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RMT incentives from the Freehold system - $140M

NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited July 2023 in General Discussion
Time for some more napkin math. o:)

Premise

This post is meant to illustrate the increased RMT market potential made possible by the recent freehold changes.

Allowing player sales - and especially direct sales - of freeholds opens a huge new market for RMT in Ashes, on top of the existing ones for powerful items and in-node housing, and of course gold. The recent changes that increase both scarcity and prices of those freeholds further increases the market potential and thus the incentives for the RMT companies.

Intrepid has continously and vehemently promised us no P2W in Ashes. From a customer point of view this means two things:
  1. The company doesn't introduce P2W themselves. Unless you believe cosmetics are P2W, I think so far so good. We still have to see the rewards from the monster coin events, since they'll be selling monster coins too, but I hope it's only cosmetic rewards.
  2. The company has to stop RMT from happening to a degree that it seriously affects the game. From a player point of view there is no actual difference between the company directly selling power, or by failing to act allowing 3rd party vendors selling it. The end result would be the same; the game is P2W. Intrepid will have live GMs and systems in place to detect RMT, and I believe they are sincere in their desire to combat it.

Freeholds, in their current form, are going to be gold and power printing machines, because without them there is no endgame crafting possible in the game, which is where all the best gear comes from.


Napkin Math

I'm declaring the following to be true for this post:
  • Number of freeholds on a server: 2000 (based on Steven's "low thousands" post and my own napkin math)
  • Number of max accounts per server at launch: 15,000 (also a statement from Intrepid)
  • Numbers of total players at launch: 1 million (again, based on Steven's own comments)
  • Numbers of servers at launch: 1,000,000/15,000 = 66.67 which I will round up to 70 because not all servers will be 100% full.
  • Average RMT price for a freehold = US$ 1000.

These are all conservative numbers and estimates.

Some freeholds might be cheaper, but the freeholds in prime locations will easily fetch thousands of dollars, especially if the stations and buildings transfer over as well. There are many players out there who have the money to pay for that, and indeed pay for several freeholds for their alt accounts too. It's a big ocean with plenty of whales.

So, 2000 freeholds per server costing $1000 on 70 servers:
2000 x 1000 x 70 = 140 million dollars

140M in increased market potential just from freeholds alone, that has been added by this decision by Intrepid. That's enough money to make a new MMORPG. And that is a conservative estimate. Mind you, it's the total market potential, not the actual market share the RMT'ers are able to get a hold of. Regular players will obviously manage to snag many themselves, but even the big, sweaty guilds will have tough competition from the RMT crowd.

However, it's enough money that those companies will hire several hundred more professional gold farmers in Indonesia or elsewhere, because the potential for profit is so big. Some might try botting as well of course, but labour is fairly cheap in some places and much safer from detection.

It's also a renewable source of income for those companies, since freeholds are lost and have to be acquired again.

In other words, Intrepid has created a massive pressure point for RMT by allowing player sales of freeholds again. They'll have to spend a lot of resources to effectively combat it, because I am willing to bet that with direct sales, players will still be paying large amounts of gold ingame on top of the $1000 out of the game for the transaction to even take place.

I hope Intrepid will have a smart and dedicated team of people solely hired to combat this, because if it becomes rampant, they will have made the game P2W and failed their promise.


Mitigation

The best mitigation is to disallow player sales of freeholds entirely. That removes a 140 million dollar RMT market potential right there.

The next best thing is to disallow direct sales. This makes the math fuzzy, because there is still going to be a huge market potential, but it will be a part of the overall gold selling market potential. Some of the RMT companies might use the Freeholds as intended to generate gold that they then resell to players.

Decreasing the size of freeholds and increasing their overall numbers will do a lot of good as well. The easier it is to own a piece of land in Verra, the lower the demand for RMT.

Decoupling the master and grandmaster tiers of the processing branch from being tied to freeholds only will also help.

And of course any measures from the anti-RMT team at Intrepid that successfully combats RMT will be essential.


TL;DR: Intrepid has conservatively added 140 million dollars in RMT market potential with the current freehold change.
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Comments

  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    TL;DR: Intrepid has conservatively added 140 million dollars in RMT market potential with the current freehold change.
    Sounds to me like the Blizz way would fit here very nicely.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    TL;DR: Intrepid has conservatively added 140 million dollars in RMT market potential with the current freehold change.
    Sounds to me like the Blizz way would fit here very nicely.

    What is the Blizz way?
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nerror wrote: »
    NiKr wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    TL;DR: Intrepid has conservatively added 140 million dollars in RMT market potential with the current freehold change.
    Sounds to me like the Blizz way would fit here very nicely.

    What is the Blizz way?

    Selling boosts, gold and play time through gold lol.
    2a3b8ichz0pd.gif
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Oh, that one. :smile:
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    Oh, that one. :smile:
    Yeah, the "we'll fucking sell it ourselves" way. 140mil sounds like some good returns on Steven's investment :D
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    vb4pts45zxit.png

    Imagine when the community find out casuals won't get the best gear in the game lol

    "intrepid added a 80 Billion dollar market in RMT with legendaries" :p
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  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    As usual, you are completely missing the point @Liniker .
  • DolyemDolyem Member
    RMTs will always be an issue, just need to hope for a solid GM team to weed them out and constantly ban those found doing it. And I don't believe the turnover rate of freeholds would likely fit for profitability, as well as competition amongst every freehold not allowing for them all to be bought and sold. Your number is beyond even a worst case scenario since whatever RMT organization you're speaking of would have to basically own the entire server.
    For now I will trust in Intrepid to be planning to have a team specifically for deterring RMTs
    GJjUGHx.gif
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Dolyem wrote: »
    Your number is beyond even a worst case scenario since whatever RMT organization you're speaking of would have to basically own the entire server.

    The number is market potential, not the market share. Market potential refers to the total possible demand or sales that can be achieved within a given market. I use market potential because that's what companies have to look at. Then they try to increase their market share within that obviously.

    But yeah, I hope their anti-RMT team is going to be awesome too. They have to be. As I wrote above, I think they are sincerely meaning to combat it well.
  • DolyemDolyem Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    Dolyem wrote: »
    Your number is beyond even a worst case scenario since whatever RMT organization you're speaking of would have to basically own the entire server.

    The number is market potential, not the market share. Market potential refers to the total possible demand or sales that can be achieved within a given market. I use market potential because that's what companies have to look at. Then they try to increase their market share within that obviously.

    But yeah, I hope their anti-RMT team is going to be awesome too. They have to be. As I wrote above, I think they are sincerely meaning to combat it well.

    Yea that's fair, realistically though I don't think their share would even be 25% of the market with how competitive it will be. And with the turnover rate being considered, the RMT would likely profit more from selling the gold they make rather than using it to purchase a freehold.
    But that's just theoretical.
    GJjUGHx.gif
  • wakkytabbakywakkytabbaky Member
    edited July 2023
    asuming you have to be lvl 50 and finish the quest to be given ownership of a FH from someone else then its gonna limit the RMT traders alot as well from selling freeholds , theyd have to lvl up quite a few accounts just to make it profitable since you can only have 1 FH per acc total and then they still gotta get their hands on em.

    yea the gold selling will still be a thing that intrepid will have to watch alot but freeholds wont be as easy to RMT, they will sell like hot cakes once they get them but will be alot tougher for them to acquire.
  • Individuated SoulIndividuated Soul Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Oh look, another trading = RMT ruining the game post. Yawn. My napkin math says you are blowing this out of proportion.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    @Nerror

    In regards to Liniker, to paraphrase Upton Sinclair "It is difficult to get a person to understand something, when their argument depends on them not understanding it."

    Liniker is so far off the mark so often because he knows that his arguments don't hold up past anything other than blatant refusal to even listen.
  • Who would pay $1000 for a Freehold?!
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Oh look, another trading = RMT ruining the game post. Yawn. My napkin math says you are blowing this out of proportion.

    Please share your napkin math with the class.

    The argument isn't that "trading = RMT ruining the game", as you so wrongly assert, the argument is that Intrepid has added a massive RMT pressure point for very little good reason (IMO), that they now have to combat even harder if they want to avoid the game turning P2W. It wasn't a change that people asked for either. Nobody on the forums were up in arms over how they couldn't sell their freeholds directly to other players, or even mentioned it as an issue.
    asuming you have to be lvl 50 and finish the quest to be given ownership of a FH from someone else then its gonna limit the RMT traders alot as well from selling freeholds , theyd have to lvl up quite a few accounts just to make it profitable since you can only have 1 FH per acc total and then they still gotta get their hands on em.

    yea the gold selling will still be a thing that intrepid will have to watch alot but freeholds wont be as easy to RMT, they will sell like hot cakes once they get them but will be alot tougher for them to acquire.

    Three things:
    Many RMT companies are just a bunch of dudes hired to play the game for many hours every day. Labour is cheap in some areas, and the owner pays for the PCs and accounts and such. They'll be way ahead on the general levelling curve in the game. They'll be indistinguishable from the sweaty guilds for us players until you look under the hood and track the money. That's where Intrepid has to come in. It's a game of cat and mouse, but often a very profitable one for the RMT companies in general.

    Regular players sell stuff for RL money too, sometimes directly to other players, and sometimes to RMT companies. In fact, some RMT companies don't hire people to play at all, they just buy whatever it is from regular players who don't want to find their own customers, and then resell for a profit.

    Then there are the one-time sellers. Players who grow tired of the game and now want to cash out. They sell the entire account, or in this case, they might opt to get a cool $1000 by selling their freehold to some other player. They often don't really care if Intrepid finds out and bans the accounts involved. They will have gotten their money and moved on.

    The above cannot be mitigated completely. I don't want to play a game where nothing is tradable. We have to rely on Intrepid to a large extent to combat this. The point of this post is to illustrate the huge amounts of money and incentives those decisions by Intrepid affects. If the RMT companies get a hold of 20% of the market share, in freeholds alone that's $28 million dollars, using the estimates in the OP.

    Edit: In other words, part of the strategy Intrepid has to use to combat RMT is also about making the right design choices for their game systems.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Who would pay $1000 for a Freehold?!

    For example, many of the same types of people that have spent thousands of dollars in Star Citizen already. I know many in my old guild that have done that. The people with the money are out there, and $1000 is nothing if it saves them a lot of effort grinding for gold ingame.
  • daveywavey wrote: »
    Who would pay $1000 for a Freehold?!

    considering people have paid alot for A1 / A2 packs compared to other mmos where its a tiny buy in / only a sub and those others who have bought a buttload of cosmetics on top of packs ,im sure some of those guys would splurge and waste 1k if they missed out and are super impatient. plus you could easily imagine some big streamer simp buying a FH through RMT then gifting it to their streamer
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »

    Liniker is so far off the mark so often because he knows that his arguments don't hold up past anything other than blatant refusal to even listen.

    @Noaani

    At the end of the day, for the past 4 years I've been telling my guild members that freeholds Would be extremely difficult to obtain and exclusive, we also always theory crafted and instructed people that processing professions would be a group-focused and that the highest ranks of all professions would be something for maybe 10% of the server.

    No one in my community was surprised/upset about these "changes" we were expecting this.

    It was obvious, from what Steven background is, from the game's he played, for the way se spoke about these systems, and where Ashes is taking inspiration from. I call that having realistic expectations.

    So let me ask you, who is off the mark?
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Liniker wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »

    Liniker is so far off the mark so often because he knows that his arguments don't hold up past anything other than blatant refusal to even listen.

    Noaani

    At the end of the day, for the past 4 years I've been telling my guild members that freeholds Would be extremely difficult to obtain and exclusive, we also always theory crafted and instructed people that processing professions would be a group-focused and that the highest ranks of all professions would be something for maybe 10% of the server.

    No one in my community was surprised/upset about these "changes" we were expecting this.

    It was obvious, from what Steven background is, from the game's he played, for the way se spoke about these systems, and where Ashes is taking inspiration from. I call that having realistic expectations.

    So let me ask you, who is off the mark?


    Cool you predicted this change. So what - I predicted naval content would be free from the corruption system.

    That doesn't mean either is a good idea.

    You seem to float between different points of arguments against the system. People being against this because it is a change is a VERY small subset of the complaints here.

    The bulk of the complaints are because it is absolutely shit game design.

    You predicting shit game design doesn't mean I am off the mark when I point out how shit that game design is.

    Again though, you wont understand, because you can't understand, because the only arguments you have are misdirection based - like the one you just made.
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Noaani wrote: »


    You predicting shit game design doesn't mean I am off the mark when I point out how shit that game design is.

    Again though, you wont understand, because you can't understand, because the only arguments you have are misdirection based - like the one you just made.

    @Noaani

    It wasn't a prediction... I'm not a genius because of that, I've been talking to other communities and guild leaders and most people expected this lol

    theres a loud minority speaking here, that's about it, if you step outside and look at feedback in other platforms you will notice theres a lot of people happy

    this situation is literally only a surprise for those who didn't pay attention, this situation is exactly like when Dygz, a guy that says he hates L2, Archeage, EvE because of PvP - decided to back ashes of creation thinking it would be different, it's just insane

    at the end of the day, you are entitled to have your opinion, doesn't mean you are right, and doesn't mean you are not just delusional

    for most people having no PVE servers is shit game design, for others having no fast travel is shit game design, for some having no NFTs is shit game design

    you can say whatever you want, and I can also say you are wrong and your opinion is dogshit
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Liniker wrote: »
    theres a loud minority speaking here, that's about it, if you step outside and look at feedback in other platforms you will notice theres a lot of people happy

    ...

    for most people having no PVE servers is shit game design
    Are you saying both of these are true?

    Most people think having no PvE servers is bad game design, yet the people complaining here are in the minority?

    Logic would dictate that only one of these can be true.
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Noaani wrote: »
    Most people think having no PvE servers is bad game design, yet the people complaining here are in the minority?

    You are right, let be back down on that - yes the majority of MMORPG players do want PVE servers, they want fast travel, they want to get flying mounts, and they want for everyone to get freeholds yes, they do have all these shit takes,

    from the core AoC community, including all the guilds, and members following the project closely, I do believe most were expecting this and the ones currently complaining are a minority - same happened with the Open Seas PvP thing

    but again, none of this matters, Steven ain't doing a game for the majority of MMORPG players so,


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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Liniker wrote: »
    but again, none of this matters, Steven ain't doing a game for the majority of MMORPG players so,
    This is absolutely true.

    Now for the next question.

    You currently believe freeholds in Ashes will be auctioned off to players, based on Intrepid saying that.

    Is this a fair statement to make?
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Noaani wrote: »
    You currently believe freeholds in Ashes will be auctioned off to players, based on Intrepid saying that.

    Is this a fair statement to make?

    I just want to test the system, see it working in game with the context of all other systems in the game, that's about it for now.

    The reason I am here being vocal about my takes on the changes is because people are throwing every single argument they can doing all the mental gymnastics in the books just because of one only motive: They want a freehold and they don't want to rely on other players for that, in a fucking MMORPG that was always supposed to be group-focused.

    I've seen people go from "But they sold cosmetics" to "RMT will ruin the game" to "everyone will be homeless" to "there will not be enough processing" to "this will kill the game" and we all know these arguments are complete BS they just want to make sure they will get their own freehold and that's it

    because they feel entitled to get access to systems in an MMO, without having to play with other people or work for their goals in a fucking MMO
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  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Liniker, you are coming at this with all the energy of one of those completely out-of-touch billionaires who think "The Poors are just too lazy to work", unable to see the bigger picture and completely misrepresenting the issues.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    @Liniker

    You didn't answer the question - however, what you did type out suggests the answer is "yes".
    Liniker wrote: »
    They want a freehold and they don't want to rely on other players for that, in a fucking MMORPG that was always supposed to be group-focused.
    So, in 2018, Steven said a solo player will be able to have a freehold farm. They may need to work with others for equipment, consumables and such, but solo players would be able to own and run a farm.

    If you are saying that people should have expected that solo players wouldn't be able to realistically own and run a farm, then what you are saying is that players shouldn't be believing Steven.

    So, which is it, do you believe Steven when he said freeholds will be available via auction, and thus we should all believe Steven and those that believed him in the past have a reason to be upset - or are you saying that even though Steven said much about freeholds, we shouldn't assume any of it at all will make it to the live game?

    Basically, if you want to believe Steven, you should not be saying people have no reason to be upset - because they do.
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nerror wrote: »
    Liniker, you are coming at this with all the energy of one of those completely out-of-touch billionaires who think "The Poors are just too lazy to work", unable to see the bigger picture and completely misrepresenting the issues.

    I'm sorry to tell you but I am not the one making the game lol
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  • Individuated SoulIndividuated Soul Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2023
    Liniker wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    Liniker, you are coming at this with all the energy of one of those completely out-of-touch billionaires who think "The Poors are just too lazy to work", unable to see the bigger picture and completely misrepresenting the issues.

    I'm sorry to tell you but I am not the one making the game lol

    You're argument above is right so you have that going for you.
  • there is a difference between anyone and everyone.
  • AbaratAbarat Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    @Nerror
    Can you explain in detail what your concerns are with the way Intrepid plans on combatting RMT's related to Freeholds?
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