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Found 15 results

  1. We've talked about the "drone doctrine" and runaway AI controlled guns going on killing sprees being the precursors of Skynet, but what do "robits" mean for the economy? https://medium.com/basic-income/self-driving-trucks-are-going-to-hit-us-like-a-human-driven-truck-b8507d9c5961 In a society that sees greater and greater mechanisation and automation, where does that leave the working population of that society in 30 years (if that) time? For every industrial revolution the world has undergone (and the lack of capitalisation of "industrial revolution" is intentional, as is the use of the plural), we've managed to see at least a new set of jobs around the new industries created that replace the jobs that were rendered obsolete on an almost 1:1 basis, and that manages to keep most of the general population employed. But in a notional future, how many people can be employed with the advent of autonomous production lines and 3D printers? Anecdote: I worked my way through college in retail and became acquainted with people who have had to do that for a living (plus 1 or 2 other jobs on top of that), frequently they were one catastrophe away from ruin. And after graduating from college I took up a position as a product photographer and photo retoucher for a fashion company that was very much production-oriented before finally getting promoted to a content artist. I was extremely grateful for that job since while I was able to be gainfully employed so soon after graduating (or at least get a position that had opportunities for growth, or gain experience as proof that I could be relied upon), I couldn't have said the same for about at least a fair portion of my graduating class. In the notional HAL-9000-oriented workforce of the future, what jobs for us squishy meatbags are left now that the only jobs on the market are CEOs, maintainers of HAL-9000, and his marketing team? I could definitely see that job I took up after college being done by a program in 20 years time (and there was already a great deal of automation being done with it, thanks to "Actions" in Photoshop) if it doesn't get shipped overseas before that, so some poor bastard who graduates from college will probably be SOL. Conservatively that can mean 25% unemployment; can our society function as it has with 1/4 of the working-age population idling about?
  2. We all know this particular problem - we start the game penny-pinching, carefuly selecting purchases and then, at a certain point (usually towards the end), the money ceases to be an issue whatsoever. Our adventurers' pockets are so laden with gold it's a wonder they still actually bother with quest rewards. I think we can assume that the problem will be somewhat (or perhaps even completely?) solved by the player stronghold, which will probably be a huge money sink. It certainly helped in NWN2. Will there be other money sinks in the game? Will the game be playtested in that regard? That's obviously a huge amount of work, but it could pay off nicely (terrible pun intended). Having to make difficult choices when purchasing equipment certainly opens up interesting questions: "Do I buy this magical claymore or perhaps the boots of speed?".
  3. Be it rumor dispensers or loot drop-off points (or even just a "trade" button attached to some NPC or other", I think merchants and shops could stand to get some attention and personality. While I guess there won't be any "not buying x" types of deals you could have different things be worth different prices to people? There could be some rules, traits or themes certain shops have, not even necessarily affecting the player, like a sign in front telling you to wipe your boots on the doormat before entering. Interesting shops like Sorcerous sundries, Lucky Aello's Discount Store and Adventurer's Mart come to mind. There could be some advertisement going on for the bigger shops, like the criers in the BG line. Or the merchants could just be shouting at you when you pass their booth. Going from there, merchants could have some comments on the stuff they're selling, beyond just "my goods are awesome". Perhaps when you click on the fancy flaming hammer you could get a line or two about where the merchant got it or how he it can shatter a dragon's claw. There was a shop with something like this in PS:T I believe? Same thing could be applied after you buy it instead. Or when you talk to him the first time he points you to the items that he wants to sell the most. Maybe in a different shop they try to push on you that overpriced golden adventurer gear. How about some "scams", too. I'm sure you've seen some telecommercials with plenty of half truths and distractions to "technically not trick you" into buying stuff. Conversely it's possible that the dented worn mace you bought for cheap turns out to be a fairly good wand or something. Some merchants could be into good customer service and offering discounts and deals for frequent partons. I think stuff like this would improve the feeling of connection of the world and the economy, even without such extensive consequences as the iron shortage in BG.
  4. I'm surprised there isn't a thread for this yet. So, what do you think could happen? Is a debt default even possible constitutionally? Are there senators who believe a default might be a good thing? After all, if nobody is willing to borrow money to the US, it would be impossible to maintain a big government and military, so that's another way of cutting the budget. Who will suffer from the eventual effects (it would seem the Republicans already do)? A bit down on this page, there's an interesting S&P 500 scenario analysis. While I think most people agree that a delay in interest payments would be catastrophic, is the entire debate making a hen out of a feather since the US will pay it's debts regardless of the impending debt ceiling (instead delaying other payments)? Anyway, with every day this continues, the likelyhood of increased interest rates gets higher. The US will likely get to pay more to borrow in the future, as will almost everybody else, even if the effect will be concentrated on the US. Personally, I think it's unlikely that anything dramatic will happen, and a last-minute agreement will take place in the next few days. The most likely effect will be just another drain on the economy among many others.
  5. I noticed that Skeeter's is quite as the grave just now. Are we ALL economising on kit?
  6. This topic is more straightforward than the ones I usually post, but here I'm simply asking how you'd like the mercantile skills to work in Project Eternity. In most DnD-based games I've played its given an abstraction centered around haggling and persuasion, and while this is part of getting favorable prices it obviously isn't the whole picture. Historically, there was of course quite a strong tradition of traveling merchants in medieval times, and I'd guess that this is because prices then varied between locations, just as they do now. Very few games make use of this in my experience, and I think that this could make mercantile activities interesting while refraining from making it into its own little mini-game. So do you find glorified speech skills an adequate portrayal of business acumen, or would you instead prefer the majority of profit stem from strategy rather than salesmanship? I myself am no economics expert, so a full-on economy simulation probably wouldn't be necessary for me to suspend my disbelief, but other people might be more knowledgeable.
  7. This is a magic item valuation system which aims to make the game economy sustainable. It applies for merchants but has far reaching consequences on the world design. In short: Merchants pay very little for magic items and there is a good in-world (lore) reason for it.In not short: Non-magic equipment is bought and sold as usual - with some markup by merchants but not much (e.g. PC buys Mail for 200, sells for 140). Magic equipment is traded at extremely high markup (buy Mail+1 for 1000, sell for 20) because: In the game world everyone knows it is dangerous to keep (quality) magic items in the near vicinity because there is a chance a deadly creature "Buba" appears and kills everyone in sight - world lore, not a game mechanic (or possibly one that is off by default but can be switched on). The higher amount of magic concentrated in one place, the higher chance of "Buba" happening and there is no known way to avoid it. The magic items may or may not disappear. This makes demand for them as general merchandise very low. Most merchants have up to 4-5 weak magic items, as they see it as not too risky. They do not really want to buy more stuff. They sell rarely but at very high prices. They do not need extra magic around, so they are not interested to re-stock with magic items from you, unless it is at very, very low price. Most merchants refuse to buy highly enchanted items like +2 or +3 and up (there would be some demand for these, but the risk of keeping them around would be too high). There are merchants who deal with high magic, but they ask for high prices yet pay very little. Since they control the demand (you can sell only to them, and you can buy only from them) and they know it, they set the prices as they see fit. As a result, the player cannot make much money selling magic equipment and needs to spend a lot to purchase said equipment. Lots of extra stuff (read only if you're brave): The "High Magic merchants" have specially built stores. They use constructs to fetch equipment and sell these items by description (the game interface would be the same but a "drawn picture" show in the Sell slot, rather than an image of the item itself). They generally keep stock deep underground or have stores at desolate places. You need to wait for the item to be delivered by a construct at a specific location so the merchant is safe. They can be trusted, as the ones who exist have built themselves a reputation. There is no guarantee the items are available all the time. E.g. you could order an item, wait for it, then meet the merchant instead of the construct to get told by the angry merchant the construct has been completely destroyed and the item is missing, then get your money refunded. There should be no way to protect against Buba, as this would make the whole thing pointless. Buba can detect it, and if detected, Buba will destroy. Item magic strength should be easily detected by everyone with common devices made for that purpose. Each merchant would have these, as would many others. Magic items left in populated areas would disappear, even from containers (people would locate them, identify them and quickly get rid of them). There could be low-lifes who get rid of the items for a fee. One thing that would be missing would be the knowledge of the item's worth. This can be fixed by the availability to deposit an item for safe keeping with a High Magic Merchant. Higher quality items would cost more to keep safe until your return. An annual fee could be the item's worth in usefulness (what it would cost if Buba was not). Inn fees would increase as your equipment quality increases (less safe for the owner). Some would refuse a room when too much magic is worn. It could be possible to significantly decrease the risk of Buba by, say, keeping the items between huge solid blocks of (lead/gold/something). The idea is that they can be stored somehow more safely, but this cannot be transferred outside of a display room - you cannot carry around tons of lead/gold/something-else just so you can use safely your Light-weight Bow of Quick Movement. Also, this lead/gold/something-or-other should not be available to almost anyone, so it is off-limits for normal merchants. Possible upgrade for the stronghold - to make a magic item treasury / display room. To use the merchant item depository until then. Buba could appear in game, but it needs to be optional and when enabled, the chance of seeing that should be something like once in a few play-throughs. Very rare. But when it appears it should kill the party. People would hate that, so probably a better idea is to see another adventuring party, which was freshly Bubabbed. Legs and hands about with the stuff between missing, etc. And of course, the diary page entry about the fantastic magic item they had just found and can't wait to use. Creatures like dragons, undead, etc, could be safe from Buba, but not any player race. Almost forgot - trading between adventurers could be possible. But item/s for item/s - and it is only stuff you can take from them anyway, so no gold is gained.. Buba as a reason for this item valuation would provide good economy control but would need a lot of the lore in the world re-thought and changed. Probably there are better reasons which do not need to affect the lore as much. Also, "Buba" is only optional as official name of Buba within the game
  8. Josh Sawyer said: "I've heard people complain about having too much gold in every game I worked on. Until the end of F:NV when we introduced (entirely optional) GRA unique weapons that cost a fortune. Then people complained that the items cost too much." While I think gold availability is ideally suited to be a difficulty setting, there is the question what people really want. I would suspect that most of us wouldn't complain if they couldn't afford every weapon in a game, but I can't be sure. So here is another poll. If you think that too much money isn't a problem, think about this: If the player gets money too easily he can buy overpowered items in the shops. This means either shops can't have any good items or items found/looted or gotten from quest lose their appeal/value.
  9. I am not going to make a poll in this thread but the recent update by Tim Cain does raise questions about the intended direction of economy in Project Eternity. There hasn't really been a thread on this before (There's been a couple on specific elements such as economy related to magic or difficulty, or currencies), but not a discussion of the economy in itself. So I am making this thread for us to discuss economy in Project Eternity. To start off the thread properly I'll need to do a fairly good main post so I'll try to cover everything I can think of. I'll try and open the discussion from the perspective of the player's wealth as it is really the only thing that the designers have to be weary of in the game. We know the inputs to player wealth in the game (perhaps not all of them, but enough to talk about) - so I think the discussion should be about the value of those inputs, the outputs of which the player spends their wealth. Inputs to player wealth: Items found Money found Skills (Crafting, Stealing etc) Quest rewards Outputs from player wealth: and as per this post on the Something Awful forums it seems that one of the purposes of it is as a money sink for players who don't necessarily do much with the Stronghold Buying new items Paying for Crafting Paying for magical service (Healing, Restoration, Identification etc) Repairing items (currently) Player House Player Stronghold Quest inputs (eg. Paying the Shadow Thieves for transport to Spellhold in BG2) I don't think this discussion should be particularly about multiple currencies or anything specifically but by all means feel free to talk about them. My input I'll start off by saying I'm not a huge fan of Item Durability proposed in Update 58 and as per this post in the Something Awful forums it seems that one of the purposes of Item durability is as a money sink for the player in case they do not invest in the Stronghold. My suggestion here would be to remove item durability from the game and focus on other outputs from player wealth instead. Is it important that if a player does not invest in the stronghold that there be other money sinks in the game to circumvent the amount of wealth they will still have from doing so? Should the economy be balanced so that if the player wants to invest in the stronghold they might have to sacrifice other outputs? Outputs themselves are also probably affected by skills (such as bartering might reduce the cost of items or increase the cost of sold items etc, we can't be sure until we see the full skill tree). Here are some brief suggestions to get the ball rolling Buying items should be expensive Having a vendor craft items for you should be more expensive than doing it yourself for the convenience it offers Paying for magical service should be expensive There should be hopefully many quest options where you can use player wealth (paying for bribes etc) to garner specific outcomes. "Conscience do cost." Selling items should get you a minimal fraction of the item cost, perhaps influenced by reputation or a skill such as bartering if one exists Keep the money you find or are given in the game down Artifact crafting could have a high money cost like BG2 Limit the junk item sell value to 1gp or currency equivalent in game Expeditions: Conquistador also had a nice price/demand system for their trading that might be worth considering. Personally I don't think the player having excess 100K gold is an issue, but there are definitely ways to bring that number down excluding Stronghold investment. Anyway there's some points to discuss. I'm sure everyone else has heaps of ideas as well. Bring on the micro/macroeconomics enthusiasts etc.
  10. As a follow up to the discussion on Resting, I was thinking about the kind of useful/optional activities a wilderness campfire might provide for your party. These ideas are based on class skills and/or "Background Professions", which have been discussed in a few threads already. Campfire activities take place outside of cities, and are an abstract way of taking time to achieve a desired result. They also involve an element of pseudo-crafting that should save you money, compared to higher costs in a city. Examples: If you're a Ranger or have the Hunting Profession: - Previously killed wild game = Raw meat + Campfire = Cooked meat = 10 hp Ration Pack - Uncured Winter Wolf Pelt + Campfire + Successful Hunting check = Cured Winter Wolf Pelt = Increased resale value If you're a Druid or have the Herbalist Profession: - Misc. Forest Ingredients + Campfire + Successful Herbalist check = Antidotes / Herbal Remedies If you're a Fighter or have the Bladesmith Profession: - Dull/blunt weapon + Whetstone/Honing stone = Normal (sharp) weapon = Increased resale value If you have the Historian Profession: - Examine and identify certain special items combining the Lore skill. You may discover the actual (increased) resale value If you have the Jeweller Profession: - (Example only) 50gp gem + 10gp silver chain (or ring) + Campfire + Successful Jewellery check = 100gp silver necklace (or ring) = Increased resale value - A Jewellers' Toolkit might contain a basic soldering iron, crimping pliers/pincers, tweezers etc. If you have the Armourer Profession: - Minor armour repairs at campfire, providing there was a mechanism for them to be damaged in the first place. - Even plate armours have leather straps, buckles, and harnesses that can be repaired without a forge - An Armourers' Toolkit might contain a small dishing hammer, riveting tool, leather punch etc. - But you could only repair "poor" armour so it became "average" armour at campfires. You must go to a city to fully repair armour, via a forge or professional blacksmith, with an implied additional cost. - Maybe allow different "states" of armour repair, which also relates to resale value. - 75% - Good - 50% - Average - 25% - Poor The long-term benefit of any profession is to make you money if you intend to create/repair and on-sell mundane items. The suggestions above are only one side to having Professions (the economical side). We need to consider other useful aspects that may affect quest outcomes too. Would anyone use these options around a campfire if they wanted to rest in wilderness areas anyway?
  11. Alright, so a small discussion elsewhere got me thinking about economic systems in RPGs and how they tend to suck. In previous Obsidian games, especially Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions, the player would earn literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of gold pieces, and there was nothing to spend it on other than gold sinks such as Crossroad Keep. While this is all well and good, it highlights bad economy design - it's not well-balanced, it's an afterthought to the rest of the gameplay, and it's not at all realistic (not that realism should be an end goal in itself, but a degree of verisimilitude is nice). The one exception was Storm of Zehir, which revolved around trade and featured the player working for a merchant company. This involved establishing trading posts in other towns around the world, finding rare resources to buy upgrades to the player's headquarters, and, story-wise, dealing with three other merchant companies. These secondary gameplay systems tied into the plot in interesting ways and gave the game a free-roaming quality that many modern RPGs lack. The problem with Storm of Zehir is that it was to a large degree undermined by a lot of the staples of RPGs: loot buying and selling. There was very little worth buying in Storm of Zehir, just like the other Neverwinter titles, and furthermore the game featured a lot of Elder Scrolls-style mini-duingeons where you'd kill a bunch of monsters in a cave and get the boss chest at the end. Not bad from a gameplay standpoint necessarily, but it meant that as usual you had tons of useless loot you would never use, and tons of gold to spend. Despite the improvements to the economy brought by the trade system, it wasn't enough. Generally speaking, most RPGs have adventurer-based economies, where the entire world's gold supply seems to be generated solely to provide money to the player. The reason this exists mostly comes down to the fact that the player has tons of loot and needs to do something that feels meaningful with it. Selling loot is another step in the gameplay loop, and it makes the game feel larger and more complicated than it really is, especially in those situations where money is worthless (as in most RPGs). What I'd like to propose for Project Eternity is for Obsidian is to abandon that traditional adventurer-based economy. Finding swords, armors, etc. in ruins should be more or less worthless if you can't actually use that gear. Instead, what should matter is finding commodities that actually matter to people in reality: Sources of valuable resources such as furs, grapes, spices, ore. Locations of and details on important landmarks, dungeons, ruins, cities. Player skills which are valuable for different NPCs and factions in the game world. I don't know if a faction system has been confirmed for Project Eternity yet, but tying them into the economy would be an excellent idea. Consider how selling secrets on locations of resources or key strategic points to a trade company or mercenary company would be extremely valuable to them, but would make enemies with the other factions in the game, as would selling out your skills to a cause that is in conflict with another. This could all be handled more or less using global reputation mechanics, things that Obsidian already has a lot of experience using. Additionally, we know that it's been a priority for Obsidian to make non-combat skills useful in Project Eternity, so let's consider the interesting and valuable ways they could tie in with this economy system: Speech is used for persuading others to give you better deals. Appraise allows you to more accurately judge the value of goods and information you are selling. Crafting skills allow you to perform jobs for various factions, such as smithing magical items for their soldiers to use. These skills could also allow you to train and advise the craftsmen working for them, or even hire more employees. Last, they could be used to break down all that extra loot into base components (iron ingots, magical essences, etc.) that people actually want. Disguise could be used to infiltrate competitors and gain valuable details on their activities in a region. I think you get the idea. Now, the question is, is such a complicated system right for Project Eternity? That depends on the goals Obsidian have, and whether they want to try improving upon the traditional broken RPG economy, or whether they want to put greater effort into other parts of the game. But, I think this is well worth considering because it's a way to add an additional layer of meaning and gameplay consequence to quests, the game world, characters, factions and more.e.
  12. * 1st Should Economy cost more on higher difficulty? In Baldur's Gate (once upon a time) I played one game with "Tactical Settings". It made Bandit Raids more rough and more difficult, but more important for this thread, it made the Iron Crisis real. Items broke more often (due to the Iron Crisis), and due to the Iron Shortage all of the "iron" items cost a ton more (and breaking way easier). I think a Short Sword cost around 100~ gold or something similar, whilst on an original vanilla game it goes for something like 10-15 gold. * 2nd Adventurer's Hall also included? This question is regarding the Adventurer's Hall specifically because I am curious to know what people think about companions costing gold from the Adventurer's Hall. If this is the case "Companions for Hire" that is, would they cost even more on... let's say Hardcore? Could you perhaps even be able to "Shut off" the Adventurer's Hall on Hardcore? (In essence: Not being able to hire companions for Hardcore difficulty). * 3rd Adventurer's Hall "Off" on Hardcore? This question is related to the Adventurer's Hall & Hardcore difficulty, or as an option regardless of difficulty. Excluding yourself from the possibility to hire "extras", making the game more difficult naturally and automatically (handicapping yourself, basically). I personally think that if you can turn it "Off" it'd be way more difficult. However, you could just not use it if you don't want to use it, but locking yourself out from it entirely also removes any thoughts of "Backup plans". Without the Adventurers Hall occupying the sub-conscious of the back of your head, it being "Closed" would and should cause even more carefulness in progression of the story. * 4th Why should Economy be affected by higher difficulty? In my opinion, it adds immersion and realism. At least it did for me with BG with Tactics Mods. Finally, this is a lot on "Hardcore", how could it work on easier modes? Is the Adventurers Hall "Free to Hire" on Casual mode?
  13. The economy of a game is, in my opinion, one of the least discussed and thought, but in many ways perhaps the most important element of maintaining the fludiity and enjoyment of early, mid, and late gameplay. This is for a number of reasons, but it really boils down to the fact the economy of any RPG is dependent on two factors: 1. The player and his current state in the game 2. The world and how dynamic or static it is I'm no economist, and I do not have a formal education in economics, so I base my ideas and concepts on my experience of playing many games and RPGS, MMOs, etc. with good / bad economies and my understanding of how economics should work to maintain the most important factor: An enjoyable game. First, let's make something clear. Gameplay in an RPG is exponential, so the economy must be respectively exponential to ensure a fun experience. Many games fail to realize that not only item stats need to be exponential, but the opportunities, costs, and circumstance of an economy must be equally exponential to keep the game's economy exciting and interesting for those who get involved within it. Second, the economy must remain in a good balance between fluidity and static "constants". This means that the economy should be flexible and dependent on what players (or even NPCs) do, but needs to have a baseline - think a floor and a ceiling, but with plenty of room for excitement along the way. In the long run, the game's overall economic pulse will be going up, but should keep some proportional floor and ceiling to ensure things remain enjoyable. Lastly, the player should actually have an influence on the economy. It is so depressing when the majority of games ignore the player's input. If he spends two straight days selling gold on the national exchange, the price is going to go down. If he buys every last turtle beak for his strength potions, the prices will go up. In retrospect, NPC agents should have similar influences to make the game exciting. A lot of fun "Space-esque" freelancer games (Evochron Mercenary to name one) that were popular in the late 90s and recently have gained hype focus on the idea of utilizing and manipulating an economy in your favor. I'm not asking for insane dynamics, just a fair balance between exciting economic events (floods raising prices, etc) that will make the player feel like they are in a real, more dynamic, and enjoyable universe that is actually effected by their actions more distinctly. To recap - Make an economy that is dynamic, fluid, and ever-changing within a proportional ceiling. Let the player figure out, if he really wants beets, that buying them in a desert will cost more (or sell better) than in the farmlands. Let the economy be unique to every play experience and let the player get as much or as little involved as they want. Most of all, the economy needs to grow with the player. Money should have real value, and I should be constantly deciding if an item is worth selling, keeping, or even looting, beyond the simple fact that money becomes an irrelevant element in many late-game experiences. I'd like to hear other people's input and thoughts on how the economy should operate at this fundamental level. There are more in-depth and concrete ways of approaching this, but I'm trying to stay mostly theoretical with respect to how the game should operate its currency and process of handling funds in a very complex, but rewarding way. If the player feels they are really engaged with the economy there is a lot to be gained in playability. Skyrim sucks in a way because it's got a low ceiling, and no dynamic economy. Sorry this is a bit of a brain-fart and thus poorly structured and organized, but there are a few truths within it worth reading.
  14. I have been thinking about the role of magic in the economy of the Project Eternity universe. Most fantasy settings ignore this aspect of the magical arts, treating them like other goods, ignoring their supernatural nature and ability to revolutionize and even completely ruin the market. Take for instance the foundries. Fire magic would allow to reduce the demand for combustible materials to fuel the blast furnaces, increasing the profit margin significantly, but diminishing the woodcutting industry. Water magic would help breweries. Air magic the milling industry, and so on and so forth. Question is, how would impact the social and political landscape? Mages would enjoy a massive influence, but their situation would be very unstable: a strategic resource, a wizard, would be too precious to just let get away, resulting in the mage having influence, but being stuck in an essentially golden cage. At the same time, reliance on mages as resources of industry would render the industries themselves vulnerable to sabotage, through, for example, assassinating mages in rival states and crippling their industrial output as they struggle to rebuild classic supply sources. This is a good source of potential conflict and intrigue for Project Eternity. Another is the inevitable rise in unemployment and unrest that would be a result of the industry switching to magical resources. I envision a sort of anti-magical luddite movement, maybe with separatist ambitions. Racial tensions can further add to the mix, especially in less cosmopolitan countires. As elves are traditionally depicted as masters of magic, areas where practicioners of magic have firmly established themselves as cornerstones of industry, leading to reductions in employment, would be easy to turn into cesspools of anti-elven sentiment by corrupt demagogues. It's only one step away from pogroms that way (similiar to how Jews were treated in some parts of Europe throughout its history). Magical resources also create a few more opportunities for interesting conflicts: - Renegade mages attempting to crash the iron/gold/silver/jewel market with magically created analogues (or even illussions, if a smaller market is concerned and only short term changes are required), - Speculation in magical/magically created goods in areas where little to no magic is present. - Political struggle for control over the wizard(s). - Attempts to index and control use of magic through law and special agencies, - etc. Thoughts?
  15. I do understand that it is a cRPG and not a trading game. But could it be possible to own stores and participate to their success in a limited capacity in order to have a steady source of income? I've always liked to loose a few hours of gameplay on this kind of stuff. That or an elaborate crafting system.
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