Everquest II: What's Wrong With Brokers?

The broker system in Everquest II is fairly complex, and I'm still getting the hang of it. It bears a bit more resemblance to the Market system of EVE than to WoW's auction house, although with the important note that there is no such concept as a buy order, and that geographic location only has effects on broker commissions - you don't have to go pick up your item.

The process for selling something is that you place a container on your broker screen (accessible via broker NPCs or a market board in a personal or guild house), and put things for sale in it. I have two containers; I believe there's a way to get more. You set the price of the item, and it goes up for sale on the global market system. You can check the price of other items on the market by searching for them, and thus far, I've been undercutting by small amounts with reasonable success.

The process for buying is that you go to a broker (not a market board) and search for your item. This will give you a list of results, which allow you to buy directly or, in some cases, to visit the house of the seller and buy there - I think that's something to do with having display case furniture. Buying directly incurs a commission charge from the broker. I've seen this as 10%, 20%, or 40%. On the low-level items I'm dealing with, this is not important, but for higher-ticket items, it's a big chunk of change.

As long as you log in at least every seven days, your items will remain on the broker until they sell or you remove them. And therein lies my main problem; the market for some goods is utterly saturated, and the only reason anyone sells them at all is that you can't vendor them. Nothing expires, so everything stays there at a constantly falling price, as others undercut. Indeed, some low level crafting materials are coming in at one copper, plus one copper commission - this in a game where there are one hundred copper to a silver, one hundred silver to a gold, and one hundred gold to a platinum. Platinum is the currency in which real deals are reckoned.

My second problem is that there's no bidding. I don't bid often in WoW, but canny bids can make the auction house there a lot more interesting. Obviously, with no 'end date' for the item's availability, you can't have an auction system, so the second problem has the same underlying cause as the first.

Once I get enough cash together, I'm going to be embarking on some cuatious economic adventures in EQII - buying from the brokers and reselling at a profit, as well as engaging in gathering runs for certain much-sought-after crafting materials. I'll let you know how that goes.

Posted by Drew Shiel at May 27, 2009 2:32 PM

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