SUGGESTION: Better manual trade route setup
#1
I am enjoying this ROV as good trading simulation game. But I feel that the manual trading mode of the trade route has some thing to be desired.

The automatic trade route is THE most important feature of this kind of trading game. But for general impression on ROV, its setup is too hard to use for new gamer to trading games.

In trading by manual mode (not trading by captain mode), the set up is too complex and cumbersome. Why should we have walls of numbers in trade route set up UI screen, with long scroll and multiple pages per city AND per route/convoy? It is very intimidating to most newcomers of this game. This complex and unfriendly and poor, stupid design of this manual trading route setup screen UI design alone did harm the game review's score by one solid step at least, I guess. Are all these numbers needed to enjoy this game fully? No, I don't think so. Simple global rule setting page and few exceptions of these rules for specific city or transactions or some goods will do the same trick in much simpler and friendly way. And use % of goods price instead of specific price value for all goods. Then, setting will be much simpler and easier to adjust.

And yet, it lacks important feature: Setting limit on accumulated stock amount for each goods for the convoy. Or some protection against runaway accumulation of single stock. Runaway accumulation consumes all the cargo capacity of convoy or warehouse stock by single goods. Not per buy/sell transaction limit per goods, but total accumulated stock amount per goods.

In a word: it has no adaptability to changing situation and no safe guard against greedy, runaway accumulation.

Lets take an example of a manual trade mode . My default manual trade setting for all city and all goods are : Buy max for low price, Sell max for high price. Only some over produced and under consumed goods have set to limit buy amount on some production cities. And few settings for productions. It works well in steady state. Most goods bought in the given trip will sold in the same round trip.

But change will happen. Sometimes demand for some goods drops suddenly and sharply or some city starts to produce large amount of some goods. Then, it will break and the convoy cargo is overwhelmed by unsold and accumulated stocks. Out of 1000 barrel cargo capacity of the convoy, 800 or even all the cargo will be filled and used up quickly by single goods of unsold stock, leaving no room for carrying other kinds of goods. Player have to lower or set the buying limit for each city to adapt to new situation. Setting or lowering default buy amount for all goods does not work, because the default amount also will not prevent stock from runaway accumulation. It only slows its progression. Without such limit or self-adjustment feature, the trading system is inherently unstable and susceptible to changing situation.

So the convoy (and storage warehouse, too) should have setting to limit cargo amount of single good stock so that accumulation of single good will not fill and consume entire cargo capacity of the convoy or warehouse.
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#2
Agreed. I was trying to figure out how to work around this as well.

Yet, it appears that the only solution is micromanagement, which is very time consuming.

Ideally, A convoy should automatically hold an equal storage limit for all goods being purchased, rather than filling the convoy with Wood. If my convoy has 2200 barrels of cargo space, and is buying all 22 goods, than each good should only be purchased up to 100 barrels, without me having to put 100 in every single column.

However, the way to get rid of excess cargo (warehouse) in my opinion is backwards. The convoy should sell all the goods they can, and then, put any excess cargo in the warehouse. Otherwise, the route appears to be inefficient, if all it does is drop items off in another warehouse.

Has anyone figured out how to set a convoy to trade first and then unload excess cargo second?
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#3
(14-10-2013, 09:00 PM)tlv Wrote: Has anyone figured out how to set a convoy to trade first and then unload excess cargo second?
i dont understnad the order either
if you want that you have to create 2 stopps
add townA
add townB
add townA
remove townB
-> you have 2 stopps
i use that for my buy-convoys in late game (rented storage is cheaper than build storage houses + with buy ships you have no limit to buying goods even if you only have 500 storage)
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#4
(14-10-2013, 09:05 PM)Falko Wrote:
(14-10-2013, 09:00 PM)tlv Wrote: Has anyone figured out how to set a convoy to trade first and then unload excess cargo second?
i dont understnad the order either
if you want that you have to create 2 stopps
add townA
add townB
add townA
remove townB
-> you have 2 stopps
i use that for my buy-convoys in late game (rented storage is cheaper than build storage houses + with buy ships you have no limit to buying goods even if you only have 500 storage)

Okay, Thanks. That sounds like a great workaround. I'll have to try that.

So, how would you setup the captain/manual trading menu for Selling and then Offloading on that setup?

Would load/offload still work? Or, would that need some modification?
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#5
Trade Routes :-

http://forum.kalypsomedia.com/showthread...#pid176023
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#6
(14-10-2013, 09:27 PM)tlv Wrote: So, how would you setup the captain/manual trading menu for Selling and then Offloading on that setup?
i unload all/load all strategy with a specific amount in loaded in the central hub (bring more silk to rom/genua than to venice/zara they dont need as much)
and my convoys are always full they are to small then i remove cities from the route
more frequent visits = smaller amount of barrel capacity needs for automatic trade
with only 3-4 convoys i can not supply the whole Mediterranean sea and i dont try
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#7
(14-10-2013, 09:05 PM)Falko Wrote:
(14-10-2013, 09:00 PM)tlv Wrote: Has anyone figured out how to set a convoy to trade first and then unload excess cargo second?
i dont understnad the order either
if you want that you have to create 2 stopps
add townA
add townB
add townA
remove townB
-> you have 2 stopps
i use that for my buy-convoys in late game (rented storage is cheaper than build storage houses + with buy ships you have no limit to buying goods even if you only have 500 storage)

This was some great advice, to workaround the order. Here's how I have it setup so far.

1st City- Load Raw Materials/Load Goods.
2nd City- Sell Goods.
2nd City- Empty Convoy.

It only loads about 5 goods, but in pretty equal amounts, and there is only a small excess when the convoy is emptied.

Either way, this was all I needed, because I have a warehouse in every city, and I'm using Venice as the hub.

But, I still wanted to capitalize off of the trade income, without having to manually do it. Adding that second city twice solves my equation.
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#8
(14-10-2013, 09:05 PM)Falko Wrote: i dont understnad the order either
if you want that you have to create 2 stopps
add townA
add townB
add townA
remove townB
-> you have 2 stopps
i use that for my buy-convoys in late game (rented storage is cheaper than build storage houses + with buy ships you have no limit to buying goods even if you only have 500 storage)

By the way, how does your buy-convoy setup the trading? Manually or Captain?
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#9
manually
max buy for 120%
max put into storage
the same configuration for both stopps
at the moment i am thinking about using the convoy for selling
the max price you can get with professional in big cities is 128% (160*0,8)
with the normal administrator selling you loose 3% margin (and if one is in the trade (not production) phase of the game with 120% buy a sellprice of 125% or 128% makes a difference
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#10
I wonder if you could "park" a convoy in a city to simply load up from the warehouse, and then sell locally?

A) load goods in city X
B) sell goods in city X

In theory, at step A, it should take on board from the warehouse in X whatever is needed in X, but sell it at 128%, rather than 125.

As Prince, you can have 100 convoys. That is enough to park one in each city.

Added bonus: Less storage capacity needed.
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#11
should work@lama_rt
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#12
(15-10-2013, 07:24 PM)Lama_RT Wrote: I wonder if you could "park" a convoy in a city to simply load up from the warehouse, and then sell locally?

A) load goods in city X
B) sell goods in city X

In theory, at step A, it should take on board from the warehouse in X whatever is needed in X, but sell it at 128%, rather than 125.

As Prince, you can have 100 convoys. That is enough to park one in each city.

Added bonus: Less storage capacity needed.

That's not just an added bonus... there's just no profit to be found paying 200 per day for 1000 barrels of storehouse space, when you can rent for less than half of the price, and solely based on utilization.

So, any workaround to accumulate goods without paying those exorbitant fees is bound to be golden.

The adding a city twice workaround (by deleting the middleman) is the best advice I've heard regarding this game. It opens up a whole new method of capitalization. It's kind of like modern day Wall Street... creating trading partners out of whole cloth. lol
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#13
The method I use to mitigate the runaway accumulation:
Build warehouse in Korori. Unload all goods from all convoys/routes that pass Korori. Reload only limited amount (100 at start, 200 later) of all goods from the Korori. Any excess quantities of goods will be left behind in the warehouse on Korori. Watch closely the stock of the warehouse. If some stock seems to accumulate, reduce buying amount of the goods in all cities of all convoys/routes. Micro-management of adjusting buy amount and/or price individually on every cities and every routes is pain in ass, though. Not so satisfactory and still cumbersome but manageable anyway.

Why can't we adjust buy amount limit or buy price of specific goods from all cities and all routes on single setting page. the ROV game should have provided us such default global setting functionality. It would have simplified the micro-management.

The buy/sell price and amount limit control should not belong to the individual trade route/convoy. It should have belong to all city (with or without warehouse) Unload/load limt will belong to the route/convoy.
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#14
I would suggest that it is easier to micromanage correction of large stocks. Let the routes run normally, as simcutie suggests, then have a large fleet to manage "dump" routes. This may often be needed for raw materials. Cities with large populations that use the particular raw material for a finished good can take a remarkable amount of such a material.

So, for example, if you have accumulated 3000 grain and you are not turning that inventory over with significant velocity, then take (say) 2000 in a fleet to the largest bread-producing city(ies) and sell it there.

Large and growing stocks of finished goods are more problematic. If the quantity of goods is a function of your own production levels (almost always the case) then you may have an unbalanced set of production facilities and need to deemphasize additional buildings of that type. This seems obvious, but the method I use is to keep a spreadsheet of all buildings I own by city to keep track of aggregate production.
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#15
Imo setting up trade routes is done very bad. It really seems that the game is not designed around creating routes which are self balancing and easily updated.

Currently I am really struggling continue to play the game. I totally would like to but to expand I will have to do a lot of tedious number editing.

I tried to figure out a system for myself to make it as easy as possible, but I havnt come up with a good solution yet.

For end game probably the best system is:

-having a central city which can stock up infinite goods and is a "junction" between all the trade routes
-having 1 to 1 or cycle trade routes which end in the central city. For instance I would like to get a "north", "east", "south" and 2x "west" routes which have cycle times of up to 15 days

The system would work PERFECTLY and is probably economical better than peer to peer routes, but all well set up routes require the player to calculate exact numbers.


Best thing I found is to write down EVERY goods consumption(=population + production, which is shown in the ware list) of each city and add it up. Then I can fill the numbers into the branch office and the sum of all numbers of a system of cities into the trade route (max load/unload in each city and central city picks up the calculated sum)

This system would be perfect, but its too tedious to be fun... Writing down 22x(25+5) numbers and fill them in 1 by 1 is horrible. Ofc I simplify those numbers so that "14" becomes "2" (=20 and rounded up) but still its too much work.

Setting up a huuuge trade route system ONCE would be ACCEPTABLE but the problem is that you also have to permanently adapt it! (at least you want to because RoV is an economical game and designing a traderoute for 60k people does not make sense if there are only 15k people, so in theory you constantly want to iterate your trade routes but you will need to go though HUNDREDS of numbers again...)

For me its surprising how poor the game is in supporting the player with comfort function for setting up trade routes. Also the analysis tools for determing global production are very bad. If you want to see global wood production you get a list of all city which produce wood but you dont get a sum of all those numbers! And you want to know the sum to determine which production is needed most.
Its very hard to optimise your trade empire SYSTEMATICALLY.

Also there are so many functions which absolutly make no sense. I know I am "lategame focused" but I really think there are only 1-2 viable strategies for setting up global logistic but the game does not support these best ways but instead flood the player with useless options, while missing out the important ones.


Important functions I totally miss are:

-keep supply for X days (so if you have a pottery production the protected quantity from traderoutes for wood would be a lot higher. This function alone would reduce work of setting up "ideal" traderoutes by ~70%! When the city grows so does the storage. I am sure this is exactly what EVERY min-maxer wants

-add up good usage of all selected cities and put it on the ship

This is all, there is not more I need.

I exspect there might be the argument: "But those 2 function would make the game too easy" but sorry, thats a BS argument.
A game should always be hard because of game mechanics, not because of a "lack of control/comfort". The standard price of 200% is completly ridiculous anyway, but even 160% is quite easy. The game should be difficult because of economical challanges and not because of lacking comfort function for setting up trade routes.


What disappoints me is, that the game actually provides a lot of functions but imo most of them are IRRELEVANT. Maybe I am a noob and dont know how to play the game, but Id say 90% of the information and functions the game provides are USELESS for setting up an optimal trade empire. For me it seems that the game designer never really played their game themselves and never thought about HOW TO play the game "properly".

Stuff like the non existant maximum buy quantity seem to prove me right...
(this is a pain in the a$$ in early game, because you dont want 500 wood while not buying pottery/wine/oil etc)


What I want in an economy game is a tight and simple apearance of the game with SMART control functions which allow to set up SELF BALANCING strategies with minimal effort.

When I remember "Industry Gigant 2" this game had it right. You could have had very complex production cycles which were "stable" because you could easily manage the storage buildings and also the production quantities could have been handled easily while calculating simple numbers in your head. But in the Patricier games who are confronted with HUNDREDS of numbers you have to manage 1 by 1 IF you want to optimize your game.
Or you just play the game casually and load 2000 wood(because then you dont have to handle the numbers) into your ships as the game is so easy that it just does not matter to have only 18% efficiency. But I doubt a economical game is fun if you dont have any pressure to set up efficient production cycles and logistic networks.


I know its not reasonable to do exact math in any game, but I cannot even find a rule of thumb to simplify the numbers to an enjoyable degree.
Maybe if I make templates for 3000/6000 etc cities and copy the adjustments to other 3000 cities, but still I will have to edit and estimate or calculate the influence of the workshops and also I have to adjust the convoy...
This is all so much MEH...
I dont need accuracy but it does not feel right to use random numbers for trade routes...

Anybody has a suggestion for what I can do to "mass set up" trade routes as easily as possible?
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#16
Normal theory in all these games (Patrician; Port Royale) and now RoV is that supply is from Central Distribution points. However many you need. Bagaluth did some detailed work with Patrician 4 producing a spreadsheet that detailed needs and convoy size, and routes to supply them. You seem to have followed a similar path.

It can work - but as you say sometimes very tedious.
I have tended to go for a different approach. Supplying direct from the manufacturing town. So for example in the early game Venice produces fruit and oil, so I get a trade route set up that loads MAX Fruit & Oil in Venice and sells it in Zara; Ragusta; Durrazzo; Korroni; Athens; Thessalonika. And build up from there. Then start up producing Pottery and Wood in Zara; and add ships in that convoy and sell them on the same route. And build up from there.

Later on you can amend these routes to unload into the warehouse, this is when you need an idea on town requirements - but you can see that in the Market - 10 day Consumption.
But take I take a 80 / 20 approach - if the town gets most of what it wants then I can afford to adjust the amounts every 2 or 3 game months or if they alert.
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#17
The easiest approach:

1) Check for each of your routes how long one full circle of supplying a town from your central destribution point (A) takes and put these numbers in an Excell file. Let's name this number "B".
You also need the 10 day demand of a city; which can be found in the info-screen. We'll call this "D". Since this is a variable as the city expands, you need to add that in a new Excell cell.

Add the following formula in the excell file, in the cell following the one you type the 10-day need in:

=SUM((D/10)*B)

i.e.:

To supply a city from Coroni takes a total of 7.8 days. The 10 day need of wood is 59 barrels.
The formula is going to give you the following:

= SUM((59/10)*7.8)
Gives 46.02 (or 47) barrels of wood needed to supply that specific city. Since other cities at the same route also need wood, you can use their 10-day need as well to get a total amount of wood needed.

It's still a bit of a job; but using a formula in an Excell file works a lot easier, as you can easily change the needed amount, without writing things down completely.

And in case you think about switching from a circular route to a spoke-hub system; the formula for that is:

=SUM(D/10*(B*2))
The reason the traveltime is set times 2, is because you have to travel back and forth. The time to trade hasn't been taken into account, because usually you're rounding up anyway.
In numbers the formula looks like this:

Taken a route from Coroni to Acre takes 3.7 days.
When Acre is needing 59 wood, the formula becomes:

=SUM(59/10*(3.7*2))
gives 44 barrels of wood needed to supply the town with enough wood to last until your next visit.


I hope this wasn't too complicated. Big Grin

Thorin Smile
Hack seinen Kopf ab. Ich brauche einen Aschenbecher!
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#18
(01-12-2014, 09:35 PM)Thorin Oakshield Wrote: The easiest approach:

You mean you have something more complicated !! Tongue
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#19
Today I finally managed to create some kind of recipe to manage routes and until now I find it somewhat enjoyable to use it. With one sheet of paper with information I can now systematically design routes with reasonable effort WITHIN the game and I can do the math easily and only need a calulator ~5 times.

First: I categorize all my routes into either 10 or 15 days(rounded up)
On a piece of paper I have
-a demand list for population (10d and 5000 people)
-number of cities which produce a certain good (for instance spice = 3)
-list of production plant demand when balanced out
-sum of each production type for each route

For instance: On my map I have 25 cities and my first step is 25x5000, so I know what maximum number of production is to be exspected (you will need 62,5 from each facility)

If you have a 25x5000 map you want a maximum of 62,5 pottery and as there are 6 cities which produce pottery there will be no city which should have more than 11 potters. So I know: "if pottery, then add 220/330 wood" (numbers depending on 10 or 15d route). For every secondary production plant I have those numbers prepared.

So I have 2 standard office setups(10d and 15d) which cover only the population demand and I copy them all over the map and adjust them with a list of maximum needed goods for production. Also: "if good is produced, set minimum number = 0", but this is obvious

Until now it works well for me and also I think adjusting the numbers will be easier. The point is, that for each city you only have to change ~4 numbers and also though the system might be oversized in the beginning, it will perfectly balance out in the long run.

The convoy set up is also not too hard. I do the calculation in 3 steps. Note that 1 convoy covers 4-7 cities:

1, fill in "standard population demand times x" (x depends on the lengh of the route, 10 or 15d and the population)
2, add sum of exspected maximum required goods for production. (if route has 3x pottery I add 660 or 990 wood)
3, optimization: substract produced goods from 1st city after central city


This is the system I figured out and though it might sound extremly complicated for me its actually pretty simple and straight forward^^
Basically the idea is to copy as much as possible and adjust the numbers with easy methods systematically.
At least its a lot better to copy the ware list section 1 by 1....

Only thing you have to keep in mind to make this method work:

1, you need to control every city and have to build up a lot of ships (obvious and every other methods also needs to do this)
2, balance out production. In a 25x15000 map you want 62/62/63 spice instead of 187/0/0, otherwise you will have to micromanage again... (I am not that far though, but thats the plan^^)

I dont know how demand will develop in lategame and how big external influence is(fire, famine etc). Also you cannot fulfil ALL demand but what I want to do is having a standarderized logistic system and adjust the global supply demand with carefully building production plants.

An interesting part about oversizing trade routes is that you totally drain out the goods from the game, so you have to be careful.
Currently most cities are ~2400 but I started creating a 25x5000 system, but it really drains the cities hard, because of the high capacities. Actually I should have gone for 25x3000/6000/9000/etc.

However, its completly natural that expansion starves the economy, alone because of the increased city market. And you cannot have global overproduction. Not 100% accurate, but to 100% supply 375000 people you will need ~408000 people, not taking into account resource consumption for buildings and ships.

Stuff like this I find very interesting and I enjoy makromanaging the game, unfortunatly RoV is designed for micromanage facists...


Btw.: Does anybody know how many settlements you can have in the standard map? I have seen one mission for creating a settlement and I hope there are no more. Quantity of cities is dumb, as if the game becomes better with more cities: beyond the sea map...totally unnecessary
I am a completionist, not a masochist who wants to micromanage 30+ maps. When I get my 25x15000 I am happy, I dont need more. (15000 is the maximum, right?)
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#20
(02-12-2014, 12:19 AM)billyplod Wrote: You mean you have something more complicated !! Tongue

Nope. I got an Excell sheet doing all the work for me.
Sorta similar to having you to answer all the questions here. :p Wink

Thorin Big Grin
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