Late-game shopping considerations

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Jetryl
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Postby Jetryl » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:58 pm

Roots wrote:I don't know why we are even talking about this, considering this is a design consideration for late in the game, and we are still at the very beginning. Seems like a pointless discussion since by the time we get to that point, we would have likely forgotten that this topic ever took place. :|


You want forum activity, you got it. :angel:

Besides, we're not making any decisions, here, just tossing around ideas.
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Postby Roots » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:04 pm

Jetryl wrote:Besides, we're not making any decisions, here, just tossing around ideas.


In that case, this should go in the ideas and game features section, not the design section where we actively made design decisions. ;)
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Jetryl » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:11 am

Another brilliant lampoon of bizarre RPG conventions:

This stuff practically writes itself! :|
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby ElonNarai » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:57 pm

Jetryl wrote:aka an RPG cliché we may want to avoid. We've got a long time before this is going to be an issue, though.

(to be explicit; it's the "why aren't they giving you the über-items for free if it's clear that you're the hero who's gonna save the world?" situation.)

[img:750:368]http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2005/20050114h.jpg[/img]

Hero: "Hello, merchant. I'm here to save the world"
Merchant: "Uhm... You and what army?"
Hero: "Just me and this small group of friends. Now I was wondering, I need some of that expensive weapons to defeat the final boss. Would you mind giving it to me?"
Merchant: "Look, kid, I admire your spirit, but there is an army of gazilion demons between you and him. What if you run away with it and sell it to someone else?"
Hero: "Dude, look at how my line starts. It says 'HERO'!"
Merchant: "Designers make mistakes too..."

There is however a way to solve the above problem. It's called a quest. We let there hero proof himself against the people.
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Roots » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:20 pm

I moved this thread to the ideas forum from the design forum. The design forum is really for discussions that are about immediate or near-future design discussions and not brainstorming sessions.


I like ElonNarai's idea about proving yourself to the townspeople. I think it would be cool if after completing local quests, the merchants and townspeople are willing to provide you with some things that can help you on your journey.
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Jetryl » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:05 am

Regarding the joke about the edge beetle, one feature I don't like in games, is when monsters do random drops, and they drop nonsensical crap. Rarely do wolves or (insert generic monster here) legitimately have ... helmets and swords.

I really liked the way legend of zelda (a link to the past, and minish cap), terranigma, seiken densetsu, and chrono trigger did things. The only drops were things that made sense. They were common things you had a need for. In chrono trigger, it was usually potions; in zelda, it was replenishing arrows and stuff, and half the time, they dropped only from those who it made sense for them to drop from - arrows from warriors wielding bows.



Another game "anti-feature" is killing a bunch of monsters, and hauling loot back to town, then going back and killing monsters, then hauling more loot. Ick. It's flat, because there's not an interesting, competitive market for stuff; there's one place that buys your goods, at a flat rate. I don't mind features like this in trading games like Escape Velocity or Pirates, where being a plain old merchant is a major feature of the game, and the whole game is designed around making that complex and interesting enough to be enjoyable, but I think we should avoid it if it's a "half feature" added in as an afterthought for flavor, and just use the abstraction of giving the player raw currency.

Mantra: Choose certain elements of gameplay to be the bread and butter of the game, and make them rich and complex. Streamline/eliminate everything else.

Zelda had the guts to not make the player shop for their weapon. Curiously, it was no less fun in this regard, and in fact possibly more fun (due to lack of "furk*"), than either seikenken densetsu or chrono trigger, both of whom went through the motions of buying and selling weapons, but may as well not have do so, because the list of items you purchased was practically a predetermined linear chain. If it's gonna happen anyways; if it's not a real choice, don't bother making it optional. Just remove it.

Roots wrote:I like ElonNarai's idea about proving yourself to the townspeople. I think it would be cool if after completing local quests, the merchants and townspeople are willing to provide you with some things that can help you on your journey.


I think that when you get into the late game, any of your weapon improvements are done by "something other than buying them in a store" is a good idea.

Either you quest for them, you steal them from some treasure trove/sanctuary, you are given them by proving yourself worthy (ex: either by people, or by supernatural stuff, like the sword in the stone, or being granted excalibur by the lady of the lake, or winning the sword of kusanagi by killing the big serpent monster). Or, perhaps your weapon gets reforged by heroically-skilled smiths, like happens in both zelda and lord of the rings.

There are tons of options, but "buying them" is dumb.


* furk = work disguised as fun; confer "grinding", or "hauling and selling loot", or repeatedly raiding a dungeon to get a rare, random drop. Furk is evil. Kill it.
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Roots » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:57 pm

- Agree about having monster drops "make sense"

- Agree that "loot hauling" is flat and dull, but the merchant feature mentioned seems way too complex (and thus hard to get it right). Lets stick with raw currency

- Agree that the weapon/armor upgrade path should not be linear. We're already on track with this. We have various vulnerabilities and status afflictions, not to mention the sockets/shards feature we'll implement later.

- Agree that weapon upgrades from smiths, etc. would be cool. We need more variety than simply buying all the equipment.
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Jetryl » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:24 pm

Roots wrote:- Agree about having monster drops "make sense"

- Agree that "loot hauling" is flat and dull, but the merchant feature mentioned seems way too complex (and thus hard to get it right). Lets stick with raw currency


:approve: Yep, that merchant feature was an example of what not to do. We're not a game about trading goods, so I too would like to leave that stuff out. Raw currency should be it for most drops, unless they're "consumables", and they "make sense" for the involved unit to be dropping.
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Re: Late-game shopping considerations

Postby Winter Knight » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:57 am

Merchants in RPGs have always been weird. Often there is only one person likely to buy their stuff. Me. And I either don't want it, or only want one. Yet they have an infinite supply. How do they do that? And what do they do with the stuff that I sell to them, if they weren't carrying any already? Shouldn't it be on the list? And where do they get their stuff? The stuff I don't sell them? I don't see any deliveries. And why don't they have any assistants? Why don't they move? It's not healthy to stay in the same position all day long.

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