Today’s EverQuest Next Roundtable question asks:
If a player sells an item to an NPC merchant, should other players be able to buy that item from the merchant?
I say absolutely yes. I actually like NPC merchants — even in a player-driven economy. In fact, I think merchants should sell decent gear and items to players. Early Dark Age of Camelot handled this quite well. Players made the best stuff, and occasionally a good item would drop from dungeons, but players more often than not sold and marketed the best items.
If the weapon sold by a merchant was lower quality, maybe it breaks quicker or does slightly less damage. Maybe it can’t be repaired fully, and slowly loses permanent durability over time.
The idea of merchants can really be taken further. What if certain merchants allowed players to put up items on consignment depending on that player’s crafting or merchant status. Star Wars Galaxies’ merchant class had great tools to utilize both public and private merchant and auction services.
One of the best things about the original EverQuest was being able to find hidden gems on merchants in town. I would always do a quick check of the merchants in my class training area. Sometimes you’ll find bone chips, bat wings, and other spell or quest reagents. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! There’s even the rare occasion where I was able to find magical dungeon drops just sitting on a vendor because someone just sold it to the vender to get rid of it.
So yes, merchants are awesome.