A discussion on unborking the in-game economy

The in-game economy seems to be broken to me; do other players share this sentiment?

If you do agree, please respond with your thoughts on:
  1. What game mechanism contributes to this?
  2. What suggestions do you have for how to change the mechanism?
Please refrain from making comments/suggestions that attack actions of players that are beyond the control of the developers (e.g. purchasing gold with RLM, price gouging, etc.). The goal is to brainstorm fixes that can be implemented to the game itself to improve the health of the economy.

While suggestions may have a negative effect on your preferred playstyle,
please limit the scope of your feedback to the effect itself without attacking a commenter.
  1. Is the in-game economy broken?24 votes
    1. Yes, it is broken.
      75.00%
    2. No, it is fine as it is.
      25.00%
  2. Should steps be taken in an effort to fix the in-game economy?24 votes
    1. Yes, steps should be taken.
      66.67%
    2. No changes should be attempted.
      33.33%
«13456

Comments

  • HelperHelper Posts: 22
    To get the ball rolling;

    Broken mechanism: vendor sell-cap of 175 million gold.

    Suggested fix: vendor sell-cap of 1 platinum, as several items are now unsellable on vendors at current market prices.
  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 2,076
    Delete everything but our characters no more shard transfer 
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 1,333
    Prices vary dramatically on some shards for certain items.  Just noticed this last week when I checked vendor search on Atlantic.  Had not thought this to be the case previously. This gives players that can travel a huge advantage when buying inventory.  Allowing all players to travel could mitigate this.  Creating two classes of players one that can travel to other shards and one that cannot was a huge mistake in my opinion and discriminates against the new players the game needs to survive

  • JenniferMarieJenniferMarie Posts: 286
    edited February 2023
    … my [[highly unpopular]] opinion is that allowing shard transfers in the first place is what screwed the UO economy as a whole …

    for people who wanted to go to a more populated shard? they should have implemented a system where you can transfer all characters on an account (all slots, bank boxes, and stables) only once every 366 days … 

    allowing players to transfer between all shards in less than a month’s time is what has screwed everything up … very few games allow people to switch servers … most games require you to start from scratch if you begin on a new server …

    that said … changing anything about it now would be disastrous for what is left of UO currently, so nothing can really be changed from a development standpoint. 
    ~ Jennifer-Marie

    "Insanity is a naturally occurring mutation; humanity has just managed to perfect it." -- JMK [[me]]
  • YoshiYoshi Posts: 3,322
    edited February 2023
    “What exactly do you think is broken about the economy? And what do you mean by broken?
    economy is a very broad word,
    The OP is very vague”

    Posts on this account have been pre filtered from personal comment or opinion in an effort to suppress conservative views in order to protect the reader.
  • PawainPawain Posts: 9,174
    Arnold7 said:
    Prices vary dramatically on some shards for certain items.  Just noticed this last week when I checked vendor search on Atlantic.  Had not thought this to be the case previously. This gives players that can travel a huge advantage when buying inventory.  Allowing all players to travel could mitigate this.  Creating two classes of players one that can travel to other shards and one that cannot was a huge mistake in my opinion and discriminates against the new players the game needs to survive

    Exactly.  It was contended by a few vocal posters that players go to other shards and take items back to Atlantic and sell them for more. So they made shard bound which basically guaranteed the most spare items will be on Atlantic and only a few on other shards, supply and demand.

    In reality, players go buy things on Atlantic and bring them back to their home shard and sell for a profit. Which we can not do with shard bound items.

    Right now a 30 charge Horned runic is 3M on LS.  90s are 7 to 8M on Atlantic. So you pay more on your home shard because there is not enough supply.

    This has been going on for years, I have made lots of gold to buy deco by buying pet scrolls on Atlantic and putting them on my Vendor at home.
    Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,904
    edited February 2023
    Shard transfers may not save the economy but saved players who like to return and not limited to one or the few over populated or laggy shard.

    I don't think Shard transfer screw up the economy, but as some player said it correctly, its because it is only available to one group with 14 year account. 

    Economy lesson will tell us increasing the supply will force prices to fall. Scarcity drives up the price. Open up cross shard trading for everyone and level the playing field.

    I don't think stopping shard transfer can "save" economy as it reduces supply, but it will definitely increase the exodus of non-Atlantic population in the years to come.

    So I vote not to stop shard transfer but make vendor buy a feature across all shards for every player regardless of age.

    Did some of you ask for shard consolidation? 
    No way, I want my castle in its prime location.
    Buy yes, pls open up trading cross shard instead so every has access to same Supply as if we are on the "same" shard.

    Or make a trading shard where all travel to that market place to buy and sell stuff with no limit of account age.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • My perspective is that the economy aspect of this game is one big thing that sets it apart. The players build the economy on the non-atlantic shards by paying attention to what people are doing. It's tough on small shards but you get what you put in. We just had a bunch of new people join legends after a guy started a new guild advertising. He was trying to get a few players set up with gear for training. I could have given him everything he needed like many of us could and would but I told him to go buy up pieces in vs and then I'll fill in the gaps. Economies require buyers and sellers. Other new players are trying to make gold so push people to them instead of gifting everything. We all know that people in this game are generous and supportive of new players but healthy economies don't sprout on their own. I don't have to buy those 500 valorite ingots or those gate scrolls or other little things I will obtain just through playing but I do because sellers need buyers. You grow a shard's economy that way. Inflation is real but if you can keep new players by buying whatever they're selling they'll level up to end game and the higher end markets will get more competitive to lower prices.

    I built my first two characters on Atlantic, moved to Legends and never looked back. Small shards can survive and grow to the point where the economy problems many vent about aren't that big a deal. But you have to grow them deliberately. The players do that in this game. 
  • TyrathTyrath Posts: 542
    Grimbeard said:
    Delete everything but our characters no more shard transfer 

    On this we agree. And I use my shard shields a lot but would not complain if they were decorative only or only spit out 1 token per year.
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,904
    One of the reason for inflation is because some rich players would buy "up" the stocks, especially for items in high demand and low in supply.   
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • Transfers definitely screwed up the economy, but not by simply existing. they really should just change it to nekkid characters with nothing else. 
    A Goblin, a Gargoyle, and a Drow walk into a bar . . .

    Never be afraid to challenge the status quo

  • HelperHelper Posts: 22
    Yoshi said:
    “What exactly do you think is broken about the economy? And what do you mean by broken?
    economy is a very broad word,
    The OP is very vague”

    Things I have noticed in my game play are:

    Inflation is rampant.
    There is inequal access to the market.
    Transaction types are unequally incentivized.
    Transaction records are obfuscated.
  • YoshiYoshi Posts: 3,322
    edited February 2023
    "with regards to inflation,

    I think commission vendors are to blame for that, but this was predicted on their introduction, so it's what people asked for, so players asked for inflation, i would halve the price of everything on my vendors every month if i had to pay vendor rental"
    Posts on this account have been pre filtered from personal comment or opinion in an effort to suppress conservative views in order to protect the reader.
  • keven2002keven2002 Posts: 2,218
    Yoshi said:
    "with regards to inflation,

    I think commission vendors are to blame for that, but this was predicted on their introduction, so it's what people asked for, so players asked for inflation, i would halve the price of everything on my vendors every month if i had to pay vendor rental"
    So did auction safes. Now people just leave 1plat items repeating auction until someone eventually buys them whereas before people would spam and reduce the price the longer it took (ie more time wasted on spamming rather than playing)
  • SmootSmoot Posts: 393
    i feel like people who think its broken just arent great at making gold, and refuse to buy UO store items to sell for gold.

    id say overall UO economy is better than ever, easier to make gold.  easier to spend gold.  healthy inflation (sign of strong economic growth, strong consumer base)

    you can gear a character for comparatively much cheaper than 15 years ago, with a ton more options.

    Yes, prices went up for certain things like powerscrolls, vet rewards, etc, but that isnt a bad thing.  thats a sign of a healthy economy.  if no one want them, stopped buying, we wouldnt have inflation, which is a sign of a poor / struggling economy.

    commission vendors and auction safes made it easier to have higher prices, which is a good thing in my book for the average player.  much easier to make gold than before them.

    idoc items being deleted also caused higher prices, but also in my mind a good thing.  avoids a saturated market, any 1 year old account can sell a reward for 175m now.  vet rewards should be valuable.

    store items contribute to inflation, but also allow those who dont want to spend time in game to essentially buy gold (sell UO store item for gold)

    powerscrolls and the pet revamp raised scroll prices, meaning people want those scrolls, making doing spawns worthwhile again.

    Looks pretty good all around.   no, its never going to be fully in game because of UO store / rmt / game time codes.  but if you take all those into consideration seems healthier than ever to me.
  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 2,076
    Smoot said:
    i feel like people who think its broken just arent great at making gold, and refuse to buy UO store items to sell for gold.

    id say overall UO economy is better than ever, easier to make gold.  easier to spend gold.  healthy inflation (sign of strong economic growth, strong consumer base)

    you can gear a character for comparatively much cheaper than 15 years ago, with a ton more options.

    Yes, prices went up for certain things like powerscrolls, vet rewards, etc, but that isnt a bad thing.  thats a sign of a healthy economy.  if no one want them, stopped buying, we wouldnt have inflation, which is a sign of a poor / struggling economy.

    commission vendors and auction safes made it easier to have higher prices, which is a good thing in my book for the average player.  much easier to make gold than before them.

    idoc items being deleted also caused higher prices, but also in my mind a good thing.  avoids a saturated market, any 1 year old account can sell a reward for 175m now.  vet rewards should be valuable.

    store items contribute to inflation, but also allow those who dont want to spend time in game to essentially buy gold (sell UO store item for gold)

    powerscrolls and the pet revamp raised scroll prices, meaning people want those scrolls, making doing spawns worthwhile again.

    Looks pretty good all around.   no, its never going to be fully in game because of UO store / rmt / game time codes.  but if you take all those into consideration seems healthier than ever to me.
    All this is true for Atlantic not so much other shards ..
  • There are things that can be done to curb some of the inflation - things that at their inception may not be popular, but over time would prove more beneficial to the game as a whole. (If implemented properly.)

    My personal opinion is that many of the viable options to adjust the way the UO economy works are scrapped or disregarded entirely because the people in charge exist in a state of fear - fear that players will quit, fear of the push back from RMT site owners, fear of having to do some extra work for awhile ... take your pick.
    ~ Jennifer-Marie

    "Insanity is a naturally occurring mutation; humanity has just managed to perfect it." -- JMK [[me]]
  • PawainPawain Posts: 9,174
    We have no idea how much of the Gold in UO was the result of duping.  Maybe if there was never duping, the economy would be a lot better.

    So, we are down to the usual, fix something because cheaters are doing X and the fix always hurts legit players more.
    Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 2,076
    Pawain said:
    We have no idea how much of the Gold in UO was the result of duping.  Maybe if there was never duping, the economy would be a lot better.

    So, we are down to the usual, fix something because cheaters are doing X and the fix always hurts legit players more.
    Even if it's the usual we're at a burn it down and rebuild or just watch it burn time in uo history 
  • MerusMerus Posts: 656
    Prices of items in UO are a function of supply and demand… but that is still relative to the amount of gold in the market.  All other factors being equal, I believe there needs to be more means of removing gold from the system, not just moving it around.
  • Seth said:
    One of the reason for inflation is because some rich players would buy "up" the stocks, especially for items in high demand and low in supply.   
    This doesn't cause inflation. This is just literally how markets work.

    Smoot said:
    store items contribute to inflation, but also allow those who dont want to spend time in game to essentially buy gold (sell UO store item for gold)
    This doesn't cause inflation. It just moves gold around.
  • YoshiYoshi Posts: 3,322
    “why people complain about inflation when they asked for it with commission vendors? 
    it was already explained if you have them the prices of things will increase, 
    and you all wanted them anyway, now complain about inflation???

    And people sometimes wonder why devs don’t listen to what players ask for..”
    Posts on this account have been pre filtered from personal comment or opinion in an effort to suppress conservative views in order to protect the reader.
  • TheoTheo Posts: 179
    edited February 2023
    My thoughts here...

    I don’t think xsharding is an issue. Yes things move around. If you have it too low priced and ATL is more someone will buy and xshard it. - raise your price.  

    If it’s expensive on your shard - go acquire it. If you don’t like 3m horned kits then collect and complete bods. More people do that and the price comes down. 

    I think commission vendors are fine. It allows me to sell thing like armor and jewels that don’t sell often but it makes my shard have more supply as they can sit for days and weeks until someone finds an item they need. My prices are cheap (100k and below). But without commission vendors none would be for sale as a month of fees would wipe out any sale. 

    I think the biggest economic impact and problem is lack of gold sinks.  Gold keeps accumulating faster than it is removed.  

    Removal methods : vendor fees, insurance, purchase NPC items, community collection gold buys. That’s it. 

    Here are some more sink ideas :

    * Sell artifacts.  Crimson cintures. Tangles. Etc. price appropriate.  By buying from EA store the gold is deleted.  People acquiring these can always undercut on price but many will sell removing gold. 

    * idoc plot becomes auctioned off. Gold is deleted.  Castle falls - castle plot shows up and it’s a 48 hour auction.  Highest bidder pays gold - gold deleted.  That’s plats deleted on Atlantic.  It would push house prices down. Sure a reseller can buy it but at the highest price anyone else is willing to pay.  No profit left.   Solves the script placing as well. 

    * Purchase power ups - increases luck for 1 hour for 100k. Better loot drops 100k for 1 hour. 2x leather 100k for 1 hour. You name it.  No fail crafting at 120 tailor or smith 100k per hour.  

    Sure there are others but these would make a nice dent in the gold and bring down the insane amounts floating around.  20 plat for a castle on ATL is crazy.  

    If you delete out the gold the street value of 1p would rise as well.  Less available for buy and sell. 
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,904
    edited February 2023
    Seth said:
    One of the reason for inflation is because some rich players would buy "up" the stocks, especially for items in high demand and low in supply.   
    This doesn't cause inflation. This is just literally how markets work.

    Quote Investopia:
    A surge in demand for products and services can cause inflation as consumers are willing to pay more for the product. Some companies reap the rewards of inflation if they can charge more for their products as a result of the high demand for their goods.

    Whatever you call it if you don't like the term inflation, buying up all the high-demand, low-supply items to monopolise the market and push up the prices; at the end of the day, has the same effect as Inflation because consumers pay more. 
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • Some of my thoughts about the game's issues in regard to the economics...


    1. Websites that sell gold. I think that this should have been nipped in the bud long ago. When someone can pay with a credit card to get a plat of gold they really aren't as concerned as the average player about the over priced item. Greed sets in very quickly and prices continue to rise.

    2. Scroll prices. This has steadily increased over time to the point where the average player can't afford many of the scrolls needed to maximize their characters and pets. The vendor prices are out of sight for most players. Do spawns to get scrolls? As you know, often these days if an average player tried to do a spawn they get raided and the highly outfitted and trained raiders get the scrolls.

    3. Resources. See #1. Scripting is  now allowed and are on many shards, even Siege. I see very few people gathering resources themselves. The mindset is to buy some plats and shop Atlantic to get your resources. I remember the days when a guild would get together once a week, month, etc and everyone would mine to get ore for their smiths. Mining/resource gathering parties were fun and it built stronger relationships within the guild but people don't want to 'waste' their time doing what they judge as 'work'.

    4. It really comes down to the players. You can create your own micro economy with your group. It works well once you weed out the users. They create and control their own economy.

    People complain but they don't do something about what they're complaining about. If you want to let the scripters and the gold sellers control the economy keep buying from them. As long as the sellers have gold that players are willing to buy, as long as vendors have over priced stuff that is being bought the economy will continue to inflate. It's really up to the players to  make change happen.

    I know the above is simplified and difficult but 2 + 2 always = 3. (old Baja joke)


  • Honestly, the bottom line about the UO economy is greed. Greed in game, greed in RL.

    And it doesn't matter how many times this topic is rehashed amongst ourselves in game, here on the Forums, or on any other site/app ... even if someone has a decent, logical, realistic solution the Dev Team won't listen or implement it.

    So it's all just a bunch of people getting themselves and others worked up over nothing - wasting time and energy that could be spent enjoy those aspects of UO that keep us all playing.
    ~ Jennifer-Marie

    "Insanity is a naturally occurring mutation; humanity has just managed to perfect it." -- JMK [[me]]
  • poppspopps Posts: 3,971
    edited February 2023
    Some of my thoughts about the game's issues in regard to the economics...


    1. Websites that sell gold. I think that this should have been nipped in the bud long ago. When someone can pay with a credit card to get a plat of gold they really aren't as concerned as the average player about the over priced item. Greed sets in very quickly and prices continue to rise.

    2. Scroll prices. This has steadily increased over time to the point where the average player can't afford many of the scrolls needed to maximize their characters and pets. The vendor prices are out of sight for most players. Do spawns to get scrolls? As you know, often these days if an average player tried to do a spawn they get raided and the highly outfitted and trained raiders get the scrolls.

    3. Resources. See #1. Scripting is  now allowed and are on many shards, even Siege. I see very few people gathering resources themselves. The mindset is to buy some plats and shop Atlantic to get your resources. I remember the days when a guild would get together once a week, month, etc and everyone would mine to get ore for their smiths. Mining/resource gathering parties were fun and it built stronger relationships within the guild but people don't want to 'waste' their time doing what they judge as 'work'.

    4. It really comes down to the players. You can create your own micro economy with your group. It works well once you weed out the users. They create and control their own economy.

    People complain but they don't do something about what they're complaining about. If you want to let the scripters and the gold sellers control the economy keep buying from them. As long as the sellers have gold that players are willing to buy, as long as vendors have over priced stuff that is being bought the economy will continue to inflate. It's really up to the players to  make change happen.

    I know the above is simplified and difficult but 2 + 2 always = 3. (old Baja joke)


    The Developers can very well tone down the impact to Inflation and to new and returning players of Powerscroll prices, by adding 115 Powerscrolls to Treasure Maps.

    While it is unreasonable to gather and dig a sufficient number of Treasure Chests to put together the same skill 110s needed to bind into a 120 PS (120 x 110s which it means well a lot more then 120 Treasure Chests to have to dig up and, thus, of Treasure Maps to find....), if Treasure Maps had 115s inside, then it would still require time, both to gather the number of Treasure Maps and to dig them up but, at least, it would be more reasonable and it would help reduce the high prices that some Powerscrolls have.
  • poppspopps Posts: 3,971
    Honestly, the bottom line about the UO economy is greed. Greed in game, greed in RL.

    And it doesn't matter how many times this topic is rehashed amongst ourselves in game, here on the Forums, or on any other site/app ... even if someone has a decent, logical, realistic solution the Dev Team won't listen or implement it.

    So it's all just a bunch of people getting themselves and others worked up over nothing - wasting time and energy that could be spent enjoy those aspects of UO that keep us all playing.
    Personally, I blame money trades.

    Until players will be able to make real money from selling in-game stuff, of course that there might be players interested in power gaming to get items and gold to then sell for real money....

    The solution, to my opinion, to solve this, could be making items more readily available in the game.

    If players could get items just by playing the game, without having to spend a ridicolous amount of their time in the process, why would they want then to waste their hard earned real money when they can just get those items playing the game ?

    It is when items have a hard chance to be gotten in the game, and require a whole lot of their time to get them, that some players might start thinking using real money to get those items (and thus save up their real life time....), rather then have to spend ridicolous amoung of time in the game in order to get them.....

    At least, that is how I see it.
  • TimTim Posts: 796
    Basic economics 
    The more there is of an item the less value it has.
    Example the more money a government prints the less value each dollar has (or yen, pound so on).

    In game that means every time a player kills a rat more "gold" is produced with the direct effect of each existing "gold coin" being worth just a little bit less. Increasing the supply of the things people wish to buy with an ever expanding supply of "gold" helps but will never stop inflation.

    I seem to remember a story about a economics student using UO as a basis for his/her doctorate thesis on run away inflation.

    As I see it there is no quick or easy solution that does not fundamentally change the game. Gold sinks would work but they would have to closely balance the total gold introduced to the game with out destroying the in game economy.

    If you can come up with a simple solution there are a couple hundred world leaders who would like to have a chat with you. >:)

    P.S. God yes to 115 PS in treasure chest!!!!!!
  • TheoTheo Posts: 179
    edited February 2023
    The UO economy is amazingly simole
    compared to world economies. There is nothing but a monetary base money supply and it completely managed by the game. Imagine you could go out and get $$ off a tree. That’s killing monsters for gold.  Gold out is things that are bought that removes gold - namely vendor fees, npc vendors, and insurance.  Even money on houses can be got back when your drop it.  

    The amount of gold created each day far outstrips the gold sinks above. If you wanted you could actually monitor this. Sum all
    gold in banks and on vendors each day.  That’s the net increase from day to day.   With an expanding player base that increase is spread out muting the effect. With Uo where population is constant it’s just an amplified inflation trigger. 

    Create and increase gold sinks to remove it as fast as it’s created and prices will
    stabilize.  It’s literally that simple. I posted gold sink ideas above.  Some are big ones.  IDOC auctions even for just a period of time would work wonders.  
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