Garden Guardian

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A council of outlaws? with self-congratulatory badges, sophomoric secret meeting places and the expressed intent, nay need, of discovering purpose?!

This will not do.

For the manner of your arrogance and your watered-down under-reaching of the responsibilities of evil, this collective incident and your individual names have been entered down into the Book of a Thousand Leaves.

Nihimon wrote:

I've said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating:

Please don't create a system where the output from crafting has random variation.

If I set out to make something, I want to make what I'm making, not one of several possibilities selected at random (X of the Bear, X of the Bat, X of the Billy Goat, etc.)

And I want to make a consistent product, especially if it's something I'm going to stack in my inventory.

I'd agree except when it comes to experimentation, if there will be such a system. I believe there should be some variation there, with many of the variable controllable (and mostly dependent on resource quality and skill). Once you create a pattern, schematic or recipe you're satisfied with (or is at the limit of your skill), there should be no variation once it hits the factory floor. I'd also support not having "X of the Bear" style finished product.

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Shut up. Just shut up.

You had me at "depletion" and "scarcity". You had me at "depletion" and "scarcity."

I understand higher base camp quality/complexity is achievable. Will it be possible to upgrade crafted camps? Blog mentioned adding resource, which sounds great. Will there be slots to add a craftable item to slightly increase the hopper capacity or mining speed or perhaps npc security? Part of my fun in Eve was planning/fitting out higher level mining ships with higher level upgrades as skill progressed.

Will there be different camp types depending for different resource? hunting? farm? lumber?

I'm excited about the resource depletion and competing against other gatherers. Once depleted, will the resource spawn in a different location? That chase was a lot of fun in SWG. Eve moon mining resources seem to come back in the exact same location, which is not that challenging.

Will there be a survey skill?

Resource quality - Will this be a tiered system, with only differences being between a high sec and low sec area? I'm hoping there will be more variation than Eve. Is this a simple green/blue/purple-like themepark resource/item level system? You hinted at different quality of same resource effecting crafted quality. Can you flesh that out at all?

I'd like to be able to upgrade my cart or wagon... Slots for armor, wheels, cargo capacity expanders, extra horses or mules

Nihimon wrote:

There's been some discussion recently about the difficulty of making knowledge-based skills in PFO, when the players have access to Information Age technology that will let them instantly share that knowledge with anyone in the world. Specifically with regards to character knowledge of prices in faraway markets.

It occurs to me that one possible solution to this problem is to make the actual underlying knowledge variable, so that the important thing in-game is the character's skill.

To illustrate the problem more concretely, consider the global market in PFO, with character's training Knowledge(Market) skills to get access to each hex's local prices. This creates a strong incentive for players to rely on a single character with this skill to provide them this information. Once any player has that information, then they can use the internet to distribute that information to anyone else in the world, instantly and at no cost to themselves, in a manner that is totally undetectable by the game.

Now consider a system where the price of any commodity varies by a random amount from +30% to +60% of list price - think of it as a "corruption penalty". The character's Knowledge(Market) skill for the local market where the commodity is listed not only gives him access to his unique price for that commodity, but it also reduces the corruption penalty.

In the latter system, it doesn't really matter if Bob can share the prices he sees with the whole world, because only Bob is guaranteed to get that price. Doesn't this create an incentive for players to train their own Knowledge(Market) skills? And for Companies to want access to a large number of characters with Knowledge(Market) skills in order to gain efficient access to the broadest market possible?

I realize this would be fairly complex to code, and there would be a significant amount of data to store the unique quoted price of each commodity for each player who has requested that price, until the item is no longer listed.

That's an interesting take. I like your idea that players should have an incentive to train knowledge-based skills, but not sure a random corruption penalty is the way to implement that.

As a beginning or unskilled merchant, I would hate a varying or random charge tacked onto my goods other than a modest and universal ah cut/drain. I might understand that my lack of skill limits me from participating in the economy compared to a pure merchant and that there should be a difference in capability. But a large or random charge could force me to unlist my goods and go underground and sell word of mouth. On the other hand, too small a charge would not be an incentive to reduce it through skills. A black market is interesting to me in many respects but could be destructive to the devs' vision of an instant knowledge auction market.

I guess I'd rather see high variation in crafted goods determined by variation in crafting skill, resource quality and scarcity. And I mean something more complex than a system of green, blue, purple and orange coded items.

It would better financially and reputationally to reward players who have skill in either resource gathering or crafting and create knowledge-based pricing gaps.

I suppose that doesn't help pure merchants or middlemen though. Having access to additional markets beyond the local hex is a start, though in principle I don't think market omniscience is applicable to the fantasy genre. Cheaper contracts at higher skill levels? Cheaper transport tools/pack animals? Lower taxes? accounting tools? A derivatives market for the highest skilled? At some point a system and ui to support such incentives outgrows its genre.

Nihimon wrote:
Megatroid wrote:
How can I know about prices and goods in Far Far Away unless a player character tells me, I read a paper on a town wall, or I get on my mule and check it out myself?

How about your network of contacts? This would be abstracted into your localized Knowledge(Markets) skill.

How about I abstract you into a bowl of ice cream and eat your face?

J/K but I had hoped I'd actually be interacting with people.

Blog wrote:
Supply and demand create pricing signals. Scarcity affects price. Distance affects price. The complexity of the value chain that is required to complete and deliver a finished good affects price. And the accumulation of wealth allows the purchase of high–impact in–game benefits. Virtual economies tend to reduce operating margins to razor–thin slices very quickly, meaning that the only way to make significant profit is to operate at tremendous scale. This rewards groups of people who can coordinate their actions effectively over long periods of time and over substantial in–game distances. Markets change in response to local needs, and finding a place where one can extract arbitrage can be a very lucrative venture—at least, until others find it too, and the market self–corrects through competition.

Pathfinder's take on sandbox economics sounds interesting, and very much like Eve, at first glance. Perhaps too much like Eve in the sense of the speed and miraculous availability of information the description implies to me. I don't think an instant information economy that happens through seemingly networked and computerized auctions, in which all goods, prices, terms and locations are visible, is true to a Fantasy genre. I believe there should be a relatively simple market chock with hurdles and disruption, resources that vary by quality within region, crafted goods that vary by quality...and fatter or at least more slowly correcting margins.

I'd tread carefully when imagining contracts, derivatives, options, etc. I would think these, if they exist, should not be handled through a traditional mmo auction house or vendor ui. We need a ui with pen and paper, bulletin boards, etc.

A word of mouth (and highly localized or individual shop) economy may not translate well to MMO play for non merchant players, but it does create an elaborate and player-driven in-between-the-seams merchant and transport class. I hope we don't miss out on that.

I'll reserve judgement for a bit, but I believe arbitrage in Fantasy should be more about quality and scarcity than weighing travel costs over distance. How can I know about prices and goods in Far Far Away unless a player character tells me, I read a paper on a town wall, or I get on my mule and check it out myself? That takes time.

I'd agree and want an economy to move toward equal pricing, but if all resources and merchant goods are of the same quality and that "self-correction" is instantaneous, then we are playing Eve again, no?

I do remember auction vendors in major cities, but people generally only used them to dump trash quickly or sell buffs. I don't remember them being linked. I probably left before that.

I had my own vendors and shop and enjoyed working local price discrepancies. Getting to know my market and dominating an area was the best part about being a merchant.

You actually had to get off your butt and check out the competition. That meant exploring other regions and planets, learning new things about the game. The best shops were often grouped in "mini malls" or player cities. At times, I became my competition's best customer to have his or her high quality item in my shop. Ultimately, it was at times my class and profession...and with the exception of guildies, my primary raison d'etre in the game. Whatever it was, it definately was not a side effect.

WoW and EVE both made that unfun for me through their respective efficiency. You do not scout prices as a seller-You simply undercut your competition and/or rely on volume. Volume isn't fun. Variation is though. From a buyer's side, yes, you no longer need to do any homework. Am I wrong for liking that kind of homework?

Nvm. I found the site.

/raises hand

I like the idea of a prospecting skill and tree. If I'm going to specialize in harvesting as a de facto profession, I should be able to distinguish myself from a specialized combat toon. But I'd also like to do more than just gather more resources than non gatherers. I'd like to gather our refine better resources.

That was about my only gripe with eve gathering. My skills allowed me to either gather faster or to make more of an alloy. But I felt I was always chasing basic stuff or that there was never variety or rarity.

Now this was far better than watching my toon pick a flower from a single node as in wow whack a rock even in MO. Don't get me wrong, but I'd like to see things shift. It would be fun to do more a bit more than arbitrage a billion basic units of crap ore for a penny. I'd like my specialization and risk to net me a resource that may be potentially or temporarily rare.

I understand the underlying database of resources and stats may be difficult, and I'd agree that swg probably took that too far from a game maintenance standpoint. But the basic effect on rarity and scarcity, crafting and planning was incredibly immersive.

I experienced belt mining and moon mining in eve. Both were very rich and complex but unfortunately unrelated. Belt mining with a mixed group of miners and security was very interactive socially. Skilling up, getting and upgrading a ship and lasers was rewarding. Fending off can tippers was a blast. Would have been even better with more complex resources or at least changing resources.

Moon mining was great from a tools and ui perspective. Factories and logistics are amazing, but because you were not at the location there was no risk. It also seemed to lose the social aspect. Although you could use skills to get the hot spot and there was depletion, the resources didn't vary. Making higher tier components is fun but the lack of variation isn't. Everyone makes them. Low sec or highsec you are still chasing that penny.

Heres hoping fpo is as rich but can mix things up a bit.

Would love to see simple digging/harvesting machine or other tools used to mine, garden, chop wood, etc. These would be craftable themselves, made of leather/skin, wood, simple metals, etc. You would interact with the machines, inserting some resource or money component to keep them going a la SWG.

Would like to also see shifting spawns of resources with more than themepark common, rare, epic classifications. Want stats.

Eve's model is also interesting. Translating that to Fantasy could be cool too. I like Eve's mining cycles and tools. Adding crafted or natural tier components to crafted tools (like Eve mining crystals) would be interesting. What Eve is missing for me is somewhat more complex resource stats that effect stats of the crafted product.