Today, I would like to ask (and answer) one question I bet every MMO player has asked him or herself a million times - the million-gold-coin question, if you will: “What would I do if I suddenly gained a very large sum of in-game currency in my favorite MMO?” Money is a big part of every MMO title, as most of them have some sort of economy system with several types of both hard and soft currency. For the sake of argument, let's say you have a really big, shiny pile of everything - crystals, gold, diamonds, whatever. What would you use it for?
Some people hoard their gold, like they are some sort of dragon. They usually justify it as “saving for a rainy day”, or constantly waiting for the next big and expensive add-on. Other hoarders view in-game gold as a status symbol, thinking that having a lot of it indicates just how good of a player they are. However, I think it’s much more impressive to ride into battle on the most badass dragon money can buy. If we’re talking about showing off your wealth and skill, I think top-level gear works much better than a few extra rubies.
So spending it all on gear for your avatar or character is a good answer. Everybody wants their avatar to look the best, and hit the hardest. However, there are plenty of other things to invest in, especially in online strategy games. After all, your Base and Units are much more important when you’ve got entire armies to contend with. The first thing that comes to mind is spending a whole lot on defenses - an investment that will surely repay itself once all your precious resources are safe behind barbed wire, turrets and immortal guardians. The second thing I would probably invest in, once my base is completely secure, is firepower. Special and legendary units are a good place to start, however, unlike defenses, they can be destroyed in combat. Personally, I’d invest in upgrading my technologies, buildings, and unit-production capabilities as a priority, and leave the purchasing of Units to just before a really big fight.
But that’s enough practicality; money can be spent on stuff we want, not just what we need. There are plenty of cosmetic items available in every MMORPG or MMORTS, be it a new skin for your mount, or a different style for your castle. These items can help you stand out in the sea of players populating your favorite game, or at least show everyone you have some serious swag.
What about helping others? If you have more in-game money than you know what to do with, maybe it’s time to give back! There are always low-level and beginner players who can use a powerful item or two to get them going, and this act of random generosity might even be the thing that will make them come back and play for years to come - and have your back! Also, I’m pretty sure most of you are part of a clan or guild or other group of players and friends. Clans always have expenses - whether it’s amassing an army in preparation for a battle with a rival clan, or supporting some of its weaker player through difficult times. Spending your in-game cash on your clan won’t only raise your status among your peers, but can help your clan become one of the more influential ones in the game.
However you decide to spend your hard-earned crystals and gold, I’m certain we established one thing here - MMO currency is meant to be spent on yourself, your avatar, your castle and your friends. Otherwise, it might as well be worthless.