Best economy system in an open world game

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Sushiglutton

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#1 Sushiglutton
Member since 2009 • 7269 Posts

GTA V is a great game in many ways, but I think its economy is just busted. Ignoring a couple of tricks there's just no way to make enough cash for the most expensive properties. And given the money you get from heists everything else becomes pretty irrelevant as a source of income. When you buy a property it takes ages before you even make back the investment. etc..

So anyway this thread isn't supposed to be about GTA V. I'm curious to hear what OW games you think did economy best?

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SOedipus

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#2 SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 11611 Posts

I haven't played a game with a balanced economy system for an open world game. It's the usually the other way...too much money and then the game gets boring.

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Sushiglutton

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#3 Sushiglutton
Member since 2009 • 7269 Posts

@SOedipus said:

I haven't played a game with a balanced economy system for an open world game. It's the usually the other way...too much money and then the game gets boring.

Agree, I couldn't come up with a single example myself. I wonder what makes it so hard to do right?

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MirkoS77

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#4 MirkoS77
Member since 2011 • 14551 Posts

@Sushiglutton: unpredictable variables introduced by player agency.

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Ariabed

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#5 Ariabed
Member since 2014 • 2121 Posts

Fable 2

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Grimdalus

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#6 Grimdalus
Member since 2013 • 135 Posts

Mount & Blade.

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jun_aka_pekto

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#7 jun_aka_pekto
Member since 2010 • 25254 Posts

Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. The more you kill, the more money you get.

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Wasdie

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#8 Wasdie  Moderator
Member since 2003 • 53593 Posts

There are a lot of smaller games on the PC that focus on dynamic economic simulations within an open world. One of the best example is the X3 series from Egosoft. It's a truly living, dynamic economy that the player can influence. Elite Dangerous features a fully dynamic and player influenced economy too. That's on the PC and is coming to the Xbox One later this year.

Your average open world game isn't going to focus on a real economic simulation as it's often pretty involved and too complicated to add anything to the game. A game like GTA would not benefit at all from a working economic simulation. It would be more of a distraction.

Most open world games use currency as a way to limit progression of the player. Unless the player spends time going out of their way to accumulate currency, it acts as a limiting factor forcing the player to make choices on how they play. IT prevents players from massing all of the biggest weapons early on and steamrolling through the entire game. It's more of a difficulty thing than anything.

GTA 5 is an interesting situation as they give you all of the cash you need to unlock all of the weapons and have plenty of ammo very early on. It's more post-story content than anything. With GTA the "economy" is really just a progression meter. It's the same as unlocking new stuff at a higher score.

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illmatic87

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#9 illmatic87
Member since 2008 • 17934 Posts

I personally like economies that revolve around bartering of items over actual currencies. State of Decay does a solid job of it, there's no currency in game, just items and their worth. It creates a dynamic where you'd always feel like there is a need for something that you have to manage. The 'economy sinks' feel ever present and you can really feel the depletion and struggle.

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Byshop

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#10 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19616 Posts

@Wasdie said:

There are a lot of smaller games on the PC that focus on dynamic economic simulations within an open world. One of the best example is the X3 series from Egosoft. It's a truly living, dynamic economy that the player can influence. Elite Dangerous features a fully dynamic and player influenced economy too. That's on the PC and is coming to the Xbox One later this year.

Your average open world game isn't going to focus on a real economic simulation as it's often pretty involved and too complicated to add anything to the game. A game like GTA would not benefit at all from a working economic simulation. It would be more of a distraction.

Most open world games use currency as a way to limit progression of the player. Unless the player spends time going out of their way to accumulate currency, it acts as a limiting factor forcing the player to make choices on how they play. IT prevents players from massing all of the biggest weapons early on and steamrolling through the entire game. It's more of a difficulty thing than anything.

GTA 5 is an interesting situation as they give you all of the cash you need to unlock all of the weapons and have plenty of ammo very early on. It's more post-story content than anything. With GTA the "economy" is really just a progression meter. It's the same as unlocking new stuff at a higher score.

Yeah, this is along the lines of what I was going to say. Games with a real "economy" are pretty rare because it's really hard to do right. Ultima Online tried to do this by creating a real, in-game economy with each shop keeping having their own limited bankroll and there being a finite amount of currency in the game world. They dropped that idea before they got out of beta because within weeks of each reset like 5% of the players would have 90% of the wealth and the rest of the world would just be scraping by (I guess sometimes games can be a little too realistic).

Eve does this for real, but Eve took it more seriously than the UO guys and they have a full time economist on staff to keep it running and balanced.

The X games (excluding Rebirth) do a pretty good job, though.

-Byshop

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MirkoS77

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#11  Edited By MirkoS77
Member since 2011 • 14551 Posts

@Wasdie said:

Your average open world game isn't going to focus on a real economic simulation as it's often pretty involved and too complicated to add anything to the game. A game like GTA would not benefit at all from a working economic simulation. It would be more of a distraction.

Boy do I ever disagree with that. That's exactly what GTA needs. Chinatown Wars showed just how much a basic introduction of supply and demand aided in fleshing out the game with its drug dealing aspect, and until GTA fully begins to embrace some form of deeper economic modelling and structure in its gameplay, it will forever be an empty world filled with menial, superficial tasks to waste time on instead of a truly meaningful ones that holds ramifications across the world itself.

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commonfate

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#12 commonfate
Member since 2010 • 13320 Posts

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Arguably Persona 4 if time = money

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Ariabed

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#13 Ariabed
Member since 2014 • 2121 Posts

@MirkoS77 said:
@Wasdie said:

Your average open world game isn't going to focus on a real economic simulation as it's often pretty involved and too complicated to add anything to the game. A game like GTA would not benefit at all from a working economic simulation. It would be more of a distraction.

Boy do I ever disagree with that. That's exactly what GTA needs. Chinatown Wars showed just how much a basic introduction of supply and demand aided in fleshing out the game with its drug dealing aspect, and until GTA fully begins to embrace some form of deeper economic modelling and structure in its gameplay, it will forever be an empty world filled with menial, superficial tasks to waste time on instead of a truly meaningful ones that holds ramifications across the world itself.

You are so right.

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#14  Edited By Gamerno6666
Member since 2013 • 6936 Posts

Fallout 1 maybe?

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#15 DorkNow
Member since 2019 • 1 Posts
@Gamerno6666 said:

Fallout 1 maybe?

yep, this one right here. First two Fallouts were actually pretty good at using barter and money balanced to the end. at start you don't have anything and you can afford only most basic things like one or maybe two stimpacks and some bullets. bullets were pretty scarce too (but not too scarce), so you need to loot people. and you can't carry really much with you to sell a lot at once. also, a lot of people just didn't have money to make up for really good guns. you never feel to rich, except if your main goal is to be rich

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MarkoftheSivak

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#16 MarkoftheSivak
Member since 2010 • 390 Posts

I actually thought the economy in Skyrim was pretty good as long as you didn't "cheat", i.e. buying everything from a vendor and then robbing them, or training with your follower and then taking all the gold from them (not cheating but definitely "cheap")

I like to add "role-playing rules" when I play Skyrim, so that I don't do the above things mentioned (However if im playing an honest-to-god thief then i will rob shopkeepers blind...at night)

Note: i think the survival/frostfire mod makes the economy even better since you have to worry about food as well.

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#17 warmblur
Member since 2017 • 3190 Posts

I really like how Sleeping Dogs did it and the way you upgraded your character.

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#18 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 38545 Posts

Necro thread aside, I'll just say Witcher 3 is pretty good at this.