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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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Week in the Life: Book burning

Here's a funny story about Nocxium that you might not have heard.  I was not at all involved in this, but I wish I had been.  If you've already heard this story, feel free to skip this post.

From time to time, you'll hear a phrase in EVE: "price ceiling."  This means that a particular commodity in EVE has hit a threshold price that it cannot exceed.  Usually, this happens because there is an NPC buyer or seller in the game with a fixed price associated with that commodity.  For instance, before PI, many of the products that are now PI products were goods that were bought and sold by NPCs in station.  You could pick up a load of, say, Consumer Electronics in one region's market and resell it for a very small profit in another region.

The price ceiling came into play because these goods would also drop from missions, and there were player buyers for these goods in Jita.  But since the NPC buy value of the goods was known, the Jita player buyers would never go any higher than a percentage below the NPC buy value... thus, there was a fixed ceiling on the prices of those goods.

Well, that hit Nocxium last month.  The price of Noc hit a ceiling of 535 ISK per unit and only a very few people understood why.  Any time Noc threatened to go above 535, a seemingly-infinite amount of Noc would appear out of thin air to bring the price back down to 535 or so.

Turns out it wasn't seemingly infinite.  It was infinite.  Until about ten days ago, the best source of Noc in the game was... the Pax Amarria.  It's an NPC item, a book.  It's intended to be a novelty item.  A fun little role-playing trope that you could throw into your ship to for kill-mails.  Problem was, you could also reprocess them into 6 Nocxium and 2 Isogen each.  And since it was available for sale from NPC sellers, there were an infinite number of Pax Amarrias in the game.  So players bought them -- a couple of billion of them, in fact.  And then they burned them.  ;-)

It's funny what EVE players will do to make ISK, isn't it?

Anyway, CCP finally caught wind of this scheme on April 1, and removed the NPC sell orders for the Pax Amarria for a day or two.  When they returned them to the NPCs to sell on April 3 or so, the Pax Amarria reprocessed into 2 Tritanium.

And in the ten days since, the price of Nocxium has blasted through its previous ceiling and almost doubled.  Hope you bought all the Nocxium you needed before that happened...  More about minerals and mining in the next day or two.  The next couple of months is promising to be really interesting.


  1. Huh. That explains why someone cleaned out my entire line of mining crystal sell orders.

    I wondered why someone needed 150m worth of mining crystals.

    Damn, shoulda charged more for em.

  2. Slowly but surely CCP will get these artificial price ceilings out of the game. It does seem to be taking time though.

    How long ago was it that NPC sold shuttles set the effective price ceiling on trit? It seems like they went to player made/sold 3 or 4 years ago.

  3. Wow. That explains why Nocx more than doubled when all the other minerals just rose somewhat (except poor Mexallon, which actually fell, but I *still* can't convince miners to lay off the Kernite...)

  4. Brilliant story which proves that if there is way to do it in Eve, some players will always end up finding it :) CCP should add on Eve's website: "Eve, a game approved by Joseph Schumpeter!" :P

  5. In my mind the whole Pax Amarria issue is a huge fuck up. It is like the damn South Park joke:

    Step 1: Collect Pax Amarria
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Profit!

    Esoteric knowledge of recycling should not be a source of profit. Although I admit there is some part of me that wishes exotic dancers were used to make boosters, if only for the obligatory Soylent Green gag.

    1. Gag being the operative word here. Recycled exotic dancers? :puke:

  6. too bad pax amarria now recycles into trit, they just created a new (albeit unprofitable) ceiling for it..

  7. Folks have already discovered that apparently ALL pirate tags recycle into 2 Isogen and 6 Nocxium. (This was still true yesterday.) Prices for tags seem to be tracking the Nocx price.

  8. Pax Ammaria, with two m's. Maybe this signals some sort of new faction?


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