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This will be part one in a look to see just how much the recent organization of the market wards has helped players find the items they’re looking for. Something I’ve avoided trying to find up until this point is a new weapon for my Lancer. Earlier today, I logged onto Gysahl to try and find a Brass Spear in Limsa Lominsa’s Battlecraft ward.

Let’s see what what I found!

Weapons Found
I searched a total of 85 retainers during my time in the Battlecraft ward. Unfortunately it seems that not much has changed in terms of what retainers carry. Out of the 85 retainers I browsed, I only came up with 60 weapons, none of which were the Brass Spear I was looking for. Those retainers did have however 361 items that didn’t fit into the Battlecraft ward.

There were several bazaars I came across that were selling items for DoM classes. However, those were inappropriate for this particular ward (Spellcraft Ward is for DoM weapons) and were excluded from these results. Perhaps it’s that the organization is new, or perhaps items appropriate to specific wards should be mentioned on the ward list instead of only being displayed in the chat log after teleporting.

Retainers With Weapons
Out of the retainers I searched, only 27 of them were actually selling weapons. That leaves 58 retainers that didn’t have a single weapon for sale. It’s possible that some retainers only had one or two weapons in their bazaar initially and they had already been purchased by the time I got to them. However, when I went through, over half of the retainers weren’t selling a single item that was appropriate for the ward they were in.

While I didn’t collect specific data, I did check out a few of the other wards to see if the situation was any better. The Glovers ward had a whopping three retainers in it. One was empty, one had misc items, and one had misc items and 2 pairs of hempen gloves. The Tradescraft ward seemed to be just as bad as the Battlecraft ward, with many retainers having anything but the appropriate items for that ward. In fact, even if people are bazaaring items appropriate for the ward they’re in, they’re still bazaaring other items that would be better suited elsewhere. Though I guess that’s not a bad thing for Square Enix as many people may see this as a reason to purchase additional retainers so they can sell their items in multiple wards without having the suffer the increased tax penalty.

Of course, players wouldn’t have to deal with increased taxes due to improper ward bazaaring if there was an auction house which is something that players have been asking for for a long time. There is news that they are working on a search function for retainers. And while that is good news to some degree, after searching it sounds like you’ll then have to go and find the specific retainers selling that item (which will be marked somehow). While that is a nice improvement over the current system, it still adds what I feel is an unnecessary step that players need to take for purchasing an item. In an auction house system you would simply search for the item, and if it’s available, you’d buy it right there. Not have to go play “please load on my screen” with the one hundred or so retainers in a particular market ward.

Before you get all worked up and say “But this system was only put in today!” don’t worry. I’ll be going through the Battlecraft Ward again next week and compare the data as well as peek into a few other wards to see if the situation has changed. However at this point, it doesn’t seem like the organization of the Market Wards has had the full effect that some of us have hoped for.

What are your thoughts? Are things the same on your server? Has the organization of the market wards helped after the first day?

 

Last week, a version update brought with it changes to the Market Wards that intended to help alleviate some of the frustration of finding certain items. I looked at Limsa Lominsa’s Battlecraft Ward on Gysahl to see if/how the organization has helped. This week I go back into the Battlecraft ward to see if more retainers are selling the items appropriate to that ward and ultimately, checking to see if the organization of the market wards is helping players find what they’re looking for.

Read on to see how things have changed a week after the changes! Make sure to also check out Part 1 of this series.

You can see last week that out of the 85 retainers searched, only 60 of them had weapons. Those 85 retainers also had 361 non-weapon items they were trying to sell. This time around there were 85 weapons among the 80 retainers that were present in the ward. There were also 350 other items for sale in bazaars. Things do seem to be getting better. More weapons were present in bazaars and I was actually able to find that Brass Spear I had been looking for since last week.

 

I looked to see how many of the retainers I searched actually had weapons for sale. 33 this week compared to 27 from last week. While this is only 6 more retainers, it is still an improvement and hopefully one that will continue to increase in the future.

So what can we see from this past week?

Things are improving, even if only by a small amount. More weapons are finding their way into the ward and armor, tools, etc. are finding their way out. Perhaps the reason for fewer retainers in the ward this week was due to retainers being moved to the appropriate wards? However, there are still a large number of retainers that don’t seem to be selling a single weapon in their bazaar. Did they have a couple that sold before I browsed their wares? Perhaps some players don’t care about the ward adjustment and place retainers where they think they’ll see the most traffic. Or maybe, some people haven’t paid any attention to the changes and they pick the Battlecraft ward because it’s the first on the list of wards to teleport too. There could be many factors.

Are Players the problem?

The whole Market Ward and Auction House subject is definitely one of the hot topics going around. Many people are placing the blame on Square Enix for not just implementing an Auction House in the first place. However, after looking at the numbers I’ve collected I’m starting to feel that players are partially responsible for holding the Market Wards back from being as successful as they could be in their current state. Sure, Square Enix will add a search feature, and that will help with locating a certain item in a particular ward quickly. However, all that work will be in vain if people don’t put their wares on a retainer that is in the appropriate ward. For example, who would want to search the Grocer’s Ward (and every other ward) for a Bronze Hatchet?

Is the design to blame?

While fault can be placed on players for not placing the correct items into their retainers for the ward they are in, we should probably also look into why this is even occurring in the first place. If a player has a weapon they want to sell for a high price as well as other miscellaneous items, chances are they’ll want to get the big money first. Also, the tax they save by selling even one high-priced item could exceed the tax benefit of selling those other items in their proper ward(s). These two factors could be contributing to why we see so many bazaars in wards like the Battlecraft ward that are selling one or two ward-related item along with several miscellaneous items.

I traveled to the Spellcraft Ward to see if this was the case with weapons, and initially, it seemed to me that the majority of the items in bazaars were in fact the DoM weapons. However, further investigation revealed yet more bazaars that only had miscellaneous items.

With the way the system is currently designed, we could see a trend where higher priced items will be easier to find because those items will appear in the appropriate wards. However, if you’re looking for something more common, it could be potentially harder to find since people want to make the big money first. This may change after characters are allowed to hire multiple retainers and can spread their wares out amongst multiple wards.

There’s still a ways to go before the Market Wards become an easy “get in and get out” type of system but I think it’s slowly getting there. What are your thoughts on the market wards? Do you agree with some of the things I said? Disagree? Are you planning on purchasing multiple retainers when that feature is added later on? Let me know what your thoughts are in the forums!


 

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