Author Topic: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections  (Read 1002 times)

nauta

  • Posts: 2206
MMH have been in the game for a couple years now.  For review:

http://www.armageddon.org/help/view/Minor%20Merchant%20House

http://www.armageddon.org/help/view/Player-Created%20Clans

I wanted to open up a discussion on them, based primarily on having played a couple other MUDs in the meanwhile which had similar player-created clans.  I'm also curious:

1. Has this system been working out?  From what I can tell, nobody has achieved an MMH, or if they have it hasn't been one that the average Allanaki citizen would recognize.

2. What areas in the process could change? 

3. What areas in the process work really well?

So, some observations from other MUDs: There are a lot of players who really want to play house and make their own shop.  A lot of these MUDs don't have much by way of rules: they operate more like MUSHes, so you make your own room description, set up a shop NPC with a list, and hope people come to your shop.  This results in a lot of shops!

Problems:

(a) You occasionally get really silly or half-assed shops.
(b) You get a lot of abandoned shops.  I think (b) is more a function of a low playerbase on these MUds and a lack of other things to do.  Once you have a shop, then what?  How does it contribute to the game world?  Why would a PC want to visit your shop?

The question that sort of puzzles me, though, is that Armageddon seems really an ideal place for such players to thrive.  There's a large enough playerbase that could support people going around making up little pop-up shops, like cheese mongers, tailors, etc.  There's plenty of other things going on in the world, so you could have an entire little sub-game of shopkeepers and the like in tandem with the usual goings on of Zalanthas.  So why aren't we seeing a lot more of these?

I have a couple of thoughts:

1) Money. Perhaps it is because making the money in Arm is kind of a coded chore (if you are a city-based independent).  Perhaps you could select as a sub-guild something like 'modest income' which would give you a bit of an income each month through virtual sales and the like.  On one MUD, you can spend chargen points for wealth as a stat and you get a small income.  This would reflect virtual sales, and likely could be implemented in a variety of ways.

2) Competition.  Yes, we want competition because we want MCB, but perhaps small shopkeepers aren't able to survive because of the way the great merchant houses are documented (or played in the game).  I don't know about this one, since there are independent tailors who aren't being destroyed by Kadius in the markets, and so on.

Anyway, perhaps it is something else entirely.  Maybe it's a lack of interest from players in the end: nobody really wants to play shopkeeper when they could be out killing things with bone clubs.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  (Also, please use this as an opportunity to offer constructive criticism or ideas, and not destructive snark.)



 
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 12:50:12 PM »
I can think of only two "clans" to get their own shops.

One was a Player Run clan and it took legit 4+ RL years to get there (which is patently ridiculous).
The other was a staff-only clan that rolled out a change few people have engaged with.

I think there needs to be allowances for faster "get to the warehouse stage" part of things. Currently, you need to pay in to a PC who may not be around for "some time", and then hope you can get to a warehouse. I'm not even talking the novelty of SHOPS, just to the point of having a "large" storage space. On a recent PC, I attempted this and found that even with a semi-focus on certain wares, space issues were a real concern.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5940
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 03:08:07 PM »
With just a vague idea of what I want to talk about, the most important things are what Riev said (i.e. Entry steps easier, though perhaps with a larger spread to becoming an actual merchant house to keep that difficult and out of reach for most attempts, and thus a constant goal), but also...

For god's sake, have them not only allowed, but promoted to compete against established clans.  Player run mercenary groups can be a refreshing change for people instead of having to do the Byn for the umpteenth time.  Player run crafting can create diversity in gear selection between groups.  None of them are large enough in most stages to truly compete and be of concern to the 'big picture' of profit, but are filled with potential for variety of available game options.
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Vex

  • Posts: 29
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 03:15:27 PM »
It seems, to me, like this is the kind of game that should support small pop-up clan, that live only as long as players are interested in joining. Basics of support would be, really, the ability to rent a clan hall of some kind, with basic services, like a storage room and a quit room. Apartment code exists, so it should be trivial to setup. Let players take the reins, and I bet, you have a lot less complaints of boredom.

Also, nothing in a game like this, should take FOUR YEARS of someones life to do. Humans only live, on average, 70-80 years. If four years isn't an exaggeration, the game must be run by people with no concept at all, of how valuable time actually is. Its an insane amount of time, for something like a clan, or a shop, or anything, really.
"Mortals do drown so."

nauta

  • Posts: 2206
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 03:33:54 PM »
One was a Player Run clan and it took legit 4+ RL years to get there (which is patently ridiculous).

MMHs were first announced November 2014 (three years ago to the day almost), and only went live in December of that year:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,48319.0.html


They were then modified June 2016:

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,51315.0.html
http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,51316.0.html
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 03:36:18 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 03:59:46 PM »
Announced as a coded possibility, yes, but unless I'm off base (which I admit is possible) the one clan I'm thinking of was in existence well before that change was announced.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 04:07:09 PM »
The fact that there have only been a couple player-run groups that made it past the 'Warehouse Phase', and got nowhere near the MMH phase, tells me the system is a little too mired in being a system. It has a lot of points that need to be hit, time that needs to pass, but what it doesn't account for is Templar A taking the money and never reporting it, storing, and then needing to start over with Templar B, and so on. It creates an artificial time sink that doesn't seem necessary.

Other games handle this pretty elegantly (HarshlandsRPI comes to mind) where you purchase deeds, and can plant the deed for X Living Space in a 'residential area'. It comes with a lock and a key. When your PC dies, it gets reabsorbed into the virtual world after a time, though it sticks around to kind of show 'people populate this area'.

I don't think it's an issue for people to make PC clans if they want to make PC clans. Opposition would (in my mind) be more easily achieved between groups if these groups could easier exist and get their start without heavy-duty red tape.

I suppose i'm curious how an upstart PC-run group that has no virtual support/clan behind it is more of a threat than House Salarr or Kadius or Kurac, or any of the Noble Houses, that all have visible Staff support that can squash a PC clan in a second if they get out of line. With a system as complex as this, i'm curious -- What is the intention? To make player-run groups appear possible, but incredibly difficult to achieve?

There is a running theme with ArmageddonMUD that is 'more obstacles = more reward'. This is true when it is one of many tools at your disposal. But sometimes it appears to be one of only a few tools utilized to create fun for the playerbase. Player Run Clans would be a good example, in my mind, of a system that could be simplified both to alleviate Staff burden and Player burden/excessive reporting/playing the request tool and not the game.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 04:11:37 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?
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Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 04:16:35 PM »
To offer some ideas, rather than just appear to complain, I would say:

1 - Make it easier for players to achieve a shopkeeper status, or present multiple routes to the 'Warehouse Level'. Have the need for vouches from blooded members of the Merchant Houses, for instance, or simply make it based around money (it appears to be based around money and time, currently). Present ways to fast track, for those with ingenuity.

2 - Make it easier for players to create clans. In my mind, the insurmountable groups of the game (Salarr, Kadius, even Dust Runners) present an odd challenge, because of their invulnerability to ultimate change and destruction. Allowing for more player groups to spring up, and be chopped down, could present a new avenue for dynamism. However, we likely don't have the playerbase any more to handle this sort of thing.

3 - Keep the difficulty high for getting a warehouse space and MMH status. This obviously shouldn't be easy to get, and it seems like it's at about the right level currently. I'd vote for making the warehouse space a bit easier to get, or offering smaller options that are easier to get (and to get into for thieves). It'd be nice, too, if Warehouses weren't just one impregnable room, but perhaps a few smaller rooms with smaller capacities. One of the rooms could be under a heavy duty lock, but perhaps it can't fit everything under the sun. Other rooms might have lesser locks, or windows to climb into, but can fit more stuff.

Just some thoughts.

Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 04:18:32 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?

Who's 'You' in this scenario? I don't particularly want 'everyone to have their own shop', but I certainly want more than 3 people to have a shop. There's a difference between 'make it easier' and 'make it so everyone can have their own shop'.

When I say make it easier, I mean -- Make it months between, rather than RL years, to achieve some of these status points.

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 04:22:50 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?

Sounds like you particularly have to unbunch your panties a bit. The conversation so far is "Maybe make it a little easier?" and not "GIVE ALL OF US SHOPS". Chill the absolute fuck out and let a discussion take place on the Discussion Boards without trying to shut it down immediately.

I think the fact that in 3 RL years, only one group (and lets be fair, it was one PERSON) has gotten to add their own shop to the game. 3 RL years. Someone had numerous college hookups, experimented with drugs, got clean and is now married with a child before someone in a goddamned video game was allowed the privilege to have a shopkeeper added.

Maybe make it a little easier, or broaden the steps a bit more. Find out where people are stalling out, and see if it needs a tweak, not "OMG EVERYONE WANTS TO WIN ARMAGEDDON" or "THIS IS AN RPI AND U R BREAKING MAH IMMERSIONZ"
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1869
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 04:24:12 PM »
I'd rather just have my own tavern where I can hang with my flunkies and dine on tasty vitals and drink cheap booze, all the while telling each other "Damn it feels good to be a gangster" Also, how else will people burn down my tavern if there isn't one to burn down.

Mercy

  • Posts: 19
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 04:54:06 PM »
I'd rather just have my own tavern where I can hang with my flunkies and dine on tasty vitals and drink cheap booze, all the while telling each other "Damn it feels good to be a gangster" Also, how else will people burn down my tavern if there isn't one to burn down.

I'll be honest, my interest level was pretty mediocre till I read that last line. If we can burn down player establishments, can we let players establish things please. :)

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1241
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 05:55:26 PM »
em grabs his torch and pitchfork.


On a more serious note, I agree that it seems maybe a touch too difficult to get your way through the ranks of this, the fact only one person has done it, isnt great. Maybe tone it down to three quarters of what it is, I dont want to see ten stores pop up, but I would like three or four of them.

Brokkr

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  • Posts: 205
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 06:54:45 PM »
There won't be stores unless players choose to pursue stores.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 07:08:49 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?

Who's 'You' in this scenario? I don't particularly want 'everyone to have their own shop', but I certainly want more than 3 people to have a shop. There's a difference between 'make it easier' and 'make it so everyone can have their own shop'.

When I say make it easier, I mean -- Make it months between, rather than RL years, to achieve some of these status points.

I was responding to the OP (Nauta), who asked why there aren't a lot more of these shops.  I even quoted that phrase. The question was: Why aren't there a lot more of these? My post was my answer. But to reiterate: Why would anyone WANT a lot more of these?
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WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 07:09:30 PM »
Speaking from my own experience, the process could be streamlined some. It isn't from lack of interest.
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nauta

  • Posts: 2206
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 07:22:39 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?

Who's 'You' in this scenario? I don't particularly want 'everyone to have their own shop', but I certainly want more than 3 people to have a shop. There's a difference between 'make it easier' and 'make it so everyone can have their own shop'.

When I say make it easier, I mean -- Make it months between, rather than RL years, to achieve some of these status points.

I was responding to the OP (Nauta), who asked why there aren't a lot more of these shops.  I even quoted that phrase. The question was: Why aren't there a lot more of these? My post was my answer. But to reiterate: Why would anyone WANT a lot more of these?

Your response is not very constructive, Lizzie, but I appreciate the insight.  Do you see anything particularly good about the process?  Do you see anything particularly wrong with it?  Where can we improve it?
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 07:40:47 PM »
Sounds like you're wanting everyone to have their own shop. Why would you want that? I mean - what is the point, how would that improve the game? It doesn't sound realistic OR believable. It sounds more like a Barbies Shopping Spree PlayHouse where everyone has a shop, and visits everyone else's shops to buy stuff, then goes back to their shop to sell stuff, and that's pretty much all anyone ever does.

I think that's why we don't see "a lot more of these" in the game. Who'd want to spend most of their gaming time sitting around in a shop hoping someone will show up wanting to buy a slice of cheese?

Who's 'You' in this scenario? I don't particularly want 'everyone to have their own shop', but I certainly want more than 3 people to have a shop. There's a difference between 'make it easier' and 'make it so everyone can have their own shop'.

When I say make it easier, I mean -- Make it months between, rather than RL years, to achieve some of these status points.

I was responding to the OP (Nauta), who asked why there aren't a lot more of these shops.  I even quoted that phrase. The question was: Why aren't there a lot more of these? My post was my answer. But to reiterate: Why would anyone WANT a lot more of these?

Your response is not very constructive, Lizzie, but I appreciate the insight.  Do you see anything particularly good about the process?  Do you see anything particularly wrong with it?  Where can we improve it?

I think the process is a bit overcomplicated. But I also don't see any need for more shops. We have tons of shops operated by NPCs that most people never buy anything from. My personal preference would be for storytellers to animate shopkeeps on the regular - instead of being closed one night, have them go to the bar and interact with the PCs. Maybe strike up some friendships - and some enemies. Maybe get their shop burned down or blown up. Of course that would require flash powder which no longer exists. I'd rather see existing shops replaced, rather than more shops added. But I'd like to see it happen organically, rather than through some long, drawn-out "system."
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chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 08:05:26 PM »
Eats popcorn
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 08:08:55 PM by chrisdcoulombe »
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Aruven

  • Posts: 2387
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2017, 08:07:05 PM »
How many players have tried to start a player made clan since this went live?

Is it actually a problem that we haven't seen this boom into established clans yet?

What are the parameters actually playing into this, are people disgruntled in some fashion or did everyone try it, die, and just not roll a new character who's ambition is to start his own clan.

I haven't even tried to do this, since it was implemented, for the record. Does it need to be shorter, the stipulations for success, those who have tried?

Veselka

  • Posts: 218
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2017, 08:48:32 PM »
I personally don't have an interest because I take a look at the requirements and methods and go



So sure, people might not pursue making a shop, because it appears on the surface to be nearly impossible. Why put a PC through that?

If the system were more easily engaged in, in the game, and not in the request tool, I think I would be more interested in giving it a shot, personally.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 08:50:36 PM by Veselka »

Aruven

  • Posts: 2387
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2017, 09:37:59 PM »
I was under the impression you could have many sorts of businesses, or something akin to get sponsored by a noble to start a gladiator school that eventually became relevant because of the wealth it amassed from public games its fighters competed in, and other nobles were just eventually forced to let sit at the table.

Something like that could happen over that timeline they stipulated if you made it work the right way.

Is it just some linear: You've been selling shit for 2 years and paying taxes good to go here's your shop and room desc thanks bye ?

I'm seeing a lot of shop talk...


seidhr

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  • Posts: 452
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2017, 09:45:50 PM »
Off the top of my head I can think of four - wait, make it five (and there may be more) player created clans since this went live, that have gotten to the point where they had like their own space to operate in.  Most of these didn't get a shop because they weren't merchant outfits and that shouldn't be held against them or the system.

I feel like player to player trade, crafting, etc is a lot more interesting than setting up NPC vendor robots that will largely get ignored, personally.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7490
Re: Player-created clans aka Minor Merchant Houses (MMH): Reflections
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2017, 09:50:30 PM »
Off the top of my head I can think of four - wait, make it five (and there may be more) player created clans since this went live, that have gotten to the point where they had like their own space to operate in.  Most of these didn't get a shop because they weren't merchant outfits and that shouldn't be held against them or the system.

I feel like player to player trade, crafting, etc is a lot more interesting than setting up NPC vendor robots that will largely get ignored, personally.

Seidr gets me.
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.