Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another Way Of Looking At The Losses At B-R5RB

I know that some people don't like the focus on the amount of "money" lost in the Battle of B-R5RB.  They object because people who don't play EVE Online will think that EVE is a pay-to-play game where some are crazy enough to spend $3,500 USD on an internet spaceship.  Losing the equivalent of $300,000 USD is bad enough without people outside of gaming thinking that the ships were just acquired by paying the game developer real life money.  People in EVE are pretty proud that all the ships built in EVE exist due to the efforts of players.  I think a lot of players do not want people to lump EVE in with other games where last year people paid $250,000 USD for 200 ships and have thriving and tolerated secondary RMT markets.

So what should we use to judge the size of loss in EVE's massive battles?  How about game time?  I have done that in the past, using PLEX as a way to adjust for in-game inflation.  PLEX is a good way of doing the comparison since PLEX do have an in-game as well as CCP-approved real world value.  Based on the going rate in Jita for PLEX, the losses were the equivalent of over 18,000 PLEX.  Not only is that approximately what players made per month running incursions in the last quarter of 2011,1  but is 1,500 years of game time.  I think that might impress someone who plays a subscription game like World of Warcraft.

One interesting development in the industry relevant to this discussion is the spread of the "EVE business model" throughout the MMORPG industry.  The EVE business model is usually described as a subscription model that has a component that allows players to purchase ISK from each other in exchange for game time.  Games like Runescape (Bonds) and EverQuest/EverQuest 2 (Kronos) have added PLEX-like options for players to pay for their premium time.2  The upcoming MMORPG, Wildstar, will launch with its version of PLEX, C.R.E.D.D, sometime this summer.  When talking to players of these games, doing a conversion of PLEX to that game's chosen in-game instrument can really give a scale to the destruction done in EVE.

One idea I've thought about over the years is how can people compare the cost of items between games.  Something that is expensive in Guild Wars 2 could sound cheap to someone in a nearly 10-year-old economy like World of Warcraft's.  The option of comparing RMT prices is not exactly appealing.  But if we have company-approved ways, such as PLEX, C.R.E.D.D., and Bonds, then sharing experiences, or at least prices, between games becomes just a bit easier.


1 - State of the Economy presentation, Fanfest 2012. (27 minute mark)

2. - While free-to-play, these games do offer subscription options.


  1. I've said it afore an I'll say it agin... ANY publicity is GOOD publicity! Good for CCP, for EVE Online and for the playerbase.

    The CCP created and sanctioned, RW$ to ISK ratio is approx US $20 to ISK 600m. This is a verifiable, valid and 'legal' IRL money to IVL money ratio (and ISK is 'money' in our virtual economy is it not?) and therefore is as valid a measure of the value of destroyed ships and mods and structures in EvE as the everpresent and highly touted ISK lost / destroyed ratio on EVERY Killboard out there.

    PLUS, just look at the New Accounts Spike after the public news of the B-R battle, the one with "losses in the $300,000 range..." Regular people and even other gamers don't "get" EvE... but they sure as hell get the idea that possibly being involved in a game that can support such epic and 'costly' battles is worth at least a 14 day trial... and for us, that will end up with some percentage finding something worth staying for... and hence...

    ANY publicity is GOOD publicity... I'll take any publicity that gets people excited, publicity that makes our incredibly harsh and hard game worth a first, or secind, look...

  2. Another angle about that $300.000 is that it wasn't really that much money *per player*. Same for effort to build. Someone somewhere estimated the equivalent in playtime lost (that was needed to build those ships). Huge in man hours, but if you divide them among all combatants, it needs only few days of farming per person.

    In other words, neither the dollars nor the hours are the amazing thing alone. Only the amount of people involved at one single event. They are the multiplier that translates some common effort into so amazing numbers.

    Any method to make other games "get" the magnitude of what happened should work hard to get that point across, too.

    That said, what I like about the PLEX conversion is that it get the best of both current camps (not coming accross as real money, but illustrating the worth).

  3. A concerned MinmatarFebruary 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    We really should be converting the dollar cost to man-hours, because while nobody spent a dime of currency on those titans somebody sure spent the hours to mine the tritanium. 100m ISK per hour is considered the standard, so let's use that conversion. That means 11T ISK is 110,000 hours of labour. Not bad.