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Offline Radical21

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Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« on: April 09, 2013, 02:24:22 am »
I read this article : http://gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130405/189984/How_I_Used_EVE_Online_to_Predict_the_Great_Recession.php

And it made me wonder if WODMMO as a Dystopian reality should feature bad economy where poverty is commonplace ?

Offline Nanaloma

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 03:09:00 am »
I read this article : http://gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130405/189984/How_I_Used_EVE_Online_to_Predict_the_Great_Recession.php

And it made me wonder if WODMMO as a Dystopian reality should feature bad economy where poverty is commonplace ?

Well, if there are multiple cities worldwide, some are likely to be in socialist countries and, setting it in a worldwide depression would make it seem like Gehenna is around the corner (whether it is or not).   I think it would add some needed drama but would likely affevt Ventrue play a lot in the negative.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 04:02:29 am »
I think the WODMMO can have a realistic "world economy" - that is to say, you have the entire range of economic status, both in a given city/country and throughout multiple cities/countries (X city is wealthier than Y city, but not as wealthy as Z city. A neighborhood is in bad times, but C neighborhood caters to the richest 1%. B neighborhood handles the drug, flesh, and violence trade between the two.) There are always ways to make money... if someone is ruthless and exploitative enough to take them.
As to having a fair/unfair economy... Make it self-determining. I think we can go with the laissez-faire, "hands-off" approach CCP has taken with EVE Online. Unlike EVE Online, though, there should be more than one way to succeed as a character and as a coterie than having the most money. Even if you throw in an "economy of blood" on top of a regular, currency economy, then there need to be more ways. Some of the most bad-ass, feared, and influential (politically speaking) vampires in the world are homeless and penniless, all their needs taken care of by the richer vampires who are less personally powerful than they are. (Xavier, the Gangrel Justicar, barely has the jacket on his back, but he could give orders to 90% of the rest of the Camarilla. At least, he could before he left.)
Now, whether you call an EVE Online-style economy "fair"...

To finish, I would like to once again steal the quote from Maximilian Strauss, because it is so very true, and would be an excellent basic premise for the WODMMO economy: "True power lies not in wealth, but in the things it affords you."
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 08:05:55 pm by Rick Gentle »
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 07:41:34 pm »
Since they've told us they aren't working on a complex crafting system (unless that changed), I assume the economy will be an hybrid between a traditional MMO economy and EVE's economy. Everything suggests they want a single economy like EVE (or Guild Wars 2), rather than splintered economies, and the consequences of that are plain to see in every MMO that uses such a system; the very best stuff's value explodes as many won't settle for anything less, while the 2nd best stuff's value plummet to the depths of 7th hells at lightspeeds because supply rapidly outstrips demand. The same phenomenon exists in sharded economies, but much slower. Also, in a single economy, transactions happen much faster when priced fairly. That creates interesting dynamics compared to the smaller economies on sharded games.

As for poverty in WOD: it's not for Kindred. Poverty will be all around our characters but while Kindred wont all be rich, they won't be suffering personally from utter poverty. Player characters will be able to earn wealth, although logically, this should be easier to do in rich neighborhoods than in destitute ones (depending exactly how wealth is earned, of course). But the real economy is the inter-player trading mechanism that they'll set up, whatever it's called. That's where the big bucks are made and lost typically.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 07:43:08 pm by Valamyr »

Offline Radical21

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 07:47:47 pm »
I think we can go with the laissez-faire, "hands-off" approach CCP has taken with EVE Online.

But the article I link demonstrates that Eve's economy is not really hands off because the Tax models are adjusted by CCP and are not user-regulated, as the article author mentions, various maintenance costs do not circle back to the users in any way, they just vanish(and there are no galactic elections to change policy),
 For example Server police CONCORD which would supposedly be funded by the tax return from various maintenance costs but isn't regulated by such constraints, it is an omniscient force that never exhausts its resources. (that way it is kept alive regardless of how many players are on at the time).

the very best stuff's value explodes as many won't settle for anything less, while the 2nd best stuff's value plummet to the depths of 7th hells at lightspeeds because supply rapidly outstrips demand. The same phenomenon exists in sharded economies, but much slower. Also, in a single economy, transactions happen much faster when priced fairly. That creates interesting dynamics compared to the smaller economies on sharded games.


Yes that is typical in many MMORPGs that use a world of infinite resources to appease their players and compensate for the default prevention of theft, fighting or monopoly, but is that a good thing?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 07:55:24 pm by Radical21 »

Offline Valamyr

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 08:16:06 pm »

Yes that is typical in many MMORPGs that use a world of infinite resources to appease their players and compensate for the default prevention of theft, fighting or monopoly, but is that a good thing?

Infinite resources are sort of a given in a virtual world, but infinite doesn't have to mean easy to get or never losing any. I'm all for theft, and actually losing stuff in battle. EVE has these things; a supership is hard to build and absolutely 'loseable'. This makes it valuable and expensive. Yet the resources to build it are technically infinite, though it requires some effort (mining ops, etc) to get them. If you think about it that way, infinity is fine.

Infinity in the sense that the Priest of Evil drops the Magic belt 50% of the time he is killed, respawns after 18 minutes and once you have the Magic belt you can never lose it - that's certainly bad. That item's going to be worthless in three days.

Now we don't know what exactly will be the valuable ticket items in WOD yet. I definitely want an economy and rare resources to fight over, and I think it would be sweet if much of it was modeled a bit like EVE, though made thematically appropriate. Its going to require some creativity to pull off credibly.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 08:22:48 pm »
For EVE Online, I think CCP's influence is really more of a fingertip than it is hands-on. Somebody somewhere had to create the economy, which means there are certain fundamental rules in place. But what CCP does not govern is inter-player trade, or investment, or stipulations of contracts, or mete out rewards and punishments for behavior, so that players will play a certain way. CCP put in the infrastructure, but leave the day-to-day actions up to players.
A while ago, some guy pulled a massive investment scheme that earned him billions of ISK and cheated hundreds of other players out of their returns. CCP shrugged and said "Caveat emptor". That kind of cheating isn't even possible in your average MMO economy, because there's nothing to invest in (so if somebody comes around offering "a sure investment opportunity!", everybody knows they're bullshitting), and prices are set by a game measure (all Iron Cuirasses are 100 gold; that price never fluctuates), and and even if there's an auction house or robust trading system, it usually ends up as Valamyr notes because only certain things have value. (This was particularly rampant in Star Wars Galaxies, because even though players could create armor of different qualities, some armors were simply just The Best.)

As to "valuable ticket items"... Domain pops up first in my mind, and should easily be the most expensive and hard-to-replace "items" in the game. Beyond your basic starter haven, you should really have to work at taking and keeping Domain, exactly like those superships in EVE Online.

For the WODMMO and in EVE Online, there are ways to earn oodles of money from just about any source. You can grind NPC missions (though I hear lately the rewards for these have gone down, making them much less attractive), you can trade sundry items from different marketplaces (shipping X goods to Y station for Z profit), and you can make money purely off of other players, like the investment con artist did. Ironically, in order to have a "fair" economy, I think players need to be able to cheat a little. (Not hacking, but rather given the chance to exploit "natural" economic trends and practices.)
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline Signothorn

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 09:50:36 pm »
I think it would be kinda cool if the economy would fluctuate based on factors that transpire based on what's going on in the game at the time. Bullets might cost more for a month because of gun control, blood from a blood bank might be more expensive because of a high demand due to a natural disaster. Those scenarios I kinda pulles outta my ass, but it's a thought.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 05:31:53 am »
It would be cool if they kept up with real-life trends, like the new, "strong" gun laws in... Conneticut? So if there's a city in the WODMMO in Conneticut, then guns are prohibitively expensive there, and the cops crack down harder on gun killings.
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Offline Nigama

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 02:07:13 pm »
I think it would be kinda cool if the economy would fluctuate based on factors that transpire based on what's going on in the game at the time. Bullets might cost more for a month because of gun control, blood from a blood bank might be more expensive because of a high demand due to a natural disaster. Those scenarios I kinda pulles outta my ass, but it's a thought.

I like this idea.  It would be cool if the economy were that layered.  I hope they are able to pull it off.  To me, it seems like the hard part is going to be a seamless and believable interface. You can't just have an "Auction House," because that's completely unrealistic.  You can't do everything by computer like in EVE.  The idea that seems to be tossed around for doing deals is some ebay-like site, presumably accessed from a smartphone you carry with you.  But is there a physical place you can go?  Can you lose your smartphone?  What happens?

It would be cool if they kept up with real-life trends, like the new, "strong" gun laws in... Conneticut? So if there's a city in the WODMMO in Conneticut, then guns are prohibitively expensive there, and the cops crack down harder on gun killings.

I don't think this will happen, just because it'd be too much work for too little reward.  I don't like the idea, personally, because I want the players actions to be what affects the world, not real people's actions outside of the game.

Nigama
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 04:46:10 pm »
Yeah, but in Signothorn's proposal, what determines whether there is strong gun control, or whether a natural disaster happens? If CCP or White Wolf does it, it sounds like a plot device to me. ("Oh, too many players are running around with guns! Now we say that the Senate has just announced new gun control legislation*, so now guns are twice as expensive!") If they want to base the game in the "real", modern world, then they could make a little effort to make it fit.

*which, actually, they just have. So it works with real-life inspiration.
http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/10/17688832-senators-announce-gun-deal-raising-hopes-of-senate-passage?lite

There are auction houses - places and companies where things are auctioned. I think we could see at least one venue like that. It may not be an Auction House like we see in games like World of WarCraft, but it could be a place where players can set up their own auctions for whatever reason.

And I am in full favor of players being able to (temporarily) lose their phones, or have them stolen. The "smartphone" could be the excuse for a lot of UI directing things like your bank account, property management, friends list, social networking, etc, etc, etc. BUT - if someone has a good enough Larceny skill, they can pickpocket your phone and, for example, access your full or at least part of your Friends List to see who you're connected with, gaining their in-game "phone numbers" (/whisper rights) with a good Computers or Technology roll. It shouldn't be easy to steal information like this, but it would certainly add realism and a whole new depth to the world of political screwings-over the Kindred love. Plus it would give the Nossies something to do.
Of course, it should take a hell of a lot of work to be able to pull something like this off. I'm already talking about three separate rolls involving three separate Skills (and Knowledges). Not to mention you have to worry about your target standing still for long enough, not getting spotted by somebody else, and finding a use for the information you collect.
However, these phones/UI excuses should be easily replaceable; you should be able to "order" one and get it back within five minutes. But that shouldn't change the fact that one of your enemies potentially has access to your (old, outdated) information.
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline Radical21

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 08:11:04 pm »

It would be cool if they kept up with real-life trends, like the new, "strong" gun laws in... Conneticut? So if there's a city in the WODMMO in Conneticut, then guns are prohibitively expensive there, and the cops crack down harder on gun killings.

I don't think this will happen, just because it'd be too much work for too little reward.  I don't like the idea, personally, because I want the players actions to be what affects the world, not real people's actions outside of the game.

Nigama

Its kind of funny that you mention Gun laws now that anyone can build a functional 3d printed gun out of (soon also recycled) plastic , and as 3d printers become more popular that becomes more and more accessible, so soon enforcing gun laws will become even harder or impossible.

Even worse, a plastic gun can be easily broken and then recycled back into 3d printer filament using something like Filabot which would make all sorts of ballistics testing and 'search for the murder weapon' investigation obsolete.



Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 01:00:24 am »
In fairness, I don't think the developers need to go THAT far to keep up with the times. Vampires still use friggin' swords sometimes, so a little out-datedness is okay.
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline Valamyr

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 05:14:13 am »
Yeah. Unless the game changed since , I recall Justin (gone by Black October) explaining on his blog that the team felt there was some sort of 'sweet spot' to strike between modernism and anachronism.

I myself was more of a proponent of 'full modernity', ie, making much of the interface a smartphone that every vampire player carries (since we all start as neonates, it makes sense), but after chatting with him a bit then, like two years ago, I got a distinct impression I couldn't be further away from the planned design. They seemed to be going for 'as retro as possible while maintaining basic plausibility'. In a way, very similar to Bloodlines which pictured tech in a decidedly low-key fashion given when it came out (ie, 20 years back).

So I think its safe to say, tech wise, we wont be playing Google-Glass wearing ... (OMFG I'm getting my pair in the next month given a tiny bit of luck *squeals*) ... Kindred, but rather that unless things changed, they're trying to keep tech lower key, to put the focus elsewhere. They're building this on VtM and that's not a setting adapted to 2010s tech. Hell, VtR isn't. They'll probably do all they can to make sure the game is somewhat tech-retro, for better or worse.

Offline Radical21

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Re: Should WoD have bad unfair economy?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 11:24:19 am »
So I think its safe to say, tech wise, we wont be playing Google-Glass wearing ... (OMFG I'm getting my pair in the next month given a tiny bit of luck *squeals*) ... Kindred, but rather that unless things changed, they're trying to keep tech lower key, to put the focus elsewhere. They're building this on VtM and that's not a setting adapted to 2010s tech. Hell, VtR isn't. They'll probably do all they can to make sure the game is somewhat tech-retro, for better or worse.

I think that by 2015 you'll start seeing AR MMORPGs if not sooner depending on how much Glass actually costs, since its not that hard to hook them up to a smartphone with more computing power.(its probably also safer to have the antenna anywhere on the body that is far from the head or testicles so I wouldn't be too surprised if it ends up that way)
With the Triad (Apple, Google, Microsoft) all developing variants of this technology it probably wouldn't take that long for one of them to try and capitalize on the AR gaming gimmick..
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 11:29:29 am by Radical21 »

 

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