There has been a major criticism in Guild Wars 2 concerning the Trading Post being down. Arena Net has said that it is down for maintenance and that it is a technical issue. I personally think a lot of this is because they don’t want to perform a lesson in economics to people who think they already know everything concerning video games.
Virtual game world economies mirror the real world economy in major ways. So knowledge in one will help you with understanding the other. With that in mind, lets look at a basic model for how game world economies work.
The basic idea is that every hour, the game world can produce x amount of resources based off of the population.
The first kind of resource created is the in game currency. When a game first launches, everyone is getting small amounts of coin, because the mobs and quest, events, ect. drop small amounts of guild wars 2 gold and the vendor trash is worth very little.
The second kind of resource is crafting materials, these are made by nodes and are gathered by the community. Their value is based off of the age old formula of supply and demand. Quick note here, as the value of currency is lessened by the influx of coin generated by the game, so the values will be incredibly unstable.
The third resource is finished goods, both created by the server and by the players. These are the weapons, armor, buff foods, ect. that the players actually use. They are the true value in the economy, it is them that the other two resources are used to obtain.