Economy Systems

EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,069 Creator
I know we've discussed the economy ad nauseum before, but I'd like to look at specific proposals for new economic systems. If you have an idea, please feel free to share. As I've said before, I'm a little leary on farming mechanics to produce commodities, but I'll keep an open mind!
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Comments

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    (starting here because comm generation is the beginning of the flow, the irony of talking about farming is noted)

    Issue:
    As far as trading goes there doesn't seem to be much/any relationship between generation and sinks.
    Generally, comm generation is mostly a factor of time, the only exceptions being fail-comms and herbs, there is a base-line of comms constantly entering the game which can be increased by players but otherwise it's just constantly stockpiling.
    A similar thing appears to have happened with fail-comms, some are in high demand and don't ramp up to meet that, other are oversaturated to the point they're worthless.

    Other games solution:
    It's farming really, players will go out and farm the comms that have value (i.e the ones needed) to make a profit, meanwhile they won't go around gathering that many worthless ones because they're just not valuable. Comms gained from mob drops and the like end up providing a source of gold because they can be sold for gold and that provides a floor on their value.

    Possible Lusternia solution:
    To get it out there farming can work. You see it in a diverse collection of popular games such as FFXIV, GW2, Warframe, EVE, etc. I've spent days farming in GGXIV because of how profitable it is and then traded the gold I made for the other comms I needed.

    Alternatively, building intelligence into comm generation might work.

    When the game goes to generate more comms it would do something like:
    • Check stockpiles in orgs and player shops
    • If on average the comm is below a certain threshold then more of that comm will be generated (variable relative to how far below the threshold the comm is)
    • If on average the comm is above a different threshold then less of that comm is generated (again variable to the point that basically nothing is entering the game)
    • Potentially: Checks playershop pricing, if the value of a comm has gone outside a certain range, raises a flag for the admin to reconsider the thresholds and generation rates (i.e if a comm is worth 1 gp, too much is probably being generated)
    This would apply to fail-comms as well (if kept), right now for example, it might increase the chance to fail on gemcutting and I would expect it would basically give a 100% chance to generate salt (as the salt drought would trigger an increase on it's side of the rng and the sulfur flood would trigger a reduction on the other)
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    edited April 27
    Issue:
    Shops aren't great, they're overly abundant on the one hand and will never pay for themselves because the market is crazy. Undercutting is to a point that people are selling things for a loss.


    Solution:
    Auction house, Market, etc.

    Give each organisation a market room with the following features:
    • You can put up sale offer at a price, leaving the items at the market until they're sold or reclaimed.
    • You can submit a buy order for an item stack for a certain price, you must leave enough gold in your bank account for that org to cover the price. (option when creating the order to just deposit the right amount, withdrawing from your bank account checks if you'd go under your buy order requirement and doesn't let you if you would)
    • Players can only have a limited number of "market slots" for sale offers and buy orders (potentially a combined limit).
    • Offers and orders are attributed to the organisation in the system, each transaction has a tax on it given to the organisation they originated from.
    • Part of the gold is also sunk out of the game to pay "courier fees" if you're not at the right market room. (Buy orders debit your bank account so you'll have some left over if they're filled at your market)
    It's more available, the fees and taxes would provide a gold sink, and this would mean rather than shopping for whats available, people can just list what they're after and then trader players can spend their time fulfilling those requests.

    edit: There's potential here to charge people credits for more market slots.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    Issue:
    Opting out is a thing.

    It's relatively trivial to get to the point where you effectively have permanent enchants through a combination of permanent items and curios with regulators. Rune a cube and you really only need to get charges. For me the charge limits on different items are also pretty irrelevant because it's not going to come up.
    Weapons, armour, clothing, furniture, it seems like you should count yourself lucky if you get a customer for the hundreds of lessons that you sink into the skills for some trades. All of the costs attributed to this seem liable to primarily impact newbies, i.e the one's less likely to have the money for it.
    Some trades do get consumables but it's a big ask to invest so heavily into these skills for the low payoff it seems you get.

    Armour and weaponry is a basic requirement but if you rune them then the first one you buy is also the last one you'll need to buy. This is kinda an alien concept in gaming. In DnD my starter weapon can be fine for a while but eventually I'll need to be looking at upgrades (magical, +x, useful effects), some other MMOs have the ilvl concept which is always going up so you're always chasing it, BDO has a system where you increase the level of an item but that drops its max durability which needs copies of the item to raise it again, and so on.

    Was going to suggest a consolidation and reduction of lesson investment as one potential option. Got to forging looking like this...

    Weaponsmith - Clubs, Blades, Bludgeons, Axes, Swords, Kata, Polearms, (Scabbards)
    Armoursmith - Leather, Shields, Scale, Chain, Plate, Greathelms, Greatshields, (Padding)
    IDK - Miniatures, Constructs, Standards
    Master Smith - Smelt, ArmourEnhance, WeaponEnhance, Masterarmour, MasterKata, MasterWeapons.

    But now my question is really, how many of those skills actually have value? Even on my alts I'm pretty I've always ended up with a masterweapon immediately, and now I should be able to rune that well before it decays.

    Solution(?):

    Depends on what trades are meant to be, if trades should make a profit for people that invest in them then opting out is in direct opposition to that so solutions that wind that back are needed.

    If trades shouldn't expect to make a profit then the investment should be looked at for a better player experience.
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  • DeichtineDeichtine Member Posts: 2,008 Transcendent
    Pysynne said:
    Remove all "you can have second third tenth tradeskill" items. Force players to seek out players for goods and services. Being self sufficient is pretty much a nonstarter to any sort of economy.
    Not just items though, you'd need to restrict the trade skills themselves. I like the concept.
  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 212 Master
    @Estarra

    I have some general observations as a designer/shop owner who has tangoed quite a bit with the current iteration of the commodity system.

    First is that I don't think any significant or useful change will occur without some honest discussion and perspective on what people really need/use. Shopkeepers always like to hold onto excesses, and this reflects in the Trade Ministries themselves - the sort of people who are liable to commodity hoard and be protective of those stockpiles are the exact same people who are likely to end up in these positions. Perceptions of how much of any given commodity is "enough" is likely to be all over the place, and may have more grounding in paranoia than in reality.

    We really all need to be on about the same page with what we think is appropriate storage for a "rainy day", and what's actually out there.

    For a bit of extra perspective on that, check out play production 441, "The Poultry Shortage, Act 1" - it's a good lampoon on commodity hoarding and like behaviours that still remains relevant.

    Having said that, I've been very much engaged with commodity generation since the last series of changes. And contrary to what seems to be the general reaction, I think it has ripened the opportunity to produce way more commodities than in the former system.

    The old system had a higher passive production via village tithes, while turning in an unfinished commodity item would generate one commodity in the village shop, as well as add one commodity to the village's tithe.

    In the new system, village tithes were dramatically reduced, but the player turn-in feature was buffed. Not only does turning in an unfinished commodity produce one for the village shop and add an extra commodity to the village tithe, but it instantly spawns a finished commodity of the same time right in the hands of the engaging player.

    Whenever I write about commodities produced by player initiative, this is precisely what I'm referring to. Every commodity turn-in now produces a possible three available commodities, rather than two like in the previous system.

    Village prices also shift and fluctuate with available inventory, but each is different, and some shift and change in price with far fewer commodity turn-ins than others. Notably, there are a fair few villages that will drop their gem prices to 1gp per upon reaching a "ceiling" of 100 gems in stock. So this makes gems really easy to produce, with it being very easy to collect a minimum of 50 rockeaters within an hour. You can do turn-ins until they are below 1gp per and then buy all those for 1gp until they push below 100 gems in stock in the village shop. At the same time, you will instantly produce a gem commodity for yourself with every turn-in, AND you will earn gold while doing it.

    Commodity turn-ins are a significant portion of my own income, and they spin right around to buy more of the very commodities I drive into absurdly low prices, which I can then cart away to craft things at a minimal cost to myself.

    But on top of that, all that production also increases the village tithe. Since I usually just produce comms in my own city's villages, or in allies, that makes a bunch of extra commodities I won't use, but will be available to everyone else I am aligned with.

    So any commodity that has a high player initiative production value goes through the roof, while all the commodities with few/no turn-ins face a disparity in production. We get lots, and lots, and lots of some commodities and a tiny trickle of others.

    Worse, the daily credit system encourages lots of extra player commodity production of this flavour.

    Worse, villages themselves are pretty poor means of production without player turn-ins to empower them. I've speculated that the mining villages might actually produce more metals if we all made agreements with each other to ignore miners crying for help, and just constantly kill-farm them to turn in their ores ourselves. I can't prove that would work, since it hasn't happened yet, but the fact that the general spread of numbers I've seen supports this seems like a bad thing.

    If you want to control commodity production more, village passive production should be adjusted to be more useful while production via player initiative should see more restriction.

    I'd increase the capacity of each village's stock of a commodity from 1,000 to 10,000 as a suggestion, and also adjust all the ceilings for price changes on that commodity accordingly. This would make it much more difficult to wildly manipulate village purchase prices for easy and quick gains. This would also leave plenty of room for dailycredits to still include commodity generation as an avenue of activity. This would also make village commodity prices much more stable across the board, and likely encourage more purchasing from villages on the whole over time. Village prices would be a lot more likely to reflect "real" prices that players perceive as the actual value of any given commodity rather than feeling too high too often, etc.

    This would be an easy and approachable fix that wouldn't require a huge restructuring of the system. It might not fix everything by a long shot, but I think the current system is overly rewarding for people who know how to game it properly.

  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 212 Master
    I think my proposal did forget one important aspect - village tithes are modestly affected by commodity holdings in the village shop. This is presently very small - we're talking like an extra 10-15 commodities per weave if you've got 900+ of the given commodity in the village shop versus <100. If village holding capacity for any commodity goes up to 10,000 and you're worried about this adversely affecting tithes in odd ways, you can just remove this portion of the tithe equation.
  • LavinyaLavinya Queen of Snark AustraliaMember Posts: 3,477 Transcendent
    I would be pretty furious if I lost the access to all my trades, not to mention all the trade arties I own, second/third trade....

    I think people who undercut and don't care about making a profit hurt the system more than those with multiple avenues to sell/craft for themselves. Because honestly, no matter what systems are in place or changed, if people keep selling things for less than it costs to make them, the issue will remain. And I say this as someone who has access to the arties that make things cheaper to make (like the trade curios), I still can't match prices without making a loss. In the real world, those people would go bust but alas, here they can just go bashing/sell credits/keep topping up their funds in other ways so the losses don't matter.



  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,545 Transcendent
    Well, some things are just fundamentally skewed by artifacts.  For example, enchantment charges cost me nothing to make except the time spent hovering over my cube.  I can sell them for 1 gold and make a profit if I really want to (doesn't seem worth it, but I could). 
    Gems seem to be basically free too if you have enough artifacts; kill 100 rockeaters, turn them in wisely and you can end up with 150-200 gems (using the gold you get from turning in rockeaters to buy gems that show up in the village's comm store back).  Especially with the chisel curio (15% chance for 2x gems) and the jewellery hammer (also a big buff to gem creation).
    What's "below cost" for one person isn't necessarily below cost for another.

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  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 212 Master
    Xenthos said:
    Well, some things are just fundamentally skewed by artifacts.  For example, enchantment charges cost me nothing to make except the time spent hovering over my cube.  I can sell them for 1 gold and make a profit if I really want to (doesn't seem worth it, but I could). 
    Gems seem to be basically free too if you have enough artifacts; kill 100 rockeaters, turn them in wisely and you can end up with 150-200 gems (using the gold you get from turning in rockeaters to buy gems that show up in the village's comm store back).  Especially with the chisel curio (15% chance for 2x gems) and the jewellery hammer (also a big buff to gem creation).
    What's "below cost" for one person isn't necessarily below cost for another.

    Pretty much this. And a cook with a spatula is pretty much impossible to compete with for a cook that doesn't.

    In many ways I'm kind of the moustache-twirling villain here because I seem to be everything Saran says is wrong with the economy, but I think you'll find in all such games there will be people undercutting the market simply because it's a game and -you can-. That truth is a running gag in many online gaming circles.

    People who have/juggle multiple trades control more of the market, but they also make it more functional when it is this small. If you want to argue that's bad, you can go ahead - I'm not interested in running a horse in that race and am just fine with focusing wholly on design if I can't make all my things myself.

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    Other games have some things that address this to a degree because all of the comms have a minimum cost.
    Some even have mechanisms where if you try to sell something for the same or lower than the money you'd get it for in shop they will at least warn you and some won't even let you do it. BDO seems to have the reverse as well, whenever I try to sell something to an npc that I could sell for higher to a player I get a warning.

    Perhaps there's an answer there to undercutting?
    • Create a system that dynamically determines the value of every comm.
    • Implement a rule whereby anything that generates comms cannot generate gold. (i.e Rockeaters, cows, sheep, etc never drop gold. Village comm quests only give you comms)
    • Add methods for mobs to buy non-village comms (or add them to markets but they're not generated) relative to the determined value.
    • Drop in a mechanism tied to pricing comms in player shops, if you list something for too low (as far as the system is concerned) Bob's goons/the Gnafia/etc will rock up at some point relatively soon after and buy out your entire stock before sending you a message to drive home how much money you just lost.
    This would mean you'd choose between generating gold and generating comms, if the comm is hitting oversupply it's easier for the player to sell the comm to a mob to get gold (removing the comm from the game) but if the comm is selling for above the determined minimum then it's more valuable for the player to sell it to another player.

    You could maybe extrapolate that with crafted items, determine the combined value of the comms used to craft one instance of the item with a markup relative to the investment needed (i.e MasterWeapons have a much higher built in markup than a club) and that's the value for all of them. Infusions and the like also drive the value upward.
    Single crafts should work for the goons rocking up to buy out your undersold merch laughing at how much money you just lost, the multiple crafts are still an issue though.


    Simplest solution seems to be to remove the proc to get extra copies out of a craft.
    Maybe swap the benefit around so that with say cooking, instead of getting multiple for the cost of one, you can cook <#> <recipe> with trans cooking and the artifacts(maybe trans arts too) you'd be able to cook 50 copies of a recipe at once but still costing the same as 50.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    Also, when talking about economic systems within games just to make sure people are on the same page, nothing is free unless you go up and press a button to dispense more.

    Bashing is an economic activity where you convert time into exp, you can reduce the time taken and/or increase the experience gain by converting gold/credits into lessons for more abilities or by spending gold to get weapons, armour, curative, and other items.
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  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 212 Master
    Saran said:
    • Implement a rule whereby anything that generates comms cannot generate gold. (i.e Rockeaters, cows, sheep, etc never drop gold. Village comm quests only give you comms)
    Or make it a choice toggleable on config. Set newbies to always get gold by it before commodities. I think this would also be an important facet in the present system, because right now my commodity farming schemes also earn me close to, if not more gold than in most of the places I'd bash otherwise. It's because so many corpse turn-ins are about the same, and value quantity over quality. (though Icewynd has some nice, distinctly better opportunities). The big difference is in essence generation.

    If people just want the extra gold revenue then they sacrifice the additional commodities for themselves.

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,132 Transcendent
    Jolanthe said:
    Saran said:
    • Implement a rule whereby anything that generates comms cannot generate gold. (i.e Rockeaters, cows, sheep, etc never drop gold. Village comm quests only give you comms)
    Or make it a choice toggleable on config. Set newbies to always get gold by it before commodities. I think this would also be an important facet in the present system, because right now my commodity farming schemes also earn me close to, if not more gold than in most of the places I'd bash otherwise. It's because so many corpse turn-ins are about the same, and value quantity over quality. (though Icewynd has some nice, distinctly better opportunities). The big difference is in essence generation.

    If people just want the extra gold revenue then they sacrifice the additional commodities for themselves.

    Nah, a toggle actually works against this sort of mechanism, economic systems like this work because people generate stuff they don't need and then sell them to other players or back to the game for gold. 

    It's pretty trivial to tell a newbie in hints that they can go somewhere to sell their unneeded stuff and that players might be interested in it for higher prices because that's a concept that's basically omnipresent in MMOs at this point. 

    You're also more likely to have a negative user experience with a toggle because if someone finishes a round of comm quests with it set to gold gen then realises that they've just screwed themselves out of thousands to hundreds of thousands of gold there's going to be aggravation.
    Similarly you'll likely find other players will start complaining about "gold gen'ers" not bringing comms into the game when you have people happy to pay more gold to buy them of the people not generating comms.


    For clarity, I'd implement this with the previous suggestions of more dynamically controlled generation and a market place. Because then people just go check the marketplace sell what they can for a good deal and then just vendor the rest.
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