[MUD-Dev] Economic model..

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed Feb 25 22:04:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

On Wed 25 Feb, Michael Sellers wrote:
> Thomas Clive Richards wrote:

> Too many resources (aka "faucets") pouring into the economy and
> too few ways to "drain" these out of it quickly leads to an
> over-abundance of resources, and thus hyper-inflation, as seen in
> just about every MMP game with an economy to date.  The solutions
> of having things break or need to be replaced often helps with
> this, but is also exceedingly tedious for the players.

One very simple, and I would think obvious, way to force items out
of the economy while at the same time giving players a chance to
craft items is requiring an item of the same type as part of the
crafting recipy.

E.g. to create a tarnished sword, you need a rusty one. If
successful you end up with a new sword. If you fail you lose the
rusty sword.  Similarly to create a 'sword of ultimate doom and
headaches' you need another powerful weapon to 'work into' the new
one.  You could try to do it with less powerful weapons, but the
chances at success rapidely drop.  To make this thing fair (and to
keep the players from shouting bloody murder), the chance of success
should be pretty good (or even garantueed!) as long as what you take
out is almost as good as what you get back.

Such a setup would remove most of the need (if not all of them) for
monster drops. At least the powerful artifact part of them. To
satisfy the players who want to hunt monsters for drops, there
should be a lot of items/parts/components required in the crafting
process.  The difference is that those have no inherent value
outside crafting and would not upset the economy.  Well, the market
for a certain type of spell reagent could get low or glutted, but
the ordinary effect of power inflation (which is even worse in many
aspects than gold inflation) would not occur.  Players would
basically bring their own gear up to spec as they increase in power,
without spare items to dispose of to new characters.

The final control would be to have certain reagents being available
either only bought, or when obtained personally, to prevent
characters getting items out of their intended range (through
twinking or powerleveling or just being given a lot of money). The
untradeable items would be a better solution to prevent abuse of the
system. This would also mean the items need not be excessively rare
as it does not really matter how many the player gets, as long as
she can be pretty certain at least one shows up during normal

An additional advantage of this setup would be that later addition
of high-end gameplay would not upset the economy and adding low end
content would be easier to balance. Items, crafting recipies and
reagent drops all have a pretty clear interdependency and intended
range. Adding new content will not upset the system as long as it
stays within the boundaries already in place.

Adding high end crafting and items would not mean old items are
automatically discarded (or trickle down to lower character
levels). They are still needed as basic item so players must still
somehow obtain an item of suitable power, and the developers can
have a fairly accurate estimate of the power of players at a certain
level since there is not much way to bypass the intended power
limits.  This makes balancing and design easier I would think.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey
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