You know, after you get just a few levels, there isn't much in the Shopping Area except for the lady who dyes things and renames pets, the occasional furniture item, and the holiday vendors. The Shopping Area is pretty quiet despite its central location, not the bustling hub you would expect, like the Bazaar often is. Here are some suggestions to draw more folks in:
Have "random" vendors who pop in from time to time in the buildings that don't have signs. The windows will be lit to let you know someone is there. These NPC vendors can be "adventurers" or vendors from other worlds of the Spiral who have all sorts of merchandise/junk to sell, like treasure cards, gear, pet snacks, reagents, etc. Some stuff would have level limitations and could be expensive. After a few days/weeks, that shop goes dark again for a while.
Have "craftsmen" pop into the shops from time to time in the buildings that don't have signs. They have a little bit to sell, but mostly they assign quests for you to go gather reagents or specific pieces of gear that they will use as a "template" for what they are going to make. (Note these must drop and cannot be purchased from vendors or the Bazaar, just like the components for the sandwiches for the guy in Celestia.) Payment can include some cash, some x.p., maybe a 1-use stitching or unstitching "coupon" (can't be sold, cash value 1/20th of a cent), that sort of thing, and/or a random piece of gear appropriate to your school.
Not a holiday? Have other vendors from around the spiral near the fountain for short periods. The painter lady from Wisteria could sell 1-of-a-kind wall art. The spice lady from Zafaria could sell unique "spicy" pet snacks (BBQ, grubs, exotic stuff). Some of the various techie people from Celestia could sell tech-looking "wands" and "staves" with unique looks/effects. This could allow cool but underutilized vendor and non-vendor NPCs to have more exposure.
Elik's Edge. A mysterious octopus-like tentacle sometimes flips up from below, offering various bargains if you click on it. You never can quite see what the tentacle's connected to...
The guard at the entrance to Colossus looks hungry! Once a day (per character), he could have quests for you to fetch him a particular type of snack (these must be drops, not bought). The food he asks for would be roughly based on level, and so he can have quests for even newer wizards.
Just some ideas to get the Shopping Area more interesting and active...
These are amazing ideas! I would love for the Shopping District to become more of a hangout area for all the wizards of the Spiral and this could be the way to do it. I love the idea about the bargains from the tentacle and the idea of vendors from different worlds coming to Wizard City for a limited time.
~ I love this idea. It would certainly make the place more lively. And it would make me want to go on "Shopping Sprees" in Wizard City more often. I also think that MB and WS should have something like this since those Worlds have lots of empty houses that would be good for shopping. ~