All that has changed now, and the Fallen Earth team has made some massive changes to the way the economy works. In this post, I'll take a look at what has changed. I'll try to give my best guess about what will happen to the economy in the coming weeks. A great many players are already freaking out about this concept on the forums and in global chat. While I admit it's too early to tell what will become of us in the near future, there's no need to panic. People were rage-quitting the game mere hours after the changes were made. If you ask me, it's a bit premature to make a decision like that. Nobody really knows what will happen, but click past the cut to see my best guesses.
The real test will come after everyone's stockpiles begin to diminish. It's going to take a couple of weeks for things to equalize, and this is only the first phase of the economic changes. Some of the changes have made a lot of players nervous. Some common materials, like fasteners, are now so rare that they must be purchased almost entirely from merchants. You can no longer make (from steel) or refine fasteners. In fact, many of the create and refine recipes have been removed. The merchants' inventories have been reduced, and most of the high-end materials can only be harvested through killing mobs, scavenging nodes, and collecting FCP parcels. Some high-end mats can still be bought in the conflict towns; the merchants' inventories in the PvP towns are more expensive but otherwise unchanged. I'm not sure if this was intended or an oversight.
I want to see a player-driven economy succeed in Fallen Earth. The more the devs take the game in the sandbox direction and away from the themepark, the happier I am. I want to see FE not only reach its full potential but also achieve the financial success required to keep it afloat and to continue to pay for its development. I like seeing a more gritty apocalypse, where you can't just go to the Los Alamos Walmart and grab everything you need. There should be begging, borrowing, and stealing in the apocalypse, but I'll settle for some cutthroat competition on the auction house, even though I don't believe the player-run economy will reach its full potential without a buy-order system for the auction house. The auction channel is a good tool, but it's only effective in an active sense, whereas buy orders would be more passive and persistent.
Office Park tradeable. While this wouldn't add chips to the economy, it would surely move some chips around.
As I stated before, I really want this economy to work. Fallen Earth goes F2P in less than a week. I am guessing we will have a large influx of players, new and old. The naysayers are jumping the gun, in my opinion. Many players, including me, have huge stockpiles of materials because we knew these changes were coming. The server population may well be increasing dramatically. It's going to take a few weeks before we see where these changes will take us. In the meantime, try to find those juicy scavenging spots (all over again) so we can PvP on the auction house in a new player-driven economy (hopefully). Remember: Stop and pick it up -- it might be just what you've been looking for. See you next week.
Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.