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Author Topic: Inter-Character Trading  (Read 4548 times)
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Iceman
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« on: March 14, 2010, 09:30:22 PM »

As a follow-on from a thought I had in this thread I would like to suggest a system is implemented that allows players to trade items using built-in mechanics. Currently, trading is hampered by A) the 'good faith' requirement, whereby you assume you will actually receive the goods/gold you have just traded for, and B) the real-time nature of the game, which can leave you waiting around for hours, days or potentially weeks to arrange and complete a trade.

This would work like so: a dedicated hut or area would be set up, a market or bazaar, which would allow characters certain additional interface options when they are in/on it. Players would be able to put items from their inventory up for sale through a series of drop-down menus, in the same manner as the current Discard option. For example:

[Offer] {Qty} {Item} for trade at {Price} each

Other characters would be able to view and purchase all the items for sale from all characters through another drop-down menu:

[Buy] {Qty} {First Aid Kits for 3GC each from Shovelly Joe}

The items and gold would be exchanged at the same time, when the buyer clicks the [Buy] button. Items would only be available while the seller was on the location, and would have to be re-offered if they moved away and came back. Only gold could be traded. Although not overly realistic, to avoid griefing or just old-fashioned spoilsporting, if sellers were killed, items could still be traded until they assumed spirit form - we'll assume the buyers put the gold in the corpse's pocket and took the item.

The idea behind this is that many players play trader characters who do very little actual trading with other players, due to the trouble it can be. This would introduce an semi-automated mechanism that would allow players to interact without having to interact, if you see what I mean. It would also introduce competition, as sellers could see what others were selling the same products for, and thus introduce some basic supply and demand to the game. It would encourage gold to change hands, rather than disappear into NPC Traders' pockets, and allow players to make money in a way other than resource farming. And, I don't believe it would be overly difficult to code, as it is based loosely on an existing game mechanic.

What do people think?
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Skull Face
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 10:00:54 PM »

Smells like Shi...ntolin.
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Etherdrifter
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 12:29:32 AM »

I like the idea and the mechanic seems quite usable.  Maybe limit the value of items sold by certain skills?  So a merchant has to train up their skills.

For example you can have 1 item for sale with no skills

And up to 10 with all 3 skills (each skill adding 3 slots)
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Milla
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 12:48:47 PM »

I like this Smiley I guess it is a feature a lot of players would use rarely, but for some, it would be very useful.

I like Etherdrifters suggestion as well. The trading skills could be a subset of haggling. Possibly the last skill could be restricted to a few classes (settler/villager, maybe), in order to promote class diversity.

Should this kind of trading yield xp?
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Ahnaom
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 01:27:51 PM »

Similar feature in Shintolin
Shintolin had very similar trading system which was for some reasons abandoned later. But I liked it a lot then and I think it would make an awesome addition to Shartak for both reasons Iceman has mentioned here.

The system in Shintolin was somewhat complex and had a clumsy interface. If I remember correctly, one had the list of all the inventory items and could specify price in another type of good for each entry. E.g., Ahnaom could be selling 1 log for 5 gold coins, 20 sticks for 1 axe and so on. By eliminating bartering and leaving only gold, this becomes much more intuitive and easier to implement. Also, it would make gold flow around the island a bit more, which is always a good thing. And last but not the least, it would eliminate all problems of inventory space, when the barters become impossible due to lack of free space on the sellers side.

Markets vs. trading everywhere
I would like to see this feature available at any location, not only markets and bazaars. This would enable wandering merchants to visit clan huts, trade with travellers on the roads, etc. Trade zones could have additional benefits but just to keep it simple and effective, I would strongly suggest not to confine the feature to certain places.

Interface
This is perhaps the trickiest part, how not to cluster the user interface even more. Maybe people who have something for sale could have a trade icon near their name (much like friendly-enemy flags now)? And then there would be an option to show/hide the trading boxes and drop down menus? Like one button, Trade with players which would reveal those?

Experience
Not sure about this. On the one hand, reasonable amounts would help to level up in peaceful ways, something that the game is now lacking. On the other hand, gold in itself is a reward. Maybe awarding xp for each type of good? To encourage the variety...

Skills
Not sure what skills could be implemented along. If we make it a class-exclusive thing, this could become be a huge empowerment for the currently not-so-played villagers or scouts. Maybe this is the missing component for scouts/explorers to finally become popular? Would complement their movement abilities rather nicely. Would probably require a class name change as well, to reflect the change.
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Milla
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 01:42:34 PM »

I think that if trading requires its own skills, then there should be some sort of XP reward, but probably not a too great one, to avoid farming (such as a few players trading the same items back and forth between each other).

Scouts and explorers does seem like natural classes for this (along wih settler/villager). I do not think that a name change is needed.
A rugged explorer returning from the dangerous interior, bringing rare items to sell should fit in with the concept, IMHO.
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Ahnaom
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 01:53:21 PM »

Adding such trading abilities to villagers/settlers might be a bit imbalanced since they have insane finding rates in resource huts with scavenging skill. I doubt anyone would pick explorer classes over this one for the purposes of trading. Besides, scouts are the least played right now because their exclusive abilities are so weak.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 02:04:25 PM by Ahnaom » Logged
Milla
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 02:02:29 PM »

True, but I doubt the items avaiable in resource huts will net a very high profit, since it is possible to get them for oneself without too much trouble.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 02:42:47 PM by Milla » Logged
Ahnaom
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 02:09:32 PM »

You might be right on the profit part. But villagers (although needing some tweaking here and there) make for a rather powerful class as they are. The problem is that scouts are rather bad and this won't make them more liked among the players. That's not the main goal of this suggestion though, so it might be ignored. Also, this whole idea might not necessary be an exclusive skill, maybe it is better to make it available for everyone.
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Iceman
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 08:03:33 PM »

I haven't played Shintolin beyond my first sign up, so I can't really comment on that aspect. I came up with this all on my lonesome.

I hadn't considered skills, but it would make sense. Especially as a subset including haggling, as Milla suggested. I wouldn't want to see too many skills on the tree, as this is not going to be a core aspect of the game, and may not be cost-effective for characters who are already at a high level. I would suggest a maximum of two new skills, along with a slight alteration to my original suggestion:

Amendment: Characters can only put up to five items up for sale, with a single item per 'lot.' These items can be offered at any price.

Skill 1: Trading - Allows characters to put an additional five lots up for sale.
Skill 2: Wholesaling - Requires Trading - Allows characters to 'bundle' up to five items when putting them up for sale.

So, for example:
Shovelly Joe sans trading skills would be able to sell 1 backpack, 1 first aid kit, 1 first aid kit, 1 first aid kit and 1 tiger tooth amulet.
With Trading he would also be able to sell 1 wild boar tusk necklace, 1 bottle of fungi juice, 1 bottle of fungi juice, 1 smokey crystal and 1 heavy sword.
With Wholesaling, he would be able to sell 3 first aid kits, 2 bottles of fungi juice, 1 wild boar tusk necklace, 3 heavy swords, and up to another six lots.

This would allow unskilled characters to trade with others, but make it more profitable in terms of time and effort when the skills are acquired. The ability to bundle items would allow for bulk discounts, and is a natural progression. Including haggling, the skill tree would have three skills, which is not an excessive amount and reflects the probable usage compared to language and exploration skills.

Regarding XP, it should definitely be gained for the seller - perhaps not for the buyer. This would encourage players to actively participate in trading, without which there will be nothing for the buyers to purchase. I feel the XP reward should be tied to the selling price, to further encourage the trading or rare or desirable items. Not like for like, but perhaps 2XP on sales of up to 5GC, 6XP on sales of 6GC+, and 10XP on sales of 20GC+. This would also make it more financially profitable to acquire the trading skills, as bulk sales would yield greater XP returns.

Finally, the reason I suggested specific locations is to avoid the confusion of additional interface elements on every screen where is more than one character. It would also encourage the congregation of characters in places other than resource huts, and make it easier for buyers to find sellers - until the introduction of High Street shopping in Shartak, I doubt players will want to wander the camps looking for sellers. And, it would encourage competitive pricing to have all the available goods on show in one place.

But, I would be in favour of additional trading posts located in the jungle between camps. Not on a direct route, otherwise they will just become resting places where people are safe from animals, taking away an element of danger from travelling. But close enough so that people can take an extra day to get to their destination and stop by to trade. These could incorporate existing ruins, such as those in the north of the Durham peninsula or Port Breton, along with new huts in strategic locations.

The other option would be a further skill (Merchandising?) available to high-level characters (25+?) which allows them to set up shop anywhere. Perhaps at an AP cost and requiring four driftwood to construct a makeshift stall (come on, use your imagination), or something along those lines. This would ensure there was not a proliferation of sellers on any square, but would allow characters to truly be wandering traders.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 10:29:50 PM by Iceman » Logged

Twist - boner-inducingly handsome | ClickClick - guardian of the Dalpoki | Sympathetic Phil - hard-bitten mercenary and surly drunkard |
Tkltchk - hungry, want eat | Fist McRhinopuncher - fairly self-explanatory

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FirstAmongstDaves
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 09:38:50 AM »

Good idea to facilitate a bazaar. We tried to set up a bazaar in a southern cluster of huts in Raktam a few years ago and while two or three outsider traders came they were quickly picked off by locals.

The solution of being able to trade as a corpse, while not perfect (reminiscent of a zombie mall), certainly resolves the problem of waiting for the second half of the transaction to complete.   

While I often trade just for the XP bonus, I appreciate there a sufficient market for wooden clubs, fungi juice, and bullets to make this very interesting.


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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 09:10:25 PM »

I'm revisiting some of the suggestions that were nominated for the features page. The original suggestion with a couple of the minor amends mentioned later in the thread seems reasonable. Anyone got any thoughts about it before I add it in?
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 06:51:08 PM »

Are you doing the hut thing, or would trading be anywhere?
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 08:08:42 PM »

Unsure at this point in time - I can see advantages to both.
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 11:20:57 PM »

This has now been added to the feature votes.
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