Your character's salary is an amount of gold that is put into your salary chest on the first and fifteenth day of every month. In addition to the gold, items will be put in your salary chest; the number and quality thereof is dependent on your level. Food will not rot so long as it stays inside the salary chest.
After level 6, (Elona+ starts it at 10) a bill will be sent to your house on the first day of each month, which must be brought to a tax box. One is always found in the Palmian Embassy, and you can also purchase one from Miral for 18 small medals.
- 100gp as a base salary.
- 60gp per Adventurer Rank, gained by going through dungeons and killing bosses.
- 50gp (150gp in Elona+) Museum Rank, gained by placing figures and cards in your museum.
- 40gp per Arena Rank gained by dueling in the Arena in Palmia, Port Kapul or Derphy.
- 35gp per Pet Arena rank gained by dueling pets in Port Kapul.
- 30gp per House Rank gained by adding expensive furniture to your house or buying a larger house - although larger houses are taxed more heavily, as well.
- 12.5gp per Voting Rank, this can be gained by voting at the voting box at any city once a week. Needs enabled network.
- 10gp per Shop Rank, gained by selling goods at your shop.
- 7.5gp per Guild Rank, earned by joining a guild and completing their specific quests repeatedly.
- 1gp per 10 Fame. Fame increases by doing quests, dueling in the Arena, or raising your Adventurer Rank. However, this also increases taxes at a rate of around 1 gp per 1 fame, meaning you lose far more money from fame than gain. In Elona+, fame no longer increases your taxes.
- The two Quartermaster feats will multiply your salary by 1.07 or 1.15.
- Your actual salary (and tax) seem to be semi-randomized, along with what items you get.
All ranks start from 100 and work down. (Hence, "Rank 37" means you actually have 63 ranks.)
You can view your estimated salary in theournal page near the back.
Making the Most Money Possible
First, taxes will usually wind up taking up basically as much of your salary as you get paid in normal Elona. Cutting down on taxes might be easier than raising your salary.
Fame is a major contributor to taxes. Keeping fame low by purposefully failing certain types of quests (such as taking Party Time! quests and not performing/killing everyone or by taking Hunting or The Harvest Time and then walking off the map) keeps taxes relatively low. Note that you cannot get the well-compensated Panic and Challenge quests without at least 30,000 or 50,000 Fame, respectively, limiting the desirability of this method.
Some things that increase your salary also increase your fame -- for example, winning a round in the arena to gain an extra rank of arena (worth 40 gp twice a month) may also net you 160 fame (which costs 160 gp per month in taxes in vanilla Elona). Hence, beyond the ranks where you can leap several ranks ahead with a single victory, you might actually lose more money winning in the arena than you gain. However, your rank will decay if you don't fight matches once in a while.
Property maintenance is another major cost-driver. Purchase properties only when you know their benefits will outweigh their costs. The larger home types require higher home ranks to break even and the most profitable house is the Shack. However, the shack has a piddly 150-item storage limit, can hold only three servants, and has the smallest screen of any house, so it can become a hindrance as you progress in the game. The same caveat goes for museums and shops. You need at least 15 museum ranks (rank 85 or lower) to break even on museum maintenance costs; shops will never break even on ranks alone (2000gp/mo max salary versus 5000gp/mo cost) and so are only profitable if you stock valuable items and have a shopkeeper with good negotiation skill.
Getting higher ranks is initially an easy way to raise income -- voting a few times, winning a few putit fights at the arena, or clearing out a level 1 dungeon are all easy ways to rank up -- but while you leap ahead a dozen ranks at a time at first, you'll find significantly diminishing returns on your investment as you advance. Do a bit of everything as much as you can to take advantage of the easy gains. Remember that you have to win at least one arena fight and vote once every 3 weeks, win in the pet arena every month and a half, and clear a random dungeon every 2 months to prevent losing ranks.
A final (though minor) contributor to your taxes is the direct tax on liquid assets, i.e. gold on hand; 1gp in tax per 1000gp in liquid assets. For most players, this is fairly trivial, but multimillionaires may find use in stashing cash in kitty banks to keep them from being taxed. Note, however, that the upper limit of the Mad Millionaire and Suspicious Hand random events (which give or steal money, respectively) is also determined by gold carried openly -- if you have protection from thieves through your equipment, the Suspicious Hand event will have no effect and the Mad Millionaire events will likely reward you more on average than the tax on the gold, making kitty banks less useful.
Since you can only have 100 ranks in anything, rank-based income is capped at less than 25k per salary (50k a month), and the only thing that can scale infinitely upwards is fame (which also scales taxes upward at a faster rate in vanilla Elona), there is ultimately a cap on how much you can productively push your salary upwards. By the time you get anywhere near capping your salary, however, a single quest should be capable of paying out about as much as you get in a pay period, and a shop is likely pulling in far more money in sales than your wage.
In the end, salaries may ultimately be more useful for the occasional rare item in your pay slip than the money itself.