Anyone using FFXI Jeuno or Rolanberry Fields (or for the cool servers, Sauromugue Champaign!) bazaar marts as an example in support of FFXIV's bazaar/ward system is completely missing the point. Why did anyone bazaar in those places in XI? NEVER because they just thought it was cool to look through people's sack of stuff for sale. Here are the reasons people use bazaars in XI:
1. Items that can't be sold on AH but can be bazaared. This is by far the most significant category. Dynamis currency, Ancient Beastcoins, Kirin's Osodes, Hakutaku pop items, Abyssea NM pop items, magian weapon upgrade items. If people COULD sell this stuff on the AH, they **** well would. And I don't mind a few special things like that being non-AH items. I do mind BASIC leveling equipment being hard to find. Hunting for level appropriate gear for hours just to play on a rank 15 class is absurd.
2. Exorbitant AH fees or infrequently sold items. If you're putting up a 10mil+ item, you might not want to spend a big tax just to post it on the AH. Or if you're trying to sell something that's uncommon and might not have high demand, in XI you may just have it sent back to you unsold and be out the fee. Bazaar makes sense here.
3. Not enough AH slots. The crafter's dilemma. 7 AH slots at a time, somebody leveling up a craft = you get lots of stuff to sell way faster than you can put them up on AH. Again, this is fair. Park outside an appropriate guild or in a bazaar, and even if you don't sell your stuff you can slowly put them up on AH (and/or AH them through mules) and eventually get rid of them. Plus, you could look at XI's system as an artificial barrier to powerleveling crafting, intentionally slowing crafters down to deal with their surplus goods. In XIV S-E seems to want to really emphasize crafting, so putting more roadblocks up is really nothing but an annoyance to what seems to be a key emphasis of the game!
4. Odd convenience things. This is the guy in the LS who puts up food or potions for sale for everyone about to enter an event, the enterprising fellow who parks outside of sky with sneak/invis potions, etc. Again, this is fine, but insisting EVERYONE do their sales this way? Crazy talk.
So you see, Bazaar wasn't for FUN. It was out of necessity, but nobody minded too much because the AH system was solid and allowed people to buy stuff in a fairly convenient way.
Now, look at one of the common complaints of FFXI - starting AHes were not linked (this is also an issue that eventually died out simply because people abandoned the starter city AHes). This led to people from Bastok not being able to buy stuff put up for sale in Windurst. The player base had a reasonable solution of congregating in one main city and using the AH there, and the starter city AHes were left for basic low level stuff. Once players advanced enough to access Jeuno, home city AHes became largely irrelevant.
Two possibilities here:
(a) S-E learned nothing from this lesson. Because now there are messy market wards in ALL THREE CITIES. There's no central gathering place, so it's really 3x the problem of just "I can't find this axe in Gridania". Are you expected to ALSO search the hellish wards in Limsa and Ul'dah?
(b) Maybe this is the solution. Maybe a Jeuno-like "main" city will be coming, WITH AH, and S-E just ignored AHes in the starter cities because they knew they would eventually be obsolete. I can only hope this is the answer, or that if it wasn't intended maybe S-E does come around to it ASAP.
I want XIV to work, but this issue above all else will cause me to quit the game. I'm sure I'm not alone, and a game actively driving customers away is not good for anyone who does want XIV to do well, whether you can handle the ward system and no AH or not. Renaming the wards is NOT an acceptable solution. I'll give them until the end of 2010 to tell me something better or I'm gone. I don't want to hear defenses and people telling me I need to use my precious time to party up to craft, make my friends craft me stuff, or hunt through wards with me. Enjoy playing your fundamentally broken MMO if you can handle it. I can't.
Edited, Oct 11th 2010 5:04pm by Anza
Anza: Titan 2004-2011 / Capuchin: Phoenix 2011-???