[Mud-Dev] Broken currencies

Phillip Lenhardt philen at monkey.org
Thu Apr 5 02:57:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Thu, Apr 05, 2001 at 12:13:38AM +0000, Matt Mihaly wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Phillip Lenhardt wrote:

>> Regardless, players value things. And many muds want players to
>> quantify their valuations in terms of the mud's currency
>> (presumably this is desireable because "that's the way the real
>> world works").
 
> Yes, but why? I've never yet seen anything that is desirable solely
> because it's the way the physical world works.

No argument here. And yet so many game designers consider it the holy
grail...

> If players don't feel they need the currency, is there a compelling
> reason to try and force them to use one? I'm not arguing either side
> here, just asking the question. I'm not sure I have an opinion on
> it.

Hell, that makes two of us; mostly I just like to argue. :)

>> Many economists disagree.
 
> Well likewise, many economists agree.

Indeed. And rather more are on your side.

>> The use of a currency is not about scarcity or utility. It's about
>> volatility.

> That's not entirely true at all. The use of a currency most
> definitely is also in making commerce easier (barter is expensive to
> both parties).

Agreed, but it works both ways. A stable but difficult means of
transaction isn't very useful and neither is a volatile but easy
one. And how is barter expensive to both parties? If we live in the
same village, it's pretty easy for me to trade you a suckling pig for
a new scythe. Or did you just mean "expensive" as in "expensive if
there are transport costs"?

> I'm going to be concentrating on Achaea's economy > within the next
> few months sometime, and I'm going to try and > institute an
> interesting economy.

I look forward to hearing how it works (and how it works out). I
assume it will be heavily PvP-oriented like most of Achaea's better
mechanics?
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