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Has anyone done the math between Travelling merchants and BOOSTED manufactories?

Sir Derf

Mentor
Summary:

CH17 Traveling Merchant I is 121% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant II is 168% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleCrystal (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant III is 264% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleGems (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).

CH17 Traveling Merchant I is 88% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using Ch17 MR, Ch17 MW, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant II is 126% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleCrystal (Using Ch17 MR, Ch17 MW, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant III is 205% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleGems (Using Ch17 MR, Ch17 MW, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).

CH17 Traveling Merchant I is 76% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using CH17 Elvenade Booth, Ch17 Goblin Gift Shop Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant II is 104% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleCrystal (Using CH17 Elvenade Booth, Ch17 Goblin Gift Shop Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant III is 171% efficient compared to Lvl 31 MarbleGems (Using CH17 Elvenade Booth, Ch17 Goblin Gift Shop Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).



I think the numbers show TM3 to be an excellent efficiency improvement vs. Boosted T3 Manu under most circumstances, TM2 is good to equal, and TM1 fair to worse.

Edit: Corrected some Copy-and-Paste errors.
 
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Sir Derf

Mentor
Yes, it's called opportunity cost, but the discussion was on comparing TMs to Manus for Goods production. The discussion of balancing the needs to produce Goods versus the needs to produce other things is a wholly different question, and is pretty much a non sequitur to the proposed question.

But, should you wish to pursue that line of thought, this discussion is a necessary first step to addressing your question on opportunity costs. If a person wants to produce xxx Goods a day, and wants to know the most efficient way to do that, these are the computations. And, you would need to do this computation before trying to decide if it costs more to produce xxx Goods per day via TMs vs. the costs to benefit from other craftable buildings. After all, if the TM wasn't efficient in the first place, well you wouldn't need to decide between the two craftable choices in the first place. And, if the TM was efficient, well then you'd know the total cost for dealing with the TM and could use that when comparing to the total cost of the other craftable option.
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
BTW, I happen to have a TM2 currently on offer in my Chapter 18 Lvl 5 Magic Academy. My costs to craft it are 3 CCs and 450 Spell Fragments, and it gives 7 Vision Vapor. I'm not sure if the other flavors are of equal or different crafting cost. I don't know how to judge the costs of CCs and Spell Fragments against any other resource, and I don't have a list of other craftable building costs to compare against, but my gut says, "Meh." I'm not sure if this is a really high cost to purchase.

From a efficiency of Goods production, definitely cheaper to craft new Ch17 TMs versus building up from scratch new Lvl31 Manus with associated Supplies, Pop and Culture if you feel the need for more Goods production and don't have any extra Manus laying around in inventory.

Compared to the other offers available, 4x2h boosts (which I personally don't craft) for 2 CCs and 439 Spell Fragments and gives 4 Vision Vapor, and 10% Portal Profit for 6 CCs and 1,300 Spell Fragments and gives 16 Vision Vapor, I don't think this is all that expensive from an opportunity costs perspective, either, although this is a subjective opinion based on a small comparison group.
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
And just got a TM1 on offer in my Chapter 18 Lvl 5 Magic Academy, also for 3 CCs and 450 Spell Fragments.
 
Ch17 Traveling Merchant I, II, III, 6 squares, 580 Resource/3h, 193.33 Resource/h, 32.22 Resource/h/TM sq

CH17 Traveling Merchant I is 121% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant II is 168% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
CH17 Traveling Merchant III is 264% efficient compared to Lvl 31 Marble (Using L39 Residence, L39 Workshop, Dune Street and Ch17 Lava Codex).
Excellent work. Much appreciated. I just have one (naive) question:
Why are Travelling Merchants II and III compared to Level 31 Marble Manufactories? Shouldn't they be compared to their corresponding T2 and T3 manus?
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
Excellent work. Much appreciated. I just have one (naive) question:
Why are Travelling Merchants II and III compared to Level 31 Marble Manufactories? Shouldn't they be compared to their corresponding T2 and T3 manus?
Copy-and-Paste error... If you read the full posts, you'll see that I worked out the numbers for my Boosts, Marble, Crystal and Gems. I'll go back and correct the errors for clarity. Thank your for mentioning this
 
Copy-and-Paste error... If you read the full posts, you'll see that I worked out the numbers for my Boosts, Marble, Crystal and Gems. I'll go back and correct the errors for clarity. Thank your for mentioning this
Thank you @Sir Derf, I did read the rest of the posts. I really enjoyed the number-crunching.
 

Far Reach

Conjurer
If I'm reading this correctly, then the conclusion is that a boosted (unenchanted) T3 manufactory, when considered in isolation, typically produces significantly more goods than devoting the same number of squares to Travelling merchant 3 buildings. On the other hand, once the space costs of supporting and running the manufactory (namely pop, culture, supplies, gold) are taken into account then the reverse is true.

The space costs will vary substantially according to the city. In particular, quite a number of Ancient Wonders dramatically affect them and I can't see this in the calculations anywhere. Also spells such as PoP and MM can have a significant effect, although those are likely to be rather limited except for more hardcore tournament players.

As one example of an AW effect, @Sir Derf has a level 21 Martial Monastery and a level 21 Watchtower Ruin. Between them they reduce the Culture requirement by 60%. That substantially lessens the culture square cost of the T3 manufactory.

My feeling is that for less progressed cities (e.g. those with few and low level Wonders, un-maxed relic boosts and without the ability to sustain many spells) , the travelling merchant is clearly more space efficient. In endgame cities it is less clear though, and in the most progressed cities the reverse is likely to be the case.

As an aside, in early chapters I consciously delayed upgrading manufactories because I decided that the high level manufactories were then less efficient than the early ones. (This was exacerbated because I didn't have any magic residences / premium culture buildings and that made the pop/culture costs greater.) I haven't calculated the optimum strategy.
 
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Sir Derf

Mentor
As with these computations, they are a starting point. Adjust them accordingly to your specific circumstances. I provided computations based on three different scenarios, namely Normal Buildings, Magic Buildings, and Event Buildings, to give a broader range of circumstances to compare against. This was meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. Interesting question, though, and as it means I'll be working out the numbers even more specifically for my city, let's see what we see...

As you mentioned, in my case, I am running with some AWs, which might or might not be reflective of other people. These buildings are a lot harder to evaluate genericall, as their effects are variable depending on additional city circumstances beyond simply having the building at a certain level. For me currently, looking at my top buildings for Pop and Culture, I have

QtyBuildingLevelPopsqPop/sqTotal PopTotal sq
1​
Golden AbyssLevel 31
95,429​
9​
10,603.22​
95,429​
9​
1​
Mountain HallsLevel 22
73,958​
24​
3,081.58​
73,958​
24​
1​
Thermal Spring of YouthLevel 6
33,945​
21​
1,616.43​
33,945​
21​
5​
Magic ResidenceLevel 17
15,900​
20​
795​
79,500​
100​
4​
Magic ResidenceLevel 16
13,000​
20​
650​
52,000​
80​
9​
ResidenceLevel 39
9,200​
20​
460​
82,800​
180​
25​
ResidenceLevel 38
8,400​
20​
420​
210,000​
500​
Total
686.69​
627,632​
914​

QtyBuildingLevelCultsqCult/sqTotal CultTotal sq
1​
Watchtower RuinsLevel 21
206,445​
20​
10,322.25​
206,445​
20​
1​
Martial MonasteryLevel 21
206,445​
25​
8,257.80​
206,445​
25​
1​
Dark SignpostChapter XVII
1,960​
1​
1,960.00​
1,960​
1​
1​
Frozen Giants ShrineChapter XVII
7,800​
4​
1,950.00​
7,800​
4​
3​
Lava CodexChapter XVII
7,500​
4​
1,875.00​
22,500​
12​
Total
7179.84​
445150​
62​

Overall, I'm currently running a Population efficiency of 105% that of all Magic Residences and a Culture efficiency of 383% that of all Lava Codexes.

Rough approximation...

Buildingsq from not CultureCultureSquares for Culturetotal sqGems/h/required sqTM3 efficiency
Ch17 TM332.22
L31 Gems (Magic, Lava Codex)3.3423,5061.8705.21215.69205%
L31 Gems (Magic, my Cult)3.3423,5060.4883.83021.35151%

So yes, my city is more efficient with Culture, and so the relative merits of the Travelling Merchant III are reduced, but it is still 150% the efficiency of a Lvl31 Gems Manufactory.

(If I upgrade all my residences to Lvl39/Ch17, that, with my Thermal Springs, will raise my Population to 661,759, 724.03 Pop/sq, or 111% that of all Magic Residences. I think that reduces the my city to 3.127 total sq, 26.15 Gems/h/required sq, 123% TM3 efficiency. Less impressive, but even then, still better. Huh.)


Didn't know what to expect before running the numbers.
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
BTW, I just noticed that I have slightly mis-valued the Traveling Merchant, as I forgot to include the both the 1/2*2=1 square of required Road and the benefit of 430 Culture from the square of Dune Street that would be built.

So, 6 squares + 1 square - 430/1875 = 6.77 squares, 28.56 Resources/h/square for Traveling Merchants. All of the above evaluations are incorrectly 12% more in favor of the Travelling Merchants. For example, my above final, final that a TM3 for me when I've finished upgrading to Max Ch17 buildings would still be 123% more efficient should really be 109% more efficient. Even less impressive, but still, slightly better.

If I'm really bored, I'll go back and update all the earlier posts...
 

Laurelin

Scholar
I've read a few discussions over the years on this subject. And the conclusion tended to be : it IS [theoretically] possible to make more Goods overall by using nothing but Travelling Merchants - but there are more considerations here than only the visible maths (very interesting though it is - and I recall previous outcomes of similar types of calculations being very similar to @Sir Derf's figures, too). So here's a few things which I (as a non-maths person) think also needs to be considered, brain-bending though this topic is - and in as few words as I can manage while retaining clarity.

1. Roads. TMs are small, so they need a lot of Roads. An efficient City has >10% Roads - the fewer, the better. 1% would be great, but impossible. The usual way this is calculated, even though it's not actually accurate because City layouts vary so much, is to say that every building needs half as many Road tiles as its shortest side - so for TMs, that's [minimum] 1 Road tile per building (but only if you could arrange them all suitably). [ETA : Cross-posted with Sir Derf on this - I'd just add that '1 Road per TM' assumes 100% ideal - and thus never fully attainable - layouts].

- 1a. How to fit in all those TMs, amongst other buildings which will increase in size as the game progresses - while also not multiplying Roads?

2. Difficulty and cost - and time required - to upgrade and/or replace TMs vs Manus at the start of every Chapter. This is probably impossible even to estimate on anything but an entirely individual level, i.e. by using the specific City's layout, contents, and fast/slow/etc. rate of Chapter progress, as well as how many Teleports / RRs the player can obtain and/or is willing to spend [and all the sub-costs that those both entail, e.g. Tournaments - and player time is an issue here again - with or without Polar Bear and/or Timewarp, for example? - plus Spire and Crafting... plus all the sub-costs of that [and Spire and Crafting are not separate, but rather function in synergy.]... etc. It's incredibly complicated, even without attempting the maths.

3. As seen above already, the greatest single factor is always going to be : how much Population and/or Culture does the player obtain from Standard vs Magic Residences / Workshops / vs Pop/Culture Event buildings (which also need to be replaced and/or upgraded... but the problem here is that there IS no reliable source of replacements, since Events award them randomly, and not typically in directly comparable efficiency terms, either).

As for running a City solely on Event-building Population / Culture : probably the best-known practitioner of this - very successfully - was/is the very well-known player called @SoggyShorts. He formerly posted here, but now is [not often] to be seen almost exclusively on the US and Beta Forums, and his game mathematics is perhaps what he's best known for - in terms of many in-game costs, from calculating why T3 really does cost more to produce, using Manus, than T1 and T2 [even with the now-improved Trader ratios], to how efficient in terms of production per square Orc Nests are vs Armouries, and much else as well - not excluding the TMs-vs-Manus debate, in which he's had input over the years.

I am not denigrating anyone else's calculations here - if anything, I've already said that his figures, and those of others, too, have typically worked out to be pretty much the same as @Sir Derf's, so the chance is very high that both are correct for an 'average' player... if there is one! However, there really isn't, and even that player may well make per-Chapter or just ongoing City changes which will alter even the best-prepared maths.

And finally : the reason why I personally think that we keep on seeing so many TMs in Crafting - and speaking here as [arguably?] this Forum's resident Conspiracy Theorist Extraordinaire when it comes to Inno's motives behind their actions - seems to me most likely to be : because solo play is often more lucrative than group play, for any number of reasons based both on the game's functionality and also the solo/group player's mindset.

And none of this helps, I know! Long story short - I just keep to the minimum number of Manus, and don't even try to cope with a swarm of TMs.

PS : @Arya Lightning - the current glut in T3 Goods is largely caused by the disproportionately [very] large percentage of Event-won Evolving Buildings [and some Sets] offered in the past 12-18 months which produce 'free' T3 at many Chapter levels, and sometimes until the end-game. The reverse is true of T2 and T1, which are not only somewhat more costly to produce [always], especially T1, but are also rarely produced by Evolving Buildings and/or Sets [with a few notable exceptions] - and the lack of T2 in particular, which has now finally knocked-on to the entire Trading market, originates in (a) the 'free' Scrolls-producing Moonstone Library Set - as it formerly was (as in : Scrolls for everyone) - formerly being available in unlimited multiples via the Spire - to the point where I've seen 14 Sets in one City - causing (b) Scrolls to become being near-unsaleable - so (c) many later-game Scrolls players left or began (d) cross-Trading - until the Moonstone Set was finally fixed... about two years too late.

In short : Trade is in a mess, and it's not realistic to make long-term City plans, e.g. whether or not to build a lot of TMs, with all the effort and expense involved, and/or to neglect Manus - again, lengthy and costly to build up - based solely (or even primarily) upon assessing the current Trade market. It will take perhaps a year or two more, but in the end, the market will re-balance - and will look very different indeed. Er, I hope... :D

Sorry for the very long post - I hope, at least, it wasn't also too rambling, this time...! ;)
 
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Sir Derf

Mentor
Two additional thoughts...

1) I also just realized that while all my calculations are decent, I was also ignoring an extra possible benefit to TMs....

I've been comparing TMs to the top capabilities of my then-current chapter, as I thought it was fair to show the eventually worst case. But, what about for people who just started a new chapter, like what has jus happened to me? I did all my computations based on Chapter 17, which I was most familiar with, having been there for months. But now, I'm just entered into Chapter 18, how desirable is a CH18 TM before I have started making Ch18 improvements in my city?

Production grows from 580/3h to 640/3h, a 10% improvement. So, there is some added benefit at the start of the chapter to using TMs vs. Gems Manus before performing new chapter researches and upgrades, and especially if you are still finishing old chapter upgrades.

2) Be aware, these computations were for per square efficiency... If you are really wanting to get equivalent production with the increased efficiency, you will need to build equivalent production, that is, multiple TM3s. A Lvl31 Gems is 30 squares; if your numbers have a TM3 at 150% efficient, you would need to build 20 squares, or 3.33 TM3s, for equal production. To replace my current 3 Lvl31 Gems (90 squares on their own), I would need 10 TM3s (60 squares on their own).
 

Jake65

Sorcerer
I think it's also worth noting that TMs are small enough to be tucked into odd spaces (assuming road availability) that may exist so even though they might not work as the primary source of goods in some cities they certainly merit use as a gap-filler.
 

MinervaOz

Soothsayer
To replace my current 3 Lvl31 Gems (90 squares on their own), I would need 10 TM3s (60 squares on their own).

And you would then need to add buildings of similar population and culture requirements to keep up your unurium production.

In other words, it's probably not going to work as a long-term strategy, for people who plan on continuing to play the chapters.
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
...for people who plan on continuing to play the chapters... Unurium production of this type starts in Chapter 18, yes? So, this might work for through the first 17 chapters? Sounds long-termy to me...

But thank you for pointing out another factor to consider beyond the relative efficiency comparison.
 

MinervaOz

Soothsayer
Unurium production begins in chapter 16, if I remember correctly, but the need for it ramps up in 18. Just something to bear in mind when planning, especially if people tend to move quickly through chapters.

I also acknowledge that any strategy can be turned on its head by unanticipated changes in the game.
 
Great thread. After picking my brains off the walls after trying to read all the maths from @Sir Derf i can say for a new city like mine the TMs are really worth it as "every little helps"
 
I just started Chapter 17, and am Marble/Crystal/Gem boost, and so shall walk through some numbers from my then point of view... Substitute your numbers to my computations for a better evaluation for your circumstances.

Base
Lvl 31 Marble, 25 squares, 750 Marble/3h, 250 Marble/h, 10.00 Marble/sq/h
Lvl 31 Crystal, 28 squares, 745 Crystal/3h, 248.3 Crystal/h, 8.87 Crystal/sq/h
Lvl 31 Gems, 30 squares, 920 Gems/3h, 306.7 Gems/h, 10.22 Gems/sq/h

700% Relic Boost
+70 Marble/sq/h, Total 80.00 Marble/sq/h
+62.09 Crystal/sq/h, Total 70.96 Crystal/sq/h
+71.54 Gems/sq/h, Total 81.76 Gems/sq/h

Supplies
Lvl 39 Workshop, 30 squares, 43,400 Sup/3h, 14,467 Sup/h, 482.22 Sup/sq/h

Lvl 31 Marble, 1,500 Sup/3h, 500 Sup/h, 20.00 Sup/Marble Sq/h, 0.041 Workshop sq/Marble sq/h
Lvl 31 Crystal, 6,880 Sup/3h, 2,293 Sup/h, 81.90 Sup/Crystal Sq/h, 0.170 Workshop sq/Crystal sq/h
Lvl 31 Gems, 27,200 Sup/3h, 9,067 Sup/h, 302.22 Sup/Gems Sq/h, 0.627 Workshop sq/Gems sq/h

Population
Lvl 39 Residence, 20 sq, 9200 Pop, 460 Pop/sq

Lvl 39 Workshop, 12,379 Pop, 412.63 Pop/sq, 0.90 Residence sq/Workshop sq
Lvl 31 Marble, 15,246 Pop, 609.84 Pop/Crystal sq, 1.33 Residence sq/Marble sq
Lvl 31 Crystal, 21,302 Pop, 760.79 Pop/Crystal sq, 1.65 Residence sq/Crystal sq
Lvl 31 Gems, 27,758 Pop, 925.27 Pop/Gems sq, 2.01 Residence sq/Gems sq


Roads

Lvl 39 Residence, 1/2 * 4 squares = 2 squares, 0.100 Dune sq/Residence sq
Lvl 39 Workshop, 1/2 * 5 squares = 2.5 squares, 0.083 Dune sq/Workshop sq

Lvl 31 Marble, 1/2 * 5 squares = 2.5 squares, 0.100 Dune sq/Marble sq
Lvl 31 Crystal, 1/2*4 squares = 2 squares, 0.071 Dune sq/Crystal sq
Lvl 31 Gems, 1/2 * 5 squares = 2.5 squares, 0.083 Dune sq/Gems sq

Culture
Dune St, 1 square, 430 Culture/sq
Ch17 Lava Codex, 4 squares, 7,500 Cult, 1,875 Culture/Codex sq

Lvl 39 Residence, 5,524 Cult, 276.2 Cult/sq, 0.1473 Codex sq/Residence sq
Lvl 39 Workshop, 8,701 Cult, 290 Cult/sq, 0.1547 Codex sq/Workshop sq

Lvl 31 Marble, 4,415 Cult, 176.6 Cult/Marble sq, 0.94 Codex sq/Marble sq
Lvl 31 Crystal, 11,333 Cult, 404.75 Cult/Crystal sq, 0.22 Codex sq/Crystal sq
Lvl 31 Gems, 9,690 Cult, 3,223 Cult/Gems sq, 0.17 Codex sq/Gems sq


Combined

Lvl 31 Marble sq

Produces 80.00 Marble/sq/h

Supplies requires and 0.041 Workshop sq
Population requires 1.33 + 0.041*0.90 = 1.37 Residence sq
Roads requires 0.1 + 1.37*0.1 + 0.041*0.071 squares of roads = 0.240 Dune Street
Culture requires 176.6 + 1.37*276.2 + 0.041*290 - 0.240*430= 670.084 Cult/sq, .357 Codex sq / Marble sq
Total sq = 1 + 1.37 + 0.041 + 0.240 + 0.357 = 3.008 squares

Overall 80 Marble/h using 3.008 squares, or 26.60 Marble/h/required sq


Lvl 31 Crystal sq
Produces 70.96 Crystal/sq/h

Supplies requires and 0.170 Workshop sq
Population requires 1.65 + 0.170* 0.90 = 1.80 Residence sq
Roads requires 0.1 + 1.80*0.1 + 0.170*0.071 squares of roads = 0.292 Dune Street
Culture requires 404.75 + 1.80*276.2 + 0.170*290 - 0.292*430= 825.65 Cult/sq, .440 Codex sq / MarbleCrystal sq
Total sq = 1 + 1.80 + 0.170 + 0.292 + 0.440 = 3.702 squares

Overall 70.96 Crystal/h using 3.702 squares, or 19.17 Crystal/h/required sq


Lvl 31 Gems sq
Produces 81.76 Crystal/sq/h

Supplies requires and 0.627 Workshop sq
Population requires 2.01 + 0.627*0.90 = 2.57 Residence sq
Roads requires 0.1 + 2.57*0.1 + 0.627*0.071 squares of roads = 0.402 Dune Street
Culture requires 3,223 + 2.57*276.2 + 0.627*290 - 0.402*430= 3,942 Cult/sq, 2.102 Codex sq / MarbleGems sq
Total sq = 1 + 2.57 + 0.627 + 0.402 + 2.102 = 6.701 squares

Overall 81.76 Crystal/h using 6.701 squares, or 12.20 Gems/h/required sq


I'll put up comparison Traveling Merchant numbers shortly

Edit: Corrected some Copy-and-Paste errors
Wow, you are blowing me away with math....I tried to calculate but my brain basically quit:D
 
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