Money

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Money

Hello!
I'm relatively new here (mostly observing for couple of weeks) so forgive me if it was mentioned somewhere but I would like to suggest (and discuss your opinions in that matter):

Removing money (as it is now) from the game.

In my opinion, having modern-world currency in a post-apocalyptic setting is both unrealistic and a grand mood-killer. It doesn't make no sense since there is no central government to produce them (and enforce laws of they right usage) and they are of no use to people living on the edge of starvation/freezing to death/becoming dogman's meal.
Later in-game it also kills survival mood, when one have 25k on his (non-existing) bank account (anyone remember later parts of Fallout 2, literary thousands of $$ to spend on whatever player wanted?).
Barter is as good as it should get, outside of big cities, of course. Inside, they can have money for they own needs but since only selected few can gain access inside, giving them to outsiders would be pointless (finding some on a random looter would be cool and story-tellingly interesting).
And if we have to have money, make it a steal-able, room occupying item - and a fire-feed while we at it:D.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I agree with the idea that money/currency appears to be a little weird at this stage. A good solid anti-biotics run to the glow will make the player rich. Once you settle around the glow, with money, survival becomes a little easier.

But if currency exists within the Glow, the settlements/traders outside would probably adopt that too. If they adopt it, wouldn't be unrealistic to assume much of the outlying areas would accept that currency. The Barter system died out quickly with the advent of currency or tokens that represented 'value'.

My point is that currency is one of those systems that must be balanced or removed in favor of haggling/barter.

www.echocharliedelta.com

I kinda get what your saying. I think it depends on whats going on in your own head. Like when I play I just assumed kinda from the get go that I haven't been in the cryo very long. So money just seemed obvious for me. I don't think any thing is dated that I remember reading.

Even without a central government money will still be printing albit prolly not always the kind we are used to. And prolly different varieties of money depending on regions. Imo.

Re: Fallout Yeah I totally agree. I'm hoping that if you farmed the hell out of the junk market it's not going to matter. Like you walk into the big city after the Hatter stuff and your money is stripped of you. For whatever reason it doesn't matter to me. But at least then money will really only affect the current objectives. If you decide to have it in your game play at all.

I don't wanna be a GOD by the end of the game. I wanna be just barely getting by like normal for Neo Scav.

I agree on the money still having some value, at least if the city of Detroit still exists.

What I am curious about is if the game might be split into a struggle of choices: would they be better off outside the city subsiding on what tangible items can be scavenged, or making enough to survive the urban jungle? Both have skills involved that do not work so well with each other so it could be interesting how it runs.

Yeah thats a good point. I've been wanting in that city since I first played the game I was just thinking wouldn't it be an ood chance of fate that you never actually enter the city. A misdirection manufactured by no one else than Dan!! Sorry off topic there.

N e ways I wish more people would chime in about the money thing cause honestly for me it kinda breaks the game. I can do all the known story line nine times out of ten with the current system. The game used to be so much harder. But I'm gonna play tonight and see how it goes. It's likely changed since I last played.

About money form inside the city (I am trying to explain things by logic here):
If they have one at all (as opposed to possible government-issued-supplies in non-monetary system - "you work, you get food and home") they cannot use old currency (from pre-apocalypse times) cause someone could just bring trucks full of coins and notes found on the way, leading to a grand inflation. So they have they own currency, therefor they have to keep their budget balanced.
If I get it right (and I assume I do) Hatter is not a city's government official but a criminal/rouge instead. So if he is the only source of entry-bracelet thingy, other than just strait buying it from previous (dead?) owner on the market, there is no official way of obtaining it. So why should people from the city give away they "inside" money to the people that will NEVER enter the city (by design, cause existing way is illegal) to use them again? And what use outside people have of them anyway if they have no way to spend them.
And if the city is buying things from outside (wood and pelts?), I guess both sides are far more happy when they are paying with antibiotics, bullets and tools anyway (also this is a good explanation of where all those high-tech night-vision goggles and nano kits come from).

After saying this, I am perfectly able to suspend disbelief and forget about this. But I'm still against money in the form it is now because I feel it's making game's economy unbalanced and gameplay way too easy in area that should be way more demanding, considering NEO Scavenger's theme and mood.

( sorry about me sounding too serious, it was not intended :D )


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I actually agree with what you are saying, but I'm basing this on how monetary systems overtook the bartering systems.

I think that money, as it stands, can only ever represent the 'value' of any time. I'd prefer if this was actually done in approximations and we haggled.

However, if Detroit is using money, just like a stronghold/city laden with gold/silver coins, it will unintentionally impose currency upon the outlying farmland/wastes.

It works on the premise of human greed; you know that your shopping cart is worth 10 pelts. But you also have the option of exchanging your shopping cart for $300. $300 might even get you 8 pelts, a can of soup and a pan. But it might even get you 11 pelts from the right dealer. $300 on the way out of the city, with another trader who has no money, might get you $400 worth of goods - but said trader may not need pelts - but the trader will always need money.

$300 worth of currency is also easier to carry than 10 pelts. It is more flexible. Could buy more.

You don't need access to the city to use currency; you need access to anyone using the currency to use the currency.

Fallout had this by introducing more and more currency options as you progressed deeper into civilization - but the tribes had no use for 'caps'. If I remember correctly, even Vault City and the NCR didn't use caps/adopted their own money.

I'm just saying that if money exists and is being used, it will naturally be adopted. Any form of currency token will be, providing that the main 'market' of exchange is using that. But if you are on the far corner of the map, catching rodents by the sea, it is realistic to assume you will simply haggle for what you need.

www.echocharliedelta.com

(what follows is based only on my wild guess, since no data is given on that matter :D )

"you know that your shopping cart is worth 10 pelts. But you also have the option of exchanging your shopping cart for $300. $300 might even get you 8 pelts, a can of soup and a pan. But it might even get you 11 pelts from the right dealer."

In this sentence lies the whole problem. No one will offer you this $300, because:
a) City is closed, and don't trade with strangers
b) City patrolled by hover bikes and laser rifle armed guards don't need your cart, your rusty pots or smelly clothes
c) City don't want contact with sick and diseased you
d) City throws thrash off the walls. Those are, probably, those cool and rare things you buy on "junk market"
e) if "outsider" get his hold on enough money what is the first thing he will do (and we are doing in game)? Buy his way into the City. And that is against points a, b and mostly c.

I am sure there are traders and other people (like Hatter for example) who have access to City's money and financial dealings (legal or not) and I am pretty sure some form of currency is existing. What I don't see is, how and why, any of this should have anything to do with player. He, looters, bandits and all their half-feral families are out of this. Money, if at all achievable, to them should be scarce and pretty much useless unless some in very rare and specific situations.

That was a way early medieval peasants treated money. For guy who never leaved his village they were of no use, except maybe once every two-three years when goods peddler lost his way in a woods and visited his place. Then he dug up all his 7 silver coins from behind his barn and bought new tool for his family. All other things he needed he either made/raised himself or bartered for in town 2 hours walk away (which was his life longest journey btw). Landless people had it even simpler exchanging they daily work for all they needed. Piles of coins (and credit, bills of exchange and other stuff like) that were only useful to great merchant houses, church, lords and other big business people of that time. And for the reason of simplification it returns in fantasy genre today.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I dunno, this might be me I can see apologist-type explanations for each reason that can still make it validated for some reason or another.

a. This one I find the most difficult to agree with on the grounds that I doubt a city can survive by itself. Just saying because every large collection of people needs a proper supply line, and unless they're going soylent green on the people inside I don't know how they can sustain themselves.

b. While the guards will be well off, I also think of the junk dealers and scrappers who would probably find use for them (think "Blade Runner" with the ultra wealthy suits and the guys in scraps eating at dirty ramen stands).

c.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Your body is still connected with a bank account if you remember right, and even the fact that you were specifically chosen to thaw suggests they might find ways to let you through.

d. Okay, this I can agree with, although I can't help but think that guys like Hatter represent a corrupt black market willing to barter outside stuff for otherwise.

e. I have a feeling there's bureaucratic cloy that can also prevent this. Also, the Blade Runner scenario in mind too.

That is a good point someone made before about how all the money could be simply liquidated assets, but something about them handing outside traders money instead of goods sounds like something of a smug point as well for the city: what are these people going to do with it outside other than use it around the junk market or one of their official vendors? Plus, in the trader's viewpoint it's still easier to carry than two armfuls of rifles if they try to keep things pragmatic. It still is a risk to carry something that represents value rather than actually has practical value, but somehow I can't see guys like Hatter working that way unless it works in a "caveat emptor" way.

I just want to point out that, unless Dan lets you receive money from fallen enemies, you never even see/touch/have money until you get to the Junk Market (the only place you get to use the money). So I think imagination would play a role (like in the fight scenes) in how you would depict the currency.

~The Pirate

Hey Guys!

I stumbled across this post while searching for another one, and figured I'd share some of my thoughts while I was here. There's at least one other thread about barter and money, so this is obviously a popular topic :)

First of all, I should mention that money in the game is just a stop-gap for now, so don't read too much into it. The DMC was always a planned fixture in the game, so when the player found it, I figured there should at least be minimal trading options there. I didn't have much time to devote to it, though.

Basically, "money" is just the game's way of keeping track of how much debt the junk market has to you. Originally, I was going to keep the money stat as a sort of temporary counter to facilitate bartering, so you could only take as many valuables as you give the junk store.

Once it was working, I figured I'd just leave it there, since it provided something to do after the plot encounters were used up. It also created a secondary way to gain entrance to the DMC (i.e. black market visitor pass), in case the player botches the Hatter deal.

So that's how the money feature came to be. Just filler until something better can be made.

What will the final in-game currency be? I haven't decided yet, but I have some ideas. Here are some of my current lines of thought:

  • I see the DMC as being a city reborn from ashes prior to the apocalypse, which is why it did so well afterwards. It was one place that had a "practice apocalypse" when its economy collapsed, and was better prepared to rebuild. (Better processes, management, infrastructure was already in place, etc.)
  • The DMC uses currency. As a hold-over from pre-apocalyptic USA, it uses a similar economic system. It may not be "dead presidents," but internal accounting is handled with a type of currency, not barter.
  • The sprawl, junk market, and surrounding region accept DMC currency, though barter is also used at times. The chance of DMC currency being accepted by a merchant or person should be directly proportional to their level of access to DMC markets. So as one gets further from the DMC, the currency becomes less relevant, and barter or other local currencies take hold.
  • The DMC is walled, but not a closed city. The gates are monitored and defended, but citizens are free to come and go via official transit policies. Think CBP/CBSA, TSA, etc. Instead of RFID passports, though, all visitors/citizens of the city have a more intrusive bracelet or implant, allowing DMC authorities to track movement and activity, and quickly respond. I envisioned the bracelets working a lot like house-arrest prisoner anklets, while permanent residents have a more convenient subdermal implant.
  • The DMC is able to support its own population without trade, but it's a strain. Food comes from vertical farming, recycling, artificial tissue/meat growth, artificial fisheries, etc. "Real" food is a luxury, and commoners usually feed on molded, flavored protien meals, and other high-output, low-footprint sources of nutrients (prawn?). External trade alleviates strain on local resources, and provides luxury items, like the spice trade of old.
  • The DMC has contact with other major settlements, and trades with some of them. The currency of trade is TBD, but may be a combination of agreed-upon units (for larger settlements) and bartered goods (for incompatible settlement economies and hamlets). Trade with other major settlements is risky and unreliable, though. The distances are long, unprotected, and not every convoy makes it. Some routes are air-only (e.g. the as-yet-undepicted Great Black Swamp to the south is an impassable barrier by land).

I like the idea of DMC currency having volume and mass, for some of the reasons you guys point out. It irks me when a game lets players carry unlimited funds. I think it's better if money is something you have to manage like any other item, and some will prefer to carry high-value-density items instead (antibiotics, ammunition).

That said, the DMC would probably also have the capability of entirely digital accounting. Up here in Canada, it's entirely possible to go for weeks without handling bills or coins. In fact, when I first moved here, people looked at me weird for paying with cash instead of debit/interac. However, the idea of an exclusive debit card/credstick economy is still foreign enough a concept that I'm not sure how it would work.

Regarding the balance issues, I'm totally on board with the complaints you mention. I don't want the player to waltz in from the wasteland with a fortune in funds, and then take champagne bubblebaths in their arcology penthouse. Although, with financial prosperity from scavenging like that, it would totally explain why every NPC you meet immediately bludgeons you for your threads and a plastic bag :)

Instead, I'd like for the player to come into the DMC with enough money to buy a warm plate of greasy diner food, check into a flophouse, and basically be financially walled-off from substantial portions of the city. They still have to struggle to get by and investigate inside the city, just with different skills.

(By the way, the other thread about barter and money mentions the inherent value that one could attribute to iSlabs. I think there's merit to the idea that iSlabs represent multiple sources of value, from data mining, to spare parts. And as tools, they could probably do some really useful things both inside the DMC and out.)

Anyway, that's going to require some rebalancing of items, values, selling vs. purchasing price differences, etc. It's also going to require a shedload of work to make the DMC seem like more than a cardboard cut-out with three locations :)

Money's earmarked for changes, so hopefully we can steer it in the right direction! And as always, thanks for sharing your well-thought-out ideas!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

It isn't so much that an individual ought to know how you can haggle or just do it all the time. It is a good skill, but knowing when and where best to do so is a fantastic thing. Read more here: <a href="https://personalmoneynetwork.com/moneyblog/2012/11/01/haggling/">Haggling works, if done correctly</a>.