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Part of the 1.9 Server Discussions. Please discuss more general things there before it's spun into a dedicated topic.

Other topics in this series:

The Economy
One of the biggest issues in the 1.7-8 server was the economy. It was abused and it when player shops were enabled prices were drastically inflated. We should implement a currency that is easily obtainable but not easily farmable. I think a great alternative would be to get rid of the concept of an obtainable currency and give players a regular paycheck for being online plus any bonuses for getting levels and materials. Something like each Level is 10 Denarii and picking/mining up ore and blocks yields a respective about of Denarii. Such as picking up cobblestone, dirt and sand could be 1D where as less popular blocks could be more. This could still be open for abuse. Constantly mining dirt, placing dirt, then re-mining it. As well as setting up mob farms to kill them in mass.

The perfect economy would be something that is fair to all players and doesn't help people increase wealth exponentially. I think trade is a great way to player to player interaction. Scarce materials should also be purchasable; getting rid of the concept of currency isn't something I want to do. But I certainly want to explore options to make the economy less prone to inflation and abuse. The thing with gold was that it was farmable and you could use that to buy more materials to farm more gold. If we move to a time based currency. Such as if a player is on for 8-minecraft hours a day for five minecraft days then they'll get XDenarii*40Hours. Much like a regular paycheck.

Things that can a part of the economy:
  • Compensation for paths between towns and spawn.
  • Fees for teleportation.
  • Anything else?
Quote:
Scarce materials should also be purchasable; getting rid of the concept of currency isn't something I want to do.
Current plans are to make them purchaseable from other players, but not from the server, since we don't plan to have server shops. Smile (Thanks to the people who caught that typo)
Quote:
But I certainly want to explore options to make the economy less prone to inflation and abuse. The thing with gold was that it was farmable and you could use that to buy more materials to farm more gold.
Redstone, lapis, emeralds, and gold are all farmable using villagers and/or the Nether. Are diamonds farmable in any way? Can you buy diamonds from any villagers? If not, I think we should consider using diamonds as the basis for the economy, especially since there will be less of a need for diamond armor and weapons without compulsory PvP.
Quote:
If we move to a time based currency. Such as if a player is on for 8-minecraft hours a day for five minecraft days then they'll get XDenarii*40Hours. Much like a regular paycheck.
My experience is that time-based paychecks encourage people to AFK online constantly, wasting server resources. One alternative might be a kit containing the item used for currency (perhaps plus some other interesting items) that can be acquired at most once a day.
I'm skeptical using ore as currency, mostly because if we enable The End, players will want diamond armor. Especially if we do raids with varying degrees of difficulty.

KermMartian wrote:
Quote:
If we move to a time based currency. Such as if a player is on for 8-minecraft hours a day for five minecraft days then they'll get XDenarii*40Hours. Much like a regular paycheck.
My experience is that time-based paychecks encourage people to AFK online constantly, wasting server resources. One alternative might be a kit containing the item used for currency (perhaps plus some other interesting items) that can be acquired at most once a day.


Our current idle-kick timer has been mildly successful. We can shorten down to 5 minutes perhaps.
comicIDIOT wrote:
I'm skeptical using ore as currency, mostly because if we enable The End, players will want diamond armor. Especially if we do raids with varying degrees of difficulty.
Ah, then speaking of ore, how about gold ore, iron ore, lapis ore, or redstone ore? All of those occur at known frequency and would encourage map exploration and mining, while being unfarmable. I'd probably feel that lapis ore was the best option, since the others have lots of uses that people would want (whereas lapis is largely useful only for enchanting).
I think it would be cool to use some sort of growable item as currency like pumpkins, wheat, or potatoes. It would bring a whole new perspective to "farming" and it would be very unique to add.
KermMartian wrote:
Ah, then speaking of ore, how about gold ore, iron ore, lapis ore, or redstone ore? All of those occur at known frequency and would encourage map exploration and mining, while being unfarmable. I'd probably feel that lapis ore was the best option, since the others have lots of uses that people would want (whereas lapis is largely useful only for enchanting).

But then people need silk touch for the ore itself or they can get lapis from villagers. However, with fortune III you get a lot of lapis from 1 ore and with villagers only 1-2 from 1 emerald. This is still better than now because it's not afk farmable.

Diamonds however are non-farmable and can only be obtained by mining. A problem with diamonds is that it has a lot of uses and especially new players won't sell their diamonds because they want tools/armour. This leads to a situation where only end game people can buy stuff because they have shops and diamonds, same for lapis ORE.
Still, iron ore can be smelted for weapons and armor. Like Monkey said, starting users won't want to sacrifice armor and weapons for Denarii until they are further in the game. Lapis & Redstone ore will require a silk touch pick.

As far as actual farms (Watermelon, pumpkins, etc) for currency, that'll just lead to giant farms that aren't any different from gold farming. Ideally, something like Kerm mentioned. Put a item that can be redeemed for currency in a kit. If I read that carefully, it sounds like the kit command could be called once every 24 hours. That way everyone gets a base pay plus whatever they take the initiative to mine. Advantages are rightfully earned rather than a privilege based on the size/speed/efficiency of a farm.
I know this wont be a huge contribution to this topic, but personally I've never been a fan of economies within minecraft. Sure they do have their place, but for me it seems a little silly on a small(er) server, even medium ones when player shops can be made, and people can trade for what they need with each other for other supplies. No need for money, probably sounds a bit stubborn, but I don't see the point of adding money to minecraft. Theres plenty of things to trade back and forth to get things if you really want the "economy" part of it. I know we just do player run shops where they charge what they want for things they are offering.
I'm not very knowledgeable with Minecraft servers / plugins, but is it possible to boot players who are sitting AFK for more than a set amount of time? Say 1 hr?

Or if we went with a "farming" type route, could we set a daily limit, like what Kerm / Comic have suggested with the kit option?
JamesV wrote:
I'm not very knowledgeable with Minecraft servers / plugins, but is it possible to boot players who are sitting AFK for more than a set amount of time? Say 1 hr?

Or if we went with a "farming" type route, could we set a daily limit, like what Kerm / Comic have suggested with the kit option?

Thats what Comic was talking about a while back. After a certain amount of time they get kicked. It is already in action on the current server.
rcfreak0 brings up a great suggestion. Allowing the players to barter and trade for goods is a wonderful and natural process. It'll be easy for new members to get accustomed to while allowing those who "farm" to only be as successful by the number of people who barter from them.

The problem with allowing money to be earned, i.e. a gold farm is that it devalues overtime. With bartering, the options are endless. Want a stack of diamond? Maybe the person who has it wants a small bridge built, or a a couple stacks of fences for his road. The only value is what the players assert on the items/services being bartered.

Unicorn wrote:
JamesV wrote:


Yup. It's currently set to 10 minutes. The thing is, there's nothing stopping a player from getting on and AFK'ing again. So 1 hour is an absurdly generous length of time. Thankfully, 10 minutes seems to be the medium between being just annoying enough not to AFK for long and long enough to accomplish most IRL tasks.
comicIDIOT wrote:
rcfreak0 brings up a great suggestion. Allowing the players to barter and trade for goods is a wonderful and natural process. It'll be easy for new members to get accustomed to while allowing those who "farm" to only be as successful by the number of people who barter from them.

The problem with allowing money to be earned, i.e. a gold farm is that it devalues overtime. With bartering, the options are endless. Want a stack of diamond? Maybe the person who has it wants a small bridge built, or a a couple stacks of fences for his road. The only value is what the players assert on the items/services being bartered.

Unicorn wrote:
JamesV wrote:


Yup. It's currently set to 10 minutes. The thing is, there's nothing stopping a player from getting on and AFK'ing again. So 1 hour is an absurdly generous length of time. Thankfully, 10 minutes seems to be the medium between being just annoying enough not to AFK for long and long enough to accomplish most IRL tasks.


I'm glad someone else is on board with the just bartering idea. As for the AFK timer, man my server would have so many kicks if it was only a 10min kick timer... Personally I feel like thats too short for some farms, but to each their own. It *does* prevent people from killing the server I guess.
I also like this bartering idea. I would've prefered it as a newbie Razz

About getting money for being on the server, could it only take in to acount when the player is moving, or not considered afk?
The timer is there to prevent the server from getting to overloaded. We had a huge issue with the TPS a while back and with our few posts on MC Server forums to bring more members onto the server, we decided to limit idling as well since the server runs on the same dedicated that hosts Cemetech. In short, we're being aggressive on how our resources are being used on the server as a whole and we want to ensure the website has access to whatever it needs so we can handle sudden spikes in traffic.

Determening the amount of time a player has spent moving vs afk is likely more detailed than any plugin will care to go. I'm not implying such a plugin won't exist but we need to be careful that we don't start suggesting plugins that don't exist. We lack users who can create them; whether it's lack of experience/knowledge or time. If you find a plugin that fits your suggestion (or any suggestion), you are welcome to post it to the Plugins suggestion topic (linked in OP) with a link to the post it's related to! Or just post random plugins, that's fine to. But including a link to the respective post will help tie the plugin to the idea.
rcfreak0 wrote:
No need for money, probably sounds a bit stubborn, but I don't see the point of adding money to minecraft.
While I feel that trading should probably be the bulk of player-player interaction, I think it's reasonable if users also have a general idea of what each item is worth in terms of some common factor, ie, a currency. My first PvP server, Evocatus, had a popular auction plugin where players sold items to other players for currency, then used that currency to buy items (from other players), making it essentially an easier version of trading where you don't need to make sure you have the specific item the seller is seeking.
There's already a lot of trade that happens on the server and I certainly don't want to toss out currency because I would like to see Server Shops reappear at some point. After a currency and value is attributed to items a server shop can open so dwindling materials can be purchased.

I'll admit I wasn't a huge presence on and around the server at the start but I think setting values so low was a mistake. A diamond being sold for 200d and an ingot of gold for 50d. With gold being produced en masse, prices should have fluctuated accordingly. If I had more time to do it, I would have regulated the economy. By hopefully entering the shop market late, the server shops will have little influence on the economy. I feel like having a direct block-to-denarii conversion was wrong, especially with an easily farmable block.

I'll look into adding a trading plugin that monitors what users trade for what and be able to offer dwindling resources at a price that won't affect current affairs. Secondly, that brings us back to what do we use for currency? You want to buy a stack of wood for 50d but where does the money come from? Does it come from sign shops where you can only sell? Does it come from a daily kit? Does it depend on how active a user was?

The TL;DR: I agree with rcfreak that we should encourage bartering but eventually resources will dwindle and I want to allow players to purchase such supplies from a server shop so a currency is ideal. Unless farming/mining world?
I would like to sum up what I have stated in the past about the economy of the map, in addition to emphasizing a couple newer points.

I firstly believe that allowing gold ingots from the start to be the main currency, was a big mistake. I think there is good agreement on the idea that we want people to be *active* on this server, and not sitting around in the back of a cave all day long. Based on that value, and that value alone, we can probably reach some agreement that farmable currency, which involves some AFK-ing, is not the best way to go. Some argue that they don't want to be spending time on the server trying to "work", and how they can on to relax and build stuff only and not have to worry about paying effectively. And I understand this, but then that really honestly defeats the purpose of even implementing some economy, or even really playing survival minecraft. No matter what you do in survival minecraft, you will have to work for the resources you wish to build with. If some farmable currency system is able to make that idea irrelevant by making everything buyable be pocket change to you since you have enough money to last 4 years on the server, then why are we not a creative server? --But this isn't what we want. While we want to still build awesome things, I don't think making it ludicrously easy was really the intent. Back in our pre-1.7 map, we had no official currency system, and it was just survival, so you had to work for what you wanted. And what you worked a bit for what you wanted, created this sense of value to everything you were doing. I feel anything that resembles the easiness of creative mode for gameplay style of the map, destroys this value. If anything, I believe that massive gold farms have in the long term made everything far easier for people than if it had just been flat out vanilla. Plus, in flat out vanilla, if there was no "official" market price for gold ingots (such as the current 50d price), people would probably realize and figure out for themselves gold ingots are practically worthless because of millions of zombie pigmen spewing out of the portal farms people make. I wouldn't want to be trading a few gold ingots for some of my diamonds, and as a totally wild guess, I'd believe that people would say similar. "Oh yeah, you want to trade gold ingots for that? Well, gold ingots are just regular pigmen drops everyone gets". Yet there were tons of complaints about currency devaluation on this map, even though that is what would have happened without admin-intervention and no set official market price. So let's get it right from the very beginning so that there isn't much to argue with midway through the map's lifetime.

I really like the idea of making gold ore the official currency, if there is really a need for an official currency. Gold ore is as common as gold ingots but without the farmable pigmen side of it. People argue that it will deplete with time, and I'm sure it will, but we should simply just make the map so that it accomodates the needs, rather than arguing over the rate at which it depletes and how hard it will be to find more. To be honest, I'd be very impressed if everyone honestly effectively cleaned out most cave systems, and branch mined out most of the volume enclosed by a multiple-thousand, by multiple thousand, with a depth of ~25 block space. I still find untouched cave systems with not too much trouble even these days after 18 months of the map life. Just the other day, I was able to go to a random set of coordinates, spot a cave, mine it out, strip mine to another cave when necessary, mine it out, and repeat for about 2 and a half hours. I earned myself 90 diamond ores, and 222 gold ores in that span of time. And it's honestly still pretty modest the time it takes to find a good cave, and still get similar amount of resource. I think though, if we really wanted to worry about this, admins should be able to look at the amount of the world mined out, and determine if it would be a problem, which still could ultimately alleviated with an increasing world size with time. Plus as a side point, this advocates the continuous drive to want to explore the ends of the map, which I feel is gone when the world isn't something new and fresh.

Aside this though, I'm going to be honest that I really don't feel an official economy is necessary. I don't think I need a number to really tell me the worth of something, as I feel anyone with regular common sense will have a feel themselves for what they have is worth. I don't think anyone will be trading a diamond for a piece of string-- that's absurd. And at the same time, despite how unlikely that is to happen and how absurd it is, I don't think there should be anything slowing such a thing down from happening. I feel that word-of mouth is a very good way to go, and allowing the overall market price of something to be dictated by what the people say it is, honestly can't go wrong. Also, I feel that this encourages people to advertise their market more (as opposed to having dynmap tell you where all shops are), and also encourages others to watch the market more and go exploring to find out what people are both doing and buying/selling-- there is more interaction with one another. Given the server is in a state where we graylist, I don't think there will be much issue with people not being honest as far as not having official protected chests with signshop. We will only have to deal with people that we personally let onto the server ourselves. I could see issues arising if we loosen up the graylist standard to a point where we get people who break that trust. (Do we want to have a server where it's more assumed not to trust, or more to trust based on who we have online? --quality vs. quantity)

As far as a system where you get paid by doing such and such things, and it starts to look more and more like a job, I feel the server's economy starts to have a "busy" feel to it and something that feels more complicated than really needs to be. This is why I lean toward letting the natural trading between players drag the market in a direction it will likely be fine the way it is.
charlessprinkle wrote:
I firstly believe that allowing gold ingots from the start to be the main currency, was a big mistake.

... if there is really a need for an official currency

Aside this though, I'm going to be honest that I really don't feel an official economy is necessary. ... I feel that word-of mouth is a very good way to go, and allowing the overall market price of something to be dictated by what the people say it is, honestly can't go wrong.


If we're going to go back to the wildly successful 1.6-style server, there is absolutely no reason to have the server manage money. There's a lot of whining about currency, either extraction being exploited or being too much of a nuisance to obtain. In a purely non-PvP-by-default environment, Towny doesn't serve any purpose besides providing immediate protection from item theft. Towny and SignShop are the only two useful things on the server that outright require an economy plugin; SignShop is not necessary if antitheft rules are in place and both parties understand what is being used as currency. Currency itself is not needed; items are worth what the player thinks it is worth. This would return the economy to the bartering system used in 1.6. But for this system to be reasonable, the other dimensions would need to be available; Overworld materials just aren't always enough for a build (eg. quartz).

For the use of SignShop and/or Towny, a more accessible material could be used, such as iron ore, for a comparably reduced price. Alternatively, different materials can be sellable for different prices, increasing the opportunity and flexibility of the economy. A lot of our users have embraced SignShop for selling goods regardless of the seller's online status and simplicity of trading goods, and we shouldn't be quick to let it go. Personally, I do not feel the economy is a substitute for the Nether/End; furthermore, we should not rely on those dimensions for currency. Whatever we use, it should be easy to access but not mass-farmable.

Depending on where the 1.9 Bukkit/Spigot development will leave existing plugin support, both of these systems should be evaluated.
Has anyone suggested having an official economy, but only to buy things such as netherrack that can't be obtained without the Nether, and getting rid of things such as the ability to buy diamonds from spawn? You could still buy diamonds from other players.

Also, I think lapis lazuli would make an excellent choice of currency.
Hitechcomputergeek wrote:
only to buy things such as netherrack that can't be obtained without the Nether


If you read the rest of the topics, namely the transportation topic, you'll find that the the ability to go to the Nether has been suggested and is being discussed as a means of transportation and subsequently exploration, mining, etc.

I appreciate everyones feedback, posts, and opinions so far! Good Idea
  
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