Friday, 26 March 2010

SKIRMISH POINTS: WHAT WILL THEY BE WORTH TOMORROW?


Every form of barter currency appearing to date in LOTRO has turned out to be, in effect, non-transferable. Vile Coins, Rift-iron Coins, Battered Annuminas Armour, Marks of Triumph... Remember those? All water under the bridge by now, or just rubbish cluttering up chests. Medallions of Moria and Medallions of Lothlórien, collected with so much effort, are worth little or nothing to players currently at l.65.

Will we see the same thing happening with skirmish points? A lot of people will be upset if it does. By the end-game, unless you spend them on upgrading your soldier, the only really valuable item you can barter for skirmish points is the Scroll of Empowerment, which costs 1,950 SP and will upgrade a LI legacy by one tier - but, at the moment, it only works on l.65 LIs. Now a lot of players, myself included, have already upgraded as many legacies as we care to on our current LIs, and are simply collecting SPs in view of the inevitable next upgrade, or even the eventual appearence of First-Age LIs. We are assuming (gambling, if you prefer), that Scrolls of Empowerment suitable for the next lot of LIs, whatever they turn out to be, will still be available in exchange for our accumulated SPs. Should this prove not to be the case, we will find ourselves in the same position as holders of Imperial Russian government bonds the day after the Bolsheviks seized power...

On the other hand, if skirmish points continue to be valuable after the next upgrade, albeit perhaps hit by inflation (i.e., scrolls may have doubled in price), LOTRO will have taken the first welcome steps towards the goal of a reliable,  long-term barter currency.

5 comments:

Xanthi said...

A natural extension of skirmish marks providing a forward-looking currency is to hope Turbine considers allowing faction vendors to barter their currency back into skirmish marks. Thus vile coins etc would still be worthwhile to acquire and we could empty out our extra to free up space by converting them to skirmish marks. Hm, perhaps even extend this to non-faction rare items such as shards and stuff for level 60 LIs (though presumably the disposal path to free space for these is to sell them or use them for alts or give them away). Presumably this would all have to be balanced against the skirmish mark economy, but most certainly they have positioned it to act as a lubricant among various systems within the game.

Green Armadillo said...

Turbine seems to have planned for the future with mark costs that automagically scale down as you level past them (see some of the higher tier soldier upgrades). Whether they can scale that system better is a more interesting question in the long term, as many of the upgrades in question are pitifully small at the moment.

Paul said...

They really should do something to address the significant number of barter items they currently have in-game. A single universal 'currency' would be preferable, but perhaps two or three corresponding to a few different level ranges would suffice.

tomwebster25 said...

The number of barter currencies in the game is one of my biggest bugbears reagarding LOTRO; they don't seem to have really been worth it at any point in the past couple of years and yet Turbine seem to be keen to keep adding more and more of them.

Personally they should scale it right back to the basics and one universal barter currency that you can hand in to all factions in all areas.

Then if you needed to have something a bit different (lorien springs to mind) at least you are only adding in 1 extra currency that only applies to a specific circumstance in game and once it is done it is done!

Bart said...

There are so many different barter items because Turbine has never let people "save up" things for the next expansion. They didn't want someone walking around with uber top level armor the day after the expansion. Now, Warner Bros might be different, but I'd be willing to bet that they'll follow roughly the same path. If new level 70 (or whatever) armor is provided and it's available at a "steep cost" for skirmish marks, then hardcore players basically get it for free, which softcores have to work "forever" grinding things out to get it. If the cost is less, then hardcores complain that the armor is awesome, but that it's being given away for nothing and is therefore cheap. It seems like the only method to make everyone as "happy" is to make everyone work the same for it -- to buy it with a new currency.