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SWTOR will charge a cool 50 million credits for guild ships

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

We hope Star Wars: The Old Republic players have been saving up their credits for a rainy day because that rainy day is here and it wants its money. BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco announced on today's livestream that guild ships, expected in next month's Galactic Strongholds expansion, will cost a whopping 50 million credits, making it arguably the most expensive single item in the game as it surpasses the cost of the ST-7 Recon Walker and Dathomir Rancor.

Massively's SWTOR expert Larry Everett notes that while it's not uncommon for a lone player to have a tenth that amount and the 'wealthy' title is granted for amassing 10 million credits, small guilds might struggle summoning the funds for these ships.

Camelot Unchained plans a robust, anti-mule crafting economy

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, we're digging into my personal favorite: crafting and economy.
Massively: I just wrote about a game with excessive recovery time for crafters, likewise implemented for economic reasons, and wow, players hate those restrictions. Doesn't introducing (I'm going to say it) "designed downtime" for crafters encourage crafter mules and arbitrarily interfere with the natural economy? Aren't there more organic ways to slow down crafting? Why allow combatants to fight 24/7 but not allow crafters to craft equivalently?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: It's a really good question and a definite concern for us. My feeling was that I wanted to create a system where crafters don't have to sit around, crafting 24/7 in a manner that could lead to carpal tunnel. Other games, including Dark Age of Camelot, were more like that. Crafters shouldn't have to sit around and simply click-click-click, etc. The comparison isn't totally correct though, because combatants have downtime to recover their health or power, during travel, etc. (especially in an RvR MMORPG), while crafters can sit in a shop and use the Vox Magus to craft.

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EVE Evolved: Making ISK from the Crius release

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, PvE, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
‚ÄčEVE Online's economy has been studied over the years for its resemblance to the real world, and it is often cited as an example of a hyper-capitalist society with no laws or regulation. But underneath the emergent interplay of supply and demand that has fueled everything from freighter businesses to virtual investment banks, EVE is ultimately a game. The biggest influence on the markets by far has always been CCP Games and the changes it deploys in expansions, which shake the universe up and force players to adapt to new circumstances.

There's always money to be made from major gameplay changes, and accurately predicting how an expansion will impact on the market can put you on the head of a short-lived but very lucrative gold rush. Though EVE's updates now come in the form of ten smaller releases per year, the upcoming Crius release scheduled for July 22nd has practically a whole expansion's worth of changes to industry and research. That gives you just over two weeks to prepare for the change, train any skills you might need, and figure out how to cash in on EVE's industrial revolution.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I run down some tips for how to prepare for the upcoming industry revamp in Crius and make some ISK.

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Minor criminals in Elite: Dangerous will incur fines, compound interest

Betas, Sci-Fi, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Frontier has published the 30th edition of its Elite: Dangerous newsletter. This issue features tidbits on ship decals, new code systems meant to enforce law and order within radar range of authority ships or space stations, and potential fines for minor criminal offenders.

Fines will "give the authorities a proportionate level of response rather than shooting to kill regardless of the severity of a crime. Minor crimes and non-threatening infractions will incur a fine, which can be paid off to your local space station authority representative," Frontier explains. "If you don't pay off your fines, they will initially attract compound interest and then, once the authorities lose patience with your tardiness they will be converted into a bounty, and lead to you being hunted down."

There's a lot more to this week's newsletter, so follow the links below to give it a read!

[Thanks Cotic!]

EVE Online's in-game industry to be more challenging come Crius

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

The EVE Online team is trying out a new type of blog post today, this one taking time to look at the "bigger picture" of how in-game industry will function with the upcoming Crius release.

According to the post, the team wants industry to be understandable by players and both interesting and skillful to use. "You should feel that you are 'good at industry,' rather than just that your character is. You're good at industry because you make good decisions, you outsmart your competitors, you've invested in the right places and you're ahead of the market," the post states.

CCP says that it sees the purpose of EVE's industry as a different breed than what goes on in other MMOs, because the player is challenged to do more than just make certain items: "This is the world we're trying to create, the industry that New Eden deserves: one where you're in charge, where you're facing a new challenge every day, and where you have all the freedom in the world to decide how to solve it."

EVE's Crius to revamp manufacturing on July 22

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription

Are you sorta curious about EVE Online's science, manufacturing, and research aspects but have never managed to jump in with both feet? If so, you might want to hold off until July 22 when CCP releases its Crius update.

The patch will feature "a complete overhaul of the tools for industry activities," along with dynamic pricing across New Eden helped along by the removal of slot limitations for science and industry jobs. Traveling worker teams will also be available, as will new options for reprocessing. There's a lot more to the update, too, and CCP has helpfully provided links to all the appropriate dev blogs in today's news post.

The Daily Grind: Is PLEX/APEX/C.R.E.D.D. risky for developers?

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox, WildStar

Trion announced ArcheAge's APEX system recently, and while I'm sure it has its own wrinkles, my first instinct was to compare it to EVE Online's PLEX. It's a fascinating idea, allowing players with knowledge of an in-game economy to leverage said knowledge into enough currency to buy tradeable items that can be redeemed for subscription time.

It's always struck me as a bit risky, though. We can only guess at the number of EVE fans who play the game for free thanks to PLEX, but I imagine it's a pretty significant slice of the game's old money crowd. And while newer games like ArcheAge and even WildStar are aping the system in some fashion, it's too early to tell what sort of effect APEX and C.R.E.D.D. will have on developers' bottom lines.

What do you think, Massively readers? Do these sorts of systems seem risky to you if you put yourself in a dev's shoes, or do you think the number of players taking advantage of these systems is relatively small?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Diablo III is closing the auction house for good next week

Fantasy, Economy, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

Diablo III's auction house is on its last leg, giving up its ghost, and seeing a hellish light at the end of the tunnel. As of June 24th, all traces of the controversial feature will be removed from the game for good.

Blizzard sent out a reminder today about the auction house, stating that while its economic functions were disabled in March, the studio left it up for a few months past that to allow players to retrieve items and gold. Any items and gold left unattended will be sucked into the abyss on next Tuesday, so beware!

WildStar begins to sell C.R.E.D.D. subscription items

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Economy, WildStar, Subscription

When WildStar went live earlier this month, there was one vital piece missing from its business model: the ability to buy and sell C.R.E.D.D. in the game. Today Carbine announced that it has activated the C.R.E.D.D. store, allowing players to buy, sell, and trade this item from here on out.

C.R.E.D.D. is an in-game item that adds 30 days of play time to an account. Players can purchase one for $19.99 to sell on the exchange or purchase one from another player for in-game gold. Basically, it allows you to buy more game time with in-game currency or to gain more in-game currency with your real-world dollars.

Flameseeker Chronicles: The strange case of Guild Wars 2's reward system

Fantasy, Economy, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Is it cold out there in space, Bowie?
Every now and then I'll hear someone say that Guild Wars 2 has no rewards. They'll say it's extraordinarily grindy, that there's nothing to work toward, and that ArenaNet is intentionally making things harder than they should be so that we'll all give up and buy gems. This is confusing and frustrating to me for two reasons: The first is that all of those things are demonstrably untrue. The second is that I can nevertheless see where those people are coming from to some extent, and it's been difficult to put my finger on why.

GW2 showers players with loot and rewards. In an hour's normal play, I can fill my bags with items and come out of it with a tidy sum of cash; nearly everything in the game is designed to reward players for doing stuff, no matter what that stuff is. Some of it, like Edge of the Mists, is almost ludicrously generous. Even with the changes to the way Queen's Pavilion fights work this time around, it's possible to grab huge numbers of Champion loot bags if you land on an organized megaserver. So why does GW2 feel so stingy?

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Gloria Victis team summarizes new patch, May updates

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

Gloria Victis
Gloria Victis updated its website over the weekend with a bit about what the dev team accomplished in the month of May. First and foremost is that the fantasy sandbox now features a basic crafting system. The game's map size also increased by about 30 percent. Additionally, the team "implemented many fixes of already existing systems," including an improved texture load process to combat low framerates.

You can read all about the latest patch at the Gloria Victis website.

[Thanks Mae!]

Darkfall market exploit leads to rollback

Fantasy, Darkfall, Bugs, Economy, MMO Industry, PvP, Subscription

The bad news: Unscrupulous players found and abused an exploit of Darkfall's market this past week. The worse news: Because of this, Aventurine had to roll back inventories to last Thursday, May 22nd.

"With the help of the community we have discovered that there was some exploiting of our market feature at the end of last week," Aventurine posted on Facebook today. "We immediately deactivated the market to fix this issue and we identified those who had been actively exploiting it. We are in the process of permanently banning these players for their actions, as their behavior is inconsistent with the values we've set for the Darkfall Unholy Wars community."

The silver lining to all of this, apart from a hopefully fixed exploit, is that the studio is granting three days of additional game time to all accounts on June 1st.

Darkfall's economy patch is live, role-focused livestream at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Fantasy, Darkfall, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Subscription

Aventurine has released Darkfall's latest patch, and it introduces a number of tweaks to the fantasy PvP sandbox's economy. The devs have added high-yield harvesting nodes "in order to promote more active harvesting activities," according to the patch notes. Said nodes will always be full as long as only one player is harvesting, and they also drop new rares instead of essences, which allows players to skip the rare essence conversion step.

New (and more expensive) rare tools are now available for crafting, and new basic materials have been added as well.

Darkfall devs are also hosting a livestream today at 1:00 p.m. EDT to answer questions on the game's custom roles revamp.

[Thanks Jane!]

Elite's Alpha 4 is here, beta starts May 30th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Development on Elite: Dangerous is moving right along, as evidenced by this week's release of the space sim sandbox's Alpha 4 client. The latest patch represents the final Alpha phase, and it "vastly expands scale, scope, and depth over previous alpha versions," according to a Frontier press release.

Elite's already massive universe just got bigger, and the devs have released two additional travel methods to assist with traversing it. Hyperspace jumps are now a thing as is super-cruise for accelerated in-system jaunts. Alpha 4 also introduces inter-system trading via a dynamically evolving market.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Albion introduces player-driven cities

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Housing

Albion Online city
Albion's latest press release talks up the fantasy sandbox's new player-driven cities. Initially said cities will be empty and will provide players with the opportunity to both claim them and "create whole new societies from the ground up."

"These new cities will be strewn throughout the world, including deep inside PvP territory; these cities will be places where all players, regardless of their guild affiliations, can build houses and storage for themselves, utilize crafting stations and trade at an auction house, access their vaults, and otherwise prepare themselves for venturing back out into danger," explains lead game designer Robin Henkys.

Cities will be owned by a single controlling guild, which will reap various benefits including market and property taxes. Click past the cut for more details.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

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