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  • Newbie guide to the Economy

    (Originally created by Envoy)

    This is a carry over from previous builds, but it outlines several key parts of the PotBS economy. Some revisions may still apply and input is more than welcome.

    Primary terms and descriptions;

    Local Auction house (AH or LAH): You can find these in any port with a public dock. They are the places where you will trade your goods. Your ability to trade in another nations LAH is tied to your reputation with that nations Trade Faction, if it is 'Indifferent' or higher (-500 and up) than you can trade with that nation.

    Port Resources: Mousing over a town in the world map will show a tool tip including the resources of a port. Resources are static. Rivers allow advanced structures to be built in that port (must be a level 30 Freetrader) See deeds for more.

    Warehouse: These are your personal storage facilities. You can build them in any non-starter/non-regional port that has resources. To build your warehouse you must be in the port proper and access your economy screen. You will be charged to build a warehouse, the amount to build a warehouse will increase exponentially with each consecutive placement. You can have up to 10 warehouses located in separate ports. The warehouse stores items in stacks, not by weight like your ships hold. So, you can theoretically have a warehouse that is at 100/100 and still be able to store more items as long as they coincide with an existing stack. ***It is advised that you complete the 'Economy Tutorial' in-game before building your first warehouse.***

    Regional Auction House (RAH): Ports containing RAHs are not buildable, however, you will obtain a free warehouse in these ports. You must be able to talk to the auctioneer (Nations Trade rep >-500) in a foreign RAH to initially build the warehouse. Faction will not matter afterward in continued use of the warehouse. Ports containing RAHs also have that respective nations European trader and general trainers, and Capital Ports have dealers in Freetrader specific recipes (company office, and pennant/commendation houses).

    Lot: These are what you will build your structures on. You can build on a lot in any port you have a warehouse in. You have 10 lots total per server. So, even if you make a second or third character on a particular server, you will now share the ten total lots between the characters. Open lots can be reclaimed by demolishing a structure. Some structures can take more than one lot to build.

    Structure (deeds): These begin as the plans for your production or harvesting facilities. Made by either Draughtsman office, or it's Master counterpart. To build a structure, you must have open lots. If the structure is designed to harvest resources, the port must have the resources listed on the deed. You must own a warehouse in that port. You must be either a national of that port, or have sufficient trade reputation with the owners of that port. You will need a certain amount of doubloons, and a quantity of resources (in hold or warehouse). You can determine what the deed requires by hovering your mouse over the deed, located in your personal inventory. You will also be required to pay UPKEEP on your structures, after building you have one week of upkeep. You can either pay in advance, or as you get nearer to running out of upkeep. It is stored in one week blocks, you can access the maintenance menu by clicking the button in the upper right hand of the structure window. Buildings that run out of upkeep will be shuttered, and will no longer accumulate labor, or be able to produce items.

    European Traders: Located in RAH ports, these traders will offer missions for certain goods. They will in turn provide a certain list of other goods to trade. The goods that a euro trader will take, are varied from nation to nation. Your trade in ratio can be reduced (or increased) based on your reputation with that trade company. Below is the current list of goods and their ratio based on 'indifferent'.

    French Trader (Pensacola, Point-a-Pitre)
    Cacao, Coffee, Furs, Marble

    Dutch/Pirate Trader (Tortuga, Oranjestad)
    Furs, Gold, Rum, Sugar, Tobacco

    Spanish Trader (San Juan, Barilla)
    Cacao, Cochineal, Copper, Gold, Silver

    English Trader (Port Royal, Rossignol)
    Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Tobacco

    Exchange Rates (What you give: Reward Choices)

    63 Cacao: 3 Swivel Guns, 11 Cheese, 12 Black Powder, 6 Teak, 4 Wine, 10 Hardtack, 1 Lignum Vitae, 1 Zinc Ore.

    42 Cochineal: 20 Swivel Guns, 5 Sm Cannon, 10 Vsm Cannon, 6 Cheese Fine, 26 Wine, 2 Fine Wine, 8 Lignum Vitae, 5 Small Arms, 10 Zinc Ore.

    112 Coffee: 1 Med Cannon, 3 Sm Cannon, 5 Vsm Cannon, 11 Swivel Guns, 3 Cheese Fine, 21 Teak, 14 Wine, 4 Lignum Vitae, 2 Sm Arms, 5 Zinc Ore.

    28 Copper: 1 Large Cannon, 3 Med Cannon, 7 Sm Cannon, 12 Vsm Cannon, 7 Cheese Fine, 2 Wine Fine, 9 Lignum Vitae, 7 Small Arms, 12 Zinc Ore.

    70 Spun Cotton: 1 Med Cannon, 3 Small Cannon, 5 Vsm Cannon, 10 Swivel Gun, 3 Small Arms, 3 Cheese Fine, 13 Wine Common, 4 Lignum Vitae, 20 Teak, 5 Zinc Ore.

    28 Furs: 1 Lg Cannon, 2 Med Cannon, 5 Sm Cannon, 9 Vsm Cannon, 18 Swivel Guns, 5 Cheese Fine, 23 Wine, 2 Fine Wine, 5 Small Arms, 7 Lignum Vitae, 9 Zinc Ore.

    14 Gold: 1 Huge Cannon, 2 Lg Cannon, 6 Med. Cannon, 12 Sm. Cannon, 21 Vsm. Cannon, 13 Cheese Fine, 4 Fine Wine, 17 Lignum Vitae, 12 Small Arms, 21 Zinc Ore.

    42 Marble: 5 Sm Cannon, 10 Vsm Cannon, 20 Swivel Guns, 6 Cheese Fine, 26 Wine, 2 Fine Wine, 5 Small Arms, 8 Lignum Vitae, 10 Zinc Ore.

    42 Rum: 1 Large Cannon, 3 Med Cannon, 5 Sm Cannon, 10 Vsm Cannon, 20 Swivel Guns, 26 Wine, 2 Fine Wine, 6 Cheese Fine, 5 Small Arms, 8 Lignum Vitae, 10 Zinc Ore.

    42 Sugar: 1 Lg Cannon, 2 Med Cannon, 5 Sm Cannon, 9 Vsm Cannon, 18 Swivel Guns, 5 Cheese Fine, 23 Wine, 2 Fine Wine, 5 Small Arms, 7 Lignum Vitae, 9 Zinc Ore.

    28 Silver: 1 Huge Cannon, 3 Large Cannon, 7 Med Cannon, 15 Sm Cannon, 16 Cheese Fine, 6 Fine Wine, 21 Lignum Vitae, 26 Zinc Ore, 15 Small Arms.

    126 Tobacco: 2 Vsm Cannon, 3 Swivel Guns, 11 Cheese, 12 Black Powder, 6 Teak, 4 Wine, 10 Hardtack, 1 Zinc Ore, 1 Lignum Vitae.

    Labor: You are in the business of production, you have structures built and have a warehouse established in your port of choice. These structures, once built, will begin to accumulate labor real-time. You will need to use this labor in your recipes. Some of the most basic items may only need 15 minutes of labor, while others require a full day or more.

    Recipes: These are necessary to create or harvest items. Most structures will provide the basic recipes to use with that structure. Many other recipes are gained through books, which drop as loot from defeated ships. Still other recipes are specific to the freetrader and can be purchased through special vendors in Regional ports. Freetrader recipes require that you have the skills needed for the specific book. You can find the recipes you currently know by checking the recipe tab in your skills sheet. By hovering your mouse over any recipe book, either in your inventory or on an AH, you will be able to tell if you know the recipes contained in that book. They will either list as gray (already know) or green (haven't learned yet). To use a recipe, you must have the labor available, the db needed, and any resources that might be associated with that recipe. You can right click a recipe for more information, and bring up the help index to explore this further.

  • #2
    Economy Tutorial

    You can access the econ tutorial by talking to the Auctioneer in your nations starting port.

    At any point in the tutorial, you can figure out your objective by clicking on the mission journal (lower right).

    The tutorial will guide you through the construction of a warehouse, a lumber camp and a gravel pit. It will also introduce you to the euro traders.

    At the building point of the tutorial it is strongly advised that you READ ALL MISSION TEXT, and follow the directions given step by step to avoid any confusion.

    The structures you will have built are nothing too special, however, it is a good idea to store up some common wood, and gravel for future building projects.

    It should be noted, that at anytime in-game based on current conditions, you may be required to run your economic tutorial in hostile ports.

    Buying and selling

    When entering the auction house you will see a few dropdown menus, they allow you to search for listings based on region (FTs can search other regions though the Trade Connections skill), port, and item type. You can also search for an item with the aforementioned parameters. There are tabs which allow you to see your current sales, retrieve items remotely bought, or browse the Auction house for goods.

    History; This is the source of confusion for many a new player. The sales history DOES NOT necessarily reflect the actual price of an item. It is exactly as it implies, it is the last known price paid for that item. So what does that mean to you? It means that the item may actually cost more, or less than what the last person paid for it. This is where your knowledge of the goods will be coming into play. If you know that Granite is commonly sold between 40 and 90 db per unit, then you may want to start bidding at 40 and work your way up to what the last known price is. While this may seem tedious, nothing is stopping you from paying the last known price, even if it might be 110 per unit. This also means, if you wanted to purchase in bulk, that you could wind up buying 10 granite @ 50, and the remaining 20 granite @ 100. That simply means that you have purchased the remaining granite that was priced at 50, and must pay the higher remaining price if you wish to obtain that material now.

    A tool to use when buying large quantities of an item that may have multiple list prices is as follows:

    Lets say you wish to buy 100 Planks (Oak) and there are 700 listed at the LAH and the average price for the last 30 days is 30db. Most likely not all 700 Planks were listed by the same person, so lets say that there are 50 Planks listed at 20 db, 20 listed at 25, and the rest at 30. Being a smart buyer you first bid 25db each for 100 Planks (Oak). This would have not worked because there are not 100 planks for at most 25 db. However if you had checked the partial order checkbox you would have bought 70 of the 100 planks at 25db and then you only needed to buy 30 planks at 30db. Comes in handy some times when you are looking for a bargain on large quantity of goods.

    As you can see, from how purchases work out in the AH, you as a seller are afforded a certain leverage in selling your goods. Your prices, quantity etc are not associated with you directly and are placed in the current pool of that item with anonymity. So, working with granite again...You are thinking about selling some granite, looking at the sales history you see that granite last sold at 110, and prior to that at 100. You also know damn well that you can earn quite the mark up by selling the granite at 75 or even 50. Now in essence, you could even price one stack at 50 and the rest at 100. However, this will count as two items towards your limit available on this AH.

    You are undercutting, really don't know what the actual price the granite is listed at. Because even if you price your granite at 50, someone might come by and scoop it up at the last known price...and said person just paid you 110 db per unit for the granite you priced at 50. More so, someone else might have granite listed at 40...he is benefiting from the same consumer rush. BUT...His granite will sell before yours.

    What to do? Well, you could feel the market, by determining exactly what the going rate bidding on the granite. But, now you have just notified the shoppers what the going rate actually is! You can undercut this person by listing at 39...but without seeing the true bottom of the prices first, you are shooting blind into the wind. Items will sell in the order of; Lowest price first, then Age of Listing in the event that the lowest price is the same between two sellers.

    Also, take note of the listing fee. It will cost a small amount of change to list your items on the AH. This fee will need to be paid if you relist the item as well.
    In both player to player trade windows, and in auction house retrieval you have the option to receive goods in your warehouse (if you have one in port) or to your cargo hold. This defaults to your hold if you are not remote buying.

    How much is too much???

    It is Monthar's spreadsheet listing production costs, goods etc. It can provide you with an idea of base cost, from which you can adjust your prices into a suitable profit range. And it can give you reasonable expectations on how much goods will cost.

    Expect, however a rough 50% to 100% (or more) mark up from cost on goods that are not seeing a surplus of supply.

    Expect markups to reflect production chains that are not self reliant, if iron ingots are averaging a high price, then expect your cannons to cost more.

    Competition drives prices down, as you can see in the granite example. The smart seller will not want to be undercut. Also to take into consideration is the source of the goods. Are you buying something that is produced/harvested in that port? Or was it brought over from another location? Prices for imported goods will usually see a higher profit margin for transport time. Consider the port averages for construction materials as some production lines may require purchases on the open market.

    OMG what should I be producing then???

    Building materials, such as granite, gravel, common wood*, will always see a moderate level of demand. This is a fickle market for specific building materials, as once people have built and become comfortable with their structures demand can drop. However even basic supplies can fetch a good return in ports where forests and quarries cannot be built.

    *common wood is also a material used in other recipes. You can right click a raw resource for more information to see what recipes that item may be used in.

    Ship materials are a constant market. (more so with more population in game)
    So there is a good demand for oak(oak logging camp), fir(fir logging camp), hemp rope(textile mill), iron goods(iron mine + limestone quarry --> forge), Carpentry and Lumber mill goods, Sails (textile mill, plus mast materials and rigging)....well, quite a list and a lot more. I'm guessing you get the picture. Remember, at any point you can bring up the help index to look over materials, recipes, deeds etc to see what is needed to build and harvest all materials and items in game.

    Also remember, you only have 10 lots! You have to use them wisely to maximize your potential profit.

    There is a vital link in a nations economy, they are the deep water ports. These (those above and others) deepwater ports are the only ports capable of building huge and colossal ships. So, naturally ship specific trade will gravitate toward these ports. Also keep in mind, large ship yards take up 3 lots!!! All the more reason that ship builders are dependent on player trade. There is no way that one person alone can harvest, refine and build ships entirely themselves without constantly shuffling around lots by building and destroying the required structures. That is not an effective practice.

    Areas around a nations starter ports tend to develop a good market as well. Now you know where your nation is trading at, it is generally a good idea to build a warehouse there as well.

    Now look at the sales activity.

    It will be very easy to pick out the items that are moving in high volume. You can also see what is NOT selling. However, just because it is not selling, doesn't mean that it won't. It is up to you to determine this. If there are indeed items listed, that haven't sold that will either mean; There is no market here for that item, or the item is overpriced. Go ahead and right click to see exactly what the item is used in, few recipes or low amounts required will generally mean a slower demand.

    Furthermore, if you are not in a society, you must remember that a lot of trade may be happening person to person. Either via contracts or other deals, great volumes of materials are exchanged without them ever touching the AHs. So it is a good idea to try and get your own arrangements made, though...don't discount the AHs as a means to generate additional profits, at higher margins then you would get in face to face trading.

    Recipe books:

    As it stands, you can get recipes from either placing a specific structure (most basic), or by using a looted, or purchased recipe book. Some of these can be rare.


    • #3
      Getting started

      So, you have decided what you wish to produce, where to sell and have narrowed down all the ports you wish to build in.
      Your first considerations should be; How much working capital you have, and how quickly will you be able to start selling product.

      IF: You are manufacturing items, and you don't have much working capital.

      Consider selling raw materials before building your manufacturing structures. This will raise your capital and will also help you feel the market out. IE demand for raws=manufactures who are dependent on others to harvest them. Why feed competition? Once you begin refining yourself, that source of raws has been removed from the market! Tightening the belts of other fat cats.

      IF: Your capital is sufficient to build all the structures you need, but may not handle a volatile market. IE you need to recoup FAST or you will not be able to afford shot for your cannons.
      Well, firstly, reconsider the above advice. Secondly, you will need to expand the area you intend to sell in. Load up a sloop with portions of your product and bring them to enemy ports. Find their markets, adjust and mark up. Ensure business by making deals inside your nation. Look for areas that will need your product, IE shot or consumables? Bring them to the mid level stomping grounds so people don't have to trudge all the way across the Caribbean to restock.

      You are a business man, act like one. Do your research, figure out how to maximize your harvests and production. Don't forget the possibility of loosing a port to the enemy. And make sure you are not consistently being undercut at the AH.

      The Wu-Tang method
      A.K.A. You need to diversify your funds!

      Markets change as easily as ports are contested. The real question is, do you have the ********ar fortitude to click destroy on that warehouse?

      Purposely setting up temporary structures can be a source of constant activity. Definitely not advisable for anyone under level 30 as you will simply not have the sustained mission income to cover your pasty behind.

      To make it short and sweet you need to consider a few things.
      How long will you keep your current structures in operation?
      What order will you demolish and rebuild?
      Can you move excess stores out of warehouses marked for demolition?

      It's like a rolling blackout of your economic structures. You want to squeeze every last drop out of your structures before demoing them, and you need to absolutely make sure that you can recoup ALL costs. This includes warehouse cost, construction and upkeep costs. What does that mean to you then? Firstly, produce in excess and stash away a certain amount of your product. It's like a savings account, for every day in production, you should be setting an amount aside that is not going directly on the AH. In essence, you should be doing this anyway. At the point in which you plan to transfer into another economic set up, you should have enough potential profit sitting in your warehouse to more than cover new structure and warehouse costs for your planned move. If you cannot transport entire stores in one or two runs, look for the nearest RAH and make full use of it's free warehouse.

      Tear down, and rebuild in stages. Build your new structures in a manner that ensures they can be put to use the very next day. Destroy your old structures in a way that allows them to continue operation down to the very last usable chunk of labor.

      The Freetrader and Production

      A Freetrader can access advanced production/harvesting techniques by training in the Logistics line. The advanced recipes are less labor intensive. Freetraders are also the only career that can place Advanced Structures these will further reduce the labor required on recipes by 20%. Freetraders can also manage the largest capacity ships, making large scale operations easier to maintain.


      • #4
        OMG this made my brain hurt.

        Ugh ... so much to .. comprehend.



        • #5
          Now i know why rum was so popular. That drove me to drink *yar*


          • #6
            "The Wu-Tang method
            A.K.A. You need to diversify your funds! "

            the RZA and The GZA approve. My keyboard, after you making me spit coffee on it, does not.


            • #7
              great write up!

              got some of my work buddies to join the game. we're setting out to be the best and largest cannon/shot manufacturers around!


              • #8
                Glad yall got some use out of it, even a headache is pain no gain.

                Though I'm kicking myself for not putting in a few edits, will need to harrass Dani now when I kin be buggered for time.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Envoy View Post
                  Glad yall got some use out of it, even a headache is pain no gain.

                  Though I'm kicking myself for not putting in a few edits, will need to harrass Dani now when I kin be buggered for time.
                  Yep! Just let me or Rhaepants know when you re-write and we'll sticky that one and take this one down.


                  • #10
                    Okie, figured it would be no problem, I'm just bein lazy at this point.


                    • #11
                      Wow. Pretty impressive stuff. Envoy's definitely The Man.


                      • #12
                        Link to the spreadsheet leads nowhere for me. Anyone have the right link?


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            Just wanted to point out that at least at the time I posted this the link to monthars spreadsheet was dead.


                            • #15
                              i have a question about the shared lot. Since all ur char on a same server use the same 10 lot, can they all use the structure u built or are u limited to like 5 structure per char if u have 2 for example?