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Disclaimer: I have followed the updates closely, but I haven't been too active in the board, yet, so I hope this hasn't been discussed, yet.

 

I am just playing IWD2 CE again, and one thing I find really annoying is the way merchants work(ed) in IE games, i.e. you have some person standing around somewhere without protection, but carrying items worth 10 billion gold. BUT she doesn't need protection, because killing her will maike all the items magically disappear, as well.

 

This makes for bad roleplaying in my eyes. If a merchant has 50 armors for sale, she should have them in (possibly locked) chests, instead of on her (or does she have STR 50?). She should also be able to protect them herself, or have guards or be in a town that has law enforcement. Should she not be able to defend them, then you should be able to rob her items, anything else just doesn't make any sense. IIRC Morrorwind's merchants worked this way.

 

Any chance PoE will have good trading mechanics? How is this planned in PoE?

 

edit: formatting was list for some reason...

Edited by h^2

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Many role-playing games tend to abstract certain tedious elements, such as trading. I don't think they need to show every little detail of the merchant accessing the secure vault in the cellar where the gold and magic items are stored.

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

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Many role-playing games tend to abstract certain tedious elements, such as trading. I don't think they need to show every little detail of the merchant accessing the secure vault in the cellar where the gold and magic items are stored.

 

It's not so much about seeing the merchant get something (which has no influence on gameplay), but about the implications for gameplay. I think it is very natural for a merchant to have to protect her goods, and steeling from somebody wealthy is also a very common RPG scenario.

Not being able to rob someone (or not reaping the in-world results of it) severely limits character choice and promotes good/neutral characters (in D&D terms). In IE games you can develop a high-level rogue, have her steel from a merchant and receive zero as result, while all the cool items are apparently stored in a bag of holding that the merchant has swallowed...

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Many role-playing games tend to abstract certain tedious elements, such as trading. I don't think they need to show every little detail of the merchant accessing the secure vault in the cellar where the gold and magic items are stored.

True, but, I will say that, if the game allows you to steal stuff from them, I'd appreciate it if it were actually a matter of taking it from their stock without them seeing, than successfully completing a Pickpocket check to somehow procure that Greatsword they had in their pocket, along with the 100 other items.

 

There are some improvements to the norm that can be made without foregoing abstraction for simulation.

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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 don't see why a safe and a few guards is too much to ask for. I hope Obsidian fixes the silliness of the old IE shop system. It's never been a really big deal, but it sure is annoying.

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"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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Disclaimer: I have followed the updates closely, but I haven't been too active in the board, yet, so I hope this hasn't been discussed, yet.

 

I am just playing IWD2 CE again, and one thing I find really annoying is the way merchants work(ed) in IE games, i.e. you have some person standing around somewhere without protection, but carrying items worth 10 billion gold. BUT she doesn't need protection, because killing her will maike all the items magically disappear, as well.

 

This makes for bad roleplaying in my eyes. If a merchant has 50 armors for sale, she should have them in (possibly locked) chests, instead of on her (or does she have STR 50?). She should also be able to protect them herself, or have guards or be in a town that has law enforcement. Should she not be able to defend them, then you should be able to rob her items, anything else just doesn't make any sense. IIRC Morrorwind's merchants worked this way.

 

Any chance PoE will have good trading mechanics? How is this planned in PoE?

 

edit: formatting was list for some reason...

I believe the problem is to keep the game balanced. Imagine you could kill such merchant at the very beginning of the game and have all his money and stuff. There is no more point in looking for good equipment drops, collecting money to buy it or explore the world to find it. Having powerful items so early your party will easily kill monsters that possibly was designed to provide a challenge to you. I have seen something like this in Fallout 2 - you could visit Navarro just few hours after you started the game and take your hands on quite powerful armor and weapon but doing so is like entering "God Mode" cheat - no more tough battles and enemies first half of the game and no point in upgrading your equipment until late game.

 

P.S.

Do you remember things like "Bags of Holding" (IWD, BG, NWN games)? It's a magic bag, that is bigger inside then outside and also it reduces (drastically) the weight of the things you put into.

You can think merchant have few of them with some additional magic that for example destroys the bag on owner death.

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 IIRC Morrorwind's merchants worked this way.

 

 

IIRC, Morrowind and Oblivion merchants worked in a way, where you stole a potato from someones desk,

then very quickly ran to the other town halfway across the continent and tried to sell it.

 

And the merchant goes all like "trying to sell me a stolen potato, I'm not buying a stolen potato from a goddamn filthy thief!"

Yup, it's Herbert Woodpeckers potato, I'd recognize it anywhere. A good potato, that one.

 

But yeah. I agree with the sentiment of OP.

 

Lootable merchants, no ludicrous amounts of items.

 

No saggy pants minor village merchants with eleventy billion lunars worth of stuff but only 8 lunars of cash to buy stuff with.

 

No stupid as hell trade mechanism where you buy stuff at base- and sell at 2 percent value.

Buying at 100% and selling at 50% would be fine baseline, maybe 125%-25 if your stupid and ugly, 75%-75% if you're a super-salesman.

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I have seen something like this in Fallout 2 - you could visit Navarro just few hours after you started the game and take your hands on quite powerful armor and weapon but doing so is like entering "God Mode" cheat - no more tough battles and enemies first half of the game and no point in upgrading your equipment until late game.

 

...and I immediately rush to the defence of my favourite western crpg.

 

1) The Navarro rush is part of a speed run that a player make undertake on their second playthrough. Navarro is in the middle of nowhere and its existance - indeed the existence of anything in its direction - is not even implied until much later in the game.

 

2) Getting to Navarro immediately is no easy feat, because you're moving through high-level random encounters who will largely one-shot you. It is, of course, possible, but even doing so requires a specific high agility build from the off and/or a lot of save/reloading.

 

I agree that putting tons of good items in the inventory of a merchant you can kill immediately and is both obvious and in the characters interests is a bad idea, but this is not what occurred in Fallout 2.

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Disclaimer: I have followed the updates closely, but I haven't been too active in the board, yet, so I hope this hasn't been discussed, yet.

 

I am just playing IWD2 CE again, and one thing I find really annoying is the way merchants work(ed) in IE games, i.e. you have some person standing around somewhere without protection, but carrying items worth 10 billion gold. BUT she doesn't need protection, because killing her will maike all the items magically disappear, as well.

 

This makes for bad roleplaying in my eyes. If a merchant has 50 armors for sale, she should have them in (possibly locked) chests, instead of on her (or does she have STR 50?). She should also be able to protect them herself, or have guards or be in a town that has law enforcement. Should she not be able to defend them, then you should be able to rob her items, anything else just doesn't make any sense. IIRC Morrorwind's merchants worked this way.

 

Any chance PoE will have good trading mechanics? How is this planned in PoE?

 

edit: formatting was list for some reason...

I believe the problem is to keep the game balanced. Imagine you could kill such merchant at the very beginning of the game and have all his money and stuff. There is no more point in looking for good equipment drops, collecting money to buy it or explore the world to find it. Having powerful items so early your party will easily kill monsters that possibly was designed to provide a challenge to you. I have seen something like this in Fallout 2 - you could visit Navarro just few hours after you started the game and take your hands on quite powerful armor and weapon but doing so is like entering "God Mode" cheat - no more tough battles and enemies first half of the game and no point in upgrading your equipment until late game.

 

P.S.

Do you remember things like "Bags of Holding" (IWD, BG, NWN games)? It's a magic bag, that is bigger inside then outside and also it reduces (drastically) the weight of the things you put into.

You can think merchant have few of them with some additional magic that for example destroys the bag on owner death.

 

Don't have an early merchant who has super high level gear. Give the merchant a few high level guards to make killing him and living to tell the tale impossible for a low level party. Make his safe well secured so it can't be robbed by a low level thief. Many solutions to the game balance issue.

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"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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Disclaimer: I have followed the updates closely, but I haven't been too active in the board, yet, so I hope this hasn't been discussed, yet.

 

I am just playing IWD2 CE again, and one thing I find really annoying is the way merchants work(ed) in IE games, i.e. you have some person standing around somewhere without protection, but carrying items worth 10 billion gold. BUT she doesn't need protection, because killing her will maike all the items magically disappear, as well.

 

This makes for bad roleplaying in my eyes. If a merchant has 50 armors for sale, she should have them in (possibly locked) chests, instead of on her (or does she have STR 50?). She should also be able to protect them herself, or have guards or be in a town that has law enforcement. Should she not be able to defend them, then you should be able to rob her items, anything else just doesn't make any sense. IIRC Morrorwind's merchants worked this way.

 

Any chance PoE will have good trading mechanics? How is this planned in PoE?

 

edit: formatting was list for some reason...

I believe the problem is to keep the game balanced. Imagine you could kill such merchant at the very beginning of the game and have all his money and stuff.

 

 

Well, duh. Imagine naked 16 year olds running around with sacks of gold and not getting robbed.

The whole point of an RPG is trying to behave like your character would behave in a situation like that, which means if you can't defend something and are not protected by someone or something else, it probably won't stay yours for long.

 

As others have pointed out, you can solve this elegantly in many ways, I just feel that it is not solved at all right now. You know in BG2 they had wizard police that prevented characters from casting spells without a license (or at least tried which is good enough), but its not possible to solve trading other than have all items appear from and disappear to thin air?

 

[respectful tone] I really dig this game and I loved the IE games. I know this is not crucial to gameplay, but it's one of these small things that really matter, IMHO. The same way most of us like to spend time in the inventory, I would like to spend time pondering whether I should buy an item, try to steal an item or attempt to murder the merchant. It just adds more depth to the game, after all economic constraints and different reactions to it are universal to our society, and all past societies that had private property.

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You know in BG2 they had wizard police that prevented characters from casting spells without a license (or at least tried which is good enough), but its not possible to solve trading other than have all items appear from and disappear to thin air?

 

To be fair - the wizard police weren't really there to stop you casting spells - that was a minor early-game inconvenience - they were there to arrest Imoen and then had to stay there for consistency.  Getting a license was pretty easy.

 

Having said that, I agree that a simple and elegant solution to this problem would be better than being artificially incapable of robbing the merchant.

Guards / Traps / etc that overpower a low-level party would be fine.  But let's not make it impossible to steal from ALL merchants (since my subsequent thieving party need their focus ;) ) - only those with high-level equipment and loadsamoney would hire a dragon to guard their horde (or whatever), but nicking a few arrows from Winthrop should be doable early on.

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I don't mind to provide each merchant with a pair of powerful bodyguards, adamantium safes and golems, arrays of traps, hellhounds, guardian dragons and beholders, and any other anti- thieving measures you could imagine, but I believe it will not help.

Any game that allows stealing from merchants ends up being exploited. Arcanum, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim - I believe that developers have spent a lot of work trying to create interesting thieving system that hoverer would be balanced.

And finally, anybody could enter a shop, set up a bucket on merchant head and have all its gear for free. You don't even have to bother with thieving skills.

There is no simple and elegant solution that will work.

Personally I would prefer developers just declare that merchants have "magic bags of holding and anti- thieving” and spent their time working on quests, role system, characters and other RPG stuff.

Just my opinion however.

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If you could kille merchants and loot their inventories, then that would break the game fairly easily.

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If you could kille merchants and loot their inventories, then that would break the game fairly easily.

yes - I think we all agree on that.

The difference is in implementation - can you kill them and have their inventory disappear?  Or is killing them (at any worthwhile stage - i.e. before you have the money to buy whatever you want) made too difficult (by the  presence of guards), or the store-cupboard trapped with a deadly trap beyond a level-10 thief with maxed out mechanics (for example).


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*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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If you could kille merchants and loot their inventories, then that would break the game fairly easily.

 

Yes and no. That depends entirely on what kind of items the merchant has and at what point in the game you would be strong/skilled enough to pull it off.

 

A merchant with non-magical weapons and some level 1 spells and small healing potions might have a bad ass golem standing around that is strong enough to beat your level 1 party; then when you come back and you are all level 5 you would be able to beat the golem, kill the merchant and loot the stuff, but it would be bad for your reputation/alignment and you have little material gain from the loot.

 

Note also that you need not give every merchant 5000 items, as this is done in some IE games. A city merchant with a huge store might have hundreds of items (and good protection or even city guards that work like the Cowled Wizards), but a lone merchant out in the wild will only have a handful of stuff.

 

AND keep in mind that usually the really cool stuff is not available at merchants anyway, but found on dead enemies and in dungeons etc.

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The only thing is... what's the trade-off for the effort and resources spent on being able to kill them? If it's one of the hardest things you can do (difficulty proportionate to the quality/usefulness of their wares), then why would you even need any of their inventory any longer if you had the means to take down basically the toughest encounter in the game? And if it wasn't too hard to do, then when wouldn't it be prudent to just kill them?

 

And/or, what's the tradeoff for killing them? You get all this great stuff, but then the whole town either kills you on-sight or drives you out and bans you. And with the reputation system, I'm sure word spreads, or you get a bounty on your head, etc.

 

Stealing an item or two without getting caught, that might can occur. That requires resources you wouldn't necessary spend (to, say, just become better at taking on overcoming combat encounters, which is a large portion of the required gameplay, so improvements in that regard are always useful), so that you can specifically bypass certain obstacles and not get caught. And your reward isn't an entire trade route worth of top-tier equipment. It's just a five-finger discount on one or two things.

 

Maybe you can only take what you can conceal at the time, and, once the merchant notices stuff missing, they tighten security further so it basically becomes impossible to steal anything else, *shrug*.

 

Basically, I don't want them to put in a "you can murder this merchant and just take a stronghold's worth of supplies and equipment" if it's just going to be a matter of effort, because then the choices are between buying all that (which probably takes a while), or putting forth the effort to murder him and get THAT much free stuff. Not only that, but, how beneficial is it to save THAT much money? Now you go to the next town and immediately buy all new stuff, 'cause you're so rich? Or just buy all your stronghold upgrades at once? Surely you just eventually wind up with a plethora of coin by the end of the game. At which point... why didn't you just buy the stuff you needed in the first place? Probably would've been oodles easier than overcoming whatever security measures were in place via combat. *shrug*


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 think this is really a conundrum of single player games. An economy cannot function on the needs of one person. Typically, in MORPG's, there are several players who each have different requirements. Even on a smaller scale within a party in a SPRPG, you buy things that you don't need but someone else in your party does. The rest of the games economy is purely imagined; what might the inhabitants of the city want from the local gunsmith? There are just very few examples of other customers being simulated. Typically games will have a restock point, where if you sleep for a day and come back the merchant has new "special" items while retaining the mainstay potions, bullets, food, etc. This in itself often gets abused by people who can't help but want one specific item from one specific vendor and hassle that person everyday until they magically stock it. 

 

The problem, therefore, is how do you properly simulate the economy of an entire city when there's only one unpredictable purchaser? The stronghold idea was actually refreshing in this respect. People may be miffed that they will now also have to pay the Imaginary Revenue Service taxes on their stronghold property but I think it's a great money sink. The maintenance will also cost money and there are several stages of rebuilding that you must go through as you progress through the game. It seems like this will require several installments of money rather than needing one lump sum and deciding to kill the gunsmith for his wallet. 

 

This also ties into another post I made regarding open-endedness in situations like this. There's no doubt that in a good RPG you should be able to choose to murder the merchants. If you kill someone who a moment ago was offering to sell you 10 swords, it makes sense that he have the goods on or near him, unless he's selling certificates or pawn receipts. The obvious response, in real life terms, would be where the hell is the law here? If the local merchant gets murdered and someone walks into the general store trying to sell rare, one of a kind swords, shouldn't that raise some red flags? If you sneakily killed someone in their bed at night it'd make sense that the police didn't bust down the door but at the same time, there should be some sort of repercussion in the game that acts as a deterrent to absolute vigilantism. Just because I'm a master thief and murderer doesn't mean my level 2 character should always get away with it no matter who they kill. And just because my character is a master swordsman doesn't mean he should be able to take on an entire city of trained, armed guards either. 

 

Maybe these planned economies just don't work in face of storylines where you're the man going to slay the super almighty all-powerful demigod end boss that is threatening Armageddon on all the world. If you succeed, why would you need to revisit the gunsmith later on?

Edited by dr membrano

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Meaningless to talk about mechanics in this stage, when the game is already feature locked.

But meaningless talk is fun, so lets anyway.

 

This "rob a kings ransom worth of loot from poor village smith" would tie in nicely with another mechanism discussed earlier.

 

The shops, smiths and whatever wouldn't have 75 sets of full plate on store at any given time, or much else either.

They'd have some items, not all that much, readily available. And then they'd have sources.

 

So the village smith can make a set low quality chainmail, payment maybe half in advance, delivery in a week.

Or the village shopkeeper can place an order to a big town for some rare items, payment in advance, delivery in a week.

 

You can rob them, but they don't  have all that much in store at any given time.

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A merchant with non-magical weapons and some level 1 spells and small healing potions might have a bad ass golem standing around that is strong enough to beat your level 1 party; then when you come back and you are all level 5 you would be able to beat the golem, kill the merchant and loot the stuff, but it would be bad for your reputation/alignment and you have little material gain from the loot.

 

 

How could a merchant selling few non-magical weapons and some level 1 spells and small healing potions afford to have a bad ass golem that could wipe your entire party?

What is the point to pay adventurers to kill some rats, ghouls, protect the village from goblins, do other low-level tasks if there are such golems and guards that are much stronger and could do this for free?

This way you just replace one inconsistency with few another.

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The only thing is... what's the trade-off for the effort and resources spent on being able to kill them? If it's one of the hardest things you can do (difficulty proportionate to the quality/usefulness of their wares), then why would you even need any of their inventory any longer if you had the means to take down basically the toughest encounter in the game? And if it wasn't too hard to do, then when wouldn't it be prudent to just kill them?

 

Like all other things in the game there would need to be balance... A level one rat doesn't drop the All-Eliminating Sword of Evergreatness, so an unprotected merchant shouldn't have the Sword either. The whole point of an RPG is that rewards and difficulty are matched, and it becomes interesting right at the point where you *might* be able to overcome the merchant and still profit from her goods. Maybe it would only be possible if you decided to go for a four-player party instead of six and your thief is thus a higher level already.

Note also that just because it es technically possible for you to kill the merchant and profit, it doesn't mean that you are going to do it. I believe most people who are into PoE play it for roleplaying and not for power-build maximization. So, maybe you just don't want to kill the merchant, because she belongs to your fraction, race, religion or alignment.

 

 

The problem, therefore, is how do you properly simulate the economy of an entire city when there's only one unpredictable purchaser? 

 

[...]

 

Maybe these planned economies just don't work in face of storylines where you're the man going to slay the super almighty all-powerful demigod end boss that is threatening Armageddon on all the world. If you succeed, why would you need to revisit the gunsmith later on?

 

While I would like to see a great city that "lives" a little more than those of traditional IE games, I agree it is hard to do. OTOH what I am talking about here, can be solved without doing that, it just implements more consistency for your party interaction.

Concerning your role in the game, I don't see how that relates to this certain problem, although I do advocate for smaller scale quests, as well :)

 

 

Meaningless to talk about mechanics in this stage, when the game is already feature locked.

But meaningless talk is fun, so lets anyway.

 

It would be cool if devs could say something about how this implemented in the game then we would know how far off our wishes are...

 

 

A merchant with non-magical weapons and some level 1 spells and small healing potions might have a bad ass golem standing around that is strong enough to beat your level 1 party; then when you come back and you are all level 5 you would be able to beat the golem, kill the merchant and loot the stuff, but it would be bad for your reputation/alignment and you have little material gain from the loot.

 

 

How could a merchant selling few non-magical weapons and some level 1 spells and small healing potions afford to have a bad ass golem that could wipe your entire party?

What is the point to pay adventurers to kill some rats, ghouls, protect the village from goblins, do other low-level tasks if there are such golems and guards that are much stronger and could do this for free?

This way you just replace one inconsistency with few another.

 

 

Well then you better work at making it consistent. Thats the job of Dungeon Master, right? Maybe the merchant is a greedy bastard and doesn't want to lend his golem to the village for protection? Maybe if you have high intelligence and high charisma you can convince him to do so and thus solve the protect-the-village quest other than buy-club-and-hit-goblin-on-head?

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Well then you better work at making it consistent. Thats the job of Dungeon Master, right? Maybe the merchant is a greedy bastard and doesn't want to lend his golem to the village for protection? Maybe if you have high intelligence and high charisma you can convince him to do so and thus solve the protect-the-village quest other than buy-club-and-hit-goblin-on-head?

Eh, doing that once is fine, but you'd have to do that a lot more often if being excessively protected is a regular merchant thing. Which ... would be really odd, I'd say. I'd much rather the game's consistency/verisimilitude break when the player breaks it first, than have it come pre-broken.

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Being able to kill a merchant and his guards is one thing, being able to kill all witnesses before they get away might be much harder,  depending on where you encounter the merchant, and what people are surrounding him. For the sake of coherence there might also be cases where you just encounter a lone merchant on the street, and it's entirely up to your conscience if you kill him or not.. 

 

If it's a merchant of higher status, he might be able to trigger some sort of magical alarm, and depending how organized and powerful the local law enforcers are, the problem is not to kill the merchant and his guards, but to escape, and again, not to be witnessed. Also, if the merchant is trading really powerful items, it's reasonable to expect they are hidden or at a different place, so you might get nothing out of your killing spree.

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Like all other things in the game there would need to be balance... A level one rat doesn't drop the All-Eliminating Sword of Evergreatness, so an unprotected merchant shouldn't have the Sword either. The whole point of an RPG is that rewards and difficulty are matched, and it becomes interesting right at the point where you *might* be able to overcome the merchant and still profit from her goods. Maybe it would only be possible if you decided to go for a four-player party instead of six and your thief is thus a higher level already.

Note also that just because it es technically possible for you to kill the merchant and profit, it doesn't mean that you are going to do it. I believe most people who are into PoE play it for roleplaying and not for power-build maximization. So, maybe you just don't want to kill the merchant, because she belongs to your fraction, race, religion or alignment.

I get that a lowly merchant has lowly goods, and a well-protected merchant has quality goods. However, you're also not slaughtering the lowly merchant for items that will allow you to take on a dragon. You're facing lesser threats, because that's where you are at the moment. I'm also quite aware that there are other reasons to not-do something. I'm not talking about any reason whatsoever. I'm specifically talking about risk versus reward. Maybe you're roleplaying a character who hates merchants because they killed his family and sold him into slavery, so he kills all merchants everywhere. But, I'm saying, from a game-design standpoint, how prudent is it, really, to go through all the trouble of letting you kill the merchants, but letting them be appropriately guarded?

 

It's not a completely optional entity, like some super-hard-to-kill-but-drops-really-good-loot thing off in a cave somewhere. If you don't kill that, then fine, you don't get that sword. But, if you choose not to kill a merchant, it's not as if you can just choose to also never acquire any new equipment, ever, either. Thus, killing a merchant is an alternative to simply spending your money on that merchant's wares.

 

So, what I'm saying is, how do you make sure that, at any given point, the effort you put into overcoming whatever's guarding the merchant's wares doesn't just cancel out your "need" for that upgraded equipment in the first place? If it's too easy to kill the merchant, then anyone not hindered by "alignment" issues in their roleplay will just kill him, because free stuff is always better than paid-for-stuff. And if it's pretty friggin' difficult, then isn't it a bit silly that you're after equipment from that merchant in order to take on something else that's difficult, but you have the option of difficultly taking on the merchant's protection in order to acquire that stuff for free? Know what I mean?

 

It's almost like "Man, if I could just kill this boss and take his weapon, THEN fight him again, he'd be a lot easier." Except that you don't have the alternative of simply buying that particular weapon (assuming it's a unique weapon in this example).

 

Essentially, it often amounts to a whole lot of work for very little actual design benefit. You CAN kill the merchants, every single time you want new stuff but don't want to pay for it, but then, it's really tough to do. Just like that bit of the game you're trying to re-equip for is. 8P

 

That, and the money thing. If you kill all the merchants and get everything for free, what do you spend your money on? What good is the money at that point?


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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 Essentially, it often amounts to a whole lot of work for very little actual design benefit. You CAN kill the merchants, every single time you want new stuff but don't want to pay for it, but then, it's really tough to do. Just like that bit of the game you're trying to re-equip for is. 8P

That, and the money thing. If you kill all the merchants and get everything for free, what do you spend your money on? What good is the money at that point?

 

Essentially this.

 

If I'm designing a realistic medieval merchant who sells magic items, then does he keep lots of cash and magic on hand without a suitably powerful guard? Probably not. He'd have a safe location somewhere. If you want to buy an item, he'd have a list of available stock. You put down a deposit, then he makes arrangements for delivery at a time and place of his choosing. At that point he can hire suitably powerful guards for a short interval, using your deposit. This saves on costs--he doesn't need to pay for the elite guard services full time. It would be the same for you selling an item. It's the same principle as why merchants use the armored truck.

 

This means that every time you want a magic item transaction, there's a built-in latency where you sit around waiting for some period of time. You don't like that? Well tough beans, it's a realistic simulator.

 

There's some benefit in having a level of abstraction in a multi-character game like this.


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