Just disallow selling loot to shops !

borsuk

Diabloii.Net Member
Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Hey

I keep reading about ideas to make gameplay more fluent and how trips back to town introduce annoying breaks. They got one reason right - strong reliance on potions. Something hits you, you drink a potion. So they introduce health orbs. But they missed something more obvious.

Town portal itself is not the problem. Making portals rarer is not the point. The point is: playing a janitor is not fun. Selling loot is not fun. Too many RPG games fall for this. You either sell every single sword you find, or you can't buy decent items. That's not fun, that's grinding.

I play one game which adressed the issue properly. In Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (a roguelike), you simply ... can't sell items to shops. They sell to you just fine, but you can only buy with gold pieces you find. The in-game justification is that shops are part of an union, have deals with each other, "and besides, no one would buy from a filthy scummy adventurer like you". There. Fixed.

With selling loot taken out of the game, players can focus on whatever is most fun - usually killing things. Monsters can drop money, so once in a while you can revisit a shop and buy that desired item. But no need to go back to shop. It helps that shops in Crawl SS generally don't sell consumables you have to periodically restock, they're just an extra source of loot for those with money.

As for Diablo3, this could mean that you couldn't sell items at all, would find less items (most are crap anyway), but more gold instead. If you want to save some items for trade - go ahead, and trade with players. But players shouldn't have to clean dungeons and plant flowers.
 

Leugi

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Question: What do you do with useless items then? Even if they are less, it will be too much still.

If you use them to trade, wouldn't that reduce the "gold-based" economy Blizzard is striving for?

Players sell items because they want, if you don't want to sell them don't do so and done.
 

stillman

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

What an interesting idea. I've had an idea kicking around in my head about a game where you NEVER have to return to town. You start at town, make sure you're really well prepared, then the gate crashes down behind you and you can never enter town again. It's all up to survival skills (which all classes have). So you make your own arrows with a fletching skill, cook dead animals to heal you (all done very quickly though), repair armor on the field like the warrior skill in d1, etc.

Anyway, I'm all for ideas on how to stay out of town. Maybe it doesn't even have to be that extreme. Maybe just have stuff that drops sell for very little, like two digit prices. Come on, 35k in gold is too hard to resist!
 

NASE

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

The problem with town portal is much larger then what you make it seem. It simply opens to door to abuse - and for once, they claim is justified. Things get a bit dangerous and all flee to town. People are to weak to make it to the throne, they just wait until a strong character teleports there. People screw over their potions, they just go to town and buy new. Or get healed by the ncp's.

I don't know about you guys, but the first times I took on diablo, I were more in town then fighting him. It was that or dying, but it really makes the game a joke.

And that's why the town portal had to go. Selling loot has very little to do with it.


And your solution just doesn't cut it. Not for me anyway.


P.S. Perhaps a smarter NCP system can be interesting. But what you want to do is simply cut it out instead of making it better.
 

DWS

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

What an interesting idea. I've had an idea kicking around in my head about a game where you NEVER have to return to town. You start at town, make sure you're really well prepared, then the gate crashes down behind you and you can never enter town again. It's all up to survival skills (which all classes have). So you make your own arrows with a fletching skill, cook dead animals to heal you (all done very quickly though), repair armor on the field like the warrior skill in d1, etc.

Anyway, I'm all for ideas on how to stay out of town. Maybe it doesn't even have to be that extreme. Maybe just have stuff that drops sell for very little, like two digit prices. Come on, 35k in gold is too hard to resist!
That sounds suspiciously not like a ARPG.

As for the money thing above, I think it's an interesting idea. Got to be careful however. You say that picking up every sword to sell it just to make money is a grind. But so is running place after place for money drops because you're balls broke.


 

Moonfrost

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Diablo 3 is an item-based game. While fast-paced action plays a big role, so do items - buying, selling, trading and finding. You need to strike a good balance between the two in order to please most players.

In my eyes there are three problems here:


  1. the (tedious) time spent selling items
  2. availability of town visits (how often you do 1)
  3. the wealth gained in the process (how rich 1 and 2 make you)

By making item vendoring a good source of income, the player is encouraged to sell as much items as possible. Additionally, by making town visits readily available, the player is encouraged to sell items as often as possible, which means he doesn't need to pay much attention to what he's picking up because he's able to vendor it all anyway.

Not only do all of those detract from the action side of gameplay, as borsuk pointed out, they are also good signs of bad game design. Good design typically involves difficult choices (such as deciding whether an item is worth holding on to or not) and by removing these, players feel like they're doing a chore rather than being rewarded for their cleverness, since there's no difficult choice involved in the process.

If we look at the other extreme(s), the opposite is achieved by making items useless: most of the items end decorating the ground because of their worthlessness. If town visits are rare then the player will only keep the most expensive items, removing much of the thought process involved in deciding whether an item is worth keeping or not. Plus, he won't be able to visit town to purchase actual supplies and such very often, assuming there will be an option to.

The seemingly ideal solution is therefore to:


  • make town visits reduce the amount of gold gained from item selling
  • make town visits less frequent so as to encourage the player to choose between keeping items or leaving them

Most of the player's wealth should come from adventuring (enemy gold drops, quests) because that is usually the most fun part about the game. Vendoring should be a complement to adventuring and nothing else. This way, the player feels less inclined to sell vendor trash as often - but can still do if they feel like it - which lets them spend more time adventuring and thus increases their chance of finding good items worth selling/trading to other players.
 

Vadoff

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Question: What do you do with useless items then? Even if they are less, it will be too much still.

If you use them to trade, wouldn't that reduce the "gold-based" economy Blizzard is striving for?

Players sell items because they want, if you don't want to sell them don't do so and done.
You haven't thought much into this have you, useless items are "useless".
Without the ability to sell it to NPCs, players wouldn't even bother picking them up.



 

NASE

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

  1. the (tedious) time spent selling items
  2. availability of town visits (how often you do 1)
  3. the wealth gained in the process (how rich 1 and 2 make you)
There still isn't any reason why you would link these things to town portals or even selling loot in general.

If you think we visit town to much to sell crap, you could make NCP only interested in quality items. So returning for crap doesn't really pay off in the end.

Or you could somehow make crap do something interesting right away. Various gem/material crafting/making/breaking ideas how been proposed here and have been implemented by other rpg. It's fast and makes those items more interesting. Those interesting middle ground items can either be used to get interesting gems/material or can be sold for some decent cash.

Or even something similar to the necromancers iron golem.
Barbarians could have a skill around improvised weapons. Something that works with what he can find on the ground (i.e/ throwing a pole arm/spear).
Wizards could perhaps animate the junk.

So saying, no you can't isn't interesting and is very unoriginal. And frankly goes against the general idea of diablo. And that is, everything is possible. Perhaps not interesting, but possible anyway.



 

Doppel

Banned
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Diablo 3 is an item-based game. While fast-paced action plays a big role, so do items - buying, selling, trading and finding. You need to strike a good balance between the two in order to please most players.

In my eyes there are three problems here:


  1. the (tedious) time spent selling items
  2. availability of town visits (how often you do 1)
  3. the wealth gained in the process (how rich 1 and 2 make you)

By making item vendoring a good source of income, the player is encouraged to sell as much items as possible. Additionally, by making town visits readily available, the player is encouraged to sell items as often as possible, which means he doesn't need to pay much attention to what he's picking up because he's able to vendor it all anyway.

Not only do all of those detract from the action side of gameplay, as borsuk pointed out, they are also good signs of bad game design. Good design typically involves difficult choices (such as deciding whether an item is worth holding on to or not) and by removing these, players feel like they're doing a chore rather than being rewarded for their cleverness, since there's no difficult choice involved in the process.

If we look at the other extreme(s), the opposite is achieved by making items useless: most of the items end decorating the ground because of their worthlessness. If town visits are rare then the player will only keep the most expensive items, removing much of the thought process involved in deciding whether an item is worth keeping or not. Plus, he won't be able to visit town to purchase actual supplies and such very often, assuming there will be an option to.

The seemingly ideal solution is therefore to:


  • make town visits reduce the amount of gold gained from item selling
  • make town visits less frequent so as to encourage the player to choose between keeping items or leaving them

Most of the player's wealth should come from adventuring (enemy gold drops, quests) because that is usually the most fun part about the game. Vendoring should be a complement to adventuring and nothing else. This way, the player feels less inclined to sell vendor trash as often - but can still do if they feel like it - which lets them spend more time adventuring and thus increases their chance of finding good items worth selling/trading to other players.
I think this post pretty much explained it very well.
Imo, the biggest gold income should come from gold found while playing the game (not taking into account what another player might pay for one of your items), the treasure chest filled with gold as it were. Which doesn't mean items shouldn't sell for gold though, but make most sell for virtually nothing and some for much more in comparison. (I'm thinking unique items and high level rare items selling for more then usual)

There's also another reason why being able to sell items for gold to NPC vendors can be a wise balance, and that is to keep the economy of items a bit within borders. Else the economy might get (even more) overflooded with tons upon tons of items which can be bought for relatively very little gold. This incentive to auction everything will get minimized if profit for doing so isn't that much more then just dropping those items off to an NPC vendor. Plus it also will ask from the player to recognize valuable items which could very well sell for much much more to another player then the price a vendor gives for it.


 

Moonfrost

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

There still isn't any reason why you would link these things to town portals or even selling loot in general.
I thought I made it clear that how much time you spend selling loot, how often you visit the town to sell loot and how much money you gain through selling loot had everything to do with the fastest way to visit town and, in particular, selling loot. Or perhaps I misunderstood you completely?

If you think we visit town to much to sell crap, you could make NCP only interested in quality items. So returning for crap doesn't really pay off in the end.
I don't think people visit town too often per se, but by removing town portals you remove a very convenient means of getting there. This, in return, not only means that people will be visiting town less often, but also that there has to be an alternative way to get there. So far we've been told that more frequent waypoints are the designers' solution to this, but those cannot be used at one's leisure because they're stationary objects scattered around the world. As a result, players need to start thinking more about what they pick up and what they discard, as you cannot sell everything without having to do some serious, tedious backtracking.

That brings up the next question: will the money gained through vendoring be so high that players will be inclined to backtrack and pick up stuff they discarded on their first run through the areas - which, in addition to being tedious, slows down gameplay considerably - or will it be more rewarding to leave that loot behind and focus on playing the actual game instead. Evidently I'm hoping for the latter, but right now we don't actually know.

As for crap loot in general, much of it is there to give the player a sense of progression. Originally it's there to make your character stronger and richer ("wow, a Superior Breastplate!") but as you level up you eventually outgrow many of those items, to the point where you no longer want to pick it up and vendor it because it's not worth it. It's there to make you think "wow, I remember a time when I was dying to find that Superior Breastplate... I've come a long way since!" as you find one of those and happily leave it on the ground.

In other words, even if you don't bother vendoring such loot, it still fills a function - no need for skills or whatever that make such items useful. Otherwise all the loot would be strongly related to your level and low level and low quality items would never ever drop for a high level character.


 

NASE

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

I thought I made it clear that how much time you spend selling loot, how often you visit the town to sell loot and how much money you gain through selling loot had everything to do with the fastest way to visit town and, in particular, selling loot. Or perhaps I misunderstood you completely?
Utilising this discussion to say anything about the townportal is wrong. As the biggest problem with townportals isn't related to the possibility to gain wealth. The biggest problem is that can run away from battle like a little girl - eventhough you are a big barbarian.

The second point I tried to make is that completely banning selling things altogether isn't need and isn't interesting. It's just an other limitation because they/you/we can't find a better way to solve the problem.

So agian, it's irrelevant. Preventing people from selling all together just isn't good.


In other words, even if you don't bother vendoring such loot, it still fills a function - no need for skills or whatever that make such items useful. Otherwise all the loot would be strongly related to your level and low level and low quality items would never ever drop for a high level character.
The point is, if you make them interesting in addition to selling and the wow-effect, you don't need to limit the possibility to sell them. You can let people decided what they keep to sell, what they keep for them self or to trade with other players and what to use directly.
And if done right, people won't need to return to town as frequent as some do now in diablo 2. And they will end up being less distracted from battle.



 

Doppel

Banned
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

I don't think Moonfrost argued in favor of putting a limit on the possibility of selling items, but argued in favor of balancing the game in such a way that the player will ask themselves the question whether or not its worth it to sell something or not. And the convenience of using townportals wherever and whenever you want is a part of this.
 

kavlor

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Most of the player's wealth should come from adventuring (enemy gold drops, quests) because that is usually the most fun part about the game. Vendoring should be a complement to adventuring and nothing else. This way, the player feels less inclined to sell vendor trash as often - but can still do if they feel like it - which lets them spend more time adventuring and thus increases their chance of finding good items worth selling/trading to other players.
I think in the early stages selling junk should be a good source of income until you start to build up a good trading ability and are able to easily surpass what you can make selling junk to vendors.Quests, well they can vary according to difficulty moderate quests on a par with selling every bit of junk you find but more difficult quests should net you much more.I mean quests can be more tedious than selling junk if they are easy fetch this,deliver that some people will prefer making gold from junk at least some of the time.

Anyway I think selling to vendors is a vital element it just needs balance as has already been said.
 

Moonfrost

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

I don't think Moonfrost argued in favor of putting a limit on the possibility of selling items, but argued in favor of balancing the game in such a way that the player will ask themselves the question whether or not its worth it to sell something or not. And the convenience of using townportals wherever and whenever you want is a part of this.
Pretty much, yeah. The thread is about selling loot and town portals play an integral part there because they're the fastest way to reach the vendor and sell said loot.

NASE, how and why town portals make the game too easy is a different discussion altogether, best saved for a different thread.


 

borsuk

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

The problem with town portal is much larger then what you make it seem. It simply opens to door to abuse - and for once, they claim is justified. Things get a bit dangerous and all flee to town.
I don't say selling loot is the only use for Town Portal. I'm saying they're trying to fix wrong problem. As long as players can sell crap to shops, there will be annoying inventory management, constant swapping of items (whenever you find a more expensive item, you throw away something from inventory). Players will still try to pack their inventories as much as possible, and will try to visit town as much as possible.

I'm not opposed to removing Town Portal, that's a separate story. Simply being able to run away cheapens the experience for me (I wouldn't play roguelikes otherwise !).

Furthermore, I would like Diablo's Hardcore mode made more complete. In Diablo2 you can still grind. Kill some not too hard monsters, save&exit, repeat. Monsters will respawn. Diablo1 in single player had permanent death and this was impossible. You could still load the game as usual in many games, but you couldn't repeat the same fragment over and over.
==========

I'm pleased that some people (Moonfrost) can actually accuse Blizzard of bad game design in some aspects. Judging by BattleNet forums, or starcraft2forums, I would expect Blizzard fans to be morons. I'm relieved.

Back to topic. Another simple, unexplored solution: make town portals expensive. It really makes sense - merchant sees a powerful adventurer and thinks "I bet this fella has a lot of money ! And he needs my town portal scrolls." In multiplayer games, TP price could be proportional to average XP level in the party. This way, players wouldn't bother to return to sell crap. They wouldn't break even. Additionaly, frequently using Town Portal for escape would cost them.


 

DavidJewer

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

They could just leave it the way it is, but upgrade the system a bit.

One way would be to be able to flag items you pick up as junk in some sort of filter menu. Like... you can check off "Short Swords" and then "Normal, Magic" but leave rare and unique un-checked. Then when you pick it up and go to town, it auto-sells so you don't have to right-click on it to sell it.

And I have a strong feeling they might have traveling merchants outside of town every once-in-a-while.
 

Srikandi

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

According to what Flux said in his blog post about pets, no, no traveling merchants :( Nor have the dev team considered any other convenient item selling or disposal solution.

I actually like the OP's idea a lot :) There's still the community marketplace for selling your more valuable items, so it's not like you're giving up the potential to make a killing on a good item you can't use. I think it could really streamline gameplay, and the more I think about it, the more surprised I am that this approach isn't more common.
 

DavidJewer

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

The whole point of letting you sell items for small amounts of gold though, is so that you can turn lots of crappy items into 1 good one. That's not possible in D2... nobody would trade an SoJ for 20 crappy items that technically would be worth one unless you found someone who needs exactly what you have for trade. But if you could sell those 20 items for gold, you could easily unload the gold for the item you want.
 

Torvaldr

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

Huh. I guess I just never got it. The only times I headed back to town was to either avoid dying because I was out of the ability to heal myself, or to put things in my stash that I wanted to hang on to. The only thing I can see happening by limiting my ability to get to town is I am going to die more often. Did I sell stuff? Sure. But I didn't pick up every single item that dropped. In fact most of the time if it wasn't at least a yellow colored magic item I left it laying right where it was. The only other time I headed back was when I was out of room in my pack.

A suggestion I had in the past was that instead of having a scroll or spell that transported the character back to town you could have a spell that allowed you to teleport items and or money between your stash and your pack. And to make both the stash and the pack bigger. Kind of like a bag of holding that went to your stash rather than having to physically go back yourself.

Then you only need to use the way points to transport yourself.
 

Sakris

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Just disallow selling loot to shops !

The point is: playing a janitor is not fun. Selling loot is not fun. That's not fun, that's grinding.
Very true.

As for Diablo3, this could mean that you couldn't sell items at all, would find less items (most are crap anyway), but more gold instead.
Interesting idea. I like it.


 
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