Why the entire NO economy is fatally flawed (long)

Feedback, questions and general discussion regarding Nile Online
Nyarlahotep
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Location: Carrboro, NC

Postby Nyarlahotep » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:11 pm

"Sandra Linkletter" wrote:Basically there are two economic models being followed here, and each model looks awkward to the practitioners of the other model. You can't get what you want with one click of the button, by direct trading. I can't properly economize, through the market. Besides which, direct trading is just plain fun for me. I find the image of my ships sailing to the four corners, er, two ends, of the Nile, laden with goods in return for those carried by the ships of others, just plain romantic. Nothing about pushing a button to get stuff marked up by several hundred percent, which I pay for by having other people push buttons to buy my own stuff marked up by several hundred percent, can compare with that image in my mind. :)


You are very right about the two systems I think, although I try to blur those line as much as possible, but I so rarely play multi player games it is hard for me to lean on you unprogrammed masses! :D

Image

Just wanted to add the image i get of a long train of camels led by my fierce market ladies marching off to some distance nome to bring them the xotic perfumes and unctions they need. And I imagine pacing around my tiled palace waiting, occasionally glancing into the sunset to see if they just might make it back tonight with all that bread my monument workers a are just clamoring for. :D

They might even go to china!
Image

Agamemnus
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Postby Agamemnus » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:18 pm

"aeval99" wrote:I'm going to go for a completely different tack here. I think the biggest problem with the market/economy is the relatively low number of different goods. What we are seeing in the central nomes (and it will spread to the outer nomes eventually) is that with 3 cities and two trading partners you can be completely self-sufficient. If you can get everything you need by making it or trading for it, why bother to use the market?

I think what's needed are a greater number of goods. Why not bring some other things into the game, like beer, it could be made from a second wheat field and cedar for the barrels. What about acacia wood and reeds for furniture. Make sandals need rushes rather than reeds and also bring mats and papyrus into the game. What about needing tin and copper for those ever annoying kopeshes. Certainly every palace needs some of those.


Econdedsay!!!!!!!

PhilL
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Postby PhilL » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:32 pm

"aeval99" wrote:I'm going to go for a completely different tack here. I think the biggest problem with the market/economy is the relatively low number of different goods. What we are seeing in the central nomes (and it will spread to the outer nomes eventually) is that with 3 cities and two trading partners you can be completely self-sufficient. If you can get everything you need by making it or trading for it, why bother to use the market?

I think what's needed are a greater number of goods. Why not bring some other things into the game, like beer, it could be made from a second wheat field and cedar for the barrels. What about acacia wood and reeds for furniture. Make sandals need rushes rather than reeds and also bring mats and papyrus into the game. What about needing tin and copper for those ever annoying kopeshes. Certainly every palace needs some of those.



This may solve the problem for now but what happens when we have 4 or 5 cities. there would need to be alot of additional goods to make it work.

I feel we need more bread available to the world as a whole. One simple way to do this is give the wheat workers a production boost so we dont need to have all spec points in wheat just to keep the bakery going and not have a wheat field that is 3 levels higher than a bakery.

Mnemon
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Postby Mnemon » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:52 pm

"Sandra Linkletter" wrote:I have had probably twice as many offers to trade my gold daily for emeralds as I have gold to trade and still make jewelry with the gold I have left. Half of those offers came from people I met on the trade wall, in my one-off trading, and involved no additional time or labor from me.


Interestingly ... that's completly contrary to my experience. The only player I had something like a regular trade agreement with (Kiya) left. Despite trading frequently through the trade wall - these all remained one off trades. I have usually more than 1000 units of all goods I produce (in some cases an excess of 3000) stored in my cities - not because I plan for that, but because I produce more than I need or can sell for profit on the market.

I think this of course may be part of starting among the early players in the centre. There was no trade wall and I did not have the time (nor do I have it now) to mass scroll people around me. What's surprising is that no-one ever contacted me, either.

-Mnemon

Caelicola
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Postby Caelicola » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:36 pm

"PhilL" wrote:I feel we need more bread available to the world as a whole. One simple way to do this is give the wheat workers a production boost so we dont need to have all spec points in wheat just to keep the bakery going and not have a wheat field that is 3 levels higher than a bakery.

You, Sir, could easily get a job at the Federal Reserve. I promise you, increasing the money supply will not have positive long term consequences. The value of goods on the market would increase but it will be an illusion because you would be measuring it by a moving scale. What you end up doing is devaluing the existing bread supplies of everyone who currently saves bread (I don't, btw.).

Beamup
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Postby Beamup » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:11 pm

"Caelicola" wrote:You, Sir, could easily get a job at the Federal Reserve. I promise you, increasing the money supply will not have positive long term consequences. The value of goods on the market would increase but it will be an illusion because you would be measuring it by a moving scale. What you end up doing is devaluing the existing bread supplies of everyone who currently saves bread (I don't, btw.).

Yes, runaway inflation would be bad - but we currently have runaway DEflation, which is worse. There's a reason real-world "price stability" is generally defined as inflation in the range of 2%, as opposed to 0.

CppThis
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Postby CppThis » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:30 am

For what its worth, outside of 2 trade partners with small daily deals and 1 friend I share stuff with I do all my stuff on the market now. Partly because theres stuff to be had near the center, partly cause like Beamup I just dont have the time to send loads of scrolls out anymore.

Also I like the idea of refunding the tax when the item sells, that would help a lot I think. And maybe make soldiers eat cedar instead of bread cause the bread cost is really pretty ridiculous compared to milmat cost. The problem isnt really selling at 3 bread, its that at 3 bread for lux and 2.4 bread for breadmaking its hard to deal with all the upgrades and bread sinks. A lot of people in the lucky resource club got very rich while oil/cedar/kohl were struggling to get by, seems the piper has submitted his expense report now and a lot of people who thought they had a handle on the market, dont.

lynnk
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Postby lynnk » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:36 am

It is just an issue of supply and demand....

Now that players have two and three cities they have more to sell and less to buy....

Except for limestone of course - the people who maintain a military will always be able to sell limestone to people who do not want to fight in a game :rolleyes:

Beamup
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Postby Beamup » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:52 am

"lynnk" wrote:Now that players have two and three cities they have more to sell and less to buy....

If the economy were better balanced, the supply and demand would go up in tandem with extra cities. There's no reason in theory why three cities shouldn't demand three times as much stuff as one.

CppThis
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Postby CppThis » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:56 am

But they *do* demand three times as much stuff as one, just ask anyone whos had to upgrade the things. :p The problem is supply, not demand. If everyone needs X resource but only a few cities are selling it, price goes up. But since only a few cities are selling it, everyone puts their new cities on X so they dont have to pay out the nose for something they use a lot of. So now the supply is there, price goes down due to undercutting and various other factors.

Beamup
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Postby Beamup » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:58 am

They consume three times as much, but a greater fraction of it is locally produced. So the overall demand increases by less than three.

CppThis
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Postby CppThis » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:14 am

But they're using the same amount of goods as any other city, secondary or not. Its true that the rarity of the item goes down since they dont have to put up with fools demanding 2:1 for it anymore, which again gets back to the supply issue.

Not counting specs and all this leaky boat silliness, a luxmat has an opportunity cost of 3.4 bread, whether it is being 'sold' to yourself or someone else.

PhilL
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Postby PhilL » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:10 am

"Caelicola" wrote:You, Sir, could easily get a job at the Federal Reserve. I promise you, increasing the money supply will not have positive long term consequences. The value of goods on the market would increase but it will be an illusion because you would be measuring it by a moving scale. What you end up doing is devaluing the existing bread supplies of everyone who currently saves bread (I don't, btw.).


the difference between NO and real life is money doesnt get consumed. In NO the bread disappears. We have what is being called sinks. places where the resources are consumed. bread really isnt money in NO. it is a resource. We trade it for goods yes but we trade all things for goods.

CppThis
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Postby CppThis » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:22 am

Exactly. For all these sinks someone, somewhere, has to be producing bread. *Producing* it, not trading other goods for bread. And it takes an awful lot of workers devoted to producing bread to support other stuff. I'm one of those producers, and it takes over 2/3 of my workers to produce enough bread to support my operations and have surplus to buy luxmats. Most of the rest are making bricks and baskets, no way in hell I could afford to buy all that off the market.

Sandra Linkletter
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Postby Sandra Linkletter » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:26 am

"Nyarlahotep" wrote:You are very right about the two systems I think, although I try to blur those line as much as possible, but I so rarely play multi player games it is hard for me to lean on you unprogrammed masses! :D


What wonderful images. :) I always imagined the caravans as independent entities, and not my own people.

I'm not sure whether the descriptor above is a complement or not, though. :p I'd like to think I am unprogrammed, but not that I'm a mass. ;)

The most profitable approach would be to combine both systems, making finished goods from raw materials gotten through barter and selling them for a profit in the markets. However, I don't ever seem to have many finished goods left over from expanding, and what I have goes to my trade partners in return for their surpluses in times of my need.

Nyarlahotep
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Postby Nyarlahotep » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:45 am

thanks Sandra! I don't mean you are a mass, of course (although I do hope you HAVE mass). What I mean is that, for me, I simply prefer to put stuff up on the market where I know I can walk away and it will (fingers-crossed) sell by the time I next check in. Where as with find a direct trade partner it ususally takes a day or two to get scrolls worked out and sometimes I really just don't feel like staying up another houror so just to see if I am gonna run out of kohl in the night. :D

Sandra Linkletter
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Postby Sandra Linkletter » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:18 am

"Nyarlahotep" wrote:thanks Sandra! I don't mean you are a mass, of course (although I do hope you HAVE mass). What I mean is that, for me, I simply prefer to put stuff up on the market where I know I can walk away and it will (fingers-crossed) sell by the time I next check in. Where as with find a direct trade partner it ususally takes a day or two to get scrolls worked out and sometimes I really just don't feel like staying up another houror so just to see if I am gonna run out of kohl in the night. :D


I have all too much mass, I'm afraid. :p

Tonight I could have bought 100 baskets for what was really quite a reasonable price, and had them in 9 minutes. I preferred instead to rearrange the production of another of my cities, produce the 84 baskets required, and ship them 3 hours to where they were needed. Delivery co-incided with that of some perfume that I was shipping in from 8 hours away. I logged out, took a hot bath, played another game for an hour or so, and then logged in to push the upgrade button. It's a different kind of satisfaction, no question. :)

Caelicola
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Postby Caelicola » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:19 am

"Beamup" wrote:Yes, runaway inflation would be bad - but we currently have runaway DEflation, which is worse..

If prices are so low, make bread and buy goods. Oh wait - it still makes much more sense to sell goods. As more players finally caught on, it's harder to convince them to buy insanely overpriced goods. This is no economic flaw. If you think goods are cheap, upgrade your bakery. As for me, I only now begun even keeping workers around for bread production.. it was so incredibly pointless up until now.

There's a reason real-world "price stability" is generally defined as inflation in the range of 2%, as opposed to 0

This is the greatest evil of our time: a purposeful policy of currency debasement. Soon there will be nothing left and we will all realize how silly we were to trade goods and services for worthless pieces of paper.

Reed
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Postby Reed » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:40 am

"Caelicola" wrote:If prices are so low, make bread and buy goods. Oh wait - it still makes much more sense to sell goods. As more players finally caught on, it's harder to convince them to buy insanely overpriced goods. This is no economic flaw. If you think goods are cheap, upgrade your bakery. As for me, I only now begun even keeping workers around for bread production.. it was so incredibly pointless up until now.

Yeah - the market has come back to Earth. Just because there isn't a 1000% profit anymore, doesn't mean that it's broken. You're still making out selling your lux material at 3. It's a reasonable buyer's market now. Make bread and buy up!

But you can still play a high profit game by founding cities further out from the center where players have no choice but to pay higher prices because the supply is more limited. And most markets aren't very highly upgraded and are seeing less than 20 nomes above/below. The highest level on the server is actually 14, and there's only one of those. Not many above 10.

All that said...the demand for lux goods will increase with some things coming down the pipe.
Last edited by Reed on Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Hoborg
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Postby Hoborg » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:12 am

"Caelicola" wrote:This is the greatest evil of our time: a purposeful policy of currency debasement. Soon there will be nothing left and we will all realize how silly we were to trade goods and services for worthless pieces of paper.


LOL, where'd you copy-paste this from?


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