In the Entropia Universe, an online game with an actual currency based market, there are quite the selection of items you can spend countless amounts of money on. And the potential for profit is quite astounding. But across your travels you'll come across an issue that can affect your game experience in a way most other mmos don't touch base on. That subject is wither or not to add modification to your gear. Specifically speaking, the use of Laser Amplifiers.
Now these Laser Amplifiers are modifications for laser based weaponry. These mods have the ability to improve any weapons functions in a number of ways. A few examples are ammo consumption, weapon damage, degrade of weapon durability and firing speed to name a couple. But these mods are not cheap by Entropia's economy. A run of the mill basic Amplifier will cost around 100 Peds (The Currency for the game). In their actual dollar exchange rate, which is 10 peds per dollar usa, that's around 10 dollars. Now players who've been on this game for a good length of time, or with very high amounts of disposable income, will have no trouble purchasing these items. However for the majority of below average players and new people who will not put any money into it these items are a bit of a far off luxury. And at best a player's competent measure rod of their success.
And so the question is, are these mods crucial to ones own personal growth and therefore profit or is this better left a toy for the well to do?
Well truly this is a certain situational circumstance, which I will explain with a bit of background information on another similar economy in a game know as Everquest 2.
Now in EQ2 there is a similar economy like Entropia but not backed by actual money. But the basic business practices and models are there. In this world as well are mods know as enchantments and adornments. These items were introduced late into EQ2s lifespan of about 5 years currently. Before the introduction of these items much of EQ2s economy was based on selling equipment, abilities for combat and items used collection quest. Much of these items were found in the game world from monsters or on the ground. Equipment items in particular garnered the most cash, depending on what rarity it was. Items were ranked as such from common to rare: Plain, uncommon, handcrafted, treasure, master crafted, legendary, fabled and mythical. And of course prices increased based on the tier level they were geared for based on the max levels set for the game.
However after the introduction of the mods, the paradigm shifted for item values. This shift significantly inflated all equipment items making them incredibly expensive to purchase but profitable to exploit. The reason for this is because of how mods were made. In order to construct mods you need equipment, treasured and above, to break down into components. The recipes to make them required great amount of components to construct. And the skills needed to create components required a very great deal of practice and money.
Consequently this became a problem for those working in this new profession but especially new people. Because of these mods equipment for players, especially lower tiers, range from 100% to 10000% or more times their original base vendor values. Of course with such profit to gain from selling high prices, means even stiffer prices for mods. For instance, let me explain the currency. Lowest amount anyone can have is 1 copper. 100 coppers make 1 silver, 100 silver makes 1 gold and 100 gold makes 1 platinum. Your average lower player will make between 50 gold to 1 plat while higher average players get between 100-300 plats. Of course all this depends on how often players get items of value to sell on the market, tradeskills they worked in, their level and even guild (EQ2 version of societies) association. Most importantly, this money is gathered in a slow amount of time.
Now mods from the lower tiers range between 10p-20p. Upper tiers start at 100p and skyrocket into the 1000s range. So most items are beyond the reach of your average player. Prices are very high for another reason. The more rarer components are acquired from rare equipment breakdowns, with a chance of it turning into lesser components. So it is very risky to produce the very rare adornments, adding to their prices. Much of this information I have acquired from my own successful experience in this field of the market as well as years of understanding EQ2 marketing system as well.
So the question is, are such similar mods with a more higher risk of loss on profit worth the investment?
Well going back to EQ2 to say these mods didn't have any significant impact on performance are sadly mistaken. These mods significantly improved all areas of a players attributes, combat proficiencies and non-combat stats. The prices, though steep were not unattainable. And players with above average income, particularly those of guilds and raiders (People in large groups slaying larger monsters) were always in demand. Most players could even save significant amounts of money by just producing materials for others to create mods. A well molded player could take on monsters other players could not do alone or even in groups, increasing their own personal profits.
Well all in good for an economy more driven by a world were almost any player can produce efficiently without having to invest actual cash for skills, (aside from a subscription fee) I cannot say the same for Entropia's actual currency based world. As a new player who plans to make no or as little as possible amount of money into the game, I have come to realized a much greater difficulty in producing any amount of profits or for that matter skills. With the knowledge I have gathered so far, much of the economy is far more inflated than anticipated, with little room to get off the ground floor for new players. The only way anyone can make small amounts of change is through sweating, which is a long and almost mind-boggling undervalued process. Making around 3 peds on average, most people will not make enough to purchase weapon, let alone the laser amplifier. Not to mention the repairs needed to maintain equipment.
For new players, there is only loss of effort, time and or money. For older or richer players, the possibilities are there. With the laser mod, you increase your guns overall effectiveness. Saving money with all the less amount of resources consumed to use these weapons. But the amplifier is best left to weapons that have been used extensively along with a players more practiced skills. At that point, you maximize your savings in the long run and can potentially keep a weapon by your side for a very long time.
Now there might be those who can argue that most items get better with more use and it's best to get as earlier as possible. And once doing so you can have great savings the minute you can upgrade to better weapons. That might be true, but again it really is dependant on your financial circumstance. If you can barely afford your items right now and maybe for a long time, your better off working on how to increase funding first. But if you have a well establish foothold, go for it. But of course, always research what Amplifiers you need for your laser gun and what you're looking for, whither ammo consumption or damage increases. And of course by the cheapest possible price possible. That's just basic.
That concludes my assessment on the cost effectiveness of Laser Amplifiers and comparison.
Chris Patrick plays Entropia Universe, and runs a detailing how players can play the game more efficiently and economically! His tips and advice could be the difference between life and death! In addition, his society runs a in the game, which they've turned into a profitable business. Its all about how to play the game well, but we also provide some unique movies as well!