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  1. #1

    A Working Economy

    Some of us were speaking in global chat today about how an economy might work.

    I tried to make a comparison between some games, but I don't think I was able to successfully get my point across (or even a chance to get to it) through the chaos of the different parts of the discussion going on at once.

    One person suggested that we might have player built trade hubs that will provide a location for people to gather and exchange goods. His major concern was that the way death can be exploited for instant travel is a huge limitation on this form of trading.

    I drew a comparison to A Tale in the Desert because their player owned trade hubs, I can imagine, would work in a very similar way. There were storehouses to secure the items and people came to barter with the owners based on some small unit of value (one wooden board as a base unit, for example).

    This system had instant transportation as a legal possibility, however it had to be earned through work. The economy worked pretty well overall as I recall it.

    The reason, and the much larger issue, is rarity of goods. In ATitD, some resources were extremely rare and could even require months of research and layers of technology to locate. Additionally, the technology needed to craft with these materials may take time to develop, and it was not possible for one person or even one tribe of people to spread out over every task.

    There were also many crafting processes that required direct and skilled interaction from a player. For instance, you had to actually use tools on an anvil to shape out an axe blade. The better you were at it, the stronger and more productive the axe turned out to be. However it ended up, the resources were consumed. If you were working with gold or mercury, a mistake was painfully expensive.

    Skilled labor, forced specialization and rarity of resources were the major factors in a functioning economy in a very simple game with similar production values to this one. Currently in Xsyon, it seems like all of these factors are completely lacking.

    The other topic we discussed was EVE online. This has similarities in forced specialization due to training times, and it can be time consuming or expensive to acquire certain resources. An industrial character may purchase these items from the market from those capable of gathering them to produce his goods. Skilled labor was not a part of EVE, but you may be forced to defend your resources in combat (requiring characters with very different skill sets).

    This game is the gold standard for a game economy right now.

    The difficulty with taking any hints from EVE online is the drastically different implementation of their economy. It took them years to reach this level of respect that their game economy has gained, and they did so with tools and resources that are just not reasonable for Xsyon.

    They do in some small areas have the similar player controlled market, but the meat of it is all stored in market databases at NPC faction stations. All of the relevant data on trading every possible item is collected in a database with hard coded tools to dissect every detail for analysis by a team of economists.

    While that is an ideal situation, I am not sure how similarities can be drawn or how it can be realistically applied to Xsyon. Perhaps that is something to look at after the most basic first step has been taken and the larger issues such as rarity and specialization are addressed.

  2. #2
    All very valid points.

    I would love to see resources being pulled out of the game at a LOT less rate. 10 to 30x less. But increase skill gain from these. Also adding sub skills that are even harder. (Like Wainwright).

    This will create people to want to work together, while still giving solo players a chance to work very hard but able to be 100% solo. Now other solo players could work on a craft (like say weaponcrafting) and able to trade the goods they make (which are now rare due to resources being rare, and because resources are rare skill crafters are rare)

    I know it sounds like a lot 10x less, but this would need to be across the board. At the sametime giving skill gains better. Yes some tribes like mine will at first have a lot of extra valued resources. But all in all, I think it will wash away over a short amount of time as these resources are not even going to be the best. Look at how old bones now are pretty much worthless due to mutants coming into effect now.

    All in all I think resources being a lot more rare, also local, also contested. Those things would make the economy boom. As a side effect to this, you would need to put in punishments to "deathporting" exploit so prevent or limit its use.


    Next stages after this, I believe crafting stations, would be a great help to have areas where people can craft instead of anywhere anytime.
    MrDDT



    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
    -Sun-tzu


  3. #3
    Autcraft at crafting stations :-)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MrDDT View Post
    Now other solo players could work on a craft (like say weaponcrafting) and able to trade the goods they make (which are now rare due to resources being rare, and because resources are rare skill crafters are rare)
    I am not sure if it was clear in how I explained it, but "skilled labor" in ATitD terms meant performing some manipulation of the resources through a mini-game. The axe blade that I used as an example would show an Iron ingot in a 3D interface on an anvil. You had to use various shaping tools to make indentations in the iron until the shape matched a goal. The closer the match, the better the quality. It was all performed by the person's actual skill at the mini-game, and none of it was due to any kind of in-game attribute.

    It was a bit like the terraforming concept in Xsyon, although slightly more complicated in that you could affect the material by impressing 4 different tool marks into the material which would lower the level in some areas and raise it in others.

    While this task was fairly easy, there were many like it. Some of them were complicated enough that they took a lot of practice and players might become known for their skill in producing such an item. This sort of rarity and recognition is beneficial to a game economy, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrDDT View Post
    Next stages after this, I believe crafting stations, would be a great help to have areas where people can craft instead of anywhere anytime.
    Yes, this is a big part of the system I have talked about. Everything but the simplest action requires a crafting station, and some of them can be quite expensive to build. This also makes player camps much more important to the game.

  5. #5
    Xsyon Citizen joexxxz's Avatar
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    Well what i think is the simplest things can be done anywhere, but the more complicated should require a crafting station, or a crafting table some sort of it.
    For example:
    To make a grass twine without a crafting table, it should take 10x times longer than with a crafting table.

    On a crafting table you can attach certain things to speed up the proccess of a craft.

  6. #6
    For a good game economy, (see EVE Online), you need a population. Currently the game population does not support a good economy, there are barely enough people to populate a school bus, let alone a town, or a village.

    There also has to be more than just combat oriented items to craft. And I dont mean more tools, clothing options are always great. Foods, drinks, music, and a number of other things.

    Mounts, breeding, beasts of burden, wagons, carts drawn by animals. These would also help with the economy.

    Not saying the game needs to be carebearified, it just needs more.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodo View Post
    For a good game economy, (see EVE Online), you need a population. Currently the game population does not support a good economy, there are barely enough people to populate a school bus, let alone a town, or a village.

    There also has to be more than just combat oriented items to craft. And I dont mean more tools, clothing options are always great. Foods, drinks, music, and a number of other things.

    Mounts, breeding, beasts of burden, wagons, carts drawn by animals. These would also help with the economy.

    Not saying the game needs to be carebearified, it just needs more.

    I couldnt disagree with this more.

    Economy can be good with just a few people. Its not required to have many. Does more tend to build econs better? Yes of course if the basics are working.

    What economy is using to run matters nothing to do with what the item is, it could be space poop to space ships to gum. It doesnt matter. The matter is demand vs supply.

    Ive seen great economies working only off weapons and armor. I dont see why it needs to have more options. Does more things help? Yes of course IF they are useful. You cant add useless items and say oh better economy. You have also fluff stuff could be anything that has no use other than looks and making people want it.

    The basics to economy are demand for a useful item. Weapons, armor tend to be the most common for games because most games have combat. However right now Xsyon is a building game so those items really are of little value and use.

    Building mats, recipes, tools and skilling up mats are what drive Xsyons economy. But why is Xsyon's economy not working well? Because the resources for all those items are way to common. There is no reason to trade with Joe in zone 1150, when I have everything I need in zone 100. Now if Joe had mats and recipes that I didnt have, that would be piece to the puzzle. The other piece would be something I have that he wants.

    Now these resources dont need to be ONLY in zone 1150 for trade to happen, however, they cant be easy to get in zone 100. That's the basic building blocks.

    # of people have a great effect, but really its relative.

    Adding more people to the game will do NOTHING for economy if all of them are just given or they can easily get whatever they want. They have to have needs and demands. Right now the drive for stuff is lower due to the pop being lower, and the supply is VERY VERY VERY VERY high.

    Also its perceived ease of getting items. Like saws or saw recipes. Right now, players expect to have everything in the game, even if the supply is low the perceived view is that they will get it easy, or they should already have it.
    MrDDT



    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
    -Sun-tzu


  8. #8
    Most of the suggestions here, while they might be good, will not help the economy. The problem with the economy in Xsyon is that there is too much "stuff." This is a particular problem since there is virtually unlimited storage. Faster item decay would help, but probably not enough without making hunters carry 4 weapons and two complete sets of armor on each hunting trip.

    DDT's suggestion of cutting the number of resources gathered by a factor of 10 would be good for the economy, but would make the gathering professions too boring. Consider the case of a master scavenger who currently finds something every 2-3 actions and something good every 20 times. This change would mean, at best you would find something every 20-30 times and something good every 200 times. At the other end of the skill range, a beginning forager/fisherman could starve before finding something to eat.

    More regional resources would be good, but this has to be balanced against making things so a new character can still make the basic tools/weapons/armor/buildings from local resources.

    Crafting stations are a good idea, but do nothing to encourage trading. Autocrafting would destroy the economy.

    Most games have some sort of money sink. Without a currency, Xsyon needs a "stuff" sink. This could be introduced as part of religion. What self respecting god doesn't require sacrifices from his/her followers?

    Each season, each god would request a different set of "stuff." Tribes that sacrificed enough of the requested stuff would receive a buff with the tribe sacrificing the most/best stuff receiving a better buff. There could be several levels of sacrifice, e.g. in spring Ginsu the god of crafting requests craft knives. For the lowest level buff the tribe must sacrifice 10 of an type/quality craft knife at their totem. For the highest level buff, 100 supreme quality masters trapper's craft knives must be sacrificed at the Temple of Ginsu. Top level crafters who can make that season's items would see a high demand for their services.

    Gods could request either or both crafted and raw materials. E.g. Popeil the Fish god requests leather boots with Angora boots for the best buff. Lego the god of Architecture requests 10 long logs or 100 master quality willow logs for the top buff. (ok, Lego would probably request plastic blocks every quarter)

    Tribes could compete to build and keep temples on or near their lands. Festivals could be held each solstice/equinox for all gods, and once each game year on the date for each individual god.

    Ravelli

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by thurgond View Post
    DDT's suggestion of cutting the number of resources gathered by a factor of 10 would be good for the economy, but would make the gathering professions too boring. Consider the case of a master scavenger who currently finds something every 2-3 actions and something good every 20 times. This change would mean, at best you would find something every 20-30 times and something good every 200 times. At the other end of the skill range, a beginning forager/fisherman could starve before finding something to eat.
    I am thinking of a master scav. Right now a master scav only thing they are really getting is higher QL goods. The items they find are not any more rare than anyone else's. Just the QL. Most items in the game right now matter nothing almost to QL, which is sorta good and sorta bad.

    Master scavs fail about once every 20 scavs (5%) 19/20 items, while a new player fails about once every 3 scavs (33%) 1/3 items. If this were changed to 10x less. Master scavs would get
    2/20, and a new player would get 1/30. However, the new player AND master scav could now at least sell the items they do get instead of throwing it away.

    Many of the items in game while scaving are useful, the problem is everyone has them. Right now people go out and they are just tossing out all sorts of useful stuff. Why? Because everyone has it. Heck when I go scaving, I throw out all the leather I get. Leather crafters want it, but there is so much leather, I don't even care.

    Right now I get a rare sell able item about once every 200 scavs. I get a useable item for myself about 33% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by thurgond View Post
    Most games have some sort of money sink. Without a currency, Xsyon needs a "stuff" sink. This could be introduced as part of religion. What self respecting god doesn't require sacrifices from his/her followers?

    Ravelli

    This is much needed. One of the reasons I said the that totems should have a resource requirement to them.
    MrDDT



    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
    -Sun-tzu


  10. #10
    You want an economy and an item sink, one word solves all that. sieging.

    EVEs economy is good because stuff always is blowing up and needing to be replaced.

    Building decay is also another good one, walls and stuff need maintenance in real life so having to replace some bricks or some wood posts once in awhile wouldn't hurt for a resource sinks.

    Harvesting granite in one place for 24 hours straight needs to change. Tree growth needs to be reduced(2 seasons for full growth maybe?), make logs and having a forest around you a valuable and tradable asset.

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