If you’ve been playing Elvenar for any length of time, no matter how short, you’ve undoubtedly realized how important trading is to the game. Perhaps you’ve already encountered some struggles getting enough goods from your fellows and map neighbors.
Trading is a key strategy of the game; to grow a city efficiently, it is critically important to become a good trader.
Luckily, trading isn’t difficult to master. This guide will review how to use the trader, and it will provide some strategies for getting the most out of trading in the game.
Summary of Contents
First things first, let’s review some basics about goods. The rest of the article will refer to these terms, so just in case you’re not already familiar with them, it’s a good place to start.
TIERS OF GOODS
There are three different tiers of goods, each of which have manufactories that are unlocked throughout research.
Newer players may only need and be able to produce the first tier, or “basic” goods. The higher tiers will not come into play until the 2nd and 3rd chapters.
Here are the goods by tier as shown in your trader:
FIRST TIER – “BASIC”
SECOND TIER – “CRAFTED”
THIRD TIER – “MAGICAL”
A primary strategy for goods production revolves around “boosts.”
Each player is randomly assigned 1 boost out of each tier, based on where they are on the map.
If you’re not already familiar with how to find your boosted goods and why boosted goods are important, be sure to check out the Boosted Goods page.
Throughout this guide it is assumed that boosted goods are owned in excess and used to trade for the other goods so you always have plenty of all.
USING THE TRADER
The trader is unlocked very early in the game. In fact, with excellent strategy and planning, the trader can be unlocked within the first 30-60 minutes of playing.
PLACE THE TRADER
Once the technology for the trader is researched, it can be placed in the city.
Find it in the ‘basics’ tab of the build menu.
Coins, supplies, and some population are required to place it.
ACCESS THE TRADER
Access the Trader by clicking on the Trader building in the city, or use the icon along the bottom of your game screen.
You can also press the hotkey “T” for Trader, and this will load the window as well.
DETERMINE TRADES NEEDED
Check your goods balances and see what you’re short on and what you have plenty of.
You can see your goods by hovering over the goods in your stats bar along the top of the screen:
Alternatively, since you’ll be using it anyway, just use the “Place offer” tab in the trader.
at least daily, if not
every time you collect goods!
BALANCING YOUR GOODS
Keeping your goods relatively balanced is key to ensuring you always have plenty of each type, even if you are only ever producing your boosted good.
The smaller you are, and the smaller your stash of goods, the more important it is to stay balanced as well as possible.
Keeping up with trades regularly to keep yourself balanced is always a good idea no matter how large you grow.
Accept and post enough trades to gain enough non-boosted goods to be relatively balanced in all three goods within each tier. Balancing across tiers isn’t as necessary as balancing within tiers.
After noting which goods you’re short on and by how much, head to the “Accept offers” tab.
Filter by “offer” for what you need. Filter by “demand” to find trades asking for the goods you have the most of.
TIP: Filter to fellowship only offers to ensure you are helping your fellows out with what they need, first!
Accept as many reasonable trades as you can afford. Repeat for any other goods you need.
Now that you’ve checked the trader for the offers already available to match your needs, go back to the “Place offer” tab and post enough trades to balance the rest of your goods.
There is no single “right way” to do this, but here are some tips to get you started.
A quick way to balance is to first place trades to bring the lowest balance equal to the second lowest balance.
In this example, that would be using your excess marble to match your steel to your planks.
Put up the difference between your highest and lowest goods (300 in this example, to bring ‘100’ up to ‘400’) in any way you like (Rounding to hundreds just makes things easier, but you can get more precise if you prefer.)
3 trades of 100 each should do nicely, or 1 trade of 300.
- Click the good you want to give away
- Click the good you want to receive
- Set the offer amount
- Click confirm
- Repeat as many times as needed until all trades are posted.
Once you’ve balanced your lowest two goods, then split the remaining excess between them to balance the rest.
- Subtract the difference of what you have left of your highest good from the lowest two.
- Divide by 3.
- Post this total amount for each of the remaining two goods.
After you post your trades of planks for steel, you are left now with this:
You can’t see it yet, because the trades are still pending, but assume your steel value is what you’ve posted for already (100 showing + 300 in posted trades.)
- Subtract 400 from 2400=2000
- Divide 2000 by 3
- Post 2,000/3 = 666.66
Well, that’s not pretty to trade, so let’s just round that up to 700. (It’s okay to go a bit low on your boost; you can make more, and you’ll have an excess again, soon!)
Now, post 700 marble for steel and 700 marble for planks, varying your trade amounts until you’ve gotten to the total amount. Once all the trades are accepted, you’ll then be ‘balanced’ in your first tier goods, meaning you have relatively the same amount for each good.
HOW MANY TRADES SHOULD I POST?
When you have many goods to trade, you’ll likely want to split the total amount you need to trade for into multiple trades. The number of trades and for how much that may be best to post will depend on how many goods you need to trade, and the trading economy of your fellowship and neighborhood.
Generally, it’s a good idea to post in quantities that are common for the folks in your trader. Trades around these amounts may be picked up faster, and allows your excess goods to be split among different players who need different amounts.
A good rule of thumb however is to post no more than 4-5 of the same amount at once to cut down on how many trades need to be posted. If it takes more than 4-5 trades to post all of the goods you need to move, you may want to post some in higher quantities.
- There is a limit to how many trades you can have in the trader at once (60).
- The more trades you post, the longer it takes not only for you to post them, but for your neighbors or fellows to accept them.
- If you have traders in your trading network who are similar to or larger than your city’s size, it is better to post higher trades than a greater quantity of lower trades.
In these examples, which would you rather see in your trader? Pages of small trades? Or just one page of varying amounts? Regardless of whether they are trades you can accept, or trades in the way of the ones you’re looking for, most would prefer the latter.
TRADER STAR SYSTEM
Elvenar uses a star system to help players identify more easily how fair or even a trade is.
- 0 Stars = The trade is asking for far more than it is giving away.
- 1 Star = The trade is asking for a little more than it is giving away.
- 2 Stars = Default. The trade is asking for and giving same amount.
- 3 Stars = The trade is asking for less than it is giving away.
WHEN VIEWING AND ACCEPTING TRADES
When viewing trades in the trader, 3-star trades are the best deals for you. 0 and 1-star trades aren’t as good of a deal. Consider that it is still much cheaper to take even a 0 star trade, than it is to try to produce a non-boosted good yourself, or buy it in a wholesaler. And a 0 or 1 star trade is usually a better deal than no trade at all.
WHY SO MANY UNFAIR TRADES?
For the most part, the majority of players tend to post “fair” or better trades. If you are seeing many 0 and 1-star trades, this could be for a few different reasons.
The most common reason to see 1-star trades is that the trades are from a player you haven’t discovered yet on the world map. You will see trades in your trader from anyone in your fellowship, or any map neighbors discovered, who have discovered you, or who are within close range of being discovered.
Trades from those not yet discovered come with a fee. If you see the fee icon, you can hover over it to see what was actually posted by the player, and how much extra you are paying for it.
As you ‘discover’ more and more neighbors, your trading network will grow, and you’ll see more trades available without fees.
WHEN POSTING TRADES
When posting trades, whenever you enter an amount for “you offer,” the game will default the entry for “you want” to a “fair” trade. If you want to offer a 0-1 star trade or a 3-star trade, you can, just set the “you offer” amount and change the “you want” amount last.
If you do it in reverse, the game will always reset the “you want” value to equal what you’re offering.
WHY POST OTHER THAN 2-STAR TRADES?
The more attractive your trades are, the more quickly they might be taken by others. You can make your trades stand out on top by setting them to 3 stars with just a slight or a heavy discount.
Remember, it is very inexpensive to make your boosted goods compared to non-boosted goods, or compared to the cost of non-boosted goods in the wholesaler. Even when offering a discount, you are getting a very good deal.
If you are in a crunch and have some generous fellows, posting a 0 or 1-star trade might be a good way to get a quick boost towards that next upgrade, research, or province that you’re really after.
When cross-tier trading, posting other than 2-star trades can be used to make a trade more attractive and likely to be taken. More on this next.
The game will allow trades as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as 1:4 or 4:1 of what is considered a fair trade. Fair trades within tiers are easy; they get a little trickier when posting across tiers.
HELPFUL FELLOWSHIPS – 1:4 TRADES
Within fellowships of fellows with varying progress, an amount that might be a gold mine of goods for some players could barely be a drop in the bucket for others. For this reason, some fellowships support and even encourage 0 or 1 star trades to help everyone grow more quickly.
This can work really well for fostering a great teamwork environment as long as the posters of these trades don’t expect them to be taken, and those seeing them don’t feel obligated to take them.
The game will allow a trade as ‘bad’ as 1:4 or as ‘good’ as 4:1. Fellowships can take advantage of this to ‘gift’ goods to each other.
When using such a system, it is best that the player receiving the gift posts a trade asking for more than receiving, and not the player giving more than receiving, because otherwise, the trade won’t last long before someone else grabs it! One doesn’t have to worry as much about anyone else ‘stealing’ a trade that is asking for far more than it is offering.
To set a 1:4 trade, ask for 4x more than you are offering.
You can do ’round robin’ trades if you need all the goods in a tier – for example, 100 marble for 400 steel, and then 100 steel for 400 planks, and 100 planks for 400 marble – when all are picked up, this nets one 300 of each good. Of course, any amounts in 1:4 can be used.
There are many opinions surrounding trades across tiers, and sometimes, it can even become a relatively contentious topic within fellowships.
This article won’t get into all of that, but it will describe what cross-tier trading is, and provide some considerations regarding when you may or may not want to post or avoid trades of these types.
WHAT IS CROSS-TIER TRADING?
Cross-tier trading is when the goods that are offered are from a different tier than the goods being asked for.
“Fair” trades get a bit more complicated when dealing with trades across tiers. As stated earlier, the game considers the following trades to be fair:
- Within same tier – 1:1
- Down 1 tier (crafted/T2 for basic/T1, or magical/T3 for crafted/T2) – 1:4
- Down 2 tiers (magical/T3 for basic/T1) – 1:16
CONSIDERATIONS FOR POSTING OR AVOIDING
The concept of a ‘fair trade’ becomes a rather relative one when dealing with cross-tier trading.
While it is true that it costs 4 times more to produce crafted goods than basic goods, and 16 times more to craft magical goods than basic goods, the amount of time it takes to create the same quantity of each tier is roughly the same for most players.
For this reason, your fellows or neighbors may not feel a cross-tier trade is very ‘fair’ even if it is a 2-star trade.
Making 1600 steel may cost the same as making 100 magic dust, but it will take a great deal longer.
When posting Cross-down trades, you may want to sweeten the deal a bit to encourage your trade to look more attractive to your neighbors and fellows.
Cross-up trades are not generally seen as a problem, and many folks will snatch these up quite quickly, which is great news for players with many tier 1 goods needing tier 2 or tier 3 goods!
Some fellowships may even have rules against cross-tier trades, or they may have limitations placed on them. For example, a common rule is requiring that cross-down trades are 3 stars, or a specific minimum ratio.
While there are many opinions surrounding the topic, in our experience, most don’t tend to mind cross-tier trades if they are posted sparingly, and/or offered as a rather lucrative 3-star trade, at least 1:3 or better. (100 silk for 300 planks, for example.)
It is not generally a good idea to rely on cross-tier trading to get the lower tier goods you need, though a few in a crunch are usually accepted without issue.
We hope you found this guide helpful in making the most out of your trading in Elvenar.