Resetting the Market
Over the last five years Cryptic have introduced a variety of themed lock boxes into Star Trek Online. Each type of lock box has only been available for a limited period of time, thus making much of their contents quite rare. Naturally this has led to a booming market based on the trading these items. Consoles such as Plasmonic Leech and such ships at the Wells Temporal Science Vessel have regularly sold on the exchange for hundreds of millions of energy credits along with other scarce rewards. STO has long been a haven for commodity speculators and even led to an illicit trade outside of the game where rare items are sold for real money.
However on Tuesday 28th of June Cryptic took steps to address the matter of lock box rarity and in doing so also reset the in-game market. The introduction of The Infinity Lock Box offers players “the prizes from nearly all retired boxes in a single, massive prize table”. Until now if you were hoping to obtain a Jem'Hadar Heavy Escort Carrier, you would have to open a Dominion Lock Box. Similarly the Tholian Tarantula Dreadnought Cruiser was exclusive to the Mirror Incursion lock box. The new system allows players who have won a top tier prize to pick the specific item of their choice from a comprehensive list. Scarcity of specific types of lock boxes is no longer a factor.
Naturally this has caused prices of previously rare and obscure items to plummet on the exchange. Those who play the in-game market are peeved but many players, including myself, are extremely pleased with this supply and demand re-calibration. I have already taken advantage of the situation and bought several personal space traits and news abilities such as Kemocite-Laced Weaponry. All of which have had a positive impact upon my current ship build and its overall DPS output. It will be interesting to see if this market change will impact as quickly upon the third party traders that exist outside of STO and whether it spells an end for this illegal cottage industry.
Cryptic have made a positive improvement to Star Trek Online with the introduction of The Infinity Lock Box. However these are not to remain in the game indefinitely. It would appear that the developers still intend to release further themed lock boxes in the future, with the Kelvin Lock Box due for release on the 6th of July in conjunction with the new expansion, Agents of Yesterday. It would appear that The Infinity Lock Box will continue to appear from time to time in-game to ensure that new and returning players can still potentially access items they may have previously missed.