Monday, September 24, 2012

[STO] Price re-evaluation and Win/Win

Earlier on I posted my excitement over Unreplicatable Materials. It looked like a gold-mine, but I was also wondering if what I saw might be a bit too good to be true. Well, a quick look-over this morning and yes, it was indeed so. The weekend market had been emptied out, leaving only the highest priced posts in the Exchange.


As such, I looked over my pricing. I felt it was probably over-priced, but not by the margin I had though. 10k EC per unit well exceeded the 2k EC I was seeing! Sure, I was competitive with the high end, but that's clearly pie-in-the-sky pricing. Should've known better, but, oh well.

My "worth it" exchange rate between Zen and EC is 100 Zen to 1 million Energy Credits. This can be better thought of as 1 Z:10,000 EC. But, that's not really providing a Dilithium to Energy Credit exchange rate I can easily look to.

So, this morning's Z:D exchange rate was 1:154. Taking that, I simply divided 10,000 (EC) by 154 (Dilithium per Zen), arriving at 64.93. Rounding that up to 65, that is how much I'm valuing Energy Credits per Dilithium (1:65).

Using that, a single Common Unreplicatable Material (10 Dilithium) will be 650 EC. That will be my minimum, acceptable, "this is worth my time" price. This is also well below the current Exchange valuation. As such, I could really add up to a 40% premium to that, giving me a price of 910 EC, which is still lower than the Exchange value. I've been selling my Master Keys at a premium as well (little over 10%), which still undercuts the market and gives me a nice return on my investment.

The key, for me, is my marketing needs to be win/win. Zig Ziglar said you should always strive for win/win or no deal. As a result, I need to find a price I'm comfortable with, but isn't gouging other players. While I realize that there are many players who are very efficient at earning Energy Credits, I don't want to let them set the tone for my pricing. Coming from other games, I've seen a great many complaints of certain things being priced so high that the normal player had little hope of affording them. And they weren't uncommon things!

As such, if I can keep my pricing reasonable, regular players will be able to afford them. Now, I know there are marketers out there who will snag my stuff up and simply flip them, but that's okay (and it’s not like I can stop them, either). I can do my best and hope that enough people will benefit from having the cheaper items that they're happy with the game rather than being frustrated with it.

In turn, there's a third win here: Cryptic. The more happy players they have, the more folks sticking around, the more chances they'll spend money. Be it buying Zen, subscribing, or going Lifetime, that benefits their bottom line and will keep STO around longer. Moreover, the happier players are, the more populated the game will be, which benefits everyone.

That's my going theory, anyhow. And, it is quite likely to change (or atleast be refined). But, until then...

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