Greedy Goblin

Thursday, June 15, 2017

EU vs NA Archeage server labor value

I still didn't find a positive project in an MMO and I'm afraid that it's not even possible until a new MMO comes out (open beta =/= comes out). But I find doing a moneymaking project in Archeage, a mostly forgotten MMO than writing the #324123 post on EVE dying. That doesn't mean that I won't be there with a "you had this coming" post when CCP lays of staff, but in the meantime I focus on something I do play.

So, Archeage has a weird feature. For a subscription, you get various daily resources and tasks account-wide, but they apply in both the US and EU region separately. So two EU alts have just one shared work point pool, but an EU and NA alt get them separately. However the premium currency (those gem things you get 1250 for consuming an APEX and need 2500 for a subscription) is shared, so if you earn in-game money (gold) in NA, you can buy APEX and consume it to get points and spend them on pay-to-win in EU. This way power can be transferred from one region to another (by buying the APEX in NA, I make it impossible for someone else to buy it and use it in NA, taking this power).

If you don't follow Archeage (and why would you), you get 2 work points per minute if you are subscribed. Only 1 per minute if you are not, but online. You need work points for crafting. For example creating iron ingot from 3 iron ores take 5 points. Work points are therefore limited resources and have a value. The iron ingot costs more than the 3 iron ores.

After this introduction, let's get to the point: work points are more valuable in the NA side. About twice as much valuable. I can make about 2 silvers per point, which is about 1700 gold per month. You can buy 1 month of subscription by APEX for 1500, so the account pays for itself just out of NA work points. This alone could be interesting, but after the EVE skillpoint price, it's rather normal: players pay for the power that comes with the subscription, the game access is worthless to them.

But why is the work point value is different in the EU and NA? First we must understand that you can't farm gold with work points. If you make iron ingot from iron ore, no gold is created and a tiny amount is even consumed. You get gold by the difference of selling ingot and buying ore, but you didn't make any, you just got it from some player who farmed it. So work point usage does not change the APEX price, which is roughly the same between the regions.

Supply and demand say that if price of a resource is higher, it's more scarce. However the market window says that iron:APEX ratio is the same in the two regions (APEX correlates well with player number, therefore work points):

So I honestly don't know why NA is more profitable. However there is one hint: some crafts, for example lumber is very unprofitable and some are flat out negative profit (leather, copper ingot). So it's possible that more NA players "craft for free", doing zero market research, just processing whatever they have, leaving more profit for those who actually check the AH first. On the EU side profits are low, but equal among the "no brain" crafts, showing that people switch when one becomes unprofitable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you try Final Fantasy XIV? I recently tried it after moving from WoW and i'm really enjoying it. Stormblood expansion is just about launch.