Author Topic: Economics of PvP  (Read 81 times)

May 04, 2018, 11:42:12 AM

Offline Evolution

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Economics of PvP

Characters can engage in combat with one another. These Player vs Player contests are one of the primary Ultima Online past-times. Although characters can be "killed" as a result of combat, this fate is more of an annoyance than it is to true death. When one’s character is killed, the character’s "ghost" can be resurrected and the game continues with a penalty of the loss of possessions.

This loss of possessions is an excellent example of "Zero-sum Game" economics. During a Player vs Player confronatation you will have a winner and a loser, where the winner takes all and the loser is left with nothing but loss from the exchange.

When the gains made by winners in an economic transaction equal the losses suffered by the losers, it is identified as a special case in GAME THEORY, and has a very strong influence on the Ultima Online economy.

PvP plays several vital roles to the UO economy.

1) The PvP players serve as "intelligent monsters" and guard the valuable loot in Felucca, which make items rare/scarce/valuable
2) The PvP makes travel and resource gathering very dangerous, with the chance of economic loss
3) PvP players generally do not produce goods, but they are wealthy buyers and distribute wealth to the poor

PvP is a strange economic factor.  A player killer is rewarded for killing another player and looting all of their items.

PvP players, in general, are the apex predators and prey on the weaker players.  They usually steal/loot items they need rather than work or produce goods

May 04, 2018, 12:16:21 PM
Reply #1

Offline Evolution

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Heroes & Villains

"Without villains, there can be no heroes.” A game, or any entertainment medium, is flat, predictable, and utterly lacking in conflict, tension, and suspense without a worthy intelligent villain. “The villain is the main source of conflict and tension and suspense -- those necessary qualities in all of literature. Without a worthy villain, there cannot be a worthy hero. Whether the hero wants to win back the love of a woman, escape from prison, rescue a child, catch a serial killer, or save the world, his quest must be difficult and its outcome uncertain if we are to keep interested. That’s the job of the antagonist. “The function of the villain in drama is to challenge the hero and give him a worthy opponent in the struggle.”

An online world is no different, if there are no worthy villains, then there are no worthy heroes; the game lacks conflict, tension and suspense and our interest in participating in such a game is much more easily lost. When Ultima Online was a virtual world full of villain players there was always a large portion of the player base actively playing the game, even into the wee hours of the night.  It was the conflict that drove the game. The game was exciting enough to play that it was always highly populated with active players.