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DD2 Economy

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One thing I love about DD1 is the rich economy. The shops and trading of rare items. That kept me and others playing for a long time (and still going). Will this aspect be as strong or stronger in DD2?

Will there still be a 600 M cap for AFK shop items? What are some other major enhancements to shops and trading?

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I have to admit that I don't like the 600 M cap for afk shop items in DD1. There should be some system without a cap which also allows automatic trades in an afk shop. For example someone wants to sell a diamond pet, he can put it his afk shop and set the price to 8 cubes or whatever. And if someone has the items that are required for the trade he can buy it :D
Of course this only works for items which are always the same like Cubes, Coals or MK2 :)

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Yeah, the limitations are really annoying - 600 M for shop items and also for mana bank. DD1 players are forced to create their own forms of currency (coal, cubes, MK2), and currency exchange is a huge hassle, not to mention that AFK selling/buying expensive items is IMPOSSIBLE.

God I hope Trendy fixes these issues.

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I share the same concern. Seeing how Trendy is really working to fix the broken aspects of DD1, I'm confident that they will have this problem solved before launch. I would love to see AFK shops replaced with an in-game auction house system. Bouncing from shop to shop sifting through trash was too tedious...

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All i gotta say is the economy in DD1 was complete trash. Its a topic ill be watching closely and i hope its nothing like in DD1. Read my thread for my opinions on the subject.

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Yea the DD1 economy has been brought up as a major concern and for good reason. Sure it might have been alive, but it was horribly broken. The way we handle the economy in DD2 is going to take time to figure out. Afterall, it's a very difficult thing to pull off correctly, but as long as we learn from DD1 and other games, I think we'll come up with something great.

Lockewynn mentioned an auction house, what are your pros/cons on that subject?

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I would really like it if our in-game item box could be synced to Steam. One of the frustrating things I have to deal with is having to start private sessions if I want to reorganize my items in peace--being able to do it from Steam itself would be a huge life-saver.

While we're on the subject of Steam stuff, it'd be really awesome if DD2 opted in to the Steam trading card program. :D

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Yea the DD1 economy has been brought up as a major concern and for good reason. Sure it might have been alive, but it was horribly broken. The way we handle the economy in DD2 is going to take time to figure out. Afterall, it's a very difficult thing to pull off correctly, but as long as we learn from DD1 and other games, I think we'll come up with something great.

Lockewynn mentioned an auction house, what are your pros/cons on that subject?

An auction house can either do the Game very good or it can make the economy even more TERRIBLY TERRIBLY broken. One example of an auction house breaking a game is Diablo 3. Go look at what players think of that game all because of that auction house. The farming of items became a little silly so you really have to be careful with it. The way I think an auction house should be done is sort of like WOW. Single out Tiers by levels so that players can just buy ridiculous armour right off the bat like they did in Diablo. People would buy gold for real life money and then buy the armour and just wreck the game. I personally would like this if it is done right, but if it ends up doing more good than bad, i would pull the leash on that real quick.

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I played EverQuest 2 from it launch and for well over 5 years it held a very stable economy overall. There were the occasional items that would be a tad crazy but overall the economy during my time in the game was very solid. I would bet it still it going good right now. It was a game release in 2004.

There were several changes made to get it where it was at when I had to quit. Ive not brought any of the ideas over to the DD2 threads yet but when the time comes to offer suggestions on such topics I will certainly. There are sooo many moving parts to an economy that it isn't funny. I saw what worked and what didn't. I saw what changed they made and what they regreted doing.

Ill form up a good read on the subject and make some suggestions when I get time.

I am in favor of an auction house or a type of broker system though.

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Here are my pros and cons of an auction house:

Pro:

1. Is great for sellers obviously. The seller can play the game while having an item up for auction, instead of having to create a shop and sit there waiting for buyers to come.

Cons:

1. It is bad for real-time buying and selling and can lower the fun of the game. For example, if I want to buy a BF Drill right now so I can play lab assault, I can go to a few shops and ask around. Or host a shop of my own with the title "NEED BF DRILL". Usually I can get the item within 10-15 minutes. But under an auction house, I have to wait for the auction period to expire, which can take hours or days.

2. Auctions are impersonal and can decrease friendship building in the game. When I trade with a person 1-on-1 we might haggle, discuss other items, and then share stories about the game. I've made some friends through this personal trading process. It's a lot of fun and a valuable aspect.

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All i gotta say is the economy in DD1 was complete trash. Its a topic ill be watching closely and i hope its nothing like in DD1. Read my thread for my opinions on the subject.


Where is this thread?

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Auction House/Broker Pros:

1) Economy Stability
This ties together both topics--economy and the need for an AH/broker system. As an economist, I'm a firm believer in free enterprise and efficient information leading to economic stability. This means fair and stable prices in an economy that monitors itself, which is the objective of this discussion. Currently, DD1 employs a system where AFK shop #1 could post an item for 15 cubes (not fair) while AFK shop #2 could post the same item for only 1 cube (not stable). The "fix-it" solution has been selling items online. This was a decent temporary fix, but was still lacking.

Free Enterprise
Trendy must allow buyers and sellers to operate freely by removing any restrictions or mana caps. If a seller posts a crappy item for an obscene price, the item will not sell and the seller will re-list at a lower price. It doesn't take more than a couple weeks for game prices to find equilibrium. Let supply and demand take over and the economy will literally monitor itself. Trendy impaired free enterprise in DD1 by implementing the mana cap on gems AND inventory. The result was a broken economy and players were forced to barter with cubes and coal. Keynes was a smart dude...

Efficient Information
In order to keep prices fair and stable, buyers and sellers need immediate (efficient) access to the current market prices. In DD1, the only way for buyers/sellers to determine market prices would be to visit every other AFK shop and see what others were listing their items at. This would take an unrealistic amount of time and, thus, was inefficient. Online forum trading was better, but still lacking. By consolidating all items in a single auction house database, players will have immediate access to pricing information (perfectly efficient) that will allow the economy to stabilize and monitor itself without Trendy even lifting a finger.

AFK Shops - Completely broken (from an economic standpoint)
Online Forum Trading - Less broken, but still had issues
Auction House - Provides a self-sufficient economy by providing free enterprise and efficient information. However, the AH system is one-sided in that it only sellers can post prices. This actually hurts the sellers more than the buyers. I'll explain...if a buyer needs an item right away he can "buy it now," but if a seller wants to sell an item right away (because let's face it, not everyone likes opening their mail to see all of yesterday's failed auctions that need to be relisted) there is not "sell now" option. It's called vendoring, and it sucks. The broker system fixes this.
Broker System - Is epic win for market stability. Imo, even better than the AH system by allowing buyers to post their bids thus giving sellers the option to immediately dump their inventory at market prices as opposed to vendor prices.

2) Saves Time
Simply put, time should be spent playing the game. Bouncing between AFK shops looking for a particular item was a colossal waste of time. Browsing through sorted items in a consolidated database is a much nicer experience.

3) Efficiency
If I'm a poor level 15 squire looking for a new sword I can filter for swords level 15 and below, sort by price lowest to highest and start browsing through the list until I find one that I like. I can feel confident now that I've found the sword with the best quality-to-price ratio. With AFK shops, I would find a good sword for 1 mil but hesitate to buy it out of fear that the next shop would have a better sword for 500k. This is the efficiency dilema with AFK shops.

4) RP Experience
This one is just my opinion, but roaming through online forums to buy items kinda detracts from the RP element of a game. If Trendy wants this to be a solid RP experience then we should be able to handle all item/currency transactions in Etheria, not the world wide web. :P

Auction House/Broker Con: (more like cautions than cons)

Improper Implementation
The only downside I've experienced with AH/broker systems is via improper implementation. Someone mentioned Diablo III. The auction house itself was actually GREAT, but they allowed people to purchase items with $USD instead of gold. This rendered gold farming, and thus gameplay, quite irrelevant. Lol, wasn't there a best-in-slot item sold for like 16 thousand euros or something?

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I have to make a point in support of the AFK Shop and I hope Trendy will consider it.

I think the AFK Shop experience is invaluable to the social aspect of the game. Its removal can be detrimental to the game's longevity.

Here's a scenario with AFK Shop and my search for a kobold:

I join the shop titled "Super Pets!". In the shop, I notice another player thrashing away at the tavern dummy with a light saber and a mega chicken. "Wow, that's a cool light saber!" I say, never having seen one. "And what kind of pet is that?" He teaches me, I learn, we swap stories. Another player joins and the conversation grows. We talk and make friends, showing each other our gear. Maybe I continue to search for my ideal kobold, but I've learned more about the game and players. I'm having fun.


Here's my imagined scenario of an auction system:

I want to find a kobold, so I look up a centralized list, find it and buy it. I get the item I wanted, yes, but the lack of social aspect quickly makes the game boring and I quit it in a short time.

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Auction House/Broker Pros:

1) Economy Stability
This ties together both topics--economy and the need for an AH/broker system. As an economist, I'm a firm believer in free enterprise and efficient information leading to economic stability. This means fair and stable prices in an economy that monitors itself, which is the objective of this discussion. Currently, DD1 employs a system where AFK shop #1 could post an item for 15 cubes (not fair) while AFK shop #2 could post the same item for only 1 cube (not stable). The "fix-it" solution has been selling items online. This was a decent temporary fix, but was still lacking.

Free Enterprise
Trendy must allow buyers and sellers to operate freely by removing any restrictions or mana caps. If a seller posts a crappy item for an obscene price, the item will not sell and the seller will re-list at a lower price. It doesn't take more than a couple weeks for game prices to find equilibrium. Let supply and demand take over and the economy will literally monitor itself. Trendy impaired free enterprise in DD1 by implementing the mana cap on gems AND inventory. The result was a broken economy and players were forced to barter with cubes and coal. Keynes was a smart dude...

Efficient Information
In order to keep prices fair and stable, buyers and sellers need immediate (efficient) access to the current market prices. In DD1, the only way for buyers/sellers to determine market prices would be to visit every other AFK shop and see what others were listing their items at. This would take an unrealistic amount of time and, thus, was inefficient. Online forum trading was better, but still lacking. By consolidating all items in a single auction house database, players will have immediate access to pricing information (perfectly efficient) that will allow the economy to stabilize and monitor itself without Trendy even lifting a finger.

AFK Shops - Completely broken (from an economic standpoint)
Online Forum Trading - Less broken, but still had issues
Auction House - Provides a self-sufficient economy by providing free enterprise and efficient information. However, the AH system is one-sided in that it only sellers can post prices. This actually hurts the sellers more than the buyers. I'll explain...if a buyer needs an item right away he can "buy it now," but if a seller wants to sell an item right away (because let's face it, not everyone likes opening their mail to see all of yesterday's failed auctions that need to be relisted) there is not "sell now" option. It's called vendoring, and it sucks. The broker system fixes this.
Broker System - Is epic win for market stability. Imo, even better than the AH system by allowing buyers to post their bids thus giving sellers the option to immediately dump their inventory at market prices as opposed to vendor prices.

2) Saves Time
Simply put, time should be spent playing the game. Bouncing between AFK shops looking for a particular item was a colossal waste of time. Browsing through sorted items in a consolidated database is a much nicer experience.

3) Efficiency
If I'm a poor level 15 squire looking for a new sword I can filter for swords level 15 and below, sort by price lowest to highest and start browsing through the list until I find one that I like. I can feel confident now that I've found the sword with the best quality-to-price ratio. With AFK shops, I would find a good sword for 1 mil but hesitate to buy it out of fear that the next shop would have a better sword for 500k. This is the efficiency dilema with AFK shops.

4) RP Experience
This one is just my opinion, but roaming through online forums to buy items kinda detracts from the RP element of a game. If Trendy wants this to be a solid RP experience then we should be able to handle all item/currency transactions in Etheria, not the world wide web. :P

Auction House/Broker Con: (more like cautions than cons)

Improper Implementation
The only downside I've experienced with AH/broker systems is via improper implementation. Someone mentioned Diablo III. The auction house itself was actually GREAT, but they allowed people to purchase items with $USD instead of gold. This rendered gold farming, and thus gameplay, quite irrelevant. Lol, wasn't there a best-in-slot item sold for like 16 thousand euros or something?


Absolutely EPIC POST!!!! I don't even how to write mine. Truly an epic response.

in EQ2 with the broker system 10% was added on to the price to help take money out of the game so that it just isn't stockpiling. It worked well. The economy in EQ2 was fantastic in 98% of cases. Very few issues.

I am in favor a broker system. List item for a price and wait for it to sell.

EDIT: You were able to see who was selling each item so if you wanted to contact that person to offer a lower price or to pay without the broker fee.

It also allowed you to search for items you would want by name, type, certain stats and amounts in those stats.

Several people listed VERY rare items or very sought after item at crazy prices intentionally so they wouldn't sell but that still allowed the player to see the item and they could send offers to the seller. Kinda like an auction.

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I have to make a point in support of the AFK Shop and I hope Trendy will consider it.

I think the AFK Shop experience is invaluable to the social aspect of the game. Its removal can be detrimental to the game's longevity.

Here's a scenario with AFK Shop and my search for a kobold:

I join the shop titled "Super Pets!". In the shop, I notice another player thrashing away at the tavern dummy with a light saber and a mega chicken. "Wow, that's a cool light saber!" I say, never having seen one. "And what kind of pet is that?" He teaches me, I learn, we swap stories. Another player joins and the conversation grows. We talk and make friends, showing each other our gear. Maybe I continue to search for my ideal kobold, but I've learned more about the game and players. I'm having fun.


Here's my imagined scenario of an auction system:

I want to find a kobold, so I look up a centralized list, find it and buy it. I get the item I wanted, yes, but the lack of social aspect quickly makes the game boring and I quit it in a short time.


AFK shops were a horrible experience in DD1. So much mis-leading shop names. it is all retaliative to what is HQ and what isn't. some say USTM for sale and they have nothing. So much AFK and you can't talk to the person. It uses Steam to rely on the trade aspect. Stuff move onto the forums for other reasons.

I would agree a community type area for people to gather would be cool for reasons you brought up but don't bring AFK shops back for that reason. Nothing about AFK shops in terms of an economy was useful.

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Backinstabbin brings up a fantastic point. Charging a fee to use an auction system is vital in managing the money supply, otherwise inflation would deteriorate players' buying power over time. It's also why gear repairs, resurrection costs, etc., are also necessary. Gotta keep leaching resources from the economy to keep inflation down to a minimum.

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I totally agree with Lockewynn and Backstabbin, but I wonder about a market system? For example if a player wanted to host an AFK shop (which I'm still on the fence about) they could set up a "stall" in a very large area where players could join and swap around. Buyers would be able to shop around from seller to seller, but then also have a master list (similar to Lockewynn's post) if they wanted to get in, buy something, and get out.

I dunno - I haven't really thought through it too much. It could be a huge tax on the servers to have everyone in one place like that; not to mention the chat system would have to be revamped for this area. If it could be pulled off I can see players still getting in with the community/having a blast, but also being able to allow sellers to sell their goods while they are doing something else.

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As long as people have a simple way to compare stuff against others trying to sell then there will be no instability in the economy. You are proposing a broker system as well as allowing playing to drop things inside of "stalls" in a large area to display their entire collection of things for sale? As long as those items are also listed in the broker system itself, I cannot see it affecting the economy.

Back in the days of the original EverQuest they used something known as "The Bazaar". It is similar to yours stalls idea. It was a HUGE lagfest. I would worry about that being an issue in a large area with a large number of players. That should be simple enough for Trendy to test though and one I would happily participate in if they are interested in that idea.

It would allow a player to possibly advertise their "Stall" and if someone likes buying from a particular person then they can always find the place they want to shop at.

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Exactly. I'm glad my post made sense enough. :)

Using bazaar/market theme might be really crazy and a bit too much to ask of Trendy, but if it could be pulled off it would bring together both worlds of community and player shops in a stable economy.

A random thought on the lag issue - there might have to be multiple servers with a limited number of shops. It would definitely not be ideal in any way, but it could be a starting point for Trendy to work from.

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I think the most feasible thing for Trendy to do is simply keep what works, and fix what was broken.

Worked:

1. AFK shops - I loved them. They add personality and a social aspect to the game. Different sellers would name and setup their shops differently. When you entered, it was like entering some one else's place.

2. Trade window - Very cool and personal exchange.

Broken:

1. 600 M limit, rendering AFK shops unable to buy or sell higher level items.
2. Adding more than 12 items (1 page) in a trade window. What a mess.
3. Adding mana in a trade window - let us just type the amount?

I believe these are easy fixes.

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1. AFK shops - I loved them. They add personality and a social aspect to the game. Different sellers would name and setup their shops differently. When you entered, it was like entering some one else's place.


You are 100% correct. They showed people's personalities and certainly added an interesting social aspect to the game. It wasn't for the better though and allowed some to show their true colors.

- "Selling HQ USTM WAPA" - Oh look, there are 5 myth items. Very classy advertising.
- Host? Host? Host? Anyone? Bueler? Guess I'll add you on steam and if we can ever get around to talking, we might be able to work something out.
- How much do you want for that piece of armor? I don't know, I have no idea what it is worth. What you offering?

I could name several more.

There are very few scenarios, both for new players or long time players, when an AFK shop worked well for both the seller and the buyer. Even under the assumption that they fix how much an item can be listed for there is still no way to easily compare items to what another player might be selling if they used the AFK shops as they are in DD1. When looking at AFK shops from an economical standpoint there is nothing beneficial about them.


It also shouldn't be looked at from the standpoint of what is or is not feasible because of what they have already created. Simply proposing that is asking your developer to settle for 2nd best instead of encouraging them to devise a new and improved system that would fix every issue they are aware of and do their best to prevent any new ones from coming to the surface.

Don't put a band-aid on it. Dig deeper and look at the root cause. My employer does the band-aid thing and they often wonder why later down the road they find another problem. Guess what they do again? They put another band-aid. They keep adding exceptions to the logic in the programming. I dread to think how many extra layers are added to the programming due to sloppy fixes. Going this route will only cause a vicious snowball effect. This might not have been the best analogy but I feel the underlying meaning applies.

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- "Selling HQ USTM WAPA" - Oh look, there are 5 myth items. Very classy advertising.


I used to set my AFK shop, then go AFK for 8-10 hours. It goes without saying that the quality of the items in the shop, if any were left, was quite lower after 8 hours than it was when I named the shop.

Like you said, a way to overview the whole market, see what's in sale without entering the AFK shops, would be a big improvement. Even if you still need to enter the shop to make your purchase.

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Look into Phantasy Star Universe's auction house function (for the 360/pc). It was a lot like Dungeon Defenders where each person had their own room and players had to visit their shop to buy but it didn't require you to be online.

People could search from their rooms for items and when you found an item you liked, you physically went to their shop to buy it. The room would be active if they were online doing missions, if they were in their room hanging out, or if they weren't online at all. Every room also had a lock function and friends only function so you could keep people out if you didn't want your shop open for business or only wanted to let certain people in.

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