Metro's Bullets Make A Better Currency

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

RJ Dalton:
Man, almost every time I read one of these articles, I think to myself, "I want to play a game that does that, now."

Why has nobody hired you for game development?

Yahtzee was a game designer back in the early to mid 90s, IIRC.

I'm guessing, but no one's hired him because designers tend to be at the top of the company, it'd be a bit like going out, picking some kid off the street and asking them to be your Fortune 500's CTO. Without a lot of major titles to his name, it's not like people are lining up around the block. And for a company, a designer probably looks like one of the most replaceable positions. "We need somebody who can come up with ideas on how the system works? But we've got that."

The Diablo 2 styled dungeon crawler Path of Exile has a currency system a bit like this where instead of monsters dropping gold coins they can drop Identify scrolls (or fragments of them) which you need to use to buy items or identify magic items. Monsters can also drop Orbs (or shards of them) which can be used to enchant, reforge, or modify your equipment. The fact that the game has some interesting Skill and Talent Point systems is also pretty cool.

The money as XP thing was used well in Dark Souls since souls were used as currency, but also to upgrade your stats.

martyrdrebel27:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
snip

it's not a stretch to say that Minecraft uses Experience Points as a currency. in fact, losing all of your xp upon death adds another level of risk/reward that feels like we don't see a lot in games. do you risk going with a lower level enchantment or do you save up and risk losing it all. i think it also complements the gameplay well, as we've all had those tense minecraft moments that don't seem like tbey should be as dramatic as they are. but knowing i'm thousands of blocks into a tunnel far from home running from a cave full of spiders trying not to lose my 24 xp levels and the handful of diamonds i mined for hours to find... not many games get my heart pumping like that these days.

Minecraft is pretty much the opposite direction, relying on a crapload of different currencies. XP is one sure, but so is diamond, iron, hell even your cobblestone if you're into megastructures, and then of course there's all the infrastructure-level stuff, farms, main shafts etc that make doing your thing easier and faster (this gets even more nuts with mods of course).

Currency = XP is pretty common, actually. Any game where you buy upgrades with money rather than leveling up is essentially that.

The only way 'Animal Crossing' is a life simulator, is if you continually live your life on absinthe.

Thedutchjelle:
Am I the only one who noticed the typo in the tags, or does Yahtzee know about a Metro 20133 sequel that is hidden from us?

Yes, you are the only one who reads the tags. They're just there to make information extraction easier for search engines. When most people want extra information on a subject, they just Google it.

Flameeater:

WanderingFool:

Flameeater:
"Every time you fired off a burst of rounds while in the field, you'd be haunted by visions of the many grilled cheese sandwiches that are now denied to you."

There is a bit of an ammo shortage here in states, prices have went up quite a bit, if it can found at all. Empty a clip of 5.56/.223 or 9mm (or others that are most likely even more expensive)and see if this very thing doesn't happen to you now...

Theres an ammo shortage here in the states?

Lord yes there is. I havent been able to find ammo for my AR or my AK in several months. The few places you can get it have price gouged. It's been a national problem I am surprised you haven't heard about it. All the talking heads blaming Dept. of Homeland Security for buying it all up... To mow us all down when the NWO takes over or something... All joking aside even when available the cheap .223(Dirty ammo/ Tula russian steel case rounds) are $6 a box of 20. And the good stuff is usually around $12-$15 for a box of 20 and on up. Hell these days you fire off a clip and you could have had a full meal, 2 clips and you could have fed the family, 2 clips of good stuff and there goes your weekend out with the guys or gals.

Huh. I dont shoot for sport (dont have the time or the money... and from the sounds of it, I really dont have the money...), so I wasnt aware of this.

the only game i can think about that sort of works like this is last stand: dead zone, and then it gets cheapened by being a flash free to play game

I like it when in-game currency has some kind of useful application besides 'trading for better stuff', because it generally makes the world feel more consistent. Part of the problem with currency being just currency is that it's ridiculously prone to inflation as the game proceeds, resulting in your character becoming a billionaire. RPGs are among the worst offenders in this regard, because it makes it impossible to believe that the hero is carrying his money with him.

When currency actually has a function of its own it becomes more believable, especially in any desolate or post-apocalyptic setting. Someone mentioned Path of Exile's bartering system earlier - that's a good example.

Exchanging life for a speed upgrade sounds like a class change from tank to ranger or thief.

That being said, it's all about context and presentation. If you dress it well enough in-game, the player won't look at it that way.

Toward the very end, I was just like "Wait, post-apocalyptic Animal Crossing? Sign me up!"

I disagree with the premise entirely.

Lets say I'm playing an RPG and pick up some cash, bullets, bottlecaps, whatever, then I am thinking "ooh, I can spend this on something awesome" and if I get XP I'm thinking about all the skills I can spend it on/obtain.

Fundamentally it is all additive. Positive.

Now if I am forced into this whole 'rob Peter to pay Paul' dynamic then purchasing stuff is going to feel like an unpleasant neccesity. In an open world game this wouldn't be so bad because you'd be able to refresh one's supply of currency/xp from 'farmable' sources or some other production mechanic, but then you're left with more of an economy flow (kill low level bandits with crossbow to get 9mm ammo in order to trade in for 7.62mm & blowjobs) than the kind of thing you're on about.

In brief; I'm a tight bastard and you're talking about making me pay my road tax every time I want to have some fun.

Hah. The XP doubles as HP bar was actually brilliant. But it would be pretty difficult to balance. But I guess the lack of balance is half the point about that concept. Very intriguing.

The idea of Ammo for currency is good as long as the game design includes these two aspects:
1) Ammo is relatively rare and,
2) There is enough to spend it on that the player will be forced into hard choices

Unfortunately both Metro games fail on both of these points. Experience is better earned through tasks (not just fetch & carry), but by accomplishing a goal by any means necessary. Ammo, money, weapons, or extra pairs of pants are icing on the cake, not the goal. The cake is to be spent on skills, while the icing is used to make getting more cake easier.

As for the 'keeping rare ammo for the significant firefights' in Metro, plinking ammo was all I ever needed. They use the same Hit Location system as Stalker, so headshots are all you need.

Stalker had a nice system where completing missions would earn you respect, which would influence the traders and increase the value of your loot, while decreasing their wares. It would also open up new inventory items.

Oh, and I nearly forgot: Fallout 1 & 2. Many people had few caps, and so did you. You were forced to trade items for items. It is a much better system as you are not allowed to bank incredible amounts of cash very easily. Of course the system broke down when they started introducing characters about half-way through both games that had large amounts, and then you got rich quick. If this were combine with market variations, where certain items sell for a premium, then a game would expand into the trading genre (which is always cool).

The run on the US ammo was due to the weapon's bill that was shot down. Everything was bought out and the inventories are still low, even though the factories have had more than enough time to restock. It looks like they are trying to enjoy the price increases by slowing production. Someone is going to blink in that stare contest, and everything will go back to normal (though prices will be 5-10% higher for no more reason than they know people are willing to pay it).

The rarest thing in a game should be currency, but how does one actually save and spend common sense?

I only wished Metro Last Light made you use your cash more. I remember only having to use my cash once in that game, I had plenty of dirty ammo the entire game. Metro2033 i distinctly remember having to use my cash to protect myself.

Starke:
Anyway, the STALKER games have the whole XP as money thing. Especially Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. You spend rubles to upgrade your weapons and armor, and to repair them. You also spend them to get better gear, either from the merchants or (in CoP) from a special order runner.

In a game with a 50kg carry limit, all of this comes together to describe most of what Yahtzee's describing.

There is also a game called "Marauder: Man of Prey", in which there is no money counter (rounds or otherwise), and the main currency is "nines" and "fives" (9 and 5.45 rounds - an equivalent of 50c and a dollar). "Nines" and "fives" are the most convertible, but you can exchange any rounds (or food, or medkits - if a merchant agrees).
These are the very same rounds you are using for your guns, too - there is no special "money rounds".
There is also a weight and space limit, so despite the fact that you can carry all kinds of ammo, you will likely limit yourself to only picking up rounds for your weapons.

Miroluck:

Starke:
Anyway, the STALKER games have the whole XP as money thing. Especially Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. You spend rubles to upgrade your weapons and armor, and to repair them. You also spend them to get better gear, either from the merchants or (in CoP) from a special order runner.

In a game with a 50kg carry limit, all of this comes together to describe most of what Yahtzee's describing.

There is also a game called "Marauder: Man of Prey", in which there is no money counter (rounds or otherwise), and the main currency is "nines" and "fives" (9 and 5.45 rounds - an equivalent of 50c and a dollar). "Nines" and "fives" are the most convertible, but you can exchange any rounds (or food, or medkits - if a merchant agrees).
These are the very same rounds you are using for your guns, too - there is no special "money rounds".
There is also a weight and space limit, so despite the fact that you can carry all kinds of ammo, you will likely limit yourself to only picking up rounds for your weapons.

Yeah, STALKER's like that, at least so far as ammo's concerned. Ammo, especially shotgun shells, are heavy.

For some reason the description of Man of Prey reminds me of the original Fallout's barter system. Though, there, you sometimes had bottle caps to smooth over the loose change at the edge of the trade. Later on, you could start trading in bottle caps exclusively, but in the early game, you were most likely getting gear for gear.

4Aces:
Stalker had a nice system where completing missions would earn you respect, which would influence the traders and increase the value of your loot, while decreasing their wares. It would also open up new inventory items.

Did that actually work? I know in Clear Sky as you went up in rank with a faction, more gear would unlock, and I know in Call of Pripyat gear would pop at certain threshold points...

I know, Shadow of Chernobyl was set up to do that, but, my memory of the trader.ltx file was that they actually didn't get better gear...

I saw "Animal Crossing" in conjunction with shooters and had a desire to go hunt down Tom Nook.

I didn't know only some ammo counted as currency in Metro, though. That's...Disappointing. I like the idea of ammo or some other necessity as currency.

As long as we don't all die from dysentery when fording a river.

Money=exp wont work in open world mechanics.
I am a hoarder. i colelct stuff in games. if i coudl convert this stuff to EXP, i would be SO overpowered... i mean i carried tens of millions in fallout, had over 100000 item storage in stalker games and the like. most of the game i was overcumbered due to amount of loot i kept dragging.

Kenjitsuka:
"
The fact that there are shooting "dirty" bullets and different sorts of money bullets make it clear the devs DIDN'T think of this. Because in this situation dirty bullets are ammo and the money bullets are just a strange shaped form of gold coins from ever other game! :(

you can shoot the "money" "pre-war" bullets too. they do more damage than "dirty" ones. you cant sell dirty ones though. so you better wash them beforehand.

Starke:

Did that actually work? I know in Clear Sky as you went up in rank with a faction, more gear would unlock, and I know in Call of Pripyat gear would pop at certain threshold points...

I know, Shadow of Chernobyl was set up to do that, but, my memory of the trader.ltx file was that they actually didn't get better gear...

they did get better gear with time, though not all certainly and you sitll had the "rich trader, poor trader" system. CLear sky however utilized this fully and i once bought top of the line armor from a newbie trader (im a hoarder i had so many items the game woudl freeze for 3 minutes when i entered the cluster where i stored my items)

The biggest problem with Metro 2033's money system was that most stuff wasn't worth buying. Apart from the special stealth/combat suits and filling up on gas mask filters ONCE, everything of value could be found for free not long after you first found it for sale.

I love how valuable the good ammo is on Ranger Hardcore, though. My first time through the game I spent every single bullet I had on the defense at Hole station. Had to finish the fight with my knife and start the next section with nothing.

Ever since playing Metro 2033, I found the system of a bullet-based economy unique and interesting. As one who is more conservative with their currency, I often found myself in situations where I ran around knifing, instead of spending those well-priced bullets, as I'd rather have extra cash for upgrades over an easy survival.

That being said, for your idea of a health-based economy, I'm thinking of something with "You're a human, and most people are vampires/doctors, and your blood is very important to their survival/research." So, that way, the more blood you transfer, the more powerful your allies get/ the more items/upgrades you can get. This would also take that healing items are rather rare and expensive, so you can't just flood the system.

Pathologic! It's not exactly straight-up bullets-are-money, but it's sufficiently intricate in that everything is delicately balanced on top of everything else and tough decisions have to be made all the time.
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/pathologic/pathologic1.htm

I was also going to mention Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, but someone got to that already.

Interesting points, and to be fair the books did not have dirty bullets, and they would end up shooting away their money, quite a lot of it on occasion, although then it was more a case of 'if i do not use these bullets now i won't have to worry about affording food'.

There are some serious issues with this however. For one thing, and this occurred to me when thinking about the bottle caps in fallout, you have to count every single one of them, and in both games there are some really expensive things to buy, we're talking stuff that costs thousands of bullets/caps, you have to count every single one of them. Not to mention the fact that bullets are somewhat heavy.

Granted it might be easier with bullets since you can use the different calibers to work like real life paper (9mm bullets as pennies while a 5.56 would a 10 dollar bill, or something) but the thing is, money works because it's useless paper, and it's value is predetermined. Bullets have quite important uses besides being currency, and it's use my vary depending on what the other guy needs, you can have a box full of 12.7mm (.50 cal for the US among you) ammo but it will be useless to the other guy if he doesn't have a weapon that can use that ammo, unless he is a trader. Then there's also the rare ammunition, either because it's specialized (subsonic VSV ammo, or underwater bullets for the underwater rifle) or rare because it isn't found around there (for ex NATO 5.56 in russia where they use 5.45).

The value would also be determined by how common one type of ammo is, in some cases 9mm might be more expensive then 5.45 which in turn might be more expensive then older 7.62 simply because they are harder to find (for ex: most of the 5.45 was on the surface and in use when the nukes struck while the the 7.62 were in reserve storage). And that's not counting the possibility of market crashes every time someone finds an abandoned ammo cache full of bullets.

On another note using dirty bullets (which personally i believe are hand made with crappier metal and a lot less gunpowder) actually prevents the economy from crashing during the game. Think about it: If everyone carries currency to shoot then obviously you will be rich really fast, in the game, by simply head shooting or mele killing your enemies, and then looting all the bullets they haven't been able to fire, at least until you have to use that on the obligatory bullet sponge monsters. Using crappy non-currency bullets balances that by giving the enemy something to shoot you with as well as creating a shortage of currency bullets, after all if bandits had currency bullets they wouldn't need to be bandits now would they?

Sadly it's not without it's issues and frankly it will still eventually boiled down to a barter system anyway, most people do not have access to bullets, especially in the beginning or for various reason, in which case it's better to ignore the bullets as currency and focus on the barter aspect (like STALKER did), which again boils down to need versus have. After all, anyone know that a knife is worth an ak-47 if there are no bullets to be found and you're expecting danger to come knocking.

I am suddenly intrigued by the idea of a Metro/Persona 4 combination of a game...

JarinArenos:
I would buy Sims: After The Bombs in a heartbeat.

ACtually... great idea for a game. I might even get into the sims with that as an option.

Towards the end you are getting pretty close to describing The Void (also known as Tension)... One resource is your:
- Health
- Ammo/Mana
- Stats
- "XP" or "points" or "currency" to unlock the next area/progress the game

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here