Long term loans suggestion

Q) How we will do "trade for supplies"? All these trades are and always be "unbalanced" from GE point of view. This type of trade is very common and important for RS economy.
Q) How we will do "running"? Why player, who really spent some work to get an item, is supposed to pay the same value like player who just go and buy it from store? It is probably possible to cover part of running business as special form of "trade for supplies" or by tweaked "assist" system, but what about raw material runners? And even if we use "trade for supplies" to cover running, how to do initial and final trade?
Q) How to do voluntary help to players in peril by consumable items?
Q) How to hire and pay bodyguards and mules? And how to pay for other unmaterial services?
Q) How to do long term item/money lending? Login session only lending is a bit unsuitable...

Coming from Mermalion's January Big Bang questions

here are my questions related to January Big Bang and this suggestion:

I created idea of Loans (and it is far different from actual Jagex loans idea - at least my loans are long term loans) to solve payments for umaterial services, long term item lending and also to help with trading for supplies and running in special cases not covered by my supply exchange ideas.

While supply barters and supply exchange systems are able to solve most of supply trades and running they cannot initial and final trades in case runner is owner of all tools and materials. It is possible to tweak supply exchange systems to allow inequal exchange rates but it will make this system too complicated and its implementation will take longer time so I decided to left this ability only in loans suggestion (by inequal supply exchange I mean trading for supplies where one or more supplies needed for final product are missing and replaced by money).

There is one big change in my loans idea. According to december discussions I removed ability to (direct) lending of money because it will create too big hole for RWTers. Actual system does block standard RWT (real world trades) but does not block RRWT (rich real world trades). RRWT is slow in case RWT client has not suitable amount of money already on begining of trade. Any update that allows even short term loan of money and to use lended money in GE will just negate whole anti-RWT updates. And it is not the only problem with money loans. So, even my heart is bleeding, I was forced to remove money loans from my original suggestion. At least until I find some RWT-unfriendly solution. But I added ability to lend special "money certificates" instead with limited use.

I need to point out that loans involve some risk like in real life. I tried to minimize this risk factor but it is not possible to take it out totally. Player who you lend items to can die with your items and he can stop playing or be banned...

Loans basic idea:
The basic idea is to make long term time limited transaction negotiated between two players - loan owner and loan client. Each player can have limited number of open loans (for example 2 for free and 6 for paying player). Player can open more loans with the same player. Loan contains conditions and terms, money balance and can be used to manipulate up to 5 items/commodities (with reserve for automatically converted items). It adds special attribute to items that tells that they are "lend items by loan No#". All lend items be outlined and unstackable in bank with normal items or even the same items from different loan. The manipulation with lend items will be limited by conditions of loan.

Loan interface is accessible anytime by both players from loans control panel, but negotiation and transfers can be made only when players meet in game and invoke loan type of trade. Closing loans will be possible also through special NPC agents - royal loan supervisors - located in main banks. It is needed for case one of players is unavailable for regular closing of loan.

Because Jagex do not want to have "infinite" loans, there should be also ability to automatic close of loan in case it was not closed by player action. I think that suitable method will be to wait 14 days after negotiated loan leght timed out. Maximal possible leght of loan will be limited too, however. Probably to like 2 weeks max, may be shorter to avoid long term lending for RWM. It might be even obligatory to setup suitable lending costs payment and strict lending mode in case of loans longer than some treshold (for example 24 hours).

Loans can be used not only to loan armor, weapons or tools, but also to loan materials and consumable items and to pay for unmaterial services like loan costs, item converting wages or bodyguard wages.

Items in loan can be used in one of three modes: "Normal", "Consumable" and "Raw". Default mode for items added by players is "normal". If players wants to use different item mode, they need to specify it during negotiation. Item mode can be changed anytime, but it can affect maximal limit of negotiated payments and accept of negotiation may fail if they not update payments accordingly.

Loan Item modes:
"Normal" items cannot been consumed, dropped or traded. They can be traded back to original owner, however. It will be usual mode for tools, armor pieces and weapons. Total value of "normal" items in loan is affecting maximal value of loan costs payment.

"Consumable" items are meant as items given to bodyguard or food carrier, eventually as voluntary help to party mate. It applies to food, potions, runes, projectiles, tablets, charged jewelry and money certificates. Such items can be consumed or dropped only in case both players are within 20 square range or until negotiable "in party" timeout occurs after they get more then 20 squares away each other. Dropped consumable items will be visible for both players until standard timeout occurs and then they will be normally destroyed. Tradeable items will be visible to other player upon normal conditions. If player dies holding consumable items while he is under "in party" condition, they are supposed as used according to loan rules and substracted from loan without any replacing or payment. If new item is created upon use of consumable item (like half pie from whole one), this new item will be added to the same loan like original item came from and its mode will be "consumable" too. To prevent abusing of those feature, additional restrictions apply to this category. Items in this category cannot be lended in noted form. Set of spells possible to be casted with lend runes under "consumable" category is restricted to teleports and combat spells only. Total amounts of "consumable" items in contract should be limited to both in active contracts total value and actually spent items per day.

"Raw" material items are meant for free services in case where assist or supply trades are not suitable. New item created by use of raw item will be added to the same loan and its mode will be set to "raw". It is possible to combine lend and own items to create new lend item but it is not possible to combine lend items from different loans. If own items are added, their GE value is substracted from loan money balance. If there is not enough money in loan balance, raw item cannot been coverted until more money will be added to loan money balance. Raw items can be even converted to money by alching spells, in such case result cash goes to owner money pool, eventually substracted value of runes used. Alching of raws is allowed only if "strict raw" mode is set.

Loan global conditions and parameters:
"Loan leght" is the main global condition of loan. It may vary from minutes to days (there will be minimal and maximal limit). During this time loan cannot been manipulated or finished through NPC loan agents except pumpimng more money to loan money balance. However, it can be changed or finished anytime by loan negotiation between players. Leght of loan is also used to limit loan costs payment and companion wages.

"Lending costs" global parameter is value of money paid by loan client to loan owner as reward for using lended items. Lending costs are related to "normal" items only and total amount of this payment is limited by percentage of total value of "normal" items in loan and time of loan. Whole value of this payment should be added to loan on begining to client side of loan money balance and it will be transferred to loan owner side of money balance at time loan lenght will be over. In case loan be closed prematurely by negotiation of players, this payment will be updated acording to real lenght of loan.

"Strict lending mode" flag - if set it will block using of all normal items in loan when leght of loan is over.

If "loan lengt" exceeds specific treshold (24 hours) and loan contains any "normal" item, "lending costs" and "strict lending mode" parameters are obligatory and "lending costs" cannot been lower then specific limit (like 0.1% of "normal" items total value per day).

"Strict raw mode" flag is global setting that affect possibility to convert raw materials to other items. If this flag is set, client can convert raws only to other raws specified already on loan.

"converting payment" is percentage of GE value of converted item added to loan by converting raw materials. Related money be then paid from owners part to clients part of money balance per one "raw" material converted (besides missing ingredients replacements costs). Maximal value of this percentage is 10%. Default value of this percentage is zero. See payments for unmaterial services chapter bellow for alternative payment method.

"Companion mode flag" is flag that will activate "in party" timeout and "companion wages" parameters if set. See explanation of "companion mode" in next post.

"In party timeout" is timeout applied to "consumable" items and "companion wages". This timeout may vary from 10 seconds to 5 minutes. Its function is to hold "in party" status even loan owner and loan client are more then 20 squares away. It may happen if they are teleporting or using fast travel services. It is important in case loan owner is escaping from hard battle while bodyguard is still fighting. If bodyguard will lost ability to use lend consumables just at second the loan owner leave combat area, bodyguard might have serious problems with survival. Especially if these consumables contain also escape runes.

"Companion wages" is amount of money to be transferred from loan owner money balance to client money balance side on each "companion mode event". Such event happen every minute client is under "in party" condition and "companion mode" flag is set. The maximal value of this payment is 200gp for players bellow 50qp (it is equal to 3k per 15 minutes). See explanation of "Companion mode" in next post for more details.

Payments for unmaterial services - converting costs:
And now we are on most problematic part - wages. Wages are meant as payment for unmaterial services provided by loan client to loan owner. The main problem of unmaterial services is that they may be valuable but that value is impossible to measure by game and it is also nearly impossible to find out if service was provided fully or just partially or not at all. It is very important thing to find out any way how to pay for unmaterial services ingame because otherwise players will be forced to pay for these services out of it. It is actually the most growing business of RWTers.

In case of converting "raw" items it is possible to bind wages to number of converted items and value limit by percentage of value of created item. For global "converting payment" I choose percentage payment instead of absolute value. Even absolute value is more user friendly it will be really hard to implement suitable global limit for absolute values because limit should be binded to value of "unknown" final products. It cannot depends on value of "raws" otherwise RWTers can lend Valuable dummy "raw" to get price out of bonds.

It is still possible to specify payment in absolute values, but only as parameter of raw item in loan. This mean that player should add final product item as raw material in loan and specify payment for creating one piece of it. In case of "strict raw" mode it is even obligatory to specify all final products and subproducts on loan. Final product can be added by similar mechanism like purchase offer in GE. If both global percentage and absolute payment are specified, absolute payment will be used to pay converting costs. Default value of converting payment is zero.

Payments for unmaterial services - companion mode:
In case of true unmaterial services we are, however, out of bonds. We need to think a bit about possible type of services we want to pay for. The most usual services we will want to pay for will be bodyguards, mules (items or food carriers) and guides. All of them may fit to term "companions". Player who you want to pay for such service will sure spend some of its time near you. There is lootshare system able to find out that two players are less then 20 squares away. We can probably use this and tell that basic measure for this kind of services is time the loan client spend "near" loan owner.

Lets say that loan client will obtain small (negotiated and limited) payment for each "companion mode event" and that such event happen every minute when client is "near" loan owner and companion mode flag is set. The payment for one time unit cannot be too big - it should be related to standard unbalanced trade limit - 200gp/minute by default. Eventually higher based on number of players quest points.

But we can allow bonuses for dangerous areas or special situations that barely happen to RWTers. For example it will be possible to make "companion mode events" to happen (much) faster in deeper wilderness or inside specific dungeons and areas. It may be also possible to inrease payment rate according to level of monster attacking client or owner. In multicombat area full of lvl 100+ agressive monsters this rate will be really fast, according to risk. Special bonus may be available also for casting teleother, telegroup or healing spells, applying butterflies etc. Payments will be moved from loan owner part of balance to client part of balance until loan time is not over or owners money balance part is not empty (players will be messaged when this happen).

Money certificates and money balance:
As I stated above, I cannot allow direct money lending. But money are neccessary for travel expenses and entry fees of bodyguards or mules and also some item conversion procedures needs money as direct "igredient". Also there should be ability to pay expenses of missing ingredients and to pay wages for unmaterial services. So I need to add money to loan somehow.

To pay expenses I came up with money certificates client can use just for paying services provided by NPCs (boats, carpets, entry fees, converting items) or as raw material - for example for lunar plank making spell. This certificate should be added as "consumable" or "raw" type, however.

For other purposes there is "money balance" of loan used to cover missing ingredients costs and wages and to accept money paid for lost items on loan closing and money paid to cover lending costs. This money balance has two sides - loan owner side and loan client side - and money are transferred between them upon loan conditions. Both players can add more money to their part of balance anytime through loan agent in bank. But they can withdraw money only during loan type of trade or by closing of loan.

Replacing of lost items
If player die with lended items and lost them, then, except consumable items lost in battle, he is supposed to replace them by the same items from its own bank (if possible) or pay them off by actual GE price on loan closing. Lost items will be replaced automatically from players bank account, if there are not enough items they will be replaced each time player try to deposit them. Number and value of missing items will be displayed in loan interface.

if closing procedure is invoked and there are still missing items, special screen will come up to solve payment of missing items. it displays total amount of cash avaliable on loan client (money balance + inventory cash and optionally also bank cash) and value of missing items (in GE prices). Loan owner then can define amount of money to be paid. By default it is lower one from these two values. Loan owner may decrease this value, even to zero. Bank cash is added to amount only when loan owner is closing loan through loan agent.

Closing of loan:
Players can either invoke loan closing function of loan trading interface or, if loan leght is over, they can ask loan agent in bank for help. If loan lenght is not over, both players should accept closing to take effect. If loan is over, loan owner can force loan closing without accept of loan client. But loan client can close loan on its own only if there are not any missing items on loan.

To close loan in loan trade, loan client should have all lend items in inventory and loan owner should to have enough free space. Loan client eventually need to have also all money needed to replace lost items.

On loan closing all items will go from client account to owner account. Also money left on owner side of money balance will go to owners account. Money left on client side of money balance will go to clients account. If there are missing items on loan, their price can be compensated from client money balance or paid directly by cash money from client inventory.

If loan with missing items is closed through agent on owners demand, money for lost item replacemnet will be taken first from bank and then from inventory of client (agent has easier access to bank account then to players pockets and wiping players pockets without warning migh cause serious perils to him).

Loan client can close loan through agent if loan time is over and there are not any missing items in loan. In such case all lend items will go directly to bank account of loan owner (it may even exceed bank space limit). If there are missing items in loan at time of autoclosing, it wil be replaced by money up to all money loan client has in bank and then in inventory.

It is point of discussion if players can change loan lenght during negotiation or if they should close loan first and make another instead.

Degradable items:
There are items that degrade upon use. Existence of such items is big complication for lending system. We need to solve what to do with them on end of lending contract. There is easy solution for "selfdestructive" items like charged jewelry. Solution is to allow lending of such items only under "consumable" items category with all restrictions this category has.

Items with state saved in items database (like glory amulet) can be lended under both normal and consumable categories. In case of normal category it is supposed that owner will specify lending costs payment high enough to cover repair/recharge costs.

The only problem is with degradable items with state saved in players database. Probably the best solution is to allow lending of such items under normal category and force players to add repair cash bail to proper side of money pool. Such items are usually tradeable only on 100% repaired or 100% broken states so there is not problem to decide on what side of money pool money should be added (owner should pay bail in case of lending broken item and client in case of lending of 100% repaired item). Amount of cash should cover total repair costs of item. If item changes state during contract, balanced portion of repair cash bail be transferred between money pool to cover diferenc between stages of item at begining and at end of contract. Item will be returned in state it be at end of contract even if this state is normally untradeable.

Last update: 02.03.2008