Item value in relation to local or global sale design

Barin999

Journeyman
I came across a stream of VoT where they discussed shared banks, locally or globally.

This got me thinking, how this design and common local or global sales would impact the value of items in general.
It seems quite an important factor but it seemed somewhat overlooked, while most focus on what use shared banking could be for them and their alts.

I hope to stir a discussion how you think it would have an influence.

If there is a shared bank, items lose their value. Be that sentimental value or difficulty to obtain. When those items reach other players beyond your own account, by trade, sharing or broker. If items drop only from a certain mob, region, content it will be of certain value. When this item is allowed to be easely transferred or otherwise traded throughout the world, one could say you're undermining the meaning/dept of the content itself.

When shared banking is available, the achievement of obtaining that loot, will be felt less so by that alt you are gearing up with it. In the scenario where there is no shared banking, you as a player, would still need to venture out on your alt and get it yourself or have friends trade it with you. This would be a more direct felt experience while playing on that alt. And that in turn could feel more rewarding and enjoyable. In the long run that would keep players in the game and unrolling alts.

If banking or broker systems, would go beyond the region/local market, this could greatly impact the value of items on a global scale and on a community scale. This in comparison to the shared bank design, that would mostly impact the singular player itself. So the consequences of this global market would put a lot of pressure on the prices of any and all items that players seek to cash in.
When the dev's design a loottable and put a price tag on the items themselves, there might be some thought behind it.

While you can state that prices can also go up not only down. That is true but for most of the items, the value actually could go down (depending on the npc merchant design, where certain npc's might offer more then others for specific kind of items). Rare and more unique items might end up higher priced. Again the majority of items would decrease in value. This is especially true when you look at the long term of the economy within a game. Where content is consumed by the masses and items are pushed out onto the broker by huge amounts, decreasing in value with each new addition and level increase.

I find this somewhat troubling. It might seem strange at first, but it could be more enjoyable in the long run when those features are not implemented in the game. And you can only use your personal bank and regional npc's or broker.
Yes, they are both very handy and would really be features that make gaming more comforting to the player. And MANY would agree and demand this as basic feature. But just consider going without and how that would impact your gaming experience and item value in the long run.

What is your take on the manner, looking at it from this angle?
 

Baerr

Novice
The only experience I have with market restrictions was in Eve online...Depending on the region, products could vary greatly. In fact, apart from regional manufacturing hubs in high sec, very few sources existed in the early years of the game for getting the best prices on items and the value is usually quite proportional To the risk and work involved to transport items (or go and pick them up).
I think that services contracts are critical to this type of sandbox trade system to allow some flexibility of play style
As you mentioned, alts are useful in these systems because they can be in more than a single location, and provide for diverse playability of different roles (Transportation, protection, etc.).
I think that the transport of items in such a system should be a “game” or game role of its own (PvE of course) to keep things interesting and promote playability of all aspects of the design...
This may be quite a departure from the planned game system, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I always enjoyed the depth and sort of like a cartoon, the notion of plausibility and occasion for playable strategy ofthe game world mechanics got me past seeing those as frustrations instead greeting them as challenges.
Just my 2 cents...In interested to hear others’ take on the topic
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
So, the challenge with not having shared banks is that people will engage in severely risky behavior to move stuff back and forth between their characters. @Barin999 - you aren't wrong about the potential impact on local/regional markets, but it is still probably the lesser of two evils when it comes to the volume of CS tickets generated because someone got scammed out of their items by trusting the wrong person, or they dropped a bag in the woods where they thought no one was, and somone else picked it up. (Both of those things happened continually in EverQuest, which did not have shared banks).

Even with shared banks, there are still things you can do to get closer to local/regional economies like EVE or SWG. One of the biggest things is simply consumer visibility. As a buyer, I shouldn't have the ability to easily see what's for sale in far-flung regions of the world, or even the next town over. If I want to go look for something I should have to travel there myself to do it. While it's true that people will use alts to get around this, it's no different than them asking a guildmate "hey can you pick me up a sword over there in Thronefast?" To mitigate that, there simply need to be enough market regions to prevent any single person from covering all of them, and ideally, there should be a fee/tax structure in place that makes buying in the big hubs more expensive than buying in smaller towns.

One possibility is that shared banks can exist but banks are local - meaning that if you put stuff in the bank in Thronefast, you can't get it out of the bank in Faerthale. Not if it's your local bank, and not if it's a shared bank. You could couple that with a fee-based courier service where you can see the item you have in Thronefast, and if you want to pay the system, that item can be shipped to your bank in Faerthale or Syronai's Rest or wherever. There's a price involved, maybe scaling based on distance, and possibly a wait as well.

Another option if we want to take a page from EVE is the ability to set up contracts out of your bank. So for example, let's say I have 50 lizard hides sitting in the bank in Skarhold that I want to sell, but I don't really want to go all the way back to Skarhold from where I am now to sell them. Perhaps I can set up a sale contract remotely. It will cost me an extra fee, of course, but that's ok - I'm trading convenience for coin.

If we really wanted to, we could take that a step further. If you want to pay the NPCs to do it, you can ship your goods to your banks in different regions, and then list them up for sale. Obviously, it's far cheaper to transport the goods and arrange the sales yourself, but hey, time is money, right? If the stuff you have is valuable enough, you'll probably still break even.

It's going to be alpha before we really start to have an idea of how the economic portions of the game are going to work. In the meantime though, it's fun to think about different possibilities.
 

vjek

Novice
It's all part of another failed attempt at arbitrage in the modern world. And more specifically, arbitrage in a world where there's teleportation and instant communication.

The only reason arbitrage works is ignorance and delay. If you take away one or both, it can't work. You can't take advantage of the ignorant customer and/or the delay. Arbitrage fails.

I don't know why VR is trying this, when it's trivial to prove it won't work. tlpauctions has been around for many years, and the entirety of their website value is a single python script parsing a single chat channel.
Global chat channels have been confirmed. Client side log file, confirmed.
But even without that? People will do it entirely outside of the game, if required to ensure they'll never get scammed again.

Shared banks are at best a mild speed bump without enforced temporal delay in the inevitable global market. But they're so far away (in time) from implementing these things, and there's no way they're going to use a logical system, given their track record to date.
 
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