Guild Wars 2 money-making video for the ‘middle class’ prompts calls for economy transparency

    
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As we stand on the brink of Guild Wars 2’s fifth living story season – I mean, Saga – players are nervous for the launch tomorrow and how it’ll all shake out. Well, stop worrying about all that and worry about money instead!

Pretend money, that is. YouTuber Wooden Potatoes has posted a lengthy (even for him) video featuring a discussion with a couple of representatives of Guild Wars 2’s One Percent quite literally, who give a bit of advice on how to make extreme piles of Guild Wars 2 gold so that you too can become a “trading post baron.” Why would anybody do this? The lead rep says it’s to increase the overall wealth in the game and re-create the missing “middle class” in the game, which he argues is a problem in the game and the economy.

As Wooden Potatoes rightly surmises, the community response has indeed been cynical so far, as this is a community that has seen insider trading scandals among ArenaNet’s handpicked player testers. While some folks call what these players are doing a pyramid scheme, it’s not (and in fact you can read our last Lawful Neutral for a rundown on how to define that for games). What these rich folks are doing is talking players with gobs of unused soulbound currencies (like spirit shards) into swapping them for specific mats and then buying the mats from those players, ideally through places like r/GW2Exchange to avoid broker fees. The clear benefit to encouraging more “middle class” players to sell those currencies is to make the 1% even more from the additional legendaries they’ll be able to craft, yes, but everyone in the process makes money. Well, except the people buying the legendaries in the end.

Either way, it’s not really something everyone can do, but it’s certainly something folks can learn from. And we don’t just mean players; one of the points raised in the video (and on Reddit) is that ArenaNet should be doing a better job of making the exchange systems in the game (including the Mystic Toilet) significantly more transparent so that the average player understands how they work to begin with.

It’s a long watch, but something to do while you wait for the rollout of tomorrow’s update.

Source: Wooden Potatoes, Reddit. Thanks, Mordy!

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Harrison Batchelder

As someone who was in the top 500 of players when POF dropped I have talked with a decent amount of top 100 people. A decent majority are either gold buyers or they run a network of gold selling.

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hardy83

I have over 800 spirit shards. How long would that take me to turn that into gold and how much?

It’s too long and not much isn’t it?

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Arktouros

That would be around 342 gold and take around 11 and a half hours of clicking which comes out to about 30g/hr or so of pure interface clicking if reddit math can be relied upon.

At current rates 30g is about 120 gems sold, or approximately $1.50/hr. So 11 and a half hours of your time for $17.10 worth of in game currency.

:)

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I figured this would be a unique enough topic involving GW2 that it may cross over into broader MMOs in general since most people are interested in making gold to a certain extent regardless of what game you’re playing. Just something to bump the discussion off the negative for a day at least.

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Bruno Brito

From Reddit:

“[–]miraclerock 110 pontos 16 hours ago*
They spun it as you can make so much money from just playing the game, and they glazed over the most tedious aspect of their money making scheme – the mystic forge conversions. Their discord channel has some more information on the value of spirit shards. 140 spirit shards would be 60g and that equals 1,400 mystic forge conversions. If you’re speed clicking and do one forge every 5 seconds, that’s about 2 straight hours of clicking.

Basically, they’re buying your labor. They’re still making a ton of money doing their easy legendary crafts etc., and letting the casuals do the hard work by grinding away in the mystic forge. Sure, it works, but you gotta put a value on your time as well.”

>

Basically, they’re buying your labor.

Middle class indeed.

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Randy Savage

I dont have time to mow my lawn

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Bruno Brito

I am now fully curious to know how much a lawn would be in gems.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I could see my self doing this and selling the items my self, I used to blow through hundreds of thousands of Karma on converting Crab Grabbing Gloves into something I could salvage for Linens. Remember the good old days before mass salvaging when you had to click on every piece of loot, basically made half a Silver Wastes run nothing but breaking down the loot into crafting mats for TP sales.

Just for giggles though I popped up my 6 Gifts of Exploration on the GW2 Exchange Reddit, maybe through the magic of backroom trading I can turn them into a Legendary or 2.

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Dobablo

Remember the good old days before mass salvaging

There is mass salvaging? 😲

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Right click on your stack of salvage kits and you can choose to salvage all as well as the threshold such as Blue/Green/Rare, any Exotic you have to salvage individually still.

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Dobablo

Cool. Thanks.

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Bruno Brito

No mass Mystic Toilet, tho.

miol
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miol

And look at this quote, coming from the top 1% trade barons:

– “If they don‘t put those structural caps in place or limit the way how we trade (500g weekly mail cap/ 10000g TP listing cap per listing, which forces mats as a form of currency rather than gold), bad elements of the game, such as RMT‘ers or people, who organize bots or anything, can overtake the game and pretty much ruin the economy for all of us..

So I highly think, and ultimately this is one of the toughest game I‘ve ever expereinced to make money, compared to other games I‘ve been part of, but

Anet has been the most responsible developer of the MMOs I‘ve ever played, to helping the players up.

The problem is: the players are not figuring this out as fast enough, right? And knowing that the Guild Bank is such an essential, central and important point for all players to realize, that that‘s where the junction of the mat flow occurs. The necessity the needs of the construction of guilds and communities and such, and so and so forth.”

That’s something many can chew on, and rethink their stance on GW2’s economy! Including me! ;P

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Nuggets like this really peaked my interest, might replay this video a few more times in the back ground while doing more map completion to see if there’s anything else I missed, or something I can cement to memory for use later.

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Reginald Atkins

saw that vid, still processing it a bit. You hear so much about scammers and things like that that dipping out of the TP for marketing items sounds a bit daunting. The concepts make sense but as I’ve often said “I was an art major for a reason…”. Item flipping is pretty straight forward to understand but a lot of the things they go into in the vid, oh well…

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

The problem isn’t making money, it’s spending it. I’ve had over 10k in gold and probably as much again banked items and mats for years now. The reason I have so much is I can find almost nothing to spend it on.

About the only things I ever buy are bank and inventory slots and the occasional toy like the flying carpet. Everything else in the Gem store is useless tat and always has been. As for the items traded by players, I think I might have spent as much two or three hundred gold on them in seven years.

If they ever decide to sell anything worth having I’ll be happy to break into my resources but I can’t see it happening.

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Nathan Aldana

It never seems to occur to these people that maybe the reason more people arent trader barons is because doing so doesnt appeal to everyone, does it.

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Robert Mann

Of course not. They also then wonder why people complain about gold sinks in most MMOs being so far out of range.

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Greaterdivinity

Oh hey…I have a ton of spirit shards and still have never actually looked into what to do with them. I should look into using some to make some money. I don’t feel poor anymore (I think I’m around 300g?), though I also spend very little, but I know compared to most folks, especially the big trading post players, my gold would be a rounding error compared to theirs.

I’d love to see a big MMO take a functionally socialist approach to the in-game economy, or at least a super tightly controlled capitalist approach. Would be interesting to see how the community reacts and how the economy changes over time as the usual players who hoard vast sums of currency find themselves unable to do so to anywhere near the usual extent they can.

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Robert Mann

I’d be interested in a whole NPC political structure with trade and transport for all this. Watching as they pay higher taxes for the higher wealth and get all upset about it would be at least more interesting than reading on how they want to make even more money off me. :)