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Fifty Billion Worth of Chaos: A Market Thought Experiment


Andreah
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One late night at The Secret Clubhouse for Moustache Twirling Top Hatters, while lighting cigars with million influence bills and having good laughs over Gini-curve jokes, you accepted a gentle challenge to burn a paltry 50 Billion of your liquid wealth to create as much economic chaos on the Auction House as possible.

 

Now, purely as a thought experiment, what would you do? Buy up all of what? Corner market of which? Dump all of something when? You're not trying to make money, just to create chaos by burning through this stash.

 

As a for example, with 50 Billion, a player could drive the price of, say, Enhancement Converters up fairly high for a while. How high could it get? What effect would this have? How would the main player base respond? What secondary effects on other goods would result? How long could it be sustained? When you ran out of the stash, how long would it take the economy to recover? Rate the chaos created on the Moustache Scale of Ebil from 1 to 10.

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I would place 5 really large bids on hundreds of different items across salvage, recipes, IOs, etc.  It will be a nice X-mas gift for many sellers but will also "paint" the last 5 with the really large number resulting in confusion and consternation.  Repeat with different items everyday until you run out of money.

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3 hours ago, Bionic_Flea said:

I would place 5 really large bids on hundreds of different items across salvage, recipes, IOs, etc.  It will be a nice X-mas gift for many sellers but will also "paint" the last 5 with the really large number resulting in confusion and consternation.  Repeat with different items everyday until you run out of money.

You could buy 2,000 items fives times each at 5 million inf. Hrm... not bad. Are there even 2,000 unique items after bucketing?

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Didn't we already see this in the Uncommon salvage market?

 

To my thinking, the only "chaos" in the market place would have to be in an area where:

  • players can't reliably farm/convert/but from vendor the item
  • players actually want the item
  • the server team won't simply repopulate (so 'packs' are out)

Uncommon salvage was in a peculiar spot because the 'seeded' price is much higher that the supply of (a fungible piece) of uncommon salvage demands. Salvage is 'weird' in the sense that it is fungible, but when you need it the fungibility doesn't actually help you convert a piece you have to a piece you need. I stockpile all the rare salvage that drops and I often find myself with 20+ of certain types; that is the point when they go on the market.

 

The only other areas that I can think of immediately are things like HO/DSO (non-trivial drop-onlys that can't be converted) and Essence of the Earth/Ambrosias The latter insps aren't exactly hard to get, and for EoE most typical Hami raids will generate enough for raiders but some folks simply buy from the AH and don't sweat the drops. Not a lot of space for true chaos there.

 

It would be possible to make life painful for folks by buying up converters, but merits are easy to get in the game.

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7 hours ago, tidge said:

It would be possible to make life painful for folks by buying up converters, but merits are easy to get in the game.

One thing buying up or at least, trying to sustain a doubled or triples price-target on converters would be to secondarily increase the prices of unslotters or boosters, as people who might have used merits to get those to sell went for converters instead.

 

And unslotters are interesting. We kind of need these to finagle our builds around without respeccing; so what if a marketeer consistently bought them all out? Minor annoyance, or serious issue with further ripples?

 

And for that matter, what if a marketeer resolved to buy up all the respec recipes? Would the prices really go up much and cause consternation, or would people just use alternate means, like running more respec trials outside of when they are the WST?

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6 minutes ago, Andreah said:

And unslotters are interesting. We kind of need these to finagle our builds around without respeccing; so what if a marketeer consistently bought them all out? Minor annoyance, or serious issue with further ripples?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

I have so many unclaimed unslotters I don't even think I'd notice. I couldn't even tell you what the going price of them is. They are also pretty cheap in Merits, IIRC.

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I'd shoot for buying loads of a random useless proc that could sell an appropriate patch-related narrative.

Example: with I27 buffing Elec Blast, I'd buy all "Tempest: chance for end drain" on the market at up to 10M per proc. 50B would let me do that up to 5000 times, which hopefully would start people wondering if there's something neat related to end drain they're missing out on...

But it's a balancing act getting the word out to confuse many players before a savvy marketer finds the opportunity to arbitrage with converters. Perhaps I'd limit my buys to, say, 200M per day max, so there would always be significant upward pressure but not so much I drain my Chaos Fund in a couple weeks. Keeping this up over months ought to make for confusion.

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I dunno about recommend %procs as a spot for Market Chaos... it feels to me like there is already a baseline of "Chaotic Stupid" in that niche.

 

The last time I looked at such things (I'm not talking about Globals here) there are quite a few %procs that had 1000+ available with only a few hundred bids. In addition to looking like a bad market niche, this is as good a sign as any that some times of powers are poor choices. Even in the case of  %damage procs for things like Attacks or Holds, the non-Purple variants are almost always 2Minf or less.

 

There have been (in the past) a couple of reliable %damage pieces, but I've seen those niche fluctuate. In order to cause any sort of peculiar market stir, I think it would be necessary to buy up nearly all of the pieces/recipes from all of the sets that only exist in the level 10-30 range, since very few players would do anything like "solo farm" at lower levels to replenish such supplies en masse. There are still ways that the fungible market works against such a strategy, so it wouldn't stop dedicated folks from filling their builds or marketeers from putting things on the market.

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The problem is that any chaos we might be able to cause is only for a short while. 

I think, with 50B the first thing I'd go for would be first - Hamidon Enhancements.  Understand that HOs, Titan-Os, Hydra'Os and now D-Syncs are all in the same bucket, if they share the same attributes and level. The reason is because these cannot be bought with merits. And, they are random as to what drops for the reward. So, it could be quite annoying for someone looking for a microfiliament. 

Then, I'd buy all the recipes and IOs for Celerity and Quickfoot - and leave standing bids to try to keep the supply as low as possible. 

If it weren't Winter event time, I'd get all the Winter's Gift and Blessing of the Zephyr's. So many folks I know put a KB protecting proc in a travel power, to remove the ability to get these, outside of paying merits for them..that might get annoying. (To be fully transparent, if this happened to me, I'd just craft any old enhancement into what I needed, I've plenty of converters. But, it is winter time, and folks can swap candy canes and some inf for Winter's Gift recipe and then convert if they wish and were willing to do the work - and they knew about it. 

Also, Overwhelming Force. Granted, SBB can be run to get these (random reward table) or they can fork over merits for them. But, I imagine a lot of folks, if they want to use one or even a set are going to find running 5-6 SBB's more than a bit annoying. 

There are probably too many farmers to really do much with purples for any meaningful amount of time, but it would be interesting to simply buy all of the enhancements and all of the recipes in the market at a given point in time. No idea what I'd do with them all, but if I got all the recipes and all the enhancements, even with all the farmers we have, it would certainly drive the price up, way up, before it settled back to it's normal price. 

I've joked with friends that my last act in game will be to liquidate all my billions by buying EVERYTHING that's for sale, and then just log off forever. The problem is the clicking alone would take over a week, if I went without sleep. The salvage alone would take about several hours for one category. 

Clearly, buying all the rare salvage, at least, all the salvage that's less than a million could be fun. It's just an awful lot of clicking, so I can't really be bothered. 

I might also buy all the ambrosia, even at it's inflated 2M price tag. 

Those are just the thoughts I have at the moment. 

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On 12/1/2021 at 11:18 AM, Andreah said:

The Secret Clubhouse for Moustache Twirling Top Hatters,

 

Wasn't the first rule of MTTH.. oh well.

 

A three pronged attack targeting the current meta would likely cause the most chaos.

 

Prong One

Buying specific enhancements LOTG+7.5, LOTG Def, LOTG Def/End AND/OR the +3% Def resist enhancements

Nearly every high end build is using these and these have been known to quickly skyrocket in price.

 

Prong Two

Buying convertors

Block converting into the above.

 

Prong Three

Corner Essence of the Earth market.

Slow down Hami merit farming, impacting merit to convertor efforts.

 

Result: Internet uber builds costs go up. Frustration in three areas of the game.

 

Alternately, to open up the purple market in a good way.

Buy everything in the popular purple sets and sell for 1/2 price.

This could be done almost 5,000 times before running out of funds.

Guessing this would take some time it would be a bit more than a short term impact.

 

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5 hours ago, Troo said:

Alternately, to open up the purple market in a good way.

Buy everything in the popular purple sets and sell for 1/2 price.

This could be done almost 5,000 times before running out of funds.

Guessing this would take some time it would be a bit more than a short term impact.

 

I hadn't though of it this direction, but it could go quite a ways. However, someone else buying low and reselling high might detect this and go to town on it. I suppose it's conceivable one might "reset" the going price down a bit. This may be very unlikely, as it depends on the elasticity of supply and demand for these.

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19 hours ago, Troo said:

Prong Two

Buying convertors

Block converting into the above.

Just to shed some light here - you could do this...and in conjunction with your other prongs, a good move. But, timing is important. You wouldn't want to do it during a week when running the weekly would generate a decent amount of converters for the casual player. A marketer might require more, but would likely know the workaround with burning emp merits for the reward merits, or might just have enough winter packs to skim the merits out of those for converters until the population re-supplies the market. 

It's one thing to have the 50B to impact the market - but the time necessary to log all those characters in to over-bid for the new converters on the market - that's gonna be tedious. A damn lot of clicking. 

I'm guessing I would take 25 characters and have them all bid 105k per converter @200 bids of 10. That's 2k per character, 25 characters would be 50K worth of converters. Anecdotally, I can't recall ever seeing more than 40k-45k in the AH at once. 

Even so, that would only keep for a couple of days, I'd think. At the most. And at 105k, a lot of folks would be dumping them to get the extra loot, I think, not realizing your other two prongs. So, maybe I'd have to do that with 50 characters. That'd still leave 39.5B to play with, tho. 
 

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6 hours ago, Rugor said:

Prong 2 would be hard.  Players can get converters through merits, which are plentiful.

 

I agree. Player would have to figure out how to stem the merit flow or wait out the glut of merits. Not an enviable task.

 

50 minutes ago, Ukase said:

Even so, that would only keep for a couple of days, I'd think. At the most. And at 105k, a lot of folks would be dumping them to get the extra loot, I think, not realizing your other two prongs. So, maybe I'd have to do that with 50 characters. That'd still leave 39.5B to play with, tho. 

 

A coordinated team would have any easier time. 

 

I am often pleasantly surprised by COX. Simple layered aspects of the game combine for a richness that has shown to be hard to duplicate.

 

Edited by Troo

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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1 hour ago, Ukase said:

It's one thing to have the 50B to impact the market - but the time necessary to log all those characters in to over-bid for the new converters on the market - that's gonna be tedious. A damn lot of clicking. 

I know right!!

 

This is the single biggest reason we don't see a lot of crazy market shenanigans.

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On 1/9/2022 at 4:41 PM, Troo said:

Prong Three

Corner Essence of the Earth market.

Slow down Hami merit farming, impacting merit to convertor efforts.

 

Result: Internet uber builds costs go up. Frustration in three areas of the game.

 

I mentioned this long ago, because the only "source" of EoE was from GMs, but I convinced myself it really wouldn't have much of an effect. These days, I rarely use more than 3 EoE on a single Hamidon Raid, unless for some reason the person leading the raid wants to do it 'old school' and clear every bloom. The main thing the AH allows is:

  • Some players don't have to join in clearing the GMs (several good reasons, including showing up late)
  • Players clearing the GMs can be lazy about clearing space in the Insp trays. I pretty much dump everything but Reds and EoE if I don't already have a stash in the AH to grab.

Even with bad luck from drops, someone is always willing to share EoE.

 

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On 1/10/2022 at 12:19 PM, Andreah said:

I know right!!

 

This is the single biggest reason we don't see a lot of crazy market shenanigans.

Perhaps I'm giving the player base too much credit. I just can't see folks doing it to specifically screw things up for other players. After all, this scenario shows spending the inf a bit over market price to keep others from getting the loot. So, you're not likely to make much off of it -- but then again, I've seen folks go a bit crazy when they want to buy something "now". 

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On 12/1/2021 at 12:18 PM, Andreah said:

One late night at The Secret Clubhouse for Moustache Twirling Top Hatters, while lighting cigars with million influence bills and having good laughs over Gini-curve jokes, you accepted a gentle challenge to burn a paltry 50 Billion of your liquid wealth to create as much economic chaos on the Auction House as possible.

 

Now, purely as a thought experiment, what would you do? Buy up all of what? Corner market of which? Dump all of something when? You're not trying to make money, just to create chaos by burning through this stash.

 

As a for example, with 50 Billion, a player could drive the price of, say, Enhancement Converters up fairly high for a while. How high could it get? What effect would this have? How would the main player base respond? What secondary effects on other goods would result? How long could it be sustained? When you ran out of the stash, how long would it take the economy to recover? Rate the chaos created on the Moustache Scale of Ebil from 1 to 10.

I tried something similar to this. I bought over 500 cheap hami-os to see if I could up the price. Didn't work 😞

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You know, when this thread was first posted, I watched it with some trepidation. I am an Order Muppet of the first degree, and I was a little concerned that an intentional destabilization of the /AH would lead to fewer people using it and thus becoming less useful.  I haven’t been on Rebirth in some time, but their AH is dead because no one uses it.

 

But, I’m pretty confident that there isn’t a destabilizing scheme that I’m not prepared for.  At the end of the day, the HC system is pretty stable.

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19 hours ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

At the end of the day, the HC system is pretty stable

I agree. I'd put quite a lot of thought into the dynamics of the HC marketplace, and concluded there really weren't many. 

 

In the real world, price changes occur because the classical supply and demand curves change when the fundamentals of how commodities are produced and why they are consumed change, or when new potential substitute products emerge.  In CoH terms, if drop rate of a thing that was in demand, or that was a precursor (via  converters, etc.) of a thing that was in demand were to change, we'd see that as a sustained change in supply of an item, and that would cause a price change. Or, if a new build meta were to emerge that made use of a previously trash IO, that could increase the price of that item. But both would be mitigated by the relative ease of converting one IO to another.

 

The new ID-Sync-O's are a change, and a big one, but we don't see utter tumult in the others of Hami-O class IOs, because they don't displace those other items, but complement them.  This was a big change, bigger than what any one player could make happen, and didn't cause market chaos.

 

The seasonal Winterpack sale event disturbs supply of Winter-Os, (and the other items that drop) and I saw prices changes, but not huge, and not permanent, and I think not particularly troublesome for anyone. And that was truly huge in scale, especially since it was hinted it could be the last sale. 

 

If a player who was producing lots of, say LotG+7.5% IO's suddenly stopped playing, we'd see a disturbance, but it would quickly be taken up by others. And vice-versa, if a new player suddenly moved into a market niche in a big way, that would at most just crowd out one or two others. Margins in a lot of these areas aren't large, and it's easy to find others. And as best I can tell, we don't have any markets that have single suppliers working them.

 

The primary input commodities, salvage, recipes, and etc., have either market limiting buffers (the soft price ceilings on seeded salvage, for example), or fungible sources apart from random drops, such as merit purchases. 

 

Finally, there's no real way to innovate on productivity -- I can't come up with a way to craft a recipe with less salvage than you, or a way to craft ten at a time, etc. Any such method would be an illegal exploit.

 

It's basically a stable system, and I like that. It has subtle ups and downs and plenty of internal complexity, but these are limited and available for everyone or anyone to study and make use of.

 

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So...I thought about some things...and thought some more. 

Even brought out the spreadsheet, logged how many IOs there were on the market, looked at the demand for them (bidding value), then looked at how many items could be converted into these particular type of IOs. 
 

About 6400 of these items in total, already crafted. Another 400 as recipes. 

I could, conceivably buy them all. At least at a moment in time. Briefly, I suspect I could drive the price up. 

If the supply has been choked, and demand remains the same...then a few of the normal players would simply pay more, pull from reserves in base or other less-played characters. 

But, as has been mentioned in this thread and forum routinely - any player can disrupt the market briefly - but within a short moment in time, other players will see the choke on supply and invade the niche and increase the supply. The end result is the initial...instigator (Me?) is likely left with a lot of inventory that they won't be able to sell at the hoped for price. 

Ultimately, in the long run, the case might be made in certain circumstances, the tactics used would result in more players entering that niche, and the price would be driven lower still. 

And let's face it - buying thousands of items, when you can only get 10 at a time...just no. I think watching paint dry would be more fun. 

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