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Auction House exclusion (not a rant)Follow

#1 Sep 12 2010 at 1:54 PM Rating: Decent
The more I read about SE's decision to wait until some time after launch to implement an auction-like system, the more it seems like it -> might <- actually be a good idea.

For the purposes of discussion, I'm using AH to refer to whatever centralized search/sell/buy system SE might put in place whether it's a retainer search, an auction system similar to XI or other MMOs, etc.

The reason SE has given for the delay in implementing an auction is that it would "determine the economy system." A lot of people are interpreting that to mean that if SE had the AH in the game at launch, it would influence the price of goods. That's not the reason they're delaying it. Think about it this way: you're a new player in a new game. Maybe you have previous MMO experience, maybe you don't. After a few hours of adventuring you wind up staring at an inventory jam packed with goofballs and think, "Gee, it would be awfully nice if I could get rid of some of this stuff by selling it to another player and hopefully get more for it than I would from an NPC."

Great idea!

So now, let's suppose the game were to start with an AH already in place. Which option are you going to choose to sell your wares? The centralized system that offers potential buyers the convenience of searching for exactly what they want or browsing from a consolidated list of goods for sale? That same system is the one you could use as a seller to see what the items you have to sell might go for. A very convenient system.

Compare that to the retainer/market ward system. As a potential seller (and especially without an AH), if you wanted to even try to ensure that you were offering competitive prices, you would have to wander the entire ward checking every retainer to see if they are also selling the items you want to sell and if so, for how much. You then have to set up your retainer's bazaar and hope that prospective buyers actually check it. Add to that the fact that from what I'm seeing so far in the game, people would rather farm their own materials than go ward hopping to try and find them for sale.

There's one substantial bonus to crafters with the retainer system, however, that wouldn't work nearly so well if it was shifted to the auction, and that's the ability to repair items other people put up in their retainer's bazaar specifically for that purpose. If your primary interest in the game is crafting, touring the market wards to find items to repair seems like it might actually be an interesting thing to do if for no other reason than a little variety and some gil here and there. If you were to transfer that same sort of concept to an auction where all you had to do was run a search for items flagged for repair (as opposed to sale), it would just be a case of people camping auction windows. Not only would it be less interesting, but it would quickly turn cutthroat.

So on one hand, you've got the market wards which, for general buying and selling, are dreadfully inconvenient and time consuming vs. an auction house with all its fast search and centralized benefits. If the game was released with the auction system in place, the market wards would probably be ghost towns. So by delaying the introduction of an AH system, SE is forcing players at launch to get acquainted with the system, not because of pricing issues but because the incentives for doing so aren't readily apparent to your new player.

Make no mistake, whether the AH system is in the game at launch or not, it's still going to determine the common price of goods. But by getting that first wave of players accustomed to the market wards by offering no other alternative, people entering the game after the AH system is added will be met by players who are better able to explain to them the benefits of the market wards despite the at-a-glance inconvenience. It's not about price, it's about understanding the system.
#2 Sep 12 2010 at 2:06 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
The more I read about SE's decision to wait until some time after launch to implement an auction-like system, the more it seems like it -> might <- actually be a good idea.

For the purposes of discussion, I'm using AH to refer to whatever centralized search/sell/buy system SE might put in place whether it's a retainer search, an auction system similar to XI or other MMOs, etc.

The reason SE has given for the delay in implementing an auction is that it would "determine the economy system." A lot of people are interpreting that to mean that if SE had the AH in the game at launch, it would influence the price of goods. That's not the reason they're delaying it. Think about it this way: you're a new player in a new game. Maybe you have previous MMO experience, maybe you don't. After a few hours of adventuring you wind up staring at an inventory jam packed with goofballs and think, "Gee, it would be awfully nice if I could get rid of some of this stuff by selling it to another player and hopefully get more for it than I would from an NPC."

Great idea!

So now, let's suppose the game were to start with an AH already in place. Which option are you going to choose to sell your wares? The centralized system that offers potential buyers the convenience of searching for exactly what they want or browsing from a consolidated list of goods for sale? That same system is the one you could use as a seller to see what the items you have to sell might go for. A very convenient system.

Compare that to the retainer/market ward system. As a potential seller (and especially without an AH), if you wanted to even try to ensure that you were offering competitive prices, you would have to wander the entire ward checking every retainer to see if they are also selling the items you want to sell and if so, for how much. You then have to set up your retainer's bazaar and hope that prospective buyers actually check it. Add to that the fact that from what I'm seeing so far in the game, people would rather farm their own materials than go ward hopping to try and find them for sale.

There's one substantial bonus to crafters with the retainer system, however, that wouldn't work nearly so well if it was shifted to the auction, and that's the ability to repair items other people put up in their retainer's bazaar specifically for that purpose. If your primary interest in the game is crafting, touring the market wards to find items to repair seems like it might actually be an interesting thing to do if for no other reason than a little variety and some gil here and there. If you were to transfer that same sort of concept to an auction where all you had to do was run a search for items flagged for repair (as opposed to sale), it would just be a case of people camping auction windows. Not only would it be less interesting, but it would quickly turn cutthroat.

So on one hand, you've got the market wards which, for general buying and selling, are dreadfully inconvenient and time consuming vs. an auction house with all its fast search and centralized benefits. If the game was released with the auction system in place, the market wards would probably be ghost towns. So by delaying the introduction of an AH system, SE is forcing players at launch to get acquainted with the system, not because of pricing issues but because the incentives for doing so aren't readily apparent to your new player.

Make no mistake, whether the AH system is in the game at launch or not, it's still going to determine the common price of goods. But by getting that first wave of players accustomed to the market wards by offering no other alternative, people entering the game after the AH system is added will be met by players who are better able to explain to them the benefits of the market wards despite the at-a-glance inconvenience. It's not about price, it's about understanding the system.
I don't see how having an AH removes the need for people to get items repaired. If there are two choices for people to get items repaired and one is better than the other, people will naturally gravitate towards the better option. People still used bazaars a ton in FFXI despite having an AH. If that's the better way for people to get their weapons and armor repaired, they'll choose it over an AH alternative. Might not happen immediately, but the players will adjust as they interact and discuss the best way to do something.

I haven't dealt with the market ward as the slow UI and choppy framerate even on a new PC aggravates the crap out of me. The most important part of the ward will be keeping it as closely integrated with the main channel of the city as possible. As long as it's not out in some corner that nobody visits and is instead near the primary flow of traffic, it should be fine. I don't see why SE couldn't be observing stuff like that during the alpha or beta testing periods.

For me, it's just all the more reason to not play the initial months of the game's release. Let SE and their paying customers spend their time testing and fixing what should've been tested and fixed during the alpha and beta.



Edited, Sep 12th 2010 3:13pm by bsphil
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#3 Sep 12 2010 at 2:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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I understand the atmosphere they're trying to foster in the game. I understand they want players to interact early on so that the suppliers and buyers have personal interaction rather than just relying on some random stranger you don't know or care to know placing the items you want on the AH. People can compare prices and it's a good way for people to get in direct contact with a supplier, haggle for a better price in exchange for a guarantee of purchase on products so that the gatherer doesn't have to wait for their wares to sell and the buyer always has a steady supply. And when the supplier starts gathering higher level materials they already have a steady customer that will buy.

It's all a good idea in theory, but the truth is that most people just want to get what they need and move on. In a online game the majority of players (especially casual players) put a premium on progression, most times at the cost of personal interaction. When given the choice they would rather solo if it gains them just as much xp as a party. SE is trying to make an expansive, immersive game targeting casual players which is frankly unrealistic. And they will come to understand that in the weeks/months following release.
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#4 Sep 12 2010 at 2:37 PM Rating: Decent
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+1 for thinking of this.

If this is what SE is thinking, though, it could've been done much simpler with an AH already there. All they would have to do is the first time a player goes to the AH or Market Wards they get a dialogue box that pops up(I know SE doesn't like using those) with an explanation of both the AH and Market Wards. BAM problem solved.
#5 Sep 12 2010 at 2:50 PM Rating: Good
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Prices are set by supply/value of gil, compared to how difficult items are to obtain. an AH is the most efficient way to determine that. The market wards will cloud that value by throwing in a convenience factor, such as a weapon crafter charging 20% more than average because his retainer's name is Weapons and its located outside the adventurer's guild.
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#6 Sep 12 2010 at 2:51 PM Rating: Decent
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There was no AH at release of FFXI and yet that game didnt do so badly.

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#7 Sep 12 2010 at 3:22 PM Rating: Decent
bsphil wrote:
I don't see how having an AH removes the need for people to get items repaired. If there are two choices for people to get items repaired and one is better than the other, people will naturally gravitate towards the better option. People still used bazaars a ton in FFXI despite having an AH. If that's the better way for people to get their weapons and armor repaired, they'll choose it over an AH alternative. Might not happen immediately, but the players will adjust as they interact and discuss the best way to do something.


You're not understanding what I wrote. I didn't say anything at all about having an AH removing the need for people to get repairs. What I said is that it would be a more diverse mechanic for crafters to meander market wards for retainers with items for repair in their bazaars than simply camping an auction window.
#8 Sep 12 2010 at 3:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think repairs should have a different icon than the typical bazaar.
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#9 Sep 12 2010 at 3:38 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I think repairs should have a different icon than the typical bazaar.



This x100. Need a another bag icon of a different color or something
#10 Sep 12 2010 at 3:45 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
bsphil wrote:
I don't see how having an AH removes the need for people to get items repaired. If there are two choices for people to get items repaired and one is better than the other, people will naturally gravitate towards the better option. People still used bazaars a ton in FFXI despite having an AH. If that's the better way for people to get their weapons and armor repaired, they'll choose it over an AH alternative. Might not happen immediately, but the players will adjust as they interact and discuss the best way to do something.


You're not understanding what I wrote. I didn't say anything at all about having an AH removing the need for people to get repairs. What I said is that it would be a more diverse mechanic for crafters to meander market wards for retainers with items for repair in their bazaars than simply camping an auction window.
Right, and what I said was that if that option truly is better, then people will use that over the AH. If it sucks, then when the AH comes out, people will go straight to the AH after being fed up with the retainer system and the ward.
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#11 Sep 12 2010 at 3:50 PM Rating: Good
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Way back when we were all still speculating, back before Alpha and Beta, I kind of thought that the whole retainer system was really just going to be for crafters and not the WHOLE ECONOMY. The way they pitched it back then, it "sounded" like you would have a sort of shop opened where people could get things from you that were from whatever craft you happened to be a master of. I guess this would include repairs, but back then we didn't have any confirmation of that being a part of the game.

The retainer system could still be a good system if they would keep aces in their places. A generic AH is the best place to sell general goods and equipment. Peoples' individual shops might be the best place to sell specialty equipment and repairs.

All I know is that SE had better get their act together and fast, because historically, the media has not been kind to them on the MMO front and there's no reason they should start overlooking things with FFXIV.
#12 Sep 12 2010 at 3:53 PM Rating: Decent
bsphil wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
bsphil wrote:
I don't see how having an AH removes the need for people to get items repaired. If there are two choices for people to get items repaired and one is better than the other, people will naturally gravitate towards the better option. People still used bazaars a ton in FFXI despite having an AH. If that's the better way for people to get their weapons and armor repaired, they'll choose it over an AH alternative. Might not happen immediately, but the players will adjust as they interact and discuss the best way to do something.


You're not understanding what I wrote. I didn't say anything at all about having an AH removing the need for people to get repairs. What I said is that it would be a more diverse mechanic for crafters to meander market wards for retainers with items for repair in their bazaars than simply camping an auction window.
Right, and what I said was that if that option truly is better, then people will use that over the AH. If it sucks, then when the AH comes out, people will go straight to the AH after being fed up with the retainer system and the ward.


Right, but considering pretty much every MMO released in the last 5 years has had an auction system in place, it's one of the first things people look for when they want to buy/sell and the market ward system would probably never get the attention SE wants it to get. I'm not saying I agree with SE's reasoning on this...that's why I emphasized the word "might" in my statement about how it might not be a bad idea.

My purpose in making the post was because everyone is walking around talking about how SE is doing this to control prices. They're not. Price of this or that is irrelevant. What SE is saying is that they want people to get used to the systems.
#13 Sep 12 2010 at 4:03 PM Rating: Decent
Torrence wrote:
Way back when we were all still speculating, back before Alpha and Beta, I kind of thought that the whole retainer system was really just going to be for crafters and not the WHOLE ECONOMY. The way they pitched it back then, it "sounded" like you would have a sort of shop opened where people could get things from you that were from whatever craft you happened to be a master of. I guess this would include repairs, but back then we didn't have any confirmation of that being a part of the game.

The retainer system could still be a good system if they would keep aces in their places. A generic AH is the best place to sell general goods and equipment. Peoples' individual shops might be the best place to sell specialty equipment and repairs.

All I know is that SE had better get their act together and fast, because historically, the media has not been kind to them on the MMO front and there's no reason they should start overlooking things with FFXIV.


The thing is, you dont' sell repairs through your retainer. You don't send your retainer into the market ward to repair other peoples' gear. You put the gear you want repaired onto your retainer, then you go to the "Manage Bazaar" section of your retainer menu, select the item you want to have repaired, select "Seek Repairs" from the item info pane, and then enter how much you're offering for the repairs (you can offer gil or item(s), maybe both). Then when a crafter is wandering around the market wards and stops by your retainer, they'll see that you've got some gear you want to have repaired. The crafter looks at it and if they've got the materials and the skill to do the repairs, they repair the item and get the gil and/or items you offered in exchange.
#14 Sep 12 2010 at 4:17 PM Rating: Decent
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I really like the seeking repairs option - I also like the seeking <a certain item> option but I wish they would tweak this to allow you to seek a wide variety of items that you do or don't own and as many as you want. As it stands now if I have 30 wind shards in my inventory, I can only seek to buy 30 wind shards, I hope they change this.
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#15 Sep 12 2010 at 5:02 PM Rating: Good
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As a player who loves to take on the role of a "merchant" (buy low sell high make profit), I enjoy the retainer system as it adds an extra level of challenge as compared to the AH where any fool can just search an item that is being undercut and resell it back at face value. The retainer system allows one to sell items, especially high value ones, at the price you feel that will make you the max profit but will still attract buyers without the powerful price control of an AH.

As it stands right now there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make this not only work, but to also continue to work even after an AH is implemented. The biggest threat is the cost of hiring a retainer and the tax that is added onto the wares you sell.
#16 Sep 12 2010 at 5:04 PM Rating: Decent
Redscare wrote:
As a player who loves to take on the role of a "merchant" (buy low sell high make profit), I enjoy the retainer system as it adds an extra level of challenge as compared to the AH where any fool can just search an item that is being undercut and resell it back at face value. The retainer system allows one to sell items, especially high value ones, at the price you feel that will make you the max profit but will still attract buyers without the powerful price control of an AH.

As it stands right now there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make this not only work, but to also continue to work even after an AH is implemented. The biggest threat is the cost of hiring a retainer and the tax that is added onto the wares you sell.


Most MMO auction houses have a tax of some sort as well, They also tend to have a listing fee (meaning that if your item doesn't sell, you lose the fee). So in order to prevent the bazaar tax from being a deterrent for people from using the merchant wards, all SE has to do is implement an equal tax rate on auction transactions.
#17 Sep 12 2010 at 5:08 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
As a player who loves to take on the role of a "merchant" (buy low sell high make profit), I enjoy the retainer system as it adds an extra level of challenge as compared to the AH where any fool can just search an item that is being undercut and resell it back at face value. The retainer system allows one to sell items, especially high value ones, at the price you feel that will make you the max profit but will still attract buyers without the powerful price control of an AH.

As it stands right now there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make this not only work, but to also continue to work even after an AH is implemented. The biggest threat is the cost of hiring a retainer and the tax that is added onto the wares you sell.


See that's the thing with retainers VS AH, its all a matter of time. Retainers benefit those who have enough to seek through everything, gathering market information. It allows people to sell stuff at above market price if they have a more convenient location, or are lucky enough to sell to someone who couldn't, or didn't want to look through every other retainer to determine the best purchasing decision.
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#18 Sep 12 2010 at 5:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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I really like the seeking repairs option - I also like the seeking <a certain item> option but I wish they would tweak this to allow you to seek a wide variety of items that you do or don't own and as many as you want. As it stands now if I have 30 wind shards in my inventory, I can only seek to buy 30 wind shards, I hope they change this.

I love the seeking item feature too, at least in theory. I haven't really seen how well it works in practice because I hate the market wards so much.

There's a weak argument to be made that people won't use the seeking item/repairs features as much if they have other options.

But actually, I think the opposite may be true. When people have an auction house to sell things on, the market wards will become more dedicated to the seeking features because they won't be packed with all the other crap. Crafters looking to do repairs and players looking to quickly unload their excess items will be able to go in there and find what they need quickly.

Whether or not that's the case, this should have been figured out in beta. I won't pay to do their testing for them.
#19 Sep 12 2010 at 5:41 PM Rating: Good
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Torrence wrote:
The retainer system could still be a good system if they would keep aces in their places. A generic AH is the best place to sell general goods and equipment. Peoples' individual shops might be the best place to sell specialty equipment and repairs.

This gives me an interesting thought for a potentially nice balance between the ease of the Auction House and the social benefits of the Retainer system it pertains to DoH and DoL. Would you(plural) accept a hybrid system where the Auction House allows listings of only NQ good (i.e. you can sell your Hauberk, but not your Hauberk +1), while reserving specialty gear, i.e. HQ gear for the market? This would allow people to easily browse the gear available at your level (one of the major complaints of the retainer system as I understand it) at the Auction House. Meanwhile, PC vendors would have a venue to hawk their unique wears, preserving the "market flavor" of the Retainer system. Players can buy the base gear for their level any time they want from the Auction House, but if they want to find something more specialized, they'll have to find a good seller, maybe even track down a company that specializes in the production of that DoH. The same would be true of ingredients; you can buy bland mass produced ingots from the official channels, but if you want the best, you're going to have to scrounge a few back alleys, as it where.
#20 Sep 12 2010 at 5:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hulan wrote:
Torrence wrote:
The retainer system could still be a good system if they would keep aces in their places. A generic AH is the best place to sell general goods and equipment. Peoples' individual shops might be the best place to sell specialty equipment and repairs.

This gives me an interesting thought for a potentially nice balance between the ease of the Auction House and the social benefits of the Retainer system it pertains to DoH and DoL. Would you(plural) accept a hybrid system where the Auction House allows listings of only NQ good (i.e. you can sell your Hauberk, but not your Hauberk +1), while reserving specialty gear, i.e. HQ gear for the market? This would allow people to easily browse the gear available at your level (one of the major complaints of the retainer system as I understand it) at the Auction House. Meanwhile, PC vendors would have a venue to hawk their unique wears, preserving the "market flavor" of the Retainer system. Players can buy the base gear for their level any time they want from the Auction House, but if they want to find something more specialized, they'll have to find a good seller, maybe even track down a company that specializes in the production of that DoH. The same would be true of ingredients; you can buy bland mass produced ingots from the official channels, but if you want the best, you're going to have to scrounge a few back alleys, as it where.

I think that would be propping up an inferior system for its own sake. Like mandating that music players have to have built-in FM tuners to save the record companies. The bazaar system should stand or fall on its own merits.
#21 Sep 12 2010 at 5:55 PM Rating: Good
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I think the main reason they are holding off on the AH is simply to curb price manipulation. With the retainer system, it will be a serious pain in the *** to try and buy everything of one type and relist it higher. At the start, no one will know what things should be worth and will likely be more willing to be hit by price gougers since a fair rate never had a chance to be established. After a month or so passes, the economy will be saturated enough with goods that people will have a general idea of what things go for and will be less inclined to purchase things that are over priced. FFXI didn't have an AH at the start either, and most NA players never had to go through what the start of a game economy is like for a SE MMO.

I'm pretty sure the AH will be in when they feel the dust has settled enough for it to be implemented. Personally I am a little bummed they are going this route since I was looking forward to trying to corner a few markets myself, but it the long run it will be better for the game as a whole.
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#22 Sep 12 2010 at 6:30 PM Rating: Good
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Malacite wrote:
I think the main reason they are holding off on the AH is simply to curb price manipulation. With the retainer system, it will be a serious pain in the *** to try and buy everything of one type and relist it higher. At the start, no one will know what things should be worth and will likely be more willing to be hit by price gougers since a fair rate never had a chance to be established. After a month or so passes, the economy will be saturated enough with goods that people will have a general idea of what things go for and will be less inclined to purchase things that are over priced. FFXI didn't have an AH at the start either, and most NA players never had to go through what the start of a game economy is like for a SE MMO.

I'm pretty sure the AH will be in when they feel the dust has settled enough for it to be implemented. Personally I am a little bummed they are going this route since I was looking forward to trying to corner a few markets myself, but it the long run it will be better for the game as a whole.


I think this is absolutely the case. At launch, there's tons of gear you just can't get without crafting. At first, I saw even cheaply crafted items like the hempen cowl being sold for 50k and up. Now imagine if RMT got into the bargain with an auction house. They'd buy up everything and resell it for much higher prices, forcing you to buy their gold just to get your level 10 noob gear. When supplies are limited, like they're going to be in the beginning, RMT can hold the entire playerbase hostage. I for one am glad that won't be happening.
#23 Sep 12 2010 at 7:03 PM Rating: Excellent
Edited by bsphil
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Price manipulation is easiest when there is no collective pool of everyone's items (like at an AH), and when there's no price history to give people the going price of an item (like at an AH). If you try and jack up the price at the AH on a new item, other people will see the going price and sell at a lower price. People bid competitively, the cheaper item sells, the record of the cheaper sale endures, the overall value estimate goes appropriately down.

Much harder for this to happen with a series of unconnected retainers, especially when it's as annoying to check over every retainer as it is now.
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#24 Sep 12 2010 at 7:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Solimurr wrote:
I think this is absolutely the case. At launch, there's tons of gear you just can't get without crafting. At first, I saw even cheaply crafted items like the hempen cowl being sold for 50k and up. Now imagine if RMT got into the bargain with an auction house. They'd buy up everything and resell it for much higher prices, forcing you to buy their gold just to get your level 10 noob gear. When supplies are limited, like they're going to be in the beginning, RMT can hold the entire playerbase hostage. I for one am glad that won't be happening.


RMT will not buy up everything and hold the entire player base hostage. First of all, they need the finance to control the market. RMT can not magically make in game money to support this.

Second, if RMT want to force us players by increasing the whole market value they take a huge risk in losing ingame money. It is not they buy it all and we players just do not undercut them. It would be a bad business model to "gamble" with your resource, which are there to be sold for RL money.

The market in a MMORPG is fluctuating all the time. it is impossible to control the whole market, because of high market value and constant sell/buy orders.

The whole retainer system will do absolutely nothing to stop RMT. They can just sell their loot like they used to. Low prices and as fast as possible. Why? because RMT work in shifts and if they do not sell their loot in their shift, their co-worker will. You do not know how many times I had a bargain because some RMT farmer needed to get rid of their supplies.

And even if, and I say "if", the retainer system would get rid of RMT. It is still a bad system to punish us players, for the reason to ban out RMT. If you really have a goal to ban out RMT, make a system which does not punish players.
#25 Sep 12 2010 at 7:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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In FFXI, the community determined that the area outside Lower Jeuno, called Rolenberry Fields (Nicknamed Rolenmart) would be THE spot to set up bazaars. There was tax in Jeuno, and lower Jeuno was the most popular.

This remains today as THE place to find higher prices items and more exclusive items. People didn't abandon this area.

No centralized marketplace is stupid. There is no supply and demand to determine market price. That means people selling ingredient 1/6 for a level 7 war axe are price gouging at 50k+ and the weapons sell for 300k (this is actually happening). This is kind of a ridiculous price for the SECOND axe I can equip...

It makes an already difficult crafting system (which i enjoy, and appreciate) harder and more inconvenient.
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#26 Sep 12 2010 at 9:29 PM Rating: Good
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think the main reason they are holding off on the AH is simply to curb price manipulation. With the retainer system, it will be a serious pain in the *** to try and buy everything of one type and relist it higher. At the start, no one will know what things should be worth and will likely be more willing to be hit by price gougers since a fair rate never had a chance to be established. After a month or so passes, the economy will be saturated enough with goods that people will have a general idea of what things go for and will be less inclined to purchase things that are over priced. FFXI didn't have an AH at the start either, and most NA players never had to go through what the start of a game economy is like for a SE MMO.



You're suggesting that intentionally making it harder for new players to buy items is a good thing? And encourage initial price gouging?

You know how to hurt RMT guys while at the same time not ******** over players, the WoW style AH, which is basically what a singular database of retainer goods would be. There is no payment history, you can see who you are buying from, and everyone's items can be seen by any players.
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#27 Sep 12 2010 at 9:44 PM Rating: Good
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See that's the thing with retainers VS AH, its all a matter of time. Retainers benefit those who have enough to seek through everything, gathering market information. It allows people to sell stuff at above market price if they have a more convenient location, or are lucky enough to sell to someone who couldn't, or didn't want to look through every other retainer to determine the best purchasing decision.


I think this is what SE is actually aiming for. SE wants to give DoH players a more dynamic role in the system. While DoW/M and DoL classes have to actually go out of the city in order to kill or gather to accumulate exp, a DoH player can just sit in the city all day and camp the AH. Depending on how much gil the player has the DoH player can get massive amounts of both class and physical exp doing very minimal work. With the retainer system, the DoH player now has to invest more time not only seeking out the ingredients he needs, but also carefully studying market patterns.

Time and convenience are indeed two "problems" a lot of the community sees with the retainer system which is ironic considering that SE seems to want to take a firm stance on the "casual friendliness" of the game. However, there are two ways for a player to get what they want using the system. First is obviously searching each and every retainer yourself. Second, you can set your own retainer up to seek the item you wish to purchase for the price you wish to pay for said item. Now take for example you really want a shiny new suit of chainmail but just can't seem to find it and your LS mates are calling you to come tank some baddies so you set up your retainer to seek the armor for the price of 25k and off you go into the wild unknown. A few minutes later comes an Armorsmith with several suits of chainmail hot off the anvil. He warps in at the other side of the ward or maybe a different ward altogether and after spending a few minutes checking the local bazaar, he concludes that the best price to sell his wares is 20k. In comes Player C who likes to spend her time playing a merchant and happens to spot your request. She makes a note of the price and continues browsing until she comes upon the armorsmith. Remembering that you were offering 25k and the smith is selling for 20k, she buys the mail and resells it back to you for a 5k profit. At the end of the day all three players got what they wanted. You got your chainmail at the price you wanted to pay, the smith managed to sell his product at the price he deemed reasonable, and the merchant spent her time to make a profit from the two of you. As the system matures, the way things work will inevitably change such as a new forum created for people who want to buy and trade that allows one to bypass this whole system altogether.

Another concern is price gouging. With no real easy way to tell the "average" price of an item, players are free to charge as high or as low as they want to. I see this not as a negative, but a plus to the system. Just because you are free to charge as much as you want, doesn't mean you are going to sell the item at the price you want. Right now people are willing to buy items for ridiculous prices mainly because the game is still in beta and at the end everything will be wiped. Personally I have spent an embarrassing amount of gil on the moldy jester's hat, a harness, and a subligar along with choice pieces of jewelry just so I can stand around in my underwear looking like an idiot. In retail, the average (I repeat, average) player will not shell out 300k+ gil for a level 10 weapon and you will be stuck sitting on that weapon until some hardcore player comes along and buys it because he is short on time. This once again brings up the point of paying what you want to pay. No one is forcing you to buy something you deem out of your price range. If you are unhappy with the price, continue searching or set up your retainer to seek the item. The real worry here is if multiple people start selling the same weapon for 300k. This in a way locks the price and it will be harder to find someone that is willing to sell the item at a lower price. However, wouldn't the same thing happen in an AH system as well? If multiple players list their item at 300k on the AH, it will be even harder to find someone willing to sell it lower.

Long post is long, I know, and apologize. Once again, if SE can just polish the system a bit, it might actually work. That being said, I think if an AH is introduced the whole system will ultimately fail because many players prefer the ease and convenience of the AH offers in buying and selling. This system is still very much experimental and personally I hope it succeeds. Only time will tell how things will play out.
#28 Sep 12 2010 at 10:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Here's the system I can see happening in a perfect world in which everyone tried to embrace the retainer system:

DOW/DOM/DOL people would be able to go out and collect various items. These items they would then sell directly to crafters (having friends who are crafters will make this much faster. Maybe SE could put in a limited AH for the purposes of quickly selling crystals/shards and raw materials. The crafters then do their things and use the retainer system to sell their things. As it would then be mainly crafters selling wares through the retainer system, there'd be far less to sort through. Or maybe one area would be crafters, the other area everyone else looking for repairs.

Oh, is there an option in the retainer setup to specify items you are wanting to buy? It would be very neat if this could be set up for crafters. Some sort of system so you can specify what you're wanting to buy, how much you want to buy, and how much you're wanting to pay. Then if someone with such materials has them, they could sell it to your NPC, who would pay them from your own gilpurse. Maybe set up the list based upon what recipes you know.
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#29 Sep 12 2010 at 10:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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I was originally willing to give a game without an AH a chance. I thought it was a great idea in theory.

And then I spent 45 minutes in a lag-filled bazaar waiting for retainers to appear, checking every single one (some several times because I had no way of knowing who I had checked) trying to find a shield at a decent price.

Something about "We want our game to appeal to the casual player" and "30-60 minutes to find one single item" (never mind how long it will take you if you're trying to sell something you just found and need to figure out how much it's worth) doesn't compute.

I've thought about it and at first I was 100% on board with the IDEA of the retainer system but after seeing it in practice, I cannot begin to fathom how, between the lag and the retainer load times and the lack of a search feature and the giant cluster@#%^ that is the market wards leading to several hours of shopping to find or buy or sell new items... I cannot possibly envision any "what if" scenario that places the retainer system as it currently exists as being any better than FFXI's AH.

I get what they were going for, I really do. Consider the fish markets in Japan: large warehouses with lots of people selling lots of wares at varied prices. It's a great idea -in theory- but it's horrible in a game in practice because most players do not want to spend half an hour or more per item that they wish to buy. Think about how often you go to an AH in any game (FFXI, WoW, anything) and ask yourself how much different it would be if every single item you ever bought took you a MINIMUM of 15 minutes to find and purchase.

And heaven help the people with slower computers. My fiancee's current system is a dual core processor with a 5770 and scores about 2200 on the benchmark. She has a 2-3 minute wait on NPCs in most common areas. Market Wards retainers take upwards of 5 minutes to even BEGIN to show up on her system, never mind browsing each of them one at a time to find one single item.

The whole system is kinda like a television in the steering wheel of a vehicle. Great idea in theory, terrible in practice.

My worry is that SE has already invested so much time and effort into their rectangular-shaped-wheel of a trade system that no matter how much we point out that the round wheels work just find, the best we're going to get is some beveled edges slapped on.

Still hoping for the best, but I don't think they realize how much of an overhaul the system needs to be reasonably workable in a real environment.

It's like Battalia/Rolanberry mart, except with lag on a Campaign scale, in an area smaller than a single Nyzul room, and that's for EVERY purchase you will EVER make for the next 5-10 years.

Edited, Sep 13th 2010 12:15am by Mikhalia
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#30 Sep 12 2010 at 11:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think a few add on to the market ward system will be nice

Add a Billboard in the center of the ward which.

Page 1 - List all the items in the market ward (Only for that ward)
So that i know someone is selling the item i want

Page 2 - Show which retainer has it
I would have to fight the lag and locate the retainer myself but at least i know he have my item.

BUT - Don't show the price on this board
Keep the current market wards "feel" where you still have to work for ur goods.

With these add-on even if u want to under-cut u would have to look thru all the wards and all the retainer with the item, if u think the item is over-price move to the next retain on the list with your item. If you really want a good deal you can look thru a couple of them. Over-time you will know which retainer is over-pricing and which retainer are usually honest and decent.

Edited, Sep 13th 2010 5:12am by Sleepymagi
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#31 Sep 13 2010 at 12:04 AM Rating: Good
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Shoomy wrote:
Solimurr wrote:
I think this is absolutely the case. At launch, there's tons of gear you just can't get without crafting. At first, I saw even cheaply crafted items like the hempen cowl being sold for 50k and up. Now imagine if RMT got into the bargain with an auction house. They'd buy up everything and resell it for much higher prices, forcing you to buy their gold just to get your level 10 noob gear. When supplies are limited, like they're going to be in the beginning, RMT can hold the entire playerbase hostage. I for one am glad that won't be happening.


RMT will not buy up everything and hold the entire player base hostage. First of all, they need the finance to control the market. RMT can not magically make in game money to support this.


Um, it's called playing 24/7 and doing nothing but figuring out how to get gil. It's not magic, but they have an unfair advantage being that they get paid to ***** up the in-game economy, and they have people on ALL the time.

Quote:

Second, if RMT want to force us players by increasing the whole market value they take a huge risk in losing ingame money. It is not they buy it all and we players just do not undercut them. It would be a bad business model to "gamble" with your resource, which are there to be sold for RL money.

The market in a MMORPG is fluctuating all the time. it is impossible to control the whole market, because of high market value and constant sell/buy orders.


I don't think RMT can control the whole market, but they can absolutely worsen, if not outright ruin the game experience for legitimate players. Of course they'll never control the whole market, but they can put on enough inflationary pressure that people have to buy gold, which of course only leads to even more RMT.

Quote:

The whole retainer system will do absolutely nothing to stop RMT. They can just sell their loot like they used to. Low prices and as fast as possible. Why? because RMT work in shifts and if they do not sell their loot in their shift, their co-worker will. You do not know how many times I had a bargain because some RMT farmer needed to get rid of their supplies.

And even if, and I say "if", the retainer system would get rid of RMT. It is still a bad system to punish us players, for the reason to ban out RMT. If you really have a goal to ban out RMT, make a system which does not punish players.


Well I think they're going to have an AH. The point is, at the very start of the game, when there's extremely limited supply of many items, an AH would be extra vulnerable to RMT manipulation. I'm just gonna level crafting to make what I want, and not be a baby about it.
#32 Sep 13 2010 at 1:50 AM Rating: Decent
Solimurr wrote:
Quote:
RMT will not buy up everything and hold the entire player base hostage. First of all, they need the finance to control the market. RMT can not magically make in game money to support this.


Um, it's called playing 24/7 and doing nothing but figuring out how to get gil. It's not magic, but they have an unfair advantage being that they get paid to ***** up the in-game economy, and they have people on ALL the time.


Again, people are looking at XI and trying to compare what happened (happens?) in XI to what they see happening in XIV. There's one fundamental difference between XI and XIV that renders this whole "RMT dominating the economy through the auction house" theory rather moot:

Farming for anything in XI, be it gathering from nodes or killing mobs for drops, was a tedious exercise in patience. Gathering from nodes was hit and miss...usually miss, and that was assuming you could even find one, and further assuming that if you did find one that it wasn't already being pillaged by another player or, more likely an RMT bot. Grinding mobs for drops, while potentially more entertaining, was also tedious and extremely time consuming. That was the system in XI. Some people liked it. Some people still do. A lot of people didn't, however. And because they disliked it, or because they needed materials that were extremely risky to farm, they came to rely on the auction house for both base materials for their crafting efforts and converted materials (gear, food, ammunition, ninja tools, etc.) If the game systems themselves didn't push such a heavy reliance on the auction house, the RMT wouldn't have been nearly so successful in manipulating it.

Compare that to XIV. Most of the time when you kill something, it drops something. It might not be the item you were looking for if you're farming with an explicit purpose, but it's always something someone else might be looking for if you can't use it. And, worst case scenario, a lot of things as they're currently NPC priced in the open beta are well worth selling to a vendor for a quick gil infusion. (I made 6k gil off a stack of marmot pelts today.) Instead of the XI system where killing something was lucky to reward you with a drop at all, they've reversed it with XIV...killing something and not getting a drop is rare. And gathering? Night and day difference. The fact that you can show up to a mining/logging/whatever node surrounded by a half dozen people and still get your full share of attempts at gathering for yourself is great. You may not mine up what you were looking for but again, I've never walked away from a node empty handed.

In XI, the tedium of farming your own stuff meant that if you went to the AH and found what you needed was twice the price you saw it for yesterday, you still bought it because it was usually still better than farming it yourself. In XIV, if you're shocked by the price of something you had your eye on, you go farm it and/or make it yourself. RMT can't manipulate an economy if players can exclude themselves from it and still get what they need.
#33 Sep 13 2010 at 2:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
In XI, the tedium of farming your own stuff meant that if you went to the AH and found what you needed was twice the price you saw it for yesterday, you still bought it because it was usually still better than farming it yourself. In XIV, if you're shocked by the price of something you had your eye on, you go farm it and/or make it yourself. RMT can't manipulate an economy if players can exclude themselves from it and still get what they need.
I hope this tendency remains for the retail version, unfortunately "This is only beta" has two sides, it also means that somethings are enhanced for the sake of testing, that could include XP/drop/gathering rates, mob respawn timings, etc.

Ken
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#34 Sep 13 2010 at 5:56 AM Rating: Good
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Um, it's called playing 24/7 and doing nothing but figuring out how to get gil. It's not magic, but they have an unfair advantage being that they get paid to ***** up the in-game economy, and they have people on ALL the time.


RMT farms 24/7 and can do tedious play for the same amount of time. They also figured out how to get Gil, by farming 24/7. Still it is impossible to have ingame capital to control the market. Even at release the needed resources to control the market will be huge.

There are around 5k players at release on one server. This means that by only doing the initial storyline, those players have a total of ingame money for (5000*30000) 150M Gil, this without extra's from leve's and this is only real Gil, not even counting the value of drops. Now assume that the market value is around the same amount, because higher then no one can buy goods, and lower they are doing them self short. So this means another 150M of ingame loot value. To control the market, you must have a capital of 300M within the hour. This is impossible.

Also RMT would be foolish to ***** up the market. Because they need Gil for selling for RL $$. Also in your assumption, you say that everyone is going to buy Gil, which is not the case only a small % of the players will. If they ***** up the economy, they will eventually ***** themselves as players won't buy the goods, instead they are going to farm it themselves.

Quote:
I don't think RMT can control the whole market, but they can absolutely worsen, if not outright ruin the game experience for legitimate players. Of course they'll never control the whole market, but they can put on enough inflationary pressure that people have to buy gold, which of course only leads to even more RMT.


The market is controlled by demand and supplies. Only the ones who can control one of those two, can control the market. More supplies means lower prices, more demand means higher prices. There is only one who can control supplies/demand and that is SE, certainly not RMT.

RMT has no (or neglectful) effect on the ingame economy. Because there is no ingame money leaving the game by selling Gil for real $$. Only thing RMT does is lowering the prices because supplies exceeds demands and raising the tot market value (loot value and Gil value together), which either does not have any impact or is an advantage for the players.

Edited, Sep 13th 2010 8:17am by Shoomy
#35 Sep 13 2010 at 8:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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I look at it this way. Retainer system is basically a flea market, and an AH is amazon.com or ebay. Which would you prefer to shop at? Which one is profitable in todays real life market?

I get that retainers are neat, but they are, if nothing else, a massive time sink.
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#36 Sep 13 2010 at 9:03 AM Rating: Good
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KujaKoF wrote:
Quote:
think the main reason they are holding off on the AH is simply to curb price manipulation. With the retainer system, it will be a serious pain in the *** to try and buy everything of one type and relist it higher. At the start, no one will know what things should be worth and will likely be more willing to be hit by price gougers since a fair rate never had a chance to be established. After a month or so passes, the economy will be saturated enough with goods that people will have a general idea of what things go for and will be less inclined to purchase things that are over priced. FFXI didn't have an AH at the start either, and most NA players never had to go through what the start of a game economy is like for a SE MMO.



You're suggesting that intentionally making it harder for new players to buy items is a good thing? And encourage initial price gouging?

You know how to hurt RMT guys while at the same time not ******** over players, the WoW style AH, which is basically what a singular database of retainer goods would be. There is no payment history, you can see who you are buying from, and everyone's items can be seen by any players.


Who said anything about RMT? I mean everyday players mostly intentionally taking over and driving up markets. I was able to witness two new servers being started on FFXI (Asura and Remora), and saw how the AH thing played out. Several players hoarded things to intentionally take over a market and drive the prices up. For some markets it worked, others it didn't because people remembered what things should run in general on their old server.

On the subject of RMT however, I can see them easily running a massive amount of characters through the intro quest since with cutscene skipping, it's an almost ridiculously easy was to get over 30k. Running a bunch of characters through that then using the funds to buy out the market could make a pretty hefty chunk of change. AH manipulation works, especially with no sites like FFXI AH to track things. I was in a linkshell with someone who made millions just by market manipulation.

Not including an AH at launch is a good thing, it give people plenty of time to build up materials, craft items and start trading to establish a fair market value for goods. In three stages of beta, I never had too much issue using the market wards. If the no AH thing was permanent I would be up in arms as well, but waiting a month like they did in FFXI is not going to kill the game.
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#37 Sep 13 2010 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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Redscare wrote:
Long post is long, I know, and apologize. Once again, if SE can just polish the system a bit, it might actually work. That being said, I think if an AH is introduced the whole system will ultimately fail because many players prefer the ease and convenience of the AH offers in buying and selling. This system is still very much experimental and personally I hope it succeeds. Only time will tell how things will play out.
If there's no AH system the game is boned anyway, because most people are going to get fed up with a lack of one.
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#38 Sep 13 2010 at 9:33 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
AH manipulation works, especially with no sites like FFXI AH to track things. I was in a linkshell with someone who made millions just by market manipulation.


Especially when said site refuses to monitor their ad rotations and slip in key loggers that sends your login info right to the RMT!
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