The currency system is cool but I think a bit limited. I’m not sure how widely it is used but from what I’ve seen so far it seems barter is still the most prevalent form of economy, even in more advanced towns.
I think the current implementation is good, but I think minting should be re-worked slightly to allow for better economic function. Right now mints don’t use any material, but operate off a fixed one hour: one coin ratio. While this is cool and limits inflation, inflation is still a very real thing, since even though coins are directly created from labor (and thus given slight intrinsic value), there still is no limit to how many coins someone can sit and create, not to mention the seemingly random “everyone gets 50 coins” thing I’ve seen, although that may have been linked to IC things.
For currency to effectively function in an economy, it needs to not only be limited, but also linked to a trusted institution. For instance, in the current implementation, instead of actually producing any goods, someone can just sit for days and print coins, and then trade them around. While they represent stored labor, that labor isn’t actually accessible and usable to anyone, and anyone who accepts that coin is just trading away actual useful goods for something of no value to them. And because anyone can make coins, the actual value of coins (and also trust in them) can be severely reduced by multiple people who do nothing but mint coins and take advantage of whoever currently does accept them as currency.
I think a better way is to allow economies to regulate their own currency supplies. I don’t expect everyone who plays Marosia to be a huge economics nerd / expert, but at the very least I think everyone can understand the basics of inflation. The idea is that instead of all mints creating a universal currency out of thin air (with some effort, of course), mints create their own specific currencies, out of chosen materials (a base), with a specific design of their choice (which can have the portrait of a leader, a symbol, etc.). Since only one mint can make one currency, and only the original mint of a currency can produce that currency, this gives town leaders a tool with which to directly create and manage their economies. Since they are the ones who can create currency, they are the ones who control the money supply and therefore also the ones who control inflation. A big or influential town with a lot of production and goods to sell could create its own currency, and manage the distribution of the currency to maintain trust and faith in it. Since the amount of currency is also controlled by the people who control the goods and production, the currency is instantly much more trustworthy than a random universal currency that anyone can print.
With successful management of the money supply and other various (!!FUN!!) stimulating economic policies, with this system not only allows for economies to progress beyond barter, but also allows for towns to gain a large amount of political influence with other towns, if their currency starts getting traded around more widely (and also further increasing the reliability of the currency).
It’s just a thought and could use work and improvement I think, but I think it would add a lot of depth to the economic / trading aspect of the game, what with people establishing exchange rates between towns, or maybe even actual banks sprouting up, with loans and currency exchange and such. As an additional fluff thing, an improvement could maybe be different denominations of coins, or special commemorative or collector coins that represents a town’s 50th anniversary or such.