[MUD-Dev] Dgn: Currency free game [was: Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population]

jbarry jbarry at rampartstudios.com
Thu Jun 9 09:58:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


cruise said...

> A sudden thought hit me just after I'd read this: Have any games
> tried not having a built-in currency?

>   ie. The game starts with /only/ a barter system, but there is a
>   crafting system that would allow creation of jewellry and such.

> How long would it take players to agree common equivalences, and
> have characters working as dedicated minters producing "coinage"?

A Tale in the Desert did something like that.  There was no game
supported universal currency.  However, there was a technology that
once researched gave the players the ability to build mints that
could print paper scrips.  That opened up lots of interesting
challenges, such as: is the currency backed, what's it backed by (a
harvested resource, several resources, processed resource), what's
it worth, how do you redeem them, etc.  There were two main
currencies that were recognized.  One was based off of a basket of
common resources(so each iron, copper, etc basket turned in to the
bank got you 100 doodads), and one attempted to be valued off of
time spent (so if collecting iron took 1 minute, when you turned an
iron in to the bank you'd get 60 foobars).

It was interesting to watch players come up with the entire economic
system themselves.

Personally, I really enjoy the auction houses that WoW and FFXI in
particular have.  It makes it very easy for me to sell what I have
and find what I want.  Any barter type system would make an
automated economy difficult to make and a very large headache for
the players to deal with.

Joe

Joseph Barry
Rampart Studios, LLC
(603) 714-0729
jbarry at rampartstudios.com
AIM: NhJstr
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