[MUD-Dev] Managing MUD economy

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Mon Dec 17 11:32:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Freeman, Jeff [mailto:jfreeman at soe.sony.com]

> This is a problem that scaling enconomies (or whatever the proper
> term is: Economies in which low level people deal in pennies while
> high-level people deal in Unobtanium Nuggets) will always face.
> It has a huge impact as the MUD matures.  People that start on
> Launch Day go through the steps the designer envisioned: Saving
> their pennies, leveling-up, saving their nickels, leveling-up,
> saving their dimes, leveling-up...  People that start much later
> just get handed a chunk of money by an oldbie which utterly
> eliminates their need for cash for weeks, if not months: A trivial
> sum for the oldbie player, a mere platinum piece, say, and the
> newbie won't ever need to loot-n-sell until he's no longer a
> newbie any more.  Makes one wondered why the newbies were forced
> to suffer through selling rat whiskers for pennies in the first
> place: The gameplay doesn't seem to be harmed (and strikes me as
> being better, to be honest), when the playerbase finally does away
> with the designers' grand vision of impoverished newbies.

This is actually two edged, not only do newbies have the ability to
beg for money and bypass the rat whisker stage, equipment deflation
tends to allow them to overequip and speed through the newbie stage
quicker, which accelerates the rate at which people reach the
maximum level.

Of course there are two ways around this, firstly level limit
equipment. I don't really like this as it disadvantages those who
like to trade and removes one the main motivations. After all the
over-equipping allows them to catch up on some of the xp they missed
out on whilst trading.

The other approach is item decay, but I'm not certain how this
affects player trade. I find myself intrinsically turned off by
buying second hand gear that has been subject to wear. Until people
know the system inside out, it makes pricing gear extremely hard
too. Perhaps if there was a character skill to estimate the decay
curves on gear it would be easier to stomach.

Getting back to the original point, I'm guessing that rats don't
drop unobtainium because if they did it would lead to a lot of
bottom-feading higher levels. Of course you can always go the
contrived route and have them not drop coinage if of inappropriate
level - you could even work out the ratio between mob and player
level to refactor the drop.

Then again maybe adventurers should be poor, if you want to be rich
become a merchant or a land owner because theres no particular
reason why a level 40 ogre mob should have more money than a level
10 one.

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