Suggestion:20080315 Commerce 2.0

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20080315 Commerce

--Nathan Blackwell 18:02, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion type
In-game Trading

Suggestion scope
Survivors/Zombies (to a more limited extent)

Suggestion description

The zombie apocalypse completed hundreds of years of social and economic prophecy, a single culminating battle of proletariat (zombie) and bourgeois (survivor) had ended a system of rampant international capitalism and consumerism. The malls of Malton, while once filled with consumer zombies buying every product shoved down their throats by advertising, are now filled with penniless, yet contented, survivors. There was no money for years, there was no trade. Yet, the beast of capitalism begins to rear it's ugly head.

Advanced revivication technology has led the human-zombie war of Malton into a stalemate. As a result, some sense of modified civilization is beginning to rise from the ashes. Survivors have taken to attributing value to the new coins of Malton...bottlecaps.(or 'money', see 'WTF? Bottlecaps?!?') Using bottlecaps/money as a base standard of value for useful items, trade and mercantilism is beginning to appear throughout the city.

Mrh? Commerce?

This system incorporates a trade dynamic with survivors. To trade, a survivor must use 2AP to 'initiate trade' with another survivor via an action available with purchase of a 'Commerce' skill (miscellaneous). Then, when the next survivor logs in they can choose to trade (2AP) or not trade (0AP) with the initiator of the trade. Then when the first survivor logs in (assuming both players are in the same structure still) he offers his goods (and their 'bottlecap'/'money' value is displayed) and 'requests' what he would like in turn (ammunition, etc) of a near-equal value to what he is trading. Upon the next users login, if he has the 'requested' items, he may trade them, if not, he may make a 'counter offer' giving the initial survivor another choice to accept or deny the trade. At any time, either survivor can cancel the trade, causing both players to recover any spent AP (assuming they are under 50AP and have not moved or performed any other action since the trade began) Each initial round of 'offer' and 'counter offer' costs 1AP. If the trade is not equal in terms of bottlecaps/money and bottlecap/money value of items then it cannot proceed. The 'fair trade' system would probably be within 10% value. For instance, if Object A costs 100 bottlecaps/money, it can be traded for Object B worth anywhere between 90 and 110 bottlecaps/money. The 'fair trade' system (as well as high AP and time cost) of trading is designed to discourage cheating.

In addition, players may directly trade bottlecaps for items of value, and some items can ONLY be traded for bottlecaps/money.

Bottlecaps/money would be supplemented into the economy in finite amounts, with a set number in circulation at any given time (and only to players who possess the 'Commerce' skill). Players have a limit to the number of bottlecaps/money the can posses at any given time, like seasonal items. Bottlecaps/Money would be 'in circulation' in a finite amount (X units in entire game) and can be searched for in banks/streets/malls. If a player does not spend any amount of money within a span of time (one week, perhaps) they will recieve a message telling them to spend it or it will be 'lost' and removed from the game economy.

Also, when a zombie kills a survivor, they are naturally attracted to the 'shiny' bottlecaps/money, and take a certain percentage (probably a very high one) of whatever bottlecaps/money the survivor possessed. This adds a little extra punch, similar to the way headshot effects zombies. The zombies, however, are assumed to drop the bottlecaps/money, removing them permanently from the game, much the same way as if the money was lost.

The fact that theoretically, there can be no money in the economy (if all is lost or stolen) bottlecaps/money would have to regularly be implemented into the game, perhaps when it runs low. (below X units) Also, as the units of currency in the game are lowered, perhaps this could effect the value of certain items. (for instance, if 100,000 units of currency exist, a pistol clip would cost much more bottlecaps than if the economy possessed only 1000. The amount of bottlecaps in the economy would not effect item-for-item trade, however, as all item prices would inflate or become cheaper equally, making their relation to each other equal.

The 'bottlecap/money value' of items is determined by their rarity (search rates) and their usefulness. Decorations and clothing can also be sold, giving museum-looters their own lucrative business.


Why does the emerging independent nation of Malton need an economy/barter system? In certain areas where exploration for valuable commodities is impossible, some players could find a lucrative lifestyle in playing 'middle man' to a safe house. For instance, if Survivor A could several days searching a hospital for First Aid Kits, and then traverse dangerous infested ground to a police station, where Survivor B plentiful ammunition and little medical care. Survivor A trades his valuable first aid kits to Survivor B. Survivor B returns by offering his ammunition, and a few extra bottlecaps/money for the hassle. Survivor A has made a profit, and can go on to sell the ammunition (perhaps, even, at the hospital he came from before) and Survivor B now has the medical supplies he so desperately needed and didn't have the time to earn himself.

Why does puny harmanz trading bottlecaps/money make the streets better for the new money-less social republic of necro-man? If the new human economy becomes addicted to trade and commerce, zombies will make sport of killing affluent merchants for the sake of spilling their coins into the sewers, never to be seen again. Zombies will find ambushing trade points and established merchants will hinder supply routes to besieged areas and add extra injury to the players.

In short, commerce will add a new level of depth to a game which is already famous for developing player-based internal systems of politics and factions.

WTF? Bottlecaps?!?

I didn't expect this to be such a wide debate. hehe. It's a reference to oldschool post-apocalyptic game 'Fallout' in which a post-nuclear world has reverted to using bottle caps as currency, presumably because there are no remaining facilities to print and regulate money. The only reason I used these is because A.) We don't know exactly where Malton is, so what money could we use? Dollars? Euros? Yuan? Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons? and B.) Players from all over play, so I didn't want to use one value of currency over another. I suppose, instead of bottlecaps, there could be an object called simply 'money' with set value.

Anti Zerging Measures

I realize now (after reading pre-submission discussion) I was naive excluding sufficient anti-cheating measures before, he I attempt to address them.

1. Trading requires lots of AP for both parties involved. 2AP to initiate a trade, 2AP to accept a trade, and 1AP per round of negotiation, the high amount of time is the first discouraging factor against zerging. 2. The 'Fair Trade' system prevents players from trading bottlecaps/money and items which have equal value. This makes it impossible for one Survivor to transfer an entire inventory to another character without receiving a fair deal in return. 3. The nature of turn-based trading allows either participant in a trade to cancel or renegotiate the trade at any time

Search Rates

Bottlecaps/Money would be found in banks in chunks of 10 (assuming player can carry 100 maximum) at 10% to find (15% with generator, 20% with bargain hunting) and only if the survivor has 'commerce' skill. This means a survivor can collect 100 bottlecaps/money units (maximum) in 50-100 turns. These numbers are preliminary, and the final ones are up to Kevan.


1% per 20 bottlecaps/money (5% total with 100 bottlecaps/money)

Item Values

NOTE: Do not take these as final, at best they are misguided and at worst totally wrong, these are just what I feel items are worth in relation to each other. If implemented, values will, of course, be up to Kevan. For the purpose of this, 'Bottlecaps' and 'Money' will have the same value piece-by-piece. This also assumes that a person can carry a maximum of 100 bottlecaps/money at a time, and the economy is well supplemented. (bottlecaps/money has not been sufficiently lost or stolen) Remember, these items are just to give an IDEA of values. The actual values of items would be a calculation of their relative usefulness, search rates, etc.

Beer - 3
Book - 2
Crucifix - 1
Newspaper - free
Poetry Book - free
Spray Can - 7
Stale Candy - 5
Wine - 3
Wire cutters - negative 50 (just kidding) free

Melee Weapons
Crowbar - 5
Baseball Bat - 4
Length of Pipe - 7
Knife - 7
Fire Axe - 12
Cricket Bat - 4
Fencing Foil - 4
Golf Club - 4
Hockey Stick - 4
Pool Cue - 4
Ski Pole - 4
Tennis Racket - 4

Firearms (clips are automatically removed when trading firearms and must be traded separately)
Pistol - 20
Shotgun - 20
Flare Gun - 5

Pistol Clip - 7
Shotgun Shell - 4

Useful Items
Binoculars - 15
DNA Extractor - 30
First Aid Kit - 15
Flak Jacket - 40
Fuel Can - 30
GPS Unit - 20
Mobile Phone - 10
Necrotech Revivification Syringe - 20
Portable Generator - 50
Radio - 20
Radio Transmitter - 50
Toolbox - 40

Decorative Items
All - 50

Updates I addressed some of the concerns in the 'Kill' group, and TRIED to get the format more correct.

Voting Section

Voting Rules
Votes must be numbered, justified, signed, and timestamped.
# justification ~~~~

Votes that do not conform to the above may be struck by any user.

The only valid votes are Keep, Kill, Spam or Dupe. If you wish to abstain from voting, do not vote.

Keep Votes

  1. keep Yes, keep whatever! Let's come up with new suggestions people, I do not like reading the same stuff over again.--Jamie Cantwell3 22:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. Slighly Weaker Keep that last time - Slightly more complicated than before and I personally think you should put this on the Discussion page and try and thin it down a bit before re-suggesting it. I'll make a copy in my sandbox and trim it a bit for you to see what you think. -- Cheese 23:05, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. Keep Trading? TRADING?! I'm for it! Darth LumisT! A! E! SR 03:46, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. Keep Yeah, we rili need some ingame trading.--Luke Skywalker 17:32, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  5. Keep I'm hoping for something like this gets put in the game, but it could us a little bit of tweaking. But also like Kevan and ever one else says this could be abuse by zergers, but I like it put in and see how it starts out. And if it does and a lot of abuse come from it, have it removed all together. If it get put in, great. And if gets removed or not put in at all, that fine with me as well. But I like to see it put in. -- SavageMillion 08:06, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Kill Votes

  1. Kill - As before- I can't see this being commonly used by anyone except zergers, due to the high AP cost. Even metagaming groups would find it inefficient.--Studoku 22:53, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. Kill - Keep it simple please. I will consider changing my vote if anyone says "KISS" because I don't want to be associated with dicks. --BoboTalkClown 23:01, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. Kill - As above.... KISS!--/~Rakuen~\Talk Domo.gif I Still Love Grim 00:18, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. Kill - As version 1. This is completely unnecessary.  Billy Club Thorton  T!  RR  00:23, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  5. kill im not even bothering to read this one, i vote kill as i did for the last version --Scotw 01:08, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  6. kill - I know I voted a weak keep on your first version, but this seems to be getting more and more complicated. Im just having a hard time believing this will be useful in any way.--Dr Doom86Phoenix2.gif T PSS 10:08, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  7. Kill - Not a trading game -- boxy talki 14:44 16 March 2008 (BST)
  8. Kill - You have clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this and working on it. If I could give you a 'keep' for effort alone, I would. I just think it's a major overhaul of the game with potentially huge ramifications for gameplay. I don't see this as a trading game. Maybe baby steps towards all out trading would be better. But really, I'd probably vote against those, too. - Headshot Hal Talk 20:56, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  9. Kill - As Hal. Personally, I don't believe the idea of a "trading" system within UD would work properly, and even if it did, the "Pk'ing Everywhere" situation in Malton as of right now would give rise to a new, (and often common among most MMO's) worse form of corruption: Extortions, the Mob, and those random players who's only goal in a game is to attain as much "wealth" as he or she possibly can, through any means necessary. I also envision the rise of "beggars" around Malton, although they would probably be destroyed through force... and give a negative impression of newbies as a whole (just look at Runescape). The amount of AP required by both sides to trade items seems to me a complete waste of AP, which could be better spent searching for the said items by yourself. They also fail as inhibitions against zerging; any player that is willing to wait a day or two for the AP to recharge on his "main" character will have a nearly endless supply of ammo and weapons at his or her disposal, as long as he or she keeps his searching alts (most probably Consumers) working. Then, lastly, comes the problem of getting "trade message spam", which would still require and extra button for ignores. All in all, you clearly thought this out quite well, but it simply wouldn't work in this environment. --Private Mark 00:12, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  10. Kill - as above--CorndogheroT-S-Z 01:52, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  11. Kill - trading with limited money? what if one person gets all the money (there is a way to do that)? than money would be useless. and this system is not needed in an apocalypse (who cares about the civilization more than their lives?) --RayHanley 11:41, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  12. Kill A limited form of trading would work in this game, but as RayHanley points out there are problems with your distribution of money, and trading has AP cost and spam generation issues. --Jon Pyre 16:29, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  13. I believe this IS a trading game. Think about it this way, in "normal" circumstances, there is a finite amount of supplies and survivors have to coordinate to stay alive. In Urban Dead, survivors don't. No reason to. Supplies are infinate and barricades can be erected singlehandedly. Even relatively low level survivors can survive on their own quite well, especially after Free Running (well, maybe its a little harder NOW but it should be). I think this suggestion would work better for Monroeville. The reason I'm voting kill is because it seems long and convuluted. If you have to fill most of the suggestion with explanations and "kill counters" then there is something wrong with it.--Pesatyel 01:48, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
  14. Kill - I can see stealing in a zombie apocalypse, but not an all out economy. Just doesn't fit. --FrozenFlame 14:32, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  15. Kill - Bottlecaps? If you're going to try and revolutionize the system, try to do it in a less idiotic fashion next time. --Vandurn 20:17, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
  16. KILL -- Be better if it was just give... --M4dD mUdD 02:30, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  17. Kill - The game just isn't built that way. --Ciaran Deckardson 10:38, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Spam/Dupe Votes

  1. Spam - over-complicated method of AP wastage. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 23:19, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. I read the suggestion type and decided to auto spam this. Just say no to trading. --•▬ ▬••▬ • •••• •▬ ▬•▬• ▬•▬ #nerftemplatedsigs 17:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. Spam – As I said in discussion: Love the homage to Fallout, but I honestly think that any "money" or "trade" system is completely unnecessary. ᚱᛁᚹᛖᚾ 01:31, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. Spam – As Funt.--Carnexhat 12:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)