I was hanging out in EQ2 checking sales and the like when I happened to notice the comment on the right – the one at the bottom of the screen shot where the person was talking about how much they would sell their EQ2 character for if they were ever offered. It got me thinking about the monetary value of characters – not from the perspective of say, selling them on the bazaar for real life money – but from a personal perspective. An emotional price tag if you will. What exactly are our characters worth to us? For myself in particular, it was a difficult thing to think about. Why? Because I have so many characters spread throughout so many games. I had to look at it on a game-by-game basis.
For example, EverQuestII. My characters (I have a lot) don’t have the greatest of gear. They don’t have raid gear, they don’t have mythicals. They have a LOT of hours dedicated to them though, and I put a lot of time and care into each one, especially the ones over level 80. Of course I’d never sell them for real, but if I were to associate a price with the account in general, it would probably be somewhere around the $10,000 mark. Keep in mind this is an emotional price tag. Do I honestly think my account is worth that much and would I really sell it for such an outrageous price? No, of course not. It’s simply what the account is worth to me.
Wow, why on earth so high? Well because of the memories and years associated with it. Those characters are not just characters to me. It’s not that easy to part with it. I know that if I ever DID sell them, I’d be remiss for the rest of my gaming time. Constantly wondering about those characters I gave up. Lets say that the person purchasing the characters decided to strip them all, or betray, or change crafts and basically erase the hours and hours of work that you had already provided. They have no emotional attachment to the account, so feel no qualms in doing this. It’s not just a character that I’ve created and leveled up – not for that game at least. It’s five years of my life, five years of friends (and family) of ups and downs. Yes. I place an emotional price tag on the character. That’s what it is, it’s not what I actually think the account is worth because lets face it no one is going to pay that – but it’s what I personally think the account is worth to me.
Now take a different game, lets say Vanguard. I’ve put in only two years of time and have significantly less characters. I’m a few levels away from the cap. I have a good guild there but no steady friends who continue to play. The account is worth less emotionally to me then my EQ2 account. The price I associate with that one is significantly less.
I didn’t play EQ as much as some others. I played for a solid year before EQ2 came out and then switched games. I’ve played EQ off and on since then but I don’t have the history that others may have. I expect that their emotional attachment to the game and to their characters would be significantly higher then mine – now, if you’re not currently playing the game and have no desire to ever return to said game do you lower your emotional price tag? I’m really not sure.
Those were my rambling thoughts of the morning in any case. I’m always interested in people’s thought process, and would love to hear any comments anyone may have. I’ll post a regular gaming post in a little bit!