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Trading is the act of transferring goods (or currency) from one party to another.

The parties may include two players, a player and an NPC, a player and a town, a player and a bank, a player and the mainland (or any other combination).

Types of Trade

Trade does not always happen in the same way. From the player's perspective, there are three very different types of trade:

  • Export Trade - e.g. selling goods offshore.
  • Shop Trade - e.g. buying an item from a shopkeeper.
  • Bank Transactions - e.g. sending money between player accounts.
  • Direct Trade - e.g. player to player item transfer.

There are several other, special cases where the player transfers their goods to another party. These include taxation, fees, bank account transactions and loans.

Types of Trade
Export Trade
Exporting goods offshore is incredibly important to the overall economy. It is the only instance in the game where currency is generated. The currency is sent from the mainland, so it is essentially made out of nothing. Every other trade in the game is simply moving the currency generated by exports.
Shop Trade
Characters all over the world buy and sell items. Like players, they do this in order to make a profit for themselves. You may take advantage of this and buy a variety of items without the need to directly obtain them yourself. At the same time, you may easily sell unwanted items in exchange for currency.
Bank Transactions
The bank of Elpida allows you to sell money directly to other players. This is a great, secure way of getting currency to another player. The money does not go through your character's inventory, meaning you do not run the risk of losing it for whatever reason.
Direct Trade
In some cases, you may simply want to trade with another player without the use of a shop or a bank. This may be useful if the goods are of suspicious nature. Keep in mind that this is the least secure method of trading - it should only be used if the other methods are not available to you.

Making Profit

Trade is not only a way of moving around items, it is also one of the best ways to make profit. Learning about the economy is crucial to making profitable trades - and it can be the difference between barely getting by and becoming rich.

Currency Flow

The currency in Elpida changes hands in a predictable way. The movement of currency between parties is called currency flow. The movement of currency is broadly broken down into three steps: generation, transfer and sink. To make profit, realise where most of the money is gathered and what possible paths there are for you to obtain it.

Draft of currency flow in Elpida.

  1. Generation - All of the currency in the system is generated when characters export goods. Each trade on the export market results in currency being sent into the economy from the mainland, effectiely appearing out of nothing.
  2. Transfer - Once the currency is given to a character during export, they are free to trade it as they please. A part of it is automatically sent to the town (as export tax). The rest may be traded away to players, to NPCs, or to the town itself. Transfer may happen actively - as a direct decision. For example, you may decide to send money to another player's bank account, to trade money for a sword with an NPC, or to donate money to the town's treasury. Transfer may also happen passively - most often as taxation. For example, the town may tax you when you need medical services. The money usually changes hands several times, staying in the system until the town decides to ultimately spend it.
  3. Sink - If exports generate money on one hand, sinks consume it (and remove it from the system). All of the sinks are represented by town expenses. Town politicians will have opportunities to spend currency from the town's treasury, in exchange for substantially changing the state of the world.

Supply and Demand

Just like in the real world, much of the economy is driven by supply and demand. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, you may read up on it online. Demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product is desired by buyers. Supply represents how much the market can offer. As a trader, you want to sell goods when the overall demand is high (when people really want what you are selling), but also when the supply is low (when noone else is selling what you are).

Predicting supply changes ahead of time will allow you to estimate price changes before they happen. For example, if you believe famine is coming, it may be a good idea to stock up on food and sell it when everyone is hungry. On the other hand, if you have a pile of diamonds and a new diamond mine opens, it might be a good idea to sell before everyone has pockets full of diamonds.