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The game economy is broken.

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The game economy is broken.

Postby someguy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:20 am

Discuss.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Songweaver » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:54 am

Some things about the economy work well. PC trade's been a consistent thing of goodness in the game. But ...

1) Iron is perhaps too rare.
2) Food is not filling enough and too expensive to buy.
3) Also, ale is too expensive to buy.
4) Also, there need to be repair kits for wood/metal objects (shields/helms).
5) Also, repair kits are too expensive to buy, but you gotta do it anyways.
6) Also, the sooner that there are trade systems set up, the better. It'll allow for a more consistent and varied supply/demand chain, meaning more ways for PCs to make money. I'm not really keen on crafting, but I imagine it's hard to make a profit because it's hard to find enough people wanting to buy what you've got when the cost of incidental things (food, drink, repair kits) is so high.

Trade systems, bounty systems, automated monetary rewards for proactivity for all different types of PCs ... those sorts of things would go a long way towards infusing the economy with movement and encouraging PCs to go do stuff.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby krelm » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:18 am

4) Also, there need to be repair kits for wood/metal objects (shields/helms).


If I remember correctly, both the mending kits and the repair kits should be able to repair helms. That's how I made them, at least, when I built them.

As for shields, I considered making the kits able to repair them, but from what I remember most shields were, at least initially, supposed to be cheap enough that they could just be replaced*. The larger shields with more metal bits on them ought to be type metal, and able to be repaired.

*Of course, this could not be the case. Having never made a shield IG, I couldn't tell you.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Droll » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:51 pm

You can use the weapon care kits to fix the helms, shields as well.

And with everything Frigga keeps posting about the Lodge, it sounds like it is getting a lot easier to make shinies through the Lodge. Plus, when more shops than the Iron guy are ready, it'll be even easier.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Rivean » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:30 am

You cannot have a PC to PC economy and have it work either realistically, or in a way that actually works for crafters in a game design sense - not unless you've got at least a thousand PCs and those thousands PCs act in a more or less realistic, reasonable manner, in their spending patterns. This is never going to happen.

I've gone on at length in the past, explaining why this is a bad idea in both simulationist terms and also from a game design point of view, so I won't bore everyone with another detailed rant, and jump straight to the conclusions.

You are currently relying too heavily on Newbie gold and (I presume?) magic buying power of Arni and the new Lodge buyer. In order for the economy to make sense you need three things:

a) Prices that are in alignment with each other across the board - they are presently not, and as far as I'm aware, there has been no concerted effort to bring them into alignment, only piecemeal adjustment of the prices of this or that whenever it seems broken. This will not work. You will fix one leaking faucet and cause two others to spring.

b) vNPC sales that can help make up for the discrepancies between what PCs ought to be spending and what they actually are. Also, in general, to accurately reflect the amount of consumption that should be taking place in Utterby.

c) Appropriate outflows that are both realistic and beneficial for the game economy. Very important if one is to avoid inflation and armor/weapon/gold creep.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Fulgrim » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:31 am

These things are planned!
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Frigga » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:11 am

a) Prices that are in alignment with each other across the board - they are presently not, and as far as I'm aware, there has been no concerted effort to bring them into alignment, only piecemeal adjustment of the prices of this or that whenever it seems broken.


As Fulgrim notes, your suggestions are actually current in progess, including a current review of current items and prices relative to craft output and times. Assuming something isn't happening because you aren't aware of it might not always be the best assumption. ;)

However, if there are specific items you are concerned about, you could send in some thoughts.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Matt » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:52 pm

I think metal rarity is fine. People just need to go get it.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Rivean » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:13 am

Frigga wrote:
a) Prices that are in alignment with each other across the board - they are presently not, and as far as I'm aware, there has been no concerted effort to bring them into alignment, only piecemeal adjustment of the prices of this or that whenever it seems broken.


As Fulgrim notes, your suggestions are actually current in progess, including a current review of current items and prices relative to craft output and times. Assuming something isn't happening because you aren't aware of it might not always be the best assumption. ;)

However, if there are specific items you are concerned about, you could send in some thoughts.


Very happy to hear that the right fixes are being applied to this!
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby BleedingEdge » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:00 am

I know from my point of view, its gouge the newcomers. The local welcome wagon in utterby knows how much a newcomer arrives with and to buy gear to fill in the gaps from newbie creation always seems to get most of that money. And now that I've joined one of the three places of employment and I'm seeing even newer people joining I'm learning that nobody in my organization knows how to price things. An example, we have a new crafter who can make stuff, but doesn't know how to price it to sell. What I mean, to get the money back for creating the item is along the price gouging lines. This is in part because the raw materials cost so much in utterby. Or you could say our pay in utterby is so low. I know for myself, I'm tired of hearing the Innkeeper whine about us not buying more, when the price of a few of his drinks would wipe out my months pay. And that's not even considering his food bill which I could spend a months salary on in one meal to go from famished to peckish.

Also the clan's vendors need to be updated for more commissioned items. Right now I'm relying on my boss to remember once a RL week to pay me an extra silver for the many many silvers worth of goods I'm bringing in. If I'm working my butt off to bring something of value in during the winter months, then I need to be compensated. Or the clan will start seeing me sitting around more and more since the new is wearing off and I'm constantly having to wait on someone else to create an item I need to practice my skills. Why are they not producing the items I need? They aren't getting much out of it either, so my needs are just another time sink to them.

I would have suggested putting a NPC vendor in that could set a goods baseline, but I can see right now how those price gougers would manipulate the npc to keep him broke so the rest of us players would still have to deal with them. I'm not even sure that putting one of these vendors in each of the groups private areas would work if you consider friendships and how a player might be let into these private areas to buy and sell further manipulating the market.

As far as I can see, Utterby is crying for a barter system, but player greed and deception is making us all grumpy old goats who are learning to say go away kid, you're bothering me.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:40 am

So...

...just testing the waters here but...

...let's talk...

...about...







...inflation? I'm sure many of you remember the old game, and you know, even if you don't, I think it's sort of the same elsewhere. But I think the largest problem involved with manipulating IG economies in regards to MUDs (they usually fail, in one aspect or another) is that generating artificial scarcity makes it easy for a select few to monopolize and exploit others who have little interest in economics in themselves, rather than making themselves set-components to that economy.

However, increasing availability to the point where there's "equal" and "fair" access to as wide a group as possible causes the economic minded to exploit this temporary gap and measure to the point where money is rendered worthless, and if the over-riding operation of the economy decides to revert in the middle of this, they'll likely be the ones with the highest probability of profiting off the stored surplus.

There are two extremes that (this is desirable anyway) you want to navigate toward the middle of. Extreme scarcity in which few can hope to "succeed" or "win", and if it's made into a "game" to be "won" and it will be, most will suffer. And the other extreme is everything becomes laughably available, money is worthless and people tend towards a pure service-barter combination economy, of which administration has little control over.

Just to, you know, put it into perspective, there's a reason why trying to emulate realistic economics in video games is nearly pointless unless you have a team of accountants on hand.

We have one.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby someguy » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:48 am

As long as there is nothing game breakingly awesome to buy, it doesn't matter if somebody stashes a billion coins, and I would control someone who twinkishly did by having Geriac say: good job, lad, thanks for covering the pay of the Merchant guard this month. Have a nice day.

It frustrates me more to be unable to acquire basic items without hunting down the handful of people able to make them, putting an order in, hoping they remember, and hoping you find them again.

I guess the lodge has a vendor somewhere now. Put him out in the square or something, maybe with an order board that will get erased as the items are put up for sale and bought (with what money I don't know).
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Ava » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:14 am

It would be nice to get things like nails a little easier. Their material and scarcity make them out like they're made of gold, which doesn't seem to really make sense. It seems like almost all familiar woodcrafting items need them. Wooden dowels or something as a replacement for certain items would be great, because otherwise, that wooden tray item which is pretty much just a roleplay item is worth an unreasonable amount.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby someguy » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:29 am

You'd think they'd invent pegs and mortise and tenons joints and other sorts of joints that only use glue, tension, and wood....like Ava said.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby EltanimRas » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:10 am

Premises:

1. We want enough money circulating freely enough through the in-game economy for PCs to feel comfortable and willing to pay for RP-only 'prop' items and services. We want PCs to buy ale and pipeweed; we want them to buy perfume and hair ribbons. We want clothiers and chandlers and bards and beggars and housemaids to be viable PC concepts.

2. If we have this much money circulating through the in-game economy, then we have enough money for misers to pile up hoards that will make Smaug jealous. We have enough money for Joe Hunter to equip himself like he's the Captain of the Guard, at least if he doesn't mind living in the woods, eating charred meat and drinking river water.

And you know he doesn't. :P


So what can we do?

1. Make coins heavier.

2. Tax people, especially rich people. Where's Sigvard?

3. Allow some vNPC theft. Sadly, not every player will recognize the loving, plot-gifting RPA attention that a sliced purse represents.

4. Have the occasional IC charity drive; badger people into donating: 'Amos the woodcutter's house burned down; he and his wife and their twelve kids lost everything. Please help!'

5. You tell me!
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Songweaver » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:34 am

A crafting outsider's view on goods and resources and what might help to fix the status quo:

1) Armor. Nothing wrong here with the current sets of armor. Leather gets made, costs the right amount of coin, and I never see anyone suffering in this regard in the current economy. This is the most functional part of the current economy, IMO.

2) Weapons. More of a problem. There's just so little iron coming into the town that orders get backlogged for a very long time. Part of the problem is the lack of Guard initiative to go out and get iron (IMO) for the Lodge; this isn't meant to be accusatory, merely an observation. Perhaps if there was more coin in it for the Guard to do iron running patrols, this would improve. Part of the problem is that not many combat PCs have been kicking the bucket lately, and so everyone wants to level up from mundane weapons to the best that can be made -- and this requires a LOT of iron and time per weapon. The demand is very high, and the available resources are next to zero. Finally, failing a honing check to craft a weapon needs to NOT destroy the weapon, but rather just make it unable to be honed on future attempts. A lot of people chasing the best, most honed weapons in the game find that their money and time has been wasted when the honing attempt inevitably fails and their weapon is ruined.

3) Farming and hunting. Farming needs to be a thing, and the food needs to be filling and cheap to buy. Meat is too expensive. Hunting crafts need to have their timers increased, and they need to actually kill game instead of just summoning them. Easy fixes here, because otherwise, hunting works rather well.

4) Clothes. People wanna be fancy. This stuff is just way too expensive, and that's an easy problem to fix.

5) Woodstuff. Is there an incentive for loggers to log and build stuff, beyond weekly pay? If they got bonuses for their output, you'd see a LOT more activity here.

6) Cooking. Food needs to be far more filling, and only the fanciest of meals should be as expensive as food currently is in-game. This may mean reducing the price of supplies as well.

7) Brewing. See above. More variety in what can be brewed, reduce cost of supplies, heavily reduce cost of ale/mead/etc. Additionally, more Ironwood Inn RPTs and events (think weekly gigs) to get people going in and spending money. Part of this is definitely on the players.

8) Medicine. More everything. Let the quality of supplies you use and your skill determine the quality and bonuses of the healing kits healers put together. Right now, you have one static healing kit with no bonuses and Moonflowers (which are neat) with a small bonus. Also, add in treatment objects to help speed recovery of somatic effects like concussion, broken bones, and also add crafts to create said objects. Also, add more somatic effects! Poison, illness, food poisoning, the sky's the limit. Adding more somatics allows you to add more dynamic activities for healers, and more crafts. Make those crafts require things like Moonflowers that demand more of a reason to get folks together to go outside.

9) Regular dynamic trade. Ships come in, ships come out. High level craftable gear and unique/aesthetic goods come in from other towns at a high price. Those ships need specific goods to sell back in their hometown, and you sell those goods to them at a high price. This should be number one, imo, because it helps to address a lot of problems.

I've never played an RPI with a good economy. It's hard to do right; really hard. But I don't think it's impossible. I do think that this economy works better than the old SOI economy, if only because the relative scarcity and high cost of things has helped to keep inflation down. Inflation is what you want to avoid when trying to fix the current in-game economy, because it's really an even worse fate.

ETA:

10) Drugs. Addictive substances are great for the economy. Just ask any world government.
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Rivean » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:25 pm

EltanimRas wrote:Premises:

1. We want enough money circulating freely enough through the in-game economy for PCs to feel comfortable and willing to pay for RP-only 'prop' items and services. We want PCs to buy ale and pipeweed; we want them to buy perfume and hair ribbons. We want clothiers and chandlers and bards and beggars and housemaids to be viable PC concepts.

2. If we have this much money circulating through the in-game economy, then we have enough money for misers to pile up hoards that will make Smaug jealous. We have enough money for Joe Hunter to equip himself like he's the Captain of the Guard, at least if he doesn't mind living in the woods, eating charred meat and drinking river water.


EltanimRas wrote:So what can we do?

...

5. You tell me!


I thought you'd never ask.

Firstly, I agree entirely with your premises. The conflict between your point 1 and 2 is the core problem with most RPI economies - well, assuming they're working and realistic otherwise and don't have wonky prices.

I believe, though, that I have a solution to this problem (and my suggestions here don't conflict with Songweaver's by much):

a) Make the 'flavor' items dirt cheap. This includes the ribbons, clothes, different types and sorts of food drink, etc. This will allow PCs to engage in the economy as consumers, without significant, and will make the beggar, bard, chandler etc. viable roles.

b) Make the coded benefit items (mid to high end weapons and armor) prohibitively expensive, scaling with the quality of the items being provided, but so expensive as to be beyond the reach of the average joe even if he saves for an entire IG year - you can justify this IC through a scarcity of materials and some of this infrastructure is already present IG. Regular quality weapons would still be affordable though, as would other craftable items that are presently pointlessly short (like nails). Crafters should have a ready supply of low quality materials, but high quality materials should be much harder to get a hold of and prohibitively expensive.

Proper implementation of these two points should result in:

1. Low cost of living. No more scrounging around for pennies with which to buy a meal.
2. Access to various items that are presently simply unaffordable (clothes, for example, but other novelty items can be added to the game).
3. Crafters, consequently, doing much more business than they presently are, and not solely dealing with newbies or hoarders.
4. Low armor/weapon creep, as getting higher tier gear becomes difficult even for the twink hoarder. Has the added side benefit of making it more difficult to have a super friend group of maxed out PCs with leet gear. (Please don't let anyone app into anything with more than the standard IG armor though. Please x 10)
5. Low coin hoarding - because there isn't that much coin to hoard in the first place, the cost of living is low because prices are low, not because coin is ultra plentiful. Secondly there is less coded benefit to hoarding and so people are more likely to spend on cosmetics and things that add flavor to their PCs.

As an aside, since some crafters at least, SHOULD be able to get rich, and since said crafters are probably not warriors as well, this would mean that the only people who can afford to invest in higher tier gear, etc are the ones who do not personally use it. This gives 'kingmaker' potential to successful crafters who can afford to equip their combat PC employees with gear nobody else has.

What think?
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Re: The game economy is broken.

Postby Real » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:30 pm

Songweaver wrote:Finally, failing a honing check to craft a weapon needs to NOT destroy the weapon, but rather just make it unable to be honed on future attempts. A lot of people chasing the best, most honed weapons in the game find that their money and time has been wasted when the honing attempt inevitably fails and their weapon is ruined.
:'(

Given the ~2 1/2 hour timer on tempering and ~4 on sharpening for a Talented crafter, which is probably the earliest you should be attempting to razor-hone stuff... (If I remember correctly, the base are 4 & 6 respectively but feel free to correct me)

Weaponcrafting is really damn hard to advance in from what I've seen, failing skillchecks multiple times and then waiting a few hours, then failing again, for a few weeks (playing nearly every day), I saw no advancement beyond Familiar, starting at Familiar with great intelligence. So even getting to this Talented point is a prodigious effort and you've got at best a 50-50 chance with hone razor-edge once you're there. Not a tremendously big deal if you put your mind to it...If it didn't eat the weapon on failure.

Weeks of playtime and effort toward skilling up with understanding of how the system works could carry you to Adroit, sure. Even so, considering that new crafters start at novice/amateur nowadays and there's a major lack of iron in the first place it's hard to see how new blacksmiths can ever hope to cross that gap, when the old blacksmiths need to be burning through materials that they don't have in the first place just to rise to a point where they can passably offer these weapons that a large portion of combat PCs seek nowadays.

Because once we see one person with a honed greataxe, it's on.

So you forge it, do five tempering runs and three sharpening runs.
This assumes you succeed every single check up till the end.

1 hr 15 min
12 hr 30 min tempering
12 hours sharpening, timer caps assuming you started with none

wait a few hours...

hone -> dice roll -> trashed, materials are gone, timers in-place
adds...six hours on failure, I think?

Your OOC delay timer is currently at 1 RL day and 5 hours.
Sucks to be you. Better luck next time.
I so understand that not everyone is supposed to have masterwork weapons but this punishes the player very soundly, in that they now have to wait a ton of time doing nothing constructive and they have all of nothing to show for their work.

And if you used refined iron you're probably making this weapon on the tail end of another RL day of timers for making the ingot.

I love the current weaponcrafting system with all its variations due to skill but please make razor-honing less brutal. Understandably Adroit checks have to be kept at a premium due to advancement considerations but because people want these honed weapons (a lot) and push to get them, smiths ingame are just ending up retrying the same process and holding up other orders, incurring a huge backlog of weapon needs.

I would say, give it a big, big timer and make it consume a bunch more grits. Have it eat like 40-50 cp per attempt and make the weaponsmith in question wait it out, but destroying past efforts always feels super harsh.

Edit: After reading Rivean's post I think this would coincide nicely with increasing the costs of said weapons, as it's less "pay me a regular amount but you might get nothing" and more "pay me an obscene amount depending how much effort it takes me, possibly your life's savings".

- To add to all that, though, you can harp all you like on twink hoarders/powerplayers, but some people play games as games. I think that a concentrated effort should allow any PC with determination to reach goals but I am likely part of a small minority that shares this view.

I think that, yes, after putting in weeks of playtime & hard work, someone should be able to do whatever they like with the money they accumulate and not be limited by artificial (OOCly-motivated) restrictions on what a certain sort of character can and can not achieve.

He ceases to be Joe Hunter when he has enough work-ethic and restraint to acquire a fortune. People are going to put in extra effort so that they can excel. If they end up with gear like the Captain of the Guard, the gameworld is not going to undergo damage as a result. It gives new players the message: "Wow, look at what you can do if you put your mind to it"

We're in a super-dangerous boomtown on the frontier where people go to get rich. So tell me in a way that I can understand why Joe Hunter is not allowed to seek his fortune.

And if a crafter goes through all that trouble to become successful and a "kingmaker" as such, I am 100% of the opinion that they deserve any political power they gain ingame as a result. We're part of a town that's run by merchants, after all.

I missed the memo when hard work became something people turned up their noses at.
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