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I don't remember having seen this topic discussed in this forum yet, so apologies beforehand if it has been brought before. Having said this, I would like to discuss merchants in the original Pillars and what I would like to see addressed in Deadfire. Without a doubt, merchants and unique (or uniquely-named) items abound in the game, but to the best of my memory I don't think I've bought any item at all aside from the occasional accessory or ingredient through both of the playthroughs I've done so far, and have found the wares sold even by the "special" merchants in the game (i.e. those that were either unlockable or reachable under special circumstances) to be pretty lacklustre overall. Now, I appreciate that the best gear was left as part of the reward for deeper exploration and questing, but at the same time I can't help miss a Ribald Barterman/Adventurer's Mart-type store that would have three or four really powerful items to spend on, or a selection which might make the acquisition of this or that merchant something worth investing on.

 

Going into Deadfire I hope we get to see a store or merchant like this. True, the soulbound weapons and more epic loot should probably (at least largely) remain within dungeons and in the hands of big bosses, but I would nevertheless love to see some great unique items in the hands of such vendors. My reasoning, partly, is as follows: in the case of items sold by Ribald the likes of Aeger's Hide, Bracers of Defense AC 3 or the Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, these were seen very early on in the game and helped set secondary goals in my mind as to gathering the money to purchase them; in turn, I was more eager to quest, and more importantly, I felt that money, at least at an early stage, had actual use for me (and not just for getting to Spellhold). In contrast, with Pillars I felt my money was only useful as far as funnelling it to Caed Nua and my hirelings, and I never once felt it as a particularly relevant motivator - I could do with or without it, it was for the most part just a numeric value to me. I believe money could be made relevant in the game again by adding some more motivators to collect and spend it, and what better motivator than great, expensive items for sale? :p

 

Again, this could just be that I didn't pay close enough attention to the merchants' stock in the original Pillars, but as far as Deadfire is concerned, I think it's a matter to keep in mind.

Edited by algroth
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I dunno, Azuroth's Stiletto is pretty tempting as a rogue.

Can't say I recall it, and can't seem to find it on Google. What are the stats?

 

Sorry, ****ty memory. AzurEITH's stilletto. Only 305 copper, but at a time when you probably have around 100 (or at least I generally do). You'll probably have enough to get it just before Raedric's castle, but doing so will make you poor again so it's a traide off.

Edited by Katarack21
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I dunno, Azuroth's Stiletto is pretty tempting as a rogue.

Can't say I recall it, and can't seem to find it on Google. What are the stats?

 

Sorry, ****ty memory. AzurEITH's stilletto. Only 305 copper, but at a time when you probably have around 100 (or at least I generally do). You'll probably have enough to get it just before Raedric's castle, but doing so will make you poor again so it's a traide off.

 

Yeah, I can see how it can be a pretty cool unique item, and how it could be upgraded to be damn good. I was rather thinking about more epic and expensive items myself, that might make the prospect of buying them more a mid-game or late-game goal introduced early on, so to speak. The Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, for example, was about 14k gold if I'm not mistaken, which at the end of act 1 was a pretty inconceivable amount of money, for an item that still likely impressed at the later stages of the game. I'd love to see some items which, in this sense, would be pretty unmissable and enticing at any stage in the game.

Edited by algroth

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Yeah, I get what your saying. Something at, like, Stormcallers power level for several thousand gold--a mid-to-end game item that makes a serious difference in gameplay and, if purchased, is also a *serious* gold sink.

Exactly. A serious gold sink, or a serious gold collection objective. I think it would give gold purpose again in a way that it was sort of lacking in Pillars once you had enough for Caed Nua's improvements.

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Yeah, I get what your saying. Something at, like, Stormcallers power level for several thousand gold--a mid-to-end game item that makes a serious difference in gameplay and, if purchased, is also a *serious* gold sink.

Exactly. A serious gold sink, or a serious gold collection objective. I think it would give gold purpose again in a way that it was sort of lacking in Pillars once you had enough for Caed Nua's improvements.

 

You know, unlike a lot of other people on these boards, I *NEVER* had enough gold in Pillars. I spent almost every penny, almost entirely on enchants, potions, scrolls, and ingredients for all of the above. I was broke the whole way through.

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I think the merchants in Pillars did have a few good pieces. Tall Grass comes to mind as a good early pike, and there's lots of little stat boosting items to fill out your equipment early on. WM had the Raiment of Wael's Eyes sold in Stalwart.

 

But yeah, I'm all for merchants having cool stuff. Part of what makes a new city fun to explore is the shops and items on sale.

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Would love to see something like the adventurer's mart from bg2! You could even make it more interesting by making its item stock change based off your explorative actions. Like because you found or completed (X) now they have access to new exotic items. Or it could have its own quest line where you help secure trade routes to new areas which in turn adds more unique equipment to the exotic vendor.

 

Edit: sorry about the errors initially... typing from a phone and haven't had coffee yet...

Edited by DigitalCrack
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Would love to see something like the adventurer's mart from bg2! You could even make it more interesting by making its item stock change based off your explorative actions. Like because you found or completed (X) now they have access to new exotic items. Or it could have its own quest line where you help secure trade routes to new areas which in turn adds more unique equipment to the exotic vendor.

 

Edit: sorry about the errors initially... typing from a phone and haven't had coffee yet...

I like this too... Maybe your ship's vendor could act this way somewhat, essentially be a merchant whose stock largely varies according to the factions and communities you've allied yourself with and so on.

Edited by algroth
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I don't remember having seen this topic discussed in this forum yet, so apologies beforehand if it has been brought before. Having said this, I would like to discuss merchants in the original Pillars and what I would like to see addressed in Deadfire. Without a doubt, merchants and unique (or uniquely-named) items abound in the game, but to the best of my memory I have to say that I don't think that I've bought any item aside from the occasional accessory or ingredient at all through both of the playthroughs I've done so far, and have found the wares sold even by the "special" merchants in the game (i.e. those that were either unlockable or reachable under special circumstances) to be pretty lacklustre overall. Now, I appreciate that the best gear was left as part of the reward for deeper exploration and questing, but at the same time I can't help miss a Ribald Barterman/Adventurer's Mart-type store that would have three or four really powerful items to spend on, or a selection which might make the acquisition of this or that merchant something worth investing on.

 

Going into Deadfire I hope we get to see a store or merchant like this. True, the soulbound weapons and more epic loot should probably (at least largely) remain within dungeons and in the hands of big bosses, but I would nevertheless love to see some great unique items in the hands of such vendors. My reasoning, partly, is as follows: in the case of items sold by Ribald the likes of Aeger's Hide, Bracers of Defense AC 3 or the Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, these were seen very early on in the game and helped set secondary goals in my mind as to gathering the money to purchase them; in turn, I was more eager to quest, and more importantly, I felt that money, at least at an early stage, had actual use for me (and not just for getting to Spellhold). In contrast, with Pillars I felt my money was only useful as far as funnelling it to Caed Nua and my hirelings, and I never once felt it as a particularly relevant motivator - I could do with or without it, it was for the most part just a numeric value to me. I believe money could be made relevant in the game again by adding some more motivators to collect and spend it, and what better motivator than great, expensive items for sale? :p

 

Again, this could just be that I didn't pay close enough attention to the merchants' stock in the original Pillars, but as far as Deadfire is concerned, I think it's a matter to keep in mind.

 

Agreed, merchants lacking worthwhile items is a huge part of the reason why gold is so worthless in the game. Coupled with the enchanting system that incentivizes not spending gold at merchants and waiting until you find that super powerful item you're better off enchanting in order to save resources. I think there needs to be more special items at merchants at the same time as the whole enchanting system requires a total overhaul.

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In BG my biggest sink was spell scrolls, they could have sold grimores in PoE to learn spells from, but IIRC in PoE2 Wizards will only know 2 spells per level with Grimores covering the rest.

 

Personally I wouldn't mind seeing some of the best equipment in merchant stock, like a collector of rare goods having soulbound weapons or something. Would give us something to spend our money on anyways.

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I don't remember having seen this topic discussed in this forum yet, so apologies beforehand if it has been brought before. Having said this, I would like to discuss merchants in the original Pillars and what I would like to see addressed in Deadfire. Without a doubt, merchants and unique (or uniquely-named) items abound in the game, but to the best of my memory I have to say that I don't think that I've bought any item aside from the occasional accessory or ingredient at all through both of the playthroughs I've done so far, and have found the wares sold even by the "special" merchants in the game (i.e. those that were either unlockable or reachable under special circumstances) to be pretty lacklustre overall. Now, I appreciate that the best gear was left as part of the reward for deeper exploration and questing, but at the same time I can't help miss a Ribald Barterman/Adventurer's Mart-type store that would have three or four really powerful items to spend on, or a selection which might make the acquisition of this or that merchant something worth investing on.

 

Going into Deadfire I hope we get to see a store or merchant like this. True, the soulbound weapons and more epic loot should probably (at least largely) remain within dungeons and in the hands of big bosses, but I would nevertheless love to see some great unique items in the hands of such vendors. My reasoning, partly, is as follows: in the case of items sold by Ribald the likes of Aeger's Hide, Bracers of Defense AC 3 or the Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, these were seen very early on in the game and helped set secondary goals in my mind as to gathering the money to purchase them; in turn, I was more eager to quest, and more importantly, I felt that money, at least at an early stage, had actual use for me (and not just for getting to Spellhold). In contrast, with Pillars I felt my money was only useful as far as funnelling it to Caed Nua and my hirelings, and I never once felt it as a particularly relevant motivator - I could do with or without it, it was for the most part just a numeric value to me. I believe money could be made relevant in the game again by adding some more motivators to collect and spend it, and what better motivator than great, expensive items for sale? :p

 

Again, this could just be that I didn't pay close enough attention to the merchants' stock in the original Pillars, but as far as Deadfire is concerned, I think it's a matter to keep in mind.

 

Agreed, merchants lacking worthwhile items is a huge part of the reason why gold is so worthless in the game. Coupled with the enchanting system that incentivizes not spending gold at merchants and waiting until you find that super powerful item you're better off enchanting in order to save resources. I think there needs to be more special items at merchants at the same time as the whole enchanting system requires a total overhaul.

 

Luckily the enchanting system is being completely overhauled already, but I would agree about what you say regarding the first Pillars.

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I really liked having Azzuro pay visits to the Stronghold. Even though I didn't always but his item, it still made for an interesting event. Personally I'd like to see something comparable in PoE2. Perhaps the city has an exclusive magic item auction for only the most wealthy or prestigious guests? You'd have to earn your way in, and once there the available item would change each time you visit. In fact, you could put up your own items for sale.

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What I hope for merchants in DEADFIRE is consolidating the duplicate items. I don't want to sell 100 Xaurip Spears and then have to scroll through 100 Xaurip Spears to get to other stuff in the merchant's inventory. They should just show a single spear with x100 next to it.

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What I hope for merchants in DEADFIRE is consolidating the duplicate items. I don't want to sell 100 Xaurip Spears and then have to scroll through 100 Xaurip Spears to get to other stuff in the merchant's inventory. They should just show a single spear with x100 next to it.

 

Hah, I remember using the innkeeper in the first village as my own personal junkyard to avoid this issue ^^

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What I hope for merchants in DEADFIRE is consolidating the duplicate items. I don't want to sell 100 Xaurip Spears and then have to scroll through 100 Xaurip Spears to get to other stuff in the merchant's inventory. They should just show a single spear with x100 next to it.

 

Hah, I remember using the innkeeper in the first village as my own personal junkyard to avoid this issue ^^

 

haha yeah, for me it was the stationary merchant att Caed Nua :p  He had plenty of spears so to say. Which made me thinking on a comment you can make on a guard/protector in Twin Elms: "Nice spear... compensating for something else?"

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What I hope for merchants in DEADFIRE is consolidating the duplicate items. I don't want to sell 100 Xaurip Spears and then have to scroll through 100 Xaurip Spears to get to other stuff in the merchant's inventory. They should just show a single spear with x100 next to it.

Stacking trash loot is confirmed.

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Most RPGs have a problems with balancing what you can buy in shops with loots and drops and the overall amount of gold you get in the game. Unfortunately it's a zero sum game whether found items are or are not better than those you can just buy in a shop. In the one hand stuff in the shops is devalued and on trhe other loot and quest rewards are devalued.

 

One of the best balancing acts in IMO was Dragon Age origins. There you had a fairly large selection of uber-items around the shops sold for exhorbitant sums of gold. In general they were better and there where more of them than you could afford to buy with gold earned In normal gameplay, you had to choose between them, and you only got a few top quality items from looots or drops IIRC.  You had to quest hard to make enough to get any of them, and you had to pay close attention to dialog options/quest solutions that might make you extra gold.

 

Then for some inexplicable reason they put in the Lyrium Potion exploit that allowed you to mint as much gold as you wanted easily. I guess it may be Bioware worried people would get upset not being able to buy all the good stuff, so felt they had to put in a back door to it.

 

Many games have made a mess of this. Witcher 3 for example. Outside of the first hours of the game there is nothing in the shops, except a few runes and Gwent cards perhaps, that you have any interest in at all. There is tons and tons of fancy gear to be bought, looted and found in the game but all you are intersted in is Witcher diagrams to craft Witcher gear, i.e. the best gear, which in the scheme of things in the game is cheap as chips to do. You have no interest in loot or shop inventories and no need of money for anything.

 

Another problem I believe bedevils this issue is that playing first time blind the whole question of gear looks very different to what it does on a second or third run (or if you make etensive use of Google to guide you shopping expeditions). I think it is reasonable to say it is best practice to design and balance quipment availablity for the first time blind playthrough having no idea what equipment is available where as you progress. However that almost necessarily means that the a player on their third run who bee-lines preferred specific items, as you do, will end up with a) a mountain of useless gold and b), overwhelming disappointment at the stuff offered in the shops.

 

A final issue which I think contributes to people who play a lot of a game feeling the equipment available to buy in the shops is distinctly lacklustre is the necessity of scaling the power curves of equipment and ultimately capping them at some point to balance end game challenges. Let's face it if a piece of equipment is not significantly more powerful than what you already it is by definition lacklustre.

 

Personally I think Pillars did a pretty amazing job on this front considering how hard it is to get right. There are a lot of exiting loots and drops to be earned. There are also a number of excellent items available in most shops. I typically use both over the course of a game. There is no one piece of equipment of any type that is demonstrably and indisputably better than all others of that type in the game but they do have very different attributees and charcteristics and suit different approaches. I still find myself mulling over whether I want to use this or that items for a character, and the decision is sometimes pretty tricky. Which to me is saying Pillars has done a pretty good job equipmewnt-wise on the whole.

 

The one thing I would say is I would like to see some sort of solution to the mid-to-end-game gold mountain problem. In the end the need to make a bit of coin is a good reason to get out of bed in the morning and go questing, and if there's nothing to spend it on, well, a bit of the magic is lost somehow. Yes, you can put in "gold sinks" (such as a few things that happen along the way at the Stronghold for example) but the fact is, and here I agree with the OP's general drift, this is not the same as unexpectedly finding a fanatastic weapon, suit of armour of ring to spend 100,000 of yopur hard earned on. Not the same thing at all.

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Excellent post by OP couldn't agree more.

 

This topic has been discussed numerous times in the other forum where posters where complaining about lackluster special items.

 

What really pissed me off in pillars 1 was the merchants in the elmshore area came right at the end of the game so you had hardly any time to use the items you could purchase from there anyway.

 

But you are 100% correct. Nearly all the items you could purchase at merchants made virtually no difference at all to your overall gameplay effectiveness so there was no point buying them.

 

Les hope the devs are reading this thread because it is a really popular one with all the likes.

 

Well said OP

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Dragon age origins had it's flaws, but it did many things right as well. The merchant inventories are a prime example. By far, many of the most powerful items were found in merchant inventories; this gave gold value. I remember KotOR being rather similar on this, especially the PC version that added those Yavin space-station items (although they arguably broke the game a little bit due to being way too powerful, and the super merchant that paid about 2.5 times the amount of money other merchants were willing to dish out for any items you sold him kinda broke the economy too)

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