Local Markets - Scammable / Exploitable*

As wonderful an idea and convenience the local markets are, the current configuration makes it way to easy for scams to take place, even with the ‘rating’ system that even if reliable (which is not), people still will fail to pay attention to it and while that’s they’re fault is beside this point.

I submitted payment for a contract two days ago and the other party failed to produce by the deadline. I’ve given an extension, however now learn that my funds will be gone if I choose to breach the contract. Sure this gives the other person a lower rating, but does that help me? No.

More importantly, without any rating, I figured a player with one of the highest influences on Prom would be reliable. Regardless of my patience or their reliability, it’s unfair and -broken- to have those funds lost. With all the accounts being made just to exploit the game, what is to stop someone from doing just that? Or players never fulfilling their contracts and never losing rating because the other party is reluctant to breach due to losing funds so they just have a bunch of pending, unfulfilled contracts.

Also a negative rating is useless if people just get deterred from using the local markets altogether, like this first experience with it has made me, which further works in favor of players looking to exploit.

EDIT: -Furthermore- , is it possible to manipulate the rating system itself? For example, if I breach a contract worth 10,000 but then fulfill 3 or 4 much smaller in value (500-1000) contracts, does this cancel out the negative rating from that 10,000?

EDIT 2: Additionally…players / corporations who decide to only use the local market as a convenient trading post to conduct lower / higher than MM price trades among themselves, can completely disregard their rating.

EDIT 3: -AND!- :grin: Taking into consideration all these things, there is the potential for players to cooperatively manipulate their own ratings, new accounts being made to fulfill contracts with starter funds and improve rating, sell back / buy back, or vice versa, then delete. True this can be caught but only after the fact when the damage has already been done as we’ve recently seen with non-MM commodities.

Hey, thanks a lot for your feedback. :slightly_smiling_face: Local Markets are still pretty new, and we’ll be happy to patch them based on community input.

To be honest, that part of the system works as intended. The ability to breach contracts brings a new dynamic to the game that’s admittedly going to lead to some discontent between players. To be 100% certain that your trade partner will be reliable, you will have to stick to Commodity Exchanges.

The rating system will certainly be tweaked and improved over time, but it already fulfills its basic function. Admittedly, the Activity factor is still a bit misleading because it relies on past data which is only being collected since the system was implemented. It should be reliable fairly soon, though.

I feel like the opposite of both these assertions is the case. First, the rating system is the most important way to help build trust into the Local Markets and encourage players to use them. Second, it certainly does not work in favor of ‘scammers’ if all their possible victims decide not to use Local Markets.

Generally, your rating score goes up for every contract you fulfill. I do not know the maths behind it, so I can’t answer your specific question. This is definitely a sensible point, and it’s almost certain that it will have to be tweaked based on the data we’re getting.

I have to say though that I feel like ‘manipulating’ is a strange choice of words. Do you manipulate your bank account by depositing money? Do you manipulate your friend by being a nice person? Sure you’re supposed to be able to manipulate your rating in that sense. :wink:

Yup. For them, Local Markets essentially provide the much requested private trading.

Some countermeasures against unfair manipulation of ratings have already been implemented. However, there are bound to be cases we haven’t taken into account or can’t generally prevent. Rectifying things after the fact is the best we (or any developer) can do in certain cases. However, we can easily lower anybody’s rating manually if they somehow cheated the Local Markets.

We currently don’t have reason to believe that this is happening. The few instances of blatant multi-accounting we’ve encountered have been dealt with. If you have concrete evidence, please DM me here or on Discord, and I’ll be sure to investigate!


Well alright then! And yes I see the sensibility in that. :wink:

If such is as intended other than the obvious trickery that can be used, so be it! Good to know in particular, that a company rating can be manually adjusted by devs though.

Players looking to grief is also more accurate, should’ve stated that too with ‘manipulating’, hah. Also a good reason ratings can be manually adjusted, for the victims that is.

Thank you kindly Mjeno for the clarification! :smiley:

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