Ah goods, the item type in this game that tends to be the most lucrative. After all, you need them for GE (both to unlock levels and to possibly negotiate with), you need them for your tech tree, you need them for quests, you might need them for the continent map, your guild might need them for GvG, and you’ll need them to put up Great Buildings. That’s a lot of uses! Enough so that there is a way to trade FPs for goods, so that you can do more stuff, easier.
Make no mistake, it’s not easy to master goods just to keep yourself going on a personal level. You really need to learn some solid resource management to make it work smoothly, and even then you might hit some hiccups. To actually master them to be able to supply others in your guild with goods, sell them, or farm them for GvG… that’s a whole other level of mastery. When it comes to that, you’re aiming to be a Quartermaster.
There are likely many ways to go about this, but for this I can only speak from my own experience. Starting in the game, I knew nothing and had even less, but I was determined to be entirely self-sufficient. When I started, this wasn’t the worst idea since GE didn’t exist yet, and at that time GvG wasn’t on the radar for the guild. So goods weren’t quite as valuable, and no one was building ahead-of-age GBs. It made it very easy for me to be self-sufficient.
What started out as wanting to be self-sufficient turned into me wanting to hoard goods. To this day I am known as the hoarder in my guild, but it has proven to be very useful for helping my guild mates out. As we all know, one of the most important things to being a good guild mate, is to be helpful where you’re able. For a while I didn’t really understand how I had become the trading powerhouse that I am now, so I had to sit down and consider it. I think I’ve figured it out though.
First and foremost, realize that this is over a year’s worth of efforts. Getting to be this flush with goods is not something that is going to happen overnight. You also need to be prepared for others to tell you that your town is running too many goods buildings, and too many supply shops. For many play styles this will be true, but that doesn’t mean this play style is wrong, so don’t worry too much about that.
Before you can be flush with goods, you have to have a strong military base. You’ll even want to aim to be able to fight all 48 as best as you can, because the less goods you spend in GE means the more goods you have to work with. The same is true with the continent map, the more you can fight on it, the less you need to spend in goods on it. This is key. So get the fighting trifecta (Zeus, COA, and CDM), and level it adequately.
Your other golden GBs will be LoA and St. Mark’s. The only one not really recommended of the goods producers is RAH because of the large footprint. Ideally though, pick two, maybe three, and no more. You want some, but not too many. Space is at a premium, and you’re not purely a town to farm goods at this point.
Aside from being able to fight as much as possible, and having some extra goods producers in GBs and perhaps some event buildings (as you win them), your main thing is to run goods buildings that you have the boost for. Generally speaking, you only need to run one for each boost, but you need to run them for a long time. That doesn’t mean just for a few days after you age up, that means until you need the space for something else. I ran every goods building I could, from Bronze Age to Industrial, for as long as possible. As you notice a shortage in goods in your guild, if you have the boost and some space, you might consider building an extra goods building for a bit. Mainly though, just consistently producing everything you can is key.
You don’t want to age up too fast, either. Sitting for a bit in an era while running GBs that produce goods means you make extra of the goods for that era. Same for winnings in GE, and items from the Treasure Hunt and Incidents. Build those coffers!
Now, for the key to all of this… setting a goal amount. To do this effectively you will have to be a little bit frugal and selfish. It is for a good cause in the long run, so it’s okay. You need to decide how many goods will serve as your “empty” point. Obviously you won’t be out of goods, but you need a reserve to be able to spend to make more. Unlike a bank and cash, you cannot just get a loan of goods that you’ll pay off later. If you don’t have them, you can’t spend them.
In my case, I’ve set my “empty” point at 1,000 of any one good. I do my very best to not let my goods drop below that level, and if they do I try to top off in whatever way I can. Sometimes this means trading, and other times I try to go plunder some from my neighborhood. That’s not to say that I won’t spend goods to help out a guild mate because I’m below 1,000; on the contrary I will, but only if they absolutely need it. So for example, if my whale oil was at 873, I would not give any to someone who was just balancing inventory, but I would give some to someone who needed help finishing a quest. This is how you become frugal. In the mean time, I try to build the goods back up.
Having a lot of goods on hand, means you have a lot of goods to play with. With this many goods, one becomes able to trade up to get some more lucrative items, and trade down to increase coffers in other areas. Often times you’ll find that people will offer you sweetened deals to get a hold of goods they no longer make, giving you the ability to make even more goods because of this. As an example, if you have LMA goods, and someone really needs LMA, they might trade you their Indy goods to get them. That’s an extremely good rate, and it means you can make back what you gave away, plus interest. It’d work because 10 Indy goods are worth 40 LMA goods, but Inno will only let them be traded for 20 LMA goods. Meaning you’re making out like a bandit, because you can trade those 10 Indy goods for 20 CA goods, which will turn into 40 LMA goods. So you gave away 20, to get 40 back.
This holds true for bringing goods in from the outside, too. You’ll be able to post more trades working either up or down to a target age that the guild needs, either for treasury or members, and let your friend’s list and neighborhood help pick them up. Since you have a lot of goods, you won’t be in danger of running out and getting into a pickle. Since you won’t be the one needing a lot of trades, you’re essentially going to boost the guild economy. You are becoming the bank that didn’t really exist before. You are the Quartermaster.
I’ve found, personally, that this becomes very lucrative at Industrial Era. It starts in Colonial, but Indy is where it really shines. Many people need to trade down for Indy goods, which gives you a lot of access to ahead-of-age goods, which in turn trade down well, too. I’ve done all of this without Dynamic Tower, either.
Since you’ll be producing what you have boosts for, too, you keep stimulating your guild economy with those goods, as you get other goods to store and stay balanced. Eventually you have enough to start funding lower-age buildings for your guild mates, and potentially sell goods from eras closer to your own. In rare instances, you may be able to build ahead-of-age GBs for folks, if you’re as careful with your goods as possible.
The important thing to find though is balance. You don’t want to hoard so much that you put your guild in a bind. Nor do you want to have pages and pages of trades up to make this happen, because you’ll crash your guild’s economy. This is a slow process of building to get situated. You’re looking at a minimum of one to two months in any era to build goods up, and trade them around, and not deleting any goods buildings until you cannot sustain them anymore or until you have way more of a good than you feel you’ll ever possibly use (my top hit 8,000 before I noticed and deleted). Even then, remember that if a shortage crops up you can replant the goods building.
As you grow to be a Quartermaster, you also grow a new responsibility; because with great power comes great responsibility. You’re going to be the one that does a lot to help out your guild with goods. Not necessarily as a farmer, but as someone who helps their guild mates solidify their towns and build GBs. You’re going to be someone who can make a huge difference in how far some can go in GE, because you’ll have the goods they need. And if the guild treasury really does need help, you’ll have the ability to move goods around to help get them what they want. Once you have a lot of goods, it’s imperative that you share them, because that’s the point of being a Quartermaster.
Everyone will do their part to help out, naturally. This will just happen to be your niche. And since you will want to maintain the ability to fight, regardless, you can still work to help out in GvG, and wreck stuff in PvP if you want.