Monday, May 21, 2012

"All right, I'll give you nineteen then."

"No, no, no! Come on, do it properly."
Following the trail of crumbs dropped by ElderProphet and Cherokee, I've begun work on cracking the TradeWars haggle algorithm. Cherokee's work gave me the clues I needed to get started, but I quickly discovered that a lot of what he wrote was not quite right.

After a few hours of experimentation and a good night's sleep, I derived the formula for a port's initial offer per unit of equipment as a function of MCIC. It's exactly correct for all MCICs from -1 to -100. There's a lot more work to do, but I have a pretty good idea about how to proceed. I'm confident that I can at least equal ElderProphet's haggle algorithms. I also noticed something about the way ports haggle that I've never seen mentioned in public. If my hunch is right, I may be able to out-haggle EP's supposedly perfect haggle algorithm.

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