Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Real Massive Trash: A Theory...

The RMT is continuing to run amok all over Vana'diel. I got a couple comments from ixthyse on my previous post, discussing further on the implications of the current state of the price of gil.

(I got another tell today, asking $19 for a million gil. It was $48 from a similar source in February.)

I've had various people question whether it is Supply Up or Demand Down.

If demand were down, eventually, they would give it up and go on to something else (an MMO which is more permissive to RMT, perhaps??).

Especially with the number of RMT tells that people are getting (and you can't think that these people can get to every prospective "customer" character with every RMT tell-er), you'd have to think that a massive number of characters would be required.

So, I got to thinking after I saw the comments by ixthyse, after he proposed that some of the explosion in Water Crystal prices is due to the necessity of Silent Oils for ACP 11 (he'd be right, but, unless you're going up twice anyway for the fight, why not just do as I did and use Dancer for Spectral Jig to save a few gil?)...

One of the major hypotheses out there (which ties in not only the runners in Bastok Mines NPCing God knows how much stuff -- and you've heard about this a lot if you've read up on some of this -- but also a massive infrastructure of characters, apparently) is a gardening scheme.

Basically, there are many hundreds of characters (probably on each server) who are gardening for Wildgrass, and, given the right situation, could yield upwards of five to six digits if their luck is right.

Multiply that by an explosive number of characters, and you can see why gil is now down to about $20-25 a million for these illegal fuckers.

So I got to thinking, as I said, and came up with the following situation:

These RMT schemes are hyper-sophisticated, and they have people with them who are alert to what Square-Enix is trying.

Instead of Square-Enix' one-tree approach (the RMT PWNER 1.337), these guys have TWO trees. One for the gil, and one for the farming of the gil. The RMT PWNER would have to go up one further level to basically find out where the people selling the gil got the gil, and, at least to this point, it does not sound like they have been successful.

For this is what I've been able to discern is the life of a Dispose-a-Character:

-- Dispose-a-Character is born, using the trial system. No credit card appears to be required -- for, if one were, that might be the source of such massive CC fraud that the entire payment system for FFXI might be kiboshed.

-- Dispose-a-Character receives necessary gardening materials from the previous Dispose-a-Character, who then completes their cycle.

-- Dispose-a-Character then continues the cycle of farming gil -- not only through gardening, but probably through other means as well.

-- Once Dispose-a-Character begins to run out of time on his/her trial account, Dispose-a-Character then hands their stuff off to the next Dispose-a-Character tier...

-- And then begins to advertise for the RMT, gets GM'ed, banned, etc.

Do you see how useless this is unless Square-Enix can smash this criminal enterprise, especially if hundreds of such characters are involved per server at any one time??

(This might also explain the bullshit over the "2,000,000 characters!!" claim that Square-Enix made a while back.)

It's time to go beyond banning the characters, but banning the people behind them (as I said back in January with the massive bannings!!!)...


Kimiko said...

Ok, so I did some more research over on FFXIclopedia. I think we're both in agreement that this is indeed a gardening scheme of some sort, most likely using wildgrass seeds as the source, they are the only seeds that I'm aware of that can be planted and grown within the 2 week time span (6 days from start to finish). Also, the reason for these operations going on in Bastok Mines is easy enough, you have a vendor practically outside the mog house, and the guy that sells brass flowerpots in the zone as well. It's an extremely efficient setup. As for water crystal prices, well... look at what else can be grown from pants. Catch my drift?

What worries me though is the rapid drop in price that you mentioned. From $48 just 4 months ago to now around $19, that tells me their nearly ready, or have already begun dumping that gil into the economy. If that's the case, then this summer may well be a repeat of 2005's hyper-inflation. Why the STF has to this point done nothing to stop it is beyond my comprehension.

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...

I think the hyperinflation has already started.

I'll give you one further example: Sole Sushi. I usually will get a stack to aid me in Dynamis -- and usually have seen prices somewhere in the 22-23-25K range.

Last night, before the Dynamis, I go in, and it's 30K. Something is giving me the feeling that the hyperinflation has started again, and that the gil is already going into the system.

Kimiko said...

A 5k jump could just be supply/demand though, I wouldn't worry about that yet. What I am concerned about is the price of Boyahda Moss of recent. Originally on siren you could get this for around 8-9k a stack, within the last month it's skyrocketed to over 30k a stack. That's a bad sign in my book if you ask me. =(

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...

I see what you are saying, Kimiko. I guess the only real difference is that the price of a stack of Sole Sushi on Leviathan seemed a consistent22-24K, and now it's jumped to 30K...

Why has the STF not done something about some of this? See my MANY comments about that I don't believe Square-Enix really cares about FFXI anymore.

ixthyse said...

As far as the price of sole sushi goes, it stays consistent for a while until something happens. Just off the top of my head, RMT fishbots are likely well down in occurrence now since they're dumping resources into the gardening scheme, and most 100 fishers don't touch black sole on their own because it's dirty RMT fish.

Also, the popular free fish bot I've seen has recently been changed in permissions to only allow players who were invited to use it and are level 50+ to make use of it.

These two factors would combine to create a fairly large reduction in the amount of available black sole, thus driving the price up, which limits the available quantities of sole sushi, and in turn drives that price up...

When something's inflated, first thing you should look at is available supply, generally speaking if it's something bought as often as Sole Sushi, any supply under 20-30 stacks are going to face some sort of inflation/price gouging.

tl;dr: I wouldn't read too much into the price of sole sushi jumping, it's subject to normal market fluctuations and I'm sure the price will settle back down shortly.

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...

Here's the problem I have with that:

That's a fairly consistent 20-30% jump (depending on where you look) from where it had basically established a baseline on my server.

Those jumps don't just "happen".

Here's what I think also happens, once the planting takes place.

The RMT, especially in the case that (I believe you hypothesized this...) demand is down, have a tremendous amount of gil over the course of time.

What's to say they don't pick certain gateway items (of which Sole Sushi would be one), and corner the market on them, driving the price up -- voila, inflation (hyperinflation in extreme cases).

I don't think RMT _fishers_ have much to do with that. I think that's another way they can get their paws into the economy and really screw things up.

And you talk of the demand for Sole Sushi -- one does have to wonder, if it does get down to 20 or less, who's buying it?

ixthyse said...

20-30% is a sensationalist number and we both know it... it was 8k. If you've ever tried to synth sole sushi, you would know it takes 6 synths to make a stack and the process is barely break even anymore. You make your money on the HQs which you have to be relatively lucky to get.

I'm a 98 cook, and when I see the supply of sole get down on them, I look to jack the price up. It's a lot of effort gathering materials and such and that actually makes it worth my while.

As far as the cornering the market on something goes, it's not worth their while. The thing about their new tactic is that it uses disposable accounts that they have no intention of levelling. It's too time/cost inefficient to take characters to jeuno and then have them try to corner the market on something with a turnover rate as high as sushi. They can do it on low-supply items but Sole Sushi? It's not worth the time or effort.

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...

I love comment moderation, by the way...

ixthyse: I can go from what I saw on my server -- 20-30% is the actual jump in Sole Sushi if you get it to 30K (depending on whether you take it from a 22-23K baseline or a 25K baseline).

The thing is that you aren't trying to jack it up _that much_, which is why you say that the percentage I gave (from observation) is sensationalistic.

Vis-a-vis the Dispose-a-Characters, you also don't take into account the possibility that the hierarchy (as I said, I believe there are multiple "trees" of characters involved in this racket) has enough "Jeuno-ready" characters in it to attempt a cornering of the market.

I truly believe these rackets literally have THOUSANDS of characters _per server_.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you look at stacks of black sole on Levi, and compare it cross server, sole itself is just really expensive on there. Mathwise, it comes out to about the same profit per synth as most other servers.

So most likely, you actually have less fishermen on there, hence the high price of sole. High amounts of RMT generally tends to bring down the price of consumables as they do everything in huge amounts and just try and get rid of it as fast as possible. Though there's always the chance someones price fixing the black sole on there, I'd have to actually be on your server to know that. It definitely doesn't look like inflation.

And a random comment about the boyahda moss, I noticed that at least some of the poeple buying boyahda moss are the same as the water crystal people. Maybe they're using it for fame for the throwaway characters to do some quests or something.