Welcome back for Part 2 in our series on closed-resource economies in MMOs. Last week we discussed how starting out in this *completely hypothetical* system might work, what some of the basic rules of operation might be, and what it would take to keep money available to players. Today, we continue on our chosen path to talk about how loot and gear could be distributed so that raiding, quests, and all the other content we enjoy would still be available even through endgame.
First, a quick recap of the groundwork we already laid out.
Rule #1: Server character limits. Yes, this would create the need for more servers in the game. But it would also enable the developers to determine a starting point for the goods, resources and money available at server start.
Rule #2: Items and money must leave the game in order to come back in as loot or gathered materials. That means that they must be consumed in some way, either by being dropped and deleted, or by being given to an NPC. Consumed items could return as they had left the game, as the resources used in their creation, or as another item entirely.
Rule #3: More gold sinks. In order to keep the loot flowing, there would need to be additional, enticing or mandatory ways for the gold to leave the game. An example might be to have service-oriented NPCs, such as the Work Orders in Lord of the Rings Online or the Saw Mill in RuneScape. Mounts or housing are always popular ways to get money back from players to NPCs as well.
Still with me so far? Excellent. On we go!