Money makes New Eden go ’round, that is for sure. The economy, as I have probably said countless times at this point, is the beating heart of EVE Online. And, frankly, my money was starting to dwindle as we headed towards the new year.
My only regular income is the monthly dividend payment on the 5 Imperial Treasury bonds I hold from the coalition fundraising effort during the last war. I paid in 5 billion ISK for five shares which, in turn, pay me out 41.67 million on the first of every month as interest on my loan to the alliance.
That will have added up to about a billion ISK come next month, the two year anniversary of the offering, but it comes in T1 cruiser sized increments, so it never seems like very much when it lands.
I do also have planetary industry, when I remember to keep it going. I have mine set on a seven day cycle because about once a week is all I seem capable of, and even then I have a couple of planets where I should just redo my layout, or move it to a less heavily farmed area. I am also not very ambitious, producing just P2 components. But demand for those has gone up over the last few months, so with two null sec characters working away I do bring in close to half a billion ISK from that of late. Not bad.
But the way things go that was refilling my coffers a bit slowly. I have not been anywhere close to my pre-war level of ISK, so started working on how to raise some. It has been quiet for a while, the economic situation isn’t as dumb as it was a year ago, and who knows… maybe a war will come along.
So the I started digging through all the stuff I had stashed away. I suppose one of the nice things about the war destroying so many of our structures is that just about everything I have in Delve is in the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A now. Or in Jita. I have a bunch of stuff squirreled away there as well. So I started listing stuff on various markets.
Then I went and did what null sec players traditionally do, I went out to do some ratting.
It has been a while since I’ve ratted. The last time I ratted deliberately was back in early 2019 when I decided to see how long a Myrmidon would last doing semi-afk ratting. (I made 1.6 billion ISK before I lost that ship.) Back then the Myrmidon was the ratting hull of choice and people were discouraged from risking the ISK to rat in an Ishtar, because tech II HAC hulls were pricey.
The economy has turned upside down since then and now the Ishtar is, once again, the aspirational solo ratting vehicle since HACs are cheap because moon goo is over abundant. So you get out there, launch your five heavy drones and let them do their thing while you keep an eye on local and the intel channel… or, if you’re sophisticated, you use TACO, which is a chat log parser that will beep at you if systems near your current location are mentioned.
I am not sophisticated and just put the client in the background, full screen, then do things like work on this blog post in a browser window which lets me see the overview on the right side of the browser and local and the intel channel on the left side. Then your drone just blow up the NPCs as they spawn while you fly in circles.
With the changes to the dynamic bounty system that came back in October, the bounties have a floor of 100% payout, so there are no longer dead, ratted out systems that will never recover because nobody will ever PvP there because there are no targets.
The ESS still grabs half your bounties and holds onto them for almost three hours if you time things badly, which means somebody can come along and steal them. But, in Delve, there are enough combat pilots hanging around waiting for somebody to hit an ESS that is has not been a problem for me.
The other thing the coalition has suggest is to bring an mobile tractor unit to haul in drops and to fit some salvagers on your ship to grab salvage from the wrecks. I’m good with the MTU thing, but the salvaging requires me to get too involved.
The drops actually earn ISK not for what they are… most of the time at least, there are exceptions… but because you can reprocess them for minerals, and the economy is still screwed up just enough to make that pretty lucrative. CCP put in a band-aid to try and alleviate the shortage of isogen and nocxium, but it hasn’t been enough yet and mineral prices are still on the rise, as the December MER shows. (I’ll have a post about that this coming Monday, once I’ve had time to go through the data.)
All of which, together, has revived my ISK balance quite a bit over the last month or so. I’m still nowhere near the liquid ISK I had in the run up to the war, but I am at least more comfortably situated to deal with things like new doctrines and the tax on things that even playing the game hits you with. And, in the end, whatever I am earning I hope to invest into PvP ships to lose gloriously in the sort of fights that make EVE Online the game it is.