I’m making this guide because a) I don’t want to go too off topic in a thread, and b) it’s some fun insider information. It’s not necessarily going to be groundbreaking in affecting your gameplay but there’s some meta stuff here that you can learn about what goes on behind the scenes. And who knows, maybe you’ll figure out how to make millions.
Lets say you have a brand new vanilla world. Single or multi player, doesn’t really matter. You make a trade portal (note: make, because prices will be skewed just a little in any trade portal you find from a cave troll). The game is going to, if possible (that is, if you’re connected to the internet), pull down the “blockmarket” prices. This will set how much everything costs, and it’s going to specify those prices in any world so long as nobody has bought or sold anything yet in that world (again, troll portals excluded. I’ll try to bring those up again in a bit if I can remember).
Now you’ve got your portal, and you upgraded it a bunch but haven’t bought anything yet. Shifts in the blockmarket will still be reflected normally. Now let’s say you want to buy a lot of coffee. Looks like as I’m writing this, the cost for coffee is 4.30 gold coins. You’re going to buy a lot, so you have a platinum coin.
You can’t get 23 coffees (roughly 100/4.3). Why not? Because each time you make a purchase, three things (“multipliers”) change:
- the portal’s prices/multiplier
- the world’s prices/multiplier
- the global prices/multiplier - that is, blockmarket
The higher the item is on this list, the more it’s going to be affected. I don’t know what the numbers are here, but let’s say (for the sake of this argument) that it’s going to change the portal’s prices 10%, the world’s prices 1%, and the global prices 0.1%1. What this means is that each time you buy an item, you’re changing how much it costs to buy that item especially for you at this portal, but also for anyone anywhere in the world, and slightly for anyone playing blockheads with an internet connection.
Anyway, you can’t buy 23 coffees (100/4.3). You buy the first one at 4.3 gold coins, and the next one costs 11.1% more - 4.78 gold coins. The third coffee you’ll buy will cost an 11.1% more beyond that: 5.31 gold coins. As you can see, the price is going to continue increasing. According to our hypothetical numbers, this is what you’ll end up paying for each coffee:
As you can see, the price got a lot higher at this portal and we were only able to buy 12 coffees, using 98.16 of our 100 gold coins. Now that we’ve bought our 12 coffees, we go to another trade portal in this world (that we made) and we look at the price of coffee. It should say 15.21, like the other portal now says, right?
Actually, no. This portal will have the effect of any changes to the global prices (blockmarket), and world prices, but not the changes from that portal (the 10% number we made up earlier.) That means that instead of costing 11.1% more per coffee that we bought, it’ll only cost us 1.1% more.
The coffee at this portal costs us 4.90 gold coins3. Woah! Crazy, right? Well, remember that these multipliers are made up, but yeah, that’s pretty much how it works.
Now we go to another world, where again nobody has bought or sold anything at a trade portal. And we’re going to assume for the sake of simplicity that nobody else has bought or sold coffee in this time, anywhere. Coffee here is going to cost 0.1% more per coffee that we bought in that other world. So it’s going to cost us only 4.35 - hardly different from the original price of 4.30 on the global market. That’s because the global market is only barely affected by transactions, meaning we can buy our next 12 coffees from here for much cheaper than we could buy another 12 in our other world!
So now we get to look at custom worlds. If at this point we go to a custom world, same deal (nobody has bought/sold coffee in this world, and we made this trade portal), we’re going to find that coffee costs 4.35 here as well.
“Wait! I thought custom worlds weren’t affected by global prices!”
Close. Custom worlds don’t affect global prices, but they are affected by them. That means that if we had started in this world instead of our vanilla world, the prices would still be 4.30 in those worlds - they wouldn’t be affected by this world - but the transactions from that world did still affect this world, making coffee cost 4.35.
If we had started here and bought our twelve coffees, coffee would have only gone up 11% per purchase that we made, not 11.1%. Not a significant difference (as you can see, it came to about 5 copper coins of global shift earlier4), but it’s there.
Now let’s quickly discuss troll portals. Troll portals (those are the trade portals you can rarely find near a cave troll) have their own custom, randomized, small differences in the portal price/multiplier for some items. So maybe coffee will cost 4.25 at this portal instead of 4.30 or 4.35. The difference might be more noticeable in the price of, say, a jetpack, where you might save five platinum coins. (I’m not sure how much the prices of troll portals are actually affected.) So that’s why troll portals won’t align exactly with the blockmarket, even in a world where nobody has yet used a trade portal.
Now, at some point Dave made a bit of a change to keep prices closer to what he wanted to set them at, which changes the entire system because the further a price strays from the “ideal price”, the less it’s going to be affected by purchases or sales, and the more it’s going to be affected by the other (so say coffee costs 1 platinum coin - way more than the “ideal price”, buying coffee will now only affect the portal by 5%, the world by 0.5%, and the global market by 0.05%. Selling, however, will affect the local price by 20%, the world price by 5%, and global market by 0.5%.2
Why did he do this? Because prices were getting out of hand. I think it was also part of a fix when people hacked the blockmarket.
1 Note that the global prices aren’t actually updated every time you make a purchase, though, as that would be laggy - it waits a bit and sends out some update after a few seconds or something.
2 Like before, these numbers are hypothetical so that my point can be shared. I have no idea what the actual multipliers are, or how they vary according to deviation.
3 I’m sure some of you are looking at this thinking "wait, that math is wrong. 4.30 + 0.01112 is 4.432." Remember that each time you add interest here, the number you’re multiplying by 1.1% changes. So you have 4.30, then 4.30+(4.300.011), then (4.30+(4.300.011))+(4.30+(4.300.011))*0.011, and so on. Be that as it may, I may have done one too many or one too few multiplications. Regardless, the point is the same, and the variation is only a few copper coins anyway. Aside from me making up the numbers to multiply by, I figure that’s not too big of a deal.
4 I realize now that I’m not sure if the global prices would be affected (with our hypothetical numbers) 0.1% of their current price, or 0.1% of the price of what we’re buying. Just to point that out.
If possible, it would be pretty cool if someone could figure out what the multipliers are. You’d have to buy some item in a world and mark the change on that portal and another in the world to find out the multiplier. Then again, due to Dave’s ideal price thing that I mentioned, I’m not sure it would be possible to do this. If anyone’s up for a challenge, though… go ahead.
Questions? Comments? Was this completely useless or impossible to understand? Are you going to be able to beat the system and buy 23 cups of coffee for a platinum coin now? If you have something useful to say, be sure to do so!
I hope this tip/guide (don’t know if it’s exactly either, actually) can help someone in some way, at least.