[MUD-Dev] re: Curtailing the 'Super-Rich' Effect

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Thu Apr 12 10:24:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Bob McFakename posted on 11 April 2001 18:47:
> From: "Michael Tresca" <talien at toast.net>
>> Bob McFakenam posted on Monday, April 09, 2001 2:28 PM

>>> 1) I'm a realist and I like to see an /appearance/ of reality -
>>> although yeah, 'real' reality is impossible - in MUDs.

>> The problem, as I see it, is that MUDs are a little too accurate in
>> their representation of how players (ya know, people) handle money.
>> People are still people -- folks who are friends with rich people
>> benefit, just like newbies who know highbies benefit.  Were there
>> an administrator viewing the rich in action in real life, he or she
>> would probably downgrade them right quick.

> Certainly, the last thing we want to do is impose some form of
> Draconian control upon socialization with rich people - unless we're
> running MarxMUD.  But I'm talking mainly about large gifts from rich
> players to people they *don't* know. If you go on most muds and walk
> around for a few minutes saying 'hi, i'm a new player, could anyone
> spare a little eq?' or some such, you can amass equipment and gold
> well beyond the means of the average rat-slaying 1st level peseant.

In my experience, the reason people give equipment away rather than
try to sell it is fairly simple and inherently obvious. It takes too
long to sell the item to be worth the time involved. Sitting around
trying to sell something is dull for 98% of the player base. I'm
guessing one needs a more functional economy where the npc vendors can
pay at least a reasonably competitive rate for an item. Sure the
currency stays in the exchange, but people don't tend to hand that out
in the same way as it can be of use to them. I really feel that npc
merchants need to be more aware of the economy.

On the everquest server upon which I play, there is one chap who has
amassed millions of platinum through trading. From what I'm led to
believe, he used a software tool the company he works for in the real
uses to help him achieve this. Its a model that allows him to work out
the effective value of any item through a series of inputs such as
item rarity, liquidity, demand and etc. I must admit I'm not
completely sure how he collates all this data, but I think he has a
database of relative values so that items are pegged off other
ones. Anyway, my point is that this apparently works fairly well and
is perhaps something the server could play at too. In fact, if your
npcs are gunning for a profit in the same way this guy is, then all
the wealth they accrue is essentially at the operators disposal. You
can just nuke it if you want...

Of course this might have an impact on interplayer trading, but I
don't think its insurmountable. If the npcs are working to a margin of
20%, then its fairly easy for player vendors to work within this
margin and still make a reasonable profit, but the npcs still offer
enough to prevent item giving away. Especially when you recall that
the npcs are trying to make profit too. They won't necessarily buy the
50,000th dwarfen axe that someone is trying to sell them - the supply
and demand would make it an unattractive buy...

I really ought to quiz the guy a bit more as to how his model works.

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