I love the idea of going to the “market” to get your items instead of the AH, but for each individual player to have a separate NPC, (and now possibly multiple NPC’s) it seems like its only going to complicate things worse. The proposed search function may help a little, but I’m not sure its going to make it much better.
Most players I talk to say the main frustration is the sheer number of Retainers that they have to browse through is overwhelming. Nearly to the point where many have just decided to skip the wards altogether.
Being able to search will be good, but if its still difficult and unpleasant to go to the wards to pick up items, or find the specific retainer that is supposed to have the item you wanted, then it’s still going to frustrate players and they will not utilize it properly.
The wards are currently over crowded with Retainer NPC’s and too disorganized. Wards how they are right now are not pleasant to visit. The “market feel” is lost in all the chaos, and the lag and unorganized placement of all the NPC’s makes it difficult to keep track of who you’ve browsed and who you haven’t.
Even if you name the Wards better and impose fees to encourage people to set up shop in appropriate wards, people are still going to be selling multiple type items on a single NPC and it will be disorganized. Allowing this doesn’t alleviate the frustration of having to look at multiple Retainers and may actually cause a percieved need for even more Retainers causing more lag and more Retainer NPC’s to have to search through.
Please consider an expanded suggestion of the one that I issued during closed beta –
I really like places like Hawkers Alley in Limsa, and Ebony Stalls in Gridania. Maybe that sort of set up would be nice in the actual player market wards.
I was thinking that it might work nicely to, instead of having so many Retainers filling the wards causing lag, to instead have each ward have only one representative of each of the same Retainer models that is available for a player to pick.
Any items you gave your personally selected retainer to sell, would automatically be dispersed to the corresponding look-alike NPC in the appropriate Ward. This way players can easily and quickly find the items they are actually looking for and won’t have to waste so much time looking at stuff they don’t want too.
You could even have each Retainer NPC model be part of separate competitive “broker groups” for each ward. Each Broker group could get weekly or monthly rewards for things like – having the most sales. An example of a reward could be like allowing the players selling through the winning “broker group” enjoy a temporarily lowered tax on things they sell for that week. This would encourage people to price their items respectfully instead of trying to cause inflation and economy woes.