1. #1

    Lightbulb [MERGED] Economy Balance & Money Sinks

    Hi there,

    I just thought that some method of regulation regarding the total amount of credits on a server needs to be installed.
    Currently, rare parts have the role of some kind of currency simply because credits are near worthless, at least for older chars.

    So what is the main money source in game?
    I am thinking of outposts as nr 1, giving a clan a constant stream of income.

    What is the main money drain?
    I'm guessing rep costs and genreps, but I'm not sure here.

    But let's say those are, it should be an easy equation to limit the total amount of money ingame to a fixed value by changing income and costs dynamically.
    Let's say the total server money cap should be 1 million credits per runner. If below, the server automatically increases the amount gained from ops and decreases rep and gr costs a bit. If the limit is reached, the server can automatically continue to adjust these values until it finds the perfect balancing by itself. A simple loop run once a day could achieve this.
    So basically this is simply a control engineering problem and therefore solvable.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Hunting for Rampage! (soon™)
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    I would love if it worked and your idea kind of sounds like it. BUT the main problem is, that without a "real" economy there is no selfregulation of the amount and volume of money in circulation. And even then it is a pretty instable and hardly controllable system.
    Do you know any mmo where money and monetary values are still balanced?
    The inflation is always horrendous because there has to be kind of an unlimited amount of money, because else the players will start whining.
    There might be other more specific problems in that area and I think that it really is not that easy to solve in a mere model economy that bases on killing monsters and selling the junk without any productive output whatsoever in the first levels.

    Sorry! ^^

  3. #3

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    For me this has always been one of Neocron's problems. Due to the great crafting system combined with the existence of recycling the game lacks any real money sinks. The only genuine money sink which is frequently used by players is the GenRep system and then even that is capped at 4,000nc per use. Other than that there is probably the purchase of raw materials from constructing but even then the hardcore constructors build from chems and build their own weapon parts which is cheaper, using pure barter characters.

    Everything else just contributes to the cycle of money moving 'internally' (i.e. between players). Repairing, paying for constructors and researchers, poking tips, buying rare parts and buying vehicles. All of those things is X amount of credits in one direction or another between players, rarely do any credits exit the system via vendors.

    Off the top of my head I can think of three potential ways to syphon more money out of the system:

    • More loss on death. Rebuilding a body from fresh material must be expensive? The higher level the character after a certain rank, the more it would be to reconstruct their body after death. Automatically deduct credits from players when they respawn with an upward curve in credits the higher level they are. However this wouldn't always work. As it is now, runners with no money would have to be able to respawn for free. Not a good solution.


    • Pay for a stable reconstruction. While warping via GR or respawning at one after death, paying more will lower the amount of SI the character has. Increase the default amount of SI a little to provide a larger scale. Then allow players to pay Xnc per % point to decrease it. Those with money (vast majority of people) can reduce SI to a minimum of 10% for a price. Again, the more % points you reduce SI by, the more expensive per point.

      Fix minimum SI at 10% as there should always be a penalty for fast traveling to avoid people using GRs in the same way people use zone lines in PVP. To me this is a decent solution, doesn't cripple those without credits and gives people with credits a reason to spend them. Also encourages sharing credits out of the clan bank between those with a lot and a little time. Those who spend hours leveling and farming rares could spread the wealth to their time restricted comrades, to increase the speed a clan can bounce back at op wars etc.


    • Only recycle basic ammo. Any special ammo types like fire, energy etc would need to be bought from vendors. Only the basic ammo type for each gun could be recycled, meaning people could still recycle for leveling while they're in the field. However they would then need to stock up on their ammo of choice from a vendor for PVP, to make sure they're dealing the right kind of damage. Having to pick a weapon based on it's base damage type, might encourage more variety in levelling weapons which I think would be a nice side effect.


    That's probably my longest post in the last 6 years.

  4. #4
    Hunting for Rampage! (soon™)
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    Ah, Moneysink, that was the word I was missing...
    I really like the idea of decreasing SI through a higher GR fee. Really nice!
    And paying for Ammo again really wouldn't hurt anybody if base ammo can still be recycled. It really would constantly drain money out of the player system but would only work in combination with more small drains.
    Another main problem is the lack of taxes, old people dying and in a way new ones contributing to the economy.
    But that is really far fetched now, except for the taxes.
    Maybe it might be feasible to raise a small tax on things like income or even a rent for (secondary) appartements. Just small amounts, that are directly linked to a runners wealth.

  5. #5
    The REAL Walker
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    Drugs is a pretty noticable moneysink though IMO..
    Im personally using 5-10k every 10min on drugs (depending on which character Im playing).
    With pvp not generating any Money, money spent on drugs adds up quite fast.. That and armor.

  6. #6
    Bitter Old Fart Dribble Joy's Avatar
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    I can sort you out with drugs, 500k per stack.

    Like Tratos said, there's a number of areas that have the potential for high cash sinks. GR fees I've always thought were too low for long distance, removing the cap would be a good start. Ammo requiring more recycle gel (often it doesn't need any) and/or being high tl would help.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dribble Joy View Post
    Ammo requiring more recycle gel (often it doesn't need any) and/or being high tl would help.
    the main reason people recycle ammo is so they can recycle it on the go, without having to return to a vendor to buy more or become overburdened. if you add any significant amount of recycle gel (enough to be a money sink) to the requirement, this can no longer be done since you have to carry loads of gel around with you. Also it would mostly affect new players, since most capped players don't recycle ammo any more (at least on pvp chars), and new players don't need a money sink.

    I think the gr idea is good. If gr fees become astronomical, maybe people will start walking/driving again.

    And the overpowered drugs should indeed cost way more.
    ingame names: Biglines (dissy spy), Mr Tool (low tech tank), Engineer Tool (constructor), Medical Tool (ppu/hacker/poker), Father Tool (apu)

  8. #8

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    How about StockX?^^
    If you want to fix the game, start with the most essential part: The Community...
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  9. #9

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    I was thinking about a more low level approach, though.

    for example, people are getting their money as a reward for killing mobs -> lower the rewards dynamically.
    selling junk -> make Yo's shop adjust his prices accordingly to the current amount of money floating around.

    of course this would mean that new chars will have heavy problems in getting money. maybe this effect could slowly kick in above a certain level or amount of credits on that runner.
    But all my ideas have in common that they should run automated on the server and self-regulate the total money amount ingame!.
    I don't want to burden any balancing jobs to human beings. human resources are rare enough as it is right now.


    But I like the other ideas. Let's set genreps to 40% SI as a base fee, make them cost twice for 20% SI and 10 times the base fee for 0% SI.
    And taxes! Every transaction ingame could cost taxes which would be deducted on the receiving side. So if I pay someone 100k, he'll receive only 80 of them.

    I still don't get the stockx system, tbh

  10. #10
    Registered User Robert [GS]'s Avatar
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    I say: Chitin in Beta 4

  11. #11

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    i wudn't add a 0% si option, I feel you should be vulnerable when just gr'ing
    ingame names: Biglines (dissy spy), Mr Tool (low tech tank), Engineer Tool (constructor), Medical Tool (ppu/hacker/poker), Father Tool (apu)

  12. #12

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    This is going to be a somewhat longer post; to shorten the things a little bit for the lazy ones: Adding more optional money sinks is ok (if they are sensible), forcing new non-optional ones on the players is something I wouldn't do.

    Now, the long version ...

    Lets maybe start with the idea of limiting the overall money flowing around in a game. This idea is nothing new, and throughout the history of MMOs (and MUDs before it) attempts at implementing more "real" economies have been made many times. There is a reason why none of these made it into the mainstream or got scrapped during development. There are basically two reasons: The possibility to exploit a closed system (griefing on a larger scale might be a fitting term) and that we are talking about a game, not a simulation. I will not go into more details, but this is pretty much the net result out of these attempts

    The other thing I want to babble about is how the "economy" in your usual MMO works from the currency viewpoint. As a new player you usually need way more money than you can "generate". You level up, your income raises and at some point the money you spend on new equip and consumables is about the same as you generate by selling loot etc. Beyond that point you actually increase the money pool of the game. In most cases that point is positioned towards the higher levels, so depending on how fast you can level in that game it will take longer or not. As the levelling in Neocron is rather fast, you reach that point without ending up grinding your heart out (that happens after that ).

    So, regardless of the game and optional money sinks, at one point everyone ends up generating more money than what they drop into the various money sinks, because you hit a saturation point even with optional money sinks. The thing which will limit your cash then is this "money cap"; in Neocron rather low, in other games sometimes insanely high. This money cap has a high impact on the cost of items. The reason behind that is trust. If you trade an item for more money than one player character can hold, you end up having a multi-char trade. This brings a much higher risk for potential fraud with it, because games usually only cover a more or less risk-free char-to-char trade. The only way to circumvent fraud is to change to a more oldschool form of trading: Exchange of items, and relying on the safety nets provided by the build in char-to-char trade system of the game.

    With all that you can easily see what happens for example if you raise/lower the money cap or by adding more (non-)optional money sinks.
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  13. #13
    Final Boss of the Internet Kanedax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drachenpaladin View Post
    How about StockX?^^

    I was coming in here to say the same thing. A working StockX would make me moist.

  14. #14
    Xpertz William Antrim's Avatar
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    The Auction House in wow works fairly well at coping with player to player trades. It also takes a small amount of money out of the economy.

    However the only real way I can see money being taken out of NC is to flood it with stuff that people can buy that dont have a direct effect on the levelling/combat.

    They tried to do this with apartments way back and it did work for a while.

    Clan taxes might be another way of doing it? Make people PAY to own ops. The op goes neutral if the clan cant afford to keep paying and dock money from the clan bank every night at a particular time. That way people have to keep pumping money into the clan bank for the clan to stay afloat.

    Bigger clans are not necessarily richer clans but obviously the bigger clans in terms of numbers will be able to hold ops for longer. Lets say that if the clan doesnt have the money in its bank however then the op status goes neutral and only needs 1 hack to control it again!

    This might work. Make a cap on the amount of money that can be in a clan bank too so that active players have to keep logging on to top up the bank account or risk losing their op. This would stop rich clans going inactive and retaining their ops for so long.
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  15. #15
    Xpertz William Antrim's Avatar
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    double post sorry.
    "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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