By the title, I mean the World of Althéa of course and not ours, unfortunately. ;) How did I get into this and end up avoiding plot writing again you may ask? It was as I was working on the first conversations where a player can try to start to get different equipment for their PCs when I was reminded of the horrible economic values placed on items in NWN universe. Some may not mind seeing figures run into the hundreds and thousands of gold pieces, but I find the figures somewhat distasteful. For those who may have played PnP (pen and paper) D&D, the idea of having a shop full of magic items was never heard of, and the best the player could hope for was the chance of buying scrolls and potions, or possibly a few very low magic items like arrows and bolts if they happened to be in the right place at the right time.
In NWN, however, it is not uncommon to see in a store a plethora of magic items starting from a few hundred and run into the many hundreds of thousands of gold. Wheel in my cart-load of gold as I want the set of plus five swords third row from the left please. ;) Now, I know this has been done to simply help the running of a world where a certain balance must be maintained while still offering the player choices, but I sill cannot swallow the idea for my own world, and is why I have been altering many of the cost elements within the game. And even then, limiting the stores to minor magic items only.
From experimentation, I have found that altering the baseitems, iprp_meleecost, iprp_skillcost (and yet to be tested iprp_feats) 2da files appears to do what I hoped for by reducing the costs of items considerably. Of course, this then adds the problem of ensuring balance is maintained for players who wish to craft items (hopefully a little cheaper) and potentially even selling them to make a little gold. To this end, I have had to go through nearly every item that can be crafted to see if its final base price is not too high compared to other items and manually edit every item where needed. It is a very boring job and I still have a way to go. :( But, at the end of things, I hope the economy structure will look a lot less "unrealistic" and more in line with old PnP style gaming than the amazing rich world of the CRPG.
On the back of this, I altered some of the XML code that displays the store GUI to show the store's name (if added) and any limit to their gold (so that players can see how much the store has in gold left to buy items from them). The code is dynamic, meaning it updates as the store buys or sells items reflecting their current gold remaining. (See image to the left.) In the same image you can see how the prices of some of those items will be a lot lower than you may be used to paying. Note, however, the world economy reflects this in that treasures found will be more reasonable to the same scale. This is important because gold does weigh something in Althéa! Therefore, if you are playing a weak character, you may even consider a strong companion simply to help carry the treasure found. :)
Another aspect of this is that I want the player to be encouraged to craft (and enchant) their own items as much as possible. As I have said before, items will be available to purchase, but part of becoming a successful adventurer in the world will be to acquire rarer materials and craft items for themselves.