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Author Topic: Running GEMS  (Read 936 times)
Senior Officer
Posts: 7

« on: May 29, 2008, 01:01 AM »

Edited from YPPpedia
Gems are high-risk, high-profit commodities. There is one type of gem per archipelago, where the gems may be sold for profit, and only one island in that archipelago will purchase gems.
 Market gems are spawned at random times throughout the day, at randomly chosen islands outside their respective archipelago. These gems appear for sale at the commodities market in lots of 4-6, and an island may spawn gems multiple times per day, accumulating them at the market if not sold. Only one type of gem will spawn per day (Pirate Time), and the daily gem types rotate in alphabetical order (this restriction does not apply to foraged gems). The cost to purchase gems at a market (the sell price) depends on the market's distance from the purchasing island; the greater the distance that must be sailed, the lower the sell price, thus greater profit on the trade (not accounting for travel expenses such as rum, shot, and loss of goods in battle).
Traders may buy the gems and sail them to the purchasing island, but there are risks. If you abandon your ship for over fifteen minutes with gems in the hold, the gems are stolen by mysterious forces, never to be seen again. The sea has its risks as well, for gems are stolen at twice the rate of other contents when you lose at sea battle.
Midnight Ocean Gems
Gem    Capital Destination
Coral gems    Delta Island
    Coral Archipelago

Diamonds    Alpha Island
    Diamond Archipelago

Emeralds    Epsilon Island
    Emerald Archipelago

Jet gems    Xi Island
    Jet Archipelago

Opals    Nu Island
    Opal Archipelago

Pearls    Zeta Island
    Pearl Archipelago

Rubies    Eta Island
    Ruby Archipelago

Sapphires    Beta Island
    Sapphire Archipelago

Island     Coral     Diamond     Emerald     Jet     Opal     Pearl     Ruby     Sapphire
Alpha Island
650   BUY    650   490   240   420   560   680
Beta Island
520   680   350   240   100   210   510   BUY
Byrne Island
630   XXX    560   420   140   350   560   790
Cleopatra's Pearls
100   350   490   120   370   XXX    580   160
Cnossos Island
580   XXX    720   510   310   510   610   610
Cranberry Island
210   560   380   100   100   520   XXX    540
Delta Island
BUY    650   450   610   140   120   230   540
Emperor Island
520   660   XXX    680   560   510   400   370
Endurance Island
230   310   660   550   XXX    450   160   100
Epsilon Island
450   650   BUY    610   590   590   440   350
Eta Island
240   560   440   140   120   590   BUY    510
Frond Island
160   420   650   280   540   XXX    510   170
Gaea Island
370   590   XXX    520   610   700   490   310
Guava Island
510   750   XXX    540   470   610   560   470
Hephaestus' Forge
520   510   700   XXX    560   310   190   230
Islay of Luthien
210   560   510   170   210   700   XXX    440
Jorvik Island
350   560   520   240   170   580   XXX    590
Lagniappe Island
540   400   560   XXX    450   170   100   160
Namath Island
470   400   610   XXX    560   230   100   190
Nu Island
140   240   590   440   BUY    440   120   100
Ostreum Island
210   490   660   300   470   XXX    610   260
Oyster Island
720   XXX    590   510   190   330   490   720
Papaya Island
560   XXX    560   380   170   420   630   750
Park Island
XXX    730   490   560   120   190   310   630
Spring Island
490   580   XXX    720   630   490   330   280
Tinga Island
370   520   XXX    590   720   580   350   230
Turtle Island
490   XXX    590   370   210   510   720   680
Vernal Equinox
590   590   240   240   100   100   310   XXX
100   140   490   350   XXX    380   100   100
Winter Solstice
680   XXX    700   580   310   440   510   610
Wrasse Island
350   610   XXX    440   520   750   580   350
Xi Island
610   490   610   BUY    440   230   140   240
Zeta Island
120   420   590   230   440   BUY    590   210
Island     Coral     Diamond     Emerald     Jet     Opal     Pearl     Ruby     Sapphire
Running Gems
The Basics
    Never leave gems unattended for more than 15 minutes. They will be stolen by thieves and any investment in them lost. There are a few ways to avoid this problem which will be addressed later.
    Gems occupy little mass and volume. It will never be necessary to transport them with anything larger than a sloop.
    Plan ahead: Know your spawn rates and patterns to be an effective runner in mass quantities.
    Become adept at either the sailing puzzle or navigation puzzle for easy soloing.
    Always try for the disengage. Brigands will not have enough bots to generate sails tokens to catch you when soloing and live players should generate enough to counteract their NPP personnel when not.
    Only one kind of gem spawns per day, but they are not deleted if not transported by the start of the next spawn day. Early morning gem runners (Y!PP time) may often find a market with 2 different types of gems. Leftovers from the previous day's spawn, and the current day's spawn.
Solo Gem Running
Running gems solo is extremely profitable as there are no partners to split the profits after interest with. This does however increase the risk when moving the gems as it requires soloing a sloop with only bots to help.
Single Spawn
Finding a single spawn is generally simple. At any given time, there is quite a large chance that at least one commodities market has gems for sale. It is usually best to start in an archipelago and visit all of the islands by ferry before whisking around. Take note of the gem that is spawning that day and start in an archipelago far away from the destination island for higher profit margins. When gems are found, they must be purchased from a ship docked at the spawning island.
Please note: Gems cannot be purchased via the interface in a shoppe or stall; they must be purchased from the market interface on a ship.
Once the gems are on board, chart course for the destination island. Use the aforementioned gems page to determine the destination for that day's particular gems. There are two effective techniques to soloing the sloop which will be examined now.
Emphasis on Sailing
If a player finds themselves soloing a sloop with gems and has an experienced understanding of the sailing puzzle, then they may want to solo with their emphasis on sails. This is generally accomplished by beginning the trip with either 1 bot on sails accompanied by the player, 1 bot on carpentry, and 1 bot on bilge or 2 bots on sails accompanied by the player and 1 bot on carpentry. In the event the latter route is taken, one of the bots on sails is moved to the bilge after full speed is met. These techniques, with excellents and incredibles in sails being reported, will generally produce full sloop speed in 0.85-1.5 leagues.
Emphasis on Navigation
If a player finds themselves soloing a sloop with gems and has an experienced understanding of the navigation puzzle, then they may want to solo with their emphasis on navigation. This is generally accomplished by beginning the trip with the player on the navigation station, 2 bots on sails, and 1 bot on carpentry. Once full speed is met, one of the bots on sails is moved to the bilge station. Exceptional navigators may even find it best to put all three bots on sails. Once at near-full speed, one bot is moved to carpentry, and another to bilge. These techniques, with excellents and incredibles in navigation being reported, will generally produce full sloop speed in 1-1.5 leagues.
Multiple Spawns
To increase their profit margins, players often attempt to run multiple gem spawns. This may either include stopping at every island between the first spawn and destination and checking for new gems or buying gems at multiple islands at the same time and traveling to all of them with the gem destination being the final target point. This is most noticeably hampered by the limitation that gems may only remain unattended for 15 minutes before they disappear. This hamper is often solved by the use of alts.
Your Friend, the Alt Account
Players often bypass the 15 minute limitation by leaving an alt account player on a ship with gems while their main player moves another ship also with gems to intercept or pick up more. Often, this is done on multiple islands and with multiple accounts. First, find a spawn far away from the destination island. Purchase those gems on a sloop, job an alt you can keep active, and use your main to go find more gems. Purchase the next batch, job another alt onto that ship and move to the next island. A player can go to as many or as few islands as they wish depending on how may stops they want to make between their start point and their destination islands. When they have purchased all the gems they wish to run at that time, they must return to their starting point, retire that first alt, and set sail for the next closest island on the route. The player travels to all the islands they purchased gems on being sure to keep the alts active, picks them up, and eventually arrives at the destination island with a larger quantity of gems than a single spawn could ever supply. This method also significantly raises both the investment in the gems and the profits from selling them.
Spawn Rates
Please note: The following estimations of gem spawn rates and patterns are not proven facts. They are observations of gem behavior that have been recorded as being accurate approximately 90% of the time. The remaining 10% have been known to occur on days where an unscheduled reboot or immense lag has occurred.
Gems spawn on a 3 hour cycle per archipelago. Every 3 hours in any given archipelago, 2 islands will spawn gems. One hour later, 2 islands in a different archipelago will spawn gems. One more hour later, 2 islands in yet another different archipelago will spawn gems. The next hour (3 hours after the first spawn) the cycle repeats and 2 islands that may or may not be 2 from the previous spawn cycle will spawn gems in the first noted archipelago. Multiple archipelagos may spawn gems on a single cycle. For example:
    12:00 PST - Gems spawn on Alpha and Turtle islands in the Diamond Archipelago.
    1:00 PST - Gems spawn on Xi and Lagniappe islands in the Jet Archipelago and Eta and Jorvik islands in the Ruby Archipelago.
    2:00 PST - Gems spawn on Delta and Meke islands in the Coral Archipelago and Zeta and Frond islands in the Pearl Archipelago.
    3:00 PST - Gems spawn on Oyster and Byrne islands in the Diamond Archipelago.
Use spawn rates to your advantage. If it takes 2-3 hours to get from your start point to your end point, there is a decent chance that one of the islands you already bought gems on, or one close to it, has spawned more gems that you could purchase. Never leave a market without checking that a spawn cycle has not just happened.
Cooperative Group Gem Running
Cooperative gem running is very similar to solo gem running in many respects. Its principle differences are that when working with other people, traditionally the profits are split between all involved however the actual moving of gems is slightly easier and less risky with other players on board.
Single Spawn
Essentially the same as solo running a single gem spawn. The player finds gems in a commodities market and purchases them on a sloop. The player and partners then sail to the destination island in whatever station configuration works best for their individual skills. The gems are sold and the profits split.
Multiple Spawns
Essentially the same as solo running multiple gem spawns. The principle difference however is that players may be used to either watch gems on ships in place of alts, or sail with the currently moving gems to make the trip slightly easier. It is up to the player and partners to decide the best configuration of sailing partners and gem watching partners for their particular circumstances.
The Do's and Don'ts
    Always stock enough grog/swill/rum for the trip. When dealing with multiple spawns over the course of a few sailing hours, even a soloer can consume up to and beyond 30 units of fine rum by themselves. This is compounded heavily when partners are involved on long trips.
    Ensure before a major run that you have at least one unlocked ship at all markets you plan to visit. It can be quite disappointing to get to a market that has accrued 2-3 spawns and find there is no ship to buy them from.
    Have your alt accounts ready to hop on easily for multiple spawns. If your computer processor can't tolerate multiple accounts running at the same time, use a second computer to run just the alts. A lag out on a gem watching alt can fast become a lost investment if not immediately noticed.
    Attempt to avoid brigand battles. They both slow your sailing progress down and risk your gem investment. Once at full speed, brigands will only spawn ahead of you heading in the same direction and will target and engage you as you approach them from behind. A quick turn about and then another one when out of range will easily remedy this.
    Put the bots on stations and then laze. No group of bots is good enough to get to max speed without player help before being engaged. A player must sail or navigate to effectively solo their sloop.
    Leave a market island without checking to see if gems have spawned. Every hour somewhere gems are spawning. It could be the island you just stopped at to pick up your last batch. Always check the market before moving on.
    Set course for the wrong destination island. Fairly self-explanatory but has been done on occasion by sleepy and/or inebriated pirates.
    Try and take the brigands solo. Whatever might be won from them during an engagement is not worth the possible loss of the gem investment. Disengage is the gem runner's ally.


Silver Dolphins
Posts: 4684

« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 01:12 AM »

Ah that's pretty interesting.  I've never really got the science of running gems personally.

"It will always happen that he who is not your ally will urge neturality upon you, while he who is your ally will urge you to take sides."
Senior Officer
Posts: 19

« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 11:20 AM »

Silver Dawn once held a gem running event to raise funds.  It got about 150K in a week.

Most I've ever had in my hold at once is about 90 gems.  Most of my runs are 15-30.  And it does take time.

A few more tricks are:

to not retire your alt after taking his gems--use that alt to scout ahead while you sail.  That means that you have to keep clicking between the alt and your main so you don't get engaged.  So scout your intended route and harvest gems to be alt-sat, then use the alts to keep scouting the route.

to always check the island before leaving.  If your alt has been sitting a while, another spawn might have happened.  Every now and again I get additional spawn that way.

to tail brig spawns at thier speed--seems to reduce getting new brig spawn--well worth it on a long leg.

to beware the gem runner pvp'er.  Not many of those fortunately.  They hang out by the destination island and can be usually spotted before going there--usually a solo sloop.

when in battle (I always load my guns early in the voyage), make sure to keep yer alts online--use the breaks

If you are serious about gem running--get to know who the competition is and how to recognize when someone else is running--ships from one crew just visited in many ports, especially if there is just one person on each of several ships (alt sitters).  Some runners use ships to check the market--some go on land to use the market.  If the ship is used, then it will show that it was recently boarded.  Some crews run for a whole day and take a lot or all the gems.  Gem spawn goes down accordingly then and it is usually best to just not bother those days.  However if you find a single spawn--say 2 or 4--that other runner might be willing to buy from you if you don't want to sail it.

Re-boot just sends you back to the last island you ported at with all the gems you had on board.  The gems will stay on board until someone boards the ship.  Then the 15 minute timer starts.  The gems can therefore stay on for hours.  This means that some runners stockpile gems for several days to avoid gem runner pvp'ers.

Solo gem running destroys my stats--sailing, navving and gunning especially.  If your stats are important to you, gem running may be hard.

Oddly enough I wrote this response while gem running.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 11:47 AM by Oldcarrottop » Logged
Senior Officer
Posts: 7

« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 12:23 AM »

Also it is good if ye have memmed the ocean so ye don't have to hunt for maps.

Start by memming those interarch routes first. Ye can't easily purchase those maps.

I have lost gems when server goes down for reboot, I guess because I couldn't relog on that day.

Gem running is very profitable.
It requires lots of time and when ye friends are pillagin ye can't be with them and run gems at same time.


Silver Dolphins
Senior Officer
Posts: 19

« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 10:23 AM »

Serious  gem runners try to have a ship in each market port--cutters or up seem preferred.  That is the gem-sitting ship.  They also have a huge fleet of sloops that never-the-less tend to congregate around the capital islands.  Of the real serious gem runners I have spoken with, 60-100 sloops is normal.

However you can try gem running with a single sloop.  Or cooperate with hearties or crewmates and pool your resources.  It can be real fun to arrange for a couple people to sail two different routes that converge for a final run to port.  Gem running can be more lonely than floating ships.

A short one hour run can often net you several thousand poe.
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