I will give you a decent post (hopefully)
The system of economics that exists in a MMORPG is called Infinitum-Based Economy. In this economy one or several groups (factions) become Recipients. Every other entity becomes a Money-Printer. Recipients do not have direct access to the Money-Printers and Money-Printers do not have access to the Recipients. The two sides are independent of one another and there is no bartering between them.
In MMORPGs we have the system itself that creates both, the Recipients and the Printers themselves. The Printers do not keep any money that have been printed. Any money returned to them is removed from the system.
The way this works is that all money is printed out of thin air. The higher the player-base, the more money exists collectively among the recipient-class. An example... For every 1000 players who have saved up 1,000,000 meseta in storage, we have 1 billion meseta circulating in the system.
In order to retain the worth of the currency high, there needs to be a mechanism to remove money from recipient, back into the system. There are only three:
- Purchases made through the item shop
- Purchases made through the Lab
- Taxation through the Marketplace
There is a fourth that is special. The Item Exchange and Capsule Exchange because that removes materials from the system. However, since the materials (Ores) can not be sold in player ran shops, it is just part of the system to remove materials.
Of these methods, the one that removes the most money in a noticeable fashion is the Item Lab. Even with the community discovery and posting on the most efficient ways to enhance weapons and units, as well as affix them, as well as perform weapon potential unlocks and multi-weapons....even limit breaking, this is still a method that takes a lot. Consider the fact we are only at 4 star weapons. Imagine 8 - 9 star weapons when we get to them.
In a discussion of economics (before talking about red boxes).
We need to consider the exchange rate from Infinity to Finite.
I hate botters as much as the next person, but according to their spams...
1 Million Meseta is worth $8
which would mean one AC scratch card is worth 250,000 meseta (not counting real world taxes for purchasing AC)
What Red Boxes do to the game on multiple-accounts is increase the amount of money in and items players can have. If they have a shop card, they can sell these items and make money from them. However, the important items can be obtained by everyone on their accounts as these boxes are local to each player.
The players spend a few hours to gain around 400,000 in Meseta, and then to transfer the money end up finding a way to get a shop card. Since it is a new account, there is no access to a 3 day shop card, meaning they would need a shop card that is 700 AC (nevermind premium) to run a 30 day shop card per account.
Thanks to the RMT botters out there.... Each 100 AC is equivalent to 125K Meseta, so 700 AC is 875K Meseta. In order to get a return from this, the players would have to sell the special armors as well as the capsules they get from some of the red boxes. Once they are done spending the time it takes to get all the red boxes, this also means that they have to pay some of that money back to the system through Marketplace Taxation.
After checking through what the Red Boxes drop and the current worth of items, along with time spent....this is actually quite extreme for a player to achieves and for the time spent to do this, it is a net-loss. In fact, these players are actually helping to fund the game while getting little return. It is actually better to AC scratch four times and see if you can sell the items depending on the scratch.
So the main question argument here is "Red Box hunters are causing inflation in the economy"
The argument I present is the playerbase overall has a greater effect on inflating the economy due to the fact that content-demand has been satisfied (Gigantix is killed by just about everyone major group even with one or two sub-20s in many places) with the +40 Gear we made already for that. Only few players are attempting to use Geant Units and Straga Weapons not just because its more glass cannon, but because players already made their gear and many do not want to raise more four star weapons, money is not going back into the system.
So due to the fact that Content-Demand has been reached, the market supply is insane to the point the prices of many items, including some straga weapons have dropped to 1000 Meseta on the ship I am on. As far as money is concerned, Red boxes are one thing.....but having the account active and four weeks of running Dailies and Weeklies off that shop card will net more money than the money gained from Red Box hunt. Put it all together and sure, you have some money.
However, Phantasy Star
Like most F2Ps out there...
is a game where you make the most money from simply not playing it.
Suppose I make an alt account and want to use to make around 3 - 4 million meseta a month for my main account. This means I do weeklies for five weeks (28 days for four weeks, but since its a 30 day shop card, I can do weeklies five times). Lets say this venture costs me 12 hours of time. Just log in and do weeklies and get red boxes. (remember, observing PSE burst and doing a UQ takes some time)
Even if I were to take half the time (6 hours),
I bet you I would make more money in working 6 hours at a rate of 15 dollars an hour (as many people in high school working in this state make 15 - 17 now), which is $90 and doing the 2200 AC scratch for 12 scratches four times, and selling off 48 Scratches on the marketboard.... than a person who wants to go through the trouble of running another account.