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The Adventurer's Hall should not be a "money sink"!


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And let's say I leave behind some PC I've created and make a new one. Then I regret it, and take back the PC I left behind, will it not then level up to the new level of my main PC at that point? Like in NWN2?

Not likely.

 

They stated in the adventurer's hall video/interview (not sure where) that people who like levelling up can use new companions for this, suggesting that new companions start out at level 1, or significantly lower than the PC's level at any given point. It sounded a bit like pokemon, you basically pick them up and drop them off as you want, levelling them up one by one.

 

I don't mind this system, but then, I will most likely only play with the designed companions, never a party created entirely on my own.

 

If you can always recruit companions at your current level, it would highly reduce the replay value of the game, and you could at any point go pick up the character you need for any particular encounter, and they would magically be at your level. Do not like. NWN was never like the IE games, PE will not be like NWN, for which I am very happy :)

Edited by mstark
"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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I agree with Indira, there shouldn't be a prohibitive cost to using the Adventurers Hall. We have already been told that you will be able to complete the game solo, so why should they care if we run to the Hall and make a full party as soon as possible? There must be some mechanism they have to balance things for a solo player vs a group so it will apply as soon as you fill up your party. In BG2 you almost had a full group before leaving Irenicus dungeon and had a handful of npcs available 2 minutes after leaving it and going to the Copper Coronet, why would a full party early in the game be overpowered if it is actually considered during development?

 

Even though the description of the Hall mentions employing adventurers I think that terminology was used as a more RP description of the Hall than actually as how it works game mechanic wise. I think we all see the Hall as somewhere we can make our own party, not somewhere were we meet pre-rolled templates and just ask them to join us. So saying we employ them, in my mind is equal to saying we create them but it doesn't sound realistic to say you create a person.

 

The whole discussion of money sinks is a different matter. I'd rather they had an overall view of the economy rather than plan a few big money sinks you cannot avoid, that is too reminiscent of MMO's where you need to farm to get gold. BG was okay with the economy because there wasn't really anything you could buy to make you super powerful until you had built up a decent amount of gold, by which time the powerful items were just a bit of bonus over the gear you had acquired. Even though you could build up gold fast it wasn't really that detrimental to the game. In DAO for example they just severely limited your ability to acquire gold, which was good because even though powerful items were being sold it took you some time to actually get the gold, however the powerful store items were typically much more powerful than most of the stuff you found.

 

On a side note, a money sink is not somewhere you just pay a small fee for something, a money sink is typically somewhere designed to be a drain on the players acquired gold. Consider in BG1 if Edwin refused to join you unless you gave him 2000g, that would be money sink. If he wanted 1g that would just be a fee.

 

Personally I'd like to see some magic items on vendors but I'd also like to see our acquisition rate of gold to be very low. That alone should negate the need for money sinks to be created.

 

I also think that expansions that add a lot of content tend to ruin the economy for the entire game, things like Durlags Tower or Watchers Keep provide massive income early that can really mess up acquistion of gold for the player, giving them large incomes very early. I'd like to see something like all vendor costs rise by 10-20% when an expansion is installed with content that can be done below the max level of the game before the expansion (if that makes sense).

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Mstark: interesting, I guess I'll have to get used to that Pokemon-concept (can't believe I just wrote that).

 

But Adventurer's Hall in my mind should be sort of the hub where I can custom-make PCs if I should chose to do so. And I'd hate for it to call all my creations mercenaries, hirelings and henchmen. But perhaps I can live with some compromise: Like it is an obscure establishment that provides contacts that point me to interestees, and those pointers require a small fee. Hmm.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Good points, Rabain! Especially that about the "money sink" wording. I think of Diablo 3 and other horrors when I hear that word, but perhaps it is standard dev lingo. I'd much rather have a dynamic economy, well written and balanced, and that economy includes items, magical items, valuables, consumables and so forth.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Mstark: interesting, I guess I'll have to get used to that Pokemon-concept (can't believe I just wrote that).

I can't believe I used that term either, lol.

 

But Adventurer's Hall in my mind should be sort of the hub where I can custom-make PCs if I should chose to do so. And I'd hate for it to call all my creations mercenaries, hirelings and henchmen. But perhaps I can live with some compromise: Like it is an obscure establishment that provides contacts that point me to interestees, and those pointers require a small fee. Hmm.

I'm sure there'll be people in the game who will be happy to sell you information, if your charisma isn't high enough to get it from them for free ;)
"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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It depends how much of a money sink the place will be. Maybe they will end up designing the game economy to be more balanced so the need for money sinks is less. It is pretty reasonable the player pays an introduction fee to meet with the mercenary. Many freelance adventurers are in it for the loot, and if someone were to pay a premium to engage their services, to persuade them to drop whatever they are doing to aid the player, it sounds plausible to me. Naturally I expect to get my money's worth. It is also likely the place has a tavern, so the adventurers can rest and spend their gold. The player also gets to spend his gold on services and goods.

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That would be if they consider the Hall to be only a place to hire Mercenaries. Perhaps the intention is for it to be more like a club where people who like to go out and chance their luck in an ancient ruin meet other like minded people to put together an expedition or just where experienced adventurers; mercenaries, explorers and total newbies gather to find whatever they need.

 

There might even be occasional quests at the Hall where some rich noble or something is funding an expedition into Eir Glanfath to find some particular relic etc.

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Indira, I think the Adventurer Hall is just a fancy way to get the party editor/roster interface into the game. You know, how like in Storm of Zehir they introduced the ship's manifest to create the other party members, or the registries at the inn to swap them out.

 

I've seen the comment before about a limited party (or no party) at the beginning. While I understand where some people might be reading into this, the fact is this is a party-based IE inspired game, yes or no? In Baldur's Gate, full parties were assembled pretty early on. And for those of us who made custom-parties, we had the whole group together right outside Candlekeep or the other party members were found in cages in the Irenicus starter dungeon.

 

The delvelopers have made the point that it is "possible" to solo this game. Now am I to understand, based on what some posters think, the player "must" solo this game, at least for a little while? Not likely. What I see is an opening cut scene where the main PC witnesses this very dramatic event. And from there, it will not take long to gather companions in the starting area. The vague comment that has been made "After a time... you can recruit other party members" might be no longer than a half hour of playing time.

 

As the Irish say, may you be a half hour in Heaven before the devil knows your dead.

 

Anyway, this game is about exploring the Endless Paths with a custom party. And a bunch of other stuff thrown in.

 

Harumph!

Edited by Dorateen
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if the Adventurer's Hall would be a money sink, one thing that comes to mind is money for information and unique gear. If it's a place where various adventurers gather, you'd meet NPCs who wouldn't mind selling information or items they've found to you. I kinda hate the feeling you get in a lot of RPGs that your adventureing party is the only one in the entire world.

 

As for paying for NPCs, something that would make some sense is that if you create a lvl 1 PC, it's free of charge. Then if you want them to be a higher level when you recruit them, you'd have to pay an amount of money for "training" them (can't come up with a better word), and you can't level them higher than your current level. The cost would be scaled, e.g. 1gp per XP point, which for an XP table from and old IE game means a level will cost more the higher you get. It would be fairly optional and you'd have to think twice about replacing an NPC to get another one at your level later in the game, assuming the economy is well balanced so you don't have a ton of money after half the game.

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if the Adventurer's Hall would be a money sink, one thing that comes to mind is money for information and unique gear. If it's a place where various adventurers gather, you'd meet NPCs who wouldn't mind selling information or items they've found to you. I kinda hate the feeling you get in a lot of RPGs that your adventureing party is the only one in the entire world.

 

As for paying for NPCs, something that would make some sense is that if you create a lvl 1 PC, it's free of charge. Then if you want them to be a higher level when you recruit them, you'd have to pay an amount of money for "training" them (can't come up with a better word), and you can't level them higher than your current level. The cost would be scaled, e.g. 1gp per XP point, which for an XP table from and old IE game means a level will cost more the higher you get. It would be fairly optional and you'd have to think twice about replacing an NPC to get another one at your level later in the game, assuming the economy is well balanced so you don't have a ton of money after half the game.

 

Since the hall is already in, why not make it the focal point for PC leveling as well? After you hit a certain low-level cap (say 3 or 4) you can't advance in level anymore until you go the Adventurer's Hall and pay to be trained up to the next level. Or if that is too much, maybe a fee to acquire certain class abilities. Hmm... sounded less divisive in my head.

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Adventure's Hall need some balance to it. Because player should not have full party by it earlier than s/he could get hiring companions

There should also be some limitations how many adventurers player can hire, via limited number of hires or money. Especially with leveled up characters should be limited. Because it would be bit silly if adventure's hall works as resurrection spell in world where is no such thing.

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if the Adventurer's Hall would be a money sink, one thing that comes to mind is money for information and unique gear. If it's a place where various adventurers gather, you'd meet NPCs who wouldn't mind selling information or items they've found to you. I kinda hate the feeling you get in a lot of RPGs that your adventureing party is the only one in the entire world.

 

As for paying for NPCs, something that would make some sense is that if you create a lvl 1 PC, it's free of charge. Then if you want them to be a higher level when you recruit them, you'd have to pay an amount of money for "training" them (can't come up with a better word), and you can't level them higher than your current level. The cost would be scaled, e.g. 1gp per XP point, which for an XP table from and old IE game means a level will cost more the higher you get. It would be fairly optional and you'd have to think twice about replacing an NPC to get another one at your level later in the game, assuming the economy is well balanced so you don't have a ton of money after half the game.

 

I had that thought too, although perhaps the level is relative to the character. The discussions I read suggested that you wouldn't be able to build a full party as soon as you reached the hall; instead it would be scaled to match the rate at which potential candidates can join. That indicates there will be some early mechanism to hinder recruiting at the Hall. Possibly the hall will have membership ranks and you will only be able to recruit more party members after you increase you rank (perhaps through a fee?). It may be that some of the better recruitable characters in the hall may only agree to join parties when the leader is of sufficient rank. I.e. you can only recruit certain first level characters at the lowest membership level. At higher ranks you can recruit more powerful members. Just a guess, of course.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Adventure's Hall need some balance to it. Because player should not have full party by it earlier than s/he could get hiring companions

There should also be some limitations how many adventurers player can hire, via limited number of hires or money. Especially with leveled up characters should be limited. Because it would be bit silly if adventure's hall works as resurrection spell in world where is no such thing.

 

That's true. If you are using an all-custom party anyway and someone dies, what keeps you from replacing them with another custom character with all the same skills? What if there was an escalating cost every time you recruited a PC from the hall? Justifiable in-game because if you acquire a reputation for treating your party members as red shirts, new recruits would be more... reluctant to take part in your heroic journey.

 

Also, and only slightly related, but it reminds me of an exchange from Lost Season 1:

 

*Boone and Locke are walking through the jungle and marking trees with pieces of a red shirt so they won't get lost*

 

BOONE: Red shirt.

LOCKE: Huh?

BOONE: Ever watch Star Trek?

LOCKE: Nah, not really.

BOONE: The crew guys that would go down to the planet with the main guys, the captain and the guy with the pointy ears, they always wore red shirts. And they always got killed.

LOCKE: Yeah?

BOONE: Yeah.

LOCKE: Sounds like a piss-poor captain.

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I couldn't care less about this one way or the other. The idea of replacing one of the best elements of rpg's (party interaction) and from the sounds of the developer posts, a significant part or this game, with lifeless emotionless companions just because you like to create characters seems silly. I guess I might want to hire a mercenary if a companion of a certain class I need for my party is UNBARABLE, but I doubt hiring a single mercenary will break the bank no matter how they do it.

 

That being said, since obviously there are many people who disagree with me and wish to craft their entire party, and since this feature was made specifically for them, why not make it free after a certain point in the game? If such an easy compromise can be reached without upsetting anyone I really don't see any problem with making people happy.

 

Though making the players happy does seem like a dangerous precedent (or so EA would have us believe) :devil:

Edited by dukeofyork
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if the Adventurer's Hall would be a money sink, one thing that comes to mind is money for information and unique gear. If it's a place where various adventurers gather, you'd meet NPCs who wouldn't mind selling information or items they've found to you. I kinda hate the feeling you get in a lot of RPGs that your adventureing party is the only one in the entire world.

 

As for paying for NPCs, something that would make some sense is that if you create a lvl 1 PC, it's free of charge. Then if you want them to be a higher level when you recruit them, you'd have to pay an amount of money for "training" them (can't come up with a better word), and you can't level them higher than your current level. The cost would be scaled, e.g. 1gp per XP point, which for an XP table from and old IE game means a level will cost more the higher you get. It would be fairly optional and you'd have to think twice about replacing an NPC to get another one at your level later in the game, assuming the economy is well balanced so you don't have a ton of money after half the game.

 

I had that thought too, although perhaps the level is relative to the character. The discussions I read suggested that you wouldn't be able to build a full party as soon as you reached the hall; instead it would be scaled to match the rate at which potential candidates can join. That indicates there will be some early mechanism to hinder recruiting at the Hall. Possibly the hall will have membership ranks and you will only be able to recruit more party members after you increase you rank (perhaps through a fee?). It may be that some of the better recruitable characters in the hall may only agree to join parties when the leader is of sufficient rank. I.e. you can only recruit certain first level characters at the lowest membership level. At higher ranks you can recruit more powerful members. Just a guess, of course.

 

Hadn't thought about ranks within the hall, it makes kinda sense. Unless you want to RP that you know and were on good terms with some of the characters you create from before the game started.

 

However, being able to create new character as you recruit characters outside the hall seems kinda hard to balance. Say you've met 2 other characters joining you which the game is balanced for at that point, and then you finally stumble upon the Adventurer's Hall. Will you be able to create up to 2 new characters then? If so, will you be able to retain the 2 you've picked up outside the hall? If yes, you have a 5 man party at a point in the game where it's balanced for a 3 man party. If no, why would the two you've picked up before not want to continue with your party at that point? Because from a RP perspective, I can't really see my PC ditch those two, especially as I will end up with a 6 man party eventually.

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A good way for a stronghold / guildhall "money sink" would be a training hall that works like in the "Magic-Candle"-games (anyone remember?). There you could assign tasks to companions that were currently not in the party (i.e. the mage researches spells, the smith makes a new sword and the warrior hones his skills), all this wouild require money, but you'd get something in return in a couple of weeks, and the out-of-party NPCs weren't completely useless.

 

Generally, most games are too generous. After a couple of levels you swim in money, mostly because the best equipment is either found as loot or crafted. When there is actually stuff to buy (or order) a simple visit to town could quickly reduce the giant heap of gold you're constantly dragging with you.

Edited by JOG

"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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Ok heres my 2 cents.

I see the adventure hall being a guild of some sorts for adventurers that join that guild as a place of getting contracts. Just like every other guilds in games I have played, we pay a fee to "borrow" or "own" said npc. There are different prices for different level and spec mercenaries. Meaning we could pay a small amount of fee for a mercenarie that we would have to go out and level ourselves or pay more money for a npc thats already exstablished itself with experience.

Also I would love to pay for fees because remember these npcs can die, and it adds to choice and consequences if we have to keep paying gold for highly experienced npc or time to go out and level cheap npcs.

So basically it really only becomes a money sink by basically replacing dead mercenaries uve hired or creating new mercenaries.

I love the fact that theirs a price to pay for these new mercenaries instead of just being given freely to you to swap out whenever one dies with no reprocussions. Helps people get attached to npcs when they know they can die and theirs a price to replace them.

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Mercenaries, get paid. Companions are folks you meet along your journeys, that have some personal reason for following you. What did I miss?

 

Those of us who really like to RP things and don't want to think of the charaters we create there to be mercenaries, but rather as companions like you meet along your journeys. Unless the characters I create are imprisoned and have to be bailed out, I kinda dislike the concept of paying for them from a RP perspective, while I don't mind if from a game balance perspective.

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Adventurer's don't always get paid. Who is to say that the guys I create aren't just adventurers I met in the Adventurer's Hall who are looking for some pals to go out into the world and adventure with. Who cares what my personal goals are if along the way I can make these guys rich during our adventures. They don't necessarily need payment for that depending on their background and seeing as I make up their background...well there you go.

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Niko: You've missed folks like me. Ever since I pen'n-papered as a kid I love to RP more character than one (often just two), and by calling them "mercenaries" you demean the experience of us schizoid weirdos ( ;) ) who like to have more than one PC onboard for a fun role-playing experience.

 

And there are several posts here that speak of exploiting the system: Using the hub for getting new characters when someone in your party has died. That seems extremely meta-gamey and absurd in a RPG-sense. But I reserve the right to swap out party members along the way for RP reasons.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Adventurer's hall shouldn't be the main way to go. Making it completely free can cause custom party to be a clearly better way to go.

 

So what? It was exactly the same in the BG games, player created parties were always much more powerful than the joinable companions. You very rarely see players discuss how awesome their elven fighter X was while you will very often see discussions on Minsc, Jaheira, Keldorn etc.

 

It is player choice, if they want custom party, they make one and play the game. They cannot romance custom npcs, custom npcs won't have conversations with them, won't comment on events, won't have quests etc.

 

There are many reasons to take the Obsidian npcs, just the Adventurers Hall is an option for people who don't want to or want to try something else later on.

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