The inflation is a lie

This entry has been written from an ‘out of ‘character’ perspective to discuss the Fanfest 2014 Economy presentation.

Fanfest2014

 

 

 

The EVE economy presentation wrapped up earlier at  Fanfest and it was as usual a good watch.  I didn’t really pick up on any market-shaking revelations we weren’t aware of already but there was some interesting points raised.

The economy has been very stable in past year.  Despite there being many game changes that had a large impact in the past year such as ore composition changes, overall growth has been quite flat. The big revelation here was that the player perception of EVe having an inflation problem is largely wrong, according to CCP’s Dr Eyjog.

In fact, the past year has seen a slight deflation (about 1%) over the year.  I find this surprising and actually encouraging.  I don’t even qualify as a novice economist but it seems to me that CCP have managed to put the breaks on rampant player wealth accumulation which leaves the issue of the vast amount of wealth already in our collective pockets.  I do think that EVE would be better off with a little more poverty as ‘everyone’ being ridiculously wealthy means thay our losses don’t count for nearly as much, which takes away from the game IMHO.

Anyway, it appears that the reason why the economy flat-lined this year was that game mechanics changes have made the economy more ‘efficient’.  Salvage drones & mobile tractor units have increased efficiency in the economy as salvage and looting became quicker and easier resulting in much more activity in these areas.  Increased supply reduces prices and things balanced out.

Dr Eyjog asserts that Incursions are now no longer a cause for inflationary concern in the economy as they now bring in around 9 trillion ISK compared to bounty payouts of 30 trillion (falling since 2012 changes).  Largest ISK sinks are skill books then LP stores.  Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to screen shot the graph here.  My first thought was what impact will industry slot removal and the changes to production costs have?  I expect this to appear as a major ISK next year, potentially becoming the largest sink in the game.

There were some interesting points raised for the PLEX market.  The quantity of PLEX on sale in-game has been decreasing since August.  The reason given by Eyjog was that players are listing their PLEX less and less and sitting on them instead as long term assets and converting liquid ISK into PLEX when they take breaks from the game.  Eyjog did check some player bloggers such as Nosy Gamer in the presentation for their observations on the PLEX market and RMT connections.

I agree with Nosy Gamer’s conclusions that high PLEX prices are in part at least tied to CCP’s efforts to combat RMT.  As botting rings have been curtailed by CCP’s ongoing war on RMT, the price of buying ISK has risen and a number of ISK sellers put out of business.  That has pushed more players towards buying PLEX from CCP to sell for ISK.  The high ISK value of PLEX is very good in that regard as it becomes a very appealing (and legal) alternative to RMT to fund your game.  As much as we’d all like to be able to pay for all of our accounts with ISK/PLEX, the high price of PLEX has upsides.

Very interestingly, it could be worse.  The price of a single PLEX on Serenity (the Chinese server) is 3.6billion!  There were no EVE central bank (CCP) interventions to the TQ PLEX market in 2013, but there was in April 2014 that got things moving again.  Seems back in March CCP were worried about activity in the market that needed to be addressed.

Finally, something quite exciting.  Dr Eyjog has for the first time given us data on both Titan production and destruction on Tranquility.  And I screen grabbed the hell out it. 🙂  Now I am watching the stream on low quality as my internet connection is pretty crap and I’m mining in EVE as I watch.  Gotta make a little ISK sometime, right?  So apologies if these aren’t HD crisp.

Titan construction

And:

Titan destruction

Nice, eh?  It should be fairly obvious what the massive spike in destruction was. 😉  The sad news, from my perspective anyway, is that production still greatly outstrips destruction leading to more and more of the damned things in space.  B-R only removed about 20 titans more from the game than were built in the first half of this year.  I was really hoping it would be a larger percentage of all Titans but I’m not really surprised.

It appears though that Titan production has been fairly steady for the past couple of years and down a bit from 2011/2012.  If the predictions I have been reading for the impact of the summer expansion on capital ship production hold true, we should see a drop in production of capital ships generally.  I don’t think it will be a silver bullet, but maybe we are starting to move away from rampant capital/super-capital ship propagation.  I can only see that being a good thing for EVE’s future as I really don’t want to see an EVE where every member of Goonswarm/whomever is a titan pilot.

The summer release should make for an interesting presentation next year, I’m sure Dr Eyjog will have plenty to tell us in 12 months time!

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