A Proposal to Fix EvE's Economy... and even the Blue Donut

The problem with EvE’s economy is that ISK is created out of thin air by activities like ratting. Since EvE will almost never just by chance have as much money creation as money destruction, this fundamentally creates a condition of perpetual inflation or deflation, but in reality it’s almost always inflation.

The problem could be solved in numerous ways, e.g. by removing all ISK creation altogether. Here I propose a different scheme, one mirrored on a real-life example. When the USA went off the gold standard, unbeknownst to many, they actually created and went onto another standard - the “petrodollar.” Since dollars were no longer backed by gold, the USA wanted them to be backed by something. They thus negotiated with Saudi Arabia and other oil cartel members to only accept payment for their oil in dollars. This created demand for dollars, as the only way to buy oil from the big players in the market was to exchange it for dollars. In this way, the dollar was effectively backed by oil.

I propose the PetroISK. I propose that some sort of fuel commodity be created in the game - fuel which must be used by many or most important functions in the game. Perhaps all ships need this fuel to do anything at all. Or perhaps they just need it to take gates. Furthermore, stations should be made to use this fuel just to keep the lights on. Perhaps jump gates and other structures should be made to use the fuel as well.

No longer would bounties be paid in ISK. Instead, they’d be paid in PetroISK (actually, you can keep calling it ISK, and it would function the exact same, but drive home the concept in your mind that it would be backed by ‘Petro’ or whatever we would call the new fuel).

Now, how to get the fuel which backs our PetroISK? I propose any of several ways. One way could be the creation of a PetroBank run by NPCs or CONCORD or whoever, which exchanges PetroISK (or, just ISK) for Petro. In other words, you buy Petro using ISK at this bank. Naturally, you could also continue to use ISK to exchange with other players for ships or modules or whatever else. But the PetroBank would allow the destruction of ISK by exchanging it with Petro, which also is destructible as it is used for fuel.
This is the key, you see. Petro must always be continuously destroyed (burned) as it is what keeps the lights on.

Another possibility is that Petro is somehow ‘mined.’ Perhaps different areas of space have different ingredients to mine in order to produce Petro. If this is the case, practitioners of the ‘blue donut’ might have a reason to fight each other, as owning multiple areas of space might allow an alliance to produce Petro, and have a monopoly. Or, perhaps the blue donut would ossify even more, and turn into a cartel which cooperates vs. fights? Hey, at least it offers the possibility of fights over different areas of space. Anyway, refineries could refine the mined products into Petro. And what is one of the ingredients refineries would use to produce the Petro? In addition to the mined stuff that needs refining, refineries would eat PetroISK (or… ISK if you will). In this way, we have yet another ISK sink.

Inflation getting you down one month? CCP notices, and easily tweaks a few numbers in a database. Instead of PetroBanks giving 1 Petro per ISK, now they’ll give 0.9. Maybe Petro refineries also eat more ISK to produce a Petro.

The Era of Chaos is over, you say? Post Era of Chaos blues getting you down? Stagnancy and normalcy returning? Support the PetroISK today! What have you got to lose?

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Maybe you should explain at least why you think that is the problem EVE has before you drop a long post on how to fix a problem you seemingly just invented.


Probably better to base an idea on a solution that works.


Ib4 Teckos destroys every facet of this thread :sunglasses:


Uh oh, somebody called Teckos.

Anyway, it just occurred to me that, rather than rely on CCP manual intervention in the markets, the PetroISK exchange rate provided by the PetroBank could be wired to some inflation metric. Inflation going up? The PetroBank starts charging 1.1 ISK per barrel of Petro, then 1.2 ISK per barrel of Petro, etc. This could happen automatically (or if you prefer, auto-magically).

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Right off the bat you are wrong.

ISK is created by players trading time for ISK. A ratter may trade 1 hour for 10 million, 20 million or 50 million ISK. As such there is a natural tension between marginal benefit and marginal cost. It is largely self regulating.

So long at money creation equals the rate of growth on the real side of the economy there will be no inflation…which has generally been norm if you would mother f—king look at the MERs and the specifically the price indices.


Sorry to be so harsh, but this data has been right there in front of you all these months and you can’t even look at it.

What in the f–king Hell. Removing all ISK creation would result in massive deflation you ignoramus.

What in the honest f–k are you talking about. In the 1930s there was no “petro dollar”.

No, when the US went off the Gold Standard we eventually went with the Bretton Woods agreement which kind of sort of tied the US to the price of gold. Basically it was a way to manage the fiat currency that emerged as a result of the Great Depression…which is really beside the point.

In EVE Online the money supply is controlled by players who rat. There are thousands of players who “control the money supply”. It is a very clear example of Adam Ferguson’s notion of “by human action, but not by human design”.

We already have a commodity based currency where the commodity in question is time. I see no need for this.

This does nothing but add on a layer and take up Dev time and will not provide anything more than what we have already.

This is a bad idea based on a flawed understanding of how money is created in game.


You called and I must answer… :stuck_out_tongue:


Ratting and mining are two ways of turning time into ISK, which I consider a good game aspect suiting different type of play styles. Nothing broken here, nothing too fix. Although I do like your line of thought, and feel prices have gone up quite a lot over the last 3 years?

Broken is that this activities create isk from thin air. which resulted in broken game economy.

And prices are going down. Minerals market is crap. only thing that is going up is plex since everyone is farming isk.

Yes but it is a game, when people like to do this in their free time it is how they choose. Not everything should be as hard as hell all the time. And again the ISK comes from time not from thin air. It is the reward for spending time in the game.

And I don’t care about Plex prices hardly know what that plex stuff actually is, I pay for Omega and having great fun.

Remember that this is not single player game. Your actions affect others. Oversupply of isk damage game economy that affects everyone. You want to grind for hours for pixels? Go play x4, elite dangerous or other SP game.

And I don’t care about things you care. I want healthy and balanced game.

Btw. reward for wasted time is fun/joy. not pixels. This is game after all, not second job.

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Well, if we are talking about ratting, ISK doesn’t come from time. It comes from bounties. It is created from ‘thin air.’ If you want to say the ISK comes from time, you might as well say the money that the Federal Reserve creates comes from time too. But they just print the stuff. Sure, time may be some small component somewhere - time is a component in everything. But I think it’s the wrong way to look at it.

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If you really did - you would have been against OP’s proposal because:

  • it doesnt get rid of ISK printing but shifts it to different area
  • it removes the choice for many a player - they will HAVE TO mine for said fuel (the sole source of ISK)
  • diminishing returns on the exchange rate between “fuel”<>ISK means that at some point of the game new players wont be able to afford anything even after mining for days/months just because there are a lot of fuel-hoarders within the capsuleers in EvE
  • if you dissect “anti blue doughnut” part then OP’s proposal just becomes ludicrous: if any one player entity monopolizes any part of fuel production - the rest of eve will literally halt because (as per proposal) you cannot do anything without a fuel.

How is that a healthy or balanced game?

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Where I said I’m against or after OP idea? I didn’t commented OP idea just answered to someone reply.

Real world economics has taught players how to abuse the economy in eve, people will cheat the economy in the real world where there are laws and people will still cheat the economy in Eve where there are almost no laws to prevent it except CCP intervention on what they deem necessary, as with anything in Eve online.

It costs money to trade in game so even the process of converting assets into profits comes with much cost even before considering the time or effort input. Every time something is killed in game the hull is destroyed and much of the cargo drop can randomly be destroyed as well. Further removing assets and only recycling a small portion back into the economy of Eve that then again needs to be traded.

Imagine if cargo was never destroyed, the same item could be dropped, sold and lost multiple times over and eventually an unlimited growth of cost to trade, time and effort to continue the cycle of reusing a single asset would grow like a blackhole. That would happen if the item was never destroyed (RNG can make this possible anyways but eventually it will get destroyed) and that is why we always need to be able to produce further products and the wealth necessary to do that.

This is the fuel cost of playing eve, nothing is done without some cost and this is how they reduce the generation of wealth and assets in game.

What you are truly after is an economy that nobody tries to take advantage of, where prices are fixed and it takes the same effort and cost to sell anything.

Basically your proposing a fake economy controlled by CCP with no means of player input. Where they would have to generate assets and let players buy them if they didn’t do it themselves.

Like some skillbooks in NPC stations, they are always there in unlimited supplies and always the same price so there is no reason for players to make it themselves or set a price.

Fortunately we don’t got that kind of system and if someone wants they can buy those skillbooks from NPC and sell them at a trade hub which doesn’t have them at a marked up price for profit that people will pay for if it means not having to visit a different station just to purchase one item (people with money to burn don’t mind paying a convenience fee to save themselves time not worth spending to do it themselves)

Something to consider, lots of trade hubs don’t sell many skillbooks which can be purchased at NPC stations, which is why they always put the price up for selling them at those locations.

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In the realm of possibilities, we could get rid of ISK printing, and I stated that near the top of the post. This was simply discussion of another possibility - backing the printed ISK with a commodity vs. getting rid of ISK printing altogether. I suspect backing ISK with ‘petro’ would be easier to implement than getting rid of ISK printing. But either way, no, this does not ‘shift ISK printing to different area,’ it just backs ISK.

They won’t have to mine for fuel. They can just continue with whatever ISK-generating activities they want to continue with. It’s just that the ISK will be backed by fuel, not exist as pure fiat ‘backed by nothing’ or ‘backed by thin air.’

No. You have diminishing returns NOW, on the exchange rate of everything in game, because of inflation. This is simply a mechanism to MITIGATE (reduce/eliminate) inflation.

Blue donut proposal was a separate (although linked) proposal, because some people like the idea of having reasons to fight over space. Backing ISK with ‘petro’ can be done without attempted modification of the blue donut.

The proposal is not intended to stop people from taking advantage of the economy, exploiting said economy, cheating said economy (or other players), etc. and indeed it does none of those things. It’s just a proposal to mitigate inflation. It’s a proposal for an ever-corrective force to respond to inflation when it occurs by ‘soaking up’ the inflation.

Not really. You currently have ISK being magically created from thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank of CCP. That in itself is a ‘fake economy’ of sorts. This proposal just says “that ISK being printed out of thin air will be backed by a commodity.”

You can do the same with this proposal. You can buy ‘petro’ from the PetroBank, haul it up to Jita or wherever, and sell it for whatever price you want.

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Except in this case inflation by CCP would mean printing out more PLEX and throwing them onto the market which in turn means less people having to buy the PLEX that sustains the market which is less money in CCPs pockets and more PLEX to feed the “free to play” omega multibot accounts.

Doing this would actually decrease the price of PLEX for those who legit buy it from CCP to take advantage of higher prices which legitimately supports further supply of PLEX onto the market bought from CCP.

Inflation is natural, Products get bought and sold as supply and demand changes to deflate and inflate prices. Without inflation people wouldn’t invest in those products the supply that in turn balances and brings the price back to a stabilization, with over investment of supply beyond demand causes prices to crash on an inferior demand of it.

It’s just a cycle that checks and balances itself as it goes up and down but the main cause of inflation in this game is not simply that players themselves make too much money but we got a whole economy of illicit game play and a black market of selling isk, assets and PLEX in and outside of the game.

When you got thousands of botting accounts whose whole purpose is to pay for their Omega buying PLEX with ISK made from their botting activities the only natural correlation is that PLEX prices keep going up because you got less and less people actually buying PLEX from CCP and supplying the market than the number of accounts farming ISK and buying PLEX in game.

That is without considering that there are some wealthy players who will hoard PLEX for themselves further decreasing supply and increasing inflation until a future date they will sell it themselves for a tidy profit when the demand exceeds the supplies on the market.

Legit players will do this because they know there will always be more and more botters in game constantly buying up PLEX so why wouldn’t they take advantage. Until CCP can wrap their heads around this problem it is just self fed by both cheaters and legit marketeers.

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Your OP gets off on the wrong foot right at the start, since you haven’t established that inflation is even an issue.

Your OP goes further awry when you equate “EvE’s Economy” with “ISK creation”. Then it just launches itself off the rails when it pays no attention whatever to actual game inflation trends, ISK removal from the game, etc. etc.

A ‘game economy’ is not like a real economy, despite the many people who try to conflate the two. All a game economy has to do is support continuing game play and provide incentive for some people to play more and other people to pay more (as a shortcut to grinding for ISK or goods).

The actual ‘problem’ with EvEs’ economy is that too much ISK, manufactured goods and minerals are produced without concomitant risk. The problem this creates for gameplay is that PvE resource grinding is more rewarding than PvP is. PvE resource grinding is bottable, multi-boxable and AFKable whereas PvP (in general) requires hands-on game play time and significant risk. People are actually wired to avoid risk, seek security and accumulate resources.

Thus, the ‘problem’ with EvEs’ economy is that the economic drivers (safe PvE resource grinding) are not in-line with the design intent of the game (risky PvP). This is what’s referred to as ‘bad game design’.

If you want to fix EvEs’ economy, focus on reducing the reward/safety/boring bottable design of PvE, and increase the attractiveness/availability/rewards of PvP and various types of destruction.

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