The Root of all Annoyances, pt. II

Posted: May 25, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

Earlier this week, I spoke on some of the basic complaints that players seem to consistently share regarding income in MMO’s.  I concentrated mostly on the issue from the perspective of someone responding to complaints, pointing out how many of the complaints aren’t as valid as they might appear to be.  Now, I’d like to change hats and try to focus a bit on explaining different, specific ways to make coin in my personal favorite MMO, Everquest 2.   First, a word of caution.  I don’t claim to be an authority on economics, by any means.  Don’t expect to walk away from this post with any type of expert knowledge on the subject of economics, and certainly don’t go out prepared to bring in boatloads of platinum in-game just because you picked up on a few pointers from a blog entry.  Take all advice here with a grain of salt, apply your own experience, start small, and see where it takes you. 

There are plenty of ways to quickly bring in thousands of platinum within the Shattered Lands of Evequest 2.  I’m not going to tell you any of them.  This post won’t help you get rich quick.  First of all, I’m not “rich” myself.  Oh, I’m comfortable and I not close to broke…but I measure my platinum in the hundreds, not the thousands.  If that still seems like a lot of coin to you, then keep reading.  If not, you’re better of looking elsewhere for your next big plan. Let’s touch on a few basic tips 

Ask Questions:Use some sense, but don’t be afraid to ask questions.  I’m assuming you’ve got some friends or guildmates?  If so, find out who’s making money and ask if they can teach you some pointers.  If nothing else, ask about specific items you’ve seen on the broker.  Is it really worth that much?  If so, why?  How or where can you get that item?  What’s involved in acquiring it?  Ask!  Ask!  Ask! 

Learn the Broker:Watch the broker.  Find out what’s selling…and what’s not.  If an item has multiple uses, chances are it’s worth slightly more (as a general rule) since the demand will be slightly higher (remember, higher demand generally equates to higher prices).  If the supply is also rare, that’s all the better (lower supply generally equates to higher prices).  Ideally, you want items that have high demand and/or low supply.   This will take time to learn, and it’s not always clear cut.  Items may have ridiculously high prices…but may not be selling at all.  Meanwhile, other items may just have a temporary overstock (maybe someone’s clearing out a guildbank or getting ready to move servers).   

Remember also, you can only sell from one character per account at a time.  If you’ve got 4 characters all set up on the broker and you’re wondering why nothing seems to sell. – that’s why.  Pick one character, and start moving everything you want sold to him or her ONLY.  If you’re setting up a new character for this, try to pick an easy to remember (but still game-legal) name.  Creating Mxlplix just to work on the broker is exactly the opposite of what I mean here.  Pick a name that’s going to be easy to spell, easy to remember, and if possible, related to the product you want to be known for (especially if you’re a tradeskiller).  There’s a reason companies spend billions on branding each year.  There’s a reason the most recognizable words in the word are Coca-Cola.  Branding works. 

Buy Broker Storage:Which broker gets all the action?  On most servers, it’s going to be theQeynos
Harbor broker.  It may also be the
East Freeport, Kelethin, or likely as not, the Neriak broker.  Find out where the busy, busy broker is on your server and buy a house nearby.  Keep it cheap, close, and easy to find.  Put as many sales crates as you near the front door and make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get to what they want to buy.  Who cares if it looks way cool if you stack the boxes in the air by 14 torches and a fireplace, while your 27 flaming splitpaw pigs run around the house.  If your apartment is a myriad of particle effects, leading through a maze of jumbled furniture and bookcases set up to play a game of hide and go find the sales crate – you have no idea what I mean by “keep it as easy as possible for potential customers to get to what they want”. 

 Not many folks will want to run through 3 city zones to find your goods.     

Harvest Collections:I say that and the first thing you’re likely thinking is “but I already do that!”  No, you don’t.  If you did, you wouldn’t be complaining about being broke all the time.   

Now, I don’t mean the basic “spotted red <insect>” collections here.  You start hitting a zone, and you’re going to rake in tons of the same collection items over and over.  You’ll also start to notice a trend regarding where the collectibles are.  You’ll see those happy, shiny question marks all over the place…but you’ll also see them in the same places over and over again.  Make a mental note of that.  Hell, write down the waypoints.   Don’t turn in any of the collection items, though.  It’s tempting…especially if it’s the last one you need.  Don’t do it.  Put it in your bag and keep collecting.  When you’re waiting for a group to form, go collect.  When you’re chatting absent-mindedly in Ventrillo or Guildchat while waiting on dinner to finish, go collect.  You’ve got 45 minutes before the raid forms – go collect! 

It should become second nature to want to collect.  Even if you personally hate collection quests – the game is full of folks who love ‘em!  Remember, it’s not what you like – it’s what the consumer likes.

 Now, while you’re collecting, keep a note of where you’re collecting and what’s coming from those areas.  Watch the broker.  Find out what’s selling…and what’s not.  If an item can go to multiple collections, chances, note which collections are there.  Try to find the quest rewards.  Try to figure out which items are the “rares”. That’s right, every collection quest has at least one or two items that are a tad harder to get a hold of than the rest.  Those tend to be the items which sell for a few platinum while everything else is listed on the broker at 20 silver (and covers 2+ pages of listings).   

Due to the fact that collection quests still give experience (adventuring AND achievement), the demand remains fairly constant.  Even some of the original quest items from 2 years ago are still bringing in consistent coin, because players starting up their 2nd, 3rd (or even 7th) new character still want/need those collections to skip through certain levels which may have less quests or content to grind through.   By the way, this entire section takes on new importance when a new expansion or zone launches.  Fat Grubs from the Greater Faydark were selling for 2-3pp each in November of last year (even now, they sell for 10-30 gold, at least).  When Unrest launched earlier this year, none of the collectables were selling for LESS than 20 gold each.  For that reason, I recommend selling ALL collectables for at least the first month of a new zone or expansion.  Don’t use a single one.  Sell everything.  Later, after you’ve made a small fortune on all the folks who just had to have the latest collections first…you can take some of those profits and just buy up the items you don’t feel up to collecting.  You’ll still have made a profit in this way. 

Tradeskill Supplies:I expect to get more hate mail for this section than any other.   Think back to the history you’ve read about Alaska and
California in the middle of the 19th century.  People heard about gold, so they packed up everything they owned, sold what wouldn’t fit, and moved out west.  These men and women would get up at the crack of dawn, head out their mines and streams, and spend 8-12 hours trying to find any trace of gold they could.  A few folks would occasionally hit it big enough to keep everyone else excited enough to keep trying. 
 

That’s how I view Tradeskilling in Everquest 2.  There’s an old saying that the best way to make a small fortune in Tradeskilling is to start first with a large fortune.  For most players, Tradeskilling doesn’t turn a profit.  There’s a lot of reasons for this, and honestly, I could take an entire weeks’ worth of articles up on just the many different ways to turn a profit as a tradeskiller in Everquest 2.  However, for the purposes of this particular entry, presume Tradeskilling is a black hole of money.  Many players view crafting in this way, and either they don’t understand the various systems, aren’t prepared to compete on the level necessary, or just don’t care about the costs.  Whatever the reason, there’s a lot of tradeskillers out there with red ink all over their virtual broker statements.   Sure, once in a while, someone strikes it big (usually right after some new recipes come out, or a new expansion is released) to keep everyone else excited, but soon after, the boom ends.  And yet, day after day, long after the bubble has burst, there are some tradeskillers still convinced that if they just keep putting in the hours and hours, they’ll eventually hit it big, too.   

Want to know who really made the fortunes during the gold rushes?  Suppliers.  The guys who went out west to open up general stores and supply companies Wealthy (big “W”).  They sold picks, axes, grates, screens, lumber, nails, hammers, food, feed, whiskey (hey, mining makes you thirsty!), clothes, lamps, lamp oil, and everything else they thought folks would buy.  …and they bought it.  Oh, did they buy it.   Like I said, you can turn a profit Tradeskilling (and a pretty tidy sum, too, if you’re savvy enough).  If you don’t think this is for you, there’s still a fortune to be made by selling supplies to tradeskillers.  Harvest raws.  Sell raws.  Sell the rares you occasionally find.  You won’t turn a massive profit on a stack of loam…but over the course of 200 stacks of loams, it starts to add up.   

If you decide to run this route, be aware that it’s (A) tedious, (B) tedious, and (C) tedious.  It’s also lucrative over the long haul.  The best advice I could give here is to find a niche that’s not being served and serve it.  You’ll tend to get more rares at lower levels, so concentrate there at first.  Find out which supplies are lower on the broker and try your hand at filling orders for a few weeks on the broker.  Keep track of who your best customers are in the brokerage log and see what they’re selling.  See if they’re leveling up, and perhaps “level up” with them (shift your supplies to a higher tier when they start to hit a new tier).  You can probably even work out arrangements with some players in this way, to keep a steadier income.   It’s not going to turn you into an overnight millionaire…but it’s steady, relatively income.  With a new tier coming in November, you can bet you’ll see a lot of players turned into farmers overnight.   

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Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Right on Kendricke, this is great advice. Love the blog, have trolled a while on it 🙂

  2. Devil says:

    Happy horseshit. Tell people its easy but lets not give out any secrets… like you really care.

  3. Kendricke says:

    I’m curious as to which secrets you’re looking for here. The above post outlines exactly what I do to make coin. You seem to be looking for some “get rich quick” deal, but the fact is that I didn’t “get rich quick”. I learned how to gain coin the hard way. There’s no easy button to the way I do things.

    Basically, I harvest. I track commodities on the broker. I buy low and resell higher. The items I was buying and selling when I wrote this guide a year ago are not the same items I’m buying and selling now – they weren’t the same items I was buying and selling 3 weeks after I wrote this post.

    The bottom line is that if you don’t like my advice, ignore it. Ignore it and do whatever works for you. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject of making coin, but I do tend to make more coin than the average player claims to be able to gain, and I do it exactly as outlined above.

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