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Absent Elementals

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Brandmeister View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 20:58
A few of us were just discussing how it has been quite a while since we had any elementals appear near our towns in Laoshin and Taomist. There do seem to be elementals in other regions like Zanpur. Has anyone else noticed that elementals aren't re-spawning in their area?

Possible causes:

  1. Nothing. It's just random.
  2. The growning tentacles are blocking elementals somehow.
  3. They aren't re-spawning anywhere, and the ones still remaining just haven't been hunted yet.
  4. It's a moon cycle thing.
  5. Or maybe a seasonal thing?
  6. Or maybe factions are blocking certain circles because their armies sometimes land there.


Any other thoughts on this phenomenon?
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Angrim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 21:10
i blame the Circle of Five. or Nikon. probably Nikon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 21:38
Given that elementals were already relatively rare in Laoshin and Taomist, it's also possible that they have been hunted to "extinction" there.  (Through overzealous players hunting the few they could find.)

The elementals have not seemed to work in the same way that other animals do; for example they don't grow in number after their initial appearance and they don't move from their standing stones.

GM ThunderCat made a comment in chat to the effect that players have plenty of elemental salts in their inventories, so the developers do not seem to be concerned by the "developments" in elemental locations.

This of course ignores the fact that the players with salts in their inventories may be largely or even completely inactive or even abandoned and that they are little help to the other active players.  If the markets were efficient, then increasing prices for elemental salts would induce people to release them from their inventories.  However, the markets are not efficient, and there is no special reason for people not to hoard these items.

The amount of silversteel in player inventories must be truly astounding by now; have the developers compared the amount of silversteel in player inventories with the number of elemental salts?  This is relevant because making pretty much anything with silversteel requires elemental salts.

The "there is already plenty in player inventories" logic also falls on its face when you consider things like the spawning of basic resources, food and gold on the map.  Players have plenty of those in their inventories; have the developers considered stopping this resource spawning?  Hopefully not, since the players who are interested in collecting them are generally different than the people who already have loads in their inventories.

As it is, basically the game is penalizing people who actually use elemental salts in favor of the people who hoard them.  Without regard to how people think the game should theoretically be run, my question is:  How much fun is that?

Theory falls flat when it does not serve fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brandmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 23:01
I've killed lots of elementals in my area of Taomist. Earth elementals, on the same circles, repeatedly. But a couple months ago, they just stopped re-spawning. I don't know if that was related to the types getting mixed in circles, or what. But I have a pile of elemental salts from elementals I hunted in Laoshin and Taomist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brandmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 21:54
Week after week, I search the surrounding 100 squares for elementals. Still nothing. Is anyone else noticing this in Laoshin?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2015 at 01:12
Originally posted by Brandmeister Brandmeister wrote:

Week after week, I search the surrounding 100 squares for elementals. Still nothing. Is anyone else noticing this in Laoshin?

I have noticed.  It's been months since I've seen elementals in Laoshin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aurordan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2015 at 10:56
Might be out of season.  Elementals go in and out.  I don't thing they can be hunted to extinction, they don't behave "organically" like animal NPCs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brandmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2015 at 13:50
Perhaps. This has been going on for months though. They are re-spawning in many other regions on a constant basis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Morgweneth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2015 at 16:24
From what I have seen they seem to appear in a new area for a considerable time but then decline, probably appearing in a new location, certainly they dissapeared from near one of my Cities but have appeared in numbers near another. It will be interesting to see if and or when they reappear in one of their old haunts. Also they are no longer area type specific.

I believe it was said that the advent if BL messed with the algorithm, be nice if they do eventually appear in BL or even better, something "new"

Edited by Morgweneth - 02 Feb 2015 at 16:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ajqtrz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2015 at 02:50
I've never seen an Elemental in the Broken Lands.  Not one.  Haven't heard of anybody else finding one either...though they may have.   So count yourself lucky if you have any.

But here is the real point: market liquidity.  The markets for elementals are not flowing as their is little incentive to sell them at a price which makes economic sense to the buyer.  The value of an item is a product of the perception of the seller and the buyer.  Items which can be used to create profit or which will gain in value over time, are liquid because the seller and the buyer are exchanging something that each values differently.  The seller values the thing being sold at less than the buyer.  With Elementals the only value is in holding the item because no body can make a profit using them so there is not point in buying them.  Thus, for the most part, nobody does.

The devs apparently are thinking in terms of "supply and demand" and they should be.  They see a large stockpile of elementals and think, "high supply"  And they are right.  But there is no real demand for elementals because they can't be used to make anything.  Thus, there is a high supply without a high demand...and thus the market has become stuck.

To "unstick" a market you either saturate the market with product to the point that the price of the item will fall until it becomes cheap enough to use up....starting the cycle of harvest and use, or you increase demand by raising the value of the items that use the product.  Ultimately, in Illy, the reason things are stuck is that the equipment made using elementals has little to no practical value compared with it's competitive replacement.  The competitive replacement in this case being more troops.  If you want to equip an army with something made from elementals you currently will spend a fortune to do so with at best a moderate increase in the effectiveness of the army.  And if you lose the battle away from your city, the equipment is lost.  So the cost is quite high.  On the other hand, the competitive replacement costs a lot less.  The cost of troops as a product of what they add to your fighting level is a lot less.  What does a T2 fighter cost?  When you add it up, you get a rough average of 2k plus the hourly gold to support that troop.  If you equip that troop with something made from elementals it costs well over 200k.  And the bonus you get for that piece of equipment is only 24% max.  So, instead of purchasing the equipment or the stuff to make the equipment, it's better to spend 2k on another soldier, put the remainin 198k into a fund to pay that solder and reap a doubling or your effective strength.  Which is one reason elementals are not being bought and sold.

The other reason has to do with the psychology of scarcity.  If you have a one-of-a-kind postage stamp, even if nobody wants it, it's still perceived as valuable.  The more rare the item the more it's value is perceived to be.  Elementals are valuable because even though nobody wants to buy them, they are perceived to be valuable do to the difficulty of getting them.  And since the market is not liquid, they appear to be, in spite of the devs view, rare.

In the end players hoard things because they feel the things they are holding have a greater value in their stockpile than in the markets.  I hold a few elementals myself.  I intended to make some equipment out of them and did use a few, but once I determined the equipment wasn't worth the cost, I just stockpiled the remaining elementals.  They are more valuable to me psychologically than pragmatically.  And there is, again, why the elementals market is not liquid.

To summarize: elementals are not moving because the demand for them resides in the psychology of hoarding rather in the practical use of them.   As long as Illyites perceive owning elementals as more valuable than using them, they will go into the hubs and rest peacefully.  And if you want to change that you have to change the practical value of them by greatly raising the benefits of using them

Aj

AJ



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