Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why to pay for a parking lot?

I got the weirdest type of comment on my suggestion to charge gold for using "need" and "greed" buttons in random dungeons. "if i win a roll i got the item fairly and you do not deserve compensation" or "Explain why I should pay anything to get upgrades in a dungeon". Of course I could ignore them just as "dumb idiots", but the right answer for their question/opinion have not been given by any of the 20+ supporters, so I'm afraid, they don't know it either.

Let me ask another question then: why do we pay parking fee in an open parking lot? The lot was there before the parking fee was introduced, so you're surely not paying for the creation of the lot. Is it some kind of robbing? The local government take the money of the people for nothing? Assuming there is no new parking space is created, shouldn't parking be free?

Well, this UK government report says parking fees must be introduced to end the traffic jams. What does a "service fee" do with a completely different thing? Well, they are not different: the jams are generated by people circling around seeking parking lots. Oh wait, fee does not create new parking lots right? Wrong: the "service" that you pay with the parking fee is "keeping those people away from your lot who can't pay the fee". These people simply don't come in the city by car since they know they can't park there anyway.

It's the very same thing you would pay if "need" and "greed" would take 3x vendor price from you. You would pay for "keeping everyone who don't want to pay 3x vendor price" from pressing the "need" and "greed" buttons. To be specific the vendoring ninjas would be kept from pressing these buttons.

In the first version of my idea, I wanted to introduce a new button overcomplicating the system. No need for that. Pay for both need and greed and only those will press the buttons who really need or want the item (maybe the "greed" button should be renamed "want"). This is the only way to prevent items that someone would use to be vendored for a few coppers.


Twinkletoes said...

Parking fees are introduced to stop business commuters parking in free shopping carparks all day.

The price of the parking fee makes it viable for short stays (such as when your shopping) but very expensive to stay thier all day (if you use it as your office carpark).

Anonymous said...

What if nobody wants or needs the item? A lot of items will not be picked up (if there is no enchanter in the party).

Azzur said...

In the first version of my idea, I wanted to introduce a new button overcomplicating the system. No need for that. Pay for both need and greed and only those will press the buttons who really need or want the item (maybe the "greed" button should be renamed "want"). This is the only way to prevent items that someone would use to be vendored for a few coppers.

Your basic concept is very good, but the implementation needs to be tighter. Many good ideas can be lost because of poor implementation.

In italics is your revised version, which I disagree with. While this may be the "simplest" execution of the idea, the implementation is a "stealth fix". When you are changing something, you must make it obvious that there is a change or you make the previous behaviour (e.g. hitting the greed/disenchant button by default) will remain unchanged. Hence, I believe the addition of an additional button is vital.

To put this in perspective, imagine the local council forcing you to pay for parking in a spot that was previously free but not announcing it. You park there and get fined. Sure, you won't do it again, but won't you be sore for getting that fine in the first place?

Chewy said...

Can you link the original document rather than a local papers report of one of the six alternatives that original paper offers ?

The paper also suggests road pricing as an effective measure. Perhaps if we charge people to go into randoms and refund anyone who doesn't take loot it would be just as effective ?

But why bother ? We're not solving urban congestion, we're playing a game and if a few people are deeply upset about losing the roll to "someone who only wanted to sell it to the vendor" I would suggest they get over it and move on.

There are far better things on which to spend developers time and I suspect Blizzard are going to be of the same opinion.

Anonymous said...

You pay for a parking lot because you do not own the parking lot. While you are exclusively renting the space for a period of time, it's not the owner's purpose to exclude those who cannot pay, even at the cost of having empty spaces. It's the owners purpose (and right) to make so much profit as is possible from his lot. The same holds true if a city or state owns the lot. Empty spaces simply reflect the inefficency of an auction system.
The analogy to your suggestion fails. There is not an owner of the item drop who is exercising dominion over property.
However, your suggestion is still a reasonable attempt to allocate a limited resource to a player who values it most highly. Because of technical constraints in the cross-server dungeon system (specifically, the inability to auction BoE drops among group members), it is very sensible to come up with a utility-based allocation system.

Anonymous said...

Why not just make all loot bind on equip so you can just buy what you need on the open market?

kaaterina said...


Patch notes?

Seriously, if people don't read patch notes it's their own fault.

Okrane S. said...

Good luck explaining to people a solution designed with a general optimum in mind, when all they see is their own narrow, limited piece of the pie.

People are dumb (omg lol, captain obvious). Trying to explain a dynamic concept to a bunch of loot driven kidz who play an idiotic game will lead nowhere. All they see is their subjective side of the story and that's it.

Kinda like in real world, where lots of good practical solutions cannot be implemented because of people's nearsightedness.

Even more, I hardly doubt anyone from blizz ever bothers to read the forums and take suggestions seriously.

I had 2 suggestions so far on the forums, both properly thought and arguemented:

1) to refresh all cooldowns of a char at the start of a duel (those who duel outside a main city to get into shape for pvp know the frustration of this).

It got like 2 comments and then got burried under the nonsense spam of ban gearscore threads or nerf that class whines.

2) My second suggestion was for cataclysm to actually merge the mail and leather armor types into a single one. Taking into account that all the classes using those armor types will use the same stats it is a very logical step towards what blizz wants. I only got trolled by kids saying "lol no, I dont want more ppl to steal my loot" and of course no blue response, even though my arguementation was serious and backed up by facts.

conclusion: dont bother too much with those forums, its a lost cause.

Ingmārs Daniels Meļķis said...

hmm Gevlon, I understand the "need" compensation thingie, but why would you want to apply this thing to greed?
In random HC's greed is usually used to randomly give the item to someone, who will sell it later. If you will apply fee to it - nobody will press greed and ninjas will camp the boss corpse till everyone pass and simply claim the loot for theirselves, while leaving random people at loss (taking that there aren't any DE in the group).
(I know i did weird wording but the idea should be pretty easy to understand).

Anonymous said...

Idea still won't work, people will form the "rule" that you auto-need anything you can in a dungeon. We all know getting the item to vendor, etc, is better than letting someone "pay for it". Now if they pay vendor price x4 and everyone else gets part of that money, well we just reached a deal!

Anonymous said...

Could always make the system work "if you need an item you do not get any badges from the boss, nor at the end of the instance if you are using the random dungeon finder".

This could also work for lower level dungeons. If you need on an item in the random you do not get the "bag-0-goodies". I think this could fix a lot of things. People who really need the gear will need on it, people who are trying to F*#&@ people won't, because most people are there for badges.

Haora said...

I agree with Ingmārs Daniels Meļķis , why would you charge people for greeding? When you're pressing that button, you're basically saying: "I want this item so I can sell it...", so why would you charge those people too? There is no such a thing as there? :S

Although I like your idea of the feed for the Need button, I disagree on the greed one.
And one more question, what about the BoE items? How much would you charge when needing those?
BoE Epics, can sell at 10g on the vendor, but at 1k gold at the AH, how much would you charge? 30g? That wouldn't stop ninjas, at least not those with money :P

Alleji said...

What if you have a price ticking down next to the greed button? Sort of like an auction, except in reverse.

Price starts at 3x vendor cost at 0 seconds and ticks down to 0 at 30 seconds. If a player presses the greed button, the price stops counting down and other players can now only greed it at that price to challenge his bid.

This doesn't require an extra button, can be easily explained in a tooltip ("Rolling on this item will cost 40 gold") and still lets people take items for vendoring if nobody wants to pay.

Will said...

Imagine, if everyone single person were to pass on a vendorable item - it automatically rolled off to find a home for the item.

Cat said...

Stupid idea; and the reason Car Parks often have fee's is to stop business commuters parking in car parks provided by different companies. It also covers the cost of maintaining the car park. The fact car parks are often a business themselves further invalidates your comparisson.

Anonymous said...

Here's a two-part fix for the loot system:

First, anything BOE should be automatically rolled among all group members. Since it's tradeable, it has equal value to everyone, so anyone who thinks they should get a higher priority roll is wrong.

Second, BOP items should have zero vendor value. That way there's no loss to the rest of the group when someone hits Need. Then either remove the Greed button or rename it Want.

Jaedia said...

I understand where you're coming from with charging for a 'need' roll, but I disagree with charging for 'greed' rolls.

Anonymous said...

I'm still going with my comment (never got posted) from the previous suggestion...

Just make all needed items unable to be disenchanted and unable to be sold much like emblem gear is now.

That takes all the incentive to ninja the item away as it's worthless for any purpose except to use it.

Greed is unchanged - everyone greeds and can do what they want with the item (sell/disenchant).

Sycopat said...

I think it's a good idea, however deciding on a good implementation is difficult.

I think the four button suggestion is probably the best, a Need with compensation (*3.5/4 vendor cost), greed with compensation (3/2.5*vendor), greed (free) and disenchant.

with this model, need becomes more expensive, providing a barrier to entry that players will only willingly pay if it's a main spec upgrade. A premium price is paid, but it gives you priority. Using airport tickets as a metaphor, this is business class. Greed with compensation is there to differentiate between those for whom it is a useful upgrade and those for whom it is vendor/DE. It would also be used as a cheap "need" if only one player wants the item as gear. Continuing the plane ticket metaphor, this is akin to priority boarding.

Greed/DE then is the "last minute flight" option, you can get something for nothing out of it but your chances aren't great and it's only useful if you don't care about your destination...(the item in question)

This taking money and redistributing it among the other players idea is also a neat way of balancing out compensation among the players. If a load of needed gear drops, everyone who gets useful gear gets what they want, wheras those who had no good gear drop for them still get a small pile of gold.

A small "tax" on gold moved through the compensation system could also form a significant goldsink, helping to curb inflation by removing gold from the game...

Bristal said...

I'm concerned that renaming "Greed" to "Want" would destroy a very cool rhyme. There's not even any alliteration. Who wants to say "need or want"?

How about:
Require or Acquire?
Grab or Nab?
Steal or Appeal?
Wishing or Fishing? personal favorite:
ZOMG Pixels LOL! or gogogogogogo!

Michael said...

Missed your previous post, but I think this is a great idea.

Buttons should be

Need (pay 10*vendor)
Want off-spec (pay 4*vendor)

If everyone hits vendor then the gold is split equally. If someone needs then the gold is split between everyone else.

This would mean that others running the dungeon actually benefit from someone needing over them vendoring themselves.

Baktru said...

In this case though, what is the point of having greed anyway?

I always thought need was for items that would upgrade your character and hence you 'need' them. 'Greed' is for stuff you want because it is worth something when you sell or disenchant it.

However, what's the use of the greed button if it costs you more than the resale value? I can still see it for anything BoE (but seriously, whether someone vendors an item or actually AH's it is immaterial to the transaction done in the instance), but for BoP it makes no sense.

Having some kind of a restriction on using 'Need' des make sense though. I wouldn't even mind if pressing 'Need' has you pay Vendor Price x 3, even if you don't get the item.

Parker said...

Why do we pay for parking fee in an open parking lot?

If we do not pay, then someone else will. As demand for the parking spot decreases (regardless of prior cost for this parking spot), the price charged will fall. The price will continue to fall until the number of "sold" parking spaces multiplied by the amount per space is at it's highest.

Conversely, as demand increases, the price per spot (again, prior pricing does not matter) will increase until total revenue begins to decrease.

Ultimately, we (a collective "we") pay as much for the parking spot as we are willing to pay.

The original concept runs along the same lines as gdkp: We pay for what we want. If you want less items, you receive more gold.

Taemojitsu said...

What if it was a different loot option, similar to how master looter is an option. Straight bidding is not ideal if only one person wants the item, but neither is a roll to 3x vendor price if the item is valued at significantly higher or lower than that number. Some groups would be more comfortable with "winning the item fairly" and other groups could choose to use the one that benefits everyone for any drop. Integration with LFD would require more detail.

Anonymous said...

This is actually an interesting comparison to RL. However, thought I agree ... kind of with 'pay for upgrade', WoW is not RL.

WoW is not one game. WoW has few built-in-games. It has a dungeon crawler, it has PvP. Both of them have nothing to do with each other, some spells work differently, some don't work at all (in arena spells with long cooldowns don't work).

Than there is a strategy of AH, wow also provides for mindless repetitive behavior with daily quests (non-pvp, but regular dailies).

If you enjoy programming, you can write mods for WoW ... and if you enjoy it - its a game to you.

So there are all these different games. Now I wouldn't say that to kill Arthas on heroic mode you need at least 1800 3's team. However you're saying that to get a drop from a dungeon you needed to make some money by playing entirely different part of the game.

Rock said...

This comment is a bit late in the game, but I don't think Blizzard will ever implement a mechanic that is seen as a penalty to a player, ie pay for a 'need' bid.

Same concept as when they changed the vanilla wow beta 'rest xp penalty' to 'double xp when rested' and increased xp needed for levelling. Same result, but seen as a reward, not a penalty.

I suggest that for for Bind On Pickup items, if roll winner selected need, they get the item, and it becomes unsellable ie. no vendor price, removing the ninja-for-money motivation.

Then as the 'compensation' for losing out on the roll, split the vendor cost between the other need rollers (so can only get a maximum of 1/2 vendor cost if only one other roller), sourced from Blizzards coffers rather than the roll winners. This way, everyone gets a reward, but not the full vendor price attractive to the ninja.

If no need rolls, do the usual greed/DE roll since people will be rolling for money (once vendored, let a greeded BOP item become sellable) or DE mats. No compensation to the greed roll losers.

In this way a greed roll becomes more favourable for ninjas for the chance at the full item cost since gold is their motivator, rather than a chance of receiving an unsellable item from rolling need.

Finally, remove need from green item rolls, make greed or DE only. If you're that desperate for an item upgrade, go get some green quest rewards.