Item Availability.

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Item Availability.

Post by Feawen » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:01 pm

I decided to bring a few thoughts from the RPP thread over here. It didn't quite seem to fit in the Armoury thread, either, even though it's a similar topic.

This is about item availability, and my 2cc.

*Top-Tier goods should only be available through crafting - No apping in special with them. They should be available to everyone, and on sale from PC crafters. If you don't have PC crafters? Make due with what you have. This will make crafter roles more invaluable, I think - which was one of the things I feel worked very well in Atonement and possibly Parallel (which I didn't play very much).

*Any 'special' items should be oval'd, except in the case of progged items - I'll admit, progged items are really cool. They're possibly some of my favorite things, just for that extra little 'oomph'. However, we don't need a massive list of unique items that should "never be used". Also I know there were some issues with unique items being reused on SOI - really, just redesc it with ovals. Unless there's an IC reason why things are identical.

*Pregame Shop - This helps standardize available equipment. I know Harshlands has one, PRPI has one, and ARPI had one. I believe that Armageddon does too, but it's been so long since I ventured into those shark-infested waters. Haven might, too. This is useful, especially with the varcats, for setting up a character as an individual - something that Shadows of Isildur was significantly lacking in.

It also gives the player time to think about what fits their character as they're outfitting them, and jump-starts the process of getting into character without throwing them into the game world and forcing them to hunt around for appropriate gear.

*Point-Buy System - This goes along with RPP. In addition to being able to purchase races or roles, I'd honestly like to see the opportunity to start with above-average equipment in the shop... which can be reflected through roles as the ability to buy something slightly higher quality.

This is most useful to adding a little variety to roles, so not everyone that's playing a citizen of Esgaroth, for instance, starts off wearing the same quality of goods. Are you playing a merchant? Buy some nice clothing that doesn't look like it was cobbled together by a newbie apprentice! Elven archer from the woodland realm? Get a somewhat better quality of bow! Grizzled veteran soldier who retired and is now living as a farmer? Purchase some maille that you keep with you at all times to defend your lands. While I wouldn't want to see anything top-tier here, it would add some nice variety.

Basically, allow people to accumulate and spend points to allow for a more "experienced" character. This system could probably just be based on time spent playing - no reason for Role-Play Points or Leadership Points to come into this, since it would just be dealing with a small sum of money.

That's all for now. Does anyone else have anything to add along these lines?

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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Rivean » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:32 am

I'll prefix this by admitting that I'm a bit of a simulationist when it comes to RPIs, and am likely representing a minority view.

That said, I've never liked the idea of artificial OOC rules that impose on the IC reality (like, only a Fellowed crafter can make doorknob type B). They tend to break my immersion.

In general, if something should be possible IC, then it SHOULD be possible IC - an OOC imposition is usually the result of a failure to design the game world in such a way as to disallow the undesirable thing that one is now attempting to patch.

In this particular instance, I find it difficult to imagine, to cite an extreme example, for a Noldor elf to come in and somehow find the best equipment of his or her career in Laketown - it stretches plausibility.

Now, one can argue that top tier characters/equipment shouldn't exist at ALL, but that would be a different discussion.

Otherwise, I'm all for the precommencement shop, and different item sets being available based on one's role/race/badges, etc.

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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Drew7uk » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:50 am

I think there are some cool ideas here, and I'm all for a pre-game shop as long as it doesn't take you 5 hours to get through it before playing!

Maybe this is an acceptable exception but I have to say that it's still exciting for players and storylines to see various bits and pieces available through plots and adventure - maybe specialized loot at the end of a super long journey, or a special trinket on an enemy boss NPC. Reason for this is that more often than not they facilitate nicely as little plot catalysts, and I at least was always taught the power of these as an RPA and the great ways in which they can affect plots.

Like anything though, it's just a case of being careful that once you create and load that item in game, it's not coming out again.

In terms of a point buy system for improved gear, this was already somewhat implemented in SoI previously with the role chests which were set up by staff in advance and provided players with a certain amount of upgrades, clan insignia etc. Could the same system be used for what you're imagining?

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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Hawkwind » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:22 am

Drew7uk wrote:I think there are some cool ideas here, and I'm all for a pre-game shop as long as it doesn't take you 5 hours to get through it before playing!
I would like to second this, after going straight through chargen the will and effort to then begin to play has been heavily sapped.
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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Tepes » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:25 pm

If a pregen shop like ARPI, then maybe the options to get a kit or customize.

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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Octavius » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:18 pm

I see opinions on both sides of the customizable variables. I'd like to see more discussion on where to balance.

ARPI allowed full customization of almost all variables, picking and choosing patterns, colors, styles, etc., of each item of beginning clothing. It was fun for some, time consuming for others. It also reflected a futuristic world with mass-production of wild varieties from different cultures. By the time you do all of this, you have exactly what you want but then also don't need the IG crafters as much.

SOI was the opposite, first with newbie rags, then later with the "newbie shops" which gave pre-gen access to PC-stocked storefronts. Individual items available in stock, produced by characters in game. It gives all profits and support to PC crafters, but offers less variables and options (they can only get pre-game what could be gotten in game).

Our third option is presented here, with packages of matched goods available. This would support the "quick start" belief, where you choose from sets that offer a whole outfit that makes sense together and move on.

(No matter which choice above for clothing and such, we can also offer packages of goods to go with roles.)

Merits? Issues? Balances between them?

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Re: Item Availability.

Post by Throttle » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:37 pm

I'm a bit leery of player-driven newbie shops since it leaves new PCs too dependent on crafters for the bare necessities. There can and will be periods of time when nobody is playing a fletcher, for instance, or when something prevents shops from being stocked with crucial items. It's also likely to make shop-owners insanely rich with little effort, and it'll encourage them to shape their crafting habits exclusively after the OOC shopping trends of new PCs. You'll get people just making piles and piles of things like backpacks because they know every single PC that ever gets created will buy one. I think it's important that new PCs enter the game with equipment that represents their long-time possessions.

Some people didn't like the time-consuming nature of ARPI's newbie shop, others loved it because it let you outfit your character in preciselty the kind of clothes they'd wear, not the kind that happens to be for sale because someone decided to make that. Tailors still saw plenty of business as they could make much nicer and more interesting clothes -- I'm pretty sure something like half of the currency that passed through the playerbase during the first month after PRPI's launch went to one particular shop because it was the only tailor. As long as the newbie shop's selection is kept sparse and the quality is low, it won't infringe very much on PC businesses.

All you need to do is make it optional. Give players the choice of going to the clothes shop or just getting a bag of generic clothes, it would be very easy to do. For actual equipment, the package system we used on PRPI seemed to work well and also prevented players from being cheesy and entering the game with ten daggers or something. In addition to 'package of <crafting type> tools', we also had stuff like a survival package containing glowsticks, a knife and armour repair kit; a combat utility package with another knife, a small shield and a weapon repair kit; and each general weapon type had a package with a random shitty weapon of that class and a sheath/strap. You could add things like a donkey or a merchant's pushcart to the package shop as well, and maybe even something like a rowboat, since it'll otherwise contain little for PCs who don't fight.

I can PM you an actual list of the packages we had if you'd like, though they will of course be full of stuff like glowsticks and bullets that won't apply here.
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