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Pharaoh: Game Help
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Trade ships waiting a long time in front of the dock in On/Heliopolis
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Topic Subject:Trade ships waiting a long time in front of the dock in On/Heliopolis
GovernorSimulus
Pleb
posted 11-12-18 23:03 ET (US)         
Playing On/Heliopolis and having a problem with ships queuing in front of the dock for a long time waiting for one ship far behind them to berth at the dock and trade before they will. This seems to be holding up the flow of my trade and preventing full employment of the dock. The single dock is located on the east side of the larger island which has two large flood plains as this is most directly in line of the route of travel through the map the ships follow while also being centrally located for distribution.

Why oh why are the ships just queuing around, usually 3 to as much as 5 ships deep, waiting for one lone ship? I have uploaded a saved file to the downloads which should soon appear that illustrates this conundrum.
AuthorReplies:
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 11-13-18 06:34 ET (US)     1 / 11       
Why oh why are the ships just queuing around, usually 3 to as much as 5 ships deep, waiting for one lone ship?
Because that is how a dock works.

Only a ship that has the dock "reserved" map sail to it and trade. If a ship enters the map when another ship has the dock "reserved", it will sail to a waiting position (or, if there are already ships at both waiting positions, it will sail through without trading). Multiple ships may sail to the same waiting position, if the first one hasn't arrived yet when another ship enters the map. A ship that enters the map when no ship has the dock "reserved" will "reserve" the dock and sail to it and trade. When a ship that is trading leaves the dock, the dock is no longer "reserved". Generally, when a ship leaves the dock and there are one or more ships in a waiting position, one of the waiting ships will "reserve" the dock, sail to it, and trade, but it can happen that a new ship enters that map at exactly that time and "reserves" the dock, causing all ships in waiting positions to wait some more.

Multiple docks are a little more complicated.

To prevent ships from "reserving" the dock and causing others to wait a long time, it is best to put the dock(s) close to the ship entry point.

Since there are only 2 waiting spots, even with an efficient dock that is close to the ship entry point, if there are 4 or more open water trade routes, it is possible for a ship to have the dock "reserved" and ships at both waiting positions and for a ship to enter the map and sail through without trading. (I have built 2 cities with a single dock and 4 open trade routes, On and Baki, and I was lucky that there wasn't a problem, but I did put the dock close to the ship entry point in both cities. Now I am building Heh, which will eventually have 5 open trade routes, and it has 2 docks that are not close to the ship entry point.)
GovernorSimulus
Pleb
posted 11-13-18 19:14 ET (US)     2 / 11       
But wouldn't the first ship to enter the map "reserve" the dock first? Why would the last ship "reserve" it and hold up all those going before it? I find this very weird.

Are you saying that placing the dock closer to the ship entry point would likely solve this?

I have not fully read through your Hectic Heh thread, but are you experiencing this issue there given the distance of your dock(s) to the ship entry point?

Would having opened the trade routes in a different sequence make any difference?
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 11-14-18 05:14 ET (US)     3 / 11       
But wouldn't the first ship to enter the map "reserve" the dock first?
It would.
Why would the last ship "reserve" it and hold up all those going before it
It would reserve the dock if it wasn't reserved when it entered the map.

Let's say that the 1st ship entered the map, reserved the dock, sailed for the dock, and (later) arrived at the dock and maybe traded. The 2nd and 3rd ships entered the map (either before or after the 1st ship arrived at the dock), saw the dock was reserved, and sailed for a waiting position. The 1st ship left the dock so the dock was no longer reserved. The 4th ship entered the map, reserved the dock, and sailed for the dock. The 2nd and 3rd ships arrived at the waiting positions and had to wait for the 4th ship to arrive at the dock, maybe trade, and leave.
Are you saying that placing the dock closer to the ship entry point would likely solve this?
It would significantly reduce it. If it doesn't take long for a ship to sail from the ship entry point to the dock, the dock won't be idle with ships waiting very long.

Of course, if the dock is inefficient, ships will spend a long time waiting at the dock while other ships are trading, regardless of where the dock is placed.
I have not fully read through your Hectic Heh thread, but are you experiencing this issue there given the distance of your dock(s) to the ship entry point?
Yes, I expected it.

By the way, my last post was wrong. My Heh will have 6 open trade routes, of which 5 will probably be by water. (At the moment there are 3 water trade routes open with another waiting to be opened.) Baki's trade route isn't available yet, but I expect it to be by water.
Would having opened the trade routes in a different sequence make any difference?
I don't think so, long term. The order that ships from different cities enter the map does change.
Henipatra
Pleb
posted 11-15-18 13:54 ET (US)     4 / 11       
On is unique in that there is a suitable dock site close to the ship entry point, but it's far away from "where the action is" -- requiring a lot of ground transport.

The "approachway" to the first dock is the distance from the entry point to the dock -- but the approachway to every other dock is from the last dock to this dock. (This assumes unconnected docks -- no way to walk from one to the other without going off the road, where a ferry counts as a road.) The objective is to keep the approachways short.

My On had the first dock on the north island, and the second on the big central island -- right across from each other, and right on the default route (the route ships would take if they weren't stopping to trade).

Traffic at the first dock WAS chaotic, but I was only trading one good there, so ships were in and out quickly -- regardless of who was going first, and who had to wait, and so on. But the second dock, with a short approachway, was orderly.

There is a critical distance between the two docks which I haven't exactly figured out yet; and of course the order is important -- build the first dock first, and never let it run out of labor (or it will be put on the end of the list).

I was able to keep traffic flowing smoothly and keep most goods near to where they were produced/demanded.

Henipatra

[This message has been edited by Henipatra (edited 11-15-2018 @ 01:56 PM).]

evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 11-15-18 17:00 ET (US)     5 / 11       
On is unique in that there is a suitable dock site close to the ship entry point, but it's far away from "where the action is"
Unique? What about Rostja, Sauty and Baki just to name a few?
The "approachway" to the first dock is the distance from the entry point to the dock -- but the approachway to every other dock is from the last dock to this dock.
Not true, as ships will go to either dock, not automatically go in the order of closest to furthest from the entry point. When you have multiple docks, ships who haven't received/delivered a full load may also go between your docks multiple times trying to trade before leaving.

The general key to docks is always to get the ships off the map as quick as possible. So there are 3 ways to do this:
1. Place the dock as close to the water entry as possible;
2. Make your dock storage yards as efficient as possible to get the goods off/on the ship; and
3. (If you have multiple docks) Minimise travel distance between your docks.

Henipatra - what do you mean by critical distance and the dock order? I know Brugle has described trade caravan behaviour here but this doesn't go into where trade ships will dock when there are multiple docks.

As I say above, the goal should be to get the ships off the map, so minimising travel time is important. Therefore I think having multiple docks sitting right next to each other is most efficient, regardless of whether they are connected or unconnected. Are you saying there is some efficiency to be gained when docks are X distance away from each other?

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too

[This message has been edited by evil_live_vile (edited 11-15-2018 @ 05:02 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 11-16-18 06:37 ET (US)     6 / 11       
ships will go to either dock
True. (I have been paying attention to multiple docks for the first time in Heh--the only other time I built multiple docks was in Abedju, when I didn't know enough to care.) A ship that enters the map will go to the second dock if the first dock is reserved and the second dock is not reserved, or (I think) if both docks are reserved and both waiting spots on the first dock have a ship and a waiting spot for the second dock does not have a ship. (I'd guess that the order of docks is their order in the building list, which is usually the order that they are built.)
the approachway to every other dock is from the last dock to this dock
ships who haven't received/delivered a full load may also go between your docks multiple times
In terms of ships not going from a later dock to an earlier dock, I agree with Henipatra. In Heh, I have seen lots of ships sail from the first dock to the second, but have never a ship sail from the second dock to the first. See reply #7.

By the way, multiple docks work very differently in C3--a ship will only go to one dock.
The general key to docks is always to get the ships off the map as quick as possible. So there are 3 ways to do this:
There is a 4th requirement: don't sell something that might have an "odd lot" (such as a crop or a good that is used by a service-providing building) except by "Export when over 0", since a docker may get stuck at a storage yard. This does occasionally happen in my Kebet when exporting beer, but it doesn't happen for too long and I wasn't trying to trade a huge amount (at that time) anyway.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 11-16-2018 @ 03:49 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 11-16-18 15:47 ET (US)     7 / 11       
In Heh, I saw a ship (coming from the entry point) arrive at the first waiting position of the second dock which already had a ship, so I expected it to move to the second waiting position of the second dock, but instead it moved to the first waiting position of the first dock. So I edited my reply #6.

Ship behavior at multiple docks is strange!

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 11-16-2018 @ 03:48 PM).]

evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 11-17-18 01:41 ET (US)     8 / 11       
There is a 4th requirement
Technically I'd call that part of the 2nd requirement but lets not nitpick that.

This is actually new to me, I've never heard this before. I could probably just be able to download your Kebet and play around to see but, off the top of your head, is this when trading a storage yard with any odd lot or just when the odd lot is less than 4(00) units? And as a ballpark, what kind of delay are we talking about, a couple ticks or a couple months.
Ship behavior at multiple docks is strange!
Yes, I realised this many years ago when doing my Separated Baki (in the downloads, #sellout).

There I suffered problems where sometimes ships would go back and forwards between the docks several times without leaving the map. Other times the ships from some cities would only go to 1 dock for several years in a row and therefore create shortages on one side of the Nile.

I think it was after this I swore to only use multiple docks when absolutely necessary, and even then, they must be connected and close by. I think Alexandria is the only map which NEEDS multiple docks, the rest are just goal or player specific.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too

[This message has been edited by evil_live_vile (edited 11-17-2018 @ 01:48 AM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 11-17-18 10:56 ET (US)     9 / 11       
This is actually new to me, I've never heard this before. I could probably just be able to download your Kebet and play around to see but, off the top of your head, is this when trading a storage yard with any odd lot or just when the odd lot is less than 4(00) units?
It can occur when exporting something by water with an Export over number than is anything other than 0. A docker will go to a storage yard if amount held is over 100 and over the Export over number, but will not buy if that would reduce the amount held to less than the Export over number. For example, if beer is set to Export when over 2400 and storage yards hold 2460 beer, a docker will go to a beer storage yard (since there is over 2400 beer) but not buy beer (since it would reduce beer to less than 2400). If beer is set to Export when over 0, a docker will not go to a beer storage yard if there is less than 100 beer.
what kind of delay are we talking about, a couple ticks or a couple months
It could be months, until the amount of good falls to no more than the Export over number (such as a bazaar buyer taking some) or until the ship has purchased the maximum (12 "loads"). If the amount produced is large, it is usually less than a month.
I think it was after this I swore to only use multiple docks when absolutely necessary, and even then, they must be connected and close by.
My experience is much more limited (about a year of Heh), but it seems that multiple, close together, connected docks work fine (along they do slightly slow down the ship transit time, especially when the place for multiple docks is farther from the ship entry point than the place for a single dock). If I was to rebuild On or Baki, I'd probably do it with multiple docks.
I think Alexandria is the only map which NEEDS multiple docks,
I don't think you mean the Custom mission "Alexandria" (which you built with one dock) or the Cleopatra mission "Alexandria" (which has modest requirements except for completion in 12 years), but the Cleopatra mission "Cleopatra's Alexandria". I would build a nice city with multiple docks, but I'd guess it could be completed with one dock if you were willing to build a not-so-nice city.
evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 11-17-18 16:32 ET (US)     10 / 11       
Ptolemy's Alexandria could probably be completed without multiple docks but I seem to recall having difficulty with Cleopatra's Alexandria because of the distance in good dock locations (I don't use the NE peninsula because it makes distributing to the rest of the city too hard, and fishing is too lucrative there for such a high population requirement)

But on review, yes I concede "need to" is probably too strong and I would say Cleo's Alexandria is the only map I highly recommend using 2 docks.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too
Henipatra
Pleb
posted 11-22-18 22:20 ET (US)     11 / 11       
I'm sure there are other examples where there is a dock site close to the entry point, but far from workplaces and housing, but On is the one I'm most familiar with.

The docks MUST be disconnected for this to work.

If there is congestion at the first dock, some ships WILL skip it and go to the second dock first, but minimizing your trading at the first dock (perhaps not trading anything at all) will reduce the congestion. And, in my example, going to the second dock is what I'm trying to accomplish.

The critical distance means the docks must not be too close or too far away from each other -- or they will not be visited in the right order.

If a ship goes from the first dock to the second dock as it should the next step is to leave -- so it will get off the map quickly. Ships WILL return to a dock that was already visited, to buy additional goods newly produced or sell some goods that now can be sold, but by keeping the ships moving along swiftly, these problems can be minimized.

Henipatra

[This message has been edited by Henipatra (edited 11-22-2018 @ 10:26 PM).]

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