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Show vendor level


rhobix

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There was a discussion in new player chat the other day, where someone suggested adding a number to the vendor booth's showing the level of the items the vendor has for sale. Even though it's something I believe would be hard to implement, I thought this was a good idea. I often have to run around looking for the correct level, especially for components. It may be manageable to add the level after the name of the vendor shown above the vendor. This information should be possible to read from the database, so it may not be necessary to walk through all vendors manually. It could even be coded with a slash command to turn it on or off. It could look something like this (using Chernevog Station as an example):
Olga Mantel [3-9]
Indigo Morrison [3-7]
Zak Letlin [3]
Elena Brown [4]
James Woods [5]
Nathan Keith [6]
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[quote name='Seeker' timestamp='1303912218' post='39866']
But that is all part of the game. Learning your way around.
[/quote]

In what way are you being cheated out of content by having vendor levels added? You still have to figure out which station you need to get to in order to access those vendors.
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[quote name='Strayslayer' timestamp='1303913336' post='39868']
In what way are you being cheated out of content by having vendor levels added? You still have to figure out which station you need to get to in order to access those vendors.
[/quote]

Aha, here's one thing you're not considering. This is an abhorrent violation of one of the major rules of game design (and stage plays!). It's called "shattering the fourth wall" and it is something you never, ever do if you can help it with the sole exception of control tutorials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Break%20the%20fourth%20wall

and standing opposite here's an article that discusses it, attempting to relocate the fourth wall instead of breaking it.

[url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4086/a_circular_wall_reformulating_the_.php?print=1"]http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4086/a_circular_wall_reformulating_the_.php?print=1[/url]

Note, having a vendor acknowledge that it has a level of item is an inherent break because it [b]is[/b] reminding you that it is just a game.
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Well currently some vendors do mention that they have tech (x) items in their opening dialogue. I do agree that it is handy since you don't have to look at their inventory first, but the issue remains. You don't exactly go to the autoparts store and say you want a level/tech/grade 3 oil filter. you look at what they have and compare price/quality, or if you ask a tech you say I have a (make/mod/year) and I need part x.

Kyp & Gameasutra make a good point that anything that reminds you that you are playing a game is a break. Any mention of levels or skill points is technically a break of the 4th wall. The trick is getting the meaning to PCs from NPCs while staying within the game universe and devising ways to explain what you need to.

On another note, I would image that using "grades" for ore would be acceptable as you can have different qualities or values of Gems (karat) etc. and I could see how you could classify them as grade 1 or 2 ores an so on. On even another note, you could refer to levels of weapons as a 'class' so Class 1 weapons fall within certain specifications and be referred to as level 1 OCC.
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  • 1 month later...
Um, Pardon me, but honestly if you want to know the vendor to go to why not just look up the item in the Net-7 Database and go look up the right one ... Remember the name and go find them.

Besides, when you go to Wal-Mart, you never know if an associate works in automotive or housewares... you have to talk to them to find out. Just like real life, they dont have their names floating above their head with what they sell.

Just Sayin' :)
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[quote name='Zenshau' timestamp='1307548915' post='41881']
Um, Pardon me, but honestly if you want to know the vendor to go to why not just look up the item in the Net-7 Database and go look up the right one ... Remember the name and go find them.
[/quote]
I don't mind the the way it is now, but I don't think looking it up on the website would be faster than just bringing up the first bit of dialog on the vendors until you find the correct one, but if they had the level printed together with their name above their head, that would speed up the process of finding the right component.
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[quote]Besides, when you go to Wal-Mart, you never know if an associate works in automotive or housewares... you have to talk to them to find out. Just like real life, they dont have their names floating above their head with what they sell.
[/quote]

My point exactly. Just ask around and like at Wal-Mart you learn who to talk to as you learn the stations. All part of the process to make it more like R/L
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[quote name='Zenshau' timestamp='1307620664' post='41940']
My point exactly. Just ask around and like at Wal-Mart you learn who to talk to as you learn the stations. All part of the process to make it more like R/L
[/quote]
Ok, we don't have Wal-Mart here in Sweden, but most supermarkets have signs hanging from the ceiling telling you what you can find in different parts of the store so you don't have to ask around too much...
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Maybe you haven't noticed the big department signs hanging from the ceiling to help shoppers find what they'er looking for. If people had to hunt through the entire store to find the right department most would just leave. While we don't expect to be spoon-fed by the Devs, why make it so tough to find the correct vendor? Since some vendors do include their equipment level in the opening dialog it can't be that tough to do.
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As in any territorial conflict, Progress to one is detriment to another.

I put all the vendors (at least the ones in Terran spaces) to have the level in the start up to try to make it easier on folks who were visiting, but I think it would make the station ugly with little floating numbers next to everything's head and break the story immersion once it exists in its proper form. Besides, all you really had to know in live was the STATIONs level range, unless they changed that later on. Generally a station could be found with 2-3 tech levels of items available. The levels could also be non-contiguous like 1, 3, 7 (three numbers plucked from the air.. just an example).

You only had to remember a few and trust the stations would carry those ranges.
  • Upvote 1
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Yeh you don't want to use the wal-mart example..."associates" (employees they renamed to make them feel good, and less prone to demand pay/benefits...like janitor is custodial engineer) rarely are posted and left in a department for any length of time, they will work in hardware today and ladies apparel the next. The almost NEVER know were something is, and quite often when asked, will either totally misdirect you to the far side of the store, when what you needed was 1 aisle over or walk you to someone else to ask (who subsequently won't know either).

Another problem with department stores is they move whole item classes on a regular basses to another area of the store, futher confusing the issue :P

And please, please, not all "progress" is good :D someone might not agree with you. I used to HATE when a supervisor, or chef, were I worked, would always quip at the end of some not-so-bright-bright-idea announcement that "change is good". I once even counter-quipped to a chef I trusted not to fire me, that I hated how they had usurpted the actual quote, that the actual quote was:"CHANGE IS CONSTANT" while things may change..it is not NESSARILY for the better! :) He later took me aside and whispered to me that he agreed that the "new" idea was stypid and was going to fall on its face, but he didn't like unemployment so had to mouth managements line. hehe
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Of course the best way to solve this would be to change the signs on their kiosks, but that involves new graphics assets so becomes difficult.

If we want to talk realism, it would be more likely that a vendor would represent a particular company rather than a level of item. So you'd have to see the Evolver vendor for Evolver parts. Not that I'm suggesting that as a change.
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Since all the vendors carry items of several companies, making them carry a single companies items would be a huge change that wouldn't work.

I imagine (since I am not on the Dev Team) that the individual graphics used for vendors is the same for each of the station types ( vendor_progen.xxx ) and the level of complication and extra graphics that would go into it would be difficult to achieve. :(

On top of that it would defiantly shake stuff up and probably irritate more people than it benefited. IMHO I think that unless you can change the actual signage to reflect the level easily, let's leave well enough alone and let the matter drop. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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what a great suggestion!
I think we'll get over the clunky numbers thing pretty quickly and that players will just see it as part of the interface. [u]It actually breaks the fourth wall less if the number hovers next to their name instead of them saying the number.[/u] They shouldn't acknowledge the number because to them it doesn't exist. It's not like the floating name above the vendor's head is actually there, it's just part of the game interface.

As far as development goes, it would be difficult to change the sign but very very easy to change the floating name to include the level.
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Kenu,

This is why the vendors that i originally set up that way mention the Tech and a roman numeral as opposed to saying 'I've got level 4 stuff"

It would be less breaking for floating numbers as compared to literal constant numbers in the text or speaking it as a fact in the chat, but it can be more easily covered and explained as part of the chat, as well as integrated into what he's saying and within the context of the universe providing the content dev changing the chat lines does his or her job well enough :) . It is perfectly feasible for a vendor to understand that there are technical levels (Tech levels) for the gear they sell, as long as it is indicated with the same demarcations used for the items themselves (roman numerals and so on).
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"Note, having a vendor acknowledge that it has a level of item is an inherent break because it is reminding you that it is just a game."

"It is perfectly feasible for a vendor to understand that there are technical levels (Tech levels) for the gear they sell, as long as it is indicated with the same demarcations used for the items themselves (roman numerals and so on)."

I feel like it's such a minor difference if it's any difference at all that it shouldn't affect players' immersion into the game.
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I should have been clearer with that first statement you pulled from my earlier post. It's almost right, the correct way to state that would be to add:

[color="#444444"][font="Tahoma, Verdana, Arial,"]"Note, having a vendor acknowledge that it has a level of item is an inherent break because it is reminding you that it is just a game [b]if the way they mention the item is out of context for the game universe.[/b]"[/font][/color]
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Hey you! Yes you! get over here...you think you're ready to upgrade that piss-poor gear you're using now? Well as you can CLEARLY see, the stuff I sell is at LEAST a full grade better than the stuff your gear is made out of...yes, yes that would be that (insert number floating over the kiosk) number there (emotes /point). I'm quite proud of the wide selection and quality of my (insert number in convo tree text) grade components, if you would only give them a try I'm sure you would agree....soooo have I made a sale or not?

How's that? that context enough? The npc knows there is differing quality of stuff, that its self evident, and that a higher tech level will be needed to make higher level of tech gear, AND he IS in business to sell (and make a profit) and the keys to sales is :location, selection, price and ADVERTISEMENT..thus the signage...He/She wants you to SEE that they are the vendor to see for all your (level comp) needs, and wants you to beat a path to them.

While tweeking convo trees a inter-vendor rivalry could even be introduced:
"Bob over there (/point) thinks his (level of comp) is SO much better than my (level of comp), but I have to tell you that his stuff, while his signage says its higher tech than mine, is clearly inferior once you use it...I couldn't live with myself if I let you pay his inflated prices for stuff, thats going to crap out on you when you need it most, no no...stick with my stuff its proven reliable."
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