[MUD-Dev] RE: A world without charity

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Tue Nov 25 20:53:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

"Castronova, Edward" <ecastronova at Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU> writes:
> Eamonn wrote:

>> I started to wonder why players can trade items for money, and
>> the answer is simple, because in game mechanics generally allow
>> you to hand an item over to a player and to recieve nothing in
>> return, an act of charity. So this got me thinking, if the game
>> prevented acts of charity such that all you could do with an item
>> was junk it (i.e. remove it from the game world, not drop it) or
>> trade it for an equally valuable item what would this do to the
>> game world?

> I've had exactly the same questions and come up with exactly the
> same answers: ban financial and material charity and you eliminate
> 99 percent of eBaying, as well as a host of other problems. And I
> am just as eager to hear what the devs have to say. I haven't been
> behind the scenes, so I can't see much of a downside. What are we
> missing?

(replying to an old thread)

Just want to mention that developers already do this:

1. Making powerful rare items non-tradable: This has the nice side
   effect of luring players to engage in all the content of the game
   (quests or dungeons) and potentially spend more time on social

   Of course, the service of being helped to gain access to the source
   of the rare item might still be bought, so it does not eliminate the
   stated problem!

2. Putting limits on the relevance of the items (level/effect
   limitations) and therefore making them less interesting objects to
   invest in (why bother). The unfortunate side effect is that the
   characters' abilities are heavily stratified, which in turn creates
   teaming problems.

I am sure there is more.

Ola - http://folk.uio.no/olag/
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