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Old 01-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #1
coranthium
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At my mud, Aethar.com, me and some of the other big immortals have discussed how to create an economy without completely wiping all the gold, etc. that everyone has right now and starting over. Right now gold is worth next to nothing because it is so plentiful. We have a "market" system where people can buy properties that will produce daily incomes in the millions.

Now we're trying to make our world into more than just a hack n' slash mud, and we feel that one way to do this would be to add more to the economy.

While we could destroy all the gold that everyone already has, I was wondering if any of you had some better ideas on how to do this.

Also, what sorts of things make a good economy? Maybe skills(blacksmithing, runemaking, etc.) that cost a lot to do? Something else? We have some talented coders on our mud, but we need some ideas of what to ask them to do. Post if you have some ideas please.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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The important thing to keep in mind is that the only reason that money has any value is because people think that it has value. In the real world, a $20 bill is just a worthless piece of paper with a number written on it. The only reason people carry them around is that other people think that they have value - you can give that worthless piece of paper with a 20 written on it to someone at a store and get food or clothes or whatever - items with actual value. This means that an economy is essentially a religion, and for any religion to succeed, it requires the faith of its followers. Right now it sounds like your economy suffers from this lack of faith.

The first thing that I think you'll want to do is figure out not only how much money is out there, but how much money is moving around on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. If I have a million dollars but I just keep it in a suitcase under my bed, it doesn't effect the economy at all. Like I said, it's just worthless pieces of paper. After this, you can figure out how to appropriately reduce it. Some stuff that you might want to consider: Dynamic prices for objects in limited quantities at higher levels could work to eat away at the biggest piles of cash. You might also want to simply change the currency. 10,000 yen is worth roughly $82US - just lowering the numbers could have a big effect psychologically.

One thing to really keep in mind is the distribution of money through the levels (assuming your game has levels). If you want to get rid of money by making it so that low level characters can't afford potions, you'll drive people away from the game. And above all, remember that it's going to have to be a gradual thing if you don't want to upset the players.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:44 PM   #3
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I'm not sure I agree with the (hopefully over-simplified) statement of the actual bills being worthless - unless the people have faith in them. While faith plays a huge part in the balance and power a specific currency has, there are other factors involved.

And one I have seen all to often in most games, is that people do not need money - because they don't need the goods and services the money CAN buy. Let's face it, especially in hack 'n slash games, most characters can do most things. Most characters end up being able to use a weapon well, cast some spells, transport themselves all over, find food (or sometimes don't need any at all), heal themselves without medicine or can find a cure anywhere, etc. etc.

Realistically, if you or I could live our lives without money like our characters: make our own food without needing to buy ingredients, defend ourselves effectively, didn't need property to build a home and could just sleep where ever, be cured of most or all aliments by sleeping one "night", transport our selves with a word, etc. we wouldn't need money either.

I think to create a basic, effective economy in a game, you must have:
- an environment where every character requires some amount of goods and services that they cannot produce for themselves and must purchase
- a limited amount of currency. IE: money can't just be made all the time for no apparent reason. Players need to spend the currency they get to have currency lieing around to find
- NPC's must also be required to "spend" money

There are many ways to implement these factors, but I agree with Drealoth, you will need to do it gradually because your game is already up and running. And inform the players what will be happening ahead of time, so they know what will be required of them.

And I also agree that you will need to consider the newbies in any changes you make. After all, they will need to survive and be able to thrive just like the older players.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:58 PM   #4
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In my experience, the newbies are the ones **least** likely to complain. They don't know any better. The older players act like you killed their favorite puppy and stapled the hide to their front door, sometimes. Its one reason why developing such a system "first" then opening with it already there is bound to be easier than implimenting it after the fact.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:07 AM   #5
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Whatever you do, DON'T just take everyone's gold away and start again. Sure, it'd be easier, but it'll drive away a ton of your regular players.

Just have a plan, and make it known to the player base what you're trying to do. Be sure to get their input too, as chances are the higher level players have a much stronger grasp on the economy of your game than anyone.
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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You need to get a handle on your gold taps (where's it coming from and in what volume), and then work out your gold sinks (where it goes and in what volume).

In a typical hack-n-slash, the gold comes primarily from mobiles. There may be incidental gold from quest rewards as well.

There's an array of things to spend the gold on, but I think something that's constant like armor/weapon repair and spell reagents are the right way to - as long as it's not extreme (i.e., don't destroy an item due to lack of repair, but make it less effective, or don't make spells impossible without the reagents but rather make them more powerful with reagent boosters).

The one time prestige expenditures like a room or customized equipment are ok, but eventually everyone gets these and they're no longer prestigous.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:08 PM   #7
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Hmm. Been playing EQ2 and I find it ironic that one major similarity is the need to do this sort of thing. The interesting bit their though is that "housing" isn't just "getting a room". What you can store in the room, how much you can sell other players, etc. are dependent on how much you spend to get the initial room *and* how much upkeep you spend. Most muds find food "annoying". The reason being obviously that in muds you have to stop to go "eat crackers" or some stupid thing ever X hours. The 3D games solve this by having auto-eat, which may be less efficient than doing it yourself (which is also an option), but you can carry quite a bit with you, enough for probably 20 hours of RL play time, more if you have it in your inventory, but not assigned for use yet. Equipment won't be destroyed, but it *does* break and get less effective over time (though in EQ2 this only happen *if* you die to something). Then there is some cost to crafting items. That used to be higher, but changes made at some point along the line removed a step. Used to be, if you wanted to make a shield, you might need to make a frame, a strap, some bolts, etc, *then* combine them to make a shield. This meant costs to make the initial items, then more cost to make the final one, not including the time it took to successfully produce those items.

In any case, some things work, some don't. The mud I play at tried for a while to institute a "tax" on money you made, which just left everyone poor if they didn't go out and fight stuff constantly. Given that a fair amount of the player based doesn't do much but sit around idle and chat with each other occationally (even PCs get slow and doddering in their old age I guess... lol), that seriously annoyed some of them.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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Here is an age-old problem for MUD design. First, ask yourself this; How bad is your inflation? If inflation has gotten to the point where money no longer means anything - where quest items(if you have these) no longer mean anything - where useful tools have no value... then a wipe may not be a bad idea if you want to completely redesign your economy.

Not a player-file wipe. Not only a gold wipe. I'd suggest wiping every single quest item, anything that must be bought. Then, simultaneously (which means design the new system completely, before the wipe), introduce the new system...

And set everyone equally, with enough money that they can re-buy needed items. Let the players know that this was done because hoarding and inflation had caused the game's economy to stagnate and become meaningless. To do this, you absolutely have to remove any sort of "bought item", and do it without warning to the players (otherwise, they will find things to hoard in an effort to "get rich quick" after the wipe). If the old, rich players are so petty that they cannot abide a change that is better for the MUD as a whole, then let them quit.

More than likely, they'll be back once they cool down and realize that there's more to a game than hoarding worthless gold and equipment.

As far as how to design your new system itself? Tough question. Design it carefully. Do not allow your staff to pass out rewards of things that are buyable. Do not allow your staff to pass out money rewards. Rewards, in my opinion, should be unique. This makes the reward more special, and helps to keep inflation down. Then, consider a world where monsters/etc do not drop gold. And that items that they drop easily are not able to be sold to mob shops. Encourage an open-market and auction system. Create an auction system on your forums (not just within the game itself). Put a cap on howmuch money one character can hold. Punish multi-playing severely. If the open-market system shows signs of inflation, consider creating some sort of staff-run rp-gang, that occaisonally breaks into local banks. Create a thief guild. Tweak things as you go, but try to stay on top of inflation. It is very much about not showing favor to individual players, and to not fearing taking strong measures to counter the inflation problems that almost all online games experience. It IS do-able. It just requires work.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Haven't had caffeine yet today, and my thoughts are usually far more coherent when I have. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:36 AM   #9
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Re: Creating an economy

I think most of the other posters hit on the main topics for limiting inflation. I personally don't like excess money in my games and often put together rules in which the creators need to limit the amount of gold circulating in the world.

These would be my steps in cutting down the money in the game
1) Put a hard limit on the amount of gold in the world. The tricky part is figuring out how much the hard limit would be. I would calculate how much all the players' current own and then increase it by a small percentage (say 15%). That is the total amount of money in your world and you should never pass that amount. That leads to the second step
2) Implement code that tracks the amount of money in your game. This Economy Daemon/Object/whatever is responsible for tracking the amount of money in the game. Whenever an NPC is created with a fixed amount of money, have it get the amount from the Economy Daemon. Once you hit the limit, sorry... no more money for the NPCs. If an NPC with money dies and the money isn't taken by someone, then return that amount back to the Economy Daemon
3) Clean up irrational sources of gold. For example, animals don't carry money so why do some games reward you with gold when you kill them? Also, force the carrying of money to always be stored in some sort of container/sack. This will make players have to store their money either on them in another container that will slow them down, deposit it into a back, or spend it.
4) Get money back from the players by tying your vendor-type NPCs to your Economy Daemon. Set up the initial roll-out in such a way that all your vendors have a loaned amount, say 5,000 gold coins, that they must pay back. As they make profits, those profits are returned back to the Economy Daemon until their loan is fulfilled. Also, don't forget to make the amount of money they current have to be persistent otherwise you will break rule 3. For example, if a vendor is created with a default of 2,000 gold and purchased stuff from a player, their balance would be lower than the 2,000 gold. If the vendor is unloaded and then reloaded, they are reset to 2,000 gold.

The biggest cause of the inflation is that there is money being produced with no control over it. That is the main idea behind having an Economy Daemon as it forces only so much gold to be available in the world. If the amount of money if fixed, inflation is non-existant.

The downside is that you could (and most likely will) encounter the problem of lack of enough money in the world. That could be resolved by slowly increasing the amount of currency in your world, thus causing a controlled inflation but makes the money available to everyone.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:44 PM   #10
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Re: Creating an economy

Alter Aeon handles its gold economy fairly well, after many years of tweaking. It uses several of the ideas listed below, but the foundation of it is accurate gold tracking:

- All gold sources and sinks are tracked and understood
- Run time gold stats are available just as a sanity check on things
- 'dangerous' or unexpected gold changes are logged
- Large gold changes, even valid transactions, trigger notifies just in case
- There's a single global value representing all gold in circulation

Just tracking the flow of gold through the system was useful, but completely ineffective in managing the economy by itself. While active immortal intervention on a continuous basis can use these numbers to keep the economy under control, it's a complete waste of time for an immortal to do so. We have machinery for tasks like this.

Therefore, we don't bring immortals or builders into the picture, and most gold drops are calculated. Adding this helped tremendously, but was still insufficient. In the long run, we ended up with several layers that at last appear to be stable.

- Mobs drop gold based on their death or theft rates; object gold is similarly modified with every looting of a treasure object. The purpose of this dynamic feedback is to prevent one source from dominating or becoming the 'easy gold'.

- Large quantities of gold are taxed. Characters holding more than a million gold are taxed on the amount above a million gold, to the tune of about 2% per week. The purpose of the tax is to prevent packrats from accumulating unlimited sized hoards.

- Clan and guild bank accounts can only hold a limited amount. Since the very existence of the clan indicates that gold is being paid in dues, this limited amount is fairly high (on the order of 50 million gold.)

- Player shops can hold an unlimited amount, but generally shops have high rent rates, so gold turnover has so far not been a problem there.


But by far the most critical part of the system is the global offset controller. This control system monitors the total quantity of gold in existence, and subtly tweaks the gold sources based on that value. The short-delay term of the control system looks at local deviations from the long term expectation, and fairly aggressively modifies the global gold sources. This short-delay term can change total gold influx on the order of 50% in a one week period if necessary.

As the total quantity of gold in existence changes, the long-delay term of the control system slowly adjusts the set point for the short-delay calculations. If a large amount of gold is in circulation, the short-delay set point will be lowered, globally lowering the input of gold into the system.

The net result of all this is that we have a system that allows for fairly substantial deviations in the short term, but always returns to long term stability. Total gold in circulation has varied by approximately 10% (peak of 528 million to trough of 482 million) over the last two years, and I no longer hear the once-common complaint that gold is worthless.

Just FYI.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:09 AM   #11
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Re: Creating an economy

Some of you guys have become real economists. Working with world money can really be educational about how the American Market operates. Which leads to the point: Can we stop printing money in the U.S. and destroying the dollar? Any neophyte MUD Admin can see the danger here. Perhaps one of you should hire on with the Prez or at least get him on your staff for your game.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Re: Creating an economy

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Perhaps one of you should hire on with the Prez or at least get him on your staff for your game.
He is not qualified...


As someone that has dealt with "Monty hauls", and never ending supplies of coin and items, in games I am reading this thread with quite a lot of interest.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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Re: Creating an economy

I'd also like to bring up a major factor and possible flaw of "money daemons" What about players who go offline for a year, or outright stop logging? They could have considerable funds in their accounts that are still being counted into the flow of cash, even though they are not contributing in any way. While it's not fair to punish other people because Mr Moneybags is taking a vacation (to the bahamas no doubt), it's also not fair to penalize players who maybe got in an accident and can't log in for a year, but their gold is still being counted in the flow of money, no? It seems like it would be a bit odd to only count the money of people online, or people who have logged in the past week.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:25 PM   #14
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Re: Creating an economy

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I'd also like to bring up a major factor and possible flaw of "money daemons" What about players who go offline for a year, or outright stop logging? They could have considerable funds in their accounts that are still being counted into the flow of cash, even though they are not contributing in any way. While it's not fair to punish other people because Mr Moneybags is taking a vacation (to the bahamas no doubt), it's also not fair to penalize players who maybe got in an accident and can't log in for a year, but their gold is still being counted in the flow of money, no? It seems like it would be a bit odd to only count the money of people online, or people who have logged in the past week.
You do bring up a good point. While I don't think that the amount of money tied up in absent users would be a significant percentage, I guess it could add up.

To offset this, I would guess that there could be a couple of mechanisms in place that returns gold back to system:
1) Charge a fee to store money in a bank. While it's safe and unlimited, it will cost you a small amount. Keeping your money in a bag that you carry around means that you have to carry it around and you also can have it stolen. So which do you choose?

2) Have a system in place that players that are absent for more than 30-60 days have their money temporarily returned back into the system. When they log on, it's returned to them. In the case where returning the money causes a negative balance in the money daemon, so be it. The money daemon won't be able to dish out any more money until it's out of the red.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:55 PM   #15
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Re: Creating an economy

Dentin's really hit it on the head. The amount of gold leaving your economy has to match the amount entering it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentin View Post
- All gold sources and sinks are tracked and understood
...
- There's a single global value representing all gold in circulation

- Mobs drop gold based on their death or theft rates; object gold is similarly modified with every looting of a treasure object. The purpose of this dynamic feedback is to prevent one source from dominating or becoming the 'easy gold'.

But by far the most critical part of the system is the global offset controller. This short-delay term can change total gold influx on the order of 50% in a one week period if necessary.
Once you have a way to measure the total amount of gold in circulation, and an offset for new gold sources (or costs), your economy is pretty much set. The offset will slow down new gold until it drops to the right amount.

This assumes you have...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanthum View Post
- an environment where every character requires some amount of goods and services that they cannot produce for themselves and must purchase
This requirement doesn't necessarily mean that every day they log in they spend money. It just means that there is a compelling reason to need money at some point in the game. Maybe entering some quest areas costs money. Buying a rope needed to get to the spider temple costs money. Other similar expenses that players can choose to follow or not. But something that players will work to get the money they need, so they can buy whatever-this-thing-is.

Many players won't spend money until they feel "comfortable" with the amount they have. If they need to spend 10 gold to go on a particular adventure, they may be unwilling to go until they've got 110 gold. That is fine, that "buffer money" will just sit in their bank account and not affect the economy much. It does mean we need to actively encourage players to spend, though.

What I do in Ironclaw is have some items with varying prices, while other items have fixed prices. That way we effectively "lock down" the price of things, so new players won't be faced with impossibly effective items, while letting the rarer items fluctuate with the economy. Any new player will be able to buy black leather and tailor it into leather clothing for a reasonable cost. Depending on the economy, they might not be able to do the same with worsted cotton. Hopefully this keeps the game accessible for the new arrivals

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I'd also like to bring up a major factor and possible flaw of "money daemons" What about players who go offline for a year, or outright stop logging?
Quote:
Originally Posted by krem View Post
1) Charge a fee to store money in a bank. While it's safe and unlimited, it will cost you a small amount. Keeping your money in a bag that you carry around means that you have to carry it around and you also can have it stolen. So which do you choose?
That might be a fine money sink normally, but I wouldn't advise it for player that go offline. For players that go offline, you have two obvious choices. Take their money, or leave their money. If you take their money, then you're putting it back into circulation in the economy, but you're making the player feel "punished" for not playing, which removed an incentive to return. If you leave their money, they will feel like they can return to playing at "full strength" and, other than not having gained anything new in the meantime, they won't feel like they lost anything either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krem View Post
2) Have a system in place that players that are absent for more than 30-60 days have their money temporarily returned back into the system. When they log on, it's returned to them. In the case where returning the money causes a negative balance in the money daemon, so be it. The money daemon won't be able to dish out any more money until it's out of the red.
This is how we handle it - leave the money for them when they return, but in the meantime add it to the economy. So basically, when counting how much money is in circulation, we don't count any money in bank accounts from missing PCs. When they return, it could lead to a big dump of money into the economy, but the economy daemon should take care of that in due time.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #16
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Re: Creating an economy

NWA seems to have a reasonibly stable economy, and thw worth of gold is dependant a lot on your guild too!

being a merchant (as i play) its normal to have 1 000 000 coppers sat in the bank but if i was some fighting class i would be considered very rich at this!

teh major sink for gold in NWA is leveling,
my next level for example costs in the region of 400 000 coppers (400 crowns) plus 800 000 xp

now as a merchant xp is my limiting factor in leveling but i can trade gold for xp (bribe the traiders) at 2 copper per xp....

fighting classes are money limeted on training rather than xp limited so in all it all ballances out


if gold is becomming worthless i would be looking at ramping up your leveling costs significantly (exponential with level so as not to hurt the newbies) you willl soon find gold has a value again if you need to save every clipped coin just to level!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:35 PM   #17
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Re: Creating an economy

I'm not overly familiar with MUD based economies as I'm a primary MUX/MUSH player --

However I did feel obligated to contribute a bit to the discussion after having read people comment about how to make an ecoonomy 'succeed' simply by matching gold input with gold output. That is actually inheritly false. The biggest economic misconception is that economies are zero-sum. (As much that goes out has to equal what comes in.) That isn't the case in the least, Economies are naturally growing. This growth is measured via several means in 'real' economics (GDP, Inflation) For a game to have a successful economy it needs to keep in mind that more players means more gold/product being produced which means there will be a steady increase in the amounts of gold in the system, otherwise you will have depreciation of currency as it loses its capability of a trading medium.

Vice versa, a massively bloated economic system with more gold than needed (ala pretty much every game in existance) reflects massive inflation where the gold holds no legitimate or real value since anything/everything can be purchased with little effort.

I would submit to y'all the following economic concept. The true thrust of economics is in limited resources, scarcity. Design a system that requires your players to make a choices. Things they want versus things they need. Then, force the players to take those choices and recognize they must give up item A in order to purchase item B since they wont' have the resources available to do both. That is the foundation of economics -- and a key aspect that a majority of games I have ever encountered fail to access. Mainly because finding things that are 'needs' for players are difficult and denying a player all their 'wants' leave them pouty and sadface.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: Creating an economy

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The biggest economic misconception is that economies are zero-sum. (As much that goes out has to equal what comes in.) That isn't the case in the least, Economies are naturally growing. This growth is measured via several means in 'real' economics (GDP, Inflation) For a game to have a successful economy it needs to keep in mind that more players means more gold/product being produced which means there will be a steady increase in the amounts of gold in the system, otherwise you will have depreciation of currency as it loses its capability of a trading medium.
Agreed. But that assumes the economy is growing. Without "outside trading partners" the only sensible way I can see to tell when the economy should grow is to look at the number of active players.

So a game with 10 players only needs 1/10th the amount of currency that a game with 100 players needs. All else being equal.
There are, of course, additional factors. The richest few individuals will be even richer in the larger economy than in the smaller one, etc. - but those are secondary effects.

But this is fairly easy to handle by just having a "max money" pool. That pool could either be calculated as a multiplier of the number of active players, or could be static and updated by the immortals. It takes time for these games to grow in size, so it's not a large chore to update that number occasionally.

Quote:
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a majority of games I have ever encountered fail to access. Mainly because finding things that are 'needs' for players are difficult and denying a player all their 'wants' leave them pouty and sadface.
Quoted for truth.
Players love to feel independent. You have to push them very hard to rely on their fellow players, and that's with things that don't cost anything. Making a need that requires money, when money is limited runs the risk that they won't be able to fulfil that need (which is bad if they NEED to do it.) - making it possible to fulfil the need without money, but with more effort is a good solution, but players wanting to be independent will mean they are biased towards avoiding the money solution, even if we would just pay the money in real life.

I'm constantly trying to find opportunities to make players choose between two wants. It's something that upsets them, but is entirely critical for an interesting game with varying social roles. In a single player game, why not be able to do everything? But in a multiplayer game, having different players with different abilities allows us to push them into needing groups, which pushes them into involving others. Which is, sort of, the point of playing a multiplayer game rather than just single player.

I wish there was an easy list of general "needs" and "wants" which could help give us ideas. Instead it seems to be something we each need to search out within our games.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:00 PM   #19
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Re: Creating an economy

Well it depends I think as you said on the games. But you can expand that to genre if you really want. I really like your mindset and what you said on so many levels (Rare to find that since I'm a bitter human being who hates all existance)

Max money pools are tough, upper end stuff is tough, there are just so many difficulties to overcome. Not undoable by any means it would just require intentional thought and planning to make an economy work on a game. But that's the problem -- Game designers don't want an economy that works. They want an economy that occupies players and satiates them. If you have an economy that works, there's going to be dips. I designed an econ once and let it run at an accelerated pace for about 2 days (simulating 2 years in normal game time) and it was interesting to see how it actually without player input had normal ups and downs. I was so proud.

Players don't want downs. Players want always ups. Coming from a more RP background it is even more frustrating because challenges develop characters. In a MUD hack n' slash challenges are just time sinks.

The true question becomes how do you make an Economy system in a MU fun. In the end it's about fun. Not fun because it's easy but fun because you have a sense of accomplishment. While one shotting the Big Bad boss may be funny or entertaining, are you going to go back to continue one shotting him? Is there a reward at the end? If not, then the boat has been missed -- And in the end that's the biggest flaw of MU's attempting any sort of economics. They don't keep the fun in mind.

Fun is different for people which ties to your last thought. How do you find the commonalities? Well they are out there. Most economic game design comes down to varying 'tiers'. What most games I've found deals with simple M1 tiers, or Money (cash currency) tiers. Finding a balance there is tough enough. Going beyond that requires true innovation. Allowing players to choose their level of involvement in the Economy is part of the challenge to. Some players only want to collect gold from killing and spend it on item A. Some may, just may, want to sell item A, use gold to develop item B and expand their market. Some may want to take gold they collect from sources to buy the merchant of Item A and B and form a guild etc, etc. What spot do you stop the expansion is the challenge.

Something to always consider though, Medival Economies are not simple. Those who think they are really needed to wake up. Agrarian Economics is as complicated as Globalization, just a different level of difficulty.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:12 PM   #20
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Re: Creating an economy

The fundamental problem is that the devaluation of the currency in the game is caused by Mudflation. Mudflation can happen in many differant ways, introduction of new content or new gameplay, fundamental imbalances in the ingame economy ( game currency versus money sinks ), or even the spread of information allowing previously rare resources to be accessed more easily. A balance must be struck between currency sources and sinks. Generally, games possess numerous sources of new currency for players to earn. However, some possess no effective "sinks", or methods of removing currency from circulation. If other factors remain constant, greater currency supply weakens the buying power of a given amount; a process known as inflation. In practice, this results in constantly rising prices for traded commodities. With the proper balance of growth in player base, currency sources, and sinks, a virtual economy could remain stable indefinitely.

Here are some examples of some money sinks:

* Quests requiring a certain amount to continue with the task at hand. This is offset by quest rewards and items that may be resold.
* Fees associated with NPC services and tasks.
* Fees associated with travel and convenience.
* Crafting, often requiring an initial investment and a continued chance of failure. Items may be crafted at a loss to increase crafting skill.
* Auction House Taxes
* 'Luxury' items sold at high prices
* 'Rare Collectables' which have no in-game value.
* Item degradation: items may have a small chance to degrade or break when used, repairing or replacement cost time and/or money
*Selling items to NPC "pawnbrokers" who resell them to other players at a substantial markup.
*Buying food, potions and supplies from the game that will be consumed during play

To achieve effective moneyflow/moneysink ratios youll need proper monitoring of the money in the game and a strong and explicit player feedback system.
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