Last week I wrote about the change Pearl Abyss weremakingtotheirin-gamestore and the introduction of players being able to sell Pearl items on the Marketplace. The discussion on the topic, unsurprisingly, was pretty heated. Some welcomed the change, some loathed it and some insinuated that Daum outright lied to their consumers. Irrespective of the furore surrounding the controversial change, I’m keen to hear what your thoughts are now that it’s live.
As someone who was all for the change and felt that many were sensationalising the risk it posed, early signs show that the introduction of “Pay to Win” is far from reality. On a 5 cap limit per week and with items costing upwards of $30, returns of 19-22 million silver per sale might seem a great deal and yet some of the most expensive items on the Marketplace command a price tag of well over 200 million. Effectively, to achieve anywhere near this sort of income from selling Pearl Items you’d have to be spending in excess of $300. That doesn’t sound like a sensible way of going about business.
What’s particularly interesting about the introduction of Pearl items to the Marketplace is that similarly to Guild Wars 2’s Gem price or the cost of C.R.E.D.D. in WildStar, prices all started fairly low. Demand simply wasn’t there and players often shunned the new system. Fast forward many months and prices are unrecognisable, with serious money to made should you choose to hand over your credit card.
The likelihood over the coming months is that Daum will begin to deliver more and more desirable products onto the Pearl store and the price for a Marketplace exchange will increase significantly. It’s only at this point that selling your Pearl items could prove lucrative. At the moment however and unless you’re able to afford several hundred dollars a week, I’m not sure an exchange is worthwhile. For those who can afford it, well - there’s plenty of money to be made.
Now that you’ve had a chance to experience the introduction of this new system, I’d like to know if you feel the same about it now as you did when it was first announced. I suspect some of you will but I’d specifically like to know why. If there’s anything bugs me about what Daum have done it’s the fact that as a buy to play product, their store prices were already ridiculous. They were ridiculous - one assumes - because they needed to turn a profit and instead of low prices/high volume, they chose the opposite. By implementing this new system such as they have (which effectively encourages further purchases of over-priced cosmetic items or enhancements) it feels a little tight fisted. In fact, I’d argue it’s unjustifiable. Such an exchange works in Guild Wars 2 because the pricing structure and Gem return, as far as I’m concerned, is fair. The same can’t be said here and to drop $30 on an item, just to obtain in-game silver, is far too steep for me ($8 a month I could happily stomach).
I’d have much preferred Daum to adopt this approach right from the very start, as opposed to implementing it now; at the very least we’d then have transparency and a greater ability, prior to purchasing the game, of truly understanding their intended financial model. Considering the genre already has a terrible reputation for nickel-and-diming its playbase (especially with the loathsome rise of free to play) Daum really aren’t helping themselves. In fact, while I’m unquestionably in support of such systems, this could have been done so much better if it had arrived when the game launched. I just hope it works out in the long run.
Now that you’ve had time to see the Pearl item exchange rates on the Marketplace, how do you feel about it? Do you think it will eventually prove lucrative? Are you still mad about it? Is it still irrelevant to your enjoyment of the game? Let me know.