Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nagging Questions

I do hope to write another post later today, but for the moment I wanted to address a negative response someone - can't remember who - gave me about the complete lack of need for my trading tables in the MMORG world.  They weren't needed, went the response.  They've been created already, and exist right now in online games like EVE.

I am not familiar with MMORGs.  I've never played one.  I don't have any interest in playing one.  But I know that some of my gentle readers have, and I would like to have some questions answered.

1) Do online MMORGs which make use of economic frameworks, like EVE, have the value and price of materials in those frameworks affected by the distance the miners, farmers and acquisitors of raw material wealth are from depots where those goods are sold?

2) Is the value and price of manufactured things participants in the game want to buy affected by the distance they are in the game from the source of the raw materials needed for manufacture?

3) Is it, rather, that all materials and manufactures acquired or paid for in the game have one single static price, regardless of where that material is obtained, or where that material is manufactured?

If (3) is correct, then NO, no existing economic system in an MMORG has anything like the system I've built for D&D, which means I do have something to sell.  If (3) is not correct, please identify the game and provide me with information on how I can play it.  I may need to take my first step into that culture.

Thank you.


T said...

It's a mix of 1 and 2, because it models the labor needed for gathering resources, transporting them, and transporting the finished goods. The goods are bought and sold at auction, and you have to actually be where the goods are to pick them up.

All this labor is literally, actually performed by players, not NPCs or an abstract process. While mining or transporting you have to worry about hazards like piracy and wars, which are also carried out by other players because of the goods are valuable. The most expensive ships can involve months of real world man-hours and can be destroyed or stolen as handily as anything else.

Most of this labor isn't very exciting though, so it appeals to certain personality types.

This is in contrast to WoW, where it involves work to gather resources but then you go into any auction house and can buy and sell from anywhere in the world.

Even if the auction house didn't work this way though, there's lots of teleporting so distance wouldn't matter so much.

Alexis said...

Of that information, most of which was not new to me (I didn't ask for a rundown on EVE, I have the internet, I can search these things), the only relevant statement to my questions was "price determined by auction." So I presume the answer to (1) and (2) is "no" and the answer to (3) is "yes."

Carl said...


In EVE the answers are yes, yes and no. There's no other game that I know of that takes it's economy as seriously as EVE.

You should check that game out. I doubt you'll like it, but you really should see it and experience it.

I played for about a year, but gave up due to the rampant pirate culture. And I mean, "Yar, matey! Strike yer colors and surrender the booty or we'll sink yer ship and send you to Davey Jones' Locker!" pirates. The game is thick with thuggery, but that's part of it's charm.


T said...

"So I presume the answer to (1) and (2) is "no" and the answer to (3) is "yes"."

The market price is directly affected by distance because all transport of raw materials and finished goods is done by players (nothing is done by NPCs, nor does anything appear in shops abstractly), not everything is available everywhere, and distances are quite large.

Sorry if I was not clear before.

Carl said...

Safety level of the systems has a lot to do with price, too. The less safe a system is, the more rare raw materials are available, and that affects price and availability of those materials.

What T said: the economy is all player-driven. It's Darwinistic capitalism at its finest.

Alexis said...

I see.

As such, it is difficult to play it as a solitary past-time. As you said Carl, you quit because the pirates pushed you out.

Carl said...

It's definitely worth checking out. Play for a month and then decide. My own play was heading into advanced territory which necessitated my joining a corporation. It was after we began moving into dangerous space that the problems began.

That was several months into the game. You'll see what you need to see long before that.

Symeon Kokolas said...


I generally agree with Carl's assessment of the EVE economy. I am doing some fairly advanced manufacturing which involves inputs gathered from the four corners of the game, as it were. Prices fluctuate based on how far something has traveled, how many times it has changed hands, how many steps were involved in its manufacture or how rare/difficult it was to find after combat, the current supply and demand, number of competing producers and their distance from my haunts, and expected market trends based on fact, rumor and wild speculation. I have in the past taken part in every single step of the process from start to finish, and I have friends who are still in the pipeline. I prefer to be the finish assembler, as my skills and experience allow me to do so at a handsome profit.

There are items which are so rare or expensive that they are only traded in one place (Jita). Prices in that system tend to set the price between private parties. If the object in question has been found in the depths of lawless territory, it will often be traded for its value at market. If it has to be acquired and carried all the way out to the rim (often taking hours, luck and organizational skills), then the price is typically market value plus a percentage or flat fee based on the object's size and distance carried.

If you decide to try it out, email me and I will try to help you in-game.