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  • Aykwa
  • Member Since Jan 27th, 2009

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3 things that need to change about WoW's auction house {WoW}

Mar 16th 2012 2:42PM Or to be more succinct on the mechanics, check out a financial stock's bid/ask book. For example, go look at Blizzard's order book on Yahoo Finance here: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ecn?s=ATVI+Order+Book

Right now we only have effectively the "ask" side of that book, where people with something put it up on the AH and ask a certain price to sell it. What we're missing is the "bid" side, where people who want the item but don't have it can bid for it.

As one who has made his living trading the markets for a firm for the last decade, I can tell you that I can't even imagine how dysfunctional markets would be with only the "ask" side of the market, and no "bid" side to deal with. I think having a bid side will help stabilize prices and make life better overall for those who use the AH.

I also would not mind getting completely rid of the auction part of it. Though I don't have the data to back it up, based on what I do know, 99%+ of auctions listed don't get an auction bid, just a buyout or fail to sell. Since nobody really uses the auction portion (savings are usually very insignificant, you often have to wait a long time, etc), and especially if Blizz adds a true bid or buy side to the AH, I think getting rid of the auction facet of it would be just fine, and would probably do most people a favor. Of course, if they did that, maybe they would have to change the name of it from the Auction House to something like the Market or the Exchange.

Oh, and Blizz, please please allow for longer-term orders, and eliminate the listing fee on everything. Even if you have to increase the transaction fee of an actual sell a little bit. This way people can keep their stuff up a long time without relisting, and can have things always listed. This will make for better markets. Oh, and give people the chance to relist at a different price just by changing it, rather than having to kill them all off and then get them all out of the mailbox, etc.

3 things that need to change about WoW's auction house {WoW}

Mar 16th 2012 2:32PM Or to be more succinct, check out a financial stock's bid/ask book. For example, go look at Blizzard's order book on Yahoo Finance here: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ecn?s=ATVI+Order+Book

As one who has made his living trading the markets for a firm for the last decade, I can tell you that I can't even imagine how dysfunctional markets would be with only the "ask" side of the market, and no "bid" side to deal with.

5 not-so-simple ways Blizzard can fix the World of Warcraft Auction House {WoW}

Feb 21st 2012 5:25PM I'm not sure how you can even pretend to quantify how much gold is bought/sold in game right now. Where are you getting your information?

I would prefer not to have Blizz sell gold, as that would be highly inflationary and we've already got a problem with infaltion. I would be fine with it if they would become the middleman between buyers and sellers of gold. There are plenty of people with lots of gold who would be happy to sell for game time (cash equivalent) to those with little gold. If Blizzard creates the interface between them, it can charge a transaction fee as the middleman/facilitator. It can maintain a secure and easy to operate interface, and can do so without creating inflation that would hurt those who don't wish to buy gold or can't do so. In addition, there would be one large gold market, and everybody would know exactly what gold is going for at any given time. Plus you can implement systems to thwart gold sellers. For example, a maximum amount that can be sold by any one account per day or week. Or it could be easily used to try and track down which accounts are hacked or who is botting. Transparency, safety, control.

If Blizz doesn't do it, unscrupulous individuals will, plain and simple. But would we rather that a bunch of shady people get a bunch of money, or that Blizz makes a little extra while the actual players of the game get the benefit?

As for the other points:

1- I would love to have a bunch of realms merged, but I don't see this happening any time soon. Regardless, point 2 will take care of it in more ways than have been stated.

2- Having a global AH is a great idea, one that I've been hoping for for several years. It would also have the tendency to push people a little more towards unpopulated realms, due to less competition there for farming mats, etc. In many ways it would act like our markets act now, incentivizing people to live in such inhospitable places as Alaska's north slope, because they know they can harvest oil there which can be sold on the world market. It would take some time, but things would equalize out on their own somewhat. Those willing to live on low-pop realms would profit more, drawing more people to stay there or move there.

3- No question the default AH interface is one of the worst parts of the game.

4- I would LOVE to a bid side added to the AH, and I've been dreaming of it for years. I completely agree with this idea. One thing to add which fits here would be the ability to greatly lengthen the amount of time an item can be listed. Forcing everyone to relist constantly moves markets faster and more erratically. I would even be happy to allow items to be on for a month at a time. And get rid of the archaic fee to list. There is already a fee to the transaction when it is completed. Right now enchanting mats cost nothing to relist anyways, so it's not like they've never done it before. Just take your fee after a sell.

5- Discussed earlier.

What makes a bad word bad? {WoW}

Feb 1st 2012 6:04PM It's all subjective. Let everyone make their own word blacklist to contain whatever they want. That absolves Blizz of responsibility and gives the users the chance to tailor the language filter to their own personal tastes. Should be pretty easy, actually.

Bashiok on BlizzCon: "It makes sense to focus our efforts" {WoW}

Jan 26th 2012 2:36PM Regardless of the reason, I think the end result is greater demand for future Blizzcons. When supply is considered known into the future, and then suddenly it becomes less available and future supply becomes uncertain, the price of the good or service will always go up. People will pay a premium if they have to, for the 2013 Blizzcon (assuming they have one), because nobody will know if they will have another one in 2014, 2015 or even ever. The next one could always be the last one, or at least the last one in a few years. So the feeling of exclusivity will go up.

Profanity filters, homophobic slurs, and Blizzard's shaky relationship with the LGBT community {WoW}

Jan 26th 2012 2:27PM Regardless of the origins of the word, Blizz could do itself a huge favor by completely changing the way the profanity filter works. Instead of making it server based, they should make it client based. It would work a little bit like your ignore list, in that you could add and remove words from your own personal filter list as you see fit. Then everyone could deal with it as they wish. Blizz could even provide a "basic" or "standard" list based on their current list as a place to start. Lastly, if they want to really get fancy, they could build in the ability to right click on any word in a chat window and choose to add it to your own personal filter list. And suddenly, VOILA! Blizz doesn't have to deal with the issues, each player can filter as little or as much as they want, and everyone is happy! =)

Gold Capped: Tracking the most frequently bought and sold items {WoW}

Jan 18th 2012 5:55PM Fox,

I'm glad you're taking on this project, and I understand there will be limitations. I'm sorry if I came off a bit negative, mostly I was hoping to address challenges, but I didn't do a good job in communicating that.

In regards to:

"It's somewhat similar to how the CPI addresses things like car prices. Obviously, the change in the price of a 1966 Ford Fairlane says little about what's happening with regard to inflation. So instead of following that specific car, the CPI would instead follow the average mid-sized vehicle of the current model year -- say, a 2012 Ford Taurus."

Yes, that case can be made. Caution, however, should be taken because it isn't quite comparable. For as we approach the end of an expansion life cycle, both supply and demand drop off quite a bit. The fewest players are typically playing, and those who do aren't often crafting items with that expansion's mats, etc. While herb or ore or enchanting mats prices may drop by half the last weeks or months before a new expansion, the same cannot be said for new car prices right before the next model year comes out. You might get a 5% or 10% discount for a 2011 Ford Taurus as the new 2012s arrive, but you're never going to see it drop to half the week before, and to almost nothing the week after the 2012s arrive on the lot.

Of course nothing in life is perfect, and I'm sure you'll do your best. I wish you the best of luck on the project. The results will be interesting to see.

Gold Capped: Tracking the most frequently bought and sold items {WoW}

Jan 17th 2012 2:38PM There are a few other considerations/problems with the tracking that is being attempted here:

Because of patches and expansions, there is a kind of built-in expiration date on most or all of these goods or services. For example, Whiptail will become comparatively useless when MoP goes live, and its price will decrease as we get close to that. When tracking inflation in RL, you don't have to worry about bread becoming obsolete in 6 months, and the inherent associated deflationary pressure that comes with that knowledge. As such, most of these goods suffer from some price decay. Thus a model that treats these goods more like a stock option rather than a commodity would be best.

Also a similar problem, there is almost no real way to carry value over from one expansion to another EXCEPT for gold itself. In the real world inflation greatly benefits 2 types of people: Borrowers (as their debts become relatively smaller, due to monetary inflation), and those who hold physical goods which do not depreciate. In a typical RL inflationary scenario, if I borrow every penny I possibly can to buy property, gold, pork bellies, oil, and oranges, I can expect the value of those items to move up with the inflation, and thus the value of my borrowed money (my debt) to go down. I'd make a killing. People who have lots of cash and little/no physical commodities would get crushed as his cash would become worthless. BUT, in WoW-style inflation, there is no way to carry value past an expansion in commodities. Those commodities will have severe price erosion, and so people all know they have to get rid of their goods and turn them into in-game gold in order to not lose large amounts of value.

This inherently means that the supply of gold in the hands of players will tend to increase as you get close to the end of an expansion (driving up monetary inflation) and that the value of commodities will tend to decrease as you get close to the end of an expansion (driving down commodity inflation). Thus the model for inflation in WoW is very different from the one we see in RL, and I believe that a totally different model would have to be created to more accurately measure in-game inflation. One for which we may not have access to enough data to be accurate with.

On top of all that, wow markets are highly fragmented (due to non-connected realms and AHs) with massive pricing differences between realms that simply don't exist in RL. Each realm will have its own inflationary rates dependent on many factors, such as population, average player laziness, number of gold-farmers/bots on that realm, number of players hacked on that realm, number of illegal gold-buyers on that realm, percentage of players who are market-savvy on that realm (willing and able to manipulate the prices of goods on the AH). For example, for an Inferno Ruby, right now you would pay about 550 gold on one realm, 100 gold on another. That is a massive spread on the price, of about 5.5 times. In the US, if that imbalance existed for one oft-traded good between say New York and California, people would be buying up all the product in Cali and shipping it to NY, paying a little shipping, and making a huge profit. They'd do it until the prices all over the country became much more comparable. But in WoW, that can't happen right now (maybe someday in the future). If everyone in game were on the same AH, prices would not only equal out, but the average price of all Inferno Rubies would likely drop, as the market becomes more liquid and more efficient.

So yeah, I've probably gone on way too long here, sorry. But the point is that there are some serious problems with trying to use a CPI strategy that works in RL to calculate numbers for the in-game economy. To really do so we'd need long-term, real-time access to Blizz data on actual holdings (gold AND items) for a representative number of players. Then we could calculate the net worth of the average player (across all their toons) through time, and really have a stab at calculating in-game inflation. I would guess that someone at Blizz is already doing this. And the only way for us to do it would be to have someone create an addon that would be installed by many players (hopefully a representative population) and would track all of that and report it back to one central location for processing/analysis.

Survey reveals player wealth disparity {WoW}

Nov 12th 2011 1:06AM You're exactly right, and it's called self-selection bias. Probably a large part of their responses were from people who visit sites like this one. But that is one of the very first errors they mention in the details: An opt-in survey.

BlizzCon 2011: Mists of Pandaria trailer {WoW}

Oct 21st 2011 3:47PM Yes, the art does look good. It looks very Chinese, and I think that is intentional and they're not trying to hide that at all. I wonder if they expect a large boost to their Chinese playerbase from that look/feel? If I were Chinese, I'd have to guess (since I'm not, I can't KNOW) that I would be much more likely to play an MMO that reflects the beauty and strength of my culture, just by reason of pride in one's self, one's origin, and one's country.