IDEA: Item Exchange for Retired Items
In Colonial America, the colonists relied exclusively on bartering for their goods and services. I thought of a cute idea that I believe will not only revitalize Colonial Age and the VFK economy, but will also draw old players back to the game and keep mini-game rooms busy year-round: If Mr.Clutter opened up a barter shop in Colonial Age for users to exchange five (5) of their active Quest, Mini-Quest, Scavenger Hunt, or Mini-Game Prizes for one (1) random retired item in the respective category. This idea is very similar to our seasonal furni-exchange.
With well over a decade of items to interact with, it can be pretty intimidating joining as a new player, with no viable means of acquiring older items beyond Antique Shop events. Even older players, who have the virtual financial means, find difficulty in hunting down particular items -- pieces of retired game costumes, game furnish, game FX, quest items, or scavenger hunt prizes. What I am proposing is a method by which a newer player (or any player) can put in a considerable amount of effort and time to acquire active items, exchanging these items for a random retired item of the same variety.
So if, for example, I were to exchange any combination of five game shoes, currently the active game prize, I could potentially win a Super Dario or Princess Apricot costume piece. Or if I were to exchange five Icicle Storm Enchantments, currently the active game FX, I would have a chance at winning one random retired game FX.
Since the prize pools for each category are quite extensive, the probability of winning a particular item are slim. With over 520 quest items, the probability of winning a particular quest item would be less than two-tenths of a percent (<0.2% or 0.002), so the drawing will be a complete surprise each time, and no one item will deflate in value. This will keep the exchange fun and interesting because players will never know what they are going to get. As a result, active items will be more desirable, even if players aren't a fan of the item itself. Players will be more active so they can acquire these new releases, in an effort to exchange for something greater, or for an item they might have missed.
The whole idea is to re-introduce older, hard-to-find items in a way that doesn't damage their value, by making the player put in a significant amount of effort and time for a CHANCE at winning big. Not every exchange will be profitable, and in fact some will be rather costly (imagine exchanging five Icicle Storm FX and receiving one Shooting Stars FX). Additionally, since the items being exchanged are valuable in and of themselves, the retired item will still come at a price. I believe five items is a fair amount since for every game magic a player earns, they will earn six additional game prizes, which they can then exchange for one retired game prize. In my opinion, any more than one retired item per FX would be too excessive.
To address concerns of potential deflation and market destabilization, I would recommend excluding beta quest items from the quest item pool (anything before the first gamma quest, VFK Western Frontier Quest -- July 27, 2008), since these are the items upon which our trading system is based. I would also recommend introducing an exchange cap, similar to the seasonal furni-exchange, except much lower. Lastly, since pumpkin enchantments need the additional requirement of escaping the headless horseman/alligators, I would suggest old pumpkin enchantments would only be available during the month of October, when a new pumpkin enchantment is active.
I would love to hear any comments or critiques you have regarding this idea. I think it would be particularly funny if Mr.Clutter (who we know is a ghost), tended the barter shop, since he would be accepting items during Colonial times, and selling them back during Retro times (no wonder he has so many antiques!). Let me know what you think!