|Systems and Tools|
Online Avlis is attempting to develop a self-sustaining player run economy. What is meant by this? In single-player NWN there is no economy to speak of. Your single-player PC will soon gain much more wealth than he can possible use. But in Avlis an attempt has been made to balance the amount of money in the game world, such that the amount of money entering the game is the same as the amount of money going out. How does money enter the game? There are two primary ways:
- Adventurers gain money by killing monsters and taking their treasure, and
- Crafters sell the items they made.
Since almost all crafting ingredients are free and never run out, this means that gold is constantly entering the game, just as in single-player NWN. If Avlis were the same as single-player NWN in terms of how money could be spent, then many Avlis PCs would soon become multimillionaires, with nothing to spend their money on. This is because all they would really need to buy are potions and ammunition, since your weapons, armor and other worn items never rust or wear from use.
How does money leave the game? The word 'persistence' is the key. Avlis is a persistent world (PW). That means that the servers are running almost all of the time, and even when they aren't they have saved your inventory and location. So if you log out of the game, no matter how much time has passed , when you log back in you will be right where you logged out, with the same inventory as before.
This is not true of things in the game. Whenever a server is reset, all items in non-player chests (such as dungeons) go back to their default values. Anything that PCs sold to a standard Bioware merchant (see below) is now gone – those merchants are now selling only the items that they usually sell. So what happens when your PC's inventory becomes full but you want to accumulate more stuff? In Avlis you have the option of buying a persistent chest. The items stored in such a chest have their information stored in Avlis' secure database. Even if a server goes down due to lag, or a power outage, or for routine maintenance, whenever the server comes back online you can open that chest and find all of the items that you put in it still there, just as you left them.
But persistent chests are not easy to get. They are expensive – extremely expensive. This is one way that money is removed from the economy.
Another way is tavern room rental. Perhaps you would like access to a persistent chest but cannot afford one. In that case you can rent a room in one of the many inns and taverns located on the servers of Avlis. Your character pays a monthly fee and in return gets a key to that room and access to its persistent chest.
Yet another way is character-owned housing. Some characters that have become well-established in the community may want to own a house in a city, or a cottage in the woods, a mage tower, or even an inn to run as a business. And some player-run guilds may want to build some sort of meeting place where they can organize meetings and discuss guild business. All of these buildings are also persistent, and can contain persistent chests. But like those chests they are extremely expensive, and hence are another way that money leaves the game.
While speaking of persistence we must also mention persistent merchants. In Avlis there are two types of merchants. The standard Bioware merchants function just like those in single-player NWN. They will endlessly buy whatever a PC sells to them. And while they can have items whose stock will run out, they usually sell things in endless supply. An advantage to Bioware merchants is that when a PC buys an item from them that gold leaves the game. But a big disadvantage is that if anyone sells an item to that merchant and the server is reset, that item disappears, meaning that no one else will have a chance to buy that item.
Persistent merchants are different. When someone sells an item to a persistent merchant it stays in their inventory, even after a server reset. And persistent merchants have Artificial Intelligence – they keep track of how much they have bought and sold, and they attempt to make a profit. While persistent merchants usually offer better buying prices compared to Bioware merchants, they will not buy just anything, because doing so would cause them to go bankrupt.
The final way that money is removed from the game is through certain crafting ingredients. Some of the more powerful items that can be crafted require expensive ingredients that can only be bought.
Last but not least, the money flow is influenced by the Recycling System. It creates a continuous process tasked towards the disposal of loot drops and crafted durable goods, combined with a way to obtain crafting ingredients through a token exchange system.