So Bort has been tweeting:
Brainstorm with me! If we wanted to reduce EC inflation in STO, the game needs sinks for that currency which are Meaningful, Desirable, Repeatable, and Accessible. What ideas do you have that might meet all 3 of those?
I don't tweet, so I thought I would respond hear, and give others the opportunity to chip in too.
Right now the game has five currency types:
- Dilithium: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and is caped.
- Energy Credits: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and are not caped.
- Zen: Rewards contributing to the maintenance and development of the game.
- Marks: Reward time spent playing specific content, and are not caped.
- Lobi: Rewards repeated failure and frustration.
Four of these currencies can be used to acquire 'end game' equipment in a manner which leads to the consumption of the currency. Energy Credits are different, in that when we use them to obtain 'end game' equipment we trade them to another player, so the energy credits traded persist and we get inflation.
To address this inflation we could just have another tax in the form of a rep/fleet project bar to fill up. But no one likes tax, and with the continue event cycle causing us to play STO like a job instead of a game already, I don't think it will have a positive impact on the playbase. It also wont be as effective as it was in the past, given that it must now also counter the influx of extra EC we are all making through personal endeavors.
We could also have an NPC sell us something for a lot of EC that we will all want.
If its a consumable of some kind then it could continue to do its job of countering inflation into the future which is grate. BUT a consumable brings a couple of problems. If its a consumable that doesn't have a large effect, then we won't buy it and it wont work. If it has a large effect then it will contribute to power creep(unless its cosmetic, like a holo emitter). On the other hand if its a consumable that is required for some reason, such as making imposible content possible, then people will either not run said content, or feel that its just another tax.
If its a non consumable then it has to be able to compete with the 'end game' gear we already have access to from the other currencies, and won't continue to act as a sink perpetually as a consumable would. However I think people would probably react a lot more positively to it.
Personally I would like to see something that encourages the flow of EC from old timers like myself, to newbies. I don't just want my EC to be worth more. I want a reason to trade it to new players who need more. So my suggestion would be to add something to the loot table, that drops rarly, and can be used along with EC to obtain something else.
Newbies spend more time actively playing the game then I do these days. Its still new and fresh for them, so they don't just log in to do dailies. Spending more time playing, means they have more time to get drops then I do. So if i want some new shiny thing I might go to the exchange and buy the drop from them. Then turn it into whatever the shiny thing I want is, at the NPC.
The idea is that with a two step system (trade EC on exchange, then spend EC and Drop at NPC) we both remove excess EC from the economy, and encourage the movement of EC within the economy, which is also important.
The one downside to the drop system is that although I don't play as much, I can get the same number of loot drops a newbie might get in an hour by spending ten minutes in the right place putting out massive DPS. So to make this work and stop me doing that there would need to be some sort of per player(player not character. Oldies like me have many many character slots) drop limit... one per hours max or something like that.