Late yesterday afternoon, ArenaNet’s John Smith addressed the state of the Guild Wars 2 economy on the game’s official blog. With more than two million copies sold, a measurable amount of activity on the title’s trading post and more than two weeks for the economy to mature, Smith offers his insight and expectations and even brooches the taboo topic of exploits.
Smith launches into his discussion by discussing the Trading Post. Initially a worrisome implementation for some players, ArenaNet spent over 100 hours retooling the major economic portal during the title’s first week of life. According to Smith, the post is far more advanced than it was and the changes are just the beginning.
Even more damaging and difficult to fix is the Supply and Demand curve for select items. To address the overabundance of items causing a drastic value trap, ArenaNet has implemented a limited-time item, the Mystic Forge recipes, to remove the high supply by turning them into prize boxes containing gold and “some cool items.” Smith does not mention how long the recipes will remain, but it’s likely until the S/D curve is near the proper orientation.
Smith closes his discussion by bringing up exploits and the hyperinflation such mass participation in an exploit can create. Smith offers the karma exploit, whichallowed players to purchase weapons for 21 karma instead of the intended 35,000, as an example. If only a handful of players abused the system it would not have been a major occurrence. But ArenaNet didn’t catch the problem until over 1.46 million weapons were purchased at an average of 300 awesome weapons per player. Had the offending parties been able to sell these items they’d have created an imbalance in the economy with them gaining incredible wealth for nearly no cost.
To players such as Heartbourne and myself, the economy is the integral part of our MMOG experience. We relish in the deal, cornering markets and analyzing future needs for goods we can provide at a profit. It’s refreshing to see ArenaNet taking the economy so seriously so early in the title’s life.