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Can we please get a Auction House?

  • Northwold
    Northwold
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.
    Edited by Northwold on May 19, 2023 10:00PM
  • kargen27
    kargen27
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.

    It would be a short time limit. Let's say you set a one week waiting period. That means first week they have nothing to sell. 2nd week they start selling items they purchased week one while buying items they will sell week three. Week three they sell items they bought week two and start buying items for week four. And on it goes.
    I don't see anything wrong with instant flipping.
    and then the parrot said, "must be the water mines green too."
  • Necrotech_Master
    Necrotech_Master
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that. One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time.

    and i was saying that your not going to stop flipping, unless you do what you suggest and put time delays on things

    but thats going to make more people angry and would kill the economy worse than flipping

    say you bought an item by accident, and was just going to relist it immediately to make your money back, but now your saddled with this item for say 3 days before you can relist it

    thats 1 item now taking up storage space for 3 days, that you have 3 days of playtime to accidentally delete the item and then lose your money entirely

    if there was a lockout on selling something after buying, i likely wouldnt even try to buy anything on the off chance i accidentally bought something that i didnt want

    i dont want to derail off the topic of the global auction house that the OP was talking about, but the flipping in the current system is difficult enough that it doesnt overly affect the economy (that effect would come from price addons that would track the sales of the items, which may show and upward trend on something that is being flipped even in smaller amounts)
    plays PC/NA
    handle @Necrotech_Master
    active player since april 2014
  • Northwold
    Northwold
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.

    It would be a short time limit. Let's say you set a one week waiting period. That means first week they have nothing to sell. 2nd week they start selling items they purchased week one while buying items they will sell week three. Week three they sell items they bought week two and start buying items for week four. And on it goes.
    I don't see anything wrong with instant flipping.

    The point isn't the length of the time delay from buying delaying things getting on sale, it's that it forces items to sit in inventory, which is a capped amount of items (and yes this will vary depending on alts etc). Without a time limit your inventory doesn't cap how much you can flip. Only your sales do. So a time delay creates a throttle on the volume of sales.
    Edited by Northwold on May 19, 2023 11:13PM
  • Northwold
    Northwold
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that. One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time.

    and i was saying that your not going to stop flipping, unless you do what you suggest and put time delays on things

    but thats going to make more people angry and would kill the economy worse than flipping

    say you bought an item by accident, and was just going to relist it immediately to make your money back, but now your saddled with this item for say 3 days before you can relist it

    thats 1 item now taking up storage space for 3 days, that you have 3 days of playtime to accidentally delete the item and then lose your money entirely

    if there was a lockout on selling something after buying, i likely wouldnt even try to buy anything on the off chance i accidentally bought something that i didnt want

    i dont want to derail off the topic of the global auction house that the OP was talking about, but the flipping in the current system is difficult enough that it doesnt overly affect the economy (that effect would come from price addons that would track the sales of the items, which may show and upward trend on something that is being flipped even in smaller amounts)

    If you want the economy to work properly, buying something by accident is a significantly less important problem than flipping. As a solo player, for instance, if I buy something from a guild trader by accident, tough.

    And if people don't want to see flipping moderated (I explicitly stated that flipping should not be banned) to a more sensible level, the problem becomes that the supposed advantages of a decentralised trading system are illusory. At which point you might as well give up and have an auction house given the impracticalities of the traders.

    This is very much on topic, I'm afraid. The whole point of my original, quite detailed, post, was to point out that since ZOS seem determined to cling to this system, which does have its benefits, they really ought to address some of its very obvious problems. Frankly, I think you do my post a disservice by singling out one topic among several. These issues need to be looked at in the round.

    The trading system attracts considerable complaints from some quarters that are just continuously ignored, and it's not a small number of players. When the topic comes up on reddit, it looks like a good half of the player base that frequent that forum actively loathe the trader system. It also crops up in various MMO roundups as a reason not to play ESO.

    There are ways to make it better without "betraying" the concept of guild traders and indeed in ways that would make the trading system better reflect its supposed ideals.
    Edited by Northwold on May 19, 2023 11:28PM
  • BergisMacBride
    BergisMacBride
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    As someone said earlier, guild trader bids are by far the largest gold sink in the economy. Take that away and price inflation will only get worse unless they create another draconian gold sink somewhere else that no one will like.

    Plus, the traders locations help keep numerous locations active all times of the day. ESO has very few “dead cities” as a result.

    I get the desire for one auction house to rule them all. When I started playing, I too was taken aback with the way trading was setup as it went completely against the grain of every other MMO I previously played. But I joined some trading guilds and it all gradually changed from there.

    The guild system and trading guilds in particular are a big part of the social lifeblood of this game. Most of mine do all kinds of content in addition to being a trading guild.

    So yeah I kinda wanted an auction house when I first started the game, but now I’m firmly in the NO camp.🤷‍♂️ IMO the guild trader setup is one system that makes ESO unique and adds a measure of depth/quality to the game.

    Join 2 or 3 trading guilds. They don’t have to be in the gold star locations that might have large gold or sales requirements. Two of mine I’ve been in for years almost always get traders each week, although they are not in any of the the prime locations. I STILL make lots of gold from these. I don’t flip but most just sell standard mats all the way down to provisioning ones.

    Take the system we have and make it work for you. My 2 cents…
  • kargen27
    kargen27
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.

    It would be a short time limit. Let's say you set a one week waiting period. That means first week they have nothing to sell. 2nd week they start selling items they purchased week one while buying items they will sell week three. Week three they sell items they bought week two and start buying items for week four. And on it goes.
    I don't see anything wrong with instant flipping.

    The point isn't the length of the time delay from buying delaying things getting on sale, it's that it forces items to sit in inventory, which is a capped amount of items (and yes this will vary depending on alts etc). Without a time limit your inventory doesn't cap how much you can flip. Only your sales do. So a time delay creates a throttle on the volume of sales.

    Crafting bag
    2nd account
    characters that are mules
    private guild bank
    mailing items that get returned to sender

    There would only be an issue for the first week. Your idea would irritate flippers but it wouldn't slow them down one bit. Maybe they miss out on a quick turn around on a new item before the new wears off. Even that would be a rare occurrence.

    Plus server strain in tracking purchased on dates/times so the items could be frozen and eventually released for sale.

    and then the parrot said, "must be the water mines green too."
  • Northwold
    Northwold
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.

    It would be a short time limit. Let's say you set a one week waiting period. That means first week they have nothing to sell. 2nd week they start selling items they purchased week one while buying items they will sell week three. Week three they sell items they bought week two and start buying items for week four. And on it goes.
    I don't see anything wrong with instant flipping.

    The point isn't the length of the time delay from buying delaying things getting on sale, it's that it forces items to sit in inventory, which is a capped amount of items (and yes this will vary depending on alts etc). Without a time limit your inventory doesn't cap how much you can flip. Only your sales do. So a time delay creates a throttle on the volume of sales.

    Crafting bag
    2nd account
    characters that are mules
    private guild bank
    mailing items that get returned to sender

    There would only be an issue for the first week. Your idea would irritate flippers but it wouldn't slow them down one bit. Maybe they miss out on a quick turn around on a new item before the new wears off. Even that would be a rare occurrence.

    Plus server strain in tracking purchased on dates/times so the items could be frozen and eventually released for sale.

    It's amazing how servers are always an issue except when they aren't. Exclude them from the crafting bag. Or find some other solution to moderate flipping. It does get exasperating for individual points from posts -- here expressed as a possibility and acknowledging some of the very points you make -- to be picked up and then met with the standard forum tropes (although mercifully no ones said "it's not good for the health of the game" yet) instead of trying to find ways around an issue.

    It's fine to have no problem with the status quo. But it helps discussion to acknowledge that other people do and find reasonable ways to engage with that.
    Edited by Northwold on May 20, 2023 12:20AM
  • logan68
    logan68
    ✭✭✭
    TaSheen wrote: »
    I believe the "answer" is a total, unreserved, unqualified "no" from the devs.

    AND ME join a freaking guild like everyone else
  • Ulvich
    Ulvich
    ✭✭✭✭
    Dr_Con wrote: »
    the system we have is a mini game in and of itself, changing to an auctionhouse system would cause a lot of players to quit.

    I'll wait for them to post their stories.

    LOL!! Really? I played this game when there were no traders at all. Back then we were begging for an AH. Instead you gave us traders. I left for 7 years because of thinking just like this.
    Hit Hard. Hit Fast. Hit Often - BETA Group: 85 b 9
  • kargen27
    kargen27
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Northwold wrote: »
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    kargen27 wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    Northwold wrote: »
    People who keep citing TTC, do remember that it essentially doesn't work for consoles. If you don't believe me run a search on the console side of the site and you'll see the problem : there's virtually no data there.

    I do think the decision to go with guild traders was a very bad one, for a couple of reasons. But there are advantages and many, many people really like it. Personally, I think some steps need to be taken to find a compromise because this is one of the most polarising topics in the game. It aggrieves as many players as it pleases.


    Disadvantages of guild traders

    1. It makes it very difficult for players to find what they're looking for. And, yes, if it's something like tempering alloy, that's less of a problem. But if you're presented with a master writ that requires you to do shoulders in the style of Bogadoodoometh High Priest, for example, and you don't have the motif, you're stuck. You are unlikely ever to find it using the game's trading system.

    So you end up with the really peculiar situation where everyone on PC is using a third party indexing website, without which a fundamentally important system in the game is effectively broken.


    2. Flipping -- that is, players picking up everything that is cheaply priced and immediately putting it back on sale at a much higher price -- rather undercuts the point of having decentralised traders in the first place. Although such activity is made easier with TTC, it is still a problem without it.

    Flipping means that you end up with the same problems as a central auction house, namely homogenised prices with very little price competition, but with all the disadvantages of having to go from trader to trader to hunt for things. It makes ESO's trading system the worst of both worlds.


    3. The requirement to join a player-managed guild gates players' ability to sell things behind the actions of other players. Which, in a really hardcore MMO, would be fine. But this is ESO; the game that from its inception has been marketed just as much to solo Elder Scrolls fans as to people who want to play with other people and, to this day, is still marketed as absolutely great for solo players unless and until they want to do non-solo content.

    The result is that players who do not want to and will not join a guild -- and there are many of them, even if they are relatively underrepresented here -- cannot sell in any sensible way and so can only access the buying side of the player economy.

    If they cannot access the sell side, they are limited in how much they can buy of anything from guild traders because the price they get from selling items in the normal shops in the game is out by a factor of hundreds, and often thousands, from the price players sell things for at guild traders. And this problem will only get worse because prices in the player economy keep inflating, but the prices paid by in-game shops, and the value of loot and rewards in the game, largely stay the same.

    Gating of who can sell also creates problems in terms of the amount of items that are available in the player economy. In other words, supply is artificially restricted. A player who gets that rare motif but who doesn't belong to a trading guild and already has it, will trash that motif. All those raw materials they don't need? They sit in the craft bag or get junked. So materials that other players want go unused (and prices stay higher).


    Advantages of guild traders

    That said, the other side of it is that the trading system clearly has -- or has in principle -- some advantages that many people enjoy, and for those reasons ZOS does not appear minded to change it.


    1. You cannot bargain hunt with centralised or highly concentrated regional auction houses. Because everyone can see the prices in near real time, price competition is less likely. Prices tend to settle to the same level everywhere.

    By having a trading system with lots of little traders, it is possible to find unexpected surprises at reasonable prices. For a time, before TTC picks it up if you're on PC and/or before the flippers swoop.

    So the system does, imperfectly, encourage more price competition than an auction house, which in practice would lead to none.


    2. Some players (although I have to say it can't be that many as there aren't many guild traders in the game, and their importance as a segment of the player base tends to get overemphasised in this forum because hardcore players are over-represented) have made the trading game and running trade guilds *their game* in ESO, and enjoy it.


    Possible changes

    So where does that leave us? Clearly, I see a lot of problems with the game's trading system and would like it changed. But I come at it from the perspective of a solo player. Other people like it a lot. Some ideas that might strike a compromise:


    1. ZOS themselves should maintain a website like TTC.

    It doesn't have to be live. Indeed, it should not be live because then bargain hunting and price competition will never happen. Perhaps such a site on a one-hour delay would satisfy the need for a central index of where to find stuff while maintaining the peculiar charms of the guild trader system.

    But there really is a problem if the only way the trading system can be made to work as players expect is through a third party website. And there is an even bigger problem if people cannot do that at all on consoles. The only people who can get the store listings data on console are ZOS themselves. They should do so.


    2. Restrictions on flipping need to be introduced.

    I'm not saying that flipping should be banned. But there does need to be some thought into how flipping can be toned down a bit because it does make the economy behave as if there were an auction house when there, quite deliberately, isn't. Perhaps a time delay on reselling items via traders, or similar, just to stop flipping happening too quickly and at too-high volumes.


    3. For solo players who do not want to join a guild, the introduction of NPC traders that are automated, rather than managed by player guilds, that anyone can use, but with conditions that make them less beneficial to use than guild traders. For example, higher fees or a lower number of selling slots.

    If such traders could be introduced, solo players would have access to the economy who otherwise would not, but there is no incentive for players who do use guild traders to switch over. You don't destroy guild traders, in other words, but open up the player economy to a different set of players.


    I think it's clear that there is no appetite at ZOS to move the system to an auction house model. But there are ways to make the existing system better that would help more players than they damage. The economy at the moment is very far from perfect.

    flipping and cornering the market would be 1000x worse in a global auction house, its going to be present in any system in which there are multiple people selling the same items

    the guild trader system doesnt block it, but it does make it harder to successfully flip a larger quantity of things

    I didn't argue for an auction house, though. All I'm saying is that some thought does need to be given to how to delay or reduce flipping in the existing system to allow the trader economy to function in a way that doesn't get close to the disadvantages of an auction house. Because if you want a decentralised economy with price differentiation, the behaviour of flippers actively works against that.

    One way to do that is to introduce a time delay before resale, because in practice that limits how many items flippers can flip at any one time by taking up inventory or bank space for however long the clock has to run, rather than the current possibility that flippers can shuttle back and forth between buying and selling continuously.

    It would be a short time limit. Let's say you set a one week waiting period. That means first week they have nothing to sell. 2nd week they start selling items they purchased week one while buying items they will sell week three. Week three they sell items they bought week two and start buying items for week four. And on it goes.
    I don't see anything wrong with instant flipping.

    The point isn't the length of the time delay from buying delaying things getting on sale, it's that it forces items to sit in inventory, which is a capped amount of items (and yes this will vary depending on alts etc). Without a time limit your inventory doesn't cap how much you can flip. Only your sales do. So a time delay creates a throttle on the volume of sales.

    Crafting bag
    2nd account
    characters that are mules
    private guild bank
    mailing items that get returned to sender

    There would only be an issue for the first week. Your idea would irritate flippers but it wouldn't slow them down one bit. Maybe they miss out on a quick turn around on a new item before the new wears off. Even that would be a rare occurrence.

    Plus server strain in tracking purchased on dates/times so the items could be frozen and eventually released for sale.

    It's amazing how servers are always an issue except when they aren't. Exclude them from the crafting bag. Or find some other solution to moderate flipping. It does get exasperating for individual points from posts -- here expressed as a possibility and acknowledging some of the very points you make -- to be picked up and then met with the standard forum tropes (although mercifully no ones said "it's not good for the health of the game" yet) instead of trying to find ways around an issue.

    It's fine to have no problem with the status quo. But it helps discussion to acknowledge that other people do and find reasonable ways to engage with that.

    Exclude what from the crafting bags? If I buy crafting materials whether I intend on flipping them or not they have to sit in my inventory for a predetermined time? I don't see putting a temporary freeze on reselling items as a reasonable solution. Mainly because I think it is a cure looking for a symptom when there is none. Also because the fix would do nothing to fix the perceived problem.
    And we know server performance is an issue. They told us it was because of server strain that we had to accept account wide achievements. Why add something that could cause more strain when they are working to reduce strain? Makes no sense.

    I don't see how this would help the game and yeah it might not be good for the game. Beyond that there simply is no issue here. Flipping hurts not one player. Original player listing the item gets the price they want. Final person buying the items pays a price they are willing to pay. Middle man takes in enough profit to make it worth their time to flip and all are happy with the transactions. The economy remains fluid and vibrant.
    Inventory problems if the forums are any indication belong mostly to gear and furniture hoarders. Not so much flippers. We have so much inventory available to us without needing 2nd accounts and other inventory extenders that a short delay would make no difference after the initial delay in slowing down flipping.
    and then the parrot said, "must be the water mines green too."
  • Naftal
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    I really hate the term "auction house" because I'm sure that no one actually wants that but just one place to immediately buy their items instead of an auction.
  • Shagreth
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    No, that would be a horrible idea, most of the reasons why have been mentioned here already. What we need is for ZOS to improve the current model. The most important thing we need is some type of restriction for flipping in place.
  • Elsonso
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    .
    Shagreth wrote: »
    No, that would be a horrible idea, most of the reasons why have been mentioned here already. What we need is for ZOS to improve the current model. The most important thing we need is some type of restriction for flipping in place.

    Flipping is an important part of trading. Adding blocks to that will be seen as a huge negative.
    PC NA/EU: @Elsonso
    XBox EU/NA: @ElsonsoJannus
    X/Twitter: ElsonsoJannus
  • I_killed_Vivec
    I_killed_Vivec
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    Came here to see the "flogging a dead horse" gif.... disappointed :(

    Though to be fair it usually appears on all of the other posts about a global auction house - probably every two months or so.
  • Kendaric
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    Elsonso wrote: »
    .
    Flipping is an important part of trading. Adding blocks to that will be seen as a huge negative.

    That may be, but flipping is also bad for the game as new(er) players don't have much gold to spent. It doesn't need to be banned entirely, but it should certainly be made somewhat more difficult.
      PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!. Outfit slots not being accountwide is ridiculous given their price. PC EU/PC NA roleplayer and solo PvE quester
    • Nestor
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      TaSheen wrote: »
      I believe the "answer" is a total, unreserved, unqualified "no" from the devs.

      I've never heard that from the devs, just from players saying they don't like the idea for some bizarre reason. I'm actually interested about when they said this can you point me in the right direction since early in the game after launch I didn't pay attention to patch notes and dev interviews?

      I have.

      Directly from Matt Fiore when I spoke to him. He will never put an Auction House in the game. Too easy to corner markets and it creates a race to the bottom for prices were the reasons stated.

      I agree with those reasons.

      The game still has a vibrant economy all these years later. Commodities are easy to get for market rates, rare items are hard to find and bargains still take time and effort like they should. The economy encourages people to play in order to feed items into the economy.
      Enjoy the game, life is what you really want to be worried about.

      PakKat "Everything was going well, until I died"
      Gary Gravestink "I am glad you died, I needed the help"

    • BlueRaven
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      Kendaric wrote: »
      Elsonso wrote: »
      .
      Flipping is an important part of trading. Adding blocks to that will be seen as a huge negative.

      That may be, but flipping is also bad for the game as new(er) players don't have much gold to spent. It doesn't need to be banned entirely, but it should certainly be made somewhat more difficult.

      Flipping only happens on bargains or super rare items.

      “Market value” common type items are not flipped because there is no potential profit in that.

      I am a bit hard pressed to think of what newish players actually need from the guild vendors beyond the odd researchable armor/weapon piece. And As long as those are not “nirn related” those are usually not too bad.
    • Lumenn
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      Personally I'm all in favor of not having a market. Have everything no drop(bound, no trade, whatever term you use) what you have, you earned. but the market game is important to some. The introduction of bots makes it a bit unfair, but the "superguilds" are just what you'd see in real life. May not like them but it's good business sense to corner the market if you're willing to spend the time/effort.

      The biggest gripe I've heard over the years was having to join a guild that keeps a trader. Even in a free trader guild someone has to raise the gold and bid to get/keep one. It can be a pita. Why not just open the traders to everyone like a bank? If you wish to sell, pay a usage tax as we do and load up. If one is full move to the next one. Now even lone wolves can sell, there is no auction house, and guilds don't have to sweat losing a bid each round.

      I play both PC and Xbox, and actually think the PC add on should be blocked so that PC has to go vendor by vendor like consoles do. That way console and PC all speak from the same pain points when discussing in the forums, but /shrug it is what it is. Like I originally said I'd prefer everything to be no drop.
    • Kendaric
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      BlueRaven wrote: »
      Kendaric wrote: »
      That may be, but flipping is also bad for the game as new(er) players don't have much gold to spent. It doesn't need to be banned entirely, but it should certainly be made somewhat more difficult.

      Flipping only happens on bargains or super rare items.

      “Market value” common type items are not flipped because there is no potential profit in that.

      I am a bit hard pressed to think of what newish players actually need from the guild vendors beyond the odd researchable armor/weapon piece. And As long as those are not “nirn related” those are usually not too bad.

      Motifs and style pages for example.

      Granted, they technically aren't needed by anyone to play the game, but for some people getting their look just right is important.
      Researchable weapos/armors/jewellery may be another thing that is needed by new(er) players.


        PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!. Outfit slots not being accountwide is ridiculous given their price. PC EU/PC NA roleplayer and solo PvE quester
      • BlueRaven
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        X
        Kendaric wrote: »
        BlueRaven wrote: »
        Kendaric wrote: »
        That may be, but flipping is also bad for the game as new(er) players don't have much gold to spent. It doesn't need to be banned entirely, but it should certainly be made somewhat more difficult.

        Flipping only happens on bargains or super rare items.

        “Market value” common type items are not flipped because there is no potential profit in that.

        I am a bit hard pressed to think of what newish players actually need from the guild vendors beyond the odd researchable armor/weapon piece. And As long as those are not “nirn related” those are usually not too bad.

        Motifs and style pages for example.

        Granted, they technically aren't needed by anyone to play the game, but for some people getting their look just right is important.
        Researchable weapos/armors/jewellery may be another thing that is needed by new(er) players.


        Well it depends upon the motif, right? Some of them are dirt cheap, others are expensive even for experienced players. I am not sure what this fictional new player has in mind, but remember just using the outfit station will cost a lot of gold on some of these looks depending on the motif (and dye).

        If you want some of those motifs to go down in price, the answer is not an ah, it’s making the drop rate less rare.

        (I already mentioned researchable items in my comment.)
      • Kendaric
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        BlueRaven wrote: »
        If you want some of those motifs to go down in price, the answer is not an ah, it’s making the drop rate less rare.

        I don't want an auction house either, I'm fine with the current system. We're in total agreement there.

        Edited by Kendaric on May 20, 2023 4:45PM
          PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!. Outfit slots not being accountwide is ridiculous given their price. PC EU/PC NA roleplayer and solo PvE quester
        • Amottica
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          TaSheen wrote: »
          I believe the "answer" is a total, unreserved, unqualified "no" from the devs.

          Pretty much since they continue to let the system grow. The top leaders in ESO are the ones who were behind choosing this trading system. It is their baby and they even stated why they chose the design before the game launched. As long as they run the show there is no reason to think this will change.




        • Delgent
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          Lumenn wrote: »
          Personally I'm all in favor of not having a market. Have everything no drop(bound, no trade, whatever term you use) what you have, you earned. but the market game is important to some. The introduction of bots makes it a bit unfair, but the "superguilds" are just what you'd see in real life. May not like them but it's good business sense to corner the market if you're willing to spend the time/effort.

          The biggest gripe I've heard over the years was having to join a guild that keeps a trader. Even in a free trader guild someone has to raise the gold and bid to get/keep one. It can be a pita. Why not just open the traders to everyone like a bank? If you wish to sell, pay a usage tax as we do and load up. If one is full move to the next one. Now even lone wolves can sell, there is no auction house, and guilds don't have to sweat losing a bid each round.

          I play both PC and Xbox, and actually think the PC add on should be blocked so that PC has to go vendor by vendor like consoles do. That way console and PC all speak from the same pain points when discussing in the forums, but /shrug it is what it is. Like I originally said I'd prefer everything to be no drop.

          This is the way I've been playing for the last few years. If I want it, I go find it in the world. If I don't have it, I don't NEED it. I got tired of running around the guild stores, wasting my play time, so now I just hoard my stuff, and earn what I want.

          I played non-stop from beta, until taking a break after U35, and can't even begin to imagine how much time I wasted going from trader to trader over the years, until I finally just had enough.

          I'd even be happy with a hybrid AH/trader, where the guilds could still bid for a trader in a Trader House in the city. As a shopper, I could just access the trader house, then choose which trader stock to look at, without having to run around from one to another. Put them in cities, and decide how many traders would be available in that house. Still have the gold sink, still have individual trader stock, but the buyer has the convenience of not having to run all over. Main cities, small cities, even towns could have a house with a few trader slots.

          There's so much I want to do when I log in, that trading has had to go by the wayside, so I can play.
          To live for good is to die in the name of honor.
          SEEK AND DESTROY
        • Braffin
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          Well, finally bothered with creating an account for this forums after playing the game since day 1.

          And my 2 cent to this topic:

          I have no problem with introducing an auction house IF as tradeoff all item purchased within the same are bind on account without any exception. Otherwise the flipping will get worse than it already is.
          Never get between a cat and it's candy!
          ---
          Overland difficulty scaling is desperately needed. 9 years. 6 paid expansions. 24 DLCs. 40 game changing updates including One Tamriel, an overhaul of the game including a permanent CP160 gear cap and ridiculous power creep thereafter. I'm sick and tired of hearing about Cadwell Silver & Gold as a "you think you do but you don't" - tier deflection to any criticism regarding the lack of overland difficulty in the game. I'm bored of dungeons, I'm bored of trials; make a personal difficulty slider for overland. It's not that hard.
        • Ph1p
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          Keep in mind that many MMOs with central traders or auction houses don't exactly have a game-wide economy either. WoW, for example, splits its player population into hundreds of servers and each "central" marketplace only combines a handful of those at the same time.

          A key issue is feasibility, since the performance issues resulting from lots of players being able to simultaneous search a massive central database are very real and were something that plagued WoW servers for quite a while. Now imagine that at a much larger scale, since ESO only has 6 megaservers for its entire player population.

          Obviously, this can be solved technically, but I would rather have ZOS fix real bugs and other performance issues first, then add more quality of life improvements for buyers and guild leaders, like some of those already mentioned in this thread.
        • Ph1p
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          Braffin wrote: »
          I have no problem with introducing an auction house IF as tradeoff all item purchased within the same are bind on account without any exception. Otherwise the flipping will get worse than it already is.
          This would mean that everything you buy from a trader would have to be stored separately in your inventory from the "sellable" ones you already have. That includes every crafting material, potion, food, etc.

          Please, no!

          I honestly don't see the issue with flipping unless it's done by cornering the market of a rare item and then charging higher-than-usual prices, and that is definitely easier to do in a centralized marketplace. But most flipping involves buying under-priced items and reselling them at their market value. As @kargen27 said, in this situation everybody entered a consensual trade and got what they wanted: The original seller got the price they listed at, the final buyer got an item at the price they were willing to pay, and the reseller got a profit for their effort of realizing the arbitrage.
        • Braffin
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          Ph1p wrote: »
          Braffin wrote: »
          effort of realizing the arbitrage.

          made my day xD
          Never get between a cat and it's candy!
          ---
          Overland difficulty scaling is desperately needed. 9 years. 6 paid expansions. 24 DLCs. 40 game changing updates including One Tamriel, an overhaul of the game including a permanent CP160 gear cap and ridiculous power creep thereafter. I'm sick and tired of hearing about Cadwell Silver & Gold as a "you think you do but you don't" - tier deflection to any criticism regarding the lack of overland difficulty in the game. I'm bored of dungeons, I'm bored of trials; make a personal difficulty slider for overland. It's not that hard.
        • Braffin
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          Ph1p wrote: »
          Braffin wrote: »
          I have no problem with introducing an auction house IF as tradeoff all item purchased within the same are bind on account without any exception. Otherwise the flipping will get worse than it already is.
          This would mean that everything you buy from a trader would have to be stored separately in your inventory from the "sellable" ones you already have. That includes every crafting material, potion, food, etc.

          Please, no!

          I honestly don't see the issue with flipping unless it's done by cornering the market of a rare item and then charging higher-than-usual prices, and that is definitely easier to do in a centralized marketplace. But most flipping involves buying under-priced items and reselling them at their market value. As @kargen27 said, in this situation everybody entered a consensual trade and got what they wanted: The original seller got the price they listed at, the final buyer got an item at the price they were willing to pay, and the reseller got a profit for their effort of realizing the arbitrage.

          Well, jokes aside: You are describing the actual system with guildtraders. And I don't want to argue against that, even if we could discuss how flipping is already manipulating the so-called "market value" (for example look at the different pricing on PC compared to XBOX/PS. Does this nothing have to do with tools like MM? Do you want to tell me that?).

          But the big difference to an auction house would be, that the flipper wouldn't have to move in the slightest. He could stand all the day at the auction house (probably accompanied by his beloved flappy, but thats another topic) an play his game.

          But in the long run this will lead to inflation going through the roof (a nice example is the broken economy at swtor, if you know this game).

          So either the flipping stays or the auction house is coming. You can't have both and also maintain a healthy trading community.
          Never get between a cat and it's candy!
          ---
          Overland difficulty scaling is desperately needed. 9 years. 6 paid expansions. 24 DLCs. 40 game changing updates including One Tamriel, an overhaul of the game including a permanent CP160 gear cap and ridiculous power creep thereafter. I'm sick and tired of hearing about Cadwell Silver & Gold as a "you think you do but you don't" - tier deflection to any criticism regarding the lack of overland difficulty in the game. I'm bored of dungeons, I'm bored of trials; make a personal difficulty slider for overland. It's not that hard.
        • BaalMelqartu
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          Just personal preference but I wish there were only 1/4 or 1/3 of the current guild traders in the game. I join a trading guild for trading. Unfortunately, EVERY guild I join thinks they HAVE to have a trader and I'm tired of constantly hearing how I should stock up their trader, donate to help secure a trader, participate in this or that activity to help raise money for a trader. NO thank you. I joined a trading guild for that. I joined a small social guild for other purposes. Not for them to pretend to be a trading guild. I only wish to help out raising funds for a trader in an ACTUAL trading guild.
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