CoT Crafting System & Economy

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Interdictor
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

So that then begs the question ... where would the "pain point" be? If you answer that question with a "anything above 1 INF" then you have achieved an inflexible, absolutist position.

Not at all - an "inflexible, absolutist position" would be assuming one's own idea is the only possible answer to the problem.

My preference would be "none of the above" - I reject the time-based degradation entirely in favor of the level advancement-based degradation, including the post-50 pseudo-levelling like you mentioned above. Of course - this is all based on not knowing what else the devs have planned - they could come up with something more interesting or setting-relevant. We will have to see.

It is a moot point anyways - as Tannim stated such a time-based system is antithetical to the way the game is being developed. *shrugs*

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Izzy wrote:
Izzy wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
Izzy wrote:
If there was Cap on Purple IO's so that it was 1 Billion influence Max, people like me wouldn't be Hoarding every penny of influence across ever toon. :/

Price Caps are an ineffective method of containing (let alone countering) rampant inflation. They merely treat the symptom, not the cause of the malady. NOT recommended!

Hmmm... do you mean that players will try to directly trade Purple IO's for more than 1 Billion in influence by Email or having a Meet? And flood the global chat channels with LTS / LTB messages?
Do other games have Caps? or Had them?
How did they handle it?

You mean like happened in CoH ? I sold a few lvl 10 PvP +3% defs for 4BN despite a per character cap of 2BN inf. Players will find a way.

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Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

Izzy wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Izzy wrote:
If there was Cap on Purple IO's so that it was 1 Billion influence Max, people like me wouldn't be Hoarding every penny of influence across ever toon. :/

Price Caps are an ineffective method of containing (let alone countering) rampant inflation. They merely treat the symptom, not the cause of the malady. NOT recommended!

Hmmm... do you mean that players will try to directly trade Purple IO's for more than 1 Billion in influence by Email or having a Meet? And flood the global chat channels with LTS / LTB messages?
Do other games have Caps? or Had them?
How did they handle it?

You mean like happened in CoH ? I sold a few lvl 10 PvP +3% defs for 4BN despite a per character cap of 2BN inf. Players will find a way.

And yes, other games do have people running on a "grey market" where they will avoid using the AH to organise the deals. This could be to avoid transaction fee's (which if it is an expensive/rare item, and the method of how the fee is calculated could be expensive).

And yep, City of Heroes had fee's that had to be paid upfront before you could sell it.

Got a purple and only 10,000 in the bank? Well, you can only put that purple up for 100,000 at most. Which means that you *could* end up not making a lot.

So you can see why people might want to avoid the AH depending on when the listing fee is taken as well

And although it might take several transfers for it, if there is a currency trade cap it WILL happen[1]. Did an inf cap of 99,999 stop people from trading before the AH?

It wasn't until Issue 9 that it was increased beyond 99,999 (to coincide with the Invention system and AH)

Nope. It just meant that it took time for you to give money to lower level characters to help them out. It was annoying, and you had to rely on mules to do it but it was done.

Side note: Even in a barter system (like Path of Exile uses) where there is no inherent base currency, people instead do all their trades in 2 or 3 "base items" that drop on a semi regular basis.

[1] And that brings me to Eve Online where someone (Chribba) has made quite a nice in game reputation for being reliable in holding ships/modules/etc for "off market transactions". This is mainly for stuff that cannot normally be sold on the AH (Titan and Mothership class ships for example). And when you start dealing with *billions* of currency for a single ship, even with his small cut compared to what the market would charge is useful. According to the last post I can see from 2011, in just over 4 years he had facilitated deals worth over 34.2 Trillion ISK. This is enough in game currency to *easily* fit out a whole alliance (several thousand players) a couple of times over with ships and modules and stations etc for a nice period of time.

As a comparison: The most expensive Eve Online battle that I can find involved the loss of 75 Titans, 12 Supercarriers, 370 dreadnaughts, 123 Carriers and a butt load of other ships.Total cost of losses? 11 Trillion.

So yeah, a grey market WILL form to get around currency/trade caps.

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I won't quote Gangrel's post

I won't quote Gangrel's post as it's quite long but he's spot on.

What happens in NW - expensive items are sold off market to avoid transaction fees. You can't trade astral diamonds, what you can buy with them is a key refining ingredient that everybody wants for 100K ADs that's tradable (Greater mark of power), and you see all over the chat prices quoted in GMoPs.

And yeah I remember in CoH getting some fairy wings on their first day of existence and having to borrow the money to list them (I got 37M for them on a level 9).

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Gangrel wrote: Hube2 wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

Hube2 wrote: I like the idea of "you found X but you already carrying you limit, what would you like to discard" option. Rather then having zero chance at drops unless you constantly monitored salvage/enhancement/recipes and deleted stuff when it started getting full. I can understand there being a limit on how much you can carry.Well, to be fair, pretty much every other MMO out there *does* have a limit as to how much you can carry... although unlike CoX, they tended to allow a *stack* of items to take up one inventory slot, instead of "number of items in stack" = "number of slots taken up".Eve Online does it different, because they work on "volume storage", where each item has an associated volume, so 1 item = 1 unit of volume, 1000 items = 1000 times the volume.(And of course, there is the whole container trick to get extra storage for free... they can hold more than the space that they actually take up!)Anyway, getting on track, it was one of the annoying things that I had with CoX, the whole "no loot for U if you have no space to stash it", because it ended up with you having to micromanage *several* different things, your salvage, your enhancements your recipes and your inspirations.If *any* one of those was full, you lost the option to gain that drop from mobs that you defeated. I cannot think of how many times i just deleted a stack of "common" salvage, or enhancements for the *chance* of getting something else to drop.At least inspirations dropped often enough that blowing through all of them in a large burst, you could refill in 3 or 4 minutes (or so it felt).But I am the type of person who likes choosing what to pick up... I am not a great fan of what loot I pick up is automatically decided by a system (especially if being full prevents you from getting any loot of that type).At least the plus side for CoX was that you were not told if you had missed out on something. Although there is always that nagging feeling that you had to keep a slot spare just to stand a chance, so you tried to keep as empty as possible.

WoW now has a system where, if it isn't money or Gray, the loot you're forced to drop will turn up in your mailbox when you get back to town. It even has a cute little IC message, about how the person who found it thought you might want it. So, you can empty your bags and check your mail, and still get shiny loot that you had to leave behind.

It'd be nice to have something similar, like a trash collector found it on rounds and thought he should be honest and give it back.

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Wouldn't it be possible to

Wouldn't it be possible to include a transaction fee for player-to-player transactions? I mean the game software could do that, right? If it's items for items, it would probably have to have a way of estimating the total value being transacted and then calculate a reasonable fee for that I guess, but I don't think it's impossible.
Also, you could restrict player-to-player direct trades to subscribers only.
Also, I'm still against price caps in general. for one thing, people ought to be able to charge the prices THEY feel are fair for items, not get those prices dictated tot hem by the game. Second, in the inflationary economies that these games have, hoarding IGC is a lost cause. You'd be better off hoarding useful items, like Purples, and other main-stay rares that people use a lot. That's like investing in stock. The value of the cash will erode over time, the value of the stock will either increase with the inflation rate or faster in most cases. Of course, if they tweak the rules, some items might lose value, so you have to keep an eye on it.

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Possible? Sure.WISE?

Possible? Sure.

WISE? Definitely not.


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Didn't Wentworth's 'tax' us,

Didn't Wentworth's 'tax' us, based on sale price?

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Fireheart wrote: Didn't
Fireheart wrote:

Didn't Wentworth's 'tax' us, based on sale price?

Be Well!

Fireheart

Yes, and any AH type trading has done so in every MMO that I have been a part of. But that was not what they were talking about there, it was trading directly between two players through the trade window (or mail system). That should not have any transaction cost associated with it, and no MMO has done so that I know of.

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If there's a tax on buying

If there's a tax on buying and selling items on the open market and NO such tax in player-to-player trades, doesn't that immediately cause people with big ticket items to seek out potential buyers on the forums etc to set up shady player-to-player deals instead of just throwing the thing on the market for sale to the highest bidder? I'm not against taxation of the player-to-player transactions as a way to try to recoup that taxation INF. After all, the point was to make the game commerce sink some INF, this is just making that process work the same on an individual level as it does on a global level. I see nothing unfair about it, in fact it's a flaw in the system that the player-to-player trading DOESN'T have a tax.
I know some people feel like that posting fees were a problem but in my opinion they were not. For one thing, if you got a decent Purple that was actually in demand you could generally get a pretty penny for it even if you threw it on the market for 100INF. For another, that problem was only a problem for the FIRST such item you ever had to sell, after that you generally had the INF to post stuff. Also, I used to get like 5million INF a DAY soloing my Mastermind through like maybe 5 missions total. At that rate the posting fees weren't a problem.

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Let me phrase it this way

Let me phrase it this way.

Player to Player trading is a "private" trade ... even if it's something that gets "advertised" in the broadcast channel of zone chat. It's a 2 party transaction.

Player to Market trading is a "public" trade ... in which the game itself is providing a forum for the buying and selling of merchandise.

It's okay for "public" trades through a marketplace to require a Fee For Service, but it's NOT okay for "private" trades between individuals to incur a "tax" on the transaction(s) just because they aren't going through the marketplace.

As far as sinking IGC out of the economy goes, remember that the plan is to have the NPC Vendors play the market and have their profits get skimmed off and "destroyed" for the good of the overall economy, thus "sinking" that IGC out of the game's economic system.


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Radiac wrote: If there's a
Radiac wrote:

If there's a tax on buying and selling items on the open market and NO such tax in player-to-player trades, doesn't that immediately cause people with big ticket items to seek out potential buyers on the forums etc to set up shady player-to-player deals instead of just throwing the thing on the market for sale to the highest bidder?

Cause? No. Give them a reason to consider it? Certainly. The trick is, to set the tax/fees/whatever to a low enough level that the effort of doing things directly in chat and/or forums is not generally considered to be worth the money you save.

Also, the shadiness of P2P deals depends largely on how difficult it is to pull a fast one on the person you're trading with.

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Radiac, how do you see this

Radiac, how do you see this player-to-player transaction fee affecting gifts, or 'ATM' transfers of IGC to lower-level characters?

I've played games where there was 'per character' storage/banking and games where there was 'per account' storage/banking. Account-based, shared storage and banking does simplify transfers to your Alts, but it can very quickly get cluttered with stuff (depending on the kind and character of drops). I used to get around CoH's character-based storage by building private SG bases and transferring items via storage tables, but that's not effective for transferring IGC.

In-Game Mail can sometimes be used as extra storage, and to transfer assets, but that depends on how the mail system is designed. Do we know enough about how these things will be done in CoT to speculate?

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To add to Fireheart's post

To add to Fireheart's post.

Add in the "problems" of trades where no IGC changes hand, or using other currencies than IGC like the premium one. How would we tax those?

Depending on how the crafting system is set up, and how the above is handled, it could also have a chilling effect on friendly no-service fee crafting between guildies and/or friends.

If people are so determined to not pay any form of "tax" then they will find a way around it unless any and every transaction between players, regardless of what it is, is "taxed". Though that would most certainly create more problems than it solves.

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blacke4dawn wrote: If people
blacke4dawn wrote:

If people are so determined to not pay any form of "tax" then they will find a way around it unless any and every transaction between players, regardless of what it is, is "taxed". Though that would most certainly create more problems than it solves.

Redlynne wrote:

Possible? Sure.

WISE? Definitely not.

It would seem we have a consensus on the question.


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So.. can Free 2 Play ppl do

So.. can Free 2 Play ppl do something ingame to Increase the Personal Transaction limits?
Like Space, or Amount of times in 24 hrs for one Personal Transaction, or limited to one every 2 Hours? :p
Or an IGC Cap that can be increased for a week for doing a few Trials?

Of course, these Caps could be raised without doing soo much ingame Work, if you have a micro subscription for Personal Transactions called `Pro Trader!` ;D

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In response to the above

In response to the above statement of "It would seem we have a consensus on the question." I hope you don't mean unanimous agreement, because I for one would still be ready and willing to have it set up such that nobody anywhere could move any items or IGC without the game taking something close to a 5% cut. In item-for-item trades this would mean both parties would have to pay some IGC to make the trade actually happen, that IGC going to the game itself (i.e. get's deleted forever). How those transaction fees are arrived at is pretty easy, you just have a set IGC cost to receive a specific rarity of item. Commons are 100IGC per item, Uncommons are 250, Rares are 1000, Very Rares are 10000, or whatever seems close to a logical progression of prices for items. If it's a cash for items transaction, a percentage of the cash get's taken by the game and the rest goes to the intended recipient. If the amount of cash the house gets is less than it would get based on the rarity of the item, the house prevents the transaction from taking place until it get's the minimum it expects in taxes for the item. So if you want to trade your Rare to a friend for free, you have to include 1000IGC to cover their cost of receivership, or else they have to pay the 1000IGC to receive it.
Oprah once gave away a car to every member of her audience. A lot of them sold the cars because they couldn't pay the taxes. People who win cars on game shows are required to pay taxes too. In Las Vegas, if you win $10,000 or more, the casino is legally required to report it on their tax forms which then means YOU must report at as income and pay taxes on it. There are tax laws limiting how much you can give someone as a gift before it becomes taxable as income.
As the old Roman proverb says, the only two things that are for certain in life are death and taxes.
Also I disagree that this is somehow a fee for a service. It might be that in an immersion, flavor text, or role playing sense, but in reality it's a way to sink IGC and nothing else. The game devs don't need your IGC to pay the NPCs responsible for maintaining Wentworth's. It's technically possible to make the whole thing, even the auction house, completely without transaction fees. They didn't do that, but it's possible that it could be done.

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While you are at it; just tax

While you are at it; just tax everything at 90%.

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Radiac wrote: It might be
Radiac wrote:

It might be that in an immersion, flavor text, or role playing sense, but in reality it's a way to sink IGC and nothing else.

My main issue with this argument is the idea that the Devs Need more ways to sink IGC.

Transaction fees in the Market are so common, they've become a given. However, there have been a few suggestions for ways that the NPCs could manipulate supply and demand, to keep the Market (and the supply of IGC) from spiraling out of control. If they can make this work, then Player to Player transactions really won't matter anyway. Especially since, if those were taxed also, then the Players that wanted to avoid it would just find another method.

I feel like you're arguing for solutions that don't have a problem.

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Nyxz wrote: While you are at
Nyxz wrote:

While you are at it; just tax everything at 90%.

Proper overtaxation would be either 95% (One for you nineteen for me...), or the net 102% percent Astrid Lindgren once owed the Swedish government, between both her income tax and employer's fees as her own employer...

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Radiac wrote: In response to
Radiac wrote:

In response to the above statement of "It would seem we have a consensus on the question." I hope you don't mean unanimous agreement, because I for one would still be ready and willing to have it set up such that nobody anywhere could move any items or IGC without the game taking something close to a 5% cut. In item-for-item trades this would mean both parties would have to pay some IGC to make the trade actually happen, that IGC going to the game itself (i.e. get's deleted forever). How those transaction fees are arrived at is pretty easy, you just have a set IGC cost to receive a specific rarity of item. Commons are 100IGC per item, Uncommons are 250, Rares are 1000, Very Rares are 10000, or whatever seems close to a logical progression of prices for items. If it's a cash for items transaction, a percentage of the cash get's taken by the game and the rest goes to the intended recipient. If the amount of cash the house gets is less than it would get based on the rarity of the item, the house prevents the transaction from taking place until it get's the minimum it expects in taxes for the item. So if you want to trade your Rare to a friend for free, you have to include 1000IGC to cover their cost of receivership, or else they have to pay the 1000IGC to receive it.

The problem with this is that it sets a minimum value of every item, regardless of the supply-and-demand curve for it.

Quote:

Oprah once gave away a car to every member of her audience. A lot of them sold the cars because they couldn't pay the taxes. People who win cars on game shows are required to pay taxes too. In Las Vegas, if you win $10,000 or more, the casino is legally required to report it on their tax forms which then means YOU must report at as income and pay taxes on it. There are tax laws limiting how much you can give someone as a gift before it becomes taxable as income.

As the old Roman proverb says, the only two things that are for certain in life are death and taxes.

But no one is taxed for giving materials to a person that makes an item out of it, and tax them again for getting it back. No one is taxed for giving a couple of bucks to their kid or friend so they can have some fun.

Not sure if it was Oprah as a person giving it or Oprah as a company, but gifts over a certain value gets taxed regardless. As with gifts winnings over a certain value gets taxed regardless of what it is but effectively all of that are from companies, who have a duty to keep track of all that. Person to person trade does not have a legal mandate to keep those records, at least not in such detail that companies does if at all (per product/area of mandates/regulations).

Quote:

Also I disagree that this is somehow a fee for a service. It might be that in an immersion, flavor text, or role playing sense, but in reality it's a way to sink IGC and nothing else. The game devs don't need your IGC to pay the NPCs responsible for maintaining Wentworth's. It's technically possible to make the whole thing, even the auction house, completely without transaction fees. They didn't do that, but it's possible that it could be done.

It appears that you don't think so much about "living" in the game but for me personally I want every mechanic to be rationalized from within the game world.

If it's purely about removing IGC from the game then why not just remove a couple of percent of a players "monetary value" (IGC and items combined) each day. That would be the ultimate way to remove IGC from the game, right?

There is a reason why this, afaik, has never been put into games and that is because it will create a high negative feeling among the player base. There are better ways to control inflation.

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Not to put too fine a point

Not to put too fine a point on things, but if the desire is to sink away IGC after it has been earned, there's a much simpler solution that won't generate negative feelings.

Lower the amount of IGC that gets generated each time IGC gets earned.

In other words, instead of imposing a tax on demand, simply constrain the supply. As far as the supply and demand equations are concerned, the mathematical effect(s) is/are the same in terms of where the equilibrium lines up, but a taxation system is an "obvious" one that the Players can "feel" and will notice and get resentful over, while a supply reduction is an "invisible" thing which people are more prone to "accept" as simply being how things work.

It's the difference between /ragequit and /shrug really. Which do you think is better for the health of the game and its supporting(!) community?


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Redlynne wrote: Let me
Redlynne wrote:

Let me phrase it this way.Player to Player trading is a "private" trade ... even if it's something that gets "advertised" in the broadcast channel of zone chat. It's a 2 party transaction.Player to Market trading is a "public" trade ... in which the game itself is providing a forum for the buying and selling of merchandise.It's okay for "public" trades through a marketplace to require a Fee For Service, but it's NOT okay for "private" trades between individuals to incur a "tax" on the transaction(s) just because they aren't going through the marketplace.

I tend to agree. There is definitely something to be said about encouraging direct player-to-player interactions in an MMO, but then there is the convenience of bulk selling via stores and/or auction house. The trick is setting the auction house/store taxes or fees to just the right amount so as to not make private sales overwhelmingly superior to the convenience of the auction house/in-game stores and vice-versa.

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blacke4dawn wrote: Fireheart
blacke4dawn wrote:

Fireheart wrote: Didn't Wentworth's 'tax' us, based on sale price?Be Well!FireheartYes, and any AH type trading has done so in every MMO that I have been a part of. But that was not what they were talking about there, it was trading directly between two players through the trade window (or mail system). That should not have any transaction cost associated with it, and no MMO has done so that I know of.

One of the games I've played, maybe RIFT used to charge for sending mail, so there was a minor tax on this or using mail for storage.

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World of Warcraft put a price

World of Warcraft put a price of 30 copper on each mail attachment. A token price, to be sure, but still greater than zero.


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Either GW2 or Archeage had a

Either GW2 or Archeage had a mail charge as well, increased with items added to the mail if I recall.

I think regardless of the market system, there will be those that work to benefit from it, those that use only as necessary, and those that will circumvent it with P-to-P trades. Personally, other than maybe some of the minor mechanics of the buy/sell options in CoH's market system, I think it had a great AH/market system. Simple and effective. Supply and demand are connected, but separate mechanics/considerations for how hard it should be for players to achieve various levels of builds (nominal IOs, pretty good/red IO sets, ultimate purple sets). There seems to be many who want to punish players for playing the market and raking in money from those players that will shell out massive amounts for their ultimate build ("I need to have it now instead of working towards it") or, as with Minotaur's example, must have those new Fairy Wings, which is surprisingly common in MMOs. So what if those players benefit from those transactions? City still offered players the chance (granted very low for the ultimate IOs) to get there through game play.

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Minotaur wrote: blacke4dawn
Minotaur wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote: Fireheart wrote: Didn't Wentworth's 'tax' us, based on sale price?Be Well!FireheartYes, and any AH type trading has done so in every MMO that I have been a part of. But that was not what they were talking about there, it was trading directly between two players through the trade window (or mail system). That should not have any transaction cost associated with it, and no MMO has done so that I know of.One of the games I've played, maybe RIFT used to charge for sending mail, so there was a minor tax on this or using mail for storage.

Ok, so my inclusion of "or mail system" was somewhat wrong. I think I got a disconnect in my head at that moment since the cost is not for trading but for using the mail system itself, a.k.a postage and not a commerce tax.

The mail systems of MMOs are highly variable from costing money for just using it (sending simple messages) to costing nothing at all. Most MMO's that I have played charge for sending items, but it's a token amount and certainly not based on the items quality. Some have even let you pay more for a speedier delivery (most prominent would be Wildstar with 3 delivery times).

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Insatiable wrote: I think
Insatiable wrote:

I think regardless of the market system, there will be those that work to benefit from it, those that use only as necessary, and those that will circumvent it with P-to-P trades. Personally, other than maybe some of the minor mechanics of the buy/sell options in CoH's market system, I think it had a great AH/market system. Simple and effective. Supply and demand are connected, but separate mechanics/considerations for how hard it should be for players to achieve various levels of builds (nominal IOs, pretty good/red IO sets, ultimate purple sets). There seems to be many who want to punish players for playing the market and raking in money from those players that will shell out massive amounts for their ultimate build ("I need to have it now instead of working towards it") or, as with Minotaur's example, must have those new Fairy Wings, which is surprisingly common in MMOs. So what if those players benefit from those transactions? City still offered players the chance (granted very low for the ultimate IOs) to get there through game play.

I think those who wants to restrict peoples ability to play the market does so from a misguided sense of fairness, in that that everyone should "gain" equally from the market. However, as with the rest of the game their "gains" from it should be based on ones own efforts put into it.

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Redlynne wrote: Not to put
Redlynne wrote:

Not to put too fine a point on things, but if the desire is to sink away IGC after it has been earned, there's a much simpler solution that won't generate negative feelings.Lower the amount of IGC that gets generated each time IGC gets earned.In other words, instead of imposing a tax on demand, simply constrain the supply. As far as the supply and demand equations are concerned, the mathematical effect(s) is/are the same in terms of where the equilibrium lines up, but a taxation system is an "obvious" one that the Players can "feel" and will notice and get resentful over, while a supply reduction is an "invisible" thing which people are more prone to "accept" as simply being how things work.It's the difference between /ragequit and /shrug really. Which do you think is better for the health of the game and its supporting(!) community?

If you've got your (hypothetical) game's economy figured out and set up such that you feel you don't need to tax commerce of any kind to sink IGC, then fine, don't impose a tax on auction house OR player-to-player trading.
If you DO have a tax on auction house trades in your game, then I think you ought to have something like it for player-to-player trading also, just to keep both options about equal in terms of how much tax one will end up paying in both cases. Otherwise you end up with a black market. While it's true that there are things that aren't taxed in real life, the big ticket items tend to be noticed more than the $15 you parents give you as an allowance. I don't think anyone ought to be able to transact big money for a new Learjet and get it without the taxman watching. Purples and other big-ticket items being exchanged in player-to-player trades was the equivalent of that in CoX.
On a separate note, even if the the IGC sink function is not necessary, posting fees in CoX served a real purpose. It forced people to put items up for sale at realistically low prices in all cases instead of trying to sell every item for 100,000,000,000INF just to see if anyone would bite. It also forced people to really think about whether they wanted to sell something or just keep it, because you couldn't just put everything on the market for sale at the highest pie-in-the-sky price you'd definitely sell it for, then pull back from there a little bit at a time. It eliminated repeated attempts to sell the same item for an inflated price just because you could and there was no harm in trying.

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"Everything should be made as

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Einstein

CoH's economy was nice and simple. Simple mechanics, simple controls, and made sense. I can't say I agree with the idea that if you tax market transactions you should also tax person-to-person transactions. A tax on just the market makes more sense - you're paying for the ease of using the market (purchase or selling). Selling P2P can be a PITA and most people did that more to get around the inf cap on characters for certain hot items where they could sell for that. There was the occasional recipe sale here and there, but most used the market because it was easy. There were a few things I'd consider changing, but all-in-all probably the best market system I have experienced in a game for ease of use, ease of getting what you need (especially if you're patient), ease of finding what you need (also tied to CoH's simplicity in items), and it was also not they only way of getting the items you need (more of a faster path to those items).

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Another real world example of

Another real world example of private transactions being taxed (which I just learned about by having to sell a house recently) is real estate transfer taxes.

Often, this is handled in such a way that the two parties (buyer and seller) agree upon a nominal sale price for the property, e.g. $100,000.00
Let's say the real estate tax on the sale of this property is 5%. Okay, then the taxes amount to 5% of the agreed price, so $5,000.00 in this case. Often the buyer and seller agree to split the tax burden, so the buyer pays $102,500.00 and the seller receives only $97,500. The "extra" $2,500 that the buyer paid goes to the tax man, as does the $2,500 "deficit" amount that the seller received below the agreed price.
The game's player-to-player transaction software could easily handle this in such a way that the two parties could come to an arrangement that they both agree to, offer, counter offer, etc, until both people hit the "ok" button and it happens.
There could be a "Current Offer" field for the two parties to type offers into, and then a ledger below which computes the taxes and tells each side what they're giving up and getting. Like this:

Current Offer: 10,000,000 INF
_______________________________________________________________________
Radiac Gives: (Nucleolus Exposure) | Radiation Dude Gives: 10,002,500 INF |
Radiac Receives: 9,997,500 INF | Radiation Dude Receives: (Nucleolus Exposure) |

Then we just bounce different Offers back and forth in turn until we both agree to the deal and both press the "Do It" button, probably with an "Are you sure?" pop-up for safety.

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That isn't an adequate

That isn't an adequate example of personal transactions. Selling property ends up in public records, is updated with your local and state government for property taxes, and can involve multiple parties even if the sale doesn't include an agent.

Go to your wallet, take out a dollar and give it away to a stranger walking outside. You weren't taxed in that transaction. That's an adequate example.


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I think a better example

I think a better example would be "take out a million dollars, cash mind you, because checks are tracked by banks, etc, and get a Cessna Skycatcher in exchange, which somehow nobody's going to notice that you now own" or while you're at it, just skip the middle man and trade a million dollars worth of uncut cocaine for the airplane, because only career criminals do those sort of deals under the table in the first place.

Nobody was going out of their way to transact chump-change deals as a way to evade taxes before, it was done for convenience sake, or just as a way to give people stuff for free. Those same people probably wont change their behavior vis a vis small value transactions if there are taxes on those transactions added, in my opinion. So what if trading someone a SO for 1000 INF now has a transaction tax of 50 INF? I doubt anyone cares at that price. If I happen by a newbie and want to give them 5 million INF just as a "Welcome to CoX!", I'm not going to complain that 5% got taken out by the game's tax system, and the person getting all that free INF has nothing to complain about either, as I see it.

In the case of someone trying to wrangle 4billion for a PVP recipe, you had to do it player-to-player because the game wouldn't let one person have 4billion INF at a time. If you're going to tax auction house transactions, for the sake of an INF sink, then I think it makes sense to tax player-to-player transactions the same.

The argument that the auction house adds value in matching sellers with buyers is true for as far as it does that, but the auction house NPCs aren't actually earning any income from that for themselves when the taxes come out. The INF just gets deleted by the game. So there are no hard-working NPCs that are making a living off of that, the INF just disappears for the sake of sinking it. Thus the only function the auction house fees and taxes serve is to sink INF, nothing more. If you're going to have multiple avenues to offload stuff for INF, you should probably have the tax rate be the same for all if them, in my opinion, in order to ensure that the INF actually gets sunk, somehow, in each case, as its apparently supposed to, regardless of which market you sell your wares in.

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I'd say the argument that

I'd say the argument that players are able to trade without any additional costs somehow has a negative impact on the game is a flawed premise. If anything, the exact opposite would occur, it would result in less of a friendly atmosphere, most likely at the cost of the generosity of players being capable of easily handing out igc or items. I knew plenty of super groups that ran their own events and gave out rewards too. The attempt at keeping the economy healthy by making anything done with IGC must come with an associated sink at the cost of keeping the community healthy are not always compatible.

There are other costs not being taken into consideration when looking at high value item for igc trades like time. It takes time to find the right buyer, meet up, and make the trade. Time spent away from doing other things which can also yield positive results for the seller or even the a potential buyer. This is another reason behind adding a cost for transactions, convenience. It can be by far more beneficial to a player to place an item for sale and go do something else while trying to both do something else, advertise in chat channels, then meet up when the right buyer comes along, then get back to your activity.


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I don't disagree with what

I don't disagree with what you're saying, but that same argument could be made with regards to the auction house, which we all seem to think ought to have transaction fees. If you're going to leave player-to-player transactions as tax-free, then you might as well do the same with Auction House and find some other place to sink the IGC entirely, if in fact the game needs it sunk.

And to be honest, to me, a 5% tax on the IGC cost of anything is a minor inconvenience, no matter what scale the transaction takes place on, no matter whether it's AH or P2P. Only the true cheapskate penny-pinchers are that annoyed by it. you could charge me 5% to email IGC to people (including myself, e.g. character to character transfer of IGC within the same account) and I would take it in stride. As long as the actual tax rate is fairly low and as long as it applies evenly to everyone, it seems fair to me.

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The question is what issue is

The question is what issue is a player to player trade tax trying to resolve or what game play elements does it either lead into or tak part of that enhances the game play.

At this moment all it seems to impart is an attempt at trying to make anything a player does with igc have a sink, particualry the possibility of "off market trading". This may sound like a logical conclusion but it errs on the side of heavy-handed.

If the inconenience is totally minor than the attempt at sinking igc isn't effective beceause the cost is viewed by the player as neglible.

Sink costs for trading in the auction house work in part because the auction house provides conveniences thst player to player trading does not. Players don't have to find a space to squeeze into to sell items either staying logged in. Players don't end up with direct issues against each other due to constant broadcasted marketing of wares. Players don't have to constantly find the other player and meet up to perfom a transaction.

The auction house removes many of these inconvenices which makes having listing an transaction fees work within the context of the interaction with the mechanics of the system. Player to player trades are typically more time consuming and if dealing in an open market, can be subject to direct competition. Taxing direct player transactions also can impede thise who desire to b helpful, place a burden on player agency to set up an cover costs for their own games.

Like costume contents, zone races, and hide-and-seek.

Then us devs would also be burdened with attempting to cut off any possible work-arounds to avoid tax. Such as using base-bins. Or placing a tax on every possible tradable item not just igc. Which ends up wither enforcing a restrictive market system with fixed rates on all items or ends wup where the maket shifts and the dev set tax lricing is under cut by using slcertain items for transactions.

The simple thing here is leaving player to player transactions alone or going the route of a mmo where there are zero player to player transactions allowed.


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One might just as well ask

One might just as well ask "What problem does an auction house transaction fee solve?" Since CoX had pretty bad inflation (for reasons not related to the auction house per se) one could argue that it didn't solve any problem at all in that case. Also, NPCs bought items for set prices, independent of what you could get on the market. In some cases they paid a lot less than going rates (like for Purple recipes) and in some cases they paid WAY more than market price (like for common, Generic IO recipes). But they still had price tags on them that NPCs would buy them for. If you're going to do that, it's not a hard bit of math to code up to have all items transacted be valued at the NPC buy prices and then value IGC for exactly what it's worth. So in a transaction where Player A sends Player B 3 items and 100IGC, and player B sends back 2 items, the taxes would, at a minimum, be based on the officially recognized NPC buy prices of the tiems, pulus like 5 IGC to cover the IGC being moved.

Depending on what you're trading, this could amount to an incredibly low tax based on going rates of items in the open market. On the other hand, if the transaction is mostly IGC going one way and one item going the other, then the IGC would dominate the tax structure.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

One might just as well ask "What problem does an auction house transaction fee solve?" Since CoX had pretty bad inflation (for reasons not related to the auction house per se) one could argue that it didn't solve any problem at all in that case

.

The intent was to provide two things, a cost for convenience, and an economic sink. But you're right that it didn't solve the problem of inflation in the old game. Which is why at a certain point, referencing the old game is pointless unless you're talking specifically about what worked well and what went very wrong. Obviously the economy went very wrong. That's because the game wasn't designed with a player economy in mind and when one was added much later, without either significantly cutting reward rates of Inf and instituting multiple sinks, there was nothing that could be done to solve that particular problem. An auction house fee for this game will come down to both being one of the economic sinks based on the fee being associated with the convenience afforded by using the market. Since we plan on instituing a player based economy from the start, we are aware that we must account for possible earning rates and smart ways to incentivize players using their igc. These will most likely fall in line of conveniences and benefitting the player character to avoid inconveniences, and logical choices that make sense for the associated activity.

Radiac wrote:

If you're going to do that, it's not a hard bit of math to code up to have all items transacted be valued at the NPC buy prices and then value IGC for exactly what it's worth. So in a transaction where Player A sends Player B 3 items and 100IGC, and player B sends back 2 items, the taxes would, at a minimum, be based on the officially recognized NPC buy prices of the tiems, pulus like 5 IGC to cover the IGC being moved.

You probably haven't studied the impact of how this type of system would impact in game economies, but the result is never positive. At least if you want to provide space for player agency in a player run economic system. Once you go to the step of hard coding pricing and taxing indexes for all items of the game, it strangles how much players an interact and impact the market. It also ends up problematic in the long run for developers because as new items are introduced over years of play, and game play shifts with how players are actually engaging in the crafting system(s), devs end up having to constantly evaluate the costing and taxing structure of all items in order to maintain parity throughout the entire market. Sometimes you'll see games were certain npc item costs are adjusted, but by and large, they are not, nor are any fees related to economic sinks are constantly adjusted. It is too much work and too much of a burden to add items over time.

For a game to have a player run economy, you can't constantly enforce a fixed pricing structure married with a taxing structure on every single item in every single possible transaction.


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I believe there needs to be

I believe there needs to be an actual definition of what you are crafting here. When you are playing games that allow you to craft game impacting stuff, you create some interesting dynamics. Take Horizon, a game that started with a completely player based crafting system. It was a complete mess at early levels at there were few crafters and players were paying fortunes for gear that was scaled up to their level. I had this issue as I was tearing through content and there was like one or two crafters that could make stuff for me. Fortunately I joined the guild of one of them. Now crafting to add furniture, costume parts, wall paper etc to your base and house are great. They make money for people who like crafting and allow for some big money sinks.

Another thing that happens is the value of drops become worthless if crafting is too good. Drops can also destroy the value of crafting... In Tera, I stopped buying any weapons as the relic drops that you used grinding made all the weapon drops and purchases just a waste.

I detested the crafting system that COX put in place. The one in EQ allows for housing add ons and to date that has always been my favorite and I have mastered at least one crafting skill (normally multiple or all) in: EQ2, WOW, UO, Tera, Aion, DOAC... I think that is all of them.

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The CoX system, by the

The CoX system, by the admission of like everyone at this point, was bad because it was first designed to be "single-player", then later became "an economy" with like an auction house, etc. That fact, plus the fact that they didn't have crafting at first, made the whole thing a huge mess.

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Just to clarify what I think

Just to clarify what I think Radiac is getting at, The game was not originally designed with crafting or economy in mind. The crafting and auction house were added at the same time or nearly the same time about halfway through the games life cycle. This was a problem because both systems were tied to influence which was not necessarily meant to be an IGC when it was designed at the games inception. As a result not much care was taken when giving it out to players. As a result when the economy/crafting was introduced much later there was a massive surplus of influence which caused a lot of problems.

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alewolf wrote:
alewolf wrote:

I believe there needs to be an actual definition of what you are crafting here. When you are playing games that allow you to craft game impacting stuff, you create some interesting dynamics. Take Horizon, a game that started with a completely player based crafting system. It was a complete mess at early levels at there were few crafters and players were paying fortunes for gear that was scaled up to their level. I had this issue as I was tearing through content and there was like one or two crafters that could make stuff for me. Fortunately I joined the guild of one of them. Now crafting to add furniture, costume parts, wall paper etc to your base and house are great. They make money for people who like crafting and allow for some big money sinks.
Another thing that happens is the value of drops become worthless if crafting is too good. Drops can also destroy the value of crafting... In Tera, I stopped buying any weapons as the relic drops that you used grinding made all the weapon drops and purchases just a waste.
I detested the crafting system that COX put in place. The one in EQ allows for housing add ons and to date that has always been my favorite and I have mastered at least one crafting skill (normally multiple or all) in: EQ2, WOW, UO, Tera, Aion, DOAC... I think that is all of them.

Maybe it's my lack of experience, but I liked the crafting/invention system in CoH. The market was cool being double-blind. The items were fun to gather and store. Building custom enhancements with secondary abilities was cool. And you could buy or sell the ingredients, the recipes themselves, or the finished product. The only real complaint I had was when items were so rare that they stayed at impossible prices forever. Wings were like that for a while (but it settled) and then purples. There were ways to farm purples, but it wasn't realistic for most people (required an investment of days of playtime or multiple accounts).

I've heard a few suggestions already that would improve on the model such as providing alternate routes to the same thing (being able to choose your reward for mission arcs and TFs, possibly having the ability to gather material from the environment and sell/craft those to build your finances, etc). I'm certainly not against expanding and improving our options, but I personally didn't have much complaint with the market the way it was.

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I liked the CoX system well

I liked the CoX system well enough, but there are some things about it that I find non-ideal. I don't know if or how it could be changed, but I think the fact the NPCs routinely gave you way too much for vendor trash items was a problem, and also, on the opposite side of that coin, the system, if you took away those vendors, would have totally lacked a quick way to offload large amounts of unwanted stuff. I mean, in the real world, there ought to be (and is) a way to buy or sell one apple when you want one without having to auction it off or haggle over prices. The small, common, every-day purchases don't really require that level of haggling, do they? So I like having a way to quickly dump large amounts of nearly worthless stuff and/or buy stuff I want that should be cheap in a cheap and easy fashion, without having to put in a bid for each and every copy of the thing I want. I like the convenience of that.

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The secretive nature of the

The secretive nature of the CoX bidding process is somewhat bad, I think. In GW2, there's a way to put items up for sale for an asking price and a way to place buy orders for the same objects for a bid price. All of those bids and puts are public, all you have to do is go to the entry for the item you want and it shows you the current offers, cheapest at the top of the list, and all of the current bids, highest at the top. You can sell your unwanted stuff to the current high bidder or place it for sale at a price of your choosing and hope that over time it will eventually sell to future buyers, you can buy from the current lowest price seller or place an order to buy lower and wait until someone is willing to sell for that. The fact that it's all public makes the process arrive at a stable equilibrium, or as stable as possible, pretty well, I think. I think there was probably greater price volatility in CoX than there is in GW2 right now, due tot he secret nature of the CoX system.

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Ideally speaking, markets

Ideally speaking, markets operate most "efficiently" in the presence of Perfect Information.

City of Heroes worked in an environment of decidedly IMPERFECT and therefore easily manipulated information. It didn't tell you (let alone rank for you) what the ACTUAL prices of things were. Instead, everything was a "guessing game" that made it a lot more of a hassle/chore to go to the market and it made both price gouging and market distortions/manipulations an end in themselves which were relatively simple to accomplish.

I am vastly more satisfied with the Auction House system used by World of Warcraft, which actually gives you Accurate Information to work with and then leaves it up to the Player to pick the best option (for them) from the available choices. It's harder (though not impossible) to manipulate a market where everything is shown and Players are given enough information to "shop around" for the best "deals" on whatever it is they're looking to buy/sell.


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