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chapter on markets and resources: 4/28/2021 18:51:21

Parsifal
Level 62
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I wrote another chapter to the guide. Mostly about selling resources.

https://justpaste.it/2ifol


any comments? thoughts? corrections?


The chapter is also accessible via the guide: https://justpaste.it/4hsdo


Cheers

Edited 5/5/2021 10:05:35
chapter on markets and resources: 4/28/2021 22:25:20

Dj Storm
Level 59
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Regarding income from ores: your guide doesn't mention return-on-investment on mine upgrades. Look on upgrades as investments, calculate after how much time the increased output, if sold, covers the cist of the upgrade. The calculation is very tedious, a spreadsheet helps but still need lots of work transcribing prices.
Also, in your example, copper sells for 0.02 wollars, however I found maps where the actual price is 0.015, throwing off your calculations by 25%.
I used to calculate increased profit per second for each upgrade, multiply it by 100000 for easier calculation, giving me profit per ~28 hours (*86400 for 1 day), and decide if it's worth the investment, given how long I think I have until completing the map.
However, I rarely (read: never) sell ores. 100M copper takes a week to stockpile, and selling it gives ~20M, which usually is the income for 10 seconds, by the time I get it. Not worth.
Pricier ores are a significant income source, however most of them are required for the tech tree. Even if you completed the tech tree, one or two smelters are enough to smelt all your top recipes, so if the alloy is profitable, it makes sense to smelt instead of sell.
Regarding upgrading mines, for most maps I find myself upgrading mines for a specific ore needed for a more complex alloy needed for the tech tree - like upgrading uranium mines for terbium bars.

Regarding alloys:
Your "smelters needed for profit" doesn't make sense. Every smelter adds profit. In your example, your copper production is worth 13 wollars/second, and each smelters increases it by 6 wollars/second. Needed statistics are:
- number of smelters that can be supplied; however this is a tricky statistic, your copper production can keep 9 smelters running, but if you want to smelt silver, it uses the same copper ore. You might be able to supply 9 copper smelters, or 2 silver smelters, but not both.
- for the tech tree, time needed to gather the ores for smelting the required bars. You might complete a map and find you need several millions of a few ores, needing quite a few days of grinding. That moment you want to know which mines to upgrade in order to decrease grinding time ( actually which ore needs an increase in production, from there which mine gives the highest production income for your money). Tricky, especially when more ores are needed, and a mine might upgrade production of 2 needed ores, making it the best option even if it's not the best for one ore taken separately.
chapter on markets and resources: 4/28/2021 22:47:18

dwaynerudd 
Level 59
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if you invest ap in the increase ore sell price, you get to a point where making alloys always costs money, and then selling ores is very profitable. by the time I reach the end of a level, I'll have a couple smelters and crafters going for really profitable items, but most of my ore is sold every hour or two to finance mercs. in fact, I sell ores before the end of a level too. I'll sell 10% or so of every ore and invest in mine upgrades a couple times a day
chapter on markets and resources: 4/28/2021 22:56:19

Dj Storm
Level 59
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For alloys, selling them bring in significantly less money than selling items on a typical map. I rarely resort to selling alloys, limiting such sales to top alloys, not needed for the tech tree or for items.

For items, a desperately needed statistic is market based profit: buy the alloys, craft and sell the items. A few months ago, most single alloy items were market-based profitable, now few are. Once you unlock such a recipe (get both the recipe and the markets supplying the alloys), it is recommended to let your crafters not working for the tech tree, work your best market-based recipe to make you money.
Some recipes will become obsolete. For example, you need copper wire, and you need a crafter to work for 8 hours for 1k copper wire (let's assume you have the copper bars, or copper ore and smelters working on it). You might prefer letting your crafter create structs, or exploding bolts for 2-3 hours on bought alloys, sell the items and use the profit to buy 1k copper wire, freeing your crafter for the remaining 5-6 hours, freeing your smelters to work on better alloys, and leaving you with ore you can use for silver bars (or other top alloy).

Regarding your recommendation of smelting your most profitable alloy: my recommendation, until you found all the recipes needed for the tech tree, is not to waste your ore for short term profit. You might find that the dysprosium recipe requires 1.13M aluminum ore which you used on bars/welding rods, and now you need 5 days to get the aluminum for your 8 dysprosium bars - a bitter situation, worse if you already have the needed yttrium and dysprosium ores.
chapter on markets and resources: 4/29/2021 00:42:12

Phoenix
Level 22
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What the hell is "Smelters needed for profit"??? If a recipe is profitable, then running any number of smelters means profit. It's impossible that some recipe is only profitable if you selected it in some minimum number of smelters. Either it is profitable or not. There is no in between. If you put such numbers into a guide, at least explain them! Because this number might have some meaning, just not this way.
chapter on markets and resources: 4/29/2021 06:44:45

Parsifal
Level 62
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@Dj storm @Phoenix
you are correct on pointing out the problem with "Smelters needed for profit". I got confused with my own calculations. I omitted the section.
I'm still struggling to understand, why copper ore gives twice profit/sec than copper alloy. Either my calculation are wrong, or I'm making the wrong conclusion.

@Dj storm
my copper sells for 0.02W. I can't do much about it - it's a fact. Don't expect sell prices to be the same on all maps and for all players. Take your buffs into consideration. I merely shared my market numbers from a specific map.

You might complete a map and find you need several millions of a few ores - that won't happen if you upgrade your Statistics to the max

about upgrading mines, you are correct - I need to address it in the page
chapter on markets and resources: 4/30/2021 03:57:03

Dj Storm
Level 59
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@Parsifal
I have max statistics, I know from the start what alloys and items are needed for the tech tree. I don't know which alloys and items will be buyable from markets, I'm sure the last ones won't be available.
For top items, the required alloys are always available at the markets, those won't get me stuck.
Top alloys require some top ores (which usually remain the same from map to map) and lots of a lesser ore (which usually varies). I won't know which ore is required until I get the recipe, a feat that usually happens during the accelerated mercenary based endgame. If that lesser ore happens to be one I used up, I have to wait until my mines produce enough to smelt the alloys. It happened to me to sell the items for trillions, buy 50 billion mercenaries, get another 50 billion from caches and drafts, conquer the last 150 territories and find out I need 1M+ aluminum to smelt erbium, of which I needed 5, had the erbium and terbium ores (erbium from mining and not being used elsewhere, terbium from not smelting terbium bars buut buying or finding the alloys in caches), and missing the aluminum ore which I used up to make alloys and items.

Also, regarding copper price, if the shown price is 0.02, the real price can be anywhere between 0.015 and 0.024999. I played a map with a copper ore price of 0.02, got the two techs for +30% ore selling price which should have set the price to 0.026, but the displayed price was still 0.02. Investigated and found out that the base sell price was 0.015, displayed higher due to rounding.

Regarding copper ore being more profitable than copper alloys: you have 7 mines mining copper ore, and since they are the cheapest to upgrade, you upgraded to level 10+ each. The base output for unupgraded mines is about 3/second for each ore, but for copper you had 100 times that. It's like having 700 basic mines providing copper ore for 13/second profit - if they had been unupgraded, the copper production would sell for 0.06/second (3 ores/second @0.02). Each smelter adds 6 wollars/second value by smelting the copper ore into bars. The problem is smelters are few and unupgradable, and you don't have enough smelters to process all the copper ore your upgraded mines make. If you need 15 smelters, and have 15 smelters to produce copper bars, your profit changes from 13/second from ore selling to 15*6=90/second from selling alloys - each smelter converting ore worth 0.90/s into alloy worth 6.90/s, a sevenfold increase, still a meager 6.00/s profit.

I would like a statistic which tells me how many smelters can I run with the current ore production (with decimals if possible). Then I can distribute my smelters to work my top recipes. The problem is, for example, if my ore production supplies 0.2 erbium smelters, 0.3 terbium smelters and 0.5 uranium smelters, I cannot assign a smelter to these 3 recipes, because erbium bars used up my terbium ore, making said statistic irrelevant.
chapter on markets and resources: 4/30/2021 17:23:08

Phoenix
Level 22
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Warning: somewhat off-topic
I would like a statistic which tells me how many smelters can I run with the current ore production (with decimals if possible). Then I can distribute my smelters to work my top recipes. The problem is, for example, if my ore production supplies 0.2 erbium smelters, 0.3 terbium smelters and 0.5 uranium smelters, I cannot assign a smelter to these 3 recipes, because erbium bars used up my terbium ore, making said statistic irrelevant.

That's why I would love to have some sort of Auto-Scripting advancement. Instead of all the Auto-Something advancements I would like to be able to unlock a feature, where I can script an automation. I know, not everyone can code and such a feature would put non-coders in a disadvantage. but if you can code and the game would offer an official API/interface, you could in theory define yourself when you want to smelt/craft/upgrade/conquer what. That would be way superior to any existing Auto-advancement. Auto-Smelt is ridiculous for the exact reasons you outlined. Auto-Upgrade Mine would always upgrade the wrong mines altogether and is only in phase 3 (I haven't upgraded the first mine beyond level 8 or so in all the levels I played so far and nowadays I stop upgrading mines even earlier, Auto-Upgrade Mine would almost max out certain early mines and waste a lot of money).

And - and here is the link back to the general problem we players have regularly - this API would probably grant us access to more exact numbers, too.
chapter on markets and resources: 4/30/2021 18:51:22


Master Jz 
Level 62
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I'd love an API. I can grab the displayed rounded numbers with a userscript and get approximate numbers. However, it's not a very user friendly way to go.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/5/2021 10:06:02

Parsifal
Level 62
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Ok, I have completely rewritten the page

https://justpaste.it/2ifol


any thoughts?
chapter on markets and resources: 5/5/2021 12:32:03

Phoenix
Level 22
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A few thoughts:

  • Check the Statistics Levels! You claim that all the statistics menus require to max out the advancement although most statistics are unlocked earlier on. Only needing Level 3 instead of Level 4 makes the difference of only needing 300 APs vs 500 APs. That makes a huge difference for new players and your whole guide is targeting new-ish players.
  • What is the reason to make new players bother with all those late game recipes? Can't you break this concept down to a more newbie-friendly level? (Okay, to clarify this, yes your guide is meant as a general guide, not only for new players, but I feel that most advanced players won't really need your guide anyways, so you're again stuck with the new players that want to learn something they don't know already. For them, it would be way better, if your guide could use relatable game play situations and not screenshots from 6 months into WZI. As sad as it may be, a good portion of player will never get to see these items with their own eyes because they've quit playing WZI before that point already)
  • I don't know how to improve this, but the chapter seems to not follow some narrative. It's more like a thrown together pile of unsorted facts.
  • Your conclusion is fine, but some of the advises seem to come from nowhere.
  • I know the situation, too, that you might never be able to create some alloys/items over the course of a level, but with this in mind, my conclusion is to sell as little as possible, for the off chance, that I need something valuable for some recipe I haven't discovered yet (whether I have to produce this for some tech or not). Therefore, I don't see ores (and to lesser extend also alloys and items) as value but as tools. Hence, I would have constructed the whole chapter differently, but that is just personal style of playing. But in case I actually produce for money, you covered a good basis of the subject.
  • I don't really see what a new player should take away from this. There is no general rule of thumb a new player could apply. It's more a "look at all the numbers and see if you get what the game wants to tell you"-statement.
  • What would have been perfect for this chapter of your guide, is an analysis whether unlocking techs gets you anything if you already have the Tech Achievement. Because if you play a level for the first time, you might want the achievement or if not you can still use the techs as a guidance through the new level. But what if I don't need the techs. Is unlocking them profitable? That is a interesting economy question, isn't it?
  • You totally neglected Markets. It's always more profitable to produce the whole chain of intermediate steps yourself in order to produce some complex item (if you neglect the fact that all but one asset of yours could work on profitable recipes themselves instead of supplying the complex recipe). But they are an essential part of the Smelting/Crafting-Economy nonetheless. With my current artifacts/advancements/style of playing I haven't found a single level where relying on Markets has proven to be more profitable, but they still exist.
  • There are recipes with four ingredients? Oh my, I thought they were capped at three... But at most a month from now and I would have learned this anyways.


This all comes down to the question: Do you want to write a guide? Then you have to have some applicable advise. Or are you working on a replacement for the (non-existing) idle wiki? Then collecting all thiose facts is the way to go, but you should leave the conclusion to the reader.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/5/2021 14:01:45

Parsifal
Level 62
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@Phoenix, take a big breath and relax.
If you "learned nothing" from my writing, then you have really no reason to comment and agressively attack me.
You are also very welcome to write a "better" guide yourself.
I don't do it for money, and don't have a purpose of labeling my writing under a "wiki-page" or a "guide" category.
It took me days to gather the information and to put all the images together. And if at least one player, beginner or advanced, can benefit from my work, then it was all worth it.
My next guide is going to be on good manners, you should check it out.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/5/2021 15:49:34


krinid 
Level 60
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Just treat it as 1 guy's opinion on how to play Idle. There are lots of assumptions that were made in making the recommendations (which Adv are in play, etc) and obviously strong influence of personal opinion such as "Active artifacts are useless", etc ... and I don't agree with them all (I love Quad Strike, I maxed out IAP, I don't prioritize Army Camp Upgrade Discounts, I prioritized Additional Mercs over Merc Discount, etc). But I think a new player could still benefit from some of this info. Some people prefer to play with no info, and only learn as they play. Fizzer seems to like that approach, as he tends to not reveal much about the game and prefers players figure stuff out themselves. There are some games where I'm good with that approach (it is kind of exciting, but it comes at a cost), but not with WZI where "learning" could take 6+ months and then you realize you realize that there were much better/efficient ways of playing that would have put your progress significantly farther with the same effort over the same time. I wish I could go back to when I started and give myself this guide. Even if I don't follow the recommendations, the info provided would help me better make my own decisions on how I want to play.

If nothing else, learning about the artifacts and advancements, and the presence of Ascending vs replaying over and over, these alone are useful and I wish I know that when I started.

In the end, I think we all agree that there is no single best way to play Idle. Or minimally, we all agree that even if there is one (there isn't), we don't all agree on what it is. (;

I agree that there are of course areas that could be improved with the guide - and he's still working on it, so just give constructive feedback and let him work on it.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/5/2021 16:23:42

Phoenix
Level 22
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TL;DR: You asked for feedback and I provided some! If you don't want feedback, then don't ask. I only read your chapter because I had already commented in this thread and I only commented because I wanted to contribute my share to improve your work.



Okay, if my response sounded aggressive to you, that was really not my intention. I thought those points were reasonable and constructive criticism. I don't want to repeat them one by one, but for example, each time you mention the Statistic advancement, you point to Level 4 and for most of the Statistics that you presented in this chapter, it is simply not necessary to have Level 4. For all the statistics you listed here Level 3 should be sufficient. That is no opinion of mine or to attack you. That is just a fact and you got that one wrong.

As I wrote somewhere else, I appreciate every effort that is spent towards making the game more accessible to new players. Or advanced players for that matter. But than either do it right (and I can see that it is almost impossible to produce a perfectly flawless piece of advise from the get-go) or accept that someone points out if you did something wrong. Because spreading false information doesn't help anyone.

Yes, I would play the game differently, and in fact I do. But that doesn't mean that your guide or your approach to the levels is wrong. And I only mentioned once that your approach isn't the one I use. But yet again, what is the purpose of your chapter? What should be the take away? Seriously! That is still a question I have. And it might be as simple as that you weren't able to communicate to me whatever your intention was. I value the time you spent writing this, but in the end, I don't see that this chapter (in its current form) serves many players. If your conclusion was e.g. "For profit, only craft items that have exactly one alloy as its sole ingredient, the others aren't profitable or too complex", that would be totally fine (wasn't that more or less even part of your first version?). This would still be just one opinion but it would be something I could have "learned" from your chapter. But I've read the whole thing (twice in fact to write my feedback) and I can't see how any player would apply this to their playing style. Everyone, feel free to correct me. Point out something you learned and how it changed the way you approach a level, and prove me wrong.

I won't write a guide myself because I don't think other players would profit from how I play the levels. I think everyone should discover the game on their own and find what works best for them. If someone would want to compile a wiki, I'd probably contribute something. That was the reason why I asked if this was meant as a wiki-replacement. First you say, every level is different, then you spend pages with images from one specific level. That is no general piece of advise then and therefore more suitable for a wiki. What I can learn from this is that if I play this specific level, I will know all the recipes. Unless they change with the next update that re-generates all the maps.

In the end, I hadn't intended to attack you. If this was the impression you got, I'm sorry. This was meant as constructive feedback only. If you don't value my feedback, that's totally fine, too.

PS: Funny, that you picked the word "better" to quote my post (first, I wasn't even sure if I used it at all). That was the one word I considered to replace with something different. But I couldn't think of something more fitting there.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/24/2021 20:05:27

Parsifal
Level 62
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I was doing a lot of thinking about how to better exploit the market to my benefit...
I've just rewritten the first section, like Phoenix suggested. I'm still confused about why there are so many items with such high selling prices that are probably unobtainable.
Yes, it is theoretically possible invest it all into 1 pricey item, but what for?
if it takes 21 days to smelt and craft 1 robotic arm, but the level is finished in 20 days, then what's the point?
maybe those rare items are ment to be crafted at later ascensions, after you've heavily invested your AP into ores/alloys/items? (like asension no. 18?)
I tried then to concentrate on medium priced items, but it was highly unsatisfying.
Right now I'm sticking to Tin Cans and Welding Rodes. it's easy and convenient, but was it intended to be like this?
chapter on markets and resources: 5/24/2021 21:03:01

Olja 
Level 63
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I never produce items that need more than 2 ingredients, too complicated to manage efficiently and too time consuming. There are a lot of medium priced items (usually glass, welding rods, explosive bolts) that do the job without the need for micro-management.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/25/2021 10:25:57

Phoenix
Level 22
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I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the new version and comment on it, because last time I caused a - let's say - rather emotional reaction. But I did and I can say, you definitely did better!!

I like the analysis of the Robotic Arm example. Given the achievements "You've crafted an item worth <some unit here>" I try to smelt and craft everything at least once (even if I know that this won't get me another achievement), but in most levels fail with at least one recipe. I have a feeling that the last two or three recipes are only in some levels to give the player a sneak peek for what to expect in later levels. Given that this was Triskelion, there aren't many more levels, so, perhaps these recipes only work with significant advancements.

At one point you mentioned some "profit per time" (in the example of the Robotic Arm). Other than that, there wasn't much mentioning. So, you could emphasize more that a player shouldn't only look at an items value, but it's value per time (or profit per time - this depends on whether you consider the alloy costs while crafting, I usually don't but that is the unit that the Recipe Stat shows, so most players will use this number out of pure convenience). Perhaps even more, to use something like "value (or profit) per time and number of crafters (and smelters)". If you need three crafters to produce one item (because two of the crafters work on intermediate products), running three recipes instead that don't require intermediate products might be more profitable. You hinted at this concept, but never said it out loud, hence, I wanted to mention it. Perhaps you haven't even thought about this measurement yourself. What this all comes down to essentially is, that the Recipe Stats are really nice, but not sufficient to do actual level planing. ;)

I like your subtle advise on what to spend your money on. That's is exactly the strategy I apply myself. Army Camps and Hospitals always come first. Because in most levels finishing them is a matter of armies and not (so much of) money. And money can only buy you a finite amount of armies. Your Army Camp income is in theory unlimited (over time).

Could you elaborate further on the two downsides of Mine Boost? Because I'm not sure I understand them / I agree with them.
Point 2 is redundant: If your currency/measurement is money, the sentence comes down to "If your Money Boosts make you more profit, then using Mine Boost is less profitable and you have less money to upgrade mines with" (which is true but nothing meaningful: more money => more money; whether you consider upgrading mines isn't dictated by the artifact/strategy you use), if the currency/measurement is ores, then you could have said it more clearly, what you meant, and to be honest you never used ores as a factor in this whole chapter, so if this is about the ore production here, that would be a really sudden change of direction.
For point 1 I don't even know how to judge this. First of, yes, I need to spend a few clicks to sell ores in order to make profit out of them. But is this a downside? If in my level Mine Boost would outperform both Money Boosts, having to sell the ores is something I would happily do every now and then for a higher income. And you don't have to constantly sell the ores, only when you are about to use the money for something. Second, sure, spending alloys (and therefore ores) on techs means less ores and therefore less money. But this applies to both strategies (Mine Boost and Money Boost). And if you choose the Money Boost even more so (I'd say), because investing in techs will mean that you have to spend a larger portion of your ore stock into some tech because all ore stocks are lower in the first place. In this scenario, ores are in general more versatile than money, you can always turn ore into money but not the other way.
As you said, you should reconsider your strategy every now and then. This applies to Mines in the way that you should (briefly) check whether mines outperform the Money Boosts after you upgraded your mines. And if they do, switch artifacts. Then, there are no real drawbacks in using either strategy.

This is my personal preference, but I would advise a player to not sell ores (and to lesser extend alloys) if they haven't claimed all recipes yet. Selling ores (especially the pricier ones) can mean that you have to wait hours if not days for some ore to again be mined if you suddenly discover that this ore is required for something you haven't known about prior (assuming you HAVE to create this product because you WANT to complete the tech tree). In one level I sold all my zinc bars believing that (like in the level before) no other recipe needs zinc bars. Shortly after I regretted my action because some recipe changed and suddenly needed zinc and selling the bars hadn't meant THAT much additional money but slowed me down significantly. But again, that's my strategy, not necessarily yours.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/25/2021 16:31:30

Parsifal
Level 62
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@Phoenix

Thanks for your comments.

Let's suppose MB and TMB generate the same amount of money, which is then better?
On one hand TMB will generate you more money on the spot, with which you can upgrade some mines and reach the same production rate as with MB.
On the other hand, with MB you will probably get your tech upgrades a little faster, which in it's turn will generate more income....

I admit I'd choose money over resources out of simple convenience. Because if you want to have the same flow of money with MB as with TMB, you'll be forced to sell every here and there a small percentage of your ores, and that is a pain in the behind to calculate.

quoting you: This is my personal preference, but I would advise a player to not sell ores - agree with you. And that's why TMB is better. If you aren't selling the excessive ore you earn with MB than you are just generating less money per sec.

Edited 5/25/2021 16:35:35
chapter on markets and resources: 5/25/2021 19:24:39

Parsifal
Level 62
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Edited 5/25/2021 19:25:40
chapter on markets and resources: 5/26/2021 00:04:40

Phoenix
Level 22
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I admit I'd choose money over resources out of simple convenience. Because if you want to have the same flow of money with MB as with TMB, you'll be forced to sell every here and there a small percentage of your ores, and that is a pain in the behind to calculate.

Ah, you are right, I missed the point here a bit. As I was thinking about selling all of my ores at some point. But your argument was to only sell what I produce more because of the artifact. That indeed would be cumbersome. First, estimate how much more I produced and then dial the slider to this amount for each ore.
But on the contrary, if I use MB (and we assume once more that MB and TMB had the same benefits, which they probably rarely do in favor of TMB or BMB) and I don't need a specific ore right now (or ever again), I can sell as much as I need to sell to get whatever amount of money I need. This strategy encourages me to sell more frequently and given that I am encouraged to sell, I can sell as much as my current smelting situation permits. With TMB I might never sell ores at all. But I guess this is already another can of worms that we could argue about. ;)
On one hand TMB will generate you more money on the spot, with which you can upgrade some mines and reach the same production rate as with MB.

I doubt that you can draw a direct line from "a bit more money from TMB" to "same ore production as MB" because the later upgrades are really expensive, and it would cost you quite a bit to achieve whatever percentage the MB gives you, but I agree to the idea.
On the other hand, with MB you will probably get your tech upgrades a little faster, which in it's turn will generate more income....

As I acknowledged before, selling only the additional production of ores is a pain, but if you would strictly sell exactly the surplus production (and both artifacts have the same benefits) then the two artifacts would be exactly identical in what they boost your level progress. But again, unless you invested some APs into increased ore production and stuff, MB probably is inferior in most levels.
quoting you: This is my personal preference, but I would advise a player to not sell ores - agree with you. And that's why TMB is better. If you aren't selling the excessive ore you earn with MB than you are just generating less money per sec.

Good point! As long as I haven't committed myself to selling ores at all, having a higher ore production isn't worth anything. It's more of an investment at that point that I might benefit from in the future. On that point, most levels have techs that boost the sell values. That boosts the "investment" aspect: If I can choose between producing ores worth 100M of money more or 120M of actual money with TMB, the former might pay of if I store the ores until I unlocked all the ore sell value techs and got a 30% increment on ore sell values. But then you had to argue whether it is better to have less money now or more money later on. Which itself is a tough question in general.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/26/2021 03:02:58

jogar
Level 22
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One thing I would add is an analysis on whether it would be worthwhile to replace TMB or MB with Speedy Crafters. I know it got nerfed but mid to late game, if you compute for the net earnings/s when you have it equipped vs. not, it can be better than TMB or MB. Particularly since you're crafting multiple items at the same time. Please verify if this is correct. I haven't even ascended once so what do I know.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/26/2021 08:51:37

Parsifal
Level 62
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@Phoenix
whether it is better to have less money now or more money later on. Which itself is a tough question in general.

That is exactly my thought, only you put it better into words.


@jogar
I haven't ascended as well (probably in 10 days though - I'm on my last map;)).
Your theory is interesting, but it falls into the same category as MB - you'll have to sell more often, to compensate the loss of money from not having TMB equipped.
In my opinion it is a psychological problem. At the beginning and middle game I tend to care about the tech tree. So having Speedy Crafters will result in a faster tree upgrade, but slower flow of money. Less money means less army camps upgrades, which means slower game.

HOWEVER, I find your approach suitable for the late stages. After you are done with the tree and you are truly crafting for profit, maybe Speedy Crafters will generate more money indeed

Edited 5/26/2021 09:31:22
chapter on markets and resources: 5/27/2021 12:31:57

Parsifal
Level 62
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@jogar

I did the calculations. I based all the numbers on my play through Triskelion, and they are all here: https://justpaste.it/2ifol

So, TMB (rare) generated 725K/sec or 43,5M/m.

I tried to find how much income one-alloyed items will generate with the Speedy Crafters on rare (+25%)
1. Item sell profit/minute (without SC)
2. Item sell profit/minute using all 15 crafters (without SC)
3. Bonus of having SC equipped
4. How many crafters are needed to outproduce 43,5M/m



here are the results:

Tin Can
1. 1 tin can --- 1,76M/m
2. X15 crafters --- 26,5M/m
3. with SC+25% --- +6.6M/m
4. doesn't outproduce

Welding Rod
1. 1 WL --- 1.18M/m
2. X15 crafters --- 17,7M/m
3. with SC+25% --- +4.45M/m
4. doesn't outproduce

Struct
1. 1 struct --- 4M/M
2. X15 crafters --- 60M/M
3. with SC+25% --- +15M/m
4. doesn't outproduce

Glass
1. 1 Glass --- 22M/m
2. X15 crafters --- 343M/m
3.with SC+25% --- 85M/m
4. at least 8 crafters are needed ----- +45,3M/s

Boiling Flask
1. 1 BF --- 22M/m
2. X15 crafters --- 332M/m
3. with SC+25% --- 83M/m
4. at least 8 crafters are needed ----- +44,2M/m

Explosive Bolt
1. 1 EB --- 33.7M/m
2. X15 crafters --- 505M/m
3. with SC+25% --- 126M/m
4. at least 6 crafters are needed ----- +50.4M/m

Relay
1. 1 relay --- 84.6M/m
2. x15 crafters --- 332M/m
3. with SC+25% --- 211M/m
4. at least 4 crafters are needed ----- +56.2M/m


Magnet
1. 1 magnet --- 60.7M/m
2. x15 crafters --- 910M/m
3. with SC+25% --- 227M/m
4. at least 3 crafters are needed ----- +45,4M/m


So the simple answer is yes, if for example you let 3 crafters work simultaneously on three magnets and Speedy Crafters is equipped, then you will outproduce TMB!
You only need to be sure that you won't be suddenly out of ores and alloys!
Also you have to constantly sell those items to have a flow of money


I just added this section into the guide. And thanks jogar for bringing up this topic!

Edited 5/27/2021 13:31:25
chapter on markets and resources: 5/27/2021 19:57:04


Master Jz 
Level 62
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To find the value added by equipping speedy crafters, you need to multiply the profit per second (without speedy crafters) by the following:

(speedy crafters)/(1-speedy crafters)

In the case of the 25% speedy crafters, you would multiply by:

.25/.75 = 1/3 = .3333333

For 35% speedy crafters: .35/.65 = .53846
For 50% speedy crafters: .5/.5 = 1

It's much easier to calculate it the other direction, starting with speedy crafters equipped. In that case, you can multiply the profit per second by what the speedy crafters artifact says. The text states that crafters work x% faster, but the artifact actually reduces craft time by x%.

I've found speedy crafters to be better at some points in the level and worse at others, including Triskelion. In the early part of the level, when I had very little income from bonuses/territories, it was worth it. The same is true for Europe Huge. Toward the end of Europe, I switched back to my other money boost.

Edited 5/27/2021 20:13:37
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 10:09:07

Dj Storm
Level 59
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[Slightly off-topic: I tried posting the next paragraph on the main guide thread, but it's too old.]
The guide has grown, several aspects branched out as mini-subguides, and these have grown as well.
A game's aspects can fall in 3 categories: unknown unknowns - "I have no idea what to expect"; known unknowns - "I know the mechanics of the game, but some/all parameters involved are unknown", for example I know theres money in a money cache, the amount is unknown; and known knowns - for example I know all mines start at level 1 with a total output of 0.99 ores/second.
The role of a wiki is to uncover the unknown unknowns. The role of a guide is to share the experience of veterans to newer players, so the newbies can enjoy the game and gain experience without the frustration of becoming stuck.
The guide needs the wiki, and linking to it helps for easier understanding.
Wiki should explain the commodities in the game: the main ones (armies, money, resources) and secondary ones (powerups, artifacts, advancement points, coins, time), and the mechanics of converting one commodity into another.
The guide indicates how to be efficient in playing the game.
== Back on topic ==
The guide on markets and resources can be explained as "converting resources into money" and "converting money into more resources", or, taken together "converting money into more money", with the goal of converting money into armies in order to win the level (covered in a different part of the guide). It also explains how to avoid converting money into less money.
I identified 4 chapters in this guide, and named them "mining", "smelting", "industrial crafting" and "commercial crafting". I'll explain each one in separate replies.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 10:49:41

Dj Storm
Level 59
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Mining - this chapter is well covered in the guide. What is not clarified, is when it's efficient to upgrade a mine, and when upgrading results in converting money into less money.
Mines are acquired as a "side effect" of conquering the map. Side effect, because you cannot conquer the map without getting the infrastructure. Another part of the guide covers how to prioritize conquering the map to maximize benefits from these side effects.
Mining results in ores, that can be sold (converted into money). Smelting is another chapter, completing the tech tree is another part of the guide.
Ores can also be obtained from resource caches/arenas, but in a finite quantity, and as a "known unknown" - you dont know what resource and quantity you'll get. Overall resources from caches are insignifiant compared to mines, players should include only the mines in their strategy.
Upgrading mines - converting money into more resources (and into more money). An upgrade is effective if, over the remaining of the level, the value of the surplus ore mined surpasses the cost of the upgrade.
The cost of the upgrade is given, the value of the surplus ore is cumbersome to calculate - some players made spreadsheets for this (maybe a future statistic will help). If the player estimates that the level will end before ROI is achieved, the upgrade is inneffective. Even if the upgrade generates a little ROI, probably it's best to spend the money elsewhere.
My rule of thumb was: first half of the game, compute the value of the increased ore output, multiply by 100000 ( 100000 seconds is ~28 hours), and if the upgrade costs less, do the upgrade. Second half, upgrade only on a "ores needed" basis. Nowadays I no longer do the cumbersome computations, I upgrade based on "ores needed".
Another aspect, "converting resources into more resources" can be achieved by purchasing the "upgrade mining" tech. The early techs give more benefits than any money you may get from selling the ores. Late techs requiring advanced alloys and items might not provide a ROI, however most players want to get the achievement for completing the tech tree, so ROI is irrelevant for them.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 11:14:46

Dj Storm
Level 59
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Smelting - also well covered in the guide.
Smelting cannot be done without mining, you need ore to smelt into alloys, "convert resources into other resources into more money".
Most alloys are profitable, but depending on the particular prices set for each map and the advancements purchased/ artifacts owned, some high-end alloys might sell for less than the selling price of its ores, making smelting them unprofitable.
A player smelting for profit should smelt those alloys that give the highest profit. Purchasing statistics level 3 gives this value (profit/second) for all discovered recipes.
Players should also consider that an idle smelter produces no profit. If the mines cannot sustain your smelters, switch to a different alloy.
Attention: mid-level alloys need low level ores in addition to mid-level ores. High level ores require all kinds of additional low, mid and high level ores. If you use all your ores to smelt lower level alloys, you won't have enough low/mid level ores to smelt high level bars. Better be cautious until you uncover the "known unknowns", the ingredients for the high level recipes.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 11:28:48

Dj Storm
Level 59
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Industrial crafting - also well covered in the guide.
Basically extends the chapter of smelting.
Requires both mining and smelting. More high-tech items are crafted at loss, so calculating the profit is required.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 11:52:07

Dj Storm
Level 59
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Commercial crafting - this needs better coverage in the guide.
Uses crafters and markets. Does not need mines and smelters.
Some items, usually those requiring a single alloy, can be crafted at profit even when buying the ingredients from the market.
The disadvantage of commercial crafting is a smaller profit.
The advantages are:
- not dependent on mining and smelting, doesn't need a constant flux of alloys (and ores), requiring no mine upgrades, freeing up the money to be used elsewhere.
- frees up the smelyers, allowing them to work on more profitable alloys
- fewer calculations required. You need to calculate the "commercial profit per second" once for every recipe, once the recipe and the market(s) carrying the ingredients become available. Remember the most profitable recipe, set your extra crafters to work that recipe. Compute the amount of alloys needed to keep the crafters busy for your idle time, purchase the ingredients, and you're set!
Tin can is usually the first recipe that's profitable commercially. In the late stages of the game, the profit from commercial crafting might exceed the income from territories and bonuses combined.
chapter on markets and resources: 5/28/2021 22:11:21

Parsifal
Level 62
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@Dj Storm,

agree with you on many many points.

when it's efficient to upgrade a mine, and when upgrading results in converting money into less money - it's a difficult thing to explain in a guide. To answer it you need to ask yourself "how many days am I going to play the level". The longer you play the more efficient are your mines - but your goal is exactly the opposite - be done with the map as fast as possible...

I do upgrade mines, but only (mostly) when the cost isn't interfering with army camps and hospitals upgrades, and also with digging.
Money is always needed - So that's also the reason I don't really recommend buying resources from the market (you are right, I should probably address it in the guide).
Exception is for completing an important tech. If you need 314 Welding Rods, but have only 313, and you aren't patient enough to wait those extra 10 minutes...
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