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Developers Corner 

Economics  » Co-Operative Economy

17 posts found
  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  12/13/12 10:33:44 PM#1

Co-operative societies. Do you think it would be possible to implement this successfully in an MMO?

 

The capitalistic systems that are currently available put the individual first. We can clearly see that communities in games are suffering. Being anonymous and self-sufficient allows freedom to players to be... poor citizens. They can be intolerable to each other.

 

Using bare-bones Dark Age of Camelot as an example: Three realms at war.

 

New characters are provided "new-player tokens". New player tokens serve as NPC government currency provided to players so they would have access to the bare minimum equipment while playing the game. If you wanted to be a smith, but you didn't have a smith's hammer, you could use one of your limited tokens towards acquiring a "new player smith hammer". With this hammer you could start your path towards becoming a smith, but the hammer had no resale value an it could not be converted to raw materials. "New-player tokens" would only be useful to acquire starting gear and their acquisition is limited.

 

Players would play and partake in activities that benefited their realm. By doing so players would "contribute" to their realm and it would be calculated into their realm participation. After realm expenditures, remaining money would then be distributed in the form of "realm currency" based on percentage to those that benefited the realm. The more you do to serve your realm the more you are rewarded. Simply donating goods to the cause could add to your contribution. Rewards would be balanced to prevent a small majority acquiring the majority of benefits.

 

Realm currency would be the market value item used to replace a pure barter system. Realm currency would have uses outside of trade which would establish market value of realm currency as well as the items within the economy. A barter economy would transfer over to a realm currency economy. You could trade for realm currency by providing desirable goods on a non-auction hall market(players can host own auctions if they desire, but it would be located at a central location, not server wide) or by receiving it as a dividend for your contribution to the realm.

 

Realm currency would not be typically found while hunting NPCs. The primary source of realm currency is via dividends for service to your realm. Realm currency would be protected and issued by their government, not just default "gold pieces". There is potential to allow guild leaders to place bounties/rewards upon completing specific tasks. If you exhibit your valor in combat, you may be rewarded by the guild controlling the keep for your service in protecting their lands. It would help build co-operative relationships in a game where community strength is critical for game success.

 

Late night post, apologies for the extravagence/lack there of.

 

Regards,

Caldenfor

  Jakdstripper

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2108

12/13/12 10:52:16 PM#2

it is an incredibly complicated system simply to force people to play together.

you can achieve the same result by limiting what every single player can do all by himself, therfore forcing him to interact with others for everything else.

when individuals must rely on others to provide them with the majority of opportunites and/or resources it becomes very counterproductive to be antisocial, dismissive or abusive.  People then have to either learn to function in a group/guild/society or find themselves left out of most of the content and therfore the fun.

 

  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  12/14/12 10:58:17 AM#3

For this thread realm and domain are interchangeable words, apologies.

 

The economic system doesn't force anyone to do anything. It provides incentive to help the success of your domain. Combat/crafting system will be what determines how much people truly need to "play together", not the economy. Once the "realm currency" enters the market, players can just trade goods for the currency, i.e. sell stuff, so they would never have to participate in the co-operative if they chose not to.

 

The aim would be to have NPCs for which players can turn in goods/things they don't need and they would go towards increasing the NPC strength of your domain and excess would be returned to those that put it in. A voluntary "drain" on the economy, but also the means of currency distribution.

 

RTS elements would be incorporated to blend the success/failures of PvP and PvE together.

 

PvE "cities", be they NPC or PC developed, would grow through investment into their infrastructure. The better the PvE cities the more production they provide towards the benefit of the domain. The availability of NPC guards/battalions/armies to help defend PvP keeps would be dependent upon the success of these PvE cities. The bigger they grow, the more population they have, the more NPCs they provide for the domain to fight. There will be a minimum level of NPC strength so if PvE cities are neglected there would still be some force defending the domain's keeps. Thus the incentive would be for PvE success to make PvP forces stronger/more plentiful.

 

End vision would be for keeps to have "barracks" of which NPC forces can be stationed. As keeps upgrade the space in the barracks increases for a larger defense force. The controlling commander of the keep would be responsible for commanding these NPCs and player guilds that claim the keep will be able to command this commander, thus controlling NPC forces to defend the structure. "Archers to the walls!" "Soldiers, get in formation, we crash the gates!"

 

Ideally, open field NPC battle units would be able to be organized and commanded by players to increase the size of battles to epic proportions. Players, through domain standing, would be able to have personal vassals/soldiers to command. They could in turn place these soldiers under the command of their superior or command within the higher structure, all depends on how much control the player wants/the commander wants to give his subordinates.

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

1/01/13 11:43:48 PM#4

Cal...

 

Some intersting ideas there.  Let me share a few things I've learned in trying to create an MMO economy over the last 9 years.

First, it's hard for me to picture your idea at work.

Perhaps you could answer a few questions....

Where does new money come from?

What mechinisim brings new money into the game?

Is there something in the game that only the game currency will buy that players MUSt purchase?

How does this system prevent the ratio of the amount of money relative to goods from getting out of whack?

 

Remember the value of money in a game system comes from one place and one place only.....

What it can buy.

At the end of the day money is a tool for developers to create incentives that encourage fun gameplay.  That is, if money will buy an item that a player wants, then the aquisition of that money must take place within activities that are fun.

 

I played DAoC for 5 years and was one of the most well known in my server/ realm (Bors/  Hybirnia).  It was my experince that players rarely cared about events that effected the realm unless their was something in it for them.

I'll leave it at that and wait for you to respond.

 

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  Cleffy

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5467

1/02/13 1:55:22 AM#5
Honestly, there is no way such an economy could exist in either the real world or a fictional world because it completely ignores the individual and pushes focus on the good of the realm.  On MMORPGs the key thing to remember is that it is a game so its meant to be fun.  Its not very fun contributing to someone elses cause.
  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  1/02/13 9:16:35 PM#6
Originally posted by Talinguard

Cal...

 

Some intersting ideas there.  Let me share a few things I've learned in trying to create an MMO economy over the last 9 years.

First, it's hard for me to picture your idea at work.

Perhaps you could answer a few questions....

Where does new money come from?

What mechinisim brings new money into the game?

Is there something in the game that only the game currency will buy that players MUSt purchase?

How does this system prevent the ratio of the amount of money relative to goods from getting out of whack?

 

Remember the value of money in a game system comes from one place and one place only.....

What it can buy.

At the end of the day money is a tool for developers to create incentives that encourage fun gameplay.  That is, if money will buy an item that a player wants, then the aquisition of that money must take place within activities that are fun.

 

I played DAoC for 5 years and was one of the most well known in my server/ realm (Bors/  Hybirnia).  It was my experince that players rarely cared about events that effected the realm unless their was something in it for them.

I'll leave it at that and wait for you to respond.

 

Realm NPC governments would be the source/creators of realm currency.

 

Realm currency would be distributed via NPC bankers. Players would be able to collect their realm currency from bankers upon earning it. The frequence of claim would not be instantaneous. Would it be once each in-game week? Once each RL day? The intervals is yet to be determined, balance and all.

 

Players would contribute to their realm through a variety of activities; donation of goods(items/resources/etc), PvP, PvE, etc. Each player's contribution would be rewarded with realm currency. The rate of return would be determined by a variety of variables. One variable would be the wealth of the realm. The more wealth a realm has above it's expenditures, the more players can potentially receive. The rate of return could be adjusted behind the scenes for a variety of reasons to influence the economy and potentially even realm population. For instance, if you earn more for your efforts on a low pop realm/server you may be more inclined to play there.

 

Tangent:

This is just a bridged thought with potential behind it, just off the top of my head. The more lands your realm controls the more expenditures your realm will face so a balance of land control and realm wealth may need to be struck. This would prevent one realm from controlling too much land for too long a time as it would deteriorate their economy if they don't have the playerbase to support it. A difficult branch of thought, but it has potential to be good or bad.

 

There would be a variety of uses for realm currency. Certain NPCs will offer services in trade for goods or realm currency.

Want to stable your horse? That isn't free.

Want to upgrade a keep? That isn't free(granted, it would be a guild expense, realm currency none the less).

Want to hire NPC vendors? Realm currency. They can either be paid or they can be paid out of their earnings else they will quite and drop your goods. Pay your help!

Want to own a home? There would be an expense as well, especially if you plan to own property within a city.

Purchasing from vendors would require realm currency.

Plenty more uses, but this should be enough to get the point across.

 

Balance of realm currency entering the game can be adjusted behind the scenes as needed. Is an economy becoming super inflated? The rate of realm currency generation would decrease. It would never dip below certain minimums to ensure new players can still earn some realm currency, but joining a dominate side is less desirable in this case.

 

Goods will decay through use/time. There is potential to have expiration dates on perishable goods(food/etc), though the rate would be at unrealistic rates. It wouldn't be "eat that apple before the end of the day or it rots", but you couldn't  just have a stash of 100 apples sitting around forever. This would keep a constant demand for perishable goods that players would want/need/donate. They would spoil eventually. If goods become below valuable levels they could be donated to your realm. The less useful the items/the greater abundance donated, the less contribution received, but it would be contribution none the less.

 

 

As for the structure of the gameworld/play I am currently envisioning a large central neutral PvP area. From here, there would be three branches from the middle. These branches would have a neutral segment where by two of the three realms connect. 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 1. It would be as if the realms are bordering eachother and they are connected via these neutral areas. Borders would be disputed and opposing realms could invade deeper and deeper into their enemies' lands, but there would be a point of no return. Currently I have established three layers of "frontier territory". The furthest out that connects to neutral areas would be the typical frontier, open to all realms with keeps to defend. Then there would be "border gates/walls" of which can be attacked and invaded through concentrated effort. There would be a PvE only portion of the game world for each realm.

 

Gotta run, sorry about the jumble, at work and wanted to get a response out to continue the discussion. I will clarify any concerns later. Thanks.

  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  1/02/13 10:05:04 PM#7
Originally posted by Cleffy
Honestly, there is no way such an economy could exist in either the real world or a fictional world because it completely ignores the individual and pushes focus on the good of the realm.  On MMORPGs the key thing to remember is that it is a game so its meant to be fun.  Its not very fun contributing to someone elses cause.

Each person would still have individual gain. You aren't limited to "doing it for the realm", but the better your realm does the better you do.

 

In a realm versus realm game players need to care about their realm. There will certainly be those that just operate for their own gain, but players that decide to play "for their realm" should not be punished, they should be rewarded.

 

Society as a whole is dysfunctional and based on that fact you can't discredit other ideas. Ethnocentrism. See beyond the limitations of your own society and see what possibilities there COULD be. This is based on fantasy because humans, without control, are too ignorant to do what is best for the greater good the majority of the time. Just look at American politics, specifically Congress at this time, and you can see the flaws of mankind. Developers should be able to work within the contraints of the flaws to create a "better" world.

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

1/03/13 9:56:57 AM#8

While you read my comments, understand that I'm trying to be helpful, not tell you your ideas won't work.  I doubt there are many on this forum that have studied MMO economics more then I have and I'd like to think that I have developed a decent understanding over time.

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Realm currency would be distributed via NPC bankers. Players would be able to collect their realm currency from bankers upon earning it. The frequence of claim would not be instantaneous. Would it be once each in-game week? Once each RL day? The intervals is yet to be determined, balance and all.

 

Ok so this is an earn-by-doing system.  The first problem I see with that is that it does not address (or at least explain) the inevitable problem of inflation (after reading I see some ideas, but I still see problems).  If I work on the assumption that your idea is fun to play, then players will do whatever activities they have to do to earn money.  At some point you're going to have one of two problems.  Too much money not enough goods (inflation), or the opposite, to many goods, not enough money (deflation) assuming that you have player made items.  Most earn-by-doing systems have the problem of inflation because the amount of money in the game is infinite, that is, there is no cap on the amount of money in circulation.

If NPC's sell most/ all of the items, it would seem that price is the only limiting factor and creates other problems.  Namely those players will concentrate on the activities that earn the highest amount of realm currency over time.  This can potentially leave a lot of game content un touched, though there are lots of ways to deal with this.

Before you answer with a way to cap the amount of currency in the system, tread carefully.  Money must ALWAYS be available to earn.  If you cut off the source of new money or slow it down to much players will revolt.  There must be a way that players can earn money in the system in a way that keeps it fun and that players want to participate in.

You’re also going to have a huge problem with hording.  A minority of players will attempt to hoard a majority of goods.  Your goal is to keep the total amount of currency in the game in proportion to goods, yet 80% of the players won’t have enough money to buy items from other players because the bottom 20% has horded 80% of the money and goods.  They can and will use their money and resources to drive prices up and increase their efficiency in combat and resource production (thus pulling even farther ahead of newer more casual players).  If you react to inflation by cutting off the money supply, the bottom 80%, i.e. your player base, will suffer.

  Conversely, if items are purchased from NPC's, prices that are affordable to the bottom 80% will be cheap to the top 20% who will use their resources to buy everything they need and out compete the bottom 80%.  In other words, you will end up with a population of elite players who will use their resources to buy the best items and use those items to make proportionally more money or out compete other players in PvP.  This of course assumes that items have an effect on combat efficiency.  Not as big a problem if it's a PvE only system, but if there is PvP players will complain.

You could go the "WoW" route and create tons of artificial rules to control all the variables, but then, we already have a game like that.  It's called WoW...lol  

 Players would contribute to their realm through a variety of activities; donation of goods(items/resources/etc), PvP, PvE, etc. Each player's contribution would be rewarded with realm currency. The rate of return would be determined by a variety of variables. One variable would be the wealth of the realm. The more wealth a realm has above it's expenditures, the more players can potentially receive. The rate of return could be adjusted behind the scenes for a variety of reasons to influence the economy and potentially even realm population. For instance, if you earn more for your efforts on a low pop realm/server you may be more inclined to play there.

(Cut and pasted from your reply toTangent)

Balance of realm currency entering the game can be adjusted behind the scenes as needed. Is an economy becoming super inflated? The rate of realm currency generation would decrease. It would never dip below certain minimums to ensure new players can still earn some realm currency, but joining a dominate side is less desirable in this case.

 Ok so it would seem this is a partial answer to my question above, but this creates another problem.  How do you remove money from the world?  Once currency enters circulation the only way to remove it is when players spend it back to NPC's.   Decay will help, but if you try to make a decay system that offsets new money coming into the world the decay rate will be WAY too high and players won't like it (they’ll hate it).  Players dislike decay in general, but under the right circumstances I think it can be done.  Simply cutting back on currency generation as a way to deal with inflation doesn't solve the problem as the money in the economy is now just changing hands so in the aggregate your still rising the money supply relative to goods.

If you decide that players must purchase items from NPC's, thus creating the drain how do you determine the cost of a given item?  As is the case with decay, if you raise prices high enough to be an effective drain some players will see the prices as too high leading to frustration, and yet other players will be able to pay to easily with those in the middle finding it just right.

If you have player crafters competing with NPC's for the same goods, then players will buy from the one that sells for less (players or NPC's), though traditionally players won't ask more for an item then an NPC sells it for (price ceiling).  They also won't sell for less than they could sell an item to an NPC (price floor).  This creates a whole new set of problems because the price level, that is the amount of currency a player is willing to spend for a given item, will rise over time as more currency comes into the world. 

Of course there will be, I presume, items that players can make that come only from players.  These items can be the most difficult to control because it depends on a lot of variables.

If you’re thinking about raising NPC prices artificially, that creates a problem for new or casual players who need more time to become efficient.  If a new player starts your game late and a sword that sold for 20gp early on now sells for 50gp, it will take those players longer to reach the same goals.

See the problem?

As you attempt to make rules to confine players, they will exploit multiples characters and multiple accounts.  Keep that in mind as you plan out how to keep players in line.

Next question is, if you vary the return of time spent to money earned in order to prevent inflation/ deflation, how do you decide how much money should be in game?  In other words, what is your criteria for expanding/ limiting the money supply?

Remember how hording will affect the money supply.  What you really need to determine is how much money is changing hands.

if players can horde items they can turn in for currency, a small change in the reward system could cause a larger than expected influx of money as players collectively wait for rewards to increase and dump them all at once.

 

Ok gotta run..Chew on that

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  1/03/13 1:38:03 PM#9

Next question is, if you vary the return of time spent to money earned in order to prevent inflation/ deflation, how do you decide how much money should be in game?  In other words, what is your criteria for expanding/ limiting the money supply?

To some degree inflation is inevitable in an earn-by-doing economy. Doing is limited only by the players because I don't want to limit what players can do. Players will have other rewards besides currency for playing the game though with plenty of opportunities to spend it. The more currency a player has the less inclined they will be to do activities that generate currency. The key is to provide activities that they enjoy that don't have currency as the purpose for doing it. RvR won't be a primary source of currency earnings, but you will gain standing, like Dark Age of Camelot's Realm Rank system as well as the opportunity to gain collectible items that can only be obtained through PvP prowess, and then sold to other players if they so choose.

 

When currency is used, for instance to pay a hired vendor, a large portion of that currency returns to the economy to be redispersed by the government, but a small portion is removed from the game entirely to accomodate for the needs of the NPC, personal NPC savings you could say.

 

Important notes:

NPCs won't sell anything outside of new-player gear that is purchased using new-player tokens. NPCs may have other non-item uses, but for purely buying/selling, they won't be a factor. The only form of "buying" is by players donating goods or trading goods for services. For the case of the stableman seeking a fee, you could pay in currency to stable a pet or you could pay in goods that the stableman would value. If you have stuff that would help operate their business they will exchange service for goods, not just currency. The limitations of the items they seek would be the challenge for players. They would have to acquire these goods via effort, currency, or bartering.

Gear will not be super powerful like World of Warcraft. It would be more on par with earlier Ultima Online. Certain resources provide different benefits when crafting which is where the variance of power and value would be obtained. Gear would break through use. I believe that full loot PvP would be detrimental to participation in a Realm vs Realm game, but you won't be able to get "Epic Armor" and other gear that lasts indefinite periods of time. The rate of item decay would be faster than that of Dark Age of Camelot. Also, as the power curve of gear would be lessened players would be able to compete in low quality gear rather than needing the best of the best just to play.

There won't be a currency cap. There would be a minimum rate of return for contributions to ensure players would still be able to earn currency through participation, but they can also earn currency through trading. There will be many other things of value outside of currency. Some activities will reward no contribution points at all, but you will be doing them for other reasons. Mining, easy.. resources. Those resources could be in turn sold/donated towards earning currency though.

 

Players will be the primary creators of items. The aim would be to have a system of "collectibles" similar to that of Ultima Online to provide items of value outside of currency.

 

Goods can always be donated, no matter how common an item is. There would be an initial level of X item donated returns Y contribution points. Y would have a cap, Max Y(the default initial value applied by the game), which would only be able to go down or rise back up to MaxY. Say the economy is established to need 10,000 iron ingots. The first 10,000 iron ingots donated would receive MaxY, while the more iron ingots donated exceeding the initial desired 10,000 the less contribution points returned. There would always be contribution points earned, but Y would go down the more abundantly the good is donated. Thus if an item is so common it possesses no value, it would always be able to be donated.

 

 

Hording goods won't really serve a purpose. As the MaxY value is established you can't receive excessive gains from holding on to goods for a prolonged period of time as more can always be produced. The collectibles will be what ends up getting horded and they serve no purpose other than ornamental. Values will be placed upon these goods as they can be traded, but they won't provide any elevated benefit in combat. Ensuring that players can acquire meaningful bartering goods will ensure they don't get left out in the cold due to lack of currency. If currency is harder to come by players will have a hard time getting the high end luxuries of the world, but unfortunately that is something that as of yet can't be avoided. Those with currency will have plenty of reasons to spend it and you can only store so many goods. You can, like UO, have larger homes that allow more storage, but they will cost more to upkeep and thus provide a greater drain on the wealthy.

 

A high end method of removing currency from the game would be to establish "charitable causes" similar to Ultima Online's Zoo, Library, and any other number of options. The reward for donating would be gaining collectibles that would be otherwise unavailable. These collectibles, again, won't impact combat thus they won't alter the balance.

 

So many different aspects to hit on and I think I hit most of them and then some. I accept that inflation is inevitable, but the key is to provide goals outside of money earnings for players to play for. Being rich isn't everything, but it is still a style of play that will be available. Players should always be able to barter to acquire what they need as long as they put forth some form of effort. Hell, even begging may be an option.

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

1/14/13 2:37:16 PM#10

You

Me

 

To some degree inflation is inevitable in an earn-by-doing economy.

Yes the question is, to what extent inflation can ruin a game because players abandon it's currency.  I didn't see an answer to the question I asked, which was, how is currency, whatever form it takes, introduced into the world.  In DAoC you killed a mob and it dropped coin or an item that could be sold for coin to an NPC, or you did a task and received a reward.  That is where all "virgin" currency comes from.

What mechanisms if any will you have to control the money supply?

Doing is limited only by the players because I don't want to limit what players can do.

Players in the aggregate will attempt to unbalance your system, your job as designer is to make sure there are systems in place that maintain the balance.  "Limiting" players doesn't mean the game won't be fun, to the contrary, it is overcoming limits that makes the game worth playing. 

Players will have other rewards besides currency

What other rewards, be specific, I have no idea what your talking about. 

The more currency a player has the less inclined they will be to do activities that generate currency.

Yes, this is called INFLATION.  Increased currency relative to the amount/ need for goods.  Your job is to make sure that there is something in the world that players need to spend their money on.

The key is to provide activities that they enjoy that don't have currency as the purpose for doing it.

Why?  Because you can't think of a way to integrate currency to overcome the inflation problem?

RvR won't be a primary source of currency earnings, but you will gain standing, like Dark Age of Camelot's Realm Rank system as well as the opportunity to gain collectible items that can only be obtained through PvP prowess, and then sold to other players if they so choose.

Don't fool yourself.  Realm Points in DAoC were just another form a currency that players could spend to earn abilities.  the difference is that the player "earned" and "spent" those points from and back to the game.  Other players could not effect this dynamic (Players couldn’t take realm points away from other players).  It's a reward only system.  This means that no matter how bad you are as a player, eventually you will succeed, as a result it is the period that players are working toward the games max level that it's the most fun.  Once most of the players reach top level, many move on looking for the next game.

Having said that, PvP may not be a SOURCE of revenue, but it is the primary cause for the need for it.  You need money to outfit your character.  Which means, if you played DAoC and remember, tons of PvE followed by some RvR, until an expansion came out, introduced new more powerful weapons, which meant back to the PvE grind....

This dynamic needs to end, there are too many games based on it, IMO.

Now of course there is WoW where there are several currencies earned in different kinds of game play.  This is a system that limits players, and is very artificial, but has become a success in the way they have done it.  I hate it, but they've made it work.

When currency is used, for instance to pay a hired vendor, a large portion of that currency returns to the economy to be redispersed by the government, but a small portion is removed from the game entirely to accomodate for the needs of the NPC, personal NPC savings you could say.

Removing currency is fine, but I'll repeat earlier questions;

How is it "dispersed"?

How do you decide how much to remove?

 Important notes:

NPCs won't sell anything outside of new-player gear that is purchased using new-player tokens. NPCs may have other non-item uses, but for purely buying/selling, they won't be a factor. The only form of "buying" is by players donating goods or trading goods for services.

Here you make it sound like there is no "currency", in the form of coin?

What you call donating is just barter economy (assuming there is no coin-of-the-realm)

So what do monsters drop?  What kinds of rewards can you receive for doing quests?

What kinds of services could a player trade for items?  

Remember that, at the foundation, really all players are trading is their time (player not to be confused with the players charachter).  How much time did it take to earn the coin you have in your possesion?

In the case of (what I understand from what you've written) your concept, how much time did it take to earn the goods or provide the services?  

Players feel successful when it takes them less time to achieve success relative to other players.

or the case of the stableman seeking a fee, you could pay in currency to stable a pet or you could pay in goods that the stableman would value.

Goods?  So how many of the goods can a character carry?  What if the stableman values horses, how many horses can you carry?  Why not just eject this idea of "goods" as money and just allow players to sell goods to NPC's and use the money at the stableman?  What problem have you solved introducing "goods" as a form of currency?

If you have stuff that would help operate their business they will exchange service for goods, not just currency. The limitations of the items they seek would be the challenge for players. They would have to acquire these goods via effort, currency, or bartering.

With all due respect, it sounds complex....

I loved DAoC RvR and hated PvE.  I wanted to PvE like I wanted to drive toothpicks under my fingernails.  Having said that, I liked the world better that other players liked to do that.  But as a PvP'er there was no way for me to earn a living in the world, that is, earn cash, without PvE so I begrudgingly participated, but only long enough to earn the money I needed to buy the items I felt I needed to be competitive in PvP.

Gear will not be super powerful like World of Warcraft. It would be more on par with earlier Ultima Online. Certain resources provide different benefits when crafting which is where the variance of power and value would be obtained. Gear would break through use. I believe that full loot PvP would be detrimental to participation in a Realm vs Realm game, but you won't be able to get "Epic Armor" and other gear that lasts indefinite periods of time. The rate of item decay would be faster than that of Dark Age of Camelot. Also, as the power curve of gear would be lessened players would be able to compete in low quality gear rather than needing the best of the best just to play.

First, I agree that items provide to much power in most games and this is done to ensure that the aspect of the game the Dev's have the most control over keeps players busy trying to get somewhere they don't want players to go, the end game.  Most games have a crappy end game.....

Having said that, how to players in your world differentiate themselves from other players?  How much does time spent in your game effect it?

There won't be a currency cap. There would be a minimum rate of return for contributions to ensure players would still be able to earn currency through participation, but they can also earn currency through trading.

There will be many other things of value outside of currency. Some activities will reward no contribution points at all, but you will be doing them for other reasons. Mining, easy.. resources. Those resources could be in turn sold/donated towards earning currency though.

Stepping back for just a second.....

Ask yourself, where does any item (an item being anything that a player can place into inventory) in game get its value?

It's value comes simply from what it can do for a player, period.  In most cases items are valued because they lead to or directly provide increased efficientcy through increased power.  There are two basic kinds of items.  Finished usable items and raw materials.  A player views them both the same way.  So you can say that players can do activities that don't earn contribution points/ money...Whatever...The point is that players will do things that increase their chance of success or things that will project that success to others (see below).... If mining ore can be sold to an NPC or player, it's just another form of currency.

Projecting success is about acquiring items in game that have little if any use in PvP or PvE, but are usually recognized as rare and difficult to obtain..  Rare armor and weapon dye's and effects are great examples.

In the end, don't fool yourself, just because I mine ore doesn't mean I don't think about it just like I do money.  As long as there is a place to sell it, that's exactly what it becomes in the economy.

 Players will be the primary creators of items. The aim would be to have a system of "collectibles" similar to that of Ultima Online to provide items of value outside of currency.

So how do players make items, where do the raw mats come from?  How do players trade amoungst themselves?  Currency?

 Goods can always be donated, no matter how common an item is. There would be an initial level of X item donated returns Y contribution points. Y would have a cap, Max Y(the default initial value applied by the game), which would only be able to go down or rise back up to MaxY. Say the economy is established to need 10,000 iron ingots. The first 10,000 iron ingots donated would receive MaxY, while the more iron ingots donated exceeding the initial desired 10,000 the less contribution points returned. There would always be contribution points earned, but Y would go down the more abundantly the good is donated. Thus if an item is so common it possesses no value, it would always be able to be donated.

Hard to comment since I don't know what other functions iron has within the game, but the player market seems the best place to buy and sell raw mats.

 Hording goods won't really serve a purpose. As the MaxY value is established you can't receive excessive gains from holding on to goods for a prolonged period of time as more can always be produced.

Producing takes time, thus a player that hoards items won't have to spend their time (remember time is currency).  Or they can sell their horded items to other players saving them time.  What is time worth?  It's all relative but I can tell you, in the case of any item in demand that takes time to earn, it's worth something.  

I think you've completely underestimated hording.  You keep going back and forth between turing things into the game and players trading among one another and I have to admit, I'm confused.

The collectibles will be what ends up getting horded and they serve no purpose other than ornamental. Values will be placed upon these goods as they can be traded, but they won't provide any elevated benefit in combat.

What about items that can provide benefits in combat, can they be horded?  Take healing potions for instance?

Ensuring that players can acquire meaningful bartering goods will ensure they don't get left out in the cold due to lack of currency.

Bartering will always run into the "Coincidence of wants" problem.  There is a reason 99.9% of MMO's don't use barter economies.  They take to much time (remember that time is the players currency) and players get frustrated.  All one has to do is remember early Everquest.

If currency is harder to come by players will have a hard time getting the high end luxuries of the world, but unfortunately that is something that as of yet can't be avoided. Those with currency will have plenty of reasons to spend it and you can only store so many goods. You can, like UO, have larger homes that allow more storage, but they will cost more to upkeep and thus provide a greater drain on the wealthy.

The wealthy use their resources to increase their efficiency and opportunity, which leads to greater efficiency and opportunity, rinse repeat.  Is there any way to break this cycle?

 A high end method of removing currency from the game would be to establish "charitable causes" similar to Ultima Online's Zoo, Library, and any other number of options. The reward for donating would be gaining collectibles that would be otherwise unavailable. These collectibles, again, won't impact combat thus they won't alter the balance.

So if they don't alter combat, besides potentially projecing success, why would players want to keep collecting them?

 So many different aspects to hit on and I think I hit most of them and then some. I accept that inflation is inevitable, but the key is to provide goals outside of money earnings for players to play for. Being rich isn't everything, but it is still a style of play that will be available. Players should always be able to barter to acquire what they need as long as they put forth some form of effort. Hell, even begging may be an option.

Hope I didn't come across harsh...I didn't sugar coat and gave an honest assessment.  I think you have some good ideas, but it needs some more thought.  Keep it coming!

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  Caldenfor

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 133

 
OP  1/24/13 9:34:00 AM#11

Taking far too long to get back to you on this, so I will just fill in one of the major holes(and then some, got sucked in) for now:

 

Currency, as in the government's monetary system (coins and possibly checks(like UO), all originates from the government. Any currency a player acquires is through earning it from the government or by trading with other players. One faucet for currency entering the game. The rate at which government "creates" new money is dependent on the player as well as factors that can be adjusted(rates of return for action performed). Money that is paid OUT of the economy reenters this supply system so they are actually handing out existing currency rather than creating new out of thin air.

 

The rate of currency creation will be aimed to be as low as reasonably acceptable. It isn't a game of wealth, but currency will always have value dependent upon the player. Non-collectors may deem money less valuable, but they will actually benefit as they could still acquire the goods/services they need without being hindered from not being "rich", as all there money goes to more immediate needs, not possessions.

Limits are necessary. Control is necessary. It is unfortunate, but even today with all the controls established in society, people still exploit them. Limiting the exploitation possibilities will be critical, but as all currency comes from one source, NPC government, the introduction of currency should be able to be monitored more easily.

 

Outside of currency players will probably want to try and own a home, collect gear so the player could be more dynamic(slightly of course), increase their standing in PvP, increase their standing in PvE society, build rares collections, and amongst many other things, bug other players. I also hope that players, once they collect enough wealth, will replace generic quests/tasks created by developers. Don't want to go hunt for 10 pieces of golem clay? Pay another player to do it for you. Much like Doc from Cannery Row paying community members for assistance collecting needed materials for his clients/self. Providing the activities for players to partake in is the challenge, but limiting the feeling of "I need to earn money or the activity becomes worthless", so players can enjoy doing this activities without feeling as they are being left behind/wasting their time.

Money =/= everything.

 

The issue with DAoC is they become entirely too gear focused. Players attaining RR5, capping their stats, maxing out their suits via spellcrafting. A reliance on gear is what forces the money grind to participate. If you lower the power curve of gear, and of character power, you will allow competition without requiring heavy investments in PvE to participate. Building up your character skills will always be of value, but with lower character power the maximizing of skills before PvPing should not be a requirement, only a perk.

 

 

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

1/24/13 2:44:54 PM#12
Originally posted by Caldenfor

Currency, as in the government's monetary system (coins and possibly checks(like UO), all originates from the government.

I'll agree, but I'll make one stipulation....Currency is the developers money system, so when you say "government" you really mean "developer".

Any currency a player acquires is through earning it from the government or by trading with other players. One faucet for currency entering the game. The rate at which government "creates" new money is dependent on the player as well as factors that can be adjusted(rates of return for action performed).

This of course depends on the mechanics of your system, but I'm of the feeling that when money, which is just a representation of a players productivity stored in a universal symbol of value (the ubiquitous "coin"),  when it becomes hard to acquire, players are unable to store their efforts, their productivity.  Of course the acquisition of items can also store value, but no item is universally valued the way that money is (this is one of the innovations of my system is that I break the paridgim).  Items have value and can be bartered, but are difficult to exchange (realative to money) and cost players time (the players only intrinsic currency) and decrease efficientcy.

Money that is paid OUT of the economy reenters this supply system so they are actually handing out existing currency rather than creating new out of thin air.

 

This only makes sense in a closed economy.  Closed economies do not scale well as population grows (or shrinks).  This is why the amount of currency in my system can expand and contract based on player population and relative "skill".   The other inovation in my system is even if the "government" (read developers) stop supplying money, money will still be availible in the economy, it will just come from other players.  The velocity (circulation) of money has a HUGE influence on the success of your economy.

Remember that as a developer I want the amount of money in circulation, which is not necessarily the same as total money in the economy, to be approximately equal to the value of goods and services within that economy, whenever the balance of money/ goods and services shifts to far you will have a problem.

 

 The rate of currency creation will be aimed to be as low as reasonably acceptable. It isn't a game of wealth, but currency will always have value dependent upon the player.

 

I still don't think you're thinking about this the right way.  Money is a representation of a player’s productivity.  Wealth can be defined simply as a player’s productivity relative to other players.

No matter how hard you try, the top 20% will have about the same amount of money as the bottom 80%.  The trick is to make sure that price levels between the middle income players and top income players doesn't vary to a point that the middle income player becomes wracked with frustration as s/he can't see the path between where they are and where they’d like to be.

Non-collectors may deem money less valuable, but they will actually benefit as they could still acquire the goods/services they need without being hindered from not being "rich", as all there money goes to more immediate needs, not possessions.

Again, with all due respect, it sounds like your trying to pre-determine what players are going to want.  Allowing players to acquire goods-and-services without money, will simply lower the value coin and need for it.   Players like money because it is a store of their productivity and they want the value of that productivity maintained.  

Limits are necessary. Control is necessary. It is unfortunate, but even today with all th

e controls established in society, people still exploit them. Limiting the exploitation possibilities will be critical, but as all currency comes from one source, NPC government, the introduction of currency should be able to be monitored more easily.

 

I'd agree that money has to come from the developer.  I agree that a certain level of control is necessary.  The job of the developer is to be the unseen hand that manipulates the economy just enough to keep it from failing, but not so much that it frustrates players to the point they abandon the currency.

Exploitation is a serious issue.  It's my feeling that the goal to achieve a great game is as few developer restrictions and rules as possible.  Now, having said that, not all rules are created equal,  In some cases a single rule change can cause player to quit your game (just look at SWG NGE).  In other cases rules can be more subtle and actually enhance game play while making a game less exploitable.  Imagination is the key IMO...

 Outside of currency players will probably want to try and own a home, collect gear so the player could be more dynamic(slightly of course), increase their standing in PvP, increase their standing in PvE society, build rares collections, and amongst many other things, bug other players. I also hope that players, once they collect enough wealth, will replace generic quests/tasks created by developers. Don't want to go hunt for 10 pieces of golem clay? Pay another player to do it for you. Much like Doc from Cannery Row paying community members for assistance collecting needed materials for his clients/self. Providing the activities for players to partake in is the challenge, but limiting the feeling of "I need to earn money or the activity becomes worthless", so players can enjoy doing this activities without feeling as they are being left behind/wasting their time.

Money =/= everything.

 

All I would say here is remember that there is a difference between a player, you and I, and his digital representation or a player’s character.  In reality the only currency that you and I have to spend is time.  Our success in game is time modified by our efficiency modified by the value of what we acquire, or T x E x V.

 The issue with DAoC is they become entirely too gear focused. Players attaining RR5, capping their stats, maxing out their suits via spellcrafting. A reliance on gear is what forces the money grind to participate.

 

As a 4 year veteran of DAoC (1998-2002) I'd agree.  I'd also read between the lines of what you wrote and say I quit because I felt like I was a skilled player, but it's hard to earn respect when you have gear so powerful that no one can see the skill of the player for all the power of the gear. 

DAoC and its failures inspired me to create my system and it sounds like your trying to do the same...

If you lower the power curve of gear, and of character power, you will allow competition without requiring heavy investments in PvE to participate. Building up your character skills will always be of value, but with lower character power the maximizing of skills before PvPing should not be a requirement, only a perk. 

 

I would agree and disagree at the same item....Let me explain.

PvE should be a requirement in the world, but not everyone should have to do it.  in other words you should be able to do something else of value in the world to earn money (again just a representation of your productivity) so you can purchase what you need from players who do like PvE.  This creates a symbiotic relationship between PvE'ers and non PvE'ers.  If you read my ideas (in my sig) you'd know that crafting, PvE and PvP are all ways to be productive.  Each of the three should work on harmony with the other two.

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  Rhinotones

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/21/13
Posts: 191

Respect people who speak their mind factually and intelligently, and please, never put anyone down.

3/08/13 10:16:42 PM#13

Sorry for such a late post to this topic that ended a couple of weeks ago but I'm only now reading these forums.

I have a very simple solution to ingame inflation which I'm looking to impliment into a game design I'm currently working on. When I say simple though, the actual economic structure is very complex.

When you create your first Character he or she starts with X amount of gold (just pull a number here and say 500 gold). Creating more characters will not generate any more gold. Gold does not drop from mobs, only items and you cannot sell these items to an npc for gold. They are to be consumed, used, sold to other players, broken down to make other items or destroyed. (I'm using the term gold but you can apply this to whatever monetary system you like)

The only other way for gold to be created in game is by actually mining gold ore and selling to your faction at the fixed rate of 1 gold per ore. The game designers can easily manipulate how much gold ore (if any) they allow to seep into the market. Also, you are able to buy gold ore from the faction at a slightly inflated rate if they want to reduce some inflation.

Things such as Auction houses are taxed which goes directly to the faction itself. Quests, missions or titles generated by the factions use monies they have taken from taxed players. This concept actually allows for various factions to increase wealth though the downside may be that their players have less money. This is what makes for a very interesting community and gaming experience. The game allows for players to control certain aspects of the factions operations.

It's quite an involded concept that I haven't even begun to scratched the surface of. To go into proper detail would take quite some time and I would like to keep the finer details closer to my chest for the moment. 

Wondering what people think of this system.

Rhino.

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

3/10/13 11:04:07 AM#14
Originally posted by Rhinotones

Sorry for such a late post to this topic that ended a couple of weeks ago but I'm only now reading these forums.

No problem, the forums here are pretty slow.  I check in from time to time as I like to discuss the topic.

I've read your reply and while I can't fully grasp the entierety of your idea and I see some potential issues, I understand that you may have the answers to my objections.  The point of my questions in this reply won't be to criticize, but play more of a devils advocate.  To challenge you to explain your ideas.

The problem with complex ideas like yours (and mine if you've read my sig) is that people generally evaluate ideas like our through their experiences, most of which come though mainstream faucet-and-drain style economies.  The complex nature of economics and all of the far reaching consequenses are something that I think the average player doesn't consider.

Anyway, I'll challenge you to describe your ideas so i can understand them the way you intend....

When you create your first Character he or she starts with X amount of gold (just pull a number here and say 500 gold). Creating more characters will not generate any more gold. Gold does not drop from mobs, only items and you cannot sell these items to an npc for gold. They are to be consumed, used, sold to other players, broken down to make other items or destroyed. (I'm using the term gold but you can apply this to whatever monetary system you like)

Gold creation upon character creation, imo, can lead to problems.  You may have thought of thi, and already have a solution for my objection, but what prevents a player from creating a character, handing his 500g to another person, deleting the account and creating another charachter, rinse and repeat....?  My suggestion is that you give each player basic starting equipment, or allow them to chose from a wide varity of equipment that, in game terms worthless inside the economy.

The only other way for gold to be created in game is by actually mining gold ore and selling to your faction at the fixed rate of 1 gold per ore. The game designers can easily manipulate how much gold ore (if any) they allow to seep into the market. Also, you are able to buy gold ore from the faction at a slightly inflated rate if they want to reduce some inflation.

The creation of new money in the economy comes from mining (and possibly charachter creation).  The problem I see is when inflation sets in and you are forced to decrease the amount of gold availible.  THe quetion becomes, where to players get gold, if the ore drys up?  What if there is lots of money in the economy, it has just filtered into the hands of relativly few people.  Cutting the ore supply just empowers he people that have the most money, which in my experience is usually a minority of players.

How do you deal with the issue of hoarding?  If players can earn gold and put it in a valut that can't be touched, how does money circulate through the economy.

Remember that in an MMO, the amount of things that can be bought is finite.  What happens when players have most of what they need/ want, the value of gold for them falls.  That is, if I have most of what I want, then I'm free to spend more for the remaining items that I have.  This will be driven by the 20% who possesses 80% of the gold.  They will drive inflation, and cutting the ore supply, will impact the players that need gold the most, that is, the bottom 80%.  I'm using 80-20% but in reality it could be 70-30, or 60-40, the point is, a minority of players will control most of the money.  You need to design a way for the bottom to aquire their gold, when develpoer supplies run dry (in your case ore), from the top 20-30% in a way that is fun for everyone.

Things such as Auction houses are taxed which goes directly to the faction itself. Quests, missions or titles generated by the factions use monies they have taken from taxed players. This concept actually allows for various factions to increase wealth though the downside may be that their players have less money. This is what makes for a very interesting community and gaming experience. The game allows for players to control certain aspects of the factions operations.

THis is all a way to increase the velocity of money, which in a game economy is important, but you haven't explained enough for me to comment on it's merits.

It's quite an involded concept that I haven't even begun to scratched the surface of. To go into proper detail would take quite some time and I would like to keep the finer details closer to my chest for the moment. 

Understood.  However, I will ssay that unless you intend to design your own game from the ground up, ideas, even good ones, are a dime a dozen...  Trust me, I have lost of my own.  While I have had several indy groups message me and ask for my help, most have fizzled out or failed...

Wondering what people think of this system.

Rhino.

Looking forward to discussing.  If you'd like you can PM me and we can discuss in private.

 

I don't have time to proof as I have to run.....But I wanted to get this back to you...

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  Rhinotones

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/21/13
Posts: 191

Respect people who speak their mind factually and intelligently, and please, never put anyone down.

3/11/13 12:25:13 AM#15
 

Hail Talinguard... Challenge accepted!  ;)

 

I'll answer each of your questions seperately and may start a new post if this gets too long.

 

Gold creation upon character creation, imo, can lead to problems.  You may have thought of thi, and already have a solution for my objection, but what prevents a player from creating a character, handing his 500g to another person, deleting the account and creating another charachter, rinse and repeat....? 

As mentioned "Creating more characters will not generate any more gold". What this simply means is that ONLY your very first character EVER created in game will have an amount of gold. You can transfer gold to your other characters from your main after they have been created but they will always start with zero. So in effect each account will only have X amount of gold. You would need to purchase another copy of the game to get more. Which wouldn't be worth the cost.

I do have a second option of having players start will almost nothing which would still work in with my basic economic principals. I will go into further detail by answering the next question...

 

 

The only other way for gold to be created in game is by actually mining gold ore and selling to your faction at the fixed rate of 1 gold per ore. The game designers can easily manipulate how much gold ore (if any) they allow to seep into the market. Also, you are able to buy gold ore from the faction at a slightly inflated rate if they want to reduce some inflation.

The creation of new money in the economy comes from mining (and possibly charachter creation).  The problem I see is when inflation sets in and you are forced to decrease the amount of gold availible.  THe quetion becomes, where to players get gold, if the ore drys up?  What if there is lots of money in the economy, it has just filtered into the hands of relativly few people.  Cutting the ore supply just empowers he people that have the most money, which in my experience is usually a minority of players.

Ok, here is where I am going to get into some of the general principles of this economic structure.

Each server has a set amount gold allocated to it at the start of server launch. Lets say for example it's 10 million gold. This amount is further divided by the amount of factions. For a design I am currently working on there are 4 factions, so each faction will be allocated 2.5 million as an example. You may allocate an amount to each account as I suggested earlier as a start up sum. This will immediately create a sense of having a real economy in game. The remaining balance goes to the faction itself. Players can perform functions/tasks/quests etc for the faction to receive gold. The faction takes a slice through things like taxes (5% as an example) on a auction house or by providing services players need such as repairs.

The factions balance fluctuates with taxes coming in as well as gold rewards going out. The factions balance also directly fluctuate the functions/tasks/quests gold rewards for that given faction. Various tasks may be weighted heavier than others so that rewards will differ depending on which ones are chosen to complete. These systems keeps gold moving through the economy and recirculating it back to the players without bloating and falsely increasing the economy.

This system deals with inflation (or a lack of) but can if necessary increase inflation by injecting gold ore (or whatever system you create) into the game as per my example. It's a very controlled system and is constantly monitored. 

As per all games with an economy, the top 20% may well control 80% of the wealth after a period of time. This is to be expected and allowed as some people live to make gold in a game rather than focus on PvP, PvE, Character development etc. People that want to focus on raiding or PvP won't be that interested in wealth creation anyway.

As long as you create outlets for the players with wealth to spend some of their hard earned gold on ingame objects the gold will flow back onto the faction and therefore back to the player base for distribution. Some of these objects could be mounts, buying a ship or a farmstead. you're only limited by your imagination.

 

How do you deal with the issue of hoarding?  If players can earn gold and put it in a valut that can't be touched, how does money circulate through the economy.

I think I answered that just above by offering incentives to spend their hard earned gold on. I will just add here that there should be no facility for players to be able to give gold to other players in game. This is when you will see gold farmers by the wagon load infecting your model. If there is no way for a player to transfer gold it immediately stops the farmers.

 

Remember that in an MMO, the amount of things that can be bought is finite.  What happens when players have most of what they need/ want, the value of gold for them falls.  That is, if I have most of what I want, then I'm free to spend more for the remaining items that I have.  This will be driven by the 20% who possesses 80% of the gold.  They will drive inflation, and cutting the ore supply, will impact the players that need gold the most, that is, the bottom 80%.  I'm using 80-20% but in reality it could be 70-30, or 60-40, the point is, a minority of players will control most of the money.  You need to design a way for the bottom to aquire their gold, when develpoer supplies run dry (in your case ore), from the top 20-30% in a way that is fun for everyone.

Again I hope I have found a solution and provided it earlier in offering special incentives for players with the masses of gold to spend. Who wouldn't want to drive around in a Ferrari if hardly anyone else on the server could afford one?

 

Things such as Auction houses are taxed which goes directly to the faction itself. Quests, missions or titles generated by the factions use monies they have taken from taxed players. This concept actually allows for various factions to increase wealth though the downside may be that their players have less money. This is what makes for a very interesting community and gaming experience. The game allows for players to control certain aspects of the factions operations.

THis is all a way to increase the velocity of money, which in a game economy is important, but you haven't explained enough for me to comment on it's merits.

I'll go into detail on this in the next post :)

Rhino.

 

  Rhinotones

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/21/13
Posts: 191

Respect people who speak their mind factually and intelligently, and please, never put anyone down.

3/11/13 12:50:19 AM#16

Things such as Auction houses are taxed which goes directly to the faction itself. Quests, missions or titles generated by the factions use monies they have taken from taxed players. This concept actually allows for various factions to increase wealth though the downside may be that their players have less money. This is what makes for a very interesting community and gaming experience. The game allows for players to control certain aspects of the factions operations.

THis is all a way to increase the velocity of money, which in a game economy is important, but you haven't explained enough for me to comment on it's merits.

I will go into a little detail here on the system I am creating as a social structure but it may still come across as a little vague as I don't want to spill too much.

With having 4 factions in my model they all start evenly in an economic sense.

Characters are able to develop certain skills which have to be maintained otherwise they begin to lose these skills.

Lets say that crafting is a skill. Lets say that mining for ores is also a skill. Lets also say that being a merchant is a skill.

Within each faction there are Sub groups. You may decide to aligh yourself with the Merchant/Trade subgroup, or the Raiding subgroup or the PvP subgroup or the religious or political or crafting subgroups etc etc.

Each of these groups will have different agendas.

At the end of each month players will (if they choose) vote on which faction/s they would like to form alliances with and who they want to war with. Forming a one month alliance will open trade routes between factions alligned. Each faction has specific products (and maybe services) not available to other factions such as weapons or plants/manerials required for crafting etc. This will create a very dynamic system for trade and establishing relations (another skill yet to go into).

Each faction must be at war with at least one faction and be able to trade with at least one faction. Trading is going to become very important to some. There may be religious artifacts only available to discover if your alligned with a certain faction, PvP rewards for warring with only a certain group. So the voting is going to create a real power struggle even within factions. What we want to create is the players with the wealth spending some of their wealth to influence voting or buying votes to reach their desired results. We plan to make it so that the players with all the wealth aren't all in the merchants subgroup for example. We have good mechanisms in place to discourage this.

 

It's quite an involded concept that I haven't even begun to scratched the surface of. To go into proper detail would take quite some time and I would like to keep the finer details closer to my chest for the moment. 

Understood.  However, I will ssay that unless you intend to design your own game from the ground up, ideas, even good ones, are a dime a dozen...  Trust me, I have lost of my own.  While I have had several indy groups message me and ask for my help, most have fizzled out or failed...

 

Understood. Again I will just say that this is still a vague picture provided to what I actually have put together but I hope it looks a little clearer to you. I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have. If they require deeper answers I may decide to respond in a message.

Look forward to your critical analysis.

Rhino.

 

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

Player accomplishment is relative to the chance of meaningful consequences in the event you fail.

3/11/13 3:24:12 PM#17
Originally posted by Rhinotones
Gold creation upon character creation, imo, can lead to problems.  You may have thought of thi, and already have a solution for my objection, but what prevents a player from creating a character, handing his 500g to another person, deleting the account and creating another charachter, rinse and repeat....? 

As mentioned "Creating more characters will not generate any more gold". What this simply means is that ONLY your very first character EVER created in game will have an amount of gold. You can transfer gold to your other characters from your main after they have been created but they will always start with zero. So in effect each account will only have X amount of gold. You would need to purchase another copy of the game to get more. Which wouldn't be worth the cost.

I do have a second option of having players start will almost nothing which would still work in with my basic economic principals. I will go into further detail by answering the next question...

Note, I said "deleting the account" not "creating a new charachter".  

You mention later that you would prevent all trades between players?  If I read that correctly, I'm afraid your going to find that players will hate it.  Period.  Shop that idea around, I promise it will be met with hatred.

If I read that wrong, and you will allow trade, my original obgection still stands.  What prevents a person from creating an account, taking the 500g, giving it away, deleting the account and signing up again.  You can't prevent a person from signing up multiple times from the same IP.  Sometimes 10's or hundreds of people can appear as the same IP (collage dorm for instance).  You can't prevent based on a name, lots of people have the same name, nor can you based on a credit card.  It's easy enough to use a Visa gift card use and toss, or people like me have 6-7 cards...  Some times there are going to be ligit reasons for leaving and comming back...>Sounds like a lot of trouble.

Starting the economy off is, ill admit, in a world without money drops from mobs, a hard proposition, but I encorage you to look at other alternitives.

 The only other way for gold to be created in game is by actually mining gold ore and selling to your faction at the fixed rate of 1 gold per ore. The game designers can easily manipulate how much gold ore (if any) they allow to seep into the market. Also, you are able to buy gold ore from the faction at a slightly inflated rate if they want to reduce some inflation.

The creation of new money in the economy comes from mining (and possibly charachter creation).  The problem I see is when inflation sets in and you are forced to decrease the amount of gold availible.  THe quetion becomes, where to players get gold, if the ore drys up?  What if there is lots of money in the economy, it has just filtered into the hands of relativly few people.  Cutting the ore supply just empowers he people that have the most money, which in my experience is usually a minority of players.

Ok, here is where I am going to get into some of the general principles of this economic structure.

Each server has a set amount gold allocated to it at the start of server launch. Lets say for example it's 10 million gold. This amount is further divided by the amount of factions. For a design I am currently working on there are 4 factions, so each faction will be allocated 2.5 million as an example.

I realize that you may just be picking numbers out of thin air, but what your talking about is some sort of hybrid economy.  It is neither sink-source, or closed.  We're in agreement that the hybrid model is best, but I'm not sure I can agree with the way you've explained it.  if you dump a fixed number into the economy on day one, there will be a LOT more money then products to buy with it.  This is the halmark of inflation, that is too much money, too little product.

I recomend a better way to intruduce new money into the economy that scales with player population.

You may allocate an amount to each account as I suggested earlier as a start up sum. This will immediately create a sense of having a real economy in game. 

How exactly?

"Gold" is just a digital representation of a unit of currency.  It is not intrinsically valueable.  My question to you is, what makes "gold" in your idea valueable?

Where do you beleive the value of money in a game comes from?

The remaining balance goes to the faction itself. Players can perform functions/tasks/quests etc for the faction to receive gold. The faction takes a slice through things like taxes (5% as an example) on a auction house or by providing services players need such as repairs.

They can perform quests that pay gold?  Where does the gold come from?  The game or faction?

Factions provide services?  Can players also provide these services?  If so then players will undercut the faction pricing, if not, players will ask, why can't we provide those services?

I see some potential issues here, but again, I'll admit there is much I can't "see".

The factions balance fluctuates with taxes coming in as well as gold rewards going out. The factions balance also directly fluctuate the functions/tasks/quests gold rewards for that given faction. Various tasks may be weighted heavier than others so that rewards will differ depending on which ones are chosen to complete. These systems keeps gold moving through the economy and recirculating it back to the players without bloating and falsely increasing the economy.

By the way, generally speaking players hate taxes.  They always effect poor players more then wealthy ones.  Unless you adopt some sort of progressive tax, which again will be hated.  I suggest you disguise your tax as something that players don't imedeatly identify as a tax.  Take the word tax out of your vocabulary....lol

This system deals with inflation (or a lack of) but can if necessary increase inflation by injecting gold ore (or whatever system you create) into the game as per my example. It's a very controlled system and is constantly monitored. 

Adding money into the economy as you've suggested only makes inflation (too much money too little to spend it on) worse.  The way to deal with inflation is to remove money or increase the amount of goods (goods that are in demand) relative to the amount of money.

As per all games with an economy, the top 20% may well control 80% of the wealth after a period of time. This is to be expected and allowed as some people live to make gold in a game rather than focus on PvP, PvE, Character development etc. People that want to focus on raiding or PvP won't be that interested in wealth creation anyway.

No one "lives to make gold" (generally speaking).  They make gold to buy things that will give them an advantage over other players.  Once they have most of what they need, they will hoard it until they find something they want.  If/ when something they want comes availible, they will have the money to pay outragious prices for it, because they have lots of money.  This will inflate the prices of items.

The challege every game faces is how to keep money in the game valuable.  Most deal with it by constanly creating an endless supply of new items (read: goods) for players to chase after, the carrot-and-stick effect.  I've seen anough of that to last me a lifetime and I think a lot of other people have as well.  So my question is, how can you maintain the value of money without simply creating sinks where the players simply pay fees for stuff in an endless grind....

As long as you create outlets for the players with wealth to spend some of their hard earned gold on ingame objects the gold will flow back onto the faction and therefore back to the player base for distribution. Some of these objects could be mounts, buying a ship or a farmstead. you're only limited by your imagination.

Agreed, but saying it and doing it are two very different things and I'd say that it's a lot harder then most people think.

 

How do you deal with the issue of hoarding?  If players can earn gold and put it in a valut that can't be touched, how does money circulate through the economy.

I think I answered that just above by offering incentives to spend their hard earned gold on. I will just add here that there should be no facility for players to be able to give gold to other players in game. This is when you will see gold farmers by the wagon load infecting your model. If there is no way for a player to transfer gold it immediately stops the farmers.

Again, this idea is doomed to fail.  Players will hate it.

Now you mention the giving of money is not allowed, so then the question becomes, can players give items?  Items are just another form of money.

One thing you should know, is that farmers don't deal in coins (do some research), they deal primarly in items which they sell on player markets, which in some sense is good as it increases the velocity of money, but in another is bad players hate the whole concept of farming....

Farmers will of course be the biggest offenders and will hoard tons of goods and coin...

Remember that in an MMO, the amount of things that can be bought is finite.  What happens when players have most of what they need/ want, the value of gold for them falls.  That is, if I have most of what I want, then I'm free to spend more for the remaining items that I have.  This will be driven by the 20% who possesses 80% of the gold.  They will drive inflation, and cutting the ore supply, will impact the players that need gold the most, that is, the bottom 80%.  I'm using 80-20% but in reality it could be 70-30, or 60-40, the point is, a minority of players will control most of the money.  You need to design a way for the bottom to aquire their gold, when develpoer supplies run dry (in your case ore), from the top 20-30% in a way that is fun for everyone.

Again I hope I have found a solution and provided it earlier in offering special incentives for players with the masses of gold to spend. Who wouldn't want to drive around in a Ferrari if hardly anyone else on the server could afford one?

Agreed, but how many Ferrari's can you make?

Special items that are more about social status are, imo, grossly utilized....They are a great way to control excessive income without effecting combat between players....

 Things such as Auction houses are taxed which goes directly to the faction itself. Quests, missions or titles generated by the factions use monies they have taken from taxed players. This concept actually allows for various factions to increase wealth though the downside may be that their players have less money. This is what makes for a very interesting community and gaming experience. The game allows for players to control certain aspects of the factions operations.

I'm curious, have you read my concept?  They sound similar in ways and I think your going in the right direction.  I see a few probs or I just don't understand your idea as a whole.

 

Again, I apologise for the bad spelling last time, and same this time.  I'm ion a rush and cant proof correctly....

 

If you want to take this offline, PM me and Ill send you an email address....

-Cheers

Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10