PotBS Economy: A RMT Deterrent

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PotBS Anti RMT BrigadeLet’s face it. You’re never going to completely remove gold farmers or the corporate RMTs from MMOs until developers are ready to take drastic measures. Those drastic measures can include introducing a heinous amount of binding, the removal of any economy all together, or several already proposed plans. But that’s a topic for another time (read: soon). Today I want to focus on the PotBS auction house and the entire PotBS economy for that matter and why I think it will be a strong deterrent for RMTs.

Pirates of the Burning Sea uses a blind bidding auction system that I both hate and love. The system can work in the favor of the seller or the buyer depending on how with it they are or how patient they can be. If I have iron that I want to sell and it is currently a hot commodity due to port contention then I want to get it on the market as soon as possible. However, a lot of other people might also be on to how hot this item is on the market and it might soon become flooded.

The trick to the blind bidding system is that the buyer never really knows what the seller is asking for when they see that iron has sold in the past for X. As the seller I want my item to sell for at least X and hopefully X*2 because it’s so hard to obtain right now. With others likely placing iron for sale the listed price is going to jump up. Here is where I can take advantage as a seller to have my iron sell before anyone else. I can run the risk of placing my iron for much cheaper than the going rate hoping that the buyers will bid the high going rate. For example I list my Iron for 100 but the going rate is 200 and the inflation has possibly driven everyone else to sell at 300. With so many listed at 300 it won’t take long for that to be the going rate. So If I list at 100 mine will not only sell first but it could sell for 300. The seller runs the risk of being taken by a patient buyer who literally starts bidding at the lowest possible bid and slowly works their way up. So you can see the immediate possible benefits for both buyer and seller.

So how does this deter RMT? First off the economy in general is very much a fast moving silver tongue business. If you’re interested in playing heavily with the economy you’ll notice that you won’t get far if you aren’t out there working with others. If you want to make ships you’re going to end up losing money if you try to do it all on your own. Work with others and all of you will benefit three times over. Each server community will develop well known buyers and crafters. People will know that Bob does a lot of business with wood logs and he’s the guy to go to for those. Jimmy has the iron market cornered and Bill has the corn. Heck, you might even find yourself a supplier who will beat all of these guys but you want to keep it a secret so that you can horde it all to yourself. Bottom line, if you can’t communicate and do business then you’re going to have a hard time. No one is going to buy from Captain CuteGirl442^_^ who can’t hold a simple conversation.

Now on top of the need to be a smooth talker you have to keep your goods safe. There’s no money to be had by sailing the safe seas. The good stuff will always be in areas of high contention. Right now in beta it seems that most of the fighting occurs in the central part of the map. When the game actually releases I foresee a possible spike in pvp activity. Soon there will be little room to run when being chased by a pirate. Gold farmers are usually not very good at the game. In WoW we would abuse the obvious farmers in PvP and run circles around them almost taunting them before we ended their lives. They are going to get completely wrecked in PotBS. They WILL get attack and they WILL lose their cargo. That’s a huge deterrent.

Now the final part of the economy that will deter RMT in PotBS that you may have noticed already, there is no ‘mail’ system in the game. These businesses use mail to transfer their goods to the buyer. Even if they manage to overcome the odds (which I bet many do) they’re still going to have a heck of a time meeting up with the person who is being an asshat and buying dubloons.

Bottom line?  There will be ‘gold farmers’ out there.  They will make money in the economy and they will adapt their methods to suit their needs.  However, PotBS perhaps unknowingly has gone to great lengths to deter the RMTs in the Caribbean.  Now all we need to do is rally around these deterrents and get a foothold in securing our waters against them.  Easier said than done, but slightly easier done in PotBS.

So if you see a level 5 ship sailing through contested waters don’t think to yourself how mean you would be for attacking the poor noob. Consider the contraband that could possibly be on-board that vessel. Sink’em all I say.

  • I tried out PotBS a little bit this weekend but I wasn’t having much fun at all. The lack of polish, open-beta granted, was pretty bad and all my ship fights took aaaaaaaaaaaaaages. I quit midway through the boarding tutorial because the slowness of my ship traveling against the wind made me want to claw out my eyes…

    Right now I’m downloading Team Fortress 2 through Steam. I need a quick fix for action and adrenaline, and PotBS was NOT giving it to me at all. 🙁

    I suppose I didn’t give it a fair chance but if a game can’t capture me within the first half hour, I’m not interested. I guess I’m just too game-weathered to want to feel like I’m wasting my time anymore.

  • It’s very much a slower pace game. It’s about boats shooting cannons at each other in a pseudo realistic environment. Bottom line is boats don’t move fast. If the initial idea doesn’t capture you then it’s definitely not a match for you.

    TF2 on the other hand is incredibly fast pace and action packed. 😉

  • Hah, yeah I figured the boat combat would be semi-realistic in terms of speed, etc. but banking yourself upwind and it taking almost a minute to travel a few inches upscreen is a lot less interesting than it sounds! :p

    But yeah, I only really gave the game an hour’s worth of my attention and it just didn’t interest me, even though I really thought it would (after having read your Good Day to Die article). I thought it would so much that I spent almost a day downloading, unzipping, installing, and patching it. I even installed a second hard drive because I had been lazy lately and let my primary HD fill up.

    That’s how much I wanted this game to be fun. Unfortunately, for my style, it just wasn’t. 🙁

  • I would agree with the blog here to a point. Then say look at another aspect. In a blog of mine elsewhere, I talk about “give it to me now or don’t even make the game” or “Instant Gratification”. In these two blogs I go into great lengths explaining my thoughts on today’s MMO’s. I think the #1 issue that started gold farming and contributes to it is not just those that buy it, but the simple possibility that a game offers to allow it.

    Players have asked for a system so simple in MMO’s, that now it takes no real effort to deal with farming gold, contacting players etc. Our own request for easier game play has in turn made it easy for the gold farmer to contact us in game, farm the gold and more. With POTBS, I am in agreement that the devs with or without knowing have really made a good deterrent in the game for these practices.

    Finally, the player base that is remaining has one definite sign of a trend and that is a very mature player base. Nothing against the WoW fans out there etc, but those that are sticking with this title are those I would put in the EVE category. Understanding the long game, wanting to be involved in a highly in-depth economic system with a genre that is not mainstream. For me (again nothing against the kids personally out there) I am highly glad this game doesn’t cater to the masses.

    my 2 cents.

  • Slow moving combat seems fine to me. I’m an EVE-Online player, and really the games a big cosmic game of chess. Systems sieges that last for weeks or even months with thousands of players all playing different roles. Someone once described it as “Elevator music cut with brief interludes of heavy metal”. Of course there IS fast speed gank mania (Ie interceptor gang low-sec piracy), but the real meat is in the conquest.

    So this looks interesting to me. Melee for andrenaline, and naval combat for the brain. Question: When you get pwned, do you lose your ship? One thing I like with eve is losing ships is permanent (till you buy a new one). If your in a expensive faction ship that you saved up for a month to buy, PVP can get really really scary really fast. Even though it might be a slow grind of a fight, your almost nauseous from andrenaline.

    Also, is port capture permanant. Ie if you capture a port, is it yours until someone re-takes it? That could make for a really compelling game.

  • Yes to both your questions Dmx. 🙂

    Most ships have only 1 durability. The most I’ve ever seen on a ship is 4. Durability are points that determine how many “lives” your ship has or how many times it can be sunk. When you lose it, it’s gone.

    And as far as I’m aware when a port is taken it’s held by your nation until another takes it.

  • Well, not sure I agree with ya, Keen (about ship durability). Only civilian ships (those bought from vendors) have one durability point…those crafted or gotten as a reward have 4 to 6 durability points, I think. If your ship is sunk while you still have durability points, you do not lose your ship, but you *do* lose everything in the cargo hold. This includes raw materials, collectibles for quests, and manufactured goods, but does *not* include anything already installed on your ship.

    Ports, when captured, remain in the hands of the capturing nation until someone else re-captures it. This has critical economic ramifications — if Biloxi is the only nearby port which can manufacture widgets, then no one can get their hands on any widgets unless their nation controls the port. In addition, if you have a widget factory in Biloxi and some other nation captures it, you no longer have access to your factory there.

    Or so I believe. 🙂

    Love the blog…keep it up!

  • Thanks for the clarification Neil. 🙂 I’ve played a pirate for at least 90% of the time and I’m used to capturing ships. Captured ships have 1 durability. It’s definitely worth looking into getting a crafted ship then if they can have 4-6. That’s a great bonus.

  • The only way to eliminate RMT is to eliminate wealth, or any other differentiating characteristic that makes your avatar better or worse than someone else, be it stats, money or items. Bottom line : you cannot motivate people to play without also motivating them to cheat. If truly lock the game down where no one is motivated to get ahead by dropping some cash, then you’ve necessarily made your game suck enough that no one is willing to invest their time on it.

  • snafzg you have too be the stupidest gmaer on the internet you do not travel directly into the wind you angel you boat and sail too catch the wind while traveling almost in the same direction catching more wind than you would with it directly behind you

  • ok another thing i have seen 7 durability even captured ships only have 1 and three you dont lose everythig in your hold just your looted items and you equips