Let's build a bridge in Grim Dawn!
This particular quest was one of the things that served as inspiration to writing, I mean rambling, about this in the first place. Grim Dawn is a game that functions much like Diablo 2 or Titan Quest, so if you need a short-hand for what kind of game this is, think about those games.
A fair bit into the game, there is a quest to rebuild a bridge. This serves as kind of a transition from one act to another. The quest is very straight-forward and simple, but it does raise some questions. See, the bridge seems to be made of money. To build the bridge, all you need to do is supply the site with 6 pieces of scrap and 3000 iron bits. In this game, Iron bits is currency and scrap is a material made for crafting that takes up 4 squares of inventory. I had the scrap but I was lacking the iron bits, so I had to go grinding.
Twenty minutes and three trips back to the shop and I was set to build that bridge. It was here, after everything was done that I started to look deeper at what was going on. So, the bridge needs money, lots of money, and a small bit of scrap. For context, one piece of scrap is valued at 14 iron bits. So, why are they having me search for scrap, since it's so low value? Maybe it's because this is a looters paradise where production doesn't exist? Or maybe it's because the whole economy is broken.
To re-iterate, the bridge needs 3000 iron bits. A piece of Scarp has the value of 14 iron bits. So, why not just ask for 3084 iron bits and no scrap? To put 14 iron bits into further context, a healing potion costs 143 iron bits. So, a piece of scraps value is a tenth of a healing potion. Then again, this is an economy that values "scarp" more than clothes. A pair of non-enchanted leather pants are valued to 3 iron bits.
So, what is scrap? Is it magical some kind of magical cure-all? Medieval duct-tape? Nope. As the image above says, scrap is "bolts, leather cords and low-grade metals". So, in all fairness, you could probably make scrap out of discarded leather pants and tower shields (valued 5 iron bits). I guess that the big issue here is that no one MAKES scrap. Scrap is something found out in the field, on the corpses of enemies. Don't mind all the broken houses and discarded everyday items that probably contains tons of scrap.
So there we have it, a bridge is built and my brain is basically a fried egg. I know that this is probably thinking too much about aspects of a game that the developers themselves didn't pay too much attention too. It's just a game after all. It's not that I hold any of this as a negative to this game, or any game that uses similar systems. It's just interesting to think about.