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Who is the Mysterious Trader?
A "Mysterious Trader" will occasionally appear in the HUD. His appearance always causes a lot of excitement and joy throughout all the kingdoms in Tiny Empires. When he appears, the Trader will ask you for a lot of of gold, but won't say what the gold is for. Definitely pay what he asks if you have the gold, as the Trader is a boon to the players. The Trader can give you a boost in either acres or gold, if played properly. The Trader makes random appearances - usually between every 36 to 72 hours. The Trader has been known to appear more frequently if there were problems with the Tiny Empires servers.
Preparing for the Mysterious Trader
To qualify for a Trader appearance, you need to be at least Baron or Baroness in rank, meaning you have to have at least 25 total acres. The trader is not cheap! His fee is about 2.5 times the value you pay for an acre. For example, if you pay 10,000 gold for an acre, then the Trader will ask you to pay him about 25,000 gold. So, you need to save up gold. You should save up at least 4 times the current value of an acre. This will be enough to pay for the Trader's fee, and keep a reserve to buy acres during the bonus year, if you need to.
When the trader does make an appearance, you should immediately get together with other people from your kingdom. One of the Trader bonuses involves giving away land, and you need to be standing near someone to give away land.
How much advance warning you get until you have to pay the Trader his fee has varied. Originally, the Trader would appear, and then ask for his fee 3 or 4 turns later, giving ample time for the word to go out and for people to get together. This is called the 'Full Warning'. However, that was changed on February 7, 2008, where the Trader appeared with no warning and asked for his fee right away in same turn ('No Warning). That was later changed on February 19, 2008 when he asked for his fee the turn after he had appeared ('1 Month Warning'). In March 2008, the warning times have varied,consisting of mainly Full Warnings. On May 19th, the Trader visitation where the Trader started to visit each kingdom independently instead of the entire empire at once.
I just missed the Trader!
If you just missed out paying the Trader his fee, don't despair! You can still take advantage of his bonus. Teleport to wherever your Kingdom gathers, or find others from your Kingdom who may have gotten the "Generosity" bonus, and will be looking for people to give land to, which can mean free acres for you.
Mysterious Trader Bonuses
After taking your gold, the Trader will say something to you. This will indicate one of five different bonuses (eight for Federation HUD users), which are picked randomly. Most bonuses require you to do something for the next 12 turns involving acres (buying, selling or giving them away). So pay close attention to what the Trader says to you, and don't be idle.
|The Trader's Response||What to Do||Details|
|"1 g forever more"||
This bonus permanently increases your land production rate by +1g. You can check your land production by clicking on the Accounting tab in the HUD. When you get this bonus, you have nothing further to do. This bonus pays off the most in the long run. The maximum land production with the standard HUD is 30g/acre, and to get that this bonus is needed more than once.
|"For 1 year your generosity will be rewarded"||
GIVE AWAY land for the next 11 turns -- preferably to someone in your downline. You might also BUY land with the gold you gain.
This bonus is the reason that people gather when a trader alert goes out, in case someone needs to pass out acres. You will get a surprise in gold with each acre of land you give away. The normal limits on giving acres apply -- you need to stand near each other, and can give acres freely to equal or lower rank but only one rank up tops. If you give away to your downline, of course, they move up and you do not move down. If you cannot, at least try to keep it in your kingdom. This bonus will build up your gold reserves, so you may as well buy land when the buy option comes up during the 11 turns. Don't try to give to anyone else who has generosity - they will not accept your acre and you will not be rewarded. Generosity is the least profitable reward, as sometimes you wind up out of pocket once you have bought back the acres you gave away. But it can also strengthen your downline in return. (Note: The rumors about rewards decreasing if you only give acres to one person are hereby debunked, it's simply not true - there is always a slight variation which is purely random, but overall it means nothing whether you give acres to one person exclusively, or to many. There is a factor involving your acres and the acres of the recipient, however. -Nemesis)
|"For 1 year your land will be at low cost to buy"||
BUY land for 12 turns
The price of buying an acre will be incredibly low (about one third of what you would normally pay). Land will not be free, so you will need to have some gold on hand to buy the acres. (If you get caught short of gold, buy and sell on the same turn when needed to boost your gold back up.) NOTE: It is no longer the case that purchase of an Embassy is cheaper in Trader year if you get this bonus: this bug/feature of the Federation HUD was modified sometime in 2009.
|"For 1 year land that you buy is likely to contain surprises"||
BUY land for 12 turns
You will receive a surprise in gold which is close to the price of the acre you just bought. Basically you are getting land cheap for the next 12 TURNS!!
|"For 1 year your land will be worth more than usual"||
BUY and SELL land for 12 turns.
Your land is worth a lot with this bonus, so you are buying and selling to make a profit, and building up your gold reserves.
|"Trader gives you a stack of gold bar's, you count them and find there is 5."||
Do nothing, you got 5 gold bar's for the alchemists usage
Federation HUD only. This is a new one that started April 8th 2009. The red moon alchemist wants gold bar's, and the trader just gave you 5.
Sit back and watch your gold flood in!
Federation HUD only. For one year, your land production skyrockets, but it lasts only 11 months. The 12th month gold per acre and month goes back to normal i.e.37g/acre
|"He takes your gold and counts it. A book appears as if from thin air. It is leather bound, and appears to be very old. As you take it, you notice it is locked shut with an opening for a small key."||
Head for the Festival
Federation HUD only. If you get the locked book from the trader, there is a small possibility that the Fortune Teller at a Festival may have the key. An unlocked book will still need to be translated, but now there's a chance that the Abbot will do it. The reward for reading your book is eventually a nice +2g per acre production increase.
Occasionally, a special Trader will appear.
- A special Santa Trader made three appearances over a two day period for Christmas in 2007. The Santa Trader did not charge a fee (FREE) and you sat on his lap to get his bonus.
- When the Trader appeared on January 6, 2008, the TE servers were so overwhelmed, that only about 20% of the people online at the time were able to take advantage of the Trader. To partially make up for that, when the Trader next appeared on January 9th, he only charged a fee of 10 gold.
- On February 19, 2008, everyone's HUD skipped a turn when the Trader appeared. To make up for that, the Trader reappeared about an hour later.
- On September 25, 2008, the Trader appeared in all kingdoms at the same time. He only asked for 100 gold. Prior to that special occasion. TE servers had been down for around 9 hours.
- On Wednesday, 24th December 2008 a special Santa Trader has appeared and gave bonus without charge.
- On Thursday, 24th December 2009 a special Santa Trader has appeared and gave bonus without charge.
- The years after (2010, 2011) the Santa Trader returned on december 24/25.
- Due to downtime for a few days the Trader made appearances for free on Januari 13, 2012.
Will other special Traders appear? When there is a holiday? Only time will tell.