Below is the listing I have at this point. Please give me your feedback on the list. Absent serious objection this is the list I am going to forward to the Dev team as our priorities for this quarter. The top 5 are very important as those are considered the top of our list. Below that the items are not necessarily in exact order of importance but I have tried to gauge the amount of support those ideas have in the community. This list is taken from the Top Issues List, the Issues List, the Bug List and my summary of other requests and discussions that have taken place. It isn't every idea that has been presented but it is, I think, the majority of the suggestions and issues that have a broad based support among merchants in the forum.
1 Exploit Merchant Skill Point Exploitation
Currently it is possible to set up your merchant tent. Get your vendors, set your advertising. Dress the vendors and then surrender all merchant skills and business skills without any effect. You are then able to run your merchant enterprise without any merchant skills until you need to change some aspect of your shop. Many merchants feel this is unfair to them and allows people to use those skills for other crafting professions or combat professions which is against the spirit of the skill point system.
2 Game Play Remove Empty Vendors from Global Map
The Global Map is littered with vendors which are empty. This makes finding things a difficult and frustrating journey to one empty vendor after another. It lessens the impact of advertising since people no longer trust that the global map listing means anything. There is considerable debate on the full implementation of this issue since it is justly pointed out that making the item count simply be greater than 1 will allow people to use high priced items they know won’t sell (99999999 chance cubes) to keep their vendors on the map. How to address that isn’t universally agreed upon but it is universal that no one wants empty vendors to show up on the map. We suggest that the vendor simply remove the registration when it is empty forcing the Merchant to re-register it when he refills the vendor.
3 New Feature Ability to Remove Abandoned Vendors
Cooperative Merchant shops suffer from the extremely limited control the owner of the structure has on the vendors inside. Short of removing all items and destroying the structure the owner of a “Mall” has no method for evicting a vendor. This is a problem on a number of fronts but the two most common are vendors that are abandoned by their Merchants and are taking up floor space that could be better used by another vendor or disputes between the Mall owner and the Merchant running the vendor (refusal to pay agreed rent for the space etc). The structure owner needs a method for evicting the vendor while mitigating against griefing. The suggestion is to allow structure owners to issue an eviction notice to a vendor which will be served in one week from the time it is served. This will give the Merchant owner of the vendor a week to clear his merchandise out and remove the vendor himself. Suggest a method for rescinding the eviction as well in case an amicable resolution is worked out between the two parties.
4 Game Play Vendor Interface Enhancements
The Vendor interface is clunky and inefficient. The search features need to be enhanced to allow more robust searching, the offers and stock room interfaces need fewer clicks and batch processing support to allow large scale sales and re-pricing efforts to be done with a minimum number of clicks. The offers system itself needs to be enhanced as well giving the supplier more slots to offer merchandise and more information to be captured (Suggested Retail Price etc)
5 New Feature Consignment Sales Support
Wholesale purchases for Retail sales is only one method of merchant-supplier collaboration. Another is consignment sales. Consignment sales is defined, for the purpose of this feature request, as items purchased by the merchant with little or no up front cost with the understanding that a split of the sales revenue will take place upon the sale of the merchandise. This relationship is desirable because it removes the financial burden
6 New Feature Directed Sales
Both for customer orders, PA or Factional specials etc the vendors should be able to allow a merchant to place an item up for sale that can only be purchased by the indicated party or group. (e.g. guld:WAH, faction:Imperial, Chataka)
7 New Feature Image Design Support for NPC Vendors
The current method for creating a vendor is cumbersome when your goal is to create a vendor with a specific look. You essentially have to create vendors over and over until you randomly get one that you can live with. Merchants would like the ability to have their NPC vendors Imaged Designed to customize their appearance. We believe that Image Designers are ideal for this job and would support a /consent system that allowed a vendor to be altered by an Image Designer.
8 New Feature Global Item Listing (Searching)
The global map advertising is a great tool for getting people into your shop to browse your wares however many merchants would like a global item listing that could be searchable and would allow them to compete with the bazaar for sales. One method would have a “premium auction” feature in Merchant that would allow merchants to place items (for a fee) into the global listings that would be in a separate tab on the bazaar terminals. This would be searchable and show the item details and the price listed. Purchasing the item could still be handled at the local vendor, this method would be an advertising method and not a sales method.
9 New Feature New Structures (Malls and Shops)
The merchant tent is a wonderful structure that indicates the high likelihood that there is a merchant vendor inside. The tent however lends itself to smaller operations or specific types of markets. New structures like a small store front shop and a larger Mall like structure would enhance the merchant ability to have identifiable structures that indicate merchant vendors inside.
10 New Feature Detailed Sales Reporting
The addition of the mailsave command has made creating offline sales data easier, however the game still needs in game support for basic sales reporting. This feature would enhance the ability of merchants to manage their vendors and maintain relationships with their suppliers.