A suggestion for improved in-game commerce

(Repost from reddit, I wanted to reach more players)

I've been playing this game since the early days of alpha 1, and I would say that overall, even with some frustrations, it's been a blast so far. Yes, I think there's a lot of small things to improve, but knowing the reality of software dev these days, I put my money into patience and support.

Speaking of some improvements, I think, without it being an issue, that there's a major potential for improvement, both in usability and gameplay by re-thinking the in-game trading market.

You see, I think one should be completely blind to ignore the fact that currently, without discord, there's no in-game market, or at least no interesting way of playing pure merchant. Most important transactions happens there, most big shop listing are there, and honestly, most users uses it to find their stuff.

I think this is quite unfortunate.

I don't blame citadel on that. They've put in place a market system that was pure, interesting, but sadly based on a romantic vision of in-game commerce, one that ceased to exist almost 15 years ago. The current system is loosely analog to a small town walk-by boutique system, where the customers goes around shops, sees what can be sold, determines the shop he likes the most, or the one that offers the best price, and purchase. While this system sounds like it make a lot of sense, it does absolutely not in our age. For this system to thrive, it would require two main things: That everyone be hardcore role players, and that the internet be as disorganized as it was in 1999.

This model is dying even in real-world. And to make my point, I think we can fairly compare the current in-game + discord model as the early revolution of e-commerce, with discord being like an eBay for our game.

Now if it works, it certainly does not contribute to a better play experience. What could be done, I think, is to inspire us on the model that almost killed eBay (or discord, for us): Amazon.

Now just slow down, I'm not suggesting we turn full berserk Amazon. Just that we inspire ourselves of it in order to make Discord less interesting, and the in-game experience more interesting.

What could work (amongst many other system) is a centralized system where as soon as you put something to seel in your chest, it is listed with price, item name, and distance of let's say towns, areas, guarded/wild. Thus enabling the user to do their item search in-game instead of discord, and kicking back the system in the 2020's. Now, I wouldn't allow player to buy from that platform, that wouldn't contribute to the game experience. Instead of it, I would only let the player pre-pay for the item and reserve it for a certain period of time. The game would then let the player know where the item is located for him to go fetch it. That system could also refund the player in the advent he would not fetch the said item, but forbid him to re-buy it for let's say 6 hours. On the other side, I wouldn't let the seller re-price the item too often, to block abuse.

A system like that would also be good for outcast players, since let's say a group of blood-thirsty companion could list a stun shot book at 2g, in the middle of the wilderness, and wait for another adventurous guild to come and take their loot.

The system would also benefit the one that put a lot of effort in building houses close to cities early on, by giving them an advantage with the ranged item search.

And finally, it would revolutionize the game experience for pure merchant players. It would enable them to know the market for hot items, current pricing, trade volume. It would allow them to better specialize in gathering or in crafting.

Of course, this idea has a lot of shortcomings, and I'm sure I'm about to learn a lot of them I didn't think about ;), but I think it's a solid proposition to bring back this experience inside the game, where it should happen.

Comments

  • I am in favor of an auction house for all things.

    But cheaper stuff would really stimulate the economy but it it too late.
    We have too many vendors and crafters now.
  • No to the auction house... Defeats the purpose of player housing. Save up for a nice vendor spot. It will give you a reason to grind. You just want instant gratification it seems.
  • edited April 3
    Mackase said:

    I am in favor of an auction house for all things.

    But cheaper stuff would really stimulate the economy but it it too late.
    We have too many vendors and crafters now.

    That's because the players base is low and most players who still play are self sufficient with their own crafters. They made the crafting grind too easy imo...

    Even a influx of new players would only temporarily relieve this issue... They would eventually make their own crafters and become self reliant as well.
  • I just saw saddlebags for 3 silver per. They were 15 when I started. They dropped from 15 to 12 to 10 to 7 to 5 and now 3. Players keep undercutting each other. Soon it will be 1s or less. If prices get too low, it's not worth the time to it takes craft when you can farm monsters. I can kill lizardmen with 3 silver per kill and make much more money.
  • CalredonCalredon Germany
    I like the OP´s idea. I don´t use discord, it doesn´t fit into my "immersion" playing this type of game, and auctions are nice, but only in games with instanced housing and limited decoration slots. Here we have separated lots and houses and the possibility to decorate them both individual and virtually without limits - so this is a good thing to keep vendors and the personal shopping experience :)
  • I also believe the current system is just way too simplistic and romantic as op nicely put down. I don't see how it's benefitial for the wealth of the game to have a few select people own the choke point spots around towns (without any fear of loosing it as long as they play) and than expect everyone else to have decorational vendors and/or use Discord, and be happy about it.

    Doesn't matter how good the idea behind the game is, as long is it doesn't factor the time and age we are in, and the people and their mentality, it's bound to fail. No matter how hardcore and social a handful of people are, you got to make some kind of compromise.

    We already have boards in towns. Don't see how it wouldn't fit in a sanbox to have these town boards used for Info points, where players would turn in to get information about items available on merchant vendors across the land, to which you would than need to travel.
  • edited April 4
    This vendor house is my house, this vendor house is your house. This vendor house was meant for you and me.

    Didn't know so many communist played this game. I heard there is a USSR server yall can go play on.

    There is MERICA.

    Enough with the with the communist sympathies. Curb your Entitlement.
  • edited April 4
    I've bought from vendors that aren't the closest to town/gates for several reasons.

    They sold something the other vendors didn't have.

    The prices were cheaper.

    The other vendor wasn't restocked.

    I bought from a friend's vendor because I wanted to give them the business.
  • DireDire Canada, UO Napa Valley pre Tram, UO SP
    The problem is, TOO MANY CRAFTERS!!! Why is that? OH maybe because they allowed 4 charactes per server? That could be it right? It's not hard to farm up a crafter if you are bored of farming at a dungeon, now you are self reliant, so prices drop, it's not hard to figure out.... People with 2-4 accounts, think of how many character options they can make with 4 char per server? It's stupid in a Sandbox MMO to have multiple characters per server... People are just too selfish and want everything...
  • OuijaOuija Canada
    You could also add smelting and dismantling etc to each craft menu or change vendor pricing to scale accordingly dependant on the abundance of items on a vendor.
  • CalredonCalredon Germany
    @Dire it is a sandbox as you said and ppl are curious - they want to see and try everything. You can´t limit to one char, because players with less time are not willing to delete their precious char just to try how it feels to play another "archetype" - with "precious" I mean that they invested a lot of their limited time. I don´t think this would work. So let´s say 2 chars per account, and even then you would have lots of crafters, so I don´t believe that a char limit would help.

    Maybe limits would help, i.e. one vendor per lot AND a vendor could never sell more than 5 or 10 of each weapon/armor type at a time, reagents could be limited to 100 and on top a vendor could be limited to 9 (15, 30 ...) different items/stacks .... the player behind the vendor would have to check and restock more often, and he would have to choose carefully what the vendor sells, and the players would be forced to expand their shoppingtour. It also would force vendors to be stocked more meaningful - instead of being a one-person-shopping-mall as they are now, they would have to think about which 9 (or 15 or ...) itemtypes they will sell.
    Grex said:

    I've bought from vendors that aren't the closest to town/gates for several reasons.

    They sold something the other vendors didn't have.

    The prices were cheaper.

    The other vendor wasn't restocked.

    I bought from a friend's vendor because I wanted to give them the business.

    @Grex This is exactly the way it should be :)
  • I think the crafting grind is too easy as well,

    theres no point in buying anything in this game when everyone just makes a crafter
  • I am sure they will correct the abundance of items, but they could add a section on the forum for trading items and such. This would help the players that don't use Discord.
  • initnullinitnull Canada
    edited April 9
    Hard to disagree with a lot of things that were said here. But I at least disagree with a comments @Grex made.
    No to the auction house... Defeats the purpose of player housing Save up for a nice vendor spot. It will give you a reason to grind. You just want instant gratification it seems.
    I based my suggestion on a fact: that a huge part of commerce happens on Discord. I'm not trying to change most of it, but to figure out a way to bring back this portion of trading to the game. If it exists, it's because a need is not fulfilled. I guess we would be better discussing on how we can fix that, even if it's not based on my suggestion, rather than expressing our emotions and trying to pretend that it does not exist, and that it hurts the game. For the record. I have a GM Tailor and a house close to Eldeir, and I'm member of a guild that has a significantly sized market not too far from valus. This suggestion, although it would help me personally, does not reflect my situation.
  • FiFi the Witch
    edited April 9
    I'm not really into the idea of an Auction House unless this Auction House is made into a Market Board that will only show us a list of houses—houses can seemingly be named—that can be expanded to show us what merchandise these houses are selling only within that town's region of Celador if the players choose to have their merchant make their house and merchandise public to everyone viewing the market board, so this means we cannot view houses and their merchandise in Valus, West Valusia, or the Southern Hills from Pyros Landing's Market Board.

    With this idea, the Market Board will show us the location of the house, if we have an atlas with the town's region within it as a map which will give the atlas more purpose, and we'll know what they have for sale in addition to the prices of their items to avoid having to run all over the place to look for what we need. Players will also have the option of making their home and merchandise public or private by talking to their merchant.

    Allowing players to simply buy everything from an Action House or a Marketplace defeats the purpose of one of the aspects of exploration and interaction which will make players crowd around the Auction House or Marketplace because they can buy and list anything they want within them; I love seeing players actually wander about and explore each house to find what they need because it makes the world look more lively instead of giving players more reasons to stay and idle in one location in guarded areas and towns.

    There exists an Announcement Board that doesn't seem functional at the moment, so they could incorporate this functionality into the Announcement Board if they don't wish to make a separate board elsewhere in each town.
  • SachaSacha [Reino de Aldor]
    Very early mankind realized those that craft items are not necessarily those that must sell them.
    Big shops can exist in towns or selected places, whether run by PCs or NPCs, where crafters could sell their items, and clients could buy them for an added fee.
    If you want to avoid paying that fee, you could go to buy directly to the crafter, who may live far in a remote corner of the map.
    So the game could come up with a system to promote these big shops. The fee will allow them to pay the high tax they have for being a big plot in a highly demanded area.
  • Sacha said:


    So the game could come up with a system to promote these big shops. The fee will allow them to pay the high tax they have for being a big plot in a highly demanded area.

    -1 to raising taxes. No more taxes!
  • SachaSacha [Reino de Aldor]
    Ithiel said:

    -1 to raising taxes. No more taxes!

    Don't need to raise them. You can just lower the taxes of distant places.
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