Merchants and Vendors
The system for purchasing, selling, and identifying items in Neversummer 4 is a completely custom-designed solution. To allow for greater control on prices, merchant inventory, easily purchase multiple items, the ability to "try before you buy", and simply to make the system more "realistic", the NS4 Team decided to reinvent the wheel and go with our own design.
This system allows the developers to dynamically change prices and inventory on-the-fly via the database, and to provide a relatively simple method of adding and removing merchants and vendors. The two categories are broken down in further detail here.
Merchants do business in large, indoor shops that specialize in a specific item type: usually Smithies, Archery Shops, Clothing Shops, and Magic Shops.
Purchasing items from a merchant involves browsing through the merchant's inventory, located in various containers spread throughout the shop area. Players are able to view the properties of each item, pick them up and try them on, practice on combat dummies and archery targets to simulate combat attacks and damage - all before actually purchasing the item.
Each time a player picks up an item, he or she will receive a message informing them of the item's cost. Once all desired items have been collected, a "check-out" process allows you to purchase the items. Simply walk up to the merchant's counter and navigate through the check-out dialog. If you walk out of the merchant's shop without paying for an item, it will automatically be returned to the merchant, for your convenience.
Selling and identifying items work similarly: Go directly to the merchant and tell him you would like to sell items or have items identified. The merchant will present an empty container which will inform you of to total cost to identify/sell price of your items, and talking to the merchant again will allow you to complete the transaction.
Merchants are not omiscient or infinitely rich, however, and can only purchase or identify certain levels of items. By default, all faction merchants will sell up to level 3 (Enhanced Steel), buy up to level 4 (Enhanced Mithril) and identify up to level 5 (Imbued Mithril). Other, higher-class merchants will potentially be able to sell or identify higher-level items. Some may sell specialty gear related to their particular faction as well.
Vendors are smaller, outdoor versions of the merchants. They can not buy or identify items, however they offer a quick way for players to purchase small items such as potions, healing kits, ammunition, and so forth. Purchases are all menu-driven, and allow you to choose a quantity for each purchase, making quick "refill trips" much easier. Keep in mind, however, that this convenience usually comes at a price - vendors will probably sell the same items as merchants, but at a slightly higher price.
Vendors can be found in city market areas, or sometimes as travelling caravans who wander the countryside. In addition, all factions have a "starting gear" vendor that allows the cheap purchase of entry-level gear for new characters. These vendors are usually located near the starting area, or near your first Division Leader.