[MUD-Dev] DID vs. MORAG "complexity"

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Fri May 23 14:23:45 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: Dave Rickey
> From: Jeff Cole
>> From: Dave Rickey

>> I think our conceptual break is greater than that.  I disagree
>> that Camelot does "economy" well--either objectively or
>> subjectively compared to the prior art.  In order to claim the
>> Camelot economy didn't break, you need to assume such limited
>> definitions of "economy" and/or "break" as to beg the question.

> Issues related to the economy did not become priority "Oh my god
> we have to fix this" problems.  Although there was an ongoing
> economic emphasis in development, with 2-3 developers working on
> it steadily, it was all very low-key and rarely rose to the point
> where management was even aware of it, never mind pushing for
> decisions on it or making them directly.  By the standards of
> previous games, that is "non-broken".

Exactly.  Your definition of "broken" begs the question, and it says
more about Mystic's priorities than whether the Camelot economy is
broken.

>>> If, in fact, there is such a systematic error, the Mom's would
>>> seem to be a good environment for finding it.  The number of
>>> participants is limited, the interaction with outside influences
>>> is comparatively minor, the ability to manipulate the core
>>> scarcities and inherent demands effectively limitless, and the
>>> information available to an observer far closer to complete,
>>> than in any real system.

>> I disagree in large part.  Game systems and general designs have
>> to provide for much more efficient transaction and for
>> participation of a much larger portion of a server/shard's
>> population in a much greater percentage of markets.  Then, maybe.

> I might buy this, if the predictive record of economists weren't
> so poor.  The old joke is that they have "predicted 9 of the last
> 5 recessions".  In spite of centuries of work, a continuing effort
> in the public, private, and academic arenas, the "dismal science"
> is going nowhere, and has been for a long time.  I'm going to make
> a bold statement: It is not only worthwhile for economists to
> study online game economies, but there are Nobel prizes waiting
> for the ones that figure them out.

Certainly the limitations you describe (limited number of
participants, lack of outside influences and ability to manipulate
[artificially, mind you] supply and demand) are not likely to
improve predictive accuracy.

That is not to say that studying MOM*/MUD economies is not valuable.
Quite the contrary.  Predictive accuracy may well be the
philosopher's stone, but I think it is a poor measure of "getting
somewhere."  Doesn't your inherent-irrationality theory preclude
predictive accuracy?

Yrs. Affect,
Jeff Cole


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