Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Morning in Vana'diel: Is Crafting Worth It?

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! This morning Ring reconsiders the crafting benefits of Augments and whether it's worth it at all.

Here is the thing, can you make money on crafting? Yes, you can. Is it worth it to try? That's the real question. I made the argument yesterday that the new Augment system was good because it basically consumed the crafted items that people are going to Augment increasing demand. The problem that I have read about is not with the randomness of the event which I still think is somewhat necessary for it's benefit to crafting, but rather that those that craft will drive down the price, either by those skilling up and trying to sell off the extra items quickly or by those just trying to undercut everyone else. The real benefit will go to the farmers or the middle men, or so the argument goes. I generally agree that there are negative pressures on the pricing of all items, and it is definitely true that a low supply increases prices more than high demand, but I do not think that higher demand is bad for the prices of items. Remember, this is not a situation like after an update where everyone needs an item for a quest. This is a continual demand situation, where people are going to need many of the same item over and over, and this demand may cause an increase in supply too, but over time it should work to increase prices and for crafters, increase profits.

The problem is that is it worth it for the crafter over the farmer? The farmer, if they find the right items to farm will be able to set the prices on the raw materials and get the largest chunk of "pure" profit. Increase demand for them will directly increase profits, and the only risk of will come in the form of undercutting. The crafter is then further at the whim of the farmer for creating these items if they choose not to farm the raw materials. It's a rather complicated scenario, and in the end I still think it will be net beneficial for crafters, but it definitely is not as clear cut as I thought it was yesterday. One can still hope that the market could be more rational this time because of the constant stagnation it has been in since the large majority of RMT were killed off several years ago. But I doubt it. I have seen players do too many strange and silly things to destroy the price of items for no reason for too long to think that we can really predict what is going to happen.

Do you think the new high-level Augments will be good for the economy? Will they be bad? Do you think things will stay pretty much the same? Are you looking forward to this as a crafter? What about as a farmer? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

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