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Ship Upgrades: Which to choose?

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1Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:51 pm


Hello! Many people seem to have trouble deciding between different upgrade parts for their ships. I'm going to share the math I used to make my decisions about ship upgrades, and hopefully clarify things.

First, I'm assuming a continuous route, so all my decisions will be based on capacity per base trip time (cap/btt). Trade vs. transport makes no difference in the final outcome. Secondly, I'm comparing things assuming normal progression. I'm not running numbers on level one ships with level 3 upgrades, for example.

The tl;dr:
Level one ships: always use 10 capacity.
Level two ships: always use 10/20 capacity
level three ships: at first, use 3x20 capacity. Later, use two 30 capacity and one 85% sail

the math:
Level one:
L1 capacity upgrade is 50 cap/btt
Using a L1 sail means getting (40/.95=)42.1 cap/btt
Cargo hold is the clear winner.

Level two:
Level two ships have more options:
Two L1 capacity upgrades means 90 cap/btt.
a L1 cap and L1 sail means (80/.95=) 84 cap/btt
two L1 sails means (70/.95/.95=)77.6 cap/btt.
Capacity is the clear winner.

Level two ships, level two upgrades:
two L2 capacity upgrades means 110 cap/btt
one L2 capacity and one L2 sail means (90/.9=)100 cap/btt
two L2 sail upgrades means (70/.9/.9)=86.4
Again, capacity wins the day.

Level 3 ships, Level two upgrades:
three L2 capacity upgrades makes 190 cap/btt
two L2 capacity and 1 L2 sail is (170/.9)=188.9 cap/btt
one L2 capacity and 2 L2 sails is (150/.9/.9) = 185.2 cap/btt
three L2 sails is 130/.9/.9/.9 = 178.3
Full capacity again

Level 3 ships, level 3 upgrades
three L3 capacity is 220 cap/btt
two L3 capacity and 1 L3 sail is (190/.85) = 223.5 cap/btt
one L3 capacity and 2 L3 sails is (160/.85/.85) = 221.5 cap/btt
three L3 sails is (130/.85/.85/.85) = 211 cap/btt

Again, these considerations are only for continuous routes! If you play frequently and use a lot of small, one-time trades, then having sails may be more enticing for you, to free up ships more quickly.

2Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Re: Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:12 pm


Great list, thanks for sharing!

3Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Re: Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:59 pm


Awesome Myainsel! Thanks for sharing, very useful to know this. If you have the trip time values for various ships would you mind listing them too for our reference? I noticed not all ships have the same trip times but haven't had time to investigate. Would be a great help XD

4Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Shipping time formula on Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:30 pm


Transport ships have a 15 min time, Trade ships have a 20 min time, one way.

The formula to calculate round trip time is
=(([un/load time]*[directions]+([base cargo]+[bonus cargo])*[time/cargo unit])/60[minutes]+[travel time]*[sail %])*2

  • un/load time, or base time is 20s or 19.8s, depending on who you ask.
  • directions is how many directions the current cargo is moving. If the ship has to both load and unload cargo at the same port, the base time must include both, and is doubled.
  • base cargo is how much the ship holds without addons
  • bonus cargo is how much extra cargo it has with addons
    if you dont use the full capacity of the ship, or not all cargo is (off)loaded, then (base cargo + bonus cargo) is just how much cargo changes hands
  • time/cargo unit is .5s or .48s, depending on who you ask.
  • minutes is less of a variable, and more of a signifier: /60 changes the calculation from seconds (in the harbour) to minutes (out at sea) for easy reading.
  • travel time is 15m for transports, 20m for trade ships (even if the trade ship is transporting, it is still 20m) one way
  • sail % is the multiplier of all addon sails. With no addons, this multiplier is "1". Sails are multiplicative, so 2x 90%'s is (.9*.9= .81, or 81%)
  • *2 makes sure you calculate for the round trip, and not one way.

Last edited by TheDamien on Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:38 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Clarifications)

5Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Re: Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:23 pm


Awesome Damien, that's a pretty exact equation. Calculates correctly for a sample trip time I just tested (using 20s load time and 0.5s time/cargo). Couple of questions I hope you can clarify:

1) In the directions description, by "base time is doubled", do you mean the un/load time?

2) So then is there no un/load time per item? Meaning if the ship is being fully loaded will it take the same time to load as one only being partially loaded?

3) Is there a delay between loading more than one product on the ship? Say if a ship is being loaded with 30 milk, 30 fish, 30 linen; is there a delay between products or is it only the total cargo amount that matters?

4) Might be worth clarifying that if no sails are used then the multiplier is *1. Is the effect of having multiple sails an aggregate or cumulative? Ie is the adjusted travel time when having two 90% sails calculated like:

A) travel_time*0.9*0.9, or
B) travel_time*(1-0.1-0.1) ?


6Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Re: Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:32 am


1. yes, by base time, I meant the load/unload time, which is a static time, I like to think its the handshaking with the harbourmaster and getting the documents in order.

2/3. There is load time per item(time/ cargo unit). The time is half a second per unit (ton). That is in addition to the 20s base time. So loading 40 wood takes 20s + 40/2= 40s. Loading 15 wood and UNloading 25 hemp takes (20s +15/2) + (20s + 25/2) = 2* 20s + (15+25)/2= 60s.

Aside: this only applies to goods actually moved. So if nothing moves off since the island is full, you only have the base time of 20/40s (depending on un/loading). If you only move 5 units, you would add 2.5s to the base time. And yes, the "moving" portion of the calculation cares not for the type of good nor the direction, just that it is moving.

4. Correct, stock sails is *1, or 100% time. Sails are multiplicative, so 2 90% sails is .9*.9= .81, or 81% the normal travel time.

7Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? Empty Re: Ship Upgrades: Which to choose? on Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:11 am


Hi Damien. I have a 100cap transport ship, moving 100 milk from an island to Newport. The route viewer shows the trip is exactly 33 minutes.

If I were to calculate the trip time using your above equation, then in this case I should use a value of 1 for directions right? Since I'm only moving cargo one way, loading it at one island, then unloading at Newport and that's it.

But if I do that the equation calculates a trip time of 32.33 min. While if I change the directions value to 2, then I get the correct trip time, exactly 33min.

Is it possible the un/load time should be twice that stated in your post above? Or am I doing something wrong here?

Here is the exact input I used to calculate the trip time:
((20+100*0.5)/60+15)*2 = 32.333
((20*2+100*0.5)/60+15)*2 = 33

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