Passed Town Merchant Addition - increase the use of all jobs

Discussion in 'Development Discussions' started by VinWij, Jan 27, 2009.

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Would you like to see this in game?

Poll closed Mar 18, 2009.
  1. Yes

    130 vote(s)
    89.7%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    10.3%
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  1. VinWij

    VinWij Guest

    Added: 26th Feb. Discussion for 7 days

    Currently, most jobs in the game are completely useless. They pay too little, give too little experience, and as a result, no player uses them. Wasted effort on the developers' side because there is a massive amount of content in the game that isn't used.

    Also, players always strive for the best paying job, and end up doing that as often as their motivation allows.

    We currently have 2 mechanics in place that attempt to break monotomy:

    - Motivation
    - Quests

    Motivation is there to make sure players don't continuously do the best job. They now have to switch between the best job and the 2nd best job. Slight improvement, but not enough by far.

    Quests often demand items from jobs that you could already do a month ago. With this mechanic, the game attempts to get player to do jobs they normally don't do anymore. Also, this forces the players to focus on jobs based on product rather than pay/experience/luck. Excellent mechanic, but it is actually rather weak. That's because once you complete a quest, it's effect is gone for good. And with only 1 quest for every 3 levels plus some hidden ones, this will never accomplish the goal that they should have.

    My suggestion will change this. We simply need a mechanic that forces us to do jobs different than the best one we can do. Something that once again makes us focus on products rather than income. That way, all jobs will remain usefull, and you will see a much better distribution of players through jobs.

    The concept:

    The merchant will have a demand, based on the size of the town. Small towns will often demand simpler goods and in smaller quantities. The player, who has to be a member of the town, can choose to provide the merchant these goods in exchange for a healthy reward. If no one grants the merchant his goods, he will stop asking for them and change to a different type.

    In Practice:

    When you click the merchant, there is a demand-list. It will look something like a shopping-list. It will for instance show:

    - 15 wooden boards
    - 8 tomatoes
    - 2 handcuffs
    - 6 shovels

    And so on. Each line is a seperate quest. The amount of quests should be based on the number of players in a town. The difficulty by the level of a merchant.

    By linking the amount of quests to the number of players, we prevent 1-player towns and promote people gathering in a town to get more quests. The quests should probably grow at a faster rate than the players. That will make bigger numbers better than smaller numbers. A 50-player town will have plenty for all, where 5 players will get some, but not many.

    The level-limit by the merchant level will only work as a "cap", meaning that lower quests are always available, and better ones have a chance of appearing as soon as the merchant level reaches their requirement.

    When you accept a request, it vanishes from the list, and you have 1 week to complete it. The merchant will have a new free slot for a request, and you have a new "quest" in your quest-log. Let's say we accepted the 15 wooden boards-quest. We now have a quest requiring us to get 15 wooden boards within a week. When we have them, we give them to the merchant to complete the request, and receive a reward.

    If we fail to complete it, it will vanish, and leave a message that the merchant is no longer interested. It might give you a penalty, like a merchant-quest-ban for a week. This is a shallow form of motivation and more importantly a way to stop griefers from taking good quests so others can't.

    The reward is at least the price you'd get when selling all the gathered items at the merchant. I am thinking about a bonus of 25% in dollars, plus a set amount of experience based on the difficulty and the chance of finding an item. The 15 boards could for instance easily supply you with 200 bonus xp, maybe more.

    Another interesting addition would be that completing requests donates a small bit of the profit to the town treasury, as a bonus. This way, people will be really motivated to do those quest, and that will both be fun and helpfull for all the town communities.

    The result:
    This wil introduce a new dynamic game element that achieves the following things:

    - Motivate players to do jobs they normally don't do.
    - Generate a continouos motivation to check in at their town and take the challenge.
    - Create an extra way for pure job-based players to generate some extra income and xp (duelers fight for their money and xp).
    - Create an extra incentive to complete the merchant quickly
    - Add a way of contributing a little extra to the town (when the town-element is also added)
    - Create something to watch, rather than just monotonously do the same jobs over and over again, with the only exitement being the occasional find of some item.

    I sincerely believe that this addition will make the west a more dynamic and interesting game. Values as mentioned are always open for discussion, as well as bonusses and the actual location of the "merchant". This could for instance also be done by the barkeeper.

    What do you guys think? Please, be constructive.

    Edit:
    - I clarified that merchant quests in town A are only available to town inhabitants of town A.
    - Changed the amount of quests appearing, and described the two factors: merchant level and player amount
    - Added a bit about a penalty for people accepting quests and not completing them
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2009
  2. Luap Nor

    Luap Nor Guest

    I like it. You've put a lot of thought into it and it shows.
     
  3. John Rose

    John Rose Guest

    I like it.

    Methinks it'll add something to the game :=)
     
  4. sdjx22

    sdjx22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for any idea that adds more to the game like this.
     
  5. I like it too and agree that it is pretty well thought out. I think that with the new character quest series on the way, though, something like this is probably not going to have much of a chance with the devs right now.

    I really like the randomness of it though. I'm a big planner with the known things, but I'd appreciate a few surprises.
     
  6. VinWij

    VinWij Guest

    The Character quests are a welcome addition as well. But if they are 1-shot quests like the general ones, then I'm affraid they will be fun for just a short while, while they will probably take the devs quite some work. That is exactly the reason for this suggestion.

    My suggestion will then be a good companion-addition to the game. The update will then add a whole lot of interesting things.

    Anyway, I hope they will at least consider. If any of them could drop a message, I'd be happy :).
     
  7. razor5123

    razor5123 Guest

    hmm..kinda interesting. Getting some extra money for low level jobs. and the quest is changing every week. But the problem is, not everyone have access to all jobs, so not everyone can benefit from the merchant. This will make people complain all the time, nagging the devs to change the mechanics again :D

    and I think the quest should at least have levels. Players can select range of quest like high level quest and low level quest. High level quest required items from jobs with difficulties more than 300 while low level quest with difficulties less than that. Or maybe 3 levels. Just a thought.
     
  8. VinWij

    VinWij Guest

    I was thinking about linking the difficulty of the items to the size of the town. Smaller towns usually have lower level people in it, and the quests could reflect that.

    Another approach could be to have an even distribution in them, but the danger there is people always taking the higher ones, and waiting for lower ones to appear.

    In reality only the really high quests will give problems. There will always be players that can do the fairly difficult quests, so those can be removed.

    Another good idea might be to make quest dissappear anyway if they haven't been accepted for a week or 3 days. That could indicate nobody being able to do them, and that will probably solve most of the problems. Combine it with the link to town size, and you're home free :).
     
  9. Luap Nor

    Luap Nor Guest

    Huh? That made no sense to me. Please clarify.

    Everything else so far sounds good to me. As for the concern about possible complaining by certain people whose chars are not able to do all the merchant quests... so what? :laugh: :p As long as they can do some of them, it's good enough to ignore the few griping babies. In the real West, those people wouldn't have even been around long enough for anyone to hear them whine.
     
  10. Lone Ranger

    Lone Ranger Guest

    Maybe there should be a link between the lvl of the Merchant and the lvl of the player.

    If the Merchant is lvl 10, yet a n00b just joins, he more than likely will not be able to do the majority of those quests. Calculate the Merchant lvl and the character lvl so anyone and everyone will be able to do these quests.
     
  11. spudly88

    spudly88 Guest

    i like the idea but maybe you could have a random reward. Maybe you could get an item or cash and dont have any clue what it will be. itd be like a grab bag or something where you could get something really good or be disappointed in what you get
     
  12. TimeWalker

    TimeWalker Guest

    I dont see any holes in this to be abused a new store to advance.. a new place that has a demand list for items which gives a small bonus a little higher price and some exp.. and lets say 10 tiers... of which he wants 1 item from each tier.. tobacco(1) corn(2) etc.....


    Hey gem could we move this to vote to see how people like this early!
     
  13. Tobababy

    Tobababy Guest

    i really like this idea! with some tinkering it can become really nice!

    here's m2c (numbers below just examples):

    small town: 8 tomatoes.
    large town: 19 tomatoes.
    very large town: 77 tomatoes.


    if one's supposed to supply the merchant with the goods within a week, large and very large towns tomato quests should be divided into multiple smaller tomato quests. otherwise one would need some veeery good tomato picking skills :D
     
  14. AlexGv1

    AlexGv1 Guest

    I wasn't sure about this at first, but when I read everything you had to say, I can see this just adds to the dynamics for the game so I think this is a good idea.
     
  15. VinWij

    VinWij Guest

    Hehe, forgive my poor English, it is not my mother tongue.

    What I meant is that only the really hard quests will give people trouble, like robbing trains and the others in that league. Quests like trading, silver mining, buffalo hunting and those can be done by a large number of players, so they will be done.

    Eventually, even if there happen to appear 3 really hard quests, there should definitly be a mechanism that removes un-accepted quests after 3 days, or a week. The annoyance will then be minimal. How hard could that be? (Technical: quests will all get a timestamp, which will be used by the server to determine how old they are. Not flagged as accepted and linked to a player, and 3 days old? Delete! Easy :) )

    And about those whine about the quest being to hard: more motivation to try harder to get those jobs :)
     
  16. hardtofi

    hardtofi Guest

    I think a nice addition to that would be to add trading of supplies between town, and with that I mean things you get from working, i.e. it'd be worth to travel to a town 4 hours away and just buy 15 tomatoes since your town lacks them.
     
  17. VinWij

    VinWij Guest

    That wouldn't get you any profit. Since items in other towns cost way more than your reward, that wouldn't work.

    Besided that, such a possibility would undermine one of the primary goals: stimulate people into doing lower level jobs to complete the rewards. If they just go trading, they won't do that anymore.

    This idea is not designed to provide some sort of "town-need"... It's just an alternative quest-system.
     
  18. Elmyr

    Elmyr Guest

    I like it. It might be the only original suggestion I've ever seen in any game. Sort of a dynamic quest system.
     
  19. Diggo11

    Diggo11 InnoGames

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    Quickly looked through it and liked it.

    Its sort of making people realise the products you find actually can compensate for the lower pay, compared to high paying low product jobs.

    @ Author - this is good change unlike your other thread.
     
  20. hardtofi

    hardtofi Guest

    Not if different towns have different needs (quests). Then you could travel from town to town picking up orders and deliver to other towns.

    That of course would force towns to actually sell items you can't wear.
     
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