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Shynras

Regarding economy, currency and NPCs

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As you may know:

 

 

 

The currency will be created by NPCs on the market that will give in-game currency if you give them raw materials they requested (let say, this will be the first "missions", meant for the maintenance of the Arkship). At some point, we might remove progressively those NPCs, or they might stop to give such missions (temporarily or definitely), to prevent too much inflation.

 

In short, the economy start with 0 credits. NPCs at the start of the game will give us credits for raw materials, up to a certain point, where those NPCs will be removed. Then there'll be a limited amount of credits, that will make the economy. 

 

Doubts:

 

- After some time, some people may stop playing, abandoning a character with credits in it. 

- Some people may accumulate a huge amount of credits, without spending them. In that case the economy run with much less credits. If credits are more rare, prices for stuff are lower, and at a certain point, those rich guys may use all their credits buy all the stuff they can, at a lower price than usual. At that point there'll be again a large influx of credits in the economy, that will rise the prices up again, so those people will make profit out of this phenomenon. Sorry if I couldn't explain this better, but my english is limited.

-Adding again NPCs in the future (or even at the beginning), is something that comes from the devs. I feel is too much of an intrusion in a game made by players. It defines the economy too much.

 

The first problem regard the natural loss of credits over time: a guy that stops playing, another that changes account, or wathever. This may be fixed by adding again NPCs temporarily to resupply credits up to the original amount.

The second is a problem caused by the static amount of credits in game, and the one-off random resupply, decided by devs. 

The third pretty much explain itself. 

 

In other games we usually have NPCs, that create credits, what are called gold-sinks, to remove them. This usually mantains a stable economy, if done properly. It is artificially balanced. 

In a game like DU ofc this can't work, since there are not even NPCs that gives quests or something like that. The devs idea may be a solution, but a little basic and with problems imho. So what's the solution?

 

Create a rare resource that we can craft credits with. Example:

 

-Gold is a rare resource. You can craft, with a recipe, an X amount of credits with a single ingot. 

-Gold is a resource needed to craft a fundamental element, like the construct cores. It will always be important and have a value in game.

-The price to buy an ingot of gold from other players will never be less than X credits, but higher, simply because you can just craft yourself X credits from an ingot. Let's say an ingot is worth Y credits. Y > X always. 

-This kills inflation. When there's a ton of credits in the economy, the price of all resources go up naturally, gold included. This means that is not convenient for people to craft credits with the recipe, because they would get only X amount of credits, that is a lot less than Y, so a fewer people will "create" credits, letting the natural loss of credits reduce the inflation naturally.  Viceversa, if there's not enough currency in the system, Y is a lot closer to X, so people are more incentivized by using the recipe, and new crafted credits will flow into the economy. Wait, there's something wierd....If Y>X always, why would someone ever think about using the recipe to craft credits? Because of two reasons: Trade fees and wait time: If you sell stuff, you're probably using a market element, maybe in a city, maybe in a station, and you'll have to pay taxes on your trades to the owner. When the difference between X and Y is small enough, crafting credits is more convenient than selling gold.  "Wait time" instead is referred to you having to wait for a buyer, instead of having credits instantly by crafting them; consider that with high inflation there are more buyers (more money in circle, people are more incentivized on buying stuff despite mining/crafting by their own), so the wait time is smaller, so isn't a problem and you would sell gold instead of crafting credits, while with low inflation, you may have to wait quite a bit to find a buyer, because there is less currency in the economy than normal, so you're more incentivized to craft credits. Everything works perfectly and balance itself naturally. Sorry if it's a bit confused, I hope you understood.

-No need for NPCs, no need to balance the economy artificially, by force, adding or removing credits. 

-If someone accumulates a huge amount of credits over time, the economy is not going to be affected, so that people can't play with the economy, creating instability. Not that easily at least.

-People are not going to be chained to the arkship forever, where the NPCs are. You can craft credits anywhere supposed you have the gold.

-Incentivize mining, pirating, and stuff like that. Gold has a value just because you can make credits out of it, and every other resources will have a balanced price relative to the gold rarity, and their usefulness. 

-The fixed amount of credits in game depends on the amount of active players, that defines the amount of trades. With the system I propose, this gets automatically balanced. Because less/more players means less/more mining, other than less/more trades. So credits will always be proportional to the amount of trades, and the amount of players.

-Credits resupply/removal needs to be applied gradually, constantly over time, not by a one-time temporary reintroduction of NPCs. The economy is stable, you don't see large influx of credits over a certain period of time. Prices are more stable.

- And more

 

EDIT: If the natural loss of currency throught loss of accounts, isn't enough to balance the amount of credits crafted by gold, in other words, the inflation, forging back gold from credits is a solution. You'd loose something throught the crafting process (you would get only 80% gold back, or you'd consume energy to craft or a third material required by the recipe) to balance the continuous switch gold to credits to gold, that players could abuse to transport gold without worrying about mass.

 

 

What do you think? 

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I share your doubts about the mentioned method of credit generation. The introduction of a single credit resource like gold is one solution, a good one. There are some other games I can think of that use consumable goods as currency. They have value not only for what you can buy, but what you can make or do with them. As a consumable resource players naturally use it up through the course of play. As the items become more common, players are more likely to use them, diminishing their commonality and adjusting inflation naturally.

 

I think the credit, currency, or economy Dual Universe creates should be player controlled, not developer dependent. This is a complex issue. It may take a while to find the solution. I don't entirely believe the kickstarter quote you used was a final declaration, but rather an idea still being discussed. In any event, I eagerly await news on this topic.

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I agree a 1 time npc removal isnt the way to go. The credit thing has been a big unanswered issue to me.

 

I've often wondered if a system like yours would work in a game. Do you know if its ever been tested?

 

With new players always comming in, i think there needs to be a continuious source. Otherwise you end up in a situation like you stated, most of the currency in the hands of a few with no way to ever surpass their wealth.

 

The common sources are NPC quest and killing NPCs for a 'bounty'. I do hope NQ has some sort of NPC enemy for this to give the combat guys to directly earn money. But to have this then cut it out can cause drastic issues in the market.

 

Now the sink source is obvious, destruction. Blow something up and its value is removed from the market.

 

Now to get away from a structured NPC system, youre way on paper seems to work, but it would need considerable thought and testing. To me, in a resource based economy, you expect the value to come from the ground, therefor I like the idea. But gold has to be rare, but not too rare. Possibly something thats not just in scarce pockets, but in really low quantities throughout the planets. Say you mined 1 million tons of iron and refine it, maybe you get eneough to make bar of gold as well. Something to that effect.

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I agree a 1 time npc removal isnt the way to go. The credit thing has been a big unanswered issue to me.

 

I've often wondered if a system like yours would work in a game. Do you know if its ever been tested?

 

With new players always comming in, i think there needs to be a continuious source. Otherwise you end up in a situation like you stated, most of the currency in the hands of a few with no way to ever surpass their wealth.

 

The common sources are NPC quest and killing NPCs for a 'bounty'. I do hope NQ has some sort of NPC enemy for this to give the combat guys to directly earn money. But to have this then cut it out can cause drastic issues in the market.

 

Now the sink source is obvious, destruction. Blow something up and its value is removed from the market.

 

Now to get away from a structured NPC system, youre way on paper seems to work, but it would need considerable thought and testing. To me, in a resource based economy, you expect the value to come from the ground, therefor I like the idea. But gold has to be rare, but not too rare. Possibly something thats not just in scarce pockets, but in really low quantities throughout the planets. Say you mined 1 million tons of iron and refine it, maybe you get eneough to make bar of gold as well. Something to that effect.

 

The sink source is not destruction since ships are not made with credits, and there's no fullloot as far as i know (not credits at least). And in case there's, that's a huge goldsink, NPCs coulnd't even be removed once. 

The idea, that i forgot to add in the main thread, is that you can transform gold to credits, and credits to gold. My idea of gold sink was the natural loss of credits through loss of accounts, but if that's not enough, we could just craft gold ingot from credits, and in case of high inflation, people can just transform money into a resource useful to craft elements, and reduce inflation itself. Of course, since credits don't have mass, while gold ingots should, you get less gold when you craft them from credits, than the amount you spent to create them with the opposite recipe. Or you consume energy with crafting, just something that makes inconvenient the continous crafting back and forth from a form to another. 

 

There are games, that don't have a currency. People simply trade items. Usually, after a while, the community naturally start using a certain item as a common currency (an item with a medium value/rarity, small enough to waste little space in inventory). That works pretty well. It's pretty much the same think I'm proposing beside the fact that credits don't consume inventory space, and the only problem coming out of that is people who would store gold in credits form, to transport it in large quantities without worying about mass. But as I said before, if crafting require a fair amount of energy or you lose value when switching forms, that would be a good enough way to stop them from doing so. 

This system would even incentivize more people to explore, just to find more gold.

 

Most games are not sandbox these days, so usually they don't need such a system, there are NPCs that usually provides gold. Older games, and a few new (like Path of Exile) has this system, or a very similar one, and it works very well imho. I've experienced this in some multiplayer games (like modded minecraft), but usually there's enough people to create a real economy in these games, so I can't tell if it would work or not. On paper, to me, it seems to work, or at least seems better than the actual idea.

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while destruction isnt a curremcy sink, it still removes value. And since currency is just there to represent value it works similar. But i understand where, even with an increasing population, it could lead to currency inflation similar to what we have in the US.

 

I guess eve mitigates this my small transaction fees. And this could make sense in DU. It would be assumed that it is the Ark that handles these transactions. It could impose a small fee for transactions.

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while destruction isnt a curremcy sink, it still removes value. And since currency is just there to represent value it works similar. But i understand where, even with an increasing population, it could lead to currency inflation similar to what we have in the US.

 

I guess eve mitigates this my small transaction fees. And this could make sense in DU. It would be assumed that it is the Ark that handles these transactions. It could impose a small fee for transactions.

Players will create cities, stations, and more. Those same players will provide markets, will resupply them with resources, will provide defenses and services in the area. So players that owns a market should get those taxes, there's no need for the Ark to do that, since is another NPC. Wouldn't solve the problem. Eve economy isn't like DU, there are quests there that generate currency, and gold-sinks throught trade fees, insurance, and more, it is balanced artificially.

 

Destruction doesn't remove currency. When you buy a ship, credits move from your pocket to another one, it gets traded, it's not part of the ship when it gets destroyed and you don't buy ships or elements from a npc, but from players

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the block destruction does remove a respurce. But i agree its not credit removal. It just keeps the deman for raw goods going.

 

I stated a transaction fee because something will maintain the database for whatever credit system we use. I'd assume thats the Ark based on lore. Think of them as the bank.

Now I agree whoever sets up the market should control taxes, which wouldnt be the same. So the Corp that runs an area can create taxes for anyone operating in their area. Essentially they are the government, any anyone who sets up a shop can dictate prices like a store would. But these last 2 wouldnt be any form of sink, just exchange.

 

By having the Ark operate as the bank with 'fees' it would create a true curremcy sink. These fees could be flat rates or percentages. This could be slowly adjusted over time to control inflation if desired and poasibly manipulated by skills as in eve.

 

But this alone doesnt address insertion into the market, which you were looking to do as well.

 

Sorry, I am on my phone and not very focused when writing this.

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What would happen if there would not be any intergalactic currency. Player-made currency is the healthiest.

This was discussed, as people wanted the option of corporate or alliance currencies to compete. But you would have to have a syst to allow their creation. Which I wouldnt be against completly.

 

In lack of that, as stated, players would trade in resources, or utilize a game material or objec thats hard to obtain as a trade medium. From my experience this makes trading less desirable and useful in a whole.

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What about to have a system where people who go down the politician line's can get access to plant NPC's around the market unit, the Devs can adjust how much money the NPC's are willing to buy or sell things for and what items the NPC's will buy or whatnot.

 

Let the organisations be able to collect a little tax revenue off of the npc's sales or something. this would let orgs be able to pay player characters.

 

Pro's

- Devs can dictate the market floor of economies

- Orgs get revenue to pay citizens

- Can remove or add resources into the game via game magic

- Could set noob NPC's which only buy or sell so much resource and only for 'noobie' players / accounts around Alioth

 

Con's

Creates artificial competition for players.

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What Shynras says is coherent there shouldnt be any game curency, because too limited, but player made trading might naturally starts with any kind of matter, skill, creations, then derive to something that most people will be looking for but not limited to.

 

If it is limited to only gold, a matter that is naturally gatherable, we will certainly see chinese coming, devoring planets and start spamming chats for real money

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What would happen if there would not be any intergalactic currency. Player-made currency is the healthiest.

Devs don't want that (actually i don't like to have different currencies too, it would limit trades). 

 

 

What about to have a system where people who go down the politician line's can get access to plant NPC's around the market unit, the Devs can adjust how much money the NPC's are willing to buy or sell things for and what items the NPC's will buy or whatnot.

 

Let the organisations be able to collect a little tax revenue off of the npc's sales or something. this would let orgs be able to pay player characters.

 

Pro's

- Devs can dictate the market floor of economies

- Orgs get revenue to pay citizens

- Can remove or add resources into the game via game magic

- Could set noob NPC's which only buy or sell so much resource and only for 'noobie' players / accounts around Alioth

 

Con's

Creates artificial competition for players.

 

This game is supposed to be run by players. Devs idea to use NPC is just to add an X amount of currency for the economy to start. Players will decide prices, and resources are gathered by players not throught game magic. There'll be a market unit though for players to sell/buy stuff: is like the npc you suggest, not humanoid but a block, supplied by players, prices decided by players, nothing appears or disappears through magic. 

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Indeed, I was suggesting a new thing. A stand alone npc, similar to the arkship ones, that players with a sufficient skill could place into the game.

 

And I really think the dev's will monitor the currency in the game in a fluid way, it wont simply be ok 1,000,000 credits shut it off.

 

What I suggested was that if a player sold 500 iron on planet X the game magically eats those resources.

 

If a player buys 250 iron on Alioth, perhaps because you all mined it out and theres nothing for noobies left to acquire for free, they buy it from one of these npc's and the game generates it.

I'd argue it was still player driven because somebody placed those NPC's and they belong to an org, and that org gets revenue from the transactions. The dev's simply dictate what can or cant be bought and at what prices. This would put in a floor on the player run economy, nobody would ever sell iron on the open market for less than what an NPC would buy it at, and that provides a degree of financial security for noobs who need to sell things for money.

 

If they try to control the money to much, then what stops us from bartering and using cargo containers filled with gold ingots that has a tag attached to it marking it as currency of a specific faction

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What Shynras says is coherent there shouldnt be any game curency, because too limited, but player made trading might naturally starts with any kind of matter, skill, creations, then derive to something that most people will be looking for but not limited to.

 

If it is limited to only gold, a matter that is naturally gatherable, we will certainly see chinese coming, devoring planets and start spamming chats for real money

 

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be ingame currency, but that the currency should be created by players instead of being artificially generated by devs, as needed, in a way the economy would adapt to the amount of players, of trades, and events naturally. 

 

A value of an ingame item depends on how hard it is to get, in other word in how much time you need to get it. NPCs will generate currency from resources you'll sell to them, and you'll get an amount of currency relative to the amount of time you'd have spent on getting those resources. My idea is similar, instead of having NPCs to transform resources into credits, you'll have the ability yourself to do that in a way there'll be no need to add NPCs again, and the economy will develop naturally, stable, forever. 

 

Gold-farmer could just farm resources and sell them to NPCs or to other players in a market, my idea is not even related to this problem .

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Indeed, I was suggesting a new thing. A stand alone npc, similar to the arkship ones, that players with a sufficient skill could place into the game.

 

And I really think the dev's will monitor the currency in the game in a fluid way, it wont simply be ok 1,000,000 credits shut it off.

 

What I suggested was that if a player sold 500 iron on planet X the game magically eats those resources.

 

If a player buys 250 iron on Alioth, perhaps because you all mined it out and theres nothing for noobies left to acquire for free, they buy it from one of these npc's and the game generates it.

I'd argue it was still player driven because somebody placed those NPC's and they belong to an org, and that org gets revenue from the transactions. The dev's simply dictate what can or cant be bought and at what prices. This would put in a floor on the player run economy, nobody would ever sell iron for less than what an NPC would buy it at, and that provides a degree of financial security for noobs who need to sell things for money

Not even NPCs in most themeparks sells resources, a lot of bad things would happen :)

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There could be a lot of restrictions the dev's put into place. as you seem aware, if they put in a limited currency it will find its way to a bunch of corporate vaults and get locked away, the common person who uses said money wont have anything to trade.

 

Resources will be as much a currency as the market money that will use the in game system, whatever that digital money account was. But they arent going to let us mint our own currency that uses that wallet.

 

I dont see anything that stops us from already 'minting' physical money, but itll take up space and youll have to get people to sign onto its use. in a way DACs will also be a currency, being a physical good with real value.

physical currencies that will already exist Im pretty sure.

#1 DACs

#2 Raw Iron

#3 Pressed Gold with tags (or any material a org uses with tags attached)

 

I basically agree with your system, I think its already there to an extent, minus being able to specifically forge a new item out of the gold. What you need is a system for taking resources and converting it to the wallet money, or back from wallet money into resources.

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I'm not saying that there shouldn't be ingame currency, but that the currency should be created by players instead of being artificially generated by devs, as needed, in a way the economy would adapt to the amount of players, of trades, and events naturally. 

 

A value of an ingame item depends on how hard it is to get, in other word in how much time you need to get it. NPCs will generate currency from resources you'll sell to them, and you'll get an amount of currency relative to the amount of time you'd have spent on getting those resources. My idea is similar, instead of having NPCs to transform resources into credits, you'll have the ability yourself to do that in a way there'll be no need to add NPCs again, and the economy will develop naturally, stable, forever. 

 

Gold-farmer could just farm resources and sell them to NPCs or to other players in a market, my idea is not even related to this problem .

 

First: read properly

I wrote game curency (npc generated curency), not ingame curency

 

Second, study a bit more about economy and politic, tested and realistic models before exposing your dream idea only thinking about advantages for you, but not for others and developers

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First: read properly

I wrote game curency (npc generated curency), not ingame curency

 

Second, study a bit more about economy and politic, tested and realistic models before exposing your dream idea only thinking about advantages for you, but not for others and developers

I don't understand why you're getting angry, i don't understand what's your idea since you're not exposing it correctly, nor how could this system give me any advantage like you're saying. Realistic models doesn't apply here, this is a game. You stated that "chinese" people would spam and sell gold, and other than being racist, your sentence has no correlation to what i was saying. Regarding ywhat you said about currency, that people could create their own or just trade items, it was an already discussed and discarded idea by devs. Lastly, you don't know my level of knowledge about this kind of stuff, so chill and don't judge me.

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Player issued currencies could work once factions get established but i have to imagine that there would be a lot of people who have not learned about hyperinflation and would piss a lot of people off my making them broke overnight.

 

I don't really like the idea of there being any npc's in the game and having a currency brings up a lot of problems with how you bring it into existence when the only people to buy and sell to are other players. I don't really like the idea of the ark ship buying stuff from you that seems kind of lame.

 

Minting gold into coins sounds like a good idea.

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Player issued currencies could work once factions get established but i have to imagine that there would be a lot of people who have not learned about hyperinflation and would piss a lot of people off my making them broke overnight.

 

I don't really like the idea of there being any npc's in the game and having a currency brings up a lot of problems with how you bring it into existence when the only people to buy and sell to are other players. I don't really like the idea of the ark ship buying stuff from you that seems kind of lame.

 

Minting gold into coins sounds like a good idea.

Excatly what i meant.

But because this factions would take a lot of time to rise.

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I think we need NPC's in game just to add life to it, in real life you interact with so many people that you don't really pay any attention to, walking past them in a street people working etc,  but if you emptied the street you would notice.

 

It also gives you a way to set the bar for the price of things, basic things like a hammer for 10 gold pieces, you now know that 10 gold pieces is relatively worthless.

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Eve-Online has a major ingame currency problem, namely, that there is too much of it.  Too much ISK generated and too little ISK sinks.  The issue now shows up with countless amounts of titans ingame.  These are the most expensive ships in game and were originally intended to number a few per alliance.   

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I think we need NPC's in game just to add life to it, in real life you interact with so many people that you don't really pay any attention to, walking past them in a street people working etc,  but if you emptied the street you would notice.

 

It also gives you a way to set the bar for the price of things, basic things like a hammer for 10 gold pieces, you now know that 10 gold pieces is relatively worthless.

 

That actually makes the game less immersive. The price of things isn't just set from the start; throughout the years they've fluctuated and changed. In any new market, one simply establishes the price they believe their product is worth. Whether the buyer believes the product is worth that money, determines whether or not the item will be bought or not.

 

If you set the bar for the price of things, you're undermining the player economy. Now, all player made items have to be priced at less than NPC items to make their goods worth buying.

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Mmm, I find it the other way around. For me at least it becomes more immersive as a game when I don't have to stress about finance.

 

In alot of games the drive for money is dull.  Ofc I know we need an economy, but in alot of cases I find the currency is what can divide players. The more casual player might not have time to build up their savings, by the time you progress with crafting the materials and crafted items are going to be expensive, not to mention replacing/repairing your ship which has a potential to alienate people that dont have the in game credits to buy the top end stuff.

 

Making it harder to get currency, to me at least, doesn't add or detract from the gameplay, its just there, more of an inconvenience than anything else.

 

But I'm easy I'll adapt to whatever system ends up in the game.

 

 

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IMHO, it would be best to not have a game based currency.  Let us trade resources instead, because value is in the eye of the consumer, not usually the seller.  Also if a currency eventually gets set, I think it should be player made.  Just like irl, Governments made it, and it was up to the people to accept them or not.  let everyone that wants to try and be a banking organization make the currency, and worry about making more or less.  Then if more than one currency gets made, its up to us the players to decide which one we support and use.

 

I know the devs said this is not going to be how it is, but release is a long way off, and I hope through testing we can change their minds on how to do the currency system.

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