Over Township’s lifetime, there have been plenty of attempts to stabilize and form an Economy. From Trading Associations to servers with admin-mandated labor prices, many have tried to create a stable economy, and all have failed. This is not the fault of the owner of the Trading Association or the server owner, but instead an issue with Township’s core approach to currency: You can print money.
The simple fact that players can print money is the root of all issues in regards to forming an economy. This simple fact means that resources can never hold a stable value, leading to prices varying wildly between different days, leading to a crazed pseudo-economy.
Now, if certain factors weren’t looming ahead of us, I wouldn’t care about trying to stabilize an economy, as personally I enjoy the communist feel Township currently has. However, the Building update does loom upon us, and we have already been told that land will have to be either bought or rented. Introducing the building update with the current “economy” system would be madness, as the only people who could afford land would be hardcore miners who are willing to mine a bunch of gold to convert into coins. The system needs to change before then, and I hope I have a solution:
Firstly, the Coin Presses must be removed from the Town Hall. This is a given, as they are the main contributing factor towards our unstable economy.
Secondly, Gold Coins must also be removed from loot spawns, as they randomly contribute to the issue.
Finally, to reintroduce gold to the pockets of the people, we must introduce a variant of Universal Basic Income.
Now, if you’ve heard of UBI then you probably have an idea of what it is, but for those who don’t know, it is very simply just giving people money.
I know that doesn’t sound good on paper, but in practice, it should work quite well.
There are two ways of doing UBI:
Every day, when a player logs on, they should find a small sum of money in their mailbox. This should be around 10 - 20 coins. If players don’t play the game, then they simply don’t get their UBI. What we have done here is given value to simply logging in and playing on a server. This should be the only example of exchanging labor for gold in the game. From here, players are free to trade and sell as before, but are now able to better set prices, and these prices should not vary as wildly from day to day as inflation would be constant (and not in short bursts whenever someone comes up with a haul of 200 gold bars).
Rewarding players with coin for every hour they play. This could be done at a lower rate (5 coins an hour?), and would be less exploitative than the daily login.
Finally, couple the UBI and gold changes with a larger area for market stalls (and maybe more advanced market stalls) and you have a much more stable and vibrant economy where inflation is better controlled. Of course inflation will still be an issue, but it will at least be constant and predictable as the population and lifetime of a server increases.