[MUD-Dev] (fwd) Re: MUD Economies

J C Lawrence claw at koala.kanga.nu
Mon Mar 15 00:22:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

-- forwarded message --
From: Alberto BARSELLA <ishark at lsh01.univ-lille1.fr>
Newsgroups: rec.games.mud.admin
Subject: Re: MUD Economies
Date: 05 Mar 1999 16:33:42 +0000

cercocebus at mindspring.com (Siobhan) writes:

> I am interested in ideas which other admins out there have about generating
> economies on their MU*s.  On ours, we've come to something of a glass ceiling
> in terms of having a use for gold beyond buying a selling equipment.  I was
> hoping those who have had experience with things like player-run shops,
> player property, trade, or other things might lend us some of your wisdom.
> We've tried reducing the amount of gold in play, but players still accumulate
> vast sums due to sheer amount of time spent on the mud.  Anyone have some
> ideas about developing and implementing some more sophisticated economies?
> BTW this is not a role playing mud, so aim suggestions towards players who
> are not interested in doing such things.  

If you want something to mantain value over time you must make sure
that it doesn't come in infinite amounts, as it always happens with
In praticular, if you want gold to keep its value you must arrange
things so that the total amount of gold pieces in the universe is
constant. Alternatively, you can make their value decrease as the
quantity increases.

For the first idea you can provide some NPC which "sucks gold in",
either by stealing it or by selling services not available elsewhere
(armor/weapon repairs). Rent is another way, but it will tend to hit
players who don't play often. Repairs/mainteinance work better,
because they hit players which play more (and thus earn more).
You need some kind of object decay system in order to implement this,
and the object decay will also guarantee that no other object's value
falls to zero due to overwhelming offer vs. limited demand.
Of course, "indestructible" items should not exist, or be obtainable
only through one-time-only quests.

The second solution has the same problem of rent, i.e. it hits
occasional players. Instead of simply using the object's value
(usually stored in the object prototype) to determine the number of
gold coins it is worth, you renormalize this value to the "total gold"
produced in the universe.
I mean: in a "balanced" universe there are 10^6 gold pieces and a
short sword is worth/costs 4 golds. After a few days of furious
repopping the total amount of gold has risen to 5 * 10^6. The price of
the short sword is now 4 * 5*10^6/10^6 gold pieces, i.e. 20.
The more gold is around, the less its value.
The same should be applied to objects, if the balanced world contains
5000 short swords, then their value will fall as their number
increases. After some time you have all the trivial objects which
costs very little, and the really hard to find (which usually are the
most useful) which become EXTREMELY expensive, giving you an idea of
where to touch to fix things.

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-- end of forwarded message --

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
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