Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Purple Numbers

As Tribeca pointed out in my musing on purple, I should hardly make posts without at least some numbers, so I took a look at the post to see what I could quantify and I found it.

Suppose they did decide to implement a purple product that had the bizarre actions effect I described. What should you get when you use those actions?

Value of a Second
To answer that we need to account for the value of a second of play time.  As usual, I am doing this accounting with a mind towards optimization.  Most of us do not play in an optimized way in terms of earning currants or imagination.  We have things we like to do and we do those things even if our time could be spent more profitably elsewhere.  We may play at a moderate pace instead of maximizing our actions per minute.

 Maybe you do not play anywhere close to optimally in terms of earning imagination but with this new purple product you will find optimal play so fun that you will be much closer to it.  But an element of gameplay is not unbalanced if it is better for someone, it is unbalanced if it is clearly better in the abstract.

Fortunately I've already done a good deal of the work that is needed to determine what a second of gameplay is worth.  In my post comparing eggs and beans I computed that we could make about 19.89 currants per second by buying ingredients and crafting chicken eggs, counting our donation limit.  Of course that post was written before the Serious Gas route came into being, a route which dramatically increases the rate at which you can harvest gas - I clocked a 35% increase in gas per second.  With that route I recalculated the gain at 22.35 currants per second.

Outcome of Bizarre Actions
So, if you approach a tree and the option to Smelt it appears in your menu, and you choose that option, what should happen?  I'd like this action to take time, cost energy, and give imagination.  If you spend around 25% of your time in dead time (loading screens, walking from object to object, etc) then that would let you spend about 75% of your time taking actions like this.  Thus, while taking actions like this you should be profiting around 29.8 currants per second.  In imagination that's 27.85 per second.

If the action takes a random amount of time between 3 and 5 seconds and costs a random amount of energy between 5 and 10 then the imagination value of the action should be 117, assuming maximum mood, so the base action value should be a random amount with an average of 97.5.

That looks like a really huge amount, but compared to chicken eggs that is literally just breaking even.  It might be a little inflated if we assume that chicken eggs are unbalanced themselves - they probably are, if vendors didn't sell garlic then chicken eggs would only return around 14.64 currants per second.  But fruit beans are riding high at 18.27 thanks to serious routes, so we should use at least that figure, which would still give a base value of 61.5 imagination per bizarre action.

Of course we don't want this buff to just break even with your other options, we want it to actually benefit you.  If, for example, the thing you eat to get this buff costs 100 currants and the effect lasts 5 minutes, then we should expect 20 currants of value per minute.  That's an extra 0.333 currants per second of value, which adds an extra 1.2 imagination per bizarre action.

Other Considerations
There are other important things to consider, of course.  First of all, seasoning beans for profit requires 14 skills that take over four and a half days to learn, plus numerous upgrade cards if you want to do it efficiently.  For example, not having the upgrade that gives four times super harvest on Gas would reduce the currants per second to 16.87, an 8% reduction in profit.  Not having the upgrades to increase the amount of spice you can grind at once would reduce the currants per second to 16.94.

Also, if you are going for imagination, seasoning beans uses up your daily donation limit.  When your level gets into the high 40s this isn't that big a deal as it takes more and more play time to reach that limit anyway.  But if you are relatively low level then your donation limit may be only 500 or in the low thousands.  At that point your ability to convert currants to imagination is severely limited.  At level 30 your daily imagination cap from donations is around 16,500.  You'll reach that by donating 153 beans which would take only 23 minutes to craft - with eggs it would take less than 10 minutes to hit the cap.

Because this effect works without skills and is based on a currant to imagination return rate as favourable as donations, it is probably undertuned for lower level and new glitchen.  But it is also bizarre and doesn't seem like it should be "the thing to do" when you are just starting.

If we swap our currant to imagination rate from the nice donation rate to the far worse rate offered by sno-cones then we reduce the base imagination per action to an average of 39.36 plus 3.84 per 100 currants of value per minute the buff lasts.

Also because things that convert currants to imagination tend to be limited, we may want to tack on a cooldown, similar to the purpled-out debuff you get from Essence of Purple.  We probably want to make the item itself have a high value and be difficult to craft as well, in order to give it a proper out-of-the-ordinary feel.

At Last, the Item
The Purple Potion is crafted through a cauldron.  In order to learn the recipe you need Potionmaking 2 (or maybe Potionmaking 3 if it is ever released) and you need to have earned the Elementary Penguin badge.

The ingredients to craft the potion are 2 essence of purple, 3 laughing gas, 3 crying gas and 3 helium.  It takes 8 seconds to craft in a cauldron, it costs 60 energy and generate 100 imagination when crafted.  The list value of the potion is 1100.

Drinking the potion gives you the "Purple Perspective" buff  for 2 minutes with a description of "Whoa!  You can do anything!"  It allows you to perform bizarre actions as described above when interacting with things in the world.  The actions take 3, 4 or 5 second at random, cost between 5 and 10 energy at random, and return a random amount of imagination between 30 and 70.  Ten percent of these actions return triple the usual amount.  After the buff runs out you get a 10 minute debuff called "Please, no more!" that prevents you from using another potion.

On an unrelated note, I'm one or two days away from providing a complete list of how you get imagination from other people using your street.

Until then,


  1. Comprehensive! Also fun-sounding! You should add a link to this from your Idea proposal.

  2. oh, the numbers are back! and they are so good!

    (almost enough to distract me from my sadness over Lx...)