Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

TechnoGoth

In game funds.

Recommended Posts

I''ve noticed that in most games there is a trend to give the player more money then they can ever spend. Thus making money meangless and providing making it so the player can the maxium amount of all the best stuff. But is this a good thing? I personally feel it isn''t. So my question is how would players feel about being forced to but in an effort to earn money in game? This combinded with the player faced with recuring cost such as lodging, supplies, item and part maintence. ----------------------------------------------------- Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Equipment loss on death always makes for low amounts of funds. A reagants system for spells, where you have to actually buy supplies to cast, also dips deep into funds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not to harp on and on about my fave game in every thread... okay, maybe I will. ;-)

Darklands managed money fairly well, up until you reached the point where you could afford the best armour around. At that point, you started accruing wealth faster than you could spend it, but it was usually well past the middle of the game. If you were playing for a "quick win", you usually didn''t have a huge stockpile of money. I would assume that anyone playing any game just for the enjoyment would tend to stockpile money anyway, much as someone who enjoys economics and trading would do well in a capitalistic society.

There were fees to enter cities, bribes for the night watch, road tolls, etc, that were based on how much money you were carrying. That helped level it a bit, even if it felt arbitrary (how does that friar know I have 18 florins, and not 1?).

It also used the aforementioned reagent system for spells. You could make money (if you knew the potions) by buying components and selling potions, but it required a lot of travelling. Knowledge (of alchemical formulae and saints) also cost, both money and time, but made the game so much easier to play -- thus ensuring that the player would travel all over the map.

There were also places where you could voluntarily spend money to increase skills (or the like). Donations to churches would increase your diving favour (mana), and occasionally increased virtue (casting skill) -- but it was pricy. Still, it was a good way to spend of excess money in the midgame. This was probably the best non-intrusive balancing system.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it depends on the type of game. In many RPGs money is useful at first for beginning equipment and weapons but by the midpoint of the game, you''re just not excited about finding a chest full of cash because there''s nothing to spend it on. This is mostly because the best items are only available through special quests or random rewards from defeating a hard enemy. If the best weapons could be bought, it would encourage people to mindlessly slaughter over and over again until they had the cash to get the best weapons in the game and just fly through the rest of the game.

I think that the best model for in game funds handling is to follow the typical RPG style where money is helpful at first and then you get a little overflow, but give the player something worthwhile to sink money into. Like in Diablo II you could "gamble" and pay rediculously large amounts of money for an item, but there was a chance the item would be really good. Usually you just got junk though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by GroZZleR
Equipment loss on death always makes for low amounts of funds. A reagants system for spells, where you have to actually buy supplies to cast, also dips deep into funds.


Yes, but like some people, I hated knowing in the back of my head that I was using these reagants everytime I casted my spell. Therefore if there was the same spell worth a rediculous amount but offers reagant free casting, I''d buy it.

You could also feature the absolute greatest equipment to be crafted by nonplayer characters that are given quested items, along with cash for the service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First off its an rpg I''m working, secondly there isn''t the typical random encounters system, and currently the plan is for enemies to carry little or no money.

GroZZleR: There is no comming back after death so that wouldn''t work. Also I''ve already included regent into the incantation system, as well as other in game consumables.

Subconscious:
The vast majority of equipment in the game must be purchased or made. Rare "named items" can be found but they are few in number and the player normally has to seek them out to aquire them. Also the player is responsible for more then just 1 charcter they have an entire band of npcs to maintain.


still no one has reponded to my original question. Which is how they feel about having to put in an effort to aquire wealth in the game?

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it depends on what you mean by "putting effort into"... as long as it isn''t ridiculously hard to do, or take a long long time, it sounds good. but, if the player can''t do anything because they can''t afford 6gp to heal at the inn and they are afraid to walk out of the town without resting, it could ruin the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I rather liked the Zelda idea where you could only hold so much cash before your wallet was full.

Oh, and then theres Exponential costs, where say it costs only 6GP to stay at the inn, but a newbie sword costs 200GP, and the next tier weapon class is in the thousands. Absolutely rediculous costs, but it surely makes the player work for it.

Oh, and then theres one more idea where you don''t give the player money at all. They have to trade at a local pawn shop for the local town''s currency and then use that to buy a room at the inn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem is that players get money for killing wild animals. They''re out there massacring beasts to farm XP anyway, and the money just sort of happens. I found a section in FFX where you could fight tough enemies with really obvious weak spots, and get a boatful of Xp for it, so I spent an hour or two farming XP there, and next time I found a shop, I cleaned it out because those robots were apparently on their way to Vegas when they picked a fight with me.

If you make it like Fallout, so you have to either kill people (rich people, preferably) to make money or else loot corpses and sell the gear, then money is harder to come by. Even in Fallout, though, you eventually reach a point where every time you kill a Super Mutant Patrol you get to haul 18 miniguns and a flamethrower back to town, and nobody in the game can afford to buy that from you. My locker at the Brotherhood of Steel was packed with at least 200,000 scripts'' worth of gear and drugs, but I couldn''t convert it into currency to pay for surgery because there weren''t enough bottle caps in the world to trade for. I never got the endurance boost.

So make money-making separate from XP-farming, and this problem will be reduced. You can be a level 97 Paladin who can''t be touched by man or beast, but that''s not the same as having a job. Make players work for merchants or steal/find the fancy gear they want. You killed a thousand trolls? Neat. That and a silver coin will get you a flagon of wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, by an effort I mean that the player will have to make of earning money, otherwise they may wide up poor and destitue. They could very well ended up forced to sell their sword inorder to buy food and medicine.


Well exponetial cost makes things expensive. Hmm...I really am going to have figure out a cost structure. I was thinking more that equipment cost would be based on, the type of weapons(ie, katana), material its made from(ie, steel), the quality of the material, and the quality of finished good. Includjng a markup based on the fame of the weapons creator, the personal fame of the weapon(only applies to named weapons), and the merchants markup.

Currently, my idea is to have money earned from missions, looting enemey treasure hordes,theft, merchantile, labour and manufacutring.

Perhaps I should elborate:

Missions:
Wealthy npc can hire your band to perform tasks. The tasks range from protection to assassination.

Looting:
The player can loot bandit camps, and settlements of their valuables, as well taking the equipment of defeated enemies.

Theft:
Peoples houses or noble''s palaces the choice is yours.

Merchantitle:
This consists of purchasing trade goods in one settlement and selling them for a profit in another.

Labour:
There are a verity of manual labour tasks you can have your npcs perform while in a settlement. Such as farming.

Manufacturing:
The use of crafting and other combining skills. To create more valueable items for resale.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there are taxes and high upkeep costs, it would also help a lot. If you wanna run around with really cool equipment, you''ll have to pay not just when you buy it, but also for having it. The upkeep costs should be proportional to the value of everything that the player owns, so there''s a kind of a "ceiling" on equipment/money - when you reach it the money you spend in taxes/upkeep is so high that you can''t have more than X. Taxes like "you have to pay 5 coins every X minutes" make me feel like I''m being robbed, but knowing that if I have the average amount of money I pay reasonable taxes, and if I find a huge treasure I start paying more so it will eventually go away, it feels fair enough, while still letting a really expensive piece of equipment stay rather expensive for the player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
no, I won''t be going with the taxes, taxes arn''t fun or intersting in anyway. Besides they don''t make much sense is their an invisible physic fairy that performing a constant audit and taking money a cetain points. So no there won''t be taxes like that.



-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about increased likelyhood of thieves attacking you? If you''re carrying that much money around, you''re going to make a good target. Err, never mind, looking back at the thread you indicate "no random encounters". Feh.

Okay, what about entrance fees or tolls that scale? A savvy toll collector might be able to size up just how much you can afford. With a random factor applied, so sometimes it''s cheaper, and sometimes it''s just more than you can afford...

Taipan, way back in the day, had random events when you pulled into port. Someone might have broken into your warehouse, or you get fined for carrying opium.

Of course, if there''s no travel in your game, none of these would work...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
YES! You need to work for your Gil! What drives a person to sit in front of a screen for hours on end? Working for a new weapon or item. And if you don''t have to work at all to get the money to buy it... it''s not as fun because you don''t have a sense of accomplishment, and you take it for granted.

Don''t starve the player of money to the point where they laugh maniacally when they see 1 gold coin, but make sure they have a strong desire for money constantly in the back of their mind. It''ll make every kill, every theft, every job, and every treasure chest that much sweeter.

And just as a side note... don''t fill treasure chests with stupid pointless crap. Nothing will tick a person off more than finally finding a treasure chest... and realizing it has 2 cents worth of crap in it! Make them rare and unique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
another idea is to turn it around, instead of making it harder to earn money, give the player more to spend it on (rewards are good!). i cant remember a game where i could get anything cool for my money. its always lame crap like food and potions that dont cost much anyways. lodging is a good idea, especially if more money gives a better place to sack up, but weapons and armor are what im really getting at. a quest to find some crazy blacksmith who sells really expensive but solid weapons that you cant get anywhere else would give the player his moneys worth. the only game i can think of with this is fallout and the weapons you get are no better than what you can pickpocket or kill a guy for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In an MMO world, why not throw in stuff like gambling, or tournaments with a stiff entrance fee? Keep that money moving around a little.

Auctions are a good way to make sure that the rich pay a lot of money for things. Instead of finding ass-kicking swords on dead mansters that didn''t have any hands to begin with, have smiths (player or NPC) make great swords and then offer them for auction through a reputable dealer. Players could go to the auction house, pay a few thousand gold to buy a "test monster", and try the weapon out, and then bid on it against one another. The wealthy players will force each other to spend more money, and you''ll never run out.

Even in single-player play, the auction house in FF6 was a great money hole. Rareish items and the odds magicite shard would pop up, and would generally cost a fortune. I was always pissed when I couldn''t outbid that millionaire, even after I had a million GP, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''ve been playing .hack//infection lately, and they have an interesting thing going that the only way to get any money is to sell useless equipment or items. Since you only use the money to buy different items, it seems like a fair trade. Theres no capacity for giving money to the other "players", just sweetening trading deals with items. The effect is that money is mostly useless once you get to a high enough level, which is great because by then you won''t have all that much anyways (having spent it to supplement the lower levels).

Then again, .hack isn''t a very great model for the MMORPG, fake or not. Its entirely combat based, and with the other players all simulated, there isn''t even a social aspect.

Anyways, I had metioned a town-specific currency, which I supposed is about the same idea as not giving the player(s) any of that money as spoils of victory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:

no, I won''t be going with the taxes, taxes arn''t fun or intersting in anyway. Besides they don''t make much sense is their an invisible physic fairy that performing a constant audit and taking money a cetain points. So no there won''t be taxes like that.



Call them fees and you don''t need an invisible fairy to do it either.
City Guard: "So you want to walk around the city with a sword straped to your hip? That will be 20 gold to pay the city watch to watch you. And what is in that big chest you got there..."
City Guard: "Your mule seems to be hauling quite a hevy load there....."
Bandit: "Half your gold now, other half when we set you free and unharmed...."

Allthough a mission where you have to steal from a tax collector might be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FFX had a "bribe" skill, which let you pay enemies to get them out of the fight and, in some cases, to earn you sweet gear. FF5 had a GP toss skill, which used GP to do damage, as did FF6, FF9, and probably a few others.

The first Zelda games used Rupees as arrows, so even after you had everything money could buy you''d want to grab the cash.

In a different thread I suggested using magic as currency, some kind of quantifiable "mana" that could be stored and then either used to cast spells or invoke special item properties, or else it could be transferred as a trade commodity. You''re always better off with more, and you can transfer it freely between people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
all good suggestions, altough problems arise in several respects. Mainly having to do with the game world in which the game taxes place. The world is combination of elements of fedual japan and norse mythology. There is a distinct seperation betweent the peasents and the nobility. For one the peasnet econmey is essentially a barter based system. While most do posses money, its normally a very small sum of many saved away for emergancies. The peasenst pay a land tax which amounts to about 70% of their crops or production. This tax goes to the nobels who generally have vast reserves of cash which they spend on luxuries. There is a third middle class which consists of mainly of artisians and merchants. Who supply goods to both peasents and nobels. They also act as intermideries since a nobel would never meet with the peasents. So if the peasents are in need of something they would take their potiental to the town elder who would pass it along if they felt it had merit to the local lords clerk who then handle the matter as nessity required.

1)Taxes - So, there are fees in the larger cities for but they consists of merchants licences, export and import fees. While the in the villages there are no taxes unless you own land. There could be unoffical taxes levided by local bandits but the player can deal with those in their own way. They can even been the source of those unoffical taxes should they they have the extra npcs. As to the matter of the guard charging you a fee for carrying a sword, that wouldn''t work since the fact that you are carring sword raises your presence stat(I might call it respect instead but for now its presence) so the guard while make way for you. Since owning and carrying a sword means you are person of respect, wealth and power.

2)magic as currency - That wouldn''t work either since there isn''t magic in the traditional sense in the game. There are incantations which is more ritualistic form of magic, it requires foci(specific artifacts), regents(items consumed during the ritual), time, and concerentraion. Its also a powerful factor and a successful incatation will have a major impact on the outcome of battle. An example of an incation is summon storm, the caster summons a mighty storm over the battle field gusts of wind blow enemy arrows of track, rain creates mud and smuthers flames and lighting bolts strike down near the enemy. It takes a number of turns of inturpted chanting to summon depending on the current weather conditions also its the summoner has to keep chanting to remain in control of the storm. If they loose control it becomes a regualar storm and hampers both sides equally.

3)Things to spend it on - well there should be lots to spend it on. Also in terms of weapons only basic weapons will be available off the rack, so you could goto a smith and buy a dagger, spear, or axe. But if you wanted a quility item such as sword you would have to commssion it from the smith. Either supply the materials and money to have the weapon made. Or give him a larger supply of money to buy the material himself. The player can also craft there own items if they have the knowledge and tools.

4)Thieves attack - this could work. I could increase the likly hood that bandits and criminals would seek you out bassed on what your percived wealth is.





-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That might also be a good reason to curb your own wealth. In Escape Velocity, if you became incredibly powerful and/or rich, bounty hunters would start to track you. It''s all well and good to have the finest ship in the game, but when you look behind you and see three just like it powering up their laser arrays you know you''re in trouble. For that reason, it''s actually easier to get through that game if you refrain from amassing wealth or conquering planets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
I''ve noticed that in most games there is a trend to give the player more money then they can ever spend. Thus making money meangless and providing making it so the player can the maxium amount of all the best stuff. But is this a good thing? I personally feel it isn''t. So my question is how would players feel about being forced to but in an effort to earn money in game? This combinded with the player faced with recuring cost such as lodging, supplies, item and part maintence.



A major concern I''d have is if a job looked like a real job, as in Ultima Online where you had to mine or chop trees to make money. You can turn any task into gameplay if there are risks, choices and resource tradeoffs that lead to different outcomes (take Paperboy or games where you served beer or made hamburgers).

You can either have a balanced economy, or one which advantages the players (and ends up boring because you max out) or one which advantages the game world (which becomes frustrating).

I think you should ALWAYS have what you need to play the game at a basic, albeit diminished level. Look at FPS'' for this principle: Almost all give you a default, low power attack, just in case you run out of ammo.

If you don''t do this, you may end up with situations like the one I experienced with Diablo: I thought I could play a pure Rogue and put no points into magic, then encountered monsters that did massive magical damage; since the dungeon above them was empty, I had no way to play the game anymore. (imo, games should never give you the option to unwittingly fail by making uninformed choices).

btw, I didn''t see it, but how about tithing and guild membership fees as money sinks?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't read the entire thread, but I am catchin on some thoughts here.

I think the biggest concern here is not to introduce a new system to rebalance the condition (like the thieves encounter, or taxes), but how you acquire and spend the money.


Currently most RPGs have their Stone Golems have 1000 gold in pockets and the giant bettle next door keep 200 gold to purchase more webs. Generally speaking, monsters don't carry money, money don't have any value to them. However certain intelligent monsters or certain kind of monsters that has interest in glistening objects such as goblins, gremlins, or trolls may keep some. So, you don't get a random amount of money just by looting corpses of giant rats.

I am thinking of some sort of hunting job system. Player would visit a local guild, and the guild would assign a job to the player to kill 5 wolves that have been roaming Bob's backyard. When you kill the wolves, you would collect their fangs as proofs to the guild. You have 5 fangs, you did the job and get the reward.


Somebody mentioned that weapons available in stores mostly sucks. In some RPGs that's true. However I have played some games that does a great job on this. Ishar 2 only have weapons/armors in stores. You don't get a +50 long sword in a treasure chest you found inside the cave across the field. So if you want to upgrade your weapon, you must go back to town and buy them there. The powerful weapons cost your arms and legs. You normally get 200 gold for each monster you kill, and the monsters do not respawn unless you leave the map. And the powerful weapon costs 28000 gold each and the powerful armor costs 40000 gold each. And there are 5 people in my party. So the situation was pretty much as described, I spent my time most on killing monsters, but it worth the effort. The joy of using the most powerful weapon was there. But I was never be able to buy 5 piece of them, at most 2, way too expensive.


Anyway, my point is, the income and expense must be balance . If you allow random encounters and each monster carries a bag of gold, that is just the same as unlimited income. The only way to balance it is to have something that costs a ridiculously amount of money (seek the FF elements thread, I mentioned something "This item costs 1000000 gil and I have 500000 gil"). But I think it's just an excuse of a bad design. "Oh I see that players can have 500000 gil up to this point. Let's put an item that costs 1000000 gil!" OR, create a system where they will always spend money (since they will always get more money), such as food, sword maintenance, band-aids, new boots, clothes, etc.

In Zelda, the money you can earn is limited to the amount of money you can have. Although technically you can find pennies everywhere, you can't carry them all out with you. And the good thing is, you only use those money for certain things. You don't use them to buy weapons. You can have 0 expense if you want as long as you have all the necessary equipments (and those are free btw), but some quests still require money (or at least an item that costs you money).

[edited by - alnite on April 1, 2004 3:22:26 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites