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    Your Elvenar Team

Hide unfair trades coming from outside the FS

ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
Summary:
Hiding unfair trades is a possible fix to the phenomenon where some people are making profit on buying all the goods from the market, making artificial shortage and reselling them with unfair trades to make profit.

Details:

Research:
Currently some players are sucking the blood of others in Sinya Arda when taking certain goods from the market with slightly good trades like 101k for 100k, making a shortage and reselling them with really unfair trades like 87k for 100k. This kind of behavior is very common by sentient goods and kills the market. I took over the sentient goods market this week by sacrificing around 1M sentient goods and several hours a day in the process with the goal of looking into this and finding a possible fix. Previously we had a shortage of shrooms and ink and now we have a shortage of soap and velvet instead. So I think the shortage was not because players produce a different amount of these goods, but because shrooms and ink was holded back by certain players and this way they made an artificial shortage of the goods to earn profit on them. This kind of market manipulation appears to be a serious problem and I have a proposal about how to solve it.

How it works:
If players outside the FS could not post unfair trades that are visible to us, then our players would not be able to take them out of desperation and it would be harder for outsiders to make profit on them. It would be still possible to earn some profit on trades by waiting for 3-star trades and accepting them, but it would be close to impossible to manipulate the market by collecting all goods from it with slightly good trades.
For example if there are less velvet producers and more obsidian producers in a world, then currently they can post 101 obsidian for 100 velvet and sell it in a 87 velvet for 100 obsidian trade. The profit is 100/101 * 100/87 - 1 = 0.138 = 13.8% in this trade chain. In the proposed system they could post 101 obsidian for 100 velvet and they can sell it only in a 100 velvet for 100 obsidian trade, which makes it not profitable since 100/101 * 100/100 - 1 = -0.001 = -0.1%. All they could do to earn profit is waiting for a good trade, something like 110 obsidian for 100 velvet and accepting it and trying to take velvet from the market with a 100 obsidian for 100 velvet trade. This would take a lot of extra work for them, because they need to frequently check the trader to be able to find good trades, which can be taken very fast by others too and if the price of the velvet is high, then everybody will accept a better trade as 100 obsidian for 100 velvet, so it would be a lot harder for them to make profit and to manipulate the prices by collecting a significant amount of goods from the market.

Warnings:
Be aware that this proposal is not the same as completely banning unfair trades, because many people needs them inside the fellowships to aid fellows who ran out of certain goods or who need some extra goods to complete a research faster. Another thing here that making this fix optional by a checkbox does not solve the problem, even if it is enabled by default, because there will be desperate players who turn it off and accept the unfair trades.

Benefits:
- The price of sentient goods on the market would be a lot harder to manipulate.
- The trader would not contain many pages of unfair trades.
- We would not be able to accidentally accept unfair trades from outside the fellowship when the trader is sometimes automatically reordered after accepting a trade.
- It would unite the sentient goods market and we would not need to avoid certain players even when they are posting 3-star trades just because their trading behavior does not meet our moral code.

Downsides:
- It takes developer time. It can be implemented by adding another condition to the database query that lists the trades for a certain player something like "and (trade.rating >= 1 or sender.fellowship = player.fellowship)".
- It is harder to help new players with extra goods if they are outside our fellowship and this is used for both sentient and normal goods, since we cannot see the unfair trades they posted and when we post good trades, then they can be taken by somebody else if our neighbour is not fast enough. This is a downside even if we filter sentient goods trades only, because the same would be true for players who just entered the sentient goods market and need some help from outside their fellowship.
- People who play with multiple cities in the same world cannot move goods between their cities.

Compensation for the downsides:
- A possible compensation for the 2nd and 3rd downsides could be adding exceptions, something like a list of friends outside the FS. This could be useful for adding extra features, like sending messages to all friends or allowing sending URLs to friends.
- Another possible compensation is watering this down and adding a checkbox to show even the unfair external trades. This is easier to implement, but it would allow the same exploitation the main feature intends to solve.
 
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SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
You shoudl change the poll to "COULD be hidden" from "would be"
If it's not optional with a tickbox or something, you won't get the votes.


Nevermind the poll is good as is, I'd support this. It's not without flaws, but it's still better than the current situation where a handful of players actively make the game worse for hundreds of others.
 
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SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
I think if it is optional, it does not fix anything. Why do you think it should be optional?
Currently, I have the choice of taking a trade at a 5-30% loss or letting my goods decay at 10% and hoping tomorrow someone will take my 1:1 or decay again.
If today is the last day of the spire and I need those goods for the last boss then your ban screws me more than the parasite does.

I hate those market parasites, but the real issue is the unbalanced production due to the moonstone set. If the supply of everything was 1:1:1 then the markets could not be so easily manipulated.

Edit: As long as I can post 3-stars when desperate, and the parasites have effectively been shut down by this suggestion the desperation issue basically solves itself.
 
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ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
Currently, I have the choice of taking a trade at a 5-30% loss or letting my goods decay at 10% and hoping tomorrow someone will take my 1:1 or decay again.
If today is the last day of the spire and I need those goods for the last boss then your ban screws me more than the parasite does.
If the unfair trades are hidden, then the goods they are holding back will go to the market and you can take them. Probably they will take only good trades with them, but it is ok. It would be a lot better than the current system.

If the supply of everything was 1:1:1 then the markets could not be so easily manipulated.
I don't think this is true. I distributed as many ink and shrooms as I can this week and it turned out in the past 2 days that we don't really have a shortage of these. I have a few hundred thousand extra shrooms and more than 500k ink. They just held them back to force people to take their unfair trades.
 

SoggyShorts

Well-Known Member
You're probably right and (after some short-term pain when desperate) forcing 1:1 or better trades would eventually improve the market overall.
Thinking more on this I believe it would benefit the vast majority of players and I'm leaning towards supporting it as is now.

Edit: after more thought:
As long as I'm able to post 3-star trades when desperate/impatient, I think it still works.
I have edited my original responses and cast my vote. Good luck
 
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ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
You're probably right and (after some short-term pain when desperate) forcing 1:1 or better trades would eventually improve the market overall.
Thinking more on this I believe it would benefit the vast majority of players and I'm leaning towards supporting it as is now.

Edit: after more thought:
As long as I'm able to post 3-star trades when desperate/impatient, I think it still works.
I think so. It can be still manipulated by holding back goods, but it would be harder to profit on it the way they do it now.
 

muddyboots

New Member
Just adding my support to this idea - we have a really bad situation on SA at the moment with market manipulation. Unfortunately the only way to beat the manipulators is to continually log and and out of the trader hoping to pick up the fair trades before they do. This plays into the hands of Inno as it means some of us are spending a lot of time online in an effort to get through the tech tree. The more time we spend online, the better for them.
 

samidodamage

Well-Known Member
Just so everyone knows: We're talking among ourselves here again; none of this will be seen by the people who have the power to implement it. Only ideas/suggestions that follow the required format (sticky on the first page of this forum section: Ideas/Suggestions Forum Guide) then reviewed by a moderator for conformation to the developers' requirements (all of which must be edited into the original post since that's all they have agreed to even look at; they won't read the discussion) and then an approved poll started by a mod for voting with a time limit.
We've been asked to keep this type of discussion/poll in the General Discussion part of the forum to avoid cluttering up this formal Ideas/Suggestions section with threads that they are unable to pass along due to the restrictions placed on them by the devs. This makes more work for the volunteer mods who worked really hard to even get us a path to the devs from this forum.

That said: I agree this is something I'd like to see and I'd vote for it!
 

ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
Just so everyone knows: We're talking among ourselves here again; none of this will be seen by the people who have the power to implement it. Only ideas/suggestions that follow the required format (sticky on the first page of this forum section: Ideas/Suggestions Forum Guide) then reviewed by a moderator for conformation to the developers' requirements (all of which must be edited into the original post since that's all they have agreed to even look at; they won't read the discussion) and then an approved poll started by a mod for voting with a time limit.
We've been asked to keep this type of discussion/poll in the General Discussion part of the forum to avoid cluttering up this formal Ideas/Suggestions section with threads that they are unable to pass along due to the restrictions placed on them by the devs. This makes more work for the volunteer mods who worked really hard to even get us a path to the devs from this forum.

That said: I agree this is something I'd like to see and I'd vote for it!
Is there a way to edit this to meet with the requirements? If not, then I'll keep it this way and ask an admin to take it to the next level after the vote is done (3 weeks).
 
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samidodamage

Well-Known Member
Is there a way to edit this to meet with the requirements? If not, then I'll keep it this way and ask an admin to take it to the next level after the vote is done (3 weeks).
Yes, you can go into your original post by clicking 'edit' in the bottom right corner of the post. As you receive input in the discussion you want to include as part of what the devs will see, you can go back into the post and edit again. Once it's in the final form you wish to see put to a vote, tag a mod (usually Xelenia handles this forum) and they'll come in, provide any input and set up an official poll for a vote. Once the mod sets it for an official vote, no other edits are allowed to the post. No votes taken prior to the mods setting up an official poll will be considered.
 

ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can go into your original post by clicking 'edit' in the bottom right corner of the post. As you receive input in the discussion you want to include as part of what the devs will see, you can go back into the post and edit again. Once it's in the final form you wish to see put to a vote, tag a mod (usually Xelenia handles this forum) and they'll come in, provide any input and set up an official poll for a vote. Once the mod sets it for an official vote, no other edits are allowed to the post. No votes taken prior to the mods setting up an official poll will be considered.
Okay, thanks, I'll check the guide. What about the current poll?
 

ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
I'd probably remove it, since it really doesn't mean anything unless set by a mod. But, it doesn't hurt anything, either. It does allow you to get an idea of the amount of support for the idea before setting it up for a formal vote.
Thanks for the info, I edited it. Do you think it is okay now? Should I make it more polcorrect and remove the "parasite" part?
 
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samidodamage

Well-Known Member
It looks good to me!
You may want to include the ever-present 'developer time' as a 'downside'; that's been encouraged in the past. It usually seems redundant to me as that's true of most of our suggestions. I know nothing about their jobs so no real clue about how much time/effort is involved for any of our suggestions. Maybe it's just encouraged as a way for us to acknowledge it takes company resources in some amount to do any of the things we'd like to see?
 

ET-inf3rno

Well-Known Member
It looks good to me!
You may want to include the ever-present 'developer time' as a 'downside'; that's been encouraged in the past. It usually seems redundant to me as that's true of most of our suggestions. I know nothing about their jobs so no real clue about how much time/effort is involved for any of our suggestions. Maybe it's just encouraged as a way for us to acknowledge it takes company resources in some amount to do any of the things we'd like to see?
Okay, I ask Xelenia to review it and hope for the best. :)
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
I have at times helped newer players in my area by having them place some unfair trades which I take. With this idea, that would no longer be possible since I wouldn't be able to see them. My placing a good trade for them doesn't work because someone else could snatch them and they may have to pay a trader fee which kind of defeats the concept of helping them. Of course there aren't a lot of goods involved and they aren't S goods which is what the idea seems to be more concerned about. I would consider the loss of the manner of helping neighbors a downside.