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

Ashen Temper ashen at wolfpackstudios.com
Thu Jul 5 09:02:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Delphine T. Lynx wrote:

> I'm sure everyone's noticed it - in most cases, hard coded money
> has zero value in these games. No matter how hard to obtain, or
> how useful as far as NPCs go (healing, equipment, etc), money
> eventually undergoes such inflation as to have no value whatsoever
> for Player<->Player interaction.

> The question is, why?

> Personally I have two theories on the matter....neither
> accompanied by a solution.

The biggest issues I have seen that cause inflation in many of these
games isn't the loot a MOB drops, it's the gold that is brought into
the system by other means.  If your community manager and those
developers/administrators that play ingame are doing their job, you
will quickly learn of any MOB that appears to be dropping more loot
than is warranted.

Instead, I find most issues to arise from Trade Skills and Duping.
The latter is quite easy to understand; you find something worth a
lot of gold, dupe it, and sell it to an NPC.  Right there, you have
added new value into the world out of nothing.

Trade Skills, on the other hand, can be quite tricky, especially if
not properly balanced.  In Ultima Online, you could by a pair of
scissors and a bolt of cloth for under 10 gold pieces.  Using the
scissors (which took almost no skill) you could cut the bolt of
cloth into sheets and sell the sheets back for roughly 50 gold
pieces.  After a few weeks, this method was caught on by the
developers and fixed.  Unfortunately, it was too late and just one
of many other "issues" in their system.  Why was it more devastating
than the MOB that drops exceptionally nice loot?  Because, more than
likely, the MOB is higher level.  You will have to be able to kill
that MOB so you and your group will have to be near that level (or
over it).  The Tradeskills, though, you can be any level and you
don't have to "camp" an area to wait for the MOB to respawn.  When
the Cloth Issue first hit the street, you could find 10+ people in
all the tailoring shops doing this.  Everquest has the same
issue... a use to have a Level 4 Enchanter who could make 55
platinum in 30 minutes through tradeskills (which is a lot since my
Level 4 Cleric was lucky to make 1 platinum from killing MOBs).

With the systems I have seen, the issue in Trade Skills is that you
can bring New Value into the world for nothing.  There is no balance
in what Value is coming into the System and what is going out.

Now, I could write my solution to it... but I would be basically
emulating the Economy System of Shadowbane so I'll just point you
there:

  http://www.shadowbane.com/worldinfo/economy.shtml

Nevertheless, most issues seem not to derive from the loot a MOB
drops but from other parts of the system, most notably duping and
trade skills.


Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
Internet Relations Manager
WolfPack Studios, Inc.
"Become a Hero, Raise an Army, Rule an Empire:  Change the World!"
http://www.shadowbane.com/

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