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[Idea] Regarding worries of players buying their way to power using the Bazaar


#1

Hi everyone!

While talking with some other members/devs on the Discord in #last-epoch-general, someone had voiced some concerns about the Bazaar. More specifically, players buying their power/gear outright rather than crafting/farming it.

While the whole point of the Bazaar is to allow players to purchase gear they haven’t been able to farm themselves, someone mentioned they also want to encourage people to craft and explore/farm.

I suggested a solution there, as well as in #suggestions-and-like-to-see, and figured I’d post it here as well to maximize exposure and get some feedback/thoughts on it.

Here’s the idea:

A new currency separate from your typical Gold/Coins we use now, that would be non-tradeable, non-purchaseable (real money or otherwise, though the devs have states Real Money Trading will not be a thing in Last Epoch, I just say this for explanation purposes), and Bind on Account.

This currency would be a cost present on the Bazaar every time you buy an item in addition to the regular Gold price (and possibly in relation to the Gold price, depending on balance needs), and would not be transferred to the seller, it would just be consumed by the Bazaar.

The only way to gather this new currency would be as drops from enemies/bosses you kill, and it would Bind to your Account, meaning if you have a main character you have put tons of time into, you would still be able to use this currency gathered on your main to buy gear for your alts if you’d like.

This would hopefully remedy some worries regarding new players buying their way into power, and encourage people to play the game/craft/farm, while not alienating the regular player base since they’d have already farmed up a bunch to use on their alts, etc.

I hope you guys like this idea, please let me know what you think!

[If this idea ever gets implemented, it would be cool if you guys let me help name the currency or have an opinion on it. :slight_smile: ]


#2

I personally really like this idea, Volt. I’ll bring it up in tomorrow’s design meeting. Ideas like this with a great explanation in your reasoning are very helpful and often times do make their way into the game- sometimes after many iterations of course!

Thank you for the thoughtful write up.


#3

For those of you not caught up with the current ideas for Epochs trading system, you can join the discussion here Trading! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bazaar!


#4

Some people from the Discord shared some feedback on this idea and I figured I’d paste it here for devs/anyone to read:


#5

Some Thoughts:

The idea sounds pretty similar to what is currently planned for trading with friends. The longer you are friends and play with someone, the greater the number and quality of trades that you can make with them.

The Good:

  • The idea is simple/straightforward therefore easy to grasp, explain and to implement.
  • EHG is given a significant amount of control in the market (they can adjust the potential volume of sales by balancing the gold:Bazaar Coin ratio.)
  • Playing > Trading

The Concerns:

  • It’s a hard limit. @Sarno mentioned a concern about reducing player agency in discord, which is a concern that I also share. If you don’t have the Bazaar Coin, you can’t trade and that just feels kind of bad.
    *As a currency it has the potential to lead to snowballing. A number of active players will eventually accumulate a massive amount of Bazaar Coin, while all new players will still start with 0 and gain them pretty slowly compared those who already have a large amount of Bazaar Coin. This gives more established players greater ability to manipulate the market, and while one could increase the gold:BC ratio (in an attempt to limit their volume of trades), it would come as a direct negative to those with less BC
    *Extra currency feels more like a chore, and rewards people that can farm the currency faster, rather than rewarding people for playing the game the way that they want (Farming faster already generally leads to better rewards)

Non-Currency Ideas
This idea can be pretty easily converted to a non-currency based system that addresses some of the prior concerns.

  • Points Based: Similar to currency except that it can be made relative to other activities (Points per Day, Points for being logged in etc…) The points could also have a decay set on them, the more points you have the more that you will lose per day (with points gained/day there would be an eventual cut-off point where decay rate = gain rate).
  • Levels (Reputation/Notoriety) Based: Reputation can be earned for playing, players with a higher reputation level have a higher limit on the gold trades or number of trades that they can do per day. Like points these can be set to decay when a player is inactive as well. With a tiered system there would be an eventual upper level which all players would eventually get to, giving them everyone on that tier equal weight in the market.

Delving further:
What is the problem that needs to be solved?

According to the OP:

is one concern.

Other related concerns from EHG’s perspective (inferred from previous posts on the matter):

  • They’d like people to spend most of their time playing the game
  • They don’t want to encourage a min/maxing trade windows playstyle
  • They’d like to maintain game balance (especially in regards to player economy).

My related concerns:

  • I’d like trading to be quick and easy
  • I’d like to do it when I want to do it
  • I don’t want to have to trade to “keep up”

Concerns from other gamers (of no particular group):

  • They enjoy RPing as a trader
  • They don’t enjoy killing monsters
  • They want to be trading for long periods of time, or even primarily trading
  • They want to have the opportunity to be “much richer” than others
  • They don’t like it one others are “much richer” than themselves
  • They like collecting gear
  • They hate having junk

Some of these concerns are mutually exclusive, so naturally no idea will be able to tackle all of them or make everyone happy. That said, EHG’s concerns (whatever they may be) are the most important for finding a solution that fits.

The solution presented by the OP addresses concerns related to the buyer, yet does not address concerns related to the seller.

Other Related Ideas:

Soft Limits
Net Equality Tax - The idea here is that trading should be used as a means to trade in unneeded gear for the gear that you need, not for making a profit. This primarily addresses concerns regarding balance. Under this system users would be measured based on their net contribution to the market (buying vs selling). The closer that a player’s net contribution is to 0, the less that they will be penalized. As a player drifts (having excessive net loss due to buying tons of items or excessive net profits due to playing the market) the more that they will have to pay in additional taxes for their transactions on the market. Eventually this will lead to a max profits/day point where traders will only be able to make a certain amount beyond their initial capital over a given period of time.

  • Pros - Very balanced. If a player wants to play on the market all the time, they may do so at the expense of diminishing returns.
  • Cons - Complicated, hard to explain and to implement. Players would not be able to accumulate massive wealth by playing the market. May feel like added busy work for item hoarders.

Market Decay-The basic idea here being that trading on the market should carry risk in exchange for convenience. A simple form of market decay would be to have items become soulbound once purchased. One way of having market decay would be to have items have a chance of fracturing when listed or purchased. However this may not work for all tradeable items. Another way would be to have a random chance of being charged extra (or receiving less for a sale) than the advertised price. This isn’t great since you should always know how much something is when you’re buying it. An alternative to this would be to charge a hefty tax (for both buyers and sellers) of which a random amount is returned to the players.

  • Pros - Discourages bulk trading. RNG that makes selling high priced items exciting. Consequences apply at the time of trading. Relatively simple.
  • Cons - Isn’t restrictive enough to maintain game balance. Players feel slighted, as the game takes away from them directly.

Incentive Based Solutions:
Bonded Players- The idea here is that some players like to trade and not fight, and others the inverse. This idea is to be used with a currency/points/reputation style system wherein traders are allowed to “bond” with adventurers by taking a portion of their currency/reputation/points in exchange for giving them money.

  • Pros - Connects players directly. Trader can still do what trader wants. Trader is taxed for not playing the game, limiting their growth potential
  • Cons - Relies on another system. Adds more complications. Is easily abused. Doesn’t fix much

Item Trade Life - This idea is similar to market decay, but is meant to increase the value of items for the player that originally finds it. If an item has a trade life of 2 trades when spawned, it would be worth more as it can once again be traded by whoever purchases it next. Similarly a trade clock could be added to items, such that is more desirable to give yourself time to find a buyer before the trade timer on an item runs out and becomes untradeable.

  • Pros - Minimal forced limitations. Spawn rate of trade life items can be used to limit the number of items that can enter the marketplace.
  • Cons - No controls on maximum transactions from players.

#6

I think the economy issue is only concerning outside influence. I.e. gold farmers. The rest is just a game itself. Although I am speaking here from a Hardcore (and usually seasonal) perspective, so in my game world things tend to disappear upon death, permanently.

If people like the idea for softcore go ahead (it seems incredibly restricting to me) but please do not add such intrusive restrictions on hardcore.


#7

So the idea is to make a tax in Bazaar coins (only earned playing the game), for each transactions in order to force players spend more time playing than trading.
We can also add a limitation on the number of Bazaar coins you could use per day to prevent rich players who accumulated a lot of these to manipulate the market or add both a absolute number of Bazaar and a small percentage of Bazaar coins (above a threshold) taxed for each transactions.
I personnaly prefer the “Item Trade Life” set at 2 for each item so the player who found it first can sell it and the player who bought it can only sell it once more before being soulbound.
We can imagine a system where you could increase the Item trade Life with rare untradeable currency later that can only be obtained by playing the game.


#8

As I stated on Discord just before the screenshotted part, the possibility to get overpowered items is not a concern if there are a level requirement on gear.
I understood (hence it possible I have misunderstood) the devs plan to have a level requirement that is not present yet as it is still a quite early alpha state of the game (but there are already some items that start dropping later).
With a level requirement, you could buy powerful stuff for your alt but couldn’t use it until you played enough with it to reach the required level.

Then, even if there is no level requirement, the “bazaar coins” wouldn’t be of any help with this concern as you could still farm those with your main and buy all the items you want with your alt.

Moreover, those “bazaar coins” are quite redondant with gold:

  • you get some by playing
  • if you spent all you had, you can’t buy thing at the baazar until you got some more

There is an entropy on the “bazaar coins” as they are kept by the bazaar on transaction. But it’s really common mechanics to have an AH get a tax when you add an item to sell (preventing to set a price too high as you would lose money if it’s not sold) and again on the transaction.

So you already have everything OP stated whitout adding another currency (and all the difficulties it brings).

The real issue is how to limit exploit of the Bazaar. And, preferably, doing it without preventing people to have fun with trading.

But I do believe what was presented already goes in the right direction and can do what is wanted with a few itérations (and without a special currency):

  • You can’t sell to much things at once
  • You have to wait for the auction to end to get money
  • You are limited on how many bids you can have at once

Trading with the bazaar will take time and you won’t be able to do too much operations at the same time.


#9

There is a huge difference : you can only earn Bazaar coins by killing monsters (playing the game).On the contrary you could gain gold by flipping items, currency, trading.The purpose of this new currency would be to make playing the game the best way to be rich, instead of a POE economy where trading, flipping is the best and fastest way to get rich and have the best items in the game.


#10

Basically what @okami29 said. Also in reference to what @Peredur said:

“Then, even if there is no level requirement, the “bazaar coins” wouldn’t be of any help with this concern as you could still farm those with your main and buy all the items you want with your alt.”

That’s the point. People that have a main and already play the game a bunch are SUPPOSED to be able to buy gear for their alts if they like. It’s not supposed to be a limit on regular players (which is why it’s Bind on Account and not Bind on Character). It’s meant to prevent brand new players from buying their way to power by just playing the markets and not playing the game.


#11

I don’t get why you’re against people playing the game and “playing the market”. Since you don’t mind having a level 100 farm and then buy up stuff for your next character (which by the way isn’t fun at all), you only have a problem with people who obtain the items through different means than you do.
Honestly I can’t even understand who these mysterious newbie players are who will be manipulating the market so well that it irks you so much?

I find your concerns irrational. Trading happens, people snipe prices on the market, it’s all normal. What is certainly not fun is having a top level character easily farm your special currency and then kit out a completely new character. I find that entirely boring and wrong, but I won’t be advocating against it. I like people playing the game the way they want to. The market doesn’t hurt your game in any way except maybe your ego.


#12

@Mastery you could have made your point without the personal attacks. Firstly, I’d like to point out that it’s not “my game”, I’m just a player making a suggestion. And secondly, I am not the only person with these “irrational” concerns. If you bothered to read what I wrote you’d see that a developer made a comment about being worried about new players buying their way to power, and many people shared that concern. They don’t want people to sit around for hours playing the market to earn gear, they want them to play the game and explore the world to get gear.

A level 100 character wouldn’t be able to farm this hypothetical currency any faster than a new player would; it would be gained at the same rate by everyone (at least, that’s how I assume the developers would balance it, if they ended up using it).

The option of buying gear for your alts only becomes possible once you’ve hoarded so much of this theoretical currency that it’s no longer of any use to your main (assuming you’ve already reached the highest point of power).


#13

I am personally not keen on this idea. And in fact, I dont expect the bazaar would turn out well either. But I am willing to take a look once the dev have implemented it before making 2nd judgements.


#14

I’ve voiced concerns several times in the discord, but will outline my feeling here again to concentrate discussion.

  • People buying power is only an issue if power is easily aquirable enough to be purchasable by the average player. If truly powerful items are rare, then they’ll likely be appropriately expensive when traded. This value keeps power out of the hands of those who haven’t put significant time into acquiring it. Hopefully, items with many high tier and favorable affixes will be appropriately rare, the current drop and crafting system seems to support this, but it’s hard to tell what things would be like with many more players and trading involved. I’m somewhat interested to know what the devs think the average players items will be like- will they have two or three preferred rolls? what tiers? As far as uniques, the generically very powerful but non-build-enabling ones should be quite rare. See: Headhunter and Zerphi’s Heart in PoE.
  • Players should be rewarded for the time they put into the game, even if that time is spent on trading. If someone enjoys playing the economy and amassing wealth that way, their time and prowess should be rewarded. The issue comes when playing the market is hands down the best way to accrue power and the gameplay isn’t enjoyable enough for people to prefer playing to trading. Again, I think PoE handles this very well, trading is a great way to amass wealth, but many people don’t spend all of their trading because the gameplay itself is fun and standing around making trades isn’t particularly engaging to most people.
  • I am heavily against any hard limitations to trade. Trade limits, item binding, etc. just does not sit well with me and I would be quite disappointed to see it in Last Epoch. There should be appropriately high friction for sellers (in the form of say, having to physically travel to the bazaar or perhaps some system that requires 30 seconds or so to list something- basically a system to increase the time investment of making sales despite an auction house-esque system) and little friction for buyers.

#15

I agree with everything Arborus said.


#16

It’s already planned feature that the seller needs to go to the baazar to offer new items [quote=“kqkyle, post:1, topic:1394”]
While you will have to be physically at the Bazaar to list new auctions, you will be able to track your current items at any time through a special UI window.
[/quote]
I don’t like a system that rewards players for spending time learning the economy, the value of items and then trading or flipping.I think players should be rewarded for playing the game (killing monsters, completing quests and challenges…).
I think the Baazar should make it easy to search and buy items even if you are offline (Auction house system proposed is fine).
If players can make some money occasionally trading it’s fine and fair but when it becomes the best and fastest way to be rich like in PoE, it becomes unfair and frustrating for other players.

You could have said the same thing if Last Epoch allowed devMode to be used by a fraction of players who knows how to unlock it for themselves, it would not hurt your game.
Except that when you spend thousands of hours playing an online game, even if you play solo, you are affected by the economy and the value of items also depends on how much currency other players have.
If some players find a way to acquiere currency 10 times faster (trading or flipping), it will affect everyone else and the time they spent to acquiere or craft items will be devalued.
In a way it’s true that it hurts only the ego, but the feeling of accomplishment, and the time you spent building your characters and gear also comes by comparison to the time it would take other players to make it.
If suddenly other players could have the same character 100 times faster (and sometimes with nerf and buff it is the case), only the ego is hurt but it doesn’t feel right.


#17

Completely agree with that.
People are discussing without keeping in mind what was said about the plans for the Bazaar.
Moreover, we have no idea how the game will be once the crafting system is complete - ie how trading and crafting will cohabit.


#18

To me, the economy is part of the game. It’s an aspect you should be able to pursue if you prefer. It’s fun to feel like your knowledge of the game gives you an advantage over less knowledgeable players, both when it comes to progressing optimally, but also when it comes to making good trades and being able to judge the value of items.

Is it unfair if other players have access to the same information and opportunities? I agree that trading shouldn’t be a significantly faster way to acquire gear or money- but it should absolutely be on par with the most lucrative game activities. In the same way that a good player will farm the most optimal zone or activity, a good player can make the most optimal trades.

This really comes down to making sure seller friction is high enough. High seller friction ensures that more common and less valuable items- that “everyone else” finds maintain their value. This means that a person who plays slow or non-optimally is able to at least find something worth selling to them and can keep a steady but low stream of income. While also acting as a soft limiter to the rate of return for people who prefer to trade.
If trading is say… 1.05 times faster (pulling a number out of my ass here), it still rewards knowledge of the economy while not being so high that players who don’t want to focus on trading feel forced to focus on trading.


#19

Thanks for the discussion, everyone!

We’ve discussed this idea at one of our meetings. Without this idea, the amount of trading you can do is limited by gold and the number of slots available in the Bazaar. We feel that these help to keep trade in check, while being relatively intuitive for players.

As noted by @GeoGalvanic, one of my concerns with this suggestion is that it reduces player choice. While the number of slots in The Bazaar can also do so, they are more predictable - and thus allow the player to make decisions such as whether to list a relatively low value item, or to keep a slot free in case they get a more valuable drop. The amount of this currency a player gets would likely be somewhat dependent on RNG - this makes it harder to plan around, while potentially being more frustrating if you are unlucky.

Another concern is how to make the cost in this currency intuitive. We don’t want players to check the Bazaar only to see that they don’t have enough - this distracts players from the core gameplay loop, while reinforcing the negativity of not being able to make a trade.

One part of our discussion focused on the possibility of this currency replacing the limited number of slots in the Bazaar. We felt that the slots help to maintain a level playing field, whereas a currency such as this could lead to players ahead of the curve getting additional advantages, while others get left behind. We view this as being detrimental.

We really like why this was suggested, as it shows a great understanding of what we’re aiming for with trade; making it an important part of the game, but only part of the game. While we aren’t currently planning on implementing this, we’ll be referring to the feedback in this thread when discussing trade in our future design meetings.


#20

I’m not a fan of a market. In spite of many games that I play that have one, I feel that any time a market is deployed, it affects all players, whether they choose to take part in the market or not.

Any time a market is deployed, accessibility to gear is increased due to said market, and as a result developers have to reduce drop rates to compensate. so even if I don’t take part in the market, My personal growth suffers unless I DO.

That’s one thing I enjoy about Grim Dawn…since there’s no market (or trading in form is cumbersome and not “part” of the game per-se), drop rates are designed around you as a player. It feels very rewarding. In games like PoE, drop’s feel less rewarding as an individual…you tend to spend more time farming currency since you know you won’t get the items you need on your own. I’m not a huge fan of currency farming.

So whatever system is in place, I hope it is limiting, and it doesn’t impact the game as a whole on the individual level. I’d rather farm items myself and not be penalized.