Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Should you buy energy?

It turns out whether to buy maximum energy upgrades is a very complicated question.  I'd like to quickly go over some of the calculations that we can use to determine the value of maximum energy upgrades, and then talk about how to compare that to what we have to spend to get them.

A quick reminder, here were the 13 factors that influence the value of maximum energy:

  1. Full energy refill each game day
  2. Energy decay over time
  3. Teleport Costs
  4. Crafting larger stacks of things
  5. No-no crashes
  6. Get out of hell free cards
  7. Refills from buying energy upgrades
  8. Making Crabs Happy
  9. Increased Mood 
  10. Maximum energy from meditating
  11. Maximum food you can eat in a day
  12. More efficient AL runs
  13. Avoid overfilling from icon reveres
I compressed the first three into what I called the basic calculation for the value of energy, that being that we calculate the value of 1 maximum energy per game day by:

1 - 0.32 * Number of Hours played - 0.1 * Number of Teleports

Then we add in all of the following:

If we use no-no: One at a time, then add 0.788 so long as your energy is lower than (360 * energy spent per second while on no-no) * 0.788.  Two at a time, then add 1.682 so long as your energy is lower than (180 * energy spend per second while on no-no) * 0.894.

If we use get out of hell free cards: Add 0.95 for each get out of hell free card you use per game day, assuming that you are not affecting the price of these cards on the market by buying them.  If you are it could fall as low as 0.18 for each card per day.

If we meditate while crafting: Add 1.5 per energy if our total energy is less than 2/3 * the total number of seconds we craft per game day.

If we teleport in and out of the ancestral lands: Add 0.877 for each trip to the ancestral lands, as long as our energy doesn't exceed 136 times our quoin multiplier (may vary depending on how crowded the AL is and thus how long it takes to find quoins).  Make sure to include the extra teleports in the basic calculation!

So for a glitch who plays for three hours, teleports six times, makes two trips to the ancestral lands, uses no-no twice on high energy expenditure activities, uses two get out of hell free cards to recover, crafts an hour (nine minutes of which are during no-no rush so they don't count) and has around 1200 energy, having another 100 energy would be give about 628 more energy to spend that day.  They probably want to do that.

What about a glitch who plays for an hour and a half, teleporting once, with half of their time spent gathering from trees and animals and the other half spent talking to friends?  Increasing their energy by 100 would give them 42 more energy to spend that day.  That does not sound so great.

What about someone like that first glitch again, but they don't enjoy going to the ancestral lands, they don't do drugs, don't die, and mostly mine spending 10 minutes crafting with alchemy.  If they increase their energy tank by 100 then they will have 14 less energy to spend that day.  I think this is about the opposite of great.

What are you willing to pay?
It isn't just a question of whether you want more energy or not, it's a question of what you could buy instead.  Assuming you haven't hit end game you can usually choose between energy and quoin multiplier.

You cap out the price of quoin multiplier at only 19, so I'm going to assume it's capped for this comparison.  You cap out the price of energy at 5000, so it's best to assume it's not capped and look at a range.

So, if you have 1500 to 2000 energy then at the cost of one more quoin multiplier you could instead have 222 maximum energy.  How good is a quoin multiplier?  We'll have to talk about it in two ways:

Ancestral Lands Trips
If you use ancestral lands trips then you know your value of energy is going to be higher than if you don't, but your quoin value is also going to be much, much higher.  If just 20 of the quoins you pick up per day are from the ancestral lands then one quoin multiplier is worth around 390 "energy" a day. Energy is in quotes there because some of that energy is currants, which are better than energy, and some of that energy is imagination converted at a more favorable rate than shrine donations, so again, better than energy (if it's not better than energy then don't pick it up).  Every ancestral trip you make increases the number of high value quoins you collect.  If you make four trips a day then you might be getting 779 energy out of that larger energy tank, but if you can pick up 20 quoins a trip you'd be getting 1030 "energy" (remember, better than energy) out of the quoin value.

The verdict on this, I think, is that if you frequently use high value quoins from the ancestral lands then quoin value is pretty much always going to be better than energy until you get to the point that a single energy quoin from the ancestral lands has a substantial likelihood of overfilling your energy bar, and probably even well past that point.  When energy gets more expensive at higher values the case for it will only get worse.

No Ancestral Lands Trips
If you don't make frequent trips up north then we can safely place quoin multiplier at being worth around 150 a day.  Probably 160 would be more fair since you are still going to get higher value quoins some of the time, and maybe 200 would be fairer since we should all be drinking elixirs of avarice (almost all of us anyway).  Then again, if you don't actually collect quoins to your maximum then this might be a little high.

So the question is can you get your energy value over 0.72 to make the 222 energy worth more than the 160 from quoin multiplier?  Using the methods above this should be pretty easy if you are dedicated to the task.  If you use no-no powder relatively often and manage to use your energy during the crash; or if you use a get out of hell free card every other day or so; or if you craft for more seconds than 1.5 times your maximum energy every two or three days then energy tank should be a better buy than quoin multiplier.

When you clear 2000 energy you are only buy 200 maximum energy for the cost of a quoin multiplier, so now your daily energy value has to be higher than 0.75 to make it better than quoins.  It keeps going up and you keep needing to make better and better use of your maximum energy to make it worthwhile, but even over 5000 you only need to get your daily energy worth to 1.2 before it's better than quoin multiplier.  Of course at 5000 that's hard to do since you are never going to get the meditation bonus and you are going to have a hard time filling up in the ancestral lands without a good sized quoin multiplier, but then again get out of hell free cards are pretty sure to be a good buy for you.

Final Thoughts
I can't definitively say that energy or quoin multiplier is better than the other.  It depends on how you play the game.  However, it doesn't necessarily depend on the things that a glitch would intuitively think it depends on and for newer glitchen they may be completely unaware of the existence of the parts of the game it does depend on.  Of course for a brand new glitch they likely need to expand their energy to avoid eventually running into the daily food limit.

So let's think about a new glitch who has worked their way up to around 800 energy and a quoin multiplier of 8.  This is a bit of a guess at this point because I don't have exact card prices for these ranges (I have all card prices, just not definitely linked to ranges), but this glitch is probably paying 18000 for +1 quoin multiplier and around 120 for each maximum energy.  Thus it would be a choice between 1 multiplier and 150 maximum energy.  Presumably they don't have all of the upgrades to let them collect more quoins per day.  They may not have even learned teleportation or a high rank of meditation.  They may use get out of hell free cards they get but they'd be much better off selling them.  They've never heard of no-no or if they have they are worried what happens when you try it.  When they log in they typically play about an hour.

Strangely it works out that maximum energy and quoin multiplier are almost exactly the same value to this glitch, so maybe the costing of them is more appropriate than I ever would have guessed.

Now that quoin multiplier is capped the question of whether more maximum energy is good becomes much more important.  Eventually you'll have the choice of spending imagination on maximum energy or not spending it at all, hoping that in the future it becomes useful for something.  Of course there are probably many glitchen who will never arrive at this point because imagination will actually become useful for things faster than they acquire it - I would hazard to guess that most glitchen would fall in this category, actually.

So here is my final analysis of how much maximum energy you should stop at:

If you teleport like an absolute fiend and stay logged in for three or more hours of the day, stop between 1200 and 1300 and cut your losses.

If you teleport a fair bit and play many several hours a day then you probably want to consider your usage of no-no, get out of hell free cards, and crafting time to determine whether to stay low (1300 or so) or to go big.

If you find the calculation of energy value to be clearly positive then there is nothing to stop you from going big, but bear in mind the diminishing returns of energy.  Beyond the mid 3000's you probably aren't meaningfully increasing your meditation maximum.  Beyond 3000-5000 you are going to stop getting extra energy during the second no-no crash and above 8000 you'll probably lose out on the first as well unless you consistently make while gas during it.

Major break points for diminishing returns are the meditation break point for your own level of crafting, the no-no crash break point for your favourite high energy activity, and 10k - the get out of hell free card break point.  Each time you pass one of these you need to re-evaluate whether more energy is really making things better.  At some point it might make things worse.

Take that glitch who was getting 628 energy per day for every 100 maximum energy they bought.  What if they had 12,000 energy instead of 1200?  They never hit their meditation maximum, they can't spend their energy during a crash.  That means that all that maximum energy is doing for them is giving them their daily refill and increasing their decay and teleport costs.  As a result, another 100 energy gives them only 134 energy to spend per day.  But its worth noting that the benefit of energy for them at this point is entirely based on the get out of hell free cards.  If they stopped using, perhaps because the cards have become scared on the market, then they would actually be losing 56 energy a day for each 100 energy upgrade.


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