As most folks know, I spend more time than I should trying to understand the numbers that the game is modeled on. I've been able to find some pretty solid equations for leaders and Crew, but Gear has eluded me.
I decided to take another look at it, and although I'm not fully there, I think I'm heading in the right direction.
1) First thing: Base cost is determined by skills.
Tech 1 = $600
Talk 1 = $400
Fight 1 = $400... PLUS something else. Almost every piece of Fight Gear is a Pistol, a Knife, or armor, which is factored into the cost of $400. Still not sure what that means for Gear that's not one of those three things.
2) Additional skills cost, too.
In general, I think the pricing for skills remains consistent, but there's such as small subset that it's hard to tell.
I think additional Talk may only count as $200, but there are only 3 pieces of Gear this applies to. Fight also seems to demonstrate possible variability, but I'm not sure.
3) Each keyword (except Firearm) costs $400.
4) As with Crew, Gear can have special abilities. These are largely broken into Minor (which impacts a single type or roll or a single activity, or may provide a resource bonus), Medium (which typically impact some kind of bonus to one skill type), and Major (comparable to leader bonuses).
These cost 200, 400, and 600, respectively. It is possible that the scale goes higher (to 800 or even 1000), and there are a handful of "limiters" that require a specific skill or keyword: these cost -200.
I'll deal with Discardable Gear in a moment.
5) Like Crew, Gear can have/be "superstars."
I've found that adjusting Gear cost by -400 fixed a lot of problems. This seems to apply to Promos, SOME Gear that belongs to the Crew of Serenity, and some Gear that are "standard bearers" for their products (for example, the Nav Charts in Kalidasa).
There may be more going on here than I've figured out so far. A large number of the remaining outliers are from Kalidasa or Beaumonde, which I don't expect is an accident.
6) If you Discard it, divide cost by 2. This applies even if the Gear offers a constant bonus. Not sure if this applies to all Knives. I haven't been able to balance the four Knives/Swords yet.
It ain't perfect, and it ain't complete, but it's a start.
EXAMPLE 1 - FIREARMS
The PISTOL, with 1 Fight and Firearm, is the basic Fight-based piece of Gear, at $400.
Adding Sniper Rifle increases the cost to 800 (+400 for a Keyword).
A theoretical "superior sniper rifle" with 2 Fight would cost 1200 (+400 for the second Fight), and adding 1 Talk (+400) on top of that gets us to Vera (1600).
EXAMPLE 2 - NAV CHARTS
Nav Charts offer a Tech bonus, for a base of 600.
They offer a major ability (400) but this is offset by -400 because they are "signature" Gear for Kalidasa.
Since the Gear can be discarded for a bonus, divide cost by 2.
Sara, I'm pretty sure you're a huge weirdo, and I love it. (also not flirting)
Mudd Grizzly wrote:
Sara, I'm pretty sure you're a huge weirdo, and I love it. (also not flirting)
I was channeling my inner Browncoat. Possibly also watching too much Mork and Mindy this week. By that standard, I'm perfectly vanilla. I like vanilla, when it's dressed up with some nuts. Er, toppings. Sauces, etc. Variety. I'll move on.
I find what Gwek did up above very interesting.
Curious to see how it develops.
- Last edited Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:36 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:34 am
Interesting. I finally got around to writing out the contents of every Supply Deck (just hours ago) because I wasted too much time guessing what was there, and I saw the basic patterns for gear pricing. My intuition, while playing, was that gear prices seemed fair, which your analysis validates. Things get much stranger with Upgrades, though, which always seemed screwy, with some items grossly overpriced, and some so potent they were worth sacrificing turns to obtain (e.g. crew expansions). But the joker there is the card(s) that lets you buy at half price. I figured some items, like the super Drive that costs 2400, were deliberately overpriced for that reason. Have you analyzed Upgrades?
My other intuition was that if you use discardable gear for the skill bonus rather than the key word effects, you are losing money, although circumstances sometimes make it worth doing.
Have you posted your analysis of Leaders and Crew? I missed that if you did. Anyway, good work.
If you're interested, I have a spreadsheet with every card broken down.
With respect to analysis, if you look around, you'll find that I've done pricing for leader, gear, and ships. I've also addressed upgrades - but I agree the pricing there isn't as clear (although there is a pattern).
One thing to consider with many of the outliers is that they are either superstars (which each product has) or "bait" to make a particular deck more attractive. In other words, there are always a certain amount of cards that intentionally throw the curve.
Same thing applies to the contact decks, where all jobs aren't equal but each deck usually includes three or four distinct groupings.
Okay, I took another stab at this. Here's where things stand:
1) A keyword = 400 (exception: Firearm; see below)
1 Fight = 400, plus a special ability (free Firearm keyword, counts as Knife, or Armor)
1 Talk = 400
1 Tech = 600
Roughly speaking, additional points seem to cost the same, but there are only a handful of examples, and enough aren't mapping right that there may be something I'm currently missing.
3) Special abilities, as noted above, seem to break into various bands:
200 = Minor ability; comparable to a Crew ability that wouldn't increase their cost. This is a resource bonus from circumstances (not completing jobs), etc.
Also, protecting someone from Wanted rolls or not counting against Gear total each count as 200.
400 = Medium ability. These are powerful crew abilities, generally things that affect one entire category of rolls and similar things.
600 = Major ability. These are comparable to leader abilities, with a payout on completion of a Job. It also includes new powerful options (eg, Early's Datascope, the Universal Encyclopedia, etc).
800+ = Really powerful! I've hit a few things that seem to price out beyond that. These may be sort of cumulative, upgraded abilities, or very potent options.
This is probably the most subjective part of my pricing scheme, but it does seem to be pretty consistent.
4) Limitations = -200. It's rare, but some pieces of Gear require a keyword or skill to be used. This seems to map to -200.
5) Discardable stuff costs half.
In contract to my original findings, I now believe that if an item has both static bonuses and a discardable bonus, only the discardable bonus is halved.
For example, the Gentleman's Dueling Sword has 1 Fight and counts as as Knife (400), offers the Fancy Duds keyword (400), and can be discarded for an additional +1 Fight (400 divided by 2 = 200), for a total of $1000.
On the other hand, a regular Knife is basically "1+ Fight when Discarding, counts as knife", or 400 divided by 2 = 200.
6) Superstars and prizes
There's more going on, and it may be an art rather than a science, but many of the pieces of gear that don't follow these guidelines tend to fall into one of three categories:
1) May be associated with a Serenity Crew member or a Leader
2) May be from a remote location (especially Regina and the two Rim Supply Planets)
3) May be a "signature item" associate with a particular product
I'm trying to see if there are patterns to all this, but that's where I'm getting stuff... and could use help, if anyone is interested!
My belief, though, is that, as with crew, it's intentional that there are "prizes" in each deck.
Using these guidelines, I've been able to break things down as follows.
* There are 73 unique types of Gear
* Of those, I've removed 8 (4 Gambling, 4 Labor Contracts) due to their highly unique nature. That leaves 65.
* Of the 65 remaining, 34 zero out their cost. This is only 52%, so I know my equation isn't nearly as fine-tuned as my Crew and Ship ones (which are 85-90% accurate), but it's significant enough that I feel I've uncovered at least most of the foundations.
* Another 3 are what I call "upgraded prizes". These are remote-location (2 at Regina, 1 at Beaumonde) pieces of Gear that are either just a better version of an existing piece or are identical but with a better price. As noted above, I believe this is intentional (and they're using sparingly).
* 14 of the remaining non-matches are "signature" items, which means they are either associated with an important character (Serenity Crew, Leader, or Saffron) OR seem to be important to the feel of the particular product.
8 of these items come from KALIDASA, 3 from BLUE SUN, and 1 each from the core game (Jayne's Hat), PBH (Sash's Hand Cannon), and promo (Wash's Dinosaurs).
I would argue that many of the ones from KALIDASA especially are priced low to help with overall game balance (this includes the 4 types of Nav Charts, Inara's Bow, and Wash's Hawaiian Shirt).
* That leaves another 14 that I just can't quite figure out yet, although it's worth noting that 9 of those 14 are within $200 of actual value, so they may be the result of fine-tuning to make sure cost's "feel" right.
Also worth noting: This section includes all 2-Talk Gear, as well as about half of the 2-Fight Gear, so there may be elements there I'm not seeing yet.
If anyone is brave enough to take a stab at helping me look for pricing patterns, I'd be happy to share my spreadsheet.
This is immensely useful, gwek. Thank you
Ok, I did a little digging myself, using some of your notes already, Gwek. This is what I came up with at 82.4% success.
Card abilities are basically subjective BUT the same ability costs the same on EVERY card. (for example: "re-roll a skill test result of 1" = $400 value. "After completing a [blank] Job load 1 [blank]" = $400 value. "Remove disgruntled from a single crew" = $200 value. "Remove disgruntle from owner" = $100 value) The abilities have differing costs, but anytime uses THAT ability the cost is the same.
So, basically close to the same as you have already stated.
62 unique Gear cards.
-remove Nav Charts (counting as 1 above)
-remove Labor Contracts (counting as 1 above)
-remove Gambling (counting as 1 above)
8 Rare Cards. (these are unique and very UNDER priced.
*Inara's Guild Papers,
*Jayne's Cunning Hat,
*Sash's Hand Gun,
*Wash's Hawaiian Shirt
Once removing these, we are left with 51 unique gear cards.
3 of which are under-priced by exactly $100 each. (which means there value is greater than their price.)
5 of which are overpriced: (Value is less than priced)
- Gentleman's Dueling Sword = $100 over
- Vera = $100 over
- Bonafide Credentials = $200 over
- Burgess's Hovering BA Space Jeep = $300 over
- Burgess's Laser = $500 over
(Which, considering the nature of these items, makes sense that they are overpriced in the game.)
That is 8 out of 51 cards that don't fit perfectly. or 84.4% success.
Here is the system....
Tech = $600
Negotiate = $400
Fight = $300
discard Skills/Keywords = 50% rounded up (so 50% Fight is 150 rounded up = $200)
Career (companion) = $600
Transport = $600
Fake ID = $400 (changed from $600 to $400)
Fancy Duds = $400
Explosives = $400
Hacking Rig = $400
Sniper Rifle = $400
Firearm = $100
(There is no logical reason to say that Keywords should all be the same price because some keywords are used more than others or are rarer than others. So this gives each Keyword its own valley BUT maintains this value across the board.)
- Last edited Tue Feb 2, 2016 4:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 12:23 am
It looks like we're hitting the same general grouping of Gear as problematic.
You may be right about tweaking the cost of Fight and some of the keywords. I'm going to try fiddling with some of the numbers tomorrow.
Although you say there's no reason to assume keywords have the same value across the board, I respectfully disagree. The game designers have actually done a great job to of ensuring that most keywords are pretty equally valued. Also, although it's a blunter instrument, most keywords are equal in the Crew generator.
Part of the challenge here is that although there's a lot of Gear, for some of these problem areas, there are only a handful of examples:
3 Fake ID
5 Transport (although 2 are basically identical)
3 with 2 Talk
Another issue for me is that with a lot of these, if I get one thing to work, it causes another thing to break!
Thanks for taking a fresh look at it! My head was starting to hurt!
- Last edited Tue Feb 2, 2016 4:42 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 4:40 am
Based on Popularity of how many times a Keyword is used in Misbehaves and Jobs Requirements; you find a curve that looks like this
- Hacking Rig
- Fancy Duds
- Fake ID
- Sniper Rifle
Now when you plug in my numbers you see a similar curve. (I have actually changed the cost of Fake ID because of this curve and have edited in my above post. It actually works out better, increasing
the success rate to 84.4%)
The Curve based on REQUIREMENT popularity in Jobs and Misbehaves:
- Companion = $600
- Transport = $600
- Hacking Rig = $400
- Explosives = $400
- Fancy Duds = $400
- Fake ID = $400
- Sniper Rifle = $400
- Firearm = $100
Based on Requirement Popularity there is a clear value difference in the Keywords. I would much rather have a Transport and a Hacking Rig ($1000 value) than a Sniper and Firearm ($500 value). Which means I have to pay more for them.
I'm not saying your wrong to price things has you have, but, here's the thing -- there are 2 pieces of Gear with Companion on them. You're exempting one. So how can you reasonably determine what Companion is worth? (Ironically, my model ALSO only zeroes out one -- but it's the other one!).
I agree that it's definite that all keywords are not equal, but, to me, it's reasonable to start by assuming they are, THEN start shifting to solve multiple problems.
I don't know if you've looked at my Crew pricing threads, but there all Gear are equal with two exceptions (although admittedly, the pricing system is blunter): Merc and Companion are both value neutral.
Actually, I think FIREARM might be, too.
Although it reduces the sample, I wanted to come at this a different way.
Rather than looking at all Gear, I'm going to start with stuff from JUST the core game (plus the two promos, because they fit in easily enough) for a different perspective.
* Fight = 400 plus Knife or FIREARM (this is something I want to look at closely, because it's one of the points where we differ)
* Talk = 400
* Tech = 600
* All Keywords (except FIREARM) = 400 to start... although I can see how you arrive at FAKE ID and TRANSPORT as different
* PROMO = -400 (this applies to the two official promos, as well as Jayne's Hat, which falls into the same model)
* Abilities range from -200 to 800, in iterations of 200. For conversation's sake, here's how I rated the abilities in the subset we're looking at:
- LIMITER (-200): Requires Tech to Carry.
- MINOR (200): buff on Buying or Dealing, bonus to a specific roll (eg, Medic check), Ignored Wanted Rolls, Does Not Count Toward Gear Limit
- MEDIUM (400): A class of Re-rolls (Jayne's Hat, Wash's Dinosaurs), Solid with Harken
- MAJOR (600): Ability comparable to a Leader (eg, the 4WD Mule)
* If you have to Discard to gain bonus, it halves the value of the ability or keyword (this is easy for this subset because, unlike expansions, Gear either offers constant value or must be discarded)
* Some items may be "super-stars"
With that as a starting point, 16/25 zero out. This is a 64% success rate... not great, but heading in the right direction.
Of the remaining nine, two are clearly "super-stars" (Kaylee's Reprogrammer and Crow's Knife). The fact that both are located at Regina, arguably the Supply Planet with the weakest identity of the five core ones, makes sense. Let's exclude them. We're now at 16/23 + 2.
Further, Improvised Hacking Rig is under-priced by 100 (should cost 500 by this formula). Given that most discardable Gear at this point has a cost of 400, I'm going to let this one go as a game balance decision. Equations aside, sometimes you just have to fine-tune things. 16/22 + 3.
Now we wind up with some interesting stuff. Of the remaining 6, all but 1 offer 2 or more skills (the only piece of Gear that legitimately balances and falls into that category is Vera, which MIGHT actually have a super-star bonus).
Of the 6, there are 2 each of FAKE ID, TRANSPORT, and EXPLOSIVES, so I can see why you want to change the cost on some of them.
Let's look at these for a second, starting with TRANSPORT.
If you increase the cost of TRANSPORT, it DOES fix the value of Official Lookin' Vehicle, and it gets Burgess's Space Jeep CLOSER, but it also skews the cost of the Mule and Fast Horses. Now, it's possible to "fix" them back, but I'm not ready to go there yet.
Similarly, increasing the cost of FAKE ID fixes one piece of Gear, but disrupts two others. Same thing with explosives.
I'm not ruling out repricing keywords, but for now, I'm not ready to throw in that complexity, without first considering if some of these exceptions are instead based on offering multiple skills, or perhaps some are "super-stars."
I'm willing to keep these as exceptions for now. My next step will be to fold in the Gear from BREAKIN' ATMO... but I've already gone over past lunch, and need to get back to work.
I see your system. I did something similar.
I agree with you in that you have to start somewhere. You started this thread in order to discuss the problem that you are having pricing gear, that your system, so far, only allows 50% success rate. So, I had an idea, and presented my findings. That is what this forum/thread is for. Just trying to help.
As far as Companion goes, it is thee most valuable in the game (in my opinion). It is an Ace for 4 misbehaves (the most or equivalent of any ACE) and 31 times it gives a Bonus to Job completion. Companion also comes with Negotiate, which is very valuable to have. As a whole this makes companion thee most valuable Profession/Keyword. With Transport coming in a close second. Most likely I will pick up a crew that has Companion, because there are only 2 Companion Gear. However, if I don't want to build Negotiate, I want Fight and Tech, grabbing the Love Bot or Inara's papers is exactly what I want to do. I understand Merc has a very limited positive value, but Companion will be seen in every game.
On of the reasons why I priced Companion at $600 is because its value is SOOOO close to that of a Transport, just better. To go any higher would make the card unbuyable because I would just grab a crew. But $600 without having to pay after every job, is very tempting. For Inara's Guild Papers to zero out, Companion would have to be $200. Which is way below all the other Keywords. This makes a $600 value reasonable, and 1 Special Companion Gear, saves you $400. I don't find that unreasonable. Considering Jayne's Hat and Kaylee's parasol and Reprogrammer, are pretty close in awesome savings.
Like you have already stated, there are special cards in the game that are very valuable.
Interestingly, there is 1 Rare for Fight, 1 for Negotiate, 1 for Tech, 1 for Pirating, 1 for Misbehaving, and 1 for movement (and of lesser value, a knife and parasol). So, even the rare special cards, are well rounded without overlap.
Taking into consideration these rare or expensive cards, the base Gear cards all check out. Thanks to your notes, and my notes. I think that is pretty good.
8 superstars, 3 expensive, 47 base value cards left. Out of 58 cards total.
- Last edited Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:39 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:29 pm
I appreciate your different take and, again, I'm not ruling things out yet.
One of the things I've learned from looking at Crew first is that things may be counter-intuitive, or there may be hidden patterns. For example, for a while, it seemed like MERC was priced like a regular keyword, but costing it to 0 while increasing cost based on having 2 Fight actually "solved" a number of discrepancies.
BTW, I couldn't resist, so I went on to BREAKIN' ATMO. There are 10 new pieces of Gear, and all net out to 0 (with some creativity involved), bringing the running tally to 26/32 +3 (roughly 81% accuracy).
For special abilities:
LIMITER (-200) = Requires Transport
MINOR (200) = Bonus from Salvage Ops, Cortex Uplink (very limited)
MEDIUM (400) = Reroll any Fight/Talk results of 1
MAJOR (600) = Mud Dog ATV and Universal Encyclopedia
SUPERIOR (800) = The Best in the House (halved because you need to discard it to use it)
Unfortunately, because these lay out so easily, it doesn't help in "fixing" the prior discrepancies. The only TRANSPORT is basically identical to the 4WD Mule, there's no FAKE ID, and only 1 piece of Gear with multiple skills.
The fact that there are NO super-stars or exceptions makes me a little nervous, but it's possible that the two outliers (Best in the House and BFG) fall into that category and I haven't noticed it yet.
- Last edited Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:56 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:46 pm
And because I can't help myself.
PIRATES AND BOUNTY HUNTERS adds 7 pieces of Gear. 5 basically balance out.
MINOR = +2 in SHOWDOWN, Ignore Wanted Rolls, Doesn't Count Toward Gear Limit, May be Used in Kosherized Roles (most of these are previously established)
MEDIUM = Sash's Hand Cannon
MAJOR = Early's Datascope (note that the ability to use an Action in a new way that deals with cards seems to be a Major ability)
SUPERIOR = Alliance Sonic Rifle (I don't know that I agree with that, but it's so unique I don't know how to price it otherwise)
The two outliers, cost-wise are Sash's Hand Cannon and Dobson's Vector Pistol (underpriced by 400 and 200, respectively). Since these are pretty obvious "superstars" for the product, I'm cool with it.
No FAKE ID, No TRANSPORT -- so no help! -- and the two Gear with multiple skill icons balance out, although since they are both associated with new leaders, it's possible that one or both are "hidden superstars" (that SEEM to balance because I'm missing something).
I believe that brings the running tally to 31/37 +5 (31 balanced, 6 not balanced, 5 "superstars" or exceptions), or about 84% accuracy, not counting the exceptions.
And it will all come crumbling down when we get to BLUE SUN.
Have you considered signature cards offer a medium strength ability, skill for free? Also, could Firearm come with a free fight? (which means signature items with the firearm trait are redundant)
Just a quick glance calculation this works for:
Early's Combat Armor
Jayne's Cunning Hat
Jayne's Holdout Pistol
Kaylee's Fluffy Pink Dress
Mal's Frontier Model B
Mal's Pretty Floral Bonnet
Mal's Sniper Rifle
Nav Charts: Alliance Space
Nav Charts: Border Space
Nav Charts: Rim Space
Sash's Hand Cannon
The Operative's Sword
Wash's Hawaiian Shirt
Wash's Lucky Dinosaurs
Wash's Nav Charts
Zoe's Flak Jacket
Zoe's Mare's Leg Rifle
There also seems to be a "scumbag" tax as well. These items are overpriced.
Burgess's Hovering Bad-Ass Space Jeep
Dobson's Vector Pistol
Gentleman's (read: Atherton's) Dueling Sword
These Items were slightly anomalous.
Inara's Bow, maybe the Companion limitation is worth -300 instead of -200?
Inara's Guild Papers, +200 for George, even for Nathan
Simon'S Sonic Stun Baton, could be argued the ability is just downright awesome and is worth 1000
I did toy with the idea that some items have special abilities for free (after all, most Crew have some special ability for free), but I prefer to look at it as the reverse: the ability costs something, but they get a "super-star bonus" (of varying degree).
As for Firearm coming with FIGHT -- again, I tend to look at it the other way! Gear with Fight fall into one of four categories:
All abilities except #4 seem to be "free" (or, if you prefer, the First Fight costs $300 and the keyword/ability costs $100, or however you want to break it down).
I may have had some of my numbers slightly off, so before I dig into the mess that is the Rim Expansions later today, a breather to look at how things seem to be holding up so far.
Between the Core Game, Promos, PBH, and BREAKIN' ATMO, there are 42 distinct pieces of Gear. Of those 42, 8 are promos/stars, 6 don't match, and 28 match just right (so, my accuracy percentage was wrong). If you pull out the superstars, I'm at 82.3% accuracy.
1) Wash's Lucky Dinosaurs (PROMO, -400 to price correct)
2) Mal's Pretty Floral Bonnet (PROMO, -400 to price correct)
3) Jayne's Cunning Hat (core game, -400 to price correct; a clear parallel to Wash's Lucky Dinosaurs)
(To me, the three above are promos, pure and simple, even though one appears in the game)
4) Crow's Knife (core game, a better version of the Knife for the same price; *PRIZE* at Regina)
5) Kaylee's Reprogrammer (core game, a better version of the Security Interface Programmer for the same price; *PRIZE* at Regina)
(Interesting design element here: Both of these are at Regina, and their "lesser" normal version has three copies spread across three other Supply Planets. This is clearly intentional game design)
6) Improvised Hacking Rig (core game, "should" cost 500 rather than 400; seems to me to be minor cost adjustment to balance with other discardable Gear from the core game)
7) Sash's Hand Cannon (PBH, should be 200-400 more)
8) Dobson's Vector Pistol (PBH, should be 200 more; alternately, being able to use in a Kosherized Test doesn't count for cost)
(These two are "standard bearers" for PBH, so it makes sense that they would be discounted. Not also that Sash's Hand Cannon, like 4 and 5 above, is located on Regina.)
CURRENTLY UNBALANCED - all from core game
1) Alliance Ident Card (should cost 200 more)
2) Burgess's Laser (should cost 400 less)
3) "Bona Fide" Credentials (should cost 200 less)
4) Burgess's Hovering Bad Ass Space Jeep (should cost 400 less)
5) GJ Flashkill Pod Grenades (should cost 200 more)
6) Official Lookin' Vehicle (should cost 200 less)
Note that there is a definite pattern with these 6 Gear, where multiple icons of the same skill appear often, as do FAKE ID, TRANSPORT, and EXPLOSIVES.
Unfortunately, it's tough to reconcile. For example, we could look at #5 and assume that pricing EXPLOSIVES at 200 rather than 400 fixes #5... except that it then widens the problem for #2.
Also worth noting - other 2-skill Gear DO balance out (although I think there are only a small handful of them, less than the 5 represented here).
I would say, maybe if a gear has 2 of the same skills + a major keyword increase the price by a certain amount because 1 card having tons of stuff is worth more than 3 gear with the same amount of things. However, with the cards that are not fitting into your system, this is both helpful and not helpful.
Those six are giving me a headache.
And speaking of headaches...
On to BLUE SUN. There are nine pieces of Gear and... many of them kinda work... with some acrobatics.
Since there are only nine, and a lot of exceptions, I'm going to address them one at a time:
MF-813 Flying Mule - Compared to other vehicles, this is an expensive TRANSPORT, 400 more than similar Mules. However, this seems reasonable if we consider that the ability is MUCH more flexible and potentially powerful than something like the 4WD Mule. Although my pricing structure would not have predicted a $400 upcharge based on that flexibility, I buy it. Verdict: Balanced.
Mal's Frontier Model B - Setting the special ability as Minor (200) puts the price at $1000, so let's assume a -200 "discount" for being Mal's and for being at a Rim planet. We'll see the same thing with his Sniper Rifle. Verdict: Balanced as a "star/discounted" piece.
The Operative's Sword - If we count the unique ability as Medium (400) then halve it's value (to 200) because it's discarded to get the bonus, then... Verdict: Balanced.
Fruity Oaty Bar - This is a unique piece of Gear. Let's call it a superstar piece of Gear for Rim Space. Verdict: Unique superstar.
Simon'S Sonic Stun Baton - 400 for the FAKE ID keyword (although it's possible that FAKE ID should be 600?), leaves 600 for the discard ability. Could that possibly be right? Maybe. The ability to count a Fight test as a natural 6 probably IS one of the most powerful abilities in the game. Like the Mule, I would not have anticipated a unique ability like this, but I think it's essentially balanced. Verdict: Probably balanced.
Mal's Brown Coat - Another unique piece of Gear that's tough to determine. The fact that it doesn't count against the Gear limit costs 200. Is the ability to Disgruntle the Crew member to add Talk to a Fight roll worth 600? Personally, I don't think so, but this piece of gear is so unique that there is no solid frame of reference. Verdict: Who knows?
Kaylee's Parasol - By the numbers, this piece of gear should be $800, so it's clearly a "prize" (and possibly one of the best finds in the Meridian deck). It also starts the trend of low-priced Tech/Talk Gear that's very prevalent in Kalidasa. Verdict: Consider it a prize and it's balanced.
Heist Intel - Another unique ability that's hard to judge, but if we follow the model we've developed so far, since this only has value when discarded, it should equate to a 1000 "super-superior" ability. Not so sure. Verdict: I judge this one overpriced by 100-200.
Love Bot - One Talk = 400, 1 Keyword = 400 (or maybe 600?), bringing us to 800. If Morale Booster = 400 (or 200, with the keyword at 600), it's essentially balanced. Verdict: Might be balanced.
Final verdict: With a lot of rationalization, most of this balances, or comes close, but we're getting a little fast and loose (which may make sense, given the nature of the expansion).
Finally, we have KALIDASA. Given that this whole process involves reverse-engineering the thinking of the game designers, I'm going to be taking a few pretty big leaps here.
We get 11 unique Gear types here (with Gambling Gear and Labor Contracts removed, and the Nav Charts condensed down to a single type since they're basically identical).
4/11 zero out using my numbers - Med Foam, Extra Ammo Clips, Zoe's Flak Jacket, and Zoe Mare's Leg Rifle. All four are assumed to have "medium" special abilities (in fact, Zoe's may be "major" offset by being a star, but let's leave the simplest solution for now.
Another 3 zero out of we apply previous "prize" and "star" guidelines from existing material: Mal's Sniper Rifle is basically identical to his gun from BLUE SUN in pricing structure, and Jayne's Holdout Pistol and Yolonda's Pistol are "better" versions of existing Gear, which we saw in the first release.
Inara's Guild Papers are off by 200... but that's not a big surprise, since it's a 2-Talk piece of Gear and that's a known pattern. Interestingly, if we consider it a star/prize (reasonable given the location), it does balance out, but I'll leave it for now.
That leaves three troublingly cheap pieces of Gear: Wash's Hawaiian Shirt, Inara's Bow, and the Nav Charts. Even if we disregard the additional abilities, the base skill icons these Gear offer prices them well beyond their actual costs.
I think the answer here is less about the Gear than the product: although the Firefly product line is not ending, KALIDASA is the "last" part of this particular chapter of the game, which completes the map, and balances out so very much. If we look at it in that light, the Nav Charts and Hawaiian Short (and Kaylee's Parasol from BLUE SUN) are all cheap, balancing Gear. They're the equivalent of the cheap Pistols we got at the beginning of the game.
Similarly, Inara's Bow (the best non-Firearm weapon in the game) is a balancing element, probably to make Beaumonde attractive for Gear.
Translation: I can't get those pieces of Gear to balance, but I'm okay with it!
Removing Labor Contracts and Gambling Gear, there are 62 unique Gear types.
Using my speculative system, 34/62 zero out (55% - low, be high enough that I consider it a solid starting point).
Another 10/62 zero out if considered prizes, superstars, or promos. That brings the number to 71% - but for those who are looking at this as a model for creating and pricing customs, folks need to remember that these have been price adjusted. Note that, without exception, these Gear all "belong" to a character, and are unique.
4 seem to be price adjusted for game balance, and 4 more are unique enough that I'm not sure how to price them. Again, these cannot really be used as a guide for pricing customs.
That leaves 8 that don't work... but those 8 include Inara's Guild Papers (which zeroes out if you consider it a "star") and Heist Intel (which is unique enough that I'm really guessing about value... and it's only off by $100).
Interestingly, that leaves the real exceptions as the 6 that we started out with!
So, with your system you have:
18 that don't fit.
Really just 6 that don't fit - aloang with some that are unique enough that I'm not completely comfortable with the pricing.
random not-specifically-game-related question regarding "Mal's Sniper Rifle" (not really worth it's own thread, but this is the only thread outside of the PBF where I found a mention of that particular card, so I'm asking it here)
On the card, it shows Mal holding a sniper rifle (which makes sense given the name of the card).
Off the top of my head, I can't remember a scene in the show or movie where he had a high powered rifle. Can anyone else refresh my memory on that regard?
- Last edited Sat Mar 5, 2016 5:36 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Mar 5, 2016 5:11 pm