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Improvements To The Trading System

Trading Ideas Suggestions

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  • 82 posts

Hey all,


Let me begin by saying that I love the Dead Zone. it's an exceptional flash game, and certainly the one that I've spent the most time on. That being said, I'm sure that it's not a finished product, and that Con wants to take it to the next level. The current trading system does its job in a pinch, but we need to consider the facts that A) Trading is one of the core PvP elements that keeps the game interesting, and B) the current system is both difficult to use AND completely unviable if the game were to get more popular. The reasons that support these two claims are simple. PvP interaction is at the heart of of any truly successful game - players would quit soon if there weren't any. So to improve the game, you need to improve its core features. As for my claim that the current system is too difficult, it's because of the following factors: A) no base currency, B) prohibitive fuel cost (the benefit of free trade slots are small compared to their cost, C) the sheer volume of items being posted in the trade chat (imagine what it would be like if the game had 2x as many players on, or even 3x), and D) the need for prospective traders to be online at the same time, logged into the trade chat, and actively browsing the trade chat.


But I'm not one to outline a problem without providing a solution...or several. There are two main routes I think you (Con) can take to improving the current trade system. Either would do the trick in my opinion. So without further ado:


Option 1: Implement a system similar to the Auction House in Diablo 3. It would either REPLACE the current trading system, OR serve as a SECONDARY/PARALLEL system. I envision a listing service where users can post items for trade and then solicit trade offers (if you don't intend to implement a base currency into this game). The listing would have filters so that people looking for items can sort out what they need based on item type, item level, item stats, etc. The system would have the following caveats:


1. Listings are only active so long as the USER is active. The whole process of soliciting offers over a period of time is too tedious without a base currency - users would want to negotiate, and they might trade items before an agreement is reached. Since the system is designed to solicit offers, it only makes sense for listings to be active so long as the user is active, so that negotiation can be done in real time.


2. A separate chat window/function would be included solely for this feature. There's almost too much volume in the current trade chat room system as it is. Users need to find a more efficient way to negotiate without being bombarded by the chatter of other users. My vision is there will either be 3rd tab on the chat window for this purpose, or the trade tab be replaced with this. You would only get messages from users who want to make a bid on your item(s). The new tab for this trade function would consist ONLY of incoming/outgoing private messages for negotiation on items listed.


3. Some minor, finishing details. The usual fuel cost would be implemented once an agreement is reached. The option to list items and take them down would be put in the new trade tab of the chat system - or you could put in a new function on the bottom right along with survivors, inventory, and such. A limit on how many items a user can post at any given time might be helpful. Incoming trade pms would be differentiated based on what item they concern, and which user is pming (useful when there are multiple people contacting about the same item).


Option 2: Make the current system easier. Here's a list of improvements that would help:


1. Reduce the overall cost of trading. The current system is draconian - in part because the "free trade slots" are misleading. Either reduce the fuel cost completely, or improve the value of the free trade slots. I doubt you want to go the route of reducing fuel cost Con, so let's identify some possible improvements to the free trade slots (who's benefits are questionable in comparison to their cost).


     i) You could make it so that there would be a certain number of truly free trades in a day. For example, 3 free trades a day limited to 2 slots per trade, and BOTH users would have to have the free trade slots. Afterward, it would revert to the current system.


     ii) You could improve the number of free trade slots. At the very least, 3. Considering that less than half of all players have free trade slots, it's difficult enough to find them as it is.


2. Make it easier to find prospective trade partners. Who here has offered a unique for trade, yet 90% of all incoming offers are garbage offers by low level dreamers? Or, encountered low levels that demand the world for their rather cheap item? There's no clear cut solution to this, but at the very least there should be ONE more trade tab (not another channel, an entirely new tab on the chat function) for higher levels. If you were to keep the current system, there would have to be more trade channels anyhow - because of how much volume there already is in the current one.


3. Implement a base currency. This would make everything much easier. Instead of negotiating over items, people can now negotiate in trade rooms. Let me digress. Right now, most people prefer to negotiate through private messages - because most people tend not to have what they want in return. But if there's a base currency, then you know for sure they have something you want - just not necessarily enough of it. Icing on the cake is that you already have a possibility. You could make FUEL  the base trade currency - so that players can trade their items for FUEL. I don't think anyone would object to that.


While the current system does its job in a pinch, it simply is not good enough for the game to get to that next level.


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  • 195 posts

Any kind of Auction House kills player to player interaction, barter system is way better. Nowdays with "nex gen MMOs" (a.k.a money grab that goes F2P 6-10 months after launch and laughs at people who bought boxes for 50$) this disease is widespread, definitely NO to AH. Its horrid and this game gets big plus in my book for having good old barter system.


Trade cost is fine by all means, it lessens load on item database. Each query to it costs con money in process so price in fuel prevents traffic on it and simply limits trade to "good" stuff. You complain about chat being flooded with offers ? now think what happens when people will have easy access to 2-3 free trades per day...


And about currency, sorry but with game being F2P you wont see that, way to easy to create farming multi-accounts and Con`s team is way to small for active multi hunting.

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  • 165 posts

I dislike any idea that turns this further into an MMO game. Any more and this will just be a Dead Frontier clone.

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  • 2,533 posts

I don't see a problem with the current trading system.


>The fuel cost has already been halved since it was first introduced.

>Any other system would include bartering and fending off low-ball/useless offers

>Additional tabs/colour coding. You do realise Con Artists is a 4 person team don't you?

>A new base currency - This (as Orlean says) would create a two tier system. Those who pump money into the game and those who play recreationally. I would also veto the idea of a high level trade zone. What counts as high level? 20? 30? 40? only level 50? This would cause complaints and unrest amongst players

>More free trade slots - why not ask the developers for the shirt off their back too? People have paid money/fuel for their free trade slots, why should everyone else now benefit from it without the developers getting something for it


All in all, "I'm out"

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  • 111 posts


3. Implement a base currency. This would make everything much easier. ... You could make FUEL  the base trade currency - so that players can trade their items for FUEL. I don't think anyone would object to that.


Con objected to that proposition long ago.


I have to agree, that traiding with currency is much easier & better than barter-based trade system.

However, i can't agree with free trade, where players will set prices themselves.

It's be good (for both currency-based and barter-based systems) if each tradable item would have a "base fuel cost", which may be used for:


1) to learn how much more expensive one item than other one;

(first time i traded, i had no idea what i may ask for my items)


2) to take a tax (based on the item's "base fuel cost") from trade instead of current trade's cost;

(i don't understand, why players have to spend same amount of fuel when exchanging unique items and exchanging green items)

Edited by asyataka, 11 April 2013 - 08:25 PM.

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deleted ...


p.s. weird interface;

Edited by asyataka, 11 April 2013 - 08:26 PM.

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  • 165 posts

Currency is a horrible idea. barter-trade is an economic system when there is no one currency, and no official exchange rate.


unless coins become the official ingame currency(or like fallout "caps"), then the system is frozen right there.


Even if you did have currency, the problem is ITS INFINITE devaluing it. there's no real point in putting a price-tag when you can always get more currency.


Governments have to back up currency by basing it on something, like gold and silver. Gold and silver are useless. Water and food are the currency post-apocalypse.

Edited by Chaosticket, 11 April 2013 - 08:37 PM.

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  • 778 posts

A lack of a currency is one of the things that makes the dz trade system so cool...you actually get to talk to people and negotiate offers as opposed to plopping an item in the auction house and waiting, like they made in d3. This is one one the coolest things about dz, and a useless ever-inflating currency would kill it. The only currency that would be viable to trade is fuel, but con made his choice regarding that, so no. Things like food/ammo/resources are too cheap to trade for the fuel cost we have now...and plus no one really has too much need for that, nothing you can't scavenge. I say we keep the barter system, its the simplest and yet the most interesting version of an economic system in mmo's today.

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A lack of a currency is one of the things that makes the dz trade system so cool...you actually get to talk to people and negotiate offers ...


I don't understand what "cool" in negotiating in a foreign language.



The only currency that would be viable to trade is fuel, but con made his choice regarding that, so no.


Con didn't say, but i guess that only "free fuel" will never be a currency.


I'm impressed, that no one proposed to separate "free fuel" and "purchased fuel". The last one may be used as currency and converted to "free fuel" (but not back). For example:


- "fuel canister" is a stackable item that may be recycled into 20 fuel or used as item for trade;

- player receives 25 x "fuel canister" when buying 500 fuel instead of fuel (55 x "fuel canister" instead of 1100 fuel and so on);

- "fuel canister" can be obtained only by purchase or trade with other players;


p.s. even keycards may be a currency if their cost was less & supply boxes content were some more valuable;


Keep in mind, that fuel is already used as currency for some trades ( fuel -> shop -> book -> trade -> item ) and only variety of books ( and other purchaseble items in the shop ) limits players abilities to trade & and transfer fuel from one account to another.

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