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Solo Trading for Beginners - by Oakan

Sooner or later, the time comes when you can't let the big guys drag you around. I've spent months relying on clannies to lead trade forms, but I recently found myself in the position of needing 1.7 million trade points to level AND missing all the trade runs in my clan. But, hey, I'm a big girl now. I've got an hp mode that's almost big enough for chasing dragons, so I figure I can do some simple trade runs on my own.

Trading is a complicated process. The big bucks, and trade points, are to be made on the long runs through high risk areas, but soloing, for a level 27, triple class, dictated that I should choose easy, low risk runs from the trading posts around Medievia. The big problem, of course, is soloing the mob factions you are bound to pop.

First step, get values. You can buy a Mudslinger from the scribe one south of recall in Medievia, but the Mudslinger doesn't show all the trading posts in Med. Ask around and find the trading posts with low risks. Ranger's Cabin, E'Nat'Dae, Riverton and Elven Marketplace come to mind, all being less than 250 risk. First you have to go to one post, and find out the values they buy and sell for. Then travel to another post and find out what they will buy and sell for, all the while comparing values for the best trade possible. This can take some time to find posts that sell what another post will pay a good price for. It will also make you appreciate the hard work your senior clannies do to provide good values for your trades.

I started out keeping total risk around 200 as I had a pretty good idea I could solo most mob factions around that size. That pretty much means you run between E'Nat'Dae, Crystal Lake, Riverton, and Medievia. And Elven Marketplace if you can find it. (Hint: fly from Med to Txiki and watch for it, land and then walk in. The nearby zone appears to be under construction.) There are a few other options, but I chose Crystal Lake and E'Nat'Dae.

My first two runs to E'nat, were uneventful. I made a few points, got some gold, came home safe. Didn't pop any mob factions I couldn't handle. My next run was more daring, going for bigger cargo (a covered wagon instead of a mule) and more points and money. I ran from Medievia to Crystal Lake and this time I met wolves. I knew wolves and lions pop around there and thought I was prepared. The wolves killed me so I had to resurrect, but finally made it successfully to the Ranger's Cabin (the trade post south of Crystal Lake). Took care of the wolves the second time around.

I loaded up my wagon, this time going for the biggest trade possible between Crystal Lake and Medievia: a load of timber. Right off the bat I popped lions. But I'm a big girl, so I made lion meat out of them fairly quickly.  I made a mad dash for Medievia but forgot one cardinal rule.

Take care of your horse! I didn't keep an eye on my horse's condition and my sweet Appaloosa, Scout, suddenly let me down. In the middle of the wilderness, I found myself horseless. But I continued on, walking alongside my dray horse, Maybelle, all the way. Stupid!

Then I made another mistake. I decided to turn back for my horse. I should have hitched my wagon and ran like the wind, but I didn't. I turned around and old Maybelle followed me like a pet dog, pulling that damn timber up hill and down. And popped trees.

Important: trees are not your friends. At least not in the wilderness on a trade run. I popped trees about fifteen rooms north of my faithful horse, and soon my wagon and load were history. Maybelle ran off into the forest where I'm pretty sure she took up with a wild horse. I've seen some wild foals with her markings since then.

I did recover my horse, but lost my load and my money. I returned to Medievia in defeat. However, solo trading does have its merit. I tested myself against some mob factions and won. I learned lots about the mechanics of trading which will come in handy when I quad and HAVE to start leading forms. And I made a few points toward my goal. Will I do it again? You betcha. Will I appreciate the great trade run leaders I know? More than you can imagine.

June 10, 2006

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