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Thoughts on the Trickster economy

Posted 05-16-2009 at 11:53 PM by badna0
Updated 05-17-2009 at 12:51 AM by badna0
The first point in my post is the massive deflation in the economy. A few prices of things that were/are popular:
Level Up boxes were 8-10m -> 4-6m now.
Harkons 20-30m -> 4-7m now.
Blood Swords 300m+ -> 200-250m now.

There's a huge decrease in the prices of a lot of items. Now you might be thinking, "Wow, that's great, now I can finally afford some of these items." That would be true if the amount of galders being created in the economy were increasing the way it used to. But it's not.

There's essentially two ways to increase the amount of money available in the Trickster Economy - Enemy galder drops and NPC-ing items (either from enemies or quests). A while ago Tap1 mobs used to drop equipments fairly commonly, at least 1 every 10 mobs or so (rough estimate). At 50k+ an equip, it was not unusual to see the npc-ed weapons earning 2-3m per repot. It's important to note that buying items from a player shop does not CREATE money in the economy, but rather transfers your money to another player.

These equips have been replaced with Fortune cards and other items, and while I don't think this is bad (fortune cards are useful in game, like a free equipment slot), the lack of cash in-game is certainly hurting the Trickster economy; people simply have less funds to purchase what they want, and the sellers have to reduce the price of what they're selling.

My second point in this post is the lack of diversity of options in the economy.


Let's consider the buyer and seller's side of the market.

A buyer typically is interested in only a few types of items:
MOST OFTEN:
Refining Ores
Boss Unique Sets (eg. Blood/Tenter/Tombeth gear)
Compound Items
MyShop (yes, let's face it, MyShop sales are a huge part of everyday Trickster transactions. They are the most common large-value deals).
Gift Boxes (Sprints/Boosters/Level Up)
LESS COMMON:
Quest Items (particularly rare ones like Cocoa Powders, Bloody Rune, etc.)
Ridiculous statted equips (phantom, etc.)
Fuses

In my problem this buyer side of the Trickster market is a huge problem. I'd say a large majority of the items purchased are gear (equips) or gear-related (refine items + compound items). The fact that this is the huge draw in the Trickster economy is not the problem, but rather that there is barely anything else non-equip related worth spending money on. Back in the days of Links to Fantasy (Pre-Revo Trickster), Second Job items used to be unique to each class, and there were huge sums of money spent buying 2nd job items. Boss items were the best in the game (2s masters), but diggable items (custom gear, and rare quest items like mud and ore quests) also had a good market. My point being, you didn't just save your money for one thing; several things were worth buying and you needed to prioritize which ones to spend on.

The seller's market exhibits the same problem: some items (fuses, quest items, etc.) can sell for good money, but there's not consistent demand for them to be sold regularly. Moreover, a character seeking to sell items for money has very few options: chaos feathers, ore, or compound stones/hunt boss equips (rare - think lottery). Ore prices (and the prices of all other drillable items) have all but been driven into the ground by Driller Boy. Let's face it, it's impossible for a manual driller to compete with a guy who can leave his computer on 24/7 and farm more items with less effort (I'm one of those... ).

In order to stimulate the in-game economy, NTreev needs to increase the demand for different types of in-game items, and the outlets by which they can be obtained. One of the best signs of a good MMORPG is the existence of a dilemma of how to allocate one's money: Should I spend on this equip/save for a future equip/buy consumable items/buy quest items/buy class-change items?

Trickster needs to play to its different elements in creating these outlets for money-spending:
  • Drill system
  • Compounding system
  • Boss hunting
  • Monster hunting
  • Questing
  • GM Events
  • Record-setting

A few suggestions to increase the diversity of the economy:
  • Buffing Monster-dropped equipment: Buffing Artisan equipment's stats to be more variable (and possibly match the boss uniques in stats and slots) will make hunting monsters much more enjoyable.
  • Adding in strong drillable items: Think of the PPP, which was valuable because it gave WT, a stat rarely found on any equips in Trickster and which many characters lacked. The lure of obtaining such equipment draws out the monotony from characters JUST drilling for this quest item - it gives them a bonus/alterior motivation to drill in an area. Examples: What if attribute stones (like the 30-40%, level 1 req.) ones were drillable at rare rates from different (field) areas? What if artisan-type gear could be drilled up that gave different stats (eg. an attribute compoundable sword, a gun with AC as base, a hat with a WT slot, a fashion accessory with minor stats)? All these things would increase motivation to drill, and add things to a buyer's wishlist. To prevent these things from oversupplying the market, I would suggest a decreased drop frequency for driller boy-drillers. Reward those who spend time manually drilling.
  • Revitalizing useless "etc." drops by reintroducing compoundable items: Old quest items that are now obsolete could be reused in regular compounding (with Paul/Nadia). Instead of just using them for quest items, what if you could recycle your old items into useful things (chaos feathers), or even make a special accessory (eg. the feel-more rings of yesterday) or even a cape? The stats wouldn't have to be great, but they'd be a great outlet and use for otherwise worthless items.
  • Improve the Key Quest/Quest rewards: One problem with the Key Quests is their cumulativeness and the extensive dedication required for it. In order to complete the Rose Garden Key Quest, a character must obtain all 14 Rose Stickers, which requires completing 14+ complete quest lines. AND the same character must also do the same for Ghost Blue, Mermaid Palace, Oops, Caballa, and Paradise. For effort like that, I'd expect some heck of a reward, not second-tier equipment (Look at the Dark Pearl Necklace, which might be good for a level 40 character but has a level 80 req.). Furthermore, such dedicated characters are rewarded with a gimped (20-40) TM gap. For questing to become viable in Trickster, the rewards must scale appropriately with the effort exerted. It requires a lot of effort to complete the later key quests. The rewards should be quite good in exchange for the player's effort, not second-rate jias amulets and dark-pearl necklaces. One way might be to give better equipments; another way would be to give more auxiliary items (eg. compound items/drills).
  • GM Events: Well basically I mean the O/X Quiz. GM Certificates are outdated. After a player gets his first ticket and fuses a GM helmet, there's very little motivation to go back - for virtually the same price as the GM Certs, a player could buy a MyShop box vest with much better stats. The GM equipments need to be reworked/buffed: Introduce a GM Cape, or something; Players stuck with no spending suddenly will have a motivation to O/X. Hold monster slaying events right before or after maintenance (eg. Mass Ichthys or Preds in Mega) for lols/fun. None of these would require that much additional effort, and would increase the amount of options available for player money-spending.
  • Record-setting items: Add motivation for people to complete monster quests speedily. What if each broken record netted you "Record Certificates", which could be exchanged a la GM certs for rare equipments? A simple implementation would be putting in popular old fuses and exchanging record certs for them.
Are these suggestions trivial? No. Some of them are rather drastic. Why should NTreev even bother to implement them?
Simply put, give the players more to do in-game, more motivation to participate in different in-game elements, and you will increase the Trickster player base, bring back old players and keep new ones. This translates to $$$, and arguably a more sustainable one (you keep the same population) than merely introducing new cash items every patch.

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Comments

  1. Strikegundam's Avatar
    They are really good points...
    But we all know Ntreev SHOULD do this, but i doubt it...
    permalink
    Posted 05-17-2009 at 01:02 AM by Strikegundam Strikegundam is offline
  2. I think post and suggestions like this were being made back when i quit which was over 1 year ago lol. And now that im back its the same as always.
    permalink
    Posted 05-17-2009 at 04:00 AM by MrIllidan MrIllidan is offline
  3. Queen's Avatar
    Now if only Ntreev would listen to this...
    permalink
    Posted 05-17-2009 at 08:24 AM by Queen Queen is offline
  4. Tardar's Avatar
    Impressive. 8D
    permalink
    Posted 05-17-2009 at 10:37 AM by Tardar Tardar is offline
  5. Tragic's Avatar
    I really like the compounding idea, it would be nice to see something like exchanging bunch of some rare but currently useless item for a decent equip.

    Another thing worth mentioning is: Too poor WT/Galder ratio for revo equips.

    For example:
    An old Sky blade is worth 21500 with 400 WT.
    A sword breaker (pre-revo item) is worth 91700 with only 158 WT.
    permalink
    Posted 05-18-2009 at 12:14 AM by Tragic Tragic is offline
  6. Meh, NTREEV, sometimes doesn't exactly listen to us, until a giant group protest and/or bothers them. Example: Vista not being able to let trickster on without disabling DEP, then they get annoyed from complaints, so they cared about it (a little).
    permalink
    Posted 05-18-2009 at 07:20 PM by Sombre Sombre is offline
  7. Pig's Avatar
    "I would suggest a decreased drop frequency for driller boy-drillers."

    I agree with everything except the above statement. I know that items drilled are fixed in spots... once you drill it up it moves to a different random spot on the map. You might be saying this or I might just be confused, if so I apologize.

    But Ntreev needs to fix this suffering Trickster economy somehow, please.
    permalink
    Posted 05-27-2009 at 12:00 AM by Pig Pig is offline
  8. I left Trickster in 2007 and I am amazed about how much it changed since then. I do not feel as wealthy anymore, but I realize a lot of items are so pricey.. quest items usually. I came back about a week ago and started playing again and I missed so much stuff I could've gotten..

    Quote:
    Example: Vista not being able to let trickster on without disabling DEP, then they get annoyed from complaints, so they cared about it (a little).
    So THAT'S why it had problems with my sister's computer. I am running Vista but did not run into that problem, she did. We disabled something (forgot what) and it was working again. Amusing.
    permalink
    Posted 05-27-2009 at 04:28 PM by Willing Willing is offline
  9. Jpen's Avatar
    I agree with you, most of the items are equipment related.
    I remember when the driving force behind the economy was the 2nd job items xD
    and EFP's could make you rich.

    I think 1 way of fixing this would be to make the trial items from all the bosses tradeable.
    permalink
    Posted 06-04-2009 at 12:02 AM by Jpen Jpen is offline
 
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