The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the worst ‘wealth gap’ between old and new players?

    
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Folks, I want to talk about money – video game money. I was surfing the City of Heroes subreddit a while back when I bumped into a thread about the “wealth gap” in the game – specifically, on the now-two-year-old rogue servers. The meme needs to be seen.

There’s so much to unpack here. First, it’s only been two years – how is the wealth gap that bad already? But second, I get it, and I suspect it’s more about casuals vs. hardcores than newbies vs. vets. To listen to the hardcore emu players talk, some of them really do have billions of inf (that’s money in CoH). Casuals are not playing the converter game or farming for hours a day; they’re just leveling and rolling alts on private servers that could poof tomorrow. That can definitely mess with the price of enhancements and recipes and even high-end salvage, even on the servers where the player devs have implemented crafting and pricing stopgaps to keep small economies from being toppled. But it can also benefit poorer players too as a lucky drop – or wise spending of merits – can make you enough cash to fund several toons in regular enhancements.

In fact, while I think the “wealth gap” is a problem in CoH, I’d still say it’s one of the MMOs where it matters the least. I can think of a dozen other MMORPGs that have a serious problem when it comes to the wealth gap – and I bet you can too. So let’s do just that:

Which MMORPG has the worst “wealth gap” between old and new players? How exactly does the problem manifest in that game?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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kjempff

EVE, Entropia

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Tanner Terrell

RuneScape anyone??

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I don’t know. I have seen a lot of inequality in life lately, and not just pertaining to games.

I mean, I was stupidly uber rich on Rift back when I played…and considering it’s system involved going through multiple iterations (Forget which they were…but it was something like copper-bronze-gold-platinum…and 100 of the previous one was one of the next ones)…and I had over 2,500 platinum, and that was AFTER using lots of it to buy multiple ingame upgrades…I’d argue pretty much most games nowadays, if they have any decent way to trade, go crazy with their economies, and don’t provide much of a money ‘sink’ for them. Just nearly unending money ‘taps’.

But I wouldn’t even argue Rift’s was that bad…compared to some others I’ve played.

It’s probably something to do with poor design, and a little with poor implementation, but it’s also just human behavior, because a lot of people buy low, sell high.

It’s one reason I prefer things that involve the ‘barter’ method, where you can barter some good/service you have/do, for something they have/do.

But then again, I really would just prefer humans stop ‘valuing’ things in this way altogether. At the end of the day, it really is meaningless. Just like when my neighbor downstairs was trying to sell his car for $3500, and shortly after, collapsed and died in RL…and so one of his extended family members just ‘took’ it, because he certainly didn’t need it anymore…

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John Mclain

That’s the easiest question asked yet. That would be Eve Online. The difference can be the equivalent between having a mortgage for the clothes on your back. And the other guy owning the milky way. (Almost literally in this case.)

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Schmidt.Capela

I tend to not even notice.

Wealth gap tends to only really matter in player-to-player transactions, and, well, I abhor engaging in player-to-player commerce in games; in particular, I will never purchase from another player anything that I can’t craft or otherwise obtain by myself without help, including in obtaining crafting materials or other prerequisites, and if I can get the item myself then I always have an alternative to whatever inflated price the item goes for in the player market.

And if the game is designed to force players to trade with each other — and thus prevents me from crafting or otherwise obtaining important items by myself — I will have left it in frustration way before I even notice the effects of the wealth gap.

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K8 D

Guild Wars 1. The wealth of many long time players was obtained from 24/7 botting. Many still are. It would be impossible for any new player to catch up without multiple bots or scamming.
Not condoning bots btw, it’s just what many people used to get rich unfortunately. There are many genuine power traders and farmers out there too

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Rndomuser

Most of PvE oriented games are bad in terms of wealth gap. A lot of people in them accumulate a lot of money which they have nothing much to spend on if they already got the best armor and gear. This means they can pay millions for rare items, which drives up the prices for those rare items. I’ve seen hairstyles in FFXIV being sold for about 10 mil gil even though there is a constant supply for them. Of course once the market is saturated with certain items the prices may go down but for a very rare items that doesn’t really happen especially when more new players start playing the game meaning they are the customers who do not have those rare items yet. Plus there is a much larger amount of farming bots in PvE oriented games because they can do this in almost perfect safety from other players.

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Vunak

BDO

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Syrath Xaj

That was my first thought as well. The Seasonal servers were a great addition to at least help new or returning players some but now they ended those for the time being. I guess one of the issues with the season server is the amount of wealth required for the next step is large and it left new players in a spot.

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Vunak

It also allowed existing players to increase the gap further with the PEN Capotia it gave. So if someone was missing one accessory at TET level they could do the Capotia quest quick and get that accessory done. New players only get one per season. Its what I did. I didn’t have a TET belt and just did the Capotia for it, for now until I go for PEN.

It helped for sure, but it also helped people that were already ahead a lot as well.

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Utakata

You know, I haven’t really being paying attention. As I am probably leaning on the pigtail’d opinion that the “wealth gap” in games is superficial compared to the RL wealth gap we see everyday. As the former from the anecdote hasn’t affected me in the least as far as I am aware…

“What about that Goblin army of yours, Uta?”

…well..even if they where the 1% that benefit from the WoW wealth gap, there’s still *no such thing as having too much gold for them. >.<

*Note: Rules of Acquisition #10

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NeoWolf

The worst wealth gap has to be WoW, every time I’ve played that and come back the AH’s have been diabolically overpriced with even garbage gear being sold for ridiculous amounts of gold.

And that is largely due to a) Gold Sellers and b) veteran players having so much gold they forget not everyone else does like new players, which of course then sends the new players into the welcoming arms of said Gold sellers.