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  1. #1
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    Default What's Fair Price? (Astral Shard/Plat/TP)

    I originally posted this in our guild forums last week, but thought I'd share it in the hopes that the Shard Exchange [SE] becomes an actually useful/convenient asset to gameplay. Every server's economy probably has some peculiarities, and I only play on Orien, so I don't claim any of this is universally applicable.
    --
    It's sometimes tough to tell if something is a bargain or a rip-off because of so many official and unofficial currencies in-game. It might get even more complicated with the Shard Exchange being added in U17.1 on Monday. Here's my (admittedly rough) attempt at rationalizing the system.

    Assumptions
    (not absolute low/highs, just "reasonable" low/highs)
    • 1 Raid Bypass (150tp) has a "fair" price of ~200k
      (150-250k being the "low" and "high" market plat value)
    • $1 (USD) is worth between 100-150tp
      (5,000tp/$50 code on store.turbine.com is roughly the same as in-game 6,300tp/$60 but if you buy during "double bonus" sale, it's 8,850tp/$60)


    Estimated Equivalencies
    • 100 Astral Shards
      (595tp / ~793k pp / $3.97-5.95)
    • Raid Timer Bypass
      (~25 Shards / 150tp / ~200k pp / $1.00-1.50)
    • Yellow Dopant
      (~66 Shards / 395tp / ~527k pp / $2.63-3.95)
    • 100 Major Mana Pots (store ones are a bit better 405-600 vs 105-600 in-game)
      (~251 Shards / 1,495tp / ~1,993k pp / $9.97-14.95)

    • Tome (+2)
      (~100 Shards / 595tp / ~793k pp / $3.97-5.95)
    • Tome (+3)
      (~150 Shards / 895tp / ~1,193k pp / $5.97-8.95)
    • Upgrade Tome (+3)
      (~83 Shards / 495tp / ~660k pp / $3.30-4.95)
    • Upgrade Tome (+4)** Seasonal Item
      (~101 Shards / 600tp / ~800k pp / $4.00-6.00)
    • Otto's Box** Seasonal Item
      (~840 Shards / 5,000tp / ~6,667k pp / $33.33-50.00)

    • LR Heart
      (~150 Shards / 895tp / ~1,193k pp / $5.97-8.95)
    • LR+1 Heart
      (~201 Shards / 1,195tp / ~1,593k pp / $7.97-11.95)
    • LR+3 Heart
      (~234 Shards / 1,395tp / ~1,860k pp / $9.30-13.95)
    • LR+5 Heart
      (~268 Shards / 1,595tp / ~2,127k pp / $10.63-15.95)
    • TR Heart
      (~251 Shards / 1,495tp / ~1,993k pp / $9.97-14.95)

    • Augment Crystal ML4 (UA, FF)
      (~8 Shards / 50tp / ~67k pp / $0.33-0.50)
    • Augment Crystal ML8 (Fear Immunity)
      (~13 Shards / 75tp / ~100k pp / $0.50-0.75)
    • Augment Crystal ML12 (Deathblock, Good/Addy Bypass)
      (~16 Shards / 95tp / ~127k pp / $0.63-0.95)
    • Augment Crystal ML16 (Silver/Cold Iron Bypass)
      (~25 Shards / 150tp / ~200k pp / $1.00-1.50)
    • Augment Crystal ML20 (30% striding)
      (~29 Shards / 175tp / ~233k pp / $1.17-1.75)
    • Augment Crystal ML24 (14 PRR, +7 saves, +35hp, +114 spwr, +200 sp)
      (~33 Shards / 195tp / ~260k pp / $1.30-1.95)


    MANIAC Prices
    You'll recognize these crazy bid/buyout prices on SE. To show how ridiculous these amounts are, I've used the best possible TP purchase rate/price (33,500tp for $199.99 USD at double-bonus sale) and best Astral Shard rate/price (500 Shards for 2,795tp) to calculate the BEST POSSIBLE LOW price. The high price is at the BEST CODE RATE of 23,000tp/$199.99 from store.turbine.com and still using the best Astral Shard rate/price. These are NOT estimates, they are the hard dollar cost of specified Shard amounts I've seen posted on Orien as bid/buyout prices.
    • 5,000 Astral Shards
      (27,950tp / $167-243)
    • 15,000 Astral Shards
      (83,850tp / $500-729)
    • 50,000 Astral Shards
      (279,500tp / $1,669-2,430)
    • 2.1 million Astral Shards (max buyout limit)
      (11,739,000tp / $70,084-102,078)
    Last edited by Keybreaker; 03-21-2013 at 10:59 PM.
    Keybreaker, Leader of Over Raided (Orien)

  2. #2
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    IMO, it would be awesome and would really make the Shard Exchange (SE) more active and therefore more successful if Turbine seeded the SE with some "at cost" items, such as:

    1 Raid Bypass for 25 Shard buyout
    1 Yellow Dopant for 66 Shard buyout


    This would still generate revenue for Turbine since almost all Astral Shards ultimately originate from the DDOstore.

    You can buy all the Shards you want with TP, and you can earn all the Shards you want off the SE, but there's no direct "backward" convertibility from Astral Shards back to TP. You have to be able to buy useful things with SE or you're stuck with the only option as spending copious amounts on in-game conveniences. Some of which are REALLY POORLY priced. For instance, will you pay 4,000 plat for Enhancement Reset on a capped toon, or will you spend 15 Shards which is ~119,000 plat??? If that's all there is to spend Shards on, acquiring Shards in the first place just lost a LOT of inspiration.

    One great step in this direction has already been taken by the Devs although not directly on the SE. You can buy all sorts of useful ML8 Augments off various Collectors for only 12 Shards. That's slightly better than expected equivalency in TP in the DDDstore. Again, having useful things to spend Shards on is imperative for the success of this new "currency."

    The more players use the SE, the more successful it will be at generating revenue (and we all know the game must be profitably in order to thrive). One great way to ensure it's success is to seed the SE with useful items. Ultimately, it costs Turbine nothing, and almost guarantees profit without exploiting or inconveniencing players. It's win-win.
    Last edited by Keybreaker; 03-19-2013 at 01:01 PM.
    Keybreaker, Leader of Over Raided (Orien)

  3. #3
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    Default

    I was actually about to post a similar thread after browsing the shard exchange. It seems no one has taken the time to actually calculate the value of shards before posting their items up there. Many GH items regardless of them being EN-EE are listed for between 200 and 600 shards ($9.50 - $28.50). Then of course there are some incredibly overpriced items:

    EN Quiver of Poison? 801 Shards ≈ $38
    EE Dream Visor? 5,500 Shards ≈ $261
    Globe of True Imperial Blood? 20,000 Shards ≈ $952

    People are just wasting shards putting up listings that will never be bought. So I'd like to add to the info you've given, as a help to people wondering about shard/$ values. From the information you've given above we can see 1 astral shard is on average equal to $0.0476 so:

    $5 ≈ 105 shards
    $10 ≈ 210 shards
    $15 ≈ 315 shards
    $30 ≈ 630 shards
    $50 ≈ 1,050 shards
    Last edited by Codect; 03-19-2013 at 12:17 PM.

  4. #4
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    It's going to be a pretty simple value judgement for me - whatever I see listed on the cash auction gets multiplied by 5, converted to cents and then evaluated. Item X listed for 10 shards is basically 50 cents of real world value for me. The range is really about 4 cents to 8 cents per shard (see here) but as you note if you tend to buy during points sales then your exchange rate is closer to 4/5 than 7/8.

    You can make direct comparisons for some items that exist in the DDO Store. If I'm not willing to pay six bucks (600 TP) for a +4 upgrade then I'm not going to be willing to pay six bucks (120 shards) when it's on the cash auction.

    Other items like dragon helms, specific seal ring permutations, and so on wont have a direct comparison but ultimately it boils down to what am I willing to pay in cash for item X. If it's being sold for plat I'll make a completely different value judgement.

    The initial phenomena that will be interesting is: I have about 120 shards sitting here, from whatever they initially gave out or converted somehow when they introduced this, these were not bought. So there's a seed pie of lets say 100 shards for every player out there that can be potentially spent without interjecting cash. My guess is people will tend not to value those shards as though they were buying them outright and spend them on items they otherwise wouldn't value at a reasonable exchange rate. Once those are drained out and players become a little more stingy as far as the real world value goes, then maybe some of the trash items on the cash auction will dry up and it will become a little more useful for finding out what items players *actually* perceive as being high value.

    There will also be a limited number of players who are exceedingly efficient at collecting rare high end items, as they always have been before the cash auction, who will probably benefit the most - they can sell more items and build up astral shards as a consequence of how they play (time investment, quality of play, etc) and may never need to actually buy shards in order to turn around and spend them in large amounts. I can see those players making a different kind of value judgement as a result. I'm sure you know some of those players
    Last edited by hit_fido; 03-19-2013 at 12:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Community Member ~Susie1262's Avatar
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    Thanks Keybreaker! I was wondering about relative values, and I am hideous in math, so that will definitely come in handy!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susie1262 View Post
    Thanks Keybreaker! I was wondering about relative values, and I am hideous in math, so that will definitely come in handy!
    lol agreed, i was really confused as i didn't read the patch notes and had no idea what was going on, nice to find a breakdown of what the shards are worth
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  7. #7
    Community Member parowan's Avatar
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    The romantic in me sees all these dollar signs next to normal in-game items and feels a little heart-broken. The pragmatist in me thanks you.

    Would it be worth adding other common and relatively stable items to your list? Flawless scales, restored relics? Or does hit_fido's rule of multiply the number of shards by $0.05 answer any further needs?

    More interestingly, this raises the deeper questions turbine caused by introducing shards as a second currency. Shards are pegged to dollars, while plat is allowed to float based on supply and demand. Does this mean that there can never be a fully reliable conversion between shards and plat? The question is interesting because for many players that may well be the most interesting question: which is a better deal, my dream item for X shards or my dream item for Y plat?

    Moreover, like George Soros, could I make my fortune by playing the plat vs. shard currency markets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keybreaker View Post
    IMO, it would be awesome and would really make the Shard Exchange (SE) more active and therefore more successful if Turbine seeded the SE with some "at cost" items, such as:

    1 Raid Bypass for 25 Shard buyout
    1 Yellow Dopant for 66 Shard buyout

    This would still generate revenue for Turbine since almost all Astral Shards ultimately originate from the DDOstore.
    Of course whoever was quick on the trigger could monopolize all of these, unless turbine made them permanent offers. And if these offers did become permanent/persistent then what you will have done is created a parallel system to the ddo store and I'm not sure I can guess all the ramifications of that.
    Last edited by parowan; 03-20-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Default well done sir

    just me giving credit where it is due...thanks for a great reference chart to point "the bright people" to.

  9. #9
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keybreaker View Post
    • Augment Crystal ML4 (UA, FF)
      (~8 Shards / 50tp / ~67k pp / $0.33-0.50)
    • Augment Crystal ML8 (Fear Immunity)
      (~13 Shards / 75tp / ~100k pp / $0.50-0.75)
    How do these number compare to the fact that ML1/4/8 Augments can be bought for 4/8/12 Astral Shards at a Collectible Barter guy?

    In fact, you can buy 100 Astral Shards for 595 TP and get 12.5 ML 4 Augments for it from a Vendor. If you buy the Augment from the shop, you will only get 11.9. This means that the price for one augment varies between 47.5 and 50 TP, depending on the means of purchase.
    For ML 8 augments, it's similar: 595 TP gets you 8.3 Augments via Shards from Turn-Ins, but only 7.9 from the shop, putting the value between 71.4 and 75 TP.

    This is not entirely surprising: Buying Astral Shards in bulk is encouraged, which means you spend your TP for a currency you might not always need.
    Last edited by karl_k0ch; 03-21-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codect View Post
    People are just wasting shards putting up listings that will never be bought.
    When your item runs out of the Auction,in the mail it will give you your item back+the astral shard that it costed you to put it in there

  11. #11
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl_k0ch View Post
    How do these number compare to the fact that ML1/4/8 Augments can be bought for 4/8/12 Astral Shards at a Collectible Barter guy?
    Yes, ML1/4/8 are competitively priced at the U17.1 collectors and worth buying from them. Again, this is great because it makes Astral Shards USEFUL in-game, which is what it needs to be in order to succeed.
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  12. #12
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parowan View Post
    Would it be worth adding other common and relatively stable items to your list? Flawless scales, restored relics? Or does hit_fido's rule of multiply the number of shards by $0.05 answer any further needs?
    I've added a few more common commodities to the list (like 100 major mana pots and more tomes).

    The problem with estimating the equivalence of something like Flawless Dragonscales is that it would be complete guesswork. The items I've listed above all have a fixed TP price (and therefore are only as arbitrary as the TP prices are, with the range being the buying price of TP + buying price of Astral Shards).

    I've also added the MANIAC list, because some people have clearly gotten carried away with their SE posting bid/buyout prices.
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  13. #13
    Community Member parowan's Avatar
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    And here's where having two currencies, one pegged to the dollar (shards) and one allowed to float according to demand (plat) can cause difficulty in trying to map equivalencies:

    I would not, for instance, feel like I got a good deal if I paid 1mil plat for a +3 tome, even though that would appear like a good deal according to the equivalent value in shards/tp. Supply and demand on the server dictates that a +3 tome (depending on the stat) should be 500-800k plat. In my mind that is the "fair price" and not the more arbitrary price suggested by the tp/shard cost.

    In essence, these equivalencies are very helpful, but you still need to know the market - both markets - to know whether something is "cheaper" for you on the plat market price or the tp/shard market price. It's an interesting situation.
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    Community Member Vellrad's Avatar
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    Who the hell pays 800k for a +2 tome?

  15. #15
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keybreaker View Post
    • Tome (+2)
      (~100 Shards / 595tp / ~793k pp / $3.97-5.95)
    • Tome (+3)
      (~150 Shards / 895tp / ~1,193k pp / $5.97-8.95)
    • Upgrade Tome (+3)
      (~83 Shards / 495tp / ~660k pp / $3.30-4.95)
    • Upgrade Tome (+4)** Seasonal Item
      (~101 Shards / 600tp / ~800k pp / $4.00-6.00)
    Quote Originally Posted by Vellrad View Post
    Who the hell pays 800k for a +2 tome?
    No one should. Better question is, "Who the hell pays 595tp for a +2 tome?"

    And why is a +3 upgrade tome "only" 495tp in comparison. Why does a +2 tome cost about the same TP as a +4 upgrade tome??? Longtime players must feel that something is not right as +3 tomes used to be so rare and coveted. Even more so for +4 tomes.

    In any case, context is important: both the game circumstances and the individual player's resources. Some players have more money than time; others have more time than money. Since I have roughly equal access to all three "currencies" (shards/plat/tp), I wouldn't pay more than ~101 Shards / 600tp / ~800k pp / $4.00-6.00 for ANY tome, even a straight +4 tome, since I always have the option of waiting for them to be available in the DDOstore if I don't loot one in the meantime... But to each their own.
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  16. #16
    Community Member arminius's Avatar
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    Thank you for this thread. I am letting all my guildies know this relative value scheme. It really shows how the prices on the shard exchange were ok the first day but are just nuts now--already.

    300 shards is roughly 15 dollars. 500 shards is roughly 25 dollars, and 1000 50 dollars. So basically:

    Scales (devil or dragon) shouldn't be over 100.
    Items that are pretty good slot fillers till something better comes along shouldn't be over 100-150.
    Items that make or break your character shouldn't be over 300-600 at the most desperate.

    Considering those prices now are 150-200, 600-800, and 2500-10000, respectively, there is some major attitude adjustment that needs to be coming along here.

    I mean 10000 shards (where a black helm of Str +3 is at on Ghallanda right now), 500 dollars. For God's sake, people. I would put that item in category 3, above, but even so that still makes it overpriced by more than 15x.
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  17. #17
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    +1 for posting this, thanks.

    Funny side note: resetting enhancements at level 20-25 now costs 4.000 plat or 15 astral shards, which equals 266 plat for 1 astral diamond.
    Resetting a feat at level 20-25 now costs 80k - 100k plat + 1 flawless siberys or 15 astral shards, which equals 5333 - 6666 plat per astral shard.

  18. #18
    Community Member Thrudh's Avatar
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    It's about a nickel per shard...

    You can buy 100 shards for about $5...

    Makes it pretty easy...

    You see an item with a buy-out of 300 shards, you have to ask yourself, "Do I really want to spend $15 on that one item?"
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  19. #19
    Community Member Keybreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudh View Post
    It's about a nickel per shard...

    You can buy 100 shards for about $5...

    Makes it pretty easy...

    You see an item with a buy-out of 300 shards, you have to ask yourself, "Do I really want to spend $15 on that one item?"
    Yes and no. One of the reasons I started this thread is because while almost all Astral Shards originate from the Turbine Store, not all of the Shards in circulation were bought. Some players (like myself) used the 20 free Shards we were given a while back to sell Flawless Scales and EE BtCoE gear on the SE. So for some players, the Shard price doesn't necessarily correspond to an out-of-pocket cash value. I've a nice cache of Shards atm that cost me no RL money... That's why for me it's useful to think of these "equivalencies." Although as rightly pointed out several times, context is important. The numbers are meant to be a rough guide not an imperative.
    Last edited by Keybreaker; 03-22-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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  20. #20
    Community Member Kynestra's Avatar
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    mini-necro of this thread, i realize.. but do we have a plat vs. shard equivalent yet? and how would such a number be calculated? i realize also that the shard economy is horridly unstable right now.. just wondering at a rough estimate.
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