this small change, Livestock animals now have two uses. The first as a way to generate food continuosly with very little micro needed and the second is as a food reserve in case you need a lot of food quickly, you can just sacrifice your livestock for their meat and replace it with new animals later.


Thats a good idea, promote the use of livestock (as it was truly in the time period), since almost all animals that can be fattened gives more than just his meat; wool and milk
As a balance thing, could just give the trickle as long is fattened and then stops when it reaches his meat capacity


OMG that’s such a good mechanic! It would also be useful because that’s a food income without population space, like a food bank.
Good thinking mate, real good.


For balance, I though of two things:

  1. Players are limited to only 5 Livestocks Pens at a time(otherwise they could simply spam them endlessly)
  2. Animals will only generate food once they are fully fattened.
1 Like

this as a mechanic makes more sense for specific factions than just as a generic thing.

they could just increase the base gather rate from herdables and then balance fulling mills based on that.

1 Like

I think it’s a great idea to try to make the livestock pen more useful, but a trickle effect? Eh. I think people on this forum have had enough of buildings that generate resources for free.

To me, I would use the livestock pen more often if I didn’t have to micro it so often. I think the livestock pen should have a UI option of some sort to enable auto-gathering for nearby settlers on mills if the livestock get fully fattened. After the settlers are done gathering, they return to the mill they were working on. Still super good for your economy since gathering from cattle is super fast. Every 5 or 10 minutes, I’d just look back at my pens and make more cattle. To me, that would be good

1 Like

It would be nice to pay 120/100 for a different animal type and it giggles faster and collect faster as well, a more expensive race so that fattening more and has more food

I understand what you mean, and I too consider that there already are too much buildings doing that for a certain amount of civs, so this mechanic could benefit the others civs that doesnt have that at all, as said by

These are some details;

  • Take the trickle effect to late game only
  • Make it available only to certain animals
  • Limited to X at a time
  • Works until fattened
  • Works only when fattened

Why? Which factions? I would like to see some factions having unique bonuses/cards for this mechanic, but I see no reason to not make it available for everyone.(Except the Japanese, Indians and maybe the Inca that already have their own unique mechanics with animals)

I, personally, have no problem with resource generating buildings, I actually quite like them, when they are balanced of course. And it wouldn’t really be “for free”, these pens would still require an upfront investiment of 100 food per animal or a HC shipment to get going.

I don’t think that the game’s pathfinding AI can handle that level of automatization. Villagers already get stuck and congested doing much simpler tasks. And if you’re going to check every 5 minutes on the Pens to retrain your livestock, you may as well move the villagers yourself anyway, it’s just a couple of clicks.

The game already has a bunch of cards available to almost every civ that let’s you train a second animal species. Maybe making these second species more productive, would make such cards actually somewhat useful.

I think this should be available since Age I. But since each animal requires an upfront investment of 100 food and take some time to fatten, this mechanic will become more viable starting from Age II onwards. The game already limits how many herdables you can train at the same time and I proposed a limit of only 5 Livestocks Pens simultaniously per match.

This suggestion is already in the game. The Japanese houses can have 4 livestock congregate them to generate food.

1 Like

The Zulu would have the ashibara or something, dont remember how its spelled. Its like the perfect unique mechanic for them as their entire economy basically exists out of cows.

I proposed the Zulu civ some time ago and among a steady income of food when tasked at the ashibara, they also have cards to make cows worth coin instead of food etc.

It fits better as an unique mechanic as we are getting more and more to a point were new mechanics are hard to get as we have already a lot. Making civs with the same mechnanics is boring and potentially ruins certain civs. The livestock hasnt really seen uniqueness and seeing the African dlc is coming it would be nice to see it as an unique mechanic instead of generic.

Denmark if they get added since industrialization there focused a lot on the diary industry.

Not exactly. There are two key diferences between the Japanese Shrines and what I’m proposing. First, Shrines can function with any nearby animals, not just livestock. Second, Shrines can produce Food, Wood, Gold or XP, Livestock Pens would generate only food.

Fair enough. I still would prefer this mechanic to be a generic thing, with certain civilizations having their own unique twists on it, but your ideas are also pretty good.

I think there’s a build limit of 20 sheep regardless of how many pens there are.

Yeah, but you can get more animals if you use cows or llamas in addition to the sheep.

I don’t like the idea, I prefer to use the livestock fattening system as is. I wish we could get the same system in AoE2 though.

How about a dairy cattle milking machine in the case of reels and wool in the case of sheep?

I’d rather consolidating the livestock cards into one, saving shipments and time. Such as:

New Card:

  • Advanced Livestock Pen (Age I): Free Homestead Wagon. Adds Stockyards and Ranching as researchable technologies. Like Advanced Arsenals.
    That would save you 1 shipment, research time is typically faster than shipment time, and gives you a free livestock pen to start you off. I’d keep Fulling Mills as a separate shipment as that’s a far better card than Stockyards and Ranching.

Then a couple of quality of life changes, such as:

  • Tag fattened livestock as a different unit type from unfattened. That way you can quickly select fattened livestock and move them aside without accidently moving unfattened ones.
  • Villagers gathering from livestock should continue gathering after going idle and/or when a new fattened animal is in range.