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Chapter 2: A game of Monopoly

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

The fully liberal market of Maplestory allows many monopolies to rise, I myself was involved in one, and that was the second milestone of my Maplestory business life, and possibly the most complicated one I was involved in. Maplestory, in the aspect of earning mesos, is reflective of the real world, where one is unable to make huge profits without bearing some form of risk.

In the year 2011 when the Chaos Patch came out, this region called Ardentmill was released. Ardentmill was basically a crafting village, where one could craft advanced items with seemingly useless items. Over here laid countless money-making opportunities, especially so since the market was new. At that point in time I had approximately about 200m from selling scrolls miscellaneous items, and thus I decided to make a relatively huge investment. The free market had about a total of 7 android recipes, selling for 20m each on an average, so I spent 140m buying out the whole market. If you are wondering why I needed to buy 7 recipes, it was because each recipe can only create 1 android, Maplestory logic.

With the 7 recipes I had, I went on to harvest the raw materials that were required manually, at times buying the intermediate item crystals that were essential in crafting the android from other players. At the end of the day, the production cost turned out to be:

Recipe: 20m

10 Intermediate item crystals: 100k x 10 = 1m

25 Adamantium plates: Self earned, only opportunity cost involved

Intermediate abrasives: Negligible

Brown powder: I had quite a lot, so it was negligible

So the production cost would sum up to 21 million.

I then proceeded to sell each android for an average of 35 million each by manually advertising it in the free market. People were interested in something new that could fit into the new inventory slot in their equipment tab, so the androids sold pretty fast. In total I got about 235 million after the 2% tax, and this resulted in a profit of 235-21x7 = 88 million.

88 Million in a day? That was extremely profitable back then considering that the whole process took only 3 hours, much more efficient than if I were to do quests or manually mine raw materials to sell to other players.

However, I felt that 3 hours could have been better utilized; perhaps I could have taken out some of the unnecessary steps in my production. Instead of getting 25 adamantium plates by hand, I went on to buy the adamantium plates from the free market at 250k per plate, saving a total of 2 hours’ worth of opportunity cost.

This amounted to an extra 6.25m per android, and the new calculation became as follows:

Recipe: 20m

10 Intermediate item crystals: 100k x 10 = 1m

25 Adamantium plates: 25x250k = 6.25m

Intermediate abrasives: Negligible

Brown powder: Then negligible

So the production cost would sum up to 27.25 million.

Since it takes 3 hours for me to produce and sell 7 androids, reducing the opportunity cost by 2 hours allowed me to sell 21 androids in the given time, estimated down to 18 given that I needed some time to find sellers for the adamantium plates too. So, by improving the efficiency of production, I earned about 7 million per android sold, which meant a total of 126 million mesos in terms of profit in the same amount of time. That was a 43% increase in terms of profits, just by compromising some mesos to remove an unnecessary step.

The thing about androids is that they require a heart to be powered,but I did not have the capability to produce such hearts. While scouting the free market, I noticed that there was only one person selling android hearts, and as the android heart recipe was EXTREMELY rare, and can be used to craft as many android hearts as desired. This lucky guy had absolutely no competition, and was the monopolist of the android heart market. However, his shop did not contain a single android, and the hearts were perishable goods that had an expiry date of 2 weeks. You must be wondering, why didn’t he just buy the androids recipe and craft a few androids to put in his store? Well, upon finding out that the android market was profitable, and that recipes were needed to craft the android, I struck a deal with the sole seller of the recipe, a person with a very dubious IGN consisting of random numbers and letters placed together. Nevertheless the trades were legal and he agreed not to sell the android recipes to anyone else as long as I was willing to offer a higher price per recipe.

I struck a deal with the person selling the hearts, and took quite some bit of risk considering the fact that the deal was made based on trust, and that there was always a possibility that I may get scammed, but nevertheless I passed the androids I made to him to put on his shop. From this deal, he receives a 5% commission; his android hearts get sold, and I save the opportunity cost of having to manually advertise on the free market entrance, as well as the hassle of bargaining with the consumers for a better deal, certainly a win-win situation.

Wait a minute. If I have to give my business partner a 5% commission, and a fee to the supplier of my recipes, where would my profits go to? Being the only seller in the market, I was thus able to push up my prices a little bit higher, raising my revenue and profits in the process.

Let’s calculate the opportunity cost and the cost of producing an android:

Time required making a batch of 7 androids: 20 minutes

Time required to advertise your androids and manually sell them: 40 minute - reduced to 2 minutes as I just needed to pass the androids to my business partner to put on his shop, he was quite an honest guy and did not scam me of a single android.

Time required to harvest materials: 2 hour - reduced to 10 minutes after I had added the suppliers of the various materials to my buddy list. I just need to go to them, pass them the mesos and they pass me the required crafting materials.

Total time: Approximately 35 minutes including walking time.

Cost per android:

Recipe: 25m, originally 20m, but topped up to 25m to ensure that the supplier did not sell to anyone else

Intermediate Item crystal: 100k x 10 = 1m

Brown powder (Originally I had a lot, but ran out of it after crafting so many androids): 100k x 10 = 1m

Intermediate abrasives: Negligible

Adamantium Plates: 250k x 25 = 6.25m

5% commission to my business partner: 1.75m

Total cost: 35m per android

By selling each android at 60m each, I had profit of 25m, and I was making approximately 1 android every 5 minutes, that’s a profit of 5m per minute, just by talking to people and trading with them. However I was careful not to overproduce, as that would result in an excess of androids, because it was not like every 5 minutes a suitable buyer would just come in and buy my android. Money was basically just working for me, and I will be explaining more about the importance of letting money work for you in the next chapter.

End of Chapter 2

Chapter 3

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