his Tuesday the celebration of the one year anniversary of the Dalaran Trade night began in Dalaran, and of course the Roar is going to write about it, but maybe not quite in the manner you might expect. For those who do not know then every Tuesday for a year, Dalaran has opened up its gates (does Dalaran actually have gates?) and allowed visitors to roam (almost) freely within the magical city. As Archmage Zyretha Snowdawn said in her opening speech: ""We’ve had shows, talks, book launches, and even a protest that, unlike most protests, didn’t end in a giant mess."" Add to that list the ever growing list of shops and vendors plying their good, trades and crafts within the city. A regular feast for your senses and curiosity, even if it does leave your coin purse so empty you may actually think its content was magically whisked away. This is then where we could traditionally quote more of the opening speech, list the shops taking part in the scavenger hunt - even if barely any visitors did - and list rest of this weeks festivities and events. Well, we won't do the first, but you can find a mention of the upcoming events down at the end of this article if you have something missed the noticeboards and posters. What this article will do instead is talking about Jack. A pair of them actually, a pair of Jacks.

The OG Jack

One of the longest running businesses taking part in the weekly Trade nights is Jack Silver, who runs and operates "Silver's Oddities", a small shop in the Magus Commerce Exchange District of Dalaran. If one were to look it up in the business directory, the description goes something like this: "Looking to find anything odd or unique, Pop on round to Silvers oddities. Relics, Trinkets, Plushies, We have them all under one roof. And if your looking to rid yourself of that strange little box or a chest of draws your great grandmother passed down bring it round for a fixed price sale in cash. Custom orders on all plushies are avaiable." I decided to have a talk with Jack about his experiences with running the shop in Dalaran over the last year. H. Lester: "You been operating a shop in Dalaran for quite awhile now ya?" Jack Silver: "Indeed i have" H. Lester: "How long time has it been now?" Jack Silver: "Now thats a question and a half.. Around.. Hmmm Well over a year. Round when the trade night started up.. I opened before it became a weekly thing." H. Lester: "Yeah I think you are one of the few left who has been operating the entire time. I'm curious, if you where to put a few words on Dalaran then and Dalaran now, what would you say? Has much changed in the year?" Jack Silver: "Hmmm few words.. I would have to say that it has become quieter.. Not sure if people have been shopping more so in Stormwind or elsewere. Though there are a few regulars i always welcome.. Though its much quieter than when we first started." H. Lester: "So you said there is less people now? in general? or just fewer customers?" Jack Silver: "Well in general and customers. Ive noticed the streets are much more empty from when we first started aswell as the customer base has dwindles quite a bit." H. Lester: "How about the atmosphere, you think it has changed?" Jack Silver: "Its changed a bit... Though more so in the sense that owners and shops are waiting and closing earlier than what they used too." H. Lester: "Not working as hard as in the old days?" Jack Silver: "Oh indeed. When we first opend my store was rammed. People was in and out and i was selling like clockwork" H. Lester: "You think maybe there is too many shops now?" Jack Silver: "I can tell because ive had three artifacts on the shelf behind you that have been there for eight months.... And i wouldnt say too many shops. Just more that more shops are doing what others are doing too. So i try to make everything unique and special.. Though turned out there is one store in Stormwind selling custom plushies too.. aswell as another selling hand made wooden carvings." H. Lester: "Mm. Well thank you Jack for your insights." (I promised Jack I would also mention that Silver's Oddities is indeed open every Tuesday.) Not exactly what I expected when I set out to talk to Jack. I expected it to be about how the community had really come together, how Dalaran had changed to be a force of positivity over the last year, more shops, more people, but sometimes a story just does not go where you expect and it would be wrong of me to try to force a story down a path it clearly does not want to go. This might ruffle some feathers, but it is not my job to paint a lovely picture of a rosebush, and neglect to tell about the thorns. It seems not everything is as good as it may appear in Dalaran.

The new kid on the block

Now a true journalist makes sure to check multiple sources and multiple angles on a story, and when doing science one compares comparable things and checks for differences. So, I talked to a Jack, clearly the right choice here is to talk to another Jack. Also, I wanted pancakes. Jack Skinner is a new face on the streets of Dalaran. He runs a small street vendor stall where he sells sweet and savory pancakes with a multitude of ever increasing number of toppings, sauces and specials. Besides getting myself some lovely pancakes then I also figured he might have a different look on things than Jack Silver, due to him being new. H. Lester: "Hello, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions Jack" Jack Skinner: "Absolutely" H. Lester: "How long have you been operating in Dalaran now?" Jack Skinner: "This is me second one, I'm here every 2 weeks" H. Lester: "So every other Tuesday?" Jack Skinner: "Aye" This means every even numbered weeks. H. Lester: "How have you found running a stall in Dalaran to be so far?" Jack Skinner: "Hectic, but fun. Joelyn here's indispensible" Joelyn is his Vulperan assistent, a very capable woman by all accounts. H. Lester: "Good atmosphere? plenty of customers?" Jack Skinner: "oh yeah. Every seems to like the pancakes" H. Lester: "You found the other shopkeepers welcoming to a new guy like you?" Jack Skinner: "Pretty much. Think among us we cover all the food interests in Dalaran" H. Lester: "It does seem like every other week a new food place opens" Jack Skinner: "People gotta eat and shopping is hungry business" H. Lester: "This is true. Alright, well that was all really. Thank you Jack" As I was finishing up Jack kept going on about a good varity of toppings and always adding more, so just in case you missed it dear reader: Lots of toppings. Always new ones being added. Advertising done with, then unsurprisingly, Jack number two had a vastly different experience of running a shop in Dalaran. But perhaps he is just new, perhaps the difference between selling overpriced pancakes in the streets and plushies and artifacts in the commerce district can also account for the difference.

Conclusion

This leaves me with a few questions. Not some I can give the answer to, but still questions and wonderings. An anniversary can and should certainly be about celebrating success, but it should also be about reflecting on matters. Accordring to most people in Dalaran then Trade Nights has increased the traffic and number of visitors, but then according to Jack Silver, not that much really. It does lead to the question, what is the purpose of the Trade Nights? To sell and shift more goods? Earn money to the shop owners and the city? Is it just one big market square? or is the Trade Nights more about community building, and making friends? How is success measured? There is limited real-estate in Dalaran, and with the new additions of shops it is becoming more and more cramped. Is it time restrictions where put in place to secure a diverse spread of shops? Avoid too much overlap - or should shops utilizie shared space more? And what about the point Jack Silver mentions, shops barely being open - sometimes closing after just an hour? There is a lot of questions and I think this anniversary can be used as a good excuse to reflect on this, debate it, talk about it. Hopefully asking a few question will help ensure that when we look at Dalaran Trade nights again in a year - then it has become even more of a success.

Rest of the week

Friday is the T-K Studios 1st Anniversary Show, and Saturday the Dalaran Grand Mechanical Race takes place in the city. The week is rounded off with the Azeroth Wrestling Grand Prix on Sunday.