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Meepcraft Economy Overhaul (an attempt from a financial math student)

Discussion in 'Accepted' started by legendcaleb, Feb 28, 2021.

  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. SurvivingSword11

    SurvivingSword11 Celebrity Meeper

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    this man pays attention in class
     
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  3. Iatemyfriends

    Iatemyfriends Supreme Leader

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    Screenshot_159.png
    the word overhaul begs to differ
     
  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. Jinkeloid

    Jinkeloid Celebrity Meeper Top Voter

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    Inflation is inevitable, because it's Minecraft Multiplayer, there's no scarcity of resources like real world (they don't run out one day).

    You can't really balance the economy like real world does since the situation is totally different.

    The idea is good though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  6. 0zblox

    0zblox Celebrity Meeper Staff Member Architect

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    I would entirely support a reduction in the amount earned from jobs because the level of inflation is crazy. Hopefully, that would encourage a more player-based economy, a bit more heterogeneous. But I think a lot of players play Meep for jobs and like seeing how they can work them. I'd like to see an increase in taxes-of-sorts to try and undo some of the damage I think has been caused by jobs. I think supply and demand are completely messed up in a lot of areas, why do I have to pay $10 for a piece of sand but $0 for a piece of glass.
    I'd be surprised if they changed much if anything but I think it would do the server a favour.
     
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  7. Sarge926

    Sarge926 Celebrity Meeper

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    I believe that something else being overlooked from the "overall inflation" is actually a deflation and devaluing of particular items as seen on vShop, as a product of players profiting from hard set /jobs.

    For example, players see that they can make ~5 meebles per log they break as a Woodcutter, so they do so in hopes to level up as well as make a profit. At level 100, players get the ability to cut down trees extremely quickly, which makes the job actually becomes profitable. Likewise, these players end up with thousands of extra logs that they want to sell, and the overall abundance is precisely why logs have gone from >10 meebles each to ~2 meebles each for trading. Eventually, just like red stained glass, logs will essentially become priceless.

    And as logs become more priceless, other items dependent on logs will also drop (i.e. Chests, doors, planks, etc). Yes, the job perks you receive at a high level will give all the experienced, active players much more money ("what some of you are considering inflation"), but it will be primarily due to jobs rather than what's in their inventory. These growing disparities between traditional Minecraft item value and Meepcraft item value make it more difficult for new players to engage with the economy using their prior knowledge of Minecraft. "Sand is much more common than logs in the world, but sand is 4x more expensive?"

    I'm not a finance student, so I do not have a clear-cut solution to this issue. I just wish to bring more awareness to it.

    However, I think a start to this would be for administrators to routinely revise the payout of certain jobs. If a certain job is causing item deflation due to job payout and product overabundance, they decrease the job payout while simultaneously increasing the payout of a different jobs. This approach is of a greater maintenance, but it may keep item values more balanced. Additionally, we could bring back a server-based shop, with items that you can buy and sell at a price-point that would seem more aligned with traditional minecraft values. Although this would result in initial inflation due to certain items (ex. logs), it would be temporary. Meanwhile, as legendcaleb highlighted, more vigorous taxes in towny, plot types, and global taxes would help with this inflation.
     
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  8. legendcaleb

    legendcaleb Celebrity Meeper

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    Because something is inevitable does not mean there are not steps to address or provide a solution
     
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  9. smk

    smk Celebrity Meeper

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    Would increasing taxes for towns make the game more fun or make it more tedious?

    While a more realistic economy would be interesting, I’m not sure I want to spend my free time forced to be super active in order to maintain my town. This is a game, I do not want to have too too too many burdensome responsibilities; so just don’t go off the deep end with this.

    that being said, taxes can be raised marginally without becoming unnecessarily burdensome.

    I’m indifferent I guess +/-
     
  10. Jinkeloid

    Jinkeloid Celebrity Meeper Top Voter

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    True, but if you really want to greatly reduce the inflation, you need to consider nerfing the job’s payout and those huge farms. They are like money printing machines, a big factor of the inflation.
     
  11. legendcaleb

    legendcaleb Celebrity Meeper

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    Right, which is why my tax change is designed to affect large towns and leave smaller ones pretty much untouched. If you have a town with 200+ plots and a decent size of residents, you should be expected to play more often anyway, as you have a larger responsibility
     
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  12. 0zblox

    0zblox Celebrity Meeper Staff Member Architect

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    The problem is with that is the people who are grinding jobs the most have their own, single resident town, where they can claim space for grinding areas, for example, Peero has one for just him and his alts (I think). Taxing larger towns would only make places designed to be actual towns (like LemonVille) have to struggle more leaving the majority of job grinders untouched. (on a resident-basis anyway)
    On a plot basis, some people who just have larger towns to build with (like me) rather than make farms/grinders would struggle to upkeep.
    -I agree that a dicing tax would help a lot but much-to many people distaste.
    -Jobs just need to pay less. Nobody should make 2mil a day. (sorry Iamf but that iron farm where you afk and get a mil a day is just dumb)
     
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  13. Sekotslil

    Sekotslil Well-Known Meeper

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  14. LJJJJJJJ

    LJJJJJJJ Popular Meeper Staff Member Helper

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    I'm not gonna lie here. I probably don't know what's best for a Minecraft server economy, but I agree with 0zblox. Is it possible to add a new value, kind of like a frequency density of the town?
    For example, say a town has 100 meebles (small number for the sake of a point), and 20 residents (a big town, but again for the sake of a point). You could divide the 100/20 and base the tax off of that. This would differ to towns built for grinding, like Peero's, since their 100 meebles would be divisible by 2 or 3, and as such they would have a bigger tax.
    I understand this is flawed, especially for towns just starting out, but if a town has only a few residents and a high income it would stand out from the towns with a lot of residents and high income.
    This is just a suggestion, or an idea, and I have no idea how it would be fine tuned =D

    Thank you for listening to my TED talk
     
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  15. 0zblox

    0zblox Celebrity Meeper Staff Member Architect

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    The risk there is people just don't use the town bank. Only 1/25th of my bal is in the town bank.
     
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  16. Jinkeloid

    Jinkeloid Celebrity Meeper Top Voter

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    If you add tax based on total balance (bal + town bank), rich people will be mad because being rich is not a cause of economy problems; if tax falls on large towns, the large towns' mayors will be mad because they had to spend more energy and time to keep that town; if the tax is based on the ratio town size/resident, then builders will be mad, because they just want to build a small wonderland/shelter for themselves and live a quiet happy life(?).

    Just don't do anything, everyone will be happy.
     
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  17. 0zblox

    0zblox Celebrity Meeper Staff Member Architect

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    Remove the unlimited vshop storage.
     
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  18. ENIbeast

    ENIbeast Popular Meeper

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    I think that the inflation jobs has gone of for far too long and it seems to be nearly irreversible, as explained in previous replies, there is no tax system fair to all. Taxing on residents will be unfair to som, tax on town bank/bal would be unfair to others, it seems as there is no towny tax that can fairly fix the economy in its current state. I think a small tweak to all these aspects could help without harming many people, just a small money sink.

    I think that a good way to better the economy would be to do something similar to a recommendation Peero had posted a bit ago. Add in jobs booster upgrade that allows players to spend money for a slight increase in jobs xp. This would allow people more interested in aspects such as parkour, building, and residential towns see almost no change in their gameplay but it would allow for jobs grinders to spend their money somewhere. Jobs grinders are the people who are putting the most money into the economy, so an option for them spend large amounts of money will likely be the best way to remove money from the economy.

    I also think that an admin shop would be good for regulating the economy and making the value of items closer what the should be in a normal Minecraft server as addressed by Sarge earlier. An admin shop could fix the extreme inflation and deflation of certain items and keep prices reasonable for all items. After adding an admin shop, jobs payouts should be tweaked so that admin shop is purely a money sink and will not be used to create more money from jobs. Adding in unobtainable items such as bedrock, end portal frames, and enchanted golden apples could also be another way for the admin shop to remove money from the economy

    I personally disagree with a tax on dicing, a small tax on dicing may not put much of an effect on small dices, but on large dices, there is a large amount of money taken away. One of my favorite parts of dicing is that it is completely fair and 50/50, you double your money or get nothing, I would hate for this to be taken away and make dicing statistically unprofitable. Furthermore, I feel as this dicing tax can only be large enough to make dicing less fun or small enough to make nearly no difference to the economy, I see no dicing tax that can keep the fun of 50/50 dicing while also removing a noticeable portion of the economy.

    This is just my suggestions and opinions on previous points mentioned. There may be much better approaches and some of my recommendations may have flaws but this is what I personally think can better the economy the most.
     
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  19. Noahnda

    Noahnda Celebrity Meeper

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    This thread is filled with knowledgeable economy-breaking experts and Dicelords. There are several good points to take away from this thread. Adding different variables to the economy matrix adds some uniqueness to how it operates compared to most servers.

    I will comment on one further line item: dice tax. If any of you know me, you may remember that I meep to dice. While effective at removing money from the economy, a dice tax takes away some of the fun in hurling millions around between players. If a player previously had 1 million meebles and diced their way to 10 million, odds are they will be spending that money. This exchange of funds is part of the reckless side of the MeepCraft economy and is quite enjoyable.
     
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  20. AwesomeAdoGamer

    AwesomeAdoGamer Celebrity Meeper

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    no thats where i store my semi-useful items at 1mill meebles
     

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