[MUD-Dev] [DESIGN] Economy goals (was: Broken currencies)

Vincent Archer archer at nevrax.com
Mon Apr 9 15:42:14 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

According to Timothy Dang:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Vincent Archer wrote:

>> A good example is the Axe of the Iron Back. A good and very nice

> Yep, stuff like this really gets under my skin, because IRL it would
> so obviously be an economic problem. But I have to remind myself
> that goals in MUDs aren't necessarily the same as those IRL.

Good point.

What is exactly the goal of the game economy in a MMORPG? Basically, I
see one:

- add player-player interactions opportunities.

Otherwise, make all items NOTRADE, put minimum levels of use, and
dispense with cash altogether, and you remove a *lot* of headaches :)

That's why my definition more or less matches Brad's. The economy is
broken when people prefer the NPC economical circuit to the player

That's also why I'm slightly against the UO concept of player
vendors. It facilitates the flow of goods in game, but it also removes
the need for player-player interaction: the seller and buyer not only
don't get to meet, they probably don't even know who the other party
in the transaction is.  I don't see player vendors as anything much
better than classic NPC merchants.

> It could take the form of someone getting creative about being a
> player middleman. I don't play anymore, but a friend of mine said
> that on Lanys in EQ, there's a player who sits in the tunnel
> completely weighed down with stuff, and is eseentially a
> market-maker, buying and selling when noone else will. By making
> trading inconvenient, room is created for players to enjoy filling
> the gap.

Hmmm, nice effect.

Unfortunately, as the game doesn't provide enough facilities for that
type of role, it is relatively rare. On Tunare, where I was playing,
that type of large-scale dealer didn't seem to exist.

> Does it actually work as a currency? Can one guild member give
> another guild member points in exchange for, I dunno, water at an
> inconvenient time?

Transactions are strictly regulated. Items have a point value, which
is fixed (according to various perception of rarity, desirability, and
the difficulty of the encounter to get them) by the system. But
anybody who's in the system (typically, guild members, but outsiders
may find themselves member if they're often associated with these
raids) may trade an item to another person, and get points back in
exchange. But none of the systems I've seen allow free-form
transactions (such as, for example, "I'll give you 10 of my points,
but you'll promise to help me in step X and Y of my epic quest"). It's
always trades for "appraised items".

Vincent Archer                                         Email: archer at nevrax.com

Nevrax France.                              Off on the yellow brick road we go!
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