Misconception on Wheelbarrow upgrade

A lot of you have been deceived to believe the wheelbarrow upgrade is marginal and some of you believe is down right USELESS?!!

So I did a test and I would like for you to replicate the same experiment if you could.

Civ: Delhi
drop point: Mill

I made a mill sandwiched next to the berries (yes I mean you can’t see ANYYY space between the mill and one berry bush). I then took my villager and force it to walk thru the invisible crack between the mill and berries then used the STOP command to stop the villager right in the DEAD center of the two. Now I took out my stopwatch and I clocked the START of the gathering when my villager hit her KNEES and stopped the timer once she hit her KNEES again (from kneel to kneel).

BEFORE wheelbarrow I got on average 14.4 seconds to gather 10 resources of berry food (keep in mind ZERO WALK TIME).

AFTER wheelbarrow I got an average of 19.47 seconds to gather 15 resources of berry food (STILL NO WALK TIME).

Now for some MAFF. 10/14.4 equates to 0.69444 resources per second; COMPARE that to 15/19.47 which equates to 0.77041 resources per second!!!

KEEP IN MIND THERE WAS ZERO WALK TIME (literally the villager kneeled to gather got up at max, did a 180 and dropped, then another 180 and kneeled to resume gathering). The only gathering animation FASTER than the experiment I did would be to tuck sheep under the TC such that the villager doesn’t spin but just gets up, drops and goes back down.

THIS CONCLUDES that wheelbarrow for the +5 extra resources ALONE is better than NOT having wheelbarrow EVEN if you’re sandwiched right next to the drop off point. And it gets better and better the further you have to walk to the drop off point!! It’s about a 10% gather rate increase AT MINIMUM.

a 10% minimum gather rate increase that scales positively (by comparison) with walk distance that’s researched once but benefits ALL your resource gathering throughout the whole game that you can research in the Dark Age!! This isn’t something to neglect if you can afford it.


Spirit of the Law recently did a video on the wheelbarrow upgrade, specifically in relation to the Chinese and the impact it has on tax rates:
The Chinese wheelbarrow paradox (AoE4) - YouTube

I’ll admit I haven’t seen claims that the upgrade is useless though; I can’t imagine how someone could think that when it clearly reduces the number of trips that have to be made as well as all travel time for workers.

It also ignores other factors like faster movement speed increasing the chances of a raided villager making it to a building before being killed.

People are really saying it’s an useless tech ?
Idk I’ve never seen someone saying that and as a chinese player, it’s the first tech I do in every game.

Yeah, I hadn’t heard of people thinking it was bad (even for Chinese) and always just grab it once I start advancing since I always grabbed it in AoE2.

Once I watched the video the idea that it reduces tax revenue makes sense but I couldn’t imagine it really made enough difference to be worth missing out on all the benefit and it seems that’s the conclusion the video comes to as well.

EDIT: That said, I really appreciate that the OP took the time to gather actual number and create a useful post rather than the general complaining that the forum is full of.

On Twitch chats and in discords and even during the last major tournment one of the announcers was laughing at the researching of wheelbarrow early. “Friends dont let friends research wheelbarrow.”

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There has been research done regarding wheelbarrow, spirit of the law has a video and it has very minimal impact on farming (because of the way farming works adding extra carry capacity actually in some ways adversely affects gather rate ironically). It is still a useful upgrade for moving vills (forward bases, fleeing raids etc) and thus is important. It’s also a good upgrade especially for wood gathering as that typically has the most walking time.

Tbh if I’m playing against french or anyone that I think will early pressure I prioritize wheelbarrow earlier since it will frequently save vills from dying.

unless you’re English why would you be on farms early in the game even verse early raid pressure??? You’d save more resources and GATHER more resources building multiple towers on backline food resources that requires enemy raiders to flank/split their forces (aka easier for you to defend).

The farm comment and the raiding comment were meant to be seperate. I was just pointing out that wheelbarrow is just more than an eco tech and some people think it’s bad because of spirit of the laws farming video.

This can’t possibly be right. The dropoff animation is long, but it’s not so long that doing it 50% less often is a 10% bonus. Using such a short test makes even a slight reaction time change from you or a slight repositioning of the vill at the start of the test a large effect.

MugenNoSora’s extensive testing across all resources includes wheelbarrow on berries to be approximately 5% benefit and on farms to have 2% benefit. My tests made it look a little worse than that, but his numbers are slightly more realistic for a game.

I would not go so far as to say it’s useless, it clearly has positive effects, but I would caution people out of their AOE2 intuition on it. Wheelbarrow is now at it’s best on wood and deer income rather than on farms. It also cost a lot compared to say, ageing up or building a second TC, so I don’t even consider it in Dark Age and often not even in Feudal either. Of course the vill speed is potential invaluable against raids or for setting up forwards of your own, so there’s that side too.

Repeat the test as mentioned several times and post your results plz.

And I didn’t do the experiment once I got an average while using a stopwatch and using the lap function to take several several attempts.

Lastly I did a test on deer meet using the delhi before and after wheelbarrow. The deer was sandwich to the mill and the villager was over the corpse facing the mill. I got the EXACT same timings as the berries. No walking just kneeling gathering standing up lunging forward then kneeling again.

Again please repeat the exact experiment and post your data so we can compare apples

Wheelbarrow is great for every resource gathering (especially wood), except farming. Which is ironic because is researched from the mill.

I’m sure you’ll complain about apples again, but here’s a comparable (but in my opinion better) test.

I’m using a TC so that I can start the test with “return to work” (at 8min in game time) and end it with “Seek Shelter” (at 18min), so there’s no influence from me clicking buttons or lap timers. The game gets saved with a farm pre-built, a boosted berry bush, 2 stacked sheep carcasses and 2 stacked deer carcasses, each of which are enough for one vill for 10min.

The results are calculated via a spreadsheet, and shown in the image. In case anyone can’t load it, wheelbarrow is at it’s best on the berries since there’s some walking involved at a 4.5% increase. Wheelbarrow is at it’s worst on farms due to the way non-Chinese farms are set out with a 0.5% increase.

To be fair, this is wheelbarrow at it’s worst, it gets better as walking increases. But I maintain wheelbarrow is absolutely not a 10% minimum bonus.

You admit there was walking in your experiment? You also didn’t make clear which drop off point the villager used per resource gathered? Nor how close the resource was to the drop off point?

You’re experiment is still dependent on button clicking (return to work and seek shelter) and the in game timer I BELIEVE is not as consistent as a stopwatch?

Lastly to debunk my alleged 10% you actually have to repeat the same test to prove it wrong… you can’t make up a different experiment and just assert your unproven point.

My test is very ez to implement. You can do a variation of my same test by taking a longer sample time of 10min of one villager sandwich between a berry bush and mill and compare before and after wheelbarrow upgrades.

I really should not have bothered, huh?

I’m specifically showing you my testing apparatus, all sources are under the TC or as close as possible, you can see the vills working. You’ll never get berries as close as deer or sheep carcasses, and this should be to your points benefit, since the 0 tile walk is getting improved by wheelbarrow.

This is exactly what I just did. Would you like to see the whole spreadsheet instead of just it’s conclusions? How long was your test in total?

For delhi wheelbarrow research dosnt go faster even if it’s under the infl3of a mosque

4 to 5 iterations per food resource before then after wheelbarrow.

Also your command to work and your command to seek shelter how long are those delays? You mentioned in your original post “walking”‽ at what point(s) did your villager have to walk?

Lastly why didn’t you repeat the test with the same civ? What if for some reason (a bug or something) rates and effects are different?

You assuming too much that your experiment is “good enough” to compare to mine? Bit why not just repeat the exact same test with all the same metrics?

Then the only variance between us will be personal precision, assuming we’re not leaving something ELSE out the picture

The command to return to work might add a second of walking time between the TC and their source. In a 600 second long test, this can’t be relevant. The command to return ends collection immediately.

You’ll be able to see villagers walking slightly on each berry trip compared to properly tucked sheep and deer. This should not be a surprise to you. It’s a marginal 0 tile walk like in mines, but it’s still there. More to the point, if wheelbarrow is a 5% increase in value with my some walk, how did you end up with a 10% bonus with no walk?

But considering you can clearly see from the picture that I am using the same civ (not to mention having previously done these same tests with mongols and chinese), I’m really regretting getting involved here. Why are you being so defensive? Did wheelbarrow pay for your kid’s college fund? I’m just trying to be accurate.

Because the lap timer is a mistake, it adds a variable that can be removed and makes the test more annoying to run. I am otherwise running the same test, just to a 10min timer (~40 trips), rather than a few trips.

It is easy to see how some walk over 10 minutes can devolve a 10% buff down to 4%. Each walk puts you further behind the no walk gatherer and since you’re taking an average over the full 10minutes it’s safe to say you’re waaaaaaaay behind the non walker? No?

Why you so opposed to repeating the test the same way?

There’s a save/load in between. It’s the same vill on the same berry bush once with wheelbarrow and once without. The tiny amount of walk to and from the berry bush you can see in the picture is actually making wheelbarrow more effective there than it is on the pictured farm, deer and sheep.

I am doing the same test, just not bothering with a lap timer. Instead, taking the total time and dividing the resources gained. How could that not be equivalent?

Anyway, here’s the test rerun on only berries using an out of game clock, 7 trips without and then 7 with wheelbarrow:
Screenshot (120)

The way Allurian is running the test is more beneficial for wheelbarrow and more realistic for how it works in an actual game.