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Planned Upgrade to the Markets
What I've been planning for a few weeks now

I've been informed that there is some conversation concerning the markets and the shitty shit you often find there.

As the markets have been functional, we haven't given them any code loving in quite a while. We've implemented 2 more markets since the code was originally written and they all pull from the same pool of objects.

Heres the plan, basically:


  1. Add support on $things so their value can vary according to their logic. This would make it possible for self-depleting items to lower their worth as they get empty. This is NOT just for the market, but prices of things overall.
  2. Modify markets so they can favor certain classes of $things, meaning you'd make more selling certain items to certain markets and in turn, they would cost more there too.
  3. Modify markets so they remember what objects are at what market and more intelligently move things between markets. We don't want to get rid of the fact that you can sell something at market A and then the object moves to market B where someone can buy it, but we need to be smarter about it.

This is rapidly developing into a project, but I don't have a clue when it will get some actual code love.

I encourage one of the GMs to link to this from the other topic so the players can easily relate the two threads.

Yay Johnny. �Damn, when I first suggested this Feb 15 of this year, everybody disagreed with me. �It makes sense to me.

Hey look, I'm a Cypherpunk!

(Edited by Hirononbu at 8:30 am on July 15, 2003)

Feb. 15 is my birthday!  

Not like it matters, though.  ;P

A quick note on Markets.

We've made a lot of changes to them since this post and the system does a number of these concepts (but not all of them) at present.

One of the changes we made was to cap the amount you could talk down a price at a maximum threshold, no matter what your skills say.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and coded it so everyone could haggle to -at least- that value, instead of -at most- that value. The end result of this was you guys were getting some crazy good deals at the market.

This code has now been fixed and you'll now be able to haggle more appropriately.

For some of you, this will feel more drastic than others, but thats because things should now be taking into account your charm and knowledge at trading. I've been watching your numbers since I made the change last night and I am happy with what I'm seeing.

Markets now understand the concept of rarity and you can figure out your gears rarity by inspecting it. You'll find rarity and 'market value' finding its way into lot of things over time.

*coughs*  I never cheated the market by using drugs that raise CHA and drop AGL, then counter with a drug that raises AGL, in order to practically buy things for the price most people sell to the market at...
Also...guys sooo owe me ten grand for that removed shotty I found there :P  Best be orbiting round my voided head.

IMHO, the markets are giving shitty prices, and haggle has become alot harder.   Probably just my stats, but making it easier to make money at the markets would help the economy me thinks.  Easier to get decent money on the BS that's cluttering up yer cube=good.    Also is there any way we could be told which markets are partial to what?  I think in a real life situation it'd be quickly evident, and somewhat common knowledge.

It seems weird to me that a cyberpunk street urchin would refuse to buy something from a guy with poor trading skills to me. I would expect that in this dog eat dog world the urchin would at least try to rip you off with some extortionary low rate. However 50% market price should be a minimum. Any dummy should realize he could get more than 1000chy for his progia-11. On the other hand, a player with good trading and charisma could make some good money buying peoples junk for cheap if people were willing to let go of it and made an effort to do so. Maybe the problem isn't that markets wont buy stuff as much as players wont let go of or hustle goods they don't need. Seems like a lot of people don't want to let go of stuff because they know it's worth more than they can sell it for.

I think its good that the markets are fiscal. Charisma needs to be as relevant to making chyen as any of the other skills are to combat...the same applies for trading.

It creates a IC purpose for a character with charisma + trading. He'll buy your goods off you and sell them...either to other people or the markets.


Its all about creating opportunities for players, right?

ALSO, most notably to cryer...market price isn't always street price. I have items that inspect for 1/5th of their value that I could sell them to another player.

In this dog eat dog world, some things are impossible to sell...wjf equipment for example...used dildo's...lit cigs...etc.

um, your inspect is what you personally think it's worth, based on -your- skills, which has no real bearing on market value.  I agree that 1/2 is pretty good, with extremes depending on how good and or bad you are at trading.   It's a place to dump gear for chyen, and if there were tons more chyen, and more players brokering gear in game, then I wouldn't argue that okay, the markets can suck, but that's just plain not the case.

50% is still low enough to provide incentive to dump gear on players who can get you closer to what the stuff is actually worth.

You find a pc that wants to waste their hard-earned chyen on buying my 5 extendable batons, my patent leather oxfords,  4 half full cans of spraypaint, and a electricians toolbelt, in addition to 50 or so other pieces of random clothes, gear, flashlights, ammo, funcams, etc.   message me,   or better yet broadcast that IC'ly and see what the response is like.

If only there was an in-game equivalent to craigslist where you could make posts about extra gear you have to sell and then other people could read what you have and message you and then you sell it to them.

Oh wait, there is!

Not to mention now stores buy back certain items, and npcs will pay you to bring them stuff.  There are more and more outlets in the game for getting rid of gear.  Markets should be more for when you really want to get rid of something fast or just have so much crap you don't need.

so if you'd like to be the first to voulnteer to buy my huge pile of crappy gear then please post on the grid and I'll send every scrap of bullshit I can find your way.

Let me give a more grownup response, sorry.

I know of a character thats posted valueable, desireable, rare, usable items on the grid to sell, with from my knowledge little to no response.  If nobodys going to (or got the money to) buy desireable stuff, then obviously the common stuff isn't going to sell either.  my opinion, my logic, maybe I'm an idioit.  discuss.

(Edited by Jotun at 11:13 am on Jan. 29, 2009)

I'm not gonna buy bullshit for the sake of buying, but be sure I'll be using IC means besides the market to get any gear I may need or want.

and I completely agree with that.  IC means rock! trying to buy/sell/trade/utilize IC stuff is essental to game economy.  I like the markets and stores that buy back as well.  I'm just saying that I think it'd be better for the economy if you could get a bit more for your shite.  That's all..

Seriously? You use the word 'CRAP' and then you want decent prices? It's crap, GET RID OF IT like we do in the real world.

And as Ref said, the markets are tuned to give a purpose to those with trade skills. You want to dump your shit, dump it on someone who can sell it off. Thats the point, after all, to give you a reason to trade with other players instead of the market directly.

Seems to me there should be a big market for "We buy your junk" style business.  Yet I don't see it happening IC.  Is the problem in the communication?  We don't know who has the junk and who has the skills?  Sounds like advertisement is the issue.

wow, now that would be a good use for your trading skills.

Where are we at with the Markets revamp? I'm expecting that if BP market is out of xxxx item (as in, you do browse xxxx and get nothing), not only will you get a taker on your hawking sooner, but you'll get a better price for the item. And I'm not seeing that.

Let me just say for the record, these new markets REALLY kinda suck. I'm giving it a genuine shot, but I kind of doubt that I'll ever be able to make a real profit using the markets or the store buybacks.

However, my cause is Just - sell useless stuff for some monetary value.

ya, I hate to sound like a whiner or a broken record.   I don't want to go  into too much detail but even with decent trading skill (significantly over the curve)  you get snubbed basically all the time.    And when trying to sell a very high value, hard to find item there wern't even shitty low as hell offers.   It sucks for everyone in general, but it would make for a wonderful job if any 1 person would take the time to boost their stats high enough to get somewhere with it.

Well, the reason I see for the new max sell and min buy caps is to keep people from, say, buying an item for 900 chyen and then selling it back for 1000.  And that makes perfect sense, both from a game balance standpoint as well as ICly.  Remember, those people working in the market, that's how they make their living most likely.  That ow they feed themselves and their families.  Even if you are charming as all fuck and a great haggler, they still need to make some money.
Jotun, if you have a very rare, very expensive item, why the hell are you trying to sell it in the market?  If it's really that rare and valuable, you should be able to find a buyer among the player base.  When it comes to selling stuff, I see the market as a last resort.  For when you want to get rid of it fast before the person you stole it from, or whose body you took it off of comes looking for it.

There is a very good reason that I was trying to sell this item,  I assure you.   Obviously going into it would be too much ic info for the BgBB unfortunately.    I like your comment, it makes alot of sense, and was thought out.   I do see it slightly differently now.  I guess if a player wanted to make said living off the market as well then he had better have the stats to do it.   All reasonable.   Maybe I'm just used to it being too easy, but I still think it's a bit harder then It should be.   That's just my humble opinion.  It's not -that- big of a deal to me, it was just really nice popping across a nice item that you rarely see and actually being able to get a good price on it, or dumping something quick fast and in a hurry cause I needed chyen right the fuck right now!  hehe.   in any case game on!

I've always found the markets and now shops to be relatively insignificant compared to the biz you can kick with other players. Big chy comes from RPing with other people. Not typing in a bunch of commands, right?

The original market was meant to be a crap sink, not a serious trade point. I realise it's been expanded on a lot since then but I imagine the principle remains the same. That's why the first market was in a dingy alley in the crappest corner of Red, we're talking scum hole with traders who live to rip people off. If you're trying to push valuable goods down there they'd be smart enough to know you were reeeeeally desperate to offload the goods, which fits the harsh pricing model.

The one thing the market absolutely shouldn't do is impact on player to player trade.

Maybe I don't understand the problem and the market just needs some tweaking but it seems to me we need to establish an "actual" price for goods. The mean value that the item would have in any given exchange. Correct me if I'm wrong but the street price of goods is relatively close to the average of the store prices.

Complaints about the uselessness of the market stem around prices not being near this "actual" price. The better ones trading skills are the closer to this "actual" the market prices should get.  When trying to sell things the market will give you a price lower than the "actual" price and when trying to buy things the market will give you a price higher than the "actual" price.  Essentially as one gets better at trading they are more able to make a profit by buying other players junk and then dumping it on the market.  In turn the market serves as a general store that charges a slight premium for having such a wide selection of goods.

This premium that would occur from setting the base market price at the mean of the store prices seems fair to me. However, if we want the market to be profitable for middlemen for buying -and- selling, the base price would need to be lowered to allow resale to compete with store prices.

Also the whole idea that a merchant isn't interested in your gear seems ridiculous.  If you aren't skilled at trading they should try to take advantage of that fact and rip you off!

Just to start with a quick disclaimer, I don't have a thorough understanding of how the market code has changed since I created it, I'm just throwing my thoughts in based on the original concept.

This premium that would occur from setting the base market price at the mean of the store prices seems fair to me.

I'm fairly sure items still have a fixed value. Market values are based off this fixed value, not store values which are (were?) set as a percentage mark-up on a store by store basis. That might have changed, but I've never seen any indication of it.

Personally I'd argue that the market simply isn't there to be "played", it's a lowest common denominator option. That was the original reason for the extremely steep valuations, you're not supposed to turn a profit there.

Selling was a sink for trash items that have no player resale value, it was intended to suck junk out of the game, give the player a slight cash reward and deposit in a store where admin could sort out the useful items and recycle the trash.

Beyond this I think I stand to lose my case. Sindome has changed significantly, I'm sure people will protest, but quite simply it has. Back then the game was far more about RP and less about playing the mechanics, these days there is a definite shift to the latter so I fully expect people want to play the numbers and rack up "points", so the market is expected to reward players for juggling items, boosting skills, etc. The market isn't "useless", it works entirely as intended, rather the players expectations of it have changed.

Ultimately it's nothing to do with me, I'm just musing about it and suggesting it'd be a bad thing if it were changed so that players used it to turn a profit. Dump your trash, take your bounty for cleaning up the game and get the player to player trade in valuable items going instead.

Also the whole idea that a merchant isn't interested in your gear seems ridiculous.

It's a game mechanic, so unfortunately reality isn't always the highest concern. If you fall below the minimum threshold for a skill check you get no reward. From an IC perspective, if you simply have no interpersonal skills (low CHR) and no experience in bartering the trader will simply refuse to deal with you. Essentially you go in acting like a complete cunt, shouting, threatening, demanding unrealistic prices immediately and refusing to budge... and get told to take a hike. There's a difference between getting stung because you're a bad haggler (poor skill check) and being totally impossible to deal with (failed skill check).

Hopefully some of that is useful, helpful or worth discussing further. If not, I guess I'm just being a twat. :)

(Edited by Rastus2 at 5:54 pm on Mar. 12, 2009)

I understand that the markets are not supposed to be a place to make a shit ton of money. I also understand that more chyen comes from dealing with players and RPing, and I agree with this statement. But, this is the way I see it:

If a player dumps UE into combat stats and skills, they see a payoff. If a player dumps UE into stats and skills for other things such as trading, artistry, charisma, etc... it's hard to see a payoff, if any. I agree that the markets need to be controlled so as not to promote too much coded chyen issues, but where is the payoff for not creating a combat oriented character? I've been preaching this for a long long time, as I've felt it's a serious concern here.  It's hard for someone who may not be a smooth talker IRL to play a cheeseball drifter who could sell a pile of dust to a badlands raider. And if a player's character is supposed to be that sort of greasy slimeball, it's much much harder to do it well if the coded support is so poor in their favor. I feel like coded support for a few other less combatant skills/stats is also lacking, but that's another topic.

Anyway, that just my two chy...Take it or Leave it.

Fair comment, but I'd suggest it's beyond the scope of the markets and more about expanding the game in other areas, which is always an ongoing thing.

I'd also argue, high risk == high rewards and low life expectancy, low risk == low rewards and higher life expectancy.

And again, a shift in the game from RP to mechanics. I'm not suggesting there's no RP, but rather people are concerned about choosing the most rewarding stats and playing the numbers.

Back in the day there were very few heavy combat chars and lots of people with UE piled into skills that had absolutely no coded use in the game at all.

I can haz rp?

You don't need ruthless combat skills to be a good biznessman but you don't need trading or chrisma either. You just have to rock biz with players.

Perhaps there should be specific places/shop that only admit a scarce amount of people based on charisma/trading/chy? A place where those skilled enough could acquire rare items?

Would that balance things out?

(Edited by ReeferMadness at 9:22 pm on Mar. 12, 2009)

Quote: from ReeferMadness on 6:18 pm on Mar. 12, 2009[br]I can haz rp?

You don't need ruthless combat skills to be a good biznessman but you don't need trading or chrisma either. You just have to rock biz with players.

Perhaps there should be specific places/shop that only admit a scarce amount of people based on charisma/trading/chy? A place where those skilled enough could acquire rare items?

Would that balance things out?

(Edited by ReeferMadness at 9:22 pm on Mar. 12, 2009)

I think it would possibly help, yes. It has the potential. Something that allows folks focusing on the social interaction side of the game to be a real fixer... a place to go and look for things that players want and a place where these fixer types have an advantage over the regular joe to sell things that they get off other players. Without having to necessarily bother a GM to get/get rid of a particular item.

The trading skill is most definitely in use in the market and stores and we admin are seeing the price differences. You're making more money when your properly skilled, its just not assloads more.

At a basic level, rarity is coming into play, your appearance, your smell, your luck (you do toggle @luck on when you want it to work, right?) and a host of other factors. Also, we have to keep you from being able to buy something in a store and making a profit at the market.

Wholesalers and fixer suppliers were an idea a loooong time ago, they'd fit that idea but balancing the economy is always the big issue.

I'd suggest the ability to haggle with regular store vendors for a slight discount, nothing amazing but enough to make a difference. Maybe under-the-counter items only visible to players with the right skills/CHR.

Hrm... ability to beg for mercy when attacked by NPC's... might make for an interesting charisma use and an alternative to flee. Or maybe just have NPC's switch @fatal based on a CHR check on the target (with conditional modifiers).

Time, time, time. There's no shortage of ideas.

(Edited by Rastus2 at 6:38 pm on Mar. 12, 2009)

I wasn't too clear in my last post but my thoughts on how the market should work would make it -impossible- to make money off of it alone.

Low skilled PC buying - 2000chyen
Store price - 1900chyen (ideally)
High skilled PC buying - 1750chyen
Market price - 1500chyen (used as reference point)
High skilled PC selling - 1250chyen
Low skilled PC selling - 1000chyen

The only way to make a profit off these prices is to RP with another player.  One way would be to buy gear off them at a price between what they could sell it for and what you could sell it for.  The other way would be to buy gear for them and undercut the stores.

I still think anybody should be able to buy and sell from the market. If I were to offer you a million dollars for your pencil you'd probably take it. Maybe I need a fuel can from the market -really- -really- bad. So me with my low CHA runs in there and starts begging for it. They take advantage of the situation and charge me a bundle for it. Or maybe I stole somebodies wedding ring because I disapproved of the marriage. I call them out to the market telling them I found it then sell it for 50chy right in front of them. The point is, a horrible offer is better than no offer.

Since when can't you BUY stuff from the market? It's only the SELL that will deny you any takers in certain situations to my knowledge.

Okay so I haven't been to the markets in quite a while. They smell funny. But the point remains, if I have something worth buying, the average street urchin is going -prefer- me to have poor trading skills. They want to legally rob me of it's value by offering me bottom dollar. Let's say I'm in urgent need for drug money. I find my most prized possession and sell it for 20% what it's worth. Or maybe I stole the stuff and really don't care how lousy of a deal I get for it. The only thing an urchin should be unwilling to buy is trash. Something that nobody would ever pay 2chyen for. But then again, it's the mix. A cardboard box might be trash for one man and home for another.

But this is just for those cases where the money doesn't really matter. What we really need to test out these markets is somebody with high CHA to invest in a platinum trading skillsoft and go all out buying peoples junk. If they can't make a decent profit, something needs to be tweaked.

If you haven't been to the markets, then why are you even posting about this? At least have the decency to go look into what you're discussing.

The markets do work this way. If you're selling something, they offer you a crappy price. You haggle with them to get something better. Whether you have great skills or not, you're not going to get full value for your item. Trash is not accepted at the markets.

People with the skills have and do use the markets. They have been tested. Nobody is going to make a profit from the markets, unless it is gear they got for free or for a small amount of money. Reason for this? Abuse.

Markets also offer other items in trade after you get to a certain point.  This makes more sense ICly, as these merchants wouldn't have the 350k you want to sell your MINIGUN for.

Ah, I'm glad I read this then. I was considering the possibility of a character whose only skills were trade and charisma. They'd've starved.

Also, I laugh heartily at the minigun thing.

(Edited by darKPete at 4:50 am on June 24, 2009)

You can make money at the market, even if you can't make money off the margins between buying and selling.  You need to be invoative.  RP!

When my character was just starting out, I made a point of going to the market -for- people.  Telling them I'd get them a better deal and charging a commission.  If the person had something they wanted to sell, I'd sell it for more then they could and take some of the profits, but they'd still get more then they normally would have.

If they needed to buy something I'd see what they could get it for, or quote them a rough price and buy it cheaper and then charge a small fee for doing it.

You can make good money and build a rep as a Fixer doing that.

What's the status on this now? Did we ever get the markets favoring certain items? Or remembering what's at what market?

Last I knew no.  But I may be wrong.

The markets have just had some over-due balancing done.  You'll notice some differences in initial pricing, and haggling depending on your skills/stats.

Also, we have taken advantage of some code that was in place to make each market offer slightly different rates for the two classes of items (legal / illegal).  So certain markets are cheaper then others for some things, and more expensive for others.