Elder Scrolls Online Auction House Created By Players
In a break from MMO tradition, Elder Scrolls Online doesn't have server-wide auction houses. However, some players have solved that issue by creating one of their own.
The TESO Elite Marketplace forum is very straightforward to use. You make a thread with the prefix WTB (want to buy), WTS (want to sell), or WTT (want to trade) in the appropriate sub-forum. Then you describe what you're looking for along with your server, platform, character name and desired price.
"The trades will have as currency ONLY IN-GAME GOLD," reads the Marketplace guide. "Any other type of currency used (including Elite Gold), will get your thread insta-deleted. Abusing this will get you a ban."
The advantage of such a loose marketplace is that players don't have to limit themselves to trading actual items. They can also offer services as well. For example, many players on the forums are buying/selling vampire and werewolf bites.
This system has its drawbacks as well. Once you've found someone to do business with, you have to track them down in game and perform the transaction yourself. The lack of an automated system makes scams more likely.
TESO Elite is trying to make the system as honest as possible, though. Players can leave negative or positive feedback for their fellow traders. This feedback will be reflected on a score listed underneath their forum avatar. Eventually the forum will offer mediators to help facilitate the in-game trades as well.
The closest thing that ESO has to auction houses right now are guild stores. Players can buy and sell items with fellow guild members. They can belong to a maximum of five guilds but that's still a smaller pool of traders than a global auction house would provide. This was a conscious decision by ZeniMax, though.
"You don't necessarily want to do a global auction house for a game with one giant server because that generally leads to all the best gear being available at very, very cheap prices," Gameplay Designer Nick Konkle told Shoddycast last fall (via Massively). "A lot of times that can trivialize the game. You cannot have a healthy economy when there are no restrictions on getting the best stuff in the game."
ZeniMax probably figures that guild stores will make players more likely to join these organizations and socialize with each other, too. I don't know how social a massive guild joined solely for trading will be, though.
The fact that ZeniMax officlally recommended the TESO Elite Marketplace suggests that they don't plan on reversing that decision anytime soon. Here's hoping that the forum fills all players' business needs.
ESO launched earlier this month on the PC and Mac. Xbox One and PS4 versions are expected in June. Before you dive into the game, be sure to check out our beginner's guide.
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