Short answer...no. The reason there are no such "objective measures" is that the conditions for objective measurement are impossible.MrFiction wrote:Excellent guide! Enjoyed reading through it.
But I have to wonder, are there any objective measurements for advanced CLS pilots and let's say level 20 MK3 pilots? Because the claims that a CLS makes a lot more profit compared to universe traders are hard to substantiate.
If we try to measure "one for one" the failure is immediately apparent. In a network there will be numerous CLS pilots designated as distributors. They pick up, and they sell. If you look at their reported statistics they are reporting gigantic profits, but obviously they aren't reporting fairly since they have no costs. Designated buyers will report losing credits, often at truly astounding rates. So which one do we compare one for one with a given Mk3 pilot?
That failure leads us to the only plausible solution to our comparison problem, we have to compare en mass.
So, what do we get per hour if we have thirty universe traders? Some value. We have to consider that at the beginning of the hour some have cargo aboard and at the end of the hour there is different cargo aboard, but monitoring hour by hour we will come up with some sort of average hourly profit.
Now, do we take a network of thirty CLS ships to compare, or should we take a network of something more like seventy-five, since CLS ships are much less expensive? Either way, we can monitor over a period of hours and determine some average hourly profit.
So we can produce a baseline comparison, and depending on how you answer the thirty vs seventy five ship network question you will get a data point. What that data point will be is dependent on the network that you set up. I know, for myself, that I can set up a thirty ship network that will blow the doors off of thirty UTs. I also know that I can set up a thirty ship network and say "wow, not enough ships to make this work and I'm barely making a profit" because some wares in some regions just cannot be managed with a thirty ship network.
So we now might have some data, but because CLS networks are just as lacking in uniformity as the ships in the networks we still don't have a really useful comparison. What we need is a universe wide comparison.
Now, for the Mk3s that's pretty easy. Just keep dumping them in. Measure profits by the hour. Eventually (and it doesn't take long) you will notice diminishing marginal return. Every one you add is less profitable than the one before it. It will take a bit longer, but eventually you will demonstrate that not only is the newly added ship less profitable than the one before it, but it is reducing the profits of ALL of the previous ships. It will take even longer, but eventually the losses will match the marginal gain of a new ship. That produces a cap for the universe as far as Mk3 traders are concerned.
Ah, but what about our CLS networks? If we allow the same unlimited approach we can add hundreds of times as many ships. Whether the network we made to test against the 30 Mk3 baseline was a thirty ship network or a seventy-five ship network, it is a drop in the bucket in the scope of the universe. It was one, or more likely two, wares, in one region. I can pump another four or five similar networks into the same region, and every one I add will make the others more profitable. Adding another half dozen networks in a neighboring region we will find that these networks are more profitable because of the networks controlling the neighboring region...and that they in turn make those networks more profitable.
So instead of diminishing marginal returns and decreased unit profitability we get the opposite effect. And the capacity of the universe for CLS networks is vastly greater than the capacity for Mk3 traders.
Back in the day I played with Mk3 traders every way I could think of. I found that slight overlaps of local traders blanketing the entire universe was the most profitable approach, and it is certainly going to produce credits faster than I could spend them, but it is a capped value. Roughly speaking that cap can be exceeded by fully networking the Argon Prime region, Kingdom End Boron region, and the Seizewell region of Teladi space. That leaves a whole lot of potential in the universe.