New Erfworld Magic!

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby raphfrk » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:50 pm

Arkenputtyknife wrote:Unless, for example, there is some rule that prevents the price changing, or forces it to change. In the same way that there is a rule that makes Parson clean in the morning, despite all common sense and logic. Example: there could be a rule that declares that tomorrow, the schmucker will be worth half of what it is today.


What do you mean "worth half as much"? I agree that the npc prices could be changed by fiat and that would cause a major shift in the value of Schmuckers.

People start buying/selling like crazy? Can't do that. Against the rules.

Or maybe they can do that, but the rules prevent the value of the schmucker being changed by it. It's crazy, insane, contrary to everything we know and understand, and completely Erfworld.


You are just making stuff up now. Where is there any evidence that there are such controls in place?

If people can freely trade, then the laws of supply and demand operate.

Do you think that Charlie must sell his Thinkagrams at a fixed price in Schmuckers?

If your argument is that such controls could exist, well then fine, but there is no evidence that Schmuckers cannot be freely traded between sides and there is evidence that trades do occur using Schmuckers as the currency (the summoning spell and Charlie's thinkagrams) and in both cases, they didn't seem to operate on a fixed price (i.e. people whines about the price).

Raphfrk, as far as I can see, you don't have an argument. You're parroting the same real-world reasoning over and over again, and ignoring the fact that Erfworld not only breaks our rules, but jumps up and down on them and pounds into a million little pieces.


The laws of supply and demand apply in lots more games than the laws of thermodynamics (though you still get stuff like people's inventories getting less and less tidy over time :) ).

If you can trade with others, there is supply and demand.

Attuning Arkentools is similar to the "bind on equip" mechanic where people aren't allowed trade items, which is one example of items not been trade-able.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:18 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:
Binty wrote:Do we? Is this another wiki quote I've missed? We can say it is time based as evidenced by the popped dwagon, but I can't see in the comic where it says that the dwagon wasn't paid for X turns ago. Perhaps cities can just pop units without paying shmuckers, but maybe they can pop units instantly with shmuckers.


If you could pop units instantly for Shmuckers,


You wrote: "We know that capital sides pop units based on time and not Schmuckers. "
I challenged: "I can't see in the comic where it says that the dwagon wasn't paid for X turns ago. ".

Focusing on the instant popping issue is misleading the debate.

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: why didn't that even enter the conversation of what to do with the 500K Shmuckers in Stanley's treasury?


We don't know how much units cost. If instant popping is possible it is probably a multiple of the base. Perhaps GKs defenders were 5 million shmuckers worth of troops already and instant popping is x10, +1% to a force outnumbered 25:1 wasn't worth mentioning...

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: 1. Unit production takes time. It may also take Shmuckers, but that isn't mentioned, so I'm inclined to believe that time is all you need.


So in conclusion you don't "know that capital sides pop units based on time and not Schmuckers". Thanks for clarifying this point.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:57 pm

I think we were arguing at cross purposes.

I thought I was arguing against instant, for-pay popping of troops by cities.

In fact, saying "time and not Shmuckers" was a reach. We know it's time, and we don't know if it's also Shmuckers or not. There has been no indication of pay for units produced, but that doesn't mean there isn't, and in this case there isn't enough other evidence to assume there isn't.

Though, you see, I didn't focus on the sentence you quoted yourself as saying, but the one after it, "Perhaps cities can just pop units without paying shmuckers, but maybe they can pop units instantly with shmuckers." I took the closing line as your conclusion and sought to argue it, not realizing that finding proof of non-payment (when no proof of payment exists) was the actual focus of your argument.

Probably a multiple of the base? Possibly, if there is a base. Otherwise, you just convert n turns of time into n*x Shmuckers. (or a more complicated formula to make the most elite troops even more expensive) So a 15 turn dwagon might cost 150 Shmuckers, and a 20 turn Warlord might cost 200, or even 250 or 300 depending on the formula used.

We don't know what units cost, so you're right to a degree; it might be that so few troops could have been purchased that it was beneath mention for Stanley and Wanda. (Although with the explainy nature of those few pages I would think it would at least be dismissed orally). But surely Parson would mention it even as a useless measure. (He mentions a lot of strategies that he doesn't think will help/can be used). At any rate, we DO know that 350K is a very large sum, likely in the ballpark of the most ever paid for any unit, ever. On the one hand, if they could pop a good warlord for a similar cost, Wanda might not have suggested the spell. Even after getting Parson, with 100K in extra cash lying around, they could grab another lvl 2-6ish warlord to help out, which certainly wouldn't go amiss. Finally, Stanley said of the original 500K, "One warlord. That's all we'd get." He makes no mention of what could be gotten instead. Remember, Wanda's best argument is that the treasury will go to waste if it isn't spent. No other ideas on how to spend the money come up, indicating that the only thing that can be bought on short notice are spells (or allies, of which none are forthcoming). If Stanley could buy even one dwagon with the money before bolting for Faq, it would have at least been mentioned before being counter-argued.

So in conclusion I don't "know that capital sides pop units based on time and not Shmuckers." To clarify, however, all evidence that exists points to this being the case. Everything 'supporting' the contrary is supposition and attacks on the proof that is not there.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:55 am

N.B. For clarity I am not claiming that captial sides require Shmuckers to start the unit popping process. I am merely pointing out that your claim (that shmuckers are not required) is not supported. If book 2 showed that Shmuckers were required, Rob would not be controdicting anything in Book 1.

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: So in conclusion I don't "know that capital sides pop units based on time and not Shmuckers." To clarify, however, all evidence that exists points to this being the case. Everything 'supporting' the contrary is supposition and attacks on the proof that is not there.


All your evidence doesn't amount to more than 'it isn't mentioned'. Rob is telling a story not writing a rulebook. He is also telling a story largely in the medium of a comic, which restricts his exposition further. This issue about Shmuckers and unit popping is classic internet forum bun-fight stuff, but from a narrative perpective irrelevent. Imo you draw too much inference from these gaps.

Looking to other Erfworld-like wargames, resources typically are required to start build queues in troop generators. So on balance I think this question is definately open...
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:38 am

I don't get it. I mean, on the one hand, I can't prove there is no pay for city-popped units, and I can't prove that rulers can't pay for their units outright. So to some degree, I guess the debate is still "open." But so much can't be proven - you could populate the world with flying rubber clowns. Where does actual observation fit in?

It seems your only arguments for either of these things are a) there's no proof they don't/can't, and b) it's like this in other games.

Well, a) there's no evidence they do/can, and b) I thought Rob was "not building a rulebook," so wouldn't he not care about what other games do? (Even though there's enough options I'm sure you could find a match to any choice Rob and Jamie made).
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:54 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: I don't get it. I mean, on the one hand, I can't prove there is no pay for city-popped units, and I can't prove that rulers can't pay for their units outright. So to some degree, I guess the debate is still "open." But so much can't be proven - you could populate the world with flying rubber clowns. Where does actual observation fit in?


I am merely marking out areas of doubt and uncertainly where you have claimed knowledge. Speculation in these areas is fun, but it's just guesswork and opinion.

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: It seems your only arguments for either of these things are a) there's no proof they don't/can't, and b) it's like this in other games.

Well, a) there's no evidence they do/can, and b) I thought Rob was "not building a rulebook," so wouldn't he not care about what other games do? (Even though there's enough options I'm sure you could find a match to any choice Rob and Jamie made).


a) I am not making a claim on this. So I don't require canon support, your claim did.

b) From the wiki and Rob's audio discussion, it appears that Rob has codified a great deal of Erfworld mechanics. Narrative space has prevented him relating this mechanics more fully. He is telling a story, but he has written (unpublished) rules in preparation. As Elfworld is explicitly derived from the wargaming genre, what is typical in those games would make a sensible first guess all things being equal.

If you want a claim to argue against I'll stated one formally. I guess Bayesian logic is a fair method:

Consider the hypothesis that 'No resources are needed for capital sides to pop units' (H). We assign p(H) = 0.5 (probability of H); the default initial position given no data. Adding our data (D) from canon leaves p(H/D) unchanged. Our data from the wargaming genre however brings p(H/D) < 0.5. This is as far as I am willing to go on this issue.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:57 am

Binty wrote:Consider the hypothesis that 'No resources are needed for capital sides to pop units' (H). We assign p(H) = 0.5 (probability of H); the default initial position given no data. Adding our data (D) from canon leaves p(H/D) unchanged. Our data from the wargaming genre however brings p(H/D) < 0.5. This is as far as I am willing to go on this issue.


I can't even go this far with you.

If the evidence (not proof) we can infer from the actual comic provides zero movement towards my hypothesis, you must be putting these inferences to a very strict standard (i.e. if it's not proof, it's not enough to indicate any likelihood at all). I can accept someone standing on a stubborn attitude like this, demanding proof before giving credence to anything, but I can't then accept from the same person the idea that their argument has support just because something has been done in way X elsewhere. That is so far from actual proof as to be less valuable than the inferences we can make from the comic. It requires no critical thinking or combining of separate facts, but it is only tangentially connected to the material.

I mean, if I had come to Erfworld day 1, I would have readily agreed with you if you asked that it's likely units cost money and take time, though I would leave open the possibilities for cash-only or time-only. But the longer we go with no indication that money is spent and the more information we get about related issues without getting that indication, the less likely that it is true.

Anyway, that's one of two issues, and the one I'm less sure about.

What's your equation for the proposal "Capital Sides can pop units instantly for Shmuckers without the services of a Moneymancer?"
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Unclever title » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:54 am

Please note that this is in response to more than a single person or a single post, post-er, or even thread. I've seen some dismissing of speculation going around the threads I have read (a small number as I am new) and to be honest that bugs me.

I mean this is a forum and we aren't the creators of Erfworld so pretty much everything we post here is speculation. Evidence is always open to interpretation, not all interpretations are equally valid but that's essentially what knowledge is. Or at least one part of knowledge, the part that's in question here. It's our interpretation of reality (or in this case Erf) that we store in our minds.

Without speculation you can do little more than look at what's directly in front of you. Speculation is fun, it's vastly entertaining to me at least, and it is guesswork and opinion but without such there is no new knowledge. Guesswork (humble yet ambitious guesswork) is Science (Guess, Test, and Revise). Opinion can lead to the wrong conclusion but it is also necessary and inseparable from the human condition.

Differences of opinion spark and provide incentives for further research (also debates and sometimes arguments but that's not my point). Similarities of opinion provide solidarity and establish what we've learned as fact or at least "fact enough" to continue. If we are to be unnecessarily honest about it science has proved absolutely nothing (note that's to be read as "proved absolutely" not "absolutely nothing" though both essentially work in my context) but has convinced the majority of us through theories, experimentation, education, and application that the majority of the conclusions brought around by it are truthful and accurate (others need more evidence), so much so in fact that we consider them proven. So opinion is essential even if it can make things more difficult, it's inseparable regardless.

Now I'm not responding particularly against you, Binty, because you are correct it is perhaps too much to claim knowledge in something in which there is a lot of doubt and uncertainty and while I'm personally in the habit of using phrases such as "it seems like" and "I think that" I am of course willing to operate on temporary conclusions. My impression was that Cmdr I. Heartly Noah was doing no more than that and I tend to agree with his conclusion at least until we have more information regarding cities and popping of units which seems to be a bit of a distance off.

Anyway, TLDR: I'm mostly just venting about the importance of speculation.

Back on topic: As for rands I always assumed they were just a smaller unit of currency say perhaps 1000 rands make up a shmucker. This would make Parson's upkeep at an impressive 1 million rands.

I'm reminded somewhat of ancient currency: A Denarius (roughly a day's wage) versus a Talent (say of silver?).
The comparison is similar to $20 vs. $20,000. Thanks go to Google and Wikipedia for that one.

As for the whole thermodynamics aspect, well that's a difficult situation considering rules that to us seem arbitrary are more akin to gravity in Erfworld, in fact gravity is far more arbitrary to laws of turns considering the Gwiffons and some other flyers. To be truthful we don't rightly know that the laws of Thermodynamics are not upheld, they don't seem to be, but it might be something simple as a tremendously elaborate game board built by the "Titans" powered by an unfathomably large energy source. However it makes more sense to consider that time just moves differently, instead of it being steady and immutable (barring extreme cases) like we know it. Time in Erfworld seems to be relative on a regular basis dependent on turns and factions. It's possible the denizens of Erfworld are simply obeying arbitrary laws, but they sure act like the laws are impossible to break. Though I am extrapolating things pretty heavily. :mrgreen:

Now in terms of the interaction between the people of Erfworld (where laws of economics are based) it seems to be very similar to real life interactions between people. As such it's likely that interfaction trade should be subject to the same kinds of fluctuations, if not in economic shifts of value than in personal greed, and other situations that affect how one faction values another faction's money. These interactions can have long lasting effects perhaps seen as a difference in the value "outside shmuckers."

Anyway this post is too long already so this is the last word. No not that this, this this.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:10 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: I mean, if I had come to Erfworld day 1, I would have readily agreed with you if you asked that it's likely units cost money and take time, though I would leave open the possibilities for cash-only or time-only. But the longer we go with no indication that money is spent and the more information we get about related issues without getting that indication, the less likely that it is true.


Here we circle to the heart of it. In my opinion there has not been enough related material to indirectly draw inference from a this lack. I remain unconvinced by your attempts to do this. I am adverse to drawing inference from gaps, as I generally debate science issues. However, this might be less valid in a literary subject than a scientific one. So perhaps I am being over-cautious and should move p(H/D) back to 0.5.

Btw there is small evidence that resources (of a type) are required for unit production. Sizemore uses 'materials' to make golems. Wanda uses the croaked to make uncroaked units. These units aren't popped so its not direct, but it is an example of resources being needed to make units (the hypothesis H, uses the term resources not money).

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: What's your equation for the proposal "Capital Sides can pop units instantly for Shmuckers without the services of a Moneymancer?"


Actually (depending on a loose definition of pop) we see an instance of this in canon... So p(H/D) = 1. Of course this was a findamancer/predictamancer summoning rather than a typical 'pop'. Similarly, other spells that create units are almost certainly existant.

However by a stricter definition of 'pop' I am inclined to agree that the lack of reference to the option is significant. So we might infer that it is either impossible or tactically impractical.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:11 pm

Binty wrote:Here we circle to the heart of it. In my opinion there has not been enough related material to indirectly draw inference from a this lack. I remain unconvinced by your attempts to do this. I am adverse to drawing inference from gaps, as I generally debate science issues. However, this might be less valid in a literary subject than a scientific one. So perhaps I am being over-cautious and should move p(H/D) back to 0.5.

Btw there is small evidence that resources (of a type) are required for unit production. Sizemore uses 'materials' to make golems. Wanda uses the croaked to make uncroaked units. These units aren't popped so its not direct, but it is an example of resources being needed to make units (the hypothesis H, uses the term resources not money).


So not only do we not value each other's proffered evidence, we approach the determination of what is likely in markedly different ways. Good to know. For instance, that Sizemore and Wanda create units from (presumably finite) resources in a single turn, to me, is further evidence that no resources would be necessary (other than time, which is a valuable resource all its own) to pop units naturally. Ture, there is no direct evidence here to the lack of necessary physical resources. But since we know popping units naturally DOES take time, and doing it through 2 different kind of magics (probably more; I imagine Moneymancers can do it with Shmuckers, and possibly Dollamancers or others can do similar things) doesn't take an appreciable amount of time, that they are balanced in this way if popping does not require anything but time. (Of course, the units demand upkeep afterwards, so they're not really free).

Actually (depending on a loose definition of pop) we see an instance of this in canon... So p(H/D) = 1. Of course this was a findamancer/predictamancer summoning rather than a typical 'pop'. Similarly, other spells that create units are almost certainly existant.

However by a stricter definition of 'pop' I am inclined to agree that the lack of reference to the option is significant. So we might infer that it is either impossible or tactically impractical.


I think it is worth noting that all canon instances of units being created or collected in a single turn either make use of magic by spellcaster, or in the case of non-capital sides, who cannot pop units conventionally, "Natural magic".

Notably, the act of creation in all the caster-created units does not cost any Shmuckers. (the spell cost 350K, but that was paid to the spell's creators, not to Erfworld itself, or however it works when Natural allies or barbarians do it.)

For their part, the non-capital sides pay Shmuckers to pop their units, but don't need a city or caster or anything else - have money, will travel, presumably anywhere on Erf - they're not restricted to popping in cities or wherever they can find the "materials." Hm. I assumed they popped instantly when they paid, but now I think about it, this might not be a certainty - if it isn't, that would be a huge argument that popping normally doesn't cost Shmuckers. Even if it is instant, being able to do it anywhere is a big advantage, but that might be explained by them simply costing more... though I still think they're an argument for free popping. Gonna look back into it.

EDIT: Hmm... Balder says they convert "Shmuckers directly to units" - which I took to mean instant, and I'm still inclinded to believe it does, but I suppose it could take a few turns to go through, and would then be an indication that no units are made via Shmuckers (directly) without Moneymancy. (all the uses of magic being indirect, and normal popping not involving money)

I kinda want to sit down and just look at all we really do know about creating units.


---


"Standard Method A," or "City-Popping":
The sole domain of Capital sides. Takes Time. More time for better units. Limited selection of available units based on city "type," possibly level too. Warlords can only be produced by "Big" (high level?) cities, over "a lot" of turns, as opposed to doing it instantly via promotion at the cost of "mucho shmuckero." (presumably significantly less than 500K). Production orders are set by Ruler.

Might take some money, or other "resource?" Is that covered by the 'menu' limitations? Are casters produced by cities? No one knows. Almost certainly the ruler doesn't get to choose when/what. Presumably there is an upper limit to how many units can be produced concurrently (or maybe their popping times lengthen as more are added? Maybe it's a queue? If it costs no or little money, a financially viable side would build financial reserves, that if not spent on spells or promotions would be idle... unless they allied with or hired someone who can use-

"Standard Method B," or "Field-Popping":
Used by non-capital sides (Natural Allies) and Barbarians (presumably). Takes Shmuckers. Presumably more $ for better units/warlords. Limited selection of troops, seems to be based upon racial lines. For Barbarians, based upon... ex-side? Tribe? ?? Presumably unrestricted in popping location.

Possibly available in some form to Moneymancers. Possibly instantaneous, possibly not? No known instances of casters being popped in this fashion.

"Standard Method C," or "Wild-Popping":
Occasionally units and (rarely) warlords can pop as Barbarians spontaneously in the wild, costing no one money, but belonging to no one. No casters are known to have popped this way, and no mention was made of them popping this way.

"Secondary Method A," or "Magic Creation":
Used by casters. Takes Juice. Can take no Time, and presumably no Shmuckers. Highly limited pool of units to choose from. Depends on available materials. Quantity & Quality likely depend on level/stats of caster. For croakamancy, raising more units at once hurt quality. For dirtamancy, some limit must exist - possibly better golems do take several turns to create? Or the materials for better golems are scarce and must be mined slowly over time? Presumably crap golems are easiest to make, and Metal golems hardest.

"Secondary Method B," or "Summoning":
Used by casters. Takes Juice, or spell scroll. Works instantaneously. Possibly risky/unreliable. May take multiple magic types to locate, transport, and bind subject. (Findamancy, Hat Magic, Thinkamancy?)
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