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Ideas on market ward improvementsFollow

#1 Sep 26 2011 at 5:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hello ZAM forum-goers! I posted this idea over at the lodestone, but I would value thoughts from your crowd as well.

I would like to offer a concept for consideration that should address two elements often cited as concerns among players: the centralization of Ul'dah and the inefficiencies of the market wards. Firstly, Ul'dah has become the de facto staging area for players across servers. Irrespective of the initial forcing factors that got us to this state, the market wards threaten to keep Ul'dah as the central city-state for the game no matter what other changes and improvements to quests, missions, and transportation are implemented.

Limsa Lominsa and Gridania do not have enough traffic in the markets to reliably offload your items, nor can you effectively find the things you need to craft or outfit your adventurer. Ultimately, no matter where you go to adventure, quest, level, mine, craft, etc., you will return to Ul'dah because that is the most reliable place to sell your goods and/or buy new equipment.

Some have suggested making the market wards universal across all cities, with sellers able to offload goods from any city, while buyers can search a single market for whatever items they need. I believe three markets, loosely connected, is superior for both buyers and sellers than a single market per server. What I recommend is a variation on the single market concept, with universal buying but local selling.

UNIVERSAL PURCHASES
I recommend a NPC trade agency where the player can search for items being sold in all three cities. If the item the player wants is in his or her current city, it can be bought in the way purchases are made now. For items in other cities, however, and for a fee, the NPC trade agency can buy the item on the player's behalf. This fee can be percentage-based, but is paid by the buyer rather than the seller (as opposed to market ward tax). If a mailbox system eventually is added, the item can be delivered to the player's mailbox. The NPC trade agency should give players access to the markets from bigger settlements, such as the Silver Bazaar or Aleport, for example.

UNIVERSAL RETAINER ACCESS
Players must be able to access their retainer from anywhere WITHOUT losing their active bazaar status. As long as contacting your retainer means losing its bazaar, players will consistently return to Ul'dah to manage inventory. I recommend two improvements to dealing with retainers from outside the market wards:

1) Contacting retainers via NPC linkpearl
Have the retainer give the player a linkpearl once they are hired. The player can then contact the retainer and modify the retainer's bazaar from anywhere. If a mailbox system is ever implemented, the player could also request the retainer forward any money or items to his or her mailbox. The linkpearl does not give the player the ability to directly exchange items with the retainer.

2) Summoning retainers at summoning bells
Summoning bells should be added to larger settlements (Silver Bazaar, Aleport, etc.), and summoning your retainer will no longer remove them from their bazaar. However, your retainer can charge you a travel fee for summoning if they had to leave their current city to get to you (i.e., no charge for summoning from the Gridania inn if the retainer is already in the Gridania market wards).

IMPROVED ITEM SEARCH COUNTER
Item searches should be sorted based on skill-set and function rather than by ward type. An example: antelope sinew can be used to make 3 things, two of which are leatherworking and one which is carpentry, and yet the item itself can only be searched for under "clothier's ward" because it is categorized as "fiber". I recommend that the item search counter list all functions with a sub-list of more specific categories. ZAM has a completely sensible and easy-to-navigate search system, as just one example. I believe the game should be able to provide at least as straightforward a search system.

Also, and very important, there should be a heading for every item that can be bought and sold, even if there are no items currently for sale. Players should be able to use the item search counter as a way to see what items are in the game, and what equipment they can aspire to as they progress, regardless of whether or not the item is currently being sold.
#2 Sep 26 2011 at 6:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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or AH.

Just a thought. Not sure anyone has thought of that. I'm brilliant.
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#3 Sep 26 2011 at 6:30 PM Rating: Good
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Simool wrote:
or AH.

Just a thought. Not sure anyone has thought of that. I'm brilliant.


An old post on FF11's AH back when there was no FFXIV: http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=1112665273316647368

I'm not anti-AH. Just remember there is more than one way to have a market system, and the AH is definitely a seller-friendly system, while the market wards are buyer-friendly (or they would be if we had a decent search function). My idea above was to work with what is already in the game, rather than bring in a different system. If they want to bring in an AH they already know what can work and they don't really need the ideas.

Edited, Sep 26th 2011 6:36pm by stupidbluemonkey
#4 Sep 26 2011 at 7:08 PM Rating: Decent
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The only way to salvage this system in my eyes is to make it a mini game. Trying to turn it in to an AH will only further show how crappy of an AH it is.

What SE needs to do is make some innovative strides to this system. (I've gone over this ad nausem in the past.) Everything else seems like band aids to make up for the fact that it isn't an AH.

As it stands the retainers are inefficient for both buyer and seller. It just takes too long for items to reach an equilibrium; leading in a needless timesink. So I think there are really two choices: revel in that timesink and make a merchant class, with all of the bells and whistles. Or two, give me an AH.

I'm betting that in Ishgard or whatever, whenever that city becomes available, they'll have an AH. And the retainers won't survive unless there's a really good reason to use them; i.e. mini-game.
#5 Sep 27 2011 at 4:04 AM Rating: Good
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I think when they cut down on the number of items needed to craft the wards will get a bit less confusing. On a user level i HATE the wards and i think they look silly with all the ghosts staring off into the distance, it has a very unprofessional feel to it.

However, economically i prefer it.
Keeping prices based on whats available instead of the trend makes the economy a bit easier to read in the short term and makes it flexible while keeping it violent. I like violent video game economies, it keeps everyone guessing instead of the overly rigid economy that was in FFXI.

Also FFXI's auction house had a pretty glaring flaw idk if any of you noticed, how come i was stabbing in the dark to figure out the exact price people were selling at?! If i really wanted to save money in ffxi i would have constantly bet on a price and added 1z to each guess. Why does the seller deserve the power to keep me in the dark when i'm the one who needs the item now and the seller has all the time in the world to get rid of that item. Ninja's in ffxi know what i'm talking about, we were basically at the beck and call of whatever woodworkers decided they needed money that week.

Before continue to get too far off topic, I like the suggestions, I especially like the idea of managing prices can be something done in the field during down time,,buying and selling could certainly be a bit more intuitive. I still stand by ffxiv's approach they're trying to achieve by making shopping an activity instead of popping in an out of an overly predictive market system.

An game economy is a fascinating thing, while i think the AH in FFXI was a refreshing change I hope FFXIV adds plenty of updates to the market wards and brings some romance back to virtual trading.
#6 Sep 27 2011 at 10:05 AM Rating: Excellent
The thing that seems easiest to add at this time would be if the Item Search Counter could just send you to the right Ward (by clicking on the seller.)

May just be me, but I always forget where the seller was and have to search the item twice.
#7 Sep 27 2011 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
SmashingtonWho wrote:
The thing that seems easiest to add at this time would be if the Item Search Counter could just send you to the right Ward (by clicking on the seller.)

May just be me, but I always forget where the seller was and have to search the item twice.

I do that all the time! xD
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#8 Sep 27 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm just going to copy and paste from another thread I replied to because it's my biggest gripe about the wards other than the limited searchability.

Zorvan wrote:
What the **** good is 100 more vendor slots going to do me?

I have to put my vendor, which just wants to sell crystals, in the Crystalier ( or whatever the name is ) section so I don't pay extra tax.

BUT WAIT!!

You cannot summon a retainer here.

So I guess I'll suck up the extra tax.

I go to every **** market section.

You cannot summon a retainer here.

Oh, I guess I'll stand outside the markets in this crowd of other people with open bazaars that noone is checking because they're just going and item searching the vendors that actually found a spot in the **** market.

SO WHAT IS THE ******* POINT?

S-E needs to fix this crap.

Now.

/rant
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#9 Sep 27 2011 at 6:37 PM Rating: Excellent
Zorvan wrote:
I'm just going to copy and paste from another thread I replied to because it's my biggest gripe about the wards other than the limited searchability.

Zorvan wrote:
What the **** good is 100 more vendor slots going to do me?

I have to put my vendor, which just wants to sell crystals, in the Crystalier ( or whatever the name is ) section so I don't pay extra tax.

BUT WAIT!!

You cannot summon a retainer here.

So I guess I'll suck up the extra tax.

I go to every **** market section.

You cannot summon a retainer here.

Oh, I guess I'll stand outside the markets in this crowd of other people with open bazaars that noone is checking because they're just going and item searching the vendors that actually found a spot in the **** market.

SO WHAT IS THE ******* POINT?

S-E needs to fix this crap.

Now.

/rant

How is this an idea to fix the market wards? It is just a copy/paste of a rant.
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Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
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#10 Sep 27 2011 at 6:50 PM Rating: Good
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StateAlchemist of Amestris wrote:
Zorvan wrote:
I'm just going to copy and paste from another thread I replied to because it's my biggest gripe about the wards other than the limited searchability.

Zorvan wrote:
What the **** good is 100 more vendor slots going to do me?

I have to put my vendor, which just wants to sell crystals, in the Crystalier ( or whatever the name is ) section so I don't pay extra tax.

BUT WAIT!!

You cannot summon a retainer here.

So I guess I'll suck up the extra tax.

I go to every **** market section.

You cannot summon a retainer here.

Oh, I guess I'll stand outside the markets in this crowd of other people with open bazaars that noone is checking because they're just going and item searching the vendors that actually found a spot in the **** market.

SO WHAT IS THE ******* POINT?


How is this an idea to fix the market wards? It is just a copy/paste of a rant.


It's an idea of something major that needs to be fixed. Imagine the problem if the game was actually populated, when the scant pop here now can "fill" the market. And it's something that points once again to how an AH would be a much better alternative to a bunch of "physical" vendor bots that take up room and thus cause space limits.


Edited, Sep 27th 2011 8:52pm by Zorvan
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#11 Sep 27 2011 at 7:36 PM Rating: Excellent
Zorvan wrote:
It's an idea of something major that needs to be fixed. Imagine the problem if the game was actually populated, when the scant pop here now can "fill" the market. And it's something that points once again to how an AH would be a much better alternative to a bunch of "physical" vendor bots that take up room and thus cause space limits.

I like the way this was worded better then your rant. :) And I agree about the AH. Having a hard limit on retainer space means eventually someone will be left out. At the same time an infinite amount of space cannot be made within a Ward. This is an issue SE should have realized from the beginning. I don't see how it ever got past the drawing board. I don't mind the Market Wards being left in the game as an "alternative"...but they cannot seriously expect it to drive the economy past reinstating subscription fees, or say, the PS3 launch.
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#12 Sep 29 2011 at 4:07 PM Rating: Good
As other things gets fixed I suspect this will work it way to the top of the priority list.

I'm starting to actually expect a real AH before the PS3 launch. I would say that 0% of players prefer the wards in their current state.
#13 Sep 29 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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A year later and I'm still struggling to understand what the Market Wards give us compared to an Auction House system with equal functionality, besides the inconvenience of having to travel from ward-to-ward and selecting an NPC out of a sea of others to purchase a single item.
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#14 Sep 29 2011 at 6:38 PM Rating: Excellent
Whales wrote:
A year later and I'm still struggling to understand what the Market Wards give us compared to an Auction House system with equal functionality, besides the inconvenience of having to travel from ward-to-ward and selecting an NPC out of a sea of others to purchase a single item.

It was desinged with good intentions and poor foresight. THe fact of the matter is that no matter how efficient the features become there is finite space, and an expanding playerbase will destroy it's functionality by forcably excluding people from efficiently seeling their goods in which ever ward they deem necessary at any given time. He busier servers already have that problem, all I can say is I am happy I am not on one of the busier servers atm. An AH is inevitable.
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Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
Data Center: Primal; Server: Ultros; Free Company: The Kraken Club; Grand Company: The Maelstrom; Chocobo: Kweh
#15 Sep 29 2011 at 11:30 PM Rating: Good
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What's really sad is that one of the big reasons that this game got horrible initial reviews was the lack of an AH. Just as sad was the fact that this game has lost many players / potential subscriptions because of the lack of an AH.

What's silly is that they've been trying to improve the existing cumbersome retainer system basically by giving it functionality such as searching , price comparisons , etc. -- hmm, what would have had these functionality from the very start? Auction House!

It's honestly sort of mind-boggling that the devs can't get past their puzzling stubbornness to replace the current system with something that has been such a huge, glaring sticking point for this game from day one.
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#16 Sep 30 2011 at 12:54 AM Rating: Excellent
I agree with State... this game must have an AH at some point.

I think the dev team patched the Market Wards so they'd at least be tolerable while other issues in the game were attended to. If I were Square Enix though, I wouldn't even think of launching this game on the ps3 unless it had an AH.
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#17 Sep 30 2011 at 8:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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the more they work on the wards, the more complicated they get without ever becoming as good as a basic AH.
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#18 Sep 30 2011 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
Thayos wrote:
I agree with State... this game must have an AH at some point.

I think the dev team patched the Market Wards so they'd at least be tolerable while other issues in the game were attended to. If I were Square Enix though, I wouldn't even think of launching this game on the ps3 unless it had an AH.


Yep. It's clearly what the players want. Fortunately, Yoshida seems to enjoy giving players what they want.

I agree that the reviews for the PS3 release will be drastically better if there is an AH at that time.
#19 Sep 30 2011 at 12:03 PM Rating: Good
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I ain't read squat here, but I'll spit my idea anyway.


The markets at present are the auction house, slowed down painfully, with restrictions on sellers, and terrible information displaying for the buyer.

Item Search counter allows you to search by categories anything you want to buy. Like an auction house. Including seller prices and competing prices. Except to actually purchase your item, you have to go through a loading screen, zone out of the city area, and spend some time finding the retainer selling the item you marked up in search. Unneeded. Why not just remove the whole retainer nonsense, and let players buy & sell right out of the Item Search? It's the same result in the end, you search it up via lists, you click it, to buy it.

The vital information missing is the that items come in qualities, of +1~+3. Which isn't shown in the item search. The amount of times we've all looked up that particular item and see prices jump from 5,000 to 80,000 to 1,200,000 in three sellers. The worst bit is when you take the time to zone into that ward to check the prices and they're all the same quality, NONE, and the highest price placed is merely because the "Miqo'te looks nice in this".

Just give up on the retainers, turn them into delivery and storage strictly, like XI's moogles. People used Bazzar mules because they were tax free outside of cities, and could be conveniently placed anywhere in the world. Creating your entire market system around that, and then it has NEITHER of the benefits is almost hilarious if it wasn't frustrating.
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