Economy: why it's broken and how to fix it

Why New World’s economy is broken and how to fix it

1. Quest reward economy
New World’s player driven economy tries to follow the model of other crafting based sandbox mmos but it breaks it with its own reward economy.
Games like Albion Online and EVE Online have economies based on gathering and crafting but they don’t have a PvE quest system that hands you both the cash and the equipment you’re meant to spend the cash on.
This kills every player’s need to buy crafted gear and therefore guts the viability for sale of crafted items.
As an example I’ll mention the amulet that is rewarded to all players in a very early quest. This item provides Constitution on top of a percentage health boost which makes it both good and versatile.
This single quest reward alone kills the market viability of ANY amulet that can be crafted before reaching Jewelcrafting lv.100.

2. Resource rarity/value pyramid
Normally in crafting based economies the rarity of a resource or crafting material directly affects its value but in New World high tier resources quickly dropped in value below their lower tier versions.
This is caused by the very high amount of rare resources you get from just a few nodes and by the fact that refining recipes include those lower tier materials and in larger quantity. It takes 24 units of iron ore to turn 6 units of starmetal ore into one ingot. This recipes make it so that the starmetal ingots production is effectively bottlenecked by iron gathering making the lower availability of the higher tier ore irrelevant in determining its market value.
This heavily affect wars and politics since the most sought out territories are not the ones with rare materials but the ones with iron and hemp.
Some low tier materials being sought after and acquiring value it’s not a problem itself but higher tier resources being less valuable and in some cases almost worthless is a big one because the “return on (time) investment” ratio is also broken and players are better off crafting iron/steel ingots indefinitely, selling them to buy anything else they could possibly need compared to someone investing time and money into leveling up professions further.

3. Professions and production vs consumption
The amount of items that players need to gather or craft to level professions is really high. That wouldn’t be a problem by itself but it generates an offer of products that ovewhelms the already scarce demand and trading fees make it more rewarding to salvage the crafted gear than it is to try and sell it in an overblown market. This turns particularly bad when we talk about goods that cannot be salvaged and are still worthless in the market, like most potions, the best way of leveling arcana is, in fact, burning resources by crafting thousands of potions before dropping them on the ground.

4. Territorial dominion and company hoarding
The dominant strategy taking over the game’s servers of big clans putting money together very early to instantly acquire regional dominance also inflates the economy by injecting an obscene amount of cash into the hands of a handful of people when the server is still young.
This is not only bad for the political balance of the server (on which its longevity is reliant) but also allow those few to further manipulate and exploit the economy by hoarding, scapling and overtaxing. This strategy needs a tailored response and the tax thresholds need a rebalance.

5. Character build expression
In games of this sub-genre players are usually free to create more characters or simply to level up every skilltree without respecs. New World shoots itself in the foot by heavily limiting players from trying out different builds and weapon combinations and this also hurts the economy.
I believe the game has a very good core when it comes to the actual rpg elements, choosing and building your class and role is one of the better conceived parts of the game, which is why it’s a shame that experimenting with builds is so expensive and cumbersome.
I would love to respec more often and try all kinds of weapons and armor combinations but I can’t because the money I would spend into the economy buying gear is ransomed by the game when I respec. Given how different are the available activities in New World I would also love to have two separate loadouts available so I can instantly and freely switch from my tank PvE build to my mage PvP one.
I think a double loadout function should be added to allow players to swap between 2 sets of allocated attributes freely when in a sanctuary. This could be implemented as a personal house function via the addition of a dedicated piece of furniture that potentially adds a loadout slot per house.
I also think respecs for both attributes and weapon masteries should be free or, at the very least, have double prices with players free to choose between gold and azoth. I really don’t see a point in funneling players in one specific build in this kind of game, this will only hurt their enjoyment of the game since most builds are good at something and very bad at something else. Also the simple ability to level and gear up a separate loadout extends the endgame longevity a lot.

6. Auction House UI and search filters
This is somewhat of a separate more obvious issue but the the market’s UI is also putting off players from relying on it. There are no search filters for selling and some item category tabs are either hidden or completely missing.
Search filters for attribute bonuses and keywords are missing and searching for multiple perks only allows AND but not OR filters, finally you can’t type-search the perks but you have to scroll trough them and hovering every one you don’t remember at heart. An overhaul of said UI is not as prioritary as other actions, in order to restore a healthy economy, but it is required nonetheless.

7. Currency economy and fees
Games with player driven economy usually do not have many ways of spending money that doesn’t end into another player’s pocket, New World on the other hand has housing , respecs, faction rewards, repair and baseline fees for trading and crafting.
While housing is somewhat of a luxury that deserves to be expensive, most of these costs are redundant. The trading fee is the main offender in direct relation to the market, destroying any possibility for the economy to thrive over large quantities of small priced goods.
The game is structured in a way that allows gather 3000 units of Iron in half an hour, it requires to craft dozens, hundreds and thousands of items to level up a single professions then applies flat fees that effectively make most of the work worthless, actually below zero sum. It doesn’t help that repair costs are periodic and mandatory on top of being infinite, those should also be removed.
The issue is really made worse by the lack of a way to generate money apart from a finite number of quests. The world injects a (somewhat) finite amount of money into the economy while allowing an infinte amount to be erased from it creating a currency vacuum (deflation). Deflation causes money hoarding and price dropping all across the market.

8. Why it is bad
The reason why the deflated economy is bad for the game is very simple, it becomes altogether obsolete. It won’t take a long time before players realise that most professions are entirely redundant because you can and should just aim to get equipment from quests and drops.
As it stands the only crafting professions that have a place in the economy the ones that produce either consumables or items not freely gained otherwise and they’re still leveled up by losing money and burning resources. The town project board somewhat incentivates players into leveling as many professions as they can but that ultimately does nothing for the economy.

9. Potential solutions and actions required
Most of the issues that have been looked at in this document require some degree of work and I am particularly fond of the loadout system suggested in paragraph 5 but action against a few of the bigger ones is absolutely crucial in the short term:

A) Reduce the amount of good gear players get just by progressing
B) Restore resources/materials value pyramid based on rarity and time investment
C) Remove the currency vacuum, prevent deflation.

  • In my opinion the best way to achieve goal A is to remove most gear for quest rewards, especially fixed highly versatile rewards such as the health amulet and the double luck ring. Quests are already one of the main ways of leveling up and unlocking game features and locations, they do not need any more incentives for players to engage with them.

  • Resolving issue B requires a fundamental change of refining recipes with the removal (or reduction) of lower tier materials from them. To avoid inflation the amount of resouces obtained from each node can be rebalanced accordingly reducing yield for most resources, especially the mid-tier ones. I think a rebalancing of the profession leveling is also in order, by reducing the number of crafted items that are injected into the economy while also making it possible for players to craft items of their own levels for one or two professions whitout investing massive amounts of time (time that is currently better spent elsewhere regardless if you aim for coins, exp or endgame gear)

  • The part of the economy that is not player driven but environmental needs to be balanced out. Money sinks need a reduction, I would remove/reduce respec fees, coin costs from most faction gear, repair fees and the flat component of trading fees. The income part of it also needs a redistribution from the finite to the infinte sources, my suggestion is to reduce money gained from quests and increase a lot money gained from the environment such as monster and chest drops.


The main reason why people aren’t really buying or are going to buy things in the market is because of the low amount of gold influx in the game which is only going to get worse once everyone hits 60. If they want a player run economy to succeed, they need to make sure that the gold is there so that people can spend it in the player run economy. Quests aren’t a good source of gold and neither is farming mobs, eventually people will run out of gold due to the gold sinks in the game and not enough sources of gold to sustain those sinks on top of them now buying anything in the markets due to everyone crafting/gathering their own stuff due to not wanting to spend gold because it’s so hard to come by. They need to fix gold drops and the market will start to fix itself. Before anyone that owns a settlement chimes in here, I know you’re making a lot of gold in taxes, but you’re not the regular player/company that doesn’t own a settlement.


Your reasoning isn’t wrong but ultimately a realistic economy should adapt to the amount of currency available. In a free market prices should naturally settle into a place where money is enough. The reason why this doesn’t happen in new world, apart from what I already pointed out above, are the fixed prices estabilished by the game: housing, holding runes and trading fees.
If anything the game gives you too much money just going trough quests and that contributes to inflation. I do agree with you, however, that the game lacks any sort of activity aimed specifically at earning money and that might also be a problem.

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wars, invasions, and outpost rush all give 500-700 gold every time. that’s going to be the main income of gold outside of the market.

I don’t think those can be deemed as reliable sources of money nor that they are available to everyone but we’re digressing, people should be able to make a living by investing time and resources into professions.


true I do agree with that

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Kinda bummed at the interaction people gets for ignorant rants on the suject while my educated analysis stays in the shadows


This is an excellent post by original author. I think #1-3 are the main ones, with perhaps #2 being the worst in my opinion.

I’d collapse 1 and 3 to say the following: crafting shouldn’t be mandatory but encouraged. The gear score advantage to a crafter should encourage doing so (currently does not, #1), without an insurmountable time sink (#3). Right now, crafting much of anything beyond bags and trophies (which provides leverage on gathering and drops on a quest/loot economy) isn’t a going concern.

#2 is just evil, and I want to expand on original thoughts for clarity. The marginal component cost should be increasing in rarity as components when escalating tiers. It does not right now. By requiring far more iron than starmetal in starmetal ingots, it creates a regressive system where ~95% of the marginal cost of creating starmetal ingots is iron ore–not starmetal. T1 inputs (iron) trades at 10-50x T4 and T5 inputs. Lower iron requirements in later tiers substantially (or remove) and this will become much better. Wonder why you have end-game 60s muscling out new players on iron nodes in starter regions (with starmetal or ori tools)? This is why. Make the cost of T4/T5 refined items driven by T4/T5 gathered items…not T1.

Also: the mastery scaling bonus (on quantity) is creating an oligopoly where 150+ skill refiners have insurmountable cost advantage over new crafters and set the marginal auction price to discourage new entrants. Why are refined item trading at less than 4x T1 input? (because of this). Same is true when you refine with higher tier mats that newbies don’t have (and product 66% more of them). This is not market friendly–it’s oligopolistic.

This really needs to be addressed soon.

Thanks for reading,


Worse: a gold ingot is worth less than a gold coin. That should say enough about how this games economy works.


This is an EXCELLENT post. Especially #1 and #2, with #1 having severe implications on crafting economy, and #2 (in my opinion the most important) having severe implications on not only crafting economy, but also territory value evaluation.

For #4 I think that although OP didn’t explicitly state this, they might be talking about territories like Everfall and Windsward. The balance between settlements inherent value is completely broken and in large part is BECAUSE of #2. If you fix the completely broken resource pyramid then at least that will somewhat de-prioritize windsward/everfall and the earlier game zones.

Of course, they’re still centralized so they will still be incredibly valuable, but this will help to avoid situations where companies are practically giving up the outer territories (pretty much anything that is not windsward, everfall and MAYBE brightwood because they are nothing but cost sinks. Why wouldn’t everyone be in those places if rawhide, iron ore and fiber are the most important resources in the game AND they’re the centralized locations? It has to be one or the other.


That is a very valid point, I am editing to add that low tier resources should be more widely spread out across the entire map.

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I agree with all your points but quests don’t give enough gold to me and a lot of other people in-game, especially when you consider that the ones that give a decent amount of gold are going to run out and aren’t repeatable. The entire market is going to crash hard once the majority hit 60 and once everyone has finished all the main/side quests. The game literally has no way to sustain a player run economy due to there being no reliable influx of gold in the game at endgame that isn’t invasions/wars that aren’t happening often anyways and are on set timers. Amazon needs to fix that and address your other points or the economy in this game is going to tank hard. They need to increase the gold that town boards/faction missions give and probably increase the amount of gold that mobs drops since this is a player driven game/economy and there are no NPC vendors that you can vend stuff to for gold. Imagine having to pay 3000+ gold every week in housing taxes alone for (3 houses) and you only getting 20g a pop for each faction mission at 60, it’s ridiculous (Especially for people that have a limited game time and have to work.). People need to understand that not everyone has 8+hours a day to play this game. I’m not saying that it needs to cater to casuals but right now they set up the game’s gold sinks to be like a subscription MMO to invest a lot of time into without actually having a subscription, while also making it worse.


quests around lvl 40 already gave like 120g, that’s more than enough already lol…

You will run out of those quests and when you run out of those quests and gold, good luck. Wait until you have 3 houses and are paying 3000+ gold a week in taxes.


Great post.

The resource pyramid issue is one of the biggest problems to me in the game right now. Another possible solution is that the same nodes drop more resources contingent on gathering level, which would require very little redesign. My mining is at 150, but I still get 19 ores from a small iron node. If I got 100, it would not take me long to farm the underlying resources to refine higher tier stuff, and it would free up nodes for lower tier players.

I agree that removing quest rewards would help with the crafting economy, but it would hurt players who want to experience the game without relying on crafting or purchasing, and it would also create bumpy markets for low tier equipment as servers mature. I also wonder how it would work with expeditions - if you can’t farm decent gear by running those, what would it get you? I would not do them at all if it were not for the promise of gear, since repair costs often offset gold rewards. If gear drops are removed or lowered, repair costs and requirements would also need adjustment.

One element missing from your analysis is that some costs are fixed, and others float with the market, which is another part of the problem. In particular, repair and housing taxes are super high relative to what is earnable.


I feel like a potential solution with the least amount of impact would be…

In the refining recipe, incentivize the use of previous tiers refined material by making it an optional part of the recipe and combined with a refining reagent, increase bonus to yield.

So, in order to make starmetal ingots, you can solely use starmetal ore. Or, you can throw in some steel or iron ingots + a refining reagent for a potential boost to yield.

  • This would enable folks to refine materials without the need of previous tier refined materials
  • It would also ensure previous tier refined materials have value throughout all tiers as they are now used with the refining reagent to increase bonus to yield

I was thinking something like this with potions, in particular. I have 100s of weak pots - making them crafting ingredients for higher tier potions would get rid of that inventory which is basically unsellable, but you were attacking the issue from a different angle. Either way, the pyramid sucks.


Yeah - I do believe the current design is heading in the right direction of attempting to ensure resources have value throughout the entire lifecycle - avoiding the problem you see in other games where earlier tier resources go unused (especially once the game becomes a matter of player retention vs bringing in new players and retaining existing players).

However, the current outcome is that skilling up is a matter of grinding on lower tier recipes because they are more xp efficient and less expensive (cost is the time to salvage all items crafted).

Players tend to gravitate towards a meta - so if all of a sudden the pyramid is “optional”, the design intent will likely still be achieved as players will trend towards the path of efficiency. However, by making it optional, you at least enable players to approach progress from a few more angles.

For the purposes of skilling up, is it really more efficient to take advantage of the pyramid? Or is it potentially more efficient to ignore it? It would be hard to say.

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Some things I left out just to keep the wall of text as bearable as possible.
I do need to add a note about gold sinks however.
Frankly I think housing costs are kind of okay, I feel that is the one thing that should stay a luxury and that players should save or earn to have multiple houses.
Faction rewards and respec costs on the other hand are mostly redundant and unnecessary. Why whould I spend money AND tokens on an item that I can basically buy for less money and no tokens? Faction rewards should be paid only in tokens and respec should be free or cost a very small amount of azoth but that doesn’t really impact the economy all that much.


This is a great post and I agree with the majority of points. However…

#1 isn’t quite as big of a deal in reality because the vast majority of quest rewards are randomized items that are usually very bad, both because they’re just green quality and because they have bad stat combinations that no-one wants (example being a musket with strength and intelligence). Thus these items get salvaged by smarter players and put on the trading post by others, then when people see all these items they think there’s a huge influx of gear, when in reality none of it is desirable (so it shouldn’t be posted to begin with and effectively doesn’t exist). I for one have gotten most of my gear from someone who crafted high quality items for me, before I was able to craft them myself. The crafting mods help this by ensuring certain stats or perks.

#2 I can see where they are going with this. It’s meant to keep the lower tier resource territories still relevant for high level players. I’m not sure it’s good to add every low tier resource into the high level zones since fewer people would leave them and the bottom zones would be essentially useless (we’re already seeing this happen with Cutlass/First Light being much less upgraded than Everfall/Windsward). Maybe they do need to tune this a little better, not sure, but I do find myself coming across iron/hemp in higher level zones with at least some frequency, though it probably wouldn’t be my choice to actually farm there. As a higher level player you have access to better tools and food and gathering-boosting armor and potions so it’s easier to get the higher amounts of low tier resources that you need. As someone lower down added, maybe they need to adjust the amounts you get for each node, both for lower and higher tier resources? If you’re getting 40 iron ore and 40 orichalcum ore from similar sized nodes, that would lead to a huge amount of orichalcum that can’t be used.

With #5 I think they’re intending for you to stick with a build and get good at it before switching to something else entirely, but I think a double loadout system would be good for addressing this, as you mentioned.

#6 yes this is very annoying, and why does the list of items reset to the top after posting each item? Lots of small UI issues getting in the way.

#7 I’m not entirely convinced that the other professions are obsolete, because at high levels they produce BiS gear for many builds. But the intermediate items do tend to be overlooked often.

With respect to leveling crafting professions, one reason higher tier items aren’t created is because the XP/raw material is not higher with these. For example you can make a tier 1 item and it gives X amount of XP, but tier 2 items, costing 4X the amount of raw materials only give 2.5X the XP. If they gave more XP, there would be more incentive to craft these instead of the lower tiers. They could also use a similar system to WoW in that very low recipes give less or no XP when you’re a high level (gray recipes in WoW don’t give any XP). Not sure if that’d be a good or bad idea, just a thought.

Going back to #1 for a moment, much of the gear you get in dungeons (at least the ones I’ve done so far) isn’t really marketable either, again due to poor stat attributes or just being a low rarity (green) in general. So again these items should just be salvaged.