Topic: Swords & Potions /
Beginner's Tips (from my experience)
Some things to consider when starting out:
The Sorceress is a good starting worker if you want an easier game. All classes can use what she makes so there is more haggling flexibility. Early on, mana potions are great for getting a revenue stream and later the rejuvenation sauce work similarly.
For your second choice, the Blacksmith is good because his early goods are pricey meaning you can afford to undersell them and still make a tidy profit. The Tailor is also pretty good if you want a challenge. I think taking the Carpenter for either of your first “free” employees makes for a difficult game. This is just my experience having started several different games. The Carpenter’s goods are more class-specific (ie: archer and bard) and their goods won’t sell as readily.
That said, with these choices you will run into some trouble when you get to the guild system. I wouldn’t recommend joining a guild too early. You want to concentrate on building up your shop. Don’t worry about maximizing profits each day for a while. You are only concerned with staying solvent and getting out of the outskirts. Complete the Clovers quest as soon as possible to get the cash and ignore people peddling/threatening for thousands in coin from you.
Haggling: I don’t tend to haggle early on unless the offer is insulting. I will haggle when the market negative is more than my profit. You want to make sales. Profit is profit. Your costs are fairly low for everything and the more stuff your people make the more you can level them. You should know your daily expenses (that is the number that flies off your coin at the end of the day). As you sell through the day, you should have a feel for if you are breaking profit or not. If you don’t have an item, haggle them with heal potions if a cheap item, mana potions if a more expensive item. If you have a comparable item, say a Short Sword instead of a Gladius, this is usually a good trade.
Leveling: some people avoid leveling their workers because they cost more. This should not be a concern to you. If you are running short on money, you aren’t selling enough (this is where a Sorceress comes in handy). I like to level my people. They make stuff faster as you level them and more stuff means more sales. They also research stuff faster and better stuff means better money for your outlay. You have to get off the cheap items quickly.
Moving shop: You should try to move from the Outskirts pretty quickly. You won’t be able to until level 6 and you’ll have to by level 10. It costs coin to move and you’ll still have expenses. New classes of adventurers will visit your shop as you move up in the world which means you need better items. Do NOT move shop until you’ve researched better items, built up a bit of a backstock of inventory (I like two of everything, more of potions), and saved some coin beyond the expense of moving. Why? You need to be able to go without profits for several days, just in case. After the move, business can drop off a bit. Keep a buffer.
Improvements: At this point, I hope you haven’t bought an improvement with coin (do what you will with the tokens – it’s your RL money). You need the coin to keep your shop going and to build your stores. You will know when your shop has stabilized as you start to pull in 2K/day in profit. During this period (between lvl 10-20) you should look around for a guild and consider replacing your starting employees with better ones. New employees will occasionally enter your shop looking for work. Look at their stats. You want employees that learn fast (the first number) and have a high cooperation number (that’s the one under the shaking hands). Both of these should be in the double digits. It is worth firing an employee weak in these and hiring a good one. As they churn out product, they will level up quickly so don’t worry about that. Don’t wait too long to get the right employees or your production will take a hit later.
Guilds: This brings us to guilds. You don’t need to join one early on as your employees are too weak and slow to be of much help to others and you don’t have enough coin to buy the improvements that others will help you with. That said, when you’re ready to expand your shop (again, you’re making around 2K/day, more or less and you’re not in the outskirts and your employees have at least 10 cooperation) then save up at least 30K and get a Tailor or Carpenter. You need the extra money to maintain your store.
Ah, whether to get a Tailor or Carpenter…. Carpenter cooperative skills are in ludicrous demand. Their goods are not terribly desirable in the early game (I don’t know about the late game) but tens of thousands of Carpenter points are needed for shop improvements. If you have a Carpenter with a high cooperation, you will be a favorite guild member. That said, the Tailor is important for many improvements as well and her stuff sells better if you are hurting for income.
Guilding: Being in a guild is fun but it is not a lifelong commitment. You can leave if people aren’t helping you out. They should. It is in everyone’s interest that your shop do well, especially if you’re farming for Kong achievements. If you are in a guild, the improvements others are building that should get ALL your points are Workshops. HELP OTHERS BUILD CARPENTER WORKSHOPS. Why? Because your guild needs more Carpenters. Carpenters improve things. That weapon rack is essentially useless. Ignore it if there is something better to build. Carpenter workshops should always have priority, especially if you have a Carpenter and need to decide where to allocate his points. Build more Carpenter workshops first. Then Tailor workshops, Carpenter/Tailor improvements, then Blacksmith workshops/improvements, and then improve Sorceresses last. There are so many. Carpenters are difficult starting workers so most people need to build for them and carpenters are needed for that. If you don’t mind spending the RL coin, just token one and save yourself some irritation waiting for help.
Skill points: All of my early skills went into Fame. You want shoppers. You won’t be able to please at least 30% of them and some days you can barely sell anything starting out. The more people through your shop, the better your chances of selling something for a profit (anything for a profit!!). Once I have established a good customer stream (usually with my first 5-6 points) I go to work on my workers. Improve your workers’ basic skills. This allows them to make stuff faster. If you have too many customers, you start running out of stuff. Do not, by any means, waste points in improving your thug early on. You don’t have one for a while and when you do, you don’t need to use them for much initially.
Adventurers: Adventurers are nice, but they are risky. They give an excellent boost to your shop when successful, but sometimes they aren’t. My policy is never to substitute a good to an adventurer. It’s almost always a waste. If you don’t have exactly what they want, send them away unless you have something to spare that isn’t selling anyway.
Research: Before I set an employee to researching, I build up some stock for my customers. Your worker won’t be able to make anything while researching so you don’t want to run out of goods. Also, if you are in a guild, empty out their cooperation points into someone’s project before starting the research. You don’t want to waste valuable points if they max out while researching.
Okay, that’s it. I’m hardly a lvl 80 player, but these techniques have gotten me leveled up pretty quickly and made for a pleasant early game. For those of you starting out, if you’re playing just to get the Kong achievements, this should do it for you. You don’t need a lvl 80 shop to get the achievements, you should be able to do it around lvl 30 if you start buying a lot of recipes.