The Merchant Academia is designed to help you make informed choices for selling, crafting, and working your shop in general, as well as explaining various game mechanics.
Table of Contents
What should I be doing?
As a general rule of thumb, you ideally want to always be:
Crafting! Your craft slots should always be full and spinning (unless you’re doing no bins, more on that later.)
Upgrading! Always have a piece of furniture upgrading.
Rushing! Energy rush your crafts as soon as you have enough resources to refill the slot.
Selling! During active play, there is no reason to ever have a full counter.
Questing! Any hero sat at home twiddling their thumbs is not earning you money, keep your quest slots as full as possible.
Choosing what to craft
No one size fits all pattern is perfect for everyone, and players will need to devise a combination that best fits their own progression. The crafting slots of an f2p person will differ from someone who has all the premium packs, ascension reductions can make certain items more viable for that player and so on.
In the interest of avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ best combination suggestion (and it’d be pretty hard for me to narrow down 1 specific rotation that works for everyone), this will focus on explaining what makes a combo efficient, and how to pick your best options.
The theory is to find a set of items to craft, that maximize profit per craft slot, utilizing all resources with no overlap
First we have to define what optimized means.
These are the metrics used –
- Utilize all available resources (iron/wood/leather/herb)
- 1 item per rare resource (jewel/ether)
- Highest margin items per resource without overlap
If you are crafting an item on repeat, with the sole purpose of profit, these assumptions are required to maximize your effort:
- The items in question are mastered
- The items in question are 3 star ascended
- You are rushing crafts with energy as soon as your resources have filled enough to allow for a new craft
- Profitability efficiency is defined over an hour of active play
Step 1 – Find Base Profitability
Pick a resource type to start with and find the highest base value item you can craft that uses that.
Find its base profitability –
Take the items resource cost and divide it by the amount of resources regenerated per minute (make sure to include any boosts). Do this for all resources required of the craft. This finds how many minutes it will take for each resource to refill enough to allow for another craft.
Divided 60 minutes, by the minutes to craft of the slowest regenerating resource.
The resulting number is your Crafts per hour
Next tackle the quest and precraft resources. Multiply the quest and precraft quantities by their normal market values, and sum the totals.
The resulting number is your Total Expenses
In general, all items you craft should be surcharged in your shop1, but selling them on the market is a fine strategy as well. Decide where these items will ultimately be sold, and identify the price.
The resulting number is your Base Revenue
Finally, find your profitability over an hour –
(Base Revenue – Total Expenses) * Crafts per hour
Now just do the same math for the highest base value items that you can craft, for the other base resource types!
Step 2 – Rare Resource Allocation
To start, lets get one simple truth out of the way –
You can only reasonably manage 1 item per rare resource due to the regeneration rate bottleneck
This is our biggest twist in optimizing. We have to pick the most profitable combination of 4 basic resources, with a bottleneck on 2 rare resources.
You will need to identify your top two options, 1 for Jewel and 1 for Ether. Then fill in the other slots with items that require neither.
If you massively overstock your rare resources, for example by having 5 jewel/ether bins each. You can likely keep up with crafting multiple rare resource items by using a couple refills throughout the day.
Enchantments actually flip the script on resource bottleneck, and the common resource becomes the slowest. You can easily support 2 crafts per rare resource when doing enchants!
Step 3 – Making Use of Leftovers
You found your top Jewel and Ether earners, now what to do with the remaining resource types?
Simply locate the top earners that do not require rare resources.
Step 4 – Conditionals
Ensure you work out thresholds for material costs. Many items are more profitable than others because you can get their resources cheaper. If that resource cost starts to rise, confirm if it is still more profitable than the next item in line.
This is the hardest part, and one many players overlook. To maintain maximum profitability at any given time, you have to understand where your margins are, and what affects them. This is a learned skill, and simply requires experience and knowledge.
Step 5 – Cumulative Upkeep
Do it all over again every patch/pack.
No bin strategy
Note: This section was written by Laterus. Although it makes references to tier 9/Haunted castle, it’s still relevant.
In short, you eliminate all your resource bins and trunks (except 1), and replace them with racks. This tips your max energy capacity and potential into amazing new realms of possibilities!
That sounds weird… Why would I want to do that?
I spend a lot of time crunching numbers, and have a fairly decent grasp on what makes an item profitable to craft. I crafted the optimal combination for months, constantly improving where I could, and spending lots and lots of hours managing my craft queue.
End result, as of the state of crafting right now (Jun 15th 2020), an optimal crafting rotation is going to net you 18m+ an hour in profit. The ‘+’ denotes multicraft and quality procs that you may benefit from. Assuming you multicraft and quality proc at the best known percentages for each, your profit looks more like 25m an hour.
I have been testing and living the no bin shop for almost a month now, exclusively buying from the market to sell in my shop, supplemented by quest rewards, and the results on average are 70% better than I was doing with crafting.
On a bad day I make 300m in profits, and on a good day I make 750m. On events that lower market prices, such as LCOG, I can easily pull 1g in profits.
Ok yeah yeah that sounds fancy, but what’s the catch?
Good old fashioned ridiculous pre-reqs:
- 4200+ Max Energy
- Every single one of your items needs to have been crafted enough to reach the x1.25 gold value milestone
- A hero roster capable of efficient Chronos or Castle farming
The maximum energy requirement is set at 4200+ because at 4200 energy you can small talk and surcharge the same customer from 0 energy, on most T7 items. This is the single biggest requirement, as T7 is essentially always profitable to buy from the market and surcharge in your shop.
You need the value increase milestone on all items because you will be surcharging literally everything, and more money = good.
The hero roster comes into play heavily by giving you “free” margin every quest return, but I will dive into this further down.
Listen, this isn’t your get rich quick overnight noob to tycoon idea. This is a method for the rich to get richer, and we all just have to come to terms with that.
In the requirements I mentioned 4200 energy because that is when you can 1 button surcharge some T7s. Let me explain what that means to start!
A ‘1 button surcharge’ means you can have 0 current energy, tap small talk on a customer asking for your item, and receive enough energy from the success to surcharge that same customer. The item is it’s own fodder!
Obviously you can 1 button surcharge tiers before T7, with lower energy values, but sadly the margin on those items are absolutely terrible, and do not beat a crafting combo in efficiency.
T7s however, are generally always profitable when bought from the market, and often times with excellent margins! We are talking 50-100k per purchase!
Anyway, back to the 4200 energy thing. At that value, you can 1 button surcharge 15 T7s (figure these out on your own!), even without the surcharge reduction milestone from ascension, and the quantity just goes up from there the more max energy you obtain.
The foundation is having a plethora of 1 button surcharge items that you constantly churn for profit from every single sale
You no longer have ‘fodder’, and you no longer ever push the discount button!
“But Lat, how do you surcharge T9 then?”
As you churn through your 1 buttons, you will build residual floating energy totals, because every item does not zero out your energy. The items you should target as your 1 buttons are ones that will give you a net energy gain upon surcharging. As this floating energy reaches a value where a small talk on a T9 item will result in having the energy required to surcharge, do it!
What does the process look like?
If you are following along at home, you have 4200+ max energy, a store stocked with 1 button surcharge targets, and a smattering of bigger ticket T9s, but now what?
Sell em’ of course!
Customer’s are now your only bottleneck, so make every single one count! Here are the methods I am currently utlizing:
- If you have energy to surcharge, push surcharge before the small talk, and sell the item regardless of success
- If you do not have the energy to surcharge, and the customer is asking for a 1 button, push small talk, then surcharge and sell if successful, and refuse if not.
- If you do not have the energy to surcharge, and the customer is asking for an item you cannot 1 button, do some quick mental math on your current energy compared to max energy and surcharge cost of the item. If a successful small talk would leave you with enough energy to surcharge, attempt it! If not, swap customers until it would, or small talk and suggest a different item.
- If a customer comes in asking for an item you do not have, small talk and suggest upon success, refuse upon backfire.
- When a customer comes in to sell you an item, small talk first, push the pay more option, and sell the item.
In addition to running your shop – ALWAYS. BE. UPGRADING.
You want more energy, and you should always be upgrading a rack. This strategy lives and breathes maximum energy!
Building upon the foundation
Your basic margin machine is churning and you are feeling the power of surcharging every damn thing in your shop, but you want more! There must be more gold to earn out there right?!
Yes, yes there is!
Remember we aren’t crafting, so what do we no longer need to hold onto? Materials.
Sell them all, sell them fast, and sell them hard. The bankroll that selling quest materials yield is fantastic, and it is direct margin to the bottom line!
This is 1 reason why an efficient roster of heroes is required. If your roster can solo or duo all your quest slots, all day, on Chronos or Castle Hard2, you will pull upwards of 15m profits per hour in quest materials alone!
The other reason is that quests drop equipment, and equipment means gold. You can snag T9 in Castle quite often, and T10 in Sunken Temple, making each quest run potentially worth 10s of millions!
Priority #1 is rushing furniture upgrades for more energy!
If you have a comfortable supply to rush your next few upgrades, then you should flip your focus to the market!
Look for deals where you can buy an item for gems, sell it in your store, and then flip that gold back into gems at a better ratio. For example:
- Item worth 400k is on the market for 2 gems
- Buy that item for 2 gems and surcharge in your store for 800k
- You just converted at a rate of 400k per gem
- Now take that 800k and buy any item on the market that you can resell for gems at a lower rate than 400k per gem
Other smaller tricks to maximize the returns of this strategy:
- Store all your trunks except for 1. You cannot store the last trunk sadly. Pull out more racks to replace them.
- Optimize your quests with Polonia. She can steal up to 20 items a quest, and when sent to Sunken Temple, this often results in 20 more T10s. Create endurance teams that can carry polonia for 50 or more rounds before winning.
- Stop hoarding items for LCOG, use feathers/stamina/bugles and reap the profits.
There are 3 things that factor into how customer flow works
Number of Customers in your shop
Affected By: Shop expansion size
Max Bonus: 12 customers / All 9 shop squares
Before Max Bonus: 3-10 customers based on expansions acquired
Number of customers awaiting a sale
Affected By: Counter size
Max Bonus: 12 customers / Level 11+ Counter
Before Max Bonus: 5 at levels 1-5 / 8 at levels 6-10
Frequency of new customer arrival
Affected By: Stock on racks
Max Bonus: 90-105 rack items
Before Max Bonus: Not a whole lot of research here, just shoot for Max Bonus
Note: these 3 factors work alongside each other to determine your customer flow. If one of them is lower than the other 2 (example: you have maxed counter/expansions but only 40 items on display) it will limit them (so you’ll have a lower max customer count in that scenario.)
Fusion is the ability to merge lower quality items into a higher quality one. Below is a video explaining this mechanic, I’m also going to write it out (there’s nothing in the video that isn’t in the below description and vice versa, I’m just trying to be more accessible.)
To begin fusing you will need 2 things – items of a lower quality than the one you wish to fuse and moonstones.
For example, using the picture above, if you wished to fuse a flawless quality Squire Sword (for that amazing king bait,) you’d need 5 superior quality Squire Swords in your inventory and 2 Lesser Moonstones.
Moonstones come in 3 different tiers (4, 7 and 10):
Which tier you require depends on the tier of the item you’re trying to fuse (low tier items use lesser, high tier use greater etc.) Moonstones have multiple ways they can be obtained:
- As a quest reward
- From treasure chests
- Grab bags purchased with guild coins
If you want to craft Moonstones you need to purchase Mundra. They are very similar to runestones – depending on their tier they require herbs/oil/jewels (though you can ascend to remove the jewel requirement) They do not have an ascension track.
Once you have all your materials gathered it’s time to fuse. To start, you need to click the fusion button (which can be found behind your craft button)
You’ll then be presented with the fusion menu. It’ll look incredibly familiar as it’s like the crafting menu, however you can only see items which you have at least 1 material for – this is because fusion does not use blueprints.
At the top of the screen you can select the quality you wish to fuse and it’ll display your success rate. The success chances are:
On a failed fusion you will lose all the components involved so be sure you’re willing to take the chance. When you’ve decided on a quality, tap on your chosen item and a screen will popup asking you to confirm you wish to fuse that item. If you have enough components to queue multiple fuses of an item you can do so.
Once you’ve started the fusion process the items will appear in your craft queue. Each item being fused takes up 1 craft slot. For example if you have 7 slots, you could craft 5 items and have 2 fusing etc.
Note: Because fusion does not use resources, it is not possible to rush these crafts with energy – you can only use gems. When the process is complete, you click the item and it’ll display an animation showing if it was a success or failure, then award you the item (well, in the case of a failure it won’t 😛 )
Full Moon Fusion
Aside from fusing items into higher quality versions there is also Full Moon Fusion. These recipes allow you to fuse items usually found on your Special tab into much cooler things. For example:
As you can see in the picture above, you can convert chests into specific components, repair kits can be turned into golden artifacts, lower tier moonstones can be made into higher ones. But wait, there’s more!
Compasses can be converted into higher ones, stamina drinks into phoenix feathers, keys can be turned into chests (which means we can all finally use up our wooden key collections.)
If you look at the above picture you’ll notice there’s a circle with a green border saying “5+” in the requirements for the silver compass/super loot bugle. The number refer to the tier of the item it requires (in this case, it’s asking for tier 5 or higher item) and the border colour refers to the quality required (superior in this case, it will also accept higher qualities.) When you go to fuse an item requiring an item like this, you will be able to choose which item it consumes for fusion.
So what’s the catch? Well with them being full moon fusions, they can only be fused on the day of a full moon in real life. When it is, a few things happen.
The fusion button will change colour, and an event symbol will appear, counting down how long left before the moon fades.
If you tap on the event icon this popup will appear:
You can access the fusing menu from that if you do not wish to use the normal method. If you tap on view info it explains the event:
The event lasts for 24 hours from activation, it starts at the same time as other events do (00:00 utc+0, which is when your piggy drops.) That timezone is what will also be used to determine if it’s a full moon or not.
Think of it like another daily event, just instead of it running randomly each month you can figure it out in advance by looking at a lunar calendar.3
Alternatively for people who don’t wish to wait or have other plans for a full moon (for example they’re a werewolf), purchasing Mundra will allow you to fuse these recipes all the time instead of having to wait.
Multicraft is the chance for any item you craft to create 2 copies instead of 1. This counts as having crafted 2 items for the purposes of mastery, worker exp, favour during King’s Caprice etc. Any modifiers that you have are additive. To give an example, let’s take a look at Druid Laurels:
Quality Crafting Odds
As an item increases in quality it gains an increase in base value and stats provided.
These are the approximate odds for crafting a superior/flawless/epic/legendary item. Kabam have stated they don’t intend to ever release the base values, the ones listed here have been discovered after thousands of tests:
Value is increased by:
Stats are increased by:
|Quality||Stat increase amount|
Have you tried to enchant an item and noticed you get 2 different values depending if you put that enchant on first or second? Or surcharged an item and it didn’t come out at 2x value? To give an example, you may have tried to enchant a Mythril Edge and got these results:
So by enchanting the Mythril Edge with another tier 9 enchant first we were able to get an extra 25k value from our Blaze element (so when that item is surcharged that’s an extra 50k from nowhere.)
The reason for why this happens is because Shop Titans really loves round numbers, to the point it’s willing to add or subtract gold to get there. Let’s take a look at the values it uses to round:
|If the item is worth this much gold||it rounds to the nearest|
As you can see it starts getting really aggressive after the 1 million marker. Knowing these values we can now understand what is happening in the case of the Mythril Edge:
Mythril Edge is worth 375,000
We add a Shark enchant to increase that by 350,000, giving us a value of 725,000.
We now add a Blaze element, which should add another 350,000 to make it worth 1,075,000.
However at this stage the game interrupts and goes “hang on, after 1 million I only want values that are rounded to the nearest 50k, screw your 1,075 I’m rounding you to the nearest 50” which in this case is 1,100,000, making our Blaze element worth 375,000 instead of 350,000.
Because of this rounding our two tier 9 enchants have added 725k value to the weapon instead of 700k. (so, money out of thin air.) We can use this to our advantage when purchasing/enchanting items by making sure we stick to ones that when rounded past the 1 million boundary will be rounded in our favour (remember this works both ways: an item that would be worth 1,024,000 will be rounded down to 1m, costing us 24k.)
So in future when you’re enchanting your items to sell, think for a moment if you could make them round favourably for you and you’ll get more mileage from your enchants (free money is the best money.)
Whilst the above section explained rounding with tier 9 enchants, it’s possible to take this to another level by creating mixes of tier 7 and 9 enchants. You see, unlike tier 9 enchants not all tier 7 are worth the same value which can allow for some rounding fun which isn’t possible with just tier 9:
So as you can see by using a mixture of tier 7 and 9 enchants we can create a full 25k bonus where it would normally not be possible, allowing us to get way more value even from low enchants.
One additional thing that you need to keep in mind also is that the rounding calculations you do should be done using the base value of an item as the 1.25x milestone for an item is already using the rounding rules.
This presents us with a lot of factors to keep track of when deciding what to enchant. Normally this involve a lot of messing around with numbers but fortunately for us this is where Shoruki comes in. He has created an excellent rounding calculator that is now maintained by Nerilea. You simply select an item & quality and it will give you the best possible combinations for enchanting it to take advantage of the free money.
You can find that calculator (and instructions on how to use it) here, I highly recommend using it to save yourself from the madness of mathematics (or don’t, it’s a free world, maybe you really enjoy that kind of thing, we don’t judge.)
How does it work?
Small talk chances have been tested numerous times over the course of Shop Titans history with roughly the same results each time.
Small Talk has a roughly 75% chance on average to succeed
The amount of energy gained or lost from a small talk succeeding or failing can be calculated using the calculations below.
Success! = (Max Energy – Current Energy) * 0.1
Backfired! = Max Energy * 0.07
Or in simpler terms a success is 10% the difference of max and current energy, a failure is always -7% of max energy
Small Talk Tips
Small talk every customer until your current energy is 50-75% of your max energy
Small talk AFTER you tap surcharge, but before the actual sale
A higher max energy pays off spectacularly with the way small talk returns work
The item tier being asked for by the customer has no effect on small talk
In general the best advice if you’re going to be selling in your shop often is that the more maximum energy you have the better, this will mean you require less fodder as you’ll get more energy per small talk.
If you get a backfire you can refuse the item in order to save that item for another small talk attempt in the future.
- tier 10 items can be pretty expensive energy-wise to surcharge, so you might consider selling them at base price instead. If you go this route, investigate if surcharged t9’s would sell better for you.
- you could also run Sunken Temple for materials, just they tend to not sell as high and require much more investment in heroes to solo
- In the case of a blue moon we should see it run twice that month, and the next time a month won’t have a full moon isn’t until 2037 so I think we’re safe there.