A Proposal: A Commerce Guild I had this idea myself a while ago, but this post and other event conspired for me to come forward with it publically in the forums here: http://forums.diabloii.net/showpost.php?p=4944942&postcount=22 I think we all can agree that the economy on USEast, both SCNL and SCL, is out of control. I saw a game, 40 PGems for Mal. Mal! I went in and talked with the person who made the game, and s/he stated that s/he could indeed get a Mal for 40 PGems. I do not know about you, but the last time I checked, 40 PGems got you a Pul, not a Mal, which is quite possibly one of the most valuable runes in the game, if not THE most valuable rune in the game. The value of Mal, however, is not the point of this thread; we are not here to debate the values of items... yet. I propose that we create a commerce guild on USEast softcore ladder and softcore non-ladder with the purposes of combating inflation and reducing the prices of items across the board. There are many ways to go about reducing the rise in prices, but not too many are at our hands. Thinking of this in the sense of money, a major current problem is duping. Since runes are being used as currency this is essentially widespread counterfieting. We can not do anything about this. Another issue is drop rates; a good way to increase value is to reduce supply; reducing supply would mean things like a rust storm and/or reducing drop rates. Again, this is not something at our hands. The best option, as I see it, is to use the power of knowledge. Any seasoned player will tell you that 40 PGems is the fair price for Pul. It always has been and always should be; it is a good match for the values of the respective items involved and there is no real reason for it to change. Is the rate of Puls being duped going to rise? Unlikely, as Puls are mid-runes. And Pgems? Gems drop left and right; you can earn 100 PGems a day if you have the right character and farm the right areas. So, this knowledge thing. What do we do? I propose that we gather a small group of players, preferably wise and knowledgeable traders, and start assigning prices to items at a fair value. The current USEast SCL price list is a great example of how we can display our values. Here is how it would work: we start by making a list of the most commonly traded items in the game; this should be a list of about 200 or so items by my estimate. Of course there are thousands of items in the game, counting all of the possible variations and such, but this is where we would start. We start with the base price: 40 PGems = Pul. If we were to use a whole "Point System", a Pul would be worth 40 Points. I would prefer to keep this point system internal and only use it to determine values. We then assign point values to all of the items. Now as far as anyone knows, drop rates might fluctuate but as far as we know they will essentially be the same. A shortage is more than likely caused by people hoarding items rather than the items themselves not dropping. I say this because whatever point values we come up with should stick. A Pally Torch should not be magically more valuable a year down the road unless there has been a serious change in game mechanics. After we have established point values, we need to make a list. Let us say that an item is worth 2 Puls. We would list everything in the sense of runes, which is (as mentioned before) the essential trader's currency in this game. We would list the item with three values for reference: Item: 4 Lem -or- 2 Pul -or- 1 Um Although there are gems possibly factored into the values of the runes (upgrading them and all), they would not have enough of a price impact to effect the values in this manner. After we have the price list established, we then set up a channel in USEast with a nice interesting and unforgettable name. Something like Liger. Who could forget a liger, for instance? A liger is a tiger and lion in one. That is just awesome. Now that we have a channel and our price lists, how do people know what the prices are? Well, we could (and should) have staffers on hand as often as possible to act as an intemediary for trades; acting as a third party to observe the trade and make sure both parties were agreeable to the terms. But what if no one is online? Well, there are a variety of chatbots out there. We could employ those to act as a pricing computer. Someone comes into the channel and only the bots are around; they do a !help for the commands and then figure out that typing in !000021 will give them the fair price, in runes, for a perfect Arach's, so on and so forth, yadda yadda. We could also maintain a thread in this forum and possibly a website (there are many nice free domain choices, like .tk, or we could maintain a forum via a free forum service, of which there are many). As trades are made back and forth, we can keep reports of every trade we supervise and record the data on the participants. This will be put towards building reputation ratings for traders (much like credit ratings) which can show people who is trustworthy to trade with, much like the RPGtraders system works. There are only two problems with the RPGtraders system; it does not work directly in game and not everyone knows about it. Via bots and staff, we can make this system work in-game. Via people taking the time to advertise (not SPAM, and we will never use bots for advertising like item selling companies do) and other such matters, people will know about our system. Then, perhaps, in some random trade room, a person will ask for a Mal for 40 PGems, and the person who is buying the PGems will say "The Liger Commerce Guild states that 40 Pgems get you a Mal, not a Pul". Either the deal takes place and the proper prices are enforced, or the deal does not take place and the higher price does not get paid. Either way, with enough work and spreading the word, the system should help combat inflation. And for any doubters, guilds working together in games have been able to succesfully influence the economy to a degree. The Kingdom of Loathing is one such game. In that game, you can donate and get an item called a Mr. Accessory for $20. Years ago it was worth 20,000,000 Meat (the in-game currency). Although the price now fluctuates (KoL has a free market built into the game), the price is essentially stable. Here is a reference: http://www.nathanatos.com/kol/ Since no real money is involved usually the price of our standard (40 PGems = Pul) should not be fluctuating very much, if at all. I could do this by myself. I would probably die from the dozens of hours it will take to figure out prices and program the bots and all of that jazz. Frankly, I like living and the whole not being exhausted thing. I do not have the time to do something like this on my own, but I am willing to put work in if I have people who will have my back and are willing to help me in any way they can. So, on to the discussion. There is much to discuss. How will we set up prices? What is the best way to go about setting up and listing prices? Is my system borked or is it just fine? Is there a better way to do things? Even if we effect the economy by dropping prices for just a few items, it will be worth it; I would hope that all of us can work together to have an altogether more impressive impact on the economy. Now mates, onward, and discuss!