higher resolution download link (click download along top bar of browser):
Excel 2010 file (don't edit through SkyDrive, functionality will be missing. direct download may also remove functionality. choose EDIT WORKBOOK and then EDIT IN EXCEL. Then SAVE through excel):
Don’t be intimidated by the graph! It’s intuitive once you understand how to navigate it. Let me help you:
- The vertical axis along the left side is how many coins you’ll get per day (based on 30 total homes of one type).
- The horizontal axis along the bottom is how many times you collect from your homes per day.
- Each color represents the houses unlocked after completing an age. I used the same colors that the game developers used in the background of the research menu. Red, for example, is the iron age. If you’ve unlocked all the homes from the iron age, try focusing only on red.
- Shapes are used to distinguish the production cycle times. Square, for example, is for homes that produce coins every 15 minutes. If you find it hard to see the shapes, you can also tell the production cycle by the shape of the line. 8 hour homes level off (straighten out) at 2 collections per day. 4 hour homes level off at 4 collections. 1 hour homes have a constant rise.
- Premium homes are distinguished with dashed lines.
- Colored circles signify “thresholds” of value for homes in the same age. It is where the value between homes is exactly the same. If you make ten collections per day in the bronze age, there is no difference in output between 4 hour chalets and 1 hour thatched.
- The legend of homes on the right is grouped by production times and in the order you would unlock them.
- Huts (5 minute cycle) were deliberately not included. Although huts can be valuable in the bronze and iron age if you collect very aggressively, including such a short cycle home in the graph would have meant showing collection times out to 50 instead of 14. This would have made the graph harder to read because all the lines would look closer. I left them out so that we could stay ‘zoomed in’ on the more reasonable and commonly used collection frequencies.
- This is strictly for maximizing coin production. No consideration was given to cost, population, quest completion, etc.
- There is a maximum number of times you can collect from each home. I assumed 14 collections for 1 hour homes, 4 collections for 4 hour homes and 2 collections for 8 hour homes.
How to use this graph:
Pretend for a moment that you collect from your homes exactly the same amount each day: 4 times. Look for 4 along the bottom axis and follow it up. The highest line that crosses this point is the best coin producing home. If you’ve unlocked all homes in the bronze age, then Chalet would be the best non-premium performer. If you unlocked all the homes in the iron age, then Cottage would be the best non-premium performer.
What if you don’t collect precisely 4 times every day? What if it greatly depends on your schedule? Base your decision on the average amount of times you collect. The greater the variation in your collections, the more days you should add together to get a more realistic average.
Examples for finding average collection times:
Q: What is the average collection time for a person who collects only once Monday through Friday but as much ten times each Saturday and Sunday? This person follows this pattern week to week.
A: You have 1 + 1 + 1 +1 +1 + 10 + 10 = 25 collections in one week. 25 collections divided by 7 days is 3.57 collections per day. Always round the result down to the nearest whole number since you can’t collect ‘half a time’. In this case, you’re averaging 3 collections per day. Since this person’s weekly routine is about the same, then this is a reliable average.
Q: What is the average collection for a person whose collection times vary even for different weeks?
A: Just add more days to the sum above. I used a week’s worth of days, you could use a month or more.
Now that you know how to find your average, you’re ready to optimize. Let’s pretend you’re in the Early Middle Ages and you have all the homes unlocked. You’ve calculated that your average collection frequency is 7 times per day. Now go and look at this point in the chart. It says 8 hour clapboard homes will make more coins than 1 hour frame homes. The obvious choice then would be to buy clapboards. But notice that if you follow each of those home lines, you see that they cross each other at 8 collections per day. That is the “threshold” (encapsulated in a colored circle) where each home's value intersects. In other words, they both produce the same amount of coins. If you can change your habits to collect two more times per day, you’ll be above this threshold, making frame houses the new ideal choice. When you’re comparing 1, 4 or 8 hour homes, look for a threshold. Find out whether your average is above or below that threshold and ask yourself if it’s worth changing your collection schedule to get more coins.
Q: What’s the fastest way to make a lot of coins?
A: All other considerations aside (and like your intuition probably told you), the fastest way to make coins is to choose 1 hour homes and collect as much above the threshold as you can. Follow the line for 14 collections up. You’ll see that 1 hour homes (diamond) outperform all other home types of the same age in all but the Colonial age. What is not as intuitive is that, at this many collections, they nearly double the output of the same quantity of 8 hour homes. The only exception is the premium plantation home, which dominates nearly all other homes under 14 collections. My approach is to buy mostly 1 hour homes and then add 8 hour ones as needed for population boost.
I've also included a link up above to an excel file that will:
- generate your own custom graph based on houses you've unlocked
- estimate your current income based on your existing houses and collection rates
- estimate your future income based on desired houses and compare it against your current
- tell you resale value of current homes
- tell you cost of future desired homes
- tell you which house is best for you to buy (income-wise)
- generally helps in planning