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We introduced a new feature into the Alpha with the 8.2 update - Auction Houses. This is the missing piece of the puzzle that enables the game to start to develop a viable economy. Players can now buy and sell on the markets created by these Auction Houses.
We have implemented a style of auction, the "Dutch Auction", that may be new to you so we wanted to explain how it works in more detail.
These are the rules:
Sellers post a lot for auction with two variables - a starting offer and a minimum price. Eventually you may also be able to set the length of the auction but right now all auctions are hard coded 48 hours.
The price listed is per item. So if you list a stack of 10 swords, you are offering them for sale at the listed price each not for the whole stack.
Each auction starts at your listing price and the price slowly reduces until your minimum price is met at the end of the auction. If no one buys the item before it hits the minimum price the auction terminates as time expires and your items are returned.
You pay the 1% listing price based on the value of the listing - the starting price multiplied by the number of units you are listing.
Right now we don't have a "buy order" system so you have to monitor the items you want to purchase until they reach the price you want to pay. Buy orders are in the design plan for the Auction House.
The Bank is the building where you access the Local Vault and your Abadar credit. There is a Bank in each Settlement. Items you place in the Local Vault are only accessible at that specific location. When you visit the Bank any coins in your character's inventory are converted to universally available Abadar credit. When you need to pay a fee or a sale price in the Auction House the funds are withdrawn from your Abadar credit and/or your character's inventory automatically by the system as needed.
Abadar is a lawful neutral aligned deity with a portfolio of Cities, Wealth, Merchants and Law. His Banks provide important economic services throughout the River Kingdoms.
You will accumulate coin as you defeat opponents in the wilderness. These coins are automatically converted to Abadar credit when you open the Local Vault or buy and sell things at the Auction House. (There is a typo on the Local Vault window currently that calls this currency "Abaddon Credit". Abaddon is a whole different thing entirely :> )
You can withdraw coin from the Local Vault and it will appear in your inventory as Coin items of the proper type (copper, silver, gold or platinum).
If you click the close control on the Withdrawal Amount window, you can open it again by clicking on your balance in the Local Vault window.
When you move something from your inventory to the Local Vault, it will remain at that Local Vault until you return and reclaim it. There is a different Local Vault at each Bank building and they are not connected. Each character has their own Abadar credit account and Local Vault and credit accounts and Local Vault storage is not shared across all the characters on an account.
Eventually Companies and Settlements will have shared credit accounts and Local Vault options but those functions are not yet in the game.
We want to make transportation a major aspect of the economy. Needing to move raw materials, processed crafting supplies, and finished goods from place to place creates many engaging activities. It means that transportation is a career, guarding transports is a career, and of course attempting to rob transports is a career.
It also means that there will be arbitrage. In other words it will be possible for players to find goods in one location that are cheap, and move them to another location where demand is higher and prices are higher, and profit on the difference.
We don't want to make all the money in the game an inventory item that has to be transported from place to place like physical goods. The reason is that experience (both in the real world and in MMOs) teaches us that in any such system large cash transactions are quickly replaced by some form of "letter of credit". The risk of moving money is just too high so people will avoid it. Rather than let an informal "letter of credit" system evolve that is outside of our control and ability to monitor and manage, we are going to abstract that concept directly into the game system itself. Abadar credit is a virtual currency that cannot be looted and is available universally in the game.
However we do want there to be some interesting risk in the loot that you recover from slaying monsters. We want you to be worried about the danger of bandits in the area and we want bandits to know that adventurers are a good source of income. When you defeat a monster (human or otherwise) you may receive some Coin as a part of the loot. This coin is not virtual. It is actual hard currency and when we add husks and husk looting in the near future, that Coin can be recovered from your husk if you are killed.
The longer you stay in the wilderness fighting monsters the more coin you'll accumulate. You will want to think about how often you should return to a town with a Bank and deposit those funds. Once you turn them into Abadar credit, the Coin is made safe. Frequent trips to town will minimize your risk but will take time and reduce the time you can spend adventuring. Each player will have a different opinion on how much risk is too much risk.
You can do two things in the Auction House: Buy and sell.
Buying is easy. You find something you want, and you purchase it if you have enough money.
The UI for the Auction House doesn't currently show you just things you can purchase. It displays all the items in the system that match your current search parameters. Eventually we'll have some filters.
To begin let's look at the search filters, the large set of controls in the upper left corner. There are four parts to this system.
Search Text: You can type search strings into this box to help narrow down your search. If you type "longsword" the search will look for every item that has "longsword" within the following search parameters (Category, Subcategory & Tier).
You can clear this field by deleting all the text and then pressing the "enter" key.
Category: You can choose to filter by standard inventory category. We set the category to "Weapon" for this example.
Subcategory: Within each inventory category there are many subcategories. You can click on the current subcategory to remove the subcategory filter completely. We set the subcategory to "Blade" for this example.
Tier: You can select the Tier of the item you want to search for, or click the current Tier to remove it completely. We set the Tier to 1 for this example.
The search window will show you all of the items that match your search - not just items with open auctions but all items (we expect that when the game is in live operation there will be auctions posted for every possible item in all the Auction Houses by merchants who are seeking information about pricing in every market.)
If you select one of the items in the search window you will see all the current auctions for that item as well as the description of the item and some market information about that item. (Note: The "Prices" data for average selling prices, etc. is currently not enabled.)
To purchase an item use the "Buy button next to the auction listing you want to purchase. (Note: at this time the Bid button does not work and is scheduled to be removed from the UI and replaced with a "Buy Order" button when that functionality is introduced).
If you have enough money either in Abadar credit or inventory Coin (or a combination of both) your purchase will be successful. The item you acquired will appear in your inventory and your funds will be debited the sales amount.
When you purchase an item in an auction the system debits your Abadar credit. If you don't have enough Abadar credit the system will sweep your inventory looking for inventory Coin to make up the difference. (And of course if you just don't have enough money you won't be able to win the auction.)
You have to decide what you want to sell, and the price you want to offer it for sale as well as the minimum price you'll accept.
Access the inventory either in your Local Vault or on your character's inventory using the window in the middle of the right side of the screen.
The Inventory tab shows you your character's inventory. The Bank tab shows the contents of the Local Vault (this tab will be renamed to "Vault" soon).
Click on an item in the Search system, or the Inventory or Bank tabs to see details about that item in the window at the top of the screen. In the Inventory or Bank tabs, click the Sell button to put the selected item up for auction.
You pay the 1% listing fee as soon as you submit the auction. If you don't have enough funds the attempt to list the item will fail.
You pay the 5% commission when the auction is successful. At the same time the proceeds of the auction will be transferred to your Abadar Credit balance (less the commission).
The Market tab shows you the current auctions open for an item you have selected either from your inventory or from the Search system.
The Sell Orders tab shows you all the Auctions for all items you have posted at that Auction House and what their current prices are.