Can I suggest another few alternative ideas to be debated?
Some cut & pastes from my lodestone blog:
"B - Regarding separate listings of normal items & '+' versions of the same item. Instead of having one entry for each type of normal & + version, why not just have the one item occupy one line entry - but when you select that entry to use or transfer between yourself and retainer/trader the pop up box where you select the amount you which to use/transact shows you the split you have between normal and + versions so you can select what portion of either you want.
9/12 freshwater fare
Crayfish < >/8
Crayfish +1 < >/1
(1) remove the problem of multiple entries using up invent space for what is essentially the one item
(2) indicate to noobs like me that it is only the one item (for some reason I started synthing with the idea that I had to use the same + version for the each synth and couldn't mix them up ^^)
(3) remove having to do multiple transaction windows to transact all the different + versions. I know that with the current laggy environs I'm finding having to do multiple transactions is both time consuming and very annoying. Even if the lag was removed I think I'd still find it annoying.
C - Regarding buying & selling through retainers. I like the retainer bazaar and market idea. It's been sometime since I played ffxi, but I remember the high lag caused by player bazaars who set themselves up near the end-game or other high traffic area AHs, so (i) splitting the market into market area types is brilliant" .... "I also think it urges more of a realistic feel to the game that we have to 'go to market', so I could get used to not having an AH function as I've experienced in the past. To a point that is...."
"The strongest reason for an AH is reducing time wastage and frustration from having to find and scroll through aaaaaall the (possibly hundreds or thousands of) retainers (ie street sellers). I like how ffxiv is trying to emulate the street seller environ, but there are differences between real-life street sellers and ffxiv retainers. In ffxiv the population of street sellers compared to the area they occupy is going to be far more dense than real-life. Real-life street sellers tend to be more permanent and stable, so you get to know them, their personalities, and what they do. I don't think there is going to be the same consistency in ffxiv either because individual chars might be short-lived, or because individual chars change their synthing focus and mob area/kill focus regularly and therefore change what goodies they are willing to sell off and/or buy regularly. All this equals high inconsistency in bazaar goods, so essentially every time you 'go to market' with the existing system the player is going to have to check all the bazaars ALL OVER AGAIN to get what they want!!!
Add into this that irl street sellers not only have their appearance and usual trading goods that set them apart, but personality. Voice, speech patterns, whether they spruike, whether they recognise regular customers by giving discounts, that kind of thing. Also the density of the buying/selling crowd might be anywhere between a relaxed 1st saturday of the month street market stroll, to a frantic stock market frenzy depending on the demand for the item and pricing. Plus also bull & bear market conditions could possibly be factored in ^^.
I think the existing retainer system can be adjusted to account for all of the above without having to revert to an all in one AH. This is to attempt to retain the market stall atmosphere, if that is what ffxiv devs are trying to achieve.
(1) Allow the retainer bazaar still, but as a secondary option. Eg a fallback seller option when players can't afford the market fees, (or otherwise just want to brag about what they've got ^^).
(2) The primary buying/selling method should be for the retainer to negotiate through set NPC market stalls on behalf of the player. This way the player doesn't have to be warping all over the place unless they want to browse, but the browsing shouldn't take as long or be as frustrating as the existing system. The market wards could stay as they are, but set NPC market stall sellers should be introduced. For example, in the Grocer's Row area you could have separate NPC stalls either organised by type (liquid, spice, meat, etc), by food bonus (mp, vitality, etc) or by area (like in ffxi where you had regional goods npcs). The stall NPC would auto sell the goods offered at the set player price, but then would sell at the lowest offered price first (goods on sale walk out the door faster ^^). Utilising the above normal vs '+' listing would also be useful here.
(i) Buying. Either the player can interact with the market stalls directly to see what's on hand to buy right at this moment, or otherwise, if the player is not in a hurry to get the item and thinks they might get a better price for the item at another time, but don't want to stay logged in to keep an eye on it, they can set buying conditions for their retainer to keep an eye out for them.
(ii) Selling. Whatever the player sets up to sell via the retainer, the retainer locates the most appropriate stall **for each individual item** and it's listed for any interested buyers automatically.
(iii) Trading. As above the player sets it up, but rather than searching through retainer NPCs buyers/traders who are interested in seeing what is on offer would go to the relevant NPC.
The current situation where buying through your retainer takes two command lines, instead of the one needed when selling, needs to be corrected. It's like the player is being penalised for daring to participate more in depth in the retainer trading experience.
I think the above would
(i) remove the problem and frustration of retainer bazaar market crowding and searching in place of set NPC sellers.
(ii) keep the market atmosphere that I think the ffxiv devs are aiming for without reverting to a full AH system.
(iii) flesh out the retainer role so it has more depth.
A few additional suggestions:
E - Items set to sell through a retainer, to be auto listed in the above set NPC market stalls, if the item has multiple uses, could be simultaneously listed in those stalls, or otherwise SE could force the player to choose one above others ^^.
F - I think it would add to the atmosphere if, in the individual wards, the NPC market stall holders irregularly spruiked one of their best priced goods. It doesn't have to be an actual voice, that might perhaps be too much developmental effort for the hundreds of items available :) but just a random area /sh out by the NPC would encourage a "get it while it's hot!!" atmosphere ...
G - ffxi had a reputation bonus in reducing NPC goods fees. I think ffxiv could do something similar using surcharge fees - but make it not overall for the whole game - but for particular NPC market stall holders. If the char has a long/good trading history with the NPC market stall holder perhaps the NPC will recognise the value of the long-standing customer relationship with a surcharge discount? :)
H - I think there will need to be specialty stalls specific for non-monetary trades. One for crystal trading. One for non-crystal. And perhaps a 3rd to trade items to crystal."
The retainer to NPC negotiation idea above evolved horizontally to the NPC Junk Stall idea below on 18/12.
"Just considering the Eorzean economy from the possibility that the SE devs never get around to introducing an Auction House. What alternate things could be done to help improve the game in place of an Auction House?
Whatever 'market access' system SE chooses to introduce or enhance (if no auction house), it would need to be complementary to the existing retainer bazaar / ward markets system. The biggest complaint people seem to make (apart from not being able to instantaneously compare prices in the one place) is having to check through hundreds of crappy bazaar lists to try and find the one item they want. If it's there at all. So I suggest an alternative to have to bazaar search for items....
Junk Shop NPC!!
The devs seem to want to mimic real life so much - well 'junk' or 'pawn' shops are _everywhere_ in real life.
The real life mechanics of Junk Shops are that a person is offered a price for goods they want to sell, and then the Junk Shop marks up the price exorbitantly to make a profit themselves ^^. The price offered to the person selling would need to be beneficial enough that the seller makes the effort of bringing their goods to that Junk Shop.
There are 2 ways I see this working in Eorzean markets:
(1) sell to any NPC at the existing discounted sell price, all goods sold are then forwarded from all NPC stall holders to a central Junk Shop NPC who on-sells those items at a price the item would normally cost if the price was determined by a NPC seller, not a player.
Example - A cotton boll currently sells to NPCs for 106, but if it is purchased from an NPC it costs 4636. So, in this (1) suggestion, all items sold by all adventureres across an area (I envisage this being area based - Thanalan, La Noesca, Black Shroud) are accummulated by central Junk Shop NPC who then offers them for sale.
The problem with the above is that the list of items available would be HUUUUGE, and horrible to scroll through, which then leads on to suggestion....
(2) There be specialised Junk Shop NPCs. The items adventurer's sell to NPCs are only onsold to other adventurers if it is sold to that specialist Junk Shop NPC. There would need to be a bonus price offered to sellers to encourage them to sell to these specific NPCs.
Example - Junk Shop stall A buys and sells hides for leathercraft. Junk Shop stall B buys and sells fieldcraft tools. NPC stall C is a general seller.
An Adventurer has a Buffalo Hide to sell.
Buffalo Hides normally cost 24,000 to buy, but they sell to NPC vendors for 504.
If the Adventurer sells it to the specialist stall A they get a special price of, perhaps 2016? The hide is then included in the existing stock of items held by stall A to on-sell to other Adventurers.
If the Adventurer sells to stall B, as stall B does not specialise in hides for leathercraft, the stall holder will not purchase the item from the adventurer.
If the Adventurer sells to stall C, the stall holder will purchase the item at the regular price of 504 only, and the item is not able to then be on-sold to other Adventurers.
Further - the specialist Junk Shop stalls could be placed within the relevant market ward. Or - if the devs wanted to encourage visits to outlying towns, the specialist stall could be placed in those outlying townships instead. This could potentially help to develop the atmosphere/community in those outlying townships perhaps ^^.
I would see this as solving a few problems with the existing system:
- Removes crap/junk stuff from retainer bazaars so that adventurers focus on doing their own specialist sales instead of just putting up any old crap that drops.
- Removes the problem of time waste for adventurers who don't want to spend an hour searching for a relatively low value item, while still giving some leeway for those who want to 'shop around' to do so.
- Retainers would have a set point (the NPC sell value) they would need to be competitive with."
Edited, Dec 18th 2010 10:11am by justpassingthrough1
Edited, Dec 18th 2010 7:36pm by justpassingthrough1