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Archive for the ‘In-game Economy’ Category

“Hump Day Randomness” or “A Central Theme be Damned!”

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

I had quite a few ideas for a post today. but as I cleared out my Google Reader for the day, things kept popping up that I wanted to talk about. Eventually I decided I should just make a crock-pot, hodge-podge post that is equal parts random and lacking a clear focal point.

RIFT is going F2P

Well, sort of. They are doing essentially what WoW did. RIFT will be free to play up to level 20. You can access the capital cities, several zones and play on any server, and there is no time-limit cap. I played RIFT beta in a limited capacity. I have always been fascinated by what I read about the game from other bloggers, but I never felt an adequate amount of compulsion to go out and purchase the game to figure out if I like it. This simplifies that. I can simply try the game, and it’s various classes, and see if this is something I see myself playing long-term.

Analyst Predicts Elder Scrolls 6

As a journalist IRL, sometimes I can’t help but wonder why people choose to publish such content as “news worthy stories”. The title of the story is all the new information you need. The rest of it is either a backgrounder or a filler. Not to mention the fact that this is stating the obvious. It would be like me predicting that the sun would rise tomorrow over Europe. Or that Peter Molyneux’s next game will be another over-hyped letdown. Or that despite the “WTF Pokemon?” camp, people will return to WoW in droves come patch 5.0. Seriously. Stop that. You are wasting your time, and mine. And I got nothing of any significant worth from the story.

Well actually it did lead to the creation of this section of this post.

But that’s it!

Markco got Banned from D3 Beta

This was ridiculous. Markco has reigned supreme on the gold-making strategy throne for quite some time. He shifted his focus from gold-making in WoW to gold-making in D3, but with disastrous results. His strategies started netting him in the excess of 11,000 gold an hour, while operating perfectly within the confines and mechanics of the game. However, it seems that making too much gold can be labeled “exploitative”. No offense Blue, but if you think making too much gold by using in-game mechanics, that are available to every player, is exploitative, than perhaps you shouldn’t have introduced RMT for digital items in the same title.

Why we Need More Fights Like Ultraxion

I recently started reading posts from The Grumpy Elf, who looks suspiciously like a Worg. He recently put up ten reasons why we need more “pure DPS, less dance” fights like Ultraxion. It is a pleasure to read, and gives you some perspective on why fights like Ultraxion can actually be good for you, your guild and the WoW community at large.

“Power-Leveling Professions” or “Money is Time, Friend”

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Power-Leveling Professions

A lot of gold making blogs out there will tell you to capitalize on the need for this generation of instant gratification to get what they want with minimal effort, even if the path they takes ends up costing them a lot more than the fair market price of the item. Examples include buying rare companion pets from from vendors in Netherstorm, and selling them for 200-400% their normal price, or buying that rare recipe that spawns once every half hour on that vendor, and auctioning it for 10 times the normal price. This makes sense to me. There is gold to be made at the expense of other people’s laziness, and their unwillingness to put in some extra effort that will save them currency in the long-term.

But then there are those times when I power-level my professions, irrespective of the cost of materials, because for me, hitting the profession level cap is far more important than saving the few thousand gold I will save by farming the materials myself. And therein lies the tradeoff. I make a lot of gold at the auction house, I am very good at it. Even in the inflated market of Cataclysm, I can net between 7-10K from the AH on a weekly basis, so money is no object to me in-game. As such, if I have a choice between spending that money that is just lying around, or investing hours upon hours, flying around, tapping nodes for those precious minerals one pickaxe-striking-node-animation at a time, I will always go for the former.

Am I a Lazy Gamer?

Does that make me lazy? I am generally not a lazy person, and given my nearly masochistic impulsion to pursue the most mentally debilitating of achievements in-game, I am certainly not a lazy gamer. When I started raiding on the new toon, my DPS was just about the tanks. This wasn’t acceptable to me. So I read up online, I theory-crafted, I painstakingly tweaked each and every little statistic, and gemmed, enchanted and reforged my heart out. I am now in the top four DPS’ers in the raid. Most importantly, I am not a lazy person in life.

The point I am trying to make is fairly pedestrian in nature: just because someone is buying your good at several times the market price may not be because they are lazy or ill-informed. It may simply be because they value their time over their money, because the ratio for the sheer amount of time invested farming, just to save those precious few thousand gold coins simply does not make sense to them. The process still ended up taking over two hours to get from skill 197 to 423, where I called it a night because I was moments away from a nosebleed! If I had to gather, say, the 320 units of Cobalt Ore alone, I could have spent somewhere between 5-10 hours farming. And that only got me skill points between 350 and 415. As far as I am concerned, paying 2-3 times the average market value for said ore, for me, is well worth the investment.

As someone who has played the auction house to his advantage since the game was in its infant stages, this is the first time I have gone all out, and spent “whatever it takes” amounts of in-game currency to power-level my professions, effectively filling the pockets of enterprising auction-house entrepreneurs. I have to admit, it feels pretty good to have enough gold to be able to blaze right past the arduous farming lane, and onto the endgame of a given profession, because let’s face it. The game is designed so you benefit (both personally and financially) when your profession is at the max-level, and not by selling copper scale pants all day. It is an interesting new perspective, one that gives me cause for pause (that should be a meme) and reevaluate how I view the market.

And then the goblin in me rears his green head, and asks, how can we use this new revelation to our advantage!

“I Miss the Gold Old Days” or “Vanilla Nostaglia”

January 20, 2012 3 comments

Gold then.

A while back I put up a post titled: ‘“I Miss 40-man Raids” or “Vanilla Nostalgia”‘. Turns out that isn’t the only thing I miss about the vanilla days.

One of the systems that has gone through a radical transformation over the last seven years of WoW has been gold acquisition. I remember when gold was a highly sought after commodity. Having 100 gold in your inventory at 60 was a big deal. When buying a Krol Blade meant you had to save up some cash for a long, long time. I remember when the highest price on the AH would be three figures. Putting up something for 1K gold would get you ridiculed general and trade chats.

Daily Quests: Then

Um, we didn’t have any.

Daily Quests: Now

One of the ways to acquire gold these days (if you are not an enterprising Auction House player like myself), is to simply do the allotted 25 daily quests daily. If you got an average of 17 gold per quest, you would end up getting 2975 gold in a single week from just quest turn-ins, never mind the items you would pick up for vendoring or auctioning. I think that is a tad ridiculous now. Making nearly 3K guaranteed gold in vanilla would make me one of the richest players on any server. These days, thanks to inflation, this is the “norm”.

Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder: Then

A vanilla player would gawk at you stupidly. This was not even fathomable then. Hell even PvP was with players of the same server, and queues could be up to an hour long for AV.

Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder: Now

The sheer volume of gold you can make from DF and LFR is technically infinite. LFR will net you about 170 gold every week, so that is negligible. But you could technically keep queuing in DF all week, making 25G every run, in addition to whatever items you pick up for the AH or for selling to vendors, not to mention loot for your characters, disenchanted crystals and gold made from unfinished quests.

Gold for Experience: Then

If you hit the level cap of 60 in vanilla, any quests you finished past that point would result in getting you squat in addition to the quest rewards (be it currency or gear).

Gold for Experience: Now

Now, after you hit the level cap, the experience you would normally gain from turning in a quest gets converted instead to gold. I leveled my hunter in Cataclysm from 81-85 via Mount Hyjal, Deepholm, and a little bit of Twilight Highlands. After hitting 85, all the quests I finished in Uldum, the rest of Twilight Highlands, and Vash’ir nets me gold for experience. This concept was unheard of in vanilla WoW.

Gold now.

I hit level 85 in Cataclysm less than two months ago (I think), and I have over 50K gold, and that is with minimal effort and time invested. The point of this post, as was the case with the last one, is not to berate the WoW of today. The game has gone through an evolutionary process over the last seven years and a lot of changes are for the better. I just remember the good old days when being able to make copious amounts of gold was a skill and not a god-given right!

What do you think? Do you feel all this convenience is a good thing for MMO evolution, or has gold-acquisition been made too easy?

“Gevlon Will Appreciate This Level of Stupid” or “Spiked Greatstaff of Stupid”

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

If you can believe it, this is item 1 of 17 purchased in the same exact manner that day. It's a small turnover, but its adds up quickly... unless of course you come across a high-value item for cheap... (see below)

The second example is part luck, and part uninformed idiots on the Auction House. As you can see, net profit is 4,450 gold per hilt bought low and sold high.