Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your guild and its leaders

One of the questions in the game is "what about new guilds?" And, on a related note, "what is this guild we're in?"

Another clue to it was dropped this afternoon:

This confirms the TE Wiki and its list of ranks.

So, the Chancellor started the game with a "fake" guild- a single guild he created and populated. he made Aristotle Landry (does that name sound familiar??) its Leader, and installed a number of subordinates under him. (Bethany Frankle, Interplanet Janet, and more) This gave him a hundred to two hundred open slots to put actual people in. I'm told that these "alts" or "bots" are always online, and that they always reward subordinates who refuse bribes. (ah, an example to us weaker and more fatigue-limited mortals!) One of the more disconcerting things is that one can move from one bot to the other with no notice or warning! (Are they being quietly dropped from the game? With no standings page, who knows!)

But back to our situation. Our Guild Leader is Aristotle Landry. Under him one would find Directors (and how many ships does that take?) who pay 100 credits per ship commission.

This brings up an interesting quandary. When I was heading for Princess in Tiny Empires (so so long ago now...) I realized something that seriously worried me! If I were a Princess and I had a Princess under me, I would pay one gold per acre to my liege, and I would get one gold per acre from the Princess under me... I break even! No net income, no matter how many acres my subject Princess has. It meant I could have huge holdings, and no income!

My fears proved groundless, for two reason. One, the Federation HUD came out. Though it started out as a fiscal bloodbath, it did eventually become profitable- I could get one and a half times the normal homage income due me, but paid only the usual amount. Second, if I had a Princess under me, she only paid me one gold per acre in homage, but I actually received one and a half gold! (And the federation multiplied that by another 150%)

Now, as we start this new game, a similar situation may be developing. As a Broker, if I have a Broker below me, I get no income from that Broker. I pay 400 credits per ship in commission, and get 400 credits in commission. On the other hand, buying colonies is based on rank/total fleet size, so I'm being offered expensive Class 6 and 7 colonies (50 million and up). Now, as a Mogul, I'd make money on my Broker, until she's a Mogul as well.. but in the meantime, my Mogul superior suffers the same loss of income- she gets nothing from my thousand ships, in commission income, since she passes it all up the line.

Is there some sort of "get a bit more that you don't pass up" trick hidden in TE3K? If so, and it is limited to the highest rank, that's a Director, which requires some absolutely huge amount of ships (20,000???) I suspect that a lot of people who got in early and enjoyed instantly huge rank increases either are coming to regret, or may regret, not being able to go a bit slower and grab some small colonies on the way. Having some more income sources is a great idea when all of your huge holdings net you nothing in commission income!


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  2. Something does need to be done about this. As a Trade Baroness with a Trade Baroness below me,I'm now not getting income on over half of my ships. Colonies are being offered to me for 8 million, but I don't have the income to afford them. And if I wait for enough money, I'll probably have been pushed up to the next colony level with my subordinates buying ships.

  3. There are two ways to mitigate this trap. One is a broad or at least balanced base of directs (I have seven) so all your income isn't from one source. The second is, as mentioned, early colonies. Unfortunately, both are more easily done in the early going (when most people are unaware of the need) than later on (when they are).

    It's still caught up with me now; I'm a trade baroness with two trade baroness directs. But the other five directs and two colonies will carry me forward the last 50 ships to Broker.

    A tweak is needed.


  4. I sent a notecard with my concerns to Ultralite Soleil and suggested a 1.2 times multiplier when a sub and superior are the same rank, just like with the TE princess.

    So your Trade Baroness pays 500cr to a superior that is also a Trade Baroness but the superior receives 600. At higher level the additional credits would be less, for example a Broker would pay 400 and receive 480, this is intentional due to the huge number of ships involved.

    Ultralite hasn't said he will do this, or indeed anything about the problem, but he has stated he is monitoring things and considering game balance, so hopefully we'll see something soon.