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Thread: Most Important Aspects to an MMO Economy?

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    Phenoca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMO-Merchant View Post
    What do all of you think are some of the most economy-defining characteristics of MMO's?

    -Presence of Auction House and/or trade system
    -Market Freedom (free or restricted trade)
    -Playerbase
    -Single or multiple currencies
    -Strength/presence of black market
    -Player-owned shops
    -Diversity in items
    -Inflation tendencies
    -MMO age
    -Wealth stratification
    1) Presence of Auction House and/or trade system
    2) Playerbase
    3) Strength/presence of black market

    This is basically what I consider, since black market determines prices, playerbase demand determines black market supply, and auction house makes the economy player-driven. If there is no auction house then I ignore the game's economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aktillum View Post
    The guy who started the cash shop system in MMOs made a pretty good essay on balancing an economy with a dual-currency system where everyone wins.
    http://lsvp.com/2008/02/06/using-dua...virtual-goods/
    Achaea invented cash shop??!

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mihaly
    If you’ve created a context that people care about, some of them will pay you. In other words, if you have lots of users it’s because they care about what you’ve created. If they care, at least some proportion will buy virtual goods from you. I’m not going to spend any more time on this, as it’s pretty self-explanatory.
    Why can't big franchises think like this? So many games are successful because they VALUE THE PLAYERBASE. Not everything has to be a cash-shop driven facebook app.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mihaly
    At the same time as we were getting complaints from non-paying users about being unable to progress (since this required credits that they could not get), some of our credit-buying users were asking us to sell them gold (the in-game currency one gets from completing quests, killing monsters, etc). We steadfastly refused as we didn’t want to mandate an exchange rate and didn’t like the idea of the endless ‘faucet’ of gold that would flow into the game (potentially causing major inflation problems), though this was a little painful. In the short-term, clearly we’d have made money by selling gold to players ourselves. In the long-term, I think it would have severely damaged the game.

    Then it occurred to me, in early ‘99: Everyone can get what he wants here. Simply turn credits into a currency and allow players to trade one currency (credits) for another (gold). Everybody wins!
    Faith in humanity restored.

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    Playerbase was the first thing that came to mind for me. So many economic issues can be fixed with a stable supply and demand ratio. To that effect, I believe every game should be 1 single server so that every single person who plays the game would have to work with the same economy as everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phenoca View Post
    1)

    Achaea invented cash shop??!

    Wikipedia:

    The first virtual goods to be sold were items for use in MUDs, early, text-only online games. This practice continued with the advent of MMORPGs. Players would sell virtual goods, such as swords, coins, potions, and avatars, to each other in the informal sector. While this practice is forbidden in most blockbuster online games, such as World of Warcraft,[7] many online games now derive revenue from the sale of virtual goods.[8]

    When Iron Realms Entertainment began auctioning items to players of its MUD, Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands, in 1998, it became the first company to profit from the sale of virtual goods.[9]

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