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Money balance  

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  1. 1. How would you like your money balanced out at the end?

    • I want money to be scarce. I should always have a use for my money and should not be able to buy everything the game has to offer
    • I want to be filthy rich at games end. It doesn't matter to me that I'll have no use for it in the later game
    • I don't care either way


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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.

 

 

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i would rather be filthy rich and have nothing to do with the money, than find myself in situations where i need something and i cant get it and i have no way to make the money i need because i finished all the game except for the last part of the main quest

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

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I find this a difficult question because I still believe there is no such thing as perfect balance of economy. You can't balance for every type of player, I mean. It all depends on what a player is willing to spend their cash on. Some people spend freely. Some scrimp and save, thinking there will be something awesome later that they'll want to buy. Some try to tred a middle ground.

Thus in the same game, some players will always feel poor, some players will always feel "rich," and some players will be rich at the end while thinking "I should have spent more earlier, because there's nothing I wanted to buy after all."

But to answer the question ... I want to have enough money where I don't feel like I have to constantly scrimp and save just to buy a few pots or scrolls or simple crafting ingredients while in town, but I don't want to end up at the end of the game with 4 billion quatloos even after buying all kinds of expensive stuff, either.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I find this a difficult question because I still believe there is no such thing as perfect balance of economy. You can't balance for every type of player, I mean. It all depends on what a player is willing to spend their cash on. Some people spend freely. Some scrimp and save, thinking there will be something awesome later that they'll want to buy. Some try to tred a middle ground.

 

Thus in the same game, some players will always feel poor, some players will always feel "rich," and some players will be rich at the end while thinking "I should have spent more earlier, because there's nothing I wanted to buy after all."

 

Sure, there never will be the case that all players end up with roughly the same money. Giving 10 million gold to that vendor for the uber weapon will make one player poor, the other will sit on 10 million.

 

But most if not all older RPGs erred on the side of too much money I believe. Even on higher difficulties. One of the problems is that the designers have to provide proper incentives for the player to use that money. There was a lot of talk about this in the update thread and a lot of ideas, hopefully some can be incorporated.

 

But AFAIK usually developers have to account for the amount of side-quests you do, ideally you should be able to play the game even if you do 0% of the side-quests. So they find some point between 0 and 100% and design for that. I don't have the slightest idea where they put that point, but I would guess 50% or less seems likely. And it seems that often this sweet spot isn't changed for higher difficulties. Maybe because they think that even there it should be possible to do 0% of the side quests or they forget that money is also influencing difficulty.

 

My opinion is that at least on higher difficulty there dosn't need to be a guarantee to get through with the main quest alone. Nobody expects that Frodo would have succeeded at Mordor without all the experiences he collected inbetween. It should be clear that you have to do side quests, live and learn a lot, to be able to get from dish washer to the guy who stopped Ungtor the World Devourer. So I would propose that on hard and above difficulty the game money and the fights should be balanced for players that do 95% of all quests. 

 

This all "as far as I know". If it is balooney it would be nice if some dev corrected this urban legend ;-)

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If there is a benefit to having wealth other than buying things with it, I reckon that would solve a great deal of the problems.

Which is why I like the idea of having wealth tie into reputation.

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I don't think the developers need to micro-manage the scarcity of money; that comes off just as annoying as level scaling or expendables scarcity was in DA2. Just give us enough spending options so that making gobs of money feels worthwhile toward the end. :)

Edited by rjshae
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I'm pretty comfortible with the idea of limited money. I hate reaching the end of a game with obscene amounts of cash and nothing to really spend it on. Also I've found that games where money is hard to come by stealth, pick pocket, and lockpicking all tend to to get a nice bit of use outside of dungeons which I always welcome. I also enjoy games where you can kill shop keepers in order to get access to goods you can't afford so I'd hope for something like that as well. Provided of course that killing a shop keeper had suitible amount of risk involved to balance it out.


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@OP You kind of shoe-horned people who like becoming rewarded for there questing a bit with your phrasing

 

I want to be filthy rich at games end. It doesn't matter to me that I'll have no use for it in the later game"

 

Fact is there will be things to spend money on in the late game, namely the stronghold thing, and most certainly other items, scripted events. Also consider that not all players play the game the same way.

 

The way they did it in bg2 was to have alternative items available for players to spend money on. Mostly because not all players wanted to do all the side-quests and were main quest focused. Otherwise they would not have good items available to them at the end of the game. In most cases the items weren't quite as good as the side-quest loot but still quite good. Of course just doing the main quest could net you some good items, but the point was not to penalise the player who didn't happen upon the special loots during their first playthrough or so. Otherwise you could get into a situation where the player could find themselves unable to progress. It's a newb friendly feature but to be honest I was glad it was in there because it added a lot of replay value.

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I have to agree that the phrasing for the poll is pretty poor. Should I be able to but everything and the kitchen sink from vendors? No. By the end of the game should I of been able to buy the items I really wanted to get? Yes.

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BG2 did it really well in this regard. A lot of unique usefull expensive items in stores, so you had to make choices what to buy and what not. Sure beats vendors having nothing (most RPG's) so they need to invent money-sinks needly to offset that rather than properly stock their vendors or just a few uber-weapons, which are merely uber rather than merely have a different utility like the BG2 special items.

 

It did bad in that 2 of these vendors became exlcusives, but that's another story...

 

So thruthfully, I don't really think a good RPG needs many moneysinks, just a lot of good vendor items to buy that aren't easy to come by. And not just sell +1 +2 +3 so there really isn't much choice, but the +1 ice, +1 fire, +1 poison which all have their uses in the gameworld, so not one destinct item is better and you just buy that and ignore the rest...

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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@OP You kind of shoe-horned people who like becoming rewarded for there questing a bit with your phrasing

 

I want to be filthy rich at games end. It doesn't matter to me that I'll have no use for it in the later game"

 

Fact is there will be things to spend money on in the late game, namely the stronghold thing, and most certainly other items, scripted events. Also consider that not all players play the game the same way.

 

I think you misunderstand the options a bit. If there are compelling things to buy for the stronghold in the late game, then there is a use for that money. See option1: "I should always have a use for my money". 

 

I don't mind if I run around with 1 Mio. gold if at that time I can buy a meaninful upgrade to my stronghold for 700k and one or more items for 200k-500k each that would enhance me. But if I have 1 Mio. gold and there is nothing sensible (i.e. that would make my situation better in the broadest sense) left to buy then I feel there is too much money in the game. Some like it or don't mind it, but for me money should always be useful and I should always want more, because there still is a carrot (any carrot) before my nose

 

If someone doesn't buy stronghold upgrades and has lots of money left, then yes, thats ok. Also if someone wants to do only the main quests, he has to cope with the fact that he doesn't get as much experience, so he might not be at the highest level. Solution: He should either play at normal or easy difficulty or expect to get into more difficult fights at the end.

 

When I played most IE games, I didn't hold back with my money. But still I had lots of money at the end and nothing to spend it on, just because I did most of the side quests. Also the difficulty of the main quest tanked at the end because I naturally had all the best stuff on me. But thats the thing: At least on higher difficulties the game should expect the player to have done everything to be prepared and not just sailed through on the shortest path

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How plentiful currency is should depend almost entirely on the game environment.

 

What I do not want to see no matter how scarce it is in inflation of this currency such as we see in Blizzard games.

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My personal preference is a bit of both. 

 

If you do a light run or turn down a lot of rewards/fail quests, you'll have to be pretty strict with your coin and purchase only that which is most efficient to be well equipped.

 

If you do a heavy run, you'll likely have all the coin you need to buy most everything.

 

Though if you're hitting pretty much everything, coin will likely be less necessary from gear found/earned as well, so you'll probably end up filthy rich that way.

 

I don't like the feeling that gold is meaningless in the game due to the excess, but I also don't want to feel like I need to scrounge every broken arrow and bit of scrap metal to afford anything. 

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a way to make money balanced in the game, is to have items in shops with various bonuses at various prices for all levels and wallets. by pacing the area difficulty and loot/profit of the player in a way that he can buy an item better than what his usual loot is, long before he goes somewhere he can get something better, will make players use their money more often.

if to make the money for an item you want, you have to pass through an area where you can get something better, it's practicaly useless to have the item for sale in the first place cause no one will feel compeled to buy it and just keep their money


The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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So... I'd vote in this poll but its extremely limited and none of them apply. So, basically I always want there to be a use for my money but I don't think it needs to be extremely scarce. So ehh, yup. I wanna collect a good bit of coin and... spend it on ****. I don't care to much if I end up with a good bit of coin left over at the end of the game but I don't want it to be so damn scarce I can't do everything I want to do. And, ultimately, I do care about the general economy of the game and hope it strikes a good balance.

 

So the 4th option that doesn't exist on that poll, I want a good balance.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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I would like magic in stores to be as limited as possible.  One of the really odd things in alot of these types of games is wandering into some village and the local blacksmith has magic weapons.  It's just silly.

 

Someone in the thread for update 58 mentioned having private auction houses (or exclusive), and that got me thinking that the economy for expensive, unique and magical items should really be separate from that of mundane items.  Sure, a curiosities dealer or alchemy shop owner in Defiance Bay may have a few magical baubles. Or there could be a legendary smith that forged magical weapons by commission.  But other than those rare instances, magical equipment (not components, unless they are rare and of a magical nature themselves) should have its own parallel economy.  This can take the form of a black market, special, by appointment shops, a brokerage system, or a bartering system.  This is the model for fine art and antiquities, and that is likely the most reasonable form for this economy to take.  

 

This model would not mean that there would be no stores to buy and sell such items, just that they would be difficult for the common person to access and likely be run by some syndicate or very powerful trade merchants.

Edited by curryinahurry

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With out DnD handles (and most RPG worlds handle) magic weapons I agree with your random blacksmith having 'magic' items just a tad bizar. Though it sounds like some of the 'magic' items involve items prior to the actual forging and it gets literally worked into the blade, instead of enchanted after the fact. Depending on how that is, if thats common or maybe just the lower end stuff I could see at least some lower end stuff at some of the more common smithy though still I'd think that to be rather minimal still outside of some special order or whatever. You know, +1 stuff to throw out another DnD term.

 

I'd like it if you managed to attract a high end blacksmith capable of some amazing feats for your keep or stronghold or whatever it is we get. Would make sense to have it centered there, and have it tied around to that story progress opposed to just being some dwarf in one of the cities. But I'd love for some of the heavier stuff being tied to that. As a side note I both liked and hated how BG2 did the legendary stuff. I liked you went to a legendary smith for forging of some of the higher end unique items but I disliked how they already existed and you just kinda lego-ed that **** together via a quest. Just bizar.

 

Would prefer if that was literally just high end NPC related crafting of some kind, maybe requiring special ingredients but definitely not just finding different weapon pieces... no lego nonsense hopefully.

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Def Con: kills owls dead

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^ I like the idea of recruiting various talented individuals to the stronghold.  It would be interesting to tie that into the faction system; certain NPCs become available based on your standing.  Also the idea of different NPC craftsmen having different abilites and the ability to teach those abilities to you or your party; that would make for a great money-sink.  

 

Of course this sort of thing can get into minutiae if not properly handled.  

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Yeah I can see them teaching stuff to you if they keep with there current craft system but I still don't think the player should be crafting anything legendary them selves. Least not equipment wise. As long as there isn't specific armor/weapon smithing skills (which there aren't, currently I don't think) then at least nothing the player spends points on will be wasted either way.

 

Just a minor peeve of mine when the player can make stuff the games NPC smiths can't manage. I mean its there lifes work, but its your players hobby... doesn't make much sense. That said it wont stop me from loving the crap out of the game. I tend to think crafting in every game in existence is garbage and has no business existing anyway so my opinions are kinda **** on the subject really heh.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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Actually, I would prefer if the player could only do temporary enhancements to their weapons & armor; fire buffs, cold, etc.  Permanent enhance could be done only by obtaining both a mastery of the requisite skill (say, 15 points in metallurgy), and certain rare reagents/ materials (or going to a master smith).  

 

I'm not one for beating the drum of realism in games, but the whole; Sword + Diamond + Flame Strike = Sword of Flame +2 has always struck me a bit goofy.

 

Its why I liked the alchemy system in Darklands, It was of limited use, materials were tough to get at times, it required time & skill, it was expensive, and there was a good chance that you could fail or even blow yourself up.  

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So... I'd vote in this poll but its extremely limited and none of them apply. So, basically I always want there to be a use for my money but I don't think it needs to be extremely scarce. So ehh, yup. I wanna collect a good bit of coin and... spend it on ****. I don't care to much if I end up with a good bit of coin left over at the end of the game but I don't want it to be so damn scarce I can't do everything I want to do. And, ultimately, I do care about the general economy of the game and hope it strikes a good balance.

 

So the 4th option that doesn't exist on that poll, I want a good balance.

 

So... I'd vote in this poll but its extremely limited and none of them apply. So, basically I always want there to be a use for my money but I don't think it needs to be extremely scarce. So ehh, yup. I wanna collect a good bit of coin and... spend it on ****. I don't care to much if I end up with a good bit of coin left over at the end of the game but I don't want it to be so damn scarce I can't do everything I want to do. And, ultimately, I do care about the general economy of the game and hope it strikes a good balance.

 

So the 4th option that doesn't exist on that poll, I want a good balance.

 

I'm pretty sure that if I had offered the option "I want a good balance", simply everyone would have taken that option, including me.

 

The problem is that the range of playstyles is vast and the chances that you finish the game far above or below some optimal point are quite high. What I wanted to find out is on which side of this optimal point people would prefer to be if they couldn't avoid it. Or if it is unimportant to them (the third option).

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I'd like it to have a good balance, based on how much of the content of the game that you complete. I think I like the idea of tying difficulty level to how hard the game is on your purse, I believe the most straight forward implementation of this would be to significantly increase the cost of potions & crafting ingredients to compete with the cost of the best of items. In such a situation, buying 3 potions of healing for 1,000 gold each might be a far better investment than getting that dagger +2 for 3000 gold you've been eyeing up.

 

The first time I played BG2, I completed maybe 1 or 2 side quest lines before going on the main quest (15-20h~ gameplay), this left me with enough money to pick up maybe a single good item from a shop, buying enough potions to get through the fights I was wildly under-prepared for became the main expenditure.

 

The second time I played it, I combed through every single quest available before progressing (80h~ gameplay). Naturally, it left me able to pick up pretty much anything and everything from shops. Usually, the items I'd found during the quests would be far better than anything I could buy (I've got no problem with that), so, in the end, the money just piled up. This was on normal difficulty, mind you.

 

I think we can pretty much assume that most of the regulars on this forum belong to the category of players who will fine-comb the game for all there is to experience, and as such, our first experience with the game might match my second play through of BG2, which almost inevitably will leave us wanting. We'll never have that "I barely made it through" feeling. If designed correctly, maybe the higher difficulties will deliver an experience closer to my first play through for us completionists.

 

All this said, unbalance is not a bad thing in a single player game. It's part of what made BG2 interesting for so many years, everyone's experience when playing it would vary wildly due to large differences in how classes play and handle different situations. It wasn't until many years after the game's release, with players having completed the game over and over, that character builds and party compositions that'd steamroll all the content in ways unintended started surfacing. Morrowind had a similar life cycle thanks to being wildly unbalanced, it became a challenge to complete the game in the most effective and unintended (by the developers) way possible. Just think about it, what are some of the most memorable & long lived games in recent history? Chances are they had an endless array of different, non-obvious ways of abusing, breaking, and generally having fun in the game world. I'm not saying a game should be intentionally designed to include this, but obsessing over too much balance has taken the fun out of many a game.

 

I will personally play Project Eternity to experience the story line(s). As long as combat, economy and character progression is functional at its core, I couldn't care less if my purse contents and party characters end up being differently useful during my play through.

 

Also, if something is clearly broken, there's such a thing as a patch.

(oops, that derailed a bit from the topic, but then, an aspect such as economy shouldn't be discussed in isolation)

Edited by mstark
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"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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@jethro: Yeah makes some sense. In the end, money sync or not, they need enough money through out (if you do all side content) to allow you to buy everything on the stronghold side while allowing enough wealth to buy bunch of equipment and general in game stuff. The only way they could truly limit that would be to make the game extremely linear and limit whats available at any given time but then your getting a basic straight adventure game instead of an RPG.

 

Way I see it option 1 and 2 are up to the player. So I guess 3... I don't care if I have a lot of money or almost no money by the end of the game as long as it didn't stop me from buying the stuff I wanted to buy leading up to the end. Same time ending up in the Mass Effect 1 boat kinda ruins the fun of it. You could max out credits in that game literally before the middle point and just always be extremely rich forever after even spending it on all the super expensive stuff. THAT is an extremely silly economy. ME2 handled it a lot better except that you had nothing to really spend the money on except in a few minor 'upgrades' (of which you researched the rest of).
 

Far as im concerned, BG2 and PST had perfectly fine economies for the kinda game they where, worked out rather well. But I'd like more stuff to buy that matchs some legendary found lewts... though the found stuff should have more unique properties and that's really for another thread.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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Feeling filthy rich is fine, but being overly wealthy in any game is boring, because by implication you then don't have anything to spend it on. There are more than enough games out there (Borderlands 2, Diablo 2, etc. etc.) where eventually even the sight of money is just worthless. It becomes like looking at a pile of trash the game just threw at you; because you've no use for it but now its just cluttering up the screen everywhere with every enemy you kill and every chest you open.

 

There needs to be a solution, there needs to always be a reason to have money, no matter how ridiculous the amount you have is.

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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