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Mercantile Skills in Project Eternity  

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  1. 1. How do you envision effective traders in Project Eternity?

    • Silver-tongued smooth talkers that can somehow rob others right under their noses.
      3
    • Traveling merchants who utilize solid business strategy and work hard for their money.
      5
    • Skilled craftsmen that rely on the quality of their goods more than any underhanded methods.
      7
    • Some combination of the above.
      27
    • Neither of the above (please describe).
      1
  2. 2. What strategies for increasing profit should Project Eternity offer?

    • Building up rapport over time with specific NPCs until they like you enough to give you discounts (favor mechanic).
      31
    • Persuading NPCs until they like you so much that they give you good prices (whether through charm, intimidation, or bribes).
      20
    • Haggling aggressively with whichever gullible NPC one can find the quickest (conventional haggle skill).
      15
    • Utilizing an appraisal skill for uncommon items to ensure competitive pricing (appraise skill, possibly merged with identify skill).
      23
    • Seeking out non-merchant NPCs who need a certain item and bartering for another item that may be more valuable (bartering options).
      20
    • 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
    • Exploiting differences in supply and demand from place to place (which would ideally be based on geography and resource availability).
      23
    • Exploiting fluctuations in supply and demand over time (requires some semblance of a simulated economy).
      12
    • Enhancing the items via crafting and enchantments to increase their value (basic crafting).
      20
    • Reducing items to their components so they can be crafted into something else or sold individually (reverse engineering in crafting).
      12


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Then I suppose- by the same token- we might as well inform the player of exactly which enemies he/she can plan on facing in a given area, so that they can make informed strategic decisions? Otherwise they can't possibly know what to do and when, which is bad design?

Reloading a battle because you didn't have a strategy the first time or your plan didn't work? Confirmed to be fun for most RPGers.

 

Reloading because you entered an area where enemies were too tough at your level? Considered ok.

 

But starting a playthrough to gather information about prices and stores so you can then start over with this pertinent information? Probably not supported by most.

 

 

For me, uncertainty is an important part of RPGs, and many of the most intense RPG experiences I've had result from my uncertainty about the environment around me/my character. As far as I can see, economics is one of the most uncertain aspects of real life, so I don't see the problem with there being some small amount of uncertainty in its in-game representation.

Surprise and wonder are key to RPGs (the first time through anyway), yes. But you can have plenty of that without regional pricing.

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Reloading a battle because you didn't have a strategy the first time or your plan didn't work? Confirmed to be fun for most RPGers.

 

Reloading because you entered an area where enemies were too tough at your level? Considered ok.

 

But starting a playthrough to gather information about prices and stores so you can then start over with this pertinent information? Probably not supported by most.

 

You're confounding a lot of different variables there. Learning about the economic landscape as you go is no different to learning about the weaknesses of the enemies that you'll be facing, or the solutions to puzzles/quests you'll be completing, which both only happen through trial and error for the most part. In any of these cases, that knowledge could ostensibly help you play through the game more efficiently, so there's no reason to feel compelled to start a new playthrough in light of the former but not also due to the latter. And yet you're not suggesting that uncertainty regarding opposition forces the players to restart their playthroughs as soon as they've gained that knowledge... that's strange. Why is regional pricing any different? Alternatively, you could recognize that RPGs are always learning experieneces and instead play the game like a normal person, using trial and error as you go to figure out economics in the same way that you do enemy counts.

 

The comparison to be made here is between entering an area where enemies are too tough and reloading so that you can travel elsewhere, and traveling to a place that has higher prices than where you started and reloading so you can go elsewhere. However, the former is actually a "brick wall" in the figurative sense in that you literally cannot progress further without dying, whereas the latter is at worst a small inconvenience and hardly requires reloading at all. Maybe you choose to make use of your trip to buy some other commodity rather than what you intended, or maybe you simply continue on your travels, all the wiser for the next time around, which will likely come in the same playthrough. Again, all of this is only an issue if you are an obsessive perfectionist anyway, in which case I say once more "that is your problem, not the designer's".

 

To me, "wonder" is a product of many little things; sure, you could progressively remove each component without marginal costs for each being too significant, but that doesn't mean the things you've omitted contribute less than the things you've included, or that you won't eventually rid the game of all its wonder that way.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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You're confounding a lot of different variables there. Learning about the economic landscape as you go is no different to learning about the weaknesses of the enemies that you'll be facing, or the solutions to puzzles/quests you'll be completing, which both only happen through trial and error for the most part. In any of these cases, that knowledge could ostensibly help you play through the game more efficiently, so there's no reason to feel compelled to start a new playthrough in light of the former but not also due to the latter. And yet you're not suggesting that uncertainty regarding opposition forces the players to restart their playthroughs as soon as they've gained that knowledge... that's strange.

trial and error is involved in ferreting out the best trading opportunities in your idea as well.

 

I'm not suggesting that you need to start over because you've once run into stronger enemies because games are usually not designed in such a way that you could get stuck in a rut there. I fear that a game with an arbitrary economy as you suggest could lead to this though. Without advance knowledge of the "good deals", you're likely to run out of funds, which means a dead end in quite a few RPGs.

 

The comparison to be made here is between entering an area where enemies are too tough and reloading so that you can travel elsewhere, and traveling to a place that has higher prices than where you started and reloading so you can go elsewhere. However, the former is actually a "brick wall" in the figurative sense in that you literally cannot progress further without dying, whereas the latter is at worst a small inconvenience and hardly requires reloading at all. Maybe you choose to make use of your trip to buy some other commodity rather than what you intended, or maybe you just continue on your travels, wiser for the next time around.

When you're out of funds and possibly badly equipped (not as well equipped as you could have been had you gotten better deals!) and in some place surrounded by wilderness, that is usually bad news (brick wall).

 

In the case of simply going to the wrong area, you can possibly go somewhere else where it's more appropriate to be at your level. You aren't stuck (unless you've made bad choices in building your characters, as I admitted).

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I'm just curious, since I never really understood the mechanic, and the poll results suggest that it's quite popular, but do specialized merchants have better or worse prices than general traders, and what's supposed to be the reasoning there? I could see general stores buying for less along the lines of a pawn shop (and I may be mistaken but I think this is the way most games do it?), but then does it really make any sense for someone who is trying to sell their goods (i.e. swords) to want to pay more to buy swords off someone else? They're trying to convert swords into income, not the other way around. If anything I'd think bladesmiths would refuse to buy your spare swords, and the only thing allowing general stores to buy low would be the seller's poor BATNA (excuse my business parlance). Hopefully someone can enlighten me, since I seem to be in the minority here, judging by the poll results.

 

Specialized merchants give you better deals because they're actually interested in the items your selling and do not want to buy them from other merchants.

If a merchant mainly buys/sells spices, while the merchant next to him buys/sells everything, then adventurers would most likely sell all their stuff at the second merchant because it's less of a hassle. In order to get these spices then, the first merchant would have to buy them from the other merchant and he'd make a net loss compared to giving you a better price.

(Also what jamoecw said. A general trader cannot be sure if the item will sell quickly or if it'll wind up collecting dust in a corner.)

 

But of course, technically it doesn't make sense for any merchants other than pawnbrokers and more shady dealers to want to buy stuff from you unless there's a crisis. They should have their own connections and networks to keep them supplied and wouldn't trust somebody who waltzes into their shops with what might be stolen goods or bad quality goods. If anything, they might say "I'll do you a favor and buy those items from you, for a small price".

 

And you're right of course that smiths wouldn't want to buy swords. In my opinion the only logical "specialized merchant" that would buy and sell swords in large quantities would be something like a specialized second hand store for adventurer's gear. You know, Ye Olde Adventurer's Shoppe.

How that would realistically affect smiths I cannot say. (Just sayin', would've been great if durability was still in. If those "second hand traders" only sold damaged items, that could've balanced things. But in a world where you have a thriving second hand market for swords and armor, I cannot imagine why somebody would decide to become a smith.)

 

back in the early 1900's you could make things and then go to a shop and get them to sell them for you if they thought it was worth it, the shops were sorta centers for commerce.  as time went on the mentality that you had specific suppliers and that you didn't need to bother with small time hobbyists that may be in the transition to manufacturer (depending on how things went).  my grandfather got started by making golf clubs, then went into manufacturing custom golf clubs, then into retail sporting goods.

 

prior to the black plague there were distinct niches, and just showing up with gear to sell was quite shady.  after the black plague showing up with a bunch of gear to sell wasn't suspect, as there was a shortage of skilled personnel, so there was a shortage of well crafted items.  almost since the dawn of manufacturing there has been signature marks to identify who made what, so if your stuff is 200 years old then knowledgable merchants would know you didn't go out and rob some place.

 

as population increases the knowledge needed to asses who made what increases, and it becomes too problematic to accept goods from strangers.  as population decreases the problems of maintaining supply infrastructure increases.  generally low population lends itself to criminal activity and legitimate opportunities, and higher population lends itself to reliability and stagnation.

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I'm not suggesting that you need to start over because you've once run into stronger enemies because games are usually not designed in such a way that you could get stuck in a rut there. I fear that a game with an arbitrary economy as you suggest could lead to this though. Without advance knowledge of the "good deals", you're likely to run out of funds, which means a dead end in quite a few RPGs.

When you're out of funds and possibly badly equipped (not as well equipped as you could have been had you gotten better deals!) and in some place surrounded by wilderness, that is usually bad news (brick wall).

 

Running out of funds? In how many RPGs is this actually a regular occurrence? I haven't read much that suggests a high likelihood of this happening in Project Eternity, unless you're investing in a stronghold or some other optional gold sink. We're not talking about "good deals" and complete rip-offs, we're talking about good prices and slightly better deals. If you actually manage to find a way to go broke over something like this, you probably stuck at the game.

 

These arguments against regional pricing are seemingly becoming increasingly dubious, needy, and obscure, and you seem to be intent on retaining base assumptions- such as that this mechanic is somehow different than other mechanics that accomplish the same general effect, and that it cannot possibly be balanced to be neither insignificant nor compulsory- which I have already argued against, so I'm not sure whether this is getting anywhere.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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Running out of funds? In how many RPGs is this actually a regular occurrence?

Ah, but you wanted some semblance of a realistic economy. Actually, that's the one reason why you'd want regional pricing at all, am I correct? So you shouldn't flood the player with so much gold that it becomes meaningless.

 

I haven't read much that suggests a high likelihood of this happening in Project Eternity, unless you're investing in a stronghold or some other optional gold sink. We're not talking about "good deals" and complete rip-offs, we're talking about good prices and slightly better deals. If you actually manage to find a way to go broke over something like this, you probably stuck at the game.

Again, I'm not talking about P:E. That train has left the station. Like I also said, with only two cities, while "regional" pricing would have been a bit easier to balance, it would also seem like a waste of time IMO. It's not going to be a huge sandbox style game.

 

These arguments against regional pricing are seemingly becoming increasingly dubious, needy, and obscure, and you seem to be intent on retaining base assumptions- such as that this mechanic is somehow different than other mechanics that accomplish the same general effect, and that it cannot possibly be balanced to be neither insignificant nor compulsory- which I have already argued against, so I'm not sure whether this is getting anywhere.

Uh, please tell me exactly what "general effect" it is that you're hoping to achieve with regional pricing.

 

You have mentioned two things in passing: "immersion" (or make-believe) and "surprise"/"wonder". It's a pretty far fetch to claim that all mechanics that can contribute to immersion have the exact same effect as regional pricing; nay, it's ludicrous. Same goes for "wonder".

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You're confounding a lot of different variables there. Learning about the economic landscape as you go is no different to learning about the weaknesses of the enemies that you'll be facing, or the solutions to puzzles/quests you'll be completing, which both only happen through trial and error for the most part. In any of these cases, that knowledge could ostensibly help you play through the game more efficiently, so there's no reason to feel compelled to start a new playthrough in light of the former but not also due to the latter. And yet you're not suggesting that uncertainty regarding opposition forces the players to restart their playthroughs as soon as they've gained that knowledge... that's strange.

trial and error is involved in ferreting out the best trading opportunities in your idea as well.

 

I'm not suggesting that you need to start over because you've once run into stronger enemies because games are usually not designed in such a way that you could get stuck in a rut there. I fear that a game with an arbitrary economy as you suggest could lead to this though. Without advance knowledge of the "good deals", you're likely to run out of funds, which means a dead end in quite a few RPGs.

 

The comparison to be made here is between entering an area where enemies are too tough and reloading so that you can travel elsewhere, and traveling to a place that has higher prices than where you started and reloading so you can go elsewhere. However, the former is actually a "brick wall" in the figurative sense in that you literally cannot progress further without dying, whereas the latter is at worst a small inconvenience and hardly requires reloading at all. Maybe you choose to make use of your trip to buy some other commodity rather than what you intended, or maybe you just continue on your travels, wiser for the next time around.

When you're out of funds and possibly badly equipped (not as well equipped as you could have been had you gotten better deals!) and in some place surrounded by wilderness, that is usually bad news (brick wall).

 

In the case of simply going to the wrong area, you can possibly go somewhere else where it's more appropriate to be at your level. You aren't stuck (unless you've made bad choices in building your characters, as I admitted).

 

the same extreme could be applied to enemies.  you had 2 fighters in your party, but without a 3rd some critical battle at some point in the 3rd level of a dungeon means that you can't win and thus have to abandon it in hopes that at a higher level you can complete it with only 2 fighters.

 

which is bad game design to need to be so strict on circumstances.  the same is applied to regional pricing, vary it by too much and (not only unrealistic) you end up wasting all you money and can't afford the gear you should have for your level and thus end up struggling.

 

if regional pricing varied by 5% in either direction of a standard price, then at most you will be only 10% down from knowing the optimal places.  balance wise you should be only 5% off at most.  this also means that if you know the optimal place you can only get a 5% boost to your gear.

 

throw in report with merchants on top of that and the benefit/loss becomes even smaller.  as the mining town still needs to feed its blacksmith, pay rent, etc. so the cost of a sword has a fairly set production cost, gaining better that shouldn't happen.  as you 'waste' money to a merchant, he will give better deals for both buying and selling, so you should make up any losses in the long run.  if you spread out your money then you don't get 'penalized' for spending every penny at the expensive merchant, and end up with average pricing.

 

on the other hand any variables that add challenge to the game will make succeeding at those challenges cause the game to be easier, and failing at those challenges cause the game to be harder.  streamlining a game is how many competitive games deal with the issue in order to broaden the balance to various skill levels, which tends to be simply dumbing things down.  as it is a single player game, i don't see the highs being too high an issue, and if they throw in a mechanic to balance the lows, then it could work.

 

in short if there are a low number of merchants, then it isn't a big deal, in fact theming the slight difference in prices based on regional tendencies would make the game more intuitive with less burden of knowledge, but if they have a large number of merchants and regions and such then it would become more of a hinderance.  likewise report can be good if you are supposed to be returning to areas regularly, but if you are supposed to be going linearly through the game then it would be a hinderance.

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the same extreme could be applied to enemies.  you had 2 fighters in your party, but without a 3rd some critical battle at some point in the 3rd level of a dungeon means that you can't win and thus have to abandon it in hopes that at a higher level you can complete it with only 2 fighters.

This would indubitably be very bad design, and I don't think anyone would defend it. Regional pricing is bad in games, and it is being defended ITT.

 

if regional pricing varied by 5% in either direction of a standard price, then at most you will be only 10% down from knowing the optimal places.  balance wise you should be only 5% off at most.  this also means that if you know the optimal place you can only get a 5% boost to your gear.

You have a lot of factors there. In your example, occasional purchases/ sales might be alright. But if the game allows for a lot of loot hoarding, 10% could be a lot, enough to "compel". Which the OP wants to blame entirely on people being OCD about stuff, while I say that if the game is challenging (as it arguably should be), all players will (have to) submit to this.

 

throw in report with merchants on top of that and the benefit/loss becomes even smaller.  as the mining town still needs to feed its blacksmith, pay rent, etc. so the cost of a sword has a fairly set production cost, gaining better that shouldn't happen.  as you 'waste' money to a merchant, he will give better deals for both buying and selling, so you should make up any losses in the long run.  if you spread out your money then you don't get 'penalized' for spending every penny at the expensive merchant, and end up with average pricing.

As I have already said, you could simulate economy for the sake of simulating economy, without it affecting the player much. This would however, arguably, be a waste of ressources.

 

as it is a single player game, i don't see the highs being too high an issue, and if they throw in a mechanic to balance the lows, then it could work.

"single player games don't need balance/ power cap", I've seen that before, and it never makes sense. It's an opinion you can subscribe to if you think games should fellate the player, but me and the OP seem to actually, in theory, be in agreement that this shouldn't be the case.

 

I'm not going to hold two of these ludicrous conversations at the same time BTW

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Ah, but you wanted some semblance of a realistic economy. Actually, that's the one reason why you'd want regional pricing at all, am I correct? So you shouldn't flood the player with so much gold that it becomes meaningless.

I'm interested in a more realistic economy in so much as it characterizes the game's setting in a deeper and more convincing way, not because I want the in-game finances to be more challenging for the sake of it. The spatial or temporal variety of prices is not related to how saturated the game world is with money.

 

Again, I'm not talking about P:E. That train has left the station. Like I also said, with only two cities, while "regional" pricing would have been a bit easier to balance, it would also seem like a waste of time IMO. It's not going to be a huge sandbox style game.

In my view, all RPG settings should be designed in a manner that's viable for a sandbox-style experience; that to me is the sign of an adequately developed game world. Most games might not end up as sandboxes, but that's not an excuse to cut corners in world design in my personal opinion. Linear worlds simply don't exist in three dimensions, and for me a linear narrative isn't justification for ignoring that.

 

Uh, please tell me exactly what "general effect" it is that you're hoping to achieve with regional pricing.

 

You have mentioned two things in passing: "immersion" (or make-believe) and "surprise"/"wonder". It's a pretty far fetch to claim that all mechanics that can contribute to immersion have the exact same effect as regional pricing; nay, it's ludicrous. Same goes for "wonder".

Those are the general effects of regional pricing, and many of the supposed negative side-effects you've argued apply equally to other factors that create immersion and wonder. The rest of your arguments operate under biased assumptions, such as the notion that players put so much emphasis on mindlessly optimizing the crap out of everything in RPGs that they are incapable of carrying out cost-benefit analyses, along with those I mentioned in my previous post.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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I'm interested in a more realistic economy in so much as it characterizes the game's setting in a deeper and more convincing way, not because I want the in-game finances to be more challenging for the sake of it. The spatial or temporal variety of prices is not related to how saturated the game world is with money.

K, so you want a more realistic economy for the sake of realism and without it affecting the player much. Plz explain to me why this is a good idea and how you can justify spending ressources on it for implementation/ balancing.

 

In my view, all RPG settings should be designed in a manner that's viable for a sandbox-style experience; that to me is the sign of an adequately developed game world. Most games might not end up as sandboxes, but that's not an excuse to cut corners in world design in my personal opinion.

Also, justify making a gameworld intended for sandbox games in, say, a game as linear as Icewind Dale.

 

Those are the general effects of regional pricing, and many of the supposed negative side-effects you've argued apply equally to other factors that create immersion and wonder.

I've asked for examples here, and I still do.

 

One counter-example should suffice: I feel immersed when a gameworld's religions are well developed. Religion does not usually affect balance and it doesn't cause you to become stuck.

 

Herp derp.

 

 

The rest of your arguments operate under biased assumptions, such as the notion that players put so much emphasis on mindlessly optimizing the crap out of everything in RPGs that they are incapable of carrying out cost-benefit analyses, along with those I mentioned in my previous post.

I countered this on many levels, just recently as I said when the game is hard, it does force players to optimize, it's not their choice.

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K, so you want a more realistic economy for the sake of realism and without it affecting the player much. Plz explain to me why this is a good idea and how you can justify spending ressources on it for implementation/ balancing.

 

It improves the player's experience of the world unless you are a mindless drone who thinks that money only exists to show how much progress your character has made, in which case GTFO from RPGs pl0x.

 

Also, justify making a gameworld intended for sandbox games in, say, a game as linear as Icewind Dale.

Believable narratives may be linear, but believable worlds are not. A world designed to be linear doesn't feel immersive, whereas a world that is merely constrained to linearity after it has been designed otherwise, due to narrative considerations, can feel immersive. But please, feel free to try creating a linear world that seems convincing in any manner.

 

I've asked for examples here, and I still do.

 

One counter-example should suffice: I feel immersed when a gameworld's religions are well developed. Religion does not usually affect balance and it doesn't cause you to become stuck.

Once again, you show that you're incapable of making valid comparisons in the context of this discussion; balance is a quantitative thing and arguing that things like religion don't affect it is stating the obvious (and irrelevant). Not that I should really have to clarify this, but I never said that all of the mechanics that influence immersion have all of the same effects (this would mean that they are identical mechanics), but instead that many of the effects you claim do apply to some other mechanics that influence immersion. Scroll up to where you cited such negative side effects, and you'll find your examples. Regional pricing by itself does not "cause you to become stuck", and if you reply by simply regurgitating the same contrived, assumption-laden example over again, then I'm simply going to ignore you.

 

I countered this on many levels, just recently as I said when the game is hard, it does force players to optimize, it's not their choice.

Again, this isn't about making the game objectively harder. It makes the game slightly more complex, but this has nothing to do with how much money the player has to spend. Another assumption with which you can't quite part...

Edited by mcmanusaur

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K, so you want a more realistic economy for the sake of realism and without it affecting the player much. Plz explain to me why this is a good idea and how you can justify spending ressources on it for implementation/ balancing.

 

It improves the player's experience of the world unless you are a mindless drone who thinks that money only exists to show how much progress your character has made, in which case GTFO from RPGs pl0x.

 

Thx for playing, but you didn't answer the question.

 

 

Also, justify making a gameworld intended for sandbox games in, say, a game as linear as Icewind Dale.

 

Believable narratives may be linear, but believable worlds are not. A world designed to be linear doesn't feel immersive, whereas a world that is merely constrained to linearity due to narrative considerations can feel immersive.

Do you realize how subjective immersion is?

 

 

Once again, you show that you're incapable of making valid comparisons in the context of this discussion; balance is a quantitative thing and arguing that things like religion don't affect it is stating the obvious (and irrelevant).

 

1. you claim that regional pricing works exactly like all other mechanics that create immersion

 

2. I ask you for examples

 

3. you claim that comparing regional pricing to other mechanics is irrelevant

 

 

Stop stealing both of our lifetimes plz.

 

 

Suggestion: try making a good case for regional pricing in games rather than trying to attack criticism of the same (at which you're unsuccesful).

Edited by Sacred_Path

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Thx for playing, but you didn't answer the question.

It's justified in the same manner as any other mechanic that might add to immersion; either people want it (because they want more immersion) or they don't (because they're more concerned about gamism or something silly like that).

 

Do you realize how subjective immersion is?

I would assume the fact that geography doesn't work in a linear manner is a matter of immersion that 95% of us can agree on.

 

1. you claim that regional pricing works exactly like all other mechanics that create immersion

 

2. I ask you for examples

 

3. you claim that comparing regional pricing to other mechanics is irrelevant

 

Stop stealing both of our lifetimes plz.

 

1. I never claimed that, and I even clarified in my last post that you were misinterpreting what I said, which is- for the third time- that regional pricing has the same general effect (i.e. creating immersion) as many other mechanics, and that many of your arguments against it also apply to those other mechanics. And yet, you still claim that's what I'm arguing! I guess that makes you the idiot here, hmm?

 

If one mechanic worked exactly like another mechanic, they would be the same mechanic, so no, that's not what I'm arguing. Now thank you for your valuable contribution to the conversation.

 

2. I told you where to find your examples already.

 

3. Yes, religion is irrelevant to a discussion on regional pricing. Or would you like to waste more of my time by contesting this?

 

 

Suggestion: try making a good case for regional pricing in games rather than trying to attack criticism of the same (at which you're unsuccesful).

 

Irritated counter-suggestion: L2Logic

Edited by mcmanusaur

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You're a much better troll when you're trying to be serious btw. "I want a realistic economy with regional pricing where you're just flooded with gold!"

 

:ban:

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83b.png

 

Note how nowhere in this thread have I said anything about wanting anything other than the usual amount of money, which neither qualifies as "out of money and likely to get stuck" or as "flooded with gold". But of course you would again pigeonhole my argument into one or both extremes; I'm not sure what else I expected honestly.

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Sacred_Path... I don't understand why you insist upon taking extremely specific factor values for granted in every one of your arguments.

 

You're basically arguing that the entire idea of location-based price fluctuation is bad, because of possibilities that you're just assuming are definites for some unknown reason.

 

"Omg... if you hear prices may be cheaper on swords in a mining town, and you just drop everything you're doing and, for absolutely no other reason than you hope to possibly maybe get a better price on swords, travel through miles of frozen tundra and deathclaws, armed with only a small metal wisk as a weapon, only to discover that the prices were only 3% cheaper, then you'd have to backtrack that whole way, STILL without having accomplished anything beyond discovering the actual price of swords in that mining town. Hence, price differences = bad."

 

I mean, obviously you couldn't, like, weigh the risk and trouble of traveling so far with nothing else to accomplish there against the mere possibility that a price could be lower to some unspecified extent. You'd be COMPELLED to travel there, because you're a player, and that makes you inherently incapable of rational thought. "OMG! I could save MUNNY?! MUST PUT SELF THROUGH HELL TO FIND OUT!"

 

I don't understand why that's the unquestioned definite here. Everything you've pointed out is something that might happen, and you act as though it's not dependent upon ridiculous, ridiculous factors. Like it's just the norm. Why would anyone NOT travel to the mining town? Or wait until they actually need to head that direction? Or why would the game world possibly be built so that there were CLOSER towns that had cheaper prices on things?

 

There's no need to insist upon sticking to worst-case scenarios when making arguments in this discussion.

  • Like 3

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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macman, you're obviously a person with special needs and a lot of suppressed anger. Have you tried posting on the Codex?

 

 

 

Sacred_Path... I don't understand why you insist upon taking extremely specific factor values for granted in every one of your arguments.

 

You're basically arguing that the entire idea of location-based price fluctuation is bad, because of possibilities that you're just assuming are definites for some unknown reason.

 

"Omg... if you hear prices may be cheaper on swords in a mining town, and you just drop everything you're doing and, for absolutely no other reason than you hope to possibly maybe get a better price on swords, travel through miles of frozen tundra and deathclaws, armed with only a small metal wisk as a weapon, only to discover that the prices were only 3% cheaper, then you'd have to backtrack that whole way, STILL without having accomplished anything beyond discovering the actual price of swords in that mining town. Hence, price differences = bad."

 

I mean, obviously you couldn't, like, weigh the risk and trouble of traveling so far with nothing else to accomplish there against the mere possibility that a price could be lower to some unspecified extent. You'd be COMPELLED to travel there, because you're a player, and that makes you inherently incapable of rational thought. "OMG! I could save MUNNY?! MUST PUT SELF THROUGH HELL TO FIND OUT!"

 

I don't understand why that's the unquestioned definite here. Everything you've pointed out is something that might happen, and you act as though it's not dependent upon ridiculous, ridiculous factors. Like it's just the norm. Why would anyone NOT travel to the mining town? Or wait until they actually need to head that direction? Or why would the game world possibly be built so that there were CLOSER towns that had cheaper prices on things?

 

There's no need to insist upon sticking to worst-case scenarios when making arguments in this discussion.

You see, what I'm missing in your post too, as I've also said above, is a good argument as to why regional pricing should even be in any RPG. I suggest someone should try to make a good point for that so that there is actually a basis for discussion.

 

I've played RPGs with price differences, and I've never enjoyed them, and there isn't a single thing about my play experience that I can point at and say, "you know, that sword being twice as pricey in the first town than it was in the starting village? That really made my day/ challenged me profoundly".

 

You find my example of you scrambling towards one specific town unrealistic; but if regional pricing is in the game, this will/ should be more or less subtly signaled to the player ("GOODS MIGHT JUST BE CHEAPER WHERE THE RAW MATERIALS FOR SAID GOODS ARE HARVESTED"). Obviously, this will have an influence on where you go - unless the game is completely linear, in which case I would see even less of a need for such a mechanic. I didn't say your party would try to reach a place that's so far off you can imagine they aren't of a sufficient level to reach it; that's your conjecture, not mine. What I did imply is that, even if that location is somewhat close, you may very likely run into some combat, with all the ressource-sapping that entails. And it's a simplistic example, but not for the fact that there aren't any others coming to mind.

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macman, you're obviously a person with special needs and a lot of suppressed anger.

 

3si2e0.jpg

 

Have you tried posting on the Codex?

Nope. Last time I checked it out RPGCodex just looked like a place where people obsess over Bioware and flame each other over who's been on the forum the longest, and where discussion of theory is very limited.

 

You see, what I'm missing in your post too, as I've also said above, is a good argument as to why regional pricing should even be in any RPG. I suggest someone should try to make a good point for that so that there is actually a basis for discussion.

I think that in the interest of the discussion having a chance to move forward, we might just leave it at "other people have a few reasons why they think regional pricing could be in the game, but Sacred_Path doesn't see any of those as valid" rather than continue arguing when you clearly insisting on framing the question very differently.

 

I've played RPGs with price differences, and I've never enjoyed them, and there isn't a single thing about my play experience that I can point at and say, "you know, that sword being twice as pricey in the first town than it was in the starting village? That really made my day/ challenged me profoundly".

Here you go completely misrepresenting the essence of this suggestion YET AGAIN... No one has asked for 200% costs, and in the end of the day the goal is for the player to think to his/her self: "Hey, the local price of stuff sort of makes intuitive sense based on geography. It's kinda cool that the setting takes such steps for the sake of immersion. It doesn't revolutionize the nature of the game, but it's a nice touch."

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You see, what I'm missing in your post too, as I've also said above, is a good argument as to why regional pricing should even be in any RPG. I suggest someone should try to make a good point for that so that there is actually a basis for discussion.

 

I dunno. Why should anything at all vary in an RPG? Why should we have both rapiers AND broadswords? Why should this bandit drop 5 gold, and that bandit drop 1 gold? Why should one quest that might earn you 500 gold only exist in city A, while some other quest that only earns you some faction reputation boost exists in city B?

 

If you can't figure it out without some kind of specific explanation from me, then I'm not really sure how much good an explanation is going to do, besides just give you something else to deny any value to.

 

"That has absolutely no reason whatsoever to even be in the game, and performs absolutely no function" isn't even a remotely rational argument, as whether or not something like this (a simple factor variation) affects game mechanics in oodles of ways isn't even a question. Now, arguing that the cons outweigh the pros... that's at least a rational stance. And I'm all ears. You've done a bit of that stance already, so I'm not sure what purpose falling back on "Wait... MAYBE THAT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ANY REASON FOR BEING IN ANY GAME, EVER, IN THE FIRST PLACE?! 8D!" serves.

 

I don't even comprehend that question. That's like asking someone "Why would anyone even come up with the notion of painting something blue, instead of any other color?". As if it's obvious prices aren't a thing that varies. I suppose they vary in real life just to adhere to realism, eh? Not because of actual factors and such. Just like Rapiers and Broadswords differ JUST BECAUSE! There's actually no reason whatsoever. They don't affect anything, except our subjective liking of realism. And reality, itself, only does things because realism. Why do I try not to eat poison? Realism. Why does my arm heal when it gets cut? So life can be immersive.

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I dunno. Why should anything at all vary in an RPG? Why should we have both rapiers AND broadswords?

Blargh

 

If you can't figure it out without some kind of specific explanation from me, then I'm not really sure how much good an explanation is going to do, besides just give you something else to deny any value to.

I'm not completely ruling out that there is something truly useful about regional pricing, why are you?

 

"That has absolutely no reason whatsoever to even be in the game, and performs absolutely no function" isn't even a remotely rational argument, as whether or not something like this (a simple factor variation) affects game mechanics in oodles of ways isn't even a question. Now, arguing that the cons outweigh the pros... that's at least a rational stance. And I'm all ears. You've done a bit of that stance already, so I'm not sure what purpose falling back on "Wait... MAYBE THAT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ANY REASON FOR BEING IN ANY GAME, EVER, IN THE FIRST PLACE?! 8D!" serves.

 

I don't even comprehend that question. That's like asking someone "Why would anyone even come up with the notion of painting something blue, instead of any other color?". As if it's obvious prices aren't a thing that varies. I suppose they vary in real life just to adhere to realism, eh? Not because of actual factors and such. Just like Rapiers and Broadswords differ JUST BECAUSE! There's actually no reason whatsoever. They don't affect anything, except our subjective liking of realism. And reality, itself, only does things because realism. Why do I try not to eat poison? Realism. Why does my arm heal when it gets cut? So life can be immersive.

So let me rephrase the question: do you think there is anything useful about regional pricing other than for immersion purposes? Because if not, then yes, we just have different subjective preferences. I'll always be an advocate for at least trying to balance all elements of an RPG as well as possible, but I know some people don't derive joy from that. So as long as they don't speak out for putting it into a game I'm actually interested in, I don't have any problems with their opinion.

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Didn't read the first pages of this thread, so pardon me if my arguments might not be new.

But I could imagine that for role playing purposes it would be nice to notice that you are in a frontier town and from the hunch that you might get a good price for your weapons start to sell them. This might still count as immersion but it is different from simply noticing "Oh, cool the prices are different everywhere" (which I find lacking as a reason as well).

 

Also, if money is really scarce (on higher difficulties) it could even make sense to actively research price differences and make a map of what's expensive where.

 

I would say it is a feature with limited value, but also something that wouldn't be difficult to implement. At least as long as you don't make regonal prices dynamic.

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So let me rephrase the question: do you think there is anything useful about regional pricing other than for immersion purposes? Because if not, then yes, we just have different subjective preferences. I'll always be an advocate for at least trying to balance all elements of an RPG as well as possible, but I know some people don't derive joy from that. So as long as they don't speak out for putting it into a game I'm actually interested in, I don't have any problems with their opinion.

Fair enough (though I'm still unsure why you "blargh"ed at that first quote).

 

I'll start by saying that I can't really think of anything, off the top of my head, that's added "just for immersion." Well, maybe like... animated grass and trees. But, nothing that directly affects gameplay systems and mechanics. Look at the sword variety thing. We DERIVED that from reality, but not for realism's sake. The purpose of a rapier and a broadsword both existing in the game as options for the same weapon type (sword) is so that the specifics of your weapon can have variance in the midst of the field of other factors that the specifics of your weapon affects.

 

So, yes, I do see value in regional pricing, as it provides you the option of using your information-gathering capabilities, as well as your decision-making capabilities, to potentially utilize your funds/resources to greater or lesser efficiency. It is to finances as weapon-type is to combat. Enough damage will get you through combat, and enough money will get you through the game. But which weapon you have and how, exactly, you use it, against varied foes and encounters, can alter the short-term efficiency/outcome of individual battles or sets of battles. In fact, if you look beyond just money as "cost," and include all resources, it's almost a direct comparison. You just spent less (in HP/durability/healing items/trekking-back-to-rest-spot-time, etc.), because of your decisions, than you would've spent had you made OTHER decisions. Maybe you see a group of super-tough trolls protecting a cave. Maybe you can beat them just fine, but it's going to cost you. Well, maybe you say "Let's wait 'til we all have more armor-piercing capabilities to try those trolls" (Example trolls are heavily-armored, apparently). So you forego the trolls and the cave for now, but you come back later, and dispatch them much more efficiently (with much less resource cost) than you would have.

 

So, yeah, that's why I asked "why should ANYTHING vary in an RPG?" Maybe it seemed like a silly question, but, I'm honestly not sure how to explain the inherent value of variance. Not without moderation, of course, but even moderation has to be moderated, :). Part of the principle of an RPG is dealing with factors outside of your character's control, while using factors that are within your character's control. You react to the game world's factors, and the game world reacts to your factors. Well, you're changing your factors, and it's reacting accordingly. Why shouldn't it do the same, and have you react accordingly?

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Blargh

 

Pretty much what everybody's thinking about this discussion right now, I reckon.

 

I think there are certain people whose opinions are now known, and there are still plenty of people who didn't voice theirs, so maybe give them some room instead of filling the thread with endless bickering.

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