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Tiberius_Invictus

Why all the barriers to participation in the economy?

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Bashar said:

I think a big issue here is that there's no way to set up automated purchase orders.  I'd like to see the option for vendor owners to indicate that they want to purchase n amount of resources @ x amount of gold.  Then, players can visit that vendor and deposit these resources and receive gold deducted from the vendor until either n resources are acquired or there's no longer enough gold in reserve to pay out.  This would give entry level characters an opportunity to earn an income before they're able to gear up and grind mobs in the adventure zone, and does so in a way that avoids more magic gold flowing in to campaigns.  It's actually a gold sink, when you factor in taxes.

Also, having a maintenance cost for vendors is important to avoid abuses.  There has to be some risk involved in being a merchants so as to weed out players who aren't serious about the profession.  This gives players more confidence that a vendor will have something of value when clicking on it.  Otherwise, if you have a bunch of vendors set up but they're not routinely stocked by their owners, it reduces players' confidence in all vendors and they'll be less inclined to go shopping.  Pasting the name of the shop or its owner over a vendor's head would also help players identify what vendors they want to peruse.

Another problem with a low bar for entry is that it increases the potential for nefarious, wealthy guilds to claim all of the best vendor plots and sit on them to block competition.  This is not a problem now, but it might become one as the population develops while plots remain finite.  One way to possibly address this would be to auction vendor plots at the start of a campaign, at least for the safe zones.  This would establish a kind of real estate market to ensure that the cost of entry scales with demand.  It would also negate the first-come-first-claim pressure for merchants to log on immediately as a campaign starts and race to their preferred plot before anybody else can claim it.

Yup, no buy orders is a big missing piece.  Probably THE big missing piece as far as I am concerned.

The problem is that it's got a great deal of user interface requirements and decisions to make on how to message/handle all the options for players.  Just count all the possible basic materials and drop items without experiment rolls that you could want to buy to get an idea of how hard designing a good way to select that might be. Add in the fact that every piece of gear has a unique value, try to figure out how to explain a buy order for a "Poison Dagger with at least 80 attack".

Right now, I personally would much rather the UI guys be working on a better bank/embargo, and a couple of other things than this missing piece we can get by without.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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8 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

The problem is that it's got a great deal of user interface requirements and decisions to make on how to message/handle all the options for players.  Just count all the possible basic materials and drop items without experiment rolls that you could want to buy to get an idea of how hard designing a good way to select that might be. Add in the fact that every piece of gear has a unique value, try to figure out how to explain a buy order for a "Poison Dagger with at least 80 attack".

I wouldn't even try to make buy orders for unique crafted items. The UI requirements would indeed be unwieldy.  I'd start with just buy orders for the various non-unique commodities. That, on its own, would go a long way.

If someone wants a "Poison Dagger with at least 80 attack" they can go shopping for that themselves. If someone wants to buy raw resources, buy orders could facilitate that.


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4 minutes ago, Jah said:

I wouldn't even try to make buy orders for unique crafted items. The UI requirements would indeed be unwieldy.  I'd start with just buy orders for the various non-unique commodities. That, on its own, would go a long way.

If someone wants a "Poison Dagger with at least 80 attack" they can go shopping for that themselves. If someone wants to buy raw resources, buy orders could facilitate that.

I would still hold off on that until AFTER they have pretty much everything in they want of that sort. 

Even that list is a moving target, with things like hammers and other camp drops being added almost every update.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been asking for/about this feature for ages.

 

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41 minutes ago, Bashar said:

It would also negate the first-come-first-claim pressure for merchants to log on immediately as a campaign starts and race to their preferred plot before anybody else can claim it.

You had a lot of good points in your response, but the part quoted above I hadn't even thought about.  I can definitely see that becoming a problem on high population servers if it's not addressed.  Any time players feel compelled to engage in cheesy mechanics like rushing a campaign immediately upon availability in order to be able claim vendor slots, that's not ideal game design.

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19 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Yup, no buy orders is a big missing piece.  Probably THE big missing piece as far as I am concerned.

The problem is that it's got a great deal of user interface requirements and decisions to make on how to message/handle all the options for players.  Just count all the possible basic materials and drop items without experiment rolls that you could want to buy to get an idea of how hard designing a good way to select that might be. Add in the fact that every piece of gear has a unique value, try to figure out how to explain a buy order for a "Poison Dagger with at least 80 attack".

Right now, I personally would much rather the UI guys be working on a better bank/embargo, and a couple of other things than this missing piece we can get by without.

This why I say resources, though I should have clarified that I meant harvested materials rather than crafted goods.  As @Jah points out, these materials don't have individual stats and can be traded automatically without the presence of both parties.  Every uncommon silver is identical to every other uncommon silver.

The benefit here is to get newcomers and underdeveloped characters involved in the player market as early as possible.  Unless you're part of a guild that can equip you, harvesting and crafting are requisite to gearing up.  With the addition of buy orders for harvested materials, these players can skip crafting if they're not interested in it and have an avenue to buy the gear that they want.

As for priorities, as Thomas Blair says, there's only so many nickels to spend at a given time.  Buy orders may not be a priority now but it's worth mentioning for when those nickels are freed up.

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3 minutes ago, Tiberius_Invictus said:

Any time players feel compelled to engage in cheesy mechanics like rushing a campaign immediately upon availability in order to be able claim vendor slots, that's not ideal game design.

Once design settles down, I like to see them use a supply/demand rent system for the non-EK vendor stalls; if there's a lot of empty stalls they're cheap, if there are no empty stalls rents start going up fast. Vendors failing to sell oversupplied items at inflated prices will get pushed out, while vendors selling high demand items at a fair price will be able to cover the overhead.

In the free city, each of the districts could have it's own rent structure as well; you want a stall out front near the runegates, it'll cost you. Willing to take a stall in the back by the swamps, we've got lots at low rates.

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This thread is like a PVP'er saying that they just want to queue up for Battlegrounds instead of exploring and looking for PvP.

"I just want to go get some kills and not jump through a bunch of hoops." 

Trading is just as much a playstyle in this game as PvP or Crafting is, and the playstyles often bleed into each other. Gatherers and Crafters might have a vendor to offload their excess goods or materials, the same way a notorious ganker might have a vendor to offload his loot. Individuals will also be competing in market with guilds who pool their resources into keeping vendors stocked with quality goods and rare loot drops. The point is that all of these activities, and the game in general, reward player agency and effort. When you make it incredibly easy to access the same activities, you're necessarily reducing the feeling of empowerment the players get for achieving something difficult. At least, that's been the case in almost every other MMO to date. If you have a solution to the dilemma, I'd love to hear it. 


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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, soulein said:

If you have a solution to the dilemma, I'd love to hear it. 

A big part of what makes games rewarding for hard-core gamers is showing off their gear to medium-core gamers and below.  Like it or not, you need medium-core gamers to be around to make the game fun for hard-core gamers.

Medium-core gamers should not be expected to spend an hour or more per day loading between EKs and wandering vendor stalls, or meta-gaming advertising their EK on forums, just to be able to participate in any meaningful way.  If they just want to lend a helping hand to their faction by joining a seige or contributing supplies to the war effort, IMO they should be able to do so without all the barriers, otherwise they won't stick around.

Edited by Tiberius_Invictus

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1 hour ago, Tiberius_Invictus said:

A big part of what makes games rewarding for hard-core gamers is showing off their gear to medium-core gamers and below.  Like it or not, you need medium-core gamers to be around to make the game fun for hard-core gamers.

Medium-core gamers should not be expected to spend an hour or more per day loading between EKs and wandering vendor stalls, or meta-gaming advertising their EK on forums, just to be able to participate in any meaningful way.  If they just want to lend a helping hand to their faction by joining a seige or contributing supplies to the war effort, IMO they should be able to do so without all the barriers, otherwise they won't stick around.

You're assuming a model in which players are isolated individuals pursuing a gear grind with varying levels of effort. This isn't World of Warcraft and the game's rewards aren't the same either. Players play as part of a guild in a cooperative effort. They're motivated by more abstract things like a guild's honor or victory in a campaign, or pure greed, not solely by their relative gear score or honor rating. 


Shadowbane - House Avari/Hy'shen
"Gimp elves get good elves killed." - Belina

Avari Discord - https://discord.gg/Bch24PV

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, soulein said:

You're assuming a model in which players are isolated individuals pursuing a gear grind with varying levels of effort. This isn't World of Warcraft and the game's rewards aren't the same either. Players play as part of a guild in a cooperative effort. They're motivated by more abstract things like a guild's honor or victory in a campaign, or pure greed, not solely by their relative gear score or honor rating. 

Every time I see Soulein post all I can think of is this:

tenor.gif

Edited by mandalore

40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

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1 hour ago, Tiberius_Invictus said:

A big part of what makes games rewarding for hard-core gamers is showing off their gear to medium-core gamers and below.  Like it or not, you need medium-core gamers to be around to make the game fun for hard-core gamers.

Medium-core gamers should not be expected to spend an hour or more per day loading between EKs and wandering vendor stalls, or meta-gaming advertising their EK on forums, just to be able to participate in any meaningful way.  If they just want to lend a helping hand to their faction by joining a seige or contributing supplies to the war effort, IMO they should be able to do so without all the barriers, otherwise they won't stick around.

You're assuming a model in which players are isolated individuals pursuing a gear grind with varying levels of effort. This isn't World of Warcraft and the game's rewards aren't the same either. Players play as part of a guild in a cooperative effort. They're motivated by more abstract things like a guild's honor or victory in a campaign, or pure greed, not solely by their relative gear score or honor rating. 


Shadowbane - House Avari/Hy'shen
"Gimp elves get good elves killed." - Belina

Avari Discord - https://discord.gg/Bch24PV

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1 minute ago, ComradeAma said:

They will either improve experience for traders or we will create site with sell/buy orders, search and filters.

Yeah, I think that's what's going to end up happening.  Plus any who posts in such a site can include EK name and coordinates of their vendor.

Problem with such out-of-game systems is that they don't have access to the server data to know when an order has been fulfilled, and users rarely update the status of their fulfilled trade orders.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tiberius_Invictus said:

A big part of what makes games rewarding for hard-core gamers is showing off their gear to medium-core gamers and below.  Like it or not, you need medium-core gamers to be around to make the game fun for hard-core gamers.

Medium-core gamers should not be expected to spend an hour or more per day loading between EKs and wandering vendor stalls, or meta-gaming advertising their EK on forums, just to be able to participate in any meaningful way.  If they just want to lend a helping hand to their faction by joining a seige or contributing supplies to the war effort, IMO they should be able to do so without all the barriers, otherwise they won't stick around.

      A soft core gamer could join a siege in a day in this game, with a little direction through tutorials or whatever. Basic Harvesting tools still provide white, green and possibly even blue resources for the war effort.  God I dont know how long I rolled around in intermediate armor and I still pvp'd in a 50 on 50 fight u really cant tell how "uber" you did anyways simply being cannon fodder might turn the tide some nights.. Myself, Soulein and others have all been trying to state that the game is supposed to reward group play, to them that seems to be there hardcore goal across the board, whether it be pvp, motherloads, crafting, and now ranks of war tribe mobs, ancient mobs that can not be killed alone. The whole game leans towards group play, alot of your ideas although good ones just kind of go against that grain

Furthermore they have really toned down how important it is to have good gear in the game, 6 months ago it was so much more important in order to be competitive, than they nerfed weapons, and the health bonus on armor rolls, they have reduced the number of talent points per level for high end vessels, I think they have reduced the number of attribute points also (6 months ago I was still trying to get a clue about vessels). My point is they keep trending towards allowing the less "hard-core" player to being competitive.

Edited by seastodd

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Posted (edited)

I'm, going to treat 'harvester" "crafter" and "combatant" as unique people in this situation even though that isn't true, simply to illustrate my point. That idea is largely a fallacy as most players don't fit so cleanly in to one box.

Vendors are primarily a tool of crafters, and crafters are the midpoint that stays in a safe place whilst combatants and harvester risk their neck in the world.

Crafters need resources and drops, and output crafted items.

Combatants and harvesters really shouldn't be expected to also run vendors, as they already have intrinsic gold sinks built in to gear and tools. Vendors are the crafter's primary gold sink, and as such it makes sense that they rather than the harvester should be the ones paying handling the vendor fees for the transactions of base materials.

This approach also allows everyone involved a much more directed method of interaction, and buy orders in games like SWG and EVE were instrumental for the purpose of ensuring harvesters and crafters could efficiently supply each other's needs in a passive economy. 

buy orders in this situation effectively place the crafter at the center of the trade economy in the same manner that the crafter is at the center of the crafting economy, determining the needs for both loot and resources on a single platform and serving as a single stop point for buying and selling means everyone can fulfill these roles far more efficiently.

Crafters really shouldn't be shopping for materials and loot. They should be shoping to see what other crafters are paying for those materials and loot, or shopping for components they need from other crafters.

Every crafter's goal should be to be the default stop for their customers and suppliers rather than crafters feeling the need to supply themselves. Every harvester and combatants goal should be to find the best gear and get the bet prices for their loot and mats.

Buy orders for base materials and loot accomplishes both of these and puts some much needed grease on the wheels of the economy while still ensuring bargain hunting and exploitation of limited markets can flourish.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 10:18 AM, seastodd said:

  In fact I think the whole reason they are hesitant to roll out a "Guild Bank" is all the resources are there in the eks for that, the EK could easilly be a central place for the guild to exchange their wares, leather padding, rivets, book chapters, the whole shabang that is currently being traded between players.. in my eyes that is what the EK is there for as much as anything. Another EK could be a guilds Merchant EK open to the public, and yet another could be a guild sparring EK pvp enabled with fortifications built in it... I think that is what they envisioned.

According to the developers the reason we don't have guild banks is because the current implementation of storage is stored in the player record. Lack of guild banks or shared storage was never a design intent. it was just a matter of how they built the quick and dirty banking system because they weren't ready to prioritize a finalized version of storage yet.

Storage is being reworked to be independent from the player record and we will have guild banks possibly as early as 6.0, as well as many other forms of shared storage.

They want us to be able to store things and used shared storage. Its just too costly in the current system to add large shared banks because every bank exists on the player record, which would mean if you have one 500 slot guild bank, you are setting aside data table space on every single character for an extra 500 slots of inventory just to make it work, or adding another 500 slots to track to every account if you use the existing spirit bank tech.

Its really just a matter of it not being finished yet moreso than a deliberate design.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 1:42 PM, Tiberius_Invictus said:

I love that the crafting system is designed to require exchange of goods between players who have specialties at different things, and promote a vibrant economy.  What I don't understand is if a vibrant economy is the goal, why make it so %$&* difficult to actually exchange goods?

So to sell something you have to build all the support infrastructure in your EK, pay for a dozen different vendors because each will only sell certain things, then watch the vendor salary get wasted because nobody's ever heard of you and they're not going to visit the EK of some scrub, and because your EK isn't even available when you're not around.  Even the most renowned trading EK's aren't getting much visitation

Likewise, buying stuff is almost as difficult as selling; you have to leave the campaign, travel to different EKs, walk around to different vendors and pull up all 3 of the wares they're selling one at a time, then when you don't find what you're looking for go all the way back to the beach head in the campaign again.

I don't understand this at all.  Do you want a vibrant economy or not?  Your crafting system seems to indicate yes, but your merchant system seems to indicate hell no.

Maybe put a single trader in each faction's temple where any player can put up to 10 items for sale, and any player can buy from that vendor.  If you get more than 10 items that you want to sell, then use the EK system.  Just a thought.

As others say, many of the concerns here are due to the game not being complete.  But some of them are not.  The following concerns have nothing to do with the incompleteness of the game (I'm adding my own concerns):

  • Requiring players to craft vendor stalls, and then craft vendors, and then pay an upkeep is a VERY heavy price on participating in an economy. You need to specialize in about 4 different crafting disciplines just to participate in this way... but the point of the marketplace is so you can specialize in just ONE thing, and buy and sell to get all the other things.  So the cart is before the horse here.
  • Custom items cannot be easily priced and marketed as commodities with bid/ask prices.  Buying and selling of custom items, each one being unique, is much less liquid and difficult for players, both mentally in terms of pricing and in terms of travelling to and from the vendors. This is a heavy drag on the economy.  I argued this point way back when they announced the crafting of custom items.
  • Commodity items (e.g. harvestables, basic tools/weapons/armor, foodstuffs, etc) have no more liquid method of being bought and sold, and in particular of being priced.  A centralized (or regional) marketplace with bid/ask pricing would completely solve that. As it stands, they are bought and sold using the same clunky mechanisms under which custom items are bought and sold. I've never heard even a peep out of the developers that they intend to do anything about this.

Some things they could do to improve the situation include the following. IMHO, even if they do all of these, the economy will remain heavily choked:

  • Make EKs startable by anybody who wants to enter them
  • Allow selling by consignment on any vendor that has it enabled.
  • Provide temple vendors that sell by consignment
  • Use something other than a limited slot inventory for vendors, so they can sell much more than you can see on screen.
  • Create a commodity marketplace as described above
  • Provide basic vendor stalls and basic vendors, easily craftable by people with no particular skill, which cost zero upkeep but which take a large cut of the sales.

... just off of the top of my head.

All my comments above are related to my personal goal of being able to play this game solo.   If they intentionally wish to exclude that possibility and require guilding and grouping then a choked economy is not a big deal... but I'll probably not play the game because I'm not a very social person.

Edited by Brindylln

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Brindylln said:

 

  • Provide basic vendor stalls and basic vendors, easily craftable by people with no particular skill, which cost zero upkeep but which take a large cut of the sales.

Oooh, this is an excellent idea! Vendors on commission instead of salary.  Just have the vendors keep a fraction of the price of every transaction.  That way, vendors themselves can even be blue/purple/gold tiers where higher tiers don't take as big commission and/or have more item slots.

 

Having a legendary vendor would allow you to undercut your competition and still make more money!

Edited by Tiberius_Invictus

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1 hour ago, Tiberius_Invictus said:

which cost zero upkeep but which take a large cut of the sales.

I think the big reason for the current system is to make sure people don't throw stuff up and leave it there forever.  Technically, that could then be used too for additional storage (just overprice to insanity, and its easy storage).  But having a bunch of vendors that are weeks old that are just sitting there without cares would make the free city really crowded very quick.

So unless you have an idea for limiting this activity too, we're stuck.


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15 minutes ago, Lanie said:

So unless you have an idea for limiting this activity too, we're stuck.

Durability on vendors maybe?  A little farther up in this thread we discussed possible reasons vendors could be tiered as blue/purple/gold

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