Global Item Search

Discussion in 'Wishlist Requests' started by Templarius, Feb 18, 2021.

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  1. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Maybe so. Some dev's are a bit camera shy. Exposing themselves to the community can definitely add to stress levels when people start PM'ing you with special requests etc. Sometimes you just get more done keeping quiet and your nose to the grindstone. He does read the forums though, and has for years. He's got a very good idea of common complaints etc. about certain game systems. The new CS person and programmer, if they ever choose to reveal themselves, it will be entirely up to them. I forward stuff to team members VERY constantly even if I don't mention it in your threads, so please do take some comfort in knowing constructive and insightful comments do get read by the quieter team members as well :)
     
  2. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    Fair enough. And as an avid player, it probably would make him more a target for that sort of (ab)use. Though, I was mostly just curious as we've seen most of the devs at least once or twice on a stream at some point, and Chris was being so mysterious about his identity.
     
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  3. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Makes complete sense, Elgarion .
    Plus, since he does play SotA, knowing who he is ingame would probably make his gameplay a nightmare of requests, etc.
    I'm just glad we have him...... :)
     
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  4. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    @Lazarus Long had some good discussion about this vendor search thread on NBNN News today.
    There's also some good discussion in the Twitch chat comments.

    I don't necessarily agree with everything from Laz's perspective, but he does a good job debating his point of view. :)

    - About 00:34:25 - start of playing BMC video clip
    - About 00:42:15 - start of discussion

    Season 6 LIVE! Lunch With Laz & Jack.
    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/944251902

    ----------
     
  5. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    From my perspective, I think making prices hard to find does not help sellers in the long run. Obsuring prices just make the prices react more slowly to changes in supply and demand, leaving many sellers with outdated prices. When prices are easier to find, the prices will adjust more quickly to changes in supply and demand. Either way, prices will eventually reach the same point once players gather enough pricing information.

    The actual market price of an item is always determined by how much of the item is available, and how much players want the item. If the price of an item is bottoming out, it is up to the developers to adjust the drop rate, or add more uses for the item to make it more desirable.

    So transparent prices do not cause a "race to the bottom". Transparent prices just make it easier for players to discover pricing information. This leads to quicker price changes. With transparent pricing, prices may drop quickly if players can farm a large quantity of an item and dump it on the market. But prices may also spike up quickly if the item's drop rate is reduced, or if new uses for the item are added to the game.

    However, transparent prices do make the market more efficient, because they make it easier to determine what the most profitable activities are. If supply and demand for an item are static, prices will tend towards a certain level. The easier it is to determine pricing, the quicker prices will trend towards that level and become more uniform. So transparent pricing does make it harder for sellers to make profits above the market price level.

    Price decreases when supply of an item increases relative to demand, and when demand for an item decreases relative to supply. Price increases when supply of an item decreases relative to demand, and when demand for an item increases relative to supply. The speed at which these changes happen is determined by how quickly players can figure out the actual supply and demand for an item. Easily discoverable prices help players figure out the supply and demand situation for an item more quickly.
     
  6. ErikRulez

    ErikRulez Avatar

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    What ever you do please at least have a global vendor search that will tell me which towns have a particular item for sale and then maybe how many are for sale in that town. After that if there is an "in-town" search to tell me which specific vendors have the item that would help immensely I'm fine with that even if I have to run to every vendor in a town to check prices because I'll have eliminated all the vendors that don't have the item I'm looking for which is a huge waste of time right now. I'll eventually find some favorites to frequent as one does and also probably visit a bunch of towns I've never been to before because I don't have the time or inclination to wander the map window shopping *shudders*.

    Buy order search would be nice too for those that don't want to maintain a vendor...
     
  7. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    I think a Global Vendor Search (especially with prices) has a few downsides, and a Regional Vendor Search has pretty much all the same benefits as a Global Vendor Search, without the downsides.

    One Issue with any Global Vendor Search:

    With a Global Search (with or without prices), items listed in Mistrendur would be a problem, because players without access to Episode 2 content would be able to see the item listings, but would not be able to get to Mistrendur to make any purchases there.

    With a Regional Search, Mistrendur would be it's own region, so only players with Episode 2 access would be able to get to the Regional Crier in Mistrendur to search the items in that region.

    One Issue with "Global Vendor Search with Prices" (GVSwP):

    GVSwP takes all the gameplay opportunities out of the shopping experience. If all items for sale in the game are listed in one interface, then there is no opportunity for players to run around in the game world comparing prices.

    With a "Regional Vendor Search with Prices" (RVSwP), players who just want to find and buy an item quickly could still usually get what they need just by searching the nearest Regional Crier. For rare items, players may have to search a few regions, but searching a few regions would not be that difficult, and would add a bit of gameplay to the experience. And players who want to have some fun shopping around would still have the option to run around visiting all the Regional Criers to compare prices.

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  8. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Sounds like an "incentive" to upgrade, more than a "downside" !
    The team could use the extra cash..... :)


    I believe you've overestimated the value placed on "gameplay opportunities" for the biggest majority of players.
    Price your goods at whatever "market value" is (or slightly less) and you'll have WAY more "gameplay opportunities" than you will have with Regional Crier. What do we have, like 12 "regions", which gives us the boredom of loading 12 scenes, finding the Crier, finding the town, finding the vendor there - etc.

    Let everyone know what you have for sale, list at market price and you'll do just fine ! :)
     
  9. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    Well assuming players want to watch and track prices. Everyone has access to owning a vendor in this game but it doesn't mean that is all players with vendors want to spend a lot of time on having a vendor. Some may just put the items for sale here and there and try to be fair at best.

    I understand detailing it for the marketeer players but really not everyone is that. I'm not sure if that point makes sense but does it have to be so strictly managed. I've had the same price for songs on my vendor since Lord Baldrith added his songs and I plan on keeping that price but do other song vendor have that price well I don't know or care to compare.

    In my opinion and I have always felt it shouldn't be all about pricing but the creative side of it, the convenient side of it, and the services offered. Can we create the interesting bags of goods for sale? NO!!!! What can we offer that interests our customers? We don't have all the tools in so many things we need, well imo.

    So just another take on this because it's easy to focus on one aspect when there's a whole world of them. As my quote says below. @Elgarion please add the ability to sell bags of interesting goods on our vendors to help create some tools to give uniqueness and competiveness to our for selling. We have asked for years.
     
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  10. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    And if players DONT want to run around the gameworld, burning up scrolls and sitting through a dozen loadscreens checking region after region, then well....too bad?

    I think the point you're missing really is that a global search with prices is for people to quickly find something when they are looking for a particular item. There's plenty of opportunity to 'shop' and 'browse' and explore and whatnot if you just feel like shopping but don't have a particular thing in mind. I'd venture that probably 90% of all the stuff I've bought off random vendors wasn't cause I was looking for it, but because I was looking for something else or just having a nosy, or because their storefront was well done, or their vendor was cleverly named. But if I am looking for a particular pattern, or something that you don't see listed on vendor after vendor, I do not want to have to search half the world for it.

    The global search offers opportunities for people to list commonly sought goods as a draw in to their vendor or town to perhaps attract foot traffic/window shoppers. Price fairly, be on top of list, get visibility. Coming to buy some garlic? Maybe you'll click the "rummage sale" vendor next to it while you're stood there. Not much chance anyone would see it otherwise. Honestly I think it will improve exposure rather than detract from it.


    As for "catering to everyone's interest" - just because there is a search function, if someone truly likes just shopping around, nothing's forcing them to USE said search function. If its truly about satisfying the most number of different playstyles and preferences, then having the tool available for those who want it is needed. I don't see a lot of objection from people who "like to shop" - they can still shop - I just see objections from people who want to price-manipulate or people who just have a general dislike of auction house systems because of how it worked in some other game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  11. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    Thanks everyone for the responses! There's lots for me to think about here. :) Hopefully the devs are reading and thinking about these discussions as well. :)
     
  12. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    I completely agree that limiting Vendor Search to Towns only would put non-market towns at a big disadvantage. If Vendor Search is only Town-Based, most players will just do their shopping in a few big market towns, and never search all the other towns.

    However, I think a Regional Vendor Search would do a good job of encouraging players to shop all the towns, without the downsides of a Global Vendor Search.

    I agree with you here as well. Adding fun features like item bundles would help us design custom tailored experiences, and provide unique and special services for customers shopping at our vendors. If a merchant can provide custom services, then they don't really have to compete on price.
     
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  13. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    Letting players view sale listings that they cannot access could cause a lot of confusion and complaints from new players trying out the game. The incentive to upgrade could be accomplished better by adding a message to other Regional Criers informing players of the additional region they could shop in with Episode 2 access.
     
  14. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    In my opinion, since SotA is trying to simulate a world with a wide range of people who have diverse interests, it should try to provide fun gameplay for players with a wide range of interests and playstyles.

    With a GVSwP, the shopping experience is always:
    - Access the vendor search interface.
    - Search to find the item you are looking for at the lowest price.
    - Go buy the item from the vendor selling it at the lowest price.

    RVSwP adds another gameplay element:
    - If after searching one region you don't find the item you are looking for, or you think there is a possibility of finding the item at a cheaper price elsewhere, go to another region and repeat the search.

    Note that this second gameplay element would be mostly optional. Most items are so common that they would be easy to find in any region. The main reason to search multiple regions would be if you want to have some fun shopping around to compare prices. Again, note that searching multiple regions would be mostly optional, since prices should usually be fairly close between regions. And in the rare instances where an item is so rare that players would have to search multiple regions to find it, then I think players should have to put in some effort and endure a little inconvenience to find such a rare item.

    GVSwP would completely remove the optional second gameplay element. In places where the vendor search system design has tradeoffs between convenience and gameplay, I think the design should lean more towards gameplay. So RVSwP is better in my opinion, because it keeps the optional second gameplay element.

    ---

    Here's another benefit of a Regional Vendor Search: It retains the option to add regional resources in future updates, and thus steer the game towards the Regional Economy that was promised long ago.

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  15. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    So after listening to Laz and Jack debate on NBNN News the past few days, reading through the comments here, and thinking about it further, I've almost talked myself into preferring a vendor search system without prices. Main reason being that a search without prices would provide a lot more gameplay opportunities. For instance, there would be many more opportunities for players to fulfill the roll of traveling trader merchant.

    But one downside of a vendor search without prices is that it could be a lot more difficult for players to determine the fair market price of items. However, if players could discover fair market prices through gameplay without too much difficulty, then it could be a lot more fun than if the prices were just provided through the vendor search directly.

    Once player vendors get UI improvements to "Buy and Sell Partial Stacks" and "Change Prices without having to Remove and Relist Items", it could be rather simple for players to set up local player run systems to easily determine fair market prices for common items.

    For instance, someone could set up a vendor dedicated to Garlic, and grant vendor access to anyone who wants to buy or sell Garlic on the vendor. Players who want to sell Garlic could list their Garlic for sale on the vendor, or fulfill Garlic purchase orders from other players. Players who want to buy Garlic could buy from the sale listings, or place purchase orders on the vendor. Then anyone who wants to determine the fair market price for Garlic could look at the lowest offered sale prices and the highest offered purchase order prices to easily determine the fair market price range for Garlic.

    A group of these vendors buying and selling common items could be set up to create a commodities exchange. Players would then have a local system where they could check prices on common items, and buy and sell at fair market value. And any POTs with a well run commodities exchange would draw a lot of traffic from shoppers.
     
  16. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    omg...
    I'll do this tomorrow
     
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  17. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    I disagree - splitting the "market" into regional subsections each requiring separate travel and search isn't "optional" if you're trying to find the best price. Like with market towns, you'll quickly figure out which region has the hot spot and then ignore everywhere else meaning the visibility benefits offered by having a search system at all are completely nullified by folks who don't live in the same region as whoever the heavy market hitters are. Thus removing a lot of the purpose of implementing this to begin with. In a lot of ways, I think its worse than global, in that its highly selective and discriminatory based on what region you happen to 'live' in, and players will be forced to sacrifice other benefits of where they live or choose to place their Pots in order just to obtain market visibility. As its a half measure at best, I just don't see the point.

    I also don't think global search eliminates "shopping" - it allows you to look for a specific thing, as I said in my previous post, window shopping would still be a 'thing' esp. for well presented shops/clever vendor names - it could even benefit from the draw by listing popular commodities globally for additional exposure.
     
  18. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    Of note and somewhat related, I wonder *why* people still purchase garlic and nightshade from NPC's?

    Currently, in the last 90 days people have bough from NPC's:
    678K Garlic
    184K Nightshade
     
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  19. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    I love how we have the same conversations over and over and OVER, here at the forums. Reminds me of the fact that I haven't missed much, lol. ;)

    Seriously though, implement global vendor search, already. It's ridiculous how long it takes to look for a certain item. If crafters don't want prices listed, fine, but stop forcing me to waste time searching all over Novia for one dang thing!
     
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  20. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    Is it crafters, though? I mean, I don't see why anyone WOULDN'T want pricing information, except for the obvious reason of not wanting people to see that they are being ripped off lol. Why else hide it? I'm not trying to flippant, but seriously - price obfuscation isn't going to help the people who are listing at fair rates, and it isn't going to help the people who are listing things at lower prices to try and move em quicker - it only really benefits people who are trying to charge a premium and make it difficult for the customer to educate themselves on the going rates of things. Unless I'm missing some other scenario here. If anything, I'd say price transparency is the main reason to implement searchability. Then if you looted something and have no clue what its worth, you can just do a quick check, and price according to how long you're willing to let the item sit there. At the very least, priced BUY orders for this purpose!

    I'm just looking at it from the perspective of, I run a search, it returns 100 people selling this item, so I pick one, and it costs, say, 100 gold. Fair? Unfair? High? Low? I'll check another. ooh, 80 gold here. Is that reasonable? Next one. 120. Next. And as I go down the list I'm doing the exact same thing I was doing before, travelling around the whole world sitting through load screen after load screen, lagging through half-loaded deco, opening vendor after slow-loading vendor and squinting through lists of random crap to find the item I want, and seeing what the price is. I mean is it better than now? Sure. But its like saying the solution to a leaky roof is to get a bucket, rather than to just fix the roof.

    Of course, I'm coming from the perspective that we want to encourage commerce, trade, connect sellers with goods to buyers who want them, and reduce the rampant self sufficiency that is imposed, at least partially, by a market system that is not fit for purpose. That we want new players to get fair value for their wares, and want an equal opportunity market discouraging scamming, ripoff-ing, and other nefarious behaviors. If that's not the goal then well....I give up lol.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021