rujasu wrote:- Claudius is not, for the early part of the game, clearly any kind of hero... in fact, he's supposed to be looking for the hero. He's on an errand. And even in games where the hero is clearly set out to save the troubled world, he usually has to prove himself before the town is going to trust him with all of its best weapons.
Definitely - for the first large part of the game, and even for late parts of the game, the hero gets no special treatment until they've proven themselves beyond reasonable doubt.
rujasu wrote:And by the time the party has proven to be the world's only hope, all of the weapons they need are hidden in dungeons... in those convenient little treasure chests...
I think that when our heroes get truly leet, any of the meaningful items they get should largely
either be made for free from components, "granted" to them by a local lord, etc, or found in some hard-to-reach place. Mostly because these item themselves would a bit legendary in their own right. I could see a king charging claudius with a task, and giving him certain artifacts to complete that task. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't remember Chrono Trigger having much shopping-proper in the game; I think that they too actually granted a lot of items through special encounters.
rujasu wrote:- The whole idea of all cave-dwelling demons possessing currency is far more suspect than the idea of store owners being irrationally money-hungry.
I could see bandits having cash, and I could see intelligent
, sapient non-humans possessing valuable things. One very good idea for caves - something that worked excellently in the exile/avernum series of games, was for valuable things to be on the corpses of the victims of unintelligent monsters. When going into dungeons in that game, you'd sometimes see items on the bodies of adventurers who'd gone before you. I think that was the case in diablo, as well.
Likewise, a good share of monsters could be seen to hoard valuables in their nest, though most would not hoard them on their body.
One plausible thing would be to have monsters whom the town has placed a general bounty on; back in the day, ranchers/farmers would place bounties on predators like wolves, foxes, bears, large cats, etc. If you took a token of the ones you killed, you could get paid. (
In one of the darker notes of history, you could also get paid in certain times/places, for the scalps/etc. of a certain species of primate. When people said lines like "Bring me his head on a plate!," they weren't quite exaggerating.
rujasu wrote:- In other games, you can't buy weapons at all... you have to get the blacksmith to make the equipment for you, and you have to collect the raw materials. See Chrono Cross, or to a lesser extent Star Ocean on the PS1. Would you prefer to do something in that vein? Of course, this is a bit contrived as well, and I don't know how much more enjoyment it brings to the player. Not a bad system though, and probably not that complicated to implement, either.
I think it would be fun to do these things based on favors owed you by the craftsman; sometimes related to the work, sometimes not. Sometimes they'd ask for raw materials, sometimes they might ask the skilled adventurer to do something they themselves are incapable of (perhaps asking them to climb a rock face and fetch a plant, or lift a heavy object, or translate some script they can't read. Especially when the heroes learn magic, this would make sense.
I think another awesome thing would be to make most trips to the blacksmith/tanner be for the same purpose that real people went to the blacksmith - real people went to the blacksmith to repair things, and things got goofed up all the time. Armor would get dented, swords would get chipped or even broken, gloves would get torn. I liked the idea behind the system that diablo had - for how weaponry would wear out as it got used. This was somewhat castrated by how often you switched equipment in that game, and I think that it could have a lot more use if it were in a game setting where - for the longest time, your character was equipped with just mundane weaponry.
On a side note - I think it would be cool, for a while, to have a variety of mundane equipment that was not a linear progression; to have a choice of weaponry where each different kind of sword you used had advantages and disadvantages (for a cheap example, an iron greatsword/claymore might do more damage than an iron broadsword, but would be much more unwieldy, and couldn't easily be used with a shield). In certain places you could get your hands on more durable/better makes of things (such as steel weapons), and additional varieties of weapons, but you wouldn't immediately drop into the usual RPG progression of wacky items that immediately become exponentially more powerful than the ones before. E.g, I don't like a game that has weapons with damage ratings that progress like the following:
This is how Secret of Mana 2 worked, and it was a bit ... boring, that way. There wasn't any strategy to it, you merely grabbed the latest version of the weapon/armor you had, in order to be able to compete in the latest area.
I'd like to see magic weapons made rare; and possibly made extensible with that shard thing roots talked about. In essence, made so that when you do get a magic weapon, you're highly unlikely to just pawn it off, later on. It'd be a major treasure of yours, and it would grow with you.
rujasu wrote:- Maybe, rather than the aforementioned conveniently placed chests, we could have things for the party to accomplish (ex: saving the stupid kid who went into Ye Forbidden Cave of Dangers) in a given dungeon/stage of the game, and the townsfolk reward them based on how many of these tasks they complete by giving them equipment and powerful items.