As an economist I must say I'm finding this discussion really interesting.
I've noticed some of the ideas speaking of Cartels, and I can't tell you already those ideas won't work, as Grichmann pointed out, Economy, be it a town or a game, works on an equation involving two factors: Offer = Demand.
When such formula exceeds in one of the factors, economy loses it's balance, if the demand is higher than the offer, the demanded product amount won't be enough to satisfy the needs of the buyers, so producers will start selling at higher prices to have higher profits.
If the opposite happens and the Offer is higher than the demand, producers will be forced to lower their prices to beat the competition and make a low but acceptable profit.
That's exactly what is happening in Wakfu right now, the Offer is much, much higher than the Demand. There are just too many products in circulation and not enough players to allocate all of them, and, since producing most of the things that are being sold has 0 cost
due to the fact in Wakfu you can get any resource yourself, in our little economy most of the products are selling for their minimum to have profit, which is 1 Kama.
You can throw thousands of Kamas in this formula, nothing will change*, Wakfu works on a free-market system, there's nothing such as a government having a monopoly over some resources and there are no laws imposing prices to be lower than X and higher than Y, players can't change the way economy works, is Ankama themselves who have to work on this.
*The nominal value of Kamas might increase, although the intrinsic value of a Kama would be the same, in other words you might need 1000 kamas tu buy the same thing, but that 1000 Kamas would have the same value 1 Kama had before, and since Kamas need to be crafted, that would only make things worse.
The fact crafting in-game isn't valued is not
a consequence of this Demand = Offer formula, but instead is a consequence of another factor that doesn't affect the "real life" economy, which is monster drops. In real life you can't just create stuff from nowhere, you can't punch a pig and have it drop a leather jacket. This makes Wakfu formula be always unbalanced, something like Demand = Offer + Extras
Now wanna hear a crazy solution to value Gathering and Crafting?
- Include resources from all professions in craft recipes all kind of equipment, of course some resources should be more specific than others, like an armorer should be needing lots of metals and a few of other resources.
I.e. A piwi hat could be crafted with 10 Wheat, 15 Piwi Beaks (drop), 10 Piwi Feathers, 5 Iron, 5 Ash cuttings, 2 Muddy shoes and 10 Thistle Flowers.
- Lower the rate monsters drop equipments to a really, really low percentage, you could even make them stop dropping equipment, but that might make prices grow too much.
If such a system was implemented, crafting would be nearly the only way to get equipment. That would mean a Tailor would have to buy (or gather) all of the items I've mentioned, thus having to interact with all of the professions in order to produce his Piwi hat. This would lead to the tailor having to spend X Kamas to get his resources and, in order to make profit, selling that piwi hat at least for X+1 Kamas.
To make this simpler to understand I escluded lots of minor factors from this theory, although this should be enough to shake the core of Wakfu economy.
Excuse me if this is a bit twisted as I'm not used to type in english using technical terms.
I too am an economist and this is what I've been trying to explain to my guild mate when I said the wakfu economy is screwed up. I like your suggestion of including as many professions in the making of one item and lowering the drop rates of equipment. I also think a some sort of equipment decay where you need resources or kamas to repair said equipment.