Monday, January 6, 2014

The Marshmallows strike back

There are lot of players in EVE Online who want ISK. They are often called "carebears" by those who are not them, but anyway, they must want ISK, as without PvP, no other game goal is attainable to them. Wanting ISK assumes that one tries to optimize his ISK/hour. Yet, people use horribly inefficient methods for earning ISK. My first find was that inter-hub trading can easily earn a billion a day for about 2 hours of daily activity. Now I found that lowbie wormhole systems allow 8-10B/month (about 300M/day) income, for less than an hour daily activity, which is worse than trading but still much-much better than running missions, grinding anomalies or mining. Still, most people earn their ISK from running missions, grinding anomalies or mining.

Figuring out "why?" is crucial for the lowbie wormhole utilization, which I believe to be the key for higher class wormhole utilization. Those who outgrew the lowbie wormholes or the "carebear" life will become the "pro" wormholers.

One of the possible reasons is in the Marshmallow experiment. In this, the researcher gave children two options: eat a marshmallow (or other kind of candy) now, or wait 15 minutes to have 2 marshmallows. Those children who waited 15 minutes had better school scores, less criminality in their adult life and generally higher socioeconomic status, as the experiment measured the universal ability "self control and planning".

The parallel is obvious: mining, missioning and ratting give you a small reward during or at worst at the end of your playing session. Trading, PI and similar kind of income sources give you a large reward after weeks or even months. It seems that most players simply can't think that long, can't wait for the reward, so they pick an activity that gives them some pocket change right now.

So far, it's both heartwarming and useless. The original Marshmallow experiment simply separate people into a group of "smart ones" who can control themselves and wait for the large reward, and the "morons" who can't. It's heartwarming, because it reiterates that we (who can plan and wait) are better, therefore more successful than the morons. It's useless because it tells nothing how to fix the morons or even who they are.

However researchers noticed that there is strong correlation between the ability of the children to wait and the presence of the father in their family. Children in broken families had much-much higher chance to just pick the small reward now. This prompted recent research to add "reliability" to the test. Half of the test children were betrayed right before the experiment by a broken promise. These children performed 1/4 as good in the marshmallow experiment compared to the non-scammed control group. This is logical: if you can't believe that the promise of the 2 marshmallows will be fulfilled, it's better to take the one now. Let's call it "rational nihilism": you only own what you've eaten.

In EVE practically everyone was betrayed, scammed or robbed, so it makes sense that someone feels that only things docked in a highsec hangar are his, investing into the future is pointless as it can be ruined any time. While this is a shared feeling by most and "EVE is a dark place" is a common slogan, this is objectively not true. I never lost anything to hostiles or traitors during my term in trading and my losses in WH are minimal compared to the rewards. The objective truth is that traders and industrialists get rich and grinders remain poor. I've also shown that Wormhole Space, especially low-class wormhole space has the least PvP in EVE, you numerically have higher chance to die in highsec than in a C1-C3, so it's not at all that dangerous.

So sticking to mining and missioning because of the risks is simply incorrect. Why do people stick to them? For the same reason why people "hunt". I've shown that the most effective way of collecting kills is farming AFK miners in highsec. No one even attempted to disprove it. They claim that "hunting" outside of highsec gives them adrenaline rush. I have no idea why would the same Retriever that bored me to death in highsec give you adrenaline rush when you attack it outside of highsec where it's easier to kill, but let's just simply accept that it does.

If it does, then it must work both ways. I mean if "hunting" other players is some special fun, then being hunted must be some special anti-fun (compared to simply losing the same ship to rats). From here the above makes sense: for me, losing a ship is losing its ISK value. I don't care if I lose a billion because of a ganker, because of a misclick on the trade window or because rats destroyed my ship. I've lost a billion, period. More importantly, the opportunity costs of the same loss is the same for me too.

For a social on the other hand losing a billion to rats, misclick or opportunity cost is annoying, while losing it to another player has extra negative value. If we add this imaginary value to the equation, it could result in highsec missioning being most profitable. Of course this value only exists in their head and not in reality.

Luckily there is a cure for this and it's suggested by every veterans: fit cheap frigs and go find fights! This advice works because it let one experience loss, while his mind can overrule it by saying "it was a cheap frig that was meant to die". So if you fear of doing some more profitable action because of gankers, just go and die in frigs until you can't care less!

However there are more problems here. Socials want to be among "friends". This is a completely irrational wish, since literally anyone suffice as "friend", they simply wish to join a random group and be on comms with random people while sharing a tag. Also, I've seen in TEST how "bros" turned into targets overnight when the blue icon was removed from their name. If "gaming friendship" would have any meaning, people would have standards who to friend with and would stick to them. But no, they just don't want to be alone, any random person suffice as company. If you want to be in a corp, the best ISK making activity is indeed missioning and mining. Why? Because all the more profitable activities involve corporate assets like POCOs, POS-es, shared ships and blueprints. These assets can be stolen, destroyed by hostiles or simply wasted by incompetent ones. On the other hand mining and missioning creates absolutely personal profit: the LP, loot or ore is yours. Awox risks are also the smallest while missioning alone: the awoxer can hit one missioner and then the rest of the missioners are warned. In short: if you want to be with "friends" but want to minimize the in-game interactions with these "friends" (who are just random EVE players: thieves, awoxers or leeches), the best way is missioning or mining alone while chatting.

Again, I bumped into sociality while looking for ISK. It seems I get rich wherever I go, just because I'm not blocked by social extra wishes and fears. However it also make my findings useless to most people. My trading and WH advices are unusable to a social, since it would demand him to give up social interactions while playing EVE. Telling him to get a 7 figures job and convert $10000 into PLEX wouldn't be more outlandish to him than "go play alone and maximize your efficiency". This is more severe than what my WoW-guild demanded. There I only banned useless social interactions (lolspeak, dumb jokes, memes and boosting) but other interactions like playing together, discussing strategies, cooperating for common goal were welcomed. In EVE even these are forbidden, not by me, but by the risk of awoxes and thefts.

The above is pretty bad for me, as it says that I can try anything, it will succeed in terms of ISK/hour or ISK destroyed/hour, but it will be a total failure in starting a trend as no one would follow it, since it's anti-social. But I can't figure out any successful and social method, as I don't believe that such can exist.


Anonymous said...

I think you are failing to find a successful social method because of your own confirmation bias. You come at the problem immediately thinking that any and all social behavior is pointless/stupid - even though there is a mountain of evidence in human history to the contrary.

Look at the nulsec blocs. These are groups of socials who collectively have wealth many orders of magnitude larger than yours (wealth in terms of liquid isk, assets and investments). Of course you denounce this by multiplying your own income by the number of pilots in the blocs and conclude they are inefficient. This doesn't take into account 2 important factors. 1, there is a peak amount of income any individual can earn in the amount of time given and 2, there is a diminishing return when you apply those methods to a collective (the network effect - as more people are added to the network the complexities around communication increase exponentially).

Social groups DO make more isk total. They DO NOT make more isk per person as you do on the nulsec bloc level. However there would be a much SMALLER network size that would be both highly efficient and provide you with the benefits of a social collective.

I'd suggest that number would be something like a social group around the size of 7 real people, plus or minus 2 real people (anecdotal observation from my real life experience organizing social groups in the workforce).

Foo said...

But I can't figure out any successful and social method, as I don't believe that such can exist.

Accepting that you make more isk than I do.

I however have attracted those that wait for the marshmallow; whether that be pure PVE or PVP pilots.

Set up your wh / low up front isk required wormhole.

Rent out divisions in a corp+POS in some wormhole space.

First common pos+corp has LSAA, PHA, SMA for players that do not need storage, and common access to LSAA/div1 for unpacking ships (but not access to wallet).

Rest of the POS+corp only take 6 players and do not have PHA.

Charge rent as you see fit, according to your risk/ROI profile. Set POCO tax accordingly.

Accept spies/awox attempts. Have access to a defense fleet to survive hostiles.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: but the point is that any people I'd accept would be better off without me. This was the problem with the ganking project, any ganker who had the orca alt and skills could gank all by himself

@Foo: you are doing just that. What are your results? Why don't you start Foo corp 2, lead by your alt?

Anonymous said...

Just couple of comments:
"then being hunted must be some special anti-fun" is absolutely not true. "Hide and seek" games are fun for both parties as long as cost is not too hight. It is "non fun" for prey only if there without chance to escape or win. Same true for hunter, there is no fun in hunting helpless miners.
Regarding social aspects:
Try to consider building corporation which you can trust your asset as a challenge. Try to "win the game" this way. It is MMO game after all, social interaction is only thing why it should be played instead of off-line games.

Pim said...

Remember that your goal is not to discover a (more) successful social method of playing, but instead, to convert social people into asocial people.

Of course the answer to one might be the answer to the other.

Foo said...

Foo corps 2 & 3 already exist.

No all Foo corps are called foo.

I am contemplating Foo corp #4.

Anonymous said...

As far as the ammount of isk you can make of trading you have to remember it is limited since yoy make it off of players. While any amount of given players can get mission rewards and bounties from pirates and also from mining (if belts run out you can do mining missions) the same is not true about trading. It makes so much money because so few people do it. If suddenly 30 thousand people decided they want to get rich by taking your advice for max isk/h and took up trading can you honestly say that their income would be anything close to yours?

Jason Ambrye said...

Just thinking... Doesn't the game "require" a certain amount of people who run missions / rat? The only actual sources of ISK entering into the game (i.e. the place where it's not coming from another player) are rat bounties, mission rewards, NPC's that buy stuff (removing it from the game) and insurance payouts (ISK faucets); without those people the amount of ISK in the game would actually go down (due to ISK sinks like the LP stores, NPC'S vendors, clone fees, NPC'S taxes, insurance fees and stuff being destroyed or damaged).

In the end, not everyone can be a goblin.

Sugar Kyle said...

For hunting... not that it matters but it is different. It isn't just that the Retriever is easier to find. It is finding one (wow) and scanning it down (belt, site, where?) and catching it (local, dscan, stabs) and killing it (tanked? trap? hot drop?) and trying to catch the pod if that is your thing, and making it back out without someone catching you while you are catching him.

It is the environment that makes a difference. How often did you curse because of local spikes when ganking ships? How often did you lurk in space, bouncing safe spots, avoiding combat probes, waiting down your timer to log off because a fleet was hunting you and had all of the gates locked down with instalocking tackle?

If you dilute it down to the end result, the kill you miss all of the aspects of being in the areas of the game. That is what keeps us where we are and not in high sec.

Lucas Kell said...

This is complete and utter drivel.
For starters, your begin with a completely flawed statement "they must want ISK, as without PvP, no other game goal is attainable to them". How you still assume this to be true after being told several hundred times that it's shockingly incorrect is beyond me. I'll try again.

EVE is a game. Games are for fun and entertainment, thus the goal is to be entertained. PI in a wormhole might tick a number up faster, a number that most people couldn't care less about, but things such as missioning, anoms and hell, even mining are entertaining. The problem is you want to play as little is possible and make isk. That's what YOU want. Most of us want to have fun. If I only logged on to eve for an hour to sort out PI, I simply wouldn't bother playing. There would be no entertainment in what would essentially doing an extra hour of work per day, where I get paid in pretend money.

Lets face it though, your entire goal here isn't to make some profound statement about the eve community, it's to try to find a way to say that people who don't do what you do are dumb, as that makes you feel better. At the end of the day though, it really doesn't matter. EVE is a game and as long as you are being entertained, what does it matter if you tick up and imaginary number? I played Assassins Creed 2 yesterday for hours. It's single player, I gained no isk from doing it an had zero effect on anything that goes beyond the confines of that game session. The reason I did that is that I wanted to be entertained, and it did exactly that. Why is it so hard for you to understand that EVE is designed for the exact same thing?

By the way, the marshmallow experiment is flawed. First off children have varying wants. Children were simply assumed to want 2 marshmallows more than they wanted one, which is not always going to be the case. It's perfectly rational to only want a single marshmallow, in which case waiting is pointless. Secondly, the experiment only works within the confines of 100% trust. The children trust 100% that the second marshmallow will come and nothing bad will happen to the first, but that's simply not the case many times in life (*hint hint* this is where it breaks down when you try to compare it directly to EVE). To draw a correlation between the marshmallows and success is a considerable stretch.

Anonymous said...

You forgot about the boredom factor and player preferences. While ratting and missioning is boring, trading is even more. A game should be played for fun in the end and to many people trading would look like a second job. And that is the opposite of fun, so people settle for less virtual currency for more real fun. Mission accomplished.
As for kills, once again you purposely ignore their quality. No one disproved your kb efficiency because there's nothing to disprove. You achieved high efficiency by killing defenseless targets. Yet those kills are the lowest in quality, so people just ignore them, yet you keep boasting them. Putting it another way - you care about a broken metric which pretty much no one else cares about.
The same can be applied to those you call socials or morons. They have different goals and walk away from a game session happy on average. I assume you do too. So is there a difference between you and them in sense of reaching a goal? I don't think so. The only difference is in the goal itself. And the fact that you can't seem to understand that.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: An individual absolutely would not be better off by himself. An individual could not for example take and hold sovereignty nullsec space - The effort required to do so demands the collective (It exceeds what an individual can achieve in terms of both time and money). All reap the benefits of having taken the space once it is taken and held.

The point is there is a maximum amount an individual can do. If that individual wants to do more he needs to group up in order to achieve it.

There are also non financial benefits which are difficult to quantify. Not everybody is interested in amassing enormous wealth. You might be. I might be. But others want to fight. A wealthy benefactor teaming up with dedicated fighters creates a symbiotic relationship which is mutually beneficial. The Benefactor has defenders without the cost of paying for mercenaries, the fighters have a wealthy industrialist to keep them in subsidized ships.

There are many many benefits to the social condition. The human race has a long history of proving this, and continues to prove it daily to this very day.

I think you simply don't want it to be true for some reason and are concocting circular arguments to prove your point.

daniel said...

"I've shown that the most effective way of collecting kills is farming AFK miners in highsec. No one even attempted to disprove it. They claim that "hunting" outside of highsec gives them adrenaline rush. I have no idea why would the same Retriever that bored me to death in highsec give you adrenaline rush when you attack it outside of highsec where it's easier to kill, but let's just simply accept that it does."

But you haven't tried hunting outside highsec, so you do not know if that would give you an adrenalin rush or not.

the thing with the income schemes that you develope is that they require a steady attention to the game.
to make isk with pi i HAVE to log in every (2nd) day, while rats and belts can wait for me until i WANT to log in.
never tried trading, but i guess it's pretty much the same, though with higher investment comes more relaxation.
i do production, and the constant need to log in every day to do my inventions etc pp make eve feel like a second job. ratting and mining makes eve feel more like a hobby - though dull and neither i do understand why ppl do it.

that's the downside of eve's passiv income sources, they aren't as afk as one might think in the first place.

Anonymous said...

When you played World of Tanks with your girlfriend, the two of you together were more successful than you would have been on your own. One plus one was greater than two, because of better coordination and so on.

You say that in EVE one plus one is less than two. Is that true for everything in EVE or can you find some activity/method/organisation where all members of a social group profit from grouping?

Bitter said...

I think another reason people stick to missions etc rather than those earners that require forward planning and delayed reward is a lack of, for want of a better term, "time commitment". They just want to dip in, play, leave, whenever they want (or can) rather than set something up which must be revisited in 23 hours time, or after 8 days 2 hrs, whatever.

The irony is that they often are playing at that time anyway, just dipping in for another "quick" 3 hour session, but can't take advantage of the fact because they didn't think they would be...

nullNPC dweller said...

Many of hisec missioners are dirt poor. They often have 100m in wallet and 10 days until their plex expire, and are able to play 1 hour per day. The only thing they can do and indeed do is grinding missions.

Alkarasu said...

@first Anonymous
"Social groups DO make more isk total. They DO NOT make more isk per person as you do on the nulsec bloc level."

But that's exactly a total failure from the efficiency standpoint! If the group doesn't provide any kind of synergy (which, considering there inevitably will be some useless members, should put the group at least on par with "multiply one efficient member output by the member count"), it's made of wasted effort - those effective members end up worse, than they would if they'll go solo. Historical examples demonstrate it very clearly - any group made for sole purpose of being a group fails, bloody and miserably, and quite fast. They can survive up to the point where everyone notice, that you can't eat sociality, but no further.

Gevlon said...

@Foo: and what are the results? How much ISK you make by running Foo corps for how much time investment?

@Sugar: the things you listed are "annoying obstacles" in my book.

@Lucas: are you claiming that missioning is fun and one can play EVE for the sole reason of enjoying missions?

@Anonymous: care to give an objective definition of "quality kill"?

@Next anon: unless you consider sov as a goal itself and not just a tool to get ISK or kills, why does it matter if I can't hold Sov?

@Daniel: I haven't tried out homosexual intercourse either and I'm still sure I wouldn't like it.

@Next anonymous: World of Tanks has a clearly defined goal, winning the battle. What is the goal in EVE where we should unite our forces?

Anonymous said...

Let me answer your questions to others from my point of view; I hope they don't mind:

"@Sugar: the things you listed are "annoying obstacles" in my book."

You nailed it - in YOUR book. Not in ours. In other players' book, trading and PI could be viewed as "annoying obstacles", when hunting being the soul of the game. All positions are valid, since we do what we want in Eve. The only invalid position is trying to prove other positions are invalid, which is what you are doing and people keep pointing that up.

"@Lucas: are you claiming that missioning is fun and one can play EVE for the sole reason of enjoying missions?"

Yes it can for some people and yes - those are playing Eve just to do missions. But focusing on missions is not the point. The point is saying that people do what THEY consider fun. Not what YOU do. If someone likes to rat every other day, by all means - do it! If someone likes to sit in a WH and do PI - he has every right to do so and have fun. People make their own objectives. Trying to tell them how they should play is really dumb and that's what you're trying to do.

"@Daniel: I haven't tried out homosexual intercourse either and I'm still sure I wouldn't like it."

So don't try it. Nobody is forcing you to. Nobody is telling you that it's the only rational thing to do. Nobody will call you a moron if you don't try.

"What is the goal in EVE where we should unite our forces?"

It's the one you make for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I do not consider myself a moron by your definition, and I know the definition after years of reading your blog. I might be somewhat of a slacker (again in your definition). This post was a good read, but I can tell you this: Lucas comment hits home for me on this one. I have a RL friend in a nullsec corp who invited me 2 years ago, gave me some ISK which I used to buy a 80m SP char and all I ever do (mostly) is PVE content. I find it fun to run some anomalies, do some exploration, hit up a gas site, pester people in local (slightly PVP-ish activity without actual shooting). I like somehwat blinging a ship and getting away with it in Null for as long as I can.

Tried trading; made more ISK then with everything else combined, but I couldn't stand it after a month.

So yes, I'm an example of a player who is neither PVP nor ISK driven, yet still logs in to Eve 3 to 4 times a week for a few hours doing all kinds of 'suboptimal' gameplay. It is fun for me.

I've decided if I ever need extra ISK for whatever reason, I'll just buy some PLEX or reassess the need for ISK in the first place.

Point is, although your post rings home and I think you're exactly hitting the spot where it comes to YOUR motivations, the premise is wrong: there is a significant subset of players that just performs suboptimal PVE for fun. Keep writing!!

Foo said...

@daniel: if you want to play PI casually, set your planets up for weekly extraction cycles, and reset every time you logon. You do not need to leave it the full week.
Leave extra storage units on planet so you can pick up when you want. Quick; easy; but deferred gratification.

The two wormhole corps I run are taking 1.3B/month (between them) in rent and PI taxes. Direct ISK costs currently are fuel for 2 towers, plus 1 hour/month for billing, plus another however long to organise Ice products.

We also run a wormhole trading program where we buy/sell PI mats, in addition to the above.

The first POS/wh I would be paying for regardless of whether I was solo or as a group. It currently has space that I am waiting for wardecs to be resolved before filling. The space has come from a relativity recent split into a third wormhole.

The second POS/wormhole was set up as an experiment. It is a good recruiting ground, but has also been the system to cause us trouble. It currently earns more ISK than corp #1, but also has additional time costs.

The third POS/wormhole is being run by a player from the original foo corp, and I do not have his full costs/income. I believe the charges on this wormhole are higher than the ones I run.

An additional ~600M/month of income for 30 minutes/month of work, plus 2 hours/new player introduction/investigation for an established wormhole? Very much worth it.

I am not convinced that running additional wormholes is economically rational, but it is an area I am intending to continue to play with. If I was to do purely economically rational play, I would do primarily station trading. As it is, I think I meet the '2 marshmallow later' test.

The costs mentioned above do not include infrastructure and defence.

Gevlon said...

@Foo: if running more wormholes is not economically rational, than RUNNING one wormhole isn't economically rational either.

Your profit is coming from BEING in the wormhole. What I'm saying is that if you can't profit from running it for other people, than social wormholing is unprofitable. Wormholing itself is profitable.

Provi Miner said...

GG you finaly realized the value and the curse of eve. Congrats. As you no doubt know now all those who kept saying your playing a solo game while everyone else is trying to play a social game were right. Ok you are forgetting tons of RL interactions. Your girlfreind can cheat on you, right? Or you could be the cheater, yet you still have a girl friend. Why bother if she can awox you at anytime? I am not saying she will, or you will all I am saying is that everything in this post about eve exists in your RL. You in RL crave a social interaction that poses significant risks to you, yet you do them?????? Then you post how such risks are unlogical in a game based on social interaction? You have come a long way with this post. Now turn off the game look around and see if you can spot the same negative risks in the world around you. Good luck. BTW making isk is/should be a secondary concern at best. The top concern is having fun (why else have a girlfriend and risk the awox if not for fun first). Just a thought. Isk is what people do when they are bored stiff or need it. Interaction is what people do otherwise.

Gevlon said...

@Provi miner: the problem is that in EVE the risks aren't matched with rewards.

Yes, having a girlfriend poses the risk of awox, but the alternative is living alone, losing all the benefits of a girlfriend.

Having corpies in EVE has no benefits that I know of, you risk awox for nothing.

Anonymous said...

"Having corpies in EVE has no benefits that I know of, you risk awox for nothing."

People have pointed out numerous times what the benefits are. It's not that you don't know them, you don't acknowledge them, because they don't fit your playstyle. There is nothing wrong in playing solo, if that's your thing. Just don't try argue that other playstyles have no sense. They do, you just can't understand it. Yet you are the one calling us morons. Irony.

Anonymous said...


What are the benefits of having a girlfriend/boyfriend?

Sure, we all hear that it is better to not be solo IRL, but then, we all hear that it is better to be in a corp in eve, and you dismiss that.

The possible benefits are:
1) Sharing of bills/expenses: Get a lodger/Better job
2) Sex: Right...cos you cannot have sex without a live in partner?
3) Companionship: For a declared anti-social? Not a reason
4)Someone to look good next to you at a party:It is cheaper to hire an escort, and you can specify the level of knowledge required
5)Love: See 3. say the benefits of having a girlfriend make it worth the awox risk. I say, are you sure?

After all, it is only a societal thing isn't it?

Corps provide the things that others have mentioned before, from fleets to access to hangars, materials, items, and friendship.
That you dismiss these as irrelevant while saying a GF is worth the awox risk is a

Von Keigai said...

Having corpies in EVE has no benefits that I know of, you risk awox for nothing.

You can gain the same social benefits as you do for friends outside of EVE. I assume you have at least a few. Why? What value do they have? How much real money do you earn off of them?

I enjoy just doing stuff with my EVE friends. I think most people do. I think this is perfectly sufficient as an explanation: it's fun.

In other words: most of us do not see see people as a means to an end (earning ISK). We see doing stuff with friends as an end in itself.

That said, I think that there is some content in EVE that friends are helpful for. In particular, in wspace there are PVE sites that require several characters at minimum to do at all, and are best done with at least two DPS ships and a logistics. Beyond the ships actually in the site, having a fleet booster is very helpful and there are needs for opsec (having character listening/watching at wormholes and towers), and there is the need for salvaging.

For example, last night I ran sites in a C4 that was connected to my home system. We used eight accounts to do this: 5 DPS, 1 logi, 1 fleet booster, and one cloaky scout. I salvaged after. Now, it would be possible to multibox that. However, even running two DPS I was busy much of the time. I don't think I could handle more than perhaps four accounts myself even if I worked at it.

Now, what is the Goblin value of such PVE? We were running anoms in about 10 minutes, which each pay out about 80m on average in blue loot and salvage. So this is 480m per hour; perhaps somewhat less counting initial organization and salvaging. In terms of players, that's 160m per hour.

This compares favorably to PI, at least to PI as I do it. I spend perhaps two minutes per day per character logging on and restarting extractors, and maybe a half hour every ~9 days to move P1 goods around. Over a month this comes out to perhaps 2 hours spent. Further time is required to move this stuff out of wspace, to Jita, and sell it. Each character earns about 400m per month. This is maybe slightly better than running sites, but not easily increased. Whereas I get a fresh C4 system once per day, at least, and can create one with five minutes of hole-popping.

Another activity that does not multibox well is scanning. It requires almost all your focus. So having friends is helpful when you are scanning out of deeper wspace.

Dado R. said...

Things look very bleak in gevlon land. Social interaction is frowned upon, and everything "fun" is labeled noobish and inefficient. Most miners and grinders are inefficient not because of a psychological factor, or because they prize "social interactions". They are inefficient because they are ignorant and stupid. Doing markets and doing PI might be easy for some people, but most average gamers can't start to comprehend that shit.

Tell you what your next experiment should be, get a bunch of grinders that are in player corps, take them to the hole for 1 month (pay them a bill each so they come) and teach them how to do PI. I will bet 10 bill that most will actually leave their corpies behind after they learn how to do PI and how much isk they can get with their own eyes.

Also saying nobody tried to "disprove" your elite high sec miners killing is laughable at best. Many people gave good arguments on this blog, whether you choose to acknowledge them as true is your prerogative, but saying there was none is purely in your imagination.

Btw I am serious about the bet.

Satori Okanata said...

@lucas Kell
"PI in a wormhole might tick a number up faster, a number that most people couldn't care less about"

I disagree, isk is the most important thing in this (and most) games. You need it to buy your shiny ships.

"Lets face it though, your entire goal here isn't to make some profound statement about the eve community, it's to try to find a way to say that people who don't do what you do are dumb"

And most people are, the basic way to win in an MMO (and most other games) is to get your economy going, then you can buy those prettty ships to blow them up. The game is useless and basically lost if you don't have isk, as you will have to forfeit your liberty in exchange of free ships. You'll have to follow the rules, style and doctrine of a corp that you probably don't like because of your lack of cash.

When you have the ammount of money that other people in the game consider being rich, you also have total liberty to do whathever you want to do, whatever that is, and if the rest of the people consider it boring or stupid or dumb is irrelevant.

I have it clear that the objective of eve is destroying ships, but what can be better than having enormous resources to play and try every ship/thing/playstyle you want in the game?


"A game should be played for fun in the end and to many people trading would look like a second job"

I share the same desk with my wife and when I come home and start playing eve while she is watching movies or tv shows on her computer, she sees me doing mining while in the other screen I program my qlikview dashboards/make excel sheets/look at the trade screen and generally do things that look boring as hell. She has asked me several times why am I playing something so boring (and work like) instead of going back to WoW? The thing is that it might look boring, but it isn't for me. It's my kind of "fun" and my "playstyle" so I find it perfectly normal and VERY FUN.

Satori Okanata said...


"Now I found that lowbie wormhole systems allow 8-10B/month (about 300M/day) income, for less than an hour daily activity, which is worse than trading but still much-much better than running missions, grinding anomalies or mining. Still, most people earn their ISK from running missions, grinding anomalies or mining.

Figuring out "why?" is crucial..."

There are many reasons why people do that kind of things in game. You can find me in the ice anomaly gathering ice at least once a day in Lonetrek-piekura and the reason for it is "seed money." Even tho that's not the only reason. There are several more like watching how the guys from the CODE make macks, rets and hulks go boom (love the fireworks). I sometimes get my ships blown too (not very often, I fly tanked procs and orca) and I don't mind, for me it's operational cost. Also I have very strict rules for my gaming, being one of them that I just play one MMO at the time.

Eve has only one real constraint that I have found until now, and that is time. There is no real way to accelerate your skill learning once you got your +x implants so, you want to fly an stealth-bomber, wait a month. You want to try that navy omen (saw a very nice one just yesterday) wait another month... oh but you want T2 weapons on that guy, another month, ad infinitum.

According to my calculations it will take me the next 4 months to train the skills needed to do all the things I want to do in a proficient way, and I've been playing about 3-4 months now. By that time I'll have the propper economy going to support that playstyle and not worry about running out of money and going back to "grind for shinnies" mode.

"The above is pretty bad for me, as it says that I can try anything, it will succeed in terms of ISK/hour or ISK destroyed/hour, but it will be a total failure in starting a trend as no one would follow it, since it's anti-social. But I can't figure out any successful and social method, as I don't believe that such can exist."

And here's what I consider that your problem is. You're are trying to use the goblin way to make socials change into goblins and that never works. Just look at RL, not everyone can be a millionaire, if that was possible then being a millionaire wouldn't be any special at all and you would need to be a quatrillionaire to raise your head above the crowd. What you need to do is associate with more goblins, not socials, then use that combined economic power to make a difference. You don't need to join someone else's corp to do that, you need his corp and your corp and the corps of many other goblins to form an alliance. Then use your combined gazillions ISK to do whatever you want to do. Remeber that with power comes change and not the other way, and in my book money=power.

I started with trading (seriously trading) about a month ago, and my net worth in that time went from barely being able to plex my 3 accounts with mining to having no problems doing so and having around 3 extra billions to to play with, and I've only started trading in hek. I plan on expanding to all major trade hubs and all secondary hubs. But that will take time and lots of work, but yes, I can wait some time to get 2 marshmallows.

Lucas Kell said...

"are you claiming that missioning is fun and one can play EVE for the sole reason of enjoying missions?"
Yes, for some people, missioning is fun. Do you actually find anything in games fun, or are you always just playing to achieve some target? I can't imagine doing PI and a handful of C1 sites would be much fun for me. I can have quite a bit of fun mining and running production industry however. Missions aren't my cup of tea, but they are some people's.

Foo said...

@gevlon, are you now trolling?

There is a largely fixed cost in running a wormhole/POS/corp and a variable income.

Talking purely about my primary wormhole that I would be running a large POS regardless of any expermiments.

One income source is PI, largely variable on effort, with few upper bounds apart from time.
One source is site running; both at home and in neighbouring holes - I don't generally do this.
One source is rental/tax. This more than pays for fuel for a large tower alone.

Now of course if you claim that I should be rejecting 600M/month in my primary wormhole for little effort or risk out of some idealistic reason, that is your right to do so.

It's almost as if you have a bias against anything that does not fit your asocial model. Rejecting ISK because it does not fit your model sounds very 'play for ego'.

Gevlon said...

@Foo: no. I'm saying that once you set up a wormhole for YOURSELF, it's lightly beneficial to invite other players to use the pre-existing infrastructure. You are right to not leave 600M on the table (assuming the management time and time lost to more gankers is smaller than just having one more PI alt)

But the scheme is not profitable enough to turn it into a business venture: setting up wormholes just for the purpose of getting people in it.

Mr Awesome said...

You are a moron and here is why:

1) The wormholes are not worth 10B/month as you say they are. To a normal player they are worth as much as one character can gain - 850M/month, which is ten times less and does not look interesting at all - your average carebear makes just as much within two days in hisec with basically zero risk. 3 characters tops (2.5B/month) and that is considering an optimistic scenario where you can build all the most profitable stuff within one wormhole.

2) Your way of looking at kills in wormholes is in every way moronic. There are little kills specifically for the following reasons:
a. nobody lives there
b. everyone is so paranoid that they cease all activity for days after seeing an unknown ship on d-scan
and not for the reason that lowbie wormholes are as safe as hisec, for they are not.

3) Nullsec is just as good as wormholes in regards of PI and certain areas (renter space) are much safer, because local, intel, jump bridges and known locations of the gates. I'd say safer than hisec because in hisec you don't know who the enemy is until it is too late. Systems here also provide ISK-making activities the carebear is already familiar with, like clearing anomalies.

4) Wormhole holders are THRIVING. The community may be dying, that is true. But the only people who care are the social ones, the PvPers. As you said yourself, in EVE it is better to make ISK alone and that applies to hi-end wormholes too: get a bunch of alts in, build capitals, roll your static away from hostiles and farm-farm-farm, mad bux, your monthly PI income in a day. You will almost never enter a C5-C6 system that is being farmed because nobody wants you there. The only time you get to enter one is when the anomalies have been cleared and the person is away for a few days, hence the butthurt of "the wormhole community" who you should refer to as wormhole PvPers. The wormhole PvEers are perfectly happy with PvPers dying out.

So please could you stop posting this BS about 10B/month from ~solo~ PI and w-space zombieland because neither are true.

Smith said...

I might be late to this blog post, but I want to ask anyway...

"I mean if "hunting" other players is some special fun, then being hunted must be some special anti-fun (compared to simply losing the same ship to rats)."

So you don't find any joy at all in the fights you've had in your wormhole (yeah, I can look up killboards, go me)?

No sense of exitement, danger at all? I'm asking cause like others claim I find a distinct rush when being attacked while mining/running sites/doing PI.

Also: you don't seem to grasp the fun in social. But at least you seem to understand that you don't understand it. Personally I do not think that there is anything wrong with either way of playing as long as one enjoys it.

Smith said...

"... despite my WH adventure didn't go well at all. I'm printing money using trivial methods, but no one will follow these methods because they are "not fun"."

From this I gather that the goal was to som sort get others to do what you do? You must understand that far more peole than not would enjoy what you where doing as a group. AS A GROUP. Sure, the ISK is there, it can be don, but unless what matters most is ISK/hour peope will do what they consider fun. A reoccuring theme with you. Gevlon, seem to be you have a hard time grasping that other people value other things.

Your math, plans, execution and everything works. You've proven that. But did you enjoy it? The playing, I mean, not the ISK at the end.

Gevlon said...

@Smith: no. I found it a necessary grind. I repeatedly offered the tower owner to just offline it an we let it evacuated, despite it was out of reinforce with no allies coming.

Smith said...

"I found it a necessary grind. I repeatedly offered the tower owner to just offline it an we let it evacuated, despite it was out of reinforce with no allies coming."

A grind. No enjoyment. Gotcha. I understand that such things are sometimes necessary to do in order to get to the fun. But what about the game-play once that was done? Did you enjoy doing Sleeper sites? PI? The fights you had? Scanning and guearding your static hole?

Personally I find the low impact gaming of W-space relaxing. Occasianally it's puntuated by intense acts of random violence, but I do enjoy knowing that I can get attacked and probably ganked anytime.

I'm trying to grasp what is your drive. What to you really get out of the game. You, at times, seem as alien to me like the people you dub 'socials' seem to you. This is not a flame, BTW. Just curiosity. We all are what we are and I'm fine with that.

alim said...

Gevlon, I'm a huge fan, but the reason I don't take anything you say as good advice is the fact I don't want multiple alts, and your advice is useless to me because of that. You don't do solo play you do group play by your self. There is a difference I wish you'd touch on that.

Sthenno said...

Just to elaborate on the why the marshmallow experiment doesn't work, it's not just theory, it is tested. A similar experiment was conducted, but before offering the marshmallows the experimenter spent time with the children in some activities designed to give the children the idea that they were trustworthy or not trustworthy. Whether children were "able" to wait for the second marshmallow was highly correlated with whether the experimenter seemed trustworthy.

So the truth is that the experiment was actually testing whether children trusted adults. It is not "smart" children who did well and "morons" who did not, it was trusting children who did well and non-trusting ones who did not. That actually runs extremely counter to most of your ideas about how social things work.

The problem with the original experiment is that no one ever considered that the children might actually be making good decisions based on their own life experience.

Anonymous said...

Although most people wwon't agree, I do! I have several chars who do things "solo" and cannot be hindered by griefing wardecs...
Still, I enjoy doing incursions and hanging out with others on TS and chat channel.
But apart from some occasional PVP roams, I do most activities alone, with one or two alts. It is just way more efficient.
Again, this is not due to the "nature of man", but to the mechanics of EVE.

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