How do I make money?

Spent my first thirty minutes exploing around, assuming that if I just followed the storyline paths I’d get what I needed to keep the ship afloat. Wound up without fuel and eventually food within the hour. How do I stop this from happening?

Short, unhelpful answer: play more. You’ll figure it out.

Longer, more helpful answer: Always get a port report and upon returning to London, turn them in. You’ll get +1 fuel and some Echoes for each report, and initially +1 Admiralty favors for each different port you go to. The fuel will help to offset costs on moving around, and the cash should help with your supplies. The favors can help you to either gain more bonus fuel or fix up your hull at a lowered cost. You can always get these reports at docks (with some exceptions) even after you get them the first time (since the Admiralty wants to be kept up to date on the goings on of each port). This is the main way to stay afloat in the early game.

Next, don’t go out too far initially. Make smallish circles, going out as far as you’re willing to dare before heading back to London to resupply and refuel. Try to keep expanding this circle and try different directions you haven’t before. This will help keep your favors up in the early game so you can feel more free to spend them on repairs and extra fuel.

Early on, making jobs of getting Strategic Information for the Admiralty is a good idea. They’ll list where you need to go to get it (it will show up in your Journal under &quotobjectives&quot if you forget) and upon returning, you’ll get paid in a decent amount of Echoes and another favor (these will net you favors repeatedly as well).

Past that, try to figure out a few trades between the Wolfstack exchange and other ports. The most common one is in Mushroom wine early on. It’s not a great profit margin (+2 Echoes for each unit) until you can increase your hold size and have enough cash to invest in large cargoes but you can sell them off at Venderbright for some extra cash which can help you if you run into an emergency and need to buy some fuel or supplies at non-London ports.

But mostly, try to explore stories and meet requests for people. This is how you make most of your wealth over the course of the game. Always explore and keep expanding your range until you have a full map. Over time you’ll find jobs and you’ll find good trades and it tends to work out. But you have to learn a lot about the game and world before it does.

One last tip - try to make your first real goal to improve your lodgings to a townhouse and get an ironclad will. This will cost you 1250 Echoes I think. If you can improve your lodgings to the townhouse and get the will you can begin to pass on property to captains that die. Namely the townhouse itself (so you never have to buy it again) and as you collect them, Heirlooms, which you can then sell at the beginning of your next Captain’s journey to start with large Echo bonuses.

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edited by SporksAreGoodForYou on 2/25/2015

Why do I get the urge to snarl that MisterGone’s SHORT answer was the more helpful one of the two?

Really, getting on your own two feet in SS is the best part of the game and it can only happen once, you know. Don’t rob people of that, or rather don’t help them rob themselves of that.

That said, I’d like to dispute one point - all you need to start long journeys is one short journey to fund the first long one. The progression in this game happens almost entirely inside the player’s head. Most of the time, if you can handle one jellyfish you can handle the whole zee.

Well obviously this isn’t how it is for newbies, but THAT’S EXACTLY why we should let them have their own fun in learning for themselves. Let them enjoy the only progression this game has.
edited by Red-XIII on 2/26/2015

I have no idea why you would want to snarl anything.

Some people want vague hand wavings. Some people want specific instructions.

…but most of us don’t know what we want, never mind what we need, what would be good for us, or what we would like.

I’m usually not the one to rebel against the concept of guides, but SS is IMHO an exception to this practice if there ever is an exception to this practice.

It’s a game about exploration damn it. Don’t let others explore it instead of you.
edited by Red-XIII on 2/26/2015

I appreciate your perspective, Red, but there really is no need to snarl. This is a place for folks with different experiences and opinions to come together in civil discussion. Leave the snarling for the Labyrinth of Tigers!

Ok, ok, I get it… I came across as offensive. I assure you that I didn’t mean to (I rarely do).
Now can we stop discussing words and get back to discussing ideas?

Is selling wine to Godfall still an option? That’s how I got started. I think they pay 50 Echo per crate, but stop buying at Time = 200, so you have to take advantage of it quickly. However, if you exclusively run wine to Godfall for the first 200 units of time, you may miss out on other storylines, or at least make them more difficult.

It sure is! They’re not a good pure trading route, but if the map spawns such that you can roll them into venderbight tours or mangrove college human trafficking, then why not. And you can always grab some clay men on the way back.

One large change is Polythreme always spawns quite a bit further away from London now.

I did the math on the Godfall trade a while back when I discovered it. Technically you make +9 Echo on each unit of wine you ship on a Wine run, which makes it one of the better profit runs in the early game. For a while I was crating 60 casks of wine to Godfall, going up to Khan’s Shadow (spawned just north of Polythreme for me), loading up on Ivory, going down to Polythreme, unloading the Ivory and picking up some passengers before heading back to London.

It was a good, short circuit that made solid profit. Until I discovered all of the various coffee trading it was my main form of making money.

While you’re doing the runs with 40 cargo cap, 9 per free slot (and yes it’s 9, not 29 godfall gives 150 per 5 crates which is 30 per crate not 50) is not all that big an impact. (but maybe it’s just due to how I use my 40 slots)

Once you’re comfortable with the zee (which is more or less a requirement you’ll have to fulfil before getting a bigger vessel) you can make 39 per cargo slot per trip as long as you visit three particular ports in a particular order and haven’t messed up one of them. Maybe it’s not the ultimate chain, but it’s flexible - you only need to visit 3 ports in the right order, and the rest of them are quite easy to include and reorder to suit your other needs.

That said, I believe that the main source of income is the right “spending” of SAY. Doing the right things in the right ports gets you more profit than “intended” trading does. The dev team, after all(if I got them right), intended trading to be a minor element and do not want it to overshadow exploration.

For example if you lug 20 crates for 9 echo per crate that’s 180 echo per trip, and you’re making things difficult on yourself when in comes down to stocking supplies and solving quest that also require lugging. Yet there are several ways to spend a SAY in a port and come out 200+ echo richer without any random factor involved. Well, you rarely get any echo directly, but getting things that are worth that much per one say isn’t uncommon. Not to mention all the port reports and random SAYs that can give even more than that on a lucky roll. Plus zailing with free cargo space means that you can grab more loot than you otherwise could. If you factor the cost of all the things you’d have to dump into the ocean becasue you ship is overloaded already or the difference per fuel and supply cost because you had to refuel or resupply at an inconvenient time than the “purchase price” of most goods becomes equal to or more than what you can sell them for.