A peek at the Elder Scrolls Online economy

Until recently, we have heard only bits and pieces of how the Elder Scrolls Online economy will work. Developers claim to have a robust crafting system, and given the history of the single-player Elder Scrolls games, I can accept that. But how do I get my wares into the hands of other players? Gameplay DesignerNick Konkle spoke to Shoddy Cast about that very thing. Surprisingly, he revealed quite a bit, and although it's a very interesting listen, I don't think any MMO has tried anything like it. I'm scared and very intrigued.

Tamriel Infinium Selling your wares in Elder Scrolls Online
Guilds hold the keys to the larger economy in the 
Elder Scrolls Online. First, guilds will have stores within the guild interface to help them sell items to guild members. Guilds can also set up guild stores in Cyrodiil to trade with players outside the guild. That's right: Cyrodiil, the PvP zone. But let's tackle the intraguild store first.

I'm not sure whether this guild store that sells items only to its own members is an effort to encourage larger guilds or something else entirely. To be honest, in most guilds that I've been a part of, players did more giving away of items than they ever did selling items to each other. Perhaps this will allow guild leaders and crafting officers to better track who is taking what from the guild bank. I'm not sure.

Also, if one guild houses some of the best crafters, then I can see many players clamoring to join that one guild, especially if the best gear comes from crafting. In fact, I'd venture to say that the total number guilds in the game as a whole might become quite narrow if resources in the game end up being very limited, but the Cyrodiil stores might counter that some.

Tamriel Infinium Selling your wares in Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online will not have an auction house. Konkle explained why on Shoddy Cast:

"You don't necessarily want to do a global auction house for a game with one giant server because that generally leads to all the best gear being available at very, very cheap prices. A lot of times that can trivialize the game. You cannot have a healthy economy when there are no restrictions on getting the best stuff in the game."
So how will this be set up in ESO? In Cyrodiil, there sit keeps all over the map, and each keep can be captured by a specific faction and claimed by specific guild. Konkle was short on details about how a guild actually lays claim to a keep, but for the sake of argument, let's say that all a guild has to do is be the first one to plant its flag in the keep (although I suspect it's more complicated than that). If your guild has planted its flag in a specific keep, then your guild leader (or anyone with the correct permissions?) can set up a shop there. Again, the details are sketchy on whether this means that an individual can set up her own NPCs to sell items or there will be one store that multiple players will have access to. But the bottom line is that the guild stores will be set up in the middle of the open-world PvP zone. Color me intrigued.

Obviously, this means that the keeps closest to the starting area of each faction will likely be the most contested within the faction itself because they are likely to be the easiest to get to. However, Konkle mentioned that it will still be easy enough for players to get to other keeps because of the teleport system. Does that mean that players will be able to jump directly from one keep to the next or from the starting area to an outer keep quickly? That could have consequences on not just the economic game but also PvP in general.


Sell Elder Scrolls Online wares for real money