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Auction House fees: is there any point?

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Since CoH is a closed economy (no value can be transferred in or out, as with some pay-2-play games or even disguised online gambling), and the economy has become massively inflated since Live... is there any point to the fees charged by the auction house?

 

I threw this out on General (yeah, I know) and got the following slate of answers, along with a fair amount of abuse because obviously only an idiot would even ask such a question:

  1. It deflates the economy by removing Inf.
  2. It prevents users from using AH for storage.
  3. Many incoherent replies to the effect of "What, you've never used EBay, you [moron | newb | drunken fool | time waster]?"
  4. It's an immersion thing that makes it feel real.

 

Okay, 1 makes some sense at the levels of the Live economy, and in any real-world economy dealing with real value... but in one where a 50 farmer can generate billions, maybe not so much. Nickel-and-diming auction transactions has no effect on the economy. And in the end, it's make a billion, spend a billion — and except for Inf that passes through other players, it all eventually gets spent on nonrecoverable assets, meaning it disappears. So it's not an endlessly inflationary system, even though it's gotten absurdly bloated.

 

2? Maybe. But a few million in Inf to store tons of stuff is no real barrier.

 

3 was far too common, and the comments, even the cogent ones, indicated that none of them had really thought about this. It is. It's like that in the real world. I don't get the question, dude. (I dunno why I bother to ask things like this in chat...)

 

4 is the only plausible remaining one.

 

But assuming the Devs could just remove these pointless fees from the system without excessive work or time... what arguments are there for keeping them? As a player since launch and a consumer economist... I can't think of a one except the very weak #4.

 

A 5 would be that it's some kind of real value that goes to the operators... a house percentage for playing. But as there is *zero* real value involved... wasn't even worth listing above. But I think it's a vague part of #3 — "of course we have to pay as we play" thinking that doesn't have any basis.

 

ETA: Just to make it clear, I'm not complaining and I'm not seriously asking for change. It's just an oddity that gets odder the longer you think about it, which I may have done to excess. 🙂

 

 

Edited by Shenanigunner
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You may want to examine your premise:

4 minutes ago, Shenanigunner said:

Since CoH is a closed economy...

I don't think this means what you think it means.

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4 minutes ago, Shenanigunner said:

Okay, 1 makes some sense at the levels of the Live economy, and in any real-world economy dealing with real value... but in one where a 50 farmer can generate billions, maybe not so much. Nickel-and-diming auction transactions has no effect on the economy. And in the end, it's make a billion, spend a billion — and except for Inf that passes through other players, it all eventually gets spent on nonrecoverable assets, meaning it disappears. So it's not an endlessly inflationary system, even though it's gotten absurdly bloated.

 

So you think the Auction House fees should be raised higher?

I'm not sure I agree, but you make a compelling point here.

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1 minute ago, tidge said:

You may want to examine your premise:

I don't think this means what you think it means.

 

Oh? No real value in or out, all wealth eventually expended on nonrecoverables... yes, there are more precise terms but this isn't an econ forum. 🙂

 

1 minute ago, Coyote said:

 

So you think the Auction House fees should be raised higher?

I'm not sure I agree, but you make a compelling point here.

 

No, that would just be a half-assed attempt to "balance" this bloated system. A complete revamp would be... nice, I guess, if it included a revamp of the absurd complexity of all the other valuta like eighty-leven kinds of merits, loot drops, etc. But I'm in no way asking for any of this.

 

It's just something that struck me, yesterday as I was claiming some Inf (millions for some 30-ish salvage!), as a pointless relic of very old thinking and implementation. I mean, if it could go to charity... 😄

 


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Okay, to give a serious answer.... a lot of IOs are transferred all the time. Each time they do, they drain some INF into nothingness.
I have seen prices as being pretty stable. LotGs have been at a stable level for a long time, as have Positron's and a few others I use as benchmarks.

I feel that we would be seeing a lot of inflation without the inf sink of the fees. Even if it doesn't seem like much, a 10% drain that would be released into the economy would probably result in prices increasing by that much in a time period based on how fast IOs are churning... definitely faster than yearly. Considering how fast IOs sell at normal prices, I wouldn't be surprised if we'd get a 10% monthly inflation.

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New influence literally can come from simply walking around and punching things; I'm not sure that equates to a closed system.

Edited by tidge
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12 minutes ago, Shenanigunner said:

the economy has become massively inflated since Live

 

The economy is massively deflated in comparison to the original servers.

 

@SwitchFade!  Sic 'em!

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14 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

So you think the Auction House fees should be raised higher?

I'm not sure I agree, but you make a compelling point here.

Raise it to 50%!  Put a squeeze on all those unscrupulous flippers who are preventing me from buying my LotG 7.5%s at 5 inf!

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How else are Wentworth's going to pay their staff? Or the Black Market take their cut? Or the Empire tax your transactions?

 

So, option 4.

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38 minutes ago, Luminara said:

 

The economy is massively deflated in comparison to the original servers.

 

Oh god yes, there is NOTHING on the AH at the moment that's trading successfully at 2 billion inf per.

 

On live there most certainly *were* items that would trade at that level.

 

Rare salvage on live would (IIRC) regularly go for 1M per.

 

Level 50 generic IO's would go for 800K+

 

Low level magic common salvage would go for 35k each, because of demand but no supply (Luck Charms, for example)

 

The unique PvP IO's were basically a market with demand but no supply.  And so on, and so on.

 

The economy on HC is baby time in comparison, and I say that as someone who is NOT a marketeer.

 

And on the premise of the post, the 10% fee is absolutely essential in an economy where everyone in the game is printing their own money.  Can't afford something?  Take your magic money printer into a mission and feed it the souls of the defeated, eventually you'll be able to afford whatever it is you wanted.

Edited by Li_Sensei
edited because i no speel gud
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I'm actually not sure this is doing very much, but only because things are essentially free here already.  The whole reason you need money in any system is to decide who gets limited resources.  Once someone has everything they want that can be acquired in a system, giving them more money only does anything if they can trade it to other people to get them to do things.  There's some of that going on where people have costume contests or bio writing contests with multi billion inf payouts, but generally anyone who is trying at all has more money than they actually need for everything they want to buy.  That makes the real inf sink the accumulated resources on characters who have nothing to spend it on, and I suspect that is a lot more than the amount being drained by the auction house fees.

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There's also a point about increasing market liquidity. Because there's a cost attached to posting an item for sale, there's a financial risk of losing profits if you post it too high and have to re-list which encourages people to post things at prices where the are more or less guaranteed to be sold. Without the cost, I imagine the liquidity of some items might be pretty bad because there would be no penalty for failing to fish for the high end of a price range.

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6 minutes ago, Li_Sensei said:

Take your magic money printer into a mission and feed it the souls of the defeated, eventually you'll be able to afford whatever it is you wanted.

This I liked. 😄

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3 minutes ago, DSorrow said:

There's also a point about increasing market liquidity. Because there's a cost attached to posting an item for sale, there's a financial risk of losing profits if you post it too high and have to re-list which encourages people to post things at prices where the are more or less guaranteed to be sold. Without the cost, I imagine the liquidity of some items might be pretty bad because there would be no penalty for failing to fish for the high end of a price range.

Pretty much this. The upfront fee is best thought of as a "keep you honest" sellers tax.

 

I can't think of a good reason why we don't move the entire 10% up front really, 5 and 5 doesn't make too much sense nowadays.

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2 minutes ago, Carnifax said:

Pretty much this. The upfront fee is best thought of as a "keep you honest" sellers tax.

 

I can't think of a good reason why we don't move the entire 10% up front really, 5 and 5 doesn't make too much sense nowadays.

10% on the price paid is generally more, and frequently significantly more than 10% on the price offered.  Example:  offer an ATO at 100 inf, sell it for 5-10mm.  Market fees of 10 inf in your proposal versus 500k-1mm in current form.

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36 minutes ago, tidge said:

New influence literally can come from simply walking around and punching things; I'm not sure that equates to a closed system.

 

And this Inf goes... where? Nowhere outside the continuum.

 

You are technically right in that it's more of a stream than a loop... but it's a stream that comes from nowhere, goes nowhere and doesn't have much effect even if it pools up to the size of the Black Sea. Effectively a completely closed system that can neither be fed from outside value nor exported to outside value.

 

None of which is really the point, except that it's all "nothing representing nothing" — so taxing it (by simply erasing some percentage of the value) is completely pointless.

 

I mean, it doesn't even go into the middle of the board so players can hit Free Parking and grab it. 😄

 

Edited by Shenanigunner
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The more I think about this, the more I think I agree.  I also feel like the fact its pointless means no effort should be spent to change it though; generally I would recommend to not do development work to remove things that are not hurting anyone and don't actually impact anything.

 

Specifically, you need to extract Inf from the system to combat inflation.  But Homecoming made it so easy to synthesize whatever you want as a side effect of playing the game, that the amount of product greatly dwarfs what people actually want, leading to persistent deflation.  Influence stops being a limiting factor, and inflationary pressure is relieved by people not bothering to spend their inf rather than by ensuring it is destroyed.

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3 minutes ago, Shenanigunner said:

 

And this Inf goes... where? Nowhere outside the continuum.

 

You are technically right in that it's more of a stream than a loop... but it's a stream that comes from nowhere, goes nowhere and doesn't have much effect even if it pools up to the size of the Black Sea. Effectively a completely closed system that can neither be fed from outside value nor exported to outside value.

 

None of which is really the point, except that it's all "nothing representing nothing" — so taxing it (by simply erasing some percentage of the value) is completely pointless.

 

I mean, it doesn't even go into the middle of the board so players can hit Free Parking and grab it. 😄

 

Right!  Then once a month we have a secure shipment of all this inf to the bank, and some lucky Villain could get it if they get the randomly assigned Mayhem Mission where they rob the bank and all that lovely inf is in there. OOOH!

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1 minute ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

10% on the price paid is generally more, and frequently significantly more than 10% on the price offered.  Example:  offer an ATO at 100 inf, sell it for 5-10mm.  Market fees of 10 inf in your proposal versus 500k-1mm in current form.

You could easily game the '10% up front fee of list price' by listing low, paying low fees, and if it sells high, then you make out like a bandit...  (and the long term fallout of that sort of setup to me smells like massive deflation and lack of supply, because who's going to craft and list stuff with the costs inherent there if it's not going to make them anything)

 

The current setup ensures that if you want to make sure something sells for your 'minimum asking  price' then you need to pony up a suitable deposit.

 

And then, if someone slips up and hits 0 one time too many, then it's all gravy, except for the poor individual who just paid 20,000,000 instead of 2,000,000  (and you get 18M instead of 1.8M)

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I'm baffled by the responses to the OP's question, and especially the antipathy towards it. OP, you are correct - there is no point to the fees. Full stop. It's completely arbitrary and doesn't really serve any purpose in the current game economy. 

 

Now the question of whether or not to make a change is certainly up for debate. I don't have a dog in the hunt, so I don't care. There are plenty of ways to make influence in this game. 

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10 minutes ago, hastened said:

The more I think about this, the more I think I agree.  I also feel like the fact its pointless means no effort should be spent to change it though; generally I would recommend to not do development work to remove things that are not hurting anyone and don't actually impact anything.

 

Specifically, you need to extract Inf from the system to combat inflation.  But Homecoming made it so easy to synthesize whatever you want as a side effect of playing the game, that the amount of product greatly dwarfs what people actually want, leading to persistent deflation.  Influence stops being a limiting factor, and inflationary pressure is relieved by people not bothering to spend their inf rather than by ensuring it is destroyed.

All this is very true, but my personal solution would be to address the deflation by changing some soft and hard caps and floors, and to address potential subsequent inflation by providing large scale influence sinks.

 


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1 hour ago, Luminara said:

The economy is massively deflated in comparison to the original servers.

Okay, so I marketed quite a bit before the shutdown.

My main market was 35 and 40 End Redux. Mainly I worked the 40 market.

I kind of just remembering here so I'm not sure all the values are 100% correct. I could make them for a price that I was able to make some cash at selling them at 75k inf.

Over time, I upped that to 100k inf still selling. Upped it to 150k inf still selling. 175k. eventually before I quit playing because the game just was becoming to screwed up for me to want to play it any more for multiple reasons, I was consistently seeing level 40 End Redux for 4 million .... on my 100 + characters.

I feel that this was directly related to gold farming/farmers and AE farming providing easy game currency that had no idea what the currency actually meant.

 

So the Market is not like it was on live for IOs. There is pretty much NO market for level  40 IOs on Homecoming.

 

I never dealt with the IO sets, but, due to seeding, the values on the market for IO Sets, recipes for IO sets and salvage seem to be below what they were before the sunset based on what I recall.

 

It wasn't like I didn't have loot to buy stuff on the market. I could get whatever I felt I needed and my characters didn't seem gimped. (but I was basically making like over 3.7 million per level 40 End Redux I was selling ... pretty much every character I logged into had sold all they had on the market). I'm pretty sure whatever I wanted I bought recipes and crafted for far less than the Auction House value.

But I'm not a end-gamer. I don't have to have the best gear. I can get by on the gear that I have and survive a high percentage of the time.

 

If you removed the posting and sold fees, I think it would reduce the pricing directly related by the combined amount of the posting and (projected low end) selling price on the market if you removed the selling posting and sold fees.

What it would do would allow people to pull down things that they posted for sale and respost them as many times as they liked without penalty.  This would definitely affect the market ... most notably by increasing strain on the auction house system by those that will repeatedly pull and repost items there is no longer a penalty for it.

 

I think all around it's best to just leave the Auction House fees in as it would be a hassle for the DEVs and a hassle for those that are already supplying the market if the fees were removed or changed.

 

I have the feeling that the OP was burned more than once by purchasing/crafting things and selling them at a loss due to the posting and selling things trying to under price what is necessary to make a reasonable profit on the market. 

Edited by UltraAlt
because I should go to sleep instead of posting.

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Neither for or against here, but I don't see a convincing argument. I'm actually confused about what you're asking. This is a video game, so I don't mind a pseudo economic system being used to stimulate unique gameplay. It doesn't affect my gameplay experience negatively, so like I said I'm indifferent. 

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13 minutes ago, loyalreader said:

I'm baffled by the responses to the OP's question, and especially the antipathy towards it.

 

It's common when you poke at something taken for granted or otherwise never really considered; the first reaction is irritability at having a comfortable corner of a worldview questioned (even casually or humorously). The reactions in General yesterday were even more so — basically "WTF is your problem!?"

 

Since I do this all day out in real-world consumer economics, don't bother me none here. 🙂

 

 

5 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

I have the feeling that the OP was burned more than once...

 

...with this being the other assumption, that I personally must have had my tender toesies tromped to even think such a thing.

 

Nope. Simply never been big on the IO/market/bag-Inf end of the game. I sell what I find, happy to get more than 5k for anything, haven't bought anything but a few respec recipes.

 

My interest is entirely... theoretical/common sense. But I apologize for poking anyone's sore spot. 😄


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7 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Neither for or against here, but I don't see a convincing argument. I'm actually confused about what you're asking. This is a video game, so I don't mind a pseudo economic system being used to stimulate unique gameplay. It doesn't affect my gameplay experience negatively, so like I said I'm indifferent. 

 

As, in the end, am I. Changing this wouldn't change the game a bit. But I find the strenuous defenses of it (especially those in chat yesterday) on a par with a pitched argument over the length of Ms. Liberty's skirt... hilariously reactive/nonsensical.

 

I'm good with what, #4 — just being immersive/realish.

Edited by Shenanigunner

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