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Exact Change

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Hello again gamedev, I was thinking up little ideas for the MMO, and this seemed like a nice little addition: Dealing with the virtual economy, there is usually one universal money system that all vendors and NPCs will accept. Some MMOs use only one coin (such as Runescape with gold) or multiple coins (WoW with copper, silver, gold). The question is: Would you enjoy a system that has a different money system than the 1x = 100y, or would it be too complicated? Would a 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 system add more to the lore and 'feel' of the world, or would that just be way too confusing? Should different factions accept different kinds of currency, or is it better just to leave it as universal?

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I would say universal currency, with a very sensible 100x = 1y, or just 10x = 1y. My reasoning is that it makes life a lot simpler, and you don't have to sit around calculating your wealth, or exchanging it, since both would just be unnecessary hassles that add very little to the game.

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The #1 rule is not to add complexity for complexity's sake.

This means that if you are going to add an additional level of complexity such as different currency for different countries then it will have to add something to the game rather than be just there.

What do I mean? You would have to change your game economy such that the currency values fluctuate, and that players actions, country economies etc cause the "narnian lion" to change in value versus the "Middle earth frodo" Making mone manipulation an active portion of the game.

If its just there then it becomes an additional burden without adding any additional uses.

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One thing to keep in mind is that your system should be easy to learn. It's probably a good idea to keep your currency in a so many A to a B, so many B to a C, so many C to a D sort of system. This makes the 7 in the system you mentioned a problem (the 4 doesn't fit, either, but I don't think it'd be that much of a problem since it's a multiple of 2 of another denomination).

If you want to create a sense of "otherness", I think it's enough to stay away from powers of 10. Say, 1, 12, 240 (12 pence to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound), or 1, 4, 12, 48, 144 (four A to a B, three B to a C, four C to a D, three D to a E), or whatever. Powers of 3 might be fun: 1, 3, 9, 27, 81. Multiplying and dividing by 3 isn't that bad so it's still workable, it's trinary so it's easy to remember, but it's not the powers of 2 and 10 that we'd expect giving it that "otherness".

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How complex do you want your economy to be? Having different nations and a changing value between them could be interesting for a more advanced game, rather than your usual singleplayer game you play with thousands of random people to go out and kill rats so you can move on to kill the next thing.

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Well, I've been really wanting to do something with a base 6 system.

I'm hoping that players will go by the 'feel' of the value of currency. There should be no need to translate a virtual base 6 system into base 10 in the game, should there? Also, with a base 6, many people are already familiar with standard 12, 24, and 48 measurements (food, hours in a day).

I see why making it too complex would be a problem, because this really doesn't add anything. It's just to distinguish the economy from other MMO economies, and give the world a unique feel.

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Quote:
It's just to distinguish the economy from other MMO economies, and give the world a unique feel.


If you want to do this instead of using the standard copper/silver/gold/platinum. Give your coinage unique names.

Talon/Firebrand/phoenix etc. Have them have price equivalences I.E 5 talons = 1 Firebrand, but more than just a straight translation, have them be seperate items.

Don't over do this, but have a few merchants that won't take anything but firebrands/phoenix's. Have the money have particular meaning. Have them referred to by name.

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