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!- 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.