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It takes too much time to make any ducats. Every time the prices reset, people drive the prices so low that people who are just starting with commerce can barely make any profit at all. For example, if I went to Dunbarton I wouldn't be able to buy the higher level items because I can barely make a profit even with the items initially available. Sometimes I can't even make 1000 ducats in single trip.
For people who have done some commerce, they can't rely on the higher level goods because the prices on those drop even faster. Those get so low that it is impossible to make any profit on those items without anything that increases profits like the letters of guarantee and commerce mastery. Without high enough profits, training commerce mastery is impossible without the use of skill training seals and ap training leading to lower profits and a bigger waste of time.
I can't farm bandits while holding trade goods because the item prices are so low that it would not be worth my time spending the entire real life day killing enough bandits to make a profit off of badges. This is especially true for those who don't even have the merchant levels to get the epensive goods or for those without enough power to kill tougher bandits.
The bounty board is a poor alternative to commercing. Bandits spawn when people travel through areas while holding trade goods. The previously stated points mean that many people will be driven away from commercing whether they actually were interested in commercing or not. This means that in order to take advantage of the bounty board, the people who want to use it must do commercing at least once to get the bandits to spawn. Also, in order to make a decent amount of ducats without the use of bounty hunter cards there must be a real person who lost a good chunk of ducats to the bandits. This is assuming that the person doing the bounty hunting actually finds the hideout with the boss in it. All of these issues combined make bounty hunting just as time conuming and unprofitable as commercing itself.
The other alternatives to commercing are killing certain monsters for items that can be sold for ducats and the wishing tree. Killing monsters is not really profitable either. I have tried this before but even while spending a few hours killing monsters I have only gotten a few. These items are difficult to obtain for weaker players and I have yet to see prices that were worth the time and strength required to obtain them.
The wishing tree is terrible. Sure, throw money at it to maybe get something in return the next day. I don't even get to know if I got the ducats at the very moment I throw money at it and I definitely am not going to pay attention or remember the next day. The most I could even get out of this is 10,000. If the commercing prices were decent, I could make that much within a few trips with mid level goods.
I would really like to do some commercing but almost no one can make a profit. Therefore, almost no one wants to do it. No one is bounty hunting without bounty hunter cards. Commercing and its alternatives are a huge waste of time in its current state with rewards too insignificant for people to enjoy it.
Make trade goods less based or not based at all on player trade activity
Set a minimum price that goods cannot drop below where players can still make a profit without the aid of the commercing skill or letters of guarantee on all items
Make items bought with ducats cheaper
Make trade goods worth more
Make commercing more like a stock market where players can buy low and sell high
Make bandits spawn on their own for bounty hunting players
Have random bandit bosses appear with random high ducat bounties at set time intervals to encourage players to bounty hunt when they don't feel like commercing
Make farmed trade goods worth more
Make farmed trade goods drop more often
Make the tree an actual currency converter that doesn't just eat gold sometimes and can be used anytime as often as people want and gives the ducats immediately