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View Poll Results: Would you like a buyout button added to V?
Yea! 13 35.14%
Nay! 8 21.62%
(Apathy) 16 43.24%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 7, 2009, 03:30   #31
etaomyx
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I really believe that the best solution would be to restock most/all categories of stackable items immediately when the item is depleted, but at strictly higher prices than before (roughly doubling prices each time might be reasonable). So the player is penalised for excess demand, but in an intuitive way, rather than forcing them to do something tedious and artificial. A button which explicitly buys and trashes an entire store's inventory is way too goofy, it should never, ever belong in a polished game.
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Old June 7, 2009, 04:54   #32
Donald Jonker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etaomyx View Post
I really believe that the best solution would be to restock most/all categories of stackable items immediately when the item is depleted, but at strictly higher prices than before (roughly doubling prices each time might be reasonable).
This would ignore cases where you want an item not currently in stock. Would work in the fixed inventory paradise conjectured here. Certainly would be a problem if you're seeking !healing or the like.

You seem to think that the buyout button is implementing a new mechanic. It isn't. Store restocking always happens if you buy all the stock; the button just makes it less tedious to do so. No one so far has explicitly suggested removing the restock mechanic.

And I'd like to point out again (and for the last time) that these ideas aren't mutually exclusive.

If we're going to discuss fixed inventories in-depth, could Takkaria give some indication of his thoughts?
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Old June 7, 2009, 05:25   #33
etaomyx
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Originally Posted by Donald Jonker View Post
You seem to think that the buyout button is implementing a new mechanic. It isn't. Store restocking always happens if you buy all the stock; the button just makes it less tedious to do so. No one so far has explicitly suggested removing the restock mechanic.
No, I don't, and I am suggesting a possible alternative to the current restocking mechanic: instantaneous restocking of individual item categories, accompanied by price inflation. Sorry if that was unclear.

Quote:
This would ignore cases where you want an item not currently in stock.
Find it in the dungeon. I don't think there's any need to guarantee the player a formulaic procedure of acquiring every type of item.

Last edited by etaomyx; June 7, 2009 at 05:35.
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Old June 7, 2009, 08:48   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
The buyout button is not a fix. It is a bandaid until someone produces a fix. I proposed eliminating store randomization in rgra over 4 years ago. Not even a hint of progress in that time. Maybe *negative* progress when you consider the general store could have been changed to carry infinite arrows but it was chosen to carry only a fixed amount until you restock.

The time has passed to wait for a store fix.
No, the time has come. I don't want to abuse my commit access by changing something Takkaria doesn't want, but as soon as he's given his views on this issue, I plan to implement them. (Unless he wants a buyout button, of course.)
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Old June 7, 2009, 08:58   #35
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Originally Posted by etaomyx View Post
No, I don't, and I am suggesting a possible alternative to the current restocking mechanic: instantaneous restocking of individual item categories, accompanied by price inflation. Sorry if that was unclear.
What he's saying is close to my suggestion of fixed inventories, but with increasing prices instead of fixed prices. It's a good idea, and it's a lot better than:
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Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Because fixed prices don't reflect reality. In reality, prices go up and down with supply and demand. The buyout algorithm is a surprisingly good first approximation to this in angband, because it means you have incomplete knowledge about the cost of any strategy.
... for representing the effects of supply & demand. As miyazaki said, what shopkeeper is going to keep the item you want in his storeroom until you buy everything else in the shop?

If you don't like eatomyx's suggestion of geometrically increasing prices, it's easy to add a random element. In fact, if you really wanted to, you could calculate the exact cost of buying out the store enough times to get the item you want, and simply list that cost against the item, and do away with the buyout button completely.
Quote:
I have always assumed buyout was a feature not a bug, or why would it have been included as an option?
It's rather more likely that a sensible coder thought it was worth including some code to cope with the possibility that the last item in the store was required by the player. I think it's highly unlikely that it was originally included because anybody envisioned players buying out entire store inventories to force restocking. It's not an option so much as an accidental feature.
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Old June 7, 2009, 21:28   #36
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This is a very interesting thread. Here are my opinions, some of which might be original contributions to the discussion.

If you want some particular consumable when you return to town, and you haven't gone to the trouble of stocking it in your home in advance, then in my opinion you should be forced to pay some penalty. This could be a large amount of money, or a certain amount of risk, or a significant amount of tedium. We should debate whether this penalty should exist, and if so, what form it should take. THEN we can decide how it should be implemented.

* There could be no penalty at all, which would be the case if consumables never sold out, or if we had the buyout button: then the player never needs to stock up on things in their inventory or their home. I think that would be a shame, as I find the planning aspect fun; I enjoy making sure to keep restore potions and spare arrows in my home.

* There could be a significant financial penalty --- at least double the usual price, plus a certain percentage of your wealth, or plus a figure determined by your clevel. This could be an extra feature of the black market; the slogan could be "any item available, for the right price!"

* It could be very tedious but risk-free. This would be OK, as it would really put you off. Here's a way it could be implemented: suppose that even monsters far away from you had some very small chance to wake up and move towards you --- such a small chance that, over the number of turns required to clear a level, it would happen only rarely. This would make it difficult to go down to level 1 and rest for 5000 turns without constantly being disturbed by jackals and white worm masses.

* It could be a bit long-winded but a bit risky. We could implement this by raising the difficulty of all dlevels below clevel/2 to equal that of clevel/2. So, if you were clevel 6, then dlevels 3, 4 and above would be as normal, but dlevels 1 and 2 would equal that of dlevel 3. This can be explained within the game narrative --- the legions of Morgoth are getting so enraged by your invasion, that they are rising higher in the dungeon!

For what it's worth, I don't support the buyout button --- I don't think we should replace a poor, boring mechanic (town-scumming) with another poor, boring mechanic.

Also, I don't support completely fixed shop inventories --- it's fun for there always to be at least a few random ego items thrown in there!
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Old June 7, 2009, 21:49   #37
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The mechanic the buyout button replaces is buying and destroying (or selling elsewhere) all the stock in a store. It just formalizes an already accepted* practice. And yes, it's much more expensive than leaving spares at home. It's only a replacement when you're deep enough to afford considerable expense--and when your house is already filled with other stuff.

* accepted by some players, anyway.
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Old June 8, 2009, 00:53   #38
jv123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
The mechanic the buyout button replaces is buying and destroying (or selling elsewhere) all the stock in a store. It just formalizes an already accepted* practice. And yes, it's much more expensive than leaving spares at home. It's only a replacement when you're deep enough to afford considerable expense--and when your house is already filled with other stuff.

* accepted by some players, anyway.
There's no way it's expensive enough. If I'm a high-level character and I need a potion of restore strength, I'm not going to think twice about buying out the potion shop, because the cost will be absolutely insignificant to me --- I should be made to pay a higher price for not bothering to be careful to stock a supply of !rStr's. That's why I suggested that if we go down this road, the player should be somehow forced to play a clevel-dependent fee.

Another issue is that buying out the store isn't a very 'realistic' mechanic, from an in-game point of view. As someone else said earlier, if you want a particular item which the storekeeper isn't keeping on his shelves, he's not going to wait until every other item in the store is bought before he goes to get it for you. He might go and get it for you for an extra clevel-dependent fee, though, which I think is a better mechanic, and which has a more natural home in the black market than in each of the individual shops separately.
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Old June 8, 2009, 01:03   #39
Pete Mack
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I don't think of buying out the store as some real action--it's just a cost associated with acquiring something not readily available.
As for cost, most of the suggested costs are a lot more predictible, and less expensive, than buying out the shops. Except for cases where it would be just crazy.

For stuff like !rStr, the proposed algorithm would take ~50 purchases to bring the cost up to the cost of restocking the store. (I've never used close to that in a game.)
For !CCW, the price could soon become astronomical, depending on your play style.
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Old June 8, 2009, 01:13   #40
Donald Jonker
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Originally Posted by jv123 View Post
There's no way it's expensive enough. If I'm a high-level character and I need a potion of restore strength, I'm not going to think twice about buying out the potion shop, because the cost will be absolutely insignificant to me --- I should be made to pay a higher price for not bothering to be careful to stock a supply of !rStr's.
As a high level character, it'd be downright irresponsible to devote space in your home to !restoreStat. You're going to have to make plenty of difficult choices as it is b/w artifact armor/jewelry (making sure you get resists covered and optimize), weapons, endgame consumables, and ego ammo. A shift like you describe would be a very big change to the game. If you make it prohibitively difficult to get restoration, then you'd better rule out townscumming, and you'd better be aware that inventory management is about to get a whole lot more difficult.
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