Thanks for the thoughtful reply CheckeredZebra. Personally I would want even the most common shinies if they had great IVs. I'm currently actually rocking a shiny zubat in my team that I caught on the weekend. If we started to see a few more hard T1 and T2 shinies for sale, and greater variety, I'd be excited to try to buy them. There are lots of shiny T1s that are never for sale because nobody hunts them. Also I've heard people say that they quit because they've gotten everything already, but I don't see how that can be true (for most people) when things are SO hard to find. Years to find a shiny T2.. the other tiers impossible..CheckeredZebra said:So, let's talk cycles.
You have the rich who have so much money and items they have nothing left to really spend/barter for aside from things that probably will never exist again due to low playerbase. (Shiny, extremely rare things or just very strong PvP-based pokemon.) There is nobody coming in as well as no noteable additional content to provide the rich with the next new thing they might want to bust their wallets on. Good riolu, garchomp, for example. Of course, with nobody really joining the game now and staying long enough to "climb", there is no money accrual and circulation. There is no content the newer can put effort into in order to entice richer players to "spend down". Battle tower WAS an example of this: Lots of needed goodies anyone could get if they grinded for it, so they would pay other people to skip the grind.
That no longer exists in PWO. It's a huge issue. There is no middle ground that will want their first shiny to pay for their first shiny. It is almost exclusively a playerbase issue, and the NPC is just a way to bandaid that void of buyers. In old PWO, there were so many people that finding a buyer for some random shiny, common or not, was a non-issue. There is almost no middle class. There is almost no lower class. There are almost no high profile wealthy even if they SEEM more numerous...mainly because they join just to flaunt their wealth or their accomplishments in this game are memorable.
Sorry if this lacks tact, I absolutely do not mean this poorly, but your suggestion is a tourniquet on a laceration that may never heal. It's a nice stopgap, but you're just stemming the bleeding. The wound is infected, and without proper care into the game (updates, regions, revived PvP scene), it is at best alleviating a symptom and will eventually become redundant if the actual issue is properly tackled. Maybe you're fine with that, but then you have to look at labor vs outcome. Do you want that effort going toward solutions that permanently solve the problem or into a bandaid? That's why I'm pretty iffy.
PWO needs regions. It needs more diverse pokemon as shodan noted to support a more balanced/diverse meta, as well as help diversify the economy. It needs things that brings people here instead of to other random pokemon MMOs, which are a dime a dozen these days. Is giving people an option to get extra luck nice? Yes. Will it harm things? Probably not. Does it divert from the heart of the issue? Yes. At the core of it you are automating a function that real people should already be doing, and the fact that people aren't is indicative of much larger, much more severe problems that need to be tackled ASAP or PWO will not survive.
IMO it just depends how much coding time needs to be diverted from other projects to make this happen. It's supposed to be a relatively low-effort high-reward project. If it doesn't take too much programming, I absolutely think it is worth it to make. Furthermore it might be such an exciting idea that it would attract additional coding time that developers wouldn't have been motivated to put into regions. Regions at this point may seem like a nearly insurmountable goal where a full day's work would only bring them maybe 1% closer or reveal new issues and another full day's work needed. Being able to see immediate rewards for your efforts is a powerful motivator. The suggestions in this thread could also be implemented in stages and disabled easily at any time.
My suggestion isn't just a stop-gap fix while we wait for regions though. The NPC will still be useful when there are new regions. Eventually the market will be flooded with shiny Silcoons, or whatever. Stagnation is the inevitable outcome without intervention. All successful economic systems have mechanisms to control inflation. Just like the banks control the interest rates for mortgages PWO needs to be able to control shiny luck and pokemon supply.
I obviously agree this game needs regions badly, but they seem a little further off in the indefinite future. I think implementing some variation of my suggestions might kindle some player interest and prevent people from quitting while we wait. That increased player activity might in turn motivate the developers to seek greater challenges and higher praise, or even new players with coding skill to contribute.
And lastly, I don't know this game nearly as well as you.. so I hope you read my post with the appropriate levels of tact too . Also note the only way I know how to write things is in this naturally confrontational tone... I get a bit too invested in my ideas and just want to be right at times. I genuinely want to hear everyone's ideas on this though..