Supply Line – The Basics of a Player-based Economy

So, as many people in the CU Community know already Camelot unchained is going to have a player-based economy. In this series of articles I will explore what I believe the games final economy might look like and as a result how the eternal conflict for Camelot might be conducted, I will also explore the relationship crafters will have to the other classes and their general importance to the war.

First off few people in the community as it is now actually know the implications of what a player based economy actually are, and how it functions on a per player basis and at guild level. Essentially all items or resources in the game  are mined harvested and shaped into items that are then expended, in this case in tri-faction warfare. The key feature from a game-economic perspective is that it severely decreases economical bloat and also gives the developer a significant amount of control over item rarity and value through adjusting spawn rates of raw materials. Camelot Unchained is expected to go one step further with the absence of an auction house, an MMO staple, this will in fact have far reaching consequences for the supply chain and nature of warfare in CU which I will discuss in a later article.

On an individual level well take a look at both the case of one of the ten combat classes planned for the final game and the test case of an individual crafter. In the case of the combat class most crafting will be limited to just basic harvesting and repair and it has been mentioned the possibility of higher tier or rarer resources being invisible to combat classes entirely. At some point too a crafter is going to have to trade for materials that he or she cannot acquire or alternatively put themselves in danger to acquire materials  particularly in  the depths. Therefore even on an individual level there is a necessary symbiosis between crafters and all other classes, and this also presents a problem for players who wish to play solo or in smaller groups, even a group of 6-7 players might need a crafter to keep them all equipped. To look for an already existing example of this you should study Eve Online, where the efficient production of larger and more versatile ships requires a significant investment of time and In-game capital, it can take whole corporations (eve equivalent of guilds) to build the largest craft with over 30 people taking weeks to gather the material for one ship. This may lead to a lead time on the production of custom ordered items for example, and also may lead to short term shortages of goods in game locally.

From the perspective of a guild leader the task becomes less and more challenging in different ways. Whilst combat resources can be used to help crafters improve the quality of their material inventories it will likely be a balancing act between gathering and fighting, combat classes will become significantly less effective as the fight wears on and a timeout will eventually have to be called so that the guild can regather it’s strength and resources. Also when managing inventory involving a large group of player I personally expect this to be given over to a guild quartermaster, a player whose job it is to ensure the troops are supplied and delegating work out between a small junior crafting staff. I expect this will likely happen as a result of crafting times, where jobs on the Vox Magus will likely take several minutes and the crafter will have to balance between quality and crafting speed, as well as materials used in construction. This will be a phenomenal departure from any crafting system seen in the likes of Rift, WoW or even Eve Online, the systems inherent complexity might even prove a little too much for players on release but we will see as we move onto BETA.

In the next article i will explore how guild leaders might approach the problem of loot, since as there are no weapon or armor drops from the NPC animals in the game it is an interesting though experiment how guild leaders will manage and dole out rare items.