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About this mod

Smooths the price curve of expensive items, prevents gold exploits, makes selling items easier and balances economy.

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INTRODUCTION

Everyone knows that Morrowind economy is a mess. You get rich way too fast, finding expensive items becomes irrelevant at some point because there is nowhere to spend so much money. Things collect dust on your house floor because the last thing you want is getting through a chore of selling 120000 Daedric Dai-katana in Balmora to merchants with 2000 septims, buying and reselling, resting and repeating. Traveling to drunken mudcrab or taking a trip to Mournhold for the 100 time just to sell some stuff from the last dungeon starts to get unbearable. Sometimes it takes as long as doing a quest, raiding some tombs or helping a pilgrim on his way to the shrine, which for me is more fun than shopping.

I have tried different economy mods, but could not find the one that will satisfy me completely. They either change stuff too much, make the game too hardcore or make service providers demigods that offer 2 hours of training for the price of a house. Not even mentioning that every little trader with 100 septims in his pouch has the skills of grandmaster in mercantile and speechcraft. This seems unrealistic to me. What is even worse – they rarely solve the problem of selling expensive items, and even if they do (by increasing the gold of merchants, for example) they also must kind of increase the price of services, which will lead to unrealistic situations when NPC will ask huge amount of money for the basic things. Because if they don’t do it very soon you will have so much septims that you can buy the whole Vvardenfell without blinking an eye, which brings us to the starting point. 

WHAT IT DOES

Instead of messing with NPC skills, barter gold or service cost I’ve decided to smooth the price curve of expensive items. They cost too much. Items and sets that cost more than 2000 septims now have their price decreased proportionally, so you will have easier time selling most of the expensive stuff you will find in your adventures. Unique magical items can differ from 1.1 times less to 10 times less, depending on the initial value. For example, Umbra Sword now costs 10 times less, but Warlock's Ring costs 5.3 times less. I have kept the original price progression, meaning that Umbra Sword still costs more than Warlock’s Ring, and made sure that items that were cheaper than others are still cheaper after dividing the original cost by different values. Armor sets and weapon materials follow their own formulas. For example, daedric armor is divided by 10, while adamantium is divided by 5 and orcish by 4. It is made so that new prices fit the overall picture better, and since generic armor and weapons are encountered more often than unique items their price should reflect that.

Since prices of expensive armor, weapon and clothing shrink, some other prices, like Bittercup, begged for a change in order to fit the new system, so I’ve changed them too. While I was there, I decided to fix some prices that were bugging me for a long time, like netch leather costing 10 times less than a scrib jelly. Nothing too serious, I just made hunting several monsters a bit more profitable and several others a bit less profitable based on a common sense. Additionally, expensive alchemy apparatus now costs less, expensive books cost a bit less etc. Full readme has all the details of all prices and changes that were made. And don’t worry, mod has a totally modular version.

As a final touch, in order to exclude the possible gold exploits and make overall experience smoother I’ve changed some other stuff:
- reduced the barter gold of mudcrab and creeper by 10. You can still trade with them, but there is no real necessity in doing that
- made your own potions cost 0. There is no other way of fixing the ridiculous alchemy exploit in a simple way
- items from Mages and Fighters Guild chests cost 0. They were never intended to be sold for a quick buck anyway
- fast travel service costs 4 times more. I know I said that I didn’t want to change any service prices, I like them, but fast travel was too cheap
- trespass, pickpocket and assault crimes now generate 5 times more bounty cause before it was a joke
- museum of artifacts in Mournhold now offers half of the new price of artifacts

Both expansions are covered. I don’t think that I will be making a separate version only for Morrowind or Tribunal, but who knows.

Regarding price shrink – I know that the real value of Staff of Magnus might be 210000 in the perfect world, but the question is – would a simple merchant from volcanic island be willing to pay that much? He would probably have to sell his shop, wife and liver only to afford the smallest part of the staff. Hell, even the richest traders of the whole province would probably pass on 210000, offering you 20000 max and maybe some items from the shop. If you agree to sell the artifact for all their goods and gold, they will only have this one legendary staff left. It will probably take a long time to find a buyer (assuming they will be able to find one) while trying to keep the staff safe from thieves and assassins, while having no goods to sell and money to feed their family. And no, gold resets mostly for gameplay reasons, a simple smith in Balmora does not make 2500 a day, it’s unrealistic.

COMPANION MOD

Price Balance can perfectly work on it’s own, but for the best experience you should check out this wonderful mod by VenomByte which I can’t recommend enough - vn_economy_ItemLists.esp (http://mw.modhistory.com/download-37-578). Not the vn_economy_Gamestats.esp, just the ItemLists. Gamestats is something that I wanted to avoid in the first place. This is the from VenomByte’s readme so you would get the idea:

“Whereas previously, you would recieve the best possible items in most cases at levels 15-20, this now occurs at level 40-50. Accordingly, you don't find yourself overloaded at level 15-20 with too much loot and little to strive for. No longer will you wander into an outlaw cave at level 18, and leave with dozens of grand soulgems, exclusive potions, and sackfuls of 'rare' gemstones.”

It also makes dremoras and golden saints have bound weapons 90% of the time, which means that they won’t be dropping 100500g items that often and break economy all by themselves. That also means that they will be slightly stronger, but that's a good thing. Great mod altogether.

RESULT

- you will no longer be a millionaire by level 15-20 not knowing what to do with all the cash
- gold holds more significance now, and finding expensive items is more rewarding
- selling fat loot to merchants is no longer a boring minigame of barter, reselling and 24h waiting
- training, enchanting, spells and spellmaking prices remain at the same realistic level
- no NPC were harmed or altered during the process to avoid any conflicts or silly high skills

INSTALLATION

Put the ESPs in your Data Files folder and check them in the launcher or in Wrye Mash. Usual stuff. I’ve included modular version if you don’t like some parts (like mudcrab and creeper, for example) so install only those that you want, but I think it works best as a whole. It goes like this:

Price Balance.esp – everything included in one esp

Price Balance – Alchemy.esp – small changes to some alcohol and drugs prices, like skooma
Price Balance – Apparatus.esp – expensive apparatus costs less
Price Balance – Armor.esp – armor only
Price Balance – Books.esp – Saryoni's Manuscript and expensive books cost less
Price Balance – Clothing.esp – clothing only
Price Balance – Creatures.esp – mudcrab and creeper merchants have 10 times less gold
Price Balance – Crime.esp – trespass, pickpocket and assault crimes give 5 times more bounty
Price Balance – Extra.esp – homemade alchemy potions costs 0, items from MG/FG chests cost 0
Price Balance – Ingredients.esp – changed some prices of the ingredients from creatures 
Price Balance – Misc Items.esp – Bittercup, Vivec Ashmask cost a little less
Price Balance – Museum.esp – museum of artifacts should now offer half of the new price of items
Price Balance – Service.esp – fast travel is 4 times more expensive
Price Balance – Weapons.esp – weapons only

Price Balance – Items.esp – all items only, no service, creatures, crime, museum or extra

CONFLICTS

If another mod changes the same items while loading after Price Balance it will overwrite the price changes, so keep that in mind. If you use official mod “Adamantium Armor” by Bethesda it’s better to load that one before Price Balance, since it only changes “count” of adamantium items (it’s not crucial at all, vendors on Vvardenfell will still have adamantium armor for sale, no worries). 

Museum part may conflict with any other mod that changes the dialogue of Torasa Aram in the Mournhold museum of artifacts. Museum Fix mod, however, does not conflict – you still won't get the active quest in your journal.

SAVE GAMES

It’s totally safe to use it with your current save game. It’s also safe to remove the mod if you won’t like it. Only possible issue I can think of is books. You see, when you read a book that grants you a skill point, Morrowind keeps the price of that book in your save game. Even if you remove the mod, all the books with the same ID will have that price. And vice versa – skill books that you have already read won’t change their price using this mod.

CREDITS AND PERMISSIONS

One part of the “Price Balance – Extra.esp” is based on a part of HotFusion’s marvelous Economy Adjuster (namely – part with mages and fighters guild chests) and I want to thank him for creating that great mod which gave me inspiration for making my own stuff.

Do whatever you want with Price Balance, but give HotFusion and me some credit if you will upload it anywhere else or something. Thanks.

CONCLUSION

I’ve tinkered with the prices for a couple of years now and I think I’ve found a sweet spot for myself. In my last playthrough I’ve played your average adventurer from level 1 to 50 (with VenomByte’s ItemLists, as always) and felt like it was pretty well balanced – every time I felt like I’m getting rich (around 10000-20000 gold) I’ve usually spent it on training, spells, enchantments, and money was quickly gone. On low levels it took me some time to afford full adamantium set, but it felt rewarding. Even on levels 40-50 I was finding myself in the need of gold, because training ain’t cheap, and trying to collect every spell type for enchanting and enchanting itself cost me thousands of thousands of hard-earned septims.

Keep in mind that I am more of a roleplayer, and not a munchkin who tries to get the best items and “beat” the game as soon as possible, stealing and selling everything that has any value, but I feel that even for a munchkin a combination of Price Balance and ItemLists should slow down the gold flow significantly. It’s not too hard to make money, but it’s not too ridiculously easy either. Something in between, which was the whole point of this mod. If you want to see the “whole picture”, you can load this mod in CS and sort items by value to see how progression goes. 

At first it may seem that some prices are too low, especially after playing with original prices for years, but I got over that really quickly and only important thing for me was how the prices affect the gameplay. Oh yeah, one last thing – pardon my Engrish, me not a native speaker.

HISTORY

1.2 Version
- deleted the price of Soulgems, Dwemer Coins, Telvanni Bug Musk, Flin and Cyrodiilic Brandy
- added new prices for Nordic Mail armor and Nordic Silver weapons. They are all around Solstheim and cost too much
- changed the price of Skooma, Master, Grandmaster and Secret Master apparatus (more lore-friendly), 6th House Amulet, Vampire Dust, Ancient Nordic Pick Axe and Nordic Silver Battleaxe of Hearth-fang

1.1 Version
- added Museum part

1.0 Version
- initial release
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