Tag Archives: MMO Economy

Delve – Mining Dominance

The EVE Online monthly economic report for October is out, confirming at least that CCP Quant remains on staff at CCP.  And out in Delve it seems that the Rorquals are running all hours of the day to burn down rocks for ore, as it leads the charts by a significant margin over any other region.

October 2017 – Mining Value by Region

CCP Quant has provided an additional chart to help visualize the mining gap.

October 2017 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

By my back of the envelope tally, roughly one third of all mining value in New Eden came out of rocks in the Delve region.

Value of ore mined is determined by the market value of the ore, so that the number is up from 12 trillion ISK in September to 16 trillion ISK in October might not necessarily mean more ore mined.  Unless the price of ore and minerals went down this month, and they did.

October 2017 – Economic Indices

Mineral prices, having jumped in August and September, were down in October.  So the boost in mining output might have been an attempt to cash in on rising prices, leading to enough pressure to push down the recent highs.

This was all pretty much in advance of the Lifeblood expansion which came out on October 24th.  Next months report should begin to show the impact of the new moon mining mechanics on mining output.

On the bounties front Delve again led the pack.

October 2017 – NPC Bounties by Region

However, the lead by Delve on bounties wasn’t anything like the lead in mining.  Again, a new chart to help compare.

October 2017 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

Delve is more than double its nearest competitor… no deployments or wars in or around Delve to slow anybody down right now… so it is all go go go for ratting.

Overall bounties remain mostly a null sec thing, with 92% being paid out there.

October 2017 – Bounties by Space Sec Rating

Meanwhile, on the overall sinks and faucets chart bounties have again crept up to nearly their previous all time high, leading one to wonder if CCP is going to need to nerf super carrier and carrier ratting some more.

October 2017 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

Overall bounty payouts for October were only 3 trillion ISK higher than September, but the trend is worrying.

On the production front, Delve remained a significant player.

October 2017 – Production Values by Region

Once more we have a nice new chart to help visualize how regions stack up.

October 2017 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

The Forge region is out in front, and regions around the Jita trade hub (The Forge, Lonetrek, and The Citadel) dominate production, but Delve is not far behind when measuring individual regions.

Finally, the regional summary chart of key indices.

October 2017 – Regional Summary Stats

Sitting in Delve, mining, ratting, and building, one might wonder what we plan to do with all of that economic might.  It has been very quiet down in the southwest for weeks now.

Anyway, these charts and more are posted, along with the raw data, here.

Yelling and Selling in Waterdeep

I remember way back in the early days of what is now TorilMUD… or perhaps I should say, what persists today against the odds as TorilMUD… back when it was called Sojourn, back past the 20 year mark and into the first half of the 1990s, wanting to make sure I got online on a Saturday evening because that was the best time to buy and sell things.

The place to be was in the northern part of the city of Waterdeep, which is where most people idled when they were not out in the world grinding mobs or running zones.

As for how to sell… well, you would just yell out what you had, some stats for it, and your opening price and wait to see if anybody would send you a tell with an offer.  You might want to sell an items straight up, but usually people wanted to auction things in order to get the best price.

In the event of an auction, once you got a tell… or a few tells if you were lucky… you would then yell out your item for sale again and the current bid, and maybe the name of the first bidder if several people came in at the same price, just so they knew who was currently going to get the item.  Then people would send tells upping the price, which you would yell out again when it hit a lull.  Eventually you would hit a point where you had a high bid and nothing else.  Then you would give the three yells, going once, going twice, and finally SOLD with the item, price, and buyer.

For a good item you might go through several iterations of the last three yells, as some people with money would wait to see where the bidding had settled before throwing their hat in the ring.

It was an interesting system that actually worked fairly well.  Auctions happened in a very public space, so were essentially conducted in front of a crowd.  A yell would only go a across a single zone, so you had to be in north Waterdeep, which wasn’t always as simple as it sounds.  There were certain rooms that seemed like they ought to be, but for whatever reason they were actually part of the south part of the city or the tunnels underneath.  And some rooms in the zone filter out yells.  But most people would figure out where to hang out to hear what was going on.

The public aspect meant that a lot of items had a price associated with them, so for some regularly farmed items… as I mentioned in a past post, most items of any value only spawned once per boot and the game would have to crash again in order to obtain another… you could tell if you were getting a good deal or if somebody was asking too much.  That suit of dwarven scale mail armor went for a regular 400p for a long time.  Every caster had to have one. (Old stats shown, like everything good it has long since been nerfed.)

Name ‘a suit of dwarven scale mail armor’
Keyword ‘armor suit mail scale dwarven’, Item type: ARMOR
Item can be worn on: BODY
Item will give you the following abilities: NOBITS
Weight: 13, Value: 1
AC-apply is 20
Can affect you as :
Affects : HITPOINTS By 20

But somebody asking way too much would often hear a counter shout about how much the last couple copies of that particular item sold for.  It was also a way to figure out who had money.  You  could see who was getting rich by how they bid on things.

It was also in most people’s best interest to be around during prime selling times.  As I mentioned above, Saturday evening was a key time.  A lot more would be for sale then and a lot more buyers would be around.  You could probably find an auction going on most days, but the weekend was worth waiting for if you had a mind.  During the week you would only sell to get rid of an opportunistic find that might be too common come Saturday.

People actually adapted very well to the system for quite a while.  People were mostly patient with their auctions, making sure only a couple were going on at once so as to avoid confusion.  People were sincere with their bids and handed over their item at the bank when they were given the right amount of platinum.

Basically, for an online where having 200 people online at once was a big deal, it was an adequate system of exchange.  It wasn’t all hugely expensive stuff either.  It was early enough in the cycle of the game that most people were still poor, so selling something for 5-10p was generally a worthwhile venture.

There was also a way to play on scarcity in a way.  My friend Xyd and I started as elves who, until a recent emancipation, were stuck on the isle of Evermeet until level 20.  It was life of privation on the isle, something I recounted in the Leuthilspar Tales series of posts, collected under a tag of the same name.  Equipment was scarce and we would wear just about anything under the theory that an equipment slot filled with something was better than an empty equipment slot.

But elves who had hit level 20 and made it through the elf gate and on to Waterdeep would return… a hazardous journey for any but a druid or a cleric, as those classes could use “word of recall” to return to their guilds on the isle… with items to sell their poor cousins still stuck on the island.  How we longed for a tiny silver ring, which was AC5 +1 hit, to replace that crappy piece of string from the goblin’s junk pile in the Faerie Forest or that strange ring from the Elemental Glades (I need to write a post about that zone still) that turned out to be crap.

Not only were we short of equipment, but identify scrolls were about ten times as expensive in Leuthilspar than in Waterdeep, so we had to do without.

We would later learn that pretty much everybody had a tiny silver ring in Waterdeep, it being one of the few useful items that spawned on a several mobs each boot.   And they spawned near the inn at the south end of the city, so they were farmed after every boot.  We didn’t know that, we were just anxious to hand over whatever we could scrape together to buy one… or two… oh, to have a pair of tiny silver rings.

The only problem with that return trade in Leuthilspar is that we, as elves of Evermeet, were dirt poor.  We didn’t live in the wild because we loved nature, we lived there because that was what we could afford.  Even the rent in Kobold Village was too much.  (Just kidding, there was no cost to rent at the Inn in Leuthilspar, but the innkeeper used to say something that staying was free for now, as though there might be a charge some day, a threat that used to keep me up at night in the early days.)

But we did have some items on the isle that could be sold in Waterdeep.  As Xyd and I learned once we had been through the elf gate and into Waterdeep.  After hunting buffalo, skirting lake Skeldrach, and walking the salt road… and finding ourselves still dirt poor… we found that we could enrich ourselves by carrying over some common items from the isle.

Bandor’s flagon was a favorite.  In a game where you had to carry around food and drink, having a large, lightweight drinking flagon in your bag was just the ticket.  For quite a while it was the drinking vessel that everybody rich or poor sought.  We could easily sell one for 20-50p every boot, and sometimes 100p or more if the market was hot, which seemed like a hell of a lot of money to us back in the day.

There were some other items that would sell reliably on a Saturday when enough people were around.  The Cloak of Forest Shadows from the Faerie Forest would go for a few plat, though I think more because it sounded cool than because of its somewhat modest stats. (Also, you couldn’t vendor it, so anything we got was good.)

The cloak is still there in the Faerie Forest last I checked

The Elven Skin Gloves from Vokko at Anna’s house was good for a few plat as well.  Again, not a great item, but for an elf hater the material made them a must have item.  The mods later changed them to Kobold Skin Gloves on the general idea that we ought not to have to tolerate that sort of thing on Evermeet.

The cloak off of the Kobold Shaman in Kobold Village was sometimes worth something.  I forget the stats, but casters could wear it and I seem to recall it being +HP.  And the Boots of Water Walking from the Kobold Fisherman could go to somebody who hadn’t picked up the Skiff from the Tower of Sorcery just north of Waterdeep.

So we would collect these items and head through the elf gate to town to join in on the sales, all the better to gear ourselves and our myriad of alts up.  Even when I hit level 50 and had my fair share of decent equipment and was able to go on runs to Jot or The City of Brass fairly regularly I would still recall back to Evermeet on an occasional reboot to snag Bandor’s Flagon to sell.

Of course, things changed over time.  Somebody tired of us shouting in Waterdeep all the time.  At first they coded a limit as to how often we could shout.  Later shouting auctions were banned and relegated to an auction house… literally an auction house… before somebody finally coded what now passes for an auction house in MMORPGs, a board where you could deposit items then list them for sale to the highest bidder, with a minimum bid and such.  All very modern, and it showed up well before WoW was a thing.

And then there was the economy which, as with every primarily PvE MMORPG with many faucets and few sinks, went to hell.  It is called “MUDflation” for a reason.  As noted above, everything was beautiful when we were all mostly poor.  But once people started to accumulate platinum, things went the usual haywire.  Aside from identify scrolls, a few quests, and the rare vendor item, there wasn’t much to spend money on in TorilMUD save for equipment.  And just hanging around you would eventually accumulate a pile of cash, so the price for items going for auction climbed well out of range of any new player, to the point that platinum lost its value for any rare item and people would hold out for trades rather than just piling up more useless platinum in the bank.

It didn’t help that there were some holes in the system.  I made some early seed capital hauling things from one vendor to another because the pricing was messed up.  They fixed that.  Later, after the last pwipe, I found some alligators that dropped an item that could be turned in for a 30p bounty, plus they tended to have 5-10p in their pockets… odd gators… so I harvested them whenever I could because, due to somebody not setting a flag right, they respawned with the item rather than having it only on the first spawn.  I grew pretty well off on that before they fixed it.

But that was all from another time.  We mostly left TorilMUD to play EverQuest II when it launched, then moved on to World of Warcraft.

However, you can see the seeds of the future of MMORPGs in what happened there in the 90s.  The tunnel as trading ground in the Commonlands tunnel… I remember going there at specific times when it would be active in order to upgrade my gear… was clearly foreseen by our yelling out auctions in Waterdeep.

The Plane of Knowledge kills all this…

Meanwhile the auction house that replaced our loud economy was also a precursor to what we now find in World of Warcraft.

Anyway, another tale from the “good old days” of TorilMUD.

Delve – Deploying Means Less Ratting and Mining

The New Eden Monthly Economic Report for August 2017 is out, and while there are some surprises, the economic performance of Delve isn’t one of them.

The Imperium spent most of the middle of the month of August deployed in the north, staging out of the low sec system of Hakonen.  This meant less people ratting and mining, but probably more important, less people defending the home region of Delve.  That led to a sharp uptick in carrier and Rorqual losses.  So, as one might expect, NPC bounties were way down for Delve.

August 2017 – NPC Bounties by Region

Hitting close to 3.6 trillion ISK in bounty payouts, that put the region down almost 5 trillion ISK from July, when the payouts totaled 8.4 trillion ISK.  The August take was just 42% of the July number.

Still, that left Delve ahead of other heavily ratted regions such as Branch, Cobalt Edge, Outer Passage, and Period Basis, all of which remained fairly steady month over month.  The overall effect of the deployment can be seen in the ISK sinks and faucets chart.

August 2017 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

The bounty payouts dip and recover on the chart as the Imperium deployed then returned home.  That dip represents a little over half of Delve’s contribution to that chart, so you can see that it is significant, but also that bounties are being paid out elsewhere too.  With Delve gone bounties would still the largest ISK faucet in the game by far.  And, of course, 92% of bounties are still paid out in null sec.

It is also interesting to note the bump in insurance payouts and transaction tax and broker’s fee deductions during the deployment north as the Imperium bought out supplies in Jita and then lost piles of Typhoons.  The interconnectivity of the economy is one of the powerful aspects of EVE Online.

On the mining front Delve was likewise down during the deployment.

August 2017 – Mining Value by Region

The dip in mining is even more dramatic that bounties, with the value assessed at 2 trillion ISK, down from over 10 trillion ISK in July.  That is an 80% cut, though it is not surprising.  Rorquals, the mining ship of choice in null sec space, were heavily targeted during the deployment.  Many were blown up… the value of ships destroyed went from 1.4 trillion to 2.2 trillion ISK… while smarter miners chose not to expose their fancy ships to the danger.

Likewise, production in Delve was down as well, dipping by 50% as people threw themselves into the deployment.

August 2017 – Production Values by Region

The key economic figures summary chart also shows Delve dropping by half when it comes to trade value as well when compared to the July numbers.

August 2017 – Regional Stats

So that is the economic impact of the Imperium taking its show on the road for a few weeks.

However, we’re back in Delve again now, the defenses are back in place, and ratting and mining are relatively safe occupations for the wary again.  I expect the numbers to bounce back to July levels this month, perhaps even exceeding them as people put in a bit of effort to make up for losses and lost time.


Delve – Still Ratting, Still Mining, Still Manufacturing

The New Eden monthly economic report for July 2017 is out, a little later than usual, but better late than never.

Getting straight to the ISK sinks and faucets chart, it does look like the changes in June update regarding super carrier ratting have continued to hold, as total bounties remain on a downward slope.

July 2017 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

That still seems like a lot of ISK from bounties, even if the trend is downward for the moment.  CCP made no further adjustments in the July update, and tomorrow’s planned update does not mention anything in that regard in the patch notes.

However, while the overall amount from bounties is down, in Delve they are actually up some, topping the July number by about 400 billion ISK.

July 2017 – NPC Bounties by Region

That is still down from the May peak, when the number was 8.8 trillion ISK in bounties.  But the bulk of the reduction in the bounty pay outs seems to be coming from other regions in New Eden.

Likewise, the care bear reputation of Delve is reinforced by the mining output for the region.

July 2017 – Mining Value by Region

That chart shows the value of mining in Delve up from 8.5 trillion ISK in June to 10.2 trillion ISK in July.  Of course, those values are influence by the market value of the output, so if actual ore mined was the same, but prices rose, that output value would rise as well.  I don’t watch the mineral and ore markets, so couldn’t tell you if actual amount mined was up or if prices are rising some.

And then there was production, which was up considerably since June, no doubt consuming all that mining output and then some.

July 2017 – Production Value by Region

Delve became the number one manufacturing region in New Eden, edging out The Forge by about a trillion ISK in value.  Though, if you add up the regions close to Jita, The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, high sec manufacturing for the Jita market is still dominant.

Looking at the key economic indicators chart, you can see that Delve still imports a lot, most of it from Jita, while the exports are negligible.

July 2017 – Key Regional Stats Compared

So I suppose I can be all “Yay Delve!  We’re #1” and such.

However, since the beginning of August the Imperium has taken its show on the road, landing in Hakonen in the Lonetrek region, where we seem determined to anchor a Fortizar no matter how many attempts it takes.

With all the combat pilots moving north, those left behind hoping to rat and mine in peace have been in for a rude awakening, with Rorquals and carriers going down in flames to roving gangs.  The Delve defense system has been denuded and losses have been mounting.

So the question will be how much of an impact will this have on the Delve ratting and mining numbers?  Will Delve top the charts for player ship losses come the August report? Tune in next month to see what sort of change is in store.

Delve – We Mine Things and We Rat a Little Less

The monthly economic report for June 2017 is out already and the first thing I went to see was whether or not the reduced carrier nerfs that came in with the June update had any effect on bounty payouts.

There is, as they say, a chart for that…. specifically the chart showing the top eight ISK sinks and faucets.

June 2017 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets over time

It looks like the nerf was a palpable hit, dropping bounties back to January levels as well as proving again how much carrier and super carrier ratting was contributing to the number.  Even in Fortress Delve the number was down.

June 2017 – Bounties per Region

CCP Quant did not include the bounties per region chart previously, but Delve’s bounties were part of the region summary chart for May where they were listed at 8.8 trillion ISK.  The June chart above shows just over 8 trillion ISK in bounties for June, so about a 10% hit to the bounty ISK faucet in Delve.  That is actually a marginally bigger hit than in the game overall, where bounties fell from 69 trillion ISK to 63 trillion ISK total, about a 9% reduction.

Of course, that likely isn’t enough and even CCP has said they are not done yet, as I noted in my post about the June update, another blow against carrier and super carrier ratting is planned:

We are working on changes to Anomalies that will reduce the effectiveness of Carriers and Supercarriers. These changes will be announced at a later date.

At least one chronic complainer will cry about CCP never fulfilling their promises… and the company have an admittedly shaky reputation on that front, at least if you take every visionary statement as a promise… but they have been serious about the economy before, and I expect them to continue to be serious.  We shall see.

Meanwhile, there was yet another nerf to Rorqual mining as part of the June patch as well.  Using Delve as the benchmark again, back in May there was almost 9 trillion ISK worth or ore extracted in the region.

June 2017 – Mining Value by Region

In June, with half the month after the latest nerf, the number shy of 8.5 trillion ISK worth of mining done, making for a hit of just over 5%.  Not as big of an impact as bounties.

But then, mining is not like bounties.  Mining does not generate ISK out of thin air, so while it might impact the velocity of ISK, it does not change the money supply.  It is also measures via the market price, so a shift in price can shift that number.

And what is mined is used to produce ships and modules in New Eden, something especially so in Delve.  Aryth, CSM member and economic director in GSF, said on Talking in Stations The Meta Show [edit: was thinking of the wrong Aryth interview] that Delve doesn’t export minerals or ore but actually has to import them in order to feed the engines of production in the region.  I can speak from personal observation that buy orders in the region would keep you from ever bothering to export to Jita, while the production of the region is visible on another chart.

June 2017 – Production Values by Region

Production was actually down most places for June, including Delve, where it was off about 10% from May.  I wonder if that is the Rorqual nerf throttling production or something else.

Mining is, after all, a double balance.  The price of minerals has to be high enough to make mining a worthwhile venture.  However, when the price of minerals goes up, so does the price of everything else.  I’ll let economists argue over which side of that equation is more important.

Overall, the money supply in New Eden went down.

June 2017 – ISK Sinks and Faucets and Total Money Supply

One hundred trillion ISK came into the economy via faucets in June, most of it via NPC bounties.

sixty trillion ISK came out of New Eden via a variety of sinks, mostly NPC transaction taxes, while another 57 trillion ISK came out through player account activity (not sure how that works with Alpha clones now) and GM activity (we all know how that one works, the GM takes your stuff because you got caught breaking the terms of service), for a net reduction of about 17 trillion ISK.

At least the upward trend of the money supply was throttled a bit.  I would like to know how much of that 57 trillion ISK was from GMs taking money from those who exploited the ghost training bug.

Anyway, so it goes.  I still remain slightly amazed that CCP shares so many numbers with us, but EVE Online remains a very different game from its competitors.

Delve – We Build and We Sell a Few Things

We are a week into June, so the time was right for the May 2017 economic report for EVE Online to show up.

As expected, dipping into the data shows Delve still at the top when it comes to ratting and mining.  The Imperium still care bears the hell out of its systems. It is a selling point for the coalition.

May 2017 – Stats for Top 20 Regions

We shall if the Rorqual and anomaly changes coming on Tuesday will put a dent in the mining side of that.

For other economic indicators however, The Forge region, with Jita in the role of central trade hub of New Eden, still ranks supreme.

All Road lead to Jita

For the market size The Forge has no competition, ringing it at 600 trillion ISK for May.

May 2017 – Total Market Trade Value by Region

Domain, the region with the next highest numbers, hosting the trade hub of Amarr, only showed 75 trillion ISK for May.  Surprisingly though, third place doesn’t fall to the regions that are home to the tertiary trade hubs of Hek or Dodixie.  Instead, Delve is in third place with 24 trillion ISK for May.  Not bad for a region held by a single coalition.  We sell a lot of stuff to ourselves.  Certainly the market in the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A seems to have most things I need.

A lot of what appears on our market is shipped in from Jita.  The groups running the shipping services run the Jita to Delve route frequently.  But we do build some of our own stuff as well.

May 2017 – Total Production Value by Region

The Forge is out in front again with 26 trillion ISK in value manufactured.  With Jita being what it is, people want to produce close to market, so The Forge at the top of the list, with adjacent regions of Lonetrek and The Citadel putting up solid numbers as well due to proximity.

But second place goes to Delve which manufactured 20 trillion ISK in goods.  I am sure capital and supercaps figure heavily in the mix.  But there are engineering complexes all over key systems in Delve building things.  You could see a couple in my post about the TNT Keepstar, and when you go into KarmaFleet’s home system your overview is pretty much overwhelmed by citadels and engineering complexes.

So I guess if ratting and mining numbers are seen as selling points for the Imperium, then we might also have a line there for manufacturers as well.

Delve – We Rat and We Mine Things

Just about two weeks ago we got the somewhat delayed March economic report for EVE Online where it was pointed out in a chart just how much of the biggest ISK faucet in the game, NPC bounties, flows into null sec space.  That number was 92.2%.

Bounty Payments – March 2017

Now we have the April economic report and the charts have changed up again.  This time we can narrow it down to where a lot of that ratting and mining is happening.  Delve is the place.

Here are the NPC bounties claimed by region:

April 2017 – Bounties by Region

Delve is solidly out in front when it comes to ratting, coming in with almost double the amount of the next region in contention, our old home in Deklein.

As before, NPC bounties remain far and away the biggest generator of ISK in the game.

April 2017 – Top ISK Sinks and Faucets over time

Bounty payments are still down from their peak, no doubt to the small nerf to carrier ratting introduced back in March, but remain wholly the dominate ISK faucet.

The mining chart is back again as well, and Delve stands in first place there as well.

April 2017 – Mining Value by Region

Now you know why the Imperium keeps getting their Rorquals dropped on… Delve is the place where Rorquals are likely to be found.

This month included a bonus chart that compares mining ship activity in April 2016 and April 2017.

Top Mining Ships April 2016 vs. April 2017

A year ago the Rorqual simply wasn’t used to mine at all.  Now it is the preeminent mining ship in the game.  The durable Skiff and Procurer, along with the commodious Mackinaw, look to be considerably less popular than a year ago.  The Hulk, once the only ship to mine in if you were serious, seems to have held on to its percentage of yield fairly well.

Anyway, now you know what we really do down in Delve; we rat and mine like a ravenous horde of care bears.

The full April 2017 economic report can be found here.