Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Few Plat More

The new expansion drops money like your 6-month old drops peas off the highchair. Quest rewards are very generous coin, and vendor prices for Kunark dropped items are quite healthy. Raid zones drop very generous amounts of coin, too. Why is that?

I can think of a few reasons, though my mind-reading ability is weak, even if I am a 3000-year-old enchanter specializing in mental magic. The first possibility is that it was done in an attempt to make the expansion more attractive. Other things in the expansion are that way. There are four tiers of raiding, for heaven's sake.

But all that coin injected into the game means inflation. And this can be seen in the price of master spells, which are going for 10 times the amount of plat that they did in the last expansion. However, the last expansion didn't raise the level cap, so there's a lot of pent up demand. Sort of. There's had been a long time for characters to master out, and then when the level cap raised, suddenly nobody had masters for all their upgraded spells. But still, it seems that prices are up. Was this according to plan? Well, who wins, and who loses in an inflationary economy?

People sitting on piles of coin are the big losers, and people sitting on lots of valuable commodities are the winners. First, most adventurers/raiders I know don't sit on piles of cash, they spend it to enhance their character, or to twink new characters. So they didn't get hit by inflation. But they didn't really gain by it, since they tend not to stockpile goods that can be sold on the broker. Vendor prices didn't change.

What about tradeskillers? Well, I think a wise merchant will keep a cash reserve and an inventory of raw materials. The cash reserve was hurt, somewhat. But stockpiled raw materials probably did ok. Though lower tier prices didn't change much. The collectible market got a boost it seems. Collectible gatherers/sellers have probably done very well. And then there's the plat sellers.

I don't know how they operate, really. But if they warehouse their wealth as coin, they have probably taken a hit. And at least some of them do exactly that. I'm sure they are out there farming energetically, but I've noticed that they have a preference for remote areas. With two expansions stopping at T7, the game had lots of room for them to establish farming runs that were fast, easy, and far from view. Kunark is very busy now, and I haven't seen much farming activity at all, for that reason. It's going to be hard for the plat farmers to keep up with players who simply go into the new zones and play. Another blow to the plat sellers.

On the other hand, people who sell accounts and characters will probably do well. It's getting harder and harder for new players to come into the game, it seems. It will take a couple of months of assiduous effort for a new player to get up to where they can get pickup games easily, while braving the general chat cries of "newb!" Gathering enough Achievement experience to be effective on a raid adds to the time. And getting some of the good no-trade drops takes time, too. So a well-equipped high-level toon will command a top-dollar price.


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