Jump to content
sea

Money in Project Eternity: Get Rid of Adventurer-Based Economy

Recommended Posts

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.

Edited by sea
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I understand your reasoning, I think the best you can really do is imply a more complex economy rather than actually having it accessible to you.

 

The problem is that gear power tends to = gear exclusivity = gear cost. You can't really have a situation where finding a +5 platemail is a rare thing but then shops aren't interested in buying it off you, because at that point why isn't +5 platemail cheap and in every shop? If its a rare thing people will want it and thus people will be willing to spend more money on it. If +5 platemail is rare commodity then surely people want it? Even if it was a situation where +6 Platemail was the current in thing for an and coming guys to have, people who werent quite as rich would be happy to buy old castoff +5 suits because its better than that +2 they bought a few years back. The trick here is to put equiptment in about the same range of relative cost as electronic gizmos are here - it may be a big investment to buy that flaming axe/ipad, but its not the sort of money that buys a house.

 

As for that other stuff, I have to say I'm not a fan of that kind of mechanic - the basic issue being that your job isn't a manual construction worker or a spice merchant or a corporate spy, your job is an adventurer. Which isn't to say that I don't think you can't have a little bit of that thrown in, an adventurer isn't going to ignore a new gold seam he found down the goblin mines out of principle or if you've been hired to transport some spice from city A to city B, but really, if you are a well to do adventurer, if you want to be doing these things on a fulltime basis, you are going to employ other people to do these things for you and then sell them on, you wouldn't be going down your own mine with a pickaxe hacking out chunks of ore any more than a real world mine owner.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the simplest way to create a credible economy is to create merchants with a certain quantity of gold. I mean that the incredible thing is that every merchant have an endless number of gold to buy your objects. If a merchant have 100 gold that's all you can have selling your tools. After the merchant sell to others the goods you sold you can came agin and sell tools again. Of course there can be great merchants with 1000's of golds (sorry for my poor english)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the simplest way to create a credible economy is to create merchants with a certain quantity of gold. I mean that the incredible thing is that every merchant have an endless number of gold to buy your objects. If a merchant have 100 gold that's all you can have selling your tools. After the merchant sell to others the goods you sold you can came agin and sell tools again. Of course there can be great merchants with 1000's of golds (sorry for my poor english)

 

I don't mind that i vague principle, but if you do it wrong you end up with the problem of the Elder Scrolls games where you are walkin around with items on you that no one in the entire country can afford to buy off you and are worth 50x what they'd give which means that you are basically injecting frustration into a perfectly decent looting mechanic for no particular gain. Really, for most people, if you walk into a shop, that shop has way more income than you do, but perhaps including ecnomics of if you sell too many +3 swords, the price drops right out of the +3 sword market and future sales of such an item would be negligible. A +3 flaming sword would still have value, but mainly for the flaming part rather than the +3

 

This wouldn't apply to consumables which I would suggest would have to have a different economy of their own, possibly just a randomly generated supply/demand rating to fake an economy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is that gear power tends to = gear exclusivity = gear cost. You can't really have a situation where finding a +5 platemail is a rare thing but then shops aren't interested in buying it off you, because at that point why isn't +5 platemail cheap and in every shop? If its a rare thing people will want it and thus people will be willing to spend more money on it. If +5 platemail is rare commodity then surely people want it? Even if it was a situation where +6 Platemail was the current in thing for an and coming guys to have, people who werent quite as rich would be happy to buy old castoff +5 suits because its better than that +2 they bought a few years back. The trick here is to put equiptment in about the same range of relative cost as electronic gizmos are here - it may be a big investment to buy that flaming axe/ipad, but its not the sort of money that buys a house.

Why do we have to have gear exclusivity = price though? We know that souls play a key factor in Project Eternity. Consider instead a system there where base gear may be more or less powerful, but magic augmentations are the result of soulbinding - instilling properties by tying a part of your own essence to the equipment. This could prevent it from being used by others in the future, requiring a difficult dis-enchanting or crafting process to make it usable again (and removing the magic properties in the process).

 

There are any number of interesting lore reasons one can come up with to justify these sorts of mechanics and the entire game would benefit from them, because it'd take Project Eternity beyond generic fantasy into a realm that is not typically explored in RPGs.

 

As for that other stuff, I have to say I'm not a fan of that kind of mechanic - the basic issue being that your job isn't a manual construction worker or a spice merchant or a corporate spy, your job is an adventurer. Which isn't to say that I don't think you can't have a little bit of that thrown in, an adventurer isn't going to ignore a new gold seam he found down the goblin mines out of principle or if you've been hired to transport some spice from city A to city B, but really, if you are a well to do adventurer, if you want to be doing these things on a fulltime basis, you are going to employ other people to do these things for you and then sell them on, you wouldn't be going down your own mine with a pickaxe hacking out chunks of ore any more than a real world mine owner.

Project Eternity is supposed to have a big non-combat skill focus based on what Obsidian has said, as well as multiple quest resolutions. At a certain point that means you have to discard the adventurer motif anyway in favor of something that makes practical sense. All I'm suggesting is that the economic system of the game reflect that as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to make a very long post, but I'll keep it simple.

 

1. Money-making minigames are the exact opposite of what we need. No job system, no "craft valuable items out of useless junk" etc. You just can't do that without unbalancing your economy. Basically, any system where you tell the player "you can either use money to buy this from a vendor ooooor..." will not work. We need the money sinks, or else we can just get rid of money altogether.

2. Weapons and armor should be expensive to buy, but cheap to sell. And not in the way "this item costs 1000 gold and you can sell it for 500", but in the way of: "This steel rapier costs 100 gold, and this steel mace costs 50 gold. If you want to sell them, however, you'll only get as much as the steel costs, i.e. 10 gold each." (Which is also for a generic system the most realistic way of doing it.)

3. Give items looted from dungeons a suffix like "Steel Sword (Used)". The suffix does nothing, but it's there and it tells the player "the weapon you're using has blood, spiderwebs and dents all over it, don't you have any pride?". The player will want to get rid of it for RP reasons. The only way of doing so is to pay the blacksmith for doing some cosmetic changes to the item.

 

The third point is just a basic idea for easy money sinks that are often forgotten about in RPGs, even though they're actually quite nice. Maybe there are more things like that, but they're not the main issue. Point 1 and 2 are what's really important. If I fight 10 enemies and they all have some sort of weapon that I can sell, plus loot and quest rewards, and they're balanced to provide a challenge, then it's simple math that after that dungeon I'll have a LOT of money. Not to mention that I already found the weapon I'll be using in the next dungeon, so no need to buy one from the blacksmith.

That's the basic, simple RPG mistake that needs to be fixed.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is that gear power tends to = gear exclusivity = gear cost. You can't really have a situation where finding a +5 platemail is a rare thing but then shops aren't interested in buying it off you, because at that point why isn't +5 platemail cheap and in every shop? If its a rare thing people will want it and thus people will be willing to spend more money on it. If +5 platemail is rare commodity then surely people want it? Even if it was a situation where +6 Platemail was the current in thing for an and coming guys to have, people who werent quite as rich would be happy to buy old castoff +5 suits because its better than that +2 they bought a few years back. The trick here is to put equiptment in about the same range of relative cost as electronic gizmos are here - it may be a big investment to buy that flaming axe/ipad, but its not the sort of money that buys a house.

Why do we have to have gear exclusivity = price though? We know that souls play a key factor in Project Eternity. Consider instead a system there where base gear may be more or less powerful, but magic augmentations are the result of soulbinding - instilling properties by tying a part of your own essence to the equipment. This could prevent it from being used by others in the future, requiring a difficult dis-enchanting or crafting process to make it usable again (and removing the magic properties in the process).

 

There are any number of interesting lore reasons one can come up with to justify these sorts of mechanics and the entire game would benefit from them, because it'd take Project Eternity beyond generic fantasy into a realm that is not typically explored in RPGs.

 

As for that other stuff, I have to say I'm not a fan of that kind of mechanic - the basic issue being that your job isn't a manual construction worker or a spice merchant or a corporate spy, your job is an adventurer. Which isn't to say that I don't think you can't have a little bit of that thrown in, an adventurer isn't going to ignore a new gold seam he found down the goblin mines out of principle or if you've been hired to transport some spice from city A to city B, but really, if you are a well to do adventurer, if you want to be doing these things on a fulltime basis, you are going to employ other people to do these things for you and then sell them on, you wouldn't be going down your own mine with a pickaxe hacking out chunks of ore any more than a real world mine owner.

Project Eternity is supposed to have a big non-combat skill focus based on what Obsidian has said, as well as multiple quest resolutions. At a certain point that means you have to discard the adventurer motif anyway in favor of something that makes practical sense. All I'm suggesting is that the economic system of the game reflect that as well.

 

While I actually quite like that in theory (its a good solid justification for doing it) that only really works as far as magical items are concerned - if you are going adventuring down, amoung other things, 10+ levelled mega dungeons, you'll probably be picking up all sorts of trinkets as you go. You can certainly say that magic is more valuable than generic treasure, but the point of treasure if it's not valuable. The problem with that particular mechanic is then you'd presumably have to "retune" every magical weapon you looted before you could use it properly. While I can see ways around it (you can just use it until it naturally retunes itself, or pay someone for instant retuning) this is beginning to get a bit convoluted and detrimental to the core fun of looting bad guys for treasure and other cool things. If you only had it on specific high level items it might be a worthwhile mechanic but that doesn't really fix the problem you are trying to address.

 

For me, the BG2 and the IWD games hit about the right level of treasure yield, I think all thats missing from that is some context as to what your wealth actually means to an average guy in the street. Make it clear that even if you have a million gold by the end of your adventure, while certainly a lifechanging amount, thats nothing like the money of the leader of a successful trading company or a king.

 

My interpretation of the non-combat skill focus was that it would still be be used in the general service of the adventuring aspect of the game, but be an alternative to the "I run in and hit it with my axe" approach rather than necessarily a route into alternate fields of work. This is a game thats a spiritul successor to five games and four expansion packs worth of games fundementally about adventuring, so the liklihood of discarding that concept during the course of the game seems pretty slender.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a game where you have made enough profits from your adventuring to half way through the game to decide to throw in the towel and use your loot profit to start up a bakery business, but I don't think this is necessarily the game to be doing it in.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In-game economy as a whole is a bigger subject than I feel capable of tackling, but I did want to make a suggestion regarding one particular aspect, which is the issue of selling extremely valuable items. Either the player will end up with more gold than they know what to do with, or merchants don't possess enough gold to pay the player what the item is worth (which is realistic, but unrewarding).

 

Skyrim (which I haven't personally played, but have watched others play) and Dungeon Crawl (a popular 2D freeware game) provide ways for players to "spend" valuable items they don't want/need without merchants being involved. In Skyrim, there are certain crafting tables that allow you to destroy enchanted weapons/armor, capture their magical essence, and then enchant other items (at least that's my 2nd-hand understanding of it). Dungeon Crawl doesn't even allow you to sell items, but instead many characters can sacrifice magic items to their deity (the game places a lot of emphasis on your choice of religion) in exchange for divine favor.

 

My point isn't that P:E should do precisely either of these things. I'm just pointing out that there are ways the game can be designed to reward players for parting with valuable items without involving currency. Heck, if nothing else, there could be spells which consume weapons or pieces of armor. Why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Money-making minigames are the exact opposite of what we need. No job system, no "craft valuable items out of useless junk" etc. You just can't do that without unbalancing your economy. Basically, any system where you tell the player "you can either use money to buy this from a vendor ooooor..." will not work. We need the money sinks, or else we can just get rid of money altogether.

I never said to include minigames. I never said these things need to be endlessly repeatable. You can easily tie them in with the story and side-quests rather than things you can abuse forever. And limited goods in the world should help to take care of that problem anyway (only so many sources of X to find).

 

2. Weapons and armor should be expensive to buy, but cheap to sell. And not in the way "this item costs 1000 gold and you can sell it for 500", but in the way of: "This steel rapier costs 100 gold, and this steel mace costs 50 gold. If you want to sell them, however, you'll only get as much as the steel costs, i.e. 10 gold each." (Which is also for a generic system the most realistic way of doing it.)

That doesn't make a lot of sense. Why should you get 1/10th of an item's value? That's not realistic unless you have a good reason for why every merchant in the world wants to rip the player off. Now, if it's something like "we don't want those goods taken from our rivals, we hate them" then you could do something interesting with it.

 

3. Give items looted from dungeons a suffix like "Steel Sword (Used)". The suffix does nothing, but it's there and it tells the player "the weapon you're using has blood, spiderwebs and dents all over it, don't you have any pride?". The player will want to get rid of it for RP reasons. The only way of doing so is to pay the blacksmith for doing some cosmetic changes to the item.

Not a bad idea, but ultimately it's still just a way of deterring the player from hoarding everything in the game world. When you play Baldur's Gate, do you pick up every random longsword you find to go sell? No, it's just not worth it - they're heavy and have very little relative value (because in a fantasy world everyone has them). That game didn't even need an explicit explanation, so if you want to give one on the first place, it should reinforce the storyline and universe as best it can (which is why I like the idea of enchanting via soul fragments or whatever).

 

The third point is just a basic idea for easy money sinks that are often forgotten about in RPGs, even though they're actually quite nice. Maybe there are more things like that, but they're not the main issue. Point 1 and 2 are what's really important. If I fight 10 enemies and they all have some sort of weapon that I can sell, plus loot and quest rewards, and they're balanced to provide a challenge, then it's simple math that after that dungeon I'll have a LOT of money. Not to mention that I already found the weapon I'll be using in the next dungeon, so no need to buy one from the blacksmith.

That's the basic, simple RPG mistake that needs to be fixed.

Money sinks suck. Period. Money sinks are a symptom of an unbalanced economy, and are put in place to perpetuate the notion that money still has purpose in the game. A good economy should not have one, unless the game revolves around pouring money into a sink. Crossroad Keep and its upgrades were a good idea, for instance, and handled rather well, but because they come late in the game, it's fairly obvious that idea was kind of an afterthought to give money some more value.

 

Last, maybe this system over-thinks the situation, but let's consider a game with a very well balanced economy: Fallout. You have a barter system in that game which means you often do not need a lot of money (and most merchants have more goods than cash on them anyway). The best gear in the world is hard to come by, but when you find it it is very, very valuable (a rocket launcher should be super-rare and super-expensive after all). Fallout gets away with this because the good equipment is so limited and the merchants themselves only have so much to trade or sell, and things that are actually valuable in a post-apocalyptic world, like healing supplies and ammo, are fairly expensive and don't grow on trees.

 

Fallout is simple, but it fits the setting - supply and demand rule all, and both are limited. From what we know of Project Eternity, it has a more complex world with a more structured society. This implies a more developed economy, and the rules of supply and demand are going to be different. Economics is a very important component of any developed society, so it stands to reason that the economy would also be a more complicated beast in Project Eternity. The standard "sell items for gold" thing works okay in a world where scavenging, pillaging, tomb-plundering etc. are actually viable and logical things to do, but not so well when most people have skilled trades and work for a living.

Edited by sea
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real problem isn't that selling off weapons and armor make a person rich. The problem is that adventurers never die.

 

Imagine in real life if you could go kill thousands of people, their possessions, and sell them off at a pawn shop. Futher more there are no repurcussions, and if anything ever goes wrong, you can just reload and try it again. How long do you think it would take to become very wealthy?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said to include minigames. I never said these things need to be endlessly repeatable. You can easily tie them in with the story and side-quests rather than things you can abuse forever. And limited goods in the world should help to take care of that problem anyway (only so many sources of X to find).

I wasn't explicitly answering your post. I just want this to be something we can agree on; that generic, repeatable jobs where useless items become valuable items are not in the interest of balancing the economy of a game.

Of course quests where you have to do other things than looting dungeons are quite welcome. :)

 

That doesn't make a lot of sense. Why should you get 1/10th of an item's value? That's not realistic unless you have a good reason for why every merchant in the world wants to rip the player off. Now, if it's something like "we don't want those goods taken from our rivals, we hate them" then you could do something interesting with it.

Well, it would make more sense if I had written the long version of my post, but nobody would have read through that. The point is that in a civilised society in peacetime, a barter system for very valuable items seems unlikely. Just like you can't go into a store now and tell them "hey I want to sell you this iPad for $400", it's actually unrealistic to assume that you could do that in a medieval blacksmith. (Moneylenders or pawnbrokers are different, but their prices should be *really* bad.) The blacksmith would look at you and say "I sell weapons myself, why should I want to have your weapon?"

People who want a valuable sword or armor are mostly noblemen, and they won't buy any old used item, they'll have one custom-made for them. Special items like legendary weapons or so don't really fit into this picture as they'll be greatly sought after, but still a merchant probably wouldn't buy those; the risk of break-ins is too big to warrant spending all their money on one precious item.

 

Not a bad idea, but ultimately it's still just a way of deterring the player from hoarding everything in the game world.

Actually, I don't know how hoarding has to do with the "Steel Sword (Used)" suffix idea. My idea was that you'd pick the loot item you like the most, and since it's now your weapon, your phallic status symbol, you want it to look nice. That's all. Like I said it's a very small idea, but I imagine that I'd make use of that feature. Especially if the item also looks shinier in my inventory afterwards.

 

Money sinks suck. Period.

Then we have different definitions of the word. To me, a money sink is anything you put money into. You know, there's a money source, and a money sink. Just like a lake that has a river flowing into it and one flowing out of it. If one is smaller than the other, we have a problem.

So my definition of money sink also includes shops where you buy weapons and armor, whereas your definition means specifically *artificial* money sinks. I think we can agree that *needing* artificial money sinks in a game is a bad thing, but I wouldn't say that *having* them is bad.

 

But anyway, apart from point 3 my point wasn't really about money sinks, it was more about "don't give the player so much money, goddammit!". A dungeon should give me just enough money to improve my equipment a bit and compensate the lost items (health potions etc.). And in my opinion the way to achieve this is having low-level-but-kinda-valuable weapons and armor be very worthless when you try to sell them, with the argument that for a blacksmith, they're basically just worth the material they're made of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no problem with selling everything that I find (I like that actually) I just want the currency in the game not be worthless. I would like to actually spend all that hard earned cash on something other than only on a house. The economy in Baldur's Gate 2 for example was pretty good, there was always something you could spend your cash on. :D

 

And here is the worst case scenario: Skyrim. Cash meant absolutely nothing in that game, it is practically useless after you bought the houses because you can find everything you need in abundance. I don't know how much cash I had in that game, it was absolutely ridiculous. Gosh, the economy system is so bad in that game.......

 

But I do like youe recommendations too @sea.

  • Like 2

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you can afford everything you want by the end then I don't really care what they do. DA/ME (after the first one) were annoying as **** in that regard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you can afford everything you want by the end then I don't really care what they do. DA/ME (after the first one) were annoying as **** in that regard.

I don't think we should necessarily be able to buy "everything" we want by the end of the game. If money is more scarce, or prices are higher, then we'll have to choose among several similarly attractive options, but be unable to buy them all.

 

That's what I'd like.

 

I'd also like some game not to use an anachronistic decimal currency. Why not have 20 coppers per silver, and 15 silvers per gold, or something other than the horribly contrived 10/10/10 we see everywhere now?

  • Like 3

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real problem isn't that selling off weapons and armor make a person rich. The problem is that adventurers never die.

 

Imagine in real life if you could go kill thousands of people, their possessions, and sell them off at a pawn shop. Futher more there are no repurcussions, and if anything ever goes wrong, you can just reload and try it again. How long do you think it would take to become very wealthy?

I'm not so sure about all that. I don't think adventurers are set to make tons of money by default. Outside of the distorted sense of time an RPG has, realistically speaking it would take weeks or even months to plan and execute a dungeon delve, which obviously is cut out of the game because it'd be boring if that was included. Sure, they might find some incredible artifacts of power and sell them, but in a Baldur's Gate style game that doesn't happen as much as you seem to suggest. Most of your money is made by doing quests and selling the stuff the dead possess - but that could easily be flip-flopped around so that the quest rewards themselves are worth more than the loot.

 

I'd also like some game not to use an anachronistic decimal currency. Why not have 20 coppers per silver, and 15 silvers per gold, or something other than the horribly contrived 10/10/10 we see everywhere now?

Eh, but 10/10/10 makes sense and is easy to understand. Convention and all that. Most currency systems in real life gravitate towards cents and dollars for reasons of standardization, so it's not unbelievable at all.

Edited by sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you can afford everything you want by the end then I don't really care what they do. DA/ME (after the first one) were annoying as **** in that regard.

I don't think we should necessarily be able to buy "everything" we want by the end of the game. If money is more scarce, or prices are higher, then we'll have to choose among several similarly attractive options, but be unable to buy them all.

 

That's what I'd like.

 

I'd also like some game not to use an anachronistic decimal currency. Why not have 20 coppers per silver, and 15 silvers per gold, or something other than the horribly contrived 10/10/10 we see everywhere now?

 

Easier to store and play with the variable. Someone with 10p 9g 5s 4c has money = 10.954 and not a separate one for each coinage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The UK managed fine without a decimal currency as late at the 1960s, and they didn't have a computer doing to conversions for them.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you can afford everything you want by the end then I don't really care what they do. DA/ME (after the first one) were annoying as **** in that regard.

I don't think we should necessarily be able to buy "everything" we want by the end of the game. If money is more scarce, or prices are higher, then we'll have to choose among several similarly attractive options, but be unable to buy them all.

 

That's what I'd like.

 

I'd also like some game not to use an anachronistic decimal currency. Why not have 20 coppers per silver, and 15 silvers per gold, or something other than the horribly contrived 10/10/10 we see everywhere now?

 

Those kind of forced choices just serve to annoy the player. They're not fun and they aren't even realistic (which is the usual go to excuse for adding in awful game play mechanics). If money's limited people just end up hoarding it on the off chance that there might be something in the next town that they need (and then the next, and the next, and so on and so forth). It's the same as adding a massively powerful item with a highly limited amount of uses; yea it's cool, but you end up holding onto it until the end of the game (at which point it probably becomes useless anyway).

 

As for making a currency that's not 10/10/10; why the hell would you do that? Just to piss people off? 10/10/10 isn't "horribly contrived;" it's basic logic. Save that kind of bull**** for pretentious indie games.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh - my - god! The player doesn't end up with enough gold by the end of the game to buy whatever he/she pleases!? Call the police, ambulance, the aumaua..!

It's preposterous!

 

:cat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best way to set up the economy is to have magic items be very rare and exclude them from the economy. Nobody buys them except eccentric collectors who have lots of money to spend, and nobody sells them because they are too valuable. You have to do quests or steal/kill to get them. That way the economy is just there for the first part of the game, just like in Baldur's Gate where after chapter 2 or 3 you shouldn't need to buy anything ever again. A new spell scroll or some magical ammunition might be nice, but your weapons and armor are pretty much set, only to be replaced by magic items you find while adventuring. Basically gold should be used for consumables only.

 

Anytime you can buy items, it upsets the balance of the game. You can really twink yourself by selling off all the loot you find/steal in order to get one high level item, making the rest of the game too easy. However, if all the items are being heavily coveted/guarded by their owners, then you come to appreciate each one you earn much more.

Edited by ShadowTiger
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of interesting ideas here.

 

I always thought the method of buying and selling Legendary magic items should mimic how it works in real life: the art auction.

 

No art store in existence has the kind of cash on hand to just flat buy a Van Gogh. And no one who just happened to walk into the store would be able to buy it. There are relatively small numbers of people who can afford such things. Hence, the art auction where they get possible buyer types together to figure out what it is actually worth.

 

You can give the player the ability to put items up for auction, and to bid on items periodically put up by NPCs. If you use a relatively small pool of bidders with fixed incomes you can even turn it into a minigame where you can try to bluff a rival into over-paying for an item you don't want to try and get the item you really want more cheaply (with certain character traits giving you some inexact information about what items an NPC desires, what they might be willing to pay, etc).

 

At that level all money and prices are relative. As you inject money into the pool of people who buy and sell artifacts they will have more money to bid against you in the future, but prices also drop as you add legendary items into the pool.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best way to set up the economy is to have magic items be very rare and exclude them from the economy. Nobody buys them except eccentric collectors who have lots of money to spend, and nobody sells them because they are too valuable. You have to do quests or steal/kill to get them. That way the economy is just there for the first part of the game, just like in Baldur's Gate where after chapter 2 or 3 you shouldn't need to buy anything ever again. A new spell scroll or some magical ammunition might be nice, but your weapons and armor are pretty much set, only to be replaced by magic items you find while adventuring. Basically gold should be used for consumables only.

 

Anytime you can buy items, it upsets the balance of the game. You can really twink yourself by selling off all the loot you find/steal in order to get one high level item, making the rest of the game too easy. However, if all the items are being heavily coveted/guarded by their owners, then you come to appreciate each one you earn much more.

Truue, I agree that magic items should be very rare and valuable. The "hack, slash, loot" gameplay loop is so popular in RPGs, however, that I think the tendency is to simply treat looting as something that occurs on a regular basis, and that finding "phat lewt" is an end in and of itself.

 

One thing to consider, too, is to have more (useful) consumables than permanent items. This way you can keep demand for various things up, instead of just giving the player a constant +5 or whatever. Think oils and enchantments that have a time limit - they remain valuable throughout the game, so you won't want to go and sell them everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If currency was made harder to acquire and therefore less common, why not include it in encumbrance calculations? Now before you shriek "God, no! This is one of those abstract mechanics we've grown to love and depend on!", what if it allowed you to be more strategic with how and when you cashed in your loot?

 

Say you looted a dungeon and came up with some cool items and a bag of gems. In regular RPGs, you'd trek to the nearest "Ye Olde Adventuring Shoppe" and exchange all your loot for gold, right? What if in P:E it just meant you carried that bag of gems around with you and only cashed in what you needed when you needed it? The value-to-weight ratio of a bag of gems would be far superior to a metric shed-load of gold.

Edited by TRX850
  • Like 1

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slight off-topic, post courtesy of Spectacle from RPG Codex:

 

Spectacle said:

I would like to use this thread to say that I am ****ing tired of RPGs (and games in general) where your primary source of money is by finding and selling equipment. Finding treasure would be much more satisfying. Chests of gold guarded by bandidts. Fist sized gems stolen from the eyes of a demonic statue. Golden regalia from the tomb of the sorcerer-king. Way cooler treasure than the +3 sword you sell because you already have a +4.

  • Like 2

Elan_song.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...