[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat May 3 15:13:11 CEST 2003

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 30 Apr, Dave Rickey wrote:
> From: "Jeff Cole" <jeff.cole at mindspring.com>
>> From: Dave Rickey
>>> From: Marian Griffith

>>>> Sorry, but no, this is not true.  Economy is created by
>>>> scarcity.

>>> No, *value* is created by scarcity.

>> Not by scarcity alone.  Scarcity is just supply.  You also need
>> demand to create "value"--at least any utile concept of "value".
>> Economy occurs when the difference in value of a good between two
>> actors exceeds the sum of the costs of transacting.

> Define value, then.  "The value of a thing is what it will bring"
> is the definition I'm most comfortable with, this would seem to
> pre-suppose demand.  But we've pretty solidly established that
> scarcity *alone* can create demand (in the case of rarities).

Value is the point at which an exchange can be agreed on. Things do
not have an intrinsic value, but only acquire value in the context
of transaction or exchange.  The point is that we are constantly
tempted to look at transactions on an individual base when economy
really is a science of very lar- ge numbers and averages. Also there
is the tendency to equate value with price but these two are not the
same at all.

> However, demand alone cannot create value, we all demand a
> constant supply of air, yet it has no value.

Only because so far nobody has found a way to limit the supply.  I
can assure you that as soon as air supply becomes limited it gets a
value extremely quickly. Whenever there comes a time when people do
live in space stations they will find a price tag attached to their
oxygen usage.  Given the difficulty to regulate air flow, likely in
the form of a tax, but in those stations air will have both a value
and a price tag.

>> I would argue that developers have been too focused on managing
>> economy only through supply and have too long ignored demand
>> (much to the detriment of their economies).  The greater the
>> inelasticity of demand, the greater the threat of monopoly to the
>> economy.

While accurate this is not entirely fair. Developers only have con-
trol over the supply part of the game economy, so naturally they do
concentrate on that to prevent rampant inflation.

[example of how supply/demand is controlled differently on Camelot

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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