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Re: CF: Skills of the merchant class

Anthony Thyssen wrote:
> Nethack does NOT do it quite that way...

 Note that there is at least one major difference between nethack and crossfire
- nethack is single player, crossfire is multiple player.

> First the merchent n nethack always knows exactly what he is looking at
> in nethack.  In fact you can pretend to sell a potion or what ever to
> get a rough guess of the price of the object according to the merchent.

 I think we can agree that in crossfire, the merchant should/does have knowledge
of exactly what he is buying.  Player can also get an incredibly accurate
estimate all by himself (which probably isn't right).

> Also not in nethack shops do NOT identify items being sold to the
> player! That is up to the player!!!  He only know that this battle axe
> is so good the merchent wants big bucks for it! So either identifies it
> himself, (in one older version of nethack he can pay the merchent to do
> this for him, that is show him a certificate of authenticity), or buys
> it and gets it id'ed latter.

 Note this won't very well in crossfire (or real life.)

 In nethack, the game designers can leave it up to the player to remember he
sold that valuable axe, and rebuy it at a later time (and being single player,
only he can rebuy it.)

 In crossfire, other players can wander in.  Is another player going to buy some
unidentified weapon for a lot of money not having any idea what it is?  Probably
not.  As a real person, would you buy a computer case for a lot of money, on the
basis that since it costs a lot of money, there must be a motherboard and other
stuff and it mus be pretty good because it costs a bunch of money?  Probably not
(if so, let me know as I have some stuff I could probably sell you.)

 From a real life perspective (and crossfire issue), the merchant is going to
want to identify the items to make them more palatable for people to buy them. 
I don't see that as a big issue - if the merchant does buy them, he would
identify them.

 Note that stuff has been verified as non magical (via spell) should probably be
considered identified.  If that sword is not magical, you can be pretty certain
it is a plain sword - in fact, the game has been coded especially for that. 
Furthermore, it could be assumed that merchants being skilled would have a good
chance identifying objects without magic (players have skills to do that - it
would make sense for merchants to have the same skills with even better

 Of course, this completely ignores the point that merchants don't exist in
crossfire - just shops where people can buy/sell stuff and mystically get payed
or have the money removed from them.

> A merchent may not mind taking 1 or a half a dozen corpses for the
> alchemists, but 100 rotting bodys! Come on. If a merchent already has
> 10 body parts of a type the purchase price should drop to next to
> nothing!   Don't get me wrong, I like the money making zombie corpses.
> But would the merchents?

 Arguably, merchants should pay based on the supply they have and what they are
being sold.  A merchant is not likely to find a home to 100 long swords, so
probably should not pay very much.

 The problem comes in that crossfire is multiplayer.  This topic was discussed
before, but to quickly rehash, if the shop keeper pays based on what he has,
then it is the first player to haul a load of junk back to the empty merchant
shop who gets rich, and everyone that follows gets peanutes.

 In terms of body parts, probably all body parts should have a time limit (ala
the demon ichors), and literally rot away.  Some objects (and perhaps
refrigerated shop floors) would stop this decay.  Such a change would reduce
clutter in dungeons, and also force players to decide if they want to haul this
pack of body parts back while they can, or finish exploring the dungeon.  Either
way, the money:time ratio goes down.

> Prehaps a pile of such goodies sitting in the middle of the shop should
> automatically be place back on the shop `shielves' to fill in the empty
> spots, after a small time delay after a characetr picks an item of the
> shelf.  Some of these shops get so messy after just a few adventurers
> have come in and dumped their junk in the middle of the floor!

 Could make for an interesting merchant/shop boy npc (picks up the item, and
decides where to put it.)

 Shops should also be a bit more specialized - that mage shop is not likely to
be interested in the piles of armor - take it to the armor shop.  And at the
same time, the armor shop is not likely to be interested in a pile of spell
books.  At current time, all shops are equal - the only difference is what stuff
gets created in them.  That should change, with perhaps even a global field of
shop generosity (ie, this shop has great selection but terrible prices)
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