Recently, I have been engaging much of the community over at Dual Universe with a discussion about the economy. Before I start, I am no subject matter expert on this, but it is important enough to me for me to continue thinking and talking about it.
Why? Because the economy is what drives just about everything, even in a video game. Well, depending on the sort of game you are playing. Over my many years of playing numerous MMORPGs, I have experienced a variety of “economy systems” that these games utilize. Some are vast, and some are so linear, there may as well not be any place for players to trade with each other.
With the grand scope of Dual Universe claiming to feature a single massive universe for players to explore, build, and do whatever you please; you need functions in the game to provide such autonomy.
Yes, the economy is a huge part of that.
Hands down, the “best” artificial economy I have ever seen has been with Eve Online. It is flawed, but compared to most MMORPGs, it stands tall and proud above the rest. It gives the players complete creativity with how they can make money, and in turn, it drives many player activities. It is a living, breathing universe of its own which requires little – if any – outside intervention to keep it on track.
Crafting also tends to go hand in hand with how well a system like this is executed. While Eve does feature loot drops from NPCs that can be sold on the market, it isn’t as prevalent as it is in most other games. For the most part, everything you buy in Eve from a ship to a single module item to fit to it, has probably been created by someone else.
Dual Universe claims it will have a highly robust crafting system, which is great, but it also requires the backbone of a functioning economy to make it worthwhile. There is no point in crafting certain items that you will never use right? But hey, joe shmoe across the galaxy could sure use that crate full of beer for his spelunking needs.
So now you create that item, and put it up for sale in your space station. Let’s just go ahead and say you are the only one to be a manufacturer of that specific type of beer right now. If other players do not possess the proper tools or assets to brew said beer (or are just lazy) they now have to go to you to acquire it.
You just made money, and generated “content” for another player just by simply crafting and putting it up for sale. Now, you could even continue that scenario and say that our friend here, joe shmoe, ended up being pirated as he was on his way home because he possessed this delicious nectar of the gods, and this particular pirate is getting tired of his recycled piss rum. Creating yet another event for players in the game.
So far, we know extremely little about what systems will be in place to support the economy in Dual Universe. Which is understandable given the current state of the game right now, but what we do know right now certainly brings up more questions than answers.
We know of a handful of items that will be player crafted to help setup markets across our humble universe.
Market Units from what we can tell will be terminals from which players can interact with to create buy/sell orders.
“In Dual Universe, creating a market will require nothing more than setting up a Market Unit, a particular Element that you can craft and install in any construct of yours. The Market Unit requires an energy supply and a container to store the traded goods. It can be as small as a front door market in your little farm, where travelers can buy your local production, to an orbital station sized market where interstellar megaships are traded.”
Information Units will more or less help you with locating different Market Units, and looking to see what’s all available.
“Importantly, you will access market information (the current list of buy/sell orders for any given good) from a distance, using Information Units to analyze prices on different markets, and compare. This mechanism will naturally establish competition between markets and tend to aggregate them based on geographical or specialization efficiency criteria. When youâ€™ll buy a good on a market 1.000km away from where you stand, it will show up in a local inventory physically attached to that particular market container.”
You can also just check out this devblog post that was released over a year ago where this information comes from. As I said previously, it gives some insight in to what we can expect, but it certainly leaves a lot to be answered. Maybe if I keep pestering the community and the developers at NovaQuark, they’ll give me some answers finally?
In other news, the next six months will be an interesting period for me. For now, my blog and gaming time will remained untouched, but I am beginning to get ready to leave the Marine Corps as my contract comes to a close. I was considering re-enlisting, but I feel there are better opportunities for me elsewhere. Fortunately I have a place to live at in Dallas, TX which will be an interesting change of weather for me. Living in the desert for four years tends to make you allergic to anything with humidity!
Fortunately there are also a lot of job opportunities for me as well, and if I can’t get the one I want, I am getting a bit of a hook up from my brother. So if anything, I have a fall back plan in place just in case things go south on me.
Right now I do not know what my time schedule will look like come summer, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
The Scruffy Pirate