Building a Better Economy

Day 2,088, 08:05 Published in USA USA by Syz2
There’s a problem

Ask anyone what is wrong with eRepublik and the economy will be mentioned more than anything. They will all tell you it’s broken, it needs changed. You can try to say it will improve with this or that, but without something big changing you would just be putting a curtain over the atrocity that is the eRepublik economy.

People have often given ideas about how to improve the military module, such as terrain modifications, owning a squad, etc. They still do. And in the end we got guerrilla fights. Some of you might like it, some of you hate it, but at least you can say they put some attempt at making it a little more interesting to fight. But very few people talk about how the economy could be overhauled (beyond adding energy bar factories or removing WAM or some other thing). Maybe putting out some constructive criticism here will help them attempt improvements like they did to the military module.

What do we need to fix?

To solve a lot of the problems of the economy module, imagine this: What if rubber plantations produced rubber? What if iron mines produced iron and oil rigs oil?

That's right. This game needs more than just weapons and food. The way it’s set up now gives new players no room for profit. The game is designed so that people will be able to produce more than they need so they can sell products for money. Else there wouldn’t be an economy because no one would sell things. Of course the problem is that there are lots of people selling things, and not buying things because they produce more than they need. The only reason products are bought at all is purchases from new players, for government/party programs, or to produce rockets. The rocket factory is probably the only thing Plato did that has actually definitely helped the economy so far, along with the not-as-helpful but still helpful airstrikes that require food.

Plato’s first solution to the overproduction problem was to create a bot that buys products from the markets. Unfortunately we are stuck with his new solution, since he took the buying bot down due to governments using it to harvest VAT tax money that it generated. This new solution is to simply ignore the problem. Ignore it and let the deflation happen. Now we are stuck in a situation where there are lots of products no one wants to buy, products that the rich have access to and the poor cannot get without stuffing money down Plato’s wallet.

Let’s make this better

How can we have a less stagnant and more dynamic economy? There are two improvements which help this. One is to give people something to do with their products, hence rocket factories and airstrikes. This is something that could still be improved. The second is back to my suggestion of rubber plantations making rubber, and aluminum mines aluminum. We need more types of RMs. This would benefit us.

With more than one type of RM, rich producers can’t just buy a RM factory when they need more RMs. They will need to find suppliers of all the requirements for their product. Now to actually prevent manufacturers who are rich enough from buying all RM factories anyway, bonuses should be localized. If a player produces rubber, they need to move to a region with rubber bonuses to get those bonuses. Manufacturers will need to buy materials off the market to produce things.

What does this get us?

Prices will no longer be so dependent on the highest quality product. If the required materials are different (high quality weapons like tanks might need rubber but the lower quality weapons may not) then the lower qualities can actually be useful to produce, and not be dependent on how much q7 has affected the RM price to be a waste of money or not. Rocket factories gave lower qualities some value, but it’s still clear currently with the profit margin that q7 that it is the price that affects the economy. With this change, one RM becoming scarce from a bonus loss or fewer suppliers could make higher qualities unprofitable while the lower ones stay profitable.

The economy would be less stagnant. Now that manufacturers will have to buy cheap RMs from territories with other bonuses instead of producing their own, people will be buying things. They will buy them so they can use them. Overproduction as the major issue will melt away as people will be able to sell things again. RM producers will be selling materials, and buying the products made from their materials, while others buy the materials and sell the products. Governments will increase in VAT tax revenue as trade increases.

And new players will not struggle. They won’t have to be making products that are worth less than the RMs making them, or struggling to sell some RM that so many other people are selling when not enough buy. New players can start off making an RM factory. Since producers will actually buy RMs now and there will be less production in a single RM, they can actually sell it competitively.

These changes will make the economy less stagnant, more fun and dynamic, and more strategic. Please Plato add more RMs like rubber and iron, and make bonuses localized to regions. These two changes, provided you don’t find a way to do it wrong and it turns out better than the guerilla fights did, will make the economy much better.

The economy won’t get any better if you let Plato keep doing what he’s doing. So don’t forget to vote and shout!

Building a better economy