Notice: user based guideEdit
This is an opinion based guide which is only that: an opinion. Read it, try to understand it and act like you think is appropriate. Also see other guides.
Play from 100 to 200 without tokens.
Once you get past level 100, you will have to move to the Bazaar, which costs 500k gold. This is a lot at this level, and took me several days of selling without gaining experience. If possible, avoid large expenses from level 90 on. Up to this point, most of your money comes from questlines and sales of things your crafters make. Starting around level 100, this will start to shift to getting a lot from adventurers.
My suggestion is to spend most of your skill points in adventurer and merchantile skill, with maybe some in leader. I put a bunch in silver tongue, but other say that is a waste. If you have deviated greatly from that, this guide may not be effective.
Adventurers will request an item to go on a quest, and depending on what you give them, their chances of success will vary. The value of what they return is dependant on what they ask for, so it doesn't make sense to give them something more valuable then they ask for, and with enough point in adventurer skill, it makes a lot of sense to give them something much cheaper then they ask for.
Adventures seem to do best if you give them the same class of item that they ask for, or the type of item their class really wants. Since you won't have a lot of rare materials until things get working, you shouldn't give an item that uses rare ingredients, so your choice of what to give is somewhat limited. Some of the best items to work on are:
- Skull crusher: while it uses 8 elfwood, which will drain your bin quickly, it only requires the carpenter, and is fairly high value for when you can research it. It is also usable by a large number of classes.
- Vial of mana: also only requires the sorcerer, is high value, and is usable by everyone. Downside is that the success rate is often lower.
- Perfect leather: only requires the tailor, is high value, and is useable by a large amount of classes.
- Fine great sword: only requires the blacksmith, is high value, and is a reward for the spoiled crops quest. However it requires 20 steel, and a long time, it will be while before you can afford to make enough for questers.
- Double flute: Can only be used by singing axe or bard, but is quick and cheap to build by only a carpenter, and is high value.
- Ebony bow/Composite bow: these two can only be used by archers, barbarians, and berzerkers, but are high value, cheap to build, and only require a carpenter.
- Rich cloak: high value, cheap to build, usable by a large group of classes, and only requires a tailor.
Adventurers that succeed will bring back gold, rare ingredients, or finished goods. I think they determine how much $ to bring back, and then pick from those items to get close to that value. There seems to be a limit of 20 rare ingredients. There does not seem to be a limit to gold, but the value of the finished goods seems to be the highest value of any reward. The fist time one returns with a dragon tooth is pretty amazing.
Then, you have to sell the items they bring back to you. The most likely way to do that is with suggestion. This is where merchantile and silver tongue skills and/or shop improvements will help. It also helps to offer items of the same class, and not wildly different in price. Some items like staves and instruments seem to collect because there are not a lot of buyers, these it makes sense to suggest even if a buyer is not offering a premium. More commonly usable items you should wait for a buyer offering a premium.
Level 200 (and beyond)Edit
At higher levels, you will find you cannot make much money by making and selling items, you will have to give lots of quests, gather rewards, and sell those for big profits. I find that some days I sell nothing, other days I sell enough to go up 2 or 3 levels (500 to 1000k). For this reason, you should never use all of your money on something, always leave yourself a good cushion. It also makes sense to stop selling your cheaper items, instead save those for giving to questers.