# What would be the effect of making Wealth a diminishing-returns variable?

I've been playing a bunch of Fallen London lately, and I find it interesting how they do "pyramid qualities": Achieving level X in something requires +X points.. 1 for level 1, 2 more for level 2, 3 more for level 3 etc.

The question: What if typically-linear variables like "gold" were made pyramidal, with items costing a fixed amount of "levels"? E.g. The player has "Wealth 5", gains 5 more gold, bringing them up to "Wealth 6", which then requires 6 more points, etc. eventually reaching a point where it's harder to reach a higher wealth level.

But a potion costs a fixed 3 Wealth, a weapon costs 5 Wealth levels and 2 Reputation levels.

"Pyramidal" is just one way to do it, I'm considering other ways like diminishing gold drops, taxes, etc, but a "progress bar to Wealth X" seems the least player-unfriendly.

Expectations: Use it or Lose it; I expect this to discourage grinding and to encourage "planning for buying X", not earning extra "wasted" Wealth (6 gold is worth 1+2+3 -> Wealth 3 in the beginning, but barely increases your level later on). Theoretically, this would keep the player switching activities and moving around, but I'm wondering if anyone has any takes on it.

PS: looking for tag suggestions for this quesstion as well.

• Sorry, but I don't really get what you mean with your example and how it would result in a "use it or lose it" design. Oct 22, 2021 at 14:21
• I added some clarifications. It's the triangular series: 1, 1+2, 1+2+3, ... Oct 22, 2021 at 14:26
• Sorry again, what does "pyramidal" mean here? On another note - are you talking about making prices dependent on players wealth? The more wealth player has - the higher the prices are? Oct 22, 2021 at 14:28
• That's not a triangular distribution, it's the triangular numbers, or a quadratic growth curve T(n) = n*(n+1)/2. It sounds to me like you've already reasoned out that this disincentivizes saving and incentivizes spending. What specific question do you have for us that you can't answer with what you've reasoned so far? Oct 22, 2021 at 14:29
• It sounds like you don't yet have a clear idea of what you want to know/ask. That's leaving it up to our users here to both figure out what question you should be asking for your game's needs, and then answer those unstated questions. That's not really the model we use here. We don't know what kind of game you're making and the experience you want to create, so we don't know what kinds of questions are relevant. That's up to you to define, and clearly pose the question. Then users here can offer answers to the one specific, focused question you've posed. Oct 22, 2021 at 14:45