Damn it, stop making me rich!

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Most games involve some form of resource management. Shooters have ammo and health, RTSs have assorted building materials, RPGs have potions and skill points... you get the idea.

This is fine and dandy. Resource management is a solid base for game mechanics. My problem is that damn near every game I can think of insists on giving me too much of whatever resource they deal in, promptly removing any requirement or incentive for ingenuity on the part of the player.

Allow me to employ an example: Skyrim.

The most fun I had with Skyrim was in the first 5 hours or so immediately after the game removed the training wheels and set me loose on the world. A significant part of that fun came from the fact that I was skint broke. This meant I had to improvise, I had to make do with whatever was available, I had to use everything at my disposal to survive. So I stripped enemy corpses for every penny and sold their gear, I retrieved my precious arrows, I pick-pocketed shopkeepers, I hunted animals for their leather to improve my equipment, I lured enemies into traps, I came up with solutions based on the situation at hand.

However, twenty dragons later that was all gone. I was level fifty-something. I was decked out in smithed-up, double enchanted gear. I had 30+ uber-potions of health on hand. I had 90,000 gold. I could kill a dragon with three of my 200+ arrows. I could effectively turn invisible by crouching. All of a sudden everything was boring. Why bother with loot when I can already purchase anything in the game? Why come up with a clever and inventive way to take down that Draugr Doomlord of Deathmurder when I can just calmly shank him to death while mainlining health potions? Or one-shot him from hiding? Or, hell, just walk past him while slurping the aforementioned potions?

The same applies in so many games. Like, say, Bioshock (and don't get me wrong here folks, I fucking love me some Bioshock.) At the beginning I am scrounging for each and every precious pistol round and searching through cash registers so I can maybe afford enough electric ammo to take on that Big Daddy. Two levels later I am firing ammunition into the walls just so I can pick up the stuff at my feet.

Or Human Revolution. (Or the original Deus Ex, come to think of it.) I start out hunting down every drop of XP I can find because, damn it, I want that slow-fall augmentation. Come the mid game and I have praxis points coming out of my ears and enough equipment to trivialise any obstacle the game can come up with. Should I try and circle around that heavy security bot, or should I find it's control hub? Nah, why bother? I'll just toss one of my ten EMP grenades at it.

When you aren't working within restraints there is not reason for you to try and find a clever way around them. When every problem can be solved by throwing resources at it, there is no reason to do anything else.

So... games, please stop making me rich. Turns out it's more fun to be poor.

You've posted this thread 3 times. May need a mod to clear it up.

This is a problem with RPGs in general. Being good at the game gives you more resources, making subsequent play easier, while those who are not as good would end up with fewer resources and subsequent play would be harder. So good players are faced with an easier game (more potions, consumables, better items), while worse players are faced with a comparatively greater challenge. And I'm not saying the game FEELS easier or harder based on your skill level, the game IS easier or harder.

A good example would be RPGs with optional super-bosses which are often even harder than the endgame fights and reward the player with the best items in the game. What's the point of such rewards? Better items serve to help me get through the game more easily, but if I'm already good enough at the game to beat a fight that's harder than the final boss, why the hell would I need even better items? To make it even more of a curbstomping?

However, it's hard to work around this. Actually, it's almost impossible. If an RPG has a resource system (and most do), being good at the game will inevitably result in a surplus of resources, which in turn makes the rest of the game easier by default. If you were to make the resources scarce and/or their use mandatory, you potentially screw over less skilled players or even create situations where the player can't progress further. It's a slippery slope. Scaling content based on performance is both hard to do (how do you measure performance?) and might annoy players who'll feel like they are being punished for their success. Making difficult optional content is one way to provide high performing players with challenges that lower performing players won't have to face, but the main game is still easy, there's no real reward to such content (as illustrated in the previous paragraph) and the less skilled players might hate missing out.

One thing you can do is provide "catch up" mechanics, most notable of these being grinding. Basically, tune the game towards high-performing players and let the low-performing players catch up through various means. Grinding is the classic example, but it's also usually boring as all hell.

Difficulty settings don't really help. They just raise the bar before you get to godhood and don't solve the underlying problem.

Dark Souls (again) old friend. Dark Souls does it right.

But I agree with you, and this all stems into the challenge of a game. An unchallenging game will persist on making things easier for you to continue along right to the end, and a challenging game strips you of these extras and leaves you with the bare necessities.

After Dark Souls, I don't want to play half the games I have because they are so overwhelmingly generous.

i dont have this problem in skyrim. im constantly broke and dragons still take 5-10 minutes to kill and im somehwere in the 40's.

ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

iBagel:
ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

thank you....
but I'm already there, currently playing FO: New Vegas on hardcore and I have 263000 caps 20000 NCR dollars and about the same in Legion Denarius.
I have a stock pile of Weapons and armour in my suite at the Lucky 38 and more stimpacks than I can shake a stick at (I've probably got the stick somewhere as well) and....

I've not even gone to see Ceasar yet!

Don't get me wrong, it's great to beable to buy any gun I want, it's just I buy it and then remember I have another five of them at the casino!

Actually, that's a good point.

The difficulty should make the games primary resource more scarce. Hardmode should mean gold/ammo/medkits are extremely hard to come by.

Dead Space does that particularly well. On the hardest difficulties ammo is extremely scarce so every single shot counts.

iBagel:
ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

Witty.

I tried that. If I were to edit my original post to reflect Skyrim's Master difficulty then the only change would be: "I could kill a dragon with eight of my 200+ arrows."

putowtin:

iBagel:
ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

thank you....
but I'm already there, currently playing FO: New Vegas on hardcore and I have 263000 caps 20000 NCR dollars and about the same in Legion Denarius.
I have a stock pile of Weapons and armour in my suite at the Lucky 38 and more stimpacks than I can shake a stick at (I've probably got the stick somewhere as well) and....

I've not even gone to see Ceasar yet!

Don't get me wrong, it's great to beable to buy any gun I want, it's just I buy it and then remember I have another five of them at the casino!

Here's an idea, drop a load of cash. Give yourself a limit to the amount of money you can have at one time, make a mod?

iBagel:

putowtin:

iBagel:
ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

thank you....
but I'm already there, currently playing FO: New Vegas on hardcore and I have 263000 caps 20000 NCR dollars and about the same in Legion Denarius.
I have a stock pile of Weapons and armour in my suite at the Lucky 38 and more stimpacks than I can shake a stick at (I've probably got the stick somewhere as well) and....

I've not even gone to see Ceasar yet!

Don't get me wrong, it's great to beable to buy any gun I want, it's just I buy it and then remember I have another five of them at the casino!

Here's an idea, drop a load of cash. Give yourself a limit to the amount of money you can have at one time, make a mod?

playing it on the PS3, so no mod, and I don't know what it is, I'm programmed to pick up everything in RPG's, then I repair guns and armour, then pick up spares, and repair them....
basicly my characters all have OCD!

That's why I like RE Remake and the Tenchu games; fairly limited inventory and a character whose moveset cannot change. They know what they know, you have to make do with that.

That's why I like Monster Hunter games; if you don't watch out and time your attacks you are gonna get raped wearing that shiny gear of yours.

RPGs just allow stuff like exploits and min-maxing...turning you into a God before you can say "Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this". That's what you get for making the manipulation of numbers the predominant mechanic of the game.

Would be nice to play a RPG that offers a constant challenge regardless of level or abilities. Haven't played it (yet), but I suspect The Witcher 2 may fit the bill.

I like it when I get to the point in a game where my resources are plentiful. I pick up almost everything in RPG's as well, if only to sell it (especially in the beginnings). It can take a bit of edge off from a couple of aspects, since you don't need to get certain resources so desperately anymore.

Crank up the difficulty if you want more of a challenge. Looting/collecting/gaining/keeping resources is never the only gameplay element after all.

The whole game system of sandboxy RPG's like Fallout and Skyrim enables this kind of resource hogging, and there is no way they would be the same, awesome games, if you were more restricted of collecting or keeping the resources. Make up your own extra self-enforced rules if you desperately want to have less. Destroy the armor, every town entry costs you 1000 gold...

Maybe, if this is such a big deal, you should play other games that don't have these problems. As far as I know, MMORPG's are all about getting the top level/rank, better items, more gold, and so on.
From a personal experience, I've never complained to myself of having large amounts of happiness, culture, or too many great persons or any other resources in Civilization V, with the difficulty setting that makes it challenging and enjoyable.

There are ways to change this. My friend is doing a archer only run on Skyrim, meaning that he's got nothing for up close, and arrows for him were starting to get scarce. I was also working on, once upon a time, doing a melee only run in FO3.

You could set a challenge up for yourself, it sounds like work, and you shouldn't have to, but sometimes you have to to get that feeling. You could get no new perks, be a melee user who only uses light or regular clothes. Not use any health potions or limit it to only having 10 that only heal 25.

I agree, sometimes you get so clogged up with stuff it takes the challenge away, but you can easily keep the fun going by challenging yourself to get that innovative minimalist blood a pumpin'

Zhukov:
M-M-M-M-Monstersnip

mafia: city of lost heaven had you at one point loose all your money and clothing due to an assassination attempt by burning your house to the ground.

i think mafia 2 had one of this events, too.

i once played a Space flight simulator (forgot its name) where you also lost all your credits.
i could deal with starting with nothing again in mafia but when i lost all my credits in this space flight/combat simulator i was close to fist fighting my monitor.

what i am trying to say is that there is a damn thin line between feeling its okay to lose everything and thinking that the dev of a game are trolling you into grinding for hours again, making their game longer.

and i think this line is too risky to implement in a game for developers.
plus they want you to feel like 'you're the man' and that you have archieved something no other could do.

and they don't really expect that you will pick up everything
image

which almost everyone does.

So true. I was actually just thinking about this today while playing Kingdoms of Amalur. It isn't just the fact it tends to be stupidly easy to get all that gold. I think another problem is that...there is never anything to spend it on. In RPGs nowadays, I find that you just can't spend that money on anything worthwhile, ever. It is almost always better to just use gear you find, or craft it(Even that becomes a waste very quickly also)
I definitely shared your experience with Skyrim. I had the same thing with every other Bethesda game. Even after I max the difficulty and pile on the mods to increase difficulty, they are still so easy.
I even noticed it in the Diablo 3 beta, where I didn't need to use my gold on anything because they got rid of everything I normally would have spent it on, and I never had to use a single potion, so it was all good. I never have to use potions in Amalur either, even on max difficulty.
-EDIT-
As an aside, I think the idea of cranking difficulty is a waste in most of these kinda situations since very often the developers idea of scaling difficulty is lowering your damage and raising enemy life/damage. I think that is a poor way to scale difficulty. All it does is just make battles I am going to win anyway, take longer.

I have got around this problem in Fallout NV by buying stuff from the gunrunners. After that Blade Runner pistol forced my to adjust my underwear, it also forced me back in to the resource management as I had spent all my money on it.

rhizhim:

and they don't really expect that you will pick up everything
image

which almost everyone does.

If they don't expect that by now, it's their fault for being so ridiculous. Seriously, this is a thing in pretty much all their games.

Anyway...

I had this problem in Saints Row the Third. I'd unlocked almost everything well before the end of the game, with little incentive to do more. More cash than I knew what to do with, and so on. And I'm technically already handicapping myself by not having the immunities and infinites, and I hate games where the only way to get any challenge is to artificially limit yourself.

Not quite in the same boat in Kingdoms of Amalur, but I've got like 250K in cash, armour and weapons that may not be the best but certainly are more than enough to handle enemies to my scale, and so many health potions I routinely sell them off. And if I did spend money on better equipment, I'd likely only make the process easier. I have a feeling it won't be long before I have half a million in reserve and the same problem.

I like some level of progression, but there's a fine line between becoming a badass late game and cakewalking through the second and third act.

putowtin:

iBagel:
ESC > Settings > Difficulty > Master

thank you....
but I'm already there, currently playing FO: New Vegas on hardcore and I have 263000 caps 20000 NCR dollars and about the same in Legion Denarius.
I have a stock pile of Weapons and armour in my suite at the Lucky 38 and more stimpacks than I can shake a stick at (I've probably got the stick somewhere as well) and....

I've not even gone to see Ceasar yet!

Don't get me wrong, it's great to beable to buy any gun I want, it's just I buy it and then remember I have another five of them at the casino!

Same problem I have with FO3 and NV. Eventually, I become unstopable. I actualy hindered myself once in the character creater by giving my 3 strength, so I cant carry all those uber weapons. Still didnt stop me from destroying Ceaser when I first showed up at the camp. I once destroyed all of New Vegus for lulz...

I believe there was a mod floating around somewhere on Nexus that made weapons, arrows, and potions appear much more rarely then they originally do.

I generally only care when there's nothing to spend the money on anyway. Like in GTA4; got a shitload of money but they took out all the stuff you would buy in a GTA game.
RPGs take a little while longer (good ones at least) because there's all sorts of stuff to buy.

I'm lvl 21 or so and I'm already swimming in gold. This is mainly attributed to my looting habits, though. I don't pick up everything (otherwise I'd need to travel several times for each dungeon), I only pick up items with a good gold/weight ratio from the start. I still find myself overencumbered sometimes but it is nowhere as bad as my looting habits in Morrowind.

Another problem are the sidequests. Most sidequests give 400 or 750 septims each. At one point I was in a bar and one of the patrons asked me to bring warrior ashes to the town's priest. Was quite handy that the town's priest was also at the bar this very moment, so I got another 400 gold nearly instantly. Even if he hadn't been there, 400 septims would have been way too much for the short walk through town.

Another problem lies in game design where you theoretically get enough consumables to use a little on nearly every encounter but always save the stuff for 'later'. Sure, the last big fight I had in Skyrim, I used a lot of potions and stuff. But for the whole other dungeon (Labyrinthyan or whatever that mage quest dungeon is called... it is a really big one) I barely used anything.
I kind of liked Metro 2033 and Stalker where you could actually run out of everything if you weren't careful. Sure, you could have far too many rubels in Stalker, too... but the supply was pretty limited but when you are in one of the underground labs and your ammo is getting low and you don't know how long it will be until you are back in safety again... pretty intense gameplay sometimes.

I agree wholeheartedly, it seems I much prefer games when they kick me in a ditch and take all my stuff like FNV's Dead Money.

Dev's can't seem to cope with making people struggle with pennies anymore.

Playing KoA: Reckoning i have 2.5 million gold level 34 and halfway through the campaign and probably spent throughout the game about 600,000 on training and various upgrades for my safehouses. I have tons of potions and was given my weapons and armor as loot or rewards.

It was more fun and tense at the beginning when i was broke and a greater healing potion was 1/6 of my total gold rather than a batch of ten being far less than 1% of my amassed fortune.

What I don't understand is how old school FPS games give you more guns and lots of ammo for the alright ones-stop throwing SMG ammo at me Half Life! I need Pulse Rifle ammo!-is more inventory management than two guns. With Halo for example, do I leave the rocket launcher here and take the shotgun, or do I leave my rifle here for the shotty and launcher? You have to guess what'll be ahead of you, and a wrong decision can be the death of you. Hell, the Fall of Reach book has the exact same thing! The Chief is at a predicament where he has a rifle, sniper and launcher, and he has to run back for the rockets to take out a Wraith.

Reminds me of the old AD&D Dungeon Masters who would have our party get hit by thieves if we started getting a little too rich :-P

Dark Souls is the closest game to that, IMO - where you lose all your souls (money) if you get killed and aren't able to get back to your bloodstain in time.

Heck, make that an option under "super hard core" or some such - you're getting bigger and badder all game long, which makes you a bigger target for thieves, and you have one quick tough shot at recovery before a thief who just took your best sword disappears forever.

Or else have gang attacks by rust monsters :-)

You should try Metro 2033 on one of the Ranger-difficulties...I played it on Ranger Hardcore. No crosshair, no HUD unless you toggled it, you get ammo at 1-3 rounds at a time (though I freaking swear I never found 3 rounds at once..). And the ammo is never enough. You only get a few chances in the game to buy some ammo and guns, and the currency is military-grade ammo. That just happens to be the most powerful type as well, meaning that you actually need it to survive tough parts of the game.

I often found myself running around with a knife, despite the fact that I was careful to only shoot one bullet at a time and aim for the head. Great game, great story, amazing atmosphere.

With that said, I completely agree with you. I hate having too much shit thrown at me that does nothing but make the game less challenging. I hate having too many potions especially, and not just in Skyrim. I play through Kingdoms of Amalur right now, on the hardest difficulty, and 95% of the time I don't need anything but health potions. And hell, I don't even need those 90% of the time.

Zachary Amaranth:

rhizhim:

and they don't really expect that you will pick up everything
image

which almost everyone does.

If they don't expect that by now, it's their fault for being so ridiculous. Seriously, this is a thing in pretty much all their games.

Anyway...

I had this problem in Saints Row the Third. I'd unlocked almost everything well before the end of the game, with little incentive to do more. More cash than I knew what to do with, and so on. And I'm technically already handicapping myself by not having the immunities and infinites, and I hate games where the only way to get any challenge is to artificially limit yourself.

Not quite in the same boat in Kingdoms of Amalur, but I've got like 250K in cash, armour and weapons that may not be the best but certainly are more than enough to handle enemies to my scale, and so many health potions I routinely sell them off. And if I did spend money on better equipment, I'd likely only make the process easier. I have a feeling it won't be long before I have half a million in reserve and the same problem.

I like some level of progression, but there's a fine line between becoming a badass late game and cakewalking through the second and third act.

generating currency in a game is easy to pull off.
what a dev should try is to level the enemies and the items with you so you would always have a reason to spend it.

the diablo series does this good but then again you would be spending 200h running around picking up things to sell just to have enough money to buy better equipment.
it would shift the enjoyment of the story into a mmo like grindfest which is more frustrating.

there is a progression curve in game developement. the closer you are to that curve or graph the more 'enjoyable' your game becomes.(not to steep, not too smooth )

there is an episode of extra credits that can explain it better than me. if i find it i'll embed it here.

but the thing again is that people are frustrated because they do not know what to do with the money and they have been running around for 3/4 of the game with the feeling that they really need the money.and suddenly this jumphappens when money is not important at all.

its almost the same problem with health potions. you put your mind in a state where you save up all the potions because you might need it later on/you will die without them.
so you walk around and save up all the potions ocassionally keeping the weaker ones even when you find stronger ones while progressing.
and suddenly you have become strong enough to be not dependent on these potions.
this then turns an really usefull item into swag = frustration.

the devs aren't making you too damn rich.
in fact you are accidently doing it to yourself. with a nice touch of paranoia.

You want a game that will make you work for your gold? Try Europa Universalis III. That game is just a management course in disguise.

Acrisius:
I hate having too many potions especially, and not just in Skyrim. I play through Kingdoms of Amalur right now, on the hardest difficulty, and 95% of the time I don't need anything but health potions. And hell, I don't even need those 90% of the time.

What I think RPGs should do is take out health potions, maybe even healing spells. Or make all healing items temporary (like the pills in Left 4 Dead). This may give more incentive to players to think about their situation because resources wouldn't be everything.

Step 1: Give money in an RPG weight.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: You're forced to reduce your profit!

Problem somewhat solved.

Play Dragonquest and frequent the DQVC. You will be skint within a few days.

It'd help if games actually gave you something to spend money on, the only thing I ever bought in Skyrim was houses. I think adding in a hunger mechanic and other similar things would help quite a bit in slowing a player raise to riches.

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