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May 12, 2004



Looking forward to reading this - but I did scan the technical methods page: impressive work. Hats off.


Wow! Very impressive work.


>>I don't know if Square-Enix are aware of these sorts of economic problems with their world, but they surely should be. Eventually every developer is going to have to have a better idea of what is going on in the economics of their worlds, otherwise smart young guys like Evan and Justin will start taking them for all their worth, without having to use sploits or dupes to do it

IMO, this is not an economic problem though. And the game developers loose nothing at all when people do this. In fact this is very much the way real world markets work every day. How many people make a living simply by being merchants, brokers and taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities? The truth is, these people are what make market economies work - as more and more people learn to take advantage of these opportunities in the game, the margins get slimmer and slimmer and the markets get more effecient and mature.

Look at it this way, moving equipment to different locations or selling it at different times of the day is a SERVICE that helps other people obtain these items. Japanese players don't want to try to log in during US prime time, and players in high level areas don't want to travel across the world just to buy something because the opportunity cost is too great. They are willing to pay a premium for other people to do this service for them.


This report is very interesting (also due to the fact that I'm playing FFXI :)) - but the data is still very fresh (only 2 months old). I remember the price fluctuation of platinum ore - one of the most expensive ores used in crafting. First (about 4-5 months ago) the price was about 30k. Then people started to flood the market with it - as it was one of the most profitable sources of income. The price dropped to as low as 15k. Now the price is about 30k again. But it took almost 5 months.

I think (as we saw earlier in SWG economy post) that GMs tend to manipulate the market to balance it (eg. - they buy out some stuff for much higher prices (bid price was 15k - they buy it for 30k - price history shows that all items were sold for 30k, next seller sells it for 30k).

Anyway - great report and methodology. Looking forward to seeing more updates soon. :)



Then it would appear that GMs are the de facto central bankers, no?

People shouldn't have to build "an eleborate screen-capture-OCRing system to gather the data"

Good work, gonna have to read it,



Most excellent to see!

I've had vague thoughts of throwing together a packet sniffer to capture an analyze SWGs prices (a bit easier than an OCR, but less legal I suspect).

I concur with the "This is a feature, not a bug" market. Primarily because I used arbitrage across time (buying during the cheap prime hours, auto-selling in the wee hours) to build my initial nest egg in SWG.

While tools like this should be available to the developers, I do not think they should come for free to players. Information is power, and it should be up to the players to gather the information.

- Brask Mumei

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