Takeaways from CCP’s Monthly Economic Report – February 2021
EVE players pay for a monthly subscription (a 'Pilot's License Extension,' or PLEX) either with real-world money or with in-game currency. The transfer rate between the two currencies determines. The monthly subscription is $14.99 making the conversion is $19.99. The subscription is cheaper if you pay for more than a single month. You can also do the conversion with plex, which CCP is currently selling for $17.96. According to the price list for the 4500 character rental alliance Rate My Ticks, prices to rent a system range from 1 billion ISK/month to 11.5 billion ISK/month. In return, players who own the space promise not to shoot the bots farming the space to stock EVE's secondary (aka black) markets.
CCP has released EVE’s latest report on the state of the economy, offering insight to the game’s current macroeconomics.
Delve Remains a Center for Economic Activity
Delve continues to be the second most productive region in the game outside of Jita/The Forge, as reflected in Total Production Value by Region. This is centered on Goonswarm Federation’s 1DQ capital and a testament to the industrial strength of the alliance: it accounts for nearly 30% of all production value and contracts trading volume in the game.
Other PAPI staging hubs in Delve, such as T5ZI, continue to be solely military outposts; nearly all economic infrastructure in the region continues to be decommissioned and abandoned GSF citadels, fortizars, refineries. Also factored into the data is that February had significant attrition warfare and GSF withdrawals from hubs such as M-2, 39P, and W6V.
Delve’s net imports has surged from January to February, from 5.0 trillion to 32.3 trillion ISK. Nearby Period Basis saw imports surge from 3 trillion to 40 trillion. This is a reflection not solely of economic activity but of mass mobilization efforts—PAPI moving war assets to the region for the ongoing war, particularly from Esoteria (50T in exports). This mobilization likely skewed the numbers also for Paragon Soul from their transit.
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ISK destruction has cooled off from 30T to 5T, as January 2021 had the M-2 battle which saw record breaking numbers. 5T ISK is still double the destruction of the next highest region, The Forge.
Long story short: Delve is where things are happening, no matter which side of the war you are on.
Ratting is Stagnating
Since the changes to ratting leading to months of decline, Bounty Prizes have stabilized at around the 20T ISK mark.
Several regions stand out for changes and continued domination of income from ratting:
Vale of the Silent (1.8T this month alone!)
The Kalevala Expanse (1.0T)
Perrigen Falls (0.9T)
Compared to Delve (0.4T) or Syndicate (0.1T)
The pattern between these regions is that a disproportionate amount of ratting income centers around the Chinese-dominant alliance Fraternity, whether it’s bots or real players behind these pilots. What cannot be doubted is the numbers that Fraternity and/or its tenants pull, despite CCP’s changes to the game since 2019 to incentivize “non-repetitive activities with intuitive risk/reward ratios while not competing with cheaters.“
The Effects of Minerals on Mining
For the second month in a row, the Mineral Price Index (MPI) has touched record highs. However, CPI and Primary and Secondary Producer Indices have remained stable, which seems counter-intuitive.
The most common narrative in EVE is that with “Scarcity,” as reflected in the MPI and changes to ratting, the economic activity and wealth generation are returning to high-sec space where these activities are more profitable. And that null-sec players and their PvP alliances, having had years of dominating these economic reports with their respective regions, are now seeing structural changes work against them. Particularly, the whole system is designed to have alliances with deep pockets start emptying them out.
The numbers show this is not the case. Despite the massive ISK destruction and soaring cost of minerals, the price of goods (ships, weapons, etc.) has been extremely stable.
In fact, even the high price of minerals has not incentivized that much change in mining activity—the opposite has happened in Oasa, where they went from the top-mining region in the entire game in January to absolutely collapsing in February.
Looking at the economic data, these miners and their ships did not move regions to mine elsewhere, whether in high-sec or low-sec or null-sec. If anyone could provide insight on what happened in Oasa, I would be grateful.
More Questions than Answers
Unfortunately, the report does leave us with more questions than answers. It’s hard to gauge the effect of “Scarcity,” and whether things are working as intended.
Of the 32T in ISK Faucets, CCP gave us insight for the first time on the Top 6 commodities: Sleeper components (“blue loot”), overseer personal effects, Triglavian data (“red loot”). This confirms that a significant amount of revenue streams are being moved to wormholes, combat sites, abyssal space, and Pochven, the only places in the game to drop these kinds of loot. This move by CCP made sense: it was to punish repetitive, relatively risk-adverse activities such mining and ratting in null-sec, and reward new frontiers such as exploration, wormhole space, and filaments. But to what end?
Prices for PLEX have fallen from 2.5M to 2.2M at the time of writing in the span of three months. This leads to some questions: Is scarcity not merely emptying alliance wallets? Is it stretching nullsec PvPers’ wallets tight, as well? And if so, do they feel forced to purchase PLEX on the website, and sell it for ISK? Can nullsec still match the revenue streams that w-space, low-sec, and high-sec provide? If not, what value does holding null space have?
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Eve Online is a space-based, persistent world massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed and published by CCP Games. Players of Eve Online can participate in a number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploration, and combat. The game contains a total of 7,800 star systems that can be visited by players. The game is renowned for its scale and complexity with regards to player interactions – in its single, shared game world, players engage in unscripted economic competition, warfare, and political schemes with other players. The Bloodbath of B-R5RB, a battle involving thousands of players in a single star system, took 21 hours and was recognized as one of the largest and most expensive battles in gaming history. Eve Online was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art with a video including the historical events and accomplishments of the playerbase. Eve Online was released in North...
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Eve Online is a massively multiplayer role-playing game and space simulator. The games initially required the monthly subscription but later got the limited free-to-play version. EVE Online is set in an expansive sci-fi world. The player controls starship and has the freedom to explore the in-game world at his own pace. There are many diffident activities for players ranging from quiet trading, mining, and manufacturing to full-on real-time space battles that can last for many hours and include hundreds of players.
One of the game’s main features is freedom of player interaction. Many aspects of the game such as economics can be described as player-driven. Players can form corporations and alliances that can conquer some of the game’s 7800+ star systems. This leads to a lot of unique and unscripted situations affecting in-game politics and economics. Another notable part of the game is that real-world money can be used to buy different items that sometimes can cost hundreds of dollars.