Current Riven Market Situation
Rivens have been a rough topic to talk about since their introduction in Update 19. Especially when they first came out, "bandaid mods" was a fairly used word for them. The rolling costs where heavily talked about, the implications of these mods on meta or non-meta weapons were even more in depth and market behind them got downright insane for a while. While the current market I would say is nothing like the beginning, we get hints of it whenever a new weapon is released or a weapon is updated. Prices shoot up to ridiculous numbers and most players scoff at paying 500-2000 plat on a mod for a weapon in this game. But some still do.
I loved the min maxing part of rivens but hated the rolling of them or having to deal with trade chat like many others. Tools like wftrader and Riven.Market have made the buying and selling of rivens far easier and made the market more fair but this could be better. We could build in a better system to make the riven market like the rest of warframes trading markets. Warframe has a great economy outside of rivens and I think we can do better.
- There is no in between.
Just look at the websites or deal with trade chat for a bit. The prices are either high or low. Either you are seeing low/unrolled rivens or "God-tier" mega rivens that most the time are not "God-tier" at all but are in excess of 500+ to 1k+ plat. Why is that? Rivens, pricing wise, are hyped up as hell. There isn't any way to compare prices to similar rivens, when you get a good roll, chat gives you high numbers that most the time you won't get. Or you just sell your unrolled/over rolled riven for as much plat as you can get, even for 10-15 plat for transmuters. This super high versus super low market makes it hard for anyone but the riven traders who work in this field. It makes it very easy to manipulate or at least influence.
- Kuva Costs
This is self explanatory. Just the grind for kuva mixed with the RNG of rolling, makes this a slog. The 2x weekends are PTSD for many players hitting floods and kuva fortress hundreds of times those weekends. And going past 8 rolls or 10 rolls for most rivens just aren't worth it. Buy a new unrolled riven and you will be able to roll it 3 times for every roll of the previous one. This keeps some unrolled riven prices high as the unrolled market is being bought up and preventing the cost from going lower. Semi rolled rivens can even lose value. This just hurts even more when you grind your heart out for kuva.
This is where the "Mafia" part of the riven world comes in. Do you know what is really cheap right now but in potential next primes access, might be gold mines? You don't? Start thinking and you can make a lot of plat. The last three prime accesses, I bought rivens months in advance and made my small investments of 20-50p for unrolled rivens into 300-500p sells the day of release. My years of playing this game lead me to have a stupid and downright idiotic level of control over newer or just aggressive players. This create a level of toxicity for those players as we the older players are taking advantage of them. This isn't right and needs to prevented.
Now from my time trading, high-end trading (1kp+) didn't happen many times and the notion that a group of players could control the riven market, is a bit over played. But I will say, spend over 2k+ plat on a riven and you will run into the "mafia" type people. You will then realize, they are way more toxic than trade chat. And that is saying something.
DE's stated problem
- Storage Problem/Lock feature
DE has said on a few occasions that the reason rivens don't get a lock feature or even we have access to more than 90 slots, is because of storage problems. Riven are costly and it makes sense. Typical mods would probably have at least 5 columns in the database or even less if they just have a massive type table somewhere. Rivens add 8 columns to that at least. With 4 being a type for the line in the riven and 4 for a float for power of that line in the riven. This eats up space and I see where they are coming from. Adding in a locking mechanism would add at least 4 more columns to that table and then its getting insane.
From a developer prospective, I see there problem. But right now the riven market is broken and is breaking this game. Yes I've made a lot of plat of it but I see its not sustainable. Like hackers in other games, we have leeches(including myself) that can destroy a person's time in this game by basically stealing their plat for a single weapon, which many times they won't use much in their playtime. While this makes DE probably plenty of money, the toxicity that comes from it, is not helping our community. For example the whole "Mafia" situation a while back. While their influence probably wasn't much, the news around it was not good. Yes DE has released they are going to publish data on rivens, I think they need to do something different.
A Whole New Riven Market Ideology
The one simple idea I've been thinking about for fixing the market addresses these issues:
- Min-maxing rivens to far higher level without disrupting the market
- Better utilize our grind time for kuva.
- Increase the commodity side of rivens over the high end market we have now.
To get around the locking mechanism's DB cost, we should be able to use riven transmuters on 2-4 of our rivens to merge them with an additional cost of kuva. We would be able to choose which 1 line of a riven we want to merge/replace on another riven. DB wise, this would just be a swapping of values and prevent additional DB cost, while increasing player control over their riven. The final merged riven would then become untradable until rolled again, completely removing the stats on said riven.
Mods can be made untradable as we even have some now, so the column in the db is already there. This would allow a min-maxer to acquire up a few rivens, lets say one has 4 stats, one has Crit chance, one has Crit Damage and the other has a better negative. They can combine this and create the best riven for themselves. This would encourage people to instead of rolling for the best stats, roll for a particular stat and get another riven to pair it with. Now getting a god-tier roll will still be something sought after but it won't be necessary. There will be another option.
Adding a path like this will allow for the market to become more about getting a Crit chance riven or Damage riven or even a negative flight speed riven, over a god-tier and sell it for a reasonable price. Why a reasonable price? Each stat would be better defined by the market, with Crit chance rivens being more sought after for certain weapons. Or status chance rivens. We wouldn't need to roll a riven 35+ times to get a good roll anymore. Getting a lot of kuva could help us create the riven we want, without costing us insane amounts. We would just need to get a riven for each stat we want. Players would sell rivens more of the most liked stat instead of the entire package. You get a -damage riven but it has crit chance, it still worth something. All of those crap rivens could then enter the market flooding the market with the commodity we need to lower the prices.
So without additional costs of columns in the database, without adjusting the amount of kuva DE gives us and naturally pushing the market to be more quantity over quality, we can lower the general costs of rivens to be more manageable, use riven transmuters more, create the perfect riven for our beloved weapons and lower the affect of the most toxic part of this community. DE would be able to give us better data with this as well. Focusing on more what made the riven worth that amount rather than the collective of stats that is needed to value a riven.
Allow us to merge rivens together, making the perfect untradable riven, thus pushing the market to be more about one stat over all of them and lowering the cost of rivens by making it a quantity over quality market, like the rest of Warframe markets are. This won't increase DB cost like DE has pushed back on in the past and allow for even bad roll rivens to join the market just based on one stat versus all of their stats.
I am a Riven trader and have traded almost 400 riven to this date. This market needs to change for the better of our community. I've seen both sides of this market for a while and I'm done with its toxicity. This isn't the warframe I love and I knowingly have worked within that toxicity. I want to make this system better. For everyone.
What do you think about the solution? Have any idea yourself?
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