ID:265127
 
This is something I'm playing around in Hedgerow Hall... having the entire game economy revolve around player skill interaction.

For instance, instead of having a weapons shop, there's a place where you can forge weapons instead, if you have the right skill. However, forging weapons requires ore, which takes a different combination of attribute/skill than does the act of forging, so it's not likely that anyone's going to be really good at both.

It works like this: Shrews are expert scroungers, so they're like the primary producers. A Shrew goes off into the woods, collects an armful of pebbles, some strips of bark, some assorted leaves, some bits of iron, some assorted berries and nuts, some little quartz crystals, and so on. The Shrew can eat the berries, fling the pebbles at enemies, and put the nuts to either use, but other that, the rest is just junk to the average Shrew. A scholarly Mouse might be able to put the crystals to use in some wizardly pursuit, or make use of the leaves which have medicinal value. A big burly Badger may be able to turn the iron into weapons. A nimble and clever Squirrel might be able to fashion the leaves into a sort of blanket, make a cup or bowl with the strips of bark... or use the bark to make paper and a leaf to make a pen.

Now, here's the thing: this game has no currency system. What prevails upon Shrews to part with their hard-scrounged "treasures?" There's the fact that the Shrew can't do anything with most of the stuff they'll turn up... they can just dump it on the ground for anyone to take. Still, if the crystals you find are going to end up in the paws of a Mousey mage anyway, it's better if you can get credit for it... a wizard friend can be a good friend. And obviously, if someone is practicing medicine, it's in all friendy creatures' best interest to make sure that they have a good stock of healing herbs. So, sharing goods helps form social ties.

Then there's more direct interaction... it doesn't take much iron to make a weapon fit for a small rodent, so a Shrew with a lot of iron can prevail upon a Badger to make a small sword or a lot of throwing blades and let the Badger keep the rest of the iron. Players can also split the fruits of their labors... making berry wine (which concentrates the revitalizing powers of the various berries) requires three things: berries, the brewing skill, and a vessel to hold the end product. That's three different skills. Three characters could work together for a while to make a large quantity of wine, and then each take 1/3rd from the final "profit".

Of course, the system works on trust: the Badger smith you take your ore to might just accept the ore, make its own weapon, and flatten you with it. It might not even be a smith. It might not even really be a Badger (wily foxes!) A Shrew who's been out in the woods, heading back to the hall to barter, might be waylaid by bandits, or might be set upon by thieves while sleeping between scrounges. This is another area where social ties become important... having an ally out with you to watch your back while you sleep, or recover stolen goods and take revenge.

The main problem with this system is inflation. Once everyone has an appropriate weapon, for instance, iron ore is just junk, to be left lying around or given to new characters for nothing. Berries and their byproducts get consumed, but the wooden dishes that hold liquids get left behind. Good from the point of view that a veterarn brewer is going to be able maintain a larger stock than a novice one, but when people start getting more bowls than they can carry or manage, they're going to start leaving them around, too.

A possible way around this are to make every item "disposable": blankets can tear, pens can break, swords can be shattered, any item will degrade/disappear if left unattended too long.

What does everyone think about this system? I think it, along with liberally enforced roleplaying guidelines, will help encourage character interaction in a world nearly devoid of NPCs (and I may get rid of the ones that are there... make it so you choose your skills at the beginning, and if you want to learn a skill you don't already possess, you must have someone else teach it to you.)

Groups of characters who have good experiences with each other and can trust each other will naturally form an organization without any sort of hardcoded "clan" system... there may also be a general pool of reputable craftsanimals that new characters can turn to. A group of allies might set a goal, like creating a stockpile of restorative wines for themselves, or creating a magical weapon of legendary proportions, that could occupy them for weeks and attract the attentions of envious groups.
That all sounds great, but it does not seem likely from what I saw of Hedgerow Hall. In any case, what would a sword of legendary proportions do for you? And, the world is so small... any bandits would be crushed, unless the bandits were very numerous. When will there be somewhere to expore? And, will there ever be a system in which an individual or a group of individuals could build a house or lodge in which to manifest (and then realize) their goals and projects?

-Lord of Water
In response to Lord of Water (#1)
Careful LoW, if you suggest obvious things, Lexy will pager ban you.
In response to Lord of Water (#1)
Lord of Water wrote:
In any case, what would a sword of legendary proportions do for you?

What do you think a sword of legendary proportions would do for you?

And, the world is so small... any bandits would be crushed, unless the bandits were very numerous.

Yeah, because the current map is as large as she plans it to be.

When will there be somewhere to expore?

When there's a bigger map. To quote you, <big>duh</big>.

It seems to me that you think that the current state that the game is is all that Lexy plans to do. You're limitlessly wrong.

If you don't think that, then you sure act as though you do.

And please, please don't make any more negative-esque remarks. I really want this game to be finished.

=V
In response to Lord of Water (#1)
Lord of Water wrote:
That all sounds great, but it does not seem likely from what I saw of Hedgerow Hall. In any case, what would a sword of legendary proportions do for you? And, the world is so small... any bandits would be crushed, unless the bandits were very numerous. When will there be somewhere to expore? And, will there ever be a system in which an individual or a group of individuals could build a house or lodge in which to manifest (and then realize) their goals and projects?

-Lord of Water

I could respond to this, but I think your remarks fall nicely on their own merits.
In response to Vortezz (#3)
Nah, I'm not trying to be negative. Is the map going to get bigger, though?

-Lord of Water
In response to Lord of Water (#5)
For everyone else it will. For you, it will get smaller. I've added code so that characters connecting from your service provider can't leave the immediate area outside the hall.

Really... what do you think? Being negative is one thing. Playing devil's advocate is fine. Pointing out flaws in a plan is fine. Looking at the bridge supports constructed at either end of a ravine and saying "This bridge won't work, it doesn't reach all the way across!" is just... well, again. Your comments fall just fine on their own merits.
In response to Lesbian Assassin (#6)
That makes me feel pretty stupid. I don't need that. Now, I don't really know how you can say that my comments fall on my own merrits, but that's beside the point. I'll just let you know now that I was not trying to be negative or anything of the sort. I had the impression from your former posts that the game was in beta, suggesting that it might be mostly finished. I am sorry for my disalusion.

-Lord of Water
What's to prevent players from setting up their own currency system? Suddenly crystals are worth something. I'll trade you one iron weapon for 3 crystals. I'll buy a bottle of berry wine for 2 crystals. If the shrews keep gathering crystals, there are going to be a lot of rich shrews, because they not only find crystals, but they sell other junk they find for crystals. The rest of the sorry creatures just have to do with what they've got. Of course, this will make shrew-killing more popular, since shrews always have a bunch of crystals, and stuff to sell for crystals. The bottom line is that shrews are going to be in big trouble. The smart shrew would learn to cook and find some place out in the forest to hide for the rest of his days.

Because of that, rich shrews would doubtlessly be inclined to shop only at reputable stores, where they can have decent confidence that the shopowner isn't going to flatten them for their abundant crystals. Their guards might even find it more worthwhile to kill the shrew they're protecting instead of getting payed. The shrew had better be paying them a darn lot, or else. Which turns guarding into a good business, and of course no one will cross a fierce badger as a guard. Badgers could even threaten other animals that wanted to be guards. Meaning if shrews want to live, badgers are going to end up with all the riches. And of course, no one can kill the badgers, so badgers will dominate society. Either that or the shrews will form their own little shrew-protectiong-program hidden away somewhere, meaning none of the other creatures will gain anything from scavanging, and the economy will slowly die out.

The result, only the shrews survive.
In response to Foomer (#8)
I fully expect some sort of pricing system to evolve... but the thing is, currency depends on everyone agreeing that item X is worth Y. If the Shrews control the supply of crystals, they'd have a hard time convincing the other animals to expect them as a medium of exchange.

Currency is an interesting idea, though... maybe I could make some sort of skill that could be used to make a difficult-to-copy seal or stamp for paper, so individuals or groups could issue letters of credit, or scrip of some sort.
In response to Lord of Water (#7)
*shrug* sounds like I was right.
In response to Lord of Water (#7)
Oh, sorry, I misread your post. I thought you said you were being negative. I do think your comments fail on their own merits, though.

Beta testing does mean a game is close to being finished. What is nearly finished is the system itself (for debugging purposes, though, I'm "implementing" the code I've written in dribs and drabs, putting in the pieces needed to access a new system or two each test)... what is "finished" with regards to a MUD world, though? When one of the huge long running MUDs started, it may have only had four or five areas... if it has rooms numbering in the hundreds of thousands today, does that mean that it was retroactively wrong to describe the public test of the four or five areas as a "beta test"?

The map I'm testing on is a rough approximation of the starting area on the actual map... kind of a micro world that forces even small amounts of players to interact with each other. For the first post-beta session, the world isn't going to be huge... it won't need to be, with a small player base. As I've said elsewhere, new areas will be opened up by story events.

Understand, I'm not hostile to new ideas... you mentioned ways to improve quality of sleep when you were playing, and several players took to dropping leaves before they slept to make it look like they were bedding down... I took those two ideas and ran with them: if you noticed, I mentioned making leaf blankets in the post.
For large scale test like these, you should just program it in and watch what happens. Then modify as necessary. It can be very hard to predict how an economical system works. Overall I think the system will work wonderfully.
While relying on the players to work out the economy and currency and whatnot a great idea, the question is will it work on the limited pbase that the BYOND community provides?

I mean, I think the reason that it works so well (well, that can be argued) in real life is because there are one heck of a lot of people. There is variety.

Perhaps if you advertised on various gmud sites, you could increase the pbase to a level where you could achieve this.

Either way, I bid you good luck. :)

- Malver
Well for the game I play it is that kind of economy, Except there are lower level wepons and armors. The higher level smithing you get the more you can make. Of course this posed a great problem as one person got all the miners to mine her the ores then she would smith to level 99 and nobody else could get anything where she completely controlled the market.
In response to Lesbian Assassin (#9)
Lesbian Assassin wrote:
I fully expect some sort of pricing system to evolve...

Hoping that the world grows large enough, I would expect a variety of currencies to evolve - possibly a series of dynamic bartering systems based on local resources.

Rocky, mountainous areas may value wood and fresh produce highly, while the low-lands find that rocks and mined-materials (ores, gold, phosphates, etc.) are valuable.

And if there are substantial bodies of water, your fishers and sailors would also influence economic values in the ports they frequent (assuming you have sailors/fisherman - I still have not seen you test world yet, so I'm guessing).

I think the most interesting characters would be those invloved in caravans and cargo ships - they may become an essential ingredient to the world economy, practically defining it by their very job of buying/selling/transporting goods, whether vegetables or vorpal swords (war is very profitable to the merchant)...
In response to Malver (#13)
I mean, I think the reason that it works so well (well, that can be argued) in real life is because there are one heck of a lot of people. There is variety.

Just to point it out, there is nothing limiting a game made with BYOND's playerbase any more than there is limiting one made with Visual Basic or C++. They only need to download BYOND to play the game.

Since http://www.mudconnector.com is one of the other game sites I'm familiar with, I'll use it as an example. Maybe BYOND rpg-style games fit into their graphical MUD section, and I hear that DBZ-spar (I think) was advertised their, partially sparking the flood of DBZ fans that we have now.

If someone wants a larger player base for their game, they just need to advertise it outside of BYOND. BYOND's default playerbase can be considered the testing grounds for now.
In response to Foomer (#16)
Foomer wrote:
Just to point it out, there is nothing limiting a game made with BYOND's playerbase any more than there is limiting one made with Visual Basic or C++. They only need to download BYOND to play the game.

Since http://www.mudconnector.com is one of the other game sites I'm familiar with, I'll use it as an example. Maybe BYOND rpg-style games fit into their graphical MUD section, and I hear that DBZ-spar (I think) was advertised their, partially sparking the flood of DBZ fans that we have now.

If someone wants a larger player base for their game, they just need to advertise it outside of BYOND. BYOND's default playerbase can be considered the testing grounds for now.

That's what I said in my post. o.O

"Perhaps if you advertised on various gmud sites, you could increase the pbase to a level where you could achieve this."

- Malver
In response to Malver (#17)
Yeah, well, I'm expanding on it.
In response to Foomer (#18)
Foomer wrote:
Yeah, well, I'm expanding on it.

Phew, I thought you were trying to prove me wrong there for a moment. :)

- Malver
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