Ily's Spotlight on Europa

Ily's Spotlight on Europa - The Guardsmen Militia

My sincerest apologies to all the readers for the delay in getting this interview posted. I have moved 2300 miles to a new province and im just now set up! But enough about that, on with the show! For this weeks interview I got to pick the brain of one of the most well known shop owners on Europa, Lady Alcestis of Blue Wolf Traders!

Q: Tell us more about Blue Wolf Traders. We all know itís a shop, but Ö Why Blue Wolf Traders ?

A: My favourite colour is blue, my favourite animals are tigers & bears.

Oh wait that doesnít quite explain it, does it ;) Considering tigers donít even exist in UO, and the plain bears havenít been honoured with a statue yet, what options did I have left ? Back then I certainly did not have a lot of money, but already I was hoping that one day I would have the funds to buy myself two statuettes, dyed blue, to guard my shop :) The other monster statues all look rather crappy, so thatís why I settled with wolves. The traders part speaks for itself I may hope.
Q: How long has blue wolf traders been in existence?

A: Good question. I donít know for sure. To answer this question I went to check the properties of some very old screenshots I made. The first image I have of Blue Wolf Traders dates back from the 13th of July 2003. But I think the shop had been running for a few weeks already at that point Ö So letís say 3 years and a half more or less.


Q: Always at this location?

A: No. In the beginning Blue Wolf Traders was located at the backside of the Destard mountain in trammel ( if you check the vendor shops-directory over at UO-Auction2.com, you can actually still find a picture of it and directions to our old location !) When a friend of mine (maybe some of you remember Isaac Applebee ?) quit, I bought his Umbra road plot for a friendly price and opened a second shop there, Pink Puma Traders. The vibrant pink uniforms were Ö hot :D

After a while I got kinda sick of gating to two shops though, so I decided to close down the Pink Puma store. A few weeks after that, I saw the plot next to old Pink Puma up for sale, and bought it. The idea of opening up a shop spread over several plots now came to mind Ö I didnít have to wait much longer till a 3rd plot was up for sale right next to my other two. The owner sadly enough figured out what I was planning, so he made me pay quite a high price :( But all said and done, Iím still very happy that I bought it, even if the price at that time was outrageous.

So Ö Once I owned the three plots, I started bugging elite plot-placer Trevelyan, who helped me to place the three houses more or less on the same level, and a bit closer to each other. And voila, Blue Wolf Traders as we currently know it, was born.


Q: How big are the shops, how many vendors would you estimate?

A: Every month a few decay, a few get kicked and a few new ones get added but I think I could say on average, we have somewhere in between 80 and 90 vendors spread over the three plots.


Q: What type things do you sell?

A: A bit of everything really.

In the left wing of the shop, we focus on resources and craftables. Wood, ingots, arrows & bolts, potion kegs, recall scrolls, PoT and bags of sending, Plants, Ö or basically: cheapish everyday needs. Most vendors in this part of the shop are taken care of by the people Iíd like to think of as my friends, so, from that perspective, itís my favourite of the three plots.

The other two plots basically both provide the same: Weapons and Armor Ėlooted as well as crafted, Powerscrolls, Artifacts, ML Ingredients and Craftables, Jewelry, Marties, BoD-rewards, Tokuno Treasures, Museum & Library Rewards, Veteran Rewards, Tokens, Decorative Rares and much much more.


Q: Are there any items that you have forbidden people from selling to maintain the integrity of the game?

A: The moment the changeling dupe came into the game, was actually the first time I had to think of taking such measures.

We obviously had the period during which [email protected] was selling off his neon blue shroud at my shop, but at that point, that robe was, like many items we all consider as rares, and old exploit which however had a certain rarity and value attached to it.

Though as soon as I myself heard about the ongoing dupe method with the imprisoned dog and realised how serious it was (yes indeed, I have to find out this kind of stuff too, I donít have mystical connections to a higher world that gives me all info on exploits), I did send out a message to all my vendorkeepers, warning them that selling either changeling dupes or imprisoned dogs was strictly forbidden and that anyone caught selling them, would get his contract terminated.

Iíve also been trying to keep away from those people who asked me for vendors to sell their ďleet event itemsĒ, ďmass amounts of artifacts 11Ē and such. But what you all should keep in mind is that:

a)not everybody is as honest as youíd hope when they ask you for a vendorspot and

b)not everybody obeys to my rules.

All you can do as a shopowner in such a situation, is end the contract and wait for a week, till the vendor disappears. And hope people understand your situation, rather than call you a lover of dupers ;)


Q: So whatís the deal with all the trivia youíve been hosting?

A: Well, Blue Wolf Traders has been active on Umbra Road for just over a year now. Before, Umbra Road wasnít anything special really, while now it has developed into some kind of Ďvendor hot spotí for Europa. My shop is something Iím proud of, so I guess I just wanted to share my joy with the other players of Europa and thank all my customers by organising something fun for them.


Q: Tell us how a typical Alcestis day works? for those people who think that being an established shop owner is simple

A: I usually get up at about 8-9 am in the morning. First thing I do is log onto UO to see what my vendors sold and I restock them for a first time. After that I go brush my teeth and get dressed *grins* Throughout the day I check my vendors about Ö 1 time an hour more or less and restock them right away every time I see something sells. When I feel like spending money I will update my ďAlcestis is buying bookĒ and drop a couple at Brit bank. Most of the time I will also be gating from Brit bank, usually with a dvd running on the background (preferably some easy going series such as Sex & the city, Ally Mc Beal or at the moment Will & Grace and Angel hihi). Besides my UO life, I have a so called real life that basically evolves around FOOD, buying dvdís, attending lectures and even more so whining about not wanting to go cause Ö its raining and I donít wanna get wet ? or Ö I feel a bit sick and I wouldnít be able to concentrate? Or maybe because the professor just says the same as the book we have to read for his class says so Ö why would I have to go listen to him?


Q: Are most of your vendors friends, enemies, just random people?

A: As I said before, most of the people from the left wing and a few more, are indeed friends. Besides that hmm Ö I donít know most of the people that run vendors at my place that well. If they arenít doing anything wrong and they donít show an interest in speaking with me, I tend to just leave them alone. As for enemies: it happens. If one of my enemies so happens to be able to run a good and honest vendor, I wonít refuse him a contract. Then again most of my enemies are idiots who scam or deal in dirty goods and we donít need those at BWT anyway :/


Q: Do you enjoy running such a well known vendor shop?

A: I wouldnít know what else to spend my time on in UO if I had no shop, to be honest. So yes, I do would have to be my final answer :) . I enjoy re-arranging the stock on the vendors or in my stockboxes, I enjoy counting my gold, I enjoy making good deals Ö


Q: Whatís the best thing about it?

A: It keeps me busy. Without the shop I would get so bored :( Besides that, it also forces me to somehow socialise. Most of my current friends I got to know through the shop. Some I came to know when they asked for a vendor, others when we were making a sale, etc etc Ö


Q: And the worst of course?

A: The worst would be that, being a well known figure, logically, everybody will form an opinion on you. Both negative and positive opinions can be scary thoughÖ Iím not a dumb b!tch, nor an elite deity.

Another thing that annoys me to death is when people think my shopís staircase is an advertisement paper and clutter it with runes. If you want your shop to be successful it is my opinion that you have to be dedicated and willing to make a certain effort to advertise it properly. Dropping off your runes in front of a fairly often visited shop that does indeed make the effort to gate several hours a day is something I perceive of as being very lame.
Q: Whatís the craziest thing a customer has ever asked for?

A: One question I get quite often is the one for proof of the fact Iím indeed female, usually in the form of nude pictures.


Q: Do you enjoy chatting with your customer base and helping them find what they need, or offering to supply it in the future?

A: This may sound rude, but no I donít. When I am running around in UO, it usually means Iím busy. Youíll have a much better chance to get a response to your questions if you simply ICQ me, so I can answer you when I got time for it. Which doesnít mean I simply wonít bother to answer people in game when I see them asking me a question, it only means the answers I give in game will most likely be short ;) I tend to be just a tiny bit friendlier on ICQ Ö

As for helping people to find what they need: when I know where to find the item you ask me for, I will gladly show you the vendor or even gate you to another vendorhouse. On the other hand, if you ask me if I know where to find some specific piece of armor or weaponÖ Donít expect me to know the entire shopís vendor inventory by heart. I donít take the slightest interest in this kind of stuff and Iím certainly not planning to look through the vendor inventories for you. (Last time I tried to solve this problem with a searchable database for Blue Wolf, I got banned remember har har )

And an answer to your last question: No. I do not take orders. I am not the kind of trader that has ďdealersĒ for everything and nothing. All the stuff I have in stock is what I get offered at Brit bank and ICQ or can find on cheapish in-game vendors. In short: I donít really have a better chance of finding an item than you do. However, if I know someone is looking for an item, and I happen to stumble upon it, I will ICQ you if I can remember your name.

Ok, now after reading this you may think I absolutely hate communicating with people :) Thatís not it though. The point is, I already put a lot of time in running this shop, and for some things, I really just donít have the time.
Q: What is your take on the current state of the economy in game?

A: A lot of people claim that the economy and trading scene are dead atm, with a lot of the big spenders gone. I do not agree with this vision. Most of the people who have gone missing lately were those for who a million was a dollar, and nothing but a dollar. The only people who could possibly suffer from this ďlossĒ are the ones buying GP for $. I donít think we need either of these types of people, so in my personal opinion the removal of a whole lot of gold and players in the recent uo history can only be seen as something to make our economy more vibrant again.

The first few weeks after the recent bans, people were hesitant to buy I noticed. My sales dropped by at least 50%. But the people from Europa have surely recovered from the shock :) When I look around at Brit bank, I see more new shops and more people looking to buy and sell than I have in a long long time. Itís certainly moving in the right direction.

Large scale multi-shard economic theories on the overflow of gold and desperate needs for goldsinks arenít exactly my piece of cake. I try to keep things simple, so I wonít go on to give my opinion on such thingsÖ The only thing I know is that I want a banker deed for Blue Wolf Traders and am willing to pay a billion for it ;) Now thatís what I call a gold sink.


Q: Anything else youíd like to add that hasnít been asked, please feel free

A: I think i babbled long enough, but as you ask ;)

I would like to add that if youíre interested in running a vendor at Blue Wolf Traders, donít hesitate to contact me on ICQ. My number is 38970131. Do however mention ďUOĒ somewhere in your authorisation request or I may mistake you for an Eastern European bride or a cyberking and youíll end up on my ignore :/ oops.

And of course, if you ever wanna sell something, you can find my pricelist here .

Special thanks to Alcestis for her ever enduring patience and perserverence in order to get this spotlight completed as well as the custom graphics