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Author Topic: Successful MMO economies  (Read 2718 times)
Rapturous
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« on: October 26, 2010, 08:28:46 AM »

Hi, guys,

So, I've gotten to thinking lately about successful MMO economies.  Seems inflation and an assortment of other problems plague the industry.  I'm mostly interested in player-run, but I think it's so hard to find a good, working economy that I'm interested in any.  I know EVE Online has done a good job with this so far, but is anyone aware of others?  Thanks in advance.
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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2010, 08:43:48 AM »

Warcraft certainly has player driven economies, but on most servers the prices are highly inflated. Primarily due to money being more readily available at higher levels and people realise players with high level characters often have a lot of gold to spend on their lower level characters and are too lazy to get said items themselves.

I know a few people on the server I play on who put almost all their time into making money off the auction house. They buy out specific items then re-list them at higher prices. One guy especially pretty much dominates all the cloth on the market.
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 09:13:11 AM »

Warcraft certainly has player driven economies, but on most servers the prices are highly inflated. Primarily due to money being more readily available at higher levels and people realise players with high level characters often have a lot of gold to spend on their lower level characters and are too lazy to get said items themselves.

I know a few people on the server I play on who put almost all their time into making money off the auction house. They buy out specific items then re-list them at higher prices. One guy especially pretty much dominates all the cloth on the market.

That's also a place where lower level characters can dominate that market.  Because cloth comes at such a premium, they can sell at 1 or 2g less than your friend that's buying him out.  He buys the newbie's cloth to keep control of the market, and the newbie gets significantly more cash than he would have otherwise.  Or the newbie lists a stack of silk for 40s, and everyone but your friend loses.
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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2010, 09:19:33 AM »

Yup, spot on.

Though it seems new players are harder to find nowadays (though maybe they just don't stick out as much). And those that are new usually aren't A) savvy enough to think about stuff like that, B) Actually need the cloth themselves or C) don't have the confidence/knowledge to play the market game.

Heck, I've played WoW for a long time and I still don't have the confidence to 'play the market'. Sure, I sell stuff on the AH, but I've never tried to buyout stuff and resell it. I'd rather just quest for the gold. I like that more anyway.
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Rapturous
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 11:20:59 PM »

I've heard from others that Runescape had a great economy before the trade limit, and that FFXIV has a fantastic economy based around crafting--though, this one strikes me as too new to comment on, yet.  Anyone able to comment on these?

I've also played quite a bit of Puzzle Pirates, and can say that that economy runs extremely well, since everyone's either buying clothes that deteriorate over time, ships and supplies to fight each other (and sink said ships), and a number of other nonsense items that don't necessarily return anything to the player aside from "oo, look at what I have."  The economy has VERY SLIGHTLY inflated over the years, and I'm interested in what folks think about using deteriorating items and useless trinkets (pretty things to look at/customize) as means of preventing inflation.
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Caer Seraphim
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 06:46:48 PM »

I know a few people on the server I play on who put almost all their time into making money off the auction house. They buy out specific items then re-list them at higher prices. One guy especially pretty much dominates all the cloth on the market.

I'm quite a huge fan of player driven economies. I'm one of the bastards that everyone hates who capitalizes off of people selling stuff cheap, and marking them up to the market clearing price. Personally, I view it as two exchanges in order to create a link between people with short time preferences to buyers with longer time preferences, and the difference is more profitable per unit of time than other methods of collecting gold. Anybody that thinks that it's somehow too profitable and doesn't take the obvious chance to slightly undercut it... well, I don't really understand how it's possible to reconcile said criticism in that case.

On the issue of price inflation, I'm not aware of this phenomenon. Rather, I haven't seen it firsthand. I have seen fairly steady price deflation, though, in areas with a temporarily increased demand (new equipment for high levels added in, rebalancing that may make some builds more desirable). It wears out over time, though. There's really no problem with where the price itself settles down, though, as constraints simply reflect the underlying supply and demand.

I dunno. I'm not trying to necropost or anything, and this is was still on the first page. I am terribly interested in player driven economies, though. If you disagree with something I've said, I'd love to hear some constructive criticism.
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Starmongoose
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 01:37:12 PM »

I only have a basic grasp of OUR economy. I don't think I could handle thinking about fake ones as well D:
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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 06:08:18 PM »

I only have a basic grasp of OUR economy. I don't think I could handle thinking about fake ones as well D:

Well, fantasy economies are easier because 1) it's not real money, and 2) you can stab someone with a sword if they screw you over and it's totally ok.
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 01:51:29 AM »

I only have a basic grasp of OUR economy. I don't think I could handle thinking about fake ones as well D:

Well, fantasy economies are easier because 1) it's not real money, and 2) you can stab someone with a sword if they screw you over and it's totally ok.

I know you're joking but those statements couldn't be further from the truth.
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Caer Seraphim
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 11:07:02 PM »

Honestly, it's all fairly understandable. Most of the time, it's just an issue of following the money. Micro-level incentives lead to macro-level results, so if you know a good deal about the micro-level incentive structure, you can use that to make predictions about how to maximize the outcomes. Expert players uncover and devise the most excellent and effective methods of earning money, and typically act as price leaders in the market. After time, their bids get pulled out and prices tend towards the market clearing price which would satisfy the masses.

On the issue of inflation, I have one interesting thing to report from where I come from. For the recent months, the average high points of the day hit a mere 30 people or so on a single, lone server. With a minor media blitz yesterday, the number's skyrocketed to a whopping 300+ people across 14 servers, and growing fairly rapidly. This event has major implications in terms of price inflation, with my general expectation being that the market clearing price of a slowly increasing stock of goods met with all of these new players chasing them will rise rather precipitously, and thus I make bets not unlike futures contracts to take advantage of that known coming rise. The most extreme example would be certain items once deemed "worthless" because, while incredibly useful, the only people capable of equipping them were all supplied with their own already. However, what remains of the once idle stock is going to find buyers very quickly nowadays, at least for 20 or 30 different people, or until something clearly better comes along in a future update.
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