Author Topic: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors  (Read 3572 times)

Miradus

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Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:18:19 AM »
This has just bothered me since I started playing.

You get a piece of hide from something. The hide vendor says, "Oh, wow! That's awesome! I'll give you 50 sid for it."

But hey, you're a crafter, so you can do something with that hide. Add some value.

You craft it into a sturdy piece of armor and take it over to the armor vendor who says, "I'll give you 17 sid for it."


Riev

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 09:25:47 AM »
That tanned, supple hide can be ANYTHING! I'll give you 50 coins for it!

That armor is useful in one limited situation, and isn't very good at it. I'll give you 20.


That's how I've always justified it. I remember a time when providing RAW hides to crafters was more lucrative than tanning them so they could make armor, because the VALUE was in working the tanning skill, not in creating the armor itself. Raw gortok hide would go for like 10 coins a piece, but tanned was less sought after.


Though I do agree, in a general sense, that a base ingredient should not be valued at more than the final product. When we custom craft, we have to come up with the 'value' of the craft ourselves, based on the value of the items. No way am I putting in 200 coins worth of items and NOT setting the value to at least 250 (and even then, with the economy, that should PROBABLY be more like 350)
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Miradus

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 09:35:19 AM »

Yeah, that's a World of Warcraft economy where everyone values the raw goods more for their skill-up potential.

It's broken. It's twinky. It's why hunting group PC clans spring up and new merchant PC clans do not.

Riev

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 10:02:47 AM »
Its not "the" reason. I think Merchant PC clans struggle because unless you're an ESTABLISHED clan, your sword is no better than the sword some 5d merchant made. You need custom crafts that are different, unique, and that people perceive are better than THE VORPAL SHARPENED SHARP-SWORD.

Most players don't care about your new design of woodwork. Most barely care that you made a fancy new sword because its not a Salarri sword. People like PC Merchants because of the ability to Custom Craft without needing to BE a Merchant. Cheap resources can be turned into arms and armor that sell like hotcakes to vendors, but PCs OFTEN trend towards the same 4-5 sets of what is available.

I don't think that the NPC economy is to blame for THAT. I think the economical issues surrounding ingredients -> full recipes worth discussing but I don't think its why merchant PC clans don't spring up.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Delirium

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 10:37:13 AM »
Merchant PC clans don't spring up because the GMH have nearly every viable market cornered.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

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Riev

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 10:42:17 AM »
What really irks me is when this happens with food, too. In those rare instances where a raw piece of meat sells for like 100 coins, but you cook it and its worth 40. Seems suspect. Or when a recipe requires 3 items, which even with a Merchant's Haggle costs, lets say, 60 coins. You make the item, and with that master haggle, you MIGHT sell it for 50.

It makes some of the more interesting crafts kind of.. useless. Especially when SOME crafting ingredients are NPC-purchased only.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

nauta

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 10:45:28 AM »
I haven't really paid attention, but here's a question:

1. Is the current system (where the raw good is more expensive than the product constituted exhaustively by it) the intended system?

I'm no economist but if the raw good is constituted exhaustively by the product, then value has been added to it, so the product should be worth more than the raw good alone.  (See Marx, Das Kapital, ch. 2, or Communism for Kids, chs. 5-6.)

However, there may be gameplay reasons for the current system.

In any case, if it is not intentional, then we could just flag cases where the raw good is more expensive than the product made from it.

Just to be clear, a hide that makes seven cloaks should be worth less than those seven cloaks, because each cloak is worth 1/7 of the hide plus labor.

as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

FantasyWriter

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 10:55:09 AM »
I think part of the problem is this:
You are carrying a big honking mek-horn.
Craft horn into needle.
You make a single hair needle from a big honking mek-horn.

Same with many skins, shells, etc.

Where I -don't- see a problem with the current system:
You are carrying a huge heavy tent-sized sheet of mekillot hide.
Being the only thing your noob-butt is capable of, you create a pair of gloves form a huge heavy tent-sized sheet of mekillot hide.
As long as at mater level armorcrafting, you can create five pair of the same gloves, it's all good.

This also comes back around to where someone and I were discussing the bandage code the other day and were talking about the crafting code.  MOST of the time, instead of getting nothing from a crafting attempt, you should get a low-quality generic item instead of the nice one you wanted.

>craft hide into a few pair of knuckle-spiked mekillot-hide gloves.
Having smoked too much tho', you craft a few pair of brown leather gloves from your heavy tent-sized sheet of mekillot hide.
Greb - To scavenge, forage, and if Whira is with you, loot the dead.
Grebber - One who grebs.

Miradus

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 11:30:46 AM »

Eve Online crafting versus Star Wars Galaxies crafting.

SWG had an amazing crafting system where the quality of the materials helped to influence the final product, plus the skill of the crafter. The best crafters would then compete for the highest quality of materials and the consumers would then pay for the highest quality weapons and armor (or other items). Because the spawned materials were sort of randomly weighted, you'd only get the best quality materials occasionally and usually on one of the high tier planets where it was hard to get to. Which made your legendary weapon actually legendary.

Eve Online, materials may be difficult to get (at times) but every item produced is exactly the same as every other item. Nothing you make is better than anyone else's. All you compete on is the price.

I feel like the crafting/economic side needs as big of an overhaul as the guild system.

nessalin

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 01:18:39 PM »
It's definitely a case of three systems (crafting : skinning/foraging : NPC merchants) that don't match up well.  Much of this is rooted in how the value of items are determined (primarily by a staff member setting a raw number on the item, say, 100 coins).  Although that base value is further modified by a long list of other criteria it is still the primary driver of the value.

Over the years/decades, the perceived value, from staff, on what something is worth has shifted around a lot.  It's unrealistic to expect someone setting out to make a cloak to have a comprehensive knowledge of item values across the entire object database.

Ideally we would move to a system where values are determined largely dynamically, with only a small amount of nudging available to staff, where justified.  Material, quality, size, type (weapon, armor, clothing, food, etc...) being used to calculate a cost.  From there the code could factor, based on type, whether this is a raw or finished good, for example.

With regards to crafting having odd associations between the size of the raw good vs finished good, it's sort of the same story.  There was a long period where we were pushing to have all raw goods be useful for something - and have all finished goods be made from something.  Our results may have been imperfect, but they did greatly expand the worth, to player characters, of many items in the game.

This is another instance of where a static system was fine in the past, but a dynamic one would be desirable int he future.  Such as minor failures in crafting not resulting in 'failure' items, but in a success item that is in a poor state of repair.  While you successfully made the gloves you wanted, they're in need of a visit to the tailor/armorer to be repaired.    Or ingredients for making gloves being something loosely defined such as 'anything that is material leather, item type raw, with at least 10 size points left', which then consumes 10 size points when used as a source.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 01:32:01 PM »

Absolutely I like that.

I feel like the current system is the "old way" across most muds which have crafting, and what we're talking about here (including you, Nessalin) is the "new way".

It's a big undertaking, I think and I can see where there would be a lot of work in it. But you'd have something unique in the mud world that nobody else seems to have.

FantasyWriter

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 01:53:29 PM »
It's definitely a case of three systems (crafting : skinning/foraging : NPC merchants) that don't match up well.  Much of this is rooted in how the value of items are determined (primarily by a staff member setting a raw number on the item, say, 100 coins).  Although that base value is further modified by a long list of other criteria it is still the primary driver of the value.

Over the years/decades, the perceived value, from staff, on what something is worth has shifted around a lot.  It's unrealistic to expect someone setting out to make a cloak to have a comprehensive knowledge of item values across the entire object database.

Ideally we would move to a system where values are determined largely dynamically, with only a small amount of nudging available to staff, where justified.  Material, quality, size, type (weapon, armor, clothing, food, etc...) being used to calculate a cost.  From there the code could factor, based on type, whether this is a raw or finished good, for example.

With regards to crafting having odd associations between the size of the raw good vs finished good, it's sort of the same story.  There was a long period where we were pushing to have all raw goods be useful for something - and have all finished goods be made from something.  Our results may have been imperfect, but they did greatly expand the worth, to player characters, of many items in the game.

This is another instance of where a static system was fine in the past, but a dynamic one would be desirable int he future.  Such as minor failures in crafting not resulting in 'failure' items, but in a success item that is in a poor state of repair.  While you successfully made the gloves you wanted, they're in need of a visit to the tailor/armorer to be repaired.    Or ingredients for making gloves being something loosely defined such as 'anything that is material leather, item type raw, with at least 10 size points left', which then consumes 10 size points when used as a source.

*like*
Greb - To scavenge, forage, and if Whira is with you, loot the dead.
Grebber - One who grebs.

ghanima

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 06:18:21 AM »
There's a lot of it that doesn't make sense and is unfair to the player. I'm not trying to suggest it should stay that way but the flip side is that some of the nonsensical aspects of NPC merchants are unfair in favor of the player and if you know what you're doing you can become extremely wealthy. As a result you hear outrageous statements that should never exist in a harsh desert world, like "I'm not looking for work right now, I just want to take it easy for a while" or "I'm going to take some time off and do some traveling".

nessalin

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2017, 01:44:55 PM »
There's a lot of it that doesn't make sense and is unfair to the player. I'm not trying to suggest it should stay that way but the flip side is that some of the nonsensical aspects of NPC merchants are unfair in favor of the player and if you know what you're doing you can become extremely wealthy. As a result you hear outrageous statements that should never exist in a harsh desert world, like "I'm not looking for work right now, I just want to take it easy for a while" or "I'm going to take some time off and do some traveling".

Yes.  Plenty of non-realistic things go on to keep the game playable while others are there to (try and) shape how players run their characters.  A good point to make, thanks.

manipura

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2017, 02:18:05 PM »
As a result you hear outrageous statements that should never exist in a harsh desert world, like "I'm not looking for work right now, I just want to take it easy for a while" or "I'm going to take some time off and do some traveling".


I don't think I've ever heard someone say this sort of thing, unless they were providing a reason why they were going to be away for awhile.


FantasyWriter

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2017, 03:36:53 PM »
There's a lot of it that doesn't make sense and is unfair to the player. I'm not trying to suggest it should stay that way but the flip side is that some of the nonsensical aspects of NPC merchants are unfair in favor of the player and if you know what you're doing you can become extremely wealthy. As a result you hear outrageous statements that should never exist in a harsh desert world, like "I'm not looking for work right now, I just want to take it easy for a while" or "I'm going to take some time off and do some traveling".

The alternative to what you see as the problem would be players being forced into clans they don't want to play in (or any clan when they don't want to deal with the restrictions/drama that comes with clanned PCs). I've stored two characters because leader PCs wouldn't take hints that I didn't want my character in a clan despite it being in his best interest as far as the virtual world is concerned.  This is first and foremost a game and platform for writing for the intent of people enjoying creating stories.  Sometimes the story you want to create is not the status quo.

Greb - To scavenge, forage, and if Whira is with you, loot the dead.
Grebber - One who grebs.

nessalin

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 10:45:46 AM »
While we realize there are a lot of issues with the crafting system, at least we don't let people craft fidget spinners.

Riev

  • Posts: 4728
Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 10:59:48 AM »
While we realize there are a lot of issues with the crafting system, at least we don't let people craft fidget spinners.

sharp chatchka? Or whatever those are? :)
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

chrisdcoulombe

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2017, 11:42:46 AM »
While we realize there are a lot of issues with the crafting system, at least we don't let people craft fidget spinners.

lol

The emaciated child is here fidget spinning.
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650Booger

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »
anything we can do to combat inflation, and make sids actually scarce, would be good IMHO.  grebbers should not have more access to coins than nobles.
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Molten Heart

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2017, 12:15:06 PM »
anything we can do to combat inflation, and make sids actually scarce, would be good IMHO.  grebbers should not have more access to coins than nobles.

I think it's important to not that nobles should have better access to coins than grebbers, allowing non-nobles to have access to coins but having nobles just have more.

650Booger

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2017, 12:23:08 PM »


I think it's important to not that nobles should have better access to coins than grebbers, allowing non-nobles to have access to coins but having nobles just have more.

agreed, this is how it 'should' be, but in my experience, the nobility have only seldom opportunities to generate coin outside of their stipend/allowance, while a resource gatherer can go and make as much coin as they are motivated to work for.
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Molten Heart

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2017, 12:34:16 PM »
It'd be cool if nobles had something of value to offer grebbers, maybe they could co-op them and get in on their cash flow.

Riev

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2017, 01:01:05 PM »
It'd be cool if nobles had something of value to offer grebbers, maybe they could co-op them and get in on their cash flow.

The Northern Partisanship agreement was always a good thing, where hunters could, rather than making endless coin, offer their goods and services to the Nobility. But raw resources were never really something a Noble wanted, and many Merchant-crafters don't particularly seem bent on working for House Tor.

Nobility can always try and co-opt a grebber type, but most Noble's don't have a REASON for their goods, just coin, and its hard to know that the 5000 coins you gave to a noble is even going -to- anything. So on any level, its kind of just as good as junking coins.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Molten Heart

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Re: Broken Economics and NPC Vendors
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2017, 01:19:00 PM »
If I were a noble I'd find myself a crafter, get them to craft stuff, I'd pay the grebbers/hunters and give them some storage space/food, and probably get in trouble from staff for running a minior merchant house.

Edited to add: After thinking about it for a while, counting up the ways to make money, the game offers many ways for grebber types to make money, and very few for nobles.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 01:22:27 PM by Molten Heart »