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Mercantile Skills in Project Eternity

merchant economy skill speechcraft barter haggle persuade supply demand arbitrage

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Poll: Mercantile Skills in Project Eternity (43 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you envision effective traders in Project Eternity?

  1. Silver-tongued smooth talkers that can somehow rob others right under their noses. (3 votes [6.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.98%

  2. Traveling merchants who utilize solid business strategy and work hard for their money. (5 votes [11.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.63%

  3. Skilled craftsmen that rely on the quality of their goods more than any underhanded methods. (7 votes [16.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.28%

  4. Some combination of the above. (27 votes [62.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.79%

  5. Neither of the above (please describe). (1 votes [2.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.33%

What strategies for increasing profit should Project Eternity offer?

  1. Building up rapport over time with specific NPCs until they like you enough to give you discounts (favor mechanic). (31 votes [15.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.05%

  2. Persuading NPCs until they like you so much that they give you good prices (whether through charm, intimidation, or bribes). (20 votes [9.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.71%

  3. Haggling aggressively with whichever gullible NPC one can find the quickest (conventional haggle skill). (15 votes [7.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.28%

  4. Utilizing an appraisal skill for uncommon items to ensure competitive pricing (appraise skill, possibly merged with identify skill). (23 votes [11.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.17%

  5. Seeking out non-merchant NPCs who need a certain item and bartering for another item that may be more valuable (bartering options). (20 votes [9.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.71%

  6. Seeking out merchants who specialize in certain kinds of goods and doing business with them (different types of merchants pay more or less for certain items). (30 votes [14.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.56%

  7. Exploiting differences in supply and demand from place to place (which would ideally be based on geography and resource availability). (23 votes [11.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.17%

  8. Exploiting fluctuations in supply and demand over time (requires some semblance of a simulated economy). (12 votes [5.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.83%

  9. Enhancing the items via crafting and enchantments to increase their value (basic crafting). (20 votes [9.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.71%

  10. Reducing items to their components so they can be crafted into something else or sold individually (reverse engineering in crafting). (12 votes [5.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.83%

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#101
mcmanusaur

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Inb4counterargumentthatregionalpricingisdifferentfromthosethingsbecauseit'sbeenestablishedthatgamingthoseothermechanicsisfun,thusimplyingthatweshouldnevertrychanginganything.


Edited by mcmanusaur, 13 July 2013 - 03:18 PM.

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#102
Lephys

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^ You broke the forum frame, Mcmanusaur. Impressive. :)

#103
jamoecw

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If strength has, as you put it, a "small but significant" advantage over all other stats (maybe the bonus to melee damage is both bigger and more useful than everything else), players will feel compelled to create a party with many strength-based characters.
 

 

We all know that in AD&D mages are low-level whimps but high-level overpowered. Definitely imbalanced. So why do people still have a ranger in their group instead of a second mage?

 

eh, i prefer a fighter/mage/cleric in IWD, since i have that option.  the fact that a mage is OP at higher levels means that i can blend him and still have a not so OP mage at higher levels, and have him perform other critical back line party functions.  the fighter aspect means he isn't useless when things go sideways, as sometimes happens (random encounter while out of spells, enemy gets in close, etc.).

 

thieves are lackluster in my opinion in low and high levels,  at low levels they lack the skills to be really good in combat, and high levels they are outshined due to their one hit maybe wonder backstabs that are capped so that fighter classes always out perform them.  so i multiclass them with fighters, and when i want to go sneaky i throw on a light armor and get **** done.  even with armour they have good damage sometimes via backstab which makes up for the lower fighter levels.

 

IWD is my favorite series due to options it has by having roll out your own party (sure baldur's gate can be played this way, but it doesn't feel right with all those people asking to help you out, or you them.  though you still get that if don't roll out a party of your own).  i've played with just magic classes, and no magic classes.  the need for early gold for the magic classes means that most gold efficient strategies don't work, but due to their power in late game they more than make up for it.  non magic classes need more gold in the late game and much less in the early game, so gold efficient strategies are more useful.  though ultimately the low power in late game means more thought for the fights that were meant to be epic, and the magic classes require careful planning to deal with the unepic goblins early on, from a story/RP perspective it is pretty funny (sort of like an eccentric talking about an epic fight against some weak rats, while glossing over killing dragons like the rats are a much more interesting tale).

 

a lot of people prefer BG due to banter and scripting, but the freedom of IWD is far more dead than the highlights from BG (at least from between the IE games), mass effect had some great character interaction and story (minus the 3rd obviously), as well as kotor and some other RPGs since BG.  so regional pricing that is mainly flavor (mainly, not completely) i think would help regain some of that sense of freedom, though i guess if you find IWD lackluster it may not seem like much.  that is the point of well done regional pricing, freedom to play in weird ways that don't require cheating or messing with difficulty options, just some more thought for those that are trying new things.



#104
Sacred_Path

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What you're saying is the same thing as "If one outcome of this quest can have you end up with a set of Mithril Chain, but you don't NEED that quest outcome to obtain Mithril chain, then there's absolutely no point in the option of that quest providing you with Mithril Chain; it's completely insignificant. The only two options are that its insignificant, or that that quest is the only way to get Mithril Chain, in which case you're COMPELLED to make sure you get Mithril Chain out of that quest."


Trolls gonna troll. Either that, or it's just a poor analogy. Anyways:

If the (two?) paths of obtaining "Mithril Chain" are competing with each other depends very much on the requirements of both paths. Is obtaining the mail much easier pursuing said quest? Then that speaks in favor of completing the quest. Are the two about equal? Then both actually have a place in the game, and I never said anything else! It's a poor analogy because obviously, in this case, you did not implement a different mechanic into the game, not even a different item, therefore we can't say that any ressources went to waste.
Now if there was one set of Mithril Chain lying around in the wilderness, and one set obtainable through a quest, and you definitely will never need more than one set, then that might raise some questions as to the appropriateness of the mail as a quest reward.
 

Things aren't just absolutely necessary, or absolutely meaningless. That's now how it works.

An umbrella on a day it's not raining. Pretty pointless... under those given circumstances.


A merchant offering the best prices will always be the better choice than any other merchant.

Unless, like you suggested, we just add fluctuating prices, so you have to travel to every single merchant to check their prices. Except there's no fun to be had and no planning involved there.
 

Just like taking advantage of some price differences throughout the realm. If you do it, then you'll benefit, at some point. But you don't NEED the benefit. It just changes the rhythm of that playthrough.


I don't know why you blatantly keep repeating that a player with more gold will have no advantage over other players, only a "different rhythm" to his playthrough. I've already adressed this.
 

One person might play on Normal difficulty, and use 5 potions in one battle to stay alive (purely for example... I know this isn't necessarily how P:E combat will work). Another person might just make super-efficient use of their party (totally optional, as the first person obviously proved by getting through that battle with those potions) and only use 1 potion. Boom. They made better use of their resources than the other person.


I won't repeat myself 1000 times, but maybe 999:

Managing your party better resulting in an easier playthrough is broadly accepted. There's nothing wrong with it. Having an easier time because you faithfully trudge towards that out-of-the-way merchant who will pay a king's ransom for your rusty swords, not so much. It's just a test of patience.



BTW you economy geeks have ignored what I said about better prices only applying to purchases made by the player, not sales. How about that?


Edited by LadyCrimson, 14 July 2013 - 01:10 PM.


#105
Sacred_Path

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We all know that in AD&D mages are low-level whimps but high-level overpowered. Definitely imbalanced. So why do people still have a ranger in their group instead of a second mage?


Wow, you obviously did not read my post about different party setups at all.

BTW the analogy is flawed since, as you said, mages are wimps at low levels. That's one reason to run a F/T/C/M party instead of M/M/M/M, and that's not counting other DnD restrictions like class restricted skills

#106
jethro

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Trolls gonna troll. Either that, or it's just a poor analogy. Anyways:

Managing your party better resulting in an easier playthrough is broadly accepted. There's nothing wrong with it. Having an easier time because you faithfully trudge towards that out-of-the-way merchant who will pay a king's ransom for your rusty swords, not so much. It's just a test of patience.

BTW you economy geeks have ignored what I said about better prices only applying to purchases made by the player, not sales. How about that?

 

 

From my standpoint it looks like you are trolling and misrepresenting our points more than once. Essentially it is the old problem of internet discussions simply leading nowhere.

 

The "what is broadly accepted" speech is coming from you as speaker of the silent majority? <sarkasm> In this thread 3 people out of 4 are then vocal minority?</sarkasm> Not that that has statistical significance, but it looks to me like you are mighty quick to invent facts just for arguments sake. And again we have the hyperbole of "paying a king's ransom for rusty swords". This makes discussing with you a chore.

 

About the point itself: I would put managing your purse and therefore selecting where to buy from squarly under "managing your party equipment" which seems to be an accepted optimization as nobody seems to push for removing merchants from RPGs (there is only a controversy about having unique items in stores for different reasons, not because of them making management of your equipment and purse possible)

 

I didn't talk about your idea with applying prices only to purchases because it is a valid idea. Its biggest disadvantage is that it needs a game where you often buy non-unique items. In the older IE games this would have been mainly consumables and not much else. But at least for immersion purposes it is nearly equal.

 

 

 

If the (two?) paths of obtaining "Mithril Chain" are competing with each other depends very much on the requirements of both paths. Is obtaining the mail much easier pursuing said quest? Then that speaks in favor of completing the quest. Are the two about equal? Then both actually have a place in the game, and I never said anything else! It's a poor analogy because obviously, in this case, you did not implement a different mechanic into the game, not even a different item, therefore we can't say that any ressources went to waste.

 

Lephy's point is simply this: The huge majority of quests all add to your income. Not doing any one of these will be a net loss of income. Are you then compelled to take them all and solve them in the way that nets you the maximum loot? The lure i.e. the carrot in front of you is there at least.

You made the differentiation of a mechanic being central or not central to a game (discounting merchant prices as not central), but the lure is there in both mechanics. You seem to withstand the lure in gaming the quests but tell us you can't withstand it in (simply not that game-changing) merchant prices?

 

In that example where you are playing on insane you obviously are compelled (by the same reason you give for exploiting merchant prices) to do any quests and trick the game in always giving you the best loot (and if it means to kill anyone with your lawful good party after doing their quest, so be it). But even you gave that example with a self-imposed restriction of only using magical ammunition against every enemy. Why can't you also restrict yourself to ignoring price differences?. And even if you drop any restriction why should game designers throw otherwise harmless mechanics out of the game to pander to the extremist end of an extremist playstyle?

 

 

We all know that in AD&D mages are low-level whimps but high-level overpowered. Definitely imbalanced. So why do people still have a ranger in their group instead of a second mage?


Wow, you obviously did not read my post about different party setups at all.

BTW the analogy is flawed since, as you said, mages are wimps at low levels. That's one reason to run a F/T/C/M party instead of M/M/M/M, and that's not counting other DnD restrictions like class restricted skills

 

 

Did I say anything about a MMMM group? This is again shoving a point to extremes. If you want to power-game in AD&D you would always select the strongest classes. Since AD&D classes are not optimally balanced you would try to select a party that could still survive the first levels but get to be overpowering later on (often possible because the difficulty isn't constant in most cRPGs). Or you could throw out weaker characters if you can acquire a mage later on in the game.

If anyone would be compelled to take STR-based characters if STR had a slight advantage (as you said before) he would also be compelled to take any mage into his party in the later game and drop that ranger or druid even though he liked that ranger much better. I can't speak for others but I have never done something like this and the ROLE-PLAYING-game shouldn't be optimized for that game


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#107
Sacred_Path

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The "what is broadly accepted" speech is coming from you as speaker of the silent majority? <sarkasm>


Oh no, please don't trust my judgement. Simply make a poll on this forum (or any CRPG related forum, really), and ask people what they prefer, giving two options:

1. The game should reward people for building their characters well and employing sound tactics

2. The game should reward you for cutting better deals with merchants

I trust that the matter is settled until you have done so. Hav fun!

About the point itself: I would put managing your purse and therefore selecting where to buy from squarly under "managing your party equipment" which seems to be an accepted optimization as nobody seems to push for removing merchants from RPGs (there is only a controversy about having unique items in stores for different reasons, not because of them making management of your equipment and purse possible)


You could find an even broader umbrella term for "managing your purse", such as "playing the game well". Surely no one will disagree that you should play the game well?
 

I didn't talk about your idea with applying prices only to purchases because it is a valid idea. Its biggest disadvantage is that it needs a game where you often buy non-unique items


Uh, I wouldn't say so. In fact, in that case, you're simply shuffling the problem from one side to the other. If a game forces me to buy 100 crossbow bolts every 2 ingame hours, always going to the merchant that sells crossbow bolts for the lowest price could become a top priority.
 
 
 

Lephy's point is simply this: The huge majority of quests all add to your income. Not doing any one of these will be a net loss of income. Are you then compelled to take them all and solve them in the way that nets you the maximum loot? The lure i.e. the carrot in front of you is there at least.
You made the differentiation of a mechanic being central or not central to a game (discounting merchant prices as not central), but the lure is there in both mechanics. You seem to withstand the lure in gaming the quests but tell us you can't withstand it in (simply not that game-changing) merchant prices?


Players will feel compelled to follow the path that gives them the greatest benefit; I never said I would be an exception there. I don't think we need to argue about that. So yes, players have real incentives to optimize their material/ XP gain.

Why do you think people on this very forum are whining about even the vague possibility that "evil" choices could result in fewer rewards?
 

In that example where you are playing on insane you obviously are compelled (by the same reason you give for exploiting merchant prices) to do any quests and trick the game in always giving you the best loot (and if it means to kill anyone with your lawful good party after doing their quest, so be it). But even you gave that example with a self-imposed restriction of only using magical ammunition against every enemy. Why can't you also restrict yourself to ignoring price differences?. And even if you drop any restriction why should game designers throw otherwise harmless mechanics out of the game to pander to the extremist end of an extremist playstyle?


Oh, it wasn't a self-imposed restriction. I was simply looking for an example of people needing more money on a higher difficulty.

#108
jethro

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The "what is broadly accepted" speech is coming from you as speaker of the silent majority? <sarkasm>


Oh no, please don't trust my judgement.

 

 
I take that back, sorry. Rereading your old post I see that all you said was that managing your party stats is more widely accepted than managing where you buy from as a mechanism. This is not really surprising because the first is 100% accepted among role-players (no contest here) and the other is already disliked by you. But really that is a very weak statement. The same can be said about the stronghold, lots of skills, even classes, buff potions, healing potions, sub specializations, back stories, party size, cooking, crafting...
 
Are cooking and crafting non-central mechanics? Yes. Are they not universally accepted? Yes. Do they get thrown out because of that? No.

 

 

I didn't talk about your idea with applying prices only to purchases because it is a valid idea. Its biggest disadvantage is that it needs a game where you often buy non-unique items


Uh, I wouldn't say so. In fact, in that case, you're simply shuffling the problem from one side to the other. If a game forces me to buy 100 crossbow bolts every 2 ingame hours, always going to the merchant that sells crossbow bolts for the lowest price could become a top priority.

 

 
Hey, it was your idea. Note that non-unique items could also be weapons and armour. If the game has a slow progression curve so that half the game is spent in non--unique armour then people who want to play economy wizard can still save a few coppers.
 
Generally, you can't change the mechanic to something that is applicable only once or twice in the whole game and expect this to be well balanced somewhere between inconsequential and over-important.

 

Players will feel compelled to follow the path that gives them the greatest benefit; I never said I would be an exception there. I don't think we need to argue about that. So yes, players have real incentives to optimize their material/ XP gain.

 

Yes, but also most players are still applying sense to their optimizations. Sensible players will drop cheap loot in a dungeon if their inventory is full. Insensible player will go back to a merchant so that they have 100% of the money instead of only 90%. Sensible players won't go out of their way to go to a better merchant just for 10% more money for the same reason. But (to counter the obvious argument of why then include the mechanic) they might not sell a weapon in the mining city because they know their next stop is a war-ridden town. But that is up to them.
 

Oh, it wasn't a self-imposed restriction. I was simply looking for an example of people needing more money on a higher difficulty.

 
Yes and in that example was a self-imposed restriction. I didn't contest that it was only an example. But it obviously is an example you find acceptable, *with* a self-imposed restriction.


Edited by jethro, 14 July 2013 - 07:32 AM.


#109
Sacred_Path

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Are cooking and crafting non-central mechanics? Yes. Are they not universally accepted? Yes. Do they get thrown out because of that? No.


It is a question of numbers, doubtlessly. If merchant hunting was an element loved by the majority of players, I would be fighting an uphill battle. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

 
 

Uh, I wouldn't say so. In fact, in that case, you're simply shuffling the problem from one side to the other. If a game forces me to buy 100 crossbow bolts every 2 ingame hours, always going to the merchant that sells crossbow bolts for the lowest price could become a top priority.


 
Hey, it was your idea. Note that non-unique items could also be weapons and armour. If the game has a slow progression curve so that half the game is spent in non--unique armour then people who want to play economy wizard can still save a few coppers.


fair enough.

 
 

Yes, but also most players are still applying sense to their optimizations. Sensible players will drop cheap loot in a dungeon if their inventory is full.



I think they would sell, come back and grab more loot, sell etc.

 

Yes and in that example was a self-imposed restriction. I didn't contest that it was only an example. But it obviously is an example you find acceptable, *with* a self-imposed restriction.



I'll have to backtrack and see where that leaves us.


Speaking of backtracking... how are you supporters planning to minimize the time players have to invest to actually get to where the best deal can be had? Because, no matter if you find haggling to be fun or not, surely we can all agree that wasting the player's lifetime is to be avoided.

Edited by Sacred_Path, 14 July 2013 - 07:53 AM.


#110
mcmanusaur

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Herp derp. I guess we've established that this feature doesn't appeal to obsessive-compulsively optimizing powergamers, for some reason that has yet to be articulated in an argument that doesn't rely on misguided analogies, incongruent appeals to tradition, black-and-white false dichotomies, or incessant hyperbole.

 

But then again, my only real argument is that "it makes sense", but quite apparently the locus of our disagreement is over the question of whether the game world has license to make sense in a manner that doesn't facilitate a powergaming playstyle.

 

Managing your party better resulting in an easier playthrough is broadly accepted. There's nothing wrong with it. Having an easier time because you faithfully trudge towards that out-of-the-way merchant who will pay a king's ransom for your rusty swords, not so much. It's just a test of patience.

 

Inb4counterargumentthatregionalpricingisdifferentfromthosethingsbecauseit'sbeenestablishedthatgamingthoseothermechanicsisfun,thusimplyingthatweshouldnevertrychanginganything.

 

Ninja'd.


Edited by mcmanusaur, 14 July 2013 - 08:39 AM.


#111
Sacred_Path

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Herp derp. I guess we've established that this feature doesn't appeal to obsessive-compulsively optimizing powergamers, for some reason that has yet to be articulated in an argument that doesn't rely on misguided analogies, incongruent appeals to tradition, black-and-white false dichotomies, or incessant hyperbole.


My last point has nothing to do with powergaming.

#112
JFSOCC

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I think no-one is going to convince Sacred_Path. Who wants to have the last word more badly?

#113
jethro

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It is a question of numbers, doubtlessly. If merchant hunting was an element loved by the majority of players, I would be fighting an uphill battle. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

 
A mechanic that is liked by a minority and doesn't concern the majority is still a good mechanic. We just differ whether it can be done without concerning the majority. That IE games had this "feature" and it didn't concern the majority is at least a good sign.
 

Yes, but also most players are still applying sense to their optimizations. Sensible players will drop cheap loot in a dungeon if their inventory is full.


I think they would sell, come back and grab more loot, sell etc.


I have done this too on occasion. I still don't call it sensible behaviour and I payed the price. Game designers still put limits on inventory space and weight and don't pamper to my occational inability to make a sensible shortcut. And I learned from that. If the loot I had to drop was really valuable then it even could have been the right decision.
 

Speaking of backtracking... how are you supporters planning to minimize the time players have to invest to actually get to where the best deal can be had? Because, no matter if you find haggling to be fun or not, surely we can all agree that wasting the player's lifetime is to be avoided.


But isn't that just the decision a player interested in this has to make: Is it worth the time and effort to not sell the sword or fill up on healing potions now or is it better to to do that in the next town? It is not only a time trade-off but also an inventory trade-off. And dependent on where he wants to go next and maybe what a detour would cost him. And only if he thinks a detour is worthwile does it cost the player noticeable time.

The interesting part *for me* is the thought process to determine a better place for specific items (not neccessarily the *best* place). And the satisfaction when my assumption turns out to be correct, even if my profit is minimal. A different player may get his satisfaction from making a map of markets and really snooping out the *best* place for any sort of item.

As I said a few pages before, it is a mechanic with a very limited influence on play, but easily implemented. Low gain, but also low effort. One could call it a flavor mechanic, similar to NPCs with believable work schedules

Doing some fast-sell UI where you could sell or buy at the best price regardless of where you are would be something an MMO would (and did) do.

Edited by jethro, 14 July 2013 - 09:36 AM.


#114
Sacred_Path

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I think they would sell, come back and grab more loot, sell etc.


I have done this too on occasion. I still don't call it sensible behaviour and I payed the price. Game designers still put limits on inventory space and weight and don't pamper to my occational inability to make a sensible shortcut. And I learned from that. If the loot I had to drop was really valuable then it even could have been the right decision.


You call making gold in an RPG insensible behaviour? I question your definition of what's sensible.
 
 

But isn't that just the decision a player interested in this has to make: Is it worth the time and effort to not sell the sword or fill up on healing potions now or in the next town? It is not only a time trade-off but also an inventory trade-off. And dependent on where he wants to go next and maybe what a detour would cost him. And only if he thinks a detour is worthwile does it cost the player noticeable time.



No. A good decision is NEVER between wasting your lifetime and ending up weaker. Choosing a barbarian over a fighter, or offensive stance over defensive stance, the polite conversation option over the intimidating one, picking someone's pockets over safeguarding your reputation... good decisions. Choosing between losing gold or backtracking for 5 real time minutes is mostly horrible design.

 

The interesting part *for me* is the thought process to determine a better place for specific items (not neccessarily the *best* place). And the satisfaction when my assumption turns out to be correct, even if my profit is minimal. A different player may get his satisfaction from making a map of markets and really snooping out the *best* place for any sort of item.



Merchant who will pay most for your item: best place.

"Thought process" is a real euphemism here, just like Lephys' "using your information-gathering capabilities". A trained chimpanzee could accomplish this.

The only real trade-off involved might happen if you're severely encumbered by the items in your inventory, and that happens very rarely in CRPGs as we all know. Though, if I'm encumbered, I will likely simply choose the merchant *nearest* me, and again there would be no real choice involved.

 

Doing some fast-sell UI where you could sell or buy at the best price regardless of where you are would be something an MMO would (and did) do.



And are you as neutral about this as your wording would imply?

Edited by Sacred_Path, 14 July 2013 - 09:36 AM.


#115
jethro

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You call making gold in an RPG insensible behaviour? I question your definition of what's sensible.


It is a trade-off decision between your time/effort and the gold you get out of it. If you backtrack from a dungeon to town to save 100 gold when the weapon in your hand alone is worth 40.000 gold, then yes, it makes no sense. Not for you as player, definitely not for the character you play in the game.
 

No. A good decision is NEVER between wasting your lifetime and ending up weaker.


Deciding whether to go back to town because of your limited inventory is just such a decision. And you have to do that decision in every RPG game I can remember at the moment. I also played RPGs where you could collect respawning ingredients for potions (DSA for example). By selling the ingredients or potions you can make as much money as you like. Again it is up to you to decide whether collecting 50.000 flowers to get that sword of nice hacking is really worth your time.
 

Merchant who will pay most for your item: best place.

"Thought process" is a real euphemism here, just like Lephys' "using your information-gathering capabilities". A trained chimpanzee could accomplish this.


I implied that I would not known the best place but had to make informed guesses. Which is possible if the discounts are fixed and dependent on regional circumstances like mining town, war-riddled, elven village.... Would a trained chimpanzee really know that arrows might be cheaper in an elven village? Sure, it isn't rocket science either, but neither are the solutions to many quests or the question which stat my fighter should increase.

Just to make sure: Checking on the internet is the best way to spoil your fun on any aspect of an RPG if you are implying that(?). And that is the only way I can think of that you really find the *BEST* place, not just a better place.
 

Doing some fast-sell UI where you could sell or buy at the best price regardless of where you are would be something an MMO would (and did) do.


And are you as neutral about this as your wording would imply?


I thought MMO is a swear-word here and ample warning to not even think about such a UI. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Edited by jethro, 14 July 2013 - 10:51 AM.


#116
Sacred_Path

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No. A good decision is NEVER between wasting your lifetime and ending up weaker.


Deciding whether to go back to town because of your limited inventory is just such a decision. And you have to do that decision in every RPG game I can remember at the moment. I also played RPGs where you could collect respawning ingredients for potions (DSA for example). By selling the ingredients or potions you can make as much money as you like. Again it is up to you to decide whether collecting 50.000 flowers to get that sword of nice hacking is really worth your time.


You never have to get back to town because of your limited inventory, except if it's for selling that junk that clutters up your inventory. That's the very thing we're talking about. 'Course, this only be eliminated completely by making selling junk not worthwhile at all; but then, where's our simulated realistic economy?
 

I implied that I would not known the best place but had to make informed guesses. Which is possible if the discounts are fixed and dependent on regional circumstances like mining town, war-riddled, elven village.... Would a trained chimpanzee really know that arrows might be cheaper in an elven village? Sure, it isn't rocket science either, but neither are the solutions to many quests or the question which stat my fighter should increase.

Just to make sure: Checking on the internet is the best way to spoil your fun on any aspect of an RPG if you are implying that(?). And that is the only way I can think of that you really find the *BEST* place, not just a better place.


No, like you said yourself, looking at spoilers wouldn't be necessary if it's as easy as "mining town - buy swords here", so that's not what I was implying.
What stat your fighter should increase WILL be a question of importance in P:E, as there will be no dump stats. So you can really come up with varied concepts of what a fighter should be. Great gameplay element, too - moreso than hunting down merchants, IMO ;)
 

I thought MMO is a swear-word here and ample warning to not even think about such a UI. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.


Well, if I had to choose between two evils, that is "backtrack across the world to sell sword for best price", and "fast selling UI", I'd choose the latter. It would be just as pointless, but at least I wouldn't grow old just trying to get rid of my excess junk.

#117
jethro

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You never have to get back to town because of your limited inventory, except if it's for selling that junk that clutters up your inventory. That's the very thing we're talking about. 'Course, this only be eliminated completely by making selling junk not worthwhile at all; but then, where's our simulated realistic economy?


Typical scene: I kill a group of monsters in the dungeon and there is loot that just doesn't fit anymore. Among the loot are 2 big but crappy wooden shields and lots of small potions and a valuable sword, for example. Even one shield would block more space in the inventory than the rest together. In such a case I often would leave the shields and go for the next fight. Especially if that would be the end fight. Especially if that was a low-level dungeon I had to go back to. Especially if going back to town would cost me much time. Because even if I have to go back to town eventually I want to make this round trip as few times as possible.

 

Well, if I had to choose between two evils, that is "backtrack across the world to sell sword for best price", and "fast selling UI", I'd choose the latter. It would be just as pointless, but at least I wouldn't grow old just trying to get rid of my excess junk.


Sure, but the thing is these aren't your only options

Edited by jethro, 14 July 2013 - 01:07 PM.


#118
Lephys

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Now if there was one set of Mithril Chain lying around in the wilderness, and one set obtainable through a quest, and you definitely will never need more than one set, then that might raise some questions as to the appropriateness of the mail as a quest reward.


Yeah. Questions such as "Who says the chainmail out in the wilderness is A) known about and/or B) available at the same time that the quest is able to provide chainmail?"

Only-some-things-considered, you're absolutely right, though. If you'd like to consider the rest of things, instead of ignoring me and acting like I'm just make-believing there's actually a point I've got that you're not only not getting, but also blatantly asking me to provide good reasoning for, that would be awesome.

A merchant offering the best prices will always be the better choice than any other merchant.

Unless, like you suggested, we just add fluctuating prices, so you have to travel to every single merchant to check their prices. Except there's no fun to be had and no planning involved there.


... When you've got stuff he wants. You COULD carry an umbrella around all the time, or you COULD only do it on days when its cloudy. On days when it's sunny, you're out the freedom of not carrying around your umbrella all day. In regard to merchants, if you COULD sell those 3 weapons you found in your current town, for 300 gold, but you want to travel for 15 minutes to a different town to sell them for 325 gold, then IS it a better choice, automatically? Sure, the gold value is higher, but that's not the only factor at play, here. Maybe you could've used that 300 gold for some better equipment or other useful items, to prevent you from taking so much damage on the trek to the next merchant. Maybe not.

It's based on circumstance. It has dynamic value.

If sawing your left arm off always got you 1,000 gold, and not-sawing-your-left-arm-off got you no gold, would sawing your left arm off ALWAYS be a better decision than not doing so? Clearly not.

I won't repeat myself 1000 times, but maybe 999:

Managing your party better resulting in an easier playthrough is broadly accepted. There's nothing wrong with it. Having an easier time because you faithfully trudge towards that out-of-the-way merchant who will pay a king's ransom for your rusty swords, not so much. It's just a test of patience.


Let me make sure I get you here...

Managing party resources (that happen to be the party's health and such) for more efficient damage/combat-effectiveness payoffs = totally awesome!

Managing party resources (that happen to be the party's sellable items) for more efficient currency payoffs = not only terrible but also completely unrelated to anything we're even talking about.

*scratches head*

#119
Sacred_Path

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Yeah. Questions such as "Who says the chainmail out in the wilderness is A) known about and/or B) available at the same time that the quest is able to provide chainmail?"

Only-some-things-considered, you're absolutely right, though.


Just tell me how many pages my next post about your hypothetical examples should fill, and I shall try to oblige.

In regard to merchants, if you COULD sell those 3 weapons you found in your current town, for 300 gold, but you want to travel for 15 minutes to a different town to sell them for 325 gold, then IS it a better choice, automatically? Sure, the gold value is higher, but that's not the only factor at play, here. Maybe you could've used that 300 gold for some better equipment or other useful items, to prevent you from taking so much damage on the trek to the next merchant. Maybe not.


Good, concrete examples. How then, in your example, do you want the player to make an informed choice? It's possible you'll be ambushed on the way, possibly not. It becomes, again, very hard to balance. Obviously, some people pulled down their loot to the Severed Hand merchant; but what if the Severed Hand was randomly repopulated with orcs? It becomes a real hassle, a real gamble, and will mostly not be worth your very real lifetime. Again, it would become a no-brainer for me to frequent only the nearest merchants as long as they pay anything, and if I get low on funds, I'd simply curse the developers for their hair-raising design.




Let me make sure I get you here...

Managing party resources (that happen to be the party's health and such) for more efficient damage/combat-effectiveness payoffs = totally awesome!

Managing party resources (that happen to be the party's sellable items) for more efficient currency payoffs = not only terrible but also completely unrelated to anything we're even talking about.

*scratches head*


Eh, I already had that issue with jethro (I think). "But it's just about managing things!" Yes certainly, but allow me to differ. Managing my party's health usually doesn't involve backtracking (unless I have to get me some resurrection lovin', of which there will be none in P:E), and even if it does, why exactly is that reason enough to introduce ever more backtracking into the game, until that's basically all you're doing?!

#120
jethro

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In regard to merchants, if you COULD sell those 3 weapons you found in your current town, for 300 gold, but you want to travel for 15 minutes to a different town to sell them for 325 gold, then IS it a better choice, automatically? Sure, the gold value is higher, but that's not the only factor at play, here. Maybe you could've used that 300 gold for some better equipment or other useful items, to prevent you from taking so much damage on the trek to the next merchant. Maybe not.


Good, concrete examples. How then, in your example, do you want the player to make an informed choice? It's possible you'll be ambushed on the way, possibly not. It becomes, again, very hard to balance. Obviously, some people pulled down their loot to the Severed Hand merchant; but what if the Severed Hand was randomly repopulated with orcs? It becomes a real hassle, a real gamble, and will mostly not be worth your very real lifetime. Again, it would become a no-brainer for me to frequent only the nearest merchants as long as they pay anything, and if I get low on funds, I'd simply curse the developers for their hair-raising design.

 


Lets assume that the game is balanced on the average price of items (which is what I would expect as the obvious choice to balance to, which is also what a player would get if he ignored regional pricing in the game). This would be the same price items would have without regional pricing (trivially true, because that's the price the game is balanced to). That means you would be in exactly the same situation without regional pricing and could only curse yourself if you get low on funds. 


Edited by jethro, 15 July 2013 - 04:35 AM.






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