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  1. #1

    Economy, currency and alchemy

    This is actually a post for the suggestion section, Im posting it here because it requires a little backstory and explaining which arent relavant to the actual suggestion, so this is a mostly a discussion thread. If you just want to read the suggestion and avoid a long diatribe about diablo 2, you could just read the suggestion forum or ignore all the stuff i put in italics.

    My inspiration for this suggestion comes from Diablo 2 and specifically the rather unique economy (stupid pun intended). As you might know if you played D2 in multiplayer, the economy there was a player created barter economy. You would trade items with each other which would have high rarity and/or desirable stats.

    Economy.

    In MMOs, economy works by currency inflows and currency sinks. Generally speaking, players get money for doing quests or killing mobs and spend money buying shiny stuff from NPCs or repairing their epix, thus money has actual value. Its exachangeable for services and items. WoW did it like this but had rather terrible inflation problems anyway but they fixed that by restarting the economy when they released a new expo... /slowclap

    In xsyon we dont have any NPCs that sell us epix, mounts or repair our expensive wardrobe. What we have instead is decay, stuff breaks but currently there is a lot higher inflow of items than item decay provides a sink for. So to fix this, you either decrease the inflow of items or you increase the sink (decay). This is a delicate balance and its the reason why game developers like CCP has economists on staff for Eve online. I will say one thing though, decay atm is not even near to being fully implimented or regulated properly, at the same time there is a high inflow of items and the imbalance of these 2 things is the main reason why economy in Xsyon is rather screwed.

    Currency.

    In xsyon there is no sinks for dollars, buttons, bottle caps etc and there is nothing that controls the currencies, so those items cant be used as currency. The supply only increases and you run into an inflation problem, you might aswell use leaves as currency. Golgafrincham style .

    With the economy in Diablo 2 currencies more or less arose based on what items were universally usefull and easy to trade, the gold currency in the game was never viable because the inflow was much higher than the very limited sinks, it just wasnt usefull enough. There was the massively duped "stone of jordan" which was a very rare and usefull item for just about anyone and thus also tradeable for anything. Now some nefarious players found an exploit with which they could basicly "print SoJs" like counterfeit bank notes and so the value of SoJs deflated. The exploit was fixed and the value stabilized but now, some players were insanely and unfairly rich. This was a problem but the SoJs entered circulation and was a lot less rare but still just as usefull, so it became widely used as currency. There is only so many items you can buy in a game and the exploiting players had done their work properly, they had a lot more SoJ than they would ever need, filled entire accounts with them. Its easy to see how you could make a lot of IRL money on RMT with a large supply of counterfeit money, you could buy legitimately farmed items and resell the items on eBay. Eventually Blizzard stated that they wanted to purge all of the duped SoJs and ofc the value crashed completely. So yeah, this is a bit of an example in how rarity and demand works in a barter economy.

    Valuation was allways a difficult thing for the clueless noobs, you could ask around what the going rate of an item was but getting a straight and accurate answer was allways difficult. There was never any market exchange or auction house where you could simply check and when you think about it this is actually a big deal with making a game that doesnt have an auction house or market, which is what Xsyon is moving towards. In such an economy it requires a lot of experience with trading to know these things. If you live with constant fear of getting ripped off, because you dont know what the value of items is, you are also much less likely to trade for stuff. We dont want auction houses, we want players to interact with each other, so we need an easy way of putting a value on an item.

    After the SoJ, runes became the most tradeable item. Runes were basicly crafting ingredients which ranged from very common to extremely rare, they could be arranged in certain combinations to form "runewords", some of the very best items were runewords so runes became quite sought after. Now the interesting thing about runes was that if you had 3 of a given rune, you could transmute them into the rune of the next rarity and lvl, which effectively meant that even low level runes had actual value because with enough of them you could craft high level runes, not only that but it was very easy to determine the value of a rune, every rune was worth 3 times as much as the rune before it, making valuation easier. The range of rarity was much to large for this to work in practise. You would never trade low level runes for high level runes because the volume of low level runes you would need is insane, you would never even find that many in a lifetime and there was no stacking, bummer.

    Alchemy.

    So this is my suggestion to create the basis of a crafting item currency (like the one I described with runes in Diablo 2) which is based on a range of rarity of items, usefullness and the ability to exchange items for other items of higher rarity, at a fair exhange rate. In xsyon we have some metal items which is used in crafting, these are screws, nails, rivets, buckles, decorations, zippers, spikes and small metal plates (there are others but these are the most notable as the others arent currently in a lot of recipes where they give you any stats). They are used to add a stat to an item, for example if you are crafting a suit of deerbone armor, you might consider to use titanium screws so you get +strengh from the item as well. The most usefull of these are incidently also the most rare, Chrome and Titanium. Many of the other itemstats are currently not working and while this is a problem because some of these items are essentially useless, but this is not really relevant, those stats will be added eventually. My idea is a new craft called: alchemy.

    Alchemy works by letting you exchange metal items used in crafting for an item of the same kind with a higher level of rarity. Im not really clear on the order here but Iron > Steel > Stainless > Brass > Bronze > Aluminium > Silver > Gold > Chrome > Titanium. The rate of exchange could be 2 for 1, so if you have 512 iron screws you get 1 titanium screw. Im not entirely sure what kind of exchange rate would be fair with the kind of rarities we are talking, numbers make my head hurt. The quality of the items you get from alchemy would depend on your skill level of course, you would need tools and ingredients for the process.

    What this would do for the economy is that it provides the game with items of actual value from very low and common to very high value and rare, making it easier to put a value on a specfic items and making it easier to trade. Currencies will arise regardless of whether you put them in game or no, it just takes suitable items and suitable mechanics and people will use that for trading.

    Thx for reading.

  2. #2
    Who needs currency.

    In Roma Victor, there was a currency, based on actual money. You could buy game currency, Sestarcies (I think thats how it was spelled), for so many EUD.

    Most people used a barter system instead. Like it wasnt uncommon to get a tent made for 20 goat skins.

    I think barter works better, than having money. This is how money was invented, as a place holder for goods of value. Like the Koku that the Japanese used for centuries was based on rice. One Koku was the amount of rice that was needed to feed a man for one day. The US Dollar is based on the price of gold, along with many other countries. The native americans used to use furs as currency in the north eastern US.

    So we dont NEED a currency, we can create whatever we want as currency. This is the joys of a Sandbox like this.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodo View Post
    Who needs currency.

    In Roma Victor, there was a currency, based on actual money. You could buy game currency, Sestarcies (I think thats how it was spelled), for so many EUD.

    Most people used a barter system instead. Like it wasnt uncommon to get a tent made for 20 goat skins.

    I think barter works better, than having money. This is how money was invented, as a place holder for goods of value. Like the Koku that the Japanese used for centuries was based on rice. One Koku was the amount of rice that was needed to feed a man for one day. The US Dollar is based on the price of gold, along with many other countries. The native americans used to use furs as currency in the north eastern US.

    So we dont NEED a currency, we can create whatever we want as currency. This is the joys of a Sandbox like this.
    Uh... yeah. You missed the point entirely. Whether or not there is currency is completly irrelavant, people will decide for themselves what they choose to use as currency, however items do need to have value.

  4. #4
    For a while there I though you were advocating an economy based on duped items.

    As the economy and Xsyon bonus system stands, introducing alchemy for metal bits wouldn't do a lot for the game. Some types of metal are not very useful, e.g. silver affects accuracy which will have to wait for archery to be useful, and the titanium bonus for strength and damage sounds great for a weapon, but strength on a weapon doesn't have an effect. Also, the type of bit makes a big difference. Gold/chrome decorations/buckles/rivets are very useful, but wedges/small plates/rods are not.

    Besides, if anyone could turn common items into the rare types they need, it would eliminate trades for the rare items.

    A better use of the use several lower level items to make a higher level one mechanic would with patterns. E.g. ten basic level patterns would make one artisan's pattern, ten artisan's patterns would make one single use master's pattern, ten single use master's patterns would make one pattern you could learn. Make it so you couldn't scavenge the master's patterns you could learn from, and you couldn't be inspired to learn master's schemes.

    Most trades these days if for patterns as both, both raw materials and crafted items are too common, and players want to be able to craft what they need. Since you would need 1,000 basic level patterns to learn the master's scheme, I would expect a brisk trade in patterns.

    In any case, combining the best practices of a group of patterns into a higher quality pattern makes more sense than transmuting stainless steel into titanium.

    Ravelli

  5. #5
    Yeah Im sorry for making it so long winded.

    The issue with the economy is mostly the item inflow and item sink imbalance. Nothing more.

    I covered most of the things that make Xsyons economy stagnate, I didnt cover the item stats that arent done yet, because tbh the alchemy idea has more to do with rarity and value. Of course there should be a corralation between rarity and usefullness/value otherwise rarer items arent desirable, but really the idea is simply to give common metal items a value based on the value of rare metal items. It has to be balanced of course so that it doesnt ruin the value of the rare items, but take for example and exchange rate of 3:1 that means that you would need 20k iron items to make 1 titanium item and that a little steep.

    Everything with economy has to be balanced and the suggestion is not a fix for the economy, I detailed the issues first but that wasnt really the point, the point is giving common items a value so to provide an easier way to trade. Because it is also an issue that there arent any common items with value. Right now, trade is based on certain items which have high value and very high rarity, common items are so common and so little use and have no actual value that you need stupid amounts to buy anything.

    What im talking about is just this: you are trading for a scheme and the guy you are buying from wants nails, so you negotiate and come to a price of 1000 nails for the scheme, so you ask what kind of nails? Any kind. There is no corralation between rarity and value, you might aswell trade him aluminium nails if thats the kind you have. Even though item stats are fixed, I dont see this issue changing, because actual value is simply still too low, because the stats arent all that great. With alchemy, there is actual value on all the metal items.

    See I would like the economy to move away from schemes being the main tradeable item of choice, they are not very practical.

  6. #6
    I may have missed your initial point. Bartering is the easiest way to do things. Just because I have 1000 nails, doesnt mean its worth anything to anyone unless they dont have 1000 nails and need them. And I am sure they probably have something I dont. Like lumber, or leather or whatever.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodo View Post
    I may have missed your initial point. Bartering is the easiest way to do things. Just because I have 1000 nails, doesnt mean its worth anything to anyone unless they dont have 1000 nails and need them. And I am sure they probably have something I dont. Like lumber, or leather or whatever.

    When you start playing you will find out that its not, you will tend to find common grounds on items you sorta need and are easy to trade with other people. Nails are a good example because most people need nails for a lot of different reasons, and not just a couple but 1000s of them.

    So unless you are looking for a few special items (which normally you would be the one starting the trade this way) you will trade for commonly used items. People are unlikely to have things you need in the QL or bulk #s you need. Listing 1000s of items then trying to agree on the basic worth of them doesnt work well in Xsyon for many reasons.

    Anyways, I can talk until Im blue in the face about how economy works, and things to make it work, but unless they change something about it I dont see Xsyon's economy going anywhere anytime soon.

    Basic problems are
    1)Way to many resources, and are too easy to get.
    2)No true local resources.
    3)Items that are crafted have little worth save for very very few of them.
    4)99% of the items you make are not used for anything and are just deleted.
    5)QL of an item rarely matters because the item itself is what is needed.
    6)Transporting items (even with carts which is a LOTLOTLOT BETTER NOW) is very slow and hard to do.
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by MrDDT View Post
    When you start playing you will find out that its not, you will tend to find common grounds on items you sorta need and are easy to trade with other people. Nails are a good example because most people need nails for a lot of different reasons, and not just a couple but 1000s of them.

    So unless you are looking for a few special items (which normally you would be the one starting the trade this way) you will trade for commonly used items. People are unlikely to have things you need in the QL or bulk #s you need. Listing 1000s of items then trying to agree on the basic worth of them doesnt work well in Xsyon for many reasons.

    Anyways, I can talk until Im blue in the face about how economy works, and things to make it work, but unless they change something about it I dont see Xsyon's economy going anywhere anytime soon.

    Basic problems are
    1)Way to many resources, and are too easy to get.
    2)No true local resources.
    3)Items that are crafted have little worth save for very very few of them.
    4)99% of the items you make are not used for anything and are just deleted.
    5)QL of an item rarely matters because the item itself is what is needed.
    6)Transporting items (even with carts which is a LOTLOTLOT BETTER NOW) is very slow and hard to do.
    I think you missed the point of what I was saying. I wasnt disagreeing with him. I was agreeing.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodo View Post
    The US Dollar is based on the price of gold
    I loled

    Anyway

    As for alchemy, sounds good.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dlld View Post
    I loled

    Anyway

    As for alchemy, sounds good.
    I didnt say that it was perfect.

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