Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Public Service Announcement


I now present a public service announcement on behalf of all crafters.

The Auction House is a wonderous place where you can offer up goods for others to bid upon. You can set the price of any good at any value of your choosing and, should anyone make an offer equal or greater than that amount, the item will be sold.

It is a very efficient system.

You are also able to peruse the recent sales history of any item to estimate an approximate value for your item. This estimate is only a guideline, though, and you are free to set the price at any value you wish.

There is one small addendum to that policy:

If you undercut the price by 50% and destroy the market value of an item, I am going to F&%@ING CUT YOU.

I mean that in all seriousness. I will cut you so bad, you'll wish I didn't cut you so bad.

Should you live in another area, I would be happy to send you a knife in the mail.

I put up with a lot of bullshit as a crafter in FFXI.



Watching a synth worth millions upon millions of gil go kablooey because someone within eleven miles of your character is wearing their Suppanomimi on their right ear is the price we pay to be crafters.

That's just part of the job.

It's like Paladins getting killed or people questioning the sexuality of Bards.

That's just the way it is.

What is not part of our job is watching all of our work crash and burn because you were in too much of a hurry to list your item for a reasonable price.

Congratulations. You got nowhere near what the item was actually worth and you've ruined countless people's hard work.

That is why, when you do this, I am perfectly justified in cutting you.

Really, you brought it on yourself.

Do you think I want to cut you? Do you think that seems like an entertaining idea to me?

... Maybe.

But I'm only cutting you because you deserve to be cut, because you NEED to be cut.

You F&%@ING need it.

I don't care why you did it. I don't care why you were in such a rush.

I will F&%@ING cut you.




At 9:04 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Preach it brother!

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Psylex said...

Also, the other side of this is important. Don't hike the price by 200% or more just because one can. That will lead to suppliers also expecting to sell their goods for the same price and make me want to murder that person in the face. With the base materials of the item I can now no longer afford.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Quest said...

[GM]Dave does not appreciate free market?

Don't ever play an Eve trader, then. You'll get undercut 24 hours a day.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Bufuman said...

Now I'm curious, Dave. What got undercut and by how much?

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Mercenary said...

Free market only goes so far. There comes a point where it needs to stop and the government/ruling body says "Thats as far it is going to go and no further."

At 1:47 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

Does this posting have anything to do with the last one? Are you cutting them with finger nail clippers in their sensitive areas?

At 2:50 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

i couldn't agree more. what you need to do is find out where these people live and then outsource the cutting. i volunteer for the midwest area, hah.

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Salt said...

This happens in WoW as well.

Morons will put up 10+ of the same item, flooding the market.
They also watch the AH like a hawk and keep relisting their items, uncutting everyone.

Thanks to their flooding the value of the goods go down.

I have to do more work to get the same amount of gold.

Wish they will use their brain, and STOP DOING THAT.
The market has only so much demand, you will make more gold for the same amount of effort if you slowly sell of your stock, instead of playing the relist & undercut game.

At 5:02 AM, Blogger Adam said...

Some people are purposefully undercutting the current price in an effort to bring down the market. I've seen this happen several times in my last MMO where an item had reached an ungodly disproportionate value and these people brought it back down to what it was worth.

So the question is, were you crafters busy playing Big Oil and screwing your customers as hard and as fast as you could?

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

As someone who's never played FFXI (but who generally understands most posts) I find myself intensely confused here. Why would one auction at a very low price "ruin" one's synthesis efforts?

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Mali said...

My boyfriend was waiting to buy his mercurial kris. He finally saved up the 3 mil he needed and went to the AH all excited. He went looked it up and some idiots started getting the price higher. He waited thinking it would go down. By the time it hit 3.6 mil he was just going to try and buy it anyway.... then some morons made it 3.7 mil. Hes been so pissed off for the past 2 days.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Ukumi said...

indeed, some people are retarded... /sigh

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Sword said...

Should've added about price fixing too. Some are controlling the market on items by buying up all of a particular item, then lowering the price by selling to himself on mules to buy more cheaper, then resale for 2-10x it's inital worth.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger nkelly1968 said...

@Cidolfas -

The FFXI "Auction House" is a very weird thing. As a buyer or seller, you see the last ten sales and the price paid. You can also see the number currently for sale. As a seller, you set a price. Anyone who bids will get the item with the lowest list price below what they offered.

For example, I craft food items. I might see that a bottle of grape juice historically sells for 800 gil, with a few at 780 or 850. There are currently ten for sale. I can place mine for 800 and if everyone else listed theirs for 791 mine would never sell despite the price history showing 800 (assuming the buyers simply pay 800 rather than trying 780, 781, 782, etc.

Now if I was a total ass, I might list my grape juice (or a whole lot of grape juice) at 400 gil in the hope that buyers would simply pay 800 or even 780 without trying a lower price. Mine sell ahead of everyone else that priced at 791 and I'm happy. But if one person tries 400 and then buys ten of mine at that price, the history is filled with this new price and suddenly people think 400 gil is the "correct" price for a bottle of grape juice.

"Winning" at the FFXI AH consists of pricing your item one gil lower then the competition so that you get the sale and they don't. Since the actual list price is unknown this poses something of a challenge.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Yotevol said...

Thank You for the Public Service Announcement. I'm glad that you noticed it when others undercut the AH.

Basic laws of Supply and Demand state that when there is low demand, the suppliers must lower the price to keep the market freely flowing. It also states that when the supply is low and demand is high, the price is increased until a medium is achieved.

That being said, there are RMT that camp the AH. When I say camp, I mean they have a 3rd party program that low-bids items continuously to find the undercutters.

This wouldn't be that bad at first. However, let's couple this will the RMTs that buy and sell the same item to flood the market price history for a low price. This causes some random person to believe his valued item has gone down in value. When he tries and sells it for the lower price, the RMTers get it.

Now, fast forward 3-4 weeks. Those same RMTs reverse the effect by flooding the market with a price 2-3 times the price of the original. So, when the sell the items they bought off of that random person, they make a huge profit.

I only hope that [GM]s find these RMTers and take appropriate actions.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Bri said...

The Auction House is as much of a PvP zone as any battleground, but you don't need epic gear at the level cap to be successful.

I'll undercut you if I can still make a profit. I'll undercut and absorb the loss if I think it'll drive you to look for a new market niche. You spend your time whacking bags of hitpoints, I spend my time in the AH.

@Salt: They are using their brain. It's you that isn't. Buy them out if you don't like their list price, 10 of something certainly isn't flooding the market. The extra profit they don't make per item they certainly make up for with volume. Yes, the market only has so much demand. Where does it say you have to share that market demand with anyone else?

It's the goblin way..

At 3:12 PM, Blogger jason said...

Whats up with people being banned for gardening wtf .......

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Daniel said...


You're kind of... very messed up. WoW is a way different system from FFXI. For A LOT of reasons.

Reasons I don't want to list because my head hurts...

But not everyone is market savvy or has the capital to invest to "buy them out if [they] don't like their list price". And advertising your own blog is not cool man -.-

As to this blog, I'M WITH YOU DAVE
Let's start a cutting club. It'll be great. Eventually everything on the auction house will be priced fairly and accurately... Strangely, with no connection to anyone in the cutting club of course, China's population will plummet.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Bri said...

@Daniel: First off, it's not my blog. The Greedy Goblin is a well-read WoW economic blog. [GM]Dave please delete the URL from my previous comment if it's in bad taste to have put it there.

I'm not here to start a troll war, but have a serious discussion. How is it any different from the person who dominates PvP because he or she has taken the time to get good at it, and gather the best tools (gear, or in my case, capital)? Should that person not be allowed to play at their fullest potential because others might just lose when he does? How is it any different from the player who has taken the time and effort to become good at PvE, so that they might be able to defeat the toughest mobs and get the loot? Is he not allowed to take on those bosses, just because "not everyone" can? Then why do you cry foul when someone who is good at the market wins?

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

nkelly: Thanks for taking the time to explain. It does sound pretty weird... basically one guy with ten items can completely change the going rate of an item.

Couldn't they at least change it so the "last 10" only allow one entry per account? At least that way you'd have to go through the effort of creating 10 accounts (or getting 9 friends to collaborate) to pull this off.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

And -sigh- for this continuing.
It's not any different from PvP or PvE, I just said not everyone is good. I'm not that great at PvP, so I don't. Most people aren't playing the game to play the AH, so they don't. It's just a matter of taste and preference. And we don't cry foul at anyone who is good at making money on the market until:
They sell the gold that they made
They manipulate the AH to sell something for far more than it's actual worth
They undercut others to a point where everyone loses.
Putting something up for 5% or 10% less is just smart, you want yours to sell. 50% lower? That's not smart. That's just ridiculous.

And I'm all for Cidalfas' idea. The history should be so that you can see prices, you don't really need to know that the last guy bought 10 of them at that price. You want to see what other people payed.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Salt said...

You are assuming they are using their brain, well some like you are, I don't believe all are though, I mean there were people in BC sell stacks of netherweave cloth <3g.

And it's people like you that is making it hard for people like me who don't camp the AH 24/7 to make a decent profit.

Good lord, people like you just have to being the "dumping to drive your competition out of business" strategy into a video game, don't you.

Good thing no one can really go broke in WoW.

When it comes to undercutting, it's kind of like of like the prisoner's dilemma.
That said, I don't necessary support collusion.

The point of a trade system to keep goods and services available. I would rather prices be determined purely by supply and demand.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Bri said...

@Daniel: 50% lower is not ridiculous if the other seller's price is 50% too high.

@Salt: People who are dumb with their money will lose it. If you post items at below vendor (like the netherweave of your example) then you're doing a service by taking their money. Just buy and repost it.

People with epic PvP gear and ability make it harder for me to get arena points. People with market ability make it harder for you to make a profit. No difference. Nobody tells the epic PvP'er to "play fair" and let the other person win once in a while. You lose, in the battleground or in the AH, because you're not as good at it as your competition. The answer is to either keep losing, to quit completely, or get better. Prices are always set by supply and demand. But supply and demand can be influenced in your favour of course.

I don't camp the AH, I'm usually there about 15-20 mins a day, tops.

Losing stings. And at least in WoW, the AH is the only place in the game where you can truly lose. That's why it upsets people and they say it's not "fair", whatever the heck that is. In PvP, you never lose, you simply win less. The AH is the only place where the little numbers on your screen can go down, and not just up. And people hate that.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Salt said...

Why the heck do you have to see it as winning and losing?

This isn't PVP.

The point of a trade and barter system to make goods available for trade.

We all win when we get the mats we need for whatever purpose quicker.

And maybe supply and demand isn't the right phrase, more like scarcity and demand.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Bri said...

There's where our philosophies diverge. It is indeed PvP .. economic PvP.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Salt said...

LOL. I suppose we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

Blizz doesn't police the economy much, except for gold sellers, those really screw things up.

If I'm right there are things you can do in WoW economy which are illegal in the RL, and for good reason I believe.

But I suppose no need to police such behaviour unless it gets really out of hand, also it's not possible to starve to dead in WoW, and there are always alternate sources of gold.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Fulluphigh said...

I believe blizzard doesn't do a lot of market policing because it's not supposed to be a competitive selling point for WoW.

What I mean is, the various forms of PvP are obviously designed for competition. Whether or not your numbers can go down (As I recall, your rank can go down, but I haven't played in a long while), it's meant to be that way. You could say (And oh so many do) that the rest of the game exists to facilitate that competition. Doing raids and such for gear, farming for mats, etc.

The AH also falls into that category. Yes, it's a sort of free market system (At least in WoW. From these descriptions, FFXII's AH sounds completely idiotic), with the intention being to keep prices fair at market levels.

As Salt said, the only reason the AH exists is to speed things along for everybody, so you don't have to farm for eternities. You can sell shit you don't need to people who do, and use that money to get the rest of the stuff you do need.

Undercutting other's prices and such is a legit tactic, if not exploited to hard. That's just the way markets work (Except in FFXII apparently). But doing it to "drive you to look for a new market niche" is exessive and pointless. Everybody needs their gold, and unlike pvp, where letting somebody else have a high rank means giving up your own, there's no harm whatsoever and sharing a market when there's enough demand to take all of the supply. All you're doing is preventing somebody else from making the gold they need to play the game. Whereas, in pvp, you're not preventing somebody from playing the game just by beating them. They can just res and get right back to it.

Now, I know that that's a viable option in the market too. Just go farm some gold. This isn't a real world economy, so the only thing it does is slow you down. But it slows you down a fucking lot.

But hey, that's your play style, and that's alright, since it's a game. I can actually see where you enjoy it, outwitting the competition and getting filthy rich. But ultimately, since it is a game, I'd rather being doing the 'game' parts, which I find vastly more entertaining.

IRL, people who play the market like you make me sick (You don't, since WoW isn't IRL, and I don't even play anymore =P), and it's greedy bastards like that that would make me cheer on corporate terrorism.

At 3:57 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

My favorite difference between WoW and FFXI is the economy. In Wow the economy is very fickle, changes every hour practically, and since gold is such an easy thing (incredibly, incredibly easy) to make, it doesn't really matter. Then you get FFXI where the economy is a much more stable thing. Far steadier. Remember the bonanza? Everyone and their dog was having panic attacks about what "that much gold suddenly put into the system" would do to the economy.

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Leut said...

I miss those days of farming simple things that are absolutely vital to increasing someone's Bonecraft by .1

I farmed SO many Hermit Rings. I sold them for 5k each. Crafters were happy. I was happy. Others saw how happy I was. Undercut my damn rings to 1K each. No one was happy now except the Bonecrafters.

Well....until they couldn't sell their Eldrich Rings +1 for 10-13K anymore. Undercutting hurts no matter where it starts.

At 2:50 AM, Blogger Lord Azrim said...


Your argument about the AH being a competitive grounds for selection holds some validity.

However, your comparison to PvP isn't entirely accurate. For the comparison you have to hold the weight you imply, the consequences would have to be equal. When you lose in PvP, you simply res someplace else and go back on your way to doing whatever it is you want to do. You've lost at most the time you spent in the fight and the time it took you to reach your destination from your res point. When someone is undercut in the AH, that's days of work trying to craft items to make money that have simply gone into the toilet. The consequences are most definitely not equal. Therefore to say that severe undercutting is as fair as PvP is ignoring the impact it has on the other player's ability to effectively play the game.

That being said, the economic competition that you are describing is outlawed outside of the virtual world. That's why monopolies are prohibited and antitrust laws are placed into effect. Keep in mind it is illegal for one gas station to undercut its prices so grievously as to manipulate the market into its favor. Now there are flaws with the enforcement of these laws at times (Walmart), but they still exist as a means of protecting the market economy and prevent people from manipulating it to the extent it is manipulated in the virtual world.

That being said, also keep in mind that competition in nature is meant as a means of rationing out scarce resources. It is used to determine who lives and who does not in a situation where not everyone can. However, competition becomes more of a moot point when the scarcity becomes less of an issue and everyone can thrive. At that point, the monetary competition becomes more about douchebags profiteering off the misfortunes of others to the point it hampers their ability to play rather than a display of shrewd economic prowess.

Really, the issue here is how the actions of these people detrimentally affect the gameplay for others. Rules and conventions are there to prevent people from getting taken advantage of. Breaking those conventions doesn't make one smart. It makes them an asshole.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Lord Azrim is made of win.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Michael said...

i/r/t Quest:
EVE traders get undercut, yes, but generally not by 50%. The undercutting there comes from the constant .01 ISK price wars in the market hubs, not retards deciding to sell shit for less than cost (those people tend to fill underpriced buy orders instead)


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