[MUD-Dev] Economic model..

Brian Thyer brian at thyer.net
Wed Feb 25 14:55:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


On Wednesday, February 18, 2004 2:49 PM, Robert Kovalchick wrote:

> EVE Online has a closed system that uses the free market. However,
> there are not enough drains, and situations arise when some
> players will manufacture below 'mineral price' (the basis cost an
> item is worth according to NPC prices of the minerals that make up
> the item) just to 'sell' the item, or to undercut the market in
> the whole region. Which irritates other players. EVE is one of the
> more interesting economic systems I've seen (it's total
> cut-throat, robber-baron capitalism) and it has 7000 players in
> the same persistant world. However, no-one likes to spend their
> hard earned time being a crafter and getting undercut by one rich
> player that has no legitimate stake in manufacturing. That may be
> too bad for the crafter (that's business) but it is no fun and
> they will go elsewhere to have fun.

Players selling for lower than manufacturing cost is a concern of
mine.  Game theory dictates that manufacturers should sell for the
lowest possible cost in an informed open market economy, that is an
ideal economy for consumers.  However, Game theory also says that
manufacturers, wherever possible, should behave as much like a
monopoly as consumer's elasticity of demands allows them to get away
with.

Players who decide to drop the price of their item below what it
cost them to manufacture can really throw things off balance.  How
do you control/regulate/stop that?  Players who have made so much
money that they can afford it to try to get a piece of the market
(say, Microsoft selling the xbox for less than it's manufactured +
R&D cost) is one thing, but players selling that low simply to out
sell their competitor, with no regard to their own accounting books
because, hey, it's just a game, is a concern of mine; one that I
don't yet have an answer for.

- Brian
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