Hegemony promises its economy is ‘truly equal in playing field’

    
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Hegemony promises its economy is ‘truly equal in playing field’

Worried that coming in late to the crafting and economic game of Hegemony will put you at a disadvantage to those who have been grinding things out for a long time? Fret not, friend, as the game’s lead dev has posted a message assuring players that the game’s economy is carefully balanced in a way that other sandbox MMORPGs aren’t for a “truly equal in playing field” that even favors new players over old ones.

For one thing, Hegemony does not lock rare materials behind late-game bosses or PvP-only zones, meaning everyone can get to the materials they need. Additionally, crafting skills that turn raw materials into gear actually end up losing money, which means gear will be plentiful on the market and prices will trend downwards. This also has the added benefit of making raw materials and intermediary products like ingots profitable, which is something that new players can take advantage of. There are also NPC shops that act as a price floor and ceiling in order to prevent players from ripping each other off.

Curious about Hegemony? Then all you need is a copy of Minecraft, as it’s a full sandbox MMORPG built within Minecraft. The full game is due to release on February 22nd with its Ascensionem update.

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Witches

If it favors new players over old ones then equality is just semantics.

I imagine players want quality not equality, things that make them feel unique, rather than having the same shot at something as someone who is more invested in it than they are.

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

Basically it means that because there is no monopoly, the price of all things are affected by supply and demand curves. Monopolies are in the case of MMORPGs with PvP gated resource nodes and are monopolized by the top players.

When there is supply demand curve, people would naturally compete against each other to sell things for a marginal profit, however, the “value” that is to be gained from crafting isn’t just monetary, people train skills to unlock content, they enjoy playing as someone who makes endgame items (items do have rolls).

The end result of this is an economy where supply demand balances out and the sell price (to players) of finished gear would likely be below the raw material cost as there is also the value the crafter has to gain in the form of skill experience.

Similarly, if raw materials get too expensive, it would incentivise people to go mine their own resources or cause less people to level crafting skills via purchased resources, and the supply demand curve will find a new equilibrium point.

All in all the main take away from this is that the economy is designed in such a way that supply demand are allowed to freely move.

Would like to add that basically in MMORPGs that supposedly allows Artisan skills to make money either causes the player economy to push raw material cost up, therefore wiping out the profits, or have NPC shops that buy those finished goods and is basically letting players print money, causing inflation.

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styopa

Any economy with constraints is inherently less fair to someone. We may socially agree that it’s ok to disadvantage some, but market controls always pick winners and losers. That’s basic economics.

The idea that you can “engineer” goods and prices to freely move is anathema to a free market; in capitalism, that “engineering” is basically governments getting out of the way.

What’s also basic economics is that people won’t invest in activity (generally) out of altruism. Why would I convert raws into finished goods if the raws sell for more? Yet you believe that people will nevertheless spend time crafting so they can LOSE money? For the skill up? Why would anyone want the skill up if it just makes them poorer?

No, the whole explanation smells of hand-wavy sophistry: well intentioned intellectuals (functionally socialists) insisting they can design an economy that “is fair if we just turn all the premises upside down”. Like someone promising to build an upside down pyramid, I’d love to see it work but doubt the practicality of the whole structure.

Also, sorry, “level in playing field” I think you mean to say “a level playing field”.

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Fisty

A real believer of that invisible hand of the market.

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styopa

Whether personally I have a predilection for capitalism, the idea that people aren’t going to do work unless there’s some benefit to them is a little more like gravity: it doesn’t really matter whether you BELIEVE in it or not. It is. (No matter how much academic leftists furiously theorize around it, I’m going to go with the weight of history here.)

Likewise the principle that prices and goods flow most freely with no authority intervention. Whether I believe that “flowing freely” is morally ideal, again, is another question.

I *do* agree with the OP’s post that NPC shops having bottomless pockets willing to buy PC’s crafted (and found) crap is the primary cause for inevitable inflation. The idea that Grond the bartender has 35g in his pocket (and even if he did, that he cares to spend it) to buy the Shiny Artifact of BlahBlah is a player convenience that ultimately expresses its cost in gross systemic inflation.

In reality, it’s HARD to sell precious items, which itself acts as a brake on their value. Right now (in WoW for example) that’s only meaningfully at play if you find some exceedingly cool glam drop, where the historic market value is in the 10s of thousands of gold. Then a seller has to add the cost-of-time (and impact on her working capital) to the selling price. Do I wait for months and month to hopefully find someone willing to spend stupid amounts for this, or dump it at a lower price for a faster sale?

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Utakata

It’s got that Boris Johnson making cardboard boxes into buses and trains feel to it. o.O

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Robert Mann

Gear loses money, but will be regularly available? Yeah… good luck with that one! Nobody will be crafting gear for market, they will only sell raw/intermediate materials under this system. It’s so short-sighted it sounds like a line from an FFA PVP game saying that players will police the game.

The NPC shops and rare items systems seem decently thought out though, in spite of the rampant stupidity that is the statement I tore into there.

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

Basically it means that because there is no monopoly, the price of all things are affected by supply and demand curves. Monopolies are in the case of MMORPGs with PvP gated resource nodes and are monopolized by the top players.

When there is supply demand curve, people would naturally compete against each other to sell things for a marginal profit, however, the “value” that is to be gained from crafting isn’t just monetary, people train skills to unlock content, they enjoy playing as someone who makes endgame items (items do have rolls).

The end result of this is an economy where supply demand balances out and the sell price (to players) of finished gear would likely be below the raw material cost as there is also the value the crafter has to gain in the form of skill experience.

Similarly, if raw materials get too expensive, it would incentivise people to go mine their own resources or cause less people to level crafting skills via purchased resources, and the supply demand curve will find a new equilibrium point.

All in all the main take away from this is that the economy is designed in such a way that supply demand are allowed to freely move.

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Robert Mann

Nobody is going to sell gear at the loss just for XP that way. Especially if they can just store it to use later. They will simply say “If you want it crafted, it’s going to take X materials and Y additional coin”. If people can get a better deal off NPCs, then they will.

Resources may get bought, certainly. The problem here is that you are technically adding work, to lose money. Nobody is going to then sell that work. They are going to use it, or trade directly with a friend creating something else out of materials. Your gatherer will sit there waiting on a weapon until the cows beat up all the frost giants.

Again, NPCs might offer weapons well enough to make that a relative non-issue. What that means, however, is EVERYONE is trying to sell raw materials. So the market is saturated with people who can’t really make money because buying the materials is a loss. So only people who are being that rare altruistic person will ever post up a crafted item. It will all be raw materials, until people’s eyes bleed from seeing so many raw materials.

I know plenty of people who would like to be the specialized crafter. None of them want to have to grind cash to pay to craft items for people. XD

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Questions…

For one thing, Hegemony does not lock rare materials behind late-game bosses or PvP-only zones, meaning everyone can get to the materials they need.

But are these resources tradable? If so, hello RMT. I like the idea though, and it’s something that’s almost always irked me about crafting in games.

Additionally, crafting skills that turn raw materials into gear actually end up losing money, which means gear will be plentiful on the market and prices will trend downwards.

Isn’t this like…always the case? I can’t remember a single MMO where I’ve been able to vendor my crafted stuff for more than I would have spent on the materials to make it. They either require additional investment or have a lower value than the individual parts.

This also has the added benefit of making raw materials and intermediary products like ingots profitable, which is something that new players can take advantage of.

Again…isn’t this almost always the case as well? Raw materials hold the least value, the semi-produced versions (bars vs. ore, for example) usually requires minimal investment and sells for more than the raw material, and there will almost always be a steady flow with people leveling up new characters/professions.

I’d need to dig in, but I’m finding these claims dubious on their face. THAT BEING SAID, if we ignore the “true equal” line, it seems kinda neat. Shame I can’t stomach the visual style of Minecraft : /

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hooby _

Isn’t this like…always the case? I can’t remember a single MMO where I’ve been able to vendor my crafted stuff for more than I would have spent on the materials to make it.

It’s always the case in theme parks.

But in the classic sandbox MMOs (like for example Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies) which had a player driven economy with trading as opposed to soulbound, late-gated loot rewards, crafting always was a nice source of income.

Those games tackled the problem of single players/guilds dominating markets by having local markets (no auction house, no perfect information economy) – to let smaller crafters get away with not being quite a good as the big ones.

I recommend reading this article on the SWG economy: https://www.raphkoster.com/2012/03/20/do-auction-houses-suck/
(written by the lead designer of SWG).

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

I guess I could have worded it better, but basically like in the comment above, the economy is designed to let supply/demand allowed to move, rather than have monopolistic situations where players or certain types of hardcore players monopolize certain drops and resources and in effect can shift the supply curve as much as they want.

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

I did try a MMORPG recently as well, where you could buy “tickets” to this boss fight and the prices for those tickets due to more progressed players having more money were pushed beyond the means of newer players, and to retain their profit, they pushed up the prices of the rare drops from the boss, further pricing out the ability to do that content out of newer players.

And another MMORPG where most of the game higher tier gear materials were camped by guilds killing anyone lower-level and selling those mats for any price they desired.

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Rhime

Anyone know how many players per server?

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

We’re stress testing the server instances now but the aim is approximately 200 per instance.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

“truly equal in playing field” that even favors new players over old ones.

Isn’t that a oxymoron? An “equal playing field” wouldn’t favor any group over another.

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Noel

Yes. The developer’s message is not very well written.

They do appear to be aiming for an equal-in-opportunity system that does not favor particular groups. That they had to append the contradictory statement is a misstatement, I think.

HegemonMC
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HegemonMC

Would like to correct it to equal-opportunities of reaching the same or similar results, as in not the rich get richer and the poor forever remain poor. With the economy favouring newer players in terms of speed of progression due to more progressed players causing the supply/demand curves for finished goods and resources to be in a healthy state.