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[Discussion] Classifieds system

Discussion in 'UO Trader's Hall' started by Ron Bron, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    This is a preliminary notification that we have begun work on a classifieds add-on to replace the trade boards. We just started configuring/testing the add-on today, but it is looking very promising. It is not a full eBay style auction, but does have time expiration, categorization, prefixes, listing types, mark as sold, and other features. The add-on will include an auction feature and buyer/seller feedback in the future, but would launch without it. Stay tuned...

    If this excites you, please consider helping kickstart the effort.

    http://stratics.com/goals/classifieds-system-development.3/
     
  2. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    just keep in mind there are a few needs when selling UO items:

    Discussion
    Price changing / post editing
    Duration (indefinite is best for price references, especially for rares)

    I'm open to any changes as long as they can meet player needs.

    My selling method lately has been keeping one thread up, adding to it, and changes prices when needed. I expect the same thread to be running for 6months to a year. Very hard to please everyone i know. some sell casually with 1 item, up to sellers with 50 items for sale at one time is very common. Having to re-post what items are for sale (rares often take up to a year or more to sell) would be very discouraging for many.
     
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  3. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    Premium members will be able to automatically relist items. We could also create some longer duration listings. The need to bump is eliminated though.

    Discussion for listed items is built in. Price checks and other general discussion would remain in the forum and not the classifieds. We would leave the forums open for those types of talks.

    Editing the post is also possible. You would generally be asked to list individual items and close the sale when it is over, but we will also have a bulk same category if you want to keep things going indefinitely. It's just harder to find your products that way because you can't categorize and search for each item as easily. That would be up to you.
     
  4. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Thanks for the response. I'll be keeping an eye open for the new changes and how they play out. You mentioned a search, i understand if you dont know yet because sounds like its just being started, but any idea how this search will work?

    Like, if there is a new event item from the night, how will people see it? most wouldn't know to search for it becuase they wont know it exists yet. there would have to be a way to search that has nothing to do with the actual item or the name. better yet, a way to just see all that stuff without searching at all (easier and reaches wider audience)

    anyway, just my thoughts. i realize its the start and that i really have no idea how the system would work lol.
     
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  5. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    Good question. I think we can accomplish that goal through appropriate categories and prefixes. For example, there could be a rares category, with event item subcategories, with a new event item prefix. When you got to the classifieds list, you would start by seeing a list of most recent or ending soonest, but could click on the subcategory to quickly view only EM items (no need to actually search or know the name), then click a new items prefix and you are there. Searching is also possible if you know the exact name.

    Users can also watch categories, so they would get a notice whenever a new event item hit the market.

    Those are just a couple examples.
     
  6. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    When this was brought up as a possibility, I started working with some of the other staff on a way to better categorize items than just "Rare" "Non-Rare" and "Holiday" so if we adopt this, we will have a game plan in place since the system we're looking at allows sub-categories. For Example: Rares could have sub-categories for Server Birth, Event Items, Unique Items, EM Events etc.

    Prefixes could be used within some of those sub-categories such as with EM and Global Event Items to mark that the item is a Clicky Drop or a more usual Limited Drop. This type of approach, as long as it was used, would allow people to not only use a search feature, but filter out entire categories from the listings.
     
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  7. Jason-

    Jason- Slightly Crazed

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    Being country folk from Louisiana I am going to say "If it aint broke dont fix it". Do you get a lot of complaints about the current style? I spend way to much time hanging around on the rares forum, and I am terrified to hear you saying your changing it. Will the rares forum still be there? If so will people still be allowed to post items for sale on it? Nails has a few posts currently where he is selling a house full of items, and they are all listed. I want to see that list as one and not as 50 different postings. It would take me 10x as long to look through each separate post rather than just one post with everything listed. I know you said yall are trying to figure out a way to accomodate for that...so I guess we will just have to wait and see if we like it or not.

    I would like to see this go as a beta type deal where for the first ___ Months where people could post items in both the trade/rares forum as well as this new addon. People would still be able to operate normally while testing the new method and giving feedback.

    I do see where bumps get out of hand sometimes...someone wants there post to be seen quicker or easier. Other than that I really dont see what else needs to be fixed. I think just some more forum categories would have been a easier way to go. I can say though that I enjoy not searching for anything, but just scrolling around the pages looking at what all is out there. I have found items that I never knew I wanted by doing that.

    Change is always scary, but often a good thing. I do look forward to seeing what the great stratics minds put together. I do hope that you do not make us switch over immediately, but do like I said earlier and allow some time for both. Good luck :)
     
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  8. Nails Warstein

    Nails Warstein Rares Festival Silent Auctioneer
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    Could this not just be an add-on, made in addition to? Why would any infrastructure need to be replaced? Adding more options is always better than reducing or replacing them. Choice and variety are the spice of life. Unless there is some meaningful expense or reason that we all are unaware of. A Rares & Trade Forum with discussion and a frame of reference will always be need for any style player to make an educated decision before buying an in-game item.
     
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  9. Merlin

    Merlin The Enchanter
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    Amen. My thoughts exactly.

    There is nothing all that wrong with the way the boards are currently set up. I hope when this is first rolled out, that the trade boards will stay in place while people slowly transition over.

    I second the points made by Smoot, Jason, Longtooth and Nails.
     
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  10. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    Can we see any examples?
     
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  11. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
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    If you are adamant about adding this feature... please allow it to be "optional" and not mandatory. Please place AND enforce a few basic rules such as limited the amount of single item posts and bumping on the existing system.

    As a previous staff member (for many years and before the new ownership)... this system is coming across not as an asset or an improvement, but as a way to manage the simple issues without the need of significant moderation. We didn't have any issues with post bumping, people spamming the forums with buying/selling posts because we had a few basic rules and we reinforced them. Successful forums require hands-on moderation and not putting them on "auto-pilot". As appealing as it would be for the community to police itself, it is simply not going to happen.

    If you are insistent on implementing this new system as a replacement, you'd be better off explaining that you don't have the volunteers to manage the existing system in a way that is beneficial and fair to the community as a whole. Allow the community to have a honest reason as to why this system is being proposed so that members of this community have an opportunity to find an alternate solution to a system that appears to be a way to sweep the real issue under the rug.

    Also, as a past member who donated to the running of Stratics when it was owned by Taylor... I personally have zero desire to donate when we have had repetitive instances of new "additions" without feedback to see if it even supports our community. This classified system might be great, but instead of actually discussing it before implementing with the community we have once again been "informed" with the sort of "deal with it" attitude.

    Ron, I don't know who has your ear.. but their ability at public relations, especially in regards to this community, blows goats.


    Listen to the complaints and needs of your community.
    Bring those complaints to the community on the forums and allow discussion and brainstorming of solutions/concerns.
    Do not make major changes to the forums without your community's needs or input.
    Changes made... even those AGAINST what the majority wants... will be met with less hostility if the community feels you genuinely listened to them.
     
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  12. Dregg

    Dregg Certifiable
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    Are we spit balling ideas here or is this a GO? I tend to go with the flow of things here on stratics and i do not mind seeing changes made to make stratics a better experience but i see this as a little drastic. I am kinda right there in line with what @Assia Penryn is stating. Maybe some more input should be requested of this before jumping the gun.
     
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  13. Lord Taliesin

    Lord Taliesin Seasoned Veteran

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    I'm also a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" sort of person.
    I understand that some of the recent changes on Stratics were neccesary due to forum software being discontinued but the Stratics forums in general have been working pretty well for a long time and I would encourage minor tweaks/additions based on community need rather than changing things just for the sake of change.
     
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  14. Zuckuss

    Zuckuss Order | Chaos
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    Folks, I certainly can understand a fear of the unknown or unfamiliar. Whenever change is suggested it can be extremely uncomfortable or sound outright illogical. Regardless of what happens, I want you all to know that this was and is discussed continuously using vast amounts of information and feedback. This move is part of a larger picture that focuses on us the community as a whole and the ability to not just continue to keep Stratics alive, but to make Stratics BETTER for us all.

    It may be easy to deduce that everything is fine the way things are now, but if things get stale and stagnant, and we refuse to try new things, then we will never grow stronger and we increase the likely hood of not having any UO community resource at all in the unforeseen future. I am not saying that we are in danger of dying, but history has told us that if we remain unwilling to adjust and adapt with the times and what our situation is today... then we are handicapping ourselves and limiting the amount of potential benefit of which we can bring to you, the member.

    Now I am going to do something that I rarely get to do, and that is lay out my opinion for you all.

    All of us are extremely lucky to have an ownership that listens and is as hands on as Ron Ron is. He works with his community and staff on a direct level, something I have not seen in many years of past ownerships. Ron cares very much about the success of Stratics and works to improve it daily through the reception of ideas from us all, and yes I say us, because WE, all of us, our all in this together and despite our differences, we all share one common line of thinking. We care very deeply about Stratics, the UO community and Ultima Online itself.

    Before you suggest that I am merely "kissing the boss's proverbial "backside"" to gain good grace, please consider that I cannot sit here and tell you specifics about all the emotional, passionate and intense discussions about the direction of Stratics. I wish I could tell you all of the countless ideas suggested, debates and near fistfights that have occurred over the mulling over of these ideas behind the scenes to determine what is indeed the best way for us to go. I wish I could explain in detail to you all the countless hours, all nighters, and the pissing off of our bosses at our normal jobs so that we can determine what IS exactly the right thing to do for us all. This is no easy task folks and I wouldn't wish this level of stress on anyone.

    Before you sit there and hurl any stones, shoot down or sabotage an idea that you disagree with after considering for five seconds, consider that the owner of this site by his own good grace had POSTED in a stickied thread BEFORE any of this actually rolls out notifying you all of his intentions and asking for feedback. Please consider that the ownership of Stratics has listened and reacted to the community voice not once, but several times. Our track record here has been pretty solid when it comes to the ability to listen, identify our mistakes and make corrections where necessary.

    You all are damn lucky that you have the group of people you do, genuinely listening to your ideas, your feedback, your complaints, your suggestions, your rants and your philosophies. Just sit back and think how easily all of this could have come unraveled under the wrong direction, the wrong group, or the wrong goal.

    We, the staff, are here because we love UO, we love Stratics and believe it or not, we love all of you, the community, and we want to see us all do nothing but succeed. I swear that when something does not seem right, we will speak up, not smile and nod and not allow ourselves to become a "yes man" or "yes women" just like you guys wont. We value the life of Stratics more than our individual positions here. We are willing to attempt new ideas, new feats, new challenges and we are willing to set new goals and strive for them, and folks, you should be willing to try those things with us. There is only one way we want to move and that is forward and we cannot do it without all of you.

    Discuss on. State your opinions. Give your feedback. We will take every ounce of it with a level of seriousness which is uncommon in today's world.

    Keep this topic constructive and respectful.
     
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  15. Chump Thumper

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    So will non premium members have to pay to post things for sell as we now post?
     
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  16. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    im all for change when its improvement, or needed to solve a problem. cant blame someone for wanting to try something new. If it has everything we currently have plus some, i see it as an improvement. i wouldnt dream of taking on a project like this myself, because its a game, very different than a "real" classified where money, bids, and identities can be tracked, and people are actually buying something they need, not something they just want to possibly make a recreational game more enjoyable.

    A few things i know about UO shoppers:
    there cant be clicking or too much searching (more than a bookmark) while some people do research rares and past sales, the average person browses what they can see. Think window shopping rather than actually walking thru a store looking for something.
    (i do not know how to use a filter, looked the other day for 10 secs, which is all the time it should take for something to be considered "easy" on a website. I failed to find any "filters" and dont think im the only one who has no idea what they are)


    Needs to be Easy. if i have 100 items for sale, i need an easy way to advertise them all efficiently. Currently even screenshotting individual items is really too much of a task, its much easier to screenshot say 25 jewels at a time and post that 1 pic. Posting 100 items individually is not really worth posting them at all unless they reach a specific pricepoint.

    Its a huge risk. stratics offers alot, but trade is what brings and keeps people here. a simple website with a trade forum could be set up for basically nothing, and could become the go to trade site overnight.

    I see this as a judgement call to solve a problem rather than improve function, which is fine. If its worth the risk of losing a significant amount of users for the easy of management, it may be worth the transition.

    As a starting point, i think a safe, reasonable number to consider is losing about 30percent of posters / buyers / sellers / views. The decision that has to be made is if the ease of management, or potential profits would be making up for this loss of pure numbers.

    Worst case for stratics is that another, simple trade website pops up and stratics trade is abandoned, which basically comes down to wherever the 20 - 40 most active sellers choose to post. Its a very big risk and just hope that is realized.

    I know for myself, my own selling style, i would not bother to repost things for sale every week, because often they can take six months or a year to sell. and timed visibility has to be controled over that year. I would probably just post a link to another website or UO forum that can handle selling of UO rares well until a permanent site becomes popular.
     
    #16 Smoot, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  17. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    Great idea. After we have fully tested the product ourselves and are confident that it will meet the community needs, we will plan to introduce it to the community alongside the existing forums. The switch won't be flipped over night. We will have time to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses. The forums wouldn't ever go away unless they become idle.
     
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  18. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    It could be. We will see how well it works and be in a better position to assess that later. Infrastructure would only be replaced if it becomes obsolete.
     
  19. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    I'll post examples soon.
     
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  20. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    That's the purpose of this thread... Thanks for your feedback.

    In regard to our motivation for pursuing this, there isn't any secret there. Members have expressed desire for an auction house in the past. There have also been very heated public debates over trade forum policy. This is an attempted solution. If it works, it could provide a better user interface, reduce moderating strain, increase site revenue, and help attract more involvement in trade. The idea will be fully vetted before and if it ever replaced the trade boards. A more likely scenario would be that people just start using it for their auctions instead of the forums, and the forums tend toward trade related discussion. So, I don't really see a scenario where the grade boards would go away.
     
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  21. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    Normal users could still post and participate without paying. Paying would allow you to feature your posts, setup automatic renewal, etc.
     
  22. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    As stated elsewhere, the boards aren't being shut down. This would be an alternative that I think most people will end up preferring, but the boards are there for you. I don't really see a risk of community loss over adding this option, especially since it will be introduced very slowly. Also, as I mentioned before, we can setup longer duration listings rather easily and Premium members can renew listings. There will also be a category for bulk sales, so no need to separate things if you don't want. Hope that clears things up.
     
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  23. Chump Thumper

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    For years ive heard of people wanting to do auction style sights like ebay. for uo they just never did it, I think theirs definately potential and love the idea of as others have mentioned a basic beta form of it
     
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  24. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    Okay here are some screen shots. This should give you a pretty good idea what it will look like at least. Remember, we started working on this a couple days ago and have not finished testing.

    Index page
    [​IMG]

    Example of filtering
    [​IMG]

    Example Listing
    [​IMG]

    Discussion Page (automatically generated forum post, in this case to the non-rares forum)
    [​IMG]

    Creating a New Listing
    [​IMG]
     
    #24 Ron Bron, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
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  25. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    fyi, the title "clicky" is a very vaque term. it can refer to both holiday items / gifts as well as the now defunct em item distribution method that was in place for only a couple years. There are also several active "clickies" that were never removed from EM global events that still give out items. currently, the EM "clicky" drop has been replaced with "everyone drop," where everyone is supposed to get an item if they get looting rights on the boss, however event these often screw up and its argued whether it was actually meant to be an everyone drop, or simply higher than standard drop. generally, a "clicky" or "everyone drop" is simply noted as * when referring to numbers, or sometimes (?)
     
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  26. Scribbles

    Scribbles Babbling Loonie
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    @Ron Bron Thanks for actually communicating with your User Base. I for one am terribly excited about having an auction format. And from the pictures ive seen here it Looks like it is going to be a perfect fit for the trade areas of this website. Thanks for taking the initiative in making stratics a better place to trade UO items. Cheers, Buddy!
     
  27. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    So would "everyone drop" be a more appropriate prefix?
     
  28. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    im really not sure.
    clicky would mean mostly current holiday items / gifts that you get via dispenser rather than auto-spawn in pack.
    clicky would also mean past EM items from over 3 years ago without a standard number (as well as EM sashes are that are currently given from a clicky dispenser)
    everyone drop is current EM items with a higher than standard number for that specific shard.

    im even not sure if its really that much of a distinction. Some "everyone drops" actually have lower numbers than standard drops. its just a matter of how many people are at the event. A standard Atlantic event can have 25 drops, while many typical everyone drops on small shards top out around 30, and on very small shards as low as 15. However, like in the current global arc, an everyone drop could mean 10 or more drops per player at the event (in the case of the global, item totals are hundreds or thousands in this case. Even the name "everyone drop" is deceiving, because no where close to everyone at an event with this drop actually gets one. A more accurate name would be "everyone who gets looting rights drop" but we just call it "everyone drop"

    So clicky / everyone drop is meant to indicate something about the numbers, but theres also a very wide range of what those numbers might be.

    not really sure what you want to do with that info, but thats the most accurate way i can describe it.

    Even the "standard" drop numbers are in question right now because of how mesanna said the system has recently changed, so even i who regularly attend all the events have no clear cut idea on how accurate distinction based on drop numbers could really go about.

    maybe put up a poll, or possibly speak to Manticore about possible prefixes for categorizing rares, (hes the one who does the rares archives list and puts in drop numbers to the best of his ability)
     
    #28 Smoot, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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  29. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
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    I notice the tag "featured" on some of the auctions. What is that?

    (I recognize my own selling post in the examples)

    So if this isn't intended to replace the system, but add-on to it. If folks don't use it or if those causing issues do not use it, what are you planning to do to address the post bumping and multi-trade post complaints?
     
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  30. Jason-

    Jason- Slightly Crazed

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    @Ron Bron Thank you for coming on here and answering all those questions. You cleared up a lot of my concerns. While my stance is still in the middle somewhere I am a lot more comfortable with the idea now than I was after reading your initial post. As @Scribbles said...thank you for taking the time to communicate and answer questions. Your responses helped a lot. Now as for @Zuckuss ...buddy lol....you typed a big old post up there and Im not sure you really said anything haha....I did feel the love tho.

    I look forward to seeing and learning more about it. As long as its not coming in to replace the rares forum and it will be a slow process...I should be a happy camper.
     
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  31. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    The listings created by Premium Stratics members will automatically be featured.

    There are not currently any plans to adjust the bump policy or multi post policy. If you have a recommendation, you may post it to our suggestion board.
     
  32. BrianFreud

    BrianFreud Lead Wiki Mod & Doer of Crazy Things
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    With regards to this idea, my concern is that it's focused too narrowly on a single listing. Consider my auctions; they can take a week or more to assemble, of which a good amount of the time is crafting the posts. There seems to be nothing here to handle multiple listings, other than doing them one by one, which can only be slow and tedious.

    @Ron Bron, with regards to Assia's comments, I'd agree 100%. I was specifically put under NDA *to test this feature*. I feel that I can publicly say this, because I was never actually given anything to see or test. I was told about it, asked for my input, asked to sign an NDA, which I signed and returned... then I've not heard nor seen anything until now, when it's being publicly announced. I will say that other recent changes to the site have made it very very slow on my end. It's the the point that, when I'm on my laptop, I have to type in notepad or gedit and copy comments into the page, as the page (I'm assuming the javascript, as it's not just the flash content) is making the forms act like molassis.
     
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  33. BrianFreud

    BrianFreud Lead Wiki Mod & Doer of Crazy Things
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    [​IMG]
    All the shards really need to be separately listed. The other 9 or so shards really aren't adequately describing where an item is by simply saying "asia".
     
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  34. Ron Bron

    Ron Bron Former President
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    There are bulk sales categories, so you should be covered. Further, you can upload multiple images into a gallery, so you can continue to operate as you have. It really is no different than eBay or Craigslist in that regard. Many people do bulk sales or mixed listings on those services, but others sell individual items. You could list either way. Obviously when you list individually, people can filter more effectively because each item can be categorized, but that doesn't preclude you from doing an estate sale type of listing and bulk sales may be more effective for you. It is up to you, but the framework is available for either choice.
     
    #34 Ron Bron, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
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  35. BrianFreud

    BrianFreud Lead Wiki Mod & Doer of Crazy Things
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    Good to know that bulk listings will still be allowed. Your point about filtering and searching echoes my original comments from a few months back, though - at some point, it'd be really nice if there was some provision for bulk entry or import, so that those benefits could be retained while still allowing us to avoid one-by-one entry.
     
    Ron Bron likes this.