Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 10, 2007
Is this just like buying gold?

I haven't found a Legends of Norrath booster yet as a drop from a mob in Everquest 2. Rumors have it that they are random world drops, with a chance of 1 in 300 to find one in a chest. But as the chance of getting a chest drop from a monster is already less than 1 in 10, you need to kill thousands of monsters to find a booster. But they do exist. And contrary to what I thought to have understood, the boosters dropping in EQ2 aren't NOTRADE. I've seen several of them on the auction house, going for around 20 platinum pieces each. Having no idea what an EQ2 platinum piece is worth, I googled for EQ2 plat, and found out that 1 platinum piece is worth about $1 US.

So a booster is worth 20 plat, which is worth $20. But you can buy a booster directly from SOE for $3. Thus if you find a booster, transfering it to LoN and opening it there is destroying value. Which poses an interesting moral dilemma: If I would ever find a booster, sold it for 20 plat, and then bought a booster in LoN for $3, would I effectively have bought 20 plat for $3? Would I indirectly have bought gold?
Very interesting question Tobold. I think it just comes down to this, if you are not someone who buys gold, then whatever the plat/money ratio is of x item does not concern you.

It's like if you get an epic world drop in WoW, does its RL value instantly spring to mind? For me it does not, I simply check its AH value and attempt to make the sale just to get some gold to use for whatever else I need in game. As long as it stays totally in game, real world value never factors into it, at least for me.
I'm not sure I follow the reasoning here. Why would it be buying gold?

That is unless you can trade EQ2 money for RL money or vice versa.

Or possibly if you can buy one booster for RL money and transfer the booster from LoN to EQ2. Then it would REALLY be buying gold.
No, its two different boosters obtained on two different markets. Its also not entirely uncommon for there to be a price differential in multiple markets (the store and the Station exchange) for the same asset (the booster.)

If you could buy the LoN booster from the store, transfer it to EQ2, and then sell it on the auction house, one could argue that you bought plat. In that case, I imagine the going rate for boosters would rather quickly drop to 3 plat (assuming the going rate for plat is $1 US, as you say) as there would be an arbitrage opportunity otherwise (i.e., one could buy a $3 booster, transfer it to EQ2, sell it for 20 plat, then sell the 20 plat for $20).

But since you can't transfer goods from LoN to EQ2, I guess we'll never (?) know.
No, of course you didn't trade 20 plat for $3. You sold an ingame item for ingame money, and then, seperately, used real money to buy a different in-game item.

If buying in-game items with real money bothers you to begin with, then games with RMT aren't for you. Now, I know that sanctioned RMT doesn't bother you, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Let's say that I run a restaurant that sells ham sandwiches for 5 dollars. So I sell a bunch of those, and then for lunch, I go down the street and buy a pizza from a guy who only takes Euros, and I pay with 10 US dollars worth of Euros. I wouldn't immediately think of that as "trading 2 ham sandwiches for a pizza". Would you?
LOL I have no clue why I laughed out loud when I read "Would I indirectly have bought gold?" but for some reason it had my chucklin'.

I think so Tobold. I think if you buy the cards you are, indirectly, buying gold. But it's a lesser crime. Looking at the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.

Great post.
Yeah, I'm not really worried, given the low, low chance for me to actually find a booster. I just thought it was an interesting problem. You can't transfer a booster from LoN to EQ2, but you can transfer it from EQ2 to LoN, and thus an EQ2 booster is basically the same as a LoN booster.

Although the more direct way to buy platinum via LoN is to buy lots of boosters, and find some EQ2 loot card in one of them. Redeem it, and hope it isn't NOTRADE, like the stuff I got.
Then you can't really buy gold with EQ2 since it's two totally separated, for the lack of a better word, markets.

You CAN however SAVE RL money (In a way, espescially if you were going to buy a booster otherwise.) by not selling that EQ2 booster and transferring it to LoN.
Going slightly off-topic here, but
if I buy almost any item that has been farmed by someone else, how do I know I am not giving money to a gold farmer? I suppose there is a good chance you are if you are buying Primal Fire motes in WoW, for example.
The alternative though, is to grind fire elementals in overcrowded areas, with rubbish drop rates and tedious gameplay.
So far I have resisted any urge to buy primals from the AH, but I'm sure a huge proportion of sales ARE from farmers.
As far as the drop rate fro your booster is concerned, if the item has a chance to drop off every mob, then I don't think the drop rate is too bad.
If you kill say 100 mobs a day, chances are it's going to drop for you once a month (assuming you play every day).
For your average farmer, it's going to drop a lot more often than that. I would expect that 20 platinum sale price to vary wildly over time. I have no idea how useful they are, so can't really comment on whether the price is a good one or not.
/ramble end
I could go either way on that but overall, no, I don't think it's quite like buying gold.

I got lucky yesterday and looted a Starter deck. I see they're going for around 8pp currently, so even though that would technically be a 'loss' by cash standards, I put it up on the broker anyway, cause hey, 8pp can buy me a couple masters. To me that's worth more than a pack of cards I'll rarely use.
I think the prices for those added items will balance otu pretty quickly. Sure you could abuse it and perhaps come out well ahead of your investment now, but then again that could also backfire.

As for buying Ingame gold indirectly, I disagree. You are taking the red carpet approach to the game and the luxory of that is at hand (lolpun).
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