Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting the Virtual Economy Off the Gold Standard

A friend sends me this, discussing the always interesting world of virtual economies:
Game designers face many challenges, and one of the largest of these is balance. Classes must be balanced in both PvP and PvE, races must be comparable with each other, trade skills, weapons, and armor all need some form of equity. Yet curiously, one facet that seems to garner a much smaller degree of balance is the economy. That isn't to say that it doesn't get a great deal of attention. Designers struggle to provide and sustain a manageable amount of profit and loss through all aspects of the gaming experience. It is a massive challenge because the economy is, by its very nature, pervasive. Yet the current solutions that game designers use to keep their economies in balance are peculiar and more reminiscent of a band-aid than any real resolution. It almost feels like they are saying, "The economy isn't exploding so don't tinker with it or it might spin out of control." Whatever the reason, the economic basis of the majority MMOs are built on very similar systems.
Hat Tip: Dave Esposito

No comments: