| Monday, November 22, 2004 - 07:16 pm |
I think you do need something like a "World Bank", if only to prevent loan requests from going unanswered for too long.
As always, can it be done without significant demand on server processor time.
Seems to me it could be, if done as follows -- this might even *reduce* server load.
(1) "Direct offer/request a loan" wouldn't be part of the server's status-checking. It'd be just like sending messages directly which don't need constant checks.
(2) "General" loan request would be put into a central pool which players could all view -- giving info about the requester and the requested terms. Players could select which loan terms to fulfill.
(3) The "World Bank" would also look at that same centralized list of loans and consider fulfilling any which have been posted for (say) over a game month and at its own rates. (Allowing players first crack). It's rate would thus provide a "cap" for requested rates, since players wouldn't ask for loans for more than that.
(3a) In fact, players could even flag requests as to whether or not they wanted the World Bank to even consider them (thus making fewer offers for the World Bank to have to consider, cutting down on processing time) -- thus they could make a request from players first and lower than World-Bank terms and then, if no one took up that offer, default to the World Bank's terms.
(4) Players could also *offer* loans on an open list which other players could view and accept if they like the terms. Indeed, this would be the *first* place players would look, and so there would be *more* loan transactions removed from the automation's consideration, thus further *reducing* server load.
(5) Once this is established, the World Bank ought to have some limit on its funds, and an algorhythm put in place (if it isn't there already) taking this into account when setting its parameters. This would help prevent it from "taking over" the loan system.
(6) Automated requests from companies or countries or corporations could also automatically check the offered loans section (perhaps there would be parameters added for such auto-requests: i.e. automatically request loans or not and, if so, at these terms...), and then be posted on the open requested loans list with the yes-accept-World-Bank-offers flag set.
A bit more coding and a few new values in some data structures, yes, but seems conceptually that it might actually *reduce* server load by having a lot of loans handled by individual player actions without ever entering the general/automation routines.