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Mokog
04-06-2015, 01:43 PM
Some of you maybe familiar with World of Warcraft. It is implementing a 30 game time "Token System" shown in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVze8g6YfHU

Luckily we can play on Hex as often and as long as we want. It is open for everyone to enjoy but I want to share why the proposed system is antithetical to a player driven economy, which Hex does have.

The token it's self is a good idea. Let player 1 buy 30 days of game time so player 2 can give them gold in exchange. Slap a %fee on the transaction to pull out gold inflation and call it a day. The problem arises in that player trades would circumnavigate the fee and take the trade off the Auction house.

Blizzard's answer for this is to force all transactions through the auction house and soulbinding the tokens except through the AH interface (where there is only a single possible transaction). In addition they strip away the bidding process and offer only a flat exchange with a time delay. Behind the scenes they will have an algorithm measuring and calculating how Blizzard wants the exchange to occur at a length of time to prevent too many transactions all at Blizzard's conception of value.

Players have been operating in the Blizzard Auction house for a long time. They understand how much time their gold is worth related to how much enjoyment/work they want to put into the interface. Now they must trust Blizzard gets this value correct and that they do not break the algorithm. The token system institutionalizes a real world value for the gold in game. Before it happened on a risky black market where players would trade with caution and trepidation. Now Blizz is setting the real world value for everything in their game from every vendor to every loot drop. No longer will players define their local economies. It is controlled by blizzard in their little black auction box.

Blizzard may solve some inflation issues using this process but in the end they have put a stagnate block in the middle of their gold economy. Price controls do not work and rate controls create unfair dislocations of value. That is what I do not want in Hex. That is also were Hex may be treading unwittingly.

The New alternate arts are very cool. I love the murder repel and other cards. They have a great personal value to me. The auction house also values them in a range of 170-200 plat. One day those values will drop to the floor, a floor which is higher than any other card type 100 platinum. All promos while they are available will tend towards the floor price on the auction house unless the rarity constraints and play value of a card are sufficient to keep up demand. As long as the price floor remains and the gold purchase remains an option, technically Hex has instituted its own form of price controls for the exchange rate of gold. Eventually 25k gold will be worth 100 plat and anything that deviates from that exchange value will create an arbitrage. When the AA cards were released many players took advantage of this opportunity and as the game progresses other instances will occur as well.

While this is technical issue I will state that the form of implementation makes great differences, but a control is still a control and will still dislocate value in the game economy. So our challenge is how to have a stable vendor gold sink with a duel currency economy. I don't have an answer for that other than eliminate the price floor or drastically reduce the price floors for cards on the auction house. I am just one player though and I would love to hear what the community thinks about the issue because I don't want rate controls if they can be avoided but I also do not have line of sight into the full spectrum of our community behavior to determine if the current model is truly the best for our game.

Diesbudt
04-06-2015, 01:47 PM
But... I want more hex time!

nicosharp
04-06-2015, 01:58 PM
I think Wild Star was the first game to introduce this system. I'm not sure how Wild Star is doing today, but conceptually that was a pretty neat idea for a Paid-to-Play MMO.

No matter how you look at it, its a currency exchange system. Fake currency earned in-game, for exclusive currency paid for with cash. A lot of games, including Guild Wars 2 have these type of systems in place.

I think HEX (Chark) is still avoiding placing their hand in the economy. Even though a transaction rate can still be player-controlled, building one into the game will ultimately effect the economy in a way that can promote long-term inflation.

KingGabriel
04-06-2015, 02:05 PM
I imagine it's just a temporary gold sink to deal with the arena loot table being a bit too small.

bootlace
04-06-2015, 02:08 PM
I don't think temporary arbitrage opportunities in a dynamic market is such a problem - it's not like there's an NPC you can auto-sell to that would created unlimited profit potential. There actually needs to be a consenting human being on the other side of the deal buying that 25k gold valued AA at 100p when he could instead get it for cheaper if he converted his platinum to gold (say like buying a booster and selling it for gold) and get it from the store himself.

It is a bit inconvenient to have to exchange your plat to gold but so far the problem hasn't happened yet - I really doubt 25k gold will be worth less than 100 plat before these AAs rotate out, especially with further gold sinks soon to be introduced like opening chests. Remember these AAs will probably rotate out from set to set or block to block and HexEnt can price future "SHOP AAs" differently if the gold to plat ratio falls too low.

magic_gazz
04-06-2015, 02:09 PM
I am surprised the new AA cards go for so much as that is well above the gold to plat ratio people were using before. I guess they will drop pretty soon.

Once they hit the floor people can trade them outside the AH to get around the floor if they need to, so it is not quite as controlling.

Mokog
04-06-2015, 02:13 PM
An institutional way to trade game time tokens is not bad in a single currency system even when you slap a fee on it. The requirement is player driven pricing with the in game currency.

Hex is different in that it uses two currencies but has no limit on play time. We effectively use the auction house to trade grind time (equipment, PvE cards and gold) for plat. So when the promo plat value is tied systematically to gold, you can take 25,000 gold and turn it into platinum. Yes it sinks the economy and is fair when prices are above the floor, but like windborne acolytes some promo cards will fall below the 100 plat value. There is an arbitrage there waiting for the smart cookie to figure out how to take advantage of it only because they can't fall to their current true value.

In the end, the promo price floor maybe just too high but the concept can be quickly applied to PvP cards for locating the next profitable arbitrage.

KingGabriel
04-06-2015, 02:19 PM
There is an arbitrage there waiting for the smart cookie to figure out how to take advantage of it only because they can't fall to their current true value. (partial)
You can see there's 20 pages of them at 100p most of the time, Yo. DON'T MAKE ME START A RAP BATTLE!

nicosharp
04-06-2015, 02:22 PM
I think you are over-analyzing this. Especially using the AA cards as a measure for the exchange rate. The reason why the AA cards are a bad comparison is because they are not necessary to have. Game time in a MMO is. Also AA cards for gold will eventually rotate, so scarcity will eventually create long-term value again.

Right now there is only one thing that matter in-terms of how F2P turn into P2P.
1) Packs exchange rate for gold

The controls in-place right now are:
1) Plat Price Floors
2) 48 Hour max listing time
3) No direct currency exchange from plat-to-gold / gold-to-plat
4) AA gold sinks
5) Wheel of Fate chest spin gold sinks

I am actually quite fond of the current system. There is definite room for QOL improvements, but some items I listed above, help the game right now in-terms of players collection values, rather than hurt them.

Tazelbain
04-06-2015, 02:27 PM
I wish there was such a system in Hex. Algorithms these days are pretty bad ass and do a much better job pricing stuff than humans. It would save me time reading tea leaves trying guess the value of things. But HexEnt seems to like that the market is horribly inefficient so I don't expect we'll see something like it.

KingGabriel
04-06-2015, 02:29 PM
I wish there was such a system in Hex. Algorithms these days are pretty bad ass and do a much better job pricing stuff than humans. It would save me time reading tea leaves trying guess the value of things. But HexEnt seems to like that the market is horribly inefficient so I don't expect we'll see something like it.
Chark>Robots

israel.kendall
04-06-2015, 02:36 PM
There is a system like this that has been in use for a very long time in Eve Online. It is called PLEX (Pilot License Extention). It is basically buying game currency from another player in stead of from shady 3rd party gold/ISK selling sites. It works quite well actually. But there were some not so smart people in EVE who would undock in a little rookie ship with tons of PLEX in their cargo. They would then be blown out of space and lose everything. (EVE is very PVP and you WILL lose your stuff) It is quite hilarious actually when it happens and gets posted all over the web lol

This guy got blown up in a rookie ship and lost $1,500 worth of PLEX! http://www.pcgamesn.com/eve-online/eve-online-player-loses-ship-with-1500-of-plex-inside-not-a-single-plex-survives


And here is a general article about the ins and outs of PLEX: https://community.eveonline.com/support/knowledge-base/article.aspx?articleId=495

Zophie
04-06-2015, 02:37 PM
I think Wild Star was the first game to introduce this system.

EVE Online had the first major implementation of this type of system that I am aware of, with PLEX.

nicosharp
04-06-2015, 02:39 PM
EVE Online had the first major implementation of this type of system that I am aware of, with PLEX.
Nice - Yeah, Torture just Ninja'd you. A lot of games seem to be borrowing from that concept. I guess it works in games where a stable economy exists, and there is a player-driven need to buy-in.

Yoss
04-06-2015, 02:40 PM
Given that we have to deal with price floors (which I do not actually concede), can't we at least tie the AA floor to the rarity of the card, so a card like AA Acolyte can go below the ridiculously high 100p?

Vorpal
04-06-2015, 02:42 PM
EVE has had such a system forever and it has worked relatively well.

Mokog
04-06-2015, 02:44 PM
I think you are over-analyzing this. Especially using the AA cards as a measure for the exchange rate. The reason why the AA cards are a bad comparison is because they are not necessary to have. Game time in a MMO is. Also AA cards for gold will eventually rotate, so scarcity will eventually create long-term value again.

Right now there is only one thing that matter in-terms of how F2P turn into P2P.
1) Packs exchange rate for gold

The controls in-place right now are:
1) Plat Price Floors
2) 48 Hour max listing time
3) No direct currency exchange from plat-to-gold / gold-to-plat
4) AA gold sinks
5) Wheel of Fate chest spin gold sinks

I am actually quite fond of the current system. There is definite room for QOL improvements, but some items I listed above, help the game right now in-terms of players collection values, rather than hurt them.

I agree with Nico on these points. We have many positives in our favor as a value driven community exchange. I think it is one of the things that binds our community is that general freedom of exchange (even if tedious at times).

What I want to specify is not about the relation of F2P to P2P but the dislocations of value that occur because restraints on the system. Arbitrage is the incentive for the market to fill the gap and quickly find the prices for items on the market. My concern is what happens when the floors and the ceiling (25k AA common ceiling) begin to collide. I like the idea of having alt arts available from the store. I just don't want their availability to adversely effect our mostly free market of exchange. What I see Blizzard doing is shutting down the free exchange of time to gold. Hex is not in that position thankfully. I just don't want Hex any where near that position. it is bad enough the companies share the same state, I am that adverse to the idea.

Banquetto
04-06-2015, 02:48 PM
EVE, as Zophie said, introduced the granddaddy of this type of thing in the form of PLEX. A number of games have followed recently (after ignoring the idea for many years).

However previously they have all done the exchange on an open market and let supply & demand set the price.

The only precedent I can think of for this algorithmic pricing is Guild Wars 2's gems (cash shop currency) to gold (in-game currency) exchange. That has suffered from immense price swings - I played GW2 at release and bought a number of gems at approximately 0.3 gold per 100 gems. Now they appear to be selling for about 15 gold per 100 - 50x more expensive.

To be fair, it's probably easier to get the starting price and algorithm right for a mature game like WoW than for a freshly launched one where nobody has any gold yet. :) But it still makes me nervous.

Anyway, I definitely agree that any form of hard price control in Hex's market would be a bad idea. I'm not a fan of the price floors although I do understand that part of their purpose may be to force less desirable cards onto the gold market. Since the main effect of a price floor is just to eliminate trading of a commodity whose real value is below the floor, the existence of a gold market mitigates this problem on the platinum market floors.

KingGabriel
04-06-2015, 02:51 PM
The only precedent I can think of for this algorithmic pricing is Guild Wars 2's gems (cash shop currency) to gold (in-game currency) exchange. That has suffered from immense price swings - I played GW2 at release and bought a number of gems at approximately 0.3 gold per 100 gems. Now they appear to be selling for about 15 gold per 100 - 50x more expensive.

Can confirm, immense swings.

Chark
04-06-2015, 02:57 PM
The token it's self is a good idea. Let player 1 buy 30 days of game time so player 2 can give them gold in exchange. Slap a %fee on the transaction to pull out gold inflation and call it a day.



While this feature does fight inflation in WoW, I believe that its primary purpose is cut out middle men for gold sales. Essentially the problem of third party gold sellers can be solved a couple of different ways. You can try to control it with punishments, or you can make it so convenient to buy gold from the "bank" that the average consumer will not want to go through a shady reseller. I believe they are trying to make "itunes" in response to a bunch of people "torrenting" music and not necessarily fight inflation.



As long as the price floor remains and the gold purchase remains an option, technically Hex has instituted its own form of price controls for the exchange rate of gold. Eventually 25k gold will be worth 100 plat and anything that deviates from that exchange value will create an arbitrage.

Only if you assume a guaranteed sale for 100 plat in the market, which won't be the case if the value of 25k gold is less than 100p. In those cases, exchanges at the market G/P rate will occur and those who want the AAs will acquire 25k gold (for whatever the price below 100p is). In other words, there will be a bunch of 100p AA listings with nobody buying them and a bunch of demand to exchange plat for gold (at the market rate) so that people who want the AAs can get them for the gold (cheaper) price.


Don't worry: I have no intention to create dollar blue (http://www.speakinglatino.com/argentina-blue-dollar-exchange-rate/) with our currencies.

israel.kendall
04-06-2015, 03:03 PM
We are basically already doing what EVE does with Plex in a way. If I want gold I can just buy some packs or cards and list them for gold and the player market decides the value. I think it is a good system.

zadies
04-06-2015, 09:10 PM
Hex is different in that it uses two currencies but has no limit on play time. We effectively use the auction house to trade grind time (equipment, PvE cards and gold) for plat. So when the promo plat value is tied systematically to gold, you can take 25,000 gold and turn it into platinum. Yes it sinks the economy and is fair when prices are above the floor, but like windborne acolytes some promo cards will fall below the 100 plat value. There is an arbitrag


Windborne Acolytes are a chest roll not something that can be bought directly with gold and comparing it to something that has a CZE set gold value is a strawman.

LNQ
04-07-2015, 02:49 AM
I'm not a fan of the price floors although I do understand that part of their purpose may be to force less desirable cards onto the gold market. Since the main effect of a price floor is just to eliminate trading of a commodity whose real value is below the floor, the existence of a gold market mitigates this problem on the platinum market floors.

That's a good point. I have also been frustrated with the plat price floors, but I now see that as the market for gold grows the gold market should take care of this problem. Currently there doesn't seem to be enough demand for gold / the AH isn't user friendly enough to get people to list junk AAs / legendaries for proper gold prices.

In this light I'm much more willing to tolerate the difficulty of buying certain junk cards at their real value at the moment. Let's hope the gold market gathers speed sooner rather than later.

BKCshah
04-07-2015, 03:57 AM
EVE Online had the first major implementation of this type of system that I am aware of, with PLEX.

PLEX tank = Best Tank

Khazrakh
04-07-2015, 04:56 AM
That's a good point. I have also been frustrated with the plat price floors, but I now see that as the market for gold grows the gold market should take care of this problem. [...]

Initially I didn't like the price floor either but in the end, they are a means of protecting people from selling their stuff under value.
Without it a lot of DSC, ASC and even the newly minted CBC would have been sold way under value. I'd still never sell them for the 100p floor, but at least the people who do get some value out of it that way.

EntropyBall
04-07-2015, 11:53 AM
Only if you assume a guaranteed sale for 100 plat in the market, which won't be the case if the value of 25k gold is less than 100p. In those cases, exchanges at the market G/P rate will occur and those who want the AAs will acquire 25k gold (for whatever the price below 100p is). In other words, there will be a bunch of 100p AA listings with nobody buying them and a bunch of demand to exchange plat for gold (at the market rate) so that people who want the AAs can get them for the gold (cheaper) price.

I think you guys are managing the Hex economy well, but if you are expecting that there will be "a bunch of demand to exchange plat for gold (at the market rate)", why can't we list plat for gold and vice versa? There is no currently no AH-based way to satisfy this demand, other than an inefficient conversion through packs or cards, which have their own daily valuations.

Yoss
04-07-2015, 02:32 PM
Initially I didn't like the price floor either but in the end, they are a means of protecting people from selling their stuff under value.
Without it a lot of DSC, ASC and even the newly minted CBC would have been sold way under value. I'd still never sell them for the 100p floor, but at least the people who do get some value out of it that way.

I do not need protecting. I was quite happy to sell my Scrivs and whatnot at those low prices. Free market is all about moving goods into the hands of those who value them the most. To me, an AA isn't worth anything more than its play value, therefore I trade it away to someone who actually cares that the art is different.

Yoss
04-07-2015, 02:32 PM
why can't we list plat for gold and vice versa?
Good question.

bootlace
04-07-2015, 02:59 PM
Quote Originally Posted by EntropyBall View Post
why can't we list plat for gold and vice versa?

Good question.

Clearly separating real $ from in-game currency allows you to avoid any possible gambling charges, problems that might arise from giving/taking-away gold, limits people using gold to not think in $ terms and possible spend more, and basically the freedom to do whatever they want with gold since it's just some worthless virtual thing they have 100% control of.

While the reality is gold does indeed have real $ value because of being able to convert it to plat indirectly, as long as the company doesn't offer a clear and visible conversion process I believe they can at least theoretically and probably legally keep themselves protected in some manner.

Yoss
04-07-2015, 03:11 PM
Clearly separating real $ from in-game currency allows you to avoid any possible gambling charges, problems that might arise from giving/taking-away gold, limits people using gold to not think in $ terms and possible spend more, and basically the freedom to do whatever they want with gold since it's just some worthless virtual thing they have 100% control of.

While the reality is gold does indeed have real $ value because of being able to convert it to plat indirectly, as long as the company doesn't offer a clear and visible conversion process I believe they can at least theoretically and probably legally keep themselves protected in some manner.

We're only talking Plat/Gold exchange here, not $US. There's no "real money" involved, so the points you raise are not relevant (in this context anyway).

If Hex ever offers official Plat to $US exchange (right now it's only in never out), then your concerns become real.

bootlace
04-07-2015, 03:23 PM
We're only talking Plat/Gold exchange here, not $US. There's no "real money" involved, so the points you raise are not relevant (in this context anyway).

If Hex ever offers official Plat to $US exchange (right now it's only in never out), then your concerns become real.

You could probably take people's gold away (let's say King Gabriel tax day) and no customer would be able to sue, take away their plat and I think they have a much more legitimate case because they paid for it in money. Blurring the lines between what people paid for and what you're giving them is probably not in their best interest.

Yoss
04-07-2015, 03:32 PM
You could probably take people's gold away (let's say King Gabriel tax day) and no customer would be able to sue, take away their plat and I think they have a much more legitimate case because they paid for it in money. Blurring the lines between what people paid for and what you're giving them is probably not in their best interest.

Can't sue for something you never owned. When you "buy" plat, you're actually not gaining ownership of anything in Hex. You're paying for access to the game content and that access is 100% revokable at any time for any reason or no reason at the whim of the company. As much as I hate it, this is one of the reasons why the TOS for this and pretty much every other game is written so harshly: to prevent stupid legal crap from ruining the game for everyone.

(And we've now buried the Good Question in a place where Chark might not see/answer it.)

EntropyBall
04-07-2015, 03:41 PM
You could probably take people's gold away (let's say King Gabriel tax day) and no customer would be able to sue, take away their plat and I think they have a much more legitimate case because they paid for it in money. Blurring the lines between what people paid for and what you're giving them is probably not in their best interest.

I don't understand this logic. How is letting *players* trade plat for gold among themselves any different (legally) than letting them buy a pack with plat, and then trade it to another player for gold? Allowing a free market plat/gold exchange is not any more dubious (in terms of made up future legal concerns) than the current sale of packs for gold and AAs for plat.

Just so I'm clear, I think having a fixed value plat/gold exchange run by CZE is a terrible idea, but letting players set the value and sell it on the AH is a good thing that will improve the function of the economy.

bootlace
04-07-2015, 03:42 PM
Can't sue for something you never owned. When you "buy" plat, you're actually not gaining ownership of anything in Hex. You're paying for access to the game content and that access is 100% revokable at any time for any reason or no reason at the whim of the company. As much as I hate it, this is one of the reasons why the TOS for this and pretty much every other game is written so harshly: to prevent stupid legal crap from ruining the game for everyone.

ToS is not the law. You can't just do anything to your customer and get away with it because you have a clause about it in the ToS. Anyways I would guess it's more of a preventive measure than anything they really need to do - especially for very sensitive countries like Korea/China about this matter.

bootlace
04-07-2015, 03:43 PM
I don't understand this logic. How is letting *players* trade plat for gold among themselves any different (legally) than letting them buy a pack with plat, and then trade it to another player for gold? Allowing a free market plat/gold exchange is not any more dubious (in terms of made up future legal concerns) than the current sale of packs for gold and AAs for plat.

Just so I'm clear, I think having a fixed value plat/gold exchange run by CZE is a terrible idea, but letting players set the value and sell it on the AH is a good thing that will improve the function of the economy.

IANAL, just my guess..

israel.kendall
04-07-2015, 03:52 PM
ToS is not the law. You can't just do anything to your customer and get away with it because you have a clause about it in the ToS. Anyways I would guess it's more of a preventive measure than anything they really need to do - especially for very sensitive countries like Korea/China about this matter.

Well, they could just do like Sony and put in the ToS that you agree not to sue them. Either agree, or Dont use the product.

bootlace
04-07-2015, 04:02 PM
Well, they could just do like Sony and put in the ToS that you agree not to sue them. Either agree, or Dont use the product.

I'm not a lawyer but you can't possibly just say in your ToS you have the right to kill your consumers and that they (or their families) can't sue you and actually get away with it even if the consumer agrees to it.

israel.kendall
04-07-2015, 04:27 PM
I'm not a lawyer but you can't possibly just say in your ToS you have the right to kill your consumers and that they (or their families) can't sue you and actually get away with it even if the consumer agrees to it.

This is rather extreme, I really do not think Sony will murder your family....

wolzarg
04-07-2015, 04:42 PM
PLEX tank = Best Tank
Only question is how do i fly through low sec with all my gold in hex so people can gank me and i can demand a refund that i won't get because my dumb rear was in lowsec?

israel.kendall
04-07-2015, 05:18 PM
Only question is how do i fly through low sec with all my gold in hex so people can gank me and i can demand a refund that i won't get because my dumb rear was in lowsec?

If I catch you in low sec PG I'm gonna pod you and take all your golds!

nicosharp
04-08-2015, 01:36 PM
Here is a fun relevant read:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/04/price-of-wow-gold-plummets-in-first-day-of-official-trading/