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

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Wed Apr 11 00:52:49 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Marian Griffith writes:

> On Sun 08 Apr, Derek Licciardi wrote:
>> Marian Griffith
>>> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Thu 05 Apr, Derek Licciardi wrote:

> In a mud the influx of money happens from killing monsters.  The
> stronger the monster is the more money it introduces into the game.
> This is the faucet. Usually there are some things that the players
> can spend the money on, the drains. However, the rule that strong
> monsters yield a lot of money means that high level players can
> gather huge amounts of money.  This limits the drains that are
> possible.  Utility goods, like food, are out because making them a
> serious drain would starve the low level players. This leaves very
> few possible drains. Especi- ally because the other part of economy,
> goods, are introduced into the game through the same faucet.
> Monsters produce equipment, which is the only real 'good' in the
> game that is worth having from a game play point of
> view. Traditionally 'rent' served as the biggest drain in muds, but
> these were impopular. Other purchases are of little use because they
> generally are limited. You can not buy skills or levels or stats
> indefinitely.

> For low level players mud money has utility, because they need it to
> purchase food, and perhaps, basic equipment.  At higher levels they
> can get all the money they want for their normal purchases and there
> tends to be no serious, and permanent, drain of money out of the ga-
> me.  Even purchase of equipment is not an option because the utility
> value of those means that players will generally only barter for an-
> other piece of equipment.

A possible solution here is to scale the entire economy to keep pace
with the advancing power levels.  Anyone who reads my posts knows that
I think the whole powerup idea is a bunch of hooey, but if you're
gonna do it, you should do it through your economy as well.

Want to cast a powerful spell?  Did you eat your Super Wheaties this
morning?  They're awful expensive, aren't they?  Dinged your Bazooka
on a Stick?  Well, I can fix that for you, but the metal is so
enchanted and hard that it's going to be difficult - and costly.

In short, the cost of living as a powerful character should just be
elevated along with the gains.  A nice, neat, vicious cycle.

Another solution is to have all items available for money from shops.
This will keep currency in the game for the highest level characters.
They can either go off and kill stuff in order to get money and maybe
land a great item, or they can just buy one from a shop with their
cash loot.  No more barter-only situations.  If I can sell a full set
of armor for enough cash, I can visit the Uber Store and get that
Nuclear Weapon that I was after.

>> Given even these two variables we can see that the system has to be
>> more dynamic(there are many more variables).  The more dynamic you
>> make the system, the larger the requirement is for being able to
>> administer that system and keep it operating in a healthy manner.
>> My suggestion about using some sort of index to monitor the health
>> of the world would need to be implemented along with the
>> appropriate tools to adjust the rate of money creation as needed to
>> correct the economy.  From that standpoint, the index is nothing
>> more than a mud administrators tool and an overal guage on the
>> health of the economy.

> The best solution is to scrap the idea that monsters must drop gold
> and equipment.  If you want a sword you must buy one from another
> player. If you want gold you must make a sword and sell it :)

> Players are not going to appreciate it, but it will result in a real
> economy in your game, especially if you also introduce destruction
> of worn out equipment.

Woohoo!  Music to my ears.

I'd like to see adventurers able to 'make a living' so that they
aren't forced into a money-making pursuit that they really aren't
interested in.  That 'living' should be modest at best.  After all,
they get the fun of all that clashing of armor, feinting, retreating
and so on.  Why should they get money too?


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