Why be a cog?

That explains why I didn’t understand him.
I have NEVER understood that mindset.


I mine. I mine in Hi-sec. In a Hulk.
I like mining. Trust me, a max-skill miner in a Hulk isnt idle. I fill the hold in two cycles: just over three minutes. It’s five minute out and back, a bit under a million ISK in materials. I’m also have good refining skills.
I could use that mining time more profitably. But, as I say: i like a little mining.

I don’t sell the materials, i use them when I manufacture T1 components for my T2 manufacturing. But, and this is the important bit, only when I’d otherwise be buying the materials as part of a profitable T1 manufacturing.
I treat them as if I have “sold them to myself at the market value”.

Yes, there is an opportunity cost there - but the mining trip is short and I’m normally only filling in ten minutes or so. If I’ve longer I’ll go and run a mission or take a run into wormhole space looking to hack sites.

Personally I love those “what I mine is free” believers. They make modules that I can buy ar below the economic value - which increases my profits at their expense.
The shame is that devaluation of time eventually drives up a loss of value in the higher level products. I can’t complete with those that are happy making a loss.
The Deleted little Deleteds.

I wouldn’t mind, but they are often the same little Deleteds that whine that they can’t make ISK mining.

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And the masterpiece:

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If I buy an Orca and four Hulks for 4B isk and over the next two years mine and sell 100B isk of ice, my cost is (excluding consumables) the same 4B isk. The average cost over two years and inception to date is 4B isk. The cost over the last year was zero, the marginal cost is also zero. It matters what time frame you choose to look at. No, the ice is not “free” but the numerator is fixed and the denominator keeps increasing. That’s the math of Eve:

(Billions over 2 years)
Revenue 100
Expense 4
P/L 96

So, this weekend after exactly two years, if I go out and mine 500M isk of ice, my cost is (over the weekend, excluding consumables) zero, my profit is 500M.

For this post, in the aggregate, my cost (not including consumables) is 4.0 B isk; my revenue is 100.5 B isk and my profit is 96.5 B isk. All the revenue for the weekend goes to the bottom line. Hence some people see that as free.

If you choose to value your time at zero, then your math works just fine.
Keep valuing your time at zero if it makes you happy.
Tomorrow when you go to work, tell your boss you value your time at zero, he/she will think its an awesome idea also and reduce your pay.

You can mine ice all day long if you want.

I’ll buy them for 100 ISK a block, as many as you can mine. Its ALL profit to you, so the price really doesn’t matter at all.


It doesn’t matter what time frame you look at, 100% of the time frame is spent looking foolish. You simply don’t know how to value the time component of ISK, as ISK is a stand-in for both game stuff and game time (literally & metaphorically).

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Before we sink into abuse…

@Hans_Devin does have a good approach, he is selling his ice at a market rate rather than using it and calling it free. He’s not accounting the cost of the Orca correctly - you should depreciate it over the expected life of the ships - i.e. if you think you can mine for 100 hours between losing the ship (ganking) then the cost of the ships is 40m ISK per hour. If you are mining ice at 500 units per hour and selling it at 120k ISK per block then you are getting an income of about 60m ISK (hi-sec - in null you can do better I believe) for that 40m depreciation. Average 20m ISK per hour.
In many ways that’s a similar calculation to the one Hans does, but in good accounting/business terms.

I’ve ignored the cost of the five accounts to do this - I pay cash for mine and I don’t account that in game for myself. Also, depreciation in Eve - because ships don’t wear out - is slightly nonsensical. Depreciation is an accounting way of spreading the use of a capital asset as it becomes less valuable through wear and tear rather than accounting it all on day one. In Eve you have to make an estimate of “time before losing the ship” and that is highly dependant on usage and risk approach. In a low-risk posture in Eve depreciation is effectively zero.

Provided you are making an informed decision rather than living in ignorance, then I’m happy for which ever why you go. It may differ to my approach but that’s fine. I’ll not abuse someone for that.

The one that gets my goat:
Mine ores, reprocess, use product to make object and offer it on the market at a price below what you’d get just selling the mining outputs.
That’s mining something of value (good) then turning it into something that is less worth than that value and calling it “making a profit 'cos what I mine is free”. That’s just [deleted] insane.
On the upside, I’ll take that item and benefit from your insanity - it’s cheaper than making it myself and also frees a manufacturing slot. Thank-you. You’re still a Muppet for wanting to give me value for nothing, but thank-you all the same.
Just don’t whine about your decision.

Sorry, got abusive there. Oops.


The very nature of industry is being a cog. Some are just bigger cogs that move more things in the process.

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This is my wheel-house I was CFO for many years and also owned my own companies. I chose a cash / flow model to avoid subjective factors and complexity. Otherwise my post would have been long and unintelligible . The only reason to depreciate an asset is to employ accrual methodologies or if you’re a government entity, to get paid taxes as soon as possible. Otherwise a cashflow model works just fine and made my point rather well (oops I was bombastic). The point being that most mining activities reach break-even quickly. And if miners use the output from their mining and other activities, their cost of production is quite low.

@Terak_Romaller is merely arbitraging factors and can employ leverage to any scale he chooses.

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In RL I trade SPX options and watch my positions throughout the day which can be quite boring. I choose to break the boredom by playing Eve. It is a match made just outside of heaven. My trading is quite lucrative and Eve helps me stay engaged at the proper level.

So I don’t index the value of my time to a game or feel the need to insult others with whom I disagree. If I spent life doing the same, it would not be a life well spent.

Time to go running…

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So, back from my run. There is no amount of isk that would keep me from running. That is to say, there is no isk coefficient to running for me. Eve is odd in that certain players wish to PLEX their accounts and play the game for free.

Golf courses across America are filled with golfers who only dream of making the game pay for itself, but 99.9999% players don’t PLEX their golf. Here’s a short list of other activities/pastimes where participants don’t PLEX their account…

Movie watching
Reading fiction
Trail riding
Frisbie golf
Motorcycle riding
Volunteer work
Watching Netflix
Baking cookies
Wine tasting

You expressed the idea that ISK can be used as a value index for game time. I get the concept but like many things in Eve, ISK per hour as a measure is merely a construct and tautological. ISK has no intrinsic value and can only be subjectively measured against other things denominated in ISK through Eve’s virtual market forces or CCP fiat. So in order to value ISK you must value EVE first. Then and only then, will you value ISK.

So, the person who PLEXs their account, works feverishly through nights obsessed with ISK per hour over personal choice, is actually making a value statement about RL not EVE. I participate in the activities that I enjoy. ISK can serve as a guide in making choices within the game mechanics. But the underlying activity must be worthwhile and enjoyable.

The math on the cost of ice shown above is accurate. ISK per hour is a tautological construct that is more about the value of Eve time versus RL than anything else. The more you obsess about ISK per hour and PLEXing your account the less you value RL. Saying that time has a value in game measured in ISK requires a walled off view of RL.


Personally i mine so that i can make more off the stuff i make and sell in Eve. It takes precious time but i can make extra isk that way mow that i have a huge stockpile of different ore. I enjoy industry and mining in low or null sec is exciting. I have blueprints to make other resources too.

Right now im mining in low sec while things are building to straight sell.

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I agree with you completely - yes, just looking at cash flow is valid. My background is running large business units inside government. As you pointed out: depreciation rules there as a method.

And you are quite right: ISK as a measure of time and value has the fundamental flaw of not actually having a value outside of the artificial construct of the game since it can not be converted to something outside that game.

We play games for fun and diversion.

@Hans_Devin - thank-you. It’s the range of people you meet that make Eve interesting.

Hey man, busting out real life credentials and making backhanded toxic positivity comments doesn’t exactly paint you as a saint.

Let’s take a step back and see what happened. You went deep into an analysis of a 4B isk investment that had a rate of return of 100B over two years. That’s firmly “ISK/hr mentality” talk.

I alluded that your analysis excluded the fact that people’s available time to play the game is a limited resource. 1 hour spent mining is one hour not playing nor doing other things. People simply don’t have infinite available time to play this game. They want to minimize the time spent doing “ISK/hr” or “for the money” kind of activities. They want to quickly get to “fun/hr” stuff. Me included. I know of folks that put 4B investments at risk to earn 1B in 1 day, a much higher rate of return. They are optimizing spending as little amount of time making ISK so they can have more ISK available for their other “for fun” game activities. It would rightfully be foolish of them to take twice as long to get the ISK they want to “have fun” doing your lower-rate-of-return activity. That’s half as much time “having fun per hour”.

Your response to that is to get huffy with me.

Let me perhaps make the post you intended to make:

“Hey, I’ve been flying around and having a lot of fun lately flying T1 figates in lowsec. You can check out my killboard to see, I’ve been hunting aggressively and finding people willing to take fights. Usually they have the advantage, so it’s been heart-pounding learning lessons about positional advantage in frigate combat. I’m certainly not making great ISK/hr doing this but it’s been a lot of fun/hr and I have been meeting lots of cool new people, though some are FW farmers that get grumpy that I interrupt their activity. Sometimes I do have to pause and top up on my ISK but I’m not too worried about it being the most efficient activity: I take a 800M ISK ship and spend 30 minutes earning 50M from an anomaly. That’s 8 hours of paying the ship off and then from there the ship readily funds my fun activity. I’ve found an easy groove that works for me this way.”

That sounds a lot less “ISK/hr” mentality.

Hopefully it is clear why your past posts were readily misinterpreted as being an “ISK/hr guy” as opposed to the “fun/hr” you say you are.

Easily solved with the standard solo player with 47 accounts running mining operations. Very fun and very rewarding.

Below is what you opened with and does not get the best of me in return.

The concept of the value of time in Eve is interesting and broadly misunderstood in Eve. And you responded by calling me foolish which is intemperate at best. Then proceeded to feign innocence and surprise.

I am not feigning anything. If you wish to continue to ascribe malice to my intentions, that’s on you.

Back to the actual topic at hand, which remains unaddressed:

Elaborating upon this would clear it right up, whether or not you agree with this kind of assessment:

The opening statements you made look only literally at the tangible ISK costs and rewards (4B into assets, then 100B equity buildup of revenue) and then only use “time” as a sliding window as to which entries to include/exclude in this analysis. That might fit for literal double-book accounting practices, but says nothing about the player and how they are spending their time playing a game.

I think Scarlett summarized my concern up concisely:

I do not want newbies to read your guidance and fall into the hazardous way of thinking “I spent 1M isk on an ice venture, sat in high sec, made 5M in ice in a week, I made 4M for no cost in a 6-day sliding window” and then months later get bored. And for good reason: valuing their time at zero means they are unknowingly opening themselves to the risk of getting zero enjoyment out of what should be a fun and recreational activity – they’re literally not valuing their time.

I would prefer they get more proactive about their fun, and discover “oh, I can spend 1M on a gas venture, go to low, make 500M in a week” and then keep stepping-stone their Eve career in a way that respects the time they spend playing the game. That requires them to be able to value the time they spend doing an activity at greater than zero. There’s a lot more chances for Eve to “click” when they do a stepping-stone and exert their agency: whether it is discovering a new opportunity, planning to take advantage of it, preparing for it logistically, executing it, and finally reaping the rewards.

Theres a high risk that players taking your advice are not incentivized to do that loop if they value their time at zero – why spend time to do anything new when status quo is equally 0?

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Yes! I agree this reflects how mass producers do pushout the little guy in real life and in EVE. Most miners do accept this economic reality in industry. There will be people who will out build and out mine others.

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I’m happy to have a different view than yours regarding this topic. I mined 184 million of moon ore today; took down a Serpentis Clone Soldier Trainer; built a Raven; finished building a Ikitursa; farmed some trigs and went to Jita.

I made it through Eve just fine without someone worried about what I think. Tomorrow I’m killing more trigs, building more stuff and going out on a roam. Eve life is good.