The cost of PVP

I recently began dueling in Hek Fight Club, and was fitting out “cheap” tech 1 frigs and cruisers.

I was prepared to lose ships, and of course I did. It came as something of a shock to see I had burned through 200 million isk on a few ships that only cost 2 miilion isk, or 10 million for cruisers, to buy. Of course, it was because I had fitted T2 guns, T2 drones, T2 modules and rigs. All of these seemed to me to be less than optional. They very quickly make each ship worth tens of millions.

So after a few days of dueling I found myself ISK poor. It occurred to me that Eve is an incredibly expensive game, if you like PVP. No wonder all the streamers need to earn money to do it, and no wonder they reimburse the folks who choose to fight them.

Think about this: First you pay for your sub. That is not cheap. Second you pay for your time. Getting into PVP comb at takes huge amounts of time, if you want any chance of winning. Third, you pay a load for the ships and modules.

Granted, “paying with your time” assumes you don’t love fitting ships. Arguably that is a fun part of the game and so let’s drop it. Even so, those who want to PVP are going to pay a lot for the subscription, and then they need to pay again for their ships.

This is not meant as a complaint, rather I had an epiphany about Eve, and the myth of PVP. Unless you are quite rich in RL, PVP is a very expensive proposition. Think about this:

If you win 50% of your fights, and you fight 4 fights per day, and you fly T2 hulls from all ship classes, you are probably spending around 20-30 billion ISK per month on your PVP.

Even if you fly T1 hulls with T2 modules, to make use of your Omega skills, you will be spending upwards of 10 billion isk per month if you lose 60 fights per month (fight 4 per day, losing 2).

That is quite serious RL money. That is hundreds of dollars per month, to fight 4 fights per day and lose a fair proportion of them.

With ship prices skyrocketing due to the great moon goo nerf, I’m starting to think that Eve Online should be called No Poors Online.

I can actually afford to replace hulls and stuff, but I am starting to wonder if the whole game isn’t a bit of a fraud.

I’m starting to wonder if the PVP life is specifically aimed at very rich folks, in RL. For the poors, there is PVE and big alliances who replace ship losses.

Ask yourself how many fights you think you want in a month, with what hulls and fits, and then assume you lose half your fights because you don’t gank blob noobs.

Then calculate the ISK cost, and the RL cost.

I’m starting to think that Eve online is something of a myth, with regard to PVP.


If you are losing 10 billion isk of ships in a month then you are doing something seriously wrong. Either you do not know your match ups and/or you need to improve. Also, there are plenty of ways to make isk for your PvP habit and none of it requires real life money. I have plenty of PvP ships and I can easily make a couple hundred million isk in a couple hours if I so choose.


I knew somebody would start with this. Please, I was doing the math about what it WOULD cost ANYBODY who lost this number of hulls.

I was not complaining about my personal case.

Aside from anything else, had you stopped to consider that somebody has to lose each fight, the losses must go to someone.

Anyway, so what if I am a terrible player? So what?

What are you saying, in that case? That I deserve to lose so much money playing Eve?

No Poors Online?

This is a truly toxic mindset. The desire to attribute the hypothetical to the specific individual, combined with the eagerness to celebrate significant loss as justified and righteous, is strong evidence of a deeply flawed and toxic personality.

Check yourself, check the math, and stay away from ad hominem attacks. Thanks.


You are the salty one and not me. I manage to make billions of isk a month and that feeds my PvP habit. If you are not willing to put in the effort to earn the isk in game then you have no right to complain about using real money to do it.

Also, you went to the extreme of losing 10 billion isk in a month while fighting in frigs and cruisers. If you want to have a serious conversation then do not use extremes to make your point.

Someone has to lose in every fight but there is a lot you can do to mitigate that risk. If you are not learning from your mistakes then that is a you problem. Blindly accepting a duel that is not in your favor is not an wise decision.

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Be more concise with your writing. Ill never get that time back.

Advice. You need a side income. Easy. Buy 10 plex and invest in the market. Buy low on buy orders. Sell in hek where margins are good. Make profit to pay for habit of blowing up digital spaceships. I do.


Hang on there, I wasn’t. I was simply pointing out that the cost is extraordinarily high, in ISK. Whether a person can afford to swap RL time for that ISK, or whether they simply pay for the plex, is rather besides the point. Either way, valued in RL time or RL money, it is extraordinarily expensive.

As it happens, my RL time tends to be worth more than the ISK exchange rate. I mean, until your can earn 1 billion per hour (200 mil ticks), anyone earning $10 per hour is in this category.

Oh god. You perceived value is hilarious. Play the game or not but you clearly do not want to put in the effort to earn isk in game. That is your problem and not EVE. This is no different than grinding gear for arena or raids in WoW. You want the content then you must put in the effort to experience it.


Go into null ccp will shower you with isk be someone lap dog do what they say,use your other toon for fun stuff.

Alternatively discover existence of other games where PvP happens have fun.

Options are out there,part of whole experience with eve is the cost(isk/time) if it was truly effortless it wouldn’t be eve.

In general I will agree that cost of things is high probably artificially but I hardly care will PvP in a 4 bill ship every once in a blue moon that’s just me…like I said other games.


See, when folks start talking about “putting in the effort to play the game”, I start thinking about the meaning of words. Like “game”, and “effort”. And “customer”, and “fun”.

This thread is rapidly convincing me that I am correct. PVP is extraordinarily expensive. The math seems to be right.

The thread also seems to be confirming some other things regarding the community about which I will not digress further into because I am part of that community and wish to flatter myself.


There are many forms of PvP in EVE, and dueling is probably not one of the cheapest to start with. So why don’t you team up with other people and fly something insured you can afford to lose on a roam or something?

Also there are forms of PvP which make you money, like become a Merc, gank haulers, etc. so you don’t even have to grind.

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Your math isn’t correct.

Sure, if you lose multiple T2-fit Battleships each day the cost could add up quickly. But most things in Eve, including ships classes don’t scale linearly. If you confine your “gudfights” to frigates, destroyers and the odd cruiser, 500 PLEX will keep you in ships for a long time, certainly more entertainment than spending it on a movie or a couple beers at the pub.

T2 Frigate --> 10M ISK --> 12.5 cents
T2 Destroyer --> 16M ISK --> 20 cents
T2 Cruiser --> 25M ISK --> 31 cents

Now is that cost high in ISK? Well perhaps for a new player or someone who refuses to do any income-generating activities. But given the 100M ISK/hour is a reasonable income for any veteran, and 50M ISK/h for sure for basically any activity for any player beyond the tutorial, most Eve players have more wealth then they could ever hope to lose doing lol/honourable arranged frigate fights.

So no, it isn’t especially expensive, but it does cost something as this game is designed. Death is suppose to matter. If you want consequence-free fights that have no cost, you really are playing the wrong game. There are plenty of other games where you just respawn with your stuff if you lose and can get right back into the action. In Eve, there is a whole side of the game based on gathering and building the things people lose in PvP and that part of the game absolutely requires that losses have cost to even exist.

Show me these fits, I’m interested to see how you get a T2 cruiser fit (with rigs) for 25 million.

In fact, are you high? What T2 cruiser hull costs 25 million???

Your numbers are crazy low, to the point of being absurd.

A HAC costs upwards of 200 million. The rigs alone cost about 50 million, the guns another 25 million. The other ten modules, assuming no shinys, another 25 million. Flight of t2 drones, min 5 million. Ballpark for a fitted combat t2 hull, approx 300 million.

Notice how a lot of this cost (1/3) is the modules and rigs. This is why even t1 hull combat gets pretty expensive.

Or, am I misreading what you’ve said here? Do you mean “a T1 hull with T2 modules”?

In that case, I guess your numbers are OK.

But then do the math on how much it costs to have four fights a day, every day for a month. Your 1/3 of a dollar becomes expensive, over the month.

And remember that you are paying a billlion isk just for the right to spend this money.

Anyway, this thread is not titled “PVP is too expensive”. How much is too expensive is a matter between the customer and the players. But, compared to any other game I can think of, Eve PVP is incredibly expensive.

You are right to compare the cost of a ship to the cost of a drink at a bar. I do that when I lose a T2 hull, to put things in perspective.

However, if you buy a girl in a bar a drink, you might get more than a “good fight” in return. )

Actually not bad advice.

The numbers I cite are for T2-fit T1 hulls.

No one duels in HACs or other T2 cruiser hulls. They are also rarely taken on fun roams for the very reason you cite: they cost too much for the marginal benefit over the T1 hull. I will agree though, that T2 modules are pretty necessary to be competitive but not the hulls.

If you really are just doing Space Samurai arranged fights, you shouldn’t have to worry about “remaining competitive”. The fights are arranged and balanced and you don’t have to worry about the other guy upshipping to a more powerful ship class on you. Just agree to fight in T1 frigates or T1 cruisers or pirate frigates or whatever ship class and have at it.

But in the real game? Well, think of open-world PvP as a game of risk and bluffing like in poker. Sure the other guy can show up in a HAC, but his is risking way more than you and has no idea what you have, or how many friends you will bring. That could be the smart move to beat your lowly Vexor, but if that Vexor is bait and you have your friend show up in an even more expensive T3 cruiser or a dozen of your friends show up even in T1 frigates, he is just an expensive loss mail and overplayed his hand. Choosing how much you are going to risk, in addition to exactly what fit you will bring is an integral part of the game and an important part of ship balance.

If losses didn’t matter, only the most expensive ships would be viable. If fights were pre-balanced by equal numbers on each side, only the most expensive ships would be viable. But that isn’t the case. Bringing the most expensive things has a big downside (it risks time/money) and that serves as a disincentive to just pimp your fits and gives some utility to all the ships and ship classes. Bigger (and more expensive) is not always better.

If you win 50% of your fights (as per your example) are you not looting their wrecks to use/sell the modules?

And/Or you will maybe need to spend a little time doing other things like mission, ratting, exploration etc in order to make up a bit of the cash.

You are also fighting and winning or dying solo. There is more to PvP than duels where you foot all the bill. You will see that most pvp isnt solo in this game if you look at a killboard. Friends allow for cheaper fitting and ships where the “friends” make up for lack of tank or dps 1v1.

Both goons and Brave have shown it is quite easy to use numbers in cheap ships to overcome such issues and it mitigates the costs for each person involved.

So Id suggest you visit that other pvp arena called the friendship. It might help that wallet.

That being said yes pure pvp lifestyles can be expensive if you have to have a certain gear or ship types and fits. Where you hit the supply/demand curve for fun/reward vs cost/time is entirely up to you in Eve.

OP, what do you do to generate isk for your pvp ships?
If you put T2 rigs on your fits, it will sure become expensive.
I started using T2 rigs only after I got my 1st bil isk… maybe your mindset is not in tune with your ISK wallet yet.

The game isn’t fundamentally a dueling engine, its just a sufficiently flexible sandbox that its feasible to have fun doing it. In practice ships have to cost otherwise wars and losses don’t make sense and don’t have any effect (and alliances would just spam out fleets all day to defend territory, they’d be largely indestructible).

A fight club could always choose to mandate t1 fittings if it wanted to increase the number of fights for a specific amount of money.

I have to state a disclaimer here: I haven’t even remembered to insure my dueling ships.

So, I accept that PVP in tech 1 hulls is probably a lot more affordable than I make out, if one is careful about this stuff, as Black Pedro says.


And also not the rigs. The benefits for T2 usually does not change much the outcome of a fight versus T1 rigs. If you need T2 rigs to fit a ship properly (powergrid, CPU or capacitor), you may use implants and have similar effects.