How Shroud of the Avatar is becoming a game closer to public release

Spend a bit of time on the forums and some time on Reddit and other places where opinions are used as content and you might think that SOTA is the worst game ever and about to keel over.

The data suggests otherwise.

We know that SOTA is earning revenue at a pace which enables development of the game to continue.

We know that with each update the game gets more content, more balance and is better – yes there are bugs caused by each update, but that is perfectly normal whilst a game is being developed. An update is like throwing a huge rock into a still mill pond, the ripples go out and cause things to break.

Updates get fixed and promptly.

But there is something else. 

The game has a consistent amount of players and from my own POV, this seems to be increasing. Every day I log on I check the amount of “friends” who are also on and it is steadily growing. I do add more “friends” each day of course, but the number active on the game, never goes down, always goes up.

Gold is getting cheaper
I have observed over a 6 month period that more gold is being sold on the forum – you can easily do data analysis on this, c’mon it’s fun. I put this down to more people playing the game, mining, crafting, selling, that supply has outpaced demand. Causing the price to fall.
You could argue that this is because fewer people are willing to pay more for their gold. But people are still buying gold, $20 buys you 100k gold.
Again you can do a bit of analysis on this and note how much gold is sold per week by observing when items are declared sold. This is not definitive as we have to trust the poster, but it’s the only data available.

H0w much is SOTA worth
I have no idea, this question was asked in my guild chat yesterday and I suggested “something is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it”. I pointed out that this is not just a trite saying but a law of economics, https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Economics , which was first said by Publilius Syrus, over 2,000 years ago.
SOTA has some serious assets and a serious player fanbase and any figure would be wild conjecture especially if future earnings are taken into account.

An interesting angle to take is to look at the size of the market in real money trades, the amount of in-game gold being earned by players daily, and the amount of lot taxes being paid by players to SOTA. This is the tasty data.

The thriving economy indicates that people are playing Shroud of the Avatar, not only that but the numbers appear to be increasing.

This indicates that the economy of SOTA is sound and is increasing in value. This is one reason why people continue to play the game, not only is it fun but it gives people the chance to become rich in a virtual economy that has a real life value too. I don’t think it’s about greed, but more about keeping score. Perversely it may appear that real money is gamifying a game, when usually it’s the other way around.

This is certainly worth more investigation.

But why do people play Shroud of the Avatar?
What do you think?

 

This was a post I originally published on the Shroud of the Avatar forums, here

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