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Trade Outposts Need Major tweaks

Bob
Azure_Zero
Sorry, Bob but I disagree with Trading outpost being better trade good producers as they currently are,
As the OP clearly states they at best a match to a hunting outpost in trade good production and the Hunting also generates the same amount of food on top of it.

I think if the percentages were raised to at least about 37.5% it would start to match a ranching outpost in trade good production in a plains hex, which is currently the best outpost and hex type combo for trade good production.

It's not a big difference, but I went on Zog and placed a Hunting Outpost +0 and a Trading Outpost +0 on a very standard Woodlands hex (400 Stone, 800 Wood, 600 Game) to test it out. The Hunting Outpost (the only other option that would produce Trade Goods in that hex) said it would produce 6 Trade Goods (plus 6 Food), while the Trading Outpost said it would produce a total of 7 Trade Goods (broken into 4 for Wood and 3 for Game). That lined up pretty well with the spreadsheet math I did, though I had to fudge a little to account for rounding issues.

Basically, I agree that Trading Outposts aren't the best Trade Goods producers, and are in fact guaranteed to be relatively inefficient at it. You're almost always better off using a different outpost for Trade Goods production, but in a different hex. It's just that in over half of the claimable hexes, they're the best choice if you want to focus on producing Trade Goods in that specific hex, which might be needed if someone can't line up a better hex. That's not a very high bar to reach, but they'd be clearly broken if they didn't meet it at least some of the time. That would then define the bare minimum fix, and would be pretty easy to define. I'd go ahead and make that now, knowing that any balanced change has to go at least that far, with plans to adjust further when I had time to run more numbers. Since they meet that low bar, there's no clear bare minimum fix to make. That doesn't mean they're balanced, it just means I shouldn't do anything until I have time to run all the numbers.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Too bad Trade Bulk resources can't someday be generated by interactive trading between players, settlements and governments. That would be much more interesting, IMO.

It would certainly make sense from a fictional standpoint, but I suspect it would require a pretty drastic rethinking of the bulk resources system. As such, not something we'd likely tackle anytime soon.
Azure_Zero
Bob
Azure_Zero
Sorry, Bob but I disagree with Trading outpost being better trade good producers as they currently are,
As the OP clearly states they at best a match to a hunting outpost in trade good production and the Hunting also generates the same amount of food on top of it.

I think if the percentages were raised to at least about 37.5% it would start to match a ranching outpost in trade good production in a plains hex, which is currently the best outpost and hex type combo for trade good production.

It's not a big difference, but I went on Zog and placed a Hunting Outpost +0 and a Trading Outpost +0 on a very standard Woodlands hex (400 Stone, 800 Wood, 600 Game) to test it out. The Hunting Outpost (the only other option that would produce Trade Goods in that hex) said it would produce 6 Trade Goods (plus 6 Food), while the Trading Outpost said it would produce a total of 7 Trade Goods (broken into 4 for Wood and 3 for Game). That lined up pretty well with the spreadsheet math I did, though I had to fudge a little to account for rounding issues.

Basically, I agree that Trading Outposts aren't the best Trade Goods producers, and are in fact guaranteed to be relatively inefficient at it. You're almost always better off using a different outpost for Trade Goods production, but in a different hex. It's just that in over half of the claimable hexes, they're the best choice if you want to focus on producing Trade Goods in that specific hex, which might be needed if someone can't line up a better hex. That's not a very high bar to reach, but they'd be clearly broken if they didn't meet it at least some of the time. That would then define the bare minimum fix, and would be pretty easy to define. I'd go ahead and make that now, knowing that any balanced change has to go at least that far, with plans to adjust further when I had time to run more numbers. Since they meet that low bar, there's no clear bare minimum fix to make. That doesn't mean they're balanced, it just means I shouldn't do anything until I have time to run all the numbers.

That 6 food and 6 trade tell me that it was not a pure forest hex (it and it's core 6 being the same), as I use Hunting in pure forest hexes and get 7,7.
Bob
Azure_Zero
That 6 food and 6 trade tell me that it was not a pure forest hex (it and it's core 6 being the same), as I use Hunting in pure forest hexes and get 7,7.
Whoops, you're absolutely right, I missed my target hex by 1. The one I was using had slightly lower Game/Wood ratings. Switching to the correct hex, the Hunting Outpost +0 does indeed produce 7 Trade Goods (plus 7 Food) while the Trading Outpost produces 8 Trade Goods (5 for Wood, 3 for Game). The spread increases to 22 vs. 26 at +5. Again, not a huge increase, and rarely worth the substantial trade-off in Food production, but still hits that minimum bar of being better at Trade Good production in any similar hex.
Azure_Zero
Bob
Azure_Zero
That 6 food and 6 trade tell me that it was not a pure forest hex (it and it's core 6 being the same), as I use Hunting in pure forest hexes and get 7,7.
Whoops, you're absolutely right, I missed my target hex by 1. The one I was using had slightly lower Game/Wood ratings. Switching to the correct hex, the Hunting Outpost +0 does indeed produce 7 Trade Goods (plus 7 Food) while the Trading Outpost produces 8 Trade Goods (5 for Wood, 3 for Game). The spread increases to 22 vs. 26 at +5. Again, not a huge increase, and rarely worth the substantial trade-off in Food production, but still hits that minimum bar of being better at Trade Good production in any similar hex.

If the trading outpost only produces barely a bit more then a Hunting outpost in trade goods, and the hunting produces nearly double the amount of total bulk, it's still not worth it.
If a single trading outpost can't make more then 10 bulk resource total units in it's best hex (forest or mountain), it's just not worth it,
as example a Inn (in forest) with 2 Hunting outposts would not only feed itself (up to +2), but also generate all the extra needed trade goods you'd want.
while a Inn holding in the same hex with 2 Trading outposts would need to be fed food and only make two or a bit more in trade goods each day.

Too put it simply, if outposts that can only work on at best a secondary resource rating in a hex that generates one bulk resource (i.e trade goods) is less then 2/3's a best production of 15 at +0, (this means a min of 10 should be reached)
it just is not worth it to put it up when I can get more bulk in total using another outpost.
Bob
Azure_Zero
If the trading outpost only produces barely a bit more then a Hunting outpost in trade goods, and the hunting produces nearly double the amount of total bulk, it's still not worth it.
I agree that it's imbalanced, and is more "theoretically useful in very rare specific circumstances" than actually useful in practice. I just can't draw a clear line for correcting it without a fair amount of research into the numbers. I'm quite sure it needs higher numbers of some kind, but it'll have to wait until I can devote some time to that research.
NightmareSr
I was always curious about the best use for a Trading Outpost so did some number crunching and got a bit carried away.
However it looks like some of the best uses would be for Settlements in the mountains or highlands that can't get woodland or cropland hexes. Since there aren't many hexes that contain the mixture of Wood, Game, Herds, and Ore that are used by Trading Outposts it is hard to see the benefit at first.
I did find though that the following hexes do have a significant benefit from Trading Outposts when compared to Hunting or Ranching. smile
E-W N-S Region Terrain Hex Type
-11 -3 Traveler's Wood Highlands Wilderness
-4 -3 Traveler's Wood Highlands Wilderness
-11 2 Traveler's Wood Highlands Wilderness
-9 4 Traveler's Wood Highlands Wilderness
-7 1 Traveler's Wood Highlands Wilderness
5 13 Southern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
-6 5 Northern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
5 12 Southern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
0 19 Southern Echo Wood Woodlands Wilderness
-15 -4 Western Echo Wood Woodlands Wilderness
-11 -7 Western Echo Wood Woodlands Wilderness
-9 -7 Western Echo Wood Woodlands Wilderness
0 14 Southern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
0 13 Southern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
-7 5 Northern Thorncrags Mountains Wilderness
-14 -7 Western Echo Wood Highlands Wilderness
-20 15 Crusader Lowlands Woodlands Wilderness
-16 9 Bandit Plain Woodlands Wilderness
-20 12 Bandit Plain Woodlands Wilderness
-19 11 Bandit Plain Woodlands Wilderness
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
– Cauchemar is a Greater Nightmare – cauchemar.pfo@gmail.com
Bob
NightmareSr
However it looks like some of the best uses would be for Settlements in the mountains or highlands that can't get woodland or cropland hexes.

Interesting analysis, and yes, it's those players with limited choices who'd most likely find the Trading Outposts tempting. I'd like to make them a little more tempting overall, but need to be careful exactly how far I push that since they're already tempting in at least some cases.
Demiurge
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Too bad Trade Bulk resources can't someday be generated by interactive trading between players, settlements and governments. That would be much more interesting, IMO.

It would certainly make sense from a fictional standpoint, but I suspect it would require a pretty drastic rethinking of the bulk resources system. As such, not something we'd likely tackle anytime soon.
Oh, so by transferring a heap of stuff to an alt in another settlement and then transferring it back again I can magically create bulk trade goods out of thin air ?

I am very in favor of this plan, it has my full support.
Flari-Merchant
Demiurge
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Too bad Trade Bulk resources can't someday be generated by interactive trading between players, settlements and governments. That would be much more interesting, IMO.

It would certainly make sense from a fictional standpoint, but I suspect it would require a pretty drastic rethinking of the bulk resources system. As such, not something we'd likely tackle anytime soon.
Oh, so by transferring a heap of stuff to an alt in another settlement and then transferring it back again I can magically create bulk trade goods out of thin air ?

I am very in favor of this plan, it has my full support.
A bit of a simplistic assumption of intent there, so no, not quite what I was thinking. Still in partial concept, close to the mark.

It just occurs to me that there is a bit of a missed opportunity going from the idea of a holding producing piles of it's particular brand of "grease widgets" and them being labeled as valued "Trade Goods" without them ever needing to be traded at all.

If, at the highest level (settlements for example) were interdependent on some form of "mutual exchange of goods" and could benefit from such (if established), it could add a dynamic to the political/economic game. In the same way that it might add to the game if other bulk resources had multiple uses like bulk stone and wood for buildings or cool massive projects or bulk ore and weapon/armor industry lvls determined the number and quality of Thornguards you could have about your area, etc…

Just silly dreams at this point, but intriguing (to me anyway) to think about.
 
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