This is so true. Whenever there’s a merchant or peddler in a video game that no longer has anything I need, they might as well cease to exist.
Here’s a better idea using a traditional JRPG as an example. What if the quality of items found in a game were not determined by how far through your quest you are, but combination of time and the town’s economical status?
Let’s say you start off in a wealthy town. Sure, the weapons and armor are not going to initially be OP, but this is an influential place we’re talking about. The longer you play the game, the better options they should have to offer. Same said, if you plow through the game rather quickly, the places closest to the end game might not have the quality of goods you would expect just because they haven’t been introduced yet. Or if the towns further along are poorer, they might never receive better options at all.
I think it’s an interesting concept.