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Tooltips vs Spreadsheets (merchants and goods)

Backstory: Playing Elite Dangerous, staring at the long list of goods sold by the starport where I was docked. I had previously bought a couple, my newbie ship could not hold more than a few. After transporting them, I found all my effort had resulted in a net loss of money. I closed the market interface and went off to do a mission, where I made more than 1000% of the profit I would have made trading. I wanted to trade, but it was the wrong choice.

Suggestion: Tooltips for goods that show the top 5 buy orders and where. Maybe clickable to see further info.

Why?:
1-Player time spent: Because gathering this information is tedious. And tedious things are taken over by websites, so gameplay becomes Tab-out, fill out some fields on a website, write down lots of things on paper, come back into the game, profit. Not all time-sinks are bad, but this is a time sink that's spent away from the game instead of playing it.

-This would favor newer merchant players, experience and insider knowledge will make it less useful.
-This will favor older crafter players, having new players transporting more goods will lower market prices for high-demand goods
-this will favor PvPers (they can see what's really in demand, and camp those routes, knowing that new players will be coming along)
-this will hurt market skimmers, as it's unlikely people will transport to nodes where they know the price is bad.

Wanted to suggest it as a tooltip idea, since it seems it would make my favorite activity (merchanting) more fun, and stimulate PvP at the same time (push-your-luck game for me, do I transport the highest value good, or go for number 5 on the list for a safer trip?)

Comments

  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    Isnt the point of an open market that players have to search for the best buy and sell prices? If you end up making a loss or not liking the risk that comes with merching then just dont focus on that.
    Because if the guy that buys for the best price and has the biggest market value, also gets his item globally listed… thats free advertisement right there. Making the alrdy established merchant stronger. I dont see how it would favour a newer merchant player either.
    Having a real risk associated with trading is what excited me so much about the economy in Ashes. And market skimming would be a natural process of this yes. Its not like a guild could hold 99% of the wood on the server you know xd people would just grab theyr axes as soon word goes around that logs are rare. Imo its oke if goods are being moved around with a lack of information. Motivating Merchants to make a name for themselves, making certain items more rare, better use for Alliance chat or pm with friends etc to update eachothere where you can find that one bargain.
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  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    What you are looking for is the economy node. They have the ability to see the prices of items in surrounding/allied nodes.
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    Playing the market game is a risky business that can easily result in you losing money. If you aren't prepared for that risk then don't play the markets.
  • sojourn85sojourn85 Member, Founder
    The point I think OP was trying to make, was to keep it so it is more inclusive and enjoyable within the game. To avoid using websites to find the info. In the end it's up to the user I suppose, but tedious things do keep a lot of new players from bothering.
    Gamer, Husband, Father, and Hard Working Individual. Let's have fun!
  • leonerdoleonerdo Member, Settler
    I don't mind third-party websites all that much. It's interesting to see how the community organizes itself and gathers information. And some things just won't fit into in-game tooltips. TBH, sometimes the community does a better job on making those websites/tools anyways, so sometimes it just doesn't make sense for the game devs to waste their time on it. I guess, as long as detailed information is available somewhere, I don't really care where I have to go to find it.

    Specifically regarding market information though, I think in AoC that it's supposed to be limited, but easier to obtain from an Economic type node. Secrets of the market, optimal trade routes, and rare short-lived opportunities are supposed to be guarded closely. And if that kind of info is what's most important to you because you're primarily a merchant/trader, then you should be heavily invested in becoming a citizen of an Economic node and helping it grow to a metropolis. Because market information is limited, it can be a bigger part of the macro-game.
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    leonerdo wrote: »
    I don't mind third-party websites all that much.

    Gotta disagree, but that's why I made my post. If you sit down to play a boardgame and the instructions are missing, you also have to go look them up on the web. It does not mean not including instructions is a good idea, or makes the game better.

    I think secrets and MMO games are a bad mix. Interesting choices are good, but once one person learns something, it's no longer a cool secret, it's an advantage over other players, and a barrier to new players. I love trade systems, but I want to compete at trading, not google/excel.

    Economic nodes being able to view market information on nearby node trade prices sounds pretty cool. I'd argue that viewing far-away trade prices would be better though, as having caravans travel further distances ups the risk/reward factor.

    I've seen some pretty big tooltips in games, literal walls of text. Having
    London > 140%, Berlin > 125%, Rome >123%, Istanbul>120%, Paris >115%
    would not take much space and could accomplish so much.
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    shkevi wrote: »
    Isnt the point of an open market that players have to search for the best buy and sell prices?
    I would say no, the point is to involve players economically in the game. Searching is just a tool used to gather information on said market.
    shkevi wrote: »
    Because if the guy that buys for the best price and has the biggest market value, also gets his item globally listed… thats free advertisement right there. Making the alrdy established merchant stronger. I dont see how it would favour a newer merchant player either.
    I don't disagree, but I also don't see the harm. If someone wants to undersell the guy, they can. If they want to put a huge buy order up, then camp ourside town and wait for the merchants to come... they can. I did not make up specifics for my idea, but I think it would be necessary to weigh it my quanity of the buy order (so you can't just put a buy order of 1 up to lure people in, though that sounds kind of fun it would ruin the whole thing). Some kind of weighted average.
    shkevi wrote: »
    Having a real risk associated with trading is what excited me so much about the economy in Ashes.
    Me too!
    shkevi wrote: »
    And market skimming would be a natural process of this yes. Its not like a guild could hold 99% of the wood on the server you know xd people would just grab theyr axes as soon word goes around that logs are rare. Imo its oke if goods are being moved around with a lack of information. Motivating Merchants to make a name for themselves, making certain items more rare, better use for Alliance chat or pm with friends etc to update eachothere where you can find that one bargain.
    Too much insider knowledge required will make it a closed system, for big guild-use only. I'm trying to think of all the solo/small group players, the people who don't read books on economics, the average-joe merchants who want to do some trading for profit. The risk associated with it means it's not necessary to hide the mechanics behind obscurity, you just feed the unlucky and over-ambitious to the PvPers, and let the cautious, lucky, and smart players profit.

  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    I think part of limiting the type of information you are indicating is to encourage players to travel. The goal, I believe, is to encourage players to shop around for the best price and take time to visit multiple nodes/villages/cities/etc. I could be wrong, there are likely many other reasons the currently proposed system would work well in Ashes as devs intend.

    I like the system as it is designed and I am not sure giving players a short cut to the best prices/gear locations is necessary for a fun game. Even with the level 6 Economy node, I am under the impression it's just in that nodes ZOI (but I could be wrong). Either way, making players work for it to get access is more fun than having it day one (although new players after a level 6 economy node is established would have such access).

    As for RP, if your character was in said world they likely wouldn't have access to a catalog that showed all the best stuff, the prices for said stuff, and the closest place to get that stuff.
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    +1 Skull & Crown metal coin
  • jodypsejodypse Member
    Azathoth wrote: »
    As for RP, if your character was in said world they likely wouldn't have access to a catalog that showed all the best stuff, the prices for said stuff, and the closest place to get that stuff.
    I think they would have some access to it, even if slightly outdated. Merchants, both PC's and NPC's, have after all travelled from nodes around and brought with them news of current events in those areas they came from, including general pricing on stuff, especially the stuff relevant in this area. The information would be slightly outdated as it takes time to travel, but it would be there.
    It's even possible that "Merchant Guilds" in a node, even if not an Economic Node, would buy said information from travellers.
    At least that is how it would work in real life. There's still an element of risk involved of course as the market can have shifted after the info got to you, someone else could have been there first and bought all that you were looking to get, or sold massive amounts of what you were bringing to sell, changing the prices as it's always depending on supply and demand.
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    @jodypse I can see how merchants and travelers would have that information available, but as opposed to being one giant catalog you would browse through you would have to go around and talk to the merchants and other PC's. If Ashes implemented merchants being able to tell you where you can find better prices (not for what they are selling) that would be fun.

    I also like the concept that Economic Guilds could use their members to track this information and sell that like information brokers. That would be a lot of fun and add a nice level to the Economic focused guilds.

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    +1 Skull & Crown metal coin
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    Azathoth wrote: »
    [...]but as opposed to being one giant catalog you would browse through you would have to go around and talk to the merchants and other PC's. If Ashes implemented merchants being able to tell you where you can find better prices (not for what they are selling) that would be fun.

    I also like the concept that Economic Guilds could use their members to track this information and sell that like information brokers. That would be a lot of fun and add a nice level to the Economic focused guilds.

    Wow, that would be the opposite of fun for me, I want to transport goods, not write/decipher/discover treatises on trade that may or may not be accurate. And I really don't want to have to rely on a guild.

    I understand how convoluted systems of hidden knowledge and discovery can be fun for some people, but is that a barrier you want to place in front of a basic game information that drives a system that becomes more fun when more people participate in it?
  • jodypsejodypse Member
    @azathoth That and also needing enough status with said merchants for them to "give up" their "trade secrets", so needing to do some stuff for them as well as getting them to like and trust you. Yes, that could be a lot of fun.
    It would require that Intrepid doesn't show the info in a way that third party tools can access it so third party sites can't simply show these on other websites. People would have to manually write it down if they want to share it with others.

    BUT, for ease of play your character could have an own quick list, again not readable from outside of the game (if that's even possible to do), listing the latest of the info gotten while talking to ones NPC contacts.
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    @tiltowait I think you and I have different definitions of fun and barriers. I don't see not being able to quickly access buying/selling information as a barrier. I also think having an easy to access list of the top 5 or 10 merchants/sellers/demand-ques/etc. will take away some of the exploration that IS is going for.

    As for the possibility of guilds or players keeping their own list of the best buyers/producers/sellers, it might not be the most fun thing for everyone but I see it happening based on how I understand the market as currently expected to work in Ashes.

    I might be wrong and Ashes might have a different system is place by release.
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    +1 Skull & Crown metal coin
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    @azathoth Well, I suppose it would be something to test, is exploration/notes/information trading more fun for more people than open-information trading.

    I'm thinking on the PvP side of things, open-information wins hands-down; knowing the good trade routes means there will always be some good targets to try for. Secret information will strongly favor PvP avoidance, as PvPers will have to research the same, and even then with little instant travel it's unlikely they will be at the right place at the right time.
  • grisugrisu Member
    Your example shows you didn't even bother to check what is in demand. If you believe a tooltip showing you what is bought the most somewhere will make you a better trader then you are already on the wrong path.
    It simply doesn't tell you what is profitable.
    Part of being a good trader is understanding what is needed when, where and why.

    Volume of past trades is missleading, it shows what was needed at some point or what everyone is already constantly trading anyway which means high competition and price undercutting.
    (Turkey for example will be in high demand during thanks giving and drop off harshly afterwards. Knowing that turkey was sold a TON 1 week ago or even a day ago without understanding why is just shooting yourself in the foot)
    If you WANT to be a trader you have to learn that aspect of the game, no tooltip will help you with that. It will just make it more confusing.
    Arriving at a recently leveld up t4 node with tons of oak planks because you saw it is traded the most there, just to find out they needed those for a work order that was finished a day ago. Now they need pine planks. You understood where it was needed, but not when and why with that tooltip suggestion of yours. It's missleading for someone who can't be bothered to learn the components of trading.

    That's one aspect of Ashes that I find really faszinating. In theory it emphasizes to build relationships with people to have quick information transfers and updates. Building relationships with crafters for example so they always have someone to rely on when they need a bulk of components opens up so many opportunities to specialise your trading. Finding your own profitable niche. It's a lot more fun.

    Yes you have to learn this like every other game system. You can't walk into pvp and be like "I'm pvping now, game do the work and make me a good pvper" It takes time, experience and lots of dying. No tooltip in the world will make that go away, wether it's pve, pvp, trading, or any single activity or skill in the world.
    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    I understand your perspective, but I don't want to be a master-merchant. I want to run caravans and get money, not fully understand the economics of the game. I would imagine those who do want to do all the research and work you are describing are an extremely small minority, and I would have to question making game systems built around their desires.

    Now, if there were some way to integrate the 2. Like you, the master-merchant determine the best profit to be had, place a Carry-Order which I complete, and you get a portion of the profit without actually taking risk. I'm not saying I like it better than open information, but it's a thought.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    edited May 29
    I've been thinking about this quite a lot and I don't think ingame tooltips are going to help you. IIRC the trade economy in Elite Dangerous was largely controlled by the game itself through various conflicts. The players had very little control over this.

    Ashes of creation on the other hand will be a mostly player-driven economy. If an economic node gets destroyed it will have an effect on the trade routes and ingame economy. This isn't something the game's AI can predict, making seller tooltips largely pointless.

    Like it or not, if you want to be a successful trader in Ashes you will need to know what is going on across the server.
  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    As players, we are inherently disconnected from the game world, i don't think there is anything wrong with creating and using external sources to track trends across the server.
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  • leonerdoleonerdo Member, Settler
    edited May 29
    I think we're just moving the goalposts slightly from "price information" to "market information" (any info that could affect supply and demand). The question remains, how much information about neighboring nodes should players get for free?

    Should we be able to freely see work orders, node progression/destruction, planned or active caravans? And from how far away? (I think we already know that caravans will be secret until they start, and then they will be announced in the local area so people can join in to attack/defend it.) Should we be able to pay for that information? Maybe economic nodes offer more information?

    And we'll still see third-party websites which compile all that information, just the same as market prices, no?

    Personally, I hope that information is pointedly scarce. I think it drives people to work together and communicate more. I expect that will still lead to third-party websites for information collection, but hopefully people will keep them private. Like every big economic guild might have their own information-sharing system, but they don't make them publicly available.

    People who participate in such guilds will probably have different roles, so not everyone has to play the information game. Some people can just be the delivery men, sales reps/liaisons, or caravan guards/raiders.

    For those kinds of low-tier traders. the gameplay is largely similar in either case (free info or scarce info); the difference is whether you get information/orders from the game systems or from other players/your guild. AoC is supposed to big on MMO and player-driven gameplay, so... I think you get it.
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    leonerdo wrote: »
    Should we be able to freely see work orders, node progression/destruction, planned or active caravans? And from how far away? (I think we already know that caravans will be secret until they start, and then they will be announced in the local area so people can join in to attack/defend it.) Should we be able to pay for that information? Maybe economic nodes offer more information?
    To digress from my drum banging for a moment, would be cool if war nodes have access to caravan information, thematically through scout reports, as much so or more than economic nodes, in the interests of protecting/attacking.

  • grisugrisu Member
    tiltowait wrote: »
    I understand your perspective, but I don't want to be a master-merchant.

    No, sorry but you don't, I'm trying to explain that this is the very bottom of trading 101. That's the bare minimum to understand trading. I'm by no means a master-merchant in that context, I just dabble in it because I enjoy it from time to time.
    You can't hope to trade and make money, If you are not willing to do that minimal effort of learning that basic principle of supply and demand.

    I'm sure there are ways to make it more accessible, in general, but the proposed tooltip isn't one of them imo. It will just add to the confusion why your trade didn't make you money.
    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    Like it or not, if you want to be a successful trader in Ashes you will need to know what is going on across the server.
    See, this is what I'm worried about. If I want to be casual and log in once a week and do a little merchanting, I want to have some success, without no-lifeing it, 'cheating' with third party websites, or having some guildie lead me by the hand. I really don't think secrets add net value to a game.
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    If your goal is to run caravans, your goal should be to outsmart the PvP community that wants to hunt caravans. Not to avoid PvP all together, and not because sometimes you will lose some battles for your goods, but simply to lessen the chances it happens every time you run a caravan.

    If there was information readily available to anyone about current running, or about to run, caravans then that information is available to everyone. Because all it takes is one post on Discord or in a chat channel. Suddenly anyone remotely interested in getting into PvP with a caravan knows when and where you are. I understand fast travel will prevent organized "zergs" but forecasting where you will be allows a lot more time and area for people to get to and wait.

    I am 100% for PvP against caravans, but I don't think that means PvP's should have in game tools to determine when and where one is starting and where it is going. The caravan runners, PvE or not, should be able to try and plan out routes to avoid as much conflict as possible rather or not the are successful.
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    +1 Skull & Crown metal coin
  • grisugrisu Member
    tiltowait wrote: »
    See, this is what I'm worried about. If I want to be casual and log in once a week and do a little merchanting

    If you don't want to learn that W A S D is oyur basic character movement then it doesnt matter if you log in once a week daily or are online 24/7, you won't understand hwo to play. Trading is by nature a bit more complex, but you need that basic level of udnerstanding.
    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
  • tiltowaittiltowait Member
    No need to be mean, I understand WASD and I personally DO nolife games, research on third party websites, and strive to be the best.

    You only 'need' to know a system if that system is implemented. I'm arguing about the system's design, not the need to know it.
  • grisugrisu Member
    I'm sorry if it seemed mean, I only tried to illustrate my point. Apparently I did a poor job on that. I don't know how else to explain that this will only add confusion.
    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
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