Friday Night Story

Honest Day’s Playbor

I work nights so I can be online at peaktime in America, because that’s where the money’s at (mainly because gold sells for two and a half times in the US market than it does in the European). Most people would probably call me a farmer, though I’ve never worked a field a day in my life, and I haven’t even spent any time “farming” for months. I work inside the virtual world of an MMORPG, though most days I don’t make it out of the auction house.

The key to turning a profit in the AH is price control. The market is largely a monopoly, since there’s only one action house. If the price rises, you can’t just take your business across the street, you have to take the high price or leave it. Set a price that’s high, but won’t drive business away. If anyone undercuts your price, buy up their supply and then put it back into the market with your markup. Unethical? Maybe, but it’s really just capitalism.

And the market bears it. We’ve a population rivaling Belgium, and a GDP just behind Libya, (and possibly Iraq- if you’re willing to trust the CIA over the IMF and the World Bank, but honestly, who’s foolish enough to trust the CIA these days?). But like I said, it’s a job. Our employer handles the transfer of funds from customers, and we get a paycheck. Even most of the eleven-year olds I work with had the foresight to change their wages to equivalent pounds in anticipation of the fall of the US dollar; still, they’re getting most of us for a song at ₤60 a month.

My partner and I (a dopey little gnome who supplies me with materials for my tradecraft) bring that in in a day or two when it’s lean; we’ve had hours where we brought in enough gold to cover that (usually at an exchange rate of $13/500 gold). Gnomeloq sometimes double-dips, power-leveling while he’s mat-gathering, but he’s already so ADD that it usually means that even though he’s “earning” an extra sixty bucks for the level, it cuts deep enough into his gathering that we’re less profitable. Gnomeloq is teh dildo; but he says it keeps things more interesting for him.

He rarely shows at the AH in person. I’ll usually get oddly profane dispatches through the mail with mats and items to disenchant. We haven’t played in-world together since he finished power-leveling me to gain my upper-level enchanting. We talk constantly, because his computer is opposite mine, so in essence we face each other the entire time we’re in game. We eat Pho 24 leftovers for lunch everyday, which I usually have to snag, since he has his hands full not getting raped by yetis. Our face to face conversations have consisted entirely of “Hi,” “Bye,” and “Thanks.” And frankly, I’m getting tired of waiting for him to make a move.

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