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Marrying AH, Bazaar, and RepairsFollow

#1 Nov 10 2010 at 12:15 PM Rating: Good
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I posted a lengthy thread on how not having an AH could theoretically work, but it wasn't well recieved. I was trying to play devil's advocate a bit.

So here's an alternative - and I've seen bits/pieces of this elsewhere so sorry if I'm stealing ideas. This is an idea on how to have an economy with both Retainers/Bazaars and Auction Houses. I'll try to be briefer this time:

1. Limit AH to commodity items: That is, materials, arrows, foodstuffs, etc. Bringing it further, one could make AH limited to only NQ items.
2. Expand retainer inventory slots, and remove the tax. If commodities are in the AH, why should dedicated crafters lose out on 5-10% of what their customers are willing to pay? Why does sending gil back to the ether help the economy? Give the crafters the gil they deserve.
3. Implement a "retainer/bazaar reputation index". These words are mine. Having bazaars instead of AHs is supposed to "encourage community aspects" (or at least this is the only logical explanation anyone can possibly think of to justify them). Fine, let's assume that's true. Then, what's the incentive to go to the same retainer or bazaar multiple times? Currently, none. If SE wants to encourage relationship building, why not track how often you do business with a given player's bazaar or retainer? The more business you do, the higher this reputation/relationship index gets. The higher the index value, maybe the better discounts you can receive from the bazaar (a "reverse tax", if you will - crafter puts item in bazaar for price X, buyer with index > Y pays some percentage of X, but buyer crafter receives full value of X). This encourages you to revisit the same stores over time.
4. Implement an offline "Repair Zone". Unequip your stuff, dump it in the repair zone, log off, come back, and have it fixed. This seems like a no-brainer. (This could even be part of the AH!)

There are ways to streamline the economy while still encouraging community building. I'm sure SE has their own approaches in improving this, but what do you all think? Please don't bother posting "Make an auction house for everything" - we're all aware of that idea, and it's been duly noted that it would be an improvement...be creative.

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 1:19pm by volta1
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#2 Nov 10 2010 at 12:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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if there is an ah of any sorts there would need some sort of mailbox to go with it.

I like the idea of sending gear out for fixes and then i can log and its waiting in my mailbox for me to continue my adventure :P
#3 Nov 10 2010 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Speeral wrote:
if there is an ah of any sorts there would need some sort of mailbox to go with it.

I like the idea of sending gear out for fixes and then i can log and its waiting in my mailbox for me to continue my adventure :P


Definitely agree that there should be a mailbox. Repaired items auto-sent to mail would be nice, too.
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#4 Nov 10 2010 at 12:53 PM Rating: Decent
Quote:
1. Limit AH to commodity items: That is, materials, arrows, foodstuffs, etc. Bringing it further, one could make AH limited to only NQ items.


I actually brought this up to my LS awhile ago, but I said limit the AH to finished goods.

Quote:
2. Expand retainer inventory slots, and remove the tax. If commodities are in the AH, why should dedicated crafters lose out on 5-10% of what their customers are willing to pay? Why does sending gil back to the ether help the economy? Give the crafters the gil they deserve.


I'm on board for this just for the additional storage. I can't store my mats as it is.

Quote:
3. Implement a "retainer/bazaar reputation index". These words are mine. Having bazaars instead of AHs is supposed to "encourage community aspects" (or at least this is the only logical explanation anyone can possibly think of to justify them). Fine, let's assume that's true. Then, what's the incentive to go to the same retainer or bazaar multiple times? Currently, none. If SE wants to encourage relationship building, why not track how often you do business with a given player's bazaar or retainer? The more business you do, the higher this reputation/relationship index gets. The higher the index value, maybe the better discounts you can receive from the bazaar (a "reverse tax", if you will - crafter puts item in bazaar for price X, buyer with index > Y pays some percentage of X, but buyer crafter receives full value of X). This encourages you to revisit the same stores over time.


Like Amazon or eBay, works for me.

Quote:
4. Implement an offline "Repair Zone". Unequip your stuff, dump it in the repair zone, log off, come back, and have it fixed. This seems like a no-brainer. (This could even be part of the AH!)


I like this idea, like dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners. If it is part of an AH there could even be a bidding function so ppl could bid on repairing items like contractors.
#5 Nov 10 2010 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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They shouldn't limit the AH at all, because people will naturally flock to market wards to sell slow-selling or expensive items. It's why bazaars still thrived in FFXI.
#6 Nov 10 2010 at 1:09 PM Rating: Decent
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The Glorious SkinwalkerAsura wrote:

Like Amazon or eBay, works for me.


Thanks for your comments. I like the idea on bidding for repairs, but don't see how repairers would be incentivized to pay more than is required for repair, given the low SP gained when doing a repair.

In any case, I think you misunderstand my point on the relationship index. I wasn't referring to quality of the seller like Amazon/EBay (although, this is a possibility, too), but rather, tracking individual buyer/seller relationships. These could either be one way (buyer to seller) or mutual (net of both players). This instead measures over time *your* relationship with a particular vendor. The more you revisit, the better prices you get. I'm not aware of anything in Amazon, EBay, or elsewhere where it functions like this, but do believe it would encourage community building.

I didn't intend for the mechanics in the OP to be the actual rules, instead trying to encourage brainstorming the possibilities. Again, thanks for the thoughts.
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#7 Nov 10 2010 at 1:25 PM Rating: Decent
11 posts
just give us a AH and a Mail Box.. problem solved :D
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#8 Nov 10 2010 at 1:34 PM Rating: Excellent
volta1 wrote:
The Glorious SkinwalkerAsura wrote:

Like Amazon or eBay, works for me.


Thanks for your comments. I like the idea on bidding for repairs, but don't see how repairers would be incentivized to pay more than is required for repair, given the low SP gained when doing a repair.

In any case, I think you misunderstand my point on the relationship index. I wasn't referring to quality of the seller like Amazon/EBay (although, this is a possibility, too), but rather, tracking individual buyer/seller relationships. These could either be one way (buyer to seller) or mutual (net of both players). This instead measures over time *your* relationship with a particular vendor. The more you revisit, the better prices you get. I'm not aware of anything in Amazon, EBay, or elsewhere where it functions like this, but do believe it would encourage community building.

I didn't intend for the mechanics in the OP to be the actual rules, instead trying to encourage brainstorming the possibilities. Again, thanks for the thoughts.


I agree the SP from repairs is a joke. What I mean is someone goes to the Repair Wanted section of the AH or whatever. There will be a list of items up for repairs but no rewards listed. They then go down the list bidding the minimum amount they'll do the repair for. Earlier, ppl that are putting items up for repair entered the maximum they would pay for the repair. If the two totals jive then the repairer fixes the item and gets paid. When the repair-ee picks up, the amount that they owe is charged to them. It may keep the repair business somewhat competitive instead of one person just emptying the list. The relationship index idea is interesting btw Smiley: grin
#9 Nov 10 2010 at 1:36 PM Rating: Default
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Can I marry a fat dodo? I find their belching ****....
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Irishclass777 said: crafting is crafting no matter the game just because crafting is a job in ffxiv don't it much change much.


#10 Nov 10 2010 at 1:59 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
2. Expand retainer inventory slots, and remove the tax. If commodities are in the AH, why should dedicated crafters lose out on 5-10% of what their customers are willing to pay? Why does sending gil back to the ether help the economy? Give the crafters the gil they deserve.


It helps because it curbs inflation. If 1,000,000,000 Gil (random number) is brought into the economy everyday through leves, and 0 gil is drained from it; the net result is prices rising exponentially to keep up with the amount of currency in circulation. Gil sinks are important in this virtual economy to prevent this. The same idea is applied to real world economies in that government's only introduce so much currency into circulation at a time, and old currency is removed or held in banks to keep the circulating amount at a certain level.

It's also important to note that, just because tons of Gil is in the economy - that doesn't mean everyone will have equal access to it. As Gil piles up, the amount earned through leves doesn't increase to reflect the price hike, and eventually people will struggle to earn enough to afford inflated goods. A level 13 weapon that costs 30k now can be obtained in one set of level 10 leve's, but that same weapon could end up costing 300k a month from now, making it far harder to obtain (nigh impossible for the average player, at least while it's still useful).

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 3:09pm by mistrik
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#11 Nov 10 2010 at 2:07 PM Rating: Decent
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volta1 wrote:
Why does sending gil back to the ether help the economy?


Inflation.

The only reason for gear repairs from the the NPC cost so much is to take money out of the economy. There is an infinite supply of gil in the game. If there is no means to remove gil, prices will rapidly inflate. It's the reason most games have NPC repairs, taxes, travel fees, etc. It's all to take money out of the economy and mitigate inflation.
#12 Nov 10 2010 at 2:21 PM Rating: Decent
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I get the point on inflation, but with bots rampant, inflation is inevitable. By taking it away from the crafters, even a more disproportional amount of gil goes into RMT.

This is not a real economy, anyway. Increasing the monetary base does not necessarily lead to inflation. MV=PY doesn't hold here. Velocity, per usual, is constant. In econ, we learn that short-run aggregate output is also constant, but that's not the case here. In MMOs, unlike real life, prices don't go up just because there's more money available. If anything, prices will go down over time because there is also inflation in the goods available (output, or Y here). An inflation argument is flawed. Gil sinks are not important due to mob drops and crafts (i.e. steep increases in output, I tried [unsuccessfully] arguing in the other thread linked in the OP that limiting the market size is what would really prevent inflation). In fact, gil sinks only hurt your average, non-cheating non-bot player.

Who's rating me down btw?

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 3:25pm by volta1
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#13 Nov 10 2010 at 2:27 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
unlike real life, prices don't go up just because there's more money available. If anything, prices will go down over time because there is also inflation in the goods available (output, or Y here). In inflation argument is flawed.


I have to disagree in part. The value of lower level goods will definitely go down as the game goes on, but higher level equipment (and repairs) will always be supply and demmand oriented. Repairing using a buffalo leather strap can only go down to a certain amount of gil before it's not worth it to repair. How many goldsmiths are going to be able to repair diamond rings? Right now, everyone has their hand in the crafting jar, but only a few are going to take the time to push the envelope and they will reap the rewards.
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Irishclass777 said: crafting is crafting no matter the game just because crafting is a job in ffxiv don't it much change much.


#14 Nov 10 2010 at 3:20 PM Rating: Decent
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tmproff wrote:
Quote:
unlike real life, prices don't go up just because there's more money available. If anything, prices will go down over time because there is also inflation in the goods available (output, or Y here). In inflation argument is flawed.


I have to disagree in part. The value of lower level goods will definitely go down as the game goes on, but higher level equipment (and repairs) will always be supply and demmand oriented. Repairing using a buffalo leather strap can only go down to a certain amount of gil before it's not worth it to repair. How many goldsmiths are going to be able to repair diamond rings? Right now, everyone has their hand in the crafting jar, but only a few are going to take the time to push the envelope and they will reap the rewards.



As they should reap the awards. You make a good point, but I don't think the "higher level" effects will be tangibly felt until end game. There will be commoditization of everything until then. WRT NPC repairs and travel fees, sure, it mitigates inflation, but those taxes are coming from players willing to pay for convenience, not from crafters trying to earn a living. The former is demand-side taxation, the latter supply-side.

But that's neither here nor there. My main assumption is that *auction houses don't exist because SE believed/hoped that bazaars would encourage community building*. That's the only explanation I've heard to date. Regardless of whether or not you agree, let's just assume that's true for the moment.

I then argue, given that assertion, that taxing crafters discourages community building. Crafters ought to be entitled to the full amount a customer is willing to pay for their work, especially as they level up more and crafts become harder and more expensive. In fact, several times, I've sent a /tell to a crafter, asking them to pull an item from the bazaar and mark it down for trade, in such a way that I pay less and they get more. They almost always do. It would be tough to argue that my /tell is the type of community building SE was hoping for :)

That's why I propose that Bazaars, if they are going to continue to be used, ought to keep track of customers over time, and incentivize "good patrons" to continue returning. I disagree with you and the other guy on the inflation piece, but it's tangential to the argument.

An AH, on the other hand, I agree with most posters when they say that looking for a crafter for arrows or other commodities is currently way harder than it should be, thus a commodity AH can take its place without hurting the overall "community". An alternative to that, even, if SE is adamant about no AH, is to make very cheap commodity NPC vendors to account for the current shortfall.

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 4:23pm by volta1

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 4:27pm by volta1
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#15 Nov 11 2010 at 4:44 AM Rating: Decent
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volta1 wrote:
I get the point on inflation, but with bots rampant, inflation is inevitable. By taking it away from the crafters, even a more disproportional amount of gil goes into RMT.

This is not a real economy, anyway. Increasing the monetary base does not necessarily lead to inflation. MV=PY doesn't hold here. Velocity, per usual, is constant. In econ, we learn that short-run aggregate output is also constant, but that's not the case here. In MMOs, unlike real life, prices don't go up just because there's more money available. If anything, prices will go down over time because there is also inflation in the goods available (output, or Y here). An inflation argument is flawed. Gil sinks are not important due to mob drops and crafts (i.e. steep increases in output, I tried [unsuccessfully] arguing in the other thread linked in the OP that limiting the market size is what would really prevent inflation). In fact, gil sinks only hurt your average, non-cheating non-bot player.

Who's rating me down btw?

Edited, Nov 10th 2010 3:25pm by volta1


I've been lurking for a while, and just wanted to post because I'm an economics major, and I really don't follow your argument here at all. Especially since what you posted just seems empirically false; prices are already inflating in FFXIV, and prices inflate all the time in other MMOs because of too much inflow of money and too little outflow.
#16 Nov 11 2010 at 4:50 AM Rating: Decent
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By the way, the perfect example of an economy completely distorted by inflation is Diablo 2. While not an MMO in the technical sense, it had a large online economy (including, btw, large RMT segments in its later years, so quite MMO-like), which was crippled to an extent by the completely worthlessness of gold. You got tons of gold all the time, and there was nothing to really spend it on that made gold valuable, except gambling; but getting enough gold to do that was still trivial. As a result the community settled on a de facto currency. For the first 3-4 years this was the infamous Stone of Jordan, which was a super rare ring that became reasonably common through duping (hacking, basically). This was the medium of exchange, except it was clumsy for a number reasons; for example, there were tons of items worth less than a single SOJ, and you couldn't do fractions. Later on the economy moved to using high runes as a currency, again made more widespread through duping.

Even then the economy only maintained a semblance of normalcy because Blizzard wiped the ladder every 1 or 2 years, which reset the supply of duped currency.

Sound familiar? We can already see this happening in FFXIV (minus the alternative currency being duped): gil is rapidly becoming worthless, and shards are already becoming the alternative.
#17 Nov 11 2010 at 5:36 AM Rating: Good
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goomba666 wrote:
Sound familiar? We can already see this happening in FFXIV (minus the alternative currency being duped): gil is rapidly becoming worthless, and shards are already becoming the alternative.


THIS.

On a related note, why isn't SE encouraging players to use NPCs to repair items? Instead they push players to use DoH which keeps gil in the economy. The whole purpose of the wear/repair system should be to help prevent inflation. I swear I'll never understand SE...
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