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    posted a message on Villager trading system rebalance
    Quote from TheMasterCaver»

    Personally, I think the trading system prior to 1.8 was the most balanced and interesting; not only were villagers born into a set profession, their offers were entirely random, even the default costs - a blacksmith MIGHT offer a diamond tool as their first offer but it could also be an emerald for diamonds (4-5, not just 1, though IMO 1 is a more fair trade) and they sold unenchanted items; you had to get a priest if you wanted to enchant them:


    Enchanted books were also much harder to get as they had a quite low probability of being offered, per final offer traded - a mere 1.75%, or an average of 57 trades, and they only offered a single enchantment per villager:


    Compare to the current mechanics - up to 4 enchantments per villager, with one unlocked off the bat, with no difference in quality between novice and expert level (hence the common practice of simply replacing a lectern):


    IMO, 1.75% is too low and I increased the probability in my own mod (from 0.07 to 0.2, which is around 3 times higher, but still only about 5%); even then, I still had to to trade more than a thousand emeralds, with thousands of crops grown (I planted 7,000 seeds alone) and go through a dozen librarians over several hours before I got a Mending book (added by my own mod as a functionally identical replacement for the mechanic of renaming an item so it can be repaired forever, which IMO was also far more balanced than the official implementation, which lets you maintain any item for a flat rate of +2 durability per XP):


    Also, another change I made was to increase the cost of diamond gear to be 3 times that of iron (e.g. a diamond pickaxe cost 10-11 emeralds, compared to 7-8 for iron, so diamond now costs 21-24), including the cost of enchanting via priests (6-12 emeralds for diamond instead of 2-4; in 1.8 these costs were merged as items are now enchanted by default). Given that you need resources/items to maintain your gear this is a continuing cost, not just one-time as it is in current versions (i.e. using Mending to repair them with only XP), and due to the repair costs more highly enchanted items, especially diamond, may only be repairable with individual resources, or damaged sacrifices, making trading to maintain them not worthwhile (example: a diamond pickaxe with Efficiency V and Unbreaking III costs 33 levels to repair with a new pickaxe; with Fortune III added it is now too expensive to repair unless you use a single diamond (37 levels for +25% durability) or a sacrifice worn to about half-durability, which is much cheaper per use but requires damaging it in some way).

    In addition, 22 carrots, 26 potatoes, or 32 rotten flesh for an emerald (ignoring discounts) are way too cheap - while I added these trades I made them more expensive, requiring 32-48 of each, which makes sense considering that you need 18-21 wheat (pre-1.8) and they drop multiple items per crop, especially when Fortune is used (which is what I balanced it around; also, while these crops are harder to obtain I've always gotten them from zombies within the first few nights; the abundance of zombies, especially with mob farms, is why rotten flesh should cost more*).

    *Interestingly, the source code for 1.6.4 includes an (unused) entry for rotten flesh - with a cost of 36-64 for an emerald:

    villagerStockList.put(Integer.valueOf(Item.rottenFlesh.itemID), new Tuple(Integer.valueOf(36), Integer.valueOf(64)));

    Very fair points, I do agree with you. The pre-1.8 system was indeed pretty balanced, compared to what we have to deal with nowadays, however, as you have pointed out, not only were the book trades very rare to get, such that you had to modify the rates (IMO, even this way, as the very last trade, with a low chance of a book, when you manage to unlock it it might turn out to be crappy), it was outdated, lacking certain trades (carrots, potatoes, you name it). Your take on Mending is justified, too. But for the sake of this thread, let's stick to trading.

    Quote from AMPPL50»

    I think that, rather than fixing villagers into a profession, it'd be more interesting and versatile if they could only have a maximum set of mastery levels across all professions, and leveling up beyond that removed levels from older ones so, for instance, a farmer who you made into a librarian, fully leveled up, and then turned back into a farmer would go back to being a Novice. That way, it'd still be possible to modify villager professions to the player's needs, but no longer would it be possible to just reroll trades above Novice by making them switch.

    As far as I know, once an employed villager has been traded with, it will keep its profession forever. If its job station has been broken, it will look out for another one, suitable for the profession that has been previously acquired. Thus, by my rationale, making job switching even more lax, would not exactly point us in the right direction :).

    Its important to focus on the main two nuisances: uncapped, permanent discounts and trade rerolling (with small touch-ups on the other problems).

    I'm glad that this topic seems to have unearthed an issue that several people had to comment on!

    A small off-topic: Do you know what it takes for a suggestion on Minecraft Feedback to get approved? Mine's been pending approval ever since this thread was started, while Herobrine ideas and stuff with no context seems to get the greenlight.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Villager trading system rebalance
    Quote from Agtrigormortis»

    It is rather silly that sticks can be traded for emeralds considering they require no infrastructure to obtain, just find a forest and you're done, and seeing as wood, especially those of the oak and spruce type drop enormous numbers of saplings they are not exactly hard to replace either.

    I do agree that in order for items to be farmable one must be required to set up agricultural land to exploit this feature, not naturally generated items.

    It takes more time, patience and effort to set up farmland with crops than it does to just go find a common biome and then cut down trees. Personally I think the game is rather lenient in the way Iron Golems do not aggro when you steal items from Villages, what's the point in getting carrots or potatoes off Zombies if you can just loot a Village for them with no penalty?

    Before we green light some of these Villager trade nerfs for a potential update, I want the community to agree to a fixed and never changing set of rebalancing of this going forward, after thought and discussion has been put into them, so that we don't create bad feelings in the community or end up doing something which ruins the experience for a lot of people. Just because other's disagree with us doesn't necessarily mean they're bad people, I understand that. But continuing to allow fiddling with the current game mechanics can only lead to it becoming more broken or unfair, it needs to be set in stone otherwise all it does is it creates arguments or annoyance that people would rather do without.

    Thanks for the carefully thought-out opinion! I agree with what you have laid out. However, there is a small caveat:

    "fiddling with the current game mechanics can only lead to it becoming more broken or unfair"

    This argument is a double edged sword. On one hand, it's completely relatable to the situation the current trading system is in, this couldn't be more truthful in this aspect.

    The flip side of the coin is that, "making changes to a <broken> system may only make it worse" is false. Changes that have had thorough examination during the development phase and that have been properly calibrated during testing should not be game-breaking. After all, the only way to fix a broken mechanic is through changing it.

    I don't consider that the changes that I have proposed would count as "fiddling", as the most they could do is bring the current system more in touch with a version that we know for a fact was more balanced (the pre-1.14 one, though still a fair bit on the more lenient side), while maintaining the immersiveness of new features. Even in the worst case, that such changes might represent an overshoot in the opposite direction (although arguably very unlikely), lack of use is still better than abuse. In the end, I have no power over what the devs will do, or even over whether this issue will be brought to their attention or not. I have only suggested a set of fixes.


    "I want the community to agree to a fixed and never changing set of rebalancing"

    During the past few years, I have had the pleasure to consult several game development teams, specifically on quality of gameplay and balance issues.

    Not many of them produced games that were considered hits, but the most popular of them had been the third most played game on Steam at one point. This experience has taught me the blunt fact that most of the player base doesn't really know what they want / what is good for them.

    Let's limit ourselves to balance issues.

    Has Mojang polled the community for their thoughts on removing the crafting recipe for the Enchanted Golden Apple? Or did they assess that keeping this feature would result in unbalanced gameplay? Every feature that imposes an issue of a severity past a certain threshold must be reworked. In this case, those Golden Apples cost 8 gold blocks each, and the servers where they were only to be obtained in intended ways (hence not counting OP kits and whatnot) usually weren't PvP oriented, and building a gold farm to sustain even modest consumption was very, very expensive and complex, if not unfeasible, but it still counted as a balance issue and thus got removed.

    Or what about AFK fishing? With like 6 hours of AFK-ing, one could get about two books of Mending, a couple of fairly good bows, and plenty of food. Quite nice perks indeed, and even with a low up-front cost of a small contraption! However, this still does not hold a candle to the gravity of the issue in cause. Yet Mojang rightfully decided this should not be possible.

    And now, acquiring a full set of late-game armor and tools with tip-top enchantments, all for about a stack's worth of Andesite, or at the very most two chopped trees? Also with the fairly low set-up cost of a small bunch of villagers and a couple regular gapples? It doesn't take much to realize that this is as broken as it can get, not only it obsoletes mining, a core concept of Minecraft, but also, I repeat, it ruins multiplayer economies.

    Imagine you are hunting for wither skeleton skulls, and every time a skeleton does not drop a skull, you have the ability to roll-back its death, until it drops a skull, or the same thing can be said with tridents. Its the same issue, although with villagers it is amplified a couple of times. Choosing professions and trades completely eliminates the random component of this mechanic.

    As much as I tried to make this not sound like a rant, after re-reading, that's the best I could have done while still exposing the nature of this behavior.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Villager trading system rebalance



    You're not authorized to access this page

    Take me back to the home page"


    Anyway, I would not care either way as I dislike trading but IK people will complain it is too easy or too hard no matter what.

    Seems like the post is still pending approval, that's what might be preventing you from accessing it.

    Regarding the "too easy or too hard" part, from my experience there have been no people saying that trading was either too easy or too hard prior to 1.14. Now, however, there is sufficient proof it's not just "too easy", but rather broken, and has been this way for quite a while (C'mon, 1 stick for 1 emerald for a Looting III book or Diamond Chestplate or whatnot is overpowered, it can't be denied).

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 2

    posted a message on Villager trading system rebalance

    The Issue

    For the most part, Mojang has been fairly prompt when it came to addressing balance issues that arose with time (there have been numerous instances, but what comes to mind right now is making Enchanted Golden Apples uncraftable with the possibility of large-scale gold farming, as it is not difficult to see what a large impact that had on PvP).

    Unfortunately, the above cannot be said with respect to the "new" villager trading mechanics. With the loopholes and easily exploitable behaviors the Village & Pillage update has introduced, acquiring large ammounts of supposedly late-to-end-game tools and coveted enchantments has become trivial.

    Let's give a couple examples regarding the issue:

    • Got an unemployed villager? All it requires to have him provide you with the highest levels of the most powerful enchantments is placing a lectern repeatedly until the villager turns into a librarian supplying your needs. Got a poor / not as cheap as you would like enchantment on a trade? Break the job site and place it again, no more actions needed! The librarian's trades will have rerolled. Repeat until desired results are achieved.
    • Looking for a specific trade and only have a single villager? Craft the required job site block for the associated profession and there you have it! The villager will switch jobs in order to serve your wants, first try! Unwanted trades are a thing of the past!
    • One emerald for an Efficiency III, Unbreaking III and Silk Touch diamond pickaxe? Entirely possible! Level up a number of toolsmiths until you get the aforementioned trade, and then zombify / cure the villager until the price drops to basically zero! Come on, all villagers can be toolsmiths after all!
    • One emerald for a Mending book, Fortune III or Sharpness V? Piece of cake! Follow the steps presented at the first point, get a zombie by your side, and zombify and cure the villager a couple of times. You now have a never-ending supply of top-tier enchantments for basically peanuts!
    • Need emeralds for your trades? Get yourself a villager, place down a stonecutter and voila! You have ended up with a Mason. Zombify and cure him a bunch of times and for every block of ugly granite, you can get an emerald! Use it to buy a mending book or an enchanted diamond chestplate!
    • Want another way to get emeralds, or need a base for your beacon? All you need is a villager, a zombie, a fletching table, and a bunch of golden apples and weakness potions! One stick for one emerald has to be the sweetest deal. Plop down 8 spruce saplings, grow them into two giant spruce trees and you now have all the emeralds needed for a Level 4 Beacon!

    The suggestion

    Saying that the above is clearly unbalanced and overpowered would be a gross understatement. This has been breaking economies of survival servers for almost 4 years and no action was taken. As such, let me propose a fix for the issue:

    1. Introduce a cap for the discounts that villagers can offer, maybe at most 20% or 25% off, rounded to the nearest integer. This is to remove the ability to continually zombify and cure villagers for discounts, as this is an easy and not very pricey activity that does not require almost any infrastructure and pays of one thousand fold, while still maintaining the possibility of a reasonable discount. Also, maybe even reduce the chance for a villager to be zombified on Hard difficulty to maybe 70-80%, as to not be an 100% guarantee.
    2. Have villagers spawn / be born with a fixed profession, which can not be changed. Such a villager will be able to trade even without a job site, although he will require a suitable one to work (read: replenish trades). This is to prevent "gamey" behavior of selecting a particular profession for a villager and/or to reroll trades simply by breaking and replacing its work station. Maybe even better, allow villagers to job-hop between closely related professions, such as farmer-shepherd-fletcher-fisherman (old brown coats), cartographer-librarian (old white coats), or armorer-weaponsmith-toolsmith-mason (old black aprons). Such a villager without a selected profession would have the associated pre-1.14 testificate skin (allowing for model reuse), and possibly generate the trades based on the villager's UUID, as to remove rerolling of trades for the same villager.
    3. Rework some of the trades, namely the ones involving abundant, readily-available items. More specifically, increase the price on stone, diorite, etc. for the Mason and other similar trades. If the item type is both farmable and readily-available, remove it and replace it with something else (yes, I'm looking at sticks for emeralds, after all you get 8 sticks per wood block, the very first block you break in a new world). It's important here to make the distinction between readily-available (can be found aplenty and require no infrastructure to harvest, such as the various stone types) and farmable (crops, canes, melons etc. require considerable infrastructure in order to amass in significant quantities). Trades for farmables are OK as they are.
    4. With the aforementioned, some might argue that villagers will receive a massive nerf. This is untrue, as it would bring the balance back in line with how it was prior to the Village and Pillage update, while maintaining the new features and trades of villagers. Potentially, to compensate for those 'fixes', the experience needed to level up a villager could be slightly reduced.

    With Minecraft 1.20 being right around the corner, it would be a shame to not give the current trading system the touch-ups it very urgently needs. I consider this balancing to have a very high impact-to-development-time ratio compared to other features that might require more time to implement and go mostly unused or unnoticed (I am in no way belittling the efforts of the game devs, I am only making a recommendation that will squeeze the most reward of their time. Seriously, you can't say you are a big fan of polar bears, parrots, bats and the like).

    In an effort to get a higher chance of reaching Mojang Devs, I have also posted on the Minecraft Feedback site. (Trading is ridiculously unbalanced since 1.14 and no one bats an eye – Minecraft Feedback).

    If you agree with my thoughts, please upvote the suggestion there, so we can maybe get it reviewed!

    Please consider voting in the poll, and maybe share your own opinion on this matter!

    Posted in: Suggestions
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