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Author Topic: Phoe and a some thoughts on gold.  (Read 2442 times)
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« on: July 16, 2013, 09:50:14 pm »

This post is kind of long but please bear with me. I want to see what you savage experts think. Full disclosure: I come from a compsci and informal econ background, but I'm neither a pro in these subjects nor in Savage. I'm not presenting this as a guide but some ideas to be critiqued. I'm new to newerth.com so if some of this is completely unoriginal I apologize. Also, if you have an objection to something I say please finish reading because I may respond to it later in the post.

What would we do without Phoe
Often I see a player, Phoe (Phoenix?), writing useful automated messages into the chatbox. They're pretty great and sometimes funny.
Yesterday one was "Pay attention to the wind direction, for the beasts you can sniff."
Usually they are more like
"More miners please" and "Please keep gold above 35.000" .

Spend gold now, not later
I want to contest this last message. Although I don't comm, I play starcraft sometimes, where we try to keep resources as low as possible. To put it simply: gold (not just minerals!) that sits isn't doing anything for the team.

Spending the gold is an investment. When something is a good investment, it means your money is generally better off converted (spent) toward that investment than saved. In the early game, it's an investment in new tech, that's kind of obvious. After tech, the investment shifts into something I'll call advantage . There is one problem, liquidity, which I'll get to later.

Defining Advantage

Some of you might have tried out HoN, or other Moba games. In those games, it can be a bit frustrating because the team which is winning at a given moment has a big advantage over the losing team. Savage is similar: the team which is winning, and has more gold, can have stronger units on the field. Stronger units die with more difficulty and kill others with more ease, which means even more gold for that winning team.

What we have is a kind of unstable tug-of-war where a team with an advantage is more likely to get more of an advantage. This is doubly true where an advantage means additional bases for mining, and better placed spawn points (A spawn point closer to the action means a higher proportion of the team's players' time is spent attacking/defending rather than travelling.)

In a formal sense, the game does not tend to an equilibrium where neither team has an advantage. Such a state is unstable, and there are only two points of stability, domination of either team.

Investing in Advantage

Your 35.000 gold is an asset which can sit as gold, or be invested in advantage by being spent on better units and items. Because advantage culminates in more advantage, investing in advantage is a better investement that holding onto the gold.

The problem of liquidity

Phoe is right in some cases though. Gold invested into advantage cannot be converted back into gold very quickly, it is contingent on players using their upgrades to harvest more gold. Saved up gold is much more liquid and there are some situations when saving is really, really good. One example that comes to mind is when the commander is going to be building a gate. It would be smart to hold onto the cash, (maybe with high taxes), so that many behe's can spawn right when the gate is about to complete.

Overcoming a Gold Disadvantage
Sometimes I find my team in the "bad" stable state where we have no gold, and no gold seems to be coming in because we aren't getting kills. In this situation, I don't give those monkits any rest. I build my own gold to 15,000, and then keep hitting the monkits, now donating 100% of my income to the team: 1 monkit every 2 seconds means it takes under 2 minutes to get the team to 50,000 gold.  I do this to try to help get our team get out of that losing rut of no gold and no income.

Taxes: high or low?
There is probably a preexisting consensus on this question but I just want to throw my two cents in. When the commander is not spending gold himself, taxes serve to even out the income of gold (counting both kills and requests).Those making a lot of gold see a net decrease in income, those making very little gold see a net increase in income.

It seems to me that those making the most gold are the ones who make the best use of every piece of gold. In other words, skilled players use gold more effectively than un-skilled players. Therefore, high taxes reduce the utility of every piece of gold by redistributing it to less capable players. In other words, low taxes=good.

A valid objection is that skilled players already make more than enough. But let's not forget that once the skilled player reaches 15,000 gold with those low taxes, everything he makes past that goes to the team; it's not wasted. The remaining question is whether having lots of skilled players running around with lots of unused gold (uninvested gold) is bad enough that raising taxes outweighs the loss of utility from each individual gold piece. My guess is that there is a sweet spot, higher than 0% taxes but somewhat lower than the default rate.

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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 12:21:21 pm »

I appreciate your Keynesian economic outlook for Savage, and your Donald Knuth avatar. He's the living Gauss of CompSci. Anyway, as Savage community's most notorious thief and XR's greatest antagonist, I salute your efforts to understand and improve the gameplay.

I think that gold in Savage is over-used as a resource, and that there should either be another resource (Vespene in SC parlance) specifically for tech investment, or gold should be auto-mined to make it less of an issue for players.

Players just want to play the game, and games where you don't have to rebuy your items are very popular (MOBAs, MMOs, most other games). So having to get gold every time you die, and having the further burden of some structures requiring gold is a huge drag on the Savage economy in terms of buying power.

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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 09:29:00 am »

Thanks JazzKing.

About the 35000 gold  Smiley

It is for my previsional future attack when I am in a middle mission, and I cannot get gold in the same time.

So I ask for help to keep this gold level up, for my next mission which very often is not entirely ended
(such when I attack a strong base, with a catapult without bodyguards).

REMEMBER : generally I pass 90% of my time to help my team with gold repair and monitoring the buildings (shield and so on), some time when I am a little too short in gold, when it is URGENT, I ask to everybody to help me, in the frame of ...  Team behavior

by the human and neutral  reporter Phoenix
 <<< PhoenixSleepingBull.fr >>> alias PhoenixScout  alias Phoe
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 07:11:24 am by phoenix-3000 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 11:16:33 am »

Phoe chat return, about the 35.000 and Teamwork

I send this message only when I am in a middle mission to destroy a sublair with no bodyguard.
Sometime I need Gold to buy an another siege quickly to finish my mission.

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