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Auction Houses ruin every game ever

Posted by Rajai Sunday March 16 2008 at 1:00PM
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There used to be a time when Auction houses were valuable tools for the speed of obtaining items without having to search hundreds of player bazaars, people could compete on prices and undercut and really wouldn't have to leave their character on overnight to sell something
I used to think they were great too, back when people sold something, someone would buy it, put it on, sell their old junk.. be happy and move on..

but nowadays Auction houses rarely have buyers, mostly they're full of people trying to make a quick dime buying everything they can think of and marking it up heavily

I've seen it on WoW, final fantasy(to a lesser extent, final fantasy's auction houses are great) rappelz runescape... pretty much any game that has an auction house is full of profiteers nowadays.
In fact you can almost guarantee your items aren't going to be bought by someone that will use them.. more like sell them back marked up..
which happens in the real world and its cool and all

but sometimes you'll find one player buys money online and pretty much buys everything in the auction house he can find
Marked up double he'll double his investments minus auction costs.. if they sell..
and it ruins the economy
Sure maybe other people wont be so greedy and it happens all the time as well, you see people undercutting this one person out of sheer spite, I've done it. i hate merchant characters.

but back when there weren't auction houses you didnt have the luxury of finding the best price, you'd spend hours looking for that piece of gear that suits you perfectly from player-made shops. Those were the fun days.

Some of the things that limit profiteering are auction houses showing a list of what the last 20 people paid for an item.. silent auctions which dont tell you what they cost(a la FFXI)
making an item bind on equip if you buy it at the AH
charging exponentially more for each time a person uses the AH to sell something
yada yada

Comment if you want but if you're one of those people don't assume that I'll give a crap about your opinion or even waste my time reading it.

hanshotfirst writes:

"but back when there weren't auction houses you didnt have the luxury of finding the best price, you'd spend hours looking for that piece of gear that suits you perfectly from player-made shops. Those were the fun days."

If you don't think the same type of shenanigans happened back then that you're attributing to auction houses, you're pretty naive.

Sun Mar 16 2008 8:28PM Report
Rajai writes:

I knew it happened back then, it just made it a full-time job for the people trying to do so and made it less worth their time.

Sun Mar 16 2008 9:02PM Report
hanshotfirst writes:

And looking for that piece of gear that suited you perfectly was frequently also a full-time job.

Don't get me wrong; I get what you're saying about people gaming the system. My take on it however is that player-driven economies suck in general, auction houses notwithstanding.

In a perfect world, if everyone was reasonable and fair minded, it could be great. But that ain't teh interweb.

Sun Mar 16 2008 11:46PM Report
Flungmuk writes:

Player driven economy has the potential to be good. But often turns into a money grab by people that will slap any price on anything without researching what they are selling.

Right now I'm playing SWG again and I see prices from 5000 to 500000 for the same thing. Obviously I buy the one for 5000. Markets seem to get flooded by common items that have low to high prices and probably have no chance of sale.

Supply and demand seems to have no impact in many games.

I wonder if a game created a market system that allowed for more regulation or information.  As you set your price, you are told what the market rate is and your % chance of sale based on what the market rates is. If a player tried to sell a rusty sword for 10000gp when it is commonly sold for 1gp. The system would display the % to sell and maybe even suggest a better price. Maybe even have it inform the buyer this item is over priced. Sort of like an in game Better Business Bureau.

Mon Mar 17 2008 10:59AM Report
grimfall writes:

The prolbems with some of your suggestions to 'fix' the AH's is that all it will do is create a 'black market'' auctioning system.

We used to use the VN boards to work out trades in Everques, that was a lot of fun, but could also be frusrating.  There were lots of 'trade only' items.  It's was like people had taken 2000 years of economics knowledge and flushed it down the toilet.

Mon Mar 17 2008 7:12PM Report
Flungmuk writes:

Black Market :) reminds me of the days of standing around at EC tunnel with a hotkey of what your selling. Pre Luclin.

Tue Mar 18 2008 10:49AM Report
thorwood writes:

I like auction houses.  It means I can be out having fun fighting the good fight while my items are on sale.  "Bind on equip" is good because it stops a market being flooded with cheap second hand equipment.  I used to try manipulating the auction house in Everquest.  I sometimes made  a profit and at other times  you could not sell at the marked up price.  The surest profit was to buy cheap and sell at a reasonable price.  It was all part of the fun.

Wed Mar 19 2008 5:40AM Report writes:
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