Best economy system in an open world game

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#1 Posted by Sushiglutton (7204 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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#2 Posted by SOedipus (11459 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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#3 Posted by Sushiglutton (7204 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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#4 Posted by MirkoS77 (14135 posts) -

@Sushiglutton: unpredictable variables introduced by player agency.

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#5 Posted by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

Fable 2

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#6 Posted by Grimdalus (135 posts) -

Mount & Blade.

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#7 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (25245 posts) -

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

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#8 Posted by Wasdie (53592 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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#9 Posted by illmatic87 (17933 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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#10 Posted by Byshop (19567 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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#11 Edited by MirkoS77 (14135 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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#12 Posted by commonfate (13320 posts) -

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Arguably Persona 4 if time = money

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#13 Posted by Ariabed (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 (6738 posts) -

Fallout 1 maybe?

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#15 Posted by DorkNow (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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#16 Posted by MarkoftheSivak (284 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 Posted by warmblur (2358 posts) -

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

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#18 Posted by DaVillain- (36500 posts) -

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