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The Guillotine Merchant


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I read Mallos' mood panel entry and thought 'is it really?' I agree in a small part, but I wonder if it can actually be broken. Do we even want to have a 'real' economy (real, as in similar to rl economy)? I'd say not, and lending money with interest is just one of the things I'd rather not have. 

One of the things I want to see, though, is a merchant role. In the absence of this class, you only have peasants and militia. Which is fine, it's quite idyllic. But to be able to say ''our economy is broken'', you need to have at least some mercs.

Making money is risky; merchants must pay for their easy life. They don't gather/produce anything, they don't train and defend putting their life on the line, they just move stuff around, charging extra. Which is why they pay protection money, they get robbed at highways, they get robbed during the night etc

 

So, here's the idea: a guillotine. The guillotine is a huge market exchange when you code it, but on the outside is just a regular guillotine. Anyone can sell and buy from the guillotine. You can sell your resources and get silver or gold; items like gold bars or gems would yield more gold, for example. You can also buy resources, but only the ones left there before, and in fixed amounts (e.g. someone has sold 500 timber before you, so you can buy 100 timber). And here's the catch: apart from calculating your due cash, it also calculates your chance to survive the trade. Hey, you're trading, you have to face a risk. 

When buying, the risk is lower (but it also depends on what you're buying), say, 30-40% lower. Selling, though, means a bigger risk, but you can also get a huge amount of money this way. Plus some skill (trading skill is already taken, so something else) that would work for a nice tag. 

The guillotine merchant...sounds so nice...😈

 

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If I understand correctly, a merchant levy would arise from those who did wish to trade at this guillotine, but avoid the risk of death? In example, I would pay a merchant a percentage to undertake the trade at the guillotine for myself - were this the intended outcome?

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No, you can barter (or use coins) with players if you want to trade without risks. There is no way of avoiding the risk of death, although avoiding death is possible (depends on what you're trading). It's like you're going to the market, selling your stuff and then you're tailed by some guys and offed at a street corner.

Paying a merchant to undertake the risk for you...sounds interesting, but... Say you have 100 gems, they would get you 7 gc. You're paying someone to trade for you...if they die, you lost the levy, the gems, and they lost their life (you get no coins if you die). The risks would be pretty much the same no matter the person - maybe some factors such as time of day can be included, but most important is what you sell.

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Hijacking this topic here, I'll just copypasta 👾 something I wrote in a pm convo that went nowhere, I think too many pm convos are happening where it should be an open forum topic, I see people reading their pms all the time.

"What do people want, mostly two things, stats and creatures. A third thing, shop common/uncommon items but those are 'fixed' as it is.

How to fix the economy, give us uses for our resources in order to make stats. We already have uses for resources in order to make creatures but this is super underwhelming and rare currently, plus it will be hard to either make more creatures to build or to justify removing more creatures from current recruitment standards. I will honestly say the creature rarity just tends to make me not care anymore, specifically unobtainable creatures, and creatures are my favorite thing in the game asides from players.

So find ways to make stats be rewarded by taking up our thousands of resources piled up."

I would prefer to see a use for this "guillotine" to gain stats as well, as per my suggestion. Whether that be buying them outright or gaining them when a failed 'kill attempt' on you has occured.

Edited by Mallos
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Well, I understand what you're saying, but I disagree.

As for stats, resources that change directly into stats doesn't sound very good to me, not only because there's already a well-established system in place for getting stats, but also because...why have more stats? I'd rather have stats have some other role and not just increase to infinity.

Creatures are a big part of what is called 'MD economy', but think about it. Up until recently, their age was reset (partially) on transfer, not to mention the level, which tells you they are not simple trade commodities. They are things (for lack of a better word) to nurture, and the effort put by another player cannot be traded, can it? The time spent, the battles won - something like that has no value (it's invaluable). Same thing with resources stacking up in an absurd manner; once again, the idea behind it is about enforcing the reality of a resource, which is more important than 'the economy'.

Spoiler

What is the effin economy, anyway? People trade and coins jingle? Nah, the economy is usually enforced by weapons, don't think otherwise.

Sure, this really makes MD economy a bad one, but I'd rather have these ideas survive and find alternative means than simply go emulate...what you see around us. 

This is why I said 'no change' when Mur asked whether we should change the resource stack policy or not, and this is why I'd like to see introduced some principles/new ideas about trade rather than stimulate consumption. As if that's going to make use happy - let's consume more, deplete more resources and run after those coins like there's nothing else to live for! I don't think an increased trade for the sake of an increased trade and the glory of a 3% raise in economic growth is something worth chasing for. 

So just to make this post longer, I'm going to say players will trade the way they have regardless, creatures, resources or items; that WILL be the economy, and it will be self-regulating (if no weapons are involved) just as it is irl (when no weapons are involved). That's not something to improve or change; my idea was about introducing risk into the whole business, and that can be done differently, I only suggested something that sounded cool to me (I rarely get to see a guillotine in a game). Trade is risky business, and it's important to teach that to people, maybe they'll open their eyes and think more carefully about how much money they want and how far they want to go for it. 

This would, of course, impact the MD economy surely, but my main aim is introducing risk. 

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interesting discussion here....I understand and like an idea of adding risk to a trade. Also having a place to exchange ressources sounds good. On the other hand: death sounds like unrealistically high risk to be honest. Losing a part or all of your initial investment would be more fair. Business is risky but mostly because you can loose material stuff not your life. 

And for those who would like to be on a safe side, treasury could provide a sort of insurance for a certain fee :)

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Nowadays, it may sound unbelievable, but in older times (or in some poor countries), having lots of coins on you and no bodyguard meant some booze-reeking cutthroats could 'borrow' from you in a matter of seconds if they sniffed you out (leaving you cold). It's still the case: imagine having some diamonds/rubies for sale (we have gems in MD). 

It's not unreasonable to make death the risk, especially since it gets you to see a GUILLOTINE (did I mention I like them?). What's particularly nice about guillotines is that you often (if not always) put your head there by choice, making it a metaphor of sorts.

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you would have to make prices very attractive then, otherwise people like me would just go ask player XY to sell them ressource they need (like we did all these years), instead of risking their head for it. 

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The guillotine is not about common resources which can be (and are) traded commonly. Yes, what a merchant will sell to 'the market' will be deposited there and you will be able to buy them, with a low(er) chance of dieing. But that's only to have them not disappear in the air.

The guillotine is about selling goods, particularly items such as gems, gold bars etc and resources in high quantities. I doubt anyone will buy 20 gold bars for 20 gc, or 200 gems, or 4000 iron ore, especially since you use the whole stack for making an ingot. The guillotine, however, will accept it all, and give a handsome price for those...with a condition muhahaha. If you sell 100 ore, you get, say, 2sc, with a 20% risk of dieing. You sell 4000 iron ore? 4gc, with a 70% chance of dieing. Is it worth it?

Idk, but you're not called a guillotine merchant for nothing.

(successful trades would increase a skill, let's call it 'honest trading' or something)

Spoiler

This isn't about replacing the economy we have, or substantially altering it (although it will, to a degree), it's more about creating a class of honest merchants and introducing risk as an inevitable balancing effect to securing and selling commodities, which is, in theory, easy and harmless. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Ungod said:

. I doubt anyone will buy 20 gold bars for 20 gc, or 200 gems, or 4000 iron ore, especially since you use the whole stack for making an ingot.

(successful trades would increase a skill, let's call it 'honest trading' or something)

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This isn't about replacing the economy we have, or substantially altering it (although it will, to a degree), it's more about creating a class of honest merchants and introducing risk as an inevitable balancing effect to securing and selling commodities, which is, in theory, easy and harmless. 

 

Interesting. I thought I should remind you Ungod of https://magicduel.com/page/Announcement/view/5026

I like your idea of risk. Is there a possibility that instead of death, which is quite a heavy punishment, or perhaps, as a more likely negative outcome, that any trades run the risk of either

A) Being rejected by the merchant, whereas, perhaps he takes some as a fee for his time [this is kind of dumb imo, but thought I'd mention anyway]

B) That instead of getting currency back, there is a chance that you get an utterly useless resource that can only be gotten from the merchant, say... trader vouchers. Which could then be used to trade at a truly abysmal rate, say, 150 vouchers for 1 SC. whereas I would speculate that even common resources, like water, would have a higher rate than that. 

 

Edit: by in addition, I meant something along the lines of 50% chance successful trade, 35% poor trade (refusal or for basically useless resource), 15% change death

P.S. The voucher system seems stupid. But it could also be as simple as determining the most useless resource already in existence (as determined by sheer ability to obtain in the realm) and make it the currency the trader gives to you)--->This could also be done that if the trade has 4k aromatic herbs and you want coin for your water, he may give you the herbs instead, since he just paid a bunch of people for the herbs, he needs to move the herbs, not deplete his coffers

Edited by Steno
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I see y'all are not very fond of the death punishment, you wanna-be merchants! All talk and no risk, eh? Pity, the only place where a guillotine could be looked upon favorably would have been MD...

I see y'all want to be just mugged and not killed when trading - it can be arranged. Like, instead of dieing, you lose the intended resource AND some of your coins (or some valuable resource). Oh, but you still have to die when trading extremely valuable resources. 

Trading is NOT easy. You build an investment portfolio and just wait for stocks to rise? That sounds so harmless... You know, behind all that paperwork and your trembling hopes of getting money without working, there's blood. People die (and that's fine, life isn't easy) for you to declare a 1% increase in sales this month. Trading is just another form of hunting, there's nothing particularly nice about it, except that after paying protection money and securing your monthly supply, if you're having a steady client base, you can take it easier. 

I know death is kinda extreme, but I want something with an impact that makes the idea of risk crystal clear. If you just have a loss of 10% in revenues, can you really call it a risk? Well, when you fucking kick the bucket (or see someone else dieing), you say ''hey, that IS dangerous''. It's like those dumb kids who wanna go to the lake unsupervised and one of them drowns because of a cramp. That's when they learn the lesson, not a second before.

And the guillotine I envisioned is not a merchant or a market in the 'safe' sense of the word. It's not a supermarket where the danger is a misplaced price tag that makes you pay 2,50 for something that had a nearby tag say 0,87. It's a place where you sell your stuff and then all kinds of (bad) things happen because you now have money. I know I'm being really nasty with this idea and I wouldn't agree to it irl, but I feel like you really don't want a guillotine, but a supermarket. Give me some leeway, this kind of economy is already in place where I live, so I dream of something different.

 

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maybe I just dont think that material stuff is worth dying for and I wouldnt want MD encouranging that.

As for losing of ressources...10% isnt risky maybe but maybe a chance of losing 80% or 100% is...so depending on what you have to pay it can hurt as hell

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Well your suggestion implies that there are some hypothetical bad guys trying to kill you for your resources, it makes sense that if you aren't killed there's a chance they failed the attack on you. Meaning you beat them in combat = you gain stats for that. While it doesn't have to be the main use for your suggestion it would be a nice side effect that would be attractive for some people.

You are fine to disagree with me but I must disagree with your disagreement! Look at it in a sense of what are people trading and buying.

Spoiler

e·con·o·my

noun

1. the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services.

2. careful management of available resources.

 Specifically for us we tend to trade with resources and gold, and buy items and creatures. The resources and gold are not the end result, it is not what you want, it is what you need to get what you want. In most cases we use the resources in a creature/item combiner to get something else. Although there are very limited uses currently because we do not have a flushed out economy on the scale such as @MaGoHi has suggested, and I think we need something like that. The gold tends to be used to buy creatures and custom/rp items.

I would suggest that we make more ways for us to actually create tools/rp items, but there are problems with those. RP items themselves would need tons of effort to actualize the uses for each resource in order to make the items. Creating tools with resources, while I support the idea, it has been pointed out that this does not solve the end goal of the economy, rather exacerbates it, you are just making tools to create more resources to make more tools and so on.

So my main idea is give us ways to create implements that grant stat gains upon use. Such as a treadmill, punching bag, dumbbells and etc. Because players certainly want stats as much as they want every other thing you can buy, except you can not buy stats outside of the shop. Furthermore you can also make more craft-able and customize-able armor sets using our resources, anything that affects combat in ways other than purely through combat actions.

Your combiner idea is potentially one place we could buy these implements.

"Nah, the economy is usually enforced by weapons, don't think otherwise."

Edited by Mallos
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You're talking about a gym that is fueled by resources (that are used for implements) where you can train your muscles, but should we make this an option? So far, we only had combat as the source for those muscles, and even then, people could peacefully gather to grind with non-dmg rituals (and were shunned, right?). A gym would take that aggressive vibe out, as if saying ''hey, you don't need to compete anymore''. Which is fine if we talk real life, where training would deter aggression (he looks tough, let's not), and where we even came up with Olympics to make sure only some kick the bucket. But in MD, fighting is a way to train your brain muscles, and taking that out would mean you only have to grind for resources. Boring, if you ask me.

 I wasn't talking about a combiner, more of a marketplace, with emphasis on selling. 

The economy is enforced by weapons, true (you put me into the awkward situation of having to agree with myself and somehow deny it; well played), but I wanted to 'develop' MD's economy by introducing a risk concept, not reproduce the myriad facets of an economy (such as weapon enforcement - and by the way, I was referring more to vassalage systems there). Hence my simple idea. Sure, if you can turn into something bigger, go for it, as long as risk is involved.

On another note, I never thought MD players are so into economy and economic talks.

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I just say combiner to stick with the common nomenclature, yes your guillotine is more of a marketplace, or a multifaceted combiner.

Introducing more stat gain options will certainly not eliminate the will to train for stats, although for someone perhaps like you who may be less interested in combat it introduces another way to grind for those stats in a medium you enjoy more.

If I have to comment on the death chance I am not against the idea being there but I suggest it should be rather minuscule, less than 10%, maybe even less than 5%, or you will often end up with people not using it entirely. If we want to parallel real life the chances are quite small that any day to day trade you participate in will result in some adverse effects on you, mostly that is from black market type deals.

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(It's true someone like me would like that option, but that doesn't mean MD has to please my type. I don't think it would be good for the game, even if I do like to have that option).

I'm happy to announce I've reconsidered the ''death for traders'' thing. The unanimous pushback against it must mean it's too extreme/stupid, and since I have another idea...

Spoiler

 

This is something revolving around the fundamental (acquired) trait of a merchant, dishonesty. I define dishonesty as holding 2 values for the same thing (it's not lieing). A merchant will say one thing is worth 2 to a client and 1,5 to his wife. The 0,5 difference is his livelihood, and this kind of shifty way of seeing things makes anyone who does trade become dishonest.

You might say 'It's the way it works, Ungod, what's the big deal?'', but think about it. Does it seem logical to you? You couldn't say ''that box has 2 apples'' and ''that box has 4 apples''. You can assign variable 2 for the weight and 4 for the volume of a box, but those are complementary; you can't assign both 2 and 4 for the weigh of the box. You can't love Mary the most (in the morning) and Jane the most (in the evening); who do you love the most, you prick?

Logic has limits, and these examples show how limited it is. You really can love Mary and Jane the most, you really can hold two values to be true for the same thing. Life isn't logical at all, but! If you were a peasant, you'd barter your horse for exactly 6 pigs, not for 6 pigs OR 7 pigs. If you brought something into the world, you wouldn't say your work, your sweat, your time is worth 10 coins OR 12 coins. The difference between a hard-working honest life and an easy-going dishonest life is that kind of outlook, that kind of juggling with variables.

Yes, even a 10 years old kid can assign 2,3,4 variables, but whether you actually do it determines how you're going to live your life. It's your choice, you either live it sincerely in a straight-forward manner, or dishonest, with multiple truths swirling in your mind and speech.

 

There is a tree at Plains of Deceit, and it looks like an apple or cherry tree, but with the flowers and berries of the nightshade. It's popularly called Merchant's Bane, and under it sits an old man (or woman, you can't tell). That old woman (or man, or Dennis) will buy your merchandise, and there is a list with each resource and its respective worth (10 water - 2 sc, 1 gold bar - 1 gold coin etc). You declare what you want to say, you take out your stuff, you ask loudly for your reward, you leave your stuff on the table and take the coins off the table. All very straight forward, no tricks involved...NOT!

The fact is that tree affects your fundamental trait as a merchant, making you confused and unable to process the variables correctly. You often find yourself asking for a reward that is corresponding to another resource. You sell your gems and get the equivalent for tea leaves. As you trade more, you get more immune to the effect of the plant, but it's a loong journey (yes, you could do many small trades to increase the skill, but it can be 'fixed' by adding a minimum of a resource for selling and a bonus in skill obtained for certain valuable ones).

(bye bye my guillotine😥...but welcome to the realm of psychoactive plants) 

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I won’t go that far in the beginning. 
All I want is a convenient place to trade, like the auction house in WoW. 
the lack of fluidity in our ecosystem is partly caused by the inconvenience that one has to pm or post topics, which happens only when one feels necessary. 
 

put everything you don’t need in a house. Set a starting bid price or a buyout price and leave. The purchase happens not only when people need but mostly when they see. 
 

if you want to introduce risk. There could be blink bidding. 
the guillotine concept sounds more like a gamble to me. I like gamble, people like gamble. But I prefer implementing it after the market is more active and complete. 
 

 

Edited by Tissy
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On 8/11/2020 at 1:46 AM, Tissy said:

he lack of fluidity in our ecosystem is partly caused by the inconvenience that one has to pm or post topics, which happens only when one feels necessary. 

The issue, IMO, isnt that. The issue is most of the ecosystem has no natural reduction system. There is nothing to do with a  lot of it. It needs an end-goal.

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I somehow missed Tissy's post 🤤

While an auction house sounds good in theory, the few trades that go on aren't worth it. Besides, the AH in WoW takes some of your money each time you leave something there; would you agree to lose silver for each 24 hrs your stuff isn't sold?

Also, if you put an auction house into the game, you need someone to own it (a person or a group). Sounds like some people could do it, but then again, the profits won't be high...if any.

On 8/11/2020 at 3:46 AM, Tissy said:

if you want to introduce risk. There could be blink bidding.

Risk, as I detailed it, can't be only about losing some coins. It's as if talking about banks' risk. What, they're not gonna charge 15% interest, only 2%? What kind of risk is that, they get a margin anyway. What, they're gonna 'lose' 2% of the loans? They have 98% of them still. It's like the cons at the street corner, ''losing'' some games to attract the gullible.

On 8/11/2020 at 3:46 AM, Tissy said:

the guillotine concept sounds more like a gamble to me.

Yes, but you're gambling with your life, which it what I'd like to see. Even irl, the competition between merchants, bankers etc is often life-threatening. That's making the whole thing balanced, because there's usually no risk involved for the merchant coming from the customers.

3 hours ago, Chewett said:

The issue is most of the ecosystem has no natural reduction system.

Same can be said about combat system, and I pretty much agree.

I've been growing more herbs lately and I get to see how almost anything is food for something else. Life is this cycle where everything is eaten in turn. You might be looking around and say ''there's nothing here'', but there are plenty of microorganisms just floating. Many thousands (or millions, whatever) in the air around your computer desk. So I don't see why resources in MD cannot ''decay'' or maybe ''disperse'', because it certainly happens in our world, albeit in a perhaps slower motion. (A timer on your resources.)

The end goal in a game economy is probably the developer's share. In life, we're just trying to live as much as we can. I wonder about what kind of goal can be made for MD. 

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