This is probably going to be long so I apologize in advance. Thanks to the folks who read over it and offered their ideas/input.
I'm going to assume a few things in this discussion of trade.
- Refining costs are meant to be a gold sink, but have not been adjusted since the gold changes.
times have not been significantly altered for most crafted goods,
except for a slight increase in decay times from researching efficiency
in the shard trees. . Crafting changes will address this somewhat with
the 25% reduction in decay times but that may not be far reaching
expansions and now sect temple expansions (gh expansions too maybe?)
were meant to be more frequent and thus eat up more commodities.
- We have a lot of commodities that are very infrequently used outside very niche cases.
commodity situation in Imperian is desperately out of whack. Most
cities have huge stockpiles of most of the commodities (except for those
depleted in the Horde invasion event). In fact, most cities have so
many they have had to take steps to impair the output of the townes or
cut out caravans altogether in order to prevent serious damage to the
gold stock of the city.
Issue 1: Need for commodities
Only a small number of commodities have non-negligible use:
Food for guards
Iron for cannonballs and various engineering stuff
Wood for bolts
Rope for nets
Stone for treb ammo
Silver/gold for hazewards and some alchemy
Diamond for mending
Sinn, Isan, Cuhpfehr for smithing
it comes down to it, there just isn’t that huge a need for commodities.
Crafting eats up some commodities but most crafted items last a pretty
absurdly long time, especially with the plethora of ways to extend
decay times (repairing in the craft skill, I believe there is a shard
power that works similarly).
similar issue exists with smithing and its related commodities. While
there is the occasional person who outlays a bunch of commodities to
smith up a superb weapon or armor, for the most part there is very
little need for smithing more than once every 4-6 months, unless you are
a class that uses a weapon for bashing. Weapon/armor damage was in a
way to combat that, but even with the damage it takes a fair amount of
time for a weapon to be unusable and beyond the point of repair.
simple fact is there is not enough drain on the commodity system for
the money it eats up in refining cost. The cities have to struggle to
find a market for the commodities they just spent a lot of money
Issue 2: The cost to convert Materials to commodities
- Announce 1317 on 8/19/2009 Garryn introduces gold for refining of materials.
- Announce 1779 on 4/29/2011 Garryn introduces workers, assigns guards a food comm upkeep cost.
- Announce 1789 on 6/9/2011 Garryn speeds up refining and guard maintenance now prioritizes most stockpiled food commodity.
2055 on 5/30/2012 Garryn changes bashing gold drop formula and says
some costs may be adjusted but that specifics had yet to be determined.
upon the announce posts above, refining should have seen a change to
costs. Despite the changes to gold drops, refinery costs have not seen a
issue ties back into the issue of not enough uses for commodities.
There is the fairly large initial cost involved in this setup to even
get the commodities. All so they can be used, except they aren’t used
that much at all due to issues mentioned previously. I feel like the
answer isn’t more arbitrary commodity sinks, but instead lies in
lowering either the cost to produce commodities and raising the churn on
the crafting system at the same time. Equalizing out the input and
output of commodities in a manner that doesn’t punish the people who
want to do crafting with exorbitant prices but also doesn’t punish the
cities who don’t want to take a loss on material conversion/commodity
Issue 3: Commodity spread
have several crafting specific commodities that are generated
infrequently but over time have still built up. It crowds the comm shop
and to the best of my knowledge they rarely sell. In particular:
Platinum, Emerald, and Ruby. Rather than have a huge list of possible
commodities, why not make broad categories. Rather than specific
precious stones (except for diamond, because we still need it for
diamond dust), why not just use gemstones? Rather than specific
precious metals (Platinum, Gold, Silver) we instead have a precious
could be managed on the crafting side via the crafting guidelines that
are going to be implemented. You would just present a priority system
of cost which increases the amount of the Gemstones/Precious metals
needed for that particular thing. For example, the value of the
Precious metal is rated as follows: Silver>Gold>Plat. Someone
wants a simple silver ring: 2 precious metals. Another person wants a
blinged out platinum and gold monstrosity, a total of 7 precious metals
plus whatever the bling fee is that crafting approvers/head decide on (I
am not totally clear on how approvals work).
would mean that it would eliminate some of our commodity choices, but I
think it might streamline some of the crafting as well. The system is
already used since we only have one type of lumber and one type of stone
Issue 4: Time Sink
write this as a person who has the 100k lots achievement: Running
caravans is more of a chore than an adventure. There is very little
interaction with the game while my script walks the cavern from the city
to the towne, I fill it up at the towne and then map the path back to
the city and walk back. The most I get is generally if there are some
bandits and if that is the case I just slam my attack macro until they
are dead and then start moving again.
idea behind the caravan system is sound in that it gets people out and
working to get materials for conversion into commodities. And I really
like that it requires an element of danger to get commodities. I’m not
sure how to make it livelier, for lack of a better term. Some of the
ideas mentioned below cover aspects of it though.
in the end we’d see some pretty sweeping changes to trade and commodity
generation and use. The overall goal would be to make the system
slightly more interesting and slightly more interactive without being a
massive time sink or gold pit. I feel like decay rates and
smithing/crafting are the main bone of contention to this in addition to
refinery costs. This is partially being hit by the Tradeskill rework,
but a well thought out plan that involved a larger overall change in
trade would be very welcome to shake up the system.
- Scale refinery costs back in a similar percentage that gold drops were.
decay times across the board for all crafting and smithed items by 25%
(I believe the crafting change will go live once the crafting changes go
the amount of commodities required to repair an item from a craftskill.
Currently it is broken into two amounts, with engineering tools has x
commodities required, and without engineering tools has roughly 2x
commodities required to repair. I would suggest doubling both those
numbers to ensure a choice in how badly you want to keep an item around
repair in smithing to take some commodities each time it’s used. The
more you repair it, the more commodities it takes to get it back to
niche commodities like expensive gems and metals into more general
commodity groups (precious metals and gemstones) and assign that
commodity increasing costs in patterns depending on how much it uses.
- More quests that need commodities (like the quest in Northern Breach for the orc invasion) to complete.
City related ideas
built (using commodities to lower stock of current commodities + gold)
buildings that reduce refine cost for specific materials.
system that allows you to adjust refine rates per commodity. Each city
starts out with a certain number of refinery points. Each commodity is
assigned a certain level of rarity. The rate at which any given
commodity is refined (its chance to be refined from a single raw
material) would be a function of its rarity and the refinement points
assigned to it. Through assigning points you can improve the ability to
refine rarer commodities more frequently. The greater the rarity, the
higher the point cost to improve the refine rate. Only commodities with
at least one point assigned would be produced, allowing you to sacrifice
the production of common commodities to slightly improve the production
of rare ones. There should be a cap on the max you can raise the refine
rate based upon the assigned rarity. Maybe make refinery points
purchasable with shards or through shard research?
- An NPC who is hirable who increases speed/reduces cost of refining at the cost of a constant stream of commodities per month.
Outlandish ideas that will probably never see fruition
sort of City announce board that will occasionally spawn random deliver
quests quests like “Annona needs leather to repair all their leather
pants. Deliver it to Annonadude and the city will be appreciative.”
Then basically the person buys some leather and delivers it to
Annonadude, gets some quest xp and maybe slightly buffs material
production in the towne for a time. Think of something akin to the old
package delivery quests but city/towne focused.
above but expand this to include certain NPCs or villages, maybe when
they reach certain milestones the village “improves” via slightly
fancier room descriptions or more goods for sale or a few quests added.
redo the trade system so that the townes automatically provide
commodities to the city at a certain rate. But through player
action/quests that rate could increase or decrease. I’m not even sure
how make this work. Most of it would just be simple kill dynamic quests
like ‘Man, these bandits have been terrorizing Annona for like 5
minutes and it is making us afraid to go to work, kill them and we’d be
super happy.” Stuff like that. It would let towne fear sort of be more
of a factor as well, and encourage some conflict over townes.
hunger back into the game post 80, and make Cooking be able to produce
two types of food. Simple foods that simply satisfy hunger and complex
foods that offer short term buffs (that don’t stack with artifacts) in
addition to satisfying hunger more effectively. Band of Fasting would
actually be relevant now.