Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

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Timsup2nothin
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Post by Timsup2nothin » Thu, 17. Sep 15, 20:26

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.
Short answer...no. The reason there are no such "objective measures" is that the conditions for objective measurement are impossible.

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.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

zazie
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Post by zazie » Fri, 18. Sep 15, 09:57

Timsup2nothin wrote: 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.

You are right, I can confirm that. In my 'X3TC-Longtime-Game' (the one in my profile) I have collected all those random messages MK3-Traders are sending when they are stuck at a station. I put them in a big XLS-sheet.

So I have collected a list of messages (>250) about the profits in several hundreds/thousands of trade runs (Important: I was not interested in profit/time but in profit/run). I wanted to know how much is the AVERAGE profit of an MK3-trader per run. Number of traders was increasing, of course, but more or less stable at >60<70 (from time to time I compensated lost ships, but let them start in the same sectors).

Well, it's about 18'000 cr. per run.

But what is puzzling me now, reading the analysis/thesis in the quote: The first results of a ship, the first 6 to 20 runs, are more profitable; of course I had my "best" sectors for leveling STs .... I had an example of a Mk3-Trader running always as Sector Trader in Bluish Snout that had 400EC on board (from safety reasons - think of the Q-patrols) - and therefore being "stuck" from time to time at the local Trading station. This ship sent - all in all - about 100 messages. So the list of that single trader has many entries. HIS profits were between 28k and 30k per run ! I have to admit that I run several own stations and a Complex in Bluish Snout what might have influenced the MK3-trader and the local economy.

I think my spreadsheets could prove that the average profit per run on long terms diminishes. The higher the ranks of the Traders and the higher the number of UTs, the less profitable is an average run.

That is the reason why in my actual game (well, in XTC) I have only a handful of UTs (or ESTs). Best choice imo for keeping the AI-economy running and my account growing are LTs. First in a web covering the Universe in patches (one trading-region touching the other), later with nodes (trading-regions overlap depending on 'map-geography'), at the end with a net of LTs that run every sector at a jump-range of 1 (exceptionally 2 - again depending on the map).

[In addition I am creating a "Super-Net" with CLS2 for the ininterrupted supply of all needed wares at those valuable XTC-stations which produce those goods that the player cannot produce in own fabs (military shields of all kind].

MrFiction
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Post by MrFiction » Fri, 18. Sep 15, 11:30

Thanks for the feedback. It think an important part are the MK3 that use an AI algorithm to guess the best stations vs our own intelligence to determine the best CLS2 routes.

pref
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Post by pref » Fri, 18. Sep 15, 15:27

Timsup2nothin wrote:The whole "free after three days" concept leaves me shaking my head. Things that don't pay for themselves in a day generally don't interest me at all. A CLS ship on a training route should pay for itself in less than half a day, and I take them off training routes and put them in networks so they generate income faster.
The difference between free after 3 or 1 day is just how much cash you need to have.
If i spend 10k on a ship, which brings 10k in a day, im not better off then spending 100m on a plex that brings 1-2m per hour provided i have the budget. It increases the amount i can spend per hour, which is the only important factor long term - the one time costs will flatten out in the long run and will become less significant.

I dont get the distinction between count of days for roi at all.

zazie
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Post by zazie » Fri, 18. Sep 15, 16:47

This has been discussed since X3R (and probably also before) - and there is no definitive answer.
The comparison between complexes, fabs and freighters has to consider that the capital needed for a complex (let's say 45 mio) has to be accumulated first.
On the other hand, a trading-orientated player will invest his profit as soon as it's on his account. And those assets will make profit in the mean time.

But the ROI-calculations of the online-calculators compare (afaik) the ROI of a fab/complex against the same amount of capital without any further investments - and this is obviously a simplifications that goes too far (or not far enough if you prefer).

I have seen calculations (years ago, in the German forums ) showing that - on long term - each type of fabrication is making up to 1,5% benefit on the investment per hour.

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