Suggestion for cash inflow: 17
Increase raw gold farm (either via raw gold drop from mobs, events or even new farming spots with a high increase on income) (5) 29%
Reduce costs of dungeon passages and change the drops to include gold, like Bagjanamu (1) 6%
Merge earlier to S1 which has a critical population mass (3) 18%
1) and 2) (5) 29%
1) and 3) (2) 12%
2) and 3) (1) 6%
If you're playing Season right now, you might miss the state it was in two weeks ago. It was fresh, blooming with people, and you could actually sell things.
Player-driven economy games are dangerous: you need a sustained player base for it smoothly work. As you might've guessed, this is not the case with the season server.
I started playing SG on this server, as I've received the promo e-mail before Christmas vacation (very well done to the SG team for that promo timing), as many of you. I had a lot of fun these past weeks, but I calculated that the population would sharply decline once the holidays were over.
Now, back to the economy part, in order for it to work properly, we need at least three things:
- Inflow of items -> Items obtained by player drops
- Inflow of cash -> Derived directly from money that is dropped from monsters, NOT SALES
- Necessity of items -> Derived from the need of items by the players
The necessity of items is ever-shifting due to game progression, i.e., in the early game you needed blessing scrolls and skill books, but now these are NOT as needed. SG does a great job of providing use for these items, so I would say the problem does not lie in items becoming obsolete.
Inflow of items is not a problem here as well -- there are a lot of interesting items for sale, be it usable items or upgrade stuff. You can see that the shops are packed. A reduced player base is not affecting this field because each player provides sufficient offer to keep the markets packed.
Inflow of cash is where the bigger issue lies. Raw gold farm is lacking on this server, for the prices that are expected by the players and that were established. Population decline should linearly affect the cash inflow but I personally believe that is more of a quadratic relationship in this case.
Let's say 1 average person playing the game 2 hours a day farming stones lv.90 made about 10kk RAW gold. I believe this is a generous estimate. When that person quits the game, the 10kk does not get injected to the economy. This in itself is a problem but it would be OK if the population critical mass was achieved (like it is on the main server).
Since the population is so low here, means that, because 1 person quit, means that items weren't sold. Since they weren't sold, the person selling them is no longer motivated to farm, because nothing they farm is being sold. Since they don't farm, they ALSO do not get inflow of cash themselves to spend on other people's items. So one person quitting ends up exponentially affecting a number of players, by starting a vicious cycle. And NO, not everyone keeps farming if they're not selling anything. Many people wait for their items to sell in offline shops in order to finance their next character upgrade step.
Gameforge servers actually mitigated this issue by introducing auto-hunting to keep players farming gold 24/7, but I would highly suggest to NEVER implement such systems here, there are better game design choices.
In the case of the main server, since it has a critical mass of players, it means that items are still sold which in turn still motivates players to farm, thus sustaining the economy.
In order to fix this a combination of this steps could be needed:
- Increase raw gold farm (either via raw gold drop from mobs, events or even new farming spots with a high increase on income)
- Reduce costs of dungeon passages and change the drops to include gold, like Bagjanamu
- Merge earlier to S1 which has a critical population mass
If nothing is done, population will keep dwindling, returning players that have left after the vacation (which you guys HAVE to recapture) will come home to a server with no economy and leave right after. Existing players will not be able to keep progressing due to lack of cash flow to keep sustaining their characters upgrade.
In my opinion, the first two suggestions combined would be a good starting step. I will leave a poll to drive the opinion of players.