A message to COTO Exchange Managers and our Customers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by that_shawn_guy, May 13, 2019.

  1. that_shawn_guy

    that_shawn_guy Avatar

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    As some of you may know, I run the Phil's COTO Exchange network. I start doing this as a way to help combat the "pay to win" naysayer. If the premium currency can be bought and sold for normal currency at a fair market rate, then no cash is required to excel in SoTA and the argument is moot. While this has been a profitable endeavor, I have tried to keep my prices as fair as possible by letting the supply (those people selling to me) dictate the base value. Though, that has not been easy. At times, I've tried to calm the market by keeping my sell prices lower during wild market shifts. Rarely to any success. But, I tried. I feel, a health, market driven economy is important to the success of any multiplayer game and it is worth my time to participate in that economy here.

    Of course, Phil's have not been the only exchanges available. There are, and have been, a number of other's that run fair and equitable exchanges and the competition has been very satisfying to participate in and observe. However, there has been a recent trend I've seen that is the crux of this post.

    Over the last few weeks, I have seen a number of "Exchanges" who's business model appears to rest primarily on using cheaply purchased gold to completely empty out other exchanges, to then resell those same COTOs and double or triple the original profit margin. While I am a proponent of a fair and open markets, and the basic idea that the value of a good is set by the price a market will bear, I do not see this as an equitable practice. In the case of Phil's vendors being emptied out a number of times, of course, has been profitable for me. However, if the real market value for COTOs is so much higher, then my supplier customers are not getting a fair shake. I am, in effect, ripping them off because the real market value is higher. Additionally, any buying customers are finding only empty vendors as 1 or 2 large customers empty them out. Sometimes, within minutes of me updating them. An argument could be made that everyone is profiting in this chain. So, no need to worry. While perhaps true, it does not appear to be sustainable since those driving the prices up are not directly participating in the supply market. Because the supplier customers cannot sell directly to these other exchanges, they cannot see the real market price for their COTOs. Likewise, because the buyers cannot buy from the empty vendors, they can not see the real market price for COTOs. By blinding both sides, this can lead to easier manipulation of the perceived market value. This is my concern.


    So, this brings us to my message for the COTO Exchange Managers. Please, directly participate in both sides of the market. Refrain from buy from or selling to other exchanges. We can easily put up our own buy and sell orders at whatever price we want. Let us commit to letting the customers decide who they deal with and what price for both sides of the market.

    My message to COTO Exchange customers is simple. Buy and sell to the vendors with the best value. You are the market. You set the value.
     
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  2. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    In the past I had suggested the ability to ban players from using one's vendor. I was getting frustrated with selling reasonably-priced goods only have them scooped up and relisted with price doubled, a few lots down. Maybe we could also have a "max per customer" setting too.

    Just more functions to finish the last 20% of vendor development.
     
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  3. that_shawn_guy

    that_shawn_guy Avatar

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    You can ban them from the lot which bans them from using the vendors. Of course, it only takes a few moments to create an alt. So it does little more then send a message.
     
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  4. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    The underlying issue is that gold prices is falling rapidly currently and has been for a while.

    Where the crown price hasn’t followed at the same rate creating that opportunity.
     
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  5. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

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    So that's why the Vendor in the BA was so curiously empty the last couple of days/weeks.
    I was worried already. Well, it's not like i am worrying less now ^^
     
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  6. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Yea I was trying to run a new arrival shop in Soltown but had to mostly give it up since I couldn’t keep low prices.

    Now I just price the stuff higher than I want but at a point where it isn’t picked up wholesale be the guild that shan’t be mentioned.
     
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  7. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    Then we can have an option for minimum play time. People aren't going to want to sink hours into disposable characters over and over.

    Or have a membership system, where you have to apply. Highly valuable stuff could be sequestered behind this. Can even extend to a network of vendors (like a vendor guild) so that if someone breaks the rules in one, they're banned from them all.

    If they were going to make this F2P, it should have been accompanied with a plan to mitigate the economic consequences. Ultimately, these people can only be slowed down, but such is life. And as long as there's a profit motive behind it, coming to the forums to politely ask them to please stop, is going to have minimal effectiveness.

    But I suppose that gets into the classic arguments between free markets and regulated markets.
     
  8. rebbieforever

    rebbieforever Avatar

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    Some games do that as you cant trade till you have reached an amount of actual play time. But then again, if we talk for big profits someone can be playing the main and afking an alt on a second pc and just moving the mouse a tiny bit every 20 mins or so. Another similar thing would be what you buy to become untradable for 7 RL days. Even that is hard to solve it though and I mean it is a quite hard to solve problem which i seen in many games, especially sandboxes like SotA cause if the profit is high enough they will undergo through and wait through all these artificial barriers
     
  9. Fenrus MacRath

    Fenrus MacRath Avatar

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    Your are correct, but a market HAS to be free, or else it collapses in on itself. I think this is more a symptom of the bigger problems this game is seeing. A dwindling player base means less buyers. This forces sellers to lower prices to continue to operate. Then others will try to make a middle off of the lowered prices and if you regulate that, you risk breaking the whole economy permanently and driving away more players. An ecconomy is like a moth's wings. Once you touch them, they never fly again.
     
  10. Spungwa

    Spungwa Avatar

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    Weird, people worrying about gouging. In past they have worried about "race to the bottom".

    It's a player market, market forces will regulate it.

    Gouging only works if the customer will pay that price. So that is just a market adjustment to the real value of the item. There is next to nothing that essential in this game. So if price goes too high people will stop buying.

    Race to bottom is a concern, but again just illustrates an over supply of the item compared to demand. So that is the real value, just been artificially kept higher by hiding supply.

    Note more to do with the original post, I buy quite a lot of COTOs off Shawn, but don't resell them.


    Regards
    Spung
     
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  11. tyorl999

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    I guess the gold-per-crown price still follow the gold-per-dollar price mostly.
    The price was long time 6k igg per coto, or 10 usd per 100k igg.
    now its about 12k igg per coto or 5 USD per 100k igg (I ignore the "00" for the cotos right now) ... so still approxily the same.

    The biggest reason / problem is, that its easy to create IGG. buy Cotos with IGG ... buy / upgrade anything with cotos...
    so many Cotos are leaving the game, but less player want invest real money to buy cotos at the shop.

    Its at my side the same:
    I have two benefactor chars with the reward program, so I invest each month 18 USD in the game, if I need more cotos to upgrade a.e. my Deeds I spend kk igg in buying cotos and save them till I can upgrade teh next deed.

    I guess there are many players with the same intention and only a few players which are trying to make profit by buiyng/selling cotos at ingame vendors
     
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  12. kaeshiva

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    We've seen this sort of behavior with other commodities, not just COTOs, since day 1. People empty out a vendor and go list the same stuff elsewhere for an inflated price. (Scrolls, food, recipes, consumables..even gear). The result is that the original player has to either inflate their prices to the point where they feel like they're ripping customers off, or simply deal with the reseller getting a cut. Personally, for most things, I've been happy to let the reseller, who wants to spend their time doing the "buy low sell high" thing traveling around checking hundreds of vendors -have their due. But where do you draw the line if someone is wiping out your coto vendor every single day? At what point does it become abuse?

    I personally would hate to see the coto exchange 'dry up' due to this sort of behavior. We had a vendor full of "really cheap leftover/not quite right" gear pieces we were selling for peanuts for new guild members, and quite often you'd see 1 person come and buy everything off it for relisting elsewhere. The net result of this behavior was, guess what, we don't have a vendor anymore - except for one that's locked behind a permission'd door in the guild hall. Maybe that's the answer? Private coto vendors in basements for those who know the password of the day...;) Secret midnight coto deals. While kinda exhilarating, I think its a shame if that sort of thing became necessary.
     
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  13. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

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    Well, the point is, there is no abuse.
    The stuff (no matter what it is) was put up for sale for a price x. The person that bought it decided it was worth the price x. He/She paid x, got the stuff and that's the end of the story.
    He/She is free to do with the stuff whatever he/she wants *shrugs*.
    I of course see the potential long term issue here, sure. But I can't come up with a solution from Ports side.
    I can up with a lot of solutions from the player side though.
     
  14. Elwyn

    Elwyn Avatar

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    It's all fun and games until someone decides it's worth price x*1.5 if he buys them all up and sells them slowly. If there were enough cotos around, this wouldn't work. Until enough people change their behavior such that they are buying more new cotos, this will likely still be a problem. I think part of this is the result of moving the web store into the (very well implemented!) in-game store. The player base in general still hasn't become comfortable with the extra step of buying cotos, and possibly buying more than you need to get a good rate.

    But a glut of IGG is certainly a not insignificant factor. Maybe we need some kind of new new gold sinks. Something that costs a lot of IGG and doesn't really compete with coto stuff.
     
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  15. CICI

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    :rolleyes: COTO's/Ore/Wood Etc. trading to the highest sell orders is fun an make a lil Gold for the delivery service!!! (Thank You for the vendor ban Phil)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  16. Lars vonDrachental

    Lars vonDrachental Avatar

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    Well I guess there are some ideas possible but I guess the most intuitive would be that the shop of the vendor is simply displaying the items he is selling. If the vendor is selling wood there should to be a large pile of wood next to him to display that…selling tamed animals and there should be animals next to the vendor…This way you could simply pass by the local vendors and take a look at the offers without the need to interact as you can see the offers from afar just like you do in RL. ;)

    One solution could be that you have the possibility to attach two presentation tables to the vendor...one table for sale- and one for buy-orders. Once connected the vendor is automatically sharing his offers with these tables. The more goods the vendor sell/buy the larger is the visible pile of items on these tables.
    Another solution could be that you can “rent” the lot/rooms to your own vendor(s) and at empty shelf space he is placing a visible version of the items he is selling/buying.
    And a third version would be that the items of vendors are not stored nowhere. Instead you have to place the item on the lot, do a right click on them and choose “sell” to create a sell-order at the local vendor...maybe once done the visible items could even have tags to let you know at what price the items are offered.

    To make that possible we would "just" need graphics for all items ingame...but as far as I remember this is already the plan...and some adjustments/mechanics but I guess in the end not more work than creating a global auction house.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  17. Mac2

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    While I have mad respect for shawn and give him a few more points in my book for this post, It did make me feel bad as this is what I have done with recipes. If anyone asked me not to do that on their vendors, I would respect their decision and comply. I know my prices are higher then others, but I have most of the recipes on my vendors and it has taken much time and risk on this investment as well. Since we are discussing this here, I THINK my prices are fair but I might be very bias to my own decision. If anyone is willing I will listen to your perspectives to see how others feel about what I do.
     
  18. rebbieforever

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    It feels weird to see a topic about COTO exchange mass buyers problems turn to a topic argueing(not always politely even) about who likes or dislikes a potential vendor search (which I dont think it was even mentioned as a thought by the devs)

    And yes we all got various opinions, we should respect each other even if we dont fully agree. Besides you all like the game and want it thrive even you dont share 100% the same vision.
     
  19. that_shawn_guy

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    What an interesting set of discussions this post had triggered. :)

    Thanks everyone for the many responses. Some very good points were made and they gave me a lot to consider.

    I do want to clarify one point. I personally have no issue with "retail arbitration". The concept of buying from vendor at low price to then put it on another vendor at a higher price is a vital part of any economy. Given how MMOs work, the importance is only amplified.

    Because the supply/demand model is so exposed, I do view COTO/resource exchanges as special cases. Of course, I'm no economist and don't really know what I'm on about. :)
     
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  20. Rekih

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    What??? he banned you? :( sorry about that, it sounds bad.