Your troops have an upkeep and if your Food Production is lower than your Upkeep your troops will eat your Food supplies. With Upkeep Reduction and Upkeep Efficiency you have some control over this effect.
Note: After initially writing this article it was pointed out to me there is another concept, Upkeep Reduction Multiplier. Initially I had no idea, but our frequent contributor Sebastian Long we can provide info on this as well.
As a beginning player you should understand you do not need to keep feeding your troops. Nothing bad happens when you have zero food left. Sure, the blinking zero net to the food icon is annoying at first, but you get used to it in no time. Do not gather or open food items just to feed your troops, there is no benefit.
So your troops don't die when you have zero food, but it is still annoying. You cannot save up food for doing big training sessions, researches or buildings, because it just gets eaten and you practically need food for anything, so you always need to open up some food items, even for the most smallest of researches.
You might be tempted to solve the issue by increasing your food production. Build many farms, wear gear that boosts food production, do all the research and assign skill points to boost Food production as well. Not necessarily a bad idea and in the beginning it is helpful, as you are still doing many buildings, training and research projects in a short time, and being zero on food is annoying, but just increasing your Food production will likely not help you in the long run, assuming you will build a huge army.
A while back a number of gear sets were extended with a new helmet offering a 50% Upkeep Efficiency. I was familiar with the concept of Upkeep Reduction from Game of War (more on that below), but not with Upkeep Efficiency. Based on the name I assume the idea is that somehow things work more efficient, so you will need less food to still keep all your troops fed. I have manufactured some helmets to get an idea of what the benefit is. A helmet with 12.5% Upkeep Efficiency reduced by Upkeep with 20% and a helmet with 40.8% Upkeep Efficiency reduced my Upkeep with 44.934%. This data suggests a similar formula is used by the game to determine a reduction factor based pm the Upkeep Efficiency percentage as for timers a time reduction factor is determined based on a Speed Up percentage. This formula for Upkeep Efficiency is as follows: Upkeep Efficiency Reduction Factor = 100 / ( 100 + 2 * Upkeep Efficiency Percentage ). This formula results in the following effects:
|Upkeep Efficiency Percentage||Upkeep Reduction Factor||Percentage your Upkeep is Reduced By|
In the Halloween gear extensions a total of 7 helmets were introduced for existing gear sets with 50% Upkeep Reduction. There are items that give 25, 50 and even 100% Upkeep Reduction (temporarily).
Upkeep Reduction works in an easier manner. If you have an Upkeep Reduction of 25%, 25% of your total Upkeep is deducted. Once you reach 100% Upkeep Reduction, your have no Upkeep anymore, so you can have however many troops you want, food will never be eaten.
The Upkeep mod gives an Upkeep Reduction Multiplier boost and the effect of this boost is that the total Upkeep will be reduced by a factor of 100 / ( 100 + Upkeep Reduction Multiplier Percentage ).
Based on this formula you can conclude the effect of the Upkeep Reduction Multiplier is less strong than of the effect of Upkeep Efficiency:
|Upkeep Reduction Multiplier Percentage||Upkeep Reduction Factor||Percentage your Upkeep is Reduced By|
I have also done an experiment to combine the three. I experimented with a 40.8% Upkeep Efficiency and a 25% Upkeep Reduction. From my earlier experiment I knew that a 40.8% Upkeep Efficiency gave me a 44.934% reduction and the Upkeep Reduction gave a 25% reduction. These were multipled, I started out with an upkeep of -7,958,851 and after applying these two boosts I had -3,286,970 ( = -7958851 * ( 1-0.25)*(1-0.44934)) left.
Based on the formulas we know, I also list some effective reductions in the table below.
|Upkeep Efficiency Percentage||Upkeep Reduction Percentage||Upkeep Reduction Multiplier||Upkeep Reduction Factor||Percentage your Upkeep is Reduced By|
Note: In the table you can see that the effect of Upkeep Reduction and Upkeep Efficiency is not the same, 75% Upkeep Efficiency and 25% Upkeep Reduction gives different results than 25% Upkeep Efficiency and 75% Upkeep Reduction.
I hope this clears things up. Before I did the experiments it was quite unclear to me and when I asked around about the difference between Upkeep Efficiency, Upkeep Reduction and Upkeep Reduction Multiplier I mostly got the answer "I don't know", but some thought they were the same and added up.
Just in case the numbers do not give the clear picture, if you have very large amount of troops and you want to resolve the upkeep problem, you should aim for 100% Upkeep Reduction. 100% Upkeep Efficiency will not resolve the issue completely. The Upkeep Reduction Multiplier even has less benefit. A mix of the three will also not work well (eg. %50 Upkeep Reduction plus 50% Upkeep Efficiency will still get you stuck with 25% of your original upkeep).
Contributed by: GamesGuide on October 29, 2016