Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

RuneScape - Digging The Virtual Economy

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the micro-macro-economics dept.

31

Inquisitor911 writes "One of the things that is peculiar about MMORPGs are the constantly changing virtual markets. For example, look at RuneScape's Economic Fluctuations after the release of skills allowing players to build in-game houses." From the post: "The initial frenzy started with realtors. Once the announcement about the housing update was made, members flocked to purchase houses (placed in a magical portal, so they don't clutter up the landscape) and then flocked to build. A market sprang up within minutes that catered to those too busy, too intent, or too high-level to bother gathering up resources. Planks, nails, clay, rock, tiles, and more suddenly began to command exceptional prices. Clay went from 10 gold pieces to 1000 gold pieces within minutes. Right now it is hovering between a low of 600 or 700 gold pieces for dry clay to about 1000 gold pieces for wet clay, but the price is fluctuating downwards as the initial demand levels off and more suppliers get in on the action. I expect it will peak again on the weekend as more players become aware of the new function."

cancel ×

31 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Virtual Economies (5, Interesting)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459122)

It'd be interesting to see economic indicators such as inflation, GDP, and CPI computed for a virtual economy like just to see what sort of things come up in this type of environment. Or to see market analysis techniques applied to the prices of in-game items:

"Arcane crystal prices skyrocketed today after Blizzard implemented a series of upgrade quests that require arcanite components, while water breathing potions tumbled after the spawn rate of Oily Blackmouth was significantly increased."

Re:Virtual Economies (4, Informative)

Rendus (2430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459325)

There's actually a website dedicated to this in Everquest - www.eqecon.com

Re:Virtual Economies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15459431)

News Tier 3 armor in the upcoming 1.11 WoW patch will require considerable arcanite and mooncloth and cured rugged hides. Cured rugged hide requires refined deeprock salt.

Arcanite transmute is a 2 day cooldown.
Mooncloth creation is a 4 day cooldown.
Making refined deeprock salt is a 3 day cooldown.

Arcanite crystals will probably become even more valuable since fairly large quantities are required and many people will be seeking them. They run about 30g now and I have no idea what they will go up to. Only time will tell.

Gold farmers will likely profit the most as they are out there mining 24 hours a day.

Re:Virtual Economies (0, Offtopic)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461435)


Oh, Please.

1) Any guild that can run Naxx that much to get the drops for those quests already has enough manpower in it's guild to make that stuff for itself. Considering they're going to start stockpiling now, and raiders typically have 2-3 alts which can do all the time-limited combines, it's going to be a non-issue.

2) There really aren't that many guilds that will be able to clear Naxx enough to get those drops. Joe Blizzard estimated that only 15% of all players have ever killed Nef. And Naxx starts out harder than Nef.

Re:Virtual Economies (2, Informative)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459433)

It'd be interesting to see economic indicators such as inflation, GDP, and CPI computed for a virtual economy like just to see what sort of things come up in this type of environment. Or to see market analysis techniques applied to the prices of in-game items:

There actually is a group dedicated to doing that in World of Warcraft, but their research isn't open to the public.

A couple of corrections (1)

Wise Dragon (71071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459236)

* tile is not a runescape construction material
* runescape characters may in fact sit (and rock!) in their new chairs.

Re:A couple of corrections (3, Funny)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460128)

runescape characters may in fact sit (and rock!) in their new chairs.

That's it. I'm buying the game.

There's nothing like being lazy in two places at once. I could get twice as much loafing around done this way.

Re:A couple of corrections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15476810)

:) you dont buy RS, its a free online game(although construction is a members only skill($5 a month for a full membership), so you will hafta pay that little fee to use it... sites at www.runescape.com. :) dont forget to get Runescape demon(uber helpful toolkit you just google to find) or use www.runehq.com for help!

Yeah, but can they buy REITs? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459385)

Real Estate Investment Trusts?

It's one thing to speculate on clay prices, another to supply goods to people heading for a goldrush (why Seattle is bigger than Tacoma), but if they actually allowed you to create a mutual fund to invest in property speculation and rentals to lazy heros, now that's intriguing.

Wonder how many gold one would have to invest to be able to live off the proceeds and get a new two-handed sword every month in earnings ...

ToAU and FFXI (3, Interesting)

TheKeeper (212278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459418)

squareenix recently did some market control with the expansion ToAU.
they added npc's that sell some items that were player crafted only, and it short supply.
they also added many npc's that sell goods that formerly were in short/limited supply due to limited store volumn.

they also opened up a new worms nest of extortion tho, they have a problem similar to runescape.
by adding a VERY VERY sought after item used by one of the new very popular jobs (w.cocoons for pup's).
very low drop rate from kills, and only a small handfull available per game day (about an earth hour) makes an item that costs 100 from the store, sell for 6 figures.

granted, as people get (from various means, or just shelling out the cash) get the items, the demand and there for the price rapidly falls, which only brings in more demand from people that were waiting for it to fall, which drives prices back up.... and so on.

in 2 years of playing FFXI, i've seen the market go up, down, sideways,
  and last xmas, even do a quadruple how-now-brown-cow backflip half twist summersault (if you were there, you'd understand)

MMO markets are very fragile things, and with so many players, 24/7 poking at it, they are almost as fun to playwith as going out and killing things.

Same thing happened in UO few years back (1, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459429)

If you wanted to GM a skill, say like woodworking, or blacksmithing, you'd buy 50,000 boards, or ignots, and crank out whatever gave you the best gains in skills ups. For smithing, it was plate (breastplate). You didn't care how much you failed, you just wanted the dam "Your skill in Blacksmithing has increased to XX.X" message. Everyone I knew was unavailable their first hour of logging, trying to jam their skill during their power hour.

The thing was, the cost per ignot and board shot up dramatically as well (duh!) once more people started doing this, due to the high demand. It was kind of cool to even see when the miners unofficially banded together and demanded more for their ore, because they could. It made the game seem more real, to see how the economy fluctated, based on supply and demand. Of course I had a miner and a smith, so I didn't mind charging slightly less then the "going rate" in order to get a little more sales.

Aside, housing was always a problem, since when you placed a house, even a stupid twig would stop you from bein able to place it. Plus it didn't help that the land had to be "flat"

I didn't realize Runescape was so popular, until seeing the MMORPG charts updated just a little while ago. I suspect one of the reasons is because it has that "old-skool" UO feel to it. (Witness the slow adaption of the 3D client when it first came out. Heck, I knew people, myself included, who played it on laptops too.)

My brother pointed out that Guildwars wasn't included in the MMORPG charts, but that's because it's nigh impossible to get an accurate 'subscriber' count, when it doesn't technically have subscribers.

Ah the good 'ol days of where "Cor Por" was the standard dungeon greetz. :-)

--
Game Design is about the unholy trinity: Realism, Logicalness/Consistency, Convenience
Unfortunately, far too mamy players are argueing about the wrong thing, usually the red herring of realism.

Re:Same thing happened in UO few years back (2, Funny)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460467)

Aside, housing was always a problem, since when you placed a house, even a stupid twig would stop you from bein able to place it. Plus it didn't help that the land had to be "flat"

Of course that didn't stop many areas from looking like a trailer park. A very very dense trailer park with everyone and their blocked in polar bears shouting "get off my lawn!".

Popularity of Runescape (2, Informative)

jeti (105266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460991)

I think Runescape is mostly popular because every kid with
an internet connection can enter it. You don't have to
install additional software and you can play the free version
for an unlimited time. Even the commercial version is cheap
by comparison ($5).

The majority of Runescape players are teenagers.

Is it just me... (0, Flamebait)

Madpony (935423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459653)

...or am I the only person who immediately thinks, "Who the hell cares?!" when I see the phrase "Virtual Economy" in a Slashdot article's title.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459859)

...or am I the only person who immediately thinks, "Who the hell cares?!" when I see the phrase "Virtual Economy" in a Slashdot article's title.

It's just you. Or it's just you and a handful of like-minded folk that aren't quite dull enough to tell all of us quite how dull they themselves find it. A good number of us however are much more interested in the topic than reading about the people that aren't. =P

Re:Is it just me... (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15459964)

i too was wondering how wonderful economic analyses/shilling for boring MMPORG's affect the number of lemmings subscribing to these games. Isn't it enough that I can't shut out the britney spears/MMPORG/Myspace/Friendster crew hyping a new fad at school and work? Must I see it on slashdot every week too?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

biggyfred (754376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460933)

Well thank god for the rest of us, they've also given you a pulpit from which to complain.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461247)

Isn't it enough that I can't shut out the britney spears/MMPORG/Myspace/Friendster crew hyping a new fad at school and work? Must I see it on slashdot every week too?

Get over yourself, Sparky.



Oh, hey, almost forgot: The Dry Cleaners just called; your black trenchcoat is ready. They apologized that they were unable to completely remove the stench from the clove cigarettes, however...

Re:Is it just me... (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461836)

Here's a lollipop. Feel Better?

I return you now to your regularly scheduled advertisment.

P.S. Thanks for tapping my phone lines and picking up my messages, I guess.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467139)

Whine whine whine.

And the answer is Yes, btw.

Lobster certificates, hurrrrrrrrr!!11 (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460019)

It's good to know that RuneScape is still spiraling downhill out of control, on fire. PS Cooking lobsters turns them from brown to red, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

The truth about runescape (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15460107)

This is all nice and all but RuneScape is for total fags. Little dungons and dragons fucktards with no life. I laugh in their fucking faggot faces. It's perhaps the gayest excuse for a MMORPG I've ever seen. Fuck you, you runescrape fags.... up the ass with a staff of faggotry +4

Player's note (2, Interesting)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460176)

Disclaimer - I assist in running a Runescape help site. A legit one. Google me if you want.

This happens in any MMO. Demand surges from the rich people with money to blow. The poor people jump in to harvest material to get rich. The rich get a gigantic mansion (the skill construction is little more than a massive goldsink, ex: equipping a dungeon into your house complete with a 'steel dragon' costs you well over fifteen MILLION gold), the poor get cash to spend on supplies.

This happened in Runescape after any skill release (farming, runecrafting), this will happen in World of Warcraft when Jewelcrafting comes out at expansion, etc. Give it a few weeks, prices will stabilize, and we're back to the status quo.

I believe that Runescape presents the best MMO economy simply because nothing is ever bound to the user and prices for supplies are generally not set. In other games the best gear, best armor or whatever cannot be resold and typically also cannot be bought (WoW, UO, etc).

Re:Player's note (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460492)

This happened in Runescape after any skill release (farming, ...

heh heh heh...

Re:Player's note (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460555)

Don't laugh. Farming is actually a skill in this game. You can plant herbs and trees and have to water them and protect them from pests for some time until they grow valuable.

Re:Player's note (2, Interesting)

Swift(void) (655825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15460739)

This happened in Runescape after any skill release (farming, runecrafting), this will happen in World of Warcraft when Jewelcrafting comes out at expansion, etc. Give it a few weeks, prices will stabilize, and we're back to the status quo.


It already happens. The War Effort to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj being the biggest example. On Proudmoore, stacks of wool shot up from about 40-50 silver to over 2 gold, silk cloth was even higher. Every resource required for the war effort skyrocketed until the gates opened, where they slowly returned to normal.

Re:Player's note (1)

SteroidG (609799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15462296)

"In other games the best gear, best armor or whatever cannot be resold and typically also cannot be bought (WoW, UO, etc)."
Can you please let me know where did you get the information about UO's best gears can not be resold or bought and why?

Last time I played UO, any item can be transfered between players in different ways (including dropping on the floor accidentally) and basically anyone can use anything (given that the character's attribute permits). But that was a couple of years ago, things might have changed.

Re:Player's note (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15464144)

"I believe that Runescape presents the best MMO economy simply because nothing is ever bound to the user and prices for supplies are generally not set. In other games the best gear, best armor or whatever cannot be resold and typically also cannot be bought (WoW, UO, etc)."

However, due to the nature of the general population of RuneScape (younger players, around 10-12ish [note: not all-inclusive]), the entire game's economy and social scene is largely unsound. The more experienced players dominate the game through large numbers of design flaws (i.e. you need an anvil to craft, but there was one anvil in the freaking world last time I played). In other words, the economy is a prime example of capitalism--but the bad side of capitalism, the type that built the inner cities.

So while it's true that RuneScape has a largely laissez-faire economic system with a vertical production chain, I feel it is far from the best economy. The system puts prices on even decent items high above those attainable for newer players; even if this represents the real world, the sociopolitical (i.e. guilds, players, stratification of classes) and game dynamics hardly allows one to rise up in the game without serious grinding.

I'm not going to provide a game with the 'best' economy as such a thing is obviously in the eye of the beholder. The most realistic is a completely different classification but, being no economist although I do find this subject interesting, I have no right to make it.

Re:Player's note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15465044)

Would you please shut up you stupid faggot?

MMORPG "economy" (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465620)

This "economy" thing is a joke,and i don't want to expand on it.Blizzard can twist the world all they want.It like calling
software viruses "alive" or nethack a "virtual reality game".

New Dimensions (1)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15465938)

I've always wanted the developers to put more emphasis on these types of systems by placing actual specialists on the development team. There are probably a number of graduate students who would be interested in participating in the development of a virtual simulation of their studies, and it would certain add a whole new dimension to the normal gameplay.

Just think of it: Economists planning actual economic systems that have forethought; politics, anthropology, and history majors all developing a rich systems that make sense for a change.

We have a wide body of research and development out there in all these fields, but they are being wasted on reality. Come on people, get with the programming.

-------

-- John Searle
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>