Darvin wrote:I've been looking at the preparation pricing lately, and it's all over the map. Some of the top-tier preps, like Dragonshield, are relatively well priced. Others, like the Avatar's Symbol, have rather unrealistic prices of 50 gold to prep, and a select few like Amulet of Yendor or Namtar's Ward cost a whopping 90-100 gold to prepare. This is especially egregious for the Amulet of Yendor since you face a 100 GP "recovery" fee on top of that, for a total of 190 gold cost to prepare the thing.
At the end of the day, I think one of the biggest issues that needs to be overcome is the Fine Sword. In terms of cost, it's one of the cheapest preps in the game at a meager 15 gold, but in terms of effect its +4 base attack is a huge bonus for low-level characters that substantially benefits your early-game. It can be recovered easily with a Hobbler's Hold run if you lose it and can't afford reclamation. It has no double-edge or gold cost, requires no unlocking, combos well with humans and any melee class but still works well for anyone else, and doesn't require any special tactics to employ effectively. Why would anyone but a veteran ever want to prep anything else!?
Now I'm wondering why the locker preps have different costs in the first place. It's not like the cost affects anything in the dungeon (you get the full effect of the item regardless of what it costs) and it doesn't affect any quests or badges (as far as I can recall there's never a situation where you need to keep your prep costs below a certain threshold, e.g. spend less than 100 gold to complete this quest). The only thing it affects is kingdom spending, which basically means how much you have to grind to make up for the expenditure. That doesn't seem like a great idea to distinguish between one item and another.
I'm not even sure what the story reason for different costs would be. Sure, the Witch has to pay for more expensive ingredients for the better potions, and the Blacksmith requires more effort and materials to make the nicer gear, but the locker items are all already there - you're basically just paying a processing fee to store and retrieve them. The only plot reason I can think of to have different prices is the cost of securing the item. E.g., a Fine Sword doesn't need any security, if some brigand manages to pilfer it without getting his head smashed in by the ruffians to frequent the Guild, you can just buy another 12-pack of them at Bob's Bargain Basement. However, keeping Namtar's Ward on display costs a lot of gold; it's basically the Mona Lisa of adventuring gear. You've got to have a laser grid, attack dogs, 24-hour video (scrying?) surveillance, snipers, guards with multiple black belts, etc. Still, that's a silly idea and IMO the locker should just charge a flat fee regardless of what item you take.