[MUD-Dev] DGN: MMOG Game Economies

Christopher D. Chapman chris at chapmanholdings.com
Thu Nov 3 08:27:32 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


On 11/1/05, William Leader <leader at k2wrpg.org> wrote:

> As I read the essay I realized just how familiar this topic is to
> me. Lets just make sure I understand the point you are trying to
> make. Inflation in Game Economies is bad, and that you suggest it
> could be fixed by blurring the lines between experience points and
> money. You also suggest the traditional money sinks don't work
> because they aren't exponential like most leveling systems are. I
> will agree that they don't work forever because the amount of
> money they consume eventually becomes trivial. I could go off on
> another tangent here about why else they are bad, but then this
> list is exceedingly good on following wild tangents.

yep.  you are right on target.  by blurring the lines, in a
nutshell, i am talking about it costing gold to buy items and it
costing gold AND xp to buy skills.  i from jaycen's response, i
don't think i made that clear enough.  so, in effect, you have one
currency, however, you still have to earn the right to spend that
currency on skill advancement.

> What I find very compelling about this solution is that A) its
> permanent. No need to add new sinks with new expansion packs so
> its less long term work for the developer. B) its completely
> transparent to the players allowing them to complain to the
> developers about how some other class race combo has more buffs,
> rather than complain about why rocks are so expensive.

agreed.  originally, i had planned on having a pricing index with a
fluctuating 'income' and 'cost', tho, it still didn't address the
concept of the two currencies.  there really is no 'drain' in this
scenario.  all the players are on their own 'hero's journey' so, the
aggregate amount of wealth will keep increasing.  any non-scaling
drains you put in the economy will effectively be a regressive tax
-- and an optional one at that for higher powered
characters. (property, titles, travel, etc.)

the part about every character accumulating wealth is important
because a price index will continue to rise as the measure of wealth
in the world will always increase.  because, essentially, people
don't need to spend money to make money.  the price index will
continue to float until monsters are basically dropping nothing and
merchant prices are exorbitant in order to compensate.  newer
players can't get any money.  older players don't have to spend any
money -- because they can gain power and achieve goals without
gaining (or spending) money.  the whole system will shut down.

the problem i'm describing isn't something we encounter in the real
world.  it stems from the fact that in the real world, for someone
to advance in power, someone else doesn't.  in the game world,
everyone can advance in power to absolutely no detriment to anyone
else.

chris.
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