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The Economy

Local Holds Economy

The Local Holds Economy have also had a tidy up - and now have a immersive regional economy by dynamically adjusting the gold value and merchant supply of food, drinks, animal parts, ingredients, ores, ingots, gems, soul gems and spell tomes according to the actual supply and logical demand of each item in each hold. These regional differences serve to create a network of profitable trade routes, and can also be influenced by the player’s activities (where appropriate).

Taking Dawnstar for example, the Pale doesn’t have many farms or rivers and it’s far too remote from Riften to have an abundance of mead - so you shouldn’t expect to see these items at the merchants. What Dawnstar does have however is Sea-shore to the north, populated with Clams and Horkers and snowfields to the south covered in snowberries and giants. Therefore the stores in Dawnstar will have a lot of these items instead.

Winterhold due to the presence of the college is likewise the place for the player to buy spell-books.

This allows for traveling merchant play-through who would buy cheap in one hold, then move to another hold to make a profit.

In addition Pricing is now specialized by the type of merchant

  • Producers (Farmers and Hunters) - You save money when you buy directly from the source. These merchants have low overhead and can give you better deals on the goods you buy from them; however, they also can’t afford to pay much for any goods you’re trying to sell.

  • Crafters & Specialists (Blacksmiths, Fletchers, Mages and Alchemists) - While their prices are higher than buying raw materials directly from farmers and hunters, they are still less expensive than purchasing from the general merchants who resell the finished goods. They also have the resources and knowledge to offer you more money for items you’re trying to sell.

  • General Goods - These traders buy low and sell high in order to turn a profit. Expect to pay more when buying goods from them, and don’t expect them to pay you full value for the goods you sell.

  • Fences - Don’t expect any favors from Fences. Selling stolen items is going to cost you, so don’t expect to get top dollar for ill-gotten goods.

Therefore you should - only sell excess potions/reagents to Alchemists, ore, hides, weapons or armor to blacksmiths. Meat to Innkeepers and general clutter to general stores.

Having higher skills is also useful:-

  • Blacksmiths will respect your skill at the forge and give you better prices the higher your Smithing skill.

  • Apothecaries recognize your knowledge of alchemical properties and will give you better prices the higher your Alchemy skill.

  • Spell merchants respect your knowledge of the arcane and will give you better prices the higher your Enchanting skill.

  • Fletchers recognize a fellow marksman and will give you better prices the higher your Archery skill.

And as a final note - Location - Major cities have better prices than the smaller towns. So if you are playing a trader character, take the extra mile to go to a Major city instead of the small towns.

Making Money

There are several new mechanics to familiarize yourself

  • Money weighs you down. Each coin weighs 0.0001 unit, so you won’t be able to save up too much of it. Refer back to the Carry weight Guide for storage options.
  • You have to pay your followers daily. They start at 300 Septims, per player level Per day. This does not apply to Housecarls, only Mercenary followers.
  • Barter prices depend greatly on your Speech skill (and the perks you have invested), the Local Holds Economy, and the relationship and skills of the person you’re trading with. Buying directly from producers, Crafters & Specialists will save you money, while trading with fences or general goods merchants will cost you. Merchants in bigger cities will have more gold to trade with. Prices will depend on Where you are trading, your relationship with the merchant, as well as how covered in blood and dirt you are. Merchants restock after 3 days.
  • “Quality” Loot is generally much rarer. It won’t be uncommon for you to unlock a chest in open world and find nothing but a handful of septims or a potion (Boss Chests are a different matter).

To start marking money,

  • Don’t ignore the Deliver or “find me” quests just by speaking to people around towns. These can give you a few hundred Septims for simple tasks. Check the Missive boards and look for easy ones!
  • Enchanting, Alchemy and Smithing can make decent money, but it’s going to be much more difficult. The ability to craft items for some races is not actually even available until you take at least one perk in it.
  • Chopping wood and picking crops can net you some cash, but as its easy work - wont make you much in the way of gold, so make sure you’re selling it to someone who will buy for at least one or two Septimsit for a fair price!
  • While armor and weapons don’t have a great value/weight ratio, its still better than carrying fresh air. Loot everything - even if you don’t plan on wearing it. You can always use a storage chest to store the excess.