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Netheril : Age of Magic

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Author Topic: Gold Economy  (Read 1845 times)

DYBIL

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Gold Economy
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:16:04 pm »
These are my personal opinions and do not represent the DM team as a whole.

This topic has been iterated numerous times from what I've gathered. I believe I can reiterate it in a way that hopefully draws us to some manner of consensus regarding how to approach the issues with the gold economy of the server.

Please consider this topic strictly with regards to resource accumulation versus expenditure and not with the perspective of comparing how much gold you have to how much gold another player has. (Example: Crafting has extremely disproportionate accumulation versus expenditure)

I will start with what I believe is the most important thing to mention. Players should not be punished for how they choose to enjoy the game. So long as they are not breaking any rules or if their enjoyment is in griefing other players.

Therefore, there is nothing wrong with someone that is willing to craft all day and accumulate wealth selling what they make. There is nothing wrong with someone that enjoys hopping online and crushing monsters. There is also nothing wrong with someone that hops online, does a couple quests, and RPs the rest of their play session. In an ideal scenario, the server is able to fairly accommodate for all 3 types of players. But we all know an ideal scenario is just an ideal. We can still make it a goal to come as close to possible to creating such a scenario.

I'd like for the community to share their feedback on some topics.

Quest Reward
Your typical quest in NWN has you looting from corpses and chests. Sometimes they contain gold. Sometimes loot. Sometimes both. So it is entirely possible for you to get a bunch of loot from a quest, but no gold. Or for you to get a bunch of gold, but hardly any loot.

How do you feel about the amount of gold you earn from quests in AoM? Are there any notable quests that reward a satisfactory amount of gold? Do all of the quests leave you feeling as poor as when you started them (or perhaps poorer if you had to use a lot of supplies)?

If the community feels strongly that quests, as a whole, do not reward enough gold the solution I would advocate is adding gold piles to under-rewarding quests. These would exclusively drop a random amount of gold and allow players a general, consistent idea of how much a quest is "worth". 

It is entirely reasonable for you to go negative on a quest intended to be high difficulty. Sometimes you just get bad luck on your loot drops. It happens. It should not always happen, but it should not make you flip the table when it does. If there are any quests you feel that require you to consistently invest a far greater amount of resources than what you get out of the quest, please provide thorough feedback regarding the quest. Likewise, for the sake of creating a healthy server economy please report quests that you feel are are far too rewarding compared to the difficulty.

Crafting
This is probably the most difficult topic to sort out.

Make it so that crafted items can't be vendored

I do not think this is a good solution. Crafting is both an investment in gold (purchasing crafting materials) and time (gathering crafting materials). Depending on the loot economy, by the time you got your crafting skills high enough to make decent gear you could have been better off spending that time questing and spent the gold you used on crafting mats on gear better than anything you can craft. This might even currently be the case. I suspect players currently don't craft for the gear so much as they craft for the long-term income potential and/or intrigued by the system and/or maybe just find something zen about crafting. At that point, what's even the point in crafting? Depending on the gold economy, you could have been questing/crushing monsters and just bought the gear you want in a fraction of the time. Crafting would become a time sink with all costs (buying molds, etc.) and little reward (doing the trade-in random events), and that would be a terrible thing to have happen. Again, I do not think this is a healthy solution.

But let's consider how we might make this solution viable rather than throw it out. Increase the gold payout from doing trade-ins? That's all I can think of. Actually, this could be a reasonable solution. But it does take quite a high proficiency level before you can begin crafting most trade-in items. At the same time, trade-ins are a source of additional experience only crafters have available to them (very desirable at high level when quests start to run dry).

Reduce the payout from vendoring items
Quote
Haha, suck it AoM team! Cut the payout in half and I'll just grind mobs twice as hard and craft twice as many daggers!

Well, if any player were to have this sort of mentality then I guess it can't be helped. I personally don't see anything wrong with someone willing to convert their time to gold/loot.

As a personal playstyle preference, I would prefer it if the vendoring payout were cut down tremendously and gold rewards were increased. It just feels way better to me to do a quest with a group and have a nice sum to distribute amongst everyone. To me, it feels far more satisfying to say "Alright lads, everyone gets 800 gold each!" than it is to say "Alright, who wants to sell all this junk?" How do we distribute a bunch of vendor trash? Our quest is essentially not over until we get to town, vendor everything, and then split the gold. Or the one guy gets rich because he's the only one in the group willing to bother dealing with vendor trash while everyone else feels dissatisfied by the gains (or lack of) from the quest.

I think this topic is worth a lot of consideration by the community.

Farming Mobs
I like that AoM has open areas for players to challenge so they have PvE they can do when they've ran out of quests for the reset / don't have anyone to quest with. The problem here occurs when you have an area intended to be challenging to, say, players around level ten. But you have a level 15 crushing the hell out of it and making mad bank. Especially when it's far more efficient on a cost to profit ratio for them to crush the mid level open area content than it is to challenge the high level open areas. Reducing vendor payouts would nerf selling all the vendor trash. Would it affect grinding open areas to the extent that there's no point in doing that content?

I'm not certain if there is any unique loot associated with these areas. If there is, great. Then perhaps a decent source of income is selling that loot to other players. What happens when everyone has the loot desirable for that area? Well, I guess it's time people go grind other areas for that area's loot. Then what happens when that area has been farmed to exhaustion? I'm not really sure.

What if areas had unique, rare spawns with unique, rare loot? That would give players a reason to keep coming back in search of that rare mob. But it would have to spawn completely at random (both time and location) otherwise it would be like world bosses in a MMO where you just camp the spawn timer and location. These are things I imagine would take a lot of work scripting and such in order to implement.

I don't have much regarding this topic. I hope the community can provide additional feedback.

A PW is an ecosystem
Everything is, in some capacity, related. A change in one aspect will typically affect another aspect in some way. Please, please consider how something may affect the server ecosystem as a whole rather than narrowly addressing a single point on a topic. Good feedback needs to consider and address as many facets to a problem as possible. I have done my best to consider topics from as wide of a perspective as possible and convey them to the community.

I look forward to reading your opinions and hopefully this inspires increased constructive feedback regarding the server.

GoblinLoveChild

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Re: Gold Economy
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 01:36:34 am »
After a quick read my only note to add please keep the vision of the server in mind when contemplating responses.

Our vision is to be as inclusive of all play styles as possible, however , having said that we are still a "full roleplay server." and not an MMO or an action server. They aim of all our content to to help facilitate roleplay.  Every addition/removal/modification of content is considered with the aim of pushing players to interact/roleplay with each other.   This is what will define any hard/borderline choices we make as a team.
~The Universe is hostile, so impersonal.
Devour to survive, so it is, so its always been~

Dagonlives

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Re: Gold Economy
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 10:42:30 pm »
I agree with removing or heavily reducing vendor selling entirely, and shifting the balance to quest reward payouts, or doing commissions for NPCs. 

Also, add in a salary system for people in high positions in Netheril.  14th Legion, Clergy, and Arcanists should be getting paid for their jobs.  This injects passive gold into the system to be used for plot.  I've done a ton of casework/judging stuff on my paladin, but haven't earned a single coin for it.  My character does this instead of crafting, since dialogue also takes time. 

The Mayoral system is good in principle, but all i've seen are players sitting on the treasury.  Some alternative system is ideal, or an automatized system linked to the Hadrian treasury that can be adjusted by the mayor. 

Solomon

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Re: Gold Economy
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 06:53:33 am »
I might be wrong, but I believe most of the issues regarding gold on this server are tied to gold bloat. Some people think that they have too much money and nothing to spend it on, or that other people have so much money that they'll never be able to afford a +2 item or a cool bit of DM gear that's being auctioned off, right? That, sadly, is inevitable. But! I think I do have a suggestion that benefits both the players and the DMs.

Donation Boxes

I'm not talking about in character ones, though I'm sure they could be made to be lore-friendly in some form or fashion. But setting up an OOC area that has a series of cash-boxes that are deposit only or have some sort of webhook/counter to let the DM's know what's in them would allow for some interesting options.

Donate for Plot

Donation boxes for server plot could aid in the DMs crafting quests and events that the players actively want to experience, shown by them literally throwing fake money at it. Having the DM's discuss what plots they're interested in writing up, offering them as donation boxes, then letting players toss in their two cents, literally, shows what will be successful and enjoyable. Plus, the ones that still receive some amount of money can be reserved as off-events, minor plots, and side stories.

Donate for Content

Some players may feel that there's not enough jungles (pfft) or caves (teehee) or open fields. Maybe they feel that the server would benefit from a Dwarven city worth exploring or putting some activity in the Runaway's Hole. Maybe people just want to really see some expansion on lore or more quests that involve Otyughs. Following the similar set up of having a round-table discussion with DMs to determine what they'd enjoy creating, pump out boxes and let people tell you what they'd want to explore, read, fight, etc.

Donate for Custom Items

Everyone has an item they want that probably doesn't exist. Maybe they want something that will help their plot along but are stymied by the local arcanists. Maybe they think a set of Full Plate that gives a spell once per day. Maybe someone wants a ring that changes light color based on their mood. Having the rich people of the server donate some money into their own box. At a certain amount of gold, it auto-flags a ticket or notifies the DM team that a player is ready to discuss an item. It may have restrictions such as plot ties, an event that's agreed upon, etc. But it will offer something unique that can only be used by that character.

Donate for XYZ

I'm sure there are more things that people would love to spend money on. Maybe art of their characters. Maybe they want to cement someone who's retired/killed into the server's lore. There's so many possibilities and directions to take these donation boxes.

Aetrion

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Re: Gold Economy
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 04:03:17 pm »
I think the biggest issue with gold in games is simply when there is nothing to save up for. In a regular session of D&D people will eventually have 100,000+ Gold in their name, and the reason they aren't using it to buy a Bag of Holding full of healing potions is because they might want to buy a Manual of Gainful Exercise, or  any other number of extremely expensive items a high level character might want that represent the payoff for dozens of successful adventures.

So, as far as I'm concerned there just need to be things to purchase that make saving gold worthwhile and a lot of the issue resolves itself. This could even apply to when GMs hand out top end loot, in that it doesn't always come in ready to use, but may be found in a damaged state that requires large sums of gold to become usable, or maybe it's rare to find finished items in general, and rare reagents that can be forged into items with a significant gold investment are much more common.

Those kinds of systems would IMO do a lot make people want to save potions and wands rather than treat gold as a mana pool that never tops out.

Leyoz

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Re: Gold Economy
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 10:12:23 am »
A lot of quests a fortune can be made from scrolls etc, but not much from the reward.

Happy with scroll drops as they are useful (sometimes) but would rather (as Dybil suggested) have less vendor price and more quest reward.