Feb 262013


Photo-Receptor Focus on: Time & Money Sinks

By Maer

Despite all the so-called logical reasons for money and time sinks in MMOs, I must say I find them terribly annoying. Unfortunately, I think MMOs operate the under mistaken assumption that players have endless stockpiles of both. And those misguided assumptions could easily be changed. In fact, Bioware is making an effort to rectify one area that recently exploded and we can hope it will be enough.

More after the jump…


First off, money sinks like the current outrageous repairs in SWTOR are being addressed by Bioware. But until the fix actually goes in, I’ll have no way to judge if it is indeed a fix.

But money sinks in general assume a player is busily out there earning a disposable fortune and that they can easily afford the money sinks. Someone like me, who is only playing for operations, a little alt leveling now and then, and hanging out chatting with friends in-game isn’t going to make much money. That means I’m forced to sell things or make time to do dailies. And dailies are something I’m not fond of in this game.

The brand new dailies really don’t take a lot of time. However, they don’t offer anything new, either and that makes them just another grind. One that I’m not willing to do at this time.

That brings up the other issue of time sinks. The assumption that players have endless amounts of real life time to invest is naïve at best. There are so many players these days who simply don’t have the time to do endless dailies or extremely long Flashpoints or Operations. So, their solution is to not do them at all. That translates to their not having as high of a disposable income as someone who dutifully does all their dailies every day.

Bottom line, the casual raider is not going to be able to succeed at either the money or the time sink game. That’s been true in all MMOs, but has been painfully true in SWTOR. At least it seems more difficult to me.

I’d love to see Bioware add in better loot tables and credits on all the Flashpoints and Ops, as well as lowering the costs of services like repairs. Terror From Beyond started out with awesome loot and credits, but the cost of repairs has seriously impacted even that Ops. However, the success of TFB should be a guide for future Ops. For time, content and for loot. Here’s hoping we get more Ops like that and less time and money sinks.

That’s my two credits. What’s yours?



  3 Responses to “My Two Credits: Time & Money Sinks”

  1. I tend to agree with you.

    Having both RSI and a very full time job, I must confess that I have just costed up the time to do dailies vs my overtime rate, and I often just end up buying cartel coins, turning them into packs and flogging the packs on the gtn. I can then afford to buy the kit that allows me to play with my friends.

    I know there are major problems with this approach and that it is rewarding bioware, but frankly it is cheaper to spend one hour doing overtime than a whole evening doing dailies that I don’t want to do.

  2. If you don’t have money sinks the economy suffers greatly. You run the risk of out of control inflation. Just can’t go there. I’m also a casual gamer and have no problem with it.

  3. In Game Economy and Inflation? Seriously? First off, I don’t believe in the concept of “In Game Economies” and “In Game Inflation”. Who cares? What does it matter to anyone if I have 10Mil Credits? This isn’t the real world. But let’s compare a moment. Remember back in the 90’s the “experts on the Economy” said the Economy needed to “slow down” Guess what? It has definitely slowed down, people have less money, and prices are UP! It’s a game, it’s supposed to be FUN, not work. There is no good reason anyone can give for it being necessary to do the Ilum and Belsavis (original) dailies for 3 hours, so that you might com out a few credits ahead after a 3 hour raid when learning the mechanics of the raid. After their wonderful “money sink, I started a raid with 200k Credits, and while trying to learn how to beat the first bosses, in 16 person Hard Mode, it cost me 120k to repair. My rewards for the effort? -120k Credits.

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