Checking in after a year, not really having fun.

I loaded this up after not really playing with it since last August or thereabouts, wanting to see how things were now, and I have to admit I’m struggling to enjoy myself. I don’t know when or why they removed the ability run tomb colonists or play any sort of trading game, but it was surprising. I’m not really sure how you ever manage to upgrade anything, with how brutal and random things are now. Sure, you can rack up maybe 500 with Hunter’s Keep -> VB and the associated port reports, but that goes out the window fairly quickly. I have yet to be able to do any real exploring, or find anywhere I can move goods at a profit. Why do they even have trade goods now, if there’s no way to really use them, unless you randomly get some from pirates or something? It kind of makes the big cargo ship completely pointless, doesn’t it?

So the best strategy for starting off now is be bold and don’t worry about it if you die. All the profitable stuff is going to be far away, so stock up on fuel and see how far you can go. Short loops are never going to be worth the time or money.

Repeatable profitability does seem to be very centered around collecting port reports and strategic information. Spy networks also might turn a repeatable profit, I haven’t played with them much. I’d imagine this is by design though.

All the profitable trade routes seem to vary based on which islands are where, and even then they seem to all have some factor limiting how often they can be used.

I like the idea that exploring new content is the only way to stay profitable, though I’m certainly concerned that all the expensive ships (much less the mansion or wealth victory) still seem astronomically out of reach when I’ve already explored all the islands, finished half my crew quests, and exhausted several of the worthwhile trade-routes.
edited by Ian Hart on 5/18/2015

I’m no expert, but the guides to trading in Sunless Sea that I’ve seen tend to emphasise the mid to late game. Some examples: Trade wine for coffee, coffee for Parabola linen, sell the linen, repeat. Or, purchase sapphires from the Carnelian Coast to sell at the Chelonate, where you can buy ivory to sell at Polythreme, and so on. Smuggling boxes of sunlight to either the Isle of Cats (where you can also smuggle red honey) or to the criminals in London can also be very profitable (especially if you learn how to get into London without triggering customs officers). Also, they’re all limited, but selling wine to Godfall, shipping Sphinxstone from the Salt Lions, and bringing coffee to Vienna are all very profitable and advance stories.

Try the quests - find the colours for the First Curator and the items for the Principles and the Merchant Venturer. They are finite stories but give enough for some upgrades.

for the venturer it is good to have opened the Wildweald Court (you can convert wine to coffee or honey to romantic literature there and not to finish the Principles as he sometimes asks for scintillack or outlandish artifacts, which you can get trading scintilack to the temple in Varchas. Actually after you have given the Venturer all the scintilack he wants it is a very good idea to trade it in Varchas as you make a nice profit and an item that doesn’t take up hold space