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Musings on digital currency

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I don't know whether Obsidian plan to implement dedicated servers for online play (e.g. Battle.net), but if they want to take that extra step and make their game truly great by doing son, they'll need to consider a few things. One of them is a way to make muling simple and easy whilst preventing infinite hoarding (a character limit is the typical method), another is trading.


Specifically, how do you make your items (and hence the game) retain the same level of fun and wonder 1 or 2 years later as it did on opening day?


What am I talking about? Well when that godly, uncommon item drops in the first few weeks of play, everyone is going to go "wow, nice find!". When that item drops 2 years later in an economy without some method of controlling inflation, the first noob you see will go "oh, I already have 2 of those".


1 year after Diablo 2 Classic, Blizzard released their expansion pack, and they understood this mechanic upon seeing how trading in D2C played out (duping didn't help). They introduced more Horadric Cube recipes. Multiple different recipes did roughly the same thing: they removed excess currency from the game. These recipes typically take the form of taking Stones of Jordan (now-defunct currency from Classic), or gems and high-level runes (LoD currency) and turning them into an item you MIGHT want - an upgraded armour/weapon, or a new rare item, etc. The key here is the recipe MIGHT work - so you often have to try multiple times (eliminating currency each time) to get what you want (e.g. a weapon with the maximum damage enhancement mod).


Diablo 3 might not have a Cube, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will have transmutation like this.


Another reason Blizzard did this was to construct a standard currency which was easily obtainable for all players but still valuable (gems and runes) rather than an item so rare it had to be duped (and in doing so constantly inflate prices) to make a viable currency (the unique ring Stone of Jordan). I doubt Blizzard new precisely what gems and runes would become the gold standard (heh), but they could be confident that at least some of them would because their rune and gem systems, as well as cube recipes, were so diverse.

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Are you asking for DS3 ideas from WoW players or wondering how WoW does things and how it might apply to a non-MMRPG game?


WoW uses bound items (not tradeable once worn) and has complicated chr. trade professions that require constant - and sometimes very time-consuming or dangerous-to-get - resources (ore, herbs, other stuff etc) to make their top items with. Most top-top tier items that aren't instant-bound (and there aren't that many, far as I could tell) are hard to get (can't get them with solo-Baal runs, haha), and thus rarely seen in general trade to begin with, because ppl want to keep them themselves or at least keep them in a group-guild. If you play long enough to acquire all those items from raids etc. then the continued fun of beating a very hard big man raid is supposed to be the challenge/motivation, not item hunting itself.


Most of the general economy revolves around profession resources (ppl paying so they don't have to spend hours gathering themselves) and general items for new chrs/solo player types and low-level duelers, etc. Occasionally Blizzard adds new trade recipes etc. that include some of the early/easy to get resources in order to boost trade in those areas, to either force high-levels to spend time gathering them again or increase trade values for new players etc.


I'm not sure if that sort of thing would work in a non-MMRPG. Most action-RPG's have no serious 'profession' to keep demand for some things very high throughout, for example.


Something like what D3 seems to be planning to do would be more likely.

Edited by LadyCrimson
“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I really really hope that Obsidian doesn't try to do any kind of online architecture beyond the bare minimum, considering their track record.


I would guess that they will use Xbox Live for 360, Playstation Network for PS3 and Steam(?) for the PC.

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