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Auction House vs. NPC Vendors

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Radiac
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Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
Auction House vs. NPC Vendors

In CoX, toward the end (in the last year or so), I sometimes had a harder time finding complete sets of uncommon stuff at Wentworth's than rares. I think this was because people generally tended to just convert uncommon and common IO stuff directly to Inf via the NPC vendors rather than try to auction all of it off, just for the sake of saving time. In some cases the NPCs gave you MORE Inf for your swag than the market could be expected to.

On the one hand, I liked being able to quickly cash out my unwanted crap, on the other hand, I would have liked to have some chance of getting an uncommon recipe or two from WW, and sometimes they just weren't there and hadn't been sold for a week or longer.

I'm not sure how to try to fix this problem, but maybe it would be good if the auction house only dealt in rare nd very rare) stuff and the NPC vendors just gave flat buy/sell prices for common and uncommon stuff. That way you could always just sell or buy the common/uncommon stuff you need and use the auction house just for the rares and very rares.

I don't know, what do you think?

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

syntaxerror37
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Joined: 08/24/2013 - 11:01
I can't say I ever ran into

I can't say I ever ran into that problem, but it may have just been specific to the exact pieces/sets you were shopping for. There are always going to be problems with a player-driven economy because of the players. You can't buy something if no one is selling it (or vice versa), there will be higher demand for some materials than others based on popular play habits, and then you have basic human greed and impatience.

I see where you are coming from on restricting the market to just rares and better, but I don't think I would like it. As much as there were the junk recipes and inventions, I did a very brisk business in crafted uncommon IOs, and they had some of the best profit margins.* It would also raise the barrier for getting more people involved in the market game by having a higher cost of entry. I think there are three things to look at for solving this problem.

The first is to make the junk, not junk. This was a problem in CoH with the IO's less than level 30, and sets that just had damn near worthless set bonuses.** Also, it may be necessary to weigh the dropping of certain types of sets. The mez sets in CoH were an excellent example. For the most part they were fine, but they were more limited by what powers they could be slotted into. If they had dropped less frequently then say ranged/melee damage it would have helped. Some sets/pieces will always be worth more, but if we can make the lower ones useful economic choices they will see trade instead of just being vendor trashed.

The second thing is something I have seen done in GW2, and that is making selling at a vender almost worthless. If a recipe was going for 500 inf on the market but worth 2000 inf to a vender it was a no brainer, you sell it at a vender. Now imagine if a recipe was only worth 5 inf to a vender. This makes venders a last-ditch method for cleaning out junk; it is better than deleting it, but not by much. This would mean there would be a lot of smaller value transactions going on in the market and the listing fees would have to be adjusted to compensate for it.

The third thing is to make the market easy to access and use. The easier it is for people to list items the more readily they will. Remote access to at least list on the market is a must. Preferably even while in an instance. Picking up items/currency can require a trip to an actual location, but if so there needs to be many such points all across the city. The market needs a clean intuitive UI with the ability to easily see a basic sales history, and have an advanced history a click away. Players would be best served by having a huge amount of slots to buy/sell.

Of the three things I listed, I think the third is the most important. I remember how big a difference it made in CoH when I got the vet /autionhouse command (and the /vault, but that's a different discussion). The ability to access the market in GW2, even when in an instance or dungeon has been incredibly helpful, even if I do need to make it to a rep to get my stuff. I know there were people in CoH who would sell items to the vender even though they were worth more on the market because it was too much trouble or not worth wasting a space on it, or they were just in a hurry to get to the next mission. If we can make the market easy to access and use we can make the in game economy healthier for everyone.

*Before anyone calls me an evil marketeer, the auction was as much an entertaining mini-game for me as it was a tool for trade and I was usually the lowest price for a given piece. Seriously, my wife berated me more than once for not asking for more Inf. for an item.

**Yes, they had use in frankenslotting, but were otherwise not worth anything

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usmchayward
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What happens when the junk

What happens when the junk that is junk has pages and pages of it listed on the AH? It has pages and pages because it doesn't have a use. Rusty bullet and ancient relic and ancient helm could all be listed as one kind of item type, not something specific. No matter how uber exclusive an item is that needs to be crafted, make it still use common junk.

alewolf
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Joined: 08/21/2014 - 07:09
Would perhaps let npcs sell

Would perhaps let npcs sell stuff that they bought from people, plus whatever they were programed to sell. Not sure how you would limit the bloat, however it would make the NPC venders actually useful. I guess there would have to be a set of slots that were filled by the last so many items sold, with a restriction that you could not fill up multiple slots with the same item. Perhaps a filter to prioritize rarer items first. After all a merchant most merchants would keep rares to sell over super commons.. minus the real world economy of scale.. Nothing can be perfect.

I really would like to buy a vender like in UO and set up my own store. I would point out that an auction house is basically the internet with mail order purchases. Better filters would take care of the junk.

Radiac
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Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
I definitely think that NPC

I definitely think that NPC vendors should only ever buy stuff at "bulk" rates, meaning REALLY low. It might be good to tie those rates to the going market averages, like take data for every 6 months and have the NPCs buy all items at like 5 percent of the going sell price on the market.

It seems to me that there will always be some amount of stuff that's so useless that nobody wants it. If you can't even get 1 IGC for it, then you'd have to delete it.

Another approach would be to have the NPCs buy all stuff for some defined minimum amount of IGC (CoX did this), then just have the game drop less actual IGC on you to make up for that (unlike CoX). In CoX all mobs dropped some standard amount of INF every time, based on rank and level, with no variance. In GW2, monsters defeated RARELY drop any actual coin, but OFTEN drop items that can be sold to NPCs for a pretty small amount of coin, or sold in the auction house for more, maybe. This is done, I believe, to clutter up people's inventories and encourage people to buy more inventory space in the cash shop. If you don't like that ulterior motive, then I think the alternative is having to delete worthless stuff all the time.

In any event, I think the idea of mobs ALWAYS dropping some known amount of IGC can be dropped in favor of the more random approach GW2 uses. In GW2 you can defeat a monster and get absolutely nothing for it. Except XP, but there are ways to be capped such that the XP goes to waste too, once you're level 80. That significantly reduces the rate at which IGC is created ex nihilo, which in my opinion is good. In CoX, you needed mule toons to hold all of your extra INF. In GW2, you need mule toons to store all of your surplus items that you don't have inventory space for (and are account bound so cannot be sold). If you intend to sell added inventory space in the cash shop, like at all, that approach makes more sense. I haven't bought added inventory space, and probably won't, but I haven't come close to overflowing my gold/silver/copper. I don't even know if there is a maximum amount of coin you can have in that game, and if there is, it's higher than 5000gp, because some legendary weapons are listed at that price. I got up to like 300gp at one point, but I've only been playing for like 3 moths now.

I'm really not a fan of making things that look like they should be tradable non-tradable. Unlocks that have to earned are fine, but if I get some object that drops from defeating a monster, I ought to be able to sell it, I think, if it's an object. If you want to make something non-tradable, then try to give it an existence in the lore of the game that seems like I couldn't trade it. Like instead of dropping Empyrial Shards on me all the time, drop something like a "Writ of Empyrial Favor" that I can cash in to the NPC for said shards. Since the writ has my name on it as the guy who saved the town from the monster, I and I alone can benefit from that, if I care to. Dropping shards on me and then making them somehow not tradable makes no sense.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising