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Difficulty Thoughts: Merchants with Limited Gold & High Level Loot

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My first playthrough of BG1 was horrendous, no prior knowledge of D&D or attribute rolling therefore a 14str fighter who was very charismatic and rather wise lol, it took me a second attempt to complete the game during which I did kill Drizzt with the wand of summoning without looking at a guide which gave me a huge feeling of satisfaction :devil:.

 

Back on topic though, I have no problem with the second city having better gear than the first if it makes sense from a gameworld point of view however I would like to be able to travel mostly anywhere from the start of the game which would make a linear progression of items in shops impossible as the gameworld shouldn't be linear like a JRPG.

 

Anyway regarding equipment seeing as we are working within a +1 to +3 scale perhaps the different tactical opportunities differing status/elemental effects and damage types provide should outweigh the need to upgrade everyone's equipment to +3s meaning that interesting unique items will have differing levels of viabilities for different playstyles/party compositions.

 

Most importantly they do not become meaningless as soon as a "better" weapon comes along and will always have a "niche" use, I'm thinking of the blade of roses or the dragonbane gear from BG2, this seems like it could tie in well with the additional equipment slots certain classes get.

 

So to summarise I would like to see interesting unique items in shops that are priced exorbitantly high, can't get past that trolls cave? perhaps 30k for a flaming sword+1 now seems like a decent buy etc..

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All this talk about +1 and +2 weapons/gear (Which, if I recall correctly, is not going to be visually represented in the PE game like it is in the IE games) gives me ideas and a bit of a "Quest Request":

There should be a merchant that sells a +1 weapon, perhaps even throw in some dialogue in there. Make a joke out of it "I have this +1 Sword here! Buy it!" (in fact it's just as good as a regular Sword). The merchant is just trying to scam you :p

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First off, I'm happy we can sell our loot to every merchant. Hated it that I had to find the right merchant for that in P:T =(

 

And then, I got quite scared by Indira's post, be then she (he?) expanded upon that. I can't really chime in this discussion, since I don't have that much experience, but I think whatever will be done, it should be properly balanced (like always). If there's tons of loot, then it also can't be that special/expensive when selling it. If you go the route with almost no route, then the items we find should be exceptional.

 

I don't wanna have to get a game editor to conjure myself some items and/or potions only so I can progress through the game :p

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No need to be scared, I just expressed my opinion, which came across as a bit more loot-scroungy and hardcore than I intended. If they manage to get to the balance of BG 1 (the original, not the EE, and not those kill/loot the Drizzt exploit), I'm more than happy. :) 


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

 

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How many back designed items are we getting? I don't think lack of loot will be a issue but balancing those will be tricky.

I'm sure they've gotta have some kind of regulation on those, for balancing purposes. Otherwise, everyone could just design The Magical Weapon of +7,000,000, and the devs would just have to shrug and tweak the entire system to work with those item designs.

 

I don't think balancing will be too big of a deal with those. It's no different than if they had designed them themselves, in terms of deciding where to make them available and where to put them, etc.


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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Just found this thread in random searching.

I don't mind merchants having limited gold at any one time - but it was kind of silly in NWN2 OC that a merchant never seemed to do any business with anyone else (never got any more money) and even if I bought something, it didn't add to the merchant's supply of gold.  "The merchant has no money for that 32gp gem" - after I just bought a 100gp item.

 

So if merchants are to have limited gold, it should take account of what we buy and also slowly recoup over time as the merchant does other business.

 

I'd also like to avoid the endgame millionaire status - so limited loot is fine by me - as long as it balances with game economy.

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I played an interesting immersive mod for Baldur's Gate, it made the "Iron Crisis" more authentic to the story as well as items broke more easily as well. A Short Sword cost like 150 gold, and sold for maybe 10. In the original experience you buy a Short Sword for maybe 5 gold and sell it for like 2.

 

How is that more immersive? Not being able to sell items for even a fraction of their value is not something I like.

 

 

 

 

 

As much as I like casual bouts with ARPGs now and then, I want PE almost to be the opposite as far as loot and gold go:

-Less money available/acquirable (whatever the currencies)

-Less weapons/armour a/a

-No potions and no scrolls a/a (at least they should be extremely rare, treasures in their own right, not fast-food ketchup bags and toilet paper)

 

A bit problem with consumables has always been - when to use them.

If it's extremely rare, you're gonna keep it for emergencies, but that emergency will never be "dire enough" to use it (especially given save+load).

You're probably going to think "but the next fight is probably going to be harder, I shouldn't use this yet".

Either that or you'll forget you had that scroll of awesome.

 

 

That a problem I've run into even when such items are plentifull.

 

Common, but weak - meh, can go without it, better sell for monies

Rare, but powerful - I'm gonna use this in the next fight. Really I will.

 

 

 

-High level loot should be a/a almost as an exception to the rule, if not only for the reason that it's annoying to get the message: You're not of the required level to use this item."

 

NO.

No.

A million nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooos.

 

Level restrictions on items are the work of Satan.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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You know what would be cool?

Not being able to identify magic items easily.

As in, you can only tell it's magical, but not much more. As you wield it, you slowly discover it's attributes as they come into play.

You'd discover the sword grants you a 10% magic resistance bonus the first time someone slings a spell at the character wielding it.

 

This would also open the possibiltiy for merchants to "rip you off" or you ripping them off, since few would be able to accurately judge/identify the weapon.

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I do hope that the items are more along the lines of  bronze < iron < steel < masterwork (including silver edged for lycanthropes) < mithril < adamantine

 

God, I hope not. That's way too many materials to be creadibly used in the same period.

 

Once you get steel, you don't use bronze anymore, since steel is better in EVERY WAY.

So you can either have only 2-3 different materials of increasing quality TOPS.

Aside form that, you can have materials that aren't necessarily better...just different. Like silver.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I do hope that the items are more along the lines of  bronze < iron < steel < masterwork (including silver edged for lycanthropes) < mithril < adamantine

 

God, I hope not. That's way too many materials to be creadibly used in the same period.

 

Once you get steel, you don't use bronze anymore, since steel is better in EVERY WAY.

So you can either have only 2-3 different materials of increasing quality TOPS.

Aside form that, you can have materials that aren't necessarily better...just different. Like silver.

 

 

So maybe "only" Steel -> Masterwork -> Valyrian Steel -> Mithril ...and then any of those could be magical.

Though if it takes a lot of cash and effort to magify stuff, maybe it'd mostly be masterwork and forward.

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I think limiting yourself to real world credibility with regard to usage for materials is rather...limiting.  You are saying bronze is worse than steel in every way yet don't blink an eye at a guy who throws fireballs out of his hands?

 

We can very easily have bronze, iron, steel etc and have them all compete with each other once we layer any kind of magical forging on top. Maybe different metals conduct magic differently, maybe certain metals simply will not work with magic at all.  For all we know steel armor might be great at stopping the lead ball from a firearm while being less effective than a bronze armor at stopping a fireball from setting you on fire.

 

I know I'd be very disappointed if every weapon in the game was steel this, steel that, steel steel steel just because steel is stronger and everything else is pointless.

 

Then we could also mix in the various races and their use of different materials.  Maybe the Glanfathans use primarily lesser metals but are generally magically imbued in some way or maybe Orlans use Bronze because it is easier to mine where they are and over time their Bronze is Masterwork and considered the equal of at least Iron.

 

With a fantasy setting you can make up pretty much whatever you want so long as you have some form of readily usable magic in the setting.

 

I'd rather see that type of variety than everywhere just being Iron, Masterwork iron, Steel, Masterwork Steel and Mithril.

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Well, we don't get any durability in any form anymore, so, that nips a lot of material-variance factors in the bud. *saddy face*

 

I think limiting yourself to real world credibility with regard to usage for materials is rather...limiting.  You are saying bronze is worse than steel in every way yet don't blink an eye at a guy who throws fireballs out of his hands?

Just for what it's worth, this isn't a very useful point. Fire is fire, whether it was magically created or some mutant guy was born with chemical glands in his wrists that react when mixed to ignite into jets of flame.

 

Magic is, fundamentally, a fictional method of manipulating regular physics. Even teleportation and inter-dimensional gateways are all within the realm of theoretical possibilities within real-world science. Magic doesn't somehow ruin everything or throw everything out the window. It's just a fictional phenomenon.

 

That being said:

 

We can very easily have bronze, iron, steel etc and have them all compete with each other once we layer any kind of magical forging on top. Maybe different metals conduct magic differently, maybe certain metals simply will not work with magic at all.  For all we know steel armor might be great at stopping the lead ball from a firearm while being less effective than a bronze armor at stopping a fireball from setting you on fire.

Excellent suggestion. ^_^

 

Also, just to clarify, I was only commenting on the idea of "why should we worry so much about the accuracy of material/physics relationships when MAGIC?!", because I see that particular argument made quite often around here. Of course, I realize that you may have just meant "bronze might be PHYSICALLY inferior to other metals, but maybe it could be superior in certain ways when you add magical affinity into the mix."

 

AKA, I was commenting on those words, just in case, but am not necessarily saying "THAT'S ALL YOU COULD'VE MEANT, AND YOU'RE WRONG!".

Edited by Lephys
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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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If we had item degradation in, then it'd be a cool mechanic to have weaker Bronze swords as more powerfully/easily magical.  It'd make a pro/con balance for items with less durability.

But since it's not it, I can't see the point (other than not wanting 'steel' , 'Valyrian steel' , 'Detroit steel' etc).

So I'm fine with 'steel' , 'masterwork steel' and 'adamantine'/'myrthil'/whatever fictional but rare uber-metal as a 3-tier system with only the top 2 being enchantable (or perhaps they're all enchantable but the top 2 can take more enchantments - that might be better).

Then differentiating weapons by a good balance of power and other effects makes for enough variety.


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I think limiting yourself to real world credibility with regard to usage for materials is rather...limiting.  You are saying bronze is worse than steel in every way yet don't blink an eye at a guy who throws fireballs out of his hands?

 

 

 

OH please. Not the "it's fantasy, so anything goes" card.

Just because it's fantasy doesn't mean it has to be brainless. I want even fantasy worlds to make sense - and that means it's inhabitants should act with at least a minimum of common sense.

 

Yes, I say it is stupid because copper, bronze, iron and steel and known things. They exist in RL and their properties are known. Hence why using copper or bronze when iron is readily available is silly.

You don't make a credible work by making people act like retards.

 

 

 

 

We can very easily have bronze, iron, steel etc and have them all compete with each other once we layer any kind of magical forging on top. Maybe different metals conduct magic differently, maybe certain metals simply will not work with magic at all.  For all we know steel armor might be great at stopping the lead ball from a firearm while being less effective than a bronze armor at stopping a fireball from setting you on fire.

 

Highly doubtful, given that steel has a higher melting point.

Not to mention you are now just adding weakneses/bonuses for the sole sake of having more materials.

 

Which b.t.w., could be any materials, so I don't know why you insist on already known materials instead of just inventing more fictional ones. Besides, what exactly does pointlesly adding more materials add?

 

What exaclty is the difference between "steel, masterwork steel, mithril" and "bronze, steel, mithril"? Other then making less sense, the only difference is the name.

 

 

I know I'd be very disappointed if every weapon in the game was steel this, steel that, steel steel steel just because steel is stronger and everything else is pointless.

 

Not necessarily.

The vast majority of weapons in IE games were steel. Yet there were still other metals used.

Like starmetal, mithril or silver.

 

It makes sense. Even if you have multiple materials, one will come up on top in terms of availabiltiy and overall performance, and thus be the most common.

 

 

 

With a fantasy setting you can make up pretty much whatever you want so long as you have some form of readily usable magic in the setting.

 

I'd rather see that type of variety than everywhere just being Iron, Masterwork iron, Steel, Masterwork Steel and Mithril.

 

Fine, then people will eat trough their nostrils, far fireballs, drink with forks (because the shape of the spoon conducts less magic), people will cheer you when you call them idiots and proclaim you will kill them all, and while were at it, lords and generals magical items that can end all existence out in the open with just a single guard.

Edited by TrashMan
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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I'm not a big fan of having different material types in IE type games, especially pointless ones like is it bronze or steel.  Limit it to the occasional silver weapon whose advantage is that it can hurt specific monsters or using mithril as an excuse to have lighter armour and that's it.  Just my humble opinion, save the special materials for when enchanting stuff.


"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

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Just read through this entire topic... lots of interesting thoughts. Definitely some ideas worth thinking about.

 

My 2 cents... I'd really like it if there was an option that would randomise the location of everything but the most 'quintessential' items (Lord However will still have Lord However's Sword of Thrashing.... maybe the location of Lord However could be randomised too??). It would stop the game becoming a quest to work out the shortest pathing between new loot.

 

In terms of how this affects the difficulty, it would stop you knowing what event you are about to run into... are you prepared yet? Do you need a new strategy as you lack this item or that staff.

 

Wandering merchants and a pool of events and items that can be randomised would add a nice amount of difficulty and a different play style each time (and I think this should be a 'toggle' option so that you can have all the loot and events placed where the devs designed if you want).

 

Again, just my 2 cents.

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I suppose I'll just add mine and duck before the chair hits me  ;)

 

- I would personally prefer if money was difficult to get hold of. Limited money supply at a given vendor seems more than reasonable. (Who would carry 5000 gp around? Really, you are just asking to be robbed!). That said I don't think that putting a hard cap on what could possibly be earned in a chapter (to use Baldurs Gate terms) is a good idea. So I fully support the idea that vendors would after a given time have restrocked their supplies and money. 

 

 

- A thing I particularly liked about Baldurs gate, and later games was that the loot they droped was the loot they used. I really hope that this is continued.

I have always been slightly saddened to see fully geared enemies attack, and when I finally manage to beat them all they give is 15XP and a pocket full of gold. I don't expect "piles of loot" or magical treasures in abundance, but, giving us their gear is fair, I think.

Thus, if magical weapons are rare then we will also rarely meet them and it will still not be decidedly 'unfair' (for the player, in combat against a given enemy). That said I am not saying I think magical weapons should be rare, I would lay that at the feet of the setting, but like some of the others here I would like my game to be a challenge. I may be stretching the goal of the thread by adding this but; When the difficulty is such that you will have to ally yourself with people you might not like or agree with is about the right difficulty for me. Assembling a group of proficient and like-minded individuals is a privilage not a given.

 

 

- Don't tier gear. Please please please! I don't want to run around for two hours finding copper, then bronze and finally iron. Understand me right, I don't mind or care if there is copper, bronze and iron in the game and that these are inferior or superior to each other - what I don't like is constantly fighting thugs with only low-level gear because you (the player) was low-level. If the place you start is some dump in the middle of no-where and there are copper-mines in the area then fine, I'll buy it, but having a given tier drop just because of your character level is just wrong.

I found (and still find) it in large part annoying and un-immersive to be ambushed by copperknife-wielding thugs at the city gates at level 1, and at level 10 in the same place the very same thugs (or their brothers) are attacking again, and behold, this time they raided the weaponcloset and took the Dragon-horn longbow and arrows of slaying.

 

 

Those are my thoughts on the matter.

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This may be crazy, but... what if many shopkeepers (or all, to abstractly make it simpler, even though some probably wouldn't) had, I dunno... lines of credit with local banking establishments? Or something of that nature. So, if they've only got, say, 200gp on them (arbitrary example numbers), then the further you go above 200gp with the value of whatever you're trying to sell to them, the less they'll give you for it (because they've got to borrow that much more money to make the immediate purchase, even if they're confident they can sell the item to make a profit, because they THEN have to pay back their borrowed money with interest.)?

 

The specifics aren't really that important, because, in the game, it would just translate into "The more valuable that thing is when I don't have enough money, the less I'm going to give you for it." Mechanically/functionally, it's kind of a compromise between "The merchant has no more money with which to pay you!" and "The merchant has INFINITE MONEY! 8D!".

 

If you really need the money, you can sell that 700gp gemstone you found for 400gp. OR, you can go find some merchant who has more money on-hand, and get more for it (at the cost of more effort/wait on your part). But, you don't have that super hard cap of "I'm just out of money 'cause you sold me like 2 things."

 

Because, the problem with the hard cap seems to be "how do you adhere to verisimilitude and still provide the player with a means to reasonably sell things when he values money over found goods?"

 

*shrug*. Just a thought. I'm honestly a fan of the hard cap. I just think a softer cap might be easier to make work without it either being completely unbelievable/problematic (the merchants all have like 3000gp, or restock all their money every single day, or vice-versa and you can hardly ever sell anything), thus defeating the point of the existence of the cap in the first place.

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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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"Oh you want to have a special order? Well, I'll see what I can do."

<player selects special order>

"Why don't you come back in a week, I think your order will be done then!"

 

How about that for higher tier sales?

Likewise if you have something to sell that is expensive, you can announce your intent to sell, and the shop owner will either say it's too expensive or tell you it will be back later with your money. (And maybe some bodyguards)

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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"Oh you want to have a special order? Well, I'll see what I can do."

<player selects special order>

"Why don't you come back in a week, I think your order will be done then!"

 

How about that for higher tier sales?

Likewise if you have something to sell that is expensive, you can announce your intent to sell, and the shop owner will either say it's too expensive or tell you it will be back later with your money. (And maybe some bodyguards)

So long as it's not 10 game-days later (waiting for the money) during which I've nothing to fill that time that doesn't involve travelling half the map away to do an entire dungeon (when my top-pack is full and I need the money for more arrows anyway), then this sounds like a reasonable solution.  (If it's the former, you just end up resting to advance time and it seems silly).  A day or 2 though sounds ok.

+ I like the addition of the bodyguards to safeguard the money.

 

A week wait on a special weapon/armour to buy is ok though since I can still go adventuring without it.


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*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

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First of all, I like to discuss a higher difficulty (theme of the thread and my thoughts):

 

http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/73030347037/merchants-will-poi-feature-thematic-bg-and-iwd-like

 

Josh says it all I guess.

 

Do you think limited gold is an interesting feature? I think it works well in Fallout & TES games. Though, the only thing it affects is early game really (tends to be a slower early game). But I also think that if it is balanced properly (combined with a harsher and harder economy) it could make the game more difficult for a harder difficulty experience.

 

I played an interesting immersive mod for Baldur's Gate, it made the "Iron Crisis" more authentic to the story as well as items broke more easily as well. A Short Sword cost like 150 gold, and sold for maybe 10. In the original experience you buy a Short Sword for maybe 5 gold and sell it for like 2. 

 

High Level Loot:

 

Likewise, I think that if some High-Level Loot is not available, or loot in general is scarce across the game, it'd make the game more difficult as well.

 

Combine Limited Gold, High Cost Items, Less Loot Drops or Unavailable Loot Placements, and you get a more difficult experience.

 

Thoughts?

 

I think there should be possible earning fortunes and obtaining powerfull and unique loot. But not for free! It should come through dedication, hard work and over time! For many - incl. me - riches is a way of measuring success in a game. And then having chances of using your obtained treasures for something! But then, thats just me, and im always the dandy in any rpg :D

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I want to see a barter trade system added.

Yes god works but trading x.y.z items for lets say f.g.h items would be good.

 

Or quests where if you collected several things i will trade this item for them.

 

You could make it region based. A shortage of one time is worth more in that location than another. Or you will find people in colder places value oil and animal furs more than in a hotter a place.

 

Item trade would be more common in rural location than cities.

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One thing i loved about BG over other rpg's was the fact once you killed a guy and looted his stuff it was actually what you saw him wear before you killed him. Unlike other random drop systems.

U see a archer with leathers. Then you looted the guy of his leathers and hide.

 

But it would be nice to have the armour you looted damaged from your attacks so you needed access to the skills to repair it later

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Building a bit on what Darthdraken mentioned above, having to actually have your armor fitted for your character might be another way to make life difficult for the player (I mean that in a good way mind you, hardship builds character). After blasing some poor fellow with a fireball and pelting him with arrows his armor and items are likely not in the best of condition, and you would have to be extrodinarily lucky that the armor he wore fits you like a glove.

 

What I would propose is that you can wear the armor (I assume that most adventueres can do a bit of fitting on the fly) but until you take it to a smithy/tailor and get it fitted, your newly aquired armor has some minuses.

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