Book 3 - Page 338

Nous sommes composés de verre

Book 3 - Page 338
Comic - Book 3 - Page 338
Recent posts... (See full thread)
Charlie's statement that the "towers" blew it, not Shirley, makes me wonder if something larger than loopholes in a contract are at play.

The thinkspace images on this page have an encroaching, organic tree, similar to the tree Maggie describes in page 313 during her H-String breakthrough.

Maybe the first contract between towers, who communicate in Signs (not language), breaks Erfworld somehow?
ManaCaster wrote:
greycat wrote:

No, he said (and you quoted it up above, thank you) that the world is not sustainable at its current population level.

So you're saying that Parson is saying that Erfworld is currently in the boom section of a boom and bust cycle? It's sad, but if that's the only problem, he just needs to let the current population croak, disband, or get decrypted until Erfworld falls back into equilibrium, then put limits on to how many non-harvestable units get produced. He can't stop it from busting anyways when everybody steals from another to the point of exhaustion.

greycat wrote:
This is not the same as saying that war produces a positive number of shmuckers in a macroeconomic sense. What war does is reduce the population, or redistribute shmuckers to the winner.

Then why is Parson complaining about perpetual motion machines and that you can't sustain a side without battles? If war doesn't produce net schmuckers, then why would the plan to make everybody sign a binding treaty depopulate Erfworld?


Because units require Upkeep. If the only source of income is what you get from having cities, and your upkeep is more than that, then you'll have to reduce your population to make ends meet. Its implied that most sides have more units than they can pay for though just their cities. You get money through battle by capturing cities which provide a sustained upkeep (up to a certain number of cities) or by razing those same cities and getting a one time cash infusion. There's good canon explanations of this in the prequel and in book two. Its basically what keeps this world moving as a game.

Like any good game, the world has to be unbalanced between needs and resources. In a game like Risk those needs are balanced to create a positive feedback loop which pushes the game to complete with a single winner. In many online game like Ogame the lack of balance is designed to keep the game running indefinitely by using a negative feedback loop.

Erfworld uses negative feedback - The larger your side gets, the less your new cities give you in income, resulting in making it harder to afford all of the new units you will need to defend those cities.
ManaCaster wrote:
greycat wrote:

No, he said (and you quoted it up above, thank you) that the world is not sustainable at its current population level.

So you're saying that Parson is saying that Erfworld is currently in the boom section of a boom and bust cycle? It's sad, but if that's the only problem, he just needs to let the current population croak, disband, or get decrypted until Erfworld falls back into equilibrium, then put limits on to how many non-harvestable units get produced. He can't stop it from busting anyways when everybody steals from another to the point of exhaustion.

greycat wrote:
This is not the same as saying that war produces a positive number of shmuckers in a macroeconomic sense. What war does is reduce the population, or redistribute shmuckers to the winner.

Then why is Parson complaining about perpetual motion machines and that you can't sustain a side without battles? If war doesn't produce net schmuckers, then why would the plan to make everybody sign a binding treaty depopulate Erfworld?


I think I see what you're saying here: in the long run, the net input of Shmuckers into the system needs to be equal to or higher than the net output paid in upkeep. If war doesn't create Shmuckers, or massively depopulate the war-torn region each time a war happens (which it doesn't seem to; TV has been at war with Carport for a really long time, and there hasn't been talk of either side running out of units), then why can't peace be as profitable as war unless the same massive depopulation occurs?

One possibility is that higher-level units require more upkeep. War might not depopulate a side, but it may reduce the upkeep through attrition of the higher-level units, who are replaced by lower-upkeep, newly-popped units.

We don't know that combat is the only way for a unit to level (it certainly isn't the only way for a caster to do so), and, if it isn't, then you have a population which consumes more resources as time goes on, as the resources themselves remain stagnant.
Nimelennar wrote:

I think I see what you're saying here: in the long run, the net input of Shmuckers into the system needs to be equal to or higher than the net output paid in upkeep. If war doesn't create Shmuckers, or massively depopulate the war-torn region each time a war happens (which it doesn't seem to; TV has been at war with Carport for a really long time, and there hasn't been talk of either side running out of units), then why can't peace be as profitable as war unless the same massive depopulation occurs?

One possibility is that higher-level units require more upkeep. War might not depopulate a side, but it may reduce the upkeep through attrition of the higher-level units, who are replaced by lower-upkeep, newly-popped units.

We don't know that combat is the only way for a unit to level (it certainly isn't the only way for a caster to do so), and, if it isn't, then you have a population which consumes more resources as time goes on, as the resources themselves remain stagnant.


Here's the way I see it working out:

  • The "ideal" ratio for a Side is the number of cities at, or near, where "too many cities" penalties occur. IF a Side can exist that way, it could be relatively solid in perpetuity, especially if it had adequate sources of income.

  • BUT #1: Such a Side is necessarily low on defensive options. There's a reason Old Faq popped precious few Megalogwiffs, for instance, and that's Upkeep. At the same time, those high-upkeep units may be necessary to deal even with Feral units that could become a threat.

  • BUT #2:Such a Kingdom needs to tightly control not only what is Popped, but the level of its various leadership. Just from assaults by Ferals or Barbarians that randomly Pop, such leadership might Level to the point where their upkeep is not sustainable in the bounds of auto-generated income.

  • BUT #2a: dealing with Ferals might be possible by just killing the Feral and then managing your membership, such as not popping too many replacements for what the Feral kills. But there's still the ethical issue of absorbing or else accepting a necessity of killing off Barbarian THINKING units (casters, elves, gobwins, etc) that also auto-pop in the world and then wind up trying to scratch out subsistence upkeep and/or find a Side to Ally with.

  • BUT #3: Most of the other workarounds are necessarily finite. Sacking Cities is a one-time infusion, unless you let another Side build them back up. Mines could be looked for and claimed, but eventually run out (note that after the Link at GK, Sizemore talked about how GK had thought the mines were coming close to played out until he realized how many other pockets of Gems he could push near the surface during the eruption).

  • CONCLUSION: It's not necessarily that the resources of Erfworld are finite, though some seem to be? The opener of the first book, with "one extra gem" left behind, indicates some of it might be. It's that any attainable equilibrium point could be what in engineering is referred to as an "unstable equilibrium", that would need to be very carefully managed lest the inherent randomness in the system due to Feral and Barbarian poppage throw equilibrium too far off.
Nimelennar wrote:

We don't know that combat is the only way for a unit to level (it certainly isn't the only way for a caster to do so)

Artemis, a Warlady, was able to level through training alone. It is extremely rare and noteworthy.
About depopulation and level... Lots of low level units are not the same as one high-level unit. Combat is all about leverage and multiplication of force. The once captured Warlord Ansom was released and he was cutting though Faq units like a hot knife through butter. The Faq-sided units outside of the GK-owned Faq-the-city cannot take it from Ansom even though there are more of them.

We know that Chief Warlord Parson A Gotti costs tons of upkeep despite him only being level three. Do we have any idea what Caster Croakamancer Wanda Firebaugh's upkeep is? How much of that is candy-store kinda theft enabled via the Arkenpliers and how much of that is the larceny kinda theft of failing to balance the zero?
I don't reckon there will be anything left of TV :tv: to honour their contract with Shirley :charlie:.

I wouldn't be surprised that as soon as CC demands payment that TV end up in an automatic negotiation with GK :stanley:. If TV can't honour their commitment to GK then TV in their entirety could be annexed to GK. If TV no longer exists then all of their prior deals with CC would be null and void.

It would then be in GK's best interest to then get Caesar to create a new side (New TV?) that might serve GK as a protectorate. I doubt Parson would want NewTV to be a protectorate as they would better serve in a war against CC if they were an ally who could act autonomously.

GK needs TV to stay a capital side so that their portal remains open.

The foreboding of :jetstone: Ansom :wanda: ruling a side should come to fruition. With Ansom left to defend Faq by himself it will be prudent to get him to form a capital side so a portal opens up to allow reinforcements to travel from the MK. Setting Ansom's side up as a Protectorate of GK would also prevent diminishing schmuckers from being too much of a problem for the ever expanding GK. GK could give Ansom Otoh and Kibo as well as any former TV units nearby.

I'd love to see Vinny as Ansom's Chief Warlord and :albert:lbert as his heir.
Quote:
This one's easy enough - either transfer said units to GK instead first, order them and hope on them refusing the order... or in Vanna's case, just outright Disband her first.


I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere in current discussions, but Vanna has repeatedly asserted that she cannot serve a non-royal side because of the oath she swore to Queen Bea. Assuming that's not self-serving BS, can Vanna turn to Charlie even if ordered to?
Nimelennar wrote:
M1rth wrote:

7. Remit to side of Faq: Faq, Otoh, Kibo, Faq treasury value at time of seizure

Again thanks to Benjamin's signamancy/moneymancy trick with Parson, this could get interesting.

I think returning the cities to Faq will happen pretty much as Charlie would want it. I don't see much wiggle room. The Treasury, on the other hand... That could be affected by Benny's trick.

Ansom is standing in the city of Faq. Wouldn't that mean the place's immediate capture by Gobwin Knob?
seanfish wrote:
Hague wrote:
What did Shirley mean by calling Queenie "Miss Thing?"


My read: It's something a mother might say about a young woman she sees as having an undue influence on her son that she gains by exploiting her sexual wiles. Somewhat of a misinterpretation of the way Charlie uses quasi-romantic loyalty to bond with his Archons, expressed at its peak in the Fox Force (two).


I'm not sure about that. I think it might be a little bit more than that. Like Shirley knows something about how Archons are popped and perhaps in an unnatural way? The towers seem to have a strong link to all the units of the side. There's gotta be a reason why Shirley is more derisive of the Fox Force archons over some of the others.