Newb Boon

You do not need a comparative advantage to be the best at something [FTFY] to enjoy the benefits of trade, nor does your trading partner. Even if you can do absolutely everything better and more efficiently than I can, it will still benefit you to trade with me because you do not have the option of doing everything at once. I may shovel well, but if I am also a pretty good obstetrician, it will probably be more productive for me to pay someone with fewer high-value options to dig.

If you were to start playing World of Warcraft right now, you could make decent money farming copper. The enemies are not gray to you, so you would not be the most efficient farmer, but people who earn lots of gold per hour are happy to give you a bit of it on the auction house. On a non-trade example, when I went back to Asheron’s Call with a fresh account, I financed several dozen levels by hopping a portal to a high-level hunting zone and scavenging a pack of trash loot that players left in their wake. If I had thought of it, I could have made a service of being the town-visiting pet from Torchlight, if anyone would trust a new character with their stuff/money.

The past weekend was Canthan New Year in Guild Wars. This is an amazing source of money for a new player. Offering to sell Lunar Tokens for 200g and Fortunes for 600g, I was deluged with buyers. There were quests that rewarded 25 Tokens, and the established players had run them in previous years; they were effectively level 5 quests that awarded 5 platinum. I financed my first set of prestige armor off those. If you could get your newb to Lion’s Arch, you could convert Tokens to Fortunes profitably (if slowly) playing Rock-Paper-Scissors.

An economy that is orders of magnitude above where you are can be daunting, but if you can get involved in it at all, the profits to be reaped are huge.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Newb Boon”

  1. The quests are actually repeatable even if you have done them in previous year, its just that people wanted MOAR fortunes..or were exceptionally lazy and had lots of money. All of which was profitable for you, the new player. :D Mind you, thats what you just said. >_< Grats on your shiny armor!

  2. Amen!

    The way I see it, the player portion of an MMO’s economy tends to drastically inflate over time. Meanwhile, the NPC-driver portion does not.

    This makes for a very bad situation for players who want to buy from other players, using money they obtained from the game’s own money faucets. If you think you can join a long-established MMO as a new player, do quests and loot mobs, and then buy sweet gear on the auction house, you’re doomed to disappointment.

    But conversely, if you sell stuff to the level capped players, you can take full benefit of the inflation. If you sell stuff to other players but don’t buy anything from them, you will be far, far richer than you need to be to buy anything you desire from NPCs (skills, mounts, respecs, etc.). Money sinks are meaningless to you.

      1. Servicable, I guess. Personally, I find the EotN armors to be rather on the low-res side and/or not coloring very well (the ones I’ve had, anyways – male Assassin Monument [Vanguard] colors well, but looks quite low-res and flat, while my male Warrior Asuran [which was my first-ever ”elite” armor, by the way] doesn’t color well at all and actually looks blurry most of the time, making me go back to non-elite Templar armor [sans helmet])

        But, still, congrats. Always a good feeling to get your first expensive armor. :)

  3. You’re describing my and Mrs Bhagpuss’s primary playstyle from about 2000 to 2005! The majority of our time in Everquest was probably spent either going places we shouldn’t have been at that level and grabbing stuff that sold for relatively huge amounts, farming stuff at low levels to sell to crafters at outrageous mark-ups and, favorite of all, trawling the vast number of NPC vendors for valuable items sold to them by unthinking players that the NPCs would re-sell to us and which we would sell back to players, again at outrageous profit.

    By the time we left EQ for EQ2 (the first time) we were about burned out with the endless searching, farming, buying and selling and had far more money than either of us had any use for. It was a relief to move to a game where everyone was new and there were no such opportunities. That lasted about two days, then the opportunities began to open up all around.

    Taking a brand new character and making him (relatively) rich while still at low level is still one of my favorite things to do. I often make characters on new servers just to do it, with no intention of playing the character long-term.

    And I have a low-level character in Lion’s Arch, so thanks for the tip !

  4. Eh? Copper ore/gold piece trade in WoW is basically a text-book case of how an actor can have comparative advantage even when their trade partner has an absolute advantage. The idea that there are gains from trade even when one partner has an absolute advantage in all areas, provided the absolute advantage is not the same, is the entire point of the comparative advantage concept. Perhaps you mean you don’t need an ABSOLUTE advantage, only a comparative advantage?

    1. Yeah, that’s fair. I was being sloppy with vocabulary, since comparative advantage includes opportunity costs. Updated.

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