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Managing Inflation in a Virtual Economy


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#1
Junkshop

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Does FE's economy need work?  I don't know, but I do get curious when I try to calculate the price of making a Tiny Unknown pet.  As for how to tackle inflation, the Extra Credits team have great ideas as always.  I especially like the idea of End Game Trainers that increase stats for super high amounts of currency (6:49).

 

 

FE does have some currency sinks like FT fees, AH fees, and towing fees.  I suppose those are fine for some players, but it's easy to cover those expenses in my experience.

 

I kind of like the idea of allowing players to buy a level cap / max AP increase for a huge amount of chips.  Though, I have no idea how high to make the prices.


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#2
Reaps989

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They lack a developer who could properly manage a level cap increase, let alone AP cap increase, which would ultimately kill the game besides PVE.

 

The entire idea behind how a character is built is to force a choice and differences in builds, not allow you to get "everything".

 

Currently the only "required" lines are actually weapon skills in group vs group, and in 1v1 you "might" also need First Aid unless you can win before they manage to kill you.


Edited by Reaps989, 27 October 2015 - 09:17 AM.

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#3
Junkshop

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I'm actually more interested in FE's economy.  Does it need a large currency sink?

 

As far as that level cap increase, I was thinking the new max would go to 60.  A "Lifenet Technician" could hack your clone collar to increase your level cap by 1 until reaching 60, each time at a substantially higher price.  Large amounts rising maybe from 1y to 3y to 5y to 7y to 10y.


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#4
Reaps989

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I'm actually more interested in FE's economy.  Does it need a large currency sink?

 

As far as that level cap increase, I was thinking the new max would go to 60.  A "Lifenet Technician" could hack your clone collar to increase your level cap by 1 until reaching 60, each time at a substantially higher price.  Large amounts rising maybe from 1y to 3y to 5y to 7y to 10y.

 

Level 60 would increase total AP from 1960 to 2135 before min/maxing stat increase.

  • 175 AP, flat out, that you will earn regardless of what you do to your current build just by leveling to level 60.
  • After decreasing stats to match previous level 55 builds, you have a possible 100 extra AP unless you happen to be going into 5+ stats.

 

Then we go into issues with how skills/mutation will scale to 210 at level 60 along with other issues.

  • Would require new weapons which require 210 weapon skill, thus more development time most likely resulting in another "must have" weapon tier.
  • Would also require new armor, as resistances are based on current level. Which means even higher stats on armor because people always expect an upgrade.
  • Would require at least 1 extra tier into many skills and mutations.

 

Not to mention the issue with FE's currency is actually the fact no dupe has ever been fixed properly nor have they gone through the steps required to remove the inflation currently in the game.

 

Level 60 "can" work, but making it simply a chip sink would not solve anything. Nothing is stopping anyone from simply duping the chips required to gain an advantage.

 

Kinda sad when I can easily make a build with 186 FA (from 156), another added line to a respectable level (144+), and still keep the current build I run while sitting at the next weapon tier of 210.


Edited by Reaps989, 27 October 2015 - 09:31 PM.

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#5
Junkshop

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I posted the question of dealing with in-game inflation in Global1.   :blablabla:  Economics isn't a strong suite for most.  I did not get any good currency sink ideas.  Addressing duping would be a big help.  The video's comment thread had some interesting ideas at least.  -Paying off bounties placed on your character.  -Gambling games that offer items players can trade, but not sell to vendors. -Auctions via vendors (GMs). -Specific items that break upon death. (Like FE's buffs)

 

I also asked in Global1 about the idea of paying chips to increase level cap.  Every single person said it's a bad idea.  -"The staff do not have the people and the budget to increase the level cap and add the new content it requires."  -"It sounds like Pay To Win."  -One player stated he had 82 yellow chips.  Paying a little over 25 yellow chips wouldn't be a burden to him.  He would buy the new cap immediately, obtaining a big advantage over other players.

 

However, I don't agree with some of the assumptions people are making.

 

For the sake of argument, let's assume the total price of reaching level 60 is 20 yellow chips.  20 yellow chips do not appear out of thin air, and there isn't an infinite supply of chips in the economy.  How many level 60 characters can the game's current chip supply allow?  Imagine 20 level 60 characters.  That's 400 yellow chips removed from FE's economy.  Are there 2000 yellow chips available to make 100 characters go to level 60?  Maybe, but I'm not so sure.

 

If the game's economy limits the number of level 60 characters to just a few, then should the developers even make new gear tailored to that level?  I don't think so.  But then, what's the point of obtaining new levels?  What you ask?  The same reason AP weapons are desirable.  Extra AP.  Sure the developers can add new tiers to the mutations and skills, but those are just recycled abilities requiring a relatively small amount of work to add.  No where near the cost of designing new gear.

 

"Players that get level 60 will be overpowered compared to players that can't afford it because they'll have 175 more AP."  -You're assuming everyone will choose to go for level 60 in one shot or not at all.  Wrong.  Players can buy one level at a time with the price increasing each time.  Many players will likely buy levels 56 and 57.  A few more will buy level 58.  I ask, will level 60 players have a significant advantage over level 57 players?  Anymore than level 40 have over level 37?  Anymore than a player with AP weapons over a player without?

 

"What if the total price of obtaining level 60 is low enough that a lot of players can get the maximum?"  -Then everyone else is correct and it would kill the game.  The AP boost alone wouldn't be sufficient motivation.  The developers would need to create a lot of new gear and content to accompany the new level cap, but they don't have enough people or money to afford that.

 

"Do you really believe people will spend chips on extra levels just for the AP boost?"  -Do you see anyone using Neverender's Revenge or Big Bastards anymore?  No.  Not when AP pistols are available.

 

"Players will invest in additional skill lines."  -Yes they will.  Is that so bad?  Seriously.  Is that so bad?

 

"What happens if the chip supply gets too low?"  -Add currency back via vendor prices and repeatable mission rewards.

 

"Is this pay to win?"  -No.  Pay to win requires real world currency to be the only option for advancement.  Players have the option trade real world currency if they want, but in-game options are perfectly viable here.

 

"PVE will become too easy."  -It isn't already?  Learn to heal.  Jeez.

 

Economics and inflation?  -A headache.

 

Predicting player behavior?  -Where's my crystal ball?


Edited by Junkshop, 30 October 2015 - 10:25 PM.

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#6
SenatorFrankenfurter

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I always appreciate well-thought out posts which yours is even though I dont really agree with it.  Bottom line is this: the game is dead, and getting noticeably more dead by the day, they are never gonna increase the lvl cap.  As far as the economy goes I think we're in a period of deflation, because there is so little demand for anything.  What is it that you think is so pricey atm?  DT is cheap, GT suits are cheap, the value of almost all of the desirable marketplace and wardrobe items has been absolutely demolished by the very poorly thought out anniversary event.  I would really love to see how much money they have made on the marketplace on items other than tradeable premiums since this event.  They gave out thousands of red keys, wardrobe unlock alls, instacrafts, flooded the market with these items that lots of people want, and now why would anyone make an actual dollar purchase?  I havent calculated it nor do I plan to, but I'm sure I got a thousand dollars worth of marketplace items by just casually taking part in that event.  I know tons of ppl who took it WAY more seriously than I did.  Talk about shooting your game in the foot...


Edited by SenatorFrankenfurter, 31 October 2015 - 12:48 AM.


#7
Reaps989

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I posted the question of dealing with in-game inflation in Global1.   :blablabla:  Economics isn't a strong suite for most.  I did not get any good currency sink ideas.  Addressing duping would be a big help.  The video's comment thread had some interesting ideas at least.  -Paying off bounties placed on your character.  -Gambling games that offer items players can trade, but not sell to vendors. -Auctions via vendors (GMs). -Specific items that break upon death. (Like FE's buffs)
 
I also asked in Global1 about the idea of paying chips to increase level cap.  Every single person said it's a bad idea.  -"The staff do not have the people and the budget to increase the level cap and add the new content it requires."  -"It sounds like Pay To Win."  -One player stated he had 82 yellow chips.  Paying a little over 25 yellow chips wouldn't be a burden to him.  He would buy the new cap immediately, obtaining a big advantage over other players.
 
However, I don't agree with some of the assumptions people are making.
 
For the sake of argument, let's assume the total price of reaching level 60 is 20 yellow chips.  20 yellow chips do not appear out of thin air, and there isn't an infinite supply of chips in the economy.  How many level 60 characters can the game's current chip supply allow?  Imagine 20 level 60 characters.  That's 400 yellow chips removed from FE's economy.  Are there 2000 yellow chips available to make 100 characters go to level 60?  Maybe, but I'm not so sure.
 
If the game's economy limits the number of level 60 characters to just a few, then should the developers even make new gear tailored to that level?  I don't think so.  But then, what's the point of obtaining new levels?  What you ask?  The same reason AP weapons are desirable.  Extra AP.  Sure the developers can add new tiers to the mutations and skills, but those are just recycled abilities requiring a relatively small amount of work to add.  No where near the cost of designing new gear.
 
"Players that get level 60 will be overpowered compared to players that can't afford it because they'll have 175 more AP."  -You're assuming everyone will choose to go for level 60 in one shot or not at all.  Wrong.  Players can buy one level at a time with the price increasing each time.  Many players will likely buy levels 56 and 57.  A few more will buy level 58.  I ask, will level 60 players have a significant advantage over level 57 players?  Anymore than level 40 have over level 37?  Anymore than a player with AP weapons over a player without?
 
"What if the total price of obtaining level 60 is low enough that a lot of players can get the maximum?"  -Then everyone else is correct and it would kill the game.  The AP boost alone wouldn't be sufficient motivation.  The developers would need to create a lot of new gear and content to accompany the new level cap, but they don't have enough people or money to afford that.
 
"Do you really believe people will spend chips on extra levels just for the AP boost?"  -Do you see anyone using Neverender's Revenge or Big Bastards anymore?  No.  Not when AP pistols are available.
 
"Players will invest in additional skill lines."  -Yes they will.  Is that so bad?  Seriously.  Is that so bad?
 
"What happens if the chip supply gets too low?"  -Add currency back via vendor prices and repeatable mission rewards.
 
"Is this pay to win?"  -No.  Pay to win requires real world currency to be the only option for advancement.  Players have the option trade real world currency if they want, but in-game options are perfectly viable here.
 
"PVE will become too easy."  -It isn't already?  Learn to heal.  Jeez.
 
Economics and inflation?  -A headache.
 
Predicting player behavior?  -Where's my crystal ball?


Once I get to a computer I will address these points, but anyone claiming they need more pay to increase the level cap is quite a yard.

Even the extra ranks of skills and mutations wouldn't take much. Their last Dev did more work in a single month than they did in years.

The only "budget" might be for new weapons and armor designs. But I'll go more into detail later.
Nysek - Mednaught : The only character in FE made of Gammina™

Walls are for horses, I build gosh darning castles of logic to protect us from your constant rain of derp.

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#8
Junkshop

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I always appreciate well-thought out posts which yours is even though I dont really agree with it.  Bottom line is this: the game is dead, and getting noticeably more dead by the day, they are never gonna increase the lvl cap.  As far as the economy goes I think we're in a period of deflation, because there is so little demand for anything.  What is it that you think is so pricey atm?  DT is cheap, GT suits are cheap, the value of almost all of the desirable marketplace and wardrobe items has been absolutely demolished by the very poorly thought out anniversary event.  I would really love to see how much money they have made on the marketplace on items other than tradeable premiums since this event.  They gave out thousands of red keys, wardrobe unlock alls, instacrafts, flooded the market with these items that lots of people want, and now why would anyone make an actual dollar purchase?  I havent calculated it nor do I plan to, but I'm sure I got a thousand dollars worth of marketplace items by just casually taking part in that event.  I know tons of ppl who took it WAY more seriously than I did.  Talk about shooting your game in the foot...

 

Agreed.  They shot themselves in the foot making that event.

 

High end items really do feel cheap at the moment.  I can earn a GT suit in a day or two if I put in the effort.  I'd enjoy seeing more difficult, but attainable goals for players to seek.  Create reasons to be engaged.  Welcome to the suggestions thread.  :)


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#9
Reaps989

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Alright so a few key points....

 

  • Health min/max increases by 35/49 (620/851 at 55) by stats alone
    • Health increases by 3 per level, giving another 15.
      • Total increase : 50/64

 

  • Gammina min/max increases by 25/35
    • Unlike health, does not scale per level.

 

  • Skills and Mutations would increase to a 210 cap
    • 18 Skills would need an extra rank.
    • Every single mutation would require an extra rank, 33 in total.
    • Social would require 282 to reach maximum social discount from all vendors (theoretically) at 55, currently only requires 263.
    • Armor Use, Dodge, Power, and Precision scaling per level would change current power/precision aura/consumeable/stance values.
    • Escape Artist would also suffer from higher precision, requiring more investment. (Isn't a huge deal but still silly it's 2.25*Perception)

 

  • Armor Value -> Level -> Resists
    • Total resistance % value is based on the character's level, meaning a new armor would need to be made to normalize the current resistance spread.

 

  • Lack of content that would require level 60.
    • Honestly, there is content in Alpha if you were solo that level 60 could handle... but beyond that there is very little purpose.

 

  • "Creates a chip sink"
    • There's plenty of ways to resolve this....
      • Stop handing out methods to earn things so easily, especially nerfing NPCs to the point where they are so easy to farm it's depressing.
      • Lower the chips earned by items by simply selling to NPCs, especially ones that are extremely easy to gather.
      • Fix dupe exploits, period.

 

Confused at the point about NE's/Gore Pistols vs AP pistols relating to a level cap increase... especially one that increases total resources and opens builds to the point where you remove even more "choice" in builds.

 

AP Weapons vs Non-AP weapons is an invalid arguement, GORE should be the only weapons looked at for adjustments as they "should" be stronger. The only thing that should change about DT tier 1/2 is making them easier to attain, as that matches actual progression which would be seen in other games. Which would then match how DT tier 1/2 was compared to Volatile or previous weapons.

 

"Repeatable Missions" and "Rewards" should already be a thing in general. FE is one of the only MMOs where missions/quests are almost a complete waste of time besides the vanity or extremely powerful items. Other than that it's grinding faction, which is easier on NPCs. You don't repeat (or do) a mission for it's chips, XP, or piss poor rewards. You do them simply because they are there.

 

There is no proper method to earn chips beyond simply grinding mindlessly and it isn't like NPCs aren't going to accept an item that you've sold them 1000 times in seconds. It's simply a void which spits out chips every time something is thrown into it.

 

Fast Travel could be more expensive, repair kits for vehicles could cost more, and hell making respec injectors a reasonable gosh darning price would solve plenty of problems with lack of ways to sink chips.

Level 60 is "possible", but would not help the game nor is the current Dev team able to properly put it in place.

 

Claiming even 1 level isn't an advantage is quite silly, 35 AP before considering the fact you can reduce other stats/skills/mutations afterwards is extremely large.


Nysek - Mednaught : The only character in FE made of Gammina™

Walls are for horses, I build gosh darning castles of logic to protect us from your constant rain of derp.

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#10
Junkshop

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Interesting stuff. :)

 

I've never seen the stats on Social as it relates to vendor prices.  Can you explain it or link to a page explaining it?


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#11
Reaps989

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Interesting stuff. :)
 
I've never seen the stats on Social as it relates to vendor prices.  Can you explain it or link to a page explaining it?


Sadly never did a formula for social, simply tested cost at 55. Sad part is that it's easier to cap social at a lower level xD
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#12
Junkshop

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I maxed the social of a low level character, but prices were better on a max level character without max social; using the same NPC merchant.  I don't know if the Social stat was edited since this thread was last updated, but Social's Passive Benefits now say:

 

-"Increases your selling profits.  NPCs pay as much as 35% of item's value, depending on Merchant's social."

-"Increases your purchasing discounts.  Get up to 40% discount, depending on Merchant's social."

 

So it seems your total Social is checked against the NPC's Social.  Is there any way to check an NPC's stats?


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#13
Reaps989

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I maxed the social of a low level character, but prices were better on a max level character without max social; using the same NPC merchant.  I don't know if the Social stat was edited since this thread was last updated, but Social's Passive Benefits now say:

 

-"Increases your selling profits.  NPCs pay as much as 35% of item's value, depending on Merchant's social."

-"Increases your purchasing discounts.  Get up to 40% discount, depending on Merchant's social."

 

So it seems your total Social is checked against the NPC's Social.  Is there any way to check an NPC's stats?

 

It is also based on the NPC's level, if you use a 45-46 character with max social, full gear, and such you will hit social cap well before a 55. Quite sure without the requirement of social buff from monkey town.

 

As for the NPC's social level, I simply expect it to be "max" or at least half for that level on a normal toon.


Edited by Reaps989, 07 September 2016 - 09:19 AM.

Nysek - Mednaught : The only character in FE made of Gammina™

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#14
Mutarenebula

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Buying a level would really pixx me off.  Every level increase to 45 to 46 and to the current 55 I have done by crafting, faction missions and PVP(old old PVP). And yes I suck at PVP but  i did it to level up. paying yellow to anyone even an NPC at 7 years into a game would just be too much. Had that been there from the beginning...then it was  there, but now ...no.

 

Fasteners and spice being changed into money chip sinks still irks me to end.


Edited by Mutarenebula, 13 September 2016 - 04:48 PM.

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#15
StubbyClaps

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The AH is super bare-bones nowadays. It's not inflation, but obviously a lack of supply. Rarely will you see premium, and lockbox keys have sky rocketed. The lack of players, and lack of purchases through mp have almost killed the "economy".


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#16
Junkshop

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Simply buying levels would be boring.  I'd rather trade for them with combinations of chips, gore items, dome items, death toll items, and world event drops.  Preferably from a high end faction quest giver in TC's center keep.


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