Assets And Economy

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:36 pm

There was a discussion in the most recent OOC chat (http://forums.ti-legacy.com/viewtopic.p ... 739#p15739) about assets and income and a couple of people mentioned it could merit a forum post. I didn't see one anywhere, so I put one here to share our thoughts.

To summarize: Some players feel that income is too easy to come by, while others feel it's too hard or there is too wide of a gap between new vs. old players in participating in the game economy.

Introductions to the topic aside, my own personal take is this: The biggest concern I have with income as-is is the 'knowledge gap'. Even your very first character can start with 2-3 levels of assets and have multiples more income than another character who doesn't touch assets at all, and it is the best early RPXP investment to make: It is the only time you can spend RPXP on assets and the benefits pay out literal dividends compared to e.g. skills or stats.

Curious what others have to say on this.

plague
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:43 am
Discord Handle: plague#6022

Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:49 pm

I think the new player gap is a lot larger than the knowledge gap (and completely overlaps, naturally), because assets are at least covered in character creation. The thing about getting 2-3 tiers of assets at creation is, that's still extremely super duper rough to the theoretical "gentry rebirth with 2 tier 3 assets." In comparison, you would need to spend about 10 OOC weeks - two and a half months, and that's ASSUMING your metric is favorable - of income to get that second asset and begin making a profit on it, for 25,000 RPXP. You'd be better off just having a throwaway first character, RPing some, getting a few recommendations, spending a ton of experience, and then getting hung or pyred or just liquidating, and starting over with your assets maxed out.

That is in addition to the fact that even for a tier 3 asset, you're spending *ALL* the experience you have available. All of it. Every, single, drop. If you're not Lithmorran, that means missing out on language, too, which is a near-necessity in the long run. The "knowledge gap" is also notable, but it's at least fixable. Freemen characters can, I guess, max out their assets and still have *something*, but gentry or noble "second characters" have the capacity to make twice as much money each week with almost zero possibility for the new player to "catch up," in addition to the fact that this second character *also has skills and other things they purchased with RPXP*. You just can't get across that massive imbalance between newly-created characters as a new player. There's a HUGE gap with attributes too, and that's a really big peeve of mine, but this is pretty substantial.

My solution is this: simply allowing people to purchase assets with RPXP outside of character creation. Purchasing it with money is a complete and total trap unless you're spending someone else's money, and even then it's still barely worth it. Because assets are inherently limited by the system, per character, there are exactly two categories: those who made the correct decision (purchasing assets at character creation) and those who did not. NOT doing so is just a humongous opportunity cost that is nigh-insurmountable unless you get a lot of financial support from a guild or another, much older character. It will cripple your finances and limit you in a way that no other failure to purchase something could ever do. It is by far the "most important" purchase a new character could ever make; there is absolutely nothing which stonewalls you so severely if you fail to purchase it in cgen, and in my eyes, that's a serious problem.

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
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Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:15 pm

Yeah, it takes literal OOC months for even a market asset to pay itself off. I'd advocate as well for either assets with RPXP out of chargen, or just flattening the curve of all asset levels. I know class disparity is part of the theme, but no one is actually starving for money except players on their first characters and that's regardless of class.

The original asset system feels designed for an older TI, with higher character turnover and less 100% reclevel characters able to bank account XP for literal OOC years.

To add to this I also think there simply aren't enough economy sinks for rich characters but that's a fairly minor topic.

plague
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:43 am
Discord Handle: plague#6022

Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:29 pm

I will say that the statement that people on their first characters are the only ones starving for money *is* objectively false (sometimes people just forget, looks at last OOC meeting mention thereof), but separately, yes, there are the two classes: "has money" and "massively messed up, was a brand new player, or both." That sucks, especially since there are things you can't craft whatsoever that are in shops for... OOC weeks worth of income for these aforementioned unfortunate souls.

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:53 pm

It doesn't help that most ways of selling things ICly operate at a loss. Foraged goods are seldom valuable despite their big MV cost, and crafting happens at a big loss.

CCCedany
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:30 pm

Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:15 pm

I agree with a lot of what’s already been said! Thank you both for voicing this in such an articulate manner.

As for my thoughts, I think it’s a two-pronged issue:

1.Asset disparity on grid.

There’s a huge disparity in wealth, and it’s not as much to do with class (which would make sense thematically) as with characters on established accounts who knew what they were doing vs. new ones/folks who screwed up in chargen. I am an old player to TI who returned after a long absence blissfully unaware of the asset system. By the time I understood how limiting a lack of assets could be, I was through with my cyan period and stuck with what I had!

I want to preface by saying that I’m not trying to complain here. I’m sharing because I think my character could serve as an example of what’s challenging with the current system. My starter asset was iEconomics, which means that through our last several months of legendary city metrics, I’ve received somewhere in the range of 35-40 silver per week. With that one asset, it took me 4 OOC months to save up for a second tier one asset. That’s -with- some salary from guild involvement and a whole bunch of working odd jobs/mooching money off people/begging for coin. I believe without all the scrounging it would have been 6+.

For context, 35-40 silver is less silver then it takes to buy a single a small courier box or a shovel. It’s about one meal and two drinks at Queen’s. When your character’s so broke that you’re avoiding bar scenes so you don’t pay for a pint and not sending messengers back and forth even if it’s adding to your game, your decision on assets in chargen is permanently affecting your RP. Of course, there are ways to alleviate this (mooching money off friends, pooling mercantilism, learning artwork so you can make your own boxes and brewing so you can make your own ale) and I totally approve of utilizing those methods for the shenanigans they cause, but many of them are also XP and rich-friend dependent, and if I’m honest, it’s not -fun- to avoid regular life RP because you don’t have the coin, especially when you know that experienced players in the same social class who came onto grid stocked with assets aren’t going through the same challenges.

It just feels pay-to-play from the start, and there’s a certain futility in feeling like no matter what I do on grid or how I RP, I can’t overcome. I really love the suggestion of being able to purchase assets with XP. If we’re able to do things like improve a character’s intelligence and appearance on grid, why not say ‘oh, I’ve established myself and now have a new job!’. Especially since coin is such a great way to stimulate RP and participate in it!

2.The characters that -are- loaded with assets needing wealth sinks to spend it.

Honestly I feel like a lot of this could be solved by having more active shops on grid. A well-stocked clothing store is uniquely facilitative of rich gentlefolk dumping 10 gold on outfits regularly. Same thing with lots of options for furniture, jewelry, etc.

I also want to advocate for hiring us poor folks to do silly stuff. Don’t want to sort your mail? Make a freeman do it? Bored? Commission some extraordinarily intricate object with little-to-no practical use. Tired of walking around grid? Hire a street urchin to do shopping for you and let them keep the extra coin. Rich folks should be spilling silver left and right, for nothing other than their own amusement :)

As well, tithing and paying people increases prestige! If you want that good good ‘Established’, should be paying retainers 200+, players 200+, and taxes 200+.

Other than that, I have few suggestions, in part because I so clearly fall into the other camp. Look forward to hearing others’ thoughts!

Murrmurs
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Discord Handle: Murrmurs

Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:33 pm

I don't have anything new to add on top of the others stated points, but agree fully with the sentiments expressed!

It's a near locked-in haves and have-nots that is not associated with social class but RPXP availability while in chargen.

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Inertia
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:24 pm

Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 pm

+1 to accessing assets for XP on grid. I also think you should be able to look at the asset marketplace while in chargen. Maybe, just make it so that you can choose, at ANY time in your pfile's life, to purchase assets and resources for xp OR coin as better fits your personal resources.

Money sinks, I think, can be its own thread!

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galaxgal
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:54 am

CCCedany wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:15 pm
I also want to advocate for hiring us poor folks to do silly stuff. Don’t want to sort your mail? Make a freeman do it? Bored? Commission some extraordinarily intricate object with little-to-no practical use. Tired of walking around grid? Hire a street urchin to do shopping for you and let them keep the extra coin. Rich folks should be spilling silver left and right, for nothing other than their own amusement :)

As well, tithing and paying people increases prestige! If you want that good good ‘Established’, should be paying retainers 200+, players 200+, and taxes 200+.
The issue there (maybe for a different topic) is that Prestige doesn't feel very valuable for the time and money put into it. The Court Favorite title is a fun goal to chase, and having a special sdesc is nifty, but that's about it -- the rest of the ranks only really get you a little extra IP and money at an iffy conversion rate, and maybe some support slots?

No one ever seems to really need or want that money either, though, unless they're one of the people stuck in the 'no assets' trap, which... makes the whole thing awkward to engage in to begin with.

Geras
Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:56 am

110% agree with a more forgiving asset system.

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