Tuesday, May 14, 2013

[NW] Watching the beginnings of an economy.

Cryptic’s newest game, Neverwinter, is currently in open beta. Based on Dungeons & Dragons, it takes place in a fantastic fantasy world, with an action-based combat system, a mix of overworld and instancing, and is currently diverting my gameplay time away from Star Trek Online.

One of the similarities between Neverwinter and its siblings is that it has a time-based currency that can be bought and sold with Zen. Much like Questionite and Dilithium, Astral Diamonds are awarded in-game and can be used to purchase things, including Zen. Of course, right now the economy is just starting, there’s precious little in the shop, and the number of people playing is relatively low.


Maybe because its still so new, and there are relatively few people participating, there’s actually a regular gap between the best price to buy Astral Diamonds and to sell them. This happens in Star Trek Online once in a while, and generally doesn’t seem to last more than a minute or so.

How long will this last? I’m not sure. But, its interesting to see. Right now the economy definitely favors Zen; if they’re keeping with the 1:25 to 1:500 range, the mid-point is 1:237.5. If the rate is above that, its pro-Zen. Conversely, below that is pro-Astral Diamonds.

A few notes, although its worth noting details may change! We are in open beta, and frankly, MMOs change over time, regardless.

  • Zen is not only account bound, but game bound. Purchased Zen has to be assigned to a game, and all the Zen associated with that game is literally stuck there. Do not count on being able to transfer your earnings or stipends from Champions Online or Star Trek Online to Neverwinter or any other titles Perfect World has.
  • Neverwinter has no subscription option. Prices for costumes, services, etc., seem to be a bit higher all around as a result. Many things seem to be on a per-character basis as well, not per-account.
  • The daily refinement limit in Neverwinter is currently 24,000, which is triple what it is in Champions and Star Trek.
  • You can buy things in the Auction House using Astral Diamonds. There are also Gold and Astral Diamond shops. As such, it’s a useful currency regardless of your intended play style.

I’m sure there’s a lot more for me to learn, but this’ll do for now. I’m enjoying the game right now, and hope that many other people will also. Here’s hoping it’s a success, and that maybe they’ll get enough money from it to revamp and reinvest in Champions Online!

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