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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Unreal Tokens, Now Tradeable, & My Forecast

The Unreal Tokens are now tradeable. This means they have become lootable in space and PVP4. So. Here's my forecast.

I forecast that there will be an increase in piracy and pvp runs in the contaminated zones. Why? Many of us have a dozen containers or more on our avatar. We stash all kinds of things in them, especially things that weren't lootable. Well, some of you may not get the memo in time to relocate your now lootable tokens. So, I suspect there is a sizeable amount of tokens people simply forget they have, that are on them, in a container, free for the looting. In the long run, it isn't the loot we know we have that is at risk. It is the things we forgot we carry that probably are the mainstay of the pirates.

I forecast the trading range for these tokens will be anywhere from 5 to 30 peds for the forseable future, but probably will not drop below 10 nor rise above 40. Eventually its possible, but probably not very soon.

The biggest inhibitor to any shares in anything in Entropia being a realistic investment, is the ROI... Right now if you aren't getting 5 to 10% per year, you are losing money to inflation. But, as a "savings" method, if you are saving up for a real goal, you want a set of this armor or you want that UL gun, or whatever;, or if you are swing trading the shares and stuff, this is the real value of these shares. And, there are people with more peds than money and they don't want to cash out so they are happy to put the peds they aren't using into shares so that something is being earned until they need them. 

I must hereby disclaim that none of this is investment advice nor should be taken as such. It is merely me presenting things as I see them for you to consider when making decisions or deciding what your priorities are. But it is common sense if your ROI is far less than inflation, you will lose money unless you are taking profits on the swings in value, or otherwise trying to avoid losing your money through genuinely blowing it before you can achieve a very important goal.

Monday, February 13, 2023

A Message to the Miners of Entropia Universe

 I've been here in Entropia for just shy of 15 years now. I've seen a lot of the good and the bad that has happened inside of the game. A lot of what goes on, if its out of sight its out of mind. Some things you just maybe don't notice anymore because everyone you associated with has either passed on or quit the game... So you keep your nose to the grindstone and keep grinding.

In a strange twist of luck, I ran into an old school trader. From way back. He got me thinking in the few minutes we chatted. I thought I'd make a little bit of an address here to the miners of the game. Why the miners? Well I will tell you. You have the power. The power to do what? I will tell you.

The vast share of markup has always been involved with ores and enmatters. Not counting the oddball high markup item that only a select few seem to loot while hunting. Even the greediest trader can only steal so much on an animal oil trade where its just a couple percent over TT value. But when you are talking ores and enmatters, its a whole nother ballpark.

There are some not so scrupulous traders taking advantage of the sheer need for selling ores and enmatters. It doesn't matter who, it doesn't matter why, where or how. What matters is this.

It is the miners who control enough of the good markup materials, to make an honest trader, or break a dishonest one. It is up to you to keep the traders you deal with in check. If you don't like the deal they offer, press them for a better one or find someone who can do better. This will cause them to tighten up their ship, or else see it sink into the abyss. Trading only works if you have the volume, and can move it. It is you, miners, who control who gets your supply.

The harder something is to sell, then yes, by all means its ok to allow for enough of a difference that the trader isn't sitting on that stuff for months only to make nothing. And you will probably get a better deal from traders who already know a customer who is waiting for what you are selling. But not checking the numbers, and not understanding what an acceptable offer for what you are selling is, allows for traders to be sloppy and loose on the numbers they give.

How many trades have you done in a year? Have they been reasonable? Or have you been forced to take a bit too heavy of discounts in order to close the deal? If you do 500 trades in a year, and if only you get one more ped per trade, thats $50. Thats $50 more that you won't have to deposit, or sweat for, that contributes to everything you have to do to try to survive.

Everyone complains about markups. Well, we can start doing something about that by keeping the traders honest. It doesn't mean cutting them out of their profit margin, but you don't have to let them destroy yours either. And always double check the pile of peds dropped in the window against what you are selling. Does it look right? If something seems wrong, it very well could be. I know of a couple massive trades that went horribly wrong for one particular person. But once you push the button twice, it's done. MA doesn't fix that for you if you didn't notice something and approved the trade anyways. And the more a trader gets away with this sort of thing, the more they will continue to do it. 

I am primarily a miner, and I used to do quite a bit of trading. I don't anymore, because, well, real life trading opportunities far exceed what I am able to make in Entropia by trading. I much rather enjoy the game mining. But if, as a miner, you are taking abuse from the people you rely on for your returns when selling loot, you can either do something about it, or not. If you do nothing, things could worsen overall. A lot more rides on keeping traders honest than we even can think about. We all know MindArk is against us, and the only chance we have against them is to strike the best possible deal for both sides of a transaction. And not all trades have a 1 to 1 ratio, either.

Sure. I sold a Mayhem harness for less than I would like to have got. But I needed the peds. And I didn't have to wait. The loss of some fairly substantial markup on the deal, is the price I paid for the convenience of having the peds sooner than later. BUT. This worked to my advantage. Something I've been waiting for to hit the market for a long time, at a bargain price too, finally went on the AH. I was able to buy it and had some peds left over. In all honesty, in a face to face trade, I'd probably have traded straight across for the item. So, you see, taking a loss is advantageous if the timing is right. It is all about leverage, and timing, and I think I just got lucky on that working out the way it did. 

I think this is probably all I have to say. Just, the traders will be as honest as we can keep them. If something is wrong and they can't explain why the discrepancy, that would be a problem maybe.

So good luck, happy mining, and I hope theres something in all of this for you all to think about. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Tips for New Shop Owners

 I notice a lot of shops and properties have changed hands over the recent years for whatever reasons. Some of you, I am impressed with how far you have expanded, for I have watched you start with next to nothing and end up living the dream, land areas, a shop in every TP (almost), yep. 

Many of you know what you are doing and need no advice from me. 

But. A lot of new players will come into the game as they always do, and need some advice. There really are a lot of people in the real world too, who want to start a business and have no clue why their efficiency is down or why customers are frustrated. Inexperience is no ones fault, we have to overcome inexperience by doing. And we can compensate for it by seeing what others have to say about what it is we are trying to accomplish.

There are a few things that would be so amazing yet I haven't hardly seen anyone attempt to do:

90% of my runs through shops, are looking for things that are not available on the Auction. This can be a UL Weapon, or a full set of UL armor, or a Fi/Ra/Co amp of any configuration. Some are rarer than hen's teeth. Some aren't. Sometimes I want to see if theres any good deals on estates. I know there usually aren't any super bargains falling through the cracks, everyone runs a pretty tight ship on markup, but... There are many other games where you can see what is for sale in what shop. Entropia doesn't do that, I wish they could do that, but who knows maybe MA will implement something like that in UR5, who knows. It would be smart if they did. Idle gear is not making MA money, and no ones going to buy it if they can't find it. 

I once seen a UL gun, priced insanely cheap, I thought about buying it. After an hour or so I decided you know what, I wanna go buy it. I had forgotten what shop it was, and by the time I got to the shop I know it must have been in, it was already gone, someone beat me to it. But I didn't even know it was there if I wouldn't have been bored enough to stroll through the mall one day.

The point I want to make here is... If you are going to offer rare items, UL items, anything that has any significance, make it as conspicuous as possible. This may mean putting a giant sign over a shopkeeper that says "RARE ITEMS SOLD HERE" or something. Some people I see, have put UL's amidst shelves of L items... When I see a bunch of L items and no clear indication of UL's, I book it out of there, and maybe other players do too, I don't know. 

I am not telling anyone how to run their shop, but just highlighting the importance of making your important items stand out so they are easy to spot. People can't buy what they can't see or find.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Hunting Skills and What I'd have Done Differently

 It is easy to think unlocking a new skill is no big deal. I thought that. Until I spent months trying to finish the next few levels to reach level 70 BLP so I could unlock commando skills. Whats the big deal about Commando skill? Well. Every 200 points is 1 health point! That is huge! But also, it makes levelling go much faster, too, and really, once you reach level 100, all those level 100 weapons that are TT food or low priced because by the time people can use them they already have more expensive UL's that they use, you can use anything you want to use.

I spent the first portion of the game skilling laser. At some point I switched to BLP, I just found laser annoying. BLP, for me, at least, tended to be quicker and sound better. But, had I decided to go BLP from the beginning and only skill that, I might be much closer to level 100, and that is probably one of the biggest things I'd do differently.

If you want to build your strength so you can carry a lot of stuff, melee probably is the way to go. It is unclear to me the full extent of which the strength attribute impacts gameplay. Intelligence tends to help crafting and mining, stamina seems to improve overall survivability against tough mobs. The attributes tend to operate in ways that are different from the other skills. I always figure the hardest to get attribute, or the hardest to get skills, might be the most important. If something is really helpful, I figure MA won't let us have much of it at one time or at all. I've done some limited testing along these lines and my results are encouraging.

I suppose the other thing I regret is not maintaining a record of every run, the cost, the loot, everything. I know it doesn't sound like much fun, but if I had that data for the 15 years I've been playing, I might be closer to figuring certain things out. And, the most successful players tend to track everything. I suppose there's a reason MA doesn't give us an ingame pedflow statement. It would be nice, but something tells me they would never do it. Sort of why they never put a clock in a casino, they don't want people aware of the passage of the time... Similarly I feel MA doesn't want us aware of the passage of our peds.

Having a clear goal, and focusing on the goal. It can be many goals. You can have a goal for every profession. But focusing on them is probably better than jumping around randomly hoping something works out. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Lootable Zones in Space Changed?

 Some of you may be aware already, its probably a year or two old news by now, but I haven't really been in the posting mode for some time. The last few years as you well know have put everyone into different funks and what not.

But it does appear now that we have safe passage from Ark Moon to Arkadia, and from FOMA to Calypso, etc. Which, really, they needed to have done from the begining... Let's face it, who WOULDN'T pay the 7 peds to beam down to the planet from the moon or asteroid if you had loot to safeguard? So its not like the pirates lost out on anything, save for a few stones or fruits or things we forget we have in our inventory, or may purposely keep in it just to insult and infuriate the wouldbe looter if he got us.

And, as for pirates and people who otherwise waste my time forcing me to revive and cross large distances once again when I was almost to my destination... I probably won't buy anything from you ever, that you ever list on the auction, no matter how cheap it is or how badly I need it. If piracy is only business, well, not financing the war against me is only business, too. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Does MA Take our Suggestions Seriously?

 The short answer is yes. Please use extreme care when sending MindArk suggestions about changes you want to see in the game. Everything I've ever suggested they've implemented. But they've always implemented my suggestions in the poorest way possible making me regret ever having suggested the things I've suggested. Those of you who know me know to what I am referring. Those of you who don't know me, nope, I am not going to admit to anything lol. Just take a look around you at the costliest activities currently surrounding this game, then you will know the devastating effect that a good idea can have when someone like MindArk attempts to implement it. 

It would seem we do have some ability to urge MA to make necessary changes to benefit our experience in the game, but we must be careful with how we word our suggestions, and anticipate every way in which our ideas will be used against us. 

Consider the damage done to us by Loot 2.0. A lot of people complained of the runs of no loot mobs on a given hunt. I used to get dozens of no loots in a row back in the old days. As many as a hundred no loots in a row, which shouldn't be possible really but it did happen. A lot of us complained to MindArk, I wasn't the only one, and Loot 2.0 was their solution. Personally, I believe all they needed to do was mitigate some of the no loots, not all of them. So, we get loot every time now, but the result is multipliers are far and few between and there is almost nothing in the way of items dropping either. And no multipliers has taken a lot of the fun out of hunting. Oh sure, there are a few lucky enough to hit something. But gone are the days when there was a four or five digit Atrox on the hof board at least a couple times a day. Or ambu for that matter. Now there are times when the SandKing doesn't even hof for five digits. If a mob like that can't hit five digits, it doesn't make me feel like its worth the bother to hunt. Yet, we still hunt.

Ultimately, I would like there to be an option for loot. We should have the choice of low volatility, medium volatility, or high volatility. Low volatility lets say we keep loot 2.0. Even though it is not so stable, it is considered less volatile since there is loot every time. Medium volatility lets say there are some no loots, high volatility would be the old loot 1.0. You can still give everyone the same percent returns, but allowing us to choose how these returns are distributed would let us see the results we wish to play for according to our risk-reward mentality.

There are ways to improve the game to everyones satisfaction, including MindArks. How many of you quit playing because loot has been too bad? Does that benefit MA at all for you not to be playing? If you felt loot was in proportion to your effort, would you feel better about continuing? Yep, I know I would. And this would benefit them as well as us. But how do we talk to them about it in a way they will comprehend, so that something meaningful can be done about it. I am sure they all must be sitting back thinking "All these players want is more loot, bigger loot..." No, we want fair loot. We don't want to grind an entire mayhem to have nothing bigger than three digits when we are whipping out $100 bills every few hours to keep grinding. There has to be something more equitable for all to be done with loot.

Some players are happy to grind for small ups and downs. Some of us aren't. Usually it is small ups and large downs that we actually end up with. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Easy Way of Making a Few Extra Dollars to Deposit

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is to be construed as financial advice.

Yes, the economy sucks for the entire world basically. Inflation is off its rocker, and it is supposed to get worse. Many of you are losing your Entropia budgets to inflation. Your electric bill, your fuel bill, your food... So here I am to present one option to add some extra funds to your budget that has always worked for me, its simple enough, really. Nope, you don't have to buy anything or sign up for anything. Just take a close look at what you already have. It hasn't been my intention to deviate from all things Entropia, but since Entropia for most of us requires money to be playable, lets face it, non-depositing is only going to work if you went that route from day 1... Someone who's deposited thousands of dollars into Entropia is simply not going to be satisfied to sweat for a few cents an hour. And its bad enough that many of those people have been forced to do so.

The in-game means of earning free peds either require investing a LOT of deposited money, i.e. shares and deeds... Or investing a LOT of time for very little monetary gain, i.e. sweating or fruit and stone walking. Virtually any real-world activity pays more than sweating, and with a lot less effort. There is one commodity we all have to some degree or another at any given time. And volumes of it generally pass through our hands at some point. This commodity is loaded with desirable anomalies that collectors are paying ridiculous premiums for. What am I talking about, you ask?

This isn't a get rich quick, or slow, scheme. This isn't a scheme of any kind. And the sought after items of interest are perfectly legal and sell themselves without any effort at all to speak of.

Coins. Specifically, coins with errors. Mint Errors. Also paper money have errors too. 

Of course error collecting isn't limited to coins and paper money. There are errors to be found in baseball cards, or any other printed or manufactured collectible that isn't normally supposed to have errors. The no-name Frank Thomas card sells for five digits, and yes, I've had a real one offered to me and I passed on it not knowing there actually were late 80's and early 90's baseball cards worth something :( But its ok. I try not to think about the things I've missed out on. 

But the beauty of coins is that almost everyone collects coins. Collectors are found in every level of society, in every part of the world. And usually only the smallest of towns are without coin dealers; pawn shops usually will buy and sell coins, but not always. And even if you run an advertisement in your local classifieds to sell the mint errors you've found, you probably won't have to wait for long for someone to be interested; but naturally you want to be smart about meeting a buyer. Public place, maybe not go alone, etc. Just be smart, things can and do go wrong, though fortunately not as often as it could. 

"How much could an error possibly be worth?"

As of this post, a 1982 Roosevelt dime with no mintmark is actually selling for around $150, easily selling for that is, and they aren't that uncommon.

Then there is the matter of paper money. Mismatched serial numbers on the same bill are worth thousands of dollars. Serial numbers with all digits the same are also readily selling for $1000 to $5000. 

If you have jugs of coins sitting around, hell, you can even look at them while you sweat in Entropia for that matter... You could have a fortune easily enough found.

Most desirable errors are double-dies, which will appear as slightly, or very pronounced doubling of letters and numbers or otherwise some portion of the design of the coin. Or you can have a mintmark that is doubled. If that is the only thing doubled, you have a repunched mintmark. But, if you have two different mint marks on top of each other, S over D or etc, these can be extremely valuable.

Mule errors exist where the wrong two coins are stamped on the same coin... You may have a quarter that somehow managed to end up with a dollar being struck on the other side.These can be insanely valuable.

You can have blank planchets which are worth anywhere from $5 to $100 each depending on what denomination the planchet is. It will literally look like a blank disc of metal, but it will be of the same size of the coin that was supposed to be struck on it.

You can have coins with chunks of metal missing from the surface like it was popped out, which are lamination errors, and indeed thats what happens due to imperfections in the sheet metal from when it was made.

The errors you can find are absolutely endless, all you got to do is figure out what coins you have, look up the errors for those particular coins and those years of coins, and you should have no problem finding values or at least images of what you are looking for. A simple search for mint errors will give you some ideas too.

I really won't go into a lot more depth here, since if the topic were a horse, it would have been beaten to the point its a mere grease spot on the ground. Probably a million books and millions of webpages exist on the topic of mint errors and coin collecting. I am just here to point out every day someone is finding thousands of dollars worth of highly sought after errors or varieties. If its not you, it will be them, and I'd rather it be you than them.

What happens to Entropia if everyone suddenly has more money to deposit? Everyone plays more. More trades are done, more items and gear change hands. Everyone does better. The game does better. The whole point of this blog is to help everyone in the game do better. I don't necessarily care if Mindark does better, they are literally bending us all over on loot right now. Nevermind the strongboxes... Those are so bad lately I don't even get the obligatory garland or candy cane anymore. I probably will never open another Xmas box again to be honest.

Good luck to you all! And I hope this has helped you find a new path to refilling the old war chest.