Nothing to hide, nothing to fear
The following stats are about any posts deleted from the forums, whether by the user or by moderated action.

Thread containing the given PostID
Boo Ladedada - 1144056
I'm not a financial advisor or even claim to understand how a gaming economy is created, But I keep coming back to my own thoughts on why did Portalarium make crowns tradeable. I feel if they were non-tradeable they would have an incredible revenue from them to help pay the bills. I can't be the only one that thinks this. Of course, the ones selling them back and forth are not going to agree with me. I'm just interested in hearing what people think about it. I'm a new player, I started after launch. And almost every day since launch there have been many signs of Portalarium not making enough money or cutting staff because of lack of money. Which is fine I understand that. But from my standpoint, there is nothing I need to buy from them other than the 39$ for the account. I LOVE this game. I want to be here when Surprise episode 6 is being planned. The only reason I wanted to upgrade to a lot bundle was for a cf vendor and dev forum access. Now it is considered cheap to just buy a CF vendor and a Town Taxed deed costs the same as a subscription based game even cheaper because Crowns are cheaper to get from players and not Portalarium

This is in no way a hate thread I just want to know why people think Crowns should remain a tradeable item.

Boo Ladedada
Xee - 1144059
Considering once a crown is used its burnt which is still profit to the company it would make sense to keep these in game. Also not all folks can afford to spend real money to get them so this opens up the ability for those players to use in game gold to buy the store items and the likes.
Daxxe Diggler - 1144061
They are tradable to prevent the notion that this game is pay to win. If the only way to get them was buy them yourself (or hope to get lucky to get one from a mob drop... many players have never gotten one this way yet) then the advantages they give a player would be a classic pay to win situation.

So, since one player can buy them and then sell them for IGG... that gives other people an easy opportunity to grind the IGG for free and then it doesn't cost them real money to get them.
Boo Ladedada - 1144062
I agree with you on this xee but at the same time they need something with microtransactions to help pay the bills and I feel they should have just made them purchasable only through them. Then the people who do buy them could sell whatever they get with them to people who can't use a credit card to get said items
Boo Ladedada - 1144065
This game is entirely made for people with money in every way :)
Crowell - 1144069
And then, it's still pay to win as long as the seller get gold coins... It's even a very good option to allow speculation.
Lord Tachys al`Fahn - 1144074
Demand doesn't decrease because they are tradable.

If anything, it has made demand greater, as players that would normally either turn their noses up at it because of having to pay RL money for them, or not really afford the added cost, can buy them for free, increasing the target demographic somewhat.

Also, these don't appear out of thin air... ok, yes, some do, but that amount is so ridiculously low as to be non-existent. I personally have looted probably a million monster corpses, only to find ONE COTO (non-gold, of course, I couldn't be THAT lucky) in TWO YEARS since permanence. As I was saying, these EFFECTIVELY do not appear out of thin air, so SOMEONE has to buy both the ones that get used on a regular basis, and the ones that get sold via player vendors.

In the end, these are like Pilot's License Extensions in EvE Online... the SOLE SOURCE is ultimately the game developer, so why limit themselves to only those people who either don't see a problem with paying a tiny extra bit of cash for say, a week's worth of added benefit, or those who actually have a little disposable income? That would be ridiculously short sighted.
Jason_M - 1144089
I agree with Lord Tachys al 'Fahn. Trading COTOs in game increases COTOs bought from the developers.

Personally, I'm not especially inclined to spend real money on COTOs. Exchanging my own money for COTOs isn't the painful part necessarily, but changing my local currency to dollars does make the tears roll.

But I do buy them in game, encouraging the middle-men to buy them from the developers, which is good for business.
Xee - 1144090
My understanding is the drop rate is based on how many are in circulation. This explains why the drop rate is low as there is a lot out there on the market.

On another note the benefit of having players sell them is one can get them cheaper in theory if the market is slow, but because there is so many people wanting them to use on the vendors vs buying them as its cheaper to buy from players at this time then the port store.
Nelzie - 1144096
The only crowns that I have ever received from mobs have been an iron(?), a couple of copper (?) and a silver crown or two.

Gold Crowns evaporate rather quickly and are only brought into game primarily through people putting money into the port's hands, either with the $9 a month subscription or through special purchases or direct crown purchases.

The system works rather well. I'm using most of my stipend to handle the... exorbitant fees for a Village Lot. (1,000 gold per day is obscene for a player with maybe 3 hours a week to play.)
Kain Darkmoor - 1144098
There would be no point in even having them if they weren't tradeable. That is literally their entire purpose.
Arradin - 1144100
Oakenhammer - 1144108
Last time I recall the system being explained is that the drop rate for COTOs is a server side limit of X per Y time period and not based on how many COTOs exist. There is a target frequency that Chris has in his mind for economic balance reasons so the rate must be tweaked periodically to align with that target.
Boo Ladedada - 1144120
Just seems to me no-one wants Portalarium to make money only themselves. I'd love for them to just update the game make them untradeable and hail the storm. I have bnought cotos from Portalarium for the first month i was here till i found out it was cheaper to get from players. which I do I just wish my money had a reason to go to portalarium. I cannot afford thousands of dollars on virtual merchandise but I can afford multiple transactions over a period of time
Nelzie - 1144123
You can buy COTOs during the Telethon and Friday Live Streams in order to be counted as someone who will receive the Telethon items. Most of these are decorations or items that can be converted into Forever Patterns that you can use to create unique looks for your character(s). Plus, money spent in the store means they can continue to develop the game, provide Episode 2, 3, 4 and beyond.
Roycestein Kaelstrom - 1144126
Tradeable COTOs make it possible for players to never spend any additional $ beside initial game pledges/bundles/accesses to be able to buy the add-on store items, pay lot taxes at lower cost, repair their gears to the longer extend. That's how the dev pitched the idea of optional add-on stores and COTOs. Otherwise, much less people would buy in into this game.

For the company to make more revenue, they need to focus on making game loop more entertaining and addicting, expand more player base and retain the existing ones. Any changes to existing features should weigh in more on how players would react or just be upfront about the future changes to the players and discuss before executing the changes.
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1144128
You already got a couple of solid answers BUT! this is actually an interessting question for an economy deep dive if one comes up in on of the streams.
Woodchuck - 1144129
I still find the whole COTO selling within the game to be highly suspect.

If COTOs rarely drop, and the only way to get them is to buy from the Add-on store high prices, then why are they being sold at a loss in the game for in-game gold??

Why does there seem to be a never ending supply/flow of COTOs in the game?

The previously offered explanation of players (shawn, tatania) spending their 15% store credit from their total game expenditures does not cut it. Especially when you quickly realize that they’d have to spend $10k on this game to simply get $1500 store credit which only gets a total of only 1725 COTOs. Yet, these COTO merchants are selling hundreds of COTOs daily and have almost never been out of stock in the 4 months i’ve been playing.

Why isn’t anyone finding the never ending supply of COTOs weird? And why is nobody questioning this (except me!)?

Did shawn & tatania spend $1M on this game? (and have loads of store credit)? Are they wealthy generous players that take pleasure burning money for the benefit of all SotA players?
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1144132
Because you are far more bright than all of us?

Bad jokes aside, why do you have the feeling there is an endless coto flow?
Woodchuck - 1144137
because each time i goto their COTO merchants they are well stocked in my 4 months of playing?

Are you implying that, one day, the COTO faucet will stop flowing?
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1144144
No at the moment i am not implying anything, i am just trying to to follow your reasoning.
When you say COTO merchants you are talking about player owned vendors selling COTOs for gold, correct?
Woodchuck - 1144145
Aye. Everyone knows what i’m talking about. They’re pretty much ubiquitous in the game:
  • Phil’s COTO mechants
  • Tatania’s COTO merchants
Lazlo - 1144146
Those vendors don't just sell. They are exchanges. A lot of their COTOs are coming from other players.
Woodchuck - 1144150
Okay. So my understanding is that COTO drops from mobs is rare.

Are you implying that the amount of daily COTO turnover in the game is due to lots of COTOs being farmed by players in the game? And therefore, facilitating this huge COTO exchange in the game?

Do COTOs drop often? How many COTOs can someone farm in 1 hour?
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1144154
I honestly don't deal in Cotos. So i am not privy to the best merchants for them in game. So, thanks for the info.

Non the less i can come up with a couple of points that might explain why there are so many cotos in game.
But again, non the less, i would say that this is another question for an economy deep dive if one should come up.

That being said, here we go:

1.) In the dark age of this game there where a ton of "buy x cotos and get y cotos as bonus" kind of sales
2.) In the dark age of this game there where another ton of "buy x store creds and get y% on top" kind o0f sales
3.) at some points in the not so far past a lof of players exchanged their SC for cotos because they expected to be transfred to the travian support and SC wouldn't transfer. So a lot of them changed them into Cotos. The transfer never happened in the end but i am quite sure a lot of ppl changed their SC to cotos before that info came out
4.) I am pretty sure buying Cotos is in the top 3 sales during a stream as the 5$ minimum purchase. If you don't need to them you are going to sell them for gold
5.) there are cotos as reward in the subscription. And that means same as 4.)
Steevodeevo - 1144155
note This has overlapped a bit with the discussions as I typed it.

Surely COTOs are a very good thing?

- Every coto 'burned' as its beautifully described above, or more specifically turned into IGG and the purchased coto used to buy cosmetics is revenue for PORT, about a $1.
- Once you have your house and a few cosmetics, buying coto's online is very a discretionary practice and offers little concrete value in game.
- linked to the point above, there isn't a lot you can usefully buy with cotos in-game other than to trade them with players for igg with which there is a great deal that can be done.
- this creates an in game market of coto sales to 'burn' for igg for players who buy online and a market for cotos for players who can't afford or won't buy cotos online on principle, so that they can buy their houses and cosmetics.
- buying from players has to be cheaper than buying from npc coto vendors for them to sell, so is vfm. This is also why big coto traders seem to have an endless supply, as they buy and sell cotos)
- even if you buy loads of cotos online and trade huge amounts of cotos for igg to buy the best in-game weaps and armour on the market, the competitive benefits are marginal, especially if character development is low or neglected.

I'm sure I haven;t covered every aspect of the revenue generation and gold sink aspects, but it's wins all round isn't it?
kaeshiva - 1144156
COTOs do not drop often. I actually have kept every COTO I have ever had drop, since persistence. I have over 7000 hours played doing a mix of activities (fighting, mining, crafting, deco, party, etc.)


I think there's like 3 on the floor too until I find where I'm gonna start putting em next.

That's in over two years, playing pretty much every day. And I've got I dunno, 50? 60? Someone can count them if they want. So less than 1 a week, at any rate.

As for why they're tradeable, I think its the core of the economy, so you can buy nice things with or without cash, as your budget dictates. Its a way to make premium items accessible to active players who perhaps don't have the same financial meals. It all comes back round to Portalarium getting paid even if there's many steps between that and the final use of the COTO.
Selene - 1144157
People with pledges (especially high level ones) ended up with a ton of COTOs from their pledges. They are also found in bundles and the new optional monthly subscription. When store credit was ended (and the remainder in poeple's accounts changed to COTOs) it created another big surge in the total amount of COTOs in the world. There are just A LOT of them that people have. I know I have over 300, and I've never purchased COTOs outright from the store. I just have them from pledges, sale bonuses, subscriptions, and etc.
Crowell - 1144160
You'll have to take prices & rewards in account in your question. Some people earned COTO during telethons (generaly 10 COTO for each of them) or during contests (up to hundreds of COTO for some).
Plus suscriptions and pledges, bug reporting, and even translations, I heard.
Your questions are interesting however, and I'm curious about the whole thing.
Steevodeevo - 1144166
Hi mate :) forgive me if I misunderstand, but Im thinking there's a detail missing here....

COTOs pour into the game all the time from online and offline purchases by players. Very few drop, this is not how they get in game, it is these purchases made from Port. In game coto sellers buy and sell them and assist with the 'burning' of cotos, converting them to igg which are needed for meaningful in game commerce. Every time a coto is sold for gold and then used to buy a house, cosmetics, costumes, or other non essential stuff it gets burned allowing Port to sell more.
Nelzie - 1144170
Who knows? Maybe they have other vendors spread out with COTOs as an option to sell to, for less Gold, like 3k a pop and people sell them COTOs for quick cash, they then toss them up for what I've seen as the going rate of 3500 gold (I don't know what they buy or sell COTOs for, myself.)

Maybe they are both heavy grinders and generally have shed loads of IGG that they leverage to purchase large quantities of COTOs at some discount, maybe they are wealthy people who do enjoy lavishing COTOs onto less financially fortunate players because... they really want to see this game continue for decades.

I mean... I'm no Millionaire yet.. but, if I won the Lottery to the tune of multiple millions, I would certainly toss many, many tens of thousands into this game, not for my personal benefit, but to ensure that others could enjoy this game as well. Heck, if I had enough of THAT kind of scratch, I'd probably reach out to RG directly and offer a several million dollar infusion for some kind of return.
Steevodeevo - 1144172
Which (the glut) brings down the coto traders in game prices, win win.
Lazlo - 1144174
All I'm saying is that the COTOs on those vendors are coming from lots of players and not just the owner of the particular vendor. I would imagine that most of them are probably originally purchased from port, but by lots of different people, so not really anything strange about it afaik.
CatweazleX - 1144181
COTOS are bought from Port. and brought to the game by the RMT guys. The earned gold is sold to other players for $. I think they will earn some $ this way.
However each COTO (except the few dropped ones) need to be bought from Port. If you buy one COTO or another one and you get it for igg later, does not make a difference. Port. has gotten the money for this COTO.

For taxes COTOS are exchanged at fixed rate of 3500 gold. As long people pay more than 3500 gold per COTO as long COTOs are moving from subscription (or any other source) to the COTOs sellers. Of course they re-sell the COTOs for a little more as they have bought them.

Also i have seen empty COTO vendors, also Phil has times the COTO vendor is sold out.

It is a good thing that COTOs are tradeable. When everything is buy able for COTOs from the Add-On store in game it would be even better.
Woodchuck - 1144196
Thanks all for your input!

Howeverz, my woodchuck nose is very good and still smells somethings fishies with this whole COTOs thing.

Given the current way the SotA COTO market is operating, and if one plays long enough it will not take long for one to realize the cheapest way to get COTOs is not to buy from Portalarium — but to buy in-game gold in the RMT market, and then use this to purchase COTOs from the player COTO vendors.

So, given this “transaction workflow” the only way for Portalarium to see any of the RMT monies being transacted is if they themselves are the sellers of in-game gold for real money.

Is this not a reasonable hypothesis?

And therefore my last question is: who among you are Portalarium employees playing this game as agents to stoke and manipulate the market?

Thank You very much and good day!


Edit: The Ends!
devilcult - 1144205
Those are people like boo de lada that buy coto without knowing they are cheaper in game or just want to get some gold without paying a player directly then sell them to those vendor. You can easily know how much coto titania sell in a month by visiting her website and check her profile. Sorry but this is accusation for something you dont know/understand. Or maybe you just want their secret to making some profit ;)
Woodchuck - 1144216
see my final “accusation” :)

Edit: That is why i said if you play this game long enough, you will eventually realize buying COTOs directly from Portalarium is not the best way (if you are seeking to get COTOs inexpensively).
Amelli - 1144221
A bit off topic here, but just wanted to say how much I love your use of Coto to decorate like you have.
Steevodeevo - 1144223
Same :) wish i'd thought of that!
Nelzie - 1144251
There will be a point where if everyone just bought COTOs... the prices of COTOs for IGG would rise drastically so much that people would just start buying them direct from Port.

I mean... if the market for COTOs goes up THAT much... I might just sell the 9 that I receive per month for IGG and then use that to pay for rent AND still end up having a pile of IGG left over. Somehow, I doubt the market is going to become THAT over saturated.
Boo Ladedada - 1144306
LOL Devilcut you don't understand my post. I DID buy from Portalarium now I know there is no reason too. I also do not play the game for any profit what so ever I play it because it is just that a game. And I feel Portalarium needs more ways of making money and not making items for people to make money on

I reread this i thought you were talking to me instead it was woodchuck i appoloigize
Scanphor - 1144325
Not going to repeat the detailed postings I made on the last topic on this subject :) But will just say that except for the tiny amount that drop in loot, port have been paid for every COTO in game in some way. If there was a vast COTO duping exploit or other means of obtaining them going on to supply these player vendors port'd be all over it as it would be impacting directly on their bottom line....
devilcult - 1144330
I do understand your post. You said you bought coto the first month without knowing it was cheaper in game, so did i just like many others ;p. Thats why i mentionned you hehe. I bought over 150 coto full price just to get some in game gold at first. I also remember the website wasnt very clear, i bought the 100 coto bundle and said it was Bought in green on it, and at that time i tought because i already bought it i couldnt buy again (didnt try, thats why i went direct to the 50 next). Maybe thats something that could be more clear for port. Im not sure why its written Bought on the items, it really feel like you cant buy it again.
devilcult - 1144332
Ahh its not "Bought" but "Got it!"
nonaware - 1144344
the coto market behaves mostly as it should and has for the 2 years or so I have been watching it based on the basic principle of supply and demand.

only port creates cotos.

all the cotos on vendors are bought some how from port.

the player vendors do not create cotos.

or are you saying port gives the player vendors cotos for free as well as selling gold on the marketplace?

there is no way for us to prove or disprove that. you either believe that port is scum or they are not.

so please come with evidence and information when making serious charges like this rather than roleplaying as a furry and pretending your "woodchunk nose" means anything to anyone outside of other anthropomorphic fetishists.
Kain Darkmoor - 1144352
There is a Kobold in Mud named Bopyk. He has a quest for you.
xadoor - 1144355
All micro transaction games are about the whales. I can't explain it as that kinda post gets removed.

Whales have endless money so why not let them buy stuff for everyone. They buy COTOs and the rest of us relieve them of COTOs by trading them shiny things that we can find by actually playing the game. Now we all have COTOs and can get things that would otherwise cost us money. That's the name of the game. When you buy COTOs from venders you are fleecing the whales, when you buy them from the store and sell them you are the whale. Why in the world would you want to stop this flow of money? Everyone benefits across the board.

And btw, COTOs are pouring into the game now from the "REWARDS PROGRAM". ahahahahahahahah sorry, everytime I think of the people paying $9/month for a tile it just cracks me up. Anyway There are a thousandish people in the "REWARDS PROGRAM" and each of them gets I think 9 cotos so 9000 COTOs a month entering the economy every month. That's not nothing.
Nelzie - 1144371
Right now there's no reason for you to do so, unless you don't want any of the possible rewards from the telethons and Friday live streams, which is fine. People sell those for IGG too.

If everyone felt like you, the costs of COTOs will go up considerably, because nobody would be bringing them into the game in any appreciable quantity and you'd be looking at trying to buy the dwindling supply of COTOs for 20,000 to 50,000 OR much, much more from those who are buying and selling them.
Lord Tachys al`Fahn - 1144372
And there are probably at least 6-8000-ish leaving the economy, between the 3-4 each person more than likely uses for potions (above and beyond the ones you get along with the cotos), and a similar amount for full equipment repairs, whether artifact or regular, so... there's that
Nelzie - 1144374
It's not just a title. The amount of COTOs is better than what they offer on the store for the same dollar amount. They are going to include additional items, maybe unique weapon, armor skins, plus dyes and other bonuses for being a regular subscriber.

In six months, when many of those awards start being handed out, maybe more people will start subscribing... maybe they won't.

It would be nice if the awards are unique to subscribers who've been subscribed X number of months.
Nelzie - 1144376
I'm currently using mine solely for property rent and things off COTO vendors. I probably will never sell them on the market for IGG.
Boo Ladedada - 1144377
I have 4 accounts 2 for me and 2 for wife we sub all four of them and now outside of that I have no reason to give money to port but i still do.

Also, I'd love the price of cotos to go up it would help those who invested into them for profit. And then Port could would have something people really do not need but would still buy giving Port a revenue. I just found out today that cotos were given with discounts in the past which I did not know of either. And once again it seems most people are only concerned with what they can make off of something. Which i don't mind at all. I would just like to see something you can only get from Portalarium to Help them fund things without having to pay big $$. I'm talking about an Item that is cheap, needed/wanted and can be bought at low prices
Witcheypoo - 1144393
HAHAHAHAHA! That quest is awesome and the reward would be "fitting" to this thread! thank you! you made me giggle!
Zapatos80 - 1144401
That's basically how supply and demand works. If everyone stops buying COTOs from Port, eventually these vendors will dry up as players buy and use/burn COTOs (for repairs or cosmetics). As vendors run out of COTOs, in-gold price will rise since demand will exceed supply, all the way up to a point where buying IGG on RMT to buy COTOs from player vendors is more expensive than buying COTOs straight from Port.

The fact that this does not happen means that players get COTOs from Port (store or bundles or whatever, which increases supply) and sell them to exchange vendors , who then sell them back to players for a slight profit (to meet demand). Everything is working as intended, basic supply and demand, economy 101.

PS Not to mention that buying IGG on the RMT to then buy COTOs on vendors is a huge hassle and a potential risk (RMT scammers). So unless in-game vendors are much, much cheaper, it's just not worth the hassle and risk and thus much easier to buy COTOs from Port.
Zapatos80 - 1144405
If you really want to make COTOs more valuable, buy every COTO you find on player vendors and destroy/stash them somewhere forever. That will drive price up like mad and everybody will rush to buy them from Port instead. Rinse/repeat :p
Boo Ladedada - 1144411
Good Idea but I'm not trying to make money off this game or any item they have in it. I was curious about the cotos and wanted to hear from the community their thoughts on it. Right now I'm on this brainstorming kick and trying to come up with a decent idea/plan for Port to make a recurring revenue for themselves and not something for us/the community to make a profit off of.
Zapatos80 - 1144415
The current COTO system works really well. They just need to make COTOs even more valuable by giving them more uses. The more uses (the more COTO sinks there are), the more valuable COTOs become (because demand excdeeds supply), the more Port sells COTOs.

I do agree they need to monetize better. They already have a good system in place, they just need to boost it.

Random ideas that may or may not be P2W, given your perspective : you can use a COTO to enchant a pickaxe/tool to mine/harvest X% faster for the next 100 nodes. You can use a COTO to lower duration by 10 instead of 20 on a failed enchant, etc. Stuff like that would burn COTOs out of the economy real quick. Basically time-savers/quality of life enhancers for crafters/gatherers would be a great way to get COTOs out since the crafting economy is entirely player-based.
Lord Tachys al`Fahn - 1144419

  • Rent payment
  • Artifact max durability repair
  • Equipment max durability repair
  • Buying potions to increase specific abilities
  • Buying add-on store items
That's already a lot of uses that burn up cotos... I have a subscription, and already have no problem burning through at least 6 of the 9 cotos I get each month repairing items and buying potions, never mind buying store items.
Zapatos80 - 1144420
They need to give whales a way to burn a huge amount of COTOs in a quick fashion on one-time uses, even if it's minute quality of life improvements (use a COTO to smelt ore faster for the next 200 smelts or whatever). Basically a waste of money for almost all of the player base but for a millionaire for whom dollars are worth very little, it could be a huge boost of revenue to Port at pretty much no effect on players.
xadoor - 1144421
It was a very calculated price. "Lots of people want to give us $5 to get the free telethon awards. How can we get them to buy more?"
Answer: "Rewards Program, $9(?)"
I'm sorry that's $108/year which is insane to me. Glad others pay it thou cause it funds the game. I'm done with the RMT except for expansions. Whales have bought me a village bundle and I don't have any desire for anything bigger.
xadoor - 1144426
It is way cheaper, that's what makes no sense and why I laugh so hard at the "REWARDS PROGRAM" aahahahahahahaha, sorry can't help myself. 100k gold is like what $9 now. COTOs sell for less than 4k gold so $9 gets you like 25 COTOs? so 25 VS 9? Is my math wrong?
Alleine Dragonfyre - 1144437
More play to win is definitely needed.
Lord Tachys al`Fahn - 1144440
No... it's a laziness factor... I never get to be around when the livestreams happen, so I sub to get the cotos and other "goodies", and to be included automatically for the stretch goals. $9 is 66% of the most I have paid to play a game, so not too worried about missing out on a value meal at McCrappies each month :p
Nelzie - 1144470
People buy $100k of gold for $9?

That's bizarre. There's so many better things $9 can be spent on. Like a monthly subscription to the game that helps continue to support the game.
Nelzie - 1144475
Nah, just more stuff to spend money on is needed. More skins and other goodies that aren't just pieces of furniture, with very little in game function.

Like... I would love to see a Firearms skill tree added for Episode 2, since we already have a variety of Kobold Based "energy" weapons and Cannon and soon pirate ships, etc., etc.

I'd gladly give up Swords and Plate for Firearms and Light Armor.
xadoor - 1144491
YES, they do. And it was $16/100k when I first started playing.

RMT might be keeping this game alive so careful what you wish for. And as gold plummets to zero we'll find out if it is or not as the folks that get off making money will all leave(like the family that made SNEEDS in the LORAX). I have to admit I found great satisfaction in selling gold to buy my village bundle so I totally understand them but I also jut plain enjoy playing the game and will continue to play even if I can't do that anymore. But there needs to be a REASON(s) to farm gold or the entire economy fails. Having gold worth real money is a reason. IF not that then what? And you better answer soon cause the value of gold is in free fall.
Vladamir Begemot - 1144498
For those who are interested, @Umuri has a very nice tool that you can look at COTO stats with.

If you want to see the last 3 months of info, set it to 3 Months of Data starting 3 Months ago.

With COTO's, you can see that we destroy about 16,000 per month on the Crown Merchant, 3,000 on repairs, and 7,000 on taxes (in the last 3 months, it does change over time).

And since it was mentioned, we've had 206 Gold COTO's drop in loot in the last 3 months. I don't know how many of the other types, if they are all the same then that would be close to 2000?

It's fun to look at.
SmokerKGB - 1144514
I can only speak for myself as I deal with "Gold" crowns, which are only purchased from the store... I watch the "Live" streams after every release and need to purchase at least $5 to receive the stretch goals offered "only" during the stream, so along with my "voluntary" subscription of 9 crowns ($9/mo), I end up with a surplus of Gold crowns... So, I sell the balance to players for cheap, what this does is give me Ingame gold that has already been farmed by another player, so I don't need to farm my own gold... I then purchase supplies I need to craft things, this takes those resources off the market...

The problems with games is that resources AND gold are farmed in endless amounts, in an economy this causes "inflation" AND reduces "rarity" of these commodities, very bad things for an economy...

It's actually pretty smart for Port to do this because they never sell Gold directly to players, and its a gold sink at the same time, along with being a "Cash cow" too...

And when my bank fills up with "rares", I can cash in for lots of ingame gold...
Elwyn - 1144546
From what I've heard, there are two things.

First, there is a global limit to their drop rate. If twice as many people are playing at a specific time, the same number will still drop, so individuals will see (on average) half of the coins drop as when less people are playing.

Second, Chris has said he watches the public/player vendor sale prices of coins, and adjusts the global limit based on that. I recall that one benchmark he had back in the early days for turning up COTO drops was 2500g per. As you may know, we blew right through that around the time that the store item crown vendors came out, and for the past few months it's been in the 3600-4000 range.

But why don't "I" see more of them drop? (not specifically me, but rhetorically anyone) I suspect that they naturally have a higher chance to drop in the highest-level areas, so the people who do The Rise all the time tend to get more of them than other people simply because they get more "pulls of the handle". So, because math.

One thing has puzzled me, though. A few months ago there was a metric buttload of 250-value coins on the usual coin exchange vendors. The only way I know to get those is in drops, so either someone had been hoarding a lot of coin drops, or there was some other source for a while. I find this weird, and wouldn't mind knowing where they came from.

Now, as for the non-gold coins, I'm not sure that they have been all that useful. All I see is that they ensure that most of the coin drops are mostly useless. There was once an method to exchange them for gold coins at 2:1, but that is gone. The only thing the other coins seem to be useful for is a specific boost potion... and as different-colored deco. I'd be happy if they went away like the control point gates.

One of the main attractions of COTOs as an item from the "rewards" subscription is that you can sell them to someone else. I think that if they locked COTOs, it would have the exact opposite effect from what you suggest. They are a representation of game funding value that will eventually be used up on some item or service in game, but selling them to another player merely passes along that value without using it.

If they were to sell COTO vendor items for IGG however, that would be a problem. IGG comes from nothing more than player effort, which does not keep the lights on. Instead they have provided a way for a player to trade grinding/farming effort to another player for an item that came from funding the game. Did you notice up there how I pointed out that their value jumped the moment you could use them to buy store items in-game?

"Pay to win" properly means something about the game that forces you to get the credit card out in order to play the game in a reasonable way. COTOs/PLEX let someone else get their credit card out for you. Result, you do not have to pay real money to """win""".

With enough IGG, and dedication, and enough people willing to sell COTOs to you, it should be possible to set up an exchange. There have been times over the past few months when both of them got wiped out of inventory, and they had to raise their buy price to get more people to sell coins to them. I am quite sure they get many of their coins by buying them from other players. In my limited experience, the hardest part of running a "clean" exchange (only getting inventory from other players) is getting people to sell them to you to build up an inventory, especially when the player base is not expanding.

COTOs are not "turned into" IGG, they are exchanged. That is an important distinction in MMO economics. COTOs are turned into lot rent, store items, gear repairs, boost potions, and New You, because those are the only things that destroy them. You have to follow the life cycle of a currency. IGG and COTOs have different life cycles, which makes it useful for players to exchange them. It's sort of like how subatomic particles each have their own life cycles.

You an have it now, or you can have it cheap. Choose one. (The usual third element of this saying is "quality", which is constant here.)

Definitely confusing for items that you may want more than one of.

If you use them for rent, you are losing money. Rent value is 3500, but you can get at least 3600 by selling them on the market. For what it's worth, this also has an effect on the COTO market, because rent is one of the few things can be paid either way. So not only do you come out a few hundred IGG ahead, your COTOs are now freed up for someone else to use on a store item.

FYI, in case you hadn't heard, they're doing it every Friday now, so four or five times longer you can qualify.
Lum the Mad - 1144559
Hi! Someone sent me the link to this thread because they asked this exact question. I'll answer publicly (I'm quite busy elsewhere and have not paid a lot of attention to SOTA other than the progress on player-built dungeons)

When I worked at Port, what employees did on the live servers was tracked constantly and consistently. We all had the power to destroy the in-game economy in the blink of an eye, thus we were watched to ensure we, you know, didn't actually do that (intentionally or unintentionally). Thus, say, when Community would give out COTOs for a promotion, it would trigger a report and they'd have to answer that yes, this was planned, they gave them out because of this contest.

There isn't enough you can bribe a game developer to give you free stuff - because you'd not only have to pay their salary that year, but every year for the rest of their life because they'd never get another job on a live game (we talk). Suffice to say there's not enough COTOs to pay for that.

"And that's all I gots to say abouts that"
Lord Tachys al`Fahn - 1144562
Right... but if I'm either on a plane, or driving across a couple of states, or simply driving home for most of it (usually all of it, depends on traffic)... well, that pretty much makes it so I can't be there ;)
Nelzie - 1144603
I would have to find a vendor to sell them on or set them up on a vendor, then wait for people to find the vendor and buy all of them.

That's to much hassle, I just lack the time to do all of that. My playtime is between 3 to SOMETIMES 5 hours a week.
Woodchuck - 1144606
The quickest way is to sell them directly to any of the COTO merchants which always have buy orders for single COTOs or 10 at a time, and even more.
Nelzie - 1144618
For roughly $3600? If I was going to go through the hassle of selling them to merchants, I'd prefer to sell them for more than $4,000 each. Even with current travel time decreased, there are other things that I would rather be doing in game than trekking about for 15 to 30 minutes for an end result that would be putting about at equal or less than where I would be doing my regular 30 minutes of hunting and just chucking the COTAs at my rent.

I do appreciate the suggestion though.
EMPstrike - 1144622
Elwyn - 1144666
There are vendors out there who will have buy orders every time, and they're near Brittany.

But only today did I realize why I've seen people with buy orders for 9 crowns.
CatweazleX - 1144669
If you buy COTOs this way it is: one RMT has earned 9$ to give you the 100k and Port. has earned nearly 25$ to get the COTOs on the market that you can buy them.
So you feeling cool because you know the trick, RMT feels cool because he/she has 9$ more and Port. is feeling cool because they have made two people feeling cool without earning less.
Crowell - 1144714
Oh come on ! Please don't try to play with words when you are discussing something with someone like me. Well... you don't know who I am... Ok, that's fine, you can try.

Pay to Win has a larger meaning than what you think by yourself. It means what it has always meant : you pay in order to win something in game aka you "pay to win". Of course, there are a lot of people who try to make great differentiations and create concepts like Pay to Progress or Pay to Play, just because they want more precise terms, but the initial idea is what it is nonetheless. Some people even go further actually, like with those definitions, which underlines the imbalance idea hidden behind the whole Pay to Win process. But it's funnier when some people just want to fabricate their own interpretation while the proper meaning don't go where they want it to go... or go against what they try to blindly protect. Because, you know, there is no official definition of this expression, just because there is no need for definition when the expression just speak for itself. I pay real money, because I want to win.

Now, let's take my exemple again, will you ? The guy buy COTO with real money, then sell those COTO and get in game currency aka gold coins as a counter part. The shortcut here is, the guy paid for gold coins when gold coins allow you to buy or pay for almost everything in Shroud, including, but not limited to, crafted gear, artifacts, augmented artifacts, reagents, arrows, PvP ransom, etc... The guy can even buy in game cold coins on the marketplace, then buy some cabalist hoods in a second after that, when his character is only adv . level 1. And not only that, but the whole land deed thing with the size of the lot, agriculture and the limited bank vs container size turn all the housing system in this game to a Pay to Win mechanic. Now come again and tell me that this whole game is not related in any way to the Pay to Win concept in a credible way. You can't (which doesn't mean that you won't try, in a desperate tentative), because it's just plainly false.

And, at last but not least, believe it or not, the whole economy in Shroud has been built on a Pay-to-Win idea as long as almost every form of RMT is unofficially allowed. I say unofficially, because we saw very recently that this option remained at the discretion of Portalarium.
Zapatos80 - 1144762
Except youre not buying the gold from Port. If millionaires come up and flood the market with millions of COTOs they become instantly worthless. Thus youre not buying gold from Port but from other players. COTOs are just a proxy to facilitate the exchange. Thats a huge difference. If you were buying gold from Port, that would be massive P2W.

In short, its basically a RMT between players like it has always existed in MMOs but with the dev team profiting by acting as a middle man of sorts (on top of COTOs being used by players for cosmetics which is free money for devs). The player buying wins (the one who buys COTOs from Port), the player selling wins (the one buying COTOs in game for gold) and the dev team wins. Very well thought out system.

Think of it this way: RMT between players will always happen. Given that, id much rather have a system where devs get free money in the process by simply having a middleman type currency to facilitate the exchange.
Gyzarus - 1144770
Well, this is just one your aspect on the cotos System, this is a long run game, cotos are not only be bought from port, but during the hunt or harvest they do drop cotos as well, this will make the E-conomy to keep rolling, you put in the effort to get something and you do get paid for the effort, people can buy your stuff with cotos, if they wish not do the hard way, this will not only benefit both party on getting what they want in the game, this will create tons of possibilities within the community to have one thing or another with either effort or cotos, as long port does not sell improve performance equips or super potions, I still believe it's still a stable game and not really a PtW. What is your desire that makes you play the game? That's would be easier for you to stay focus on what you want from the game.
Gyzarus - 1144790
Not everyone is rich, not everyone is Grundy, not everyone is hunter, everyone is very much differ from one another, but they are "good" in their specialty, it's not their fault if they are rich, it's not their fault if they have plenty of time, if we keep thinking which is fair which is not, it will only end up with a non conclusional arguments. I would end this, is this game even worth your time to spend your precious time on? For me is a yes. I have my own reasons, and I will not impose it to anyone else to have to agree with me, because I know I choose my path, not the game chose my path.
kaeshiva - 1144797
I completely think that this is intended use of colored Coto.
If they weren't sposed to be deco, why are they so perty?
Crowell - 1144919
Yes, and of course, the result is totally faultless. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Sorry, but if millionaires cAme up and flooded the market, they wouldn't only sell COTO for the reason you said. They would buy massive amount of gold coins, and fund this game with massive amount of cash when buying a lot of bundles, deeds, etc...

But sill, EVERYTHING is a proxy in a RMT environment.

In the end, every other successful game have only unofficial and prohibited/unsupported RMT between players (yes, even Eve Online, CCP just took many actions against that, not so long ago). I'll just let you figure out why and how.

Or no, I won't. I already told you why : RMT are Pay-to-Win by nature. The big guy who get the big stuff can sell the extra and get an economical advantage. The newbie who buy the big stuff can use it and get an operational advantage. The only persons who are screwed are those who don't use RMT when those are permited. That said, if I were to be a millionaire, I wouldn't RMT on every other game, simply because the account could be deleted by the publisher. And I wouldn't RMT on SotA because any value here is going down like hell. It's as simple as that.
Nelzie - 1144926
Can someone explain what RMT is? I keep seeing the acronym pop up, everywhere, but no link or explanation as to what it is. Even as a first post in a thread, that is how it shows up.

It would be nice if the first use of it in a thread by a poster took the time to spell out what it meant and then subsequent uses were simply the acronym. Sometimes I am guilty of failing to do that myself, but I try.
Crowell - 1144932
RMT = Real Money Trades

This acronym is generaly used to speak about in-game items/experience/account trading between players with dollars, euros or any other real currency.

One of the biggest exemple of RMT game is Second Life.
Arradin - 1144940

Pay to win is defined by GETTING AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE that you cannot get without paying.

Taking a shortcut does not have to be an advantage in itself, when refering to getting money. Would you classify World of Warcraft as pay to win? Because i can purchase gold there too, DIRECTLY from Blizzard , they even promote it. Yet there is not a sane person on earth that would call wow p2w, i wonder why that argument only fits when its suits someones agenda.

Almost every single item in this game, except the Kickstarter exclusive rewards, you can get ingame without spending any $$ except the base game cost.

Now i know that you will argue with me on this one, and you might not agree with me, but it is what it is.
Crowell - 1144941
No, it's not. And you simply can't prove your point. It's only your interpretation of the Pay-to-Win expression, which is restrictive, while nobody never gave any official definition of what P2W is. Then you don't have any authority on this topic and you can't confirm that this expression has to be restrictive. By the way, most players probably don't like the fact that you can pay real currencies in order to get a faster progression. Because, you know, in the first place, we are supposed to have an ingame progression with play time, not money. At least, that's what all the polls out there are showing.

PS : WoW doesn't allow RMT but if you google "is Wow P2W", you would find a large amount of insane persons. My favourite quote is this :
Zapatos80 - 1144953
RMT happens even in games where its forbidden. It's a billion dollars industry for a reason. Given that, i'd much rather have a system where devs get free money by acting as middlemen (see coto system description).
Arradin - 1144959
No, i very much proved my point, you just dont agree to it / Don't listen to it.

You claim that its pay 2 win that you can buy money, i said that its not correct, with the broad defenition of pay2win, and the biggest MMO there is as an example.

You can buy money directly from Blizzard in WoW with $$
You can buy level 110 token in wow with $$ ( Imagine if Port sold a adv lvl 100 token, lol )
You can buy gear in wow with $$

Yet again, no sane person would classify lol as a p2w game because of one simple reason. It doesnt give you an advantage. Where is the advantage in a sandbox game with no ending, and no concrete example of something to "win" ?

You can't claim something is p2w when there is nothing to win. This goes for all MMOs out there, none are classified as p2w because no dev is stupid enough to give someone an unfair boost. Hell, even things like Eve Online, who drastically handicap you if you do not pay, is STILL not pay 2 win.

Yet somehow, Sota is because of Decorative objects? Give me a break.

Besides, its the person making a statement who has to "proove" himself, which you are yet to do.
EMPstrike - 1144971
I think theres such a stigma with p2w because is was birth from a negative perspective.

Reguardless of the definition, if you CANwin without paying, why does it matter?
Crowell - 1144973
Oh but I already proved my point. I explained what the three words "pay" "to" and "win" means while you try to impose your own interpretation like : "oh yes, a rich person can be rich in game and get the best stuff without even playing one hour but, you know, that person did not pay to win... It's something else. Well let's name that Pay to easy play ?". Now I'll just let your lack of credibility speak for yourself.
Zapatos80 - 1144974
If I remember correctly you can buy time tokens from Blizz (1 month playtime) which you then sell to players for gold. Essentially a similar middleman type currency like COTOs. Its an important distinction as far as inflation is concerned since no new gold enters the economy by the devs.

Could be wrong tho havent played WoW in a while.
EMPstrike - 1144977
Id ike to see that! It would be hilarious if it set you to adv level 100 but didnt actually give you any xp. People who baught it would be demanding thier money back all over the place!! :D
Arradin - 1144981
Fine, imagine if port sold " 100 million XP " Tokens ;)
Arradin - 1144987
No, you sell the token to the auction house as a middleman for a set price determined by Blizzard based on availibility, not to other players directly. and they advertise the going rate for the tokens when you buy it. So they directly sell you a money token and encourage you to sell it on the AH.

But yes, like the COTOS, exactly like the cotos one would say.

( I can also buy gold directly from other players in wow... )
Arradin - 1144988
No, you gave your opinion on what those ment and claiming them to be facts without any source. I Couldnt really care less what you think of my credability, i just make sure to correct your nonsense with fact so that some poor guy or girl don't actually listen to your negativity
Crowell - 1144991

Pay : Give (someone) money that is due for work done, goods received, or a debt incurred.
to : Indicating that two things are attached or linked/Expressing a cause.
Win : Acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavour. (yes, as you actually can't win a MMO like "hey guys, I'm the master of the woooooooooooooooorld", this definition is necessarily the right one).

Pay to Win : Give someone money that is due in order to Acquire what should have been the result of your endeavour, a conflict, a contest, etc... aka any advantage in game (artifacts, crafted gear, gold coins, COTO, deeds, etc...).
The unfairness is a (totally subjective) condition that you added by yourself.

Then, I have probably more respect for the intelligence of the people who read us than you have because I'm only answering here in order to check facts and let people decide.
Zapatos80 - 1144995
From what I understand though the gold comes from players, not Blizzard. IE when I buy a time token, no new gold is created in game.
opTi - 1145000
Was it possible to create AND own a POT (not a small area with a few properties but a metropolis) without spending real money?
If I say that owning a POT metropolis is the only goal and relevant game content, then for me the game is unfortunately p2w.

While it is still not a p2w by definition but an essential part of the game is not available to everyone. And that makes it a p2w game for a part of the community.

Of course, this is just one example, I love my row house in Solania. And when I think about how much work is involved in the creation and decoration of a POT, it drives me crazy.
Arradin - 1145003
That is correct, but its the same in Sota? I cant print money from Portalarium? Maybe im missunderstanding you, if so i appologize
Arradin - 1145007
Ah yes, Pots is an issue. But a paywall doesnt have to be pay2win. A paywall to me is to block sertain parts of the game if you dont pay, but it doesnt have anything to do with Winning. I.e it doesnt effect ME if YOU get a pot.

A perfect example of pay2win is World of Tanks when it first came out. If you went premium member in World of Tanks ( Paying $$ monthly ) , you got armor piercing shells , that you could not get unless you were premium.
Now THAT is pay2win, because if effect everyone else, and it give you an unfair advantage to WIN.
Zapatos80 - 1145008
Ahhh ok then yes same thing :)
EMPstrike - 1145009

Im not so onboard with that one .-.
mystarr - 1145085
Your math is fine but your reasoning is flawed. The thing you are missing is that the monthly rewards program cost $9 for 9 COTOs AND the monthly telethon items (plus some misc obsidian potions, titles, dye, etc).

I can sell the monthly telethon items for 100k IGG.
  • If I sell my 100k IGG to get my $9 back then the rewards program gave me 9 COTOs for free. (Hard to beat that.)
  • If I use my 100k IGG to buy 25 COTOS in game (4k each) then I got 34 COTOS (9 25) for $9 (Also hard to beat.)
UPSHOT: The monthly rewards program is actually a pretty sweet deal. (When you factor in the telethon items.)
Nelzie - 1145103
When did operating a POT become "essential"?
Arradin - 1145135
in @opTi 's defense he said " If i say owning a pot is the only relevant goal (for him) ... That would make it essential.
Nelzie - 1145142
That would still be an attainable goal.

1. Collect Piles of COTO's or other In Game Gold valued items...

2. Leverage that to buy things that can be traded/sold on the forums for real, live money.

3. Be fair and make an effort to complete those trades.

Over time, one could generate a size able bit of cash, if one is good with budgets AND can put aside that cash in a place ONLY for the intended purpose... Maybe in six months, a year, two years someone will be selling their POT for whatever reason and... boom... you get your POT. Even THAT can be eventually obtained doing nothing but playing this game and collecting in game resources to convert into cash money items.

Heck... Property lots sell for a decent amount, so, always buy as many raffle tickets as possible... if one can snag a couple of those, that could be a nice boost right there.
xadoor - 1145148
I can get the same 100k of telethon items for $5 (4 COTOs).
If I sell my 100k IGG I come out $4(which could buy like 10 obsidian potions but who even needs anymore of those)
If I use my gold to buy 25 COTOs I've spent $5($4 less risk) to buy 29 cotos(4 less than you). You've effectively spent $4 for 5 COTOs some worthless trinkits..oh and a TITLE!!..ahahahahahahahahaha, sorry can't help myself.

I could also add $1 to the extra $4 you spend and do the entire process a 2nd time and end up with 58 COTOs(24 more than you) for an extra measly dollar. 24 tokens for a buck is a SWEET deal. That $9 deal is a total beating of a deal.

That said, involving real money in this game isn't fun for me and I don't actually even spend the $5/month anymore since they removed the store credit. There were times when the bundles could be bought and sold off at a profit as well and I had no interest in doing that either. I'm basically not interested in using money from my wallet to made deals that are only good deal if I can find a bigger sucker to buy what I bought for more than I paid(and that is the gist of your argument I think)
xadoor - 1145151

this is exactly what I did to get my village bundle. It actually gives you direction and keeps the game fun. the same people that have money to burn buying bundles for themselves will pay for your bundle 1 cent at a time.
Nelzie - 1145155
Please to be messaging me your ways... I would LOVE to upgrade my bundle to a Village or higher. I just don't know where quite to begin.
xadoor - 1145198
Its no secret(but its getting harder by the day as the RM value of gold races to the bottom), you just save every gold coin you can, SELL everything, live in rent free area till you get the first bundle:
1) Sold tons of gold/silver ore(ore used be be like 70/ore, now closer to 42)
2) Sold tons of wood, its quite lucrative right now(like 40 each), if you can farm sieges
3) Sold tons of rings(they used to be worth 30k each, now maybe 5-8k each
4) Sold tons of new recipes(they have value for a few weeks) 5-10k each
5) Sold tons of non-vender recipes - used to be 8k each, now only 2500ish
6) Won 2 lots from the raffle(1 row, 1 village), sold them both, few hundred 1000, not sure its worth playing anymore
7) sell components, beatles, sooty bark wtfever you can find
8) dragon heads..sell them
9) cowbells? sell them
10) rabbit pictures? HUGE seller: 25k each
11) occasionally hit a hot recipe like troll belt, staff of death etc? sell them
12) sell bow strings of speed/precision from the elven bows you salvage 4k each
13) when essences came out they were an easy 8k
14) right now I bet the ugly dolls wold fetch a ton
15) dragon neckbones used to be an easy 20k
16) occasionally when you shop if you see something too cheap buy it and resell. This isn't really my thing but for some its a total buzz.
17) fleet flutes, ox belts, shooters sash and others used to have a lot of value.
18) always look whats demanding money and be on the selling side of the trade while you can

I'm not saying this is still possible as nothing seems to sell that well anymore and the Real Money value of stuff is going down faster than a cheap.....nevermind.

NEVER buy!! Keep your eye on the prize!!

I sold my first million gold for $165
2nd million for like $150
last million was only $85.

Buy the bundles ON SALE during the telethons they are WAY cheaper. If you dont craft you can sell the tools from the bundles thou I didn't do this.
Blightlord Knightmare - 1146797
Where is the 25 COTOS from $9 coming from? Is there something you can spend $9 on in the add-on store that instantaneously will give you 25 COTOs/100k gold?

I'm having trouble connecting the $9 he's talking about translating to 100k .
mystarr - 1148052
The prices are based on RMT rates from the Marketplace forums and buy/sell rates on player vendors in game.
  • I can sell the cosmetic rewards from the telethon for 100k IGG on my vendor in game.
  • You could then sell the 100k IGG for about $9 on the commodities forum (
  • OR you could use that 100k IGG to buy cotos from other player's vendors. (The current price on vendors in game is around 4k per coto, so 100k IGG will let you buy about 25 cotos in game)
Elwyn - 1148194
The $9 is the same price as simply buying 9 COTOs off of the store, plus you get a few extra things. Note that the bulk price of COTOs goes down to 100 for $85 if you buy more at once. Portalarium is not responsible for and has no control over the RMT price of IGG.
Blightlord Knightmare - 1148223
So sorry, and please forgive my ignorance, but what is IGG?
Lord Trady of Blix - 1148282
In Game Gold.
Apostle - 1153810
Crowns are tradeable because they neither improve gameplay or detract from gameplay.

Therefor this game isn't pay to win.
Not a single one of you can define what conditions have to be met to "win".

I am a professional and master video gamer. I have more hours video gaming than anyone reading this, period. If this game was p2w, I wouldn't play it.
I have put a few thousand hours in SotA without spending more than the $ 39.99 that Episode One costs.
I actually should buy more stuff from the store just to support Portalarium.