Bowen's Economy Analysis

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bowen Bloodgood, Jan 28, 2019.

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  1. Nevyn Waldail

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    I'm not following you at all, surely it would be easier to get into because gear would be cheaper in the first place?
     
  2. kaeshiva

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    Eveyone needs gear, sure, but the way our current system is designed, top end gear is never really 'necessary' and gear is only a small part of what 'players are able to make'.
    I don't think we'll ever have a sustainable economic system looking at gear alone - as Spungwa has said, there's a lot more going on that influences prices of materials that has nothing to do with "equippables".

    I'd argue that more consumables are needed within the gear-crafting trees (such as perhaps armor hardening kits, weapon sharpening kits, that sort of thing,) to provide a consumable market for crafters without trying to make gear "consumable." For the amount of effort takes in this game it is not reasonable to go down the "survival game route" of constant replacements. Not when they want to sell one-off use patterns, add a "weapon learning system", and require that making gear, good gear, takes easily dozens if not hundreds of hours of gathering, refining, and grinding cash to afford fuel to do so. This is beyond the XP grind / cash sink investment to level it and acquire recipes etc.

    It makes more sense for one's equipment to be at least semi-permanent, and have the consumption go into the maintenance of that gear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  3. Bowen Bloodgood

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    I'd like to point out two things here. Firstly, the proposed idea here gives the player a means to basically negate decay altogether via regular maintenance, and secondly a large portion of the ideas are meant to greatly reduce production costs.. thus greatly lowering the cost of gear.
     
  4. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Do you see a big need to address issues beyond consumables? I haven't personally seen much discussion regarding the high prices of furniture or general d├ęcor. Though I admit I didn't really take a good look at agriculture but I see that as more along the lines of harvesting raw resources and a lot (or all?) that is produced can be brought straight from NPCs..
     
  5. Black FjP

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    Someone already said this, my apologies ^^
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  6. Daxxe Diggler

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    @Bowen Bloodgood - Great analysis and I agree with most of what you said in those pages.

    However, I have realized a different "problem" with the economy that you did not cover at all...

    There is no centralized vendor/auction system so people simply don't know what an item should sell for! That, I believe is the most important factor in why the economy is not booming.

    This all stems from the "local economy" principle that Portalarium originally wanted for this game. The lack of a centralized vendor/auction system and the fact that there are thousands of individual vendors spread throughout NB, where people are making up their own pricing, leads to extremely wide cost ranges for all types of items. If you wander around from market town to market town, you will see people selling (or should I say attempting to sell) their goods at varying prices for the same items. For example, I see some of the "Ring" artifacts (those used to craft the Warlocks Chain) anywhere from 2000 gold to 20000 gold. I've even seen some of them for as low as 500-800 at times!

    The low prices are likely people who have just slowly lowered their prices over time because the items didn't sell. Either that, or they just farmed so many of them that they just want a quick sale. But those people who just lower their prices over time could be victims to the fact that nobody visited their vendor and not an issue with the price itself. Not knowing if their prices were fair or not, they just assumed it was too high because nobody bought them. But more than likely, they probably just didn't get any shoppers at their vendor for a while.

    Now, consider how in other games there is a centralized vendor/auction system and not individual - unconnected vendors. When all player sales are combined into one interface, you can view the current sales of similar items all throughout the game world. So, when you put something up for sale, you can either match the current lowest price, or undercut it slightly to make yours the most attractive. The "cost to create" factor should be considered so you don't lose money on your sale... and thus a base low-price can quickly be determined.

    Having a centralized system would force a competitive pricing value (based on supply/demand) and will also whittle down item costs to the fairest price possible (without losing profit). It would also give everyone a reference of what the item values are by what they are currently selling for.

    On a side note - the act of shopping right now is really hard for players. Having to run all over the world to visit each vendor... one at a time, waiting for their list to load, realizing they got nothing you want, moving to the next who may/may not have something you want... is very frustrating and time consuming for the buyers. If they could simply open up a vendor interface and search/sort all sales from all players from one spot... now you have people who will spend time shopping because they know they have a great chance of finding something they want without traversing all of Novia. So, a centralized vendor system would help both sellers and buyers connect.

    Another side note - This could work for buy orders as well! How much easier would it be to get crafting mats if everyone could see your buy orders from anywhere? If your price is fair, you will get your mats pretty quickly.

    We have the in-game mail system, so purchases/buy orders could be mailed when bought. Or, it could be setup where you got a mail telling you where to pickup your purchase. The first option would be most convenient and facilitate more sales IMO, but the latter option would force players to visit the vendor/town to get the item if that is desired. But at least they would have an easier way to find the purchase and fairest price with a centralized interface.

    Bowen, I will agree strongly with one issue you raised though. The RNG factor of crafting makes it extremely difficult to come up with a profitable price. If two people try to make the same type of sword, one person might get lucky enough for the RNG Gods to grant them the item after 6 attempts while it may take another person 10 attempts to get the same stat combinations. And, as you stated, skill level doesn't really matter much in reality. It's all random luck. Thankfully, they already plan to add Crafting Specialization where people will finally be able to choose the stats added to their weapons. So whenever that gets added it will help somewhat. Hopefully specialization will also help increase the % of exceptionals too.

    But even then, we will still have the problem of scattered player vendors where people will have to rely on their own value guesses to sell their items. Personally, I think this is a the biggest problem with our economy.
     
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  7. Spungwa

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    Lowering the production cost in a player run economy does not necessarily mean cheaper prices.

    Sell Value is what someone will pay for something, not what it cost to produce. There are many items in this game where their value is less than the production cost. So that is the less significant half of the equation.

    Even if, which to be honest it probably would, the production cost decrease makes the sell value less, increasing the demand means that value will increase too. So will it be cheapern? No way to know, that is dependent on other factors, mainly gold per hour farming rate of the players that want that gear. Which is nothing to do with crafting unless crafting is how they farm that gold.

    Regards
    Spung
     
  8. Vladamir Begemot

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    Actually what happens is what is known as the "Race to the Bottom". In your Rings example, every Ring would then have to be priced at the lowest price possible. 800 gold would soon be the high price. Every artifact would soon be priced 1 gold over the NPC buy price. Shortly after that the game economy is dead.
     
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  9. Daxxe Diggler

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    I disagree, as this type of system works well for many other games.

    If there is an established average sell price for things like artifacts (or any loot as opposed to crafted stuff) then people will see the current prices and maybe undercut it by a few gold. But nobody will sell it for well below value (like my 800g ring example) because they will have a reference to figure out a more reasonable asking price instead of guessing really low. But, if someone did do that anyway, it would quickly get bought up and either resold (at the price of all the others) or someone will have gotten a great deal on a ring they needed. But most of them won't go that low because they know what all the others are selling at.

    As for crafted items, very few people will go below material costs + some profit. Yea, there will be occasional people that are rich and just want a quick sale to recoup some funds on things they used to skill up crafting skills. But for the high end crafted items that took some investment to make (both in materials costs and skill experience) they will have a profitable market. This is because people can't afford to keep low balling below a certain cost-to-make point.

    I don't see this kind of system killing economies in other games. It actually facilitates more volumes of sales due to the ease of use factor.
     
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  10. Spungwa

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    While I agree this is what would happen at this point. It does not have to be the case, this is only because currently the supply hugely outweighs demand. Currently the supply is being limited by the visibility of the supply rather than the supply.

    If the demand was there then a centralised trading platform would work very well.


    Regards
    Spung
     
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  11. Vladamir Begemot

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    @Daxxe Diggler @Spungwa Sorry, I disagree with you both. I have a friend who was looking for the next game for their publisher to pick up a while back, and one of his first questions was "Is the market a race to the bottom yet?"

    The only reason it hasn't been is because of the spread out system of vendors. As soon as you list stuff in one global auction house then most things will quickly be priced at cost or NPC buy price +1g.
     
  12. Spungwa

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    Well that is assuming the game has NPC buy orders, I played Eve for 13 years, trading platform is regional but within 1-2 years was website crowd sourced for all regional data up to date with minutes that effectively made it global. The only stuff that was bought for that low was stuff that had no demand and therefore the demand was only for what it was worth to break it down in to it component cost.

    So are you saying that if you have a global search for ore sells then ore would drop to 6 GP per unit, I VERY much doubt that, the demand is too high compared to the supply. If the sell price goes to +1 GP above the NPC buy order then there is a player demand problem (which this games has) compared to the supply.


    Regards
    Spung
     
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  13. Daxxe Diggler

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    @Vladamir Begemot - For some items maybe, but like I said, not all crafted things will because people value their efforts for both acquiring the materials to make it and the experience points spent to be able to make it. Not everyone will do either or both of those things to craft the best stuff either. And if they do, they won't low ball it all the way down to NPC price +1g.

    Yea, low-end stuff will probably be a race to the bottom. I see your point how some things will end up as stagnant markets due to break even pricing and huge supplies (due to ease of making low end stuff).

    But, being able to... and making... the best stuff is where the profitable markets and sales will be. It will be a limited supply and a vastly larger demand (since it will be easy to find for everyone). It will take dedication to make a business, but that's the way it should be.

    The "casual" player who uses the market to make gold will likely have to rely on gathering and selling raw materials and not selling basic items that everyone else can make or get easily. Demand will be high for raw mats and those in need will creep the buy price up to out-buy others needing it. So the pendulum can swing both ways here.
     
  14. Vladamir Begemot

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    XP gain on crafting causes this. It doesn't cost XP, it gives XP, and so people will make 1000 tabletop catapults to level up.

    You can forget this too. Raw materials will be NPC price, not even +1. Just like agriculture, which has already raced to the bottom.

    Now, some people want everything to be free, so for them it will be a win until the economy disappears because there's no point in selling anything anymore. Casuals will be frustrated because they mine for an hour a week and get a grand total of 500 gold out of their time.

    Central marketplaces ruin game economies.
     
  15. kaeshiva

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    I dunno, I think the race to the bottom happens regardless of centralisation. We're already there on a lot of commodities that have no real value and prices reflect this. Ever see anyone selling cinnamon bark? etc.

    This is a demand problem, not a centralisation or lack thereof problem. A centralised market does let players quickly see the'going rate', and yes, competition will cause undercutting which leads to everything priced at a minimum viable cost. Resource prices fluctuate but not that much unless there's an underlying change to the game that messes with demand.

    At the moment, with the spread out system, its easy to get ripped off or scammed, its frustrating to know what's a fair price for anything, its tedious and time consuming to shop, and looking for something specific - well, you may as well go on discord or the forum. Any system that by design encourages you to TAB OUT OF THE GAME to do price research or find something you want, is a bad system imo. Sure, you occasionally find that underpriced treasure but that's really the only upside I see to not having at least a global search board.

    A fully integrated market would invigorate the economy, getting more people to participate and yes, establish lower baseline prices across the board for commodities. This is imo exactly what our market NEEDS to happen. No more price gouging, buying and relisting in another town etc. If you wanted to be a merchant, you could still play the market but there wouldn't be such large pendulum swings.

    If you think about it, our current system doesn't make a lot of sense, and its basically stepping 10 years backward. This is one of the main reasons why everyone is so bent no self sufficiency, the market system is a crap shoot. Cant find what you want when you want it = fundamental market problem. So, they simply divorce themselves from the economy as much as possible. I feel like almost every vendor I see is just a bunch of stuff thrown up there with a hope and a prayer that maybe someone will wander by and buy it. I know there are a handful of really dedicated merchant folks, but most people simply don't have that time and energy.

    I was talking to a player the other day who was completely baffled that the public vendor wasn't global. He said why else does it have a tax? Surely it lists globally...I'm like, nope...;). I know our system of merchants was originally designed around a regional market concept that never materialized. The player push to make shopping mall market towns is another indication that there's a desire for some sort of centralization and ease-of-acquisition of items. The game needs cash sinks - open a global advertising board that has a cost. That could be a happy medium perhaps.

    I like the idea of being able to search global, shop local - ie you must physically travel to wherever the things are, and maybe you see something cool on the way and pick it up. Going to house after house after house with non-indicative vendor names looking for something that probably isn't even there is not fun.
     
  16. Barugon

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    Unless you want to fight bosses and survive.
     
  17. kaeshiva

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    Nah. I've seen people do it with far less than top end gear. And I HAVE top end gear, and can't do it, at least not effectively.
    Skill/build/deck is a lot more relevant, as is your ability to effective dodge/jump/buttonmash, having perfect gear or even super gear is by no means necessary, and having perfect gear is by no means an easy mode, either. I think the number 1 factor is connection speed/latency, if I'm honest, lol. And reaction time.
     
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  18. majoria70

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    I don't think most people are trying to low ball though. As in Wizards Rest we have 22 vendors and not all of us checks the market. Mostly I'd say we just guess a reasonable price. I am not sure how it should go. If you look at Black Desert Online there is a set price for every item in the game to be sold for with No fluctuation.

    Then there was Ultima Online with no rules or very few of them if any. The thing that won out for me in making this a fun system was the tools we got to have to be competitive like selling colored named bags of goods such as equipment sets, colored clothing sets, furniture sets etc, but we cannot sell bags of goods which of course is a mistake still imo. So the choices are there do we want a system that forces prices to be all the same or do we want more competitive hap-hazard ways to do this.

    As mentioned we don't have a regional market and we are not likely to get one any time soon, if ever. To take advantage and ask for tools that will improve our system is what is important imo. No matter what choice gets discussed I still want the competitive aspect with tools to have unusual or different items on your vendor such as sets included in a bag. I want to make song sets like 8 parts of dream a little dream or 5 parts of somebody to love all in one bag, clothing of same color sets, instrument sets, furniture sets, and equipment sets like all meteoric items or whatever type. @darkstar. Please, please please we need competitive tools like tradeable bags of goods. We could hover the mouse over the bag to see what is in it. My music system would be so much easier. Right now I have to put the bags of songs in a cache chest for others to take and put back since I cannot trade a bag of songs with them.
     
  19. Vladamir Begemot

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    It's on an NPC in Owl's Head now, 10g.

    Re: Race to the bottom, when Port was shopping for a publisher I mentioned it to a friend who was in charge of finding games for his company to publish. His first question was "Is the economy a race to the bottom yet?"

    I am convinced that a single global listing house will be the end of any sort of interesting economy. Not to mention most of the market towns will cease to exist.

    Maybe that's a good thing for some, after all you'll see cinnamon bark at 9g then. But I'd be instantly bored and gone (being a merchant). I enjoyed the auction house in WoW for a bit, and then that was enough of that.
     
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  20. Vladamir Begemot

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    When it's all in one spot, all you can do to compete is lower your price by one gold. Then the other guy does it. Then you do it. Then the other guy does it. Then you're all selling for the lowest possible price. Then people go away because what's the point of selling materials for 5g when it takes so much time to get them?
     
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