Author Topic: Shops  (Read 36280 times)

Aukustus

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Shops
« on: April 19, 2014, 05:15:03 PM »
I am designing shops for my game where players can buy equipment and I'd like to hear opinions for this system. My idea is to have something like shops in D&D games and Diablos.
  • Range of weapons with bonuses found in dungeon is -2 - +2. Players could buy +0 version of any weapon.
  • Players can buy the items which are available for loot at the time. More is added to shop when player gets deeper into the dungeon.
  • These shops would have every base weapon and armor in the game.

So my questions are:
  • There are class restrictions. Should fighter see spellbooks?
  • Is this system making the game too easy? The main idea is to get gear upgrades if player cannot find any in the dungeon.

jim

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Re: Shops
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 05:45:43 PM »
I think I'm in the majority when I say that much of what makes a roguelike fun is improvisation. Say you make a sword specialist, and all you end up finding are magic axes. Those sorts of conundrums are a pleasure to deal with.

In answer to #1, I don't see any intrinsic value in blocking information from players. Maybe grey-out the spellbooks for fighters.

And for #2, it all depends on the rest of the game. Most players probably prefer to Macgyver their way through a roguelike game; if it's just a matter of exchanging gold for a vanilla set of constantly available gear, one might start to wonder whether the intermediary step is even necessary. The exception might be in a scarcity situation (ruling out most *bands and the like), where the question of 50 feet of rope versus a better shield is something that would be cause for concern, knowing that either would be a considerable expenditure and that both are potentially life-savers.

BtS

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Re: Shops
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 05:58:43 PM »
I think I'm in the majority when I say that much of what makes a roguelike fun is improvisation. Say you make a sword specialist, and all you end up finding are magic axes. Those sorts of conundrums are a pleasure to deal with.

I really agree with this, and in addition I really enjoy it when store inventories are unpredictable so it feels exciting to go to them. The possibility of finding something really great and unusual for a really expensive price is something that keeps it interesting, and in the same way not finding what you are looking for is interesting as it forces you to play differently.

Vanguard

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Re: Shops
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 06:39:20 PM »
So my questions are:
  • There are class restrictions. Should fighter see spellbooks?
  • Is this system making the game too easy? The main idea is to get gear upgrades if player cannot find any in the dungeon.

There's no right or wrong answer to these.  Good equipment availability means people won't have to deal with unfair games where they never get what they need, but it also takes some of the fun out of trying to make do with bad resources.  Each playthrough is just a little more unique when you aren't guaranteed to get the armor your build wants.

Personally I prefer it when shop items can compete with dungeon items.  It makes gold worth something and it gives you more control over your equipment loadout.  imo Larn's shop with the Lance of Death is the greatest one ever to be featured in a roguelike and possibly the best shop in any video game.

Zireael

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Re: Shops
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 07:34:47 PM »
For Veins (where beta 5 features a working shop UI but incomplete prices and stocking up) I plan to have the shop sell powerful magic items for absurd amounts of gold. None of those common items for a pittance.
There will probably be a cap on the amount of stuff you can sell, too, to avoid being able to sell 99% of your loot.

mushroom patch

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Re: Shops
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 08:35:31 PM »
I am designing shops for my game where players can buy equipment and I'd like to hear opinions for this system. My idea is to have something like shops in D&D games and Diablos.
  • Range of weapons with bonuses found in dungeon is -2 - +2. Players could buy +0 version of any weapon.
  • Players can buy the items which are available for loot at the time. More is added to shop when player gets deeper into the dungeon.
  • These shops would have every base weapon and armor in the game.

The problem I would see with this set up is that it effectively makes items obtained as loot interchangeable (assuming you can sell things, which you don't say anything about). If all items are the same as their exchange value in stores (because stores will sell you anything you can find in a dungeon), then you might as well generate only gold in the dungeon with the same evolution of item availability with player progress.

Quote
So my questions are:
  • There are class restrictions. Should fighter see spellbooks?
  • Is this system making the game too easy? The main idea is to get gear upgrades if player cannot find any in the dungeon.

re: 2, yes, very likely it will make the game too easy, but that's not what I would worry about. I would worry that this system incentivizes grinding/scumming behavior. It's all just a matter of hauling enough crap out of the dungeon to buy the next weapon. It also sounds like item progression will be so linear as to be uninteresting. If you're worried that people won't find gear upgrades in the dungeon, adjust your drop rates to fix the problem.

I don't know if the following is useful to you, but let me say it anyway: If you're thinking about structuring your shops around the idea that players will not be able to consistently collect the things they need from your dungeons, this suggests to me one of two problems. The first is that you may have had bad experiences re: getting the right stuff in roguelikes as a player. In this case, I would say this isn't as big of a problem in the actually good roguelikes (e.g. the better known ones) as you might think and you shouldn't worry so much about it. The other possibility is that you're not confident that you'll be able to tune your loot dropping code appropriately. If that's the case, then you should make it easy to adjust the numbers in your code and run loot simulations based on reasonable expectations of what players will have encountered at certain stages of the game. That will enable you to tune your system until you can be confident things will work out consistently.

Vanguard

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Re: Shops
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 06:39:53 AM »
I would worry that this system incentivizes grinding/scumming behavior. It's all just a matter of hauling enough crap out of the dungeon to buy the next weapon.

Yeah no matter what you do, it's important to not reward repetitive behavior.

Endorya

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Re: Shops
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 02:22:12 PM »
So my questions are:
  • There are class restrictions. Should fighter see spellbooks?
  • Is this system making the game too easy? The main idea is to get gear upgrades if player cannot find any in the dungeon.

1. Well, if by class restrictions you mean having mages unable to swing a battleaxes - something I always looked at as nonsense btw, then I guess you could just filter items by character class. Unless in your game you can have multiple characters - party based, then I believe it wouldn't be a good idea. But you could always include an option to filter whatever pleases the player most, that's what I tend to do; let the player decide what is best for him. Even with a class restriction he could still be interested in knowing what kind of items are there for other character classes.

2. What makes a game easy to play is the result of all its features combined. Item exchange for coin and vice verse, is just one of the elements to intervene in the game's overall difficulty level. You can have shops supplying the character with loads of coin and still have the game taking it all away as easily. There are a some "templates" for shop systems and all can work well if properly implemented - personal preferences aside naturally. I for instance don't mind constantly repeating the task of carrying the loot I gathered during my explorations back to cities as long there are good rewards, limited carrying capacity, interesting and non-boring exploration mechanics. If the game also features a hunger system then all can become even more interesting by strategically placing good loot far away from trading posts, forcing the player to properly plan his expeditions by balancing room for loot vs room for food supplies.

[EDIT]
You should also think about of how exciting shops are in your game. Will the player feel excited for visiting the newly discovered city's market district? If that is the case then it probably means that shops in your game usually contain interesting items that are hard to find elsewhere, if not than it probably just means that shops in your game are mostly just used to sell items, meaning that the player often gets better items from loot acquired during his explorations. Think about of how important you want shops to feel like.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 03:04:03 PM by Endorya »
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Vanguard

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Re: Shops
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 02:51:49 PM »
Well, if by class restrictions you mean having mages unable to swing a battleaxes - something I always looked at as nonsense btw

It isn't nonsense from a mechanical perspective.

Aukustus

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Re: Shops
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 03:19:01 PM »

The problem I would see with this set up is that it effectively makes items obtained as loot interchangeable (assuming you can sell things, which you don't say anything about).

The first is that you may have had bad experiences re: getting the right stuff in roguelikes as a player.

Yeah. Items can be sold. And it's true that I've had some bad experiences in general in rpg games getting the right stuff. That's one of the reasons I'm planning this.

[EDIT]
...meaning that the player often gets better items from loot acquired during his explorations.

I'll balance the difficulty towards magical items found in the dungeon, for example 1d10+2 sword with hp/mana/attribute/hit bonuses. Player would get base 1d10+0 from shop so they wouldn't have to cope with for example 1d6+0 sword.

I was also thinking of another vendor like Wirt in Diablo 1, selling random magic items and probably make it so that each level up decides what the next item is going to be that the vendor sells. Those items would be totally random and they might be something the player cannot use.

And also the vendor which sells base items could also be randomized with level ups so it would have for example 5 unenchanted random items available.

Vanguard

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Re: Shops
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 04:05:04 PM »
Yeah. Items can be sold.

No good will come of this

Aukustus

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Re: Shops
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 04:11:52 PM »
Yeah. Items can be sold.

No good will come of this

Prices will be quite high and players can't swim in money.

Endorya

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Re: Shops
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 04:27:59 PM »
It isn't nonsense from a mechanical perspective.

It isn't a nonsense until you think it is. I always feel uncomfortable with "magical" restrictions most of the time classifying them as an utter nonsense - not that this is a reason to deny playing a particular poorly excused game, but the thing is, I'm a grown up and I expect to be treated as one. As so, I deserve to hear a proper explanation to why my mage is unable to swing a battle axe. Tell me he doesn't have (yet) the necessary strength or skill to handle the axe and not some religious type excuse: "Mages cannot use this weapon", like the mage is simply forbidden to use it or that they suffer from some sort of a body dysfunction; the same thing goes for a warrior being unable to hold a quarterstaff. What the heck? I am not a warrior myself but I'm pretty sure I can swing a non-magical staff. Mechanics or not, these type of "magical" restrictions are a complete nonsense to me. Go ahead, sue me.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 04:36:15 PM by Endorya »
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Endorya

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Re: Shops
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 04:34:25 PM »
Prices will be quite high and players can't swim in money.

Selling stuff is mandatory. I can't stand the idea of having a world in which you can't sell the items you find throughout your journeys. Not only it would be utterly unrealistic but also turning most items you find to mare annoyances. Just make sure the player won't become rich that easily.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 04:37:17 PM by Endorya »
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rust

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Re: Shops
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2014, 05:34:18 PM »
Selling stuff is mandatory. I can't stand the idea of having a world in which you can't sell the items you find throughout your journeys. Not only it would be utterly unrealistic but also turning most items you find to mare annoyances. Just make sure the player won't become rich that easily.

Well, it promotes grinding, which is plainly boring. There are solutions to it though. For example, you can make shopkeepers have a stock of money available, with which they can buy your items. It's better than infinite amount of money from a "realism first" perspective and it also limits grinding, because if a shopkeeper runs out of money, then you have to search for a new one deeper in the dungeon or in some more difficult area of the overworld. Ideally, shopkeepers should have just enough money to be able to buy all the things you gathered on your way to them, but not much more than that.