We mentioned earlier that one of the specifics of the ROG economic model is the Dynamic vendor balance mechanics. Although this term was partly borrowed from accounting, it has no more common with it and this mechanics has little similarity with reporting of legal entities. It got totally apart from its predecessor in the process of protecting the game mechanics from abuse.
A dynamic vendor balance means that each vendor has a certain total amount of Talers (a total Dynamic Vendor Balance), which affects the following:
- the quantity and price of goods that he can buy;
- the quantity and price of goods that he can sell.
Therefore, a vendor has dynamic vendor purchase and sales balances, initially they are equal, but not related.
A DVB depends on:
- a vendor type (there are simple innkeepers, traders in jewelry, etc.);
- a vendor level (the closer a vendor to the Royal county, the richer he is);
- and most importantly – the count’s policy (the more funds a count allocates to support vendors, the bigger their DVBs).
When a vendor sells goods:
- his total sales DVB increases, i.e. he gradually runs out of goods;
- he raises the price for goods, according to the increase in his total sales DVB;
- when the price is 10x from the basic one, a vendor will run out of goods and stop selling anything.
When a vendor purchases goods:
- his total purchase DVB increases, i.e. he gradually runs out of Talers;
- he reduces the purchase price for goods according to his reduced total purchase DVB;
- when the price drops to 0, a vendor will run out of Talers and stop buying anything.
If players stop trading with a vendor, the vendor’s both current total DVBs will tend to the starting value, thereby restoring the prices to the initial level.
The test session duration from the full download of a vendor to the full restoration of total DVBs by default will be 20 hours of real time (10 game days).
Now, let's move from the theory to practice and study a simple example:
- In county N there is a vendor NPC1 with default DVBs of 500 Talers;
- the vendor has only one type of product with the basic price of 100 Talers;
- the Count allocates a maximum amount for maintenance of traders (vendors) from budget;
- the sales tax is 0% (what a perfect Count!).
Let’s see at this simple example how the product price changes at the purchase and sale with vendors.
A vendor sells goods
A buying player approaches a NPC1 to buy a product:
- no one traded with a vendor for a long time, so his total purchase and sales DVBs are both 1000 (= 500 * 2, as the Count supports vendors at the maximum level);
- the product basic price is 100 Talers;
- the player buys 1 item from the vendor;
- the vendor's total sales DVB is now 1100 Talers (= 1000 + 100);
- the vendor raises the price per item to 110 Talers (= 1100/1000 * 100);
- the player buys another item of the product for 110 Talers;
- the total DVB sales amount is now 1210 Talers (= 1100 + 110);
- the vendor raises the price to 121 Talers per item (= 1210/1000 * 100);
- etc., up to 1000 Talers per item.
A vendor buys products
The same player wants to sell the vendor the goods that he just purchased from him (such a weirdo):
- the vendor gives 50 Talers for the first item;
- the player sells the item for 50 Talers;
- the total purchase DVB is now 950 Talers (= 1000-50);
- the vendor gives 47,5 Talers for the second item (= 950/1000 * 50);
- thus, the price will fall down to zero per item.
If the vendor is left alone, besides being grateful, he will restore 1% of the purchase balance and 10% of his sales balance every 12 minutes of real time, and after 20 hours of real time his DVB will get restored to the initial value even if he was fully overloaded.
Now regarding limitations and simplifications:
- The total DVB restoring step is 1% and 10% of the DVB by default (for the total purchase and sales DVBs respectively) every 12 minutes of real time;
- the turnover of trade with a vendor in one window can not be more than 5% of his initial total DVB;
- when a trade window is opened, before clicking "buy"/ "sell“, the system always checks if prices have changed over this time;
- the sale and purchase balances of vendors were separated on purpose, so that there was no abuse (purchasing all necessary consumables from the vendor and immediately selling him loot).
Total sales and purchase DVBs of some vendors are interrelated. They are innkeepers, they sell food. Their DVBs are initially small, but if a vendor has a high demand for food, he will pay in full for the products used for making this food with high demand. Innkeepers were set out on purpose as the main supplier for innkeepers will be newcomers who live in locations where most of the products are mined.
The most important purpose of this mechanics is simple, but automatic harnessing inflation on both sides (decreasing the game currency emission and increasing the amount of its withdrawal from circulation). The most pleasant thing is that this mechanics is a result of the supply and demand balance created by players, i.e. it depends on the economic activity of players.
Let’s sum up factors restraining inflation:
- Players will get Talers from vendors instead of dropping them from mobs. The advantage of this model is a player must deliver loot to a vendor, and if something not expensive is dropped, a wealthy player simply will not even pick this junk up, as its overhead costs are bigger than the potential income from selling this junk.
- Players will have to not only beat out loot, but also understand who to sell it to. If all players rush to beat out loot for a Taler, all vendors will quickly be overloaded and the market value of this loot will sharply decrease, so a player will either sell loot very cheap or start saving loot in a hideout and wait for a vendor, or search for some less popular vendors on the outskirts of the world, or simply will not pick it up. Anyway, this results in a decrease in emission on a circle.
A nice bonus. This mechanic adds different variations of players-traders’ behavior. After all, if you find a freshmen vendor and buy something everyone needs from him, then you can resell items that cost huge money at the overloaded city vendor with an extra. Vendors, especially unpopular or hard-to-reach ones, are a lucky find for those who are enthusiastic about enrichment. A player engaged in trade should always understand the state of the vendors’ balances, that creates certain diversity in the lives of merchants. And if keeping in mind that there are different types of vendors (some are into weapons, some specialize in armor, others - in jewelry or relics), then it's not so difficult to imagine a situation where a player buys some specific loot in a town and runs for 10-15 minutes with this loot to a jeweler vendor to the very edge of the map.
This is the end of description of the ROG world’s economy. Next is a series of articles about the crafting system. Please, join DVB mechanics discussion on our Forum.
Author: Vatslav Verzhbitskiy
Editor: Maksim Dvornikov, Yulia Sigaeva