Orsa Novus Aevum : Dawn of the New Age
We have a new forum! Go to http://www.orsanovusaevum.com/ and register!


All Warfare Is Based On Deception - Sun Tzu
 
HomeFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:22 pm


MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP
--------------------------------------

An essay on the economics of SMP Minecraft Beta v1.3 and the use of Obsidian as a currency.


Hypothesis : Obsidian can be used as a valid form of currency in SMP Minecraft Beta v1.3

Summary : Upon accepting the base value of time within the game, the player is able to ascertain the value of commodities. Time can be expressed as a function with Obsidian,

thus Obsidian becomes the base currency.


Economics
-------------------------------
This section details basic terms and concepts used throughout this document. It also relates them to the current situation of the game. This section can be skipped if you feel
you understand the concepts of economics within Minecraft, simply proceed to the section titled "The Obsidian Economy"


Basics
-------
The economy as it stands in SMP Minecraft is what is known as a "hunter-gatherer" economy. All goods and materials are obtained with an investment of time unless through barter. Barter is a valid system of trade, but because there are no commodities in this system, little trade actually occurs. Commodities do not exist in a system where there is no fungibility. What does this have to do with mushrooms!? Nothing, lol. Fungibility means that goods have the same value to everyone, or, Quoting wikipedia "Commoditization (also called commodification) occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base".

This is why there is no real economy in Minecraft: no one can agree on what things are worth.


Opportunity Cost "To be or not to be, that is the question"
-----------------------------------------------------------
At the very basis of worth, or the determination of value, is opportunity cost. I can give an example here to demonstrate it:

A or B-I can play Minecraft, or, go to work and make $100.
A-If I play Minecraft-I sacrifice $100 by not working.
B-If I go to work-I sacrifice awesome Minecraft Theorycraft!
The Opportunity Cost = What is sacrificed by chosing one action over another.

This concept of sacrificing one possible outcome to achieve another gives a value to something which otherwise might not be measurable. Does that mean playing Minecraft is worth $100? Yes. The reverse is also true, but only in this scenario. Remember this is the opportunity cost not the actual value. Real life scenarios are far more complex, of course, but this example helps us to understand the nuance of opportunity cost.


Labor
-----
Labor is pretty self-explanatory(it's what happens when a woman gives birth, obviously!). For the purpose of this essay we are interested in "wage labor price". Laborers sell
their time for a wage. If we follow the previous example, the laborer incurs an opportunity cost in addition to losing time. This means that if the work is always the same, the
value of time(to the seller or laborer) is determined by opportunity cost. So, for equal work with equal opportunity cost, the wage has the same value:

Time = Wage(money) = Opportunity Cost


Commodities
-----------
A commodity is a good which has fungibilty. Fungibility occurs when the value of an item is accepted universally. The 6 base commodities in Minecraft are: Stone, Redstone, Iron, Lapis Lazuli, Gold, and Diamonds. These goods have a value relative to one another, it is this relationship that allows their value to be measured. Other goods may be
commodities, but only in their respective economy.

The reasoning behind this is simple: resource distribution and quatities are unknown for all blocks. However, the distribution of ore within "rock" is known. From this knowledge we derive value. We know that:

Diamond occurs in 0.08% of Rock or 1 in 1250
Gold occurs in .1% of Rock or 1 in 1000
Iron occurs in .5% of Rock or 1 in 200
Lapis occurs in .72% of Rock or 1 in 138.8
Redstone occurs in 3.88% of Rock 1 in 25.773
Stone occurs in 94.72% of Rock, forming the baseline because whatever isn't Diamond/Gold/Iron/Lapis/Redstone is stone.

Note-Value for Lapis Lazuli and Redstone assumes the average amount dropped from a block.

From this we can make equations such as 1250 Stone = 1 Diamond. This allows us to progress further towards understanding the value of time in Minecraft.

On Coal and Why It's Excluded
-----------------------------
Coal is a very useful and is found in 1% of rock. The problem with coal is that it can be counterfeited with charcoal. Charcoal production is automated through use of the furnace item. If one has a tree farm and a few furnaces it is simple to mass produce. It also looks and functions exactly like coal. This causes inflation and because the value
of coal is indeterminate given charcoal I have excluded it.


Trade
-----
Trade is characterized within the game as any contract which results in an exchange of goods or services. For the purpose of this economy, in so far as it concerns our
calculations, we assume a "fixed-price contract". The ratio of this contract is 60/40 : Buyer/Seller. This means the demander always pays more than the supplier. This can be
demonstrated here:

I have $100 (Buyer)
You have $50 worth of Commodities(Seller)
We take $50 of money + $50 goods = $100 of value
We use buyer/seller ratio of 60/40
I pay you $60 for the goods.

Does this mean all trade will follow this format? Not neccessarily. A blackmarket will arise and prices will fluctuate. But for the purpose of determining the actual value of
currency we follow this formula.


Supply & Demand
---------------
Supply and Demand controls the value of items as they exist within an economy(or it should at least). When supply is high, the price is usually low, and vice versa. While this
concept plays a factor in the game currently, it has a neglible effect on the value of commodities. Because there is no currency, trade is limited by the actual amount of goods within the economy. One cannot pay for high valued diamonds without a mountain of resources.


Currency
--------
Money is what is needed in order to facilitate trade. Currency has value which everyone agrees upon. There is no currency in Minecraft which is why I have written this document. I have discovered that obsidian can be used as a valid form of currency if one takes the time to understand what it is worth. I have also outlined ways that it can be implemented into the game.




The Obsidian Economy
--------------------------------


The Cobblestone Hour
--------------------------------
This most important block in Minecraft economy is the Stone Block.

[PIC]

The simple reason for this is that it contains ore. Redstone, Lapis Lazuli, Iron, Gold, and Diamond ores are commodities (see Economy). Mining stone has universal equality in value, or more simply; two players under similar circumstances can swing a pick at stone with equal results. All that is required is a mouseclick and time. This concept allows us to establish the base value of time.

The concept of the Cobblestone Hour is quite simple. As a basis, we use the swing of a pick into a stone block, or 1.79s(see diagram). The yield of this action is 1 Cobblestone. Now, if we repeat this over 1 hour(3600s), we yield roughly 2000 Cobblestone.

3600/1.79 = (2011.173) rounded to 2000 for user error and tool durability.
2000 x .86 = 1720 Cobblestone/hour

We assume some broken iron picks and a miss-swing or two and arrive at 2000. This is definitely for covenience Very Happy And calculating the exact numbers in this situation makes a negligible change(about 0.01%). Further, numbers will need to be rounded at a certain point because there are no half-blocks or quarter-blocks, etc. With this in mind apply an efficiency rate of 86%(see Mining Efficiency) and arrive at our minimum potential value for the Cobblestone Hour.

Potential Value--
The potential value of a cobblestone hour is much higher because of the existence of ore within rock. Because the worker is selling their time and not the yield this creates a
situation where it is potentially rewarding to buy and sell time. The intrinsic value of the laborer's time is increased because the yield is immaterial to them, a block is a block so to speak. The value of cobblestone increases, because each swing of a pick can potentially reveal ore. This allows for a situation to arise where; selling labor is more profitable for someone who does not profit from yield, and buying labor is more profitable for someone who does.


Maximum Potential Value--

We make theoretical assumptions here in order to elimante variables, for more info see the Mining section.
-We assume that all mining is done at the appropriate depth.
-We assume an efficieny rate of 86%.
-Any block that is not a Commodity is considered stone.
-Water and Lava are ignored.

We can calculate the maximum potential value of a cobblestone hour by using the Ore distribution variables as seen on Minepedia:


= Materials Baseline =
Diamond = 0.08% of rock or 1250 times Value of cobblestone
Gold= .1% or 1000 x Value of cobblestone
Iron= .5% or 200x Value of cobblestone
Lapis= .72% or 138.8x Value of cobblestone
Redstone= 3.88% or 25.773x Value of cobblestone
Stone= 94.72%

Assuming 1720 Rock
1.376 Diamonds = 1720 cobblestone
1.72 Gold = 1720 cobblestone
8.6 Iron = 1720 cobblestone
12.384 Lapis = 1718.8992 cobblestone
66.736 Redstone = 1719.9869 cobblestone
1629.184 Stone = 1629.184 cobblestone

Total = 10228.07 Cobblestone = Maximum Potential Value of a Cobblestone Hour

The actual value of mining stone for one hour could be more or less. The law of averages will always play out in the long run. The laborer sells his time which is fixed and
constant. The employer, or Buyer, hopes to convert this time into potential profit. This is important when it comes time to pay for labor.


Wages--

So here we are with a maximum potential worth of our stone. We have a laborer selling their time along with an employer who buys it. How much is this time worth?

Labor + Yield = 10228.07 Cobblestone
We assume a Buyer/Seller relation(see Economics, Supply & Demand), with the laborer being the seller and arrive at a wage of:

10228.07 x 0.6 = 6136.842 Cobblestone/Hour of Labor

The employer pockets 4091.228 Cobblestone.

Of course, our laborer has little interest in cobblestone and our employer even less. The value of cobblestone is implied not literal, it is a building material and little more.

We derive it's worth from an equation relating to time. Therefore it's value is not equal to the time value of the wage paid:

1 Hour of Swinging a Pick does not = 6136.842 Cobblestone

Why?

Because currency must reflect the value of time, and exchanging Cobblestone for commmodities will never happen because of this. The value of stone lies in its potential to yield ore and once it is harvested that value dissappears, unlike commodities. What is needed is a way to store time, a currency, and for it to be accurately measured. Fortunatley for us, this mechanism already exists within the game.


The Obsidian Standard
-------------------------------------------------------------
We have discovered the value of time in Minecraft. We have also discovered the maximum potential value of stone mining and commodities. We have laborers who need to be paid. How do we pay them? What money do we use? What is currency?

Currency is stored value, and if our only value is time, then it is stored time. How do we store time? What activity or object occurs at a fixed rate which cannot be manipulated by the player? The answer, of course, is obsidian. Why obsidian? It is the only answer which fits. Cobblestone is of little value. Ores are expendable, they are refined into goods. No naturally occuring block can be used for fear of strip-mining. There must be enough of it to circulate in the economy. For more answers to "Why not x?" questions see the FAQ.

As a raw material, obsidian's actual value is fairly low. It is not a commodity. It's value is derived from the Cobblestone Hour because of opportunity cost(see economics). The time that is spent creating obsidian could have been used to mine stone. It is more profitable to mine stone than to create obsidian. The yield of obsidian is always the same. The same situation occurs with cobblestone, the laborer mines for a yield amount that is constant and a wage is paid. This leads us to a situation where we in essence sell our time to the block of obsidian.


First we determine the value of Obsidian in relation to time. Obsidian requires a diamond pick to extract which is a considerable investment, so we shall include it in our calculation:

Base Math Assuming 96% efficiency
---------------------------------
-Obsidian has a harvest time of 15.35s.

Assuming 15.35s/Block 3600s = 234.527 Blocks Obsidian
234.527 x 0.96 = 225.146 Blocks/Hour

-A Pickaxe uses 3 Diamonds and is good for 1562 swings before it breaks.

3 Diamonds = Pickaxe = 1562 swings of Pick / 3 = 520 swings = 1 Diamond = 1250 Cobblestone
225 Swings = 540.865 Cobblestone

-We use the base potential value of the cobblestone and add the pick value.

10228.07 cbs + 540.865 = 10768.935 Cobblestone

-Next determine value of the wage.

Labor + Yield = 10768.935 Cobblestone
We assume a Buyer/Seller relation again (laborer = seller)
10768.935 x .6 = 6461.361

-Finally establish per block value.

6461.361/225 = 28.71716
1 Obsidian = 29 Cobblestone

I believe in simplicity so in my opinion it should be 30 Cbs = 1 Obsidian, so that calculations can be done quickly.


The Standard
-------------
We have established Obsidians value but we have a problem. There is no demand for it. As time goes by, the economy grows and obsidian continues to accumulate because no one has any real use for it. It's also hard to destroy. This will cause inflation, and people will stop farming it. We need to create an artificial demand for Obsidian. The server must have a shop or market where obsidian can be traded for commodities. Players should *not* be allowed to sell objects to the server because this creates other ways of acquiring obsidian. If a player can sell sand and string, suddenly they can acquire vast amounts of obsidian for little work. This creates inflation and allows for exploits, limiting gameplay and upsetting balance. I cannot stress this enough, no selling to server.

Oddly enough, only a few items need to be available to buy. Only Diamonds, Gold Ingots, and Iron Ingots are needed to properly regulate the economy. Everything else can be left to the open market and supply & demand will regulate them. I would suggest adding Leather as well for those who are low on funds but it is not neccessary. Here is an example price list using a Buyer/Seller ratio of 60/40:

50 Obsidian = 1 Diamond
40 Obsidian = 1 Gold Ingot
8 Obsidian = 1 Iron Ingot
2 Obsidian = 1 Leather

There also needs to be a neutral area where players can conduct trade without fear of being killed, usually the spawn area. Bandits can wait outside this area but should not be permitted to interfere with transactions as they occur. This is very important. Players will camp the vendor and kill all traders if the are not regulated. A war will be waged
over rights to the vendor. This is not desirable and measures need to be taken to prevent it.

There are several ways that this market can be implemented:

Basic
-----
The simplest way to do this is for Server Admins and Moderators to volunteer trading services. They act as a salesman and /give the goods to the player. Any obsidian received is destroyed. This could mean that certain times of the day are "Market Hours", or that there is even only a "Market Day" or two, when such services are rendered. The most important rule to follow(other than the prices, of course) is that trade be at a spawn or neutral area and nowhere else. This way a black market can develop and territory will be important.

Any events which offer prizes can instead offer obsidian which can be redeemed at the Market. The opportunity for trade will attract more players to these events.

The "vendors" have the ability to ban or kick any disruptive players, and can police player to player transactions.


Advanced
--------
A module could be created to implement the Obsidian Standard. Something like iconomy could be used to buy goods with obsidian. The caveat here is that it needs to be limited to the spawn or neutral areas. Allowing players to buy objects from any location gives them too much power. Supply and price on the objects sold remains fixed so most players will not need to acquire them naturally. This limits gameplay instead of expanding it.

A no-kill module could be used to pacify players. Something that makes players invulnerable when they enter certain areas would be good. This means that players could hide in the neutral area, but as long as players are prevented from leaving goods or creating buildings there, it should not effect gameplay negatively.

An item or NPC could be created to automate the use of the obsidian shop. By clicking on the shop the person could buy from the server.


Conclussion
-----------
By establishing the base value of time and measuring it with obsidian we create a currency. When an artificial demand is created for obsidian the currency becomes valuable and useful. Using the suggestions I have outlined above, I believe it is entirely possible to implement a basic economy in Minecraft SMP. Players would need to be informed and some explanantions may be required. Some stimulus injected by the server admins can jump-start the process.


---------------------------------------------

APPENDIX

Freemining VS Obsidan Farming
-----------------------------

Freemining
------------------
Freemining will always be more profitable than purely farming obsidian. This is true simply because the maximum potential yield of a Cobblestone Hour(approx. 10300 cbs) is superior to being paid for the equivalent labor(approx. 6140 cbs). Freemining is entirely self sufficient, but this does not mean that obsidian has no value to a Freeminer. The value of ore only exists because of currency. A short example:

Lets say you're a Freeminer and you refuse to use obsidian, you decide to use the base cobblestone values instead. Say you have a diamond to sell, someone comes to see you and says "I'll gladly give you 1250 cobblestone for it. No? Ok then how about 50 Redstone? Still no? Alright then 6 Iron! Last offer, I dont have anything else! Cool Sold!" You turn around and someone offers to buy your iron. He starts off, "So how about 1250 Cobblestone?"......

This example shows us the downward trend of the value of the goods. Logic suggests that we always attempt to upsell our goods. So, if I have redstone I will try to get
lapis/iron/gold/diamonds for it, if I have iron then gold/diamonds, etc. Logic also suggests that those without goods have less to trade to those who do. Obsidian allows for
trade to occur without the goods losing too much value.

With no fixed value currency we end up with a constant devaluing of goods. The accepted value system is discarded. This is known as deflation and leads to a recession, where goods and labor continuously loose their value.

Obsidian Farming
------------------
While obsidian can be found naturally, it is not actually spawned in a chunk. The way it is formed is random; water must flow onto standing lava. For a more detailed explanation of this process see Minepedia.

The quantity of Obsidian farmed is based on time, thus the size of a farm matters only if there is more than one person farming. The player can never articially acquire more
obsidian. It must be acquired organically through harvest, trade, or conflict. This creates a situation where the player has several methods to increase their position relative
to other players, and allows strategy to flourish. This is similar to the Nash Equilibrium(see Wikipedia).

The way Minecraft is now, without a currency, the basic unit of value is manpower. Labor is not accurately measured so it only has potential value. Lack of fungibility limits
the value of commodities. The player becomes the currency because he is the only one with liquid-labor. The only fungible value is the potential labor created by a set of hands. The only way to increase position relative to other players is by acquiring more players. This is similar to a Zero-Sum situation(see wikipedia) and only limited strategy can arise.

Obsidian Farming will cause players to attach more value to neutral ground because it facilitates trade. This means that players can remain closer to spawn to take advantage of the liquidity of their assets. This results in an increase of the value of land close to spawn. Because their is potentially great value in cooperation, and value is agreed upon, cooperation can occur with more frequency. The reverse of this; potential loss, along with the opportunity cost, at an agreed upon value; means griefing becomes less frequent.


Mining Efficiency
-----------------
Many of the theories presented in this essay depend on assumptions regarding Mining. The prinicpal one, of course, is worker efficiency. In order to understand the relative
points regarding this, I suggest the reader visit Elites Of Minecraft: The Miner [First Ore loss Calculated] where Featherblade has done a very *cough* in-depth study.

Efficieny--
Efficiency is quite simply actual results versus maximum results. The result of mining are never perfect. The reason is because of the potential value of cobblestone versus the literal value of it. While you could mine every single block this is more time consuming. You could only look for ore but have you missed some? This is where we get efficieny from; how good is the laborer at doing it's job under ideal conditions.

From the Elites Of Minecraft: The Miner study we derive an efficieny of between 86-96%. This, however, represents freeminers who have different motivations than our laborers. Freeminers are affected by yield and are not constrained by time. They are not obligated to work if they choose not to. Time invested to work is not in balance with yield as it is with our laborer who is on the clock. Because of these factors I believe the minimum efficieny will be accurate for payed labor. Payed labor is not constant, though it is more so than freemining. Coincidentally, if one considers the work day at 8 hours with 30 minutes lunch and two 15 minute breaks, we get 7/8 hours working or 87.5% efficiency which is close to our minimum of 86%.

For obsidian, which occurs in a controlled environment, we assume the upper range of efficiency or 96%. Why? All obsidian will be harvested, given time, because there is no
potential-the value is fixed. The methods of farming promote less waste. Whole block value and worker motivation also factor in here. Basically for every 100 blocks harvested about 1 minute of time is wasted moving or recasting or what have you. This seems fairly accurate to me.

Mining Depth--
When considering mining depth we assume the right depth at all times. YYY has shown that both vertical and branch mining yield similar results in regards to efficiency. If we
did consider all rock(say everything below sea level(52)) instead of just target rock, all our calculations are useless because there is no way to determine how much rock is
present. We cannot safely estimate numbers to arrive at a reasonable alternative, so we exclude it. Because many other variables(mobs, dungeons, lava, water, natural caverns) are also ignored, I feel it is safe to assume mining is done at the appropriate depth for maximum yield.

Note: The actual method used to mine here is not considered important. We have no way of knowing how our theoretical laborers go about their work.


------------------------------------------

FAQ Questions Answered.
-----------------------------


Credits
-------
Thanks to Notch for making an amazing game. Special thanks to Valerius Maximus for writing the Art of War and Featherblade for his efforts in producing Elites Of Minecraft: The Miner [First Ore loss Calculated] these documents inspired me to write my own. Mega-Thanks to Etherimp, Raging Monocle, and all the players of the Project Art of War server for inspiring me with their passion for the game. Uber-Thanks to my girlfriend Maliena for putting up with me while I ranted about economic theory in a virtual environment.



Version History and Updates
----------------------------
0.1 Completed basic math Feb 23rd, 2011
0.2 Outlined Cobblestone Hour and Obsidian Standard, Feb 24th 2011
0.3 Outlined Economy Section and Appendix, Feb 28th
0.4 Completed first draft, Mar 4th 2011
0.5 Posted to Minecraft Scientific Foundation Forum for pier review, Mar 5th 2011


Back to top Go down
obolisk0430
Second Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 557
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : The incredibly complex confinds of my mind.

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:19 pm

This won't work... 2 Obsidian for leather? Hell no. I will get my own. The reason money works in real life is because only the government can make it.
Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:41 pm

LMAO

"2 Obsidian = 1 Leather ->> this won't work..."

This is probably the most irrelevant part of the document. I included it for people who are short on cash. Remove leather if you don't like it. Please, if you comment, make sure to include explanations for why the system won't work. If you disagree with a server price, then this creates opportunity for a Black Market to arise. You are not disputing the value of Obsidian here, so you're statement is false in effect.

Thanks for reading Very Happy
Back to top Go down
CrazyLemon64
Captain
avatar

Posts : 277
Join date : 2011-01-31
Location : On a planet beginning with the letter 'e'

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:34 pm

Congratulations for being probably the first non-ONA member to look at this forum!

Hmm... stone can easily produced indefinitely with a cobble maker, so paying people with cobble (or stone) might not be the best idea. Obsidian, in block form, has little value, but obsidian as an item should have high value, due to the implied labor used in getting it. However, using minerals such as iron and gold is a good idea, as they are unfarmable, and therefore prevent deflation by an overflow of supply. It sounds like a good idea, but keep in mind this might lead to an incentive for crime. Of course, if a clan like us wants to buy something, we probably would have a clan stockpile for funds. Funds actually would be quite an interesting resource for warfare, and they probably would result in wars fought over money, or mercenaries. Or you could just ignore the artificial value of the goods, and go by practical value.
Back to top Go down
obolisk0430
Second Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 557
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : The incredibly complex confinds of my mind.

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:56 pm

I think practical value would work better. as you can just get more of whatever is being used as the currancy. Additionally, if the Nether is fixed for SMP, people can exploit a glitch and will be able to get obsidian really easily (assuming they have enough diamond).
Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:01 pm

"Obsidian, in block form, has little value, but obsidian as an item should have high value, due to the implied labor used in getting it."

Correct, this is the essence of the idea. A demand for obsidian is created by having a server store as I mentioned in the Obsidian Standard section. If people have a store where they can buy stuff with obsidian, suddenly the obsidian has value. Because the server has an endless supply of goods to offer, this makes obsidian a form of "currency".

Regarding the value of cobblestone: it is used for theoretical purposes. The value of stone is implied by it's potential to have ore. Once it is harvested its value mostly disappears. This is why Obsidian is necessary.


Thanks for opinions Very Happy
Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:20 pm

"I think practical value would work better. as you can just get more of whatever is being used as the currancy. Additionally, if the Nether is fixed for SMP, people can exploit a glitch and will be able to get obsidian really easily (assuming they have enough diamond)"

There is a way to acquire more obsidian; you can make it or take it. As I have stated; freemining is more profitable than obsidian farming, as it should be. I have also shown that with no equivalence between goods and no currency that the game cannot rise above it's "hunterer-gatherer" and "barter" economy. Your statement also fails to take into consideration that for trade to occur the goods need to be in the economy. For example: if someone had diamonds to sell, and the currency is gold, and no one has the gold to pay for the transaction, then a transaction cannot occur. This is why using something as a currency which cannot be obtained reliably is self-defeating. Also please refer to the appendix "Freeming vs Obsidian Farming" for a clear explanation of how the current situation in SMP differs from my proposed one.

As far as the nether is concerned, it is not in the current game so I have ignored it. When it is implemented it is entirely possible that my theory will become useless. Until that time I believe it is valid.

Thanks for pointing out the Nether situation, I had not considered it Very Happy

Back to top Go down
obolisk0430
Second Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 557
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : The incredibly complex confinds of my mind.

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:29 pm

You are talking about the implementation of stuff that is not in the game, that we have no assurance will ever be in the game, but you ignore something that we know WILL be put into the game?

The difficulty of obtaining obsidian is irrelivent. It is obtainable by anyone, as is any other resource. An money based economy requires two things.
1. There must be a limited supply.
2. The amount of money in existance must be controlled by a set group.

The more obsidian blocks in circulation, the less valuble they become. Same with any other item in the game.
Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:00 am

On the contrary : everything I have suggested is within the game. It does not require anything to be put in the game. Have you read the entire document?

1. The supply of Obsidian is limited. Only players can create it and only very slowly.
2. The amount of money is controlled by the fact that you can spend it at the shop. Obviously, if you have a pile of obsidian you will use it to buy diamonds. That money disappears into the void. This is the money sink of the game.

The economy can continue to grow, yes. But inflation is regulated by the shop. The value of obsidian never goes below the prices that it sustains.

I am happy to explain anything that you don't understand.

Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:05 am

Also the difficulty of obtaining obsidian is *not* irrelevant. It is the basis of how we derive value from things. Refer to the economy section for an explanation as to why time is valuable in Minecraft.
Back to top Go down
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:11 am

Looking over Minepedia regarding the Nether, I do not see what the problem is. Water does not work there and it requires a hack to create obsidian. Please explain how someone could abuse the Nether in order to make obsidian faster than it can currently be made.
Back to top Go down
Valerius Maximus
Glorious Leader
avatar

Posts : 1259
Join date : 2010-04-05
Location : The Summit

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:25 am

I've read through the whole thing, making notes the whole time. These are my notes, in the order I wrote them, meaning you can see how my opinion evolves:

- "Time can be expressed as a function with Obsidian," What?

- What merit does trade have over doing something yourself when, in Minecraft, every single item can be obtained by any user with ease.

- Why does he ignore Coal?

- First of all, you cannot place value on an item simply based on rarity alone. Usefulness MUST be a factor in pricing. I realize this is not the case in real life [Diamonds cost more than food] but that is a human flaw, and is called the "Paradox of Value". Secondly, saying that 1250 Stone = 1 Diamond is ludicrous because, Frankly, probability, while it allows for us to predict GENERAL results, is ineffective on a personal basis. I might find diamonds much faster than the average person... say... everyone 100 Stone. An economy based on luck is not something that will sit well with a majority of people.

- Oh, a section on coal.

- You exclude coal because charcoal exists, and you believe that the possibility to mass produce charcoal ruins its value... however... you include Stone, which exists EVERYWHERE, and can be gathered much faster, and in much greater quantities than coal...

- In regards of the 60,40 fixed-price contrat... So now people are going to be expecting profit? Good luck. I would never pay something ridiculous like 1500 Stone for 1 Diamond. Honestly, utilizi a branch mine, I could find a vein of 4 Diamonds in just a few minutes.

- "One cannot pay for the high valued diamonds without a mountain or resources". Which is why you mine them yourself. Minecraft is not a game that was made to have a capitalist and profit driven economy. It's ripe for communism, and sharing capital, though.

- Moving into the Theoretical Obsidian Economy Section.

- Hrm... While your theory makes sense in its own context, and while your math seems correct, I can already tell you that this is not going to work out in Minecraft. Are you an Economics major IRL? This work is fantastic, but, will most likely stay a theory...

Even if your math is sound, even if it would work... I would never, ever trade 50 obsidian for 1 diamond. I'm sure many minecrafters would agree that the single diamond has a much higher utility value. Utility value is ever more important than intrinsic value based on rarity in Minecraft, because while anyone is able to obtain ores or items, they are used up, and it is HOW items are used that is the most important aspect of any type of economy in Minecraft.

- Freemining is more profitable than trading, 100% of the time, based on this analysis. Why would anyone trade then?

- The Elites of Minecraft: The Miner thread is a FASCINATING work of staggering genius, however... it is more useful to freeminers than economists. It teaches one how to mine with an utterly extreme efficiency, which actually devalues this theory! People will find diamonds far more often by using preferred mining techniques. It would cause a huge inflation anyway.

- Also: The Nether can be used to duplicate obsidian through the use of destroying and re-creating portals.

My final remark is this:

I respect, VERY highly the amount of work you put into this thread. I respect, VERY highly the amount of knowledge and intelligence you seem to have, and the depth in which you have analyzed the matter... but I am disappointed by your oversights...

Most vanilla minecraft players, or PVPers aren't seeking trade at all. The people seeking trade, most often, are the Roleplayers. As such, I believe you should submit this on MinecraftForums.net in the beta survival section (if you haven't already) as well as get it peer review in RolePlaying clans, rather than a Communist Economy driven PvP clan.

I appreciate you coming to the MSF for help, perhaps you could spread the word to get more discussions going.

Also, Etherimp probably has something to say about this too, so don't head off just yet.

_______________________________________________

The Maximus Paradigms
Empathy is the key to success.
Life can be characterized by the reduction of entropy.
Identity is futile.
Emptiness and Fullness are inherently the same.
Nothingness is Perfection.
Knowledge is forever.
Erroneous information hastens destruction.
Back to top Go down
http://www.artofwar.ideaboard.net
MAWL0222
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:01 am

To VM, Thanks a lot for reading the entire post , I know it is long Shocked I am happy to have earned your respect, you have mine as well.

I appreciate all criticisms regarding whether or not this is a functional idea. The main issue here seems to be the value of obsidian(or time), I admit that my theory may not be perfect. I have received some suggestions and I may change the the logic behind the exchange of obsidian and goods.

"Most vanilla minecraft players, or PVPers aren't seeking trade at all. The people seeking trade, most often, are the Roleplayers. As such, I believe you should submit this on MinecraftForums.net in the beta survival section (if you haven't already) as well as get it peer review in RolePlaying clans, rather than a Communist Economy driven PvP clan."

I don't have forum access yet, I posted it here because it was the only place I was allowed to. I thought this was the Minecraft Scientific Foundation, I wanted to get the attention of fellow Theorycrafters Twisted Evil I did not intend for it to influence your clan specifically. I was hoping to develop this idea with some peer review and criticism, I apologize if this is not the right place to be posting.

To answer the implied question of the quoted text above(what is the motivation): this lies in the options one has in terms of game-play. You are right that the current situation of vanilla PvP functions like a communism. Is not the ultimate goal of communism to make everyone equal under one flag? This is the Zero-Sum situation of which I speak in the Appendix. You value individual labor above all else. The way to increase your power relative to other players is by having a larger clan.

In a sense, having a currency based economy is a way of being able to keep score because everyone has a measuring stick which is the same. It changes goods to things of value instead of players. This gives players more ways to increase their position relative to other players. The goal of the game becomes acquiring wealth and the ability to hold onto it, instead of who has the biggest clan. I am neither a mathematician nor an economist, but I believe this moves the game towards a Nosh Equilibrium which presents much more potential for game-play.

I will stop here until I receive permission to post or move to another forum. I look forward to further discussion Very Happy
Back to top Go down
Valerius Maximus
Glorious Leader
avatar

Posts : 1259
Join date : 2010-04-05
Location : The Summit

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:22 pm

Well, normally I only allow people in the clan to join the ONA Forums, but perhaps I can create a usergroup without access to the Clan threads, and only these science threads. I'll see what I can do.

_______________________________________________

The Maximus Paradigms
Empathy is the key to success.
Life can be characterized by the reduction of entropy.
Identity is futile.
Emptiness and Fullness are inherently the same.
Nothingness is Perfection.
Knowledge is forever.
Erroneous information hastens destruction.
Back to top Go down
http://www.artofwar.ideaboard.net
obolisk0430
Second Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 557
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : The incredibly complex confinds of my mind.

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:30 pm

I think that the sink you describe would be difficult to correctly maintain, and it would not reflect a realistic economy. Additionally, because players cannot sell things to the store, beggining players would be unable to be a part of the economy, and would feel left out.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:45 pm

obolisk0430 wrote:
I think that the sink you describe would be difficult to correctly maintain, and it would not reflect a realistic economy. Additionally, because players cannot sell things to the store, beggining players would be unable to be a part of the economy, and would feel left out.

-I agree that the major difficulty lies in increasing the usefulness of obsidian. To me this means perhaps increasing it's value and expanding the shop. You are right that the store is the most important part of the idea. Without it, the theory is just a theory.

-I disagree, however, when you say that it cannot reflect a real economy. It is a great simulation of one; inflation is controlled by the set time it takes to acquire obsidian; the size of the economy is regulated by the shop; farming is an option and is a guaranteed result, while mining is more profitable but entails risk. It is impossible to perfectly emulate a real life economy, it's about having a fun game-based economy.

-Beginning players are supposed to have a harder time than existing ones. This makes the player invest in the game and rewards them for their work. The goal of the economy is to create a value system so that players can conduct trade. This means that a viable black market could potentially exist which a new player could then take advantage of. I fail to see how having no economy is better for a new player.


Last edited by MAWL02 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
5n
First Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 437
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : aeiyou

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:20 pm

The thing is, a serious economy started because people wanted/needed things they could not acquire themselves. In MineCraft, everything can be acquired by you the player.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:37 pm

5n wrote:
The thing is, a serious economy started because people wanted/needed things they could not acquire themselves. In MineCraft, everything can be acquired by you the player.


The goal of the economy is not to replace actual freemining. The goal is to establish a system of measuring the value of goods. Many games revolve around systems where all the goods can be acquired by the player naturally, yet it does not invalidate their respective economies. What a player wants/needs depends on the situation they are in. Do they have time to acquire the goods? Or can they buy them and save time thereby gaining an advantage? For such trade to occur we need to agree on what the value of things are. Because I believe time is the only real thing of value, I suggest that obsidian is the best way of measuring time. The challenge lies in motivating players to see it's value.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:18 am

-I have made some errors with swing time, I will be recalculating the overall formula. The value of obsidian in regards to time is actually much higher.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:18 pm

NOTE: The initial theory has been presented as a method of using obsidian as a currency. This does not appear to be entirely necessary but can still work. I will be reformatting the paper to present it as a system for determining the value of materials relative to each other within the game. I will add Obsidian as an option.

-I continue to welcome criticisms and opinions(actually, was hoping Etherimp would take a look at it and offer some wisdom). I have received some lengthy replies by PM and EMAIL which was of great help. Thanks everyone who has for taking the time to reply to my idea.

-I will make the next post in the Research Section and will ask to have this thread locked and moved as it is not in the right place.
Back to top Go down
obolisk0430
Second Lieutenant
avatar

Posts : 557
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : The incredibly complex confinds of my mind.

PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:28 pm

I know how you could reflect an actual currancy.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP   

Back to top Go down
 
MAWL's Obsidian-Economy Theory for SMP
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» What colors should I buy for an Obsidian Rose army?
» My take on the Obsidian rose
» The Kabal of the Obsidian Serpent (Yep, Sliscus is back in town!)
» Chaos Theory: Terminators
» The Final Theory of Chess Wiki (Updated)

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Orsa Novus Aevum : Dawn of the New Age :: Minecraft Scientific Foundation [Public] :: Public Request Forum-
Jump to: