@Doam-Burger said in Broken market place:
Its not that people are undercutting but rather the xbox players are buying up cheaper items and setting prices much higher than the they need to be thus resetting the decline for awhile.
Yeah this cycle sadly supports itself.
Start with one player having a 2-3 month headstart and owning, let's say 50 million meseta. Allow another player to play while introducing an item that would normally be worth say 5 million. By the time the new player can make that kind of money and reach level 30 or so, the player with the headstart has snatched it up and put it back up for 15 million because they can.
What does the new player do? They grind away for the next few weeks, they reach level 60 and they scrape up the cash and pay it because they have to. They are now broke, and the player with the headstart now has +10 million meseta for free simply by taking advantage of a completely safe exploit that was readily presented to them on a silver platter.
I want to take a minute to point out there's a third player in this relationship - the original seller. The one who paid for the AC scratch ticket in the first place, who bizarrely often seems to get less meseta out of the cycle than the reseller. To me that is also not how things should be. I think the person who paid the real money should naturally get the profit. I'll come back to this point.
Back to the reseller and the new player, we now have a multi-75 and even richer reseller and a single-60 completely broke not-so-new player. Another AC scratch releases, another item that'd normally be worth 5 million appears, and which of those two is going to get it? And which is going to be paying the other another free 10 million two weeks later? (Realistically more like 15 or 20 million next time around because the reselling seems to have gotten more intense as more PC players get higher incomes.)
This cycle repeats, reducing in scope as the newer player eventually catches up (or is permanently priced out) with all the previous content they wanted, and can start to afford to buy more of the items they want when they are first out. But until that point, the crappy situation prolongs itself. PC has had access to the game for nearly 6 weeks now and I would say only now are we really starting to come out of it.
This kind of situation is precisely why a substantial number of players wanted Ship 4 and why several of those ultimately never started playing PSO2. But the damage has already been done on that front and we as a playerbase will have to live with it.
The bigger question is, from where we are, can we now do things better in a game whose monetisation involves giving AC scratch items value from scarcity?
To me, the answer is yes. Over the last few weeks we have seen topics making suggestions, some in a good direction, some missing the point so much the topics have quickly fallen into obscenity and been nuked. But the suggestions being made in the first place indicates a need for improvement beyond people not understanding the server's monetisation.
One possibility I'd like to see at least considered is the idea of locking items bought from player shops from being re-sold for a period of time. Maybe 7, 14 or 28 days. This would not kill reselling, as many players would still buy AC items with the intention of waiting that long for the prices to inflate. But it would reduce it, and in particular eliminate the sickening activity of flipping by buying several of an item for 5 million each to immediately relist them all for 15 million. It also plays into another idea towards the end of this post.
By removing waves of artificial inflation like this, the person who paid to pull the item in the first place is somewhat protected from seeing their items swept away as part of an overnight price hike used to give someone else a bigger profit, which would ideally give the people paying for the server more of the meseta and subsequently encourage people to buy and use AC scratches for that improved return.
Meanwhile the end-point buyer, the one who buys a costume to wear or an emote to learn, is completely unaffected. Trade locks wouldn't matter for an emote ticket that gets consumed.
Another possibility I'd like to see is making the player shop cut scale more at higher values. At the moment it's a flat 5% so an item sold for 63,000,000 gives the seller 60,000,000. At that price a seller is not going to care about 3 million meseta, especially if they bought it for 31.5 million and are turning a 28.5 million profit. By being the same flat rate as cheaper items, there is no difference between reselling a 30 million item for 60 million, or reselling ten 3 million items for 6 million. I tell a lie, on top of taking longer the latter also requires ten shop slots, placing more of a limit on effectiveness.
If there was a scaling effect it would help put a soft cap on the most extreme acts of reselling. Of course this might shift the reselling activity to items at the cheaper end of the market and cause a more widespread amount of smaller profiteering, but the 30 shop slot limit and the increased effort of doing this would probably mean some players do it less or not at all, and those who do are not pricing others entirely out of something they want as much anymore. Moreover this would help reduce the perception of market trouble from recognisable items already being 75+ million.
A third and obviously preferable possibility to me would be to re-run a previous scratch set again. Potentially preferably in order, and definitely preferably focused on the sets that disappeared before PC launch. This would do two things:
Firstly it would assure newer players that things they want are coming back, and that instead of paying 25+ million meseta they could wait until they reappear and either get them for cheaper or actually spend real money themselves on either pulling them or even getting the 30/60/120 choice tickets to choose them directly.
Secondly, the first time items do get brought back, it will tell all players that items can come back. That in and of itself is an immediate discouragement of reselling. Why buy something for 15 million to hopefully sell for 30 million when it might drop to 5 million from a sudden re-run next week? Moreover buyers would be less willing to spend 30 million on an item that was unavailable on their platform, because that fact alone makes it more likely it'll be able to be generated again in the future.
Let's bring back that previous idea to trade-lock items for a time after purchase. Because that synergises really well with the possibility of re-runs. For either of them, but even more so with the combination of both, the idea of "snatch this from the paying player to wait and resell later because it's never coming back and can only rise in value!" is killed stone dead. As it should be.
Notably this idea also applies to FUN scratch content, which aren't even funding the server but are still a cause of misery to many PC players due to the severe reselling that has made some content from May and earlier completely inaccessible especially on Ship 3. I expect these are already on a potentially annual cycle but since there is no consequence for doing so it would be quite nice for official confirmation that FUN content will be coming back so PC players have one less thing to worry about.
TL:DR: AC items having a value is a healthy and needed part of the game. Rampant exploitative reselling is not. There is opportunity to change how things work so the people paying the money to draw the AC items receive more of their value, while most buyers also keep more money and can buy more of those things which also improves circulation and encourages more AC scratch purchasing meaning the server makes more money and the playerbase is overall happier.