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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Would finite resource ever work in an MMO?

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  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 1:14:56 AM#21
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by MustaphaMond
Originally posted by Jxb1a

Yeah, would finite resource ever work in an MMO? 

I don't think it is valid to ask if it *would* work, because it already has....

 

  • Every resource in SWG was randomly generated off of master types. We defined “iron,” and gave it statistical ranges. Different kinds of iron would spawn with different names, but they would all work as iron in any recipe that called for such. This meant that you might find a high-quality vein of iron, or a low quality one.
  • Even more, it might be high quality only for specific purposes.
  • Resource types were finite. You could literally mine out all the high quality iron there was. It would just be gone. A new iron might be spawned eventually (sometimes, very eventually!) but of course, it would be rolled up with different characteristics.
  • And in a different place. Resources were placed using freshly generated Perlin noise maps.
  • Crafters gambled with their resources, generating items of varying quality that were partially dependent on the resources and the recipe.
  • Crafters could lock in specific results as blueprints, but that forced a dependency on the specific finite resource that was used, meaning that blueprints naturally obsolesced.
 
All of this meant that a merchant could never rely having the best item, or the most desirable item (indeed, “most desirable” could exist on several axes, meaning that there were varying customer preferences in terms of what they liked in a blaster). Word spread through informal means as to the locations of rare ore deposits. People fought PvP battles over them. People hoarded minerals just to sell them on the market once they had become rare. And of course, they organized sites like the now defunct SWGCraft.com, which monitored all of this fluctuating data and fed it back out in tidy feeds for other sites and even apps to consume, such as this one, which was widely used by hardcore business players much like a Bloomberg terminal is by someone who plays the market.
 
~ From Raph Koster's most recent blog post about SWG's economy: "Do auction houses suck?"

I don't think you understand what the OP meant by limited with you pushing swg down our throats.

Cause you're not supposed to talk about SWG, should be some sort of penalty for mentioning it even though this thread is craft oriented and that game had a very robust crafting system. 

 

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  lifesbrink

Novice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 553

There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who don't like dragons and those who enjoy living.

3/28/12 1:15:51 AM#22

So the basics of how this system would work, both garnered from previous points and my own thoughts:

1.  Said resources should dwindle slowly, i.e. several years, not a few months.

2.  Resources that are finite should never EVER fade out of game in any way, but rather change forms.

3.  Accounts that hold any finite resource that cease to log in should start losing resources at some rate through least valuable resources first to the most valuable in the end.  People who choose to use this to troll by holding a ton of resources hostage but login only periodically should lose them all if discovered to be doing this (Community ALWAYS figures people like this out, trolls smell too much)

4.  As resources become harder to get, alternate means of resources should be discoverable to make up for it all.

5.  Players ingame should be able to have their resources stolen somehow.  This way, those players who try to run a server by withholding all the resources and basically acting like moguls are not impervious to attack.

6.  Again, it should be impossible to destroy a finite resource off the server.

7.  Nothing is soulbound.

8.  Profit?

My blog is a continuing story of what MMO's should be like.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

3/28/12 1:16:48 AM#23
Originally posted by Quenchster

A MMO with finate resources might end up with gold farmer issues unless the game is like Minecraft or Terraria.

...but that would also clear up the stated issues of wealth hoarding. People aren't going to buy resources from gold-farmers just to sit on it - plus - once they sell their personal reserves, what is the business plan after that?

Gold-farmers would walk from it at some point, because there is no way to farm what is already banked by others. To act as 'resellers' means dealing with such a small profit margin that it's not worth doing.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  MustaphaMond

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

3/28/12 2:09:27 AM#24
Originally posted by waynejr2

I don't think you understand what the OP meant by limited with you pushing swg down our throats.

Newsflash: "Finite" means the same thing as LIMITED.... /facepalm

And... WTF!? I am not pushing SWG down anybody's throat!

 

FYI, I've never even played SWG (though I wish I could have) and I just so happened to remember Koster mentioning FINITE resources in his blog post about SWG, so I thought my response was perfectly on topic and addressed most of the OP's questions:

  • Would finite resource ever work in an MMO?
  • Would the fact alone that there is a finite amount of iron cause people to be more careful with how they mine?
  • Would they just hoard the iron?
  • Would iron be more carefully priced because of the limited supply?
  • If there is a correlation between iron and in-game currency, how would it be reflected?
  • Would there be guilds soley created just to become a mining operation?
  • How would the price of other commodities change if Iron was a basic resource from everything to weapons and armor, to buildings and steel.

 

Just take a moment to reread what I posted (and maybe even Raph's entire post about SWG) and consider that it relates to all the above questions. It doesn't outright answer some of them, but it is an actual game that had finite resources... resources, I might add, which people hoarded, waited to sell until they became rare, used for crafting special items (which commanded higher prices), and were mined competitively (even to the point of resource exhaustion). ALL of these things are directly related to what OP was asking.... =/

 

If you don't see the connection between OP's question and SWG, lrn2readingcomprehension FFS...

  lifesbrink

Novice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 553

There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who don't like dragons and those who enjoy living.

3/28/12 2:27:12 AM#25

Mustapha, just ignore the guy.  Trolls are always trolling.

My blog is a continuing story of what MMO's should be like.

  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

3/28/12 2:29:31 AM#26

Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  MustaphaMond

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

3/28/12 2:30:56 AM#27
Originally posted by lifesbrink

Mustapha, just ignore the guy.  Trolls are always trolling.

But.... but.... he looked so hungry... awwwww 

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

3/28/12 2:58:56 AM#28
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

Not quite.

SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Obraik

Ewok

Joined: 5/02/05
Posts: 7303

3/28/12 6:45:07 AM#29
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

Not quite.

SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

  Torik

Elite Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2263

3/28/12 11:03:34 AM#30
Originally posted by Obraik
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

Not quite.

SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

I really would not call SWG's resources 'finite'.  While the better quality resources might be rare and their stockpiles would run over time, the basic resource would always be around.  So you could always get Polysteel Copper, just not always the version you desired.  So if you were making average quality items, the supply of resources would rarely dry up.

  ShadowVlican

Novice Member

Joined: 8/17/11
Posts: 109

3/28/12 11:31:11 AM#31

if a game had finite resource, you'd need a way to deal with players that have stopped playing

finite works in the real world because no one stops "playing"

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 6:26:06 PM#32
Originally posted by Torik
Originally posted by Obraik
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

Not quite.

SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

I really would not call SWG's resources 'finite'.  While the better quality resources might be rare and their stockpiles would run over time, the basic resource would always be around.  So you could always get Polysteel Copper, just not always the version you desired.  So if you were making average quality items, the supply of resources would rarely dry up.

The range was enough that you could degrade the item being made by using that basic resource. If you are going to make top notch stuff you need the best you can get, and the rotation on what you needed could literally take the better part of a year. The magic number was 1000 and you usually needed two traits of that material (the mats had stats) that were Both up there. It was easy enough to find a material with 998 Overall Quality, but not 998 OQ + 998 Conductivity, etc.  The supplies of those mats were rare enough to be considered functionally finite.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

3/28/12 7:42:11 PM#33

I think this SWG tangent kind of strays from the topic, because resource quality has nothing to do with a truly limited supply, and would be counterproductive to the system itself. A range of effectiveness, while it could be seen as a 'rarity' metric, ends up seeding the vast majority of goods as low-tier, and likely useless overall. I would never attribute resource quality, decay, and other pointless systems with this kind of approach to economics... nor would have I level progression determine available gear too. It completely changes the kind of game at hand - and if it doesn't - something is clearly wrong.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  ZBergz

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/12
Posts: 20

3/28/12 8:32:15 PM#34

Yes it can easily work.  The game itself has to be modeled around a world with finite resources in addition to implementing relevant mechanics for reintroducing resources into the environment.

 

Here are a few mechanics off the top of my head that would help make this concept work.

 

  1. Environmental resources must be a function of character or account population.  More players means more materials in the game world essentially.
  2. Players can have materials taken from them or their stashes.  This does not prevent hoarding but you better be able to defend that pile of iron if you want to keep it.
  3. Have raw materials be consumed and removed from the game in some manner allowing for the environment to create a new node.  Ideally the creation spot would be a place that is less traveled and/or dangerous.
  4. Allow item degradation and/or complete destruction requiring consuming resources to repair or create an entire new item.
  5. Offline players should be considered when repopulating environmental resources.  The amount of material a single player can hold on their character should be limited forcing them to leave the remainder of resources stashed inside the world.
  6. Players with inactive accounts should be given a set time period (30? 60? 90 days?) to resub before all raw materials on their characters are removed and redistributed into the game world.  Gear would stay as there is only so much you can hold and you would not want to alienate your customers from returning.
 
This list took me under ten minutes.  It really is not that difficult to come up with proper mechanics to support such an idea.
  Quesa

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 917

3/28/12 8:38:27 PM#35

No.  Mostly because everything else in the game would have to be finite, right down to the NPC's which would also mean the rewards from those NPC's would have to be removed from other resources (stolen in many cases).  Once all the resources are depeated (used) they would need to be recycled, assuming a perfect recycling process is available.

  Zyllos

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 534

"You do not get old and stop playing, you stop playing then get old." -- Benjamin Franklin

3/28/12 8:44:49 PM#36

Maybe instead of completely finite, make stuff have a rarity. Based on population values (all online/offline accounts with at least a single character on the server), raw materials replenish as a function of rarity and population.

Rare material may only respawn 100 points of resources while common material respawns at 1,000,000 points. So once a resource is gone, everyone has to wait for it to replenish before seeing more.

Have common, reoccuring areas were a light amount of a material replenishes each time the replenishing happens but the rich deposits will be random and scattered around the world.

Allievates all the issues with characters hoarding it all or inactive accounts. Makes resources scare when they are in demand, especially rare materials.

MMOs Played: I can no longer list them all in the 500 character limit.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

3/28/12 10:00:06 PM#37
Originally posted by GTwander

In the end, it's a game where there are clear winners - the moguls of the server. From there, people will end up working for them for their scraps, and while that may not be an ideal form of incentive to play, it really adds to the social nature of things. It's a perfect candidate for a game with a community sharing a socialist kind of nature, where enclaves pool wealth, or a representative holds it all, and others hold his pocket lining as need be.

I imagine that'd be more of an eye-opening situation of just how few (if any) of those for-the-greater-good social communes actually spring up in an anonymous gameplay environment.

However you're right that inactive players are the real deterrant to strict-finite-resources not working (in the long term.)  You can certainly solve that problem, but at that point you no longer have a finite resources system.

  GTwander

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3/28/12 10:04:58 PM#38
Originally posted by Axehilt

I imagine that'd be more of an eye-opening situation of just how few (if any) of those for-the-greater-good social communes actually spring up in an anonymous gameplay environment.

 

Good point, but without the efforts of multiple people to hoard the wealth, it's unlikely that any single entity will have a negligible claim on the total wealth. Ever.

 

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  BartDaCat

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3/28/12 10:06:42 PM#39

I'd prefer to see resources placed in strategic areas that make them more challenging to obtain depending on their overall worth within the context of the game.

An example might be something like Ultima's scarce reagents, some which could only be found in certain terrains, and then only at certain times of the day or night.

  ignore_me

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3/28/12 11:13:27 PM#40
Originally posted by GTwander

I think this SWG tangent kind of strays from the topic, because resource quality has nothing to do with a truly limited supply, and would be counterproductive to the system itself. A range of effectiveness, while it could be seen as a 'rarity' metric, ends up seeding the vast majority of goods as low-tier, and likely useless overall. I would never attribute resource quality, decay, and other pointless systems with this kind of approach to economics... nor would have I level progression determine available gear too. It completely changes the kind of game at hand - and if it doesn't - something is clearly wrong.

Thus the simplification of crafting to one tier of production, which has the effect of making nothing exceptional. In order to have winners there needs to be the possibility of losers.

This is also why there will be no finite resources, because there can be no risk for people to feel inferior about if they can't produce the best stuff.

It's all just too simple in my opinion, and thus boring.

Your idea strips this down and just plays with supply and demand, and you don't want any other factors involved? ok ...

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