You’ve gotten your base down. You have solid mining plans and can acquire resources. You’ve connected to HWS and, yeah you haven’t read all of it yet - but you get where it is. Now its time for you to start stepping up into the big leagues. Time to start making real money, building up your reserves, maybe joining a big faction looking like you know what you’re doing, and figuring out when to upgrade which things.
Welcome to h1myname1sdav1d’s Economic Guide to the Mid-game.
In this guide: An overview to progressing your economic gameplay and how to prioritize progress.
Not in this guide: Advanced Market strategies or where to fit in garage ships. I’ll just say that at some point the Eye or Raider are great investments on your time!
Things you should do before this guide. If you haven’t yet, go do them. Its expected that you can check these few things off the list early.
If you are enjoying the server enough, consider the HWS Supporter package. Its €11.00 and helps maintain the server. It gives you a couple of extremely helpful upgrades to get you into the mid-game much quicker including OCD 3, Bank 3, and Recycle 3. It also gives you the command do:re 10 times which provides quite a bit of free resources. I did this and found that it saved me significant time and was pleased with it. *Note: I’m not staff or anything, just felt that way.
Forget HV mining and mining with a hand drill. Your first stop to leveling up your mining game is either a CV miner for asteroids or the FREE Cave Rewad Ship from the Phoenix mission on ECC (Hint, its a little tricky to start this so when you activate it go to the EGS cave R01X on ECC and take the teleporter in the basement!) This ship has been my mining and trade running ship for the entire time I’ve had it. I’d HIGHLY suggest taking out the regular core and putting an NPC core in it. BUT BE CAREFUL! most of the blocks on this cannot be put back on if removed! (If you do this, remove the cockpit first) You can add blocks onto it to customize it.
More efficient mining not only helps you get the materials together you’ll need to take the next steps in the game but it can also be an early source of income. If you find yourself needing a bit of extra cash or have some extra resources that you don’t need. You can visit the Resources & Stuff trader at any space Racom to raise some funds by selling ores.
2. Making Money
Next you need to start making money for real. Forget thousands, its time to talk in millions. Do you look at that OCD 7 upgrade sitting with a price tag of $700M and think you’ll never get it? Wrong, you will get it. But first you need to take the steps to get yourself there. Follow these steps.
2.1. The Market
I’m going to assume you don’t have hardly any money at this point. You should be doing your FA:Supply command weekly which is giving you something. Maybe you’ve raided some POIs. You’ve probably blown your money on dumb stuff so I’m going to just assume we’re starting from scratch here. For the first couple of steps we need to make you a few million credits. This can easily be achieved by selling on the market in EGS HQ on the ECC planet.
To make your first little bit you can take whatever you have amassed and aren’t using and go to the market zone and using your HWS browser, look at whatever it is you’re wanting to sell and list your item a few credits below the lowest price. When you get better at the market and start learning how it goes, there’s a more advanced way to “play” the market game but for now, just do this. If you don’t know what to sell, one that seems to do ok is magnesium but the real answer is always gold.
As you get farther into the game, you may notice that setting prices below the next lowest price isn’t the way to make the most money. You’re right. As you grow in the game you may even be able to engage in market strategies like arbitraging, controlling supply, and even negotiating with players that often sell the product you sell to work to raise prices. There’s no anti-trust laws here, this is a true free market!
If you don’t want to sell what you already have on the market or its not going fast enough for you, a guaranteed way to get money in the game is to mine gold. Gold is the only item in the game that the game will pay you directly for. Simply mine gold ore, smelt it into bars, turn the bars into coins, deposit the coins into an ATM. One gold bar is worth $250 in game. For my personal mid-game journey, at one point I dedicated 1 hour per day to mining gold. I was lucky to be in a big faction and was able to mine on Golden Globe planet. Mining for 1hr/day netted me around $7.5M credits when converted into coins. Mining deposits and asteroids is slower but its a sure/steady way to get income if nothing else is working for you.
Find your favorite gold location in game and hit it regularly. Asteroid mining gold on Golden Globe space is sometimes easy if you do it when not many people are on and fly out a bit to where nobody else is. But be careful - Its PVP space! (What is with the Nova system anyways? Does anyone go there that often?)
2.3. Gold Orbital Auto Miner (OAM)
The OAMs are a source of free resources for players. For now, just upgrade the Gold OAM all the way to level 10. This will cost $1.08M credits. You’ll do this in the EGS zone at EGS HQ. You’ll also need to put a couple of automining cores in it to get it cranking. This will deliver free gold ore which you’ll need to pick up every couple of days. Convert this free gold into money to keep paying for upgrades. If you stay on top of this you’re making $30k/day for FREE.
2.4. The Elemental Bank
Now notice that the bank upgrades are step 4 in this. That’s because everything else up to this point is more efficient for your time. But nothing else makes money as easily as the bank. Its simple really, deposit money and earn interest.
Where I see a lot of people getting stuck with the bank is knowing if a bank upgrade is worth it. So here’s how to know if you should upgrade the bank or not. Before you begin, make sure you’ve reviewed the Elemental Bank page.
2.4a Upgrading the Bank without losing Interest Income
Upgrading your bank level should be done only when you have enough money on hand to 1. Pay for the upgrade and 2. Make max interest at the NEXT level.
Example: Going from bank level 2 to 3. Bank level 3 costs $2.5M credits. At bank level 3 you can make $500k max interest at an 8% Interest rate. To calculate how much you need to have in your bank account in order to achieve max interest divide the Max Interest ($500k) by the interest rate (8%). $500,000/.08 = $6,250,000. I call this the “Max Interest Reserve” which is how much money you need locked away at each bank level to achieve the max daily interest. To know when its time to upgrade, you add the Upgrade Cost PLUS Max Interest Reserve together. I call this the Maximum Upgrade Threshold. $2,500,000 + $6,250,000 = $8,750,000. Therefore, the Maximum Upgrade Threshold when going from bank level 2 to bank level 3 is $8,750,000. This is how I recommend most players calculate when to upgrade their bank level.
Some of you very clever people may notice that there is a way to begin making more daily interest than waiting to upgrade at the Maximum Upgrade Threshold. And you’d be right! There is a Minimum Upgrade Threshold where you can make slightly more interest than you had previously been making before you hit the Max Interest Reserve. If you want to min/max your game play I’ll leave that for you to figure out!
Bank levels 1-5: Get these ASAP. This will have cost you $22.2M and 250 RP. Congratulations, you’re now making $1.5M credits per day.
3. Now what?
This is where I see people kind of… trail off. At this point, you are at a bit of a cross roads. $1.5M/day is more than enough to play all aspects of the game and truly enjoy it. If you want to PVP, you’ll be good. If you want to run every mission and POI in the server, you’ll be able to do most of them - but money won’t be what holds you back (some of them take a lot of people). You’ll be able to acquire resources off the market so you don’t have to mine as much if you don’t want to.
To me, this is where the game started to get interesting and fun. In real life I’ve been fairly involved in the real world of making money, running businesses, and investing - and to me - this point is where the economic game of HWS/Empyrion got fun. I’m not satisfied with $1.5M/day are you kidding me? I need to make $700M for that OCD 7. I can’t wait 466 days! If you want to really make the money in the game its time to buckle down and start working for your money and making the big bucks!
4. Cross Server Warp
Did you know there was more than one HWS Server (EU and NA)? Did you know you can “warp” between them? I knew about this early on but didn’t realize how effective this could be to the economic game and lost out on a ton of economic growth early on. Learning how to Cross Server Warp is pretty easy and does not involve going into PVP space.
The way to effectively use CSW is to upgrade your bank level evenly between the 2 servers. Also get your Gold OAM upgraded on the other side. You’ll need to CSW every day to collect interest on both sides. (Or alternatively, $1/month patron level do your interest for you daily. Note: Still not employed by HWS or anything but once I got my EU bank upgraded a bit I did decide to become a patron.) You can also use your time on the other server to sell on the market, collect your OAM and refuel it if needed.
Your checklist for making a basic CSW is this:
- Bring enough Fuel/Oxygen/and Refined Pentaxid for the trip
- Bring anything you want to list on the other market
- Do your eb:interest
- Empty and refuel your OAMs
- Say in global chat how much more superior your home server is than the one you’re currently in.
5. Upgrade your other OAMs
Now that you’re making some money, upgrade the other OAMs to level 10 each. Prioritize whatever is most valuable on the market or that you struggle to get in game. Don’t bother upgrading them until you can get them all the way from 1 to 10 to maximize the efficiency of the cores you have to feed into them. Getting $1M shouldn’t be too hard for you at this point.
6. More Bank Upgrades
I was talking to someone the other day who had been playing for several seasons and he told me that most mid level players shoot for bank level 5. record scratching sound What? I think what most people run into at this point is that the numbers start to get a bit big compared to what they’d been doing and at some point the upgrades look like they aren’t worth it (actually, I don’t think EB 10 is ever worth it unless you’re supporting the server so it is technically true). No worries, I got you.
Continuing to upgrade the bank past level 5 for the sake of making a profit over the cost becomes a calculation in amount of time left in season. If you are upgrading your bank levels early in the season the increase in interest pays for the upgrade. I call this the Payback Period. Here’s an example. Bank Level 6 costs $25M and moves the Max Interest from $1.5M/day to $2M/day and lowers interest rate from 6% to 5%. Make sure you have the Maximum Upgrade Threshold ($65,000,000). You may be wondering why go to level 6 which costs $25M in order to make an extra $500k/day. Well easy, if there are more than 50 days left in the season then the upgrade was completely free. The increase from $1.5M/day to $2M/day is a Net Increase of $500k. $25M/$500k = 50. 50 days is the Payback Period for the upgrade. For bank level 7 its 60 days. (Note The Payback Periods for multiple upgrades pass concurrently meaning if you do bank level 6 and 7 upgrades on the same day, the Payback Period is still only 60 days total. (Not 110).) (ALSO NOTE The Payback Period for bank level 8 is also only 50 days. If you are carrying over enough money or can quickly earn additional money, Bank level 8 is still worth getting even a month into a 3 month season!)
Also keep in mind, a higher bank level has other benefits relating to the end of season which I’ll get to in a bit. Even if the payback period is exactly the amount of time left in the season or even shorter, it still may be worth buying the upgrade but in terms of doing it for a direct profit, this is how you can tell.
7. Commodity Trading
I can hear all you old school players now… “Commodity trading isn’t what it used to be” “Its not worth it”. Pssssssh. Good, keep thinking that. Leaves more for me! (p.s. when I hear how much you guys used to make I cry inside a little.)
I achieved most of my intro/basic goals this season by mining gold. At some point, mining gold can get a little bit tiring and you just need something else to do… Maybe something a bit more exciting and dangerous. Commodity trading may be for you.
To do commodity trading you need a couple of things. 1. A CV that can run/survive in PvP space with a hangar extremely close to your cockpit and 2. Your cave reward ship from earlier or a similar, small SV. I LOVE killing people running around in the wrong ships. DO NOT BRING EXTRA STUFF WITH YOU WHEN YOU COMMODITY RUN.
Commodity running is simple, you go to a Racom in Space/System and you buy items at some and sell them at others. There’s a complicated system of economic prosperity per system and honestly I just figured out that buying in a wealthy playfield and selling in a wealthy playfield was the only thing worth doing. After initially figuring out my route, I was making about $10M/hr of gameplay. After getting a bit better at it and really optimizing the run, how it can interact with the market, additional NPC traders I can buy from, making sure to purchase at a couple of locations during my CSW, etc I’m now able to make $25M-$30M per hour of game play running commodities.
Mining Gold was how I got going, Running Commodities is making me rich!
8. EGS Recycle
Recycling is a HUGE source of income/return on investment for a lot of players. If you are out in PvP doing things like clearing enemy bases or do PvE POIs that get your ships wrecked, getting your recycle level maxed out might be worth it. I personally haven’t done this but the couple people I’ve spent time with in game who have upped their recycle levels talk about how its one of their top sources of income. Basically if an enemy base/ship is defeated, what you can do instead of blowing it up is putting your own core in it, then recycling it. The materials are sent to your OCD and you can either sell those resources on the market or use them to skip having to acquire them yourself. Generally, I’d consider this a bit more late-game than mid-game but its worth learning where this could have value at this point.
If you have a badly damaged ship that you can’t get to repair, taking it to a Recycle Zone is better than letting it despawn so it can still be a source of saved wealth.
9. Orbital Cargo Drone Upgrades
The OCD is your personal storage system outside of the boxes in your ships/bases. Since this guide is an economy guide, I’ll be focusing on how the OCD ties in to your economic strategy. Basically, its a great upgrade for 3 reasons. 1. It maintains your wealth between seasons, 2. You keep the upgrades between seasons, making this a permanent asset, and 3. Its a very good organizational tool.
Early on as I upgraded my OCD I took an “Upgrade it as I fill it” approach. There isn’t a specific economic need to get upgrades early and you can save your money for bank level upgrades while using your base for storage just like you’ve been doing. The OCD is helpful for end of season which I’ll cover in a bit.
Getting to OCD level 5 should be your main goal. OCD level 5 allows you to use OCD commands in any PVE space without having to go to EGS HQ. This is extremely helpful when smelting and storing gold or generally getting ready/prepping for a run to the market without having to spend a ton of time loading/unloading a ship.
10. End of Season
Everything I’ve said up till this point is how you acquire your income/wealth and can be accomplished in a single season if you really push. If not, you can work to optimize the wealth you’re building to be maintained across seasons so when the server wipes, you lose the least amount of your wealth possible. Additionally, the end of season can even be a time for you to have MORE WEALTH NEXT SEASON than you had in this one.
If you have been crushing the economy, you will have more money than you can keep. Because of this, the value of money changes towards the end of the season and you need to do a calculation between Next Season Value and Current Season Value. This difference I call Season Conversion Value. An ideal Season Conversion Value is 1 (100%) or more but in many cases its less than one and we’re trying to maximize what we can get. For example, if you have Gold that you bought from someone at $250 this season, and next season its worth $250 then $250/$250 = 1(100% of value is carried over). However, if you buy gold at $350 to store for next season and its worth $250 next season then $250/$350 = ~.71 (71%)
10a. End of Season Bank Levels
If you have more money than you can carry over, an easy place many people look is at bank levels. Let’s say you have $200M credits and are bank level 5. Bank level 5 will only let you keep $50M of those credits so you stand to lose $150M credits. Of those $150M credits in today’s current season, you could carry more of them over by upgrading your bank to level 7. Bank level 6 and 7 would cost you $55M and it would allow you to carry over an extra $20M credits. So the calculation would be $20M/$55M = .36 (36% of money spent can be saved into next season). This is one of the worst conversion values I’ve found so upgrading the bank to maintain your wealth is an area of last resort.
(However if you have more than $100M of extra money and are considering paying to keep credits, you may want to consider upgrading all the way to bank level 9 and then paying to keep your bank level instead. Upgrading from 1 to 9 would cost $152.2M next season, will allow you to make $4m/day on day one, and keep $90M credits. Saving yourself the cost of bank upgrades and keeping the additional credits makes keeping the bank level 9 more efficient than paying to keep $100M. Of course you could always do both =P)
10b. OCD Gold
One of the things I’ve found most interesting is that the way Gold preserves wealth in the game. For example, all season I realized I was on a path to have more money at the end of the season than I’d be able to carry over so I started paying attention to gold on the market and of the gold I was mining, I stopped selling it. Since gold has a guaranteed value of $250 I was able to figure out that buying gold off the market with my extra money while the price was low and moving it into my OCD was one of the best ways to preserve wealth. In fact, I realized that I would be carrying more gold into next season than I would need meaning I am already prepping 2 seasons ahead! For me, I mined more gold than I bought but as a general rule I bought at $325 and lower on the market. Most of my gold I got at $300. Even if it was at $325, I achieved a 76% Season Conversion Value. If you wait until the end of season when everyone else is desperate to preserve their value, the price of gold could go up lowering the Season Conversion Value. Also, if the price does go up and you need a bit of cash to achieve a final OCD upgrade, you can do this by selling the gold you’ve stockpiled!
10c. Utility/Replacement Value
Don’t overload your OCD with gold though. At the start of next season you don’t want to just be standing there with no ships, fuel, ammo, etc looking like a noob. Make sure that some of your slots are devoted to things you are going to need early in the season to get you up and rolling. These things have a solid utility value since you’d have to spend time or your money getting the materials! Some of the top members of the top factions load very little gold into their OCD and instead load war materials. Remember that money is nice, but it doesn’t shoot things. At the end of the day, winning a war requires a deep reserve of materials! At the end of the day, if you’d have to spend money next season on buying items then you should consider that the gold you’re stuffing will have a decreased Season Conversion Value since there is an opportunity cost.
RP is still something most people don’t understand. They just see that Bank/OCD cost RP to upgrade so they figure they need some RP to make sure they can do that. RP can come from many places and a sure source is from joining a faction that has some active players. Another source of RP is raiding POIs for RP containers. RP does offer some mid-season benefits including increasing the value of your fa:supply but I was really surprised when I did the math and realized that I would be getting $31M at the start of next season for the RP I had accumulated! RP converts at a rate of $7000 per RP and RP containers can be bought at EGS HQ and EGS Flying City for around $11k. This gives it a Season Conversion Value of 63% which isn’t great but given the value added to fa:supply and upgrades, it can be safely worked on all season as a store of value for the next season. Note: You only get RP payout at end of season on your MAIN server. Not both.
10e. Upgrade your OCD
One way to achieve a perfect 100% conversion value is to simply upgrade your OCD again. If you are close to being ready for the next level and you’re going to lose money otherwise, pushing for a final OCD upgrade by selling stuff you have on the market, mining some gold to sell, or doing extra commodity runs may be more worth it than taking a hit. OCD levels are permanent so its a permanent value to upgrade it!