February 2, 2013

Playing 0 AD Sans Crashes

0ad 1

A few days ago I mentioned my discovery and enthusiasm for Wildfire Games’ Classical Era RTS, 0 AD. The game was really fun to play, even in its incomplete form (no campaign yet, the AI still ‘forgets’ to do certain things) mainly because of the great variety of civilizations and unique units to play with, and the gorgeous graphics. 

gardensingame_ao_waterfalltest2

The problem was an annoying bug that would sometimes totally crash the game and render my PC catatonic. Well, it seems I’ve found a workaround. Pending the release of a more stable version, here’s a way to keep enjoying 0 AD:

When you set up a game, click on More Options and reduce the population cap from 300 to 50. Yes, 50.

The bug is apparently caused by the pathfinding script, which is what tells units how to reach a destination while maintaining formation.  When a very large command group is on the move, the game slows down and becomes unresponsive, and then it takes just a little more to tip it over and make it crash. 

To make pathfinding even easier for the program, don’t create big command groups.  My limit is about 20+, more than 30+ the game starts to lag a bit. 

In a way the workaround to the bug has made the game more challenging, because you don’t have a lot of numbers to respond with.  Smaller command groups also means more complex maneuvering, since you’ll likely have more groups.

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