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About the LegendMUD economy

1996 Topic Archives

Posted by Donelan on 09/13/96

LegendMUD already has an economy. A few actually. There are transactions between players and mobs, using gold as a currency. There is a gold economy between players also, and then there is the "coupon economy". However, nearly everyone agrees that the LegendMUD economic system is flawed.

To me, one of the most glaring flaws is that the basic economy is based on a completely unregulated currency -- gold. A player kills a mob, loots and sells the equipment from the corpse. A while later, the mob magically repops and the player kills it again. This is equivalent to printing money, and the MUD has been doing this for over two years. This causes a devaluation of the currency, and inflates prices. It also drives players to seek out alternative currencies that are more stable.

Newbies move around in a pretty stable economic system despite this flaw, because many of their transactions are with mobs, which don't change their prices. However, transactions between players do suffer. For instance, newbies find it very difficult to purchase equipment from high level players who have no use for gold, since these players can get all they need much more quickly by mugging mobs.

Players have turned to string coupons instead, because they are put into the mud at a much lower rate. However, while gold is too plentiful to be a useful currency, coupons are way too rare, with very few chances to earn one. This, in my opinion, is as it should be. Coupons were not intended to be a currency. They were intended as a prize, or a reward.

I believe that we need to plug the holes through which the gold gushes into the MUD. I have two ideas for putting us back on the gold standard:

First, I propose that the amount of gold shopkeepers offer for items be based on the player's level of experience, by setting an absolute value on items and adjusting that by level. Newbies need the gold they get from selling stuff to mobs, but high level players can get near infinite amounts of gold from low level mobs for as long as they want to work at it. It seems to be the only limiting factor on this activity is that the gold is so darn heavy to carry around!

Second, I propose that most of the gold in players' bank accounts be confiscated. A 100k limit might be reasonable. This seems to me to be the only way to make gold valuable to all players again, so that a hard-working newbie can get the attention of a high-level player for some hard-to-get piece of equipment or service.

I believe that the imms should take steps to make gold valuable again, and then stand back and let the players find their own economic niche. For just as we already have an economic system, players already have their places in that system. There are the mob-muggers, who sell equipment to shopkeepers. There are players who sell equipment to other players. There are players who guide others on quests for cash or a cut of the quest rewards. There are a few mages that sell their services, and I sometimes see people asking for praise on the auction channel. Then, of course, there are clanned characters who will kill for a price. I don't think the imms need to make jobs for players to fill, because players already have the werewithal to make money by trading goods and service. But I'm sure that a functioning economy will be like pkill or roleplaying -- some players will participate, some won't, and that should be okay.


From: Bulk Friday, September 13, 12:35PM

Though I agree that gold is practically worthless in many ways, I dont think newbies have trouble getting eq due to monetary concerns. If they do to a higher player, that is, lose on a bid, isnt that so much more reasonable and fair that a higher lvl player had more time and put in more effort to collect gold? Besides, as easy as it is for high lvl players to make money, it isnt too darn hard for any low lvl to make money if they put in the effort. Moreover, we already have problems (IMHO) of newbies being too rich and being equipped with, say, a q5 dagger and earrings instead of the normal q3 weapons and studded leather vests of sorts. Granted a newbie may have one or two neat cool items that are earned through hard work, but to see some walking around plastered with once-a-char eq and all....


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