I’m thinking to make a series of posts, maybe once a week? Targeting things that general people don’t understand. This week’s topic will be regarding opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost can be stated as the lost value when you make a choice. Whenever you need to make a choice, A or B, you are losing something. If you chose A, you lost B and vice versa. What this means is that you must weigh each option against every other option to make the best choice to obtain the greatest utility or value.
Opportunity cost does not always refer to money (gold/elixir/DE in coc) but also time, utility and value as well. If you go to your favorite fish and chips shop and offered the choice to order your favorite fish and chips or a new menu item, baked fish. The opportunity cost of choosing the baked fish is your favorite fish and chips. You lose something when you make a mutually exclusive choice like that.
For something to incur an opportunity cost, it has to have an attached scarcity. If a machine is no other use and idle, using it has no opportunity cost because you do not need to sacrifice something else. However, it being idle itself is lost opportunity cost, using it is infinitely better than leaving it idle. If your machine is producing biscuits at $10/hour, making a new product must exceed that $10/hour to make any sort of profit when you make that choice. In CoC, it is the same. People think they have idle builders and need to wait for heroes or lab. This is completely wrong though, because they can freely upgrade their TH and upgrade other more important things. Builder time is as much a resource as gold and elixir, having idle builders is like throwing away time.
In my professional career, I am a doctor and we make many choices like this in the day. Spending 10 extra minutes with this patient means that it is 10 less minutes to be spent with another possibly more ill patient. Ordering an extra investigation means I’m depriving this test for another patient (or the lab technician’s time). Every single choice has to be weighed against every other choice to ensure maximum efficiency of the system and everyone’s time.
This can be a very tricky subject for some so if you want to do more reading, just do a google search. Essentially, it is “you lose something when you choose something else”. To make any choice, you must assume that you are losing something. To make the best choice, it must be the choice which makes you lose the least.
How does this relate to Clash of Clans? It has everything to do to Clash of Clans. Every time you do an upgrade, you are sacrificing something else. Upgrading an archer tower means you are neglecting your xbow or air defenses. Upgrading bowlers in lab means that you are neglecting your miners for now.
This concept isn’t hard at all, I’m sure almost every player understands this to a basic level. This is why we have people discussing what should they upgrade first because people fundamentally understand that upgrading something first means that something else has to be done later. What people don’t understand is that the game is not segmented into 12 town hall levels, it is a huge game with a linear progress path. This means that upgrading something in TH8/9 is potentially neglecting your grand warden.
However, many times I see people completely not understanding this concept and doing really stupid things with their builders and lab. People would choose to upgrade defenses in TH8 for example, while neglecting their archer queen. People often completely miss the point when I say, I rather have my base than a maxed TH8; because it takes the same amount of time to get my 35/50/20 base as a maxed TH8.
People often say that they want “variety” in their attacks and not use the same 2-3 army comps. This is false dichotomy though, because if you choose “variety”, you forgo strength. It takes the same time to max 2-3 war armies in TH12, as it takes to max the entire TH9 lab. Now tell me which is stronger, the TH12 with maxed bowitch, electro and dragbat; or the maxed TH9. When you take variety, you lose strength. This is why in real life, doctors specialise and choose one field of interest to become the best in one particular field. Lives are lost when people split their time to do two things, and do it poorly.
People also always say they want a maxed base. When they see my rushed TH11, they say they rather have a maxed TH11. That is not an equivalent comparison, because the maxed TH11 would definitely take much longer to develop. It is like comparing unripe grapes with wine, one took much longer to make which makes it more valuable. A fair comparison to my rushed TH11 for example, is a maxed TH8 because it takes about the same amount of time to make such a base, both being 6 month old bases. Now the comparison is very simple, would you have a TH11 with lvl2 electro, lvl2 bowlers, lvl4 miners and 30/45/15 heroes, or a TH8 with lvl0 electro, lvl0 bowlers, lvl0 miners and 10/0/0 heroes? The TH8, who stayed for a longer time in low levels, has neglected their queen and warden resulting in much weaker progress overall. People generally do not understand when I say, “upgrade to TH11, you are neglecting your warden by staying in TH10”. Hopefully by now, you should understand this.
It almost sickens me that someone who neglected heroes and upgraded defenses is more well-received than someone who upgraded heroes and neglected defenses. Both are mutually exclusive choices, a more well-rounded approach will result in a maxed TH8 instead of a 30/45/15 TH11.
Do you need to be 100% all the time, every time? Hell no, but do understand that every decision you make, you are sacrificing something else. Sometimes it is really important to understand what you are losing so that you can make a better, more informed decision.
Now, onto my base for today:
Nothing much except that I finally could dump all my elixir and DE into warden and AQ.
AQ almost maxed for TH11, I’m only about 4 weeks away from maxing AQ. It can be faster if I use my book of heroes and farm like a madman. Really tempted to do that, hmm…