Wire is the primary resource by which all paperclips are generated from. Cost of wire which is indicated on the screen refers to one spool.
Initially one spool contains 1,000 inches of wire sufficient for 1,000 paperclips (so if wire costs $20, the net cost of one paperclip is $0.02), but this amount can be increased through the following projects:
- Improved Wire Extrusion
- Optimized Wire Extrusion
- Microlattice Shapecasting
- Spectral Froth Annealment
- Quantum Foam Annealment
The cost of each spool of wire is variable. At the beginning of the game, it may be wise to stock up when it's cheap. The cost of wire climbs steadily during Stage 1. However, this is of no importance to you provided you're selling above cost, which is easy.
You can purchase the WireBuyer to automatically ensure you never run out of wire. If you do run out of wire without a WireBuyer, and don't have the funds to just purchase new wire, you can do the Beg for More Wire project to get new wire from the main headquarters.
Cost of Wire
The cost of wire is calculated by taking a base wire price and adding a wire adjust, the sum of which is then rounded up to the next largest whole number. Every tenth of a second there is a one out of eight chance that the cost of wire will change.
The base wire price starts at $20. The base wire price decreases by 1/1000 of the current base wire price (e.g. it would decrease by $0.02 if the current base wire price is $20) every 25 seconds if wire has not been bought in the last 25 seconds (and if the current base wire price is over $15). The base wire price also increases by $0.05 every time wire is bought.
The wire adjust is calculated based on a counter that starts at 0 and increments by one each time the cost of wire changes. The wire adjust is calculated by taking the sine of this counter and then multiplying the result by 6. This means that the wire adjust will always fall between -6 and 6, since the result of sine will always fall between -1 and 1.
This means that the future cost of wire can be approximated since the cost of wire fluctuates in the same pattern as a sine curve. The timing of the change in wire cost is not easy to predict since it's based on a random number.