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Would finite resource ever work in an MMO?

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  • MustaphaMondMustaphaMond Somewhere, AZPosts: 339Member

    Originally posted by lifesbrink

    Mustapha, just ignore the guy.  Trolls are always trolling.

    But.... but.... he looked so hungry... awwwww  image

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

    Not quite.

    SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

    The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • ObraikObraik ChristchurchPosts: 7,261Member

    Originally posted by GTwander

    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

    Not quite.

    SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

    The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

    Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

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  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Obraik

    Originally posted by GTwander


    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

    Not quite.

    SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

    The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

    Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

    I really would not call SWG's resources 'finite'.  While the better quality resources might be rare and their stockpiles would run over time, the basic resource would always be around.  So you could always get Polysteel Copper, just not always the version you desired.  So if you were making average quality items, the supply of resources would rarely dry up.

  • ShadowVlicanShadowVlican Toronto, ONPosts: 158Member

    if a game had finite resource, you'd need a way to deal with players that have stopped playing

    finite works in the real world because no one stops "playing"

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    Originally posted by Torik

    Originally posted by Obraik


    Originally posted by GTwander


    Originally posted by Fadedbomb

    Worked for SWG. I don't see why it wouldn't work again.

    Not quite.

    SWG had 'resource pockets' that were somewhat limited, in that the harvesters would cycle less per tick over time. I never heard a story of one running dry, and seeing as how they changed locations every other day, effectively reseeding them with different stats, and with different quantities - there was never a chance of them ever truly running out.

    The resource gameplay was based around finding the best of the best at any given time, and 90% of available resources were usually not worth the time in harvesting... beyond craft grinding.

    Resources were finite in that each factory schematic/template/recipie you made was specific to the named resource you used.  If you used a Polysteel Copper called Idoikiam to make a factory schematic, once you weren't able to find that specific named resource you'd never be able to make that item in that way again.  Although there was always the chance a new Polysteel Copper would spawn with simillar stats, this was never a guarantee as some resources types spawned high stats very rarely.  As it was, there were a few resource types on various servers that only ever really had two decent spawns that were needed to cap the items they were used in over the 8.5 years SWG was around.

    I really would not call SWG's resources 'finite'.  While the better quality resources might be rare and their stockpiles would run over time, the basic resource would always be around.  So you could always get Polysteel Copper, just not always the version you desired.  So if you were making average quality items, the supply of resources would rarely dry up.

    The range was enough that you could degrade the item being made by using that basic resource. If you are going to make top notch stuff you need the best you can get, and the rotation on what you needed could literally take the better part of a year. The magic number was 1000 and you usually needed two traits of that material (the mats had stats) that were Both up there. It was easy enough to find a material with 998 Overall Quality, but not 998 OQ + 998 Conductivity, etc.  The supplies of those mats were rare enough to be considered functionally finite.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    I think this SWG tangent kind of strays from the topic, because resource quality has nothing to do with a truly limited supply, and would be counterproductive to the system itself. A range of effectiveness, while it could be seen as a 'rarity' metric, ends up seeding the vast majority of goods as low-tier, and likely useless overall. I would never attribute resource quality, decay, and other pointless systems with this kind of approach to economics... nor would have I level progression determine available gear too. It completely changes the kind of game at hand - and if it doesn't - something is clearly wrong.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • ZBergzZBergz Clifton Park, NYPosts: 20Member

    Yes it can easily work.  The game itself has to be modeled around a world with finite resources in addition to implementing relevant mechanics for reintroducing resources into the environment.

     

    Here are a few mechanics off the top of my head that would help make this concept work.

     



    1. Environmental resources must be a function of character or account population.  More players means more materials in the game world essentially.


    2. Players can have materials taken from them or their stashes.  This does not prevent hoarding but you better be able to defend that pile of iron if you want to keep it.


    3. Have raw materials be consumed and removed from the game in some manner allowing for the environment to create a new node.  Ideally the creation spot would be a place that is less traveled and/or dangerous.


    4. Allow item degradation and/or complete destruction requiring consuming resources to repair or create an entire new item.


    5. Offline players should be considered when repopulating environmental resources.  The amount of material a single player can hold on their character should be limited forcing them to leave the remainder of resources stashed inside the world.


    6. Players with inactive accounts should be given a set time period (30? 60? 90 days?) to resub before all raw materials on their characters are removed and redistributed into the game world.  Gear would stay as there is only so much you can hold and you would not want to alienate your customers from returning.


     


    This list took me under ten minutes.  It really is not that difficult to come up with proper mechanics to support such an idea.

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member

    No.  Mostly because everything else in the game would have to be finite, right down to the NPC's which would also mean the rewards from those NPC's would have to be removed from other resources (stolen in many cases).  Once all the resources are depeated (used) they would need to be recycled, assuming a perfect recycling process is available.

  • ZyllosZyllos Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 537Member Uncommon

    Maybe instead of completely finite, make stuff have a rarity. Based on population values (all online/offline accounts with at least a single character on the server), raw materials replenish as a function of rarity and population.

    Rare material may only respawn 100 points of resources while common material respawns at 1,000,000 points. So once a resource is gone, everyone has to wait for it to replenish before seeing more.

    Have common, reoccuring areas were a light amount of a material replenishes each time the replenishing happens but the rich deposits will be random and scattered around the world.

    Allievates all the issues with characters hoarding it all or inactive accounts. Makes resources scare when they are in demand, especially rare materials.

    MMOs Played: I can no longer list them all in the 500 character limit.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,686Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by GTwander

    In the end, it's a game where there are clear winners - the moguls of the server. From there, people will end up working for them for their scraps, and while that may not be an ideal form of incentive to play, it really adds to the social nature of things. It's a perfect candidate for a game with a community sharing a socialist kind of nature, where enclaves pool wealth, or a representative holds it all, and others hold his pocket lining as need be.

    I imagine that'd be more of an eye-opening situation of just how few (if any) of those for-the-greater-good social communes actually spring up in an anonymous gameplay environment.

    However you're right that inactive players are the real deterrant to strict-finite-resources not working (in the long term.)  You can certainly solve that problem, but at that point you no longer have a finite resources system.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    Originally posted by Axehilt

    I imagine that'd be more of an eye-opening situation of just how few (if any) of those for-the-greater-good social communes actually spring up in an anonymous gameplay environment.

     

    Good point, but without the efforts of multiple people to hoard the wealth, it's unlikely that any single entity will have a negligible claim on the total wealth. Ever.

     

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • BartDaCatBartDaCat Renton, WAPosts: 819Member Uncommon

    I'd prefer to see resources placed in strategic areas that make them more challenging to obtain depending on their overall worth within the context of the game.

    An example might be something like Ultima's scarce reagents, some which could only be found in certain terrains, and then only at certain times of the day or night.

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    Originally posted by GTwander

    I think this SWG tangent kind of strays from the topic, because resource quality has nothing to do with a truly limited supply, and would be counterproductive to the system itself. A range of effectiveness, while it could be seen as a 'rarity' metric, ends up seeding the vast majority of goods as low-tier, and likely useless overall. I would never attribute resource quality, decay, and other pointless systems with this kind of approach to economics... nor would have I level progression determine available gear too. It completely changes the kind of game at hand - and if it doesn't - something is clearly wrong.

    Thus the simplification of crafting to one tier of production, which has the effect of making nothing exceptional. In order to have winners there needs to be the possibility of losers.

    This is also why there will be no finite resources, because there can be no risk for people to feel inferior about if they can't produce the best stuff.

    It's all just too simple in my opinion, and thus boring.

    Your idea strips this down and just plays with supply and demand, and you don't want any other factors involved? ok ...

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 OsloPosts: 180Member

    According to wikipedia, iron is perhaps the most plentiful element on earth. The idea of a possible iron shortage in a game would seem silly imo.

    WOW (10 days and quit) | EVE (1000 days and quit) | WOT(playing on and off) | LOTR (5 days and quit)

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member

    Originally posted by Gamer54321

    According to wikipedia, iron is perhaps the most plentiful element on earth. The idea of a possible iron shortage in a game would seem silly imo.

    Just as much as making an in-game to RL link on a gaming forum talking about hypothetical game mechanics?

  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 OsloPosts: 180Member

    How about a "limited-finite" idea?

    Every month, in theory, everyone can try to dig up all the special ore of something, else the stuff will remain in the ground for the future.

    It seem silly to abruptly stop new findings of ore, but perhaps a diminishing yield (hour to hour basis) would offer a more plausible way to keep this kind of game mechanic going.

    So a new predetermined spawn of ore will come about every month, but also, the monthly total would be checked hourly against what has been mined out, to try slow down the actual ore yield (actual mined content) early in the month. Else everyone would perhaps notice that it makes good sense to start mining at a particular day every month, or at any moment in time.

    WOW (10 days and quit) | EVE (1000 days and quit) | WOT(playing on and off) | LOTR (5 days and quit)

  • pb1285npb1285n Brentwood, NYPosts: 505Member
    I agree with someone who said if a resource was finite it would have to be more than just an icon in a bag. It would have to be a physical object that was in the world whether a person was logged on or not.

    I think it could work, and definitely lead to interesting storylines if the developers kept up with it (I.e. animals get displaced because of deforestation and settle too close to a town and start attacking people in the area. You can try and find a way to nice them away or kill them). You would also have to have ways to stop people from just using up the land until there is nothing left.

    We all talk about a player driven economy and making an impact to the game world. This is one way I think could be explored.
  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Absolutely. As long as you use appropriate amounts of resource in a given area and you allow expansion to other places. TTS has finite resources in a sense. You must expand to survive. Also each area has a hard limit of res although finding different res spawns over time still happens.

    Finite resources are awesome.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,636Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Jxb1a

    Yeah, would finite resource ever work in an MMO?  

    For example if MMOGame #1 had iron ore. And, it was predetermined that there would be about 1 billion in-game metric tons. Would the fact alone that there is a finite amount of iron cause people to be more careful with how they mine? Would they just hoard the iron? Would iron be more carefully priced because of the limited supply? If there is a correlation between iron and in-game currency, how would it be reflected? Would there be guilds soley created just to become a mining operation? How would the price of other commodities change if Iron was a basic resource from everything to weapons and armor, to buildings and steel.

    I'm just curious about the subject. No flaming or anything just food for thought plz.

    What would be your plan for when someone mines/buys all the iron ore and just keeps it out of the system? That's one of the biggest problems with finite resources - the ability for a player or clan to effectively remove one or more resources from circulation completely.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • lifesbrinklifesbrink Sayre, PAPosts: 553Member

    Loko, you need to learn to read through a thread before commenting.

    If you do happen to look, you will see the solutions offered.

    My blog is a continuing story of what MMO's should be like.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,940Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by GTwander

    I used the idea for a thread based on a game concept of mine in the dev corner. Essentially, it's a zero-sum economy, which is absolutely plausible via game theory (nash equilibrium). Some people may hoarde the majority of goods, for sure, but if there is any incentive to build/craft with things they do not possess - then they *will* trade for it at a value assessed by the general consensus price. The issue is new Players jumping in once the excising of materials is long over with, in which case, they will have to whore themselves out to get an initial investment that can roll over to more (if they are savvy traders).

    Another thing to keep in mind is the ability to salvage goods back to their exact material specifications. Then you can attribute loss via death, or some other factor, to being a way to spread wealth once it's all been set in place.

    In the end, it's a game where there are clear winners - the moguls of the server. From there, people will end up working for them for their scraps, and while that may not be an ideal form of incentive to play, it really adds to the social nature of things. It's a perfect candidate for a game with a community sharing a socialist kind of nature, where enclaves pool wealth, or a representative holds it all, and others hold his pocket lining as need be.

    ~The *biggest* problem, though, is what happens to resources left in the hands of a character that's gone long inactive. Even more so as many players log out for the last time (ever) with their chunk of the pie intact. I never figured out a safe way to deal with that... without outright taking it from an inactive account and reseeding it, or allowing some kind of siege to claim them (offline or not). It's a hard issue to tackle.

    Well, I think you firstly needs to make it harder and harder to find iron as it dries out. When most of it is gone you should be forced to clear out old mines of monsters before being able to farm a little.

    Then you add a certain amount every month to replace what leaving players have to compensate. You could actually make a program that counts exactly how much iron a player who have quit and not resub within a month have on them and refund it, and since the less you have the harder the last will be to get you could subtract what returning players have (it doesn´t matter if the result is minus, sooner or later will some quit so it went up to positive again).

    What would´'t work would be just having regular mining nodes alá EQ and WoW, then some people would hog all iron within a few weeks. Getting the iron needs to be hard work already from the start and harder as it depletes.

    Until you get iron you need to make weapons out of materials that either are replacable like wood or plentiful like Obsidian and flint.

    I also think you need a crafting system where you start at the stoneage and craft until you learn how to use iron, preferably one where you either experiement  to learn to use new materials (with minigames or similar) or you learn it either by crafting hard to get resources or by doing quests/achhivements. A WoW/EQ styled crafting where you make zillions of useless stuff to learn how to make the good ones wouldn't really work here.

    Yeah, you can do it if you do it right. :)

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,940Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Gamer54321

    According to wikipedia, iron is perhaps the most plentiful element on earth. The idea of a possible iron shortage in a game would seem silly imo.

    The keyword is on earth. In a fantasy world it could be rare as it actually is on some planets.

    Heck, in Dragonlance you have steel coins, gold is close to worthless there.

    Besides, you could have other better metals as rare instead of iron, mithril, orihalicon, admantium or whatever.

    Another thing is that iron rarely is pure, if no-one invented a blast furnace you suddenly would have very little iron to use.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,636Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by lifesbrink

    Loko, you need to learn to read through a thread before commenting.

    If you do happen to look, you will see the solutions offered.

    I saw your post. One of the paramount rules is to never take away from the player something that he feels he has worked to gain or earned. Your 'solution' would quickly reinforce that there is a cap to one's efforts and they would either see that mechanic as a contrived system working against the free market or just game the softcap you create. Don't be so quick to tell others what they need to learn.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,686Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Gamer54321

    According to wikipedia, iron is perhaps the most plentiful element on earth. The idea of a possible iron shortage in a game would seem silly imo.

    Well let's not make the mistake in thinking that mimicking reality is always the path to the funnest game, because it often isn't.

    ...just...well...it is in this case.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

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