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Compiled Q&A FAQ/Game Economy

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Game Economy Edit

  1. What share of the in game economy will be player driven and how much will be money sinks and NPC driven? Will the devs strive for a player driven economy, with crafting, and trading of about anything you can possess? Or will there be limits to what you can trade, key items only sold by NPCs, and huge money sinks constructed only to "regulate" cash flow/stockpiling of money in game; money you else wouldn't spend because of the lack of economic freedom and realism?

Auction House Edit

  1. Will there be auction houses?
  2. If so, will the be linked throughout the lands?
  3. How are the chances for a system where you can place orders for materials or products (as an auction house enhancement) ?

Quotes From Jayde Edit

There are these two recent posts from Jayde on the Official Forums.


August 1st, 2007

To an extent, inflation is somewhat impossible to actually avoid in an MMO environment. One can implement a lot of money sinks, and those sinks can be reasonably effective for a time, but there is a core issue that is generally unavoidable.

The primary issue in an MMO environment when it comes to economy is that there is no way to control the generation of money. In real-world economies, the amount of money printed is strictly controlled by agencies charged with maintaining relative control of the economy. They also monitor and control other key elements that dramatically impact or reduce the amount of fluctuation in the market.

This is not the case in an MMO. As resources, money, drops, etc. are all virtually controlled by the player's time investment, there is a virtually unlimited amount of money being "printed" in an MMO environment at any given time. The amount in the system is directly proportional to the amount people want to be in the system.

Due to this intrinsic fact, one simply has to accept that an MMO's rate of inflation will be higher than a real-world economy's rate of inflation. (Even then, real-world economies almost always suffer inflation over time, look at the American economy for instance. Inflation is just a normal process involved in growth.)

Gear destruction is an interesting topic, but I don't think inflation is something it would particularly stop. After all, by increasing the general "cost" of playing you are actually increasing the daily demand for money. This means players will be more inclined to farm or buy gold, increasing the amount of money in the system. This can potentially lead to more inflation, as the demand for new equipment goes high enough that suppliers can charge unfair prices. If supply vs. demand reaches a point where very high prices are the norm, you will have severe inflation rather quickly.

I've posted a bit about economies in the past (which should be able to be found on bymitra or something if one is curious) and it really is an interesting and complex topic. The real problem in MMOs is really the lack of control and oversight, and the fact that implementing such a system to do that efficiently would be extremely difficult--if not impossible.


August 1st, 2007

Angrakhan Posted:

I'm not sure i agree with this because:

Couldn't you write an algorithm that essentially simulates the above?

Obviously we're entering the theoretical here, and I'm certainly not suggesting delaying AoC to invent something like this... but it'd be an interested exercise to see if you could write a process that controls the generation of money in an MMO in a realistic manner.

Well, I somewhat alluded to that in my previous post also, in my last paragraph. That being: "implementing such a system to do that efficiently would be extremely difficult--if not impossible."

It would be highly difficult to actually come up with a working model for this, and ultimately people would probably find it unfair. It could also lead to more problems than it solved, if someone found a way to corner the market and lead to monopolization.

While working on the task of coming up with money balance values for various things, money/hr rates, set costs, etc. I have considered and thought about adaptive systems before. However, it's extremely difficult to come up with something that would actually work on a practical level without being a negative issue for the player.

In the end, the economies are generally in the hands of the players. This means that it typically does seem fair for everyone as a "rule", but players don't always act in the best interests of the economy as an entity.

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