Author Topic: Attention Walmart Shoppers;  (Read 1175 times)

senseofeven

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Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« on: September 01, 2017, 01:43:44 PM »
I've been around for awhile, I've played the consumer and I've played the producer, and I feel like there must be some growing trends that aren't really being discussed when it comes to these kinds of roles.

For example, GMH family/sales people have some kind of power to not be killed too easily, but have what I'd imagine being a pretty high turnover, why is that? Is it the stress from being squashed between staff-side and player-side?

What is a realistic expectation of "presence" when it comes to the peak and non-peak, would you deem acceptable to push any kind of conflict or pressure just because of a lack of "presence"? Are those expectations just ridiculous and simply the driving issue to force the player away from those roles?

Obviously, they took that role with the best of intentions, to interact with the player base, to produce products, to take the balance of power from a different angle, to help provide service/materials/items, but at some point, does it go from game play to a night/part-time job when there's so little reward for in game "customer service"? What would be some ways or suggestion to actually retain sales players?

Leaving out any REAL LIFE experience here, because it does not apply though I notice the RL consumerism attitudes that seep into the game.

Delirium

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Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 01:49:52 PM »
Long story short; people take this game way too seriously. They forget that behind that PC is a player with real life responsibilities.

Yes, it may seem a bit odd that it takes half of an in-game month to get you what you want in an ideal world where every character is present all the time. But that is not and never should be the case. It's a game. NO ONE can be around that much, and sometimes playtimes don't sync up, delaying what would have been an easy transfer. You don't have to take this IC.

Adjust your in-character expectations; this is a world where resources are supposed to be scarce, despite the potential abundance created by an 8-hour-a-day-every-day player. Allow for the time it might take to create/gather/obtain what you need.

This is a sore point of mine because I've seen it done and had it done to me and it literally ruins an otherwise engaging PC.

If you're hassling a mercantile PC over getting your sweet loot NAO or complaining that they "haven't been around much"...

Just stop. Just. Stop. Your character will survive, the world will go on, and you will find a way to exist. Trust me.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 02:01:47 PM »
Long story short; people take this game way too seriously. They forget that behind that PC is a player with real life responsibilities.

Yes, it may seem a bit odd that it takes half of an in-game month to get you what you want in an ideal world where every character is present all the time. But that is not and never should be the case. It's a game. NO ONE can be around that much, and sometimes playtimes don't sync up, delaying what would have been an easy transfer. You don't have to take this IC.

Adjust your in-character expectations; this is a world where resources are supposed to be scarce, despite the potential abundance created by an 8-hour-a-day-every-day player. Allow for the time it might take to create/gather/obtain what you need.

This is a sore point of mine because I've seen it done and had it done to me and it literally ruins an otherwise engaging PC.

If you're hassling a mercantile PC over getting your sweet loot NAO or complaining that they "haven't been around much"...

Just stop. Just. Stop. Your character will survive, the world will go on, and you will find a way to exist. Trust me.

QFT
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 02:06:26 PM »
It does bring up a point between Agents/Merchants being vending machines, and whether that's even a fair way to see it.

I like being a facilitator, and if someone needs a suit of armor, I like being the person they have to come to. But there isn't a LOT of room for conflict in that. Maybe you charge them more, maybe you take some extra time because you owe Fale a new sword... but that's about it.

If people "haven't been around much", I'm going to complain NOT because I wanted that sword, but because there is no indication that they took a week off the game, or quit playing altogether, or that RL issues are really keeping them from logging in. I'm just supposed to assume they're "around, but not for me". Its frustrating, and the complaining IC might at least lead to someone "wanting to help" and taking over responsibilities.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Delirium

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Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 02:09:41 PM »
There's a world of difference between 'hey, what's so and so up to, I haven't run into them much' and being told "oh, they're off dealing with <ic excuse here>" and going "hey, I haven't seen so and so, I'm going to take this IC and make their life miserable."

There's plenty of room for conflict in an agent/merchant role without having to resort to punishing someone for low playtime.

edited to be a little more diplomatic.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 02:11:58 PM by Delirium »
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 02:24:43 PM »
It does bring up a point between Agents/Merchants being vending machines, and whether that's even a fair way to see it.

I like being a facilitator, and if someone needs a suit of armor, I like being the person they have to come to. But there isn't a LOT of room for conflict in that. Maybe you charge them more, maybe you take some extra time because you owe Fale a new sword... but that's about it.

If people "haven't been around much", I'm going to complain NOT because I wanted that sword, but because there is no indication that they took a week off the game, or quit playing altogether, or that RL issues are really keeping them from logging in. I'm just supposed to assume they're "around, but not for me". Its frustrating, and the complaining IC might at least lead to someone "wanting to help" and taking over responsibilities.

Imagine putting yourself on the other end of the exchange. Imagine you just decide you can't handle it anymore, you're not enjoying the role due to the constant barrage, and you store, then open your eyes and ask yourself, if the merchant gets irritated ICly and decides never to sell to me again (and OOCly just takes a job far away from you by storage), how then will they ever get that thing they want so bad?

Also, nobody can step up and sell to whoever they want to without ICly breaking rules which have been made clear to their PC. It comes with consequences and once a PC gets burned by those, they will likely be hesitant to do that barring exceptional circumstances, with good IC reason.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 02:57:27 PM »
It does bring up a point between Agents/Merchants being vending machines, and whether that's even a fair way to see it.

I like being a facilitator, and if someone needs a suit of armor, I like being the person they have to come to. But there isn't a LOT of room for conflict in that. Maybe you charge them more, maybe you take some extra time because you owe Fale a new sword... but that's about it.

If people "haven't been around much", I'm going to complain NOT because I wanted that sword, but because there is no indication that they took a week off the game, or quit playing altogether, or that RL issues are really keeping them from logging in. I'm just supposed to assume they're "around, but not for me". Its frustrating, and the complaining IC might at least lead to someone "wanting to help" and taking over responsibilities.

Imagine putting yourself on the other end of the exchange. Imagine you just decide you can't handle it anymore, you're not enjoying the role due to the constant barrage, and you store, then open your eyes and ask yourself, if the merchant gets irritated ICly and decides never to sell to me again (and OOCly just takes a job far away from you by storage), how then will they ever get that thing they want so bad?

Also, nobody can step up and sell to whoever they want to without ICly breaking rules which have been made clear to their PC. It comes with consequences and once a PC gets burned by those, they will likely be hesitant to do that barring exceptional circumstances, with good IC reason.

In those situations, I place more blame on administration and communication to/from players. If you have someone in the role of filling orders and whatnot (something many of us consider kind of a key reason to have MERCHANT HOUSES in the first place), and they stop playing or decide to store, there should be some sort of a backup.

I've seen some "trainee merchants" who can at least fill orders for the rabble, but they aren't trained to deal with the Templarate/Nobility yet, just to alleviate some of the issue. The house has dozens of Traders and Merchants and Agents, but we have no access to them for a RL month while people sort things out.

I don't exactly understand the first thing you said. I DO agree that people who take "this player has not been able to play a lot lately, so I am going to take that IC" is a bit too far. I may get frustrated at Kadius as a whole, when I can't find a Kadian Merchant, but I don't like... send assassins after them for it.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

gotdamnmiracle

  • Posts: 439
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 03:00:17 PM »
I wish there were more tools at the disposal of merchants to circumvent the gap of low or not matching playtimes.

Maybe a page slave that acts as an answering machine or something? And maybe a shack where the merchant could set order price and for whom the order is for. Then a person could just go and buy it like a shop.

list

The man with shorn hair has for sale:
An order for Amos for 300 coins
An order for Dodger for 860 coins
An order for Dodger for 200 coins
An order for The mauve-eyed man for 1400 coins
Etc...


That's just an idea. I agree that people should be more aware that merchant folk are voluntarily trying to help your PC find cool junk.
He is an individual cool cat. A cat who has taken more than nine lives.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1870
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 03:02:09 PM »
There's a demand for high quality merchant house goods. For a supply that can't be met through NPCs, people go to merchant house character sales people.

Is it unrealistic to have such a high demand that sales characters become overwhelmed? Is it unrealistic potential customers are approaching these salespersons in attempts to purchase their high quality goods?

To some degree, both parties are at fault. I think it's important for a merchant to establish what it is they have for sale, and who they are willing to sell to. As a customer PC it's important to not have the expectation that the entire object database (or even some portion) of a house's goods is available to order from/make a purchase.

I think it's about managing expectations and mostly that falls on the shoulders of the merchant PC. But when a player doesn't accept no for an answer, I think it then becomes their problem of having unrealistic expectations.

Now on the other hand, It's also a problem that players must rely upon another person who has real life commitments to fill their characters desire for high quality merchant house goods. It'd be nice if there were additional avenues for characters to have their desires to purchase high quality merchant house goods met without having to inconvenience and even depend on the ability of other human beings/players to fill them.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 03:03:51 PM by Molten Heart »

Dar

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 03:07:48 PM »
Is being forced into a vendor position the only real reason why there is such a high turn over to their roles? It's not inability to get anything interesting done, or perhaps a complete asynchrony with player's expectations and the reality of what they are capable of?

In my observation, plenty of GMH people who were creative and could create plots that were not heavily into world changing events, lasted a really long time. While people dead set on world changing events and continuously getting barred from them get discouraged.

It's also harder for people with low playtimes. An indie hunter with low play time doesnt have this problem. During off peak, he goes out and plays with the game itself. While a purely social role that's heavily reliant on other people ends up always playing catch up with others who play more often and on peak. That is disheartening and leads to storage.

At least that was my observation. The whole vending machine thing is while annoying, is not paramount.

Delirium

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Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 03:24:23 PM »
"I want fancy stuff and can't get it" doesn't exactly seem like a problem that needs to be solved on an OOC level.

More like... people need to adjust their perspective on what their scrubby commoner should expect to buy without some patience and connections to the right kind of people. So someone's busy ... maybe they're busy dealing with important business.

And nobles? You have way more interesting shit to do than worry about having 1,000 silky things. You can buy stuff from the NPC vendors and be completely fashionable from an in-character perspective. I get wanting some special stuff but in the end all you're doing is impressing the player not the PC, because the shit for sale in the bazaar is just as nice if not as OOCly rare.

Maybe spend that money on pushing plots rather than buying a whole bunch of custom gear for your eq slots.

If you really do need something nice or want to pursue a relationship with the GMHs, then... don't be a dick about playtimes.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 03:26:20 PM by Delirium »
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »
Anything good is worth waiting for. If you can get it right now, great, but understand those are exceptional circumstances. If you want the item badly enough, you will find a way to arrange something to where your playtimes line up on an agreed upon date and time, as is convenient for the mercantile PC, and try to be there. This does not always work out, because IC/OOC circumstances. I believe the title of this thread is a subtle reminder that Zalanthas is not technologically advanced enough to support the concept of a department store. Most people cannot read or write, sticky-notes haven't been invented either, much less computer systems.

You do not really "need" that item. It would be nice to have, but your PC is dealing with a Great Merchant House. Emphasis on the word "Great". You are waiting on the highest quality goods in the known world, not some assembly-line knock-off, but hand-made masterpieces. Plenty of lore built into the setting to justify a logistics nightmare. Until the moons and stars align and the item is imbued with rare oils from a fruit that only grows on one island in the sea of silt, you will simply have to wait.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 03:53:45 PM »
I don't have a lot of experience with it all, but when I was briefly handling stuff like this, at first I was panicked and running all over and constantly fielding questions from people about where their stuff was and this, that and the other.

And then one day I realized that no matter how much people bugged me, if I didn't have their stuff, I wouldn't have it today, tomorrow or the next day and.. HEY, I wanted to plot and do stuff without people constantly in my brain asking for their stuff every other hour. You know how annoying it is to be whispering sweet nothings to someone and have someone else nagging about an order they placed a RL day ago? So!

Applying some logic to it, I told people to have their orders in by a certain RL day each week. If they didn't have their order in by that day, they wouldn't get their stuff by the time orders USUALLY came in the next week or so. It really worked getting people on a schedule and people seemed to swing with it well, especially if I started getting snippy. And if I got too many pestering prods from the same person, they got price hikes or slow delivery times. I did rush orders if the situation was important enough to warrant it, but convenience fees applied or favors were expected. It was pretty much a smooth system and I kept records of who got what and when and for how much.

I made a LOT of sid on that character, that I ended up pumping right back into the clan for plots, my subordinates and other stuff. (shrugs) I LOVED the customer service aspect of GMH life. Just have to claim your time.
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

Vex

  • Posts: 29
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 04:38:40 PM »
Is being forced into a vendor position

No one is FORCED into it.

You have to apply for these limited access roles, and hope that you get it. If you don't want to be in a role, where you are the sole means for everyone else in the game, to access what that clan has to offer, you shouldn't have asked for the role. If people are complaining, it doesn't mean the people complaining are wrong, or being mean, mean bullies.

GMH merchants are not victims, and there is no one being forced to play one. There is no consequence for retiring if it's too much work, not fun anymore, or the player doesn't have time to commit because of RL obligations, which everyone has to contend with, sooner or later. There is no excuse for being unhappy, in a role, because you have to choose to be in one and can leave it, at your leisure.

When people complain merchant Amos is bad at his job, sometimes it's because merchant Amos is bad at his job. If people complain merchant Amos is never around, sometimes it's because merchant Amos is never around. Or when he is around, he spends his time having sex with bar sluts, instead of doing what he was given the role for, in the first place.

Not everyone is Amos, but he isn't few and far between, either.

Sometimes, complaints are completely warranted.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 04:42:23 PM by Vex »
"Mortals do drown so."

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 04:57:10 PM »
That's certainly the way I see it.

You KNOW what your playtime is going to be like, almost all of the time. You PICKED a role which is demanding in playtime but specifically gates everyone else's access to certain activities.

If you don't have much time to play, then delegate or step aside. Instead what I usually see is someone saying, "I want to hold on to all the power but I log about an hour a week."

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2017, 04:59:19 PM »
Is being forced into a vendor position

No one is FORCED into it.

You have to apply for these limited access roles, and hope that you get it. If you don't want to be in a role, where you are the sole means for everyone else in the game, to access what that clan has to offer, you shouldn't have asked for the role. If people are complaining, it doesn't mean the people complaining are wrong, or being mean, mean bullies.

GMH merchants are not victims, and there is no one being forced to play one. There is no consequence for retiring if it's too much work, not fun anymore, or the player doesn't have time to commit because of RL obligations, which everyone has to contend with, sooner or later. There is no excuse for being unhappy, in a role, because you have to choose to be in one and can leave it, at your leisure.

When people complain merchant Amos is bad at his job, sometimes it's because merchant Amos is bad at his job. If people complain merchant Amos is never around, sometimes it's because merchant Amos is never around. When he is around, he spends his time having sex with bar sluts, instead of doing what he was given the role for, in the first place.

Not everyone is Amos, but he isn't few and far between, either.

Sometimes, complaints are completely warranted.

Number one, you don't HAVE to apply for the role, you can be promoted into it, adopted into the family, and, if you're awesome enough, possibly even make Agent before you die of old age. Number two, Merchant Houses are there to represent what would otherwise be yet another "virtual" part of the gameworld. Number three, Merchant Houses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, with or without reason. Number four, expecting players to ruin their emotional well being as well as their sleep/work schedule, and quality time with their families (if they have them), to shirk off real life complications is unrealistic. Number five, vending machines are an anachronism.

Look at it this way, when a player is logged out, much like in the Byn, or in any other clan, they're following orders and doing clan business. Merchant Amos has to spend most of the week doing sweatshop labor in the back of a jewelry store. When he gets some time off, you think he's going to spend all that time working? Let's look at it this way...

Amos is at the Gaj making out with some slut (slut and slutshaming are an anachronism in Zalanthas). Do you think, maybe, Amos has to, walk all the way across town to get there, and is trying to squeeze some me time in with catching up on local rumors which may potentially be vital to house business, eavesdropping on conversations (house business of course) as well as making new contacts (old ones died as is the pattern) so they can potentially know what is going on? That just maybe, all is not as it appears and they are, indeed, multi-tasking, while making it known that, yes, the Kuracci compound didn't burn down in the dead of night, trapping and killing everyone?

Have you considered Amos might not have the authority to do the thing you want him to get done with? That he's waiting on the right people to be around so he can pass your message on?

Have you considered Amos might want to get some RP in with other PCs and enjoy the game as opposed to meeting the whims of every Tom, Dick, and Harry on those days they get some time off? Are mercantile employees seriously expected to come home from a soul-crushing day in a department store with irate, whiny customers, simply to play a game where they RP through that exact experience, despite the fact that such experiences ought to be the exception, not the rule, and the characters doing the bugging should be grateful they're even being listened to at all, instead of utilizing the opportunity to twink expel?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 07:28:13 PM by Grapes »
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

James de Monet

  • Posts: 3234
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2017, 06:06:52 PM »
Source:  I played a GMH Merchant for about 3 RL years.

Being a House Merchant (not an Agent, that's not the same thing) in this game is a role unlike any other.  If you haven't played one, you aren't in a position to judge them.  This also applies to people who app one for the first time.  Most of them don't know what they're getting into, because it's not like other roles.  So, no, they very likely did not know what they were signing up for when they requested the role.  And there is a consequence to retiring.  One, the house is without a Merchant until someone else takes up the mantle.  And two, it means consciously throwing in the towel, which some humans don't like doing.

That being said, some logic applies here.  If you don't have at least 3-4 hours a week during peakish times to put directly toward merchanting, you will probably not be terribly successful at the role (though anything and anyone is better than nothing or no one!).  And there are plenty of things to complain about regarding merchants that are totally fair game: if you don't like the way they talk to your PC, if you don't like the selections they find for you, if you don't like the other people they deal with, if you don't like the prices, if you don't like going through their assistant, if you want them to come to you, if you don't like the way the clothes make you look, if you don't like the way the armor chafes, if you don't like the fact that sand leaks through the neck of the cloak, etc. etc.  etc. (and the more RP-oriented, the better!).  But how long it takes to get orders filled?  I think everyone in the game would be happier if we all agreed to make that complaint 'out of play' IC.  Because 95% of it is an OOC problem.  Some of it is the game, some the communication with staff, some the player, but very little of it the actual character.  And it seems like whenever that complaint is levied, it's really the other player complaining, and not the other character.  Because the character doesn't have Amazon Prime to compare the service against.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8257
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2017, 06:11:01 PM »
I kind of want to app a merchant and intentionally never fill any order and spout excuses, just to see how long it takes someone to get murderous over it.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Is Friday

  • Posts: 6165
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2017, 06:21:57 PM »
I kind of want to app a merchant and intentionally never fill any order and spout excuses, just to see how long it takes someone to get murderous over it.
No balls.
Quote from: shadowspeak discord
did you just meet a ridiculously unfuckable psychotic female character? It's 75% likely that Is_Friday is playing it! unfuckable, unwantable, unloveable, poorly played, stereotype-driven, abusive, and shallow!

WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4472
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2017, 06:22:22 PM »
I kind of want to app a merchant and intentionally never fill any order and spout excuses, just to see how long it takes someone to get murderous over it.

Awesome. Occasionally fill an order to spice things up, but make it the wrong stuff.

Oh, you wanted an emerald inlaid saber? I brought you one of those goofy thongs. Don't like it? Take your ass to The bazaar instead, Bynner.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

James de Monet

  • Posts: 3234
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2017, 06:35:57 PM »
Haha, I'd kinda like to run a Merchant who demanded everyone have an in-person introductory reference from someone with a signet ring before I'd even talk to them.  Some people would like it.  Some people would cry rage tears.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2017, 06:41:17 PM »
Haha, I'd kinda like to run a Merchant who demanded everyone have an in-person introductory reference from someone with a signet ring before I'd even talk to them.  Some people would like it.  Some people would cry rage tears.

Heh, that likely only works for late career merchants, maybe. If people were bugging other GMH folk for references, the other merchants MIGHT thank you, but the nobles and templars might very well grab you up and shake you like a rag doll for increasing their Way traffic. Especially if you were an unknown. But that's a real good way to meet them all fast!
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2017, 07:25:56 PM »
Ok, so, I wanted to apologize, something seems to have crawled up my butt and died, the tone of my post was slightly condescending. I do, however, believe them valid points, I will edit out the snarkier, assumption-laced parts momentarily. I believe, a solution, if one need be had, would be a modification of duties and responsibilities shifted a rank down the chain, not simply chasing perfectly good character concepts out of the House until someone's playtimes just happen to match yours (which could end up being Badskeelz's or WarriorPoet's Merchant concept). Applying an extra and arbitrary glass ceiling to players who are in different timezones or other countries simply because of logistical difficulties with a number of players is heavily unfair, in my view, and, an OOC construct at best. It's sort of discrimination, yes?

If the virtual house Merchants that are around during your time of the day don't have time to deal with you, call out all the invisible Kadian merchants that are ignoring you to their superiors.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1246
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2017, 07:35:04 PM »
Simple solution.

Get two merchants. One on-peak. One off-peak.

If you cant catch at least one of them then thats your problem at that point, get a friend to get your order for you.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2017, 07:56:59 PM »
Simple solution.

Get two merchants. One on-peak. One off-peak.

If you cant catch at least one of them then thats your problem at that point, get a friend to get your order for you.

Oh I remember those days. Much fun.
Lord Templar Month-Away-From-Being-A-Red-Robe wants a particular diamond necklace. Needs to be ordered, not a stock item, and at the time, not craftable. So you order it. You know it'll probably be around 4 days before it shows up, because your staffer is amazing and loads shit up like a fucking boss.

So on the 5th day, you go to the warehouse to check the NPC merchant to see if it's loaded up yet. You don't see it. But you also know that it's not good manners to make a stink when it's only been 5 RL days since you requested something. So you wait another week. Still - nothing.

Then, Almost-Red finds your mind, asking wtf is your problem and why doesn't he have his necklace. You tell him it hasn't shown up yet from the Master Crafters, they're probably just backed up with special orders for the upcoming festival. He now wants to know why Junior Newble Noble Amos is now in possession of the EXACT SAME NECKLACE that he ordered two weeks ago, when Amos only showed up for public service a week ago?

That's when you find out that Malik, the night-Kadian, who you never met since you don't play off-peak, sold the necklace YOU special ordered, to the 1-week-new noble and didn't think to mention it to anyone, since it was just sitting there on the NPC's 400-item list of stuff.

That kind of thing happened a few times. You don't know that it WAS loaded up, and sold by someone else, until the person you ordered it FOR - wants to know why someone else is in possession of it. Meanwhile you're secretly cussing out the staff for being so damned slow, because it's really very rude (I mean that sincerely) to pester the staff every few days for a load-up, and there doesn't seem to be any consistency in "when to drop a line if you don't get the item by [date]" staff-side.

That said -

It'd be really awesome if the staff came up with a more consistent, specific timeline on when it's considered "acceptable" to ask "Is there an ETA on Lord Templar Hardnose's fidget spinner?"

Some kind of hard rule on it. Two weeks? 10 RL days? A week? A month? I'm not asking for a hard rule on how long to expect a thing to get loaded. I'm asking how long to wait before it's acceptable to send a reminder request.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2017, 08:13:14 PM »
Simple solution.

Get two merchants. One on-peak. One off-peak.

If you cant catch at least one of them then thats your problem at that point, get a friend to get your order for you.

Oh I remember those days. Much fun.
Lord Templar Month-Away-From-Being-A-Red-Robe wants a particular diamond necklace. Needs to be ordered, not a stock item, and at the time, not craftable. So you order it. You know it'll probably be around 4 days before it shows up, because your staffer is amazing and loads shit up like a fucking boss.

So on the 5th day, you go to the warehouse to check the NPC merchant to see if it's loaded up yet. You don't see it. But you also know that it's not good manners to make a stink when it's only been 5 RL days since you requested something. So you wait another week. Still - nothing.

Then, Almost-Red finds your mind, asking wtf is your problem and why doesn't he have his necklace. You tell him it hasn't shown up yet from the Master Crafters, they're probably just backed up with special orders for the upcoming festival. He now wants to know why Junior Newble Noble Amos is now in possession of the EXACT SAME NECKLACE that he ordered two weeks ago, when Amos only showed up for public service a week ago?

That's when you find out that Malik, the night-Kadian, who you never met since you don't play off-peak, sold the necklace YOU special ordered, to the 1-week-new noble and didn't think to mention it to anyone, since it was just sitting there on the NPC's 400-item list of stuff.

That kind of thing happened a few times. You don't know that it WAS loaded up, and sold by someone else, until the person you ordered it FOR - wants to know why someone else is in possession of it. Meanwhile you're secretly cussing out the staff for being so damned slow, because it's really very rude (I mean that sincerely) to pester the staff every few days for a load-up, and there doesn't seem to be any consistency in "when to drop a line if you don't get the item by [date]" staff-side.

That said -

It'd be really awesome if the staff came up with a more consistent, specific timeline on when it's considered "acceptable" to ask "Is there an ETA on Lord Templar Hardnose's fidget spinner?"

Some kind of hard rule on it. Two weeks? 10 RL days? A week? A month? I'm not asking for a hard rule on how long to expect a thing to get loaded. I'm asking how long to wait before it's acceptable to send a reminder request.

It can be made less wonky by utilizing clan boards with a rumors or special order thread, but you're kind of SOL if someone doesn't check it or forgets. Also, unsure how things were whenever you experienced these incidents.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1246
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2017, 08:17:56 PM »
I understand how frustrating that situation is, dont get me wrong.

Its also a thing that happened IC and should be handled IC, even though, as you said the two merchants have never met. Thats one of those things where clan-boards. And also an irate templar can go a long, long way.

Still, the solution of two merchants is better than just about anything else, its how Clans like the T'zai Byn should be run, one guy doing peak, and one guy doing off-peak, which is how it was going for a little while a while ago.

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2017, 08:24:34 PM »
We had a policy when I was working in the warehouses that if you didn't order it, keep your mitts off unless you asked everyone who had access to the warehouse if it belonged to them first. Only after THAT, was anything up for grabs. Only snatch up things that had been specifically been loaded for YOU.

Because.. you know.. that's a good way to get cut and I'm not being cute when I say that. Get cut fast if it becomes a habit.


I've seen three people dance around each other in a warehouse with no issues. (shrugs)
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1246
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2017, 08:38:10 PM »
See, entire problem solved, if you touch what isnt yours, expect a good knifing in the hand.

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2017, 09:01:53 PM »
Word to the wise, one simply does not fuck around with Merchant Big Worm's money.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2017, 09:23:46 PM »
See, entire problem solved, if you touch what isnt yours, expect a good knifing in the hand.

Er, no, doesn't work that way. That's not how GMH NPCs work. GMH NPCs don't load up ONLY things that PCs have specifically ordered. MOST of what's loaded on them are up for grabs.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2017, 09:37:08 PM »
It's all in the general arena, yeah, but when I was working for one, I knew exactly what had been loaded for me specifically. If it wasn't there, I knew who had access to the warehouse and who to talk to (hunt down) ICly. Unless things have very recently changed, I know one merchant house that worked that way, at least. The things in the warehouse are NOT up for grabs and people before your new merchant may have plans for what is in there or be storing stuff and if you take it, you will piss them off.

Each GM handles things differently when they take over as far as how often things are loaded, but staff had a pretty good rhythm and timing down with orders in the almost three RL years I was doing it, which is why I started insisting that people try to get on my schedule. It was to give me spare time AND try and make it so I just had to submit the ONE order slip each time.

Edit: Something else I thought of, though there is lots more going on behind the scenes that folk who haven't played GMH merchants don't know. One thing that is bad about taking from the warehouse that could get someone to want to hurt you is.. if you see a nice item and you think.. WOW, I could make a GREAT sale from that! SOMETIMES, a GM might have refused to even load that for someone else unless they paid for it first. Either in coins or, more likely in materials. So if you see that amazeballs fidget spinner and it looks really neat and pretty, think before you grab, newbie Merchant because it really, really, REALLY belongs to someone else.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 10:31:13 PM by WithSprinkles »
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

senseofeven

  • Posts: 332
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2017, 01:17:53 AM »
Quite a lot of good points and I am glad there are players who understand that ordered items for your semi-custom/in the database items are at the mercy of a staffer who is free to dig out the item and load it in game for you. I do notice a lot of players who bug merchants PC of where is their item and icly complain over an ooc thing.

Now what if the merchant actually tried to suggest alternatives that is available yet the consumer PC out rightly refused because they just want the new shiny thing? Is that the fault still of the merchant?

There is a couple of unfair and helplessness that a merchant pc or any GMH might experience and only wish that players behind the consumer PC understand and don't piss off the player behind the merchant that is trying to help everyone to get their loot. Is that very difficult?

Is that justified because you signed up to be a merchant, this is what you must do because you are playing such a role?

Like I said, there is a lot of RL consumerism that is seeping into the game and becoming the "expectations" of the GMH. To me, if I was a commoner who had the money to place an order with A GMH then I'm more than rabble but less of a noble which would make me a rich person. If I was a noble who have multiple orders with Kadius that would feed into my nobles ego because it screams affluent.

So why players getting angsty of their items taking longer to load? Why are there some players who want to "in the name of conflict" annoy the GMH at hand just because? I feel that is pretty poor RP because it based off something beyond the characters control.

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2017, 01:33:41 AM »
TBH, nobody has to sell you a freaking thing. You are one PC, common or noble, in a city full of people wanting things. As a GMH employee, saying "no" to a noble COULD get you in a lot of hot water, but indefinitely delaying their orders with false apologies is not out of the question. There are no rules against lying. Nobody is obligated to do business just because someone else has sid. If people want to get pushy, just be like, um, the distribution center is under siege from gith in the red desert, they want a labor union and are picketing, and the wagon can't just run over them because you want silky drawers and a gem encrusted whip yesterday.

Just clear it with your superiors before resorting to vengeful measures, and all should be ok. Sometimes, you need to remind people that this is Zalanthas, not OOC unicorn and rainbow land. GMHs have a lot of pull, don't stress it, get to it when you get to it, it's just another day, another pile of sid.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Veselka

  • Posts: 219
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2017, 02:38:22 AM »
I've never seen value in custom gear. I don't see any consistency between 'more custom = better gear'. Some of the starter gear seems to be better (combat wise) and more fitting with the theme of the world, especially Allanak Starter Gear.

As far as fancy clothes go, i guess the fancier the better, but do fancy people really need to be defined by their fancy clothes? Looking 'dapper' or 'beautiful' often has more to do with how you are, not how you dress.

Grapes

  • Posts: 161
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2017, 03:30:05 AM »
I've never seen value in custom gear. I don't see any consistency between 'more custom = better gear'. Some of the starter gear seems to be better (combat wise) and more fitting with the theme of the world, especially Allanak Starter Gear.

As far as fancy clothes go, i guess the fancier the better, but do fancy people really need to be defined by their fancy clothes? Looking 'dapper' or 'beautiful' often has more to do with how you are, not how you dress.

And people forget how gussied up you can get in the Kadian shop in the Bazarr. Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1879
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2017, 03:38:27 AM »
which kadian shop? the fineries or the luxury goods?

because luxury goods can REALLY gussy you up in a big way.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2017, 09:30:49 AM »
Quite a lot of good points and I am glad there are players who understand that ordered items for your semi-custom/in the database items are at the mercy of a staffer who is free to dig out the item and load it in game for you. I do notice a lot of players who bug merchants PC of where is their item and icly complain over an ooc thing.

Now what if the merchant actually tried to suggest alternatives that is available yet the consumer PC out rightly refused because they just want the new shiny thing? Is that the fault still of the merchant?

There is a couple of unfair and helplessness that a merchant pc or any GMH might experience and only wish that players behind the consumer PC understand and don't piss off the player behind the merchant that is trying to help everyone to get their loot. Is that very difficult?

Is that justified because you signed up to be a merchant, this is what you must do because you are playing such a role?

Like I said, there is a lot of RL consumerism that is seeping into the game and becoming the "expectations" of the GMH. To me, if I was a commoner who had the money to place an order with A GMH then I'm more than rabble but less of a noble which would make me a rich person. If I was a noble who have multiple orders with Kadius that would feed into my nobles ego because it screams affluent.

So why players getting angsty of their items taking longer to load? Why are there some players who want to "in the name of conflict" annoy the GMH at hand just because? I feel that is pretty poor RP because it based off something beyond the characters control.

You're running on the assumption that "things people want" are all pricey valueable things that only rich people can afford. This is - categorically untrue. Sometimes people just want something that isn't available that week in the shop's rotation, and the NPC merchant in the warehouse doesn't keep one of every color on its list, and the color you want - is one of those that isn't there. So the PC has to order it. Something as simple and unpretentious and unassuming as a 40-sid blue shirt. Because y'know - you're NOT rich, and you can't afford anything better, but you want something pretty to go with the rest of your outfit.

There's no reason why it -should- have to take weeks to get this thing. Theoretically it's not anything all that fancy. Theoretically, any full-guild crafter can make it. But currently, your clan only has mage-jewelry-subguild crafters, and you, the PC Merchant, happens to be full-guild burglar so you can't make it either. And therefore you have to order it.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

senseofeven

  • Posts: 332
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2017, 11:20:07 AM »
@ Lizzie,

Yeap that's reasonable but I'm setting the stage up in a controlled environment where there are people who can easily make that 40 sid blue shirt, even so, the bazaar shops do have items that are within that cost. So we are here in this discussion with the setting of high pricey ordered items that would need an OOC coordination with staff to pull out.

If it is craftable, then there's no issue.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11497
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2017, 11:25:34 AM »
Here's your IC explanation: the House crafters are busy making more expensive items for more important clients and aren't particularly worried about some 40 sid shirt that some nobody commoner wants.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2017, 11:31:36 AM »
Why did you go to the fanciest house for your 40 sid blue shirt instead of one of the independent shirtmakers who would have treated you better and probably wouldn't have made you wait?

Oh. Because all the 40 sid indy shirtmakers are in Red Storm pumping out thousands of sid to NPC buyers.


Veselka

  • Posts: 219
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2017, 11:33:25 AM »
Why did you go to the fanciest house for your 40 sid blue shirt instead of one of the independent shirtmakers who would have treated you better and probably wouldn't have made you wait?

Oh. Because all the 40 sid indy shirtmakers are in Red Storm pumping out thousands of sid to NPC buyers.

This strikes me as a sort of 'anti-vax' news story. Is that even actually remotely true and based in fact, or just idle speculation?

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2017, 11:43:03 AM »

It's partly true. Yes, you can make bajillions of sid in Red Storm making shirts and undies.

Do any tailors do this? I don't know. Red Storm is almost always empty.

But where are the indies? I know my indie merchants didn't much bother with customer orders because the NPC merchants pay so much more for so much less work. Why should I fuck around with your 40 sid shirt when I can go craft 20 wooden chests and make 5k or more in Luir's? (And that's before haggling).

The economy is borked. Money is a nonfactor when it comes to motivation for any activity. Even for the crafters in the noble houses.

Offer sex, threaten violence, or give a favor if you want your shirt faster.

WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2017, 12:14:13 PM »

Tongue in cheek, but sometimes the struggle is real.
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

flurry

  • Posts: 3312
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2017, 02:09:07 PM »
I have some thoughts on this based on my two stints as GMH family members as well as some sales duties as another GMH employee.

One of the best aspects of the role is also one of the hardest, which is that there are always demands on your time. There are always things to do and people who need to speak with you. There are also a lot of potential sources of frustration, and I suspect the turnover often results from burnout.

I think it helps to separate the idea of IC responsibilities from OOC responsibilities. IC, your character is expected to make money, though sales, for the GMH. In my experience, on an OOC level, that's not super important to the GMH staff. If you're playing a sponsored GMH family member, you're there to be a PC representative of the house. It's not like your priority is expected to be putting all your effort into being a diligent salesperson for the house, satisfying every would-be PC customer's every need. You can do that if you want, and you might enjoy it, but you don't have to be good at that part of your job.

What I've seen from some other GMH characters is that they can become preoccupied with filling orders or padding the House bank account. I'm not saying that's wrong, at all, but I think there's some comfort in understanding that this is only as important as you make it.

As for criticism, especially about "never being around," I think you have to take this with a huge grain of salt. You need to have thick skin about stuff like this. My first experience as a sponsored GMH role had, almost immediately, a templar fuming at my employees because I was "never around." In reality, our playtimes were just rarely overlapping. After a month or two, my character got transferred to another city, I think largely because of this templar drama brewing because I didn't play at the times he played. That's probably unusual, but it was an illustration to me that perception and reality don't always line up when it comes to playtimes. I think players need to understand that around-the-clock availability isn't realistic.

If I had more time to play these days, I would app for a GMH role again, but with the knowledge that it can be a more stressful role than some others. The presence of GMH characters is good for the game, though, even if they aren't living up to everyone's various, and not always realistic, expectations of them.
Be the change you want to see in Zalanthas.

senseofeven

  • Posts: 332
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2017, 02:20:25 PM »
@ Tailors making millions of sids in Red Storm -- nerf the coins they make through the sale. Then indie merchants would take care of people wanting commonly crafted items. So there's no need to place an order. A coin would become meaningful again.

In reference of @ flurry's post;

Yep, I think such players who initiate such conflict over something OOC should take a chill pill. :/


Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1870
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2017, 02:29:39 PM »
@ Tailors making millions of sids in Red Storm -- nerf the coins they make through the sale. Then indie merchants would take care of people wanting commonly crafted items. So there's no need to place an order. A coin would become meaningful again.

Just remove the bank in Red Storm so the tailors there either have to invest their money or sew clothes with bigger pockets to carry it all.

Delirium

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  • Posts: 11497
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2017, 03:38:31 PM »
There is no bank in Red Storm. Or maybe that was your point.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Grogerif

  • Posts: 23
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2017, 03:44:04 PM »
Ten years, in RL, ago I looked into a pack a noble handed me to carry, and I saw 5 large in it.  That's the most liquid assets any of my characters has every carried.  But then, I like playing the poor people, and don't often do sponsored roles.  But just letting you know that there are always going to be characters that actually have problems with sid.  Either because they are unaware of the tricks to get more, or that they just ooc don't want to use them.   I like when getting 1 large saved up makes one feel rich. 

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1870
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2017, 03:59:51 PM »
There is no bank in Red Storm. Or maybe that was your point.

Are you kidding me?!? I guess I shouldn't have given my money to the guy there claiming to be a banker with the first bank of Red Storm. I should have taken out a loan instead. ;-)

(Yes, Red Storm having no bank was my point all along.)

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Attention Walmart Shoppers;
« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2017, 06:44:29 AM »
Mean while I would like to buy some custom gear, that is for someone else.  I will pay extra.
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