Welcome! In this page, we’ll be discussing the concept of ‘leapfrogging’, and how we hope it will encourage other server admins to think about methods to encourage people both to join in any stage of a world’s map as well as having servers with a supporting mechanism allowing people to jump right in.
As a server, we’ve long struggled with the notion that unless you join early in a server’s map cycle, you’re hopelessly behind and forever playing ‘catch up’ to the other players who have been on the server for longer, thus having more of everything – experience, specialties, assets and money. With the leapfrogging mechanism as the central point of interest, we aim to do away with that notion, and encourage people to join any time you wish. Don’t let the notion of ‘missing out’ discourage you from having a great experience!
Before we dive into the ‘meat’ of the leapfrogging, certain conditions must first be met before there’s any chance of such a concept to succeed at all. The following sections further deepen the mechanism, which have one central theme: taking measures to lower, or ideally, remove the barrier to entry the time-based specialization system imposes.
First of all – organization. On the leader’s end, there should be a willingness to ‘lead the charge’ in making sure new players can ‘slot right in’. In effect, making sure that such things as skill scrolls are readily available, both in terms of quantity and price. This is the first step which ensures players can get the skill they want to pick up right away and enable them to contribute to the server, thus making people feel useful.
Secondly – a stable, well-managed economy. Regardless of whether it’s fiat money, gold-standard based, or player credit based, the goal of the economy should be to facilitate the exchange of goods. The hallmark of such an economy means people know what to expect, what they get into, and where things go from there. In turn, building trust and stability into the pricing.
By having people join late, you’re asking them to be dependent on others for some, if not most of their efforts. Making sure they aren’t exploited for their efforts in an early, vulnerable state makes sure they can price their goods fairly, and be rewarded by supplying for a certain demand. It additionally fosters trust and collaboration between players, which is very beneficial to the overall health of the server’s population – happy players are returning players, and due to word of mouth, recruiting players.
Having established all that, what’s next you ask?
Government-owned crafting stations for most, if not all professions. Whether or not you choose to incorporate all stations will depend on how much space you can use, as well as how expansive you want the initial version to be. If nothing else, Smith and (especially) Engineer would benefit most from this setup. While this is (as of Beta 8.3) something the world leader would have to incorporate onto a deed serving as some sort of town/city hall, there are upcoming changes to make it easier to setup.
In the future, with the proposed changes in Beta 9.0 to have titles and demographics becoming able to own land, this would naturally be a deed owned by the world leader. Further on, with Beta 10.0 and its multiple levels of government as well as competing government, we expect it to be a major contributor to whether or not your city will be chosen for new players to start in.
Moving back to the crafting stations – while Engineer is notorious for its hefty upfront investment both in building materials and iron needs to even start, thus posing a substantial barrier to entry to start with, having the ability to start with just a nominal fee for usage of the machines (and feeding the Treasury, which can further be used to subsidize various works) vastly decreases the barrier to entry.
In effect, what you’ll want to do is to use the ‘credit’ component of the crafting stations to be using the currency of choice, using the ‘treasury’ account and putting numbers into either the ‘fee per item’ or ‘fee per minute’ fields. The goal here should not be to make too much money off of the transactions – in a sense, this is subsidized crafting to make sure people can perform their crafting as needed and get them up on their feet quickly.
- Don’t be afraid to iterate! This is a new concept we started during our Beta 8.3 map cycle, and which we too will be expanding on/improving upon as we move maps. In fact, the notion of having more government-owned crafting stations spawned from the lessons learned in the Beta 8.3 map cycle and the caveats the early system exposed.
- As with many things, dare to fail, but don’t forget to stand back up as well 🙂
- We run a Youtube video series, covering advanced Eco topics such as these. Poke Praefator on Discord if you have any questions, or wish to propose a topic to be covered in an upcoming video!