Summer Updates - 048

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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby atteSmythe » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:31 am

Alternate theory: The Arkendish, as a facilitator of communication, allows conversations through it to be understood regardless of language.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby moose o death » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:44 am

Darkside007 wrote:Charlie has a city. Charlescomm is a side. Therefore, Charlie is not currently a Barbarian, and is not limited to his purse. That ends your theory right there.

There is no basis to say that a unit without a leadership bonus (like a caster) can't gain command of a city and pop warlords.

Also, is there any source for that purse restraint? I know in Diablo 2 it operates on a similar mechanic (purse = level x 10k until level 20, I think, where it jumps to 800k) but is there support for that mechanic in Erfworld?

i feel the same way about the purse thing but it was apparantly explained in the OOTS forum before i started reading. i've never seen it personally. just have a good memory occasionally.

there is a city, but with as much as we know about charlie who is to say it's charlie's city. any barbarian can be a side. a barbarian caster has no leaderership , so couldn't claim a city. barbarian warlords can and then crowned sides wail on them to assert their dominance.

however we know a caster based city is possible IE. the magik kingdom. there is no known overlord to MK, the city runs on barbarian casters.

so it's entirely possible a caster can occupy a city. dollamancers and units with fabrication can repair the city. charlie can pop said units using the dish.

so like i said, i see nothing within what we know that says that theory is impossible. if charlie was a side, he couldn't be a thinkamancer and an overlord. so there would be other units fulfilling those roles.

he could be an overlord with a thinkamancer dish. but he would've had heirs warlords etc. it seems to be ingrained into erfworld soldiers to follow and require chains of command. casters however only really follow their overlord and that seems to be almost as much by choice as duty. especially given wanda sold her entire side out over a sparkly hammer.

the city has no flags or banners. GK didn't either, so that point could go either way, but it has no visual distinction of being owned by anyone. page105 was the best example i found of charlescomm's city

personally i think it's the most sensible way of accounting all known information on charlescomm. but your welcome to disagree.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby DivineDragoonKain » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:46 am

Parson probably didn't use anything to clean himself and instead had to wait for the next dawn to be fully cleansed. Urgh, uncomfortable.

Also, I'm calling it now: Charlie was a kid who succeeded Sir William of Wonk, inheriting his massive fortress city that produced chocolate as its main source of schmuckers.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Telva » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:09 am

DivineDragoonKain wrote:Also, I'm calling it now: Charlie was a kid who succeeded Sir William of Wonk, inheriting his massive fortress city that produced chocolate as its main source of schmuckers.

Paraphrasing Wanda "What is a Kid?"
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby DivineDragoonKain » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:35 am

Telva wrote:
DivineDragoonKain wrote:Also, I'm calling it now: Charlie was a kid who succeeded Sir William of Wonk, inheriting his massive fortress city that produced chocolate as its main source of schmuckers.

Paraphrasing Wanda "What is a Kid?"


Hah! Good one, but you know what I mean.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Lord Kasavin » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:38 am

Darkside007 wrote:
Lord Kasavin wrote:I had a nice long response written up, then my internet connection fell for a couple hours. Sigh, I'll try to rewrite it...

1) I still think Erfworld cities are governed by a Civ 4 maintenance mechanic, meaning a cost paid by every city based on total number of cities, which means the upkeep cost per city gets much higher for each additional city. This could be in the form [constant]*[number of cities]^2, or something similar. At a certain point, adding another city would cost a side schmuckers, and any additional city beyond that would get very prohibitively expensive. This would explain a lot, not just the diminishing comment of this update. Like why no super sides have emerged, as would be inevitable in an actual wargame. Why royal sides would ever want to split off and form new sides. Why King Saline IV never ordered FAQ's cities rebuild after they were conquered by Stanley.


You have no Erfworld justification for this theory at all. Civ 4 may be a great game, but it doesn't have much to do with Erfworld.

I may as well suggest that there is a unique cap on decrypted because there's a cap on total skeletons one player can control in Warcraft 3.


Are you trying to be obtuse? I gave a laundry list of reasons why non-linear scaled maintenance makes a ton of sense from what we know about Erfworld. Just to be clear, I bolded them. Heck, I'll add another: Why Stanley and Wanda allow Ansom to preach Toolism in an effort to acquire allies.

I, of course, am NOT suggesting it be EXACTLY like Civ4. However, Civ4+expansions is arguably the best TBS electronic game of all time. And players familiar with it know why I bring it up. It's the most prominent example of rapidly scaling "costs" for expansion I know. Unlike "linear" strategy games, over expansion quickly dooms a side. I've lost my watched my maintenance costs jump from 30% to 80% of total income by adding two cities. However, unlike Civ4 Erfworld seems to lack any technological or even economic progression which makes expanding much more feasible later in the game. Hence, sides have a "natural" limit to how big they can become and still be effective.

Now, I've played plenty of what I'm going to call "linear" strategy games, where 10 cities is 10 times better for your economy than 1 city. Indeed, I'd say almost all RTS's (which are almost never actually strategy games, but I digress) and most TBS games follow this model. What happens is there is a constant stream of winners and losers. The winners constantly get bigger until they can just dominate the map. Think of an experiment where a thousand people keep flipping a fair coin. Everyone starts with 1 "points," gains 1 point with heads, looses a point with tails, and is eliminated if they ever come up with 0 points. It's very concievable that somebody will get as many as 10 points. Now, thats just complete random chance. Imagine if some "sides" have have a better than 50% chance of getting heads, either through smarter leadership or better natural units. Furthermore, imagine if having a higher score improved actually increased the odds of getting another point as well? Then, a 10 point or even a 20 point side is inevitable.

Mind you, I'm not saying this is bad. Most wargames played on Earth are suppose to have an ending, and linear expansion does help encourage this (although it also heavily encourages aggressive early expansion and just plain aggressive expansion). Erfworld, however, seems geared towards perpetual existence (i.e. never having a "wining side") and semi-stable equilibrium.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Calemyr » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:02 am

Actually, the purse question makes a lot of sense with an argument I made a while ago. Imagine, if you would, that grand ol' Charlie can make all the money he'd like in a round, but can't keep it from turn to turn. If that were the case, money should be a permanently fluid resource for him, and the only way to make use of it is to expand. Of course, on the other hand, the only way to fund the expansion is to make more more money in the next turn or see his archons starve and disband. In this situation, holding out for more money would be a viable tactic while not being in demand would be a crippling condition.

The main reason I favor the barbarian theory, though, is how much it explains about his behavior. The other erfworlders cannot fathom his methods or goals because the core of his faction is simply inconceivable to the erfworld mind. It's not against the rules, it's not impossible, but it's like Parson's Dwagon Donut strategy: it's so contrary to common sense that Vinnie was the only one to realize it before the numbers came in.

Of course, it's still a guess based on very little than an over active imagination and very little data.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby mhangman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:57 am

I love balder's style. Its good to see Charlie become mad. He is probably thinking to kill one of the tools but know he knows that he can die too to prove the theory fails. But the book 2's name is love is a battlefield. so it should be something like between ansom vs jillian we can think that they will attack wanda and ansom will defend them. at the same time parson will attack charlie he will hit him from back while his most units supporting jillian and at the end of book we will see that charlie is a girl and make love with parson :P or he will just die and gave its tool to GK side
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Lord Kasavin » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:21 am

Calemyr wrote:Actually, the purse question makes a lot of sense with an argument I made a while ago. Imagine, if you would, that grand ol' Charlie can make all the money he'd like in a round, but can't keep it from turn to turn. If that were the case, money should be a permanently fluid resource for him, and the only way to make use of it is to expand. Of course, on the other hand, the only way to fund the expansion is to make more more money in the next turn or see his archons starve and disband. In this situation, holding out for more money would be a viable tactic while not being in demand would be a crippling condition.


I can't think of any game where this has been a prominent factor. Plenty of games have resource ceilings, but they are usually set so high as to be irrelevant. If you reach the ceiling, you've probably already won. An exception might be Supreme Commander, which I never really got into. It did have hard limits on resources that player's could reasonably reach. However, players could build storage if faced with a limit.

That being said, I think the max. purse size for sides idea makes Charlie's behavior even MORE bizarre. His strategy severely limits his ability to "expand." He can only buy 1 or 1.5 Archons per turn. If you consider business as being somewhat variable (meaning some "months" he take in more money than others), at some point he's going to have a great haul, but nothing to do with it since he can't build Archons any faster. Hence, the money is lost. Also, he might have relative dry spells in business, where without the ability to stockpile money he'll end up failing to pay Archon's upkeep. So, if he can't keep money, he's chosen a dynamic where he also can't always spend it.

Furthermore, upon reflection, I don't think a max treasury would change Erfworld dynamics that much. It can't be so high as to disallow any reasonable stockpiling. Hence, GK having 500,000 in the bank when Book 1 began. Then, it would just encourage sides to spend what they can't keep. However, they're already motivated to do so. 100 schmuckers in the pikeman is worth 200 in the vault.

The main reason I favor the barbarian theory, though, is how much it explains about his behavior. The other erfworlders cannot fathom his methods or goals because the core of his faction is simply inconceivable to the erfworld mind. It's not against the rules, it's not impossible, but it's like Parson's Dwagon Donut strategy: it's so contrary to common sense that Vinnie was the only one to realize it before the numbers came in.


Like I stated earlier, I don't think you're on solid ground with a max purse size providing a rational explanation Charlie's behavior. Many assume he has some super duper secret method where by ignoring convention and what's obvious he's somehow coming out ahead. I just think he's crazy at this point. Parson's strategies weren't so inconceivable as to be beyond anyone's comprehension, as Vinnie demonstrated. RIght now, I think Charlie's snubbing of city acquisition, unit diversity, and lack of warlords to be at that point.

Of course, it's still a guess based on very little than an over active imagination and very little data.


Heh, that's pretty much 90% of new topics in the forum, myself included.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:38 am

Sorry for not posting this sooner, Lord Kasavin, but it was my turn to get connectivity problems and it was running late.

Lord Kasavin wrote:1) I still think Erfworld cities are governed by a Civ 4 maintenance mechanic, meaning a cost paid by every city based on total number of cities, which means the upkeep cost per city gets much higher for each additional city. This could be in the form [constant]*[number of cities]^2, or something similar. At a certain point, adding another city would cost a side schmuckers, and any additional city beyond that would get very prohibitively expensive. This would explain a lot, not just the diminishing comment of this update. Like why no super sides have emerged, as would be inevitable in an actual wargame. Why royal sides would ever want to split off and form new sides. Why King Saline IV never ordered FAQ's cities rebuild after they were conquered by Stanley.


Those are pretty good arguments, but. This would have been a very important mechanic to mention to Parson (and hence, us) at some point. Like at any time during the Summer Updates it would have been topical for GK. During Book 1, it could have been mentioned as well, for reasons of knowing you enemy. (Which I think is Darkside007's point).

What dismisses, IMHO, your arguments, is the complex thing that is Loyalty. In our world, which is also a wargame really, you don't have a "super" (as in, only) side, and never had. "Super-powers", sides more powerful than others, sure, and Erfworld has those too. (Arguably Jetstone > most anyone else).

For loyalty reasons as well, you had various kingdoms and fiefdoms and whatnot divided among the heirs of a king. One English monarch went conquering specifically so he could leave each of his sons a domain. Civil war, fratricide, succession wars- we have them, and there's not really a Civ4-like mechanic in sight.

Then again, loyalty is different on Erfworld. It's not simply stronger than its Earth version though. Sometimes it makes you follow the leader (implied norm), sometimes it allows questioning (Caesar), sometimes betrayal (Wanda, at FAQ).

As to why FAQ wasn't rebuilt ... good question. Got no answer to that one.

And your last example, the preaching of Toolism for allies, is consistent with the simple interpretation that, as GK's territory increased, it is harder to defend and it is less useful to add another city to it. Also, fracturing what looks like a dangerous foe is always a good idea.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:47 am

Tubal-Cain wrote:But a unit that hides or levels up enough could survive indefinitely. See: Wanda in FAQ.


Point, that. Wanda appears to be even older than her stint in Faq.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:33 am

DivineDragoonKain wrote:Parson probably didn't use anything to clean himself and instead had to wait for the next dawn to be fully cleansed. Urgh, uncomfortable.

Also, I'm calling it now: Charlie was a kid who succeeded Sir William of Wonk, inheriting his massive fortress city that produced chocolate as its main source of schmuckers.


No, Charley is Parson, but from an alternate earth. And female. Think about it, it makes so much sense. And at the end of book 2, they could again drop the f-bomb.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby moose o death » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:39 am

kasavin, look at it this way. the archons that are deployed around erf have their maintenenace per turn + x% paid every turn. this supports charlies archon army sufficiently. ie for every two deployed archons he can support 3. maybe the numbers are higher to better cover periods of peace.

charlies purse would constantly be full under that situation. giving him a good buffer to expand as needed.

his archons create work as well. charlies very survival depends upon erf never knowing peace

now factor that GK has been seen with archons and the rcc that failled had allied with charlie. charlie's reputation has been undermined and the RCC2 refuses to do business with him (which may have been a bluff at jillians expense) for a side running on archon income per turn to maintain itself that is a BAD situation. charlie needs to have a certain number of archons employed at a minimum if the barbarian concept is true.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:46 am

jkosta wrote:[Charlie is a Unicorn] Oh, come on. Look where he lives. He built a city on Candy Mountain.


Yeah, and he's the Banana King. People just say that he's not Royal because even the Royals are a bit red in the cheeks on that one.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Menlo Marseilles » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:33 am

Please don't take this the wrong way, but given all the foregoing speculation ITT I feel the need to post this.

Image

*slinks away*
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Lamech » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:35 am

In one update we remember the Jetstone princes talking about spinning off the captured Haggar into a differant side. That to me implies that two sides can be better than one huge side other wise it wouldn't make sense. Now "corruption" doesn't have to be huge, in alpha centuri I have often expanded with out limit. And when all the secret projects and orbital structures are acounted found I've found it makes no sense not too.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby Menlo Marseilles » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:14 am

Lamech wrote:In one update we remember the Jetstone princes talking about spinning off the captured Haggar into a differant side. That to me implies that two sides can be better than one huge side other wise it wouldn't make sense. Now "corruption" doesn't have to be huge, in alpha centuri I have often expanded with out limit. And when all the secret projects and orbital structures are acounted found I've found it makes no sense not too.
Speculation: Capitals might be able to do things that non-capitals can't do. Popping a royal heir, for instance - which would be a good reason in and of itself if the RCC2 is optimizing for maximum likelihood of a surviving royal line once the dust settles.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby raphfrk » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:50 am

moose o death wrote:i'm still more inclined to believe charlie is a single erf unit, moneymancer barbarian perhaps with thinkamancy arkentool, occupying a city and needing constant inflow of upkeep to keep the side afloat. the purse would run dry very fast (purse = unitlevel x 1000) but it neatly ties up all the loose information in ways the others do not.


To support a 200k + per turn fleet, with any margin for error, he would need to be able to hold at least 500k+ Shmuckers. Even then, he is likely to run into mass disbands, if he has a few slow turns.

That would require him to have a level of 500 or more.

I think it is making things over complex, but maybe he could distribute the money amoung his archons' purses. They are presumably commander level units, or at least the ones with leadership are.

moose o death wrote: i feel the same way about the purse thing but it was apparantly explained in the OOTS forum before i started reading. i've never seen it personally. just have a good memory occasionally.


It is covered on the wiki. This is Balder's version of the page.

however we know a caster based city is possible IE. the magik kingdom. there is no known overlord to MK, the city runs on barbarian casters.


We don't know who is Ruler of the MK. It might be a special city created by the Titans, or there could be a Ruler who keeps a low profile; He provides a safe place for barbarian casters, and in exchange, they help him protect the city.

so it's entirely possible a caster can occupy a city. dollamancers and units with fabrication can repair the city. charlie can pop said units using the dish.


Has it been confirmed that casters can't claim cities. Granted, the only Rulers we know of we either Kings/Queens or promoted Chief Warlords.

Lord Kasavin wrote:Like I stated earlier, I don't think you're on solid ground with a max purse size providing a rational explanation Charlie's behavior.


The max purse size is related to barbarian warlords who don't have any cities. Jillian uses money in her purse to pay for her units' upkeep (and to store any income).

Cities seem to be able to hold much more. Even with GK dropped to a level 1 (or 0?), the treasury was no affected.

However, there might still be a cap dependent on the level of the capital city.

Maybe for a level 5, it is 4,294,967,295 :). What would be even funnier would be if it wraps around. Charlie on his quest to get 5 billion Shmuckers ends up wrapping around to 0. Think of the psychological damage it would cause. Kind of like Haley in the OOTS when the gold was destroyed.

Ofc, that would mean the disbandment of his entire Archon fleet, so maybe no so funny.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:What dismisses, IMHO, your arguments, is the complex thing that is Loyalty. In our world, which is also a wargame really, you don't have a "super" (as in, only) side, and never had. "Super-powers", sides more powerful than others, sure, and Erfworld has those too. (Arguably Jetstone > most anyone else).


Well, loyalty is the same kind of effect. In fact, that is arguably what corruption in civ games models. The leadership of "far away" cities is less loyal to the centre than nearby cities.

The main point is that doubling your cities doesn't make you twice as strong.

And your last example, the preaching of Toolism for allies, is consistent with the simple interpretation that, as GK's territory increased, it is harder to defend and it is less useful to add another city to it. Also, fracturing what looks like a dangerous foe is always a good idea.


This isn't technically true. In fact, as your territory expands, your border increases with the square-root of the number of cities. When you have a large empire, only the cities near the border need to be heavily defended (and your capital). The average defence per city actually drops.

That assumes a circular empire. If you drive in one direction, then you end up with a set of cities in a line and thus all cities are part of the border. This may be the case for GK, since all cities that were captured were part of a single drive. It might be worth trying to make the side more circular.
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:07 am

raphfrk wrote:Well, loyalty is the same kind of effect. In fact, that is arguably what corruption in civ games models. The leadership of "far away" cities is less loyal to the centre than nearby cities.

The main point is that doubling your cities doesn't make you twice as strong.


My main point is that doubling your cities is harder to do when you've got 10, and easier to do when you've got 1.

What you say about what Civ4 models is probably correct, but I for one think it confuses the issue. Cities don't magically require more money for upkeep, garbage collection doesn't suddenly become more expensive and whatnot. A system based on "ping-time" for your empire would be better.

Mechanics of Civ4, or speculation about possible civ-like games' mechanics aside, do we know that expansion, in and of itself (that is assuming no opposition), causes upkeep costs to rise in Erfworld?

raphfrk wrote:This isn't technically true. In fact, as your territory expands, your border increases with the square-root of the number of cities. When you have a large empire, only the cities near the border need to be heavily defended (and your capital). The average defence per city actually drops.

That assumes a circular empire. If you drive in one direction, then you end up with a set of cities in a line and thus all cities are part of the border. This may be the case for GK, since all cities that were captured were part of a single drive. It might be worth trying to make the side more circular.


Nice analysys that, but as you point out it depends on the shape of an empire (and neatly explains why countries look more like blobs than lines). You might also need to defend internal cities as well to some extent, but this depends on the game and the probability that an uprising can happen or that the enemies figure out a way to sneak inside.

(EDIT: to clarify, I like your analysys, but I suspect that GK does not have a large "safe" interior region yet, and that if it grows then it just has more possible holes to plug on the border- cities won't be evenly spaced after all. You can only plant outposts where the land allows it, and that is sometimes few and far between. All in all, there are plenty of possible reasons why it's sometimes a good idea to take a breather)
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Re: Summer Updates - 048

Postby dirocyn » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:33 am

In my view, Parson conveyed two critical pieces of misinformation. First, as others have noted, that GK is no longer able to expand due to diminishing returns. Bravo for giving us this concept, it tells us that diminishing returns/maintenance costs do exist on Erf. Meaning there is a natural limit to how large a side can become before it has to rely on alliances. This would further explain Jetstone's having so many royal heirs--if they take enough territory, they need to "spin off" a new side, with one of the royal heirs as its ruler. This is a function of the game mechanics, and Jetstone knows how to play. When the kingdom becomes so big that it's losing money, start a new side that will be a staunch ally. That fixes the economic issue, and the alliance (now no longer a side) can go on expanding.

Second piece of misinformation: that Parson's demotion means he's no longer got any power or control. That Parson has become so irrelevant that toilet paper is the most important thing on his mind, and the Chief Warlord is doing things he thinks are stupid. Clearly untrue, Wanda still consults him before doing anything. Sure, he's not in charge--but he's still developing strategies, still largely calling the shots. I'm sure the "head shot" at Jetstone is one of the scenarios he's playing out with Jack.

Third point--Parson is putting out feelers for whether Charlescomm might ally--or at least convert to toolism.
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