Ur without Vendors Part San: Advertising
When we left off, I had shown how buy orders could maintain the standard of living for players who prefer to be able to sell instantly and not think about the economy. I admitted, however, that even with buy orders, there remained the additional challenge of how players would locate buy orders. Simply having buy orders is not enough — the game must further support these orders.
If buy orders are implemented through a revised version of the auction system, this need should not be an issue. Players should be able to easily sort lists, finding the best price for their goods, much like they can with goods for sale. The problem only arises if buy orders are implemented via player vendors (PVs) — a scenario I actually hope for.
And that’s why this post will not be so much an explanation as a plea: please Tiny Speck, if you someday implement buy orders via player vendors, give in game support for remotely locating and browsing vendors. To illustrate why, I’d like to compare two experiences.
In the first, I am playing Eve. If I do not want to sell my goods on the market myself, I fly the goods into a major market system, I sell the goods to a buy order. Done.
In the second, I am playing Star Wars Galaxies. I have goods I want to sell, so I pull up a list of vendors, with high enough skills to be listed, on a major market planet. I read the description to discover what things they sell and use that to try to imagine what they might buy. I drive to the location. I discover they are not buying anything. I drive to the next location. They are buying, but the order has almost been filled and it only takes a fraction. I drive to the next location. The player clearly hasn’t logged in and ages. And so on. And so on.
Be Eve, Tiny Speck, don’t be Star Wars Galaxies.
If buy orders are implemented via PVs, then make PVs seachable and filterable. Make me bring the goods to the location, but make it easy for me to find the location. Such listings are a good opportunity for skills or upgrades as well.
The alternative is a nightmare for players trying to use the system. And would turn local chat into an ugly spam fest.