People enjoy making money. You can earn your money through grinding, natural progression, or the markets without much sacrifice. Whether or not there are specifically tailored classes, you can still have fun. Remember the first online game you ever played or enjoyed? Remember that MMO you would dive into on occasion? Here, we’ll take a look into why I love exploring trade options in games, becoming a merchant of sorts. Both in class and in spirit, you will get to see a glimpse as to how I’ve conducted myself. You will see what I view as fun for myself. Also, my very first exploration of a game world economy.
My start as a merchant: Ragnarok Online
A game that once was revered by many during a booming generation of the MMO genre. Ragnarok Online wasn’t a perfect game, but its artistic graphics that caught my eye. You were not able to play at the time on a completely free server, so I registered a free trial. The beginning was good at giving you baby steps. As soon as I found my footing though, getting into the game was not too bad either. It felt good as I made some friends and leveled, but later my excitement for the game dwindled. After some exploration, and looking at the hundreds of shops around the city of Prontera, I still wasn’t completely hooked. Creating another character yielded better results.
After reaching a certain level in Ragnarok Online, I decided upon the Merchant class. Thought it might be fun to try, it turned out to be way too much fun. As a merchant you get to set up shop just about anywhere with a small cart. You are allowed to set prices as you see fit, as well as chat to passersby. The first thing I did, was try to figure out the best item to sell and stick to it. It turned out after a bit of exploration and grind, cards had given me the best results. After gathering a few and checking prices of other merchants nearby, it only went up from there. Yelling at others walking by, buying and selling, making friends, they were key to success. The more friends made, the more people I sold things for. I made profits from $120k per item to well over $1.2 million on each.
“Give me a price, I’ll sell for you.”
That was my slogan from here on out. With other MMOs, it was more difficult to make profit that way. I would charge tier profits, like 20%, up to a certain dollar amount sold, otherwise it would be 15%, etc. Every MMO couldn’t take away from grinding at the start though. With Maple Story, it was the far beginning where the tutorial fights were. Perfect World International was funny because I had made friends with someone who had just given me all her stuff. FlyFF, it was down to my merchant roots again. Every MMO was slightly different, but turnout was nearly the same. If you become good at selling one particular item, go with it. Best advice in gaining money, go with that one item you feel is the best turnover profit for you.
Friends are nice, but I did not have a lot of them in Ragnarok Online because I was in one spot. The whole time, I almost never moved. It was either just outside the town, or the bridge nearby. With this, I can safely say I was one of the most wealthy merchants after less than a week. After week 2 as my trial was nearing the end, I had amassed over $900 million. That’s not counting the items I had still in my bank or the loans given out. The one guy I befriended in that game said after a few months, he has never even come close. I gave him 300 million on my departure and left forever, sadly. Other MMOs were given similar amounts of treatment and care from me, but never to that scale. It was my own personal thrill. I was also always honest, going as far as giving back accidentally dropped or sold/traded items. You do not have to be cut-throat to succeed.
Having been very fond of being a merchant of some kind in past MMOs, the same can’t be said for today. While I still enjoy buying and selling, both in reality and in-game, it’s not something to take over my life. It’s fun, but exploring has always been that too. Making friends is still something I do in most any game. As far as economy goes, if there is an exploit then I don’t have a lot of trouble finding it. WoW has mods that allow you to watch for auction prices, some games have set economies, and some are too easy for needless exploitation.
Future games you might see me in are EVE: Online and the yet to be released Star Citizen. I’ll dive in once my computer can handle such undertakings. If I enjoy myself well enough, then expect the return of an ally for both current and future MMO projects. I will of course be a peddler, so if you would rather go explore and fight, I don’t mind doing your finances. If you want a fighter once in a while, expect me to do that too after getting my foot in the markets. I’ve always been about establishing my economic standing first, then go off into the world prepared. Eventually I might go back to previous games to set myself up again. All my accounts I have long since forgotten, so it would be interesting to see if it’s something I can pull off today.
The game that lead me to this, Shoppe Keep. A game getting me back into the groove of things. It’s a decent game with a simple premise. You buy and sell merchandise to customers. That’s all there is to it. It’s simple, yet addicting. Why? Because that’s who I am. Anyone who finds this game as addictive is clearly a merchant at heart. I’ve played games with a similar concept, and all are similarly engaging. It’s just one that you need to check out. Considering there are many shovel-ware games out there at the same cost or higher, $9.99 is a steal. The sequel is an updated version, but adds an open world to explore, as well as multiplayer options.
With so many games out there, it’s difficult to find one that utilizes your economic skills. There are even fewer that manage to make it a fun part of the experience. Make sure to find one that suits you. This is my life as a merchant. With that said, hope to see you on my radar in Star Citizen, space cowboy!