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Currency Crisis in New World

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By | October 19th, 2021 | Categories: MMORPG

A Crisis of Coin

Players in New World are experiencing a rare economic crisis, at least within the scope of online gaming: deflation. More money is leaving circulation than can be replaced. MMO players are more familiar with the opposite issue of rampant inflation, as most MMOs do not have enough currency sinks to prevent the accumulation of money, leading prices for materials, armor, items, housing, or anything in-between to rise, often rapidly. Barring developer interventions, the price of goods trends inevitably upwards.

Inflation in MMOs

Inflation in MMOs is not a new phenomenon and is something that has plagued player-driven economies for decades since, unlike real-world economies, the amount of currency is never strictly limited. Consider the ways a player can earn currency in a MMO (excluding player-to-player transactions since that money is already in circulation), loot drops, quests, event rewards, dungeon or raid completions, and etc. Every mechanic in a game that rewards currency is spawning it out of thin air. In contrast to the real-world where the supply of money is usually, except rare exceptions, tightly controlled by central banks and regulatory authorities. As players spend more time on a game, ammassing wealth, prices inevitably soar. The only player-friendly solution is to develop currency sinks -think mounts or housing- to remove money from circulation. Supply-side interventions, i.e restrictions on currency rewards, are understandably not popular with players and so are used rarely.

Deflation in New World

New World is suffering the opposite, and significantly more rare issue, of deflation. The ways of obtaining coins in-game, monster drops, salvage, and quests, don’t offer enough raw currency to counterbalance the number of coins being used. As a result, prices have been dropping for goods, particularly crafting materials such as ore, not necessarily because there isn’t enough coin to afford them, but because the value of the currency is so much higher than the value of goods, given their relative scarcity. A punishing overhead “tax” burden exists in the game, where the cost for crafting, home-ownership, or repairs exceeds the players’ ability to accumulate coin. In addition, companies are taxed for territory ownership, essentially disincentivizing PvP since the marginal costs far exceed any potential benefits.



Currency is so valuable now, that on certain servers, direct trades have become part and parcel of a make-shift barter economy, with neither party willing to part from coin. Trades such as 1000 linen, for 600 ore and 20 eggs, or star metal tools for 40 steel bars, are commonplace, like what one would expect to see in a hunter and gatherer society, which is surprisingly thematic, but nonetheless a frustrating experience for players.

A Looming Fiscal Disaster

The consequences of deflation are not any less severe than runaway inflation and can already be observed. Anything with a fixed cost in coin becomes prohibitively expensive: crafting, repairing or property taxes become barriers to gameplay. If players don’t have a great weapon, it is often cheaper to buy entirely new ones from the trading post than to repair the weapons already owned. For example, buying a rare hatchet with acceptable perks and stats is around 30-75 gold, whereas repairing a completely broken hatchet is 40 gold. To give another example, the cost of repairing one level 60 item, is equivalent to 2500 orichalcum ore, depending on the server. Expenditures in New World are wildly overturned, taken alongside the fact that those at the level cap have little to no dependable income once all quests are complete, which leads to the hoarding of currency and rampant price deflation.

Only time will tell if the developers can fix the economy in New World, while inflation is more common, deflation can be even more crippling for economies, be it real-world or in-game. If prices are dropping, players see no sense in spending money, leading to hoarding, lower market activity, and eventually every single good hitting the price-floor (the point at which prices can go no lower). Since New World doesn’t have vendors to set a hard price-floor for a given good, this means that given enough deflation, goods will eventually be priced at the lowest possible price, 0.01 coin per unit. This downward spiral makes generating income even more difficult, as in-game professions generate little-to-no profit because prices for finished products or crafting materials have become negligible. This type of regression becomes a severe disincentive to players: what’s the point of leveling a profession if you can’t make any money from it? What’s the point of farming for items if they’re not worth any money, and you can’t afford to repair them?

18 Comments

  1. Snuggerluff November 16, 2021 at 4:48 am - Reply

    Just have the mobs drop coin. The pirates for sure should have coin.

  2. AJ October 26, 2021 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Went and bought a couple eggs for 45 gps a pop for an upkeep quest the other day. Natural drop rate is horrendous.

  3. Kynos October 23, 2021 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    As long as players buy WATER at a price of up to 0.15 because they’re too lazy to walk 20m over to the canal to pick it up themselves I don’t think money isn’t really that big a problem.

    What’s wrong with buying new weapons being cheaper than repairing. If I pay a guy 20 bucks for a new weapon (which he basically “farmed” quite easily) instead of paying 40 bucks to “The Game” to repair my old one, money stays in player circulation. Even if you find really crappy items (in chests or as loot from mobs) you can salvage them for 0.25 to 4.0 per piece.

    Just did my first invasion and we lost. Still got 650 bucks (plus faction tokens and stuff) as a reward without any cost.

    Let’s face it: The characters are on an unknown island fighting für survival. Nobody’s meant to become rich. You will allways have to work and fight for every little comfort. Gather, salvage, fight, improvise. Don’t get lazy and ask for… well, basically charity.

  4. James October 22, 2021 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Wow what a swing and a miss of why the problem has been caused. Anyone with a simple understanding of business will know the problem isn’t about coin at all but the fact the market is flooded with people trying to under cut each other and only shoot themselves in the foot by doing so. It’s very common in mmos also unlike they say here. This was a good laugh to read but useless otherwise.

  5. Regarel October 21, 2021 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    This is not a crisis at all of the players own making. Look at the players as one person, and the system itself as the buyer and seller. It “buys” your work for coin, and “sells” you territories/housing/crafting stations. It’s asking for more than it’s paying. It’s literally under-paying it’s workers.

    Selling things to other players doesn’t mean anything if they don’t have money to spend. Under-cutting at the auction doesn’t suddenly remove coin from the economy.

    This is closer to the government exacting taxes on it’s citizens, then burning it. Poof. Gone. Not going to another player. It is gone from the playerbase.

  6. Matthew October 21, 2021 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    You hit the nail on the head with you closing thought. EVen the higher higher level rare items may not be worth a dime when scrapped out.

  7. DiammondFu October 21, 2021 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    There are many ways to fix that.
    Add a vendor to settle a base price.
    Or, make crafted itens have something special, harder to get than the ones found in dungeons. It takes forever to craft something worth, while if go to a dungeon, u’ll find plenty of good stuff there, that would have taken hours to craft. Professions are worthless ATM. Plus, lvl 200 cap is also too low… So normal to find most of the players already capped.
    The hame have alot of content, Amazon just made it too ez to get all goodies and lvl, while coin rewards did not followed the same path.

  8. Ketsy October 21, 2021 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Yep, I agree we need vendor trash/fixers Nps.

  9. Canon P October 21, 2021 at 8:16 am - Reply

    I don’t have an in depth knowledge of economics nor do I know enough about the amount of gold being created compared to the amount disappearing into the ether. That being said, would increasing the amount of gold given for salvaging create enough currency to correct the deflation without causing inflation? Would that create enough correction to prevent the costs of repairing an item from exceeding the cost of replacement?

  10. Roberrt October 21, 2021 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Invasions and Wars grant a minimum of 500 gold for participation and last at most 30 minutes with a 15 minute invite window. You can raise city faction to lower property taxes and you don’t need a bigger house if you can’t afford it. Tools, bags are things everyone need and named items that are craftable have an easier time selling than crafted items with mostly random perks…. I am not a from a co.pany that owns a zone, and I have don’t 10 events this week alone for about 5600 gold, my tier 4 housing taxes are 1400, and repairs aren’t that big of a deal, I got up to 30K barely questing and have spent half each of the last two weeks and still got back to 30K easy enough as a cushion. Y’all must suck if you can’t figure out a way to make 3K gold a week between faction and zone quests, and making useful items or gathering super rare items , killing certain level mobs can even randomly drop gold 3-20 pieces at a time and salvage more of your dropped gear, it still gives .5 gold per salvage, and most of the random number generated gear is worthless due to worthless stats, except that and go on. No one wants your green rapier with threat generation, focus and strength paired with your heavy armor with int and constitution, even if they are rare or epic, salvage that junk and move on. You just earned 1 gold off those two items.

  11. SirBenton October 21, 2021 at 2:03 am - Reply

    What the wider playerbase hasn’t realized yet is that just like how you can evade property taxes you can evade gear repair costs entirely. If an equipment’s (not tools) durability drops to zero the item isn’t destroyed, the attributes and perks get disabled until the item is repaired, however the base damage and armor values stay the same.

    Doing this mitigates two of the biggest coin sinks in the game with the third being that you can craft at your camp for no crafting tax.

  12. Jono October 20, 2021 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Hi, please don’t describe barter as some kind of “primitive” economic system used solely by hunter gatherers. This is historically incorrect, as barter is more often used by people in failed states or between those who cannot trust each other, as seen in the case of this game.
    It is not a formal economic system that precedes money.
    Barter as an idea is was popularised by Adam Smith, and most economists just went along with it and assumed he was right.

  13. Jan October 20, 2021 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    A vendor to sell your junk would be the only way to inject money into the game short of endlessly running PvP events and quests. While I enjoy these activities, having to “salvage” everything I get, (as I can’t sell it in the Trade House) is such a shame. I have been constantly broke and can’t seem to break the 3k mark. What with my craft taxes, my trade taxes, and my T1 house tax, I cannot get ahead.

  14. Chris October 20, 2021 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Very well written and Interessting. Good read.

  15. Roc October 20, 2021 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I think one of the ways they can help this issue is by adding npc vendors that will buy junk. 90% of the time you get a decent blue drop from a mob and it sits on the trade house for a week and never sells and the only option you have is to salvage it for a measly 3 to 4 gold. This needs to change they need to add vendors

  16. Jason October 20, 2021 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I disagree. I think new world drops to much armor and items. It’s all junk. Go questing and come back with tons of useless items that take up space. You try and sell it and it is worth nothing. They can drop less and/or give more materials after salvaging an unwanted item. Also while I’m at it. The grind for leveling up your logging and mining is a complete bore.

  17. Aleron October 20, 2021 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you wrote this article. This was an issue that we identified in the alpha and encouraged AGS to fix before release.

  18. CGibson October 20, 2021 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    This is partly a crisis of the players own making.

    Any item that doesn’t have anything similar on the market is set at 100.00. I take that to mean this is the tippity top of prices.

    As soon as someone puts a tier 1 weapon or armor on there for 5.00, every one that comes after is set to that, so if it’s not changed, you’ve screwed the market right there. And everyone after you continues that spiral but because now they can’t sell their rare item at all if they don’t meet that bargain basement price because the 10 people before them with an assortment of greys, greens, and blues didn’t change their sale price from 5.00. I saw this on day one and it’s continued since.

    So nobody’s making money, things like ingredients are inflated, and this is what happens.

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