Greedy Goblin

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bid percentage

WoWinsider has an article up about auctioning addons. I usually don't bother to link anything there, due to different target audience. That site is targeted to a huge audience, therefore written in the "lowest common denominator" style. It's not bad, their advices are not wrong just simple and mediocre.

However this article has something plain wrong: "Bid percent is usually 100, unless you have a reason to want to take a longer time to sell your stuff for less." The mediocre answer would be "bid percent is your material cost + minimal profit expectation, so you help beginner players who have less money".

The proper answer is "bid percent is a tool for market segmentation". You provide a minimum service (he can buy your stuff for bid price if he waits 48 hours to get the item and ready to take the risk of being overbid), and you provide a premium service (instant buyout) to richer players. This way you don't leave money on the table and you still get the money of the poorer players.

If you are using zeroauctions (QA3 improvement), you already have threshold. ZA never set bid price below that. So if you set 10% bid, and your threshold is 10G, fallback 100G, no competitions up, your item will be listed for 10G bid, 100G buyout. If the competition is selling for 15G, you'll be listing for 10G bid, 14G buyout (assuming 1G undercut). You will never sell below threshold. If you consider your threshold too low, then you have a threshold problem, not a bid problem. Your threshold should be set to the value "I will be happy if people pay just this amount".

I use 70% bid percentage and often have bids. I'm happy to have them. These are sales that I wouldn't have without proper bid price. True, sometimes a competitor bids all my auctions and gets my items "low" and relist higher. Example: I list for 30/40G, he bids me, lists for 35G, gets my stuff for 30, relist them for 35, 5G profit for him. Good for him. If he wants to turn his gold into 30G glyphs for the hope of 5G profit, be my guest. I prefer the 30G liquid. What if he can sell them for 50? Then I was wrong for running with 30G threshold. Remember, he can force my buyout to 30G by listing for 31G, so he can get my glyphs anyway for 30.

So: watch your threshold, set 60-70% bid percentage and enjoy the extra income from market segmentation.

Since many people questioned that we can kick M&S from WG and even believe that we'll get ban for "griefing", I asked a GM:

I understand that there are people who are now worried that they or their friends will be kicked by "elitists" just for "having life" or "playing for fun". I hope the kind words of Sir Thomas will comfort them:

"Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled!
Shelter your weak, your young and your old!
Each of you shall pay the final sum!
Cry for mercy; the reckoning has come! HAHAHAHA!"


Visalyar said...

I stopped using auction related addons (only a self written bid-addon for massive buying) since the global AH prices start to go down as an pre cata effect. (quite destabilisatig various buisiness-areas)

I´m now only selling in my JC & BS buisiness and some stable enchantments (Mungoose & Bladeward). I´ve turned up for preinvestment since I discovered a obvious Chinafarmer or stupid as can be M&S who sells saronite ore below the resulting vendor price of saronite bars. He grands me a safety of 58% profit... ...nice guy.
Further speculation in various materials and rare items (pets, etc.) have to be done. At last I can invest the 4.0.1-income.

Bobbins said...

Bidding in the AH is just so bad.
Frequently I bid on items only for the poster to realise he might have posted too low (or made a mistake posting) and cancels the auction. As soon as I make a bid the cancelling feature should be disabled.

Waiting 24hrs+ only to have to bid again and again (if outbid) also is not good. So basically the bidding system sucks.

Gevlon seems to be saying people are willing to 'risk' not winning the auction or the bid price being undercut by a buyout price for a few gold. How does he view these customers as this must cost (opportunity cost) more than the gold they save?

I can't see people for the majority of items bidding on them in its present form. And they don't!

PS But I will try it out when cata hits as I feel people will be initially more squeezed for cash and willing to bid than they are now.

Visalyar said...

Bidding got rid of my last 2 264er Epics this morning (just checked).

Both plate-boots (deff & off) full gemmed and enchanted for 4k bid and 5k buyout (1,5k profit on bid 2,5k on buyout). observed this often at expensive items but not at mass produced items as glyphs or gems (only 1/15 at these)...

Energybomb said...

the response of the gm I think clears things up pretty neatly:

M&S are f*cked. Sorry people, no fishing for you in the middle of wintergrasp.

Sjonnar said...

Don't get too excited over your message from the GM yet, Gevlon. Note the third paragraph: 'Obviously unfair kicks by raid leaders may be investigated by GMs and action may have to be taken. Use your best judgment on what warrants a kick and you shouldn't have to worry.'

Translation: 'Hurt the feelings of too many M&S, and you'll find yourself taking a break from WoW, whether you want to or not.'

Contrast that with the environment of Eve, where it is not a punishable offense to hurt the M&S, but rather 'working as intended'. The rules of the game allow you to scam them, cheat them of their hard-earned (or bought) spacemoney, steal from their belongings, blow them up and loot their precious faction mods (the Eve version of 'l33t purplez'), and even infiltrate their guild and steal everything that's not nailed down. Of course, that means there are far fewer M&S to prey upon, as this bleak, unfriendly environment drives them away, but that's not such a bad thing, now is it?

Mnemonic said...

I would have assumed that reply from a Blizzard GM, of course the raid leader can kick.

With that alone though, it has now reduced the Wintergrasp event on your realm to nothing more than who "wins" Raid Leader. May as well be a coin toss.

The kick function is working as intended yes, but so is the ability to ride a catapult by the HK farmers to "pwn lol" is also working as intended, as is actually competing in the acutal design of Wintergrasp to control the fortress.

So, through argument and the creation of your addon. You haev made your realm's Wintergrasp almost kind of a joke. People that aren't involved in either the M&S or your functions will be entering WG wondering what they will be doing "this time."

I am interested to see how this situation progresses for you, its too bad I am on a US realm, I would like to watch this.

Anti said...

personally i think the GM was wrong. or at least he didnt understand your question.

i think he focused on the "i often lead raids" part of your question. leading normal raids you can run them however you see fit. your raid, your rules.

however WG isnt your raid. WG you, or one of your mates, just happened to get the first invite and become RL. its not your raid, its Blizzards raid. the GM didnt focus on the fact it was a WG raid. in my opinion he should have.

i've been kicked from a WG raid by a random moron once or twice. its mildly annoying. especially on a server where my faction was always over queued so the option to zone out and requeue to rejoin the main raid isnt realistic.

i can see the benefit of your addon. that doesnt mean it isnt griefing.

Anonymous said...

While you may kick someone who was fishing and face no repercussions, kicking someone who was participating in combat, but not following your strat or trolling in raid, may have repercussions for you if Blizzard feels that they were unjustly removed.

Don't get too happy with the banhammer.

Anonymous said...

also because your addon is open source it would be pretty easy to re-write it to kick anyone without 900+ resil.

for the organiser of undergeared i'm not sure you'd want that sort of addon to gain popularity.

Bobbins said...

As always the GM answer is vague 'use your best judgement' to someone he doesn't know.

Anyway not sure now but the entire faction used to have an interest in winning WG. So not to win WG as a raid leader damages more than kicking a few players.

HELL, I might report you for not winning. ;)

Anonymous said...

If this really takes off and becomes widespread, it will lead to Blizzard just disabling kick rights for the WG raid leader.

Isn't that the case for the BG raids already, anyway?

Anonymous said...

If you sell crafted stuff made of common mats (those you can replenish any time), posting bid as mats price + deposit cost + minimal profit means you got your deposit back instead of item returned to your mailbox unsold.

If you put bid price at loss, then go smack yourself on the head. I love bidding on those auctions, so what if he cancels, I lose nothing and he loses not only the deposit but also fraction of the bid, if the item was bidded. I often buy stuff as highest bidder ready to be resold for profits, so what if 2 times more auctions return as "you have been outbid", it doesn't take ages to put some crucial bids here and there.

If you craft items with mats you can resupply then you face:
case 1. Item didn't sell, you lost deposit price, you repost
case 2. Item sold for bid price, covering mats and deposit, I'm on the plus side, rebuy mats (remember I just got money for them), craft and repost

The only problem might be with one-time items you'll rather hold on and wait for bigger bargain, like rare twink or vanity item, then of course don't put bid if you expect you can get better price later on.

Visalyar said...

The stated advice from the GM is the same you get, when you askt about PuGs / semi-rndm raids.

For safety you could make a makro you post when the raid is full, that you will kick any ineffective raidmember. In Blizzards general business terms this considers special raid-regulations. By staying in the raid you accept these.
(just if you´d ever get a GM-warning)

Squishalot said...

It's an interesting question, what is 'obviously fair' and 'obviously unfair' to people. I'm not sure that kicking someone for driving a catapult is 'fair'. You may still find yourself afoul of a GM.

Caplista said...

Bids are also a tool to get your auction shown at the top of the default auction window -- it sorts by bid.

Bids at 100% are also a service to rich people, as it makes the bid button a one-click buyout button.

Sjonnar said...

@Squishalot: It's 'obvously unfair' to the rest of the raid for the M&S to be driving catapults at all. They are not only useless, but actively harmful as they are wasting a valuable and limited vehicle slot on being an idiot. Kicking them for being unfair to the team would be 'obviously fair'.

However, from Blizzard's standpoint, this whining lolkid pays his $15/month, same as anyone else. It makes good business sense to prevent other people from hurting his feelings and driving his business away.

Therefore, I'm willing to bet that once the catapult drivers start petitioning the GMs for being kicked out of the raid, Blizzard will punish Gevlon and crew for their 'obviously unfair' actions.

Xenxu said...


everything possible to do inside the game is "fair". But "fair" is irrelevant. Inside games, and especially competitive games, there is no "fair", only legal and illegal.

The game allows the raid leader to kick a player from the raid. Therefore, any kick is legal, and thus permissible.

The problem is, Blizzard does not subscribe to this philosophy, and is a scrub company in this regard. Remember the Tanaris roof camping? One day it is fine, the next day players are banned for it, without any change to the game code.

Thus, in WoW, the actual rules of legal and illegal are not governed by game mechanics, as they should be, but by predicting what Blizzard will let you do. Actually, even if Blizzard bans you, the action is still legal, it just holds the price of suspension or ban.

This is a backward way of game design, and instead Blizzard should simply code these rules into the game, much like they did with Gadgetzan roofs: they put guards that beat the shit out of you up there, so if you broke their rule, the game now enforces it on its own.

In competitive games, there is no fair (or cheap,lame etc.) only what a man can do, and what a man can't do (thank you Captain Jack Sparrow) and the associated cost of each action.

thenoisyrogue said...

Even if Gevlon does find himself afoul of a GM in a future situation, he has a screenshotted history showing that he did his best to make sure that he was above board. Which is a nice get out of jail free card.

Amyiss said...

Keep in mind that even if Blizzard decides you are out of line, unless you do something really heinous or have other violations in your past, your first offense will probably just be a slap on the wrist.

Bulbasaur said...

Hi Gevlon, I'd like to ask you a question.

With the coming changes on guild's achievements and benefits, will The Pug change its rules? Are you going to requiere for a number of achievements points and guild achievements to get in the guild? Or are you going to keep with "raiding casualy but in a skilled way" as the main focus?

Gevlon said...

@Bulbasaur: why would we change anything?

Jarome said...


Many competitive games have rules that prevent actions allowed by the physical environment. If you played any tournament leagues you would know this; Even at a professional level. A quick look at MLG and Halo 3 gave me this

# No going outside the normal boundaries of a Map.
# No going onto the crane boxes on Amplified.
# No going onto the ledges above the lobby on Construct.
# No going onto the top center structure on Guardian.
# No going onto the high ledge at the sniper tower on Guardian.
# No going onto the ledge around the edges of top yellow on Guardian.
# No going into the small crack in front of the blue entrance on Guardian.
# No taking the oddball onto the tree between bottom yellow and bottom blue on Guardian.
# No taking the oddball onto the ledges around the outside of bottom middle on Guardian.
# No taking the oddball onto the ledge behind the blue ramp on Guardian.
# No taking the oddball onto the ledge facing the elbow on Guardian.
# No going onto the carbine towers on Heretic.
# No going onto the ledge above the windows and inside the bases on Heretic.
# No going onto the high ledges on the outside of the bases on Heretic.
# No going onto the high ledges on Narrows.
# No going into the attic above the bases on The Pit.
# No picking up or holding a flag outside of the normal boundaries of a Map.

There's a lot of 'Don't go onto the roof." What's allowed and not allowed is determined by a ruling body based upon what's 'fair' and 'not fair.'

Anonymous said...

@Sjonnar - On the other hand, the M&S driving the catapult is hurting the PvPer's gameplay.

So long as there are more PvPers than there are M&S in Wintergrasp they probably wouldn't change it.

Xenxu said...


I actually used to play Halo (original) in nationwide tournaments. So thank you for assuming I am ignorant and ignoring actual debate!

These rules are for tournaments, and WG is not a tournament. If you noticed, Blizzcon Arena tournament had other makeshift rules (20 min rule) that got them into trouble.

Firstly, looking at those rules, they are all discrete and enforcable, it would seem. So the only question left is are they warrented? I am not familiar with Halo 3, as I quit playing when Halo 2 came out, but my guess is the community has said they are warrented, as playing without those rules (more freedom) is bad for the game.

Games that require these provisions are poorly designed. This is not what you want to aim for in a game, but they can make games playable at a competitive level that otherwise would degenerate (i.e. removing one character/class that without him everything else is balanced). Not ideal, but workable.

The problem is that in WoW, most of these rules Blizzard uses are not discrete. Kicking is not discrete. Camping is not discrete. These types of "house rules" are poor and otherwise bad design.

If you notice Gevlon's GM response, they still left the door open to change the rules on him, in a non-discrete way. Poor design.

Xenxu said...


Jerome, you need to also sidestep the "fair" pitfall. It is folly. When deciding what to ban and what to leave in, the main question is "does this deepen the game or degenerate the game".

Fair comes into balance: if one side gets access to strong things and the other side does not, that is imbalanced. If both sides have access to it (like the M&S being able to form their own raids) then the action is balanced, or "fair".

Anonymous said...

You neglected to mention to the GM that the kicking is automated by an addon. That would have changed his response.

Squishalot said...

@ Xenxu and Sjonnar:

'Fair', from Blizzard's point of view, probably refers to 'have equal opportunity to participate'. Key word bolded.

There is a time and place for catapults in WG. On my server, we use catapults for south tower raiding because they move around faster than siege. We then drown them on the way back to the keep and spawn siege instead.

Would we kick someone who doesn't drown it? No - why bother? They're just going to go charging in and end up dying anyway.

If Blizzard didn't want people using catapults at all, they wouldn't have given tiered rank access to them, they would have simply given everyone access to siege as soon as they get rank. A fair amount of thought has been put into the catapult-access procedure. Use of catapults is working as intended.

Deadweight on your team is no different to people honour farming between nodes in AB. It hampers your victory, but it's their way of 'participating'. If you choose to partake in that battleground, you inherently accept that you may encounter such behaviour.

Again - 'fair' isn't about one side having more or less than the other. 'Fair' is about both sides having equal access to game mechanics. Griefing someone who is participating (i.e. not just fishing) out of WG isn't 'fair' in that respect. If someone reports Gevlon and his team for it, I think the fishing leechers will be ignored, but the catapult drivers won't be, for these reasons.

Do what we do if you don't want people driving catapults - let them die, and hop in your siege. Lock them out of the catapults by keeping X/X siege/demos. Or help them get the HKs so that they can gain rank and get their own siege/demos.

Derrek said...

On the issue of kicking the M&S or those who don't "pull their weight": letting ethics aside, the result is positive! Those who are kicked can rethink their behaviour and are able to join again, prepared.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Maybe you should break your multi-topic articles into separate articles. It becomes hard to follow discussions. Half the people are talking about auction bidding, and the other half about kicking from raid, completely unrelated topics.

This happens with moron of the day too, but that tends not to draw as much commentary.

Markco said...

There is a time to bid on the ah.

Buy Low Sell Normal

Seriously, take a look at that post Gevlon and maybe write up your thoughts on it for next week. It's one of my staple auction house strategies.

Visalyar said...

About the catapult-southtower strategy...
...we personally prefer the destroyers (middle-class vehicle if I got the false name) since they are faster than sieges and do far more damage than the catapults. When you destroyed one tower, you abandon your vehicle an ride back to create a new one, since the abandonned one will self-destruct afer a few seconds.

The southtower catapulttrain is faster in movement but by the less damage you´ll waste time on the towers, making the defense quiet easy.
And the rank 2 buff should be fast done since you can run south, when you have 2 kills left (bridges).

FoF said...

Keep living the dream because I'd argue before the end of the year the kick function will either be disabled in WG/TB or you will get actioned for using. Enjoy while it lasts.