A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Collection and Expenditure


Today I’d like to talk about the collection and expenditure of resources in MMOs… specifically currency. Credits, gold, simoleons, and yes, even dilithium are currencies in games (simoleons are the unit of currency in the Sim franchise). You need it to buy things, you sometimes need it to craft things, and you’ll always always always need more of it to have the freedom to do what you want. Let me break down a bit of what I’m going through in Star Trek Online.

So, most recently I’ve reached the point where I need to get myself a bunch of dilithium so I can afford to pay for some of the things I want. For context, some of the duty officers I’d like from Lieutenant Ferra at the Academy are 6,000 and others are 12,000. I’m able to refine 8,000 dilithium ore per day while gathering 7,200 per day through PvE daily repeatables and another 550-700 depending on my skill during a dilithium mining event. That doesn’t include the incidental extras I get from duty officer missions, so I can get about 8,000+ dilithium per day if I play every day for about 2-3 hours. I don’t feel like playing EVERY day for 2-3 hours, but if you leave the daily missions in your log for a day, you can do them twice in a row… meaning every other day I invest about 4-6 hours to do what I want. I wind up with around 16,000+ dilithium ore gathered and it takes me a couple of days to refine it.

Let me explain some of the numbers here: when you reach a new commendation level for the duty officer system (let’s say Engineering), you get access to a free duty officer through Lieutenant Ferra. If you’ve hit rank 1 or 2, you can get a green Uncommon one for free. If you’ve hit rank 3, you can get a blue Rare one, and if you’ve hit rank 4, you can get a purple Very Rare duty officer. There are five available to choose from each time. By reaching these ranks, you can also purchase (for dilithium) the other officers available to that rank of commendation. Green Uncommon officers are worth 1,000 each, blue Rares are worth 6,000, and purple Very Rares are worth 12,000. The other day I’d just hit rank 4 in Engineering, so I got one of the five Very Rares for free and then noticed I needed 48,000 dilithium to purchase the other four. I’d like them on my ship, so I sat up straight and started to work towards getting them.

If you want something badly enough, and the methods to get there aren’t too terrible, you just get to it. In STO, I can generate about 1-1.5 million credits every time I do a Tour the Universe event run and about 16,000+ dilithium every other day in a double run of dailies. I remember when playing Star Wars Galaxies that I had the worst time getting credits early on in the game. I’m not sure what was going on there, but generally when I’m playing MMOs (STO is the exception) I tend to run a bit on the poorer side of things because I like to keep all my equipment updated and I don’t like to spend my time doing the whole “grind-a-thon” for cash. I just want to PLAY THE GAME without getting bogged down in this boring drive for money. Why is this different in STO this time around? Well, I LIKE flying my ship around and shooting badguys with the equipment I set up for it. It’s my ship, it’s my build, it’s my playstyle, and I have a lot of fun doing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s repetitive as I don’t do it every day, and I always tell myself that if I don’t feel like doing it, I don’t have to. Somehow they hit upon something great… I’ll always like seeing my ship swoop away from an exploding enemy and the satisfaction of firing off a torpedo spread into a group of frigates is… yeah. I’m definitely a fan.

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, credits are relatively easy to come by but even easier to spend. Here’s a list of the ways you can gain credits:

  • Quests/Flashpoints
  • PvP
  • Space Missions
  • Selling Loot
  • Getting Lockboxes from Mission Skills

Here’s a list of how you can spend credits:

  • Repairing Equipment (PvE)
  • Sending your Companion on Missions (all gathering/mission skills require an investment per assignment)
  • Buying From Vendors
  • Buying from the Auction Hall
  • Purchasing Skills (upgrades too)
  • Purchasing Legacy Perks
  • Starting/Expanding a Guild Bank
  • Expanding Inventory/Cargo Hold

Some of the ways to gain credits give you anywhere from a few tens to a few thousand. Some of the ways to spend credits can go from a few tens to a few MILLION. My friends and I were looking at the Legacy expenditures recently and we were a bit stunned by the 5 million credits it takes to get an Auction Hall terminal on your ship. Admittedly, it’s not that necessary and I probably don’t want it, but that’s expensive! Also, to start your guild bank, you need 600,000 credits and in the few months I’ve been playing, I’ve never had 200,000 credits, let alone 600,000 on one character. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time just saving up money for some of the fancier things once I get far enough into the game.

Some games I’m really great at building up cash… like X-COM: UFO Defense and, apparently, STO. I never have a great deal, but it’s enough to make me feel like I can do whatever I want whenever I want to. So, in STO, 10 million credits is plenty for me to have just laying around. I can always use more, but at 10 million is where I sit back and go, “I don’t need to do a Tour the Universe today… I’m okay right now.” I like getting to that sweet spot where I can afford most of the things I want and I feel comfortable with my resources. I don’t need to be able to buy everything because I don’t want everything. I just like being able to take it easy. Games shouldn’t be work and they shouldn’t be super stressful… they should be FUN first and foremost.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money. ” – Benjamin Franklin

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