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Feb 24, 2004



I'm violently opposed to eBay arbitrage, but I think tools like this site are incredibly cool. They act as a mirror to the in-game economy, and enable users to educate themselves about the relative value of their looting efforts.

Now, if they had a "Buy now!" link to mysupersales from the item search page, that might be a problem...


Econometric data isn't illusion-breaking for me. It might only be so for economists and stockbrokers who are reminded too forcibly of their everyday lives. I can see a Norrathian denizen creating such tables and proudly showing them around. It reminds me of a quest I did...


One thing to keep in mind: these are offer prices. NYSE gives you actual sales data. In future they will provide something closer to actual sales, but for now, these are offers.

And, much as I like the idea as an economist, I have to say, it breaks immersion for me. The bazaar itself is immersion-breaking - a room of mute robots with items dangling from their arms. Even the EC Tunnel was strange - yes there was shouting, just like ye olde fantasy trade faire, but its location and the language were just completely out of character.

Worth noting that, as with so many things, DAoC manages to do something similar, yet more elegantly.


With the volume of data they are entering, and the offer prices, I suspect a high error rate. I noticed a number of low end items going for ridiculous prices. For example, the newbie bard drum, sold by merchants, is listed at 25.8 (plat?) value price, and 200k max, with 1471 offers. That suggests a significant rate of typos in data entry to me. Hopefully, the rarer high end items are more accurate. But I wonder how they are doing their data entry?


Hellinar: "high error rate"

Also barter.

As a footnote, I happened across some player comments on bazaar. One comment stuck out in my mind:

"The day the bazaar went live was the day the heart of EQ died. You could see any newb wearing armor that you used to be RARE. Not only rare because it was hard to find, but rare because you had to find someone who had it for sale as well."

[ http://www.eqlounge.com/forums/showthread/t-1464.html ]

On the one hand it could be interpreted as too efficient a market = bad (echoes of Walmart bashing?). Or on the other hand it might be interpreted as its more of a society/ resources failing (newbies with lots of money). A third perspective might be that "rare" might carry baggage outside of just aquisition: i.e. (some) players want a search and story to accompany the goods for it to feel special...



Julian -- Sorry to be so late to the party.

I won't comment on the "premium subscription" option.

But with regard to the free stuff, I think you're right to see it as a kind of "reading" question. Their stated goal is:

We hope that EQEcon will help players find good prices for their items and give them a way to combat price inflation. We also hope our site will broaden the game's appeal to new players who would rather trade than hack-and-slash.

So, taking EQEcon at its word, they are in the tradition of the typical fan website that provides helpful information to those looking for it.

Personally, I've never really been interested in going to third-party websites for this kind of information -- virtual bean-counting doesn't do much for me in terms of enjoying the game -- but maybe some people enjoy this stuff?

Of course, I *have* looked for other out-of-game info on fan websites, and I think most people would agree that looking at fan sites is almost a requirement for enjoying/understanding most large-scale MMORPGs.

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