Economy and politics overhaul ideas

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
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NikitaTheTanner
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Economy and politics overhaul ideas

Post by NikitaTheTanner »

I've been thinking about how to improve the world building in Daggerfall, and what would be required with such a massive world to make it more believable and logical, and I think that in the long term, it would be great to see a mod which would tackle economics and politics of the region. Although, I don't think I will be able to implement any of this myself, maybe this topic can serve as fuel for thought for potential overhauls created in the future.

Both will be strongly influenced by geography and climate, and I think it's important to take everything in the account as much as possible when creating overhauls to landscapes, creating new settlements, etc.

Economics

This is vital for any believable world. What it comes down to is mostly production and distribution of resources.

Where does the food come from to sustain such large towns that we see in the game? Most likely villages and farms need to be expanded, to produce more food to be able to at least theoretically sustain town population. Not all regions are suited for all sorts of food production, so some regions will be less populated than others. Food preservation also plays an important role. I would imagine High Rock most likely salts a lot of its food, where does the salt come from? Some is probably from the sea, but maybe there are other sources. The Hammerfell might be using local spices as preservatives.

Where do the minerals come from? Usually, the mountain areas are richer in minerals, and most likely most mining operations are taking place in the mountain regions. What metals are they mining and where? This would drive availability of items in stores and people's hands. Smiths are most likely working with local materials, what are they, what are their specializations?

How's the trade going? What are the trade routes? We currently have roads, which definitely help establish some trade routes, but there is also sea trade and potentially river trade, if rivers are implemented later on. Towns and settlements located on the major crossroads and junctions should be richer and have access to a wider variety of goods, coming from multiple sources.

Also, how are people making money or at least getting their necessities? Most are probably farmers or even serfs, some are traders, some are craftsmen, etc. Are there guilds for the craftsmen? What are specific village, town, province specializations? Some are fishing villages, or they might be shephards and produce wool, some towns are rich with trade and other towns might have a powerful Mages Guild presence or be centered around a temple and a holy place, which makes money from pilgrims and other tourists.

In theory, this could lead to a lot of potential. \For example, player might be making money transporting and selling water to isolated desert regions, or going to holy places and buying temple relics and selling them to believers in remote locations. Finding specific materials should also be much easier in regions where they are produced, and they'd be more expensive in places where they aren't readily available (assuming people have the money to pay, or something to exchange). Some regions would be poor and some would be rich, but all in their unique way, driven by their geography, climate, fertile land or available resources. Since this is a magical setting, a lot can be done with supernatural elements as well. This would just make every region stand out, every town and village have their own place in the large world, not just being a randomly generated copy of each other.

Politics

This is an extension of economics to some extent. Politics is mostly about managing resources, and making sure that they are distributed as one desires, usually, more for me and less for you. It's about controlling the land, controlling the resources, controlling the trade.

The system is feudal and very much divided, but there are probably lower rank nobles controlling smaller chunks of land, like barons. How is the world split into smaller parts? How is it being maintained as is, or maybe even changed? Maybe it will be possible to have a dynamic map between factions in some very distant future, something similar to Europa Universalis or Crusader Kings.

What are the taxes and how are they paid? How are they collected, how are they counted? Are there different rules or laws between regions? Maybe some regions have very basic tax system and almost no control, and others will be very strict, so the player will be forced to choose whether to pay the taxes, evade them, or move somewhere else.

Are there any rebellions? Peasant riots, or feudal insurrection? An active war between regions? These things would be right at home at the war torn region that we see in the game.

It would be interesting to see how it could affect the world on a global scale. For example, if local villages are looted and burned, the town population suffers from hunger and the economic prosperity drops, shops close, criminality raises - and you can see all of that, and feel the effects of that, it would be very powerful.

Maybe at some point it will even be possible to become a lord, and have your own demesne, set your own taxes, fight other lords, etc.
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These are just some things to think about moving forward. We have such a vast open-world, almost realistic in scale, it would be interesting to see even small improvements in world building when it comes to economy and politics, that would add a lot of charm and realism.
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One relatively minor suggestion that I have for a mod is to improve bartering with the shop owners. First and foremost - limit traders gold, so you don't just sell all the expensive gear to cheaper places since they pay more and have limitless money. They would still pay you more, but they would have less money overall, which makes sense.

Second, would be good to add bartering, so you can exchange goods even without the money. This could be used in variety of situations, and some remote shops might not even have any money, and only barter, that's not uncommon.

Third, I would probably make it possible to sell any good to any shop, just for a MUCH lower price. It makes sense that the General store would also accept your armor, but since they don't specialize in selling it, they are not as interested, so they'll pay you much less than the specialized store. This would increase convenience by A LOT when you just want to get rid of something, but no appropriate shop is present in the area. And maybe, your expensive cuirass would be enough, even heavily discounted to barter for that horse that you need in the General store.

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Ralzar
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Re: Economy and politics overhaul ideas

Post by Ralzar »

As usual, I generally agree with your ideas and observations about the game :D
NikitaTheTanner wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:00 am One relatively minor suggestion that I have for a mod is to improve bartering with the shop owners. First and foremost - limit traders gold, so you don't just sell all the expensive gear to cheaper places since they pay more and have limitless money. They would still pay you more, but they would have less money overall, which makes sense.
This mod exists in the form of Magconos Limited Gold Shops. Although I'd argue the shops have way too much gold in its present for. Making it practically the same as unlimited gold. I think this is because I use a bunch of mods that curtail your amount of loot and how much it's worth though. So it's more that Limited Gold Shops is not balanced for a modded game.

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:00 am Second, would be good to add bartering, so you can exchange goods even without the money. This could be used in variety of situations, and some remote shops might not even have any money, and only barter, that's not uncommon.
Agreed. Not sure how feasible it is though. But I feel I am already using barter, just with extra steps. Because if I'm buying a chest plate. I often sell my old chest plate to be able to afford my new chest plate :D
NikitaTheTanner wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:00 am Third, I would probably make it possible to sell any good to any shop, just for a MUCH lower price. It makes sense that the General store would also accept your armor, but since they don't specialize in selling it, they are not as interested, so they'll pay you much less than the specialized store. This would increase convenience by A LOT when you just want to get rid of something, but no appropriate shop is present in the area. And maybe, your expensive cuirass would be enough, even heavily discounted to barter for that horse that you need in the General store.
Very much agree on this. The game has a weird hangup on armor. Where only armor shops will take it off your hands.
There's also a bunch of other items that are obviously valuable but can still only be sold to specific shops. Which often leads to lugging around items from town to town, looking for the right kind of shop to sell it at.
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