[MUD-Dev] Economic model..

Thomas Clive Richards thomi at thomi.imail.net.nz
Thu Feb 19 14:12:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


On Wednesday 18 February 2004 09:11, Brian Thyer wrote:

> I was referred to this mailing list by a friend who suggested that I
> might be able to get some good feedback.  I've been lurking for
> probably close to 2 months and reading up on some of the old
> messages during that time, just to acquaint myself with it a little.

> I'm working as the economic designer for a mud me and a group of
> people are putting together, currently as a part time venture.  I,
> myself, don't have any experience designing an online economy, so
> I was hoping to get some, well, experienced feedback from anyone
> on the list who'd be willing to give it.

Hi there,

I'm in a very similar situation myself, with he once project
(www.once.net.nz). First off, I can recommend the "Designing virtual
worlds" book by Richard Bartle. If you're lucky, your library might
have a copy. It has an entire section devoted to online economies.

The design we chose for once is fairly simple, and runs like so:
First, we start with an open economy. This is as you describe, where
prices rise and fall due to supply and demand of a certain area. The
data for these calculations is collected not only from trades with
NPC's, but also between players. Secondly, several nerf knobs are
built into the system, which the live team can adjust at will. This
is to stop organized groups of players hoarding resources in a
certain area to stimulate demand, and make lots of money really
quickly ;) (Some might say this is a good thing, but after careful
consideration, I think not).

Also, you have to look at the ways wealth is entering and exiting
the system. Wealth enters the system in once via raw resources
(trees-> wood, plants -> potions, monster drops etc. etc.), and
leaves via used items (whenever a player eats food, drinks potions
etc.), and NPC trades (NPC's don't spend the money they receive, it
dissapears). Depending on how much money is in active distribution
within the system (being spent, rather than hoarded), the rate of
raw materials entering the system fluctuates.

Basically, the system aims to do several things:

  - Keep players from extreme poverty or extreme wealth.

  - ...at the same time, don't make the system unbeatable (this
  makes it really really boring).

  - Keep prices realistic, based on supply and demand. Generally,
  items gathered from dangerous areas will sell for more, because
  their supply is less (providing of course that the demand is there
  also).

I don't have the document in front of me, but if you want a copy,
feel free to email me off-list and I can supply it.

HTH!

--

Thomi Richards,
thomi at once.net.nz
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