[MUD-Dev] The Monad (was: Broken Economies)

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu Apr 5 12:27:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Matt Mihaly writes:
> On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, shren wrote:

>> Monads would be manufactured by players and not found on monsters.
>> Now, you have a concrete idea behind the money, and the money is
>> assembled by a known quantity of work, instead of having the
>> well-known properties of MUD gold.  The money is valuated by it's
>> components and thier use instead of by NPC prices.  I think that a
>> simple understanding of the source and "absolute value" of money
>> might alone change the way it is handled in games - but then again,
>> I'm an inexperienced optimist with odd ideas.

> Where do you get the reagents? If you buy them with monads, then
> someone's getting an objectively bad deal. If you have to put in
> effort to gather the reagents, then it's not really any different
> from gold on monsters. It's just a resource that has to be
> harvested. I don't see that it matters, from a systems (as opposed
> to a role) perspective, whether you're harvesting the reagents by
> killing monsters or plucking birds.

The difference is that there is only viable role in a world where
combat (the primary entertainment) yields wealth (the primary reward).
If combat also gives fame, faction, knowledge and all other valuable
asset in the game world, then you're only cementing the singleton
role.  By splitting up the various valuable assets of the game world
into access through different roles, you're making it possible for
other types of players to enjoy your game.  Those who enjoy commerce
and expect to be the money makers as a result will enjoy your game.
They get a role with a natural cause and effect that they expect.
Warriors should expect to be able to find adventure when they go
adventuring, but I see no reason that they should be wealthy as a
result.  The adventuring is the reward for adventurers.  I see no
reason why they shouldn't be able to find better equipment from time
to time, or the odd gem or gold piece in a lair's treasure trove, but
those things should be functioning at a subsistence level for

If we want many viable roles in a game world (and I believe that we
do), then the valuable elements of gameplay must be distributed among
those many roles in order to make them viable.  Where there's no
reward, there's no value in a role.  Adventurers get the reward of
excitement.  Merchants get the reward of controlling wealth.  Sailors
get the reward of the experience of travel, the enjoyment of the sea,
the carrying of valuable cargos, etc.  Tradesmen get the reward of
crafting items that other characters will actually use and of making
some money.


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