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Post by Erucolindo » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm

Question: What's the long term plan for how the economy functions in the game, code wise? Will VNPC towns be tied into the player economy?

Why Should SOI Care?: I played EVE Online for years, an MMO based purely in sandbox gameplay. The economy / crafting was incredibly deep, and that added a HUGE conflict point between players. Players within alliances would squabble over valuable resources to make expensive items, and different alliances would mass troops to secure them. This provides an amazing RP opportunity in SOI

Summary: Due to the heavy RPI focus, SoI is fundamentally a sandbox where players create their own adventures, maintain or lose control control of territory via their own patrols / lack thereof, and generate supply based on player demand for items. Thus a robust economy (Including, in particular, VNPC's) can add another dimension to the sandbox, especially if done realistically.

Hypothetical Example: Lets say there are only three types of tree in the game: Hornbeam; Yew; and Ash. We know there are various VNPC towns that fell trees along the river running.

If each of them had a variable for # of vnpc's, they could have their output of logs sent downriver each week to some % of that. Since each of them could be in a different part of the forest,they'd cut down different %'s of each tree as well. Add some small randomization to those numbers, as well as a small number of events that have x% chance of occurring each week (Mill breaks down, raided by wargs, double yield week) and then tie that into Utterby's economy via the NPC lumber buyer/seller.

So now in Utterby, which lets suppose has 70% hornbeam, 25% Yew and 5% Ash, we can have the lumber buyer set prices by the general supply of logs provided by VNPC towns. So if a mill jams and the town that provides Yew stops for a week, the Yew buy/sell price increases. If there's a flood of Ash, the prices decrease. This provides incentives for players to cut down those specific trees.

Bonus - MORE RP: If Yew trees are most commonly found equidistant from the humans and blackbloods, now you have groups of players in conflict for a suddenly valuable resource.

The Next Step: You can take this further, for example making ash bows the best by some small margin. Now the bow price is tied into these economic fluctuations in lumber. If you wanted to (Don't know what language the game is coded in or the architecture so this may be tricky), you could make it so the more of one type of item humans sell to NPC's the less it's worth.

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Re: Economics

Post by Nimrod » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:46 pm

An excellent post, Erucolindo. The economy has taken a back seat to many other factors during these first few months of Alpha. We are currently addressing those exact points you mention above. We already have in place a system to make the 'ash bow' as listed in your example slightly better than a pine bow, as well as more expensive via variables passed down to the bow, all the way from the tree itself.

i.e. a variable is assigned to a tree, in this case $woodtype="ash". This variable is passed to the log that is produced by chopping down the tree, and then to the board created from the log, and then the bow created from the bow. A modifier is assigned to this variable that will increase both the value and effectiveness of each item throughout the process. So an ash log has a value that is X percent higher than a pine log, the value trickles down to the bow, which then is X percent higher than the pine bow and is Y percent more effective.

The basic rule of thumb: 'You get what you pay for.' is almost always true in-game.

We have attempted to place some commodities in an area that could be fought over in-game, but some minor changes and additions have greatly hindered that particular vehicle for roleplay. We hope to address these very soon.

To answer your questions, we expect the economy to be a huge part of game play and will be working hard to make it something that impacts a lot of areas. As for vnpc towns, absolutely. We will be taking into account both import AND export of goods to distant locations. There are not really many towns large enough to consider for import/export that are extremely close to Utterby and Laketown, but there are many a greater distance away and that trade is intended to be a big part of the game.

You will hopefully see more of this impacting the game soon. I can't guarantee when, but it is being worked on at this very moment.

Hopefully that addresses all your concerns. Thanks for lobbing up this cookie of a softball; it was amazingly timely and almost appears to be posted as a juicy insider-posted question. :)
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