FT?s are freetraders nothing more nothing less.
They are the most underestimated class in-game, a group of skilled high lvl freetraders are extremely hard to sink.
The main function of a FT is to ship & trade or play the economy & have several unique armed cargo ships for this purpose.
Often FT ships have advantages in combat because of their large crews & extra ship speed buffs.
FT?s like all classes do not have to craft but most players imagine them to do so.
All classes can be shipwrights but Potbs is designed so that all classes need to do combat for the majority of their exp.
Progression can be very slow for those that wish to avoid combat & solely craft because the exp rewards for crafting alone are minimal.
To compensate for this Freetrader have a unique series of delivery missions that reward high exp.
FT?s have 40 skills and 25 skill points which means they can choose to be economic, combat or be a mixture of both.
FT?s are able view all nations auction houses but special attention needs to be taken to faction that allows trade in other nations ports paticularly if they wish to combat for contention points.
FT?s are also able to manufacture goods quicker than other classes using advanced strutures & skills to evade up to 50% tax in foreign ports.
FT?s are not meant to suck at combat so choose your FT skills wisely to play the style you want.
A good startegy is to lvl up using combat skills & then re-assign skills to the economic types later in the game.
They are also able to command any other warship that is not unique to class & have the best repair skill available at the expense of some low cost items available from most auction houses.
The primary goal of a FT should be to play the economy by whatever means including economic warfare to ensure his nation?s shipwrights are supplied with all the materials needed for their warship construction industry & at the same time make some profit.
Many Freetraders are happy to trade with all nations including pirates. Others work exclusively within their society or nation, this is a personal choice.
All in all a skillful versatile class to play.
There are a few level milestones that are important to freetraders focusing on economy:
7 ? This is when you can get the Trade Connections skill that lets you speak on trade and view/buy from all the auction houses.
11 ? This is when you can have all three of the economy skills that let you use advanced recipes from the FT recipe books you can get at your capitol in the company office. You can?t buy the books unless you have the required skill. The Port Royal guy seems to be missing, but everyone can buy from the one in San Juan.
30 ? This is when you can build advanced buildings and large shipyards.
45 ? This is when you can build a master shipyard.
A few other things:
? Only freetraders can see the Trade chat. Even though non-freetraders can turn on the channel, they won?t see the chat. This is one of the most common misconceptions I see in the game. Trying to sell you Alexanders over Trade isn?t going to get you very far
? Freetraders get more advanced recipes from career missions, so leveling up after 30 does serve a purpose even if you are only concerned about the economy.
? Every FT should have a Bermuda Trader?s Sloop rigged for speed. This is useful for quickly moving a little cargo, and fairly safely moving expensive cargo like deeds through red zones. A properly equipped Trader?s Sloop is almost impossible to catch.
? Choose the Professor?s side in the main storyline, because you will get an item that gives +10% OS speed.
? Complete the Lust quests in Irish Point in your 30s to get an item that gives +8% OS speed and can stack with the others.
? Don?t join OS xp groups attacking convoys, because you will ruin your rep with the trade unions and not be able to use their AHs. If possible just fight pirates, they give better db rewards anyway. Killing ships in missions doesn?t effect your rep.
? Always ask on Trade before buying a big ticket item in the AH, chances are someone will be willing to sell it to you cheaper.
? The combination of advanced buildings and advanced recipes can give you almost 40% more production on applicable items than a non FT.