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Establishing the Market: Prices, Stone Masonry


Anthrage
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As we move forward through the end of Pre-Alpha into Alpha and then Beta, and some things become somewhat more stable as regards their established values - meaning less likely to change when we transition to soft launch - it will become possible, and necessary, to establish the market price for a range of crafted items and raw materials.

I know there have been and are currently various efforts at creating this element of an economy now, but for myself I am for the moment looking only at the specific domain of Stone Masonry - the crafting of parcels of land and the structures which are placed on them.

When examining this trade, a few things become apparent fairly quickly:

-Large quantities of raw materials are required, of premium quality
-Crafted items in some cases are components of other more advanced items, and themselves can be considered raw materials
-High value finished products can be crafted and need not be puchased from the store

 

Stonemasonry seems somwewhat unique as compared to the other trades in that due to the large quanity of crafted sub-components that are required, it is possible we will see lower-skill Apprentice masons with less training time in the skill turning the large quanities of raw materials into these sub-components, and selling or trading them to the Master masons who have their skills maxed out, for whom crafting all of those sub-components may not be a desirable use of their time.

In other words, while it is unlikely a master woodcrafter would buy bulk planks from an apprentice, it is quite possible that a master mason would buy Mulch, Gravel, Ore Concentrate or even Earth or Farm parcels from an apprentice. Since combine failure now only reduces the quality of the final item, since masonry items do not (yet) benefit from exerimentation, this seems to suggest that lower-skill masons can mass produce these sub-components with no risk.

The question then is one of value - the price in general for premium wood, stone and ore, and then specifically for things like Mulch, Gravel, Ore Concentrate, Earth and so on. Color or Quality is possibly of no importance for masonry, so it may become a sink for grey or white premium materials that otherwise may have been sacrificed in relics, shrine statues or braziers. This should mean the price for these premium resources is slighty less than the usual market price for other crafting purposes, assuming sufficient quantities of the lower qualities are available.

If there are any out there who are planning to be a Stonemason, have you determined what you will pay, or want to be paid, for the various elements involved in this trade?

Edited by Anthrage
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I am currently experimenting with the different crafting options and am considering stonemason because I feel it will be the one area that few will play due to the number of components and materials required. I haven't determined any pricing as it's too early for me to tell. I just started playing fairly recently, but I will definitely be more focused on the crafting side of things. It's the one thing I loved in SWG.

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Interesting.  It does appear the global demand for high quality stone will be relatively low, with the demand for grey and white premium high in volume terms, but from a low number of buyers - a few stonemasons buying a lot of low quality stone.  I guess this means that masons will be able to pay what they like (nearly) for materials and charge a HUGE profit margin on their finished products - primarily to guilds.  So I guess the quarryers will make their money from gathering minerals to supply alchemists and necromancers and hence will need to be highly skilled.

If we compare this to mining/metalworking, the demand for all qualities of premium ore will be enormous - to the extent that some blacksmiths may struggle to acquire the resources to make anything worth anything.  That said, a maxed-out blacksmith can live in luxury.  If I wanted to be a blacksmith, i'd be sure to be in a big guild.  A stonemason may well maximise profit by being a loner.

 

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The problem we have at the moment across all the crafting trees is that currently crafting is top heavy in metal. I for one am hoping that ACE are intending another balance pass on crafting recipes because this issue is one I feel needs to be addressed.

Stone and wood need to made of more importance and metal requirements of recipes needs to be reduced or removed from some recipes altogether. 

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I'm hoping in the future they will add statues and decorative items for EKs which will predominantly be made from wood/stone.

Once we get further along, I'm sure it will balance out more. Right now gearing up is the priority so people can fight the good fight. Takes lots of metal and leather bits.

 

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Wood and stone will likely be much needed in the Campaign Worlds for some rulesets for building structures. Right now we have the POI resources for that, the Ingots, Timber and Boulders, but I do not think the system will be the same in release. Structures will most probably require more stone and wood than metal.

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So, there are many interesting aspects to potential Masonry pricing, and the first thing I noticed when looking at this is how certain parcels have the same resource cost in game, but different prices in the store. For example, the Farm costs 15$ in the store, and takes 10 Earth to build in game. The Grove also costs 15$ in the store, but takes 15 Earth to build in game. So in this case, the store item has a better value when evaluated in dollars.

Things get even more interesting when looking at the other parcels. The Grove, Hills and Creek parcels all cost 15 Earth to build in game, but these items are priced differently in the store, costing 15$, 25$ and 50$ respectively. This means that it is cheaper in these cases to buy the items in game.

Another way to look at this is to consider the raw material value. A Grove parcel, requiring 15 dollars or 15 Earth - 1500 Wood, 1500 Stone and 1500 Ore for a total of 4500 resource items - therefore prices the 4500 resource items at .3 cents each. A Hills parcel, costing 25 dollars for 4500 resource items is then priced at 0.55 cents each. A Creek parcel, costing 50 dollars for 4500 resource items is priced at 1.1 cents each.

While I do not think too many people will be buying or selling units of ore, wood and stone for real-world currency - it will more likely be with gold, or perhaps even Crowns, or VIP etc - examining value of raw materials in this light is informative. As a farmer, or gathering of even low quality grey or white premium materials, there should be a strong market for these materials, and curiously, one which could undercut the prices that even ACE has set for some of the store items.

The community will establish the value and prices for these things dynamically over time in both directions, some conventions will be established and I expect this will include some terminology. For example, since a Farm parcel is used in the construction of the other parcels, and it takes 1000 of each of the 3 resources, perhaps it could be used as a unit itself - say a 'lot', a term which has meaning both in terms of physical land and a quantity of items....

Anyway, lots of stuff to consider here!

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My question is what should the exchange rate of in-game currency vs USD prices in the shop be? $15 USD = #gold. Right now I only see the 3 different packages available; Patron, Pioneer and Adventurer.

So much to consider, but I'm glad this thread was started.

 

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