Feb 082013

So much bank, but no banking?

So many banks in the game. But no banking.

I have roughly 150 different items in my various banks and bags for one reason: they can be used to purchase weapons or items.

In other words, they are currencies.

The game does not call them “currencies”, no, it calls them “Necromantic Charms” and “Marks of Bal Molesh” and “Ancient Giant Relics“. But they are currencies nonetheless, having no intrinsic value or use other than the fact that they can be exchanged for other things.

For awhile, Turbine was on this weird kick where every single new module or update would include a new way of exchanging collectible currencies for items. Every single new release. Quite maddening really, nothing was ever reused? No barter system was worth repeating? If it wasn’t tokens it was relics. If it wasn’t sigils it was marks. Or disks. Or slightly different disks. There seemed no end, although thankfully neither of the last two releases have included any new currency types.

It would be very handy if there was a way to exchange them, much the way that one can exchange Australian Dollars for Indian Rupees, but it is not that simple. None of the currencies are interchangeable except sometimes within the quest package where they are obtained. In many cases we can exchange them amongst ourselves, but often the currency is bound. Sitting there in your bank awaiting the next festival or the next time you are leveling an alt or TR thorough a specific level range. Or more likely, just sitting there, ignored and bereft, unable to even accumulate dust since they are virtual as well as unwanted.

I can see reasons why we have all of these different currencies. I can imagine game design goals that suggest more currencies = more repetition of content and greater need for storage. These may be way off base but I am sure there are others, it cannot be coincidence that we now have so many different currencies.

I did say over 150, right? Because that is the case, well over 150, possibly over 200.

Enough. Time to do something about it. We deserve a currency exchange.

Clearly it is not a good idea to allow these items to be universally exchangeable one for the other. It would be bad if one could accumulate enough Copper Doubloons to exchange them for a set of Epic Green Armor or use enough Adhesive Slime to un-suppress the power in a set of Regalia of the Phoenix. But I ought to be able to exchange the doubloons and slime for something.

I suggest Astral Diamond Shards.

They are the perfect exchange medium, in that they don’t actually buy you anything in game, except sort of, but they are able to get you services that are useful and that you will want. Item repairs. Hirelings. Things like that.

I would not be able to exchange my Antique Bronze Tokens for epic items but I could buy a cool altar for my guild airship!

I don’t see any flaws in the idea at all. One might argue that it would impact the rate at which people buy Turbine Points – the main way to accumulate Astral Diamond Shards today, and also the main income stream of the game – an obvious bad thing, if true. But I argue that it would not have an impact on income:

  • The exchange rates can be set high
  • Accounts can be given a maximum number of shards they can earn in a time period (since someone will inevitably find an exploit)
  • The initial turn-in rate will be quite high as people clean out their existing deposits but then truncate as stashes run out
  • People might grind for things to turn into shards, but they can already grind for TP which become shards; the people willing to grind instead of buy are already doing so
  • Astral Diamond Shards are themselves bound so even if someone figures out how to exploit a billion of them, they can’t share them

It would just be another fun thing one can do. In fact, it might actually increase demand for TP, once people get used to having a pile of Astral Diamond Shards available they may not be willing to go back to eking out their existance in the non-Shard way they had to before, back in the day before they traded in their massive Sigils of the Goat collection.

In every movie about drug addicts, the first dose is always free, right?

🙂 😀 🙂

p.s. If you find this interesting, check back Monday. I am working on a long, long table containing each and every item in the game today that is a currency, along with a suggested exchange rate in Astral Diamond Shards. It ought to be done by then.

  2 Responses to “Universal Currency. Please? Pretty Please?”

Comments (2)
  1. Dammit yes!!

  2. Totaly agree with this. It is insane that my epic toon has bags and bank slots full of motes, coins, tokens, shards, etc. that are either useless or only useable during special events that come once a year. I have maxed my bank and have 3 ingredient bags, huge collectable bag, and 2 gem bags that are stuffed with almost useless things that I have aquired and still end up with overflow into my inventory.

What do you think?

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