1. #1
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Blue's Guide to Making Buttloads of ED [Beginner's Market Guide]

    I've thought about making this guide for like forever, but have always been way, waaay to lazy to actually get started on it. But that ends today! Since I did kind of specifically say I'd get on this if I became a mod, and that actually ended up happening...

    A question that plagues many an Elsword player is thus: how can anyone afford these insane prices?? At the time of this introduction's creation, the more valuable items in the marketplace (namely: IB sets, retired pets/mounts, and ye olde event items) cost anywhere from 200 million ED to several billion ED. Using only money earned from dungeons, you can maybe get a few million a day from grinding high-level areas, but the idea of grinding hours upon hours just for a fraction of the cost of the cheapest IB glove on the board is, certainly, quite discouraging to new players.

    But does this mean it's impossible for a new player to break into the modern Elsword market? No, it does not. Getting your foot in the door is the toughest step, but once you're in, you can perpetuate your billions of ED with careful purchases and management of funds. The intention of this guide is to help players get their foot in the door and stay there, to help bridge the gap between rich and poor, and to, with time and patience, help reduce the overall cost of luxury items by teaching players how to buy and sell smart.

    I welcome players to post their own thoughts and market tips in here as well, since there's pretty much no way I'm going to remember everything on my own. Together, let's help put a stop to the endless cries of LOL NA MARKET LOL and work towards a bright, richer (poorer?) future!

    Version History
    03/06/2015 v1.00 Guide officially completed.
    05/26/2015 v1.01 Reworded some info in lesson one.
    07/20/2015 v1.02 Updated Customer Service ticket screens to new layout, removed pointless section, and a few other minor changes.
    09/15/2015 v1.03 Updated Item Mall screenshots to the new UI, added IB/FR pull charts.
    04/05/2016 v1.04 Updated info under lesson one with revamped magic stones, Henir, GoD, etc., updated the IB/FR rewards table, fixed broken links.

    To-Do List
    - More detailed info on professions
    - More info on certain types of free offers, as soon as peanutlabs decides to give me some variety again qq
    - Check gifting requirements
    - Update SD-related info?
    - Heroic Gear
    - Methods to obtain seals, maybe?

  2. #2
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson One: What Exactly Is There To Buy, Anyway?

    One question we need to answer before we can get into the meat of this topic: what, exactly, is there worth buying in Elsword for millions to billions of ED? Here, we're going to cover some of the more important items in the game that don't cost buttloads of ED, as well as some that may put a strain on your wallet if you need them in bulk.

    Please keep in mind that all prices listed in this guide are based on the market prices at the time it was written, so they may not be 100% accurate. Prices are always changing. Don't use this as a pricing guide because that's not what it's for.

    Enhancement Stones.
    These are the items you use to enhance weapons and armour. It can take stacks upon stacks of these to hit the +6 minimum that most players recommend (since there's a chance to reset the enhancement or break the item from +7 onward). Luckily, these things are more common than dirt, especially once you start fighting in Raids. You'll not only be swimming in level-specific stones from killing regular monsters, but Blessed stones (aka no level restriction) that drop in bulk from Field/Raid Bosses. Early on, you may think of these as a precious resource to be managed.

    By the time you hit the upper levels you'll be chucking them in the garbage as they continue to flow freely into your inventory from every direction. Avoid buying these, try to stock up on them instead for when you do need them.

    These items are used to instantly bump an item's enhancement up to a certain level. The more common amulets you'll find are the +5 and +6 amulets, but you can also get amulets for +7~10 as rewards from Raid/Field Boss cubes, Ice Burners, Fossil Readers, and special events. You also have a small chance to obtain an amulet while using advanced dismantling on enhanced items as a Blacksmith. These items are very handy for enhancements over +7, as after that point the rate of success becomes abysmal and there's a chance the item will break or reset to +0 if you're enhancing manually. In the game's current state, +7 amulets have become fairly common and it's not too difficult to get a hold of some if you fight in Raid/Field Boss fights frequently. A +8 amulet is more of a rare and expensive find. +9 and +10 are considered very valuable, and unless you're lucky or rich you may never set eyes on a single one.

    Having an extra power boost is always handy, but +7s are fairly easy to find and are enough to get you through the game with no problems. Unless you're trying for very difficult and demanding titles or want to faceroll in PVP, you don't really need to buy amulets. It's better to think of them as a nice and optional bonus. Remember that a good player doesn't have to be OP to be good, and skill can easily trump raw power. Work hard to be a good player until the day Lady Luck smiles on you!

    Magic Stones.
    These are used to socket weapons and armour with extra stats, and come in a colourful variety of specifications. The most common types, the regular and advanced magic stones, are relatively common as a drop and will probably start to clog up your inventory after level 40 or so. Like enhancement stones, you will also get both types of these in bulk from Field and Raid Bosses.

    Generally speaking, you don't really need to buy these unless you're crafting Dual Magic Stones in bulk and are short on materials. You can always grind for more if you're a few behind, but the drop rate for Magic Stones isn't high enough that you can do so quickly for bulk crafting/socketing, so there may indeed be times where you have to buy them. Try to minimize these times by stocking up on materials in advance and hoarding them.

    Dual Magic Stones/Bethbites.
    These get their own category because they're a wildly different market than regular ol' magic stones. Each of these stones give not one, but 2~3 different stats per socket. However, the maximum value of each stat is reduced accordingly, so you can socket just as well using normal magic stones. The main advantage these stones give is that they always total up to the maximum value of the socket, and some of them have unique stats such as bonus damage to certain skill types or a chance to deal double damage. Some are more useful than others! And, as such, some are more valuable than others.

    These magic stones can be crafted with either Ereda Island medals or Bethbites dropped in Secret Dungeons. Ereda stones and SD stones have different stats! Resonant, Mana and Impact are the Ereda stones; Empowerment, Absorption, Resistance, Destruction (red diamond) and Haste are the Secret Dungeon stones. Ereda medals cannot be traded, but you can trade Bethbites, so be sure to check both the magic stones prices as well as the material prices when buying or selling SD magic stones.

    Depending on your socketing preferences, you may want to invest in certain types of stones, but you always have the option of grinding them for yourself if you need to save your money. You can also choose to stick with the more affordable regular magic stones.

    (Old) Dual Magic Stones.
    These get their own category because they're a bit of a different beast compared to the newer dual stones. The old dual stones used to be craftable using Secret Dungeon bethbites before the SD revamp, but you can still obtain them from events sometimes. The reason these older stones are notable is because, unlike the newer stone, each stat in the socket can reach the maximum value. For example, if you're using a newer magic stone to give you Additional Damage and Critical, the maximum you could achieve on a weapon is 6% total between both stats, such as 2% crit/4% add or 3% crit/3% add. If you're using an old magic stone, your maximum would be 12% total of both stats, or 6% crit/6% add. This is why the older stones are still so sought after.

    The old dual stones are Explosion, Destruction (gray rectangle), Quickness, Combustion, and Wrath. There are also even older magic stones than these that you might see pop up, but those ones aren't considered useful since they gave different bonuses that don't scale very well.

    If you want the best possible stats, you may find yourself spending a lot on these. Unfortunately, the old dual stones can't be crafted or obtained in any way besides RNG from events at this time, so spending a lot of ED may be your only option.

    Secret Dungeon Materials.
    These are the drops that are used to craft Secret Dungeon equipment. While the much-needed Coins are untradeable, there is also a material drop in each Secret Dungeon that is also necessary to craft the pieces. If you run SDs, you're probably going to end up with a lot of these, but only for the dungeons you don't actually want sets for (I'm looking at you, Contaminated Alterasia Seed). For the dungeons you do want sets for, you're pretty much guaranteed to always be in short supply. You're probably going to end up buying at least a few of these once you hit the level cap and finish getting at the dungeon coins you need.

    If you manage a lot of alts, your wallet can take some serious damage from these purchases, but you always have the option of grinding for your own. You should only buy these in small numbers to complete a set and try your best to get the bulk of them on your own.

    Power Stones.
    These are obtained by collecting Power Stone Fragments from playing Henir's Time and Space Challenge Mode. You can use 60 fragments to craft one random Power Stone: 1st Dimension, 2nd Dimension, 3rd Dimension, or 4th Dimension. Using these stones allows you to upgrade a Dimension Weapon with a 100% success rate instead of the normal 50%.

    Because the stone you get is random, these are very valuable and the higher level stones can get extremely pricey. You can try to obtain the stones you need by crafting, but if RNG isn't kind to you you may want to buy the stone you need to speed up the weapon-upgrading process.

    El Shards.
    Used to add elemental effects to weapons and resistance to armour, these items sit comfortably between "common as dirt" and "but you'll never have enough when you actually need them". If you want to get a full triple-layered attribution on a weapon you're probably going to need a lot of these, especially as you inch closer to the level cap and require more and more shards. They're also used to create El Essences, which are consumed every time you use your Hyperactive Skill, but since you get 3 Essences per 1 Shard and you can just use cheaper shard types for that, it's really just the attribute thing that you'll be buying these for. The prices for these vary, with the more popular elements being more expensive.

    If you have a multitude of alts to fund, shards can become incredibly pricey incredibly fast, but it's also easy to just, y'know, not attribute stuff until late into the game where it actually matters. Sometimes it's better to live without. Try to put off attributing your equipment until you have gear that's going to last you for a long time, endgame gear, or until you start PVPing.

    Dungeon Boss Drops (Accessories/Gear).
    These range from incredibly common and cheap to unreasonably rare and expensive. For accessories, you'll probably just be buying these for looks. You can also grind for them, but unless you offer some kind of ritualistic sacrifice to RNGsus, you'll probably get a hundred of every boss drop you don't actually want. Fortunately, everyone else probably suffers from this misfortune as well, so prices aren't too bad. If you ask nicely you might even get the item you want for free from someone.

    If you're smart and patient, you won't have to spend a dime on these, and you can sell any you don't want for a decent sum of ED.

    Gate of Darkness Elixirs.
    These elixirs are some of the possible rewards from the Darkness Cores obtained from clearing the Gate of Darkness. Using the elixir gives you a 30 minute buff effect that works in dungeons, fields and raid. They can also be upgraded by Alchemist characters to have more powerful effects. GoD elixirs are also given out very frequently in events, so chances are you'll always have a few on hand even if you don't run GoD often.

    The currently available elixirs are Giant Potion, Blazing Bomb, Tracker's Soul, Baby Fairy Cradle, Denif's Ice Orb, Ventus' Wings, Rosso's Blazing Ring and Giant Hand Potion. There are also several older elixirs form the old season of GoD that are no longer available, but may still be purchased from other players. These elixirs are much more expensive due to their limited supply and rarity. Retired elixirs include Amon's Blessing, Seraphim's Blessing, Geb's Blessing, Cronus' Blessing, as well as Newt's Grace, Ptah's Grace, Zakkiel's Grace and Rachel's Grace.

    You should only need to buy these if you're looking for a specific elixir for a specific purpose, such as preparing for a raid or going for a title that the elixir can help with.

    Alchemist/Blacksmith Crafting Items.
    These items are used by the Alchemist and Blacksmith professions to enhance, socket, and/or craft items. Levelling a profession takes a lot of raw materials, especially as you get closer to the level 10 cap. If you have a Treasure Hunter character (or, like myself, a completely ludicrous number of Treasure Hunter characters), you probably won't need to buy these too often. If you don't have the time or interest to play multiple characters but want to experience the glory of Blacksmithing/Alchemy, or if you want to level your profession as quickly as possible, you're going to need to shell out a lot of ED to buy the materials.

    Profession materials can be a major sap on your wealth, but again, you'll always have the option to just make a Treasure Hunter to fund them. If you're trying to grind out profession levels you'll most likely end up buying these materials eventually, however, so if you're serious about your Blacksmith/Alchemist you're going to need the ED to fund them.

    Professionally-Made Items.
    Moving along from the previous topic! Alchemists, once they reach a high enough level, can craft incredibly useful and valuable items, such as El Essences that lower you Hyperactive's cooldown, potions that restore larger amounts of HP/MP, and upgraded versions of the Gate of Darkness potions. Since only Alchemist characters can create these items, the only way to get them is to became an Alchemist yourself or to buy them off the board. Much like playing a Treasure Hunter for materials, you should consider making an Alchemist for crafting if you want these valuable items. There are also rare accessories that only Treasure Hunter characters are able to find.

    These are very, very optional items, and neither the consumables nor the accessories are necessary to be successful in this game. If you do want them, though, you can either put down a lot of ED to purchase them or create an Alchemist/Treasure Hunter character to earn them yourself.

    Boxes/Rare Box Rewards.
    Boxes are a random drop that can be found in most dungeons that you can spend ED to open and receive a random reward, with more expensive boxes being found in higher level areas. Boxes mainly reward random junk equipment, but can also give out rare titles, consumables, or a special unique equipment set for each level range. Notable box rewards include the much sought-after Liquid Medicine of Fighting Spirit, the Passionate Touch title, the Curse of Chaos title, and the current "endgame" unique box sets, Elemental Chaos and Transcendent Key Code. Since these items can only be obtained from boxes, players will sometimes buy boxes in bulk to try and get the prize they want. You can also sell or buy these rewards directly instead of using boxes, but the price may be steep.

    Depending on what you're looking for, a boxed item might seem out of your budget and opening a lot of boxes might seem like a viable option. However, be mindful of your wallet when trying for box RNG. Each box costs ED to open in addition to whatever cost you might have paid to buy it, and especially with the higher-level boxes it can add up quickly.

    Event Costumes/Accessories.
    Ahh, and now we start getting to the real luxury stuff. Event items are a chaotic and unpredictable market, and they can either make or break your wallet depending on when you buy them. For many event rewards, you can simply do the event yourself to get the item and bypass the market altogether. If it's an RNG thing, though, you might not have a choice. If you do have to buy an event item, pricing is all about the appeal of the item itself as well as timing, but that's a topic for another lesson! I will say, though, that event items tend to shoot up in price astronomically the longer it's been since they were released.

    Events with tradeable prizes don't happen every month, but when they do happen they can easily drain your bank if you're not careful. Pricing for event items is hard to predict since every event is different, and some rewards are nicer than others. If there's an event item you want, though, you should do your best to earn it rather than buying it.

    Limited Edition Pets.
    Pets are the cute little companions that you can have follow you around everywhere. With a $5 Fetch Aura from the Item Mall they can also pick up items for you, which is incredibly handy for speeding up dungeon runs and maximizing funds gained from dungeons/fields. If you want a rare or powerful pet, though, you might have to buy it from another player.

    You only really need one pet per character, though, so you might spend a chunk of ED on a pet and then never have to think about it again. If you have a ton of alts and want all of them to have pets it can definitely put a strain on your funds, but it's just as easy to go without a rare pet altogether, or to wait for another powerful pet to release.

    These creatures are used to effectively simulate Lunatic Psyker gameplay for all characters— okay, okay, just kidding kind of. Anyway, these are obtained from the Item Mall through $1 Fossil Readers (aka RNG) or a single $24 purchase. Mounts are a bit of a niche. They can be handy for clearing dungeons in as lazy a way as possible, or for filling gaps in a character's abilities (giving a clearing skill to a character that lacks one, for example). They shine best when you have a powerful weapon, since many mounts have wide-reaching AoE skills, and are highly favoured in title-achieving speedruns for their versatility.

    Mounts can take a chunk out of your funds, but like pets, you only really need one and can always just go without it altogether.

    Ice Burner Costumes/Accessories.
    AKA the thing everyone complains about all the time. This is it, the most ridiculously expensive item you will ever find in this game. Ice Burner sets can only be obtained using KChing, and even through KChing it's an RNG system, so it's never a guaranteed purchase. Older IBs can range anywhere from billions for a single costume piece to so much money people start trying to buy them illegally with real cash. Current and recent IBs tend to have more reasonable prices.

    Ice Burners are as superfluous as it gets, especially now that so many event sets and even Item Mall sets have decent stats, and the only part you ever might feel you need would be the weapon. So, you don't really need these ever. But you probably came to this thread so you could buy more Ice Burner pieces, let's be honest here.

    Item Mall Items.
    If you can't afford to buy KChing with your own real life people money earned from real life people jobs, you might have to buy these items from other players. ED:KChing exchange rates tend to vary, but at the time of this post sit around 25:100 (25m ED to every 100 KC or $1). Another section will cover the ins and outs of buying and selling KChing, but for now you should know the gist of it.

    If you can't buy your own KC, this could very well be your biggest ED drain, but you can also ignore the KChing market altogether if you rely on your own real world income or stick only to the essentials.

  3. #3
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Two: Selling Common Drops & The Fundamentals Of Selling

    The first step to getting your foot in the metaphorical door that is the Elsword market is to make some money. To do that, you have to start small, keep yourself updated, and never pass up a good opportunity. For your first few millions, you're most likely going to be stuck on the Market Board, so let's start by going over the steps you'll need to take to make successful and profitable sales using the board.

    fig.1.1: the Market Board

    Step 1: Choose your item.
    Obviously, you need to decide on what you're selling to figure out the right price for it. You'll want to pick something that sells quickly or in bulk.

    Good common items to sell would be magic stones, boss drops, el shards, QPL jellies, or crafting materials. In fact, a commonly overlooked source of income is in Sturdy Armor Pieces and Weapon Pieces, which are obtained from dismantling high-level equipment. These are used to craft endgame gears and, seeing as many players get lazy after grinding all the way to the level cap and getting all the other base materials, are often snatched up quickly and in bulk. You can make a ton of money by dismantling gear to sell Sturdy Pieces and using the El Gems to craft QPLs.

    For this example, we're going to sell El Shard (Mystery).

    Step 2: Survey the market.
    You can't just toss up an item at any price. Especially for common items, prices can change and flucuate at a moment's notice, so you should at the very least check to see what everyone else is charging.

    fig.1.2: the El Shard (Mystery) market at the time of this example

    It looks like 150k is the lowest price, so we should charge less than that, right? Nope. An important thing to keep in mind when selling, especially when it comes to common items like these, is that sales happen very, very quickly. And in this particular case, the 150k Shards are very few in number as well, so we can just ignore them under the assumption that they'll be bought in the very near future.

    Step 3: Set your price.
    Since the prices seem to level out at around the 220~225k mark, we're going to sell our El Shards for 200k.

    fig.1.3: selling our shards

    Step 4: Wait.
    If you picked a good item or only had a few to put up for sale, this shouldn't take long. When your items sell, you'll get an announcement in the chat window as well as an in-game mail. You'll also get mail when all of your items on the board have sold.

    fig.1.4: chat announcement for a sold item

    fig.1.5&1.6: on the left, mail obtained when item is sold; on the right, mail from when all items have been sold

    If your items don't sell, they'll be taken off the board after 24 hours have passed, or until you remove them from the board yourself. You may want to remove them yourself if prices change dramatically throughout the course of the day, so be sure to check up on the market every now and then to see how you're doing.

    fig.1.7: obsessively stalking the board, just as nature intended

    Step 5: Rinse & repeat.
    Once all your items are sold or removed from the board, go back to step one and start all over again.

    It'll be a slow and arduous process, but with patience and wise pricing this can very easily be your main income. It's steady, it's reliable, and it's easy to do on the side.

    fig.1.8: holla holla get dolla

    This also cover the fundamentals of selling: always be aware of your competition, and price your items accordingly. When you start selling more valuable items, however, there are more factors you have to consider besides just your competition. More on that in a later segment!

    Bonus Step: Use a VIP Ticket.
    If you have a decent stock of items to sell off, you might want to consider buying a Sales Agent Certificate (VIP). This item can be found in the Item Mall and purchased with KChing, but you can also buy it off other players using ED if needed. They come in durations of 7, 15 and 30 days, after which the ticket expires and loses its effects.

    fig.1.9: the VIP ticket

    As long as the ticket exists in your inventory, you gain a two bonuses while selling through the market. First, you don't have to pay the 10% market tax, so you're already profiting! Second, you have a lot more space to sell items. With the VIP ticket, your shop space jumps up from 3 slots all the way to 15. With all those slots to fill, you won't have to restock your shop as often if items are selling quickly. You can also use your extra space to control a wider range of markets at once.

    VIP tickets are a good investment if you have the time and stock to make the best of them. If you're selling in larger-valued items, such as event rewards and Ice Burners that we'll be covering in later sections, you'll probably want to pass on this since you won't benefit as much.

  4. #4
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Three: Merchandising The Marketplace

    So far we've only covered one method of making ED: selling random junk you find lying around. But before we get into dealing with more expensive items, there is one method that is far too often overlooked by eager players. As they say in the real world, you gotta spend money to make money!

    Selling Crafted Items.
    How this works is actually nothing but basic math, but I'm going to go over it in detail anyway. To start with a brief explanation: certain items in the game are only obtainable by players crafting them with material items that are obtained in dungeons, fields and quests. These items, as well as their materials, can often be sold. Material items tend to be common, but you might need many units of several items to make one unit of a more valuable crafted item.

    Most players will just sell the materials, either because they don't expect to make more profit crafting the final item or because they don't have (or can't afford) the rest of the needed materials. Or because they're lazy. Being lazy is fine, really, because you still make a profit, but let's say you already have plenty of money to burn. How do you make that money into more money through crafting?

    First, let's pick something to craft. Today we're going with everyone's favourite dual stone, Magic Stone of Destruction.

    fig.2.1: crafting materials for Magic Stone of Destruction

    To craft this item, we need 15 Bethbites, 12 Magic Stones, and 6 Advanced Magic Stones, as well as 10k ED. Let's pretend I don't have any of these material items and we just want to buy everything.

    fig.2.2&2.3&2.4: going from the top down, the market for Bethbites, Magic Stones, and Advanced Magic Stones at the time of this post

    Looking at these prices, we already have a few plateaus going on. Those big stacks of similarly-priced items clogging up the board mean prices aren't going up until that whole section is taken out. So, looking at this, we'll estimate how much it costs to craft 1 Magic Stone of Destruction.

    15 Bethbite = 450k x 15 = 6.75m
    12 Magic Stone = 40k x 12 = 480k
    6 Advanced Magic Stone = 222k x 6 = 1.33m
    ED = 10k
    Total materials cost = 8.57m

    Ouch. That sure looks expensive! I wonder how much just buying the final item costs?

    fig2.5: the market for Magic Stone of Destruction at the time of this post

    So... we're looking at about 11m, for an item that costs 8.57m to craft. Even if we look at the lowest stack available right now and price ours at 10m, that's still a 1.43m profit per stone. Don't forget that this won't actually have cost us anything if all of the stones sell.

    Of course, this sort of market isn't something you can just jump into recklessly. As you can see from that board full of Destruction Stones, the competition can get incredibly fierce with the more popular items. If you try to sell too much at once, other people are going to undercut you and drive the price down. Investing in materials means taking away from your funds in the present for profit in the future, and sometimes that can be a long way off. Still, many crafted items are both high in demand and easy to make, and there are plenty of little-known markets out there you can get in on, as well as fast-paced markets that never cease their hunger for more sellers.

    To give a few more ideas besides just dual stones...
    QPL Jellies. Regular Jellies sell for around 500k while Fantastic and Strange Jellies sell for 6~10m each, and the materials for QPLs are dirt-cheap.
    High-Grade Magic Stones. Did you know Critical Stones sell for as much as a dual stones and cost even less to make? Now you do. Additional Damage, Reduced Damage and Attack Speed stones also sell for hearty amounts of ED.
    El Shards. You can solve Mystery Shards to sell the identified elemental shards instead. With the lesser El Shard prices in our economy starting to balance out, just getting a handful of Dark and Water shards can make up for a mountain of Light and Nature shards.

    Alchemists' Crafting Menu.
    If your character's is an Alchemist, you can also craft special items unique to your profession. The materials for these items may very well be more expensive, but you can still make a profit if you pick a popular item such as Advanced MP Potions or El Essences, and you'll also gain a small amount of profession experience for it. Be sure to check the pricing of all the materials before you start crafting to sell!

    The best items to consider selling as an Alchemist would be...
    Advanced Recovery/Vitality Potions. HP potions are annoying to get in later levels if you don't do a lot of PVP/Ereda, so there's always someone willing to buy up some decent potions.
    Advanced/Premium Mana Potion/Elixir Pouches. Everyone loves MP, and the more MP the better.
    Concentrated El Essence Pouches. These reduce your Hyperactive skill's cooldown to only 60 seconds.
    Blessed GoD Potions. The advanced versions of Tracker's Soul, Giant Potion, and Baby Fairy's Cradle are particularly useful and popular.

    Selling Dismantled Items.
    There's one other way to make money out of more money. This time, instead of taking materials and crafting an item, we're going to do the exact opposite of that. We're going to buy an item and dismantle it to get the materials. Since players tend to price items more expensively than materials, though, we're going to buy it off this NPC instead.

    fig.2.6: our victim and local Hamel blacksmith, Horatio

    Obviously, we're going to be buying equipment off him. Let's go with the cheapest crap gear poor Horatio here sells: a glove.

    fig.2.7: crappy gloves

    So to make profit off this, we need to sell the materials for more than 20.52k ED. Can it be done? Let's take a look!

    fig.2.8: the results of our dismantled crappy gloves

    For that one glove, we got 2 Sturdy Armor Pieces and 1 Huge El Gem. Dismantling an item won't always give you the same results, though. It seems to be a payout of 1~4 armor pieces/weapon scraps and 1~4 el gems. You tend to get more materials with tops and bottoms compared to gloves and shoes, so it's probably a bit more profitable to buy tops instead. But that aside! What can we make off this?

    fig.2.9&2.10: the market for Sturdy Armor Pieces and "el gems" at the time of this example

    Unfortunately, no one was selling Huge El Gems at the time, but we can always estimate based on the other gems' prices or just use them for crafting QPLs. But even if we only base our profit off Sturdy Armor Pieces, we've effectively doubled what we paid for already. Multiply that enough and you'll be swimming in ED!

    Of course, there's one fatal flaw to this method... it is very, painfully slow. Buying gear one by one and dismantling them one by one isn't exactly a fun or easy way to make money. You're really better off grinding it at this speed. Still, it's important to know these sorts of things, especially if you ever find yourself in need of armor pieces and think for a moment that buying them off the board would be cheap.

    Blacksmith's Advanced Dismantle.
    If you're a Blacksmith, you can ignore pretty much all the disadvantages of dismantling for materials. If you're doing advanced dismantling, you gain more regular items, and you can also receive extra items such as El Shards, Enhancement Stones and Amulets. It also gives you Blacksmith experience to level your profession.

    fig.2.11&2.12: Advanced Dismantle and some examples of free extra loot

    If you're leveling a Blacksmith character and can fund them with your own Treasure Hunter, dismantling for materials can turn a very decent profit, especially since you could be picking up more valuable treasures such as El Shards along the way. If you have a Lv10 Blacksmith, though, you're probably better off just selling the mithrils needed to dismantle.

  5. #5
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Four: The Impact Of Events & Important Factors To Consider

    There are two major effects events tend to have on our economy. First and foremost, they can and will utterly murder the prices of common items. An event that gives away El Shards like candy, you say? Watch in awe as the El Shard prices drop like the stones they are! To briefly summarize supply&demand: as more of an item is introduced to the market, fewer people need or want that item, and, as a result, the price goes down. If you're a regular seller of common junk, you'll want to keep an eye on events and try to keep sales low while your item of choice is in abundance.

    The second effect events have is, of course, event rewards. Any tradeable item obtained from an event is a possible source of income, and they are by far the most valuable resource you could ever dream of. There are two core types of events, so we'll start by going over the features of both.

    The Exchange Event.
    This type of event involves collecting materials to exchange for a reward. This can be done in many different ways: completing dungeons, fighting in arena, killing x number of monsters, playing an event dungeon, logging in for x minutes, etc., etc., etc. But the core of this type of event is that you are guaranteed to get your reward as long as you participate. It is either 100% to obtain the materials per task completed (ex. complete x dungeons, get y material), or the success rate is high enough that it doesn't take an unreasonable amount of time to get enough (ex. the Shadow NPCs from the S3 event that showed up more often than real players).

    This is the easiest type of event, but if we're talking profit, it's the slowest payout. For this sort of event, most players that want the item will get it on their own. Sellers expecting to make bank will also be plentiful, since the event items will be easy to obtain. As a result, the initial price is going to be abysmal, and you'll have no choice but to wait until the event is long, loooong over to make any real profit off it.

    The RNG Event.
    This is the type of event that makes people froth with rage and shake their fists at the sky whilst screeching censored obscenities and their deity of choice. An RNG event is any event that involves a hefty amount of chance: cubes and randomized exchanges that have junk prizes mixed in with valuable ones, materials with painfully low drop rates... In this event type, you are guaranteed only the blood and tears that you spend trying to win. A recent example of this would be the 2014 Halloween Event, wherein you get a random chance to obtain a Monster's Soul each time you complete the event dungeon which, in turn, has a random chance of giving you anything worthwhile.

    While this may sound like a terrible event for anyone, it's actually by far the most profitable (if you're lucky), so you should always at least put a bit of effort into these types of events. Since prizes are few and far between, during the course of the event they'll maintain reasonably high prices. If you get a lucky break, your funds can skyrocket into the billions in one fell swoop.

    Which brings us to the next major part of this lesson...

    The Day One Effect.
    This is important when it comes to events, but it also applies to all shiny new things added to the game. Ice Burners, Item Mall junk, heck, even equipment and items from newly added areas can fall under this effect. If it's new and can be traded, you can bet your ♥♥♥ it's going to be expensive as ♥♥♥♥ on the first day.

    fig.3.1&3.2: on top, an IB glove on the first day of its set release; on the bottom is the IB glove that recently retired.

    The Day One Effect is actually quite simple: when an item is newly introduced to the market, it automatically starts out rare and desirable. No one knows what the pricing should be yet, and there will always be players desperate and rich enough to spend anything just to be the first one to get that new shiny thing, even if that new shiny thing is going to be as common as dirt a few months down the road, even if it's not even a limited edition item.

    And so, in the wee early hours of the update, all hell breaks loose. And that is both the best and worst time to strike.

    If you're a seller, this is the ideal time to make your sales. The earlier, the better, but this isn't the kind of market you can just leave up and forget about. You have to remember that everyone else is going to be doing the same thing, so if you want to milk the rich folks for all they're worth, you need to keep an eye on the board to make sure you're the "cheapest" available. People are going to be undercutting like mad in the rush to make that crazy-expensive early sale, and if you let them then you might end up buried and stuck with your item until after the prices have dropped.

    The Day One sale isn't just about pricing ludicrously high, it's also about knowing when to drop your price and make compromises.
    Ask yourself questions such as:
    Is this item easy to obtain?
    Is it limited edition?
    Does it have a use besides being new and shiny?
    Is it really really pretty, or is it ugly and awkward on most characters?
    Is it only for Chung?

    The answers to these questions should help you decide whether it's worth it or not to make the sale, as the prices slip lower and lower. Oftentimes, prices will rise back up after the event ends, but in many cases they'll fall abysmally low once everyone realizes the item isn't as great as they expected.

    For buyers, it's much simpler. Don't buy anything on Day One. Just don't. Don't do it. Don't even buy on day two or three if you want to be extra-safe.

    I shouldn't have to explain why at this point, but I see far too many people make this mistake and then cry about all the ED they've wasted. Prices always, always, ALWAYS drop after the first couple days. Supplies go up as time passes and that leads to more sellers competing with each other to make the quicker sale. Whatever it is you're looking to buy, be it event junk or an IB set or that shiny new mount all your friends have, you're probably better off waiting at least a few days before looking for sellers. If it's a limited edition item, the longer the release or event goes on the more the price will go down, followed usually by an increase after the item is retired. For permanent additions to the game, the price will probably go down and keep going down until it settles on something everyone agrees with.

    The Character Heirarchy.
    Simply put, some characters have more expensive items than others due to their popularity or appearance. This affects all character-specific items to some degree, not just event rewards. It's also not a hard rule that certain characters are always more expensive than others, but this is the general pattern that it follows, so it's important to know what items might end up more bank-breaking than others.

    Newer characters tend to have more expensive items, due to the simple fact that when a character is brand new there aren't that many exclusives for them in circulation. This effect will eventually lessen as time passes, hype wears out, and more costume sets/characters are released. However...

    Female characters have more expensive costumes. This is just a fact of life, okay. Players like seeing ladies in cute outfits. Call it sexist, but I'm a girl and I damn well want my ladies looking their best too.

    Chung is the least loved character, by far. For completely inexplicable reasons no one seems to like Chung. Chung-exclusive items are always the cheapest of the cheap, be it costumes, accessories, or equipment (skill notes tend to have a consistent price across the board, at least). This is good for Chung players, but bad for everyone who doesn't play Chung and ends up with Chung items.

    It's tough to give a solid ranking on character popularity, but if I had to give a rough estimate:
    1. Elesis, Lu (newest female characters)
    2. Ara, Eve (recent female characters), Add, Ciel (recent/newest male characters)
    3. Elsword, Rena, Aisha, Raven (older characters, but still decently popular)
    4. Chung (the mysterious chungtier)

    RIP the wallets of Elesis players, you have my sympathies.

  6. #6
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Five: Hunting For Sales

    We've now covered the basics of selling items as well as some ways to get those items. But as we start working with more and more expensive goods, the market board starts to become more of a hindrance than a help. After all, you can only sell items for up to 700m ED on the board, and there's a 10% tax taken off all your profits. So what do you do next?

    First, we need to look at how to find buyers and sellers. How many different ways are there to find people with the convenience of the market board? Before we jump into that, though, let's quickly go over "the offer".

    When making an offer, be it to buy or sell, it will generally have the following form to it:
    B/S/T> Item Name, requested exchange, preferred contact method

    For example:
    B> Eve SS Shade 1000b, whisper me
    S> GoF Turban Elesis offer
    T> AA Ara 5/5 for Aisha IB set 5/5 mail offers

    B/S/T stands for Buy/Sell/Trade. In Elsword, as well as in most MMOs, this is the most common way to start an offer. It's important to specify what you want to do with the item in question. After all, if you're selling something you don't want people to come up to you and try to sell you that same item.

    You'll notice a lot of shorthand when it comes to item names (like SS for Salvatore Solace and GoF for Gold Falcon). This is because the character limits in-game can make it pretty difficult to announce a full offer without cutting down on some of the words. Most item names are shortened to the first few letters of initials, but if you're ever unsure about an item name just ask the player using it. We all kind of just make this stuff up as we go along.

    You don't always have to list a starting price when buying or selling items, and sometimes it's more beneficial not to. Still, if you have a good idea of what your item is going to be worth, listing an asking price can help speed things up.

    Now that that's out of the way!

    Shouting from the rooftops.
    This is a fairly obvious one, because you'll see people doing it all the time. If you can spare a few bucks for it, a well-placed Megaphone can net you tons of replies.

    fig.5.1: the Megaphone chatbox in action

    There are two types of Megaphones: the regular, single-channel type, and the "Extreme" all-channels type. The former is cheaper, but not worth the money. If you get a free single-channel mega from Ariel you might as well use it, but extreme megas are worth the 70 cents extra. With an extreme mega, everyone is guaranteed to get the message no matter what channel they're on. With all 12 channels covered, you're reaching the eyes of every Elsworder online at that moment.

    There's more to megaphones than just hitting all the channels, though. Timing is also important. You want as many people to get your message as possible, so be sure to pick an active time of day where more people will be online. Also, you should pay close attention to how active the megaphone chatbox is, because if it's too active your message will get pushed out. If someone is holding a long and expensive debate over megaphones, for example, it's probably best just to leave them be and save your dollar for later. If you have more than one megaphone to spend, try and space them out so you're not using them all up at once. How quickly you use them is up to your discretion, but my personal recommendation is to wait at least 10~15 minutes before using another one at the absolute earliest.

    Also, the character limit for megaphones is 90 characters. This gives you a fair bit of room to stuff in item names and prices. Use your space wisely!

    Shouting from the streets.
    All chat: the poor man's megaphone! It's free, but it's also not very effective. It doesn't cost anything to yell at people in busy towns, though, so hey! Knock yourself out!

    Just be sure not to harass anyone. Don't stalk people or whisper at them asking if they want to buy or sell x thing out of nowhere. That's weird and kind of creepy.

    Harassing everyone with whispers.
    Just kidding, this is a legitimate tactic (in its own weird, kind of creepy way)!

    Whenever someone pulls a rare item from a gacha, such as Ice Burners and Fossil Readers, their name and item will be announced in the system chatbox as well as at the bottom of the screen. When you're hunting for an item that can be pulled from gachas, you should always keep a close eye on these announcements. When the item you want is pulled, immediately whisper the other player with an offer.

    There are a few general guidelines you should still follow, though, because this is a bit of an obnoxious way to find sellers. First of all, bear in mind that every time someone pulls a rare item their whisper chat ends up something like this:

    fig.5.2: whispers, whispers everywhere

    And will probably repeat like that for the next few minutes. If you whisper an offer and don't get an answer, relax. They probably got a better offer or don't want to sell. Please, please do not send more than one or two whispers. If they don't answer the first time they probably weren't planning to at all. Don't just whisper something like "are you selling?" either, due to the above fact that they'll be getting eighty whispers for offers already. Make an opening offer that you think is reasonable, then give them a few minutes to either answer you back or move on to other things.

    This method is really hit and miss, and mostly miss. Still, every now and then you'll strike gold just by being persistent. It doesn't hurt to try, at the very least.

    Lurking in sparring.
    Maybe you can't trade in sparring anymore, but it's still a popular spot for arranging trades. If you want to be passive, you can skim the list of rooms and visit the ones with offers you're interested in. If you want to make your own room, there are a few things you should know about sparring first.

    fig.5.3: your average sparring page

    Room titles have a 40 character limit, so your room name must be 40 characters long or less. Also, if you want to copy and paste your room title for remaking it quickly and easily, you can only paste text of up to 39 characters long (1 character less than the limit). Why? Who knows, but if you try to paste anything 40 characters or longer it'll stay blank.

    Older rooms fall to the back of the list. To keep your room close to the front page, remake it every so often. If you stop seeing people jump in and out of the room for a few minutes, chances are you're starting to fall back. It can also help to survey the current of new rooms being made for a couple minutes before making your own. Also, if your room is inactive (aka no one engaging in a sparring match or typing text into chat) for a certain period of time, the room will get deleted and you'll be kicked from it. This shouldn't be a problem, though, if that happens you probably needed to remake it anyway.

    fig.5.4: a buyer in the wild, stalking her prey

    You should also take a look at the surrounding rooms whenever you refresh your own. If you have competition going for the same items, don't think of them as enemies—chat them up! They might be able to help you, and you can help them too. Buyers can work together to find good sellers and warn each other of potential scams. Sellers can agree on a good price with minimal undercutting and pass bidders along to each other once they make their sale.

    The one major disadvantage of sparring is that it can take a long, loooong time to get results, and you have to be sitting at your computer the entire time. You can't just put up a room and walk away for a couple hours. You have to actively answer potential buyers/sellers, keep the room from falling off the first page or getting deleted, and there's no guarantee anyone will even answer you for hours. I'd only recommend this if you plan on sitting at your computer for a couple hours and don't mind multitasking a bit to keep your room up.

    To give a bit of more personal advice: I like to sit on the Blue team side when I'm waiting in spar not just because it's in my name, but so I can move my game window to the far left of the screen. When I do that, I can do this!

    fig.5.5: threadception

    With this setup, I can see the chatbox as well as when a new person enters the room. It makes it a bit easier to multitask without missing anything important.

    Posting on the forums.
    That's what the Marketplace section is for, after all! You can make a thread here to spread your marketing exploits somewhere more permanent. Remember to follow the forum rules when making your market thread! You should only have one active market thread at a time, and you're allowed to bump it back up to the front with a new post every now and then (just don't get carried away with the bumping, once every half hour or so should be enough). You can also spread your market thread around by putting a link to it in your signature and posting regularly on the forums. If you play on the INT server, remember to use the INT Marketplace section so you don't end up with buyers/sellers on the wrong server.

    Besides posting your own thread, you can also use the search function to find threads containing items you're looking for.

    fig.5.6: the forum search function

    Unfortunately, there's a bit of a snag in this shortcut. Most folks stick to shorthand item names in their threads (ie. AD instead of Archdevil), but you can only search for words that are over 4 characters long. Most shorthands are only two or three letters in length, since they're... well, shorthand. So, for the most part, you'll have to search for full item names. If it's a character-specific set, you can also try searching for threads selling items for that character and hope for the best.

    When you finally do find the item you're looking for up for sale... check the late date of the last post made by the OP in the thread, be it for a bump or responding to another offer. If the OP hasn't been around for over a month, don't get your hopes up. If they have posted recently, be patient, but don't commit to anything until you get a response. Continue looking for other sellers and keep an eye on who else is out there. Sometimes, getting a response on the forums can take a long time. It all depends on how often the other player checks their threads/inbox.

  7. #7
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Six: Trading Etiquette & Safety

    Now that we know how to find sales and trades, it's time to get down to the more serious stuff. It sounds simple at first, but making the actual exchange can be the most difficult part of all, especially if you're working with a budget.

    For the sake of simplicity, from here on out I'm just going to refer to any exchange of items, ED or KChing as a "trade". Whatever stuff you're trading, the same basic rules are going to apply anyway. For the most part, we're going to be thinking about item for ED/KC exchanges rather than item for item exchanges.

    The opening offer.
    The first step to making a trade is establishing both sides of the exchange, and this is quite possibly THE most important stage of any trade. It doesn't matter if you're buying or selling, knowing how to correctly price an item is crucial for both sides.

    If you offer too low:
    - As a buyer, the seller might choose to ignore you entirely if you try to lowball them. You can't buy if people won't sell to you!
    - As a seller, you can end up undercutting more than expected and lose a lot of money that could've been earned easily had you started with a higher price.
    If you offer too high:
    - As a buyer, you can end up paying more than was ever necessary. Not only that, you can cause prices to artificially inflate if you insist on a high buying price right off the bat. Buyers may see your high price and think it's the norm, then try to sell for that high price and make it difficult for others to get the item.
    - As a seller, buyers might ignore you entirely for having a steep price. If competition pops up, you'll probably run into undercutting as well.

    You should observe what others are offering for the same items (or similar items) if you're not sure what to start with. For the opening offer, however, you also need to keep in mind that trading is a negotiation. The opening offer will rarely be the final price. This is why you should never open with your "buyout" price. Start with something close to the final price you were hoping for, then adjust it depending on how the other player responds.

    For example! Let's say you're buying an IB hair and your budget is 1b. You find a seller and open with a price of, oh, let's say 800m. The seller doesn't think this is enough, so you bump it up to 900m. In comparison to the 800m from before, it seems like a much better price. You've also shown the seller that you're flexible in your price, and they might not want to risk losing you as a buyer by asking for more than that after you've already increased your offer.

    You can also go with a different strategy entirely: don't make the opening offer. This is really hit and miss, however. If you insist the other party makes the opening offer, that gives them control of the initial trade negotiations. They could also choose to just walk away if they'd rather you make the opening offer. It comes down to a matter of who wants to make the trade more at that point. If they do want the trade more than you do, though, that's a huge advantage you have over them, so if you're not 100% on buying/selling something it doesn't hurt to make the other side set the opening offer and make all the negotiations. Just don't push your luck too hard—if they give you an offer that favours you, demanding more can lose the trade altogether.

    Actually making the trade.
    After the opening offer is made and you both work out something you can agree on, the next step is to actually exchange the goods. And this is where the danger comes in!

    When trading with ED, there is a cap on how much you can exchange at once, as well as how much can be held on any one character.
    The ED trade limit is 700m.
    The ED carrying limit per character is 2b.

    So to trade for items over 700m, you need to do multiple trades. If it's over 2b, you not only need to do multiple trades, but both parties will have to switch characters at some point or another. This puts everyone at a bit of risk! After all, what's stopping someone from taking half the money and running off with the goods? Even worse, if you're trading with KChing then there isn't even a trade window you can use for that, unless the other party wants an item that's tradeable after being taken from the IM. What can you do to ensure you won't get scammed?

    Moving along, let's go over some unwritten trading rules:

    1. ED comes first. Any trade that involves large sums of ED, the ED will be exchanged before any items are. For example, let's say you're buying that IB hair for 900m. The trade would go in this order, according to this rule:
    - 200m -> seller
    - 700m <-> IB hair
    To minimize potential loss of ED, give the least amount of ED necessary before you go into the 700m chunks. If you're buying a set of items, you might negotiate to have the items split up between ED trades as well.

    This isn't a hard rule, so if you feel comfortable with giving items before ED and both parties agree to it then that's perfectly fine! This is the generally advised and accepted method of trading, though, going by the logic that ED is infinitely replenishable whereas rare items are not. Make sure that everyone involved understands and agrees to the progression of the trade before beginning.

    2. Record any trades you make from start to finish. If you get scammed, you want to be able to report that player with evidence. You should also announce at the start of the exchange that you are recording so the other player knows (doing this also helps relieve tensions a bit, because the reminder lets the other party know you're unlikely to scam them). If the other player gets cold feet the moment you mention you're recording, they're probably a scammer and you should back out.

    You can use a free recording program like Bandicam to make your recordings. You can also use the built-in recorder by pressing the Screen Lock button on your keyboard. A very important step, however, is to make sure the video is of a good enough quality to clearly make out the players' names. You should give your recording settings a testrun before you make any trades. On the bright side, you really don't have to worry about killing your FPS with high-quality recordings when all you're doing is a simple trade.

    3. Announce the plan for the trade at the start of your recording. A recording isn't any use if it's not clear what the exchange was for. To continue with our earlier example, you would want to start the recording by saying something like "trading 900m for IB hair, 200m first and then 700m for the hair, okay?" Once the other player agrees, continue with your trade as planned. If it's going to involve character hopping, now would also be the time to state the names of the characters you'll be using.

    4. After the trade is complete, thank the other player. Courtesy is still the best policy! You should always be grateful to other players for doing business with you.

    A successful trade should look something like this.

    fig.6.1: trading 1.2b for Add Archdevil's Hair (ver. Dark)

    This is, of course, under the assumption nothing went wrong in the trade. If you do end up getting scammed despite warning the other player of your recording, the next step is to report that player.

    Reporting a scammer.
    First thing's first, upload your incriminating video to a website like Youtube. Make sure your video includes the full "exchange" and properly shows that the player ran off with the goods. If they log off, do a quick character search using the Find Friend button to show that the character is no longer online. You should also wait a couple minutes in case the other player just d/c'd or had to swap characters. If you added the other player as a friend for the exchange, remember to show that they're on your friend list at the start of the video so that you can go back and show that they're offline/have removed you as a friend in the event of a scam.

    Once your evidence is uploaded, it's time to scroll on up to the top of the forums and hit that handy Support button. This will bring you to the Customer Support page where you can create a ticket to report a player.

    fig.6.2&6.3&6.4&6.5: from top to bottom, the steps needed to get to the reporting form

    Make sure your ticket is under the category "Report a Player" and subcategory "Scamming"! Give it a brief summary in the body of the ticket and be sure to fill in all the blanks with the correct information. Be as clear and concise as you can be, and above all, don't be rude. CS is there to help, and if you start off by swearing and demanding compensation they might not be too eager.

    If you get an automatic reply asking for more information, don't fret! If you missed something, respond to the ticket with the information you were lacking. If it's something you already included, just respond saying it's already in there or provide the necessary links/names a second time. You'll usually get an automated reply first, followed by a CS agent.

    If they find your evidence sufficient, you should get a response within the day that the player has been banned. However, if they feel the evidence provided isn't enough, they may respond telling you so. This might happen if the video quality is poor or if the events in the video are unclear (not stating the trade at the start, ending the recording too early to know if the other player really bailed, etc.). Unfortunately, there's not much you can do in such cases unless you have other videos of evidence to offer. This is why the content and quality of a trade recording is so vital. Always remember to include all the necessary steps, for your safety as well as for the safety of others!

    It's very unlikely you'll get your items/ED back after reporting a scammer. Still, it's an important step to take. If people don't report scammers, they'll keep on scamming, and there won't be any consequences for doing so. The threat of getting banned only works if players report the offending scammers!

  8. #8
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Seven: Buying, Selling & Trading With KChing

    You're now versed in pretty much every way to make money in-game, so now it's time to move onto the next stage of the market game: buying and selling with KChing and KChing items. At its core, working with cash items is pretty much exactly the same as working with regular items. There are a few major differences that we'll have to cover, though, and we'll also be covering gacha items such as Ice Burners and Fossil readers in this section.

    Before we go any further, we're going to get the easy part out of the way: how the heck to KChing rates work? It's pretty straight forward:
    ED (by millions) : 100 KChing
    For example, a 50:100 rate would be 50m ED for every 100 KChing. The KChing value is always 100, and always listed second. Consistency is key to clarity!

    Selling from the Item Mall.
    For common, tradeable items in the Item Mall, you can just buy them for yourself and then trade them for ED like any other item. However, let's say someone wants to buy a skill note for Elesis from you, and you don't have any Elesis characters on your account. If you try to buy the item and take it out of the Mall storage, you run into this annoying message:

    fig.7.1: the dumbest restriction ever known to man

    Yeah, that skill note isn't going anywhere. If an item is character-specific, it can only be taken out by that kind of character. Eves can only take out Eve-only items, Ravens can only take out Raven-only items, etc. This includes skill notes, costumes, and some accessories. Character-specific Ice Burners do not fall under this category and can be retrieved by any character. If you're not sure, just look for the text "exclusively for [character]" at the top of the item's description.

    There are also items that cannot be traded between characters. This means that once you take it out of the Item Mall, it's stuck in your inventory until you use it. These items cannot be transferred to another character through bank sharing, either. Once it's yours, it's yours for good. These items will be labelled with the text "Trade Impossible" at the bottom, and will not contain the text "Sealing Possible".

    If the untradeable item does have "Sealing Possible", then the item can still be traded if a seal is used on it. Sealable items from the Item Mall will also come pre-sealed, so you can freely put these in your own inventory for trading (assuming you can take them out of storage).

    fig.7.2&7.3: an item that can only be retrieved by Add characters, and an item that cannot be traded between characters at all once retrieved (note the lack of the "Sealing Possible" text at the top)

    But now we have a slight problem. What if you want to sell something that can't be traded, or something for a character you don't have? Unfortunately, if it's your first time using KChing you're probably going to be stuck with only tradeable items for awhile. However, after you [meet a bunch of requirements I can't remember or be bothered to look up right now], gifting will be unlocked on your account, and you can click the giftbox button on an item to gift it to another player. If you do not have gifting unlocked, or if an item is not giftable at all, you will receive an error message upon clicking the gifting button.

    fig.7.4: attempting to gift the ungiftable

    If you click on this button, you get a new window that looks like this.

    fig.7.5: the gifting menu

    From this menu, you can send an item to any character you know the name of. You can also select a name from your friends list, which is why many KChing dealers will choose to add buyers as friends before making their sale. This way you won't have to worry about misspelling the name and losing perfectly good KChing to the void (or worse, making your buyer think you're scamming them).

    You'll also get a pop-up when you receive a gifted item. You won't get this pop-up message if you're logged off when the item is sent, but you will still get it if you're logged onto a different character on the account. After you see the gifting message, you can check your Item Mall storage to retrieve your item. Gifted items are treated exactly the same as an item you've purchased yourself, so you're free to retrieve it on any applicable character on your account.

    fig.7.6: receiving a gift

    Using this method, you can gift items up to a value of 5000 KChing a day, and a lot of opportunities for sales are opened up. Once gifting is unlocked, you will most likely be making your Item Mall sales exclusively through this method, as it bypasses character restrictions and can be used for a wider variety of items than regular trading.

    There's probably one question you still might have: what about items that can't be traded or gifted? Is there any way to sell them anyway? And to that my answer is: no. All of those methods are super against the game's Terms of Use and can get your account banned. If you want to buy yourself something like a class change, skill unlock or wedding, you'll have to do it with your own KChing.

    Ice Burners, Fossil Readers & other gacha items.
    "Gacha" is short for "gachapon", which actually refers to a kind of Japanese toy machine that dispenses random toys to buyers. And that's pretty much exactly what gachas are in this game! You buy the "capsule" and receive a random item from opening it. Ice Burners and Fossil Readers are the two main gachas in Elsword, though occasionally there are special gachas for events and holidays. For now, we're just going to talk about those two main ones.

    To use an Ice Burner or Fossil Reader, first you need to buy one from the Item Mall and put it in your character's inventory (duh). Sometimes there will also be events that give away free Ice Burners or Fossil Readers, so be sure to take advantage of these when you can.

    Next, we need to buy, craft, or pick up an item to open. For Ice Burners, you need Sealed Ice Sculptures, which can only be crafted or bought. For Fossil Readers, you need Unidentified Ancient Fossils, which can be crafter, bought, or picked up in any dungeon. You should also remember that if you have a special Ice Burner, such as a Gold Ice Burner or a character-specific Ice Burner, you need to have a Sealed Ice Sculpture of the same type to use it (ex. you can't open a Gold Sealed Ice Sculpture with a regular Ice Burner, or vice versa).

    If you're crafting the sculptures/fossils, they have the exact same materials: 5 Magic Ice Powder and 1 Alchemy Essence. You can do all of this at your local alchemist NPC. For special sculpture types, check the last page of the crafting list as that's where they're usually listed.

    fig.7.7: the local Sander alchemist, Vapor

    Once you have both the Ice Burner and the sculpture (or the Fossil Reader and the fossil), you can open the sculpture/fossil by right clicking it. You'll get another window, a snazzy little animation, and then the rewards will be revealed.

    fig.7.8: getting lucky

    And 99% of the time, you will just get trash instead.

    Or at least a very high percentage will be trash. Gambling is bad. Do not rely solely on gachas for this reason, folks. You can spend hundreds of dollars and get next to nothing, or you can spend $1 and win a ridiculously expensive item right off the bat. If you want to gamble, please, please do it in moderation, and don't get too invested in it. You'll thank yourself for that.

    It should also be noted that Fossil Readers have slightly better rewards than Ice Burners, especially if you're in the process of raising a pet. Fossil Readers give out plenty of El Tree Seeds and have other pet-specific items in them. A mount is also generally more valuable than the cheapest Ice Burner Set pieces, so you have a higher chance of getting something more valuable.

    Still, even if you don't get that precious Ice Burner Set you always wanted, remember that you can still sell the more worthwhile trash for ED! El Shards are a common reward in Ice Burners, and you can sometimes get tradeable +7 and +8 amulets. You also get one Ice Crystalline for every Ice Burner used, and one Ancient Fossil Piece for every Fossil Reader used. These items can be used as crafting materials for healing items and special titles at the local alchemist. The materials can also be sold to other players for a decent sum of ED.

    The exact rates of Ice Burner/Fossil Reader pulls are currently unknown. However, here are the possible pull results that are available in the NA server at this time, courtesy of Elwiki.

    Ice Burners

    Fossil Readers

  9. #9
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Lesson Eight: Navigating The KChing Offer Wall

    You now know how to deal with pretty much every currency and item in the game when it comes to the market. there's one last thing we need to cover, however... what if you want KChing, but can't afford to buy it? Are you doomed to forever rely on grinding for ED? Worry not, my fair readers! In this section we'll cover how to navigate and profit off the fickle and mysterious benefactor that is the KChing Offer Wall.

    Please keep in mind that available offers and what third parties provide them do vary between regions. Unfortunately, only Peanut Labs works for me, so the information here may not be exactly what you see. Still, all these sites work with the same general rules, so this lesson should still apply even if you use something other than Peanut Labs. You can also use this advice for help in earning free money in other online games with offer walls, too!

    Ground rules for doing free offers.
    Before we get into how to find and redeem free offers, we're going to go over some basic computer safety here. KOG does not control the offers that the offer walls put up, and quality control is extremely questionable. The number one rule is that you should treat everything you see as a potential threat to your computer. If you just start downloading programs off the wall without the proper protection you can end up seriously damaging your computer with harmful malware and adware. Don't give a website your e-mail address unless you're okay with getting bombarded with junkmail. Do not ever give out banking or credit card information, EVER. If an offer starts asking for more personal and sensitive information, back out. There will always be other offers.

    If you plan to do a lot of free offers, there are a few things you should set up first:
    1. Setup a throwaway e-mail account. Or several throwaway e-mail accounts, if you'd like. This way you can sign up for subscriptions and whatever without worrying about the spam.
    2. Setup a throwaway Facebook account. A lot of offers these days involve liking a page or downloading an app on Facebook. They also like to spam you. Still, they're easy to do and require little effort, so it doesn't hurt to have an account on hand.
    3. If you want to try your hand at suspicious download offers, get a safe partitioning program such as Sandboxie. You can follow the link to the site for details and instructions, I will personally vouch for this program as both legit and incredibly useful. With a program like Sandboxie, you can download suspicious files and shut off your firewalls without having to worry about damage to your computer, opening up a lot of opportunities for earning free KChing. You also get to play really hilariously low-budget games. I'm not going to go any more in-depth on how to use this program, as the site itself can explain it much better than I can, so please do your research if you plan on using it or a similar program to it.

    Finding free offers.
    Okay, so you're all set up and ready to hunt for free money. To get to the offer wall, all we have to do is click the big red "Load Up" button at the top of the Elsword website and scroll down the list of loading options until we find "EARN FREE K-CHING". Under that title is our list of options for offer walls.

    fig.8.1: our third party offer wall choices

    Sadly, SponsorPay doesn't seem to work for me anymore (which is a damn shame because I liked them), so we're going to have to click on Peanut Labs. After clicking on the button, you'll be brought to a new page containing the offer wall. Depending on the provider, you may need to setup an account by answer some basic survey questions (age/location/occupation/etc.). Answer as truthfully as you can to make sure the surveys offered will be easier for you to participate in.

    fig.8.2: Peanut Labs offer wall

    The first thing we see on this wall is the list of surveys at the top. Surveys are the bulk of what you'll find on offer walls, but they're also the most tedious and like to disqualify you without warning. They're also the safest to use, since surveys generally won't ask for personal information or try to make you download anything. Still, you can spend a lot of time completing a survey only to get disqualified on the last question and not get any KChing for it, so I'd recommend saving surveys for last due to the poor effort:reward ratio they tend to have.

    If we scroll down a bit more, we'll find the next list of offers. These are usually split into categories such as free, downloads, videos, etc. The first thing you should know about these offers is that when they say "free", don't trust them. The free category is a complete lie most of the time. Tons of offers will claim to be free, then add in some fine print where you have to sign up for a bunch of other, non-free offers to complete their offer. Always read the fine print! And even if it doesn't have fine print, you still shouldn't trust it, because these offers can be incredibly sketchy.

    While completing offers, you also need to get into the habit of taking screenshots as evidence. Unsurprisingly, most of these offers will try to skip out on your reward if you don't push them for it. I'll give some more examples about what you should include in your screenshot as we go over the different offer types. Generally speaking, though, your evidence should always include:
    - The current time and date on your computer.
    - The e-mail account associated with the offer or associated with your Elsword/third party offer wall account.
    - Any confirmation e-mails/pages you're given as proof of offer completion.

    Surveys are fairly straight forward, but there are a few details you should know if you want to succeed in them.

    Again, honesty is the best policy with surveys. While it may seem easy to just lie about everything so you can complete offers that have nothing to do with you, surveys are both very picky and hate inconsistency. They can also disqualify you for completely arbitrary reasons, most likely if too many other people have given similar results to your own. If you do decide to lie, though, keep it consistent, and don't make your choices too narrow. You always want a bit of wiggle room and it's expected that no one is going to be an exact, perfect match to what they want (there wouldn't be much point in a survey if they only wanted one specific answer, after all).

    Most surveys will also include a question like this one:

    fig.8.3: a common survey question about occupations

    This is a bit of a trick question. Surveys will generally ask this because they're not interested in the answers from one or more of those industries (usually the media/advertising industries). You'll also run into plenty of similarly worded questions, like asking about what pets you have and giving a massive list when they only really care about dogs. This is how surveys weed out people who only want to give the "right" answers. They expect you to answer with more than just the "correct" choice, but they don't make it obvious which option that choice is. There will be a lot of these vague questions, and sometimes completely irrelevant questions, before you get to the real heart of the survey. You may also be disqualified before you can get through this section. If that happens, just move on to the next survey and hope for a better result.

    You can also sometimes run into more bizarre trick questions, which are generally just there to make sure you're not clicking stuff at random. Keep an eye out for these!

    fig.8.4: unfortunately, being among the undead may disqualify you from surveys

    If you can make it through the opening questions, you should eventually reach a point where it becomes more clear what the survey is interested in. A survey about pets might be narrowed down to your opinions on dog food brands, for example. If you make it this far, you should be able to make it to the end as long as you don't screw up and make inconsistent answers or make too many choices that they're no longer interested in. Disqualification is still common, unfortunately, and some surveys are really unforgiving. Patience is key! It may take some time before you can make a decent profit off surveys, but if you get enough good survey matches it can add up quickly.

    When you reach the end of a survey, you should run into a screen that says completed/congratulations/your KChing has been sent/etc. Screencap this page with your e-mail account and the current time and date visible. If you don't get your KChing in a timely manner, you'll need this to claim your reward.

    Sign-up offers.
    The next type of offer we have are what I call "sign-up offers". These offers will ask you to fill out a form for a subscription or make an account on a particular website to get your KChing. They also usually insist on you responding to a confirmation e-mail or completing a certain amount of information before giving you your KChing. This is where your throwaway e-mail account comes in! Most of these sites will relentlessly spam your e-mail account as soon as they have you on their list, so don't sign up with any accounts you actually intend to use.

    If at any point the offer asks for credit card information, wants you to download a program, or asks for anything suspicious like that, stop. You're unlikely to get anything out of it and it could have extreme consequences if you actually follow their instructions, especially if it asks for a credit card. Some sign-up offers might also ask you to fill in other offers to continue. Be sure to read the information carefully! If it's starting to look like your sign-up offer is just leading you in circles and trying to get you to buy something off another offer, quit and try something else. A lot of sign-up offers are dead ends, but they're also fairly quick to complete. Don't be afraid to at least give them a fair chance, but don't get too invested in completing them, either. If anything feels amiss, drop it and move on to the next one.

    To guarantee you get your prize, screencap the confirmation screen after the offer's completion and/or the confirmation e-mail, depending on which you get at the end. Like with surveys, you can submit this as proof to get your KChing if it doesn't give it to you automatically.

    Download offers.
    This is a dangerous bunch. Download offers are any offers that ask you to download another program to get your prize. Always be cautious with this type, and it's highly suggested that you only perform these if either:
    A) the program it wants you to download is from a trusted site (ex. offers that ask you to download and play a popular game, and you're able to verify that the site it links you to is legitimate), or
    B) you're using a partitioning program to protect your computer from harmful malware/viruses/etc.

    If you're ever uncertain about a download offer in any way, don't do it. I cannot stress this enough. It's never worth risking your computer's health for a few measly virtual dollars. If you decide to take a download offer, you are doing it at your own risk. Please please please only do these if you're absolutely sure your computer will be safe.

    After downloading the program, you'll want to let it run/exist on your computer for 5-10 minutes before removing it for the reward to take effect naturally. If you still don't get your reward, take a screenshot of the program running on your computer. This is usually enough to act as proof that the program was downloaded. If the offer asks for any other specifics besides just downloading the program (ex. reach level 4, run it for x length of time, install x number of incredibly suspicious sub-programs along with it, etc.), fulfil the given objectives or abandon the offer at your own discretion.

    Ridiculously easy offers.
    These are the offers that are, simply put, so ridiculously easy they're impossible to screw up. They have a high success rate and give out very small rewards, usually less than 20 KChing. These offers involve tasks such as watching a short video or liking a Facebook page.

    For videos, make sure you let the video play all the way to the end. You can always just mute it and tab out if it's a long one or if you just don't care enough to actually watch it. There's not much to really say about this type. Don't bother screencapping evidence for these, the rewards are so low and it's so easy there's no point, but if they pop up then there's no harm in trying them. Those small points do add up over time.

    Submitting evidence to receive your reward.
    Completed an offer but didn't get your reward? Not a problem! If you remembered to screencap your evidence, there's usually a spot on the offer wall where you can report an offer that didn't reward you and claim your prize anyway. It is, of course, slightly different for each offer wall provider, but you'll want to look for a link that says something like Transactions, Customer Service, or Report, located at either the top/bottom of the page or on the offer itself. In the case of PeanutLabs, we have a Transactions link at the top.

    fig.8.5: said Transactions link after being clicked

    This is the list of all the offers I've clicked on recently. As you can see, we have three different results: opened offers, disqualified offers, and credited offers. Opened means you've clicked on it, obviously, and either you never completed the offer or the credit hasn't been received for it yet. Disqualified offers are surveys that you've participated in but been disqualified from. Credited offers are the ones you've received KChing from. It's pretty straightforward here.

    Let's say we did that offer at the top of that list about receiving electronic promotional messages about something or other. After selecting it, we get another screen where we can choose to report the offer for not giving us sweet, sweet loot.

    fig.8.6: reporting an offer in action

    You'll then get a form where you can fill in your e-mail address and a short message containing your explanation of what you did and any evidence! Sometimes you'll get a spot to upload an image right in the report form, but if your offer wall of choice doesn't have that option, you can upload the image to a site like tinypic or imgur and link to it instead. You can also report offers for things such as having broken links or whatnot, if you're given the option and feel like reporting on it.

    In the case of our offer here, though, we actually get this message instead:

    fig.8.7: no report for you

    If this happens, don't worry! And gosh, have some patience. Some offers really do take a heck of a long time to pay out. If it doesn't let you report the offer right away, just leave it alone and come back later to report it if you're still missing your prize.

    After your report has been sent, give it some time for their CS to sort through it and send you your prize. You may also get an e-mail back either confirming that the reward has been given or informing you that your evidence is insufficient. If you don't have enough evidence, take note of any specifics they mention (ex. didn't show it was done that day, didn't contain the right confirmation screen, etc.) and be more thorough with your screenshotting in the future as needed. Every offer wall works a little bit differently, remember.

    More often than not, though, you'll receive your free KChing! Hooray! Keep at those offers, and before you know it you'll have enough KChing to fill your basic needs.

  10. #10
    Lanox Oracle
    Sep 2012
    Ontario, Canada


    Just in case ~