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An Addendum

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Nenicirene's picture

On further examination, it occurs to me that the system I proposed is not immune to abusive behavior. Specifically, an individual can place a bid they know has no chance of winning on an item they don't really want simply to siphon off some of the winning bid into their own account. That is, if Blades of Sashimi go for between 0.4 and 0.6 normally, a person would can't make use of it could still bid 0.3 on one in order to increase his priority.

Additionally, there is a positive feedback problem in that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Specifically, an individual with a priority of zero can never get it to increase. More generally, if a subgroup winds up with high priority scores, they can place inflated bids on items that will get redistributed preferentially to members of that group, keeping them wealthy.

Thus, it looks like I have to toss the proportional redistribution part, and simply distribute the winner's bid evenly among all participants. However, that means there can be inflation and deflation in certain categories. In the example I gave with equal drop rates for class-specific gear and twice as many rogues as priests, there will be a net flow of points from priests to rogues, which will impact other classes that compete with them at times. The end result is that rogue items will become more expensive than priest items, which makes sense if there is greater relative demand. This looks like it calls for some simulation to test long-term behavior of the system.