Author Topic: Video Game Economies  (Read 4087 times)

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Offline Daxx

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Video Game Economies
« on: September 08, 2008, 04:59:52 am »
Concerning the economy, it is actually amazing what one can find out. During a titan build, for example, the cost of Scordite, a commonplace ore, nearly doubles, as it's metals are critical to the components needed. If more games had this kind of economy, not only would it be more immersive, but after a given time, it would be near indestructible - nearly nothing could serious harm the market.

I'm hoping to do some work on game economies as part of my doctorate, so it would be interesting so see whether that conjecture requires some prior assumptions about the game environment for it to be correct. For example, in most games the developer often acts like a central bank and regulates the economy through inflows and outflows, and regulates resource availability. I think that's what holds many systems up - after all even real-world economies can crash heavily if they're mismanaged. Game systems are much more susceptible to people gaming the system and manipulating methods of play in order to maximise their wealth, which can easily lead to inflation or the bottom dropping out of goods and resources markets (and the inherent job loss that entails), and so on.



Offline Krakow Sam

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Video Game Economies
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 05:25:31 am »
Apparently Anarchy Online has a largely unregulated economy, which has led to some pretty serious inflation issues, which in turn led to the implementation of a bunch of cash sink features.

I'm going to go ahead and split these posts off into their own thread.

Done.

Another example I vaguely recall is Kingdom of Loathing. A bug resulted in the markets becoming flooded with meat (the game's currency) which had to be remedied by creating some cash-sink items and activities.
I guess thats one way that a virtual economy is easier to keep stable, of course, I don't think there's ever been a case of one MMO being in debt to another and driving itself into hyperinflation by printing more money.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 05:33:04 am by Krakow Sam »
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Offline Yokto

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Re: Zero Punctuation
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 05:34:20 am »
That is true. There was a market crash back in the good old days in UO when some people manage to clone items. It was very bad for the economy. Though they tried to bad the cloners it become to hard to check it all. To much resources was cloned and one could not tell if the players that had a cloned object really knew it. The solution was to start a auction where rare (often one of a kind) items where sold. That brought back the economy to more normal level.

Normally the the game developers have pretty strict control of the economy. Controlling things like spawn times and such. Though most of the time players never see this.
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Offline Celdur

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 07:31:35 am »
its pretty stale in japanese mmo's most of the time
they pretty much sell all the common things of npc's
but usualy there is a skill that allows you to set up a shop
and in that shop you can put your stuff at your own prices
(and some of those also have a WTB feature)

the stupid thing is though...that none of the shop makers looks at each other

sometimes you can just buy things for 1k from one guy...and for 100k from the other...its that crazy

sometimes you can also find market holes where someone is buying things in his stand for more than another guy is selling it...

i dont think you can call it an economy >.> but it sure is a funny sight

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Offline Yokto

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 09:06:20 am »
Actually that is a part of what the market is. I did that in EVE and EVE have a very open market space (somewhat easy to check prices.) And but doing trade like that you actually stabilizes prices. I also did that in UO when it came to base resources. Only works on really big severs but one can make a pretty penny out of it. (I used to go to shops far out in the wild and bring my goods back to the city and sell  it with a nice profit.)
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Offline Celdur

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 09:36:07 am »
i know it works like that...buying cheap and selling for more

but buying it for 1k and then selling it for 100k to the guy who sits next to it...that kinda breaks the limit >.>

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Offline Celdur

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 11:25:18 am »
one of the best economies has to be puzzle pirates though...
EVERYTHING is owned by the players and it WORKS
from ships to shops to banks to the islands...all where owned by some one or some clan

it has a really solid economy on most servers..with super sharp prices...
i owned a metalsmith once and it was really hard to stay on top with the prices and still being able to make profit

it goes a bit like this i think...

when a clan has enough money they can set a settlement on an isle...this is just a simple warehouse at the start...a small trade post really
they can expand it ofcource and once they did it so much it allows for new buildings
buildings are like...tailors, clothiers, ironsmiths, shipyards ect.
these need matirials to complete their stuff ofcource...and customers to buy or order stuff

the leader of the isle gets 10% of all the profit of all the shops...so yeah

clans can also try to take over isles with a blockade that happens about every 2 weeks per isle (awesome ship battles that last for some hours) to take over the isle...

every isle is its own economy so on some isles things are more expensive then someplace else...
for example...there was this small outpost in the middle of nowhere...and i just needed rum and cannonballs for my ship
but the isle just feeds on people like me so they where retartedly expensive...bleh :P

there are also things like poker games where people bet like 10mil a game so its pretty insane

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Offline Yokto

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 12:13:33 pm »
i know it works like that...buying cheap and selling for more

but buying it for 1k and then selling it for 100k to the guy who sits next to it...that kinda breaks the limit >.>

True is it a bit extreme. But logical if people started to trade between these station then pricing would sooner or later correct it self. The only problem is that the sever might suffer form massive inflation which would be the reason why the price difference seems so big. Or to put it in other words. In a economy where money has no value it does not matter what price you get for you product or at what price you sell it.

I can not say however.
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Offline Daxx

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 06:11:07 am »
when a clan has enough money they can set a settlement on an isle...this is just a simple warehouse at the start...a small trade post really
they can expand it ofcource and once they did it so much it allows for new buildings
buildings are like...tailors, clothiers, ironsmiths, shipyards ect.
these need matirials to complete their stuff ofcource...and customers to buy or order stuff

How are the shops run? Is it automatically, or do they require player input and time?

Offline Mr. Consideration

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2008, 08:12:21 am »
Well, in Neopets...
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." - Oscar Wilde

Yes, I am aware of the irony.

Offline Celdur

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 10:25:24 am »
when a clan has enough money they can set a settlement on an isle...this is just a simple warehouse at the start...a small trade post really
they can expand it ofcource and once they did it so much it allows for new buildings
buildings are like...tailors, clothiers, ironsmiths, shipyards ect.
these need matirials to complete their stuff ofcource...and customers to buy or order stuff

How are the shops run? Is it automatically, or do they require player input and time?

you can either take orders from customers or make a stock and put it on the market
you need to get the stuff required for the build like metal,wood, cloth ect. and then you pretty much press make and it starts making it
but it doesnt go automaticly

you need to hire staff...any person with a labor badge can be a staff member...all they have to do to work is be online...so they dont have to hang around in the shop all day

the more staff you have online the faster the order will be done

you also have to keep up to date with the pay or people wont want to work at your place :P

some shops also have minigames...wich the staff can play to get more cash and get the job done faster
the minigames can also be done by none employees as long as they have a labor badge...

its really economic and you have to calculate allot to make sure you are making profit :P

i purely relied on making cannonballs (at the cheapest price if possible) and most of the time i made only 1-3 poe a cannonball

but if you have a thousand cannon balls...and its the lowest price on the isle...they will fly out super fast
$_$

i only had a small shoppe though...they have smaller space and restrict the amount of orders you can take in...and they have rent as well

the big shops are much much bigger...and more expensive...and more profitable

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Offline Mae

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 03:08:13 pm »
Oh, a game big on economics is definitely Wurm Online. Though I played as, like, a manly-man who killed other peoples livestock for food, I found that the game focused heavily on interdependance for a thriving society. If you like this kind of thing, look it up. (http://www.wurmonline.com/)

Also, I wish more games had complex economies like EVE- it IS a roleplaying game; players should be more involved in the world in which they "live".

Offline Cow

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 03:42:33 pm »
Wurm seems interesting. I'll try it out.

Offline Mae

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2008, 11:28:16 am »
It's really hard though - if we want to seriously play it, we should make like, a tribe and take over someone elses town.

Offline Cow

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Re: Video Game Economies
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2008, 06:11:57 pm »
Can you do that? Why wouldn't we just make our own town in an unpopulated area?