[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Dave Rickey mahrinskel at brokentoys.org
Mon Apr 28 15:27:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: "Daniel Anderson" <melinko at insight.rr.com>
> From: Dave Rickey:

>> Nuts.  Economies are about the conversion of one type of value
>> into another.  In MMO's, there are only two fundamental types of
>> value: Time, and Power.  Under the right circumstances, there is
>> also Rarity, but that's a sideshow (by the very nature of
>> involving items whose difficulty of acquisition (Time) exceeds
>> their effectiveness (Power)), not the main economy.

> Economies are formed due to scarcity of resources.  People have
> unlimited wants, but it's impossible to fulfill all of those
> wants, (due to scarcity of resources) thus an economy forms as a
> result.

What determines demand?  People.  What determines supply?  People.
Even in the real world, the price of a commodity is determined
primarily by the amount of effort required to "create" more of it.
If the price of gold goes up and stays up, more effort to find and
extract it is economically viable.  Mines that would have closed
stay open, deposits that otherwise would not have been worth
extracting become attractive.

>> Players squabbling over how many millions of gold a pile of horse
>> dung is worth is a sign of a *broken* economy, not economic
>> forces at work.  Exclusive control of a source of vital resources
>> by a small group is another (that group has power far exceeding
>> their time investment, others cannot have that much power
>> regardless of how much time they invest).

> I wouldn't say it's a broken economy, they are just determing the
> value of a rare "resource".  Exclusive control of source in a MMO
> leads to that source being taken over.  It's next to impossible to
> keep any type of monopoly-- even a geographic monopoly in a MMO.

It's not a resource.  It has absolutely no redeeming or useful
qualities, the very reason it is the rarest of the rares was that it
was so undesirable that few bothered to collect it while it was
possible.  The only reason to *buy* it is to demonstrate that you


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