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Old 06-25-2005, 05:06 AM   #1
prof1515
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Prices and the cost of living varied often over the time period I'm looking at and thus I'm trying to figure out whether or not to implement inflation into the economy. Of course, I'm not an economist so it would be a real pain in the ass from a calculation standpoint and yet another from the standpoint of someone having to adjust prices in-game.

I'm curious what others' thoughts are on this topic. Keep in mind that I'm refering to a RPI environment, where a majority (a vast majority) of the population would be virtual-NPCs and NPCs who would factor in as well.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:51 AM   #2
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Not sure whether no one's ever given this consideration or if they simply don't have an opinion. Either way, I'm still curious as to your thoughts and suggestions.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:23 AM   #3
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Inflation happens naturally as your game grows... more players enter, more currency is added to the mix, the currency devalues, and any player-player trades end up costing more.

Now how that ties in to the NPC population, I'm not sure. If you're changing their prices more slowly than the natural inflation, then're just slowed down the natural process seen in other games to a degree, but don't change much qualititvely. If you raise the prices more quickly than the natural inflation then players will become poor and may have problems acquiring what they want.

You also get the issue that in real life, inflation tends to affect people at the same rate, as there are certain ongoing costs everyone pays, and people can invest their cash as they go along to avoid the loss of value. In a MUD however, someone might log off for a few months, and come back to find their money is worth a lot less, which could be frustrating.

So my personal opinion is that simply changing the prices isn't going to achieve much. I believe it's an element of realism that won't add much immersion but may cause a bit of hassle. But if you do decide to implement it, look out for the effects on players - base it around measurable stats such as average player wealth, incoming player wealth, and total player wealth. That way you can at least hope that game balance isn't too affected.
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:59 AM   #4
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Eh, I'm just an ass who's opinions don't really matter.. buuut..

In an RPI environment, I'd really admire a coded-in economy. The fact of the matter is that "naturally occuring" supply and demand rarely ever happens in MUDs (unless there were no NPC shops AND the players were restricted to a certain set of skills--in which case, it becomes important for them to protect their market). If a player wants more money, he simply mass-produces some item or mass-slaughters some village (although that's in poor taste in an RPI), and his problem is solved.

The only MUD that I've played that has done a "good job" on its economy is ArmageddonMUD--although I havn't seen any evidence that it HAS one, making money is difficult but prices are reasonable (a day's wages will get you a day's meal).

Anyway. I'm no economist, nor am I very good at math, but I'd gladly encourage you to put forth the effort to simulate an economy on your MUD.
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:23 PM   #5
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You theoretically have knowledge of the playerbase's total purchasing power at any moment, as well as the amount of cash in circulation in other sources (NPC shops, carried by NPCs, etc.).

It might be worth tracking that data over a period of weeks to months to see if it fluctuates significantly. If it does, an inflation dynamic could keep prices in line with values. If it doesn't change much, it's probably not a topic worth caring about.
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