28 April 2006

The Eternal Lands economy

Players have always complained about the economy. I guess that's normal, since people in rela life complain about the economy as well, and from what I've heard, other games don't do much better either.
One of the problems is that, according to the majority of players, there is not enough money. Another complaint is that there are too many usless items, which can not be sold to NPCs (that's due to the fact that we don't want too much money to enter the game that easy). Some say the monsters drop too much good items. Others say that the byproduct of their work (say, a sword) is cheaper to sell at an NPC than the sum of the components, if you were to buy them from an NPC.
In reality things are not so bad, and a lot of money can be made by intelligent and determined people. Some player who is leaving posted a very interesting true story about how he and his guild made a lot of money in just months. Here is that thread if you are interested.

What I have proposed as a solution to make some relatively useless items usable was to have some priest NPCs where you donate a certain amount of items every month, and your entire guild gets a bonus that month. Say, you donate 500 broad swords, and everyone in your guild gets a +5 attack bonus.
I posted that idea on our forums, but many players were unhappy with it, and since it was time consuming to implement, I've just decided to cancel it, and work on more important things.

What I will do soon is just reduce the monster item drops by half, and slightly increase the money drops, to compensate for the relative lack of money in the game.
Then I have some other evil idea with some of the crappy items in the game, but for the time being that idea is a secret. I will reveal more details once it's implemented.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, things need to get tweaked here and there for the economy, and this is one way. I always thought it was fine as it was, though a gargoyle dropping a garg summon book or a troll dropping fur boots did seem a bit odd. ;)

29/4/06 16:28  
Blogger Brendan said...

What's always been most annoying is how most people trying to train combat can *sort of* make it by with the drops, if they do some alchemy on the side, yet somehow they get blamed for the manuers (such as RICH, as you pointed out) dumping items into the market. The problem still seems to be the potential for dumping by large mass production projects, rather than the fighters (although, those in the upper levels can make quite a good living, though no where near as well as MrMind did.)

30/4/06 10:44  
Blogger The Editor said...

Playing EL and other MMOs, I have noticed a few things about game economies. Generally, if there is not enough money in the world, it is the fault of the players. Here is a basic rundown of how it works.

In most games, there are ways for money to enter the game, and ways for it to leave. Most NPC stores provide both in EL. Selling things to NPCs creates money, while buying things from NPCs destroys money. Quest rewards are also often a source of money creation, in most MMOs.

Where the players come in is where they interact with NPCs. When a player buys something from an NPC that he could buy from another player or harvest/create himself, he is needlessly destroying money. The player that harvests regeneratable resources and sells them to NPCs is creating more money, but does not actually create a benefit unless he spends the money buying stuff from other players.

Players can intentionally increase the money in the economy by harvesting stuff and selling it to NPCs, then avoid buying things from NPCs whenever possible.

In EL, newer players often create money by harvesting vegetables, flowers, and meat (by killing monsters) and selling them (or making stuff from it and then selling it) to NPCs. Unfortunately, this does not often actually put more money into the game, since they then spend the money buying books, sigils, and other things from NPCs.

To be continued...

13/7/10 14:21  
Blogger The Editor said...


Whether the game actually needs more money is up to the developers, but one way of putting more money into the game would be to allow players to make more items that new players want (book, sigils, etc...). This would prevent some money from going back to the NPCs. The only real problem with this is making it profitable enough for higher level characters and cheap enough for low level characters without unbalancing the game. This solution would probably cause problems.

The best solution, I think, would be to have fewer NPCs sell items that are needed at higher levels, but that low level characters can make. The best items for this are essences. The low level essences that require no knowledge to make would be a good start. These items, especially fire essences, are useful, even at higher levels. If high level characters were suddenly unable to buy these at NPC vendors, they would either have to make their own (which would prevent them from destroying money buying them), or buy them from lower level characters. Yes, much of the money would end up going to NPCs for books and such, but not all of it.

Instead of removing sellers, another option would be to increase vendor prices for these items, so that buyers will be encouraged to look for players selling the items for cheaper.

In addition to these essences, other things that would be good for this would be health potions and health essences. Anything that is consumable that players can make would be good for this (especially things that are in high demand). The best things would be those which can be made by lower level characters, that are commonly used by higher level characters.

If there is any problem with EL's economy, it might be that there are far more consumables than non-consumables. Maybe adding more useful items that are not used up when used, and that can be traded when no longer needed, would help.

Again, in the end, it is up to the game developers whether the economy needs help or not. If the game is good enough to keep people playing with the current economy, then maybe it does not need that much help. (Though, I will admit that I do not like the amount of work it takes at lower levels to advance and to get money. But hey, I am still playing, aren't I?)

Lord Rybec

13/7/10 14:22  
Blogger The Editor said...

Actually, one other thing that would help: a Wow style auction house.

This would give a centralized place for players to buy and sell to and from other players.

This would not have to be exactly like the Wow auction house, but any buying/selling thing like this would encourage more player trading.

My suggestion would be to have listing/bidding locations that do not actually have the items on hand. When a player buys an item, it might get shipped to their storage, but would take 24 hours to get there. This would encourage players that want something quickly to use the current channels for trading, keeping trade bots useful. Extra charges (house cuts and shipping costs based on weight) would also keep the current trading system useful.

Just a thought.

Lord Rybec

13/7/10 14:32  

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