[MUD-Dev] Economy (was Re: [MUD-Dev] [STORY] Story and population size)

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Fri Dec 7 07:21:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: "Dave Rickey" <daver at mythicentertainment.com>
> From: Jeff Cole <jeff.cole at mindspring.com>

>> That you have to manage artificially you economy with barriers
>> between buyers and seller should set off all kinds of warning
>> bells that your economy is fundatmentally unsound.  What you are
>> really saying is that DAoC has such potential for overproduction
>> that you must restrict the ability of players to interact in
>> order to artificially manage supply to keep demand (and prices)
>> inflated.

>> The Catch-22 is a entriely your own creation.

> Unfortunately, it is not, it's because this is not a real world
> I'm dealing with.

Huh?  How is it not the "real world."  It is absolutely real.  You
have people bargaining for things that are of value to them.

> Setting up a buyer-seller in the real world has a whole host of
> overhead costs, and is complex enough that we have a special term
> for it: Business Model.

The transaction costs (overhead) of almost every transaction that
you make in the real world, Dave, are completely internalized within
the transaction itself.  How many of those transactions actually
involve bargaining?  I imagine that the majority of your daily
economic interactions are really nothing more than the DAoC analog
of purchasing from an NPC vendor.  Sure, there might be some social
interaction with the clerk/agent, but this interaction does not go
to the essence of the transaction.

Same with DAoC.

You have artificially increased the transaction costs associated by
making it more difficult (and inconvenient) for buyers/sellers to
find each other: it is precisely because these transaction costs are
internalized.  It is a result of the rather limited (hardly
evolutionary) interaction mechanics of DAoC.

To disniss it because the world is not "real" or because of
transaction costs is a red herring.

> In a game, any tools we create to assist creating those channels
> pre-empt any "natural" business models that might emerge.

How so?  Give an example.  I would argue just the opposite: that the
tools you create to allow the economy (i.e. "business model") to
become more natural.

Take Tailoring.  You had to inextricably tie it to Armorcrafting
just to make it valuable.  That is a kluge.

Such macroscopic solutions to microscopic, or fundamental, problems
run roughshod over the system.  Even in the real world, artificially
imposed barriers to market serve a function other than making an
economy more "natural."

> It's not a matter of *restricting* their ability to interact, it's
> what artifical means I give them to *bypass* interacting.

Please tell me how it is bypassing interaction.  Because they are
not using the client?  Because they are not exchanging /tells in
real time?  Because they were not at the same place at the same
time?  How many transactions do you make in a day where you actually
interact with the manufacturer of the item?

Yrs Affty,
Jeff Cole

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