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Sep 21, 2003



I cancelled my SWG account last night, my guild is being disbanded, and just about all of the players I met during the first month have left. I lasted much, much longer with EQ and DAoC.

Maybe it's just me, though. As an older veteran of MMORPGs, the honeymoon phase is over; SWG looked great and I liked a lot of the mechanics (tradeskills, in-game email, etc) but in the end the content wasn't there -- certainly not $15/mo. worth. I don't know if it will be any different with EQ2, Horizons, Mythica, WoW, etc. although some of the new concepts (instances) have me intrigued.

I think Julian should hold out until EQ2 to see how that fairs (of course SOE may try to squelch the external EQ2 market as they did with EQ). Who knows -- SWG could be "re-launched" with the space expansion and I imagine people will want loads of credits to purchase ships...


As long as we are talking anecdotally, I have to agree with Scott. It took me months before I hit the wall in EQ and at least there were levels and places I hadn't been that kept me going. 30 days in SWG and I'm a yawning.

Also, I am noticing the currency rate is dropping fast enough that classic arbitrage opportunities are clearly available. For example, IGE has a buy rate of $50 per Million Credits. http://www.ige.com/swg/sell_cred.asp

At the same time eBay auctions are ending well below this rate, with the sunrunner server selling at the $20 per Million mark.

In any case, I'm holding back before making any long-term investments in this one.


Two things would drive down the currency rates of a world: intense competition from other worlds and MUDflation. SWG is suffering from both; EQ has this habit of releasing really innovative content in its expansions and I understand that Lost Dungeons of Norrath is getting people all excited. LDoN introduces 'instancing,' a way of delivering content that's supposed to eliminate spawn-camping. You get your group together and go to an NPC, the NPC gives a quest and a time limit. The Machine then spawns a dungeon appropriate to your group's level; only you have the key. Then you have to go clear it.

Anarchy Online invented this a long time ago, but it seems to be a new trend. There are obvious benefits for the casual gamer; the time limit is a godsend.

On a more abstract level, this is more evidence that games are evolving to meet the demands of a wider group of players. Gradually.

Anyway, with the heavy competition, we should expect higher demand elasticity in the currency of every world. Beyond that SWG has the problem of most of these worlds - credits flow in at a rate determined by player activity, not by the need for currency in player-to-player transactions. It's an old problem...impossible to solve if you use money to reward players.


I'm playing SWG, but I'm not all that impressed.

As far as the markets go, trading is thin on ebay for the game's size. And trading in currency isn't at what I'd consider to be great rates. I haven't explored other sites though.

I wonder if the end of summer syndrome isn't partly responsible for a downtrend in the value of vgoods. On the other hand, with mature players one might expect the opposite. Less free time with vacations and business slow-downs for the summer done would suggest more willingness to pay dollars to avoid some time-wasting activities (I want to get to the GOOD stuff...).

I just a sharp decline in isk prices for EVE Online over the last week or so, too. Notes on my blog on that.

It's possible there's some dumping going on with go-back-to-school days. Maybe things will firm up again in a month or so.



Looks like IGE caught on the pricing problem. They have since changed their buy rate from $50/Million Credits to $10/Million.

Also Ebay continues to drop, although the rate of decline looks like it is slowing. My guess is that there will be a good time to jump back into this market in the next 30-60 days. Especially after hearing Ralph's remarks that they know they have a currency problem.

Best guess: 2 days before Thanksgiving buy 10-20 Million near $15 per, hold for 30 days and sell near $30 per million mid-Christmas break.


For those interested in currency price fluctuations, I recommend Dan S's dislogue blog, where he has been sedulously explaining fluctuations in EVE isk and SWG credit markets from the position of a player in those markets. http://dansch.rr.nu/dislogue/

Of course Dan can only glean what he can from publicly available material. It would be fascinating to get some background from the world owners about what is driving these prices.

Hmm, maybe I need to start a Wharton-sponsored research project into virtual world currency pricing.


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