MRPG Money and Auction House
This section covers how currency will be handled and how the in-game auction house will function.
Money will be in the form of gold and silver, and gems. There is no copper or higher-value coins and even silver will likely see little use in the actual game. Coins are referred to as 'weights' and have an actual weight-value and can be melted down for use in crafting. Gold and silver as raw materials can also be converted back into coins as needed. Raw gold and gold ore will sell for less than its coin-value to a merchant NPC, so players can actually make money by mining gold directly and minting their own coins.
Diamonds will be the standard of currency for large-value trades (since coins have actual weight). Coins can be traded to vendors for diamonds and any trade NPC will be able to make the switch. The trade is strictly one-way, diamonds cannot be converted back into gold.
|1 Small Diamond
|10 Small Diamonds
|1 Large Diamond
Diamonds have no weight associated with them, so players can easily carry millions of gold in the form of diamonds. Depending on how expensive things eventually get a higher-tier of currency may become important. Prices will always be displayed in gold regardless of what currency the player is currently carrying.
The game is going to employ a massive closed-link system for removing excess money from the economy. Mobs never drop gold, new gold only enters the system through mining, and the game will keep track of how many units of gold are available. Money ultimately leaves the game whenever items are purchased from vendors.
Probably the largest gold-sink will be the massive skyships. As these will cost millions upon millions of gold, entire guilds will need to pitch in in order to buy them. Different consumables used by the ships will also add to their operating costs.
Other Money Sink Ideas
Black market auction house - sells rare game drops at hugely inflated costs. Since players can't sell here, it does nothing but remove excess gold from the economy.
Special dungeons that cost money to open and more to reset, and only drop good items that can't be sold.
Create systems that allow you to generate valuable items to be sold to other players, but that costs you currency. The currency leaves the game, thus increasing the value of the existing gold.
The AH will work a bit differently in this game. Namely, crafting ingredients will be handled in an independent sub-section instead of behaving like every other item (as in traditional systems). Players will also be able to use various Boolean operators to par down auction listings, as opposed to the traditional sorting methods.
For example, because all bladed weapons are covered under a single proficiency, a player might not be looking for a specific type of weapon, but just want to see all the bladed weapons available to him. Players could further par down the results by level, select a series of sub-types (bastard swords and long swords but not daggers or rapiers) and generate listings based on the presence or absence of different attributes.
Players are free to list items at whatever cost they please, however every item is required to include a buyout-price. The problem with traditional RPG auction-houses that did not make buyouts mandatory is the basic issue of instant gratification. Players don't want to play 'pretend eBay', they go to the auction house to buy things right away, so everything will have a buyout price.
Because gold coins are usable in crafting and treated like any other inventory item, players can actually sell stacks of gold coins in the auction house. It will be interesting to see if a coin ever becomes worth more than 1 gold.
The basic system will include a simple click-to-buy process such as is seen in most games. Payment is extracted from the player's gold supply immediately.
Additionally, players will be able to put out "open bids" for items they wish to purchase. Players looking to sell can then answer those bids right away for quick cash(instead of posting an item and waiting for a buyer, a buyer posts a price they wish to pay and waits for a seller). If a player posts an auction for an item with a buyout AT or LESS than an available open-bid, the item is immediately sold to that player for the full buyout price
Example: a player posts an open bid looking to pay 5 large diamonds for a particular item. Another player comes along and tries to sell that item for a buyout of 4 large diamonds. The item immediately sells for 5 large.
In this way, players always get what the market is offering for their items.