This is my suggestion for fixing the slippery slope gameplay problem with regards to gold. In my opinion, it adds more depth to the game and solves several other problems at once. The numbers I suggest are all placeholders.
First, get rid of everything about the current economy except the goldmines.
Demigods give a baseline of 20 gold per level per kill. Killing a level 1 demigod nets you a baseline of 20 gold, while killing a level 20 demigod nets you a baseline of 400 gold. Yes, this is ridiculously low for a reason. Read on.
Readjustment of creep values:
- 5 gold per minotaur and archer
- 20 gold per priest
- 50 gold per catapult
- 100 gold per giant
Now the unique part: Each demigod has a bounty they obtain by doing "good things". Your bounty starts at 0. Killing creeps increases your bounty by (creep gold value)/2 (with minotaurs and archers rounded down to 2). Capturing a flag increases your bounty by 50. Killing a tower increases your bounty by 100. Killing a fortress increases your bounty by 500.
When you kill an enemy demigod, you get the baseline gold plus the bounty. The enemy demigod's bounty is reset to 0, unless they die to the creeps (to prevent suiciding to clear bounties). Your bounty increases by half the enemy's bounty at the time he or she was killed.
This accomplishes two important things:
- Players that contribute more to the game are worth more to kill. This is a totally obvious mechanism currently missing from the game. Corrollary: The AI or really bad players will contribute hardly anything to the opposing team.
- There is now a rebound mechanism.
How the rebound mechanism works:
- Suppose you and I both have a bounty of 1000 at level 10. I kill you and get 1200 gold. My bounty is now 1500 and your bounty is 0. If you kill me back, you get 1700 gold and your bounty is worth 750. If you kill me again when my bounty is low, you only get 200 or so gold, but if I kill you again, I get 950 gold. In other words, the team that comes from behind will tend to get more gold than the team in the lead. This places a stabilizing equilibrium onto the gold income, which propagates to items and citadel upgrades.