TL;DR : Look at the picture just after the modding screenshot. The one just before the last. That's my suggestion.
So you know I like to dig into UI/UX and the market itself in Tarkov, and today I'm suggesting a way to display market prices more conveniently for all. In doing the work, I've also found a few bugs that are just as gamebreaking as the umbrella issue i've reported last week.
Pardon the shitty photoshop skills everywhere. My job is to critize UI and implement it, not to design it.
This is based on the premice that people (base off a sample of about 10 players that I often play with, but mostly my own experience) will very often check prices by right clicking, then hitting "Filter by Item". You'll then go back to the vendor(s) to check for vendor price and see if it's worth selling to one or the other (accouting for fees mentally).
You'll also sometimes just want to know the price of things just for the sake of it. Example : "I like this M4 I just looted of NukaCola_64_TTV, I can't sell it and I won't vendor it, but I would still very much would like to know how much it's worth". Simple things like knowing at a glance if you have 300k in that rig, or 22k, or 16 billion.
All that comes with challenges, solutions, and new problems, potentially new solutions. So it's a constant work that needs improvement. This is valid for past UIs, but also future ones or suggestions like mine here.
So first off, we're talking about market price here. What it is is not relevant just now, it could be the price of the very first item, or the average of the first 5 items. Or the average of the last 5 items sold. It doesn't matter.
The simplest and least resource-heavy would probably be something along the lines of The average price of items sold in the last 12 hours. This data would be saved server side and downloaded with the json as another property of the item.
Even that leaves more questions. 12 hours average price can be 50k, but if you have access to a vendor for 14k, we should display vendor price. But some players can access it from vendor and others not, so those others should see the market price of 50k. There is some logic that needs to be worked there.
If we went to let the user do it himself, we could, but I think it would require more work if I had to guess. That being said, it could look something like this :
That raises many new problems, because user data can be obsolete, so maybe it couldlook something like this over time
Displaying between parentheses like in Figure 1 could work but takes a lot of space, color coding would make more sense and is already used for ammo count. Green/White means relatively new, and then turns to red over time.
That being said, I still prefer the solution of having the data kept over 24 hours and not needing the user to refresh himself, and thus avoiding A LOT of market API calls.
Now this is all fun and games, but as many designers do, I'm taking the easy way to suggest my changes. There are many edge cases that won't work, for example, for 1×1, if possible with long names, like the propital.
Figure 1 immediately reveals an issue. Either the name should be truncated, or the price should be moved down. Currently, that issue happens in many other places and the game currently moves the labels to make space, so I adopted the same behaviour. It doesn't look as good and is not great.
Figure 2 makes it simple by going bottom left, but it becomes inconsistent with prices usually shown in the top left when you vendor items, as can be seen in Figure 3. If we want to be consistent, prices should stay top left. But when selling items (as in figure 3), do we still display market price to show the difference, or do we display it? I would prefer to see both at the same time so I can make an informed decision without having to do 4 clicks per item to check prices. As we said before, it's not hardcore, it's not realistic, it's not convenient, it's just annoying.
A potential but not good looking solution could be to use the middle part of the segment to display market prices, as can be seen in Figure 4. I like that one, I don't mind having text in the middle.
But some items are composite, like weapons, so what do we display ? I think it should display the sum of all parts as a total, like the following. Note that I've kept using a top-left display but it could very well just be middle-left.
Figure 1 shows the total market price of all parts of the weapon, just like Figure 2 shows total vendor price for all part of the weapon. It's coherent, it makes sense. Both should be visible at the same time though.
Figure 3 shows it works just fine for vertical display. We wouldn't even need to use the short notation of value (335k), the full one would fit (R 335000).
But that is not the case for all weapons of all sizes, and this is where problems occured.
Depending on where you are (stash / vendor) and the weapon you're looking at, and its name, it can be very full.
Figure 1 : Found in raid + magazine size + caliber overlaps. The text goes out of the bounding box of the item and would actually overlap over another item if there was one.
Figure 2 & 3 : Same as figure 1 on a 1×1 item, in vendor and in stash respectively
Figure 4 : Revealing that the name of the item disapears while in vendor mode, to give room for the price of the item.
Figure 5 : To show that this issue also happens with "fully modded" weapons, and not just 2×3 weapons that are missing a mag and a grip.
Displaying yet another label would definitely be a problem. So the question to answer is : what do I want to know ?
When I'm trying to sell stuff, I wanna know the price and really couldn't care less about the caliber or magazine size. Here, it's showing the price but removing the item name. I would prefer to see the item name when I sell. It makes more sense to me to read "am I selling the m4 or the HK body ?" over "Am I selling that 556 body or that other 556 body?". That being said, over 1000+ hours of playing, I've never hesitated when selling an item. That means we indeed do not need to see the item name when selling. So it's good. But do we really need to see the caliber at all times in the bottom left?
I would prefer to have market prices in the bottom left, at all times, over what is currently displayed there (caliber for weapons, nothing everywhere else)
Bottom right can stay, it's good to have armor value & magazine size, it makes sense.
Then we go to modding. This is a place where knowing the price would also be really ,really good, because it takes a lot of clicking to check price between the 25 grips available. And usually it also takes a lot of re-modding what you've already modded. This makes gun modding more annoying when price is an important parameter for the player.
I have no great solution here, it's important to display the name of the mod (top left), as well as if it's a replacement or not (bottom right). I personally find the bottom left icon completely useless, I have never, ever used Vital vs Gear vs whatever else it is. But I'm sure some people do and it makes sense to categorize so I will leave that question for another time.
If it was me though, it would replace bottom left.
So that leaves us with top right, which is already kinda crowded with bigger names. So again, what to do here? I would save players a lot of time and pain to display prices on that screen (again, 12h average is fine, without color coding).
The suggestion that works 100% of the time and is 93.8% better
So, maybe all this can be less troublesome if we move it to the tooltip. Nothing changes, we just add one line to the tooltip with a property "average price" that is either the 12h market price or the vendor price, depending on what each player can access.
It takes about 2 seconds for the tooltip to appear, maybe we could make it faster. It would still save us a lot of time, it wouldn't clutter the current UI, and tooltips are available everywhere and can be extended indefinitely.
Now that all items have we can do cool stuff like this.
When creating my loadout, we can have the sum of each item displayed above their slot (including the container). An empty backpack displays the price of the backpack, not zero. And empty slot displays zero.
Is this less hardcore ? No, by any means no. The last bit with the total values can definitely be omitted because this one does math for you, and I can understand that it's beyond the scope of this suggestion. But having access to the already accessible price faster should definitely be an option because filtering all the time is a nightmare.
- It's slow for the player
- It's more load on the servers (and market can be infuriatingly slow)
- It's used a LOT over a gameplay session, and whatever is used a lot should be optimized more.
The game revolves around money, among other things, and I believe my suggestion helps handling it without removing any gameplay element to the game. Currently, I think that part of the UX is annoying, not challenging, and having to spend more time filtering each item individually (especially for newer players that don't know all the prices) is not the experience or vision that tarkov wants to be. This can help players spend more time in raid, playing the game, learning the game, without removing anything in return. Less load on the server, faster markets, faster inventory management, means more time in raid, more players ready, less queue times.
I know this is definitely not mega useful for the frequent players (3+ hours a day) or the experienced ones (600+ hours), because prices are known by heart for most items. But for most players, this would be a welcome change. Or for everybody when there is a new wipe, prices changes and it would just help everybody. Hell, I personally noticed propane is not 25k anymore because of the fuel trade just a couple of days ago. I had no idea propane was 18k per slot instead of 8k per slot.
I've put the work into this, please consider putting the work in your answer, I love some feedback 🙂
What do you guys think?
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