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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Europa Universalis 4 - Trade Basics

    A lot of people come to me and say "Quanta, get out of my house". And then they say "Quanta, can you tell us the story again of how trade works in Europa Universalis 4?"

    And I say, "Sure! Gather round the fire."

    EU4 Trading 101
    Theres 2 important concepts you need to understand first, they seem daunting and obscure, but they really arent.

    Trade Power and Trade Steering
    Trade Power simply means how much influence you have over a trade node, and if you have a merchant there taking money, it means you get more money.

    Trade Steering means you send Trade Power somewhere, adding to the trade power in whatever node it gets sent to.
    If you send Trade Power, you have to make sure its DOWNSTREAM not UPSTREAM. (look at the arrows on the trade overlay) Also, you need to have trade power there to send somewhere, otherwise it wont make much of a difference.

    The rule is, however, if you can gather Trade from nodes, you usually should. (you can only gather trade from nodes you have provinces of or right next to, AFAIK)

    Provinces have trade and tax values. They higher these are, the more trade power you get from it, the closer you are to a node in general, the more you get out of it. (the further "upstream" you are, so to say)

    So if you have two merchants, and theyre not assigned: send the first one to whereever you have most trade power and is closest to you, provincewise, the second either to collect on a second node or to send trade power (if downstream from) to the first node where you ARE collecting from.

    If you have free light ships, send them on trade missions to fortify the trade node you are gathering money from. As far as Ive understood it, Barques give you most, but I think (not quite sure) that all light ships give you atleast 2 base Trade Power per ship. (even Galleys)

    Also, and this is not so apparent: Check your trade screen and hover over the Trade Power values, it should tell you if a node has negative modifiers for trade power, or positive ones. That way, you can see where you might better send trade power and then maybe use that to steer towards the node you are colllecting from.


    So to summarise: Collect > Steer, Trade Power = More Trade Money, Light Ships = More Trade Power.

    Addendum: It also matters how much trade power you have at a node compared to other nations, your share of money of a certain node becomes that much bigger. You can see all of this by clicking on a node in the trade overlay.

    I will gladly change anything if anyone finds a flaw, or have better suggestions.

    Community additions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    1. 90% of the time you don't need a merchant at your home node. You always collect at your capital's node and the trade power bonus provided by a merchan is usually spent better elsewhere.

    2. Embargos are powerful, esp. if you share the same home node. But rival the embargoed nation first, otherwise you'll get a neg. modifier as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by notenome View Post
    There have been a lot of changes, not 100% solid on all of them.

    -First, now you have a main trade port. So remember that part about always collecting in your capital? Well now your capital is your default trade port, but you can move it around. So your main collect place is not necesarilly your capital.

    -Second, You now get a penalty for collecting from multiple centers of trade. Basically, it was more profitable to simply collect everywhere you had provinces, so now you get a penalty from trying to collect in too many places, thus providing an incentive to steer more.

    -Third, some trade nodes are inland. Since inland trade nodes can't have light ships assigned to them (logically) they were often neglected, because your ability to project trade power there was severly limited (basically you could just put your merchant there and that's it). So now you have an inland trading bonus, meaning merchants in inland trade nodes get a rather large bonus, making placing a merchant in an inland node more viable/profitable (especially for countries that don't have large trading fleets).
    Last edited by QuantaCat; 10-06-2014 at 07:43 AM.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    1. 90% of the time you don't need a merchant at your home node. You always collect at your capital's node and the trade power bonus provided by a merchan is usually spent better elsewhere.

    2. Embargos are powerful, esp. if you share the same home node. But rival the embargoed nation first, otherwise you'll get a neg. modifier as well.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    1. 90% of the time you don't need a merchant at your home node. You always collect at your capital's node and the trade power bonus provided by a merchan is usually spent better elsewhere.

    2. Embargos are powerful, esp. if you share the same home node. But rival the embargoed nation first, otherwise you'll get a neg. modifier as well.
    Didnt know about number 1, interesting. But does home node mean just the node that your capitol belongs to? Or does it mean you have to have a province that is also a node?
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    But does home node mean just the node that your capitol belongs to? Or does it mean you have to have a province that is also a node?
    Your home node is the trade node where your capital is. It is also the node where all your trade is being steered, which is good to know if you have a sprawling empire and the trade is getting steered in weird ways for some reason. I also think you get a bonus to trade income in your home node (but I'm not entirely sure). In other words, it might be worth moving your capital to another trade node your collecting in, if that node is worth more (for example if you're playing as Morocco and move your capital to the Sevilla trade node).

    A good rule of thumb is also to not use trade ships if you have more than 50% of the trade power in a node, since the impact of each ship is bigger the less trade power you have in a node. Patrolling with three barques (combined trade power of 9) in a node where you already have 10 trade power almost doubles your trade power in that node, whereas the increase would be very small in your home node, where you might have 50 trade power already. But remember that you want a lot of trade power in your collecting nodes, so you don't waste a lot of effort steering trade there and then have another country steal all the trade.

    Also, for info on how much trade power each type of light ship gives, see http://www.eu4wiki.com/Light_ships#Types_2.
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  5. #5
    Activated Node tedesco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Didnt know about number 1, interesting. But does home node mean just the node that your capitol belongs to? Or does it mean you have to have a province that is also a node?
    It's the trade node where your capital province is.

    Edit: emu'd

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedesco View Post
    Edit: emu'd
    Heh, that gave me an oddly nostalgic feel...

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    ok, and superiority in a trade node means more trade cash or just more trade steering?
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  8. #8
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    More trade steering, I believe. Adding a merchant to a trade node will add more value to that node, but not adding trade fleets. (I might be wrong, so please correct me if I am).

    I know that trade buildings have "trade power" and "trade value" separate at least.
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Actually, I just read up: if you select the nodes, there is a "Top 10" or a bit more, and only the ones with the most Trade Power in a node get part of the income from it.

    For example, if you have the most power, you get the biggest share of whatever trade goes through it. I think it still matters how much trade power you have compared to the total that everyone else has, but if you have double the amount the rank 2 has, you get double his share.

    Having a capital city in a trade region gives you heaps of trade power, simply because the modifier becomes positive, not negative. (you lose about 40%+ from not having a capital city in a trade region)

    The steering just sends more trade the way of a node, which is useful if you have problems getting a larger share in a certain node. (usually not where your capital city is)

    Oh and I just figured out that the merchant doesnt send power, it sends trade money.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  10. #10
    Activated Node plat0nic's Avatar
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    Man, you gotta be some kind of smart to handle this game.
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  11. #11
    Network Hub sendmark's Avatar
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    Buildings are very good for securing trade power if you have a lot of provinces in one node. There are specific lines of buildings, first five of which you can have of any type, then the last two special ones give massive bonuses but lock the province from using any other special building. In my Vijayanagar game I dominated Ceylon trade solely through the trade buildings and that freed up my trade fleet to dominate Bengal/Malacca, putting me massively ahead of the rest of the world on income.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Even though it says it is no longer accurate, the wiki entry for trade is still useful. Some of the numbers have changed with patches, but the overall concepts remain intact.

    All of this will change with Wealth of Nations though (can't wait!).

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    http://www.reddit.com/r/paradoxplaza/comments/1yc03w/an_indepth_guide_to_trading_in_euiv/

    Hello and welcome to this Guide on how trading works. This is a very big part of the game and probably the most complex mechanic in EUIV. This will be a wall of text from the fiery depths of hell, so I'll try to cover the basics you need to know you use the system first.
    Please keep in mind, english is not my mother tongue, so bare with me if you discover gramatical errors



    The Basics

    In the game, trade is modeled arround so-called trade nodes. A node can have provinces asssigned to it and is connected to one or even multiple other trade nodes, thus forming a global network. The links between trade nodes have one specific direction, so that most trade nodes have incomming and outgoing connections, while some only have incomming or only have outgoing connections. Every single province in the game is assigned to one of these trade nodes. To actually run trade within this network, two key factors are important:

    1. trade value
    2. trade power

    Good news!TheDaciaSandero... No, actually if you know how these factors work and interact you are basically good to go! So lets get cracking:

    Trade Value:


    Trade value is exclusively generated by provinces, and can be improved by contructing buildings in a province. Every province in the game has a trade good that is produced there, and these goods have prices that can vary. This is where it get's a bit complicated. The actual trade value is calculated like this:
    ((Current price of the trade Good x amount produced)+ flat trade value modifiers)x %-trade value modifiers

    1. Current price of the trade Good:
      Based on the kind of good aswell as supply and demand, this tends to change quite a bit.
    2. Amount produced:
      Base for non-colonial provinces is 1, every point base tax adds 1% and a Workshop adds 20%, while a treasury adds 10%. manufactories offer a 100% increase.
    3. Flat trade value modifiers
      Only obtainable from a trade depot, wich adds +1.
    4. %-trade value modifiers
      This refers to the so-called "Trade Value Modifier". It is mostly obtained through building a canal, wich will give you 25%.

    For an example, let's take the province Württemberg with it's wonderful capital Stuttgart, producing grain at, let's say a price of 2. Since Württemberg ist a prosperous region, the owner could build alot of buildings; a temple, a trade depot, a canal, a Farm Estate alongside a workshop and a treasury. First, lets multiplay our price with how much is produced. That is 2 times 2.35. The 2.35 is the base value of 1+1(from Manufactory)+0.1(from treasury)+0.2(from Workshop)+0.05(from Base tax(4) and temple(1)). So far, we therefore have a value of 2x2.35=4.7. Now we need to add 1 from our Trade depot and multiplay that by 1.25 to add the 25% our canal gives us. 5.7x1.25=7,125
    The produced trade value is then added to the trade node wich the province it was produced in is assigned. Trade value can be transported between nodes, using the connection between them. Trade value can only be transported along the direction the link between two nodes has. You can also collect the trade value in a node; based on the percentage of trade power you own in the node, you gain the same percentage of the trade value as income; you can further increase this income, but I'll cover this later. To collect trade you need to own a province in the node you want to collect from.

    Trade Power:


    There are 4 ways to gain trade power in a trade node:

    1. Through provinces and buildings.
      Every province adds trade power to the trade node it is assigned to. This trade power can be further improved by buildings. Lets take a closer look at the base numbers first: Every province adds 1 trade power, coastal prvinces have a 50% boost up to 1.5. Then there are Centers of Trade and other provincial modifiers (like the Staples Port in Calais or various river estuarys) that usually 5 trade power on top of that. Then there are Buildings, that either give flat bonuses that are added to the base trade power, or they provide %-multiplicators that are applied to the total amount of flat power a province has.
    2. Through light ships:
      Light ships, depending on what level they are give you trade power in the node you let them "protect trade" in. To do this you need to have a merchant in the node or your capital must be in the target node.
    3. Through merchants:
      placing a merchant in a node offers some boni I'll cover later, but for now let's just say they let you do more things with your trade power, and also add a small flat value of it.
    4. From protectorates/Colonies:
      Both offer you 50% of all their trade power regardless of what they get it from or in wich node they have it.

    Now we have to look at multiplicators that are applied to the trade power you have gained the ways I elaborated. I'll probably write an indepth section on that one because there are loads of them, so lets just cover the most important ones here.

    1. Global Trade Power modifier:
      Mostly obtained through Idead and National Ideas, this will add the specified percentage of your trade power to all nodes you have power in.
    2. Collecting trade in a node your capital is not in:
      Doing this gives a huge ass negative modifier on your trade power in that node. Im talking about some 70% that are applied last. Can still be very profitable though.

    So, a trade node contains alot of trade power, modified by a lot of stuff, owned by alot of nations. Every nation can basicly use it's percentage to do two things i've already mentioned: transfer trade value or collect trade value. Both actions either require your capital in the node or a merchant, else you can't control your trade power



    Bloody hell, that was only the basics and I'm already at about 6000/10000 letters. Regarding the modifiers and factors I haven't covered right now, you can generally say the more you have of it the better. Anyways, I hope I could help you and clarify some things. I will add the many many sections I haven't covered right now in the comments and put perma-links up here, in order to stay under the limit and to increase readability. Please feel free to ask questions, point out mistakes or provide further explanations, participation is highly appreciated. Thank for reading and have a nice day
    Edit: Couldn't finish the first addendum, will be back in 7 hrs.



  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    NOTE: you do not need to memorise or remember ANY of these "What resource gives what" etc values; if you are building trade buildings, it will tell you where it improves it the most, and give you the immediate value of what it will rise to in the production overlay.

    There might be a trade good overlay as well, but I havent checked for that yet. (Its not on the trade overlay, I checked)

    Anyway, thanks for the reddit link!
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Oh and the recent patch now added being able to collect everywhere. But the rule still is: Collect where you have the most trade power (outside of your capital city's Zone, you collect that anyway), and there is the most trade money.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  16. #16
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    I'd need a bit of help still on trade.

    After starting the game for first time the last group session i started a new game as portugal.

    In this new game i missed out on the west african coast and jumped straight into new world (I own about half of caribbean and half of brazil, whole middle america & some US south coast). My problem is, i own no nodes that connect straight to these vassal states (Portuguese Brasil, Cuba and Mexico) as all these connect to either Africa (brazil), or the west european sea node.

    My question is thus: Should i try make some huge linkage-bridge in where i forward in both Caribbean (and maybe leave the "patrol trade there for my multiple vassal states?) and "protect trade" with my own fleet in both west europe (where i'd place merchant to re-route it?) and Sevilla (where i collect). Tbh no idea what to do with brazil as it pales in comparison to my power center in caribbean.

    Or do I just simply drop all 3 of my merchants in my nodes (Sevilla, Brazilian coast and Cuba) as i'm either #1 (colonies) or #2 in trade power in all of them. Do vassal state light ships contribute to my trade power?

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    It depends. Try both methods and see what nets you more total income.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Calamity's Avatar
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    Mr Quanta, interested in rewriting this for WoN? Or shall I give it a go when it launches?
    God Overlord of the Glorious Zapotec, Iroquois and Dai Viet Empires & all-round Games and Stratagy Wizard.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    I think its a community effort, so please feel free.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    please! sorely in need of an update. Can someone give me accurate info of changes to the trade system and opportunities and so on?
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

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