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...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week in the Life: Staging

Just a quickie, and yes I know I've mentioned this topic already, but this is really remarkable.

After going up 20 million ISK yesterday, the price of PLEXes has gone up 35 more million... in the last 12 hours.  Put another way, PLEX prices are up 30% in 30 days.  Here's the last 10 days.

Put into perspective, that's about equal to the growth curve of an old-style rocket's acceleration right after it stages.  If the curve keeps up, PLEXes will cost 825 million on November 1, and will pass a billion ISK each before the New Eden Open Tournament kicks off.  That's six weeks away...


  1. Replies
    1. FW people can afford them no matter what they cost, tied to limited supply. CCP isn't cashing out enough by doing special offers for long enough. Expect to see such a special offer pretty shortly.

    2. It's a bubble - people are investing in plexes because they're expecting the price to keep going up...

    3. I wonder if there is a way to show whether or not this is impacting concurrent player numbers?

      I was one of those players who was "playing to pay" via missioning for PLEX. When the price of PLEX started its climb above 500M, that no longer became possible...and I let my 30M SP account lapse. Now I play GW2 with my limited free time.

  2. FW isn't the ultimate cause of the rising costs of PLEX (though the most recent spike is probably caused by FW players cashing out LP en masse). The problem is that there's a gigantic pool of ISK being generated in the game (rat bounties, mission rewards, and wormhole loot) with not enough faucets to burn it all up.

    I think PLEX are seen as a reasonable hedge against inflation, much like gold and treasuries are in RL. It be interesting to know how much PLEX is being carried over month to month versus how much PLEX is actually being used for game time.

    1. Saying FW isn't the problem, faucets are, is demonstrably not true. Faucet levels have not matched plex prices even remotely - if they did, they would have been at these levels before the incursion nerf and 500m now, not the other way around.

    2. errr....I meant "not enough sinks to burn it all up". :-(

      Anyways, even after FW is fixed (as it should be), ISK will still be created in mass quantities and will continue to be stored as PLEX, until CCP finds other ways for us players to burn our ISK.

  3. I wonder how significant the newly proposed tournament is? All of a sudden, there's a relatively short-term demand for a lot of PLEX, and I could see it spiking the price.

    I suppose we'll know if there's a drop back down after the tourney.

    1. Yeah, my money's on the tournament too. PLEX auctions for slots is a poor entry barrier because of what we're seeing right now.
      You'd expect PLEX prices to rise gradually and steadily due to FW, but overnight spikes like this are caused by large amounts of speculation.

      To put it differently: SOMEONE doesn't want poor people to join the tournament, and wants the rest to pay top dollar to enter.

      Get your tinfoil hat out, this will be a wild ride.

    2. Slots paid with PLEX is driving non-content-creating poors out of the game so that content creators (i.e. tournament participants) can give CCP something to brag about. It's temporary and the poors should be able to afford PLEX again in a couple of months. Or they can resub their accounts with RL money. Increased monthly revenue is, in fact, CCP's ultimate goal.

    3. Obviously, I need to put this in a front-page post. CCP makes the MOST money from accounts subscribed with PLEXes. It is therefore virtually always in CCP's best interest to have PLEX prices be low, not high.

      If someone stops paying for an account with PLEXes and subscribes that account with a credit card instead, CCP LOSES MONEY.

      If someone stops paying for an account with PLEXes and lets the account lapse, CCP LOSES MONEY.

      The only thing high PLEX prices help from CCP's perspective, is the fight against RMT and that's quite temporary. RMT sites will nearly always be able to beat CCP's dollars-per-ISK ratio.

    4. No, Jester, CCP only loses money if PLEX aren't sold from their store.

      It doesn't matter what happens to the PLEX in game - the very best thing for CCP is that the PLEX gets destroyed.

      If someone stops using PLEX and pays by credit card, but the PLEX are still being bought from the store, CCP makes even more money.

      Just remember that PLEX exist to provide legitimate RMT, their function as game time tokens is a secondary market.

    5. Pardon me for being the idiot of the village, but how precisely does CCP make money from in game PLEX purchases? If I purchase a PLEX from isk that I've generated in game, how is CCP making money?

      I get it when I whip out my credit card or make the occasional PLEX purchase with PayPal since that is putting real dollars into CCP's pocket. I just dont understand how IN GAME isk converts to dollars in their pocket.

    6. Cause someone else whipped out -their- card and bought the plex from CCP in the first place.

    7. Hey Jester, Idiot of the Village again. After reading through your later post (3 times JUST to make sure I've gotten it straight) I would like you to clarify or correct where this isn't sinking in.

      Lets say (hypothetically) that CCP has a pool of 1000 PLEX and I (in my infinite riches,heh) purchase them all from the CCP site. I then take the PLEX into the game and sell them (for in game isk) to 1000 people for love and profit. The players that purchased them have not made CCP any money at this point. CCP has only made the money I paid for them. Now when the 1000 players REDEEM them, they revert back to the pool where they can be purchased again.

      Am I correct so far?

      If this is the case, the only way CCP makes money on the sale of PLEX is only in the event of redeeming and making them available for repurchase. More times sold OUTSIDE the game, more money made by them.

      I've subbed 3 accounts on my card and have never purchased PLEX for the purposes of adding game time to an account. This is why I'm a bit confused.

      If this is the case, it becomes a somantic arguement.

      To be clear, the only way CCP "makes money" on in game PLEXing is it's ability to be repurchased outside the game.

  4. CCP has another growing problem here. High PLEX prices drive away subscribers, and as Jester has noted before, PLEX is CCP's most profitable means of subscription. I usually make 2Bil isk per month for PLEX and ships, but "working" for isk is taking up too much time now. I'll drop my subscription next time it expires and look for something with a higher ratio of fun.

  5. I suspect part of it is real life econimics as it stands atm. More people are feeling a pinch and try to save some rl cash, using plex instead. At the same time supply is not increasing and might even have decreased due to people feeling a real life pinch. I actually went back to normal sub on 2 accounts recently as the currency exchange rates from my currency to euro/dollar was very favourable compared to a year ago.

  6. Having decided never to work for ISK again, PLEX prices can go as high as they want for all I care. If it kills the game, well too bad; I have other powerful drugs :D

    And damn CAPTCHA to all hells !!!

  7. "If the curve keeps up, PLEXes will cost 825 million on November 1, and will pass a billion ISK each before the New Eden Open Tournament kicks off. That's six weeks away..."

    Correct me if I am wrong, I don't follow PvP stuff much, but I thought the the relevant date when the auction will be held, will be October 20th. In only 9 days.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.