[MUD-Dev] Managing MUD economy

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Wed Dec 12 22:37:32 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Koster, Raph

> Have lots of drains.

>   - Make darn near every item break. This may mean getting away
>   from unique items and items you can only obtain once. If you're
>   going to have items you can only obtain once, make sure they are
>   divided by class/profession/whatever (eg, only useful to a
>   subset) and then make sure *everyone* obtains them so that there
>   are usually some available. Of course, then you also need to
>   guarantee an influx of newbies. ;)

>   - make various necessary activities, such as spellcasting, have
>   costs to them. Rent (as in, a fixed cost drained over real time
>   from your game bank account based on what items your character
>   possessed), largely abandoned a few years back because it was
>   onerous, was an excellent one. It scaled in cost as the
>   character rose in level.

>   - have big expensive useless things on which to spend money. In
>   other words, support discretionary spending. Things like in-game
>   player houses, titles, restrung items, etc, make for great money
>   sinks that do not affect the player's power level much (which is
>   your main concern).  > - have catastrophic loss. In other words,
>   deathtraps can indeed be your economic friend. :)

Been a long time since I heard anyone on this list talk about 'Ye
ole DT'.  *shiver* I do agree though, nothing cycled items and
wealth out of the game like a goold DT in a spot that the PC not
paying attention could fall into.  On MozartMUD we used them on an
average, 1 per 2 - 3 areas.  We had stringent rules that would
forewarn players so that they could not complain.  Specific words
had to be in the text where one was near.  Nothing irks a player
more than an unfair DT as they come off arbitrary.  Most of the time
we had room timed teleports so that they had a chance of survival.
Stick a bunch of good stuff on the other side of that ravine with a
shredded rope bridge crossing it and you'll be suprised how many
players actually think it is worth the adventure or risk to cross.
All in all I thought it was a great "money sink" when done right.

Rent is another one, that I sometimes think is not necessary.  I
believe that over the years, I have thought about rent in the same
way I do taxes vs tolls.  When rent is a choice and I can reasonably
play the game while avoiding it, I don't mind it.  If I want the
uber item, the house, or the whatever then I choose to incur the
penalty of rent which again is ok.  Placing rent in the path of
character advancement has gameplay effects and penalizes the
casual/social player dramatically.  Instead, I prefer usage style
taxes like tolls, or rare item rent, or house rent, or even vendor
maintenance.  Much in the way that a couple of MUDs on this list
run, the game is mostly free, though if you want the best stuff in
game, it comes at a cost.

Discretionary spending is perhaps the best answer.  My wife and I
couldn't make enough money to travel everywhere and see everything
in the world.  Forget seeing all the new movies and reading every
book that comes out.  A MUD or MMOW that implements plenty of
discretionary spending will have a more stable economy in my opinion
because inflation will nearly always be in check.  Its when people
have nothing to do with their money, or wealth stagnation, that
causes a lot of these games inflation.

Derek

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