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Advanced Economics

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Anno 1404 has many economic factors which overlap and interact. Here are a few of them, explored in depth.

Passive TradingEdit

You get 2.5 times the active sale amount (rounded down) for a ton of goods using passive sales. (You can check the active sale price for any good by momentarily setting up a trade route that sells a good to a vendor.) You will want to agressively sell passively, early in the game. But it is a fickle thing; understanding it will help you master it.

BasicsEdit

The volumes that merchant fleets will buy depends on their Merchant Fleet Attainment level. They always buy at the same price, 2.5 times the active sale price (rounded down):

Merchant Fleet Attainment Level Merchant Fleet ID Low Tons High Tons Max. Number of Goods Max. Expenditure
0 ITF I 5 11 4 5,000
OTF I
CTF I
1 ITF II 8 17 6 10,000
OTF II
CTF II 4
2 ITF III 12 24 8 20,000
OTF III 25
CTF III 6
3 ITF IV 19 38 8 30,000
OTF IV 17 35
CTF IV 6
Merchant Fleet ID is the identity of the NPC fleet, if the ship is clicked on: "Imperial Trade Fleet I" is a Northburgh ship at Merchant Fleet attainment level 0/3, "Oriental Trade Fleet II" is an Al Zahir ship at attainment level 1/3, "Corsair Trade Fleet III" is one of Hassan's ships at level 2/3, etc.
Note: The text describing Merchant Fleet Attainments is incorrect in Anno 1404; Merchant Fleet attainment increases do not add 500, then 1,000, etc.; they add 10 times this amount, with purse expenditure limits increaased by 5,000 (for level 1/3), 10,000 (for level 2/3), etc. per attainment level, as shown above. Also note that in Easy games (Elector, Master Builder), higher Merchant Fleet attainments do not result in additional ships sent out. One must play at Medium difficulty or higher to see the additional Merchant Fleet ships at each attainment level.

The tonnages passively bought in the table above only apply if you use the default passive prices; for more detailed information (such as if you change default prices or want to passively buy), see the table below and the Goods bias table.

For the above table (i.e., default prices for passive buying in Anno 1404), Low Tons are always High Tons divided by 2 and rounded down. On average, there is a 50% increase in tonnage when you increase the Merchant Fleet status of an NPC in Anno 1404 (but it's more complicated when playing Venice; see the next table).

Even more important than the tonnage increase that accompanies each Merchant Fleet level is the number of ships the NPC sends out. For Anno 1404 at default passive buying prices, these effectively result in:

  • Attainment level 1 is a 300% increase over level 0 (50% more goods times twice as many ships),
  • Level 2 is a 225% increase over level 1 (1.5x goods x 1.5x ships),
  • Level 3 is a 200% increase (1.5x goods x 1.33x ships).

Thus, the first Merchant Fleet attainment level is the most significant relative increase, although the highest attainment level represents the highest absolute increase.

Here's a much more detailed table showing trade levels, including Venice information:

Merchant Fleet Attainment Level

Merchant Fleet ID

Fleet Size

Cooldown (min)

Min. Tons

Base Tons

Max. Good

Max. Number of Goods

Max. Expenditure

Max. Revenue

0

ITF I

1

15

1

10

15

4

2,000

600

OTF I

20

CTF I

SVS

30

3

15

20

5

4,400

660

1

ITF II

2

30

2

15

25

6

8,000

1,100

OTF II

40

CTF II

4

SVS

50

4

20

35

7

11,250

1,625

2

ITF III

3

45

4

20

40

8

24,000

2850

OTF III

60

5

CTF III

30

6

SVS

6

35

45

8

9,500

1,050

3

ITF IV

4

60

8

30

60

8

24,000

2,800

OTF IV

80

5

8

CTF IV

40

6

LVS

2

90

9

45

70

9

32,500

3,750


The Venetian level 4 merchant fleet only spawns every 45 minutes, way longer compared to the level 3 fleet, which spawns every 20 minute. Hence, keeping the Venetian merchant fleet at level 3 is better.

At the moment you increase Attainment levels, ships of that NPC will use the new trade levels. However, any existing Merchant Fleet ship will continue its routing using the name it started out with, such as Imperial Trade Fleet I. Their next ship to appear will properly reflect the attainment level as of the moment it appears, e.g., Imperial Trade Fleet II.

You can easily check the level of other players' Merchant Fleet attainments by seeing the roman numeral suffix to the ships that visit their warehouses. Vendor ships sent to other NPC players do not visit your warehouses, or vice versa; each vendor addresses each player (human or AI) entirely separately, depending on their attainment level, warehouses, relationship (for Corsairs), etc.

RoutingEdit

Merchant Fleet routing always stays the same, regardless of attainment level, as long as there are no changes in Warehouses. The fleet first starts by going to the nearest warehouse. It then moves to the next nearest unvisited warehouse. If you plot out their route, you will always know the future ports of call, and can use this knowledge to deliver goods you want Merchant Fleets to buy, just before they get there. If Warehouses are ever changed/destroyed, Merchant Fleet routes are liable to change, sometimes drastically, depending on what is changed. A given new Merchant Fleet ship will only visit warehouses that exist as of the moment it appears; new warehouses won't be visited until new trade ships have started their rounds.

Preferred GoodsEdit

This once-planned section may get deleted soon as being duplicative, depending on developments in the Goods Bias section.

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