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  1. #1
    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Default Why is an Astral Shard sink needed?

    I absolutely understand why a Plat sink is needed. Plat is constantly added to the DDO economy. Even if you don't count things like the explosion of plat that came from various loot exploits and the accidental hyperinflation caused by the one Cove season, every single quest that we run adds plat to the economy.

    I think that the Auction House is a fantastic plat sink. In addition to getting a quick and convenient way to buy and sell items, we also get a spectacular plat sink because people end up pumping more money through the AH whenever plat availability spikes.

    ...but why do we need an Astral Shard sink? If Astral Shards are going to start dropping in most epic chests, then I can see the need. If Astral Shards are going to constantly be added to the DDO economy on a daily basis, then I could see the need. But Astral Shards currently only enter the DDO economy when someone spends real cash money to buy them.

    Is the Shard Exchange a sign that Astral Shards are soon going to be as common as plat? Should we avoid buying Astral Shards because we'll soon be flooded with so many of them that we'll need a shard sink?

  2. #2
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    An astral shard sink is needed to remove astral shards from the economy, so that Turbine can continue to sell more astral shards. If there were no sink, the economy would eventually saturate with astral shards, and then purchases would dwindle.

  3. #3
    Community Member Kilbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianRhapsody View Post
    I absolutely understand why a Plat sink is needed. Plat is constantly added to the DDO economy. Even if you don't count things like the explosion of plat that came from various loot exploits and the accidental hyperinflation caused by the one Cove season, every single quest that we run adds plat to the economy.

    I think that the Auction House is a fantastic plat sink. In addition to getting a quick and convenient way to buy and sell items, we also get a spectacular plat sink because people end up pumping more money through the AH whenever plat availability spikes.

    ...but why do we need an Astral Shard sink? If Astral Shards are going to start dropping in most epic chests, then I can see the need. If Astral Shards are going to constantly be added to the DDO economy on a daily basis, then I could see the need. But Astral Shards currently only enter the DDO economy when someone spends real cash money to buy them.

    Is the Shard Exchange a sign that Astral Shards are soon going to be as common as plat? Should we avoid buying Astral Shards because we'll soon be flooded with so many of them that we'll need a shard sink?
    I'm told you can also get astral shards by crunching tomes into them. Dunno how that works, though.

  4. #4
    Bwest Fwiends Memnir's Avatar
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    It's not needed beyond providing an impetus to buy more Shards.
    I guess it could be labeled properly as a profit motive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilbar View Post
    I'm told you can also get astral shards by crunching tomes into them. Dunno how that works, though.
    A totally false, but growing more and more pervasive, rumor.
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  5. #5

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    The reasoning is two-fold.

    As has been pointed out rather cynically, Turbine wants to sell things and make money. Regardless of how one feels about this, it is a necessity if the company wants to continue operations. Allowing the player base to flood the market with shards would eventually lead to a decline in sales and remove an avenue of profit.

    The other side of this coin has to do with protecting the investment of players who purchase shards. If one were to discover that after having bought a substantial cache of the things their expenditure was to be suddenly rendered worthless by inflation, I would expect a hew and cry that could be heard about the globe to be forthcoming.

    Astral Shards, and really any fiat currency, are a tricky proposition for both the seller and the buyer. If the agency of exchange does not protect the value of what is sold, the purchasers will cease to acquire them thus defeating the method of exchange and intent of both parties. Hence, there must be a way to both limit and evaluate what is essentially an infinite resource. Shards sinks are crude but effective method of accomplishing this task.
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  6. #6
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    Yeah, that's my initial reaction too...the 'astral shard sink' is by providing things worth buying. That's how astral shards are taken out of the system, by being used in purchases, not by just deleting them during transactions.

  7. #7
    Community Member Kilbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memnir View Post
    A totally false, but growing more and more pervasive, rumor.
    I sit corrected. I will cease spreading said rumor inadvertently.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimble View Post
    Yeah, that's my initial reaction too...the 'astral shard sink' is by providing things worth buying. That's how astral shards are taken out of the system, by being used in purchases, not by just deleting them during transactions.
    Thats how it should be,
    but obviously even Turbine thinks they are useless.
    So they have to make another way to get rid of them.
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  9. #9
    Community Member Saravis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilbar View Post
    I'm told you can also get astral shards by crunching tomes into them. Dunno how that works, though.
    I think the confusion on that was that you can crunch tomes into purified eberron dragonshards. How they got the two mixed up is anybody's guess.

    As for the topic, considering how much of a percent Turbine takes away, the fact that there are already shard sinks in place, the fact that shards are BTC, and that they aren't all that easy to come by (compared to plat) indicates that its more of a profit interest and not so much of a saturation issue.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    As has been pointed out rather cynically, Turbine wants to sell things and make money. Regardless of how one feels about this, it is a necessity if the company wants to continue operations. Allowing the player base to flood the market with shards would eventually lead to a decline in sales and remove an avenue of profit.
    I'm not sure why you believe people are being cynical for pointing this out. Quite clearly, Turbine introduced astral shards into the game so it could sell them to people. The ASAH was introduced into the game to give people further reason to buy astral shards. Simply stating the facts in no way qualifies as cynicism.

    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    The reasoning is two-fold.
    The other side of this coin has to do with protecting the investment of players who purchase shards. If one were to discover that after having bought a substantial cache of the things their expenditure was to be suddenly rendered worthless by inflation, I would expect a hew and cry that could be heard about the globe to be forthcoming.
    The concept of Turbine protecting the interests of players via the ASAH sink is more than a little laughable. Players themselves could prevent astral shard inflation by simply ceasing to purchase astral shards from Turbine once the economy had a sufficient supply to fund ASAH transactions. Alternatively, Turbine could manage the "money supply" by limiting the number of astral shards it agreed to sell to players, either individually or as a whole.

    The Federal Reserve, which is tasked with managing the US money supply, has shown that it is quite capable of performing that task without a 30% dollar sink on all transactions. If the world's reserve currency can be managed without such a gimmick, it is trivial to do the same for a game with only 50,000 active players.

    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    The reasoning is two-fold.
    Astral Shards, and really any fiat currency, are a tricky proposition for both the seller and the buyer. If the agency of exchange does not protect the value of what is sold, the purchasers will cease to acquire them thus defeating the method of exchange and intent of both parties. Hence, there must be a way to both limit and evaluate what is essentially an infinite resource. Shards sinks are crude but effective method of accomplishing this task.
    This is a nice snippet from an Econ textbook, but really adds nothing further to the discussion.


    If you want to defend Turbine's profit motive in applying a 30% (or higher) transaction fee, then by all means, do so. However, to muddy the waters with the rest of what you have written is indeed cynical.

  11. #11
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    Astral Shards, and really any fiat currency, are a tricky proposition for both the seller and the buyer. If the agency of exchange does not protect the value of what is sold, the purchasers will cease to acquire them thus defeating the method of exchange and intent of both parties. Hence, there must be a way to both limit and evaluate what is essentially an infinite resource. Shards sinks are crude but effective method of accomplishing this task.
    This is the reason why you should be GLAD Turbine removes shards from the game at this rate: it will help maintain the value of your own shards. Every time a new astral shard is created an angel dies and the value of your astral shards is diluted. No one wants an infinite number of angels to die nor for their stash of astral shards to be devalued into nothing when high spenders decide to flood the market with new shards.

  12. #12
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanicusMaximus View Post
    The Federal Reserve, which is tasked with managing the US money supply, has shown that it is quite capable of performing that task without a 30% dollar sink on all transactions. If the world's reserve currency can be managed without such a gimmick, it is trivial to do the same for a game with only 50,000 active players.



    This is a nice snippet from an Econ textbook, but really adds nothing further to the discussion.


    If you want to defend Turbine's profit motive in applying a 30% (or higher) transaction fee, then by all means, do so. However, to muddy the waters with the rest of what you have written is indeed cynical.
    Wow. Just wow.

    I'll put this as simply as I can:

    The main reason the Fed does not need a 30% 'dollar sink' similar to that used by Turbine is, unlike a fantasy MMO, the Fed does not allow every single person in the world to print their own US dollars whenever they want more.

  13. #13
    Community Member Saravis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Wow. Just wow.

    I'll put this as simply as I can:

    The main reason the Fed does not need a 30% 'dollar sink' similar to that used by Turbine is, unlike a fantasy MMO, the Fed does not allow every single person in the world to print their own US dollars whenever they want more.
    Pray tell, how exactly do you "print" astral diamonds/shards?

  14. #14
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saravis View Post
    Pray tell, how exactly do you "print" astral diamonds/shards?
    OK.


    The main way a player can 'print' astral diamonds/shards is by clicking on the 'purchase astral diamonds' quick buy buttons in the DDO store. As long as a player has TPs, he can create more astral shards. As long as player earns new TPs from playing, VIP allotment, or through cash purchase, he has the ability to create more shards. Every time another shard is created it dilutes the value of existing shards UNLESS the same number of shards are eliminated from the overall shard supply.


    If a server of 20,000 players creates an average of 5 shards per player per day, that means you have 100,000 new shards entering your shard supply every day. More shards equals less buying power per shard. Unless 100,000 existing shards are eliminated each day from the overall shard supply, the purchasing power of astral shards will continue to decrease daily until it loses so much value players won't bother to use it as currency any more - much like you see with what has happened to plat for really expensive items.


    I personally don't think that enough shards will be eliminated from players using them to fix gear, get silver/gold chest loot, respec EDs, or to purchase ship buffs. I don't know what the 'right' sink rate for the shard exchange should be, and even Turbine is probably only guessing since noone knows how many astral shards will be created by players until they actually start creating them, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the shard exchange rates change (yes even go up) if they can't dump shards from the economy fast enough. I also doubt that shards will really catch on as the new currency since without diligent management of the money supply, shards will inevitably become devalued and prices so inflated, that players will just resort back to bartering items or trading for TP codes.
    Last edited by Postumus; 03-08-2013 at 10:29 PM.

  15. #15
    Community Member Saravis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    OK.


    The main way a player can 'print' astral diamonds/shards is by clicking on the 'purchase astral diamonds' quick buy buttons in the DDO store. As long as a player has TPs, he can create more astral shards. As long as player earns new TPs from playing, VIP allotment, or through cash purchase, he has the ability to create more shards. Every time another shard is created it dilutes the value of existing shards UNLESS the same number of shards are eliminated from the overall shard supply.
    That's not "printing", you're obtaining the shards via their officially established cost. That's like saying I "printed" a yen bill because I traded the USD equivalent for it. Perhaps my question wasn't specific enough, sorry, I was just going with the flow. So let me rephrase my question of your words in another way;
    Pray tell, how exactly do you counterfeit shards? That is, after all, what you're talking about when you say, "print their own money".

  16. #16
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saravis View Post
    That's not "printing", you're obtaining the shards via their officially established cost. That's like saying I "printed" a yen bill because I traded the USD equivalent for it. Perhaps my question wasn't specific enough, sorry, I was just going with the flow. So let me rephrase my question of your words in another way;
    Pray tell, how exactly do you counterfeit shards? That is, after all, what you're talking about when you say, "print their own money".
    It's exactly like printing and nothing like trading.

    Trading a US dollar for a Chinese Yen does not increase or decrease the total number of US dollars in the world. Printing a brand new, completely legal and legitimate US dollar increases the total number of US dollars in the world and devalues them at the same time.

    When I say 'printing money' I mean 'creating money' not counterfeiting it.

    Here is a very simplistic example:


    Say you are on the Sarlona server and there are 20,000 players.


    On Monday every player is given 10 shards free from Turbine. The total number of shards on Sarlona is now 200,000. But the really cool EE loot is posted on the shard exchange for 100 shards per item.


    On Tuesday, 1,000 players purchase another 100 shards each so they can buy all the cool stuff for sale on the shard exchange. If there is no shard sink on the AH, then the shard supply just increased by 50% in one day. There are now 300,000 shards in Sarlona, and everyone who didn't buy any new shards just had their supply of shards devalued by 50%. Oh and since the stuff on the exchange sold so well at 100 shards, now the cool EE stuff is listed at 200 shards.


    On Wednesday, 1,000 different players who missed out on the cool EE loot bought the day before, buy 200 shards each so they can purchase the cool loot for themselves. Those players just added another 200,000 shards to the total supply, bringing the total number of shards on Sarlona up to 500,000.


    In just three days the value of the astral shards has decreased 250%. All from legitimate purchases by players who are creating new shards with their DDO store purchases. So you can see why DDO needs a sink of some kind to keep the value of the shards from spiraling down into nothing.


    Yes there are existing sinks like ship buffs, gear repair, and the like. But I don't think they will come close to eliminating enough shards from the money supply to make up for the new shards that are created every single day from people purchasing more from the DDO store.


    Even with a 30-40% sink, I think shards are going to be at their most valuable on day one that the exchange goes live. In a month 100 shards won't get you anything near what they did on day one. In a year, it will be even worse. All you have to do is look at what happened to gold and plat. It won't happen to shards as fast as it did to plat, but unless enough shards are removed from the server to compensate for the new ones created, it will eventually happen.
    Last edited by Postumus; 03-08-2013 at 11:31 PM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianRhapsody View Post
    I absolutely understand why a Plat sink is needed. Plat is constantly added to the DDO economy. Even if you don't count things like the explosion of plat that came from various loot exploits and the accidental hyperinflation caused by the one Cove season, every single quest that we run adds plat to the economy.

    I think that the Auction House is a fantastic plat sink. In addition to getting a quick and convenient way to buy and sell items, we also get a spectacular plat sink because people end up pumping more money through the AH whenever plat availability spikes.

    ...but why do we need an Astral Shard sink? If Astral Shards are going to start dropping in most epic chests, then I can see the need. If Astral Shards are going to constantly be added to the DDO economy on a daily basis, then I could see the need. But Astral Shards currently only enter the DDO economy when someone spends real cash money to buy them.

    Is the Shard Exchange a sign that Astral Shards are soon going to be as common as plat? Should we avoid buying Astral Shards because we'll soon be flooded with so many of them that we'll need a shard sink?
    Because you, on average produce at least a 1/2 shard per day per account that uses the new lottery system (using just the free roll). Hence, there is a constant small stream of shards into the game. Also, naturally, to motivate sales of them. But even without the DDO store, there would still be shard inflation if there was no way to remove from the game.

  18. #18
    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdinus7 View Post
    Because you, on average produce at least a 1/2 shard per day per account that uses the new lottery system (using just the free roll). Hence, there is a constant small stream of shards into the game. Also, naturally, to motivate sales of them. But even without the DDO store, there would still be shard inflation if there was no way to remove from the game.
    Well, hopefully there will be consumables that we can buy with shards.

    I can't see any significant inflation coming if we're picking up fewer than a dozen shards per day in addition to any that we buy for real world cash money.

  19. #19
    Community Member Artos_Fabril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdinus7 View Post
    Because you, on average produce at least a 1/2 shard per day per account that uses the new lottery system (using just the free roll). Hence, there is a constant small stream of shards into the game. Also, naturally, to motivate sales of them. But even without the DDO store, there would still be shard inflation if there was no way to remove from the game.
    However, every non-ASAH shard transaction already removes shards from the game. The NPCs don't spend them back into circulation.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artos_Fabril View Post
    However, every non-ASAH shard transaction already removes shards from the game. The NPCs don't spend them back into circulation.
    Indeed. The OP asked why need a shard sink. And the reason is that there is a continuous supply of in-game shards. That is not a justification for a 1 + 30% cut or 5 + 40% cut from the ASAH. I actually think the Gold lottery spin is a decent sink on its own.

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