Vendors?

Discussion in 'Balancing Discussion' started by Slaariel, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Slaariel

    Slaariel *The Only Real Life Girl Dev*

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    I really dislike the state of the player economy as it sits right now!

    I do not like the list system for selling (i do like it for sending stuff between people though) and I do not like the whole change that went in about 5 years ago that introduced BoE and Unbinders and Huge Vendor Price Floors to the economy.

    Here are my issues with this:

    -If the vendor price floor for an item is too high, no one will ever sell it to a player. There are plenty of examples for this where an item is pretty good but sells to vendor for 2k so you can't sell it for under 2k or you are literally losing money so you just vendor it. No player economy.

    -BoE is good! It lowers effective supply of either plat or items. HOWEVER, a fresh loot is always better and over time the number of times an item will drop tends toward infinity. There is rarely a great reason to use unbinders these days outside of just being a little lazy. And again, since the cost to unbind is the same artificially high vendor price this is not good for the economy.

    -The entire BoE / High Price Floor / Unbinders scheme was concocted to combat a perceive loot surplus where item prices were bottoming out. The CORRECT solution to this was to ONLY implement BoE like every other game. What we got instead was trading a loot surplus for a previously unimaginable platinum surplus. Oh, also very small player economy.

    Those 3 points can I guess be summed up with if you want to control the economy like this, you can't fire and forget. It takes constant supervision and adjustment and tools/tech/attention that we just don't have. Whatever the problem with player economy was before, we have equalled or surpassed it.

    More issues: We have to make a rule right now that says you CAN'T store and manually search our vendor lists because it defeats the idea of 'shopping around'. And we are told that a searchable item selling system would encourage and reward 'undercutting'. I feel like these are both invented problems. If an item sells to the vendor for 1 copper you can sell it to someone for more than that and make a profit or you can destroy it. With STRAIGHT BoE and no unbinding the item surplus is shored up. The plat surplus shores up from un-inflating the high vendor prices (AND THEY ARE, RIGHT NOW, SEVERELY AND ARTIFICIALLY INFLATED).

    To that end, I propose three things and this is what we are discussing here:

    1- Remove artificial price floors on items
    2- Re-institute the classic Bazaar-style shopping mall
    3- Remove or re-do unbinding as a whole

    Unbinding was implemented as a way to 'soften the blow' incurred during the shift from non-BoE to BoE economy. That blow has certainly been softened by now and the whole enterprise is just causing problems. Okay, take it away!
     
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  2. Ludovician

    Ludovician Dalayan Elder

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    Making items sell for low prices to vendors would work if the player population was higher. There just aren't enoug twinks out there to support selling items to players all the time. The high vendor buy-rates are a nice way to offload some stuff quickly. You will kill plat farming for charms if you lower vendor buy prices. Hopefully that's not the goal here.

    I'm not familiar with how BoE works in other games. Having it unbound for the same as vendor price here hurts, I agree. It encourages you to just unenchant --> Vendor. I see the point, to be a plat sink and all, but it's never ever worthwhile to unbind and sell, you make more just unenchanting. You might just be better off having BoE permanently bind it to you instead of lowering vendor buy rates and unbind fees. Use it and destroy it when you're done instead.

    Having Bazaar back would work, but would you need an active box running to do it? A ton of people 2-box here and it would likely be an unpopular place if you couldn't have a 3rd vendor / mule box running all the time.
     
  3. Matbar

    Matbar Dalayan Adventurer

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    I love 1 & 3, but strongly dislike the idea of a bazaar. I don't find our listing system difficult for either shopping or selling, it simply takes a little more time than a quick search. So what? With the other things in game that need work (my personal favorite being tradeskills) I don't think implementing the Bazaar is a priority for me as a player. If sellers auction their goods on and off, and bother to type in a decent /listadd message, it's not that hard to skim the listsolds at the banker, plus you can look at the listy thing on the boards.
     
  4. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    for every dev that says they want to make farming charms easier this is definitely not in the right direction.
     
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  5. Haruto

    Haruto Dalayan Adventurer

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    Could always try at least letting it unbind for half vendor price, it would at least make it more worthwhile to sell to a player rather then just offloading to vendor automatically since its not worth it to unbind and sell to players most of the time.
     
  6. Silosobi

    Silosobi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    What I think is weird is the huge variability in item vendor prices. Some items of similar quality sell for 10x as much as others, rendering some items only viable to sell to players while others almost always go to the vendor.
     
  7. Emerica

    Emerica Dalayan Elder

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    I think this might make charm/pp/item farming less worthwhile but also more worthwhile.
    kif we have a conundrum.
     
  8. Vitali

    Vitali Dalayan Master

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    I feel like money nerfs to zone already make it hard to make any kind of substantial gain towards ending grind for charm cash. Nerfing vendor prices would just make it exponentially harder. With maybe 300 (big maybe) people online at peak hours very few people will need an item that vendors for 2k right now.
    Making the vendor prices wont make people suddenly want this item, it will just make the effort to your next charm that much harder =./
     
  9. luciferblack

    luciferblack Dalayan Elder

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    The argument that changing prices will be a detriment to charm farming seems odd considering that charms were initially conceived as a plat sink. To counter, just marginally increase straight cash drops. Don't tie charm farming to item farming though.

    I agree with everything Slaar has posted in the OP. I also believe the reason there aren't many twinks around to support more player sales of lower priced items, is that nobody wants to throw money on a low level toon if they can't then decide to swap that gear to a different toon later.

    I used to make alts all the time because I enjoyed playing with lower level people and wanted a way to not have to start from nothing every time (after playing the game for a little over 7 years, I figure that's not so bad)... but I honestly quit making alts after BOE went in and I've not had the desire to play the low level game if it meant starting with a naked character or dumping money into a toon that I couldn't easily recoup.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who quit making new toons just for the heck of it. I honestly don't see many low level players around any more. Some of that is that there's possibly less new players joining, but I think BOE killed a lot of the appeal of making new characters for existing players and they simply don't play the low level game... and when new players come in and have nobody to group with, they often won't stick around.

    I like the idea of the bazaar. It simply needs to be easy to get to. Allow a port from each player city perhaps. I think having a zone for selling would be great. The listsold is okay, but it really is quite clunky to get through it and find something you might be interested in. I don't expect people to be handed what they want, but sitting at a banker for an hour to click through all the sellers is just sort of terrible. The alternative is to not do it, but then that's not supporting the player economy.

    It's obvious that players are not loving the current system. Relics (like myself) who have been around a while are just used to it. Having new players come in and try to use it just creates another obstacle to enjoyment for them. The game survives by getting new players to stay. I tried giving things away the other day and several new players never collected the things I sent them through listsold. Why? I don't know, but I can only imagine they had no idea how to collect them. It's not an incredibly intuitive system.

    Whatever happens, I am enjoying the current development of the game. There seems to be a sincere effort to ease the learning curve a little bit to retain new SOD players (and in particular those players who may not have had a primer in the Live game) and make the game enjoyable for people who can't pour hours and hours in every day... (thank you for the bounty hunting changes whomever did it) yet there is still the opposite end of the spectrum that appeals to people who want to grind out insane amounts of time.

    TL/DR ? Thanks for considering the changes.
     
  10. luciferblack

    luciferblack Dalayan Elder

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    As a final note, my suggestion for the bazaar is to have random NPC's throughout the place. Your shared bank slots still work as the place to dump your goods, but in order to set them up on a vendor, you must go to an NPC near the bank, do a dialog (where the NPC explains the whole process, making it easier for new players to understand it), and the NPC chooses a vendor at RANDOM for you on completion of the dialog.

    The NPC name changes to (playername)'s Vendor. That vendor is yours for 48 hours. If someone gets a prime spot, they can't hold that spot by doing the dialog again. The dialog to refresh your vendor time for another 48 hours then moves you to another randomized vendor. That's pretty much my idea. :)
     
  11. Silosobi

    Silosobi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    I farmed the majority of my 1.2m from selling items to vendors, and I know a ton of people who did the same. That doesnt mean this is a bad idea, but it would be a difficult thing to balance without making it harder for new players to farm their charms.
     
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  12. Woogie526

    Woogie526 Dalayan Beginner

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    If item prices are dropped, then something has to be improved for charms. Maybe even reducing the cost if the plat sink is less needed.

    Don't make a change that further drives a wedge between new players and the end game.
     
  13. Zapple

    Zapple Dalayan Elder

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    This "free market" for BOE items won't magically materialize out of nowhere by nerfing vendor prices, what's more likely to happen is if the shit sells for 5p it just gets loaded onto someone's alt or to twink some friend of an established player because there just isn't anyone to buy it for a worthwhile price. It'll just break the current high end game where charms are a requirement and you can't make any decent money anymore.

    Like the exp nerfs that came before it this is just hurting new players the most.
     
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  14. Xeras

    Xeras Dalayan Adventurer

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    I agree with everything said in this post. Additionally it seems all this change will do is make ringers more needed for higher tier content because if you don't have eternal/supreme getting it will be substantially more difficult.
     
  15. oozu1234

    oozu1234 Dalayan Adventurer

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    i've read every single one of these posts and i've come to the conclusion that the solutions are: A: Get rid of Charms
    B: get rid of BoE
    C: get rid of Charms
    D: Get rid of BUYABLE charms
    E: Make charms quests, like MQ ( but with mobs that dont take more than 8 hours to repop)
     
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  16. Moraelintz

    Moraelintz Dalayan Elder

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    I don't think buy able charms are a bad thing it help in choosing which zones to exp in an what to do in your free time. If anything reduce most vendor prices but then put a big dent in charm prices.
     
  17. booster

    booster Dalayan Master

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    charms are a bad thing because it makes people feel like they need these things to progress and they also pigeonhole people into only exping the same spots or grinding the same areas for "superior cash chance." It has been this way for a really long time, longer than I can remember. People constantly reminding me or others of how bad our charms were, and hey, I even participated in it too. Charms are incredibly overpowered and if anyone disagrees with that they are lying and are probably scared of losing their god-teir item OR they have no idea just how strong the charms really are.

    The problem here is not: oh no you're taking away our ability to grind these charms. The problem IS the charms and they should probably be removed and replaced with a more cosmetic or novelty effect (run speed charms, illusion charms) than being a game changing item that requires poop-socking on a grandiose scale. Charm stats would have to be re-allocated across on tier items OR fights re-tuned for the sheer lose in HP, mana, attack, and crit percentages.

    Regardless this thread is about vendor change not what should happen with charms and I agree with Slaariel in this regard. I know I spent my money more readily when I could walk up to a vendor and right click them and see what they had for sale. I made more impulse purchases this way and I feel it's a better system overall as opposed to the listing system. I also do agree that the listing system is great for mailing items.

    I know when I was a new guy on the block in Dalaya i didn't use the listing system AT ALL. but when I saw the bazaar on live I knew right away what to do and was able to drop my coins into the market asap. It's just a much more friendly way to deal with things than making them text based.

    I also agree about the removal of unbinders and the lowering of the merchant prices but I feel that not EVERY droppable item should be a BoE and not EVERY item should sell for bare bones. There should be more items like Ambassador's Writ that are just flat out reusable whenever and there should be some rarer items that sell for a decent amount to vendors.
     
  18. darksabbath

    darksabbath Dalayan Master

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    Truth: Charms were put in as a plat sink.
    Truth: People farm items and cash spots to get charms.
    Truth: People farm certain zones over others purely for the cash/items, to buy charm upgrades.
    Truth: Any conversation involving plat will boil down to charms.

    So, while it seems the issue would be item prices, I am not so sure. Lowering the cost to unbind BoE gear is one way to get it sold for reuse, but it was kept high so items would be removed from the economy. There are some items there is a "shortage" of, and those items therefore have maintained cost (usually twink tank gears like Enforcer's Guard, Smooth granite Armlet, Goblin-golem Band, and Adamant Kirt`sek). But most sell for barely more than vendor, if they sell at all. I am not sure lowering the price helps that. Now, instead of the vendor being 2k and I get 2.1k, the vendor will be what, 1k? and I'll get 1.1k. That helps the other guy get a better deal, but didn't help me out. Now I have to farm even more to get the cash I need, and hope for twice as many item drops.

    It seems that Oozu and Booster are right, a change (or removal) of charms is a far better solution. People will be far more willing to "throw money away" on twinks (therefore buying these items) if they don't have the cash cow item to save for anymore. Then you can mess with item prices all you want to find a happy base for the economy to work from. As long as your "plat sinks" exist, the player base will resist and changes to possible income. How many threads have we had in the last year complaining about cash nerfs to zones? I recall allot of them (and xp nerfs also).

    Now, for my semi- off-topic suggestion to change charms and alleviate part of the need for cash in the first place:
    You could have the charm vendor in Erduin give a minor quest, or just outright sell, a minor charm with class specific stats (cheaply). This item would be expable, and cap off around lvl 50 or so. Or, you could get your charm in the dream, and at level 50 she gives a quest to upgrade it, the result being a dodge boost, or ft, some regen, or a weapon skill boost, etc. Or perhaps the quest opens up her store, with a bunch of charm only augs that have the various stats, which are purchase through a "quest token", which she gives out. (Similar to bounty token thing.)
    Perhaps then the charm vendor in Erimal could be changed into a quest giving npc, The result of which is a 60+ charm, which is either improved through quests, flags, exp, or a mix of all of that. Perhaps an expansion of the "quest token" vendor idea.
     
  19. Raxton

    Raxton Dalayan Elder

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    Char progression pathways on SoD:
    1-gear
    2-exp
    3-money(charm)

    Having 3 distinct pathways makes sod alot more fun than other mmos with 1 or 2.

    CHarms as a plat sink are working fine as items rarely sell to players for significantly more than the vendor price whereas on live it was ridiculous with stuff going for 100-1000x vendor value as there was no plat sink and cash accumulated.

    The economy on sod isnt suffering from high vendor prices if anything its suffering from a small playerbase. I have some deep items i cant sell because there arent enougj people to sell to and the items vendor for like 80p so they just sit around in a banker alt. Dont do this to all the items in the game.
     
  20. Obscenitor

    Obscenitor Dalayan Elder

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    Since this entire discussion all boils down to charms let me just say this: Any change to charms that results in players becoming less powerful is just going to drive people away since it would completely wash out most of the effort to obtain said charm. Considering SoD loses more people than it gains these days this is probably not a good idea.

    I think you need to worry about the bottom line here, which is to keep people playing this game and keep the server running. If you can accomplish that as well as fix whatever issues you think exist with the economy, then bravo.

    Edit: If something *has* to be done with charms, I like Kise's solution, although it might be somewhat difficult to spread out things like 6% spell/heal crit, and you will probably end up with dozens of threads about "why this item and not this item" and "I spent XXX hours to make my toon better than the rest and now you just completely wiped that out and made me on par with the person that only logs in for raids.. I know, personally, that I would be turned off by this considering I dumped hundreds of hours into two 1.2M charms.

    I also agree with adding vendors, I spent a ton of time browsing in the Bazaar and spent a lot of plat that way. I can't say the same thing about the listsold system, I think in total since I started on this server years and years ago, I have maybe spent a total of 20 hours browsing vendors either in game or on the vendor listing online.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

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