The Weekly Raid: Where Are You On The MMORPG Economy Hierarchy

One of the unique properties of MMORPGs as compared to other genres is the social and economy hierarchies present in their persistent worlds. We all start at the bottom, but how high and how fast we rise is only tangently related to the hours we put into a game.

We all know the perpetual peasant, the friend whose played since launch but is still broke, in a no-name guild, and mostly does solo content. On the other end are the top tier guild leaders who command vast groups of players in combat (either PvE raids or PvP battles), and who have vast resources at their disposal. Most of us fall somewhere in between these extremes. We are part time gathers, crafters, and monster farmers. Some of us dabble in auction house flipping or merchant work.

Where do you fall in this hierarchy? I often find myself in the upper half, as a wealthy independent merchant. While I have no where near the power of the top guild leaders or officers, I usually achieve the highest luxury goods available in a game. This includes large houses, rare equipment, and so on.

While some games are more conductive to economic/social hierarchies than others, we've seen a diminishing of this sort of scope in recent MMORPGs. With trade restrictions, and other restrictions becoming the norm, our ability to explore different social experiences in MMORPGs has, sadly, diminished. Luckily we have a slate of MMORPGs currently under development to counter this trend. These include Star Citizen, Chronicles of Elyria, Dual Universe, and many others.

Lifelong gamer always looking for the next virtual adventure. I'm still waiting for the next big MMORPG. Until then, you can find me hopping between multiple games.

  • Feto

    I mostly play MMOs as a singleplayer game with raids, lol. I prefer spending time getting stronger or doing some achievements when there's nothing else to do rather playing the auction house. I feel like it takes a lot of time to figure it out and I rather spend that time doing some dungeons or whatever.

    In most games the gear or thing you can buy with ingame gold aren't the best or worth it, most of them are cosmetics or don't affect your character stats, and as a person that isn't really that much into looking especially unique, well, there's no need for gold. In WoW I tried to get the mount achievements or the rare mount on dungeons but never even thought of spending gold on the "premium" mounts that costs stupid amount of gold.

  • Whether it's Ultima Online, Final Fantasy XIV, or World of Warcraft I've personally always been the guy to play the auction house of find other schemes to make moolah. In FFXIV i ran a player casino and made ~800M gil running it. Played the marketboard a bit to raise money to begin too. I find the money gathering aspect of an MMO it's own little game and enjoy it quite a bit!

    • ivan_

      with a small loan on 1m gil... lolol

  • ivan_

    tl;dr: In MMOs I'm typically the frontline/footsoldier in group PvP. I follow orders to a T (in games) so I crave a good leader. Money, gear, class - all depends on what the group/leader needs. Outside of that I mostly just play through any content like a casual lol.

    Even though I despise GW2 now, my best MMO memory was GW2 WvW (server vs. server PvP). My guild was pretty new on this server (mostly people who transferred out of the top-tier servers due to lag/free transfer option), but it was led by an experienced raid caller from WoW. This guy was so proficient at the game that he could micro-manage a group of 16 players (8 classes at the time, he called each class' skills out before they needed to be popped, which is insane when you're busy microing your own character/tanking hits from 40+ other players). Live action, no predictable AoE circles/breaks like in raids. And as a group of 16 we consistently wiped groups of 40+ players, sometimes even other organised guilds too (our proudest kills). At one point we were just roaming the map, big enemy groups were just loot to us lol.

    At one point, the server's main guilds (the ones who run big organised groups of 40-50 into server PvP) called us for help in fights because we could wipe big groups so much better than they could.

    It's funny Erhan described the hiring CEOs that can lead well in video games, because it was (spoiler alert?) almost the exact same thing that happened in Ender's Game (except with business/guild it was an army, and the kid was tricked into commanding real people in battle)