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NPC-based parcel delivery system

Author
Tobiaz
Spacerats
#41 - 2012-05-18 10:14:00 UTC
Vaerah Vahrokha wrote:
Tao Zazen wrote:


If NPC freight services were introduced that could be used to reliably haul goods to/from buyers and sellers, it would drastically reduce the current dependency on market hubs.


Bolded the two points that are completely against EvE's sandbox model.

Player made content > all, and we have got multiple excellent freightering services at our disposal already.


Actually they are not automatically against EvE's sandbox model. Just make it so expensive (and perhaps slow), it's easy for players to compete with it.

Operation WRITE DOWN ALL THE THINGS!!!  Check out the list at http://bit.ly/wdatt Collecting and compiling all fixes and ideas for EVE. Looking for more editors!

Tao Zazen
Virtual Space Monkeys Inc.
#42 - 2012-05-18 11:30:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Tao Zazen
Steve Ronuken wrote:
If people want to know what something costs in another region, they can ask (price check channel) or check a website (eve central, eve marketdata, eve marketeer)

The important thing with Eve is: Time is ISK.

You could go to a market hub and buy something cheaper or you can pay for someone else to have done so, while you continue earning ISK where you are.

This suggestion /destroys/ 2 professions and cripples 2 more. Station trading pretty much goes away. Arbitrage becomes pointless. Freighting stuff becomes painful, as it's all short runs which are a pain to do, and manufacturing on a small scale becomes difficult as you are competing with /everyone/, rather than just the people in your region (and those doing arbitrage, who have higher costs)

All for making your life a little easier.




No point in checking prices in other regions if you can't sell items there without hauling them. Is it really practical to haul a badger load of items around from region to region looking for decent prices? Short answer is no, it's not. And this is where the arbitrage guys you're referring to are exploiting a situation that is induced by the game.

Arbitrage (buy low, sell high) still would exist, but it would be done in a much wider market.. A lot of items in the Jita market show >50% difference between the market buy offers and the lowest sell offers. This is not arbitrage, it's just exploitation of the fact that the item has a value too low to take it somewhere where the price might be decent. Why should a buy/sell speculator be able to reap unreasonable profits because of the rigged game mechanics?

Station trading does not go away, but the visibility of available buyers (or sellers) would be greatly expanded. For sales to customers outside of a reasonable self-delivery range, the seller would still need to haul the item(s) to a regional freight hub to effect the sale.

The model is to create a true universe-wide market that can support buying and selling (with a transit "tax" built in). The farther the sale, the higher the tax. Tax =distance= time. (Rule stays intact.)

Freighting would be exactly what it is now -- plus additional.
As I pointed out, the freight involving larger items (like ships), and valuable items, and large blocks of items (clearing out a station to move to another station) would still be handled exactly as it is now.

Small, lower value, items (like an afterburner) that need to be moved to a specific station, are generally, not hauled by freight contractors. So, this would not impact the haule's business at all. Additional business would be available, however, that would involve hauling such items, in pre-packaged bundles, between regions.

Regions are generally 5-10 hops apart, so it would not be small runs. Plus, a hauler could accept multiple contracts (as many as the ship could support) and drop items off (and pick other items up) on a route across the universe. There would always be items to pick up or deliver at every freight hub. Some of the packages would be for long hauls and some for shorter hauls. It would be up to the operator to determine how best to plan the loads and the route. (It would require some thinking and planning, however, that might actually improve the quality of the game for these players.)

Manufacturing is done for a profit. A bigger market should mean a better market. How does this hurt manufacturing?
Cost of goods is the cost of goods *delivered* and the delivery will cost ISK. Items might be less expensive in distant markets, but the additional freight costs will nullify the benefits. If anything, locally made stuff will look better.

This is not for making life a little easier.
It is to allow markets to expand away from the hubs. It's a fair bet that 80% of the miners and mission runners are operating within 8 jumps of one of the 6 major market hubs. One of the impediments to the development of 0.0 space is that none of the market hubs are within a reasonable range.
Wouldn't it be nice to see players break the tether to the trade hubs and spread out and occupy more systems?

It is to improve the fairness of an arbitrage system that is unfairly skewed because of the fact that it's not economically practical for sellers to sell goods at the best prices on the market but rather whatever price the arbitrage folks think they can get away with. It's not practical to haul a 400 stacks of relatively cheap items around to different systems to try to find the best prices.
How does one even know where to go? Are you going to get price checks on 400 different items?
A broader market will not eliminate arbitrage, but just encourage re-sellers to offer reasonable and competitive prices. I don't mind giving a re-seller 5 -10% off of the market, but 50% is way too high.
Cutout Man
Doomheim
#43 - 2012-05-18 16:04:08 UTC
For someone who's been playing since 2008, I would think you would know more about how to play this game.

1. Regional price visibility vs. Universal Price visibility--there are at least 2 websites where you can see all the prices in EVE at a glance. You can easily do it ingame with price check alts (even TRIAL alts can be used) and an office in each region (or using basic alts who are still in their noob corp) by moving your med clone and self destructing. If you'd actually look at a map, you'd see its possible to use this tactic in combination with a few gate jumps and check every hisec price in EVE in less than 10 minutes. You don't fly your goods around looking for a place to sell them. You locate a market first and then go find goods. The game/mechanic isn't rigged, you just don't understand the fundamentals of logistics and trade.

2. A bigger market does not mean a better market. Case in point: U.S. manufacturing circa 1960. As the market expanded and the number of buyers/sellers/producers increased, price pressures, labor issues, and related forces combined to crush and kill the U.S. manufacturing base. A single market that can be seen from anywhere will only lead to more efficient market manipulation. If you thought being a small time trader, hauler, producer was hard before, imagine what it will be like to compete directly with the largest, richest, and most successful businessmen and alliances in EVE. To be fair, you already are competing with them if you're in the mineral business. If you want to see a case study of how to work regional price differences, large scale trade, large scale logistics, and long term planning, check out BSAC.

3. Who are the "arbitrage folks"? You speak of them as though they were a world apart. If you've ever bought low, sold high, you're one too. Instead of leaving the profit on the table, why don't you figure out a way to sell for more? See #1 above.

4. Why don't you do what everyone else does? Save up a pile of junk to sell and transport it all at once. Do you check refine values? Have you investigated using meta items in invention? Have you considered opening up your wallet and buying a variety of items at rock bottom prices to increase your stack of junk to sell when you go to a hub? Have you investigated items that could be picked up at your destination and brought back for sale in your home region/constellation/system?

5. 8 jumps isn't a reasonable range? There's your problem right there. You're a lazy f*ck.
Tao Zazen
Virtual Space Monkeys Inc.
#44 - 2012-05-19 08:09:04 UTC  |  Edited by: Tao Zazen
(Cutout Man)
Quote:
For someone who's been playing since 2008, I would think you would know more about how to play this game.

1. Regional price visibility vs. Universal Price visibility--there are at least 2 websites where you can see all the prices in EVE at a glance. You can easily do it ingame with price check alts (even TRIAL alts can be used) and an office in each region (or using basic alts who are still in their noob corp) by moving your med clone and self destructing. If you'd actually look at a map, you'd see its possible to use this tactic in combination with a few gate jumps and check every hisec price in EVE in less than 10 minutes. You don't fly your goods around looking for a place to sell them. You locate a market first and then go find goods. The game/mechanic isn't rigged, you just don't understand the fundamentals of logistics and trade.


It’s interesting that you acknowledge work-arounds for a problem that you claim doesn’t exist.

(Cutout Man)
Quote:
2. A bigger market does not mean a better market. Case in point: U.S. manufacturing circa 1960. As the market expanded and the number of buyers/sellers/producers increased, price pressures, labor issues, and related forces combined to crush and kill the U.S. manufacturing base.


The designers of Eve deliberately created arbitrary market isolation barriers on a region by region basis, probably on the same assumption as you are citing – namely that a universal market would not function. As you’ve noted, small-time traders and business people are already competing with the most successful alliances, etc. And the rich guys, just like in real life, have a huge advantage because they use their own internal resources to work around the artificial game limitations and gain an unfair advantage over the players who don’t have the same resources.

(Cutout Man)
Quote:
3. Who are the "arbitrage folks"? You speak of them as though they were a world apart. If you've ever bought low, sold high, you're one too. Instead of leaving the profit on the table, why don't you figure out a way to sell for more? See #1 above.


The arbitrage specialists I’m speaking of are re-sellers that are using trading bots to unfairly leverage the fact that markets are artificially centralized. I find it difficult to understand how anybody would end up with 30,000 afterburners (for example).
A universal market would serve to level the playing field because buyers and sellers would be able to deal with each other directly instead of having to work though middle men that camp the market hubs.

(Cutout Man)
Quote:
4. Why don't you do what everyone else does?


Like everyone else, I do save up piles of junk to haul all at once - to Jita. Yes, I check refine values. I also routinely reprocess low-value items for which there is a weak market.


(Cutout Man)
Quote:
5. 8 jumps isn't a reasonable range? There's your problem right there. You're a lazy f*ck.


And you are apparently incapable of expressing your views without being snide, derogatory, judgmental, and insulting.

The point is that it’s not necessarily “lazy” to want to sell into a wider market. I also never said that 8 jumps was unreasonable. What I said was that it’s difficult to tell where the best market for any given product might be if the best market happened to be outside of your current region.
Using alts or web sites outside of the game still doesn’t solve the problem.

If you really wanted to shop for the best market for selling a whole bunch of items, the process might look like something like this:

Create a spreadsheet listing every item you want to sell (all 400 stacks of items that you have in your hangar).
Check the price for each item in the current market. Write down the best price and the station for each item on the spreadsheet.

Load the items up into a badger and go to an adjacent region. Dock and re-check the prices in that region. Write down the best price and the station for each item on another set of columns on the spreadsheet.

Load the items up into a badger and go to another adjacent region. Dock and re-check the prices in that region. Write down the best price and the station for each item on the spreadsheet in yet another column.

Sort the items on the list so that you get the best prices for each item.

Plan a route that will take you to each of the stations where you can get the best price in each of the regions. The trip to all of the stations with the best prices within 3 regions might take, say, 40 or 50 jumps. (Not just 8)

Buying, one-off items is not so much of a problem. Just do the price-check thing and you’re home.
Interestingly, for those in the arbitrage business, however, being able to see the whole universe might open up new dimensions in buy low/sell high opportunities. True speculation involves tracking variations in supply and demand that may occur between different locations. The ability to track this effectively would lead to profit derived by moving items, en-mass, from one region to another.

To be candid, I don’t think there is even the slightest risk that CCP will implement any of this. It would involve significant coding and dealing with a lot of whining from players who like things just as they are.

I just thought it might be more fun to open the game up so that everybody isn’t clustered around Jita.
There are over 6,000 systems in Eve and I suspect that only 1% of these (about 60) are occupied by more than 100 players.
Have you ever wondered why this is so, and what might be done to improve the situation?
Cutout Man
Doomheim
#45 - 2012-05-21 19:38:42 UTC
You have an incredible knack for missing the point and the obvious.

It’s a symptom of your laziness that you haven’t learned the uses of offices, med clones, market apps, or the many, many tools available to you.

Here you go lazy guy, I’ll lay it all out for you:

1. Download one of the 3 market/production management programs for EVE.
2. Find EVE pricing sites. Read up on how they work.
3. Educate yourself on the market export function (ever wonder what those buttons at the bottom of the market UI are for?).
4. Educate yourself on the EVE API.
5. Learn how to use a spreadsheet, preferably one that was already created for this purpose (there are some on this page of the MD and many more elsewhere in the forums).
6. Learn how to pull market data in from either your own export sources or one of the pricing sites.
7. Select a solution or combination of solutions that works best for you.
8. Automate.
9. Profit.

I know a guy who has automated his pricing info for more than 250 different items that he buys and sells while moving his goods around in a freighter. It is current (within the rules laid out by CCP for pulling data) and dynamic. It took him a week or two of puttering around to get it just right

I am curt, dismissive, and sarcastic when I speak to anyone who refuses to get off his ass and solve a problem that everyone else figured out how to handle years ago. Your original post is so different from your last post that it only seems fair to question your original intent. The issue was never hauling; it was you looking for a way to sell low volume items in hubs without paying a legitimate market rate for hauling services or waiting in line with everyone else for that service. Nothing you’ve said in this thread supports your original suggestion for NPC hauling services. Your posts have devolved into complaining about what is undoubtedly your real issue: your competitors are better at this than you are.
OllieNorth
Recidivists Incorporated
#46 - 2012-05-21 19:54:10 UTC
Congratulations Tao, you have officially discovered that trading in EVE requires work.

The simple fact that there are market divisions is the only that allows so many small-time traders to succeed. I fail to understand how I would be better served by my market a few jumps out of Dodixie would be better served by making it EVE-wide. As it is, I have buy orders up for valuable modules that commonly drop in missions. I buy them outside of Dodixie, gather them, and sell them in Dodixie itself. I make money specifically BECAUSE you have to travel to pick up items. I am often making a profit with one jump.

I understand that you don't want to travel around to see every market. So don't! I don't, I never leave the region, and I am still able to turn a profit. Laziness is no reasonable excuse for removing whole portions of the game.

/Yes, I did give away some of my "secrets", but really, I am not doing anything ground-breaking. I simply profit off of people being as lazy as I am.
Jayrendo Karr
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#47 - 2012-05-21 21:22:13 UTC
Game mechanic is fine.
Durin Sarga
Lionhearted Investment Services and Planning
#48 - 2012-05-22 00:18:30 UTC
I know a programmer who has made a website that pulls market data from the major market websites and coalesces the information so I can look at any item I want (by creating a custom list of items) and find the price in any region/system/station I want (by making a custom list of locations). Then I can sort the price information ascending/descending by highest buy or lowest sell.

So I usually choose ALL empire regions, the major trade hub systems, and I rarely need to go as low as individual stations within a system.

I'm not a large trader, and rarely have the time to put in a lot of work at it and still made 2B via inter-regional trading using his website. Also helps me accurately gauge prices when I'm not in a market hub region (which is most days).

Been trying to convince him to make it public. If it does go public I'll be sure to post.

Durin
Tao Zazen
Virtual Space Monkeys Inc.
#49 - 2012-05-22 05:04:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Tao Zazen
Based on helpful input from several posters, there are some interesting marketing tools that can manage the challenge of inherent market visibility limitations.

In my view (and I acknowledge that many posters disagree with me on this), solutions that need to be implemented outside of the game are actually indications of inherent shortcomings within the game itself. An analogy to this might be that one could learn to run very well with a prosthetic leg, but that still doesn’t mean that the leg is actually all there.

Continuing the analogy, let’s say that somebody figured out a way to graft a new leg onto a stump.
It’s entirely reasonable to presume that a lot of (most?) folks would actually refuse the graft, because they had gotten used to their prosthetic limb and saw absolutely no reason to go to the trouble to get an operation. “A prosthetic limb”, they might argue, “has a lot of advantages. You don’t have to worry about athlete’s foot infections, and there is nothing I need to do that I already can’t do with a prosthetic leg. I actually enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to get the most out of life with my artificial limb, and, in fact, I am a better, stronger, person because of it.”

You know what? How could anyone argue with this?

I’ve enjoyed the discussion, and I feel that I am a better person because of it. Big smile
Thanks again to all of those who posted.

Best,

TZ
Durin Sarga
Lionhearted Investment Services and Planning
#50 - 2012-05-22 06:27:51 UTC
Think of it more like Grocery store A, B, and C.

Is there something inherently wrong with Grocery store A for not automatically telling you what the prices are at Grocery Store B and C?

We don't look at a tag in Wal-Mart and demand that it show us the prices at Target and Fred Meyer.

Instead we have built smartphones (a 3rd party device to the grocery store paradigm) that can look at the prices of all three stores and compare them. Thus even in real life we have built devices and mechanisms to overcome natural inherent obstacles in life that make total sense to us.

Unless of course you're advocating that all stores start cross-listing prices of their competition.... which I don't think you are.

Amarr, Dodixie, Rens, Jita compete for the business of capsuleers. They are our regional stores. For the most part Jita wins. But in many instances it is possible to find a 'better buy' at other hubs. Within the same region you have competition between the current major hub and sometimes a rival. Oursulaert-Villore-Dodixie. Hek-Rens. Amarr-Tash-Murkon.

It is incumbent upon the shopper to either find a store they like (trade hub), or find a smartphone app (3rd party app) which can help them decide where they want to shop.

Sorry if I kept the thread going after you wanted to end it, but I felt that with your analogy I could offer a counter-example.

Durin

Tao Zazen
Virtual Space Monkeys Inc.
#51 - 2012-05-22 08:25:31 UTC
Durin Sarga wrote:
Think of it more like Grocery store A, B, and C.

Is there something inherently wrong with Grocery store A for not automatically telling you what the prices are at Grocery Store B and C?

We don't look at a tag in Wal-Mart and demand that it show us the prices at Target and Fred Meyer.

Instead we have built smartphones (a 3rd party device to the grocery store paradigm) that can look at the prices of all three stores and compare them. Thus even in real life we have built devices and mechanisms to overcome natural inherent obstacles in life that make total sense to us.

Unless of course you're advocating that all stores start cross-listing prices of their competition.... which I don't think you are.

Amarr, Dodixie, Rens, Jita compete for the business of capsuleers. They are our regional stores. For the most part Jita wins. But in many instances it is possible to find a 'better buy' at other hubs. Within the same region you have competition between the current major hub and sometimes a rival. Oursulaert-Villore-Dodixie. Hek-Rens. Amarr-Tash-Murkon.

It is incumbent upon the shopper to either find a store they like (trade hub), or find a smartphone app (3rd party app) which can help them decide where they want to shop.

Sorry if I kept the thread going after you wanted to end it, but I felt that with your analogy I could offer a counter-example.

Durin



Using your analogy really does not correlate to what I was trying to say. Let me give some examples to show what I mean.

No, you wouldn't go into Walmart and expect to see prices from other stores. But, in fact, you're not buying from Walmart, you're buying from a street vendor who has set up a store inside of a big warehouse. Inside the warehouse are price boards that show all the vendors that have a particular type of item for sale and how much they are willing to sell the item for. There are also price boards that state how much vendors are willing to pay for items that they would be willing to purchase.
the price boards also cover vendors in the region, but anybody who happens to be outside of the region -- even if they are only a few jumps away -- can't see the price boards, and they can't offer items for sale on the price boards. In fact, the people outside of the region might as well not even exist.
Now, if you happen to have some buddies that live in the other regions, you can give them a call and ask them what items are selling for in their region. Or, you may even have a subscription to a fancy newspaper that provides listings of items for sale in the other regions.


The internet has brought a whole new dimension to marketing because it creates a global market for goods and services.
You can sell your goods at the highest price on the market, because you can easily determine what the highest price is by just looking at what is currently available for sale. In fact, you don't have to just look at what is for sale in your neighborhood or city, but you can look at everybody that is selling a particular product anywhere in the world.
Since freight costs factor into the cost (from the buyer's perspective), sellers who wish to sell into more geographically distributed markets also need to take freight charges into account.

Similarly, buyers can also shop for products they wish to purchase in a global market, and consider price, shipping costs, and delivery time in the process.

There are re-sellers who are in effect speculating on commodities, but the volume they move is very high and their margins are low because of influence of the global market. The market advantage they have is that they have a reliable inventory, competitive prices, and they usually have bulk freight deals so that they can ship items cheaper.
There are also brick-and-mortar stores where people can go and pick from a wide variety of items, purchase what they want on the spot and walk out of the store without paying any freight charges. However, again the internet has some impact. Buyers can shop within different stores for the item they want without actually having to go to the store first. They can also use their smart phones to check prices (on the Internet) on an item that they have acquired an interest in while browsing in the store.

Now, let's take away the internet and watch what happens.

Markets become "farmers markets" or "flea markets" where sellers cluster together, and buyers come because the sellers are clustered together. Individual sellers also come because they can find a ready market for one-off goods (at a significant discount, of course).

Re-sellers set up stands and pretty much run the markets because people that want to buy really don't have an easy way to shop otherwise. Individual sellers (who could run ads in the newspaper or set up their own stands) usually just sell their stuff to the re-sellers because they don't have the time or interest in setting up flea market stands.

Right now, there are four "flea markets" in Eve.

What I'm talking about is actually setting up the equivalent of an Internet-based marketing system and using the rough equivalent of a freight forwarder to set up contracts for private haulers who can carry pre-packaged containers for delivery to freight offices anywhere in the universe.

It would be ludicrous for a future culture with cool tech found in Eve not to have an equally sophisticated marketing system, and instead rely on flea markets. Ugh



Scrapyard Bob
EVE University
Ivy League
#52 - 2012-05-22 11:43:48 UTC
Debiru wrote:
The only problem with the shipping industry in EVE is the cost. It's practical for some people, but when it comes to large-scale industrial manufacturing, the costs of shipping destroys the profit margins, requiring it to be done manually.


So... your time is free? For hi-security space hauling, you typically pay about 0.25% to 1% of your cargo value depending on how close you live to the market hub. If that is breaking your margins, then so will the upcoming changes to broker fees / sales tax.

The unique joys of EVE is that:

a) There is no magic fairy mailbox delivery service. Goods do not move magically around, they stay where they are until a player moves them.

b) Because of the first point, goods have variable value depending on how close they are to the buyer. Buyers will pay more (up to a point) for goods that are closer.

c) Goods are at risk of destruction / theft when in transit.

There's absolutely no need to introduce NPC shipping.

Improving the contract interface for couriers, such as being able to offer a time bonus and better calculation of shipment value in order to calculate collateral would both be useful.
Vaerah Vahrokha
Vahrokh Consulting
#53 - 2012-05-22 12:04:20 UTC  |  Edited by: Vaerah Vahrokha
@Tao Zazen

Unfair this, unfair that, will the guy GET it?

You enter EvE almost naked.
You live EvE how YOU want to live it.
You win or lose based on your actions.

You are given the same - actually newer players get better - tools and opportunities than everybody else had.

In a neutral sandbox setup, if you armchair decide that a certain thing is wrong, that other is unfair and that else is bad, it talks about your inability to adapt and live the breathing EvE economy-verse, not about what's really wrong .

Examples:

Tao Zazen wrote:

The designers of Eve deliberately created arbitrary market isolation barriers on a region by region basis, probably on the same assumption as you are citing – namely that a universal market would not function.


CCP wisely put in challenges to overcome. Sorry this is not your craptastic "achievements" canned piece of garbage where you get a majestic fanfare when you learn to lace your shoes.
One of these challenges is to smarten up and go beyond competition.

You CAN EASILY make billions in a single market, in a single station, by trading < 30 items. I have been there, done that. My "unfair" advantages were: I previously mined 50M in a Osprey, I had the basic 900k SP. Very, very unfair indeed!

But like many others I embraced EvE and CCP's challenge. I wanted to go beyond and thus I spent some days of my life getting some free software / websites available to everybody. Very unfair, eh?

So now by using stuff everybody can have I may know that something at Rens sells better than at Jita. UNFAIR. Plus if only someone could create a mysterious entity called "alt" and place it at Rens... oh wait, you can.


Tao Zazen wrote:

As you’ve noted, small-time traders and business people are already competing with the most successful alliances, etc. And the rich guys, just like in real life, have a huge advantage because they use their own internal resources to work around the artificial game limitations and gain an unfair advantage over the players who don’t have the same resources.


The rich guys in EvE are not "son of famous banker XYZ" or "blue blood XYZ" or whatever stuff.
We have BUILT it from zero.

Some built their riches by playing harder, others by playing better Twisted but the end result is the same:

- we all entered this world naked and with 5000 ISK.

- we accepted CCP CEO Hillmar's challenge:

"Welcome to EVE, here's a Rubik's Cube. Now go f**k yourself"

Now, it's your and only your choice to sit there, suck your thumb and cry or to embrace the challenge and deal with it.


Tao Zazen wrote:

The arbitrage specialists I’m speaking of are re-sellers that are using trading bots to unfairly leverage the fact that markets are artificially centralized. I find it difficult to understand how anybody would end up with 30,000 afterburners (for example).
A universal market would serve to level the playing field because buyers and sellers would be able to deal with each other directly instead of having to work though middle men that camp the market hubs.


Unfair unfair unfair...
Arbitragers are traders who happen to wanto to actually de-centralize the market, many will take stuff off Jita to relist it far away. And you call them out?

Bots? Bots are forbidden and are certainly not unique to arbitragers and they don't leverage anything but their knowledge of one of the most important factors in a market: location, location and location.

Artificially centralized? Jita was not even the first trade hub we got. Certain locations are just placed very well, very like in RL where many historic and modern capitals were founded near rivers (for water), near mineral reserves and so on.
Good places happen.

But the workers don't complain about how unfair is to have water there, they go there and build their home to USE the opportunity.


"A universal market would serve to level the playing field because buyers and sellers would be able to deal with each other directly instead of having to work though middle men that camp the market hubs."

Guess what, if whoever prefers dealing thru middle men, it's because those middle men are useful for something.
Do they save time? Yes they do. Do they give their liquidity to the system? Yes they do. Do they end up optimizing the market, sometimes to the point they kick themselves out? Yes they do.

Markets are fair.
Markets are just.
Markets know WTF they are doing.
Markets are sentient beings made by the sum of many people. Markets even have their feelings.

So, love the markets and embrace the challenge.
Caleb Ayrania
TarNec
Invisible Exchequer
#54 - 2012-05-22 12:13:39 UTC
Scrapyard Bob wrote:
Debiru wrote:
The only problem with the shipping industry in EVE is the cost. It's practical for some people, but when it comes to large-scale industrial manufacturing, the costs of shipping destroys the profit margins, requiring it to be done manually.


So... your time is free? For hi-security space hauling, you typically pay about 0.25% to 1% of your cargo value depending on how close you live to the market hub. If that is breaking your margins, then so will the upcoming changes to broker fees / sales tax.

The unique joys of EVE is that:

a) There is no magic fairy mailbox delivery service. Goods do not move magically around, they stay where they are until a player moves them.

b) Because of the first point, goods have variable value depending on how close they are to the buyer. Buyers will pay more (up to a point) for goods that are closer.

c) Goods are at risk of destruction / theft when in transit.

There's absolutely no need to introduce NPC shipping.

Improving the contract interface for couriers, such as being able to offer a time bonus and better calculation of shipment value in order to calculate collateral would both be useful.


A very short and precise argument.. there..

I hope the OP is starting to realize why his initial proposal is a bad idea, and why supporting things to improve the sandbox is much more important. EVE needs to stay pvp in all its aspects.. The more we get ccp to nerf npc and pve, the better the game develops.

Important part of that is making the right tools and features available to the players.

Now with the inferno patch we also get a lot of server side calculations "knowledge" of values. THis would be a good time to start asking for some further help/boost to shipping.

Adding courier insurance might be a valid idea at this point. Similar in structure as the existing one for ships. With a little help to "security" and a bandaid on loss, players might be more willing to use pvp shipping.

Also adding a simple feature of making standing reduce the collateral would be useful, or better yet option to set 3 different collaterals depending on neutral, good or excellent standing. Such trust communicating features would potentially boost shipping a LOT.

The best thing ofc would be if the UI team at ccp took some time and looked at contracts and market entirely, and gave it a bit of love. Something I am strongly suspecting they are about to post Inferno..


Dearthair
Goibhniu Industries
#55 - 2012-05-22 12:35:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Dearthair
As far as the system being "unfair" to newer or less wealthy players, one the the main draws of EvE (for me anyway) is the concept that I can leverage my wealth into more wealth. In EvE, as is often the case IRL, wealth + experience = power. I WANT my wealth and experience (such as they are) to give me an advantage over less wealthy and less experienced players/characters.

And I agree. If the cost of shipping your goods to market is destroying your profit margins, then you need to find another item to deal in. It costs 750k + 500k per jump (I think, some Red Frog can correct me if I'm wrong) to move up to a billion isk in goods. I pay around 5 million per trip, or around 10 million per round trip to get my materials from market and my finished goods back to market. I usually have an initial profit of well over 100 million isk for each of these round trips.

Edit: to respond to the player above me about insurance for courier contracts. Unless you are talking about insurance for the courier, we already have a PvP version of this. This is your collateral. The collateral allows you to offload all of the risk of loss onto the courier. If your collateral is less than the value of your goods, then you are only partially insured, and IMHO are asking for the courier to steal it themselves.

NBLID (Not Blue Let It Die), the new motto for miners, manufacturers, and retailers everywhere.

Caleb Ayrania
TarNec
Invisible Exchequer
#56 - 2012-05-22 12:51:26 UTC
Dearthair wrote:
As far as the system being "unfair" to newer or less wealthy players, one the the main draws of EvE (for me anyway) is the concept that I can leverage my wealth into more wealth. In EvE, as is often the case IRL, wealth + experience = power. I WANT my wealth and experience (such as they are) to give me an advantage over less wealthy and less experienced players/characters.

And I agree. If the cost of shipping your goods to market is destroying your profit margins, then you need to find another item to deal in. It costs 750k + 500k per jump (I think, some Red Frog can correct me if I'm wrong) to move up to a billion isk in goods. I pay around 5 million per trip, or around 10 million per round trip to get my materials from market and my finished goods back to market. I usually have an initial profit of well over 100 million isk for each of these round trips.

Edit: to respond to the player above me about insurance for courier contracts. Unless you are talking about insurance for the courier, we already have a PvP version of this. This is your collateral. The collateral allows you to offload all of the risk of loss onto the courier. If your collateral is less than the value of your goods, then you are only partially insured, and IMHO are asking for the courier to steal it themselves.


I am well aware of the way collateral works.. My point was a way to reduce it, so in doing that reducing the barrier of entry to the active courier.

Since most contracts are collaterized in full and sometimes above value, a sort of insurance would help, and thus grant access to shipping to more casual players, and less trusted/known players.

The insurance would be paid out to the person transporting the goods ofc. Since he is the one getting the loss. So it would be on pickup that insurance was selected.

Ideally ofc ccp would put some time into making it easier for players to create such services, the upgrades in inferno is very much in that direction..

Kill reports giving better character history. Also better intel on risk locations, and ofc the better calculation of cargo values.

This is around the time where it would be nice if Hexxx came back and took a look at his insurance project :)

Or handed some of the work over to people interested in picking it up..
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