First off I would like to start by stating one thing; when we make changes to the game economy, we must keep in mind, this is a game designed to allow for players to enjoy themselves. That said, there is a lot of ways players can enjoy the economy, but a certain change or mechanic that is meant to be 'realistic' or 'immersive' should not be implemented if it is bothersome to the players.
I will provide a list of suggestions for people to glance over quickly if they choose to do so, and if you at first disagree with any proposition I will provide my reasoning as well. If you still disagree or would like to add some more, please do so.
1. Link the Market Wards.
I myself have been against doing so; at least until significantly better means of transportation have been implemented. But after seeing the game progress, my position on this issue has changed. I believed at one point that if chocobos were widely used, and airship travel were possible, players would be able to travel between the markets easily and get the items they need. The option would even be available for players to earn gil by transporting items from one ward to another. However, it is my belief, even with all these modes of transport, the prices of these goods would need to be significantly higher to encourage players to keep moving them. Even then, it would require a great deal of movement to keep up with demand, and even then it is highly unlikely these players would be able to satisfy such diverse needs in most occasions. Thus, it is much more probable that players will continue to gravitate towards a singular city, at the expense of the others. While many players will think such a gravitation is a good thing; in fact in many cases it can be. However, I suggest the cons highly outweigh the pros. For one, new players are already being unnecessarily hindered whenever they choose to start their adventure from either Gridania or Limsa Lominsa. Secondly, players who wish to base themselves from these other two cities are also experience a similar hinderance. The most significant problem with this situation is, Square-Enix has developed 3 very large zones, each with their own unique aspects. It is unwise to prop up a system that arbitrarily focusses the population into one, at the cost of the others. Any overcrowding we experience could be lessened, and the desolace felt elsewhere alleviated.
Originally Posted by Rukkirii
2. Auction House versus Market Wards
Many players have been clamoring for an auction house, as, for them, the current market ward system is not as accessible or intuitive as others and it is a solution they are most familiar with. While many players want an Auction House, it is more likely they are looking for something different entirely. What a player needs is something that is simple and effective at doing a few things from both a buyers and sellers perspective. First, a seller wants to be able to quickly bring his/her items to the market and place them where their potential buyers will be able to access their goods. The faster this process is, and the less 'hoops' required the better. The very same could be said about buyers; their experience is generally better as the steps are reduced, but they must also be able to compare other prices just as quickly. Now many 'systems' can accomplish this, it would even be possible to have both, but we must operate within the bounds set before us. Moving foward, we can get the best results by seeking to improve the current system, as they lead to the most immediate results.
3. One stop shopping.
While the market economy is functional, it is not effecient. If we can identify the problems, the solutions will come. First, the most glaring problem, the need to run to each individual bazaar. It should be mentioned the solution I will mention here will at the same time remove the need to place retainers all together. By placing, in the place of separate Market Wards, a single Ward occupied by either several or a single NPC that is capable of meeting the needs of every adventurer. This NPC would be able to reference all retainers holding items in their bazaars and bring up this list for the buyer. In addition, this NPC would then be able to handle the transactions as well. The easiest implementation, would involve keeping the current Market Ward zone, filling it with several NPCs for the various Market Ward divisions. Thus no new artwork would be required. A future and more permanent solution would be a newly designed zone more suited to a single NPC.
4. Implement Retainer Reference System:
Outline of the Retainer Reference system here.
To be brief, I have offered two real suggestions. First to link the market wards, and second to implement a simple solution to make transactions for buyers and sellers easier.
Very quickly I would outline the effects this would have on the game.
In order to sell an item, a player need only place an item in their retainer's bazaar. After doing so, the bazaar is then available for reference and anyone from any market can purchase the items within.
Buyers would then be able to move to a single point, accessed by a single NPC, to see this list of items and thier price. This NPC would be able to handle multiple transactions covering all items available by type.
Players, especially new players, would then more readily have access to goods from all over the world and can focus on playing in the zone they enjoy the most.
Edit: I forgot to add... I am reminded as it just happened in game. The frequent market crashes would likewise be a thing of the past. As the game moves foward and hopefully becomes more popular, the markets would continue to be assaulted by Retainers and the problem would become worse. Better to fix it permanently then having to continually readress this issue down the line.