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Cold: Show best open offer when creating trades and allow entering ratios as well as quantities

Do you like the idea?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 47.1%
  • No

    Votes: 9 52.9%

  • Total voters
    17
Status
Not open for further replies.

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
Proposal:
Modify the market to make it easy to see the best trade ratio when trading two goods, and to allow entering a ratio instead of a number

Have you Checked the Ideas section for the same idea posted by someone else? Is this idea similar to one that has been previously suggested?
Yes, and no

Reason:
The 2:1 ratio for trading goods across eras is completely arbitrary and has nothing to do with supply and demand; a fair ratio would probably tend to be closer to 1.5:1 but would fluctuate in response to temporary spikes in supply and demand. However, the 2:1 ratio is easy and ingrained into the culture, and as a result, trading goods up is easy because lots of people are willing to take two lower-age goods in exchange for one higher-age good, but trading goods down is difficult and can take a long time unless a fellow guild-mate or a friend helps you out at their own expense. I went into much more detail on the economics of this in this post; the TLDR version is that the 2:1 ratio hurts people because it makes it hard to do trades that would make both people better off.

The main argument that I see against switching away from 2:1 as standard is that 2:1 is easy, but checking and calculating ratios is complicated and time consuming. So, why not change the interface to do that work automatically?

Details:
When you bring up the market window and search for a specific trade (say, offer honey/need copper), it shows you all offers, sorted by the best deal. So far so good. This allows you to grab the best deal in the market if you consider it good enough.

However, when you go to the Create Offer window, you are given no information on what other deals area available, and you have to enter specific quantities. Additionally, it defaults the quantities to a 2:1 (or 1:2) ratio if you select goods across ages.

What if, when you select goods, it displayed the ratio of the current best offer in the market? Additionally, what if there was a field for you to enter the ratio, and if you enter that instead of the quantity it would calculate the quantities automatically?

For example, let's say I want to trade Copper for Iron. It will tell me that the current best offer is at a ratio of 1:1.4 - i.e. I could get 140 iron for 100 copper. I could have seen that in the Trading tab that shows the list of available trades too, but this way I don't have to check. I decide I want a better deal than that and am prepared to wait for someone to accept it - maybe I want 1:1.6.

Then I enter 100 Copper, and then, instead of calculating ratios and quantities, I simply enter 1.6 in the ratio field. That would automatically calculate and fill in 160 in the Iron quantity field. I can double-check to make sure I'm happy with the proposed trade, and then click Create Offer.


Visual Aids:
A somewhat messy mock-up of how it could look:
Untitled.png


If you enter the quantities for Copper and Iron, it would calculate and display the ratio automatically.
If you enter the quantity for Copper and then enter a ratio, it would calculate and display the Iron amount automatically.
If you enter the quantity for Iron and then enter a ratio, it would calculate and display the Copper amount automatically.
If both quantities are entered and you modify the ratio, it should recalculate and update the lower quantity (in this case, Iron).

Balance:
This would not affect the balance of the game in any way. All it would do would be to aid more efficient trading.

A somewhat detailed discussion of the effect of trading with prices based on supply and demand rather than the arbitrary 2:1 ratio can be found in this post. The TLDR version is that it would make it easy to quickly trade resources across ages by making it easy to identify a true fair price that reflects supply and demand. If you want a fast trade, you beat the current best offer. If you want a better price and are prepared to wait for a spike in demand for what you're offering, you set a higher price. You would no longer have to rely on guild-mates and friends helping you out at their own expense. Additionally, the ready availability of accurate prices will tell people that certain goods are selling at a higher price, so they could ramp up production of those goods; if Copper is selling at high prices, people will start producing Copper to sell, which will eliminate the shortage.

Abuse Prevention:
None needed.
 

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
I'm curious as to why people are voting No.

The 2:1 ratio is fully ingrained into FoE culture, but it's manifestly not a fair price that reflects supply and demand. I understand the issue that calculating ratios is complicated and time consuming but that 2:1 is easy. But if the interface can do the calculation for you, what's wrong with it?
 

Knight of ICE

FoE Team
Forum Moderator
I'm curious as to why people are voting No.

The 2:1 ratio is fully ingrained into FoE culture, but it's manifestly not a fair price that reflects supply and demand. I understand the issue that calculating ratios is complicated and time consuming but that 2:1 is easy. But if the interface can do the calculation for you, what's wrong with it?
You are referring to a previous thread you made where you got hardly any support. So you propose it as an idea and now you are surprised people vote against it?

What's wrong with it is that people do not want it. They do not care about it. This is something important for you and the way you play. It does not make the game any better. It only makes YOUR GAME better.
 

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
I did get some support on that thread. And virtually every argument against it was "it's too complicated"; I'm suggesting that we take that complexity away by having the game handle it automatically.

And the thing is, it would make the game better. It would make it easier for people to make trades that would make both sides better off.

And for those who want to stick to 2:1, they would still be able to do so. People might not accept your trades if there was a better deal - but then that would prove my point that 2:1 is not fair and does not reflect supply and demand.
 
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potatoskunk

Master Corporal
If the game had been initially developed the way I'm suggesting, people would react to the idea of a fixed 2:1 ratio as absurd. 2:1 makes sense only because it's easier with the current interface and because we're used to it and it's become such a standard convention that it's thoroughly ingrained into people.

Do you really believe that age-up goods are worth exactly twice as much as age-down goods? Do you really not find it much quicker and easier to trade up than to trade down? Look at the trades you can currently see in your market; can you not see many more people trying to trade down than to trade up? Doesn't that prove that 2:1 is unfair according to supply and demand? And if 2:1 is unfair according to supply and demand, does that not prove that there are possible trades that could make both players better off, but that are not happening because of the arbitrary 2:1 price ratio?
 

rick of shaw

General
If you don't like a trade then don't take it. That has long been my approach to trades both in real life and on here. I like to think that most others on here think the same way. I would be much happier if the egg heads in Hamburg dealt with more important issues. I am sure many others would agree.
 

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
I think if I hadn't mentioned 2:1 in my initial suggestion that it would have been much better received. And the thing is, I'm not even trying to take 2:1 away from those who want to stick to it. I'm just asking for something that would make it easier for those who want an actual fair trade.

I don't take trades I don't like - unless I'm helping out a friend or guild-mate. In that case, I may take a trade that is at a ratio I consider unfair. But that means I never trade up with neighbours, even though they're more likely to have goods close to my era, simply because they expect 2:1.

If I look in my market, selecting a couple cross-era goods, I see lots of people trying to trade down - sometimes multiple pages totalling hundreds of goods. I almost never see anyone trying to trade up. Does that not scream out to you that something is wrong here?
 

klods hans

Monarch
I trade as much up (at 2:1) as I trade down (at 1:2), and I rarely have any problems getting my trades taken either by guild or hood.
It may not be a fair rate. But what is? With all the random goods we get from rewards and special buildings, it's almost impossible to calculate what at truly fair rate is.
 
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potatoskunk

Master Corporal
You may trade up as much as you trade down, but my experience, and it's clearly widespread, is that trading down is harder unless someone just helps you out to be nice.

You are absolutely right that there is no way to calculate a truly fair rate. Even if one could come up with a way to accurately calculate the cost of producing goods in terms of tiles, coin, production, etc. (and there have been attempts to do this), that only covers the supply side and completely ignores the demand side of the equation.

With my proposed system, there will be no need to calculate a fair trade. All you'll need to do is look at the current best deal in the market going the other way. If you like it, you take it. If not, you set up your own trade, and, depending on how quickly you want your trade to get taken, you either beat or match the current best offer, or if you're prepared to wait, you set a higher price.

Imagine you want to trade Copper for Iron. Suppose the current best Iron for Copper trade is at 1.4:1, and the best Copper for Iron trade is at 1:1.6. If you consider that 1.4:1 price acceptable, you'll take it. Otherwise, you'll put up your own trade.
If you're in a hurry to get your trade accepted, you might beat the current best Copper for Iron price and put yours up at 1:1.5. Or, if you're willing to wait and try to get a better deal, you can put yours up at 1:1.7, and if there's a future spike in demand for Copper someone will eventually take that.

As a result, no calculations are needed, and the price will float up and down naturally in response to spikes in supply and demand. If someone wants to sell off a lot of Copper quickly, they'll have a hard time getting all those trades accepted unless they put up a lower price, and that will drive the price down. If someone wants to buy a lot of Copper quickly, they'll have to put up some high-priced trades, and that will drive the price up.

It's possible to do that now, but you have to manually check the best deal and manually calculate amounts and ratios. My suggestion allows people to continue to use 2:1 if they want, but eliminates the manual work of checking the best deal and calculating amounts and ratios.
 

Powe

Brigadier-General
Even if one could come up with a way to accurately calculate the cost of producing goods in terms of tiles, coin, production, etc. (and there have been attempts to do this), that only covers the supply side and completely ignores the demand side of the equation.
People already have.
 

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
Yes, people have tried, but different people have come up with different ratios, and they don't all agree with each other. And they don't accurately reflect the cost of producing the goods when you consider all the various ways goods can be obtained (special buildings, CF bonuses, etc.), and it completely ignores the demand side of the equation.

If there's a sudden spike in demand for Copper because a major guild suddenly discovers that their treasury is running out of it, that should temporarily drive the "fair" price up, even if it doesn't change the cost of production. Any formula based on cost in tiles is fixed and won't react to temporary spikes in supply or demand.
 

Any Empire

Sergeant
Ideas that people are not interested in do not make the game better. They only make your game better.
So, we should never bring up new ideas for review, revision and more discussion?

The OP makes a valid point, and answers the complexity problem with a new proposal. Change is always difficult; big deal.
The question is whether or not the change is worthwhile. Making it automatic reduces complexity. Folks can still use 2:1 or 1:2 ratios. All this does is increase choice and allows the market to be more flexible for the users.

Don't want to take advantage of it; don’t; problem solved. For those who trade frequently, this could be useful. It would also be a bit more fun.

Or are you dissing the millions of people that trades shares of stocks every day in part because they enjoy the challenge of trying to beat the market? (as unrealistic as that hope may be)
 

Any Empire

Sergeant
Ideas that people are not interested in do not make the game better. They only make your game better.
Good example of a " hasty generalization" that is not supported by anything other than your opinion. You have no proof of any kind that "people are not interested"

First, there are votes (very few) both for and against. You make an unjustifiable assumption that because a tiny % of FoE players using this forum don't 100% endorse an idea (currently 6 for, 7 against), that this in some way is a relevant indicator that thousands of FoE players aren’t interested in discussing alternative trading approaches.

Second, the issue of "fair" vs "unfair" trade ratios comes up pretty often, signaling quite a few folks (I did not say ‘most’ or ‘all’) might like to see other options. One thread started on Apr 9, 2018 , others on Jan 27, 2020, May 25, 2020,

Before, most suggested alternatives required the player to do the calculations using an external calculator and/or complex formulas. [ Just to note,, some folks figure out all sorts of complex ways to eek out as many RQs as possible, when collecting coins/supplies. ] Nothing complex about this being done automatically, as OP suggests. Nor does it make trading easier, which would be DNSL. Also, you could still limit abuse by keeping the overall boundaries at 1:2 and 2:1.
 

Any Empire

Sergeant
No. You should accept that not every idea is considered an improvement by everyone, so you should expect there can be players voting against it.
Nice trick, trying to claim I am the one having the problem that you seem to have. You are the one seemingly unwilling to accept that some (not all, not even most, just some) folks support the OP's idea. contrary to your implied claim

What's wrong with it is that people do not want it.
I simply called you out on that, since some did vote in favor of the idea. React as you want, but it would be nice if you react to the content of the idea, instead of just creating false choice:

Ideas that people are not interested in do not make the game better. They only make your game better.
Wrong. folks can not like ideas that do make things better, like wearing seatbelts, not smoking in movie theaters, not cheating in a game, etc. All sorts of rules exist that make games, and life better, but that some, even most, folks might not like.
 

potatoskunk

Master Corporal
To be fair, at the time he made his comment, there was one vote in favour (mine) and four against. I commented wanting to know why people were opposed - it's not like it changes anything for those who prefer to stick to 2:1, other than that they might eventually start to find it difficult to trade down at 2:1 because people will eventually start to realise just how unfair the 2:1 ratio is.

The effect of 2:1 is to help older, established players in late ages rip off newer players in earlier ages who are told that 2:1 is "fair", even though it is manifestly anything but. That's not usually the intent, and often those late-age players are quite generous in helping out newer guild-mates, but that is the effect.
 
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