1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

Is the economy still ruined?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by DeathByMe, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. DeathByMe

    DeathByMe Guest

    I haven't logged in in well over 6 months. I honestly miss the game, but I refuse to go back to a game where ornies cost 5 mil and everything is easily attainable by everyone. Is it still like this? I was rather upset when all that I had worked for (years and years of gathering items, selling/trading and pvm'ing like none other) was reduced to 1/5 of its original value. Is this still the case?
     
  2. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
    Administrator Professional Wiki Moderator Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Patron

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,570
    Likes Received:
    1,835
    Well Ornies aren't 5 mil anymore...they've gone up but the cost is based varies a great deal by shard. A little looking around tells me that on Atlantic for example you can get one for as little as 9mil while on Lake Superior they are going as high as 45mil.

    The economy issue isn't something that I think they've really gotten serious about fixing. They put in things to act as gold sinks that aren't, the biggest thing they could do to help bring the economy in check is can the LRC property, and make real gold sinks by adding features that player will want that have a maintenance cost. Hitching posts for tamers for example that cost a monthly upkeep in addition to the stable cost for pets would be a good one, it's been asked for numerous times and I'm sure someone would be willing to dish out say 100k per pet per month to use one if it was done as a means to maintain additional stable slots. There are other things that could be done if they really wanted to make the effort to balance the economy but they would have to make it a priority over live publishes to be honest.
     
  3. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    708
    We need an economic bailout package. Did anyone sneak a provision for UO in that 700 billion one?
     
  4. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    6,641
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Thank you for this post, because it proves just how subjective a thing a "ruined economy" can be. Most people see 45m ornis, and decide it's evidence of a "ruined economy" because no one should have that much, let alone sell an item for that much, and this means inflation has ruined the economy.

    You see stuff selling at 1/5th of its pre-inflation value and decide the economy is "ruined."

    I sell Ornis for 6 million. Why? Because I know damn well I can sell them quickly at that price, and I am all about the quick sale.

    Could I get double that? Surely, but it would take longer. Triple? Under the right circumstances, quite likely, but it'd take yet longer. Could I get 4 times that? Depends.

    But I choose to go for the quick sale. I still make up the price of 15 to 20 gold skulls.

    Oh, gold skulls are another example....People got used to the exploit price of 30k for a long time. Then, they got up to as much as 1m once the arti drop rate increased. Now they are back down to the post-exploit price of 250k to 400k. Someone else here complained that this was too high.

    "Ruined economy" nearly always depends on the eye of the beholder. Take RL right now. If you're an investor, you've lost a lot of money. If you're a nurse or a doctor who has a long car commute to work, you're up 50 cents a gallon from 2 weeks ago, you are in the most stable sector of the economy, and you're loving it.

    UO's economy has never been "ruined," because it continues to function as an economy. No one had to bring pack horses worth of checks to buy a weapon, for example. What people mean by a "ruined" economy is either "I have to pay too much for what I want" or "I can't sell what I want to sell at the price I want to charge." Thank you very much for proving this point.

    -Galen's player
     
  5. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,511
    Likes Received:
    2,906
    Just because it functions doenst mean it isnt ruined comparitivly. The economy used to be much more healthy, not in terms of pricing because thats really realative, but in terms of the range of economic interaction, which now a days is mostly high end.
     
  6. 5% Luck

    5% Luck Guest

    Just like in RL if you hold your wealth in assets it will eventually bite ya in the a77! Lesson learned?
     
  7. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Wait, people buy gold skulls?

    I just threw a handful out that I had looted from an IDOC.


    Crap!
     
  8. Tuferon

    Tuferon Adventurer
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    The economy is ruined when crafters cannot sell their wares becasue they either cannot compete with the rares or there aren't enough players around to make having a vendor profitable
     
  9. That may be true, but it's very possible for a crafter to sell his wares in today's UO.
     
  10. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Yeah, there's still a market for basic GM armor even.
     
  11. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend GoT

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    3,626
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    As long as players complain that pixels they acquired with a certain amount of gameplay are no longer worth incredible amounts of gold, the economy is ruined...
     
  12. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Ah, see, you were working when you should have been playing. That'll kill the fun every time.
     
  13. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    45
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I know where I live, in a big city, gas is going down.....except georgia.
    I am still making money on the market......

    The economy in UO is indeed in the eye of the beholder, or seller, or buyer.
    There's a majority that don't buy gold,so obviously items are pathetically high.
    Then there's those that will spend real life money on in game gold, the economy is great for them.

    It's all up to the player.....my vendors do not sell items at the rate they sold for 5 years ago.....I know the games being flooded with gold, and golds not hard to make....you won't be as wealthy as joe blow who bought half a billion off some seller, but a decent bank sum is achievable.
     
  14. how many games have ornies? Not everything in a game is relevant to its economy. If your sole purpose in UO was to make profit, then yes this game would still be crap for you. There is still much PvP action in game altho it is as bad as Gothom city is corrupt. Everything else in the game is as is or as was.
     
  15. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,511
    Likes Received:
    2,906
    But the process that a "crafter" has to go through to be able to produce an uber piece either equals buying a runic tool, or heartwood quest grinding, or bod buying selling grinding.

    It's hardly crafting any more. It's runic use.

    I personally think crafters should spend their time crafting things for people, not raising millions or grinding out stupid chairs or bolts for quests or running bods for ages, so that they can THEN craft a handful of items, only to start the grind again. That's certainly not my idea of crafting.
     
  16. Magdalene

    Magdalene Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    7,501
    Likes Received:
    164
    Please leave RL economy and politics out of this thread.
     
  17. *shrugs*

    I enjoy it, and make a nice tidy profit with it too.
     
  18. Masuri

    Masuri Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    13
    If this were a real-world economy, with no hand-of-god changing things dramatically over the last eleven years, I would agree with you. Capitalism doesn't mean everyone wins. Companies failing prove the market is working. No intervention. No bailouts. I'm with that. No problem.

    But it isn't. There's a hand-of-god here constantly tweaking and breaking things in UO. It's a closed system, with a faucet dumping money in, and very few sinks taking money back out. Thus, we don't have the good COL inflation, we have huge dramatic problematic inflation. In the real world, when economies suffer inflation, the price/cost of everything else - including your take-home pay - will adjust accordingly. That isn't the case in UO. Money from our "jobs" - monster-killing - stays roughly the same, while people are pulling millions from exploits, other servers, etc, and while the price of goods continues to climb to keep up with demand. Meanwhile those "jobs" also require more time and gear to do (as the monsters have been made more powerful over time). This isn't a problem for the people who already have the money, however they came to it. But it's a huge problem for those who don't have any (like noobs) - it's a classic sandbox problem. Add in things like the loss of value in all but the highest-end crafting (caused by insurance, lack of decay thanks to POF, artifacts, and drops simply being better) and shrinking populations, you have yourself a typical MMO craphole economy.

    We're not talking about a real-world economy where the money is created, and then just passed around in trade - the UO economy has a hand-of-god (the devs) that is actively dumping more money into the economy by way of the faucet (monsters) and thus they have a POSITIVE DUTY to balance the faucet and the sink. They have failed to do so, and in many cases broken important cogs of the economy (breaking crafting, etc). What breaks my heart is that this exact same thing happened in DD's other persistent world, Star Wars Galaxies. Late-come devs lacked the economics knowledge, logic, and vision, to keep a perfect balance between faucets, sinks, and crafting, and literally the currency inflated 1000% over two years and crafting was destroyed practically overnight. Noobs left in the dust means a crippled sandbox game that no one but the kids with all the toys actually wants to play. Unlike in real life, people in games can just find a better game.

    Lots of systems "work" in the short-term and fail in the long-term. MMO economies are one such system. They can do better, and we should demand better for our real-life dollars-per-month.
     
  19. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    6,641
    Likes Received:
    1,163


    Thanks for proving my point yet again.

    How do I mean you ask?

    It's simple....The original player looks at deflation (lowering of prices, devaluing of seller profit margins) and concludes the economy is broken. You look at inflation (increasing of prices, devaluing of means of exchange held by buyers), and conclude that the economy is broken.

    Oh look. Opposite problem. Same conclusion.

    When UO players complain about a "broken economy" what they really mean is "I can't get/sell what I want at the prices I want. Therefore the economy is broken."

    Oh....And RL economies have "act of god" interventions all the time. They range from changing tax rates to bailouts to natural disasters to wars to changing regulatory environments......Lots.

    -Galen's player
     
  20. Masuri

    Masuri Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    13
    Galen, the original poster's problem isn't deflation. He's claiming - with much hyperbole and undisguised elitism - that certain items aren't worth what they used to be worth, but deflation isn't the only possible cause of that. Especially when inflation is staring us in the face.

    Let's ignore the fact that shards have different economies, and that his complaint isn't true of most items, as other posters wisely noted. Let's assume his original complaint actually does have merit, that some items are worth less than they used to be. In the case of, say, the infamous Orny, the drop in value is not due to an under-supply of currency (deflation), it's due to a low demand for the item due to market saturation and decreasing population - almost everyone who wants one, has one. Inflation of the currency as I described is absolutely possible even in such a scenario, given the type of system we're in.

    Now, sometimes these two effects will balance each other out - ie, the money will inflate at the same rate at which the items are being created - but it's not very likely. There's no check on that like in the real economy, because if the price for something in the real economy drops low enough, people will stop producing it. UO has no such code, and must rely on its players to decide when the market is so saturated that they will stop hunting arties in Doom. In other words, there's really two faucets in this system - a gold faucet, and an arty faucet, dumping gold and arties into the economy with no sinks. The gold-inflation and arty-inflation relationship to each other is not a consistent measure of whether the faucet/sink system is working, or whether the economy is functioning well. They prove nothing by themselves.

    Of course. (Although I don't agree RL economies SHOULD have such interventions.) This is just a difference of degree. There's a big difference between meddling in a RL economy (eg: adjusting interest rates), and having complete control over the entire MMO economy (eg: controlling all of the faucets and sinks). Until the fed is actually paying us all to work, directly, like EA pays us to kill monsters, then they're not quite on the same playing field. And if our government were printing money nonstop without deleting old money and inflating our currency while not punishing counterfeiters, we'd be griping at them too.

    I just can't agree with this. This is like saying, only rich people are capitalists, or only poor people are socialists. Fails the obvious tests of reality. My arguments have absolutely nothing to do with my own personal buying and selling, but rather with my twisted obsession with studying MMO economies. "Broken" in this case refers to the intent of the design utterly failing. UO's economy was designed to maintain a balance of inflow and outflow of gold, with crafting, decay/item loss, and so forth. Whether it was designed adequately is up for debate. But regardless of who's to blame, the economy envisioned by DD himself (and implemented in two MMOs), is utterly broken.
     
  21. Lore Master

    Lore Master Guest

    There may be a partial fix to the Economy the dev teams may have to regulate prices maybe put a set price on all items placed on vendors that cannot be raised or lowered by the anyone. but sadly that would take freedom away from players to price items the way they want on vendors and hurt those with isolated vendor houses. of course that wouldn't stop players from sitting at banks and selling items for what ever price they want which could also hurt players with vendors if there prices are lower then the vendor prices.
     
  22. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Things that have been constant since UO went live.

    The Economy is broke.

    The game is Unbalanced.

    I got hurt so everyone must pay for it.

    There is no objective, quantifiable perception or definition for the first two.

    The last one is just the way the whinny people are.

    Rewind to month 8 of UO being alive.

    The crafters are whining about how they are useless because they can NOT compete with the NPC Vendors. How the "Player" Economy is broke and needs to be fixed.

    Strange how they would never deal with the fact that they could NOT guarantee 24/7/52 coverage / availability of items (then or now). Yet demand to be the single source/supplier of items.

    Well ... this UO is player driven itemization. If there is a problem (as in I do not want to go get it myself so I will buy it) then it is singularly on the door step of the players.

    The fact that the "Players" (as in a very very small number) want to make Real Life Currency from the Player Economy, is the cause of the problem. The fact that they will make post after post after post making the threads about the posters AND NOT THE ISSUE, should tell everyone

    A) Who they are
    B) They will NOT tolerate discussion that HURTS their Real Life Income.

    You want to fix the economy?

    Simple EA/Mythic sells every item in the game for Gold. They also sell gold.

    This ends the problem ASAP.

    AND puts the Real Life Currency DIRECTLY into EA/Mythics pockets.
     
  23. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    Excellent posts, Masuri. I doubt they'll be appreciated, though. From what little I understand about economics, your posts make a great deal of sense to me, and it's something I've been in agreement with for quite some time.

    Too much influx, not enough sinks, is what it all boils down too. Even if they did something simple like, every week, compute how much gold is in circulation per shard, and then scale down (or up, if needed) the amount of gold dropped by a percentage, it would be a great boon to the economy, in my un-enlightened opinion anyway.
     
  24. The economy in UO is functioning fine.

    As more gold comes in, prices of items go up (ones in demand).

    You had the exploit gold dupe, so what happened. The price of all items went up.

    And any new player can join the economy just fine. They kill a monster get an item in demand and sell it for market value.

    The economy functions well.

    Now if you think gold matches gold in RL then you might think it is broken.

    The problem with the economy is nothing wares out and nothing stops spawning for the most part.

    So eventually, your item the ORNY ibecomes easily had or readily available. The people that want one, have one. Price comes down.


    Seems like it is working to me.
     
  25. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    And when does it go down? Insurance?

    Hyperinflation. It's a problem.

    Weather it's a problem for YOU or not is another thing. I'm aware of your exploits starting off on a new server and making your millions. You are an experienced, knowledgeable player who learned how to game the system. My hats off to you.

    I didn't have the knowledge, time, or really, the desire to game the system when I returned. And you would be accurate in saying that's my problem, not a problem with the system.

    However, I prefer to look at myself as an average player. By that, I mean, didn't RMT my gold, didn't have hours upon hours a day to commit, and felt largely excluded from activities because of equipment, when in days of yore that some prefer to demonize or romanticize about, it wouldn't have been as large an obstacle. And I at the very least have a slight understanding of the system since I returned.. I can't imagine what a genuine new player would go through.

    Economics affect all players, but they affect new players the most. Hyperinflation is a serious barrier of entry.

    My 2 gold coins. Actually, accounting for inflation, my 2,000,000 gold coins that I don't really have...
     
  26. Masuri

    Masuri Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    13
    This is not only a bad idea (price caps hurt markets, and cause supply to decrease artificially) but it won't work the way you're hoping, either. A working example: in Guild Wars, the most money a character can trade in one transaction is 100 platinum - the devs wanted a hard price cap on all items traded between players. You'd think that nothing would cost over 100 plat wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong. Instead, people look for other valuable items (ectos, rubies) and use those as additional currency to trades, so the devs' little trick didn't work at all.

    A much healthier and regulation-free fix would be - as many intelligent players have been advocating for years - smarter gold sinks, aimed at the people with money, which do not affect gameplay. Guild Wars, to stick with that example, allows the purchase of armor from NPCs, which has identical stats to normal armor, but looks different and costs ten times as much. It's merely status armor, bragging rights. Other ideas floated around in UO have included housing upgrades such as basements, custom titles, special hair, special mounts, and so on.

    Oh aren't you sweet! A quote comes to mind. A few weeks ago I was reading a biology blog, where they'd tangented off to economics (which is easily as silly as gamers discussing economics). An economist posted the following: "My whole life is a like physicist touring a Star Trek convention. I keep hearing conversations in which people seem to be talking about economics, but it bears no resemblance to the market as economists actually understand it." I feel this way quite a bit when UO spills over into my small niches of real-world expertise, and I do a lot of /facepalm.

    I don't agree that changing the amount of money coming in, would help, however. Rather, it would help reduce the overall gold total, but primarily at the expense of the wrong people in the sandbox - it hurts the noob, that money was far more dear to him than it is to elite players. It's too late to change the rules now. Hence: smarter sinks.

    RavenWinterHawk: First you claimed "the economy in UO is functioning fine", and then you gave an example of a "problem" with the economy - the lack of decay. These things are mutually exclusive. The main problem is that you ignore and deny the fact that the inflation in the modern UO economy is an extreme barrier to entry for new players, because the devs have repeatedly failed to address the faucet/sink sandbox. Your "kill a monster get an item in demand and sell it for market value" is not only an oversimplification of how the game works, but is flatly contradicted a few lines later when you point out that many of these items are no longer in demand, that the market for them is saturated, and that their value has gone down. This is, again, the same sandbox problem - the new players can never catch up, let alone get ahead, not without resorting to unmentionable websites and goldsellers.

    I'm well aware that a lot of veterans don't really care, because they like being on top of the sandpile, but I would suggest that we really ought to care, if we want UO to survive. I'm saying that the wreckage we call an economy is killing the game for the very group we most need to buy, play, and stay in the game: noobs.
     
  27. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    That is a valid point. Here are some other ideas/adjustments that I'd like your opinion on.

    1) Insurance - Insurance is here to stay. But, that doesn't mean it has to be ALL bad. I suggest they scale insurance based on item properties. I figure one of the major problems is insurance is a flat amount. I say, if we really want to make insurance work, the rate must vary given the value of the item. Hence, I purpose that for weapons and armor, insurance start at a base of 500, and then scale upword based on properties and their intensities. This makes the most powerful weapons also the most costly to insure, hence likely having the largest impact on the veteran community, while not so taxing the new players. (Edit: It's been a while since I logged in, but for some reason, I can't help but shake the feeling this is somehow already in.. Did I miss a memo? Or is it not there?)

    2) Part of fighting inflation is reducing the influx of gold into the system. I still say some type of scale back is needed, but it does need to be smarter. Perhaps tying the scaling to mob level and the skill points a player has. This works because new players will not likely be able to kill the higher level mobs, no matter how good they are. Especially if (1) is enacted and they can't afford the greatest gear yet. If they do, the skill points come into play. This may seem exploitable at first, but the more a player reduces their skill pool to avoid penalty, the more they are hurting themselves. So it's still possible to beat the system, but you have to accept the penalty of fewer skills. There are some issues with this one, I'm sure, like Tamers being able to still farm with a much smaller skill pool (AL, Taming, Vet, maybe Hiding would still do the trick), but it's a start.
    {EDIT}
    Oooooo.. Idea... If vets think they are privilaged and should enjoy things based on their account age... why not tie the scale back in gold drops to their account age? If the problem is it will hurt new players.. lets make sure it can't!(Yeah, this won't fly.. But it was so deliciously EVIL and IRONIC I had to add it...Granted my account is only 5 years old due to breaks in between launch and now to play other MMO's so I wouldn't be hit AS hard.. but still... MUWHAHAHAHAA!!)



    Comments?
     

  28. Your need to think abstract. Not real market.

    The amount of gold in game is endless. I might agree thats the flaw. Gold doesnt stop coming in. There are too few places for gold to go out.

    Hence, your will always have inflation.

    Yet with inflation, you can join the wealth by vending.

    That is why it works in my opinion. No play is barred for the economy.

    Now if you dont know how to make the gold thats one thing.

    But to think, it will go back to 10k from killing 10 rune beetles will get you something of value. Your are mistaken.
     
  29. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
    Administrator Professional Wiki Moderator Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Patron

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,570
    Likes Received:
    1,835
    When there was no insurance loss of items and loot was a curb to inflation. It needs to go if the game economy is ever to fully recover and become stable and reasonable again.

    How about this they toss LRC out the window so Reagents become a serious commodity again and not something just a few carry. How about tripling the tithing cost of Pally spells.... Those are couple of things that would go much more far and be simpler to do if you wanted to help the economy.
     
  30. Insurance can go or stay. It should be functioning on in lands that have law. But I would agree it should be scaled.

    No not on properties. That is impossible.
    On simple death. Per day. Then reset.

    600 gold an item first death
    800 gold an item second death
    1200 gold an item third death
    1500 gold an item fourth death
    1750 gold and item fifth death
    2000 gold an item there after.

    Resets the next day.

    Why? Its insurance. Lord Brit Bank raises your premium on cashing in the insurance policy. Simple.

    Death now has consequence. A gold sink is born.

    Watch all the complaints.

    Whats the difference if an item costs...
    10 million gold, 5 million platinum or 20 COUGARS.

    Its all relative.

    You can take a monetary system and divide it by 10 and expect the visual number of cost to be pleasing.

    All it will do is **** people off but more importantly the inflation will just start again. So you cut peoples wealth by 10 to make prices look better and gold still comes in.

    Give the players way to dump gold out of the economy.
     
  31. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,716
    Likes Received:
    32
    The free unregulated economy has had a technical rebound and has since corrected itself. We are proud to say that no one has ever needed to morgage their houses in our utopian world.

    You won't see Ornies back at the pre-doom changes prices, but the price now pretty much reflect the reduced doom drop rate after the initial doom changes.

    In this case, it is not entirely just the economy of inflation or deflation, but mainly because supply has increased. This will happen to all non-limited items like server birth/event items.
     
  32. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,466
    Likes Received:
    11
    I would remove 90% of the total gold owned by players, over night without announcing it. It seems fair, and those who don't have much won't lose that much.

    10 Mio -> 1 Mio
    1 Mio -> 100k
    100k -> 10k

    At the same time, I would limit the total amount of gold in game. Gold hoarded by players will not be available as loot anymore. Gold lost by players will go back into the "monster loot gold pool". This also would automatically solve the gold-script-farming issue.

    If some people start hoarding gold, the prices will automatically drop, as loot is reduced and nobody will be able to afford high prices anymore. System regulates itself.

    I also would introduce a tax as a permanent gold sink. This way, the more gold is hoarded, the more is automatically flowing back into the "monster loot gold pool".

    You may call this crazy (I already hear people shouting "we don't want to be taxed, this is a game!"). However, in-game economy works similar to real-life economy. If the amount of cash is not regulated, you'll get hyperinflation.

    BUT most important, I would try to reduce the importance of gold. Why do people pay insane amounts for an Ornament of the Magician artifact? Because it is so rare, and because it also is important to have such items if you want to do interesting stuff in game.
    The low- and mid-level content requires massive improvement, to make playing fun to players with low budget and not maxed-out skills. This is the core of the problem. New content, new monsters, new dungeons, more extreme challenges, they all nourish the demand for gold and artifacts. Improve existing content instead, and make it fun to explore dungeons like Covetous again!
     
  33. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    I thought about that as well.. However, the problem is, that punishes new players learning the game more than it punishes the vets. The vets can afford to die many times by that method, but for new players, it'd quickly drain their coffers.

    Just a point.
     
  34. TheScoundrelRico

    TheScoundrelRico Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Secret Society

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    35,539
    Likes Received:
    908
    Come to Siege...our economy is just fine...la
     
  35. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    Gold is endless, but that doesn't mean it needs to maintain it's influx.

    While true, we do need more sinks, it's also perfectly within the control of the designers to control how much money comes IN as well as out.

    No one thing anyone suggests will have as high an impact as a combination of approaches would have. Controlling gold going out AND coming in would combat inflation.
     
  36. Fizzleton

    Fizzleton Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    26
    yes, sir.

    I tried to make this point in a different thread. You will always lose veterans, since life changes and so does your addiction to this game (some serious cases not to mention :eek:). So the important managing part is not to keep veterans, but to pull newcomers and make them stay long enough. Too long uo had its focus on veteran demands - look at the last expansion (Mondains Legacy), what was a complete and solely veteran orientated expansion.

    Concerning the "broken economy", there is nothing like that. Every system develops its own inherent regulations; in this case, with a constant gold influx, it is hyperinflation. The problem is not at all prices, it is broken game mechanics that lead eg to a "valorite hammer-made pieces inflation" ruining the game for lots of people: for crafters who can't sell their honestly aquired bronze runics stuff; for PvM'ers who can't sell their (enhanced) monster loot. On Atlantic, there is even one major armor crafting account giving away hrsk/brsk made armor for free in heaven to noobs - what looks like generousity is just a major ruin to game experience for newcomers.

    So there are other and more severe "economical" problems than ornies given away for 5 mills or constant gold influx.
     
  37. See thats were the game gets screwed up.
    Everyone thinks (not saying you) that it has to be fair. Fair is to often translated to... EVERYONE MUST HAVE IT EQUALLY.

    It doesnt have to be fair or equal. It needs to be looked at as effective systems anyone can access.

    For instances.
    New player.

    You can build skill and fight most monsters when your new with basic armour and a slayer weapon. Dont insure it. The cost to replace everything is cheaper then insuring. Sort of a mind set.

    ONce you get stronger... You move to Peerless. You insure up key items.

    Now you go to PvP. You insure. Death now has a significant consequence.

    UO and EA to often lets options become RIGHTS so to speak.

    Insurance is an option. Not a right. You use it when you need it. If EA doesnt keep an eye on things like this, why have insurance? Just make it a game mechanic you cant lose anything.

    Insurance isnt good or bad. Its just too darn cheap.
     
  38. I thought of this idea which I though was cool.

    In an perfect game economy, the game would know how much gold is in game.

    For sake say the game maximum is 100 million in game.

    The games system would adjust loot drop based on how much gold is free in the economy.

    If all players have 100 million. No gold drops.
    If gold is spent in sinks it returns back to monsters to a degree.

    Granted 100 million is low but for the point.

    This way the game itself regulates the economy.
     
  39. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes there are always small groups of people who benefit from chaos. I am sure there were people who made money during the great depression too. That does not mean that the general economy was not in shambles.

    Going back to the OP's question: UO economy is currently artificially propped up by cheaters to some extent as it is in their interest to maintain some sort of stability in the market. It has gotten very little attention and we will see another emergency soon enough. Increasing amount of high end weapons and rares are outside the purchasing power of gold and require $ to acquire them - and there are plenty of people out there willing to shell it out. Gold is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I predict a bumpy ride till SA release around which time things will stabilize again for some time.
     
  40. Masuri

    Masuri Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    13
    Long post incoming, rather than replying to each post in kind. It's worth it I promise. :D

    The major problem with insurance in a game like this, is that it exists. They basically replaced a functioning item sink with a weak gold sink, and destroyed several other game systems (PvP looting, etc) at the same time, which is what happens when devs meddle without a fundamental understanding of the economy they're meddling in (sound familiar? hehe. :D) I think the problem here lies in the fact that there's no reason to assume that noobs can't have decent items. You can find some amazing things left on corpses or in New Haven. This discourages noobs from accepting or wearing nice items given to them by older veterans, lest they lose them. More reasons in the next two paragraphs...

    I like this better than scaling insurance based on item properties, but not much more. For starters, it wouldn't work. Noobs and the 'middle class' would just log out when it gets too expensive. Secondly, 2k per item is peanuts to the wealthy - it won't put a dent in the inflation. Third, the people with the best items are more likely to take more risk, but also to die less - so basically what you've done is added an incompetence tax to the people who are likely to be incompetent: noobies. Congratulations, you died, now lose a ton of money as well as a bunch of time. That strays over into game theory a bit, and how death should be handled, true. I would be more inclined to remove insurance altogether, or make it so dramatically expensive (100k per item? more?) that almost no one uses it and it's no longer thought of as automatic, but optional. Either way, tweaks to insurance alone are no longer enough to battle this problem.

    As you note, this will hurt new players who buy old accounts, returning players, and new characters on veteran accounts. It also isn't very good game design to *punish* success or longevity. The idea with gold sinks is to make it a voluntary expenditure and reward the successful player with optional non-gameplay vanity items like titles, mounts, extra housing - gold sinks can be highly effective without pissing off the playerbase.

    If this were the real economy, I might get on board with this. In the real economy, we'd yell at the government for printing tons of money and inflating the currency artificially, because the expectation is that the government will merely create the pool of money, and that it will be traded between players in the market after that. To recreate that scenario in UO, we'd have to turn off the gold faucet. Period. No more gold coming in. Since monster hunting is a very large part of the gameplay, and many would cease to engage in it if there were no more incentives to doing so, the game would literally fall apart, so we must conclude that the real world doesn't have faucets in the same way. Now you're merely suggesting a decrease in the money coming in, not a total turn-off of the faucet, and you're suggesting that it be based on skill points. I say to you that this has already been done - money drops are already scaled based on the difficulty of the monster, and in fact, lower end monsters drop a lot more gold than they used to, while higher monsters drop a lot less. Lowbie monsters also drop a lot more relative to their difficulty. Moreover, this is just another way of punishing success. I'm not sure the canceled accounts over further reducing veteran players' money faucet, is worth it - not when there are easier ways of simply getting that money out of the economy after it's already in. We want to make sure we don't acidentally de-incentivize hunting, after all!

    This solution might work better if implemented on a clean server or game. I would still argue against it in favor of better sinks, however.

    This is the same point you made earlier, but I had a different thought about it when you phrased it this way. The real problem is that these possible controls each has its own cost to implement, and those costs are not equal. Increasing voluntary gold sinks has very little cost - an intern slapping together some new code. But decreasing gold faucets has a very high cost - players will become outraged and quit. Those things need to be balanced as well.. nothing is as simple as just pushing a button, and when they treat it that way, that is when the economy balance starts to fall apart.

    It's not all relative. I noted several posts ago that some of the costs are variable (trades between players), and some of the costs are absolute (money-per-time coming in from monsters/NPC merchants, and money going out in the form of insurance costs, housing, etc.) As you yourself have said several times, this part of the UO economy has few parallels in the real world economy, unless economies are engaged in price fixing/caps/floors (for example, when a government uses force to insist on a minimum wage, or a maximum on gas prices). But that is exactly why it matters how much money is "worth" in this particular system, and why we can't say it's all relative. When currency is deflated, the variable costs are trivial and the fixed costs are a challenge. When currency is inflated, the fixed costs are trivial, and the variable costs - trade! - get out of control. Think of it this way - when you trade items between players, you're asking for a percentage of the entire sum of gold on the shard - that part is variable. But the NPCs, the gold sinks, are always going to ask for exactly the same amount of gold no matter how inflated the economy is - that part is absolute. The ideal here is to keep a healthy balance of faucets and sinks so that both the fixed and variable costs remain roughly the same over time.

    Raven, again you've ignored that this economy has major barriers to entry for noobs, you've jumped right past the crux of the problem. Don't hunt for money, you say - set up a vendor and make money from other players! And sell what, exactly? Noobies have nothing worth buying, they rarely have a house, and can't afford vendor charges in Luna. It's not like a noobie can get to doom, get some drops, and come back and sell them - if they had the gear to go to doom they wouldn't be noobies. I'll answer the question for you: there are two ways to break into this game - farm lowbie mobs forever, or farm hide/wood/ingots for resale to other players. Here's the problem with those - they SUCK. I'm an old-school 1997 veteran who's switched shards enough, and played enough other MMOs (pretty much.. all of them) who will be honest and say that UO is the nastiest game to break into, that I've ever played. And that's not just whining - it very much matters that it sucks. This game needs new players to survive. New UO players at this point have played other games, games with much friendlier learning curves and costs that scale to the player. Why the hell would they play an 11-year-old mostly-unsupported game that looks like crap and requires them to farm resources on a mule for months just to afford the basics, when they can play something that doesn't suck? They won't. They just won't. And we all lose.

    Simpler, and functional, but not necessarily good game design anymore. I think the original idea behind LRC was to remove some of the penalty of choosing magery. Initially, it made more sense before UO started to shift to be more 'class' based, when everyone had magery in his template - reags were their way of reducing magery's popularity. With the addition/rehab of the 'full template' skills (anatomy, eval, meditation, etc) they incentivized not-being-a-mage - instead of nearly every character having a reagent gold-sink, only mages had such a sink, while most other templates had none. LRC got rid of the (at that point) undue penalization of magery, as well as eliminated some of the tedium of buying and using items like that, but unfortunately, as you note, it also removed yet another gold sink. I have to say, I wouldn't delete LRC now, and not just because the players would revolt, but because reagents make it very tough for noobs to use/raise casting skills, and that's bad news for retention. If they're adding a new casting skill with SA, however, I would make sure LRC doesn't apply to it, so that it is seen as an "elite" skill, just as magery was prior to meditation et al.

    This is the same idea Coldren posted yesterday, and it won't work for the same reasons I posted yesterday: "I don't agree that changing the amount of money coming in, would help, however. Rather, it would help reduce the overall gold total, but primarily at the expense of the wrong people in the sandbox - it hurts the noob, that money was far more dear to him than it is to elite players. It's too late to change the rules now. Hence: smarter sinks."

    You and Raven have both claimed that the economy isn't broken, and then gone on to state several reasons that it is broken. :p The economy isn't merely the gold floating around, it includes the crafting systems you mention too. Also, hyperinflation isn't "regulation", it's a state of health, and a symptom of someone pushing the wrong buttons.
     
  41. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    Excellent discussion, everyone. Good points and ideas, arguments and counter-arguments made by all.

    I'll be watching intently to see where ideas go, but for my part, I've said and made all the points I think I can make.
     
  42. Lore Master

    Lore Master Guest

    I just want to say that insurance has nothing to do with the economy being broken. insurance is a great thing and it should not be changed or altered in any way. infact insurance is one huge gold sink probally the biggest in UO today. if it was up to me which it is not i would lower insurance cost and loss but i am fine with the way it is now. many players would quit if insurance was removed from UO.
     
  43. I think it is relative in this sense.
    There are actually 2 economies sort of from how you describe it.

    Trade or player to player. Vendors.

    NPC fixed.

    I agree the trade or active economy kills NPC fixed price things.

    In the player economy (active vending). The price of items (I sell for as a merchant) adjust to the value of currency. There is a period that I might lose a bit but the economy adjusts. If I had an orny Id sell it around market value. It adjusts. I wont sell an 8 million orny for 2 million. And I cant sell it for 25 million. There is a set range 5 to 10 million.

    As for the new player. What I miss is exactly why you think they can get into the economy. No not day one or even first month. But I just gave a way in another thread. Using events and selling the items can be done by a NEW PLAYER EASILY. One is begging and the upcoming Halloween Event. They can get several million. Now they can buy horned kits and make armour. Or runic hammer and make a weapon. They are equipped.

    I might be missing what the problem is.

    If a new player goes and hunts, sure gold come slower. But they will be able to join NEW EVENTS and make out.

    Now what I say isnt broken is GOLD and value.

    I would agree crafting is an issue. But as long as we have items that dont break. Crafting is dead. You can add 10 new craftables. In a week market saturated. Add insurance. Nothing is lost or looted by MONSTERs or Players.

    Looking at the entire economy for resources, to players crafts, to NPC sales, to Vendors, and all that is quite complicated.

    For me Im saying the gold value itself isnt broken because prices adjust.

    And remember hyperinflation comes from printing more dollars. In this case gold keeps coming in. Is that a problem yes and no. No if you dont care an item will be valued at 100 million gold in 5 years, yes if you thing managing all those checks is a problem.

    Without a mechanism to remove gold. Inflations stays.
     
  44. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    3
    You are assuming that the wealth spreads equally amongst people as more gold is pumped into the system. However, that is not true. Think of an average PvPer that spends all of his time fighting at yew gate for few years till his template gets nerfed. So now he has to go change his suit around but suddenly prices are completely wacked. Things he owns are worth zero but things he needs requires hundreds of millions of gold. Instead of a few hundred millions needed a couple of years ago to make a kickass suit, now he needs a few billions.

    In the type of economy that UO has only the people who are actively looking to increase their wealth stand to keep up (not really benefit). The wackiness of the market hurts non-merchants lot more than merchants. Case in point the original poster. Just in real life, the biggest victim of inflation are the poor. There are good reasons why inflation is heavily frowned upon.

    This is not fun for many players. Some players will give in and spend their hard earned cash to buy gold, often from exactly the same people responsible for causing the problems and thereby screwing them. Many more will quit.

    Also you assume that prices simply adjust according to the value of gold. This may be true for minor items like artifacts. But at some point people simply do not want to deal in gold for higher end items as they lose confidence in it. Confidence, panic, fear, etc. are not rational things but they are very much a part of an economy. These things further encourage people to shun gold, something that is not a sign of a healthy economy.
     
  45. Der Rock

    Der Rock Guest




    sorry, but u have absolutly no clue about a monetary(gold) system.
    the difference between
    a player who has today let say 1 000 000 000 gold and
    a player who has today let say 1 000 000 gold
    is, that player one has 1000 times more gold then player two

    so if we do what u say, like
    10 mio - 1 mio
    1 mio to 100k
    100k to 10k

    that would change NOTHING
    player one hase still 1000 times more gold then player two
    there is NO difference,
    or is it more that u cant handle big numbers???????

    and about the reducing of importance from gold and items in a game, in a mmo fantasy game
    LOL,
    what u call for is a shoter game, log in kill an houre or two and log out,
    there are many such games out there, go try this, it looks like a better place for u.
    mmo fantasy games are definetly not made for u i think.
     

  46. Actually,

    Inflation doesnt hurt the poor. I hurts whoever doesnt have the initial gold influx.

    For instance. DUPE. Someone has billions. They buy up all the stuff at yesterday prices.

    Slowly pricese go up. People get involved. The new gold turns over.

    Anyone that joins once the inflationary prices have driven items up. Loses.

    Well loses the first round.

    Its very complicated.

    My point is on a narrow band of the economy. A new player can easily join the economy via selling. Not knowing what to sell vs what to sell. Thats part of the game after all. My tip is out there. Halloween items/Event stuff.
     
  47. I agree. Reducing gold by a percentage equally or adding in new types of currency does nothing.

    I think what they are trying to say is reduce gold down in game so item prices fall.

    Lower prices means killing monsters and get 10k an hour will lend itself to being able to buy the items that are know 25 million.

    For instance ARTIFACT 2.5 million.
    Divide all gold in game divide by 10
    Know that arty is worth 250k
    IN THEORY

    250k is much easier to get to in a day then 2.5 million. EASIER AS in killing monsters for the gold loot.

    That doesnt fix the economy.
     
  48. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    3
    Actually, it is a very well-known fact that inflation increases poverty and affects poor people more severely than the rich. This is true both in real life and Ultima Online. Your examples make little sense.

    Inflation hits the poor the hardest

    I don't think that any sound economic theory would adjudge the Sosarian economy as being healthy.
     
  49. Harb

    Harb Guest

    We've made this way too "complicated," though there is some rock solid discussion in the thread. Not to over simplify, but the only issue with our economy is excessive gold. It came from duping. Yes, you can make a ton of gold, I think Connor mentioned in another thread he made 100 mil in about 6 months, with a lot of gameplay and focused intent. 6 months of play is much different than 60 seconds of duping. The solution is 1) fix duping once and for all, 2) implement a super sink for item purchase, then 3) change the currency.
     
  50. Thomas,
    It does in real life.
    The banks get the money. They use the money at current value. The money works its way down to the POOR (for example sake), by the time it get there inflation has occured. Other items go up in price. The dollar has less buying power. The value of the dollar when the banks get it from the FEDS is higher then when it gets to the poor. Basically the banks have more buying power and the poor have less when the feds dump money into the economy. The poor dont get the same bang for the buck.

    Inflation in UO doesnt hurt the poor.
    Poor is poorly defined in uo.

    Define poor in UO and maybe you have a point.
    But a player with little gold isnt a poor player. They just may be a player that doesnt care about gold, doesnt want to use a vendor, decides to earn thinks at spawns on their own, trades items for items.

    There really isnt a poor class in UO like real life. Thats the flaw.

    There are new charactures that need time to grow and players need time to learn the game. Thats not poor.