View Full Version : Provisioners - Lower COGS and higher aggregate supply still needed

02-11-2005, 10:46 PM
I like the changes to NPC and summoned food as this alleviates a concern about NPC and summoned food being more attractive than provisioner food.However, the basic cost structure for Provisioners remains the same, which I believe results in prices that are simply too high for consumable goods. As things stand now, provisioner prices will remain high both because of the high demand, especially for drinks, and because there is a price floor set due to the high fuel costs.I do not feel that the resulting prices are reasonable in relation to the finances of casual players. When demand greatly outstrips supply, food and drink become luxury items, accessible primarily to powergamers and well funded alts. When supply is more equal to demand, costs will settle at a point very near the per unit manufacturing cost, which I believe is still higher than a casual player is comfortable paying, even for the very nice benefits the consumable brings.Provisioner food and drink ought to be available to all players at a reasonable price. That is my view, at least. It may or may not fit in with the overall design goals of the game, but I would certainly argue that playing with good food and drink is more fun than not, and hence the use of it ought to be encouraged by the game design.There are two things that need to change in order to bring provision prices down to where the average player feels that they are reasonable to pay. The first is a large increase in supply, as without this the buying pressure will keep the prices above even current materials costs. Secondly, the cost of manufacture needs to fall, so that provisions can be profitably sold at a price that makes them widely available.A solution that addresses both of these issues is an increase in recipe yields for provisioners. If "Finished" recipes yielded 1-4 units depending upon quality, not only would supply be increased, but the per unit costs would probably fall by 60% or more. Supply would be increased, and the price would be allowed to drop because the raw materials based price floor would be removed.I'm aware that this has been brought up before, and for whatever reason has not found favor... But with the craft changes coming in with this patch, the timing and situation are both ideal for this change. I sincerely hope that it is given due consideration as a needed economic and gameplay change that should improve the gaming experience for most players.

02-12-2005, 02:24 PM
<DIV>I did some testing tonight with food costs and selling them. I put 3 hour level 20 food (good for level 18-30 players) on the market for 2s 88c each.. and that was a pretty decent markup that more than covered the cost of my making the food. This relates to 1 silver per hour for food costs to the player.. add another silver per hour or so in for drink and you are at a whopping 2 silver per hour. Considering it is near trivial at those levels to make a gold an hour, I do not think that a price of 2 silver puts this out of range of any player.. casual or not.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Supply on the other hand is a diffferent issue... during prime time, people bought up the food faster tonight than we could make it (I had help with supplying the vendor)... of course, I was the only one selling food on the market, so the demand would be pretty high. Kinda hard to tell actual supply / demand issues when almost no one is selling. However..., the method I used to craft tonight was to make lower level food, which due to the speed at which I could craft it, I found to give me just as fast of Xp as crafting the higher level, but much slower to make food. The side benefit was, I never failed to get less than a pristine combine. Due to the speed of crafting, I was pumping out 3 full stacks of food per hour. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Which in short means, my single crafter can keep 60 players fully fed during the time I spend crafting. I do not think that this is to little. A single crafter being able to feed 60 players is a lot IMHO.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Bottom line.. I disagree completely. I find the price I need to sell at to be more than affordable by any type of player and I find the amount of players that I can supply to be quite large.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>01:41 AM</span>

02-12-2005, 09:50 PM
<DIV>On a side note... while I feel the costs involved for provisioner are ok, I do not feel that wasy for other tradeskills. Especially Sage, where unlike provisioner, only a fraction of what you can make is marketable and the demand is much lower due to the product not being a consumable.</DIV>

02-13-2005, 03:54 AM
I dont know what you are doing Kwoung but no way can I do 60 in an hour. I am lucky if I get 20-30. Since some of those are subcombines, refining honey for example, thats 15 an hour finished, but 1hr or less quality. A player 10 to 20 should be using level 20 food/drink, 20-30 using level 30, 30-40 using level 40. So while you say T2 is good for level 18-30 I believe that is incorrect. I am level 30 and I get better regen with level 40 drink by far than I do with level 20...level 20 drink/food is grey to me.I have considered this, I believe the answer for provisioners is increase the final combine numbers. To make one stack of 1hr level 40 Honey Fizzlepop costs almost 2 gold. That is enormous. I hardly have any money. I have as much money in my bank at 30 as I did at 20. So it costs me 2 gold to make less than one evenings worth of drink for my party which range between level 30-38. And 2 gold for a stack of 20 food....feeding the group for an evenings play.So, while some people may have found niches that enabled them to make tons of cash, most casual players have not taken advantage this way. It pains me to point out that this price increase punishes the players you want to keep. If I had time to make enough food and drink to sell I might make money. But I dont have time.~Eva<p>Message Edited by Evadne on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>03:02 PM</span><p>Message Edited by Evadne on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>03:07 PM</span>

02-13-2005, 04:45 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Evadne wrote:<BR>I dont know what you are doing Kwoung but no way can I do 60 in an hour. I am lucky if I get 20-30. Since some of those are subcombines, refining honey for example, thats 15 an hour finished, but 1hr or less quality. A player 10 to 20 should be using level 20 food/drink, 20-30 using level 30, 30-40 using level 40. So while you say T2 is good for level 18-30 I believe that is incorrect. I am level 30 and I get better regen with level 40 drink by far than I do with level 20...level 20 drink/food is grey to me. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <DIV>I do not agree that a level 20-29 player should have level 30 food. First off, I am 30 and level 40 food is red to me, secondly, like gear, having white, yellow, orange gear is a privaledge and not the norm by any means, and I feel the same should apply for food. Having equipment / food above your level is pushing the envelope and for that, you pay the price... which is costs that are above what your character can reasonably make during normal play. Drop down to green / blue food and you can easilly afford it. I personally have been using barely-grey to blue food, depending on my level s that is all that is available to me on test, and I find that my mana / health regen rate is fine.. I do not suffer from inordinate amounts of downtime by any means.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for speed in crafting, if I am pushin the envelope on what I am making (ie: it is just blue or above skill wise), it takes forever to make combines. However, my skill is currently 21 and I just knocked out level 13 green stacks of fish and crabs at the rate of almost 4 stacks in the past hour doing some serious grinding. No, those will not feed my main, they are however, level 20 - 1 hour - high regen foods. Of course I am going to spend a bit more time combining those into level 17-18 3-5 hour foods after I get done processing... but the timeframe will remain the same overall.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Keep in mind, that we are not balancing for a limited playtime player being able to create orange con food for their friends. It needs to be balanced with what is the maximum rate a player crafter can pump food out into the market at. As for cost, I logged into live last night and looked... everything I was selling yesterday was well under the current prices on live and that was with me making a decent profit with the new fuel costs. That level 40 food you are making.. it sells for a gold a piece on live... so you would be in no danger whatsoever of going broke making it (thats 20 gold for what it cost you 2 gold to make). Also, there were like 40 pages of foods of every quality and level when I checked on Mistmoore, I think that pretty well states that the current rate of combines is more than adequate to feed the masses... they already have a food overage there. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The game can not be balanced to the way Test is currently working in regards to tradeskills. Making stuff for friends, going broke crafting because players refuse to charge for their goods is not how the game works... those are Test Server specific problems caused by the way players here chose to play the game.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The only downside I have found about the new fuel costs is, that it will slow down my rate of leveling my tradeskills, as I can no longer afford to burn through 100 spells and dump them on a merchant for whatever he will give me, because the costs involved were trivial. I now need to sell them to other players to recoup my costs. .. so my rate of skill gain is governed by the demand in the marketplace for my goods. I am hoping they at least adjust the workshop tasks to pay me cost for the tasks they give me... as noted in my other thread about that. If that is fixed, then players will have a method of breaking even and progressing without customers.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>03:50 PM</span>

02-13-2005, 05:02 AM
<DIV>BTW, I just timed my combines. a good one is 30 seconds, a bad one is 45. Thats one hour at the bad rate to make 80 food items. You could theoretically make 120 per hour if you got extremely lucky and could stand power crafting for 1 hour straight. I am also getting about half a percent XP per combine on these level 13 items at level 21, which puts me around half a level per hour gain. Which I do not think is that bad at all.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>So for a person on live who is crafting as a style of play.. is only concerned with crafting / selling... and is not concerned about being able to craft the highest quality food their skill allows, the system seems to be working great from my point of view.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>04:09 PM</span>

02-13-2005, 05:49 AM
So its about style. The thing is you are right, for me the cost is prohibitive because it means I have to ask the players for money for food. I think I should be able to afford to make food for my group at cost and charge them nothing. But, if I charge them for fuels the cost of food drink is reasonable--just annoying. But, I disagree in your summation of orange food drink. It is the norm. Has been the norm for most players. I am not going to waste my skills on green combines when my play level and crafting level are in the same tier. My adventure and artisan levels should support one another. Period. It is not luxery to afford items in the same tier as you are in--at 31 I am in t4. It is weird that what I make at level 29(provisioner) is blue to me at 30(defiler) but what I make at 30(provisioner) is red. If you have a spell and you have a sage that is level 30 in your group--should you wait til that spell is blue or green to upgrade? No. My adventure level and crafting level will always be within a couple levels of one another. I should be able to do that. I should be using what I make at these levels. I level my shaman on even con and yellow mobs, I need food and drink of the same tier and I think that is what the intent was.I also get the impression that you think I personally don't want an economy. That isn't true. All I am saying is I am not going to go out there and promote one. I think a natural one, suited to our population will develope on it's own.<p>Message Edited by Evadne on <span class=date_text>02-12-2005</span> <span class=time_text>04:54 PM</span>

02-14-2005, 08:39 PM
<DIV>i think if the tasks are fiixed so that a some profit is made from your goods ( and i do mean taking in all your costs from subs to final) then it will work out.  if the amounst given are resonable i think this will support us fine on test and you will still see the items sell for more onlive as there will be a larger demand for the products and in general more money.  so naturaly on live a econamy that will give ther crafter more thene what the tasks will evolve there. on test this wont happen to the same degree. having the npcs help support the crafter wont hut test or live.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>eaxmple</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>as a adventure i go out slay monsters save the villagers ( or wipe them out depends on if your good or not ) come back with loots to sell and look for goods to buy. ( which is mostly consumable goods such as food and arrows ) then go back out and do it again</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>as a crafter its make goods to sell. (unfortunatly unless your producing consumable goods you dont have much of a market for resons that are in another thread) so if you can sell back to a npc you can still make some money  then you can buy consumables from other crafters and concentrate on the items you want to make ( i know that if i can buy tempers, paterns ect at a resonable rate rather then make them ill buy them). also some consumables are needed (drink and food ) for either adv or crafter so you need a income to pay for those.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>both paths you should be making some income in my opinion. right now though crafting does not produce any income to the game, it removes weath from the game. its been design this way and many of us as crafters have been fighting the mentality that crafting must remove weath from the game</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>wealth leaves when those consumables get used up, so i realy dont think we need to have npcs not buying them for a small profit.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>one last point while its been tasks that i have been saying we should make some profit from.  Realy what is the functional differeance to the market if i do a task or sell to the npc vender?  None as far as i can see.  Both  are effectivly selling the end product to the npc. I do think we need to beable to sell to the npc and or tasks for a profit this removes a glut from the market of final componats.  This profit needs to be enf to make you want to keep making items but not so much that it drives up prices to where adventuring classess wont buy them either.  This is a fine line but one that needs to done i think</DIV>

02-14-2005, 11:52 PM
Kwoung,I have to disagree with you as to the supply issues. For one, I agree with Evadne that level appropriate provisions for levels 21-30 are Tier 3 provisions rather than tier 2, and hence will take longer to get pristine combines on. I'd say that that caps the production rate at a stack an hour, assuming the provisioner has the ability to buy resources at reasonable prices from the market or has alternate means of resource supply. Assuming that they in fact need to gather their own resources, and generously assuming that spending an hour harvesting will provide an hour's craft resources (I feel that this is generous and that it will in fact take longer) we're talking maybe 10 finished units an hour. (Granted, if the wholesaler is advanced enough (Something which we don't have) the harvesting element can be eliminated on some items, at the expense of the potential for pristines)Now, situationally you may be right - a provisioner might have the potential supply 60 players - but I believe that the realized rate is significantly less than this and is on average closer to 20 or 10 players, or even less.Another factor is that the amount of time it takes to supply a small (<10) number of friends and guildmates with provisions is too high for a player who also intends to adventure with those players, and simply wishes to keep his or her group regenning at a good rate. In other games, the time sink has always more been the actual tradeskill leveling process. Once you were finished with that, it was possible to create items at a pretty good clip (with durables taking longer than consumables for obvious reasons) In EQ2 though, even creating food/drink you've outleveled takes a decent chunk of time. Creating food for guild/friends then becomes very much a chore, due simply to the amount of time it takes. If you look at Live economies, I believe it's obvious that the supply of food and drink is too low relative to the demand. While it may still be possible to sell at a good clip at the prices required due to this patch (And the prices that have always been required due to the time investment required) that doesn't mean that there isn't a supply problem. In fact, the reason that provisions can sell at such a high price is precisely BECAUSE of these supply problems.For a level 13 character, 2s88c per unit is a lot to spend for food, even 3 hour duration stuff. And that level 13 character is who I think the target audience for tier 2 provisions is, not a level 20 something who can afford that 2s88c per unit without even blinking. And I don't disagree with you that the effort involved in creating that food along with material costs is easily worth that... Just that I don't think it's a reasonable price to pay for a member of the target audience. Double our yield and the price we charge for the same gross profit is 1s44c, which is much more reasonable for a low tier 2 character.I feel that provisions should be closer to a commodity than crafted items which are non-consumable. I think that a PC shouldn't have to think twice about loading up on a full stack of player crafted drink... They shouldn't be thinking about the cost. The only way to have this happen while still enabling provisioners to make a good gross profit is increased yield. Doubling existing yield for pristines (of "finished" type recipes) is not going to cause supply to outstrip demand, but it should bring provision prices down to a point where it is no longer necessary to sell your first born into slavery to have good regen. (Or worse than selling your first born, buying NPC food or drink)-Caith<p>Message Edited by Ceruline on <span class=date_text>02-14-2005</span> <span class=time_text>10:53 AM</span>

02-15-2005, 12:47 AM
<DIV>I think we really need to hear SOE's position on what they feel the norm for a level 10, 20, 30, etc player is. Is the system balanced towards a level 20 something player drinking / eating food labeled level 20, or should they be consuming food labeled level 30?</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for the inordinate amounts of time involved to make food / drinks for friends...  maybe that is planned? Because basically, by doing so, those crafters who make these items, are basically removing their friends as potential buyers of the goods a full time crafter is offering. And yes, a full time crafter can blast out a fairly hefty amount of food as long as he is not pushing the limits of his skill. I spent yesterday doing some serious crafting, I was able to produce 7 stacks of 5 hour food, that is 700 hours worth of food, for what was probably a 7 hour time investment.. meaning I successfully supplied about 100 players with food during the time I spent crafting.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Now, I tried to start some of the level 23 items (food labeled level 30 which is even skill to me).. refining tea in particular... to get ready to make it when I get the recipe. I found the rate of failures and the time it took to produce a single refined tea to be extremely excessive... so I stopped doing it and when back to producing Creamed Antonica Coffees, which are level 18 and they combined quite nicely at a very good clip. I will also be mass producing some Vanilla / Orange Fizzlepops this week and I am expecting those combines to go very smoothly as well due to their level.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The provisioner systemm is rather interesting really.. as you make food 10 levels above your skill. But really, if you want to make level 30 food quickly, you need to have level 30 provisioner skill, not level 20 something, same goes right up the line. If you want to produce level 40 foods easilly and quickly, you need to have 40 or better skill at it I have found. Making level 40 food with level 30 something skill, should be a struggle I would think... I could be wrong though.. not sure what SOE had in mind.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>02-14-2005</span> <span class=time_text>11:49 AM</span>

02-15-2005, 01:09 AM
Kwoung,I meant that a crafter producing for friends would still be making a small profit on those transactions or selling at roughly cost. If a player puts in the time to level the tradeskill to that point (Quite significant if they intend on supplying their level 50 friends...), I feel that it is quite reasonable that the subsequent demands on their time to do so be reasonable.5h tier 2 food isn't a good example for time use - just because the resources are extremely easy to get. Crab poppers uses only crab and wholesaler bought components. Since fishing resources take such little time to get, this sort of recipe in particular has a MUCH lower time-cost than others. Unfortunately, since no drink uses fished components, making any significant duration drink will take significantly longer (Both because shrubbery nodes are harder to find, and because the number of potential items they can yield is much larger, making it take much longer to find whatever you are looking for) In short, making drinks takes a good deal longer, and the number of characters a crafter can keep supplied with both food AND drink is significantly smaller.I'm looking at other crafting types as a guideline... In every other craft, Tier 1 is for levels 1-10, T2 for 11-20, T3 for 21-30 and so on. Under the other system, there wouldn't actually be an intended market for T5 food in game yet (Well, 48-50? Seems a bit small to be intended)I definitely don't think that it's designed to take so long to make food drinks for friends. After all, we're still talking about a crafter who has made a significant investment of time in leveling up his or her tradeskill, and who incurs the same costs of production. If it is the design that that player should then have to spend hours to supply friends then I think that it is a very poor decision. If a character puts in the time to become a level 50 provisioner, I don't see why them satisfying demand is any less desirable than a more merchant focused crafter satisfying the demand. It's causing the exact same amount of moneysink, only with less wealth redistribution.

02-15-2005, 02:58 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Ceruline wrote:<BR>If it is the design that that player should then have to spend hours to supply friends then I think that it is a very poor decision. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>From strickly a combine perspective and ignoring the availability of food components, which varies greatly depending on your supplier market, I will agree, the drinks give out about 3/5 the time per drink (ie: 5 hour food = 3 hour drink), so you are supplying less players with drink for time invested. This is of course by design, because ultimately, mana regen rate = speed of leveling, so putting out to much drink allows players to progress faster than intended.</P> <P>But my point above it, is someone wants to supply their level 30 something friends with level 40 food and not spend many hours doing combines, then they need to have 40 skill in provisioning, which makes creating that level 40 food *way* faster. They would then spend very little time creating food to feed their friends... while roughly equivelent levels in provisioner and adventuring levels means, that you are pushing the limits of your provisioner skills and struggling to make that food / drink.</P> <P>Lets look at this...</P> <P>-Level 20 Food, Level 20 Provisioner Skill</P> <P>-5 hour food or 3 hour drink - 1 hour to produce 1 complete stack.</P> <P>-Group of 6 players needs food for the nights adventuring</P> <P>It will take approximately 20 min to create the 6 foods needed for the evening<BR>It will take approximately 40 min to create the 12 drinks needed</P> <P>That is a one hour time investment on the part of the crafter/adventurer to supply their friends for a 5 hour adventuring spree... *IF* the crafting skill is equal to the level of food they are trying to produce.</P> <P>Now, if the level of the food is higher than their crafting skill (ie: level 40 food, level 30ish prov skill), then you can multiply the time to produce by a factor of 3 to 5. Which means the crafter will need to spend almost an equal amount of time crafting as adventuring to supply his or her friends. Which I am not so sure is all that out of line, but once again, it depends on what SOE had in mind. But judging by the way the entire crafting system works, it is not very convienient or friendly to the casual crafter by any means, so I am guessing that they intended to make it a PITA to supply your friends if you keep your adventuring and crafting skills about the same, but want to eat food that is orange to you. Remember, provisioner is the only traddeskill to my knowlege, that allows you to create items above your level... I know my sage certainly can not produce anything but a even con spell (and those take forever to craft each one) and I have never had a orange recipe in my book.. although I see that all the time with my provisioner.</P>