A lot of time has passed since our last big article about strategy tips. Countless things have changed since then so I think the time has come to talk about strategy once again!
For those of you that have just started playing the answer is yes: you need strategy to win this game. If you make the wrong decision in the wrong moment, the game will probably end in a bad way… But let’s get to the point and talk about how you could win instead!
Golden Rule #1 – You shall haggle
First thing first: haggling is not an option. If you want to be a real Hardcore Dealer you will never let your customer go away without having spilled every single cent you can from him: if he wants to sell you something you estimate, say, $15000 and he asks you $10000, you will still offer him less. No fair business? Who cares? You want to get rich, right?
If he accepts your offer it means you got what you wanted at a good price, and that’s good, but you know what? You still failed to make a really good haggle, sir. If a customer accepts your first offer it means you could have been gone lower and probably he would have followed you. With a few more relaunches you could have reached an even better price.
On the other hand if you go too low with the counter offer your customer won’t follow you: he will get angry and stick to his offer, obliging you to come closer to him and making you lose a chance to lower the price.
So this is the difficult part: every customer has his own “acceptance window”. If you go below that window you won’t get anything useful, if you go too high you won’t get the best price possible. How to know the thresholds of this window, then? This brings us to the next golden rule…
Golden Rule #2 – Know your customers
Every customer is different and there is no fixed path of actions that makes you always get the best deal from every customer. You have to adapt the bargaining process to every customer you meet. A good way to do this is by staring at him and getting some clues about his personality. Your Insight skill does help in this but keep in mind that your customer’s appearance isn’t just there so you can look at it for pleasure. If you’re smart enough you could eventually understand that certain details in appearance show specific psychological traits, so one day you could end up recognizing them by merely looking at your customer! That will be a pleasure!
Ok, now you know your customer’s personality but how can it help you in haggling with him? Well, this is also a tricky part as you’ll have to figure it out. You will never get told that your customer’s lowest limit of acceptance for your offers is a certain amount, but you can get an average idea by knowing that:
- greedy customers won’t move too far from their starting offer, and usually tend to be… well, greedier than other customers.
- competent customers will look for the real price of the item they came to buy or sell, while not competent customers will easily shot a random price. This second case could lead to impossible haggling fights as well as epic deals. If you meet a really not competent customer that is also not greedy at all, you could probably make one of the best deals you ever made if you push it well!
- impatient customers have no time to waste and should you start from a too low offer they could easily quit the haggle and go away. You should be careful with them and avoid pushing them too much.
- collectors are what you dream to have as buyers and what you’d happily avoid as sellers. They do not seem to have a sober idea of value for the items they own or wish, as they always overestimate every single thing.
This four points lead us to some clear conclusions: if you meet a really greedy seller which is not competent at all and an impatient collector you should check your real life luck, man, because you got the worst case ever. On the other hand, if you get a buyer which is a calm, not greedy and not competent collector you can prepare to shot ridiculous offers!
Golden Rule #3 – Choose the right employee
There are tons of useful employees out there that could help you out getting the most from your deals, the problem is understanding which one is really useful to you. Employees could be quite expensive too, you don’t want to keep hiring and firing them all the time since you have to pay their starting cost when hiring and that would lead to a big waste of money.
Here is a list of all employees available, with some details about them and their uses.
These people are generally cheaper than the others. They all can give passive bonuses to your skills to grant you advantages you normally would have reached with a higher (and far more expensive) level of fame or shop. If you lack in some skill and do not yet have the money to increase it, you could end up hiring one of these guys to get some advantages at a very reasonable price. Here’s a list of them:
- Clerks will grant you more Charisma, which in turn will let you go further with your offers (most useful with greedy customers) and get more chances from impatient customers.
- Lucky Guys will increase your Luck and this will affect both the nature of random events that will happen and the average number of customers that will come to your shop every day.
- Analysts will increase your Competence, granting you the ability to get more frequent and precise estimates of items.
- Profilers will grant you more Insight and that will help you discover fakes and customers psychological traits.
These guys are far more expensive than passive employees but also more useful. They all have powerful abilities that can be used during the game at your own discretion. Here’s their list:
- Experts can be used to perform quick estimates on items you are about to buy. They can help you by providing an estimate of the item’s value and there is also a chance that they’ll recognize fake items! When your skills are not enough to evaluate an item, the Expert could actually make a big difference! And that’s not all about him: he can also take a few days evaluating an item you own to give a 100% accurate estimate and to discover if it’s a fake.
- Restorers are actually the most used active employees because of their invaluable ability to repair items in bad conditions greatly enhancing their value. The average Restorer is not so fast in his job but he will always do it well, so you usually won’t repair every item you have: if you want to maximize your gain you’ll have to choose the most profitable to be repaired first.
- Brainwashers are maybe the strangest employees you could ever meet. These guys can daze people and make them forget the very last moments of conversation with you! This grants you a huge power with both your customers and recurring characters since you can completely reset a negotiation with any customer and also avoid many bad situations by simply fooling bad guys coming to your shop! Unfortunately the Brainwasher is the most expensive employee and you can activate his power only a very few times a day so you have to be very careful on if and when to use it.
- Forgers are the shadiest employees, they are able to transform an item without any special feature (no links to historical context nor VIPs) into a much more valuable treasure! The bad news is that the item becomes fake which could damage your reputation. Also, don’t forget that you’ll pay him at the end of his task because he does not know how much money he will spend while forging the item.
Golden Rule #4 – Afford the right expense at the right time
You will afford a lot of expenses. I mean… a real lot. Especially in early game you will have to survive and stay safe with your cash. Unexpected expenses are always round the corner so you will NEVER invest all your cash in that awesome legendary item you could buy at half price. You won’t do that… but since even I did it myself, I’ll just say at least make sure you’re not at the end of the week… and be aware that you won’t be 100% safe in that situation neither.
Shops are another big source of expenses. They are great: they give you a big inventory, a bunch of working locations, some beloved fame points and they can even influence the amount of customers you can receive every day! The problem is their cost. If you move to a new shop too early you will sure have a new shiny look for your interiors, some more space to fill and even a fame point to level you up, but you could end up with no more money to invest in new items. Without them and without a good amount of items to sell in your inventory… let’s be honest: you’re ready to bankrupt… and this leads us to our next golden rule…
Golden Rule #5 – Consider strategic retreat
You must know this: everything can go bad, from rocket high weekly expenses that will drain all your cash to unexpected losses, bad news, accidents or bad encounters.
The time will come for you to face reality: you made a wrong decision (or you simply had really bad luck) and now you’re just one or two days ahead of losing a lifetime-long game. That’s the right time to realize you still could have a chance to survive by throwing away all the deadweight: fire some employees, try to move to a worst (but cheaper) shop. It could sound like a loss of resources but maybe only this could make you survive the next weekly expenses!
Think about it!
Golden Rule #6 – Take the right choice
Last but not least, let’s talk about special characters. They could be a real fun and bring you great deals, but they can also put you in real troubles.
Keep in mind that your skills, your reputation and your employees can unlock special choices in many dialogues so you can have better alternatives. If you have, for instance, high values on Charisma you could end up convincing someone, while with high Insight you could find a way to fool someone else! When dealing with recurring characters it’s always better to have top high skills and remember you can count on passive employees for this!
Golden Rule #7 – Have a “backup” plan
Finally my last hint: this game can be lost. If you don’t like the idea of starting a new game from the beginning you can use the Cloud Save as a backup! Just remember to upload your saved game to the cloud every now and then and if you lose you can restart from there!
Sometimes Dealer’s Life can be unforgiving, it can happen because of the game difficulty or because of a streak of bad luck which of course can influence the procedural generation.
That super lovely legendary item that you’d like to buy that comes in the same exact moment you are low on cash, that unexpected random event that takes away your most beloved (and may be expensive) item or that special character that pays you a visit in a bad moment… These are all procedural generated situation that might happen.
The game does not want you to lose but it could throw at you things that make you lose. And if you lose you can simply start a new game, the important thing is to learn and understand what these things can be, so that you have contingency plans, you can adapt to them and even recognize and exploit positive situations (because of course procedural generation throws some candies too!)
And ultimately of course… have fun!
Thank you for reading this, I hope you found some useful hints to better enjoy Dealer’s Life!
See you on our next update for the upcoming release and keep up the good deals!