[MUD-Dev] Managing MUD economy

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Thu Dec 13 12:19:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> The best drains are those that are inevitable.

Best for draining. But unless you are deferring their application,
not draining quite as much as you are allowing in, or applying them
unevenly, you won't get any saving (or non-compulsory spending) and
it might be frustrating, too.

Perfect drains are a bad idea. I think the right idea is drains
which work _overall, on average_, and maybe not quite enough to
prevent slight inflation. What you are controlling is the overall
money supply, not the individual money supply at every instant.

>  2. Rent. As Raph mentioned this concept is largely abandoned but
>  was a very fine concept economic-wise. Only it was very
>  frustrating to lose items if you couldn't afford the rent, and
>  that scared the players away. If only it could be remade with
>  some different logic...?

What I think turns me off of rent particularly is that I am being
taxed for decisions like "I have to go now because I'm late for the
Dentist's" rather than "I am going to fight monsters for cash" (or

The item wear concept you discussed strikes me as the right kind of
per-activity rather than per-play cost. For starters, it is the kind
of thing you can take care of during back-to-town downtime. Also it
is less abrupt than losing things at rent.

However, my understanding is that rent is not just addressing
money/gear supply, but specifically by taking it out of hoarders.
Maybe somewhat to discourage hoarding, but also substantially to
make players indirectly control the amount of data storage they are
using. Damn near any kind of sink is going to be equivalent as far
as maintaining the integrity of the economy (i.e., value of goods.)

>  4. Spend money on activities (the more inevitable the
>  better). For example if you want to learn a new skill you have to
>  spend money (more money for the higher level skill). Donations
>  (donate money to your temple to have your faith increase). Fees
>  (Clan membership fee, player house fee).

A good and unmentioned feature of your examples is that they exploit
framing, and all cast the spending as exchange for advantages. In
fact players might just be keeping up with the Joneses by spending
this money, but it feels better to say "You pay 50,000 gp to raise
your faith points (resulting in restoration of the edge you lost as
of level)" than "The tax collector arrives and takes 50,000 gp (your
status is unchanged)." It would also be good to allow choices about
what exactly is given in exchange - while you can charge them the
same amount, if multiple things are buyable with that amount it is
even less like the taxman.

Remember that you can slow the process down a little if monsters are
dropping specific items with some value but no easy way to trade
with.  Being able to exchange items out freely at the merchant for
GP makes item drops just an elaborate form of gold drop - if a
certain item is not so easily exchangeable but still valuable, your
gear supply does not expand immediately and your
deferred/probabilistic sinks have time to kick in and
compensate. (Hmm, this sounds fishy to me...)

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