First, thanks Jeremy and assorted other admins for answering our questions. I managed to actually hear the answers to my blind questions after the fact and I'm glad to hear my concerns are on the radar (even if they are on back burner until TBD).
I am full of sass and vinegar and have all of the ideas, but I'm curious about where other folks stand (who are actually interested in the three topics I'm fixing to post about) on these. What frustrates, what improvement ideas do you have, what fairy dream dust wishes do you think will never happen but would love?
Quick & Dirty
- Expanded shops - the option to build new rooms that can be described (and maybe split shelves into multiple rooms of a shop)
- Bonuses for well stocked shops - Access to necessary goods can be an issue even with our explosion of shops, maybe provide a bonus for shopkeepers that stay well stocked (like that mob-shopping thing, perhaps, make mobs more likely to shop at places they can get all their adventuring supplies in one handy stop)
- Simplified stocking - Oh please, please.
- A Request System - Need something custom crafted and like the look of what's on the shelf? Leave the shopkeep a note.
- Focusing on profitability - Unlikely to happen for all but a rare few. Focus on making shops more enjoyable/useful for those who own them.
- Limiting shops - Unlikely to fix profitability, likely to reduce available necessary wares, frustrating for people who wanna craft and give you money for the privilege.
I love having a shop because it encourages me to flex creative muscle through crafting without a specific request or personal need. Expanding that into the building of a shop increases enjoyment. Aetolia already does this - allows a player with a shop to build additional rooms. This allows thematic shops like a winery with cozy hangouts, for example. I think we could expand on that and allow shelves to appear in different rooms of a shop. So you could have a theater space with concessions in one room, a bar in another, costumes, props, and accessories in a third, with a stage occupying a fourth. Or a twisted laboratory with supplies, or a pub, or a hunting lodge, or a tea garden, or whatever floats your boat and finds your lost remote.
Bonus for Stocking:
Even with the explosion of shops since the token shops happened, we still run into a lack of necessary equipment fairly often. The mention of potential future mob purchases gave me an idea. Shops that stock a wide variety of items could have an increased likelihood of mob arrivals. (Orgs that have shops should already be incentivizing well stocked shops and limiting the number of clothes/booze only shops. Hint, nudge)
The only real idea I have for this is to be able to attach a keyword to shelves and stockable goods. ASSIGN SHELF# KEYWORD FOOTWEAR. STOCK BLUE.SHOE TO FOOTWEAR. PRICE BLUE.SHOE 100. But anything that makes this process less tedious is a big win.
I don't know how much interest there would be for this. I've done a decent amount of direct commissions but I don't hunt it down and I always just design my own crap and have people submit it when I'm on a non-crafting character, HOWEVER, I think it would be nifty to have a way to send a formal request for custom gear via a shop. Or even just a request for stocking stuff. Maybe attach it to a ledger in the shop. Ledger requests can be stored in the shop log. 'SIGN LEDGER REQUEST FOR COMMISSION' leaves a shop log note 'Commission request from Player'. 'SIGN LEDGER REQUEST FOR BACKPACKS' 'Ledger request for backpacks'.
Very few of us (I think, from my not-at-all scientific approach of knowing IRE shopkeepers over a decade of playing) own shops to make money. That's kind of laughable, tbh. I have 6 tradeskills, 4 crafting skills, and artifacts to match on just one of my characters (and have multiple characters with tradeskill investment because I'm impatient). That's before we get into the cost of shopkeeping itself (taxes, add-ons, shelves, barrels, artifact flasks, commodities) and before we get into the time consumption of shopkeeping and crafting. Focusing improvements on this area is a waste of time and energy. Focus on making shops a better resource for players looking for things, focus on making shops easier to work with. There are easily half a dozen easier, faster, and more reliable ways to make coin in Imperian.
Limiting Shop Numbers:
I know this has been a debate since I've started playing but I stand firmly in the more shops, not less camp. Limiting the number doesn't improve profitability to the degree necessary to make that a worthwhile consideration. It doesn't improve the availability of goods (it limits them) and it increases the barrier for crafters (who are spending pretty considerable cash for the privilege of creating content) who want to get their crafted goods accessible to the public market. Choice doesn't hurt the playerbase. Please don't do this.