[Help!] Balancing a player-based economy

Discussion in 'Server & Community Management' started by longbow122, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Hello,

    I've been working on my own server for a while now, but there's one aspect I haven't managed to get my head around. How would I balance a player-based economy? My server, being a skyblock server has in-game shops (/shop, ShopGUIPlus) which use in-game currencies. But, like all servers, players are bound to make their own shops and trade among themselves and make their own prices. However, in some servers, you do find players trying to out-price others in order to get what they want and essentially control the economy. However, as should be expected of average players, they won't take any steps to actually balance the economy and this would mainly lead to the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Eventually, this leads to players claiming that the server is bad, as it would eventually get harder and harder for new players to start unless they received a large number of donations from other players, which very rarely happens. That would lead to my server losing players.

    Is there any way to balance an economy like this without the staff themselves intervening? As, if admins interfered by changing /shop prices to reflect the economy, or bringing in their own funding/items to bring some more balance into the economy to equally combat inflation/deflation, this would lead to players saying that the staff would be abusing their power, which would again lead to the same result. (Players leaving a "corrupt" server). This would also mean that we wouldn't just be able to change /shop prices on the fly as needed, as people would complain about that too as it would prevent them from earning money. (Which would end in players leaving)

    Am I overthinking this too much? Any opinions?
  2. Phoenix616

    Resource Staff

    You can stabilise prices by using an admin shop which buys and/or sells items. The main issue though with having such a shop is that they don't leave much room open for the market to decide its own prices.

    There are multiple solutions to solve that though, e.g. the admin shop could change its price over time depending on the demand (like a stock) or it could the amount bought/sold daily/weekly/etc could be limited in some way.

    Another solution that I use on my server is that we only buy full stacks of the compressed ore blocks. (Technically one could even use larger quantities) That way rich people are forced to buy those from players in order to convert them into money but there is a kinda stable price too, it's just not accessible for the normal player.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I was considering this, but wouldn't that just leave room for someone to build a large stock of a particular item in a set time, through multiple accounts? This would allow him to generally have a large amount stocked and ready, allowing way for prices to generally destabilise. It's something I could think about though

    What do you mean by this? I'm not actually so sure how that would force richer people to buy them from players, since could they not get a hold of said full stacks themselves?
  4. Phoenix616

    Resource Staff

    Well, the solution to limit it per account isn't ideal, I was talking about a global limit. Also I don't think multi-accounting would be as big of a problem as you think, giving other players stuff to sell for them is the bigger one imo. (Also one could ban multi-accounting if you fear that people buy additional accounts to bypass similar restrictions)

    Rich players tend to be too lazy to farm 576 of an item themselves (especially diamonds) and you could even increase the amount of blocks that can be sold to a full inventory or or selling via a full physical chest.
  5. I'm not an expert, but you could make the game more expensive/difficult for richer players to slow them down. Let them pay tax or something :p
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. I'm trying to find ways of doing that, without affecting the poorer players too much. If I tax only the rich on certain things, it becomes "unfair" to them. If I tax everyone, the game becomes impossible for newer players. I've been thinking, that if there were a group of players controlling the economy in a good way, that could work. But the only problem is having players trustworthy enough to do that, without them being staff in the first place. Not so fun.

    I was originally thinking of taxing each sale someone made through a SellChest or SellWand, but that would affect newer players decently negatively too.
  7. I think that taxes aren't going to hurt newer players too much. Because taxes would be a percentage, newer players wouldn't be spending much because lower-level equipment is probably cheaper. If it's selling resources, higher-level players have more... so more would be paid in taxes. I don't think it would affect gameplay as much, but it depends. Also, taxes might not be enough to fix the issue but they might help.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. You could have the tax increase slowly as they get richer. That way it is more gradual.
  9. I have a terribly balanced economy. Each time we have something that goes into the right direction Mojang has an update and now Emeralds are suddenly infinite, and then trading is super easy, and then mending is everywhere in the End as loot, etc etc. I got tired and just lower prices of things that show up more and more. I do it in gradual steps over weeks so players usually don't even notice.
  10. That's what I was hoping on doing, but you'd be surprised at the lengths some players go through in order to make some extra money. This is the sort of thing they will notice, but if supply is plenty, prices will normally go down by themselves throughout the playerbase, no?
  11. I would assume that as long that you plan the items with the difficulty to get them and cost in mind you should be able to balance items where the prices shouldn't change much. If you make a fairly strong item easily obtainable or very easy for late-game players to get, the price will drastically decrease for all players. I think that as long as you make the game have an obvious game or gear progression, you should be fine with the cost of items and resources.
  12. just like @SmokingIsBadMkay said, let them pay taxes (%1 of their money maybe? idk), collect that money then distribute it equally to everybody. You could do that every week/month