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

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Wed May 7 05:39:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: Marian Griffith
> From: Jeff Cole

>>> I would argue that developers have been too focused on managing
>>> economy only through supply and have too long ignored demand
>>> (much to the detriment of their economies).  The greater the
>>> inelasticity of demand, the greater the threat of monopoly to
>>> the economy.

> While accurate this is not entirely fair. Developers only have
> con- trol over the supply part of the game economy, so naturally
> they do concentrate on that to prevent rampant inflation.

If only because of their economic design, though.  If the economy is
based solely on big-ticket items, then the only real mechanism for
manipulating demand is through item decay.  And, while it's a
potentially effective mechanism, it necessarily pits the economy
against players' interest in not having to replace such items.  Not
a particularly easy balance to strike (if one, indeed, can)--a decay
rate necessary to significantly affect demand is likely
(necessarily, by definition?) a good bit beyond what players
consider "reasonable."

But that doesn't inhere in all economies--especially given that
developers can directly control the physics of their worlds.
Certainly, effective demand-manipulation requires more subtle
economic machinations.

Yrs. Affcty,
Jeff Cole

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