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.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

What's it worth to you?

So, today, CCP is releasing a rather interesting sort of holiday gift.  It's a choice between 23 different potential gifts.  Here's the full list:
  • Amarr Destroyer/Ammo Package, including Destroyer skillbook, 3 Coercers, and 24 of each Small Imperial Navy laser crystal;
  • Minmatar Destroyer/Ammo Package, including Destroyer skillbook, 3 Thrashers, and 10k of each Small Republic Fleet projectile ammo;
  • Caldari Destroyer/Ammo Package, including Destroyer skillbook, 3 Cormorants, and 10k of each Small Caldari Navy hybrid ammo;
  • Gallente Destroyer/Ammo Package, including Destroyer skillbook, 3 Catalysts, and 10k of each Small Gallente Navy hybrid ammo;
  • a Zephyr;
  • a Primae;
  • an Echelon;
  • a Hardwiring - Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1;
  • a set of all five Basic Attribute Implants (+3 bonus to each attribute);
  • an Attribute Remap;
  • a set of four Standard Boosters: Drop, Exile, Blue Pill, and Crash;
  • a set of five Quafe Zero Boosters;
  • a set of 1000 of each of the four new POS fuel blocks;
  • a set of one of each of the BPOs to produce those fuel blocks;
  • 10 of each Medium Imperial Navy Laser crystal;
  • 5 of each Large Imperial Navy laser crystal;
  • 5k of each Medium Republic Fleet projectile ammo;
  • 2.5k of each Large Republic Fleet projectile ammo;
  • 5k of each Medium Federation Navy hybrid ammo;
  • 2.5k of each Large Federation Navy hybrid ammo;
  • 5k of each of the four Caldari Navy Heavy Missile ammo and Heavy Assault Missile ammo;
  • 2.5k of each of the four Caldari Navy Cruise Missile ammo and Siege Missile ammo; or,
  • 2000 Aurum.
It's quite an impressive and varied list!  Kudos to CCP for taking this approach.  You can choose the gift you want to go with by visiting your Account Management page at the CCP website.

A few interesting questions arise, though.  Which gifts are worth more?  Well, I sat down and worked it out.  All of these values are approximations, but probably fairly good approximations.  You can, of course, make your own approximations of each as well.

Amarr Destroyer/Ammo Package59.775m
Caldari Destroyer/Ammo Package58.175m
Gallente Destroyer/Ammo Package58.175m
4000 Fuel Blocks55.000m
Fuel Block Blueprints52.000m
Minmatar Destroyer/Ammo Package46.175m
Basic Attribute Implant Set42.450m
Faction Medium Missiles40.000m
Faction Medium Hybrid Ammo38.000m
Faction Medium Laser Crystals36.000m
Faction Large Laser Crystals36.000m
Faction Large Missiles35.000m
Quafe Zero x530.000m
Faction Medium Projectile Ammo30.000m
2000 AUR27.932m
Hardwiring - Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1       ??.???m
Faction Large Projectile Ammo25.000m
Faction Large Hybrid Ammo25.000m
Four Standard Boosters22.000m
Attribute Remap??.???m

How did I come up with these values?  In most cases, I just checked the market or EVE Central.  I did not look up the values of every little type of ammo.  Instead, I picked a couple of popular types, then averaged them with a couple of unpopular types, to get their values.  A few of the items deserve special attention, however.

The Zephyr, Primae, and Echelon were all past holiday gifts.  Their value is set based entirely on their rarity.  The current values are more or less accurate and reflect -- quite frankly -- the number of those ships that have been destroyed.  The Echelon, for instance, is nearly worthless since very few have been destroyed.  As more of these one-release ships are destroyed, the value of the remaining ones should go up.  The Interbus Shuttle is a good example here.  While one of these ships could initially be purchased for 20 million ISK or so, over the years, their value has escalated.  Quafe Zero is also a product with a limited number of examples in the field, and as they are consumed, the value of them is also going up.  Currently, Quafe Zero is selling on contract for between 5 and 6 million ISK per unit.

In much the same way, the value of the Genolution implants is going to vary based on the number of people who get podded while using them.  Still, I expect the value of these implants to settle in around the 25-30 million ISK mark over time, consistent with the other comparable fitting implants.

The cost of fuel blocks is currently in flux.  The new blocks don't go into production until January 24.  In the meantime, though, the aggregate value of the products that go into most of the fuel blocks is about 12,500 ISK per unit, with the exception of the Gallente blocks, which use Oxytopes and are therefore worth more.  The fuel block blueprints, similarly, are currently selling for about 13 million per unit on the market.

I chose the value of Aurum based on the excellent analysis done at the White Rose Conventicle that I referenced the other day.

As a result, the value of the bulk of these holiday gifts is between 30 million and 50 million ISK for most of the gifts.

Which leaves one gift... an attribute remap.  And this... is... interesting!  What is the value of an attribute remap?  It is completely worthless on the market, of course.  CCP has made noises in the past of selling "remaps for PLEX", a plan that was shouted down by the players and by CSM5.  And yet here it is again, this time as a free gift.  Surely, players can't complain about a free gift, can they?

I have absolutely no doubt that it's going to be one of the most popular gifts.  So, no, players are unlikely to complain about a free gift.

Is an attribute remap worth 30-50 million ISK?  If players could buy remaps for this price on the market, would they?  Absolutely!  In droves!  And yet they can't... except that this year, they sorta can.  ;-)  Very coy, CCP.  I approve.

And that concludes my 500th post on this blog.  :-)  I'll have more to say about this milestone a little later this week.


  1. Excellent blog post, something I've gotten used to from you. I like how we share a school of thought here, except you beat me to writing it, so I can go back to plotting my remaps instead of telling people why the remap is amazing and that if they need ISK that badly, they should think about just want to liquidate into. I can't really grasp why someone would pick the lowest value when they can have the highest (if you are that desperate for ISK, why not take time to maximize gain?), but then again I'm such as powergamer that I can't understand why for a measly 50m (that is 5 vanguards, without LP) you'd not pick the option which is essentially buying yourself some SP.

  2. I came to the same conclusion. I expect this is a baby step towards remaps and faction ammo for Aurum.

  3. very interesting! I wonder which I'll actually use :p

  4. Ya, remap makes me happy.

  5. I will also be going for the remap. Personally, I think they should sell remaps for PLEX. We can buy Titan pilots or maxed industry toons anyway with PLEX, why not let us speed up the learning on the character we are most invested in?

  6. Hey sir, nice read.

    Have you thought about getting RSS on your blog.?


  7. Personally I would prefer eliminating the attributes entirely and replacing the empty slots with more implants with bonuses. The remapping and optimizing game is a very stale one at this point and needlessly confusing to new pilots.

    On the gifts the question is what gift is actually going to retain its value the most assuming a large number of accounts are gifted?

    I think the values are also going to depend greatly on your pilot's location. If I am in Omist, I am probably looking at the fuel blocks / blueprints as a really solid gift compared to anything else. As corp director I have to seriously consider asking my corp mates to choose fuel blocks redeemed in a null sec station for purchase/use by the corporation, especially considering that the transition to fuel blocks has already changed and a larger buffer against patch day screw-ups might be warranted.

    I could also see a lot of null sec pilots picking the +3 set for combat clones as well.

  8. @LoRDa:


    Works for me.

  9. The difference, Jaggins, is there's a finite supply of Titan characters which depends on how many people have actually put the time into the game to train them up. There would be an infinite supply of remaps for PLEXes. It is a terrible idea as it is a MT that give a gameplay advantage (albeit, a small one).

    We have to be firm on saying no to MTs for gameplay advantages, no matter how inconsequential they seem.

  10. You can already quite literally buy SP for real money -- convert game time to PLEX and sell it on the market, then use the resulting ISK to buy a character from another player. Compared to that, being able to buy remaps for PLEX or even directly for cash is rather silly. Both remaps and character purchases help players do what they want faster. But while a remap marginally reduces training time, assuming a player can even stuck to his original plan, buying a character skips training altogether, a much greater "advantage" than speeding up training time by a few days a year.

    But in EVE the amount of SP doesn't really matter that much past a certain point anyway. For example, it takes 64,000 SP to train Large Beam Specialization from 0 to III for a 6% total damage bonus, or approximately 3 days depending on attributes. It takes 298,039 SP to train that skill from III to IV (about 5 days) and 1,685,961 SP to train that skill from IV to V (about 28 days). So SP totals are not a good measure of a character's ability, nevermind that most things in EVE depend on player skill rather than SP totals or even the ISK value of ships.

    Anyways. Pay to win is already in this game, and has been here for years. The real problem with CCP's cash shop idea was not that it allowed moneyed players to gain an advantage -- a player can already buy a character, an Avatar, or a thousand Rifters for cash. The problem was that it bypassed the player economy and put CCP in direct competition with players.

  11. Attribute remap wins out for me but I'm fairly rich.

    It's a nice list well done CCP.

    And well done you for 500 posts. The ones I've seen have been very well-written posts too.

  12. Attribute remap for me, no question. Also adding my congrats on your 500th entry. I don't agree with everything you write, but hey, that's not necessarily a criticism. I visit just about every day to see what's new. Good job, Jester, I hope you continue to write for us.

  13. Nice work, Jester, and appreciated by all!

  14. It is irritating when they depreciate the value of my Quafe Zero investment by increasing the supply of what I thought would be a finite (and thus, diminishing) commodity =/

  15. Great blog post, cheers for the price rundown on the items! I'm going for the remap myself, it is indeed priceless and comes in handy when I decide to change direction in my skill training.

  16. The problem with the remap is that its the same as when they removed learning skills. we all got a 'free' remap. however the players that had their remap coming up soon (like me, 3 days at the time), the upcoming remap doesn't stack. it just resets the timer, thus zero benefit. BUT if you already have a remap, it WILL add an extra. Its too bad the gift remaps don't stack if you have none remaining.

    This is important to note so you don't waste your gift.

  17. I'm a bit confused about your price conversion maths. For example - by my (admitadely off-the-top-of-the-head) maths 3 cormorants sell at 450K isk each, and each small navy issue ammo type (of which there are 8) is around 200-600isk/unit. So that would be around 32mil isk?

    BUT, even if these are unpopular choices they are likely to cause a dump of product into the market which will temporarily force prices down - so what it is "worth" is ultimately a very dynamic thing.

    But for that reason I agree with your conclusion that the remaps will be the most popular, particularly with older players - because with these gifts the utility is worth much more than the isk value. For that reason the destroyer packages are probably quite poor value except for extremely new players.

  18. I think it's interesting that many people (even you) will take the attribute remap, knowing that it may actually be the worst gift choice for some.

    For example, I have remaps on two accounts coming in March. If I get the remap gift, I lose those remaps and get one now - does 3 months really make a difference in my training? According to EFT a remap saves me 4 days on one plan, and the other it saves about 2 days. I don't consider that a high enough value as an older player, whereas a free set of +3 implants, or Faction Ammo in decent numbers in nullsec, are perhaps more valuable (although also less permanent).

    As for the pay to win, some people still don't get it. PTW by having unlimited remaps for cash is actually a bad idea for the player - since it takes away the need to think and plan, skills that pay off in the long run in EVE regardless of the career you choose. In addition, it gives an unfair advantage to a player in an intangible way. Sure, you can buy GTCs (or PLEX) and sell them for in-game money, and get better in-game items. But those in-game items aren't permanent game changers, they are transient and can be destroyed. Remaps (for RL money) change something another player cannot overcome - the rate at which you accumulate skillpoints. That provides a PTW scenario because one person can pay to accumulate skillpoints at sheer optimal rates, while another with less RL money must work within the framework established in the game.

  19. I have always disagreed with the ability to buy and sell characters.

    The offering of a remap as a no-ISK value gift is extremely well done. It will please many folks, at no cost to CCP. As for folks willing to buy a remap for PLEX, I am neither surprised or aghast.

    I will say that I do NOT consider this to be pay to win. When I am engaged with a toon in pvp, his raw SP count is mostly irrelevant. We have all lost to lower SP toons that PVP at the highest level, we've all killed toons with scads more SP than we have through a combination of luck and circumstance. It happens.

    Why should I get my knickers in a twist because someone bought a remap ? That same player could have bought a toon off the market. Some would say that the market for old toons is limited and that buying a toon off the market is maintaining that market and therefore not pay to win. I could not disagree more strongly. Buying a toon should never have been permitted in the first place.

    Having said all of that, I do not require a remap for any toons at this moment, as I don't consider the max/min game for SP to be relevant. I don't know what I will choose as a gift as of yet, but I do know that it will not be a remap.

  20. The problem with the 'limited edition' gear as an investment is that CCP has a history of re-releasing it for new promotions etcetera.

  21. I assume the remap would be added to our remap queue and not need to be used immediately?

    Does anyone know? :D

    Nice run down btw.

  22. Confirming removal of remap; because they have removed the option to get a remap, due to people being "special" on the forums.


  23. @Anon1641: Yeah, the prices on all of these gifts could change based on the number of people who select them. The ammo choices will be the most volatile in terms of prices... after all, if a thousand people select Amarr destroyers, how big is the market for faction Ultraviolet crystals gonna be? ;-)

    @Everyone else: I confirm that the remap choice has been removed.

  24. Having thought about it I am pro either remap purchasing or remap removal fromn the game entirely.

    The whole system of remapping, character attributes etc. is one of those entirely useless mechanics which only serves to overload newcomers to the game - much like the learning skills of yore. One idea I quite like is that maybe players could sell their 'remaps' to other players, and allow a true market value to emerge. As a relative newcomer to eve (just one 7mil SP toon) I'm in the stage of the game where 3-4 days won't make much difference to me (plus I am training diverse skills that benefit from a broad attribute base). However what I could really do with is that extra 100mil ISK that will buy my battleship and/or tech II fittings.

    I'd gladly sell my remaps for isk.

    On a side note, my preference would really be to just get rid of the whole racial attribute and remap mechanics. Instead have one fixed speed of SP generation (the same for each of the 5 attributes) and then implants that influence those attributes on a % level. i.e. 10% more charisma.

    I also think CCP desperately need to look into a mechanic for speeding up the first 5-10mil SP. I realise it is a strength (by which i mean difference) of Eve that RL time rather than game time determines progression. Never-the-less, there is a growing disparity where some players have been at this for 5+ years and others for 5+ days. Other MMOs (even bloody WoW) have had no trouble in progressively reducing 'levelling' requirements as they age. Why not give new players a free implant which automatically gives them 150-200% SP for their first 5 million SP. Lets face it, 5mil SP isn't going to make them into a monster - if anything it will just get them into a battlecruiser with some tech II modules in 3 months instead of 5 - since ISK is also a limiting factor to early progression, especially once players hit the battleship level.

  25. looks like remap option disapeared from gifts... :(

  26. Re-map option is back.....

  27. LoRDa-

    The blog does have an RSS (link at the very bottom of every page). I've been subb'd that way for some time.


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