Greedy Goblin

Monday, June 27, 2016

The real life value of BDO economy

Blog update: I damn the moment I tried the "templates", because Blogger don't have the old plan thing anymore, so I have to live with it. And some people want larger, others want smaller. I have no idea how to change it back to the old which was ugly but worked for everyone as it was practically unformatted text. You can use CTRL+ and CTRL- to increase-decrease the page in your browser.

Black Desert Online has the most restricted economy I've ever seen. Practically all other games have free market where market exist. Sure, there are completely out-of-market progression aspects, like Soulbound gear in WoW, but people - exactly because of this - don't look at them as wares but as part of the character.

Despite I'm a free market fan, I'm enchanted by the BDO economy more than with any other game economy I encountered with and I had to find a reason why. I started blogging about WoW moneymaking 9 years ago (Jesus!) because I had a naive idea:
  • Games are fair in the sense that my mage is just as strong as your mage
  • Therefore differences of results can only come from merit
  • I can make stupid amount of gold with trading
  • I can easily point out that poor players are flat out lazy or stupid (ungemmed-unenchanted cloth wearing warrior)
  • Result: people accept that making lot of money is only because of merit and not some unfairness or conspiracy or "born rich"or whatever nonsense leftists explain poverty with
Well, despite I'm closing to my 10 millionth page visit, so built a pretty successful blog, ran great projects and made lots of waves, the main goal was not achieved. Players didn't realize that the free market they encounter in games work the same way as the real life one. Morons and slackers simply dismiss the result: "im playing 4 fun" = "my complete failure in the game tells nothing about me".

The socials simply imported the real life leftist nonsense and created the "myth of nolifer", where results come from something out of the game (your mage has more time to farm than mine). This is a very pervasive myth that resits every kind of disproving. I mean even in games where clear statistics prove how much time was spent it is still claimed. I was called nolifer for doing things that don't even relate to playing time. My EVE income was very often explained on Reddit by "mindless farming for 10 hours a day", despite needed 100-200 hours a day of mindless farming. Socials don't care about logic or proofs, their basic idea is that everyone is equal, therefore being unequal can only come from luck (you can live in the basement of your parents while I am a family man with responsibilities).

So in WoW, EVE and other games people saw the fruits of free market and either covered their ears yelling "fun" or created complete nonsense excuses why it's not what it is. I have to accept that this isn't working, playing/observing video game free markets won't convince anyone who isn't already convinced.

Enters BDO with its "social economy" utopia. It's a place designed by someone who read all the labor union and leftist writer nonsense (I'm surprised that the Calpheon parliament head isn't called Bernie). A place where taxes are high to "stop the AH sharks". A place where prices are limited to "prevent gauging". A place where you can only make 30 market sell orders and only one (bugged) buy order to only allow small businesses. However this utopia turns out to be a pain to those meant to be protected by it. Every time someone cries "there isn't any Liverto on the market and someone just clicked faster when one was finally listed", someone is cursing market regulations. He sees the social democracy at work and he is clearly not amused.

I should have listened to myself earlier and realize that my original plan is wrong: M&S responds to only one stimulus, being kicked in the butt and socials only responds to one: pointing at the M&S. In EVE they could buy their damn frigate and curse the "selfish asshole" who made it available for them. In BDO they can only watch the empty shelves having not only no Liverto, but also no milk, beer, logs, bottle of water that is literally from the nearby river or other common stuff that should be obviously there.

While the M&S will probably just keep crying that "market bots take it from me", a social with functional brain can realize that there isn't enough supply for everyone, so some people must leave empty handed (and that someone is him). Playing with BDO economy has the same effect on a socialist as having to live in North Korea: he sees his utopia at work and its flaws are obvious.

And to make the victory of free market complete: these flaws only hit those who are meant to be protected by them, while the "greedy assholes" like myself are doing fine, exactly because we understand the economy. Free market is simple, regulated market is much more complicated, so understanding economy gives much bigger advantage.

I can't make a guild or group project on this idea, just blogposts, but I invite you to play BDO and see this yourself. I believe the anti-free market BDO is the best advertisement for free markets. Support this game, play this game, create content for it! The more people play it, the better for the free market idea. As for me, I'm presenting moneymaking tips and show how these tips are naturally harmful for other people and this isn't because I'm evil, but because the system rewards such harmful activities. I can always show that in case of free market, I would be better off helping other people instead of doing what I'm doing.

PS: Pearl Abyss (the dev of BDO) was not prepared for the western trolls. When you capture a territory, your guild emblem is shown everywhere in flags. Of course it's bannable to have offensive banners. But nothing stops busy redditors to fill this beautifully animated medieval World with Donald Trump, Tailor Swift and Reddit Frog posters. You see, one can be a troll without "kill yourself" and "ur gay pwnd".


thenoisyrogue said...

Fantastic analogy. I'm kicking myself that I didn't see it earlier. I love the idea of getting the M&S to play it to help cure their socialist tendencies. It's a bit like when a hardcore socialist student gets their first real job and they start seeing how much money they lose to the taxman. This often results in an overnight conversion. Nothing like brutal reality.

Destabilizator said...

I've just read this briefly, but didn't see a note about the "shady" part of AH which we have now - the Buy Orders, with a twist that you have no idea how much are the others offering :S.

Eg. Ancient Weapon Core, on AH few times a day, can be listed for ~13mil, I asked the guy who won it by Buy Order - he slotted 40 mil on it.

Btw: since you are trafficed (is that even a word?) blog, maybe it would be time to put some pretty and sleek design all around?

Gevlon said...

@Destabilizator: buy orders are barely working. While I won items on it, most of the time the item gets to the normal marketplace.

Why should I bother with design? I don't want to increase the traffic of those who care for a design.

Destabilizator said...

@Gevlon: yes idd, they behave weirdly

I think nobody goes to blogs because of their designs, but that's not reason to leave your house unpainted, is it?

Gevlon said...

You're right. I will now go and spend several hours of my life to make you happy.


Destabilizator said...

Me? Hardly, I read stuff through Feedly anyway - but it speaks of the pride you take in your blog.

If it would take you several hours, then I understand though. No Gevlov would set for few clicks to enable template design! :)

Anonymous said...

a car has to drive. I and Gevlon don't care about the social status it represents. So we don't drive BMW, Benz, Bently ... I don't have a car at all and gevlon drives, to use a social phrase, "shit bucket".
same with a blog.

maxim said...

BDO is a very limited model. Sure, you can tailor it to your propaganda needs, but let's not pretend it is an actual reflection of the real world.
For example, you don't actually need water to live in BDO.

maxim said...

After some more thought, i am ready to conced the point that free market is much better at expanding comfortable and diverse lifestyles if the very existence of a society is not in question. People don't go into socialism for comfort and diversity, though.

People don't l2p if they don't suffer for a bit :D

Jim L said...

How do you define a free market?

Gevlon said...

@Jim L: I can offer my wares at any price I want to get and you are free to pay it or find someone better. And no one else gets a dime from our transaction.

Destabilizator said...

@Anonymous: that's not good comparison, as the goal of car is to drive (you from A to B), but goal of blog is to be read and visited (otherwise you might as well just think all the articles and never put it down on paper). So you'd compare it to a restaurant, rather than car.

Jim L said...

In your free market utopia are you allowed to advertise as selling 100 aspirin pills but in reality fulfilling that order with 90 aspirin pills and 10 sugar pills?

Gevlon said...

@Hanura: I've found the way to edit HTML to increase width beyond UI control range. Is it better now?

@Jim L: no, that's called scamming

Tithian said...

Slightly off topic: layout looks good, maybe up the font size just a notch, to make reading a bit easier on the eyes.

On topic: nothing like harsh reality to teach someone a lesson, but there are always those people that will never learn from their mistakes, sadly. To actually better your life you need to accept that you were wrong about some things, and then you can go about changing them. A good deal of people are either too proud to admit their mistakes, or too stupid to realise the reality of their situation.

Living in Greece, I see this kind of thing all the time. A good chunk of the people that fell for the leftist and socialist propaganda of the (current) government have actually turned around and regret their vote, but quite a lot of them also still refuse to acknoledge that the situation since the elections of 2015 is significantly worse in pretty much all fields (capital controls, lower GDP overall, less amenities, lower budget for social services, National Health System crumbling etc), while at the same time they are complaining about the rising unemployment rates, low wages or their personal debt.

Rodolphe Ortalo said...

My main criticism of your comparison between real world economies and in-game ones is not about the free market vs. a-la-sovietic market simulation or any accusation of "nolife"; my primary concern with your (in my opinion) inappropriate comparisons is about risk taking.
In a game, you take a lot of risks you would not take in real life and you omit to mention the safety and security provided by the virtual environment which are the primary sources of cost in real life.
You want to be rich in real life? Run a (legal) commerce in a country with no taxes, no police and no hospitals. You will probably get rich much faster indeed but you may not live long to take advantage of it. And do not play tricks on me: this additional risk you take *is* what make your "ideal" system so "efficient" in the first place - because it is much more dangerous by those who adhere to it. By the way, have you noted that the system you encourage is also the one seeked by those who run illegal businesses? Doesn't it ring a bell somewhere to supposedly share common philsophy with those most of us call criminals?

In some sense, you demonstrate the most that video games promote an inacurrate vision of the real world with respect to moral and values.

Gevlon said...

About layout: I damn the moment I tried the "templates", because Blogger don't have the old plan thing anymore, so I have to live with it. And some people want larger, others want smaller. I have no idea how to change it back to the old which was ugly but worked for everyone as it was practically unformatted text.

Hint: you can use CTRL+ and CTRL- to increase-decrease the page in your browser.

Spaceman said...

Declaring people morons and slackers or worse for not achieving well in a system that you and those like you have figured out, and are possibly better equipped to understand is, to my mind, one of the laziest excuses to ignore their complaints and yes their flaws. But also a cheap way of rationalizing why some people can be ignored or left behind.

A system that can be gamed to prevent others from competing is fair target for complaints and criticisms.

Gevlon said...

@Rodolphe: people usually don't take risks in games. They follow the raid leader or read a guide and obey. Actually most EVE players are fine with literally orbit+F1.

@Spaceman: except they don't need to figure out anything, all they need to do is read a damn wiki.

Kines Pavelovna said...

Well, the game isn't supposed to be an applied econ reactor, at least from the sounds of it. It's really more a question of whether or not the designers felt that a more, or less restricted, trading system benefits game play, or detracts from it. And an element of that decision is purely a matter of taste.

Of course, I am assuming they thought rationally about the differences between the different ways their game could be designed. Who knows if they actually bothered with this step or not.