The economy of Gobiath

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Post by Garen » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:30 am

The economy of Gobiath

Okay, I think I may have thought a way to help Gobiath's economy. It would be slow, and painful, but it might work.

Severly drop the amount of coin the monsters drop.

This would force players to (eventually) spend thier horded wealth, thus spreading it out and putting it back into the system.

Eventually, the worth of the individual coin would rise.

Prices would be hard to guess.. I think for a while they would either increase or decrease, then slowly shift to the other.

I'v only been toying with the thought though, and I think a few more things should be done, I just forgot what I had intended.

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Post by LifeWonder » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:31 am

Lol..

And have new players that actually have no money, well, eat shit?

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Post by Vern Kron » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:34 am

While that idea does -technically- work, its not exactly the best win scenario. Basically, we have too many sellers and not enough buyers. Too much "Oh, I need this, so I should -make- this." as opposed to, "Oh, I should go buy this, instead of making this."

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Post by Garen » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:38 am

I said it would be painful, not easy.
Just like the Great Depression in America (and elsewhere), its not going to be easy to fix.

And, as for new cahracters, they could work on crafting, become squires, apprentaces, and the like. Also, I suspect that more generous characters would help with the poor.

Pretty much, we create/speed up the reccession we are in, and evtually, (say a few dwarvin months, depending on how well people let go of thier hoards) put the coin dropping into effect again.
Unfortunatly, this will put us back to the same problem. Not a cure all, but it will fix things for a while.

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Post by LifeWonder » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:40 am

So.. new players should learn to powergame early in their illalives?

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Post by Sundo Raca » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:41 am

I endorse the idea, but more because i find it retarded skeletons drop money.

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Post by Azuros » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:48 am

In ancient Greece, they would bury their dead with coins so they could pay their fare to Charon.

Not that Greece is Illa though, just a random factoid :P

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Post by Sundo Raca » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:52 am

Azuros wrote:In ancient Greece, they would bury their dead with coins so they could pay their fare to Charon.

Not that Greece is Illa though, just a random factoid :P
how would they hold it while walking around? :P

In defence of garen, REAL n00bs usually only practise on flies and mummies. By the time they move to moneydroppers they have usually got into the game.

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Post by Kaila Galathil Travinus » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:06 am

As mentioned in a couple of proposal threads, I am against major changes such as this until the time all crafts are balanced. We have quite a few non-paying crafts right now, and I never could figure out who is "hoarding" money but I suggest if one of your chars...start spending it :wink: .... buy clothes from tailors, ore from miners, items from carpenters, glass blowers etc.

As far as the drops it takes a good 1-2 months depending on PG for a new fighter to make much ig, I wouldn't like to make it harder for new players and discourage them from playing. Yes, you can have charity, but if you were a new player wanting to make their way in the game, would you really like the charity, or possibly think the skills are too hard for your char to ever earn any coin?

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:30 am

I think I need to clarify something: The money drops, as they are assigned by now, anticipate an upcoming change to the economy. The monster drops were the very first step and as you can see, the changes won't be too drastic.

The plan is that the individual coin loses value. That is called inflation. Currently, some goods are traded for 1cp or even fractions of cps. On the other hand, we can put 2.500.000cp into a single stack (250gp). That does not fit.

I go with Kaila here - do not nerf something that works pretty good (monster drops) because of something else working poorly (p2p trade, NPC trade, crafting balance). If you make bashing monsters a bad way to earn money, we'd end up with yet another way to make no money...

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Post by Llama » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:38 am

Personally I'd prefer it if monsters drop MORE money but less useful items.

So the only place that a fighter can get armor or a weapon, is from a smith.

The smith will need to be able to supply good quality items, so he needs good quality handles (= more money for the carpenters) and a rich smith will probably not want to bother getting his own resources either (= more money for n00bs getting leather, or miners). [I know mine wouldn't if he could find someone to buy stuff from]

So the money sorta 'trickles' down, like a waterfall.

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Post by Nalzaxx » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:45 pm

Hadrian_Abela wrote:Personally I'd prefer it if monsters drop MORE money but less useful items.

So the only place that a fighter can get armor or a weapon, is from a smith.

The smith will need to be able to supply good quality items, so he needs good quality handles (= more money for the carpenters) and a rich smith will probably not want to bother getting his own resources either (= more money for n00bs getting leather, or miners). [I know mine wouldn't if he could find someone to buy stuff from]

So the money sorta 'trickles' down, like a waterfall.
The only thing that would concern me with this is the small playerbase. It can be incredibly hard to FIND a decent smith sometimes.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:26 pm

Actually, only "strong" monsters drop useful items. Ever found something useful at the goblins? Or the mummies? Skeletons? Not me. The stuff there is only useful for noobs and that is the intention: Noob monsters drop noob stuff.

The problem is: Our high end monsters are cannon fodder and camped frequently. This is a flaw of spawn design and monster balancing. Best monsters drop best stuff, I guess you'd be way pissed when a lich drops a rusted ornate dagger and a threadbare pair of leather boots.

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Post by Llama » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:40 pm

Nalzaxx wrote:
Hadrian_Abela wrote:Personally I'd prefer it if monsters drop MORE money but less useful items.

So the only place that a fighter can get armor or a weapon, is from a smith.

The smith will need to be able to supply good quality items, so he needs good quality handles (= more money for the carpenters) and a rich smith will probably not want to bother getting his own resources either (= more money for n00bs getting leather, or miners). [I know mine wouldn't if he could find someone to buy stuff from]

So the money sorta 'trickles' down, like a waterfall.
The only thing that would concern me with this is the small playerbase. It can be incredibly hard to FIND a decent smith sometimes.
That's what the trading board is for.

@ Estralis - That doesn't solve the problem at all sadly.

If I'm a great fighter I'll collect enough armors and the like to sell to others (which I frequently would do). Also it gives fighters an unbalanced impression of what's good or not.

Whenever fighters come to buy armor from my smith, its always SILVERSTEEL which gets mentioned first.

If instead of dropping armor, weapons and stuff they drop enough money to obtain a set of new armor and weapons, then it'd be better.

Also as a side comment....

... what about makign the gems only usable (but with a 100% chance, given X skill) by smiths or whoever can make the base item? Would help a lot.

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Post by Julius » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:50 pm

I don't care about anything anyone sells, I don't train anymore, and I don't buy anything from merchants other then 30 coppers for rp traveling purposes. I'll still horde my money no matter what system you implant. :wink: Rp is more fulfilling then ig items and fancy skillz. However, as for the economy, this is rarely talked about and quite frankly something does need to be done. Is this the answer? Estralis probably has something up his sleeve.

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Post by Estralis Seborian » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:54 pm

Let us face reality: We have a dilemma here. Some want a realistic economy, with people starving, poor people earning money for ages to buy a sword and realistic NPCs. Others want a fun oriented economy, with people earning tons of money within days, being able to buy stuff from other PCs without having to think twice. Somewhere in between, we all should meet.

First off, I believe that Keynes was right, at least when talking about the Illaconomy. The more money people have, the more they can spend. A character who has tons of coins and knows how to gain more in no time, has no problem to pay a noob some copper coins for a simple service. Currently, everyone and his dog complains about every character trying to do all kinds of stuff alone, without interaction. This is not a surprise for me - If you earn 10cp when selling a plate mail to a NPC, you can estimate how much copper the smith can pay for the countless raw materials he needs to craft the armor.

So, increase the income, first step. 2nd step: Increase the use of money. Currently, there are few services like the popular teleporters where you get a service for money. We need many more such services, otherwise, we just get an inflation without money leaving the system.

The problem is: One can talk and write for ages. We need actions. And good suggestions how to improve the current state without taking flawed systems for granted and adjusting the rest to them.

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Post by Salathe » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:26 pm

the problem with the economy is caused by the fact that there is constantly money going into the game. Money magically appears into the economy everytime a monster is killed or a merchant gets a new load of money to pay people with. At this time, we dont have enough money sinks. The total amount of money in the game is constantly rising. Online games rarely ever have a working economy because of this fact.

The only money sinks currently ingame are teleporters and building. Teleporters take an extremely small fraction of money from the game. While building takes away alot, it doesnt take away nearly enough.

I remember estralis, you and i talked about money sinks about 3 years ago, and the only ideas we had required alot of coding.

I dont think lowering monster drops would help, only hurt at this point as new players would suffer greatly and be turned off from the game. The preferable solution is more money sinks. More ways for players to spend money, then have the money they spent disappear completely. If we could make viable money sinks that drew nearly an equal amount of money as money was being created by NPCs, then that would be perfect. I dont know if its possible to look at the money flow of illarion, but if that was possible it would be much easier to find a solution.

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Post by Olive » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:34 pm

wasn't there a suggestion earlier about having a sort of method where as the very wealthy could buy certain things like status symbols. i dont recall the exact proposal but it seems to me if you have a status symbol, and this has not only a decay rate ( gets dirty and thus less desireable as its used, similar to the way time depletes your hunger bar slowly) this might encourage people who have the money to spend it, removing money from the game and generatign a new level of demand, as they will need to continue to seek out money to maintain their 'image'

now the RP side of this is that if player A owns all the status symbols and parades himself around in a 'look at me i am rich' fashion, it doesn't do any good if the other players are ignoring him so some balance would nee dto be found, even if its somethign as small as wealthy people getting better prices and deals from merchants in towns. the old "for you my lord, i can show you my FINEST selection, not the junk i show the commoners'" etc

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Post by Bellringer » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:36 pm

Luxury items, foods, clothes etc I think it was. It sounded like a very good idea for stimulating tailors, and the rest of the crafting population at the time. Having these, comparable to the health system, gave you more class, or luxury than commoners.

Still does, infact. ;)

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Post by Daelyn » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:05 pm

Why are people sitting one huge piles of money anyway? :/ I always spend mine when I get it, except when I'm saving for something very expensive.


Olive's suggestion would work I supose, but it sounds very stressful...

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Post by Olive » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:00 pm

i have a few gold pieces simply because i have nothign i can spend them on

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Post by LifeWonder » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:50 pm

Daelyn wrote:Why are people sitting one huge piles of money anyway? :/ I always spend mine when I get it, except when I'm saving for something very expensive.


Olive's suggestion would work I supose, but it sounds very stressful...
I have a few gold coins and I'm basically saving them up for a wind wand. I never ever cared about money. I haven't had any coins (maybe max 1 or 2 silvers) until I reached my 10-15th rune, only then did I start feeling the need to get better equipment to be able to train well.

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Post by Mr. Cromwell » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:09 am

Discussing is fun, but let us use some real numbers and facts here. I through cloak and dagger operations, bribery and extortion (=Nitram was nice, thanks) I was able gain access to some statistics. These statistics include the total active wealth in the game, excluding quest characters.

Thus, the sample is a total of 541 characters over the past few months.
Why the need to look at such statistics? It’s not only about the injections or inflow of money into the economy which matters: It’s also HOW the money accumulates once it enters the game. What is more important than the TOTAL amount of money is the AVERAGE amount of disposable money.

ALL (541 characters)
Total amount of money, in silvers: 70450.

Top 20 (3,7% of the sample)
Amount of money, in silvers: 42813
As you can see, a whopping 61% of ALL active player wealth, excluding buildings, is in the hands of only 20 characters.

AND it gets better:

Top 5 (0,92% of the sample)
Amount of money, in silvers: 24525,74.
Proportion of the Top 20 Wealth: 57%.
Proportion of the Total wealth: 35%.

Five richest characters have 35% of ALL the active money in the game. This leaves the 521 other active characters with 27636,9 silvers, making 53 silvers per character, on average. In retrospect, the sample probably should have disqualified characters with less than five silvers of property, but this does put things to the right proportions. Of course, the fact that some of this money is probably guild/tax money distorts the situation somewhat, but the point remains. The wealth is highly concentrated in the game. But what effect does this have on the game economy? Can this be felt somehow? I guess, the only outwardly manifestation of wealth are houses.

Even though Salathe presented the amount of money rising as some anomaly, it’s in fact quite logical. Like people in real life, characters tend to accumulate wealth as they grow older. This is due to the grinding-style skilling mainly, which means that you’ll end up with a ton of money as you try to progress your skills to the higher level (without dueling/andor being matt). Unlike in real life, the characters have very limited means to spend the money to something, meaning that it lies around in depots in larger and larger piles especially as most people do not wish to spend what they gain at 1/1 ratio. Getting wealthier is usually desired and perceived as a good thing. This money doesn’t really matter, as its influence is mainly theoretical and RP thing. The amount of money in circulation doesn’t change all that much. Good chunk of that money is such (I speak from personal experience, having had once the by far uberly richest character in the game) which would not exit the depot even if there was a spending opportunity. Some people are magpies, and this money only exits the game when the character becomes inactive/is banned.

Due to the lack of valid investment and spending opportunities, the value of money is mainly the value of time which is commonly perceived or felt to be necessary for the accumulation of money, which alongside the NPC prices and perception of quality/rarity defines the “street value” of items.

Current problems with the economy:
  • 1.) Limited spending opportunities -> Sensible spending. You can’t expect people to spend money on things which don’t benefit them or are pointless (a badge of “I’m rich” has no function). However, I could see players spending money on long-time skill or stat buffs (not to mention cool stuff which is beyond the technical situation right now, like mounts). I should actually poll that.


    2.) No investment opportunities. You can’t lend money to people. You can’t invest in stuff, but they don’t give you any returns unless you personally make them to. Or, well: You can, but firstly you have very few means to gain any profit or even break even, as you lack any mean of force-retrieving the investment. It doesn’t make sense to build a mill or field, because nobody will pay to use yours.

    3.) General imbalances with items, crafts, NPC’s , prices and so on.
Personally, I’m what you would call a gold standard advocate. I want that the money has actual “value”. To some degree, this works already: You don’t see people throwing away more than 1s regularly. This is of course not a scientific study and is based on my own experiences and perceptions, but silver coins are seen as “valuable”, and gold coins are seen as a “small fortune”. I sort of like that, actually. It helps to separate "rich" and "normal" characters in a world where poverty is practically a choice. When the situation is such that certain items are seen to be worth only a fraction of a copper, then perhaps this is more a question of the utility of the item or supply side problem? If you can get 250 cherries in 5 minutes for most of the year, for no skill at all, for me it doesn’t ring all that strange that you can’t get a good price for them. Since getting 250 coins takes an investment of time which is greater than five minutes usually (walking and stuff) it’s no point paying that money, as you could then do it yourself and “save”.

Now, change the situation to winter and you’ll immediately notice a change: Cherries and apples can get you more than 1 per each. So maybe the excessive availability OF the raw materials is more issue than the value of money. See the leather crisis. You couldn’t buy leather without paying obscene amounts for it.

This is why certain raw materials have actual value, such as gems, stones, ore and gold. It’s either a shitload of work to come up with a large quantity of these materials (ores + stones), or then you can only HOPE to gain these materials (gold and gems) which means low supply in high quantities either way, and even then have to arrange the stones to be processed to get cut gems. Supply and demand.

We do need money sinks: But such sinks which increase the VALUE of money, by being desirable and useful. Keynesian theory of having more money and thus spending more doesn’t really, IMO, work here if the only effect is that you are paying more for the same value as before. By increasing supply of money, you risk just inflation without any real gain whatsoever. Except that apples now always are 1cp each (as you've treated the symptoms, instead of the cause).

The point of the text? The accumulation of money is, at least with these spending opportunities, more or less irrelevant with the game economy on mind as the money just sits there. What are important are the inflow and outflow of money, which adjust the actual usefulness and value of money. High, steady value money is better than low value money, or money with highly fluctuating value (or value perception).

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Post by Sundo Raca » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:16 am

Wolf still only has 150 silvers or so rofl.

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Post by Vern Kron » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:34 am

The gems should help the economy by alot though... if they are as rare as I had heard.

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Post by Julius » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:08 am

I always was called Jewls cause I was the tester of that system. I have over 5000.

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Post by Llama » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:45 am

I read all of that essay, however I have a sidetrack.

Anyone can obtain leather, anyone.
Obtaining iron/coal is also quite easy.

Problem is, I don't ever find anyone selling it.

Now new (and poor) players can earn quite a bit of money selling leather and iron/coal (3 coppers a piece gives you some good cash), but nobody appears to want to.

What's the reason why?

It just makes the poor poorer, and the smiths richer because they can't buy anything with all their cash.

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Post by Salathe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:31 am

that was well written cromwell, and i agree for a large majority of it

Dont forget that there are some players that dont bother with money and simply barter. Anyone that knew "Behemoth", knew that he had about 20-30 silvers (total) at any given time. But i was ALWAYS able to barter for very high value items or massive bulk quantity items, since salathe has too many random valuable items in his depot.

But i would love to see more money sinks that serve a purpose for players. Not ideas such as the "badge" that serve only a roleplay purpose. Estralis if you ever need help with money sink ideas, i will help again.

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Post by Colin Smalls » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:41 am

i like the idea of a gypsy character who appears every now and then with a lottery type game with very rare items. Course, im biast. :wink:

The idea i like is the gypsy carries around 10 bags, one of which contains an extremely rare magic item. they are lain in a row in his cart (bag) and someone pays him 20 silver to pick a bag at random (eg: i pick bag no 3). Bags are then reshuffled after each turn. There could also be a bag which curses the person who opens it :)

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Post by Mesha » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:53 am

Colin Smalls wrote:i like the idea of a gypsy character who appears every now and then with a lottery type game with very rare items. Course, im biast. :wink:

The idea i like is the gypsy carries around 10 bags, one of which contains an extremely rare magic item. they are lain in a row in his cart (bag) and someone pays him 20 silver to pick a bag at random (eg: i pick bag no 3). Bags are then reshuffled after each turn. There could also be a bag which curses the person who opens it :)
Oh man that is such a cool idea. *saves*

EDIT I especially like the cursing part.

Second EDIT

About the gem-system, there is more to read on them in the library and on the frontpage news! So go go read about it. It might not help with the problem at hand, but it should encourage trade in atleast gems. And trust me, I think there are people with craploads of money that are willing to pay bigtime for these goodies.

And Crommie, do you have anything conclusive to propose as to what to do to get bigger in and out-"flow" of silvers?

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