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What should NPC's sell?

Discussion in 'Release 21 Feedback' started by Poor game design, Sep 3, 2015.

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  1. Poor game design

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    Because I realize that the developers are using NPC's as a way to guide the economy, I know that NPC's have to be used to sell SOMETHING. However, I think if NPC's sell things as they do now, it will greatly hurt the player's ability to use supply and demand to form a vibrant and stable economy.

    Arrows are a perfect example. Currently in Owl's head, an arrow costs 2 gold. For a player to make an arrow it costs significantly more than that. So if this continues at launch, no player will EVER make an arrow and sell it for a profit unless they find the dumbest or kindest person in New Britannia. Yes, you can make 100 arrows using what NPC's will buy for 100 gold. This may make a profit, but a small one for the amount of work you have to put into it. Plus the profit is completely artificial because no player is going to pay more than 2 gold (which is what the NPC's sell it for). So there's zero room for players to buy and sell arrows from each other.

    So the only thing the devs can do is allow you to make even more arrows (let's say 1000). So now you can just make arrows that no one needs and make a huge profit.

    That is why I believe that at launch, no NPC should ever sell anything that they haven't first purchased from a player. This would allow the NPC's to set the resale price, and if they are getting too much of something they would just stop buying it altogether.

    This is a radical concept, and it means that if players are not making something, then NPC's will not be reselling something. HOWEVER, it also means that supply and demand would help set prices and it would be a lot easier for the developers to control pricing by adjusting what the NPC will resell something for.

    I HOPE this is what the developers are planning to do. Because the thought of NPC's having an inventory of stuff (even if it's very basic stuff) that they can use to undercut players from day one, is a bad BAD idea, imo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  2. Poor game design

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    @Chris @DarkStarr

    To test my theory, I think the Devs should have NPC's in R22 or R23 (whenever possible) stop selling arrows completely!

    I think they should then wait to see what the price for arrows is in the player economy. Because the players will GLADLY make them for themselves and to sell to other players that will buy them. Then allow the NPC's to buy arrows for a greatly reduced price and watch how that impacts the buying and selling of arrows. This would be GREAT practice for the real economy!
     
  3. redfish

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    If it costs more to produce arrows than it costs to buy from an NPC then its a problem with the production prices, not NPCs selling stuff.
     
  4. KuBaTRiZeS

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    I'm sorry but the whole premise about arrows is wrong. You can craft a hundred arrows with an ingot (50gp? 60gp? less if we take scraps in consideration), a board (2gp?) and 10 feathers (40gp), so you're getting profit. In fact i stopped buying them and crafting my own as soon as i learned the recipe gives you 100 arrows. In fact, lots of players are selling arrows for 1 GP.

    I think that NPC's selling basic goods it's just a way of putting a ceiling to prices. Maybe there is some stuff which its producing cost is far superior to its selling (maybe repair kits? but they're currently broken so...), but that's a problem that should be solved by tweaking the recipes.
     
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  5. Kara Brae

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    At least at the beginning NPCs should continue to sell things, but at a price higher than it costs to craft the items. I wouldn't like to be an archer out of arrows far away from home, when all the player vendors or public vendors I can find in the area are selling Row houses or pet whistles, only to discover that there are no NPC vendors selling arrows either. Eventually, enough players will specialize in crafting goods to sell in every region, and the best suppliers and the best public vendors will become well-known. When that happens, the NPC vendors can stop selling the stuff, not before.
     
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  6. Poor game design

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    I've never seen anyone sell arrows at a vendor, have you?

    Look, any marginal profit you're getting is not based on supply and demand, that's problem number 1.

    Problem number 2 is that NPC's are already selling arrows at the lowest cost possible, 2 gold per. So to sell them any cheaper we'd have to do 2 arrows per 2 gold, etc...

    Meanwhile, players are getting 100 arrows making roughly a 40 gold profit FROM NPC's and not players. No player is buying arrows from other players because they're so cheap from NPC's. 200 gold for 200 100 arrows is not much of a difference from whatever a player would sell it for - which is why we don't see them on vendors.
     
  7. ottomaddux

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    I do believe that a year ago i was reading threads explaining the workings of the economy, and that this was the intention. That crafters were actually taking money out of the economy, because the stuff they made was worth less than the sum of their parts. the idea being that you couldn't craft something in bulk, and then turn and sell it to an npc and make a profit. You would have to find something that another player was willing to pay for to make a profit. I didn't necessarily agree with their ideas, but they do make sense, they don't want an unlimited source of income, for example crafting arrows, to throw the whole economy out of whack. If you can make a million gold from crafting arrows, and that gold comes from thin air, an npc's bottomless pocket, then gold becomes meaningless and inflation runs rampant. That said, you will notice that npc vendors sell plate armor, but they don't sell plate of greater defense, only crafter's vendors do.
     
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  8. KuBaTRiZeS

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    I haven't seen them, because i don't need them (i craft my own arrows) but they sure promote their services in the forum. For example...
    and people using their services as well
    Having a ceiling on certain items, that's true. Arrows will never cost 5gp (thank god).

    That's not true, regarding the simple and rough math i did before arrows can be sold for 1,5 GP easily. I'd say they could go as low as 0.7 GP per arrow.

    Double falsehood. Players are buying arrows from other players, and 2 gold per arrow is not cheap when you need between 20 to 30 arrows to kill a mob. If i can kill a mob of my level using 5 arrows maybe i'd agree... but sorry, arrows are not cheap.
     
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  9. Poor game design

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    That's a great point. You're right, part of the reason they have NPC's is to act as a gold sink.

    That doesn't have to stop happening though. If they sell things that players make, they'll be even more of a gold sink because the prices will be much higher and based no supply and demand.
     
  10. Poor game design

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    We don't have a .7 Gold Piece.

    I just went to the Owl's Head vendor and someone is selling 2000 arrows for 2500 gold. That's 1.25 an arrow. Because the NPC's sell for 2 gold an arrow. What a lucrative business.

    So how much did it cost this guy to make 2000 arrows? About 60 gp per 100? So maybe he's making 1200 gold? Is that worth it? I would say that we'll never know because the NPC's are artificially limited to a cap based on nothing. I think the system will run more efficiently if the NPC's don't just magically sell arrows.

    They're as cheap as they can be. Again, we don't have a .00040483034 gold piece. So the NPC is limited in selling using a 1 gold piece scale. Yes, of course the NPC could sell 5000 arrows for 1 gold piece, but that's not our problem is it? Our problem is that the NPC isn't basing buying or selling arrows at a price that makes any sense. The NPC is only there to give cheap arrows to players that are not interested in making their own or finding a player to do it for them.
     
  11. KuBaTRiZeS

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    Sorry @Baron Drocis Fondorlatos but i can't keep your train of thought because you keep bringing up things that are subjective or simply not true. There are people selling arrows so they must think it's lucrative, we can sell stuff in stacks so the effective price per unit can be measured in fractions of gold, and i'm deeeply sorry, but 2 gold per arrow is not cheap. Maybe is not expensive either, but it's just not cheap. Just ask all the archers around and they'll tell you how economically hard is to start as an archer, and how scanty their income is because they spend the money they gain for selling stuff into arrows. And you need an awful lot of arrows to level up, believe me. Or if you're looking for numbers look at the numbers Kvow is making.

    Vendors selling stuff, putting "limits" to the prices is a nice thing because they make us play into an economy with enclosed prices; I'll never buy an arrow for more than 2 gold because i can buy them at the NPC, and i'll never sell Maple wood for less than 5 gold because that's what a vendor gives me. By placing limits on the economy via vendor trading you're avoiding people buying all the arrows and generating monopoly, or the situation that Kara considered above. Besides, most NPC's are crafters as well, why shouldn't they put out their own products? but just to remove craftable stuff from vendors just because there are lazy people who doesn't mind to pay up front instead of looking for a cheaper seller... how that helps the economy? Because there is gold dissappearing from the economy? Bringing that in again is part of the economy system as well.
     
  12. Poor game design

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    You've made a lot of good points. Some I hadn't considered in the OP.

    I'm not an economist, but I remember enough about Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand to know that when you artificially create pricing caps (like 2 gold per arrow) you hurt the economy. All I was trying to say in the OP was that although 2 gold per arrow doesn't seem like a big deal, and yes players can under cut that and make a moderate profit. And sure, even if we did all the math and could prove that the player isn't making as much profit as it would seem because of time and labor (which I suspect is true) rounding up all the resources to get the goods....YES, we could still just bump up the amount of arrows the player got from creating arrows from 100 to 200 or whatever. That's all true.

    But the economy is more than just arrows per creation. This impacts the maple board sales, it impacts the iron ingot sales, it therefore has an effect on other weapons sales, reagent sales, and alternative wood and metal sales. The devs are not and can not balance that out effectively. Do you see my point? Because NPC's are just blindly buying and selling arrows for a price that "sounds about right", the rest of the economy is shifting unnaturally in the background.

    This actually seems like a fun experiment to investigate further...I'm going to play around with these numbers today.
     
  13. Burzmali

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    The big question is how this will play out once they fix the loopholes in the current pricing sheets.
     
  14. Waxillium

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    Dear Lord. Please play test before you type.

    I have bought 10,000 arrows from another player for 10,000gp in batches of 500.

    You can make 1000 arrows for 400gp in feathers and about 30gp in coal and chemicals. Thats 430gp instead of 2000 from the Owl's head vendor. So 570 in profit.

    That being said, my seller has been out of arrows for 3 days and we would all be forced to make our own if we could not buy them from an NPC.

    Currently every 1500 arrows I drag in about 4k in loot. He could stand to up his price to 1500 for 1000 arrows.

    Half my loot goes to arrows. Name anyone else who has a 50% cost to adventure right now?
     
  15. KuBaTRiZeS

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    oooooooooooh... i think i do. What worries you is not the price of arrows per se, but the "ripples" that these may generate because fixed prices on final products are also limiting prices on raw materials, and that kind of stuff? if it's that, ok, it's a fair concern. But i still don't think what you propose is a solution. I also agree that you can't balance that just by fixing prices each release... but that's why we're gonna have an economy system where NPC prices changes according to the market flow. And if well done, that does regulate by itself ;).

    Now that i get it, it's something to take in consideration indeed :p but please, leave the arrows alone for now.
     
  16. Poor game design

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    Mages would have far more than that if they had to use reagents. But that's not happening.

    Before you say that I don't know what I'm talking about, make sure you understand what I'm talking about. You don't know what I'm talking about. You're reading a few lines and saying "that's not what I see" and then assuming that everything is invalid. This is kind of a complex subject that goes way beyond how much profit you can get from selling 500 arrows.
     
  17. Poor game design

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    We could use reagents as an example just as well, but currently they're not in use because there's no need. This OP wasn't supposed to be about arrows, it was supposed to be about the overall economy. But I still think arrows is a great example, and I'm working on putting a better explanation together now.
     
  18. Waxillium

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    I know you are refering to meta concepts and having arrows behave like repair kits do does not bother me.

    However you chose the worst possible example for your argument.

    2gp per arrow? I can shoot the value of most Avatars Epic Plate in about 30 minutes.

    1) gold is undervalued
    2) ammo scavenger barely works
    3) 2gp is already insanley expensive
    4) there is a working market for arrows
    5) when I have no arrows I cant shoot.
    6) PvE or PvP who cant shoot must become crafters.
    7) some things are too necessary to leave up to Avatars to supply.
     
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  19. Waxillium

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    Telling people they dont get your argument when in fact your not making a good one is different.
     
  20. Chatele

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    All that would do is make me stop playing an ARCHER .... !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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