Exactly What Market Culture is Worth
So, in my games, the price of culture frequently varies greatly. I use the following guidelines to determine what price culture should be worth to me, and buy/sell accordingly. However, there is no reason for this. There isn't a debatable value for culture, for the most part, since other than gaining great people, there is no benefit to producing culture (unlike the other resources, where how highly I value growth might affect what I think food is worth, but in a subjective way).
Since the only use of culture is to produce great people, the math is fairly simple for how much you should be willing to pay for culture. Since the most expensive great person is what you produce when you create one, look at the price for that great person type. If it is the type you want, look at its purchase price; if you want something else, look at its sale price. Then look at the amount of culture you need to produce a great person. It is going to be 4800, 6400, 8000, etc, adding 1600 each time. Take the price of the great person and divide it by the number of culture you need for a great person (the total, not what you have remaining). Since you buy 100 culture at a time, multiply the answer you get by 100. That is the fair market price of culture, for you, at that moment.
There are some mitigating factors, like if you expect the price of great people to drastically change in the near future or if you have a ton of swaps left but are near a great person (since you lose your swaps when you achieve one, it might be worth selling culture for whatever price you can get, then swapping your way to a great person). Any arguments to the contrary or statements of agreement?
I'd add two things:
1. average the buy price of all great people
2. average the sell price of all great people
sell when the price is more than 1 and buy as much as you can if it's lower than 2
Not average. Culture always generate the MOST expensive great person.
Really? I thought it was randomly selected. This changes EVERYTHING.
Originally Posted by Harry Gao
Based on absolutely no math, I am convinced that 1 culture is worth 1 gold. That's my perception, based on what I see the market do over the course of 8 hours every afternoon. As you stated, there are careless people, who forget to use puzzle swaps, and have to sell off culture in a fire sale in order to make use of their swaps. Conversely, there will be impatient people who do not understand relative value, do not use the market regularly, and will buy the last 100-500 points for a GP. Column A is roughly equal to Column B for up until the late game.
Karl, your valuation ignores wonders. However, that may be wise. There's a giant debate elsewhere about the value of built wonders versus conquered wonders. I personally will buy culture above the perceived market price if it's going to generate a GP needed for a good wonder. It's rare that GP generation results directly into wonder completion (and subsequent use), but it does happen.
Also, I would mention that "if you expect the price of great people to drastically change in the near future" is the first quarter of the game for me. Take that for what it's worth.
The value of culture is usually 1 gold = 1 culture because of the price of GPs. If it costs 9000 culture to produce a GP, and that GP sells on the market for 9000 gold, then that is 1 to 1. That is, it is usually worth more gold to sell the GP than to sell the culture.
And you might ask why would you want to sell GPs? Simple, you sell GPs you do not want (produced since it costs the most on the market) and use the gold to buy the GP you really want.
I usually go with 100 culture = 100 gold, but at times it's dramatically less or more. I usually go by how much I can sell the most expensive GP for when I calculate my value of culture, because it's not necessarily the particular GP I want, plus prices can fluctuate.
Also, the value of culture depends on how many puzzle swaps you have. When you haven't done it for a couple days and have over 600, it's not much good to you above 50.
I'm glad to find out that other people are using that 1:1 valuation. It's comforting to know.
Another factor I thought of, which will be hard to define mathematically, is the potential for you to change which GP you produce. I'm sure most people have been in situations where they contemplated buying a [person type A] to move his price ahead of the [person type B] when the difference is ~$500, then produce a second [type A] through culture.
I do that quite often churd.
I usually buy when the sell price is greater than the cost to build one and will sell when the culture price is higher than the buy cost.
can sell prophet for 10000, need 6400 culture to build one, I will buy at most anything less than 156. Can buy prophet for 15000 can build for 8000 will sell at anything over 187.
Whether we like it or not, great people are useful.
Xinhuan, the approach you have is reasonable, but not accurate. The buy/sell spread is much higher for great people (you lose lots of money when you buy and sell the same great person at the same time), whereas you lose nothing when you buy/sell culture at the same time. Therefore, when the selling prices of culture and great people meet, the buying prices would diverge a lot. That means it's very expensive to buy a great person, much cheaper to produce one.
On the flip side, a smart investor would buy the CHEAPEST great person (as an investment if nothing else), and can often later sell that one to buy what used to be the most expensive one. In other words, you can hoard great people for investing. You can't do the same w/culture; once you gather enough, all culture reset to 0, giving you one great person, even if you wanted to keep all the culture for sell later.
Early in the game 3 culture ~ 1 gold, great person prices are very low (~1600). I will sell culture (keeping my culture for a Great at 4800) as long as it is profitable.
The 1 culture to 100 gold pricing seems pretty consistent. Rather than worry about wrapping my brain around doing too much math all the time, I just try to sell my culture anytime pricing is over 100 gold and bring it back down to that level, and vice versa. Obviously I make an exception to this if I'm going to roll over to a GP in culture do to a plethora of stored puzzle moves... then I just sell down enough to finish off my moves w/o dumping the entire balance into rolling over a GP by accident (I learned this the hard way )
Since GPs are always produced as the most expensive at the moment, sometimes you can just flat out sell the one you get to "trade-in" the resultant cash towards the other flavor you want (presumably because they are all cheaper at that moment). The margin here varies, of course.
Inevitably, you will get a prophet, builder, or scientist, obviously... Honestly if you aren't in a hurry to get something exact you can't go wrong with any of those since they all carry significant value on the market.