View Full Version : The Fine Art of Making Money

03-30-2014, 05:28 PM
As a long-time lurker on this set of forums, I've seen some interesting comments on the art of making money (usually through diplomacy -- Tuidjy, in particular).

Though I've played around at making money, I've not become exceptionally good at it.

Clearly, it takes a great deal of income to "chip up" and buff equipment to the highest level. I have the feeling that none of my ships are performing at even close to their full potential.

I'm be curious about the tactics that some of you folks have used for that purpose. Drops and quests only get you so far, evidently.

(As an aside, those of you succeeding with "command zero" ships have my real admiration. That's tough!)


03-30-2014, 08:18 PM
You ask such hard questions. ;) All I can say is selling tech to a rich race can net some big bucks. I hope others will chime in.

03-31-2014, 12:56 AM
Most my money comes from quests. Once you have a good ship, start a world 10 or 20 lvls higher then you are and go around killing everything you can and cash in the quests. This is also a good way of getting components for your ship and some to sell. Try to avoid bad relations with anyone and don't have good relations past non aggression pack. Start a new world when relations get bad.

If your ship is put together well you should be able to burn the monsters, npcs will be much harder

03-31-2014, 03:09 AM
Doing quests brings in some credits. Even do quests for enemies as well, just have to avoid annoying your allies too much if you do that. Mostly though I tend to pick up elite, artificat and legendary item drop to sell. If I've already won the sector, I'll take any and all quests that make some easy credits or experience.

03-31-2014, 02:55 PM
This question takes a guide to answer, really. I cannot think of any way to say much that is both useful and concise.

The trick to making huge amounts of money is to shape the sector so that there is a ton of money to be made. Of course, while doing so, I'm not above stopping and picking up the kill quests and loot drops, either.

So, as you are going through with your master plan, take the time to use marines to kill veterans, elites and bosses, and sell the loot.

As for the master plan, the best one depends on the politics in the sector. You cannot force every sector in a particular lucrative configuration, and even when you can, it costs money to do so, thus you really do not want to try to force a particular combination of races into the wrong political situation.

For example, do not base your plan on having the Dryad and Cyborgs fighting against the Pirates and Cortex. It would take a lot of credits to get these two pairs to ally, and they will fall apart as soon as you take your hands off them. Instead, engineer an alliance between the Dryad and the Cortex, and the cheapest way to do that is to get them in a shooting war against the same enemy.

So what are the lucrative sectors? There are many types, and you need to play for awhile to get a feel which one you should be going for. By the way, some sectors just roll a bad combination of races. As a home rule, I play every sector to win, but you may want to leave such sectors if you want to make money as fast as possible.

1) Everybody tolerates everybody. Happens once in a blue moon, usually when the Dryads and Talons are doing the heavy diplomatic lifting, and the other races are peaceful (as opposed to Shadow, Brunt, Fringe and their subraces) Here you are best off questing, and getting a legend win as quickly as possible.

2) No one likes anyone too much - simmering tensions. Here you make money with diplomacy. Make sure you never go to war with anyone whose quests you do not have banked, and try to stop wars with rumors. Here is the way to prosper: have NAPs with everyone.

When two races are about to fight, and they both like you, they will try to bribe you to break the NAPs. Take the cash. When they start shooting, use rumors to make the attacked one to sue for peace. It will fail, but at that point, the attacked one will temporarily tolerate you turning in quests with the attacker. So get paid to attack the attacker, turn in quests to make the attacker like you again, make peace, and use rumors to get the attacker to make peace. So you just got paid a few times, and the pair is at peace again.

Rince and repeat. While the tension are only simmering, complete quests and bank them, so that you have leverage, and so that the races can be rich - the richer they are the more you profit from the wars.

3) Everyone united against an enemy. Those happen because of karma events, or because you engineered it. If the targeted race is a wimpy one, they will probably die quickly. Do not try to help them. You may succeed, but you Won't make much money doing so. Race ships are tough, and killing them is not all that lucrative, especially if you only have one market for the loot. You can't be everywhere, so the beleaguered race's will suffer too much damage when you are questing for them.

The situation is completely different if the target race is an Ancient race, T/O/L, or even a strong standard (Scavenger, Fringe, etc...) that can hold their own in combat. Clear a sector for them, make a pass around each planet to heal the defenders, and clear up the opposition, and go questing. An isolated, beleaguered race has the best quests: colonize and defend, resurrect, unleash bosses/ancients, start plagues and recessions, those quests pay as much as twenty normal quests! The hard part here is not to get a Economic win too quickly, which is why I bank quests until I'm near a fear win, and then I turn in all of them at once, sometimes racking in tens of millions (high level sectors, obviously)

Pff, another long post...

Clearly, there are other sectors - the delivery service sector, the single race kicking ass sector, the tons of kill quest sector, etc... But basically, guys, you need to get a feel for the sector dynamics to really milk the credits.


By the way, an important piece of advice. Rumors work best when you can land on the planet, and talk to people who like you. If you have to broadcast while orbiting an hostile planet and dodging shots from its defender, rumors are costly and inefficient.

In game terms, if you have to use the race relation interface to start rumors, you are doing it wrong!

03-31-2014, 09:25 PM
Tuidjy, I appreciate your advice, and the effort you took to write it. I've been trying to distill the general principles involved in this area, and your response gives a somewhat better idea.

There's a good basis for doing some experiments. For example, I can apply what you've discussed to deciding what profile of gates to purchase early in the process of exploring a new sector.

I'm just starting to appreciate the full range of what can be done with rumors in that kind of situation, and sabotage, as well.

Even though one of my ships finally achieved level 100 (last week) just by bashing through sectors, I'm not feeling very "smart" yet (e.g., Brunt and "bash" are synonyms of a sort).

It is a tribute to the designers that Drox is relatively simple to play on a superficial level, but has some interesting depth and complexity.

03-31-2014, 09:54 PM
I did not really start appreciating diplomacy until I started playing command zero ships.

With a normal ship (big hull, tons of components) you simply destroy everything that approaches - even defended planets melt under your fire within a second. But when you are relatively small and weak, you actually need allies, and not just in the sense 'People whose enemies I obliterate'.

With a command zero ship, there are enemies that you simply cannot handle in a fair fight. You can't really stay and fight it out with 4-5 race ships, either. So you have to work with the races, and you really get to feel like a small merc in a big universe.

This said, hardcore command zero is grueling, and most people probably won't enjoy it. I must have lost a dozen level 25+ ships before I got one to level 100. But everyone should find their sweet spot. How high you allow command to get is the real challenge.

08-12-2014, 09:33 PM
I found a quite easy way to get alot of money and a economic win in 15 minutes out of a sector. The money is plundered and the win achieved even before every system of the tiny sector is visited!

It is done in several steps. Before i start to explain, some basics:

First i suggest to add the 10 races mod:
(More races = more money!)

Then i suggest to have a galaxy with ancients in it. Whenever ancients try to spread, let em and ensure that they emerge (win sector, when race is alive)! Ancients give much money with my method!

Now to the method:

1. Make a TINY sector with FAST PACE at highest possible level (where you actually can survive without too much trouble!) and maximum number of races. The galaxy should contain as much ancient races as possible. Use this galaxy never for diplomatic peaceful things. Bad relations are money! Do not get rewards of any quests!!! Collecting rewards starts wars early and ruins the outcome. Rewards will be collected at end!

2. When you begin the sector, start to move in one direction through the center of the sector to the rim and try to encounter some races. But fly straight, you dont need to search any race in this step. Shoot any boss and enemy you encounter, but do not deviate too much from direct way towards rim. Time is money, don't waste it with flying outside of direct routes. Follow rim to first gate and enter.

3. Cross the next sector in the middle until the end.

4. You should have found at least 2-3 races. Open now trade menue and sell and buy all racial contacts. (To Sell and buy you should click "What makes this trade possible?", it saves much time) After this step you should know half of the races and all should know each other. Mostly some races are isolated from the others for a longer time. Thats, why you have to fly forward. You need to find the others.

5. Fly now along the rim to next gate, enter, ... cross system and fly along rim to next gate.... do this for about 2-5 minutes. Then repeat step 4 once again.

6. Now you should know almost every race in this sector. Wait another 5 minutes and continue to shoot things or make quests and stuff (racial services, buying stuff, scavenge...). Now the races should have started some wars. The more you repeated this method in the galaxy, the more wars you should see. When you did not take any reward of a quest, you should not be in a war with any of the races.

7. Open trading window again. From the point of starting trading on do not close relation window until you have pulled out all money and took all quest rewards afterwards.

8. Leave the trading window and wait for "economic win" message (if successful). Then go to next sector (if you did not win, its your decision, what to to).

Now check the races with wars. When one race has no or less money, check the respective opponents. Offer to one opponent in a trade to make a war against the other opponent and click "what would make this trade possible".
You should now see a nice amount of money offered.

When all races have money, you need to decide, which one you "sell" first. You can compare the offers with the offers of other races. Less relation between opponents means more money. I suggest to plan a bit ahead and think about in which order you sell the wars before you actually offer and accept trades. You can also use the increasion of relation from solving quests to make peace treaties after selling wars and sell the war again to others.

You could wait a while to let relations worsen, but races waste their money continously, so the outcome will fall at some point because more and more races run out of money. You need to try out, when the time for selling wars is good. Try to sell wars to as much opponents as possible. Then solve the remaining quests. Now leave the window. If you have done it right, you should get an economic win and some extra credits. In this way you can get in a level 200 sector an average of about 2,5 - 3,5 million in 15 minutes. When you miss the optimum times for the steps or too few wars are running, the outcome can be much lower. If you work good timed and got some luck, it can be much higher. My best result is 7,9 million (+ the additional 398 k reward for economic win) in 20 minutes in one sector.

Sometimes it may happen, that the galactic karma "Antileader" makes anyone become allied and enemy of you. It is not that worse. Its even a good thing, when you did, what i said. As soon as you see the antileader, you do following:

1. Open trading window immediately, or you will get less money (ancients do not keep the valuable alliances for more than some seconds)!
2. Take all quest rewards.
3. Check, which enemy gots money and try to make peace with ONE of your enemies with money (peace treaty).
4. Now choose in trading window instead "declare war with" the option "make peace with" and choose someone who does also have money. Click "what does make this trade possible". You get now a nice offer. Repeat until the faction got not enough money anymore and then proceed to sell peace treaties to the other allies until you are in peace with all.
5. Leave the trading window and wait for "economic win" message (if successful). Then go to next sector (if you did not win, its your decision, what to to).

01-07-2015, 07:19 AM
Why does nobody mention demands?

The best way I've found to make money is to quest for a race until maxed out in relations, then demand they give you all of their money. Depending on the race, you can demand more or less... and I think how much they will have afterward also plays a part. You lose some reputation for making demands, then you quest some more to get the reputation back, and then demand more money until they're out of it.

Just make sure you don't plan on that race expanding afterwards, because they won't.