Central Bank (in General)

kevinLeong July 26 2006 7:48 PM EDT

Now let me say this, I have no problem with the Central Bank...in general. I think its bidding is fine, and in general, I don't mind being outbidded by it.

HOWEVER, it is aggravating when it outbids me with under 10 mins in the auction left, mainly because it causes the auction to roll back to 14 mins, as well as raising the price last minute.

If it could only bid BEFORE the 14 mins left I'd be a much happier buyer....

SBW July 26 2006 7:49 PM EDT

I sadly agree

QBRanger July 26 2006 7:52 PM EDT


This has been brought up many times in the past, and Jon has no plans to change things from the way they are now.

His thoughts are basically that one should bid market value for items and if you do not, Central Bank will.

kevinLeong July 26 2006 7:53 PM EDT

Worst part is that I would've won the auction, but now because of the extra time someone else (who hadn't bidded before the extra time) has entered the market....

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 26 2006 8:25 PM EDT

In Kevin's defense, he is not suggesting Central Bank not bid, he is simply asking for the bid to be placed before it would actually increase the auction time. I would be PLENTY happy if CB stayed out of the auction business entirely, but asking CB to not actually create longer auctions from its bidding seems a reasonable request to me.

P.S. I do not want nor need Central Bank's assistance in selling my gear. In all my YEARS of playing CB and selling heck lets say conservatively 500mil NW of gear on CB1 and CB2, I have never needed its help, and this has not changed.

kevinLeong July 26 2006 9:08 PM EDT

Right, I'm saying its perfectly fine that Central Bank bids on stuff and that it raises the bid closer to market value.

I just don't want it doing it with under 14 mins left.

That's a reasonable complaint, no?

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 12:44 AM EDT

Kevin, maybe that other bidder knew that central bank was likely to bid and was waiting until afterwards before bidding, its the only was to get bargains.

AdminNightStrike July 27 2006 12:47 AM EDT

"His thoughts are basically that one should bid market value for items and if you do not, Central Bank will."

So what's the point of an auction? To pay market price or higher? Are we not allowed to find good deals anymore?

the only saving grace of the CB bidding system is that it will only bid once. What this means is that for every single auction, you must wait until 16 minutes remain before placing your first bid, then wait and watch it solidly for those 16 minutes until it ends. There is zero point in bidding on an auction with a time remaining greater than 16 minutes.

quicksilver [/me Forge Stuff :D] July 27 2006 3:28 AM EDT

I thought Central Bank only bid on stuff sold by the auctioneer. Does the bank bid on player auctions as well?

I agree that the timing of the bid is annoying. If you can't be online when the auction expires, you're out of luck - the bank gets to win the auction even if you would willingly pay the higher price.

AdminNightStrike July 27 2006 3:29 AM EDT

You always have to be online when the auction expires to win the auction. And yes, it bids on any valid auction.

bartjan July 27 2006 3:43 AM EDT

"You always have to be online when the auction expires to win the auction."


AdminNightStrike July 27 2006 3:47 AM EDT

Ok, fine. If you want a prayer's chance at winning the auction without being sniped by another user or by CB itself, then it's best to be online when it expires.


bartjan July 27 2006 4:07 AM EDT

Just bid a fair price...

AdminNightStrike July 27 2006 4:23 AM EDT

That's a ludicrous answer. If nobody wants the item, then what CB thinks is a "fair price" is too high. It will bid on the item, thus keeping the average auction price higher when no real person is actually bidding.

Besides, why should I be hindered from getting a good deal? If someone puts an auction up and nobody bites at the chance for whatever reason (ie, too busy with other stuff), why should I now pay extra because I'm the only one bidding?

You are implying that a bid isn't fair. Fair to whom? The average? This goes back to the massive lack of understanding of basic economics that has been here for so long... For whatever reason, people are only allowed to move the "average price" of anything, be it an item or $CBD, within a certain unspoken tolerance that's different for whomever happens to be listening. That's beyond incomprehensible.

bartjan July 27 2006 4:36 AM EDT

CB does bid based on (recent) previous auctions. So its price is a right price for the type of item.
If an item is worth $1M, then please don't bid $500k and complain about sniping...

An economy does not only consist of buyers. There are also sellers...

AdminNightStrike July 27 2006 4:50 AM EDT

Your concept of worth is flawed. The worth of an object is that for which someone is will to pay. If a seller puts out a minimum bid and I bid on that, and I am willing to pay that amount, then it is "worth" that amount.

Saying that my bid is not right doesn't make any sense. Why have a minimum, then?

Again, this goes back to the fact that you personally have an idea in your head, whether formulated precisely or not, as to how quickly the average price of an item can change. You, like most people, will look at recent auctions say that since someone just bought a Corn for $1m, then I can buy it for 900k. That's a good deal. But if I buy it for 800k, that's a rip off.

What it comes down to is the speed at which prices change. People around here seem to think that things shouldn't change quickly at all, and everyone individually has their own interal idea of how quickly a market can move without being considered a rip off.

CB has its own idea, as well, for the rate of price fluctuation and enforces that idea quite thoroughly. (Luckily, CB can't touch the FS/WTB threads. I like FS/WTB for that reason alone.) Also, thankfully, CB gives up after one bid to control the market price. What that translates into is that minimum bids are never minimum bids. It's essentially 3 bids under the minimum, as you will bid, CB will bid, then you have to bid again.

FYI, "sniping" in auction terms is waiting until near the end of the auction to bid.

bartjan July 27 2006 4:52 AM EDT

Your theories only work if the market is large enough...

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 7:21 AM EDT

Nightstrike - "It's essentially 3 bids under the minimum, as you will bid, CB will bid, then you have to bid again."
If you think central bank will bid why would you put that 1st bid in?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 27 2006 7:24 AM EDT

Because bidding You, then CB then you again might still be far under the market value, and what you would have needed to bid so as not to get CB bidding at all.

But it's a little more risky. ;)

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 7:25 AM EDT


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 27 2006 7:57 AM EDT

If you bid again after CB, you might get a steal! ;)

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 8:01 AM EDT

Yes but it will still be 1 increment higher than the price had you not put your 1st bid in.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 27 2006 8:27 AM EDT

LOL! True! ;)

Be patient and wait for CB to bid! ;)

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 8:34 AM EDT

Thats the idea, unless you are going to outprice CB with your bid don't bother and let those who are waiting till the end get item for less :)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 27 2006 10:13 AM EDT

So to bring this back around again, I agree with EVERYONE who says Central Bank should be OUT of the artificial price inflation business, but that is not going to happen.

SO, I again think it is reasonable to ask Central Bank to place the bid some time BEFORE the 15 minute mark so it does not create an artificially longer auction in addition to an artificially higher price, which again is all the creator of this thread is asking for.

Wasp [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] July 27 2006 11:42 AM EDT

I didn't read the rest of the thread but,

"His thoughts are basically that one should bid market value for items and if you do not, Central Bank will. "

Technically whatever amount has been bid on an item is market value.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 27 2006 11:44 AM EDT

Sounds cool Sef. CB could bid in the second before the 15 minute mark. :) (Or is it 10 minutes when auction time refreshes?)

AdminJonathan July 27 2006 11:45 AM EDT

"Central Bank should be OUT of the artificial price inflation business"

really, CB is only in the "delete items from the economy" business. it's only everyone trying to snipe everyone else that brings about any of the former.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 27 2006 12:10 PM EDT

Jon, that is my fault, I let my own personal opinions get in the way of the true point of the post, and for that Kevin I do apologize, all Kevin wants is to not have CB bid so that it the bid creates additional time for the auction (as in bid before the 15 min mark).

There are numerous examples where CB has bid after the 15min mark and created longer duration auctions because of it.

Xenko July 27 2006 1:18 PM EDT

"An economy does not only consist of buyers. There are also sellers..."

That's why the seller can set a minimum.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 7:51 PM EDT

I am sorry for taking things off track too Kevin, I think it's a fine idea to have CB bid 15 minutes before the auction end.
Now going back off track ;)

"Central Bank should be OUT of the artificial price inflation business"

really, CB is only in the "delete items from the economy" business. it's only everyone trying to snipe everyone else that brings about any of the former.

Eh, I'm sure you have commented on peoples lack of understanding of supply and demand before Jon, what effect on prices should purchase and destruction of items from have? I kind of understand trying to differentiate the inflation of prices from the destruction of items but just because your aim is maybe subtly different from merely supporting prices you cannot escape the market forces which link them.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 27 2006 8:23 PM EDT

Trying to resist, failing.

OK. First let us begin with some basic premisies.

When a user places a bid on any item at any price, that user wants the item at the price in which he placed his bid. Sounds simple I realize, but this is important.

Once that bid is placed a "market value" can be said to be assigned to the item in question, at the level of the last bid.

If that market value is perceived to be to low to another user, and they want the item, they will then place a higher value bid, which in turn makes a higher market value.

So, when CB bids on an item that already has bids on it, it is not trying to remove unwanted items, it is trying to remove items whose "market value" is less than a system determined market value.

AND if all this is true, then I cannot differentiate between, artifically creating a higher price and deleting items that have a market value less than a system percieved value.

AND I will add this, (like this post needs more words) IF CB was not bidding on items that already have bids, a user MIGHT feel more comfortable placing a higher value bid than the next availble increase, and then letting the auction go, hoping his bid is high enough to scare off other users, and NOT having to worry about whether CB thinks their bid is still below a system perceived market value.

This of course happens with all high demand items in auctions. CB never has a chance to bid because someone wants the item so much they place a significantly larger bid on an item in hopes it will be all that is necessary to win the auction.

Last point and I will try to leave this alone. I think a LOT of people wait until after the CB bid, to make their bid and I think this is creating downward pressure on prices.

WindMaster July 27 2006 8:38 PM EDT

Agree with Sefton!!!

How about a Poll, see how many people want CB in Action.

A question, what are the economic benefits to delete items from the economy?

One thing I can think of so far is, maybe to free up some server space?
Any others...?

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 27 2006 9:46 PM EDT

Sefton, Jon didn't say he was removing unwanted items from the game just removing items. I don't think you can be in that business without being in the price support business too. The former must lead to the latter, increasing liquid assets whilst decreasing supply of items puts upward pressure on prices.

Your point about CB bidding adding to the depression of prices is interesting, with users getting more savvy about CB it wouldn't surprise me if you were right. Maybe Jon will have to change the way it bids if it is to go on removing many items.

You might think that a mechanism like the NUB would help keep the market buoyant but that has not been the case.
I imagine the NCB sucks up quite a lot of cash now.

With items spawning regularly the market really needs a healthy supply of new players wanting stuff. A lower sell out rate after 4, 5 ,6 months would help too.
For now maybe the little shot in the arm, AKA tank blender will kick start things :)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 27 2006 10:33 PM EDT

I agree borderliner, but his response seemed to infer direct opposition to the concept of price support, I was trying to show a direct correlation.

Relic July 27 2006 11:24 PM EDT

Here is my take on things. First, economic principles apply to large and small economies alike. Fundamental principles exist that keep prices in check through supply and demand. By allowing a seller the right to set a minimum price in effect creates their own "lowest perceived market value". Exchange perceived with desired and it works too. Just like a stock that has buyers and sellers, there are bids (offers at various prices) and asks (desired prices). Only when these two intersect is there a transaction.

In the CB Auction system, it should maintain the same principles. The min bid, should be not only the min bid, but also the min purchase price. By having a bot (yes it is a game initiated bot system) bid the "current calculated market price" is absurd. The market determines the price, not the past transactions.

If I list an item and it doesn't sell, then it doesn't sell. There was no demand for the item or the item at the price I desired. I either have to change my price of bide my time until there is demand.

Let's not take logic out of the equation here. We are intelligent people, we do not need to be patronized by a "helping hands" auction bot. Jon's intentions were good, no one is questioning that, but let's right a flaw with the Auction System and move on.

{CB1}Lukeyman July 28 2006 12:05 AM EDT

Lets just say we're all right =D

bartjan July 28 2006 12:33 AM EDT

"Central Bank should be OUT of the artificial price inflation business"

really, CB is only in the "delete items from the economy" business. it's only everyone trying to snipe everyone else that brings about any of the former.

--Jonathan, July 27 2006 11:45 AM EDT

Matrim, CB bids not to push the price up, but to control the ratios of what items are in circulation in the economy.
By only bidding on items that are unpopular (i.e. have a low bid price in auctions), and not on the popular items, it gives Jon a great tool of controlling how much of each item is needed in our little economy.
This is much harder (and slower) to do on the supply side, so he does it on the demand side...

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] July 28 2006 6:40 AM EDT

Matrim, I don't have much faith in a pure market to regulate important human affairs in the real world (don't think many governments do either these days) and see little reason why Jon should have to do so here. We don't have a true free market here anyway as the means of production are wholly controlled by an agency outside of the market (ok I understood that in the camping days the spawn rate was related to battles, and I assume that is still the case but Jon still gets to decide the equations that work on those numbers) if you want a proper free market you should be asking for something akin to forging which allows users to create items ;)
I'm in favor of Jons intervention and see no reason to slavishly follow free market principles in CB but lets not try to say that users can be paid for items with "freshly minted cash" and then destroy those items without supporting prices.

QBJohnnywas July 28 2006 8:57 AM EDT

The last minute outbid has been annoying to me too. But with regards to the pricing: even Central Bank's higher bids are still a lower price than a lot of items went for before the end of camping.

Pro campers (sorry Seft and co - hey! that sounds like a 70s funk band) still miss the old days of the camp but I simply remember the high prices of rares. I could never afford to buy the items I wanted. Since the demise of camping prices are a lot lower and Central Bank's bids are still at the low end of things in comparison to how things were.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 9:10 AM EDT

I agree with you 100% Johnny. Prices are way down over when campers controlled the market. Good thing, bad thing, debatable I guess depending on if you were a camper or not. But as much as I would love to debate the good or bad of camping and spawning into auctions, I realize that it would be moot. Things are how they are.

Kevin just wants Central Bank to bid before an auction runs past the 15 minutes to go mark, so that Central Bank's bid does not artificially inflate the time of the auction.

I would be plenty happy if Central Bank did not bid at all. I would be plenty happy if it only removed those items that received no bids. But as much as I would like to, I am not advocating a return to camping in this thread.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 9:26 AM EDT

Matrim, CB bids not to push the price up, but to control the ratios of what items are in circulation in the economy.

bart, there is no difference. If you decrease supply, you increase price. If you increase supply, you decrease price. The "motive" behind economic factor is immaterial to the effect.

I am an oil company. I see unrest in the middle east as a way to inflate the price of oil, so I further the effect and tell my oil production system to decrease the amount of oil it produces. Less oil produced means the price per barrell goes up. I am sleazy and I deserve to be shot.

I am an oil company. Through no fault of anyone there is an unfortunate accident at my main oil production facillity that causes a drastic decrease in the amount of oil I produce. The price of oil goes up.

The why is nothing to the effect. Which is my point. It doesn't matter what the motive is for Jon to bid on items, it STILL creates a situation of artificial price support, and I still think it is unnecessary.

QBJohnnywas July 28 2006 9:29 AM EDT

Seft: No, I realise that, but some people's responses to the original post seemed to imply the 'fair market price' was not actually fair at all. I agree with the original post, I've been 'sniped' so to speak by Central Bank myself. But I guess being something of an old timer here I remember when prices were a little higher!

It certainly wasn't a dig at camping, if you look back through my threads there are more than enough comments from me having no problems there at all; it was more a comment on current prices.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 9:33 AM EDT

Ah I understand Johnny, the term "market price" simply means the price the market is willing to bear or pay.

A fair market price really only means that the price is such that all who demand are able and willing to buy at the market price.

There is no doubt in my mind the spawned item auction system creates a fair market price, the point for me is, it would do that without Central Bank's help.

AdminJonathan July 28 2006 1:17 PM EDT

Sefton, my comment about CB not pushing up prices was in the context of auctions CB does not win. Everyone* here understands that when CB *does* win auctions, that will indirectly push up the price of other items.

* Well, okay, there are some exceptions, but not me or bart. :P

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 1:25 PM EDT

LOL fair enough and makes a lot more sense in that context.

Zacharia Andrew Pa!n July 28 2006 1:40 PM EDT

I like it the way it is. I like knowing there is something there keeping the economy falling out from underneath us. We watched it happen and saw Jon make a great change to auction when he went through the learning process of how to do the store without a store. He's done everything he can to try to keep this game with a serious set rate pricing. I do applaude him on that and any and all of his staff.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 1:46 PM EDT

I will say this though. I think that after a person has lost an auction because they were not on CB at the time Central Bank overbid them, they are now a lot more cautious about making a bid.

Just a quick example of what I think is happening.

A shadow cloak spawns, and there a few bids, then someone stops the madness with say 150K bid. This is still below the system perceived market value, but above the level where one might want to let cash sit in an auction just to know how it turns out. I often make the first bid so that I can simply track the auction using the My Bids section. So once that 150K bid is placed, I know two things. One if there are no other bids Central Bank will overbid it with somewhere close to 15mins or so to go on the auction. If someone does place a bid, but it is still below system perceived value they are only costing themselves money. CB will bid the next incremental bid. It is silly for me to bid incrementally until CB does for I only drive up my own price to win. Sure if I am not going to be here with 15mins to go, I could look into Item>Overview, determine at what level CB will not be triggered to bid, and make a bid at that level. But it could be considerably higher than the next incremental bid, and if I even might be here for CB's bid why should I waste money?

OK that got a lot longer than I wanted it to. (shock SURPRISE)

The point is, logically speaking there are only two bids to make. A bid that will assure CB will not bid, or one right after CB bids, any other bid only costs me money. I beleive this logic is actually causing a downward pressure on price.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 28 2006 1:54 PM EDT

Just another quick thought.

IF CB is going to bid it should either bid a LOT sooner, giving users a chance to drive up the price by overbidding for the item, OR it should bid at the level in which the next overbid would be beyond the point Central Bank would step in.

OR heck even just keep bidding incremntally until it wins or someone hits the threshhold with their bid.

Any of those scenarios would create upward pressure on price.
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