Monday, November 4, 2013

David from Arkadia on Bound items and Game Economy

The Viceroy quest will remain permanently, it's the Skull Candy edition that is short term. As of this coming update (due Tuesday) players will be able to hand in their armor to get the TT value returned if they so wish (we do listen to your feedback hey!)

The Viceroy quest gives a very good example of how these types of quests for bound items work. Needless to say that the stats on the Smuggler armor make it obvious that it will be a much more costly and arduous quest than the Viceroy. People speculating that this armor would be introduced at half the cost of Angel or even 2500 peds is simply way off the mark.

These quests are not designed at all to appeal to the players who want the cheapest option (as is highlighted by the Viceroy quest, a budget conscious player will always choose the Gremlin armour).

The benefits to the economy by creating a broad base of demand on many items that otherwise have little value is a key consideration.

These quests have a major part to play in the story development of the planet and especially in developing the identity of the players who undertake the quest. Simply put, if you see someone wearing that armour then they are a genuine Smuggler, not someone who purchased the armor from auction.

The quest for the Smugglers will be much more involved than the Viceroy quest. It won't simply be a matter of collecting resources, but rather a broad mix of story driven missions, instance raids, resource collection, task completion etc. It is being designed to take a considerable amount of time to complete with a variety of rewards that are focused on developing the players identity as a Smuggler.

Quests that include bound items are by no means designed to become a major part of the Arkadian nor Entropian economy. It is anticipated that these quests will appeal to a portion of the community but not all. So if it sounds like it doesn't suit you as a player, then likely you are not who the quest is designed for. We want the game to have a broad appeal with different options of gameplay.

Arkadia has a great many quests in development (some of which you will see in the update following next weeks update).

I would encourage people not to jump to conclusions about the doom of the Real Cash Economy, that is definitely going to remain as the central tenet of Arkadia and EU.

I hope that has helped clarify our position and I look forward to bringing you lots of exciting new gameplay involving the Smugglers of Arkadia.

You seem to giving no value to the fact that Gremlin can be sold and therefore the funds withdrawn in the future. I contest that we have players who do value that and hence there will always be demand for tradable items like the Gremlin armour. I am also saying that there are players who don't value that as highly as many think and are therefore willing to complete a quest for a bound item/items. Of course the quest presents a challenge which is enjoyable to complete and the fact the item is bound adds value because it shows everyone you as a player undertook and completed the challenge. You are right in saying that with the Viceroy quest in place the likelihood that Gremlin will ever cost 10,000 PEDs has been reduced to almost zero, but I'm not sure you'll have too many players who think the prices should ever get that high anyway. The existence of Limited armours also plays into this mix, and I believe is currently having a much greater impact on the price of Gremlin than the Viceroy quest.

What you have stated yourself is that the Viceroy quest has put an effective floor on the value of an armour set. The biggest risk here is for Arkadia; in that if the balancing of the economy is managed in such a way so that there is oversupply of tradable armours so that no one undertakes the quest. This would simply mean our investment in development of the quest and the armour is no longer used by players. It does raise a question neither of us can answer, that being, if the Gremlin was selling at 101%, would anyone still undertake the Viceroy quest.

The benefit of the Viceroy quest was never expected to see massive price increases. It's about having a benefit, about seeing a MU rise by a couple of percent here and there. Viceroy is also a relatively small quest PED wise and as such will never create a total shift in value across the universe.

What is more relevant here is the current problem of a centralized auction history which means it's quite difficult to ascertain the impact of a single quest.

I really don't see the link here, the Chelydra armour is not even remotely similar to the Smuggler armour? As I said the Smuggler quest will be a very arduous quest that will be costly, so unless all players have an infinite supply of both funds and time then you won't see an infinite supply of Smuggler armour entering the game.

Like every new addition within any economy it will have an impact, I'm not denying that it will have an impact. I'm saying it's a positive impact and not a negative.

You are right that the management of Arkadia is very focused on the economy of the planet and is not out to mess with the economy to have short term activity increases that have long term negative consequences.
As I pointed out above, a quest such as the Viceroy Quest has the effect of setting a floor on the value of items. ie the value of Gremlin will always be compared to Viceroy, in essence I'm saying that gremlin is a relative bargain right now due to it being both cheaper than Viceroy and being tradable.

I think a bigger discussion that may develop here is how much value does the playerbase place on an item being tradable and therefore giving the option to withdraw the funds at a later date. It's always been assumed that it's a highly valuable trait and yet the Viceroy quest demonstrates that it's not the main driving factor for every player.

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