Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We grief PvPers. Love, incursion bears.

And now an important message from Jester's evil twin, Garth. The opinions of Garth are not the opinions of Jester (unless they are).

I'm noticing a category of whiny fucking babies out there that need to be slapped back to their senses. I like to think of them as the "Incursions made me a Ph.D. in Economics" whiny babies.

Sure, any time you get a new source of income in EVE Online, it's tempting to blame it for everything from not enough cheese on your pizza to global warming. We saw it with wormhole income. We saw it with the Dominion expansion and buffed Sanctums and Havens. And now we're seeing it with incursions. Incursions are causing... wait for it... "inflation." The same way Sanctums caused "inflation." The same way wormholes caused "inflation."

Now, I wouldn't give a shit if the people using this word actually knew what this word fucking means. But they don't. What they mean is "This one specific faction, pirate, or dead-space mod or ship I want to buy is more expensive than I want it to be.  Waaa." And so are PLEXes. Just ask Evan Drakes, who blames incursion-runners every time PLEX prices jump 10 million ISK.

Want some cheese to go with your whine? No? How about a nice punch in the mouth, then?

These kinds of whiny babies make me laugh for two reasons.

First, they're usually wrong. And not just a little wrong. They're usually a lot wrong. There's two types of wrong that are common here. The first type of wrong is when they say "mod X or ship Y is more expensive than it was before incursions started." Granted, supply and demand pushed up the prices for a few of these items over the summer, but the prices on the common faction and pirate items used by incursioners has been going down since late summer or so, not up. And those prices are now, for the most part, lower than they were at the start of the year.

The second type of wrong is when they say "mod X or ship Y is more expensive, and incursions are to blame." Two examples of this are mind-links and dead-space mods. Why are dead-space mods more expensive?  Might it have something to do with the fact that half of EVE's null-sec bears either unsubbed from EVE or got kicked out of their space this year?  I'm sure that had absolutely nothing to do with it.

And let's look at mind-links. "Siege warfare mindlinks now cost 100 million ISK when they used to cost ten. That is obviously the fault of incursions," the whiners are quick to intone. Then I explain that, no, CCP added a ton of new story-line missions a year ago, and none of the new ones drop warfare implants. Look at prices for the Skirmish Warfare Mindlinks (which pretty much nobody uses for incursions) and you'll find the exact same price increase as for the Armor and Shield varieties. Therefore, the cost of mind-links is going up because fewer are being dropped.

To which, when I say this, I am told, "Ah, but if there were no incursions, there would be more mission-runners producing the mind-links."

At which point, I get a strong desire to create an invention that would allow me to stab someone in the fucking face through the Internet.

This brings me to the second reason these whiny babies make me laugh.  IF what they're saying about "inflation" being caused by incursions is true, fine: that means they're effectively being griefed by high-sec bears! Why aren't incursion bears running missions and making your PvP mind-links cheaper: because they're griefing you. Why are incursion bears "driving up the prices" of all the mods and ships you want to buy: because they're griefing you. Why are PLEX prices through the roof: because incursion-runners are griefing you.

And the more you whine, the more they succeed. And the more I laugh at you.

The preceding has been an important message from Jester's evil twin, Garth. The management apologizes to any and all whom Garth may have offended. He really should have been strangled in his crib.

22 comments:

  1. Brilliant. I am getting sick of all the whining about the incursion isk-faucet. First, the 100-110 M per hour quote everyone throws around isn't typical of actual incursioning, it's the upper limit. Once you factor in traveling to an active incursion, waiting to get into a fleet, waiting for the fleet to fill, finding an uncontested site, losing contested sites, waiting because you need to replace that fleet mate who just dropped, then waiting again after finding a replacement because two more pilots dropped while you were finding that first replacement, waiting while the FC buys a new Basi for the pilot whose ship just exploded ... well, you get the idea. In my experience 50M per hour is a more realistic average. 100M per hour (in high-sec) is a rare treat.

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  2. Inflation can be applied to a single good. It's perfectly reasonable economic analysis to look at, say, inflation in the price of bread.

    Plex inflation may well be linked to incursions. Clearly some players who were not previously generating much isk are now generating 40-100m per hour doing these. More money in the economy should cause a rise, no?

    Don't get me wrong, I like incursions and I think they're a great addition to the game. But they are pushing prices up (and certain other elements such as PI taxes have been introduced to control the money supply).

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  3. I agree with Garth's assessments.

    Careful though, Goons might decide to wreck the EVE economy by running incursions and "inflating" the eve economy to destruction.

    Or maybe that should be "flatulating"?

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  4. Damn Garth, Jester should let you out more often! ;o)

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  5. There is some deliberate element in griefing, which is not present in most carebear.

    If you show this post to a carebear sample group you won't see responses like "/me grins. Their tears taste great".

    The responses would be more like "Oh, well. Too bad for them, I guess."

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  6. @stabs:

    Incursions will definitely impact the prices of plex, but they are also definitely not "THE SINGLE REASON" for inflation in the plex price. They are probably not even one of the top three biggest causes for the rise of plex prices.

    @Jester:
    Please, pretty please, for christmas please, in the spirit of giving please, write a blog post about what inflation is and what isk faucets are, maybe it can be the Sunday term for noobs.

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  7. Oh? We're not supposed to be using skirmish mind links to reduce sig radius, increase afterburner speed and boost vindicator webifiying capabilities to super-scary levels?

    Okay. I'll just go replace mine with a useless siege warfare mind link, just like everyone else in fleet already has. No, seriously: every second basilisk pilot has a Siege Warfare Mindlink. Very few wing or fleet commanders have skirmish mind links, and they are actually quite useful.

    Now if only the information warfare links could boost sensor resolution, we'd be set.

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  8. I always though the mindlinks were preposterously cheap. I am in favor of them being pricy, since the benefit of having gang boosters is enormous

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  9. Where you are seeing a price difference due to incursion runners is faction items which previously were supplied by mission runners but bc incursion runners don't want to suffer the 20% LP loss is no longer provided in as large of number, see RF ammo. Some graphs on various items would have been better at proving your point if what your arguing is true on all levels.

    My bigger complaint is that it clusters people in high sec and gives them little incentive to leave. Yes a lot of them are alts but for smaller entities I'm sure missing a few people due to incursions can prevent critical mass from forming for various activities.

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  10. Aha ha ha ha

    Whooooooo, he he he,

    Excellent work. So is their contention also that before incursions there was no inflation and we lived in a 'golden era'?

    m

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  11. "At which point, I get a strong desire to create an invention that would allow me to stab someone in the fucking face through the Internet."
    Epic! LMFAO!

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  12. I dont think the problem is the amount of isk in itself.
    But the risk/reward deal.
    As off this moment incursions are basicly risk free!
    Same with lv 4 missions.
    How one should go about with actually solving that specific issue i dont know.
    But from the ones ive talked with and thats both null, low and highsec players.
    They all agree on one thing, the risk/rewards when it comes to incursions are absolutely fucked!

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  13. You didn't define inflation. There are several ways to do so and differences in definition lead to a great deal of argument and confusion. One definition of inflation is an argument about the price level. This usually refers to an increase in a price index although many people make the mistake in only talking about individual prices. This is an old way of talking about inflation and provided the rational behind wage and price controls. People were being paid too much, so we had to keep wages from rising. Goods cost too much, so we had to keep their prices from rising to combat inflation.

    Another definition of inflation, championed by Milton Friedman, was based on the quantity theory of money. Simply stated inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon. Google "quantity theory of money" and look for the Wikipedia page for more information. The basic argument of the quantity theory is that inflation comes from expanding the money supply. When the Federal Reserve engages in open market operations and buys Treasury Bills, or the Treasury prints more money, the money supply expands which creates more inflation.

    How does this all relate to EVE? If you choose the quantity theory of money, inflation becomes an empirical question. If all else were equal, the player base held stable, and players switched to a new form of ratting that increased their isk/hour, that would be inflationary in the technical sense, but it does not mean that it would be a large enough increase to noticeably effect the price level. The real world is much more complicated than a simple equation of MV=PQ. At the same time incursions were released a great numbers of players quit the game. These players were no longer ratting or generating other sources of funds. It is entirely possible that with the unsubs we actually saw a period of deflation . Now, you are thinking: "Shouldn't deflation make things cheaper?" Usually, but it depends. People are complaining about specific items like Officer Mods. If the people who left the game were the people who had access to space that dropped those mods, then it is possible even though the income from ratting was decreasing, the "production" of faction loot was also decreasing because fewer players running the sites that produced them.

    The heart of it all is that looking at single prices are a very bad indicator of overall macroeconomic trends and if you increased all bounties by a single isk, that would be inflationary, but probably not noticeable in any meaningful sense.

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  14. @ Anon 20/12/11 11:40:
    That 100-110 mil an hour is the average for all incursion running fleets, I've been in fleets(for an unfortunately short number/amount of time) that pushed 150-200 mil an hour, AKA OTA Blitz fleets.

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  15. Inflation is a widely misused word. Inflation, when correctly defined, is an increase in the supply of money in an economy. Inflation is not a general rise in prices. A general rise in prices is an effect of inflation, not the thing itself.

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  16. I used to cause inflation by running incursions, then I took an arrow in the knee.

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  17. anon1454 is absolutely correct. To a True Bear, the thought of "sweet delicious tears" is pretty ridiculous. They don't care what you do, so long as it doesn't involve putting them or their ISK-making at risk. ;-)

    Hosi is also absolutely correct. Hisec incursions are a fuckton of ISK (at least everyone in my old bear alliance who runs them is making out fucking insanely)--huge reward.... and what few risks (esp player-caused ones) there are, have been consistently nerfed down by CCP with major mechanic changes that have no "story" reason why, just "because we said so."
    Also from a Story standpoint, it seems, if I understand the two sentences of Prime Fiction behind them, that nullsec incursions should be once in a blue moon things (after all, Sansha's eye is on the Empires, not the russkies out in the Drone Regions), and hisec ones should be rare too -- after all, it's easier to establish a "beachhead" in lowsec and work inwards.

    I have a really good idea on how to make that happen, from a "makes sense" story view, not an arbitrary "CCP says" pov (and we've all seen how it plays out when "CCP says", usually badly), but would require major code rewrites, and I'm sure CCP isn't willing to invest that level of time/effort into it, especially for something that'll have bears crying their lil eyes out.

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  18. I completly agree, except for the fact that whs drop loot, not bounty. So it doesnt cause an increase in the amount of isk in circulation.

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  19. Starting to develop a man crush on Garth.

    The facts that I´m German and there is that badasss-Hoff portrait isn´t helping at all. :P

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  20. Alright... first of all @ Ed, lets do some math. Average payout of a VG site is 10 million per site. Granted most fleets run with 11, dropping it down to 9mil and some change, so we'll just say 10 mil. SO 200 million/10 means 20 sites in an hour. 60 minutes/20 means you are completing every site and traveling to the next one in 3 minutes on average. Honestly you're just grossly exaggerating the income levels of high end fleets. While it's possible to complete a site from start to finish in 3 minutes, this is usually by optimizing the fleets completion time for one site at the detriment of the completion times for the other 2 sites. NCO blitz fleets (t3's/commandships)can hit this 3 minute mark completion time from warping into the site to getting paid. However they have to add in the 15-45 seconds of travel time to the next site and also complete OTA's and NMC's slower. OTA blitz fleets are the same. Better at OTA's but do nmc/NCO's slower. Over a short period or lucky string of one particular site you might see income levels burst up greater than 100 mil an hour, but that's like saying exploration I make 500 mil an hour because I scanned down one site and got a dread gurista invuln field to drop in it and quit afterwards. The average kill times for sites for a shiney battleship fleet (all vindy/nightmare/mach shield fleet with 2 logies) is 4-5 minutes per site. The actual sustained upper limit income is as Jester said 100-110 mil an hour per character.

    Secondly economic speculation aside, most high end shield fleets prefer a skirmish mindlinked booster with web range over siege mindlinks. Most incursion ships are fitted to be able to tank a vanguard site already, so the increased tank benefits from siege links just increase your PVE safety net. The skirmish mindlink, specifically the interdiction link increases the damage projection of battleship fleets by bumping web range of faction webs from 14km to upwards of 20km+ depending on skill/boosting ship. Since most sansha frigs orbit at 15-17km, the bonuses put them all in range meaning between the 16 webs of the 8 dps ships every frigate will be hittable.

    TLDR: 150mil+ per hour claims are lol
    Web Range links > Shield/Armor links because Moar damage applied > being overtanked

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  21. @Hong
    Speek for your self but I find the idea of PVPer's whining over my income source to be incredibly delicious. Its not why I do it but I still find it funny.

    Highsec incursions DO generate a lot of ISK/Hour, more so than any other activity a combat pilot might apply themselves too in empire space. However the risk/reward is also well balanced. "Shinny" pirate ships go pop in my fleets at least once a week. Pilot error, DC's, neuts and high sansha alpha are all constant threats to the incursion runner.

    The funny thing is the only real reason incursions are such good ISK is because of the nulsec'ers. Around half the people I fly with on any one day are ex-nul pilots, either on alts or on "vacation". These people are the ones responsible for the creation of channels like BTL and thus the high degree of organisation that goes into incursion fleets.

    Infact, there are less lowsec fleets is because goon's have "laid claim" to the lowsec incursions. Incursions are a great introduction to both pvp and nulsec for a lot of pilots who would not have otherwise expressed any interest in such activity's. And I don't mean because of the Sansha AI, I meen because when you spend 2 - 3 hours with a mix of pilots a lot of stories get shared, general banter is had and that community connection is something you don't get with missions, mining or even wormholes.

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