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View Full Version : "Fixing" the AH



jingseng
12-31-2009, 02:17 AM
To the extent that such a thing has been proposed in the past...
and to the extent that the Devs have their own, underlying and unstated reasoning for things being the way they are...

I felt that the AH should have a separate thread from the other, somewhat more divergent topics in "to fix the DDO economy..." thread.

The solution is simple, imho - reverse the fee structure.

As it currently stands, the AH fee structure is:
1) very small percentage of the base value = listing fee
2) ~33% of final sale price = sale fee

Taking a more calculating look at this (which most players, in fact, do not) - for a player without a high-haggle toon, to turn a profit on the AH, you essentially need to be able to sell at over 15-20% of the base value.

However, we can see from this fee structure that such a calculus is irrelevant. Why? because the listing fee is so small as to be negligible. In short, it doesn't matter if an item perpetually falls off the AH unsold - the point at which the listing fee kills the profit doesn't occur until the item has fallen off many, many times.

Moreover, because the sale fee is such a large percentage, it actually encourages players to attempt to sell something for an absurdly high price. In order to "keep" more of your sale money, it is understood that you must sell for far more. This is a very basic understanding of the fee structure, and what constitutes sales and profits, and so forth.

But let's be real - it's not everyone that bothers to think about that stuff in depth (hello modern, real world economic crisis), and when some of the player base can only list one item on the AH per xhours, the only real thought is: get rich quick. Again, it's a very basic understanding that this means "one big sale." But basic also means widespread.

The truth is you could make a lot of money quickly by just vendoring a lot of the stuff, but that gets to be beside the point - perceptions being what they are.

The solution is to turn the fee structure upside; that is to say:
1) Listing fee is a moderate % of the asking price
2) Final sale fee is a tiny % of the final sale price

In this way, players are encouraged to think long and hard about the value of the items they want to sell - both in terms of deciding whether to list it at all, and what that asking price shall be.

Players will learn to rely less on that "one big sale" philosophy because it will hurt when their items don't sell (rather than relist, relist, relist at double previous price, relist at triple previous doubled price, ad nauseum). Prices will become, frankly, more reasonable - truly powerful or desirable/trendy items will be appropriately priced, and bargain values will in fact, be both a bargain and a value.

Sellers will also have the opportunity to take true risks in trade off - lack of a buyout increases turn around time, but may result in a higher overall price - or may result in no sale at all. A low initial list generates lower fees, but may have a lower final sale. A higher initial list is "safe", but subject to undercutting competition in the form of buyouts.

This will have the added benefit of clearing up the AH - let's be honest, masterwork and NQ (normal quality/+0) items have no real business being on the AH. Most players could care less about seeing pages of bare +1/2/3/4/5 weapons... unless there is a real deal to be had. And of course, there are the broken down items being listed for well above value, the items that nonsensical prefix-suffix combinations (ghost touch of smiting! Keen of undead bane!) and so forth.

Additionally, players will learn to seek out pawns and vendors to find gear (and in turn, learn to sell to them), and perhaps make better use of trade-chat and other avenues of sale.

The lack of a transaction history exacerbates the problem - however, the sort of item-generation and AH that is utilized in DDO isn't particularly amenable to transaction history display. In any event, addition of history, while useful, doesn't address the main problem: the way the fees are set up.

I encourage the devs to have a discussion regarding changing the auction house fees in this manner. The way they are set up only encourages rampant inflation.

chubbs99
12-31-2009, 03:20 AM
Very well written OP +1
But you forgot to mention the other needed things such as a search function so in the mean time we can navigate those 3-4 pages of +0 & Masterwork items that don't belong on their to begin with. :p

Lorien_the_First_One
12-31-2009, 03:26 AM
The listing fee used to be higher and the % of the sale price lower. All that did was encourage more people to sell things at the vendors/brokers. If you weren't 100% sure it would sell, it wasn't worth AHing it. Reverting back to that structure will just encourage less sales on the AH because the risk of listing something goes up. Right now I list all "marginal" items for a reasonable price in case someone wants them. If 1 in 10 sells, its worth it to me. Under your scheme I wouldn't list any marginal items, I'd be better off just vendoring them all.

Pyromaniac
12-31-2009, 04:30 AM
/not signed. Charging a higher listing fee would mean much less usage of the AH. That's not a good thing.

BurningDownTheHouse
12-31-2009, 05:25 AM
/not signed. Charging a higher listing fee would mean much less usage of the AH. That's not a good thing.

Yep.

People will just start using alternative methods of selling (like the forums).

The problem is not the AH mechanic, it's the value that is percived by the community for the said item.
If somone will buy a ml2 weapon for 100k plat from me, why shouldn't I try and get that price for it?

So yes, it is a problem of the economy and just changing the AH mechanic wont fix it, or even help it.

chubbs99
12-31-2009, 05:52 AM
Actually Swaping the fees around would result in more money back, but the higher listing fee would deter the useless stuff from getting listed.

Right now Its what 10% of Base Value of the item thats the listing fee? with an additional 33% off the sale fee.
So lets pretend we are listing a bloodstone (http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/jgould2005/DDO/Items/Trinkets/Bloodstone.jpg) its the first thing that came to mind cause I'm starting to look for one :p

I don't know how accurate these numbers actually are, they are simply numbers to show the math.

Base Value: 16,200 * 10% = 1,620 listing fee
Sale Price: 1,000,000 - 33% = 670,000
Money Gained = 668,380

Now reverse the fee's

Base Value:16,200 * 33% = 5,346
Sale Price: 1,000,000 - 10% = 900,000
Money Gained = 894,654

Yes granted higher fee's listing means less people will be putting things that won't sell on the auction house. No more Ghost Touch of bleeding, no more Ghost Touch of smiting, no more Masterwork arrows, no more Clean +1's, 2's, 3's and more. People will have to vender that stuff and learn about the brokers if they care about getting full price for their junk rather then have it cloging up the auction. If you think its a maybe item that might be usefull to someone you can still come out ahead if you put it at a reduced price somewhere between what the broker pays and what quality items go for.

giveuptg
01-04-2010, 01:54 AM
Bump for an AH Search function because it's a huge pain in the ass without one.