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Sep 11, 2009



If you ever want to see how to do MMO Economics very poorly, this is the place.

Just a few days into the first restart, and they have a currency that is going crazy.

The solution? The first one was a restart, the second a re-write of the rules, and the third is a second re-write the rules. All in about 10 days.

In round 2, they had an exponential currency. The larger the street and the more investment the larger the payout. The formula being (street value/1,000,000)*(investment) = payout.

The larger the payout, the larger the street you could buy and the more investment you could make the very next day.

Day 1: 3M
Day 2: 4.5M
Day 3: 20M
Day 4: 100M
Day 5: 2.5B

That was until they changed the rules. Now seems to be linear. They are still dumping huge amounts of currency into the market, and haven't figured out how to take it back out.

The other problem, is that unlike the board game where dice add a factor of luck, because you can buy the streets you want as soon as you have the money, the top players, will always have the top streets, which make the most money, which means they stay on top, until all the good streets are gone, at which point they have very little to do with all the cash they are making except start trouble.

Cheating was also given a huge advantage, imagine being able to play the board game with an unlimited number of tokens, each with start-up cash, cash that can be 'traded' for nothing to a single user that uses it to buy everything up. And reinvest at exponential rates. Had they stuck with this system, I calculated it would be about 2 weeks before the numbers wouldn't fit on the screen anymore. That's when you now you've got an economic design problem.

The only limit in the game is server load, which they have all but run out of.

The team has made just about every mistake in the book, in the shortest period of time. No one that I know of has ever crashed an 1-3 million person MMO economy 3 times in 10 days.

Still, the game play is fun, and a giant game of Monopoly has too much economics to resist. So, I play on.


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