Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[uwo] life as an english trader

Being an English trader is never easy. Even after almost a month of playing, I'm still stuck around the level that I graduated from the advanced school in Pisa and progress has been slow. Very very slow. Unlike other MMORPG games out there, I'm starting to find that Uncharted Waters Online (or UWO in short) resembles a lot of the pre-year 2000 games, where you have to painstakingly raise your levels one by one using whatever ingenious ways that you can find. It's fun but sometimes it can get quite challenging if you are not able to find your way around the game because with so many choices of what you can do out there, it can get pretty intimidating.

this has been my alter ego for the past month now. a big fat trader who lives by the policy of profit

Anyway, back to the topic of English trader. I've found that it's pretty hard to level up your trade based on buying and selling goods alone, because the market rates are erratic and short distance trade routes are rarely profitable. So you have to be really creative in finding ways to level up, earn money and gain fame. All three are important, mind you, because the amount of money, fame and level you got will determine the equipment and ship that you can buy or use.

Anyway, here's a few pointers of what I've learned so far that can help you gain at least a foothold as a newbie in the game. The points are ranked in such a way from the most important ones to the ones that you can leave on for later when you have progressed slightly further into the game. Keep in mind that these pointers are most applicable to English traders below the level 25 (my current level now) who are interested in focusing primarily on trading first. A further disclaimer though, the points that I'm going to make are merely my observations, you can follow them if you want but they're not 100% foolproof and you may not entirely like it.

1. Finish all the three courses at school, be it trader, maritime and adventuring
Why: Besides helping you to earn a decent amount of exp and fame which can be incredibly useful when you graduate, it also teaches you a lot of vital skills that you need to survive in the game. Sure, some of us might prefer to look at guides and ask other players, but I find that the format that they teach you is pretty straightforward and simple in that it's much better than searching online and asking for hours without response.
Case in point. I merely focused on the trade courses because I was so eager to graduate from school and just start on with the game that when I graduated, as compared to a company friend who went through all the courses, he had higher levels in both adventure and maritime as compared to me. In addition to that, I know nothing in regards of adventuring and battling.
Cons: Might get a little bit boring though, because it's like reading a textbook and there's a lot of things to memorize. But the pros far outweigh the cons here. I mean they pay you to be in school, literally

another reason why I wanted to quit fast: the ugly school uniforms

2. Farm Expedition Ship Boarding Tickets (or ESBTs) at Syracuse Dungeon
Why:  Firstly, I would like to thank a random kind soul who taught me this trick. I'm not sure whether this is illegal or not but apparently farming for ESBTs is a great way for newbies to earn money and gain a foothold early in the game. You see, you can sell ESBTs for 1 million Ducats each and each run is only going to cost you around 10-20 minutes, depending on your battle level. However, if you want to compare it to sailing from city to city at the stage, 1 million is a big number. In addition to that, if you pick up the items from the chests, you can level up your trade quite quickly in addition to gaining some battle experience too. A win-win-win situation
How: Simple travel to Syracuse (near Naples, and you need to advance to advance school course first in which you unlock the port permit for Pisa), head into the church and click the altar. Kill all the enemies on two floors and you're done
Cons: You might get bored running through the same dungeon again and again. And the amount of money you're earning is not going to be proportionate to the exp and fame that you're getting. But then again, having lots of money offsets any cons there is.

3. Trade route from London to Pisa/Naples
Why: It's the best route that you have at the beginning before you unlock West Africa. Travelling to Venice for example would not yield as high profits while a lot of Nothern Europe specialty goods like Whiskey and Gin cannot be sold in Arabic ports.
How: Stock up on Northern Europe specialty goods like Whiskey from Britain or Gin from Netherlands (refer to UWO's wiki if you want to know each region's specialty goods). Remember to buy in combination of 50 (ie 50 whiskeys and 50 gins). Travel to either Pisa, Genoa or Naples. Sell the stuff. Buy velvet from Pisa/Genoa and glasswork at Naples. Make sure you buy 50 of each. Sail back to England and sell. Repeat
Cons: You might not earn a lot of profit from this depending on the market price, so it's always good to wait until the market rate of the goods are around 100%. Also, you might need crafts/alcohol/fabric trading skill in order to fully capitalize on this route. What I do is I normally travel to Syracuse, farm for some ESBTs while stocking up on 50 of the goods before going back to England so I can get the most out of it (selling ESBTs and the specialty goods at the same time)

4. Want battle levels? Try the Colosseum at Rome
Why: If you ever get bored from grinding ESBTs, you can just head to Naples, take the carriage to Rome and enter the Colleseum and fight for battle experience, fame and Roman Coins (which you can use to exchange for items there). I find this method to be much easier than sea battles because our trade ships are not quite battle worthy to begin with and there's no risk of having your ship durability destroyed or cargo get plundered when you're battling with sea pirates. it's also relatively fast too. In addition to that, it a;so partly raises your trade experience at the same time
Cons: I can't think of any. Might be a little slow only

the least risk place to train your battle

5. Remember to do research at Oxford
Why: You get extra skills and you don't have too invest too much energy into it
How: just go to Oxford and take up any research that may interest you and be sure to read the details about the requirements that you need to fulfill. They're mostly easy requirements though like use the procurement skill or buy alcohol goods which you'll be doing anyway
Cons: The amount of research skills you can have active at one time is pathetic. And you need to use credits if you want to change skills

6. Practice sewing
Why: With wool easily available in London and Edinburgh, and chickens, eggs and sheep being sold in Helder, you can just travel between these few places leveling up your sewing while earning tons of profits in no time. Of course, you must get the right combination of skills to make it easier. Besides, out of all the production skills out there, I find sewing to have the highest cost/benefit return and it is also the easiest to master too
How: Learn sewing by changing your job to one that has it as a favored skills, eg: accountant or yarn trader. Level it up to at least level 3 by plucking chickens and processing wool (travelling back and forth between Zadar and Ancona is a good idea) using Fabric Secrets -Hardware then buy Fabric Secrets - Cloth and go back to Helder when you have level 3 sewing. 
Buy chickens and sheep, pluck/process it, then head to London and make woolen cloth (knitted fabric at level 4) and sell it. Repeat the process while travelling to Edinburgh. 
With the right set of skills (lifestock trading and textile trading), you can earn a decent amount of profit by buying, processing and reselling all at the same city. With storage, food trading and Traveller's food procuring skills, you can even hatch eggs to become chicken and start plucking. An even more advanced one would be to use Lifestock secrets - Poultry to produce chicken and duck from egg and every time you get critical produce, you can infinitely increase your cargo. I don't do that though because I find it troublesome
Cons: The first 3 levels is gonna be difficult without the right skills but once you reach level 3 with textile trading, you can just buy loads of wool and increase your profits and skills in no time

7. Trade route from England to West Africa
Why: The best trade route after England to Italy. If you can get 4 different specialty items at one go (50 each again), the amount of exp and fame you'll get is tremendous. The specialty item from West Africa, diamond, can net you a good return too when you sell it in England
How: Buy 4 different specialty items from Northern Europe in 50 sets each. Sail to Sierra Leone at least and sell it there or the other ports nearby, after Sierra Leone. Keep sailing between the few different ports (Sierra Leone, Abijan, Saint Georges and Luanda) and keep buying diamonds and incense (Sierra Leone) until you get at least 50 each. Then sail back to England and enjoy. I leveled up 2 trade levels just from doing this in two days. You'll get about 1000+ xp in just one trip, which is a lot as compared to Europe trading.
Cons: West Africa is in hostile waters so there's a possibility that player pirates may attack you. I've not been attacked by players so far but the amount of NPC pirates there are scary too. Bring loads of ceasefire agreements just to be safe. Avoid battles at all cost because at level 20+ in trade with a trade ship and no battle skills, you stand no chance against them. Trust me
Additional note: You can also get a private farm from this trip. Just visit the Ascension island south of Saint Georges and you're all set to go

So there you have it. A rough guide on how to survive as an newbie English trader. Not necessarily all correct, but that's how I've been able to make it so far. Hopefully the next time I write I'll be level 28 with a trade galleon already and heading to the east for some serious trading. I hope


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