It never fails. Whenever I’m on with Jall for more than 20 minutes or so, I get at least one tell from a total stranger asking me to come heal their party. Some of them are very courteous, like the guy the other night who said, “Hi, we need a healer for Shroud and would love to have you come along if you’re not busy. :)” And some I just ignore, like the person whose tell said only, “hjeal shroud.” Either way, check the social tab and you’re likely to find parties in search of a healer.
You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find clerics and favored souls looking for groups, but having sat around watching my ship buffs tick down while my group waited… and waited… and waited for a healer to hit the LFM, I know firsthand that heals are hard to come by. Probably part of it is the responsibility; it’s the healer’s job to keep the party alive, and I know I take it personally when someone dies on Jall’s watch. And healers have to deal with the idiots who zerg off out of range, get clobbered and then whine that they didn’t get a heal.
But I think there’s more to the healer shortage than that. It’s damned expensive to be a healer. Jall healed her first ToD the other night, and to make sure she was prepared, I stopped at the House K guild divine scroll vendor and picked up 100 each Cure Serious and Heal scrolls. That set her back around 22K. She’s really more of a spell healer, though, so she tends to have a bit of a drinking problem when it comes to mnemonics. Priced major mana pots lately? It wasn’t that long ago that I could get them on the AH for around 12K plat. Now you’re lucky if you can find one for 20K.
I have a theory on this, probably not a very popular one. I check the AH for mana pots (among other things) at least once or twice a night, and I’ve noticed a trend over the last month or so. It’ll go from having four or five pages worth of pots to two or three pages, and the next time I check, it’s back up to four or five… and nearly all of the major pots are listed with the exact same starting price and buyout. Seems to me someone is trying to scarf up all the pots and then resell them at higher prices.
I can’t help but suspect this has more than a bit to do with the “businesses” I see cropping up. Lotteries? Investors? Stock options? When did DDO become Sim Eberron? This is getting carried away. Maybe some of these DDO “companies” are legit; I know there’s one individual who always seems to have someone vouching for him. But this same person also spams blind guild invites, so he’s not anyone I’m going to trust. Besides, even if some of them ARE legit, this is just opening up the door to people looking to make some quick plat at others’ expense. How do you KNOW how many lottery tickets were really sold, and how many of the winners are real and not friends, alts or mules of the lottery holder? How the heck can you be sure that your “investment” in someone’s enterprise isn’t just being used to buy green steel ings?
There is absolutely no way to monitor or regulate any of this stuff, and what it’s leading to is a few “entrepreneurs” collecting obscene amounts of plat. That plat has to come from somewhere. It comes from the people who fall for this crap. Joe Corporate having more plat means that other people have less. And it means that Joe Corporate has the DDO financial means to have a near monopoly on just about anything he wants to.
And THAT means higher – MUCH higher – prices for everybody else, like healers in need of pots. I know everybody has their own reasons for playing the game, and I don’t begrudge anyone trying to make some plat. But now it’s affecting how the rest of us play the game as well. That’s wrong. What the heck does Joe Corporate need millions of plat for anyway (and at least one “Joe Corporate” on Thelanis has certainly done plenty of bragging about his millions of plat)? It’s not like you need any gear if you spend all your time hanging out at the Harbor mailbox looking for “investors” and selling lottery tickets (not to mention hindering the poor people who just want to get their mail) instead of adventuring.
There are lots of great reasons to play DDO – socializing, role playing, beating the crap out of stuff to relieve tension. But if you want to run a business, go play Second Life… or at least stop whining when you can’t find a healer for your party.
Oh, and forgive the crappy artwork, I’ve been in a drawing mood but haven’t had enough patience to bother actually drawing anything good. 😛