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

Bobby Martin bobbymartin at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 18 17:07:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com

> 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).

In fact, we expect to implement contracts of the form of "X must do
Y by time Z or consequence C happens." with the option to require
that money be bound to the contract up front, so you don't even have
the risk of the other party quitting the game altogether and thus
breaking the contract.  I take no credit for that, though, it's
basically straight from someone's post to this list.

> 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
> warehouse...
> 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...

My half-formed ideas regarding integrating NPCs into the economy are
to have the NPCs know a local market price (by monitoring exchanges
on the server) and scarcity.  For some default scarcity, they want
to sell at e.g. 110% market price and buy at e.g. 80% of market
price.  If an item begins to be scarce, either in their inventory or
in the local area in general, they simply raise their estimate of
the market price by 10%.  If they are still selling at those prices,
they raise the price still further.  Essentially, my hope is to
arrange things so that NPC merchants virtually never sell out of an
item unless they decide not to deal in the item any more.  The
reason they don't sell out is that the price goes to infinity as
their inventory goes to zero.  In fact, I don't expect to ever
actually take the price to infinity, just high enough that no sane
buyer would buy it, and no sane seller would pass up selling to the
merchant.  I do also want to restrict the merchant to having limited
funds, probably with some monthly cash infusion.  I expect to
monitor the amount of cash disappearing due to catastrophic loss,
etc. and the amount of cash magically created.  I will have server
tools to manage at a high level how much cash is infused/lost.

Bobby Martin
Cosm Development Team

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