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Economics  » Where should the Money come from in a complete sandbox???

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38 posts found
  TheeLord

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/06
Posts: 81

 
OP  12/27/11 9:34:48 PM#21
Originally posted by Deolus

After re-reading from pg1 (instead of pg2) :)

Each faction is composed of a number of players. therefore the faction must recieve funding from its members.

So, how does its members make money?

a) through taxation? based on what though? Depends on what they can 'own' in the game I guess.

b) through achievments? faction gets gold from number of player kills or territory gains?

c) feel free to add...

 

They will make money from taxes if they choose to do that..  Either that or they will need to ask their members for donations or just do not engage in any "public works" and let the players build everything in the faction's territory.

A faction will be able to levy a tax on mission income (missions are all created by the players also)

Factions will also be able to levy taxes on goods sold.

  Jakdstripper

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2121

12/27/11 9:43:34 PM#22

did i hear this correctly? you want to give money in excange for people building things?

 

so the only way for people to make money would be to build/destroy/rebuild/destroy/rebuld/destroy the same structures endlesslly? that seems completley pointless to me.  not to mention that if people dont need money to build structures (since you said that people will initially build even without money) what exactly is money for?

  Deolus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/30/05
Posts: 392

12/27/11 9:54:10 PM#23

Ok. the only way I can see this working is from players killing mobs for craftable components, combining the parts (from different mobs) and then selling the completed components to the community.

Although you said that you don`t want the source of money to be combat based in which in essence , it is .....

  TheeLord

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/06
Posts: 81

 
OP  12/27/11 10:22:24 PM#24
Originally posted by Deolus

Ok. the only way I can see this working is from players killing mobs for craftable components, combining the parts (from different mobs) and then selling the completed components to the community.

Although you said that you don`t want the source of money to be combat based in which in essence , it is .....

Most resources for creating items will come from nature, not from mobs.

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

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

2/01/12 12:21:03 PM#25
Originally posted by TheeLord

My team has been developing a new Sandbox MMO (Factions).  Everything will be completely player made and player sold (with hireable NPC vendors etc...)  Even the worlds factions will be created and controlled by players.  One of the problems I am having trouble wrapping my head around is this..  I do want money in the game as it simplifies the economy and programming a ton, but where does the world's money come from??? 

-It will not be lootable off of random creatures in the world (at least not 99% of them) since I don't want the source of money to be combat based.

[EDIT] - I don't think I want it to be based on gold or another rare resource as then all players would take up mining and coin-making.

-It will not be given to players when they start the game for gameplay and realism purposes, and even if it was, the economy would go in to quick and horrible deflation as people left the game or money became centralized because of no influx of currency.

-I thought of maybe valuing the GDP of each faction and solo player in the game and simply giving them money based on how much they create, but then everyone would be solo players so they receive the money directly and everyone would compain because the formulas wouldnt be perfect and wouldnt account well for inflation/deflation and it would seem like the big hand in the sky playing favorites with the player base....

 

I hope someone has thought of a great way to handle this??

 

I sent you a PM, Check it out....

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

  Mendel

Elite Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 638

2/01/12 12:59:10 PM#26

Money is a function of a government.  It reduces the inequitable nature of a pure barter system, allowing a person to easily negotiate for smaller portions of goods.   This is difficult for a purely barter economy -- there is no standard for value, it is all subjective.   (A: I want a hamburger.  B: Here's a cow, I'll take your pig, six chickens and your pretty sister's hand in marriage.  A: That's too much.  How about my less pretty sister instead?   B: Done.  A:  I'll need a bun with that.  C: I have wheat.  How about a bucket of blue paint for a hundredweight sack of milled grain?)

The concept of money requires some issuing entity.  If there are no NPC entities in game, and everything is player made, this would require the concepts of Notes or Drafts -- basically a promise.  The smallest note might promise to exchange the Note for the tiniest item in the game (for instance, a nail).  But since the Notes are endorsed by a player not a government, there are additional problems with redeeming them.

The issuer may not have enough items to redeem the notes.  There's no guarantee the issuer is online right now.  There's no guarantee than another player won't issue a competing note based on the flour standard instead of the nail standard.  Since the note itself is a player made item, there's no easy way to prevent counterfitting.  It is difficult to include NPCs into this type of economy, as Nail notes might be obsolete with the Egg notes.  And worst of all, the issuer may simply be a fraud.

I'd totally suggest comprimising with the idea of a 'completely player made' sandbox.  Add a government, add a currency.  The simplicity in coding NPCs to interact with the economy is worth far more some idealic vision of sandbox purity.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  Vunak23

Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/10
Posts: 659

In your house Eatin' your Cookies!

2/01/12 1:05:48 PM#27

Go play FFXI. The only mobs that dropped money were 'intelligent' enemies beastmen: Orcs and goblins ect. The economy built itself up eventually. Doing specific missions or events through the game rewarded money as well, depending on the difficutly it rewarded more. FFXI didnt have quests everywhere like in WoW or Rift. The quests were substanial to progressing yourself through the games story. Fixed auction houses helped a ton as well.

 

I would suggest starting a new character in FFXI and try to at least get to lvl 20 and see how much money you can obtain in that short span of time.

"In the immediate future, we have this one, and then we’ve got another one that is actually going to be – so we’re going to have, what we want to do, is in January, what we’re targeting to do, this may or may not happen, so you can’t hold me to it. But what we’re targeting to do, is have a fun anniversary to the Ilum shenanigans that happened. An alien race might invade, and they might crash into Ilum and there might be some new activities that happen on the planet." ~Gabe Amatangelo

  FrostWyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/05
Posts: 1028

2/01/12 1:08:53 PM#28
Originally posted by TheeLord
Originally posted by Deolus

Ok. the only way I can see this working is from players killing mobs for craftable components, combining the parts (from different mobs) and then selling the completed components to the community.

Although you said that you don`t want the source of money to be combat based in which in essence , it is .....

Most resources for creating items will come from nature, not from mobs.

As long as the parts that come from monsters/animals make sense I'm ok with it.

Bone/skin from beasts

Stone from a golem or an NPC miner

Gems from a jeweler/thief type mob

etc.

  ZombieKen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

2/01/12 1:09:06 PM#29

Assuming you have NPCs, then salvagers paying for vendor trash (if you have any) and outgrown or unwanted gear could work.  Eventually the economy would build (more wealth on players) and that would drive crafting.  WIth more crafting is more gear that eventually gets sold to salvagers.

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  SethDrone

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/11
Posts: 5

2/01/12 1:30:35 PM#30

First off, do you have a website for your game, if not can you post some blueprints/mechanics for the game?

 

Money should come from a variety of sources, none of which should involve the player "creating" currency.  To do that 1) takes away/limits your control of the economy and 2) gives too much of an opportunity for players to abuse/exploit whatever mechanic you setup to create money.

 

(e.g. From somewhere earlier in this thread: The only form of gold is from mines used to get a resource and form currency.  Player guild A controls all the mines in a region and thus controls or bottlenecks the whole economy.  Or, any rock in the map can be randomly mined with the chance of getting gold to use for currency.  Now you have another bottleneck in that only miners have the means to create currency, thus giving them power over the economy and more or less creating a class of bankers.  This is bad on so many levels.) 

 

By definition, money has to be created to start an economy, otherwise you will have nothing but bartering.  And assuming mobs drop some form of loot there has to be a means to sell it - or create value from the effort of killing the mob in addition to the inherent xp/skill gains or whatever form of "leveling" your using.  You can't salvage or disenchant every piece of loot or you'd end up with a huge surplus of raw materials.  At the same time, the player is presumably expending some form of resources to kill the mob.  Reagants for spells, or weapon/armor durability on his items.  He has a cost to kill the mob, and thus needs to get an acceptable return of skill + gold to make the effort worthwhile. 

 

The same concept applies to a lumberjack, who would need to buy/craft some axes.  Use the axes to gather resources, then sell the resources to a vendor for gold, a player for crafting, or craft them himself and then sell the crafted item.  There should be a multitude of viable paths for players to follow in a sandbox and still accumulate some amount of wealth to fund whatever objectives they are after. 

 

It's also natural for an economy to have inflation, this is ok and even necessary to some extent in an online game as players will accumulate money and then cancel their sub, basically removing resources/money from the economy.  The key here is for the developers to take an active role in keeping the economy in check.  Whatever amount of money is "printed" by the game should have some correlation to the amount "removed" by the game in house taxes, vendor purchased necessities that can't be crafted (e.g. Reagants for spells), artificial costs associated with crafting or other in game tasks.  It's good for people to accumulate some wealth for various pursuits, it's bad for every player to end up with $10 million gold sitting in a bank when the best rare/top weapon costs $5k to craft. 

 

We could delve much further into this but without knowing the goals or mechanics of your game it wouldn't make much sense.  The economy can be as simple or complex as you want.  You could have a WoW system where every mob and quest give you money and then you spend it on nothing but repairing gear if you want.  The other end of the spectrum is pretty close to UO (or maybe EVE, though I haven't played it), where gear is destroyed and lost on death so there has to be a constant stream of: gathering materials --> crafting --> selling/buying --> storing backup/using gear.

 

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7742

Logic be damned!

2/01/12 1:39:52 PM#31

Soldiers should get wages. Crafters should get payment.

NPC's have to be involved in the economy. There has to be a "pot" that the factions/empires start with to get the ball rolling.

 

I've always thought it'd be a cool idea to allow players in a MMO to actually work for a specific NPC or player faction.

Even crafters.

So the soldiers and crafters get wages from their employers, but say when a soldier needs training or their gear mended, why should they have to pay for it?

Crafters should be able to requisition orders from their faction/empire for materials, not have to rely on gathering themselves if they don't want to or other players gathering. Their should be NPC gatherers and NPC faction/empire stock piles.

 

In I think EVERY MMO ever made, the player is always a mercenary / freelancer / adventurer. You are always "outside" the system so (as in real life) everything's about money, payment for services rendered, buying goods from merchants etc.

I think it'd be cool to have a MMO where the players could be a part of that system, not just outsiders looking in.

Now Playing: Destiny

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

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

2/01/12 7:30:57 PM#32
Originally posted by alakram

Im not sure but could this work?:

Make money work as real money does (or used to do). Let your factions acumulate gold in some bank, then let them craft coin related to how much gold they have. Make the banks destroyable and lootable. Let the factions hand the money to their members the way they see fit. The members could even go to the bank and get their coin exchanged for gold, relating this exchange of course on how much money they crafted.

Now that I re-read your post I'm not sure if I'm helping, but I hope I do.

Then the factions leaders and designated members will give the coin in exchange of gold, items, resources, servies, or whatever they see.

 

You don't specifically mention how gold is "accumulated" so I'll assume you mean the traditional activity of mining gold as a way to accumulate it.

The value of the coin comes not from the fact that it's mined, it was worth something before it was mined, that's why people take the time and effor to mine it.

Coin makers don't take an arbitrary material and form it into a coin, they take a material that is already considered valuable and  create a shape that is difficult to duplicate.

Games use "coins" because we are familar with them.  That is, we look at the "coin" and we understand it represents a unit of money.

The problem with this idea is that "gold" has no intrinsic value.  If gold does nothing other than to serve as a unit of account then something has to give it value.  In most games developers set prices on basic (but necessary ) items and sell them through developer representatives (NPC’s) who only accept the games defult currency/s.  The value of all other items can be gauged against the items whose prices are set by the developers.
 
At the end of the day the value of a currency is based predominantly on what it can buy.  On a side note, this is why inflation ruins economies.  As players advance and gain better and better items they value the money they collect less and less as there are fewer and fewer things they need.  I argue that this is why games have expansions.  To create new goods for players to buy which reinvigorates the value of the in-game currency/s…But I’m off on a tangent…
 
Without a some type of gage then gold is worthless because it's value is simply based each players subjective notion of what they think it is worth.  As income disparity between players grows the currency will eventually be abandoned.  Diablo II had this problem.  Gold is earned over time by spending time doing something, whatever it is, killing mobs, harvesting, whatever.  Eventually systems like this break down because there is no way to remove money from the world relative the amount of goods.
 
When this happens the system will simply revert to the more complex and less efficient system of bartering. 
It's interesting because I've created a concept (see sig below) that issues currency against a commodity used to create items.  Players use an exchange controlled by the developers whose job it is to ensure that the exchange rate encourages or discourages the creation of new money.  Its a lot more complex then that.  If your interested read the presentation in my sig.
 
The idea of destroying player made banks is so far out of context its not worth discussing.

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

  Talinguard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 672

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

2/01/12 8:03:11 PM#33
Originally posted by TheeLord
Originally posted by alakram
Originally posted by TheeLord
Originally posted by alakram

Im not sure but could this work?:

Make money work as real money does (or used to do). Let your factions acumulate gold in some bank, then let them craft coin related to how much gold they have. Make the banks destroyable and lootable. Let the factions hand the money to their members the way they see fit. The members could even go to the bank and get their coin exchanged for gold, relating this exchange of course on how much money they crafted.

Now that I re-read your post I'm not sure if I'm helping, but I hope I do.

The problem I see with this is what do players do before all of this infrastructure is in place?  And what about those players who don't have access to the larger towns where mints exist? 

And also, wouldn't everyone then be forced to take up mining and coin-making in order to be successful?

The bank is built by the faction, pure and simple. Gather resources, build it. After that, they start acumulating gold and crafting coin but no everyone should be able of crafting coin, only some faction members in a work station. So to have coin the common player dont craft coins, they work for the factions and they pay them.

I'm not a game designer, maybe the idea is too complicated to develop it on a game.

I really do like the idea and I want to be able to do something like this, just seems like it would be flawed..  Maybe more people can elaborate on how this could work?

-Miners can mine gold, minters can turn the gold in to coins by first using hand tools and later machinery?

-I'm guessing I would need to leave minting pretty low in the tech tree so it's a pretty easy skill to aquire so there are more then a handful of people with the skill?  Otherwise bartering would remain too much of the norm and currency would become a non-factor possibly.

There are so many reasons why this wouldn't work I'm not sure where to start.  Read my replies above and if you still need more exxplenation I can give it to you.

The bottom line is that it's not possible to have an economy that is 100% player run and still be something that enough people would want to play to make the idea worthwhile.  Now I admit that is just my opinion, so either I lack imagination or I'm right.... I can accept I lack imagination, but to this point, I've been right.  Games are by definition fun and a system controlled only by players would either be extremely limited or exploited by the powerful few.

The real question is how to create a system that has as little developer envolvement as possible but creates a system that is fun and challenging for the greatest number of players.

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

  lifesbrink

Novice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 554

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

3/20/12 2:02:55 PM#34

Just to add in, having some form of real world rules would be a plus for resources.  It annoys me that in most games, you harvest nodes, and then they come back.....yay.  But I would not  be so bothered if there were quarries and mines, with nodes that basically had limited supply.  This way, you had a resource that was finite.

"But lifesbrink!" you say hastily, "what happens when the nodes finally run out!!!?"  Well, this sort of thing has not even happened in our world yet, and it has been millennia since we started.  Though to combat this mechanic, maybe it would make sense for everything created in said world to not simply disappear.  In any game world now, when you craft something, it consumes your materials and gives you an item, such as say, a sword.  But you could never break down the sword into its components, and the game I know that allows it, Istaria, lets you break it down into components that strangely are not 100% of what you put in.

Of course, not all items are able to be broken down, yet those that are happen to be renewable.  Wood, leather, cloth, all can come from things that are grown.  Lovely system nature set up, eh?

Introduce this to a game world, and it might help your  money system, because then players could not outright control resources, as they would dry up.  And it would allow others to reuse resources, and this would impose better limits over time to inflation.

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

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 641

12/05/13 11:21:39 PM#35
Digging would be my choice for money gathering.  Digging that you have some other reason to do, like mining for ore or planting crops.  Fishing could also randomly reward a coin, especially if you have a currency with a hole in the middle.  You might want to put an anti-goldfarmer mechanic in place, but then you might not, since many sandboxish games seem to be ok with botting and monster-harvesting-machines.  Other than digging, selling gathered items to NPCs or objects that stand in for NPC (an obelisk or statue maybe) is a reasonable source of money.
  Gatlan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/19/13
Posts: 105

12/05/13 11:34:39 PM#36

I'm not a Dilbert fan but this was the comic from a few days ago and this thread reminded me of it.

 

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

  DAS1337

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/28/07
Posts: 2379

12/05/13 11:38:05 PM#37
Originally posted by TheeLord

My team has been developing a new Sandbox MMO (Factions).  Everything will be completely player made and player sold (with hireable NPC vendors etc...)  Even the worlds factions will be created and controlled by players.  One of the problems I am having trouble wrapping my head around is this..  I do want money in the game as it simplifies the economy and programming a ton, but where does the world's money come from??? 

-It will not be lootable off of random creatures in the world (at least not 99% of them) since I don't want the source of money to be combat based.

[EDIT] - I don't think I want it to be based on gold or another rare resource as then all players would take up mining and coin-making.

-It will not be given to players when they start the game for gameplay and realism purposes, and even if it was, the economy would go in to quick and horrible deflation as people left the game or money became centralized because of no influx of currency.

-I thought of maybe valuing the GDP of each faction and solo player in the game and simply giving them money based on how much they create, but then everyone would be solo players so they receive the money directly and everyone would compain because the formulas wouldnt be perfect and wouldnt account well for inflation/deflation and it would seem like the big hand in the sky playing favorites with the player base....

 

I hope someone has thought of a great way to handle this??

You have already failed by making factions as a part of your game.  You are telling players that they have to be part of a faction and that that faction has to play out a certain way.  That is not sandbox at it's core.

 

Now on to the topic at hand.  Have you ever played Path Of Exile?  Have you seen how they have completely removed any form of currency from the game?  I would suggest something like bottle caps from Fallout, but that would be almost identical to gold, or dollars, but with another title.

 

Path of Exile's exclusion of currency has made players decide what is valuable to them.  The players in this game decided that certain orbs were of the highest value.  These orbs are actually very good for crafting, as they allow the player to take items that wouldn't even normally be picked up, to be turned into some of the best items in the entire game.  So most items that are put up for trade, are often bought by a certain number of these orbs, which are fairly rare, but not too rare that you wouldn't come across them here and there in your adventures.  Though, this would be combat related.

 

However, the exclusion of an item as the sole purpose of being currency might be exactly what you want.  Just let the players decide what they think if valuable.  Allow them to trade with others, face to face, the old fashioned way.  If there are NPC vendors, allow the owner to set an asking price of whatever they wish.  It could be anything, 5 gold, 10 sandals, a rotten fish carcass, or whatever it is that they might need.

 

You might just be thinking too hard.  A real sandbox MMO allows the players to shape the world.  Don't try to build it for them, just let them decide where they want to take it.  The best moments in sandbox games are rarely something the developers planned for.

  Kaneth

Elite Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 1600

12/06/13 12:09:32 AM#38

There's some really good ideas in this thread, especially the ideas of creating a wage system depending on your job. However, for the OP, go take a look at Asheron's Call and see how that economy worked (you might have to do some research vs. what's currently happening in game). There is the typical gold coin (known as Pyreal), and you can turn physical Pyreal into bank notes of various sizes (an M note is worth 100,000 py) and the exchange rate is a flat 15% for whatever size note you wanted to make. 

However, Pyreal was only a currency, but other items of note were traded more often aside from money. Because of the robust loot system in AC, the player economy was very robust and had variations depending on server. Things like Sturdy Iron Keys were widely traded since they were able to open loot chests that contained Spell Scrolls, items, etc. Other things like Fragment Shards for armor sets, Motes for quest weapons, loot pieces, crafted arrows, lockpicking services, etc., were all items of value and were heavily traded.

So, have a currency base that has uses, but isn't all encompassing. In addition, have semi-rare, but extremely useful items that players will want to trade for. It's important to make sure that nothing will be hoarded either, so you'll want to make sure that there is purpose for all things. The big bottom line is that there needs to be a near constant supply and demand, and even create artificial value for lesser valued items. For example, let's say copper ore becomes worthless, due to steel weapons and tools becoming prevalent. Add a mob to the game that's only killable with copper weapons, but drops very useful crafting items, which in turn can only be worked with copper tools. While, Steel is still better for general purpose tools and weapons, you just created an artificial need for copper again, and surpluses will plummet due to overuse by the population.

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