Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

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Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by SonofKitt » 28 May 2018, 19:23

As requested, a short version of my novel.


The main topics I want to touch on are;

1. Problem: MMO Economy – & The Five Rules
2. Suggestion: Resources Scarcity & Specialisation
3. Suggestion: Transport Network
4. Suggestion: Trader Post/Market Interface

6. Result: Player Hotspot's, Real Politics and Warfare
5. Conclusion

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Wow wait, no combat suggestions, this guy has got to be joking?!”, but in my opinion both combat and non-combat and equally important. Neither can exist without the other. There are already plenty of people out there providing constructive feedback on the combat side of things anyway.

1. The Economy

Every resource in the game, whether its feathers, unmixed herbs, pork or royal plate armor, needs to have value and be worth trading.

The Five Rules to maintaining a successful MMORPG in-game economy;

Rule 1: Make sure there are resources that are needed the most are ones that anyone can gather, including new players. Follow EVE's "more Tritanium!" model rather than the theme-park "highest level mats only" model.

Rule 2: Encourage specialisation of labour by making systems that reward players/guilds for specialising in one thing, be it gathering or crafting, and encourage inter-dependency by having different specialisations require output from other specialisations... Money flows in EVE because everyone always needs something from someone else.

Rule 3: BUT DON'T make it impossible for guilds to go out of their specialization in order to correct for market inefficiencies.

Rule 4: Build systems that make it easy for players to transact without actually having to interact. Markets with buy and sell orders are a great way for a player to indicate their desire to make an economic transaction without having to actually find someone to listen to them first.

Rules 5:Worry more about equipment/resources/item faucets and drains than cash faucets and drains. Don't neglect cash drains; but worry a lot more about equipment/resources/item drains.

So what can we do to make sure we a within the Five rules as much as possible?

2. Scarcity of High Quality Primary Resources and Specialisation of Regions.

So… Time = Money. It's a basic, crucial truth upon which every economic reality is based.

When the player looks at the prices of things on the Market/Trader Post, the player must make a choice: buy it at that price on the Market or go get it yourself. One costs money, the other costs time. If a player is equally willing to spend either resource, then they should do whichever is cheaper: if the player can get the money to buy the thing in less time than getting the thing itself, then they should buy the thing.

Currently, its almost always easier to go get it yourself and this often includes regional items (region bases).

And what would create this in Life is Feudal? Scarcity of resources & guild specialisation
Currently is almost always quicker/easier to get the resources yourself. Even region resources.
Below is a rough illustration of a Current Guild Economy, with the quality of primary resources available to a hypothetical guild displayed around the edge.


Why would this guild need to trade with others? Maybe for a few regional items (and that’s only if they don’t just go get it themselves with a regional private/T1 claim)
Now, below are three hypothetical guilds for three different climate zones.


They trade a few regional items every now and then for armor blueprints, but for the most part they are completely self-sufficent.
And remember primary resources don’t even need to be 100Q. As they move through the crafting chain, the quality of the product increases.

So how can we create this scarcity? In my opinion, by implementing the following concepts;

A) Climates - Primary Resource Quality Caps, and
B) Regions – Yields & Action Speed bonuses.

Firstly, Climates - Primary Resource Quality Caps, and limiting what quality of resources can be gathered in a specific climate.
(Like the real world)

Below is an illustration how resources could be capped/limited in each climate region.


If a guild were to be based in the Arctic, they would be able to produce things like wood, bark, sticks, fish, water, flint to the highest quality , in which they would be able to sell to others for a premium. This is just a rough concept and more balancing of recipes would be required.
The specifics would need to be fine-tuned/balanced. Where;
Red = 0-25, Orange = 0-50, Blue = 0-75 & Green = 0-100. Or
Red = 0-10, Orange = 0-32, Blue = 0-66 & Green = 0-100
to account for skill influence during crafting.

Guilds in each climate would have unique resources they could produce at the highest quality.

Now, with climate caps, the same three guilds now have a very different availability of high quality primary resources. They can still do everything, make walls, cook food, make armor & weapons etc but they will have to trade with others for the higher quality resources.


They now directly or indirectly rely on one another for high quality resources (outside of regional's).

If guild B wants to make a high quality blacksmith hammer, then they will want to trade with Guild A for a high quality branch and Guild C for a high quality ingot. Ultimately, they won’t necessarily have to trade directly with Guild A or Guild C but instead they look to the market of trader posts around them for these resources. A market where resources slowly filter from trader post to trader post around the world.

(No need to “reset/wipe” resources/world, just cap resource output during gathering). Just like the blacksmithing line works with Iron, Steel, Vos, with 60, 80, 100. I.e. primary resources would be truncated when completing actions in each climate;


Secondly, to further create specialisation, Regional Yields & Action Speed Bonuses could be implemented to make some regions more efficient than others for a select few tasks.

Below is a rough example of what could be implemented to help make the regions more specialised. I have plucked the figures below out of thin air, its more about the concept than the values.


These specialisations could help make sub-biomes with unique advantages which could allow certain resources to be produced with less effort in certain regions. Increased yields in specific regions would definitely swing the balance of effort in encourage trade. Even little things like chopping speed or mining speed would give slight advantage in speed of gathering that resource which would tilt the time/effort = money scale.

With climate resource capping and regional specialisation, you would effectively create 28 different resource biomes with their own strengths and weaknesses. By just adding a few resource caps, increased yields and tweaking of actions speeds. No new features.


This would boost trade between regions. It would be a simple change that would create real politics between kingdoms that currently doesn't exist other than politics due to dislike of a person/guild or racism.

Trading with others would become the easiest way of obtain resources that you need.

Add regional specialisation, the three guilds are even more like to focus on certain resources for their exports as they can do it quicker than anyone else AND at a better quality.


The three guilds would become a clog in the greater world economy.

As a result, the current blueprints system would likely need to be adjusted slightly. I.e. Blueprints for wood should be restricted to high quality climates for wood. I.e. Arctic/Sub-Arctic which would be Icy Hermits, Chilling Thickets, Rocky Plains and Wardens of the East.

4. Suggestion: Transport Network:

One major problem with the idea is the transport network required to transfer bulk resources. For all this to work, resources need to be able to be moved around the map without too much hassle.


It would not be impossible to create this road network with the current mechanics, but people would burnout creating it. It would take more effort than Trump’s Mexico wall.


To help this happen, you could do things like;

1. Increase Paving speed, 2X or 3X Faster
2. Decrease quantity of rock/slate/marble for paving 10 or 15 units.
3. Allow for slate/marble to be paved on a tile that is 2.0 height above the adjacent. (Now 1.0)
4a. Increase Terraforming Speed, 2X faster, OR
4b. Increase speed of horse-cart on not perfectly smooth roads. Make it be able to handle uneven roads better.
5. Increase the storage/speed of the horse-cart OR decrease the speed of a horse (courier/warhorse/spirited) when a person is carried 200-500 stone. Not sure how I feel about decreasing horse speed for over-encumbered people but just a thought. Would it be good or bad? I don’t know. Would it make gameplay more enjoyable or less enjoyable? I don’t know.
6. Decrease skill gain from all the above skills/actions if implemented.

5. Suggestion: Trader Post/Market Interface:

In a nutshell, the game needs systems that make it easy for players to transact without actually having to interact. Markets with buy and sell orders are a great way for a player to indicate their desire to make an economic transaction without having to actually find someone to listen to them first.

1) We should not have to select our Trader Post

I don’t know what to say, it’s just painful and unnecessary.

2) More Filters

With Minimum and Maximum values.



1. Price per Unit.
- Take the quantity and divide it by the price.
- Combined with being able to filter minimum and maximum values and then sorting, you could easily filter out a lot of items that you are not interested in.


2. Distance between other Trader Posts and the current one selected. i.e.
- Within 1 unit, 2 units, 3 units, 5 units, 10 units, entire world
- Or just a number that can be typed in. I.e. Filter Trader Posts further than 7.45units away


This would allow people with filter out buy and sell orders that are outside their "Time" level. Most people wont want to see goods more than 1 or 2 servers away, and that's the way it should be. Where people make more frequent SHORTER trades than less frequent LONG trades.


3) Buy Orders

Buy orders are crucial. They let people know the demand for items and save players a lot of time and effort. Players who like the traveller lifestyle could buy items for low prices in one region and sell for a higher price in another.

But, because of the concept of quality, you would not want to have to make 30 different buy orders just because you want 1 sword that is above 70Q.

Say you make a buy order for a 87Q Nordic Sword for 50 silver. Someone with a 88Q Nordic Sword sees your buy order but can’t fulfil it as you did not ask for a 88Q sword…

The ideal system would be where you say;
a) what price you would pay at the lowest quality,
b) what price you would pay at your highest quality, and
c) how much of said item/resource you want.

See below screenshots.


For Example: Bone Glue
• You would pay 1 silver per bone glue at 67Q.
• You would pay 25 silver per bone glue at 100Q.
• You want 5 Bone Glues.

When creating the Buy Order, you would need to deposit the maximum amount (1G 25 Silver) into the trade post. If someone fulfils your buy order at a lower quality, it would be refunded to your Trader Post Coin.


And behind the scenes. (thought it might help explain..)


In terms of buy order fulfilment, you could just make it so that the seller must have 100% of the order to fulfil/complete the transaction. I.e. the person would need to have all 5 Bone Glue.

However, it would be much nicer if one person with a 3 72Q Bone Glue could fulfil 3/5th of the buy order (at 4 Silver 64 Copper each) and then another person with 2 68Q Bone Glue could fulfil the remainder of the buy order (at 1 Silver 73 Copper each).

This would allow guilds to make a buy order for say 20000 shaped granite with qualities ranging between 45Q at the minimum (for a low price) and 100Q at the maximum (for a premium price). They don’t want it all at once, but at least they will get a steady supply of shaped granite until the order is completed.

3. Search a specific trader post

I.e. when you rock up to a Trade Post, you can just select it from the list to see what it’s got.


When categories on the left are used, you should only be able to see items from the guild selected.

4. Be able to create a blacklist

Not as important, but would be good. Any Trader Posts that you have had bad experiences with and don’t want to see their listings and/or Trader Posts that you don’t want buying items from you (enemies etc)

Buy and Sell Effect:

Below shows the trader posts built on the Buyan server. With the above changes, including climate capped resources, regional specialisation, transport rework and trader post rework, resources/items would move around the map much more fluidly. People won’t be travelling from the north to the south to get regionals from southern drifters, they will likely be making smaller more frequent journeys to trader posts nearby to get resources coming from other regions.

Resources would have different prices depending on location and would be subject to not only supply and demand pressures, but also pressures created through politics and warfare.


6. Result: Player Hotspot's, Real Politics and Warfare

Why do any of this?

I bet 75% of people haven’t left their server node in the last 90 days. People travelling the world can travel for hours without coming across a single soul.

Getting people moving about the world, for either Combat, Trading, Diplomacy etc is crucial to endgame content! I believe the above changes will create hotspot's of activity (discussed at a recent AMA).

A completed transport network would result in players using the network to transport resources from region to region.
See hypothetical hotspots which require no complex coding! Sandbox huh? Hotspots created by players.


Naturally people looking to trade in bulk will use the most efficient (in terms of speed and safety) trade route to get to where they need to be. Think of the red zones being null (EVE) and the orange zones being more like low sec (EVE). High Sec would be trying to travel in secret off the transport network in the forest or through a goats track in the mountains.

The most used trade routes would become playgrounds for bandits to try and steal valuable resources from merchants/traders. High value items would require armed escorts to ensure the goods arrive at their destination.

The only reason to make war now, is mainly due to real life reasons. I.e. the Chinese v The Rest on the Buyan server.


Waring Alliances will look to disrupt each other’s supply routes to gain an advantage in battle.


The politics involved in gaining access to river crossings and/or safe travel through lands with big alliances would add a lot of endgame sandbox content (again with just a few lines of code!).

Think, Twins on the Trident, from Game of Thrones.


Or the strategic location of Constantinople.

Constantinople was the largest and richest urban center in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during the late Eastern Roman Empire, mostly as a result of its strategic position commanding the trade routes between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.


With all the things that have been taken away from the Sandbox PvP in relation to gaining access to bases, this could really change the game in a positive way. Currently, outside of JH, you cannot engage in warfare with a guild unless they come outside of their walls. It would add so much more content to players that are off PRIME TIME, and ultimately allow them to be just as valuable players as players that can play during PRIME TIME.

If you implement regional resources, players/guilds/alliances must take the risk to stay competitive in battle. It would really add so much value to the world politics. You attack a few trade caravans of a big guild? You better be prepared for the backlash.

7. Conclusion

So… what am I hoping to achieve with this forum post?

To help LIF:MMO achieve its goal. To be a “Hardcore Sandbox PVP” “Living and breathing ever-evolving world” that is fuelled by “Politics and Intrigue” and “Worldwide Trade”. All these things need to occur for it to work. They all rely on each other. Just like the wolf and the sheep (to use the flavour of the month words).

Currently, there’s no real reason to go to war other than for bragging rights, or I hate to say it, racism. When sieges are implemented, there will still be no real reason to siege a city other than “why not?”.

Wars should be fought over land (resources) and towns/cities should be sieged for either resource production of a specific resource which helps in warfare, or for strategic/defensive needs.


With the current system, if you siege a city and win, the only real logical thing to do is to take any remaining resources and then to delete EVERYTHING else. This is because your alliance can already produce all primary resources at 100 Quality and it is in their interests to simply delete a defeated claim than maintain it and use it for its resources/strategic location.

If you introduce scarcity into the game, villages/towns/cities become valuable assets that are worth KEEPING. Sure, the defeated guild will feel some angst, but they still have the something worth fighting for; the chance to win back their homeland or join forces with others or both.

Even the little guy would benefit from this setup. People would be able to truly specialise in one skill tree and be able to trade their specific goods at the nearby Trader Post so that they could buy other goods that they need. The lone fisherman could sell his fish and fresh water for a decent price, and buy back other resources/items and enough coins to pay for his claim maintenance etc.

Overall, to change just a few things would add so much to endgame content and keeping people interested. Without actually changing much or adding much.

Some of the more enjoyable experiences I have had has been just exploring the world and see the changes that have occurred. It would be great to see more players out and about. So far in this open beta is have spent 95% of my time within a short distance on my claim. I would happily spend 25-50% out in the world if it was worth my time doing so, as I’m sure most others would as well.

8. Implementation and Timeline.
See full post

Here is a link to the main post:
Last edited by SonofKitt on 29 May 2018, 07:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by Dastu » 30 May 2018, 15:00

Would this change anything with the current situation?
I mean there are few big alliances which are spread across the map which have no problem of getting all of this "by themselves" in other words, nothing will change for them.
Yes, they would need to move some recourses and that would be little different but other than that it seems the same.

Big difference it would be for smaller guilds, forcing them a little to alliances - safe routes to shops, actually allies to trade with and so on.
And i do not thing thats good. For the game at least.

To be fair i have no idea how to do it, but some kind of system which would push guilds to fight each other instead of going in a direction
"We need to be in a big alliance otherwise that other big alliance will destroy us."

Your plan in nr.6 "current situation" is a little misleading actual situation looks more like "with Scarcity of recourses map" just from looking at map while being in a war with one alliance, red circles are everywhere, (greens also).

So the topic seems fine, it just does not feel like it would change something for somebody who is in a big alliance (most of the ppl).

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Re: Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by Korgak » 31 May 2018, 13:39

Fantastic compilation of ideas to improve the game, hopefully they can be implemented, although I doubt it. It would imply redoing the game completely, but it would be more like a simulator of medieval society. Is not that what we all want? :oops:

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Re: Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by SonofKitt » 31 May 2018, 16:52

Hi Korgak,

Maybe have a read of the full post:


I don't think it would require a "redoing the game completely" at all.
Mainly just changing a few existing action speed co-efficients, and resources capped by climate would work similar to the capping of iron & steel (which is where i got the idea from). Buy orders would take a bit of work but wouldn't require a rework.

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Re: Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by Nefezer » 25 Oct 2018, 07:22

Ups sorry, I posted by mistake on your other older subject. Just in case I repeat it here:

SonofKitt wrote:- If Trader Post/Market interface is too restrictive (especially in terms of weight limit) it may not work at all.

Bobik wrote:4. Trade post interface corrections are on the way (and as usual we had to switch on some more urgent development matters :( ) But we're on the same page here, no doubts.

One solution would be to trade between limitation of weight by limiting positions. For non-subscribers it would be a limit of 10 positions (orders to buy or sell indistinctly). For premium subscribers it would be a limit of 100 positions (orders to buy or sell indistinctly). It would not take into account the quantity or weight only the number of orders itself.

Go in peace.
In a game in BETA version we have to cope with the stressed development team with black humor :twisted:

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Re: Shorter Version: Economy, Scarcity, Trader Posts, Transport, Hotspots, Politics and Warfare

Post by Gfarley-perry » 11 Feb 2019, 16:20

I like the scarcity Idea but would make Q progression slower rather than not being able to reach Q100, for exemple I m a forester I ve got a Quality 80 trees in bad region, most sprouts are of Q 79, only 1/30 gain 2 pts of Q, 1/100 gain 3 pts. I m in the best zone for trees so I get 1 pts increase on most and 4 pts increase 1/30 and 6 pts once every 100. You could play with trees not growing well if they are out of their desired climate, arctic and desert allowing performance only for 2-4 essences.

A copy of my proposal on 0,2,0 update about trading.
The tax system is great and work wonder with the new trade system but I feel like we need a real incentive to connect Town with functional roads.
I feel like the best incentive would be to play with where the transaction cost goes, for example:
I Buy an item the seller receive 2/3 the NPC trader receive 1/4 (mid range trade), the remaining cost is spread between the intermediary guilds who are connected (only the best paths receive revenue, proportional to the road length). It's not a lot but I feel like a 2 server long road in the middle of the map would be worth enough to justify building a guild on it.
The NPC trader should increase his rate on long trip paying more on the way.
Also the rate charged by the trader should reduce by half if he follows a road making it very profitable to connect with the main roads in your surrounding region.
The NPC trader could also be an entity like a coach driver or a cart puller, that spawn at 7 am in game carrying the bought goods (you could also keep the instantaneous trading for 1/2 the quantity and single item so armors and weapons would be available when under attack).
To make it harder to gain trade revenue you could introduce a new building, the donkey stable (T3) or a urban version, the trade agency (more revenue require T4).
To deal with NPC trader entity it could give money during pit stop, if they stop past 6-8 pm they stop for the night.
They could get raided but the initial alignment cost should be a lot (people attacking a trader should be branded a criminal for 1 h+ 1h per previous trader raided). Also raiding a trader passing by your territory should incur a triple penalty (they should appear in green).
Having multiple appearance could help us target valued goods, for exemple:
I buy a more than 600 pounds then the trader cart will need more than a small cart, but someone closer bought another 700 from the same market during the same day so a slow donkey cart is used all the way to the first then a trader cart to reach me. If the goods value is greater than 1 Gp 1 NPC guard will follow, greater than 5 Gp= 2 guards...). If the amount bought requires it I would add more cart or if the path differs it would be normal for 2 traders cart to spawn in the morning from a single donkey cart at a pit stop.

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