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[Looking for feedback] Newbie weekly market - an alternative to traders

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Discussion' started by Lovefall, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Hyellow! :)

    Please note that this thread is here just in order to gather feedback; depending of the feedback, the idea (in one form or another) may actually happen, but for now is just an idea open to criticism. So please feel free to be as open as you want in discussing it - any well-intentioned feedback, even direct criticism is appreciated.

    While I was lucky enough to not really have to face this problem myself (at least yet :p), thanks to my mentor, who bought all my loot at a fair price, I become aware of a problem any new player (especially one on a tight budget) will probably experience.


    So...
    describing the problem:

    We do out little hunts, get out loot, and we would normally want to sell said loot (or part of it that we are not interested in) so we can finance our next hunt, because for someone on a tight budget just saving the loot and buy new ammo/weapons on every hunt is not really an option.

    Problem is that...
    - TTing our loot would be a shame - not only that we would get considerable less (and we all know that in EU even 1% can make a big difference over time!), but that loot will also be lost for ever, which would mean lower available mats for crafters
    - Auctioning it - that is not an option mainly because of the auction fees; if you don't have a stack valuing at least 50-100 PEDs, you are more likely to lose on auction fee everything you earn because of the MU
    - Direct selling to crafters - while in theory that sounds cool, reality is that crafters want to buy in bulk - hundreds, maybe even thousands of items, not the few carabok hides a newbie makes on a day/week's hunt
    - Direct selling to traders - that is probably the best option we have at the moment, but is still far from being an optimal one and the reason is that traders have to make their profit too (which is totally understandable), which means that we will get less than the item is actually worth and the buyer would pay more than the item is actually worth; the difference may be small, but again, over time it adds to a value that can make the difference between succeeding or failing in EU


    Proposing a solution that could solve the described problem:

    What if instead of collecting our loots alone 'till we have enough to make a sale, we would put our small stacks together and sell them in bulk to interested crafters?

    My vision about this would be a "
    weekly market run by new players" - something like having one day per week (one weekend day, and at a time that is somehow convenient for both EU and US - for example saturday morning, 10:00 am US time which would be like 18:00 EU time) when we would all gather, put our stacks together, meet with interested buyers and split the coins?

    What's in for us (newbies):
    - Option to sell our loot weekly, at a better price than if we would use a middleman (trader) and much batter comparing with TTing loot; also no auction fees
    - Option to sell even small stacks which we would never make enough of
    - Getting along together; at the end of the day EU is a social game so a group activity could only make the game nicer

    What is in for buyers (crafters):
    - Option to buy what you need in big enough stacks and at a better price than if you would use a middleman (trader) or AH
    - The good feeling of knowing that you actually helped a new player on her/his first steps, without loosing any money in the process
    - Getting along together; at the end of the day EU is a social game so a group activity could only make the game nicer


    Feedback questions:

    For newbies:
    - Would you be interested in this? Do you think this will benefit you?
    - About how much worth of loot you would have for sale on a weekly base?
    - What day/hour interval would best fit you schedule?
    - How you're handle your loot selling/disposal problem atm?

    For buyers (crafters):
    - Would you be interested in this? Do you think it could benefit you?
    - Would you be happy to know that you helped a newbie (as long as you lost no money or time in the process)?
    - About how much worth of loot you would be interested of buying on a weekly base?
    - What you would consider a decently big stack size to make it worth your time?
    - What day/hour interval would best fit you schedule?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  2. Slacker

    Slacker Member

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    Good idea generally, but you would need somebody with authority or reputation to get it started. It is a "chicken-or-egg" problem: buyers will not come unless there are sellers, and sellers will not come unless there are buyers. So you would need an admin or a large buyers to set the date and invite others.

    But:

    Buyers might be concerned about competition driving their profits down. Bidding wars will get a lot worse when you have several buyers in the same spot at the same time. You could set up some kind of market-clearing mechanism like they use on stock exchanges to determine one price that everybody pays, but it requires some serious math skills for buyers, sellers, and especially organizers.

    Admins (MindArk) might not want to lose the auction fees - a money sink for players is reducing withdrawal costs to MindArk. On the other side, MindArk could modify "order" auctions so you could sell small stacks to an existing order without paying the auction fee (which would be paid by the ordering buyer), kinda like they do it in Eve Online.


    I believe the current solution to "small stacks" problem is to accumulate loot until you get a big stack. If you need PED to continue hunting, you are supposed to deposit money (which are used to keep servers running). If some kind of loot accumulates too slowly, you can choose to TT it -- you get less money, but you get it now.
     
  3. Alissanos

    Alissanos Member

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    Sounds kind of like a weekly market run by new players?

    To answer your questions, yes, if I knew the time and place it would be on each week I would most likely come along to buy.

    Not sure about stack size, it would depend on what I was after and that changes often.

    Weekends are good for me.

    I dont know how it would work, trust would have to be established between the sellers, but I like the idea as a buyer.
     
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  4. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Yes, a weekly market run by new players (may be set a limit to not be abused if it would be deemed necessarily).

    There wouldn't be an auction, but pretty much a fixed price which would be fair for both the buyer and the seller (example: the average AH price, MU price, median of price the traders buy/sell for, etc); the idea would be that the "fee" claimed today by the traders would be split between sellers (who would get a bit more) and buyers (who would pay a bit less).

    I doubt MA would lose much (if anything) out of this - us, new players, would have too low stacks to afford to sell on AH anyway, so, at best, we would use the service of a trader (who would have his share) and sell farther.

    Regarding the trust issue - presuming noone trustworthy enough to be trusted by everyone would exist, I think a possible way to handle it would be to trade between first so if for example I would have 50 PED (sale price, not tt price) worth of different types of loot, at the time the buyers would come I would have 50 PED (sale price, not tt price) worth of loot, but a single type - like I would have only carabok hides, next person would have only monura hides, etc.

    I am sure that, presuming there would be enough interest, the details could be workout (but of course, any suggestion of how to work them out is highly appreciated). The main concern though is if there would be enough interest from both sellers (newbies) and buyers (crafters) to make it worthy.
     
  5. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Yeah, that is exactly the problem I try to solve. :)

    There are (I think) enough of us that can't afford a (big enough) deposit to allow them to keep hunting/mining 'till they manage to get enough to sell, and, definitely, can't afford on the long run to TT things.

    Yeah, some people would just do what you said and deposit (more and more) to support their activities. But others (like me) can't afford that, so we would be kinda doomed to quit sooner or later (sooner by running out of "cash" or later by totally running out of resources if keep TTing and eathing more lose at each cycle).
     
  6. Sityl

    Sityl Member

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    I can envision a programmer working for MA setting up a system where a buyer buys small stacks from multiple sellers in one trade, and the coin paid is split appropriately. Feels like this would be less "messy", but would require MA/Arkadia assistance.
     
  7. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    I learned from my last game (also sandbox) to not count on devs help for things we, players, can organize ourselves. :)

    And from what I saw, the situation is not much different here - saw quite a few requests from years ago on forums that are still not implemented even today when I start playing the game. :)
     
  8. Matt Macca Johnson

    Matt Macca Johnson Member

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    Maybe Instead of organising actual buyers and sellers.. Start basic, Organise a heap of Newbies that are interested in just swapping Loot, For example: We all meet at a designated place and time.. with our small stacks of loot.
    I swap Person A Market value of Carabok hides.. of 5 Ped, Person A gives me 5 Ped Market Value of Fine Wool.

    Person A now swaps everyone the Market Value of something for the same value of Carabok Hides.
    I am now consolidating the Fine Wool

    So each person has the same value of what they had when they came but it is all of one product..

    I hope I have explained it correctly.
    It didn't seem basic when I wrote it. LOL

    Cheers
     
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  9. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Kinda as the first step of what I said here (great minds think alike - hahaha):
    So yeah, indeed, if the bigger idea fails through, we can always just try to do that thing. :)

    Problem is that while easier to implement just that, it only solves half of the problem. My whole idea started from a concept I saw both IRL and in other games I played - many people (buyers) are more willing to buy from a startup / a small family business / etc, instead from the big corporations because they can relate at a personal level with their sellers and because they know that they actually do help with that. However, obviously no one is willing to lose money (as in pay more) or time (buying really small stacks) - but if we could solve this issue and by uniting our forces we could provide decently size stacks at a fair market price, I'm sure that many of the buyers would buy from us, knowing that they actually do help someone step a foot in this new world. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  10. Slacker

    Slacker Member

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    Even with selling loot to players, you should not expect to hunt forever without depositing, certainly not at low level. MindArk is a business, it has to make money to pay for servers and employees. If they make it possible to hunt without depositing, nobody would deposit, and game would go broke. Moreover, if they let low-levels like you and me break even on hunting, then high-levels will make money from it, and their withdrawals would bankrupt MindArk even faster.

    All the talk about eco(nomizing) and higher markups is just to make your deposits last longer.

    If you want to make money, you have to do something that most other players can't do, or at least can't do as cheaply as you. E.g. mining rare ores, crafting high-end weapons, or healing efficiently. But any of these requires investing money (and time), to build up skills, find some rare mining spot, etc. Real Cash economy of EU means that laws of real-life Economics are at work.

    It is a standard feature of free-to-play MMO's to make life of free players hard. Here in Entropia, with its real-cash economy, advancing as a free player is practically impossible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  11. Slipnaet

    Slipnaet Member

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    Nice idea from what i read i see 2 problems for now:
    1. Trader posing as Crafter or mid lvl player posing as a newbie(yeah some ppl would take advantage of this).
    2. Players (Newbies and Crafters alike) disagreeing on prices one with wanting to sell as high as possible while the other trying to buy as low as possible.
     
  12. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Your logic has one flaw and I will point it:

    I spend X money (in TT value) hunting; I get (on average, not counting here lucky occasions) Y money (in TT value), where Y < X; the difference between X and Y (either is 1% or 20% or whatever) is MAs guaranteed way of making profit. Now, no matter what I do with that loot, MA already got their profit.

    Now if I manage to sell my loot with a (good/better) markup and manage to break even or even have a slight profit, those money (the MU) comes from other players's pockets, not from MA pockets. And guess what? I will use those money going hunting again, and MA will again get their share from every new cycle of mine. :)

    From MA perspective, they don't care who deposited the money in the first place or how the money got in my pocket, they just have their share from any hunting/mining/crafting cycle I do.



    There are different countries, social, financial and personal backgrounds, etc; what may represent an option in the country you live, may not represent one in mine (or in my specific case). And, anyway, that is not the subject of the topic - I didn't asked/begged for any subsidiary or help from anyone, neither the game or the players (actually I kinda turned down any offer for pitty help); what I tried to do instead was to find a solution that would be a win - win both for seller and buyer, by cutting down the middle man (either that we talk about a trader or AH) and splitting the cost of said middle man.

    And let's please don't turn this into a paid vs free players. I have all respect and gratitude for people that can afford to pay RL$ and I am aware that is because of people that pay that I can play, but, as long as the game allows free players and I don't ask anything from you or others, please don't attack me or treat me as a second class player, just because I can't afford to pay.
     
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  13. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    1.1. If price is already a fair one (in the middle between what a trader would buy and sell for), it would not make sense for the traders to buy - too low room of profit for them; they could rather use their money to buy at their lower buy price from the free market. Also, I guess that the big trader names are kinda known by the community and priority to buying should always be given to known crafters. Community is rather small to know the people (especially those on they buying side :p). Anyway, I really doubt that the problem would be too many buyers - hahaha.

    1.2. Control mechanism could always be in place (like a limit on how much someone can sell - I doubt that for example a real newbie could cycle more than 50-100 PED worth of loot/ammo in a week; at the moment my value is at ~3-5 PED per day.). Anyway, since is not really a subsidue or an overprice, even if someone would manage to cheat their way in, is not like they would get a huge advantage - the buyers would still get a (slighly) better price than buying from traders/AH.

    2. That is totally true, but considering that buyer would not really be here to look for bargains, but more like know they help some new players while not loosing money themselves, and the newbies will know that they are actually benefiting of this, I'm sure that a fair price could always be worked out. And if anyone will just not agree, is not like they are force to participate or sell at said price; whoever would not agree is free to go on their own way, just like far now.
     
  14. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    I like the idea of exchanging the goods with each other... If you organised that part first, say at 10am/6pm from your example, and then at the next timeslot (say 11am/7pm) you make it known that if buyers arrive there will be bigger stacks of goods, then that might be a kicking off point.

    Not sure what my personal reputation is considered to be but I would be willing to lend a hand perhaps if there was something that needed the input or presence of a non-noob trades-person for instance.
     
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  15. Slacker

    Slacker Member

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    You might use hunting profits for more hunting, but some players will withdraw that money, meaning RL loss for MA. Once the word gets out that one can make money by hunting, many more players will start doing it and withdrawing money. There are always Chinese gold farmers willing to work 24/7 for pennies.
     
  16. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    I am not sure you're on the same page as Lovefall here.
    Or MindArk, for that matter.

    If MA could lure millions of Chinese gold-farmers in, they would really like to do that, trust me.

    Because MA are covered for all withdrawals one way or another by the deposits in the system from other people. And on every hunting trip you generate decay either in ammo, weapon use, armour use etc: and this is MA's income. Not deposits. So withdrawals do not affect MA's income. The only affect the current balance of the players balance cards.
     
  17. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    You still fail to see the idea... on each hunt MA will make profit. All those Chinese gold farmers you fear would just make money for MA on each and every cycle via decay.

    The money you deposit in the game do not belong to MA (even afaik according to TOS they have to keep in bank enough money to cover a potential withdrawl of all existing in-game assets at their TT value); they only get the equivalent of money that are lost via various actions (hunting, mining, crafting, auction fees, planet enter fees, etc). So someone withdrawing money doesn't hurt in any way MA's profit. That is the thing - people are free to deposit and withdraw at anytime and the company is not hurt by this. That's and exactly why the game is so stable.

    Like if you now deposit $100 (1,000 PED), MA didn't won anything right away - those money didn't represent an income, they are just there available for withdrawl at any time. They will only start earning (small) percent of your money once it starts being cycled. Imagine it like someone getting in a casino and buying chips; those chips can be exchanged back in money at any time, so the casino didn't won anything just by exchanging money into chips; they only win once those chips are played and the casino gets their share. Some people will come out with more chips they will convert in more money, some others will lose their chips, but overall casino will profit no matter what. Is like on roulette; the whole casino income (excluding good luck/bad luck strikes) comes from those times when the ball lands on "zero".:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  18. Slacker

    Slacker Member

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    MA profit (or rather cash flow) is:
    + deposits
    - withdrawals
    - operating costs (wages, electricity, internet, etc.)
    Loss/gain of TT/PED's within the game only matters in how it affects the amount of withdrawals.

    More withdrawals means less profit. MA is already losing money, both in terms of profit and operating cash flow:
    http://www.mindark.com/investor-relations/financial-reports/
    They will not do anything to increase withdrawals.

    I am pretty sure MA does not have "enough money [in the bank] to cover a potential withdrawl of all existing in-game assets at their TT value". The only thing I can find is EULA paragraph 6, which says MA owes you no more than your deposits over last 6 months:
    MINDARK'S LIABILITY TOWARDS ANY PARTICIPANT SHALL, IF ACKNOWLEDGED, IN EACH INCIDENCE BE LIMITED TO NO MORE THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT TRANSFERRED INTO THE INVOLVED ACCOUNT BY SAID PARTICIPANT UNDER THE SIX MONTHS PERIOD PRIOR TO THE INCIDENT.
    Paragraph 4.1 in the same ToS says that you do not own anything in-game, you just rent it from MA.
    Paragraph 4.2 says MA can change any component of the game, which would include TT values and your PED balance.
     
  19. Lovefall

    Lovefall Deactivated User

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    Dunno, maybe you are legally right, but I really, really, really doubt that MA is considering the deposits as income or profit and not just as a deposit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  20. OZtwo

    OZtwo Active Member

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    I'm sorry here, I think I missed something? You saying MA doesn't depend on deposits and that they have some other way for their income?