Edit: THIS THREAD IS -NOT- SPECIFICALLY ABOUT STORAGE SPACE, ITS ABOUT MARKET DIVERSIFICATION. please read before you comment.
I'm not quite sure how the auction system (if implemented) will work, but one thing I have noticed is a serious lack of item variety. At least on my server (Wutai). I have a feeling this has to do with limited retainers + a limited population. Another major problem is that all the retainers (at least on Wutai) seem to be centralized in Ul'dah.
So as a economist i asked myself how SE could promote diversification in Eorzea's market wards. And the most logical solution I could think of is the following:
1. increase the number of retainers to 6 (and charge for the 4 extra, which would actually generate some profits for SE)
2. increase the number of retainers to 3 and double the inventory space and number of items they can sell
Next, do the following:
- Limit players to only having 2 retainers summoned in a city at a time. This is to limit the lag/connectivity/congestion in wards.
-Remove the retainer sales fee (tax) on wards that correspond with crafting guilds in the city.
For example, if your in Gridania, there would be no sales fee in the woodcutters and tanners wards.
The point of this would be to encourage ward diversification so that retainers don't all end up in ul'dah and to promote crafting at the respected guild, increasing a players sense of community, the number of friendships and the desire to keep playing.
So what are the benefits of this system?
- More items for sale
- Retainers no longer concentrated in one city
- Players spread out over the world instead of focused on one city
- As a result of above points, new players don't feel like the game is dead and quit. So increased player retention.
- More product diversification (ex. player Joe may normally only sell one type of log, but now that he has a retainer in gridania's woodcutters ward, instead of dropping or npcing other logs he may attempt to sell them via retainer)
- More people crafting at the guilds, talking, making friends, creating incentives to keep people playing.
- More retainers/items may lead to ward crashes
- sales fee reduction/elimination may not be enough of an incentive to cause diversification
- In the short term, people might just sell the popular items causing a significant drop in their prices. coupled with high earnings from guildleves this could make gathering and crafting fairly useless. However this would probably balance out overtime (basic supply and demand)
Won't an AH fix all this?
No, probably not. An AH would just be a more convenient ward system if its like FFXI's. Meaning that everyone would probably concentrate sales in one city, and only popular items would be sold. The points i made here could be applied to an AH just as well as they could be applied to a retainer system.
Possible other directions?
> Open the 4th city and have an economy centered there
> Create some sort of "requesting" ah, where people can post items they request along with the gil they are willing to pay, and players can open it up and automatically see if any of the requested items match items in their inventory or retainers.
So what are your thoughts?