[MUD-Dev] Economic Growth (Was: [STORY] Story and population size)

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Mon Dec 17 14:16:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: Bobby Martin [mailto:bobbymartin at hotmail.com]

> In fact we plan to support everything you list here except
> multiple currencies.  Farming, mining, and making every item
> useful for something other than funny looking currency is already
> partially implemented.  We should have notes up soon (in less than
> a month, that's soon on our development schedule :) on the
> customer web site about what we plan to support with regards to
> crafting, mining, farming, etc.

I've been thinking on this today, and expanding on what I originally
wrote, consignment based trading is sounding better and better to
me. I don't just mean in the DAoC context, but more in terms of
multilevel trades encompassing multiple participants.

Let me give an example, Exporter A reports to his guild, and looking
at the contracts board spots that someone wants 300 bat ears
(perhaps a necessary alchemical reagent). He then puts in a
competitive tender for that contract, the person requesting the
items then selects an offer based on reputation, cost and ability to
fulfil the contract within a desirable time frame.

Our Exporter wins, and now has a contract. He happens to know that
bat ears are extremely common 300 miles away in another town, and
unfortunately his transport caravans are nowhere near the area, so
he uses his guild to put up a sub-contract in that town. Now if he
fails to get a contract, then he has a problem, there should be both
a monetary and reputational cost. This gives him an incentive to
make the trade happen, even if its at a net loss because he can't
get the supply he thought he could. It also stops margins dropping
too low due as the risk would just put people off.

Part of the strength of this system is that those who build a trade
network will have an advantage which encourages
interaction. Furthermore, you should only be able to see contracts
in your aligned town/area so that you can't be privy to all the
contract market (after all perfect information = perfect markets =
no profit).

If you add in the multiple currencies, then there are interesting
arbitrage opportunities. Especially if you allow these contracts to
be futures. i.e. I want 300 bat ears in 2 weeks at price
x. Depending on how the market moves, you have opportunity for
profit. Of course you have to have a rich enough world to do some
forecasting otherwise its 100% guesswork and no fun.  Furthermore
some goods need to be perishable, and if you want to store 500 rhino
hides to ride a market, you are going to have to pay for the

The main issue is to stimulate demand for 300 bat ears and that's a
whole different kettle of fish. If you want npcs to do it, they have
to know the value of items, which is what I originally
proposed. There are so many things I want to do that rely on this
knowledge. I suspect that there are mechanics that can stimulate
player demand for these shipments too, but I need to think further
on this as its only just taking shape in my mind - or get some ideas
from here...


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