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-   -   A new opinion on no_selling (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=10366)

fph November 4, 2020 13:54

A new opinion on no_selling
 
This has been mentioned in a recent thread as something the community is divided on. There is a past poll on this topic, but it is from 2011.

Sphara November 4, 2020 15:37

Probably the most important thing to vote for in this particular day.

fiery_mews November 4, 2020 15:52

TBH the main reason I like it is the more reliable early game money - it makes it easier to stock up on consumables, esp. including utility stuff like Magic Mapping and Detect Traps. There's kind of a whole snowballing effect from that which IMO makes the early game faster and less frustrating.

Raerick November 4, 2020 15:58

Quote:

I enjoy not having to think about money.
The wording of this first option kinda highlights a problem I think exists that is mostly irrelevant to no sell vs sell. That problem being that aside from the Alchemist and Blackmarket there is nothing much worth buying past DL20. I don't think dungeon treasures should be marginalized by making too much good stuff available all the time, but when my max depth for a character is 50+ and the Armorer's best stuff is still single resist armor or x of free action there is no point in checking it. Similar for the Weapon shop unless I want to check for a stack of okayish ammo. I think those two shops (and the magic shop) should at least stop carrying so much worthless magical crap I most likely already have set to ignore and at least be carrying something that generates 20 -30 DL below my max depth.

I would also say that all shops should start carrying better stuff over time more than they do. Not to a degree that removes challenging dangerous scenarios to get loot or consumables in the dungeon, but at least better than it is. Pricing could always be adjusted to the more expensive side for those things as well as usually I end up with way more money than I would ever spend by end game.



Back on topic the romance of diving into a dungeon to bring back loot to sell is appealing to me, but it does indeed get tedious so I haven't had no selling off for most of my games.

Sideways November 4, 2020 15:59

I like no selling; but having it on by default is frequently very confusing to new players (and to returning old players used to having selling on).

Hounded November 4, 2020 17:01

I have fond memories of haggling over the price of everything in the very old days. Followed closely by not-fond memories of being locked out of the store for being "that kind of customer".

Ironically, my interest in carting stuff back to town died when haggling did. The formula of haul-it-back-and-dump-it-for-money became a chore that just didn't offer me any interest as opposed to "how much can I squeeze out of the shop keeper for this?".

With NO-SELL I don't even have that internal conflict. "Should I take it back to get more money which I don't need and can't conceive of spending or just play the #$%^ game?" is gone and any qualms about squelching entire families of gear vanish.

Sphara November 4, 2020 23:31

It's a birth option!
Just play with selling on if you feel like it. This is the kind of subject I could not care less for. Completely worthless poll.

To OP: You most likely were just curious, nothing wrong with that. It's just that I don't think polls like this are needed.

Sky November 5, 2020 01:18

oh no, no. If anything, the birth option should be to turn selling off, not to have to turn it back on.
I understand that the vast majority here likes to have selling off, but it's the majority *here*. Of people who make a forum account. We don't represent the average player, it's never like that, on any game forum.

fph November 5, 2020 12:59

I agree that this community might be biased (even if I am not sure in which direction: there are many old-time players here, and in my experience the reaction to changes in the game has often been negative).

It would be interesting to poll a larger share of the player base, but I have no idea how we could do it. Adding telemetry to Angband would be even greater heresy in my view. A pop-up with the link to a poll in a new version? Stats from Gwarl's server? Any other ideas?

DavidMedley November 5, 2020 13:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sideways (Post 149211)
I like no selling; but having it on by default is frequently very confusing to new players (and to returning old players used to having selling on).

I agree with this.

Pete Mack November 5, 2020 13:06

Yeah, Gwarl could do it. The other possible place is the android app, but that would indeed require telemetry, and in any case it isn't quite suitable for new players.

DavidMedley November 5, 2020 13:25

More interesting questions, in my mind:

1) Should no_sell be the default? (sorry not trying to harp on this)

2) Is no_sell fairly balanced?

3) Should there be more or less useful things to buy with money?

#3 is a matter of taste, #2 is a matter of judgement (I think "yes"), and #1 is a matter of priorities.

Pete Mack November 5, 2020 14:42

No_sell leads to somewhat less gold than selling enabled (depending on how aggressive you are about lugging loot.) Later in the game it could be significant advantage not to waste inventory space on junk, but it doesn't actually matter, because no one really needs gold anyway at that point.

DavidMedley November 5, 2020 16:42

With selling on a player should also be disciplined enough to not lug around junk once money has little to no value.

I agree you can get more money with selling but is it worth it? I say it's a close call, which is good.

whartung November 5, 2020 17:11

Selling is tedious and drags the game. Inventory space is so limited, have to drag stuff up to sell simply exacerbates it. At some point, you just don't. Rather than diving and killing monsters, you ?Recall to sell the two item you have room for in your bag.

In the end, it doesn't offer much value to gameplay IMHO, it's simply an annoying mechanic. It doesn't offer much choice "Do I take this back and sell it, or take that back and sell it" isn't super compelling in the long term.

This is also related to the value of the stores in the end. I can say that gold (with no selling) is not a real limitation save the very early game. I won't say I've never seen an item I wanted that I can't afford, I would say that it's rare, and certainly wasn't game breaking. And I'm not in that state for very long.

But, of course, as things move along the value of the store decrease. My primary purchases are food and arrows.

Jay November 7, 2020 17:58

A couple thoughts:

- I like selling. As someone pointed out, it makes the early game more interesting because it gives you another avenue of making cash to improve your kit. Killing stuff and diving is great but selling provides another sub-plot to the game.

- I strongly prefer selling "on" if I'm playing a priest. It sucks to find some great weapon that I can't use because it's not blessed by the gods — being able to sell it means I can benefit from finding it even if I can't use it.

- It occurs to me that it might be possible to add a new element to the game that either complements selling or replaces it. For whatever reason, I've always had the idea that artifacts, even if useless to me, should be returned to town. (I mean, I've rediscovered a legendary item! It just seems wrong to leave it in the dungeon.) So, one way to add another element of interest to the game would be to create a ninth building in town, the museum. They only buy and never sell, but it would give you a place to take artifacts you don't need. (I realize this may not appeal to many — you can always see a list of all the artifacts you've found using "display artifact knowledge" — but I thought I'd throw it out there.)

Voovus November 7, 2020 18:51

What would happen if money got scrapped altogether? :eek:

(For instance, replace it with a Charisma stat, which lets @ get stuff for free from the townsfolk. Higher Cha makes more valuable stuff available. Yes, there will be issues.)

fph November 8, 2020 10:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Voovus (Post 149260)
What would happen if money got scrapped altogether? :eek:

Even without reintroducing charisma, a version in which shops simply offer their ware for free would be playable, or at least playtestable.
The limiting rate to ensure that players do not get too many resources would be the stock refill rate (something like: !CCW start showing up at CL10, and they refill at a rate of one every 1000 turns).
The black market would restock veeery slowly, or even disappear completely (at that point, it could functionally be replaced by a slight increase in drop quality).

After all, Ironman has no shops, and the game still works.

(Inb4 "communist angband" jokes)

tangar November 9, 2020 14:11

Charisma... Dream of all half-trolls in Middle-Earth.. I would love to see it even with no_selling ON :cool:

sffp November 9, 2020 20:12

I love the no-sell option because the packrat in me previously would refuse to leave a high-value item in the dungeon no matter how heavy it was. I would constantly carry too much stuff with me (I do that already).

Now at least, I can look at the boots of speed +2 and say - I already have boots of speed +5 - I'll just leave those there (No extra trip topside to sell...)

bio_hazard November 9, 2020 20:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay (Post 149257)
A couple thoughts:

- It occurs to me that it might be possible to add a new element to the game that either complements selling or replaces it. For whatever reason, I've always had the idea that artifacts, even if useless to me, should be returned to town. (I mean, I've rediscovered a legendary item! It just seems wrong to leave it in the dungeon.) So, one way to add another element of interest to the game would be to create a ninth building in town, the museum. They only buy and never sell, but it would give you a place to take artifacts you don't need. (I realize this may not appeal to many — you can always see a list of all the artifacts you've found using "display artifact knowledge" — but I thought I'd throw it out there.)

ToME 2 had the Mathom House where you could donate artifacts.

I'm pretty happy with how the game is now. Someone who wants to clear every level and haul back loot to sell can do so. Someone who wants to dive and not worry about loot can do so. I used to really enjoy the former but now when I play it's usually the latter. I think the no-sell makes sense as the default but I wouldn't object to an alert at character creation to make this more clear.

It might be fun to think about a hybrid system where you could start with selling then switch to no-sell (and maybe no money/free consumables) later.

Bill Peterson November 10, 2020 02:36

All this argument would vanish if birth options and all other options were read from a text file. Sort of annoying to me that I can give Morgoth 50 HP but I have to go through all the options every time I start a new character, and remember to change the birth options before I start.

Raerick November 10, 2020 05:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Peterson (Post 149306)
All this argument would vanish if birth options and all other options were read from a text file. Sort of annoying to me that I can give Morgoth 50 HP but I have to go through all the options every time I start a new character, and remember to change the birth options before I start.

I think a solution would be for birth options should come up automatically prior to selecting race.

godshatter November 11, 2020 02:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sideways (Post 149211)
I like no selling; but having it on by default is frequently very confusing to new players (and to returning old players used to having selling on).

I play with selling on, because that's the game I've been trying to beat for years. But I like having the option. If i can ever defeat the big guy, I'll probably try a run without it.

However, the problem I see with having no selling as the default is that players that encounter it for the first time get confused because you have shops, they have a sell option, and being able to buy without being able to sell seems odd, so they think the game is broken rather than immediately understanding that it's a different way to play.

I'm not sure what to do about it, it seems to break the idea of a shop if you're not allowed to sell, even if that's what normal life is like for most shops in RL. I wonder if just getting rid of shops with that option turned on is better. Have recharging stations, ID stations, and whatnot and maybe places you can upgrade your equipment for a price. Maybe a kiosk for consumables. Things that don't intrinsically assume a buying/selling arrangement. I doubt that would be fun in practice, though.

Angdrim November 12, 2020 02:42

I like selling for two reasons:

- It makes the game harder. If there isn't lots of cash lying around (I assume if selling is on the amount of money on the floor drops), you need to use inventory space to haul your goodies around. And inventory space is one of the primary limitations in Angband. Anything that uses up inventory space is going to make the game harder, which I like.

- It preserves the last bits of role playing in the game. (This was especially true when half-trolls had to worry about low charisma and racist shop keepers.) Angband has never been a role playing-heavy role playing game, but when you go into a shop and get asked if you want to give away your Longsword of Gondolin it's a really sharp reminder that you're playing a puzzle game and not really a role playing game.

Pete Mack November 12, 2020 03:03

Ang--
Not really.
1.. You will *always* drop expensive junk in favor of actually useful items.
2. The nominal value of expensive junk increases way faster than gold drops, after the first 10-ish dungeon levels.
3. You are unlikely to fill your inventory with useful items until well into the game, when you're carrying swaps, resistant potions, multiple spellbooks, etc.
4. No selling may end up with more gold at the end, but it takes a looong time to get there: early in the game, sellers get more gold, and the reason gold drops wiin in the end is because few people bother to sell after some few hundred K gold.

What selling DOES do is encourage you to recall more often.

Sphara November 12, 2020 04:06

For role playing, I would like to be able to interact with shopkeepers by other means than just buying/selling/browsing. After all, both Luthien and Rincewind are shopkeepers in Angband :D

FogSpear January 1, 2021 20:18

This is my new player opinion on the no-selling option in Angband Vanilla (4.2.1).

After reading the poll and the comments, I have the following:

- yes, new players naturally expect both buying and selling in a shop to be available (turned on) by default.
- from a UI perspective, having options that rely on double negatives (eg not having a no-selling option vs not having a selling option) is confusing to users. It’s a similar UI problem to when I present metrics at work - if a high number means good in one instance and bad in another, the cognitive load on the reader/user increases without value.
- As stated in my first post in this forum, and reflected in some of the comments in this thread, I also believe that charisma would be useful with the selling option turned on - particularly with the idea of haggling mentioned in the thread.
- I agree with the comments that a buying/selling sub-plot is interesting to new players but recognize that such can get old for seasoned players. The current option to turn it on/off seems to meet both use cases.
- BTW - determining the asking price before actually selling an item was not clear at first; so I ended up selling items without knowing what I would get for them until I figured it out.
- I see the conflict of managing a large inventory while returning to town to sell items for gold. That conflict seems like a legitimate gameplay decision IMHO. If it becomes a problem with your play style - turn selling off.
- I also like the idea of a museum (or the middle earth equivalent) that buys artefacts when you bring them back to town - relieve your inventory and have a place to see them/share them with the townspeople.

whartung January 2, 2021 21:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by FogSpear (Post 150383)
- As stated in my first post in this forum, and reflected in some of the comments in this thread, I also believe that charisma would be useful with the selling option turned on - particularly with the idea of haggling mentioned in the thread.

Honestly, having a sell or no sell option (however communicated or defaulted) is the best option.

I think the "code load" necessary to maintain and manage a CHR statistic is too high for the minimal value it would provide.

Not only do you need the statistic, but you need items that affects, potions that buff, "ugly" potions, etc. All of which would honestly be of minimal use overall.

The reason "seasoned" players turn this stuff off is simply that the "shine" of things like haggling dim very quickly. It's neat. Once. But while the shops do have value, as currently implemented, their value rapidly diminishes as you dive outside of having a Home and essentials like food and all the WoR you can carry. You travel to the other stores, but their gear is so low in quality, and you have so much money, it's really kind of pointless.

As done currently, the money game simply isn't. There's always that rare chance, especially early on, of getting a powerful enough item that you can actually afford. But otherwise it's used for IDing things, recharging things, and basic essentials.

A lot of work for minimal "real" gameplay and decision making.

FogSpear January 2, 2021 22:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 150388)
I think the "code load" necessary to maintain and manage a CHR statistic is too high for the minimal value it would provide.
...
A lot of work for minimal "real" gameplay and decision making.

I understand that may be.

As a noob to this community, is there somewhere to better understand:
a) the game design principles
b) the governance model for decisions
c) measurement techniques for in-game balance
d) whether instrumenting of features has been conducted for usage stats
e) how refactoring plays into modernization of the code base and feature requests

I am curious about how this code has continued to thrive over time and how the community has gathered around it.

dos350 January 3, 2021 09:47

thut id chime in here,

when first no selling was made default, i was at first upset and refused to play with it,

after some time i tried it and havnt looked back,

i think it just makes the game more convenient not having to sell,,

still yet to play new version ( havnt played since 4,1,3) but assuming these feelings would still apply !

fph January 3, 2021 10:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by FogSpear (Post 150390)
As a noob to this community, is there somewhere to better understand:
a) the game design principles
b) the governance model for decisions
c) measurement techniques for in-game balance
d) whether instrumenting of features has been conducted for usage stats
e) how refactoring plays into modernization of the code base and feature requests

I am curious about how this code has continued to thrive over time and how the community has gathered around it.

That sounds like it should be a separate question (or, possibly, an interview to the maintainer Nick or one of his predecessors).

Anyhow, you'll find that for many of these things the process is not as formal as one thinks. Like many open source projects, it thrives thanks to a lot of volunteer work, a community that provides good feedback and some development work, a 'benevolent dictator' maintainer that takes bold but appreciated decisions, and many separate variants that test new gameplay ideas so that one can always answer "if you don't like it, make your own variant". :)

EDIT: and if you are interested in the history and success of roguelikes, a good read is the book "Dungeon hacks". It includes a chapter about Angband, with plenty of input from one of Angband's previous maintainers.

FogSpear January 6, 2021 14:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 150394)
That sounds like it should be a separate question (or, possibly, an interview to the maintainer Nick or one of his predecessors).

Anyhow, you'll find that for many of these things the process is not as formal as one thinks. Like many open source projects, it thrives thanks to a lot of volunteer work, a community that provides good feedback and some development work, a 'benevolent dictator' maintainer that takes bold but appreciated decisions, and many separate variants that test new gameplay ideas so that one can always answer "if you don't like it, make your own variant". :)

EDIT: and if you are interested in the history and success of roguelikes, a good read is the book "Dungeon hacks". It includes a chapter about Angband, with plenty of input from one of Angband's previous maintainers.

Thanks for the recommendation. Bought the book and read it. It was very helpful to understand the history and style differences in culture and philosophy from other projects. Transparency of discussion for changes, transparency of gameplay mechanisms, transparency within the community all seem to be important. I also read a few very long threads leading up to significant releases. These also showed significant discussion and transparency. I am a fan of the transparency principle.

As within many open source projects, there is also a clear underpinning as a meritocracy. Contributors are giving their most valued possession: time. I see it has taken a village to raise this codebase and those who roll up their sleeves and pitch in are respected for their work with their opinions reflecting that respect. I am also a fan of respectful meritocracies.

So far, it seems this is a transparent community welcoming to newcomers with a long history respecting the merits of its contributors and led by a string of benevolent maintainers. And thanks most recently to Nick "the butcher" ;)

I still have a lot more to play, read, and learn.

DavidMedley January 17, 2021 12:06

I'm starting to wonder if the preference for no_sell is because it makes the game easier. I wonder if the cash multiplier was dropped from 5x to 3x how the opinion poll would turn out.

mrfy January 17, 2021 17:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 150637)
I'm starting to wonder if the preference for no_sell is because it makes the game easier. I wonder if the cash multiplier was dropped from 5x to 3x how the opinion poll would turn out.

I'd still vote for no-selling even if it was 1:1.

bughunter January 17, 2021 19:26

Yeah, as has been stated before, at some point in midgame, the stores in town have nothing of interest and your gold just accumulates. Changing the rate of accumulation would be just as meaningless as the accumulated amount.

(Good thing Au is weightless.)

(Don't change that!)

If the multiplier is lessened and you then want to be able to afford the stuff being sold in the shops during early/mid game, then you can turn selling on.

whartung January 18, 2021 15:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 150637)
I'm starting to wonder if the preference for no_sell is because it makes the game easier. I wonder if the cash multiplier was dropped from 5x to 3x how the opinion poll would turn out.

There's just a difference between "easier" and "not annoying".

I just don't feel the gameplay choices introduced by selling are that interesting, particularly with the lesser impact of gold later on. Selling is more "make work", since it's basically an exaggerated bag stuffing mechanic, which I think most people agree is "not fun".

There's a difference between "inventory management" that we have to deal with on a continuing basis, and the added burden of dragging junk out of the dungeon for cash monies.

Because, in the end, you find you'll stumble upon something that's worth "dropping what you're doing", so you can hearth, and sell it. But even then, that's only in the early game. Later you'll stop caring completely.

DavidMedley January 18, 2021 19:13

It would be interesting to compare the % of no_sell in the ladder vs % of no_sell in competitions, and to compare the % of no_sell on strong @s vs weak ones.

But I phrased my earlier post poorly. I should have said, "I'm starting to wonder if SOME OF the preference for no_sell is because it makes the game easier." It's obvious that easier or harder is not the only reason people choose one or the other, and probably not the main reason, either.

bughunter January 18, 2021 21:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMedley (Post 150659)
It's obvious that easier or harder is not the only reason people choose one or the other, and probably not the main reason, either.

The main reason I use no_sell is because after the early game, I simply don't have the inventory space to carry stuff just for selling in town.

(I always just assumed this was the motivation for the existance of no_sell.)

archolewa January 19, 2021 03:02

Im skeptical that it makes the game any easier. The staple stuff (CLW, selling back basic wandso recharge them) are so cheap that I doubt it matters if you turn on no_selling or turn it off and dont bother selling anythjng. Meanwhile, the big stuff is infrequent enough that I doubt it makes a hig difference. Sure buying a Potion of Augmentation is nice, but does it really impact the game in a major way?

You arent going to have the money to buy an early big ticket item with current no_selling, and by the time you do, you're probably already wearing something just as good

Ive been playing without Recall lately, and it isnt big expensive stuff in the Black Market that Im missing, its renewable mapping and CLW potions.

Ed_47569 January 19, 2021 20:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by archolewa (Post 150668)
Meanwhile, the big stuff is infrequent enough that I doubt it makes a hig difference. Sure buying a Potion of Augmentation is nice, but does it really impact the game in a major way?

I actually just BOUGHT my first potion of Augmentation yesterday, in 20+ years of playing. Recalled to town with $155k and it was for sale at $150k. Either never had the gold for them before, or they appeared after I'd maxed my stats.

topazg February 12, 2021 03:06

First proper visit in about 6 years, thought I'd have another look at Angband (and oook) and see whether things were still alive, and it seems they are, happiness and all that, will try to get a 4.2.X winner before slinking off into RL lurkery again! :)

Interestingly, the first thing I did was jump into the birth options and check out what's changed - I must admit, I immediately turned no_sell off because, well, old habits and all that (and turned randarts on), but I do like the cleanliness of what seems to be less options than I remember.

One thing that feels like it isn't mentioned a great deal is flavour. I like returning to sell the goods because, frankly, erm, I have no idea, I just like the idea of my character doing it. I'm not sure I care about the comparative profitability compared to no_sell, or whether the shops actually have anything to buy, or whether the minmax efficiency of what I'm choosing to haul back is sufficiently optimised ... I just don't find it a drag, I enjoy doing it for reasons I can't fathom. (I will agree with an earlier poster that haggling, whilst a lot of fun and amusement early on, can be a royal grindy PITA at times).

If it disappeared overnight I'd be fine with that too, but I'm delighted to at least have the choice in there.

DavidMedley February 13, 2021 20:10

Were any new opinions shared here? Is the title supposed to be "A new opinion poll on no_selling?"


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