Daily Archives: June 15, 2018

WoW Classic – Blizzard Picks a Vanilla Point

With the looming launch of the Battle for Azeroth expansion for World of Warcraft, I haven’t been expecting to hear much about WoW Classic.  For the most part, my expectations have been met and rightly so.  Talk of WoW Classic would just get in the way of the expansion, better to leave anything big for BlizzCon in November.

So I was surprised to see a Dev Watercooler update from Blizzard about WoW Classic.

Classic Vanilla Flavor

The update has some discussion of the technical issues and changes that the development group has had to deal with.

Probably the biggest bit of news in the whole thing is that they seem to have picked a version that will be WoW Classic.  From the update:

The first—and among the most important—decision we had to make was which version of the game to focus on. As many of you have noted, the classic period was two years long and full of changes. Core features like Battlegrounds were introduced in patches after WoW’s original launch, and class design similarly changed over time. After careful consideration, we decided on Patch 1.12: Drums of War as our foundation, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience.

Version 1.12 brings us all the way back to late August of 2006, literally weeks before the instance group started its journey in Azeroth. (Full recap of the instance group in Vanilla available in this post.)

Us back in the day

All of the Vanilla raids and dungeons had been in place for a while and Blizz was just tuning things as they worked on the first expansion, The Burning Crusade.

I personally cannot remember much else back that far, but you can find patch notes for it all over the web.  From that I can see that 1.12 did indeed usher in cross-realms battlegrounds as one of its features. (Old WoW Insider did a look back at the 1.12 update back in 2011 that you can still find on Engadget if you want narrative and context.)

Anyway, that was a decent nugget of new, a point in time having been picked.  Fans of Captain Placeholder are no doubt disappointed, but it seems like a reasonable place to call Vanilla to me.

MER – Now with Fewer Charts

CCP was rolling a little later than usual with the Monthly Economic Report for May 2018.  Then again, they had a lot going on with the Into the Abyss expansion at the end of may, the great outpost conversion at the start of June, and the CSM13 election which concluded on Monday.

I also think the departure of CCP Quant means that we won’t be seeing the MER show up on the second or third of the month now.  I also suspect that CCP Larrikin, who took over the MER when CCP Quant left, has other tasks on his plate.

I figure that is why we got fewer charts this month.

I mean, the raw data is all still there so I can make all those extra bar charts myself should I so desire.  I won’t, because I am lazy, but I could, and that is the point… I think.

Anyway, on to the usual first metric, mining.

May 2018 – Mining Value by Region

Delve remains the reigning champ for mining output, with all other regions in its mighty shadow.  That now missing bar chart of regions would illustrate this nicely if I had it.

Even so, Delve’s numbers are down a bit, coming in 451 billion ISK less than the April number, a gap about equal to the total mining output of Immensea or Deklein. Are the people of Delve tiring of mining?  Have outsiders been shooting our excavator drones?  Or has the price of ore continued to fall.

Well, there is nothing to say that it isn’t the first two in some way, but the third can be seen in the economic indices chart.

May 2018 – Economic Indices

The value of minerals continues it slide, so the value of what was mined would have gone down, even had the actual cubic meters ore been the same.

And lest you panic, while the three year chart seems grim for mineral values, we’ve seen worse.

May 2018 – Economic Indices Long Term

I remember the situation back in 2010.  That was where we hit the “shuttle floor” pricing for minerals, the point at which you could buy a shuttle (which used to be sold at a fixed price by NPCs), reprocess it, and then sell the resulting minerals for as much as you paid for the shuttle.

Other regions are a bit down as well.  With Deklein it could just be the price change.  Fade and Pure Blind however, which continued to see upheaval as Imperium groups hounded MOA out of the area.  But now Circle of Two has been installed in Fade and the Imperium is on a break from the north, so we’ll probably see those numbers rebound a bit in June.

NPC bounties, on the other hand, are absolute.  The more NPCs that die, the more bounties are paid out.

May 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

On this chart Delve not only remains at the top of the heap, but is actually up about one and a half trillion ISK over April.  That is a lot of 130 million ISK ticks.  Whatever is having an impact on mining shows no sign of harming bounty payments.  It is almost hard to account for the variations month to month in other regions where it is just a few billion ISK up or down.

One region that will probably see a rebound is Providence.  Wracked by the Pandemic Legion invasion and then the reconquista, just 89 billion ISK in bounties were paid out for the region.  If you look back six months the region was pulling in over 1.5 trillion ISK in bounties.  But now the war of the outposts is over and things will likely settle down.  We’ll have to see what TEST does with all those outposts though.

The sec status bounty split remained about the same.

May 2018 – NPC Bounties by Sec Status

Null sec remains dominant, holding 92% of the payouts.  That is still down ever so slightly, the balance seeming to have gone to High sec, which is up from 7.2% to 7.4% of the total.

Bounty payouts rose some in May.

May 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

While the number is trending up, it is still below previous peaks.

Meanwhile there is a curious bump in insurance payouts on the chart.  My instinct was to put that off to Abyssal pockets, but it looks to be mid-month.  I suspect that is related to the various wars that were going strong about then.  Still, I will be interested to see the June report to see if insurance starts to trend up a bit due to Abyssal pockets.  We shall see.

On the trade front The Forge, home to Jita, remains the undisputed leader in sheer volume.

May 2018 – Trade Value by Region

Trade value in The Forge was up by more than 11 trillion ISK.  Again, I want to know is Abyssal pocket losses are going to stoke trade, both with more ship purchases as well as increasing prices for some of the more desirable faction and heavy assault cruisers.

On the bar chart without The Forge the Domain region, home of Amarr, holds second place.

May 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph, Forge Excluded

Delve comes in third place, behind the two major high sec trade hubs, but ahead of the three secondary hubs.

May 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

On contract value however, Delve remains a strong second.  I imagine this is largely due to how the purchase of fleet doctrine ships and capital ships are handled in the region.

An interesting chart this month shows how much of the fees and such goes to NPCs in stations versus to players who run citadels.

May 2018 – NPC versus Player Service Fee Payments

As we can see, despite predictions of doom, broker fees continue to be mostly an NPC thing, draining ISK out of the economy.  Also, repair bills remain almost completely an NPC thing… though who pays to repair in a citadel when you can just tether and get repaired for free?

Industry and reprocessing has moved largely to Upwell structures.  Jump clone fees though, remain mostly an NPC thing.  I think the latter is because most corps and alliances don’t want to tax their players through jump clone fees, while NPCs are happy to stick you with a 900K ISK fee every time.

Then there is production.

May 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

Delve remains the top region for production.  All those titans and Rorquals add up.  But the trio of The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, all of which feed the Jita market, still add up to a 16 trillion ISK more than Delve.  Jita is a voracious market and it needs a lot of production and NPC drops to feed it.

Finally, the usual end chart, the regional comparison that shows how key regions stack up.

May 2018 – Regional Stats

I was thinking that perhaps the total value destroyed chart might be interesting this month.  Again, I wonder how Abyssal pockets will affect things.  But the chart didn’t change month over April, save for where there were wars or a least large battles (Wicked Creek saw a big uptick), which leads me to wonder where Abyssal pockets are.  Do your losses count towards the system, constellation, or region in which you enter a pocket, or does that all get counted in another column that isn’t currently part of the chart?

Again, I am waiting for a dev blog on Abyssal pockets and how things have gone.

Anyway, you can find the May monthly economic report in the usual location, which has a bunch of charts I did not cover as well as all the raw data you could want to make your own.