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

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Wed Apr 25 08:25:41 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Trump posted on Monday, April 16, 2001 4:01 PM

> With each step you have a huge increase in costs, but the associated
> benefit in range or convenience, while significant, usually doesnt
> make up for the additional cost.  At the upper end the costs are so
> high that only the insanely rich can use them often.  Most people
> can afford to use a car on a regular basis, but it still tends to
> suck up a large portion of thier income, between insurance, repairs
> and gas it's many thousands.

> This sort of thing can be done in games as well.  Players can walk
> for free.  They can take an NPC run caravan that still takes some
> time, but isnt overly expensive.  They can use permenant portals
> that are exensive, but only take them to certain areas.  And spells
> that will instantly transport them from to whatever point they want
> (like UO's recall) should be so expensive that they are almost never
> used even by the richest of the rich.

> The same idea can then be applied to healing and mana regeration,
> and other things.

Not quite.  Healing and mana regeneration help make more money.
Following the train of thought you ahve proposed, you end up with a
coding "arms race."  By making items worth purchasing by players, they
end up becoming more powerful as a result.  Having million gold piece
super heals actually only make the character more wealthy, because
once he drinks it he becomes invulnerable and can easily make his
money back.

On the other hand, if it's too much money for not enough power, they
simply won't purchase it.  There are limits to what people are willing
to pay for, and the GOPs will immediately figure out the maximum
amount they're willing to spend while still getting ahead.

To continue your parallel, a super rich person buying a car, train,
automobile, etc. does not significantly increase his income merely by
its purchase.  If I'm superrich, my car is not going to make me that
much richer.  On the other hand, if I'm a superrich player, that
mega-healing potion will go a long way in making me even richer.

It's diminishing returns.  We've learned this the hard way on RetroMUD
-- there is an upper limit to what power you should provide through a
purchase, or the kill monster/get stuff paradigm (you know, the one
we're trying to keep under control with a good economy) gets even
further out of whack.

Vanity, on the other hand, is a wonderful means of controlling an
economy.  Vanity doesn't actually make the character more powerful,
but it does increase their social status.  Castles, clothing, fancy
enhancements to a character's appearance, all can go a long way in
draining character funds and ensuring that the superrich have
something to spend their money on without making themselves even more
powerful.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org

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