The buying power of baseliners

A corpmate of mine was writing a player fic over a year ago, and I was operating as his beta reader.
We ended up having a rather heated argument about the buying power of Baseliners in eve online. at the time I couldn’t come up with a good argument to convince him otherwise, so he ended up having a shop in his story where just the fact the prices were listed in ISK meant they were WELL out of a Baseliners grasp.

For some reason the argument popped into my head today “so what if a Baseliner wants to buy a burger?”

I’m making four assumptions here:

  1. The cost in time worked to burgers able to be purchased is about equal between EVE and IRL

  2. If Baseliners could produce the PI good Livestock more cheaply than Capsuleers could, they would flood the Capsuleer market and lower the price.

  3. you can extrapolate back from the average burger that the cost in hours worked per pound of ground beef you can buy would also be about the same

  4. Livestock is at least primarily beef, probably ground up lab grown beef.

Ground beef sells for about 3$ a pound wholesale (~50% retail price) in America.

Livestock sells for ~10,000ISK for 1.5M3 in Jita as of writing this. assuming this is only usable as ground beef, a 1.5m3 cube of ground beef weighs 1.03g/cm3 and sells in Jita on the wholesale market for about…3ISK per pound. if we assume hours worked per pound of beef are the same then the minimum wage in America in $ is about the same as minimum wage in New Eden in ISK

TL;DR minimum wage in New Eden, at least in space, is about 7 and change ISK per hour. My corpmates stupid “high-end” dresses were literally worthless.

The closest to an official answer you will get is “it depends”.
Different planets will have different buying power and may have different regions on them also with different buying power.
Some planets would be close to 1 to 1 ratio per maths based off Kyonoke plague news articles. Some would be the old ratio of 1 ish feeds you for a year.
And nearly all of them would be difficult to translate isk to planetary money.

Q#3: How much is ISK worth for a normal person or on a planet?
A : That is a surprisingly difficult question. Despite it being quite central to us as players, most of the lore regarding it is very fragmented and not always internally consistent. Depending on who you ask and the context, ISK can be worth a lot, or next to nothing. According to the Stairway To Heaven -chronicle, planetary and space economies are largely separated, so on many planets, ISK would hold little to no value. In space however, ISK reigns as king. In the chronicle Khadrea it is compared to “Amamake credits” (apparently a systemwide currency), where millions of credits are worth a paltry few thousand ISK and chump change.

Generally, ISK (InterStellar Kredit) is regarded as an interstellar trade currency, and specifically one used almost entirely in space by capsuleers and large, interstellar scale corporations to represent sums that would be inconveniently big if expressed in other currencies.

TL;DR: If someone were buying burgers, they likely wouldn’t be doing it in ISK. That’s not what ISK is meant for - ISK is for massive bulk trade, broadly speaking, as far as I’ve understood it.


^ This.

And I’d find a specialty isk store for buying Cool Capsuleer Stuff believable - not because the specialty items are somehow that much better than the stuff you can get from baseliner stores, but because they are Cool Capsuleer Stuff.

You can buy shirts in RL that cost tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars ( It makes no sense whatsoever, but it’s still a thing.

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Latest piece of lore we have about ISK is this

FedMart Offers “Secure Voting Through Physical and Digital Outlets”; All Voters Using FedMart Facilities Credited with 1 ISK Voucher


From this, I’d assume 1 ISK on average represents a value a baseliner would pay attention to, but not mean a lot in the long term. Something like $50-100 irl. Might buy you a can of Quafe or an old used hoverbike depending on where you are. This is all just rough estimates and guesswork based off fluff in a world news article though.


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