New prices of lodgings.

With the new update there has been added a new option for buying a room at The Brass Embasy (and possibly also for the 2 other high-end logdings). The price is now 600 brilliant souls, 120 muscaria brandy and 1 brass ring. It’s supposedly the option gives you a discount one the usual 40.000 soul (800 action) price, if you have the right connections to unlock it (intimate of devils 1 and connected: hell 20). However, I did a little calculation and the result was somewhat surprising.

First of all lets establish the way to get the new items through crafting.

The infernal line of crafting is like this: 500 souls → 100 Amanita Sherry - 50 Amanita Sherry → 10 brilliant souls - 50 brilliant souls → 10 muscaria brandy - 25 muscaria brandy → 1(?) brass ring

As such the price of 10 billiant souls is the 250 souls, the price of 10 muscaria brandy is 1250 souls and the price of 1 brass ring is 7500 souls (as you’ll have to craft 30 brandy instead of only 25, thus waisting 5 - it’s cheeper than the 40 echos you pay at the bazaar though).

Thus you need 60250 souls for the brilliant souls, 121250 for the brandy and 7500 souls for the brass. A total of 37500 souls - 2500 less than the normal price. The reliable way to grind souls is the “The prince of…” option from Unfinished business in Spite which yields 50 per action - so that’s still 50 actions saved, which is pretty good.

However, one thing that wasn’t calculated is the action cost for crafting the items. It costs 3 actions to craft 20 brilliant souls and 8,5 actions to craft 10 muscaria brandy and 26,5 to craft a brass ring. Thus the action cost for crafting is 600/203+120/108,5+26,5=218,5 actions. This is added to the 750 actions grinding 37500 souls cost for a total of 968,5 actions as opposed to the 800 actions required for the usual price.

The only other ways I know of getting these items are 1) brilliant souls from Merchant of Souls, which yields only half the number of brilliant souls per normal soul.
2) The Capering Relicker. Here you can trade 5 scraps for an average of 62.5 souls (or 12,5 souls/scrap), 15 scraps for an average of 50 Amanita Sherry (250 souls or 16,66/scrap), 30 scraps for an average of 26 brilliant souls (650 souls or 21,66/scrap) or 100 scraps for an average of 12.5 muscaria brandy (1562,5 souls or 15,625/scrap). It seems brilliant souls is the most profittable choice to supliment with, also saving you a few actions otherwise used for crafting - though the actions it takes to get the scraps hasn’t been calculated.

All in all it seems to actually be a more expencive option than paying the usual price. There may be a nice piece of story hidden in the option which makes it worth it, so I’ll propably try aiming for it anyway, if nothing else in the hope of meeting the Quiet Deviless again.

Feel free to check my math, I almost hope I’ve made a mistake somewhere. Also if someone finds another place to gain any of the items easier it will be greatly appriciated.

I make it 33,125 souls (although as you’d have to make 30 brandy, I’ll grant you the need to round up, so 33,625. But still, it’s less than 37,500).
The rare successes are certainly nice, but they don’t alter the fact that you’re spending hundreds of actions on the item conversion screens. This is certainly more than you’ll be saving, even though the overall sale value of the goods is now reduced. Think how much worse it would be if the ‘souls to sherry’ step was only 50->10, not 500->100. There really do need to be several more bulk conversion options, probably going up to exchanging 10,000 items. Either that, or not costing an action. As it stands, we’re looking at spending several days’ worth of actions, just to get from a to b. The opportunity cost of these actions means that the effective cost of this route is currently vastly higher.
Still, we’ve heard that this overhaul is coming out in pieces and only (roughly) halfway through, so maybe those bulk transforms will come further down the line. For now, I’m avoiding this part of the game until it’s stabilised. It’s never a pleasant feeling to do something, then the next day have something released that would allow for it to have been done with a tenth of the effort and cost, if I’d only been patient enough to wait.

The item creation storylets really shouldn’t cost an action, no. Even if it comes at the cost of reducing the rare successes, it really is a waste, since you gain a net worth of nothing.

By the way, I’ve found that the alternative method for buying a reservation at the Royal Bet is 50 Antique Mysteries. Has anyone done the maths for that?

>The item creation storylets really shouldn’t cost an action,

[color=#009900]A peep behind the curtain on why we chose not to make them zero-cost, because I’m sure this will come up again.[/color]
[color=#009900]The high-level design intention for the category lines (known internally as ‘himble’, for reasons I’ll explain some day :-) ) was to [/color][color=#009900]
color=#009900 [for the optimisers:] maintain and increase asymmetry of requirements, but provide a ubiquitous, non-optimal resource for finding requirements when none others are available (providing an additional asymmetry as a basis for resource allocation decision-making);[/color]
color=#009900 [for the storyphiles and casual players:] provide a basic way to Just Get Stuff with a little more variety than Unfinished Business;[/color]
color=#009900 make requirement quantities less intimidating, and provide a range of short-term goal thresholds (x of this resource, now I can trade up, rather than just z,000 of this low-cost resource);[/color]
color=#009900 provide content around quality transitions (the Bazaar as a medium for quality transitions is content-free);[/color]
color=#009900 pilot a possible long-term strategy of making all items in the game usable;[/color]
color=#009900 provide a straightforward mnemonic metaphor for people to navigate item creation systems.
[color=#009900](there’s some other intentions that tie into other planned features, but these are the most relevant).[/color]

[color=#009900]Once we’d settled on himble lines as an approach, one surprisingly thorny problem was, given engine limitations, what would be the [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]translation threshold, i.e. the[/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)] minimum quantity of a resource you needed for an exchange?[/color]

[color=#009900]Some of the options we discussed -[/color][color=#009900]
[color=#009900]- make them very small (which would eat lots of actions but make it easy to do a translate from one level to the next)[/color]
[color=#009900]- make them larger (which would eat fewer actions but mean you needed to collect loads before you could do a translate)[/color]
[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]- make the actions zero-cost and the amount very small (besides the problem I’ll discuss below, this would often mean players ended up clicking the GO button about 20,000 times in a row, which is a problem even if it costs no actions)[/color]
[color=#009900]- make them different depending on the level of translation, e.g. level I items in bulk, level II items in smaller quantities, level IV items in tiny quantities (which would allow us to tune to level, but make it hard to remember how many you needed unless you were there in the storylet)[/color]
[color=#009900]- add some new tech which allowed the player to pick their own level of translation - like specify the number to translate in a text box (a whole big bag of worms that could be another post in itself around tech resource prioritisation, UI and difficult precedents)[/color]
[color=#009900]- have a whole bunch of branches at different levels of requirement for every storylet (very hard to read, and either a big content requirement or lots of copy/paste text)[/color]

[color=#009900]There’s a more fundamental problem with zero-cost actions. From the start we wanted to tie these translations to stories, which meant we’d want to hand out story effects sometimes (there’s more planned here besides the bling gains you’ve seen already). As soon as we introduced a zero-cost translation, it would be a game-breaking exploit if we gave any beneficial side-effect, because you can repeat it infinitely. (‘Infinitely’ is limited by eg the resources available if it’s not a basic Bazaar good, but ‘massively disproportionately frequently’ is still - obviously - unacceptable).[/color]
[color=#009900]The approach we chose in the end was to provide an additional return on each action besides the simple translation output, [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]with exceptional successes to bring the mean reward per action up,[/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)] that’s lowish per action at the lowest level of translation and competitive at the highest level, taking into account the Connection costs; and to add 500->100 translation branches for the very lowest levels of translation, making it practical to buy goods in bulk from the Bazaar and translate them up the chains when there’s no other way to do it. So creating higher-level items is OK in small quantities, feasible with effort in large quantities, but it’s always preferable to find some or even all of them somewhere in-game - the asymmetry we wanted.[/color][color=#009900]
[color=#009900]But as always, we’ll iterate on the design and the numbers as we go, adding branches, addressing pain points or exploits as they come up, as priority, resource and caution allow. Every time we add content, the rules change again, so until the day we stop adding new content, the numbers will never stand still.[/color]
edited by Alexis Kennedy on 1/27/2012

And let’s not forget what a repeatable zero-action storylet would do to the servers! No, better this than that.

That said, I look forward to finding new sources of Brilliant Souls to save from and/or damn to the clutches of Hell.

I have, but my numbers are crazy. I’d like to think that I made a mistake, but I actually think that I’m right, since it was a pretty simple thing to cobble together. I will observe that there are further changes coming, so perhaps things will be smoothed out later. As such, I consider it premature to claim ‘definitive’ figures.

As it stands, the progression seems to be:
100 jade=10 3rd relics. 50 3rd relics=10 mysteries of the elder continent (MEC). 50MEC=10 passphrases. 25 passphrases=5 elder mysteries
Now, of those, two items are readily available - jade and 3rd city relics.

Let us start with 62,500 jade. I convert those into 3rd relics 625 times, giving me 6,250 relics. That pile of relics can be converted 125 times to give me 1,250 MEC. With 25 conversions, I now have 250 passphrases. And naturally, this means that 10 more conversions gives me 50 Elder Mysteries.
So, if you start with 62,500 jade (a hefty saving of Echoes! over honey) you’ll have your Rooms at the Royal Bethlehem in a mere (625+125+25+10) 785 conversions. Oh, and another action to actually claim your key.
Of course, if you just wanted to farm the honey from scratch - that’s only 801 action from nothing to picking up your key, so the entire conversion process from jade to key is only fractionally faster than collecting honey, and this doesn’t even take into account having to collect the jade - another 600 or so actions, for a total of just under 1,400 actions.
This is, of course, completely insane.
Edit: I started typing this, including wandering off to do other things, just before Alexis posted. As such, there’s a minor note to make here. Assuming that there will be added a 500 jade=50 relics option, this will sharply drop the actions required by 500. Quite a difference. Even so, that’s still about a hundred more than just the honey. You’ll still get a bunch of rares, of course, but since what we’re after is the key, that’s not really relevant - we still need to perform the conversions.

Alternatively, we can start with 3rd city relics, which are also available for farming, and thus a valid starting point. All the figures are as above, except we’ve skipped the first stage of jade->relics.
Thus, we have a requirement of 6,250 3rd city relics and a mere 160 conversions required.
Now, we can get 11 relics/action with an additional cost of 10 rostygold. Doing this 569 times will give us 6,259 relics - just a shade more than we need. but we’ll also need to get 5,690 rostygold. Said rostygold can be acquired at a rate of 550/5 actions, which means that spending 55 actions will provide 6050 - as close as we can reasonably get. We’ll just have a larger pile of spare change here.
Total actions: 569+55+160 (+1 for the key)= 785 actions (and you’ll get a small handful of spare relics, and a large handful of spare rostygold. Not to mention a pile of various rare rewards)

So, we can see that, provided that you start from the relics, it’s actually worth taking the alternative route.

The situation is currently fluid, and thus calculations are not reliable until things settle. I cannot emphasise this enough.
Having to pay actions for the conversions means that the action costs of such things accumulate steeply.
The conversion actions really, really need a ‘repeat’ button.
It’s essential to have some kind of bulk buy option. Even if it doesn’t cost an action every time and a repeat button is added, so you don’t have to navigate back to the item type hundreds of times, it’s still hundreds of conversions. As such, increments of up to maybe even 10,000 would be a very useful idea. 1,000 certainly.
edited by travellersside on 1/27/2012

Something I’m wondering: do the bulk conversions differ considerably in story from the smaller conversions? And can you still get rare successes?

Yes and no, respectively.

That is what I had been expecting. I’m a little disappointed to be right, I like rare successes.

The low level lodgings I was going to buy soon are now waaaaaaaaaay out of my reach. It’s depressing. Now instead of things I do get as rewards for actions, lodgings costs many items of things I’ve never encountered yet. Why, then, are those cards to buy the lodgings showing up for me? Aside from reminding me that only a few days ago I could have bought them with low lvl things.

And why does moving lodgings cost actions? It’s the same cards at every lodging.
edited by quartz on 1/27/2012

What lodgings would those happen to be?

25 Muscaria Brandy yields, on an unfortunate result, 5 Brass Rings.

Can anyone tell me what the new cost of the Lofty Tower is? I’ve 80,000 Whispers saved up at Hunter’s Keep, but now that I don’t need them I’d like to know what the new thing I need to be grinding for is.
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 1/28/2012

[quote=Nigel Overstreet]25 Muscaria Brandy yields, on an unfortunate result, 5 Brass Rings.

Can anyone tell me what the new cost of the Lofty Tower is? I’ve 80,000 Whispers saved up at Hunter’s Keep, but now that I don’t need them I’d like to know what the new thing I need to be grinding for is.
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 1/28/2012[/quote]

Fifty Bazaar Permits.

[quote=Jack Vaux-Harrowden]
Fifty Bazaar Permits.[/quote]
Which can be done best by getting 1250 Visions of the Surface at Hunter’s Keep, turning those into 250 Romantic notions and turning those into 50 Bazaar Permit for the low, low cost of 660 actions, which is just shy of 30 less than you needed when trying to get Secrets on the isle.

The same goes for Mysteries of the Elder Continent to Passphrases to Antique Mysteries on The Keep. 660 actions

Conversely, if you grind for Memories of Distant Shores on Hunter’s Keep, you can get 1,200 in 600 actions with 6000 Whispered Secret to boot. The Memories may be converted into 1212 Brilliant Souls in 24 actions and 600 of those souls me be turned into Brandy with 12 actions. The Secrets may then be used to buy the ring.
That’s 636 actions for rooms at the Brass Embassy with a little extra scratch left over.
That’s all 3 top level lodgings in about 2191 actions or 44 non Extraordinary days, plus 78,000 Glim and 78 Extraordinary Implications to boot.(I’ve rounded up, but obviously there is the cost of getting to the island and the first round of getting Drama and your stone key and all those other mitigating factors)
That sounds like a lot, but before all this it would have cost 48 days worth of grinding.
Unless my maths are wrong, which they likely are.
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 1/28/2012
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 1/28/2012

For example, rooftop shack for which I was collecting 500 rats on a string is now 40 romantic notions.

That’s actually not a high level item, simply a new one. Using 50 prisoner’s honey gets you 10 of them. This comes out to 250 honey, compared to 500 rats, same price… though it does cost 5 actions to convert it (Or you could get 500 honey, and spend 1 action to get 105 romantic notions). I will note those actions are not exactly wasted: You have a chance of earning 30 moon pearls with the batch, and a rare success of a stolen kiss. The bulk trade version doesn’t have a rare success, but you do get 5 more romantic notions than you would converting them normally.

EDIT: Oh, I misread, thought you said 50. 40 romantic notions is just 200 honey, an equivalent cost to 400 rats. So, you save a little money.
edited by Urthdigger on 1/28/2012

Which isn’t the issue–the problem is that he’s now got ~500 rats and no lodgings, because he was saving rats and now the price is in something totally different.

Now, the rats are still usable elsewhere, but I bet it’s galling; I know I’d been working towards having rostygold and such for a Whirring Contraption and then it changes, but the Sidestreets items we at least were warned about specifically.

That said, as long as that Beta banner stays up I consider us all forewarned of whatever changes Failbetter elects to make. Even if some of them are irritating.

Which reminds me; I like the new new look somewhat better, but it’s still frustrating having to mouse over requirements to see them.

[quote=Urthdigger]That’s actually not a high level item, simply a new one. Using 50 prisoner’s honey gets you 10 of them. This comes out to 250 honey, compared to 500 rats, same price… though it does cost 5 actions to convert it (Or you could get 500 honey, and spend 1 action to get 105 romantic notions). I will note those actions are not exactly wasted: You have a chance of earning 30 moon pearls with the batch, and a rare success of a stolen kiss. The bulk trade version doesn’t have a rare success, but you do get 5 more romantic notions than you would converting them normally.

EDIT: Oh, I misread, thought you said 50. 40 romantic notions is just 200 honey, an equivalent cost to 400 rats. So, you save a little money.
edited by Urthdigger on 1/28/2012[/quote]

Except now I need honey… if rats were convertible to new cost item, then okay. Finding honey is hard … at my level. Don’t know what it’s like at higher level. I’m sure eventually I’ll get enough honey but it’s annoying right now.

Selling 500 rats gives me enough pennies to buy 1/4th in honey, not half.
edited by quartz on 1/28/2012

Well, in this circumstance you do come out the loser, though it would indeed give you the money to buy half of it: 5 echoes would buy 125 honey, and you only need 200.

In either case, whether to sell the rats or not is up to you. They have their uses, and there are ways to earn honey still. If not now, then later. I don’t know exactly where you’re at, but shortly after 30 the Shadowy path can rob a honey den. If you’re shortly past 40 you’ve most likely come across cards to open up working for the cheesemonger: All of her tasks that open at 40 pay 32 prisoner’s honey, and you’ll need to do these tasks to get further along the story anyway. If you’ve already done that and spent all your honey, then I guess things are pretty bad, your next opportunity I can see outside of a few cards is at the empress’ court.

Well, I finally got the Decommissioned Steamer, which I’ve had in my hand for weeks and never bothered to check to see if the price had changed, silly me. The old price was 6000 Whispered Secrets and is now 100 Tales of Terror!!

The chain is thus:
500 Whispered Secrets->200 Cryptic Clues (The only convertible item that has not changed in the slightest since I started playing)
50 Cryptic Clues->7 Appalling Secrets or 500 Cryptic Clues->70 Appalling Secrets
33 Appalling Secrets and 4 Foxfire Candle Stubs -> 10 Tales of Terror!!

So 6500 Whispered Secrets -> 2600 Cryptic Clues -> 350 Appalling Secrets -> 100 Tails of Terror!! -> 28 Turns
You will have left over, 100 Cryptic clues, 20 Appalling Secrets and will be out an additional 40 Foxfire Candle Stubs. This means the price has risen by 40 pence, and that the quantity of Whispered Secrets you need has risen. Of course, this also ignores the not-so rare successes you will inevitably get.

A slightly more efficient chain in terms of Echos and Secrets, if not turns is:
6000 Whispered Secrets -> 2400 Cryptic Clues -> 336 Appalling Secrets -> 100 Tails of Terror!! -> 35 Turns
Leaving you with 6 Appalling Secrets left over and also giving you more chances at rare successes.

So the price has risen slightly in terms of echos, and sharply in terms of turns.
edited by Abraham Bounty on 1/28/2012