Greedy Goblin

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why sov PvP is a moneysink? (and how to fix it)

Yesterday I assumed that the PLEX-generator demographics are the sov-null players. The proof was mostly "no other demographics has a reason to". Today I'll prove why sov-null players have a reason to convert PLEX to ISK.

In lowsec and NPC-null (and somewhat WH), you are free to decide how much you wish to PvP and PvE. Of course enemies can show up, but if you can use intel channels, local and d-scan, you can evade unwanted PvP. Therefore you can decide how much wealth you want to burn a month in PvP and how much you want to generate via PvE. You can PLEX the difference. The point is that you are in total control of your cash flow.

In low/NPC null if you PvP less, you have less kills, but no other consequences. If you don't PvP enough in sov-null you lose your space and with it, your assets. For this reason a sov-PvP group must put in "enough" effort to PvP just to hold its space. "Enough" is not a developer-defined PvE limit. If your enemies PvP harder, you also must. So the limit is pushed high by competition. Also, battles have ship losses, so you must also provide "enough" ISK. Please note that for providing these, you get nothing besides keeping your sov, so they are fixed costs of being a sov-holder.

This group-cost can be transformed to individual level two ways: One is demanding everyone to provide X kills/month. Without such measurement, the alliance will be filled with freeloading M&S who provide nothing but target to the enemies. The alternative is having a strong out-of game culture that internally motivates the players to not leech but work for the alliance. The latter model (Goons and TEST mostly) has clearly proven superior, despite that in real life the countries that respect "selfish" reasons (individual rights) are better off than countries with strong culture. Why? Because only two kind of players can be in a "must kill X/months or GTFO" alliance:
  1. Those who have enough time to gather all the needed kills and have time to PvE to cover their costs (account upkeep, new ships, consumables)
  2. Those who have enough time to gather all the needed kills and have money to PLEX-convert their costs
If we assume 70M/hour nullsec PvE income, converting a PLEX saves them 7 hours of PvE play, making it possible to spend all their playtime with PvP. This is why no nullsec-industry changes made any difference. If CCP would double the PvE income of null, the typical sov player would not be more rich, but get the same money in half time and PvP more, forcing everyone else to keep up.

So serious part of the sov-null players must convert PLEX-es despite sov-PvE is profitable, because they have no more time left after fulfilling their PvP obligations. This result remained hidden because those who make the decisions, those who write the posts, those who lead the alliances and those who have spare time to come here to argue with me are all having lot of time. So for them (us) meeting the quota and having time for PvE isn't a problem, so they find making money in null trivial. Therefore they keep telling that "making money in null is trivial" despite large majority of players can't even play enough to fullfill the quota, not to think of PvE. In simpler words: if you are reading this, you spend much-much more time on a video game than the average guy and your ideas coming from personal experience are "let them eat cake" to the general public. You can further prove this point by spending even more time writing a comment explaining that you are not a no-lifer. I'm not being judgmental, I also belong to this group (one blog post = 2-3 hours). The only alternative is that you are in a strong-culture alliance because then you can do mostly whatever you want because the leaders know that you'll be there when the Horn of Goondor calls.

The demographics that live in sov-null by converting PLEX is limited. To be there you must still be able to play X hours/month doing PvP. If you can do only 3/4X, you can't get in, no matter how many PLEX-es you convert. Also, you must have income that allows you to spend multiple PLEX-costs IRL. The demographics that has both time and money is pretty small. The above system locks out the money-rich group (those who could PvP 1/2X and convert much more PLEX-es), the "carebears" who could generate much more ISK/hour by playing but don't like PvP and those PvP-ers who don't want to spend time doing PvE at all but can't afford to convert PLEX-es. By limiting the available demographics so badly, the competitive PvP alliances shrink so much that anyone who is capable to motivate their members to not slack will steamroll them. Again: Goons/TEST with their culture.

An alliance that accepts effort from members both in kills and ISK payment would increase the available demographics greatly without giving up an inch on the "do X effort or GTFO" idea. What does it mean? That a game-focused group (with no external culture) can be competitive on the sov map, the Goons and TEST are not theoretically undefeatable (like I thought a week ago). It also solved the "OMGF Tech is overpowered" problem. Public TEST and Goon documents saying that TEST have 250B/month, Goons have 760B/month income. So by having only 250 "carebears" who pay only 4B/month you can outdo both of them with all their tech moons. 250 is a rather small corp. Of course, nothing prevents an "X kills or GTFO" alliance to be allied the Goons, Fatal Ascension is one.

The above doesn't affect my "nullsec altruism" statement as "being competitive on the sov-map" is not an individual goal, it is merely an in-game goal. It also doesn't affect the statement that most alliances are hopeless as without culture or a "must do X to stay" limit it will be filled up with leeching M&S.

You might say that alliances tried something like that by the space rentals. However that model had two problems: the rent costs were laughably small, I mean 2-3B/system/month instead of 2-3B/person/month. Also, you could be full PvP-er member or full PvE renter but not a mixture (1000 kills + 1B payment). Finally the renter was a renter and not an accepted member, he did not matter and could not claim that "we are capturing X".

This result opens my negotiation potential largely. I mean before this result I could only think of Goons/TEST since only they have a strong culture (mostly the culture of griefing that I fully approve, but they have every reason to doubt me). But now we (traders and pro PvE-players) can get into an in-game-only alliance too. Of course it's possible that they are dumb enough to not understand it and stay on their "X kills or GTFO, ISK don't matter" nonsense. It's not a problem, these alliances are being exterminated by Goons/TEST as we speak (or only live as Goon/TEST pets). Unfortunately the two (culture and competitive) can't be mixed. I mean it would be idiotic to do effort for a membership what other people get for free. However it's completely normal to pay in an alliance where everyone else does so, just not by paying ISK buy booking hostile kills.

My starter idea would be that someone who PvPs nothing shall pay 1B/month (downscaled for new players, will be elevated back, also extra fees for supercap building), depending on how much kills the alliance used to demand. The point is that if you spend similar time PvE-ing for the alliance wallet as the other members PvP-ing for the alliance safety. Many traders like me would sign up. As 100+ were interested in the rather naive supercap corp idea, an alliance that accept it would get about 2-400B/month income when it's in full blow. If your alliance would be interested in such competitive-PvE-membership program, send me an EVE-mail and we'll discuss the details. Also, please comment the names of alliances that have "X kills or GTFO" requirements so I can find them and propose to accept ISK too, not just kills.

So yet again, my null plans need to be re-made, but clearly not without results. I finally understand the economics that drive null, and with the "do X effort in kills and ISK or GTFO" model it can be conquered. On Monday there will be a summary + detailed plan post.

Quick logi question: I've read the battle report of D-3GIQ where the attackers focused on the ships that had different tank than the others (Chimeras among Archons). Since I'm about to choose a carrier to learn first, I thought of a Nidhoggur as my first carrier (triage fit). It has bonus to both armor and shield boost range and for amount, so can adapt to any fleet and help out even a mixed fleet with 2 shield and 2 armor transporter. Do you know something that makes this an absolutely bad idea? If not, I'll go with it.

Friday morning report: 118.2B (2.5B spent on main accounts, 1.8 spent on Logi/Carrier, 1.5 on Ragnarok, 1.0 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).


Sugar Kyle said...

I still think you are missing the aspect of 'playing the game because its fun without thinking about these things, wee I had fun yay' part of the game.

I'm going to reread this when I am awake. What I notice, and what boggles my mind, is that everything you do is broken down into these quantified reasons and groups that this is done for that and that is done for this.

Just doing to do because its what you want to do and dealing with what you need to deal with when it comes up is not on your list.

Not everyone is thinking like you. Not everyone is thinking long term. Many people are existing in the now. This moment, this instance, and no other.

Jeff said...

You do realize you can make money on an alt while pvping in your average goon fleet?

Znybar said...

The Nid is a no-no.

Fleets these days are either archons, with some thannies thrown in (people that can only fly them and not archons), or chimaeras, as they have a much stronger shield tank than Niddies. Carriers want the maximum tank, because if they encounter titans they need a chance to tank doomsdays. Also, because they have higher initial resistances, received reps are more effective (repair more ehp).

I don't see why any alliance would say no to your idea of corpies who busy themselves with providing isk, though each one of you would have to prove that they have the means to provide a substantial amount (i.e. if you can destroy more isk-worth than you can provide you should be PvPing rather than providing isk).

I still think you underestimate/don't understand how much isk null sec players can make. I'd say 90% of null sec players have at least two accounts, and more often than not the second account is used for isk making/logistics. Even if the alt is used for pvp, it can make PvE in null significantly more effective (not double, but as I said before 100mil/hour is easily achievable).

Anonymous said...

Most nullsec players have time to PVE in nullsec and or high-sec alts to make the isk.

you do not need to fight in nullsec to keep your space since there is npc owned nullsec.

if you are smart you don't lose your assets when you lose your space.

in a lot of nullsec alliances you don't need to pay much for your ships anyways, you have an alliance reimburstment plan that, together with insurance, gives you roughly the value of the lost ships, as long as you follow the rules.

i don't believe you understand nullsec economics yet. To understand nullsec economics you have to understand nullsec politics and PVP, which you cannot get from being a bystander.

About the carrier, you are kinda right, you can fit the nidhoggur either way - which is exactly its problem, because with its horrible slot layout it sucks as both, shield AND armor fit. Which makes it a good primary.
That said, about your remote-boosting question - no matter what carrier you fly, and whats its bonus is, your remote repairs should always go with the fleet doctrine.

Znybar said...

A simpler way to explain it: you need either an all armour fleet or all shield fleet. If you mix both, you're effectively lowering your rep power, because you have ships that don't have related bonuses,

Plus there's no reason to mix both during a fight, remember you can refit in space using a hangar, so you can select the best fit for the situation (if you haven't seen the video yet you can do this even in the middle of combat to great effect).

Finally, triage on a carrier is generally a death sentence, so the majority of 'combat' carriers are non-triage. You only use triage in specific circumstances (defending an outpost, inability to field enough conventional logi).

Anonymous said...

100m/h is easily achievable ratting in null. i also have alts for logistics and cap production. with srp programs fleet pvp doesnt cost me anything if i die so it doesnt personally cost me much. small gang roams are out of pocket but they would be anywhere not just in null

Steel H. said...

I think you are going around a bit backwards with your ship plans. You are sort of an unique case, where you go "I like this ship, I'll train for it, than find an alliance that 'll like it". In general alliances have strict and fixed doctrines (due to the many reason to have doctrines), and demand players to be able to fly them. One joins an alliance either as a rifter newbie, and then follows the alliance training plans progressing through various stages (CFC), or are 60000 million SP veterans and can fly pretty much everything any alliance may have, and and so they join ~elite pvp~ outfits and such.

You may still want to check first what doctrine and tactics alliances have, decide the alliance, then what doctrine to fly. For example, if you end up anywhere in the CFC, they are pure shield subcaps, caldari and minmatar - drakes, tengus, maelstroms, and scimitars exclusively, and almost never use triage carriers for serious subcap fleet support. No one is going to care that you are a perfect guardian or carrier pilot, they'll want more scimitars... Well, ironically, and paradoxically, the one place where you could fly whatever you want is indeed Goonswarm. As long as you don't expect reimbursement, don't troll the official doctrine threads with your snowflake fits, your crap can operate in fleet, and the fleet is not full and in super serious business mode (FCs will then kick all bullshit to make room for proper doctrine ships), and can withstand the trolling in fleet chat and mumble, you can fly a nano Megathron and not give a damn. Goons enforce doctrinal discipline mainly through reimbursement - if you don't fit exactly to doctrine, you don't get any money, which keeps 99% of the apes in check. If you can afford to pay for your own ships, you can fly whatever you want. Goons will also care the least about a snowflake or shinny lossmail, as long as you stay 100 light years away from the reimbursement thread. Still need to be MWD capstable in drakefleet, shinies and squishies will still get primaried, but it’s fun, dude. Other alliances will be more strict in what they allow in fleets, because ~elite pvp~.

Anonymous said...

In an earlier post, Gevlon, you said that you aren't intersted in "bankrolling an Alliance".
Now you state, that with your idea of taxing your Trader Corp, your Corp would contribute massively without fighting but by paying. Acting as tech moons.

So has your stance on bankrolling changed, or did the different labeling change your mind, so that paying your Alliance is appealing now?

Do you think that you would get the respect of your Alliance peers, if your Trader Corp acts as tech moons for them, instead of participating in pvp?

And last question: Does this mean you changed your goal, from joining Goons/Test to join another entity?

Anonymous said...


It doesn't matter how much a person in null can make, it does matter what is his "Income - Spendings" equation.

You can make 5 bil per month but if you fly in Machariel fleets this translates into 5 Machariels lost per month. If you lose 7 then you need 2 more bil and if you earn enough $$$ IRL you will buy plexes to fund your activities.

Gevlon is wrong in other aspects but I don't have the nerve to explain to him. He will change his plans in a few days regardless.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: what changed is that I realized how poor alliances are. I mean check out the TEST document. Their monthly reimbursement money is almost the same as my income.

I realized that they need no more PvP-ers but ISK. See Monday post.

Also, I don't want to be in full Tech moon mode. I want a mixture where one can casually PvP (and be useful) but not PvP when don't want to and participate in the defense by keeping the other pilots in ships and PLEX-es.

I still like the culture of TEST/Goons but I am no longer "bound" to them. if they accept us, great. If not, I'll still get in null.

@Steel: you might noticed that Nidhoggur is Minmatar like Scimitar and it's not a mistake.

Also, I can imagine my "logi" activity as showing up in a Nid, dropping triage close to the objective and healing whatever subcap in range.

Azuriel said...

So your current argument is that 100k PLEXs a month come from... how many sov-null PvP players are there? I tried to Google it, and the best number I saw was 15% of EVE players. So... 60k assuming 400k subs. Obviously almost everyone has multiple accounts (you have 8), so we are talking even less. 30k players in null? Minus the PvE-only players, then what? 15k? Less?

It is a bad argument. PLEX is converted by anyone who wants ISK now, rather than hours/days/weeks from now. And that could be anyone. Including people who can make more than enough normally, and reason that they will pay a premium in real-world cash today and pay in PLEX next month and "it all cancels out."

As for your Alliance plans, the more detail you get into the less sense it makes at all. So a trader pays 2-4B to an Alliance... for what? For the Corporation name? For the abstract principal that the Corp will make M&S pay somehow? For the Corp hanger to build you a supercap that you couldn't trust anyone to build otherwise? So you can fly around not enjoying shooting things so that random strangers might get smarter (or quit) in EVE?

Is that worth 8+ PLEX a month to you?

This sounds like Game Over, to me; the game has lost all appeal in of itself, and you seek outside reasons to continue playing. A pretty far fall from dominating Wintergrasp and forcing Blizzard to change rules, down to... spending 2+ hours a day grinding ISK to pay other people to gank M&S.

My advice: make your own Corp. Or finance your own multibox ganking fleet. Or anything else. Otherwise, you are simply throwing your money in a hole and hoping that other people might maybe one day do what you want them to.

Gevlon said...

@Azuriel: show me a single guy who says that EVE ever had inside appeal.

Have you noticed that PLEX-es are sold in packs of 6 and 12? Why?

Of course anyone can get into the silly situation that he wants pixels now. But other groups have much less reason to. I'm claiming that an average sov-null player takes much more PLEX than any other player.

Same: it's not true that all winter cloths are sold in Canada and none in Mexico. But much more winter clothes sold in Canada / person.

Monday I'll clarify the trader corp goals (as I'll make the corp), but in pre-view: you mostly pay for two things:
- ability to PvP when you want but to not PvP when you don't want (or can't)
- the ability to PvE in null, making more than you spend.

Anonymous said...

"This group-cost can be transformed to individual level two ways: One is demanding everyone to provide X kills/month. Without such measurement, the alliance will be filled with freeloading M&S who provide nothing but target to the enemies. The alternative is having a strong out-of game culture that internally motivates the players to not leech but work for the alliance. The latter model (Goons and TEST mostly) has clearly proven superior, despite that in real life the countries that respect "selfish" reasons (individual rights) are better off than countries with strong culture."

stop your silly assumptions based on unreflected acceptance of propaganda already!

the *former* model is effectively the goon model.

Goonswarm leadership does monitor pvp activity for all their corporations and their pets - they don't care about pvp efficiency or ISK efficiency but they care on how many killmails your average pilot gets (that scheme "activity > efficiency" is attributed to Endie and was quite revolutionary at the time).

The resulting information is published (hevn't seen it cross-posted anywhere recently but it used to be wonderful bar graphs with all the GSF corporations' pvp activity levels next to each other which you could use to argue that MERCHI is shit) and is taken into account when it comes to the distribution of moons, space, etc

BLACK-MARK was kicked from the CFC very recently because their participation in CFC fleets (and pvp in general) was considered too low.

Individual members are not forced to go on any fleet and their activity is not monitored in any formal way (though if you keep losing expensive ratting ships and never go on pvp fleets expect some sort of backlash sooner or later).
But corporations and smaller CFC alliances are held accountable for the pvp activity of their members.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: that's interesting but if individuals are not measured, what makes them participate besides culture.

The measurement is practically "how good the corp leaders motivate their members."

Anonymous said...

"That said, about your remote-boosting question - no matter what carrier you fly, and whats its bonus is, your remote repairs should always go with the fleet doctrine."

You, sir, have never tried to fit shield reps on an Archon.

You really need the range bonus for your remote reps (and also run into CPU issues on the Archon when fitting shield reps) which is why the Thanatos has its niche, too.

For POS/structure repping the carriers of choice are Thanatos and Chimera, for combat they are Archon and Chimera.
A lot of players have trained for a Thanatos as it is the best ratting carrier (:cripes:) and because the Nyx looks pretty cool (and was for a long time considered to be the best supercarrier - now people are starting to value the resistance bonuses of the Aeon and Wyvern more).

The carriers in D-3 were there to support the titan and the supercarriers that were kept tackled during the whole fight (during the second half also by the PL bubble), not primarily to provide reps to the subcaps.
RA kept bubbling the supers over and over even when the fight had already been decided in favor of the HB, so I guess everybody was waiting for something to happen.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon "The measurement is practically "how good the corp leaders motivate their members." "

most of the "motivation" (SOTG, war update forum posts, propaganda) happens on alliance and coalition level, so it really is more a statement on the recruitment criteria the corp leaders employ.

Do they recruit mostly carebears (which might maximize the corporation's tax income) or do they recruit people that are willing to engage in pvp and who respond to the alliance/coalition-level motivation efforts?

Stabs said...

To express it really simply:

pvp: plex sellers
pve/mining: plex buyers

There may, as you say be a few exceptions buying winter clothes in Mexico but if you want to see who's using plex for isk look at pvp losses.

Nullsec accounts for a lot of it but I'm sure the other forms of pvp (Red v Blue, Faction War and low sec)

Anonymous said...

" "This group-cost can be transformed to individual level two ways: One is demanding everyone to provide X kills/month. Without such measurement, the alliance will be filled with freeloading M&S who provide nothing but target to the enemies. The alternative is having a strong out-of game culture that internally motivates the players to not leech but work for the alliance. The latter model (Goons and TEST mostly) has clearly proven superior, despite that in real life the countries that respect "selfish" reasons (individual rights) are better off than countries with strong culture."

As previous anonymous said up thread. Furthermore most alliances will track participation in fleets rather than kills/month (otherwise you dictate against people flying support roles like logistics), and then will make alliance->corp transfers based on those figures.

Similarly alliances that have corps doing other things (logistics etc) will have measures in place to ensure that those sorts of things happen via different participation metrics.

Dsj said...

The leadership of under performing corps is effectively fired when the corp is kicked. Those members of a corp being kicked have the option of stating in the alliance --- in a corp with better leadership. This system is both a motivator and a continual evaluation system that focuses effort at the leadership level instead of at members directly to make the system easier to maintain --- less paperwork.

Dioxin said...

A lot of people don't find carebearing for the sole purpose of grinding ISK fun. Those who do, usually don't find fun the idea of giving up ISK they don't have to just to fund other people's PvP. The rare types who actually consider doing finance and station logistics for the benefit of other alliance people fun are going to be "socials" who do it for the positive social feedback.

4B/month might be spare change for Gevlon, and 250 Gevlons throwing around their spare change might match the finances of the goons, but that's assuming everyone has the same goals at heart and trusts the leadership enough to handle any of their money. In other words, you'll have to find another few hundred Gevlon doppelgangers sympathetic to your exact way of thinking for the plan to take off. Any other non null connected trader making earnings approaching yours is going to consider the obvious alternative, that they can keep doing what they're doing and not risk 4B or eve 1B/month on an uncertain and ill defined long term venture with an unfamiliar leadership who only cares about their money. Why be a "renter in practice" when you're not even using any alliance null holdings, rather that just keep all the money for yourself?

Fade Toblack said...

"Have you noticed that PLEX-es are sold in packs of 6 and 12? Why?"

Because I can't set-up a recurring payment. I can buy 6 or 12 PLEX in one go at a discount which provides 6 or 12 months of game time.

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: good questions. The details will come on Monday (with the corp creation), today was a preview, the point of today was the "why the alliances are dirt poor".

Summer said...

Actually several of the bigger alliances have in their midst industrial-logistic corporations whose job is to provide material and isk for the alliance. In exchange for that they are not bound to such strict PVP participation rules as others. They can actually provide a really strong resilience factor for an alliance, allowing it to survive even when losing lots of sov, because these corps diversify their ISK generation outside of nullsec as well. -A- in particular is very good at this. They've been called shit for years, lost their space multiple times and had to retreat to NPC null for a time. Yet despite everyone wishing for them to just die they just don't give up and as soon as strategic circumstances change they come out guns blazing and retake what they lost, multiple times. Lol, they're a bit stubborn I guess. :)
The way I see it, -A-'s strategic thinking in case of war with a currently superior enemy is similar to Soviet doctrine. Retreat assets to NPC Stain and use sov space as a buffer that the enemy has to grind trough, forcing him to lose participation and extending logistics and making them vulnerable to counterattack. Even PL tried to kill them and force a failcascade, yet they didn't manage, so now they're lobbying in the CSM for destructible outposts and reenforceable station services in NPC space so they can lower the grind they have to go trough and neutralize -A- when it uses NPC nullsec for staging. Not bad for a shit alliance I guess.

With regards to your question about carriers: Fleets are usually tanked either shield or armor, because having a single tank type increases your effective rep capability (all your logis rep only one tank type -> more reps/logi usable). The reason why the Nid is not such a good idea for capital fleets is that capital fleets usually tank armor. Why? Because of neut warfare. Neutralizers are the bane of any capital ship, and with armor tank you can still tank when you're out of cap because armor ships can be passive tanked with EANMs, which are passive modules. Shield capitals can be capped out to shut down their invus, thus reducing their tank dramatically. While Nids can tank both armor and shield, they're the worst at both. Archons and Thanas tank better armor then Nid and Chimera tanks better on shield tank. Therefore, in a cap fight Nids tend to be primaried quite fast as they drop easily, thus reducing enemy numbers. A Nid is quite ok as a transport carrier, for logistics work, transporting ships and so on. But as a fleet carrier, it's suboptimal.
So TL;DR, if you want a transport carrier, Nid is ok. If you want a fleet carrier, go Archon.

Hivemind said...

I think you’re missing a huge point:

People are in Null because they want to be in Null. That is to say that they go to Null because their desire for large fleet, capital and super-capital PvP, their desire to be under a banner that is showing on the map, their desire to be part of and help build an empire outweigh other desires in EVE.

The kind of Nullsec inhabitants you talk about, the ones who are in the major sov-holding alliances and regularly PvP do it because that’s what they enjoy about the game so to them there isn’t a compromise involved; spending all their time making ISK isn’t something they would want to do so for them PvP isn’t an opportunity cost.

Once there is no opportunity cost to PvP in null (because not-PvPing and making money isn’t a choice the players would take) you can no longer say that being in Null is automatically a moneysink.

In the case of alliances it’s basically the same thing – their income is as large as it needs to be to fund their activities and they have very little interest in investing time to make it larger than that. The fact they have trillions tied up in supercaps doesn’t make them a poor investment if actually investing the cash in projects that pay back dividends was never an option, and from the perspective of the players in the alliance those supers allow them to hold null space, engage in hotdrops and have much easier structure grinds, so for the players they are actually sound investments as they enable their preferred playstyle.

With regards to PLEX, these fall into 3 different groups:
First there’s the player who doesn’t like PvE at all and isn’t willing to compromise their time doing an activity they don’t like – they only want to PvP and so if they need funding to do so they will pay cash for PLEX to sell to fund their PvP.
Second, there’s the player who doesn’t much like PvE but views it as a necessary evil to fund themselves for PvP – they’re usually uninterested in extended PvE sessions and so aren’t averse to paying cash for PLEX when they have a large cost to fill, like buying a carrier or a shiny-fit PvP ship.
Third, there’s the player who is fine with PvE even though their main interest is PvP – they will usually use PLEX for their sub and put in additional effort to make ISK when they need to buy something expensive, though they might pay cash for a PLEX if they need an urgent infusion of ISK.
Most Null players fall into the second and third groups, the first is a rarity. There are some crossovers between groups, for example a second-group player might be too cash poor to pay for PLEX frequently and so have to put in extra hours PvEing to pay for extra costs, but the difference between him and third-group player would be that he does so grudgingly and is looking for quick ISK whereas a third-group player would do it happily – for them funding the project ingame is part of what makes it interesting rather than a chore.

There are Null inhabitants who care only about making ISK and not PvP – these are usually renters who pay to use space conquered by the players above. They typically have no desire to PvP though they may show up to fights as demanded by their landlords (grudgingly, because for them PvP IS an opportunity cost to their income and they may not have an SRP either) but in the long run usually collapse after their space is put under threat and retreat back to hisec. Whether they come out better off than they would have been staying in hisec usually comes down to how prepared they are for this eventuality; smart renters will simply change landlords when their space is taken, or even betray their former landlords for ISK.

Anonymous said...

You fail to understand alliance finances just as it seems you fail to understand the alliances you talk about, as well as why most players play.
1. GS/TEST aren't held together just by out-of-game culture, but more importantly by *in-game* culture, which while frequently similar to some out-of-game culture, is important in and of itself. The same can likely be said for other large nullsec alliances (e.g. IRC, CVA, etc.), too, even those that didn't originate from an out-of-game culture. To be cohesive, they had to develop their own in-game culture and support structures or players would leave or stop logging in.
2. Alliances need enough ISK as an alliance to finance the operations and goals of the alliance and their players, and need make enough alliance level effort to do so.
3. Too many alliance-level demands on players for too long will cause players to leave the alliance or stop logging in, so there is only so much an an alliance can ask of its players *as an alliance*. Alliances have to do things to keep their players logging in, playing, and to preserve alliance cohesion.
4. In addition, many alliances that have accumulated too much excess alliance-level money have frequently had it stolen by directors, CEOs, etc., so there is an incentive to limit alliance level income/wealth in various ways.
5. Because of (3) and (4) above, alliances with excess potential income frequently do things at the alliance level that increase the enjoyment and/or profitability of their individual members but may not necessarily the short term bottom line of the alliance balance sheet (e.g. sov upgrades, selling moon-goo to members at highly discounted rates, peacetime reimbursement, etc.)
6. Alliances do (5) as opposed to just giving players ISK because it allows them to support their players while also helping alliance-level goals, in particular l keeping them logging in, playing, and part of the alliance-level culture. Again, keeping players playing is one of the key challenges of alliance leadership.
7. As a result of all of this, you continual citation of alliance-level profit/loss numbers and nullsec ISK/hour numbers is simply wrong and comes across as extremely naive to people who actually know sov nullsec.

Dsj said...


Define "dirt poor". Monthly income isn't the only measure of wealth. The fixed assets of an alliance is often times an enormous amount of ISK, at a lot of those assets are sunk costs but POS's and such are not worth nothing. What value do you place on a JB / cynogen / cynojam network? The full balance sheet for Goons would show them with total alliance assets far greater than the monthly income. As you have pointed out their re-investment of that ISK is an important consideration.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: don't miss Monday post, I won't copy-paste it in as a comment. By the way just because someone finds something fun, it's not without opportunity cost. "I like mining so my trit is free!"

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon: There's a difference between an industrialist who mines all their own materials rather than buying them because if they mine them they're "free" and an industrialist who mines all their own materials rather than buying them because they find satisfaction in being involved in every single step of the items production.

Their output and ISK income might be identical but the difference is that the first one has a goal (Make as much ISK as possible from industry) that they are sabotaging for themselves by failing to understand opportunity cost. The second one has a completely different goal (effectively, hand-craft ingame items) that they are meeting.

Darkgold said...

Comparative advantage strikes again!