Early Attempt at Port Carnelian EPA Analysis

This is an early attempt to look at the profit that can be had from the Carnelian Coast which has just been opened to us. I’m prone to making mistakes, so please let me know where I’ve made them and I’ll try and keep this post correct.

Obviously the primary reason to visit the Carnelian Coast is the story, and it delivers this wonderfully. The below is just a guide if it’s worth your while to stay after you’ve seen all the content.

Last updated: 14th June 2015

[spoiler]
Carousel Description
This is a standard 26 step carousel that offers almost all of its financial reward at the final step. Time Passing in Office goes up to level 12, and each actions adds +3 CP to the total.

Each action will effect your favour with the Kahaganians and the Tigers, which is measured in two values: Silver Horseheads (SH) and Striped Delight (SD) respectively.

Some actions will negatively impact your influence in court, measured in Imperial Legitimacy (IL). If this reaches zero, you are kicked out of the carousel and back out to zee. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 pennies. This is bad.

If you do loose imperial legitimacy, it can be regained by redoing the Foreign Office carousel. If you have completed at least one term of service, doing so will reward the player with 3 sworn statements alongside resetting IL.

While on the carousel, you will always have the option to convert one action to four favour with either of the two parties. You will also be presented with other options, usually converting favour with one faction (SH, SD, or IL), or material goods, for more favour with the another.

IL cannot be boosted above 100.

In addition to these actions, there are also actions that will boost favour with one of the two courts randomly (Blue Bazaar, visits by your aunt (if you get on with her)), or else boost IL (his Amused Lordship, (if you are a member of the Dilmun club), surveying the mines, assassinating people).

Rewards
Your final reward at the end of the carousel is dependant on your favour with one of the two factions. You select which of the two values to cash in, and the other remains unchanged for your next term. There is a third option to zero favour with both factions, in return for two Favours in High Places (nominal value 25 echoes), but this is very unlikely to be your best option.

Cashing in SD gives you a mix of Antique Mysteries and Presbyterate Passphrases
Cashing in SH gives you a mix of Puzzling Maps and Partial Maps

The exact conversion of favour to echoes is the same for both sides, but the ratio of favour to reward varies. Based on values seen, each point of favour is worth approximately 0.3 echoes. Very broadly, and with a very small sample size, the EPF of the reward goes down as the favour goes up, i.e. there may be diminishing returns on favour.

(actual rewards: 40 echoes (e) for 116 favour (f) (0.34 epf), 42.5e for 150f for (0.28 epf), 57.5e for 175f (0.33 epf), 60e for 200f (0.3 epf), 62.5e for 231f (0.27f), 97.5e for 370f (0.27 epf), and at the very low end, 20e for 36f (0.56 epf).

Analysis
NOTE: This analysis assumes that you can automatically pass all skill checks except the gentleman from the Mithridate Office.

You will always have the option to turn in 1 action for 4 favour (approximately 1.2 epa) as this is worse than many London grinds, one should not depend on this option.

Converting favour from one faction to the other (SD / SH) nets a total benefit of +5 favour in the early stages of the carousel, and +8 at the late stages of the carousel (offering roughly 1.5 epa and 2.4 epa respectively).

The options that give random faction give 10 or 15 points of favour with that faction (so about 3 or 4.5 epa)

Actions that convert IL into favour should include regaining that IL into the calculation. When converting IL into other favours, the recipient favour gains the amount of IL converted plus 5. Thus actions that gain / spend IL must be considered as a pair. An option to gain 10 IL, and then convert those 10 points into favour gives a rough epa of 2.25. Note that there is no guarantee that a way to regain this favour will be offered to you on any turn on the carousel, and dropping IL below 1 will kick you out of the carousel and lose your progress.

Note that the option that converts 10 SD into 5 IL is not as efficient as the other IL regaining options, and should be avoided unless desperate.

Giving material for favour converts 2.5 echoes’ worth of items (mysteries of the elder continent or visions of the surface) for 12 favour. 12 favour is roughly 3.6 echoes, subtract the 2.5 and you have very roughly 1.1 epa. I consider these actions to be a waste of time.

The gentleman from the Mithridate office has a very high watchful check. If you succeed, you get 10SD and one presbyterate passphrase (total 5.5 epa). If you fail, you loose a random quantity of whispered secrets (estimate average 60(?)) and 1SD (total minus 0.9 epa). You can use a second chance, but you can’t ‘Perhaps Not’ to guarantee the win. I usually count a second chance as being worth 0.5 echoes.
Total average EPA at 75% success rate, including second chance: approximately 4.6 epa, (if my maths is correct)
Without second chances that comes down to 3.9 epa at 75% success
Total average EPA at 50% success ate, including second chance: 3.2 epa
Without second chances that becomes 2.3 EPA at 50% success

In the final days of the cycle, there always appears to be the option to convert 30 favour with one faction for 38 in the other.

Strategy
Based on the above information, I believe that the best strategy to maximise your return is this:

  1. Go for multiple runs.
    The cost of the zee voyage needs to be offset. The more runs performed, the better the total average EPA.

  2. Do not favour any one side
    Both sides give the same EPA, and while the map rewards are very slightly more useful than the elder continent stuff, in my opinion, neither are worth dropping the EPA to get more of them.

  3. Maintain balance
    Over the long run, your rewards are optimised if you play the two factions off against each other, for mutual benefit. I LOVE that this mechanism means that the best strategy is that you actually do your job properly. Until your final run, that is, when you try to milk everything you can out of all three parties and scarper with all the loot. Politics, eh?
    Yes, this means that you should resist the temptation to say ‘I’m cashing in tigers this turn, so I’ll move all the points to them’. If you do this, you will have a harder time getting the 20 to 25 favour conversion option at the early stages of the next cycle.

  4. List of preferred options (for all but final run):
    Dangerous sources (provided that you have second chances and at least 50% success rate) (say 3.2 EPA or better)
    Blue Bazaar / Visit by your aunt (3EPA)
    Convert 30 SH / SD for 38 SD / SH (2.4 EPA)
    (always favour the lower of the two factions, so that you have an increased chance of keep taking this option)
    Regain IL if it is below 90 (no direct EPA, see line below) (don’t cash in SD or SH to recover IL)
    Convert IL into favour (2.2 EPA) (Provided that IL is above a minimum safe level)
    Convert 20 SH / SD for 25 SD / SH (1.5 epa)
    (always favour the lower of the two factions, so that you have an increased chance of keep taking this option)
    Tea Shop / Assembly of Tigers (1.2 epa)
    (always favour the weaker faction, with a goal to take them both high enough to do the more efficient cross conversions)

  5. List of preferred options (for the final run):
    Convert 30 SD / SH for 38 SH / SD (this time, make sure to move as much favour as possible into one of the two factions)
    Convert IL to favour (bring it down to as low a value as you can without getting kicked out
    (Assumes that you’re not coming back. IL can be reset at the Foreign Office irrespective of its previous level (alongside 7 Sworn Statements, so long as at least one point remains))
    Dangerous sources (provided that you have second chances and at least 50% success rate) (say 3.2 EPA or better)
    Blue Bazaar / Visit by your aunt
    Convert 20 SH / SD for 25 SD / SH
    (always favour the lower of the two factions, so that you have an increased chance of keep taking this option, yes, even on the final run. Sink one party only when you have the 30 to 38 conversion options)
    Tea Shop / Assembly of Tigers
    (Favour the weaker faction, with a goal to take them both high enough to do the more efficient cross conversions, until Time is at 11, at which point you should focus on the best of the two factions.)


Overall summary

The EPA is VERY variable, the numbers above are estimates. Overall, I believe that the EPA for the above strategy should come out at about 1.8, assuming that you have an aunt, are a member of the Dilmun club, and can boost watchful to decent levels. Basically, it’s a great place to visit once you’re tired of the London grinds, but I suspect the London opportunity cards / Cave of the Nadir push this below the ‘This is the best zero fate grind in the game’ level.
[/spoiler]
edited by RandomWalker on 6/14/2015

The 7 Sworn Statements I got were from recovering IL before it hits 0, and I’m not sure if you still get them if it does. You also need to complete one successful term to unlock the option, and it set my IL back to 100.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 6/7/2015

[quote=Sara Hysaro]The 7 Sworn Statements I got were from recovering IL before it hits 0, and I’m not sure if you still get them if it does. You also need to complete one successful term to unlock the option, and it set my IL back to 100.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 6/7/2015[/quote]

Thanks for the info :)

You do.

Awesome, good to know.

It seems as though the 7 Sworn Statements has been reduced down to 3.

Some things:
Every action that converts IL into resources gains 5+x resources, where x is the amount of IL you spend. As such, you can say that IL can be converted to resources at a 1:1 ratio. Actions that spends less resources are better, because you gain 5 initial resources, compared to the tea shop’s 4, and you will use more IL than you can recover anyway.
Because of this, we can say that an action that replenishes 10 IL is better than an action that gives you 8 resources, because 10 IL can be exchanged for 10 resources.

Exchanging resources for the other resource gains a net gain of 5 resources. Which makes it preferable to the tea shop option. You can always swap the resources back.

I believe the formula for defining your reward still is linear. It just doesn’t start at 0, which makes it seem like resources are less worthful when you trade in many. It’s uneven, due to rounding, which complicates things.

The conversion options at the end means you can choose whether you want your reward in map scraps or passphrases, pretty much.

Thanks guys - updated.

An estimate for rewards is, according to results on the wiki:

r / 30 + 2, rounded x 2.5E items
r*0.014, rounded x 12.5E items

r is the relevant resource.

This would give us 5E for every successful run, in addition to on average 25.8p per resource, and any bonus from the dangerous option. Due to rounding, this is a little off.

In stage 1, the following options are superior (numbers are airs):
1-40: Convert delights to horseheads
41-50: Sapphire mine
51-60: Blue Bazaar
61-100: Convert horseheads to delights

You have 8/10 chance of getting a convertion option, giving a net gain of 5 resources, as well as a 1/10 chance of gaining 10 resources (bazaar) and 1/10 chance of gaining 10 IL (sapphires). As previously mentioned, IL is converted to resources in a 1:1 ratio. As such, we can assume an average gain of 0.85+0.210 resources = 6 resources/action. This obviously requires you to be able to play all the options.

In stage 2, it’s a little more complicated:
1-10: Spend 10 IL for 15 resources (net gain 5)
11-30: Dangerous: Chance of 10 r + 2.5E
31-40: Aunt (15r?)
41-60: Spend 15 IL for 20 r (net gain 5)
61-70: Amused Lordship, 10 IL
71-100: Exchange (net gain 5)

Assuming you have enough IL and succeed at the dangerous option, and that your aunt gives 15r, you get on average 8 resources and 50p

In stage 3, it’s less complicated. Spending items isn’t worth it, because you only earn 4 more resources than if you exchange, and 4 resources aren’t worth 2.5E. I think you should convert resources, unless you’re at 41-50 airs and can gain 10 IL.
0.98 + 0.110 = 8.2 resources on average.

Now, the question is, how is the frequency of IL-gaining actions compared to the actions that use them?

In stage 1, you gain on average 1 IL/action and use none.
In stage 2, you gain on average 1 IL/action and use 4.
In stage 3, you gain on average 1 IL/action, and use none.

Because of this, you will probably run out of IL, and should avoid spending everything on airs 41-60 in stage 2. That means you will get slightly less resources there.

Good work, Aximillio. I need to thoroughly update my original post, but short version is that I overestimated the value of the favour. Pretty sure AotB is still the best grind, based on what you’ve shared.

Don’t forget you also get the 5 echoes for a finished cycle and potential passphrases from the dangerous option. Finally, the rewards are rounded, which means if you get the right values of resources, you’ll earn more than projected. As such, we can’t write it off, just yet.

I’m personally more concerned about the fact that it’s at zee, that you don’t have access to the London deck, and that the rewards aren’t really the most useful ones unless going for a Bethlehem reservation.

It’s the absence of the London deck that really scuppers it. It’s not a bad grind (although having to change your gear several times per carousel gets old quick), but the London deck, and weekly access to the Nadir, mean that it really can’t compete.

The khanate rewards might be handy when the Fruits of the Zee Festival comes back to mutton island. Spare few quirks, at least.

I did a thing.


Means the forumula is more likely favours/70 rounded down at 35 (35 doesn’t get you any mysteries, but 36 definately does) and not favours*0.014, which predicts 141 antique mysteries (clearly wrong, but very close).