[MUD-Dev] [STORY] Story and population size

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Fri Dec 7 11:10:44 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


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

>> With a population that varies from 500 to 3000, divided into
>> three realms, and further divided between 4 trades, that works
>> out to 8-48 people online at a time you might do business with.
>> However, the chances of someone wanting to buy something, and
>> being unable to find *anyone* prepared to sell it to him, is
>> extremely high, especially off-peak.

>> Which creates a nasty Catch-22: I have to reduce the barriers
>> between buyer and seller, up to and including offline trading.
>> But if I lower them *too* far, the market is too efficient, and
>> no-one actually makes any money.

> That you have to manage artificially your 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.

Can you have a fundamentally sound economy with no scarcity?  To me,
the great potential for overproduction stems from the fact that NPC
merchants can sell unlimited amounts of the basic reasources needed
for crafting items.  There is nothing governing supply.  It seems to
me that player skill is currently acting as a governor on
production.  However, as time moves forward, more and more players
will reach the 650 skill level doing consignments.  They can do
this, because when it comes to consignments, there is nothing
governing demand.  Certainly at the lower levels, DAoC seems to have
implemented a system involving lots of price-fixing moreso than an
economy.  I don't have enough experience at higher levels in the
economy to say how they will work, but I have my doubts.  Especially
if they still involve bottomless barrels of supplies.

Why was the decision made to handle all of these factors
artificially instead of using principles of supply and demand?  Does
it have something to do with the fact that we don't think players
are capable of handling scarcity?  Or is it the NPCs that are not
capable of handling the concept?

--Phinehas

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