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robert4818

Anti-trust Measures

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I'm working on a game economy concept that in a way resembles the real-world. The idea is for products to be built in multi-step processes using raw resources that are separated out around the game world. (I.E. one area may be a desert that is rich in Iron ore, while another is a forest rich in different woods. Instead of Tiered systems (pine = lvl 1, Oak = lvl 2, etc.) each individual component will have different strengths and weaknesses. The ultimate goal is to have a system where resources are gathered, processed, and traded on a guild-level, not an individual level. The problem I'm running into in the concept at the moment is the "Uber-guild". The ones that maximize everything and are as self-sufficent as possible. Thats not what I want. I want the system to be co-dependent. So how do I keep one guild from gaining access to too many resources. In a sense How do I keep guilds specialized in one or two resources for trade?

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You can introduce a tax based on revenue, and calibrate it so that when a guild operates on only 1 or 2 resources and trades, the guild has the highest revenue-after-tax to revenue-before-tax ratio.

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Make the buy Trade Rights, which expire after a set time.

First Trade right costs nearly nothing, but after that have them go up on whatever curve you wish. Make them expire fairly quickly or tradeable in someway, so as not to lock a player into one thing for too long, should they wish to switch industries.


Throw in an Ingame court system, which includes a simplified legal code, and have your GM act as Judges. Issue fines and sanctions rather than bans for breaking game 'law' (still have rules which are a different thing, such as macro/exploits/multi accounts and that, but make Anti-Trust as game law not game rule. The difference is, Game Law becomes something you TRY to toe the line with as close as you can, and step over as much as you dare to try and get ahead, and hope you don't get caught, where as game rules you get banned for breaking as they're not 'part of the game')

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Quote:
Original post by robert4818
The ultimate goal is to have a system where resources are gathered, processed, and traded on a guild-level, not an individual level.


How do you enforce "fair trade" between guilds? If you don't, there's nothing to stop me from having many toons and creating many guilds that all give each other resources for free. Most hardcore guilds use 3rd party apps for voice communication anyway, so there's no communication penalty for splitting toons across multiple guild entities.

Out of curiosity, what's the design reason for preventing "uber guilds"? One of the strongest reasons for joining a guild in the first place is so you can get everything "for free": help, mats, crafted items, gold, etc.

Another thing you could do is require the construction of expensive structures to refine materials: want to make metal bars -> build a forge. Guilds could be given finite building space in which to construct these buildings. That would prevent a guild from being able to process all materials into usable form. This doesn't cover the different toons, different guilds "exploit" however.

-me

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The easiest way I can think of is to just put in a hard limit for a guild to only work with one resource. You could implement it by issuing some equivalent of a Royal Charter for a guild to work with a specific area - think of something like the East India Company, except limited to a specific resource (like tea, for example). You could then limit each guild to only having one charter.

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ECON 101: As long as a comparative advantage exists, free trade will always make sense. As long as one guild is 'relatively' more efficient, trade will exist.

There are many ways you could ensure this 'relative' efficiency -- the most simple is to explain it by Nurture versus Nature -- that those born and raised in certain areas are raised in a culture that understands the raw material, and therefore has technological superiority when it comes to working with the raw material. Or, as others have mentioned, this 'relative' efficiency could be created by law enforcement. There are many explanations as to why this relative efficiency could exist.

As far as the innards of the mechanic go, you simply have to make sure, in a rather large matrix, that at least one relative efficiency exists for each guild compared to another. For smart players (aka, profit maximizing players), this will ensure that trade will always exist.

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I'm against hard limits. They break immersion in my book. I know that a hard limit is the most effective way, but not the direction I would like to go.

I'm wondering if physical transport of goods, and larger areas would help the problem.

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Quote:
Original post by Palidine
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
The ultimate goal is to have a system where resources are gathered, processed, and traded on a guild-level, not an individual level.


How do you enforce "fair trade" between guilds? If you don't, there's nothing to stop me from having many toons and creating many guilds that all give each other resources for free. Most hardcore guilds use 3rd party apps for voice communication anyway, so there's no communication penalty for splitting toons across multiple guild entities.

Out of curiosity, what's the design reason for preventing "uber guilds"? One of the strongest reasons for joining a guild in the first place is so you can get everything "for free": help, mats, crafted items, gold, etc.

Another thing you could do is require the construction of expensive structures to refine materials: want to make metal bars -> build a forge. Guilds could be given finite building space in which to construct these buildings. That would prevent a guild from being able to process all materials into usable form. This doesn't cover the different toons, different guilds "exploit" however.

-me


I'm not one for preventing uber guilds, but preventing an uber-guild from forming a stand-alone breach in the economy. If one guild controls all aspects needed to start full manufacturing can ruin an economy.

Note: Numbers pulled out of thin air

My opinion is this:

If we have 25-30 various resources that result in creating around 100 or so items then a normal guild would be able to manage 1-2 resources, and be able to manufacture maybe 5 items.

An Uber guild should be able to manage maybe 4-6 resources and manufacture maybe 15 items.


The Multi-guild/toon issue is part of the thing I'm trying to figure out. My solution, which isn't a popular one at all is to limit players to 1 toon/server/account. This limits the multi-toon to people who bother to have multiple accounts....which usually brings us back to uber guilds anyways...

I want to seperate the traders and business men from the adventures and create a symbiotic relationship.

Managing manufacture of a resource should "stress" a lesser guild, and managing much more than that should "stress" a larger guild.

I'm trying to figure out the ways to do that.




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I understand that you are looking for the most natural way to impose the anti-trust, but resource gathering industry naturally favors systems more like monopoly because ownership of the land and equipment makes it hard to get into the industry.


An obvious solution is to make it really easy to find a new mining site and for anyone to start a guild to mine, but that is not what you want.


One direction to think about this problem is to impose an incentive for people within the management of the guild to split a guild. This also prevents different guild masters from forming agreement outside the mechanics of the game.

One objective is to make players hate each other more at the management level. You can do this by introducing decisions that requires personal sacrifices and or personal investment. Also make room for the players to debate and argue what to invest on. When the people at the management level do not always agree on what the company should do or how resources should be allocated, you create the incentive for the company to split.

The bigger the guild, the more decisions and arguments the management circle faces. Only the players that can mentally handle this conflict can manage a super guild. Make the choices hard and there won't be any super guild.

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