This article is meant to examine an aspect of the MMO Game, Entropia Universe. Entropia is unique in that you can transfer in-game assets to an out-of-game paycheck if you so desire. In Entropia, there are several professions that utilize combat mechanics in game to make their living. Often, these professions are designed to be as economic as humanly possible, in order to maximize profit. This article hopes to take a short semi-academic look into this aspect of the game.
One of the essential parts of this group of combat professions is the use of Laser Weaponry. These weapons are cheap from the onset of the game, have traditionally higher ranges, and faster reload times, thus they often become the weapon of choice for inexperienced hunters. However, few hunters seem to use this weapon, or its amplification equipment seriously. The correct application of a Laser Amplifier is the sign of a professional in this sub-set of combat professions.
The specific Amplifier I will discuss, is the A101, as it is probably the best weapons amplifier in the whole game. The Amplifier adds 3 damage to a laser carbine (usually the Sollomate Opalo), which is a significant increase to the Opalo's capabilities, which drives it solidly into the lower end of the mid-range field of weaponry. However, it's not the amount of damage that it does that is significant, it is the fact that the A101 boasts an economy of 4.601 Damage to every 1 pec spent.
This is remarkable considering that the Sollomate Opalo is considered on the higher end of economy, and has only an econ rating of 2.71 Damage to every 1 PEC. However, once the amplifier is added, the economy jumps to 2.85 Damage to every PEC spent. Add in the fact that the laser rifle is also able to dispatch enemies much quicker (thereby preventing them from damaging your avatar as much), the improved efficiency of the amplifier is marked.
In truth, given what one expects of the Entropian economy, you might expect that for the ability to neutralize pray faster, that you might be penalized with a less efficient amplifier. In some cases, this is exactly what happens, but not in the case of the A101. The A101 markedly improves weapon economy, damage dealt per minute, and so forth.
However, there is one drawback. The A101 has a Mark-Up of well over 100 PED (10 USD). This makes the amplifier expensive and rare, and many people disregard the A101 as a piece of over-hyped ‘newbolotry'.
However, this is far from the case. Firstly, the A101 is unlimited, so it can be repaired and reused an infinite number of times, without ever losing the piece. Also, the mark-up doesn't affect the condition of the item, or vice-versa. So the price of the Amp is actually its markup, plus whatever happens to be left in its condition value, which is subject to depreciation. This markup isn't subject to depreciation, and for the last year that I've had my Amp, I've only actually seen it rise.
Thereby, owning this UL Amp becomes like having equity in a house (albeit much smaller). I figured out, during my first repair, that the growth in Markup of this piece of equipment was 7 PED higher than the repair cost. Not only did the item make me a more efficient hunter, not only did it allow me to kill prey quicker, but literally within the first month of the use of it, the Amplifier had paid itself off with its own markup. I wouldn't dare put that on any financial sheet, but the fact remains.
As a result, if anyone asks my opinion on this subject, well, it depends upon the person I'm speaking with. If I like them, I tell them about my research, and what I think. And lets just say, if you've wronged me in the past, I'm happy to ‘help you liquidate that stupid amp'; of course, it being so stupid, I can't pay full markup, or even 80%, as I'm doing you a ‘favor'.