Forums » Expansion Classes

Merchant/Alchemist

    • 7 posts
    April 6, 2020 7:17 PM PDT

    You know, one thing I really loved from a very old game I beta tested and subsequently played for years (and will still download and play to this day) was the Merchant/Alchemist from Ragnarok Online. The concept behind the character revolved around crafting potions and items, upgrading weapons and gear, and throwing explosive bottles of acid and fire at their enemies. However, that wasn't really what made them unique. The extra fun bit was they had the ability to prop up a stall to sell their goods nearly anywhere in the world. Entering an extremely dangerous dungeon that took a while to get to? There is probably a potion seller with a stall just outside or inside.

    I think this game has the potential to expand on that. Being able to set your own prices could help create a player-driven economy, give players an alternative way of making in game currency by crafting common goods cheaper than NPCs sell, create a unique experience for support by allowing healing potions to be thrown at people, provide equipment buffs like weapon sharpening or protective coatings on armor, encourage players to gather items and crafting materials to supply their shops, make gathering skills like herbalism useful, and many more potential things.

    Could even make the merchant into a pet class (of sorts!) by making it only have support skills with minimal damage abilities, heal over time, damage over time, then it's main source of damage could be a selection of mercenaries to hire. Seems rather appropriate for a merchant to outsource their combat. If you guys are willing to throw this in, it would be extremely beneficial for people who like playing things a bit different.Plus, I will flat out toss another 500 bucks your way because it directly interests me.

    • 187 posts
    April 7, 2020 12:04 AM PDT

    I'm not sure about the Merchant side of it, but I've long liked the the Steampunk tinkerer/chemist type  of motief, and so FEW games really do this.

    Final Fantasy Tactics had the Chemist Job (which was the Job you had to level up to learn the "Item" command, and the only class that could throw various potions and the like [the Ninja Job is the one that throws weapon type things like daggers or shurikens), and for much of the game they used daggers as weapons, but in the late game, once you had access to them, they were one of the few classes able to use Guns.

    A variation on this was Rikku from FFX who's limit break was the "Mix" command, allowing you to combine 2-3 inventory items for the various effects they'd generate.

    I've held for a while that FFXIV should add such a class to THAT game for their next healer (mostly because FF lore only has so many classes that can heal, owing to White Mage being the staple healer of the series), but who knows if they ever will.  The ability to mix potions and things and use them in combat, even if it's just "flavor abilities" (e.g. they were just abilities/animations and not real items) would be a fun thematic class, I think.

    World of WarCraft had both Alchemist and Engineer in it, but both were merely professions - albeit Engineer adding a lot of "effectively" abilities through items and gadgets, particularly in Vanilla/BC/Wrath before they started nerfing everything.  Same with potions, which used to have interesting effects (water walking, underwater breathing, lesser invisibility) before Blizzard decided "fun" could not be allowed in their game and turned the profession into stat boost elixirs for end-game raiding and...not much else.

    I feel like there's a real design space for some kind of alchemy job, either an herbalist/alchemist one if you want a more mideval feel, or an alchemist/engineer if you want a more steampunk one.  But it's so rarely explored in MMOs, even though it wouldn't be hard to do it well and make it fun.

    • 680 posts
    April 7, 2020 10:15 AM PDT

    I have really mixed feelings about this idea.

    On the one hand I applaud the effort to expand out different ways for people to play.

    One of the concerns about player housing in some games is having essentially a Quickymart convenience store pop up outside every dungeon.  I'm not sure this is any different and not sure I'd want to see a bazaar build up at every cave on Terminus.  I'm not using hyperbole, I'm really not sure.  If anyone had asked me in advance if EC tunnel marketplace was a good idea, I probably would have said no for some purist reason.

    What troubles me more is the concept of "add this feature and I'll give you money".   Pantheon is in danger if people can start buying the developers attention to their pet projects.

    • 7 posts
    April 7, 2020 1:49 PM PDT

    I mean... at the end of the day, they are a business and developers are not free. And what better way to ask for a merchant job than applying merchant strategies to secure the desired effect? :p I am sure if they add it, it wouldn't be because someone offered money. But if it is a good idea, and people like it, this helps put a little money towards development time. I work for a security software company, and the way we do business is by addressing use cases. If a customer has a use case and many people want it or would benefit from it, we implement it regardless. If a smaller number of people want it, but not enough to justify the cost, someone needs to pay for the development time.

    And yeah, I get what you mean about the player housing thing. Definitely don't want anything permanent in place. But with proper limitations so entrances and exits are not blocked, I see nothing wrong with (temporary, mobile) player run stalls being set up in a bazaar somewhere. Dangerous monsters can always be deployed to take care of them if it is problematic :p Add a penalty to the store, like a 4 hour lockout (for rebuilding) if something destroys the stall representing a consequence for placing it in a dangerous place.

    There are people who love economy in games, and reading, playing, and fixing the market is a good goal in my opinion. An alternative way to play also reaches out to a broader audience, and since it is just a single class, it doesn't lessen the rest of the game experience for it. Only adds more creative ways to design a party or play solo when there is nothing else to do. Also for that nice little Dungeons and Dragons feel of a game, travelling merchants are awesome.


    This post was edited by Bancheis at April 7, 2020 1:50 PM PDT
    • 680 posts
    April 7, 2020 8:56 PM PDT

    I really like the travelling merchant idea.  Some of us used to do essentially that in early EQ days, travelling as a jeweller to various zones selling our wares to needy adventurers.  I had good fun role-playing my jeweller.   It would be nice if there was some in-game aspect to that beyond just /auc WTS +5 WIS RINGS.  Maybe temporary stalls would be a good idea.  Nothing like the Luclin bazaar in that it shouldn't automate or anything, but give people some framework in the way of a physical portable stand they could set up at a crossroads, etc... 

    Interesting concept.

     

    • 8 posts
    June 29, 2020 5:09 PM PDT

    Alchemist From EQOA would be a welcomed idea , id love to see it come back , it was a amazing class and alot of fun , with kitting / Nuking and large AOE numbers great for PLs or mob grinds !