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Upgrading is a common Populous trick, used especially by the best players at high levels. It consists of having at least 3 wood piles in front of small or medium huts, meaning the braves will avoid wasting time looking for the 3 wood piles before actually upgrading a hut (thus, saving time, depending how further the trees are - sometimes, many seconds per hut).
How to upgrade
Similar to the harvest trick, the player selects between 1 and 3 braves (usually from a certain hut, or idle ones), and makes them perform 2 actions (with CTRL):
- first, they gather wood from a tree
- secondly, they move inside a hut (leaving the wood piles at the entrance)
The player should ensure that the tree survives, and that the hut will end up having at least 3 wood piles at it's entrance. This means the hut is not upgraded.
Upgrading can take use about 1-3 seconds per hut, if the player is fast enough. Not only upgrading will also be some form of harvesting, but it will make the huts be able to upgrade plenty of seconds earlier (under the same conditions - amount of units inside, and same number of wood piles at the hut's door: at least 3 for maximum potential)
When the hut's upgrade bar is blinking, 1 brave at a time will look for wood. This process lasts until 3 wood piles are in front of a hut. This can take several seconds per hut (depending on distance between wood and huts). By upgrading, the player can save plenty of seconds per hut - many minutes if many huts are upgraded!
When the braves are actually upgrading the hut, they always require at least 3 wood piles for it to happen - but they only use 2. This means, 1 will remain (if there were 3), meaning that for the last round of that hut, only 2 more will be required at that hut's entrance.
The upgrade bar of a hut (red bar) does not grow faster if the hut is upgraded (with at least 3 wood piles at the door). The upgrading is only to avoid the wood-searching process (saving plenty of seconds per hut, and minutes per base)
A hut will never upgrade if there is a tree on its entrance.
This trick is only useful for small and medium huts. Large huts, training huts, and anything else is not upgradable.
The player should be wary when upgrading, as harvesting and upgrading might make the trees small and vulnerable.