Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Case Study of RMTs In EVE Online

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the to-post-a-comment-please-deposit-eight-cents dept.

PC Games (Games) 81

Kheldon writes with an article at MMO Gamer which explores how well real money transactions work in online games, using EVE Online as a test case. Quoting: "... My next problem came from trying to sell the [Game Time cards] through the 'Time Code Bazaar' on the forums. While I quickly found buyers, none of them actually went through with the deal. This is the inherent problem with developer sanctioned RMT. Unless true, unfettered, player-to-player transactions are allowed without developer 'regulation,' the market will inevitably be operating inefficiently. Consider gold-farmers for a moment. Setting aside the moral or legal aspects of the trade, and considering from a purely economic standpoint, gold-farmers are the RMT equivalent of large corporations. They operate on the concept of 'economies-of-scale,' which basically means that up to a certain point, the larger a company is, the cheaper they can produce that product. Of course, companies that can produce a product more cheaply can undercut the competition while maintaining the same profit margin; meaning they'll make more sales, giving them more overall profit, and supporting the corporate growth, which furthers the economy of scale. This is the market at its most pure."

cancel ×

81 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

PLEX (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262691)

there is an ingame item called a PLEX, which is listable on the market & redeemable for 30 days of play time.

Keep up, douche bag

In the future... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262701)

there is war! ... and first post.

RMT is great for making money, not for amusement (1)

saiha (665337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262707)

RMT is essentially unfettered inflation. Its printing money.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262747)

Ehmmm, not really. Let's do a case by case comparison with player A and player B.

Scenario 1:

Player A pays his subscription the regular way and spends the month earning 1 billion isk.
Player B pays his subscription the regular way and spends the month earning 200 million isk.

Scenario 2:

Player B pays his own subscription the regular way and buys a gametime card with real life money.
Player A, being very good at making isk, buys the gametime card from player B for a sum of ingame money.

End result of both scenarios is the same. CCP has received the real life money for 2 subscriptions, and the actual amount of isk(ingame money) has not changed. Ergo, no inflation has taken place.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (1, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262829)

Ehmmm, not really.

Player A is doing nothing but generating ISK. Without the market for ISK, he'd normally be spending it on deflating assets (i.e. ships, insurance, munitions). Instead, he's just earning, earning, earning.

Now, here comes player C. He sees what player A has done, and tries to get in on the act. Next month, they both earn 1.5 billion ISK. Player B is only interested in buying ISK from one of them. Since their choices are to sell, or not sell, how much more ISK will player B get for his RMT next month, and how much more unspent ISK will there be in the game world?

Perhaps you're unclear on the meaning of "inflationary"?

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (4, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262893)

So how is the fact that player A chooses to spend his time making isk in any way, shape or form related to the issue at hand, being RMT?

What you want to debate is isk sinks and isk faucets, which is a somewhat related subject part of game balancing, but hardly relevant to RMT.

Anyway, in your example you introduce a new source of demand(player C) without accounting for the fact that a new source of supply is bound to show up soon as well(player D perhaps?)

EVE truly does have a mostly free market and it regulates itself pretty damn well. Or are you just complaining that plexes are too expensive?

Except it won't (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263105)

Because you can hire third worlders to farm gold for 15 cents an hour, and thus there is an effectively infinite supply of player Cs.

Re:Except it won't (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28266715)

That's exactly it. Gold farmers are not the equivalent of large corporations in the real world that leverage economies of scale.

Gold farmers are leveraging the difference in labor costs between different areas. It's labor arbitrage, plain and simple.

One thing to add -- not all gold sellers are gold farmers. There are other ways of generating in-game currency than taking advantage of labor rate differences. I think these are the cases he's referring to, the non-farming gold sellers who make their money the old fashioned way -- by being at the top of a organization devoted to making money.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263373)

the issue at hand, being RMT?

I thought the specific issue at hand was the ISK inflation driven by RMT?

RMT is essentially unfettered inflation

the actual amount of isk(ingame money) has not changed. Ergo, no inflation has taken place.

Yup, there we go.

Well, I'd probably get pretty angry and defensive too if I entered a economic debate without being familiar with the basic terms, or even able to remember what I'd just typed.

Why is player D "bound to show up" (ever, let alone soon)? RMT drives the creation of player C, either as a new player, or by switching an earn-and-spend player to an ISK generator. What's the demand that creates player D?

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28264949)

What's the demand that creates player D?

Well you see, when a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much...

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (2, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28268721)

The problem with the "RMT Creates runaway inflation" argument is that it does not take into account several things:

1) In the game, the economy is in a generally deflationary period which it has been in since game launch.

2) RMT's have been around for well over a year and not only has the general deflationary cycle NOT stopped, it has sped up, with prices dropping rapidly. Observe the cost of T2 parts and ships and compare against before RMT. Generally speaking, T2 is cheaper now.

3) Many many many many other factors drive the economic cycles in EvE, RMT is a vanishingly small one of them.

The thing that the "RMT = inflation" people seem to forget is that there is NO NEW ISK being added to the economy when RMT's are used. The ISK is simply moved from one player's wallet to another within the game. So since no new ISK is added to the general supply, no inflation can occur.

The argument, as made above, that RMT encourages people to just make piles of ISK is specious at best. Many Trader players play just simply for the joy of being "virtually" rich. That is, they make the ISK for the sake of making the ISK. RMT just allows them to play as they enjoy without having to pay out any of their own hard-earned real money to do it.

On top of that there are people who make ISK to collect items with. I know of a couple players who run as traders simply so they can buy at least one of every item in the game.

There are MANY others who run VERY profitable trader-alts to supply their primary fighter accounts. Many of these players do so well with the trader alts that they have ISK to burn.

And that really is the crux of the problem for the "RMT = inflation" argument. The vast majority of really wealthy players who buy RMT's WOULD HAVE MADE THE ISK ANYWAY. The RMT's are just another avenue to burn the ISK pile they have amassed. An avenue that helps along players that are not good at making ISK but have the real money to use on the game.

So no, RMT's have not and CANNOT cause in-game inflation. To try and argue they do is to show a complete lack of economics, the state of the eve economy, and general human behavior.

Now, Who wants to buy my PLEX?

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28268799)

Ugh. That last sentence should have been:

"To try and argue they do is to show a complete lack of UNDERSTANDING OF economics, the state of the eve economy, and general human behavior."

The sad part? I proofread it and STILL missed that until after hitting submit.

*sigh*

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28275515)

you accidentally the whole sentance

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28270421)

So how is the fact that player A chooses to spend his time making isk in any way, shape or form related to the issue at hand, being RMT?

It's not. I'm not sure why you brought it up in the first place.

The reason there is inflation comes from the ability to go into the game, and simply make money out of thin air- there is nothing controlling how fast money is literally created in the game universe.

In case you are not clear, here is an example. Take a game like WoW, etc. At level one you strap on your (noob weapon) and wander over to the nearest (noob monster) and kill it, at which time you are probably awarded money and/or items that the game generated on the spot... the money never came from anywhere, the items did not exist already, they simply were created out of nothing.

Now that isn't such a bad system, since it would really suck (like 2nd Life) if you had to actually work in the game world like you do in real life to get anywhere. But the result is that, if unchecked, soon everybody will have more cash than they can spend on anything, thus rendering both the cash and the items to buy, completely worthless.
So to compensate, add the money-sink to the picture. Money sinks are devices intended to take that money out of the economy, which results in deflation. Upkeep costs, new gear, maintenance, paying for quests, passage, etc. are all mechanisms that simply take cash/items out of the game.

If balanced properly, this setup will work well... people can feel like they are earning, but have to spend enough of the profits to keep the money worth having.

Now here comes RMT into the picture. Suddenly you have a lot of people (ok, a lot of characters) who are simply earning money, but never spending it. This alone wouldn't matter if they just sat on it, but then they dump it back into general circulation. It really makes no difference if they SELL it to someone for real-world money, or simply give it away for free in-game, the result is the same.

So your arguments about who is doing what, buying/selling from who, are totally irrelevant. The economy will always inflate in a game that allows money & items to generate from nothing, and which does not force players to return that magically created cash back to the void whence it came. It will always be worse when people start RMT, because they will continue doing it, than other situations like when people simply quit playing.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (1)

ethorad (840881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28269149)

For the sake of throwing numbers around, lets assume that player A buys the game card for 300m isk - I have no idea what the current exchange rate is, but that'll do for these purposes.

Player A is doing nothing but generating ISK. Without the market for ISK, he'd normally be spending it on deflating assets (i.e. ships, insurance, munitions). Instead, he's just earning, earning, earning.

Not quite.

Player B will spend the isk on deflating assets instead of A doing so. Also, if A only spends say 500m isk a month, previously there would have been a 500+200=700m isk spend on assets. Now, since we can assume B wants to spend an extra 300m, there will be a 500+500=1bn isk spend on assets. More spending on deflating assets as a result of the RMT not less.

Now, here comes player C. He sees what player A has done, and tries to get in on the act. Next month, they both earn 1.5 billion ISK. Player B is only interested in buying ISK from one of them. Since their choices are to sell, or not sell, how much more ISK will player B get for his RMT next month, and how much more unspent ISK will there be in the game world?

Perhaps you're unclear on the meaning of "inflationary"?

I agree that other players will enter the marketplace on either side, depending on whether they believe the price is high or low. C will enter if he's willing to sell 350m isk for a gamecard, and D will enter if he's willing to accept 250m isk for a gamecard. As players enter/leave the market, equilibrium is reached, but this is nothing to do with inflation.

Inflation is the rate of increase in prices. Generally it's caused by either increasing amount of money, or reducing supply of goods to spend it on (they amount to the same thing essentially). The availability of high end expensive items that players want drives them to spend time generating isk, and work out how to do this efficiently. It is this demand for isk that will drive the increase in isk supply.

Consider the following scenarios where player A needs 1bn isk to buy something nice.

  1. player A spends time generating isk until he has 1bn
  2. player B, a friend of A, has already spent time generating 1bn isk and gives it to him
  3. player C, who runs a RMT website, has spent time generating 1bn isk and gives it to him

(Note the game can't see and doesn't care whether A also gave C cash, goods or services outside of the game in exchange for the isk)

Now, in all three scenarios, the isk supply has increased by 1bn which will lead to a certain amount of inflation. Net effect in the game is identical in all three cases.

However, generally there is a difference caused by efficiency. Player A might spend four weeks generating the isk. Their friend B is a better player and plays for longer, and so generated the isk in only two weeks. Player C however, who is online 24/7 and works very efficiently, can do this in only 1 week. The effect now is that the money supply has increased faster, and thus inflation is higher, in the later scenarios (3 > 2 > 1).

Note that RMTs do not cause inflation. What causes the inflation is the speed of increase in the isk supply. As an example, if player B was in fact able to generate isk faster than the RMT farmer, then the highest inflation would be in scenario 2.

The way to control inflation is therefore for the developer to control how fast isk can be generated - ie keep an eye on any areas where the reward is greater than the risk and lead to rapid wealth generation. However, some inflation is good for an economy - but I'll leave that for another day.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (2, Insightful)

goto begin (1338561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262759)

RMT is essentially unfettered inflation. Its printing money.

By that logic, so is growing apples - so long as there is a market for it and your prices are competitive. The total money supply does not increase, so I think the analogy of 'printing money' doesn't quite fit.

Last I checked (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263107)

People didn't pay $15 dollars a month to play at growing apples in the evenings.

Re:Last I checked (1)

smaerd (954708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265309)

That's a GREAT idea for an MMO!
Excuse me while I go fill out some Trademark paperwork.

Re:RMT is great for making money, not for amusemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28268789)

RMT is essentially unfettered inflation. Its printing money.

By that logic, so is growing apples - so long as there is a market for it and your prices are competitive. The total money supply does not increase, so I think the analogy of 'printing money' doesn't quite fit.

Indeed it is, says the Us Supreme Court in 1948:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

Bad research (4, Informative)

Ogun (101578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262713)

The writer has not done his research well enough.

There are two ways of selling game time in EVE.
One is to use the forum and the game time code transfer system available on the character screen, which is what the writer did.
The other is to convert the GTC into ingame items called PLEX (Pilot License EXtension) which is then traded on the market like
any other ingame item. This is not only the preferred way, it is also more profitable to the seller; netting around 720 million
ISK per GTC compared to about 600 million on the forums.

The other thing is that while you could certainly buy ISK from farming operations it comes with a risk. CCP has been known to ban
not only ISK sellers but also buyers in transactions not using the condoned methods.

The reason behind there not being any easy way to convert ingame currency into real money is that this would open a whole can of
legal worms for CCP. Tax departments, money laundring etc. etc. Not something a games company would want to deal with.

Re:Bad research (5, Informative)

goto begin (1338561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262745)

In addition to this, one does not need to wait for a physical card to arrive in the post or even buy directly from CCP. There are authorised sellers of electronic GTCs which are delivered instantly by email with no extra costs. I find the article to be very poorly researched - two mouse-clicks from the EVE website takes you to the list of official resellers.

Re:Bad research (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263061)

The reason behind there not being any easy way to convert ingame currency into real money is that this would open a whole can of legal worms for CCP. Tax departments, money laundring etc. etc. Not something a games company would want to deal with.

Well it would be about time that one handled this seriously. I'm sure that being the first virtual economy to open to real-world money transactions can be profitable. If everything fails, relocating the servers to a tax haven can be an interesting option...

Re:Bad research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28264063)

This is correct. Whoever wrote the original piece has no clue what they are talking about.

Re:Bad research (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28264383)

CCP didn't ban me (or even lecture) but they did take all of ISK I bought away which left me with a negative in game balance since I had spent already spent a good portion of the ISK I purchased from a farmer. With a negative balance you can't undock to make the ISK to return you to positive. Solution? GTC transfer through the authorized system.

As a salaried executive for a Fortune 10 company I simply don't have enough time to earn sufficient in game finds to enjoy the time I do have available. CCP's official GTC transfer addresses this for me and is one of the reasons I keep playing.

IMO Blizzard has ruined WoW not by not setting up something official when they are impotent to stop the Chinese gold farmers, yet are heavy handed with players seeking a small boost to reduce the amount of painful grinding required to level to 80.

Their "You are under investigation" emails may scare younger folks with it's implied threats but I see it for what it is, jack booted thuggery.

Blizzard can kiss my hairy butt.

Re:Bad research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28264605)

Blizzard can kiss my hairy butt.

Ditto.

Those assclowns billed my credit card for taxes they had 'forgotten' to collect 2 months after I canceled my subscription. Had a hard time contesting the charges as these bozos not only store your credit card info forever but store the CCV forever too. Contrary to PCI-DSS which states that vendors must NEVER store CCV. Blizzards response? PCI-DSS isn't the law it's a guideline...

Blizzard is run by a pack of chimps.

Re:Bad research (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265317)

As a salaried executive for a Fortune 10 company I simply don't have enough time to earn sufficient in game finds to enjoy the time I do have available.

But you've got lots of time to post to Slashdot in the middle of the day?

Re:Bad research (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265497)

You found a job that lets you play MMOs at work?

Re:Bad research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266327)

Would you believe me if I told you monitoring /. is part of my job?

No, we aren't hiring. :)

boring rant... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262727)

ISK sellers, however, provide much better exchange rates: one site sells at 25 million ISK per dollar, or better in bulk. Why would players want to wait for their time cards to be shipped (not to mention the international service fees charged by the bank due to CCP being an Icelandic company), and then be hit with a sub-premium exchange rate. For 35 bucks I can get 600 million ISK with a time card, or for 27 bucks I can get 1 billion ISK from a reseller. Of course, there are some sanctioned time card sellers that cut out the shipping process for a faster deal, but that doesnâ(TM)t mitigate the entire problem.

So, your argument is moot.

The other major problem is that there is no sanctioned way to convert the ISK back into real world dollars.

Most would argue that this is the exact mechanism which keeps the gold farmers out of the system, and maintains the stability of the economy. With no way to profit in the real world, there is no incentive for farmers to set up shop.

Re:boring rant... (2, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262839)

Indeed. You still get gold farmers selling isks for RL cash, but it's against the EULA and so catches the ban stick when people do it. I wouldn't like to think what would happen if someone could 'cash in' their isks for real money - not least, because it'd mean that the developer would need to be able to 'cover' the size of their economy - but also because it _would_ attract the type of behaviour that would stop the game being a game - when you're talking about places with low hourly wages, comparative to the US (e.g. China) then you'll attract 'professionals' to your game, and that _will_ destroy it, because all the casual players will be shut out.
It happens, even today, to an extent - some people see the EULA as optional, buy from an isk seller website. But it would be much worse if it didn't have the GM team applying slappings to everyone who got caught doing it.

Re:boring rant... (1)

lordsid (629982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265223)

People don't cash in through the developer, thus they have no liability. ISK has no value to the developer because they can create as much or little of it as they want. People cash in through other players buying the ingame money.

Re:boring rant... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262843)

"The other major problem is that there is no sanctioned way to convert the ISK back into real world dollars."

This is important. Very important. This is the only reason why EVEs system is something the players are willing to accept. As soon as you could convert ISK into real USD, the whole game would go down the crapper in record time.

The current EVE system allows the "high end" players to shift the cost of their subscription to a more casual player while paying in ingame assets. There is little incentive to go all-out mad ISK farm as all you can get with ISK (legimately) is game time and the economy is not harmed. It places a soft cap in what you can get by "selling ISK", yet lets people "buy ISK" legimately. Coupled with CCPs self-interest to ban people who deal illegimately (outside the PLEX/GTC system) it truly helps. Every seller (ISK for real money) CCP bans is their competitor as CCP gets the money from the fees used to buy game time. Makes it also easy to justify the enforcement costs.

In the end, every EVE account subscription is paid to CCP in real money and the ISK just changes hands in-game without anyone profiting from it out-of-game. The only party that truly gains is CCP in the form of additional subscriptions - mostly high end players subscribing to multiple accounts simply because they can shift the cost to someone else by paying the subscriptions with ingame assets that the high end players can accumulate faster. Free market also keeps everything in check - if too many people want to buy ISK with time, the ISK value of 30 days of gametime plummets. If too many people want to pay their game time with ISK, the ISK value of game time goes up. Recently the ISK value of game time has been going up.

It truly is the most ingenous way of tackling the problem of RMT I've seen so far. Different from every other system in subtle yet important ways that tie directly to the EVE model where PvP is everywhere and every ship you lose really hurts your bottom line. It truly is the only MMO with a real, working in-game economic system at the moment. The rest are usually inflationary (see: World of Warcraft, even if they have kept the system somewhat sane, there is way too much excess gold floating there)

Re:boring rant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28275583)

More importantly, the lack of a mechanism to convert in game currency to real world money legally reduces the likelihood that a government (functioning at or near the average level of retardation for such organisations) will decide they want to tax them.

Once your in game labour can legitimately be converted into real world currency, then you will have to include your in game earnings on your real world tax return... not fun.

The anonymous coward also makes a wise point about the quality of gameplay... still, I'm more happy that I don't have to keep the same detailed real world accounts of my eve corporation as I do of my real world corporation!

err!
jak.

Bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262749)

From a "purely economical" point of view, the best producer of in-game gold is the developer, since they can produce an infinite amount of gold (as well as any in-game item that gold can buy). They don't do it because that would ruin the game.
In a real world, a pure economic approach is feasible, because we (well, most of us materialistic bastards) agree that maximum production of goods and capital at peak efficiency is beneficial to society, e.g. the more everyone has, the better off we are. That means that in the real-world, accumulation of wealth is a positive-sum game.

This isn't the case in video games. Had the developers given everyone a zillion gold, it would ruin the game by destroying the fun of making and investing money. In other words, after a certain point, the more money EVERYONE has, the WORSE off everyone is, rather than better. The whole point of "fun" is to be able to earn more gold than your neighbor. In other words, the fun-factor is zero sum, or even-negative sum.

Therefore, gold farmers, by increasing the volumes of gold they produce and sell, give "fun" to those that buy the gold, AT THE DIRECT EXPENSE of all other players who did not buy the gold. Unless I'm an egoistical bastard, I wouldn't consider myself worse off if my neighbor won the lottery. In a MMORPG, however, the more others are better off than you, the worse your own position is. If that wasn't the case, there would be no need for an in-game economy to begin with, everyone would be just given everything they want for free (which the developers clearly can do from the technical standpoint, but don't do for clear gameplay reasons).

The bottom line is, that measuring the benefit of "gold farmers" from a purely economical point of view is complete and utter bullshit, because in-game economy has a completely different relationship to in-game enjoyment than a real-world economy has to real-life enjoyment.

Re:Bullshit (3, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262815)

You're quite correct - generating free cash and injecting it into the economy causes a trickledown and inflates prices across the game. But at the same time, since EVE does have a lot of destruction in it's game, that's not as critical as it sounds - the more expensive fits people fly, the more isk is destroyed when it explodes, and the edge advantage granted by pimp fitting a ship is not particularly extreme - you can maybe take on 2-3 people of your sizeclass, but against any more you're still going to die.

Re:Bullshit (5, Interesting)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262927)

You're quite correct - generating free cash and injecting it into the economy causes a trickledown and inflates prices across the game. But at the same time, since EVE does have a lot of destruction in it's game, that's not as critical as it sounds - the more expensive fits people fly, the more isk is destroyed when it explodes, and the edge advantage granted by pimp fitting a ship is not particularly extreme - you can maybe take on 2-3 people of your sizeclass, but against any more you're still going to die.

Come on guys, how hard is this concept to grasp? When a ship blows up, not a single isk leaves the economy...the only things getting blown up are assets. The isk sits safely in the wallet of whoever sold that pimp gear to the pilot getting blown up. If you crash your car on the highway the money you paid for it doesn't magically disappear from the dealer's bank account either, does it?

RMT does not generate isk. Blowing stuff up does not destroy isk. In fact, blowing stuff actually injects a small amount of isk into the economy because of the insurance payout on the ship(note for non-players, insurance is a game mechanic where an ingame organization gives you some cash back when you lose your ship, as opposed to ingame money moving around between actual players).

Re:Bullshit (2, Insightful)

space_jake (687452) | more than 5 years ago | (#28264815)

If you bought some of that gear from an NPC the isk is in fact lost.

Re:Bullshit ... not! (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265141)

Only that in EVE no gear is sold by NPC. (Letting trade goods aside, which are just that: trade goods = can't be used for anything else). Oh, and skill books are sold by NPCs.

In EVE the whole economy is player driven. All items available on the market (with the above exceptions) are either produced by players or looted by players from missions (="quests" for you WoW guys). So, each ISK (="gold" for you WoW guys) spent on the market for items flow to another player.

Re:Bullshit ... not! (1)

Ost99 (101831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28268285)

Clone reactivation is a real ISK sink, and probably a big one.
Implants are also ISK sinks to some extent, they cannot be made by players and they usually require ISK+LP to buy from LP stores (they also drop as loot, and those have no ISK sink function).

Re:Bullshit ... not! (1)

zeropointburn (975618) | more than 5 years ago | (#28268541)

Rocket fuel. Blueprints. Most containers.

Rocket fuel is an NPC trade good (with trace amounts from missions), and is one of the more expensive components in advanced missiles.

  I admit that's the only financially substantial counterexample I could come up with. So, it all traces back to insurance, asteroid miners, ice miners, moon-mining POS'es, and mission/rat loot. Add to that the GTC/PLEX system, and those are the sources of ISK in the game.
  Sinks would be insurance payments, clones, market taxes, repairs (in station), production slots, lab slots, corporate offices, blueprint originals, and a few other assorted things.
  It seems to me that the driving force behind prices is the lowly tritanium unit (and other minerals, of course). Being the 'supply' side of supply and demand, the single most significant factor in prices throughout the game is the output of miners. There have been times where collusion and profiteering were significant factors, and that can and does still happen on a local scale. New additions (via updates) lead to speculation and rapid price fluctuation. Within a few days, things settle down and we return to values appropriate to the current mineral output of the system.
  In the years that I have been playing EVE, I have never seen a substantial difference in prices due to the implementation of or changes in the GTC/PLEX system. The sole exception would be the ISK cost of 30 days of game time, which has more than tripled. That does not rule out inflation, but if it is there it is being masked or mitigated by other market factors and in any case is not a significant factor in the current economy. Perhaps there is significant inflation with regard to the value of an ISK versus the value of a dollar (influenced by RMT outfits, which in turn drives up the cost of time codes), but the market is internally consistent.

Re:Bullshit ... not! (1)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28274061)

Only that in EVE no gear is sold by NPC.

Have they then removed the ISK component of prices in the LP stores?

Not that I disagree with the basic premise that no isk is directly destroyed when a ship goes boom - but a ship going boom does enable a certain amount of ISK sink, if faction loot is involved.

Re:Bullshit ... not! (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285855)

Have they then removed the ISK component of prices in the LP stores?

No, it's till there.

Not that I disagree with the basic premise that no isk is directly destroyed when a ship goes boom - but a ship going boom does enable a certain amount of ISK sink, if faction loot is involved.

Insurance is only a sink, if you don't collect the payout. Faction loot is irrelevant for ISK sink. One player looted it from NPCs, another one bought it from him. So the ISKs have just changed hands.

As someone above pointed out, there are a couple more items with "real use" sold by NPCs than I originally mentioned. But compared to the amount of ISK involved in player to player trading, that is relative small. That's why you could play EVE either as "Internet Spaceships" or equally well as economy simulation.

Re:Bullshit (2, Interesting)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28264931)

No... It's _EVEN_ better/worse/weird_as_hell than that. People who aren't very familiar with EVE always get shocked when they hear it the first time and putter on in denial for the longest time.

Brace yourselves:

When a ship gets destroyed in EVE, the amount of ISK in the gameworld _INCREASES_. It doesn't disappear, it doesn't stay balanced. That is to say; loss of ships is not an ISK sink, it's an ISK faucet.

The reason for this is that the player you bought the ship from, or the players that did the mining for minerals, still got the ISK so it's still in the system. And the you, the player, just received a payout on the in-game insurance that covers all ships. This insurance (for T1 ships) gives you back almost as much ISK as it cost on the markets.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265199)

When a ship blows up assets are distryed not ISK, but buying more items from the market distroy's cach due to market transaction fees.

The more inflated the item the more cash is distroyed in the market. It's a vary stable self balancing system. If it get's to far out of whack you can make ISK by buying items from NPC's and distroying them for the minerals which also distroys ISK both to buy the item and in the market transactions fees.

PS: Cheep ships are next to meaningless on the overall market economy most cash is tied up in the T2 market and the really big ships. (I have not logged in for a while so I don't know if they added T3 yet.)

Re:Bullshit (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276203)

T3 is in, modular cruisers, and a whole slew of new systems, though getting to and from them is iffy.
as this tangential to the main article/thread I'll just stop at that.

Sorta misses the point (4, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262751)

Well, as a long time EVE player, I remember when trading cash for isks was forbidden by the EULA - and it still is, you can just work around it by selling game time codes for in game cash.
I have to say, the article seems to have missed one of the most effective ways of doing this - PLEXes (Pilot License Extensions) are tradable on the in game market - that's by far the most effective way of trading them these days. Head to Jita, list one for sale, and it'll probably have sold within the week - much less faff than using the forum, which ... well, fundamentally it's a forum, so not that great for trading - particularly items like GTCs which are functionally identical, with a different price tag - the delay on them means that it's easy enough for buyers to request a bunch of buys off a bunch of different people, and only accept the most favourable.
I'm still in two minds as to whether it's a good thing or not - I don't like the fact that RL cash can have influence on the game, any more than I'd be happy that a chess player could whip out a credit card and buy an extra queen.
On the other hand, I do like that people on lower incomes can actually play EVE for 'free' (300mil isks/month isn't particularly hard to raise), and I do like the fact that someone with less 'free' time, because of an intensive job, can shortcut the direct 'run missions' or 'mine' to generate isks.
I think the reason it actually works in EVE, is because of the nature of the game - if you fork out a few billion isks on a really pimp fitted ship, then you'll get a nice ship, sure. If you don't know what you're doing, it'll die shockingly fast. Even if you do know what you're doing, it'll maybe be a match for 2-3 equivalent class ships, but no more. And you'll then provide someone with a juicy killmail, and a nice big pile of loot.
For PvE usage... yeah, it does skew the economy somewhat, and have some items worth ... disporportionate prices, as people pimp their shiny toy (if it's good for mission running, the price is inflated to the point where it becomes even less viable to use in PvP). But barring that, the isolationist mission runner doesn't actually have much impact on the rest of the game, so whatever.
And it serves as a control mechanism on 'actual' RMT - by letting people 'trade' via GTCs, the game developer and thus the game itself benefits. Before that, you still had 'isk sellers', that'd elicit a ban if you got caught. Now ... you have probably more 'small time' isk buyers and sellers, as people finance their account through mission running, but the tradeoff is, because they're doing so via GTCs, it means everyone who 'buys isks' also finance an extra player account, meaning more subscribers.
.... and more targets.

Re:Sorta misses the point (2, Informative)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262781)

Should comment on isk generation - market value of a 30 day PLEX is around 300mil. Mission running level 4s can generate up to 30mil an hour or so (varies a bit dependant on skills, equipment etc.). Mining in 0.0 is about the same, mining in highsec is ... somewhat less than 10mil/hour.
However you can make cash much faster if you're smart and use the market or large scale industry.
Oh, and you don't need to buy 'cards' from CCP. Shattered Crystal is an example of one 3rd party retailer who will send you a Game Time CODE within about half an hour. In theory, the first time they validate that you are who you say, so it takes longer. In practice, they were very quick and effective.

Re:Sorta misses the point (2, Informative)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262805)

So far I have yet to encounter a single pilot in combat who by converting rl money into ingame assets managed to actually get a real advantage. People who aren't smart enough to figure out how to earn isk the "proper" way very rarely are able to then put said isk to good use anyway.

Now I'll happily admit to flying some reasonably pimped out stuff myself, but I bought that stuff using isk I made ingame...doing mostly PvP to begin with.

Flying a faction/deadspace fitted nightmare is fun. Flying one in the knowledge that half the mods on it came from people you blew up yourself is so much more satisfying ;-)

Re:Sorta misses the point (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262905)

Depends how you define real advantage. I've got a reasonable cashflow, but have injected... a few GTCs over my time, into my wallet. Mostly because I have this bad habit of eyeing up new toys every time my wallet clears 200mil or so.
So technically speaking GTCs funded my carrier skills and a carrier itself.
Is that a 'real advantage' as you put it though? I could have done missions or market fiddled - and have done in the past, and since. Been playing EVE for ... something like 5 years now, so over that time a large sum of isk has passed through my wallet.
*shrug*. That is mostly as you say, why it's not as bad as it could be - EVE isn't actually the sort of game where your 'bought' advantage is proportionate the the RL money you put into it.

Re:Sorta misses the point (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263089)

Mwah, a carrier is kinda in a league of its own. It's like debating whether or not using a GTC to buy a logistics is worth the edge.

I'm talking about being able to fit an Isthar like this [griefwatch.net] and then going in guns blazing against a Navy Raven, a Raven, a Deimos and a Harbinger solo. Of course in the second fight it got it popped, but heck, I made it back twice from the loot ;-)

And to put things in perspective, I tend to look frowningly at my wallet when it drops below about 2.5bil.

Things I am glad to be missing out on (0, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262955)

I have never played a game like EVE or WoW or any of these. They are complicated and involving. I have personally witnessed one man who had his middle-class lifestyle -- his house, wife and kids, job -- all lost because he couldn't stop playing games like these. I'm not going to suggest that everyone is vulnerable to such demise from gaming addiction but there are unquestionably some that are. But that's not the main reason I don't get involved in that stuff. It's not "fun" when it's a source of additional stress and frustration.

I play games. Make no mistake about it. I play them and I get locked in and I become like a dog who is busy eating so don't interrupt me when I am into it. But I also feel the difference between the importance of reality and "the here and now" of things.

When I see serious business, strife and even killing and suicides stem from these types of games, I have to wonder or even worry about what is really going on. If I were one of those anti-game crusaders, I would target these MMORPGs rather than "violent" games. I see a lot more tragedy associated with those types of games rather than those that are based on violent themes. But thankfully, these are "worlds" that are completely opt-in and there are certainly worse worlds to get hooked on -- drugs, sex, gambling -- more examples of "addictive" and obsessive activities that can lead to some serious life consequences. These things will always exist in humanity. Try to control them and they will go underground and form dangerous sub-cultures. Try to legalize and regulate them and you find yourself serving as referee in matters that are best for government not to be involved in.

It's a part of crazy-town that I am glad I don't live in.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263025)

I have personally witnessed one man who had his middle-class lifestyle -- his house, wife and kids, job -- all lost because he couldn't stop playing games like these.

Sounds like maybe his middle-class lifestyle wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Maybe this was his life...

My house burned down in a flash of thunder.
My wife ran off with a one-legged plumber.
My crops fell dead when the riverbed went dry.
My dog got squashed by a pickup truck.
My son ran away and got hooked on drugs.
My daughter's knocked up by the class of '85.

People say that life is good;
It don't seem good to me.
I'm lost without a paddle,
And I'm headed up shit creek.
People say that life is fun,
But I don't know why.
As far as I can tell,
LIFE SUCKS then you die.

The government dumps its toxic waste
Right on top of my mother's grave.
A team of experts say it won't do her no harm.
But my sheep went crazy and killed my mule.
I cut off my dick with a power tool
Fixin' the hole where the meteor hit the barn.
(And it hurt, too!)

People say that life is good,
But I just piss and moan.
I got one foot on a banana peel,
The other in the Twilight Zone.
People say that life is fun,
But I don't know why.
As far as I can tell,
LIFE SUCKS then you die.

Let me hear some "yee-hah"s out there!

I went to the store to buy some shells.
My gun went off and blew the owner to hell.
Now I'm sittin' here in jail, singin' this song.
And one guy wants to cut me with a knife.
Another guy wants me to be his wife.
Hey, I wish they'd hang me before somethin' really goes wrong!

People say that life is good,
Give thanks for what you have.
When all you have is nothin',
Nothin' makes you glad.
People say that life is fun,
But I don't know why.
As far as I can tell,
LIFE SUCKS, then you die.
I said, people say that life is fun,
But I don't know why.
As far as I can tell,
LIFE SUCKS,
LIFE SUCKS
LIFE SUCKS, then you die.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (3, Insightful)

jhcaocf197912 (1430843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263049)

I have never played a game like EVE or WoW or any of these. They are complicated and involving. I have personally witnessed one man who had his middle-class lifestyle -- his house, wife and kids, job -- all lost because he couldn't stop playing games like these. I'm not going to suggest that everyone is vulnerable to such demise from gaming addiction but there are unquestionably some that are. But that's not the main reason I don't get involved in that stuff. It's not "fun" when it's a source of additional stress and frustration.

I play games. Make no mistake about it. I play them and I get locked in and I become like a dog who is busy eating so don't interrupt me when I am into it. But I also feel the difference between the importance of reality and "the here and now" of things.

When I see serious business, strife and even killing and suicides stem from these types of games, I have to wonder or even worry about what is really going on. If I were one of those anti-game crusaders, I would target these MMORPGs rather than "violent" games. I see a lot more tragedy associated with those types of games rather than those that are based on violent themes. But thankfully, these are "worlds" that are completely opt-in and there are certainly worse worlds to get hooked on -- drugs, sex, gambling -- more examples of "addictive" and obsessive activities that can lead to some serious life consequences. These things will always exist in humanity. Try to control them and they will go underground and form dangerous sub-cultures. Try to legalize and regulate them and you find yourself serving as referee in matters that are best for government not to be involved in.

It's a part of crazy-town that I am glad I don't live in.

If you have an addiction, that's your problem. I play EVE and I don't have this addiction.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263431)

I could spout off comments that boil down to accusations of "denial" but that's just too easy and simple. Instead, I will attack your logic of statement.

The bad analogy statement is "Humans get AIDS." But I am human, and I don't have AIDS, therefore AIDS is not a human problem, but only the problem of those who have it. Yes, I see there are logical problems with my bad analogy, but I think you can see the point.

You are taking a generalization that I have made "personally" and stating that because it may not be personally true for you that it is not generally true. That's just stupid.

The point has been made that MMORPGs create their own economies which affect the real world. At this point it is no longer "just a game." The desires of people to build wealth and power is one common to "most" of humanity. (It is true because history bears this out. It does not matter if it does not apply to you individually.) MMORPGs supplement this human desire "virtually" if you will. (I may not be king of the world, but I am king of the nerds! Sound familiar?) When you break down the psychology of the activity, it really starts to bring to light many facets of human society that generally go unnoticed or taken for granted.

As I said before. I play games. But I am reluctant to play games that I cannot play by myself. Many of the more ugly aspects of people come to light too quickly. In gaming, I appreciate "fairness and balance" as do many others. (Let's call those who appreciate fairness and balance "Type A") Some people, however, prefer to cheat and take advantage of others for their own gain... gain which is usually a thrill, a position in some arbitrary hierarchy system or ladder or a reputation or some other such thing. (Let's call these people "Type B") Some people truly live for that sort of thing. While those of Type B exist (and they will ALWAYS exist as it is a part of the human condition) Type A people will always fall victim to them in some way or another. In the case of MMORPGs, they try to police themselves, (as a player of EVE, I am sure you are aware of how some developers have been identified in some pretty dubious activities?) write software code to thwart cheats and exploits and on and on even resulting in high profile court cases and "DMCA" actions. This stuff has escalated WELL BEYOND the status of "just a game."

They aren't just games any more than social networking sites are "just virtual" and have no impact on "real life." They are all parts of "real life" now. When interactive humanity seeps into a game, all the ugliness of humanity is packaged right along with it.

game? (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28264061)

Maybe some people see this as more than a game..

But they shouldn't.
A game will always be a game. For some people, games become life, so it isn't a game to them anymore. But I think we will agree that that is unhealthy behavior, and we can safely label it as wrong.

Yes, real world money is being traded and won and lost, but the same thing happens in gambling. And we view gambling as a sort of game. Some people get in too deep in gambling, and we certainly view this as unhealthy and wrong.

So then, when can a virtual world become more than a game? I would like to see this happen, because I like to believe in the vitality of video games in society. When I think about it, MMORPGs are already more than games. They have socializing as a core element of their design, and no one would call socializing a game. If an instant messaging client is released, it isn't called a game, but that is an element of MMOs.

So MMOs are games because in the end they should only be a diversion or hobby, but they aren't games because they include so much more than other sorts of games? How can it be both? (I'm sort of writing this as I go lol.) I think that any video game at its core is a game. But around that core game is what gives the game life, its society, its economy, and as we see with popular MMOs, its culture.

Wow this became much longer than I originally wanted it to be.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (1)

jhcaocf197912 (1430843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277809)

I could spout off comments that boil down to accusations of "denial" but that's just too easy and simple. Instead, I will attack your logic of statement.

The bad analogy statement is "Humans get AIDS." But I am human, and I don't have AIDS, therefore AIDS is not a human problem, but only the problem of those who have it. Yes, I see there are logical problems with my bad analogy, but I think you can see the point.

You are taking a generalization that I have made "personally" and stating that because it may not be personally true for you that it is not generally true. That's just stupid.

The point has been made that MMORPGs create their own economies which affect the real world. At this point it is no longer "just a game." The desires of people to build wealth and power is one common to "most" of humanity. (It is true because history bears this out. It does not matter if it does not apply to you individually.) MMORPGs supplement this human desire "virtually" if you will. (I may not be king of the world, but I am king of the nerds! Sound familiar?) When you break down the psychology of the activity, it really starts to bring to light many facets of human society that generally go unnoticed or taken for granted.

As I said before. I play games. But I am reluctant to play games that I cannot play by myself. Many of the more ugly aspects of people come to light too quickly. In gaming, I appreciate "fairness and balance" as do many others. (Let's call those who appreciate fairness and balance "Type A") Some people, however, prefer to cheat and take advantage of others for their own gain... gain which is usually a thrill, a position in some arbitrary hierarchy system or ladder or a reputation or some other such thing. (Let's call these people "Type B") Some people truly live for that sort of thing. While those of Type B exist (and they will ALWAYS exist as it is a part of the human condition) Type A people will always fall victim to them in some way or another. In the case of MMORPGs, they try to police themselves, (as a player of EVE, I am sure you are aware of how some developers have been identified in some pretty dubious activities?) write software code to thwart cheats and exploits and on and on even resulting in high profile court cases and "DMCA" actions. This stuff has escalated WELL BEYOND the status of "just a game."

They aren't just games any more than social networking sites are "just virtual" and have no impact on "real life." They are all parts of "real life" now. When interactive humanity seeps into a game, all the ugliness of humanity is packaged right along with it.

If you're having this much problems with MMOs, you're playing it all wrong and playing with the wrong people.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (1)

Jaeph (710098) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281443)

Oh for crying out loud, all games - sports, board games, computer games - involve real life to a degree. We put kids into sports (both team and individual competitions) in part to teach them how to handle real life emotions in a more controlled environment. Other games can serve the same purpose - the idea to split real life from game life, and learning to deal with the spillover (in either direction, as when real life feuds jump into games).

I would argue that you, by your description, are the one with a real problem in games ("But I am reluctant to play games that I cannot play by myself.") If you can't handle the split above, which the vast majority of school-age kids learn to do, I'm not sure how you can manage other areas of life which require you to surpress your ego to progress.

-Jeff

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28264019)

Reason on /.? Good gawd, someone mod this poster into oblivion.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263435)

Dunno whether you saw it, but about a week or so ago there was a link here to a story about how such games are designed to be addictive. Might interest you.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263481)

No, I never saw it. But it is pretty clear and obvious (to me at least) what psychological bases are being catered to in MMORPGs. When it was just "RPGs" the scope was more limited but the drives were still there and somehow everyone wanted to be a "dungeon master" or to play characters of great power and achievement. I would guess the greatest majority of those who avidly participate in such games are people with little sense of power and achievement in their personal lives and so they seek this sort of gratification within them games. And just as in "real life" people will lie, cheat and steal to have that gratification.

If you have a link to such articles, I would be glad to have a look at them. I am sure my interest in the psychological aspects of such gaming also exist in academia somewhere.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28268547)

In tabletop RPGs the lieing, cheating and stealing is transient and power is achieved by what you write on your character sheet at the beginning of the game ... in real life, lifes are ruined. Power and achievement are attractive, but not everyone is willing to pay the costs or invest the time. Not everyone has the soullessness required to make it easy.

As for EVE I don't think it's about what lacks in real life, it's just impatience. The management and social engineering skills of the top level players will almost certainly make them succeed in life as well, but there is a difference in time scales necessary for success. Power over people (as determined in the amount of man hours you can direct) is just easier to achieve. In real life without the right background and/or luck it's going to take much longer than in EVE.

Also making war for fun and profit is probably a little too psychopath for most of them in real life as well.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276139)

Or you know, it's just fun.

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263633)

there are certainly worse worlds to get hooked on -- drugs, sex, gambling -- more examples of "addictive" and obsessive activities that can lead to some serious life consequences.

How is sex worse than video games to be addicted to? Which species are you?

Re:Things I am glad to be missing out on (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263965)

there are certainly worse worlds to get hooked on -- drugs, sex, gambling -- more examples of "addictive" and obsessive activities that can lead to some serious life consequences.

How is sex worse than video games to be addicted to? Which species are you?

Playing WoW for 70 hours/wk will not lead to unwanted forked processes demanding child support.

In fact, it's a great way to avoid that. Permanently.

entente (0)

Spaham (634471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263135)

You forget that without any kind of regulations, the big ones will talk to each other
and make secret agreements to keep prices high, while buying out (or killing/destroying competition).
Market autoregulation without any kind of rules is a myth, what you get is mafia and gang control.

All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes along (5, Interesting)

piggydoggy (804252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263153)

Sometimes the real life busts in and makes us painfully aware that some people have more, much more disposable income than others.

EVE Online's RMT system is by and large a brilliant idea. People who are so inclined, can buy virtual wealth for real world money, and people who are good at the game can play for free. The developers benefit either case. The vastness of EVE's playerbase however means it includes some individuals who are far, far ahead of the average on the income curve.

In the latest "Great War of EVE", a small Russian alliance RED.Overlord (ROL), with connections to virtual money farming industry, grew hostile with their neighbors, the largest player alliance Goonswarm. A certain VERY well off member of ROL then bought at least 500 billion ingame ISK (~$10k+ worth) from the black market to buy its alliancemates five Titan class capital ships (strategic weapons in EVE which take a lot of effort and 2 months of real time to build). CCP got a whiff of the transaction and banned all the titan pilots and their associates.

Unfettered, ROL's "mysterious benefactor" turned to legal means, and publicly sold 1000 real-money-bought timecards to fund its ingame war effort - a cool $27,000 worth. That is an undeniable fact, with sale threads still visible on EVE's official forums.

A harder to prove, but with the above in mind not the least unlikely, were his solid real-money-bribes to the leaders of other EVE alliances for help in the war. It's rumored that Evil Thug, the leader of a powerful Against All Authorities alliance, received a cool $30,000 bribe to turn his ingame organization against their former friends at Goonswarm, and there are more reliable information that certain leaders of other neighboring alliances received solid five-figure dollar bribes to either turn coat, or at the minimum stay neutral, in this purely ingame conflict. Perhaps interestingly, not many agreed.

Real life bribes don't as such have a lot to do with ingame RMT, but that's because the effect of ingame currency only goes so far, and rallying real people one way or the other is the true means to win.

Re:All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes alon (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263371)

...and thats why EVE is so great. Only EVE could have war stories like that one.

You can't really bribe all of EVE to work for you as most of the players play to have fun (= blow stuff up). At best, you can bribe to influence who shoots who today - and you have no guarantee that it'll stay that way tomorrow. No matter how many titans and POSes you obtain via GTC-funded ISK, they can all go boom the next day if enough players decide that it will be so. There are so many factions (and more cropping up as soon as an opening presents itself) that, at best, you might stir the pot a bit (and lose your bribes).

Personally had I been an alliance leader, I would've taken the bribe (through suitably anonymous channels) and then showed my middle finger at the silly Russian trying to buy his way to victory in EVE. RED.Overlord is still, at best, a minor player in overall EVE Alliance politics.

Re:All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes alon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28264607)

In addition to that, according to the Mittani, the Russians had planned to physically cut the power to another player's house during an assault.

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/65475

Re:All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes alon (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28265427)

Unfettered, ROL's "mysterious benefactor" turned to legal means, and publicly sold 1000 real-money-bought timecards to fund its ingame war effort - a cool $27,000 worth. That is an undeniable fact, with sale threads still visible on EVE's official forums.

It sounds to me though like that's not nearly as big a problem as outright buying in-game funds for real money. Because you can only sell so many GTC for in-game money before the value starts to drop - unless you spread the sales out over a longer period of time. Either way you can't buy nearly as large a sum of in-game money instantly like you could if you could buy it directly with real money. If they guy really did list all 1,000 cards at once, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the last few dozen sold for barely 10% the amount the first few sold for.

No matter how it works out, it ends up being a win-win.

I think all MMOs should put in a system like that.

Re:All fun and games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28266881)

You're underestimating the size of EVE-s economy. In the form of both plain timecode and PLEX trades, at least a thousand timecards change hands every day. Spread over a week, the effect on 1000 extra cards on the market is barely noticeable.

Re:All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes alon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28273505)

If they guy really did list all 1,000 cards at once, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the last few dozen sold for barely 10% the amount the first few sold for.

I doubt it. There's always more demand for GTCs/PLEXs than there are sellers, and with the current economic problem in the real world, there's a lot more people with less cash and more time on their hands than before. Paying for game time in ISK is about 50% more expensive than it was a year ago.

Re:All fun and games until a *rich* guy comes alon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28290559)

They did sell at a respectable price, but it did depress down the ISK value of game time a lot.

Recently, the ISK value of 30 day PLEX has gone up considerably. Not enough supply to cover the demand from players who would rather pay ISK than USD/EUR for their subscription.

Personally I just grabbed two PLEXes worth of isk (a bit over 800 million) simply because I thought the price had gone up to a level that gave me good enough value. When a two PLEXes netted only 600 million, it didn't interest me nearly as much.

Free market economics at work. Effectively a player with more time than real money ponied up more ISK, to a point where I decided that the deal was good enough for me to pay his subscription for 2 months.

Of course there are rumors that current PLEX price hike is partially due to coordinated "pumping" of the price - someone is stockpiling a lot of PLEXes with ingame ISK, trying to drive up the price. Personally I can't see it working as if he dumps his large stock back on the market, the price will again go down (well, people stop buying until it does).

It is interesting to watch for sure :)

EVE *wants* it this way! (0)

Duckie01 (10586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263607)

Why would CCP ever facilitate this guy's rmt wet dream?

Why would the EVE developers want you to be able get real dollars for your ISK?

They're not running a business to make *you* money.   They rather have the real dollars going into their own pockets selling GTCs, and happily let the abandoned accounts with billions of ISK rot away in the bit bucket.

DUH!

Re:EVE *wants* it this way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28290591)

Bingo.

Also, this way they can spend time and effort to hunt down and enforce the "no unsactioned RMT" rules as it is easy to quantify the benefits of said business expense (more GTC/PLEX sales, or in other words, more income from subscriptions)

I prefer the current system (4, Informative)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28264001)

I played EVE for nearly 2 years, WoW for the same and in total have been an avid video game fanatic for about 15 years.

It's virtually a given that cheats, exploits/hacks, and with the rise of MMOGs, RMT, will never ever be eliminated from the gaming world. In fact, the former two is what makes some games totally great (perma beserker mode in Doom, and DK mode in Goldeneye spring immediately to mind) and developers include these 'features' on purpose, often taking suggestions from the community at large.

In EVE, like all other MMOs, RMT is a big problem. Corporations and alliances farming materials purely for real world money-making, often hogging research and manufacturing slots aswell; although the cost of holding such slots increases expontially with time now I believe.

CCP (the developer) used to 'unofficially' allow trading of game time cards, sold in increments of 30 days unlimited play time, for in game currency, but as time when on and more people tricked by unscrupulous businessmen, it became clear that regulation was required in order to prevent the cut-throat ingame attitude spilling out into real world, real money, scamming. The current system involves buying a game time card and putting the code with a set price in 'escrow' for another player to purchase with ingame currency. The player checks his account page and accepts the trade, the game time is added to his account automatically and the seller gets the ingame ISK.

This system is win-win-win for everyone, with no moral issues to contend with (unless someone is so addicted they are using their food money to buy game time cards, of course), CCP gets paid for the game time card, the buyer gets to pay for an MMO by playing more, and the seller gets to bypass boring grinding.

I much prefer this system than the alternative.

FAIL Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28265157)

As a long time and current player of EVE, I have no problem chiming in with a little MMO-Talk and give this article a definate "FAIL" rating.

As an individual pointed out above (and Im not going to re-type it) there is a way to securely purchase PLEX (which is a Game Time Card) directly from CCP, and then sell it on the open market in EVE.

For a time I even speculated on and traded in PLEX, and made a small profit of a couple hundred million by buying the PLEX at lower rates from anxious sellers and then listing it at a higher price to those wishing to buy it directly from the market with ISK (as opposed to buying it from CCP with a credit card).

The nifty thing about the approach that CCP has taken with PLEX is that its some what subject to the same market dynamics that govern the rest of the EVE economy (the only manner in which it is not is that CCP cannot [or does not?] directly regulate the number of players that purchase PLEX directly from CCP with a credit card in a given time period, and thus cannot/does not regulate supply). The amusing thing about it is, with dastardly middle men like myself around, Im more than happy to scoop up the surplus and create a market shortfall to increase my profit (insert evil smiley)

Re:FAIL Article (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276263)

Actually CCP does somewhat limit the purchase of plex with credit cards, you can make a max of 1 purchase per 24 hour, max of 6 plex per purchase.
      Although the number of different accounts that can make such purchases may not be limited, with 1/4 mill accounts (iirc) the limit is about 1.5 mill plex per day, i'd be suprised if it ever got near that limit (and if it did the sellers would so outweigh the buyer that the would sell for about 2 isk each).

MYcroft

Good article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28268979)

MMOs that allow and facilitate RMT are the future of online gaming, and CCP will have to adopt and embrace that business model eventually.

Before CCP could become a real force in any RMT MMO industry, they'd first need to clean-house substantially and become a less corrupt and more professional company overall.

What's an RMT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272101)

It'd be rather nice if someone said what RMT was!

(I thought it was the in-game currency. Oddly enough, it's actually "Real Money Trading".)

Hurrah Econ (1)

KefkaZ (1393099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277869)

I love how optimizing The Market requires the setting aside of Moral and Legal issues. (In this case, Gold Farming.) I get that market efficiency is generally a good thing with lower prices, better pay, etc as a result. However, as a member of the "money isn't everything" school of thought, I'd love to see business in general remind themselves that they are human beings first and corporate serfs second. Yes, it may be hugely profitable, but if its not moral and legal you probably shouldn't be doing it, should you? (I'm emphasizing moral here, because I'm pretty confidant that major corporations have a vast amount of competent legal advice)

HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28344917)

i'll be a coward, but you obviously played the game for a grand total of 2 seconds if you think that the GTC system for Trading and buying doesn't work, so your EVE game Report is False.
The Market thrives.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>