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Co-operative societies. Do you think it would be possible to implement this successfully in an MMO?
The capitalistic systems that are currently available put the individual first. We can clearly see that communities in games are suffering. Being anonymous and self-sufficient allows freedom to players to be... poor citizens. They can be intolerable to each other.
Using bare-bones Dark Age of Camelot as an example: Three realms at war.
New characters are provided "new-player tokens". New player tokens serve as NPC government currency provided to players so they would have access to the bare minimum equipment while playing the game. If you wanted to be a smith, but you didn't have a smith's hammer, you could use one of your limited tokens towards acquiring a "new player smith hammer". With this hammer you could start your path towards becoming a smith, but the hammer had no resale value an it could not be converted to raw materials. "New-player tokens" would only be useful to acquire starting gear and their acquisition is limited.
Players would play and partake in activities that benefited their realm. By doing so players would "contribute" to their realm and it would be calculated into their realm participation. After realm expenditures, remaining money would then be distributed in the form of "realm currency" based on percentage to those that benefited the realm. The more you do to serve your realm the more you are rewarded. Simply donating goods to the cause could add to your contribution. Rewards would be balanced to prevent a small majority acquiring the majority of benefits.
Realm currency would be the market value item used to replace a pure barter system. Realm currency would have uses outside of trade which would establish market value of realm currency as well as the items within the economy. A barter economy would transfer over to a realm currency economy. You could trade for realm currency by providing desirable goods on a non-auction hall market(players can host own auctions if they desire, but it would be located at a central location, not server wide) or by receiving it as a dividend for your contribution to the realm.
Realm currency would not be typically found while hunting NPCs. The primary source of realm currency is via dividends for service to your realm. Realm currency would be protected and issued by their government, not just default "gold pieces". There is potential to allow guild leaders to place bounties/rewards upon completing specific tasks. If you exhibit your valor in combat, you may be rewarded by the guild controlling the keep for your service in protecting their lands. It would help build co-operative relationships in a game where community strength is critical for game success.
Late night post, apologies for the extravagence/lack there of.