Category Archives: Null Sec

Friday Bullet Points on Saturday about EVE Online

What do you do when you have a nice set of items for a coherent, single topic bullet points post and then Friday is the last day of the month so your month in review post gets that spot?

You declare Saturday an honorary Friday and just run with it.  So here are some short items about EVE Online that I probably could have cranked posts out of… but didn’t feel like it.

  • Empires of EVE Vol. II Audio Book

I received an email last week from the Empires of EVE Vol. II Kickstarter project I pledge to back in 2018 that the audio book version of the project was finally complete.  The physical book has been in my possession for a couple of years now, but an audio book release, as we got with the first book, had been a promise.

The sequel!

The audio book announcement was for backers only and contained a link that allowed us to download it.  The good news is that it is available.  The less good news is that it still needs work to be released for Audible.com, something that may not happen.  That is a shame, because once I saw the email subject line I ran over to Audible to buy a copy just to support the project and its author one more time.

Andrew Groen, the author, has had his own trials over the last couple of years, as have we all, and it sounds like chronicling the tales of the null sec empires is no longer on his agenda.  Two books is more than enough to ask of one person I suppose, but one can always dream of a third volume.  The downfall of The Mittani might have made a reasonable bookend to the series… at least until something else happens in null sec.

  • The Mittani Gone from GoonWaffe

Speaking of The Mittani, the word spread this past week that he had been kicked from GoonWaffe, the executor corp for Goonswarm Federation.  This news was greeted by cheers, jeers, and very few tears.

The corp history of The Mittani

I’m not particularly worried about him and his well being… he’s not even as old as I was when I started this blog… but I do wonder how he has filled the hole in his life that EVE Online used to occupy.  How much of your average week does it take to be a space emperor?  More than I am willing to commit no doubt.

  • Alliance Tournament XVIII Begins

Or, rather, it has already begun by the time this post goes live.  This weekend sees the Trials Tournament where teams that did not get direct entry into the AT or buy their way in with the silent auction are able to battle it out to earn a spot in the tournament.

Alliance Tournament 18

The linked post also shows which teams are already lined up for the AT as well as the tie breaker methodology for the tournament.  (Hint: fly Minmatar hulls)

  • Weekend Fleet Pack

Finally, while I usually don’t shill for CCP when it comes to special offers, this one connects to some interesting history.

CCP just announced what they are calling the Weekend Fleet Pack, that gets you 3 days of Omega time and 50 PLEX, all for the low price of $3.75.  Yes, that is $37.50 for 30 days of Omega at that price, almost double the going rate, but that is not the point.

Weekend Fleet Pack

This looks like it could be a smart move by CCP.  This allows a player to unlock Omega for 3 days, so if there is some big move op or fleet battle going on they can jump on in without committing to the $20 fee that is the base 30 day subscription these days.

And, once you’re in and invested, maybe you’ll see the light and subscribe further.  It could happen.

But what makes this interesting is that SOE had an offer kind of like this back in the day called the EQII Passport.

One from the archive

Back in 2010 SOE floated the idea that you could get 3 days of game play for just $5.00… and it got a pretty rough response from fans.

In hindsight, I think the plan suffered from a few items, not the least being price.  But I think the fact that it was treated as a “once per 30 days” option was the real killer.  What were they thinking?  They wanted players to commit to 3 consecutive days of play in a month during a time when there was no free to play option.

In light of that experience, I think CCP’s cheaper price and more flexible terms might stand a much better chance of success.

The Initiative Behaving Badly

This bit of null sec drama has absolutely nothing to do with me, but I still want to note it down just in case it comes back to haunt anybody at a later date.  Also, it is Imperium drama, which means it is close to home.

The short story is that when The Bastion folded up shop a while back, The Initiative took over its space in Fountain, buying out its structures, flipping the sovereignty, and giving everybody time to get themselves situated in new alliances.

Then they took one of the Fortizars that had formerly belonged to The Bastion, let it run out of fuel, blew it up, and looted all the stuff that dropped.  Another loot pinata, akin to things we saw in the rage wormhole (all wormhole structures are loot pinatas) or with the former Army of Mango Keepstar earlier this year.

The Initiative logo in spaceships

So where is the drama?

For those who have been following along at home, the Forsaken Fortress update back in May of 2020 changed the rules for Upwell structures.  After that landed, unfueled structures would no longer send their contents into asset safety, reneging on yet another CCP statement.  So if you let a structure run out of fuel, then blow it up, nobody who has anything in the structure gets their stuff back.

The Fortizar in question was reported to have coughed up something on the order of 300 billion ISK in stuff when it was blown up.

That is a lot of stuff.  I mean, the tale of BOSS bilking Fraternity out of 100 billion ISK rated a story over on Massively OP.  This is three times that number in ill gotten goods.

As it turns out, this Fortizar was a staging base for The Bastion when it returned to Fountain after World War Bee, the place where people moved their stuff as they settled back into the constellations that had been their home before the war.

They later put up a Keepstar and moved into that, but people leave stuff behind when they think it is safe.  So when the Fortizar was blown up, that 300 billion ISK in stuff was all from Imperium members.

This is something you do to your enemies, not your allies.

So how did The Initiative justify this?

  • It was their Fortizar to do with as they wished
  • They only agreed to take down the Keepstar
  • They marked the Fortizar “Do Not Use” for six months
  • They told Imperium leadership about their plan

That is some grade A bullshit rationalization.  The first two are pouty toddler level arguments.  The third doesn’t cut any ice because the coalition marks structures “Do Not Use” all the time, but never blows them up, so there would be no expectation from anybody that this would be the result.

Then there is the final one about telling Imperium leadership.  You’ll note they don’t say who they told (somebody in corps diplo who didn’t realize the ramifications perhaps?), nor do they reference how their informing leadership resulted in pings about the impending destruction, nor how this information was brought up on the weekly coalition fireside.  That would be supporting evidence of their intention to inform.

No, they did the bare minimum to covered their asses because they wanted the ISK.

And you only have to look at the killmail to prove that.

They didn’t invite their alliance do come and join in on some content, much less the coalition.  No, the killmail has five people on it, all from their leadership, for a kill done in late EU time on a week night when everything was quiet because they didn’t want to draw any attention to it.  They knew they were doing something shitty and they wanted to do it while nobody was watching.  Thieves in the night.

The only reason I know about any of this is because some former people from The Bastion are pissed off about this screw job so Brisc Rubal devoted 50 minutes of last week’s Meta Show to rationalizing the actions of The Initiative.

He said he was a lawyer and could argue both sides, but if that was his demonstration of how he could be an advocate for both sides of a case, I wouldn’t hire him for a job that required it.  It was all a set up of weak objections knocked down one after the other with arguably weaker rationalizations.

He should have followed in the steps of his leadership in The Initiative and just kept his mouth shut and avoided drawing attention to the while thing… and all the more so because it made for possibly the most tedious 50 minutes ever on the Meta Show.

The summing up of the argument was that people playing the game count and people who aren’t playing don’t.  The leadership of The Initiative wanted their stuff so they took it.

So it goes.

Anyway, as I noted at the top, I am only laying this out because I wonder if this won’t come back to bite somebody in the ass at some future date.  We shall see.  But it already looks like they’ll be digging into that pile of ISK to pay out some SRP.

A Brief History of Goon Leadership in EVE Online

With the ascension of Asher Elias to the leadership of Goons in EVE Online, I started wondering about past leaders.

Look for the Goonion label!

They come up now and the in tales, and the more notorious their actions the more likely they are to be mentioned.  But I have zero first hand knowledge of other leaders, aside from Darius JOHNSON showing up in the middle of the Casino War to try and form something of a “true goons” alliance as leader of Ten Dollar Bond, a reference to the fee one needs to pay to become a posting member of the Something Awful forums.

The appeal to purge the alliance of all but “true goons” has been a recurring theme.

There was a whole age of leadership problems and bad decisions that predated the era of The Mittani, which ran from May 2010 until July 2022.  I went to go find out who had been running the show before I arrived.

This meant going to the GoonWiki.

The GoonWiki is… uh… a place of many words.  Or was a place of many words.  It is gone now, having been replaced by a fresh, new wiki full of useful information, but purged of the wealth of information that it contained.

Not that the information was easy to find or of equal value.

Various scribes over the years had taken up the crayon in order to half heatedly record the happenings of a given era… or to rewrite things they felt were unflattering… before wandering off, distracted by some other project or sleep or their everyday lives, leaving behind a largely incoherent and often conflicting collection of writing where dates, names, actual narrative, and any helpful context was thrown by the wayside if the author could make a joke about somebody’s personal grooming habits, drug use, or extreme bad judgement.

It is as though somebody was trying to recreate the writing process for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as described in the books.

Braver men than I have avoided the place studiously, and wiser have dashed themselves on the rocks of its chaos in a vain attempt to find meaning or explain why naming the alliance SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO [LODRA] was funny even for a minute.

And the further back in time you went, the more unlikely the tales seemed… if only due to the coherence issue.

Still, while I cannot explain the origins of the corporate structure, what happened in Syndicate in the proto-alliance era, the relationship between GoonFleet, GoonWaffe, and GoonPlatoon, or why one individual or another was put in charge at any given time, I managed to put together something akin to a timeline, which I have broken down into some arbitrary eras.

Origins

The pre-alliance era, when there were several corporations.  Remedial is judged to have been the first leader of the unified tribes, though leadership was clearly not taken all that seriously for a stretch.

  • September 2005 – October 2005? – Remedial
  • Somebody else maybe?
  • December 2005 – Tribal Overture
  • December 2005 – Yeep
  • December 2005 Firstname Lastname
  • December 2005 – February 2006 – Remedial
  • February 2006 – Yeep or Dr. Draw
  • Feburary 2006 – June 2006 – Remedial

In June 2006 GoonSwarm alliance is formed.  Maybe Remedial is in charge.  The records do not state, instead focusing on the main corporations.

  • June 2006 Cefte is de jure CEO of GoonFleet proper as Hoegaarden is CEO of GoonWaffe

Then we begin alliance leaders.

  • June 2006 – July 2006  – Hoegaarden
  • July 2006 – May 2007 – Remedial

The Great War – Sept 2006 to Feb 2009

Sir Molle declared “There are no Goons” and Goons begged to differ.  War were declared, ending in the disbanding of Band of Brothers.  I included Remedial again at the top as his leadership spans eras.

  • July 2006 – May 2007 – Remedial
  • May 2007 – June 2007 – The Mittani
  • June 2007 – Nate Hammertown
  • June 2007 – March 2008 – Sesfan Qu’Lah
  • March 2008 – April 2009  – Darius JOHNSON

The Mittani’s first tenure as leader was short and primarily marked by him calling out CCP for continuing to rig things in favor of Band of Brothers in the wake of the T20 scandal, leading CCP to push back against these allegations.  It is alleged that CCP implied they would take legal action if he continued and he stepped down as leader, though I can find no record of these threats, veiled or otherwise.

Goons and Empire and the Fall

GoonSwarm defeats Band of Brothers and reigns supreme until Karttoon betrays everybody.

  • April 2009 – July 2009 – Zapawork
  • July 2009 – February 2010 – Karttoon

Because he was away on an extended vacation, Karttoon failed to make sure there is enough ISK in the correct account to pay the GoonSwarm sovereignty bill.  Sovereignty droppped and the alliance lost all of its space.

Karttoon returned and used this as an excuse to steal the alliance, kicking everybody out and taking everything he can with him.  Karttoon held both the GoonSwarm alliance as well as the GoonFleet corporation, the latter being tucked away in the Band of Brothers alliance that was formed when the old one was disbanded in order to prevent them from getting their name back.  He later claims he was going to do this anyway.

Related:

Goons Reformed

Having lost the alliance, a new one is formed even as Goons are allowed to crash on Tau Ceti Federation’s couch in Deklein.  Darius JOHNSON comes out of retirement to lead Goons once more.

In February SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO is formed.  That lasts until the end of May 2010, when the joke is finally declared dead.

Goonswarm Federation becomes the new alliance on June 1, 2010.  GoonWaffe becomes the primary corporation.  Somewhere along the way Darius JOHNSON exiles ElitistOps, creating a rift that remains until they come back to Goonswarm Federation to help defend Delve during World War Bee.

This also begins the Clusterfuck Coalition in Deklein, which rebrands in 2015 as the Imperium.

  • February 2010 – May 2010 – Darius JOHNSON
  • May 2010 – July 2022 – The Mittani
  • July 15, 2022 – July 28, 2022 – TheAdj
  • July 28, 2022 – now – Asher Elias

Darius JOHNSON stepped down from the leadership role to become a developer at CCP, allowing The Mittani a second shot at leadership, and he held on to that role for the next twelve years, until his downfall earlier this year.

Then TheAdj filled his seat until Asher became the new leader.

And that brings us through to today.

I had actually planned to do a section at the end of this post with short biographies of notable leaders, but the old Wiki disappeared before I got very far, so this is all I have.

That is probably for the best.  Did I mention the writing style of some of the old articles?  I was trying to scrape together a coherent, four sentence paragraph about Remedial from his Wiki entry and… well, that was just not going to happen.

You can find some of the names from the early days popping up again in other groups.  As noted Darius JOHNSON came back during the Casino War to try and make a “true Goons” alliance.  You can also find Hoegaarden as head of Clockwork Pineapple, another offshoot of Goons.  Karttoon came back and hung around in ElitistOps for a bit.

We’re supposed to get the historical Wiki back at some future date as an archive.  Until then, I offer this up as a bit of the history of New Eden.

One Way Trip to Perrigen Falls

Apparently the rule is that if there is ever a wormhole connect that will land us in PanFam space we are obliged to throw some cheap ships through it just to see what sort of trouble we can get into.

So when the ping showed up asking for a Ferox fleet for a one-way trip, I was in.  First, I hadn’t been on a combat fleet so far this month.  My self-imposed rule is to get on at least one kill mail a month as a sort of “proof of life” that I am playing.  If I cannot manage that I ought to just unsubscribe.

Second, I still have a pile of ships sitting in my hangar left over from World War Bee, including more than a few Feroxes I could part with, the remains of The Mittani telling us to stock up for the anticipated final battle of 1DQ1-A that never came to pass.  I was more than willing to part with a couple of those.  So I joined the fleet, hopped in one, insured it in the hope of the promised of a one-way trip being true, and off we went.

Ferox fleet on its way

There was a Thera wormhole over in NPC Delve… if you don’t have Signal Cartel’s EVE-Scout Thera wormholes shared bookmarks handy, you should subscribe… which we jumped into.

Another wormhole, in case you haven’t seen one recently

Once we jump into There, it was a long warp to an exit wormhole.

Feroxes in Thera… know your nebulae

That wormhole dumped us into Perrigen Falls, which is one of the regions Pandemic Horde owns.  We were on one side of a gate and a PH Keepstar was on the other, so we jumped in and anchored up to see what we might be able to shoot.

Getting off the gate in MJ-5F9

They clearly had an inclination that we were coming and had parked a couple of HAW dread around the gate and had some interdictors handy to try and bubble us and hold us in place.

We got out of the bubbles and warped off, the back on grid again, looking for a place where we might be able to take down one of those dreadnoughts.  That would have been a fine prize.

Trying to pop a Phoenix on the gate

We ended up warping in and out a few times, losing a few ships with each run, but were not able to get a good spot where a capital might fall.  We did managed to pop a few subcaps along the way, but we were hemorrhaging Feroxes by the third warp in.  We only came with a few logi, so we were not going to last long on grid.  We certainly couldn’t stand up to dreads setup to shoot subcaps.

As we were warping out after one run my Ferox was the primary.  The ship exploded and my pod carried on with the fleet warp.

Just my pod in the fleet now

I exempted myself from warps to keep from slowing down the fleet, then warped myself back to the gate to get the pod express home.  I was obliged immediately, my pod was tackled and popped in short order.

They got me, just like I had hoped

I got to see the pod death screen, which seems to have been updated.  The shell of my golden pod, part of the 10 year anniversary box set (along with the Mystery Code… and don’t get me started about the Mystery Code), was visible.

A golden shell broken open

And that was about it.  The battle report showed we lost all but one ship, and I am not sure how that one ship survived.

Battle Report Header

We lost badly, but we expected nothing less.  There was always the hope that we might catch them unawares, but that rarely works out. (Sometimes we come out on top, but not often.)  My own Ferox got hit by a couple of dreads and a paladin, which added up to most of the damage.

I also got the insurance payout, plus some additional ISK for SRP, and managed to get a Ferox out of my hangar.  And I got on a few kill mails, so my monthly goal was accomplished.

I was happy enough with that result that when the FC asked who wanted to go again, I grabbed another one and insured it.  But word came down from command to knock that off now that PH was alerted.  Still, it was a bit of fun on a week night.

Back Home in Delve Once More

As I mentioned last week, the Imperium has given up on its war in the southeast of null sec.  So the main effort since then has been to get people and their ships back to Delve safely.

FI.RE and PanFam has been dogging this retreat, camping the route, and trying to make move ops as annoying as possible.  By the time I had written that previous post I had already moved all of my assets out of Tenerifis to Catch.  And it is a good thing too, because our Tenerifis staging Keepstar was destroyed not too long after.

Only three Keepstars have been destroyed in 2022, and all of them belonged to the Imperium at the time of their destruction… though that one back in January hardly counts against us.  Army of Mango gave us that loot pinata, and we had fun blowing it up. (I’m on the kill mail for that Keepstar for sure.  Also, this whole war was due to the power vacuum left between us and FI.RE after Army of Mango self-destructed.)

I had also moved my more expensive ships home.  But I still had a few left in Catch and PanFam seemed intent on chasing us all the way home.  The allied Keepstar in GE-8JV had a PanFam Fortizar anchored on grid with it and had its armor timer set the last time I was there.  So it was both time to leave and not a good time to go alone.

My one valuable ship left behind was an Eagle heavy assault cruiser.  I would have asked somebody in a capital ship to carry it in their SMA hangar, but our Eagle doctrine requires a bunch of module refits in the cargo, and you can’t have those in the cargo hold if you want to put the ship in an SMA.  It was easier to just fly it than try to sort that out.

So a move op came up one evening last week and I happened to be online and ready to go.  I figured I could get it and my other ship, an Oneiros that I had YOLO’d across Catch to get to the deployment (then never used) back home and be done with it.

That was when I ran into some problems.

The first was solvable, but a bit embarrassing.  I could not find the move op fleet in the fleet finder.  I refreshed it, logged out and back in, and it would not show up.  I finally asked on voice coms if the advert for the fleet was up and eventually the FC asked me to X up in alliance chat to contact me directly.  It was then he asked if I had blocked him in-game.  I checked and… yeah, I had done that.  I seem to recall some fleet during World War Bee where I might have had enough of him spamming fleet chat.  Anyway, it is never a good move to have to tell the person who is leading you home that you have blocked them.

That solved, I ran into the second problem, which was that my second account had lapsed.  For the war I had taken advantage of CCP’s multi-account price offer to subscribe it.  However, when I did that, it was a non-recurring offer, so when the time ran out, the account went Alpha clone and I couldn’t log it in with my main online, or even fly the Oneiros even if I could.  And I wasn’t going to resubscribe for one move op.  So figured I would deal with the Oneiros later.

The move op itself was not particularly eventful.  It was slow, given that it is only ten gate and Ansiblex jumps back to 1DQ, but PanFam had a fleet out to mess with us and we had some stragglers and the occasional disconnect.  Still we got home safe and sound.

Eagle on the way home

That done, I looked an realized I had an alt on my main account parked in the GE-8JV Keepstar and he had just enough skills to fly the Oneiros.  So I swapped around logins to contract it to him from my lapsed second account, then got him in the ship.  Most of the modules were online.  He could get it home with the next move op.

Or… I could just YOLO that ship again and get home right then and there.  It was late, there were only 11K people logged in, and I had been lucky flying that particular hull in stupid circumstances previously, so why no just go for it?

This was a bad idea, especially with a PanFam fleet known to be out and about… but maybe they had stood down.  So I undocked and off I went.

The Oneiros flies again

And I made it, though not without some anxiety.  The game seemed to be in one of those moods where it didn’t want to flag blues in local as blue, so everybody had no status, so they could have all been hostile.  But nobody tackled me on a gate and I docked up safely in 1DQ.

Then I looked at his assets and realized that he had been out in the Keepstar in Catch because he had flown out there in a Vigil, and that Vigil was still out there.  I supposed I could have just left it there, but I contracted it to my main who still had his death clone set there, logged him back in, claimed the ship, death cloned back, and decided to make the run again.

This was a very bad idea.  I can occasionally get lucky and make a run through space and make it, but when I get cocky and decide to repeat it, I get nabbed by somebody who noticed the traffic and set up a gate camp about half the time.  It never pays to push your luck.

On the other hand, this was a T1 frigate that I was never going to bother retrieving from asset safety if it went there, so what the hell.  Better to lose it now than have something sitting in yet another station I was never going to visit again.  So off I went.

The Vigil on the move

The Vigil made it home safely as well.  I was done with my evac from the war and had everything back at home.

At the fireside yesterday Asher noted that we were now in peacetime mode in the Imperium.  We are not, as a full organization, engaged in operations outside of our space.  It will be back to SIGs and squads and small group actions or homeland defense fleets for those looking for a bit of action.

He did make it clear that we would be defending the Keepstars on the periphery of our empire with maximum efforts if it came to that. [Edit: Well, not that one I guess.]  But for now, the war is off and we’re back in Delve.

The EVE Online August MER and the End of a Flat Summer

It is September and, while the calendar tells me summer has a few weeks left to run, in my head summer ends at Labor Day in the US, which was this past Monday.  My daughter is back in class, pumpkin spice flavored everything is threatening to return, and if we could just get a bit of cool weather we would be set.  Unfortunately, it feels like “Endless Summer” might be the new setting on Earth.

September also means we have the August Monthly Economic Report for EVE Online.  This will be the check point for whether or not we’re seeing a “summer slump” or something bigger in the game once we compare it to the next few months.  The kids are getting anxious and tossing ominous charts around Reddit.

EVE Online nerds harder

Every MER is a benchmark for something I suppose, so let’s see where things stand.

Production

August 2022 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

While I like that chart… the way I like any chart that shows data over time… it can see be a bit vexing to read as the daily number tend to be up and down.  The data used to build that chart though, that is much more clear.  It shows that there 79.25 trillion ISK in value produced in August, down slightly from the 79.75 recorded in July and the 81.28 we saw in June.

Meanwhile, the regional data shows these as the top ten regions for production.

  1. The Forge – 17.39 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Delve – 12.8 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Vale of the Silent – 11.01 trillion (Fraternity)
  4. Lonetrek – 7.13 trillion (High Sec)
  5. The Citadel – 5.7 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Tribute – 5.14 trillion (Fraternity)
  7. Fade – 4.15 trillion (WE FORM BL0B)
  8. Heimatar 3.58 trillion (High Sec)
  9. Domain – 3 trillion (High Sec)
  10. Sinq Laison – 2.87 trillion (High Sec)

Again, the usual suspects for null sec, plus the regions supporting trade hubs like Jita top the list.

Overall the regional data showed 113.52 trillion in ISK value produced, up a bit from July’s 109.7, and June’s 110.59 trillion.

As I said, it has been a flat summer economically speaking.  Yes, I still cannot reconcile the difference between those two data sets, but I remain satisfied that they trend in the same way each month.

Meanwhile, this month saw three new charts in the form of break outs of the three sub-charts that debuted in the Produced/Mined/Destroyed chart back in June.

August 2022 – Production by Security Band

CCP Estimate dropped me a note to let me know there were some new charts and I am really happy with the additions.  First, I like these charts are the are a clear representation over time of where specific activities occur.  Second, not I don’t have to spend time in Paint.net cropping together my own stand-alone versions.  So a win on that front!

Destruction

On the war front we still had two minor conflicts going on in July, with Brave and V0LTA defending Pure Blind from Fraternity and the Imperium’s punitive offensive into FI.RE’s space.  With that in mind, the regional data shows theses as the top ten regions for destruction:

  1. The Forge – 1.69 trillion
  2. Pochven – 1.68 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 1.13 trillion
  4. Vale of the Silent – 1.12 trillion
  5. The Citadel – 1.11 trillion
  6. Pure Blind – 1.09 trillion
  7. Delve – 1.05 trillion
  8. Metropolis – 833 billion
  9. Sinq Laison – 813 billion
  10. Immensea – 799 billion

At least Pure Blind and Immensea, the two regions that saw most of the action in those wars, made the cut.  But neither were setting any records, as The Forge and Pochven topped the list.

Overall the region data said that 26.12 trillion ISK was destroyed in August, down a bit from the 27.48 reported in July and the 27.08 reported in June.  Again, a fairly flat line, even if it is trending down a bit.

The data from the Produced/Mined/Destroyed chart at the top of the post showed 26.57 trillion ISK destroyed, down from 28.74 trillion ISK in July and 27.59 trillion ISK in June.

Not as nice an alignment as one would hope for, but still fairly flat and trending down in August.

As for where destruction took place, there is the second of the three break out charts”

August 2022 – Destruction by Security Band

While null sec remains the primary engine of destruction in New Eden, it has been slowing down some and other regions have a larger slice of the chart in recent months.

Somebody threw together some data on capital ship losses, something that is primarily a null sec thing, and how that has been trending down, which no doubt aligns a bit with what the chart above is telling us.

Trade

Trade remains the heartbeat of New Eden, and the top regions in August were made up of the usual set of names.

  1. The Forge – 400 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 33.75 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Lonetrek – 15.4 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 11.76 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Delve – 11.39 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Metropolis – 8.06 trillion (Hek)
  7. Perrigen Falls – 6.77 trillion
  8. Heimatar – 5.92 trillion (Rens)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 4.32 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. The Citadel – 4.19 trillion (Caldari High Sec)

The trade total from the regional data tallied up to 534 trillion ISK in value, up from 521 trillion ISK in July, but still down from the 572 trillion ISK in value we saw in June.

And with The Forge accounting for 400 trillion of the August total, that means about 75% of in-game trade happens in Jita, Perimeter, and the other systems in the region… but mostly in Jita.

ISK Faucets

Now we’re into the money section, where we try to see where the money is coming from in New Eden, which I always start off with the top of the ISK Sinks and Faucets chart.

August 2022 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

For those who cannot read the text, and I number myself in that group, here are the top items on the list:

  • Commodity – 48.1 trillion (Same as July)
  • Bounty Prizes – 19.7 trillion (down 0.6 trillion)
  • Trig Invasion Payouts – 13.7 trillion (up 0.1 trillion)
  • Incursion Payouts – 11.7 trillion (Same as July)
  • ESS Bounty Payouts – 8.6 trillion (down 0.3 trillion)
  • Agent Mission Rewards 3.2 trillion (down 0.1 trillion)

That carries on the theme of a flat summer economically speaking, though the faucet and sinks chart looks more exciting than those numbers.

August 2022 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

While you can see NPC bounties on a down trend, commodities looks like they were having a party, at least at the very end of the month.  However, if we look at the commodities over time chart, we can see where that came from.

August 2022 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

Blue loot, the wormhole space ISK faucet, was actually down in August and it was only the spike in miscellaneous… which could be event rewards from Caldari Union Day, which landed at the end of the month, but which I guess could also be AIR rewards, which I have a pile of to redeem… that kept commodities level between July and August.

There was also a bit of a rise in encrypted bonds, which represents main and reserve bank rewards.

August 2022 – ESS Regional Stats

There were a little over 8 trillion ISK in main bank thefts in August, up from around 7.5 trillion seen in July.  But reserve bank thefts were down to 453 billion in August from 510 billion in July.  But fewer of those thefts were milking jobs, where the locals get keys to rob their own reserve banks.

August 2022 – Reserve Bank “Thefts”

So commodities remained flat, with other avenues picking for a decline in sleeper commodities coming in from wormhole space.

On the NPC bounties front, the top regions were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.97 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. Delve – 1.47 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Fountain – 1.38 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Perrigen Falls – 1.25 trillion (PanFam)
  5. Querious – 1.13 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Malpais – 954 billion (PanFam)
  7. The Kalevala Expanse – 930 billion (PanFam)
  8. Insmother – 901 billion (FI.RE)
  9. Catch – 794 billion (Imperium/Others)
  10. Tribute – 792 billion (Fraternity)

The regional data totals bounties up to 26.2 trillion ISK in value, down a bit from July’s 27.11 trillion.  That doesn’t quite align with the 28.3 trillion recorded on the faucets above, but the decline in both data sets adds up to about a 900 billion ISK decline.  We take our data wins when we find them.

All of that meant that ISK faucets out paced ISK sinks by a fair margin, but ISK taken out of the game by CCP, or excluded due to being associated with inactive accounts, meant that for the second time this summer we had a small drop in the overall ISK in the game.  The first time was in June’s MER.

July 2022 ISK balance

That meant that the money supply chart was flat to the point of a bit of a decline at the end of the month.

August 2022 – Money Supply

Less money in the system should give ISK velocity a bit of a boost, and we can see the decline tapering off and even reversing a bit in August, but overall at the end of the month it was headed downward again.

August 2022 – Velocity of ISK

We did get an update to this chart, which now shows velocity overall, then without contracts, and then without contracts and PLEX related transactions.

PLEX is starting to be a sore spot, with a single PLEX now selling for over 4.6 million ISK, making 30 days of game time a 2.3 billion ISK cost.

Of course, some people have that kind of scratch to hand, as we see with a bonus chart we got in August, looking at the distribution of wealth in New Eden.

August 2022 – Wealth Distribution

67.7% of the ISK held in New Eden is in the hands of 5% of the players.  That means they have 1,003 trillion, while the other 95% of the game shares only 494 trillion.

This is not as shocking as you might think.  Wealth accumulation over time favors those in for the long haul.  People working at it since 2003, especially those who were in on some of the lopsided aspects of the economy at various points, are bound to have a lot more ISK than those who shows up late.

Still, this chart did generate its own thread on Reddit.

Mining

What to say about mining in August?  Well, mineral prices continued to climb, which strongly suggests that there is still more demand for minerals than there is supply.

August 2022 – Economic Indices

The Produced/Mined/Destroyed chart data shows that 19.45 trillion ISK in value was mine in August, down from 20.7 trillion in July and way down from 27.69 trillion in June.

According to the regional data, overall 14.28 trillion ISK in value was mined, down a fraction from the 14.5 trillion ISK in July and 16.46 trillion in June.

So both data sets at least show a fairly flat transition from July to August after having dropped off from June.  The demand, in the form of higher prices, is not getting people out to mine.

As for where mining happens, the regional data shows these are the top ten locations:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 911.28 billion (Fraternity)
  2. Domain – 589.58 billion (High Sec)
  3. The Forge – 507.27 billion (High Sec)
  4. Metropolis – 486.9 billion (High Sec)
  5. Delve – 484.91 billion (Imperium)
  6. Insmother – 466.6 billion (FI.RE)
  7. Fountain – 463.79 billion (Imperium)
  8. Lonetrek – 430.5 billion (High Sec)
  9. Aridia – 418.33 billion (Low Sec)
  10. Derelik – 393.74 billion (High Sec)

When it comes to moon mining however, the output remains low, with 3.2 billion ISK in moon ore being mined, down a bit from the 3.22 reported in July and the 3.995 billion reported in June.

The top regions for moon mining were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 305.87 million (Fraternity)
  2. Domain – 204.1 million (High Sec)
  3. Delve – 180.63 million (Imperium)
  4. Insmother – 126.57 million (FI.RE)
  5. The Citadel – 119.11 million (High Sec)
  6. Genesis – 99.86 million (High Sec)
  7. Malpais – 93.13 million (High Sec)
  8. Tribute – 90.03 million (Fraternity)
  9. Essence – 89.72 million (High Sec)
  10. Querious – 87.15 million (Imperium)

Again, to put those numbers in perspective, I make more churning out mechanical parts via planetary industry on one character in a month than any region on the list’s moon mining output valuation.  We need the moon goo products for T2 ships, but the price for that looks to be suppressed, likely due to over supply.

And, finally on the mining front, the third break out chart focused on where mining takes place in New Eden based on security band:

August 2022 – Mining by Security Band

Again, thanks to CCP Estimate for these break out charts.  The larger size gives a slightly more granular view.  Wormhole space, which provides gas, is the smallest slice, but still significant, while low sec, also now a provider of gas sites needed for capital production, continues to be a substantial provider.

And that is all I have in me for the August MER.

Related:

The Collapse of the Eastern Front

We are in retreat.

It has been an orderly retreat, with plenty of organized move ops, jumping by stages to fall back positions, but it is a retreat none the less.

Waiting for a bridge out of Tenerifis

It was announced at the beginning of August that we would be pursuing the war in the southeast of null sec against FI.RE more aggressively.  Asher Elias, the new leader of the Imperium, wanted us to act more aggressively, to put more at risk, in order to get better fights and more fun.  So we moved capitals and supers and reinforcements to our outpost in Tenerifis.

This was a renewal of the campaign already in progress, where we had already taken a chunk of Tenerifis and had even grabbed a foothold in Immensea.

And that campaign was a renewal of the GEF campaign that started back in March, after FI.RE and its allies had been attacking friends on our eastern flank in Impass and Esoteria.  That ended in Tenerifis, after which we went back home… only to return again.

So we have been moving back and fourth and fighting off and on in the southeast against FI.RE for close to six month now.  I’ve been on my fair share of move ops over that time.  Too many, really.

So more move ops were not on my wish list… and yet here we are.

The problem was that FI.RE finally got reinforcements from their PAPI allies in PanFam and Fraternity.

FI.RE had been getting the occasional fleet flying down to help them, but PanFam finally decided to commit fully to the war, bringing with them enough numbers that we went from being able have an advantage to not being able to gain local superiority sufficient to defend the ihubs we had taken so far.

I knew things were turning against us, that our gains in Immensea were falling, but I was still a bit surprised to hear that we were heading home.  I missed the Saturday fireside, but saw move ops being announced.  I thought maybe they were reinforcements until I listened to the recording of the fireside and heard we were heading home.

Move ops can be no big deal at times.  Moving some subcaps, even gating them, can be quick.  But we had made a point of deploying lots of caps and supers out to our staging at ZMV9-A in Tenerifis.  They all had to come home.

Titans in their undock spots on the Keepstar

Coordinating capitals and subcaps slows things down.  There needs to be some subcaps to cover the capitals as they are prime targets to be tackled.  So the pace of movement drops significantly as we wait timers to run down.

And it gets all the more difficult when the enemy decides to hound you all the way home.  You cannot travel through a reinforced Ansiblex.

No fast travel that way

A few dedicated pilots can slow a move op down to a crawl, bubbling gates and grabbing the stragglers.  Even if they don’t blow anybody up, having to turn around and jump back through a gate to save people can wear on the whole operation.

Another bubble on another gate

But the only thing worse than being stuck in a slow move op is trying to run the gauntlet solo and getting blown up because the hostiles are camping the route home expecting people to do just that.

So you get in the fleet and take a bridge and then some gates and then sit at a waypoint waiting for the capitals to be able to jump in.

A resting point on the way home

The move ops over the last week have gone in two phased.  We went from Tenerifis to Catch on the first leg, then from Catch home to Delve on the second.  There was some time pressure on us to get through the first leg, and it is expected that we’ll lose the Keepstar that was our staging base in ZMV9-A will end up being destroyed.  The price of our adventures in the east.

But last night saw the first move ops landing in Delve.  Three out of the five ships I needed to get back are secure again in 1DQ1-A.

Now the question is what will happen on our eastern boarder?  We began this venture back in March because PAPI was attacking there.  We drove them back, returned home, had to drive them back again, and now they have shown up in force to drive us back.  Will they carry on into our space?

It might be nice to have some content delivered to us.  Deployments are work to maintain.  Armies in the field can fall apart without ever facing the enemy in force if supply lines are waylaid and morale sags.  Now we’re back at home.

Reflections on What Keeps You in New Eden for Sixteen Years

We are here again at the anniversary of my start in New Eden.  16 years ago today I created my account and logged into EVE Online for the very first time.

My New Eden birthday in the old character panel

It has become a tradition for me to write about some aspect of the game… because I can only recount my first day of play so many times.  My frustration helped prompt me to start this blog, its anniversary being less than two weeks distant.

Some of the topics I have covered in the past on my anniversary.

But here, at year sixteen, I am struggling a bit for a topic.

It has been a something of a bad year for the game, as I wrote about previously.  But bad times and bad decisions by the company are hardly unique, and they tend to bring out more opinions from me rather than less.

It isn’t like I couldn’t drag out a topic.  There are a multitude of things that I could potentially run on about related to sixteen years of playing EVE Online.  The problem is that post like this, opinions and remembrances and going on about what a strange and wonderful place New Eden can be, that comes from the emotional part of me.

And my feelings for the game are a little flat right now.

I know, I know, it has been a down year for the game, and that no doubt enters into it.  It is much easier to find some passion for writing when things are happening.  Even when things are not going your way.

Especially when things are not going your way.

I am sure I have said this before, but it bears repeating; being on the losing side isn’t all bad.  Being on the defense in Saranen during the Casino War or backed up into that last constellation in Delve during World War Bee, those were some of the most active times in the game.  It gave things an edge… and it is convenient when the enemy brings content to your front step on a daily basis.

There are a couple of reasons for that.

First, it is a video game, so the stakes aren’t really that high.  Nobody dies, everybody respawns in a fresh clone to undock and fight again another day.  Ships are expendable.  Losing them is what we do every day.  If you haven’t lost a ship, you aren’t really playing the game.

Second, the odds being against you can really heighten the experience.

You don’t want to be completely overwhelmed.  There is no fun in extremely long odds.  But when the chips are down and there seems like there is no way to win and a fleet gets pinged and you and a hundred or more other members of your space tribe log in, ship up, and undock all the same.

That comes as close to a “This is Sparta!” sort of moment as you can get with an internet spaceship simulator.

It is almost as though a certain amount of difficulty or adversity makes the game more interesting.

I am sure I have mentioned this before.  It is certainly more fulfilling to write about heavily contested battles, bloody clashes, and close run defeats than it is to try to spin a tale about an uncontested structure shoot.  Not that I haven’t done the latter, it just isn’t as interesting.

Of course, there is adversity and then there is adversity.  CCP having made it more difficult to earn ISK or harvest resources, putting a strangle hold on the economy of New Eden, that isn’t the good sort of adversity.  Making ships expensive to replace does not drive conflict.

I’d much rather have the assets to throw ships into a desperate defense, like the ones we had at FWST-8 almost two years ago, or betting some assets on a clever trap that goes bad, like the one at YZ9-F6, than to be wondering if my PI yield this month is going to keep me in enough ISK to invest in whatever the latest doctrine is.

But that is sort of the Tao of EVE Online.  The interesting bit can come upon us unexpectedly, and nobody is guaranteed a good time just for logging in.  But if you don’t log in you’ll never get that special high that arrives when things come together and events are suddenly swirling and you are in the moment in a fight and, while you want to win, the whole thing will still be memorable and worth talking about even if you don’t.

So, even in the face of the last year and then some, I am still subscribed.  I still log in.  Something interesting is bound to happen even as another year goes by.

New Eden and the Year of Disappointment

whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

-Galatians 6:7, King James Edition Bible

It is summer and the PCU is down in EVE Online.  It happens.  The jury is still out on the summer slump being a regular thing.  Past slumps seem to coincide more with specific situations in my view when looking at a chart from Jester’s collection.

Average players online May through September

2019 slumps hard due to the blackout that came at the far end of summer, though there was a visible slump before that.  2020 is the COVID boom tapering off after peaking in April.  2021 is largely people getting to leave the house and go places finally (so an actual summer slump). And 2022 is…  something else?

The last two years have not seen a positive trend, even outside of the summer, be there a slump or not. (Chart from EVE Offline)

EVE Offline chart two year chart

And 2022 feels different all the more so.  To start with, the game was in a slump before summer it seems.  Those are some 2005 level PCU numbers.

EVE Online feels like it is going through a trial now, greater than any it has faced.  Players have been angry at the company before.  We have had summers of rage, player protests, and varying degrees of players being mad at the company for something they have done.

Occasionally CCP listens.  They did seem to get the idea that putting blockchain into New Eden wasn’t going to be popular.  More often they dissemble or ignore the players.  They look the other way or metaphorically pat us on the head and tell us that they know best, that they have all the data, and we shouldn’t get so worked up because they know what they’re doing.

But the relationship has always been one of passion.  Players are angry because they feel that CCP isn’t handling the game correctly, that they’re going in the wrong direction, ignoring real problems, going back on promises, or diminishing the game in some way.

That isn’t always happy or fun for CCP, but it comes from a position of player engagement.  We the players are invested in this game.  We want it to get better.  We have had so many memorable moments, made so many friends, and done so many things in this game that you simply cannot do in any other video game anywhere that we don’t want it to stop.

This summer, however, has been fairly grim.  As noted above, the PCU is down more than ever.  The Pearl Abyss financials show the EVE IP shrinking again in Q2 2022, and I fully expect the Q3 numbers will be even worse.  Attempts to get wars rolling in New Eden have been met by indifference as fewer players see the point.

And I think this is in large part due to the last twelve months having been a year of almost constant disappointment, and it is starting to show results at the bottom line.

I am going to peg the start of this cycle as July 23, 2021, the day when CCP announced that scarcity would be ending in Q4.

Scarcity has been a hugely controversial topic. It was based on some barely freshman level economic philosophy and a huge helping of wishful thinking.  CCP said it was necessary to secure the game for future generations, but it struck many as an attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube, to undo past mistakes by making players work much harder for things.

CCP said scarcity wouldn’t last forever, and we were give hope with that July announcement that the end was coming.  We had to deal with NFTs being part of the Alliance Tournament, but at least there was hope.

We had to wait until November before we got information on the New Dawn update, which had the tagline “The Age of Prosperity.”  However, it was clear from the moment CCP started to reveal its changes that we were not getting prosperity, but permanent scarcityThere were protests, which CCP dismissed, going to their usual “just Goons” response.  If Goons don’t like it, it must be good, right?

The mining changes brought some good with them, like compression… once they could get it to work right… and some simplification of mining crystals.  But overall every benefit came with strings attached with things like mining waste undoing any improvement.  CCP proudly declared that they had doubled the amount of harvestables, but had reduced them by 90% previously, and removed asteroids completely from null sec, so it was the sort of empty boast that looks like a lie, the sort of thing that just makes people angry and distrustful.

I was very sour about the state of New Eden at the end of 2021.  It felt like CCP had purposely deceived us, then scolded us for stupidly believing they really meant to end scarcity.

In the middle of this there was the Doctor Who event, which made some even angrier, as it looked like an attempt to distract from the problems of the game.  Ironically, that event ended up being pretty popular and would see the peak of user logins for 2022 so far.  But it was going to be down hill from there.

The “Age of Prosperity” was a bust.  Resources were barely increased.  Capital ships were still too expensive to build.  Battleships were priced out of the reach of new players.  And CCP was still holding onto the absurd notion that null sec players were going to go offensively mine enemy space, creating a set of high waste mining crystals for that purpose.

And while we were still angry about the economy CCP got people even more upset by selling the Prospector Pack, which featured a fully fit mining barge for cash in the web shop.

Not player produced

There were many reasons to be angry about that, not the least of which was the ship was poorly fit.  But it was CCP making ships out of thin air for cash in competition with the player economy that really pissed people off.  It seemed like such a dumb idea, so likely to inflame the player base, that I wondered if they were deliberately trying to wreck the economy in order to boost the cash shop.

That got some EVE streamers to declare a blackout of the game.

CCP eventually said they would remove the Prospector Pack from the web store, but they only did so after the mining event was over.  And the Prospector Pack remains in game to this day, being an in-game pop-up offer for those who ran the mining career agent missions.  Once again, CCP earned our distrust.

They did promise to figure out how to use player provided materials for future packs of that type, indicating that they were going to sell more fitted ships and getting people wondering if this was going to end up being a play to earn scheme.  After all, the EVE Online official Twitter account was retweeting things about Hilmar meeting with cryto companies at GDC.

Yes, they backed down on that, as I linked above, but it looked like it was really in the works.

And then there was the price increase.  CCP said it had to raise the monthly subscription price to $20 a month.  They had reasons… Russians not playing due to the war in Ukraine mostly… but players were unimpressed.  After the last couple years of in-game economic fuckery, raising the price was a bridge too far for many.  Players wanted something if they were going to pay more money.

So CCP made promises.  Fanfest would have all the answers.  They put CCP Paragon out in front of an angry mob (I feel for him too, as it should have been Hilmar or Rattati if they had any balls, but they sacrificed an underling instead) where he said:

We are announcing big content updates for fanfest. it’s the largest one we’ve ever done probably.

-CCP Paragon, Discord Q&A about the announced subscription price increase

Talk about setting the bar high.  Talk about raising expectations.

Speculation ran wild.

What we got was a bunch of promises for the future.

CCP squandered the keynote by focusing primarily on patting themselves on the back for things players were complaining about.  There were some interesting things brought up at panels during Fanfest, including ideas for Faction Warfare, something strange about alliance logos on ships, and a promise of a discount for players who subscribe multiple accounts.

But they had absolutely NOTHING ready to launch.  Even the multi-account price break took a month to show up.

It was all a huge “Trust us!” moment.  Give us more money today and we’ll make things better at some unspecified future date.

And so the PCU really began to fall off.

Some declared that it was just the summer downswing, nothing to worry about, everybody would be back come the fall.

But it feels different to me.

The EVE Online news ecosystem has shriveled up.  Imperium News barely posts anything these days.  New Eden Post declared they were not going to bother anymore.  Over at EVE News 24 even SevenUp XX Barbershop has given up on his 97 part series about why Circle-of-Two was the real victim in whatever Casino War fantasy he is still holding onto.

There are, in theory, two wars going on in null sec, but Reddit is barely buzzing at all about either.

Asher Elias, on taking the reigns of the Imperium, put out a call for people to resubscribe their capital alts, that we were going to take our big toys out and use them in the field.  But if that is going to be anything more than titans shooting structures, the enemy has to show up as well.

CSM17 member Kazanir spoke to the Imperium about what was wrong with the game and former CSM member at Brave leader Dunk Dinkle had his own post about the state of the game.  Both agreed that progression for new players has been broken, that CCP’s scarcity plan has locked in an economic order where old vets stay rich and new players stay poor.

So here we sit, more than a year after CCP announced that the end of scarcity was coming and things are palpably worse.

I have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that video game companies are not our friends.  Their statements and promises should not be trusted.  They act, as all companies should, in their own best interest.

And yet, even with that in mind, I feel like CCP has betrayed the trust of its player base, has abused our desire to continue playing and enjoying our time together in New Eden by holding out hope before us, then coming up empty when it is time to deliver.

The other day somebody showed up in the comments here and said that new players should not invest their time in EVE Online, that the deck is stacked against them, that CCP has shown its colors, that the game is dead.

I have heard that many times.  Due to the way progression works there has always been somebody fretting that if they start today that they will never be able to “catch up” to somebody who started five or ten or fifteen years ago.

I have always argued against that point of view.  It is the wrong way to look at a sandbox game.  There are so many different paths to take, so many different roles to fill, that even on day one there is something you can do.

But I feel less confident in that argument today.  I still believe it, but CCP’s actions give me pause.  Or maybe it is their inaction that really gives me pause.

The problem is that EVE Online can take a lot of investment to find a sustainable role that delivers fun.  If you’ve done the work and found your niche in New Eden, formed up with some people you enjoy playing with doing things you find fun and CCP steps in and wrecks that… well, you know what is easier than finding a new niche?  Finding another game where the company doesn’t seem bent on disruption and chaos.

Meanwhile, CCP is in a corner.  EVE Online is all they have, and all they have ever had really.

They can fantasize about how their next try at an FPS will change that, but EVE Online is the only reason they are still around.  And so they’re trying to preserve it by attempting to roll back the economy to its glory days while they nibble around the edges of issues, fixing this and adjusting that, hoping to find a balance that will keep the whole enterprise moving forward.

Those who hope for a radical change… a server wipe or a second server or a reduction of the size of New Eden as is planned on the server in China run by NetEase… will be disappointed.  Things will have to be a lot more desperate before CCP is willing to take any real risk… and they might not even then.  If they get in a real bind we will be reminded that they are owned by Pearl Abyss, and their radical solution might be cash shop, cash shop, cash shop, the way it works with Black Desert Online.

So where does this end up?  How does this get better?

I don’t know.

The loud voices in the player base have all fallen into their predictable default positions.  There is no problem.  The players are the problem.  Null sec is the problem.  Blue loot is the problem.  Abyssals are the problem.  Bitter vets are the problem.  You name it, somebody is blaming it.  And if they’re not blaming something their pushing some superficial mechanic change that will likely just make things worse.

But I think a key in fixing anything has to be CCP.  CCP is not blameless.  If your view is that the players just need to step up then you haven’t been paying attention.

I feel strongly that the last year has undermined their position with some of the core player base.  If CCP cannot demonstrate that the players should trust them, that they’re not going to remain keen to sacrifice the current player base in the name of some unknowable future, then things will not get better.

CCP makes the rules. CCP sets the tone.  CCP has things they need to make right.

And they have done this before.  After the disaster that was Incarna, they realized they needed to prove themselves to the players and actually spent time working on things that improved the game.  They have proven in the past that they can make things better.

What should they focus on?  I think the in-game economy is key, but I could see arguments for other things.

The question is whether they will do anything that addresses the state of things in New Eden or if they will continue to insist everything is great and ignore voices that say otherwise.

The EVE Online July Monthly Economic Report Reads About the Same as June

The July Monthly Economic Report for EVE Online has arrived, so it is time to dive into that.

EVE Online nerds harder

Production

July 2022 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

  1. The Forge – 16.31 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  2. Delve – 13.89 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Vale of the Silent – 11.85 trillion (Fraternity)
  4. Lonetrek – 6.99 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  5. The Citadel – 5.79 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Tribute – 5.09 trillion (Fraternity)
  7. Fade – 3.56 trillion (WE FORM BL0B)
  8. Heimatar – 3.39 trillion (Minmatar High Sec)
  9. Sinq Laison – 2.91 trillion (Gallente High Sec)
  10. Malpais – 2.91 trillion (PanFam)

Total production according to the regional stats added up to 109.7 trillion ISK in value, about the same as June’s 110.59 trillion ISK production.

The data for the production chart above shows a total of 79.75 trillion ISK produced, which is also very close, if down slightly, from June’s 81.28 trillion ISK reported.

So production looked to be flat over the last two months, though the chart itself, which is a trend line based on daily production data, does seem to be trending downward all the same.  I suppose August will tell us whether that line is really headed downward again or not.

As for where production was happening, you see a mix of high and null sec regions in the top ten regional data above, while the sub-chart for production shows:

July 2022 – Production by Security Band

Low sec has an increasing share of late, but high and null sec are where production happens in New Eden.

Destruction

There are a couple of small wars going on in null sec, with Fraternity attacking Brave and Volta in Pure Blind while the Imperium has been winding itself back up again and attacking FI.RE in the southeast.  Overall though destruction remained flat, with the regional data reporting a  total of 27.48 trillion ISK, on par with the 27.08 trillion that was recorded in June.

The top regions for destruction were:

  1. The Forge – 1.62 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  2. Pochven – 1.55 trillion (Triglavian)
  3. Pure Blind – 1.42 trillion (Brave/V0LTA)
  4. Lonetrek – 1.31 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  5. Delve – 1.22 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Vale of the Silent – 1.08 trillion (Fraternity)
  7. The Citadel – 1.08 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  8. Metropolis – 1.04 trillion (Gallente High Sec)
  9. Sinq Laison – 913 billion
  10. Perrigen Falls – 710 billion (PanFam)

Pure Blind at least made the cut in the top ten.  The Imperium’s area of operation down south is way down the list, but we were distracted by a leadership upheaval in July.

The total from the Produced/Destroyed/Mined chart data was 28.74 trillion ISK destroyed, again lined up with June’s 27.59 trillion number.  So things remained about the same.

As for the destruction by security band sub-chart from above, it remained about the same as well.

July 2022 – Destruction by Security Band

So it goes.  At least the numbers did not go down.

Trade

The top ten regions for trade in July were:

  1. The Forge – 381.46 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 33.21 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Lonetrek – 15.17 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 11.81 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Delve – 11.80 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Metropolis – 10.43 trillion (Hek)
  7. Perrigen Falls – 7.54 trillion (PanFam)
  8. Heimatar – 7.25 trillion (Rens)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 5.37 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. Essence – 4.05 trillion (Gallente High Sec)

Trade in the regional stats totaled out to 521.5 trillion ISK, down from the 572 trillion ISK reported in June.  10 trillion of that drop was in Jita, while other regions showed minor adjustments in value.

ISK Faucets

Now to the money, starting off with the faucet end of the big sinks and faucets chart.

July 2022 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

If you cannot read the numbers on that chart, the top six faucets for July were:

  • Commodity – 48.1 trillion (up 3.8 trillion)
  • Bounty Prizes – 20.3 trillion (down 0.4 trillion)
  • Trig Invasion Payouts – 13.6 trillion (up 0.1 trillion)
  • Incursion Payouts – 11.7 trillion (down 0.2 trillion)
  • ESS Bounty Payouts – 8.9 trillion (down 0.1 trillion)
  • Agent Mission Rewards 3.3 trillion (even with last month)

As with much of what I have covered so far, sinks are pretty much on par with last month.

July 2022 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

The one exception on that list is commodities, which saw a jump in July.  However, looking at the commodities over time break out, that looks like a spike driven by the Minmatar Liberation Day events.  Those are the green line, miscellaneous.

July 2022 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

You can also see bounty encrypted bonds are creeping up.  July saw 7.56 trillion ISK in reserve bank thefts, and those pay out in bonds, which must then be taken to a low sec NPC in order to redeem them for ISK.  That means that ESS main and reserve banks getting robbed doesn’t necessarily line up with commodities.

July 2022 – ESS Regional Stats

You can see that there are still 51 trillion ISK in bonds locked on up ESS reserve banks in New Eden.  Oh, and as expected, most reserve bank heists are the local sovereignty owners collecting ISK from their own banks.  Milking is the method.

July 2022 – Reserve Bank “Thefts”

So commodities are up, but not necessarily because wormholers are bagging more sleepers and turning their loot.

Meanwhile, in the regional stats, bounty prizes for blowing up NPCs showed the following as the top ten regions:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 2.1 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. Perrigen Falls – 1.64 trillion (PanFam)
  3. Delve – 1.44 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Fountain – 1.33 trillion (Imperium)
  5. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.21 trillion (PanFam)
  6. Querious – 1.04 trillion (Imperium)
  7. Catch – 957 billion (Imperium/Others)
  8. Malpais – 950 billion (PanFam)
  9. Insmother – 838 billion (FI.RE)
  10. Tenerifis – 764 billion (FI.RE)

No particular surprises on that list, save for the fact that FI.RE were still managing to rat in Insmother and Tenerifis.  I expect neither region to make the top ten list for August.

The total is 27.11 trillion, down a bit from June’s 27.9 trillion, keeping with the whole theme so far.

Unlike last month though, total ISK in the game went up.

July 2022 ISK balance

Again, the July theme, with faucets and sinks being very close to the June numbers.  The main difference was the active ISK delta, which is how much ISK CCP counts out of the game due to player inactivity or due to seizure by the security team.  That was 53 trillion ISK in June, but just shy of 15 trillion ISK in July.

Was security on vacation (quite possibly), or have we hit the bottom of the trough when it comes to players exiting the game?  We’ll have to keep watching to see.

July 2022 – Money Supply

Meanwhile, the velocity of ISK, which I have been thinking even more about since Kazanir’s talk on Sunday, continues to decay… though not as much as previous months I suppose.

July 2022 – Velocity of ISK

Mining

And, finally, the resource inputs into the economy, mining.

Mineral prices continued to climb up from their recent low, though they still remain at an all time high.

July 2022 – Economic Indices

Additionally, the Secondary Producer Price Index, which has been on its own trajectory for a while, started to climb with mineral prices, while the Primary Producer Price Index, which has at least maintained some marginal relationship with the mineral price line, has started to collapse.   And the Consumer Price Index remains fixed, all of which seems indicate that maybe the CPI isn’t measuring the right things… like PLEX related goods.

Overall, the regional data reported that a total of 14.5 trillion ISK value was mined in July, down from 16.46 trillion in June.  The top regions for mining were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 626 billion (Fraternity)
  2. Delve – 560 billion (Imperium)
  3. Aridia – 559 billion (Amarr Low Sec)
  4. The Forge – 549 billion (Caldari High Sec)
  5. Metropolis – 526 billion (Minmatar High Sec)
  6. Domain – 493 billion (Amarr High Sec)
  7. Derelik – 473 billion (Amarr High Sec)
  8. Lonetrek – 467 billion (Caldari High Sec)
  9. The Kalevala Expanse – 437 billion (PanFam)
  10. Malpais – 416 billion (PanFam)

Mining remains fairly well split among the security bands relative to the populations that live there.  As noted previously, the resumption of capital production… or at least dreadnought production… has been driving gas mining as it is now required to build them, which is why you see the bump in wormhole and low sec mining since April.

July 2022 – Mining by Security Band

The data from the produced/destroyed/mined chart up at the top of the post indicates that a total of 20.7 trillion ISK in value was mined, down from the 27.69 trillion ISK the same chart reported in June.

That looks like some more serious tapering off than some of the other aspects of the economy.  Given that mineral prices are going up, which should be an incentive to mine, I wonder if that slump is an early indicator that other numbers may fall or if people are just on vacation.

We also have moon mining numbers.  I messed up on that last month, the first month they appeared, by reporting them in billion ISK units, when in fact they were only counted in the millions.  I have corrected that in the June MER post, but wanted to cop to my mistake here.  Probably a sign as to how many people read down this far that I can be off by an order of magnitude and nobody calls me out.  Anyway, the July numbers with the correct units were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 257 million
  2. Delve – 198 million
  3. Perrigen Falls – 146 million
  4. The Kalevala Expanse – 137 million
  5. Domain – 135 million
  6. The Citadel – 131 million
  7. Malpais – 119 million
  8. Insmother – 111 million
  9. Genesis – 93 million
  10. Metropolis – 89 million

That isn’t a lot of ISK value when it comes to moon mining.  I make more from Planetary Industry than that on my main account every month.  Once again, I am brought back to Kazanir’s Sunday talk and the value of null sec space and moons.

And it isn’t even a null sec only thing.  Low sec, once a battleground for moons, doesn’t rate and high sec 0.5 systems are making the top ten.

Overall there was a total of Total 3.32 billion ISK value, down from 3.995 billion reported in July.

And that is about all I have in me for July.  The mining volume over time charts didn’t change much for July, except for ice mining, which showed an increase.  So there we go.

As tends to happen, much of what I saw this month needs next months numbers to establish a pattern or present a new hypothesis.

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