No matter which MMO you tend to play you would of come across an Auction House (AH) at 1 time or another. It does the job that is was made for, but lets face it. The example below, does not promote any player interaction what so ever.
Now we know TOR will have the AH, to sell and trade. But for me its lacking in so many ways, I normally stay away from these places if another option is open to me. But what other ways are there to go about this ?
With all the MMO's I have come to play over the years, only 2 would come close to having something that gives players a good reputation, if they have chosen to be a great crafter.
Those games were Ultima online (UO) and Star Wars Galaxies (SWG).
Now I would say that both these games had above all, a great crafting system. But this alone would not get you known as a great cafter.
What both had in common where the great ways of getting you known as a crafter, they let you interact with your fellow players. On a more personal level, with they way you did your selling. Both had houses, both has player vendors, a place you could buy and sell your goods.
Thats 2 of the ways to get your goods out to the public, and the 3rd way, no player likes. Yes the dreaded spam. You go to almost any AH and you will find someone spaming over and over again.
So whats does TOR have at its disposal ?
Well 1st off it has player ships. Though these are none static, and would be very hard for other players to find your ship in the many worlds that you may be on. So having a vendor would not work so well, when you are playing.
The 2nd thing it has is companions, these few dedicated followers could act as your player vendors. I'm sure with a little tweaking, these could be converted to what we as crafters would need. They already can hold items, as they gather and craft items for you. So going a stage on from that, wouldn't take a great leap.
So where would we place a companion vendor ?
Well they could be a public marketplace, not the best solution I know, but it has been done before. Though that dreaded spam will rear its head again, if this happens.
Guild Housing -
This would fill the void very well. I know what your thinking, PvP right ?
Well if your going to be known as a crafter, and make a few credits out of it. The last thing you want to start doing, is killing off half of your potential costumers.
Each Guild member would have the option of placing 1 companion to act as there vendor.
The down side is that you would have to have your guild house on a none faction locked planet. Also your customers would have a very real chance of getting killed along the way. As your vendor place may be a safe haven, sadly all the realm outside that is not.
Guild Ships -
Another great way of having a centralized area for player vendors. The bonus here is clear, no PvP zones, and space is as far as we know is not faction locked !
I know its been said before that guild ships, are not on the radar as yet. Though this may change in future expansions. You could just jump in your ship head to where the vendor is in an instant, and have an easy dock at the other end.
Of coarse there is always player housing, but SWG left a bitter taste in many a mouth, in the way they handled the decay of player run city's. So I don't see this ever springing up outside of a rented apartment status.
But I would hope for guild ships, as these would be multi-purpose. Having a place to hang out with your guild and plan the next raid or PvP rampage. Its always way better than talking over vast distances.
And as we know guilds are some of the most important social hubs in MMO's. Guilds in every way shape and form keep players, playing.
TOR should aim to give guilds a great advantage over small ready made party's. Something that they can stamp there names on, something to call home. I really can not see a downside to having guild ships, I really can't.
I really do hope there is something other than just the AH. For me these places carry too much baggage.
There ok when starting out, but when you in the midst of your crafting profession, that little extra care in what your customers wants, and what you can provide makes all the difference.