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How Slicing and "Inflation" Help the SWTOR Economy

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
How Slicing and "Inflation" Help the SWTOR Economy

Freeborne's Avatar


Freeborne
12.20.2011 , 08:57 AM | #1
(Edit: Please note the date this discussion started, the 20th of December. This dialogue began pre-Slicing nerf. So the context has changed.)

I'd like to take a moment to talk about how slicing in its current form helps SWTORs economy, and why I think many are over reacting. SWTOR is a game of fixed rates. By which I mean the following cost/profits never change:

1. Character skill training
2. Crew Skill Missions Cost (The money you pay to send crew on missions)
3. Crew Skill Missions Return (The money you get from slicing)
4. Mount Training
5. Mount Cost (high end CE costs *a lot* of money.)

This means that Slicing has a fixed ceiling on profit. 10 months from now, I will be able to make just as many direct credits from slicing as I can today. For arguments sake, lets say I can make 5000 credits an hour max using slicing. (Not the real number, just makes the math easier)

There is only 1 area in which prices can inflate, and deflate:

1. The Galactic Trade Network: where we can sell our crafted/discovered goods.

Today a stack of Silica may sell for 500 credits. In four months time that stack of silica may sell for as much as a 10,000 credits. (An over simplified, and extreme example, to be sure.)

That means, as a slicer, today I can buy a lot of silica. In four months, I could only buy a stack after two hours of missions.

Here's the rub though: The Underworld Trader got that silica through a Crew Skill Mission at a fixed cost--it will never change. (Let's say 100 credits, I can't recall the exact cost of an UT mission right now.) Today, or 4 months from now it costs him the same amount of credits to acquire the raw goods, but he's selling it for 9500 more credits at stack. That's not inflation, that is profit induced by fixed-rate game mechanics. That is profit a player NEEDs to further their own crew skills, buy mounts, and train combat abilities.


Now, "Freeborne," you might say, "What about slicing nodes in the wild? Can't Slicers really boost their income with those?"

And I'd say, "Poster, I'm glad you asked!"

The answer is yes, and no. A slicer may find wild nodes, and shoot up his/her credit per/hour income. However, any of the other harvesting crew skills may do the same thing, and sell their goods on the GTN. And even if the Slicer *is* making more credits per hour, it just translates into more money they can spend on the GTN.


"But Freeborne," you could ask next, "What about players who only BUY things from the GTN, and don't sell on it. Won't they suffer from this Inflation?"

And I'd say, "Yes. Those players aren't participating in an MMO economy. They're driving by it and they're doing their own thing (which is certainly their right), but the thing is:"

If a player isn't taking a mission skill that returns marketable goods (Diplomacy, maybe? Can't tell you how well the "companion gift" market will do. But you can't sell the LS/DS points you get.), and is only depending on income from quests/mobs in the game, they are in for a World of Hurt--even if we removed Slicing from the game. You need to bring either disposable income, or desired goods to the market. The games current credit return from questing barely covers your combat skill training + mount training.

What does this tell us? Slicing *needs* to exist, otherwise people won't have have the disposable income required to purchase off the GTN.

If you have a clear, and academic, argument as to why slicing is "bad" for the economy, please post it in response and I'd be happy to debate it with you.
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Ayestes's Avatar


Ayestes
12.20.2011 , 09:02 AM | #2
Great post!

Lotheadric's Avatar


Lotheadric
12.20.2011 , 09:02 AM | #3
I don't disagree, but I wanted to post anyway to say that you are dead on.

Asurai's Avatar


Asurai
12.20.2011 , 09:19 AM | #4
this is wrong; while im not one of these people who say slicing is OP, it does create an inflation problem.Slicing creates money that wouldn't exist otherwise(same as killing monster does) which create inflation and increase the price of everything that will be sold.Since item sell at a price determined by the market, inflation will rise the price of seller to include this inflation.

In real life; when inflation is present, usually the seller increase their price to match the inflation because the seller price to make the good as increased.In this case however, the price to make item is fixed and independent of inflation but the selling price will have to include the inflation created by slicing because everything else sold will.Of course since every profession has a fixed price to get good and since all money sink in this game are fix this render this argument abit wrong; however that is the behavor that will be experienced.

a simple example would be: if you can make a good for 20$ and sell it for 50$ and the Bank give 100,000 to everyone in the country; would you still sell the bicycle at 50$?

Shadowclaimer's Avatar


Shadowclaimer
12.20.2011 , 09:28 AM | #5
Correct OP.

Inflation benefits the other trade skills, not slicing. Therefor slicing will always return the same amount, but other trade skills will get more. Slicing will become less desirable and less wanted as the other tradeskills start bringing in more money.

Long story short, Slicing will cause a short term cash injection into the economy but it'll drastically drop a few months out and stabilize as less people take Slicing and more people start taking others.
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Ex_Everest's Avatar


Ex_Everest
12.20.2011 , 09:30 AM | #6
I don't think SW TOR needs slicing. You can kill mobs, elite bosses, finish repeatable quests, all of which provide renewable sources of income. Furthermore, since people will likely always be either leveling mains or alts, it is unlikely that there will ever exist a state when all of the game's characters have completed all of the non-renewable quests they can, which means that this also will be a source of renewable income, as these quests are 'renewable', albeit on different characters.

Hellapain's Avatar


Hellapain
12.20.2011 , 09:32 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Shadowclaimer View Post
Correct OP.

Inflation benefits the other trade skills, not slicing. Therefor slicing will always return the same amount, but other trade skills will get more. Slicing will become less desirable and less wanted as the other tradeskills start bringing in more money.

Long story short, Slicing will cause a short term cash injection into the economy but it'll drastically drop a few months out and stabilize as less people take Slicing and more people start taking others.
This ^

Very succinct post that summarizes the actual impact.

VorpalFox's Avatar


VorpalFox
12.20.2011 , 09:32 AM | #8
Fair post but consider this:

If 5k is coming in the game per hour (on average) per slicing player, with no countering money sink, inflation will set in proportionately to percent of slicers vs non-slicers.

Thus if the only perceivable way to make income in a system is via slicing, more and more people who want to be 'Haves' vs 'Have-nots' (I know know many who cheer for being poor), the end result is algorithmic inflation.

Ex. First week prices rise only 1%
Second week all prices rise 2%, etc.

As the monetary base increases, with a flat line demand, prices will Inflate.

Imagine 20k for a T1 Blue item for your Twink.

That will DESTROY any new players entering the game.

How again is Inflation good for game? (Unless you like deserted servers)

Slicing (and Treasure Hunting), as is, must change, or it will destroy this game's ability to sustain a player base. Just like hyper inflation causes all mobile citizens to flee the country.

Gerica's Avatar


Gerica
12.20.2011 , 09:41 AM | #9
Isn't the price high because of demand? When the demand goes up and the prices go up, there will be more people joining the competition selling these items, and the prices will go down again. Normal fluctuation that will settle when the economy starts balancing. All the trading skills will balance after time.

If there is more demand for certain crew-skill items, there will be more people taking that crew-skill. If the demand is low for another crew-skill, there will be less people taking it.

Problems here?

dialith's Avatar


dialith
12.20.2011 , 09:44 AM | #10
however when you get up to say 10k for a t1 blue...the money makers are going to realize that it is more valuable to spend not 36m getting 5k but 3 sets of 10 min getting the materials for 10k worth of profit thus slicing will slowly leak its way out of the economy...the goal of slicing is to give a base credit source to the economy and at some point it will serve its purpose and people will smart up to how other ways are more valuable to making money.