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Septopus

Fixed Resource Economy, Auctions and a Currency Conundrum.

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Well, here goes.  I'm currently developing a game whose core economy is based on an approximation/simulation of the actual periodic table of elements(the first 92 or so).  Essentially the player is using a future technology(future setting) to mine pure elemental resources from the planet without harming the ecosystem/terrain.  Think Star Trek type tech.

The game is multi-player online(not online yet, still in lab), design goals are aiming for MMO.

I'm currently at the problem of Currency.

My design parameters are such:

  • At Server Start, the game will have a fixed amount of each of the 1-92 elemental resources distributed in global resource deposits that are recoverable using the tech available to the players.  Resources amounts will be balanced so they meet the requirements of the games crafting system/etc. as well as attempting to match a rough approximation of a feasibly naturally occurring system.
  • These fixed resources and the things they get turned into are to be the entirety of the "Matter" that is required for input(trade goods, crafting ingredients,etc.) in game play activities.
  • All Crafted Items can be converted back into useful elemental matter through Recovery processes.
  • Lost matter(Recovery is not always 100%) will develop new resource deposits, or add to old ones that have not been discovered yet.
  • Discovered Resource deposits must be exhaustible.

The problem arises when I begin conceptualizing a market system, and most specifically an Auction system. 

I come to the conundrum..  How do I setup a starting bid amount or even a bidding system without a specific currency?

Do I choose a specific element, say grams of Gold, as THE currency?

Do I generate some code that tells the players that they have items in their inventory that are worth more than the current bid of 20kg of Iron, according to the current market conditions on the trading platform?

Do I do both of these things?

Do I need a more abstract form of currency to make it more (but less) tangible to the players?

(not my favorite, but) Dollars, Coins, Gems?  Something totally abstract that cannot be mined or crafted?

 

I'm trying to attack this conundrum from a "how would a player like it to work?" perspective..  But I'm stalled a bit.  Any insights/experiences/thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Septopus
Tags and Typos. Redundant bullet points...

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I've posted a project for this game as well:

Have a look, let me know how you might like an auction system with this type of economic back end, to work.

Thanks!

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19 hours ago, Septopus said:

I'm trying to attack this conundrum from a "how would a player like it to work?" perspective..  But I'm stalled a bit.  Any insights/experiences/thoughts would be appreciated. 

Players prefer a single currency against which all other commodities are measured (maybe unless trade is the core-feature of your game)

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Makes sense to me, and that's the way I'm probably going to go.  Trade is core to the game but I can see how a single official currency eliminates an unnecessary learning curve.

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On 9/28/2018 at 8:17 PM, Dramolion said:

Players prefer a single currency against which all other commodities are measured (maybe unless trade is the core-feature of your game)

When Path Of Exile removed money altogether, the player-base itself popularly agreed upon a bartering standard (in this case, value is determined in relation to the Chaos Orb).

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I hated path of exiles "no money" approach. You wanted a clear way to measure all the drops (like you have in all other ARPGs).

I strongly recommend to have a single currency.

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Thanks @suliman & @Lendrigan Games, your insights are truly appreciated.

I've chosen a currency standard for my game, a player craft-able "coin" made from semi-rare elements/etc.  Seems like it hits all the bases for what it needs to be.  This not only gives it a standard currency, but a pretty solid and somewhat self-correcting mechanism for its instantiation and its removal/replacement if/when necessary.

Any further thoughts/insights/experiences are always welcome and appreciated!

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That sounds interesting and also has some gameplay elements to it. However crafting money from resources isn't mechanically different from selling resources for money. It may be a thematic move though.

A way to "craft currency" ingame reminds me of the metro games where you use high-grade ammo as currency. The "money" could also be used to fire guns obviously.

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No different at all, in fact it will work both ways.  The major difference being that there won't be ANY currency drops in game.  In fact there won't be any drops that can't be fit into the economic balance sheet easily.  So, no items that could be crafted or currency.  All drops will consist of elemental resources, or compunds of them that will need to be at least minimally processed for crafting purposes. 

My #1 rule for the economy of my game is "nothing created, nothing destroyed", just like in nature.  All player starting currency will be from a pool that is accounted for in the global resources, all items will come from and break back down into resources. ;)

Each player starts with some currency in pocket, they can use that to buy other resources needed for crafting things that will get them started down their chosen path(miner, crafter, hunter, etc.. not a required choice, but one that surfaces after sufficient skill level increases)  Anybody who locates the necessary resources to craft money can do so, or they can sell/trade whatever other resources they locate/mine to whomever they like directly for currency/resources, or auction it off or put it on the resource market.

I think I remember Entropia Universe does something like that too, currency is/can be ammo..  I hate to make the reference because that "game"(casino) is all about profit and making people think they can play for free when you really can't.  However, I was inspired by a lot of the game-play elements I found when I spent a few days checking it out.  It encapsulates a lot of what I like about the open-world genre and a lot of the types of game-play I would like to eventually incorporate, unfortunately, I couldn't really get into it because it really tries to suck the RL money out of you..

 

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Posted (edited)

On the subject of drops I should probably add, the source of the drop will be deducted from the same economic balance sheet upon its instantiation into the world.  For example a "monster" would be some arrangement of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus, plus some say "animal hide" and "bone" matter, which have their own elemental recipes and are calculated into the balance.

"nothing created, nothing destroyed"

pure madness. ;)

Edited by Septopus

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