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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 8:09AM Addfwyn said

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That was one of the things I enjoyed a fair bit in Aion (though the existence of an auction house shifted a lot of the focus away over time) and one of the most appealing things to me about FFXIV. With a pretty robust crafting system and a more personal touch to the market, crafting and gathering is probably the single biggest appeal to me in that game.

And as somebody who is an avid crafter/tradesman, it makes it one of the best games to play. At least that doesn't require I own multiple accounts and have a year worth of training and capital to start with.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 9:20AM dudes said

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It's work. It's a job, a dream job. A job you can choose to play instead of the part-time burger serving operation to make ends meet in real life. Mmmmm burgers.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 9:43AM loveassassin13 said

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I like, not nessasarily playing the merchant, but I like it when games give people the option. It really gives more of a feel of an actually living, breathing world. Having the "Merchant" in your game allows there to be a fully evolving economy. For example, Eve Online, it has MULTIPLE options of being different kinds of merchants, or none at all. I understand that some players completely hate the option, while others completely love it. It allows players to not participate as much in combat, as nearly every game forces you to do. It gives ANY type of play a purpose, you could play the salesman trying to make an in-game fortune if you don't like combat, while there is still room for other players, like explorers, fighters, miners, and etc. The list goes on an on, but just having the option is what makes games like Eve a living breathing world, with a living breathing economy.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 9:46AM Pingles said

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I used to think I enjoyed being a merchant but I have discovered that I just like selling stuff to see it sell.

My current game requires all sales to be done with a player shop and I hate setting it up. Dropping items on an Auction house is more my style.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 10:09AM Tizmah said

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The only game I really enjoyed being a merchant/crafter was Ultima Online. I really enjoyed being a Tailor and a Carpenter. It was so much fun.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 11:08AM (Unverified) said

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I loved the setup in Ultima Online. I had a two story house filled with merchants and and a steady clientel. Dreadlords couldnt go into town but they could come to my shop. If they caused trouble you could ban them from the house!
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Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 11:39AM Cendres said

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I like both. The AH is very convenient and it's fast to find what you are looking for. Personal shops are not, but sometimes you find things for a decent price not on the AH.

The way things were totally unorganized in FFXIV before the recent patch I didn't even sell anything because I refused to venture the market wards. Now that wards are categorized things are easier and we're all able to find things and make a profit.

However I don't think the system replaces an Auction House, I am forced to sell in a specific area where some of my items sell high and some don't at all. So I have to wait for the first items to go and then move to the correct area to sell the rest. With an AH I just put whatever and it sells.

I think the wards work well for crafter needs but maybe the products should be on the AH, or the way around. I see people craft at the wards, it would have been cool if they are put guild support there for synthesis making it a crafter's hub instead of a bazzaar that works okay but not great.

But do I enjoy in game economy? Yes I do, economy is just another game.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 2:03PM Vrazule said

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Nope. I'm one of those obnoxious adventurers that despises crafting and market simulations. I'm here to relax and get away from the real grind that is my life.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2010 2:39PM Temploiter said

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I loved having my own Weaponsmith shop in SWG. Back when you were required to buy all your gear from other players was the hayday of that game. I had a Master Weaponsmith/Master Merchant with several vendors and a fully decorated store with samples of all of my weapons displayed on the walls.

I'd rather see a game like that again. Hell, maybe one day SOE will swallow their pride and release a classic server, or the source code.

Posted: Oct 24th 2010 7:12AM Haldurson said

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Ideally, buying and selling (especially stuff that I've crafted) can be a fun break from the usual routine. However, in most games that I've played recently the reality is far from the ideal. In order for playing the market to be fun:
A) crafted items tend to be better than all, or all but the very rarest drops, and crafting is deep and interesting, but challenging enough so that not everyone can craft the high-end stuff.
B) the market isn't 'broken' or somewhat 'crippled' (which I've found to often be the case in many games) and has decent tools for buying, selling, gathering info, and research.

I think that Fallen Earth had the potential to give this experience (crafted items were much in demand, and crafting was both fun and complex). However, the auction house was highly flawed. The extremely high cost of placing things up for auction made it nearly impossible to make a profit. The result of this was that instead of selling items, most of us would simply give the stuff away to our guilds.

Thus, in theory, playing the market CAN be fun. In practice, it usually doesn't work out that way.

Posted: Oct 24th 2010 2:33PM Valdamar said

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Depends on the game. It's another activity that can be most satisfying in an MMO, especially if the market interface is well put together and most players use the market a lot in that game - and if it helps you to afford good gear in an MMO where cash is hard to come by then it's all good. But if I really enjoy the combat gameplay in an MMO then I don't like being somewhat forced into playing the market just to be able to afford good gear that rarely drops for me during gameplay.

In CoH I dreaded the addition of the market and inventions (loot) in I9 - in fact I took a break from the game before it hit - but then after I came back I got into playing the market and ended up being able to afford lots of pinnacle builds - whereas playing a character normally to L50 previously netted me around 100m inf, I could make 2billion inf every 3 weeks easily on the market for each character I spent 10mins per day marketing on.

But even though I enjoyed the market in CoH, in most MMOs it's just another chore I have to do upon returning to town - something that keeps me away from the enjoyable gameplay and story.

I quite enjoyed setting prices to sell things I'd made in Pirates of the Burning Sea - judging what prices the market could stand and trying to undercut competitors while still keeping a good margin - but the boring logistical issues and production that I had to do to produce those goods is one of the reasons I don't play PotBS now.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 4:11PM (Unverified) said

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I absolutely love being a merchant. SWG was phenomenal at letting me scratch that itch. Player-run housing, vendor droids, a rich crafting system with numerous layers of complexity and lots of differentiation, mechanics to support crafter/buyer relationship building. It was every wannabe sales junkie's dream.

I do have to confess, though, it wasn't without its issues, and for everything I loved about SWG crafting, it ultimately drove me away in the long run. The time investment to run a successful in-game business rivaled that of... well... a real-life business in many respects. In effect, it became a second job. While it was tremendously fun, I simply couldn't keep up. Once I started to make a name for myself on my server, I couldn't keep up with demand for my goods. Eventually, a short hiatus from the game (4-day road trip with no internet access) led to an overwhelming load of crafting requests and a mountain of time needed to restock my vendors. It all seemed so daunting that I just... quit. I didn't bother logging in for months, and eventually realized I was paying for a game that I didn't have time to play, so I cancelled (coincidentally this all occurred a couple weeks before the CU, so I was likely to jettison the game anyway, as so many did around that time or shortly after with the NGE).

All that said, I still miss that experience immensely and continue to look for a new game to hit the shelves that captures the essence of what was the pre-NGE SWG crafting & merchant experience. Some have suggested that Earthrise looks promising in that regard, if they can ever get it to market.

Posted: Nov 6th 2010 11:14PM (Unverified) said

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I loved playing the merchant in SWG as well. I was a master doc/master combat medic with my own hospital and vendors selling stimpacks and buff packs. I had invested all my points into medicine that I just had enough to get the bare minimum pistol skill to defend myself from hostiles while combing the planets for resources. It was a huge time investment but I enjoyed the experience of having an ingame business. Did I make a killing? Nope. I barely broke even. I was never that good at it but since it was just a game there was no risk so nonetheless it was cool.

I did make a killing selling only cooking, first aid, profession, and fishing books/recipes when I played WoW though. And one of the reasons was that you can add your competition (other regular AH sellers) onto your friends list w/o them receiving a notification of this. So, each time they'd logout their AH alts, I'd login my alt and undercut their prices. I know, its messed up.

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