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Leaf Cutter Ant Caste Question

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In a real Atta cephalotes colony, there are five different subcastes, the minims, who care for the brood, fungus, and sometimes leave the nest on the back of larger workers, the minors, who cut leaves into smaller pieces and insert them into the fungus, the media, who mainly transport leaves but can also cut them, the maxima, who forage and cut leaves, and lastly the soldiers who are only meant to protect the colony (and of course these are the largest, with a head size about doubling that of the maxima worker).

Maxima workers have a head size of about 2.2 mm. In comparison, soldiers have a head size of 4 to 5 mm. So, are majors in EotU maxima workers, soldiers, or I guess a mixture? I feel like they have the power of a small soldier, but they also do a lot of the foraging from the video you guys put out a week ago.
Posted from my Zombie bunker in northeast Ohio.

My guess is that they're taking artistic licence for gameplay's sake. 

Minims will likely never leave the nest and will certainly do fungus work but maybe not nest jobs. 

Minors will likely do nest jobs, and maybe act as foragers

Medias and Majors will probably play the roles of soldiers and foragers at the same time. 

A lot of foraging will depend on how the devs set it up, as you may be required to have a multitude of sizes in order to chop the leaves, including majors medias and minors, but then on the other extreme they also could arrange so that any role can do chopping of any sized leaf. 
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

John did mention they were thinking of adding phorid flies into the game, and they like to lay their eggs onto the bodies of the large majors. Minim ants often times will stand on the major to fight off the flies (because the majors are too big to fight them). I'm hoping that if phorid flies are implemented into the game, maybe minors will help fight them off.
Posted from my Zombie bunker in northeast Ohio.

Definitely depends on how far the devs want to go with realism, and I'm fine with either unique enemy mechanics specific to leaf cutters or a more generalized set of attacks, as long it keeps the gameplay interesting. 

I'm imagining majors acting like how other RTS games treat mountable vehicles now, which would honestly be a hilarious mechanic. 
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

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We'll be striking a balance between realism and gameplay, as mentioned.

As far as the biggest majors go - they'll be upgradeable to level 3 like the other ant species, and as we know ants often gain an extra ability at level 3.

I actually have a suggestion for how this might work. Workers can be upgraded to level 3 but each of the levels can correspond to a caste. 
so basically,
level 1 worker= minor(does almost nothing but foraging)
level 2 worker =  media ( forages but a bit faster )
level 3 worker= maxims (forages much faster
minims can be their own brood chamber and are the only ones who can be on the back of a soldier, and are the only ones that tend to the fungus and brood but they cant gather leaves on the outside.
we can start off with 7 minims since there arent many risks to food already being in the nest and then have to build workers to gather food for the fungus on the outside

Yeah, not gonna work with the minims. Or the caste system you have in mind. The devs have a different idea in mind... Still a possibility for the riding mechanic though.
Ants are beautiful,
but if fooled around with,
can be deadly.

We're getting 19 minors and probably even more than 19 minims with the queen. From the gameplay video one can clearly see the queens chamber is 19 tiles and there is one chamber group of ants in a pheromone marker that was 19 minors.
Posted from my Zombie bunker in northeast Ohio.

It's possible that those chambers will be minims over minors, at least partially.  So like, 7 minors, 12 minims.  Maybe minim tiles will hold more than 1 even, and a maxed out colony will hold like 84. 

Maybe they are minors though, and minims will spawn around the fungal structures. 
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

That may be, but there was only one pheromone group of 19 minor ants. Apparently a certain amount of minims spawn for every other minor, media, or major tile built.
Posted from my Zombie bunker in northeast Ohio.

Hello there,

I thought I should also give a sugguestion which would make the game a bit more interesting.

The leaf cutters could be made like this.
3 Types of workers.
1st: The foodgrower & caretakes: Takes care of the fungus to grow bigger and bigger and takes care of the brood.
2nd: The foodcollector & soldier: Takes care of collecting leafs and oats to grow the fungus
3nd: The flydefender: They mainly ride on the back of the 2nd units to defend them against those egg laying flies. They secondly transport the cutted leafs back to the fugus chambers.

The colony size would be determined by how big the fungus has grown. There would be special food plots which would act like a second type of food stockpile. It would take it's time to grow but they could be upgraded just like all the other plots with the 6 points per upgrade tactic. The more fungus slots you have the more fungus they can grow to increase their population. The population would of course have a max capazity but it would still be good to have it like this. The leafes would also be transported to the colonies stock piles and then taken from the 1st type of workers.

The colony should of course start with some of everything so they can actually survive and I think 3-5 of each should actually do. For the upgrades it could be like.

1st: Level 1-3 increases working speed and effectivness of their natural anti biotics they use to keep the fungus healthy. Level 3 Ability: Increase the fungus effectivness by 1-5% so you need less plots per Ant.
2nd: Level 1-3 Increases the cutting speed, defense (except for those flies) and damage. Level 3 Ability: 1-3 Seconds of total immunity or 30-50% less damage taken.
3rd: Level 1-3 increases the walking speed and their effectivness of carrying the leafs. Level 3 Ability: Can jump onto those flies and know them out or something like that.

General Leveling: Increases the HP, the defense, strenghth and walking speed a bit. Of course adjusted to the current situation.

Btw it's normal that a queens first workers are very weak at the beginning and later on as the colonie grows they just die out and are replaced by much stronger sisters. The nanitics are always the weakest workers since the queen just needs a first bunch of ants very quickly and then she can lay eggs for the next generation of workers.

I hope this would give you some ideas to improve the leaf cutter colonies. I never had them myself since I'm not able to find them over here and I'm not going to buy one of those but they are still very facinating and I have a general basic knowledge about those because they are so awesome. :D

Well I hope you get some ideas out of this.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 05:17:22 PM by VarmintLP »

There are four different worker castes the devs are already working on, with similar roles you mentioned. Not sure if we will have minim or minor ants on the backs of our majors to defend them, but it would be cool. There are minims, which grow the fungus, minors, which can help defend the colony (but are weak), and they can dig and take care of the brood. Media ants can harvest leaves and are the colony's primary damage dealer. Lastly there is the major, which is huge compared to the rest, and it can harvest leaves, do the highest damage, and has the health pool of a tank.

Some new chambers are the leaf drop off chamber, which is the chamber where ants will drop of leaves to be processed. And there is the refuse chamber, which is where the ants deposit waste emitted by the fungus gardens. If the waste is not cleaned up and put in the waste chamber, the fungus will get diseased.
Posted from my Zombie bunker in northeast Ohio.

Some new chambers are the leaf drop off chamber, which is the chamber where ants will drop of leaves to be processed. And there is the refuse chamber, which is where the ants deposit waste emitted by the fungus gardens. If the waste is not cleaned up and put in the waste chamber, the fungus will get diseased.

True. I forgot about that but that is probably because I only know some basic informations about this kind of colony. And yes it would definitely be cool to see some ants riding the majors. :D
It's also good to hear that they are doing the 4 types of workers :D
And I think it would be then 20 workers to have 5 of every kind. :P