The Global Marketplace

October 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 45 Comments
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I'm not that old.

Guild Wars 2 has a lot of interesting and innovative designs going into it. I won’t get into a long list of the things that impress me, that’s what virtually every other post on this blog is for, but one thing I take issue with is the Marketplace.

First of all I don’t like the name. Why confuse things? It’s an auction house. MMO players have been abbreviating AH since the dawn of the genre, why is there suddenly a need to rename it?

I suppose they’re trying to push the idea that the Guild Wars 2 auction house is different. Not only can you sell things, you can post ads to buy things in Guild Wars 2. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a great idea. People want to buy things, this is not news.

I suppose I would let the small irksome detail of the name roll off my shoulders if it was the only thing that bothered me. It’s not.

In Guild Wars 2 the auction house will be global. I kind of hate that idea.

I’m sure there are good points I’m not seeing but to me it just sounds like a disaster.

The amount of competition will surely drive some who might have been interested in crafting or getting involved in selling from participating.

It seems to me there will be vast amounts of goods available, never allowing for supply and demand to develop strong price differences and therefore eliminating the mini-economies that develop on individual servers in other games.

I think a much smaller base of economic movers and shakers make for much more interesting play.

In Rift I made a bit of a killing on the Auction House by selling artefacts. They’re sold to NPCs for about 1 silver but on the Auction House, to people who were collecting but couldn’t quite get that one artefact, they were golden.

I could sell a common worthless artefact for 1000x what it was worth. Even when others were selling the same artefacts I could under-price my competitors and still make a large profit. Until one competitor came along and began to sell large numbers of artefacts for reasonable prices. Outrageous!

Suddenly nearly every artefact I had on the AH was returning via the mail.

In revenge, I began selling those same artefacts for next to nothing, just so that guy couldn’t sell anything.

I was communicating with, playing with, and in a way negotiating with a fellow player via a price war on the auction house. Fun. If I had played Rift a bit longer I might have eventually spoken to the guy or some crazyness, I did see him around often enough.

My point is that seems less plausible on a much larger scale like a global auction house. Who would even notice? Vast numbers of anonymous bidders and suppliers with little room for relationships to develop. The cold hard anonymity that comes from games with too few ways to connect and familiarize yourself with others.

Unless of course there is a plethora of social options to find sellers and buyers again and even if so I still object.

Which leaves me with why Guild Wars 2 has a global auction house. It’s likely because they’ve promised the ability to move around from server to server with little hindrance. They’ve yet to elaborate and I begin to question just how it’s going to be implemented but with that ability it would make no sense to have separate auction houses.

I guess I’m sort of cursing at the wind here. All I’m trying to say is I really like the small community aspect of an auction house. But hey, maybe people out there with more experience in global auction houses will completely disagree or I’ll end up being happy with it, you never know.

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45 Comments

  1. I’m not so sure you should be worried just yet.

    I think the global marketplace will still allow for the staple supply/demand but on a much, much larger scale. This helps keep things fair; which, I know, may seem a nightmare for people who enjoy playing the market as part of the game. But I’ve had instances where a very small populated server is starved for resources, and the handful who provide them mark up the prices so much it becomes intangible to average players.

    You can still play the market game; you’re still gonna have farmers, people who undercut, people who flip, and people who don’t know better. And your’e always gonna have those guys who wait till things are cheap and buy in bulk or are willing to pay extra for something they really want.

    If anything, I think a global market place is demand-friendly. People willing to farm and craft will still be outnumbered by those who want to buy; it just won’t be as skewed as on separate servers. You’ll have more competition, sure, but relationships can still happen. You just gotta get creative with how you do it.

    • More fair I’m sure, but also much more boring and less interesting. Obviously after launch the auction house will be alive with price changes and activity but once the initial stage of newness wears off it will most likely devolve into a very boring system with only a few people willing to mass produce large amounts of items for the barest profit margin, making every other supplier completely uninterested in bothering to gather, craft, or hunt rare items on the AH.

      Great for demand, effing terrible for everyone else.

      Look at Eve Online, or at least my impression of their ah. From everything I’ve read it suffers from boom and bust depending on whats new in the latest expansion.

      • Oh, you are quite a ways off on the EVE Online Market. That, is literally the supply and demand model to a T. It’s not global, not by anymeans, it’s one overall server, yes. But, it’s split up by region, and by region I mean region of space. Certain items, say for instance only sold on one side of the galaxy, can be hauled to another side of the galaxy to be sold for more in game money. Or, right now, there is a corporation preventing the farming of a certain material, so that prices go drastically up on the items that come from that material. It’s a true AH game, much more in depth than any other game out there. Not to mention CCP hired their own Lead Economist to review and write reports on the in game economy.

        That aside, I can certainly understand your concerns. But, the post you are replying to says it best.. Buyers will always outnumber Sellers. Personally, I’m a buyer. I will buy something instead of going out and acquiring components A, B, and C. Yes, this system will cater more to me, however.. it will also get more buyers for you. I’ve played other games (Let’s use WoW as an example), and once a server has a low population, or (heaven forbid) the game starts dying, the prices shoot up. I mean, to drastic rates that no person in their right mind would pay. The opposite happens on highly populated servers, and the more people, the lower profit margin you will have. But, when it all comes down to it, when there is a higher population, there is a smaller chance you will have an item come back to you. Sure, on a localized market, you can hope that your item will sell for the price you want. But, assume no one wants it, then what? You’re concerned about Sellers outnumbering buyers to the point that it is no longer profitable, but assume that happens on your server no matter what. From the sounds of it, the Crafting isn’t going to be anything too difficult. And hell, you will be able to switch between professions without losing your progress. What’s to say crafting would even be a legitimate way to acquire in game money anyways?

        • Oh yes, good point, I’m not familiar enough with eve to be comparing.

          And I understand your points, and they’re logical, but I’m not entirely convinced that a global auction house won’t lead to first of all a poor trading community, with little networking or familiarity with other players, and secondly a poor environment for sellers, with bare profit margins making it a boring prospect to play the AH game.

  2. I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at here Hunter. It isn’t as if the AH will just be endlessly flooded with items that won’t sell. There will still be the same ratio of sellers to buyers, just more of each.
    *
    From you summation what bothers you is the lack of community amongst sellers in the AH? So instead of being undercut by a name you recognize it’ll be one you don’t? Even though you freely admitted you never even bothered to speak to the guy in the example you gave from Rift… It doesn’t exactly feel like you’re missing out on anything here.
    *
    This just seems like a necessary system put in place for a game where a character isn’t committed to a single server. I’d hate to feel like I had to log into each individual server anytime I wanted to buy something in search of the lowest price.
    *
    A large AH community is a positive in most ways if you ask me. It disallows a very small number of people from having to much sway on item pricing. When I used to play WoW people would go on, find a limited resource on the AH that sold for a moderate amount and buy up every shred of it and then repost it at a 50% price increase. That was not fun for anyone. Or someone would go on and look at everybody else’s auctions, all at reasonable prices for the involved effort, and undercut them severely with a large stockpile.
    *
    Both of these issues are mitigated with a larger AH. The lowballer will have his product bought up quickly before he can ruin the sales of the 3 dozen other people trying to sell the same things at more reasonable prices; and the price gouger will be foiled by the larger initial investment to pickup so many more auctions, or the larger number of sellers posting more reasonable rates after he has gone.

    • Like I said in the post it’s much more interesting to recognize and interact with names you recognize even if you don’t talk to them. In rift I may not have ended up talking to that guy, but in RoM i certainly did and made friends/made enemies with some of those people.

      I think people are a little too apprehensive about the whole price gouging thing. When I said i sold artefacts for 1000x what they were worth, i meant to me, and obviously the more common artefacts sold for barely anything while the rare ones sold for a lot more, which was completely fair, and frankly i brought down prices by undercutting a lot of people. The majority of my artefacts sold for 5 to 20 gold, while my competitor suddenly started selling them for 2.

      A small auction house will allow for far more intricate play and and supply and demand scenarios while a large one makes it all completely boring and a waste of time.

  3. Well I believe it’s global partly because we’ll be able to transfer shards/worlds in some relatively painless way. Which in a single shard only AH system could become problematic depending on server coding issues etc.

    • Well yes, I address that in the post and I agree, but a man can dream right?

  4. So you don’t like global AH’s because it makes price gouging harder and makes price wars short lived?

    Boo hoo! Suck it up, creampuff.

    • This is way too harsh, but an entirely accurate articulation about my feelings on the issue. A larger auction house will make it harder for individual manipulations to occur. But there should still be profits for enterprising players.

      • Individual manipulation is only possible if nobody else on the server steps up, so it’s unlikely in the first place and only the fault of the rest of the server in the second. I’m not willing to throw out fun gameplay on the basis that some people might get price gouged with imaginary money.

    • Okay so I’m not sure why you think name calling is appropriate on my blog or the attitude, but if you and your ignorant simplification of my argument try it again you won’t be welcome here.

  5. Technically guild wars 1 has a similar but not official auction house of sorts. http://www.guildwarsguru.com/auction/. It lets you buy, sell, and bid on items you want from a global player base. As a player who works the auction house in most games, i see no really problem with a global AH, it will be hard to sell some rare item for a large some but common to uncommon items will sell faster and at a more stable price. Its a win:win in my opinion.

    • I would argue that guru may be the most popular forum but its hardly global.
      And who knows what will sell and what won’t but I’d say the opposite is true. Impossible to sell anything remotely common to uncommon and only worth your time to go to the AH for rare items.

  6. First; that is a terrible picture of me…. and that cloud had it coming!

    Second; I ran the theory that population size has a dramatic affect on the volatility of markets past some economics teachers I know, and specifically the suggestion that “larger” markets are less capable of being influenced by the actions of individuals… AFTER the laughter died down to the point where I could understand what was being said, I quickly came to the conclusion that in the eyes of experts who study such matters this theory … um… I’m searching for a more diplomatic way to phrase it than they said… well, let’s just say that we won’t have to worry about things being “too stable” just because more folks are participating… how’s that?

    (Honestly… I didn’t realize economists even knew that type of “colorful” language… they always seemed like such proper, almost reserved sorts before… I wonder if they also “drink” like sailors too?)

    • And did you mention that this is a virtual economy in an online game? It doesn’t sound like you did. I don’t think they’d have quite the same answer. A games auction house is not the same thing as an economy.

      Also, I don’t appreciate the tone. You need to try a lot harder with your diplomacy.

      • I apologize for the snarky attitude of my comment. The tone was confrontational I suppose at least in part because I may have misinterpretted the OP to some extent, or worse, ascribed motivations for it that were not accurate.
        It was difficult to take it seriously due to the question being asked about the marketplace of GW2 – will it’s being global affect trade, and the familiarity with certain trade partners that is often associated with trading in other game’s AHs. I have some concerns about GW2’s economy and marketplace, but that is not listed among them.
        GW2 DEVs claim there will not be a significant “gear grind” as is associated with other MMOs. The stats on the “best gear” will be accessible through various activities in game. You can get them via PVE in dynamic events, or in dungeons, or via PVP, or via crafting… and the only variation really will be the appearance of the items changing depending on which avenue you accessed them through.
        In PVP (competitive) you are automatically set to level cap and given access to the best stats equipment and all skills… even playing field… player skill determines success. They’ve also told us we will be able to earn “bragging rights” equipment through successful PVP combat. Does that sound like it will be tradeable? It better not be, or it’s worse than useless for it’s intended purpose. The only way you should be able to get that equipment is through wins.
        In the PVE avenues for acquiring equipment you are earning “karma” for participating in dynamic events which can then be taken to special vendors with a selection of equipment to choose from. Can you trade karma to other players? Can you turn in karma for equipment that can then be sold to other players? (effectively trading karma in a circuitous fashion.) If you can sell or trade equipment acquired through “karma vendors” what are you trading it for? Gold? If the best equipment is obtained through karma what are you using the gold for?
        Specific equipment with special appearances will be obtainable via the 5 man dungeons. As your group completes runs, each member of the group will accumulate “tokens” useable at the dungeon’s vendors to acquire each piece of a complete “set” of that dungeon’s equipment. Are those tokens tradeable to other players? Is it possible for someone to be walking around with the complete Ascalon Catacombs set of equipment without ever having completed the numerous runs through the dungeon needed to get it? Certainly no bragging rights or exclusivity associated with it if that’s the case. Remember, the best equipment isn’t “dropping randomly” from boss mobs according to what we’ve been told. You’re not going to “get stuck” with a reward that isn’t useable by your character’s class… you choose your reward from the dungeon’s vendor.
        Crafting and harvesting;
        Everyone can harvest every type of resource “node” and each and every such node is “instanced” for each player so that if you see a node you can access it, even if another player is accessing it at the same time. There is no selective profession associated with harvesting materials of any type. Realistically, how many “mats” are going to be sold in the marketplace? If everyone can access everything it will just go down to basic laziness (and granted, there is certainly plenty of that in humans) but it’s not like you’re looking for lumber or cotton from someone else because you chose a different harvesting profession.
        So any crafting profession you select is easily supported in mats because you can harvest any type of mats in the game… oh, and you can also “level up” every single crafting profession on a single character as well… just pay a nominal fee for switching between them, but none of your progress or recipes in the profession are lost.
        So you could be selling crafted items in the marketplace – that just have a different appearance from the ones you got via any of the other methods but have the same stats available on them, but unless karma, tokens, or PVP wins are tradeable you’re pretty much just selling them for gold, and at this point I’m starting to wonder exactly WTF is gold used for in this game?
        I’m sure gold is useful somehow.
        I’m certain that smarter folks than me are working on the economy systems and mechanics for the game.
        I’m positive that in a game with almost no “gear grind” and numerous types of reward systems that appear to be specifically designed towards giving players “bragging rights” via visible symbols of their success in various parts of the game that there is still *something* that folks will want to buy and sell in the marketplace… it’s just really unclear to me what that *something* is at this point… surely none of the “bragging rights” stuff should be accessible that way…
        So…
        You’re asking a question about the marketplace in the OP, and I guess I’m getting a bit of a ‘tude as I’m reading it the first time through (yes, I frequently re-read blog posts, especially ones having to do with GW2) because I’m feeling like, “what’s the point of that question in light of all this other information we’ve been given?”
        Maybe…
        The question that should be on your mind is, “Exactly why does this game have anything called a marketplace?”
        .
        To someone reading this it probably looks like my tone has just gone sour again. It’s often difficult for me to express myself in ways that others don’t find abrasive and annoying. It’s a personal flaw that has plagued me my entire life. Trust me, it’s much, much worse in RL when face to face with folks. At least through the internet I’m able to slip in *some* self-editing from time to time.

  7. My experience is from wow, not economics, since I do enjoy economics I wont slag it off but lets not get confused. this is a game.

    There are a few things I’d like to see changed from WOW. For one having items made up of more expensive mats thanks to a skill point being more valuable than the item it makes is bizarre and I hate it.

    Second, I too enjoy a good AH game and for once Hunter I am on your side against the masses. I move servers to where AH have been taken over by one or two dudes, it’s entirely the rest of the servers fault as they don’t see the game. They just want their mats so they can go do their stuff, which is the view of most. Most don’t know it’s a game within a game. Indeed a game I love.

    The thing that I hate, now that I am casual, is having to always be in the front of the leveling curve to make the big money. I don’t mind having to read patch notes to make money but having to actually play the game over all other life to get easy money meh. I know there are otherways. I rarely buy, its more fun to get the stuff myself, so I tend to be just a seller (or reseller).

    Real money in D3 looks intensly interesting, even if they are milking for real money. fancing putting a real cost to make an auction – friggen get off the planet blizzard….

    • I agree. I don’t like price gouging as much as the next guy, but if I don’t get out there and do something about it I deserve what I’m left with. I don’t pay anyway when I get price gouged in real life, why should i do it in game? I go gather materials when I think they’re over-priced on the ah.

  8. One thing I have not had any word of is when you deplete a resource does it ever respawn, this is a vital fact I must know, there’s a is a big difference between infinite and large supply, more so if its finite and going to aknew server resets this.
    (sorry but I had to get this off my chest)

    • They wouldn’t make you change servers, thatd be terrible game design. I’m sure at most you’d have to change which zone/instance you’re in. More than likely it is on a timed reset as with most games. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  9. You mention the “Artifact” system and using the AH in Rift…well, a clever player on our server has gone beyond that system.

    He created a guild JUST for collection and sales of items. He then sells direct to players using the sales channel. He will scan the AH, get the items prices, then undercut them for sale AT the time he logs in…

    This guy has also made deals with guilds (ours being one of them…heck, my wife even works with him as a supplier of goods)…and will sell us product dirt cheap. He sells based on what we need, goes out and gathers it. We can order say 50 ores, and within an hour or so, there are the items we need…and we all win.

    If the GW2 system works against this method though, I think it could be a lose for the overall networking of friends to create your own barter system. There is bound to be someone out there undercutting us and our server sales system…and could ruin the camaraderie of working with people you regularly see…

    I could be very disappointed.

    • See this is the fascinating sort of networking I’d like to see, and although a global marketplace doesn’t really rule it out, having a smaller community means you are more likely to meet a guy like this, and as you say, someone would be bound to undercut and ruin the fun.

  10. I think a global AH/Marketplace will work fine. While I’ve made large sums of imaginary gold in both RoM and Aion playing their respective markets, both of which are server limited, I don’t see any problem with a global one for GW2. I really don’t see any practical way to have local server markets in a game where you can (hopefully) switch between servers with little to no hassle.

    One thing I would like to see is private stores. No, don’t break out the pitchforks, tar, and feathers. They actually work well in games like ESO and Aion (which has both private stores and a broker system with fixed sell prices, rather than an auction hall). A private store lets you sell a limited amount of items in specific places (smart sellers will offer things useful in that area), so buyers don’t have to waste time going all the way back to town to buy basic stuff. They also are great for selling very rare items while skipping the large brokerage fees (based on the asking price, paid regardless if it sells or not), although that wouldn’t be something you’d want to do as a player in a game with true auctions. Private stores do offer that personal touch and lets all those idle toons all over the place in most games have some purpose. Aion PS even have a text message which, when funny or clever, often provide a chuckle when you see them.

    If any ArenaNet people are reading these comments I propose they test out private stores in GW1. I know the way the GW1 database works rules out a system wide AH without rewriting tons of game code, but a private store based off of the current player-to-player trading windows should be a viable option. Double the items allowed to 14, assign a few bytes per item for asking price, a small dab of code to use the same ‘shift while clicking’ to handle buying partial stacks, some minor graphics to indicate the character has a store, and presto, everyone would be happy buying and selling. And I’d be able to finally track down some decent weapon mods and or actual weapons that otherwise I may never be able to get. As it is, I often sell nice weapons to the merchant simply because I don’t want to waste my limited play time standing around trying to sell stuff, that is what AFK time should be for.

    • To an extent I agree, I think a global marketplace will work. I just think it will be anonymous and boring. Taking all the fun out of the AH game.

      I think I’ve suggested booths or stalls for gw2 in the distant past. I observed them in games like Aika and Silkroad and was fascinated by them. I assume they’d be similar to your store idea. I still think AHs are a better deal, and therefore make them unnecessary but I do like the idea on principle.

  11. As a fan of the metagame of Auction Houses in both WoW and Aion I am looking forward seeing what effect a global AH has on the market. I hope to see is a site like the Undermine Journal http://theunderminejournal.com/ which is an amazing resource for buyers and sellers alike.

    For some reason I thought that the server clusters in GW would be region locked which may result in regional markets. If this happens it may make the North American region an interesting market as generally NA players tend to avoid farming mats and prefer farming raids.

    • Hmm region lock, maybe that will happen but I doubt it. If people can move amongst servers I doubt the ah will be locked and i’m vaguely recalling that they said people would be able to travel internationally, but maybe i’m mistaken.

  12. There is one thing you haven’t factored in all this, Gold sellers and/or account hackers. They use the markets on servers. Hack an account, transfer the characters, sell the goods/gold. what may be dirt cheap on one server will go for a higher price on another. (and I’ve seen this in rift a lot, we even had guildies transferring their own characters to other servers to take advantage of the discrepancies between server AH prices) Think what a professional gold making group could do. A global AH will counter some of this.

    • You’re right, I wasn’t particularly thinking about account hacks, but it’s really kind of incidental to the gameplay. Gameplay takes priority with me. I don’t think they made this decision on the basis of hacks, more to do with server transfers and the extended experience.

  13. I don’t like this trading metagame at all. I want to kill monsters. For me, trading is a game mechanic to acquire items I need, but which didn’t drop for me yet. So I don’t want to waste my time for looking for the currently cheapest auction house and in that auction house for the cheapest offer. No, I want to just buy this item, and I don’t want to get ripped off. I don’t want to negotiate. I just want this item. As fast as possible, as cheap as possible. I want to pay a fair price, not get ripped of.

    And if I have surplus items, I simply want to get rid of them to free up my inventory as fast as possible. Just get rid of them. I don’t want to search for buyers, not formulating offers on auction web sites, looking for the best auction house etc. No, I just want to get a reasonably fair price for my item.

    A global trading house or marketplace exactly does this. It prevents other people to rip me off if I happen to be on a game world with an “expensive” auction house for buying stuff, and it gives decent prices for items I sell. I am not at a disadvantage only because I don’t want to spend my time jumping around and looking for the best or most unbalanced auction house.

    So: yeah, a global marketplace is fair and balanced for the whole game community. It treats every player equally and fairly. So this is the best solution for this kind of RPG. It’s an action-orientated fantasy-like RPG, not a trading simulation. It helps to balance supply and demand fairly. It doesn’t help traders to get filthy rich by exploiting unbalanced game mechanics, which is perfectly fine for me.

    • You know what I want a lot of the same things you do, but I don’t think a global auction house is as fair to suppliers as a server based one. I think people underestimate the hard work put into gathering, crafting, or finding rares, so why should i get the tiniest profit margin possible? I’m not a mindless corporation mass producing this stuff I’m just one guy trying to make some gold.
      Being a supplier can be really mind numbing, i’m not looking to price gouge anyone, just make a profit.

  14. No. It’s not an Auction House.

    We are talking about ArenaNet here. So, first of all, you can no longer think ‘classic’. Everything you’ve learned from other MMOs, everything that seemed to work for them, is now worthless. The rules are made anew.

    Ir will be different than an auction house, and it will be MORE than an auction house. The core ‘auction’ may be the same, but features like the trends will ensure that it wil lbe more than that.

    Also, severs are not like other games too. You’ll be able to move from server to server. Your characters are not bound to one permanently.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Tsk. I so wish the Xunlai Marketplace culd be done in GW1…

    • Enh, come on. Lets be realistic. It’s an auction house, yes with better features, no its not anything but an auction house.

  15. I posted this on the GW2Guru topic about your post, but I thought I should post this here as well.

    To be honest, the market, meaning the general commerce of goods, not the interface mechanic to sell stuff, is probably the only aspect of GW2 I’m still not totally sold on.

    All players have all gathering skills with a single char, so buying materials will be only for convenience, instead of a way to provide players with materials they cannot gather themselves. This also means that supply of those will be likely be overwhelmingly large once people start gathering more materials than they can devote time crafting with.

    All players also have, to a point, access to all crafting skills, since they only need to switch between active skills without fear of losing their discovered recipes. There also won’t be a need to “fight” to acquire recipes, you only need to discover them directly on the crafting interface, and while it’s cute to think that everyone will be trying out new combinations to discover recipes, the inevitable reality is that soon after release there will be really detailed lists of all possible recipes on Wiki websites online where anyone will be able to find any recipes they desire, and it’s silly to think people won’t take advantage of that en mass. So soon after a month or two the market will also be inundated of crafted goods that will have little market for, since everyone can produce those without need of others.

    The existence of a global market just enhances these problem, making supply even larger without necessarily increasing demand, since all players still have access to all products themselves through gameplay.

    Coupled together, these aspects make specialized crafters or gatherers, providing the market with products most people don’t have access to, almost an impossibility. While they are great for the solo player, this will water down the market and make it mostly useless within a couple of months into the game, once a large number of people get access to all areas of the game and crafting recipes are well known. Excessive supply and low demand will drive prices too low (who would pay 1000g on something they can make it themselves in a hour of gathering and crafting?) and make selling goods a mechanic that just doesn’t give enough bang for your buck. No one will use a market that it’s impossible to have profit on.

    I really hope there are still unrevealed details about crafting and market that can make selling goods an interesting proposition, but from what we know thus far I think the market will be mostly dead at birth, and will be relegated to rare world drops, low price crafting materials and the eventual crafted item that just takes too long to produce for one reason or another, but no one will really be using it for profit.

    • For the most part I agree, I think there are definitely some things to think about, you hit the nail on the head on some of them.

      I wonder though if laziness will prosper more than people taking advantage of all their gathering skills. I’m not sure.

      Some interesting points, and I find myself wondering if you might be right about most of this. Its definitely going to be interesting to see how things turn out.

  16. Sorry Hunter, I think you are being selfish and inconsiderate.

    Global is the way to go. Everyone gets a fair shot at buying and selling items regardless of servers size and play style.

    You may enjoy being a supplier having a an RP trade war or cutting inside deals with various guilds, but its incredibly frustrating to buyers and casual players who dont enjoy playing the market like its a game and just want to buy an X so they can do Y.

    Small single server markets give large guilds and socially popular and active players an advantage because they are “in the know” and can cut deals when casual players and small guilds cant and are at the mercy of a limited number of suppliers. It also gives players on large servers advantages over small servers because there is far less fluctuation in supply.

    Especially in a game where playing on different servers is easy, local server markets would not be a reasonable or fair option.

    • As I said in an above comment, I don’t think the supplier gets a fair deal in this global marketplace. Even in a real life economy you don’t have to deal with the entire globe when trying to sell the odd thing. If I try to sell a toaster, I’m not going to Ebay I’m going to the flea market, kind of thing. So competition is going to be big, and in my opinion too big for a lot of people to bother with it.

      As for your other points, I would say fluctuation in supply is pretty rare on the level you’re talking even in a local server situation. As long as profit is to be made people will get involved.

      And as I say at the end, I acknowledge that there doesn’t seem to be another way to do it in a game where you can change servers.

  17. I guess my view of the Guild Wars 2 marketplace is at the other other end of the scale. I love the idea of not having to spend my time trying to sell things “manually”. An automated means of disposing of my excess items gives me more time to play the game. While I acknowledge that to some, “playing the game” is about the building of wealth, to me this is only a very small part, and certainly not the reason I would buy a game. I prefer to spend my time exploring the vast maps, enjoying the artists creations and doing battle with evil foes. This to me is far more rewarding then selling something for 1000x its value.

    • Hey don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely in favor an AH. I just think a smaller scale would be nice. I am in no way in favour of the old gw system and would rage without some form of ah. And I think you’d be surprised how many people enjoy the AH mini-game.

  18. The AH mini-game is often, at least for me, something else to do in game when I get tired of questing, grinding, or even exploring. While for some it might be the main enjoyment for them, I think for a lot of people it is just another feature they enjoy along with all the other parts of the game.
    .
    I think there will always be a market for certain items. In RoM it was three items you needed for getting special skills at various levels (if I remember correctly). While it only took a few minutes to gather, there were always buyers for that exact amount of each item. I always gathered those as I played and had a constant income from that alone, much better in fact than most drops. Ditto in Aion, there is always a demand for certain things even though anyone could easily gather it for themselves. I do the same, stuff I just don’t want to take the time to go get I’ll buy off the broker, often from the same seller if they are a regular. While I’ve manipulated the market for certain items in both games (and continue to do so in Aion), it isn’t to jack up the prices sky high, but rather to provide a more constant sell price. I buy up anything under a certain price, sell set amounts at a regular price and help maintain a constant supply of those items. Someone will often come in and undercut for awhile, but then move on eventually. Even when that happens I usually am able to sell things at my regular prices, just not as much. There are even others that are clearly doing the same as I am, sometimes on the same item, I’ll even run into them sometimes gathering; we don’t undercut each other and sell at the same prices or else list different amounts at similar prices. We’re not even working together, just saying “hello” and sharing the gathering nodes.
    .
    I expect a similar thing to happen in GW2, but we’ll see.

    • Of course there will always be a supply and demand thing, but the extent of which you want to bother with the ah changes.

  19. […] The Global Marketplace in Guild Wars 2 | Hunter’s Insight Share […]

  20. It sounds like they’re yoinking the City of Heroes Consignment House model alongside the Sidekick/Exemplar system. In my experience it works quite well: in other games I often miss the ability to bid on something that isn’t being sold at the price I want at the time when I’m in the AH.

    The CH is global and bids are anonymous, but there’s still a community of high-profile traders on the official forums. Some of them use a particular bid ending as a “signature”, but even that’s fairly rare.

    • a global auction house will certainly help people like you out, but it looks to to be less fun for people like me.


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