Wizard101's Currency Crisis
In the world of Wizard101, the game revolves around two different sets of currency: Gold and Crowns. The latter of the two is the premium currency of the games, obtainable through purchasing them, bundles, contests, or giveaways from fansites or from KingsIsle themselves. However, today we’re going to take a dive into the other currency and examine the problem of how accessible gold is and how it is creating an ever-growing dilemma.
First, let’s discuss just how easy getting gold in Wizard101 is. At the lowest of levels, it isn’t entirely as easy to get a meaningful amount of gold as higher levels, but where the problem initially starts to sneak in is when you get access to Wintertusk. In the area of Vestrilund, there lies the two best farming spots in the game: Halfang and Asrik. These two bosses both have very lucrative loot tables, but also each drop an amulet that when sold in the bazaar can net you anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 gold. Sink a good hour into one of these bosses, and you could be walking out with at least 100,000 gold - if not more. This was the start of the problem, but then a new, even more efficient method was discovered...
When gardening was first introduced all the way back in 2012, there were some obvious contenders for best seeds in the game: Evil Magma Peas, and Couch Potatoes. It was discovered these two types of plants could drop mega snacks and very valuable treasure cards. This is where the other method comes in. Shortly after their release, it was discovered that Couch Potatoes dropped a very sought after treasure card, Empower. Fast forward some years, and why is it only now that a 1-pip spell in treasure form be sought after so heavily, you ask? The resale value of it! When sold at the bazaar, they can sell from a range of 800 - 2000, dependent on how many are currently in the bazaar, but most of the time it sits around 1200 to 1400.
Now, how often can you get these empower treasure cards? Couch Potatoes drop these treasure cards at mature and elder, and with multiple harvests possible at the mature phase, that means you have several chances to get empowers. Add in the fact there is a higher probability since most people have big plots of these plants (for context: the best plot set-up that currently exists is a 69-plot setup). One final thing that shoots this above the Wintertusk strategy of farming is the simple ability to hold onto these for an infinite amount of time in theory.
With all that, we lead into the major problem caused by the, theoretically, infinite stream of gold wizards are able to get. Have you ever opened the crowns shop and notice the … lack of items purchasable by gold? Aside from a few mounts and ever fewer outfit choices, everything else is strictly crowns only. All the new mounts, all the packs, all the housing items - is forced into being crowns only, in part, due to the other form of currency of gold being constantly available at ease. Some people may not be able to purchase crowns, or choose not to - leaving them out of many lucrative items. How do we fix this? I have two ideas, let’s dive in!
- Create a third type of currency, rarer than gold - but still obtainable in-game. With this way, they would have an option to fall back on to start allowing more of the crowns only items to be obtained by doing things within the game rather than actual money. It would be a challenge to obtain, but more rewarding for the playerbase.
- Make gold harder to obtain - now hear me out folks, I know we all love how easy gold is able to be obtained in the game currently. It almost feels as if they throw it at you in some spots, but what if it was more rewarding to hit that max gold threshold? With the recent proposed change to enchants, it seems as if KingsIsle is leaning toward a world where getting these resources will be more of a challenge, but more rewarding in the end.
To the common eye, the over-influx of gold doesn’t come across as a problem, but the more you dig deeper into the situation, and examine just how easy it is to obtain gold and what limitations it is putting on accessibility of items without paying real money, we have a very legitimate problem. If gold was more rare of a currency, there would be so many options opened up to all of the playerbase, not just the paying ones. They could put some of the more desirable items for gold, and not have to fear of the implications of mass buying.
As always, feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!