While reading about economics may not be everyone's idea of a party, for players of New World, the problems with the economy are a very real concern. Problems with deflation, a notorious infinite gold exploit, and imbalances within the game's own economic setup, have combined to effectively break the economy. It's a bitter irony that many of us play a game to escape from the economic problems of the real world. To be presented with them in an MMO game isn't great. But without trying to explore the differences between Keynesian, Marxian, and Neoclassical economic theories, here is New World's Broken Economy Explained.
The Infinite Gold Exploit
Some players discovered a glitch. When trying to change server, some players were receiving an error code before reverting back to the point they joined that server. Any progression is lost. This means that players were able to send money to friends, log off, and then return to the game, with that gold back in their pocket. But their friend also had the money which had been sent to them. This magic money tree obviously has the potential to destabilize the balance of the economy.
In most games, players quickly accrue wealth, meaning prices rise. In New World, however, the opposite seems to have happened. Players are struggling to acquire gold, meaning that nobody can buy anything. As a result, prices have started to drop. In addition, players are abandoning a currency-based system and instead, reverting to a barter-based economy. This has had a major impact on economic activity. But it has also disincentivized players from exploring in-game professions or building anything to then sell. It simply wouldn't be worth the time and effort expended on it. Trading has become much harder, and anything with a fixed cost, such as taxes, or property, has become disproportionately expensive.
The rewards system in New World has been pointed at by some players as being fundamentally to blame for some of the economic issues in the game. Most games of this type work on the basis that you acquire resources via crafting, gathering, or completing quests. These resources are then traded for desirable items - weapons, armor, amulets. Anything that may give you a boost in the game. But in New World, completing a quest will often reward you with both resources and the types of goods you would then use those resources to buy. And if you don't need to spend the money, why would you?
What's Being Done About It?
While it's undoubtedly frustrating for players to find themselves playing in an economy that does, in some ways, appear to be fundamentally broken, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The developers of New World are taking steps to address many of the underlying issues. In a detailed blog post, they have outlined many of the steps they are taking to keep the economy afloat. These include things like reducing the amount of milk and honey you can farm, linking all Trading Posts, lowering repair costs, and many other tweaks. They are also taking a hard line on players who have attempted to exploit bugs like the infinite gold trick. Those players may well end up being banned from the game.
A new duplication glitch has been discovered, which allows players to duplicate furniture and trophies, to give these players a performance buff. As a result, Amazon Games has had to temporarily suspend all wealth transfers while this is investigated. Players who have benefitted from this may also expect sanctions.
Hopefully, the economic problems will swiftly disappear as the developers get to grips with striking the right balance between the different elements of the economy, and fixing the bugs which some players are so quick to exploit.
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