Looking at the history, we can kind of correlate what things caused the rise and fall of the economy and why new players stopped being maintained (excluding the advertisement side since that is another matter). I also want to agree with cake that the way I found this server when I first joined was looking up city roleplay economy server.
A basic summary is that the server declined when apartment led player interaction declined due to an admin shop selling banaza economy that was more profitable. This new money also inflated real estate values, grew wealth inequality, and decreased demand for goods from stores since people no longer needed as many blocks since they weren’t building cities or apartment buildings. This lack of demand stagnated prices on the goods side which is why we are where we are today with having to regulate real estate to the max to get prices to moderate while retail can’t stop having prices fall.
Some Statistics for you
Using the fact the top balance in 2014 was around 1 million forsals compared to today where is 10 million, you can say that the money supply has multiplied at a factor of 10x.
Also a note before reading. Some goods are more misleading as it implies all production goes to market which is not true since a lot of production gets held up in storage facilities.
Diamonds in 2014 = 30f
Diamonds in 2020 = 15f (admin shop set minimum)
In real terms the price of diamonds has dropped to 1.5f in 2014 prices
Quartz in 2014-2015 = 6f per block
Quartz in 2020 = 4.5f per block
In real terms, the price of quartz has dropped to roughly 0.45f per block in 2015 prices
Iron in 2014 = 3f
Iron in 2020 = 1f
In real terms, iron is roughly 0.1f in 2014 prices
Coal in 2014 = .5f per
Coal in 2020 = 1f per
In real terms, coal still dropped to 0.1f per coal
New player balance 2014 = 1,000f
New player balance 2021 = 5,000f
In real terms, the new player balance is roughly 500f in 2014 numbers
Cobblestone 2014 = 14f
Cobblestone 2020 = 10f (admin shop)
In real terms, the price is roughly 1f a stack
Wild Land Prices
Land 2014 = 5f per
Land 2021 = 10f per
In real terms, land is roughly 1f per block in 2014 prices
2014 = 20f a stack
2021 = 2f a stack (Probably lower but math easier)
In real terms, prices are 0.2f a stack in 2014 prices.
2014 Max Price - 600f
2021 Max Price - 2500f
In real terms, prices of an apartment is 250f in 2014 prices).
Note* - This is why I think apartment prices should be multiplied by a factor of 3 and start bal by 2 so that new players are the same off and not worse off compared to 2014.
2014 = 16f a stack
2021 = 24f a stack
Price is 2.4f in 2014 prices
Imagine running a shop with those prices in 2014. It wouldn’t be profitable. Although you can blame farming or updates for some of these loses, demand side declines help explain most of these declines. Items that saw substantial demand growth for example like coal helped mitigate the drop by only falling 80% (which is dramatic) compared to goods like quartz which lost around 92.5% of their value. Sugar cane, a majorly farmed good fell 98% which can be attributed to farming advances. However, because goods like quartz still fell approximately 92.5% and is still a base good for building, that means farming related price declines only further cause prices declines on top of what seems to be an average of 92.5% declines. It can be said that increases of farming only affect things in maybe a decline of real price by maybe 7.5x fold at the most on top of the 92.5% average most goods faced that didn’t have substantial increases in productivity (doing 0.075/0.01 dont quote this math its probably off). Since we factored out monetary increases by putting items in real terms and came up with a number to factor out productivity changes on automated goods (although that could have influenced an increase in demand but thats to annoying and not really possible to calcuate based on the data we have), the overall decreases were undoubtedly led by a decline in demand looking at quartz as a base good that had limited interferance by updates or material preference changes. I am using quartz also since although it is farmable in slimefun, the farming price is above the nominal price and the price has been relatively stable throughout time and any productivity changes caused by slimefun if any would be offset by a slight increase in demand for higher value blocks compared to things like wool which used to be primary building blocks.
For example, given we factored out a 10x growth in the money supply by adjusting all the prices to 2014 figures, and a 7.5x productivity boom on certain farmed goods (this is unrelated to quartz and is ignored in this case), doing math on quartz as a base good by taking the price in real terms compared to the price in 2014 (6/0.45), prices should be 13x higher than they are currently if the retail sector was healthy and continued along its path.
A note on the 13x figure, idk how much more productive people are at getting quartz compared to 2014. With that in mind, the 13x figure could be on the lower end with maybe 7x if people were twice as productive at getting quartz. In total though, productivity did not grow 13x since 2014 on quartz mining so demand side declines are a primary factor in the decline. Since sugar cane most likely grew on 7.5x in productivity at least based on prices (which for this product it is questionable since most people probably dont want to set up a shop for 0.1f per stack of sugar cane in 2021 even if that makes sense given its production so productivity growth here could be way higher but just not factorable since we can’t calculate actual amounts of sugar cane made compared to 2014).
In general, a simple summary is productivity and monetary amounts grew while demand did not. Admin shops most likely caused some of the disconnects above in farmed goods for example.
History of the collapse
2014-2016) Large growth in the broader economy and the player base. We began approaching the 100 player online at a time and I can remember there being at least 50 players on at most times of the day. New money creation excluding the mob bounty issue was primarily new players as stone gens weren’t that efficient and people focused primarily on building apts or cities to make money. Most of the helloclan, west city, valley city, and a lot of the cities on the interior of the map were started at this time. Having tons of new players come online at a time and the 600f cap on apartments meant you could make 1000s of forsals an hour just filling in apartments. Look at the weather apt company for an example of the apartment economy. This was the dominant form of growth at the time.
Apple and Stone Boom) Around the 2016 time if I recall correctly there was a period were apples began to become the main source of new money creation as there was a admin shop mistake of 3f per apple which meant an emerald could be transformed into 15-24f per instead of the market rate at the time of 5-7f. This meant rapid money growth which mean’t people started to pour money into projects and plot mergers into to grow their money and as a status symbol. For example, this money started the mega store GSNR and front row rc plots and 2nd row rc plots went from good places to set up shops at 150k that could get 10k worth of sales a day minimum, to 400k speculative assets that had decreasing sales as mega stores rose that didn’t care as much about profits as just building a mega store. People would then prefer to shop at maybe 1 or 2 mega stores (at the time it was OWL, and GSNR) and people focused on simply accumulating money through an admin shop which in turn further fuelled a bubble in the property market which made shops an even worse investment. When apples and all the money made + 10% were pulled the economy didn’t really recover since the real estate had already been accumulated by a few individuals, mega stores had been built and became way more productive, and the real estate prices had tanked and never really recovered in rc leading to people to look for new less player interactive ways to make money. In fact, the small rc plot store buisness model that a lot of players used died during this time because mega stores had developed way better pricing and centralized locations that small stores simply couldn’t compete with. RC had also already been declining because its core shopping center motiff was destroyed by plots becoming worth 400k+ just for a first row (Darthxman paid 440k for his 1st row plot for example) meaning people bought front row and 2nd row plots more as an investment than actually utilizing them. I can recall buying 3 2nd row rc plots just because the prices were going up and never used them. The collapse in prices also meant those with money or those that figured out stone gens could buy them all up before other people could figure it out or get out of debt which is why you began to see monopolies in real estate on a scale we hadn’t seen begin. North CIty for example became a monopoly plot wise and rc began to be colonized as well.
Around this time as stated above, some players also figured out building a stone gen would make you 8k an hour which meant you could make way more just selling to an admin shop than renting out to new players. This meant demand for retail goods collapsed which mean’t even running a shop wasn’t profitable or a good use of time so prices of items began to stagnate while farming grew. Then admin shops for gold and iron were added which just further increased farming revenue at the expense of apartments. This new money also meant new players were getting relatively poorer and significantly less important to the economy. The focus on just printing more money rather than trying to get it to circulate is basically why everyone is rich today and don’t know what to do with it. Everyone knows shops aren’t profitable since you can make more selling to an admin shop and there isn’t even demand anyways for goods since no one builds cities or buildings anymore compared to what it used to be. This means prices will probably never go up since there is enough automated production and reserves of items just being recycled to keep the retail sector going. Also there is the random offshot of players that stock items at just enough to keep prices stagnate. If there was a lot more demand, prices would be forced up but this isn’t going to happen since people have most of the stuff already and any shortages are quickly fixed by an admin shop.
Construction of skyscrapers is stuck since there isn’t a reason to build them since we already have an overstaturation of apartments and there aren’t enough new players to justify it.