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Inane Wanderings
A blog about....well about....something. Really.
Too Rare Is Too Much
In most of the daily RIGs, the only items that people actually are the rarest items. The theory here is that you will keep buying RIGs until you get what you want.

But given the prices, I don't think that's working any more.

Again, I don't have have hard numbers, but I watch the MP. It's not baseball season yet (less than four weeks to spring training! yay!) and it's far more interesting than pro basketball or this year's "Who Cares" edition of the Super Bowl.

In the past, once enough daily RIGs were opened, the price of the rare pet/item/whatever would come down some. It would still be hella expensive, but there would be enough of them in the MP to bring it down from the Exosphere to maybe the Stratosphere. Hard to get, but not impossible.

But now, this isn't happening. If there are any of them on the market, they stay in the trillions.

My best guess is that it's a combination of three things. First is a really poor drop rate. I do look at some of the daily RIG lists to see what the poor saps buying these items are actually receiving, and the trend over time appears to be more crap and less desirable items. This is driving off sales. I see people who I know spend tons of cash on these things (because they're posting a lot about what they got) say "did 10 of these, got crap, not buying any more".

Here's the thing about intermittent reinforcement: you DO have to dole out rewards. And not just eventually, but enough to keep hope up. If you space them out far enough, eventually the experimental subjects will come to the conclusion that there are no more rewards, and wander off. I expect a number of people have done just that.

Second is the scarcity that goes hand in hand with above - poor drop rate combined with poor purchase rate. Yup, good old supply and demand. Even if they're priced ridiculously, if there are only a few, you only need a few buyers.

And third is that due to selling gold generators, there ARE people who can afford things at those silly prices.

It all combines to reinforce the "cash is everything, and hope you like to gamble" philosophy of the new Gaia. It's great if you have lots of money that you don't mind flushing down a virtual toilet, but for those of us with spouses, houses, cats, and nail polish habits to support, it isn't happening.

Without hope, without reinforcement, without that warm squidgey feeling of renting some pixels for your avatar in a shape you really, really like, Gaia becomes really boring. Why bother grinding when the items you want aren't just out of reach, they don't exist? And you can't bring them into existence?

Yes, some people hang on. That's why there are still players here. But others? Gone.

You can't just take forever, Gaia. You do eventually have to give something back. That's why WE'RE here.

a few short thoughts
For the half dozen or so of you who still play my tank, yes, I am letting the already low end quality of the tank sink even further down in mud. As I mentioned in a previous journal entry I am basically too lazy to go look up, I added in some better fish for my own amusement and that of those who still play my tank (and I thank you, each and every one) over the holiday season.

The holiday is past, and so have most of those fish. So it's back to mostly cheapshit fish mostly because I just don't want to spend any energy or time caring about my glows.

Please don't confuse this with not having better fish; I do, actually. Quite a few of them. I just don't want the responsibility for them in my tank. Many of them are slowly finding new homes with better tanks.

Also thinking about aquariums, I remembered a conversation in some forum in another with one of the developers shortly after the Booty Grab CAPTCHAs were put in place to discourage botting. (I say "discourage" rather than "prevent" because botters have more time than Gaia does.)

I had written that satire of Jonathan Swift's satirical piece "A Modest Proposal" about how if CAPTCHA was so effective, it should be used more in Gaia, like before every time someone used a ring in zOMG. Of course I wasn't serious. I got my wrist slapped anyway. It stung for oh, half a femtosecond or so. Whatever.

But one of the points made by some developer or other was that zOMG didn't need CAPTCHA because it had been designed from the gitgo to have anti-botting measures in place. Booty Grab was not, so it was far more vulnerable and needed this.

What's rubbing me the wrong way is that even though it was asserted that zOMG had security in place from day one, it's zOMG that's gone for security reasons and Booty Grab is still, if not alive, at least kicking around.

I'm not calling bullshit on Gaia because I would have to do a lot more research, starting with finding that conversation. But it's still one of those things that makes you go hmmmm.

And finally, anyone know anything about London or Paris, mostly from the tourist side? It looks like we're really going to be able to plan the trip, and sorting through conflicting information is hard, so I keep asking people who have actually been there and done that for their experiences. It can't hurt.

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