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Can’t Stop the Tide

Sometimes I wonder why I ever took the “RMAH combats gold sellers” argument seriously.

Race you to the bottom.

In that screenshot I took over the weekend, 1600 gems would net me an auspicious 4g 6s 66c for basically $20. The gold-seller was advertising in Map chat that $19 buys 10g. Or, 20s 33c vs 52s 63c per $1. That is a 2.5x better exchange rate.

Maybe these developers are going after the middle margins: the people that might of bought gold from shady websites, but give out a sigh of relief over the legit channels. Or maybe the devs simply looked at how much money was changing hands – and how much was sitting on the table! – before deciding that getting more than a $0 piece of the pie would be profit.

As you can tell by my gem count, I am not exactly complaining here¹. That 1700 amount and the four bank slot additions I have unlocked were all procured via in-game currency. I am level 55. Just sell everything, and you will be fine, I promise.

Well, you will be fine unless you enjoy staying in similar locations or doing the same dungeons. In which case, ArenaNet has “anti-farming” protocols to dynamically (!) lower drop rates of items, and other rewards based on… well, rather opaque criteria. Near as anyone can tell, it is based on the type of enemy one is killing, which causes trouble in the endgame Dynamic Event-driven zones that features waves of all the same type of creature.

Who was this designed for again? Because the botters can simply teleport around the map, and banning them is kinda pointless considering they use hacked accounts anyway. If it is to protect the economy or protect players from themselves – which seems odd given how many tokens/Karma/etc you need for things – the snide comparison between GW2 and the “energy management” iOS/Facebook games becomes dangerously apt.

In other news, I am happy to report WvW is working correctly:

Just in time for 7-day long matches!

According to the official rankings, the bottom three realms are…

1074.472 Northern Shiverpeaks
833.028 Devona’s Rest
634.207 Kaineng

There may or may not have been intentional rank tanking going on; at launch we had some major PvP guild, then they left for two weeks, and now it looks like they have returned? I suppose this behavior will level off once the free transfers are closed and the “real” rankings return. But at some point, I almost wonder what will prevent the various realms from simply win-trading their way across the merry-go-round. The incentives are all there vis-a-vis Karma and currency. And I almost think that would be preferable to the sort of Loss Point domination the system allows along the margins.

Has it occurred to anyone else that perhaps the mythical DAoC RvR experience was a time and place thing?

Regardless of all of the above, the wire keeps on humming away. I even did a dungeon over the weekend, and it was fun! Sort of. I will need to investigate further to be sure.

¹ On some level though, I do consider cash shops a mild form of exploitation. Human beings make irrational economic decisions all the time, and I put digital goods right up there with casinos in terms of ethical business dealings. Let’s not pretend ArenaNet is doing that soccer mom dumping $200 into the cash shop any real favors here.