Which is where I put that "request" part in at.
See now if they'd "walk in" and accept vague generals (Wants Tin (OR) Greatsword)
Then you'd be able to go "well crap I just so happen to have this BEAUTIFUL LEGENDARY ULTRA SUPER RARE GOD SWORD..... Mithril Greatsword, that I really would like to sell, How's about you take this instead, bub?" SOLD :D (I don't really care that it isn't logical for a Novice Stone Mason to have 400million gold vs what, 4000?)
Of course if you don't have a greatsword or resources, you could still make a sale by shoving a Tin 1h sword in his hand and selling him on its super duper awesome OP game breaking Please Nerf Stats - Its like +100Quality m80, Buy it, you know you wannnaaaa.
OR.. If that seems "unfair" because of the aforementioned "novice" and "gold allowance" - You could introduce a say... 5-10% discount on "Greatsword" that doesn't match "Tin" - Which then your Charisma and Parts choice/material factor heavily into, and really, your charisma.
It'd be a fair-ish balance for being able to go "Here's a titanium greatsword sonny, go play in the woods, be back by suppa and don't poke your eye out!"
and then they'd
"Request" within "x hours" (must be hours or more) a "Special" (can give "Bonus" % value for increased time - maybe say 1% bonus for every hour they "request" for, so if they give you an entire day, you'll get "near" 24% bonus (I'd really say closer to say, half that, if its a day or more, full if its less than 5 - 10 hours))
This way, They can say something like "I'm Looking for a +xx quality Iron GreatHammer - It needs at least xx damage and yy control, I don't care a lot about "protection", Can you make this for me within the next 5 hours?"
That gives you Enough time to
- Get the materials, either order, or mine, 5 hours is 75? mins? Or something? its like 1hr = 15 irl mins? right? Anyway
- Forge them into ingots and into the tool head
- Actually STOP to stand there (which TAKES TIME the game DOESN'T PAUSE) and add quality to it, +1 +10 +30 - Which also makes having higher Intellect more important too.
- Pays out for "Iron Greathammer (Default total you would've made selling it over the counter) + 5% (+maybe some "request fee" for metal level, I dunno, This felt kinda low priced. Maybe something like "-1% for copper" (yes, you get a worse deal for cheapo copper (but I mean, you still get x% for the time, so it'd be better/worth doing still) (0-4% for tin, 2-5% iron, etc up to like maybe 10% total) - Oh I know, Maybe Quality level requested will factor in to price too, Yeah, that'll be a good option to the metal thingy I was just saying.
This kinda thing, would make Requests and Walk ins different, as well as "not absolute nightmare fuel that's driving me to want to hurl these weapons at the npcs and annoy me." and more like "Seems plausible and not as aggravating"