(tl;dr: pressing a “pay taxes” button isn’t a fun gameplay loop… create a system where “taxes” become a “maintenance upkeep” where the dominant faction -needs- to secure both raw and processed goods to keep the town running. this creates jobs. jobs are fun.)
I know y’all are trying to think of a way to make the economy in this game work.
If y’all link trade posts, I probably won’t play here anymore. Which, I mean, oh, well. This isn’t an airport, so I don’t have to announce my departure. I mean more to suggest that an economic system that I can find my niche in is a -big- reason I play MMOs, and also the reason I only play certain MMOs. Y’all have a beautiful world, and I think y’all have the makings of a really neat economic system. You’re just missing a few pieces.
If there’s one thing I could suggest, and one thing that I would really hope you would read, it would be -not- to link trade posts in an effort to manage the economy, but instead make it so towns have to pay their upkeep in actual goods and materials, as opposed to coins.
In the current scenario, city owners, through taxes, pay for their cities by the press of a button. This doesn’t really do much for the gameplay loop, 'cause all the city owner has to do is… nothing. Just collect taxes. Maybe do some farming on the side. Aunno.
In my scenario, I advocate that city owners advertise (maybe through word of mouth, maybe through a special town board of some sorts) the supplies that the city needs to maintain its status (or its buildings or whatever y’all think). As a hypothetical (and these aren’t solid numbers at all), Everfall, say, would need… 100k iron ingots, 50k hemp, and… aunno, 100 strong regeneration potions. For their elderly.
Presumably, whatever the final numbers would be, they would be too large for any one person to fulfill, but they would (1) create a material sink on the economy to burn away excess goods, (2) help provide a floor for prices, 'cause folks would absolutely buy stuff up in preparation for these supply drives, (3) but also encourage folks to look at the market, check prices, and decide to move goods from City A to City B, whether it be to help out their own, or to make a profit by relisting.
I feel like this kind of system is far more engaging than a “pay taxes” button. And it helps provide engaging feedback loops for those that (1) want to help with a project larger than themselves, (2) want to have something to do with all the resources that they harvest/craft, (3) just really love playing with the markets.
I know y’all mentioned that you wanted to address the issue with “less-traveled territories.” I also imagine you’re concerned about the dominance of Everfall or Windsward on maps. For what it’s worth, in a system I’ve proposed, while Everfall would remain dominant, I imagine players would start to use that city as a baseline for resell prices. Which would be part of the emergent gameplay. Which is much more entertaining, to me, than a “pay taxes” button.
If y’all want folks to frequent the outer cities, give players a reason to frequent the outer cities. Maybe give every city a bonus to one or two types of refining or crafting. Maybe redraw how resources work.
All of this is more interesting than a “pay taxes” button.
Rough draft, obviously. I’m not the smartest tool in the shed.
Again, y’all have a beautiful world on your hands. I don’t often post in forums, 'cause… I usually feel that other folks have said what needs to be said, and there’s no reason to offer up my voice. However, in this particular instance, I feel strongly about this, and… I just wanna be heard, I guess.
Do what y’all are gonna do. I’m just hoping I can maybe help change your minds.