SOE recently concluded a two week pre-launch trial phase for Station Exchange. We only allowed a very small number of EQII players into the pre-launch in order to help us fine-tune the system and get feedback on the user experience. The service was live for pre-launch, which meant that all of the users were exchanging US dollars for the rights to use virtual goods, characters and coin within the game.
Station Exchange is going live for EverQuest II on two all-new servers (The Bazaar and Shadowhaven). EQII players will be given the option to have their characters moved for free over to the new servers or they can start up brand-new characters there. Players who do not wish to participate in Station Exchange can continue playing on their current servers.
During the two week trial period, each participant spent an average of more than $14 per player on various auctions. Considering that the community was very small and the entire service is new, this is a healthy indicator of how quickly the service will pick up once it goes live.
Hot auction items included Pristine Teak Box, Pristine Strengthened Leather Backpack and a Queynosian Small Wooden Barrel. These items were big sellers because they provide players with lots of extra storage space on their character to collect loot.
Nearly one fourth of all the auctions begun on Station Exchange ended in a sale.
Our highest price item during pre-launch was a stack of money (20 platinum, 35 gold, 40 silver) that went for $315.
The average price for 1 platinum piece: $20.41
Average price for characters: $65.92.
Total amount of virtual cash auctioned during the two weeks, across multiple sales: 117 plat, 74 gold, 78 silver, 14 copper.