[MUD-Dev] Value in the Economy of the MOG

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Mon Jul 2 18:03:05 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Derek Licciardi <kressilac at home.com>
> Dave Rickey:

>> The overall gap is almost 1000 to 1, 3 orders of magnitude, but 2
>> of those are in the first 20 levels.  The difference between a
>> level 21 and a level 50 mob is almost exactly 10 to 1, in fact.
>> This basicly means that once you reach the 20+ range, all players
>> are in the same economic ball park.  *However*, to maintain this
>> relationship, we had to institute a "Gray = No Loot" rule, if an
>> NPC is sufficiently below your level, you recieve neither loot
>> nor XP from killing it (if you have to kill a gray for a step in
>> a quest, a different system ensures that you get any "token"
>> needed).  Otherwise people hunting *way* below their level could
>> generate any arbirarily large amount of cash at no risk.

> One question; How do you plan on stopping the players from
> determining the maximum level they can be, before an easy mob will
> stop giving them coin and then using one or two higher characters
> to reduce the risk associated with farming the money out of them?
> I am not sure you want to even stop that, but I suspect all that
> will result in restricting the gold dropping from mobs will be
> that players will find indirect ways to drink from the no-risk
> forbidden fountain of gold.

Basicly, I don't.  The loot and XP curves have been balanced against
each other in such a way that "speed killing" low greens yields
about 60 of the XP over time of fighting "high blues" (mobs just
below your level, the intended solo target), and yields about 50%
more cash over time.  The system is, for the most part,
self-stabilizing, players who have been "farming" wind up in better
equipment which is wasted on greens, and feeling no particular
pressure to acquire more cash (since better equipment won't help
them until they get more levels) tend to go after tougher targets
and increase their XP earning rate.  Players who have leveled
exceptionally quickly (by, for example, grouping and going after
"big game") find that they need to take a break every few levels and
hunt for cash in order to bring their equipment up to spec.

Hunting large numbers of greens is not entirely without risk,
however.  Many a tester has found out that they've gotten too cocky,
are now being swarmed by 5+ greens, and are about to die.

There's going to be an issue once people start hitting 50 (the max
level), because the XP lure will be gone.  However, I think that
some AI adjustments (making mobs more likely to get help against
solo players past 30th level) will be able to deal with it for the
most part.

Players will do *whatever* it takes to acquire a "sufficiency" of
gold.  Rather than bucking that trend, I'm going with it and making
sure a sufficiency is possible, but requires an effort that makes
the players appreciate it's accomplishment.  And absolute
sufficiency *should* be impossible, the most expensive things in my
system as currently designed would require the entire maximum
economic output of an entire Realm for a year just to equip one
player, in equipment that would only survive a month or so of
regular use (it would be very exceptional equipment, but not enough
to make the character godlike).

> One of the beliefs that I have been toying with is that economic
> systems in today's muds are decidely pro player.  I am almost of
> the belief that in order to have a stable economy on a mud, you
> are going to have to institute the economic things that most
> people do not like.(taxes, insurance, rent, repairing goods...)
> Even with all of the above, it may not be possible to get a good
> economy without permanent character death, inheritance rules and
> taxes, and other necessary asset control measures.  As much as we
> hate these things in real life, I am beginning to see why they are
> necessary for a stable and healthy economy.  The bigger question
> might be how do you put these into the game in such a way that
> players don't call it a dramatic gameplay killer and call your
> game not fun.

Item degradation and removal, and consumables in general, are
essential.  And the players adjust to dealing with them pretty
quickly.  But PD, taxes, insurance, etc., do not strike me as being
either neccessary or desirable.

--Dave Rickey

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