Many words have been spoken about the nature of the new Noble Exchange and EVE’s new “real money” currency, Aurum (compare: Farmville Bucks, Frontierville horseshoes, Wizard 101 crowns, etc.), but let me illustrate an example that really shows how ridiculous this is, based on another avatar environment with which I’m intimately familiar…Second Life.
Let’s start with an example from the NEX, the men’s “Sterling” dress shirt. It looks very snazzy indeed. It’s cost is 3600 AUR. Now we know that, from CCP’s official documentation, 1 PLEX = 3500 AUR, and also that 2 PLEX = 1 GTC = US$34.99. So the shirt’s cost is approximately 1.0286 PLEX, or approximately 0.5143 GTC, or about US$17.99.
Meanwhile, from Second Life, I give you the Blaze “Columbia” men’s tuxedo. I own one of these, and I can vouch for the fact that it is really well-made and looks snazzy as all hell. (Blaze is well-known as a purveyor of quality formal wear for men and women in Second Life, and has been for years.) Now, mind you, this is not just a shirt, but a full tuxedo with shirt, pants, tie, and jacket. It costs L$470 (Linden Dollars, the native currency of SL). According to the latest LindeX market fix, the L$ is currently trading at L$250 = US$1. Given that, this tuxedo retails for…US$1.88.
$17.99 for a shirt, versus $1.88 for a complete tux.
Value proposition for NEX goods: Minimal.
CCP: Clueus lackus.
I thought you were better than that, you guys.
UPDATE: Comparing women’s wear is even more indicative of the scope of FAIL we’re talking about here. The women’s “Impress” skirt sells for the same amount of Aurum as the men’s shirt, i.e. AUR 3600 or US$17.99. The most expensive Blaze evening gown I could find is the “Grace” gown, a stunning number complete with shawl, gloves, and undergarments, plus a matching tux vest for the lady’s escort, all for L$700. Now, US$17.99 equals about L$4497, so you could literally buy half a dozen of the finest evening gowns in SL, with change left over, for the same price as one not-particularly-dressy skirt on the Noble Exchange. Hell, even the finest wedding dresses in SL rarely cost more than that one skirt from the NEX would.