Issue#7: The Three Golds
Stories of the Past, #3
For Goblins, very few appointments are considered more prestigious than the Finance Advisor, whose role is to oversee the health of the markets, the currencies, the auctions, the whole business ecosystem.
One of the devices they are most proud of is the triple currency, introduced in OMFB since the very beginning, and still active in OMCT basically unchanged.
We’ll discuss it here: why, where and how.
The Triple Currency System
In Ork Manager there are three currencies, each one with its own sources, and each one with its own sinks 🕳
In video games, a sink is an economic device that “removes” money from the system. For instance, in RPGs that role is usually fulfilled by the vendors: they sell items, and the money they get “disappears” from the game.
This is notably different from the Auction Houses or any other trade zone, where trade happens between players, so money simply changes hands instead (save for some fees, maybe).
The reason for this is to separate very carefully the sources of money. Having separate sinks came as a consequence of that. Confused? Good, keep reading!
Sources are where the money is created, ex‑nihilo: it’s introduced in the game ⛲️
This does not refer to the trading, where it is already there and it merely changes hands between two Users.
Shiny gold (SG) ⊜
Shiny gold is earned competing in the Brawl.
Your Teams will fight in a stadium, and flocks of spectators will come and see the match, paying a ticket, in SG.
This is the sole and only source of SG: you get (create) them by playing, you can’t buy them or anything.
Dirty gold (DG) ⊕
You can get dirty gold by paying with real‑world currency. That’s the revenue stream for the game.
Having two separate currencies for these two basic sources is the first step to ensure that there’s a nice balance between what you earn through play and what you can buy to get an extra boost.
Obviously it’s not enough, many more design steps have to follow.
Liquid gold (LG) ⦿
Liquid gold are awarded by the admins for community service. That can be anything like reporting bugs (when they get fixed), suggesting improvements (when they eventually are implemented), helping out newbies, testing out new experimental features, and other things like that.
I realised it was appropriate to create a different currency for this, because it’s a completely different source. Granting SG for this kind of things would have felt wrong, because they haven’t been earned through regular play. Granting DG would have also been unwise, because that could have been badly perceived by the users who pay for them instead.
Having separate sources wasn’t enough: in order to give to every currency a reason to exist, I had to create separate sinks too.
This means requiring to pay a specific currency for some things, and another one for something else. That way, every currency had a reason to exist, a reason for the Users to want it specifically.
An old bug, now fixed
That’s one of the few things that needed a fix from the old OMFB: back then, there were a few things you could do with any currency you choose, paying the same absolute amount.
With “the same absolute amount” what I mean is that you had to pay “80”, and you could choose to pay 80 SG, 80 DG or 80 LG.
Which doesn’t make much sense, because the different currencies have a different value!
That was very bad: currencies had very different values, so the only right move was to use the cheapest one to do such a thing. However some User may not have noticed, and paid using a higher value currency 🤦♀️
We don’t want that sort of thing to happen. Some choices may be better than others, and experienced Users will thus perform better… but there shouldn’t be an “always obviously wrong” choice, like in this case.
In general, it’s something that economically makes zero sense, so we have promptly fixed it in OMCT 😎
There’s a proper free market, where Users can trade currencies. It works just like a forex does in the real world, with limit orders which generate a completely market‑driven price.
This means that everyone’s allowed to know the real value of any currency compared to the others, and that Users with an excess of one currency can just buy the other two from any User who sells them 📈
This may seem odd at first.
Someone might think the existence of the market would enable a User to just buy DG, and then trade some of them with SG, in order to have SG without having earned them during the course of the game… but that’s fine, for one very specific reason: the reverse is also happening!
Another User who earned SG normally and have an excess of them, will now have traded some for DG without having paid them… 💰
There’s no gold created in the game through odd means, it has come into being the usual way, and then it has changed hands.
OMG pay to win?!?
We have gone great lengths in order to avoid this game from turning into a pay to win, and there are a lot of design provisions written specifically with that intent. You’ll be able to read the details in the next post! 👌
The triple‑currency system allows to clearly separate the different sources, and to establish a market‑driven exchange rate between them.
Aren’t you playing yet? Really?! Go register just now, or the bad Ork will come and slap you! Here’s a code to get a season ticket for free… 8004‑0164‑6313
Active users may leave a comment below this post with their username, and they will get 500LG each (valid twice, only until the next post is published).
May your finance macaquiños suggest you profitable investments! 🐒
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