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Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 14:10:00

Phoenix
Level 23
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Oh, come on, what is it with all those crafting recipes starting with Old Town? In the early levels, when you have a crafting recipe that uses three different alloys, having two smelters working on those can sometimes be enough (given you switch recipes every now and then). Starting with Old Town those recipes are messed up big time. For a single Copper Wire crafter I need more than one copper smelter operating 24/7?? And don't start suggesting to buy the copper bars. Firstly, I use my copper wire (and most of my other items, too) for techs, so buying the ingredients from markets would be a major waste of money and secondly, sometimes the market that sells copper bars is one of the last to claim. And buying the copper wires directly is again not the best option given that - as I said - the wires are for techs, so no monetary profit.

It's only when you find the glass recipe and other mid-tier item recipes that you can finally feed several crafters out of a single smelter (if your mines can keep up). This, combined with the fact that you find way too many crafters and way too few smelters in the early phases of a map, I can hardly sustain all my crafters unless I circumvent some and keep them unclaimed on purpose for a long while.

Can we get one recipe at least, that we can work on if everything else fails? Currently, I have one smelter and one crafter and if I can't find another smelter soon, my crafter will eventually run out of ingredients and in the meantime - assuming I smelt copper to keep the crafter going as long as possible - I can't smelt other alloys.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 14:23:56


krinid 
Level 61
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I'm on Old Town now as well ... make Screws, then Tin Cans, Metal Sheets, Rivets, Bolts, as you find the various recipes. Welding Rods & Structs as well if you get those from the north/northwest.

Buying Tin and Iron from Markets for the recipes is recommended. Use your Smelters for the other metals for Techs.

Btw, on your 1st playthrough, if you're finishing all the Techs, definitely expect to have a long level finishing time. Getting those Terbium, Erbium, Yttrium bars, etc, takes a massive among of investment and time.

After getting them all, Ascending and doing your 2nd playthrough, can be much more selective on which Techs you actually care about.

Edited 7/3/2021 14:28:20
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 15:08:24

Phoenix
Level 23
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I know, I know, but thanks for the recap, krinid. Another thing that I'm aware of: There is an advancement for faster smelters. Sure, but firstly, you need significantly more mine output then, and even needing 20% more ore per time unit can be really expensive as this is equivalent (more or less) to to buying one more upgrade on each mine and particularly one more expensive upgrade. And secondly, as soon as you invest in faster crafters, too (to have a higher item output), all these benefits vanish, because you will end up with the same imbalanced ratio of smelters needed per crafter recipe.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 15:28:03

Chief Rollie
Level 58
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It seems like one of those things where you have to establish your entire supply chain or swap recipes frequently to avoid a lot of downtime which isn't so bad if you check every couple of hours or so. At night is when you get screwed by not investing in idle time.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 15:30:29


JK_3 
Level 61
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sometimes the market that sells copper bars is one of the last to claim


Make that usually. I've had times where i needed to have most of my smelters on copper bars instead of mid- or high-tier bars, leaving me with 1 for thorium and 1 for other bars that my tech needed.

The lack of an early market with copper bars is the reason why going for all techs slows my down a lot, and even tho i know market 12 usually has copper bars, i'm still disappointed each time i capture my first market...
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 16:33:55


krinid 
Level 61
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Yes, odd how the least valuable resource in the game (copper) can at times be the most valuable resource just because it asks for a ridiculous amount of it and deprives of buying from markets.

@Phoenix
If you have some IMs, find the Merc camp in the northwest with 2B mercs & drain it, then go straight for the bolts in the northeast, then you can sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

Grab the hospitals and army camps along the way for good measure.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 17:40:15

Phoenix
Level 23
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Thanks, but I just started Scandinavia today. That's why I know that this is not only this one map but at least three consecutive maps that all suffer the same "problem".
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 19:51:38


krinid 
Level 61
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Don't think of it as a "problem", think of it as a "challenge" as to how to beat that level. When the game first came out, every level was more or less the same other than army counts, # of territories, # of recipes, etc, but the formula to clear them was always the same, just bigger & more.

Get the base metals copper, tin, iron, zinc, silicon, aluminum, silver, gold (I think it stopped at gold back then, not sure though), build copper wire, barbed wire, screws, nails ... and there were still tons of items ... and as soon as you found your way to a market, buy the bars instead of smelting, craft bigger stuff with the bars, and this 100% gave you big profit every time. After finding the markets, I didn't even use my smelters anymore (at all!) b/c there was enough money that I just bought them and didn't need to smelt anything at all. Just buy, craft, sell, move forward, win.

There were always lots of smelters & crafters and profitable recipes & markets everywhere, so it was pretty straightforward. And it was kind of boring after the first 10 maps, too. No change in how you approach the next map from the last map.

Now, there are maps which have 0 market-profitable recipes and you have to smelt everything, so you really have to adjust your strategy on those. Some maps have copper in the early markets, some have it in a later market, again changing your strategy. Some have merc camps selling for 0.01, and some start at >1, etc. Sometimes you need to find the Welding Rods to succeed, sometimes you need the Rivets. Sometimes you can buy the aluminum for the Welding Rods, and sometimes you need to smelt them. There's more variation, so you need to switch up the strategies somewhat. Or don't, and just slog through it.

So I think we got here b/c a number of players were kind of bored with the same strat for all maps, and things got changed up.

The problem with this imho is that you don't fully know which type of map you're dealing with until you've already somewhat committed to your strategy, so there's a lot of wasted time. And there's no way to reveal this beforehand, no AP Adv or Powers can reveal the purchase/sell costs of items, cost of mercs, ingredient lists, etc. Maybe this is what you're experience? As have I several times, using the wrong strat for the current map (b/c I didn't know until it's too late to reap the benefits from a strat change).

And some levels are just meant to be ugly, long slogs. A number of the later maps have (intentionally) been amped up to be difficult for the sake of being difficult by just making 0 market-profitable recipes and having ridiculous ingredient requirements ... like >300 each of welding rods, twine, structs & some odd alloy bars. This means that money is tight, so upgrades regardless of what you would spend them on are few and far between. This makes the level boring and frustrating again, just for different reasons than they were in the early Beta.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 19:55:18


JK_3 
Level 61
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Some maps have copper in the early markets,


Which ones?
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 20:24:33

Fizzer 
Level 62

Warzone Creator
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I can see you never unlocked the "Increased smelter speed" advancement, despite being easily able to afford it.

The levels are tuned assuming that you get all of the advancements in order. While it's totally OK to get them in a different order (that's part of the strategy of the game), you need to be aware that if you skip one you're going to be deficient in that area. Which is exactly what you're seeing.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 20:41:02


krinid 
Level 61
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Interesting note from Fizzer ... this implies that it should be beneficial to get all the ore production AP Adv's?

@JK
Some maps have copper in the early markets,
Which ones?

Every map up to and not including Old Town. Playing OT right now and it's not in the 1st market, but everything up to this point has been IIRC (actually some of them might have been 2nd market? Not sure, but definitely not #3 or later). Not sure if this is the start of them not being in 1st market or if it differs from here on out.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 21:28:00

Phoenix
Level 23
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Fizzer, I appreciate your hint, and yes, I haven't spend AP in this particular advancement just like I haven't - on purpose - unlocked several others. But this advancement has a few shortcomings:

  • If your smelters are x% faster, you need x% more ore. Achieving 10% more ore (or more for a higher level of this advancement) can be quite expensive because this could mean that you need one upgrade more on every single mine and each upgrade is significantly more expensive than the one before. Given that I already spend 30 - 50% of my money on mine upgrades I really can't afford having to upgrade them once more. And having to invest in each and every ore production advancement is definitely too expensive, too. (Just taking everything from copper to aluminum, if I had to unlock all the ore production advancements to 10% in order to compensate for 10% speedy smelter, this would cost more than 2.3k AP, speedy smelter only costs 68 AP. about 10% of the 2.3k are in phase 1, but spending anymore APs in phase 1 doesn't help me when I want to reach phase 3 either.)
  • In phase 2 there is Increased Crafter speed. Compared to the Speedy Smelter advancement, Speedy Crafter is more useful because most crafter recipes are really profitable (profit > ingredients cost; assuming you smelt yourself and don't buy alloys from markets), while smelting is barely profitable (0 < profit < ingredients cost); having faster smelter doesn't help you a lot for the overall level times.
  • Given that one might want to unlock and upgrade Speedy Crafter, let's assume that you unlock and upgrade them at the same time. Then, when you replay any levels starting from Old Town, you will again face the same ratios of smelter required per crafter recipe. So, one copper smelter will again not be able to "fuel" a copper wire crafter.
  • Both, Speedy Smelter and Speedy Crafter max out at 50%, so with maxed out Speedy Crafter I can never have better ratios than I have right now. If I would settle for 25% faster crafter, I could max out speedy smelter and for now the ratios would be useful. But who wants to limit oneself to only 25% faster crafter?
  • Other players might want to help me out here and contribute their knowledge, but given that recipes are getting more and more expensive over time, I wouldn't even be surprised if they get even more expensive later on, perhaps even up to the point where even maxed out speedy smelter wouldn't be enough to be able to use one copper smelter for one copper wire crafter. But that is speculation.

A real boon would have been to have efficient smelter/crafter advancements instead of the Speedy ones. Then, I might have prioritized them over other advancements I already spent APs on.

And if you think that players should follow some path through the advancements, why not make it some sort of skill tree? After all, the game is still in beta. Make some advancements the requirement for others. This would also eliminate the rather arbitrary phases and phase limits.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/3/2021 22:09:56


krinid 
Level 61
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Let's not add additional restrictions on AP Adv pls! The phase requirements are enough, would rather not be forced for example to get every ore production Adv before being eligible for speedy smelters or crafters.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/4/2021 18:59:19

Phoenix
Level 23
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Or have requirements for starting a level??? You can't play Old Town without at least 10% speedy smelters, or so. Just like in time management titles like Farm Frenzy if you're familiar with them.

No worries, krinid, I'm just joking. Hopefully Fizzer got this, too. Although my argument that the AP limits for the phases and the distribution of advancements into the four existing phases really seem arbitrary here and there.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/7/2021 15:55:07


krinid 
Level 61
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Agree, the phase divisions seem arbitrary. They don't really need to exist. The high costs of the later items means you can't unlock them until you've done a number of the later levels, and you can't (reasonably) do the later levels until you've done the earlier levels, so even without phases, you're still forced to more or less invest in them in increasing order as they appear now just b/c of the cost limitations.

Maybe you could save a few thousand AP by skipping some of the AP Adv in phases 1 & 2 that you don't truly want but are only acquiring b/c you need to spend more at that level to unlock the next.

I suppose this prevents players from doing an AP reset after earning 30k-40k and only using phase 3 or 4 Advancements. I don't think this is even truly beneficial tbh, b/c there are Phase 1 & 2 items that have higher ROI b/c they're so much cheaper.

Rewording the above, the phase locking mechanism forces players to "waste" AP on Advancements they may not actually want compared to what comes later. Where "waste" is defined as spending resources on items you don't actively want, and are settling for b/c you have no better options.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/7/2021 20:37:34

Phoenix
Level 23
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And equally you can "waste" APs that you want to spend on phase 1 & 2 advancements that won't help you with unlocking higher phases. You can spend (iirc) more than 20k on IACP alone but only the first 1k will unlock something.

So, in general it depends on your point of view (aka what your primary goal with advancements is) but there are cases in which you will "only" get the advancement benefit but the APs won't count towards the next phase and there are cases where you primarily spend APs to unlock and not really need/want the advancement benefit, But every spent AP that doesn't both give you wanted benefits AND count towards the next unlock goal could be seen as wasted.

PS: @Fizzer:
I can see you never unlocked the "Increased smelter speed" advancement, despite being easily able to afford it.
Speaking of advancements. Given that almost all of them cost a fortune to unlock them (and to do the final upgrades) it isn't uncommon that someone is saving APs. I'm currently saving towards unlocking Auto-Army Camp Upgrade (to finally be able to - perhaps - beat the second Challenge and perform better in Battles). If each played idle map would give enough AP to do what I plan to do next, I wouldn't save APs and I would at no point have enough points left to unlock most advancements. This is no point of criticism, but just a fact, you can't afford most of them without saving, so having some APs left doesn't mean I should just "waste" them on something that I can afford. Following this logic, I wouldn't have spent a single AP on phase 2 yet and no-one would have reached phase 4 by now.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/8/2021 14:22:37


krinid 
Level 61
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Good point Phoenix, that is indeed another issue ... and indeed I've had to choose between focusing on various advancements I want in earlier phases vs picking from the highest unlocked phase in order to unlock the next phase. Both for unlocking phase 3 and now for unlocking phase 4.

Come to think of it, that's one of the reasons I invested in Increase Draft Sizes ... b/c it was phase 2 and not 1.

Even there must be locked phases at all, it makes more sense to just say:

"Spend XXXXX AP to unlock phase Z"

as opposed to

"Spend XXXXX AP in phase Y to unlock phase Z"

It still forces us to earn & spend AP, just not artificially force unwanted investment.

THAT SAID ... if Fizzer's statement regarding that the levels were designed such that the AP Advancements are unlocked in the order they appear means that we should actually unlock them in that order and only continue on once they're all maxed out ... then shouldn't the AP earnings align with that? If we actually got all AP Adv in the order they appear before moving on, we'd likely never make it to phase 3, nevermind phase 4. There's a lot of AP to be consumed in phases 1 & 2 to be able to eat up all the AP earned in likely 3 or 4 Ascensions worth of AP combined.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/9/2021 06:42:44


mobtrio 
Level 61
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@krinid, Fizzer said about UNLOCKING Speedy Smelter/Crafter not MAXED OUT. I think you agree there is a big difference between them.
Crafter efficiency in the second half of levels?: 7/9/2021 10:01:16

Phoenix
Level 23
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Even with the efficient crafter tech unlocked (and consequently speedy smelter and speedy crafter techs, too), I still need 1.25 copper bar smelter per copper wire crafter. As we've already established in another thread, calculating speedy effects are a bit tricky (you have to work with the reciprocal value here), but given this ratio, I estimate that you had to max out the advancement in order to get this number under or to 1.

So, although krinid was making a totally different point there (he pointed out, that if you would always unlock/upgrade the next cheapest advancement, you would spend all of your APs on phase 1 stuff before even unlocking the first phase 2 thing, and the same for higher phases), maxing out would probably be necessary nonetheless.
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