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I thought I'd clear up some pretty ambiguous information regarding what are probably the most useful hirelings in MM6 and 7: namely, the Factor, who can increase your total gold looted by 10% in exchange for a 5% cut, and the Banker, who can increase your total gold looted by 20%, for 10%.

First things first: the calculation that they use to determine how much money you get is multiplicative, not additive. To give you an example, if you were to loot a pile that would otherwise be worth X gold and you had a Banker in your party, an additive calculation would be X + 20%X - 10%X. (i.e. X + 10%X)

That's not what happens. What happens is that you loot what would otherwise be X gold, and the calculation is X * 120% * 90%.

Since 90% of 120 is 108, this comes down to X * 108% (a 2% decrease from the additive equivalent, but still an 8% profit).

Factors work the same way: X * 110% * 95%, which equals X * 104.5%, yielding a 4.5% profit.

I use the word "profit" here loosely, since it's only really a profit if it recoups the initial investment and then some. For Factors, the initial investment is 500g, and my goal is to show you that it isn't worth it.

To be profitable, a Factor must make a total increase to your loot assets greater than 500 gold. Thus, 4.5% * X > 500. Some simple algebra proves that X in this case must be greater than 11,112 gold; in other words, after hiring a Factor, you won't actually make a return on your investment until you've looted 11,112 gold (before returns) or 11,612 (after returns), and it's a waste of money to dismiss him/her before then.

But Bankers will be available to replace your Factor long before you loot that much gold. Thus, it's better not to hire a Factor at all.

For the sake of completeness, here's how much money you have to loot with a Banker in your party, before you get a return on that investment:

8% * X > 1000

X > 1000 * 100/8

X > 12,500

If you ever hire a Banker, and then dismiss him/her before looting 12,500 gold (before returns) or 13,500 gold (after returns), then you would have been better off not hiring the Banker in the first place.

Paviel: I thought I'd clear up some pretty ambiguous information regarding what are probably the most useful hirelings in MM6 and 7: namely, the Factor, who can increase your total gold looted by 10% in exchange for a 5% cut, and the Banker, who can increase your total gold looted by 20%, for 10%.

First things first: the calculation that they use to determine how much money you get is multiplicative, not additive. To give you an example, if you were to loot a pile that would otherwise be worth X gold and you had a Banker in your party, an additive calculation would be X + 20%X - 10%X. (i.e. X + 10%X)

That's not what happens. What happens is that you loot what would otherwise be X gold, and the calculation is X * 120% * 90%.

Since 90% of 120 is 108, this comes down to X * 108% (a 2% decrease from the additive equivalent, but still an 8% profit).

Factors work the same way: X * 110% * 95%, which equals X * 104.5%, yielding a 4.5% profit.

I use the word "profit" here loosely, since it's only really a profit if it recoups the initial investment and then some. For Factors, the initial investment is 500g, and my goal is to show you that it isn't worth it.

To be profitable, a Factor must make a total increase to your loot assets greater than 500 gold. Thus, 4.5% * X > 500. Some simple algebra proves that X in this case must be greater than 11,112 gold; in other words, after hiring a Factor, you won't actually make a return on your investment until you've looted 11,112 gold (before returns) or 11,612 (after returns), and it's a waste of money to dismiss him/her before then.

But Bankers will be available to replace your Factor long before you loot that much gold. Thus, it's better not to hire a Factor at all.

For the sake of completeness, here's how much money you have to loot with a Banker in your party, before you get a return on that investment:

8% * X > 1000

X > 1000 * 100/8

X > 12,500

If you ever hire a Banker, and then dismiss him/her before looting 12,500 gold (before returns) or 13,500 gold (after returns), then you would have been better off not hiring the Banker in the first place.

Nice math! Btw, I had never hire a banker or factor before, but now I will not hire him even in the future :) Scolar is always better for save money.
I'd like to thank you for this post, Paviel. I often wondered about the profitability of those hirelings. How did you make your conclusions?

One thing I'd recommend is leaving creatures unsearched, and species treasure in boxes and chests untaken, until you come back with a banker and no other hireling. I've often done that to raise funds, especially in MM6 where the training costs can be very high.
You can right-click on a pile of gold before looting it to see how much gold is there before the bankers do their thing, and that's how I figured out that the calculation is multiplicative; one time I had a banker and no other hirelings, I right-clicked a pile of gold with a supposed value of 200, and then looted it and got the message "You looted 240 gold (followers take 24)!"

You can see this for yourself easily enough if you right-click any pile of gold before looting it, loot it, and take note of the numbers.

The rest is just algebra.

By the way, my use of the word "loot" is deliberate, because not all gold is obtained by looting. I define "loot" as gold obtained from piles on the ground or in chests, carried by enemies, or given as a reward for a Bounty or an Arena Championship, or as a reward for winning Arcomage for the first time in any given tavern. The bonuses above mentioned (and the upkeep of all hirelings) apply only to gold thus obtained.

"Loot" does not include gold obtained as a reward from a quest, nor as a result of selling goods, nor from a bank withdrawal.
Post edited October 03, 2013 by Paviel
Meh, don't see how these Bankers/gold increasing hirelings are of any benefit in might and magic 7. Maybe only at the early game. I am playing a solo druid and already at the point where money is.... meeeeeh. :)

So, I use 2 hireling +15% experience, 10 master learning and scholars cap artifact (+15 learning), equals to 114% increase of experience. ;D
Post edited October 03, 2013 by Tripleight
More calculations, based on having both a Factor and a Banker in your party:

The hirelings' share of the gold is additive: i.e. 10%+5%=15%.

The interest earned, however, is multiplicative: i.e. 120%*110%=132%

So it you have a Factor and a Banker in your party, you get X*132%*85%, or X*112.2%.

So if you already have a Banker, hiring a Factor increases your profit by 4.2%.

However, do not hire two Factors or two Bankers, because if you have two hirelings of the same profession, the bonuses don't add up.