inventory solution: a "pit" where items can be dumped to instantly sell

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by SkyMuffin, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    I do have that installed, and I'm playing NTTG right now. I'm only a couple of levels down, so I haven't noticed a difference in store frequency. I'll keep an eye out.
  2. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    'fore I start, it's she ;)

    As I've said before, I'm not a game developer. I don't invest my time and money into making games, making mods, so on and so forth. But general consensus amongst developers, from my perspective, is that everything has to be balanced, whether it's large or small.

    To use Torchlight again as an example; the balance takes the form of losing your pet for however long (I believe the further down you go, the longer your pet is away), so whilst you can just go get a cup of tea and wait for him to come back, you've still taken a somewhat artificial 'nerf' to your character in that your combat abilities have been reduced. If you push on without your pet, you're not going to be killing stuff as quickly.

    Even Mass Effect had a sort of inventory sell feature, but it was definitely a trade-off. Do you sell your useless gear, or do you turn it into omni-gel? One path requires you to get to a store (there's one on the Normandy), the other can be done there but gives no financial gain, only a small quantity of a not-always-that-useful substance.

    If you turn the DoD thing into a Risk:Reward situation, you have this. Selling from the inventory is no risk, ergo the reward (i.e. amount of Zorkmids) should be smaller. Trudging back to Brax is a risk (albeit a small one compared to the majority of the game), or even finding the nearest Brax if you've not discovered many, can be a risk, ergo the reward should be higher. How many times have you stumbled across a monster zoo when looking for Brax? I know I did it a few times yesterday, and I'm sure others have done it.

    It's not so much about adding artificial difficulty, more adding features without removing the use of others. It could be very useful if you're playing the inventory management mini-game, because you're obviously limited on space.

    There's other ways to balance it; make it a skill (e.g. Sales Diggle that exists for a small number of turns), make it a wand-based drop, add a cool-down. Many, many ways to make it work without compromising the idea of Brax.
  3. J-Factor

    J-Factor Member

    If you use my Chronomancy® mod you have access to the Grandfather Clock Paradox™ which allows you to teleport back to shops at will. [/ad]

    (I might try converting that spell into a 'store portal' item as a separate mod.)
    r_b_bergstrom and Kazeto like this.
  4. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    This is basically my opinion on this as a non-dev also. If there's no artificial barrier or penalty, it feels like Brax's usefulness was reduced by 90%, since how often do you actually buy things?

    That said, someone suggested that we could be able to sell to vending machines. That could be an interesting idea.
  5. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    Yes, things need to be balanced. But what does balance really mean? If something is balanced it means that it isn't overpowered or underpowered. It means that some skill, or strategy, or spell, or game feature is not too powerful and not too weak. It does not mean that every benefit to the player has to be countered by some negative trade-off.

    For example, the old Fungal Arts skill was too powerful. Not only was it kind of annoying to use, but it had two overpowered features:
    • You could create limitless spores to turn into lutefisk.
    • You could turn almost every single corpse into a mushroom.
      • (The only time you couldn't was in a large monster zoo where killing them all and then walking around to place spores might take so much time that corpses start to disappear.)
    The only downside to this was wasting time passing turns to get the spell off of cooldown. A determined player could turn the game to max speed, then walk back and forth in a room for 30 turns then hit right click, and do this over and over again. You could get up to 5 spores per click, I think. It really only takes a few minutes to get a stack of hundreds of spores.

    So, you get all this lutefisk and mushrooms, but there's a downside: it's boring and tedious. Since there's a downside it's balanced, right? Definitely not. The game shouldn't have a skill where you can click-farm infinite items and make infinite lutefisk, no matter how boring it is. You also shouldn't be able to turn every corpse into a mushroom. That's too many free mushrooms. It's inherently unbalanced, even with the boredom it costs you. (This issue is fixed in 1.0.10, BTW.)

    Back to Brax, and stores, and selling from inventory. The current state of selling items is not necessarily balanced. It might actually be needlessly tedious. If the developers add selling from inventory at 100% of the Brax price, this might very well be creating balance by shifting a situation where you are underpowered to one where you are comfortably powered. The current state of selling items is not necessarily perfect or balanced.

    Game balance is not an exact science either. For instance, an Iron Swords base price is 1000 zorkmids. Is this balanced considering its power and how easy it is to craft? Probably. What if it were worth 1100? Is that still balanced? Sure. No one's going to really notice the 10% difference. Game balance is often not that precise. On the other hand, if it was worth 1,000,000 zorkmids, that's ridiculously unbalanced. There's still a trade-off. It still costs you several iron ingots and some levels of Smithing to make it, but it would be incredibly overpowered. You could make a few swords, sell them, and buy every item you see.

    Balance is not about there being a downside to every player benefit. It's not about there being an upside to every chore you have to do in the game. It's about the overall difficulty of the game, and how that challenge makes the game entertaining to play. That is the lens you have to look through when you think about selling items from inventory. Is selling items at 100% value from inventory going to unbalance the game? I don't think so. It simply removes tedium. Therefore, there doesn't need to be a downside to penalize you for it.

    (Obviously, I could be wrong and it would unbalance the game, but I haven't heard any arguments that demonstrate that this might be the case.)
    SkyMuffin likes this.
  6. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    Haha, isn't this the argument you mentioned in IRC last night? Didn't we agree it was silly? If you aren't buying things, then selling things is equally as useless, making Brax 100% useless. You're just turning useless items into useless zorkmids. Obviously, there are times when zorkmids are not useless. Like when you see a nice sword for sale in the shop. Selling items from inventory doesn't take away that usefulness of Brax.

    Yup, that was me. I still like the idea.
  7. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, that's not exactly the same argument (yes, that one was silly). My reasoning this time is simply this: Brax is currently a noticeable, if not major, game mechanic. He's a dungeon feature (like zoos) that you expect and like to see, because he's useful to free your inventory, browse the selection or sometimes buy things.

    To me, removing the point of selling to him (which you'll agree is over 85% of the time the reason you're looking at him) means that he's now 85% less relevant in the dungeon. He sort of becomes like a crafting vending machine if you're a skill 1 crafter, or a booze vending machine when you have 1 mana regen per turn. Get what I mean? Sure, you can and do still use them, but they're just "an object amongst hundreds."
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  8. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Member

    This is basically how I feel...I don't think any game balance should be dependent upon outside factors. Especially not the level of patience the player has.

    It's like in DotA, there was a hero who was very hard to click on. What made it even more difficult is that he had this invisibility skill and high movespeed. He had low HP and AOE attacks could still kill him, but was it balanced? No, because by virtue of being harder to select, he had a real-world advantage that was immeasurable. Eventually, his selection box was fixed, and his HP was increased to compensate. But he should not have been impossible to select in the first place.

    Same situation here. Someone who has really good patience can actually have a significant advantage in the game over someone who doesn't. And it ultimately hurts everyone involved because it makes the game less fun overall.
    r_b_bergstrom and Glazed like this.
  9. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    I'm OK with that if it means making the game more fun by removing some of the tedium. There's no rule that says that current game elements need to remain constantly relevant. The goal is to make the game as fun and interesting as possible. If that means reducing the number of times you are happy to see Brax, then so be it.

    It's the same thing with RoTDG and high level items. They made high level Smithing nearly pointless. "Wow, I finally crafted that Flail of Pleiades! Oh, and now I just found an artifact in an evil chest with 20 more damage. So much for crafting."

    Now, maybe you think high level evil chests are overpowered and should be nerfed a bit. That's fine, it was just an illustration. Since GLG is constantly creating patches, it's an evolving game. Brax's overall relevance doesn't necessarily need to remain constant.

    Besides, I don't even agree with your premise. His primary purpose is to sell things. Just because you spend most of your individual interactions with him selling him stuff doesn't really make him less relevant as a Salesdemon. That just means that you need to make lots of trips to him to sell loot, and that's the tedious part that I think needs to be removed, anyway! His secondary purpose is to buy your items so you can use the money to buy things from vending machines. Thirdly, he's there as someone to steal from, which is also not removed by selling items to something other than him.

    Brax would still be very relevant for his primary purpose: selling you things.
    r_b_bergstrom likes this.
  10. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Fair enough. We can agree to disagree then. It's somewhat an interesting situation since Dredmor is the only classical gameplay roguelike I know where you actually sell things instead of only buying them (like in Crawl).
  11. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    Yes. That's very well stated

    By adding inventory sales at 100% of the Brax value, the developers would be making impatient players a little more powerful by granting them money that they might not bother getting in the current game. I'm OK with this. I think the game will still be fantastic if impatient people get a little help. There are plenty of other challenges in the game besides trying a player's patience.

    I'm actually not even one of those players. When I'm saving up for an item I will sell every item that's worth more than a few zorkmids. I have plenty of patience. But, really, I have better things to do with my time. Like I said before, I'd rather just finish the current game, face some real challenges while doing so, and then go start a new character. :)
  12. Loswaith

    Loswaith Member

    Well with the ability to sell anywhere you loose out an important factor of the game, the inventory management. Which is about choosing whether you pick up an item or not.
    Do you hoard certain items or not?
    Do you choose to drop that cheaper item for a more expensive one?
    Do you then bother to return to droped items once the store is found?

    These questions are just as valid as "do you decend to the next dungeon level as soon as you find the stairs?" Sure it becomes tedious if you just constantly hoard items, but hoarding items is a choice you make in the way you play the game.

    Selling directly from your inventory anywhere means no choice on whether to pick up an item or not (or even how meaningfull items are on the whole), you may as well pick it up and sell it as there is no reason not to do so (also little reason to have a size limit on your inventory too). The current choice is you can pick up items making more zorkmids or leave it and not need to run back to the shop once your inventory gets full.

    The design aspect of the game is giving a player a legitimate choice in how to play. The more legitimate choice a player has the more control they feel they have in how they play the game. The result being a more meaningful experience on the whole.

    The simple point it that tedium is your own choice, if you dont want the inventory management aspect, dont pick up everything and you wont end up with cluttered inventory and wont need to constantly run back to Brax. No tedium, no problem, simple.
    FaxCelestis, lccorp2 and Kazeto like this.
  13. Glazed

    Glazed Member

    There would not be a significant impact on inventory management specifically because items are persistent when dropped on the ground. Let's say you have 8 inventory slots free, just the bottom row. The rest are taken up with craftables, alternate off-hand items (shield versus tome, etc), potions, wands, bolts, and the normal stuff you carry around for a reason.

    You need money, so as you walk around you pick up items that are worth more than a few pennies until you have all 8 of those slots filled. Then when you encounter a 9th salable item, instead of swapping it with one of the other 8, you simply drop all 8 in a neat stack in the current room.

    When you decide to go on a selling spree you drop everything that not a survivability item: craftables, spare tomes, spare weapons, non-critical potions (buff potions). Those items you drop are just nice-to-haves. So now you have, say 24 slots free, or even more. All you need are your healing items, uncurse potions, etc. It's really easy to pare down to the bare essentials and still have enough to survive even going through new rooms.

    But you're not going through new rooms. All you are going to do is backtrack to the nearest store and pick up those neat piles of 8 items on your way there. The risk to doing this is zero. There are no hard decisions to make. There are barely any random monsters to fight in this game, and they only appear one at a time. Doing this process is so mind-numbingly easy that it's nothing but a chore. I just need that nice item I saw on level 2.

    So I have two choices: Ignore the item because I'm too bored with this process to keep doing it in order to afford the item while the it's still relevant, or I can deal with the boredom and get the item while it is still relevant. This game mechanic is pitting the player against his own boredom. Is that a game mechanic we really want to have in this game? There is so little risk to doing this process that the only downside is boredom. It's not an inventory management challenge like you are trying to make out.

    The game certainly does have real inventory management challenges. Like how many different kinds of bolts do you want to carry around, or do you really need so many kinds of potions? Should I just grate all my cheese? Do I need to carry around these uncurse potions, and this Zodiac Wand? Well, when you've used up the wand and you step on a Thaumite Nest with low health you are sure going to wish you didn't sell those potions! These kinds of decisions are fun. Making little stacks of salable loot and then making multiple trips to sell it all is not fun. Yet, if I don't do it, I can't buy that item on level 2.

    It turns out I have a third choice: petition Gaslamp Games to add alternate ways off selling loot.
    Shwqa, TheJadedMieu and J-Factor like this.
  14. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    I completely agree with this. Seriously it isn't difficult getting to Brax at all, you just need press + a few times and then run over there, but there is a problem with that. IT IS NOT FUN. This is a video game that is supposed to be all about having fun. I don't use the lutefisk cube, because it is not fun. I did not use the old fungal arts, because it wasn't fun. Too much micromanagement all the time just isn't fun. In some games you really need that expensive item to continue playing the game, but 10-20+ minutes of walking back and forth. That is a pointless not fun grind. This is a single player game where your character can permadie at any given moment, which could mean having to repeat that cycle again. Sure you don't have to use the shop but there are times where you haven't found any useful items but in the shop. It just seems silly to punish players for using every reasource available in the game.
    Glazed likes this.
  15. Loswaith

    Loswaith Member

    Try telling anyone that there is "no risk", that has ended up gaining corruption to a respawned corrupting creature or died at the hands of a respawn. There is still some risk.

    I never said it was a challenge. Inventory management isnt usualy about challenge its about the place of items within the game.

    If you can always sell, its saying items as a whole are somewhat trivial and you are meant to pick up everything, no real incentive not to do so and no meaningful choice, as you hinder yourself if you dont.

    If you cant always sell however, its saying items are important, you arent meant to pick up everything and you are meant to be selective of the items you carry. You can however pick up everything but have to make runs because your inventory gets full. You have a meaningful choice. If you dont do so you may not have the currency for the item you want, however the upside is you are further through the game and are likely to find items you can use instead.

    Yes these are important but only occur because you have limited inventory space. If you can sell at any time at any place, you are limited by only ever needing one empty slot (if that). You may as well fill every other slot with whatever you want.
    Thusly, you can afford to keep 4 stacks of different cheeses and 4 stacks of bolts and 4 types of potions, and both the uncurse potions and zodiac wand, instead of just the one or two of each because you dont need any of those empty slots to carry stuff to sell.

    Likewise you could choose to leave all your crafting goods at the shop where there is the item you want, or some of the rare potions/food/drink you are saving for later in the game, or some bolts you use less frequently. Sure if you then want to craft something you have to go back to the shop (or if you need those items), but you have likely given yourself an extra boost in items you can carry to sell so dont need to make any of those smaller piles.

    The simple fact is why dose the game bother having the shop at all, if there is no shop, there is nothing to buy, no reason to take the trivial trip back to the shop, there is no reason to sell, so no reason to hoard.
    Though I'm sure we can all agree that being able to buy things makes the game more interesting and thusly more immersive.

    Personaly I like the lutefisk cube, it gves me a choice of what to do with things and personally having a choice how I play the game is the essential 'game' part. Without some choice it may as well be a movie.

    Im generaly a hoarder in games as such I expect that I will have to take times and frequent trips to a shop, however I like the fact that that is the cost of the choice I make (no cost = trivial choice).
    The advantages I get for being a hoarder and using the lutefisk cube is that I can afford better stuff from shops and get better rewards from the lutefisk god.
    This is much the same as the aspect of recovery from food/drink at one point per turn and cooldowns on skills. The choice is when to best use them, the penality is the time it takes recover (notice a penality in time, same as for selling things). It would likely be much more fun if food/drink was instant and we had no cooldowns so we can use our favourite skill all the time too.
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  16. How about an icon like a trash can that you can click and drag items you want to sell into like the corner of the inventory screen? Although I can see how finding Brax is supposed to be part of the game itself a challenge just to get rid of your items. I personally keep running back and forth between floors to get to Brax when I need to sell items at least until I find his store on the floor I'm on at the moment. If anything maybe an item like a bag where you can put unwanted items in and be unable to remove them then you can sell the single bag for the value of all the items you put in all together for the same value it could also be an icon on the inventory screen but its got to have the setback of taking up an inventory slot and you still need to ultimately find Brax.
  17. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    I'm not saying that there shouldn't be choices for characters. I love choices in a game. That is fun. But the choice shouldn't between being bored but having a better PC or ignoring parts of the game to have because you think they are dull. I think the choice should between:
    1) sacrificing items for lutefisk and maybe getting a nice artifact (which also has the choice of waiting till 500 pieces for an awesome artifact or using pieces ASAP for an early artifact)
    2) selling items for gold and having a more options and control over your resources but much less likely for an awesome item.

    These are fun choices for me. However in the current game setup doesn't have this is choice. You can easily do both it just depending if you want to spend the time doing it. This isn't should by an rpg where if you are having troubles then just grid a little more. I tend to explore a floor completely and do all the quest before heading down to the next floor that should be enough of a grind. The player should be able to do well in the game by exploring, being cunning, and having a little luck not because they put X amount of time into grinding.

    1) I don't like the lutefisk cube because to use it with to its full effect you have to pick up every item. This ultimately leads to every 15 minutes or so becoming a grind all meats and cheeses and then sacrificing the items to the cube. Spending a minute or two clearing my inventory every 15 minutes of game play is just dull.

    2) I'm not asking for the game to be easier. I don't mind inventory management, but in my mind inventory management means "Should I get rid of this voltaic potion for this potion of invisibility? I might be able to run away better with invisibility but that potion makes me kill things faster/resist some annoying traps and spells" I'm asking for a game where it isn't a chore to play. I clean for 8 hours at my work and then clean my house after work. If I get the time to play a video game the last thing I want to do is clean my inventory. For me to walking to brax is about as strategic as managing my dirty kitchen. If I run out of room then I clean my dishes and put them away. There is already a spot for this my dishes (and there is a spot for items) but doing the dirty work is boring. I want a game where I'm fighting evil by the skin of my teeth and surviving by my wits, not more chores.
    SkyMuffin and Glazed like this.
  18. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    My idea for dealing with selling in this game, as I posted awhile ago, on another thread, is simple.
    Add wands of Transmutation, which do not drop as often as zorkmids, :) , but do spawn occasionally on floors, and each of these wands of Transmutation allows you to pile a bunch of items up you don't need, and use it on them, to turn them to zorkmids.
    To make it balanced, I've felt it would be around 90% of the value you normally sell to Brax, on Elvish Easy, 80% on Dwarfish Moderation, and 70% on Going Rogue.
    This way, while there is a penalty, it's minor, and also balanced due to the fact the items aren't super ultra-common.
    Think of how common wands are in the game. Imagine something wand based that's a little less common than that.

    I figure this would both balance it, and reduce the need to go back 5 or so floors on NTTG. Which is a unique game option, I must add.

    I think that would work out well.
    And if you don't agree with me, that's fine.
    Edit: I must stop forgetting they are zorkmids, not gold.
  19. Well there is a huge difference between something in a game being a chore or being difficult I mean it doesn't take that much longer to sort out your inventory in the game so I would say it adds to the difficulty if it took painstaking measures where you had to waste hours on your inventory alone I am more incline to side with your point of view but yes i can see how sitting about rearranging and selling off stuff in your inventory can be a pain thats why I suggested the trash can or extra storage only meant for things ready to sell the drawback would be you better be sure you want to sell whatever you put in it because you cant remove it or it could be something like you can only remove things from it after you find Brax. This would eliminate the need to find him when your inventory gets full but now that there is this hunter skill that gives you food for special types of criticals I'm more incline to say that your inventory will not need to be as full because you can just kill things for health. I personally like to pick everything up sell off what I dont need to Brax and hold onto anything that I would want to craft or eat later So having a place to store unwanted goods to sell off later would be nice I wouldn't have to run up and down floors or hope that this next door is going to be a shop
  20. This would be interesting but I would advise not to use the turning to gold portion and I agree definitely do not have them as common as Zorkmids if anything make it so it changes unwanted items to Zorkmids. part of the challenge of the game is finding those ingots and craft materials if we give the people easy to find items to go around this fact then people wouldn't bother to pick up most items and just look for said wands