OneMoreNameless wrote:I'll call this hypothetical system 'merchant slots'. Merchant slots are unlocked as a gold dump, the same as locker slots. Each merchant slot offers a random unlocked item as a possible prep, and these slots are reset each time the player wins a dungeon run. If the player wanted to (quickly as they could) prep a specific item from merchant slots, they would likely have to complete a number of successful runs and might be tempted just to breeze through easier dungeons until it showed up. This is mildly scummy and on about the same level as farming for gold, but it's still playing the game as intended. Compare to (quickly ...) filling a locker slot, which I've heard involves picking the same most efficient class and restarting runs over and over while doing little more than checking stores. Same time expenditure, but the merchant slot way is more enjoyable during that time. Both slots could also be filled by chance while the player plays normally; except in the merchant slot case the player doesn't have to worry about disadvantaging their current run for the sake of carrying the item on to a different strategy in their next run, so it's less likely to frustrate them.
The greater advantage of the merchant slots though is how they would encourage trying different combinations out. Every few runs the player might see an item available to prep and think "hey, what if ..." and give it a try. It's a bit like the PQI, prompting the player to spontaneously try something new just because they can. Whereas locker slots tend to encourage sticking with the same preps (for well-discussed and not all negative reasons) and possibly missing out on some strategies as a result.
I can show you design notes for the Bazaar that had exactly this functionality Here's why we didn't go with it:
It leads to worse scumming than the current locker/backpack system. You're misunderstanding how most items are earnable from a single specific dungeon run - beat a Silver challenge and the item that challenge originally unlocked is added to your "carried out" item pool when you leave the dungeon. Or you could beat a vicious dungeon for its reward item. The only items that need to be scummed for in a similar fashion to what you're describing above are initial shop pool items (Bloody Sigil, etc) which have a high chance of appearing in any shop and sub-dungeon specific items, which truly are rather rare.
We have done everything in our power to reduce scumming - playing 1 run is a lot less scummy than playing multiple easy runs. It's also a lot less boring playing a Silver challenge or vicious run, so that engages with the actual gameplay of DD much better. Even with Merchant items, people would have better chance of finding items by scumming shop runs with a Tinker anyway due to the higher number of shops than Merchant item slots. Players would still feel like they were scumming Merchant items with otherwise worthless (to them) wins, so it doesn't solve the problem of their gameplay time losing value.
Encouraging different combinations is what the Backpack is for: Players are more likely to see an item they might have a neat idea around in an actual dungeon run (again, larger sample size, plus sub-dungeon item chance, plus influence of shop vetos preventing undesirable items in shops), so having 3 or even 5 "extra" items doesn't help with that too much.
What do you think the impact of allowing players to pay 50 gold to "re-roll" their Merchant items might be?