Dev Diary: Rethinking Gold as a Currency

What sets this game apart IMO
ign HC: Ek_dank Acct name xDank
Horrible, outdated system of economics. There is a reason NO first-world country uses commodity currency; it is immensely unstable. Your plan to stop gold farmers clearly failed, now stop inconveniencing your players and set a standard fiat currency that people can trade with. It is extremely inconvenient to trade with a player using orbs, only to find out that they don't accept equivalencies according to market value. When a large amount of players don't accept equivalencies, it makes the market unstable. We can still get that corny "rush" from finding orbs since they still possess inherent value, but please just add gold that gets automatically looted and split up between members of a party so that people can have an easier time trading.
While having a trade system that doesn't use gold is all fine and dandy,You should probably have implemented something that shows the actual value of the item...For instance When a player just starts,Say they find a Chaos orb or something like that how are they to know it's good? or what it's worth, they don't i actually sold my first one to Nessa because i had no idea what it was for or what it was worth. what if there was a rarity system? Say a scroll of wisdom has a rarity of 5 and a chaos orb a rarity of 50? that way NEW players would know what a chaos orb is worth in equal trade to wisdom scrolls? it's great that you have just said go crazy and just trade what you want to trade based on what you need...But early on we don't need any thing except wisdom scrolls and maybe the odd transfusion orb >_> just saying. that a value system would be great.


Yes. That is the biggest draw back of the system. Especially when I'm trying to decide what loot to keep & what to drop when my bag is full. Then find out later, that the one I kept doesn't give much in return & the one I dropped might have given more. Also, I think they should value each trade item by a certain amount of trade points (tp). Like a scroll of wisdom is 1tp, portal scroll is 3tp (takes 3 s/wisdom to make), orb of transmutation is 21tp (takes 7 portals to make), etc.
Actual economist here working in game development. You certainly did a great job with your economy, but there is still a lot of misconception in your post.
(I apologize for my english in advance, i am not a native speaker)

First some simplified economics theory.
1.) Trading is good. By trading, both sides end up with more value in their pockets. (You buy bread, because it has more value for you than the currency it costs, baker sells you the bread because for him the bread has less value than the currency you are giving him. You both now have more)
2.) Therefore it is wise to eliminate barriers of trade. One historical barrier of trade was barter trade - hence the introduction of currencies.

So from this point of view you should eliminate any barriers of trade.

But theory is more complicated in game design.
1.) In games, VALUE is more complicated. You are usually not expecting to gain anything when you finish the game (unless you are a gold farmer). Sometimes when you end up with some MMORPG you manage to sell your gear/account and gain some currency (money) back. But your time spent with the game is usually much, much more valuable to you than the money you get out of it. So why do we all do it? To have FUN. The journey with the game is valuable to us. It might sound simple, but it is very important to keep that in mind as games get more complicated.
2.) In RPGs part of the journey (fun) is developing your character.
3.) You can develop your character by trading - the end result of trading is fun.
4.) BUT the actual trading isn't FUNny. Trading without the end result is just a chore. It doesn't add anything to the journey.
5.) Therefore in games you have to be VERY careful not to make trading the optimal way to develop your character, becouse many players wil end up spending more and more time trading and less time enjoying the journey. They will quickly burn out and quit the game because it is not FUN anymore.

But how do you do that? Ironically many decided to impose barriers of trade.
- In D3 they limited trading only to people that were actually present in the game when the item dropped and only for limited amount of time - therefore you can't spend that much time trading.
- In MMORPGs many of the best items are Bind on Pickup/Equip.
- In D2 no auction hall and barter trade made trading hard
- And PoE is doing almost the same

So far so good. It is a design decision that works.
But why do you think some of the stated things have any connection to economy or currency in your game?
1.) No negative currency sinks. Works with gold as well
2.) „Treadmill feeling“. Works as well with gold. Just don’t have all creatures drop gold but let one drop pouch every x mins with 1-100 000 gold. So every play session gain is vastly different.
3.) Good buys. Works as well. „I was wondering whether i should give my 10 000 for two chaos orbs to enhance my sword but one guy sold me much better sword for 8 000. Yay!“

TL:DR - Many of the stated features have nothing to do with economics/currencies.
great article, valid in 2017
It's 2017 but I just wanted to say that what you guys came up with currency in POE is brilliant! Inflation has always been a problem with every game ever made. I love the fact that each currency may have different values to each players, and benefits each player in a different way. I played Diablo II since I was a kid and I must say I love the fact that I don't have to worry about buying dozens of potion whenever I got back to town, not having to worry about repairing stuff. The game is less about grinding and more about playing and enjoying. Awesome!
Best system to this day. I really don't understand why nobody picks up on this. Every single new ARPG goes gold. A step backward in my opinion in fact.

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