Ideas for fixing inflation

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What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Speiros » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:45 am

I would like to know what this 'economy' is. It seems that the drops are getting rarer on many simple items. Is there a methodology behind all of this? What are the advantages and disadvantages of an economy in the game?
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Leela » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:36 am

Well I hope I understood it correct.
We have too much money in the game.
So a lot of stuff that consumes money got added lately. And I heard of more "money consumers" that might get added.
So they try to get money out of the game.
I guess it is supposed to stop the inflation (over 10 million gp for a hat?!?!)

I did not notice that some items got a worse drop rate, but if, I am pretty sure, that it is a part of it. So people would have to buy stuff... but actually that would just make the money go from one person to the other. It would not get the money out of the game.

A few points about the things that got added:

Ferry:
Tulimshar Hurnscald:
Too expensive. Especially for new players. because the drops in tulimshar are worth about nothing. They have to kill a LOT until they can afford using the ferry
Also the ferry to Candor. 3k? why isn't it 1k also? or 2k? how comes exactly this number? I, on level 84, have to work like 10 minutes to get the 3k depending on my luck with the drops. sometimes longer.
So all in all, there is too much work for using the ferry. Make it cheaper again and more people will use it ;) Might make more money vanish, because more people might use it even both ways because it is cheaper.

Candor:
The NPC there is totally ok. I think 20k for this really cool kind of drop party is ok. I enjoy that a lot. I just think the ferry is too expensive. Not only rich people play this game. And fun stuff should be available for everyone. Just make a simple barrier for levels... something like that.

Evil Obelisk:
I tried that one once. I think (MY opinion) it is crap. I am not paying 10k for 3 snakes to kill or like 100k for a JackO who might drop a soul, and that's it. I rather visit the areas they spawn, and pay nothing for killing them.

The waterpump:
I think the idea of refilling the water bottles is nice BUT people mostly use beers... Did you think about that before adding the waterpump? the good thing is you lose the weight in your inventory after using beer, but you lose only a part of it when you use water bottles. At least that is how i calculate as a mage with no points on str at all.

---------------------------------------------------

@ devs: I strongly recommend that you talk to people who play this game actively before you change some things. Because most of you are "only" behind the scenes. You see the numbers but not the game play. Really, talk to players of who you know they play enough to get a general picture and you trust their word. And not only old players, also new ones that are active. You need a general picture from players and how your changes will affect their game play.

I for my part, lose more and more the fun on things that are in the game, because I simply can't afford stuff anymore. I don't want to kill low level monsters for the drops like for an hour a day so i can afford a bit of fun. I would rather spend that time on high level monsters to level. Just they rarely drop stuff, and if they do, I'd better stick to the drops, because maybe I need that later on... know what i mean?

anyway, it is nice to see that you (the devs) are working on things. I appreciate that (even if i have critics - see that as input) because it shows you are doing something. It doesn't look like nothing is happening, like that :)

sorry for the novel

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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by iceslice » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:06 am

If someone wants to enjoy an mmorpg, s/he probably should grow some interest in items. This is what will generate demand & supply in the environment & ultimately an economy. I would say, dont take a game's economy too seriously.
But compete a bit with co-players :evil:
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Acegi » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:30 am

Slightly off topic but releases of updates should always have pros+cons if you must have cons. If you're going to reduce values of items, you should also release at the SAME time something that is seen as more positive/fun to the new players. I would completely agree with Leela that the devs should appear more often on the game to 1st hand try out their changes and play with the players to gauge how team play and single game play players feel about changes.

Back to the economy topic. There has been a lot of discussion (on irc) about how to fix the economy. It seems a lot of ideas have cons to them such as taxing richer players, decaying armor, etc but that leads to players converting gold into casino gold to "hide" their real amount of gold or players starting new accounts to transfer and store their riches.

Having new things like the evil obelisk and Candor's monster waves are at least imo really good game additions. Of course the values to use the obelisk could be cheaper but that's why having players input is important here so that things can be balanced out. Sure the devs can check how many people have used the obelisk and judge whether or not that's too expensive but having a large sampling of player input would be better.

Probably should be a separate topic too but isn't it about time that the "News" were updated so that more players are aware that there are changes to the game? I mean when players log in to the game.
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Kage » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:39 pm

Leela wrote: Evil Obelisk:
I tried that one once. I think (MY opinion) it is crap. I am not paying 10k for 3 snakes to kill or like 100k for a JackO who might drop a soul, and that's it. I rather visit the areas they spawn, and pay nothing for killing them.
The evil obelisk price is messed up. When I wrote it, I indented for it to be placed in towns, so people can do "evil things". The price was intended not as a personal monster, but as a means to cause chaos. Other developers shot down this idea and opted to put it in other places. But the price was never changed. This is on my todo list to change.
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Leela » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:00 pm

@Kage: ah i understand. well sitting in a town it would have been understandable with those prices.
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Speiros » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:43 am

Kage wrote:
Leela wrote: Evil Obelisk:
I tried that one once. I think (MY opinion) it is crap. I am not paying 10k for 3 snakes to kill or like 100k for a JackO who might drop a soul, and that's it. I rather visit the areas they spawn, and pay nothing for killing them.
The evil obelisk price is messed up. When I wrote it, I indented for it to be placed in towns, so people can do "evil things". The price was intended not as a personal monster, but as a means to cause chaos. Other developers shot down this idea and opted to put it in other places. But the price was never changed. This is on my todo list to change.
Yes, I like that idea. As much as the bees was annoying when they blew up unsuspecting chatters, paying for the privilege is a good idea. Hope it works out.
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Ideas for fixing inflation

Post by Acegi » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:11 am

As the title suggests here are some thoughts to fix inflation (money sinks):

Player decidable
  • PvP Arena (one with rewards, possibly a matchup system quarter finals, semi finals, final etc)
  • More summon stones. We have negative summons (Evil Obelisk) why not a beneficial summon eg one that can give a AOE (area of effect) heal or stat boost
  • NPC favour boost eg Sagatha "Donation for preservation of furry monsters/animals"
  • An ingredient/component shop (sells herb leaves / fluffy furs / logheads ) for assisting in chance based quests. Expensive enough to prevent instantly buying all ingredients just to complete quest.
  • Money -> Monster point exchange. New use for monster point needed...
  • New money draining quests that give XP (the letter and hearts quest is really stingy on XP) or "rares" to devalue "rares"
  • Shortcut toll booth. Similar to the "shortcut/teleport to GY" idea where the player can choose to pay a fee to instantly get somewhere. This usually requires experimenting to see how much people are willing to pay to get somewhere faster. I don't think you need to charge a high value because if it's "cheap" enough then people will use it more often (very underestimated concept).
I try not to think of ideas that increases the cost of items because as usual these ideas usually affect poorer/newer players more than older+/richer players.

Player uncontrollable (less favourable imo)
  • A "thief" system/event that steals money so storing money in bank has a use.
  • A monster that has a "steal" attack (new attack animation required) removing X gp per hit from the player (possibly aggro lurking along commonly used paths like highwaymen).
  • Forced toll for routes to unique places eg Candor. No other way of getting there unlike Tulimshar.
  • Decaying or randomly damaged item (melee weapon or armour) that requires repairing via NPC who charges X amount. (Possibly increasing cost of repair per item until it's better to buy a new one).
  • Fixed cost for player respawns (better than removing % of exp imo which has been discussed on irc)
Unlike in previous posts I put it to you to start a new post about these ideas if you think they are worth considering rather than just trying to discuss all these ideas in this one forum topic.
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Re: Ideas for fixing inflation

Post by MadCamel » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:14 pm

The money's concentrated in a few high-level players. What do high-level players spend their money on? Hats!

Simply setup an NPC vendor that sells a few hideously expensive and otherwise unobtainable hats and the problem should sort itself out.

Heck, if the price increased for every hat sold, large amounts of money would sink.
Last edited by MadCamel on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideas for fixing inflation

Post by Kage » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:15 pm

MadCamel wrote:The money's concentrated in a few high-level players. What do high-level players spend their money on? Hats!

Simply setup an NPC vendor that sells a few hideously expensive and otherwise unobtainable hats and the problem should sort itself out.
I actually tried to do this, but other developers shot down the idea.
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Re: Ideas for fixing inflation

Post by skipy » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:42 am

just a idea ..as said above

what if there was a thief monster that does not attack per say but instead steels gp from the player ..it would all so make the banker more useful (i have never put more then like 10 gp in the bank)...could have it take place in a high traffic area ..so one would have to pass throw the land of theifs to get to point (a) from point (b)..

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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by DarkWater » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:26 am

The economy? Funnnnnnnyyy...

Let me sum up the current economy. It is a pyramid scam. Let me explain.

There are two different forms of economies in games, there is an open economy and a closed economy.

The open economy simply means everything cost something, want to travel to x, pay up, want to upgrade a sword, it is pay up, want to respawn, pay up.

With an open economy, the vast majority of money is removed out of the system. These are called money sinks, they could be in this game but are not. You could have a system to tax people for sitting in town, let them buy a home, decorate the home, rent a npc, tax on storage, and even make it so you have a tax on playing the game.

The really cool thing about the open economy is that it regulates itself, not joking. Once you have spent the money on the house, you have to "work" to pay taxes, ect. Money becomes harder to get, more time is focused on paying the bills. Which means less money for rares. Which means you can have one of a kind rares, because there would only be a few people that can pay the bills and afford a rare.

Any role playing game, or game in general, has that as the base of the economy. Because it allows an economy to be really dynamic.


What we have here is called a closed economy. Which simply means that the vast majority of money is trade around a limited number of people. This is called a pyramid scam.
Here is how it works.

There are the ultra wealthy people. They have everything you can buy in the game and nothing to spend a dollar on. Since they have everything, they can charge what ever they want for anything they want. They are at the top of the pyramid. Everyone below them are subjected to what they consider is fair. For example, a tophat is now 40kk, why? Because the people in tier 2 can barely pay 40kk for an tophat. By charging 40kk, the top of the scam, makes the tier 2 charge more for its item, which means tier 3 charge more and so on. The wealth flows up and is stored at the top of the pyramid which for all reason is held by the rich, but not removed from the game.

In a closed system, you can not have ultra rares, it will create a runaway economy, which is what we see and deal with today. There is no solution for this system. There will be a point in which everything will have to cost billions of dollars to keep the economy under control. What proof?

When I first started this game, way before there was any bat wings or teeth. It took about 30 hours of solid play just to get the 100,000 gp for the breast plate and you had to be level 40+ to even try it. Why? Because the only drops that would make any money was boots and gloves and you had to be lvl 40 before you attacked them.

Now, 100k can be gotten in about 45 mins with a lvl 20 character. You ever wonder if it was a little odd that a player should be able to get the best gloves, best helmet, best pants, best shield, best breast plate in about 8 hours of work? Because the amount of money for those item have not increased with the inflation of the game. Now we have a level 30 character walking around in the best armor and even with a seltzer. Total price:750k. Total time to get 750k? About 20 hours at level 20. Why does money have to be soo easy to get? Because the rich keep all the money and there is nothing for them to buy. Since they can and while both pay and charge what everything they can afford or think is fair, the economy is forced by a limited group of people.

Now to balance the game, they need to increase the price of the armor, so you do not have level 30 characters with it. This increase will have to be continuous, because the rich will keep getting richer.

The poor on the other hand will find it impossible to join in the economy. It just takes too long to make all the money that is required to get even the basic armor, after the inflation is accounted for in normal npc items.

So to answer your question, we do not have an economy. We have a scam. It works every time you buy something for 1 gp over that it cost and can only drive the prices up.

If the developers do not learn this lesson before the next server starts, we will be facing the same problems again.

YOU CAN NOT HAVE A GAME WITH OUT SINKS (and a boat ride, 5gp trade fee, will not cut it)!!!!!! 90% OF THE MONEY MADE IN THE GAME HAS TO BE EATEN BY THE GAME!!!!! IF YOU DO NOT OFF LOAD THE MONEY, YOU WILL HAVE A RUNAWAY ECONOMY!!!!!
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Dude » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:39 am

Oh, I think they just found a new way to suck some money out......Be interesting to see who can actually afford all 90kk worth of items for sale from the new NPC
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Re: What is the idea behind 'the economy' on the game?

Post by Crush » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:32 pm

DarkWater, what you described is not the normal definition of a Pyramid Scam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme) but in general you understood the current problem.


Another good way which has proven to be a good way to fight inflation in several games are raffles. You have a raffle every hour/day/week/whatever for some useful item which can not be obtained any other way. Every player can buy any number of tickets for the raffle. A random ticket receives the item.

The advantage of this money sink is that it balances itself. When there are people with millions of money and nothing to spend it on they will invest millions in raffle tickets. When the money becomes less everyone will have less money to spend. This means that less money is needed to have a good chance to win the raffle.

This is of course not the golden hammer to fix inflation because the rich players might decide not to take part in the raffle for some reason, but experience in other games has shown that it is still pretty effective.

Kingdom of Loathing, for example, fixed a hyperinflation resulting from a money exploit this way.
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Re: Ideas for fixing inflation

Post by MadCamel » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:45 pm

If you carry too much money maybe pirates could attack your ferry :lol: Might tie into the pirate NPC somehow..

Anyway, I think that making everything more costly and lowering the value of drops isn't going to help much with inflation, just discourage new players.

For example, try starting a new character and playing newbie. The ferry cost is outrageous! There are no low->mid lvl monsters in the desert area such as pinkies and bats, nor any experienced players to ask for advice. It's hard to make enough for the ferry and a shield just killing scorpions.
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