I'd like to build on this suggestion in a separate thread so it doesn't derail goemo's suggestion of limiting the number of animals on a deed.
Basically the objective is to remove player penned animals from as many server ticks as possible, like grazing, aging, moving. When you've got 50k creatures running around it gets heavy on the server.
We want to turn penned animals into static objects, delegate them some tiles to graze on and store them in a list that we can insert and get from.
I want to paint a picture of how I think we could build Badvoc's idea.
A Stable should be a building that we can walk inside, just like any other building in Wurm, so if this were implemented you wouldn't have to rebuild your existing stables.
It makes sense that a chicken coop would be a single tile object but that isn't realistic for stables.
Anyway, here's how I see this working:
Use a shop sign on a finished structure to declare it as a stable
Right click grass tiles inside the finished structure and select Add to Stable
To get an animal, activate a rope, right click the stable shop sign located within the stable structure and select 'Open stable'
In the list, locate the horse you want and select lead
Players can favourite animals to place them at the top of this list
Players can arrange animal names alphabetically, by gender, age, cared, can they produce milk, can they can produce wool, are they in the mood
List items include a string of colour-coded abbreviations representing traits. SF, SL, DR, MM, aa, bb, cc, dd etc, I forget the actual abbreviations used in Aldur's granger plugin for wurm assistant. God bless that man.
To put away an animal, right click the shop sign while the horse is being lead and select Hitch
The total number of grass tiles determines the number of grass grazing animals that can be housed
1 bison per 3 grass tiles
1 cow per 2 grass tiles
1 sheep per 1 grass tile
1 horse per 2 grass tiles
The required grass tiles must be adjacent to one another in a line and unoccupied by other animals
The shop sign cannot be picked up or pushed outside the confines of the building
The shop sign must be secured before any animal can be hitched
When placing an animal into the stable, a non-interactable item using the model of the animal is placed on a grass tile (picture a creature cage only without the cage).
Animals do not move
Animals graze from their designated tiles despite them only standing on 1 tile.
Enchanted grass still functions as it does currently
When the shop sign would take a decay hit (even though it won't because it's likely on deed), everything on the animal that would take a tick does.
Burn me at the stake if you don't like it. There's a lot I don't like about what I'm suggesting
It might take a lot of the fun out of milking, shearing and breeding
it might devalue Aldur's granger plugin
The age tick might completely make the stable system pointless
I've not thought about how this would impact pvp
I've not thought about on destroy conditions
Food for thought.
I never claimed to be bright, so please excuse any and all typos. And while you're at it, go ahead and excuse everything you just read.