There are two main issues that affect the economy or rather utterly mitigate it. The first ones is as the thread describes, the lack of rare items. RNG doesn’t make make items rare. If you look in the storage of many established bases, you’ll see copies of legendary weapons just sitting there for a rainy day.
Sitting there, not being used, could be used, but only when bad things happen. But even if bad things do happen, and you start using your storage, its a simple matter of restoring it.
The issue with having one of a kind item is the other end of the spectrum. They might as well not exist. If someone obtains an utterly unique item and doesn’t use it (for fear of losing it). Then it practically doesn’t exist. This gets exacerbated when you have serial refreshing as well.
So having one or any set number of items per server just isn’t a feasible way of making items fit into an economy. Sort of. The way to make this work is for the item to have a time limit (that isn’t affected by preservation boxes or body vaulting). But this is a pretty complex system to try to add.
Another method is akin to how ‘epic weapons’ were obtained in first generation RPGs. A lengthy quest that involves a significant amount of material resources, time resources, and personal ability. When an item takes an average time of a few days or weeks to obtain, its scarcity becomes apparent, as well as its value. Though the power of the item will have to match the effort, which can cause issues in other areas. Though those issues will cause its value to increase.
Economy doesn’t need to function on high powered singular items. Why shouldn’t there be an economy on Steel, Dragon Powder, and end result consumables?
This is the second issue. There is absolutely no scarcity when it comes to basic resources. Stone, Wood, Tar, Iron, and Fiber is obtainable anywhere on the map.
Brimstone is found in certain sections, and in great quantities. Same with Crystal, Silk, Resin, and Coal.
Ichor is found on certain creatures, but with a decent alchemist, or the application of fishtraps, easily farmable anywhere.
Then you have rare materials such as Star Metal, Black Ice, Gold, Silver, and non-yellow lotus. These are found in very specific areas, but with the right tools, are available in an over abundance.
To put it shortly, you can get a large amount of any resource in the game with very little effort. What I would do is change it up a bit. Basic resources such as stone and wood need to be found in greater quantities. I wouldn’t change these much if at all. But I would make it so Iron isn’t found in wooded areas. It would still be found in wooded biomes like the Jungle of course. Its a resource that is basic, but I would say its an advanced basic. It should take a tad more effort to reach.
For example, if you’re in the Jungle there are trees everywhere. Wood is easy to get, and stone can be found at the base of all the cliffs. Iron would only be available if you scale the cliffs. For the most part it is like this already. I would do this to the forested parts of the north as well. You have trees everywhere, but iron is away from them in some form of non-walking locomotion to get them (either climbing or swimming). Nothing too extreme, but something -in the way-. For those with the foresight to build in a way that facilitates this, will feel rewarded. They’ll have an abundance that they can use to trade for those who… well either didn’t get the prime spots for iron, or can’t be bothered. By the way for the most part, iron is already setup like this. I would just do another pass on Exiled Lands and Siptah to really hone in on it.
Resin, Coal, Crystal, Ichor, and Brimstone would be similar. You would not find any of them near one another. And I would even go so far as to not place them near iron deposits. If we’re going to use a gridsquare as a measurement, we’re talking a minimum of half a gridsquare at a minimum and usually a full square between any of them, plus iron.
Resin could probably do with having a unique tree dropping it. Both in the North and in the Jungle. The trees would be plentiful, but growing in 2-3 (maybe 3-4 areas) areas in each of those two biomes. They would be in areas that aren’t on the beaten path. Again not hard to get to, and while maybe not requiring more than basic locomotion (walking), its a bit longer to get to. Again for those who build near these patches, they would have an abundance. Some of which they could trade for similar materials they’re not near and don’t wish to farm at a distance for.
Coal, Crystal, and Brimstone would be similar, but I would put them in biomes not mentioned, probably in caves (like they kind of already are). But I would definitely reduce the nodes on Crystal and Brimstone. Requiring a few trips to really fill up one’s stores. And again, those who build near these resources will have an abundance they can trade for those who aren’t near them.
Ichor is an interesting case since it involves fighting spiders and sand reapers. I’d leave that as is, but remove any nodes near these creatures (or remove the creatures from areas containing the nodes for) that are iron, coal, brimstone, or crystal. I would slightly increase the amount of ichor obtained, and remove the recipe to craft them (or change the recipe*). This way the primary method of obtaining the resource is from fighting these creatures.
Star Metal and Black Ice should be on separate ends of the map. I would also consider reducing the amount of HP of the Star Metal nodes (in layman’s terms, they have less whacks and give less per node), and reducing the health and nodes of Black Ice. The idea here is 1. You don’t go to a single place and get both, and 2. you don’t get everything you need in one trip.
Gold and Silver would be changed a bit as well. In fact I would make these independent of tool tier when harvesting them. This would stabilize their accumulation. I would even consider removing gold from obsidian, and give gold its own node in Exiled Lands. Again like other resources they wouldn’t appear near each other (likely on other ends of biomes or different biomes entirely) and not among other resources.
The whole idea here is when you go to gather resources other than wood, stone, and leather, you have to think about what you’re gathering and pretty much focus on it. You also can’t simply inventory cap on it in one trip.
However this is all dependent on crafting being adjusted around this as well. The higher the tier of the item being crafted the more complex it is and the more regions you have to visit. Like for example, a level 60 item may require visiting each of the locations mentioned.
*I mentioned changing the recipe for Ichor. The idea I had was that you would need to pay the thrall in coin from silver and/or gold to craft the item. Ichor doesn’t need to be the only material like this. Oil as well. The idea is to entirely divorce advanced crafting materials from being easily generated outside their areas on the map.
Another thing that should be looked at is the fast travel. Either there should be a cost that mitigates what you can gather in a remote area. Or the fast travel points don’t take you to remote parts of the map. An obelisk may get you as close as two gridsquares to rare materials and you still have to traverse through some dangerous areas to obtain the resources.
These changes would effect the scarcity of obtaining materials without really making them much harder to get. As stated before, the closer one builds to a desired resource, the further they are from others. Each player or clan would need to decide on where they would like to place their focus in obtaining materials, that way they can use what they don’t need to trade for other stuff.
In the case of PVP, the option to trade is paired with a purpose behind raiding. In fact this might even help with the wiping aspect somewhat. As if I am raiding for ichor, it makes no sense to zero out the victims so they can no longer obtain ichor. Of course this won’t stop everyone, but that’s a PVP issue beyond the scope of this thread. Raiding for materials is an economy issue, griefing someone to their foundations is another issue entirely.