Im Confused about Broker

Discussion in 'General Gameplay Discussion' started by Fixit, Jan 6, 2023.

  1. gambitak Well-Known Member

    I've been a DB developer since 1991/92, having used dBase IV for the DoD; I moved on to other database schemas as I've advanced in my career, including FoxPro, which I did for a utility company; believe it or not, database professionals had a lot to choose from in 1999; however, since I wasn't part of Verant's tech meetings, I don't know their decision making process. Having run a few emulated servers of "various games", I can tell you that database efficiency hasn't been the driving factor in anything I've seen.

    As for EQ2, I have absolutely no clue to their decision making paradigm. I mean, everything I've seen in-game, such as stat inflation, damage number inflation, et al., has a technical price to it; and, it seems, that DBG is willing to pay that price. Personally, I think that this decision is shortsighted... which may very well tell us customers about how the company is viewing their product.
    AOE1 and Geroblue like this.
  2. Dude Well-Known Member

    This is a really interesting point. One of the main complaints in DDO is that the amount of coin that a toon can carry is very limited, "4,294,967pp, 2gp, 9sp, 5cp to be exact, the limit of a 32-bit unsigned integer in cp." That's from the wiki, but it does make me wonder, assuming it's true, how much this plays in the cost of games.
    Mugwort and gambitak like this.
  3. gambitak Well-Known Member

    Wow, I had no idea, that's kinda' cool; thanks!
    Dude likes this.
  4. Geroblue Well-Known Member

    Not in use today... but I did my university homework on a DEC VAX 11/730. There were various integers. Int, Short Int, and Long Int. The one used determined the size of the number it could hold. Probably had unsigned Int as well.
  5. Heresford Active Member

    It's pretty cool to come across another database professional here. I'd pretty much forgotten about the existence of dBase.

    I think the original point that Sweety D was making was that there weren't well known, easily available, easy to implement, and easy to use alternatives to relational database engines at the time. The only things I was exposed to back in 1999 were OLTP and OLAP solutions, and I had zero knowledge of OLAP development or administration at the time. What we were talking about was the use of flat files for storage instead of a database engine, so database efficiency wouldn't have been a limiting factor. We were trying to guess why they were using flat files, and one of the possibilities was that relational storage didn't match their needs at the time.

    My experience hasn't included gaming engines, and is exclusive to relational database engines, but I've seen poor design bring an application to tears at scale. That's as much as I can say without knowing more about game application architecture. I can only speculate, but I would assume that it would rely heavily on effective load balancing, connection pooling, and in-memory operations.

    You are dead on about the stats. I can understand that scaling up the numbers would allow them to work with a much larger spread of possible values and increase the amount of possible tweaking, but going from an integer data type to a long integer or big integer data type means going from 2 bytes per value to 4 bytes per value, doubling the amount of storage and memory necessary. The proliferation of events in combat just increases the strain on everything, including server/client fetches, which just drag everything down. I personally think they went far overboard when the velocity of combat events passed human readability. It's also likely that it affects the population that can be supported per instance, lowering the delta at which new instances must be spun up. Maybe their auto-scaling is cheap, but who knows?
  6. AOE1 Well-Known Member

    Why not just forget the whole idea of delisting the items in the first place. This "fix" seems to me to be just more nonsense that should not have been needed in the first place.
    Lateana, Breanna, Ephras and 2 others like this.
  7. gambitak Well-Known Member

    I just came across the actual dot matrix printout of my first dBase script attempt; kinda' funny, actually!

    If we're talking a small database, the increase in bytes wouldn't matter so much; however, it becomes increasingly more costly, in terms of tech overhead, the larger the database is - not quite exponential, but darn close.

    I remember actually following code through memory and CPU processing during my training and the larger the dataset was the more resources were required to process that data. It just makes sense. While they may have changed what we see as far as damage goes, the system should still be processing those insanely large numbers.

    I find it fascinating. As long as the game works, I guess I don't necessarily care; however, I definitely am interested in their architecture/setup.
    Geroblue likes this.
  8. Sweety D Well-Known Member

    TLDR: We lost 33% of all items on the broker because of the terrible changes.

    Being that the broker is a hot topic again. I am replying to my old post with some interesting data updates. For context, my first post above was a reply to some questions I was asked. Not important for my post today. I wanted to talk about the data today.

    Old broker stats from January 2023:
    • There are 131,023 items for sale on the broker at this moment.
      • 63,520 level 0 items. This means these are mostly crafting, housing, quest items etc. It's impossible to tell which of these are old vs. new with out reading each item.
      • 49,760 items level 1-120
        • 40,200 of these are below level 100
      • 12,293 items level 121-125
    New broker stats from August 2023:
    • There are 87,864 items for sale on the broker at this moment.
      • 49,760 level 0 items. This means these are mostly crafting, housing, quest items etc. It's impossible to tell which of these are old vs. new with out reading each item.
      • 30,704 items level 1-120
        • 23,024 of these are below level 100
      • 7,392 items level 121-125
    Here is what we lost:
    • 33% loss of all items
    • 22% loss of items from level 1-120
    • 39% loss of items below level 100
    • 40% loss of items from level 121-125
    It seems many people have stopped selling, I attribute much of this problem to the broker changes. It's just to difficult to maintain large amounts of items every time the broker resets listings. I would guess that smaller markets are not good for the economy and don't lower prices.
    Geroblue likes this.
  9. Celestia Well-Known Member


    More broker changes, why am I not surprised?

    I’ve been busy with other games, but I hopped on today to check the broker and now I understand. The gifts that keep on giving in this game are starting to really be hilarious.
  10. Kattt Well-Known Member

    Feedback/complaint part:

    I have not had any time to deal with this issue lately. Bag organizing seems to take half my time these days, and dealing with some of the silly decisions I am seeing more and more of. For example, decisions to make items we easily dumped into depots, are now heirloom or not tradeable, so I have to spend MORE time bag cleaning and figuring out what to do with stuff. Then there is the flying issues. I have no time to do alts toons through content anymore. Once a player has unlocked flying (filler content used to make up for growing lack of resource in this game) then flying should be unlocked account wide. Seemingly because the people highest up don't want to fund for proper running of this game, they have to fill in with artificial fillers to keep people logged in. I am SORRY, this makes me want to log out of game. It is phony. Do these people not see that, for example on my server, less and less people are logging in? People look for groups and struggle to find people to fill slots. Constantly asking for certain classes, (putting aside how messed up some classes are and people don't want to play anymore) more and more sounds of crickets in chat channels, and questions going unanswered in them as well. And now you want to frustrate the broker too?

    I used to be able to level up and gear up and get at least 3-5 toons ready for end content so I could switch around to classes as needed. I can NO LONGER do that. Because of bad decisions. I am lucky I can do one to two. People also do not seem to like this last expansion much. I am seeing people who logged in a lot before, rarely log in now. Have the people running this show gotten the hint yet??

    But then yesterday I realized two things about the broker. I started taking time to finish some housing projects since grouping is teetering on edge of extinction on our server. I started looking for a few items on the broker, mostly quested or collection reward items. These are things that, up until these absurd broker changes took place, were not hard to find. At least a dozen or more of these items appeared at any given time that I could get, when say my character had already did that quest, or collection, and needed more of some of the items. Now, no matter what I look up, there are almost NONE to be found. For two, things that I listed to sell not that long ago were suddenly delisted. Any of you at DB think I have time to relist these things amongst all the other aggravating garbage thrown at us? Seriously? You think I even slightly want to camp to a dozen characters to recheck brokers and relist items? I am sorry, but even gradual increasing is still (words I won't say here,) but frustrating to say the least.

    How long do you think you can frustrate loyal long term players before we start to say, I have had enough? I have been back 3 years and I am so close to wanting to pack it in once again.

    Then I come here and see this thread and realize why I can no longer find the housing items I am looking for. People have them on their broker to sell, but either don't have time, or don't realize (too busy grinding lousy flying privileges because they artificially elongate content) they have been delisted, and then those items don't get passed and sold around in game. You have almost grinded inter-player commerce in this game to a halt. (Almost, even if not quite.)
    What the heck are you doing?

    Look at those numbers! 30-40% loss of items from broker! Do you see this is cause and effect of a VERY bad decision? I was even hopeful the broker limit would help economy, despite I think it was not the best way to implement with limit. But has anyone ever seen a situation in or out of game where forcing people to do things a certain way actually helped any economy? I honestly don't see any improvement like a year later from broker limit. (Doing both the cap AND the delisting together was a TERRIBLE decision. Test one thing at a time.) The cost of Krono just keeps sliding right back up again. Prices for items that do still remain on broker, despite their player-frustrating choices, are ridiculously high. So what good did that do? I still can't find simple festival dividers for like less that 1-200,000 plat PER. Is the lesson yet that you cannot force the economy to go the way you wish? It is about supply and demand...period. If you want to make changes....change the supply and demand. Bring more players back to increase supplies with GOOD choices, and so on.

    I got so fed up with so many bad choices I just logged out tonight. I am going to go play something else and maybe come back another day, mostly when I miss friends or deco or something. But fact is, I am logging in less and less these days.
    Is this game going to hit 20 yrs and fold? It feels like the people running things are milking until its time to close up shop. The effort from them feels gone to even try to get things better.
    The sad part, is many (not all) of the devs for this game seem to really care and put in really hard and creative efforts. But I can sense their feeling of exhaustion and being overwhelmed constantly. It is like those running things have chosen them to be their whipping post. Especially when players are so frustrated. I can see why both sides are feeling frustrated.

    And for whomever listed the link and said the reason for broker delisting was given as lag...please do share where lag was stated. I cannot find that or ANY explanation anywhere. What they said was this:
    "This is working as intended. We recently added the functionality to delist items on the first server restart after 7 days from when the item(s) were listed.
    We are updating the functionality and increasing the timer and will provide details in a future update's patch notes."

    If I have missed where they actually gave reasons instead of dismissing it and saying that they might perhaps explain the future, I would like to see/know.

    All these terrible decisions just feel like lots of tiny little mosquitoes constantly biting at us. Eventually, campers get tired of the bites and pack up their camp and leave. I cannot believe any of us would want this. I want this game, this brilliant work of art to survive! Please EG7 and with us here??

    These broker changes have not added anything good to my life, that of other players I speak to/interact with, and they have in fact frustrated. Where do we go from here? (And yes, even at, what are we at now, 28 days (?) is still frustrating. Your NUMEROUS no trade and heirloom item shuffle game, gives me no time to camp to a dozen toons and relist items.)
    I sure miss the days of grouping zones/content and being able to just FREELY sell my lots of gear.
    Now its all this no trade/heirloom garbage. Why the obsession with no trading??

    Supply and demand fuels a healthy economy. If you push players into leaving, that just leaves no supply, huge demand, and a broken broker.

    Whats up with that???

    Positive Feedback part:

    Anyway, on one last note. I made a promise I would cite good things along with any complaints about this game, to be fair. So I will end on this positive note. An effort to keep balance. A couple/few things you got right this past year or two:

    1) Hiring Niami (Denmum) was a smart idea. She visibly plays this game and understands the frustrations. She attempts to implement great ideas and helps. She sees things from many points of view. She even attempts to respond to players when forums often have just loud crickets. Her forum responses are PLENTIFUL, and even when her hands are tied, tries to respond and fight for players, and understand both sides of things. She communicates and when I saw how much she posts/responds on say the tradeskill or homeshow forums, I was SO impressed. And to whomever decided to do books of doors, faucets, and mountain/terrain...these are amazing! Thank you.

    2) The additional depots, ESPECIALLY the home depot was brilliant! Well done. One less thing we have to shuffle around our bags. One of the best changes you have made in years and YEARS! Bravo!

    3) The 64 bit upgrade was AWESOME sauce! I was crashing many many times a week before that. It was "throw computer against wall" kind of frustrating up until that. Now I hardly EVER crash...even when using my older PC. That was a GREAT move.

    4) When you sought to implement the Community Resource Council...that was a great move. Any attempt to communicate with players and make co-respect an important priority, is a great thing. You lead by example. But you only get half a thumbs up for this, because we haven't heard a thing about it, and it doesn't seem to have been followed through.

    5) Nothing new to many players here, but when I got back, wardrobe was new, and that was amazing! Bravo on that idea. But again, half a thumbs up for making players buy each line of slots. At least make a few lines free, and some paid. But only one line of slots free was not cool. But the idea is still great nevertheless. Well done on that space saver!

    6) The art and graphics in the last few expansions have been beautiful! I know there are complaints about mechanics, and yes I can see a lot of issues, but the art has been amazing. These designers create beautiful stuff. Love the housing items too.

    Ok, so I hope that helps the balance of complaints and least from me.
    I have a feeling you will get more of the latter, if you just communicate more. Ninja changes or changes with no explanations is not cool. I have faith, you CAN do better.

    First and foremost, PLEASE stop with the broker interference. Let people trade like adults. Freely.

    Thanks, peace, out.