I started playing This War Of Mine on July 22, 2016. It's pretty fun, eh? I am on Windows 7 / Steam, if it matters to my edits. My game is auto-updated via Steam. My trade values and most other notes and work were done early to mid August 2016.
For more on what I'm doing / have done with TWoM, see this blog entry.
Leave a message if you like, but if there hasn't been any activity from me in a while, I have probably moved on to another game.
57 year old nerd in Atlanta GA USA.
- 1 Economics Information for This War Of Mine
- 1.1 Important Update by KinectNinja
- 1.2 Item Prices
- 1.2.1 Reasons for Confusion
- 1.2.2 The Franko Standard and the Prices Table
- 1.2.3 The Frank (₣) As Game Currency
- 1.2.4 The Transaction Fee
- 1.2.5 Examples of Transactions
- 1.2.6 Problematic Transactions
- 1.3 Traders
- 1.4 Profitability
- 1.5 Wholistic Economic Strategy
- 1.6 Reminder to Visit KinectNinja's User Page
Economics Information for This War Of Mine
The following work was done on the autoupdated Steam PC version v. 2.2.2 early and mid August 2016. I do not have, and did not test, The Little Ones. I only started playing TWoM July 22 and don't know why my values sometimes conflict with what has been posted, albeit usually by a very small amount. Because it may be due to platform differences, and because I don't want to spend time making pages look good when I may have it wrong anyway, I don't want to edit values all over the wiki. I am just going to post all my info here on my pages.
I suspect my values differ only because values changed over time (game updates) and hopefully are more stable now. And because I have done a much more exacting analysis, complete with .5 granularity. But this is only a guess.
I will be posting all my trade information, then moving onto another game. Probably in a few days or weeks. I leave it up to others to copy this to the rest of the wiki if and when it seems to work for everybody on other platforms, etc. (Or if not, then it can be copied out with a note that this is for Steam.)
-RedKnight7, Aug. 23, 2016 (the date I first posted this info, but I will undoubtedly tweak it some after that)
Important Update by KinectNinja
In February 2019, KinectNinja posted important and useful additions for TWoM economics and gameplay on his User page.
If anyone wants a good handle on TWoM economics and ensuing suggested game play, I recommend learning my info (below) for a strong foundation in TWoM economics. And then seeing KinectNinja's page for many more useful insights, including where I had overlooked or ignored quite a few things.
I focused purely on understanding how it works. KinectNinja goes on to explore how it can be implemented and exploited in a bunch of ways.
Well done, KinectNinja!
- -- This section inserted Jan. 2020. This is the only non-trivial change I've made to this page since writing it, Aug. 2016.
Reasons for Confusion
The developers instituted a system which in theory is simple, but the way it throws in a number of little rules makes it very hard to get a handle on precisely what's going on. Some of the reasons:
- Of course, the game does not have a currency, and doesn't inform you of the value of your trade, unlike most games. This alone makes it exponentially more difficult to pin down the economics. One has to create a "barter equivalency" system, which is what I did (below).
- Your offer (on the left side of trade table) MUST be more than what's on the right side, even if by the smallest granular amount in the game (.5). Call it a transaction fee. The little fee has surely confused many a player because it seems like costs keep changing (but the difference is whether it's on the left side or right side of the table). Or things cost less in bulk (but it's just the fixed fee distributed across multiples). You can clearly see where some price lists around the net don't mention the fee and got this factor wrong sometimes.
- In rare instances when rounding is exactly right, there is no fee. So it saves you .5 once in a blue moon. More on this below.
- One of the most common items one might use - the Components - has two different price rates, which you can say is four prices if you add Winter pricing on top of it (2x2=4). (Actually considerably more than that due to different trader rates. More on this later.) Unless players are aware of all this (probably not so much before now), your values (if you measure by Components) would seem to vary for no reason, confounding attempts to determine prices.
- If you have the same thing on the left as on the right (say, Medicines), it will not be subject to any rate changes (unlike anything else on the table). Identical items always trade at 1:1. It's one more cause for confusion if you're not aware of it; sometimes things will seem marked up (or down), but other times there's not as much of an apparent overall rate applied (if some of the items on the table are identical.)
- Also, trying to sell weapons and armor, or wood or fuel, TO a trader causes a hefty one-sided markdown (you lose).
- Books seem to always(?) be worth twice as much on the right side of the trade table, as the left. (1.5 versus 3.0 or, in winter, perhaps 4.5 versus 9.0.)
- Different traders have different rates of exchange.
- Surely at least some prices have changed over time (game updates), which has led to old prices on this wiki and elsewhere. Leading to more confusion, especially when prices are hard to get a handle on already.
I'm not complaining. No, the developers have done a good job of making a somewhat complicated and confusing system, but they actually only have a modicum of moving parts under the hood. What else would one expect in a city under seige using a barter system, except something messy? So I'm not complaining. It is what it is. And honestly, most people do just fine without understanding the economics well.
Taken all together, it's no surprise there are lots of questions and confusion and little clarity about pricing and trade. Even though I sunk weeks into documenting trades to come up with what I have, I still probably got a few things wrong or missed a few things. Be that as it may, now there is a good foundation for others like you to improve upon in the future.
The Franko Standard and the Prices Table
Because the game has no currency per se and prices can be quite variable, a standard is needed. In this case, there's a pretty obvious one: Franko's prices (outside winter). Unlike other traders, Franko always has a 1:1 trade rate. He does not mark your stuff up or down relative to his. But he does still require a token fee.
None of these prices include Katia's bargaining skill. For her, with Franko and with every other trader, she gives a 1.2 markup. So, for example, if she wants 12 components, she could buy them with 10 water. (For extra credit after you've read all this - or just try it in the game - Does Katia obviate the need for the 0.5 fee in this example?)
|Broken Assault Rifle||10.0||1||10.0|
- Varies: If this column has a letter, the price for this item depends on:
- A for Arms: Weapons and Armor sold TO all traders except Franko and Viktor suffer from significant reductions,as shown in the Trader info below. As the column shows, the game does not consider knives, the Scoped Rifle, and other weapon-related ammo / (broken) / parts for this treatment. Just the three guns and two armors noted.
- S for Shortage: This is one of the Shortages items (coffee, cigs, and veggies but not alcohol AFAIK).
- M for Medicine: Matey pays a 50% bonus for the three meds.
- * for Asterisked: These special items have particular rules including increased winter prices and, for wood and fuel, assymetric selling (you get a steep markdown if you sell them to anyone but Franko). The Components and the Book are their own little stories, as explained elsewhere.
The Frank (₣) As Game Currency
It would be very helpful if there were some type of currency (think: dollars, Euros). It just so happens that there is a major nation's type of currency that happens to sound a lot like Franko's name. And best of all, it's conveniently not being used by said major nation at the moment.
I propose we call the game currency Franks denoted by ₣ (or just a free standing regular F). Franks instead of Frankos (and not Francs either) sounds more natural to me, and making it different clarifies that you're talking about the currency, not the guy.
The Transaction Fee
All trades require that your (left) side be greater than the right side. It can be as small as the .5 minimum granularity, or as high as you want. Savvy traders will play with a little water, sugar, coffee, or whatever to get it to the closest .5. For example, if you can buy something with 4 ₣ but not 3, see if 3.5 will work (2 water and 1 sugar).
With Franko versus regular survivors (not Katia), the 1:1 nature of trades plus a minimum of .5 fee is very obvious. This is because it is 1:1. But with other traders - when the transaction rate is not 1:1 - the fee will usually be lower than .5 (assuming you are get the fee as low as you can, as usual). This is because when you are on a sliding scale (and not 1:1) and all you need to do is be higher than the other side (not necessarily .5 per se), then 0.5 becomes the max you need to pay.
Consider a trader whose rate is 0.833 (a.k.a. 1/1.2 or 5/6). What you need to pay (your side of table) will rise as follows, then get rounded up to the nearest .5. Remember, you have to pay ever so slightly more than 1.2 times their true value:
|1 / App.
- * Fee is actually 0 at these points - see text
For the first row, if the true value on the trader's side was 1.0, and you are paying a 20% markup because the rate is .833 (the inverse of 1.2), you would have to pay 1.5 even though 1.2 would be enough to break even. You always have to pay more than the break even amount.
The "Apparent Rate" means that, because you paid 1.5 for something worth 1.0, it appears that you are only getting 66 cents on your dollar (1.0/1.5 = 2/3). The inverse of this is easier to grasp mentally - the fact you're paying 1.5 times its actual value. But that's only what it appears to be, when the true value is 1.0. As the true value increases, the fee decreases a lot as a percent of the total value. Ultimately though, the absolute value of the fee is simply bouncing between 0.1 and 0.5. It has to be at least 0.1 because your side has to be greater than the other side.
As you can see, with a sliding scale of 0.833, you actually only pay the full 0.5 fee a fifth of the time; most of the time it's less. The average here is 0.3, in fact. (Not .25, because you can't get down to 0.0 as one of the possibilities.)
When is there no Fee?
There is one specific circumstance when you don't have to pay a fee. It's when your break-even (as shown in table) is even on the right, and an exact amount (with no decimal) for both sides of the equation. In the table above, it happens when you are paying 6.0 (for true value 5.0), 12.0 (for 10.0), 18.0 (for 15.0), etc. You otherwise would have owed a "fee" of 0.5 at these points. For other vendors not trading at an 0.833 rate, the break points occur at other places. Use a spreadsheet to find even, exact amounts owed.
- A few traders (Bojan, Olek, Pytor) do not have evenly divisible rates, and I presume they have no points where there are no fees. I have not tested all possible wrinkles fully.
Why does this happen? I figure it's an oversight of sorts. The designers threw in a lot of monkey wrenches to the barter system to make it hard to get a handle on, just like you'd expect for a city under seige (see Reasons For Confusion). You have to be careful when programming math that does rounding. Maybe they simply missed it at these points. But then, what fool's going to dig so deeply into their deliberately problematic bartering system to find this tiny detail? (cough, laugh) It's beneath worrying about. Still... there it is.
Unless you are using Katia, you will not see the no-fee break points with Franko. That's because, if you're always at 1:1, there isn't anywhere to have rounding.
Examples of Transactions
In case it helps, here are some examples of transactions.
With Franko and a regular (non-Katia) survivor, you will always be performing a 1:1 transaction, plus a small fee on your side. Here's a common initial transaction with Franko, if you have a Bandage to spare:
1 Bandages (27.5 total) for 15 Components (15.0) and 8 Wood (12.0), 27.0 total
You paid your extra 0.5 fee, which is always required for 1:1 transactions. And you've filled all Franko's slots so your fee spreads as far as possible, while getting his all-important wood and components. (See Trading Tips below, for more on this.)
With most external traders, the rate is not 1:1. Here's Pavle versus Bojan (Military Outpost), getting a bonus for liquor:
3 Moonshine (3 x 13.5 = 40.5; 40.5 x .929 = 37.62 total) for 15 Weapon Parts (15 x 2.5 = 37.5 total)
Usually, Bojan applies a 1.4 divisor, as seen in the Trade table, but for alc and cigs, there's a 1.3 multiplier bonus. 1.3/1.4 = .929. As always, your final offer has to be larger than the other's. It squeaks by with .12 to spare.
Here's a complex one. Katia (1.2x) versus Ciorba (1/1.2) late in the game. In general, his divisor cancels Katia's multiplier, but watch the Components:
9 Ammo (9 x 3.5 = 31.5) + 4 Shells (4 x 1.0 = 4.0), 35.5 total for 28 components (28.0 -> 23.33) + 8 Sugar (8 x 1.5 = 12.0), 35.33 total
How come the overall equation isn't 1:1? Because we have found (to our surprise!) that Ciorba is doing the 1:1 Components price special. (You always have to be paying attention if you really want to understand trade. Price changes still sneak up even on me, after working with this information for weeks.) This causes Components to be fixed at 1:1 for regular survivors regardless of trader rate, which makes it 1:1.2 for Katia. (Katia ALWAYS multiplies EVERYTHING by 1.2.) So you are getting 1:1 on everything but Components, as expected when Katia's multiplier cancels his divisor - but you are getting 1:1.2 on his Components due to his special on Components. 28.0 reduced by 1.2 for Katia equals 23.33.
You only paid a fee of .17 here, not .5. You usually pay less than 0.5 in trades that are not completely 1:1.
There is an odd phenomenon associated with Components and Parts that sometimes they can be bought for 1:1 from external traders, even when the rest of the items the trader sells are at the rates shown in the Trade table. (Franko is an exception; he's always 1:1.) I only noticed this late in my testing and was not able to find enough of a pattern to it to say when it happens, but it definitely does happen, fairly often. (I generally didn't test with Components much because they can only squeeze ~4 ₣ in one trade socket. The greater the value you trade, the more precise your rates and conclusions will be when testing.) As an incredibly rough guess, 50% of the time. We may be talking about a global event here such that - oh, I don't know, this is only something to toss out - maybe halfway through the game, all traders make these basics more affordable, because the player is starting to run out of new locations to hit.
I got the impression that external traders all did it at the same time or none did, but it's only a loose observation, I could be wrong. But these are musings; I really can't say when it happens. I leave it to others to find a pattern.
- It seemed to be true for Olek as well as others, which led me to believe it's not a 1.2 markup, but in fact causes values to become 1:1. (Most traders use a 1.2 rate divisor; Olek's is 1.3.)
- My notes say that I saw it with Components but not Parts for Mateo (Central Square) and Olek (St. Marys). But for others that sold both, it was both.
In all honesty, I did not get a good handle on this. It does happen, but I don't know why or how often. However, I personally consider it a minor thing. If I have gone to the trouble to visit a trader to buy Components, I am probably going to buy them whether they are 1:1 or at the trader's usual lower rate.
Still, if people are aware of the issue and keeping an eye on it, maybe someone can figure out a pattern.
Weapons and Armor sold TO all traders except Franko and Viktor suffer from significant reductions, as shown in the Trade table. The game does not consider knives, the Scoped Rifle, and other weapon-related ammo / (broken) / parts for this treatment. Just the three guns and two armors noted in the Prices table ("A" in the "Varies" column).
I did not spend tons of time making sure I got the armaments markdowns precisely correct. Even if they get minor corrections, the bottom line remains that it's always best to sell those five items to Franko. If you can improve the table's accuracy, please do so.
Selling Wood and Fuel (and Books?), and Winter Prices
Very much as with weapons, external traders usually have very deep discounts on fuel, wood, and possibly books. I tried to detail them in the Trade table, but may not have gotten them all correct.
But just like with weapons, it's more of an academic observation than a practical one. You are rarely going to be selling these items to a trader, unless you are trying to dump stuff you can't carry at a location that has a trader. That's pretty rare for my style of play; I don't stick around and make so many trips that I have time to spare for dumping stuff. Better to hit some other new or less-looted location with lots of free stuff left, than re-visit places with only junk left. In theory I might do this very late in the game when most sites are pretty cleaned out, but by then, it doesn't matter much. I'd rather go buy more Components with all the alcohol I've made by then. Or whatever.
I am not 100% clear on what external traders charge what discounts for these three items, and whether it always affects all three or just some of them. If you get more precision or clarification, please modify the table or perhaps we should start another area for people to post data they have gathered. There may, in fact, be a number of rules at play here (prices going up and down at different times and for different traders). I don't really know and I don't particularly care. The facts remain that 1) players probably rarely sell these items, 2) Franko pays the best, and 3) if you're dumping at other locations, then you're dumping, and the bad price is whatever the bad price is.
So, as far as I'm concerned, it's now pretty well established that you get bad prices trying to sell these three things to external traders. And that's pretty much that.
When does Winter pricing start? Or end?
For a slight change of topic: These items are affected by winter price increases, as are Components. This is as good a place as any to note that I am pretty sure that Franko (and perhaps others) start showing winter price increases a day or three before actual winter arrives (when your rainwater distiller freezes up). At least for Components. Likewise, I am pretty sure he reverts back to warm prices 1-3 days before the actual thaw. Maybe other traders are the same.
Perhaps I should've paid closer attention to the radio; maybe it says when winter is coming, and in truth tells you just when the prices go up and down, if you know what announcement to look for. I leave that up to others to investigate. It should be simple if you correlate your radio log to prices (see, e.g., Shortages).
Books are strange. They seem to always be worth twice the amount of the right, as on the left. For example, before winter you can sell them for 1.5 ₣, but Franko sells them for 3.0 ₣. During winter, they may be marked up three times (4.5 on the left, 9.0 on the right). I swear I also have seen some other weird prices creep in, like 3.5 ₣ on the right (non-winter). But I have not devoted enough time to make sure I have everything right. Who really cares about a few books?
Suffice to say that books show particular weirdness in price.
The Trade Table (Table of Trader Rates)
Different traders have different rates of exchange. I present both the Rate and its inverse (1/Rate) because the inverse is often simpler to understand. Many have a rate of .8333, which is the same as saying that they divide the value of your items by 1.2. Or you could say they multiply your stuff by 5/6. It's all the same thing.
These are standard rates for most survivors. For Katia, multiply all the rates shown by 1.2.
For the headers, Comps are Components and Arms are the 3 guns and 2 armors with an "A" in the "Varies" column of the Prices table. (You can sort that table by hitting the little up/down arrows in the column headers.) Fuel usually includes Wood and may also include Books (it's not entirely clear). To me, Fuel items are some sort of "anti dumping" clause (penalizing you for dumping loot on a trader at that location, for things you don't carry home).
The column headers are stated as, for example, "You Buy Components" to help make clear which side of the trade is being spoken of. So, "You Buy Components" means when you buy components from the trader. That's all. The other direction simply uses the standard rate for everything else for that trader.
To be honest, the columns for selling arms and wood/fuel are not that relevant, because it's easy to avoid or manage if you want. And the Components column is just a reader aid, for this important item. Still, I investigated these things, and a table just like this is about the only way to present it. So there it is.
To read this table: If Ciorba has a rate of .8333 (inverse 1.2) it means that if you wanted to buy 10 components from him, you would have to offer 12 worth of something (something else). 12 x .8333 = 10. Plus, of course, you always have to pay slightly more than the other guy (the "fee"). That's not shown here.
The table is presented roughly in order of how useful these traders are, although in truth it depends on what you're trying to do. Matey and Bojan are actually toward the back of the pack unless you are selling them meds or booze and cigs.
|Location||Trader||Rate||1/Rate||You Buy Comps||You Sell Arms||You Sell Fuel||Notes|
|Our Shelter||Franko||1.0000||1.000||Plenty||At Rate||At Rate (1.00)||Everything bought and sold at cost (plus fee).|
|Garage||Matey||0.7692||1.300||Plenty||Rate / 1.9||/ 2.70?||Good if selling Meds, which get a x1.5 bonus (1.5/1.3=1.154 Rate). Pure Alcohol is not a med.|
|Military Outpost||Bojan||0.7143||1.400||Never sells||Rate /2 = .3584 (1/ 2.80)||Won't Take||Good if selling alc or cigs, which get a x1.3 bonus (1.3/1.4=0.929 Rate). But Weapon Parts are the only noteworthy thing he sells. See Footnotes for more on Bojan.|
|Hotel||Ciorba||0.8333||1.200||Plenty||Rate / 1.7
|Fuel and Wood
|This general trader has selection as good as Franko's.|
|Semi-Detached House||Vanya||0.8333||1.200||Plenty||Rate / 1.7
|Fuel and Wood
|This general trader has selection as good as Franko's.|
|Shelled School||Viktor||0.8333||1.200||Parts but no Comps?||At Rate||Fuel and Wood
|Has lots of cig ingredients. Meds, Alc regular rate. Viktor pays more for weapons than anybody but Franko.|
|Central Square||Mateo||0.8333||1.200||Comps but not Parts?||Rate / 1.7
|Won't Take||Sells general. Won't buy Comps, Fuel.|
|Central Square||Juro||0.8333||1.200||Never sells||Rate / 1.7
|Central Square||Petar||0.8333||1.200||Never sells||Rate / 1.7
|Sells cigs and alc|
|St Marys||Olek||0.7692||1.300||Comps but not Parts?||Rate x .7
|0.375||General trader. Does not buy Comps, Parts. Sells Comps at 1/1.3, Wood at 1.00 (!), Fuel at 1/1.3, but Buys both at 1/2.6 ((1/1.3)/2) - "Anti dumping" clause. Saw him sell books at 1.5 apiece once.|
|Brothel||Pytor||0.7143||1.400||Never sells?||At 1/2 (.5)||Fuel and Wood
|Has lots of QRUs.|
|Central Square||Bojana||0.7000||1.429||Never sells||At 1/2 (.5)||Wood
|City Hospital||Sandu||0.6250||1.600||Only 10 Comps?||Won't Take||Won't Take||See Footnotes for more on Sandu.|
Bojan at Military Outpost
- You can sell both types of alcs and all 3 cigs at a 1.3 bonus: 0.7143 x 1.3 = 0.929 (can also be stated as 1.3/1.4).
- You can buy SOME arms (weapons or armor) at cost, randomly. Each type gets a random roll. There's perhaps a 50% chance for any one item type to be on sale. It can be hard to see because he usually only sells 1 or 2 (which may not be on sale), but you can easily test it by selling/giving him many different types, then checking buy prices.
- Otherwise, all other goods (besides alc, cigs, intact armor and weapons) tested and at regular rate, including Weapon Parts, Ammo/shells/gunp., Damaged Vest, all meds, all foods, herbs, tobacco, tools, jewel.
- Horrific markdown if you try to sell the 5 Arms TO him (see "A" in "Varies" of Prices table). But no markdown for other knives / Scoped Rifle / etc.
Sandu at City Hospital
- Takes all 3 meds, canned and raw food but not vegs, both alcs, and jewels, NOTHING ELSE that I tried.
- Sells crowbar, shovel, 10 Comps, 3 Med. Ing., a few other things.
- If multiplied by 1.2, his rate is ~.75.
- He buys few things and has little of small value himself. With both sides locked down, it was hard to test his rates.
The way the game is structured, there seems little reason to use anyone but Franko once you know the game well.
- Franko gives the best rate of anyone for everything, except Matey if you sell medical stuff. Your map may not have Matey and even if it does, you wouldn't want to visit him constantly. A 15% price break spending a night just to sell to Matey pales compared to spending a night getting all the free stuff at other locations.
- Selling meds to Matey might be marginally good, but selling weapons, wood, and fuel to anyone but Franko is awful. Still, the wood products are a hassle to haul home. (And you're probably never going to sell them to Franko even then.)
- It is always possible you might want to get more Components (there are never enough if you're trying to produce things). If so, use one of the guys at 1/1.2.
- You might also hit Bojan for Weapon Parts, if you need them badly. Trade him cigs or booze.
- If you have time on a map with a trader, you might sell them excess stuff you can't bring home. For me this is a last resort once a location is thoroughly looted. On the first 2-3 visits to a location, your time is best spent gathering and juggling everything free to be had. Subsequent nights I'll visit other places with entire new vistas of free stuff. By the time I do have time to kill at a location, the game is pretty advanced and bartering a few odds and ends won't help much anyway.
All in all, Franko's the main guy. A possible exception is for Shortages, if you want to roll the dice.
If you have followed everything above, a light may have gone off in your head:
- Katia can swindle Franko out of almost everything he owns.
- Every time he shows up.
All Katia needs to do is go around in circles trading for Franko's stuff. It doesn't matter what you trade, as long as you don't have the same types of items on both sides of the table. (For example, don't have components on both the left and the right side of the trade table.) Because Katia always does better than 1:1, she will be taking him for up to 20% of each transaction. For the record, it's an instance of exponential decay, like radiation half-life. Katia can reduce Franko's inventory by close to 80% each trade (fee and table size notwithstanding); your first Vacuum trades will get you the most in terms of absolute value. As always, the more value you can get on the table, the better. (The fee gets stretched farther as a percent of total amount traded.) And as always, don't have the same items on both sides, or they'll cancel the discount.
Eventually you get to a point where her 20% difference is too tiny to worry about. Somewhere around 10 or 20 ₣, all depending on how long you want to keep doing transactions. It seemed like I was doing 2 or 3 dozen trades, which took up to a couple of hours of game time, before he had so little I gave up.
The Vacuum doesn't work with anyone else. Most traders have an 0.833 rate or worse; Katia's 1.20 advantage cancels the 0.833 and simply makes those guys 1:1. You have to do better than 1:1 to vacuum.
Matey is the only other place this might have been possible, with medical items. But if you sell him medical items, they disappear from his inventory. So you can't circularize his medical items. Ergo, you can't vacuum Matey. QED: Katia's vacuum only works on Franko.
I guess she really knows how to charm him!
If you vacuum with Katia, you will be doing so much trading that you might run into the Identical Item Bug.
The Identical Item Bug
I haven't tested in depth, but it appears that if you ever complete a trade with the same item on both sides of the equation, that item will become bugged and will no longer cause a beneficial rate reduction. Example: If Katia trades with Franko and has at least one Component on both the left side of the trade table and on the right side, Components will become bugged from that time onward. (You have to complete the trade for it to happen.)
In future trades, you will no longer get the 20% discount for Components, even if you only have Components on one side. Whether with Katia, or anyone else. Apparently, once the "identical" flag is thrown (for her or anyone else), it sticks for the rest of trading.
It was my impression that it stayed until that day or night ended. In other words, if you accidentally trigger it, it will affect all subsequent trading by anyone, for that particular day or night. Then it will reset (go away) when that day or night ends.
One more cause for confusion in this fun little game.
Here, I post all value-added items you can make, even though very few of them might actually be in the realm of something you'd make for profit, as it turns out. I did this just so we can all say, "we looked at all that, and most of it is pretty marginal profit-wise, or uses stuff I really need (like components). So now that we looked at it, I won't make most of this for profit".
All values are for using Bruno, for anything he affects. You are welcome to make even more tables of even less profitable items if you like.
- Ext. Cost is Extended Cost, in other words, Number of items times their Cost
- Compare the Total Cost of the ingredients to the cost of what is Produced to see the Net Increase
|0.375||Increase per herb|
|0.750||Increase per herb|
|10.25||Increase per herb|
|0.500||Increase per herb|
|0.500||Increase per herb|
|3.500||Increase per herb|
|Quality Roll-Up if Homegrown is considered an Herb|
|4.000||Increase per herb|
|REPAIRS (can you make a profit fixing something to re-sell it?)|
|Broken Assault Rifle||1||10.0||10.0|
|TOOLS (can you make a profit selling tools?)|
|FOOD with Bruno, as usual|
|Compare price of Food to that of Canned Food, 15.0|
|(What do you save by cooking versus eating canned)|
|Cooked Food (Single)|
|Cooked Food (Double)|
|11.3||Cost Per Person|
|-1.3||Net versus Single Cooked|
|Water from Rainwater|
|Water from Rainwater||4||1.0||4.0||Produced|
|0.875||Cost Per Water|
|-0.375||Net Each versus Snow Water|
|-30.0%||Percent versus Snow Water|
|Water from Snow|
|Water from Snow||4||1.0||4.0||Produced|
|1.250||Cost Per Water|
|+0.375||Net Each versus Rainwater|
|+30.0%||Percent versus Rainwater|
TWoM uses a fairly straightforward approach where a little value is added with each additional level of production. For example, the absolute amount of value you add is the same for creating Moonshine (4.5 ₣) or Pure Alcohol (4.5 ₣), although as a percentage increase compared to starting materials, Moonshine does twice as well.
Medications make the most profit, but they rely on unique, found Med Ingredients.
- Sandu at the City Hospital usually sells three Med Ingredients. Their base Franko price is 7.5 but Sandu's rate is .625, so each Ingredient would cost you at least 12.0 ₣. Ultimately you will only make 7.5 ₣ profit from each Medication using Ingredients bought from Sandu (20.5-12.0), not the usual 20.5. Three of them will get you 22.5. All in all, I would not make a Hospital trip based on this alone. But if you're going there already, try to buy his three Ingredients. Careful, he doesn't accept much! See the Trader table.
Should you focus on the cig, alcohol, or medicine chains?
One of the biggest challenges I've always had is a shortage of Components. Focusing on one of these three lines is better, so you don't spread yourself out, sinking big outlays of materials into workshop improvements you can't readily use (because you're sinking money into big workshop improvements). But in the long run, you will probably make most every workshop and garden at the highest level.
So we're really only talking about what you do for the one or two weeks in the middle after you've got the basics but before you've got everything. I just do whatever I feel like at the moment, shrug. With the intimate knowledge of prices and profit gained here, you will always do very well. At that point, you're more challenging yourself, than being challenged by the game.
One choice is that, instead of turning Pure Alcohol into Bandages (if you've gotten that far), turn them into Herbal Medicines instead. This can reduce the pressure on Components, but you lose potential profit. To me, this is one more demonstration of how central Components are.
Related to this, you see some interesting points in the profitability tables. Hatchets certainly increase value... but do you have enough wood and weapon parts? Many of the choices are like this. So I simply focus on one of the lines (usually alcohol) and don't sweat all the rest. I only do them when there's a clear surplus of parts. But it's often at end-game, anyway.
Should you repair weapons just to sell them? I definitely would if I had plenty of Weapon Parts. But be sure you do; you don't want to find you can't make a hatchet or saw blade when you really need one. Usually this means at least the second half of the game. Fixing armor and making ammo takes Components, which makes it a problematic decision. I usually don't, not until I've made most every house improvement (near the end of the game). I'm rich by then anyway.
Even more observations
One place where cigarettes really shine is if you see a shortage coming, and are in a position to prepare for it. Then, if Franko shows up paying double price for one of them and you can act on it, crank them out as fast as you can, right then and there. For more info, see Shortages. (Another section I wrote from scratch. You're welcome!)
Also: You might wonder what the profitability info is worth if many of your ingredients were actually found. Isn't the profitability much more than shown, if the parts were free? True enough, but you also could always have sold the raw ingredients to Franko instead of manufacturing something with them. Because of this, the tables do show demonstrable profit; they show what you can get if you make something, versus selling the parts.
Wholistic Economic Strategy
TWoM can be played a number of ways, which is the sign of a good game. As you probably guess, I do a power play on economics. Here's how I am playing the game at the end of this research:
- Initially, I sell Franko "end product" loot like medical supplies. If it is at the end of a long production chain (e.g., pure alc, medical), you are not missing any future possibility to increase its price (like you might with moonshine, herbs, or whatever).
- The advanced player won't try to take home everything of value in the early game. Your slots are precious. Save things like sugar, shells, gunpowder, and med. ingredients to take home later. Focus on immediately-needed basics and pinnacle (medical) loot for Franko. Take the high and the low; leave the rest for later. But keep notes on what is where. Especially components.
- Also early, sell Franko anything of little or no use, or that might only be worth a little toward end of game. You will be rich then, so don't hold onto, e.g., broken things that you might repair for a little profit only much later, with an advanced workshop.
- Mid game, I focus on moonshine. I don't try to get everything going at once. I go for one product line and otherwise focus on securing the house and improving their lives.
- With three people, you usually only need one bed for a long while. Keep thoughts of lice and bedbugs out of mind. Or odd stains. Just keep your people rotating in, and let the third one sleep. You only need a second bed when some perturbation has not let the third person sleep (like helping someone overnight). I have gone a complete game with one bed and never noticed a problem, but most of the time I make a second bed sometime around weeks 2 or 3.
- If you see a cig shortage coming and can jump on it, do so. See Shortages for more. This is usually easy with Shortage Pattern 1, when cigs happen later. By then, I usually have an (Advanced) Herbal Workshop anyway, plus plenty of ingredients. If you're on Pattern 2, it may or may not be worth it to gear up to try to catch Franko having double prices. It's a big gamble.
- Late in the game, I make Pure Alcohol but the extent that I do depends on how many Components I have. Of course I also make Medications to whatever extent I have Med Ingredients. But I often don't even worry about making herbal meds or bandages. I am super rich with 128 Pure Alcohol the last game I played.
And that's how the game ends for me. I have the potential to makes lots of medicine, but have only actually made a little.
In my approach, the most precious commodity is Components. Everything is geared toward an alcohol, cigs, and/or medicine production line. And the single most common ingredient of everything is Components. So I hoard and coax them as much as I can, includng doing things like buying filters and water, etc., so I won't need to spend components making more water. I will postpone anything I can, including making ammo, additional beds, etc. But I don't infringe on things that simply make the game funner or easier; I always get the radio, secure the house, etc., early on.
Reminder to Visit KinectNinja's User Page
Don't forget: you will want to see KinectNinja's User Page for additional important information on economics and gameplay. It adds a LOT.
A few thoughts:
- In January 2019, KinectNinja made some great observations on my findings, on my Wall. In particular he pointed out how I focused on Bruno, but other paths might be better if you don't have him. Fair enough ... I did focus on Bruno, and didn't really explore anything else. This discussion rambles some, though. Jump right to their User page if you want to skip this.
- A month later, he made his own page. It adds a LOT. Not only to economics, but also gameplay. Including some cool examples of gameplay aids.
- In retrospect, I might should have used Google Sheets to present my info, like KinectNinja did. I loathe the fact that Wikia doesn't allow Excel, and don't like to point to some third-party file that could poof at any time (anything supporting a Wikia page really should be stored on the site). It is a real pain to convert spreadsheet info into nice and tidy wiki tables, and it's then hard for anyone to put that back into a spreadsheet for their own use. Wikia really should allow spreadsheets to be uploaded! Anyway ...
Thanks for all your hard work, KinectNinja!
It's so cool that someone went so much farther into the game. Things like this are a TON of work, eh? A labor of love.
As of this writing (Jan. 2020), it looks like TWoM has continued to add things. I haven't played the game in 3.5 years at this point, and don't want to go back any time soon. (Too busy with other things these days.) I hope all my info above still holds up.
Enjoy TWoM, everyone! It's such a cute game!