Thoughts on the economy

Yames

Newbie
These thoughts arise from my experiences at a recent Seattle game.
From my perspective there are two distinctly separate economies that exist IG.

The first is the Low level economy that is based around the bare essential Items needed for survival. This economy is Coin driven and includes potions/elixirs, Normal weapons, Armor and Shields, Very cheap magic items, Arrows and bolts. Essentially The Low level economy consists of things that cost less than 5 gold.

The second economy consists of Expensive Magic Items, Ritual Scrolls, and components. This system is driven by high level characters that have excessively large amounts of gold. Essentially this economy consists of stuff that has a value of over 25 gold. I would consider it a largely trade based economy.

As a low level character you struggle to obtain the essential items from the high level characters that control the majority of all Items.

As a mid level character a majority of your assets still go towards purchasing the essential items from the high level characters. The rest of your assets go to collecting Ritual scrolls, Components and Magic items which are a necessity if you want to have any chance of keeping up with the High level players. You have no surplus of coin.

I guess my issue is that the economy's don't seem to be compatible or proportional. Once a player has a bit of a coin surplus they are stuck dealing with high level characters that already have astoundingly large amounts of wealth and therefore have the power to arbitrarily inflate the prices of Ritual scrolls, and magic items. Or they run into a wall in that they do not have anything of value to trade.

I am interested to see if this is or is not true anywhere else.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Hey, you have to admit, it certainly is realistic and mirrors the current American economy! :mer: :funny:

In all seriousness, this is the kind of thing we're discussing now as we have a committee looking at the treasure policy.
 

BtB

Spellsword
I know a LOT of people, including myself that sell things to new adventurers BELOW production value. My plot teams also put out LCO items that are only useable by Lvl 13 or less.....

They also go out of there way to make special modes for them and even often have a key role from them to play in the main plot line. No one begrudges the group of 5 low levels that go out and come back with a 20 gold pot....because as you say, we sell them stuff. I have a friend that has only showed up to 6 events ever and has 170 gold.

But this is just my experience, but I think you should come hang out with us.. you might like it and feel valued.

Daver
 

Yames

Newbie
BtB said:
I know a LOT of people, including myself that sell things to new adventurers BELOW production value. My plot teams also put out LCO items that are only useable by Lvl 13 or less.....
Daver
I forgot to mention that as a perk to the way this economy works. As a low level character I have definitely experienced the benefits of the system in that I don't compete with High level people for the things that I need right now. The fact that they don't need or want the common stuff which is my lifeblood means that they graciously sell it to me for way below value or just plain give it to me. And their willingness to use multiple life spells on me goes a VERY long way in making me valued. If anything the high level players have been more accommodating than I would even ask for.

The big thing is the inflation that has come as a result of the gap between the low and High level players that has presumable led to a gap between the price of MI's and Ritual scrolls compared to the price of everything else.
 

Davion

Scholar
Here's a simple solution: More magic item merchants, less magic item drops.

In a fantasy game, no matter how lucrative all the other rewards are, everybody is always going to save for magic items because they fuel the fundamentals of play. That means it's nearly impossible to pry coin out of the player's hands. Drop less magic items, have there be more merchants selling those same magic items, and you've suddenly solved the coin hording crisis as well. Really, I'm surprised that it's been so difficult to solve the "money goes to the player's, money goes back to plot" deficit problem.
 

Yames

Newbie
Davion said:
Here's a simple solution: More magic item merchants, less magic item drops.

In a fantasy game, no matter how lucrative all the other rewards are, everybody is always going to save for magic items because they fuel the fundamentals of play. That means it's nearly impossible to pry coin out of the player's hands. Drop less magic items, have there be more merchants selling those same magic items, and you've suddenly solved the coin hording crisis as well. Really, I'm surprised that it's been so difficult to solve the "money goes to the player's, money goes back to plot" deficit problem.
I like that, I know I start drooling at any chance to get conventional magic items. I'm an archer so most of my coin goes towards arrows so hording coin isn't a problem at all.
 

evi1r0n

Baron
It's a common topic of discussion/debate/anger on the forum. If you look back, there are a lot of topics regarding economy and magic item bloat. The problem is a lot of people put a lot of time to get to be the "haves" in the game. The "have-nots" have to work a lot harder as the economy is swayed. But think about it Jamie, from the first time we set out to now... We are stupid rich in comparison and have worked hard to get every trinket we have. It is very hard economically for a character's first year IG, which can turn-off people to the system.
 

Warlok

Adept
Charlottesville Staff
It's that first-year difficulty that we're trying to deal with, though. In a year's time, at the current rate of acquiring items, my group of 6-12 will have about 1-2 MIs per character and 100 gold by the end of the year, with items then starting to expire as we acquire new ones. If we can get a handle on this part of the IG economy (probably through having MI merchants like Davion suggested), it may encourage new players to continue playing much longer and solve the issue of coin hoarding at the same time.

I know that in my local chapter, there is a merchant played by Plot which sells all kinds of basic production items, a few MIs, and information. It helps the local economy to have him charging exorbitant prices (Hoblings! Gah!) and him being the only real merchant around. I'm actually stealing away a little bit of his business when it comes to basic weapons and armor because I only charge slightly over cost.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
I feel that it is an effect of Auto max-out. Since the inception of Auto-max players have a huge chunk of coin that they no longer need to spend. What ends up happening is a "saving" of coins. With the devaluation of coins, players are more "loose" with them. I can afford to spend 100+ gold on a rit scroll. Now as a seller I am (normally) going to sell it at a higher point.

Eventually the lower levels will gain coin as there level increases. They will go on modules and take there coin to "out bid" people on items that they have found. The highest bidder will give there coin to the others, eventually they will have enough coin to do the same.

I must say that I feel that this is an IG issue that has become an OOG one, as it leaves a bitter taste in peoples mouth after they have experienced it, making for a poor customer experience.

A Hi-Oger once said to me, "trade these metal disks for sky magic? You got it!" Its a great statement. Now that I don't have to use my coins for max outs (which I am glad) I can spend them on "magic"
 

BtB

Spellsword
Gilwing said:
I feel that it is an effect of Auto max-out. Since the inception of Auto-max players have a huge chunk of coin that they no longer need to spend. What ends up happening is a "saving" of coins. With the devaluation of coins, players are more "loose" with them. I can afford to spend 100+ gold on a rit scroll. Now as a seller I am (normally) going to sell it at a higher point.

Eventually the lower levels will gain coin as there level increases. They will go on modules and take there coin to "out bid" people on items that they have found. The highest bidder will give there coin to the others, eventually they will have enough coin to do the same.

I must say that I feel that this is an IG issue that has become an OOG one, as it leaves a bitter taste in peoples mouth after they have experienced it, making for a poor customer experience.

A Hi-Oger once said to me, "trade these metal disks for sky magic? You got it!" Its a great statement. Now that I don't have to use my coins for max outs (which I am glad) I can spend them on "magic"
I see this happen to, the IG becoming an OOG issue, but we all started as have-nots and they often forget that many groups have been playing a decade together. I encountered this when I was trying to make my first 20 ritual item. People became very agitated that I would post to gain help to make a 20 ritual item. I am just using the resources that I have gathered for the last 6 years to finally make my item. That does not seem unreasonable to me.

I like having a real economy and economy that bridges chapters. Sure I can not buy every thing I want if I compete in a more "global" economy, but it is more realistic. I know that it is somewhat of an oxymoron, when I am seeking a realistic fantasy game, but you know the suspending disbelief part of the matrix. I have had players thank me for putting on the auctions and trying to make a more global economy.

daver
 
i feel the intent of the original post has been lost. i have spoken at length with my brother (yames) about the in game economy. our biggest observation is that the MID level economy is broken. it is relatively easy to survive in the low level economy and the high level economy seems to function just fine but there is an obvious and severe gap between the two. as he points out. when you start to hit more mid levels (which i would place at around 10-15.... maybe 18) the majority of your actual liquid assets go to purchasing adventuring basics (the low level econ) but now you are getting a handful of components which you cannot use yet and a few ritual scrolls. the big problem is that because of the massive gap these items, though they do hold value among mid levels the rest of your mid level community is in the same boat where they dont want to buy a ritual scroll for 30 gold because they either dont have the gold (for the same reason your group doesnt) and even if they did the ability to cast those scrolls is easily a year or more away. if you attempt to sell them to the filthy rich (nothing against them btw they have been more than generous to me and mine) there is no possible way to get fair market value in coin which we need. the best is a trade for a scroll of similar value but once again you are faced with having an essentially useless piece of paper (for a year or two) and not able to liquidate some of those assets in order to get what mid levels really need which would be 10-20 gold cost magic items. things with a little more punch but not in the legendary strata. we seem to not have a way to liquidate assets that would be valuable in the future for the things we need now. we depend entirely on being at the right place at the right time for a drop and then bidding among other mid level characters for one magic item. often times driving the price up far beyond its market value because the supply and demand for useful mid level items is so drastically skewed.... ok, im done. i hope that made sense.
 

Yames

Newbie
I think for new players the issue is a lack of understanding and explanation of how the economy works. Coming in I didn't understand that it takes many years to accumulate this wealth, as a new player you don't expect the economy of a game to mirror the time scale of real life. The way its been for me I started out thinking that gold was extremely valuable but as i have played I'm realizing that gold is really tiny in the scope of the economy as it is. The more I think about it the more I like the IG economy because it really does present a challenge for me IG and gives me at the least one thing to work for on top of all the cool plot stuff and great RP with great people.

For me the only foreseeable issue out of game is that coming in on a fairly tight budget you realize that the way this game works with the MI issues and whatnot going on, you will need to spend years playing to catch up with the APL which means you will essentially be investing a fairly substantial amount of OOG resources which can be a deterrent for some new players.

For me personally this is not an issue because I am fully hooked and don't plan to stop any time soon.
 

BtB

Spellsword
Dragon Poker has totally changed our economy. I have a a friend that has only attended 6 or 7 market days and has 170 gold because of the fickle winds of gambling.

I watched a ~lvl 10 player make something like 80 gold in two hours a few weekends back. It is good fun, more chapters should do it.

Daver
 
I would rather not engage in class warfare. Those who "have" no doubt earned it and in my experience have been more than generous in ensuring new players are outfitted and taken care of. Being a "have-not" is a logical function of the game. once again, the problem here is that (yes, i find humor in its real life parallel) the MID-LEVEL economy is IMO not working to the benefit of players who are just as dedicated to their chapters and the game. The question here is;

How do we make the economy work more smoothly for all players regardless of level?

If mid level characters have no way to liquidate assets in a fair market to fill their immediate needs then i feel they are being failed by a flawed system. it is not specifically a failing on the part of high level characters who play the game as they should. it is a failing of the system and i am curious on whether or not it can/should be fixed. if not i dont have a problem suffering through an economic system i feel is working against me for the next 10 levels when presumably it all pays off.
 

Talen

Adept
I've looked at it as a matter of "The easier you have it, the easier it gets."

That is, once you hit that point where you're ahead of the curve, it gets progressively more difficult over time for anyone behind you to catch up. Originally this wasn't as divisive, but as character lifespans go up and production on stuff like MI's pumps more and more of them into a game, a rift forms.

The game wasn't designed at it's core to handle the levels of power PC's get to now, and this is just a part of that. (Well, it was...but the original solution was a much more lethal death system.)
 

Yames

Newbie
I'm a fan of mandatory retirement, it would piss off alot of the high level players but really that is the minority and it would save the economy, the level spread would even out, magic items would circulate, and the game would function in a natural way.

Or, no mandatory retirement, and the low level players get pissed and gradually the other side of the player base stops playing.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Yames,

I appreciate your passion. Your last post came off a bit aggressive. I'd like it if you would tone down your remarks.

This is a touchy subject that can get heated, but we have to be careful to not let that heat reach our posts. It defeates the purpose of having any sort of discussion.

I don't know if you ever played WoW.... but the debate over Hardcore Raider vs Casual player on their forums got insane. But, the developers paid attention and over time found ways to make things better.

The "developers" responsible for the direction of this game (Owners, ARC, National Staff) are reading all of these threads to glean information and feedback to determine what changes, if any, need to be made. An aggressive tone does not help your case in the LEAST.

Cheers,

Stephen
Chair
National Publicity Committee
 

Talen

Adept
Cpt.MarcusNelson said:
How do we make the economy work more smoothly for all players regardless of level?
You break things. Frequently. The economy "puddles" in the form of large amounts of items that don't expire or last for years, and as noted there's actually two economies. The money one, and the MI one. The money economy gets increasingly useless with level, which gets you having people throwing gold around like water and lesser coinage is rendered virtually useless.

A fear of breaking stuff- items, characters - is IMHO the biggest problem with Alliance. Without sufficient destruction, everything else only holds off the inevitable stagnation.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Yames said:
I'm a fan of mandatory retirement, it would piss off alot of the high level players but really that is the minority and it would save the economy, the level spread would even out, magic items would circulate, and the game would function in a natural way.

Or, no mandatory retirement, and the low level players get pissed and gradually the other side of the player base stops playing.
At what level should players retire? What is "high level?" You might be surprised with the number of "high level" players across the Alliance.

Also, I have brought in more treasure on my own as a 9th level High Ogre Earth Adept than I have as my well equipped high level fighter (And much of that was gained at events where the APL was FAR above my level). Forcing me into a lower level character will not automatically prevent me from bringing in treasure. How does one account for that?
 
this is why i have been enjoying the oregon game so much. we have a lot of players who play high level characters in seattle playing low levels in oregon so inflation is not as big of a problem because the level spread works the way it should with 3 or 4 players at the top 6 or 7 in the middle and 10- 12 at the low end of the power scale. the entire game seems to be functioning better because in order to do some mods you will have a highbee with a couple mids and a few lows. that way it is in the best intrest of everyone to help support a functional economy where even the mid levels feel financially functional. with huge level gaps the economy completely breaks down for the middle class making the trudge into highbee-dom frustrating at best
 
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