Ello all! Long-time, lurker, seldom forum poster and even fewer forum warrior! It's been a wild wide watching SOTA grow and develop from those early days of a windowless box and a chicken, to where we are now. I really do love the game and how it's developed, however there's been a question in the back of my mind for a while now, how does the economy thrive in a mature environment? Most of the people I see are oldies, with a vast gulf of experience and resources between the new and the old. Consequently, it feels like we're in a situation where the old leave due to a lack of challenge and the young find themselves at almost impossible odds, particualry those who fancy establishing themselves in trades surrounded by proverbial giants. In a situation like that, it's hard to establish necessarily the depth that an increasigly selective market are looking for. there are two conditions that arguably make a good MMO: Challenge and consequence. Making something hard-yet acheivable establishes goals and something to work toward, with a pay-off at the end. I'd argue that the challenge isn't so much there these days, particularly in light of XP increases. In addition, for more than a few skills, there really isn't the market for the goods that are produced (due to players, lack of attrition on goods and items etc). There is consequence in terms of XP unquestionably, but not-so when it comes to goods and equipment. If you die, your stuff stays with you. Not much is truly at-risk, therefore there isn't much need to replace expensive equipment. In addition, trades like food etc are ok, but they're far from a burning necessity. I'd be really interested to see if others would be interested to see a proverbial 'Perilous' hard mode *cough*, which necessites a solid ecnomic core that encourages player interaction, drives professions and gives greater meaning, while giving new players a fighting chance at pitching in at their professions early-on to meet demand. Need to eat? The vendor flogging squirrel bits on a stick will do. What no imediate supply of all you need from NPCs? Off to the player market for you. Just been robbed/murdered and suddenly bereft of oyur belongings? Yes, it's a tough world out there, crack on and get sorted. Your uber-sword just been snapped or gobbled up by something unpleasant? Best go and buy what you can afford, even if it's not quite the super weapon you hoped. I suspect that some wil not agree, which is absolutely fine. Still, curious to see who else out there would be interested in a harsher world. I'd play it in a heartbeat, and I suspect we'd find a fair more new friends in the process.