Overpowered start-game trade route? [spoilers]

If from the start of the game you stack up on fuel (might need a Venderbight run first) go south to the Canal and head up to the surface, you can trade there until you have 3 or less crew, replenishing fuel and supplies with the profits of even failed excursions. Minimum take is 600 if you fail three times in a row and lose 3 crew each time. Max, I guess in theory is 3-4000 Echoes if you’re very lucky. Average about 1000-1500k.

After that limp back to London and restock / recruit. Repeat.

The thing about this is that there’s almost no risk. Your hull won’t suffer up at the surface, and your terror will always end up at zero as it’s apparently nice up there. You can always get back to London if you buy enough fuel at the surface before heading back. It’ll take a while since you’re low on crew, but the maximum two crabs you’ll face on the way won’t be a problem if you keep your hull repaired. So, very low risk, pretty high rewards, and it seems inexhaustible. The main outlay is time and effort. The temptation for me is to just spam this route until I get enough Echoes to get a nice big ship. It feels like cheating, if I’m honest.

I kind of like what that says about being a zailor that it’s more effective/safe to… not be a zailor XD

That said the easy way to fix it would be to make a failure not pay out more than it costs. (like, 100 and you can’t spam it nearly as much)
edited by WormApotheote on 2/22/2015

Ha, well I suppose technically you ARE zailing, just in a bit of a roofless cave. The trading mentioned is “trading on the high seas” if I recall correctly, so I guess you’re sailing around the mediterranean or something. Under the full glare of the sun. Madness.

Well sailing isn’t really zailing :P Less zee monsters. :P

Too true. Yeah, I think a good fix would be to reduce the rewards in the event of a failure and also maybe just make it make less money over time or something, so it can boost you if you’re ready to submit to the boredom of doing it, but can’t spend a couple of hours on it and then get the best ship in the game. But any fix would be good, unless it’s designed to be exploitable.
edited by Alex May on 2/22/2015

Also could make it consume SAY. Which you get set when you go up, so you could always do it once even if you used SAY on the Canal, but not more than once.

Surface just needs to be more dangerous in general, I think. Also can’t that option kill up to 6 crew on a “lucky” success?

6 crew! That’s never happened to me, but it’d be a good deterrent if it were more common! Like I say I’m okay with any fixes, it’s up to the designers to do that, I just think this particular snippet is quite lucrative for such little risk and they might not have meant it to be.

Looks like I was wrong, and/or remembering something else. It only kills 1-3 crew on a success, or 2-3 on a failure.

60% Chance
+200 echo if fail, enough to cover fuel/supply losses, but can’t replenish crew on site.
+500 echo on win.
A trip back to London to replace lost crew will probably cost 300-400 echoes.
So as long as you win at least once per trip, there’s profit to be made.

Yeah, I agree that they should make consequences on failing harsher.
edited by Mica on 2/23/2015

I didn’t figure this out fast enough because i thought going to the surface is bad for those who lived underground since birth.
edited by FreedomFighter on 2/23/2015

To be honest I don’t feel like this is broken. There are plenty of ways in the early game that can net about as many echoes in as much time, when you consider just how long it takes to limp back to London with only one crew (which is dangerous, with Claymen Longships and Jillyfish prowling around.
Also, you’re forgetting that just arriving in Naples can cost you a crew member – I lots my first captain on a particularly dangerous surface run because I lost three crew carting supplies around after I lost one just getting there.
Add into that the sheer amount of fuel is costs just to get to Naples, and the cost of fuel on the surface, and it really doesn’t take any less time than other trade routes that are easier on your crew and supplies.
Finally, over-balancing the Cumean may make some options there fairly useless, if you take away all incentive to go there. Part of the reason why I stop there to begin with is because I know I can justify the costs of reducing my terror there, and if I can get a quick run or two there I can actually say I’m saving money on terror reduction instead of just going home to London…


[quote=FreedomFighter]I didn’t figure this out fast enough because i thought going to the surface is bad for those who lived underground since birth.
edited by FreedomFighter on 2/23/2015[/quote]

It is, but due to how the mechanics work you die last out of your crew, so the crew serves as a buffer.