Time for an Auction House

Even if fixed, the market wards of FFXIV may never recover from a botched launch.

Christmas is coming, which means it's time to shop for holiday gifts. This past Sunday, I headed to the mall to find some jewelry for my wife (don’t worry, she won’t be reading this).  I walked in, stopped by a couple stores, viewed a few trinkets and picked out the perfect present.

If you do your own holiday shopping, perhaps you’ll think the same thing I did: thank goodness Mall Eorzea only exists in Final Fantasy XIV.

Discuss this in the ZAM forums!

Let’s run through my gift-buying excursion as if I were using the market wards. I’d drive my car to the mall, park outside, and then find the entrance to the jewelry portion of the shopping center. Then I’d walk inside to see a myriad of stores with no signs or display cases, like something from the mind of Franz Kafka. I’d approach a counter and ask to see the vendor’s wares, only to find he lacks the earrings I’m after. The next few vendors would have very few items to choose from, and none would be earrings. The last vendor I’d check wouldn’t even be selling jewelry.

“Try the sporting goods section at the front of the mall,” another shopper would say. Although there is no good reason to sell earrings with sporting goods, I would eventually find what I was looking for, but only after spending another hour poking through more unmarked shops. And I'd never know that I overpaid by $50.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Of everything that was wrong with Final Fantasy XIV at launch, the market ward system was the worst. The wards were nowhere near ready when the game was released into the wild. The system itself is unrealistic, with no way to discern which vendors are selling what items. I understand that Square Enix was trying to create a more personal, old-school market system, but the innovative idea was horribly executed.

Fixes are coming, but I fear these changes are coming too late.

It’s time for Square Enix to announce a timeline for implementing an auction house, just as they announced timelines for this year’s big updates. Even if the plan is to add the auction house at the end of next summer, players need to know that a stable, proven economic system is coming.

Players want an auction house. Not all of them, but probably most of them. Adding search functions to the market ward system will certainly make the wards more usable. However, judging by the number of retainers irreverently stashed in the Battlecraft Ward, I get the feeling that too many players don’t give a damn about making the market wards user friendly. I think many players want the wards to fail, if that’s what it takes for Square Enix to install the auction house.

In a keynote speech this week at GDC China, Final Fantasy XIV executive producer Hiromichi Tanaka explained the market wards were conceived to curb deflation experienced in Final Fantasy XI’s auction house system. The auction houses of FFXI allowed the viewing of price histories across various regions, prompting players to continually undercut prices in an attempt to sell their wares. On the other hand, the market ward system “makes it difficult for a single market rate to become established, providing the seller with more opportunity to turn a profit,” said a slide in Tanaka’s speech.

Also during his speech, Tanaka indicated that the development team hasn’t ruled out an auction house system for Final Fantasy XIV.

Innovation is a wonderful thing, and it’s one of Square Enix’s best qualities. I love it that the development team constantly pushes the envelope with new designs and new systems. The fact that Square Enix tried to reshape our economic infrastructure speaks volumes about the bravado and vision of the developers. I also applaud the development team for trying to correct the deflation that eventually drove players away from Final Fantasy XI. I’m sure there is more than one way to crack that nut; perhaps install an auction house without price histories?

As stated earlier, innovation is pointless without execution. I really wanted to see the market wards succeed, but that was months ago when the game was released. Now, I just want Final Fantasy XIV to be functional. I’ve had lots of fun playing this game since launch day, but I have yet to buy a single item from the wards. Once I entered the wards to take a look around, and that was all I needed to see. Broken system is broken.

The market wards could have worked if they’d have had search functions at launch. They may not have worked perfectly, but search functions would have allowed players to grow accustomed to the system without pulling their hair out. After two or three months of trial and error, the development team could have adjusted the wards to make them hum as intended.

Now, it just seems like the moment has passed, doesn’t it? We’re closing in on three months into the game’s life, and we still don’t have basic search functions that should have been in place at launch day. It feels like we’re still beta testing the market ward system, which isn’t a good thing, given the importance of economies in MMORPGs. Players are already upset about shelling out hundreds of dollars to upgrade their computers just to play an extended beta version of the game. They want to know – they need to know – that this game will offer viable economic infrastructure.

Announce an auction house. Do it! The auction house could even operate alongside the wards. Perhaps charge a much lower tax through the wards, and rename the ward areas to represent different in-game events or activities as content is implemented. Or take the advice of a poster on our forums and have the auction house function like an actual auction house, with players placing bids on items and the items being sold to the highest bidders. If the market wards are so important, find a way to make them work as a compliment to an auction house system, but not in place of it.

The time to experiment was last summer. The time for tweaking ended yesterday. Now is the time for results.

Now is the time for an auction house.

Comments

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It's time...
# Dec 29 2010 at 12:30 AM Rating: Decent
7 posts
I agree, it's time for Auction House. Squre Enix had their chance, we were force to play without auction house and they recently added search function which still sadly doesn't cut it. Leaving this as it stands can benifit, no effort goes without accomplished. Give us our auction house who cares if people drive prices up.


I PREFER TO SPENT 50K INSTEAD OF 30K IF THAT SAVES ME HOURS OF LOOKING

It's easy to find items that goes without saying but it's time cunsuming. No one is saying market wands are terrible, just very frustrating at times.
New Ward Update
# Dec 27 2010 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
The new Item search Update makes the wards a heck of alot better, if youre after something, search for it. the retainers either wont have it, or theyl have red stars above their heads if they do.

Its Great
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Auctions
# Dec 23 2010 at 10:42 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
It would be nice that as part of the search function of the wards that only the retainers that have the item you are looking for would draw while you have your search active.

If they do implement an Auction House. I work prefer an Auction House that doesn't negate the wards. As for a type I would accept:

1) Anything could be listed as a multi day auction with no BUY NOW option.
2) Mats only AH with BUY NOW allowed.

A third type I would find interesting, but am certain would never be used, would be a Sotheby style Auction.
Wards would work if there was less guess work
# Dec 18 2010 at 8:07 PM Rating: Default
10 posts
I really like the idea of npc's just outside the wards that will let me know which ward and which seller has what I am looking for. Just that much would make the wards so much more useful.

As to people grumping about retainers in the wrong wards, sometimes there is no right ward. I've seen crystal sellers in every ward. I honestly couldn't tell you what ward they should be in although battlecraft seems a bit strange for crystals. I tend to sell drops used across different crafts. If I could have say 5 retainers, then yeah I'd only sell the meats and vegetables in the culinary ward and ores in a more appropriate ward, but that option is not available and I am not sure it should be, the glut of retainers with the current system is getting pretty bad.

It's true that AH's have down sides, but the current system has to be worse than the problems that an AH can present.
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some thoughts
# Dec 13 2010 at 2:31 PM Rating: Decent
7 posts
If the simplest way is for SE to put in AH, then do it. If that will satisfy most people and this is something they can do quickly, then please yes. But I can see their point of people undercutting in the AH, etc.

If SE really wants to stick with the Wards concept, then there are several options, but something needs to be done quickly. Some thoughts are:

1. Add an item search function. Create a Ward counter where several NPCs are sitting and allow players to click on an NPC attendant where you can select an item you want from a pre-populated list (to avoid spelling mistakes on the player's part). The list should be organized by category so players can easily drill down to the item they want. Only items that are being sold from Retainers stationed in the ward instances are shown at the Ward counter. Then the NPC tells the player which Retainers are selling it and which Wards they are located (prices are not shown).

2. Perhaps allow the player to purchase the item directly from the Ward counter. It would eliminate the need and hassle to travel to the individual wards. To buy an item, the player would have to select the Retainer selling the item from the list, which would then show the price and a buy/cancel option (after searching for the item via #1 above). The player can take the time to view the prices of every Retainer if they so choose, but they must do so 1 at a time.

3. Now it may be fine to keep the Wards for those players that still want to browse randomly for items to buy. But each Ward instance should have a bulletin board that lists everything being sold in that particular instance. Again, don't show the price, just show what's being sold (items sorted by category lists that the player must drill down to show -- similar to #1).

4. Now, I would like to have more than 1 retainer. But then that would presumably double the number of retainers in the Wards. I'm not sure what would be the best way to organize the placement of retainers. As others have noted, most people never sell just one type of item. Not many people will sell only 10 hats. And the Hatters Ward is almost always empty compared to the Battlecraft Ward (they should split Glads/Marauders and Pugs/Archers). But if you implement search functions for all Wards and within each instance as I said in #1 and #3, then it's may not be necessary to have Wards dedicated to one particular item type; thought I suppose having some sense of "organization" is better.

Edited, Dec 13th 2010 3:42pm by erasure25

Edited, Dec 13th 2010 3:44pm by erasure25

Edited, Dec 13th 2010 3:46pm by erasure25

Edited, Dec 13th 2010 3:47pm by erasure25
some thoughts
# Dec 13 2010 at 2:37 PM Rating: Decent
7 posts
In retrospect, #2 would be "AH lite." So maybe that's not such a good idea if undercutting is a main concern. I would be happy with #1 at the very least. Although #2 would deal with the Retainer loading issues and being able to actually find the retainer.

Edited, Dec 13th 2010 3:39pm by erasure25
o.O
# Dec 11 2010 at 4:34 PM Rating: Default
8 posts
who decided that such a closed minded person should be able to post on the zam homepage?
AH
# Dec 11 2010 at 1:36 PM Rating: Decent
14 posts
YES PLOX
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this might be a simple fix
# Dec 10 2010 at 8:26 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
aside from a search function, that is a no brainer. they should make it so you can summon your retainer in any ward but they are teleported to the correct ward based on bazaar content. so if a large percent of the items are for a specific ward that is where they'll go automatically.
AH Now Plz Thx U
# Dec 10 2010 at 7:54 AM Rating: Good
7 posts
I don't want a search function unless it allows me to purchase item from within the search. If the search only tells me the retainer name and/or location It is still a crap shoot if I actually can find said retainer or not due to the congestion and such of the market wards. You can stand still to load everyone around, then take a step and have to wait for all the retainers to load again.

There is to much congestion and dribble with the retainer system. Get rid of it completely and allow us to idle and afk with our Baazars on as we have been all along. Games use an AH for a reason. It works. The market system just adds to the ever growing list of things in this game that are a pain in the **** just to be a pain in the ****. Making projects out of what should be basic game functions is BAD.
A solution
# Dec 09 2010 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
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An NPC at the front of the market ward area in each city with the search function could be a solution.
This way it would give you the ability to see what items are in the city you're at.
If you were in Ul'Dah and didn't find what you wanted, you could still travel to Gridania or Limsa Lominsa and use their NPC's to see if they had the item you wanted.

I think this way it would get rid of the "mindless zombies" browsing an AH.

More interaction with NPC's, a social HUB area in each city, and a shopping experience.

I played WoW (just as an example)for a long time, and the AH's they have are mindless and don't provide any excitement other than "OMG I just got <item name> for ... !!! "
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Retainers
# Dec 09 2010 at 6:07 PM Rating: Decent
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SE really needed to have multiple retainers functioning before the game even launched. My guess is they were worried about people with cash to spare buying 7 retainer slots and then vending 70 items.

They're probably arguing internally about how many retainers should be allowed to sell. Like only one retainer should be allowed to sell, one retainer per city, one retainer per ward etc...

I seem to rememeber the devs once discussing the idea of allowing people in FFXI to sell one more item on the AH and then came to the conclusion that it would tax the servers too badly.

The already cluttered/overcrowded areas of the wards would get worse. Prices would probably collapse (anyways) because of this sudden glut.

I can only assume that this is part of their sluggish response to the issue.

One issue in the January update for retainers concerns me. The idea sounds convenient at first sounds. Maybe I'm misunderstanding it.

"A fix assuring that retainers do not leave their bazaar locations after server maintenance."

If none of the people selling marmot meat and gridiania walnuts get kicked out of the battlecraft ward at least periodically, then no new retainers with the right stuff can get in.

This means SE is going to have to be more punitive about people selling their wares in the wrong ward (like put taxes at the same 10% as players get charged), implement retainer shuffling as their stuff gets sold, kicking out retainers with 0 stuff to vend or allowing people to kick out retainers that don't fit the ward criteria so they can properly set up shop.
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Quit Beating A Dead Horse
# Dec 09 2010 at 4:46 PM Rating: Default
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SE has already said that a " Searchable " Market Ward is forthcoming. Multiple retainers will also be available. You want an Auction House, play FFXI . Best post on this thread is about YG. I don't feel sorry for any player who " Spent Hours trying to Find Something in Wards "

Light a Candle and Stop Cursing the darkness !!!
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AH Plz!
# Dec 09 2010 at 3:22 PM Rating: Good
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The wards are horrendous .. I would almost rather head off to the dentist than browse 1000 retainers for 1-2 items I need.

For people who reply to the peeps who bought new comps ... and say wait for PS3 .... that hardware is friggin' ancient now. You expect this level of rendering to actually be in the PS3 release? Hardly.

They have dumbed down terrain on other games to make the frame-rate "livable". I enjoy the scenery .. although the spells need some work lol!

Even a searchable option for retainers (that's what XI had?) would make me not want to scream nearly as often .. and seriously I could code that in a friggin afternoon. Dump all retainers into a database, add queries, voila!

AH is far more preferable, but hey, how about this mid-level fix just for sanity's sake??

Thx.

Edited, Dec 9th 2010 4:23pm by SpelunkerOne
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# Dec 09 2010 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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I didn't find anything original or innovative about the market ward system.

Innovation is new and fresh. The Market Wards are just something the players in XI invented 8 years ago, and SE just put a roof over Rolanberry Mall, and stuck it in XIV.
There's nothing remarkable, or new about it.
We went to Rolanberry when we couldn't find something in the AH, or it was a very expensive item, and we knew it was selling outside to avoid being taxed.
No one liked browsing through the 50 bazaars out there, so why SE thought browsing through 1200 bazaars would work is beyond me. It was lazy design, period.

It is time for the AH, and they should have been designing one since the obvious failure of the Wards, not waiting to see if it works itself out before starting to design one.
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I think it needs more then an AH
# Dec 09 2010 at 12:39 PM Rating: Default
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Though I agree with you I have to admit people are complaining way to much about something they haven't had to dish anymore cash then the game itself as of yet.
<unkown person>"But hey! What about the money I put to getting a good pc to play??!!!" Well, dropping w/e you did for your pc was your choice. you could have waited for the Ps3 release. Personally from the ammount of ******** you should have.

YES the market drives me nuts sometimes but mostly just the douchebags who feel the need to mark a item for 9999999999999 gil or sells items in the wrong area, just to **** people off mostly. I usually always find what im looking for and I don't find it any less or more irritating then watching something on XI drop 100-200k because some dumbass wants to undercut the ONE item currently on the AH. Or having to take down all my items for sale daily because of a war between two other players who manage to drop sole sushi down in price by 10k, in a war to sell thiers first on a daily basis. How many of you had to resell things like Mkris'es after the crazy ammount of tax almost weekly because a few others got lucky, hmm?

People have complained about every sale in everything I have seen. PW was too confusing. XI had too many undercutters, and controllers of items, XIV markets suck. This mall is far.. I got there and the things I wanted to buy were already sold out... They don't have that deal in Canada.. I get thats its nature for people to ***** but really now. You don't like the game don't play it when it first comes out.

Sorry if I go shopping in one store, and I find one apple thats cheaper then I buy it! Simple! Go shopping! Thats the name of the game! Get over over it!
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Just implement AH with a twist.
# Dec 09 2010 at 12:37 PM Rating: Good
8 posts
Implement an AH like the one in FFXI and keep the retainers. Retainers can work as "bots" that buy, sell, trade, and seek items at the AH.

Say you want an item, you give your retainer an ammount of gil, the retainer bids in increments until it buys item at lowest price.

Say you want an item, and its not in AH, retainer stays there seeking for item until it shows, and if its higher than proposed, the retainer will let you know via NPC linkshell.

Say you want an item, and its not in AH, allow retainer to set a "want to buy" by item and offer ammount, which will allow any seller to directly sell item to said retainer.

This I think should work for us the players and for SE. Each additional retainers means more chances to buy, sell, trade. More retainers, more $$$ for SE, and more chances to buy, sell, trade, and storage for us.
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Auction House
# Dec 09 2010 at 12:04 PM Rating: Good
3 posts
Now it's time to have an Auction House!!!
I dont really like the chaotic market alley system! I took a lot of time to find item to craft. So please SE work on AH.
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No. of retainers
# Dec 09 2010 at 11:47 AM Rating: Decent
5 posts
part of the reason the wards don't work - which hasn't been mentioned yet , is people only have 1 retainer. When multiple retainers go online you can park them in different wards, so if, as an example above, you had 1 weapon and 4 logs , you can put the weapon in the battle craft ward , and the logs in the carpinter ward , useing 2 different retainers. at the moment everyone has only 1 retainer , and the retainer is limited to being in only 1 ward , add the limated inventory ; compared to the number of items you need to craft anything , and you run out of space or even just put stuff in your bezzar to store it - with no intention of selling it. i think multiple retainers will help the situation.

Thanks for reading.
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Agreed
# Dec 09 2010 at 11:41 AM Rating: Good
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Things are getting better with the market wards. Like the other day I had been searching for hours for a harpoon with no success. As soon as they implemented the ability to model gear I found it within moments (of course it was in the wrong ward).
That being said I would still prefer an AH much much much more. I know SE is worried about deflation, but at the same time its all a part of basic economics. The more supply and the less demand the price is naturally going to drop (aside from the few extreme undercutters). Granted sellers get less profit, but the buyers get better deals and in turn have more surplus money to spend elsewhere. The only challenge is controlling the amount of money in circulation. But hey, if SE knows a better way than economists and other successful MMOs than good for them.
Don't get me wrong, I love SE and FFXIV, but I barely have time to play at all let alone search an endless sea of retainers for hours.
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Search, can we Search!!!!
# Dec 09 2010 at 11:06 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
In fact, The only problem for the market ward system is lack of search engine. To solve this problem and maintain the futures of this trading system is really simple:

ADD a search function in the current system. for example: like AH before, search weapon-> Axe -> Storm Axe; then the system will list all the retainers who are selling Storm Axe and where they are located . for example:

Tom Battlecraft Row
Jack Battlecraft Row
Andy Spellcraft Row

but not showing how much they sell for the Axe. You will have to memorize 2 information: name and location; then enter the market wards to those retain for further price check.

In this way, we can still keep current trading system and also shorter the shopping time at the same time.

I don't mind spend some LITTLE time to play so-call price matching game in wards, but the bottom line is I don't have to spend 1-2 hour in wards and still get nothing. which is really frustrated and stupid. After all this is a MMO game, not a shopping-sims game.


Edited, Dec 9th 2010 12:12pm by logue115
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Search, can we Search!!!!
# Dec 09 2010 at 11:29 AM Rating: Default
YES Lilith/logue115!
I would love something like that much more then a AH myself, your a genius! Though I do have to say a small Thank you for Yellow Gremlin Bazzar (((http://ffxiv.yg.com/bazaar?fl/ ))) for -kinda- trying to do this themselves. If people used it more, or it updated faster/better, it would be perfect for me. It's helped a lot when im not in the mood to browse for deals.
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Search, can we Search!!!!
# Dec 12 2010 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
KianaEleanna wrote:
YES Lilith/logue115!
I would love something like that much more then a AH myself, your a genius! Though I do have to say a small Thank you for Yellow Gremlin Bazzar (((http://ffxiv.yg.com/bazaar?fl/ ))) for -kinda- trying to do this themselves. If people used it more, or it updated faster/better, it would be perfect for me. It's helped a lot when im not in the mood to browse for deals.



Yes, YG is a godsend, though it just goes to show that the original idea of Market Wards is a true flop. If the whole idea, as originally presented by SE, was to avoid the problems of XI's AH (deflation, etc), then the fact that players felt the need to create their own search functions to compensate has rendered all of SE's intentions moot. That said, they should give in and create their own in-game AH, since obviously their player-base won't let the game stand without one. =)

Also, in reply to Lilith Fan's statement, "In fact, The only problem for the market ward system is lack of search engine", I completely disagree. Another huge problem with this system is the LOAD TIME required. In fact, this was also a huge problem in the Rolanberry Mall - I remember dreading having to walk through there on my way to Jeuno because the load time in that area was so terrible that the game would slow down to a crawl. Given this, I can't imagine why SE thought throwing conceivably hundreds of retainer characters, all of which the game needs to load, into one tiny hallway was a good idea.
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Very very true
# Dec 09 2010 at 11:05 AM Rating: Good
12 posts
AH or fix the wards. I'm tired of going in there in desperate need of some equipment and not being able to find any when i keep dieing from DC's. It's stupid, crafting is complete confusion. just to make an item for my GLD weapon...i have to be twice that level in craft just to make it??? wtf.... I'm still with you SE, i gots faith that you can make a great game. Just...don't keep us in the shadows, plan more, and most of all, listen to the people. We know what we want in the game, we know what we want to make it better. Just listen to use, take our advice and do somthing with the wards! :D
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# Dec 09 2010 at 10:40 AM Rating: Decent
I'm going to have to agree..
No one ever seems happy, and I'm a lot more upset about driving all the way to the mall for something sold out then looking through a few retainers.
Hmm
# Dec 09 2010 at 9:50 AM Rating: Default
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Though I agree with you I have to admit people are complaining way to much about something they haven't had to dish anymore cash then the game itself as of yet.
<unkown person>"But hey! What about the money I put to getting a good pc to play??!!!" Well, dropping w/e you did for your pc was your choice. you could have waited for the Ps3 release. Personally from the ammount of ******** you should have.

YES the market drives me nuts sometimes but mostly just the douchebags who feel the need to mark a item for 9999999999999 gil or sells items in the wrong area, just to **** people off mostly. I usually always find what im looking for and I don't find it any less or more irritating then watching something on XI drop 100-200k because some dumbass wants to undercut the ONE item currently on the AH. Or having to take down all my items for sale daily because of a war between two other players who manage to drop sole sushi down in price by 10k, in a war to sell thiers first on a daily basis. How many of you had to resell things like Mkris'es after the crazy ammount of tax almost weekly because a few others got lucky, hmm?

People have complained about every sale in everything I have seen. PW was too confusing. XI had too many undercutters, and controllers of items, XIV markets suck. This mall is far.. I got there and the things I wanted to buy were already sold out... They don't have that deal in Canada.. I get thats its nature for people to ***** but really now. You don't like the game don't play it when it first comes out.
Hmm
# Dec 09 2010 at 1:45 PM Rating: Excellent
I started off defending the market wards, but now I'm just tired of them. Though the search function will definitely made things easier, I think you're right... we need an auction house.

I started off believing what I thought SE had in mind for them, which is that the market wards will create more of a tight knit community. I don't really care too much about price fixing, and I do spend about 1/4 of my time crafting, so it's not like it doesn't affect me at all. But it has done nothing in my mind, in closing in on 3 months now to improve the level of player interaction in the game. If SE is still so schizophrenic about RMTs, and that's why they're doing this for some reason, they really need to step back and realize that hurting people's gaming experience is going to cost them a heck of a lot more money and problems than a few extra RMTs in the game.

I have changed sides. Though I'm not going to be flooding the forums with posts about an AH (and I don't think anyone will anymore tbh), I am definitely 100% pro-auction house now.
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Hmm
# Dec 09 2010 at 8:15 PM Rating: Good
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charityneverfaileth wrote:
If SE is still so schizophrenic about RMTs, and that's why they're doing this for some reason, they really need to step back and realize that hurting people's gaming experience is going to cost them a heck of a lot more money and problems than a few extra RMTs in the game.


Exactly. I applaud the reason behind some of the annoying mechanics in the game (no auction house, no auto attack, crafting one simple item being an epic mini-game). I like that SE is taking RMT and botting seriously right off the bat. But you have draw the line at breaking your own game and frustrating the players.

We can all agree that nobody wants RMT. But find another way.
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Market Wards
# Dec 09 2010 at 8:55 AM Rating: Default
7 posts
I love the thought of an auction house, but I don't count on it. What I would like to see in the Market Wards is an option to vote OUT people in the wrong ward OR dont allow a retainer to stand in a ward that doesn't have any of the items that relate to it.

It's so stupid that I walk in the battlecraft ward to find a weapon, and I have to check 50 retainers to find an NPC with any weapons at all.
I think it needs more than an AH
# Dec 09 2010 at 8:33 AM Rating: Decent
9 posts
Clearly there's no possible way to support the premise that the retainer wards are easy to use, working as designed, or don't drive people insane. I don't believe an auction house in the conventional sense is the right answer however. I'd like to see it work alongside the retainer system so that there are stronger regional ties.

The regional ties are interesting though, and need to be fixed by more than a local auction house. For example, Gridania. People seem to shun this zone compared to the other two. Why? It's circuitous, the town seems somewhat silly, and IMO, people left at rank 10 when Lone Wolves ate them when they were doing DOL quests. It's not quite a ghost town, but this zone needs to be "rebalanced" to make it stronger relative to LL and Uldah. It needs to be known as the capital of flax, certain items, whatever. Likewise, the other zones should have some products of renown.

Granted, there is a feedback forum, but first I'd start with fixing up the retainer wards:
1. Have them dress in the goods they're selling - DONE
2. Put up flags or colors for the "main type" of good they're selling
3. For each ward, have a tracking billboard of who's selling what so the the prices are visible to those setting them and buying
4. Give incentives to sell in the right ward - DONE
5. Provide enough retainers and space that it's actually possible to sell in "the right ward"
6. Fewer wards

As for the auction house, a few checks and balances come to mind:
1. Do not link auction houses so that regional variances exist
2. Limit the number of items that can be sold
3. Tax them strongly so that bazaars are still viable
4. Make it "immersive" somehow. Not just a big billboard you can peruse at leisure, look up a price, compare it to YG, and determine buy or not buy.
5. Limited hours, in the game time sense. Yup, frustrating when you miss it, but it might be amusing to have to tell your LS mates "darn, I just missed it, the Mithra was drawing down the shutters as I walked up, guess I'll get it in a few hours."

(Heck, I'm not sure what else, but I don't want to see the AH just plain better and easier to use in every form and fashion because it does kill the retainer system, something SE and myself would like to see work)

In short, I'd like to see the auction house inserted as a part of fixing the wards system, but I want them to keep the crafting and local markets that SE carefully built.
auction house please!
# Dec 09 2010 at 5:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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58 posts
Let's not torture the very few dedicated players that remain any longer.... implement a **** auction house
auction house please!
# Dec 29 2010 at 1:49 PM Rating: Good
I am definatly in the AH yesterday column
auction house please!
# Dec 09 2010 at 8:00 AM Rating: Good
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138 posts
Agreed, they just need to say they're going to do it. That'll keep me on for months.
AH Now Please
# Dec 09 2010 at 2:05 AM Rating: Decent
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30 posts
Well written Thayos. We really do need an AH! I cant stand the retainer system. I spent well over 1 half hours looking for one item, and still didnt find it . The retainer system does not work,

I want to pay to play and not spend hours clicking on all the retainers looking for an item. Even with a search function U will still have to find the said retainer. * Sigh *

I want to be able to walk up to an AH click on lets say sword and Hey! bingo, 20 swords for sale, took me 1 min to find said item.( I want to be able to wave to people that I met in the game,) its a great meeting place too, an AH is also a real social hub. U dont get that feeling with the retainer ward.

As for going on line Http://www.ff1vpro.com !! sorry but I spend more then enough time in real life shopping on line, and dont want to be going to them sites looking for what ever item I need. I do not want too spend endless amount of time looking for an Item. Get rid of retainers please and bring in AH ASP Please Please.


Edited, Dec 9th 2010 3:06am by Miademar
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*cough*
# Dec 09 2010 at 1:39 AM Rating: Decent
17 posts
nvm

Edited, Dec 9th 2010 2:40am by aceythafaceman
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Auction house yesterday
# Dec 09 2010 at 1:15 AM Rating: Good
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588 posts
I agree wholeheartidly!

Auction House YESTERDAY.

Thanks
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賛成です。
# Dec 09 2010 at 12:53 AM Rating: Decent
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148 posts
/signed
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The solution
# Dec 09 2010 at 12:38 AM Rating: Decent
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110 posts
The solution to market ward troubles:

1) Have a searchable list of every item in the game that a player can scan through (quickly FFXI style) to pick an item they are looking for.

2) Once the player picks an item from the list every retainer within a certain radius (say town-size) will glow (or whatever - arrows anyone?) if they have an item in their inventory the player is looking for.

3) Added points if this feature is added to your map such that locations of retainers that carry items you need show up there.

BLAMMO! You now have an auction system that is decentralized giving sellers a bit more power as to prevent undercutting but not such that players can't find what they need in a given area.

Doesn't take much to think of simple solutions such as this. Unfortunately SE IMO is just ***'king lazy and incompetent. Someone please fire Tanaka.
Helping Yourself
# Dec 08 2010 at 11:35 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
I know it's not a perfect solution or always most effective to use an outside source but it a lot of people started using sites like http://www.ffxivpro.com/ then the FFXIV would be able to generate their own AH/search function.

I have tried using it a few times and have noticed items being sold off my retainer relatively quickly. I'm not sure if it is because others have found the items on ffxivpro or if it is just because I use the wards properly but either way... use the resources available to help yourself until SE is willing to commit to an AH.
yg anyone?
# Dec 08 2010 at 11:27 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
29 posts
There's a very useful site to look up items in the market wards, and it's usually up to date (placing the length of time the retainer/player has put the item up for auction). Not to sound rude, but if you tried to find outside sources for anything, it'd be a lot easier. Using your metaphor of the mall, if you use a computer and browse the internet, doesn't it make it more useful to find the store (and item) you're looking for?
yg anyone?
# Dec 09 2010 at 2:39 PM Rating: Excellent
30 posts
This answer boggles my mind. Why should I have to do outside work just to buy something from in game? Why do I have to use a third party to make accessing content easier in the game? Do you use GameFAQs every time you can't get past a part in a game? Maybe sometimes, but I'm not interested in switching back and forth from a game to an FAQ. I want to immerse myself in a game.

Let's take FFXI. What if you went to rent a Chocobo, but before you had to do that you had to go to a third party website, do a search for a type of Chocobo and then make your selection. Would that somehow enhance your experience?
Nameless stores
# Dec 08 2010 at 11:20 PM Rating: Good
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205 posts
That mall analogy was spot on! I just spent all day in Market Wards looking for a single item. After deciding to look online to see who is selling it, you might say I got a 'name for my shop' I head out to a whole brand new Market ward...to see that this retainer is long gone!

Its like calling a store in a mall, getting confirmation they are not only open but have what I'm looking for and you drive 20 miles out there and...you find out the store has gone out of business.

Please please lets get an Auction House (or something similar)
Market Wards Redeemable
# Dec 08 2010 at 11:02 PM Rating: Decent
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220 posts
Two additions to the market ward would make it a workable system while retaining it's unique character. First, allow the buyer to specify an item that he or she is seeking. Only items that should be sold in a particular ward could be searched for. All the retainers selling that item would then display an icon indicating they are selling that item. Second, set retainers to display in one of two modes. Move to the ward for their most expensive item or move to the ward the the most numerous items. Thus if my retainer has an iron spear that I'm selling for 150k and four logs for 5k and I set my retainer to highest price she goes to the battle ward. Then when someone buys my spear my retainer moves automatically to the carpenters ward. Sure someone could put a copper dagger in their bazzar for 999,999gil and force their retainer to stay in the battle craft ward but then any potential buyers could not search for anything in that bazaar that wasn't a weapon.


Edited, Dec 9th 2010 1:50am by Nicholiathan
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Amen
# Dec 08 2010 at 10:43 PM Rating: Good
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See, this is why we need to be able to rate admins up :P
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#KiranRedtail, Posted: Dec 09 2010 at 9:28 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Seriously? Maybe if Thayos managed to remove the 'sniveling 12 year old' feel from his ideas people would take them seriously.
Well Said
# Dec 08 2010 at 10:06 PM Rating: Decent
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81 posts
Well hopefully a real SE Staff will read this hopefully , still this game has a lot of potential please dont waste it anymore and listen to the FFXIV community.
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An Idea
# Dec 09 2010 at 7:17 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
34 posts
An NPC at the front of the market ward area in each city with the search function could be the solution.
This way it would give you the ability to see what items are in the city you're at.
If you were in Ul'Dah and didn't find what you wanted, you could still travel to Gridania or Limsa Lominsa and use their NPC's to see if they had the item you wanted.

I think this way it would get rid of the "mindless zombies" browsing an AH.

More interaction with NPC's, a social HUB area in each city, and a shopping experience.

I played WoW (just as an example)for a long time, and the AH's they have are mindless and don't provide any excitement other than "OMG I just got <item name> for ... !!! "
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Well Said
# Dec 09 2010 at 3:39 AM Rating: Decent
21 posts
I personally think they need to add in something to help deter people from dumping there items/retainer in the wrong area. From 2% tax in correct area to 5% tax isn't enough. Thats hardly any real loss in gil for the lazy.

My idea is something DRAMASTIC. Say you have 10 items on your bazaar, none of them fitting into the battle craft ward. Instead of 5% tax, each item ups the tax by 5%, for a total of 55% cut to the sold amount. That'd deter someone huh? Now I know there would be issues with it if you had something like 7 DoW weapons and 3 DoM weapons and you put it into battlecraft ward since.. You have more DoW stuff then anything! Thats fine, and thats good. Say if you have 50% or more of the propper items for sale at the time of listing, then the taxes would stay at 5% for the other items.


Just something I thought up at 3am after reading this, and decided to flop it out there. I'll post it into the reply thingy to incase folks don't read this threw.~
Well Said
# Dec 09 2010 at 2:41 PM Rating: Good
30 posts
I wouldn't be against this IF Square Enix put in their effort and added an appropriate amount of retainers for player.
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