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Income Inequality In CoX


Inheritor
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In this post I'd like to shed light on the massive income difference between different types of players in CoX. In particular, I hope it puts into perspective why some people think IOs are something that only the elite have access to, and why some people treat IOs as a given for all their characters. I am categorizing the various economic classes by their highest inf-making activity. Of course, most people don't just do one thing all the time, so this just describes their ability to earn inf, not the actual inf that they do earn.

 

Radio Runners
Approximate Income: 0-1 million inf per hour
Radio missions give practically no rewards, yet for many people it is their primary activity due to the ease of joining and leaving a team. As a result, they cannot afford even the very basic of IOs unless they happen to win the drop lottery.

 

Casual Merit Earners
Approximate Income: 5-15 million inf per hour
These are people who just do normal, non-radio content, like story arcs, tip missions, or whatever task force happens to be recruiting at the time. They are not actively trying to get rich, but they are still pulling in several times the income of the radio runners because at least they aren't going out of their way to not make money. Although, some will waste merits by directly buying IOs with them rather than converters, in which case they are barely doing better than the radio runners.

 

Optimal Merit Earners
Approximate Income: 30-50 million inf per hour
These are people who do content which yields the highest merits per hour, such as Tinpex, Hamidon, Smoke and Mirrors, etc. Again, the gap in their income compared to the next lower class is a massive 5 to 10 times difference. Despite the relatively high income, they can still play fairly casually, because their way of earning inf doesn't take very much time and can be easily done with an RP character.

 

AE Farmers
Approximate Income: 100-200 million inf per hour
These people earnestly prioritize the optimal earning of inf over anything else. They work hard and are quickly rewarded with billion inf budgets with which to build their shiny TW/Bio scrappers and break the game. Considered by some to be an unfair outlier in how easily they earn inf, but even they are dwarfed by...

 

AH Overlords
Approximate Income: 500-??? million inf per hour
These are the people who use the very simple concept of buying low and selling high. They put in far less effort than AE farmers while making massively more inf. At this point inf becomes simply an abstract concept with no practical meaning.

 

Many people within a given class are unaware of the massive discrepancy between them and the class above them. This drastic income inequality, where some people can make literally a thousand times more inf than others, has a profoundly negative impact on balance discussions, particularly concerning the question "should balance ignore the existence of IOs?" Ideally, I'd like to see this income inequality reduced, perhaps by dramatically increasing the rewards earned from radios and weekly strike targets. Realistically, the top two classes will always earn too much and there's no simple or even desirable way of reigning them in.

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I don't mean this in an apathetic way but are people still seriously having difficulty buying IOs? Homecoming has made it about 10x cheaper to make god-tier builds than on live. Member when LoTG 7.5%s used to cost 30m INF PER enhancement? Now you can almost buy four for that price. Converters have also drastically lowered the price of enhancements as well. Want a bunch of rare enhancements? Buy 30 converters for 3m INF and bam you now have all the rares you want. 

 

As for balance, the easy availability of IOs and incarnate powers has made this game far less about strategy and more about overwhelming firepower, with a few exceptions e.g. Hamidon raids(even then we were able to Zerg for a while there).

 

Income inequality may still be an issue in this game but it will never go away and it is stupidly easy to make money using the AH. My live build used to cost 2 to 3bn INF to make. I can almost make three alt builds for that price now. 

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'They work hard and are quickly rewarded with billion inf budgets with which to build their shiny TW/Bio scrappers and break the game.'

 

how is it breaking the game?

how does quickly making one, as opposed to say in a few weeks, differ in such breaking?

 

 

Anyone can play buy low sell high for relatively little investment and certainly only a little time. 

 

Anyone can pick up inexpensive substitutes while leveling...typically I slot out fully at 31 here I get perma-dom, or perma hasten or whatever

 

If people have 20B infamy so what? how does it affect anything?

 

Anyone can take there 10 merits as a lowbie buy converters and sell them, then re-invest or spend.

 

As was mentioned things here are cheap...way cheaper than live AND you have the merit system, you can buy that 20M recipe/enhancer for no infamy. I'd beyotch about the merit system before people infamy amounts.

 

 

If you reaaaaly feel badly about not having big infamy you could employ one of the methods outlined. Out of all them the smallest use of one's time would be buy-low/sell high + selling <insert whatever>

 

Really I fail to see how any income inequality affects anything here. 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Inheritor said:

In this post I'd like to shed light on the massive income difference between different types of players in CoX. In particular, I hope it puts into perspective why some people think IOs are something that only the elite have access to, and why some people treat IOs as a given for all their characters. I am categorizing the various economic classes by their highest inf-making activity. Of course, most people don't just do one thing all the time, so this just describes their ability to earn inf, not the actual inf that they do earn.

 

Radio Runners
Approximate Income: 0-1 million inf per hour
Radio missions give practically no rewards, yet for many people it is their primary activity due to the ease of joining and leaving a team. As a result, they cannot afford even the very basic of IOs unless they happen to win the drop lottery.

 

Casual Merit Earners
Approximate Income: 5-15 million inf per hour
These are people who just do normal, non-radio content, like story arcs, tip missions, or whatever task force happens to be recruiting at the time. They are not actively trying to get rich, but they are still pulling in several times the income of the radio runners because at least they aren't going out of their way to not make money. Although, some will waste merits by directly buying IOs with them rather than converters, in which case they are barely doing better than the radio runners.

 

Optimal Merit Earners
Approximate Income: 30-50 million inf per hour
These are people who do content which yields the highest merits per hour, such as Tinpex, Hamidon, Smoke and Mirrors, etc. Again, the gap in their income compared to the next lower class is a massive 5 to 10 times difference. Despite the relatively high income, they can still play fairly casually, because their way of earning inf doesn't take very much time and can be easily done with an RP character.

 

AE Farmers
Approximate Income: 100-200 million inf per hour
These people earnestly prioritize the optimal earning of inf over anything else. They work hard and are quickly rewarded with billion inf budgets with which to build their shiny TW/Bio scrappers and break the game. Considered by some to be an unfair outlier in how easily they earn inf, but even they are dwarfed by...

 

AH Overlords
Approximate Income: 500-??? million inf per hour
These are the people who use the very simple concept of buying low and selling high. They put in far less effort than AE farmers while making massively more inf. At this point inf becomes simply an abstract concept with no practical meaning.

 

Many people within a given class are unaware of the massive discrepancy between them and the class above them. This drastic income inequality, where some people can make literally a thousand times more inf than others, has a profoundly negative impact on balance discussions, particularly concerning the question "should balance ignore the existence of IOs?" Ideally, I'd like to see this income inequality reduced, perhaps by dramatically increasing the rewards earned from radios and weekly strike targets. Realistically, the top two classes will always earn too much and there's no simple or even desirable way of reigning them in.

You're missing a category that is almost no effort if you know what to do. To be blunt, you need to go to the market forums and read some guides.

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1 hour ago, Inheritor said:

Ideally, I'd like to see this income inequality reduced, perhaps by dramatically increasing the rewards earned from radios and weekly strike targets. Realistically, the top two classes will always earn too much and there's no simple or even desirable way of reigning them in.

You can by upping the difficulty and weekly strike targets get double merits. 

 

It is ridiculously easy to get anything in this game with a little work. 

 

I'd prefer to put in the time and earn what I want and if that requires time to farm, run weekly's or play the game so be it.

 

Income inequality sounds more like people are getting stuff through a variety of ways and it's not fair to me argument. 

 

 

 

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The problem with the OP's premise is that they think there's something wrong with the fact that doing different activities earns inf at different rates. Of course some activities are going to make inf faster than others. As long as those activities are available for everyone (and they are - hell, even a newly-minted level 1 can start playing the AH and make bank) there's nothing wrong with that.

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And no mention of the pre-50 inequality angle?  Come on!  This is City of Heroes; it's not an end-game-only MMO.

But I think it's a fair point to make that no; not everyone is going to have scads of Inf.
There's a good question for some datamining.  What kind of Inf ARE we looking at per character and per account, Homecoming Team?  What does the situation REALLY look like under the hood?

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17 minutes ago, The_Warpact said:

You can by upping the difficulty and weekly strike targets get double merits. 

 

It is ridiculously easy to get anything in this game with a little work. 

 

I'd prefer to put in the time and earn what I want and if that requires time to farm, run weekly's or play the game so be it.

 

Income inequality sounds more like people are getting stuff through a variety of ways and it's not fair to me argument. 

 

 

Pretty much this. 👆

 

I recall in another similar thread that one of the posters that, 'not everyone plays the market' or repeatedly runs DFB, or does X, or does Y. I had to wonder what they did do in-game? Street sweep and sell their stuff to vendors?

 

If you do not avail yourself of all the tools available, you cannot then ask  for compensation for the features of the game that you choose not to use.

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There are plenty of level 50's with barely any set bonuses. There are people who argue that the game should be balanced around SOs. For these people, game balance is different. As an example, the value of powers that offer survivability is much higher because they don't have IO's softcapping their defense. The value of powers with high recharge and low uptime is lower because they don't have LotGs and perma-Hasten.

 

They *could* easily make inf, but they don't. Whatever their reason, if that leads to them being in a totally different stratosphere than the people who do take like 5 minutes a day to convert level 41 Red Fortunes to LotGs or whatever, then they're playing a totally different game from everyone else. When one group of people is playing a game where inf is an actual limiting factor, and another group can basically generate inf on tap, then they can't talk about game balance with each other.

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The fact that the people you mention have lousy builds because they don't bother to avail themselves of easily obtainable knowledge to solve their problems is nobody's fault but their own.

 

That is manifestly not an issue to be solved. There will always be people who know a game well, and those who don't bother. The people who don't bother aren't being penalized, they are merely not reaping rewards they are not chasing. It is their choice.

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As a fair point and to those dismissing the original post, you're neglecting to consider inflation.

 

The basic premise of the OP, a sound one at that, is that flooding the market with cash instantly devalues it. What was once 10 million becomes 100 million. Now, there are levers in place to counteract this, such as winter packs and seeding, to name a few. The premise is, the longer runaway inf earning goes on, bidding on purple enhances may become the game of the ultra rich. 25 mill for Armageddon? Noep, Maybe 100mill each.

 

Mexico found out the hard way in the past that printing more money doesn't lead to everyone having more value, it leads to the devaluation of a unit of currency as a means of exchange. Remember, one of the aspects of currency is it has a set value. When there is more of it, that value diminishes.

 

Now, it would probably be difficult to cause that kind of inflation here, due to the afore mentioned levers and the fact I am sure the devs would react to unchecked inflation, as they did with salvage.

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1 minute ago, SwitchFade said:

The basic premise of the OP, a sound one at that, is that flooding the market with cash instantly devalues it.

From what I've seen, there's been a fair amount of deflation in the market. There's been tons of items I've had to relist for lower prices than what they'd previously gone for, having failed to move them for months (after consistently going for at least that rate). This is at the higher end with rares, it's possible that uncommons have gone up some since I don't really pay so much attention to those.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that the farmers aren't just generating inf, they're also generating tons of recipes. Then, the people getting rich off the AH are doing so by converting buying cheap recipes/enhancements, and converting them into the rarer ones, which result in the pricier ones getting cheaper (which results in things like LotG becoming significantly cheaper, much closer to the norm price). These two combined result in the price of goods going down.

 

Items are certainly far cheaper than on live (pooling the salvage helps a ton here, as well as converters), and it's far easier to make money.

 

I don't have hard numbers, but from my experience the amount of items being generated has outstripped the rate of inf generation.

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Ah, no, my post had nothing to do with inflation. Prices have stayed mostly stable since launch, with only things that were objectively undervalued, such as converters, rising in price. The "approximate income" values are the converted inf value of the stuff farmed, not the actual inf generated. For example, playing the market obviously doesn't generate any inf, in fact it sinks inf thanks to taxes.

 

Mostly this is an informational post. For the kinds of people who think ITF is good money (it's decent xp but garbage money). For the kinds of people who think fire farms are the easiest way to get rich quick (they're not). The issue with the meta-discussion about game balance is sort of an aside. There's a reason I didn't put this in the Suggestions forum.

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44 minutes ago, Inheritor said:

There are plenty of level 50's with barely any set bonuses. There are people who argue that the game should be balanced around SOs. For these people, game balance is different. As an example, the value of powers that offer survivability is much higher because they don't have IO's softcapping their defense. The value of powers with high recharge and low uptime is lower because they don't have LotGs and perma-Hasten.

 

They *could* easily make inf, but they don't. Whatever their reason, if that leads to them being in a totally different stratosphere than the people who do take like 5 minutes a day to convert level 41 Red Fortunes to LotGs or whatever, then they're playing a totally different game from everyone else. When one group of people is playing a game where inf is an actual limiting factor, and another group can basically generate inf on tap, then they can't talk about game balance with each other.

If you're not using the IO system, inf is essentially meaningless once you reach level 50 and the only thing that really matters is being able to afford new enhancements every 5 levels as you go. In that regard, yes, perhaps inf gain below level 50 needs to be looked at to ensure players aren't struggling to keep their enhancements current. Regardless, it doesn't matter how anyone argues whether the game should be balanced around IOs or SOs or hami-Os or no-Os because both during the game's live run and here on Homecoming the developers have repeatedly stated the game isn't balanced around IOs.

8 minutes ago, SwitchFade said:

As a fair point and to those dismissing the original post, you're neglecting to consider inflation.

 

The basic premise of the OP, a sound one at that, is that flooding the market with cash instantly devalues it. What was once 10 million becomes 100 million. Now, there are levers in place to counteract this, such as winter packs and seeding, to name a few. The premise is, the longer runaway inf earning goes on, bidding on purple enhances may become the game of the ultra rich. 25 mill for Armageddon? Noep, Maybe 100mill each.

 

Mexico found out the hard way in the past that printing more money doesn't lead to everyone having more value, it leads to the devaluation of a unit of currency as a means of exchange. Remember, one of the aspects of currency is it has a set value. When there is more of it, that value diminishes.

 

Now, it would probably be difficult to cause that kind of inflation here, due to the afore mentioned levers and the fact I am sure the devs would react to unchecked inflation, as they did with salvage.

Counterpoint: Homecoming has been up for about 9 months now and inflation has been essentially nonexistent.

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2 hours ago, Chirikiti said:

 

 

Anyone can take there 10 merits as a lowbie buy converters and sell them, then re-invest or spend.

 

 

Once I learned  to convert I was never poor again...

 

The best part is I play what  ever I feel like and don't feel I have to farm for infamy.

Prices are driven down by converters. The only thing that might run short are some purple IO  driving the price up. I am sure the dev team can up the drop rate if market gets to high. Supply and demand. There is also a point where you have to much money and its pointless. Right now it seem right it only takes a google search to learn how to make money in game or ask Alexa or Siri. Life is to easy these day .  Also going to the community a new player lost 9 million at the AH on Indominable wrote to many 000 and multiple people were trying to help him out.    So inflation haven't seen it yet and community is really good  at teaching new players imo.

 

If you don't want to ask google here is the vid 

Here is the video that help me and its start with him at lvl 1. Teaches  how to get some badges to get merit then start your money making.

 

 

When I was a kid I remember when I had to walk 15 miles in the snow for a COH game card to play  a month. lol

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Edited by Ironscarlet
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There may be something to what the original post is saying. I'm not saying they are completely right or wrong.

 

Consider 17 people joined the forum in the last hour or so.

 

Spoiler

let's not get stuck on the awesomeness of the name 'LunchBucket'

 

My experience has always been there are folks playing that are happy to jump in and help a new player.

 

However,

many posts on 'how to get started' or requests by new or returning players are often hijacked by subjects like AE farms, convertor mining, comparing millions per hour, and multi-billion dollar builds.

 

I need to look for some clarity on what is meant in the quote below.  

5 hours ago, Inheritor said:

has a profoundly negative impact on balance discussions,

@InheritorTry and get a laugh out of the forum baptism you're gonna get.

 

Edited by Troo
shortened with spoiler and fixed quote
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you left out afk farming, which is what took me from the stupidly rich i was just from the converter game to ludicrously rich and basically only having influence for the purpose of giving away. All while doing chores, workouts, showers, meals, other games, reading, watching something, or playing an alt in another tab. i basically consider ridiculous piles of influence as just a side effect of getting incarnate levels for alts at this point.

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1 hour ago, Troo said:

There be something to what the original post is saying. I'm not saying they are completely right or wrong.

 

Consider 17 people joined the forum in the last hour or so.

let's not get stuck on the awesomeness of the name 'LunchBucket'

 

Back to the subject - My experience has always been there are folks playing that are happy to jump in and help a new player.

 

However,

many posts 'how to get started' or requests by new or returning players are often hijacked by subjects like AE farms, convertor mining, comparing millions per hour, and multi-billion dollar builds.

 

I need to look for some clarity on what is meant in the quote below.

  1 hour ago, golstat2003 said:

has a profoundly negative impact on balance discussions

 

@golstat2003 Try and get a laugh out of the forum baptism you're gonna get.

Please re-look at your quotes and the original posts. I never said that. The person I quoted did.

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OP is wasting time trying to write a thesis on economics in a video game that shit's out everything you need; the pace is different for some people.  Then again just playing and having fun at what ever you want to do has more worth; some don't farm cause it can be boring yet others play Wall Stre selling shares enhancements. 

"Farming is just more fun in my opinion, beating up hordes of angry cosplayers...."  - Coyotedancer

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1 hour ago, Troo said:

Back to the subject - My experience has always been there are folks playing that are happy to jump in and help a new player.

 

However,

many posts 'how to get started' or requests by new or returning players are often hijacked by subjects like AE farms, convertor mining, comparing millions per hour, and multi-billion dollar builds.

I left out the part of the post where you listed people who'd recently registered for forum accounts because while sure, someone registering a forum account is a prerequisite to them also registering a game account, you have no way of knowing how many of those new accounts are just alts of current players, and the population of these forums is a very small subset of the playerbase as a whole. As of my typing this post there are 2077 players ingame and 79 active forum accounts logged in - that's less than 4%. Fact is, most people aren't looking on the forums at all, ever, let alone new players who are trying to figure things out. If a new player is coming to the forums and asking for help they're already more interested than the vast majority of players. Besides, it seems like most of these "how to get started" threads are asking for ways to make inf and the answers that are given aren't wrong. Farm, get converters, play the market... people are asking the question and they're getting the answer.

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6 minutes ago, Outrider_01 said:

Only 2000?  Even when busiest times it can't be that many more.  I thought it was twice that a the slowest times.

Nope, that's what I'm seeing from the live status on the Discord.

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We need a Universal Basic Income, like a Homecoming dividend of 100 million influence/infamy per month for every toon that's level 18 or higher! (#yanggang)

 

I'm kidding, of course. Though if someone wanted to give me 100 million influence every month I would be perfectly fine with that. 😁

 

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56 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

Please re-look at your quotes and the original posts. I never said that. The person I quoted did.

fixed. appologies

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