Economics versus gameplay

Economics versus gameplay

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Posted by: Anchoku.8142

Anchoku.8142

I have a number of serious problems with Guild Wars 2 and hope to explain it adequately.

First, content unlockable by gems is not even close to being worth the price to purchase in real money. ArenaNet has not done a thing to fix this. The fact that Black Lion’s chests are virtually worthless highlights this point. Each should contain content worth about $1 each in real money.

Second, the exchange rate of gold for gems, which provide only miniscule added content, shows the value of gold is steadily depreciating.

Third, in-game rewards for completing events, quests, stories and so on, remains fixed while gold continues to devalue.

Forth, crafted items are sold at less than their fair material costs making the sale of crafted items prohibitive. This may be because players are foolish, or because hacked accounts are being liquidated fast. Either way it discourages both crafting and trade.

Fifth, extensive farming and/or botting has created a vast surplus of some mob drops, materials, and junk items. That surplus may make crafting less expensive but it also drives players away from playing the game post-80. Low value for items = low interest in gathering unless you are a professional farmer. A reason there are vast supplies of some items in the trading post could be because the desire to consume them is very low – again, driven by peaked demand for craft results.

Sixth, item speculators do manipulate prices by creating artificial demand or artificial surplus. The amounts of items some people on this forum discuss parallels the trade in derivatives in real life. The same mechanisms at work that caused the flash-crash in the stock market are magnified in ArenaNet’s poorly regulated financial system.

This game is about 2 months old. Its economy has evolved rapidly but actions to protect and regulate it have not kept pace. Feel free to blast me about these comments but I stand by them. The conversion between real money and the three main game currencies (gems, gold, and karma) is badly broken. In my opinion, karma is the only stable major currency at this time. Gold/silver/copper continues to fall in value and gems are a joke because of their fixed exchange rate to real money. In fact, I believe gems should not be sold directly for real money. They should be discontinued or made purchaseable only with karma. Save the gem idea for serious content expansion such as opening a new area, a new profession, or buying items with higher attributes than exotic 80.

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Posted by: Astraea.6075

Astraea.6075

1) While the real money price of items in the gem store might not be worth it to you, others may feel differently. There are a few things in there that I’m willing to pay real money for, and many things I won’t. Only ArenaNet has the actual sales data, and we have no idea what the “general population” is buying.

2) Not quite. The supply of gold is increasing, which isn’t unexpected (it happens in all MMOs). In general, once people have more gold, they are more willing to convert some of that to gems to spend in the gem store, which drives the exchange rate up. If gold was “depreciating” across the board, then you would see inflation affecting the cost of almost every item in the TP.

3) Assuming that gold is depreciating, increasing the in-game gold rewards would only increase the speed at which this is happening.

4) From what I understand, there are numerous factors behind this including oversupply due to the ease of learning crafting and a corresponding lack of demand. In addition, some people are willing to make a monetary loss for the XP gain they receive. Regardless of the cause, there are some items that crafters are able to make a profit on, but it’s something they have spent time and effort towards researching.

5) Possibly true, but this is really just a matter of supply and demand. Sure supply may be increased and demand reduced by these factors, but as the market in any game (without an item sink) matures, this is likely to happen anyway.

6) Item speculators may manipulate prices over the short term, but the sheer size of the TP market will cause item prices to move back to equilibrium over time. People flipping items on the TP are in fact improving the liquidity of the market.

You seem to be arguing for more market regulation without explaining what form this regulation would take. Karma is stable only because it cannot be traded for any other currency and because there are fixed prices on all the items you can buy with it. If this were to change, then you would find it would be as “unstable” as you currently claim gold to be.

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Posted by: Anchoku.8142

Anchoku.8142

Astraea, please consider these comments on your counter-points.

1. No disagreement with the theory but, in practice, the market should place a value on the items that can be purchased with gems. You or I may spend $1 for a set of town clothes but would you spend it on a key to a black lion chest? The price for added content in terms of real money is out of bed with market value; especially when one considers the entire game could be purchased for 4800 gems while just a costume can cost 700 gems.

2. Gold supply is increasing but the value of items is decreasing even faster. If the economy was experiencing inflation, then a level 60 rare sword, for example, would be steadily increasing in price. There are other, more powerful dynamics in play than just people hording gold. Events do not pay any more silver now than they did a month ago and there are plenty of sinks for gold. Converting junk items to globs of ectoplasm is one example. Because gems are tied to real money, consider the cost of ecto’s versus gems converted through gold over the last two months.

3. No argument, here. Increasing payout is adjusting the wrong knobs, entirely.

4. Crafting exotic 80 items is a faster way to lose gold than crafting lower level items. All crafting is unprofitable at this point. Food purchased with karma or raw materials farmed still represent effort. The depressed value of both ingredients and results in terms of gold means that the economy would be in a depression if gold were not “funny money” compared to gems or karma.

5. The market is maturing right now. Gold, equipment, and non-gem-based consumables are losing value rapidly. This can probably be simplified to a loss in market demand.

6. Speculators and the economy in general rely on consumption to stabilize prices. Because item consumption (salvage) only has value when leveling crafting, as more people top out at 400, demand for these items will plummet.

I have no idea what regulating forces ArenaNet employs behind the curtain but whatever is in play is not sufficiently stabilizing the economy. Perhaps making armor non-repairable would increase demand for crafting ingredients and results; that is, making armor and weapons consumable like food but with their own wear mechanics. The same could be true for karma and other token purchases. I imagine there are many players who have more karma than they know what to do with after purchasing almost everything available in terms of equipment.

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Posted by: John Smith

John Smith

Next

Quick response.
1) Astraea is correct here. Assuming your preferences are representative of preferences as a whole is incorrect.

2) The Gold to Gem exchange isn’t an indicator of gold’s current value. Or rather it can’t be effectively used as one from your end. The demand for gems for Halloween items played a large role in the exchange recently. This doesn’t mean gold is less valuable, it just means gems were in demand.

3) Astraea

4) None of what you said here is true

5) I have an update coming out for this soon

6) Astraea is correct, the sheer volume of items traded in the TP makes it much harder to speculate than normal. Also it’s very likely you’re mistaking natural market patterns for manipulation.

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Posted by: Astraea.6075

Astraea.6075

Thanks for your comments Anchoku.

1. The price of items in the gem store are set by ANet, but the market will determine the number of sales. Only ANet has that sales data, but I would imagine that they would be willing to change pricing if sales fall below expected levels. Remember also that gems can be bought with gold, so movements in the gold → gem exchange rate would be a general indicator of market demand for goods/services in the gem store.

I do agree that keys are overpriced, but I can’t conclusively state that the game population as a whole agree with us. I have parted with 700 gems for the Mad King’s costume, but I don’t expect everyone to agree that it was worth $8.75 of real money.

2. Okay I’ve just had a quick look at Ecto prices via gw2spidy, and the long term trend is that the price of ectos is decreasing, while the amount of gold gained from converting gems has been increasing. I’m not sure what conclusion I’m supposed to draw from this however. I do note however that 100 gems would have bought me about 1.5 ectos a month ago compared to just over 5 ectos today.

4. I can’t really talk about crafting to any great degree, as I haven’t spent a lot of time using the crafting system past the first few tiers, but gold will always be “funny money”. It’s a fiat currency created out of thin air by anyone playing the game. While karma is also a fiat currency, it’s one that can not be traded to other players and can only be spent on fixed cost items.

5. Simplifying it as a loss in market demand may be a step too far, there may (also) be an issue with the supply side of the market. And again, gold is a currency that is used for trading commodities, if the prices of those commodities are falling it’s hard to say that gold is losing value.

I suspect ArenaNet are waiting for the market to mature before becoming too active in changing the economy. They will have data that we don’t have to inform their decisions, but the introduction of short term mystic forge recipes to reduce stocks of butter, etc. shows that they are willing to act if they deem it necessary.

I’m not sure whether this game needs item sinks, but if it does, I would suggest that armour would be the most unpopular choice. Perhaps player/guild housing could help, or even perhaps utilising crafting to create items consumed in WvW…

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Posted by: kKagari.6804

kKagari.6804

Mr Smith, regarding your response to point 4: A quick check on www.gw2spidy.com will indicate not only are most items sold at cheaper than the cost of crafting, even the ones that can ‘make a profit’ experience high risk to benefit ratio (I’m not sure if this is the exact economics term for it), i.e. You spend 3g crafting something for a chance to make 10s profit.

“We just don’t want players to grind in GW2” – C. Johanson
“it doesn’t make you spend hours preparing to have fun, rather than having fun”
Guild missions say otherwise.

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Posted by: Zaxares.5419

Zaxares.5419

Mr Smith, regarding your response to point 4: A quick check on www.gw2spidy.com will indicate not only are most items sold at cheaper than the cost of crafting, even the ones that can ‘make a profit’ experience high risk to benefit ratio (I’m not sure if this is the exact economics term for it), i.e. You spend 3g crafting something for a chance to make 10s profit.

I get the feeling that crafting in GW2 was never intended to be something that would make the player profit. Rather, crafting is intended to serve two roles:

1. As a gold sink by removing materials/money/karma from the game by players levelling their crafting skills.

2. As a means for players to avoid having to buy equipment off the TP or relying on random drops by giving them the means to craft equipment they need themselves. (Granted, you’re still kind of reliant on luck to get Fine crafting materials for insignia and inscriptions though.)

I use crafting primarily for option 2. The knowledge that I can make what I need instead of having to rely on the vagaries of chance or the whims of another player is very empowering and provides me a great deal of personal satisfaction while playing.

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Posted by: Romerio.8763

Romerio.8763

John Smith

2) The Gold to Gem exchange isn’t an indicator of gold’s current value. Or rather it can’t be effectively used as one from your end. The demand for gems for Halloween items played a large role in the exchange recently. This doesn’t mean gold is less valuable, it just means gems were in demand.

Why is gold → and gem → gold not handled entirely via the regular trading post, to better reflect that actual supply and demand of the gold and gems.

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Posted by: Sondergaard.8469

Sondergaard.8469

Why is gold -> and gem -> gold not handled entirely via the regular trading post, to better reflect that actual supply and demand of the gold and gems.

Because the regular trading post allows you to directly manipulate the price and is not based on a ratio equation like the current exchange. That in mind, having direct control over the buy/sell price of gems would see the exchange rate plummet to next to nothing for gold ? gem, and outrageous prices for gem ? gold. Why? The common trading mentality is wanting more for less, and they will offer as little as possible to get as much as possible. Look at the buy orders for the more commonly traded items. They are at vendor price, or less in some cases. Do you want to see the value of gems, or even gold, depreciated through market manipulation?

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Posted by: Player.9621

Player.9621

yea, what happens is some random joe bloggs like me thats farmed up 5 characters worth of stacks of mats decides to sell up and drives the price sideways

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Posted by: Colbear.6425

Colbear.6425

I’d like to remind everyone that it costs around 20-40g to “buy” a level 80 alt by leveling all its crafting skills, and that as long as people are willing to pay gold to powerlevel their characters, there will be a lot of places that won’t be profitable because players are just trying to recoup as much of their investment as possible, and anything is better than nothing.

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Posted by: SirMoogie.9263

SirMoogie.9263

Mr Smith, regarding your response to point 4: A quick check on www.gw2spidy.com will indicate not only are most items sold at cheaper than the cost of crafting, even the ones that can ‘make a profit’ experience high risk to benefit ratio (I’m not sure if this is the exact economics term for it), i.e. You spend 3g crafting something for a chance to make 10s profit.

GW2 Spidey doesn’t take into account materials that you can find yourself or buy from vendors. It only takes into account whether it would be cheaper for you to buy the item off the trading post at its current price, or to craft the item. For example, it currently shows a -20 profit for omnomberry bread. If you find the vanilla beans and omnomberries you remove most of the cost of making the bread. If you only remove the vanilla bean you can still handily make a profit.

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Posted by: ThiBash.5634

ThiBash.5634

John Smith

5) I have an update coming out for this soon

How about the legendary precursors? Was it intentional that it would take a player about half a year before they could afford them? Or is a fix for that in the works as well.

Mind you, I don’t mind working long and/or hard for them. But 6 months at LEAST seems a daunting prospect to me, escpecially since I’ll likely need again as much for the rest.

I’d tell the truth but that would only be used as an excuse to censor me again.

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Posted by: NoOneShotU.3479

NoOneShotU.3479

SirMoogie → This only works when you have something that either has no value or is un-tradable in the recipe (like skillpoints).

You keep saying “if you remove”, but the truth is you can’t remove. You can farm, but how does that add value to your other items by crafting it? You would have been better off selling the mats.

If you’re talking about using it, then go ahead farm away.

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Posted by: Parisalchuk.9230

Parisalchuk.9230

@ThiBash

I also await word on this.

Just some math. If the percentage odds of crafting a precursor is 0.01% using rares then it takes 10,000 forge uses to statistically hit 100%. Say we can buy something like Carrion Krait Slayer for 15 silver (which is below current price) and we know each attempt takes 4 swords then it takes 60 silver per forge attempt (15 * 4). At 60 silver a try needing 10,000 tries that is 600000 silver to statistically hit 100%. That is 6000 gold.

Yes, you will get 1 free attempt every 4 tries so lets say that cuts out 1000 gold, we are still at 5000 gold. And lets say we are happy with 50-50 odds, then we are still at 2500 gold.

Now in a game that punishes people for farming (Yes, I still get DR when running events in cursed shore, and I still get DR because I can clear your dungeons faster than you would like) how is a player supposed get that much money, and how is that representative of skill and not purely based on a random number generator which is run by a computer… something that is inherently unable to provide true randomness.

Listen to your player base, make it a ‘recipe’ item. No one is asking for a handout, we are just asking for a chance to actually get one of these items.

O O O O I I I O – Spoons and Sporks [Soup] (Retired)
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Posted by: lackofcheese.5617

lackofcheese.5617

Those numbers are simply wrong. First of all, the evidence I’ve seen suggests the chance of a precursor is closer to 0.1% than 0.01%. Secondly, you get exotics ~20% of the time when forging rares; selling those exotics also plays a role in offsetting the costs.

All in all, something like 300g is a much more realistic figure for the average cost to forge a precursor.

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Posted by: Cancer.9065

Cancer.9065

Mr Smith, regarding your response to point 4: A quick check on www.gw2spidy.com will indicate not only are most items sold at cheaper than the cost of crafting, even the ones that can ‘make a profit’ experience high risk to benefit ratio (I’m not sure if this is the exact economics term for it), i.e. You spend 3g crafting something for a chance to make 10s profit.

Yesterday I leveled Leatherworker from 125 to 300 with a 35 silver profit.

It took like 1 hour of going back and forth the crafting station to TP npc (I only had 40s starting capital, so couldn’t buy in bulk and had to sell items to regain capital to buy more mats).

I usually post saying that profiting while leveling a craft is hard and that one should only expect to profit after max craft, but it is not impossible.

I will say this not everyone can do it, not because of lack of “skills” simply because the market changes fast. The items I sold had buy orders starting in 15.90 silver and it cost me about 11 silver to make. By the time I was done the buy orders were at 13s effectively making it impossible to profit there anymore.

If I had posted a selling price and waited, I might have had a better return but my goal was to powerlevel and hopefully break even (which is my usual experience) this time I was pleasantly surprised.

Cancer is also a Zodiac sign.

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Posted by: SirMoogie.9263

SirMoogie.9263

SirMoogie -> This only works when you have something that either has no value or is un-tradable in the recipe (like skillpoints).

You keep saying “if you remove”, but the truth is you can’t remove. You can farm, but how does that add value to your other items by crafting it? You would have been better off selling the mats.

If you’re talking about using it, then go ahead farm away.

Not true in the case of the bread, as the prices on Guild wars 2 spidey have bags of flour listed at 20c (they sell for 8c per bag at vendor), last I checked. You’re also not factoring in to your calculations that each individual item when placed on the trading post incurs a 15% cost to list and sell (meaning though you can buy the ingredient for that much on the trading post, you are not getting that much if you sell it at the current trading post prices listed on the spidey). If you do the math on omnomberry bread you’re better off making the bread using a combination of farmed materials and vendor goods, than you are selling the farmed goods. Obviously, there is a breaking point where it does become more beneficial to sell the ingredients, but it is not at that point with omnomberry bread. Making omnomberry bars is by far the better choice though if you are using vanilla beans and omnomberries.

I use the spidey as a guide, but do not rely on it to give accurate projected profits.

(edited by SirMoogie.9263)

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Posted by: Promega.7628

Promega.7628

The price of crafting products may in fact be below the cost of materials to craft them sometimes. You need to realize though that there are other ways for these items to enter the market such as the mystic forge. If I can pick up 4 level 70ish exotic coats for 80 silver total and forge them into a level 80 exotic coat worth 1.8g, then I can undercut the price of the item relative to its crafting cost and still walk away with a large profit. This example gets a out of hand for popularly transmuted items such as greatswords which are heavily transmuted in the mystic forge. However the cost of crafting materials does not drop in response to the reduced price for greatswords because they can be use universally for other items that are not regularly transmuted.

In general the market is highly volatile and taking a snap shot at any one time is useless for making generalizations. Similarly focusing on a single item, or single crafting profession, or bad use of buying/selling on the TP is also useless.

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Posted by: Hippocampus.8470

Hippocampus.8470

Personally, I think at least 6 months for a legendary is totally reasonable. It’s supposed to be legendary, after all. What legendary feat only takes a couple months of work?

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

Those numbers are simply wrong. First of all, the evidence I’ve seen suggests the chance of a precursor is closer to 0.1% than 0.01%. Secondly, you get exotics ~20% of the time when forging rares; selling those exotics also plays a role in offsetting the costs.

All in all, something like 300g is a much more realistic figure for the average cost to forge a precursor.

Yea cheese is correct if you look at any of the Precursor R&D threads those are the correct numbers.

You have to sell the exotics back don’t throw them in the forge. I don’t know why people don’t get that. Sometimes you make your money back on the first few.

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Posted by: Hickeroar.9734

Hickeroar.9734

regarding the 4th point… The OP is completely accurate, and John is the one who is completely wrong. It’s not the case for EVERYTHING, but in the vast majority of things, you will not make back what you spent on making the item. If you WOULD, people would use crafting as a source of income.

No one does.

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Posted by: zerorelative.3104

zerorelative.3104

I get the feeling that crafting in GW2 was never intended to be something that would make the player profit. Rather, crafting is intended to serve two roles:

1. As a gold sink by removing materials/money/karma from the game by players levelling their crafting skills.

2. As a means for players to avoid having to buy equipment off the TP or relying on random drops by giving them the means to craft equipment they need themselves. (Granted, you’re still kind of reliant on luck to get Fine crafting materials for insignia and inscriptions though.)

I use crafting primarily for option 2. The knowledge that I can make what I need instead of having to rely on the vagaries of chance or the whims of another player is very empowering and provides me a great deal of personal satisfaction while playing.

I wish crafting was a source of income. However, the market does not provide for that – players do not wish to spend more on the manufactured items than the cost of the rare materials. Plus, they don’t want to spend more on a hand-crafted item than an item posted from someone’s loot if the looted item has the same stats (or nearly so).

I do want to point out that I craft not only to avoid buying armor, but because I like the variety of armors. I also like the achievements and experience earned by crafting. I also like the sense of accomplishment. I can’t really measure these aspects of crafting in terms of monetary value.

Maybe we could form a union and get an hourly wage…

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Posted by: Hippocampus.8470

Hippocampus.8470

regarding the 4th point… The OP is completely accurate, and John is the one who is completely wrong.

How is John completely wrong? For the 4th point, John referred to Astraea’s post, which said

there are numerous factors behind this including oversupply due to the ease of learning crafting and a corresponding lack of demand. In addition, some people are willing to make a monetary loss for the XP gain they receive. Regardless of the cause, there are some items that crafters are able to make a profit on, but it’s something they have spent time and effort towards researching.

What about that is completely wrong, or even at all wrong? It’s not denying that most crafted items are unprofitable. It merely explains why that is the case and correctly points out that not all items are equally unprofitable.

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Posted by: Tallis.5607

Tallis.5607

If you find the vanilla beans and omnomberries you remove most of the cost of making the bread. If you only remove the vanilla bean you can still handily make a profit.

No. You can not just remove the cost of the materials that you find from the cost of the crafted item.

If you do not use the materials, you would sell them. So, they cost you just as much.

Say someone has 10s in his pocket.

He uses 3s of materials that he has, buys 5s in materials and then sells the item for 6s.

This person now has 11s.

But this person did not make 1s profit, he actually lost 2s.

Why? If he would just have sold the materials for 3s, he would have 13s in hios pocket, 2s more then when he crafted.

This is a common mistake that some type of crafters make: when calculating how much it costs to make an item, they do not count how much the materials would sell for when they did NOT craft.

Tallis – Perpetual newbie – Tarnished Coast.
Always carries a towel – Never panics – Eats cookies.

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Posted by: Tallis.5607

Tallis.5607

regarding the 4th point… The OP is completely accurate, and John is the one who is completely wrong.

How is John completely wrong? For the 4th point, John referred to Astraea’s post, which said

there are numerous factors behind this including oversupply due to the ease of learning crafting and a corresponding lack of demand. In addition, some people are willing to make a monetary loss for the XP gain they receive. Regardless of the cause, there are some items that crafters are able to make a profit on, but it’s something they have spent time and effort towards researching.

What about that is completely wrong, or even at all wrong? It’s not denying that most crafted items are unprofitable. It merely explains why that is the case and correctly points out that not all items are equally unprofitable.

John says that Astrea is wrong but Astrea is right so John is wrong!

Tallis – Perpetual newbie – Tarnished Coast.
Always carries a towel – Never panics – Eats cookies.

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Posted by: Astraea.6075

Astraea.6075

I believe John was responding to the OP not myself. Point 4 of which was:

Forth, crafted items are sold at less than their fair material costs making the sale of crafted items prohibitive. This may be because players are foolish, or because hacked accounts are being liquidated fast. Either way it discourages both crafting and trade.

The “unprofitability” of crafting has nothing to do with the factors cited in the OP, and that’s not even taking into account that some players to make profits with crafting.

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Posted by: Tristan C.6972

Tristan C.6972

Just wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for this widespread belief that crafting loses you money.

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Posted by: John Smith

Previous

John Smith

Next

I believe John was responding to the OP not myself.

You are correct sir. I was in fact responding to the OP in that statement.

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

Agree with Tristan on this one. Crafting in game is to help you sustain to someone just playing casually. If you go a bit more indepth you can see there are things that sell and quick and require you to spend maybe 30 minutes gathering for free is a guranteed gold.

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Posted by: Tarkaroshe.8370

Tarkaroshe.8370

Regardless of the discussion, I personally think that the crafting system in place is NOT a very good one for a number of reasons:

1) No Niches: There is no actual way for crafters to create a “niche” for themselves because everyone can (with very little effort involved) “discover” every variant of a recipe. Thus everyone can essentially make everything that is allowed.

2) No interdependancy: There is very little / no dependancy between the crafting professions, making each largely (but not totally) self-sufficient. Assuming that the crafter “farms” their own materials.

3) Self-sufficiency: The ability for players to dye their own armour how they like, means that crafters cannot make a niche for themselves based on particular aesthetic combinations. And the fact that all armour of a particular “potency” effectively has the same stats, means that crafters cannot find a “niche” based on stats either.

I suspect that the above points result in very little demand for items crafted by other people. I also suspect that the demand that DOES exist is mainly created by those who take part in “flipping” on the TP.

4) One giant economy = lots of the same available + very volatile economy: The “monolithic” economy in the game creates a higher supply of crafted goods on the TP than what would be observed had the games economy been designed around smaller sets of server-cluster based economies. And because of the existence of “flipping”, this creates a very volatile economy which further discourages any sustainable profitability in crafting.

5) Anti-farm code: The situation with the “anti-farm” code discourages players from trying to “farm” specific materials and instead encourages players to just buy the materials from the TP. Which, in theory is a good concept. HOWEVER, it isn’t good when the next point also exists….

6) The game rewards players with very little income whilst adventuring, whilst imposing heavy costs on them when travelling via the WP’s and incurring armour repairs. Both this and the above point does nothing but encourage players to buy gold. Either via legitimate, or illegitimate, means. And whilst buying gold via the BLTC is good for the devs, the price is perhaps a little high.

7) The cost of trying to obtain enough materials in an acceptable time frame is high. By this I mean either buying them from the TP, or spending considerable time to obtain enough to even make a singular item (due to the anti-farm code that attempts to somewhat prevent this, along with the quantities required of each ingredient). This “cost” helps to push up the price of goods that a player can sell on the TP. The price of which is in many cases probably far higher than what a lot of players are prepared to pay. But crafters cannot drop their prices because they’d lose all profits and maybe even run into losses.

8) RNG isn’t good to base MMO systems on: On paper, reliance on RNG (random number generation) systems may look to work fine because samples are taken over a long period prove to show that the percentages work. HOWEVER, players often don’t like to try forever to achieve success with no guarantee of reaching a goal. And neither do they enjoy having to spend what they consider to be an unreasonable amount of time to achieve that goal. Now, whilst in theory a 5% success rate may imply that a player only needs to do something 20 times in order to achieve success. Unfortunately, that is not what happens in reality. Because each “try” resets the chance again, resulting in some people being extremely “lucky” and achieving a goal within a VERY short time, whilst others are “unlucky” to the point whereby they never achieve success and become disheartened at the fact that they have spent considerable effort with little / no reward. Many of the issues regarding the Mystic Forge, are prime examples of this in action.

Mind you, too much reliance on “non-weighted” RNG systems is not unique to GW2. It’s happened many, many times in countless MMO’s. But such a situation is partly why quite a few MMO’s began to use “token based” systems in order to give players a tangible goal to reach in an amount of time that is based on the amount of effort they put in, not just on how lucky they are.

In short:
Stranglehold on the economy +
Lack of niches +
Too heavy reliance on RNG systems +
Lack of viability of crafting as a worthwhile activity to obtain money via legitimate means
= A recipe for disaster.

Side note: With all of these points in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising when we hear of players buying gold via illegitimate means.

(edited by Tarkaroshe.8370)

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Posted by: Tarkaroshe.8370

Tarkaroshe.8370

I’m curious, to those claiming that crafting is a viable source of player income I would like to ask:

1) Do you have examples of decent quantities of items in each crafting profession that can be gathered and produced and return a decent profit?

2) What amount of profit do you consider to be a decent return over, let’s say, 4 hours?

3) How does the amount of profit gained from such an activity compared to, let’s say, “flipping” on the TP?

Or are you specifically referring to some items that can be made by specific crafting professions and therefore advocating that all crafters should be of those professions if they wish to make a profit?

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Posted by: Annathesa.2159

Annathesa.2159

I’m not going to go into detail on how and what crafts I use, but I make plenty of gold through buying materials off the TP and crafting it up to sell back on the TP. No market flipping required, just a little market research every day. I prolly spend about 20-30 minuets every day on it and the actual crafting combined, and I have little trouble affording anything but legendaries or a set of T3 cultural.

I’ll say though that not all crafting professions are equal in this, however.

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Posted by: Tarkaroshe.8370

Tarkaroshe.8370

Annathesa, unless you can provide details, then I’m going to have to remain sceptical as to just how much profit you really ARE making when you claim that you are buying all the mats from the TP, and use them to craft items and then sell them again.

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Posted by: Olba.5376

Olba.5376

I suspect that the above points result in very little demand for items crafted by other people. I also suspect that the demand that DOES exist is mainly created by those who take part in “flipping” on the TP.

The opposite is actually true. There is virtually no difference between armor that you created and armor that someone else created. Thus, the only reason to make your own armor is for experience, using the materials that you farmed and doing it yourself. If you don’t need the experience, selling the materials and buying the armor from the TP is pretty much always a cheaper option.

Personally, I played most of the game until level 70 with a friend who had already leveled a character to 70. So, I got a bit of guidance from him. And what did he tell me? To buy new gear from the TP once every 5-10 levels. The reason I got into crafting? Stubborn self-sufficiency. When I picked up crafting, I didn’t know that it gave experience. Heck, it took me a ridiculously long time to get a hang of the Discovery panel to maximize efficiency.

4) One giant economy = lots of the same available + very volatile economy: The “monolithic” economy in the game creates a higher supply of crafted goods on the TP than what would be observed had the games economy been designed around smaller sets of server-cluster based economies. And because of the existence of “flipping”, this creates a very volatile economy which further discourages any sustainable profitability in crafting.

Crafting can never be a source of long term profitability. That wouldn’t make sense, since there’s a increase in crafting materials and the only thing that reduces them is crafting. So if crafting was profitable, then that would mean that all the materials would be undervalued. Which in turn would result in people using them to craft instead of selling them. Which would put the prices back up to an equilibrium.

If anything, a healthy crafting economy is one where crafting shifts from being profitable to not being profitable on a constant basis and varies based on each different item.

5) Anti-farm code: The situation with the “anti-farm” code discourages players from trying to “farm” specific materials and instead encourages players to just buy the materials from the TP. Which, in theory is a good concept. HOWEVER, it isn’t good when the next point also exists….

That’s very material specific. For example, I was able to farm tons of Platinum Ores in a short period of time because I found a place where a cluster of nodes spawned in a relatively small area. On the other hand, Orichalcum is limited by the rarity of the nodes and the respawn time. On yet another type, Mithril Ore was rather capped by the location: majority of the Mithril you can find is in Cursed Shore and Malchor’s Leap.

6) The game rewards players with very little income whilst adventuring, whilst imposing heavy costs on them when travelling via the WP’s and incurring armour repairs. Both this and the above point does nothing but encourage players to buy gold. Either via legitimate, or illegitimate, means. And whilst buying gold via the BLTC is good for the devs, the price is perhaps a little high.

High costing waypoints promotes exploration within a specific zone. If not for the costs, I am pretty sure the progression for any unexplored zone would boil down to hunting all the waypoints and then porting between those to do all the renown hearts and farming the DEs.

The repair costs promote planning and grouping. You rarely die when you’re alone, unless you’re trying to do something that just was not intended to be done alone, such as Group Events or defense type DEs.

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Posted by: Anchoku.8142

Anchoku.8142

My response to John Smith’s post

1. ArenaNet should be auctioning account or soul-bound items on the BLTC to let the market determine value of the items sold. Offering a 20% “special” is an antiquated method of increasing sales and does very little to adjust price to value. I will not attempt to refute the comment about personal preference but would like to point out that I have not heard anyone complain over the cost of a witch’s costume while black lion’s chests are a common point of contention on this forum.

2. John, you are both wrong and right. Gold is indirectly tied to real money through gems but it is subject to market forces like the increased gem demand for Halloween. Think of gold as a spring. Gems are pinned in value to real money. Gold fluctuates in value to gems depending on demand in gem trade. The other end of the spring is items, which are free to move in value. A high demand for holiday items meant lower demand for gold-denominated items, generally speaking, so many of those items lost value in terms of gold. At the same time, gold also lost value in terms of gems because players, in general, exchanged gold for the content unlocked through gems.

3. Continuing the train of thought from point number two, if you look at week-on-week trends for the gem trade, the trend is pretty obvious, even ignoring the holiday spike. I do not advocate an increase in event rewards but wished to point out that the value of the event reward is decreasing in terms of gems changing the formula for gameplay.

4. Perhaps there are exceptions but, if I purchased all the items necessary to craft and added up the cost associated, I can, for some items, come out close to break-even if I sell that item within a few days. However, if the item does not sell, it will remain on the TP as items with progressively lower cost are offered, which leads me into the next topic.

5. A large factor in this long-term trend has been in RMT and botting. Last night, prices for items actually went up a little, no doubt due to a combination of renewal of demand after the holiday and effective bot-removal. Yes, you heard that right. Last night I logged on and found a welcome lack of botters. Thank you! About the update you are working on, I do not really need detailed market or economic information. All I ask for is long-term gold price stability.

6. I understand the size of the market but still see trends suggesting speculation. It certainly does not help the game to have outside web sites exhorting players to buy gems, corn, or whatever. This is just like real world markets except the taste for risk is probably higher. If gold value and the items tied to it stabilize, ignoring short-term fluctuations, then any speculation would be satisfactorily limited.

Thank you for taking the time to post a reply.

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Posted by: Colbear.6425

Colbear.6425

Removing bots makes the prices of items that bots farm (crafting mats) go up and the prices of items that bots buy (do they actually buy items??) go down. It may also deflate the overall gold in the economy, assuming there are a lot of people buying gold who otherwise would not (but I don’t know how many people actually buy from gold sellers so this number might be off).

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Posted by: Annathesa.2159

Annathesa.2159

Annathesa, unless you can provide details, then I’m going to have to remain sceptical as to just how much profit you really ARE making when you claim that you are buying all the mats from the TP, and use them to craft items and then sell them again.

That’s fine. :]
I’m just not going to point out how (or even how much) I make out in public like this. No offense intended, I just don’t want to have to compete with more people than I already do that know my markets. Just pointing out that it can be done.

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

Annathesa, unless you can provide details, then I’m going to have to remain sceptical as to just how much profit you really ARE making when you claim that you are buying all the mats from the TP, and use them to craft items and then sell them again.

That’s fine. :]
I’m just not going to point out how (or even how much) I make out in public like this. No offense intended, I just don’t want to have to compete with more people than I already do that know my markets. Just pointing out that it can be done.

Agree with him on this one. As soon as anything is posted in regards to making money it immediately hits the TP.

I don’t even mess with crafting to much I have it maxed out. If I have certain materials then i will make the items place them on tp and they are usualy gone really really quickly. Its pretty easy to figure out at least from the professions I did focus on what sells on the TP that you craft. The money is there fore relatively little work.

I’ll give you a freebie though cause this one has already been out. You could buy the materials for level 80 GS mithril, elder logs craft and sell them and make profit pretty good profit.

Now you don’t make as much profit but still can make a small some. Reason is people are chuking them into the forge so they are always going to be more than 20s. You just have to figure out what the end product of what your selling or what you want to sell is being used for and that just requires looking on the internet.

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Posted by: Redrumickey.9672

Redrumickey.9672

Look just put something in them chest that worth having or can be trade that worth something.

I love getting chests feels like I won something but then I hate the disappointment of opening them .

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Posted by: Player.9621

Player.9621

imo the game would have been better without the major focus on economics.
seems a priority to be involved in heavy trading and market manipulation vs pvp/pve.
creates a separate group of people who so far as i can tell can actually do better for never leaving town than some who actually play the game.

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Posted by: Danicco.3568

Danicco.3568

Crafting can be profitable yes, you just can’t sell for the buy orders if you want to make a profit.
Like someone said, people want to pay the least and get the most. Most buy orders price doesn’t even cover the price of the materials, so it’s not worth selling for that price.
But the Sell Price is usually higher, and if you’re smart, you’d put yours at the minimum price instead of lowering it even more. People will buy it in the end.

The profit for crafting is like this probably because it is so easy to level, if it weren’t, prices would be better and people would actually make more profit. But it would be a pain to level and I don’t think that’s what crafting is supposed to be.

You can still make a profit, it’s just not “Buy raw materials, craft, sell instantly and profit”.

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Posted by: Minion of Vey.4398

Minion of Vey.4398

What’s profitable in crafting changes on a daily, even hourly basis. Someone telling you “this makes money” might not even be true by the time you load up the game to drain all the profit out of it.

Ditto with flipping items on the TP really. I couldn’t give a hot item tip even if I wanted to. When I load up the TP, I don’t know where the money is at that moment yet. I have to look and find it.

This idea that crafting should turn a consistent easy profit by just cranking off items in a game where you can craft 200 items in 30 seconds is just silly. You’re selling to real people and their demand is finite.

(edited by Minion of Vey.4398)

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Posted by: Shiren.9532

Shiren.9532

The funny thing is, karma is the most stable and fairly accessible currency in the game and it’s because we don’t have to worry about flipping items on the TP, market manipulation, buying it with gems or from bots etc.

The thing I find most disappointing about the GW2 economy is that the game doesn’t use karma to it’s fullest. You get reasonable amounts of karma in every format in the game, but the uses for karma are incredibly limited, especially at level 80. So much of the item and skin game is based around tracking down things from either dungeons or the TP, the latter of which strongly favours people who don’t play the game, but play the economy. Instead of fighting the undead in Orr, they are flipping runes of the undead on the trading post, instead of taking down Jormag’s dragon lieutenants they are flipping Jormag’s Claw on the TP. These rich men and women who are directly catered to by the GW2 economy and design are “earning” the best gear and skins without ever setting foot outside of Lion’s Arch. To me, that’s truly disappointing.

The developers seem to have a problem with players who “exploit” bad AI in dungeons to get their tokens faster and thus get the gear and stats with less time and effort but they built the economy (and most of the skins, items and stats) to strongly favour people who exploit other players and make a profit off of them without ever truly “earning” their equipment.

It would make a lot more sense to me for the game to make a massive shift in itemisation and content rewards towards the karma market. Something which everyone who actually plays the game can earn and something which is (with the exception of boosters) fairly accessible to everyone who plays. They have a fantastic currency set up in the game but it’s becoming just like the VHS vs Betamax format war. Despite being a superior currency, karma is losing out to gold because most of the items in the game can’t be bought with karma, gold is the only way to access it.

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

@Shiren

http://dulfy.net/2012/09/08/gw2-templegod-karma-armor-sets/

Karma Vendors at the temples of Orr. Every stat combination you can get from the TP at 80 you can get at the temples of Orr.

There is no “best” gear is there? The light armor set I get at the temple for karma has the same stats as the light set thats on the TP for 20g. Twilight/Sunrise/Eternity have the same stats as the swords from the dungeons for tokens. I can craft a pearl carver greatsword at weaponsmithing station with the same stats as the 3 legendary greatswords.

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Posted by: Shiren.9532

Shiren.9532

No, that’s no true oZii. Just at a glance you can see there are no cleric’s (power, toughness, healing) no berzerker’s (power, precision, crit damage) and no knight’s (power, toughness, precision) all of which are very popular stat combinations which can be crafted. I’m sure there are others, not to mention the ones which come as drops.

Add to that the handful of weapon skins available as karma rewards (including the ones which will need a fine transmutation stone) and compare that to the exotic market at level 80. The variety of skins on level 80 exotics which are found and sold (thus additional tools catering to the players who don’t play the game) is far greater than those which are available for karma.

The end game is mostly about skins and less about stats once players reach a certain threshold but even if stats were the issue, karma gear is far behind on stat combinations compared to crafting and drops.

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Posted by: John Smith

Previous

John Smith

As a note, Karma is not technically a currency and cannot be compared to Gold.

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Posted by: oZii.2864

oZii.2864

No, that’s no true oZii. Just at a glance you can see there are no cleric’s (power, toughness, healing) no berzerker’s (power, precision, crit damage) and no knight’s (power, toughness, precision) all of which are very popular stat combinations which can be crafted. I’m sure there are others, not to mention the ones which come as drops.

Add to that the handful of weapon skins available as karma rewards (including the ones which will need a fine transmutation stone) and compare that to the exotic market at level 80. The variety of skins on level 80 exotics which are found and sold (thus additional tools catering to the players who don’t play the game) is far greater than those which are available for karma.

The end game is mostly about skins and less about stats once players reach a certain threshold but even if stats were the issue, karma gear is far behind on stat combinations compared to crafting and drops.

Thats true the popular stat combinations aren’t available for karma but you can still get those stat combinations by not spending any money at all maybe some repair fees if you die in a dungeon.

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Posted by: PowerGamer.2874

PowerGamer.2874

As a note, Karma is not technically a currency and cannot be compared to Gold.

Lol, how something you use to buy stuff with is not a “currency”? But anyway, you do realise there are ways of converting karma into gold (alas, not very profitable ones) in this game? That would make karma very comparable to gold IMO.

(edited by PowerGamer.2874)

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Posted by: MithranArkanere.8957

MithranArkanere.8957

A currency requires exchange.

You can’t directly exchange karma with other players. Only with NPCs, and you can’t get karma back, only use it to acquire things.

It’s like travel points or a gift card. It goes only in one direction. That’s not currency.

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