Let's talk business! (And the lack of it)


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    Day 7 of the test.
    To my knowledge, none of the cities has developed the market place technology.
    The economy of this game is based around the concept that no one can be self sufficient because each area has only a specific set of resources and you need resources from far away places to properly prosperate.
    Regions in the far north and far south sorely need someone to supply them with iron, while regions in the center have no coal.
    Regions from the north provide all the reagents and skins from the trolls, regions from the south most of the dead oak and so on...
    Not to mention that a city can't develop all techs, so they are forced to rely on other cities for some of the crafts.

    So, why isn't this working? What has gone wrong? Why are all cities trying to be as self sufficient as possible?

    I would like everyone (and especially governors) to share their opinions on why things turned out like this and what could be changed to generate more trading between cities.

    I will start with my opinions on the matter and possible solutions:

    1. Tech points are few and precious. Having to use one on a tech which to work needs the cooperation of other cities, feels risky.
    2. Gold doesn't really hold value right now. We needed it at the beginning of the test for all those houses and city upgrades, but what use does it have now? The idea of separating from our resources and items in exchange for gold, doesn't sound very good.
    3. We have a deep distrust between cities.
    4. We don't have enough non citizien residents. The marketplace is an item exchange point even inside the same region, but since all cities have mostly made all the residents citiziens and tipically guilded them, we are already organized on that front.

    Put all this together, and we have the current situation where we prefer hauling carts over half a continent.

    So, what do I think that it should be done to improve the situation?

    Personally I would go with the following solution.
    I think that we all agree that if it didn't require a tech, we would all build one in our cities. But then you remove options from the tech tree, and having multiple choices is good. So I think that the marketplace tech should remain. It could just be an upgrade though. Something that you do to get a bonus in a city which is focusing its efforts in being a trading hub.

    As such, I would make the market place a default building that you don't require any tech to build, but rewards to the city coffers only half of the usual income from the marketplace. The overcost is still payed, but half of it is simply gold sinked. You can then select the market place tech (rename it to trading hub) to gain that other half of the income AND the marketplace starts to generate prestige proportionally to the volume of the trades happening in it.

    So, what are your opinions and possible solutions on the matter?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @spoletta

    There are no markets cause research points are too valuable, in fact I would say that you won't even have Shrines or banks built the next go around. They really need to modify the Tech Tree.



  • Also it is really easy at the beginning to go and get resources from other regions. You just send a group of miners that will bring back 5 wagons of any ore you need. In order to get the KP you need to travel to the Trolls, also they give good gold and so you bring back home all Troll skins you need. So from that point cities for now can easily skip the marketplace and prefer to have the better materials, the advanced smelters and the better gear to equip their citizens. Also the difficulty to have better control of who gets resources and uses the resources inside the city leads governors to close the city only to citizens and residents. This causes that even if you have ally cities (belonging to your nation) you will not be able to share the researched techs with them or vice-versa so that creates a need for the city to focus first on having the possibility to equip and protect itself and then to get gold.

    I like your idea for the marketplace @spoletta. So you get players engaging but the city itself only benefits later when they have the research done.


  • Content Creator

    Why there's no Marketplaces:

    1. It's too early in the Alpha....
      Cities are still establishing themselves and have no true idea what they have as far as surplus that they can put out on the market still.
    2. The Tech Tree is newly implemented, and Governors are just now getting used to the researches needed to build their city. They are experimenting with various paths of construction and research in order to level their cities as fast as humanly possible.
    3. City Building Space is at a minimum. In order to garner the Prestige needed to level up, Cities are carefully having to decide what buildings are essential, or worth their space because of the Prestige they award.
    4. Gold hasn't really fully gotten a value in the game. This is something that will linger throughout the Alphas, as the game needs some longevity before Gold begins to have any real meaning. Yes, we have a couple of gold sinks right now, Residential and City Upkeeps mainly, and just now the newly implemented Criminal Bail system, but they have not truly impacted the world economy much yet to motivate a Marketplace as being of benefit to the towns.
    5. People are just now getting out of the Young Player Protection status. While in this status, most of the cross continent travel wasn't too overwhelming a prospect for characters. I can make it from the Southern Starter area to the Northern one on a horse in about a half hour or so.
    6. Sieges haven't begun yet. Once Sieges become a major concern, then resources will become a harder thing to keep ahold of and then trading will be forced by necessity. Right now, cities can establish themselves and safely gather all the various resources they need on their own with just a little bit of patience. When there's more of a time crunch involved, because your enemy cities are gearing up for war, you have to decide if your town needs to focus on Metal Smelting, or Magical Enchanting, or whatever.
    7. People are too busy still reporting bugs, and arguing over the implementation of the Criminal System to even really think about the Marketplace at all.

    Solution:

    1. Give it time, later in this Alpha, you might see them start happening, or...
    2. Wait, a future Alpha, where the mechanics have been smoothed out more, and the Governors are more familiar with the new City Management and Tech Trees will mean they are better able to decide what they want to focus on, and what kind of surplus they can generate for a real profit in the market.

    And remember, until Gold truly begins to feel valuable, the Market won't. and yet, the Market is one way that Gold will attain value in the long run. This is why although 1st offenders to the Criminal system might find it a bit steep with a 2000 gp fine or 24 hr time out, after the newly evil have had their one pass, the Criminal system can actually stand to build itself with higher bails and more punishment to create the demands.



  • Possible issues:

    1. There is no scarcity issue or resource restrictions.
      I was told that in the last test nodes had to be secured by cities before they could be harvested, and then only by that cities citizens or residents.
      This is certainly not the case now as anyone with a hammer or axe and time can get whatever resource they want.
      Note: this is not true for farming resource nodes. Thus the ability to restrict nodes is possible, why is it only implemented for farm nodes and not ore/tree/rock nodes?
    2. Cart theft not working.
      I theorize that if cart theft was a thing then long distance resource gathering would be more risky and less done. There would be more trading in light processed materials instead. (still pvp issues but that is another post)

    I agree that the tech tree is slow but that is mostly due to low player population. With a higher population more cities would be claimed and more diversity in tech picks would happen leading to specializations which would need trade to fill in gaps.
    Right now each is trying to be self sustaining, the ones that work together are part of large groups who have claimed multiple cities close to each other. (way to go southern group guild)

    City building space would not be as much of an issue if we could place farming plots out side of the city but within the region. They are more inconvenient as packaging stations are only in the city but make up for it by freeing up space in the city for buildings that give prestige.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    Solid feedback all around.

    Locking the marketplace behind several tech tree layers was a bad idea; it should be among the first accessible buildings for cities for both practical and "realistic" reasons.

    Additionally, untethering resource nodes from cities/regions means that players and rival cities/guilds can harvest those resources directly, forgoing the need to interact with others. As much as I like and want unprotected resources, it has emphasized broad gamer anti-social tendencies; why trade or engage with others on a wide scale when you can take some extra time to do it yourself?

    In hindsight, I think it was a bit naïve for any of us to assume that mere distance alone would compel players/groups/guilds/cities to trade with one another.

    Then, of course, you throw harbors into the mix and it further deters trade. @Bardikens testified that the harbor prices are not prohibitively expensive; at 89% personal capacity, it cost him about 500g. That's... a hilariously insignificant amount of gold. You could zap yourself across the continent, march to the nearest resource node you want, build the carts there, harvest the node, and march back across the continent.

    Points of emphasis for me, as of now:

    • Put the marketplace at the lowest branch of the tech tree
    • Ditch harbors; seriously, no need for fast travel
    • We may need to revisit locking resources to cities so it prevents rival cities from harvesting them directly, forgoing trade
    • Emphasize/incentivize niche roles like roaming merchants/merchant caravans/merchant guilds to travel between cities


  • We also need to establish the value of things.
    Starting with the value of a player hour would be good.
    Since the game seems to be built around an average of 2 player groups for most the pve content it might be best to use that as one variable.
    From that if we determine the amount of money 2 players could reasonably be expected to earn in pve gold coin farming per hour we could then estimate the gold coin value of a player hour.
    Next we would need to determine the time cost of collecting, transporting ( assume close node to city), and refining each good. Measured in player hours (activity) and game hours (smelter/tanner/crop growth).
    With those two metrics we can establish a value for most goods in game.
    With that people would have a base line of value to work from and empower markets as a place where you can trade player hours in the form of coins and know what 'fair' value might be.
    I will start measuring some of these metrics but I am sure others could do so as well.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @spoletta said in Let's talk business! (And the lack of it):

    So, why isn't this working? What has gone wrong? Why are all cities trying to be as self sufficient as possible?

    I think it isn't about "towns just want to be self sufficient."
    As said before, points are quite rare and when we started to spend points at the first 5 ranks, we all didn't know about, that we just get 1 research point from rank 6 instead as before 2.
    So it was mostly caused in thinking about "which stations the citizen demand."
    The Marketplace is locked behind the Village State, means earliest time you can get it is from rank 5. At this point so early in game, there wasn't simply a need for a market, since there was nothing valuable to buy/sell. All stuff you could sell had others in masses.
    And even enchanting is locked into Village tree. And when the towns hitted rank 6, they came to the part, that they already spent their rare points for too much things and had simply no point left for the market.

    I described it in the other Thread about Town Management:

    "Look the tree and keep in mind from Rank 1-5 you didn't know about next one just gives 1 instead of 2. We are at 17 points for Rank 12 Town. You need to spend 1 point per Research for Hamlet&Village Tech and 2 Points for Town Tech.
    54a0d8a2-177c-47cc-a826-90fcdcf7ef06-grafik.png
    We unlocked this way:
    T2 -> T3 -> T4 Materials
    Tailoring -> Leatherworking
    Magic Shop -> Enchantement Table
    Town Bank
    Carpentry -> Architecture -> Palisades + Townresearch Prison
    Blacksmithing -> Advanced Smelting, Plate Armor, Advanced Weapons

    Maybe we should have left out Town Bank and taking instead Marketplace, but well, you can't "respec" the Tech-Tree, if you think you chosed wrong."

    I also suggested to change Marketplace Tech.
    Give all towns the old Marketplace as a basic building, where towns can buy/sell heavy materials, that what they need for the first ranks.
    Then change the Tech for Marketplace to "Player Market" as an upgrade where you add Market Stands to the Market where player can sell/buy their own stuff.

    Or even don't lock marketplace at all behind a Research wall, since Trading is a key element of Fractured. (as @spoletta said)
    There will be way more Tech in future for too less points, so towns need to specialize so or so, no need to specializing on a basic market. Maybe just market upgrades behind a tech.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Kralith said in Let's talk business! (And the lack of it):

    place at all behind a Research wall, since Trading is a key eleme

    The thing is. I am quite sure (with the exception of the bank) EVERY city's Tech Tree looks identical to yours!

    Cities are going to want to have all the armor and weapon techs open for their citizens, after all we need residents. There is just really no reason to do any of the others until LAST when you have the musts already taken.

    I think they seriously need to rethink the tech tree over again. And again, give actual "Tech" that isn't available to other planets which means instead of "advanced weapons", Leather, and plate... maybe split them all up and have tech dealing with specifics while the lower ones are available without tech. Ie. Plate Armor..plate armor should not require tech but making the non-basic Materials should use Tech. The basics are not needed as they are just smelted straight from the ores, but the mixed alloys need research points for groups.. Ie. Blood Iron and Mithril in one group which needs Tech points, White Gold and Orithium in another groups, etc. The better the metal the high the point cost. In this respect, Blacksmithing would open the use of Advanced Smelters since that is needed to make any mixed alloy metals.

    Alchemy is a definite Tech Tree option which should have Powders, Potions and Poisons as branches.

    Also break the Craftmanship up. in stead of a blanket Tier3 and Tier 4 usage... have it so that you have to open Leather Tier3, Leather Tier 4, Fiber Tier3 and Fiber Tier 4. Hence make research about the materials not the actual armor or weapon. Jewels can be the same way, break them up... THIS will develop diversity in city tech trees and give everyone the ability to have what they need.

    Jewelry either would have "Rings", "Belts", "Capes" as branches or Gem Cutting and Styling as branches.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Ostaff

    Oh, I like the idea about breaking the tech tree more.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I personally think that tech shouldn't be restricted directly to the cities, but instead individual players. Having tech tied to a city completely defeats the purpose of players being able to specialise in their own field.

    Possibly the higher the rank a city becomes, the higher the rank of quests a citizen/resident can complete, to unlock personal tech points? Then if a player wants to specialise in herbalism and potions/poisons, they can stat everything into only that. If a player wishes to specialise in crafting armour, they can specialise in a tailoring tech tree. Someone might go for a generalist approach and stat a little into everything, instead of specialising, but their crafted gear wouldn't be as effective.

    Remove the benefit of crafting specifically in a tailor/blacksmith, etc. but the more a player specialises their own ech, the better their crafting in that field is, wherever they are.


  • TF#2 - MESSENGER

    Early Game Trading
    Early game trading is pointless at this current juncture. No one needs a marketplace place to get the raw resources they need. As mentioned by my guildie, there is simply no scarcity of raw resources. It is far easier to simply ride over, mine the resource and cart it back than to work your way to having a marketplace, farming for gold and carting a fraction of what you can mine yourself back to your city (People simply don't sell enough to fill your cart).

    My solution to fixing early game trading :

    1. Resources should be region locked, only those who are residents in the region can mine it.
    2. If it can't be region locked for whatever reason, allow defensive structures to be build around the resources so that it works something like a PVP hotspot and you have to fight to gain control over a resource node. City vs Bandits. This will create the scarcity needed for trading.
    3. As mentioned by others, putting the marketplace behind the tech tree is simply to great a barrier (at least in the early game). It doesn't make sense to trade when the research points needed to get there is that great.

    Mid to late game trading
    If the design of this current test is to allow everyone to collect all the raw resources but lock the higher tier products behind the tech tree and every city will eventually specialise in something, there are also potentially some issues.

    1. Cities will go for the meta and produce that higher tier product for themselves. Everything else will be disregarded.
    2. Larger cities will dominate the market simply because they have the tech points to unlock more tech.
    3. If all cities grow large enough, trading will die off from mid game to late game. Once again, everyone will produce what they want or need.

    Solution to mid to late game trading :

    1. I don't have one, it is just a hypothesis. I don't even know if we will reach there for the current test. Trading is just dead right now.

  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @idioticmaddog said in Let's talk business! (And the lack of it):

    1. Resources should be region locked, only those who are residents in the region can mine it.

    I really like this!

    This could be the correct compromise between allowing only the city to harvest it, and allowing everyone like it currently is!


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @spoletta yes we need something to really control an area. at the moment there is literally no control.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    I agree that region locked resources could be the right compromise! The old system incentivated trading for this reason, I think everybody has done it in the previous alpha and it was actually pretty cool. Region locking would be less severe than before but still making trades necessary/worthy.



  • Totally agree with @spoletta



  • @Alexian said in Let's talk business! (And the lack of it):

    Put the marketplace at the lowest branch of the tech tree
    Ditch harbors; seriously, no need for fast travel
    We may need to revisit locking resources to cities so it prevents rival cities from harvesting them directly, forgoing trade
    Emphasize/incentivize niche roles like roaming merchants/merchant caravans/merchant guilds to travel between cities

    I think I have to agree with all of these points. Especially the point regarding fast travel.

    If you think about this, once gold has a more abundant presence in the world, unless fast travel costs are EXTREMELY high, it's always going to be a go-to mechanic simply on the basis of how convenient it is.

    If we use World of Warcraft as an example here, once flying mounts were introduced to the game, resource gathering became significantly easier because all of the risk in getting to those resources were removed. You also remove the possibility of bumping into random people/events. This can make the game feel empty - if they don't have to actually engage with the open world.

    Lets advance on this, if there is a small cost for instantly traveling from one side of the map, to the other, but the benefit is that you skip large amounts of danger and save vast amounts of time. Your always going to do it, because it's a path of zero resistance. Thus in turn this makes the world less interactive and has less opportunities for things such as traveling merchants / bandits etc. It also means that pretty much anyone can get pretty much any resources from anywhere, which is a problem we are already seeing (people asking for region locked nodes etc). I honestly believe that fast travel shouldn't exist in this game. OR, if it is included, it needs to be very very expensive to deter people from using it for general resource gathering.


  • Content Creator

    I'm all for making Harbors only bridges to the other Continents. If you do use them for fast travel around the existing continent, it should be passenger only, no wagons/carts/heavy items, only what's worn and in your backpack goes with you.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @GamerSeuss said in Let's talk business! (And the lack of it):

    I'm all for making Harbors only bridges to the other Continents.

    That would be eminently more preferable.

    If you do use them for fast travel around the existing continent, it should be passenger only, no wagons/carts/heavy items, only what's worn and in your backpack goes with you.

    I think that's more or less how it is now. But for the reasons I and others have identified in this thread, any form of intracontinental fast travel is a bad idea. It is the path of least resistance for players and will rob the game of meaningful commerce and logistics.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Kralith said

    I also suggested to change Marketplace Tech.
    Give all towns the old Marketplace as a basic building, where towns can buy/sell heavy materials, that what they need for the first ranks.
    Then change the Tech for Marketplace to "Player Market" as an upgrade where you add Market Stands to the Market where player can sell/buy their own stuff.

    This is a really solid idea that gets around pretty much all the issues people have with the current set-up. Ye Olde Towne Markete Squaree (buildable from day one) could be used to traffic only in the sorts of materials that one carries in a wagon or cart - not a backpack, so no crafted items, just heavy mats and bags o' agricultural products.

    The advanced tech could open a more robust, individualized trading option - where crafted, enchanted, or specialized items are traded by individuals at the 'Squaree' in a 'Shoppe' with a small % to the city as stall rental.

    What say ye all?


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