Auctions without a timer

One small feature of Everquest 2 that I find myself missing in my other major MMOs is the ‘endless’ nature of auction house posts (called the broker system in EQ2). Any item I post for sale will stay there until either a) it sells or b) I remove it from sale. I can adjust the prices for any items that aren’t selling with a simple click. Any proceeds from successful sales are kept in the broker interface until you cash it in.

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Yay for no time-limit!

This seems less common an approach among the games I have played, although Guild Wars 2’s Trading Post is similar. Most MMO auction house systems require you to specify the duration of each posting, with a few days being the maximum duration. Items that fail to sell are returned to you via in-game mail. I find this system to be a lot more of an ‘admin’ headache compared to the broker idea mentioned above.

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48 hours is a very short maximum timer

Although I’m no expert at virtual trading I do like to engage in the server economy when playing these games. I also enjoy crafting consumables, such as buff food, things that are likely to sell well on the player market.

However I tend to go through phases of playing one game then another I do have to be careful not to loose items in games that have time-limited auctions. The problem relates to the return of unsold items through a mail. Eventually in most games unread mails are deleted automatically. So if I forget about auction expiries I can end up losing the unsold items completely. Even worse if I fail to check my mail and collect earnings from successful auctions I could lose that money too!

At least with the Everquest 2 model I never have this worry as my broker auctions never expire and any proceeds from sales are stored indefinitely within the broker system.

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One Response to Auctions without a timer

  1. Jonny 5iVe says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Seems like such a simple idea to charge a fixed broker fee, and keep them there indefinitely.

    What’s worse is that I believe the admin nightmare you mention causes people to simply not bother selling via auctions. Instead of the headache, players just simply vendor the items (I know I’m guilty of this most of the time)… The result?

    Empty looking auction houses.

    You go out, quest for 4 hours, get 30 green items you can’t use. Now, the AH value of these items is probably about 250 gold. The vendor value of them is closer to 50 gold. However, constantly sticking the items up for resale every 48 hours is too much of a PITA to deal with, so you vendor them.

    Everyone else does the same, and it leaves HUGE gaps in low level gear on the AH, where it simply isn’t worth the time. As a result, newbies are unable to buy any useful gear for the first 90% of their leveling experience, which in turn effectively means they seldom use the AH at all.

    It’s a broken system, and I strongly believe that GW2’s system is probably the best in this genre at the moment. Buy and sell prices on every item. Simple, effective, and above all, quick.

    My 2 copper.

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