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Lack of AH vs. Lack of DirectionFollow

#1 Sep 28 2010 at 8:42 AM Rating: Good
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I know most are foaming at the mouth regarding this topic, but hear me out. The lack of an Auction House (or even a search feature) is extremely frustrating right now. I agree with this, 100%. But...

I can't help but wonder if it's the lack of direction from Square-Enix that's bothering me more than missing the Auction House? I mean, so far...I haven't really thought about it so much when playing. I've been crafting more than I expected I would be, but there hasn't really been a point where I've said "An Auction House would totally fix this"...because what I've been saying instead is "Oh, that guys overcharging for that gear, big time."

But how do I know? SE gave us no starting point for gear. IMO, there should be a vendor selling gear for people to equip that is adequate for the first content tier jump (ie. Rank 10). You should be able to go buy some basic gear from an NPC to equip. This gear, should be priced and should act as a starting point for people to use to logically determine the cost of goods. But...this would artifically "set" the economy, which is something SE said they didn't want to do.

At the same time, if crafting was a little easier in the early game, where there weren't so may sub-combines required to create an item (ie. Look up Hempen Tabard...requires sub-combines in 4 crafts above the base craft, and requires gathering...too cumbersome for Rank 5 gear). That way, it would be less daunting for people to upgrade their gear for themselves, and the "effort-to-cost" ratio wouldn't be so bad. Right now, I see people on Rabanastre selling basic Weaver combines for 50,000+ gil and body-slot gear (ie. Sheep Leather Harness-ish gear) for 100,000-200,000 gil. Seems a little steep for Rank 9-13ish gear...but then again, it takes a LOT of footwork and effort to make these items! And the amount of time to do it all without buying your sub-combines is a little painful.

So really, I think it's less the lack of Auction House and more the lack of direction on SE's part. Crafting seems too cumbersome in the early levels, something that could be tweaked. Guildleves could give more varying starting armor like it did in Beta and then taper off. There's a lot of alternative solutions that could potentially make things better.

Although, I'm not saying an AH would be bad. I'm just analyzing it from an alternative perspective. It's kind of nice seeing people create their own prices without artificial influence...it's just things shouldn't be so daunting and expensive so early on. I would expect more of a curve...with things getting gradually harder per tier (ie. additional sub-combines, harder-to-find materials, etc.), creating a logical increase in cost, time, and pricepoint.
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#2 Sep 28 2010 at 8:56 AM Rating: Default
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A NPC sells a Brass Choker (LVL 19) for 68k Theirs no way people will buy it off me for 60k i can make them for free just cost me time to gather. Same npc sells a copper ring for 14k ( i could be wrong but its expensive) and these rings you can make at lvl 10 Goldsmith. The market is flooded with them and i can't even sell mine for 3k. your going to see these go for 1k or even cheaper. I plant myself next to someone selling them and i sell them for cheaper to sell mine. Not much cheaper just enough. But with the way this game is going everyone will be crafting all classec to 10 just to make and repair basic items.

Edited, Sep 28th 2010 10:58am by Frebaut
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#3 Sep 28 2010 at 9:02 AM Rating: Excellent
An AH would make it so you could see the other prices and not only see the person charging 68,000 gil. An auction house would make it so you could easily find those sub combines and crafting would actually be fairly easy-- just buy the parts and make it, and the parts wouldn't be as expensive, yet the people would actually be able to find buyers.

No, it's not lack of direction. The crafting system wouldn't be that bad-- IF there was an action house.
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#4 Sep 28 2010 at 9:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Any online game that is open to the public needs a public means of trading goods. 9999 bazaars one at a time is simply not a solution, no matter WHAT angle you want to look at it from. This isn't even just about crafters - as a non-crafting player I cannot buy your finished goods because guess what?

I can't be bothered to look for them. Not good for your business, now is it?

Arguing Devil's Advocate just doesn't work in this instance. There is no universe in which zombie NPCs standing around a dungeon lagging the place up with no organized means of browsing and purchasing wares is > an AH. I don't care what spin you try to put on it. There is no silver lining in this cloud.
#5 Sep 28 2010 at 9:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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digitalcraft, Goblin in Disguise wrote:

No, it's not lack of direction. The crafting system wouldn't be that bad-- IF there was an action house.


It is lack of direction but if you're stuck on this idea that there NEEDS to be an Auction House, you're not going to see it.

The lack of direction, at its core, stems from giving us a varied robust Crafting system with no way to distribute/purchase the items we need to make full use of it.

More NPC items, searching, more Bazaar spots, Auction House... there are a number of solutions. But it is definitely the lack of any direction on SE's part that is so frustrating. There's no real indication that we're not going to just be left floundering around trying to locate the exact items we need for our next synth. It really is next to impossible. I've given up and I'm just leveling all the crafts I need to make everything myself.
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#6 Sep 28 2010 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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Allow me to expand on what I mean, I may have put too many subjects into one post. What I'm addressing isn't just the Auction House, but the crafting system as it stands from a "ground-up" perspective. I can see where SE wanted to go with this. The key mistake is they didn't add any type of search system to allow competitive pricing to exist. As it is right now, people are buying things out of desperation rather than desire & choice. If I see something I need, be it material or gear, I'm going to buy it not because I want it, but because I need it and I'm scared I won't see it again. I don't really care about the price...and that's because there's no way for selling people to be competitive.

Now I do believe the crafting system not only is cumbersome in the 1-10 level range for basic gear, and this is something I think should be addressed. But let's put that aside. An idea I always envisioned for the Retainer system to avoid a "common" Auction House solution is a Barter/Broker Market Ward.

Let's examine this from the ground up. What's the main problem with the market wards right now? Finding things. People selling things are putting their retainers in the most populated Wards because those are the Wards people are going to go to looking for things. Chances are, if you go into the Wards one at a time, the first two will be heavily populated, and by the third, it turns into ghost Wards. So the first thing is a search system. There's already a system that identifies the location of your Retainer NPC (ie. Retainer List or any time you call them). It's imperative that there be a system that allows people "selling" things be able to see the market price. It's the only way it's going to work.

Next, instead of buying things from a central location, keep it the way it is. Let players travel to get their goods. This gives validity to the Anima/Teleport system. It also maintains the individual and unique nature of the Retainer system. They're like player-run NPC Vendors. If you know one player often has what you want, you know where to find them (provided they haven't moved them). So in essence, you have a central market system that works, that isn't an Auction House.

Why not an Auction House? Well, first, SE clearly wanted a "personal" touch to the market. Just like in real life, if you know a company makes something you want and makes it good, you're going to go back to them. Not just buy the cheapest item, because the cheaper may not always be the best. This also makes the repair system valid, in that someone versed in a specific craft can "look" for people seeking repairs, but still needs to visit the retainer to repair said item. That way, the item is always at the NPC to repair.

Additionally, in terms of RMT and whatnot...an Auction House acts as a "store", it's not seen as individuals. When you buy something in FFXI, you don't know who you're buying it from. With "this" system, you know who you're buying it from, and if that Retainer NPC is the known Retainer of someone shady (even not RMT, just someone who has a shady reputation in the game), you can avoid it and further remove their effect on the economy.

So, I'm not saying "no" to a Central Market, I'm saying "no" to the anonymous nature of the Auction House as it existed in FFXI. I know other MMO's (ie. WoW) still list the person selling to the item before you buy, but again...when you go to the AH, you're going to a store, and you're not really thinking "who is this". The retainer system has the "chance" or possibility of acting as a filter for this situation.
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#7 Sep 28 2010 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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Ryneguy wrote:


Additionally, in terms of RMT and whatnot...an Auction House acts as a "store", it's not seen as individuals. When you buy something in FFXI, you don't know who you're buying it from. With "this" system, you know who you're buying it from, and if that Retainer NPC is the known Retainer of someone shady (even not RMT, just someone who has a shady reputation in the game), you can avoid it and further remove their effect on the economy.

So, I'm not saying "no" to a Central Market, I'm saying "no" to the anonymous nature of the Auction House as it existed in FFXI. I know other MMO's (ie. WoW) still list the person selling to the item before you buy, but again...when you go to the AH, you're going to a store, and you're not really thinking "who is this". The retainer system has the "chance" or possibility of acting as a filter for this situation.


i'm not sure this is a valid point in favor of the zombie wards... i have no idea who a retainer belongs to unless they name the retainer jumjumsmarket and the character is jumjum and i dont see a lot of that happening.
maybe if they added the players name in parenthesis under the retainers name it would feel more personal but, as they are now, the retainers are just a bunch of npc's standing around and i couldn't tell a RMT retainer from a non-RMT retainer unless it was named aDgfad instead of fred.
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#8 Sep 28 2010 at 10:03 AM Rating: Good
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You are currently building up a whole economy from the bottom up. Supply and demand set the prices. An AH will probably increase both the supply and demand of stuff as it gets easier for people to buy and sell stuff.
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#9 Sep 28 2010 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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the AH tells people what supply and demand are. until then bazaars just guess.
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#10 Sep 28 2010 at 10:58 AM Rating: Decent
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gerwenscalebane wrote:
i have no idea who a retainer belongs to unless they name the retainer jumjumsmarket and the character is jumjum and i dont see a lot of that happening.


Because for some reason people are not smart. I saw one retainer during beta named Armorshop. Freaking brilliant. I don't understand why more people don't do that. For me, my retainer is Nayliasjunk. He will be named such until i have something better to sell. Why bother pretending.
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#11 Sep 28 2010 at 11:01 AM Rating: Good
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Part of the curernt problem is that high demand low supply, or seemingly.
The other issue is the NPC selling price.

Currently an NPC sells logs for say 4k. They will only pay 250 to buy back. (Or there abouts)
The reason for this I believe is that they are trying to encourage player to player trade - why buy from NPC when players should be be cheaper? Paired with why should you sell to NPC for pennies when you could sell to player for a smidge more? (In this example say 275-300)

Unfortunately it seems to have had the other effect. If it costs the player 4k to buy from the NPC, then a player will try to sell it for 3.5k. I think they really should have removed the ability to buy such items from the NPC as we are comparing it to buying at those prices, not what we would get if we sold to NPC.

An AH would help a little towards this as there would be some measure of worth from player to player. However I also think it would be handy if:

a) NPC sell price was visable at all times (or at least for your whole inventory in a shop)
b) NPC sell price was visable when buying from other people.

If b) was applied then we would be able to see what the seller would otherwise get and then decide that the prices they are charging are way too much for this player driven economy.

Hopefully as people progress, and demand goes down then the prices will drop. But something needs to change. If you took an average price of all components to make weapons and tools you will end up with stupid total costs.

Oh, also, I think every item has a use so none of it is really vendor junk.
I wish we could set up retainers to auto trade items and have some sort of grading system for items (like a stock market) to allow swapping more of item x for one of item y. Of course this would require longer to determine worth.
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#12 Sep 28 2010 at 11:08 AM Rating: Decent
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Is SE developing something? I am sure they are?

Problem is they are probably creating a system to avoid RMT's and frankly those asshats to up the prices to insane gil just to get their own pockets full.

Perhaps they are creating a system where items can not be sold for more then what an NPC sells them? I dont know..

Either way I am sure SE is working on something and as always SE is having to really over think everything they implement to avoid the whole RMT wars.
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#13 Sep 28 2010 at 11:12 AM Rating: Good
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gerwenscalebane wrote:
Ryneguy wrote:


Additionally, in terms of RMT and whatnot...an Auction House acts as a "store", it's not seen as individuals. When you buy something in FFXI, you don't know who you're buying it from. With "this" system, you know who you're buying it from, and if that Retainer NPC is the known Retainer of someone shady (even not RMT, just someone who has a shady reputation in the game), you can avoid it and further remove their effect on the economy.

So, I'm not saying "no" to a Central Market, I'm saying "no" to the anonymous nature of the Auction House as it existed in FFXI. I know other MMO's (ie. WoW) still list the person selling to the item before you buy, but again...when you go to the AH, you're going to a store, and you're not really thinking "who is this". The retainer system has the "chance" or possibility of acting as a filter for this situation.


i'm not sure this is a valid point in favor of the zombie wards... i have no idea who a retainer belongs to unless they name the retainer jumjumsmarket and the character is jumjum and i dont see a lot of that happening.
maybe if they added the players name in parenthesis under the retainers name it would feel more personal but, as they are now, the retainers are just a bunch of npc's standing around and i couldn't tell a RMT retainer from a non-RMT retainer unless it was named aDgfad instead of fred.


Actually I think the idea of searching retainers by name would be a great idea. It would solve problems with RMT cause we all know most RMT use simple coded names to identify each other such as XI's imfamous Applea, Appleb, Applec, etc... Most RMT will have to name retainers as such so they know what their fellow Gilsellers are selling. So unless they come up with clever normal sounding names (which is unlikely cause they are in the business of making money, not being creative) normal honest players can avoid their bazaars. As far as finding what a retainer has, prehaps the ability to get a preview of what they carry from the search screen. All in all I believe the game needs some serious economical help, but I agree that a AH is not the be all end all of the situation we now face.
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#14 Sep 28 2010 at 11:21 AM Rating: Good
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Everyone fears change, but for something new to work, it has to be put through the paces. I don't like the current system, but I understand SE's approach to starting out small and growing it incrementally to try to build a new economic system. Otherwise, FFXIV would be just another MMO with a different skin. A lot of MMO developers are too scared to try new things because, surprise surprise, the gamers generally bark when things aren't what they're used to. And that's fine...human nature and all, blah blah. I'm frustrated with the current system, too.

I simply would like to see them take it step by step and it'd be nice to see a little more of the community behind that approach to be part of something unique rather than just scream "AH" and get the same 'ol lame faceless auction house system. I considered putting this in the feedback forum, but along with the general skepticism regarding dev's viewing there, the general response to anything has been rate downs and complaints about alternatives due to fear of change.

Edited, Sep 28th 2010 1:22pm by Ryneguy
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#15 Sep 28 2010 at 11:23 AM Rating: Decent
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For me the Market ward system has been really frustrating. It would be nice if instead of the seemingly random names that SE picked that they name them specifics like "Metals Market Ward" or "Cloth Market Ward" or "Heavy Armor Market Ward" or "Weapons Market Ward". I think this would encourage people to go to a specific ward to sell certain things and encourage the use of the retainer system. You wouldn't necessarily need a search system this way and people wouldn't flood the first market ward.

Edited, Sep 28th 2010 12:25pm by Lefiont

Edited, Sep 28th 2010 12:31pm by Lefiont
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#16 Sep 28 2010 at 11:32 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I plant myself next to someone selling them and i sell them for cheaper to sell mine.


And this is how market wards will organize themselves. Its really kind of beautiful in its simplicity, in its natural playing-out of inherent economic principles. I really hope the system works. Even though it's rocky right now I believe that when it matures, it has the potential to be unique among MMOs and totally badass.
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#17 Sep 28 2010 at 11:43 AM Rating: Default
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Game is Awsome ! I blame players LACK OF INTELLIGENCE sorry this game is harder than you expected...
#18 Sep 28 2010 at 12:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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While we all know SE is analyzing basic everything trying to think of the best possible way so that people can sell things to others. But I almost think they may have OVER thought this idea.

If anyone has ever been to a true bazaar you have tons of people selling tons of different things. These would be our retainers. While some of them are hard on the price most of them can be negotiated with. So what if we set a starting price of what we want to sell (a high price) and a final price (lowest we are willing to go). Also would have to tell the ratiner what increment to drop the price by.

So when someone goes to buy something from the wards they look at the list of why they want to buy...select it...then see all the High prices from a list from all the retainers. When you select a retainer the system will pop up saying XYZ retainer is calling you over to give you a better price. This would occur if someones retainer has a lower price set compaired to the current selection. This would go back and forth till the player finally says yes to a purchase or it hits a persons low price all the way.
#19 Sep 28 2010 at 12:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Anyone else notice that your retainer has a level associated with it? This could be a possible way to increase options in selling or buying.. as you level your retainer.. you increase the amount of items he/she can sell.Perhaps even options we have yet to consider. Or hey.. what about them putting in a search option at the bulletin board in each ward for people who have purchased a booth?
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#20 Sep 28 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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I think this system would be better if they expanded where you can place your retainers. Rather than grouping them in multiple instances IE First market ward, second market ward, etc. Open it up so we have placed outside of the instance that a limited amount of retainers are able to be. Create an entire market outside of the instances or even force people to put their retainers in the stands and NOT in the middle of the flippin runner. In short I think they need to do something about the organization of retainers rather than letting anarchy spread. I mean theres what atleast 6 wards and yet everyone wants to stick their retainer in ward 1 or ward 2, NO ONE is in the other wards..... its stupid.
#21 Sep 28 2010 at 12:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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You do not need a so called starting point. Supply and Demand dictate price. The Buyer and Seller agree to terms and depart mutually satisfied. It does not matter if other players made similar transactions with wildly varying terms.

In fact, I think this is exactly what SE is trying to achieve. Remember in FFXI there were non AH items, like Hakutaku Eyes, Kirin Osode, Dynamis Currency, etc. Those items were transacted regularly just fine without an AH to "set the price".

I think it all boils down to speed of searching. AH is the fastest and the current retainer system is the slowest. If you had an infinte amount of time you could search every retainer in the city and have roughly the same effect as an AH. An AH provides almost the same function instantly. What SE is likley working on is something in between.

IMO the 10 items for sale on a retainer should pop up instantly in a window just by selecting a retainer. Upon moving the cursor to the next retainer, the window should instantly get updated with the current retainers' items. This would allow you to cover one retainer every few seconds.

Next, they need to seperate the wards into Armor, Weapons, and Craft supplies so that generally you can search the cluster of retainers that is most likely to have what you're looking for. So if you are selling a Sword and some Leg armor, you have to decide which is more important to sell first and park your Retainer in that area. You still might sell the other item, but most of your customers will be looking for the item that corresponds to the area you are parked in.

The last thing they need to do is expand on the "seeking" option. This is almost a brilliant idea, but it needs to be more flexible so that you can Seek for any item in the game - not just items you already have on your retainer.

I think with the three above fixes (or similar) that the retianer system would be pretty fun and useful.



Edited, Sep 28th 2010 1:37pm by Mithsavvy
#22 Sep 28 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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I wish they'd at least change the names of the wards to be along the lines of: Blades Ward, Carpenter's Landing (heh), Smithing Ward, etc. I imagine we'll eventually get orgainzed in this manner on our own (assuming SE doesn't cave in on the AH), but at least knowing where to sell your items and where to buy, would make going through the wards a little less painful.

And then make the wards a common shared area amongst all nations, like the Chocobo Circuit in FFXI.
#23 Sep 28 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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SE clearly stated it is not turning on the AH house immediately for whatever reason. Something about balacning the economy or something. I don't really fully understand the reason, but they do purposely have it turned off at the moment.
#24 Sep 28 2010 at 12:58 PM Rating: Excellent
Two points:

The "personal" touch. I was hunting around the wards when I saw someone buying from my retainer. Cool. A day later I was getting crafting mats off my retainer when the same person came to buy again. I asked him why they came to my retainer twice and the answer was because I always had at least a stack of maple logs and my price, while not the lowest, was reasonable. He also told me that he had bought a bone staff I had crafted because he stopped by for logs and saw it in the bazaar. Thought that was just kinda cool.

I think no central AH forces you to really prioritze the value of something you want. I wanted a hunting hat so I started looking around for one. I found them in the range of 12-15k, which I thought was too high. I kept looking and eventually found one for 10k (which I'm sure will be too high in a week or so). Granted, the same could happen with an AH but if the only hats listed were 12k-15k more than likely I would have paid more than I had to. I don't know if that makes any sense but to use another example: If you're at a swap meet and want a lawn gnome but the first stall's price is high, more than likely you'll cruise around the rest of the swap meet looking for a better deal. Now if you were in a store instead of at a swap meet you would probably just buy the lawn gnome even if it were over priced for the simple fact that it was right there.

Anyway, I think the retainer system needs a major overhaul (a local search for the love of all that is holy) but I think it could be something good.
#25 Sep 28 2010 at 1:03 PM Rating: Default
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I wonder if they ([]enix) are not gun shy from all the gil-farmers and price fixing that happened in ffxi. Some people shot out way ahead as far as $ goes and technically the game is not released yet. (yes that offically happens sept30th) So the farmers and craftbots will be rich as f*&% by the time the rest of the horde starts playing, and the adventurers will be hung out to dry. Be interesting to see how it shakes out, but w/o mail and AH game is broke for MMO.
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#26 Sep 28 2010 at 1:07 PM Rating: Good
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I've noticed more people parking their characters outside the wards, with their bazaars up. Rather than pile one more retainer in the zombie zones, this might become more commonplace imo.
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#27 Sep 28 2010 at 1:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I keep thinking that when SE imagined the retainer system, they had a specific way in mind that it would be used, but because we haven't been informed of that grand plan, we probably aren't using it in the way they imagined.

For example, why are there 20 separate zones for selling stuff? If you look you'll see that there are pages upon pages of market zones now. How is a person supposed to navigate that? Did they intend on certain zones being used to sell certain things?

I'm not saying an auction house or retainer search wouldn't be handy, but you got to wonder if they had some idea of how it would work and they were just that wrong with how we would actually use it.
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#28 Sep 28 2010 at 1:25 PM Rating: Decent
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A search would be almost the exact same as an AH, so I don't get why everyone thinks it absolutely needs to be an AH.

Also the crafting system in this game is very akin to that of EQ2 with all the "sub-combines".
#29 Sep 28 2010 at 1:29 PM Rating: Default
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i would like too add this i noticed whill in lomisiea (sp?) theres a building near the dock with a sign over it with the icon very simmiler to the old ah icon. i havent searched the other towns yet but i think they will relize the retainer stuff isint guna work for crafters and buyers.(hunting for 12+ hrs to make a robe only to find out the one i started with was better realy ticked me off)

RMT is guna happon weather they like it or not. punishing the ligit players cause of rmt is only going to tick ppl off and eventualy thell quit. imo wouldent a ah help them find the rmt ppl faster to ban them? i meen if someone sells X amount of gil and is constanly "giveing" it away. (which they can track even now) wouldent a AH be a good thing?
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#30 Sep 28 2010 at 2:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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the RMT excuse bugs me alot. mainly because most of the RMT 'fixes' hurt the casual/solo player alot more than the hurt the RMT groups. AH is gone, now every single player has to search retainers, where groups can designate 1 person per ward and still "monopolize" the economy using the same system.

my second problem with RMT, is that until they are botting, they arent doing anything that a single LS coordinated couldnt do if they put in the effort. Yes the work harder at making gil and yes the break the TOS when they try and sell it, but neither of those mess with the economy, so long as they are earning gil legit. They're legit players with a different goal in mind.

Buying out the servers supply of bee hive chips and selling them at 125% the old rate is something anyone can do. In real world economics, its actually a horrible idea, and most businesses can't possibly succeed by using this tactic, (real estate is an exception, and anything else without renewable properties).

I just hate seeing this used as a scapegoat to blame unrelated problems on.
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#31 Sep 28 2010 at 5:01 PM Rating: Good
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Vawn43 wrote:
I wish they'd at least change the names of the wards to be along the lines of: Blades Ward, Carpenter's Landing (heh), Smithing Ward, etc. I imagine we'll eventually get orgainzed in this manner on our own (assuming SE doesn't cave in on the AH), but at least knowing where to sell your items and where to buy, would make going through the wards a little less painful.

And then make the wards a common shared area amongst all nations, like the Chocobo Circuit in FFXI.


Wint wrote:
I keep thinking that when SE imagined the retainer system, they had a specific way in mind that it would be used, but because we haven't been informed of that grand plan, we probably aren't using it in the way they imagined.

For example, why are there 20 separate zones for selling stuff? If you look you'll see that there are pages upon pages of market zones now. How is a person supposed to navigate that? Did they intend on certain zones being used to sell certain things?

I'm not saying an auction house or retainer search wouldn't be handy, but you got to wonder if they had some idea of how it would work and they were just that wrong with how we would actually use it.



This is exactly what I was talking about in my last post - they can easily keep the Retainer system if they just had some sort of organization, currently its chaotic. Going to a market ward and just randomly having to browse people to get what you want. Its brutal and takes way too long, half the time you either end up being disappointed or angry about the results of your long exhausting search.

An AH isnt necessarily necessary. All they need to do is add organization to their current technique. Whether or not they want to do that is a completely different question.
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