In this tutorial, we're going to explain how to create a functional economy for your Forge-powered Minecraft server, explaining which mods to use and how to use them. We aren't going to get into every minute aspect of each individual mod, but I'll provide you with enough information to have a functioning economy, and you can play around with these mods at your leisure to tweak them for your needs.
Why Should I Care About An Economy?
Adding an economy to your server creates a whole new level of immersion that you simply aren't going to get without it. Having players own homes and trade resources is one thing, but allowing players to open stores and sell merchandise adds whole new dynamics to the game, and can greatly enhance the amount of fun your players are having on your server.
Minecraft players tend to scatter on servers, spreading out over great distances, with no real reason to visit each other apart from seeing what you've been building. Some mods, like Archimedes Ships and the almighty Railcraft, help lessen the space between players and get them connected, but nothing brings people together like having a strong economy.
Besides all of that, some players find managing a shop to be fun. On my server, for instance, I run a fast food joint called MattDonald's, selling burgers, fries, pizza, footlongs, and chicken from the Harvestcraft mod. It keeps me busy, growing food and shipping it to my restaurants around the world, and it also keeps me wealthy
Finding good Forge economy mods... well... it sucks. Bukkit has tons of economy mods. Quickshop, BlockBank, Craftconomy... the options are limitless. You'd think Forge would have far superior economy mods, but sadly, if there's one thing the Forge community is really missing, it's economy mods. Until someone makes these sorts of mods for the community, Forge servers will not have the same economic functionality as Bukkit servers. It's a bummer, but hey, maybe a modder will see this thread and make one? We can only hope!
Until that happens, we're going to need to download a few critical mods for our Forge economy to work properly:
This mod is the most complex of the ones listed here, and completely optional. It allows you to make NPCs (non-player characters, like villagers) and have them function as traders. You can also use them to offer quests, too. But this mod is aimed at seasoned mod users, so if it seems too difficult to use, don't worry about it
With this mod, we can make it so mobs drop currency when you kill them. It requires a little bit of simple config file coding, but the configs are really easy to add stuff to. Just read the tutorials and take your time with it!
This mod adds physical currency (coins and bills) to the game. There aren't many good mods for adding currency; this is probably the best one. Some mods have their own currencies, like Artifice and Millenaire, but they involve craftable currency and are easily manipulated by players, so I strongly recommend this mod. A great alternative to this mod is The Currency Mod, which practically works the same way. Both of these mods require currency to be pulled from creative mode, rather than being crafted.
This mod adds trade booths, allowing players to buy and sell products even when the store owner is offline, so you don't have to sit around in your shop all day waiting for customers. You can also create special "admin shops" (a feature requested by yours truly ), allowing trade booths to sell infinite supplies of goods, so your players can always buy certain items.
Managing Your Economy
Now that you have some mods to get your economy going, how do you actually manage the thing? How do you keep people from ruining your economy with unfair prices, and how do you keep your money valuable? Here are some critical tips:
Make currency hard to come by. Players won't take money seriously if you can easily earn a thousand dollars within a minute or two. Mobs should only drop coins or single dollar bills, and should rarely drop higher denominations. Really difficult mobs, like blazes or withers, might drop higher denominations, but only slightly.
Volume matters! Remember, players aren't going to be killing one or two zombies. Some are going to grind on mods from sunset to sunrise to rake in the dough, so make sure you set drop rates in Loot++ that aren't too excessive. If a player can make more than $200 after a night of grinding, your values are way too high, and if they make $50 or less, they're too low.
Encourage trade zones. You might want to encourage your players to build their shops in specific trade zones, usually in convenient locations that are easy to reach. You might want players to see that big awesome castle you build 12,000 blocks away, but are they really going to want to travel all the way out there to buy your furniture? Not a chance! Try to keep trade zones central to as many players as possible, preferably in spawn cities or cities with lots of players in them
Competition is good! Two players opening flower shops next to each other isn't a bad thing. It forces their businesses to compete with better selections and lower prices, which helps your economy flourish
Don't undervalue your merchandise, and encourage your server's players to avoid that mistake as well. Remember, a lot of work goes into owning a business. You have to gather the raw materials, craft the products, transport goods to various locations, and check your inventories. Come up with prices that fairly reflect how much work you're putting into everything, and offer you fair profit for a hard day's work. But don't jack up your prices needlessly in the hopes of getting rich fast, either. Exploiting your customers doesn't just hurt your business, it hurts your entire economy.
You can also create special "admin shops" (a feature requested by yours truly )
Heh, I just thought it was interesting that you claimed to request this, but in the thread for that mod, it simply hadn't been implemented in the 1.7.10 version. It already existed in earlier version. Listen to me nitpick.
Thanks for the guide. I'm in the middle of following it to set up an economy on my home server backed by diamonds. It's worth noting that in order to make an administrative trade booth (for unlimited diamond --> currency trades), you have to use the experimental version of trade booths for 1.7.10. The recommended version still doesn't have them.