Analysis of a Neopian Economy: Golden Sun Chalice
On November 10th, Issue 317 of the Neopian Times was released. A relatively common occurrence, and one that may have gone almost entirely unnoticed had it not been for one particular Editorial question. I am, of course, referring to the infamous Golden Sun Chalice question. For those of you who may have not read it, or perhaps don't want to dig out the now tattered and worn copy, I will make your lives a little easier by reposting it here.
Well, it's just that me and half the BDers of Neopia are wondering, what does Golden Sun Chalice do? When used in the Battledome it seems to do nothing at all... are we missing something? Did you forget to activate the item?
According to our Battledome queen it's supposed to have a chance to heal your Neopet to max hit points if your Neopet is not at max health. We tested it out and found it wasn't working as we intended. Oops! The code has been fixed now. Let the inflation begin. :P
An unnoticed question? Not likely. My name is Harmony, and I have delved into the deep underworld of Neopia to give you a little insider view of the volatile nature of Neopian economics. I will be going into the effect this simple question has had on the Neopian population, its economy, and businesspets everywhere.
Effect on the Population
Oh the eruption of discussion! I tentatively tip-toed into the hall that held the Battledome discussion, full of big and brawly Neopets, Neopians with pockets bursting at the seams with Neopoints, and a general ruckus that almost blew my eardrums. The Golden Sun Chalice was the heat of the discussion, Battledomers speculating on how the item would inflate (see Inflation), its success rate, and how many of the item they had already bought up. Some speculated it would be a great thing; others expected the whole thing to simmer down to nothing. I hung around for a bit, listening to the occasional conversation between groups of people. It took me only a few minutes to realize most of the groups were talking about the same thing, and being the reporter that I was, I needed new information! Well, that and it was incredibly loud. (On a small side note, I did leave my devoted Cannaree behind to inform me of any change - being the avid music fan that he is, the sound didn't bother him as much. I later learned the discussion simmered down after a few hours, with only a few spurts later on due to people receiving their Neopian Times later that day. Still, it remained hot discussion for hours!)
I left the Battledome Hall, but not before realizing that if these players were right in any way, this simple Editorial question would spike the price beyond belief. Determined to discover if this was true or not, I headed over to the Shop Wizard, sitting smack dab in the middle of the Marketplace.
What I came upon surprised me - normally I would find the Shop Wizard sitting comfortably on a short little stump, answering the plea of the occasional Neopian that came to ask him a question. Now he was running around in a small little circle, trying to give answers to the Restockers that surrounded him on all sides. When I finally broke through the crowd and wiggled closer, I noticed his wizard hat askew, his cloak tattered in places, and a confused look on his face. I tried to let him catch his breath before slipping in beneath his cloak and crouching quite uncomfortably behind his stump - a reporter's job is not always easy!
With my notepad ready, I jotted down the prices of the Golden Sun Chalice over the course of the next couple of hours. It started innocently enough; the price jumped from around 400 NP to 1,200 NP. Not much, right? Well, if it had stopped there, I wouldn't be writing this article right now. It didn't take long for the price to soar to a startling 20,000 NP. Some shopkeepers kept the price in check by offering mass quantities at lower prices, but these were soon bought up and placed at an even higher price. Restockers were rushing to the shops, nearly knocking over multitudes of poor, unsuspecting shopkeepers in their attempt to gain profit. The highest I recorded before deflation began was a shocking 85,000 NP!
All because of a simple Editorial question? Astounding Neopian economics at work!
Many didn't seem to even realize the value of the item in the actual Battledome, and simply sought to buy and resell for profit. This was quite successful, as Cannaree later reported to me. After listening in on a select cluster of Restockers, he learned that some Neopians made over 1,000,000 NP in profit! Let me tell you, dear readers, you should be glad I took the time to cover this story instead of going out and buying a few of my own.
However, Neopoints weren't the only thing flying in this eruption that followed the delivery of the Neopian Times. I have already spoken of some shopkeepers who were nearly trampled trying to handle the shops. But what about the poor Chia stuck with selling these items in the mainstream shops?
After having crouched underneath the Shop Wizard for several hours, I was done for the night. However, as I was walking back to my humble abode, I realized there was still one person I hadn't thought of interviewing!
With my notepad again firmly in hand, I trekked to Altador. When I reached Magical Marvels I didn't even need to knock - the door was already wide open. I was about to waltz right on in when I tripped on a purple paw and received an indignant glare from the Purple Xweetok who ran and curled up next to his owner. That was when I stopped and took a look around.
The whole shop was filled to the brim with people and pets, all anxiously awaiting for the next stock. This was shocking, to say the least. Magical Marvels usually has one or two people floating through, certainly not this crowd! I tip-toed carefully to the back of the shop, receiving my share of glares from people who thought I was going to take their item. When I finally got to the counter I saw a very frazzled Chia, desperately trying to find a way out of the shop. Our conversation, recorded by Cannaree, was as follows:
Harmony: What's going on here? You never have this many customers!
Shopkeeper: It's those evil Golden Sun Chalices!! I've got people left and right asking for them, but I've only got so many, you know!
Harmony: Of course, of course. How long has it been like this?
Shopkeeper: *waving around a now tattered copy of the Times* Since this... this... Editorial came out! It's been impossible to deal with the crowd, and I keep trying to close shop but these Neopians won't let me!!
I was about to ask him more when he started running around looking all around frazzled, and I decided that wasn't the best idea. As you can see, it's not only the monetary value of items that can be altered at the print of a word. Businesspets as far as Altador felt the consequences of the Neopian economy.
One editorial question, rippling effects for many in Neopia. The Neopian economy is certainly an erratic force, and something nearly impossible to predict. A simple Editorial question led to roaring discussion, a dramatic price spike, and even a very frazzled shopkeeper all the way in Altador.
Consequently, for anyone speculating on gaining profit from this incident, it is much too late. Prices stopped rising several hours after the highest spike, and have now settled on a comfortable 7,000 NP (at the time of this article).
Until the next time, earn plenty, spend carefully, and watch out for your dear Shopkeepers.