Money from Crafting in WoW & EQ
Everquest's publishers, Sony Online Entertainment, released a "progression server" last year - essentially, one which would start out with the basic version of Everquest, and add expansaions as particular encounters "unlocked" them - something similar to the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj event in World of Warcraft. This led to a rather unusual situation in which the behaviour of the market could be predicted fairly accurately - the server would have large numbers of people hitting particular levels at or around the same time, and upcoming items in new releases were known well in advance.
Laura Genender of MMORPG.com details how she and her guild got rich, and rose to domination of crafting on the first progression server.
This interests me from two points of view - the economics, and the crafting. And fascinating as the economics are, that article is all about the tradeskills. I do consider it a pity that crafting takes on such a small amount of importance in World of Warcraft, although I'll be the first to concede that it's better than in many games. The fact that crafted gear is usually of less use than drops, though, is one factor, and the disassociation of crafter and crafted item is another. Sure, the item says "Made by Wormson", or whatever, in its description, but when you're looking for stuff on the auction house, you can't search by the crafter, or even the seller. The notion of particular crafters having particular customers seems to be completely absent, and there's very little in the way of equipment that you'd seek out a crafter for when you hit a given level.
Perhaps that will change with the jewelcrafting that's to arrive in Burning Crusade; it seems likely that people will want to experiment with optimal gems for their particular socketed items, and if the gems can only be got by crafting, then there'll be a high value in jewelcrafting. I know a few people are already starting to stockpile gems against the anticipated rise in market value.
Posted by Drew Shiel at August 23, 2006 2:20 PM