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Author Topic: Herbs Pricing - And the meek shall inherit the wealth (herb millionaires)  (Read 2797 times)

Fergoose

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Apologies if this post should go into “Herb feedback” but I’d like to come at the topic from another angle. Apologies also if this topic has been thoroughly covered at some point in the past.

I recently returned to PotM after a four month break. The main big change was the implementation of the herb system. Now I have no knowledge of the workings of herbalism and potion brewing in game, but initially I was really quite impressed to see the herb facility as a means of creating some wealth for characters that don’t adventure all that much (non-violent ways to earn coin is a good thing).

However, to get to the point, I think that to be paid 800 fang per box, is far, far too much. One of the main attractions of the server when I have played here is that life is difficult, bleak and frightening. For me, those three aspects of life on Ravenloft are to some extent interlinked and some of my favourite RP on the server has been when characters have been forced into dangerous situations in order to make ends meet. Recently, however, my characters have had the ability to earn more fang from a couple of hours searching for herbs, than they made, in total, over several months when I’ve played here previously.

It used to be that occasional adventuring was required in order to make ends meet and exist on the fringes of society. Currently, I find it extremely difficult to think why on earth my character would risk coming to harm when they can just go picking herbs and earn a wage ensuring that they are wealthier than 95% of the residents of Vallaki.

In short the ability to accrue wealth on the server has risen dramatically, while the cost of living on the server has remained the same.

I still think the herbs system is potentially a great boon for the server, but I think it needs some radical tinkering economically. On the positive side, I do see some signs that variations in herb prices may be arising naturally (hooray for market forces).

Assuming that anyone agrees that there is an issue here I’d throw up the following as possible solutions (and remember, I know nothing about herbalism/brewing so these points could be ignorant, unworkable or both!):

i)   Dramatically reduce the price of herbs that are found in relatively safe/low level areas near Vallaki (5 fang tops)

ii) (related to i) above) Only make the least valuable herbs spawn near the starting area/Vallaki.

iii)   Make herb spawns rarer the nearer to Vallaki you are (to reflect likely overharvesting by the natives).

iv)   Somehow make gathering herbs much more challenging for non-rangers/druids (as those outdoors based classes are arguably likely to be innately better at finding rarer herbs).

v)   Make characters have to pay for some of the effects of potions (e.g. healing, removing disease) rather than get these cures for free in the churches (i.e. somewhere to put the newfound wealth rather than swanky items which make the environment less challenging).

Nefensis

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Now hold your horses. The IC price of herbs was set by players, don't think ooc influenced it. A PC wanted to be on top of the list but in the end, some players prefered selling their herbs to someone else out of friendship etc. Right now the buying price is 400 a box for the Vardp.

With how many people are buying herbs left and right or simply giving them away i dont think there is a over abundancy of it. Let IC be IC and the herbs do spawn less if over farmed, aka around Vallaki and safe areas, just like monsters.

And really there isnt millions to be made in the herb gathering market, myself is still rat hunting because of all the ventures i finance, Denalie was never rich either, all the money that is generated one way is sent another way, that's economy. Heck i havent seen a dungeon in forever lol

Stela Cojocaru - barovian snake
Crina Ovidiu - barovian guard

Fergoose

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Hopefully the price will continue to fall (and I knew it the price was IC as my character ripped off some associates who had been offered a lower price  :o ), but at 400 fang a box I'd stand by the thrust of my original post. 400 fang = 40 nights at the inn, or 50 healing kits or 20,000 darts or "too much". If the prices of the herbs can be tied much more realistically to reflect their (presumably) varying value and how difficult it is to obtain them then all will be well.


I hope my posts haven't come across as too critical - I appreciate that Ravenloft is a game and not an economics lecture. My posts should be taken as posts from a desperate RPer whose characters refuse to let themselves veer from their newfound safe and lucrative existence. Heck, one of them recently even gave up on trying to escape because life has got so much better in Barovia than where he came from!  :lol:



Taty

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Supply and demand. Deal with it. Is a basketball player worth more than a doctor ? Does not matter. If I am willing to pay 800 fang for a box of herbs then they are worth 800. If people go to another source paying less they have reasons other than their own greed (some IC some OOC). In the end the market corrects itself to a sustainable level or people go out of business, If I can make a profit buying herbs at 1000 fang a box isnt it rediculous for you to suggest I should keep more of the profit from my workers ? (not that I am involved in that price war any more). I don't see any use in complaining out of game what people think things are worth in game.

Zarathustra217

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Ironically, acknowledging the principles of supply and demand - making herbs rarer will likely make the price payed for them go up.

Iconoclast

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There is also herbalism circles that are not based on profit, but by community and faith.  Laymen donate herbs and coin to their Church, then their clergy in return provides them with potions when they have need.  When the Vardo began offering 800 fang for a box, there was some ic worry and questions as to if this would cause a shortage of herbs for the Church.  However, it was the opposite.  Due to the Red Vardo's bad reputation at the time, people started offering boxes and bags full of herbs for free to the Church.

Herbalism, when put to use by creative role players, has been one of the best developments I've experienced on PoTm. 

Taty

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Ironically, acknowledging the principles of supply and demand - making herbs rarer will likely make the price payed for them go up.

As well it should, it should also raise potion costs, though reality is there is little potion traffic beyond within small circles or within Factions these days.

failed.bard

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  I've just adjusted play style so I don't need potions on my two active characters right now.  It actually makes me wonder why I was throwing away thousands of fangs for healing potions before.
  From my point of view, the current system is working quite well.  Potions are rarer, so people have adjusted accordingly.  I make sure Wilhelm has a deathward and neg energy protection potion at all times, but that's it for essentials.

Chrisman888

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 I believe anyone can pay however much they want for whatever. It's all IC.

Now if you were selling boxes of herbs too a NPC for 800 a box, well that's totally different.

Bad_Bud

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You may have happened to stumble upon a large herb spawn.  As an herbalist, I find that I have a very hard time finding what I want.  Usually if I want to get a large haul of herbs, I have to go run to Barovia and back, hitting every area on the way, and this takes about two hours, and I usually end up with maybe five herbs I actually wanted?  That's a lot of time invested, knowing the reason the herbs are gone is because some other player picked them before you got there.  For a straight 400-800 herbs per box, though, a smart character would only harvest cave herbs, because they are by far the fastest respawning and most abundant herbs.  It may not be the best deal for the buyer, but if they aren't being specific, whatever, it's their loss and their market.

Besides, it's not like everyone is just getting rich from gathering herbs.  The money being paid out has to come from somewhere.  I didn't sell herbs to someone to be able to afford herbs from you.

Fergoose

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Glad to see I am peeing in the wind as always  :lol:

You may have happened to stumble upon a large herb spawn. 

I think that must be it - maybe combined with logging on after server resets/instability? I filled two and a half boxes with less than an hours worth of total effort (spread over several game sessions). I never travelled more than three areas/zones away from Vallaki and paid back an RP enhancing debt with disappointing ease (though I tried to string it out for the sake of RP!). I'll just chalk it up as having had a lucky break that doesn't reflect the normal situation on the server (like my still having basic starting armour worth 4,500 fang!  :mrgreen:

On a related note, it is surely perfectly reasonable to discuss IC prices OOC if they impact on the experience on the server - which it did for me.  Thanks for folks' contributions.

Rex

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Several Potions are still sellable to Murnu at a fairly good profit considering the ingredients are free.  As for Supply and Demand.  *Removes Example that would initiate Fahrenheit 451 protocols*, well, Don't forget, you can really tick off the Demand side of that equation.  Wars have been fought over people doinking around with numbers because of the war cry of "supply and Demand".

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LawfulJoe

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I am finding that I mostly lose my gold to death and such... not much worth buying after a point. But then I am boycotting the Vardo... and since they are the only people that sell good stuff... that might explain it. I just wish there was some where else other than the Vardo a person can get descent things. Adventuring is not an option really, usually nothing there to find. As a Drow, Munru is more than happy to wet himself and run like a ninny, when I have good fang to spend. The one time he bucks up and grows a pair and actually sell to me, he has jack. So... Give me a million fang and it will be nickled and dimed away on potions and trinkets that I can find in the local shops that don't scream "Mercy".

Shopping of late has really been a drag. I have the same gear I have had since 5th level, and while it is not bad, one weapon disolving creature and I am Drow outta luck. So I don't see a problem with having a million fang. Herbalist make a million fang, and spend it to pay for more herbs so they can make more potions to sell, so they can pay for more herbs... UGH! sounds like work to me. :P I go to work, so I can put gas in my tank and pay my bills so I have a place to live and food to eat and park my car that  I use to go to work so I can put gas in my tank... :banghead:

Rex

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I don't mind the work, but then I to, boycott the Vardo (PM for list of reasons if desired).  Folks want to do it more power to them.  Also have the same gear I've had since 5th level.  Not to many Herb folk out in the open now that I can't really play during the day any more.

Something really should be done with all that coin though.  Some sort of Avenue of wealth redistribution, or perhaps the dreaded, PC Owned something or other (Why so Serious, PC owned stuff is Fun now, for my next Trick, making a Pencil Disappear!  *Grabs a PC, Falcon Punches the back of their head into the Table*)  Sure it can be messy but hell, been dedicated players here for years I'm sure they could be trusted with a house.  Especially the herbalist they are uber dedicated to picking weed......

~Rex
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ThAnswr

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Especially the herbalist they are uber dedicated to picking weed......

~Rex


Shhh, call them herbs.   :lol:
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Rex

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yeah it gets called Herb to.

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Sometimes brutal violence is the only answer.