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Stabbey Offline OP
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After 100 hours of play or so, Ive noticed a consistent problem. It takes forever to get your characters geared up properly. The only real way forward is to become a thief and rob the town blind.

My party is level 6, and between the four of us, Ive bought the following:
Scarlett (Rogue) Nullify Resistances Skillbook, Level 5 Push Dagger (91 Gold)
Roderick (Earth/Fire Wizard) Boulderdash Skillbook
Madora Whirlwind Skillbook
Jahan Resurrect Skillbook

Between us, weve gained 16 levels, but have only been able to acquire 4 new Skills. My characters are not progressing at a satisfactory rate.

I have 267 gold and some assorted loot remaining most of which is crafting components that arent going to sell for much. I can get one new skill, but I have no idea what to get. Ive been building Jahan as a Water/Air mage, but he has nothing but his starter Blitzbolt. Roderick is a Fire/Earth mage, and he has only been able to add one Earth spell to his starter skills. I require all four party members, but I simply cannot afford to buy skills for all four. I realized how screwed I was when I tried to do the Fabulous Five quest in the tunnel.


Problems
  • You start out with no money at all. None. This is especially a problem in a game where you need to purchase your skill books.
  • Crates and other containers are empty most of the time. When theyre not empty, they usually only have crafting components. That is great for crafting, but crafting is too complicated to be an ideal substitute for buying stuff. There are too many things possible to know what you can make. I cant memorize the entire list. Crafting components sell for very little as well, so I cant make money that way. I dont WANT to have to spend a huge amount of time crafting things to make money.
  • Too often, enemies drop nothing. Im not asking for fountains of magic items popping from every zombie and skeleton, but they dont drop a lot of things to use or even sell. They do drop weapons and gear, but not enough that you can rely on that as income.
  • Larian knows this already, but weapons go up a LOT in effectiveness as their level increases. That level 5 Push Dagger I got is actually very effective, even on the Undead (with proper use of positioning and tactics). You need to upgrade your weapons often, and cant rely on getting weapons from enemies, adding to the list of expenses.
  • There arent many places you can buy new gear. Theres Esmereldas shop, but she doesnt like you, and she can go to jail. An arrow seller sells arrows and bits of them, and theres Anna in the King Crab Inn, but she leaves after a while as well. You cant make up the difference with random Citizen NPCs that have one or two random things in their inventory. There are THREE food sellers in the market, two of which dont even sell food - just random trinkets, like the oh-so-helpful wooden spoon and broken bottle. Theres no dedicated armour or weapon seller who is guaranteed to be in their store.
  • Vendors only sell one skillbook each. I bought the Resurrect Skillbook for Jahan, which means that no one else can learn it ever again. Thats a TERRIBLE idea for a game that claims to let you build your character however you want.



Suggestions
  • Each character needs at least 100 gold each to start out with, no less. More would be better.
  • Ill leave suggestions on adjusting loot tables to Larian, they know the system better.
  • Increase the enemy drop rate a bit.
  • Thisll probably be adjusted over the course of the alpha/beta, but the power growth curve is pretty large and makes things difficult.
  • Another vendor or two is needed, preferably ones who dont hate you and skip town.
  • Vendors should sell unlimited quantities of skillbooks.


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For crafting issue, maybe a pop up window summarizing what you can craft with th item. Mayce only what you discovered, or crafting level related, or whatever...


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Some minor theft and at level 3 I've run out of skill slots to use, maybe you've just been really really unlucky? I've actually been meaning to ask or check if it was possible to add more than 9 slots, or additional bars. Not too hopeful about it though given how they're already saying ui scaling would be really hard to implement. What I noticed helped a lot for cash was taking the crafting components, crafting whatever I could then vendoring that stuff.

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You can make a decent amount of money right from the start just by robbing everyone blind, even with zero points in Lockpicking and Sneak. I don't think it's particularly necessary to start out with a significant amount of money.

Of course, the problem is that eventually you run out of things to steal, and then it's quite possible to be screwed. So I do agree with the complaints about the unreliable vendors and low drop rates. At least one of these two problems needs to be addressed, preferably both. Random chance being a factor isn't a problem, but right now your entire ability to build a decent party hinges on it, and that's a bit too much.

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As to unlimited quantities off skillbooks, I figure only a few per vendor is fine since there's likely going to be more than one area to buy stuff from, rather than our little start town. Or perhaps add skillbooks to loot tables, or fill up some of those empty bookshelves you find everywhere.

Maybe instead of starting gold though the people saving the burning ship could be thankful for your help and give you a little there?

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Originally Posted by Bittereinder
You can make a decent amount of money right from the start just by robbing everyone blind, even with zero points in Lockpicking and Sneak. I don't think it's particularly necessary to start out with a significant amount of money.

Of course, the problem is that eventually you run out of things to steal, and then it's quite possible to be screwed. So I do agree with the complaints about the unreliable vendors and low drop rates. At least one of these two problems needs to be addressed, preferably both. Random chance being a factor isn't a problem, but right now your entire ability to build a decent party hinges on it, and that's a bit too much.

I agree with the idea the original poster is trying to get across and I don't think stealing is the right answer here, particularly when the main characters have a conversation about that very subject and one of the two options is to keep their hands off the property of others. It seems silly to choose that option and then have no choice but to steal everything anyway.

I actually really dislike the way stealing works in this game. It seems like you can get away with taking anything as long as the owner doesn't have line of sight on you. You can walk into a building, speak with the owner, go around a corner and take everything that isn't nailed down and somehow get away with it. For some reason they can't put together the fact that you were the last person in the room before their pillows were stolen, shields removed from the walls, and collection of potions vanished from the shelves. Your reputation seems go unscathed, and that makes absolutely no sense.

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Do you actually want this game to be a challenge?

My main characters are level 4 and I have brought the Rush skillbook for my warrior and I have brought 3 mage spells, Ice Spike?, Ice Wall and Rain. I have also brought a new staff and if the merchant didn't keep saying my offer was insulting to him then I would have brought a set of armour too.

Originally Posted by Stabbey

Problems
  • You start out with no money at all. None. This is especially a problem in a game where you need to purchase your skill books.
    I don't think that's an issue, you can make plenty of money by searching crates, plus raiding the table in the place where the imp magics you
  • Crates and other containers are empty most of the time. When theyre not empty, they usually only have crafting components. That is great for crafting, but crafting is too complicated to be an ideal substitute for buying stuff. There are too many things possible to know what you can make. I cant memorize the entire list. Crafting components sell for very little as well, so I cant make money that way. I dont WANT to have to spend a huge amount of time crafting things to make money.
    Just FYI there are plenty of books that I have found lying around that tell you lots of things you can craft, I made a pizza yesterday hahaha
  • Too often, enemies drop nothing. Im not asking for fountains of magic items popping from every zombie and skeleton, but they dont drop a lot of things to use or even sell. They do drop weapons and gear, but not enough that you can rely on that as income.
    Considering you want to start with loads of money I would suggest that you are expecting lots of drops
  • There arent many places you can buy new gear. Theres Esmereldas shop, but she doesnt like you, and she can go to jail. An arrow seller sells arrows and bits of them, and theres Anna in the King Crab Inn, but she leaves after a while as well. You cant make up the difference with random Citizen NPCs that have one or two random things in their inventory. There are THREE food sellers in the market, two of which dont even sell food - just random trinkets, like the oh-so-helpful wooden spoon and broken bottle. Theres no dedicated armour or weapon seller who is guaranteed to be in their store.
    You haven't checked all of the vendors then, you should look at the guy in the market on the potions stall, he has loads of stuff
  • Vendors only sell one skillbook each. I bought the Resurrect Skillbook for Jahan, which means that no one else can learn it ever again. Thats a TERRIBLE idea for a game that claims to let you build your character however you want.
    Maybe that one vendor does, but others may well sell that book too



I don't think you need to start with any gold, maybe it would be a good idea to have some gold as quest rewards to give you a boost that way.

I also don't think that vendors should sell unlimited quantities of items, it's not realistic in any way and I'm sure once the game is released there will be other vendors and areas where you can get duplicates of skills. You should have to make tough decisions about how to build your party, just because a game says it lets you build your character however you want, doesn't mean that you should be able to get every skill straight away for every character.

I do think the enemy drop rate does need to be increased a bit though.

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Originally Posted by Gyson
I actually really dislike the way stealing works in this game. It seems like you can get away with taking anything as long as the owner doesn't have line of sight on you. You can walk into a building, speak with the owner, go around a corner and take everything that isn't nailed down and somehow get away with it. For some reason they can't put together the fact that you were the last person in the room before their pillows were stolen, shields removed from the walls, and collection of potions vanished from the shelves. Your reputation seems go unscathed, and that makes absolutely no sense.


Just out of interest have you played a game where the people put 2 and 2 together and work out that you must have stolen things that they didn't see you stealing? Even in the Elder scrolls games you could steal things right from behind someone if they were facing the other way. That is also possible in rl as well and without some kind of proof how on earth are they going to know that you've stolen their things.

I did always find it weird in Elder Scrolls stealing something from the upstairs in a merchants and then taking it downstairs and selling it back to them. That I think they should be able to pull you up on as they should recognise their own things, but I don't see how they're supposed to know you stolen things they didn't see you take.

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Originally Posted by JFSeiki
Some minor theft and at level 3 I've run out of skill slots to use, maybe you've just been really really unlucky? I've actually been meaning to ask or check if it was possible to add more than 9 slots, or additional bars. Not too hopeful about it though given how they're already saying ui scaling would be really hard to implement. What I noticed helped a lot for cash was taking the crafting components, crafting whatever I could then vendoring that stuff.


I've looted the free stuff at the docks (well not the fish racks), I've looted the barrels and crates around town. I've played enough to know where the secrets are and I've looted the chests scattered around outside of town. I've looted the lighthouse. I've looted the secret crypt. I've solved the puzzle of the burial mounds and looted the treasure there too. I haven't been everywhere and looted every possible crate and barrel, but I've done pretty much all of the stuff my level or lower. I have not gone on the beach to the Black Cove or beaten the Sparkmaster.

I haven't been buying potions, I just use the Regenerate spell to heal after combat, that's not where my money's been going.

I did loot the Legion chests in the camp and Barracks, and stole a few things from Esmerelda's shop because she bugged out and refused my trade offers. I should not be forced to rob every house blind to keep up.


Originally Posted by JFSeiki
As to unlimited quantities off skillbooks, I figure only a few per vendor is fine since there's likely going to be more than one area to buy stuff from, rather than our little start town. Or perhaps add skillbooks to loot tables, or fill up some of those empty bookshelves you find everywhere.


I wouldn't mind spellbooks being added to loot tables. Not every vendor has to sell spells for levels 1-20, but I don't want to have to travel across maps and loading screens in search of skillbooks because the vendor only has one.

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Maybe instead of starting gold though the people saving the burning ship could be thankful for your help and give you a little there?


NO. Not 'instead of' starting gold. The burning ship quest is optional and failable. That's not an acceptable substitute.

Originally Posted by Ozric
Do you actually want this game to be a challenge?


Yeah, I do. I don't agree that this is the best way to implement said challenge.


I don't think that's an issue, you can make plenty of money by searching crates, plus raiding the table in the place where the imp magics you

Already addressed. Most crates are empty or drop crafting components. Yeah, you can rob the table, but the Homestead is your home, and it feels well, lame stripping everything from the table there and selling it. I'm sure you'll call me an idiot for that choice, though.


Considering you want to start with loads of money I would suggest that you are expecting lots of drops

I'm expecting a bit more than what we're getting now, yes.


You haven't checked all of the vendors then, you should look at the guy in the market on the potions stall, he has loads of stuff

I know him, he sells air and water spellbooks mostly, and wizard stuff. Not weapons or armour.


Maybe that one vendor does, but others may well sell that book too

That's back to random chance of it appearing in inventory, which is not a good way to let you build the character you want. Right now, if I made a starting character a Warrior, they would compete with Madora for exclusive rights to the skillbooks Aureus has. EDIT: It's fine that they compete for who gets first choice. It's not being able to get it at all for the other one that I object to.


Quote
I don't think you need to start with any gold, maybe it would be a good idea to have some gold as quest rewards to give you a boost that way.

I also don't think that vendors should sell unlimited quantities of items, it's not realistic in any way and I'm sure once the game is released there will be other vendors and areas where you can get duplicates of skills. You should have to make tough decisions about how to build your party, just because a game says it lets you build your character however you want, doesn't mean that you should be able to get every skill straight away for every character.

I do think the enemy drop rate does need to be increased a bit though.


I wouldn't mind getting some gold as some quest rewards, definitely.

I agree that unlimited quantities of items in general is not needed. However, there's no good reason why Vendors should NOT sell unlimited quantities of skillbooks. Skillbooks are the only way to learn Skills, which is key to character development. You already have to spend money buy them. Choosing which books to buy with your limited resources, and who should get priority is the hard choice you have to make. Not being able to buy the book at all isn't a choice, it's the opposite.

Having to travel to other towns to get skillbooks is adding inconvenience for the sake of rather pointless 'realism'. That's a no-no.

Last edited by Stabbey; 26/01/14 05:01 PM. Reason: skillbooks
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I guess in games like this I always feel the need to carry EVERYTHING! I then sell what I don't need (worthless items, old gear) and keep the rest. I also am super big into crafting things so I like that aspect. I think in the last major update they lowered the amount of things looted in the game. I feel like I had WAY more stuff in the pre-Early Access build than I do now. This could be intentional or just bad luck. Although there are items that I haven't come across since the EA patch. So maybe they are revamping what is looted. But yeah there should be a viable way for those who don't want to rob everyone to make money. Although I'm one of those people who rarely buys things from vendors and I probably should.

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Originally Posted by Ozric
Originally Posted by Gyson
I actually really dislike the way stealing works in this game. It seems like you can get away with taking anything as long as the owner doesn't have line of sight on you. You can walk into a building, speak with the owner, go around a corner and take everything that isn't nailed down and somehow get away with it. For some reason they can't put together the fact that you were the last person in the room before their pillows were stolen, shields removed from the walls, and collection of potions vanished from the shelves. Your reputation seems go unscathed, and that makes absolutely no sense.


Just out of interest have you played a game where the people put 2 and 2 together and work out that you must have stolen things that they didn't see you stealing? Even in the Elder scrolls games you could steal things right from behind someone if they were facing the other way. That is also possible in rl as well and without some kind of proof how on earth are they going to know that you've stolen their things.

I did always find it weird in Elder Scrolls stealing something from the upstairs in a merchants and then taking it downstairs and selling it back to them. That I think they should be able to pull you up on as they should recognise their own things, but I don't see how they're supposed to know you stolen things they didn't see you take.


Theft in Skyrim was easier to (visually) accept because eventually items that were taken either respawned or were replaced with different items. In Divinity, when you clean out a room it seems to remain that way indefinitely. Tables remain barren, beds are pillowless, etc.

I don't think NPCs should be accusing players of theft when they don't witness it. But I do think reputation scores should suffer and their attitude towards you should lower as more and more items vanish from their homes, especially when the thefts coincide with your visits. "Whenever Bob pays me a visit, all the paintings on my walls along with my silverware disappears..!" It makes sense that rumors would start to spread.

Anyway, I think a big part of the problems being seen in the original post is the randomness of loot. You can go through several crates and walk out with several hundred gold. Or, you can end up with nothing. That's going to lead to some players struggling to afford gear while others claim to be just fine.


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Originally Posted by Gyson
I don't think NPCs should be accusing players of theft when they don't witness it. But I do think reputation scores should suffer and their attitude towards you should lower as more and more items vanish from their homes, especially when the thefts coincide with your visits. "Whenever Bob pays me a visit, all the paintings on my walls along with my silverware disappears..!" It makes sense that rumors would start to spread.


If they could implement something like that then it would be great.

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It turned out that I did actually have enough junk/old weapons to ditch to let me buy two skillbooks (Fireball/Tornado) (and still have 11 gold leftover).

I beat the Sparkbot, and it dropped a more powerful replacement weapon for Madora (so I could sell her old magic weapon) and a Well Made magic ring of the Brute which seemed to do nothing but sold for 150 gold, so enough for a third skill, which I think will be Oozebreath to synergize with Flare and Boulderdash.

So it probably doesnt need to be a huge increase in the amount of loot, but some people have commented that theyve run out of skill bars at lower levels than I am, so I think lucky finding drops may be whats happening.

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I can sign that.
It works, but it is slightly sobering.
My characters are all Level 6. i bought the resurrection and splintered shot.
I found a green crossbow, a blue 2-h axt and one green and blue 1h sword.

and i find a bit funny, that they called me to find the murderer of a crime, and then steal the shit out of them ;-)

and there are no quest rewards?


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As a bit of a tangent point to all of this: I've never felt particularly rewarded for killing things with no gold for quest rewards and little-to-no loot off of any monsters.

Indeed, I also don't think it makes any sense that stealing anything and everything your characters can access is a good answer, because some people, myself included, do not enjoy stealing and it breaks my immersion to run around someone's house while they don't stop me and take everything not nailed down.

Now if it were -difficult- to steal from people (they follow you around if they notice you etc), I think we'd be able to reconcile the loot-everything types getting more by saying they've invested skillpoints into making wealth, whereas the people who don't wish to steal still get their increased loot and gold from mobs/quests and they also get whatever combat effectiveness, talking bonuses,etc that they chose instead.

___

I guess what I'm after, briefly, is some sort of combat-to-wealth reliable conversions, be it dropped gold from enemies or dropped weapons and armor with some frequency (that is less effective than store-bought or crafted but not significantly) so I don't feel like I'm just scraping by with my wealth.

I want the tactics to be "what abilities do I use when" far more than "what abilities can I possibly afford if I am to upgrade my weapons too?"

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Well, I am having a lot of fun stealing, but it might be true that it's too much of a no-brainer unless you're really, really dedicated to staying in-character. It's probably a bit too easy. But re-balancing in the works, so who knows what they do with the Sneak skill in future builds.

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I agree with starting with some gold for potions and what not but can't say I've had a problem with gold overall.
By the end of the alpha I ended up with several thousand gold with not much to use it on as I had every skill book I wanted. I wasn't particularly a thief either, most gold for me came from selling weapons and armor I found off enemies. I'm also not a big spender at vendors so that may be a contributor.
I think gold rewards for at least some quests (Quests coming from the legion for example) would be neat though.

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Originally Posted by YoungFreshNewbie
As a bit of a tangent point to all of this: I've never felt particularly rewarded for killing things with no gold for quest rewards and little-to-no loot off of any monsters.

Indeed, I also don't think it makes any sense that stealing anything and everything your characters can access is a good answer, because some people, myself included, do not enjoy stealing and it breaks my immersion to run around someone's house while they don't stop me and take everything not nailed down.


That's a very good point. Rather than handing out a whole bunch of stuff straight from the beginning, I think it would be more interesting to have better rewards for completing quests and killing monsters. Completing quests more often than not feels a little underwhelming, and that would actually be my main concern about the game so far. You get a handful of XPs (about the worth of killing 1-3 monsters), a little journal entry, and a random loot from killing a special monster if the quest involves one. Perhaps a little gold for turning in quests might be a good idea.

For the sake of the argument though, just because a game promises freedom of choice doesn't mean that every choice must be good or as equally rewarding as the other possible choices. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of having to choose. That is something that the game should make you consider when you decide to steal or not, just as much as when you spend points on Intelligence rather than Constitution.

Overall, however, I have not felt cheated on the money I gained from playing through and what I could buy with it. I did pick up a few things here and there, but not that much and rarely owned property. My co-op partner went for a more thief like approach, so he lockpicked a lot of doors and a lot of chests, got rewarded plenty for it. That was his gold though, he never gave me any and it didn't keep me from buying the skills or items I wanted.

This is not exactly Baldur's Gate 2, where you come out of the first zone with dust filled pockets and are immediately exposed to amazing vendors who sell kick ass gear for insanely high amounts of gold you'll probably never have, because by the time you do, their inventory will have changed, and the new items cost even more.

Keep in mind this is just a fragment of the game. I'm sure we'll have plenty of other opportunities to buy, sell, steal, loot, you name it. The final game will not be limited to Cyseal. It seems obvious, right. Or does it ?

[EDIT]: Sidenote, someone mentioned a shared inventory for all characters, which I'm not too keen on, for various reasons. However shared gold between all characters seems something worth looking at.

Last edited by Maali; 27/01/14 03:07 PM.
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As a counter-point to your statement about choice, I believe it's not that the choice is defeated if all choices are practically equivalent. It changes the practical choice into an aesthetic choice or a choice of enjoyment.

Even beyond that, stealing can be worth more money, and the people who steal will also get monster loot benefits etc. that the characters that don't want to steal will get. They will end up with far more money per level regardless, so the choice isn't defeated in this sense.

Everyone who plays RPGs though, as far as I've met, loves the feeling of finding at least some gold on most corpses, if not also looting the enemy's weapon or using its body for crafting components.

So the choice that I think was better, in the context of this new (hopefully) understanding on it, is deciding between some money and loot while bashing up monsters and keeping one's hands off of stolen property (which I am sure many find unbefitting for Source Hunters, who appear to carry public trust and authority, at least to some degree. Also note the dialogue upon first theft), and deciding to steal a lot of things and have a lot of spare money (which can then be used to afford the greens and blues arhu and others sell to boost their effectiveness instead of the combat levels). Theft is so unbelievably easy at this point it requires no investment and is just outright "do it or you will suffer poverty".

So to briefly summarize what I'm getting at is that while they both complete the game similarly in effectiveness, the game probably feels significantly different aesthetically and both parties did not feel punished for sticking to their preferences. I feel like it's a little punishing when you can loot hundreds of gold and dozens of health potions basically on a whim, however out-of-character it is, and if you don't you tend to be skating the lower end of the gold pool if you buy 1 or 2 spells per character per level in the beginning. Probably 1 at best, honestly, if one uses companions (which really appears to be the way to go at this point... and I'm fine with having that be the "optimal" choice, so to speak).

I should stop bothering writing brief. I am not brief, but I am thorough!

Last edited by YoungFreshNewbie; 27/01/14 05:58 PM.
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Originally Posted by Maali
For the sake of the argument though, just because a game promises freedom of choice doesn't mean that every choice must be good or as equally rewarding as the other possible choices. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of having to choose. That is something that the game should make you consider when you decide to steal or not, just as much as when you spend points on Intelligence rather than Constitution.


However, the fact of the matter is that the concept of "risk versus reward" needs to be observed, and the truth is stealing offers far too much reward for almost no risk.

The game warns you if you're caught, at which point you may simply reload and try again. You can rob a town blind and never suffer a dent to your reputation or tarnish the attitude of the townfolk towards you. And that is a simple task to accomplish when it comes down to it.

I would argue that choice doesn't really exist currently, as your current options (particularly with the first few levels) is to either steal to earn money or to do neither. What kind of choice is that really, particularly when the first few levels are surprisingly short on combat opportunities (especially for someone trying to take a more lawful/good path)? Quests offer no gold as rewards, and there are only a few non-theft containers in the town which may or may not offer anything useful due to the random nature of loot.

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