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Let's talk merchants...


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#41
Baltic

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... that's gotta be the first time I saw ME 2 mentioned in an RPG discussion as a positive example :D
 
I actually like the WYSIWYG approach to loot - I agree it is too "clicky" though. I found that Tyranny had a very elegant solution to this: Bent unusable armor, broken swords, all sellable for their bronze, all with flavor text. This helps immersion a lot in my opinion, and with a "sell broken items" at merchants, it's user friendly as well. And as I said, economy can be balanced in several ways.

It does also break immersion in a way though. If I can pick up broken items there's no explanation for unlootable bodies is there?
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#42
algroth

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I think that the main feature that causes money to play wonky is the income curve through loot. There are too many tiers of stuff to account for, and with unlimited inventory and stash access, it's way too easy to collect every single piece of loot. Enforcing carry limits might help with that, and could also lead to interesting new designs that could potentially add immersion, such as loot mules with saddlebags you can keep with you while adventuring and the like. And seriously, who didn't like finding a Bag of Holding back in the day ^^

 

The Bags of Holding were awesome back in the day because they helped reduce the incredibly frustrating mechanic of inventory management. I think making the inventory unlimited was a good move, and it doesn't really break my immersion since I can always accept it as a gameplay convention. The reason to why is because I imagine a lot of us are the obsessive types who would have likely picked up EVERY LAST PIECE OF EQUIPMENT until their bags were full, and proceeded then to sell everything at the nearest merchant before venturing into the dungeon once again: in the end it's less a challenge than a grievance that is tediously but easily bypassed by backtracking. I think the best solution to the above, which is already being applied into Deadfire, is to not have every xaurip drop a spear when killed. In a way, randomized enemy drops makes it harder to properly gauge how much money one could make by the end of the game, but it also keeps that final number more in check opposite to having *every* creature of a kind drop the same loot.

 

 



That, and reducing the tiers of magic items. The more 'rare' magic is, the more meaningful is the economy you can create. Reducing the loot-income-curve would leave room for other kinds of methods in getting wealthy; this being a renaissance setting, I don't see why there couldn't be private companies you could by shares of, and perhaps even collect dividends. Investing your gold gives the currency a whole another layer of meaning, and it is also engaging as hell. If you can invest the gold of your character in the hopes of generating revenue, I guarantee that it will increase your engagement with that character and the game. So, primitive company shares, real estate, and now that we're going to get a ship, active trading and perhaps even smuggling could be added to play a role in the accumulation of wealth for our characters.

 

I like the idea of being able to invest on certain companies and the likes, but my one issue here is how it is applied: I think that the more "automatic" gold collection becomes, the less meaningful it is, and by this I mean, if all you have to do to see a steady trickle of gold is to buy some stock here or there, then you'll get to the point eventually where just buying time will get you the gold you need, and don't need. Now, if these are tied to a more meaningful and complete game mechanic, by say, being able to have a say on how the business is run in each company you invest in, then maybe the income can become meaningful once more, and you may even experience losses if you handle the businesses poorly.


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#43
Ninjamestari

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I have a question about this NPC giving access to all merchants: Would this be an Amazon Warrior? (sorry, sorry, couldn't stop myself.

 

I feel like I'm missing some sort of reference here? :D

 

What website gives you access to many many stores and shops? :p

 

 

Goddammit, now I feel stupid xD



#44
Aleh1811

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Can we not own a shop and charge outrageous prices to other unfortunate adventures?

 

A man can dream...


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#45
Ninjamestari

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... that's gotta be the first time I saw ME 2 mentioned in an RPG discussion as a positive example :D

 

I actually like the WYSIWYG approach to loot - I agree it is too "clicky" though. I found that Tyranny had a very elegant solution to this: Bent unusable armor, broken swords, all sellable for their bronze, all with flavor text. This helps immersion a lot in my opinion, and with a "sell broken items" at merchants, it's user friendly as well. And as I said, economy can be balanced in several ways.

 

It's one of those situations where one really likes the idea, but its implementations often end up being more trouble than they're worth. There are structural requirements for a game before WYSIWYG can be implemented in a way that actually adds value to the experience. In PoE for example, I don't really see many situations where the WYSIWYG approach really improves the experience, where as in a more roguelike game I'd go so far as to claim that WYSIWYG is paramount. WYSIWYG does have serious implications, and unless the game is built to handle those implications, WYSIWYG loot is going to cause problems.

 

And really? ME2 is that hated? ME2 did so many things right, it achieved a meaningful power curve, a meaningful economy (as long as you ignore the damn achievement bonuses), and an overall amazing ride. ME2 is the pinnacle of what a streamlined adventure RPG has been able to achieve so far. PoE obviously isn't going for the same direction, nor should it, but I still think ME2 holds many important lessons that if learned, could seriously benefit Deadfire as a game. Admittedly though, many of those lessons are of the "how not to do it" - variety, such as the achievements I think.



#46
Regggler

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For me, ME2 crosses the line from "RPG-light" to 3rd person shooter. And I just don't like shooters. So as polished as ME and ME2 are, they are just not for me. "streamlined" for me just means that many things I find interesting got axed.

 

What Tyranny and PoE do isn't WYSIWYG anyway - as with everything, balance is key. I'm not interested in being able to loot every hairpin, belt buckle, and undergarment. I do like seeing loot fitting an enemy, though.

 

 

... that's gotta be the first time I saw ME 2 mentioned in an RPG discussion as a positive example :D
 
I actually like the WYSIWYG approach to loot - I agree it is too "clicky" though. I found that Tyranny had a very elegant solution to this: Bent unusable armor, broken swords, all sellable for their bronze, all with flavor text. This helps immersion a lot in my opinion, and with a "sell broken items" at merchants, it's user friendly as well. And as I said, economy can be balanced in several ways.

It does also break immersion in a way though. If I can pick up broken items there's no explanation for unlootable bodies is there?

 

You are right, but those are not mutually exclusive. Unlootable bodies and fitting loot for enemies don't really influence each other.



#47
Baltic

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... that's gotta be the first time I saw ME 2 mentioned in an RPG discussion as a positive example :D
 
I actually like the WYSIWYG approach to loot - I agree it is too "clicky" though. I found that Tyranny had a very elegant solution to this: Bent unusable armor, broken swords, all sellable for their bronze, all with flavor text. This helps immersion a lot in my opinion, and with a "sell broken items" at merchants, it's user friendly as well. And as I said, economy can be balanced in several ways.

It does also break immersion in a way though. If I can pick up broken items there's no explanation for unlootable bodies is there?
You are right, but those are not mutually exclusive. Unlootable bodies and fitting loot for enemies don't really influence each other.
It's probably better this way true. I, personally, used to justify unlootable bodies or bodies you can't loot all the weapons or armor they should have off, as having broken their armor or weapons in the fight. It's not a big deal, it just seems that if you can use broken or whole weapons you should always be able to loot them.
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#48
JFSOCC

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If you have more money than god by the time you reach act II, money has no value, if you compensate by making things in act II so expensive as to nullify the effort people put into getting rich, they will feel it as a betrayal.

 

So money needs to have a value outside of purchasing power. Just for having it.

 

In PoE I suggested they do this by linking it to prestige, or as a quest gate (you need to be this rich in order to proceed)

Another method might be to have multiple currencies, and moneychangers charge stiff fees.

The benefits of this are that while you can be rich enough for a section of the game to buy everything, once you reach another place, your money is worth a lot less. Still more than if you never bothered to loot a single corpse or container, of course.

Lastly I think I would limit rewards more significantly, and make it so players never could buy everything they want. Not being able to buy every toy in the game will force the player to make choices, and those choices will feel meaningful precisely because they can't get AND/AND.

 

 

so in summary:

1. money only useful locally

2.wealth gating of content

3. linking wealth to prestige as a means to give value to stacking it.

4. limit rewards so that gold sinks feel hefty instead of insignificant.

 

my 0.02$


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#49
Ninjamestari

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If you have more money than god by the time you reach act II, money has no value, if you compensate by making things in act II so expensive as to nullify the effort people put into getting rich, they will feel it as a betrayal.

 

So money needs to have a value outside of purchasing power. Just for having it.

 

In PoE I suggested they do this by linking it to prestige, or as a quest gate (you need to be this rich in order to proceed)

Another method might be to have multiple currencies, and moneychangers charge stiff fees.

The benefits of this are that while you can be rich enough for a section of the game to buy everything, once you reach another place, your money is worth a lot less. Still more than if you never bothered to loot a single corpse or container, of course.

Lastly I think I would limit rewards more significantly, and make it so players never could buy everything they want. Not being able to buy every toy in the game will force the player to make choices, and those choices will feel meaningful precisely because they can't get AND/AND.

 

 

so in summary:

1. money only useful locally

2.wealth gating of content

3. linking wealth to prestige as a means to give value to stacking it.

4. limit rewards so that gold sinks feel hefty instead of insignificant.

 

my 0.02$

 

Have you played Dragon Age: Origins? That game messed up a lot of things, but game economy was actually pretty well balanced. You could never truly become rich, no matter the effort you put into because the gold that was available to you was limited. Scarcity is what gives anything value, not mere purchasing power. In fact, in reality, purchasing power is the result of scarcity; If everyone had a billion dollars, then there wouldn't be any real incentive for someone to sell you a taco for a couple of bucks now would there? This is more difficult to measure in a single player game, but the general idea is that you never want your player to be able to afford everything, this will force them to make choices and as we all know, meaningful choices are what make a game interesting.



#50
MortyTheGobbo

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I can get behind removing vendor trash altogether, but let's be honest - that's not going to happen. The only games I can think of to take this step are... Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, and Witcher 1. They're all much better for it - ME3, particularly, has the best inventory I've ever seen. Witcher 2 and 3, of course, turn Witcher 1's beautiful inventory into something horrid.

 

I feel like my ideal form of gear acquisition would be to move all the unique items into easily-found shops, and let players use crafting to fiddle with them and tune them to their needs if they feel like it. Crafting is also a solution to a problem where an item has traits you want, but falls behind in terms of pure damage/defence/DR. Pillars has a problem similar to Baldur's Gate right now, in that you're at the mercy of item placement, since all the best ones are spread around as loot or in merchant inventories.



#51
rjshae

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I think the best solution to the above, which is already being applied into Deadfire, is to not have every xaurip drop a spear when killed. In a way, randomized enemy drops makes it harder to properly gauge how much money one could make by the end of the game, but it also keeps that final number more in check opposite to having *every* creature of a kind drop the same loot.

 

I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.


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#52
Messier-31

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I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.

 

- "I came here to sell my junk."

- "Sure, let me see your junk first."


Edited by Messier-31, 21 April 2017 - 07:15 AM.

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#53
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I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.

 

Sorry, not possible in Deadfire because of likelihood of confusion.

 

All jokes aside, I like this approach as well. I prefer there to be some fluff to it though, like in Tyranny.


Edited by Regggler, 21 April 2017 - 07:59 AM.

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#54
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I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.

 

- "I came here to sell my junk."

- "Sure, let me see your junk first."

 

Yes. Best approach. Problem with, say, Tyranny and their approach is that I didn't know the special category was for vendor trash. I thought it might have some use, so didn't sell any of it my first playthrough!


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#55
Baltic

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Didn't Pillars already kind of have that? There were things like pelts that could only be sold, I believe. They were just in the same section as all the books and notes, which whilst also can only be sold, I presume less people would want to.

#56
Ninjamestari

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I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.

 

Sorry, not possible in Deadfire because of likelihood of confusion.

 

All jokes aside, I like this approach as well. I prefer there to be some fluff to it though, like in Tyranny.

 

 

I can't believe you just made a joke about junk and then linked a ship ^^



#57
rjshae

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I came to like the Dragon Age 2 approach of just calling the extra stuff "junk". They can just give us a pile of junk and let us sell it for some nominal sum.

 

- "I came here to sell my junk."

- "Sure, let me see your junk first."

 

Okay, just call them "Sundry goods" then.



#58
MortyTheGobbo

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My issue with the "junk items" approach is that it feels easier to just cut out the middleman and give us more money.


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#59
Katarack21

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We *have* those, in real life. Thrift stores buy our junk *all the time*.



#60
Ninjamestari

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My issue with the "junk items" approach is that it feels easier to just cut out the middleman and give us more money.

Realistically speaking, I doubt any sensible adventuring party would carry around junk at all. Tiring yourself out by carrying junk is a great way to get killed in a setting where bandits and other on the road dangers are commonplace. Thus I think you're right, removing the junk items completely might end up improving the overall experience. I think overall PoE has way too much loot, and thus the feeling of getting loot has been inflated quite badly. Give the occasional potion, a few coins here and there and something else that is actually useful as loot, with the rare magical weapon or piece of armor every now and then, and I think that would be better than having floods of junk that doesn't serve any purpose beyond getting sold to an innkeeper.


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