Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ships: the curse of not free market

Since I've found Iliya Island (in Black Desert Online) by bringing the amity of an NPC high enough, I wanted to get a boat. As usual, I went to the market and found empty inventory. I found their prices acceptable, but I couldn't buy anything. So off I went to a guide how to craft it myself and the problem became obvious: the materials cost more than the system-allowed price of the ships. Obviously no one mass-produces ships. Sure, there are enthusiasts and roleplayers (and people who don't know about opportunity cost), but if you want to buy a ship, you need luck.

I got mine after days of search and went happily to explore the seas. While it gives knowledge, therefore energy max, there isn't much to do on the islands. However the point is that in a free market system you don't have to rely on luck: you bid. If you are rich enough, you get the item. If you are not, you at least don't waste time hunting it and look for alternatives instead. Above all: if the price is high enough, more producers will jump in to increase the supply.

Ships aren't the only items in BDO which can't be found because their price is forced to be too low, so demand is greatly larger than supply. Pork, log, rough stone, milk are also greatly plagued. Of course you can't beat the numbers, at the end they show up. The products needing these resources are calculated by the "real" price of these materials, this is why cooking products with pork (like good feed) are so expensive compared by normal cooking products.

I understand that price range locks were implemented to avoid goldsellers transferring coins to buyers via overpriced rare items. But the range itself should be automatically revised based on supply and demand. I think what BDO really needs is buy orders to somehow signal to the algorithm how big is the demand for an item and also to producers that there is demand, they can get instant sales. Also, the ranges of the high volume items can be let loose, it's impossible to transfer silver in Ash Timber. For rare items, the range can be calculated using materials. For example the range of a Seleth blade +8 (which is surely a never-selling item, so perfect for goldsellers) can be calculated from the price of the base Seleth and the black stones while these can float freely.

Anyway, the situation is the same here as in real world where the government wants to mess with prices: there will be shortage of the item and there will be out-of-market ways to decide who gets that few. In games, this is decided by camping the AH. In the real life, by corrupting those who distribute it. While forcing lowrent or food prices sound nice for the poor, expensive homes are better than "sorry, you have to wait 10 years in line".


Smokeman said...

"But the range itself should be automatically revised based on supply and demand. I think what BDO really needs is buy orders to somehow signal to the algorithm how big is the demand for an item..."

I completely agree. In the real world, a lot of this is handled as "futures", where large consumers contract on the items they need months in the future. This stabilizes the current value and production rate of the item on the present.

In an MMO, you have another path, since all items are literally virtual, you can make them available even though there are none for actual sale... with this virtualization, you can balance the formula for supply and demand. In a sense, you're selling a "future" item in the present, and increasing the average price of the item to compensate.

Anonymous said...

Random notes:
I remember seeing on the forums that buy orders are present or were been tested on the Korean server. So in the west, soon.

I also remember reading that the auction price upper and lower limit are a range of the average price of the previous day (week? month?). In a crafting system, that's a problem, since the higher volume of components has shifted the price upward while the price of the finished boat is now stuck in its original state.

That island city is one of only two places you can build a fishing boat, the other being tucked away far west. There are some nice gold fishing spots out there.

The islands and the continent beyond it to the north are a planned expansion.

Anonymous said...

Are all the market handicaps really worth it? I guess this benefits kids that just want a open-world, PK version of CoD. But for me, it seems like they handicap a could-be-interesting MMO.

maxim said...

This is not the issue of lack of free market. This is the issue of lack of planning on development part.
When it comes to vital goods such as transportation, you need to either all-in on free market or all-in on planned economy. Lazy middle ground is really not acceptable.

Moonraker said...

Looks like buy orders are coming with the Valencia update from the MMORPG interview with Daum yesterday (27/05/16;

"We are also debut the new marketplace feature that will allow players to place purchase orders for items, which means no more hours of camping the marketplace in order to get that rare weapon, or the perfect gem for your equipment."

Link to the article including their quote:

Should make things a little more interesting and a nice QOL change for the market.

Anonymous said...

you can use any meat for Good Feed (except lizard & chicken meat). I use weasel meat (easy to find near Velia). Same for other recipes - you can use different ingredients and get same result ;)

The blog I use for recipes: