The Marketplace system in Age of Aincrad takes on the role of an Auction House in a generic MMORPG. In reality, we want it to feel almost identical to an Auction House when searching for an item, but retrieving an item should involve much more player interaction. Since player-owned shops are such a big feature in Age of Aincrad, the main goal of the system is to not only give players a reason to open up their own shops to sell items, but to rid of any potential issues with player shops. The great thing about the system is that it’s actually quite simple, and makes the task of finding and purchasing an item through other players’ very straight-forward and simple. Not only that, but it doesn’t handle transactions at all. Instead, it just pairs players up with the seller of the item they need, and has the players handle the situation from there. The Marketplace system works by giving players the option to visit a bounty-board looking object known as the Sales Board (this should be placed in each city’s market square). When the board is clicked on, the following is displayed:
- The player’s currency balance.
- A search bar.
- A tab for Weapons, Armour, Consumables, and Crafting Materials. (When each of these categories is selected, sub-categories will appear, displaying options such as weapon types, armour types, etc.)
- A section showing items being sold by shop-owners, the name of the seller, the remaining amount of time that the item will be on the Sales Board, and the item price.
When players find the item they’re looking for, they can select the button that says “Locate Shop”. Doing this will mark the seller’s shop on the player’s map, and will also give the seller a notification. The map market will disappear once the player has arrived at the shop. This will then lead up to the buyer and the seller meeting up in the shop, and trading the item for a certain amount of Col.
In order for an item to appear on the Sales Board, the seller must register the item to be displayed on it. This can be done through an item known as the “Sales Control Board”. This item functions as a piece of furniture that can be placed within a player’s shop, and shows only three things:
- Register: This option allows players to register an item to the Sales Board. The player will be shown a list of all items that they have on display at their store, and they’ll have to select one to register to the Sales Board. The only options that the seller gets after choosing which item they want to register are the price and the amount of time that the item should be displayed for. In terms of price, the player can either lock in a set amount of Col for the item, or select the “Negotiable” option. This will prompt the buyer and seller to discuss a reasonable price for the item.
- Notifications: This option will list any players who are locating the shop via the Sales Board. It’s important to note that a player can locate a shop as many times as they like, but the shop owner can only receive one notification from each individual player every three minutes (this should prevent players from spamming notifications).
- Placed: This option will show the items that the player has added to the Sales Board, and will allow them to remove their items from the Sales Board.
The amount of time that the item is to be displayed for is slightly more complicated, as it involves a taxing system. The Sales Board is to be something that speeds up the selling process, and is not essential for a shop-owner. Therefore, the amount of Col that the seller is taxed will vary depending on how long they decide to put the item up for sale.