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11-Dec-2012 - Player-Owned Ports


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#2561
Thorgmir
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I don't think three merchants is necessary at all, you rarely get three missions you want to use one on anyway. That's especially true after you maxed your stainless steel upgrades.


?????

If a merchant wasn't worth having on your boat, you're probably done with the Ports in the first place.

Get 4 merchants, never let them leave any ships.


Thats just no.
If the voyage is sub-100% you don't want a merchant, better to have a different unit for 100%.

I can see Quy's point though I would be of the opinion when you have basically 'finished' ports presumably you'd be able to 100% most trade good missions (which are kinda the only reason to still be there) so surely you would be wanting a merchant on most voyages at that point.


Absolutely not. Let me give you probability 101 right now. Specific lesson: expected value.

Our goal is to maximize the expected return of each mission. There are two factors contributing to the expected value: the probability of success (p) and the amount returned if successful (x). The relationship between them is simple: the expected return on a voyage, E(V), is equal to the probability of success times the amount returned when successful. Thus, E(V) = px.

We have two scenarios to consider: one with a merchant, one without a merchant. Without a merchant, suppose the best success rate we can get is P, and the expected return is X. With a merchant, the return given success increases to 1.3X. How much does p decrease due to the lack of a merchant? Well, suppose you lose 2k of unit stats (conservative overestimate), and the mission has requirements of 16k (roughly typical, though it doesn't matter much if this changes). Then that changes p from P to 0.875P, and thus E(V) = 0.875P(1.3X) = 1.1375PX. This is a roughly 14% increase in expected return by using a merchant.

Note that as mission requirements increase, it actually becomes more beneficial to use a merchant, as the decrease in p becomes smaller while the increase in x becomes larger.

TLDR: ALWAYS use a merchant, on ALL your voyages, except for voyages for 3 or fewer trade goods, where the effect will be rounded down to nothing.

You wouldn't want to use a merchant if it decreased your success by more than 30% (roughly, 1/1.3 to be precise), but there are no such missions.

Edited by Thorgmir, 27 January 2013 - 08:00 PM.

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#2562
cruseder4
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what's the rough difficulty leap going from bowl to pincers?


You judge :

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#2563
muggiwhplar
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Do lifeboats protect ship captains or only the crew?

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#2564
Alg
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You judge :

Those requirements look exactly like the ones I'm getting very early the Bowl... :sad:

#2565
strilmus
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the difference here is that the payoffs are relatively lower and the voyage times are higher

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#2566
So Rowdy
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the difference here is that the payoffs are relatively lower and the voyage times are higher


If i remember right, resource payoffs were pretty low (120) at the beginning of the bowl. Like other regions I assume it increases

I just realized I'm almost to pincers and I still have a Scythe combat member in my crew...I never even noticed lol

#2567
Xinxan
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I don't think three merchants is necessary at all, you rarely get three missions you want to use one on anyway. That's especially true after you maxed your stainless steel upgrades.


?????

If a merchant wasn't worth having on your boat, you're probably done with the Ports in the first place.

Get 4 merchants, never let them leave any ships.


Thats just no.
If the voyage is sub-100% you don't want a merchant, better to have a different unit for 100%.

I can see Quy's point though I would be of the opinion when you have basically 'finished' ports presumably you'd be able to 100% most trade good missions (which are kinda the only reason to still be there) so surely you would be wanting a merchant on most voyages at that point.


Absolutely not. Let me give you probability 101 right now. Specific lesson: expected value.

Our goal is to maximize the expected return of each mission. There are two factors contributing to the expected value: the probability of success (p) and the amount returned if successful (x). The relationship between them is simple: the expected return on a voyage, E(V), is equal to the probability of success times the amount returned when successful. Thus, E(V) = px.

We have two scenarios to consider: one with a merchant, one without a merchant. Without a merchant, suppose the best success rate we can get is P, and the expected return is X. With a merchant, the return given success increases to 1.3X. How much does p decrease due to the lack of a merchant? Well, suppose you lose 2k of unit stats (conservative overestimate), and the mission has requirements of 16k (roughly typical, though it doesn't matter much if this changes). Then that changes p from P to 0.875P, and thus E(V) = 0.875P(1.3X) = 1.1375PX. This is a roughly 14% increase in expected return by using a merchant.

Note that as mission requirements increase, it actually becomes more beneficial to use a merchant, as the decrease in p becomes smaller while the increase in x becomes larger.

TLDR: ALWAYS use a merchant, on ALL your voyages, except for voyages for 3 or fewer trade goods, where the effect will be rounded down to nothing.

You wouldn't want to use a merchant if it decreased your success by more than 30% (roughly, 1/1.3 to be precise), but there are no such missions.


Except you are not factoring in one thing... Time (as in overall time needed to harvest resources).

Yeah, i do get that ON AVERAGE and in the long run, you get more resources by always deploying a merchant on your trips. But picture this scenario: Every mission you fail, sets you back on the race* for first tetsu plate/seasinger thingamajig/scrimshaw X by the same time that mission lasted+. On Scythe or Bowl missions (especially the first ones, as you are trying to get new crew/ship parts/occasional port upgrades), this can be very hurtfull because it can POTENTIALLY raise to many hours lost.
Also, when you first arrive to a new region the gap between what stats you can dish out and the actual requirements is greater while using the merchant, so you risk bigger penalties.

And you could say that on the Scythe and Bowl, since it already takes days to move on to the next region, the sample is big enough to just risk it, because it will probably even out. But you can also say, that half the people taking your approach will have either ok to good to excelent progression, and the other half will have ok to bad to really poor progression; following a normal distribution... I'm not saying that people that always go for better stats don't have this too, because i know even then you can't ace all missions, but the lower the risk involved, the lower the variability of results.

That's why I THINK it's not so inefficient to follow a more guaranteed approach, or a mixed one (using merchants only after getting a bit more familiar with a new region), because the greater the risk, the more penalties# you should be prepared to face.


* I'm assuming that you want to reach the pincers for faster resource gathering. Please correct me if i'm wrong.
+ The delay is even more if you lose resources/crew/captains, even though lifeboats help here.
# Even though this can go the other way around (major winning) with equal probability...

#2568
Zhangoes
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quick questions, for units like the judge of dice, do you have to put him in the first slot for the crew? for the purposes of maximizing solidarity?

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#2569
chenw
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I don't think it matters where you put him, as long as he is on the ship.

Also JoD isn't suited for single stat voyages, so it isn't always on the ship (just like the Merchant), but he is there majority of the time

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#2570
Urza285
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Lost another crew member... Nothing big. Probably only the third one throughout the whole thing.

Also...

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One more and I get it in today in another 5 hours. After that I think I'll just do the melee critical scrimshaw then the mage one.



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#2571
Yoko Kurama
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No scroll voyage today makes me sad.

Still working on Crew.

#2572
homer205
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The Judge being first is because abilities that don't stack take the first ability from the left, so it only matters if you have a bureaucrat or other solidarity unit on your ship too, I don't know why you'd have that happen though.

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#2573
So Rowdy
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Don't remember who said it, but I remember seeing "1 random per day, no more no less", the 'no less' part is not true as I just went from reset to reset with no randoms.

#2574
Z_Berenice
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The voyages for scrolls on the bowl are a huge gap for my current crew/ship upgrades. I'm thinking about making the totems for scrolls and then hunt for some scrolls when I have to go back to the scythe for more cwood for port upgrades. I'm taking longer because I've been busy gathering stuff for port upgrades; so far cwood and/or slate port upgrades are completely done, need to work on improving jade crew / ship upgrades first and then go back to scythe for cwood + jade port ugrades (such as bar).

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#2575
F33dME
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Does anyone has seen or have jade portal?

#2576
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Don't remember who said it, but I remember seeing "1 random per day, no more no less", the 'no less' part is not true as I just went from reset to reset with no randoms.


Can anyone confirm getting more than one random in a day though? I think I have but no proof

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#2577
strilmus
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the difference here is that the payoffs are relatively lower and the voyage times are higher


If i remember right, resource payoffs were pretty low (120) at the beginning of the bowl. Like other regions I assume it increases

I just realized I'm almost to pincers and I still have a Scythe combat member in my crew...I never even noticed lol

yeah, but the resources scale with difficulty, and pincer has higher baseline than bowl

8f14270694.jpg


#2578
Urza285
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Thinking of buying the pristine warehouse the getting the luxurious bar next so I get the cherry wood for the bar and totems faster.

Send my last tetsu set scroll voyage out at 83% and wasn't quite happy with that success rate.



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#2579
JeRambo
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I should have focused on scrolls in the earlier regions..the time and requirements for them in the Pincers is insane.. Think it was 12k in Morale/SF and an 18 hour voyage..
Failed my last tetsu leg scroll but got the 25 plates from my story mission. :(. Basically GF to trying to make some cash from Ports.
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#2580
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I don't think three merchants is necessary at all, you rarely get three missions you want to use one on anyway. That's especially true after you maxed your stainless steel upgrades.


?????

If a merchant wasn't worth having on your boat, you're probably done with the Ports in the first place.

Get 4 merchants, never let them leave any ships.


Thats just no.
If the voyage is sub-100% you don't want a merchant, better to have a different unit for 100%.

I can see Quy's point though I would be of the opinion when you have basically 'finished' ports presumably you'd be able to 100% most trade good missions (which are kinda the only reason to still be there) so surely you would be wanting a merchant on most voyages at that point.


Absolutely not. Let me give you probability 101 right now. Specific lesson: expected value.

Our goal is to maximize the expected return of each mission. There are two factors contributing to the expected value: the probability of success (p) and the amount returned if successful (x). The relationship between them is simple: the expected return on a voyage, E(V), is equal to the probability of success times the amount returned when successful. Thus, E(V) = px.

We have two scenarios to consider: one with a merchant, one without a merchant. Without a merchant, suppose the best success rate we can get is P, and the expected return is X. With a merchant, the return given success increases to 1.3X. How much does p decrease due to the lack of a merchant? Well, suppose you lose 2k of unit stats (conservative overestimate), and the mission has requirements of 16k (roughly typical, though it doesn't matter much if this changes). Then that changes p from P to 0.875P, and thus E(V) = 0.875P(1.3X) = 1.1375PX. This is a roughly 14% increase in expected return by using a merchant.

Note that as mission requirements increase, it actually becomes more beneficial to use a merchant, as the decrease in p becomes smaller while the increase in x becomes larger.

TLDR: ALWAYS use a merchant, on ALL your voyages, except for voyages for 3 or fewer trade goods, where the effect will be rounded down to nothing.

You wouldn't want to use a merchant if it decreased your success by more than 30% (roughly, 1/1.3 to be precise), but there are no such missions.


To me this probability math has a few flaws in its considerations.
1) It ignores the factor of time - a failed voyage doesn't just mean less resources it comes at a high time cost.
2) It ignores the practical resource cost of failure - ship repair charges and dead crew costs impact on overall outcome, especially when you consider a crew death not only costs resources to replace it has an ongoing negative effect whilst that replacement is levelled up.
3) It is all very well in theory, but as with most complex probability/statistical odds theory and reality rarely conform taking thousands and thousands of interactions to trend towards the expected; so for a singular user this model is unlikely to play out correctly. It could work out much better than someone using no merchant BUT it could also end up much worse.

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