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 Post subject: Market Design
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 4:02 pm
Posts: 2434
Location: Germantown, MD
Dawntide Beta Patch Notes wrote:
•Markets have been implemented in Burgvik and Jardvall. At markets, you can sell goods based on supply and demand. Certain markets will have higher or lower demands for different type of goods (one market may pay premium prices for weapons, etc). A market that has a lot of a certain type of resource or good will pay poor prices for it, while one with none will pay a high price. The size of the town the market is in determines how much goods it will buy before prices start going down. You will also be able to buy anything a player has sold to a market, again with a price based on supply - unless the town's residents buy it first.

Reading this, I was thinking it could be a good design for a market system. The PotBS market system I though was pretty good, but players still set the prices. In the above Dawntide market system, the game sets the prices, but players can still influence them depending on where they sell and buy stuff. Players can actually make money by buying bricks in a desert town that is near a lot of mineral deposits, then ferrying it to another continent in their barge and selling it to a town that is in the middle jungle.

Something players do a lot in Auction House systems is keep playing the market while standing in one place. It was common in WOW, and even worse in AION. If you wanted to sell a sword, you could look at the market prices for that type of sword and see that there were 3 up for 200k, 1 for 190k, 2 more for 180k, and so you could decide that you wanted to sell your sword for 150k. Someone else would just buy your sword and put it back up for 180k. It didn't hurt you - you still got your 150k, but it hurt the people that actually wanted to buy a sword. People standing at the AH doing that 24x7 caused prices to inflate over time since people couldn't actually undercut when something was in high supply. It wasn't rare to go to the AH in Aion and look for something like shields, see 70 of them up there, but all of them for rediculous prices simply because people were buying and immediately relisting them resulting in the price staying high.

In a system like the one quoted above, buying and relisting isn't possible without taking the time and having the means to move the goods to another town yourself.

Does anyone else think this is either a good or bad system? Do you think it's better or worse than the PotBS system? Do you think it's better or worse than the WOW/Aion style Auction House system?

 Post subject: Re: Market Design
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
How can you have a free market based on arbitrary numbers/values the game applies based on supply/demand?

If anything there should be surcharges that let you post your goods in foreign markets. That way you know the cost of your own goods.

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 Post subject: Re: Market Design
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
Hmmm. I hope they think it through. I see an immediate potential to abuse it:

The broker has 10,000 bricks. He's selling them cheap because he has so many. You buy all 10,000. Now he has no bricks. Since he has no bricks, he wants to buy them and will pay a premium. You sell him 10,000 and make a lot of money. Now he has 10,000 bricks...

It would have to do some complicated math, I'd think, to handle it so that selling 10,000 bricks in one chunk nets you the same as selling 10,000 bricks one at a time (the 10,000th brick will not be worth as much as the 1st).

I'll post something on the Dawntide forums. I didn't see any patch notes discussion threads though.

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 Post subject: Re: Market Design
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:44 am
Posts: 238
Location: Washington, DC
I'd think the math wouldn't be that hard.

Price = P
NumBricks = NUM_B
Desired Bricks = D_B
D_B = 1000
Base Price = BP
BP = 1.00

P = D_B/NUM_B * BP

It would just have to do the math on a per brick basis
IE.. if Quantity of Bricks was 1000 and Desired Bricks was 1000 and you were selling 10 bricks

The Brick 1 would calculate a selling price of:
Price = 1000 / 1000 * 1.00 so the first brick sells for 1.00 gold
Brick 2 caluculates at 1000 / 1001 * 1.00 so the 2nd brick is .999 gold
Brick 10 calculates at 1000 / 1009 * 1.00 so the 10th brick is .991 gold

So you sell your 10 bricks for 9.955 gold total

I don't think the server side processing is that tough I wrote a program to do that in 10 minutes in foxpro just now to see if I could. It processes slower than I'd like if doing over 700 at a time it's not instantaneous (it was about 15 seconds if processing 9000) like you'd want/need in a game setting, I think it would process much faster coded in a diffrent language.

When it comes to NPCs you'd also probably want to modify the buying / selling formulas to always give an advantage to the "house" so maybe the base price for the NPC selling bricks is 2.00 and the base price for the NPC buying bricks is 1.00 Another possibility would be to add diffrent formulas at diffrent quantity levels of bricks the NPC merchant had. Maybe the base price for bricks when the merchant has 501-1500 bricks is D_B/NUM_B * 1.00 Then when the merchant has 1501-2500 bricks is D_B/NUM_B * .75 and 2501-5000 bricks is D_B/NUM_B * .5

There are definate ways of doing this. It could even be simplified if desired:

Merchant Prices
Num_Bricks ----- Sell ---------- Buy
0-250 --------- 10.00 ---------- 5.00
251-500 -------- 2.50 ---------- 1.25
501-750 -------- 2.25 ---------- 1.10
751-2500 ------- 2.00 ---------- 1.00
2501-5000 ------ 1.75 ---------- 0.90
5000-10000 -----1.50 ---------- 0.50
10001+ ---------- 1.25 ---------- 0.01 or maybe won't buy them because too overstocked

Ideally this allows for a player to find a merchant in a town near where bricks are common with 10,000 bricks for sale. He can buy as many bricks as he can carry in his inventory and set off for a town that takes ~4 hours to travel to that buys bricks for twice as much cause they're rarer there. That player could make a small profit from transporting those bricks along with picking up experience if he choose to fight mobs on the path between cities or if he really wanted to just play as a "merchant" he could avoid contact with mobs as best he could and make his way to the other town sell his bricks for a profit and buy something there that he knows he can sell for a profit in another town and head there next.

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