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Aftermath of Greed

Well, Issue 9 was released even more "very soon" than I thought it would be.  After a busy day of constant playing, I can say with some satisfaction that there hasn't been any blood (as earlier predicted).  However, three has been quite a bit of utter cluelessness.

At the time of this writing my newbie character, who hasn't even reached level 20 yet, has earned over 30 million influence points. I'm already set for life with less than 20 hours played on this character. If I were into real money trade, IGE would sell me that much influence points for over $100.00. (Although they're not buying any influence for any game but WoW and EQ right now, so I can't claim that I earned $100 in a day. I hate RMT anyway - it ruins games.)

It's ludicrous, really. Many players of City of Heroes have lost perspective on the value of an influence point. The reason is because, for three years now, getting to level 50 would continue to award influence points but there was nothing to spend them on. The auction houses and invention system changes that, and this is why there's now tens of hundreds of thousands of City of Heroes influence points exchanging hands over the loot a level 1 player can find.

The new costume pieces dwarf my shrewd transactions. The Tech Wings, which I was really hoping to get for my character, were being traded at about 25,000,000 Influence. Sometimes more. Yet, costume pieces fall freely at any level. For example, some Piston Boots I sold for 10,000,000 Influence were found while fighting level 10 mobs.

Turns out the Republicans were right all along: the dribble-down theory works. If the rich folk are totally clueless, or else infused with an irrational desire to be ZOMG the first guy with Tech Wings in the Super Group! I expect to see the market stabilize soon, sometime between a week or two months from now, and I wonder if it will come with a lot of buyer's remorse from my level 50 brotheren. In the meanwhile, I offer the following tips to the players out there:
  1. Check the previous five transactions on an item before purchasing or selling it. This can be done by entering the name in the slot in the upper left.
  2. There will be quite a bit of fluctuation. Something selling for 500,000 in the evening may be selling for 10,000 in the morning. Take advantage of that. Consignment house transactions happen even when you're not online.
  3. Inventions are currently selling for less than the salvage it takes to make them. Expect this to reverse in time. In the meanwhile, feel free to buy cheap enhancements and sell your own unneeded salvage. Try to keep any salvage you need for your set inventions.
  4. Plans to build non-set inventions can be found for sale at the universities: don't buy them off the consignment house unless you're getting them cheaper there.
  5. Prior to level 30 or 35, set Inventions are probably the only ones really worth assembling yourself. Don't waste your salvage on non-set inventions until the market for salvage has stabilized (probably at about 2000/common, 10000/uncommon, 50,000/rare). At about the point where non-set Inventions exceed the potency of Single Origins (or dual origins between levels 15 and 20) they're worth using, but otherwise are just placeholders until you find something better.
  6. With set enhancements, pay attention to what type of set they are. Those pet type enhancements may look like incredibly good enhancements to your damage powers, but they can only be slotted on pet-like abilities (such those used by Masterminds to summon henchmen). Similarly, range attack types cannot be slotted on AOE range attack types. The logic isn't difficult, but I made both these mistakes before realizing what was going on.
  7. Sidekick and mission rewards of Dual Origin enhancements under level 15 and Single Origin enhancements under level 25 will make their way to the consignment house. It's a great way to get those 20% and 40% boosts you'd have to wait for 3 under those levels to get before.
  8. Finally and most importantly: Be patient. Common salvage is called that for a reason, and what you might have paid 500,000 for on the auction house you may find 5 of, by accident, while performing your average mission.
Despite my apparent chagrin over how easy it's been for me to trade my way into millions of influence points with no outside assistance, I'm actually having a lot of fun in City of Heroes right now. I've got the most compelling hero I've ever seen, and he's getting slotted up with kickass Invention "Set Enhancements" that make him even more compelling because I want to complete them all. As it is, I've already got everything I need to complete the "Curtail Speed" enhancement - everything except an additional couple levels to perform the necessary slotting. I'm expecting to go all the way to 50 with this guy - he can certainly afford it.
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