NeX Retail Pricing Strategy
As requested in last week's special CSM summit
EVE Online players and the Council of Stellar Management have been asking questions, looking to understand the pricing strategy unfolding in the in-game virtual goods store The Noble Exchange (NeX.) The store opened with relatively few items, which was "by design" so we could take small measured initial steps in virtual goods sales. However there weren't enough items in the store to build a very clear image of pricing strategy. In an effort to help players understand our approach to pricing, we have prepared this dev blog.
In hindsight, we likely should have launched the Noble Exchange separately from Incarna 1.0 to separate launch issues from the store. However sometimes you just have to take that first step to see what happens.
Ideally we would have wanted more goods available in the low-tier price range for sale in the store. For example having one full outfit available in each price tier would have clarified a lot of the misunderstanding that followed the launch.
What's this about pricing tiers? Yes. We are planning to offer clothing and accessories at an affordable tier, a mid-tier, and a deluxe tier, with occasional exceptional offers of rare goods for a very limited number of customers. And our plan is to fill in these pieces gradually over the summer and fall but we may need to revise that plan due to the apparent gap in price tiers. To understand tiers, it helps to understand outfits and slots.
Wearing Clothing in Slots
From bottom to top order, you can currently wear items in the following slots: Footwear, Bottoms, Tops, Outer, and Eyewear slots. You can only wear one item in each slot.
Our fashion designers are making coordinated outfits. The descriptive text will often tell you which New Eden design house created the piece you are inspecting in the store. There are also some independent pieces not designed for a particular outfit (for example, the current eyewear.)
Click image to enlarge
How do the tiers work?
The items in the Noble Exchange come in several price ranges. Normally, an outfit will all come from one pricing tier. An affordable tier outfit can be purchased and assembled for roughly the value of one PLEX in total - slightly cheaper if you are fortunate enough to time your purchase well.
Mid-tier outfits will be priced such that an outfit will total approximately 3-4 PLEX, depending on individual elements.
Deluxe tier outfits are aimed at flamboyantly rich capsuleers regardless of whether they measure their wealth in ISK, Aurum, PLEX, or currencies from Earth. While price is of little concern for these players, they could find themselves spending two or three times the price of an affordable outfit on a single piece for their ensemble. An exceptional tier is rumored to exist that represents a very special and rare investment for the wealthiest members of the EVE community.
Aurum versus ISK
Remember, these items can and will be available for ISK as long as someone puts them up for sale there. As with the rest of EVE the market is based on supply and demand and selling clothes may become a lucrative way of making some additional ISK. If you are currently wearing an outfit, it is effectively indestructible so put it on before you leave if you're making your purchase at a well-traveled market hub like Jita.
Enjoy your purchases now in the privacy of your own quarters. Then show them off later in public establishments when the doors into the station are opened.