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For Lack of an Auction House

Tyncale
I think there is too much focus on settlements being self sufficient. Golgotha did just fine without an AH, allying themselves with Kreuz Bernstein for their AH needs close by, and Callambea further away. The fact that those alliances will shift only makes it more interesting.

I think any added AH functionality to settlements without a full blown AH should be vulnerable, and at a cost(i.e. a Holding). The functionality itself should be limited to Raw Mats(buy and sell) which would still make them infinitely useful: I have a feeling that once global browsing is implemented that most of the buying and selling will be about mats, as will the flow of goods across the landscape. I think most people would not mind to travel a little further for a finished T3 sword, but they will consider it very convenient if they can haul that batch of coal from a Holding-AH closer by. I am sure we will see some larger shipments of finished goods too(sieges), but imo that will be a minority of the Trade flows. I think finished items should still be the exclusive domain of a true AH-settlement.

Maybe if you upgrade the Holding AH to +5, it gains the functionality to buy/sell refined mats. But never finished items.

And honestly, we need to give those 5k Inn-owners something tangible. I always felt for them. Being able to open some sort of AH in the wilds would be a huge boon. That is a hot spot for gatherers/traders right there.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Fiery wind
+1 to something good for Inn owners. 5k is a lot for what has turned out to be a nameless building that does nothing.
Giorgio
Bob
This here is the trickiest part of the discussion: What is the bare minimum auction-like capability for a viable player settlement? Nothing? Bids only (almost like a light contract system)? Loot/Mats only? T1 only? Some variant of an AH nearby (core 6, neighboring settlement, NPC settlement within reasonable running distance)? An actual Auction House in every settlement? Something else that fills the same needs, or a subset of those needs?

Bob, I don't understand the economic/market system well enough to answer, as your post on "adding AHs to every settlement in order to…" seems to reference many multiple sub-systems that are interlaced/intertwined and are working on multiple levels (what exists now, what is on the roadmap, what would be implemented with more staff… ).

PFO as a work in progress game is thoroughly confusing to me on so many levels (as a not Theme park MMO and not PF RPG mechanics relatable), that is hard to keep track of so many moving parts (see the dozens of threads in the crowd forging section on EE14 & EE15 changes alone).

As to your question "What is the bare minimum auction-like capability for a viable player settlement?" I might be able to be more constructive if the information I need to analyze is presented in a different way. I would prefer either a Funnel Sequence (broad open questions leading to more closed questions) or Inverse Funnel Sequence (the opposite of the Funnel Sequence) approach to get a bigger picture of what this whole Economic Activity system (Gather + Refine + Craft + Trade or Buy/Sell; damage/destroy/loot) is intended to do, what there current status is, what problems are known/projected, what can be worked on now vs. later, what the design intent is now vs. the pre-road map vision and so forth (bringing together dozens of threads into a whole); basically an Developer Design post on the PFO economic system.

Short of that, I will say in non-math terms to your question:

A player settlement should have a economic/market capacity equal to the time, resources and efforts that group of players want to invest in and have a good gaming experience, while having to make a hard choice on using a settlements limited structure slots. If they want the bare minimum, use Thornkeep. Something basic, upgrade a default building or build a small structure. A mid range of economic options (enough to cover the most common settlement needs, but without specializing), build a medium size structure and trade with neighbors. Something advance and that sets your settlement apart from others and becoming an economic powerhouse and trade center, build a large Auction House. I will leave it to others who understand the economic system to put that into in-game math and details. smile
First Elder Durin Steelforge; Leader of Forgeholm; Founder of Steelforge Engineering Company

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Bob
The dynamic state of the game definitely makes it harder to talk about the design. Sadly, the economic system is so complex that I'd be hard-pressed right now to find the time to write up something that really captured the current state of all those moving parts and our longer-terms plans for improvement.

However, perhaps I can reframe the question about "bare minimum auction-like capability" for a settlement. What I mean by "auction-like capability" is primarily "the ability to buy and/or sell certain items on a relatively open market without requiring direct interaction between buyers and sellers." So the question is whether or not some level of that ability is essential to making a settlement viable when competing against settlements that do have Auction Houses (assume a working economy with reasonable availability of goods at mostly-acceptable prices, crazy as that may sound at the moment). As a starter, will settlements without any such ability at all have trouble attracting crafters because those crafters can't easily get ingredients without muling them in themselves or agreeing to just craft what the company/settlement wants from shared vaults? Will they attract significantly less adventurers for advanced training (and the taxes from that training) if those adventurers can't easily dispose of their inventory upon arrival by putting it up for sale?

Perhaps the answer is that there are enough players willing to mule things around as needed, or willing to hire out for mule runs, to keep this from being a major issue. Perhaps there are plenty of playstyles where the lack of "auction-like capability" is balanced out by other advantages of that playstyle. Perhaps completely socialist settlements and other such options are attractive to enough players that such settlements will be numerous and thrive. If so, then the current system for providing those abilities is fine. If it's more like only a few such settlements could likely thrive, then that tempts me to look at things like making it easier to have auction-like capabilities in and/or around settlements, but still leaving it optional.

On the other hand, if it felt more like such settlements would inevitably struggle to attract enough players to keep them competitive, then it raises the question of whether some level of auction-like capabilities is essential, or if there are better methods we could use to make such settlements more viable.

It certainly seems like the general sense here is that settlements are perfectly viable without any kind of Auction Houses, and that many of you want to have such settlements. I just want to make sure we've thought through these issues enough to make a good decision one way or another.

Of course, there's still a separate question of whether or not the lack of ubiquitous Auction Houses annoys players in general, particularly those not quite as willing to just turn all their stuff over to their companies or settlements. That concern is what initially led to this proposal, but there are certainly other things we could do about that if we decide that we should avoid too large an increase of Auction Houses and other auction-like capabilities.
Tyncale
I think global browsing, and being able to buy remotely (and possibly relist the items on the AH where the goods physically are) will even out the playing field more for AH and non-AH settlements. This means that Global Browsing and buying should be possible without being near an AH, i.e. a function of the general UI.

Gameplay(PvP, banditry, Diplomacy, caravans) around Trade should focus on the Regionality of where mats/items are, and their Transport to where they are ultimately needed/wanted. The big question is, do we water down that gameplay around the actual Transport by dotting the entire map with pick-up and drop-off points?

The buying and selling itself, checking out the markets and supply and demand, where to best bring and list your goods, should be convenient and easily accessed for all players. Having to run around just to check stuff maybe accepted now but even now you can see everyone listing their wares on the forums and trying to keep that updated.

You are cutting a majority of the overland flow of goods when every settlement can look to its own AH for Trade(Buy, sell, drop off, pick up). I would expect to see only large shipments for instance for Coal from Mountain settlements to Cropland settlements, and the occasional haul of a few specialty items from a Settlement that can make T3 bows to one that can not make these. I am not sure if that is enough.

As it was during the forever war, I got regular shipments from 12 Hexes away of certain Tier 2 mats. I wanted them, and where they came from was no AH. Those goods will now only come to my Settlement if I value those goods much higher then their own local AH. That may still be a thing. But all the trade around self-sustainment(is that a word?) will become completely local imo.

Edit: I agree that having an AH is pretty big boon to a settlement. Is there enough trade-off for choosing *not* to have an AH? Maybe having an AH should use up both Major spots so no more place for a Church or whatever. I would be totally ok with this: I always figured Settlements can put down too many buildings as it is. BUT! trying to funnel/invoke player-activity(PvP, strife through scarcity and blocks) by forcing them to make choices that may overall be considered as un-fun(why can't I have easy access to mats/items, while they can?!) is also a dangerous road to walk (these days).

So maybe:
* Implement global browsing/buying
* Implement AH-holdings with restrictions (choice concerning cost, vulnerability) and consider it as an ungoing test of how important players consider this functionality.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Azure_Zero
@Tyncale
While I can agree that global browsing should be put in, But I do not believe remote buying should be in.
As I believe you should still need to Go that the Original AH that the goods were put up in to buy them, as blacklisting and denying other settlements access to your AH is something you forgot about.
And being able to buy goods in say TK and then a few moments later relisting them in Talonguard for pick up, it's teleporting Goods from one side of the map to the other bypassing a lot of bandit territory.
Flari-Merchant
@ Bob

I am not commenting positively or negatively on the issue but I can't stay away. From the above explanation it sounds like you should take a look at what exactly this "loot" cycle that you are concerned about adventurers having an easy time converting to coin and getting their replacement gear, whether to replace broken or to upgrade because of advancement.

Look at the actual "cycle" that goes on between adventure, dispose of by selling, buy new gear, adventure, repeat. Look at what "loot" is. You play yourself. What kind of "loot" do you get and what do you do with it? I get coins, I get tokens, I get an occasional recipe/expandable and I get a little bit of salvageable materials. I get very little actual ready raw mats. That is what drops.

What do I do with it? I bank the coin. I bank the recipes and give or trade them to mates. I bank the salvage an lil bit of ready mats so that I have them for my own crafters and for when I ask to have an item I need crafted by another. This, I believe, is fairly typical server wide. Could be wrong but I doubt it.

This is how the economic cycle has developed here. It is different, a bit, than the cycle in most MMOs and the cycle that was envisioned for this game. That may be because the pop is low, because most characters are super developed at this point(crafter wise) or who knows but it isn't your typical materials cycle that supports AHs. When I ask a crafter to make me a piece of gear he asks for materials as payment. He does not, almost 100%, ask me for coin. There is a little bit of the crafting and selling for coin that goes on, but not nearly enough that you need be concerned about a loot cycle like you have written here about.

I suggest much less coin dropping and much more salvage and raw material if you want a cycle that is closer to the one envisioned.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Bob
Azure_Zero
While I can agree that global browsing should be put in, But I do not believe remote buying should be in.
As I believe you should still need to Go that the Original AH that the goods were put up in to buy them, as blacklisting and denying other settlements access to your AH is something you forgot about.
And being able to buy goods in say TK and then a few moments later relisting them in Talonguard for pick up, it's teleporting Goods from one side of the map to the other bypassing a lot of bandit territory.

If we ever introduced any kind of global buying/selling, we'd block the teleporting of goods. If you were in Marchmont and purchased an item for sale in Thornkeep, we'd probably just put the item in your personal vault in Thornkeep, or create some other mechanism that locked it down in Thornkeep until someone went there and picked it up. Likewise, if you wanted to put that item back up for sale remotely, you'd be putting it back up for sale in Thornkeep. Credits would effectively be moving around the map instantly, but not items.

We'd also still respect the rules at each individual AH. A person blacklisted at a particular AH wouldn't be able to view or place either offers or bids there.
Tyncale
Hell yes, I figured it was a given for everyone that the goods would not magically transport across the landscape. "Physical" transport of goods across the maps has been an advertized pillar of the game since the first Tech demo; I guess I have been here to long and just assume that everyone knows that that is a rock solid premisse of this game.

That is why I only talk about "re-list" and not "list" when talking about goods bought remotely. Obviously you can only list goods at that AH/settlement, where the goods actually *are*.

A search in the global AH UI for Tansy Leaves would look something like this:

Name Amount available Price Seller Location of Items(pick up point)
Tansy Leaves 800 6 copper Tyncale Callambea AH
Tansy Leaves 380 12 copper Padrick Golgotha (Holding Coord. -12,8 )

To prevent players from "playing the AH" of a certain settlement remotely, it may be good to not allow relisting remotely anyway. So goods that you bought remotely go into your personal Vault of that city and wait there untill you pick them up. I guess AH owners would want to keep control over who lists what, even though the goods are physically there.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Bob
Flari-Merchant
What kind of "loot" do you get and what do you do with it? I get coins, I get tokens, I get an occasional recipe/expandable and I get a little bit of salvageable materials. I get very little actual ready raw mats. That is what drops.

That's pretty much what I see from the "looting mobs" side, but I also tend to be one of those players who just can't walk past a node without gathering from it, at least when I'm on my own. As a result, I've often got kind of a mix of loot and mats whenever I arrive somewhere. I've also generally found that I'm relatively loaded up with stuff whenever I arrive at another settlement, even a nearby one, at least enough that I'd like to get rid of some stuff before heading out of town. Back when I played more independently, I'd always stop at the Auction House before leaving town and put everything I didn't need up for sale. Sometimes I'd also buy a bunch of whatever was cheap there and take it with me to the next settlement to try to sell it there, but I'd always leave myself room for as much loot and mats as I expected to pick up along the way. When we introduced the structure kits and only some player settlements had Auction Houses, I started finding myself having to plan on making mule runs later (during which I wouldn't want to do much combat and risk the larger load of items), or running from one settlement to another without killing anything or gathering because I was already overloaded. There's nothing wrong with that, but for players who primarily enjoy combat and/or gathering, that's the design incentivizing them to avoid their preferred behavior. Personally, I started just routing myself through only settlements that had Auction Houses most of the time. If I needed to go to a distant settlement for advanced training, I'd do so, but often wound up just leaving stuff in the bank that I wasn't sure I'd ever bother to do anything with.

These days I'm less independent and more invested in the Bloodstone Swords, so I just put everything in the company bank (aside from automatically converted coins), trusting that Lisa will eventually put it to good use and keep me outfitted in all the equipment I need in return.

Flari-Merchant
What do I do with it? I bank the coin. I bank the recipes and give or trade them to mates. I bank the salvage an lil bit of ready mats so that I have them for my own crafters and for when I ask to have an item I need crafted by another. This, I believe, is fairly typical server wide. Could be wrong but I doubt it.

I do agree that's basically what most folks do. It works out great for those with connections and a more social bent, which seems to describe the current community pretty well. However, Auction Houses ultimately offer more potential buying and selling opportunities for those who prefer to focus on other aspects of the game, so it's important to decide just how essential they (or some subset of their capabilities) really are.
 
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