I begin this thread with an acknowledgement to Prajna and his detailed analysis of reduced ham costs for troop leveling , since that post is what inspired me to dig into this further. Also a shout out to folks like Gryphonknight and Guvnor, who lead us all to think critically, use data, and do the hard work of publishing their ideas and open themselves up to the “public editorial process”. I admit that I was not optimistic about finding some hidden technique to reduce the ridiculously high costs of leveling troops, but based on that previous work I was curious.
My analysis does find a couple of interesting new insights, and offers up a conclusions that I definitely would like others to examine and validate.
The hypothesis is that “fattening up” feeder troops before feeding them to our “keeper troops” will result in some overall cost savings (food). There may be some break-even point where the savings peaks or begins to turn negative.
Two important findings (again, I encourage and welcome review of the math here and these conclusions):
- The mechanics of leveling troops (we are limited in feeding a maximum of 10 feeder troops at a time) is crucial in improving overall efficiency. We should ALWAYS USE 10 FEEDER TROOPS AT A TIME when we level our keeper troops. This is true regardless of the level of feeders being used. We lose a ton of efficiency when doing “partial leveling”.
- “Fattening up” feeder troops provides cost savings for nearly all rarities and levels of keeper troops.
Details / Analysis:
In order to perform the calculations necessary for this analysis, I first needed 3 base tables of data:
- the XP requirements to move keeper troops to the next level
- the ham costs of feeding keeper troops at each level
- the XP yields of feeder troops at each level
Pictures of tables are below and online here: Troop Leveling Analysis
As you can see looking at the base tables, the data is all static and linear. That is, this data for all rarities of troops progresses by level in set increments using a static base value. If we predict leveling costs by just looking at the base tables, and not taking the “10 feeders per round” mechanics into account, our analysis will be significantly flawed. Once I had generated the base data, I could then start working on an algorithm to model the actual troop leveling process in the game.
While I was experimenting to obtain the base table data, I had the insight that the cost to level our troops is set at the beginning of each “round” based on the current level of the troop. If we can level our “keeper troops” across several levels each round, we skip over the cost increases of leveling at those levels we skipped. A picture is worth a thousand words here:
Look at the first round of leveling up these 3* troops as an example. Here we’re feeding 1* troops (at level 1) which yield 40 XP / feed. We only needed 7 feeds to get the keeper troops to level 2, but by continuing to add 3 more feeds in that round, we gained 120 more XPs into level 2 at the 9,000 hams/feed cost rate. We saved 13,500 hams! This may not seem like much, but when you scale this stacking across all the levels we need for 3* or 4* troops, the savings really adds up.
Once I had this model built in a spreadsheet, I could then start working out the pseudo code I’d need to write a program to calculate all this and simulate leveling any troops with any feeders. I used Python3 to code it up. It didn’t really take long and the core logic of the program is pretty short.
Once I had the program working properly, I can now easily calculate the costs of “fattening up” feeder troops, and then in turn using that data for further analysis. Here’s a table of the costs of “fattening up” feeder troops:
Here’s what most of you are probably wanting to see at this point - - - the cost comparison of using leveled feeder troops to level up 4* keeper troops. I just ran the numbers for using 1* feeders that have been leveled up to Levels 1-4.
These “net costs” are calculated as follows:
For fattened-up troops (at level 2, 3, & 4), the cost of the feeders themselves is derived from the above table (10K each for level-2, 25k each for level-3, and 45k each for level-4) and then multiplied by the number of feeds required at each level. The python code spits out the number of feeds at each level.
My hope is that this framework is useful for generating cost efficiency when leveling troops. I think there’s some reasonable steps we can all take based on this to save hams. At higher levels, there are obvious constraints of availability of feeder troops, hams, and the trade-offs associated with those constraints. But the key thing to remember is fully using all 10 feeds per round, especially on the boundaries when we level up. Using higher yield feeders helps to maximize this efficiency and so generally speaking, the fatter the feeders, the more you save!