Wednesday, 18 April 2012

More Energy!

Since we are going to have to be choosing whether or not to get more maximum energy soon, we should probably know whether we want more maximum energy or not.  If you'd like to cut to the chase, click here to jump to my simple calculation.  Otherwise, enjoy the ride.

Hburger was kind enough to provide a sneak peek of the new imagination based upgrade system for our Glitchen.  First of all, I'm going to ignore the bizarre learning times attached to skills on the right hand side, I don't think that Meditative Arts I and Potion Making I are actually going to end up with the same learning times.

Instead, let's focus on the image on the left that gives an idea of how we will buy upgrades.  It appears we get to choose between three different upgrades at any given time and if we don't like our options we can redeal, but we can only redeal once a day.  So it seems we get some say over how we progress, but we don't have unlimited options.

Okay, so as for the cards themselves, the one on the left seems to be some kind of upgrade to Animal Kinship having to do with Mood that we can hardly predict the effect of.  The one in the middle is clearly a test to see that cards with very long names are formatted correctly.  So only the one on the right is of much interest.  It's important to keep in mind that the actual numbers on it are not reliable because the cards are obviously just in a testing phase.

While the numbers aren't reliable, though, the fact that there are cards in the deck that upgrade our energy tanks is a pretty safe bet.  It's possible we can only buy each card once so that our energy tanks will still have a maximum, but it's also possible that cards like energy increases will be "shuffled back in" when selected since there is no technical or balance problem with doing so.

So let's enter a fantasy future where we can spend any amount of imagination to upgrade our energy tanks.  How much do we really want to upgrade them?

First of all, let's go back to the question of whether more energy is good.  In my previous examination of this question I assumed that icons reveres were based on maximum energy when in fact they are not.  So there are only a few factors that affect how good energy is for you.
  1. You start with full energy every day
  2. Amount of time played in a game day
  3. Number of teleports in a game day
  4. Quoins
There are a couple of other factors that weigh in as well, such as making crabs happy and utilizing your no-no crash, but those are not major considerations.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
I'm not anticipating that many people will have a million maximum energy, but let's not rule this out as an achievable goal.  The picture shows a card that expands your energy tank at a ten to one imagination to energy tank size ratio.  Suppose we earn imagination at the same rate we used to earn xp.  Level 60 took nearly 5 million, so that would be enough to buy 500k extra energy.  If I had actually earned xp for my donations after level 60, I have another 30 million, so easily enough to get to the million energy mark and then do whatever else I wanted to.

Of course it may not be possible at all, but for argument's sake, let's say it falls closer to the foolish than the impossible end of the spectrum to get a million maximum energy.  Do you even want that?

You'd start every day with a million energy, which sounds pretty good, but you'd lose 8000 energy every minute and a half.  On top of that, teleporting would cost 100,000 energy.  So basically, you would never be able to eat enough food to teleport - it would be completely out of reach.  In fact, eating enough food to make up for one tick of energy loss would be extremely daunting.  8000 energy is forty awesome stews which is three and a third eat commands, which is 10 clicks.  If you click twice a second then that's 5 seconds of eating, which is one eighteenth of your time spent eating just to make up for energy loss.  Crafting those stews would take 40 seconds, which would mean half your time spend crafting and eating.  Buying them at auction would probably take a similar amount of time if not longer.

But though you can't possibly keep up with your energy loss there are substantial advantages as well.  You do actually start the day with one million energy.  If you play for two hours you'll lose 640,000 energy to time.  If you teleport three times during those two hours you'll have lost 940,000 energy.  That still leaves you with 60,000 which is more energy than it is currently possible to spend in a single day without doing tricks.

That means that you will have more energy to spend then you currently do by a wide margin.  But it turns out that you wouldn't even really want to spend that energy anyway.

Right now my crafting spreadsheet tells me I can make about 13.8 currants per second by crafting in the best case scenario.  Even nibbling piggies, which can easily be done twice a second for 40 currants of value, could only produce about 80 currants a second.  With a maximum energy of one million, the average ancestral lands quoin would be worth 130,000.

That means that collecting 9 ancestral currant quoins would produce more currants than standing next to a never ending piggy and nibbling it for the entire game day non-stop.  So basically at this extreme energy pool there is no point in even playing the game from a profit perspective.  Grab some quoins and you are done.  The same goes for imagination, just grab some quoins and you'll get so much that nothing can possibly compare.

Basically you'd be able to do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted in the game, except for teleporting, money and imagination would be no consequence to you.  Do you want to be a millionaire?

Who Wants to Have 10,000 Energy?
While having a million maximum energy would so fundamentally alter the game that you might not even feel like you are playing anymore, it sure seems like having more energy is better from a raw resource generation perspective and bad from a teleporting perspective - also bad from the perspective of anyone who doesn't want to harvest high value quoins.

Ten thousand energy is a little more reasonable, and probably more achievable.  If you need to teleport an extra time then you can actually get the 10,000 required energy by eating food.  If you want to play a little longer then getting approximately 1 energy per second from food is possible.  Also, while collecting a quoin worth 1300 currants would be pretty hefty, it would not make everything else you do in the game seem like a complete waste of time.

Two Simple Calculations
So how do you tell if more energy is for you?  My first answer is that everyone probably wants at least 1,000 maximum energy just to be able to craft things efficiently.  You want to be able to season 40 beans or eggs at once, to crush a few hundred rocks at once an so on.

After that, you can do one of two pretty simple calculations to figure out whether more energy is beneficial to you.

First of all, if you don't like going to the ancestral lands to pick up high value quoins:
Multiply the number of hours you play on a typical game day by 3
Add to that the number of times you teleport on a typical game day

If the answer is exceeds 19 then you should keep your energy on the lower side, if it exceeds 24 then definitely don't get more energy than you have to.  If you are increasing your maximum energy make sure you are picking up the quoins you come across even if you are not going out of your way for high values quoins.

Second, if you do like going to the ancestral lands to pick up high values quoins:
Go absolutely nuts on maximum energy, it is great (this is a very simple calculation)

I still think that making meditation give returns based on maximum energy and halving the average value of ancestral quoins would be good for the game.  If they did this then we could pretty much unambiguously say that maximum energy was a good thing.

In anticipation of fun,


  1. I'm trying to remember where but I think that the quoin multiplier will be a separate upgrade from the energy tank. So it's not necessarily the case that the AL currant quoins will be commensurately larger? I'll try to track down the reference.

  2. Well, if they de-link energy from quoins then maximum energy becomes just a bad thing. That's not to say it won't happen, but if it does I'll be making a strongly argued forum post about it requesting the option of spending imagination to *lower* my energy tank.

  3. Found it!