Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Scree

Currency in Crowfall: Why I Don't Want To Be a Goat Trader

Recommended Posts

Currency in Crowfall: Why I Don’t Want To Be a Goat Trader 

 

I’d like to take a brief moment to throw out some consideration towards the design of Crowfall not having any established in-game currency. I’m sure there are plenty of unique rational reasons for wanting to stand apart from other games and not implementing an in-game currency. I’d almost support it if it wasn’t just seemingly a design choice meant to make the games economy stand out from the crowd.

 

There is a very real economic reason for a currency based economy versus a bartering based economy like the one presented in Crowfall. Instead of paraphrasing, I’ll just use a quick example/quote I found as to why currency is so beneficial;

 

Bartering is a direct trade of goods and services - I'll give you a stone axe if you help me kill a mammoth - but such arrangements take time. You have to find someone who thinks an axe is a fair trade for having to face the 12-foot tusks on a beast that doesn't take kindly to being hunted. If that didn't work, you would have to alter the deal until someone agreed to the terms. One of the great achievements of money was increasing the speed at which business, whether mammoth slaying or monument building, could be done.

Source: Investopedia

 


 

Why is this important in a game? It might not be. I can’t think of a modern or historical MMO that didn’t have some sort of currency built into it. Is the decision to leave up the evolution of a currency in Crowfall merely meant to be a test? I hope not. There is a reason we evolved beyond cavemen to adopt “money”.

 

Money derives its value by being a medium of exchange, a unit of measurement and a storehouse for wealth. Money allows people to trade goods and services indirectly, understand the price of goods (prices written in dollar and cents correspond with an amount in your wallet) and gives us a way to save for larger purchases in the future.

Source: Investopedia

 

 

So what are the inherent risks to a bartering system? The largest that I can see is probably the most important from a unique perspective. Take a look at these headlines;

 

 

Those are pretty interesting aren't they? Definitely might grab the attention of someone wondering how something as innocent as a video game could have the potential to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. There’s a reason the press and other players are able to determine this value (fictional example math); 

 

  • An expensive ship is worth… lets say 5 Trillion ISK (in-game EVE Currency). 
  • You can buy In-Game Subscription Time (Called PLEX) for 700 Million ISK.
  • 5 Trillion ISK / 700 Million ISK = ~7142 
  • 7142 * $20 (USD value of PLEX) = The real USD value of internet spaceship $142,857

 

See how that math works? It’s only possible because of the unifying value of the in-game ISK (Interstellar Space Kredits? I think) currency.

 

Try this example and apply Crowfall’s current design to the formula. Substitute a random amount of Goats, Wood, Stone, Iron and Food for ISK. Now let anyone come up with what they believe is the estimated value of those items in exchange for a VIP membership. How do you come to an agreed on value of that VIP? Every person might value a goat differently than someone else? Maybe I live in goat central and they breed like rabbits. They’d be worth less to me. Maybe I live in player country and they eat goats as candy. Might be worth more to that guy right? That’s the inherent problem with a bartering system.

 

Some of you crafters may be applying this to your fantasy world of 24/7 crafting you envision yourself getting into. We already know from a recentish news release that we are going to have vendors in the form of “thralls” helping us sell goods. Explain to me how exactly that’s going to work. Are you going to list your Sword of Never Ending Death for 5 goats and a log? Really?

 

At a certain point all of this bartering novelty will wear off and quickly will become tedious. I don’t want to have to deal with a middle man to exchange my raw resources into something tradable with a merchant. Nor do I want to get ripped off because one merchant values something that isn’t easily convertible into something I actually have to trade. If I have to convert my goats into iron and then again into wood, just because you make bows … when does it start to become a problem for the seller as much as it is for the buyer to facilitate these transactions?

 

Crowfall has a lot of great ideas, but lacking in a central currency is not one of them. Imagine the potential headlines that could be garnered on a server wide-basis when real life dollar values can be assigned to what was generated or destroyed in a campaign. Imagine how much easier commerce could be in the world, when resources and final products could have a quantifiable value assigned to them.

 

Let’s pray the developers (and you players claiming this is a great system) realize how untenable this situation is in the long run for the average casual player and hope it in encourages them to incorporate a currency everyone can deal in.

Edited by scree

Obsidian-ForumSignature.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea this is an interesting point... Though I recall Old School Runescape having a barter system and it worked great. I also believe that players will make a currency, official or not. Say there is an item that stacks and has very little weight... Pebbles or something... Well now pebbles become the currency, and players had a direct hand in that economic evolution. Let's say players decide naturally that a stack of wood is 10 pebbles, well now you can begin to scale that.

 

A stack of wood is traded for 10 pebbles

Two iron bars are traded for 40 Pebbles

The cost of a sword now becomes 60 pebbles (the smithy needs to make a profit, so she marks it up 10 pebbles)

 

It will be interesting to see how it works. If this currency system doesn't arise naturally, it will just have to be a very social economy, where people have to barter and decide what is valuable and a fair trade themselves.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see them implement currencies later if it is clear the economy is failing.


Astaroth.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have stated an option for a crafted currency that is fully lootable and takes up inventory space. Everything is still very theoretical planning stages right now.

 

At some level, it is all a barter system... at this stage though we get to pick what the currency becomes.

 

I am all totes for goats!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neverwinter online has a pretty neat little system ( imho) for turning in game money into RL money... You buy 10 bucks get like 1,000 zen ( i think its called )  then players post it on a virtual stock market where people can place orders and set there own price. or a seller can post there amount they have and the amount they want and people can buy it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bring up some interesting points, and I could see currency being quite useful. Being able to put real-world value on items, helps give perspective for both people inside and outside of Crowfall. As spectre said, even with a currency built by default, the players will have a significant impact on the economy. We'll likely be setting prices. We won't really lose barter, as the currency will be optional, and might even help set standards.

 

Example:

If two players are trading, one player needs Item B, but he only has a few of Item A, he can trade with a player. Item A is worth 50gp, Item B is worth only 10gp. So during their trade, the two players can agree that 5 of Item B, is worth one of Item A.

 

Of course the prices will probably bounce around a lot and value will be somewhat subjective. Even if no real-world value is tied to the currency, it could help set a standard system for players to agree upon, the community can expand upon the system, putting new values and prices on items.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If players ultimately chose "pebbles" as a replacement for "gold coins" what's the actual difference?  I don't get this justification that somehow iron-bars will be an easier system than gold coins would be. 

 

What are you really gaining by removing such an obvious mechanic for encouraging an actual modern economy. EVE has one of the most advanced economies I've ever seen in a game. It clearly works if you do it right.

Edited by scree

Obsidian-ForumSignature.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why gold has to be the currency oF choice? Why can the players not choose their currency of choice, or what would be the staples that are routinely traded or needed.

 

A deep bartering system promotes more community than a single currency ever will as it is created by the player base and evolves over time.

 

If you want to play a game where prices just continue to inflate from the game start to the game end years later based on overall gold... neat, been doing that in almost every game.

 

I'd rather play a game where I can manipulate the market by reducing the value of one commodity by flooding when no one saw it coming. Now your iron is worthless, and that steel is all of a sudden very expensive versus the 20:1 ratio it once had. It sounds so much more exciting and vibrant!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly its the silliest point (inflation) to bring up. Theirs an incredibly easy fix. Gold can't be exported. The natural termination point of each campaign basically has a built in ultimate money sink; the campaigns end and all "gold" is destroyed. 

 

Also, whats to stop the inflation of "pebbles" in the previous example? Over time the supply will grow because "pebbles" don't destroy themselves.

 

Your move.

Edited by scree

Obsidian-ForumSignature.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do we trade in the EK with if all your gold was destroyed before you left the campaign?

 

You combat inflation through making all items usable. Common ones become currency, but still are needed to build walls and armor, to keep us fed and keep us warm. Create value in the basic commodities to generate a need to use, but they are also common enough to be worth trading for rarer materials.

 

Gold is just arbitrary and can't be used for anything but trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I get where you're coming from.  Bartering is a pain, which is why humans invented currencies in the first place.

 

But the concept of a currency in Crowfall just doesn't make sense.  

 

Where does the money come from?

Mobs are for threat and a few resources/runes, not gold.  They aren't meant to be farmed.  Kills on people can't generate new money, that wouldn't make sense.  Points of Interests maybe?  But then are you just turning victory points into a currency?  Feels weird.

 

And even if you figure out where it comes from, where does it get spent?

 

Currencies in other MMOs have value because there are certain fixed costs.  NPC merchants, flights/teleports, gear, etc.  However, all of these things will come from players in Crowfall.  There won't be NPCs charging X for some service.  And there won't be NPCs selling resources/gear either.  With everything player driven, currency would have no purpose.

 

I think, kinda what Spectre is saying is the closest we can get: they can try to implement some kind of abundant resource that's used in virtually everything: crafting, building.  But still, if that currency isn't valuable to combat characters, it's still not going to have a balanced value (and certainly not going to be something they carry around to be lootable).  Not to mention doing this would basically be like forcing you to make an NPC do your crafting for you, and just paying them a fee each time.  It'd be arbitrary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So lets try to make this easier for those of you who rightfully are arguing where this currency would come from. Lets replace the notion of "gold coins" with "soul fragments". Soul fragments drop whenever you kill a player, a monster, or whatever. Some of em might even be imbedded in the resources being farmed around the world. 

 

These soul fragments serve another purpose. They are consumed to stave off the effects of the hunger. It has no other uses, crafting or otherwise.

 

There. Now you have a central currency that fits in with the "lore" (LOL at this point right?), and serves a purpose beyond acting as just a currency.

 

The advantages to this central currency is that Artcraft now has a economic lever with which to control the growth or destruction of said currency (i.e inflation/deflation). To slow down inflation, they could adjust the drop rate on these soul fragments. Without this, Artcraft would be unable to stop any disruption to the economic model they are creating if an overwhelming amount of the soul shards disappeared from the economy (a major trading-baron quit the game with 10 billion fragments 40-50% of the economy on a server or the inverse... he returned and flooded the market).


Obsidian-ForumSignature.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If players ultimately chose "pebbles" as a replacement for "gold coins" what's the actual difference?  I don't get this justification that somehow iron-bars will be an easier system than gold coins would be. 

 

What are you really gaining by removing such an obvious mechanic for encouraging an actual modern economy. EVE has one of the most advanced economies I've ever seen in a game. It clearly works if you do it right.

 

It's not that the item itself is easier to handle but the intrinsic value the item has. A material that EVERY player can use has a value for EVERY player. If this item get's consumed regularly in ingame activities it has a stable value.

 

Now, the actual problem with "ideological currency" like virtual gold is that these currencies usually depend on the availability of services that consume said currency. This is often a issue because these games also feature most often a vertical progression which more and more devalue the currency in comparison. To combat this, devs need to add additional money sinks or somehow deevaluate the currency. If the currency is an actual good regularly used, the consumption rate of these items automatically balance out the value.

 

That's why systems where the currency is backed by an intrinsic value are much more stable. And regarding your example: As soon as the availability of the good would be so plentyful that it's not worth anything, anymore the players will simply settle on the next best thing without a need of the devs to artificially control the market.

 

In the end, this is emergent gameplay. One of the declared target effects of Crowfall.

Edited by Angier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"No official currency" is not synonymous with "no currency". The use of gold as a medium of exchange significantly predates any government minting of coins as official currency. It may be that the devs intend to let the economy evolve organically and allow players to determine what kinds of commodities we want to use as currency.

 

Or maybe not. They've been pretty tightlipped about their currency plans. Who knows what we'll actually see in game.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

Tully

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how do they plan on charging tax on parcels that aren't tax-free? Half a goat per parcel? Bartering blows.

 

"hey bro, wanna do this campaign?"

 

"nah, I gotta make a spreadsheet to keep up with this barter system. I want a +2 life steal on my sword, but first I need a goat scrote from one guy who will give me a cheeseburger for the other guy who will give me an iron bar for the cheeseburger so the blacksmith can put +2 lifesteal on my sword."

 

"care bear"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most likely scenario for real estate taxes if there's no official currency is monthly upkeep in the form of wood, metal and stone.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

Tully

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do we trade in the EK with if all your gold was destroyed before you left the campaign?

 

You combat inflation through making all items usable. Common ones become currency, but still are needed to build walls and armor, to keep us fed and keep us warm. Create value in the basic commodities to generate a need to use, but they are also common enough to be worth trading for rarer materials.

 

Gold is just arbitrary and can't be used for anything but trade.

In our world gold was the monetary standard before fiat currency.

Fiat currency requires trust between nations, so that's out.

Gold is needed for certain recipes in CF, so it could become the defacto currency there, but let's look at what makes gold a good basis for currency on earth:

  • Easily transportable (currently 1214 USD/Troy oz)
  • Stable demand
  • Stable rarity
  • Consistent quality (for 24 karat gold)
  • Prized by many (Jewelry, doesn't corrode, industrial uses)
  • Doesn't degrade over time, and requires no upkeep (like live animals)

Since metal scarcity is likely to vary widely between campaigns, it will be quite some time before metal prices stabilize (if ever). 

So what resource do we know about with all these properties?

 

VIP Tickets

I can already predict a fair going rate for them, even with resource availability (imported to EK's) unknown.

1 VIP ticket per month service and all crafted items needed during the campaign supplied by the employer (think of crafted items and food as a per diem).

How much VIP tickets will trade for vs. a given resource is anyone's guess now, but we already have a defacto currency.

Players can print all they want to pay ACE for with IRL cash, but it will hurt enough to slow us down on that.


I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Path of exile has a barter system. Do you know what happened? It eventually normalized and became just another currency market. There is no difference if the system is a straight currency or barter. Although, I would prefer a straight currency because it is more simple.

You're in good company. JTC predicted that will happen in CF too.


I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I get where you're coming from.  Bartering is a pain, which is why humans invented currencies in the first place.

 

But the concept of a currency in Crowfall just doesn't make sense.  

 

Where does the money come from?

Mobs are for threat and a few resources/runes, not gold.  They aren't meant to be farmed.  Kills on people can't generate new money, that wouldn't make sense.  Points of Interests maybe?  But then are you just turning victory points into a currency?  Feels weird.

 

And even if you figure out where it comes from, where does it get spent?

 

Currencies in other MMOs have value because there are certain fixed costs.  NPC merchants, flights/teleports, gear, etc.  However, all of these things will come from players in Crowfall.  There won't be NPCs charging X for some service.  And there won't be NPCs selling resources/gear either.  With everything player driven, currency would have no purpose.

 

I think, kinda what Spectre is saying is the closest we can get: they can try to implement some kind of abundant resource that's used in virtually everything: crafting, building.  But still, if that currency isn't valuable to combat characters, it's still not going to have a balanced value (and certainly not going to be something they carry around to be lootable).  Not to mention doing this would basically be like forcing you to make an NPC do your crafting for you, and just paying them a fee each time.  It'd be arbitrary.

The only purpose of currency, really, is convenience. It kind of has to arbitrarily be forced into circulation. Once it's established that many people will accept currency for goods, it will be accepted. There is no innate value to currency, really. I mean, sure, gold is a precious metal, but, a village full of people find no intrinsic value in gold. They just want food to eat, and materials with which to build. The only reason they want gold is because people will accept it in exchange for useful goods.

 

Currency is kind of a weird paradoxical thing. "Steve will take money from me for this sword, but only because I will take money from him for something I need, but only because... *infinite loop*"

 

If we can craft our own currency out of something, it might be kinda neat to actually see how the establishment of currency works (IF it works).

Edited by Lephys

This post brought to you by...
Lephys. Because everything's better with a smile facepalm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only purpose of currency, really, is convenience. It kind of has to arbitrarily be forced into circulation. Once it's established that many people will accept currency for goods, it will be accepted. There is no innate value to currency, really. I mean, sure, gold is a precious metal, but, a village full of people find no intrinsic value in gold. They just want food to eat, and materials with which to build. The only reason they want gold is because people will accept it in exchange for useful goods.

 

Currency is kind of a weird paradoxical thing. "Steve will take money from me for this sword, but only because I will take money from him for something I need, but only because... *infinite loop*"

 

If we can craft our own currency out of something, it might be kinda neat to actually see how the establishment of currency works (IF it works).

This is true in the real world, but often in games currency does have a real value. In Guild Wars gold comes from killing things & completing objectives, and disappears by spending gold costs to NPCs for things.

 

In this sense, gold is actually a resource just like crafting materials, in the way that mining correlates to killing mobs, and spending on NPCs correlates to eventual item decay.

 

So thinking of it this way, Scree is right that a currency could just be some resource required in lots of things. But the others are also right that resources also fit this bill and make currency kind of redundant.

 

So the question here really needs to evolve. What do we value more for currency?

 

If its convenience, then Scree is right, and we need some ubiquitous resource.

 

However, the problem with convenient currencies is they become really easy to horde and farm. The last thing I want is to encounter people roaming around farming mobs for money. And I don't want to be gone for a weekend and realize I hadn't spent enough time farming to stay relevant.

 

Idk, I think there isn't as easy an answer as we think. We need to think more closely about what our goal here is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...