DocHollidaze

Confused about rationale 5.7 intro of NPC vendors

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So, apparently NPC vendors will be added to campaigns to allow players to buy some basic items as well as white-level (common) resources. The idea here is to make it so people don't get stuck in a loop where they have only basic gear and cannot survive long enough to get white resources to make white gear.

I agree with the premise, but am confused and a bit surprised by ACE's solution.

It seems to me ACE does not want to include an auction house or community market place in campaigns, and they have apparently determined that going to EK's and/or using imports to get resources into campaign without harvesting yourself is too challenging, so they are undercutting player-driven market activity by replacing it with NPCs.

1. If they allows an auction or market center place in campaigns for all players to post resources for sell *in-campaign* only, players could still be part of the loop.

2. If they made it easier or less of a chore to work with player EK's, maybe more folks would go to EK's to get resources.

3. Scale the import cost of items based on their rarity level, so perhaps importing common resources or gear costs less, while importing epic level resources or gear costs 5x the baseline or something to that effect.

It is a shame the preexisting conditions and restrictions seem to preclude a player-driven solution to this gameplay problem, since it now cuts out entry-level players from participating in a segment of potential market activity by making poor and white level resources basically worthless to harvest or sell.

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It's also possible that these vendors are a temporary stop gap to help testers while a better solution is worked on ;) At least, that's my hope. I completely agree with you that we need player vendors in the campaigns especially for "no import" campaigns that completely break the EK-Campaign economy loop.

Adding vendors to campaign worlds may not be a simple thing to do when you consider EK's are owned by a particular player whereas campaign worlds are not. 

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Posted (edited)

I'd reserve judgement until you see the vendor prices TBH. Systems like this aren't new in MMOs and the player market is usually shaped by the base NPC price of such things.

Introductory harvesters are, in general, also crafters.

Advanced harvesters are getting a ton of whites, sure, but their marketable resources are mostly in green and higher.

NPC prices create a much needed intrinsic value for gold. Gold being propped up only by the subjective and temporary value of XP wasn't really making it valuable enough to players. XP propper up by the base value of raw mats makes it valuable permanently to all players.

All a newbie harvester has to do to sell mats is undercut the vendor price. In the new "buying white mats" economy the scarcity of those cheaper mats combined with even a 1g per stack difference in price still ensures a stable market.

Unless a dedicated gold farmer can out-produce a dedicated harvester for white mats in the same time frame I don't see a problem here. Gold harvesters are now degrading gear that needs to be replaced. Harvesters aren't unless attacked.  They're decaying tools which are, in general, far cheaper. The harvester's time spend harvesting it already more valuable than the time spend grinding gold under this system. The vendor prices merely establish an economic baseline and give concrete universal value to coins.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Posted (edited)

My take on it, 

EK commerce was... problematic, partly because of a lack of availability of resources people were willing to craft items to sell to others.  Even the large dedicated guilds who you would think could produce excess were not bothering with selling items. Go to any of the "large" EK trade worlds, and even getting a white weapon for your class was a huge crap shoot, despite the fact we have now had probably 2+years worth of training in the economy skills.

It wasn't clear what exactly was going to be offered at these vendors, but my take on it is that it's only the base resources.  So no blood, bone, gems, etc. Note, these things are found early in the basics harvesting, so new players do have access to things that will be in demand. Just the most basic of materials that get you into "advanced" white gear. Harvesters will still be needed for the better quality, and specialty items.

I believe if I read the posts right, the point was to accept that baseline functional in PvP gear is white, and to reduce the time it takes a player to get into those and become competitive in PvP, the point of the game, as well as try to jump start the player economy.

At one point long ago they talked about being able to break up the building materials into "thousands" of grey/white, but that would be a new system not yet developed.  Vendors have been developed so it's an easy, and potentially temporary way, to see the impact on the economy if grey/white resources are easier to come by.

They are trying to address some of the complaints about CF being too grindy when it comes to crafting and harvesting.  Consider this a test of the idea that grey/white resources are too much work to come by.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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I want to withhold judgement until I see it in action. A great idea might have poor implementation, and a questionable idea might have a great implementation. Proof is in the pudding. 

What is the cost of the mats?
How much do they sell before running out?
What is the respawn time of the mats?
Can you sell mats to the vendor for gold? Thus restocking them and giving those gatherers a way to gather gold like skinners and mob killers do.
Location, location, location! Is it one vendor with all the things?
Is it many vendors spread out? (Ore vendors only near the mines poi)
 Are the vendors killable? Lootable?
Could they be placed in the outposts instead, and with a limited but time based refill of inventory, be like a pvp'ers gathering route. (Go capture an outpost right before restock timer triggers. You get a material reward and a more structured pvp window.)

It all depends on how they do the implementation. 

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I agree with a lot of things said here and am looking forward to seeing how they implemented this.

One thing I haven't seen any mention of is the POOR quality materials. If BASIC gear (made with basic materials) is the entry to getting WHITE quality gear, whats the point of even having POOR quality drops?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Brevalear said:

I agree with a lot of things said here and am looking forward to seeing how they implemented this.

One thing I haven't seen any mention of is the POOR quality materials. If BASIC gear (made with basic materials) is the entry to getting WHITE quality gear, whats the point of even having POOR quality drops?

So you can start without training harvesting skills at all, and go hunt the tier 1 boars in the beachheads to get gold.

Basics only require the knott/slag/cobble, and very little of those. Then you figure out the intermediate bench needs a bit more, and a quality resource, and you can decide if you go looking for the mats yourself, or swack a few boars for gold to buy it.

It also introduces you do the crafting tables idea, and the crafting interface early, so you can decide where you want to put your training.

It is not a substitute for PvP gear, but it will let you practice a few skills and race/class/discipline abilities on the hapless tier 1 boars.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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What I don't get is why the non-premium resources were "nerfed" so they couldn't be used in advanced crafting, and then it was decided that white resources needed to be more prevalent. These decisions seem to pull in different directions.

Why not just let noobs crank out lots of slag weapons? Revert the change that blocked slag from being used in advanced, up its drop rate a bit, and you won't need these vendors.

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7 minutes ago, Jah said:

What I don't get is why the non-premium resources were "nerfed" so they couldn't be used in advanced crafting, and then it was decided that white resources needed to be more prevalent. These decisions seem to pull in different directions.

Why not just let noobs crank out lots of slag weapons? Revert the change that blocked slag from being used in advanced, up its drop rate a bit, and you won't need these vendors.

That would not solve the economic problem of EVERYONE being essentially forced to be a harvester. 

This was supposed to be a game about being able to choose between combat/crafting/harvesting "professions", and not having to, or frankly even being able to for years because of passive training gates, participate in a profession you didn't want to. 

 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

That would not solve the economic problem of EVERYONE being essentially forced to be a harvester. 

A functioning economy would solve that. Having NPCs compete with the player harvesters for business harms the economy rather than helping it. Circumventing the player-driven economy is not the way to fix it.

What it would solve is the scarcity of resources for crafting and selling to others.

Edited by Jah

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Jah said:

A functioning economy would solve that.

What it would solve is the scarcity of resources for crafting and selling to others.

And this is one (easy) way to see if what is broken is the supply. 

We've seen the results of the economy pretty close this round, and it it looks very broken on the supply side.  Too much demand, not enough supply. Too much squeeze for the juice, and literally zero ways to directly make a profit taking a "combat" profession. (Gold is essentially without value, with many players simply collection to grind into XP)

If one of the most active and dedicated crafting types (Tark) won't sell gear because it's too valuable time wise to make, who do you think ever will sell enough to have a real economy?

The current system is very much like a "we lose money on every sale, but make it up in volume" attempt to deal with the economy.

But it's also an experiment, so let's just see how this pans out. If they find out that yes in fact the real problem was low quality resource volume, and yes this is making harvesting useless, they can simply use the sales volumes to determine how much was the issue, and then bump the tables, or implement the POI resource conversion functionality.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

If one of the most active and dedicated crafting types (Tark) won't sell gear because it's too valuable time wise to make, who do you think ever will sell enough to have a real economy?

He's really not that active atm.

But yea, we currently have too much resource scarcity for a functioning economy. I don't think the answer is to throw in the towel and just let people buy from NPCs. I'd rather up the supply.

Would you agree that nerfing slag so it can't be used for advanced crafting had the effect of reducing the supply of resources for advanced crafting?

@jtoddcoleman @thomasblair If we want people to have abundant low end resources for advanced crafting, what is the rationale for preventing slag from serving that role?

Edited by Jah

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3 minutes ago, Jah said:

He's really not that active atm.

But yea, we currently have too much resource scarcity for a functioning economy. I don't think the answer is to throw in the towel and just let people buy from NPCs. I'd rather up the supply.

Would you agree that nerfing slag so it can't be used for advanced crafting had the effect of reducing the supply of resources for advanced crafting?


Absolutely that had a negative impact.  I've actually been bothered by slag/knott/cobble since it first made it's introduction. I would have much rather they balanced around all the resources being valuable in some way, than making a whole category of near useless resources.  

It's pretty obvious from some of the marketing speak around the fallen colossus parcel when it was out, that ACE is not all knowing on this issue.  They touted the fact the parcel had slag on it as a selling feature. 

I can not speak for the Dev's but from what I saw said it was not a matter of "throw in the towel" as much as "what can we try quickly".  Upping the supply through harvesting would mean changing a pile of tables, only to find out that there was a different problem than supply and having to reverse that.

They know there is economy problems and they have to try something, probably many somethings, adding NPC vendors to forts/keeps was much faster, and trivial to remove if it goes south.

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It does not have to be an endless spigot of white mats. 

They might only have 1000 mats of ore, 200 of each type on an hours respawn. In 5 different outpost locations. 

It depends on the implementation.  The sky might not be falling. 

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47 minutes ago, Jah said:

He's really not that active atm.

But yea, we currently have too much resource scarcity for a functioning economy. I don't think the answer is to throw in the towel and just let people buy from NPCs. I'd rather up the supply.

Would you agree that nerfing slag so it can't be used for advanced crafting had the effect of reducing the supply of resources for advanced crafting?

@jtoddcoleman @thomasblair If we want people to have abundant low end resources for advanced crafting, what is the rationale for preventing slag from serving that role?

Jah is correct. I am not very active in the crafting game at the moment.

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2 minutes ago, Tark said:

Jah is correct. I am not very active in the crafting game at the moment.

Well I know our guild has sold (last time I checked) exactly one thing. A grey vessel with bad rolls, and we got WAAAYY too much for it because supply is so short.

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1 hour ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

That would not solve the economic problem of EVERYONE being essentially forced to be a harvester. 

Neither would the vendors. They would just prevent new players from getting into harvesting because suddenly no one would need any white mats, and noobs would need to train before they can get any greens and up. 

Implementing buy orders would solve the problem though.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, shukin said:

Neither would the vendors. They would just prevent new players from getting into harvesting because suddenly no one would need any white mats, and noobs would need to train before they can get any greens and up. 

Implementing buy orders would solve the problem though.

Your forced to be a "something".   Currently, low supply is cutting off two types of professions.  Crafters and combat.

Because gold is gotten by combat vs PvE critters and zombies, the vendors give a way for combat players to "harvest" gold from combat for low quality mats.  This can be done within minutes of entering the game.

Because vendors will effectively "produce" resources needed by crafters from gold, the materials available to crafters will go up, giving them the chance to produce finished goods at a profit. 

I do not feel it will prevent new players THAT WANT TO harvest from training into harvesting, because to get better stuff, you will still need higher quality mats, AND the special drops.  Blood, bones, gems, etc, that only comes through training. 

Like anything, supply/demand will cover the issue in that part of the economy.   

In my opinion this will help the system to stop pricing paper plates (white quality gear), like it is fine china, far more than it will hurt the bottom line of highly trained harvesters who will still be the gateway for ANY gear green quality and up.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:44 AM, PopeUrban said:

NPC prices create a much needed intrinsic value for gold. Gold being propped up only by the subjective and temporary value of XP wasn't really making it valuable enough to players. XP propper up by the base value of raw mats makes it valuable permanently to all players.

All a newbie harvester has to do to sell mats is undercut the vendor price. In the new "buying white mats" economy the scarcity of those cheaper mats combined with even a 1g per stack difference in price still ensures a stable market.

 

There was already an intrinsic value to gold, it's what the "player" market was creating.  Just as any supply and demand, early on I saw ridiculous prices but now as I go around I see a more reasonable price.  Any NPC stops the player ran market.

As for undercutting.  It isn't going to work.  The majority of players are lazy, and are not going to log out, go to my ek, buy my mats, import them into the game/or craft them and then import, for a 1g difference.  And again, it's the game dictating the market value, so not a player run ecomomy.  And as I end up with way more whites than any other, I no longer have a way to generate income off of them, unless I want to drastically undercut and people think gold is a challenge to get then maybe they'll head to my vendor.  

The problem I see is ACE missed the fact that these resources are already available, it's just player base doesn't utilize what's already there.  And as Krakkensmacken noted availablity is a problem.  But I think that is mostly due to lack of a communciation.  If I saw a vedor and the weapon wasn't on there, I'd like to send a message to the vendor owner and request said item, but there is no way to do that either.

So an NPC problem solves many of these problems, but also creates more and takes away the "Player Ran" economy

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, killerkat said:

There was already an intrinsic value to gold, it's what the "player" market was creating.  Just as any supply and demand, early on I saw ridiculous prices but now as I go around I see a more reasonable price.  Any NPC stops the player ran market.

As for undercutting.  It isn't going to work.  The majority of players are lazy, and are not going to log out, go to my ek, buy my mats, import them into the game/or craft them and then import, for a 1g difference.  And again, it's the game dictating the market value, so not a player run ecomomy.  And as I end up with way more whites than any other, I no longer have a way to generate income off of them, unless I want to drastically undercut and people think gold is a challenge to get then maybe they'll head to my vendor.  

The problem I see is ACE missed the fact that these resources are already available, it's just player base doesn't utilize what's already there.  And as Krakkensmacken noted availablity is a problem.  But I think that is mostly due to lack of a communciation.  If I saw a vedor and the weapon wasn't on there, I'd like to send a message to the vendor owner and request said item, but there is no way to do that either.

So an NPC problem solves many of these problems, but also creates more and takes away the "Player Ran" economy

No more so that the game dictating material supply/time through drop rates.  As some point the game is not a natural system and dictates supply, thus managing market value.

There is no "pure" free market economy in a game, nor should there be any desire for there to be, because it's a game, and will always have rules like drop rates managed and controlled by ACE. The player economy reacts to the environment ACE puts together, regardless of them supplying what is essentially a fixed price exchange this go around.

It is lack of communication, but not mostly lack of communication.  It is lack of value exchange.  It is the high time cost associated in materials, and steep decay/cost, making it better/more fun to horde resources and finished goods over trade.

But you are right about lack of what I would call marketing tools.  Vendors are stores, but it's really hard to advertise and shop with the tools in place.  

NPC's are just a different environmental input and fixed base material exchange rate.  They will not take away from the "player ran" economy in any meaningful way.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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