[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Katrina McClelan kitkat at marcus.pants.nu
Wed Jul 21 00:09:10 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Timothy O'Neill Dang wrote:

> > Well the trick to this is a realistic economy.  If you manufacture 1
> > billion long swords, then suddenly everyone has or can get one, so the
> > demand plummets and you have lots of worthless swords, that you spent
> > materials trying to make.  Of course the supply of the material as you
> > make the swords becomes more scarce, causing the price of it to go up.  
> > As you can see the curves both shift unfavorably to the would be bot.
> 
> Actually, rather than having realistic economics to deter bots, I'm
> looking to deter bots in order to have realistic economics! We're looking
> at creating a game specifically for economic research. I'm concerned about
> bots because the possibility of automating production removes one of the
> main barriers to production--opportunity cost.
> 

If the only real cost of manufacture is the time spent typing it, then the
economic model is weak.  The real problem here is that players are coming
on to play swordsmen and wizards and such.  Some people are content
running shops, but most are wanting adventure.  They go to (work|class)
every day and lead normal lives, so they come to a MUD for adventure.  If
you make specializing in sword making get in the way of learning how to
use the weapons, you won't find many people using up their aptitude to
make lots of coins off sword production.

> I certainly do plan on having realistic resource constraints, which will
> lead to the dynamic you're talking about of higher costs for making goods.
> This isn't enough, though. For one thing, think about it this way: If I
> leave a blacksmithing bot on all night, I'll eventually wind up pushing up
> the price of raw iron. But I'll push it up for all the folks manually
> working their blacksmiths as well. The manual smiths might be able to
> react more intelligently, but they'll still be forced out of the market.
> 

a free market economy will stabalize itself if you implement it correctly.
In the case above, in reaction to an iron shortage, you'll get people
wanting to mine iron ore to take advantage of the demand, which will cause
the price to stabalize.  Additionally, good blacksmiths, noting that
swords are in high supply, but iron isn't will make other iron products
(if they're smart) such as say shields and sell them at a premium because
the availible iron after the mass produced swords makes these other items
scarce.  Such fluctuations are normal for a free market economy, and
should defeat a bot that can't react to the changing market fast enough.

-Katrina



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