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Be it rumor dispensers or loot drop-off points (or even just a "trade" button attached to some NPC or other", I think merchants and shops could stand to get some attention and personality.

 

 

While I guess there won't be any "not buying x" types of deals you could have different things be worth different prices to people?

 

There could be some rules, traits or themes certain shops have, not even necessarily affecting the player, like a sign in front telling you to wipe your boots on the doormat before entering. Interesting shops like Sorcerous sundries, Lucky Aello's Discount Store and Adventurer's Mart come to mind.

 

There could be some advertisement going on for the bigger shops, like the criers in the BG line. Or the merchants could just be shouting at you when you pass their booth.

 

Going from there, merchants could have some comments on the stuff they're selling, beyond just "my goods are awesome". Perhaps when you click on the fancy flaming hammer you could get a line or two about where the merchant got it or how he it can shatter a dragon's claw. There was a shop with something like this in PS:T I believe? Same thing could be applied after you buy it instead. Or when you talk to him the first time he points you to the items that he wants to sell the most. Maybe in a different shop they try to push on you that overpriced golden adventurer gear.

 

How about some "scams", too. I'm sure you've seen some telecommercials with plenty of half truths and distractions to "technically not trick you" into buying stuff. Conversely it's possible that the dented worn mace you bought for cheap turns out to be a fairly good wand or something.

 

Some merchants could be into good customer service and offering discounts and deals for frequent partons.

 

 

I think stuff like this would improve the feeling of connection of the world and the economy, even without such extensive consequences as the iron shortage in BG.

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Making merchants more than loot drop-off/equipment buying/quest giving points would enrich the game, though there is of course a certain comfort in knowing that there is a reliable place for loot drop-off/equipment buying available.


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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  • A shopkeep you have traded with on several occasions suddenly says his stock is severely depleted due to some recent robberies. You get a much smaller selection as a result, and his pool of gold is lower. You can offer to investigate.

A few village stores could offer special one-time deals due to a recent shipment. You get to shop a broader assortment for a few days.

After some time, a peddler of useful potions and trinkets moves on and is no longer available.

A merchant is looking to wed off his daughter, but needs to increase her dowry. For a limited time he offers to sell his goods at rock bottom prices, including some items that he was holding on to and had been previously unwilling to sell. Once he has sold enough, the prices and stock return to normal.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Just as long as you don't have to navigate multiple conversation nodes to reach "I want to buy/sell" I don't care what else merchants do.

 

Rumors

Investment mechanic that Feargus really liked

Encyclopedic knowledge of certain items that they sell(to help lore)

Quests

Knowledge of who to go to for certain items, ingredients.

Caravan rides to stronghold - trading with stronghold

 

Having different values for equipment at different venues can lead to taking advantage of the mechanic and making too much money.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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A nice way to go might be simply "what's your relationship with this merchant?"

 

What I mean is, if you sell stuff to him all the time, but never buy anything, maybe he'll start giving you less money for your items, but offer discounts to encourage you to buy from him and "refill his coffers."

 

And/or, if you buy a lot of stuff from him, as opposed to one of his competitors, maybe you get develop a good customer reputation with him or something. Getting that higher could lead to access to "back room" items or something. Or discounts. "You've helped my business so much, have 25% off, forever."

 

This could make things a lot more interesting than "that guy sells a longsword for 100gp, but this other guy sells it for 90gp, so obviously I'm going to buy from that guy." Especially if you made it known to the player that one merchant had better access to caravans and stuff than another, etc. so that you'd know things like what kind of selection you can expect as time passes from that merchant. Maybe you want to pay more now for the payoff later of getting better/more varietous stuff at a discount, and/or getting access to certain arms/goods sooner than you would have, etc.

 

Also, you could have a simple, "randomly"-occurring need/interest in a certain type of good from a given merchant, in this system. So that if Steve is in need of weapons at the moment (maybe he has a lot of demand for weapons, in general, from his clients or the local folk?), he may pay you less for them than another merchant would, but you'll get a significant boost to your merchant-customer relationship with Steve.

 

This wouldn't really aim to have a lot of mutually exclusive stuff (although there could be a little bit). It'd be more chronology-based dynamics: Do you get more money now, or more money later? Do you get better stuff now, or better stuff later? Etc.

 

Even if none of that is done, reputation, in general, could affect how a given merchant treats you. "You're the one always helping out those nobles, aren't you? My son was KILLED by nobles, you sonnova... I'll sell you stuff, for a premium! *cackle*"

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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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I wouldn't mind if the merchant's life changes based on how much and how you use him as a merchant.  Buy a lot of stuff?  Maybe he moves and his stall becomes fancier, or he opens a shop.  Could open quest lines through him.

 

Sell a lot of stuff, maybe he becomes a pauper.  Of course, that is wishful thinking, and not a lot of details in explaining it.

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They should have put in a "Name & Design a Merchant" at the $250 level. That would have generated a bunch of oddball entries.  :)

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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"Yeah I'm going to be gone for the tenday as I'll be traveling to my supplier at xyz town. If you're there you can find me. I'll be back here after the tenday,"

 

Set merchant location based on calendar. Days 0-10 at xyz. Days 11-20 at qrs. switch every tenday.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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What merchants need is a barter system similar to the Fallout games. Really adds in realism. I mean, you can't sell all the stuff you've accumulated gathering an amount of thousands gold pieces to a trader in a small, poor village. How did this guy had all this gold in his person and not living the good life ??

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Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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I think it'd also be neat if a merchant who holds you in good standing could commission you to collect some particular goods (s)he's like to sell - like some wine (if they're unscrupulous about source), or iron weapons (to smelt into raw material), or leathers, chemical reagents, souls (for ... certain patrons).

 

I also like to see a customer barter with a merchant every once in a while.  It's unnerving that they exist seemingly only to sate you.

 

What I mean is, if you sell stuff to him all the time, but never buy anything, maybe he'll start giving you less money for your items, but offer discounts to encourage you to buy from him and "refill his coffers."

 

I always found rpg merchants a little disconcerting - their apparent self-interest contrasted with the total generosity to throw infinite volumes of money at you.  Little automatons, they don't move except maybe to track you with their heads and those empty eyes.  Sometimes I dream that behind those glass orbs screams the voice of a man watching his business crumble, too meek and servile to complain.  Just pulled smiles and friendly nods or bits of banter.  But maybe that's only what I like to believe.  Maybe it's harder to accept that behind those windows to the soul their simply isn't anything there - just a hardened mirror shaped to reflect the world around it, with no identity of its own.  (where's the drinking-alone-in-depression emoticon when you need it? :mellow:  ( ;())

Edited by Pipyui
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What merchants need is a barter system similar to the Fallout games. Really adds in realism. I mean, you can't sell all the stuff you've accumulated gathering an amount of thousands gold pieces to a trader in a small, poor village. How did this guy had all this gold in his person and not living the good life ??

 

PoE's shop is more like Fallout's in that you put items on either side of the "table" and use copper pieces to make up the difference.

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That sounds splendid. :) Gets rid of all that "why does the merchant have 1,0000000000 gold?" stuff. Makes sense, AND works well.

 

On top, though, just as a cherry on the whipped topping, it'd be nice to have some sort of dynamic going on with the merchants (related to how much business you do with a given merchant, etc.? And/or some kind of pseudo-randomly fluctuating condition -- shortages, individual stock requests, etc.).

 

Here's the main thing:

 

If there's Merchant A, and Merchant B, and they're just static, then, it sort of feels like variety at first glance, but there's not really much different about them. If they both sell any particular item, there's either going to be a price difference, or there isn't. If there isn't, then why are there even multiple merchants? If there IS, then what's the cost, here, of simply always buying from the cheaper merchant?

 

And, if there's only one merchant in each town that sells a given item, that's just a bit bland, atmosphere/lore-wise. I mean, not that NO town can only have a single weapons vendor or something. But... It'd just be nice if there were SOME kind of uniqueness factor going on with the merchants. A touch of personality, something. Maybe you can buy an iron longsword from both Merchant A and Merchant B, but Merchant B's broadsword deals more piercing damage than slashing damage, while Merchant A's focuses more on slashing than piercing. Just, representative of the subtleties of their handiwork.

 

Just... something. The reason I think it'd be great for just a merchant, in general (doesn't necessarily produce any of the goods, just sells them, at the very least) to develop some kind of individual reputation with the PC is that, if they had any kind of price differences or special requests that yield special rewards, they wouldn't instantly be either the most profitable things, or just moot. As in the example I presented further up in the thread, Merchant A might give you 100gp for that equipment you found in that bandit camp, but maybe Merchant B will only give you 85gp, BUT will give you a discount on his selection as opposed to someone else's selection. You get another factor, other than just "what's better, 85gp or 100gp? Okay, go with that one."


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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What merchants need is a barter system similar to the Fallout games. Really adds in realism. I mean, you can't sell all the stuff you've accumulated gathering an amount of thousands gold pieces to a trader in a small, poor village. How did this guy had all this gold in his person and not living the good life ??

 

PoE's shop is more like Fallout's in that you put items on either side of the "table" and use copper pieces to make up the difference.

 

 

 

Hurrah !!    :grin:

 

I wouldn't except any less by the best guys out there in the RPGs industry !!!!


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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I really wish that there was the option to "order" things.  As in, "Hello, I need a bastard sword +1, please."  "Sure, we will have that in 3-5 days, and it will cost this much __.  Would that be acceptable to you?"  It has always irritated me when I have needed  a specific weapon for a party member, and have lots of gold, but no one is selling it.  They could even make it more expensive, as it is a "specialty item" (like, if you are in an area where everyone likes fencing sabers, and you want a battle-axe, so it is more difficult for them to get).

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"1 is 1"

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I really wish that there was the option to "order" things.  As in, "Hello, I need a bastard sword +1, please."  "Sure, we will have that in 3-5 days, and it will cost this much __.  Would that be acceptable to you?"  It has always irritated me when I have needed  a specific weapon for a party member, and have lots of gold, but no one is selling it.  They could even make it more expensive, as it is a "specialty item" (like, if you are in an area where everyone likes fencing sabers, and you want a battle-axe, so it is more difficult for them to get).

That would be cool!


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Honestly, with the stronghold, orders could potentially be delivered there when complete. That would probably make things a lot less tedious than "Okay, in 5 days, I need to remember which merchant's stall I was at, and where, and make my way back there."

 

Maybe you could sometimes pay more to get it more quickly? Not like "the more money I give you, the faster you humanly craft this item at your forge." But, just, the guy's probably got OTHER projects he's working on, so, unless you give him a reason to, he's not going to bump yours to the front of his work queue.

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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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In gameplay terms, though, those "return in x days" exchanges are best kept at a minimum. The game, after all, is an rpg, not a mail order simulator.

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In gameplay terms, though, those "return in x days" exchanges are best kept at a minimum. The game, after all, is an rpg, not a mail order simulator.

Fair enough, but they would be. Unless all you ever did was order weapons and equipment that weren't immediately in-stock at any given merchant's shop. Seems like travel times and stronghold improvement times will be represented, so I just figured it wouldn't be quite so alien to have deliveries to your stronghold.

 

Besides... really, a lot of games already do this. You go off adventuring, and after some time has passed, you come back to a merchant, and he suddenly sells a better weapon. "Oh-hoh-hoh! I got some new stock in last week! Have a look!"

 

If you're going to wait, then have immediate access to better stuff, it wouldn't be all that different to simply say "Hey, you don't have a masterwork longsword in stock, but I'd like one, if you can make it. Then, the next time I make it back to my stronghold after I go do a couple of things, I'll grab it and equip it, instead of just waiting this same amount of time, then making the purchase at that point in time."

 

I'm not really worried about making the game into largely a trade empire simulation. It's just a time-based offset. It wouldn't even be mandatory to use (the ordering), as it wouldn't necessarily be exclusive wares. It would just be stuff that wasn't immediately available.


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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Besides... really, a lot of games already do this. You go off adventuring, and after some time has passed, you come back to a merchant, and he suddenly sells a better weapon. "Oh-hoh-hoh! I got some new stock in last week! Have a look!"

 

If you're going to wait, then have immediate access to better stuff, it wouldn't be all that different to simply say "Hey, you don't have a masterwork longsword in stock, but I'd like one, if you can make it. Then, the next time I make it back to my stronghold after I go do a couple of things, I'll grab it and equip it, instead of just waiting this same amount of time, then making the purchase at that point in time."

 

In practice, though, there are very few games that work exactly like that. For the overwhelming majority, the inventory upgrades of shops are tied in with the progression of the characters and story. New items appear after you have dealt with the orc threat, etc. Now in realism terms this frequently makes little sense, but from a gameplay perspective it serves to restrict item upgrades until you have completed a set challenge. This is different from simply having to engage in time-wasting antics that are frequently at odds with the supposed urgency of the main quest.

 

I can think of no worse gameplay mechanic than going away and letting the clock tick down to achieve rewards.

 

EDIT: Unless the gameplay specifically works upon a time-management perspective and the surrounding quests are timed, in which case ordering items becomes a tactical choice and the situation is turned completely on its head. However it seems that the debate has long since been closed on whether fans wanted timed quests and the answer was almost unanimously "No", much to my personal consternation.

Edited by Kjaamor

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^ I think being able to order a 'normally available' item would be ok (though tbh, it never occurred to me as a problem - bigger problem was widely available longswords of magic+awesome and almost no halberds/whatever).  So a merchant in Dyrford village could send away to his mate in Twin Elms for you at a commission.

 

Agree that it shouldn't lead to otherwise unavailable-at-this-stage items becoming available though.

I don't really mind going to another town to look for a spear.

 

[As for timed quests - I'd only like them if they're not too frequent and not all forced on you at the same time (unless it's a 'save Rachel or save Harvey Dent' kind of choice, but that could be done without actual 'timed' quest - just quest-triggers).

It could feel immersion-breaking in BG2 when you've got so many 'urgent' quests but they can all wait until you return from spellhold (or put Imoen on hold while you party with the druids) so my only real objection is the 'all at once' urgent quests.]


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I can think of no worse gameplay mechanic than going away and letting the clock tick down to achieve rewards.

I can think of worse, but not by much. I agree. However, the significant thing here is the representation of a time-based thing in an interesting way (it's kind of a puzzle, designing a mechanic to get the best result), not necessarily actually having a clock.

 

All I can say is, when I think of a game with all the stuff this one has in (namely the stronghold, which you'll come back to and improve over time, and apparently time-based events will happen to it), it seems like a good context into which to fit some kind of delivery mechanic.

 

See, in those games where it "doesn't make sense" that new goods are suddenly available, that's not entirely true. Or, not necessarily. Sure, in some it just doesn't. But, in others, nothing says that they didn't just get a new shipment of stuff in in the amount of time it took you to go handle those orcs or whatever. The game doesn't tell you that, sure. And, if that was the intention, then maybe it should. But, the point is, functionally, it's no different. Did they magically appear, or did they just now arrive? See, they don't have a ticking clock for new goods to arrive, and yet they're arrival is still "time" sensitive, since it's not until you complete a task in the game world that would definitely have required time to pass that something new occurred.

 

Keeping up with exactly how much time is passing, etc. is tedious and doesn't really offer much. The relationship between your progression and the progression of the world around you is what's important. Which is why I'm perfectly fine with being able to jog around in the middle of a town for 17 real-life hours, and have nothing really change in the game (the game's time is effectively paused until I do SOMEthing of note -- travel on the world map, stay at an inn, go meet with some people, etc.), but then return from clearing out a bandit encampment in the forest to find that a couple of days have passed in this village, and different stuff's going on on Thursday than was going on on Tuesday, 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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