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Best Posts in Thread: Meepcraft Economy Overhaul (an attempt from a financial math student)

  1. legendcaleb

    legendcaleb Celebrity Meeper

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    Okay okay, Meepcraft used to have a pretty huge economy, an organic one too. With the server hitting 50 players today I think it's safe to say that the server could benefit from an economy update to transcend its current status as a pretty fun but unoriginal towny server to something more reminiscent of its past. I have a couple of ideas for what to do, and obviously, I don't expect exactly what I suggest to be implemented, but I think a step in that direction would be beneficial. Here's what I got.

    Address inflation. This is probably the biggest item on my list, but while the economy is relatively new the server needs to address this issue now. From the time I write this post, the economy has a staggering $1.17 billion value. As it stands, money is generated server-side from things like jobs or parkour. I'm pretty sure the v-shop has some tax, but I don't believe that necessarily can vacuum the unfriendly inflation curve. From the questions I ask people in chat, people are making upwards of $400k~$2 million a day from jobs alone, excluding other resources such as parkour or voting. Keep in mind that though these numbers belong to the most avid of players, such avid players typically are involved with or are the mayor of towns. Thus, what is desperately needed is a money sink, a way for the server to drain the economy without imposing larger taxes onto player-to-player transactions like the real world does it. I mean, who likes those kinds of taxes anyway? However, I think tax is an essential part of this solution. Incorporate more taxes into towny. I know that plugin is dastardly to touch, but putting small % taxes here and there on the transactions a mayor makes would remove money from the economy and encourage towny mayors to keep up with their balance. How many towns are out there now that really just kind of sit there and suck in new players with zero to no cost relative to their overwhelming wealth? From what I guesstimated, towny removes roughly $300-500k / day from upkeep tax, with Legend's upkeep being 69k (nice) and the other towns having significantly less. Towny could be adjusted to address the large amounts of money people make in a day.

    Some ideas for this would be:
    Plots should cost money. I mean, reasonable money.

    Plots cost $40/day and an intial cost of $250. That means, and I probably did my math wrong, that with the starting cash you get from a town of $50k, you can purchase 50 plots for $12.5k, and have enough money in the bank to upkeep the town for almost three weeks. Considering that a person who starts a town likely has ambitions to generate revenue or has the ability to generate revenue already, the threat of "running out of money" doesn't exactly dicate towny. I'm not saying it should, but it should be something a bit more tangible than a filler number that you don't even look at when you purchase a plot for your town. I think a good way to fix this is to change the plot costs from a linear scale to an quadratic (or really any larger even degree polynomial) one. This change would allow a brief leniency for new towns to hold new plots relatively cheaply compared to the linear scale, but the upkeep would become much more pricey as the town got bigger, encouraging mayors to be more frugal in the ways they utilize land. Here's an example using some basic curve fitting techniques (typo: first data point should be 1000 plots / $40k)
    upload_2021-2-27_23-59-45.png

    You can adjust values as you see fit, I shared the 100 plots point with all three functions so that the beginning 0-100 plots remains relatively the same, but drastically increased the upkeep cost past it. I'm sorry @CluelessKlutz, but there should be no way a town with 500 people and 1670 plots should cost you a measily 69k (nice) minus change. Personally, I think the diversion between status quo and new strategy should begin at 50 plots with a shallower curve, but the curve fitting is pretty straight forward so the adjustments are pretty easy.
    Add % purchases

    Perhaps you're more averse to the idea of a flat increase in tax, I admit it's a fairly daunting concept because the numbers will require a lot more fine tuning. Another option, though not necessarily my favorite, is to add % tax costs to towny purchases. For example, claiming plots cost a % of total town balance instead of just 250. However, I'm sure you're able to see how this idea falls apart rather quickly. The reason I won't really get into this too much is because while I feel it's a reasonable solution, it's quite easy to cheat. For example, off shoring the money so purchases cost less, or if you make it to be the % of the amount of residents then you could make all your purchases before adding residents. In any case, it's an idea but I don't think I'll spend any more time on it.
    Nation taxes

    Due to the disabled war feature, nations don't really have that large a use besides providing a few bonuses to the towns it acquires. Another way to add a pretty effective money sink would be to actually increase the bonuses being in a nation provides, but apply the upkeep tax mentioned earlier to the nation instead. Currently, the nation upkeep is relatively underused. From what I've found out, it's $2k/day for any nation. What a waste! So much potential here. Perhaps the best solution is a combo deal. Utilize a mild form of the towny flat tax increase mentioned before, but have the nation provide tax reductions for the upkeep. Perhaps a % deduction for each individual plot or a % deduction from the upkeep itself. Imagine if a nation provided +0.01% tax reduction for each town within (up to a cap) per member within that nation.You could get away with changing the taxes in regular towns to be more harsh but allow for bonuses for being in a wealthy nation. Likewise, a nation upkeep increases the more members it has or the more total plots owned by the towns within, I don't know, but there's so much potential here because nothing is being done with nations.​

    Back the Meeble.
    Probably the most controversial point on this list, but I support a gold standard (or a system that models it). Let me be clear, I am aware that the idea of assigning economic value to an item that can be sold to server shops is a giant billboard that says "duping is now financed!" Thus, let the gold be virtual. What if you had a second balance of a virtual currency, either "gold" or some other precious metal, that you could use to exchange at /warp bank like the good old days. For example, there is a small, random chance to find X units of "virtual currency" from doing jobs. No item drops, no tangible item to hold in your hand, just a message in chat that says "You've found a deposit of meep ore," or something like that. This will be what backs the economy, and it's not dupable.

    To be honest, I really had thought this a great idea and I liked my solution for it, but I'm not smart enough to understand why Meepcraft ever did it in the first place. While I understand the principles behind the gold standard, it wasn't like Meepcraft stopped paying its players for its jobs or parkour because it "didn't have enough gold." However, I'm sure the reason is there because this server's economy was shaped by people a lot smarter than me, and was only exploited by the limitations of Minecraft as a game.
    Some small, QOL things
    If the economy were to be revamped, some quality of life things I would appreciate the addition of:

    - Meepstocks
    - Return the total balance of the economy to /baltop
    Not really sure why this was removed, but basically at the top of /baltop, instead of @Peero 's ugly name it said the total balance of the economy.​
    - MeepCasinos
    Another way to money sink the economy is to return those casinos the server used to have.​
    - Maybeeeeeeeeeeee a tax on dicing... ?
    Dude people are so fkin rich just from dicing, what if Meepcraft like the US government with my scratch tickets taxed a percentage of player-to-player dicing. Something small, like 0.5%, such that it wouldn't affect the players much but would slowly move money from the economy.
    That's about it.

     
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  2. Iatemyfriends

    Iatemyfriends Supreme Leader

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    Screenshot_159.png
    the word overhaul begs to differ
     
  3. Sekotslil

    Sekotslil Well-Known Meeper

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  4. legendcaleb

    legendcaleb Celebrity Meeper

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    I cannot wait for judgement day when God almighty sends you to the pits of hell
     
  5. SurvivingSword11

    SurvivingSword11 Celebrity Meeper

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    this man pays attention in class
     
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  6. ekjhgekuie

    ekjhgekuie Celebrity Meeper

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    I agree. The critical problem is that there are no incentives to hold prices over drop them to get more market share.

    One interesting solution could be to create a licensing system for vshop. This would encourage collusion in the form of cartels, and also incentivize specialization. Imagine that, for each item you want to sell on vshop, you have to pay 500k to purchase that item license. Of course, everyone can purchase a license, but it is a real investment, and this investment encourages extreme specialization. Imagine my incredibly optimized beef farm. I would be known as a rich player simply because I created an extremely efficient anti-vegan monument, rather than because I was lazy and just sold random chests of my stuff on vshop. Vshop item licenses would also solve the issue of people using Vshop to store random quantities of items, as they are unlikely to purchase a license for it if it's so expensive. Furthermore, once two players buy a license for beef, they will try to set a beef union price, encouraging an OPEC for nearly every good (without the cheating and selling at lower prices behind your comrades' backs).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021