September 26, 1999
LEADING A TRADE RUN
These are just a few helpful pointers for anyone wishing to lead a trade
run. It's not everything you should do, but if you follow these, your trade
runs should go slightly smoother than usual, and perhaps people will be
more willing to trade with you.
- First of all, never trade with a bad connection. Lagging on a trade run
makes it take FOREVER. So only agree to lead the run if you are not
experiencing bad lag.
- Make sure that you value the run first. There's nothing worse than
getting to the end of the run, only to find that you did *all* that work
for *way* too little cash.
- If you and your form are not a particularly powerful form, it's probably
best to stay away from posts near the outer edge of the continent. The
further away you get from Med City, the more wilderness mobs you'll
encounter, so stick to the inland runs.
- Make sure all your form always buys covered wagons, and check that
everyone has bought what you told them to buy before you leave the trade
post. This can avoid nasty realisations at the end of the run, such as that
someone forgot to buy anything, and spent the last hour dragging around an
- Make sure you use the navigators. I know this seems fairly straightforward
:p, but I have run into people (very inexperienced traders) who get to an
intersection and either ask which way to go, or try to check a map. (For those
people, stand at an intersection and 'say where -destination-'. When there
isn't a navigator, check both ways, covered wagon will usually only travel on
one. If wagon will go both ways, check map on MedWeb, work out where you are,
and which way you want to go.
- Use attune. A lot of people think this is a fairly useless spell, and laugh
at people who buy earth crystals, but I've found that although it isn't that
useful for long distances, it's excellent when you leave your freight behind to
deal with a mob faction. Watch out, because earth crystals can blow up.
- If you're solo trading, and you run into a normal wilderness mob which is a
bit hard, when you flee, you can just avoid the room the mob is in, since your
wagon will follow you, as long as you are only one room away from where you
left it. this does, however, mean that the mob will follow you, if you slow
down or stop for any reason, it will most probably catch up with you.
- When you do run into mob factions, leave your freight behind as soon as you
get the message. Most mob factions are not nearly as bad if you are without
freight. Bandits and rogues will not ambush, there will only be a scout if you
don't have freight. Kill the scout, attune back to your freight, and the mob
faction is gone. The kobolds hiding in the woods will not join the captains if
you leave your freight behind. You still have to deal with their arrows as you
fight the captains, but if you have a strong form, you should be able to manage
them. Occasionally, it is not a good idea to leave your freight behind,
especially if someone else's mob faction is around. If this is the case, it's
possibly a good idea to leave someone with the freight, either to shield the
room they're in (mob factions will eventually enter, though), or for you to
phase/be summoned back to in case of emergencies.
- If the captains of a mob faction are a bit much for your form to deal with,
killing them individually is a good plan. Have all your spellcasters blind the
mobs, then all flee. Cast hands of wind, and pick them off one by one. This is
a *very* spammy option, though.
- Make sure that all the mages/clerics you trade with regularly have mass. This
spell is invaluable on trade runs. If they don't have it, make sure they
realise they should get it next time they level if they want to be helpful on
- Have the mages in your form sleep and sunsprites and banelars which you
encounter, and fear any other wilderness mobs. You're on the run to get money,
- Delegate. Put your mages and clerics in charge of refreshing, and tell your
thieves and warriors to watch the weather, and keep an eye out for dragons.
- If you encounter a firestorm, and your mounts run out of movement, separate
each of your party into a different room and have them tether for a tick.
Tethered mounts regain movement *much* faster than untethered mounts. Your
mounts will be full in almost no time. Also, it's nice to have a couple of
invis wands, and heavy oaks staves on you, just in case of firestorms.
Alternatively, cloudy potions from Trellor are useful. You don't have to change
equipment, and they include the strength spell - very useful if you encounter
mobs like moonserpents, who can plague you.
- If evil dragons do strike your form, have everyone link in and out
immediately. If you can't link because you're being hunted, teleport out of the
area so your form doesn't get attacked (if you're a mage). If not, run off into
the wilderness, look for water if you can, then have your form summon you back.
Hopefully, the dragon will give up. While you're running, call a good dragon.
Do not call a good dragon while an evil one is only looking for prey, and not
hunting, because when the good dragon answers your call, it will be as a mount.
A dragon called too early will not attack the evil dragon, and you won't be
able to call again until it goes away.
- Make sure all your form realises that they need to make sure they don't
whisk. If nothing else, mass reffing and checking the weather should prevent
this, but they should make sure they enter a command in every now and then
anyway, just to be sure.
- I like to have my form always mounted on warhorses - they have excellent
stamina and, more important, do not wander when dismounted. There is no need to
tether, which is very useful considering the new one tethered mount per room
rule. (read portals article for how to get horses to the post, and always
remember - remount your horse if you misport).
- The map radius command is very useful for trading. Having mapradius on a low
setting not only cuts down on spam, but, I find, also cuts down on lag a bit.
Also, it prevents you from moving too fast if you want to go slower.
- Last but not least, always have brief move on. I have it permanently on.
Brief move was written largely for trading. It prevents you from seeing all of
your form moving from room to room (this can be achieved by gagging the message
as well). More importantly, brief move puts up a HUGE red message when one of
your form is left behind. The message is clearly visible, even when you are
spamming your screen because of moving so fast.
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