Project Update - Currency Changes
The Riven Realms has been around for over two decades now for us who created it for our tabletop campaigns, and the setting has quite a lot of currencies, even if one only considers the continent of Xeryn. When we set out to develop Vagrus, we picked three coin types not to overcrowd the UI: the Lyrg, a copper coin; the Bross, a silver coin; and Draka, a rare and very valuable golden coin. These are all coins that are used fairly often in large-scale commerce on the continent, and they are also fairly easy to identify as the copper-silver-gold trio of currency is fairly common in historical and fantasy settings.
Problems arose soon from the fact that a lot of common, everyday things are bought and sold for a smaller currency called Changers. For example, food for a day typically goes for around 2-3 Changers, or the daily wages of a worker are also typically around that sum. However, we had no Changers, so we implemented Supplies to represent 10 points of Consumption each. Individual crew wages were raised to 1 Lyrg - the absolute minimum - but this started an internal inflation that led to the rise of a lot of goods and services to make ratios match the world and to allow vagri to earn enough to pay upkeep. Unfortunately, this led to a situation where Drakas became very common, even in the beginning of the game, which in the metal-starved world of the Riven Realms goes against the lore and atmosphere, eroding immersion.
Recently, us Lost Pilgrims decided that Changers have to make a return, and they have to do so before the Open World campaign launches (otherwise the change would mess with saved games later).
At first, you might think this is a simple decimal shift, but it sent ripples out that shook most areas of the game in one way or another.
On the technical side:
- Code had Lyrg/Bross/Draka hard-burned in several places, which had to be altered.
- Our databases, however, store prices as numbers only, so it was fairly straightforward to have prices shift (for example, if something used to cost 1 Draka, 2 Bross, and 5 Lyrg, now automatically costs 1 Bross, 2 Lyrg, and 5 Changers).
On the design side, things were looking much more complicated:
- The silver trading goods used to cost one or more Drakas per unit, but now only cost one or more Bross, so we had to make them more expensive (it did not make sense in world or any other way to have a bar of silver cost a few silver coins). This of course inflated the prices of all metals further, including Scrap Metal, which you know very well from Pilgrims of the Wasteland. This caused further changes in that prologue section because now you have no funds to buy the metal for the main quest.
- Naturally, making metallic trading goods more expensive resulted in all gear, equipment, and items becoming more expensive, too. We'll have to tweak these prices as we go on.
- Now that we have Changers to work with, we could de-scale the Supplies-Consumption situation explained above and eliminate the decimal multiplication. One Supply is now indeed one meal, which equals one Consumption. However, this causes Supply goods stacks to now be much less effective, so we are raising the number of Supply goods in one stack significantly to make up for the multiplication loss.
- Then there is the question of Drakas, that are now effectively eliminated from the game. It is not a problem from a lore perspective, because gold is indeed very rare and mostly only extremely rich people see them with any kind of regularity. Now that said, your vagrus may indeed become such a person in the game, so we will probably add Drakas in some form or another later on.
Overall, we are happy that we went with the change (of Changers, heh...) despite the added work, especially because it would have been much more problematic later on. Additionally, our tabletop RPG souls are now at rest that the setting and the game are not at odds. :)
The Lost Pilgrims Team
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