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Town NPC marketing system

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Beastmaster, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Edit2: Jump down to this post for latest revision of idea:
    Town NPC marketing system

    Reading the thread about what you miss in UO got me thinking. I started hatching an idea which is by no means complete. I'm sure the change haters will give it the ole bah humbug because they don't want to be impacted by anything, but I hope some of you will see some merit in it bringing people back to dead towns.

    Edit: This was shot down, so read further down in thread.

    1. Give or rent a bankbox in each town to each account (not character). Give those boxes the standard 125 (150 in Fel, fewer banks) item unlimited weight setting. Each bankbox would be totally separate from the ones in the other towns.

    2. Give each character access to account gold or checks from any bank.

    3. Drastically lower the item counts for houses, say to 10% of current level. Which should leave plenty for decoration.

    Please bring some intelligent discussion or STFU.
     
  2. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    Destroying Luna along with all the houses inside the walls would be simplier and easier...

    I wish for this daily
     
  3. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    1. Ok
    2. Ok
    3. Never.
     
  4. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    ... so we have to bounce around each city and bank to find which items we put where? nah.
     
  5. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    Hmm...did I read it wrong? Because if that's what he was getting at, no to all of it.
     
  6. Re: Bring folks back to towns

    1. Okay - except really no reason to give higher count to Felucca banks.

    2. We have this now.

    3. No - I (and many others) paid for expanded storage. I don't want to try to make it up by giving more storage at each bank. Hard enough keeping stuff straight.

    I think a better idea to bring people to town is to give bonuses to use items in town, such as a +10% smithing bonus to use the town forge (like they are doing for imbuing). Crafting is the first thing that came to mind, but bonuses can be created for each profession to bring people to town.
     
  7. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    I think it's fair to say that between boards, ICQ, vent, etc there aren't a lot of people who do their socializing primarily in-game. If you're not a naturally social person, it's a little tricky to get enjoyment out of banksitting.

    I'm not wild about distributed storage - it's hard enough to remember what I have stashed where without recalling all over the place (plus there are some cross-account shared storage issues that would be tricky to solve)

    To get a good "socializing" culture, I think you need a minigame or two that involves doing a little running around town followed by 10-20 minutes of downtime where you have to stay in the city. Alternatively, a turn-based multiplayer minigame/quest, where many people party up, but have to take turns running errands/tagging each other. The more people playing, the more time there is to socialize between turns.

    As long as the rewards of the minigame are good enough to interest people but not so good that people resent feeling obliged to grind it, that would give an incentive for people to "hang out" in town.

    Asides about why I think other systems have run into problems:

    Heartwood: quest-givers are a way to bring people together, but players here are so focused on grinding a quest that exists only in the UI you end up with what looks like a field of zombie crafters staring blankly forward.

    Spellweaving circle in Brit: this was a nice addition and I have hung out from time to time to help people power up, but the flaw to my eyes is that once you've powered up, you now have an incentive to leave not to stay

    Luna bank: well, this is just a cultural thing - I've just never found it a wildly welcoming place but I've never really invested to time to really get to know the people there.

    It will be interesting to see how the soulforge in Ter Mur works out as a gathering point.
     
  8. Tay M'real

    Tay M'real Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    here are a couples suggestions of things I miss from back in the day:

    get rid of PoF and repair deeds - force warriors back to towns looking for smiths at the local forges to provide goods/services to the community.

    remove LRC to force mages back to town to buy their reagents.
     
  9. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    Ok, so it wasn't an idea anyone could embrace. But at least there were some others mentioned.

    How about this instead?

    No vendors allowed at homes, period. Vendors would be available by rental contract from npc merchants in existing town shops. Limit # of vendors per shop. Limit 1 vendor per character. First come, first serve basis. Vendors that fail to move X gp worth of merchandise per week (vary by location) are closed.
     
  10. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    JUST DESTROY LUNA!!!!
     
  11. Sweeney

    Sweeney Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Or run a banksitting contest at WBB where the winners get gold.. that worked didn't it? ;)
     
  12. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    :thumbsup:
     
  13. Myna

    Myna Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns


    yup, but with dropping rubbles please
     
  14. Berethrain

    Berethrain Slightly Crazed
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    They should simply do the free return to uo for a month again.
     
  15. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Please explain how destroying Luna brings folks back to towns?

    In all likelihood that would just drive the price of houses up in Zento making it the new Luna.

    Making town vendors available in every town and giving everyone a shot at that them seems much more likely to reinvigorate all the towns.
     
  16. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Luna is the only town with houses inside its walls...OSI removed this feature when they added trammel back around 2000ish...

    They did not like the idea of houses improperly placed inside towns in guarded areas. (Some houses in fel, especially on Pacific still have homes inside Yew and such). They felt this gave the very few players the edge over other players in terms of vendors, location value etc.

    So WHY 8 years later they create a town (Luna) and allow a limited number of houses to be placed inside the walls thus making those few home owners superior to everyone else is beyond me...why did they set themselves back 8 years? dont know!
     
  17. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    If you remove all the vendors from the Luna homes (and all the other homes), how then do they have an advantage?
     
  18. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    They dont...so lets remove all vendors :D
     
  19. Maija

    Maija Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Luna has been around since AoS, which came out in 2003. I count three years later, unless I am misunderstanding your rant.

    I sort of like the idea of town vendors, with the exception of the requirement of moving x merchandise in a certain amount of time. It encourages competition in a negative way, people buying only from people they like/know and able to purposely snub someone whose merchandise is just as good and just as cheap. Ridiculously undercutting someone in an attempt to gain some sales just makes it even harder to get that x amount required.

    We could just move to an auction house system like WoW has. That attracts people to towns. In fact, auction houses and the bank are basically the only places you see people in towns on that game, either, and they have many more players than we have. Minigames and the like would only attract people for a short time period, after which people would forget about it and the town would be empty again.
     
  20. Maija

    Maija Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Well, they do, kinda. I live outside of Zento and love having quick access to the bank, stables, and all of the vendors without having to recall all over the place. Luna, being even more compact, has this even more so.
     
  21. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Maija, it was just my poor math lol...I thought Luna was built around 2006 then I said 2000 to 2006 was 8 years cause I am a fool...
     
  22. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    If there is one thing I really liked about WoW that I wish UO had, it was the auction house. It made it possible for everyone to have a fair chance at selling their goods. At the moment the chance you have at selling your goods depends on the location of your house or if you can afford to rent a vendor at a more popular house.
     
  23. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    I wasn't crazy about that part myself. I was trying to come up with a way to make sure vendors didn't sit idle too long. Since there would be a limited number of vendors, idle vendors would hurt everyone else trying to sell stuff but unable to find an open vendor spot. Sorta like all the vacant house plots we have now taking up space others could use. Any ideas how to combat that issue?


    Edit: I had some other ideas but I think they would overcomplicate it for players and for the coders. Like, trying to make sure vendors sold goods that were related to the shop they were located in.
     
  24. riohnyx

    riohnyx Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    I dig the town vendor idea. Maybe a timer like vendor rental contracts except more limited? If the loot doesn't sell by the time the timer is up then it goes to the bank box. (If there's not enough room in the bank box then it drops to the ground where it's a free for all :D - would kinda limit the amount people could price things at too since bank storage is limited per character.... hmmmm).
     
  25. Wolfways

    Wolfways Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    This 100%
     
  26. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    *Shrug* I have not played WoW but I have played EQ :)

    EverQuest solved the problem by creating a zone dedicated to traders.

    You could be in either WTS (Want to Sell) or WTT/WTB (Want to Trade / Want to Sell) mode.

    There was a window, that you as a buyer could bring up, set filters on just about everything and see the results.

    If you were interested then you could highlight the vendor, push a button and a glowing ethereal pathway took you to the vendor.

    Actualy there were two windows, one for the WTS mode and one for the WTT/WTB mode. Different filters and different information was displayed that facilitated the WTT aspect.

    I mean with some thought and work, they could create a nice town (a zone) layed out much like one might fantasize a medieval Bazaar might be with stalls, and all the trappings.
     
  27. Maija

    Maija Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Again, the auction house thing would circumvent this problem since auctions run out after a few days. Making only a limited number of vendors available gives a large advantage to people with multiple accounts and a lot of time to stand around camping for another vendor to fall, making it more or less like Luna again. Instead of charging exorbitant amounts to rent from their Luna homes, people would start charging other people to sell their stuff for them and make the system even more unbalanced and less secure, since now people wouldn't even have the option of putting up their vendor in a less lucrative spot. I'd be okay with there being an auction house or designated player vendor of each type within each building if they want people spread out around the towns, or equally as happy with there just being a few npcs in one building. If we don't like auction-style, we could just have an npc who takes some money to sell an item for you, keeps it up for a week, and offers it at a set, designated price.

    Thinking about these solutions though brings to mind one thing that would possibly cause a big uproar, however, and that is scripters. While I know some people use something or other to run around Luna and record what vendors have, they don't have access to the entire world's vendors, and there would probably be a number of them who would game the system to make themselves a lot of money from scripting. There may also be others who would cry that having easy access to all of the world's vendors would drive the prices down on their beloved overpriced items (which scripters would probably keep more steady by buying the cheap ones and reselling them). I don't know, what do you think?
     
  28. HattoriHanzo

    HattoriHanzo Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    One thing about switching to an entirely new system of commerce: do you honestly think we'll ever see that from the devs? I don't think so.

    So maybe there's a way to tweak the current situation without a huge overhaul.

    I see at least two options:

    1) "Personal Shopper" type of NPC placed perhaps near the banks that is, essentially, a search interface into all of the world's vendors. Perhaps in the search results it would even provide an interface to Recall/SJ directly to the vendor. This would get people into towns a little more, but would also get/keep people seeing the world... Which I like. (I kinda enjoy running all across the world looking at vendor houses--it's the search process (or lack thereof) that's tedious).

    2) Do the auction house, but tie it in to the existing world vendors. Like the personal shopper, it's just a search interface, but you can buy straight through the AH interface--no need to visit the vendor. Don't do any expiration, just keep the current vendor fees. This would get more people into towns, and it would eliminate the unfair Luna advantage, without a complete wipe of the vendor system.
     
  29. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Look, if you want players back in town you'll have to lure them there with certain things that cant be gotten anywhere else. Something that makes people *want* to go there.

    Something like increased fishing skill gain at certain city docks, or alchemy gains in mage shops. Or increased success chances when smithing in a blacksmith shop.
     
  30. TMC Crowley

    TMC Crowley Seasoned Veteran
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns

    I second that :popcorn:
     
  31. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Looks like you 2 are on the same page. I think I would take it a step further, but then I am a little heavy handed. I would remove the ability to perform a craft skill anywhere except at a corresponding town shop. People could keep their forges, spinning wheels, etc., for deco but they wouldn't function. This would mean more work for the Devs though since skills like alchemy don't currently require any fixed objects. However a proximity check to known shop signs should be easy enough to code.

    I know the carrot approach works wonders with our world, but maybe it's time we were forced into doing something instead of being given things all the time.
     
  32. Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    if the moongates were moved into the city limits next to the banks, then you'd definately see more people at the various banks, as the convenience would simply draw more people.
     
  33. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    I have never played WOW and know zilch about their auction house system. I'm not totally opposed to borrowing ideas from other games (but I'm not a Dev), but I would rather see our Devs come up with something that is unique to UO. My reasoning behind the vendor change I proposed is twofold. First and foremost is to get people milling about ALL the towns. Yes, that means work on the part of players. You would have to go to several smith shops to find that awesome sword you seek. Second it would go a long way towards leveling the playing field of merchants.

    While writing this reply another option occurred to me. Rather than add vendors for players to rent, why not utilize the current NPCs. They already have lists of goods they will buy that correspond to their shop. The lists would need some tweaking. However instead of selling your item to them, you give it to them on consignment much the way we do player run auction houses now. It then becomes a part of their inventory at the price you set. If it sells the money goes straight to your bank. If it doesn't sell within a week, the item is sent to your bank instead. The NPC could be set to deduct a percentage fee for the transaction or that may not even be necessary as folks would just pad their price to cover it. This would eliminate folks camping vendors in my earlier plan.
     
  34. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Pissing-off the player-base is never a good idea.
     
  35. DVDA

    DVDA Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Good idea and while their at it, destroy Luna
     
  36. Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    or turn every town into luna. just think of it a vesper luna, a minoc luna, a moonglow luna, a trinsic luna... talk about convenience!
     
  37. Maija

    Maija Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Yeah, that's what I was getting at with putting your items up for sale at a fixed price, the listing lasting a week, and it costing a certain amount of money to put the item up.
     
  38. riohnyx

    riohnyx Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    :twak:
     
  39. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Luna houses inside the walls are actually outside the guard zone. You seem to be implying otherwise. If not, I apologise. In either case, there are plenty of housing spots closer to a moongate than in Luna, which actually puts them nearer Luna town centre than any Luna house. Strange but true.

    If you don't like Luna bank, don't use it. It's horrible to look at anyway, and a decent size crowd doesn't fit in it.

    If you don't like Luna prices, don't shop there. Close your online search database and go looking for shops like we used to before AoS. Once you find some out of the way vendor and start becoming a regular customer, they will bend over backwards to accommodate you.

    If everyone who ever complained about Luna actually did these things, the place would be a ghost town and the vendors would eventually disappear. Here's a thought: go use New Haven instead and help some newbies. If that's something you do anyway, then great. Just give up the bitterness.
     
  40. Zyron

    Zyron Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    i think they should destroy the luna city... keep the houses...

    because these people who are just goin in guns blazin going

    DESTROY LUNA HURR HURR HURR

    are exteremely selfish..

    How would you feel.. if youre house, holding all of your stuff

    precious suits, val hammers, barbed kits, event rares ect...

    was just destroyed??
    Then you lose the only thing that is netting you millions of dollars?


    Main point: People r jealous they dont have luna houses IMO..
     
  41. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Can we get back on topic folks?

    This thread isn't about destroying cities, any of them. It's about bringing people back to all of them. I'm not advocating destroying any cities or homes. But I do think the town NPC marketing system has merit, with removing home vendors being the concession players would have to make.
     
  42. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)



    A way to bring players back to towns could be setting up areas within towns dedicated to player vendors.

    Each town would only host vendors selling in the specific area of interest of the town.

    for example, Magincia for Mages' stuff, Trinsic for warriors stuff, Skara for tamers stuff and so on. Only Britain, being the capital, would be allowed to have vendors selling everything.

    Now, the catch is that ONLY those players NOT having already vendors or vending houses will be allowed to compete for a town vendor. That means ACCOUNTS, not simply characters...

    Since the number of town vendors will be limited, possibly less than asking players, they will be assigned with a raffle for, say, 3 or 6 months rotations.

    Once a player has benefitted of a vendor for a rotation this player will need to wait for a next raffle when eligibility will open up again (depending on the number of asking players).

    It is merely an idea but this could bring some life back into towns....
     
  43. Siteswap

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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    AAh! You mean the scripter's houses...
     
  44. Siteswap

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    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    True. But when has that ever stopped them ...?
     
  45. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Popps, that's alot like what I was saying in my first revision, but some quickly point out this still leads to people competing for vendor spots. That's why I changed it to using existing NPCs with a consignment type system. That way no players control any vendors.
     
  46. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Don't even think of touching player venders not even a poke. So just revise that out of the whole plan. You will bring players back to towns the last few players back to town seemingly 75% of the player base we have now will disapear to better things and less hassles. Vender malls gone, Not everyone can sell the wares they want. My merchant class disaperes. Oh man it will end up being 30 people left on a whole shard to sell to each other. Yep remove this insane idea and also that storage decrease idea.

    Also that aution WOW thing works for WOW not UO. UO is based on freedom and of being who you want not be restricted where you buy how you sell and what you do. We already have player run auctions and there great because players set them up in there homes and advertise.
     
  47. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Yep. This system would definitely hit the merchant class. You would have to learn how to compete on a level playing field. The WalMacyGucci of Luna would take the biggest hit, but yes the Christie's and Sothebys of our world would feel the effects too.
     
  48. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Not sure what you mean by level playing field I need a more detail explanation on this. Is this back to the theory of nobody should be better than anybody no matter who works harder? Like popps belief in completly even communist idea of everyone should have the same things as everyone else no matter who they are. Like if I use 12 hours of the game on just merchandising everyday and someone puts in 1 hour every day on merchandising and we both just as good as each other then he will have exactly the same thing as me and I will have exactly the same thing as him?

    In theory there is no way under those cercumstansis that he should exceed my work unless running into a extremly lucky situation and I running in to a extremly unlucky situation at the same time.
     
  49. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Re: Bring folks back to towns (revision 1)

    Nothing communist about what I'm suggesting. If you put in 12 hours marketing your goods and your marketing skills are equal to player X who only puts in 1 hour, you should have 12 times the success. This system puts no limit on what you can offer your goods for pricewise or quantitywise. You choose the NPC that you want to sell your goods and you give them the goods on consignment. The only stipulation being the item you wish to sell has to be on that NPC's item list. As I said before the lists need to be tweaked. Something might have to be put in place to balance the inventory loads among the same type NPCs. Gotta think on that one a bit.
     
  50. XLaCeDX

    XLaCeDX Guest

    Sorry I didn't read the ideas thread but how about they make our herald npcs traveling salesmen/women?

    Allow one herald per char to be online at anytime.

    Allow us to load 125 items or less onto the Herald.

    We pay the Herald a large sum per day for it's usage (an average of Luna city rental fees would work).

    The Traveling Herald/Salesperson follows us/stands by us WHILE WE ARE ONLINE ONLY, wherever we go and other players can surf their inventories from Luna Bank or Brit Bank or passing by on a roadway if that's where we happen to be.

    Maybe disallow them in Fel to prevent lagging pkers or ONLY allow them in certain areas of Fel.

    Just a thought to make Heralds useful.