A virtual socioeconomic problem

Friday, 11 April, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

As you perhaps know, Bitcoin's Rift guild is called Trilema. Coincidence.

Trilema is the largest guild on the serveri, by any measure : either guild level (13) or active population (varies between 500 and 1k depending on how recently I've purged inactives). Guild level is important in this game because the guild can acquire perks which help all the guild players. Trilema currently has banners granting 90 to all Resistances, 60 Crit Power, and a group resurrect on the active side. It also has +9% extra loot from PvE kills, +9% Favor rewards, 5% extra raid token rewards and 9% extra Planarite from all sources.

These perks in turn play into its large size. Consider that to achieve say 9% extra gold, one must obtain three guild levels, which for simplicity let's say means a total of 24 guild quests, which for simplicity let's say means 10 man-hours each, for a total of 240 man hours. If those three levels are obtained by a guy playing alone in his own private and personal guild, and he plays this game for three years, at the rate of twenty hours a week, and the average per-hour game loot is one platinum, then he has traded 240 of his 3`120 gameplay hours to beget an extra 259.2 platinum. So the one man private and personal guild has rewarded its players with a total of ~260 platinum, which works out to 1 platinum 8 gold per hour.

If on the other hand that guild is made out of 240 people, who play similarly in all respects, then each of them will receive the extra 9% for 3`119 gameplay hours, coming to an extra of 280.7 platinum. So the 240 string guild has rewarded its players with a total of 67`370 platinum 40 gold, which works out to 1 platinum 17 gold per hour.ii Considering that the other perks listed each take a further expenditure of man hours, it becomes rapidly obvious why one man guilds are a losing proposition : by the time you're done leveling it you're also done playing.

That would be the economic part of the conversation. Moving on to the social side of things, Trilema is a very relaxed space. It doesn't mandate you have or use a ventrilo server, it doesn't harass you to participate in any particular activity. It does allow you to, of course, and as it's filthy rich it can afford to give away HP pots and stat boosters for raids and whatnot. But nobody is there "organising" things quite to the degree of turning the game into another white collar low level office job, running excel spreadsheets with your weekly mandatory activity participation and obnoxious crap like that.

I understand that all the EVE/WoW/Etc experts would gladly slam me into the ground for daring to contest the benefits and advantages of "organisation" and generally replicating the avatars of the US middle manager wherever one goes. Nevertheless, I don't like it and so I won't have it.

On the other hand, the fact remains that games are social activities, and without a minimum of said organisation society doesn't seem to function. And I say this from bitter experience : over the past six weeks or so, about a dozen max level players left Trilema. They weren't max level when they joined, mostly, and this is starting to look to me like a trend : people join, level up, then leave. It's not exactly threatening to Trilema itself, the maxlvl population is still > 20, making it larger than the entire population of most guilds.

Nevertheless, it's annoying, and what I don't understand too well is the other end of things : people leave Trilema to join dinky level 3 guilds consisting of pretty much them and two other dudes. I log in, they're gone. I usually ignore this sort of thing, mostly because who cares, but today I actually followed up. Turns out, chick spent two weeks leveling from 40s to 60, then hit 60 and the day left because... nobody wanted to party with her or somesuch, and people weren't answering her in chat. I mean get a load of this, max level player leaves top guild overnight, without making any attempt to resolve whatever issues, without as much as a parting note, because... people weren't talking to her.

Which makes me think I'm missing something here, as depicted this shit's too incredible to be factual, and on the other hand the fact that Trilema is slowly leeching max level players is directly observable. So, freely admitting that I'm a noob guild leader - the last time I was any good at it was in the 90s - and an asshole and anything else that may be required or expedient, I turn to ye, wise people of the Internets, especially of irc. What the fuck is going on!!?

tl;dr : People are leaving NY to live in KA, in spite of KA sucking balls. Obviously this means NY is poorly managed, but I can't figure out where. It could mean people are fucktards, but I'd rather not go there. Shoot.

  1. There's four major servers, they work sort-of like shards. Sorted from strongest to weakest : Brutwacht, Brutmutter, Brisesol. (The first to are German language, the third French. (Beaten again eh Frenchies ?) The fourth, Phynnious, is "international", which mostly works out as a bunch of Frenchmen, Russians and me.

    I know all this because I am currently, and since December I have always been, the #1 crafter in game. The top of the top shows you what servers other people are from, and so I can count the top 20 : 8 Brutwacht, 6 Brutmutter and 5 Brisesol. And me, #1. (That's right, nobody else from my server. The next guy from Phynnious is on position 54.) []

  2. Amusingly, just about 9% better, which should dispel any notion in your mind that all this math I've done here is overkill. Unlike the fine folks that wrecked Diablo 3, these people have done their math. The game is beautifully balanced economically. []
Category: Trolloludens
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4 Responses

  1. After reaching max level people want to try their own wings ...run their own guild because of course they can do it better.
    No different than the McD cashier that moves up to bugger flipper to manager with the dream of one day running his very own McD franchise someday. (which will of course be better than the one he leveled up in)
    Its just the way things work.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 11 April 2014

    I guess so.

    The thing is tho, like I was saying in chat,

    mircea_popescu hardly, that's the rub. game has tons of 12man team content, we;ve barely scratched the surface. item rarities go over 7 tiers, the best available atm is tier 4 or so. but with a bunch of 3man lvl 3guilds that's never going to be within reach

    The way these games work, "the game starts at maxlvl" as they say.

  3. > these people have done their math

    Rift is made by Trion, formed by Buttler (ex EA) and Jon Van Canegham (ex NCSoft, but for you probably more importantly ex-mm6/7/etc). Of fucking course you like it.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 14 April 2014

    Ha! I had no idea. Pretty cool.

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