Serious question: why is the in-game economy so utterly broken?
I returned to Eve around 4-5 months’ ago after a 3-year hiatus due to burnout, and the break has done me the world of good as I love the game now more than ever. However, upon returning, I was staggered as to how expensive everything now is.
I’m aware CCP has an economist, but it appears this economist is trying very hard to either not fix this problem or they are trying to mirror our struggles in the real world economy with the cost of living crisis, which makes no sense if that’s true.
It would be really nice to be able to play this game and not have to combat insanely high ship prices, as we already have the stress of food and energy bills IRL.
Why must everything in-game cost so much when CCP has the power and the tools at their disposal to fix this? Is it due to bottlenecks with the amount of ore available? I’m guessing CCP nerfed that too.
One final point, Plex. Buying Plex is worthless as it gets you very little compared to how expensive it is, and the subscription fee is very expensive compared to other MMO’s. I feel that I am getting VERY little in return for the £48 I pay each month for my subs.
One factor (of many) is money supply. More money in the system devalues the currency.
Similar to real world, except there really isn’t a central bank to try and mangle it into some sense of order with FIAT currency shenanigans…
They added some gas-related components in caps and BS. IIRC those components are like 20% of mat cost of BS. Less now since isogen spuke. They reduced the quantities required since initial release.
They made some minerals limited to some spaces. Which made isogen spike.
They added isk faucets, that creates more inflation.
To fight that inflation, they added specific baseline tax for industry and also increased the cost index. Something which had say 1% of ME0 mat cost as price (so like 1 for 87 after mat reduction) now needs to work with a 5% cost (so +4/88 = +4.5% of product cost). This is for a single-level BPO, now this adds multiplicatively for several-level item .
First pi and even basic t1 (at battle ship for example) changes. I remember spending 70 million on scorpions long ago. I made mine for like 55 to 60 mill off the ME on the old way bpo’s used to be.
other indy stuff affected with indy changes that flatlined everything. when really bored and nothing else to put in I’d take BPO’s to 11 (spinal tap 11 that is lol) for mat efficiency. I chopped off every little trit. that bpo change killed the good research out there.
then came scarcity.
Now we are here. Been using my angels bpc’s. that new (to me as a returner) special second section of the mats needed can bite me really lol.
There’s a number of reasons, some expected, some due to, shall we say, ill-advised choices on CCP’s part. As for the economist, I believe Dr. Eyjo left for another position almost a decade ago.
First, inflation. ISK in EVE is created out of thin air by many ‘faucets’: NPC bounties, mission payouts, Incursions, etc. So ISK is constantly entering the economy and rarely leaving it. Player trades only shuffle it around, so it only “leaves” by things like taxes, skillbook fees, etc. With the way players farm, the supply of ISK grows faster than the supply of goods (which actually do get consumed/destroyed/removed). So you get price inflation, this is expected.
Second, CCP has done a whole cycle of economic manipulations since you left, and these have led more directly to the increase in prices you’re experiencing. Back in 2020, some devs at EVE decided that players were too wealthy, had too much ISK and too many ships and resources, and basically started nuking the economy left and right.
The story started with this blog:
and things got pretty grim for the next two and a half years or so, as CCP started literally feeding player assets to the wolves and changing the way the economy worked. There was massive pushback against it and player numbers dropped to their lowest since like 2006, but CCP just ignored all that and kept relentlessly pounding the economy into the dust.
You can follow all the blogs and updates after the link above, or you can check player posts on the topic like the one I had here:
You are correct, “CCP has the power and the tools at their disposal”… and they used them to hammer the economy flat.
Eventually somebody at CCP figured out they were just crushing the game, and they shifted gears away from creating economic depressions and have moved on to adding actual game content, which has lead to an increase in player numbers again. Who woulda thunk it, crushed economy = less players, more game content = more players. What a totally unexpected surprise!
One thing to be aware of is that with certain activities like Abyssals, Pochven, some of the new Faction Warfare content etc., it’s also possible for players to earn ISK faster than they may have before. So if you’re feeling the ISK crunch just keep poking around until you find your own way to supply it, and the increased prices won’t seem such a roadblock.
A small note on that, just creating isk won’t make inflation, if the players don’t use it.
Also Even when the money amount does not change, if the players use the same amount of money more (buy more, sell more) then the prices are increased.
Globally it’s not the volume of money that is important, but the volume of trade. And to reduce the volume of trade, the best is to add taxes so the same 1 isk initial will be less used again.
Look at 3-6 month deals. And pretty much CCP runs sales every holiday now seems ironic you are posting this DURING a sale on omega time.
No it’s not you get near instant ISK and a store of value (ISK). Plex is a very powerful item in EVE.
I will push back on that. As for the economy that is not my wheelhouse. I know YOU can control how much YOU spend for Omega time. If you have the money to throw at least 20$ USD at CCP you can save up and buy Omega time in bulk to achieve a real discount AND use sales to your advantage.
Be a smart consumer. Make your Dollars/Euros stretch as far as possible.
I remember people out of the loop returning to the game after nuPLEX was introduced buying cheap 1 bil discount PLEX from contracts spammed in local all over, only to realize afterward they will need 500 of them for a monthly sub.