It's impossible to know what's going to happen down the road, but I'm fairly certain the first release of SMP is going to simply be multiplayer infdev with no multiplayer-specific game mechanics. It's probably easier for Notch if he releases something simple and builds off of it.
I think custom servers (if they're possible for MP Survival) will have features like currency. Then again, you can just plop down some gold for another guy to go build you a dirt house, and trust that he doesn't TNT you.
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Hey, try Red Eclipse. It's a free online shooter. It's shweet.
People trading stuff like coal and Iron is currency enough I think. Plus it would be kinda cool to travel around a server and find towns where resources are worth more depending on availability. A mountain town filled with iron and coal would be more willing to give you some for wood than some guy in a forest with a small mine shaft in his backyard :biggrin.gif:
There will be no official currency put in by Notch. Individual servers will problably implement their own 'national' currency systems.
It will still be server based, so no massively multiplayer aspect... think of it as the fun of the current infdev, but with other people playing the same map.
Stores? Maybe. I want to start businesses, certainly, but people will be paranoid about building shops above ground because of the risk of being robbed.
It will be like the Legend of Zelda, where everyone lives in caves. :laugh.gif: