Inventory and Money Management

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 11:29 am

thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 11:07 am
Exactly all the stuff you're being argued against.
Easier said than defined, apparently.
This is etnirely a game design philosophy regarding how much realism is desired in the game.
It is you who are arguing realism, I am not. The game could be based on Flatland, or set in the village of Smurfs... They might not even need money... but favors for favors should probably equal out... and one smurf shouldn't expect the other to fix their wagon, and clean their house, and patch their roof, in exchange for a thank you note and a four leaf clover. [Though that might depend on the specific individuals. ;) ]
What I pushed for was and RPG that holds the player to the character they've developed (and/or recruited); that character(s) being their lens into the game world; their means of influencing the events and outcomes that transpire; the source of their options. Those options change [or should] with the kind of PC they have.
And there it is again.
Why?
Why should gameplay philosophies change with hardware capability?
Because you read whatever you want to into my posts...
There is nothing in that quote that deals with gameplay philosophies or hardware capability.

It means that —in a bar fight... an unarmed halfling diplomat should have different options (and limitations) than a 250 pound armed barbarian warlord. [I'd say that includes leaving with all of the looted gear from the losers.]
What is a "roleplaying game"?
Technically it's the perception of circumstances from another's point of view.
Sure. But we're not arguing against being able to define strengths and limitations of characters. Not in the slightest.
But that's the root of it all. The 75 pound mage should not be able to carry the same load as the 175 pound soldier —unless magic is employed... which might not always be possible in all situations.

*Please understand that I use 'strength' merely as a single example among dozens of possibles.
[Also I could have said Halfling soldier, instead of a Mage]

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm

The basic divide is what is important to each of us in gaming. To Gizmo, correct me if I'm wrong, what's important is a reasonable amount of believability in character transactions, regardless of gameplay impact. To others of us, gameplay impact is more important than believability.

I want, above all else, a set of "game rules" that do not encourage me to engage in boring behavior. If it is profitable to my number stacks (party build) to spend countless hours trudging back and forth between the dungeon and the town hauling rusty short swords, it doesn't matter to me that it's believable or makes sense. This is a game that provides material incentives for behaving in a way that is not enjoyable.

That's the bottom line. Rewarding boring behavior is bad.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 1:03 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm
The basic divide is what is important to each of us in gaming. To Gizmo, correct me if I'm wrong, what's important is a reasonable amount of believability in character transactions, regardless of gameplay impact.
That's extremely broad; and depends on what one means by 'believability'.

I would say that it needn't hinge on what's believable [meaning realistic], so much as hinge upon what's explainable
[meaning 'within their ability' ].

To borrow an earlier example, a hobbit would need an explanation [allowed by the game —or by the narrative, in the case of a book] for being able to show up in a store with many potato sacks filled with gold (or for that matter potatoes) to trade with. In this case, a wheel-barrow is enough explanation. It would't matter to me if a mage had a scroll of 'Create Gold'; or a magic coat pocket that always had 50 gold in it every morning... So long as it's not 'deus ex machina', and is a known option for the character... The flip side of this is not being able to leave with a dragon's hoard ~if they don't have the means to make that an option. [ie no wheel-barrow, and not enough weeks to haul it all; and no place to store it once gotten. ;) ]
I want, above all else, a set of "game rules" that do not encourage me to engage in boring behavior.
Why is this an issue —when it's optional? [and technically even logical and expected behavior, for some?]
That's the bottom line. Rewarding boring behavior is bad.
Why is this not seen as subjective to you? [who says what's boring?] —but more importantly, do you not see the reverse of this? Anyone could potentially say the same thing of an activity in-game that you appreciate and enjoy... perhaps looting enemies. There are surely people that won't rummage the dead. Myself, in RPGs, I don't explore areas that my PCs would not investigate... IE. unless they are active burglars, I don't even bother with the houses of unknown NPCs, or looking through their belongings —keeping things at will. In the case of having a thief PC, they go it alone, or with like minded PCs... No defending themselves with a Paladin in tow. If it's a lone Cleric PC on the way back with the Party's gold... they might hope there isn't a church on the way; or they might all find out that they've donated a portion of their share to charity. ;)

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 17th, 2017, 1:12 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 11:29 am
This is etnirely a game design philosophy regarding how much realism is desired in the game.
It is you who are arguing realism, I am not. The game could be based on Flatland, or set in the village of Smurfs... They might not even need money... but favors for favors should probably equal out... and one smurf shouldn't expect the other to fix their wagon, and clean their house, and patch their roof, in exchange for a thank you note and a four leaf clover. [Though that might depend on the specific individuals. ;) ]
We're making the point that your defense can be taking logically to an extreme - how much realism in simulation is too much? There are some simulation-type things you want to be able to do, that we do not want to have to do. But rather than just admitting that it's the type of game that you like and that we'd prefer not to have in BT4, you're using arguments that seem to imply we want to do weird stuff that's not feasible in the real world, and literally speaking that may be. But with that you're starting from the premise of the game being a literal environment, whereas we're starting from the premise that the game is analogous to the real world - and as such, any number of real-world, simulator style actions that one might expect to do (anywhere from character pee breaks to sorting currency denominations) are things we simply want to have assumed happen in gameplay rather than having us be forced to spend time doing them explicitly. There are certain actions you want to be able to do, which we do not want to have to do. None of us sit at either end of this simulation spectrum.
That is the crux of the argument.

What I pushed for was and RPG that holds the player to the character they've developed (and/or recruited); that character(s) being their lens into the game world; their means of influencing the events and outcomes that transpire; the source of their options. Those options change [or should] with the kind of PC they have.
And there it is again.
Why?
Why should gameplay philosophies change with hardware capability?
Because you read whatever you want to into my posts...
There is nothing in that quote that deals with gameplay philosophies or hardware capability.
The game design philosophy is how much realism in gameplay is enough realism? And that is not purely a technical capability question. ie, "the kind of PC they have" ~Gizmo.

It means that —in a bar fight... an unarmed halfling diplomat should have different options (and limitations) than a 250 pound armed barbarian warlord. [I'd say that includes leaving with all of the looted gear from the losers.]
All of this is game design philosophy.
How much realism is desired in the fight? AAAADDD? Or controlling every twitch and angle of your characters' limbs and weapons with polygon detection, texture and material physics for armour effects, exhaustion and battle effectiveness related to every pound of weight on your characters' shoulders, and, and, and...?
Obviously there is a line to be drawn - and that is the design philosophy for the game. It can be influenced by technical capability, but it it not merely because the classics were on ancient PCs compared to today. That is what we're arguing - many aspects of the gameplay can and do exist today despite access to improved PCs. We're arguing points that have nothing to do with technology, just style of gameplay.

But that's the root of it all. The 75 pound mage should not be able to carry the same load as the 175 pound soldier —unless magic is employed... which might not always be possible in all situations.
But after some long trotting and tedious busy-work, the mage could have the same end effect - move everything piecemeal to the intended destination.
So, if the end result is to sell all the 'loot', then there are many, many ways developers can encourage certain strategies to get there.
Limiting it to only 1 - Limited carrying weight, for example - forces people who desire the perfectly legitimate end result to accomplish it via tedious, annoying ways (to them), effectively "gaming the game" for the same outcome. Other mechanics could have been developed to provide alternatives to reach the end result which they might have found more fun (as suggested earlier, like buying larger satshels, bags, mules, etc). Especially if it's a very common task and desire.

For carrying items in BT, there was never really a sense of specific "loss" if say your inventories were full. If it was an item you could choose to pick up, you were asked, and you could return to pick it up once you made room if you had none. If you finished combat, you knew that whether you had space or not, you may or may not discover loot. So if you had no inventory slots, you don't know for sure if you'd have found an item or not since you're not told, so there's no effective 'loss'. But you knew that if you were hoping to find a rare item then you'd make efforts to leave inventory space for potential combat loot.

In none of this process was there a "hey Cid, go and pick up this item that dropped from the gnome you just killed". Is that the level of simulation you desire? If not, why not that detail, but the other levels of detail you are arguing for elsewhere? What you're arguing is for your preference in gameplay philosophy - more believable simulation in roleplaying games, in certain areas of gameplay mechanics.
And that's fine - but it's not Bard's Tale

To borrow an earlier example, a hobbit would need an explanation [allowed by the game —or by the narrative, in the case of a book] for being able to show up in a store with many potato sacks filled with gold (or for that matter potatoes) to trade with. In this case, a wheel-barrow is enough explanation. It would't matter to me if a mage had a scroll of 'Create Gold'; or a magic coat pocket that always had 50 gold in it every morning... So long as it's not 'deus ex machina', and is a known option for the character... The flip side of this is not being able to leave with a dragon's hoard ~if they don't have the means to make that an option. [ie no wheel-barrow, and not enough weeks to haul it all; and no place to store it once gotten. ;) ]
And all of that sounds fine. I think we'd all probably agree. Because those are other strategies to accomplish the same result, but without what we may consider to be tedious busywork (such as the repetitive trotting back and forth to lug all the loot and sell it). So, maybe we should help inXile come up with strategies and gameplay elements that are fun and optional knowing the wide variety of preferences we have. ...which are of course still in the spirit of Bard's Tale.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 2:31 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 1:12 pm
We're making the point that your defense can be taking logically to an extreme
What defense?
Any statement can be stretched to include comical extremes; and well beyond (or outright tangent to) anything that was stated. That's not how one refutes an argument.
There are some simulation-type things you want to be able to do, that we do not want to have to do. But rather than just admitting that it's the type of game that you like and that we'd prefer not to have in BT4, you're using arguments that seem to imply we want to do weird stuff that's not feasible in the real world, and literally speaking that may be.
May? (Of course it is, that's why it was used.)

*It's not a matter of wanting, it's a matter of not credibly having any choice in the matter. You misunderstand greatly, if you believe that I suggested any of it because it's something I'd relish, or spend excessive amounts of time busying myself with... :?
[Fascinated and enamored with the idea that my halfling cannot carry two suits of platemail armor and a maul... and must make three trips to the merchant!]
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No, it's not that at all. It is the lack of willingness to take the PC and their situation seriously, by the player; and worse by the developer... when not presenting the game as a farcical bit of fun. —Think of playing Witcher: Where Geralt quaffs a gummi-bear potion, and start's bouncing around like a super-ball, or a Warner Brother's Looney Toon. This is the kind of cavalier treatment of setting that ruins player esteem and confidence, and makes it unsatisfying to even try to enjoy; except as an arcade game. There is a big difference [in mental attitude] between playing Dragons Lair, and playing the Witcher; or is this honestly not so for you [as well]?
But with that you're starting from the premise of the game being a literal environment, whereas we're starting from the premise that the game is analogous to the real world - and as such, any number of real-world, simulator style actions that one might expect to do (anywhere from character pee breaks to sorting currency denominations) are things we simply want to have assumed happen in gameplay rather than having us be forced to spend time doing them explicitly. There are certain actions you want to be able to do, which we do not want to have to do. None of us sit at either end of this simulation spectrum.
That is the crux of the argument.
You are lumping together actions that are wildly disparate in nature... equating 'pee breaks' with plausible mercantilism.

This does poke the issue though. My issue here is the attitude of entitlement (by the players)... The idea that the game should bend to their own ideas of convenience [subservient], rather than have the game [designers] not care about anything but the quality of its presentation —that players can go jump in a lake if they don't like it;[including me]. If the game is good, and they know it, and the systems do what they intend, for reasons they intend, then it shouldn't matter if parts of the game annoy the players.

I've always liked the game that was tough but fair, over the game that was conciliatory and irresolute. I find that I cannot respect a game that is.

As I said before, if the overall atmosphere of BT4 more resembles that seen in 'King's Bounty', then the game is obviously meant as a more fanciful light-hearted affair, and simplistic systems would suffice. But if it takes itself more seriously than that, then those same systems could stand out like crude [humor] bumper-stickers on a new Ferrari. [With the thought being, what a zounderkite to deface the car like that.]Image
It means that —in a bar fight... an unarmed halfling diplomat should have different options (and limitations) than a 250 pound armed barbarian warlord. [I'd say that includes leaving with all of the looted gear from the losers.]
All of this is game design philosophy.
How much realism is desired in the fight? AAAADDD? Or controlling every twitch and angle of your characters' limbs and weapons with polygon detection, texture and material physics for armour effects, exhaustion and battle effectiveness related to every pound of weight on your characters' shoulders, and, and, and...?
I won't bother saying it anymore... It's not about realism; it's about PC options. The barfight in Blazing Saddles, where Mongo pushes everyone against the wall behind a piano... isn't realistic, but it's in character. At this point I have to ask, in your preferred version [degree of realism, to use your terms], would that be acceptably in character for a hobbit?
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 4:59 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 1:03 pm
To borrow an earlier example, a hobbit would need an explanation [allowed by the game —or by the narrative, in the case of a book] for being able to show up in a store with many potato sacks filled with gold (or for that matter potatoes) to trade with. In this case, a wheel-barrow is enough explanation. It would't matter to me if a mage had a scroll of 'Create Gold'; or a magic coat pocket that always had 50 gold in it every morning... So long as it's not 'deus ex machina', and is a known option for the character... The flip side of this is not being able to leave with a dragon's hoard ~if they don't have the means to make that an option. [ie no wheel-barrow, and not enough weeks to haul it all; and no place to store it once gotten. ;) ]

If it's acceptable to you for Bard's Tale 4 to display a single line of text saying "You find a bag of holding" at the beginning of the game, it is acceptable to me for inventory and cash management to not be a huge pain in the ass for the next 60 hours. Shake on it? Image

To pursue the Bilbo example a little more, it would have been fine with me for Tolkien to have written "Bilbo and the dwarves set up a wagon train and hauled all the gold back to their home." Boom, 18 words that took 3 seconds to read. Everything explained and it didn't cost me 60 hours. That's win/win.

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 1:03 pm
Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm
I want, above all else, a set of "game rules" that do not encourage me to engage in boring behavior.
Why is this an issue —when it's optional? [and technically even logical and expected behavior, for some?]

This is absolutely an issue when gameplay is impacted. If looting and selling in an RPG is a minigame that takes up 100 hours of a total 140, and it is fucking boring (to me), then it doesn't matter how "explainable" it is; that makes for a horrible, horrible game, I will pan it in my reviews, and I will not buy more games from that developer.

Furthermore, looting and selling in an RPG is not "optional". Just because you like hauling wheelbarrows of broken chain mail back and forth and I don't doesn't mean that I should be unable to complete the game due to substandard gear ... unless the developer's intention is that all players should do lots of busywork. If that is their intention, good for them and I hope you have fun ... but I will not play their games ever again.

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 1:03 pm
Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm
That's the bottom line. Rewarding boring behavior is bad.
Why is this not seen as subjective to you? [who says what's boring?] —but more importantly, do you not see the reverse of this? Anyone could potentially say the same thing of an activity in-game that you appreciate and enjoy... perhaps looting enemies. There are surely people that won't rummage the dead. Myself, in RPGs, I don't explore areas that my PCs would not investigate... IE. unless they are active burglars, I don't even bother with the houses of unknown NPCs, or looking through their belongings —keeping things at will. In the case of having a thief PC, they go it alone, or with like minded PCs... No defending themselves with a Paladin in tow. If it's a lone Cleric PC on the way back with the Party's gold... they might hope there isn't a church on the way; or they might all find out that they've donated a portion of their share to charity. ;)

Of course "boring" and "enjoyable" are subjective. Everything about what makes a good game is subjective, since the only measurable result is player enjoyment. We're not feeding starving children here.

Maybe there are people out there who want to see a Scarlett Johansson spy movie that details every time she takes a dump or does her laundry. It's subjective! I am not one of them. That is not the reason I go see a Scarlett Johansson spy movie. Maybe it is for you, or that guy, or inXile, and that's fine; but I'm not going to sit by quietly while someone argues that warehouse maintenance is a fun and appropriate theme for a fantasy adventure.

As for your citing of good role-playing and characters not doing what doesn't fit the character, of course I love all that and I'm delighted when any RPG provides different options for different character and party types to advance through the game. In fact to me that is the defining characteristic of a good RPG. But ... RPGs are also predicated on gear advancement. No matter how well you role-play, you're not going to finish any RPG with the starter sword and basic cloth armor. You're just not. This means that gear and money management are not optional to certain playstyles or character types; every character or party build must deal with them. This means that the inventory system should be thoughtfully constructed to cause as little pain to the player's ass as possible. Leave the high-resistance stuff to more optional pursuits that the player can choose to engage in, or not.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 5:31 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 4:59 pm
If it's acceptable to you for Bard's Tale 4 to display a single line of text saying "You find a bag of holding" at the beginning of the game, it is acceptable to me for inventory and cash management to not be a huge pain in the ass for the next 60 hours. Shake on it? Image
Acceptable —more or less; but a terrible cop-out, and seen as a lazy way to explain an unfortunately limited design. Image
Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 1:03 pm
Why is this an issue —when it's optional? [and technically even logical and expected behavior, for some?]
This is absolutely an issue when gameplay is impacted. If looting and selling in an RPG is a minigame that takes up 100 hours of a total 140, and it is fucking boring (to me), then it doesn't matter how "explainable" it is; that makes for a horrible, horrible game, I will pan it in my reviews, and I will not buy more games from that developer.
As would anyone, I'd suppose. (But this is hyperbole)
Just because you like hauling wheelbarrows of broken chain mail back and forth and I don't doesn't mean that I should be unable to complete the game due to substandard gear ... unless the developer's intention is that all players should do lots of busywork. If that is their intention, good for them and I hope you have fun ... but I will not play their games ever again.
Are you saying that you want your cake and to eat it too? (Meaning you want to loot the fallen mobs, with an unlimited take-all button?)

There are not many shining examples to glean from the SSI Gold-Box UI, and looting individual coins —by denomination of each, isn't one of them :lol: , but it had a wonderful mechanic for presenting loot, where the PC could take what they wished from the battlefield, so long as they could carry it; and spellcasters could cast Detect Magic on the pile of loot, to filter the enchanted from the conventional gear —but only if they had the spell memorized; not as a passive ability. This meant that to have the option after combat, the spell caster had to reserve Detect Magic, in lieu of potentially a combat spell. Quid pro quo

BTW: I would be shocked (and impressed) if in an RPG, the PC could find a wheel-barrow to enable hauling extra loot. 8-) 8-)
(Especially if it included animation depicting use of the wheel-barrow, and more so if it slowed the PC's movement speed down —as a cost; Quid pro quo )

**Come to think of it, this wouldn't be half bad at all! :twisted:
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(Yes, it would take up a character slot! The ultimate mule NPC, with a ridiculous carrying capacity; but that's about it.)

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 6:39 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 5:31 pm
Are you saying that you want your cake and to eat it too? (Meaning you want to loot the fallen mobs, with an unlimited take-all button?)

What I really want is for the inventory system to not have vendor trash in the first place. You never read in the novel, "Bilbo and the dwarves painstakingly salvaged the goblins' weapons, armor, and personal effects for usable scrap metal, loaded up their packs and returned to town to sell it and use the resulting cash flow to incrementally upgrade their weapons and armor". Because that is not interesting. It wouldn't be interesting to read, and it's not interesting to play out. It's certainly not interesting to play out 100 or 1000 times.

When defeating enemies, I want to see "party finds 32GP" and have it added to a weightless counter. No time, no management, just a line of text that says we got loot, done. "GP" in this case will not represent actual individual one ounce gold coins but abstract "spending power". I am fine if "spending power" has a hard cap due to the assumption that the party can't carry infinite loot. Perhaps once you hit 1000 "GP" you can't have any more. Maybe you could increase the cap by buying a cart or finding bags of holding, I don't care. I am also fine with there simply being no cap, on the assumption that the party can continually trade out less efficient loot; dumping copper and picking up gold instead, or dumping gold and picking up diamonds. Whatever, it's an abstraction, I don't need or want to know the details. If you don't like calling it "GP", call it "Barter" or "Zenny" or "Loot" or anything you want. All it means is abstract spending power.

I don't want to see any rusty shortswords or broken chain mail, ever, unless my party is so badly equipped that they might actually use these things. I don't want to see any drops of items that my party cannot use, or that are inferior to what they already have equipped. I don't want to find any magic wands if none of my characters are wizards. I don't want to find any magic instruments if my party doesn't have a Bard. If I'm equipped with Tier 5 weapons and armor, Tier 4- stuff simply should not drop any more. Just convert these items and add them straight to my "GP", or have nothing drop at all. Finding inferior/unusable gear or "vendor trash" is not interesting or appropriate text in any fantasy adventure story. Leave it out.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 6:39 pm
What I really want is for the inventory system to not have vendor trash in the first place. You never read in the novel, "Bilbo and the dwarves painstakingly salvaged the goblins' weapons, armor, and personal effects for usable scrap metal, loaded up their packs and returned to town to sell it and use the resulting cash flow to incrementally upgrade their weapons and armor". Because that is not interesting. It wouldn't be interesting to read, and it's not interesting to play out. It's certainly not interesting to play out 100 or 1000 times.
That depends on the novel. ;)
I seem to recall reading a few works [by an author of whom Tolkien said, was "the greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read], and who would write about details on wallpaper, and furniture carvings, filigree patterns on clothing and armor... and I am positive that had he written the contents of loot from the piled goblin dead, it would have been riveting. It really does depend on the writer as to whether it's boring or not.

The Gold-Box games rather literally did write the loot contents of goblin dead; because they presented you with a list of items; and might actually be a list of twelve clubs, each written as "club". :lol: [Not particularly compelling]
When defeating enemies, I want to see "party finds 32GP" and have it added to a weightless counter. No time, no management, just a line of text that says we got loot, done.
And why should they be allowed that? What possible entitlement to afford them that?

*Not to mention the fact that it strips away any choice not to take the loot, and what of cursed items? With a choice, the player can leave it on the ground by chance, or sure detection, or intuition... Your way it wind's up in their pack —and intangible pack at that, if I understand correctly.
"GP" in this case will not represent actual individual one ounce gold coins but abstract "spending power". I am fine if "spending power" has a hard cap due to the assumption that the party can't carry infinite loot. Perhaps once you hit 1000 "GP" you can't have any more.
I understand the point, but I actually think this is worse. The other way, the player can choose [to carry] cash over loot, and old equipment.

The other day I was playing "Descent into Darkness" [a recent FRUA module from a few weeks ago], in it my character had found personal items that might be magical, but he couldn't tell... So since he knew that his own belt wasn't magical, he discarded it for the new one he'd found; yes... it was one or the other, not both. He was highly overburdened already. He did the same for the boots, and the robe, and the cloak; and the bracers.

IMO it's quite annoying to take that choice away from a player.
I don't want to see any rusty shortswords or broken chain mail, ever, unless my party is so badly equipped that they might actually use these things.
This is very common in Gold-Box, and there is absolutely no reason to pick them up; and one doesn't ever have to. They are there, because they were used in the battle, and because not everyone would feel the same about not picking them up.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 17th, 2017, 7:46 pm

All of this "but then the player can do this, and the player can do that" - sure. But not every player wants to be able to do that, let alone have to do that. That's what we're saying. The game can either assume that all of "that" gets done automatically, or the game can provide various means to an end of which the player can choose which is most fun for them.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Woolfe » April 17th, 2017, 8:27 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 11:07 am
What I pushed for was and RPG that holds the player to the character they've developed (and/or recruited); that character(s) being their lens into the game world; their means of influencing the events and outcomes that transpire; the source of their options. Those options change [or should] with the kind of PC they have.
And there it is again.
Why?
Why should gameplay philosophies change with hardware capability?
Um.. maybe I am confused, but I think PC is used in terms of Player Character here, and not Personal Computer.....
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Woolfe » April 17th, 2017, 8:30 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 6:05 am
Woolfe wrote:
April 16th, 2017, 7:31 am
I don't know exactly what Gizmo wants, but I want money to be meaningful. That doesn't mean complex arcane mechanics. But it does mean thoughtful useful mechanics. If you give me shedloads of cash, give me something useful to do with it. Maybe I get to buy some fancy "about town" duds, that gets me into the flashy nightclub, who knows.

But when all you have is money piling up, for no reason other than to show how big your sword is, it is pretty much meaningless.
I agree with this, and I don't think anyone here disagrees. The argument I would say isn't necessarily about some specific money management functionality, but about the concept of money management. Many of feel that some games implement currency in a manner that has provided mundane, annoying, tedious gameplay. As you say, it's no some much that everyone wants just "gold" and "endless" amounts. But that what is implemented is not a system that takes away from our enjoyment of the rest of the game by adding many extra clicks, all the time, just to perform something we'd like to do quickly.

Examples were given, such as being limited by inventory space on how much to carry, which for some made the only strategy workaround dropping and picking up stacks of gold for repeat journeys - alternatively, a different mechanism could have been developed for the game that would make that player desire easier, but perhaps more costly. Some games implement larger carrying bags; perhaps purchasing a mule; or having the ability to hide, store, bury, whatever - something other than being limited to the degree of having to resort to busy-work (ie, "gaming the game") in order to carry out some common task.

Another example was having to constantly exchange currency. That's a complex one, since the simplest route is "I want to buy something" - many don't want to have to do math, or have to go and exchange currency at a bank to come back and buy what they want, or have to exchange bags of lesser currency for greater currency just to be able to carry the same amount of value, all of that... Currency management can lead to mundane, common, regular tasks. Those may be enjoyable by some for its realism, but for other it's tedious undesireable work enforced by game mechanics.

inXile's task is to find a balance between the system they desire, and a system that's flexible enough to accomodate what the players find desireable. I'm sure all this input as invaluable to them as they sit back and read, hoping it doesn't come to fisticuffs :P

But the more productive and informative discussion would be about what we desire and why, not which desire is best!
"I want money to be meaningful"

Ok... So i have stated what I desire. Forgetting the various examples (which were just examples, I don't think anyone is saying this is how it should be done, simply that this is how others have done it).

What is it that you desire?
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 8:57 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 7:46 pm
All of this "but then the player can do this, and the player can do that" - sure. But not every player wants to be able to do that, let alone have to do that. That's what we're saying. The game can either assume that all of "that" gets done automatically, or the game can provide various means to an end of which the player can choose which is most fun for them.
Personally, I don't think the player's wont should be considered at all. The game should have its systems, and they either like it or they don't. The only important thing [IMO] is that the systems further and support the setting and atmosphere in a way that the designers appreciate.

People like to put down Fallout's UI, but the UI was intended to appear and behave like salvaged machinery from the game world; and their machinery was odd too. And the trading interface was made to resemble literal table —as in "bring what you've got to the table" to trade. Fallout didn't have money, it had merchandise & equipment. You traded equipment and supplies. Caps were an entirely optional commodity item that were used to equalize a trade —if at all needed. Caps were gambled for caps in the casinos; and traded directly for bar drinks and food ~in dialogs.

Bethesda royally screwed up the bartering aspect of the Fallout series in their attempts at it... in FO3, you cannot barter; you can only sell for caps.
__

You seem to believe that I am suggesting manual-micromanagement for gold (and sub-denominations). Really the main problem [as I see it] with auto-pick-up —aside from cursed items [which you don't want singled out], is what to do when the PC can't carry any more stuff. Be it item slots, item weight, or both, when there is more than can be carried, I would guess that the PC's inventory (or carry limit) gets filled up with some of the loot, and stops. What then?

How does it pick the loot? By value? (How does the PC know what the value of each item is?)
I remember watching a show once, where a burglar stole a "gold" watch, and then discarded it because it didn't pass the bite test —and he didn't know what Platinum was.

It would seem to me that an auto pick-up could be more work than use. Fallout had a take-all button, but the game is all about salvaging, and there were no booby-trapped inventory items; even so, you'd get rocks, and fruit, and spaghetti along with the flamers, and machine pistols, and ~actual trash in some cases.
Woolfe wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 8:30 pm
Ok... So i have stated what I desire. Forgetting the various examples (which were just examples, I don't think anyone is saying this is how it should be done, simply that this is how others have done it).

What is it that you desire?
My understanding of it [open to correction if wrong], is that of not caring about the incidentals, and just wanting to be done with it... when it is the incidentals that should sometimes make getting it done —impossible; but that this too should be ignored, because it isn't interesting or fun. Like ignoring a parking meter because it isn't interesting or fun, and being able to drive off anyway, despite the boot on the car, because it isn't interesting or fun. They want the omission of anything not interesting or fun in the PC's life & situations... Hence wishing for a charmed life, instead of dealing with the PC's [sometimes unpleasant] interactions with others, and especially with others that hold influence over them.

They will say that this has to do with GUI efficiency, but in practice it affects the PCs ability to interact and to be imposed upon.

As I understand it, if the PC finds a valuable urn... they can spend it piecemeal, because it's to be represented as generic buying power ~it's virtual value; and also [presumably] if a pickpocket steals from them, they abscond with part of the urn? All of the urn? —none of the urn(?), because that's not interesting or fun?
Last edited by Gizmo on April 17th, 2017, 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 9:16 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 8:57 pm
The game should have its systems, and they either like it or they don't. The only important thing [IMO] is that the systems further and support the setting and atmosphere in a way that the designers appreciate.

Again: this is the basic divide. Your priority is a consistent, realistic setting, "explainability", etc. and you choose that over good gameplay (or to be more precise, to you and only to you they are one and the same). Most of us in the thread put good gameplay first and "explainability" is much less important, and even detrimental when it makes gameplay boring.

In your ideal world, the game would "have its systems" ... and I would not like them.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Again: this is the basic divide. Your priority is a consistent, realistic setting, "explainability", etc. and you choose that over good gameplay. Most of us in the thread put good gameplay first and "explainability" last.
As I said before with examples... being realistic doesn't much matter. The setting could be that of Barron Münchhausen, the contention would not be about realism, it would be about actions out of character. In the (barely related) case of money, the Barron won a bet from the Sultan, to have from his treasure vault all that one man could carry; the Barron was deceptive, in that he had a man that could carry the whole treasure room. [in character of the man and the Barron both]

The side point of this is the fact that you couldn't even write the scenario in a game that disallowed weight restrictions on loot.
___
What we consider 'good gameplay' clearly isn't the same thing... What you consider 'good gameplay' appears [to me] to be streamline/merged—sand-blasted gameplay that ignores anything inconvenient to what the player wants to do in the moment. [Or what is subjectively considered boring]

**Nobody gets it, but unless one gets pinched every so often, the rest of the gameplay starts become bland. This is not advocating annoyance for annoyance sake, it is simply pointing out that too much of a good thing becomes boring, and you both seem to only ever want the apple without the worm. There is a wonderful Twilight Zone episode on this topic. It's about a man who thinks he's gone to Heaven, and is given everything he ever thinks to want... He wins at poker —never loses at poker... How long do you think poker stays fun if you never lose? It's called "A nice place to visit", and he gets sick to death of it in less than a month. He turns away his girlfriends (who do anything he asks, and always let him win)... In the end he begs to leave Heaven for Hell... And guess what he's told?

**I wasn't going to add this next bit [didn't think it was needed], but...

How long do you think the loot game will remain fun if you never have to choose between keeping one item or another?

Vast amounts of treasure lose their novelty & appeal when they are just swept into the dimensionless pocket, and never cost the player in any way for them to keep it... People don't value what costs them nothing to replace. In the Gold Box games you might well find yourself having to choose between money, and loot that might or might not be worth the money you'd have to drop to take the item with you. (and it might turn out to have been something you could never buy) :?
Last edited by Gizmo on April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm
What we consider 'good gameplay' clearly isn't the same thing... What you consider 'good gameplay' appears [to me] to be streamline/merged—sand-blasted gameplay that ignores anything inconvenient to what the player wants to do in the moment. [Or what is subjectively considered boring]

Close, but with an important difference.

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm
Nobody gets it, but unless one gets pinched every so often, the rest of the gameplay starts become bland.

I do get it! I've supported you upthread on this. Resistance is a good thing, of course. Without it, a game can't even be called a game.

Here's the deal. Resistance, frustration, challenge, these are all fantastic things to have in a game - when they support the themes and intent of the game. If inXile specifically wants to make a game about the difficulties of hauling a dragon hoard back to town, then awesome. There should be weight limits, realistically modeled size limits, 10 different kinds of backpacks, feeding schedules for pack animals, the whole bit. Management games can be fun when that is the intent behind the design. I'd play that game, hell yes I would.

But. This really wasn't the intent in BT1-3. It's not the apparent intent in any RPG I can think of. And I do not believe for a blue minute that it's the intent for BT4. Pain in the ass inventory systems are done because "that's how RPGs are" and for no other reason. Not good enough.

Look at Wasteland 2 for example. Was there anything fun or compelling about the encumbrance limits? No. My party was easily able to carry all the important stuff they found. There was never an "idol or whip" decision. There was some ass pain moving things back and forth, and once in a while I'd go, damn, it's getting time to go sell shit ... and that was the absolute limit of the drama provided. Was this the intention of the developers? Was this a compelling challenge that added to the story? Is walking back and forth from a hub an essential theme of the post-apocalypse genre? No, no, and no.

Now look at Pillars of Eternity. The party had a bottomless "stash" ... anything not equipped was assumed to be hauled around in abstract packs, and then it was eventually sold. I'm sure you would vociferously object to this system on paper, but ... what was the substantial impact on gameplay or setting between this system and Wasteland 2's? Was one even meaningfully more "explainable" than the other? What thrills and spills did the W2 system have that POE lacked? Was W2 measurably better because of party encumbrance limits, or was it just more annoying?

Streamline away the stuff that is not important to the intent of the game. Streamline away the stuff that adds nothing to the story. Streamline away the stuff that does not look good as a bullet point on the back of the box. Streamline away the stuff that I didn't buy this game for.

Add resistance, challenge, interest to the stuff that is important to the intent of the game. Add resistance to things that are meaningful to the themes of the genre. Flesh out systems that look great as back-of-the-box selling points. Make the central themes of the game brilliantly elaborate, deep, challenging, even frustrating as hell. Make me think, make me work, make me fight back ... but don't make me do warehouse maintenance in a swords-and-sorcery story.

That's not what I came for.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 17th, 2017, 9:59 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
If inXile specifically wants to make a game about the difficulties of hauling a dragon hoard back to town, then awesome.
Sounds dreadful. :D
But. This really wasn't the intent in BT1-3. It's not the apparent intent in any RPG I can think of. And I do not believe for a blue minute that it's the intent for BT4.
On this we agree; yet it was sadly the same with Wasteland 2... [not being in keeping with W1]
I don't think the intent of the game needs to justify the inventory UI; though it's nice when there is a synergy between them.
Pain in the ass inventory systems are done because "that's how RPGs are" and for no other reason. Not good enough.
I've never seen that to be the case, not really. Fallout is made the poster-child for this sometimes, but I don't think they had a problem with it, and I never did —once I'd found out that you could type number values when trading caps.

I do believe that at least some RPG designers made the 'Inventory Tetris' specifically to reflect the awkwardness of some objects, regardless of weight... and so they don't fit easily in a full pack. I like and respect this mechanic.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Drool » April 17th, 2017, 10:42 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 8:57 pm
Personally, I don't think the player's wont should be considered at all. The game should have its systems, and they either like it or they don't.
Yeah. No kidding. Also: water is wet.

But since this game is in pre-production, it's the perfect time for people to express how they would like the game to be. You know, like you yourself have been doing over the course of seven pages.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 17th, 2017, 10:53 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:59 pm
I don't think the intent of the game needs to justify the inventory UI; though it's nice when there is a synergy between them.

This is a very important difference between us. I absolutely believe that every system in every game should be done with intent. If the're no positive intention behind a system, leave it out. "I guess carrying stuff should be hard in the game because it's hard in real life" is nowhere near sufficient reason to include an encumbrance system.

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:59 pm
I do believe that at least some RPG designers made the 'Inventory Tetris' specifically to reflect the awkwardness of some objects, regardless of weight... and so they don't fit easily in a full pack. I like and respect this mechanic.

I respect the "realism" of it, but again, is it really the intent of these games to make shit awkward? Or are they doing it "just because"?
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 18th, 2017, 12:31 am

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 10:53 pm
This is a very important difference between us. I absolutely believe that every system in every game should be done with intent.
Oh we agree on the intent part; no system should arbitrary or lacking effect, and they all should be designed with intent, but I think that a good system that does the job well, need not be only used in a particular game that needs the feature [purpose built]. Meaning an excellent currency system could [and probably should] be used for any game that needs a good currency system —not just the one that's a banking sim. There would have to be a good reason not to IMO.

Now Super Mario uses coins, but only as collectibles for a score count; no need for lesser denominations there. But an RPG with merchants and thieves, and paying passage on ships, and commissioning crafted objects, and having mobs that would have money, but not be wealthy... It's the perfect project to benefit from a fine-tuned currency library feature; where they just name the coins and their relative values (and preferably weights).

I'd like to see a Hitchhiker's Guide game with Ningi coins in it. :twisted:
Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:59 pm
I do believe that at least some RPG designers made the 'Inventory Tetris' specifically to reflect the awkwardness of some objects, regardless of weight... and so they don't fit easily in a full pack. I like and respect this mechanic.
I respect the "realism" of it, but again, is it really the intent of these games to make shit awkward? Or are they doing it "just because"?
I don't think it's that realistic, but it imposes a [perhaps needed] limit where there otherwise wouldn't be one. As for why they did it, I would assume some did it with understanding, and others did it because that's how the other guys did it —and perhaps with no perception of why.

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