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GreatBob

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The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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No, seriously.

I first became aware of the problem when, about 7 years after the first time I did it, I wanted to use Napi Peak as my source for sugar cane. The island that spawned it so quickly back then seemed to have halted to a snail's pace, and I had to figure out why. Continued below, but now, the raw information:

While I don't have the data for Emerald or Meridian, the spawn point imbalance of the Cobalt/Midnight mashup is, in some cases, ludicrous. As I explained here, and also posted the overall distribution here, spawns are no longer balanced across the ocean as they used to be. Top islands for commods are now in some cases poor spawns due to islands from the other side having many more spawn points. I will spare the exact mechanics of spawn points as they are more thoroughly explained in the first of my linked posts.

I will, however, provide the raw numbers for all commodities across Cerulean. Those interested in the percent distribution between the two sides please see the second linked post above.

Sugar Cane:
Winter Solstice: 357
Olivia Isle: 239
Epsilon Island: 110
Gaea Island: 108
Islay of Luthien: 102
Cleopatra's Pearls: 98
Lagniappe Island: 90
Namath Island: 80
Kirin: 72
Byrne Island: 61
Napi Peak: 51
Labyrinth Moors: 50
Boyle Island: 49
Fintan: 45
Mermaid's Purse: 45
Tinga Island: 43
Delta Island: 38
Emperor Island: 38
Swampfen: 35
Beta Island: 31
Nu Island: 30
Durian Island: 27
Harmattan: 27
Uxmal Island: 25
Vernal Equinox: 23
Kuhio: 20
Xi Island: 17
Cochineal: 16
Sakejima: 16
Windward Vale: 15
Meke Island: 14
Sapling: 12
Raven's Roost: 10
Moab: 8
Nova: 8
Turongo Island: 8
Erh: 2

Hemp:
Eclipse Island: 135
Cranberry Island: 100
Midsummer: 93
Oyster Island: 85
Gaea Island: 73
Rhinoceros Ridge: 61
Jubilee: 60
Kirin: 57
Papaya Island: 55
Charcoal: 50
Epsilon Island: 49
Cabo de Hornos: 45
Frond Island: 44
Vernal Equinox: 44
Radix: 40
Tinga Island: 33
Oasis: 30
Harmattan: 27
Nu Island: 27
Angelfish Island: 21
Pranayama: 21
Garden Cradle: 20
Lima: 18
Lonelywood Lagoon: 16
Cochineal: 15
Waterberry: 15
Monsoon Island: 14
Corona Reef: 12
Macaw Island: 11
Ansel: 8
Winter Solstice: 4
Conglin: 2
Erh: 2
Spectre: 2

Iron:
Dragon's Nest: 48
Byrne Island: 37
Mermaid's Purse: 37
Stormy Fell: 37
Hephaestus' Forge: 34
Islay of Luthien: 33
Fintan: 31
Cabo de Hornos: 28
Tigerleaf Mountain: 26
Olive: 22
Hunter's Point: 21
Spring Island: 21
Swampfen: 18
Olin's Brow: 15
Dugong Island: 13
Wrasse Island: 12
Cormorant: 11
Dendrite: 11
Last Stand Hill: 11
Ostreum Island: 10
Iris Island: 9
Monsoon Island: 9
Orca Island: 7
Havoc: 5
Adder Ridge: 4
Nova: 4
Meke Island: 3
Turtle Island: 2

Wood:
Turtle Island: 137
Eta Island: 114
Spring Island: 111
Chaparral Island: 76
Namath Island: 67
Lima: 65
Jubilee: 62
Hadrian: 57
Charcoal: 50
Sakejima: 49
Radix: 48
Cranberry Island: 42
Park Island: 40
Beta Island: 36
Zeta Island: 36
Waterberry: 35
Terra: 34
Oasis: 30
Guava Island: 28
Kuhio: 24
Prolix Purlieu: 24
Pranayama: 22
Carmine: 20
Papaya Island: 18
Dugong Island: 15
Echo: 15
Windward Vale: 15
Raven's Roost: 12
Lonelywood Lagoon: 9
Viridis: 7
Whistler: 6
Jorvik Island: 2

Stone:
Xi Island: 107
Jorvik Island: 96
Cnossos: 69
Dragon's Nest: 60
Hadrian: 60
Stormy Fell: 60
Napi Peak: 55
Guava Island: 52
Tigerleaf Mountain: 38
Lynx: 37
Hunter's Point: 30
O'Reilly Island: 30
Uxmal Island: 30
Carmine: 28
Emperor Island: 27
Terra: 24
Turongo Island: 23
Garden Cradle: 20
Norse Island: 20
Olive: 20
Turtle Island: 18
Olin's Brow: 16
Cormorant: 14
Rhinoceros Ridge: 12
Park Island: 10
Flow: 9
Adder Ridge: 8
Winter Solstice: 8
Surtsey: 7
Havoc: 6

Madder:
Namath Island: 20
Tinga Island: 20
Verdant Atoll: 20
Winter Solstice: 20
Nova: 6
Corona Reef: 5
Tigerleaf Mountain: 4

Old Mans Beard:
Cormorant: 5
Lonelywood Lagoon: 5
Durian Island: 4
Mermaid's Purse: 4
Verdant Atoll: 4
Chaparral Island: 3
Zeta Island: 3

Yarrow:
Viridis: 15
Beta Island: 2
Flow: 2

Sassafras:
Yax Mutal: 5
Macaw Island: 3

Iris Root:
Kuhio: 6
Radix: 5
Sakejima: 4
Oseberg Island: 3
Ostreum Island: 3
Remora Island: 3

Weld:
Delta Island: 20
Guava Island: 20
Zeta Island: 20
Cabo de Hornos: 5
Olive: 5
Stormy Fell: 5

Broom Flower:
Cochineal: 5
Dendrite: 5
Hadrian: 5
Vernal Equinox: 4
Chaparral Island: 4

Lobelia:
Jubilee: 6
Whistler: 6
Terra: 5
Wrasse Island: 2
Park Island: 1

Pokeweed Berries:
Harmattan: 5
Polaris Point: 5
Spectre: 5
Dugong Island: 3
Wrasse Island: 3
Durian Island: 2
Frond Island: 2
Remora Island: 2
Tadpole Isle: 2

Indigo:
Olin's Brow: 12
Tinga Island: 1

Elderberries:
Cleopatra's Pearls: 20
Islay of Luthien: 20
Oyster Island: 20
Waterberry: 20
Xi Island: 20
Typhoon: 5
Charcoal: 4
Napi Peak: 4

Cowslip:
Cleopatra's Pearls: 6
Eclipse Island: 6
Flow: 6
Jorvik Island: 6
Macaw Island: 6
Papaya Island: 6
Uxmal Island: 6
Windward Vale: 5
Garden Cradle: 5
Hunter's Point: 5

Lily of the Valley:
Diastrophe: 5
Kirin: 5
Oasis: 5
Papaya Island: 5
Olivia Isle: 4
Rhinoceros Ridge: 4
Nuptial Island: 4

Nettle:
Midsummer: 20
Nu Island: 20
Turongo Island: 20
Uxmal Island: 11
Verdant Atoll: 9
Echo: 5
Fintan: 5
Lima: 5

Butterfly Weed:
Dragon's Nest: 5
Frond Island: 5
Monsoon Island: 5
O'Reilly Island: 5
The Horseshoe Crabs: 5
Carmine: 4
Oseberg Island: 3
Lagniappe Island: 3

Lorandite:
Crimson: 20
Durian Island: 1
Iris Island: 1
Rhinoceros Ridge: 1

Leushite:
Cormorant: 5
Conglin: 4
Frond Island: 2
Meke Island: 2
Oseberg Island: 2
The Horseshoe Crabs: 2

Tellurium:
Angelfish Island: 10
Hephaestus' Forge: 10
Orca Island: 10
Spring Island: 10
Uxmal Island: 10
Zeta Island: 10
Olivia Isle: 8
Charcoal: 6
Havoc: 6
Cnossos: 7
Carmine: 5
Erh: 5

Thorianite:
Pranayama: 6
Ravens Roost: 5
Swampfen: 3
Flow: 1
Vernal Equinox: 1

Chalcocite:
Moab: 4
Cleopatra's Pearls: 2
Lynx: 2
Wrasse Island: 2

Cubanite:
Sakejima: 5
Stormy Fell: 5
Adder Ridge: 4
Boyle Island: 2
Meke Island: 2
Papaya Island: 2

Serandite:
Last Stand Hill: 5
Xian Rock: 5
Cnossos: 4
Islay of Luthien: 4
Surtsey: 4
Angelfish Island: 3
Emperor Island: 3
Norse Island: 3

Papagoite:
Prolix Purlieu: 20
Iris Island: 2
Lynx: 2
Monsoon Island: 2
Norse Island: 2
The Horseshoe Crabs: 2

Sincosite:
Ansel: 5
Typhoon: 5
Lagniappe Island: 4
Byrne Island: 3
Epsilon Island: 3
Olivia Isle: 2
Vernal Equinox: 2

Masuyite:
Labyrinth Moors: 5
Meke Island: 2
O'Reilly Island: 2


To continue my example, Napi Peak used to spawn 11.81% of Cobalt's sugar cane, second only to Kirin which spawned 16.7%. Winter Solstice and Olivia spawned 22.5% and 15.1% respectively of Midnight's sugar cane. With the ocean merge more or less doubling the number of islands, if everything was even each island would be providing half of its old %, but that is simply not the case. Napi Peak and Kirin spawn a meager 2.52% and 3.56% respectively, whereas Winter and Olivia hold on to a remarkable 17.7% and 11.8%, respectively. Yes, you read that correct. One single island on Cerulean holds over 1/6th of its sugar cane spawn, when there are 37 islands that spawn it. The four dye herbs are mass quantity required items which all have at least 80% of their spawns on Midnight.

So, the question is: Massive oversight or intended trader's paradise?
----------------------------------------
Penguinpaste, SO of Polaris, Obsidian. Dark side.


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[Feb 16, 2013 3:03:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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First, thanks again, Penguinpaste, for digging up the exact spawn info, it is very enlightening. I had been going off of the number of islands, but I didn't realize that two medium islands might have as radically different number of spawn point as apparently do.

Second, I don't think anyone is going to demand that spawn rates have to be "perfectly" balance, but having, for example, ~78.6% of all sugar cane spawning on the midnight side of cerulean is a killer for the cobalt side.

Third, I'd like to point out that rebalancing things could be done by deleting spawn points on various islands, as well as adding them them to others. This might be able to be done by OMs over time, without any developer time changing code or messing with the databases.

Fourth, each commodity needs to be looked at individually. I've been looking at the numbers since Penguinpaste first posted them.

There are three bulky commodities: wood, sugar cane and hemp. These commodities are used in large quantities and are a pain to move any significant difference. While a sloop can ship several months worth of most commods, you can often use a MB of these bulky commods per day.

Right now, midnight spawns 58% of the wood, 67% of the hemp, and 79% of the sugar cane. So all three bulky goods favor the midnight side.

Since the amount of booze/ships/sail cloth consumed is proportional to the number of players, having players ship bulky commods a long distance would mean would mean that gobs of player time would be spent sailing MGs across the interocean routes. It would be much more likely that most shopkeeping/pillaging will dry up on the cobalt side.

The imbalance of bulky goods isn't a "trade opportunity", it is a time waste and a game killer for shopkeepers from cobalt.

Next, midnight has a lot of colonized islands (left over from the days when it had 2k players on at once), while cobalt many more uncolonized islands that spawn merchant bots. These merchant bots will happily spend hours sailing from the cobalt side to the parts of midnight that are closer the uncolonized island than to the busy parts of cobalt. As a result, the imbalance between the sides is larger than just the number of spawn points would suggest.

Next, not all commods are equally important. Lots of stuff uses lorandite, few things use sincosite and the products that do use it aren't very popular. So, it is fine to leave sincocite as a "trade opportunity", but lorandite should be much better balanced.

Of the "important" non-bulky commodities, 9 of them spawn heavily on the midnight side, 6 of them spawn heavily on the cobalt side. While the cobalt side is much worse off overall, midnight is has problems also.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 16, 2013 4:19:17 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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This seems like exactly the sort of fix that would make a lot of players happy and not cost a ton of development time. Heck, I'm fine with Algol and Penguin rebalancing it all and giving the OMs a spreadsheet. It could definitely be done over time - fix Cane, Hemp and Wood first, over the next month, and then fix the dye herbs next, etc. This should mean, I think, that it's not a large drain on OOO resources to fix the problem.

It would be great to hear feedback on this from OOO. Seems simple, really: I can't see any cons at all to rebalancing the basic commodities, at the very least. As Algol rightly pointed out, no one in their right mind would try to merch hemp, wood or cane for profit.
----------------------------------------
Aethera of Cobalt Cerulean
Princess of Maniacal Menagerie
Blockade staff on any ocean
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Momma_Wolf



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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I can agree with adding more spawns to the Cobalt side, but I emphatically do NOT agree that doing so should take spawns away from the Midnight side.

Why should Midnight side be "punished" because Cobalt side didn't have enough spawns before the merge?
----------------------------------------
Mommawolf, lurking on most oceans
Captain, Blackwolf Marauders of Midnight, now Cerulean
Queen, Victory Raiders of Midnight, now Cerulean

cmdrzoom said:
 

Anyone may demand answers of the gods.
Getting them is another matter.

[Feb 17, 2013 8:53:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I can agree with adding more spawns to the Cobalt side, but I emphatically do NOT agree that doing so should take spawns away from the Midnight side.

Penguinpaste linked to his explantion of spawn points in his first post, but let me try rephrasing things to help out.

People refer to "spawn points" for two related concepts. First, they often say "wood spawns on lima" or "lima is a wood spawn point". Second, on each island, there are certain areas (squares) that trigger the spawning of various commodities. These are also called "spawn points", and a governor can destroy certain spawn point by placing a building over them.

I don't think anyone wants to see any island have all their spawn points removed.

Next, the dyamic spawn system that puzzle pirates has will adjust how much of a commodity each spawn point on each island will produce per hour. If there is only one island on the ocean that spawns a commodity, then it doesn't matter if there is only one spawn point 1 on the island, or 100. Say the dynamic spawn system decides there needs to be 300 of the commodity produced in a hour, then if there is only one spawn point, that spawn point will produce 300 units, but if there are 100 spawn points, then each spawn point will produce only 3.

Let's look at an example of Weld, needed to make most yellow items:

Weld on midnight:
Delta Island: 20
Guava Island: 20
Zeta Island: 20

Weld on cobalt:
Cabo de Hornos: 5
Olive: 5
Stormy Fell: 5

So, both midnight and cobalt had three islands that produced weld, and the production on each ocean was split evenly among three islands. The problem is when the oceans were merged together, then things are no longer in balance, with the cobalt side having only 15 spawn points while midnight has 60.

This imbalance between the cobalt side and the midnight side can be fixed many ways. The islands on the cobalt side could have 15 spawn points added to each island, or the midnight side could have 15 spawn points removed, or the cobalt side could be increased to 10 spawn points per island while the midnight side could be reduced to 10 spawn points per island.

The problem is that each spawn point on an island is visually represented by some object, in the case of weld, by a yellow flower. It is a lot easier to go to islands that spawn too much and replace those objects with rocks/grass/etc. that it is to find good places to add more spawn points.

I hope this clears things up a little. The developers didn't deliberately choose to make the midnight side spawn most of the weld when they merged oceans. Both oceans were designed to spawn weld in a balanced way split between three islands. It is just that when midnight was being created, the island designers choose 20 as the balanced number of spawn points, while the island designers chose 5 when they designed cobalt/viridian.

Edit: if you want to see what each spawn point for each commodity looks like, check out the yppedia page: /Island_Design_Guide#Commodities
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by wrs1864b at Feb 17, 2013 10:05:28 AM]
[Feb 17, 2013 9:37:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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Remedying this issue would have no direct effect on the total number of units spawned on the ocean as a whole, but it would change where those units spawn. A year on from the merge (I have been watching prices closely for the past 8 months, when I first came upon this data) and it is clear to see that this is a giant issue. Not only are many commodities seeing a price variation of over 50% across the ocean (Lorandite for 1200 on Crimson and 2900 on Iris is I believe the worst), but the basic commodities are so scarce in some areas that they simply cannot be populated.

I believe the main issue with Midnight is the fact that the islands and spawn points there were created before the dynamic economy was put into place, and commodities worked on a "there is what there is" system. This could be why the number of spawn points tie in pretty directly with the target price of commodities, rather then limits that were fairly easy for island designers to squeeze in without disrupting their design(s).

The most simple of all fixes would be to calculate the percent of spawns each island is entitled to (to keep their spawns relative to pre-merge conditions) and "stack" additional spawn points underneath existing ones (with low render priority, for those who know their Tools). Assuming there is no X,Y position redundancy check for spawn points, this is an "invisible" fix that has no real drawbacks.



[sarcasm]I suppose OOO could design a new ocean from the ground up to suit the current player base's needs, they have demonstrated that pirates and possessions can be moved... plus it would give everyone who started playing after 2006/7 a proper go at colonization...[/sarcasm]
----------------------------------------
Penguinpaste, SO of Polaris, Obsidian. Dark side.


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[Feb 17, 2013 3:00:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TexasBeesh

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I definitely want to hear something from the Devs on this. Even if it is to say, "Yes we realize this is an issue." I hope they are going to address it in some way.
----------------------------------------
Seatexan - on the Midnight side of Cerulean
LOW RACK PRICES AT DRESSED TO KILL - NAMATH
Always looking for Pollack Sloops!
[Feb 17, 2013 4:01:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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I think it may be important to give some details backing up two of my points:
1) merchant bots are very important for Cobalt, especially compared with Midnight.
2) merchant bots on cobalt will ship a significant amount of goods to midnight

Let's take wood as an example. On Midnight, there are so many colonized islands that there is only one island that spawns merchant bots that will ship wood. Obviously, you can't depend on merchant bots there. On the other hand, the furthest a colonized island has to go to get to a wood commod market is 12 leagues (winter soltice to turtle), most have wood markets much closer. Shipping wood is not a huge problem.

Let's use population as a rough approximation of the economic activity, it at least corrolates well with other indicators I have on the Cobalt side and it is easy to get. So, on Cobalt, 80-90% of the economy is along the north/east edges.


On Cobalt, there are only three archipelagos:
Pop   Arch
2097 Jade
713 Onyx (of which, 589 is just across the jade interarch on TLM/fintan)
288 Garnet


The most populated islands on Cerulean are:
Pop     Island
564 C Kirin
498 C Dragon's Nest
450 M Turtle
432 C Terra
422 C Tigerleaf Mountain
354 M Spring
318 C Sakejima
310 M Epsilon
286 M Alpha
200 M Jorvik
178 C Lima
167 C Fintan
155 C Napi


This all means that since spawns are spread out evenly over Cobalt, but the population is concentrated, a huge amount of commods *HAVE* to be shipped across the ocean, either by merchant bots or players.



Let's look at Dragon's Nest, the island with the 2nd largest population on Cerulean. In contrast to the relatively close wood spawns across Midnight, the closest wood spawns to Dragon's Nest are 21-27 leagues away, but all of those islands are in the busy northern edge, which already uses more commods than they spawn. The closest wood spawn that isn't in the north/east is Charcoal, which is 40 leagues away. Jubilee is 54 leagues away.

As you might expect. most of the wood deliverd to Dragon's nest is delivered by merchant bots. Even if you used a MG, with only a few extra players getting sub-navy wages and bought the wood at 1PoE/unit on Charcoal/Jubilee, there just isn't enough profit to make things worth while. Getting wood on Prolix/Lima/Terra for Dragon's Nest is just stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

Now, the closest islands that spawn mechant bots that ship wood are islands like Hadrian, Oasis, Kuhio and Whistler. Unfortunately those islands are closer to many islands on Midnight than they are to Dragon's nest and the northern parts of Cobalt.

For example:

Hadrian to Dragon's Nest is 42 leagues, Hadrian to Tinga is 42 leagues
Whistler to Dragon's Nest is 40 leagues, Whistler to Tinga is 40 leagues
(The routes and distances are similar for all the uncolonized wood spawns.)


Now, Terra spawns wood, but it is 3rd most populous island on Cobalt (4th on Cerulean). With wood spawns spread out evenly over Cobalt archs, it is impossible for all the wood consumed on Terra to be spawned on Terra.

Hadrian to Terra is 61 leagues

Hadrian to Xi 57 is leagues
Hadrian to Cnossos is 60 leagues
Hadrian to Ostreum is 60 leagues

Of course, merchant bots don't work strictly off of profit/league, they will happily ship even further. So even paying a premium for wood (32-36PoE/unit), Dragon's Nest won't get as much as it used to.


Right now, 58% of all wood that is spawned on Cerulean gets spawned on the Midnight side. I suspect that if 58% of all the wood was shift to the Cobalt side, less than half would actually be delivered to islands on the Cobalt side.
----------------------------------------
Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 18, 2013 12:24:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TexasBeesh

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I believe the main issue with Midnight is the fact that the islands and spawn points there were created before the dynamic economy was put into place


What is this "dynamic economy"?
----------------------------------------
Seatexan - on the Midnight side of Cerulean
LOW RACK PRICES AT DRESSED TO KILL - NAMATH
Always looking for Pollack Sloops!
[Feb 19, 2013 7:02:17 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I believe the main issue with Midnight is the fact that the islands and spawn points there were created before the dynamic economy was put into place


What is this "dynamic economy"?

The economy as it exists now is dynamic, meaning that the amount of commodities which are spawned is a result of how many are needed. Previously, however, this was not the case, and each spawn was always the same amount. The problem with this was additional demand always resulted in higher prices, allowing players to hog the spawns (since commodities were also foraged at the island, rather then brought in by merchant bots) and force the prices to skyrocket.

The role that plays in what is going on now is that your basic commodities had to be plentiful, and the rare spawns had to be just that: rare. Cobalt was not tied to these restrictions as it was designed after the dynamic economy was put in, and there was no need to think about these possible conflicts because they were separate oceans.
----------------------------------------
Penguinpaste, SO of Polaris, Obsidian. Dark side.


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[Feb 19, 2013 7:52:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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I believe the main issue with Midnight is the fact that the islands and spawn points there were created before the dynamic economy was put into place

What is this "dynamic economy"?

There is a yppedia article on Dynamic spawn, but it gives contradictory information and information that contradicts observations on the actual ocean. Take it with a grain of salt. I don't think anyone other than maybe a few developers know exactly how it works, and the exact workings are not simple.

The basic idea is this: if the ocean's economy is using a certain amount of a commodity, then the game should spawn in about that amount. That is, the supply should balance the demand. You don't want a fixed amount of, say, the mineral masuyite to spawn on every ocean because what might be fine for 500 players will be too much for oceans with 200 players and too little for oceans with 1000. You also don't want to make it proportional to the population, because demand can change depending on the introduction of new items (the Dadao sword uses masuyite) and seasonal/limited edition products.

So, OOO developed a system that senses the demand and dynamically adjusts the supply.

OOO also decided that it wouldn't be as much fun if the current supply is to be tightly locked to the current demand. They wanted spawn rates to go cycles of being too little of stuff and periods of too much. This lets shopkeepers stock up if they think the price is cheap, and not buy when the prices are high. These cycles can take weeks, months or even years to go through, which is why the imbalances in the spawn points weren't noticed immediately.

It is generally thought that the commodity spawn rates are somehow based on the sales tax rates for the commodities, but it isn't clear exactly how they relate. It also isn't clear exactly how the sales tax rates are calculated. I suspect we will know what triggers the Jinxed Idol trophy long before we know exactly how the dynamic spawn rate works.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 19, 2013 7:54:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TexasBeesh

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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So the commodity needs to actually be used in order to spawn more. You can just bid on a lot of masuyite to make it spawn more, you have to actually use the mineral?

I decided it was faster to bid on masuyite then go pick it up from Meke (to Heph Forge) rather than buy at the highest price on the island for a bot delivery. I had thee bids with 1 masuyite per ticket fill in about one day. The week had zero bot delivery.

I noticed right away after the merge that prices for things on the Cobalt side were a good deal higher. I figured they would even out after a few months, but it has been over a year.

I would go to the ship stalls and see 14-16k for a sloop! I can buy them for 10-11 on the midnight side. I see now why the Cobalt side can't really compete esp if they are not able to get commodities with a reasonable price.
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Seatexan - on the Midnight side of Cerulean
LOW RACK PRICES AT DRESSED TO KILL - NAMATH
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[Feb 19, 2013 8:20:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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OOO also decided that it wouldn't be as much fun if the current supply is to be tightly locked to the current demand. They wanted spawn rates to go cycles of being too little of stuff and periods of too much. This lets shopkeepers stock up if they think the price is cheap, and not buy when the prices are high. These cycles can take weeks, months or even years to go through, which is why the imbalances in the spawn points weren't noticed immediately.

Actually I picked up on this pretty quickly. I've just checked my sent box on my flag's forums, and I brought this up with Anaplian (who wrote the script that went through the .xml scene files) on May 7th 2012. Although, I must admit if we hadn't taken Jubilee I wouldn't have noticed.

 
It is generally thought that the commodity spawn rates are somehow based on the sales tax rates for the commodities, but it isn't clear exactly how they relate. It also isn't clear exactly how the sales tax rates are calculated. I suspect we will know what triggers the Jinxed Idol trophy long before we know exactly how the dynamic spawn rate works.


From what I understand, commodity spawns are tied to several different factors which make a loop. Tax rates are 10% of the trimmed mean of the ocean's dockside buy transactions (not just listings, actual transactions). The profit from sales tax (meaning that some of the commodity has been removed from the system) is what determines the rate that commodities spawn at. The spawn rate decays with each spawn, which is why we see it go up and down like we do.

In summary:

When the spawn rate lowers past the acceptable rate for the ocean (generally due to players using goods they had stockpiled when the spawn rate was up), everyone has to start raising their buy prices because their reserves are low and the bots aren't bringing much in.
The tax amount goes up due to a higher ocean average, which in turn generates more revenue and increases the spawn.
As the spawn increases players sink extra of the commodity to rebuild stockpiles of finished goods, pushing the spawn rate up even higher.
At this point the market is saturated, dockside prices begin to go down.
The sales tax drops due to ocean average, therefore lowering revenue and slowing the spawn.
Start over.

There are other factors as well, each commodity has a target tax rate that also plays a part in spawning. I believe it gives an anchoring point to stop prices from going too far (especially if spawn rates increase/decrease exponentially the farther away from this number the tax gets), though I cannot be certain.


And no, I don't know what triggers the Jinxed Idol :P
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[Feb 19, 2013 8:54:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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So the commodity needs to actually be used in order to spawn more. You can just bid on a lot of masuyite to make it spawn more, you have to actually use the mineral?

In my opinion, there are probably only a few developers that can really answer your question. I have heard lots of strongly-held conflicting opinions from others.

My observations is that no, a commodity does not actually have to be consumed in order for the spawn rate to change. You could fill a blockade fleet with masuyite, never using any in products, and more masuyite would keep spawning.

My observations is that both the bid price and dockside buy price have an influence on the sales tax rate which eventually influences the spawn rate. I had a friend who made a killing in shopkeeping who was convinced that buying from a stall on an island caused that specific island to be delivered more. So, instead of transferring stuff from his stall, he would buy it dockside at inflated prices (high prices so others wouldn't buy it). Now, whether the bots and the spawn rate really are influenced by how much is purchased from an island, or if the inflated sell price factored into the sales tax and therefor the overall spawn rate, I don't know, but he was convinced he was right.

 
I decided it was faster to bid on masuyite then go pick it up from Meke (to Heph Forge) rather than buy at the highest price on the island for a bot delivery. I had thee bids with 1 masuyite per ticket fill in about one day. The week had zero bot delivery.

In the case of bid tickets vs bot delivery, on midnight there were only two islands that spawned masuyite: Meke and O'Reilly. Meke is colonized, O'Reilly isn't. So, merchant bots coming from O'Reilly try to supply every stall on the ocean that was buying masuyite, favoring those those that had high prices and/or closer, but every island would probably get some masuyite delivered, even if it was only once per year. (Or, at least, that was my observation with sassafras and seeing bots deliver some to my remote island when I was buying for more at a nearby large island. And, also in chalcocite where my nearby outpost paid more, yet chalcocite sometimes was delivered to remote large islands.)

On the other hand, there are probably far fewer people who the routes to Meke memorized and feel that it is worth their time to trade there. So, you are likely competing against far fewer people on the bid market, and therefore you will get more.
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[Feb 19, 2013 9:14:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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From what I understand, commodity spawns are tied to several different factors which make a loop. Tax rates are 10% of the trimmed mean of the ocean's dockside buy transactions (not just listings, actual transactions).

No, that can't be all of it. Navy dye on Cobalt was only ever purchased from the olive dockside market, it was never sold to a stall/palace, and yet it has a tax rate. Therefore, dockside purchases must factor in to the tax rate also. Also, buying/selling at prices far from the tax rate seem to be ignored, it isn't just 10% of the trimmed mean of the dockside transactions.

I don't know how exactly things work, but it doesn't appear to be a simple system.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 19, 2013 9:21:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
PhantomNuke

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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Any truth to the belief that merchants won't trade with your stall if you're on a ship that attacks a merchant ship?
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[Feb 19, 2013 9:57:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TexasBeesh

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merchants won't trade with your stall if you're on a ship that attacks a merchant ship


If this is true, I think its really funny. Merchants getting all fussy :).

This past weekend (Friday or Sat) I was on a sloop that attacked a MB, we won. Yesterday I had a merchant bot deliver hemp to my stall.

I was just jobbing, not naving...
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Seatexan - on the Midnight side of Cerulean
LOW RACK PRICES AT DRESSED TO KILL - NAMATH
Always looking for Pollack Sloops!
[Feb 19, 2013 10:41:43 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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From what I understand, commodity spawns are tied to several different factors which make a loop. Tax rates are 10% of the trimmed mean of the ocean's dockside buy transactions (not just listings, actual transactions).

No, that can't be all of it. Navy dye on Cobalt was only ever purchased from the olive dockside market, it was never sold to a stall/palace, and yet it has a tax rate. Therefore, dockside purchases must factor in to the tax rate also. Also, buying/selling at prices far from the tax rate seem to be ignored, it isn't just 10% of the trimmed mean of the dockside transactions.

I don't know how exactly things work, but it doesn't appear to be a simple system.

Ah sorry, I was going off of memory. Now that I've rechecked, it is oceanwide average use cost that determines the tax rate, and completed dockside buys are what drive the spawns. Everything is based on a trimmed mean though, to prevent individual players from having a direct effect.

Pretty much every possible product (all variations of paint, enamel, herbs, minerals etc, even if we don't see them as an active commod in the game) has a base tax rate assigned to it.
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Penguinpaste, SO of Polaris, Obsidian. Dark side.


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[Feb 19, 2013 1:03:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bailet

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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Numbers, numbers everywhere. *Shudders in fear*

I will take your word for it. Spawn rate rebalance ftw!
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OM MESSAGE: Complaining the on-duty OM will only result in another flurry of eggs being sent out into the YPP world. Go #TeamPurple!
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[Feb 19, 2013 4:53:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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PhantomNuke wrote: 
Any truth to the belief that merchants won't trade with your stall if you're on a ship that attacks a merchant ship?

I've never tested it, but I find it highly unlikely.

Remember, foraging used to forage up commodities, not fruit. The orignal idea was that foragers would then sell the commods dockside to others, but it turned out that it was mostly shopkeepers who foraged to get their commods "for free". Foraging for commods had other problems, so it was changed so that foraging yielded fruit and merchant bots were created. Shopkeepers who still wanted to get their commods "for free" were told to fight the merchant bots instead.

So, not only were merchant bots designed to be attacked by shopkeepers, but over the years, OOO has made fighting them more profitable (PoE wise), given trophies for doing so and created expeditions to hunt them.

Penguinpaste wrote: 
Ah sorry, I was going off of memory. Now that I've rechecked, it is oceanwide average use cost that determines the tax rate, and completed dockside buys are what drive the spawns. Everything is based on a trimmed mean though, to prevent individual players from having a direct effect.

Pretty much every possible product (all variations of paint, enamel, herbs, minerals etc, even if we don't see them as an active commod in the game) has a base tax rate assigned to it.

Yeah, I known Lizthegrey once said that, but it still can't be right.

Again, navy dye was only bought once from a palace and the the OM that magic'ed it up, soon after deleted the dye off the ship. It never had a use cost associated with it (or was sold dockside), and yet it has a sales tax rate. I guess the same goes for large cannon balls, they aren't used in anything and therefore don't have a use-cosst but they have a sales tax rate.

I was confused by what you meant by "trimmed mean", but yeah, we completely agree on that part.
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[Feb 20, 2013 4:16:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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Bump.

Any comment from the devs/OMs on the state of commodity spread on Cerulean?
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[Mar 14, 2013 2:08:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Pixulayted

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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Bump.

Any comment from the devs/OMs on the state of commodity spread on Cerulean ANYTHING AT ALL?



Fixed :)
[Mar 14, 2013 10:16:06 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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I plan to do some more looking tonight, but I did notice last night, as I did some drive-by bidding, that hemp was down to 3 on Corona, and wood was down to 22 on Viridis. Been a while since I've seen those numbers. Probably means nothing, of course.
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[Mar 15, 2013 6:32:36 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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*BUMP*

I would really like to hear from the OOO about this. OOO's booch is forcing me to ponder having to ship wood 40-60 leagues and that is looking like a complete time waste for me and a bunch of jobbers. I think everyone would rather be pillaging or in the inn or anything than mindlessly shippig wood (and other bulky goods) long distances.
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[Jun 4, 2013 8:27:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
marundel

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Re: The ocean merge is ruining the game Reply to this Post
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*BUMP*

I would really like to hear from the OOO about this. OOO's booch is forcing me to ponder having to ship wood 40-60 leagues and that is looking like a complete time waste for me and a bunch of jobbers. I think everyone would rather be pillaging or in the inn or anything than mindlessly shippig wood (and other bulky goods) long distances.

Concur. Dockside buy on wood for TLM (Cerulean) is now up to 35 (might be higher - I haven't checked since Wednesday) and hemp is up to 12. As far as I can tell, no bots are delivering. Wood spawns against bid tickets on Charcoal and Ravens are at a trickle. Napi Peak is hitting 29-30 for wood with minimal deliveries by bots. While it's true that both hemp and wood are spawning more frequently on the old Midnight side of the ocean (dockside buys in the low 20s), hauling the bulky commodities over a 25-50 LP route in anything larger than a cutter is time consuming and unwieldy (read: unfun) and detracts from the time available to pillage. Even for someone with only a single SY shop on TLM, it would be nearly a full-time activity just to keep it stocked enough to build anything larger than a sloop.

When the easiest way to get a wood delivery is to open a stall 2 arches away just for the purpose of buying wood dockside for a shop on the other side of the ocean, then something is seriously broken in the gameplay.
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Pizzahutpete on the Cerulean Ocean
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SO, Boochin' Drunks

Pizzahutpete everywhere, thanks to the merge
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BobJanova

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So you have a difference of 10-15 poe/unit between the two halves of the ocean ('low 20s' vs '30-35')? That's not a serious problem and not, imo, large enough to justify trade runs, either. Here on Viridian it's 19 on Jubilee, 23 on Napi and 29 on some high demand Jade islands, but 18 at Drogeo, 14 at Celesta and 15 in Lacerta ... exactly the same, a difference of 10-15 poe/unit (actually higher proportionally), and the ocean seems to be operating fine.

What I see here is a shop owner complaining that the spawns aren't favouring him, not a serious issue that needs GD changes.
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[Jun 7, 2013 10:31:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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So you have a difference of 10-15 poe/unit between the two halves of the ocean ('low 20s' vs '30-35')? That's not a serious problem and not, imo, large enough to justify trade runs, either. Here on Viridian it's 19 on Jubilee, 23 on Napi and 29 on some high demand Jade islands, but 18 at Drogeo, 14 at Celesta and 15 in Lacerta ... exactly the same, a difference of 10-15 poe/unit (actually higher proportionally), and the ocean seems to be operating fine.

Several things...

First, I can understand players from other oceans not reading this thread closely. Sorry for the long post that repeats some stuff.

Second, when the broken spawns was first being discussed in a Cerulean thread, I said I take heart in knowing that it isn't that OOO doesn't just not care about blue oceans, meridian is pretty messed up for similar reasons. and before the merger even happened, I predicted that the "high demand jade islands" would be commodity starved. So, I'm well aware that Meridian has some problems also.

That said, there are some really critical differences between what is happening on Cerulean vs Meridian.

1) Things will get better on Meridian. Meridian still spawns a lot of greenies, so over time the new players are much more likely to settle on the cheap parts of the ocean causing the demand to even out. On Cerulean, there aren't many new players, so the Cobalt players have a choice of quitting, paying a huge premium to keep playing or move all their stuff to the Midnight side. Sadly, a lot of old players just aren't going to move (on either ocean).

2) Things will get worse on Cerulean. Take wood. Almost 60% of the wood spawns on Midnight side, but there is only one uncolonized island there that will spawn merchant bots. So, most of the wood on the Midnight side has to be shipped by players and it won't be shipped far. On the Cobalt side, the arrangement of islands means that many of the <merchant> bots will deliver wood to Midnight islands.

When people on Dragon's Nest on Meridian raise their wood prices, <merchant> bots from the Malachite side will stop delivering wood to islands that aren't paying much and will send wood to DN instead. Indeed, the price of wood on DN on Meridian isn't much higher than before the merger and may be very slightly lower.

When people on Dragon's Nest on Cerulean raise their wood prices, wood spawns on the Midnight side will be forced to deliver to ever decreasing priced bid tickets, driving down the spawn rates. No matter how high the prices of wood are on the Cobalt side, the <merchant> bots will not have any more wood to ship. Indeed, the price of wood on DN on Cerulean has increased significantly since the merger.

3) The price of wood on Kirin on Cerulean is currently 36-38, but that is artificially low. Right before OOO released the Trading Post, I gambled big on wood bid tickets which I was never able to sell to shops on Kirin. When the oceans were merged, I had something like 60k units of wood in bid tickets. Between not playing for 6 months last fall, and not playing seriously enough this year to make LE ships in my ship yard, I have been able to live with the <merchant> bots not delivering me a single unit of wood on Kirin. I am now almost out and when I am forced to throw my shops into the Kirin wood market and compete for <merchant> bots, I'm sure the price of wood will break 40PoE/unit, maybe 50PoE/unit.


Ok, so wood is bad on Cerulean and is going to get worse. Sadly, the spawn imbalances for sugar cane and hemp are even worse. I can live with having to ship weld 80 leagues on a sloop. I can't live with having to ship wood 57 leagues from the Midnight side to Kirin.
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[Jun 7, 2013 2:42:29 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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I did some digging into my archives and have come up with some plots of the prices of bulky commodities on the five islands on the cobalt side that can spawn greenies. These graphs track the average price you would get if you took a grandfrig, loaded it up with the given commodity and sold it for the best price by sailing between these five islands.

Notes:

1) Since Cobalt was much busier back in 2009, the GF full of commods didn't fill as deeply into the dockside buy prices so prices are somewhat distorted. Either the prices at the beginning of the graphs is too high, or they are now too low.

2) As pointed out in the OP, Jubilee is the second largest spawn of wood on Cobalt, and the largest spawn of hemp. It is no where near any of the major islands so by colonizing it, these two commodities are no longer shipped by <merchant> bots (or players) to these islands.

3) There are quite a few long periods where there are no data points. These are periods that I wasn't playing YPP. In particular, I wasn't playing when Jubilee was colonized. While the graphs show nice straight lines then, I have no idea if the price of wood jumped right after jubilee was opened or long before then, or what.

4) I tried graphing quite a few variations on this idea, but most results were very similar. In particular if you track each individual island (with only a MB worth of commods), all the islands make very similar graphs, but some islands tend to be consistently higher priced.

5) the "reboot exploit" was when OOO changed the game to keep spawning brigands right up to the reboot.

6) Yeah, I know, the amount of hemp/cane you can fit on a GF isn't right, but I was lazy.


2010-01-20 trading posts
2011-12-03 jubilee opens
2012-01-31 ocean merger
2012-03-21 reboot exploit closed



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[Jun 14, 2013 6:21:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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It has been about 4 months since I posted the above graphs, so here is an update.

* Price of all bulky commods on the cobalt side of cerulean have continued to go up, reflecting the nasty imbalance in the spawn rates. There are problems with non-bulky commods too, but at least you can ship them in a sloop without much effort, just a large amount of time wasted on unfun activities.

* The extra swabbies on ships does not seem to have helped much. To overcome OOO's booched spawns you need to be able to ship lots of bulky goods the required 25-65+ leagues. (Yes, really, 65+ leagues is needed.) While you can now solo a MB much easier, it holds too little to make a long trip worth while. A MG can now be soloed short distances, but even 12-15 leagues is running a huge risk that damage/bilge will get out of hand and your ship will collapse into being dead in the water. Hiring jobbers on such a low population ocean means that you are taking critical jobbers away from other, funner activities, it greatly increases your load time, it greatly increases you risk that the jobbers will leave you stranded in the middle of an inter-ocean leg, and greatly increases your costs.

* All notes listed in the above post still apply.


2010-01-20 trading posts
2011-12-03 jubilee opens
2012-01-31 ocean merger
2012-03-21 reboot exploit closed
2013-09-16 extra swabbies



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[Oct 9, 2013 6:05:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
marundel

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I noted that dockside buys for wood in Onyx are now topping 41, and bid prices on the old Cobalt side are now hovering around 25-30. The prices on the old Midnight side appear to be up by only a poe or two from when the original post was posted (except for the two or three spawning islands close enough to the old Cobalt side to be a factor.) I have not seen a merchant bot delivery of wood or hemp to any of the Garnet islands in over three months. I suspect many of the shop owners with dockside buy prices double the pre-merge prices are now selling at a deep loss and supplementing their shops and stalls with the proceeds from cit runs and poker.

Any chance we may see a rebalancing before several of us just give up entirely on shopkeeping?
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Pizzahutpete on the Cerulean Ocean
Prince, Super Awesomeness
SO, Boochin' Drunks

Pizzahutpete everywhere, thanks to the merge
[Oct 25, 2013 7:10:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.thehomebrewstore.com    meadbrewer [Link]  Go to top 
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