Learning The Value of Game Economics – TWD Road to Survival

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Actually today’s post was going to be about the value of a good adrenaline rush in TWD Road to Survival, but as it turns out, the question of economics has popped up in my head, triggered by a BBC report this morning.

Reporters said that the Volkswagen base in Italy had been raided by the police and as it happenes, at the exact same moment I received a push message from TWD to inform me that I obviously had been raided, too. Unfortunately for my opponent, I didn’t really have a lot of resources in stock, so his raid probably turned out a disappointment. (I bet the raiding party in Verona had better luck.) As an obsessive reader of the global TWD Road to Survival chat, I had learned only yesterday that the best advice for a successful raid was to choose an opponent with a lot of ressources in store. Noone actually SAID it, but I quote this one gamer: „Ok, now you can come and raid me: I just spent all my resources on upgrades and weapons.“ Aha!

The Walking Dead Road to Survival - ressources
Collecting AND spending resources – a most important job in TWD Road to Survival!

One might think that these two events (the Volkswagen raid and the attack on MY Woodbury) – do not have anything in common at all – and you are probably right. But they got me thinking about the real value of this game:

Rule 1: It is ALL about economics.

When you start reading up on the basics of economics, you are mostly confused with a bunch of strange terms. But as soon as you get to the gist, you will find out that in general economics, resources actually represent the most important value of a „party“. TIME, MONEY and PERSONNEL – the more you have, the faster you can get stronger and beat your opponents to it. It is the whole point of raiding others in TWD Road to Survival: Getting stronger by taking what they have. In economic terms you might call it „competition“. Now, if you have bunches of money to invest, noone can stop you. That’s business. If you have to rely on your wits, work and time only, things get a lot harder. You can still be successful, but you probably won’t make it to the top.

Rule 2: Success needs re-investment.

Now it is one thing to collect resources – by buying them or by working for them. They won’t help you much if you don’t put them to use as soon as possible. Hoarding in TWD is a thing you should not do and the rule is as simple as could be: gain more and it will help you further, if you re-invest. The more you gain, the faster you grow, but – and this is important: It is essential to keep things in the flow! Or speaking in economic terms: Put what you gain from your expeditions back into the game a.s.a.p. If you don’t, your resources can become a burden: You will need a lot of room to store and be too weak to defend them and others will raid you no end to get what you got. This would be The Road to Hell.

The very simple lesson I learned from TWD: NEVER leave the game after a fighting session, without re-investing almost all your resources to level-up, upgrade and improve your infrastructure. If someone comes to raid you while you’re gone, they won’t walk away with much. In TWD you can learn to use your abilities and resources in a smart way. Maybe you can’t invest money and become a big shot, but you can still achieve sucess on some level and learn to put your skills to the best use possible. How to do that, would be tactics and this is really a topic for my Adrenaline Rush story.

Now you might ask: „What the hell has this got to do with the big Volkswagen raid at f*****g Verona?“ Well: Nothing. The event just got me thinking about the economic teaching-value of a game such as TWD. It keeps me very busy because of its complexity and realistic systemic structures. If you use your potential in a smart way, you can get very far, very quickly, but it is always important to keep the balance and follow basic economic rules: If you want to become powerful, you need more of eveything and you need a way to create, store and organize that stuff. If you don’t reinvest in the system, you will fail. Of course, TWD Road to Survial has cheats, but I can’t say if they’d do you any good. You don’t learn valuable lessons from cheating. Well, maybe the guys at Volkswagen will, if they still have time to think about it …

Anyway: I like to kill my zombies in an honest way.

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