by: SurveyorPete – Sunday, 19 August 2018
Almost everyone I have met on the Sea of Thieves considers the Merchant Alliance quests the most boring of the grinds. They have a number of characteristics that make them different from GH and OOS:
Today, I had a small load of animals to deliver and I noticed a sloop at the outpost I needed to go to. I did not have a lot of (real) time to complete the quest, so I headed that way anyway. I put up the "let's make an alliance flag" and got my megaphone out. As I approached I hailed the sloop, announced I was harmless, told them I had animals to deliver, and invited them to ally with me for a share of the gold and XP. As it happened, there was no-one there. Perhaps the crew was in the legend hideout or something, but I didn't see them.
This is the suggestion: When shipping animals, if you encounter another ship (perhaps at an outpost, perhaps looking as if they want to attack), suggest an alliance. If they ally, they will gain more by letting YOU go on your way and selling the animals, than by stealing them from you. Their own merchant grind will be reduced that little bit.
If you are a PVPer that seeks out other ships for their loot: Consider accepting such an alliance if offered, or even suggest it yourself, if you find they are shipping animals. You will make more gold than you would sinking them. And you don't get XP for sinking ships.
Finally, if you convince someone to accept an alliance rather than sink you, don't be a dick and leave the alliance when they get over the horizon. Honour the agreement. It costs you nothing to do so. It will build trust generally, and allow this technique to work more often.