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Discussion in 'UO Developer Feed' started by UODevTracker, Oct 22, 2010.
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Yes you have to have High Seas Booster before you will get any niter deposits.
Commodity pricing has been broken for a long time, in that the shopkeepers would never offer to buy back an item for more than its base price. This created the problem that asking prices would inflate while offer prices would not, and therefore it would never be worth anyone's time to sell anything back. One place this is particularly problematic is with glass bottles, and the slow rate of sand mining.
With these changes, we are making it so the shopkeepers will offer significantly more gold when buying back commodities with high prices. This will make it worthwhile in many cases (like glass bottles) to sell these items back to shopkeepers. It also opens up opportunities to find creative ways to profit by trading items around, either by simple buy low/sell high, or by resource gathering and crafting coupled with trading.
I would not expect its price to climb as high as some think it might. It's not too difficult to mine, and if the price gets too high then it will be worthwhile to mine some just to sell to the NPC shopkeepers.
The original intent of the commodity pricing system was basically to bridge the disconnect between the NPC shopkeeper economic simulation and the player-driven economy.
The theory behind it is, if a shopkeeper's asking price is lower than the real value of something, then people will buy that item from the shopkeeper. If the shopkeeper's offer price is higher than the real value of something, then players will sell back to that shopkeeper. So, shopkeepers adjust their prices upwards when people buy from them, and adjust their prices downwards when people sell to them, and over time the shopkeeper price reaches equilibrium with the player-driven value for that item.
In its first iteration, the system used a minimal margin between the shopkeepers' bid and ask prices. Then, at a later time, some exploit with the system was discovered and to fix it the system was altered so that offer prices would be capped at a low value and asking prices would have a floor. This made it so when an asking price got adjusted upward, the offer price would not follow suit, so you get situations like the NPCs charging 100 gp for a glass bottle but only offering 3 to buy it back. Since no one in their right mind would sell a bottle at that price, none got bought back from players, so the price never got adjusted downward. Instead of adjusting to a sensible price, shopkeeper prices would adjust to the upper limit of what a player would be willing to pay for the item, and stay there until the next time vendors got wiped and re-spawned.
The Doom vendor case was a very interesting emergence from the system. People were perfectly happy paying overinflated prices for supplies there because gold is readily available there. It was faster to just pay the super high prices in the dungeon, rather than leave, restock, and return. And, of course, it was extremely profitable for those who chose to spend their time carting supplies down to sell to the shopkeeper. It was basic supply and demand economics, creating a nice opportunity for a merchant to profit.
Now, with this change, we're removing the caps again, but widening the margin between the shopkeeper's bid and ask price. The shopkeeper will offer to buy back commodity items at 75% of their asking price. So, if the ask price of a commodity gets adjusted up to 100 gp, then the offer price will be 75 (where originally it would have been 99). This will prevent exploitation, while still making it worthwhile to sell commodities to NPC shopkeepers. That, in turn, will allow NPC shopkeeper price to adjust to something near the real value of these items.
If you are a GM miner and have an easily-imbued 750 luck suit, the odds of finding a niter deposit while mining from a boat are 1.25% per mining attempt. I personally have no issue digging up several hundred saltpeter in an hour on a boat, and boat mining is the easy way. I figure it's not too difficult to average 5 to 6 deposits per hour, averaging 60 or more saltpeter per deposit, and those are very conservative estimates. With a really good luck suit both the frequency and average size improve significantly.
In a dungeon, the odds are a bit different. Depending on how you go about it, you could find niter deposits at least three times as frequently and their average size would be at least twice as large.
Note that if you don't have the High Seas booster, you won't find niter rocks at all...
The only reason I can think of that this could possibly happen is that there is no open space on your ship's deck for niter deposits to spawn. I would suggest making sure that there is at least one space adjacent to you on the deck of your ship that is completely unoccupied. With luck as you describe and with GM mining, you definitely should be getting a niter deposit every few minutes.