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Using Shops to Sell to Players

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Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby MrT2G » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:40 am

I think the inability/difficulty for people to acquire needs goods and materials from PC crafters is not only hurting the economy but player activity. If PC crafters could use shops to sell to players, it could greatly simplify this problem.

I understand that face-to-face sells are preferable RPwise, but the logistics behind organizing meetings, coordinating playtimes, etc can be prohibitive, monotonous, and simply not enjoyable when constantly repeated.

With that said, shops being vNPC focused discourages other types of RP. It encourages crafters to only make one item that profits the most from the vNPCs, and discourages making and marketing goods for PCs. I don't know this personally, but I feel as if it also creates a sense of constantly needing to work which eventually overwhelms and burns out crafters.

I do know that it is very hard to currently get much of anything made currently IG and that there are amble crafters. There is a disconnect somewhere. I don't know if it is missed connections, a lack of desire to craft, or something else entirely.

Do any IG crafters have an opinion on how shops should be better used for PC sells?
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby tehkory » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:32 pm

MrT2G wrote:I think the inability/difficulty for people to acquire needs goods and materials from PC crafters is not only hurting the economy but player activity. If PC crafters could use shops to sell to players, it could greatly simplify this problem.

I understand that face-to-face sells are preferable RPwise, but the logistics behind organizing meetings, coordinating playtimes, etc can be prohibitive, monotonous, and simply not enjoyable when constantly repeated.

With that said, shops being vNPC focused discourages other types of RP. It encourages crafters to only make one item that profits the most from the vNPCs, and discourages making and marketing goods for PCs. I don't know this personally, but I feel as if it also creates a sense of constantly needing to work which eventually overwhelms and burns out crafters.

I do know that it is very hard to currently get much of anything made currently IG and that there are amble crafters. There is a disconnect somewhere. I don't know if it is missed connections, a lack of desire to craft, or something else entirely.

Do any IG crafters have an opinion on how shops should be better used for PC sells?

Three options that have worked previously, two of which would work for SoI-That-Is, one of which that might work for Warcraft. The two that might work essentially boil down to the same thing, just more-vs.-less complicated.

STEP ONE:
Remove vNPC sales.

STEP TWO-A:
Atonement had a craft/prog that PCs could use. Mostly profitable for hagglers, but anyone could use it. It would generate income. They'd bundle hides or scrap together, then run the prog/craft in a public place. Other players could grant them more income with brawling(bruisers protecting the merchant), sleight-of-hand(pickpockets), and artistry(drawing in more shoppers with music/showmanship). The more hides/scraps sold, the lower the coin you'd get from it. The higher your skill(and the skills of the others aiding you), the higher coin you'd get. This is one option, allowing PCs to create generic objects(, then letting hagglers(and maybe others?) go sell the objects. Craft poor-trade-good, give to haggler, get tiny amount of coin. Craft average-trade-good, give to haggler, get more coin. Craft-good-trade-good, give to haggler, awh yiss. Craft superior-trade-good, yadda yadda. More difficult, probably.

STEP TWO-B:
Later, there was a craft where you'd make coin for manual labor. Simple transaction that took some HP, and a craft timer, and gave you coin. I always thought, honestly, the best way to balance an economy would be without vNPC sales but instead with each 'profession' getting a series of generic WORK-FOR-COIN options. Novice, low-level coin craft can be branched. Adroit, medium-level. Master, high-level. Supplies+timer+public location=coin.


Issues:
Deciding which system to go with, the benefits of the former being variable coin and a system of player-interelations when it comes to skill, the difficulties being complexity/requiring more players.

Deciding generously to allocate crafts/the coin in either case, so as to encourage selling items in shops/but allowing people to make coin without.

Semi-useless addendum:
Parallel had(s) a program wherein the various gangs that ran the city would go around bullying the unaffiliated civilians(whores, snot-nosed brats, etc.) and taking their coin, extending their 'influence' while competing with each-other. Not really applicable here...though it might be something to pay attention to for the warcraft system.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Frigga » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:24 pm

Thanks for the honest feedback and some suggestions. :)

I'll give a more thorough response later.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby tehkory » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:30 pm

Belatedly, but...

Option #3:
Encourage more use of the auction system. Requires the least effort/coding...but it won't get players to not sell whatever's most efficient in their shop, which is the real core problem: how efficient/emphasized/useful vNPC sales are, and how they also would eat up from anything put in player-shops. Doubt it'd work, but it might.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby MrT2G » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:27 pm

I don't think removing vNPC sales is realistic given the current set up. Merchants are suppose to be rich, licensing, etc.

However, they are out of hand. There is a reason 90% of shops are empty 99% of the time (yay for imaginary numbers).

Simply reducing vNPC sales may be one option and likely one that could work if effort and time was given to finding the correct balance and it was considered to give a variety of different sell rates to some general groups of items. This sounds like a lot of work though and difficult.

A second option might be to allow PCs a command similar to <mark> that denotes what is to be sold to vNPCs and what is not. However, I think this would require coding and could be hard for PCs to keep track of what was designated as what.

A third option would be to create two storerooms to a single storefront/NPC shopkeeper. One storeroom would have vNPC sales and the other would not. This would at least allow the PCs to choose what they wanted to sell to vNPCs and what they wanted set aside for PCs. This option is a bit cumbersome, but I think it could be effective (if possible codewise?) and relatively easy to implement.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby tehkory » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:11 pm

MrT2G wrote:I don't think removing vNPC sales is realistic given the current set up. Merchants are suppose to be rich, licensing, etc.

However, they are out of hand. There is a reason 90% of shops are empty 99% of the time (yay for imaginary numbers).

Simply reducing vNPC sales may be one option and likely one that could work if effort and time was given to finding the correct balance and it was considered to give a variety of different sell rates to some general groups of items. This sounds like a lot of work though and difficult.

A second option might be to allow PCs a command similar to <mark> that denotes what is to be sold to vNPCs and what is not. However, I think this would require coding and could be hard for PCs to keep track of what was designated as what.

A third option would be to create two storerooms to a single storefront/NPC shopkeeper. One storeroom would have vNPC sales and the other would not. This would at least allow the PCs to choose what they wanted to sell to vNPCs and what they wanted set aside for PCs. This option is a bit cumbersome, but I think it could be effective (if possible codewise?) and relatively easy to implement.

The removal of vNPC sales--if the related options are implemented--doesn't make anybody poorer in theory. It just changes the means by which people get access to their coin, if I needed to re-clarify that. If I didn't make that clear with either step Two-A or Two-B, I'm sorry.

Not knowing what the level of coding/progging commitment Staff are willing to commit to this(I'd say zero), the only option that really requires zero coding/progging is the auction area.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Melkor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:43 am

It is clear that the current system is completely unworkable as it is. The system is designed for a game that has a hundred times more players than it does now. This would be a good system years from now if/when there are ever that many active players, but right now all it has done is grind everything to a halt.

PC merchants can't keep their shops stocked, they give up and quit playing. No one can get anything because there is never things in shops and perhaps they don't even play when said merchants log in. Which is likely since a lot of these merchants hardly ever log in, and when they do, it's just to do something in their shop then head out again.

It's effectively ground the economy to a complete and total halt which is, in turn, killing the gameworld.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby MrT2G » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:15 am

Melkor wrote:It is clear that the current system is completely unworkable as it is. The system is designed for a game that has a hundred times more players than it does now. This would be a good system years from now if/when there are ever that many active players, but right now all it has done is grind everything to a halt.

PC merchants can't keep their shops stocked, they give up and quit playing. No one can get anything because there is never things in shops and perhaps they don't even play when said merchants log in. Which is likely since a lot of these merchants hardly ever log in, and when they do, it's just to do something in their shop then head out again.

It's effectively ground the economy to a complete and total halt which is, in turn, killing the gameworld.


Yes.

tehkory wrote:The removal of vNPC sales--if the related options are implemented--doesn't make anybody poorer in theory. It just changes the means by which people get access to their coin, if I needed to re-clarify that. If I didn't make that clear with either step Two-A or Two-B, I'm sorry.


I understood, but I think the problem is less about generating coin and more about an appropriate mechanism to facilitate commence. I'd guess there is already an overabundance of coin, albeit in a few select pockets. The main reason I believe shops need to remain generally intact is because of the licensing system and other established IC norms. Discussion of these systems is a whole other can of worms I think should be discussed elsewhere.

I do like your ideas particularly in regards to warcraft. They may be best as a supplement to an appropriately revised version of the current one, rather then a replacement.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Melkor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:03 am

There is a way to band-aid the current system. On SOI2 there was the order command. With it, certain shops were capable of ordering virtually any item, they just cost more than what you would typically pay if going through a PC crafter.

Either bring this back or perhaps put a mall of stalls object in the eastern market where practically every object in the game can be bought, for say, twice the coded listing price. This would make it so that people can get what they need when (as almost always is the case currently) no PC is available, for whatever reason, to make what is needed. But it would still be advantageous to find a PC who can make what you want, because it would be considerably cheaper, for the rare times when there actually is a PC available to go through.

With either of these systems, the current AU could remain exactly as it is and the economy would thrive, thus perhaps boosting the gameworld and current player activity.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby tehkory » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:20 pm

Melkor wrote:Which is likely since a lot of these merchants hardly ever log in, and when they do, it's just to do something in their shop then head out again.

It's effectively ground the economy to a complete and total halt which is, in turn, killing the gameworld.


Gameworld's better-suited by forcing PCs to go outside of their shops to sell to vNPCs for that reason...and maybe by removing backdoors' crafting, too. But those are some pretty craft-heavy 'solutions.'

Mall-of-stalls worked p. well for Atonement for a lot of items, and also creates a nice coinsink to reduce inflation in the game.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Melkor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:37 pm

I'm not in disagreement. Some kind of give-me-some-money crafts could work, but the economy has bigger problems than just getting a crafter or two to come out of their shops once in a while.

I was going to pay some PCs to help me move some logs, but then I realized I couldn't because I don't know any licensed log movers.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Frigga » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:18 pm

One of the reasons for encouraging against non license straight coin sales was to have a balance against the idea that an interaction with another player is only as good as the direct immediate result in producing coin. But some deeper and potentially more meaningful interactions.

If you want to hire someone to carry logs aa an examplar, don't pay them money. Buy them something they want/need of the same value, give them something you make, owe them a favor, offer to help them acquire or carry something they need in trade, pay them anyway outside of town ;) and submit an I'm up to naughty deals report for RP etc.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby CassandraBanana » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:23 pm

For PCs running shops, and those that have craft/ingredient heavy occupations, vNPC sales are not always a boon. Sure, it's nice to be able to stock a ton of crap items and come back later to a pile of coins. It would be nicer, however, if we had some sort of order/delivery system in place so that ordering, buying and selling between PCs wasn't such a hassle - especially for those that don't keep regular hours, or have RL situations that they have to take a few days off here and a few days off there.

Also, what am I doing with all that gold? Nothing, because I'm scraping by and trying to figure out how the hell I'm going to barter for something I need because there isn't a PC with a license to sell it, or that PC's shop is empty because of vNPC sales... I've accepted stuff that I absolutely don't need just to barter with someone for something they needed just to avid the Union drama. Don't have a license? Don't have an apartment? Don't have any place to get food except buying it from the Ironwood? Well, Good luck saving up for all that when you can't even accept a few silver for manual labor.

Even as a vNPC-sale-benefit character, I'd much prefer to deal with PCs, even if it limited income.

Just my opinion, and I don't really have a suggested solution, but I think it's clear that the current system of micromanaged business practices just isn't working for the better part of the players.
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Re: Using Shops to Sell to Players

Postby Rishte » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:16 pm

I want to stress this forum is not for this kind of discussion. This forum is for setting up RPTs in Utterby with players and with Staff.

We do not presently have a forum open to discuss, whether pro or con, documentation or in-game economics. You are each welcome to discuss further with staff by way of using our support email system or post to the Ask the Staff thread.

That said, I am locking this thread and encouraging those who want to open respectful discussion with staff to use our support email system.
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