Obviously, this is barely half the value of The Auction so what the fuck am I talking about "largest" ?
Well, you see... that was an auction. Official business of the MiniGame, which is the publisher of Eulora, which therefore owns it. Conducted, of course, through its representative here on earth : me. Whereas this was ... a trade. Private business among Euloran citizens, as it were, one of which happens to be... me. So very not alike different things altogether, right ?i
We interrupt this discussion to bring you a selection of quotes.
neverming, this fucking game brings out the worst in me
Lately it's been taking up the majority of my time -- the game is that good.
It's the most capitalist game that ever has been and I can't get enough of it.
The balance sheets and similar shenanigans seem to indicate the game's shaping up to come out as a commercial successii, but of much greatest interest to me (for reasons) is how the game's shaping up to be a cultural success.
It's not just the quotes sampled above that suggest Eulora manages a very deep and very personal connection with its player base - exposing for their benefit and writhing-in-horror-curiosity facets of their own self that, for lack of a sane environment, have not had an opportunity to stretch out or take in the sun in years, maybe decades. Maybe forever. Yet no, there's nothing wrong with one's own greed, per se. It may be scary to meet the tortured, sad remains of a part of one's self that was kept chained in a dank cellar "nobody knew about" somewhere deep deep under the conscious earth. And yet ... it means you no harm, or at least didn't, back in the day it was still a thing of you, and a thing of yours. I believe the exercise to be deeply liberating and fundamentally helpful in the manner of healing, provided the trampled bit is approached like all abused kittens are to be approached : kindly.
But it's not this fulminant, seemingly bottomless capacity for personal interest that interests me first of all. It's moreover the exceptional field of actual research into topics that are rarely ever considered, and generally when considered they're utterly fuseriteiii. Let's look into two of these.
First off, nascent economy. Originally there wasn't anything in Eulora, and then there were some things, and now we're on our way to widespread shortages of various kinds, which means we have a lot of things!iv. How do you go from nothing to something ?
Yes, that's right - motherfucking THEFT. The only way.
So yeah, originally the game "was broken" and huge finds extremely common. People took home tens of thousands of basic resources with qualities of 500, 700, 900 even. Remarkable claims were by far the most common find in all the land. Such is unheard of today, of course, and in all likelihood will stay unheard of. I have to work my butt off today for maybe one day reaching q 200 eventually, an eventually which seems every day more dubious.
Fine. But what once that's over with ? What happens once the wild early days of capitalism come to a close ? I think you'll never guess.
Yeah, that's right - motherfucking command economy. Except, and here's the incredible part - Eulora command economy was not forced by use of violence and from the top down! It emerged naturally! You see, as the resources are scarce now, and the needs ample and the fear that we may end up stuck for having used all X to make Y and now not having any to make Z which turns out to be critically required, people tend to talk. And to work together, cooperatively, towards a very common goal : getting the economic cycles to cycle.
Money is not that meaningful currently, and I'll quote an absolutely fine example to illustrate this. One of the many "needed but no supply known" ingredients was TLC (Two Leaf Clover, aka Diana's Doifoi). This thing was recently found, by Daniel Barron, through the application of his monopolistic skillset and tools. How much should he charge ? He asked me for 20k, and I passed - but I must underline that I do not begrudge the man the asking in the slightest. He has spent large piles of copper to obtain this, and has a good position which he should exploit in order to ensure his very own survival. And he should survive, because he's valuable - he's the guy that got us the clover at all after all!
Yet I also can't pay that much. Clover is needed for two things - I found a coupla ordinary Rotten Fruit claims which need it, in substantial quantities. So have other players. Yet we can find Rotten Fruit in other ways, they're not stuck on using the clover, so it's not worth paying 2`000% on it. We'll just get all the fruit we need out of tinies and smalls, with the comparatively abundant LBNs and CFTs. The other thing is, you need Alchemist's Cheap Gin to do a whole swath of things, including... making ink. Which is needed to pen Supplications, which is the paperwork powering Daniel's own skill. It stands to reason that since he has the only engine making TLC, and we know of no other equally important use of ink atm, he should get it. In which case, the pricing problem is readily resolved :
mircea_popescu: anyway what i think i'll do is take the clover and deliver alchemist cheap gin on a labour & materials billing basis. how about that danielpbarron ? not like anyone else actually needs it atm.
So yeah, since TLC happens to be 1/7.5 of the base cost of an ACG, he gets a 13.5% discount off the final price and now is free to set the price for TLC to any arbitrary value he wishes. If TLC is 100k then ACG is 100k + whatever he paid me for it and that's that. Prices, as you can see, do not predate economic activity, and price formation, as you can see, is not actually the driver of economic activity. These results are not only earth shattering to this so called discipline of "economy" - but they are actually backed by actual experimental data, which is fundamentally different from anything else ever attempted in that sad, sad field.
There's a lot more to be said in this line, but we're running long, so let's move on to
Second off, nascent society. In practical terms, Mircea Mircescu is a byword for Messiah in Eulora. Ipso definitio, a man that has immediate access to the divinity whose logos spawned the whole shebang is Messiah.
How do you have an argument with the man that knows the world behind the world ? And understand that "an argument" does not mean, bickering. An argument means life. Suppose MM asks you for 1.5 mn for a so and so craft table. How do you say no ? As Diana Coman pointedly (and, I suspect, at times bitterly) observed - it's not even a meaningful question, what alternatives are there ?
Practically speaking, one faces the lopsided dilemma of either participating in the Messiah-driven command economy, or else trying to work independently, sort-of like mining an alternate blockchain by hand. And so yes, here we have discovered the prerequisite for command economy to work - have you got Messiah walking along with you ? No ? Forget about it then.
This situation is decidedly innerving for most participants, and perhaps for good measure - men weren't made to walk around in such nonsense. Yet all the kids think and in their heart of hearts most adults also think that they would love a world with magic in it. Would they ? Really ?
Obviously, the elephant in the room is that the situation is rife for abuse. What's to keep me from you know, simply tipping the table this way or that ? Not like I couldn't - by definition I can, and for this reason formalist defenses of the nature of "do not say X Y Z words and you'll go to heaven" do not actually work. I do have better things to do with my time than turning Eulora into a parlor trick, of course, but then again there's no way to prove that, is there. So it turns out the entire Messiah arrangement actually requires faith! Isn't that a conundrum - one can trivially insulate himself from this corrosive world by simply not playing this game. But then again - isn't this the superlative point of a game in the first place ? "It's too good a game to play!", seriously ?
Players generally think that it sucks when the devs don't play the game. Yet when they do...
So there you have it - my current fascination of the moment. The Economy, Sociology and Teology Experimental Laboratory. It's a thing, it exists. Fascinatingly.
In closing, I leave you with an icon of hard work and Indus-treevii :
- Here's a fun sidepoint : where does this article go, in "S.MG" or in "Trololudens" ? If it goes in the former it gets picked up by the bot, of course, but then again such isn't a consideration for me.
The same distinction applies, is it a case of player enjoying a game (trololudens), or is it a case of lead dev making pronouncements about his ideal game (ambiguous) or is it a case of head suit (ie, Nick Denton, not that anon derp that quit w/e his name was) telling it how it is ? Hard call. For what it's worth, the article started as the latter, and ended up as the former. Hopefully I'm right.
Because if I'm not, "bad things will happen", supposedly. Not to me, obviously, but let's imagine I were someone else - then! [↩]
- BTC revenue from copper sales is > 6 BTC so far this month, a 157% increase over last month's 2.32661832 BTC. Moreover all usage metrics are headed straight up
hillmountain, players be burning three digit satoshis per second these days. Think about it - transaction fees of the entire Bitcoin network ! (Support larger blocks ftw! So a multi-billion dollar p2p thing makes less revenue than a two month old MMORPG!) [↩]
- Romanian word, chiefly describes homework when it wasn't actually done. The homework equivalent of a table the termites had their way with, or of a Sillicon Valley "company". Such as this crap. [↩]
- Elementary : to have a shortage you must have other things to compare with. There can be a shortage of toilet paper in the Soviet Union, because they had plumbing and toilets. If you look at it, the plumbing and toilets is the larger part of all this. There can be a shortage of jet fuel in Nazi Germany, but because they had the jets! Meanwhile in the country of Africa nobody had either the jets nor the toilets, and so there were no shortages whatsoever. [↩]
- My recent SR find being a fine example of this grinding down. [↩]
- Not the geographic shithole. The fundamental human dream, before turning into the present shithole. [↩]
- That run was actually a loss, ~480 grass for 180 CFT in the ground and that's not even counting the two Cruddy Hoes I burned down. [↩]