Economic & Currency Solutions (was RE: [Mud-Dev] Broken currencies)

Derek Licciardi kressilac at
Wed Apr 4 23:25:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-admin at [mailto:mud-dev-admin at]On Behalf Of
> Jim S
> Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2001 12:06 AM
> To: mud-dev at
> Subject: RE: [Mud-Dev] Broken currencies

> [Matt Mihaly wrote:]

> [SNIP]

>> The other problem I can see is that since there isn't really a way
>> to earn interest, or to invest, then _any_ currency inflation is
>> going to kill much of the value of the currency. Some inflation is
>> acceptable to people in the physical world because it's a natural
>> effect of economic growth, and because you're able to make money
>> with your money at at least an equal rate to the rate of inflation.

> This last part brought a question to my mind.  Has anyone tried
> limiting the total amount of currency in their MMOG?  By this I mean
> taking up a role similar to the Feds and only 'producing' so much
> coin.  For an example let's say the limit is 200 million gold coins
> total.  This could be any combonation of lesser or greater valued
> coins such as silver, copper, platinum or what-have-you all relative
> with exchange rates between the different types of coins.  This
> would be an absolute limit that would span the entire world.  The
> only way a player would be able to earn currency is to take it from
> the game world.  The only way the game world can get it back is to
> take it in the form of drains on the economy such as sold items from
> shops, ect.

> Eventually, I think, with this system you'd run into a situation
> where the currency was very valuable because with an expanding
> player base it would grow more and more rare.  Also you'd have
> players who would hoarde the currency by trying best they can to
> circumvent the economy drains.  Eventually these players would
> become rich and the rest poor.

> On a grand scale and with some intuative simulation this could
> evolve into a situation where players in your world become richer
> than NPC barons or even kings(or whatever fits the world) and
> eventually take over their land for themselves.  Combine this with
> active trading and banks which loan out money with interest and keep
> your money 'safe' while paying out interest and you might end up
> with a diverse economy.

> Also because you'd be acting similar to the Feds you could release
> more currency into the game if it becomes too scarse and devalue it.
> You could even have players who set themselves up as loan
> institutions.  These players could play with their interest rates in
> order to make themselves richer and could also require collatoral
> which if the loanee defuncts on the loan could be collected by hired
> mercenaries.

> Anyways now I'm rambling.  I guess what I'm getting at is that my
> experience is limited mostly to text MUDs and maybe this is along
> the lines of what UO tried before the gold duping bug destroyed it.
> But I've never played UO so I wouldn't know I guess :)

This idea could work in a mud as long as you provide for growth.  In a
situation where the amount was fixed, every new player entering the
game would cause every other player's slice of the pie to potentially
be that much smaller.  In today's world banks create money through
transactions and the reserve interest rate.  While, I can't explain
the exact reasons why $100 becomes $200 over time just by being
transacted through a banking system, I am sure that it can be found in
any management finance book at the college level.  I remember it from
my junior year in business school.

If people placing money in a bank cause more money to be created, the
value you elude to in your thoughts above would better serve as an
index through which the current economy was functioning.  Much like
the Dow Jones Average measures the relative worth of the companies on
it over time, this index could be used as a basis to determine exactly
how much money should be available in the economy.  Using that value
when you spawn a monster, it is possible to determine just how much
money the mob can 'request' from the game treasury.  If there is not
enough in the treasury, the mob only gets what it can.  Keep in mind
that spawning of monsters should in some way also increase the
available gold in the game treasury.  The thought here is that mobs
use currency in their own everyday lives before being beat upon by
players.  The use of money tends to make more money available as a

I am beginning to ramble so I will cut the idea here.  I actually have
a much more in depth discussion of how to use an index behind a MUD to
regulate the stability of the MUDs economy. If anyone is interested, I
would be glad to take this discussion offline to email.


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