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Chark
01-29-2014, 11:31 AM
They've hired an actual economist to help them with that side of things, so I imagine that realistically they had PLANS in place for all of this, but nothing was set in stone until they had the time to develop it more fully with a professional.


edit: Moved this to a separate thread to avoid hijacking the other one.


Hey guys, this keeps coming up so I want to clarify it a bit:

In the past we've retained a consultant with a PHD in economics for a limited time. At this time, we don't have an economist full time on our staff.

There are a number of systems that affect economy (card rarity, tournament entry fees, AH functions, PvE activities and rewards, etc), but we'll likely not share details until we are ready to roll these systems out to the public. For now, I don't have a good estimate for when these will roll out or in what order they'll happen. There are a lot of moving pieces right now.

nicosharp
01-29-2014, 11:32 AM
I am happy with baby steps at this point. Without a strong functioning engine to support both draft and sealed, the economy does not matter, and more streamlined gameplay with less synch time and less input lag time should continue to be the focus.

I know they are fleshing out the economy and have more to say, but what is the point of step 2 if step 1 is not complete?

^(what he said)

Nekrabyte
01-29-2014, 11:37 AM
Why is there so much transparency of these features? Shouldn't this stuff already be planned out?

there's a good chance they already have it VERY planned out internally... but i mean, it's not exactly on them to share EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of their development, especially because you never know when something might be changed while still in development, and if you are TOO transparent then you get nothing but people upset about changes posting all over the place on the forums. better that they reveal as they go, in my opinion.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 12:17 PM
There are a number of systems that affect economy (card rarity, tournament entry fees, AH functions, PvE activities and rewards, etc), but we'll likely not share details until we are ready to roll these systems out to the public. For now, I don't have a good estimate for when these will roll out or in what order they'll happen. There are a lot of moving pieces right now.

I can understand not revealing specific parameters (legendary spawn rate, primal pack spawn rate, loot table drop rates, AH fee structure, etc) and even not revealing specific detailed functions (crafting, gold sinks, UI layout specifics, etc). However, I do not understand why we cannot know at least some general facts about where you're headed.

Can we at least find out some very basic details?
- Will the AH be bid/ask like EVE or GW2? If not, why not?
- Will there be an official market-based currency exchange between Gold and Platinum or will it be ad hoc through some other less transparent mechanism like p2p trading? If the latter, why?
- What sort of non-AH trading will be possible (direct trade functions, "mail" system, etc)?

By the time you roll it out to the public, it will be too late for you to implement much feedback, especially in regards to basic structure. If you are not willing to share yet, can we at least know why the secrecy is so important?

bojanglesz
01-29-2014, 12:33 PM
Glad the economist thing was cleared up. I've seen that posted a 100 times now.

Chark
01-29-2014, 03:24 PM
I can understand not revealing specific parameters (legendary spawn rate, primal pack spawn rate, loot table drop rates, AH fee structure, etc) and even not revealing specific detailed functions (crafting, gold sinks, UI layout specifics, etc). However, I do not understand why we cannot know at least some general facts about where you're headed.

Can we at least find out some very basic details?
- Will the AH be bid/ask like EVE or GW2? If not, why not?
- Will there be an official market-based currency exchange between Gold and Platinum or will it be ad hoc through some other less transparent mechanism like p2p trading? If the latter, why?
- What sort of non-AH trading will be possible (direct trade functions, "mail" system, etc)?

By the time you roll it out to the public, it will be too late for you to implement much feedback, especially in regards to basic structure. If you are not willing to share yet, can we at least know why the secrecy is so important?

I can answer some of these questions. In general, we are always hesitant to disclose things we have planned, because people tend to accept them as facts. This causes problems for when we want to go in a different direction, or take away something.

- Legendary card drop rate I believe is set to 1 in 11 right now and may end up somewhere between that and 1 in 9. I don't think this is too difficult to derive, so I don't have an issue mentioning the odds.

- Primal pack spawn rate I'd rather keep a surprise for people. I think it's more exciting to learn this on your own. It's definitely higher then 1 in 11.

- Loot table drop rates I of course can't discuss.

- AH fee structure: we are looking at 3-5% fee on sold items. There will likely be a listing fee to prevent people spamming items that are unlikely to sell.

- AH is going to be the normal AH (not bid/ask). There are a couple of factors that contribute to this. Given that our cards are non-substitutable goods, it makes sense to first develop this style of AH. I happen to agree that bid/ask for substitutable goods is a better experience for people, but the normal system can handle both types of goods, while the bid/ask has a difficult time handling unique cards. In the ideal world, I would want both systems, but if I had to choose one, it would be the one that can handle all of the transactions.

- There will not be a straight plat/gold exchange on the AH. Players can of course use other commodities as a vehicle to translate plat into gold.

- In terms of non-AH trading: We have both a mail system and a p2p trading planned, although there is no specific timeline for when either will roll out.


We are not opposed to listening to feedback from players. I would argue that any time you roll something out to the public, you can still implement feedback, if we are convinced we were wrong on something. The important thing to keep in mind is that designing systems is a constant tradeoff. There are a tons of features we can dream up, but only so many hours in the day for the engineers to implement. Feedback from the community is great and we definitely learn from it, but often it ends up as a source of a frustration for everyone. Usually it's not a question of 'hey, have you though of this feature?' but rather 'where on the list of features, does this get prioritized?' and worse: 'what do I cut in place of this feature to ship this product?'

Kroan
01-29-2014, 04:13 PM
Very insightful and interesting post. Thanks for sharing Chark!

Aradon
01-29-2014, 04:14 PM
Thank you for the information!


- There will not be a straight plat/gold exchange on the AH. Players can of course use other commodities as a vehicle to translate plat into gold.

- In terms of non-AH trading: We have both a mail system and a p2p trading planned, although there is no specific timeline for when either will roll out.

Is there/will there be anything in place that would prevent someone from manually exchanging these? For example, advertising in a trade channel, "Selling plat, 100g each" and then using P2P to exchange these goods? And/or is plat going to be able to be listed on the AH for gold, and vice versa? Could I put up an auction of 10 plat (bid in gold), for example?

Yoss
01-29-2014, 04:21 PM
Is there/will there be anything in place that would prevent someone from manually exchanging these? For example, advertising in a trade channel, "Selling plat, 100g each" and then using P2P to exchange these goods? And/or is plat going to be able to be listed on the AH for gold, and vice versa? Could I put up an auction of 10 plat (bid in gold), for example?

I'm in the middle of composing a response as well and this was on my list, sorta. I get the impression that you will not be able to list currency for currency (but I asked why this should be so). It seems they expect the conversion to go through commodity trades.

For example, you have Plat and want Gold. You use your Plat to buy something (anything). You take that something and relist it with a price tag in Gold. When the item sells, you've now essentially converted Plat to Gold, though you had to pay the AH fees twice, which sucks.

Given that, it is very likely you'll see exactly what you said where people spam chat looking for p2p currency trades.

We discussed the pitfalls of abstracting the exchange rate back in August and now it seems that we're marching into those pits despite knowing about them.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 04:24 PM
Very glad to have answers, Chark, thank you!


I can answer some of these questions. In general, we are always hesitant to disclose things we have planned, because people tend to accept them as facts. This causes problems for when we want to go in a different direction, or take away something.
Understood. Making promises can get you into trouble when plans change.


AH is going to be the normal AH (not bid/ask). There are a couple of factors that contribute to this. Given that our cards are non-substitutable goods, it makes sense to first develop this style of AH. I happen to agree that bid/ask for substitutable goods is a better experience for people, but the normal system can handle both types of goods, while the bid/ask has a difficult time handling unique cards. In the ideal world, I would want both systems, but if I had to choose one, it would be the one that can handle all of the transactions.
I am very disappointed that bid/ask is not currently being pursued. The community discussed the economy at length back in August and one of the big concerns was exactly what you're mentioning here about double-back stats and how it makes cards less like standard commodities (more "non-substitutable" as you call it). However, to the comment that "bid/ask has a difficult time handling unique cards", we did come up with ideas for how to preserve uniqueness while also implementing a bid/ask structure. One does not need to choose between having bid/ask and giving highlight to the double-back; you can do both. In design speak, there is actually very little trade-off between the two once you frame the structure properly. Card uniqueness and bid/ask do seem at odd upon first glance, but a closer look reveals that the two are compatible.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the thread I linked above:

The Hex Bid/ASK System (HexBAS)
The goal is to avoid the inefficient market formats used in games like World of Warcraft and MTGO and places like eBay. The basis of the HexBAS idea is a system like real world stock markets and games like Guild Wars 2 and EVE, which have been shown efficient and effective.

There is one problem for Hex, however, since the cards are not perfect commodities due to the potential value of the double-back stats. (A card with 98% XP and an achievement or two is likely worth more than one with 5% XP and no achievements.) This can be fixed with some small alterations for how items are listed. Note that other commodities (equipment, currencies) can work under a traditional bid/ask system...

•BUYING: Type in a search for what you want. Click on an item type you wish to buy. (You do not select a specific listing.) If you are interested in particular double-back stats, enter the features you want: alternate art (yes/no/don't care), minimum % XP, and must-have achievements (checkboxes). Enter the price you wish to pay and click Buy At This Price. This is called a Bid Limit Order...


Was something like this considered? If so, why was it deemed inferior to the eBay style? If not, would you now consider it and let us know what you think?


There will not be a straight plat/gold exchange on the AH. Players can of course use other commodities as a vehicle to translate plat into gold.
Would you mind stating the reasoning behind this? To me, it seems like it would be very easy to, for example, allow quantities of Platinum to be listed as the item for sale using a Gold price tag. Such an idea works even with standard auctions.


The important thing to keep in mind is that designing systems is a constant tradeoff. There are a tons of features we can dream up, but only so many hours in the day for the engineers to implement. Feedback from the community is great and we definitely learn from it, but often it ends up as a source of a frustration for everyone. Usually it's not a question of 'hey, have you though of this feature?' but rather 'where on the list of features, does this get prioritized?' and worse: 'what do I cut in place of this feature to ship this product?'
I hear you. I'm aslo an engineer and well aware of the trade-offs of time, money, and features. It's always sad to see dreams diminish in scope as they collide with reality, but there's no way around it. Being aware of how trade-offs work is why I've been asking to know sooner rather than later about AH structure; it is MUCH cheaper to change course early than late, and the cost is actually negligible if you catch it soon enough. This is why I was so vocal about it back in August (I'm hoping that effort was not wasted).

If the ship has not yet sailed on AH structure, I'd love the chance to come down and chat about it. (If you can't tell, this is pretty important to me.)

Chark
01-29-2014, 04:37 PM
Thank you for the information!



Is there/will there be anything in place that would prevent someone from manually exchanging these? For example, advertising in a trade channel, "Selling plat, 100g each" and then using P2P to exchange these goods? And/or is plat going to be able to be listed on the AH for gold, and vice versa? Could I put up an auction of 10 plat (bid in gold), for example?

I don't see a scenario where people can't trade gold and/or plat in p2p, so it stands to reason that p2p gold <-> plat transactions would exist.

There won't be plat for gold (and vice versa) listings on the AH. We can revisit that decision, but I think we want at least some layer of abstraction between the two currencies.

Cory_Jones
01-29-2014, 04:59 PM
Yoss...
we LOVE having members of the community visit us, you are always welcome to come on a Wednesday night and hang out with us
...eat some pizza... get drunk... the usual

:)

mach
01-29-2014, 05:06 PM
I don't see a scenario where people can't trade gold and/or plat in p2p, so it stands to reason that p2p gold <-> plat transactions would exist.

There won't be plat for gold (and vice versa) listings on the AH. We can revisit that decision, but I think we want at least some layer of abstraction between the two currencies.

Why are there two currencies to begin with? If you can freely convert between the two (whether it's easy or tedious) why not just have one currency?

ossuary
01-29-2014, 05:10 PM
As I, Yoss, and several others on the forums have discussed at length in the past few months, a Bid/Ask system can absolutely support unique versions of cards, with absolutely no loss in quality. I essence, a properly designed Bid/Ask system contains a complete and fully functional standard auction system inside of it, while having a plethora of additional features that make it exponentially more useful and powerful.

In fact, NOT having a Bid/Ask system would actually make it harder for people to successfully sell specialty or unique items, because with a more limited listing and search interface, those special versions of cards will be almost impossible to find, and buyers will invariably ignore it all and just choose the lowest priced item every time.

To overcome the concerns of those rare items being lost in the shuffle of a Bid/Ask system, all it requires is database flags that are searchable. Like so:

If you are buying, and you just want the cheapest price, just search for the card. You get the lowest price available, or if none are available, you put in the price you're willing to pay, and anyone who is willing to sell for that can fill your order.

If you are buying, and you need a specific feature (say, extended art already unlocked), you search for the card, and add the search flag for extended art. Now you will only see the cards with this feature unlocked on them, and can choose the best price from those.

If you are selling a generic card, just list it as per normal.

If you are selling a card that you feel is more valuable than a standard version (it is foiled, or it has several tournament winning stamps on it that make it rare or unique), all you have to do is list it at whatever price you feel is justified. The system will automatically have all of the extra database flags marked. People looking for those extra features will find them by searching, and will understand the price for those will be higher than a "vanilla" version.

Maybe cards with X number of "special" flags can automatically get listed in a "rarities" section as well, for people who aren't looking for any specific card but just want to see rare / cool items up for sale.

As a sidenote, if you want to encourage people to list their rare, hard to find, or special cards, charging a listing fee may not be a good idea, as it may take time for really fringe or special items to find the right buyer. Either that, or there should be a special type of listing for rare or unique cards that lasts until the item sells instead of expiring after X days. Extremely valuable items often require more than 7 days to actually move product.

Lawlschool
01-29-2014, 05:18 PM
I can think of a few reasons why having a built-in exchange for Plat/Gold isn't a great idea.

First, if you can trade in Plat for Gold, you've basically made PvE P2W. No one wants that, so that shouldn't even be a consideration.

Gold to Plat is a bit different, but also not ideal. First off, inflation. If there's a static exchange rate, it's difficult to account for the natural inflation that will occur in the PvE economy. Say there's a static rate of 100g for 1p. In the early stages of the game 100g could be a lot, but by end game - or in later expansions - 100g might be a drop in the bucket for most players. This could subsequently devalue buying plat, as it becomes easier and easier to grind out gold. CZE could always adjust exchange rates to account for inflation, but that has its own problems. By what metric would that adjustment, or even just the initial exchange rate, be measured? Best guess would be the time it takes for the average player to get X amount of gold, and keep the time consistent. But then you run in to the problem of turning PvE into a grindfest to support PvP (provided there aren't more attractive options for your gold than turning it to plat for boosters). There's a psychological aspect to being able to readily assign a plat value to your gold collection, where now your choices are either convert your hoard in to boosters, or use it on more PvE specific things. My fear for a direct exchange is that Hex becomes like every other F2P game out there, where you either grind the free aspect or pay out of pocket. This could be exacerbated if/when Plat cash-outs to real currency becomes available.

Additionally, if you create a direct Gold - Plat exchange, you take power away from the players to develop the PvE economy from the ground up. By saying "This is how much your Gold is worth in Plat," you prevent players from deciding on their own how much gold should be worth. This also brings back the inflation problem. By not having a direct exchange and instead letting players figure out a secondary market exchange rate, you let the economy adjust itself.

There's also the gold-sink problem. If there's a direct Gold-Plat exchange, presumably the gold used "disappears" from the PvE economy, which prevents the economy from growing. If instead you have a player-directed exchange (either by having people buy plat for gold from each other, or through buying cards / equips with gold and re-listing in plat) you keep the gold in the economy, letting gold retain its value.

Chark
01-29-2014, 05:19 PM
Why are there two currencies to begin with? If you can freely convert between the two (whether it's easy or tedious) why not just have one currency?

Because given the premise that some portion of the game is free to play and some portion of the game is not, it's more difficult to balance the system around one currency.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 05:32 PM
Ah, back to August we go! :D (We've discussed all these things for many many hours back in August, see link in my sig.)


I can think of a few reasons why having a built-in exchange for Plat/Gold isn't a great idea.

First, if you can trade in Plat for Gold, you've basically made PvE P2W. No one wants that, so that shouldn't even be a consideration.
Yet, you CAN convert Plat to Gold, and there's no reasonable way to prevent it, so by that same logic PVE is "pay to win", though this is not actually an accurate definition of "pay to win". "Pay to win" should be defined as "paying money to obtain benefits that lead to a competitive edge and that cannot be gained through alternate means, like spending extra time". With that definition, it is not "pay to win".

If you're stuck with not wanting players to be able to buy Gold with Plat, do you have a reasonable means of accomplishing that goal? We discussed the currency segregation issue at some length in the other thread and the eventual conclusion was that there will always be some way to convert the currencies unless CZE disables trade completely in every possible avenue.


Gold to Plat is a bit different, but also not ideal. First off, inflation. If there's a static exchange rate, it's difficult to account for the natural inflation that will occur in the PvE economy.
I'm snipping out the rest of the post since only the premise is important for my response. The remainder of the quoted post is excellent for showing why a fixed-by-CZE exchange would be terrible. The problem is, we're not going to have a fixed exchange rate and I'm not asking for one. As your lengthy discussion implies, exchange needs to be market-based, which it seems it will be in the current plan though it will not be transparent like it would be with a formal AH means of direct currency trade.

mach
01-29-2014, 05:36 PM
Because given the premise that some portion of the game is free to play and some portion of the game is not, it's more difficult to balance the system around one currency.

I don't see how having both makes things any easier to balance when you can trade one for the other. You still effectively have one currency. Gold and platinum are just like two different denominations of coins.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 05:36 PM
Yoss...
we LOVE having members of the community visit us, you are always welcome to come on a Wednesday night and hang out with us
...eat some pizza... get drunk... the usual

:)

I'm hoping to do just that! Is your "AH guy" there on Wednesday nights? If not, maybe we could plan ahead for it?

I might pass on the getting drunk, but pizza sounds great. :)

Yoss
01-29-2014, 05:40 PM
I don't see how having both makes things any easier to balance when you can trade one for the other. You still effectively have one currency. Gold and platinum are just like two different denominations of coins.

But the fact that they float against each other is a key point. If they were tied at a fixed rate (or merged into a single currency, which is the same thing in the end), then every loot table would have to be sent through the Accounting department to calculate how much money the loot table is costing CZE. In other words, they'd be directly monetizing PVE.

With a floating exchange, however, they do not have to worry about this. PVE is then worth exactly what people are willing to pay for it, rather than a pre-defined amount that CZE is handing out. Also key, is that the Plat is now coming from players, who paid CZE for it, rather than from CZE directly, who would lose profit by doing so.

(This is another topic covered in the links in my sig.)

Chark
01-29-2014, 05:45 PM
•BUYING: Type in a search for what you want. Click on an item type you wish to buy. (You do not select a specific listing.) If you are interested in particular double-back stats, enter the features you want: alternate art (yes/no/don't care), minimum % XP, and must-have achievements (checkboxes). Enter the price you wish to pay and click Buy At This Price. This is called a Bid Limit Order...

I think this design frustrates players who want to browse for a range of features on a card and are looking to find the best combination of features for the price. They may be willing to trade off some features and will assign different value on different combinations of features. With your proposal, they would have to continue to adjust their filters and to see the cheapest outputs (all others would be hidden). With auction listings, they would just be able to browse listings.


Would you mind stating the reasoning behind this? To me, it seems like it would be very easy to, for example, allow quantities of Platinum to be listed as the item for sale using a Gold price tag. Such an idea works even with standard auctions.

Implementing this isn't difficult. We specifically want a layer of abstraction between the two currencies for the centralized trading system.


If the ship has not yet sailed on AH structure, I'd love the chance to come down and chat about it. (If you can't tell, this is pretty important to me.)

As Cory said, you're welcome to come down for our Wednesday game night.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 05:49 PM
Thank you for the continued responses, I really appreciate it! :)


I think this design frustrates players who want to browse for a range of features on a card and are looking to find the best combination of features for the price. They may be willing to trade off some features and will assign different value on different combinations of features. With your proposal, they would have to continue to adjust their filters and to see the cheapest outputs (all others would be hidden). With auction listings, they would just be able to browse listings.


I agree that it would be frustrating to have to tweak filters if all you really want is just to "window shop". That thought was also taken into account. I was trying not to just quote the entire thread in my previous response. Here's the relevant portion:

•THE BOOK: All outstanding Bids and Asks for a given commodity are kept in a sorted list for easy reference (this is the "book" for that commodity). Items are not grouped up; they are all shown individually. The list must show relevant double-back statistics so that a high Bid or Ask has context.

So you can see that since each listing is individual and sorted by price it makes it very easy to "window shop" if you're not sure exactly what you want.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=26789



Implementing this isn't difficult. We specifically want a layer of abstraction between the two currencies for the centralized trading system.

Is this to help maintain the illusion of separation between free-to-play content and premium content, I suppose? This is reasonable, though there will be some (like myself) that see through it easily. Some will be fooled though. I guess it's a trade between this perception on the one hand with enabling predation and encouraging chat-spam on the other.

By predation, I mean that when market information (like the exchange rate) is obscured, it gives power to those who spend the time to pierce the veil. Those people can then exploit the ignorant with unfavorable trades. The chat-spam will be people doing their currency exchange through p2p trading. (For those who played Diablo 2 and did any serious trading, you should be having painful flashbacks right about now.)

So, it is a trade-off. The path of perception may be the right way to go, but I hope the down-sides were considered in the decision.

Chark
01-29-2014, 05:52 PM
So essentially you're asking for a standard AH implementation within the Bid/Ask system. I don't necessarily disagree that this would be best, but it's certainly more expensive in terms of dev time then just a standard AH implementation.

mach
01-29-2014, 06:01 PM
But the fact that they float against each other is a key point. If they were tied at a fixed rate (or merged into a single currency, which is the same thing in the end), then every loot table would have to be sent through the Accounting department to calculate how much money the loot table is costing CZE. In other words, they'd be directly monetizing PVE.

With a floating exchange, however, they do not have to worry about this. PVE is then worth exactly what people are willing to pay for it, rather than a pre-defined amount that CZE is handing out. Also key, is that the Plat is now coming from players, who paid CZE for it, rather than from CZE directly, who would lose profit by doing so.

(This is another topic covered in the links in my sig.)

I don't see how floating the two currencies solves anything. They'll still be monetizing PvE ... just indirectly rather than directly. The gold which drops from a boss still has an effective value in platinum, whatever the exchange rate ends up being. So the accountants will still need to get involved.

My point is that making it harder for players by having two currencies or by not allowing direct conversions on the AH doesn't change the underlying economics of the system. You're just making players spend more time playing the market and less time playing the game.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:01 PM
So essentially you're asking for a standard AH implementation within the Bid/Ask system. I don't necessarily disagree that this would be best, but it's certainly more expensive in terms of dev time then just a standard AH implementation.

Yes, it is more feature-rich than a standard AH and would therefore take more resources to create. If that kills the idea, so be it; reality bites, as they say. However, if you begin with the bid/ask end in mind, you might very well be able to implement incrementally, starting with the ASK side of things (sellers listing stuff) and progressing from there.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:06 PM
I don't see how floating the two currencies solves anything. They'll still be monetizing PvE ... just indirectly rather than directly. The gold which drops from a boss still has an effective value in platinum, whatever the exchange rate ends up being. So the accountants will still need to get involved.
If fixed exchange currency (or unified currency):
Loot given to other player for Gold
Gold given to CZE for Plat
- The gold vanishes
- CZE has just effectively paid Plat for the player's time, which is essentially losing money

If floating exchange:
Loot given to other player for Gold
Gold given to other player for Plat
- The gold remains in economy
- The plat remains in economy
- CZE is neutral rather than losing

Chark
01-29-2014, 06:08 PM
In essence, a properly designed Bid/Ask system contains a complete and fully functional standard auction system inside of it, while having a plethora of additional features that make it exponentially more useful and powerful.

I agree that some iteration of this is strictly better then just an normal AH (because it contains the normal AH). With this implementation there is an additional overhead in development time, which we can't afford right now.

mach
01-29-2014, 06:12 PM
If fixed exchange currency (or unified currency):
Loot given to other player for Gold
Gold given to CZE for Plat (Gold vanishes and CZE has just effectively paid $US for the player's time)

If floating exchange:
Loot given to other player for Gold
Gold given to other player for Plat (which was bought from CZE, so CZE is profiting rather than losing. The gold remains in the economy.)

But if the gold remains in the economy, you have inflation, which will eventually kill the economy.

In a stable economy the "gold given to CZE for Plat" will equal the "Plat given to CZE for gold" and so will cancel each other out. An unstable economy will collapse in either case.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:12 PM
I agree that some iteration of this is strictly better then just an normal AH (because it contains the normal AH). With this implementation there is an additional overhead in development time, which we can't afford right now.

It is completely reasonable and prudent to recognize your resource constraints. Hopefully you can build with a bid/ask future in mind at least, so that you can continue to improve with less cost later on after Hex is raking in millions for you every month. :)

Lawlschool
01-29-2014, 06:13 PM
Yet, you CAN convert Plat to Gold, and there's no reasonable way to prevent it, so by that same logic PVE is "pay to win", though this is not actually an accurate definition of "pay to win". "Pay to win" should be defined as "paying money to obtain benefits that lead to a competitive edge and that cannot be gained through alternate means, like spending extra time". With that definition, it is not "pay to win".

If you're stuck with not wanting players to be able to buy Gold with Plat, do you have a reasonable means of accomplishing that goal? We discussed the currency segregation issue at some length in the other thread and the eventual conclusion was that there will always be some way to convert the currencies unless CZE disables trade completely in every possible avenue.


I don't have a problem with an indirect exchange of Plat to Gold (e.g. buy a raid legendary with Plat, relist for gold), just like I don't have a problem with indirect Gold to Plat. My issue is with a direct exchange rate, which is what I originally thought you were implying.

Though I think I was too quick to dismiss Plat to Gold as P2W. That'd only be a problem if there was actually something you could buy directly from PvE vendors for gold that gave you a huge leg-up on the competition.

Lawlschool
01-29-2014, 06:16 PM
But if the gold remains in the economy, you have inflation, which will eventually kill the economy.

Not really a problem. Look at WoW. Years of inflation, yet the economy is still pretty strong. Just need good gold sinks, and ways to help draw gold out of the economy (like AH fees).

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:17 PM
But if the gold remains in the economy, you have inflation, which will eventually kill the economy.

In a stable economy the "gold given to CZE for Plat" will equal the "Plat given to CZE for gold" and so will cancel each other out. An unstable economy will collapse in either case.

Having proper gold sinks is indeed very important. Using a fixed-rate exhange as one of them is not a good idea. There are plenty of other things they could implement to suck gold out of the system. There was a whole thread full of gold-sink ideas at one point (not linked in my sig, sorry).

gold sink ideas off the top of my head (not all good maybe):
AH fees for all listings sold in Gold
PVE vendors
Crafting fees
Travel fees
Dungeon/Raid entry fees
Keep Defense fees
Player-as-Raid-boss fees
Custom-Rules Wild West set-up fees

mach
01-29-2014, 06:25 PM
Having proper gold sinks is indeed very important. Using a fixed-rate exhange as one of them is not a good idea. There are plenty of other things they could implement to suck gold out of the system. There was a whole thread full of gold-sink ideas at one point (not linked in my sig, sorry).

gold sink ideas off the top of my head (not all good maybe):
AH fees for all listings sold in Gold
PVE vendors
Crafting fees
Travel fees
Dungeon/Raid entry fees
Keep Defense fees
Player-as-Raid-boss fees
Custom-Rules Wild West set-up fees

The fixed rate exchange is just from the point of view of the end user. If the fixed exchange rate does not match the market, CZE can adjust it as necessary. The key is to adjust it to the point where there are the same number of Gold->Plat and Plat->Gold conversions.

With a unified currency, the effective exchange rate is adjusted by changing the prices of things sold for gold and the drop rates of gold.

Effective gold sinks are just as important in any system. Without them, the economy will collapse either way.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:29 PM
The fixed rate exchange is just from the point of view of the end user. If the fixed exchange rate does not match the market, CZE can adjust it as necessary. The key is to adjust it to the point where there are the same number of Gold->Plat and Plat->Gold conversions.

With a unified currency, the effective exchange rate is adjusted by changing the prices of things sold for gold and the drop rates of gold.

That sounds right. Let's say they do what you've posted here. So now CZE has to pay someone to be the Exchange-Rate Monitor, and that person will never be as good at setting the rate as The Market would be. If they just let it float (as seems to be the current plan), then the magic of the market will do the work for them with no intervention (and payroll cost) required.


Effective gold sinks are just as important in any system. Without them, the economy will collapse either way.

I'll agree to that! (Ineed it was one of the many key points from the AH thread in my sig.)

mach
01-29-2014, 06:34 PM
So now CZE has to pay someone to be the Exchange-Rate Monitor. If they just let it float (as seems to be the current plan), then the magic of the market will do the work for them with no intervention required.


No, that's something which can easily be automated. Every X minutes, look at the total amount of plat->gold and gold->plat transactions. If they're close enough, do nothing. Otherwise, adjust the rate depending on how big the discrepancy is.

That's basically it. It should work even better than your approach because they have complete information and we don't.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 06:41 PM
No, that's something which can easily be automated. Every X minutes, look at the total amount of plat->gold and gold->plat transactions. If they're close enough, do nothing. Otherwise, adjust the rate depending on how big the discrepancy is.

That's basically it. It should work even better than your approach because they have complete information and we don't.

Interesting. It just might work! Let me think if there are ways it might fail...

What if the transaction volume is low? Maybe you have to make X be in units of transactions rather than units of time. So, every 10 transactions, you adjust.

I can't think of any other problems at the moment (besides the fact that CZE wants to obfuscate the exchange rate), but my Spidey-sense is tingling that there's somthing important I'm missing...

mach
01-29-2014, 06:47 PM
Interesting. It just might work! Let me think if there are ways it might fail...

What if the transaction volume is low? Maybe you have to make X be in units of transactions rather than units of time. So, every 10 transactions, you adjust.


The algorithm will notice that and adjust accordingly. It can even use statistical techniques if they want to be fancy. But even if it messes up, the system is self-correcting. If the rate is too high or too low, people will start taking advantage of it and the system will adjust quickly.



I can't think of any other problems at the moment (besides the fact that CZE wants to obfuscate the exchange rate), but my Spidey-sense is tingling that there's somthing important I'm missing...

There isn't. I know this because the fundamental economics of the two systems are the same. My proposed system will be slightly more economically efficient because of lower transaction costs, but that's about it.

Parzival
01-29-2014, 08:23 PM
Excuse my naivete but what about market manipulation?

Say the normal rate of exchange is hypothetically 100g to 1 plat.

Cartel late at night set up a series of ridiculous transactions between themselves. Say 1g to 1plat , by your system Mach the ah daemon would acknowledge a series of trades and drop the rate say down to say 20g to 1 plat, the cartel quickly transacts large amounts at this rate and then sells the plat later at a profit in gold, rinse and repeat.

Okay it's drastic and CZE does have audit trails but it illustrates the point and yes you could write safeguards into your system but wouldn't it be largely inefficient vs letting the market set the price?

mach
01-29-2014, 08:35 PM
Excuse my naivete but what about market manipulation?

Say the normal rate of exchange is hypothetically 100g to 1 plat.

Cartel late at night set up a series of ridiculous transactions between themselves. Say 1g to 1plat , by your system Mach the ah daemon would acknowledge a series of trades and drop the rate say down to say 20g to 1 plat, the cartel quickly transacts large amounts at this rate and then sells the plat later at a profit in gold, rinse and repeat.

Okay it's drastic and CZE does have audit trails but it illustrates the point and yes you could write safeguards into your system but wouldn't it be largely inefficient vs letting the market set the price?

Market manipulation attempts are possible in both systems. My system could defend against it better because it's generally easier to fool a human than it is to fool a computer, especially since the computer has the full record of transactions but the humans don't.

In extreme cases, where the automated system detects abnormal behavior but it doesn't fit into standard patterns of manipulation attempts, it could freeze all conversions until a CZE employee checks the logs and sees what's going on.

Also - my system does involve the market setting the price. It's just using a common middleman for all trades rather than making trades P2P.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 08:52 PM
Market manipulation attempts are possible in both systems. My system could defend against it better because it's generally easier to fool a human than it is to fool a computer, especially since the computer has the full record of transactions but the humans don't.

In extreme cases, where the automated system detects abnormal behavior but it doesn't fit into standard patterns of manipulation attempts, it could freeze all conversions until a CZE employee checks the logs and sees what's going on.

Also - my system does involve the market setting the price. It's just using a common middleman for all trades rather than making trades P2P.

You seem to know what you're talking about. Have you reviewed the CurEx ideas from the AH thread in my sig? What did you think of them? (Basically, they'd treat Plat as a commodity on the Gold-as-currency market and then bring to bear a full-blown bid/ask system.)

mach
01-29-2014, 09:14 PM
You seem to know what you're talking about. Have you reviewed the CurEx ideas from the AH thread in my sig? What did you think of them? (Basically, they'd treat Plat as a commodity on the Gold-as-currency market and then bring to bear a full-blown bid/ask system.)

I think it's totally unnecessary because a single currency is a superior system.

As I see it, you have a fundamental choice. Do gold and platinum represent the same kind of thing or do they mean different things?

If they mean different things, it should not be possible to convert between them. I agree with you that this approach isn't really practical.

So they represent the same basic thing: money. In this case, you should make it as easy as possible to convert between them. From an economic perspective, this is because the market functions better when it is more efficient (in other words, transaction costs are lower). From a game perspective, this is because it's better for players to spend more time actually playing the game.

So let's start with a basic trading system. That's what MTGO has. It's functional, but not very efficient. So we add a basic AH. That's an improvement. We then implement your AH idea, which makes things even better.

But why stop there? The next step is an automated currency trader. Now you just enter the amount and click 1 button. But we can do even better. We can make the conversion automatic and invisible. Trying to buy something with plat but just have gold? Fine, when you click buy we'll automatically convert your gold for you.

The final step is combining the two currencies. Your in-game net wealth is your gold multiplied by the value of gold added to your plat multiplied by the value of plat. So why not just represent this by a single number? Call it goldplat if you want to think about it that way. As an additional benefit, you no longer have to worry about converting one to the other if you think the exchange rate will change.

When will this fail? The fundamental assumption is that gold and plat are both essentially money. If they fail to implement gold sinks and gold starts to have massive inflation, you have a problem. But you'll have a problem any way you do things, since massive inflation in gold means your economy is flawed.

Lawlschool
01-29-2014, 09:16 PM
Forgive me for not following you guys, but what exactly is the "system" mach is proposing? It seems like he's talking about a unified currency on one hand (which CZE doesn't want), or an auto-adjusted exchange rate on the other (which still has the problems inherent in a direct currency exchange). Not to mention, if CZE isn't interested in adding a bid/ask system because of dev constraints, this seems to be an even more complicated thing to add in. Plus, having the value of gold be in constant flux does not sound like a particularly great thing for those focused solely on PvE.

Lawlschool
01-29-2014, 09:26 PM
Mach:

Re: inflation, see WoW. At launch, the gold cap was somewhere around 200k, and that was an unfathomable amount. With the launch of Cataclysm, the cap was raised to 1m, which was not an unreasonable achievement. Meanwhile, the WoW economy is still chugging along fine.

And while you're right that a single currency would be more efficient, that's not necessarily the goal. The idea is to have an independent PVE economy, which won't work as well with a single currency between the PvP and PvE. While it will be possible to convert between the two, it should be difficult to do so to help maintain the "layer of abstraction" Chark mentioned. It's an intentionally inefficient system.

mach
01-29-2014, 09:45 PM
Forgive me for not following you guys, but what exactly is the "system" mach is proposing? It seems like he's talking about a unified currency on one hand (which CZE doesn't want), or an auto-adjusted exchange rate on the other (which still has the problems inherent in a direct currency exchange). Not to mention, if CZE isn't interested in adding a bid/ask system because of dev constraints, this seems to be an even more complicated thing to add in. Plus, having the value of gold be in constant flux does not sound like a particularly great thing for those focused solely on PvE.

There's a bunch of systems. My preference is for a single unified currency. If that isn't happening, I'd like to see conversions be as easy and seamless as possible. In other words, an automated direct exchange.

As for the value of gold being in constant flux, that's a potential problem in any of these systems. And the solution is the same as well.


Mach:

Re: inflation, see WoW. At launch, the gold cap was somewhere around 200k, and that was an unfathomable amount. With the launch of Cataclysm, the cap was raised to 1m, which was not an unreasonable achievement. Meanwhile, the WoW economy is still chugging along fine.


They've taken the no-conversions approach. If you convert gold to real money they will ban you if they catch you. So that's a fundamentally different system from the ones we're talking about here, since there's no sanctioned link to USD. Different rules apply.



And while you're right that a single currency would be more efficient, that's not necessarily the goal. The idea is to have an independent PVE economy, which won't work as well with a single currency between the PvP and PvE. While it will be possible to convert between the two, it should be difficult to do so to help maintain the "layer of abstraction" Chark mentioned. It's an intentionally inefficient system.

No, that's not the goal. As long as you have legit conversions of some kind, you don't have an independent PvE economy. If you want the independent economy, you go with the WoW model rather than the one they've chosen.

I just don't see the advantage of intentionally adding inefficiency. Markets run better when efficient. This "layer of abstraction" does more harm than good. Choose one market or two, then be as efficient as possible.

Kroan
01-29-2014, 09:52 PM
Tbh, I would be pretty unhappy with a direct way of exchanging gold for plat or having only one currency. It de-values everything in a collection. I'm fine with players trading gold with other players for plat. This way, players will set the price of what they think gold is worth.

nicosharp
01-29-2014, 10:40 PM
Tbh, I would be pretty unhappy with a direct way of exchanging gold for plat or having only one currency. It de-values everything in a collection. I'm fine with players trading gold with other players for plat. This way, players will set the price of what they think gold is worth.
While I think I understand where you are coming from, I also find it to be a selfish attempt to make more through 3rd party trading.

Most games that have in-game exchange rates do a horrible job implementing them initially. When players/farmers get pennies per hour farming for a gold-to-cash exchange. I really have no gripes. It has to be monitored and balanced on a pendulum similar to the way GW2 has it setup, the more money people spend, the more gold exchanges for. As more gold is exchanged and less money is spent, the exchange rate goes down.

I feel that in order to cater to every type of gamer and be more universally accepted in the micro-transaction gaming world, a in-game exchange rate should be part of the initial design.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 10:55 PM
As I see it, you have a fundamental choice. Do gold and platinum represent the same kind of thing or do they mean different things?
Different things. Plat is equivalent (somewhat) to $US, while Gold is equivalent to PlayTime.


If they mean different things, it should not be possible to convert between them.
Why? We already know that you can't segregate them anyway, but why should we care to do so?


When will this fail? The fundamental assumption is that gold and plat are both essentially money.
And that assumption is flawed. Gold is not equivalent to real-world money, it is equivalent to player time invested in playing PVE content for loot. Gold and Plat are two very distinct commodities and as such should never be treated as if they are the same fundamental thing. They cannot be merged without consequences.



There's a bunch of systems. My preference is for a single unified currency. If that isn't happening, I'd like to see conversions be as easy and seamless as possible. In other words, an automated direct exchange.
As long as the direct exchange is market-based and not fixed-rate, then I agree.


No, that's not the goal. As long as you have legit conversions of some kind, you don't have an independent PvE economy. If you want the independent economy, you go with the WoW model rather than the one they've chosen.

I just don't see the advantage of intentionally adding inefficiency. Markets run better when efficient. This "layer of abstraction" does more harm than good. Choose one market or two, then be as efficient as possible.

True, it won't be independent (as I've stated before), but CZE seems to want to obfuscate the connection between the two halves of the game, presumably for psychological reasons. While you and I might see through that easily, others might be fooled and not feel like the Free-to-Play area is infected with Premium elements. I can't say that I fully agree with this choice, but I can at least understand it. Like you, I'd prefer a system of maximum transparency and efficiency rather than catering to the possible misperceptions of the supposedly ignorant masses. (Who, by the way, might not turn out to be so ignorant after all, in which case the abstraction and inefficiency was all for naught.)

mach
01-29-2014, 11:23 PM
Different things. Plat is equivalent (somewhat) to $US, while Gold is equivalent to PlayTime.


Why? We already know that you can't segregate them anyway, but why should we care to do so?


And that assumption is flawed. Gold is not equivalent to real-world money, it is equivalent to player time invested in playing PVE content for loot. Gold and Plat are two very distinct commodities and as such should never be treated as if they are the same fundamental thing. They cannot be merged without consequences.


Okay, initially they are two separate things. Plat is USD while gold is playtime.

But we've already agreed that you can convert between them, because the alternative isn't feasible.

By doing that, you are making them effectively the same thing. The old saying "time is money" has become literally true. It's just like real-life gold and platinum. Initially, they're just pieces of metal. But once we accept them as having monetary value, they become money.

So once you've accepted that conversion between the two will be allowed, you've turned gold/time into money.



As long as the direct exchange is market-based and not fixed-rate, then I agree.


As long as you can accept CZE setting the rates based off market data as market-based, we're in agreement on this one.



True, it won't be independent (as I've stated before), but CZE seems to want to obfuscate the connection between the two halves of the game, presumably for psychological reasons. While you and I might see through that easily, others might be fooled and not feel like the Free-to-Play area is infected with Premium elements. I can't say that I fully agree with this choice, but I can at least understand it. Like you, I'd prefer a system of maximum transparency and efficiency rather than catering to the possible misperceptions of the supposedly ignorant masses. (Who, by the way, might not turn out to be so ignorant after all, in which case the abstraction and inefficiency was all for naught.)

I really don't think fooling your customers is a sound business plan. When they do find out the truth it will be far worse than if you were truthful upfront. You can't keep this kind of secret in the Internet age.

Yoss
01-29-2014, 11:32 PM
Sounds like we agree on those last two parts. (I'd be fine with an automated market-adaptive CurEx in place of a bid/ask one. Either one would work.)


Okay, initially they are two separate things. Plat is USD while gold is playtime.

But we've already agreed that you can convert between them, because the alternative isn't feasible.
Agree so far.


By doing that, you are making them effectively the same thing. The old saying "time is money" has become literally true.
This is where I don't follow you. Yes, you can convert time to Plat and so "time is money" is true, but in order to claim equivalence there's a key extra piece of information that needs to be stated and that is the conversion rate. In order for Gold and Plat to become "effectively the same thing" they must have a precisely fixed exchange rate that never ever changes for any reason. In order to claim equivalence, you must be able to state "X Gold is worth Y Plat" and have that statement always be true without ever changing X or Y.

However, we've alread established that this is not going to be the case. We've already said that the exchange rate would be market-adaptive rather than fixed.

mach
01-29-2014, 11:42 PM
This is where I don't follow you. Yes, you can convert time to Plat and so "time is money" is true, but in order to claim equivalence there's a key extra piece of information that needs to be stated and that is the conversion rate. In order for Gold and Plat to become "effectively the same thing" they must have a precisely fixed exchange rate that never ever changes for any reason. In order to claim equivalence, you must be able to state "X Gold is worth Y Plat" and have that statement always be true without ever changing X or Y.

However, we've alread established that this is not going to be the case. We've already said that the exchange rate would be market-adaptive rather than fixed.

I don't think it needs to be precisely fixed. It just needs to be stable. If my 1 plat is worth 100 gold today, 102 tomorrow, and 99 next week, that's fine. Slight variations are just noise in the system. But if it's worth 100 today, 500 tomorrow, and 50 next week, then we have big problems with our economy either way.

Ideally, the exchange rate should be more or less fixed - not because someone's forcing it, but because the market itself is maintaining that fixed price.

Malicus
01-30-2014, 01:16 AM
I don't think it needs to be precisely fixed. It just needs to be stable. If my 1 plat is worth 100 gold today, 102 tomorrow, and 99 next week, that's fine. Slight variations are just noise in the system. But if it's worth 100 today, 500 tomorrow, and 50 next week, then we have big problems with our economy either way.

Ideally, the exchange rate should be more or less fixed - not because someone's forcing it, but because the market itself is maintaining that fixed price.

I can see where you are going with this but I just don't think that is necessarily feasible as an expectation, popularity of PVE would be a significant factor in determining the value of Gold in Platinum and expecting that to be stable feels overly optimistic to me.

If PVE is hugely popular among the free to play crowd and not so much among the pay to play crowd then you can expect 500 gold to 1 plat.

If PVE is equally popular then you might get a 100 gold to 1 plat.

If the game is hugely popular among the pay to play crowd then you could expect the 50 gold to 1 plat.

You also need to factor in how people spend money - do they micro transact or do they buy in big. A pay to player going for PVE will likely invest in a strong PVE build up front but is unlikely to transact regularly beyond this point unless you create so many gold sinks that free to play isn't possible.

I also think that it is optimistic to assume an automated middle man system couldn't be abused and the need to put safeguards around it increase costs and potentially create situations where legitimate players become unable to transact due to market manipulation.

BlackRoger
01-30-2014, 03:39 AM
Hey mach, I read your suggestions so far.
One thing I wonder about though:
Earlier someone mentioned the idea of people playing the market to make money, and I didn't see any answer to how your system can deal with this except something along "computers are better in dealing with frauds" which is a baseless presumption.

When the conversion is p2p based, such frauds are much harder to pull, as most people won't convert with you a large ammount of gold/plat when the market price is not good for them.
On the other hand if CZE has "infinite" plat to trade for gold playing the market seems all too easy.
Even if you say that it keeps track over these transaction said player might have already sold the plat he made for real money and escaped with the profit.

Finally, there will always be ways to manipulate the market, just as there is in WoW or in real life stocks.
The difference is that if CZE joins this market they will be the primary target for said frauds, so unless CZE wants to start suing people they shouldn't go there.

BlackRoger
01-30-2014, 03:47 AM
On a different note.
I'm a bit unsure about the whole 3-5% AH fees on transactions.
This is fine for a gold based system as the economy needs a gold sink and people don't care too much when real money isn't involved.
However once you mix plat into the story it becomes more complicated.
Do I sell my cards on AH and lose real money or just spam trade chat all day long?

I don't have a better solution really, since as long as there is a conversion rate, even if its non-formal, then losing either gold/plat is losing real money, but somehow, at least psychologically AH fees on plat feels alot worse.

Zomnivore
01-30-2014, 05:14 AM
I just think that a traditional AH makes the already standard botting models for Auction House stuff more powerful than what normal consumers have access to, and creates easy routes to financial success for very few, who can then manipulate the market at ease, with the newly amassed capital.


I've seen it in every single digital auction house I've seen. It can make people a money if they can code but for the general user experience it makes the auction systems a nightmare where you're obviously being toyed with by market sharks.

Part of having real cards allows you some insulation because you aren't in a pooled marketplace...

I dunno, its a bit of a bugger to think about.

ossuary
01-30-2014, 05:58 AM
I think it's fine to have a layer of abstraction between the currencies, but to avoid all of the negative aspects of chat spam and trade ripoffs and whatnot, I think it would make a lot more sense to still allow you to post X gold for Y plat on the AH, and vise versa. By making it a tradeable resource on the AH, it becomes tracked and you can see stats over time for the worth of the two currencies, which helps to prevent people from getting casually ripped off.

And you can never undervalue the benefit of NOT having currency exchange spam in the chat channels. :p

RobHaven
01-30-2014, 07:49 AM
I think it's fine to have a layer of abstraction between the currencies, but to avoid all of the negative aspects of chat spam and trade ripoffs and whatnot, I think it would make a lot more sense to still allow you to post X gold for Y plat on the AH, and vise versa. By making it a tradeable resource on the AH, it becomes tracked and you can see stats over time for the worth of the two currencies, which helps to prevent people from getting casually ripped off.
I'd like to second this. I'd also like to express my deep hatred for every word of everything I've read in this thread that were in support of automated systems and/or a single currency.

ossuary
01-30-2014, 07:52 AM
Yeah, a single currency is a terrible idea, systemically and economically. As Yoss correctly pointed out several posts ago, having only one currency means CZE would effectively be paying people money out of their pockets to play PVE content.

If there are two currencies, a player can play PVE content and still turn it into platinum via either selling the gold to a player or auctioning off rare PVE cards or equipment, but that platinum comes from a player who bought it from CZE at some point. CZE still gets paid at least something for this interaction.

Lawlschool
01-30-2014, 09:25 AM
I think something that's missing from this conversation is why a player would want Plat, and why a player would want Gold.

Plat, as we know, is the in-store currency, it will buy us Packs and entry fees, and is bought by spending real money. Gold is obtained through PvE loot drops, presumably vendoring items, and treasure chests, and is used to buy PvE things from vendors.

We also know (since that's what this whole thread is about) that you can list items in either plat or gold. So in what cases would someone want to sell for plat and someone want to sell for gold? Presumably, there will be a split player base between those that focus on PvP and those that focus on PvE. Those that are focused on PvP will likely want to list extra cards for Plat, since they can use that to buy more packs / entry fees. On the other hand, those that are more focused on PvE don't have as much use for piles of Plat; PvP cards aren't going to be as powerful as PvE cards so buying boosters likely won't be as useful to the PvE player as the PvP player. It doesn't seem unreasonable to think that those mainly interested in PvE will want to list things in gold to sell to other players mainly interested in PvE.

Where the conversion between Plat and Gold should happen is between those who are interested in both aspects of the game. So a PvP player looking to dabble in PvE might sell their extra commons / uncommons on the AH for gold to PvE players looking to start a PvP deck. And a PvE player looking to dabble in PvP might sell their rarer cards / equips for Plat to PvP players not interested in grinding dungeons for those drops. Essentially, the conversion happens between those focused on one side looking to quickly get in to the other.

Undoubtedly some standard conversion will come about, but it will come about organically. A direct conversion from CZE (whether fixed or through some strange market watch algorithm) takes the power away from the players to decide how much their time (gold) is worth in "money" (plat) and vice versa. Also, having a player driven exchange ensures that there is enough currency in circulation (as a direct conversion presumably acts as a gold/plat sink), and means you need willing buyers and willing sellers to do the exchange. While a direct conversion would be more "efficient" it would also take away the level of player interaction I illustrated earlier.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 09:31 AM
On a different note.
I'm a bit unsure about the whole 3-5% AH fees on transactions.
This is fine for a gold based system as the economy needs a gold sink and people don't care too much when real money isn't involved.
However once you mix plat into the story it becomes more complicated.
Do I sell my cards on AH and lose real money or just spam trade chat all day long?

I don't have a better solution really, since as long as there is a conversion rate, even if its non-formal, then losing either gold/plat is losing real money, but somehow, at least psychologically AH fees on plat feels alot worse.

You hit the nail on the head, actually. The fees should be as high as possible without driving people into the trade chat. The AH is providing a valuable (in other words, "worth money") service comparted to the alternative (chat spam). That service can and should be monetized at a reasonable price. We can certainly debate if 5% is reasonable, but look at eBay... they charge 10%.



I just think that a traditional AH makes the already standard botting models for Auction House stuff more powerful than what normal consumers have access to, and creates easy routes to financial success for very few, who can then manipulate the market at ease, with the newly amassed capital.


I've seen it in every single digital auction house I've seen. It can make people a money if they can code but for the general user experience it makes the auction systems a nightmare where you're obviously being toyed with by market sharks.

Part of having real cards allows you some insulation because you aren't in a pooled marketplace...

I dunno, its a bit of a bugger to think about.

As I said several pages back, I'm hoping they can build the basic AH with a full BAS in mind for future implementation. (Though in reality I'm not convinced that the BAS would really take that much more coding than a normal AH. However, I'd need one of our SW folks to help me answer that; I'm just a Systems Engineer, not a coder.)

With bid/ask, players can work reasonably well against bots because the tools exist to do so.


And you can never undervalue the benefit of NOT having currency exchange spam in the chat channels. :p
QFT

Yoss
01-30-2014, 09:34 AM
Undoubtedly some standard conversion will come about, but it will come about organically. A direct conversion from CZE (whether fixed or through some strange market watch algorithm) takes the power away from the players to decide how much their time (gold) is worth in "money" (plat) and vice versa. Also, having a player driven exchange ensures that there is enough currency in circulation (as a direct conversion presumably acts as a gold/plat sink), and means you need willing buyers and willing sellers to do the exchange. While a direct conversion would be more "efficient" it would also take away the level of player interaction I illustrated earlier.

I agree that p2p market-based is the best. My favorite idea is still the CurEx idea from the AH link in my sig, which would be p2p trading facilitated through a bid/ask interface on the AH.

ossuary
01-30-2014, 10:35 AM
You hit the nail on the head, actually. The fees should be as high as possible without driving people into the trade chat. The AH is providing a valuable (in other words, "worth money") service comparted to the alternative (chat spam). That service can and should be monetized at a reasonable price. We can certainly debate if 5% is reasonable, but look at eBay... they charge 10%.

Just in case someone missed it, CZE has said what the fee will be (roughly), see here: http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32198&p=336363#post336363



- AH fee structure: we are looking at 3-5% fee on sold items. There will likely be a listing fee to prevent people spamming items that are unlikely to sell.

Compared to other auction services, I would actually say this is totally reasonable, and very fair-minded of CZE. eBay does indeed charge 10%. And if you want to look at things from a video game only perspective, I believe Diablo 3 was charging 10-15% as well on their transactions (I'm not sure if it was the same percent in the RMAH, because I never used it).

ossuary
01-30-2014, 10:51 AM
As I said several pages back, I'm hoping they can build the basic AH with a full BAS in mind for future implementation. (Though in reality I'm not convinced that the BAS would really take that much more coding than a normal AH. However, I'd need one of our SW folks to help me answer that; I'm just a Systems Engineer, not a coder.)

With bid/ask, players can work reasonably well against bots because the tools exist to do so.

This is a separate issue, so I decided to make it a separate post. As a coder, it really doesn't take very much more work (5-10% tops) to make a proper bid/ask system over a standard auction-only interface... as long as it's built smartly, using flags and variables. A great deal of the more complex code and search functions are actually just copying/pasting the same code over and over, or making slightly more complex but open-ended search queries (allow searching on X fields instead of only 2 or 3 hard-coded).

Frankly, with a more complex system, people would probably be fine with a less "pretty" UI because they will be looking for the actual functionality, not the bells and whistles of a fancy-looking interface that is hiding the fact that it's feature poor. Because of this, you save time you would otherwise be spending making your sparse interface look fancy and more rich.

There's a reason people call EVE Online "the spreadsheet game." A lot of the interface has been phased back to make it as minimalistic as possible, but the actual features and functionality are incredibly deep. It's not showy, it's just built better under the hood.

I totally recognize and accept what Chark was saying earlier in the thread about not having the design time to make a deeper, richer system upfront. It's unfortunate, but it's a reality: clock cycles are always at a premium... especially for a product that hasn't launched and isn't making money. This is a valid reason, and I appreciate them being so upfront about it.

That being said, I strongly urge you guys at CZE to talk to your engineers about it. Hell, reach out to CCP and rap with them about EVE Online's system for that matter... those dudes are amazing, you might be surprised how much they're willing to talk about it and give you some pointers. It might be more feasible than you think it is.

At the end of the day, if the game launches without it, we'll survive (obviously). But I really hope you keep an open mind about building towards it, and structure your database / interface with the possibility in mind. Add it in later if you can't get it up and running right off the bat. The more powerful and convenient your interface is to use (for both buyers and sellers), the more likely people will use it. Which leads directly to more income for you, and a better experience for us. :)

BlackRoger
01-30-2014, 11:40 AM
You hit the nail on the head, actually. The fees should be as high as possible without driving people into the trade chat. The AH is providing a valuable (in other words, "worth money") service comparted to the alternative (chat spam). That service can and should be monetized at a reasonable price. We can certainly debate if 5% is reasonable, but look at eBay... they charge 10%.


I think that its important to stop for a moment and think what purpose do these AH fees actually serve.
Ebay takes a 10% chunk because that is their main income, and I wouldn't touch Diablo 3's AH with a 10 feet stick, so I don't think CZE should learn from them.
CZE's main income on the other hand at least should be selling packs.
So why take another percentage off of people trading items?
This feels a little greedy to me, even if it is a small percentage.
I hope we don't get to the point where people go to trade cards at bots like in MTG to circumvent the AH fees (though honestly it might be the proper answer to such an AH).

Gwaer
01-30-2014, 11:46 AM
I'm very pleased that they're going with a standard AH.

ossuary
01-30-2014, 11:49 AM
So why take another percentage off of people trading items?
This feels a little greedy to me, even if it is a small percentage.


This is a common opinion, but it's not necessarily true.

Part of the reason for AH fees is to cut down on spam, by disincentivising frivolous or outrageously priced auctions. Having less unnecessary clutter makes the system run faster, and makes it easier to find what you're looking for.

They can also serve in part as an important economic stabilizer to prevent an infinite influx of gold, causing perpetual deflation of the currency as more and more of it becomes available. Without having good ways to remove currency from a digital economy, that are worth using, everything pretty much falls to pieces over time.

Also, for the record, it is absolutely not greedy for a company to want to be profitable. That's what a business is for. We also WANT them to be profitable, to ensure the game remains viable for a long time to come. It is fine for a company to charge a reasonable transaction fee for a service players are willing to pay for. This is healthy for everyone. It is NOT okay for the company to blatantly rip them off (like, say, how iTunes takes 30% of every sale!), but that is not at all what CZE is doing with an extremely modest transaction fee.

Zomnivore
01-30-2014, 12:11 PM
I'm very pleased that they're going with a standard AH.

You wouldn't happen to be pretty handy with scripting bots would you? I mean, if this is going to be a problem, I might as well join the winning side with more know-how to help capture the market.

Gwaer
01-30-2014, 12:22 PM
Bots would be effective with either system. I'm personally not going to risk my accounts to their bot detection. I'll let other people blaze that trail. Bots are always more effective than people. That's why the stock exchange is completely automated now for the most part. There is no trading system I can think of that wouldn't be ruined by them, aside from MTGO's tactic of no trading system other than bots.

Lawlschool
01-30-2014, 12:29 PM
So why take another percentage off of people trading items?
This feels a little greedy to me, even if it is a small percentage.

CZE isn't making money off of AH fees, at least not directly. All AH fees do is remove currency from circulation. It's not like CZE is taking the Plat from the fees and turning it in to cash. The fees do decrease your profit to a degree, but you're still making a profit.

As for the standard AH structure, as long as there's good sorting and search functionality, and the ability to see going prices while listing, it should work out fine. Coming from a WoW AH background, I would be very very pleased if they integrated something like the TradeSkillMaster (http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/tradeskill-master) or Auctionator (http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/auctionator) mods, or at least allow people to mod the interface to allow for similar mods.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 12:58 PM
SPOTLIGHT ON POST 62!!!!

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32198&page=7&p=336519&viewfull=1#post336519

mach
01-30-2014, 01:14 PM
There's a reason eBay is the market leader and WoW is far more popular than EVE online. There's value in simplicity.

Is a bid/ask system better than a simple AH by enough to justify the extra complexity? I'm not so sure. The simple AH works decently well and being easier to use will make it used more.

I get that people don't want to give up depth for simplicity for the actual game, but this isn't the actual game. If you're looking for strategic depth in a trading system, there's this really popular game called the stock market you should try.

I think WoW actually does a really good job with the AH. It starts with a basic AH then lets people use mods to add more complexity as they desire. I'd say that's the ideal approach, but adding a mod infrastructure is a huge amount of work. An alternative is allowing bots, with firm rules specifying what bots are and aren't allowed to do.

So there are probably lots of things which are far better uses of their time. I'd rather see async, for example, than bid/ask.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 01:24 PM
There's a reason eBay is the market leader and WoW is far more popular than EVE online. There's value in simplicity.

Is a bid/ask system better than a simple AH by enough to justify the extra complexity? I'm not so sure. The simple AH works decently well and being easier to use will make it used more.

A properly designed bid/ask will be no harder to use for the simpleton than a normal AH. You browse for the thing you want and double click it. Done.

EDIT:
And since you're bid/ask, you can do the same double-click-done format for selling as well!

You just can't beat that for simplicity.

(Tech details: the double-click would issue an appropiate Market Order and fullfill it.)

EntropyBall
01-30-2014, 01:42 PM
I'd rather see Bid-Ask than a standard auction, but I'll live. It's hard for me to say how important the "uniqueness" of the cards will be to me, but I'm guessing it won't be very important. I'm pretty certain a Bid/Ask system with a "foiled" checkbox and a "AA unlocked" checkbox would be all I'd need. I think for most players, most of the time, they are just going to be looking for the cheapest card to finish up their decks.

EntropyBall
01-30-2014, 01:52 PM
Also, and not that it matters, but I don't like a single currency system. The gold in the game is going to be inflationary. It has to be, because there is 0 of it in circulation when the game launches, and it will be continually generated. It has to be generated at least slightly faster than its spent, or it will fall back to 0.

If I spend USD on my Goldplat, then don't spend it on cards, but just keep it in my account, the value of my in-game holdings is steadily declining with respect to real-world money. This means I won't want to convert USD to Goldplat until I absolutely have to, and then will want to make the smallest conversion possible. This is the exact opposite of how companies want in-game purchasing to work.

That said, I wish we could just list gold in the Plat AH and vice versa. Laundering it through other in-game items is annoying and, IMO, pointless.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 02:02 PM
I'd rather see Bid-Ask than a standard auction, but I'll live. It's hard for me to say how important the "uniqueness" of the cards will be to me, but I'm guessing it won't be very important. I'm pretty certain a Bid/Ask system with a "foiled" checkbox and a "AA unlocked" checkbox would be all I'd need. I think for most players, most of the time, they are just going to be looking for the cheapest card to finish up their decks.

I'd like to reiterate that Bid-Ask would handle uniqueness at least as well, if not better, than a standard AH. The only downside to a Bid/Ask implementation is the increased dev time (estimated at ~10% increase by ossuary, who is a SW engineer).

Svenn
01-30-2014, 02:49 PM
A single currency system would not work. If that was the case everyone could simply earn that one currency and buy all their packs without spending any real money (and thus devalue all of the cards). The point of having the 2 currencies is that the only way packs enter the system is when players spend money. Even if you trade gold for platinum, someone had to have paid for that platinum in the first place. If it was a single currency system you could not accomplish this as it would be possible for there to be an unlimited number of packs entering the system with no real money spent.

noragar
01-30-2014, 02:53 PM
CZE isn't making money off of AH fees, at least not directly. All AH fees do is remove currency from circulation. It's not like CZE is taking the Plat from the fees and turning it in to cash. The fees do decrease your profit to a degree, but you're still making a profit.


I don't really follow either of these points.

Currency is being taken out of circulation and there's two possible things that could happen as a result of that for anyone that sells on the auction house. 1) They buy fewer packs and/or enter fewer tournaments than they would have if there had been no auction house fee. 2) They buy the same number of packs and enter the same number of tournaments that they would have if there had been no auction house fee and purchase more platinum than they would have to make up the difference. Some people will fall in the middle and do some of each, but the only way CZE isn't generating any extra revenue is if 100% of the people fall into group 1) 100% of the time.

As for the second point, how many people do you expect to be making a profit? If I buy a pack for 2.00 platinum (or maybe something a little less than that if I won the pack as a prize or got it at a discount through VIP or AH), sell the contents on the auction house for 0.80 platinum, pay the auction house fee of 5% leaving me with 0.76 platinum, where is my profit?

Turtlewing
01-30-2014, 02:57 PM
I'd like to reiterate that Bid-Ask would handle uniqueness at least as well, if not better, than a standard AH. The only downside to a Bid/Ask implementation is the increased dev time (estimated at ~15% increase by ossuary, who is a SW engineer).

Not exactly.

1. You need to handle all possible variations within the card. Not juts the few ossuary though up. So for example If I'm buying pack raptors that have been used in tournaments, I want to be able to see cards with tournament trophies in their case and the value I'm willing to pay is likely to vary based on what set of tournament trophies the card has. It will be difficult to create a buy order than captures that (or a system that supports those buy orders). And even more difficult to to it in a way that doesn't inconvenience player who just want an extended art card or some other simple request.

2. What you really need are search filters. Once you can search for the card you want, the benefit of placing a buy order over searching and clicking buy is pretty negligible. (mostly just useful when you want something that isn't frequently traded and you want potential sellers to see your offer because otherwise they would be unlucky to list it.)

So while a bid/ask auction house is better, it's probably not worth the effort in the short term.

I also imagine it will be easier to design a good buy order interface once they have some historical trade data to see what sort of things actually affect the value of a card in practice.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 03:00 PM
1. You need to handle all possible variations within the card. Not juts the few ossuary though up. So for example If I'm buying pack raptors that have been used in tournaments, I want to be able to see cards with tournament trophies in their case and the value I'm willing to pay is likely to vary based on what set of tournament trophies the card has. It will be difficult to create a buy order than captures that (or a system that supports those buy orders). And even more difficult to to it in a way that doesn't inconvenience player who just want an extended art card or some other simple request.

From the HexBAS proposal (link in my sig):
•BUYING: Type in a search for what you want. Click on an item type you wish to buy. (You do not select a specific listing.) If you are interested in particular double-back stats, enter the features you want: alternate art (yes/no/don't care), minimum % XP, and must-have achievements (checkboxes).

It handles all possible uniqueness. The achievements list will get very long, so it should probably be a separate pop-up window.

Turtlewing
01-30-2014, 03:08 PM
From the HexBAS proposal (link in my sig):
•BUYING: Type in a search for what you want. Click on an item type you wish to buy. (You do not select a specific listing.) If you are interested in particular double-back stats, enter the features you want: alternate art (yes/no/don't care), minimum % XP, and must-have achievements (checkboxes).

It handles all possible uniqueness. The achievements list will get very long, so it should probably be a separate pop-up window.

That would completely fail to satisfy my example.

I'm interesting in cards that have been used in tournaments and the price I'm willing to pay depends on the combination of tournament trophies. I don't have a specific lis of "must have these achievements" but rather a general criteria of "will pay up to X for any of y achievements, up to Z for any of W, and up to Q for one with Y, and W". So I can't just tick off the achievements I want.

On the other hand if you just show me the listings sorted by price I can pick the one I want.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 03:10 PM
On the other hand if you just show me the listings sorted by price I can pick the one I want.

That's there too:
•THE BOOK: All outstanding Bids and Asks for a given commodity are kept in a sorted list for easy reference (this is the "book" for that commodity). Items are not grouped up; they are all shown individually. The list must show relevant double-back statistics so that a high Bid or Ask has context.


If you just want to window shop and double-click, you can.

Turtlewing
01-30-2014, 03:19 PM
That's there too:
•THE BOOK: All outstanding Bids and Asks for a given commodity are kept in a sorted list for easy reference (this is the "book" for that commodity). Items are not grouped up; they are all shown individually. The list must show relevant double-back statistics so that a high Bid or Ask has context.


If you just want to window shop and double-click, you can.

OK, but once "the book" exists and you can search it what is the advantage of the first view existing?

Additionally, (since I'm pretty sure the answer will be that you can post a buy order that can be filled later), does that justify the complexity of having two separate views of the AH, and the inevitable tutorial explaining how bid/ask works because most people aren't familiar with it?

Yoss
01-30-2014, 03:25 PM
I haven't really delved into the UI design much. I'd imagine the the search would just be like a toolbar across the top, with the listings displayed in the main portion of the window.

I guess you'd probably only need two views: Buying and Selling. I'm sure there are details to flesh out. The thread in my sig is features-focused more than UI focused.

Lawlschool
01-30-2014, 03:40 PM
Currency is being taken out of circulation and there's two possible things that could happen as a result of that for anyone that sells on the auction house. 1) They buy fewer packs and/or enter fewer tournaments than they would have if there had been no auction house fee. 2) They buy the same number of packs and enter the same number of tournaments that they would have if there had been no auction house fee and purchase more platinum than they would have to make up the difference. Some people will fall in the middle and do some of each, but the only way CZE isn't generating any extra revenue is if 100% of the people fall into group 1) 100% of the time.

As for the second point, how many people do you expect to be making a profit? If I buy a pack for 2.00 platinum (or maybe something a little less than that if I won the pack as a prize or got it at a discount through VIP or AH), sell the contents on the auction house for 0.80 platinum, pay the auction house fee of 5% leaving me with 0.76 platinum, where is my profit?

Yes, indirectly the fees can make CZE money, as you might need to "re-up" on your Plat to make up for Plat lost to fees. But CZE isn't taking that Plat and turning it in to cash (how could they?), which was my point.

As for your second point, obviously you don't make profit if you sell at a loss. It's a bit tautological, but as long as you factor fees in to your listing prices, and sell at a profit, you make a profit. Theoretically, the contents of the pack should never be sold for less than the cost itself. That's just common sense. Of course, due to relative demand for different cards, it's possible for the contents of a pack to be worth more or less than the cost itself.

Regardless, there's nothing wrong with listing fees. Think of it as a service charge, or a convenience fee. And it's better than selling to a hobby shop for a deep discount.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 04:50 PM
Since people were asking, I spent a little time thinking about what a good bid/ask UI would look like. Let me know what you think of it.


HexBAS UI

So far, everything has been features-focused. But what will it look like?

Two screens: Buying and Selling

SELLING
Shows your collection, with tabs for PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. On each tab, shows a list of all your stuff with columns for Name, Rarity, Quantity, Market Price. Default would be sorted descenting by Quantity so that you know what items you have excess of. Clicking a column header would sort by that attribute. Default sort would be Alphabetical for Name, Leg/Rare/Unc/Com order for Rarity, Descending for Quantity, and Descending for Price. A second click on the same column will reverse the sort order. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like: rules text/stats and double-back stats.

Additional columns to the right of each item would have the Seller Controls: input field for Quantity To Sell, button for Sell At Market Price (also accomplished by double-click anywhere in the sortable columns), button for Sell At My Price with input Price field next to it, and a View Book button to give a pop-up showing all the outstanding Limit Orders for that item.


BUYING
Across the top would be the same four tabs: PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. Default view on each tab, if you haven't viewed it in a while (say 30 minutes maybe), shows the top 20 most expensive items for sale (Ask Limit Orders), giving highlight advertising to what might otherwise be difficult to sell. Otherwise, the default will be whatever you were last viewing. Each tab would have at the top a Search input field with double-back feature choices to the right: AA (yes/no/either), Min XP% (which covers Foils by entering 100%), and an Achievements button for a pop-up to select must-have achievements. Defaults for double-back would be: AA-either, XP-0, and no achievements required. As you type in the Search field, it would suggest possible matches that you can click on.

After you search, the Book for that item is displayed in ascending order of Price, with Bids suppressed by default (since a casual Buyer usually won't care what other Buyers are bidding) but with a check box to toggle them on or off (to the right of the Achievements filter button). The diplayed data would be: Name, Price, AA, XP%, a field for up to three Achievement images, and a "more" link in case there are more than three achievements. Double-click on a listing will buy it. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like rules text/stats.

The second row below the Search function would have somthing like "Don't like these prices? Make an offer:" with entry fields for Quantity, Price, and the double-back stuff (same as on the Search line). (This is how you'd enter a Limit Order.)

Things to think about:
What if the Search matches more than one Book? Force the user to pick one?

ossuary
01-30-2014, 05:12 PM
1. You need to handle all possible variations within the card. Not juts the few ossuary though up. So for example If I'm buying pack raptors that have been used in tournaments, I want to be able to see cards with tournament trophies in their case and the value I'm willing to pay is likely to vary based on what set of tournament trophies the card has. It will be difficult to create a buy order than captures that (or a system that supports those buy orders). And even more difficult to to it in a way that doesn't inconvenience player who just want an extended art card or some other simple request.

Are you a programmer? I'm not insinuating anything, I'm merely asking. I can give you an extremely technical answer, or a (reasonably) simple one, depending on whether or not a technical answer would be helpful. :)

You can account for multiple types of features using open-ended database queries, and you can populate filter list options with queries as well, so nothing has to be hard-coded outside of the shell. It requires "smarter" programming that hard-coding a user interface with each option laid out, but an accomplished developer can do it with relative ease. Even vanilla SQL queries can handle this kind of stuff, and there are FAR better systems available commercially to deal with mass database reads / writes without suffering overloading or degradation.

A bid/ask system absolutely IS more work than a straight one-off interface with hard-coded features, I've never denied that, but it's not SIGNIFICANTLY more work (for the right programmer). It's also far better, because you're not locked in to anything you've built, and it's much much easier to change and to scale once that initial outlay of slightly more work is complete. Reprogramming / redesigning a hard-coded interface, on the other hand, is an absolute god-awful nightmare.

Also, Yoss, just for the record I said it would be 5-10% more work, not 15%. :)

the_artic_one
01-30-2014, 05:24 PM
As another programmer, padding the estimate given by a programmer is always a good idea as you've likely forgotten to account for incompatibilities with existing systems/QA time/whatever.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 05:30 PM
I edited my post to say "~10%" from oss.

Yubar
01-30-2014, 07:51 PM
I've been for HexBas and CurEx sense the beginning also, somewhat confusing the front end 3mil wasn't enough (plus more thats sure to come upon set 2, given that with all the extra set 1 cards in the system, they'll be nigh worthless compared to freshly minted set 2/3), but hopefully it becomes a decently high priority, sorry if this sounded rude just kinda seemed kind of seems cop-outish.

I'm honestly so against cards variations staying on the card even when traded. Having it on your own card is awesome, but I just fail to see why having a card that someone else used to win in a tournament some time back is so exciting. It really made HexBas much harder to implement and could artificially inflate the value of cards (in the sellers mind atleast) and segment that cards market so much that buying rarer cards may become a headache. Hopefully the sellers are liquid enough to offset this.

Edit: But even with the salty tone of this post I am very appreciative that Crypto is interacting with the community on hot topics, I've seen a nice uptick in their responses (especially the quality of the responses) which is awesome. Thanks.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 08:39 PM
I'm honestly so against cards variations staying on the card even when traded. Having it on your own card is awesome, but I just fail to see why having a card that someone else used to win in a tournament some time back is so exciting. It really made HexBas much harder to implement and could artificially inflate the value of cards (in the sellers mind atleast) and segment that cards market so much that buying rarer cards may become a headache. Hopefully the sellers are liquid enough to offset this.

I wouldn't worry about the uniqueness causing artificial inflation. If the seller is listing above what people want to pay, then people won't pay. Conversely, if a buyer is paying, then obviously the price was right. The Market is an amazing and wonderful thing; it's like magic!

Gwaer
01-30-2014, 09:12 PM
I was kind of hoping that when they said "We aren't doing a bid/ask system" All the Hexbas/curex talk would subside at least a little bit rather than increasing. Maybe a more helpful approach would be features you think they could shove into an ebay-style AH that aren't a completely different system?

noragar
01-30-2014, 09:12 PM
As for your second point, obviously you don't make profit if you sell at a loss. It's a bit tautological, but as long as you factor fees in to your listing prices, and sell at a profit, you make a profit. Theoretically, the contents of the pack should never be sold for less than the cost itself. That's just common sense. Of course, due to relative demand for different cards, it's possible for the contents of a pack to be worth more or less than the cost itself.


If you're expecting that on average you're going to be able to open a pack and sell the contents for a profit, then you're in for a rude surprise whether there's auction fees or not. Yes, there are going to be some rares/legendaries that sell for more than the cost of a pack, but for each one of those you crack open, you're going to open a couple dozen dud packs that will absorb your profits and then some.

Yubar
01-30-2014, 09:17 PM
@Gwaer he said things are not finalized and such just to change and admitted a preference to bid/ask barring this one issue of cost to develop. Also there's a reason why this topic gets so many posts, it's exciting!

@Yoss While I hear what you're saying the unique card attribute adds a certain non-logical attachment to the card, where sellers "feel" their card is worth more, subjectively, and they may feel this is an objective view. Meaning they could refuse to sell at certain price points due to the attachment /collection aspect. While the price should eventually find its fair value it could increase the time it would normally take to acquire multiple rare cards due to this unnecessary market fragmentation

Gwaer
01-30-2014, 09:27 PM
The unique aspect of cards is not unnecessary... It's the most revolutionary part of the game. It's pretty much the sole thing that initially grabbed my attention. Tracking the cards that won the very first hex championship... It's just mind blowing how cool that will be, those cards will be more valuable than copies that weren't in the winning deck. That is an awesome thing. Honestly, the discussions disregarding just how important the doubleback stuff is is probably why I am so turned off by the hexbas bid/ask system. Even if you guys did eventually come around to including things to deal with it the fact that it was like pulling teeth to recognize how important all of that stuff is makes me very disinclined to use a system that is the brainchild of those minds.

Yoss
01-30-2014, 09:33 PM
The unique aspect of cards is not unnecessary... It's the most revolutionary part of the game. It's pretty much the sole thing that initially grabbed my attention. Tracking the cards that won the very first hex championship... It's just mind blowing how cool that will be, those cards will be more valuable than copies that weren't in the winning deck. That is an awesome thing. Honestly, the discussions disregarding just how important the doubleback stuff is is probably why I am so turned off by the hexbas bid/ask system. Even if you guys did eventually come around to including things to deal with it the fact that it was like pulling teeth to recognize how important all of that stuff is makes me very disinclined to use a system that is the brainchild of those minds.

I'm actually 100% with you on this (except for the ad hominem part at the last sentence). The double-back is a key feature that Hex sold from day 1 and the AH needs to highlight it. HexBAS does that as well or better than any other proposal I've seen.

Yubar
01-30-2014, 09:45 PM
Just to note I am and have been one of the only ones who have been against the card unique attributes, no need to label the system with my opinion

mach
01-30-2014, 10:19 PM
The unique aspect of cards is not unnecessary... It's the most revolutionary part of the game. It's pretty much the sole thing that initially grabbed my attention. Tracking the cards that won the very first hex championship... It's just mind blowing how cool that will be, those cards will be more valuable than copies that weren't in the winning deck. That is an awesome thing. Honestly, the discussions disregarding just how important the doubleback stuff is is probably why I am so turned off by the hexbas bid/ask system. Even if you guys did eventually come around to including things to deal with it the fact that it was like pulling teeth to recognize how important all of that stuff is makes me very disinclined to use a system that is the brainchild of those minds.

For really unique cards, I doubt people will be using the AH anyway. If you're trying to sell something like a card which won the first championship, you're probably going to start a forum thread and take offers for longer than the AH's maximum duration anyway.

So the AH doesn't need to handle the really rare stuff, just the normal variations.

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 12:02 AM
You want the AH to be able to handle any conceivable situation with your cards. That's the point of the AH. If that includes month long bidding wars then so be it. Some people, even many people may decide they would rather do it on the forums or third party sites, but your AH should be robust enough to handle your own value-add mechanisms.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 06:03 AM
To be honest, Gwaer, I agree with you 100% about the importance of the cards' special qualities. A large portion of the reason I'm pushing for a more robust system is actually because of those extra features that you wouldn't necessarily see if you were just looking at best price by card name. The problem comes from the fact that a standard ebay style auction system CANNOT support a lot of extra features; by its very nature, it is a limited and minimalist interface, otherwise finding anything is impossible.

I know that not everyone who has posted about the HexBAS has had the same goal and some of them have spoken out against card uniqueness, but I'm not one of those people. One of my goals in pushing for a more robust system is making sure we have one that is capable of handling those kinds of specialty items, and one that makes using the automated system a pleasure to use (for both buyers and sellers) instead of a huge pain... which would drive people to chat spam and other off the books methods that are less secure and more annoying.

But the real beauty of a BAS is that it helps people who are looking for rarer things that might not be available right now... instead of having to search every day just in case someone posted a card with the exact right set of criteria you're looking for, you just put in a bid for it. And for sellers, you might not want to risk paying listing fees over and over for a really good card that might only be in the right price range for a select few types of collectors, so having an open bid from someone for a card that matches your rarity means you've got a guaranteed sale instead of a shot in the dark hope. It helps to highlight special cards from both sides, and makes the experience much smoother and useful for both the buyer and the seller.

And again, for those people that are just looking for something cool, it would be a fairly straightforward programming job to add some kind of logic to the system to flag really good or rare items, and let people browse through those as a separate list. A system like this, properly built, is FAR better for highlighting each card as an individual instead of just showing all 742 Pack Raptors sorted by price.

RobHaven
01-31-2014, 06:54 AM
I was kind of hoping that when they said "We aren't doing a bid/ask system" All the Hexbas/curex talk would subside at least a little bit rather than increasing. Maybe a more helpful approach would be features you think they could shove into an ebay-style AH that aren't a completely different system?
Why not use their eBay style AH and add an Ask section for untouched cards? I know you also want the Bid end of it, but surely having the Ask for untoucheds (which would presumably clutter the eBay listings) is a fair compromise, no? I imagine it would look like the WoW AH except that the top listing would be locked as the Ask for the untouched cards.
1448

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 10:35 AM
There's a ton of features you can put into standard ebay style AH's just look at the difference between normal wow AH, and the auctioneer mod.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 10:41 AM
And if you have to spend all that time making the interface and backend system good enough to handle all that diverse information anyway, why wouldn't you also spend the tiny amount of extra effort to also integrate a request system, and link the two together?

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 10:45 AM
For any of the myriad of reasons listed in the original threads about this topic that we were both a part of months ago, that I'm not going to rehash here again. I went back and re-read a few of them last night to make sure I wasn't crazy, and there was a ton of pushback for not dealing with cards like commodities.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 11:13 AM
But a WOW style auction system treats them EXCLUSIVELY as commodities. How is that better?

Yoss
01-31-2014, 11:21 AM
HexBAS UI

So far, everything has been features-focused. But what will it look like?

Two screens: Buying and Selling

SELLING
Shows your collection, with tabs for PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. On each tab, shows a list of all your stuff with columns for Name, Rarity, Quantity, Market Price. Default would be sorted descenting by Quantity so that you know what items you have excess of. Clicking a column header would sort by that attribute. Default sort would be Alphabetical for Name, Leg/Rare/Unc/Com order for Rarity, Descending for Quantity, and Descending for Price. A second click on the same column will reverse the sort order. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like: rules text/stats and double-back stats.

Additional columns to the right of each item would have the Seller Controls: input field for Quantity To Sell, button for Sell At Market Price (also accomplished by double-click anywhere in the sortable columns), button for Sell At My Price with input Price field next to it, and a View Book button to give a pop-up showing all the outstanding Limit Orders for that item.


BUYING
Across the top would be the same four tabs: PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. Default view on each tab, if you haven't viewed it in a while (say 30 minutes maybe), shows the top 20 most expensive items for sale (Ask Limit Orders), giving highlight advertising to what might otherwise be difficult to sell. Otherwise, the default will be whatever you were last viewing. Each tab would have at the top a Search input field with double-back feature choices to the right: AA (yes/no/either), Min XP% (which covers Foils by entering 100%), and an Achievements button for a pop-up to select must-have achievements. Defaults for double-back would be: AA-either, XP-0, and no achievements required. As you type in the Search field, it would suggest possible matches that you can click on.

After you search, the Book for that item is displayed in ascending order of Price, with Bids suppressed by default (since a casual Buyer usually won't care what other Buyers are bidding) but with a check box to toggle them on or off (to the right of the Achievements filter button). The diplayed data would be: Name, Price, AA, XP%, a field for up to three Achievement images, and a "more" link in case there are more than three achievements. Double-click on a listing will buy it. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like rules text/stats.

The second row below the Search function would have somthing like "Don't like these prices? Make an offer:" with entry fields for Quantity, Price, and the double-back stuff (same as on the Search line). (This is how you'd enter a Limit Order.)

I've gotten precisely ZERO response? :( I know it's not perfect. I want to hear your ideas!

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 11:29 AM
A wow style AH treats every card as unique and non substitutable, which is not ideal I grant you, Base cards with no bonuses that have been freshly opened and never played would likely be fine to use a BAS system on, but you can just as easily type in the card you want, and sort by price and buy the cheapest in a normal AH as well.

I also think it would be much harder to implement a method for selling lots of cards, like if I wanted to sell a playset of the entire set or block for a premium rather than having to part out each individual card I should be able to do that, and I don't see the BAS system being able to deal with it, while a standard AH could.

Yubar
01-31-2014, 12:03 PM
Gwaer a bid ask system is just like a stock market, people buy and sell hundreds of shares at one all the time, and people put in offers to sell 500 shares that eventually get bought by 5 different people.

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 12:30 PM
Which is exactly why I'm against it, the cards in hex are not like stocks. Every individual stock you buy is the same as another, which is fine for base cards just out of packs, but is not fine for a card once it has anything special about it. People are trying to add a ton of complexity to the system to try to shoehorn it into selling myriad unique objects, that's just not what bid/ask is designed to handle.

Tinuvas
01-31-2014, 01:10 PM
Gwaer a bid ask system is just like a stock market, people buy and sell hundreds of shares at one all the time, and people put in offers to sell 500 shares that eventually get bought by 5 different people.

I followed the original thread on this subject back in the day and I've gone back and forth on the subject here...but this statement kind of finishes it for me. A Bid Ask system is designed with similarities in mind. You CAN design it with levels of search and whatnot to weed out certain elements of uniqueness, but it is designed to group things together. That is why it is used in the stock market. Simplicity for mass market transactions. That's what it does extremely well.

Hex is the antithesis of that idea, more so than WoW, Eve, or any other online game I've seen. Each card is unique. Each card is it's own entity. Suggestions have been put forth concerning adapting the bid/ask system to accommodate uniqueness, but they can never truly capture the uniqueness of each card. For example, what if I want a card at isn't QUITE AA but is on the cusp. What if I want a card that has all 3 achievements just SHY of triggering. What if I'm looking for draft (not sealed or any other tourney) winners, or those opened before 2015, or those with ANY 2 achievements met, but not the third, or...you get the idea.

The simple response to that would be "just make a very robust search engine", but that applies to a regular AH as well. So why would you want a bid/ask system? What does it accomplish? Fluid, efficient, mass transactions. What does a regular AH do better? Unique, individual transactions. What is Hex if not unique and individual? Sure there will be many (most?) AH searches that are just "I want a playset of pack raptors and I want them NOW", but regular AH can do that too, and is simpler for the noob to work with.

All of this doesn't even touch the greatest case of uniqueness, that being the unasked search. I want to browse. I'm not even sure WHAT I'm looking for, I'm just looking. I set some parameters (pack raptor, won a tourney, Not AA, whatever) and I browse. I find an interesting combination of when it was opened that matches my birthday! Wow! I've GOT to have that CARD! You can say "bid/ask can do that", but that is not what it is designed to do. Regular auctions are MADE for that idea.

In the final analysis, Bid/ask is an amazing tool, and very well suited for many things (I think that WoW would be a better game for it IMHO, due to the non-unique style of it's AH items), but not for Hex. I think Hex would be better for being built from the ground up for unique. That is something bid/ask CAN'T quite do.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 01:33 PM
Which is exactly why I'm against it, the cards in hex are not like stocks. Every individual stock you buy is the same as another, which is fine for base cards just out of packs, but is not fine for a card once it has anything special about it. People are trying to add a ton of complexity to the system to try to shoehorn it into selling myriad unique objects, that's just not what bid/ask is designed to handle.

Except when it is. The idea is called HexBAS for a reason; it is different than a traditional commodity exchange because Hex is looking to trade things that are more than just basic commodities.

Ju66ernaut
01-31-2014, 01:44 PM
You have a really good point there Tinuvas. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Lawlschool
01-31-2014, 02:07 PM
And again, for those people that are just looking for something cool, it would be a fairly straightforward programming job to add some kind of logic to the system to flag really good or rare items, and let people browse through those as a separate list. A system like this, properly built, is FAR better for highlighting each card as an individual instead of just showing all 742 Pack Raptors sorted by price.

I'm not necessarily against HexBAS, but y'all really seem to be doing some strawmanning here. Any time you guys compare HexBAS with a WoW / eBay AH, you seem to be comparing the ideal version of HexBAS with the least-ideal version of a standard AH.

It's possible to have a very robust standard AH, and would likely be less resource intensive to create than a BAS system. We all get that a BAS system is "superior" because of the additional features, but are those features really necessary?

Like Tinuvas points out, a BAS system is great for mass transactions, but doesn't seem ideal for unique postings, which is more in line with what a trading card game does and wants. The response, of course, is to design HexBAS to handle uniqueness, but isn't that just adding complexity on complexity? If a well designed normal AH can already better accommodate uniqueness, why add on a BAS system and then add on support for uniqueness? That seems excessive.

The other problem I've been having with HexBAS is that it seems unnecessarily complex, and I worry that there might be a steep learning curve for people just looking to dump cards on the AH and go. In my experience, most people don't care much for the intricacies of the AH; they just buy the cheapest stuff, and sell by undercutting the lowest post. A standard AH is great for that, as long as you can easily see what the cheapest price is. A BAS system just seems extraneous to me if most people don't really care that much about the AH and see it as an easier way to buy/sell than spamming trade chat.

I think it's safe to say that CZE will deliver a great AH, since buying, selling, and trading cards are all an important and integral part of a TCG. A standard AH model will be fine, as long as it has robust searching, sorting, and posting. Posting in particular should have the ability to auto-undercut, or at least see what the current prices are for similar cards as you post (rather than having to search for what you want to sell, then switch to posting). A built-in price tracker would be fantastic, but not super important. All of this Bid/Ask and Limit Order stuff honestly sounds superfluous, and potentially unnecessarily confusing for the casual AH user. We want people to actually use the AH, so IMO simpler is better.

Barkam
01-31-2014, 02:24 PM
The thing that trivinus clearly misses about HexBAS is the real time response on market value of being sold. Regular AH cannot provide that so easily. This problem with "unique" items should not be a deal breaker as ossuary and yoss explained.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 02:26 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write up a detailed response, Tinuvas. Please read my responses as matter-of-fact, not as attacks. (Applies to most of my posts, really.)


A Bid Ask system is designed with similarities in mind. You CAN design it with levels of search and whatnot to weed out certain elements of uniqueness, but it is designed to group things together. That is why it is used in the stock market. Simplicity for mass market transactions. That's what it does extremely well.
Yep.


Hex is the antithesis of that idea, more so than WoW, Eve, or any other online game I've seen. Each card is unique. Each card is it's own entity. Suggestions have been put forth concerning adapting the bid/ask system to accommodate uniqueness...
Yes and no. Every card is unique, yet is still loosely commoditized by its basic in-game function (Card Name, rules text). In order to truly be "the antithesis" of commoditization, every card would need to spawn with random card name and rules text, which is obviously absurd. (Note, I'm not saying the uniqueness isn't important. I'm just pointing out that cards can still be meaningfully grouped.)


...but they can never truly capture the uniqueness of each card. For example, what if I want a card at isn't QUITE AA but is on the cusp. What if I want a card that has all 3 achievements just SHY of triggering. What if I'm looking for draft (not sealed or any other tourney) winners, or those opened before 2015, or those with ANY 2 achievements met, but not the third, or...you get the idea. The simple response to that would be "just make a very robust search engine", but that applies to a regular AH as well.
I'm glad you put "applies to a regular AH as well" at the end there, because that's exactly right for all the problems you've listed. Any hole you poke in HexBAS is probably going to also be a hole for RegAH ("regular AH" like eBay).

I assume when you say "AA" (alternate art, which cannot be unlocked; it is a separate commodity, but listed in the same Book) you actually mean "Foil" which is unlocked through XP. HexBAS handles that easily with the "Minimum %XP" filter; just enter your % as 99 (or whatever).

For the rest of your examples, you would probably not be able to do a simple search (neither would RegAH), but you can browse the Book very easily and glance for ones that have what you want (see UI ideas in post 104). If we want to implement advanced filtering to handle esoteric requests like these, then we certainly can (just like RegAH would need).


So why would you want a bid/ask system? What does it accomplish? Fluid, efficient, mass transactions.
And that's important to some significant number of people.


What does a regular AH do better? Unique, individual transactions.
Except that it doesn't. Even in your examples above (presumably selected to show why RegAH is better) you showed nothing except that neither system handles extremely complicated requests elegantly. In fact, for one of your examples (foil), HexBAS actually performs perfectly while RegAH may or may not depending on how basic the interface is.


What is Hex if not unique and individual? Sure there will be many (most?) AH searches that are just "I want a playset of pack raptors and I want them NOW", but regular AH can do that too, and is simpler for the noob to work with.
RegAH is not simpler for the noob; it is exactly the same in basic usage. Have you looked at post 104? In HexBAS, basic purchases go like this:
click to enter the Buying section (same as RegAH)
click the tab for commodity type (PVP, PVE, Equipment, Other) (same as RegAH I would guess, since it just makes sense to provide these gross filters at the top level)
type in a card name, which then shows the relevant listings (same as RegAH)
double-click the cheapest one(s) (same as RegAH)

So HexBAS is actually exactly the same in noob difficulty, except that as the noob begins to learn, he can become more efficient by using the direct-buy entry or more profitable by putting up Bids and getting the price he wants instead of the prices currently offered. Meanwhile, RegAH will always be only at this noob level for all users.


All of this doesn't even touch the greatest case of uniqueness, that being the unasked search. I want to browse. I'm not even sure WHAT I'm looking for, I'm just looking. I set some parameters (pack raptor, won a tourney, Not AA, whatever) and I browse. I find an interesting combination of when it was opened that matches my birthday! Wow! I've GOT to have that CARD! You can say "bid/ask can do that", but that is not what it is designed to do. Regular auctions are MADE for that idea.
RegAH is NOT "made for that idea" any more than HexBAS. If you implemented functions for RegAH to do it, then those exact same functions could be in HexBAS. HexBAS will display your results in a browsable list just like RegAH should.


In the final analysis, Bid/ask is an amazing tool, and very well suited for many things (I think that WoW would be a better game for it IMHO, due to the non-unique style of it's AH items), but not for Hex. I think Hex would be better for being built from the ground up for unique. That is something bid/ask CAN'T quite do.
And yet so far, you've shown that RegAH "can't quite do" it either, AND in some cases HexBAS can do things that RegAH can't. If there's something that an optimized RegAH can do that HexBAS cannot, please let me know! (So far, HexBAS has answered all challenges at least as well as RegAH. The ONLY downside of HexBAS seems to be that it would cost ~10% more to implement, which seems paltry compared to all the benefits.)

I am always looking to refine my ideas by having holes poked in them, and I'm glad you took the time to write up this post. So far, however, no holes that are unique to HexBAS have been found. Any problems you've identified are going to plague RegAH just as much or moreso.

Barkam
01-31-2014, 02:32 PM
LawIschool, your post actually describes why HexBAS is the way to go.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 02:33 PM
@Lawl:
Please see my response to Tinuvas. You two said more or less the same things I think. Let me know if there's something I missed.

EDIT:
As far as terminology being confusing, please see post 104 where I detailed out a possible HexBAS UI that never once uses "Limit Order" or "Market Order" terminology. I use those only for discussion purposes of features, since that's the technical term for a generic BAS.

Turtlewing
01-31-2014, 02:50 PM
Are you a programmer? I'm not insinuating anything, I'm merely asking. I can give you an extremely technical answer, or a (reasonably) simple one, depending on whether or not a technical answer would be helpful. :)

You can account for multiple types of features using open-ended database queries, and you can populate filter list options with queries as well, so nothing has to be hard-coded outside of the shell. It requires "smarter" programming that hard-coding a user interface with each option laid out, but an accomplished developer can do it with relative ease. Even vanilla SQL queries can handle this kind of stuff, and there are FAR better systems available commercially to deal with mass database reads / writes without suffering overloading or degradation.

A bid/ask system absolutely IS more work than a straight one-off interface with hard-coded features, I've never denied that, but it's not SIGNIFICANTLY more work (for the right programmer). It's also far better, because you're not locked in to anything you've built, and it's much much easier to change and to scale once that initial outlay of slightly more work is complete. Reprogramming / redesigning a hard-coded interface, on the other hand, is an absolute god-awful nightmare.

Also, Yoss, just for the record I said it would be 5-10% more work, not 15%. :)


Yes, I am a programmer. And I'm not disagreeing with you on the technical details. My points are about the UI complexity, the economic validity of bid/ask applied to Hex cards, and the lack of real world examples to base use cases on.

The issue is that you're looking at the UI that would be necessary for a bid/ask system and forgetting that that same UI (and backed components) could be used as the search features for a traditional AH. What's more since the traditional AH is functional and handles non-fungible cards very well without the full feature set, they could start simple and add features over time, whereas a bid/ask system needs full-featured search out of the box.

You are also working from the assumption that the AH should resemble a commodity market. I would disagree with that simply because Hex cards are specifically designed not to be commodities. The whole point of the double back is to make cards not fungible which means they shouldn't behave like commodities (compare buying/selling gold bullion vs jewelry). Because of that it seems like waiting to see some real world data about how people trade Hex cards might be useful before designing a UI for more advanced search as you want to make the most common searches the easiest to enter and put the less commonly used features out of the way. It also would be good to find out how fungible Hex cards are in practice, since the idea of non-fungible TCG cards is pretty new.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 03:08 PM
(I'll assume you're still going to read posts 104 and 113 and respond to them.)


Yes, I am a programmer. And I'm not disagreeing with you on the technical details. My points are about the UI complexity, the economic validity of bid/ask applied to Hex cards, and the lack of real world examples to base use cases on.
UI complexity should not be an issue. RegAH and HexBAS can both be done well from a UI standpoint.

As for economic validity, as you said later in your post, we just don't know how people will treat the double-back. It might make for huge value swings or it might be completely ignored or anything in between. Given that unknown, we have to assume the worst (from a complexity standpoint) and implement the ability to handle the uniqueness.


The issue is that you're looking at the UI that would be necessary for a bid/ask system and forgetting that that same UI (and backed components) could be used as the search features for a traditional AH. What's more since the traditional AH is functional and handles non-fungible cards very well without the full feature set, they could start simple and add features over time, whereas a bid/ask system needs full-featured search out of the box.
I agree somewhat, but I'll also flip this around and send it back at you. HexBAS can likewise start with a smaller feature set and work its way up, and in fact I suggested just that way back near the start of this thread. HexBAS could start where Sellers can only post listings (Limit Orders) and Buyers can only respond to listings (Market Orders). Bottom line, if you're willing to scale back on one, you can do the same on the other.


You are also working from the assumption that the AH should resemble a commodity market. I would disagree with that simply because Hex cards are specifically designed not to be commodities. The whole point of the double back is to make cards not fungible which means they shouldn't behave like commodities (compare buying/selling gold bullion vs jewelry). Because of that it seems like waiting to see some real world data about how people trade Hex cards might be useful before designing a UI for more advanced search as you want to make the most common searches the easiest to enter and put the less commonly used features out of the way. It also would be good to find out how fungible Hex cards are in practice, since the idea of non-fungible TCG cards is pretty new.

See post 113 and my response at the top of this post. We are definitely NOT assuming perfect commoditization for HexBAS.

Banquetto
01-31-2014, 03:23 PM
I'd be curious to know what people think the breakdown would be between:

* People buying and selling "interesting" cards with achievements, history, etc.
* People buying and selling plain cards simply because the seller got something from a pack he didn't need, and the buyer wants that card to add to his deck.

Personally, I imagine an overwhelming majority of trade is going to fall into the latter category. I think a full-fledged AH backed with a buy-order system that didn't support distinguishing features of cards at all would be an ideal solution, in terms of effort:usefulness ratio.

mudkip
01-31-2014, 04:20 PM
My only request is that the search results are grouped. E.g. If I search for "Giant" I don't want to see every copy of Giant Caterpillar, Giant Corpse Fly, ect. I'd rather see one of each, with a min/max price, and then I click on that to view them all.

Kroan
01-31-2014, 04:21 PM
It's quite funny to see all the "oh it's only 10% more work" and "I'm a programmer, I know" posts... Besides that programmer's are the worst to make decent plannings, it's also ridiculous that someone actually thinks he or she can say anything with any meaning without knowing anything about the system that is currently used.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 04:23 PM
You are also working from the assumption that the AH should resemble a commodity market. I would disagree with that simply because Hex cards are specifically designed not to be commodities. The whole point of the double back is to make cards not fungible which means they shouldn't behave like commodities (compare buying/selling gold bullion vs jewelry). Because of that it seems like waiting to see some real world data about how people trade Hex cards might be useful before designing a UI for more advanced search as you want to make the most common searches the easiest to enter and put the less commonly used features out of the way. It also would be good to find out how fungible Hex cards are in practice, since the idea of non-fungible TCG cards is pretty new.

This is a reasonable point. Thanks for bringing it up. You're absolutely right that we're moving into (somewhat) uncharted waters here. Gold bullion with jewelry-like customization, if you will. :)

I have a lot of thoughts swarming around my head about all of this, including the UI, but I was mostly thinking of things from the point of view of trying to allow one system to support both mass / generic orders while allowing "deep dive" searches to help highlight a card's special unique snowflake-ness.

As Yoss has said, accurately, a lot of the problems that plague the concept of a BAS in most people's minds would actually be just as bad or even worse in a traditional auction system (or TAS). A solution has to be made for good, robust, but easy to use search functions no matter what auction system they go with - or it will be complete shit and impossible to find anything. :)

The real place where a BAS shines over a TAS is when what you want isn't available RIGHT NOW. Say there are only 3 pack raptors up for auction, and they're all either too expensive for your blood, or you really wanted one with that 1,000 damage achievement already unlocked, because it's a pain. In a TAS, you have to keep searching over and over again every day, hoping someone posts one that meets your criteria. That's time you're wasting being frustrated, instead of playing the game. In a BAS, however, you just put your order in, and forget about it. Someone will see your order, decide that's a price they're willing to sell for, and boom, you get your card. No fuss, no muss. Now it's a nice surprise, instead of an aggravating annoyance that detracts from your overall enjoyment.

It's true that not every user is going to want the extra functionality that a BAS can give you access to, but the UI will be designed to be easy for the average user to come in and search/browse for what they want. To them, it will be just like a TAS. But those extra features are going to be the bread and butter for people who like to play the market, or deal in rarities, that a TAS just can't handle as well.

Again, it's true that a BAS can have difficulty dealing with unique items vs commodities if it's not built properly, but the fact of the matter is that a normal auction system realistically has the same problem, especially if the interface isn't diverse enough to handle complex searching... so both systems are actually on even footing there, which I think is the main thing people who are in favor of an ebay style system are worried about anyway.

Niedar
01-31-2014, 04:35 PM
I'd be curious to know what people think the breakdown would be between:

* People buying and selling "interesting" cards with achievements, history, etc.
* People buying and selling plain cards simply because the seller got something from a pack he didn't need, and the buyer wants that card to add to his deck.

Personally, I imagine an overwhelming majority of trade is going to fall into the latter category. I think a full-fledged AH backed with a buy-order system that didn't support distinguishing features of cards at all would be an ideal solution, in terms of effort:usefulness ratio.

I think this is a pretty easy system to implement. For example in EVE items can have damage and such that can be sold on the AH or ships can have items fitted to them or inside their cargo hold that can be placed on the AH. If you want to put these items on the market instead then you have to repackage them. This resets them to their base form so a ship with items fitted on it would have all the items taken off and an item with damage must be repaired to full health.

So the solution is simple, you can reset a card to a base form in order to put it on the market instead of the AH. Majority of cards would then not be sold on the AH unless they are extra special.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 09:00 PM
I think this is a pretty easy system to implement. For example in EVE items can have damage and such that can be sold on the AH or ships can have items fitted to them or inside their cargo hold that can be placed on the AH. If you want to put these items on the market instead then you have to repackage them. This resets them to their base form so a ship with items fitted on it would have all the items taken off and an item with damage must be repaired to full health.

So the solution is simple, you can reset a card to a base form in order to put it on the market instead of the AH. Majority of cards would then not be sold on the AH unless they are extra special.

Oh my dear, NO. Do not EVER wipe out the double-back! The system needs to handle the uniqueness for those who care about it, and also commoditize for those who don't.

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 09:08 PM
I agree that it needs to handle uniqueness no matter what, but there's no good reason I can think of to commoditize it. People who don't care will just search by name and buy cheapest, that doesn't change, no matter which way you go. A Bid/Ask type AH will have a higher barrier to use. GW2 suffers from that a bit, and it's very easy to use, but lots of people don't understand it, and make bad choices. A standard AH is well understood by pretty much the entire target audience. Why add all of that complexity, what do we really gain?

Yoss
01-31-2014, 10:06 PM
Why add all of that complexity, what do we really gain?
How about this:

The real place where a BAS shines over a TAS is when what you want isn't available RIGHT NOW. Say there are only 3 pack raptors up for auction, and they're all either too expensive for your blood, or you really wanted one with that 1,000 damage achievement already unlocked, because it's a pain. In a TAS, you have to keep searching over and over again every day, hoping someone posts one that meets your criteria. That's time you're wasting being frustrated, instead of playing the game. In a BAS, however, you just put your order in, and forget about it. Someone will see your order, decide that's a price they're willing to sell for, and boom, you get your card. No fuss, no muss. Now it's a nice surprise, instead of an aggravating annoyance that detracts from your overall enjoyment.

As for complexity, did you read post 113?

In HexBAS, basic purchases go like this:
click to enter the Buying section (same as RegAH)
click the tab for commodity type (PVP, PVE, Equipment, Other) (same as RegAH I would guess, since it just makes sense to provide these gross filters at the top level)
type in a card name, which then shows the relevant listings (same as RegAH)
double-click the cheapest one(s) (same as RegAH)

Seems pretty simple.

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 10:15 PM
It's not simple. You want it to be simple. But it really isn't. Most people will be able to figure it out quickly, but many people will give up on it because it is new and different, the bonuses have to outweigh that.

So the benefit we would get for additional complexity, turning off casual players, etc is just that some people can setup buy orders? I'd argue that keeping an eye on the AH for that amazing card you've always wanted is a large part of the fun... But then again I think that peoples relationship with bought items changed a great deal for the worse with the wow AH. I miss spamming trade chat in EQ personally. Heaven forbid you have to actually talk to people to arrange special trades.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 10:18 PM
A Bid/Ask type AH will have a higher barrier to use.

A common misconception. Not true at all. GW2's system was just poorly designed. But you can design a clean, fairly simple interface that will make the more advanced features unobtrusive and to a "basic" user it will look and act just like a standard AH.

ossuary
01-31-2014, 10:20 PM
So the benefit we would get for additional complexity, turning off casual players, etc is just that some people can setup buy orders?

There are several benefits, which were laid out in great detail in the other 400 post thread. You said yourself you don't want to rehash that thread, so we were trying to keep it more succinct. If you want me to go back into full detail, by all means let me know. :)

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 10:20 PM
A common misconception. Not true at all. GW2's system was just poorly designed. But you can design a clean, fairly simple interface that will make the more advanced features unobtrusive and to a "basic" user it will look and act just like a standard AH.

Can you link me to anyone implementing one in such a way? Cause I've never seen it... And if it has never been done it's not really a misconception, and more of a fact.

Yoss
01-31-2014, 10:39 PM
Can you link me to anyone implementing one in such a way? Cause I've never seen it... And if it has never been done it's not really a misconception, and more of a fact.

How about post 104?

Ju66ernaut
01-31-2014, 11:30 PM
Yoss, I really like your proposed HexBAS; but I really think it does boil down to what the masses will be able to navigate.

Where is the simplicity in your complex system? How would your niece interact with the system? How would the janitor at your work interact with it?

E.V.E. is an awesome game with a fantastic auction system, but how many people completely skip over the title because it's known as Spreadsheets In Space?

Can you show/repost how the HexBAS system can be conveniently used by both casual players and virtual moguls?

Gwaer
01-31-2014, 11:33 PM
post 104 describes features that are honestly independent of system doesn't it? Can't either system be created with all of those features? What's the benefit that 104 is talking about that is dependent on the Bid/Ask system?

Yoss
02-01-2014, 12:08 AM
To both Ju66 and Gwaer:
Post 104 is to show that the UI can be simple and easy to use for HexBAS, and you (Gwaer) are right that the UI could be almost identical for TAH (traditional AH). Both can be made to work nicely for the newb. Post 104 is to show that all the jargon from the link in my sig would not be needed in the UI; all the tech-head stuff is behind the scenes. Post 104 was not designed to show what HexBAS can do that TAH can't. Other posts have done that, but maybe we should consolidate a list. (Post 104 does have some things on it that TAH can't do, if I remember right.)

EDIT:
Yeah, so from post 104, there are a couple things that TAS wouldn't have.
1. "button for Sell At Market Price (also accomplished by double-click anywhere in the sortable columns)"
2. "The second row below the Search function would have somthing like "Don't like these prices? Make an offer:" with entry fields for Quantity, Price, and the double-back stuff (same as on the Search line). (This is how you'd enter a Limit Order.)"

So the extra complexity is minimal: one extra button for Sellers, and one extra entry row for Buyers (which one could suppress by default and have it say "Double-click a listing to buy it. If you don't like any, then click here to Make an Offer.")

Gwaer
02-01-2014, 12:23 AM
The normal AH can sell at a market price. I don't think limit orders are a good thing at all, anyway. They're often set incredibly low, and just drive prices down by tricking people who don't understand what is going on... I do not see the benefit of the extra coding, extra complexity, and extra headaches for new players just so people can set a limit order.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 12:30 AM
HexBAS UI

HexBAS would be just as easy to use as a Traditional Auction House (TAH). Things that TAH Would not have are in bold. (TAH might also have some other controls that HexBAS does not need, since HexBAS does not have auction-style bidding. For example, there's no Starting Price to worry about, only a "Buy It Now" price. Complexity wise, this added field cancels out the added Sell At Market Price button on the HexBAS seller screen.)

Two screens: Buying and Selling

SELLING
Shows your collection, with tabs for PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. On each tab, shows a list of all your stuff with columns for Name, Rarity, Quantity, Market Price. Default would be sorted descenting by Quantity so that you know what items you have excess of. Clicking a column header would sort by that attribute. Default sort would be Alphabetical for Name, Leg/Rare/Unc/Com order for Rarity, Descending for Quantity, and Descending for Price. A second click on the same column will reverse the sort order. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like: rules text/stats and double-back stats.

Additional columns to the right of each item would have the Seller Controls: input field for Quantity To Sell, button for Sell At Market Price (also accomplished by double-click anywhere in the sortable columns), button for Sell At My Price with input Price field next to it, and a View Book button to give a pop-up showing all the outstanding Limit Orders for that item.


BUYING
Across the top would be the same four tabs: PVP, PVE, Equipment, and Other. Default view on each tab, if you haven't viewed it in a while (say 30 minutes maybe), shows the top 20 most expensive items for sale (Ask Limit Orders), giving highlight advertising to what might otherwise be difficult to sell. Otherwise, the default will be whatever you were last viewing. Each tab would have at the top a Search input field with double-back feature choices to the right: AA (yes/no/either), Min XP% (which covers Foils by entering 100%), and an Achievements button for a pop-up to select must-have achievements. Defaults for double-back would be: AA-either, XP-0, and no achievements required. As you type in the Search field, it would suggest possible matches that you can click on.

After you search, the Book for that item is displayed in ascending order of Price, with Bids suppressed by default (since a casual Buyer usually won't care what other Buyers are bidding) but with a check box to toggle them on or off (to the right of the Achievements filter button). The diplayed data would be: Name, Price, AA, XP%, a field for up to three Achievement images, and a "more" link in case there are more than three achievements. Double-click on a listing will buy it. Mouse-over a row should work like in the Deck Builder, showing relevant details about the item like rules text/stats.

The second row below the Search function would have somthing like "Double click an item to buy it. If you don't like these listings, then click here to Make an Offer." If you "click here", it reveals entry fields for Quantity, Price, the double-back stuff (same as on the Search line) and a button for Make Offer. (This is how you'd enter a Bid Limit Order.)

Yoss
02-01-2014, 12:37 AM
The normal AH can sell at a market price.
Well, sorta. Yes, you could have that button, but it would not have the same function. In HexBAS that button will instantly sell your item to the highest outstanding Bid Limit Order. (Or if you're worried about scams, then have it pop up the Book and let the user double-click the Bid they want to fulfill.) In TAH, the best it can do is put up a listing (Ask Limit Order, sorta) that matches the lowest existing seller, but it's still just a normal listing where you have to wait for a buyer because TAH does not track demand information.


I don't think limit orders are a good thing at all, anyway. They're often set incredibly low, and just drive prices down by tricking people who don't understand what is going on.
Look at the BUYING UI in post 135 (updated from 104). Notice that the newbie is going to buy by double-click and will know exactly how much he's going to pay before he does so! He'll not be getting scammed.


I do not see the benefit of the extra coding, extra complexity, and extra headaches for new players just so people can set a limit order.
We might debate the coding, but I'm not seeing the "extra complexity and headaches" you're talking about. The two UI are nearly identical.

Gwaer
02-01-2014, 12:39 AM
It wouldn't be as easy, because there's obviously extra depth in limit orders, that's an entirely alien concept to people who have never used this sort of AH before... And why can't a regular AH list items for market price? Auctioneer has been able to do that for years in wow... Reposting the same block of text doesn't answer the question. What do we gain from implementing this system. Is it just the ability to place limit orders? Because that is of questionable benefit as it is. If that's all we're getting then there is definitely no reason to implement this bid/ask stuff. You're trying to contort it around into just looking like a traditional AH... Why not just have a traditional AH?


In TAH, the best it can do is put up a listing (Ask Limit Order, sorta) that matches the lowest existing seller, but it's still just a normal listing where you have to wait for a buyer because TAH does not track demand information.


That is blatantly and patently untrue. You can have plenty of market statistics and market history and a market price based on various time frames built into a standard AH... Auctioneer mod has done it for for something like 8 years with the wow auction house.

Lawlschool
02-01-2014, 12:49 AM
One thing that HexBAS definitely has going for it is the ability to set a buy order for things not currently listed for sale. But in my experience with the WoW AH (and I was a pretty savvy WoW AH user), buyers don't know jack. They tend to underestimate costs, and simply ask to buy for what they're willing to afford, which often tended to be below the actual cost of what the want. Honestly, I like the idea of being able to put in a bid for something that's not currently available, but it requires actually knowing the value of what you're asking for. And Buyers generally aren't great at assessing value as they don't understand cost plus markup. That's one of the reasons why I like a traditional AH setting, as Sellers are able to post based on what they think is a reasonable markup for the costs incurred to create whatever it is they're selling and other sellers undercut to as close to their marginal costs as they're willing to go.

As for the extra complexity, not sure how you don't see what it is, since HexBAS is essentially TAS + extra things.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 12:59 AM
It wouldn't be as easy, because there's obviously extra depth in limit orders, that's an entirely alien concept to people who have never used this sort of AH before.
It is not an alien concept. Every "Buy It Now" listing in TAH is really just an Ask Limit order. The concept is familiar, it is only the words that are strange, and we wouldn't use "limit order" in the UI anyway. So, please be VERY specific. What is more complicated? I've already shown it's not for the buyers; they just double-click to buy. For sellers, entering a Price and listing an item is just like TAH; it only differs if they want instant gratification (which TAH wouldn't even offer), and even then it works like the buyer interface; they just double-click a Bid and they're done.


And why can't a regular AH list items for market price? Auctioneer has been able to do that for years in wow...
Uhm, did you read the first section of post 136? I agreed that TAH can LIST items for market price; it cannot SELL INSTANTLY at market price.


What do we gain from implementing this system. Is it just the ability to place limit orders?
1. What oss said back in post 121. (Able to place a Bid Limit Order for something that's hard to find without the aggravation of trolling the AH every day hoping that someone has posted what you're looking for.)
2. Sell It Now. (Ask Market Orders)


You're trying to contort it around into just looking like a traditional AH... Why not just have a traditional AH?

I'm not contorting. I made up the UI post from the ground up to best suit HexBAS, not to make it look like a TAH. You are the one who first said my HexBAS UI would work for TAH, and it caught me by surprise. And you were mostly right; the two could overlap at least 95% if one wished them to. So I could equally well say to you "you're trying to contort your traditional AH to show how it can be like a BAS (the whole Market Price thing)... why not just have a BAS?" But I won't because it's a silly statement. Argue on the merits, please.

Is TAH terrible? No. Is HexBAS superior? Yes!

Gwaer
02-01-2014, 01:05 AM
The merit of my statement is it takes more work to implement that's why the standard AH is the default. It's what they have already started working on. If it can do 95% of what your system can do. Why start over? I think having to keep your eyes on the AH is a very good thing. Tons of people I know go to card shops and yard sales and all sorts of things trying to find that awesome card for a reasonable price. And when they find it they feel invested in it. Having to do a minimal amount of work is a positive, making it automatic cheapens the experience in many ways.

Its like fast travel in MMO's everyone thinks they want to be able to instantly move anywhere but once they get it the world just seems smaller and less engaging. Convenience at a certain level becomes a negative thing in games.

Off Topic
On a personal note, I'm glad you're back from your hiatus. I've missed our little arguments Yoss. Many of your habits still infuriate me. But you have to take the good and the bad in any relationship. ;)

Yoss
02-01-2014, 01:13 AM
in my experience with the WoW AH (and I was a pretty savvy WoW AH user), buyers don't know jack. They tend to underestimate costs, and simply ask to buy for what they're willing to afford, which often tended to be below the actual cost of what the want. Honestly, I like the idea of being able to put in a bid for something that's not currently available, but it requires actually knowing the value of what you're asking for. And Buyers generally aren't great at assessing value as they don't understand cost plus markup. That's one of the reasons why I like a traditional AH setting, as Sellers are able to post based on what they think is a reasonable markup for the costs incurred to create whatever it is they're selling and other sellers undercut to as close to their marginal costs as they're willing to go.
(NOTE: This response might be delving into details that most users will never see or care about.)

So, HexBAS still handles this better. A Sellers can still do exactly what you're saying, and post "reasonably high" prices. A Buyer can still do what you're saying and post "unreasonably low" prices. That Buyer and Seller will never transact with each other (no problem). All of those go into the Book as unfulfilled Limit Orders and create a Spread, which in this example will be large. Other Buyers will come along and see the "reasonably high" (but lowest available) Seller listings and will buy them. Seller is happy. Other Sellers will come along and see the "unreasonably low" (but highest available) Buyer listings and perhaps choose not to sell (at least, not with a Market Order). The unreasonable Buyer's listing will time out and the Buyer will thus have the chance to learn; no one took his offer. If he's serious about the item in question, he will need to raise his Bid.


As for the extra complexity, not sure how you don't see what it is, since HexBAS is essentially TAS + extra things.

Yes, and those extra things would be hidden by default so as to keep the newbie feeling at home until he's ready. And when he's ready, he'll find the two extra features (1 for selling, 1 for buying) very easy to learn. It will FEEL just as easy.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 01:33 AM
The merit of my statement is it takes more work to implement that's why the standard AH is the default. It's what they have already started working on. If it can do 95% of what your system can do. Why start over?
TAH shares 95% of the UI, not 95% of the benefit. Those two extra features in HexBAS are HUGE in terms of benefit. Even though mostly only savvy users will initiate the Bid Limit Orders, they will be making instant gratification available to sellers and that is an enormous boon. Players who want to avoid wasting time on the AH and just want to play the game can do so much better when they can do BOTH buy and sell instantly.


I think having to keep your eyes on the AH is a very good thing. Tons of people I know go to card shops and yard sales and all sorts of things trying to find that awesome card for a reasonable price. And when they find it they feel invested in it. Having to do a minimal amount of work is a positive, making it automatic cheapens the experience in many ways.

Its like fast travel in MMO's everyone thinks they want to be able to instantly move anywhere but once they get it the world just seems smaller and less engaging. Convenience at a certain level becomes a negative thing in games.
This is a new avenue we never discussed in the other thread, at least not that I remember. Since your first sentence ("I think having...") is purely opinion, I really can't argue against it. If you WANT to be "forced" into trolling the AH as if it were a yard sale, then I guess that's your thing. It sounds horrid to me, but that's my opinion. I also don't shop yard sales in real life.

To me (opinion here), time on the AH should be minimized to the bones so that I can spend maximal time on the "real game" (market players would perhaps not like that "real" part). Despite being one of the savvy users of HexBAS, I would probably be using the INSTANT BUY and INSTANT SELL most often just so that I could get back to the PVP or PVE sooner.


Off Topic
On a personal note, I'm glad you're back from your hiatus. I've missed our little arguments Yoss. Many of your habits still infuriate me. But you have to take the good and the bad in any relationship. ;)


Always a pleasure having you there to help me refine my ideas. HexBAS wouldn't be half as good an idea without your endless heckling pushing my creativity. :)

Banquetto
02-01-2014, 01:37 AM
I think this is a pretty easy system to implement. For example in EVE items can have damage and such that can be sold on the AH or ships can have items fitted to them or inside their cargo hold that can be placed on the AH. If you want to put these items on the market instead then you have to repackage them. This resets them to their base form so a ship with items fitted on it would have all the items taken off and an item with damage must be repaired to full health.

So the solution is simple, you can reset a card to a base form in order to put it on the market instead of the AH. Majority of cards would then not be sold on the AH unless they are extra special.

Whoah, that's exactly what I was trying to avoid.

My thought was that a traditional AH system, where every card up for sale is a separate listed item, has no problems dealing with the complexities of the double-backed cards.

(well, there are UI challenges around effectively searching and presenting the information, but all manageable)

A buy order system that handled all that complexity feels really complex. That's why I recommended a buy order system that ignored all that, and just let you say "I want card x, and I'll pay y plat for it". I certainly wasn't suggesting the card history be wiped when it was sold on the market. Just that it didn't need to support specifying history requirements when you placed a buy order.

Lawlschool
02-01-2014, 07:55 AM
(NOTE: This response might be delving into details that most users will never see or care about.)

So, HexBAS still handles this better. A Sellers can still do exactly what you're saying, and post "reasonably high" prices. A Buyer can still do what you're saying and post "unreasonably low" prices. That Buyer and Seller will never transact with each other (no problem). All of those go into the Book as unfulfilled Limit Orders and create a Spread, which in this example will be large. Other Buyers will come along and see the "reasonably high" (but lowest available) Seller listings and will buy them. Seller is happy. Other Sellers will come along and see the "unreasonably low" (but highest available) Buyer listings and perhaps choose not to sell (at least, not with a Market Order). The unreasonable Buyer's listing will time out and the Buyer will thus have the chance to learn; no one took his offer. If he's serious about the item in question, he will need to raise his Bid.



Yes, and those extra things would be hidden by default so as to keep the newbie feeling at home until he's ready. And when he's ready, he'll find the two extra features (1 for selling, 1 for buying) very easy to learn. It will FEEL just as easy.

I get the theory behind how Market / Limit, Bid / Ask is supposed to work, but people have a way of not using things how they're supposed too. They theory behind HexBAS is well and good, but I have my doubts about how it will work once put in to practice.

And your point that the extra features won't be used by most people really doesn't help your argument that Hex should implement a BAS system. If the majority of players won't notice the difference, and won't even use the BAS system, why make the devs go through all the work to implement it?

Everyone understands that HexBAS is superior to TAH, but the question is, is it significantly better to the point where it's worth expending the time and resources to implement at launch? If most people won't notice, won't care, and won't use it as you seem to be suggesting, I'm not sure how you can argue that it is worth implementing or that those features are necessary. Perhaps at some later point they can add in BAS functionality, but I'd think it's more important that we get a robust normal AH out first, instead of a less-robust AH plus BAS (assuming robust + BAS isn't an option for the dev team)

ossuary
02-01-2014, 09:01 AM
Tons of people I know go to card shops and yard sales and all sorts of things trying to find that awesome card for a reasonable price. And when they find it they feel invested in it. Having to do a minimal amount of work is a positive, making it automatic cheapens the experience in many ways.

This is opinion and preference, not fact. Many other people hate the idea of having to put a lot of work into getting something they want or need, and the idea turns them off of even trying (which equals less money spent). Spending weeks looking for item X on the AH was the most terrible part about the market in WOW.

Instead, what if the market price for card X was about $10.50, but right now there are only 3 listed, and the sellers all want $13 for them because they are greedy, or they're trying to force the market price to go up, or whatever. Instead of checking over and over for someone to post a better price, you just put in a bid order. Let's say you want to see if you can get it for $10.50 exactly, because you refuse on principle to go over the market price that has been static for a few months now. You put in your order and forget about it, and go back to playing and having fun in the meantime instead of stressing out about trying to find this god damn card at a fair price. :)

Now let's look at this situation from a seller's point of view. You really want to play a couple of tournaments, but you're strapped for cash right now until payday, so you can't buy more plat from CZE. You don't want to wait for an auction to HOPEFULLY finish, you want plat in hand RIGHT NOW. Fortunately for you, Hex is using a BAS instead of a normal auction. You go into your card collection and filter by cards you have more than 4 of, looking for one worth selling off. Hey look, there's a bid order outstanding for card X for $10.50, which the UI shows you is the market price. You can sell it right this instant for your plat, more than enough to play several tournaments even after the AH fees are taken off. You hit sell, and you instantly get your platinum, and you are starting a tournament immediately instead of having to wait for someone to decide to buy out an open auction. That was super convenient!

Back to our buyer now... it's been a few days, but at least he hasn't been trolling the AH over and over again hoping to get lucky. Frankly, he forgot all about his bid, because he was having fun playing the game. Suddenly, he gets a notification that his purchase has been processed. What luck! Now he finally has that card he was waiting for to go on a raid. You just made his weekend. Now the auction house is a positive experience full of happy surprises instead of a huge, daunting pain in the ass.

Thank god the developers listened to reason, and implemented a BAS. :)

Gwaer
02-01-2014, 09:45 AM
It's actually not opinion. It's psychology. You give people things for free and no effort those things lose meaning and value. The effort required makes the reward rewarding.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 10:09 AM
I get the theory behind how Market / Limit, Bid / Ask is supposed to work, but people have a way of not using things how they're supposed too. They theory behind HexBAS is well and good, but I have my doubts about how it will work once put in to practice.
I'd love to hear what specific degenerate behaviour you're worried about. It's hard to address vague statements of doom and gloom.


And your point that the extra features won't be used by most people really doesn't help your argument that Hex should implement a BAS system. If the majority of players won't notice the difference, and won't even use the BAS system, why make the devs go through all the work to implement it?

Everyone understands that HexBAS is superior to TAH, but the question is, is it significantly better to the point where it's worth expending the time and resources to implement at launch? If most people won't notice, won't care, and won't use it as you seem to be suggesting, I'm not sure how you can argue that it is worth implementing or that those features are necessary.
(Continuing from post 142 top section.) Actually, it does help the argument immensely. All of the benefit is reaped by simply having a few savvy users providing market liquidity on the demand side for the general populace to exploit when selling. This means that the average user never even needs to learn the additional Bid tool if they don't want to, while still gaining the benefit of SELL IT NOW. Complexity for the average user is avoided while providing a better experience both for them and for the savvy.

(Also see ossuary's example in post 145 to see part of what I'm talking about.)


Perhaps at some later point they can add in BAS functionality, but I'd think it's more important that we get a robust normal AH out first, instead of a less-robust AH plus BAS (assuming robust + BAS isn't an option for the dev team)

They could absolutely build it up incrementally if they want to! The key is that they start with the end in mind when building things up. Most of the core functionality from the user perspective will be needed regardless of TAH or BAS. As long as they have the back-end built with BAS in mind, then it will naturally be able to grow into the extra features later.


It's actually not opinion. It's psychology. You give people things for free and no effort those things lose meaning and value. The effort required makes the reward rewarding.

I want my time spent reaping the rewards of PVP and PVE, not the rewards of the AH. The "rewarding rewards" I'm interested are the ones I earn in the "real" game, not the market. The AH is a tool to increase market efficiency, not a reward engine. If its purpose were not efficiency, we'd just live with chat spam for all trades because that's the least efficient and therefore "more rewarding". Since its purpose is efficiency, it should therefore be as good at that task as possible.

Ju66ernaut
02-01-2014, 11:42 AM
I'd love to hear what specific degenerate behaviour you're worried about. It's hard to address vague statements of doom and gloom.


I'd probably load $500 worth of platinum onto my account and have a standing buy order for 100 of each PvP card at $.01 or .01 plat each. There alone is 400+ buy orders that would be clogging the system indefinitely, waiting for people to misspost or accidentally sell to me. I probably wouldn't be the only one with an idea like that. We are TCG players; we live to game systems.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 12:07 PM
What Banq said below (first paragraph).

Banquetto
02-01-2014, 12:25 PM
I'd probably load $500 worth of platinum onto my account and have a standing buy order for 100 of each PvP card at $.01 or .01 plat each. There alone is 400+ buy orders that would be clogging the system indefinitely, waiting for people to misspost or accidentally sell to me. I probably wouldn't be the only one with an idea like that. We are TCG players; we live to game systems.

You certainly wouldn't be the only one with that idea - a cursory glance at the marketplace in EVE shows exactly the same thing. Region-wide buy orders for like 1% of the real value of many goods, lots and lots of them. It doesn't seem to cause their systems any harmful clogging.

Although I do agree that it is a trap for unwary or ignorant players who might just think "welp, I guess that's what this card sells for". That's something EVE can hand-wave away with a manly cry of "EVE is harsh!", but not every game wants to emulate that attitude. :)

Freebird_Falcon
02-01-2014, 02:53 PM
Okay, initially they are two separate things. Plat is USD while gold is playtime.

But we've already agreed that you can convert between them, because the alternative isn't feasible.

By doing that, you are making them effectively the same thing. The old saying "time is money" has become literally true. It's just like real-life gold and platinum. Initially, they're just pieces of metal. But once we accept them as having monetary value, they become money.

So once you've accepted that conversion between the two will be allowed, you've turned gold/time into money.



As long as you can accept CZE setting the rates based off market data as market-based, we're in agreement on this one.



I really don't think fooling your customers is a sound business plan. When they do find out the truth it will be far worse than if you were truthful upfront. You can't keep this kind of secret in the Internet age.

They are not the same thing. This is like saying because apples and oranges are both food, they are effectively the same thing. This is failing to understand that plat is never generated without player <local currency> input. If you put an auto converter in, where is the gold-> plat conversion coming from? CZE. However, the conversion must come from trade with another player and not CZE or they directly monetize PVE (and lose money). Gold generation itself does not = monetization if the player generating gold never opts to convert it and that is the primary distinction of value. Even if a player does opt to convert, the value has come from the real world monetary input of other players and not CZE.


Also consider that having a direct system of currency trade for intangible -> tangible runs into a whole hoard of issues with currency and prize laws (if gold directly converts to platinum, you'd be winning money per game which is expressly prohibited in many areas)

On another note:
I disagree with list fees. I'd opt more for an item limit(with ability to list entire sets as single bulk items, or just keep it p2p trade) with % on sale fees, and preferably only on gold transactions.

Niedar
02-01-2014, 03:04 PM
Whoah, that's exactly what I was trying to avoid.

My thought was that a traditional AH system, where every card up for sale is a separate listed item, has no problems dealing with the complexities of the double-backed cards.

(well, there are UI challenges around effectively searching and presenting the information, but all manageable)

A buy order system that handled all that complexity feels really complex. That's why I recommended a buy order system that ignored all that, and just let you say "I want card x, and I'll pay y plat for it". I certainly wasn't suggesting the card history be wiped when it was sold on the market. Just that it didn't need to support specifying history requirements when you placed a buy order.


I personally give no shits about card history and I think the majority of people will also give no shits about the history. Why would I care about the history of some random card i bought from someone else to throw into my deck and that I am going to turn around and sell as soon as im done with it.

Lawlschool
02-01-2014, 03:19 PM
I personally give no shits about card history and I think the majority of people will also give no shits about the history. Why would I care about the history of some random card i bought from someone else to throw into my deck and that I am going to turn around and sell as soon as im done with it.

The card history is there for the people who care about it. If you don't care about it, ignore it.

ossuary
02-01-2014, 03:20 PM
I personally give no shits about card history and I think the majority of people will also give no shits about the history. Why would I care about the history of some random card i bought from someone else to throw into my deck and that I am going to turn around and sell as soon as im done with it.

Because CZE is trying to build a system where that matters. Because it's new and we should try it before we decide whether or not it's worth our time.

Feel free to continue to not give two shits about it, but also don't try to kill it just because you personally don't think you'll use it - CZE is building it because they think it will be fun and useful.

Niedar
02-01-2014, 03:20 PM
If card history is causing decisions to be made that give me a worse experience I kind of can't ignore it.

Yoss
02-01-2014, 04:09 PM
If card history is causing decisions to be made that give me a worse experience I kind of can't ignore it.

The double-back was touted quite strongly during Kickstarter as a key feature of the game. They'd take a lot of flak if they ditched the idea now.

Banquetto
02-01-2014, 04:41 PM
The double-back was touted quite strongly during Kickstarter as a key feature of the game. They'd take a lot of flak if they ditched the idea now.

Agreed 100%. While it may not be key to core gameplay, I have to say, the double-back was the feature which most made me sit up and say "huh! that's new! and cool!!" when I read the Kickstarter pitch.

Parzival
02-01-2014, 05:19 PM
I don't think they will do anything with the double backed, as Yoss said it was prominently displayed during the KS campaign and it is a very cool idea.

Look don't get me wrong, I'm no achievement horse but I can see collectors snapping up such unique cards :D

I can see CZE delaying HEXbas simply from a resource perspective, I hear the arguments that it won't take "too" much time but I think their priority should be getting to monotised beta as quickly (and bug free) as possible. Cory has said he wants to reinvest as much as possible into HEX so I'm sure we will see bas down the road.

I think it's a great idea if a toggle option, and the EVE downside of hundreds of order can be prevented by simply limiting each player to say five orders and for no more than four of a card (I mean yes HEX is a TCG but it's not a market based mmo.).

Like Ossuary was saying it solves the card hunter and the desperate sale scenarios, though I think some of that could be addressed with a simple market alert function from the buyers side. I'm looking for Vampire King, I don't want to pay more than $10, send me a mail when one is put on the AH.

Turtlewing
02-03-2014, 10:06 AM
This is a reasonable point. Thanks for bringing it up. You're absolutely right that we're moving into (somewhat) uncharted waters here. Gold bullion with jewelry-like customization, if you will. :)

I have a lot of thoughts swarming around my head about all of this, including the UI, but I was mostly thinking of things from the point of view of trying to allow one system to support both mass / generic orders while allowing "deep dive" searches to help highlight a card's special unique snowflake-ness.

As Yoss has said, accurately, a lot of the problems that plague the concept of a BAS in most people's minds would actually be just as bad or even worse in a traditional auction system (or TAS). A solution has to be made for good, robust, but easy to use search functions no matter what auction system they go with - or it will be complete shit and impossible to find anything. :)

The real place where a BAS shines over a TAS is when what you want isn't available RIGHT NOW. Say there are only 3 pack raptors up for auction, and they're all either too expensive for your blood, or you really wanted one with that 1,000 damage achievement already unlocked, because it's a pain. In a TAS, you have to keep searching over and over again every day, hoping someone posts one that meets your criteria. That's time you're wasting being frustrated, instead of playing the game. In a BAS, however, you just put your order in, and forget about it. Someone will see your order, decide that's a price they're willing to sell for, and boom, you get your card. No fuss, no muss. Now it's a nice surprise, instead of an aggravating annoyance that detracts from your overall enjoyment.

It's true that not every user is going to want the extra functionality that a BAS can give you access to, but the UI will be designed to be easy for the average user to come in and search/browse for what they want. To them, it will be just like a TAS. But those extra features are going to be the bread and butter for people who like to play the market, or deal in rarities, that a TAS just can't handle as well.

Again, it's true that a BAS can have difficulty dealing with unique items vs commodities if it's not built properly, but the fact of the matter is that a normal auction system realistically has the same problem, especially if the interface isn't diverse enough to handle complex searching... so both systems are actually on even footing there, which I think is the main thing people who are in favor of an ebay style system are worried about anyway.

That definitely is the advantage of a BAS AH. It's also the only reason I don't like saying flat out that a BAS is objectively a bad Idea for Hex.

However the main problem I foresee with implementing a BAS upfront, is that it pushes the commodity model, which is also the more familiar model for TCG cards.

Hex is trying to do something new with it's cards and make them not commodities. And I would like to see how that pans out before abandoning it. Since the idea is so new I think if it's going to have a chance making mass transactions hard out of the gate it a feature not a bug. I also think that showing the listings and forcing players to interact with them individually to some extent offers as chance for discovery ("Oh hey, this pack raptor was in the PTQ, and it's only 2 gold more than the lowest listing I'll take that one instead") whereas designing the system so it only cares about price and the criteria you decide are important going in does not allow for the same sort of discovery that could potentially make a conesour out of a player who was previously apathetic to the uniqueness of cards.

In the long run if it turns out no one cares about the double back and cards are trading like commodities or if a clear way to implement more advanced buy/sell options without compromising the uniqueness of cards becomes clear, there's no reason not to improve the AH. But I think it's a mistake for Hex to start with an AH designed for commodity cards.

ossuary
02-03-2014, 10:34 AM
In the long run if it turns out no one cares about the double back and cards are trading like commodities or if a clear way to implement more advanced buy/sell options without compromising the uniqueness of cards becomes clear, there's no reason not to improve the AH. But I think it's a mistake for Hex to start with an AH designed for commodity cards.

This is part of my concern as well, but as I explained to Gwaer, this is actually a big part of WHY I'm pushing for a BAS over a TAH (I guess those are the official-for-our-purposes acronyms now! :)), because while it's true a BAS that has been designed from the ground up to be commodities based, a TAH by its very nature is commodities ONLY... the posting is unique, but only because the interface can't group very well, so it groups by name only. Searching is limited, discoverability is bad, etc.

A BAS by its nature and design is more open and more functional, which in my mind (looking at it as both a UI designer and also a collector/user) makes it better for casual browsing, narrowing down results quickly, customizing what you're seeing, etc. I absolutely do not want to sacrifice the double-back features, trophies and other unique goodies these cards are going to have - I'm a huge fan of the idea. I just happen to believe that a properly built BAS is going to be far better for that than ANY sort of TAH interface could ever be, no matter how well designed.

This issue is going to be difficult to handle no matter what, and realistically speaking we are probably going to have to settle for a phased approach, since CZE has already said that development time and cost are concerns with going for a full-fledged BAS. Maybe we could start with a TAH, but also have a bid system tacked onto that for the instant buying/selling piece as an interim solution until a full BAS with a better searching and scripting interface can be put together. That will at least allow for the instant gratification portion, though it wouldn't work quite as well since the market price will be more in fluctuation (if the cards are not commodities, you can't compare prices on a vanilla card vs one with trophies as equal units, so both extremes of prices will be factored in somewhat inaccurately).

Hmm... actually, I hadn't even really thought about that in detail before. How are we going to measure market trends and prices, if every single copy of a named card is unique? The market price is going to be affected by how many "special" copies of a card are sold vs vanilla copies with no usage. How will we take that into account when trying to determine fair market value? This bears a completely separate amount of consideration...

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 10:44 AM
No matter how many times you guys say that it. It will never be true. The auction house can be designed in either system to have the same amount of granularity and stat tracking. It's entirely an implementation question. Basically the current suggestion is to implement a standard AH layout and UI with standing buy orders as an addon. They can just add that on to their AH later if it becomes a feature they want to add.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 11:56 AM
Hmm... actually, I hadn't even really thought about that in detail before. How are we going to measure market trends and prices, if every single copy of a named card is unique? The market price is going to be affected by how many "special" copies of a card are sold vs vanilla copies with no usage. How will we take that into account when trying to determine fair market value? This bears a completely separate amount of consideration...

For now, you don't bother determining FMV, and indeed, you don't bother implementing the 3rd UI screen I have in mind (Analytics) until well down the road. The only "market price" that will exist is the answer to the question: "given my current search parameters, what is the best price I can get?".

Later on, well after launch, we can start thinking about how to analyze what's going on in the market. I have some ideas for how to do it, but all those analytic functions are not basic needs for the AH and there's no dev time for them right now. I'm trying to keep the BAS work scope within the bounds of what TAH is likely to require, since that's really the only thing TAH has going for it (supposedly lower dev cost).


No matter how many times you guys say that it. It will never be true. The auction house can be designed in either system to have the same amount of granularity and stat tracking. It's entirely an implementation question. Basically the current suggestion is to implement a standard AH layout and UI with standing buy orders as an addon. They can just add that on to their AH later if it becomes a feature they want to add.

If TAH is designed without auctions and instead everything is Buy It Now (Ask Limit Orders, in BAS parlance), then I agree that TAH can be a step along the way to a full BAS. (We need the robust search engine no matter what.) However, if they implement regular timed auctions, that's wasted dev time for a feature that's crap and would eventually be discarded as the AH development continues towards the full BAS we want it to be.

SIDE NOTE:
For TAH, there should not be Auction Titles, like one would see on eBAy. Listings should just be sorted and searched by what they are, not by player-entered-values. Search should just be on these things: Card Name, AA (y/n/-), XP% (for Foil enter 100), EA (y/n/-), and Achievements (should be a pop-up advanced search feature). Technically, EA is covered by Achievments, but not in the obvious way that Foil is covered by XP, so I think it would be worth calling it out separately.

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 12:18 PM
If TAH is designed without auctions and instead everything is Buy It Now (Ask Limit Orders, in BAS parlance), then I agree that TAH can be a step along the way to a full BAS. (We need the robust search engine no matter what.) However, if they implement regular timed auctions, that's wasted dev time for a feature that's crap and would eventually be discarded as the AH development continues towards the full BAS we want it to be.
Wait, so you're calling for an absolute removal of all auctions? Auctions will no longer be possible? If I have a fairly unique card (won a major tournament, first foil of card X, etc), I have to set a fixed price? There won't be an opportunity to put it out on the market and let the masses decide how much it's worth to them?

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're suggesting - which I concede is all too possible - I just went from disliking your proposed system to hating it. (Disclaimer: It was a rough night. Need more time to recover in full.)

I'm still firmly in the corner of "TAH with stacking 'vanilla' cards."

Yoss
02-03-2014, 01:28 PM
Wait, so you're calling for an absolute removal of all auctions? Auctions will no longer be possible? If I have a fairly unique card (won a major tournament, first foil of card X, etc), I have to set a fixed price? There won't be an opportunity to put it out on the market and let the masses decide how much it's worth to them?

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're suggesting - which I concede is all too possible - I just went from disliking your proposed system to hating it. (Disclaimer: It was a rough night. Need more time to recover in full.)

I'm still firmly in the corner of "TAH with stacking 'vanilla' cards."

The double-back could add substantial value, sure, but a card is never truly unique; it always is in family with the base card. Therefore you do have opportunity to "let the masses decide how much it's worth to them". In fact, they'll have already done so before you even list your item. You should almost always be able to look at the Book for the card and see what prices look like for "lesser" versions of what you're selling. For example, you have the first foil and think it's worth a little extra. You look for other cards with high XP% (nearly foil) for comparison and then add on a little bit. It should be pretty rare to be completely in the dark about a card's value.

In the rare case that you're truly clueless about an item's value, then you just have to list high and work your way down. This is assuming they avoid listing fees, and put all the fees on the sale instead (which I'd support, along with a limit on how many orders you can have open at a time to prevent spam). Also, my current UI idea would consitently highlight the most expensive stuff whenever someone opens the AH. So if your card is so rare that there's no price data for it, then when you list it at some super-high value you'd get good advertising.

Anyhow, HexBAS never had auctions in it, so I'm not sure why this "new" information would change your opinion on it.

EDIT:
On the flip side, what would you do with an auction in the situation you're worried about? You'd list at the low end of your best guess for value, then HOPE that there's more than one person who cares about that particular (admittedly awesome) card and is willing to pay what it takes AND that they all happen to show up and bid against each other that week. You're far more likely to end up with no bids or only a single bid and thus you were effectively just listing for Buy It Now anyway, and at "too low" a value. In the end, for very rare stuff, you're stuck figuring out value either way and an auction doesn't really help you. If anything it's a trap.

Turtlewing
02-03-2014, 01:35 PM
This is part of my concern as well, but as I explained to Gwaer, this is actually a big part of WHY I'm pushing for a BAS over a TAH (I guess those are the official-for-our-purposes acronyms now! :)), because while it's true a BAS that has been designed from the ground up to be commodities based, a TAH by its very nature is commodities ONLY...

Well, really I'd rather see a barter auction house where lots are auctioned and you can bid anything (not juts gold/plat) more like the PoxNorra rune trader than either a TAS or BAS, but I seem to be basically the only person who thinks that's a good idea.

However you point about TAH is flat out wrong. A TAS is a list of sellers offering specific items at various prices and a search system for filtering/ordering those items. It's exactly the same as a BAS but with only one side implemented.

The main advantage over a TAS vs a BAS as it applies to handling non-comodity items is that a TAS puts the emphasis on the buyer choosing the lot they want to buy which gives an opportunity to evaluate several similar lots for any stand out features that make one a better deal than the other (say 2 cards for the same price but one has a trophy). Whereas a BAS AH abstracts that away behind a layer of automatic transactions, which will encourage treating cards more like commodities (because it's easier to get your bid/ask to go though if you're less concerned about the details of the card).

Lawlschool
02-03-2014, 01:41 PM
Anyhow, HexBAS never had auctions in it, so I'm not sure why this "new" information would change your opinion on it.

Honestly, that's pretty awful. Auctions have their use if there's something worth auctioning. Bidding wars work great for really rare or really valuable items, like a hard-to-get Legendary Equip, scarce promos, or a card that won a significant tourney match. Not allowing any form of auctions just doesn't make sense. Why force someone to continuously list and re-list their items (and thus repeatedly paying listing fees) hoping for someone to bite, rather than let them post at a reasonable price and let buyers decide how much they're willing to pay?

Your whole argument for HexBAS > TAH is that it is TAH just with more features, so why limit functionality by not including an auction option in an Auction House?

Yoss
02-03-2014, 01:47 PM
Well, really I'd rather see a barter auction house where lots are auctioned and you can bid anything (not juts gold/plat) more like the PoxNorra rune trader than either a TAS or BAS, but I seem to be basically the only person who thinks that's a good idea.
This sounds more like player-to-player trading to me, perhaps along the various Trade Binder ideas we discussed last year.


However you point about TAH is flat out wrong. A TAS is a list of sellers offering specific items at various prices and a search system for filtering/ordering those items. It's exactly the same as a BAS but with only one side implemented.
Assuming all the TAH auctions are Buy It Now, then I agree.


The main advantage over a TAS vs a BAS as it applies to handling non-comodity items is that a TAS puts the emphasis on the buyer choosing the lot they want to buy which gives an opportunity to evaluate several similar lots for any stand out features that make one a better deal than the other (say 2 cards for the same price but one has a trophy).
What "lots" are you talking about? When I think of TAH, I'm thinking like WoW where every item has its own auction. No mixed lots.


Whereas a BAS AH abstracts that away behind a layer of automatic transactions, which will encourage treating cards more like commodities (because it's easier to get your bid/ask to go though if you're less concerned about the details of the card).

What "automatic transactions" are you talking about? Did you check out the latest HexBAS UI ideas (link below)? All instant buys (Market Orders) are done by double-click on the listing you want, so you know exactly what you're getting. There's no worry about getting your "bid/ask to go through".

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32198&page=14&p=336768&viewfull=1#post336768

Yoss
02-03-2014, 01:55 PM
Honestly, that's pretty awful. Auctions have their use if there's something worth auctioning. Bidding wars work great for really rare or really valuable items, like a hard-to-get Legendary Equip, scarce promos, or a card that won a significant tourney match. Not allowing any form of auctions just doesn't make sense. Why force someone to continuously list and re-list their items (and thus repeatedly paying listing fees) hoping for someone to bite, rather than let them post at a reasonable price and let buyers decide how much they're willing to pay?

Your whole argument for HexBAS > TAH is that it is TAH just with more features, so why limit functionality by not including an auction option in an Auction House?

Obviously they need to avoid listing fees for high value items, and I said as much. (So why are you acting like I didn't?) Ebay figured this out a long time ago and moved all their fees to the back end.

And bidding wars only work when there's more than one person interested within the bidding window and when they're willing to fight. Seriously, go on eBay and search for "mtg black lotus" (I just did). NO ONE is using a regular auction for it. They're nearly all Buy It Now or Buy It Now with OBO. (Cheapest is $1050, if you're curious. The cheapest of the two action ones is $3799 with zero bids.) Moral of the story, when you have a very rare item, you DON'T want an auction.

Turtlewing
02-03-2014, 02:02 PM
This sounds more like player-to-player trading to me, perhaps along the various Trade Binder ideas we discussed last year.


Nope. This would be an actual auction house. You list a lot of tradable items you want to sell and buyers place builds composed of tradable items. It's basicly the opposite of everything you want so I expect you not to be impressed, but I think it would do a much better job of handling the non-commdoity nature of Hex cards, and provides a more intuitive system for the sort of transactions people do with paper TCGs.

It would not be a replacement for peer to peer trading as peer to peer trading is for trading with a specific person whereas the AH is about getting the best deal you can when you don't care who the deal is with.



Assuming all the TAH auctions are Buy It Now, then I agree.

Yes, I was assuming that as well. Though really I'd prefer to see real auctions as they would be superior for handling non-commodity cards.



What "lots" are you talking about? When I think of TAH, I'm thinking like WoW where every item has its own auction. No mixed lots.

I meant listings. I think a good AH should be able to handle mixed or single lots without anything breaking (part of why I dislike BAS). But my argument was not assuming the ability to list more than one item in a lot.



What "automatic transactions" are you talking about? Did you check out the latest HexBAS UI ideas (link below)? All instant buys (Market Orders) are done by double-click, so you know exactly what you're getting. There's no worry about getting your "bid/ask to go through".

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32198&page=14&p=336768&viewfull=1#post336768

I may have been addressing an earlier revision where the idea was that you didn't see the listing you buy without special effort to do so (you place a buy order and the system finds the best price sell order that matches your criteria).

Frankly without that I'm a little stumped why you even want a BAS as if there's no automatic linkage between the buy and sell sides you'd juts split your AH in half for no obvious gain.

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 02:07 PM
Honestly, that's pretty awful. Auctions have their use if there's something worth auctioning. Bidding wars work great for really rare or really valuable items, like a hard-to-get Legendary Equip, scarce promos, or a card that won a significant tourney match. Not allowing any form of auctions just doesn't make sense. Why force someone to continuously list and re-list their items (and thus repeatedly paying listing fees) hoping for someone to bite, rather than let them post at a reasonable price and let buyers decide how much they're willing to pay?

Your whole argument for HexBAS > TAH is that it is TAH just with more features, so why limit functionality by not including an auction option in an Auction House?
Let's start out by pretending that I just said all of this.


The double-back could add substantial value, sure, but a card is never truly unique; it always is in family with the base card. Therefore you do have opportunity to "let the masses decide how much it's worth to them". In fact, they'll have already done so before you even list your item. You should almost always be able to look at the Book for the card and see what prices look like for "lesser" versions of what you're selling. For example, you have the first foil and think it's worth a little extra. You look for other cards with high XP% (nearly foil) for comparison and then add on a little bit. It should be pretty rare to be completely in the dark about a card's value.
This example might be a bit of a stretch, but what about signed baseballs? You could follow their "families" too.
vanilla ball -> signed ball -> ball signed by Babe Ruth -> game ball from a World Series that Babe Ruth played in, signed by Babe Ruth -> Babe Ruth signed ball from when he called his shot
Knowing the value of the prior tier only helps when there's a small jump. There will be roughly 34 to 40 cards with a "first ever world champ" stamp on them. A bunch of those will be red or blue rarity. There will be some world first cards, super rare PvE equipment, etc. You're telling me that I need to pick a number and stick by it or repeatedly list it when it comes to cards of this [presumed] value? How the hell is knowing the value of a Babe Ruth signed ball going to help me determine the value of the ball used in one of baseball's greatest moments ever?


In the rare case that you're truly clueless about an item's value, then you just have to list high and work your way down. This is assuming they avoid listing fees, and put all the fees on the sale instead (which I'd support, along with a limit on how many orders you can have open at a time to prevent spam). Also, my current UI idea would consitently highlight the most expensive stuff whenever someone opens the AH. So if your card is so rare that there's no price data for it, then when you list it at some super-high value you'd get good advertising.
...
On the flip side, what would you do with an auction in the situation you're worried about? You'd list at the low end of your best guess for value, then HOPE that there's more than one person who cares about that particular (admittedly awesome) card and is willing to pay what it takes AND that they all happen to show up and bid against each other that week. You're far more likely to end up with no bids or only a single bid and thus you were effectively just listing for Buy It Now anyway, and at "too low" a value. In the end, for very rare stuff, you're stuck figuring out value either way and an auction doesn't really help you. If anything it's a trap.
Free advertising isn't enough to make up for what you're taking away. I want the opportunity to list at my bottom line and let the people duke it out so I can get top dollar. I could still make the highlights list AND have an auction. But the difference between what you've proposed and what I'm talking about is that while I'd need to "guess" my bottom line in either scenario, only my "system" (so to speak) gives me the opportunity to benefit from the market correcting my botched valuation. In yours, I'm bound to my valuation unless it fails to sell.

Also, I'm not really sure how you've come to the conclusion that I'm only going to get one bid (if any) for a theoretical item in a theoretical system for a partially developed game being tested by a partially developed player base. That seems a bit presumptuous, no?


Anyhow, HexBAS never had auctions in it, so I'm not sure why this "new" information would change your opinion on it.
Listen, I can't remember what happened last week; if I were to remember a conversation I participated in months ago, it would be a miracle. For all I know, I may have been a supporter of the HexBAS before - I honestly have no idea - but I'm seeing it now and disliking it.

Lawlschool
02-03-2014, 02:11 PM
eBay shouldn't be the AH you're using to compare HexBAS with. Look up Auctioneer, Auctionator, Trade Skill Master, and The Undermine Journal for how modders and a third-party website made the WoW AH incredibly robust and functional. That's the kind of TAH we'd want for Hex, not something like eBay.

Also, the Black Lotus doesn't prove anything, since I assume there's a pretty standard price for one already, depending on condition, etc. An auction works great for a rare item for which there is no already agreed upon price. That way you can let players determine how much they're willing to buy it for by out-bidding each other. Back in my WoW days I participated in numerous high-priced bidding wars for rare drops.

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 02:12 PM
Not even a year ago, I sold unopened beta starter decks on ebay, all of those sales were auctions, not buy it now. Moral of the story, you probably don't want static buy it now auctions on high value items.


eBay shouldn't be the AH you're using to compare HexBAS with. Look up Auctioneer, Auctionator, Trade Skill Master, and The Undermine Journal for how modders and a third-party website made the WoW AH incredibly robust and functional. That's the kind of TAH we'd want for Hex, not something like eBay.

This is something I have been trying to get across to them for ages. auctioneer does an amazing job of what a standard AH could do if any forethought were put into it.

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 02:27 PM
And bidding wars only work when there's more than one person interested within the bidding window and when they're willing to fight. Seriously, go on eBay and search for "mtg black lotus" (I just did). NO ONE is using a regular auction for it. They're nearly all Buy It Now or Buy It Now with OBO. (Cheapest is $1050, if you're curious. The cheapest of the two action ones is $3799 with zero bids.) Moral of the story, when you have a very rare item, you DON'T want an auction.
What the two guys above me said, and also:
The Black Lotus is not just a single example, but it's also one tilted a bit by the fact that it's 20 years old. You're talking about a card that the bulk of collector's have already taken a shot at.

It's just a guess (and I won't dress it up as anything more than that), but I'd be willing to bet my worth that a truly unique Lotus would go up as an auction and not a BIN listing.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 02:28 PM
Nope. This would be an actual auction house. You list a lot of tradable items you want to sell and buyers place builds composed of tradable items. It's basicly the opposite of everything you want so I expect you not to be impressed, but I think it would do a much better job of handling the non-commdoity nature of Hex cards, and provides a more intuitive system for the sort of transactions people do with paper TCGs.
It's an interesting idea. It sounds horribly inefficient though, even moreso than TAH. Every purchase/sale would be a big burden of "wasted" time as you sift through haggling everything. And the haggling is basically "by email" so it will take even longer.


I may have been addressing an earlier revision where the idea was that you didn't see the listing you buy without special effort to do so (you place a buy order and the system finds the best price sell order that matches your criteria).
Yeah, we'd discussed automatic market order fullfillment in the other thread. In this thread, when it came time to dream up the UI, the idea morphed so that Market Orders would be by clicking directly in the (possibly filtered) Book for the one you want.


Frankly without that I'm a little stumped why you even want a BAS as if there's no automatic linkage between the buy and sell sides you'd juts split your AH in half for no obvious gain.
Not sure what you mean by "automatic linkage". Everything would still be shown in the same Book, creating your Spread and Market Price (for the eventual analytics which wouldn't be there at first).

The obvious gain is twofold. (Repeating from posts in this thread.)
1. When what you want isn't immediately available, you can post a Bid rather than being forced to troll the AH every day hoping a Seller emerges.
2. When you want to sell instantly, it is possible, where in TAH it would not be possible.

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 02:31 PM
You would have to troll the AH every day anyway in point 1 to make sure no one has put in 1000 bids 1 cent above yours.

point 2 is honestly irrelevant imo. When you want to sell instantly put it on the AH a bit cheaper than others, and make a post about it in trade chat.

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 02:36 PM
Nope. This would be an actual auction house. You list a lot of tradable items you want to sell and buyers place builds composed of tradable items. It's basicly the opposite of everything you want so I expect you not to be impressed, but I think it would do a much better job of handling the non-commdoity nature of Hex cards, and provides a more intuitive system for the sort of transactions people do with paper TCGs.
I'm not trying to be a dick, but this is horribly antiquated. Bartering took a back seat to currency some 4000+ years ago (I think?). It's way too clunky and prohibitive. Items -> Currency -> Items sounds like an extra step, but it's markedly more efficient.

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 02:38 PM
...1. When what you want isn't immediately available, you can post a Bid rather than being forced to troll the AH every day hoping a Seller emerges. ...
TAH but with stacked vanilla cards and bid orders - I'm happy with that. Lock it in. It's a deal. Shake my hand. Do it now.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 02:48 PM
I'm not really sure how you've come to the conclusion that I'm only going to get one bid (if any) for a theoretical item in a theoretical system for a partially developed game being tested by a partially developed player base. That seems a bit presumptuous, no?
As you say, hypothesizing about Hex is theoretical, therefore I'm not restricting myself to Hex specifically. Let's think of other commodities that are very rare and valuable. How are they sold?

MTG Beta packs are probably not a good example, because they're almost for sure going to have plenty of bidders. That means they also have market data from which one can derive a listing price for Buy It Now. We need to talk more like the 1996 World Champion level here (link (http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/arcana/91)). Or like the rare baseball idea. How would that look on the market?

Of the 11 "rare" listings on eBay that are asking $1M or more, only one is an auction and it has no bids.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 02:50 PM
TAH but with stacked vanilla cards and bid orders - I'm happy with that. Lock it in. It's a deal. Shake my hand. Do it now.

I'm listening (no sarcasm). How would this work exactly? How can you have auctions coexist with The Book?

RobHaven
02-03-2014, 02:53 PM
Of the 11 "rare" listings on eBay that are asking $1M or more, only one is an auction and it has no bids.
In fairness, there's important info you can't see.
- How many times have these Buy It Now listings been posted?
- How long have they been sitting without a buyer?
- Does "or best offer" really count as a Buy It Now? It seems like it's somewhere between that and an auction.


I'm listening (no sarcasm). How would this work exactly? How can you have auctions coexist with The Book?
I am unfamiliar with this "Book" that you speak of. It's entirely possible that it was detailed in full in the previously discussed Old Thread. It's also possible that you detailed it in this thread, but honestly there were a lot of words in a lot of posts and I think I blacked out somewhere along the way.



EDIT: condensed to one post

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 02:54 PM
You don't sell extremely rare things like that as a commodity with a set price... You sell it in an auction, where people bid. That's how rare and valuable things get a price in the real world.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 02:58 PM
You would have to troll the AH every day anyway in point 1 to make sure no one has put in 1000 bids 1 cent above yours.
So we need Outbid Notices. (Which TAH would probably want to have anyway. They're a necessary evil, but with BAS at least you would only need them some small amount of the time, whereas normal auctions would be issuing Outbid Notices frequently.) Now you only have to go back if your Bid is actually in danger.


point 2 is honestly irrelevant imo. When you want to sell instantly put it on the AH a bit cheaper than others, and make a post about it in trade chat.
This is less efficient for your time as a seller. BAS lets you check prices then double-click-sell and you're done. What you posted here is several extra steps: check prices (same), type in a price, click to list, go to trade chat, type your advertisement, then sit and wait, possibly copy/pasting your ad a few more times when no one buys it right away.

Irrelevant? I think not.

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 03:03 PM
As I stated before, absolute efficiency is a detriment to market. Too much liquidity is bad for a both consumers, and users, and the market as a whole.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 03:10 PM
In fairness, there's important info you can't see.
- How many times have these Buy It Now listings been posted?
- How long have they been sitting without a buyer?
- Does "or best offer" really count as a Buy It Now? It seems like it's somewhere between that and an auction.
You're right, of course. We're working from rather poor market data for knowing how ultra-rare stuff is actually handled. Still, some data (what I gathered) is better than none. Also, check out my response to Gwaer below about Grand Auctions and let me know what you think.


I am unfamiliar with this "Book" that you speak of. It's entirely possible that it was detailed in full in the previously discussed Old Thread. It's also possible that you detailed it in this thread, but honestly there were a lot of words in a lot of posts and I think I blacked out somewhere along the way.
The "Book" is where all the listings for a given commodity are kept, sorted by price. Traditionally listings of same price would be grouped together, but for Hex we've said that we cannot do that due to double-back variations. So the Hex Book for each card would have an itemized listing of every existing Bid and Ask, with indications of all relevant double-back data in addition to basic pricing. Generally, Bids will clump up below the Asks, but with the double-back it will be possible to have a specialized Bid listed above a generic Ask since the generic item cannot satisfy the Bidders desire.


As I stated before, absolute efficiency is a detriment to market. Too much liquidity is bad for a both consumers, and users, and the market as a whole.

This seems totally nonsensical to me. I've read papers whose whole point and goal is to find ways to INCREASE market liquidity and efficiency. So it seems odd to hear you advocating the opposite. Care to explain?


You don't sell extremely rare things like that as a commodity with a set price... You sell it in an auction, where people bid. That's how rare and valuable things get a price in the real world.

And you make a point of advertising to the rich people in advance so that you have plenty of bidders. Along those lines, I have an idea for Hex. Maybe once per quarter, CZE hosts a Grand Auction where all the coolest, rarest stuff is auctioned live! Now you know you have the bidders you need!

(Gwaer, I love you man. You help me find such fun ideas.)

Yoss
02-03-2014, 03:33 PM
eBay shouldn't be the AH you're using to compare HexBAS with. Look up Auctioneer, Auctionator, Trade Skill Master, and The Undermine Journal for how modders and a third-party website made the WoW AH incredibly robust and functional. That's the kind of TAH we'd want for Hex, not something like eBay.
http://auctioneeraddon.com/?p=screen

That's anything but simple. And you all are saying HexBAS would be too complicated? LOL!

If people can handle (and indeed desire) something as complicated as Auctioneer, then they should love HexBAS.

Lawlschool
02-03-2014, 03:47 PM
http://auctioneeraddon.com/?p=screen

That's anything but simple. And you all are saying HexBAS would be too complicated? LOL!

If people can handle (and indeed desire) something as complicated as Auctioneer, then they should love HexBAS.

My point isn't about complexity, it's that a TAH can have the kind of robust functionality you seem to think is only available to BAS.

You really think Auctioneer is that complicated? Sure there's lots of numbers and the UI isn't pretty, but it's really just your standard AH with price guides and more efficient buy/sell.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 04:21 PM
My point was not that Auctioneer is too much complexity for me personally. My point is that the HexBAS UI I proposed a few pages back would be simpler than the WoW AH, while having superior function; that one can have both power and simplicity by designing it right; and that if average folks can understand and use Auctioneer then they can definitely handle not just the simple BAS proposed, but a fully analytical one as well.

Perhaps it wasn't you, but several people in this thread have been saying that a BAS is too complicated for the average person. Thus, I have been working these last several pages to show that it is not, in fact, any more complicated than a TAH. Both can be simple, both can be complicated, but BAS has superior function.

ossuary
02-03-2014, 04:57 PM
On the whole mixed lots idea, I'm not against them, but I think we can all at least agree that discoverability for something like that would be fucking terrible, and the devs shouldn't waste precious time trying to get them in from the start. Maybe we can have them later, when time allows, but I really don't see how you could search for them (and you wouldn't want to browse through all 10,000 players' currently listed mixed lots, either).

For now, we need to focus on single card transactions, in whatever form. Though being mindful of future possible design space in our conversations, of course. Everything should be built to be scalable, but we absolutely should not be trying to make mixed lots fit into our current design discussions, because realistically, we're NOT going to get them at beta / launch (and shouldn't want them yet, frankly).

ossuary
02-03-2014, 04:59 PM
Also I love the idea of CZE hosted live auctions. That is a killer idea, that will help them promote and highlight the double back stats in grand fashion. Someone email this thread to Shaggy to make sure the idea gets company eyeballs on it!

Fucking BRILLIANT. :)

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 05:35 PM
A yearly auction hosted by CZE perhaps during hexcon would certainly be something. But it is not a substitute for the ability to have auctions as part of the functionality of the AH.

Rendakor
02-03-2014, 06:28 PM
If not mixed lots, we should at least be able to sell quantities of the same card, so you can buy a playset in a single transaction.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 06:31 PM
Also I love the idea of CZE hosted live auctions. That is a killer idea, that will help them promote and highlight the double back stats in grand fashion. Someone email this thread to Shaggy to make sure the idea gets company eyeballs on it!

Fucking BRILLIANT. :)

I'll add it as a GREEN item on my Unofficial Features List.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 06:34 PM
If not mixed lots, we should at least be able to sell quantities of the same card, so you can buy a playset in a single transaction.

Why is this necessary? Double-click 4 times and you have a playset in about the same time as it would take you to use a text field to enter "4" and then click a button to submit the order. (and without the extra dev time to have an extra feature)

EDIT:
To clarify, I'm assuming you mean Buy It Now style playsets. If you are talking about Bid listings, then yes, you'd be able to enter a quantity, which the AH would auto-split into 4 equivalent Bid orders.

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 06:37 PM
For example, I might have the playset of ragefires used to win the first Hex championship, and I want to sell them as a set. I should be able to list them as a set built into the AH.


More to the point, it shouldn't be everyone elses job to explain to you why a feature should be in the AH. Selling lots of cards is more important than you're letting on. A traditional AH can handle the selling of multiple cards in a single lot, I don't think your proposal can, so there's another absolute against it.

Yoss
02-03-2014, 07:07 PM
Added the HexBAS UI to the thread in my sig. Here's direct link to the post:
http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=26789&p=281507&viewfull=1#post281507

Yoss
02-03-2014, 07:20 PM
A traditional AH can handle the selling of multiple cards in a single lot, I don't think your proposal can, so there's another absolute against it.

It's not a question of whether it CAN, but whether the extra complexity is worth it. We could certainly design to allow "All Or None" orders. The question is whether that would be worth it.

Before moving to the view-and-click method of Market Orders, in the other thread we'd allowed for All Or None as a type of Market Order. However, that assumed automatic fullfillment of the order, which we've perhaps decided wouldn't be the best*. We could still tweak the idea to instead have Limit Orders be the ones that can be All Or None, in which case when someone tries to double-click and buy it, they'll have to receive a warning that they must buy all four. Is the extra complexity really worth it? I'm not sure.


*Fear that someone gets duped by a really low Bid when their Ask goes for fullfillment.

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 07:40 PM
I'm pretty certain the extra complexity is not worth it. Luckily with a standard AH it's no more complex. You create an auction, what you put in that auction is anything you can auction in whatever numbers you desire. This could even be a basis for bartering, another person wants your item but has a number of potentially valuable items, so they create an offer as an auction containing some money a bunch of commons and some rares, which you you accept will count as the winning bid, and the items can be transferred via the auction system. Should that be available at release? Probably not. How would you implement such a thing in your proposed system.

Lawlschool
02-03-2014, 07:43 PM
It's not a question of whether it CAN, but whether the extra complexity is worth it.

That's the same question I'm wondering about HexBAS in general. Is the extra complexity of a system that seems to do away with some key elements of a good AH (selling stacks / actually having auctions) worth the effort to implement, especially when one of the devs explicitly said they didn't want to expend the effort to make a BAS system?

I assumed that you would be able to sell bundles of cards through HexBAS since that seems like common sense. Are you seriously saying that instead of being able to buy/sell 4x (or more) of some random Common in a stack, I'd have to buy or list each item separately? Have you considered how this will work with PvE crafting materials, which (assuming they exist) will undoubtedly be sold in stacks?

ossuary
02-03-2014, 09:43 PM
Yoss is the only one who said the BAS wouldn't / shouldn't allow lots / stacks. I never said that. :p

A BAS can absolutely handle units of things instead of singletons, it just has to allow it, exactly the same as a TAH has to allow it (either way, the UI has to be built to show them, and if it's a mixed lots, searching might be difficult in EITHER system).

People can argue till the cows come home about whether or not our auction house SHOULD contain groupings, but please don't make the mistake of believing a BAS CAN'T. That's just silly. :)

Gwaer
02-03-2014, 09:50 PM
In any 'BAS' I've ever seen I don't know how it would be able to do mixed lots. I'm not sure how it would work or what it would look like.

ossuary
02-03-2014, 09:59 PM
Exactly the same as a TAH?

Searching / discovery of a mixed lot is going to be difficult in ANY system. Basically, it's going to just have to be an indexed list, and when you do searches it will return partially matched mixed lots. You'd want to be able to have a toggle to turn mixed lots on or off as valid search results, in case you don't have a pile of 10,000 commons to come back when you searched for a specific card. :)

Other than that, both systems would probably have allow for browsing of lots with some extra filters / criteria to narrow the search if you're looking for general stuff (say, a mixed lot containing all or mostly set 1 cards, or only cards from the current set, or mostly Wild cards... etc.).

Presentation is going to be difficult no matter what... I suspect that not a lot of people will use an AH for mixed lots on either the buying or selling end, unless it's REALLY well designed. They'll use trader forums or the like instead.

mach
02-03-2014, 11:25 PM
Presentation is going to be difficult no matter what... I suspect that not a lot of people will use an AH for mixed lots on either the buying or selling end, unless it's REALLY well designed. They'll use trader forums or the like instead.

I think the best presentation is one which allows you to completely skip the AH interface as much of the time as possible. For example, suppose I have a decklist but only own half the cards in the list. I should be able to click a single button and the client will search the AH and quote me the cheapest price to buy everything I need to be able to play that deck. Then if I'm okay with that price a second click buys the cards. This is all without leaving the deck editor screen.

ossuary
02-04-2014, 05:53 AM
I would definitely want to see integration of features into other pieces of the game interface, yes. That kind of stuff can be complicated to get working on the backend, but is totally doable with planning. I wouldn't necessarily expect that upfront at launch, but if they're smart, they will at the very least build the UI and database structures with those kinds of future interactions in mind.

RobHaven
02-04-2014, 06:29 AM
The "Book" is where all the listings for a given commodity are kept, sorted by price. Traditionally listings of same price would be grouped together, but for Hex we've said that we cannot do that due to double-back variations. So the Hex Book for each card would have an itemized listing of every existing Bid and Ask, with indications of all relevant double-back data in addition to basic pricing. Generally, Bids will clump up below the Asks, but with the double-back it will be possible to have a specialized Bid listed above a generic Ask since the generic item cannot satisfy the Bidders desire.
And this sounds like a better option than a TAH to you? Or is this just an attempt to answer a call the BAS is not really all that well suited to answer?

I'm willing to sit and watch your Power Point presentation of this BAS, but in all honesty I can't see any reason why a TAH with an added bid/ask (on vanilla cards only) doesn't suit everyone's needs.

RobHaven
02-04-2014, 06:34 AM
I think the best presentation is one which allows you to completely skip the AH interface as much of the time as possible. For example, suppose I have a decklist but only own half the cards in the list. I should be able to click a single button and the client will search the AH and quote me the cheapest price to buy everything I need to be able to play that deck. Then if I'm okay with that price a second click buys the cards. This is all without leaving the deck editor screen.
Yowzers. I love the idea, but I could only see it working with vanilla cards in a bid/ask system. If the AH search turns up no B/A vanillas, then you have to go diving in the TAH. Otherwise how would it work? Just the X lowest cost auctions of your needed cards? And you could then pick or choose which ones you accept?
Alright, nm. That actually sounds pretty legit.

(Since CZE already said they're using a TAH, I'm just going to assume from now on that they'll end up with a TAH and an added B/A for vanillas.)

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 09:21 AM
On the whole mixed lots idea, I'm not against them, but I think we can all at least agree that discoverability for something like that would be fucking terrible, and the devs shouldn't waste precious time trying to get them in from the start. Maybe we can have them later, when time allows, but I really don't see how you could search for them (and you wouldn't want to browse through all 10,000 players' currently listed mixed lots, either).

For now, we need to focus on single card transactions, in whatever form. Though being mindful of future possible design space in our conversations, of course. Everything should be built to be scalable, but we absolutely should not be trying to make mixed lots fit into our current design discussions, because realistically, we're NOT going to get them at beta / launch (and shouldn't want them yet, frankly).

Actually you can search mixed lots pretty easily. You just need to have the database query return any lots that contain cards matching the query you would have used for finding single card lots.

The good thing about mixed lots is they let you dump cards in "100 random commons" type batches that are good buys for new players staring their collection who don't know enough yet to pick worthwhile commons in single item lots or "pre made deck" lots that are again, of interest to new players.

Tinuvas
02-04-2014, 09:39 AM
Hmm, kept up with the thread, still unconvinced about the absolute superiority of the BAS.

In a TAH, you have auction as an option that the BAS CAN'T do. In real life, let's look at a violin. A Stradivarius, while still a violin (and with the possibility of being grouped as such), truly is not the same as a regular violin. So maybe group it with other Strads, but in real life, some people want to auction them off to high bidders, some make back room deals without the hassle. High end art is the same thing. Some people like to auction their stuff off, feeling that their best dollar will come that way, some people want to fire and forget.

A BAS locks the entire segment of market dealing with unique auctions (and those who prefer to deal that way) out. Your gain in terms of mass market transactions and commodity transaction efficiency loses the capacity for people who feel that they have a truly auctionable item to put it out there in that way. That is a loss that I don't think is beneficial to the game as a whole.

Once again, this game is not about mass transactions. Yes, there is benefit from making the market efficient, but there is NOT an absolute superiority to BAS over TAH. There is give and take, good and bad. The suggestion that CZE has an annual auction to highlight the double-back and other unique awesomeness of their cards I find amusing. Why only highlight the unique aspects of their cards once a year when you can do it every day in the TAH? So people can put in ask orders? So you can have a 'sell it now' button? I'll admit the concept is tempting, and if I was dealing with Iron, Wheat, or any other mass commodity, I'd take a BAS over TAH in a heartbeat. But that's STILL not Hex. Yes, with a TAH there will be lost functionality, but there will be gained functionality as well, and that gained functionality plays to the strengths of Hex.

I would also like to note that Yoss' comparison of the less-than-ideal implementation of the WoW AH with the abstract, theoretical near-perfect BAS implementation described in your previous posts is less than fair. In theory, theory and practice are equivalent. In practice, they are not. A request has been made to give an example of a successful implementation of your BAS system with unique qualities intact. While I don't think that's possible (the parameters are too narrow) or fair, the other comparisons aren't fair either. I think that when the rubber hits the road, it won't be nearly as easy or well done as you would like it to be. It's easy to say 'just do this and we'll all be just fine'. Without a solid, successful example to look at that is closer to Hex's reality, I remain unconvinced that the BAS is the best option for our beloved game.

On a final note, I am enjoying this discussion purely for it's own sake. No personal attacks, no name calling. Just people kicking ideas around to find the best option for us all. Interaction at it's finest!

TL;DR BAS is not a straight up superior product to TAH. They each have goods and bads.

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 09:43 AM
It's an interesting idea. It sounds horribly inefficient though, even moreso than TAH. Every purchase/sale would be a big burden of "wasted" time as you sift through haggling everything. And the haggling is basically "by email" so it will take even longer.


You really should look into the Poxnorra rune trader. It's actually pretty solid. It does have higher latency, and it would be much less efficient at trading commodities, However it does a much better job at pricing non-comodity items efficiently. I'll explain in grater detail in another Post.




Yeah, we'd discussed automatic market order fullfillment in the other thread. In this thread, when it came time to dream up the UI, the idea morphed so that Market Orders would be by clicking directly in the (possibly filtered) Book for the one you want.


Not sure what you mean by "automatic linkage". Everything would still be shown in the same Book, creating your Spread and Market Price (for the eventual analytics which wouldn't be there at first).


My point is this:
If I want to sell a card do I have to search though the list of people who want to buy that card, or does the act of listing it in the AH trigger automatic fulfillment of any outstanding buy orders that my new listing satisfies?

If the fulfillment is automatic, than the system disincentives treating cards as unique entities that need to be evaluated individually before you can value them (this is bad as Hex is trying to make cards unique).

If the fulfillment is not automatic than when I sell a card I need to choose whether I place a sell order, or find and complete someone's buy order. This splits the AH as there are two separate ways to sell a card that don't seamlessly interact.




The obvious gain is twofold. (Repeating from posts in this thread.)
1. When what you want isn't immediately available, you can post a Bid rather than being forced to troll the AH every day hoping a Seller emerges.
2. When you want to sell instantly, it is possible, where in TAH it would not be possible.

#1 I grant you (I've actually never argued against that point). However I think that in practice the gain of that will not be worth the cost of abandoning the double-back features as a differentiating point for Hex.
#2 In a typical market I think you'll see only marginal difference between a BAS and a TAS in speed of sales for most cases. Again This isn't a feature that I think Hex needs.

Basicly it seems to me that the only real beneficiaries of a BAS system are people who want to play day trader with the auction house. It doesn't really seem like it solves any serious problems for a more typical user. And again, It seems harmful to the design goals of the double back. I would like to see hex give a go at making the doubleback matter before they give up and comoditize cards (though Honestly my bet is that a year or two after launch I'll be saying "the double back didn't work we may as well comoditize cards", but It seems pre-mature to give up before the attempt is made).

Yoss
02-04-2014, 10:16 AM
I think the best presentation is one which allows you to completely skip the AH interface as much of the time as possible. For example, suppose I have a decklist but only own half the cards in the list. I should be able to click a single button and the client will search the AH and quote me the cheapest price to buy everything I need to be able to play that deck. Then if I'm okay with that price a second click buys the cards. This is all without leaving the deck editor screen.
I think someone suggested this before, and I agree it could be nice as an after-launch feature addition. BAS could obviously handle this. Assuming they implement Buy It Now as a mandatory aspect of all auctions, then TAH can also handle it. Obviously such requests would ignore the double-back and just buy the cheapest to fill out your deck.


And this sounds like a better option than a TAH to you? Or is this just an attempt to answer a call the BAS is not really all that well suited to answer?
Better in this aspect? No. It is exactly the same as I envision a good TAH would look. No better or worse.


I'm willing to sit and watch your Power Point presentation of this BAS, but in all honesty I can't see any reason why a TAH with an added bid/ask (on vanilla cards only) doesn't suit everyone's needs.
What do you mean by "vanilla cards"? You mean blank double-back? Why do you want to segregate the market like this? In reality, there is going to be a continuum of cards from blank double-back to completely filled with goodies. If you want to segregate, where do you draw the line without being arbitrary? A card with 1 XP and nothing else is essentially vanilla. Do you therefore put it with the vanilla? What about 2 XP? 3? Where's the line? By calling something "vanilla" you're declaring the double-back worthless. So when you draw your line, how do you know what players will care about on the double-back and what they won't?

Why not have the system designed with the double-back in mind and treating all cards consistently, with their double-back stats available as filtering criteria? (Both TAH and BAS could do this, depending on implementation.)


Actually you can search mixed lots pretty easily. You just need to have the database query return any lots that contain cards matching the query you would have used for finding single card lots.
I, for one, would not want mixed lots cluttering up my search results. I hate when eBAy shows me a bunch of "repacks" auctions when all I want is a particular card. I want the search to be good enough to allow me to find exactly what I'm looking for and not give useless results mixed in. In any case (whether you favor mixed lots or not), TAH and BAS both have the same problem here of discoverability.

(More responses coming. This post is long enough.)

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 10:19 AM
Fo anyone who's interested here's How I'd have designed the Auction-house for Hex:

A few definitions:
Lot- A lot is a set of tradable items listed for auction.
Listing- An auction. A listing consists of a lot of items to be auctioned, a timeframe when the auction will accept new bids, and a text description of the items or any bidding guide written by the lister (optional)
Bid- A set of tradable items that has been offered for a lot.

Listing:
To list a lot for sale you select what items you want to list, and writ a brief optional description for the lot and/or what you're looking for in return. Once the listing is placed the items in the lot are locked preventing them from being used or added to any other listing.

Bidding:
To bid on a lot you select the lot you want using an advanced search system similar to HexBAS that queries for lost containing items matching your criteria. You can also do a text search on the descriptions (but that's liely to be less useful due to keyword spam). When you find a lot you're interested in you can view the bids that have been placed (and the status as rejected or open), and place your own bid. Placing a bid entails selecting the items you wish to bid. Items in a bid are locked similar to items in a lot.

Selling:
When you have an open listing, you can reject any outstanding bid. The items in the bid will be released immediately. Or accept a bid in which case the trade automatically executes and any other bids are rejected.

Expired auctions:
When an auction expires no new bids can be placed but there is a grace period where the lister can still accept any open bids. If at any point there are no open bids on an expire auction the auction closes and the lot is released. At the end of the grace period the auction automatically rejects all open bids (thus closing itself without a sale).

Optional improvements:
The option to list a lot with a buy it now price in gold/platinum (or potentially a set of specifications for tradable items) which ends the auction automatically if the price is met, could potentially be added. I think the former is probably a good idea, the later would have some BAS functionality but is probably more complex than it's worth.

The advantages of this system:
1. I treats all items as penitentially unique. The auction model should be more efficient at pricing unique or highly rare items.
2. It more efficiently captures cases where the parties have drastically different valuations of their potentially unique items rather than trying to force a "market price" concept.
3. It elegantly handles single item lots, multiple identical item lots, and mixed lots with one UI, and paradigm.
4. Does not require sellers do a lot of research in order to not get ripped off (low bids should be competing against fairer bids)

The disadvantages:
1. Higher latency in trades. Because it is based around auctions you need to expect transactions to take significant time to complete. This can be mitigated somewhat with the buy it nor feature.
2. Devalues currency as a trade medium because you can directly barter for what you want. Again mitigated somewhat if the buy it now feature exists.
3. Does not make determining a "market price" easy
3 a. makes it harder for buyers to know whether they are over-bidding.

The reason I think it's right for Hex:
Basicly I think it's the best AH system for Hex because the double back appears to be trying to make every card unique. A system like that requires an auction system or it'll devolve into trading cards as commodities and the double back will basicly be pointless. Secondly, I do not think that the standard "efficient market" paradigm is ideal for trading cards, as it does not take into account that the utility of a card depends on what other cards you own. Instead it attempts to price cards based on aggregate supply and demand which will price out a lot of mutually beneficial transactions.

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 10:33 AM
I, for one, would not want mixed lots cluttering up my search results. I hate when eBAy shows me a bunch of "repacks" auctions when all I want is a particular card. I want the search to be good enough to allow me to find exactly what I'm looking for and not give useless results mixed in. In any case (whether you favor mixed lots or not), TAH and BAS both have the same problem here of discoverability.



Fair point. I would not want that either. However we are not the Alpha and Omega of Hex's target market. Those "repacks" are of considerable utility to new players (who are arguably more important that us backers as the future of Hex depends on them more than us). They also allow competitive drafters to move their surplus cards in bulk with less tedium.

And really the complexity of a "show mixed lots" checkbook is considerably lower than any system that can get me a list of all Packraptors that have been used in any "pro tour" or "pro tour qualifier" ordered by highest ranking reached then by total number of trophies then by total XP then by total achievement unlocks then by price. (which is what I'm expecting out of a BAS UI if i'm going to call it "adequately handling unique cards").

Yoss
02-04-2014, 10:45 AM
In a TAH, you have auction as an option that the BAS CAN'T do. In real life, let's look at a violin. A Stradivarius, while still a violin (and with the possibility of being grouped as such), truly is not the same as a regular violin. So maybe group it with other Strads, but in real life, some people want to auction them off to high bidders, some make back room deals without the hassle. High end art is the same thing. Some people like to auction their stuff off, feeling that their best dollar will come that way, some people want to fire and forget.
And for those who auction them, they make sure they have a large enough audience in attendance to have a bidding war. In a faceless online AH, you shouldn't be risking your rare elite-market (not many players interested) items on the blind hope that you'll have sufficient bidders. Meanwhile, if you DO have sufficient bidders, then you have enough to enable a proper market spread of pricing such that auctioning is not necessary; the market is essentially one coninuous auction, setting the price at the proper place.


A BAS locks the entire segment of market dealing with unique auctions (and those who prefer to deal that way) out. Your gain in terms of mass market transactions and commodity transaction efficiency loses the capacity for people who feel that they have a truly auctionable item to put it out there in that way. That is a loss that I don't think is beneficial to the game as a whole.
What is a "truly auctionable item"? I claim that there are only two categories: items too rare to auction due to insufficient interest in a given time window, requiring a specific Event to gather the interested parties for the bidding war; and items common enough to have a market following, which therefore can be "pre-auctioned" through the market processes.


Once again, this game is not about mass transactions. Yes, there is benefit from making the market efficient
I agree that it's not about buying and selling hundreds or thousands of cards at once like a stock exchange. However, it IS about thousands of users constantly making small transactions. Here's an important metric, based on a use case. There is a certain player whose only interest in Hex is to Draft. This player has no need of any card collection whatsover, and therefore dumps it all on AH every day. The metric is: how fast can that player dump his cards for Plat (in hand) in order to resume Drafting?


The suggestion that CZE has an annual auction to highlight the double-back and other unique awesomeness of their cards I find amusing. Why only highlight the unique aspects of their cards once a year when you can do it every day in the TAH? So people can put in ask orders? So you can have a 'sell it now' button?
None of those things. It is so that cards that would otherwise not auction well can be auctioned well.

So people can put in ask orders? So you can have a 'sell it now' button? I'll admit the concept is tempting, and if I was dealing with Iron, Wheat, or any other mass commodity, I'd take a BAS over TAH in a heartbeat. But that's STILL not Hex. Yes, with a TAH there will be lost functionality, but there will be gained functionality as well, and that gained functionality plays to the strengths of Hex.
What gained functionality? TAH and BAS are on equal footing as far as highlighting the double-back because that is entirely based on how well the search filters are designed.


I would also like to note that Yoss' comparison of the less-than-ideal implementation of the WoW AH with the abstract, theoretical near-perfect BAS implementation described in your previous posts is less than fair. In theory, theory and practice are equivalent. In practice, they are not. A request has been made to give an example of a successful implementation of your BAS system with unique qualities intact. While I don't think that's possible (the parameters are too narrow) or fair, the other comparisons aren't fair either. I think that when the rubber hits the road, it won't be nearly as easy or well done as you would like it to be. It's easy to say 'just do this and we'll all be just fine'. Without a solid, successful example to look at that is closer to Hex's reality, I remain unconvinced that the BAS is the best option for our beloved game.
I can (and do) make the same statements back at TAH. Also, I do try (moreso now) to envision an optimized TAH as the point of comparison. I use WoW and eBay as examples because they are familiar (though terrible). The alternatives I've been told to look at, like Auctioneer, look a whole lot more like BAS than what you all are discussing here for Hex. Using Auctioneer basically takes the WoW AH and turns it into a BAS with the missing functions of Bid Limit Orders and Ask Market Orders.

(Response to Turtlewing is next up.)

Yoss
02-04-2014, 11:10 AM
My point is this:
If I want to sell a card do I have to search though the list of people who want to buy that card, or does the act of listing it in the AH trigger automatic fulfillment of any outstanding buy orders that my new listing satisfies?
I've gone both ways on this over time. Currently my thinking says that there would only be automatic fulfillment of Ask Market Orders. (This is the Sell Now button, which would tell you the exact price you're going to get, based on the highest Bid for which you qualify with your double-back stats. This is not like a normal stock market order which could drift in execution price.)


If the fulfillment is automatic, than the system disincentives treating cards as unique entities that need to be evaluated individually before you can value them (this is bad as Hex is trying to make cards unique).
We are safe from this malady. If you are posting an item for sale (not Sell Now), then you can and should be setting your price with double-back in mind. Similarly for Bid Orders (non-instant), you should be considering what the proposed item would be worth when setting your price. Given that, when someone wants to use instant fulfillment after using the double-back filetring options, they are factoring in the double-back by the very fact that the lister has already done so.


If the fulfillment is not automatic than when I sell a card I need to choose whether I place a sell order, or find and complete someone's buy order. This splits the AH as there are two separate ways to sell a card that don't seamlessly interact.
There would indeed be two ways to buy and two ways to sell. That is the key feature of a BAS: to use both Demand and Supply instead of just Supply to run the market. I suppose you could view this as splitting things, but really it just paints a more complete picture of what's going on. It unifies Supply and Demand into a single place (the Book) where you can view the Spread between Bid and Ask and therefore more quickly determine how you should interact with the market. The interaction is seamless.


#1 I grant you (I've actually never argued against that point). However I think that in practice the gain of that will not be worth the cost of abandoning the double-back features as a differentiating point for Hex.
Why are you expecting me to abandon the double-back when I've been at great pains to preserve and highlight it? Since I am not, in fact, abandoning the double-back, I guess I have your full support on this point.


#2 In a typical market I think you'll see only marginal difference between a BAS and a TAS in speed of sales for most cases. Again This isn't a feature that I think Hex needs.
As you say, there would be a difference. BAS could be instant, TAH could not. TAH might be fast, maybe, but that's purely anecdotal and speculative, while BAS offering instant speed is a guarantee.


Basicly it seems to me that the only real beneficiaries of a BAS system are people who want to play day trader with the auction house. It doesn't really seem like it solves any serious problems for a more typical user. And again, It seems harmful to the design goals of the double back. I would like to see hex give a go at making the doubleback matter before they give up and comoditize cards (though Honestly my bet is that a year or two after launch I'll be saying "the double back didn't work we may as well comoditize cards", but It seems pre-mature to give up before the attempt is made).

I've said over and over again that the double-back is equally well handled by both TAH and BAS. Please stop trying to use it as a descriminator when it is not.

Since I am very definitely one of the camp who wants to avoid the AH as much as possible while still reaping its benefits, I can say solidly that day trading is NOT the prime feature of BAS (for me and other casual AH users). The benefits of BAS are efficiency for my time, to get in and get out with either a purchase or a sale in the minimum time possible without fear of being ripped off. We've already discussed and understand why efficiency is imporant (post 210 gives me nightmares), but that last part is also important, though we haven't discussed it much. In TAH, there is often insufficient data at hand to know what a good price is. This is why Auctioneer has its Scan functions: so that you can try to get a grasp on what the price should be and avoid getting ripped off. In BAS, you might still have this problem a little bit, but significantly mitigated because you have Demand posted in addition to Supply. Therefore, you can bid (or ask) with confidence. (And if you add in an Auctioneer type of analytic, then BAS will be even better again. BAS will always be roughly twice as good since it has twice as much data to mine.)

Yoss
02-04-2014, 11:20 AM
Fair point. I would not want that either. However we are not the Alpha and Omega of Hex's target market. Those "repacks" are of considerable utility to new players (who are arguably more important that us backers as the future of Hex depends on them more than us). They also allow competitive drafters to move their surplus cards in bulk with less tedium.
Moving cards quickly is one of the highlights of BAS. The fact that TAH has to resort to (IMO stupid) repacks in order to move product is one proof that the Sell Now feature of HexBAS is very important. With Sell Now available, we have a different and better solution to the "move cards in bulk with less tedium" problem and therefore no longer need repacks. (Assuming you're right about the purpose of repacks.)

Example. I'd guess that clearing 45 drafted cards under the proposed BAS would take something like two minutes (it's just two clicks per card, so a fast person could do it even faster), and you'd have your Plat in hand immediately. Compare to repacks, which you have to first bundle up, then write a description, then research for price, then list for sale (three times, 15 cards each to simulate boosters), then wait for buyers. We're talking at least an order of magnitude difference, maybe even two orders of magnitude.


And really the complexity of a "show mixed lots" checkbook is considerably lower than any system that can get me a list of all Packraptors that have been used in any "pro tour" or "pro tour qualifier" ordered by highest ranking reached then by total number of trophies then by total XP then by total achievement unlocks then by price. (which is what I'm expecting out of a BAS UI if i'm going to call it "adequately handling unique cards").

All the problems you're listing are common to TAH as well. Fix it for one, you'll fix the other. It is not a descriminator between TAH and BAS; it is a descriminator between a good system and a bad one.

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 11:42 AM
Yoss,

The problem with your position regarding the double back is that because your using a market model that is designed to handle commodities, the most efficient way to buy or sell is to treat cards as commodities.

That discourages users from placing value in the double back because their trades will execute faster of they ignore the distinguishing features of individual cards, and interacting with the features necessary to distinguish between cards requires extra effort.

To handle the double back properly you need real auctions.

If you take real auction off the table, than technically yes it is possible to create a BAS that showcases individual cards as well as a TAS. However, the BAS requires a fully functional and highly flexible UI and search system, whereas a TAS can showcase individual cards much more easily with an incomplete UI.

To illustrate my example:

Say I'm looking for Pack Raptors that have been used in pro tours or PTQs. In a TAS, I can muddle through with the search features and if there are any available for sale at a price I accept I'll buy them. I can do this with basicly any level of UI complexity the more advanced UI juts makes it easier. However If I want to place a buy order for one of those I need to be able to specify a much more complex set of rules (because I don't want to buy commodity pack raptors).

If the BAS does not provide adequate flexibility in specifying my buy order than I can't place a buy order for what I want and thus, I am encouraged to either: not use the ability to place buy orders (take my trade to peer-to peer trade forums etc.) which defeats the purpose of having the ability to place buy orders, or to stop trying to differentiate between pack raptors that have and have not been used in high level tournaments which is a pressure to commoditize cards.

It will probably also help your understanding of my position to point out that I am assuming the double back is intended to be a value adding feature for Hex by making cards not commodities, and that it will have a uphill battle because most people expect cards to be commodities in TCGs.

If you could figure out a way to put proper auctions into a BAS without it becoming a cluster**** I'd probably support a BAS. However a TAS is better suited to a hybrid auction/buy now system, it scales better from almost no features to full features, and it doesn't prohibit moving to a BAS in the future if it turns out the benefits of commodity cards outweigh the cost of largely giving up on the double back having a significant impact on the card market.

RobHaven
02-04-2014, 11:45 AM
What do you mean by "vanilla cards"? You mean blank double-back? Why do you want to segregate the market like this? In reality, there is going to be a continuum of cards from blank double-back to completely filled with goodies. If you want to segregate, where do you draw the line without being arbitrary? ... By calling something "vanilla" you're declaring the double-back worthless.
I thought I had already seen "vanilla" used by someone else to describe completely untouched cards? I assumed it was the accepted term. My b.
[edit] My response about the rest was long and shitty. Let me just say this: I assume there will be far more untouched/vanilla cards than there will cards with progression. If that's the case, then I think sorting out untouched cards into their own stack has value.


What is a "truly auctionable item"? I claim that there are only two categories: items too rare to auction due to insufficient interest in a given time window, requiring a specific Event to gather the interested parties for the bidding war; and items common enough to have a market following, which therefore can be "pre-auctioned" through the market processes.
I don't understand how you have come to this conclusion. There are possibilities not covered by your groupings. What about very rare cards that are far better served by an auction than a BIN, but not rare enough that you would need to search for weeks to find a buyer? Which, I guess, takes me back to what I was asking before: How can you make the determination that sufficient interest won't exist? What is that based on? And why would you want to limit my selling options based on that determination instead of letting me make the choice for myself?

also edited for grammar

Tinuvas
02-04-2014, 11:52 AM
And for those who auction them, they make sure they have a large enough audience in attendance to have a bidding war. In a faceless online AH, you shouldn't be risking your rare elite-market (not many players interested) items on the blind hope that you'll have sufficient bidders. Meanwhile, if you DO have sufficient bidders, then you have enough to enable a proper market spread of pricing such that auctioning is not necessary; the market is essentially one coninuous auction, setting the price at the proper place. Shouldn't and don't want to are two different things. If it were ME, I would agree wholeheartedly. I am interested in the game and only occasionally dabble in collectible concepts (though the double back has me truly intrigued). I am not arguing for me. I feel that the game benefits most from a market that constantly highlights the unique nature of the cards, and I don't feel that a BAS does that, even with all of the truly ingenious adaptations that you have suggested for it. While I agree that a BAS will set market value of the 'unwashed masses' of cards very quickly and appropriately, it will, by nature, created the impression of uniformity, which works against what CZE appears to be attempting with their focus on the unique. It is an emotional argument, and puts the logic of market efficiency in a secondary place, but I feel that you underestimate the value of having the OPTION to auction off that which you feel is of value, even if it's an option that is rarely used. The ambiance of the game is an impactful portion of overall perception.



What is a "truly auctionable item"? I claim that there are only two categories: items too rare to auction due to insufficient interest in a given time window, requiring a specific Event to gather the interested parties for the bidding war; and items common enough to have a market following, which therefore can be "pre-auctioned" through the market processes.
In reality, perhaps. However, I feel that you are underestimating the perception of the game. While there may not be a market for a given card, if I own that card, my mind may think there is, even if I never attempt to sell it. If the market is designed purely for efficiency of transaction, I truly feel that you are giving the shaft to collectors as a whole.




...There is a certain player whose only interest in Hex is to Draft. This player has no need of any card collection whatsover, and therefore dumps it all on AH every day. The metric is: how fast can that player dump his cards for Plat (in hand) in order to resume Drafting?
The TAH and BAS handle this player (almost) equally well. Sure, the plat takes a bit of time without bid(?) orders, but if you're truly a dump and run player, you'll dump your cards, go to bed, draft the next day and then look at your orders before doing it again. A slight loss in efficiency, nothing serious. It's the collector and his ilk, those who 'attend' the auctions in their tweed suits and overly complex discussions of value that will be hurt by a lack of auctions. Their 'game' is the AH, and without that, I honestly feel that the secondary market, double back values, and the overall unique-based feel to the game will suffer.

I have shifted my feelings about the irregular auction (whether yearly, monthly, or whatever). I think something like that would allow for the tweed suits to really have a good time, which I think would be quite beneficial for the game and secondary market. I also think that it could be implemented with both a TAH and BAS to good effect.


What gained functionality? TAH and BAS are on equal footing as far as highlighting the double-back because that is entirely based on how well the search filters are designed.
This I disagree with. With a BAS, you lose the capacity to actually auction a unique product (unless you create a secondary, non-BAS section for more unique cards). It's not about search filters, it's about a function not supported by BAS.


Also, I do try (moreso now) to envision an optimized TAH as the point of comparison. That I can work with. :)


Using Auctioneer basically takes the WoW AH and turns it into a BAS with the missing functions of Bid Limit Orders and Ask Market Orders. And yet the underlying is still a TAH. With that in mind, I think of two things. First, one of WoW's greatest strengths was it's capacity to allow add-ons, but that's a completely different thread. Second, I think a well-implemented AH, regardless of style, will be more important in the long run than which style it is. Or allow add-ons and let your fans do the work for you. Either way.

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 12:03 PM
Moving cards quickly is one of the highlights of BAS. The fact that TAH has to resort to (IMO stupid) repacks in order to move product is one proof that the Sell Now feature of HexBAS is very important. With Sell Now available, we have a different and better solution to the "move cards in bulk with less tedium" problem and therefore no longer need repacks. (Assuming you're right about the purpose of repacks.)

Example. I'd guess that clearing 45 drafted cards under the proposed BAS would take something like two minutes (it's just two clicks per card, so a fast person could do it even faster), and you'd have your Plat in hand immediately. Compare to repacks, which you have to first bundle up, then write a description, then research for price, then list for sale (three times, 15 cards each to simulate boosters), then wait for buyers. We're talking at least an order of magnitude difference, maybe even two orders of magnitude.



All the problems you're listing are common to TAH as well. Fix it for one, you'll fix the other. It is not a descriminator between TAH and BAS; it is a descriminator between a good system and a bad one.


The more important of the two things I listed as advantages was the utility to new players who don't know what cards to look for yet. Being able to buy a repack lot cheaply lets them increase their collection size and begin engaging with deck building more easily.

It's not something that an individual is likely to do many times, but it probably is something a large portion of individuals are likely to do once or twice when they're first starting out. Particularly FTP players who are looking to get some PvP cards for gold so they can see if they like the PvP side of the game.

However I disagree about your estimate of time investment. At A clicks per card and B clicks per auction, selling N individual cards is: O((A+B)N) vs selling a bulk lot is O(AN+B). Since the AH will have to have protections against accidentally listing a card/lot I'd bet on O(AN+B) being lower for non-tiny values of N as B is unlikely to be 0 (the only way they can be lower is if A and B are different for each system). They both scale linearly so not a huge deal either way but I can't see what you expect to cause an order of magnitude increase in AN+B over N(A+B).

Lawlschool
02-04-2014, 12:03 PM
The alternatives I've been told to look at, like Auctioneer, look a whole lot more like BAS than what you all are discussing here for Hex. Using Auctioneer basically takes the WoW AH and turns it into a BAS with the missing functions of Bid Limit Orders and Ask Market Orders.

I think this is the point Gwaer and I have been trying to get across. A well designed TAH (like what modders have done to the WoW AH, though the UI leaves much to be desired) will have everything a well designed BAS has, except without Bid/Ask. Given that Chark explicitly stated they aren't going to have a bid/ask system, I'd think this would be a good compromise and something we can all get behind.

Since there won't be bid/ask, rather than continue to try to defend or attack the system we should be trying to come up with what we want out of a more traditional MMO-style AH.

The single most important feature for any AH is going to be the Search and Sort functionality. No one wants to have to scan through hundreds of pages for just the right item (*cough* Diablo III *cough*). There are lots of different "features" on any given card (Rarity, Threshold, Shard, Cost, Type, Race, Attack / Defense, AA Progress / Achievements, Double-Back, PvE / PvP, etc). We ought to be able to set filters for any and all of these. If you want to look for a Pack Raptor that's half-way to its AA but doesn't have Double-Back badges, you should be able to set filters for that (i.e. toggle on AA progress, toggle off Double Back, search for Pack Raptor). If you're looking for a Vanilla Two-Cost Diamond Human with Three Attack, you should be able to filter that (i.e. toggle off AA / DB, toggle on 2 Cost, Human, Diamond, and 3-Attack). If you just want to browse Shin'Hare, or Blood Cards, or 4-Cost, whatever, that should be possible too. HexTCGBrowser already pretty much has this functionality in place, something similar in the AH would be great.

Next, we need competent Sorting. The most important sorting, and probably the only thing anyone will really care about, is by Price. High to Low, Low to High. If there's a Bid and a Buy-Now price (and there's no reason there shouldn't be) sorting by either should be possible. Sorting by Stack Size (e.g. looking for singletons, someone selling 4x of a card, or even more) is great. Also, having individual Price-Per-Card in Stacks is also an important feature as it lets people looking to buy more than one of a card in a single transaction decide if it's better to buy in singles or buy in stacks. If you're doing broader searches (e.g. Diamond Humans), you should be able to sort by Threshold, by Cost, and by Attack / Defense (I believe the Deck Builder has this, although it seems buggy right now).

Buying should be as simple as either putting in a Bid, or just clicking "Buy." Kinda hard to improve on this or screw it up.

Selling should also be as simple as possible. When you go to list a card, it should show you the current prices of all other identical cards so that even a novice seller can quickly judge a fair price. An option to undercut the lowest priced listing by X% would be nice, but not necessary. Vanilla WoW AH and the SWTOR AH had major issues with selling, and I would hate to see those replicated. Suggested prices were based on "vendor" prices (i.e. how much you'd get if you sold your item to an NPC), so in order to judge a good price you'd have to first go and search for your item (WoW at least had shift-click to enter the item's name), then go back to the listing page, and repeat for each item you were selling. This was insanely tedious and took way more time than was necessary. WoW AH mods solved this problem by integrating search with listing, and Hex would be wise to do something similar.

That's pretty much all that's necessary to have a robust player-friendly AH. Lots of search and sort functionality to find what you want at the lowest price, the ability to quickly buy what you want, and the ability to quickly sell your cards at a fair price. A great addition would be market trends for cards that could be displayed when selling or searching for a specific card, but not really necessary.

Something that people keep overlooking and is where I think HexBAS might excel is with crafting components. We don't know much about crafting except that it exists and that there are crafting materials, but we can make some educated guesses. Presumably, we will be able to break down cards in to crafting components, with components being based on rarity, or possibly even card type (think Disenchanting if you're familiar with WoW). Its safe to say there will likely be players looking to buy in bulk, and players selling in bulk. This is where HexBAS and bid/asks would work great. In WoW, crafting components were usually sold in stacks of 20 (i.e. you couldn't bundle more than 20 of any component). If I wanted to buy 500 of X component, I would have to find 25 stacks and buy out each one. Not a horrible process, but somewhat tedious, and even more annoying if there were only 19 full stacks and assorted smaller stacks. HexBAS would be great for this as you could just put in an order for 500 of X, and it would auto-buy 500 from all available sellers (cheapest first, of course). On the flip side, if you wanted to sell in bulk you could just throw in whatever you had at whatever price you deemed reasonable (in WoW, there was a lot of annoying strategy in how to break apart stacks when selling to better ensure yours and not someone else's were bought, it'd be great to avoid that).

TL;DR- A well designed TAH is perfectly adequate for buying / selling / auctioning cards, and HexBAS would be spectacular for PvE crafting components.

saffamike
02-04-2014, 01:27 PM
I can't recall if it has already been mentioned, but I would find it really useful if we could see some type of average price metric and a history of recent buy/sell transactions for a particular card when considering the bid value or whether to select to 'buy it now'.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 01:38 PM
Yoss,

The problem with your position regarding the double back is that because your using a market model that is designed to handle commodities, the most efficient way to buy or sell is to treat cards as commodities.

That discourages users from placing value in the double back because their trades will execute faster of they ignore the distinguishing features of individual cards, and interacting with the features necessary to distinguish between cards requires extra effort.
"Trades will execute faster if they ignore the distinguishing features of individual cards" may or may not be true. For Sell/Buy Now (Market Orders) it is obviously false, but implies that the market has existing Supply/Demand for the particular double-back features you're interested in. For listings (Limit Orders), it seems reasonable to think that specialized cards will transact at lower frequency than commoditized ones, but that's true of TAH as well is it not? After all, every listing on a TAH is basically just an Ask Limit Order with an auction tacked on, and the auction doesn't change the underlying transaction frequency.

"Interacting with the features necessary to distinguish between cards requires extra effort" is a true statement, both for BAS and TAH. If you think that TAH would not have this problem, please explain how TAH somehow miraculously provides advanced filtering without advanced filtering. What search criteria are you envisioning for TAH that BAS would not have?


To handle the double back properly you need real auctions.
Unsubstantiated claim. I have shown that either TAH or BAS can handle the double-back and the success or failure in both cases is tied to the strength of the search/filter functions.


If you take real auction off the table, than technically yes it is possible to create a BAS that showcases individual cards as well as a TAS. However, the BAS requires a fully functional and highly flexible UI and search system, whereas a TAS can showcase individual cards much more easily with an incomplete UI.
I'm not sure I believe you that TAH will get away with something that BAS can't, but I assume that's what your example will try to show me.


To illustrate my example:

Say I'm looking for Pack Raptors that have been used in pro tours or PTQs.
Check.


In a TAS, I can muddle through with the search features and if there are any available for sale at a price I accept I'll buy them. I can do this with basicly any level of UI complexity the more advanced UI juts makes it easier. However If I want to place a buy order for one of those I need to be able to specify a much more complex set of rules (because I don't want to buy commodity pack raptors).
Please explain. What are "the search features" you're referring to? As far as I know, TAH and BAS have basically the same search features. Perhaps you're thinking of one that I'm not aware of.

For HexBAS, I've laid it all out in great detail so people will know what I'm talking about (if they read it, link in my sig). For TAH, I've been assuming that all non-bolded UI features from HexBAS are in TAH (and basically nothing more). If you have other TAH features that I don't have in mind currently, please point them out.

As it stands now from my current understanding, your ability to "muddle through" using TAH is precisely equal to that same ability in BAS.


If the BAS does not provide adequate flexibility in specifying my buy order than I can't place a buy order for what I want and thus, I am encouraged to either: not use the ability to place buy orders (take my trade to peer-to peer trade forums etc.) which defeats the purpose of having the ability to place buy orders, or to stop trying to differentiate between pack raptors that have and have not been used in high level tournaments which is a pressure to commoditize cards.
I have to ask again, what is TAH doing that enables what you're hoping? Until I know that, I can only continue to state that BAS is the same as TAH (from current knowledge).


It will probably also help your understanding of my position to point out that I am assuming the double back is intended to be a value adding feature for Hex by making cards not commodities, and that it will have a uphill battle because most people expect cards to be commodities in TCGs.
I was already with you on this and agree that we need a system that will highlight the double-back. The features that accomplish this are the same for TAH as for BAS.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 01:52 PM
I thought I had already seen "vanilla" used by someone else to describe completely untouched cards? I assumed it was the accepted term. My b.
[edit] My response about the rest was long and shitty. Let me just say this: I assume there will be far more untouched/vanilla cards than there will cards with progression. If that's the case, then I think sorting out untouched cards into their own stack has value.
A large number of "nearly vanilla" cards will be coming out of Limited. I say "nearly vanilla" because they'll have been played through a single tournament. What do you do with those? (Basically, I'm restating post 209 that you'll have a hard time making an arbitrary line between "vanilla" and "not vanilla".)


I don't understand how you have come to this conclusion. There are possibilities not covered by your groupings. What about very rare cards that are far better served by an auction than a BIN, but not rare enough that you would need to search for weeks to find a buyer? Which, I guess, takes me back to what I was asking before: How can you make the determination that sufficient interest won't exist? What is that based on? And why would you want to limit my selling options based on that determination instead of letting me make the choice for myself?

Ask this question of every possible item in the set of things one might sell by auction. "Would this item have sufficient interest for an auction to succeed?" If you answer "no", then you've already told me that auctions are not useful for that item. If you answer "yes", then you have said there's interest in the item (there's Demand for it). Since there is Demand for it, that means you should reasonably expect to find Bids for it. I use the term "Bid" deliberately because it covers both TAH and BAS. For TAH, they're bidding through auctions (multiple auctions, since you've answered "yes" to the question). For BAS, they're bidding through Bid Limit Orders and Bid Market Orders, which constitutes and ongoing market "auction" for that item.

So, BAS is not taking anything critical away from you. If an auction would work, so will BAS. If it wouldn't, well, then it wasn't any use anyway.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 02:20 PM
Shouldn't and don't want to are two different things. If it were ME, I would agree wholeheartedly. I am interested in the game and only occasionally dabble in collectible concepts (though the double back has me truly intrigued). I am not arguing for me. I feel that the game benefits most from a market that constantly highlights the unique nature of the cards, and I don't feel that a BAS does that, even with all of the truly ingenious adaptations that you have suggested for it. While I agree that a BAS will set market value of the 'unwashed masses' of cards very quickly and appropriately, it will, by nature, created the impression of uniformity, which works against what CZE appears to be attempting with their focus on the unique. It is an emotional argument, and puts the logic of market efficiency in a secondary place, but I feel that you underestimate the value of having the OPTION to auction off that which you feel is of value, even if it's an option that is rarely used. The ambiance of the game is an impactful portion of overall perception.
One of the nice things about games is they offer us a safe place to fail. However, not all choices in a game should offer a chance to fail. When there are choices that could ruin the player's experience, the game should take pains to either remove the bad choices or give education. In the case of auctions, they are an inferior tool that could lead to the player getting ripped off. I submit that a player getting ripped off in the market is always a bad thing, without exception. As much as possible, the game should discover and enforce proper pricing for all goods. In doing this, there will still be profiteers, but they will be making incremental gains, not huge windfalls from preying on the uninformed.

This same logic is why I've argued for all currency conversions to be captured in a Currency Exchange. It gives transparency to the value of money in the game.

It's the same logic for not allowing cross-listing of items (listing an item outside of its native currency). Cross-listing creates segregated markets that a savvy player much check against each other to avoid being ripped off. That's bad!


In reality, perhaps. However, I feel that you are underestimating the perception of the game. While there may not be a market for a given card, if I own that card, my mind may think there is, even if I never attempt to sell it. If the market is designed purely for efficiency of transaction, I truly feel that you are giving the shaft to collectors as a whole.
I claim that BAS will do just as well at offering visibility to uniqueness. What feature of TAH are you touting that makes it superior in this area? (Just saying "auctions" does not cover it. Please give a detailed example. What does the system look like? Inputs? Outputs?)


The TAH and BAS handle this player (almost) equally well. Sure, the plat takes a bit of time without bid(?) orders, but if you're truly a dump and run player, you'll dump your cards, go to bed, draft the next day and then look at your orders before doing it again. A slight loss in efficiency, nothing serious.
Maybe nothing serious, but definitely less good. We can say it's a small descriminator, but it IS a descriminator in favor of BAS.


It's the collector and his ilk, those who 'attend' the auctions in their tweed suits and overly complex discussions of value that will be hurt by a lack of auctions. Their 'game' is the AH, and without that, I honestly feel that the secondary market, double back values, and the overall unique-based feel to the game will suffer.
If their game is the market, and I agree there will be players like this, then BAS is best for them. BAS gives far more information and capability for dealing in these unique (but still categorizable) items.


I have shifted my feelings about the irregular auction (whether yearly, monthly, or whatever). I think something like that would allow for the tweed suits to really have a good time, which I think would be quite beneficial for the game and secondary market. I also think that it could be implemented with both a TAH and BAS to good effect.
I'm glad you like it. :)


With a BAS, you lose the capacity to actually auction a unique product (unless you create a secondary, non-BAS section for more unique cards). It's not about search filters, it's about a function not supported by BAS.
Removing a redundant function is good design. Once you have BAS, auctions are obsolete. Everything auctions can do, BAS can do as well or better. Test me on this. Put forth examples where you think BAS will fail or where TAH will shine. Every example brought forward so far I've shown that BAS is equal or better, but that doesn't mean there isn't some other use case we haven't yet tested that might break the BAS idea. (Similarly, if you think my breakdown of a previous example was in error, you can bring that up as well.)


And yet the underlying is still a TAH. With that in mind, I think of two things. First, one of WoW's greatest strengths was it's capacity to allow add-ons, but that's a completely different thread. Second, I think a well-implemented AH, regardless of style, will be more important in the long run than which style it is. Or allow add-ons and let your fans do the work for you. Either way.
I agree the WoW API saved the AH from being utterly terrible. It took a bad system and made it functional, but still far from optimal. It doesn't change the fact that the underlying structure was flawed, it just found ways to survive in spite of it. If the underlying AH had been BAS, then it would have been much more optimal.

Also, yes, 3rd-party API is on the requested features list (see thread over in the Alpha forum and/or Hot Topics in my sig), not just for the AH, but for the whole game.

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 02:50 PM
"Trades will execute faster if they ignore the distinguishing features of individual cards" may or may not be true. For Sell/Buy Now (Market Orders) it is obviously false, but implies that the market has existing Supply/Demand for the particular double-back features you're interested in. For listings (Limit Orders), it seems reasonable to think that specialized cards will transact at lower frequency than commoditized ones, but that's true of TAH as well is it not? After all, every listing on a TAH is basically just an Ask Limit Order with an auction tacked on, and the auction doesn't change the underlying transaction frequency.

Congradualtions on identifyung the problem. The relative speed of market orders vs orders that diferentiate based on double back features means people are less likley to care about the double back. This is going to drive cards towards a commodity market ebcause that's what transaction model you've shoe-horned them into.



"Interacting with the features necessary to distinguish between cards requires extra effort" is a true statement, both for BAS and TAH. If you think that TAH would not have this problem, please explain how TAH somehow miraculously provides advanced filtering without advanced filtering. What search criteria are you envisioning for TAH that BAS would not have?

The ability to look at and choose the listing I want compensates for the UI's inability to get me a perfect list containing only cards that meet my criteria.

A buy order requires I be able to specify my criteria exactly or it can be filled by a card that I don't want. A TAS with a less than perfect search degrades more gracefully atha a BAS with a les sthat perfect search with regards to not pushing cards into a commodity model.



Unsubstantiated claim. I have shown that either TAH or BAS can handle the double-back and the success or failure in both cases is tied to the strength of the search/filter functions.
*
No you haven't. You think you have but you keep missing the points which are:
1. hex cards are designed to not be fungible. Non-fungible goods are optimaly sold at auction because you can't have an equilibrium market price for a one of a kind item. Applying a market system designed for fungible goods to hex cards will pressure people to treat hex cads as fungible (thus defeating the design goal of the double back).
2. the TAS degrades more gracefully with an imperfet UI (which is what the first draft will be). A BAS that doesn't have an exceptionally good UI will apply more presure to treat cards as fungible because there will be limits to how granular and flexible your specificatiuons can be.


I'm not sure I believe you that TAH will get away with something that BAS can't, but I assume that's what your example will try to show me.


It will allow real auctions. Other than that my pojt is it does less than a BAS (which in the somehwat unisual case of Hex is a good thing).



Please explain. What are "the search features" you're referring to? As far as I know, TAH and BAS have basically the same search features. Perhaps you're thinking of one that I'm not aware of.

For HexBAS, I've laid it all out in great detail so people will know what I'm talking about (if they read it, link in my sig). For TAH, I've been assuming that all non-bolded UI features from HexBAS are in TAH (and basically nothing more). If you have other TAH features that I don't have in mind currently, please point them out.
*

The search features I'm referring to are the ability to specify flexible and specific criteria that can define any possible subset of cards precisely and are intuitive enough that a NOOB will be able to use them with no training (I expect that will be impossible and that's why I'm aiming my arguments at imperfect implementations where graceful degradation matters).

I'd also like to see the ability to prioritize on elements other than price and set fixed price limits separately for each currency (So I could buy the pack raptor with the most trophies) as a market order. But again the point is that if I'm looking for a very narrow set of cards I need to be able to specify it precisely without including any cards I don't want or excluding any I would want.




As it stands now from my current understanding, your ability to "muddle through" using TAH is precisely equal to that same ability in BAS.


I have to ask again, what is TAH doing that enables what you're hoping? Until I know that, I can only continue to state that BAS is the same as TAH (from current knowledge).


I was already with you on this and agree that we need a system that will highlight the double-back. The features that accomplish this are the same for TAH as for BAS.

The value I'm placing on a TAS is that it does less than a BAS. The whole point of my argument is that since the double back will have a hard enough time being relevant with a normal AH the addition of buy orders will probably render it all but obsolete as the UI is unlikely to be perfect and between an imperfect UI and natural market forces will work to comoditize cards.

The best way to highlight the double back would be with real auctions. The second best way is to avoid any features that would push towards commoditization of cards.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 02:55 PM
The more important of the two things I listed as advantages was the utility to new players who don't know what cards to look for yet. Being able to buy a repack lot cheaply lets them increase their collection size and begin engaging with deck building more easily.

It's not something that an individual is likely to do many times, but it probably is something a large portion of individuals are likely to do once or twice when they're first starting out. Particularly FTP players who are looking to get some PvP cards for gold so they can see if they like the PvP side of the game.
There's a deck builder, which will let them build decks with cards they do not currently own. This service is FREE and will serve as their education about PVP cards, not the AH. Why would they come pay money for something they can get it free (and better, to boot)? Especially once the AH and Deck Builder talk to each other, you'll be able to keep price in mind as you build up a deck. So a newbie can already pre-sort to find what he wants without getting ripped off by some guy selling repacks at a profit to the unwary. (In every TCG, buying packs/repacks means getting ripped off. The only reason to buy packs is to join Limited tournaments. Doing otherwise is to be ripped off, and as I've stated elsewhere the game should protect casual players from being ripped off.)

People coming to the AH should know what they're coming for, whether it's specific cards to fill out a deck or collectibles (even just in the vague sense). Repacks are not a useful tool for Hex and there is therefore no reason to cater to them.


However I disagree about your estimate of time investment. At A clicks per card and B clicks per auction, selling N individual cards is: O((A+B)N) vs selling a bulk lot is O(AN+B). Since the AH will have to have protections against accidentally listing a card/lot I'd bet on O(AN+B) being lower for non-tiny values of N as B is unlikely to be 0 (the only way they can be lower is if A and B are different for each system). They both scale linearly so not a huge deal either way but I can't see what you expect to cause an order of magnitude increase in AN+B over N(A+B).

Instant individual selling in BAS would be just O(2*A*N), where N is quantity to sell and A is the time to click a UI button (maybe 1 second). You open the Sell screen and have your inventory in front of you. You click the Quantity header to sort descending and see your excess inventory. (The Sell Now control and price info are right there in line with your inventory.) All that is one-time setup for each time you do this (not counted in the O(x) calc). For each item, you click Sell Now, then click OK on the confirmation. That's it.

For a bulk lot, I don't even know what the interface would look like. Maybe after doing the setup for the above, you have a button that opens an overlay window where you can populate with multiple items to form a mixed lot. Now for each item, you have to click to get it in the lot, then you have to research price (which you'll roll up to a total later). Now you calculate the total and enter it, then click to make your listing, then wait for it to sell (since Sell Now is not an option). You have O(A*N) for clicking the cards into the lot, plus research time O(B*N) where B is the unknown time it takes to research each price. In TAH, research time could be quite long. I suppose best case would be automating it to match the current lowest auction for each item and then automatically summing it up as a suggested list price. You're now looking like you're twice as fast as on BAS, except that you haven't actually sold the items yet. You've only listed them, and since you put them as a mixed lot you might be waiting a while for them to sell. Heck, it might not even sell at all. (And you can't price cut, because then BAS beats you on price.)

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 03:00 PM
I claim that BAS will do just as well at offering visibility to uniqueness. What feature of TAH are you touting that makes it superior in this area? (Just saying "auctions" does not cover it. Please give a detailed example. What does the system look like? Inputs? Outputs?)


Auctions help with discoverability:
A player's first introduction to the value of double back info is likely to be a care the listed selling for more than expected or them getting out bid on a card they thought was just an ordinary card but had an interesting double back.

They also more efficiently price one of a kind items.

They achieve both with less hefty requirements for a UI (they are improved by better search but at no point do the stop working if you can't specify exactly what you're looking for).

Turtlewing
02-04-2014, 03:13 PM
For a bulk lot, I don't even know what the interface would look like. Maybe after doing the setup for the above, you have a button that opens an overlay window where you can populate with multiple items to form a mixed lot. Now for each item, you have to click to get it in the lot, then you have to research price (which you'll roll up to a total later). Now you calculate the total and enter it, then click to make your listing, then wait for it to sell (since Sell Now is not an option). You have O(A*N) for clicking the cards into the lot, plus research time O(B*N) where B is the unknown time it takes to research each price. In TAH, research time could be quite long. I suppose best case would be automating it to match the current lowest auction for each item and then automatically summing it up as a suggested list price. You're now looking like you're twice as fast as on BAS, except that you haven't actually sold the items yet. You've only listed them, and since you put them as a mixed lot you might be waiting a while for them to sell. Heck, it might not even sell at all. (And you can't price cut, because then BAS beats you on price.)

Or get this:
I place it as an auction and let the bids set the price. (yes I know that way lies madness)

Anyway you calculations are flawed:
A is any per card operation (including research)
B is the total per lot operation (including opening the trade interface and confirming that you want to list it)
N is the number of cards.

The UI for a mixed lit should be:
1. open new lot <- part of B
2. add cards 1 by 1 (this step includes and price research or other actions you need to do per card) <- A
3. set price any other parameters that all listings require <- part of B
3. hit submit <- part of B
4. confirm submit <- part of B

The UI for a single lot would be the same except you repeat the process for every card (or stack of identical cards) instead of only repeating #2. You could optimize the details but all the optimizations would apply approximately equally to both use cases.

Thus why it's O(N(A+B)) for singles and O(AN+B) for mass lots.

RobHaven
02-04-2014, 03:54 PM
So, BAS is not taking anything critical away from you. If an auction would work, so will BAS. If it wouldn't, well, then it wasn't any use anyway.
This thread is getting out of control, so I'm ignoring the other posts for now.
I get what you're saying about how the two systems can serve a similar function, but I don't see how the BAS can match the TAH in terms of auction effectiveness. How do I leverage buyers against each other in a BAS?
Theoretically, the buyers would keep 1-upping each other until someone has taken the throne. That's all well and good, but how do I know when to jump in? How do I know when it's the right time to sell to the highest bidder? Aren't I taking a risk (jumping in too late or too early) by leaving it up to a bidding war done through a bid/ask system?

Maybe I'm just incapable of envisioning how this actually would play out, but I really, really can't understand how this bid system is supposed to be able to match an auction when genuinely valuable items are on the line.

mach
02-04-2014, 04:00 PM
The best way to highlight the double back would be with real auctions. The second best way is to avoid any features that would push towards commoditization of cards.

Why? Cards are commodities and denying that is denying reality.

It's like gold (physical gold, not the in-game kind). Gold is a commodity and is mostly bought and sold as such on the commodity markets. A small fraction of the world's gold is in the form of collectible coins which have value beyond that of the metal. These are bought and sold as individual items.

Any trading system which isn't designed around the fact that most cards are commodities is fundamentally flawed.

ossuary
02-04-2014, 04:27 PM
I think that mixed lots are beneficial to people who want to dump cards quickly, regardless of whether or not we have a BAS to allow you to quickly dump singletons to fulfill outstanding orders (also, there won't be outstanding orders for cheap-ass common cards, so you'll still want a way to post a bunch of those and hope to GAIN interest). It is indeed good for new players to be able to buy a whole pile of common/uncommon cards cheaply, as Turtlewing said, so mixed lots are good for that as well.

We should definitely have the option for mixed lots, no matter what auction system we end up with... we just also need to be able to exclude them from search results, so I don't have to murder somebody when I'm trying to find one damn card. :)

Again, it all comes down to presentation, on this issue. We can have them, and they would be good to have for both buyers and sellers, we just also need to be able to exclude them from our results.

Tinuvas
02-04-2014, 05:02 PM
...In the case of auctions, they are an inferior tool that could lead to the player getting ripped off. I submit that a player getting ripped off in the market is always a bad thing, without exception...
I see no way in which auctions would provide fertile ground for fraud and it's associated issues. While ideal transactions may not occur, and as a player you may feel ripped off on occasion(which I concur is a negative experience and should be avoided) I suggest that a BAS would frustrate a player further if he has a card that isn't just a card (say it won a draft...not a BIG deal, but not a 'vanilla' card either) and he tries to sell it using the BAS method. With BAS, the game has decided that cards are commodities and treats them as such. Even with powerful search functions, 'sell it now' and other such options (while good for the dump and run player) will tend to make the market for his special card smaller. In addition, if he puts the price too high (with listing fees, which are the currently running concept and one which I agree with, within reason) and it fails to sell and then fails again, I could easily see that being more frustrating than paying to much for/receiving not enough for a card.



I claim that BAS will do just as well at offering visibility to uniqueness. What feature of TAH are you touting that makes it superior in this area? (Just saying "auctions" does not cover it. Please give a detailed example. What does the system look like? Inputs? Outputs?)
I suggest that EVERY SINGLE CARD is unique, and you need to do all you can to treat them as such, even the vanilla ones. Even if you have 5000 pack raptors, 300 of which have the extended art, and of those 20 won a tournament in their life, there are elements, even at that point, that are different. What day they were opened, who owned them in the past, which tourneys they won (Draft? Sealed? World Championship), etc. etc. etc. I can easily see a market for cards that I have owned in the past (haha). While most transactions in a TAH will work on the BIN model and could easily work in a BAS (with more efficiency and quicker transactions), people understand auctions and will want to use them. They give the impression of high art, not big numbers and in a game that is designed with art and 'unique' as a key feature, that's a big deal. Implementation (what inputs and outputs are where etc) can be good or bad for both TAH and BAS. I won't go there as I am not in design guru mode right now. Assuming perfect implementation (which is far from likely) a BAS will still favor efficiency over individualism.



If their game is the market, and I agree there will be players like this, then BAS is best for them. BAS gives far more information and capability for dealing in these unique (but still categorizable) items.
I love how you just decide that BAS is best for them. What if they want to auction? You just arbitrarily decide that auctions are bad and therefore you want to save them from themselves? Once again, I argue that cards, ALL CARDS, are unique, and in ways that AREN'T easily categorizable. BAS treats them as such, ignoring the beauty of the subtle uniqueness (not the 'main' unique features, those can be dealt with in a BAS handily with your modifications) and focusing on the similarities. While you CAN purchase a card that's not the cheapest in the 'book', BAS is focused on one thing: rock bottom dollar. What's the spread? How fast can I dump my cards and run? That is it's focus. A TAH focus' on the unique natures of a card, and categorizing them comes only by necessity. In the examples you use, a player will be rewarded for using the 'buy now' and 'sell now' features of the BAS, without so much as a by your leave. While a TAH offers quick transactions (one way, to be sure) for the impatient, I could easily see myself browsing a TAH much more than a BAS, even one modified with perfect implementation as per your specs.



Removing a redundant function is good design. Once you have BAS, auctions are obsolete. Everything auctions can do, BAS can do as well or better.
I flat disagree with this. I would agree that everything auctions do, BAS does better for YOU, but that's as far as I'll go. If auctions were obsolete, they wouldn't be used at all in the real world, and they obviously are. Used cars are often sold in auctions, even though they can easily be categorized in many ways. Much like Hex cards though, each is unique and thus makes auctions a viable avenue to buy/sell them in. Auctions are still used in certain venues to accentuate the unique nature of given items, and that is a purely Hex concept. In the examples given by others, your rebuttals have focused on the increased efficiency of a BAS transaction and the result has consequently been skewed in favor of BAS, but I suggest that in an environment focused on uniqueness, efficiency takes (and SHOULD take) second place to individualism. You can argue all day long that any transaction can be more efficient with BAS, and you'd be right, but being the most efficient transaction may be the wrong thing in the long run. I doubt that I could come up with an example where the efficiency of a transaction would be better served in a TAH rather than a BAS, but that is not the point. The point is that BAS focus on efficiency while auctions focus on uniqueness. That is not in any way obsolete.

Tinuvas
02-04-2014, 05:06 PM
Why? Cards are commodities and denying that is denying reality.

Cards may be commodities to YOU, but to a collector, each card is it's own thing. To create a system that ignores that is to ummm, 'ignore reality' in favor of your limited point of view.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 05:11 PM
I think this is the point Gwaer and I have been trying to get across. A well designed TAH (like what modders have done to the WoW AH, though the UI leaves much to be desired) will have everything a well designed BAS has, except without Bid/Ask. Given that Chark explicitly stated they aren't going to have a bid/ask system, I'd think this would be a good compromise and something we can all get behind.
It won't "have everything a well designed BAS has". It will have approximately half the functionality. (However, as stated before, BAS wouldn't take twice as long to implement.)


Since there won't be bid/ask, rather than continue to try to defend or attack the system we should be trying to come up with what we want out of a more traditional MMO-style AH.
We're getting this as collateral benefit of the BAS/TAH discussion. Most of the complaints about BAS are actually just generic problems to solve for any Hex market system.


The single most important feature for any AH is going to be the Search and Sort functionality. No one wants to have to scan through hundreds of pages for just the right item (*cough* Diablo III *cough*).
Yes.


There are lots of different "features" on any given card (Rarity, Threshold, Shard, Cost, Type, Race, Attack / Defense, AA Progress / Achievements, Double-Back, PvE / PvP, etc). We ought to be able to set filters for any and all of these.
Inherent card properties should NOT be part of the search. When you're doing deck building, you should be in the Deck Editor. The Deck Editor is where basic card properties should be searchable (threshold, shard, cost, race, attack, defense, keywords, rules text, etc.) Since all the inherent card rules are the same for every possible instance of that card, there is no reason to have that cluttering the interface. The list I've given for the HexBAS UI is complete. There is no need to have filters on anything else.


If you want to look for a Pack Raptor that's half-way to its AA but doesn't have Double-Back badges, you should be able to set filters for that (i.e. toggle on AA progress, toggle off Double Back, search for Pack Raptor).
Saying "half-way to its AA" is nonsensical. AA is inherent to promo cards and not available otherwise. Perhaps you mean extended art, unlocked through XP? Inaccurate terms aside, I agree that this use case should be supported. (HexBAS UI does this, TAH can copy it.)


If you're looking for a Vanilla Two-Cost Diamond Human with Three Attack, you should be able to filter that (i.e. toggle off AA / DB, toggle on 2 Cost, Human, Diamond, and 3-Attack). If you just want to browse Shin'Hare, or Blood Cards, or 4-Cost, whatever, that should be possible too. HexTCGBrowser already pretty much has this functionality in place, something similar in the AH would be great.
This should be in the Card Manager (deck editor), not the AH. I agree that long term the editor and AH should talk to each other, but for now they can be separate.


Next, we need competent Sorting. The most important sorting, and probably the only thing anyone will really care about, is by Price. High to Low, Low to High. If there's a Bid and a Buy-Now price (and there's no reason there shouldn't be) sorting by either should be possible. Sorting by Stack Size (e.g. looking for singletons, someone selling 4x of a card, or even more) is great. Also, having individual Price-Per-Card in Stacks is also an important feature as it lets people looking to buy more than one of a card in a single transaction decide if it's better to buy in singles or buy in stacks.
I agree, though it's important to note that several of these features would not be needed with HexBAS and are therefore wasted dev time (in my opinion, of course).


If you're doing broader searches (e.g. Diamond Humans), you should be able to sort by Threshold, by Cost, and by Attack / Defense (I believe the Deck Builder has this, although it seems buggy right now).
Again, this should not be in the AH, it should be in the deck editor only.


Buying should be as simple as either putting in a Bid, or just clicking "Buy." Kinda hard to improve on this or screw it up.
Agreed. Same as HexBAS for Buy It Now. For Bids, TAH takes that as bidding on a specific listing (with multiple bids allowed on any given listing), while BAS takes it as bidding on a general listing. In both cases, the bidder is bidding against other bidders.


Selling should also be as simple as possible. When you go to list a card, it should show you the current prices of all other identical cards so that even a novice seller can quickly judge a fair price.
I think you'll have a problem with the "identical" qualifier you've put there. Unless you have a virgin card, it's unlikely there is any other card currently listed that is precisely identical. It should be more of an inequality search, not equality. For example, if your card has 50% XP then the price check algorithm should be polling all listings of that card with 50% XP or more and reporting the cheapest. In the end, the auto-price feature is likely to give some rather wonky results. (All of this applies to both TAH and HexBAS.)


An option to undercut the lowest priced listing by X% would be nice, but not necessary.
This assumes you have an accurate price assessment. As stated above, that might be a problem since the cards aren't perfect commodities. (BAS has same problem.)


Vanilla WoW AH and the SWTOR AH had major issues with selling, and I would hate to see those replicated. Suggested prices were based on "vendor" prices (i.e. how much you'd get if you sold your item to an NPC), so in order to judge a good price you'd have to first go and search for your item (WoW at least had shift-click to enter the item's name), then go back to the listing page, and repeat for each item you were selling. This was insanely tedious and took way more time than was necessary. WoW AH mods solved this problem by integrating search with listing, and Hex would be wise to do something similar.
In the HexBAS UI (which TAH could steal from), there was a button for View Book that would show you all current listings for your card (automatically narrowing search/filters for you).


That's pretty much all that's necessary to have a robust player-friendly AH. Lots of search and sort functionality to find what you want at the lowest price, the ability to quickly buy what you want, and the ability to quickly sell your cards at a fair price. A great addition would be market trends for cards that could be displayed when selling or searching for a specific card, but not really necessary.
I agree, though "ability to quickly sell" is inferior in TAH compared to HexBAS. (No matter what, there's some delay between posting your TAH listing and customer purchase. HexBAS would already have your buyer lined up, so there's zero wait, assuming you like the price.)


Something that people keep overlooking and is where I think HexBAS might excel is with crafting components.
I have this on the Other tab of the proposed HexBAS UI. It's true we haven't really talked about it. Equipment could also an obvious shoo-in for a BAS model.

For true commodities (which equipment and crafting components will be), a fully automated BAS (not like the HexBAS proposal for cards) would be ideal. Since they're true commodities, there's no need of all those fancy search features. Search by Name is the only function you need, and Order entry is just Quantity (for Market Orders) and Price+Quantity (for Limit Orders). Simple and awesome!

The double-back feature of the cards is really the only thing that requires lots of extra thought (for both BAS and TAH, really).


TL;DR- A well designed TAH is perfectly adequate for buying / selling / auctioning cards, and HexBAS would be spectacular for PvE crafting components.
"Adequate" is an excellent choice of word. I'm hoping Hex can be more than "adequate".



I can't recall if it has already been mentioned, but I would find it really useful if we could see some type of average price metric and a history of recent buy/sell transactions for a particular card when considering the bid value or whether to select to 'buy it now'.

I'm assuming this will come later. It is not a core capability. Both TAH and BAS would want this feature eventually.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 05:49 PM
Congradualtions on identifyung the problem.
No need to patronize me. Please keep the discussion civil and matter-of-fact.


The relative speed of market orders vs orders that diferentiate based on double back features means people are less likley to care about the double back. This is going to drive cards towards a commodity market ebcause that's what transaction model you've shoe-horned them into.
I think you've missed a key point. The fast transactions are NOT ignoring the double-back, for the same reasons that the slow transactions are not. They are two sides of the same transaction. In every BAS transaction, one player is on the slow side (Limit Order, which took thought for figuring out the double-back value) and the fast side (Market Order). The price of all the listings (Limit Orders) already account for the double-back value so that when Buy Now is exercised, that information is preserved.

If you're implying that players will always choose the cheapest item regardless of the double-back, then you're not arguing against HexBAS, you're arguing against the value of the double-back itself.

Furthermore, TAH will have exactly the same problem! When someone comes along to Buy Now, are you saying they'll always ignore the double-back? It's the exact same problem.

If we assume the double-back has value (which we must do, otherwise CZE should cancel it as a feature), then we have also assumed that players will care about that value and be willing to pay for it. Back to my first paragraph in this section, that means that things are working just fine.


The ability to look at and choose the listing I want compensates for the UI's inability to get me a perfect list containing only cards that meet my criteria.

A buy order requires I be able to specify my criteria exactly or it can be filled by a card that I don't want. A TAS with a less than perfect search degrades more gracefully atha a BAS with a les sthat perfect search with regards to not pushing cards into a commodity model.
The HexBAS UI for Buy Now forces you to double-click the exact listing you want to purchase. It is not asking you to enter criteria precisely; that's for Make An Offer (Bid Limit Order, which TAH doesn't even have). Therefore, I continue to assert that TAH and BAS are the same on this point.


1. hex cards are designed to not be fungible. Non-fungible goods are optimaly sold at auction because you can't have an equilibrium market price for a one of a kind item. Applying a market system designed for fungible goods to hex cards will pressure people to treat hex cads as fungible (thus defeating the design goal of the double back).
Obviously Hex cards are designed to have some uniqueness. That's why we're having this discussion. But your assertion that the double-back stats will cause items to become so unique as to have no market context whatsoever seems crazy to me. At the end of the day, a Pack Raptor with filled out double-back is still a Pack Raptor for all purposes other than vanity. When you put it in a deck, it will invoke all the same mechanics as a virgin Pack Raptor. Will the double-back have value? Sure! But that value is still proportional to the underlying asset, which is a basic Pack Raptor. Therefore, it is useful to know what other Pack Raptors trade for. If you can see AA Pack Raptors go for 50% more than non-AA and EA Pack Raptors also get a 50% premium, then maybe you list your AA EA Pack Raptor for double the base value. The point is that the grouping of all Pack Raptors together was useful, even though each one might be slightly different. Showing the virgin cards alongside the decked-out card gives the high price context, and that's a good thing. (Everything said here applies to both TAH and BAS.)


2. the TAS degrades more gracefully with an imperfet UI (which is what the first draft will be). A BAS that doesn't have an exceptionally good UI will apply more presure to treat cards as fungible because there will be limits to how granular and flexible your specificatiuons can be.
This is not a limitation of HexBAS. TAH and HexBAS degrade equally with UI. Please see the comment above. ("The HexBAS UI for Buy Now forces you to...")



It will allow real auctions. Other than that my pojt is it does less than a BAS (which in the somehwat unisual case of Hex is a good thing).
Auctions are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. My question was not asking what "means" (functions and features) a TAH has that BAS can't have, the question is what "ends" (use cases) that TAH can handle that BAS can't handle or can't handle as well.



The search features I'm referring to are the ability to specify flexible and specific criteria that can define any possible subset of cards precisely and are intuitive enough that a NOOB will be able to use them with no training (I expect that will be impossible and that's why I'm aiming my arguments at imperfect implementations where graceful degradation matters).

I'd also like to see the ability to prioritize on elements other than price and set fixed price limits separately for each currency (So I could buy the pack raptor with the most trophies) as a market order. But again the point is that if I'm looking for a very narrow set of cards I need to be able to specify it precisely without including any cards I don't want or excluding any I would want.
This is still too vague. Everything you're saying here is fine, but it can be applied to BAS or TAH equally. That's why I'm asking for specifics. Here's the specifics for HexBAS (pulled from the link in my sig):

"Each tab would have at the top a Search input field with double-back feature choices to the right: AA (yes/no/either), Min XP% (which covers Foils by entering 100%), and an Achievements button for a pop-up to select must-have achievements. Defaults for double-back would be: AA-either, XP-0, and no achievements required. As you type in the Search field, it would suggest possible matches that you can click on."

I'm assuming that TAH will have all those same search features. Are you assuming more than this? Less? Please be specific.

(Truncating the rest of the quote because it seems to be redundant with the above.)

Yoss
02-04-2014, 07:45 PM
Auctions help with discoverability:
A player's first introduction to the value of double back info is likely to be a care the listed selling for more than expected or them getting out bid on a card they thought was just an ordinary card but had an interesting double back.

They also more efficiently price one of a kind items.

They achieve both with less hefty requirements for a UI (they are improved by better search but at no point do the stop working if you can't specify exactly what you're looking for).
1. I agree that "a player's first introduction to the value of double back info is likely to be a care the listed [sic] selling for more than expected" could be true, and this is no different in HexBAS than TAH.

2. "One of a kind items" is an overstatement of what the double-back will do to the cards. As I said in a previous post, the double-back will have value, but a Pack Raptor is still a Pack Raptor. It is more like comparing NM versus MP grading in physical cards, and not at all like rating an elephant against a banana. I think you'd agree that MTG cards are far more fungible than Hex cards will be and yet we all know that a Near Mint card is worth more than one that's Moderately Played. How can this be if you're saying that commoditization destroys the ability of the market to discriminate?

You can't claim "one of a kind" about Hex cards. There is no "1996 World Champion" card in Hex, and if they ever made something like that it would more likely be an account-bound sleeve or mercenary that is not tradeable and therefore not relevant to the AH.

3. You make claims about what you can do with degraded UI and then I counter that HexBAS keeps up just fine. We're at an impasse until we get down into the details. I've posted mine in great detail (link in sig). Feel free to start from that or to create your own so that we can really dig in to figure out where the impasse is (or maybe we'll find out we actually agree).


Or get this:
I place it as an auction and let the bids set the price. (yes I know that way lies madness)
That'll work fine if the discoverability issue is resolved. Even then, you will probably get less money for the lot than you would have gotten on HexBAS listing them individually. (Remember, we're talking about bulk cards here, not premium items.)


Anyway you calculations are flawed:
A is any per card operation (including research)
B is the total per lot operation (including opening the trade interface and confirming that you want to list it)
N is the number of cards.

The UI for a mixed lit should be:
1. open new lot <- part of B
2. add cards 1 by 1 (this step includes and price research or other actions you need to do per card) <- A
3. set price any other parameters that all listings require <- part of B
3. hit submit <- part of B
4. confirm submit <- part of B

The UI for a single lot would be the same except you repeat the process for every card (or stack of identical cards) instead of only repeating #2. You could optimize the details but all the optimizations would apply approximately equally to both use cases.

Thus why it's O(N(A+B)) for singles and O(AN+B) for mass lots.
OK fine, you can increase the size of A and B and your O(x) math won't change, but the real-world effects will. We're not talking large N here (at least, we shouldn't be). Abstracting away the magnitude of the scalars only holds if N is very large. Rather than quote O(x) derivations, give me estimated time (in minutes or seconds).

I estimate that HexBAS can use Sell Now on 45 cards in less than a minute (as explained previously). That's starting from outside the AH to cash in hand. What's your estimate for a mixed lot?

Yoss
02-04-2014, 07:47 PM
This thread is getting out of control, so I'm ignoring the other posts for now.
I get what you're saying about how the two systems can serve a similar function, but I don't see how the BAS can match the TAH in terms of auction effectiveness. How do I leverage buyers against each other in a BAS?
Theoretically, the buyers would keep 1-upping each other until someone has taken the throne.
That's about right, though no one can really "take the throne" because if they bid too high then everyone will rush in to sell and knock the price back down. It is not monotonically nondecreasing like a traditional auction.


That's all well and good, but how do I know when to jump in? How do I know when it's the right time to sell to the highest bidder? Aren't I taking a risk (jumping in too late or too early) by leaving it up to a bidding war done through a bid/ask system?
For ease of discussion, I have been assuming market equilibrium has already been reached. I think you're perhaps imagining the start-up of the market when the AH first comes online or when a new set releases. During that time, prices will jump wildly as the market tries to figure out what the stuff is worth (this is generic talk, not BAS specific). Unless you're really savvy, I'd stay away during this time. (Just look at MTG cards as they pre-sell and then just after set release. Some people make tons of money speculating on the cards, but you can really get burned.)

Instead of thinking about the start-up, think equilibrium. The market has already figured out the proper price for any good that has reasonable trade volume. If that's the case, then the Book will show you what the item is worth within some reasonably small variation; the bidding war you spoke of has already taken place and you can just sell your item with confidence.


Maybe I'm just incapable of envisioning how this actually would play out, but I really, really can't understand how this bid system is supposed to be able to match an auction when genuinely valuable items are on the line.

If the "genuinely valueable item" has good trade volume (like Jace the Mind Sculptor from MTG), then what I posted above will work. If you're talking about something with significantly less volume (like a JTMS played in the World Champ deck and signed by the player), then you're back where we were discussing before; you don't have a great idea on the value. You can see the base price from the less special versions of the card, but you're going to have to guess what your multiplier will be. As said before, if you put something like this up for auction, you're probably going to get either zero or one bidder unless you priced it too low. In the former case (zero or one bid), you may as well just be listing for Buy It Now (which BAS can do). In the latter case where you priced too low, the low volume means you run a significant risk of getting less than TMV because you just don't have enough bidders during your timeframe. This sort of item would go best at a live auction event like the Grand Auction idea I posted earlier.

Yoss
02-04-2014, 07:48 PM
I think that mixed lots are beneficial to people who want to dump cards quickly, regardless of whether or not we have a BAS to allow you to quickly dump singletons to fulfill outstanding orders (also, there won't be outstanding orders for cheap-ass common cards, so you'll still want a way to post a bunch of those and hope to GAIN interest). It is indeed good for new players to be able to buy a whole pile of common/uncommon cards cheaply, as Turtlewing said, so mixed lots are good for that as well.

We should definitely have the option for mixed lots, no matter what auction system we end up with... we just also need to be able to exclude them from search results, so I don't have to murder somebody when I'm trying to find one damn card. :)

Again, it all comes down to presentation, on this issue. We can have them, and they would be good to have for both buyers and sellers, we just also need to be able to exclude them from our results.

Why won't there be Bids for "cheap-ass common cards"?

Since we know there will be Crafting to consume even the crappiest cards, there will always be some value even if it is only from the "disenchant" prospects. Therefore, market players will definitely be camping Bids on the crap cards so they can pick them up, disenchant, and relist them as Crafting mats.

Along those same lines, the Seller of the commons can do the disenchant himself and then just sell the Crafting mats instead. Added bonus is that the crafting mats are true commodities so you can go full-up BAS (instead of HexBAS) for the high volume efficiency.

I remain unconvinced of the "new players need mixed lots" idea. The seller has no reason to offer a bulk discount (he can just do Sell Now on each item and be done with it at TMV). He also won't offer it at exactly TMV since the same argument holds (just use Sell Now). Therefore he must be selling it at a profit, which means the newbie is getting ripped off. Why are we encouraging this?

Yoss
02-04-2014, 07:53 PM
I see no way in which auctions would provide fertile ground for fraud and it's associated issues. While ideal transactions may not occur, and as a player you may feel ripped off on occasion(which I concur is a negative experience and should be avoided)
You "see no way" but you also state that "as a player you may feel ripped off on occasion". I don't understand how these are not contradictory. You even agree that the experience should be avoided, so why don't you agree on an implementation that would avoid it?


I suggest that a BAS would frustrate a player further if he has a card that isn't just a card (say it won a draft...not a BIG deal, but not a 'vanilla' card either) and he tries to sell it using the BAS method. With BAS, the game has decided that cards are commodities and treats them as such. Even with powerful search functions, 'sell it now' and other such options (while good for the dump and run player) will tend to make the market for his special card smaller. In addition, if he puts the price too high (with listing fees, which are the currently running concept and one which I agree with, within reason) and it fails to sell and then fails again, I could easily see that being more frustrating than paying to much for/receiving not enough for a card.
The potential market is not smaller. The potential market for specialty items is what it is and the AH model doesn't change that. The AH can only limit exposure and therefore restrict the actual market down from the potential. You are contending that a listing of type "auction" is somehow more visible than any other listing type. Why? The search features for discovery are identical. I see no reason to believe the assertion (until you explain it).

I have said, and continue to say, that all fees should be on the back end. The stated purpose of up-front fees is to prevent AH spam. Fine, the problem is AH spam. Just limit the number of concurrent listings a player may have. (This would mean they need their "bad guy" detection to be watching for multi-account behaviour that tries to circumvent the restriction.)


I suggest that EVERY SINGLE CARD is unique, and you need to do all you can to treat them as such, even the vanilla ones. Even if you have 5000 pack raptors, 300 of which have the extended art, and of those 20 won a tournament in their life, there are elements, even at that point, that are different. What day they were opened, who owned them in the past, which tourneys they won (Draft? Sealed? World Championship), etc. etc. etc. I can easily see a market for cards that I have owned in the past (haha).
Preaching to the choir. I've been saying the same thing.


While most transactions in a TAH will work on the BIN model and could easily work in a BAS (with more efficiency and quicker transactions), people understand auctions and will want to use them. They give the impression of high art, not big numbers and in a game that is designed with art and 'unique' as a key feature, that's a big deal. Implementation (what inputs and outputs are where etc) can be good or bad for both TAH and BAS. I won't go there as I am not in design guru mode right now. Assuming perfect implementation (which is far from likely) a BAS will still favor efficiency over individualism.
If you refuse to go into details, we'll never resolve the impasse. I will continue to maintain that discoverability is purely determined by the search engine independent of AH structure, while you will maintain that TAH is superior is some unspecified way. I have shown what I believe are the relevant details of my side. Please get "in design guru mode" and show me your ideas so that I can give them fair consideration and figure out where I'm wrong and you're right.


I love how you just decide that BAS is best for them. What if they want to auction? You just arbitrarily decide that auctions are bad and therefore you want to save them from themselves?
The decision was not arbitrary, nor impulsive. I have tried to give good reasons why HexBAS would work better, while so far I have not seen any complelling argument in favor of auctions. (Most recent was "they feel better" in the paragraph just above this.) If they want to auction, WHY? Please tell me. I've asked over and over for someone to give details of how an auction would be better so that I can understand. Win me over to start voicing your way.


Once again, I argue that cards, ALL CARDS, are unique, and in ways that AREN'T easily categorizable. BAS treats them as such, ignoring the beauty of the subtle uniqueness (not the 'main' unique features, those can be dealt with in a BAS handily with your modifications) and focusing on the similarities. While you CAN purchase a card that's not the cheapest in the 'book', BAS is focused on one thing: rock bottom dollar. What's the spread? How fast can I dump my cards and run? That is it's focus. A TAH focus' on the unique natures of a card, and categorizing them comes only by necessity. In the examples you use, a player will be rewarded for using the 'buy now' and 'sell now' features of the BAS, without so much as a by your leave. While a TAH offers quick transactions (one way, to be sure) for the impatient, I could easily see myself browsing a TAH much more than a BAS, even one modified with perfect implementation as per your specs.
I can tell that you have something else in mind for TAH that I'm just not seeing. You say HexBAS (as currently stands) can handle "the main unique features" but you do not specify what the missing features are. What specific listing attribute is searchable in your TAH that HexBAS is currently lacking?


I flat disagree with [HexBAS making auctions obsolete]. I would agree that everything auctions do, BAS does better for YOU, but that's as far as I'll go. If auctions were obsolete, they wouldn't be used at all in the real world, and they obviously are.
Ah, but Hex is not the real world. We are not dealing with infinite variation on unknown commodities. We have a fixed and known commodity list with a fixed and known list of possible variations on those base commodities. In a situation where you can enumerate every possible variation, there is no need for auctions, except perhaps for the Grand Live Auction idea posted previously that would handle variations that are so far outside the main that they require a special venue.


Used cars are often sold in auctions, even though they can easily be categorized in many ways. Much like Hex cards though, each is unique and thus makes auctions a viable avenue to buy/sell them in. Auctions are still used in certain venues to accentuate the unique nature of given items, and that is a purely Hex concept. In the examples given by others, your rebuttals have focused on the increased efficiency of a BAS transaction and the result has consequently been skewed in favor of BAS, but I suggest that in an environment focused on uniqueness, efficiency takes (and SHOULD take) second place to individualism. You can argue all day long that any transaction can be more efficient with BAS, and you'd be right, but being the most efficient transaction may be the wrong thing in the long run. I doubt that I could come up with an example where the efficiency of a transaction would be better served in a TAH rather than a BAS, but that is not the point. The point is that BAS focus on efficiency while auctions focus on uniqueness. That is not in any way obsolete.
HOW do the auctions highlight uniqueness better than HexBAS? HOW? HOW? HOW? You keep stating it as fact without backup. I'm sure it makes sense to you, but there's some key piece of the vision you have that I'm not seeing. Take me on your journey. I WANT us to agree. Lead me down your path so I can see your vision.

(Sorry for so many back-to-back posts. There's too much to fit.)

ossuary
02-04-2014, 09:53 PM
Why won't there be Bids for "cheap-ass common cards"?

Since we know there will be Crafting to consume even the crappiest cards, there will always be some value even if it is only from the "disenchant" prospects. Therefore, market players will definitely be camping Bids on the crap cards so they can pick them up, disenchant, and relist them as Crafting mats.

Fair point... I had forgotten about the disenchanting / crafting materials angle. Shame on me. :)

OK, so I will agree that even crappy cards will have SOME kind of standing order (even if it's only 1 or 2 cents from a guy who churns through thousands of them for the mats). So there will theoretically be a very low price constantly available for any card you can come up with. That takes care of the seller who is willing to take the worst possible price, and also is willing to make the number of clicks necessary to sell 500 cards one at a time.

This scenario is still not ideal for a new player, who doesn't know really what to look for. He doesn't have a laundry list of cards he wants to buy for cheap, he just wants a leg up to get more cards in hand that he can try out. I believe there's a middle ground between saying we're always ripping off the new player, and never supporting the "dump them all individually for whatever price I can get right this second" method.

I think we can have both insta-sell order fulfillment and mixed lots. Both serve specific purposes, and mixed lots are not inherently ripoffs. For the seller, they can save you even more time if you don't want to sort through a huge list and click through to sell individual items, you can just highlight a pile and group them together for a price. It's a small convenience, but some people are impatient. :)

More importantly, as a seller, you can organize a SPECIFIC list of cheap cards. A useful lot that would actually benefit a new or inexperienced player (here's some inspire cards that work well together, 4 copies of 10 different cards, these will make a nice deck if you combine them with a couple other cards - $5). This price might be slightly higher than the market price for those cards, but to a new player, the usefulness and guidance are a godsend, and maybe to them worth the small markup.

So the seller gets a bit better than market value for his pile of cards (as long as he's willing to wait a bit for that lot to sell instead of just dumping them to the best standing order), and the buyer gets something that helps him start building decks with a little more confidence. This is a valuable exchange, and there's no reason the system can't support it, so I think we should support it as an option.

Both mixed lots and singleton order fulfillment have merit in the right places.

Yoss
02-05-2014, 12:05 AM
User-made starter decks. A user spends time and effort to put together a newbie-friendly collection. That time and effort is worth something. Now that's a good argument in favor of mixed lots. (See, I'm not ALWAYS contrary. :))

Next step is implementation and trade study. How would we implement? What would it do to our design? How much value are we gaining with this feature? What do we have to give up?

My first thought is that we'd have to go eBay style and have a Title and/or Description added to every listing so that the seller could explain what the heck is going on with the lot. That's two extra database fields, two more (large!) things to add to the already-full UI, two more things that users will want to have in their Search engine. All that downside for a fairly small upside of the occasional pauper starter deck, which could just as easily have been disseminated in some other non-AH manner as a deck list instead of actual cards. (User then goes to AH to fill out the deck list.)

Maybe if we implemented a separate section for eBay-style listings? That would cover both auctions and mixed lots, but now you're splitting your market.

I dunno. I can see that there's some small upside to mixed lots, but the trade-off doesn't seem worth it (yet). Maybe one of you can do better on a nice implementation? (TAH or BAS is fine.)

ossuary
02-05-2014, 05:54 AM
It doesn't have to be complicated.

It would just be 2 optional fields (or even one, if you don't want to let people title things and just ask them for a brief description). The option to use this field would only be presented if you were posting multiple different cards (or even cards + equipment - no reason you can't build an entire deck complete with buffed cards).

If you were just posting a single card, or 2-4 copies of the same card, there would be no need for this field (the UI can automatically handle the description for 4x of a card by tacking the word "playset" onto the end of the listing). But when you post a mixed lot, it lets you have a description field to say what it contains and why.

On the UI side, just put it in a popup details window. You click on the mixed lot in the auction interface and there's an option for more details, which opens a new window on top of the auction screen. The details would be a bulleted list of the contents (each name would popup an image of the card in case you don't know what something is), with the description text displayed as well.

It shouldn't be too intrusive, and if we're going to have large listings of things, we would need a "more details" screen no matter what. You could get fancier than that (categories! so users can specify what kind of grouping of cards they're looking for, and you can narrow search results based on that category), but it should be enough to get started with, certainly.

For searching, just make sure the list of contents is indexed so if you have "show mixed lots" checked in your search options, they'll show up in your search screen if one of the cards you search for is in that lot.

Tinuvas
02-05-2014, 09:40 AM
...At the end of the day, a Pack Raptor with filled out double-back is still a Pack Raptor for all purposes other than vanity...
This statement smacks of arrogance and lack of concern for the collector. While essentially possibly true (much like any sport can be boiled down to make it sound stupid, aka: "Boxing is just two guys fighting each other" or "Baseball is just a bunch of guys hitting a ball and running around in a square"), I think you underestimate the value and complexity of that 'vanity'. It isn't based in logic, to be sure, but it is still a portion of the market that should be catered to if a healthy game state is desired.



Auctions are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. My question was not asking what "means" (functions and features) a TAH has that BAS can't have, the question is what "ends" (use cases) that TAH can handle that BAS can't handle or can't handle as well.
Auctions are an end in and of themselves. First, there is a cultural awareness of auctions and the situations commonly used by them. While most high art transactions in real life are probably done behind closed doors, we hear about the million dollar auctions. They are exciting, they are powerful emotional experiences. Similar things will occur in Hex. We will hear about that Pack Raptor that took the World Championship that went for 150 plat or something incredibly insane. That is exciting! It also won't happen without an auction, even if the dang thing sells for the same price in a BAS situation. A dry transaction just doesn't have the thrill that an auction does (see quibids (sp?) for an example of someone who has truly capitalized on the addictive quality of the emotional experience of an auction). Second, Hex's AH will send a strong signal to the world as to what kind of game it is. Wow's AH says "Here's some basic stuff, make of it what you will", and people have. Eve's says, "Let's play a numbers game". In real life, BAS are known for commodities trading, auctions are known for the trading of unique items. If BAS is adopted, people outside of the game will get the impression that Hex is about numbers and not uniqueness EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE TRUE. Perceptions, impressions, these are a big deal for a purely digital game. You can boil it down to me saying "it just feels better", but that would be an oversimplification of the issue. Auctions need to be there just so that people can say, "I want to go auction my one of a kind card". BAS can't do that.




You can't claim "one of a kind" about Hex cards.
Yes I can. Every card is unique. Down to the day it was opened, by whom, etc. EVERY card is different. While the vast quantity of cards and transactions won't care, a not insignificant number of them WILL.



If the "genuinely valueable item" has good trade volume (like Jace the Mind Sculptor from MTG), then what I posted above will work. If you're talking about something with significantly less volume (like a JTMS played in the World Champ deck and signed by the player), then you're back where we were discussing before; you don't have a great idea on the value. You can see the base price from the less special versions of the card, but you're going to have to guess what your multiplier will be.
No, don't guess, auction. That's the magic of it. You don't have to guess.



As said before, if you put something like this up for auction, you're probably going to get either zero or one bidder unless you priced it too low. In the former case (zero or one bid), you may as well just be listing for Buy It Now (which BAS can do). In the latter case where you priced too low, the low volume means you run a significant risk of getting less than TMV because you just don't have enough bidders during your timeframe. This sort of item would go best at a live auction event like the Grand Auction idea I posted earlier.
You make a lot of assumptions here. There may easily be a sub-market that develops just for auction-only items because collectors know that people only auction the non-basic cards and that's where they want to browse. They're not looking for EA, AA, Foil, etc. They're looking for different. In that case, an auction will get far more action and value than a generic BAS posting. There IS risk of low bids within timeframe, and I still like the Grand Auction idea, but removing auctions has the significant potential of removing an entire sub-market of the game.



I have said, and continue to say, that all fees should be on the back end. The stated purpose of up-front fees is to prevent AH spam. Fine, the problem is AH spam. Just limit the number of concurrent listings a player may have. (This would mean they need their "bad guy" detection to be watching for multi-account behaviour that tries to circumvent the restriction.)

You know, whether CZE goes with BAS or TAH, I'll be fine, but (no offense) I detest arbitrary limits on activities meant to simulate real life options. If I could put detest in stronger terms without devolving into profanity I would. By itself it would almost be a game breaker for me. You yourself found one reason why (sudden requirement of a greater policing structure to limit attempts to circumvent the 'rule'). With front end pricing, TAH has a built in relief valve (variable pricing for an individual item through...auctions!). BAS would almost require a back end pricing structure (and the limits...and the policing) to allow for 'guesses' and whatnot with more unique items.



I will continue to maintain that discoverability is purely determined by the search engine independent of AH structure,

Agreed


while you will maintain that TAH is superior is some unspecified way.

Because it allows auctions. See above. Do note that I would love a BAS for crafting materials, equipment etc. Seriously, I would spend hours just playing with it even though it's designed for minimal time interaction. Just not for cards.


...so far I have not seen any complelling argument in favor of auctions. (Most recent was "they feel better" in the paragraph just above this.)...
Oversimplification. See above


...What specific listing attribute is searchable in your TAH that HexBAS is currently lacking?
Auctions only :). And no, that's not insignificant. See above.



Ah, but Hex is not the real world...In a situation where you can enumerate every possible variation, there is no need for auctions, except perhaps for the Grand Live Auction idea posted previously that would handle variations that are so far outside the main that they require a special venue.
Every possible enumeration is doable, but because of the nature of complexity of combinations, a place just for 'different' is useful for the common man to work with. We're not just talking about the discoverability of a given thing, we're discussing a place for the different. Auctions fit that bill nicely.




I WANT us to agree. Lead me down your path so I can see your vision.
Oddly enough, I don't need us to agree. Your points are valid and of benefit to the community. I feel that mine are too. I think that CZE (I'm sure they're watching) has more information into the minds of the community than they had previous. If they go either way (BAS or TAH), I will be content (though my preference is known).


(Sorry for so many back-to-back posts. There's too much to fit.)
Better than my walls of text. Ugh.

Yoss
02-05-2014, 11:15 AM
This statement smacks of arrogance and lack of concern for the collector. While essentially possibly true (much like any sport can be boiled down to make it sound stupid, aka: "Boxing is just two guys fighting each other" or "Baseball is just a bunch of guys hitting a ball and running around in a square"), I think you underestimate the value and complexity of that 'vanity'. It isn't based in logic, to be sure, but it is still a portion of the market that should be catered to if a healthy game state is desired.
Please provide the full quote context.
"At the end of the day, a Pack Raptor with filled out double-back is still a Pack Raptor for all purposes other than vanity. When you put it in a deck, it will invoke all the same mechanics as a virgin Pack Raptor. Will the double-back have value? Sure!"
Just because you took insult at the words is not my fault. People love collecting LoL skins, which everyone recognizes as "vanity items". I collect things too, like the US State Quarters and Drummer Boy Quarters, but I don't delude myself into thinking it's anything other than vanity.


Auctions are an end in and of themselves. First, there is a cultural awareness of auctions and the situations commonly used by them. While most high art transactions in real life are probably done behind closed doors, we hear about the million dollar auctions. They are exciting, they are powerful emotional experiences. Similar things will occur in Hex. We will hear about that Pack Raptor that took the World Championship that went for 150 plat or something incredibly insane. That is exciting! It also won't happen without an auction, even if the dang thing sells for the same price in a BAS situation. A dry transaction just doesn't have the thrill that an auction does (see quibids (sp?) for an example of someone who has truly capitalized on the addictive quality of the emotional experience of an auction).
Even in what you describe, the auctions are not "an end in and of themselves". They are a means to provide "exciting... powerful emotional experiences" related to buying expensive collectibles. That is best done LIVE, like my Grand Auction idea. (LIVE being both online and in-person.) The excitement is then shared and multiplied by a large group instead of just you and the seller. The excitement generated by day-to-day eBay auctions seems paltry and hardly worth mentioning. Let it be a big event to look forward to at HexCon. Then there can truly be excitement of they kind you're talking about.


Second, Hex's AH will send a strong signal to the world as to what kind of game it is. Wow's AH says "Here's some basic stuff, make of it what you will", and people have. Eve's says, "Let's play a numbers game". In real life, BAS are known for commodities trading, auctions are known for the trading of unique items. If BAS is adopted, people outside of the game will get the impression that Hex is about numbers and not uniqueness EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE TRUE. Perceptions, impressions, these are a big deal for a purely digital game. You can boil it down to me saying "it just feels better", but that would be an oversimplification of the issue. Auctions need to be there just so that people can say, "I want to go auction my one of a kind card". BAS can't do that.
I guess I don't know what others think of WoW, but when I think of WoW I do not even think about the AH. I think about high fantasy, roleplay, 3rd person wandering in a beautiful environment, battling beasts for treasure, and doing those things with friends! As far as my general impression of WoW goes, the AH structure means nothing at all. It isn't until you ask me about QoL in WoW that I'll finally think of the AH and say, "man the WoW AH sucks!"

Similarly for Hex, I'm coming to the game for the PVP TCG and for the amazing idea of an MMOTCG. When I think of Hex in a general sense, the AH isn't even on my mind. I mean, sure, I expect there to be an AH, but that's not what Hex is about. When I do finally get down to details and realize that the AH will impact my game time (just like WoW), I then realize that I very much care about having to spend as little time as possible fiddling with bad UI and/or bad system. I would HATE it if I had to spend more than 60 seconds researching price on every item I ever buy or sell. UGH! Just let me get in and get out without worrying about getting ripped of.

And by "not worrying" I mean, protect me from predation by building the system to be transparent about what's really going on in the market. For example, one of the worst decisions I've heard from CZE is that they're going to allow cross-listing of items, which will mean having to check (at least) TWO commodities every time you purchase. Do you buy the one listed in Gold or the one listed in Plat? First, you have to research the Gold:Plat exchange rate. Oh wait, that's also being obfuscated because CZE refuses to have an on-AH currency exchange! Now you get to go look at DOZENS of commodities to compare their Gold:Plat ratio, as well as checking the Trade Chat for Gold sellers to see what their Gold:Plat ratio is. Finally, you have some idea what the current Gold:Plat ratio is and return to your original listing and now have enough information to make a choice about which currency to use for purchase. Let's say it's cheaper in Gold. Oh wait, you don't have any Gold to pay for that PVP card? OK, back to the Trade Chat to hit up one of those gold sellers. Wait for response, go to the trade screen with them, then back to the AH. By now half an hour has gone by and you sill haven't bought the freaking card! And then you find out someone already bought the item you were looking at and now the next-best offer is in Plat. But you just traded your Plat for Gold...

This is the stuff of nightmares.


Every possible enumeration is doable, but because of the nature of complexity of combinations, a place just for 'different' is useful for the common man to work with. We're not just talking about the discoverability of a given thing, we're discussing a place for the different. Auctions fit that bill nicely.
(Going to skip the rest, because I think here is where we can make agreement possibly.)

As I was reading before this point in your post, I was already thinking "he just needs a separate area for auctions of special stuff", and then you came out and said just that! Perhaps you're right that "snowflake" stuff should just be handled at auction. (I'm actually not sure I agree, but since I wouldn't use the feature either way and it wouldn't interfere with the part I actually care about, I'm willing to concede the point. However, if it moves from "auctions segregated" to "auctions are all you get" then I'm going to be up in arms again.)

Gwaer
02-05-2014, 11:36 AM
Everything will be handled at auction. A dev started this thread by saying what we will have. Pushing for something else is not helpful. Instead push for additions to what they are working on that they can implement later.

ossuary
02-05-2014, 11:45 AM
That's disingenuous, Gwaer. What he ACTUALLY said was that they are currently planning to have only a TAH, due mostly to monetary / time concerns, but are open to feedback on the matter. He also went on to say that he, personally, agrees that a BAS would be better. That's worth a lot of additional conversation.

Lawlschool
02-05-2014, 11:49 AM
This is the stuff of nightmares.


The stuff of your nightmares. Some of us like messing around on the AH, and some of us don't care about nickel and diming our way through transactions.

Rycajo
02-05-2014, 12:51 PM
The stuff of your nightmares. Some of us like messing around on the AH, and some of us don't care about nickle and diming our way through transactions.

I agree with Yoss. For those who see the market as a means to an end (they just want that card), such a system is a nightmare.

For those who want to play the market (the market is the game), they would have ample opportunity to make some sweet deals because of the difficulty imposed by market setup and restrictions.

Tinuvas
02-05-2014, 01:50 PM
Please provide the full quote context...
Point taken. I do feel that even with full context the value of vanity to the game (not the individual players) was oversimplified and brushed off though.



...That is best done LIVE, like my Grand Auction idea. (LIVE being both online and in-person.) The excitement is then shared and multiplied by a large group instead of just you and the seller. The excitement generated by day-to-day eBay auctions seems paltry and hardly worth mentioning. Let it be a big event to look forward to at HexCon. Then there can truly be excitement of they kind you're talking about.
I agree that it is best done live. I agree that HexCon Grand Auction Awesomeness(!!!) would be that experience. I also think that on the day to day, auctions would still have value for the game as a whole.



For example, one of the worst decisions I've heard from CZE is that they're going to allow cross-listing of items, which will mean having to check (at least) TWO commodities every time you purchase. <Excellent description of the process>

This is the stuff of nightmares!

lol. That WOULD be a nightmare to me. That's why personally I would look at what price works best for me and go (the gold list price is worse than the plat comparatively, but I have a pile of gold on hand ATM, so there we go!). I think I am less concerned about being robbed than most (market whizzes make their money off of me :)). I would leave that research process to the marketeers and go back to play the game. I do feel that the game needs gold and plat as separate entities and I want the capability to list them with either or both as options on the AH. I hadn't considered the paperwork I was creating on the buyer's end :p.



As I was reading before this point in your post, I was already thinking "he just needs a separate area for auctions of special stuff", and then you came out and said just that! Perhaps you're right that "snowflake" stuff should just be handled at auction. (I'm actually not sure I agree, but since I wouldn't use the feature either way and it wouldn't interfere with the part I actually care about, I'm willing to concede the point. However, if it moves from "auctions segregated" to "auctions are all you get" then I'm going to be up in arms again.)If there were no BIN options and if the overall search functions weren't extremely robust, I would join the posse with you. My only concern for the separate 'snowflake' market is that segregation limits markets, but isn't that what I've been arguing for the whole time? For the true commodities of this game, I would love a BAS, and would even put up with/enjoy a BAS for the 'low end' cards. I would even venture into the snowflake section once in awhile if I have extra resources (which I expect to have somewhat) to get cool stuff I want. Maybe. I think regardless of this conversation and whatever way CZE goes, implementation will be everything.

Tinuvas
02-05-2014, 01:54 PM
The stuff of your nightmares. Some of us like messing around on the AH, and some of us don't care about nickle and diming our way through transactions.

I'm going to make a correction here, and it will seem very childish, and you'll probably be right. I do it with 2 caveats: 1) it is tongue in cheek. I truly don't care. 2) It's my last name, so if you're going to mess it up, do it in capital letters!

It's 'nickel'. Nickle is me.;)

Yoss
02-05-2014, 02:25 PM
Point taken. I do feel that even with full context the value of vanity to the game (not the individual players) was oversimplified and brushed off though.
I have a tendency to "black and white" things, so I may have been overly harsh.


lol. That WOULD be a nightmare to me. That's why personally I would look at what price works best for me and go (the gold list price is worse than the plat comparatively, but I have a pile of gold on hand ATM, so there we go!). I think I am less concerned about being robbed than most (market whizzes make their money off of me :)). I would leave that research process to the marketeers and go back to play the game. I do feel that the game needs gold and plat as separate entities and I want the capability to list them with either or both as options on the AH. I hadn't considered the paperwork I was creating on the buyer's end :p.
It just seems strange to allow things like the "nightmare" I posted above, when there's a very simple answer: no cross-listings. It would be further mitigated by having on-AH currency exchange, but even without CurEX the worst of the problem would go away. (You'd be stuck going to Trade Chat for all your currency trades, which sucks, but at least it would all be in one place. And hopefully you don't need to swap currencies that often, maybe once a week or something.)


implementation will be everything.
QFT!


Along those lines, here are some things we can all agree on (I think). For now, I'll assume Traditional Auction House (even though I still prefer HexBAS).

All cards sold as auctions
All auctions have an instant fulfillment option (e.g. Buy It Now)
Allow on-AH trade of Gold for Plat (Fees charged in Gold.)
All perfect commodities (equipment, currency, crafting materials, etc) in separate section(s) and implemented as Bid/Ask
No cross-listings (e.g. PVP card sold for Gold)
AH fee structure, maybe 0.5% up front and 2.5% at fulfillment?
Searchable fields (cards): Card Name, Set, AA (yes/no/-), Min XP% (which covers Foils by entering 100%), EA (yes/no/-), and an Achievements button for a pop-up to select must-have achievements
Searchable fields (equipment): Item Name, Associated Card Name
Searchable fields (crafting mats): Item Name
Searchable fields (currency): none
(what else did I miss?)



Another off-the-wall idea I just had...
What if they allowed Buyers to make auction listings where sellers bid DOWNWARD for the privilege to sell to that buyer? And each of these auctions would have Sell It Now. Not sure what to call them. Reverse Auctions? Ask Auctions? Buyer Auctions?

Actually, if they added that, with what I put in the list up there, I'd be pretty happy with "just" a TAH model.