Inflation

Hello,

I would like to tackle the concept of inflation in AoC, be it in terms of the currency (i.e. gold) or actual resources. The two will be related anyway.

So:

What we know for now is that there won't be a global auction house, but rather local node markets. Players will need to import/transport the resources they need in a node, which comes with its dangers, time investment etc.

Nevertheless, inflation doesn't need a global market to happen. It's likely going to be more pronounced in smaller trade centers, because I believe it's going to happen quicker due to the amount of limited resources available to that center. Let's talk a bit about the extreme:

- suppose a node can gather only wood. If a good amount of players (guilds?) simply want to control the economy there, they will gather wood until huge amounts of it are available. If the node is located in a more or less accessible location, they will be able to set high prices for that wood, in the local auction house.
- if this happens in most of the nodes that have wood, we got ourselves something close to a monopoly. This means that some people will be much richer than others in a very short amount of time (let's pretend).
- seeing that this works, other players/guilds are going to organize some other nodes in a similar fashion. For example, they will start gathering a lot of stone in order to achieve the same effect (i.e. huge wealth).
- this may happen a lot with common resources and to a lesser degree with rare ones. Since crafting could be leveled starting with common resources, it's going to create both a huge gap for people that are not part of the wealthy people and a monopoly on crafting (since only those excessive gatherers are going to afford those resources).

Basically other players will be forced to farm their own resources for every item that requires a good bit of them, or do something to accumulate a lot of gold in order to be able to buy those resources from the auction house. With the time invested in this forced gathering, they will want to "shortcut" other aspects of the game, like getting better gear. But with increased demand comes increased prices (especially in a MMO).

This leads us to the actual inflation.

One wood resource might end up costing 100 times more than it should. Which means that, in time, the game's currency (e.g. gold) is going to matter less and less, as people are going to sell stuff (resources, gear, pets, whatever) for ever increasing prices.

*** You might ask now "so... what's so wrong about this?!".
Well, I never said the drop rates will be adjusted. This means that any new players are going to have a really hard time getting into the "economic" part of the game. It will also increase the time needed to do anything - simply because you will need either more currency or more time invested in certain activities to get what you want (do you really want the worst crafted item to cost at least 1 million gold in any auction house?). This is an artificial (and slightly hidden) way of actually getting less play from your subscription.

*** Again you might ask "why not simply increase the drop rates for gold, for example?!".
Because it doesn't solve the problem. In several months they'll need to increase it again. And again. And again. It'll lead to a need to "compress" the currency (see WoW: copper, silver, gold, platinum etc). Yet, the inherent issue is never going to be solved.

My goal with this post is to basically raise awareness on this (it happened in all MMOs that have a fixed currency if i'm not mistaken; even Path of Exile has it in some form I think - and it uses a barter system - because people lean towards a more or less "central currency", that everything revolves around).

*** Lastly, what do you think can be done to not have these issues in the long run?
Unfortunately I don't think AoC could work with a limited amount of resources (think Bitcoin), simply because nothing stops players from hoarding those resources, thus making parts of the game inaccessible to others (e.g. crafted items that require the unavailable materials). This means that people are always going to create something out of nothing through gathering and selling stuff.

Also, I'm not an advocate for forced measures (e.g. forcibly removing the monopolized resources or altering their prices by the devs), but rather for ways to prevent these things from happening before the game actually passed a certain level of maturity (a few months).

Thanks.

Comments

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    If one node harvests heaps of wood, that wood resource gets depleted and respawns somewhere else in the world - likely a totally different node.

    This eliminates the scenario you outlined as now not only does a different node have access to wood, but the original node has none left.

    Inflation will happen over time, that is natural. But not in the way outlined.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    Still, talking in the extremes, a guild could end up having something close to a monopoly on certain resources if there are enough people and spread around enough.

    Also, I don't think the fact that the resource moves to another node matters too much. It basically means it will just take more time to do what I outlined (and probably by high level players that aren't afraid of getting attacked when gathering).

    Sure, it might be a good deterrent, but I'm sure there will be enough "chinese farmers" that won't mind doing it :smiley:
  • It is hard to have a monopoly on something when you don't know where that thing will be tomorrow. Even harder when you consider there will likely be multiple sources of each resource.

    Saying that, if one guild does somehow manage to monopolize a resource, good for them. That is fair, smart play.
  • One of the developers has a PhD in economics. They mentioned during a livestream that he is in charge of making the economic systems work. So I will wait and see what they have planned.
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