Most MMOs have their own economy, but some are more complicated than others.
Fans of MMORPGs love the fact that they can save a lot of worlds from the point of view of characters they create, even if those characters are from different classes and have different levels of epic gear. The economy in an MMORPG, on the other hand, is one of the more interesting parts that can draw a player in. After all, these are the places where players can trade items and even start making things to sell so they can get more resources in the game.
Even though most MMOs already have their own player economies, some stand out from the rest because of their history or because they offer something new. Some of the most intense in-game economies in MMOs are huge markets made by an economist, a huge market that works like a stock exchange in an open-world MMO, and an economy made by the players themselves.
EverQuest, which came out in 1999, is seen as one of the first massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). It set the standard for what MMOs look like today. Players take on the roles of adventurers in the world of Narroth, where characters compete with each other to be the best. Since there wasn’t much else like an in-game market at the time, economist Edward Castronova made a study in which he looked at how the market moved in the game. He paid special attention to the selling of items for in-game money.
Even though Sony took steps to stop players from buying and selling items in the historic game EverQuest, Castronova said that players were still trading items on Ebay and other online marketplaces, which was unheard of at the time. In his research, he found that, roughly speaking, Norrath had the 77th highest GNP per person at the time, which made it about as rich as Russia and Bulgaria. Even though economies might be deeper today, EverQuest gave economists a glimpse into the “future” of economics at the time, where virtual markets can become just as busy as real ones.
Unlike other space-based MMOs like Star Trek Online and Knights of the Old Republic, EVE Online‘s persistent sandbox lets players do more than just quests and hunt for bounties. In fact, because EVE developers CCP hired economist Eyjolfur “Eyjo” Gumundsson, PhD, players now have access to an in-game economy that is so complicated that a website was made to track it. At its core, EVE Online may have made it possible for all items in a game to be made and traded. This is mostly because almost every process in the game leads to the creation of different byproducts that can all be traded for different currencies.
ISK, a currency that players can buy with real money, would be important to the economy. Also, developers wouldn’t have much control over what happens on the market, so it would be entirely up to the players. This is why players need to be careful not only of bots running pirate and mining ships, but also of veteran players who lie and scam each other to get ahead.
Since its release in 2001, RuneScape may have popularized the idea of an open world MMO for players. It gives players space to not only kill monsters and get through dungeons, but also do “normal” things like cook, mine, and fish. But since the Grand Exchange came out in 2007, RuneScape characters have had another job option: they can become traders.
Since it came out, the Grand Exchange has replaced the game’s regular “marketplace” with something like the biggest auction players can take part in. The Grand Exchange is like a trading floor where RuneScape players can put items up for auction and buy and sell them. Some players get rich in the free-to-play MMO by taking advantage of the market’s many changes. RuneScape’s popularity led them to add a section to their website where players can check the prices of items. This section is called “Grand Exchange.”
Black Desert Online
When Calpheon and Valencia, two rival nations, fight over the mysterious Black Stones of the Black Desert, players of Black Desert Online are thrown into the middle of the fight. Players who make a name for themselves on their adventures gain enough respect to be able to recruit people to help them. This opens the door for helpers and gatherers called “Workers” who can help players gather resources.
Black Desert Online is different from other MMOs because it has a rich “microeconomy” that lets players set up their own settlements with farms and other production nodes that they can send Workers to work on. This gives players a steady supply of resources that they can trade or use to make things. This system gets a lot more complicated when players start managing not only their farms but also their Workers. It takes a lot of thought to choose the right Worker qualities, make sure you have enough money to pay them, and even make sure they have enough food to make the best products.
Ragnarok Online has one of the most complex player economies, even when it first came out in 2002. This is because the game has a class that is only for trading. Even though Ragnarok Online ended too soon in 2018, different versions of the series have been released on different platforms in the years since. In terms of the economy, the MMO’s claim to fame would be Vending, a Skill that can only be used by Merchants and Super Novices who have a Pushcart. This is where the image of Ragnarok Online characters sitting in the middle of cities with a Pushcart full of things they can buy came from. In a game set in Midgard where players choose from up to four tiers of Jobs to stop the end of the world, a Job that lets players enjoy the normal life of a vendor is a breath of fresh air.
In contrast to modern in-game economies, where almost every player has a way to trade, Vending in Ragnarok Online gave Merchants and Super Novices a “exclusive” appeal as official in-game vendors. There are other ways for players to buy and sell items, like player-made Purchase Shops, searchable Catalogs, Catalogs that work like requests, and even automated in-game Auctions. As early as the 2000s, Ragnarok Online helped give players a complex in-game economy by giving them many different ways to buy and sell items.
Many people see Albion Online as the spiritual successor to RuneScape. This MMO sandbox gives players another chance to make a name for themselves in any way they can. Albion Online is similar to RuneScape in that when you die, you lose all of your gear. However, the economy in Albion Online is completely driven by the players. Albion Online is different from other MMOs in that every piece of gear can be made by players. This means that everyone has a chance to get some of the most powerful gear in the game and even the chance to sell it for a high price.
This lets players completely progress through the game by trading, which is good news for free-to-play players because it means they can compete with high-level characters if they put in enough time and training. Not only that, but the in-game Marketplace is one of the cleanest trading auctions in modern MMOs. It has a clean user interface and easy-to-use controls, which are very important since it sells all items in Spacebar Clicker game, no matter how rare they are.
World Of Warcraft
As World of Warcraft moves into 2023 and the Dragonflight expansion brings back the Dragonflights as Azeroth’s protectors, it’s not surprising that players will want to bring the best gear they can. But even in the beginning of the war between the Alliance and the Horde, players were already taking part in the game’s active economy.
Copper, Silver, and Gold are the three currencies in World of Warcraft, just like in other MMOs. But WoW Tokens, a special currency that can be bought in real life, are one of the game’s more unique ideas when it comes to its currencies. These tokens give players access to a wide range of benefits, such as game time in the MMO’s subscription model, or they can be traded for expensive Gold. Even the trading in the game’s Auction House is very busy, since players can trade a wide range of items for different needs. Shawn Routhier from Blizzard said in a Splunk’s.conf presentation that by the year 2021, players of the MMO will be making transactions that earn a total of about 21 billion Gold every day.
Guild Wars 2
In the world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2, players become adventurers who have to protect their realms from the five (5) Elder Dragons who want to cause trouble. To do this, they have to make alliances and connections with other players as the story progresses. Fans who want to get their hands on some of the best items in the game can do so through the Trading Post, the game’s version of an auction house where Guild Wars 2 players can make money in addition to their Professions.
But unlike other games where trading isn’t a big part of the gameplay loop, the Guild Wars 2 Trading Post is one of the most rewarding and stable in-game markets in MMOs. Compared to other markets, players can look at sites like GW2Efficiency to see that sales of items are slow but steady. Also, players are more likely to trade items because there are times when they can make a lot of money quickly. This is similar to what happens in real markets over the long term.