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  1. #1
    Old Alpha Stutoman's Avatar
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    Exclamation MA's manipulation of market value - overview and discussion

    I've been playing this game for almost four years now and have always been a close watcher of market values.

    I've come to learn that the difference between items in the real world and ingame is that in the real world the price of an item will always be based around the cost to produce it (includes costs of wages and running a company etc). The value of an item in Entropia Universe is based totally on demand and supply, and nothing to do with cost to manufacture at all. And this is what is wrong with the economy ingame.

    What I find disturbing is how if MindArk want the price of an item to fall, all they have to do is increase the amount of that item ingame. Now people who bought this item for use, hoping that it would at least retain its value, lose money > and not just a small amount.

    This kind of thing would not be so problematic if it were all pretends money, but the matter of fact is that this is playing with people's money at a level which it shouldn't be.

    MA has the ability to make an item worthless almost overnight and it's just wrong in my opinion.

    Another big big big problem with the way market value works in the game are the market value graphs and ofcourse the auction system. The market value display shows the daily market value, which is the value with which the majority of people use to price their items. This daily value can go up and down all the time and multiplies the depreciation rate of items 30 times the amount of the monthly value. If the daily market value of an item were delayed by a couple of days or only the monthly value were shown it would make for a much more stable market.

    Auction - a shop owner's nightmare. This makes everything available in one location, and you don't even need to go to the location in which the auction was created to pick up your item. This discourages people from needing to travel at all and makes the prices ever lower because of it being global. One person selling out and leaving the game can completely crash the market prices of an item, and once the price has been at a low point many people will not accept paying anything higher than that price for a good while.

    After i've started to realise all this and how MA controls my money like child's play i'm seriously considering packing up and leaving.

    Many of you will say that real life markets work in a similar way. Well they don't. If a new product is introduced in the real world it has cost someone to research it. If more of a product is sold in the real world it has cost someone to manufacture it. A blueprint ingame costs MA nothing to disperse and can end up having devastating effects on the economy.

    So you're looking for an equivalent to real life - money printing. When a country prints more money then its currency's value falls. Because the PED has a fixed exchange rate something else has to give, which is the value of items.

    My view on the situation, I would be happy to know yours. Constructive conversation only please.
    Last edited by Stutoman; 03-20-2011 at 15:45.

  2. #2
    Mutated mastermesh's Avatar
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    Yep, they control the supply and demand, and the randomly do stuff that massively screws up value of items or assets in game. Real Estate market still has not recovered from all the changes at vu 10... and it's only going to get worse now that there is more supply on other planets.

  3. #3
    Elite whiteknut's Avatar
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    If prices for items are too high someone complains,if getting too low someone complains... I think there is nothing MA can do to satisfy us all. Sure i would like to loot 10 mod faps, but other mod fap owners would be pissed as hell.
    The gungnirs..i see prices falling from few k to 700 now,with a week, just cause lots of bps started dropping, the current owners feel pissed,but other players can now finally buy a chopper also.
    So if you are pissed, then someone is dancing from happiness.

  4. #4
    Stalker Falagor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    (...)
    I've come to learn that the difference between items in the real world and ingame is that in the real world the price of an item will always be based around the cost to produce it (includes costs of wages and running a company etc). The value of an item in Entropia Universe is based totally on demand and supply, and nothing to do with cost to manufacture at all. And this is what is wrong with the economy ingame.
    (...)
    With most items in rl it is true. Few exceptions though:
    - there are still manipulations of some prices (if you have 80% of extracting on some resources you are nearly getting an monopoly so basicly in your interest it would be to keep price high even though costs are much lower).
    - there are still demand rigts: if too many start to produce grain for example then soon the price falls. Some will quit and start doing something else. Some will sell for lower price sometimes even if it has costed more to produce it that the price is. Of ourse there are laws to regulate this but in a totally free market country there woudl be a lot of undercut on the prices.
    - if soemthign is new - sometimes it is way overpriced (similar like gunginr prices. For me one of a choper ingame is not worth more than 100peds and still at start they went for few k of peds). Call it fashion/trend/stuipdity/will of having something - but it happens in rl very often.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    What I find disturbing is how if MindArk want a price of an item to fall all they have to do is increase the amount of that item ingame. Now people who bought this item for use, hoping that it would at least retain its value lose money and not just a small amount.
    Thats true - MA has the power to do that. But again if someone buyes an item hopeing to get profit on selling it - then he is very wrong. ROI should include using the item in meantime.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    (...)
    Another big big big problem with the way market value works in the game are the market value graphs and ofcourse the auction system. The market value display shows the daily market value, which is the value with which the majority of people use to price their items. This daily value can go up and down all the time and multiplies the depreciation rate of items 30 times the amount of the monthly value. If the daily market value of an item were delayed by a couple of days or only the monthly value were shown it would make for a much more stable market.(...)
    Who is stupid enough to watch daily? Of course most people look at weekly/monthly already (i watch weekly and trend that seems to be happening). Daily is just for stats mayby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    Auction - a shop owner's nightmare. This makes everything available in one location, and you don't even need to go to the location in which the auction was created to pick up your item. This discourages people from needing to travel at all and makes the prices ever lower because of it being global. One person selling out and leaving the game can completely crash the market prices of an item, and once the price has been at a low point many people will not accept paying anything higher than that price for a good while.
    First of all - there are fees on auction. In shop if the item does not sell - you do not pay anything. You can remove and edit prices in shop without any costs. So basicly prices in theory shoudl look like this:
    AF - auction fee,
    AP - autcion price,
    SP - shop price,
    TAX - tax on the shop,
    AP - AF = SP - TAX + AF/2
    So basicly it will be cheaper than on auction and will meet in the middle. Of course it is only theory because prices change quite often and thats why shop owners should adjust prices every day!


    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    Many of you will say that real life markets work in a similar way. Well they don't. If a new product is introduced in the real world it has cost someone to research it. If more of a product is sold in the real world it has cost someone to manufacture it. A blueprint ingame costs MA nothing to disperse and can end up having devastating effects on the economy.

    So you're looking for an equivalent to real life - money printing. When a country prints more money then its currencie's value falls. Because the PED has a fixed exchange rate something else has to give, which is the value of items.
    You are right - MA could easily drop everything very often and soon all prices would be TT (notice that MA takes 10% of TT spent). So this would mean that only few players would stay. Does MA want that? No - so they "stimulate" the market in a way they want it. For example imagine that tomorow there will be new very large resource of oil found. Or new cheap energy source discovered. This would mean that prices on fuel would drop in few weeks.
    Of course it is exploitable - but why MA would want to exploit if they can turn the loot bar to 85% instead of taking money on artificailly made markup?

    If i understand you correctly - you would like to do so that MA has no possibility to controll loot drop. So there would have to be an random algorithm of generating different kind of loots that noone can change in the future. Seems like a bit nonsense dont you think? It could be done in two ways:
    1) static - each item has a percentage of chance to drop, for example Mod fap could drop with a 0.0000...0001% chance from Aranea + Old and all Daspletors.
    2) dynamic - it changes in time. Today Aranea drops Mod fap, tomorow its Snable Young . In addition there could be an option (somethign like leaver) to manually controll the loot.

    Guess what option MA likes better .

    Falagor

  5. #5
    Stalker Huskie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    One person selling out and leaving the game can completely crash the market prices of an item, and once the price has been at a low point many people will not accept paying anything higher than that price for a good while.
    My biggest gripe with the market has actually been that once an item has sold for a certain price, other owners would never ever accept a lower price than that last sale for their own, creating an absurd, unjustifiable inflation (how do you think mod fap reached 300k markup?).

    I, for one, am glad the market is slowly becoming a buyer's market again as markets should be and dropping items again (not like that scanner madness, but maybe one rare item a month or so) helps the economy more than it hurts it, eventhough some high-end gear owners might throw a fit for MA bursting their little inflation bubble.

  6. #6
    Old Alpha Stutoman's Avatar
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    When you say you pay more for "fashion" or because you have it first then this is another example of the difference between the real world and MA.

    Fashion - an ipod will remain the same price when sold by Apple until a new one is released the next year, and they will stop selling the old one then.

    Getting it first - Ingame you don't buy it for more just because you're getting it first, infact it doesn't work that way at all. Those who got the very first ones paid a relatively small amount in comparison. In the real world if you plan on paying more deliberately because you're getting it first you know what you're buying - like early entry tickets to a gaming expo cost 2 more than the normal tickets.

    Falagor your point over auction fees is nothing to do with what i'm talking about. The auction removes all divides between trading locations which means the market values are manipulated at a very very fast rate in comparison to if there were only shops or p2p trading.

    Most people do not look only at the monthly values when setting prices. The colorator tool was at a steady +70 market value and then one person sold their for +50. Since then every single one sold hasn't been higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huskie View Post
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    My biggest gripe with the market has actually been that once an item has sold for a certain price, other owners would never ever accept a lower price than that last sale for their own, creating an absurd, unjustifiable inflation (how do you think mod fap reached 300k markup?).

    I, for one, am glad the market is slowly becoming a buyer's market again as markets should be and dropping items again (not like that scanner madness, but maybe one rare item a month or so) helps the economy more than it hurts it, eventhough some high-end gear owners might throw a fit for MA bursting their little inflation bubble.
    I personally accept that market values change and don't mind much that some of my stuff would lose value in the long run etc. What I don't like though is how it happens and how quickly it happens. For example buying a Vigilante set back at the old price and then seeing its value halve within the SGA event is not nice. Or buying a gungnir to use for a while and even if it lost 10% of it's value by the time you sold it within the same month wouldn't matter so much. But when something like a gungnir loses 40% of its value within a 12 hour period it is absurd, and the only reason this happened is because MA flooded the game with blueprints that completely outweighed the demand.
    Last edited by Stutoman; 03-20-2011 at 16:13.

  7. #7
    Stalker Huskie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    I personally accept that market values change and don't mind much that some of my stuff would lose value in the long run etc. What I don't like though is how it happens and how quickly it happens. For example buying a Vigilante set back at the old price and then seeing its value halve within the SGA event is not nice. Or buying a gungnir to use for a while and even if it lost 10% of it's value by the time you sold it within the same month wouldn't matter so much. But when something like a gungnir loses 40% of its value within a 12 hour period it is absurd, and the only reason this happened is because MA flooded the game with blueprints that completely outweighed the demand.
    I agree, violent price deviations over a few hours due to an insane influx of some sort of item is only bad for the economy adding uncertainty to investments. Like I said, item drops should exist but be well distributed over time.

    Btw, I never said anything in my post about auction fees, I believe you're referring to Falagor?

  8. #8
    Old Alpha Stutoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskie View Post
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    I agree, violent price deviations over a few hours due to an insane influx of some sort of item is only bad for the economy adding uncertainty to investments. Like I said, item drops should exist but be well distributed over time.

    Btw, I never said anything in my post about auction fees, I believe you're referring to Falagor?
    Yes sorry about that, the post view at the bottom of my reply page was messed up

    ------------

    Adding on to someone's point about oil prices:
    If there were a new energy source discovered in the real world then the oil prices would not drop. This is because the entire population still relies on oil and would not immediately switch over. New technologies that would affect an entire infrastructure would take many many years to impliment. Therefore this point about oil prices is invalid.

  9. #9
    Elite Futurama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stutoman View Post
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    Another big big big problem with the way market value works in the game are the market value graphs and ofcourse the auction system. The market value display shows the daily market value, which is the value with which the majority of people use to price their items. This daily value can go up and down all the time and multiplies the depreciation rate of items 30 times the amount of the monthly value. If the daily market value of an item were delayed by a couple of days or only the monthly value were shown it would make for a much more stable market.
    huh? care to explain more?

  10. #10
    Old Alpha Stutoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurama View Post
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    huh? care to explain more?
    Here's an example:

    Decade value: +300 < Average value for every single sale of that item
    Year value: +200 < Average value of past 12 months
    Month value: + 180 < Average value of past 30 days
    (E.g. of daily sales before: +175)
    Day value: +120 < Average value of past 24 hours. << This value has less impact on the monthly value, now to bring this down to +120 it could have been only one sale. But any more sales that day will not tend to bring the market value back up to the monthly value or yesterday's values.

    Now you see in this example the market value of this example item was stable around the 170 to 200 mark for a long period of time, but one person selling up and leaving crashed the item's value because their interests are to sell the item easily and leave with a bit of money to withdraw rather than wait a bit longer and get a fair price.

    The daily value is easy to manipulate by all players, and unless it's obvious like a 5000% increase on oil etc then the market value tends to follow it.

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