Friday, 10 February 2012

Icons at Home

Last week I talked about carrying icons around with you, but I didn't address leaving them at home.

Leaving icons at home is good because of Giant Love, but it somewhat restricts your ability to use them as energy sources since you have to be in a specific place to do so.  If you regularly visit your home and use them when you are there anyway this is a good deal.  For many Glitchen, however, using icons at home will mean teleporting home and teleporting back.  Since this couldn't possibly be viable without teleportation 5, I'll just assume that we have it.

Two teleports costs 20% of maximum energy, which means that teleporting home and back to activate one icon gives you only 5% of your maximum energy back.  At a cost of 13% of your energy capacity in a tithe to get that activation this is a bad deal.  Of course you presumably go home to activate more than one icon.

At two icons you get 30% of your energy capacity for 26% worth of currants, which is still bad, at over 0.8 currants per energy.  The third activation makes the total 55% energy for 39% worth of currants, but that's still over 0.7 currants per energy, so it still compares unfavorably to raw meat.  The fourth activation nets 80% of energy for 52% worth of currants, which is finally a back in the good deal range.

Simulating Icon Uses to Fill Energy
The problem with that activation is that you can't practically implement it.  Icon reveres only average 25% of maximum energy.  The distribution of them is weird and extremely variable.  About 5% of the time I got a result of less than 10% of my energy capacity, and another 5% of the time I got more than 50%.

Fortunately all the data I have on icon uses lets me run a little simulation of this, choosing random icon returns to figure out how many icon uses are needed to get the desired amount of energy, recognizing that anything that spills over is wasted.

It turns out the answer is around 4.47 reveres to get back 100%.  If you restore 100% of your energy with icons then you actually get back 80% after the teleport cost.  4.48  icon activations should cost you around 58.2% of your energy capacity.  So that gives a cost of 0.73 currants per energy.  Cheaper than buying Awesome Stew at auction, but nothing to write home about.

We could try being a little smarter.  Let's say that instead of filling our energy to maximum, we filled it only to the point where the expected value of the next icon use was better than 0.7 currants per energy.  If each revere costs 13% of our energy capacity in currants then we wouldn't revere again unless the expected value was at least 18.6% of maximum energy.  Based on the data I have, that point comes when you are at 82% of your maximum energy, but this way your spillover isn't all wasted.  So running the simulation again I get an average of 3.78 reveres to recover an average of 93.8% maximum energy - which is 73.8% after paying for the teleports.  The final efficiency is 0.67 currants per energy.  Using the same analysis as I did last week, and comparing again to Awesome Stew, this means you are getting an effective 3.3% of maximum energy per icon.  If you can get that by leaving them at home then the inventory slot is only worth between 6.4% at 1000 maximum energy or only 9.2% at maximum level.  That's still 263 energy per slot at level 60, so I'm still carrying them around.

So the energy efficiency of this process is not mind-blowing and teleporting home solely to refill with icons seems like a poor idea unless you have sometime to do with the three minutes that you have to wait for your cooldown.  However, if you have sometime to do with three minutes then it is at least more efficient than eating food.  If you actually spend energy during those three minutes it could get even better because you could get more icon activations.

Using Even More Icons per Trip
If you spend at least 50% of your energy in those three minutes, which is quite plausible even at high level by crafting eggs, beans, white gas or by refining, then you can earn much more energy per teleport home.  In fact, it's enough to reduce the currants per energy to 0.6 - you regain 123% of maximum energy after paying for teleports for 5.72 activations.  Furthermore, at 5.72 activations per trip, now you are only making two trips home a day.  This would mean you were getting an effective 5.4% of your maximum energy per icon.  At level 60, you would now be paying 204 energy per inventory slot to not carry them.

Ultimately I think that icons at home only makes sense if you actually want to go home anyway.  If you don't like to go home during the day then the cost of leaving them there is not really worth paying.  Of course there is also giant love to consider, but it will be a long time before I have enough data to quantify the value of that.

Remember, if you are leaving icons on your floor the ideal ratio is 1 Humbaba icon to 1 non-Humbaba icon,

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