PDA

View Full Version : Vendors with infinite resources?


Bluddy
01-25-2011, 03:32 AM
Does anybody else find it strange that now that vendors have money, they can afford to buy every silly thing you give them without it affecting their balance?
I think they should be allotted a certain amount of money, and then once they run out of money they shouldn't be able to buy anymore (unless you buy from them). This would prevent you from recycling every piece of junk you find which I think is a good thing, and it would also make it more important to get new vendors and find visiting vendors, not to mention making treasure more valuable.

Perhaps there could also be an assumption that they're selling through networks outside town and within town, which would give them a trickling income, but in any case they shouldn't be able to exceed their current budget.

ebarstad
01-25-2011, 11:07 AM
Does anybody else find it strange that now that vendors have money, they can afford to buy every silly thing you give them without it affecting their balance?
I think they should be allotted a certain amount of money, and then once they run out of money they shouldn't be able to buy anymore (unless you buy from them). This would prevent you from recycling every piece of junk you find which I think is a good thing, and it would also make it more important to get new vendors and find visiting vendors, not to mention making treasure more valuable.

Perhaps there could also be an assumption that they're selling through networks outside town and within town, which would give them a trickling income, but in any case they shouldn't be able to exceed their current budget.

I was thinking the same thing -- some kind of dynamic town economy vs infinite resources. At the very least, I was thinking any money I give them for "Identify All" or "Repair All" could be reflected in the amount of money they have.

Related to that, it would be cool if a merchant's happiness was affected by you buying from them. i.e., Their business is doing well, so they're happier. Or, if there's more than one of the same type of merchant, and you use one all the time and not the other, then the other could become jealous and unhappy.

Bluddy
01-25-2011, 11:21 AM
Related to that, it would be cool if a merchant's happiness was affected by you buying from them. i.e., Their business is doing well, so they're happier. Or, if there's more than one of the same type of merchant, and you use one all the time and not the other, then the other could become jealous and unhappy.

The only problem I can see with that is that I'd have to run to each one and make him happy by buying, and currently I just dump all my stuff by whoever is closest for convenience.

BTW I love how all the vendors stuck in the dungeons are depressed. Not sure how that works (maybe from seeing monsters), but it's just fun to see... "Oh hi there! What's that? You've got a depression level of -20? Well who would have expected that to happen on the 14th floor of the dungeon of suckitude..."

ebarstad
01-26-2011, 01:16 AM
The only problem I can see with that is that I'd have to run to each one and make him happy by buying, and currently I just dump all my stuff by whoever is closest for convenience.

I'm only thinking about when there are two or more of the same kind of merchant (e.g., Blunt Weaponsmiths). The penalties to happiness wouldn't have to be huge, but it would add a little more drama to this one aspect of the game.

Regardless, I love how Din's Curse is striving to create a living world and a real economy would add to that.

pnakotus
01-26-2011, 05:54 PM
You have to be careful with this stuff, since a good idea (dynamic economy) could mess up the game, considering that the town is apparently under siege so its easy to imagine regular market forces don't apply (at least to the in-town vendors, not the wandering or random vendors). Since there are only a few people actually trading and no source for stock, I'm not sure how a proper economy would work.

Having prices scale with (say) level of danger or vendor percieved threat might be good though; if guys are hitting the town prices go up, if the town is relatively secure prices go down.

Max_Powers
01-26-2011, 07:17 PM
Why not just make it so that the in-town vendors do business with the traveling vendors. That could have been a majority part of how these economies functioned in the first place.

There could also be blockade runners, or other towns that send aid. The town you just saved may be just down the road from the one you are at now.

I am still amazed that I thought the way it was set up was that the more business you do with a particular vendor the more wealth and goodies they would have, thanks to me, their cash cow.

Bluddy
01-27-2011, 03:17 AM
You have to be careful with this stuff, since a good idea (dynamic economy) could mess up the game, considering that the town is apparently under siege so its easy to imagine regular market forces don't apply (at least to the in-town vendors, not the wandering or random vendors). Since there are only a few people actually trading and no source for stock, I'm not sure how a proper economy would work.

Having prices scale with (say) level of danger or vendor percieved threat might be good though; if guys are hitting the town prices go up, if the town is relatively secure prices go down.

I agree that a proper economy might not work so well. It's a good concept, but one that could take a LONG time to get right and not necessarily worth the effort. That's why I think a simplified version may be best. What I suggest though is that if a vendor only has 90CP, he can only buy 90CP worth of stuff. Once he does, he'll get a slow, steady supply of new cash that 'simulates' him doing trade with people in the town and outside of it. Once he's replenished, you'll be able to sell him more stuff. It just doesn't make sense that he has 2CP to his name and can buy everything you throw at him.

pnakotus
01-27-2011, 06:53 AM
that just means offloading vendor trash becomes a slow and tiresome effort, which might not be good (unless the values are changed so there's less emphasis on picking everything decent up and selling)

Bluddy
01-27-2011, 07:02 AM
I think we want to try slow down selling trash, no? It's an unrealistic carry over from Diablo that doesn't need to be there, and it decreases the importance of finding real money in the dungeons. But you're absolutely right that this could cause people to dump stuff around the vendors to wait until they have money to buy it, which would be annoying and even more unrealistic.

Hmm... Maybe we can't get away from the fact that vendors need to be more picky. If they have limited money, they should want to spend it wisely, no? In real life you can't sell anything you want to a vendor. They'll want stuff that's as good as or better than the stuff they have and better than what you sold them last. And maybe we should enforce the rule that you can't sell anything to any vendor.

amandachen
01-27-2011, 08:20 PM
Some great ideas. But it doesn't sound like fun.

Bluddy
02-03-2011, 05:27 AM
I've thought about it some more, and I'm convinced we should at least try modifying vendor behavior.

The current vendor behavior is a carryover from DoP. Vendors:
1. Have an infinite amount of money to buy with.
2. They buy every type of item you have no matter what kind of vendor they are.
3. All vendors have an infinite supply of food and health potions.

These decisions are all weighed heavily in the direction of convenience as opposed to realism, and they were good for DoP. In DoP, running around to find each particular vendor was a pain, so it was good that you could sell everything to one vendor, and buy potions from that vendor no matter who he was. Also, there was no simulation of NPC interaction, so giving them unlimited funds made sense. In any case you sold most things to other factions.

DC has a very different dynamic at this point. What the above rules cause in DC is that:
- I don't care what type of vendor each vendor is since I can sell him everything. He might have an item or 2 I like, but other than that vendors are generic.
- I don't care if a particular vendor starts fights or goes renegade. I care if my steward goes renegade because that has consequences like not getting quests, but I don't care if a vendor goes renegade unless he's the last vendor I have.
- 'Vendors galore' modifiers (or whatever it's called) are boring. Yes I find vendors all around the dungeons, but all it gives me is an easier way to sell all my stuff. It's just a laziness thing.
- One of the big quests is recruiting vendors, but I don't care about it if I already have any vendor in my town.

I really think we need to go in the direction of realism to improve gameplay in this case. DC already has a huge compromise in the direction of convenience, which is placing all the vendors in a circle around the gate! They're all easily available, so why not make their behavior more realistic? That'll allow for more emergent behavior too, since they'll matter more.

What I suggest is
1. Give them a certain amount of money to buy with that'll replenish very slowly over time. Sell them too much and they might go into debt.
2. A vendor should only buy his particular items. That'll make you more aware of what you need to collect to sell. If a vendor leaves town or dies, you just lost a market for your goods.
3. Vendors will only have a few potions/pieces of food to sell, which will replenish very slowly, unless they're specifically potion/food vendors.

These changes would make the type of vendor really matter! Also, I might consider selling my potions (which normally fill up my inventory) to make money if the only vendor in town is a potion vendor.

Vendors galore would be a huge boost because all items would have a market. If a fight breaks out with my potions vendor, I'm going to be very protective of him, even if he's the jerk who started the
fight.

Even if we don't implement all 3 changes, 1 or 2 would go a long way to making vendors more interesting and essential.

Maledictus
02-03-2011, 09:05 AM
I'm not sure I would like limiting the ability to sell items or to buy potions. That could lead to a situation where I could get stuck, because I have a potion-dependant class. I would then have to wait because the risk of death might not appeal, which in turn would let the game run away from me; things are already on a timer.
I understand the roleplaying things about this, and I like the ideas, but I'm just not sure it would work.

How about this: this was actually done in Throne of Darkness, and I liked it. You put the items you want to get rid of in a 'pot' (meld them down, so to say. make it a function of the smith). At any time you can take 1 item from that pot (which would translate into a random item) but the more you put in first, the better the chance that a nice item comes your way. The pot resets after you take an item out. In a way it's the same as the gambler but it eliminates the money part, and adds a chance/invest system (which I think is always fun) and creates another sinkhole for items. You could do things like: put more swords in, get a higher chance the item coming out is a sword etc.

Sorry if this is a little off-topic, but it just came to me after reading this thread, and I thought it might have some bearing on the matter.

It doesn't really fix the economy things discussed here, but might add a (needed?) twist to the current economy system.

Bluddy
02-03-2011, 09:12 AM
The pot idea is interesting.

You make a good point about the merchants. How about this for a compromise then: a merchant who sells/buys something not meant for him will do so at a penalty. So if you buy potions from a non-potion dealer, you'll pay a premium. If you sell potions to a non-potion dealer, you'll get less.

This gives you an incentive to have specific dealers without causing the dead ends you mentioned.

Maledictus
02-03-2011, 09:16 AM
Yes, much better. Adds role playing but without sacrificing continuity. That could work. And it makes the need for keeping certain people alive that much greater, without running the risk of things grinding to a halt.

ebarstad
02-03-2011, 10:26 AM
The pot idea is interesting.

You make a good point about the merchants. How about this for a compromise then: a merchant who sells/buys something not meant for him will do so at a penalty. So if you buy potions from a non-potion dealer, you'll pay a premium. If you sell potions to a non-potion dealer, you'll get less.

This gives you an incentive to have specific dealers without causing the dead ends you mentioned.

When I first started playing I just assumed this was how the economy worked since I've seen that in other RPGs. I think it would work well and make vendor types more important.

Bluddy
02-03-2011, 03:39 PM
I think the vendor penalty should be slightly random and it should be higher for higher difficulty levels. By legendary level you could be paying twice as much when you buy from the wrong vendor / losing 50% when selling to the wrong vendor. Maybe even higher.

Shadow, would this one feature be possible to implement?

Shadow
02-03-2011, 04:33 PM
Shadow, would this one feature be possible to implement?

It's an interesting idea and does fit pretty well with the DC style. I'm not sure I want to do it as the default though. It would greatly change the balance of money and possibly be really frustrating. I might add it as a world setup option though and see how well it works.

Kruztee
02-03-2011, 06:16 PM
I've always though that it was strange that "Food and Drink" vendors offer their wares at exactly the same prices as any other. Doubly so because none of the vendors actually ever run out of food. Never really seen the point of them.

Max_Powers
02-03-2011, 07:33 PM
I've had characters experience the myriad of possibilities in Din's. I've had characters go bankrupt. I've had characters with equipment that was close to breaking because there was no way to get them repaired.

I don't see the problem with vendors the way they are now. I mean, I am sure it could use some tweaking, but overall I think what you experience with vendors determines how you view them. Just like someone above said that they have a potion dependent character. If you are not buying from a potion vendor then odds are you are paying full price for the best available potion. This can be overkill as it was what lead one of my chars to going bankrupt. I now stockpile early and bargain shop vendors. Same with my necro and buying/stockpiling food. If you are always paying full price for the best stuff it can lead to problems. If your pet only needs 500 health to be at maximum what is the point in feeding it something that will give it 1500 health points?

Next, I have never seen a vendor other than a potion(maybe a regular)vendor have potions in abundance like MF find, or dexterity potions. Most of my chars are always using and are well stocked on MF potions.

Then, in regard to vendors buying anything - I still don't see what is wrong with that. If I am selling polished turds for a nickel and someone comes up with something that I am certain is worth $1000 and is willing to take $20 bucks for it I would be stupid to turn it down. The mark up/down in this game is large, and to me, that is why any vendor would buy anything.

Why can't we assume that there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes and just leave it somewhere near that? Maybe a vendors displayed money is just his 'for business' money and he has a safe at home that he buys supplies with. Etc, etc... I am with shadow in worrying that some of this could add a lot of frustration. just my two cents.

Maledictus
02-04-2011, 06:31 AM
About vendors, if I may ask:
Why isn't there a 'mystic' or some such vendor, where you need to go to buy back skill points (like in TQ) ? Now it's simply done in the skills screen, which is convenient but not very roleplay (where does the money go?). Personally I'd like that to be a little more difficult. It's so obvious that I'm sure the idea was discarded a long time ago, just curious as to why.

Bluddy
02-04-2011, 09:00 AM
About vendors, if I may ask:
Why isn't there a 'mystic' or some such vendor, where you need to go to buy back skill points (like in TQ) ? Now it's simply done in the skills screen, which is convenient but not very roleplay (where does the money go?). Personally I'd like that to be a little more difficult. It's so obvious that I'm sure the idea was discarded a long time ago, just curious as to why.

To me the reason would be this: In DC we have to think about every NPC and what could happen to him, unlike a game like TQ. The mystic could die or go rogue, in which case we wouldn't have the option of buying back skill points. If we think about the circumstances for buying back skill points, they're usually because the player either clicked the wrong button, or because they realized that they need to make some changes to their build, which stopped being effective. Either way, they're already frustrated. If we prevent them from doing the thing they need to correct their problem because their mystic died, we'll cause even more frustration.

Bluddy
02-04-2011, 09:29 AM
I don't see the problem with vendors the way they are now. I mean, I am sure it could use some tweaking, but overall I think what you experience with vendors determines how you view them. Just like someone above said that they have a potion dependent character. If you are not buying from a potion vendor then odds are you are paying full price for the best available potion. This can be overkill as it was what lead one of my chars to going bankrupt. I now stockpile early and bargain shop vendors. Same with my necro and buying/stockpiling food. If you are always paying full price for the best stuff it can lead to problems. If your pet only needs 500 health to be at maximum what is the point in feeding it something that will give it 1500 health points?

That's a good point. You obviously pay a lot more attention to the amounts than I do. I just buy 'em and use 'em as needed.

Next, I have never seen a vendor other than a potion(maybe a regular)vendor have potions in abundance like MF find, or dexterity potions. Most of my chars are always using and are well stocked on MF potions.

Wow you also make a lot more use of potions in general than I do.

Then, in regard to vendors buying anything - I still don't see what is wrong with that. If I am selling polished turds for a nickel and someone comes up with something that I am certain is worth $1000 and is willing to take $20 bucks for it I would be stupid to turn it down. The mark up/down in this game is large, and to me, that is why any vendor would buy anything.

Why can't we assume that there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes and just leave it somewhere near that? Maybe a vendors displayed money is just his 'for business' money and he has a safe at home that he buys supplies with. Etc, etc... I am with shadow in worrying that some of this could add a lot of frustration. just my two cents.

Your point is basically, 'why should we go for realism when it could hamper gameplay? We could just imagine explanations for the things that don't seem to make sense'. My point is that it seems to me we can afford some realism, because we have so much convenience at this point that it eliminates the significance of having separate vendors, and wastes the potential of having things happening to those vendors(aka NPCs), which is what the expansion is about.

Clearly you really appreciate potion vendors, but the interaction with weapon vendors and such is limited to buying the occasional good item, and selling all your junk to the whichever vendor happens to be nearest. If we make it such that you get more money if you sell to the right vendor, we give an incentive to care about the vendor types and what happens to them. At lower difficulties, a margin of 10-15% would mean that it's something people won't necessarily bother about, but those who wanted to pay attention to it could benefit. At higher difficulties, the margin would be higher, making it a real part of the strategy.

Shadow
02-04-2011, 10:57 AM
About vendors, if I may ask:
Why isn't there a 'mystic' or some such vendor, where you need to go to buy back skill points (like in TQ) ? Now it's simply done in the skills screen, which is convenient but not very roleplay (where does the money go?). Personally I'd like that to be a little more difficult. It's so obvious that I'm sure the idea was discarded a long time ago, just curious as to why.

It's somewhat a convenience thing, but it is keeps the interface a bit simpler.

Aet
02-04-2011, 10:59 AM
To me the reason would be this: In DC we have to think about every NPC and what could happen to him, unlike a game like TQ. The mystic could die or go rogue, in which case we wouldn't have the option of buying back skill points. If we think about the circumstances for buying back skill points, they're usually because the player either clicked the wrong button, or because they realized that they need to make some changes to their build, which stopped being effective. Either way, they're already frustrated. If we prevent them from doing the thing they need to correct their problem because their mystic died, we'll cause even more frustration.

Why not give Din the ability to do the respec'ing? I have yet to see him die. :p

Maledictus
02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
"The mystic could die or go rogue, in which case we wouldn't have the option of buying back skill points."
This doesn't seem to be a problem for the other vendors. I've had similar problems with weaponsmiths; them dying on me and me with no place to repair weapons. That however is credited as being part of the living world. Besides, what's wrong with inconveniencing the player a little (in the gameplay department, that is) ? I can see where bad UI design is an inconvenience, but this respec thing is just a difficulty bump, if that. A dead mystic would, in worst case scenarios, hold you back from respecing for a few levels. That's the hardship of living in the DC universe.

I've always thought that respecing shouldn't be in a game such as this, it should be about choices and living with them, or giving up and trying again (you can tell I've played lots of Diablo 2), but this is obviously personal taste. Perhaps this could be an option at the character creation phase, select "no hindsight" (disable respec) for instance to make things difficult (like choosing HC).

I will admit though that in cases such as these I tend to choose in favor of roleplay, and put player convenience in lower place. It's all about immersion for me, suspension of disbelieve. Lucky for you I'm not the designer here!
Sry, don't mean to rant, just passionate about the game(s).

ebarstad
02-04-2011, 01:03 PM
I've always thought that respecing shouldn't be in a game such as this, it should be about choices and living with them, or giving up and trying again (you can tell I've played lots of Diablo 2), but this is obviously personal taste. Perhaps this could be an option at the character creation phase, select "no hindsight" (disable respec) for instance to make things difficult (like choosing HC).

I think having the option to respec is needed. I'm new to the game and trying out different builds and skills and being able to respec is handy for learning what each skill does. I wouldn't want to have to start a new character just to sample the different abilities of a certain class.

I like the idea of going to Din to respec (he is a god after all) and then the money could at least go somewhere.

Max_Powers
02-04-2011, 06:03 PM
Bluddy,


Ultimately, I was trying to show you that there are many people playing this game in many different ways. If you are requesting this as an option or a mod then I am fine with that. However, I see what you are asking for as being more of a hassle than adding realism. I would also rather have any focus of realism(which I am in favor of)be on the actual game play and not some improved town economy which will never really be real anyhow. Unless Shadow turns this game into a town simulator there will always be some abstraction.

To me a realism addition like making being in water more harmful when getting hit with electricity is more the kind of things I want instead of. There are a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense right now. For example, how can a ghost sustain a deep wound or a crushing blow. Truthfully, they should only be damaged by magic or faith or something.

Anyway, small company, great game, lots to do, not much time to do it in = I am fine with vendors the way they are. Again, this is just my two cents. I will keep playing Din's most likely regardless, so....