Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Isk Faucet Or Isk Sink?

A lot of discussion over the last few months in Eve Online has centered on the money supply.  EveNews24 ran a series in December that focused on RMT that caused an uproar.  Why is the money supply important?  Brendan Drain on Massively.com wrote an article explaining the concept of isk faucets, isk sinks and the money supply.  Brendan did a good job explaining the concept:
"To the average player, the rate at which ISK flows in and out of the game seems to have little consequence on everyday play. In EVE's closed economy, however, the balance between ISK sinks and faucets sets the rate of inflation for the game, which in turn alters the buying power of ISK. If the faucets pour a lot more ISK into the game than the sinks can remove, the buying power of a fixed amount of ISK may start to drop."
Sort of what's happening in real life now.  But instead of looking into the similarities between real life and Eve Online (just thinking about QE2 makes my brain hurt), I started an experiment to find out if I am an isk faucet or an isk sink.  So starting on January 1st I started tracking all of my income and outgoes to see what my play is like.

First, the isk faucets.  I didn't lose any ships in January, so I didn't receive any insurance payouts.  But I did manage to run 15 missions last month and gained 12.9 million isk in bounties and 7.3 million isk in mission rewards.  Now remember, I'm only looking at isk faucets, so any sales of modules or salvage materials does not count as being part of an isk faucet.  In fact, those sales, since they are between players, are actually isk sinks in the form of sales taxes.  So the total amount of money I brought into the game was 20.2 million isk.

Next the isk sinks.  For the way I play, planetary interaction is a big isk sink.  How is PI an isk sink?  Just think about all the construction involved, the planetary import/export taxes and the sales taxes when selling products.  So even though I made a 350 million isk profit doing PI in January, I also paid 12.3 million isk in planetary command centers, extractors and processors, 4 million isk in import/export taxes and 2.2 million isk in sales tax selling my products.  I'm bad at PI and just sell my product on the market.  If I put up sell orders, I would have to include the broker fees as well.

Other isk sinks that I spent money on was the Marketing skill book for 3.1 million isk and a clone upgrade for Wandering Rose that cost 2 million isk.  I didn't really spend much money on the manufacturing, research and invention isk sinks, although now that I have 3 BPCs for Warrior IIs and am looking to make Prowlers and Cheetahs, that amount will actually be significant next month.

The one other economic activity I engaged in, carrying out courier contracts, is a neutral activity, although those who create the contracts have to pay a fee, which is an isk sink.  And while I'm on the subject of courier contracts, I made 30 million isk flying around New Eden last month.  Yep, more money from doing courier contracts than from missioning.

So, am I an isk faucet or isk sink?  According to my math, I'm an isk sink, taking 3.5 million isk out of the economy.  And I think I will continue to act as an isk sink, since I have to purchase the Industrial Command Ships skill book this month for Rosewalker, and that costs 45 million isk.  As much as I don't like doing missions, I don't think I'm going to make enough to counter that one isk sink item.

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