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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Trading with Faction Hubs: The Essentials
    Posted: 26 Jan 2013 at 22:07

Hello Illyriad! I was explaining how faction hubs and traders work to an alliance mate the other day, and realized there was no player-made guide to using these features. Trading through hubs can be a bit confusing and overwhelming for new players, so I've decided to expound on my previous explanation for general use.


Trading with Faction Hubs: The Essentials

There are four main aspects to using faction hub trading. I will cover each of these below.

 

Table of Contents/Quick-find

To jump to a section, press CTRL+F, then type in "S." followed by the section and subsection characters shown.

*Table of contents coming soon...*


Intro: Basic Faction Hub Use

*NOTE* I use the phrases “faction hub” and “trade hub” interchangeably in this guide. As of this writing, they mean essentially the same thing; the faction hub is the location on the world map that holds the trade hub.

Faction hubs are special squares on the world map. Each has an infinitely large inventory for players to store goods, where they are safe from thieves. They also have a marketplace where players can place and accept buy and sell orders. Once you have built a marketplace, you can do the following two things with faction hubs:

I. If the hub is within your marketplace visibility, you can accept buy and sell orders from that hub.

II. After researching the path [Guilds > Merchant's Guild > Faction Markets], you can send goods via caravans to be stored in that hub.


*CAUTION* You cannot retrieve goods from a faction hub without a trader in that hub. Until you have a trader unit, do not send any goods to faction hubs if you might need them soon.

Each faction hub is owned by a particular faction. You have a personal standing with each faction in the game. As of the time of this guide’s last update, faction standing is unalterable and based on your player’s race and the specific faction. You can check your standing with a faction under “Alliance Overview” > “Faction List,” by selecting the faction you wish to view and looking at the graph shown on the left.

*CAUTION* If your faction standing is at -35 or lower, you cannot trade with any hub owned by that faction.


1. Producing and Managing Traders

In order to access most of the features offered by faction hubs, you require a trader unit. Building a trader unit requires the following:

- Buildings: Marketplace Lv. 10, Merchant’s Guild Lv. 1

- Research: [Haggling] + [Guilds > Merchant’s Guild > Trader]

- Resources: 5 Horses + 10 Books + 5000 Gold (+ # Wine)

- Upkeep: 30 p/h


*CAUTION* The number of wine barrels required for a trader is equal to the total number of traders you already own in all cities combined. So, if you have 2 traders total among your cities, you will need 2 barrels of wine to produce a third trader in any city. Your first trader requires no wine.

You can reduce the upkeep cost of the traders belonging to a city. Under the Trader branch of the Trade research tree, you can research [Trader’s Luxuries > Expense Accounts > Expense Controls]. Each of these researches reduces the required upkeep cost of traders in that city.

*NOTE* Completing the entire branch of research reduces upkeep of Trader units by 50%.

Once you have a trader, you can send that trader from your city to a hub by selecting the hub on the World Map and ordering the trader to travel there. Traders can be sent from their home city to any faction hub on the map, or from one hub to the other. As of the most recent guide edit, traders cannot be harmed while traveling to or inhabiting a hub.

To move a trader who is stationed in a faction hub, navigate to “Trade Overview” > “Trade Hubs” > “Orders.” From here, enter a number into the “Count” box for any of the hubs shown to indicate how many traders from that hub you want to send, and select a destination from the drop-down menu. The allowed destinations are the trader’s home town and every available faction hub.

*CAUTION* Make sure there are no goods or caravans left in a hub before moving the last trader from that hub! Once the last trader leaves, the caravans and goods become inaccessible until a new trader arrives. If you want to move both the caravans and trader to a new hub, send the goods first, and send the trader immediately after. If the trader has a faster move speed than the caravans (trader speed = speed of caravans from that trader’s home city + 1), the trader will arrive first and the caravans will be able to both deliver their goods and remain stationed at the hub after they arrive. More on that in Section 2.

Now that you understand how to create and manage traders, you can begin using them for your trade endeavors!

 

2. Managing Goods and Caravans

Managing your caravan movements wisely and efficiently is crucial to using faction hubs effectively. It can be challenging to strike a balance between moving lots of goods around the hubs and keeping enough caravans for use in your city, but understanding how caravans are used with hubs will help you get started.

The first thing you should learn is how to send caravans and goods to faction hubs. To send caravans from a city to a faction hub, select the hub from the World Map and choose “Send Resources.” There are two important options to note when sending goods to a faction hub:

I. Caravans can be ordered to remain at the hub after delivering their goods. When sending vans from a city to a hub, checking the box above the “Send Trade Mission” button will make them stay there after they arrive, provided there is a trader from one of your cities at the hub when they get there. If there is no trader, or the box is left unchecked, the vans will deliver their goods, then turn around and return to the city.

II. Empty caravans can be sent to a faction hub. To do this, fill in the box next to the words “Add Extra Caravans:” found below the list of goods you are sending. You can send empty caravans along with ones carrying goods, or opt to send only empty caravans.


These two options are important. Stationary caravans are required in a faction hub in order to move goods and gold from that hub to other locations.

*NOTE* Caravans and Traders can only be managed through their home city. However, a trader from any city who is stationed in a hub can give orders to stationed caravans belonging to any of your cities. The group of stationed caravans from each specific city is called a “set.”

All trade movements within a Faction Hub are managed from “Trade Overview” > “Trade Hubs” > “Orders.” The following instructions refer to options on this page. Use “Trade Overview” > “Trade Hubs” > “Movements” to look at your movements in process.

There are two types of caravan orders:

I. Send Empty Caravans. This is done the same way as sending a trader; choose the correct set of vans, type the number of vans into the correct “Count” box, and send. Empty caravans sent from a trade hub will automatically attempt to remain at their destination. Thus, you can only send empty caravans from a hub to their home city--or to another hub with a trader of yours in it.

II. Send Inventory. This allows you to send caravans carrying goods from that hub. To access it, select the hub you wish to access from the top-most drop-down menu, labeled “Trade Hub:” A new section of the page will appear at the bottom. This works the same as sending trade missions from your cities, except that you choose which set of caravans to use and their destination from a drop-down (you can send inventory to any of your cities, or any faction hub you wish). You can still add empty caravans, and check the box ordering them to stay—just remember that caravans will only remain at their home city or a hub with a trader in it.


*CAUTION * If caravans arrive at a trade hub with orders to stay, and find there is no trader there, they will return to their point of origin. If they were originally send on their mission from another trade hub, and there is now no trader in that hub either, upon returning to that hub they will change course and return to their home city.

Now that you know how to move your goods around, it’s time to get down to some real business: buying and selling!

 

3. Buying and Selling with Trade Hubs

You’ve made your trader, sent him off to a hub, and shipped over some caravans and goods as well. Now it’s time to take advantage of your newfound trade abilities. Let’s jump into the marketplace!

An important different between trade hub offers and town marketplace offers is that, when accepting offers posted on a trade hub market, players have the option to buy or sell any fraction of the goods being requested or sold. This can be helpful if, for example, you see an excellent sale on cows, but cannot afford to purchase all 100,000 of them. At a trade hub, you have the ability to accept part of the sell offer—say, 5,000 cows—unlike a town marketplace offer which requires you to buy all of them. It also means that when you make offers, you don’t need to worry about offering too large a quantity and losing out on sales to smaller players.

Another potential advantage is location. Oftentimes, you might care more about a speedy transaction than a great deal. Chances are, there will be at least one trade hub very close to your city, that you can accept offers. It might even be close enough that you don’t need a trader to see the offers there! Buying and selling goods from these nearby hubs can save you lots of time and help you avoid week-long caravan trips.

All buying and selling from trade hubs is done through the “Markets” tab under “Trade Overview.” If you wish, you can use the dropdown menu on the top right labeled “Locations” to narrow your options to “Visible Trade Hubs,” or one particular trade hub, but this is not necessary. For the purpose of following this guide, I recommend selecting to view a single hub, preferably one with a trader in it.

*CAUTION* Only trade hubs visible to the currently selected city will be shown; this includes any trade hub within that city’s marketplace visibility radius, and all hubs with a trader from that city stationed there.

We will start with accepting orders. There are two actions for accepting orders from a trade hub:

I. Accept a Buy Order. To do this, simply click the “Sell” button to the right of any buy order being offered in a trade hub. Enter the quantity of the good you wish to sell (up to the maximum set by the buyer), then click “Check” to see the total value of the order. This screen will also allow display the tax that you will have to pay when the order is completed. Finally, there is a check box titled “Deliver from and pay to Hub Office.” If checked, you will use goods and gold stored in the hub to complete the offer. If unchecked, you will send goods and pay tax with gold from your city. In this case the number of caravans required will appear under the total order value.

II. Accept a Buy Order. To do this, simply click the “Buy” button to the right of any sell order being offered in a trade hub. Enter the quantity of the good you wish to buy (up to the maximum set by the seller), then click “Check” to see the total value of the order. Finally, there is a check box titled “Buy from and deliver to Hub Office.” If checked, you will use gold stored in the hub to complete the offer. If unchecked, you will send gold from your city, along with enough caravans to pick up your purchased goods. In this case the number of caravans required will appear under the total order value.


The advantages of accepting orders are speed, security, and flexibility. The order processes immediately, so you will receive your profit or purchase within a few days tops. In addition, the order is guaranteed; obviously as soon as you accept the order, it cannot be canceled. And you are free to buy or sell only as many goods as you wish.

However, sometimes you would like more control over your transactions. For this, you can create your own buy or sell order. The first step is to build a Trade Office, which requires the following:

- Buildings: Marketplace Lv. 1  

- Research: [Haggling] + [Guilds > Trade Office]

- Resources: (#) Wood, (#) Clay, (#) Iron, (#) Stone

- Upkeep: (#) Wood, (#) Clay, (#) Stone, (#) Food


Once this is done, you need to research the first item on the Trade Office branch of the Trade research tree corresponding to the type of order you want to make. Research [Selling] to be able to create a Sell order, and [Procurement] to create a Buy order. Note that each research allows you to create one order of that type for every level of your Trade Office. This means one order worldwide, between all of your cities and all Trade Hubs.

To fastest way to increase the number of orders you can place is to level up your Trade Office. It is possible to build up to three Trade Offices, but each provides only half the benefit; the second allows for an additional order every two levels, and the third allows for an additional order every four levels. In addition, you can complete the research branch that follows that order type. Create more Sell orders by researching the Selling branch [Trade Promotions > Word of Mouth > Sponsorship > Advertising]. Create more Buy Orders by researching the Procurement branch [Trade Notes > Trade Files > Trade Reports > Procurement Office]. By completing an entire branch, you can have for five orders of that type per level of the Trade Office.

*NOTE* With three Lv. 20 Trade Offices in a city, and both research chains complete, you can have 175 sell and buy orders!

Once you have your Trade Office built and the proper research done, make sure you have a trader in the hub where you want to place the order. Then, choose one of these two options:

I. Create a Sell Order. To do this, click the big “Place Sell Order” button below the trade window. The first drop-down menu lets you choose which hub to place the order in. The second lets you choose what type of goods you wish to sell (the [ ] brackets next to each good represents the number of goods you have stored in that hub). Next, fill in the quantity of goods and price per item. Click check to view the order value, as well as the tax that you must pay using gold from your hub.

*CAUTION* Tax on sell orders is charged when you place the order, not when someone accepts it. If you do not have enough gold in the hub, you cannot place the sell order. You cannot receive a refund on tax paid when creating a sell order, even if no one purchases it.

II. Create a Buy Order. To do this, click the big “Place Buy Order” button below the trade window. The first drop-down menu lets you choose which hub to place the order in. The second lets you choose what type of goods you wish to buy (to select the desired good faster, press any letter key to cycle through the goods that start with that letter). Next, fill in the quantity of goods and price per item. Click check to view the order value.


The advantages of creating orders are ease and control. Once you set an order, you can leave it be, and the game will notify you when someone accept all or part of it. In addition, you can control exactly how much you are willing to buy or sell for, as opposed to settling for the closest existing order. Creating orders also allows you to buy and sell any type of goods.

Once orders are placed, there are ways to modify them. This is done through “Trade Overview” > “Trade Hubs” > “Buy/Sell Offers.” Each page will show a list of the offers of that type you currently have (use the drop-down to narrow results to a single hub). Click “Amend” to change the value per-item of an order, or click cancel to remove the order and add the goods/gold back to your inventory.

The tax on an amended sell order depends on whether you have increased or decreased the price per item. On an increase, tax is assessed to only the new value of the order. For example, if you are selling 100 cows for 1000 each at 5% tax, and you change the price to 1100 each, the tax assessed will be (NEW_PRICE – OLD_PRICE) * NUMBER_OF_GOODS *TAX %. In our example it looks like (1100 – 1000)*100*5% = 500 gold. On a decrease, no further tax will be charged, but you will receive no refund of gold from the tax on the initial price.

You can cancel an order at any time. By default, you cannot amend an order until one hour after (a) creation or (b) the previous amendment. To reduce the wait time, you can complete the branch of the [Trade Office] research tree [Efficient Trading > Trade Reputation > Trade Renown > Famous Traders]. [Efficient Trading] requires a Lv. 5 Merchant’s Guild, while each subsequent research on the branch requires five more levels.

*NOTE* Completing this branch allows you to amend orders every five minutes.

 

4. Using Trade Hub Market Data

*Market Data section coming soon…*

 

Final Words: Trade Hub Tips

- Always keep some gold and a few caravans at hubs you plan on trading at. Gold is needed for buy orders and to pay tax for sell orders, while having caravans at the ready speeds up movement of goods from hub to hub or hub to city. Few things are more frustrating as realizing you don’t have enough gold to pay tax when placing a sell order, or having to send caravans and wait an extra two days to retrieve purchased goods. 

- Send your first trader to Centrum. Centrum is currently the most popular Trade Hub in Illyriad, with tons of offers for every type of good. Sending a trader there can provide new players with many advantages. They can look at the offer prices to learn how much players are willing to pay for each type of good. It is also very easy to buy or sell goods in Centrum, as the user base is very large there.

Of course, the downside to all this activity is strict competition. Active Trade Hubs are good for buyers, but not so advantageous to merchants looking to make a profit. More experienced players with better-developed cities and a greater knowledge of the game may want to consider seeking out hubs that suit their goals. For example, if a player wants to buy herbs, sending a trader to a Trade Hub in a jungle is a smart strategy, as the surplus of herbs will often mean lower prices.

- Choose a single city to specialize in using Trade Hubs. The effectiveness of this strategy will vary based on the location of your cities, but many players prefer developing one city to manage all Trade Hub activity. This city should have a Lv. 20 Marketplace, a high-level Merchant’s Guild, and a Trade Office. This city should also produce most, if not all, of your traders. Since the Wine cost for Traders and the research for Sell and Buy offers both operate globally, not per-city, it does not disadvantage a player to use a single city as their trade center. This makes managing offers and movements in Hubs much more straightforward. 

- Below are two tactics you can consider when seeking a profit using Trade Hubs:

I. Seek monopolies in less active hubs. If you have gold and time to spare, it can be worthwhile to seek out less active trade hubs and demand higher prices. Some players may be willing to pay this inflated value due to scarcity and/or proximity. The risk is that you will be taxed more, so if your goods fail to sell you will suffer greater losses. 

II. Start small. When placing sell orders in a new trade hub, it is often advantageous to start by placing a small quantity of the item on sale instead of the whole inventory. In the event that your product fails to sell, you can cancel the offer or amend the price with little punishment from the taxes you paid. This is a good way to gauge the interest of a hub’s users in your wares.

 

Please look for any inaccuracies of missing information, and provide feedback/additional information for me to update the guide with! Thanks for reading!

Hadus



Edited by Hadus - 26 Jan 2013 at 22:13
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Rill View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2013 at 22:28
Really great start -- thank you Hadus!

I am not sure about the quantity of wine per trader -- is it equal to the number of traders you already have? For some reason I thought someone said it was more than that.

I will read this more thoroughly later, but I really appreciate all your work -- well done, a great help to other players.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2013 at 22:40
Excellent guide; however, there are some issues you may not be aware of:

The research to reduce Trader upkeep (Traders Luxuries, etc) does not work. I've had an outstanding petition on this issue for months. Trader upkeep does not show in your itemized tax report even though it does get deducted, so be cautious when adjusting tax rates. These two deficiencies are probably linked.

The research to amend trade orders doesn't work either; all you can do is cancel and replace an order, which requires no special research.

Another caveat: it's not really necessary to build more than 2 traders. Put one in Centrum and the second in your closest local hub to handle storage and inventory (I like putting all my inventory from all my towns in one place, the local hub, for ease of tracking). Actual trading in local hubs (apart from Centrum) is basically a waste of time. Yes there are occasional "good deals", but for the most part the selection is very meagre and the prices are usually ridiculous. Unless you have lots of time to go through all the items and compare prices every day, it's not worth the bother. Basically there are far too many hubs, none of which can attract enough business to be viable.

If you have an alt account, you may only want traders on either your main or your alt, but not both. Depending on your play style and town locations, you may not need traders for both accounts.


Edited by Llyr - 26 Jan 2013 at 23:15

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2013 at 23:18
The 4th trader definitly costs 2 barrels (as I'm building that one the second time now, thanks to the fairies...), and I thought number 2 and 3 were 1 barrel....
Great Post nontheless!   Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2013 at 07:14
Originally posted by Hora Hora wrote:

The 4th trader definitly costs 2 barrels (as I'm building that one the second time now, thanks to the fairies...), and I thought number 2 and 3 were 1 barrel....
Great Post nontheless!   Clap

The second and third are definitely one barrel each (much to my surprise on number three, when I thought I was still a barrel short).  I hear the progression of barrels required isn't linear (not just one extra barrel for every trader beyond the first), but is actually exponential (and follows the Fibonacci sequence).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2013 at 08:47
God i hope its not based on either exponential or fibonacci sequence (BTW not the same thing)

If its linear it will save us a lot of wine in the end.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2013 at 19:22
Thanks for all the corrections, both via forum posts and IGMs. I'm kinda busy right now but I promise I'll update it ASAP.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2013 at 00:06
Cost of traders are based on Fibonacci sequence: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2013 at 01:34
Good work! Eventually add this link in order to offer alternatives to Centrum:

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2013 at 17:43
Thank you.
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